So You Wanted Recipes!

I guess I got told!!! Apparently it is rude to post photos of great food without including the recipes….oops:)) Who knew???

Soooo, here’s the recipe for this delicious cobbler:

Yes, I found this on Pinterest…yummy!

You need: 1 16-oz. pkg. of any kind of frozen fruit ( I have used peaches and dark cherries). Place the frozen fruit in the bottom of a 9×13 pan.

Then a package of white or yellow cake mix. Sprinkle it, as is, over the fruit in the pan.

Finally, a can or equivalent amount of 7Up, Sprite, Squirt…whatever…it also can be diet!!  Pour over the dry cake mix enough to wet everything.

Do not stir!!!

Bake for about an hour, 350 degrees.

That’s it…delicious!

Now for Spaghetti Salad…lots of different names, but that’s what we call it. This recipe comes from a long-time friend who gave the recipe to F2. Our family loves it!!


Cook 1 lb. of spaghetti

While that is cooking  combine these ingredients:

1 green pepper, chopped

1 cucumber, chopped

1-3 tomatoes, chopped

1 bottle of McCormack’s Salad Supreme

1 cup of Parmesan cheese

1/2 of 8oz. bottle of Wishbone Italian dressing


Add in drained and cooled spaghetti(run under cool water)

Mix and refrigerate.

When ready to serve, add rest of Italian dressing.

Everyone seems to love it:))


Whew! Have I taken care of my obligations now??



Happy Parenting!

D and C

Thanks, Santa!

Christmas is over…the giving, the receiving, the hoopla, and the excitement. Now is the time for the gratitude! I’m sure you and your children shared their thanks with those who were with them during the holidays, but what about those who sent their gifts?? Have your children written their thank you notes yet?

For some reason…I never seem to see the idea that kids could also send a thank you note to Santa! They are always eager to send out those ‘requesting’ letters before Christmas. But what about being grateful for what was received?  The poor old guy gets left behind…I wonder why…      Is it because we as little folks never wrote notes ourselves? I don’t remember ever writing a thank you letter to Santa, but now that I think about it, I think I should have!

So let’s start a grateful campaign…have your children write a sweet note to the ‘happy old soul’ and give them the idea that thank you notes are always a great way to go:)


Happy Parenting!

D and C

Kids During the Holidays…kind, grateful??

Do your kids know about kindness and respect? How did they act at the Thanksgiving dinner table?

beautiful table, wonderful kids??

If your children sat at the table for the entire dinner, interacted politely with those around them, remembered to say Please and Thank You, and Smiled :) - Congratulations! You must have been doing something right for years!! If that did not look like your table – All of these things can be taught with you as the model. Practice now for a new look for the holiday tables:


1. Have your kids stay at the table every night until everyone is done with dinner…it’s only polite!!  And then, have them ask to be excused. No…really!! It works – the boys’ grandfather is still impressed, 25 years later, that they said, “May we please be excused?” from a long ago holiday dinner.
with Gramma and Grandad Gallimore workin’ on manners

2. Kids need to practice talking to adults, being kind and respectful. Being able to talk to you on a daily basis shows how they will interact with others. Be kind in the family also since you are always being a role model, good or not so much…


3. Please and Thank You are SOOOO important!! It is so easy to teach at home if you are constantly modeling what you want and never relaxing your expectations. Kids do what you show them they have to do! Always say please to them (not asking as if it’s a request, but just being kind) and always expect a thank you in return. Remember to reply with a You’re Welcome to reinforce that you heard their polite response:) Always say thank you to them. If you hand your kids something, keep your hand on it until they ‘remember’ to thank you. Eventually a look from you will remind them of their required manners. Please help your children to find their manners :)
Practicing manners with Gramma and Grampa Finkbeiner starts early!!

4. Smiling can be taught!!! Try it…we told our kids that fake smiles were better than real frowns. Besides, your brain reads those smile muscles as happiness – it actually makes you feel better if you smile. HONEST!! Give it a shot!

Torch Lake kids being happy!!


If you concentrate on these few ideas for the next month, your future holiday dinners could be a breeze, and your children could learn valuable lessons for their future.

Good luck! Let me know how it goes:)

Happy Parenting!

D and C


Kids on a Road Trip…

I imagine many of you will be traveling with the ‘younguns’ over this long weekend! Are you going to make it fun or will it be all trials and tribulations??? I’m hoping for the fun:)  As long as you lower your expectations for everything except manners, I’m thinking you can make the trip a delight for all:

neatness in the car...not a requirement...

the cleanest we can hope for...occasional clean hands!

young or old...hitting the tourist traps keeps kids entertained:)

when you have a tent, visiting your buddy's popup camper is a treat...


walking in a garden...

playing at the beach

Whatever you do in the car to interact….try to make it fun, but always take the opportunity to stop along the way. It may be the memory you treasure the most from your entire vacation:)

pushing mom and baby brother...what a big guy

checking out Paul Bunyan

don't believe their faces...they had fun!

cute, huh?

naps work too!

Making the most of your time together is so important. Say yes when you can…but never if there is whining involved. Say no when it’s required….and then do not back down. Remember every moment is a teaching moment. What do you want your kids to learn??


Happy Parenting!

D and C

Remembering Manners + Christmas Share – Day 22

The Thursday before Christmas??? Are you ready? Are your children ready to be cheerful and happy with what they receive…no matter what it is?

are you grateful for each other?


Maybe a little discussion is needed…talking about the difference between wants and needs…talking about those less fortunate…talking about manners and making those around you feel comfortable!  Lots of discussions, spur of the moment kinds of talks…what do you hear and see on TV and music…is that how you want your kids to respond to others?

Speak up…let them know how you want ‘your’ family to act and react during this crazy, festive, stressful holiday season!  Kids will only go as far as you let them…so check for the coming meltdowns and distract and redirect to help them find something interesting to do.

Please and thank you are important lessons to pass on to your children…and they learn them from watching you and your interactions with them and others.

use any kind of thank you's...

How about thanking Santa for the goodies?

Loving the season, the reason, the family, and the day….be happy and joyful (even if it hurts)….


Happy Parenting and Christmas Sharing,

D and C


From This Mama Says….for Christmas share


Christmas is just right around the corner and normally the last thing that everyone is shopping for are those small gifts and stocking stuffers. All those little things you kept saying to yourself that you’d pick up later….. Well ‘later’ is NOW!

Here is a great list of OVER 100 small and inexpensive gift ideas! I don’t know about you, but I hate filling stockings and buying small ‘filler’ presents only to be throwing away those things within weeks, because they were junk!

This year I’ve decided that instead of wasting money, I’m buying things that are either needed, useful or consumable!

Another great idea for coworkers, friends or family is to group some of these items together for a “theme basket”. I tried to group the items together as best I could! Here are a few suggestions… Baking, coffee, makeup, nails, art, golf, spa, electronics, car care, etc.

Also, considering that most of these items are $5.00 or less this would be a wonderful way to bless a family in need! We will be filling a stocking to send to our World Vision child, but you could also drop off with a charity, a church or a specific family that you know! What a wonderful blessing to someone you could be! And what a lesson it would be for your children!


School Open Houses

Everyone is back into school and settled in, right? Have you had your school’s Open House or Curriculum Night yet…or whatever else it might be called? This is the night to hear the plan for the year, to hear from your child’s teacher, to find out what might be expected from your little darlings…this is different from conferences when parents get to discuss progress in academics and citizenship with their children’s teachers. Open Houses can be so helpful in beginning a satisfactory, successful year for your kids. I hope you can remember to attend with an open mind. So many times the neighborhood ‘rumor mills’ decide who the good and bad teachers are…don’t you feel you should be able to make your own assessment after interaction with the teacher personally? I hope you will give it a try.


Newsletters, whether printed or online, are an important source of information to keep you up-to-date with what may be going on in the classrooms. Calendars, assignments, notices of upcoming events and necessary paperwork are included to help you prepare for what your child may be bringing home.


If you want to speak with the teacher about something you feel is important before conferences arrive, please try email first. Teachers usually read and respond quicker than having to find the time to answer a phone call or schedule a meeting. When you do send that email out, remember that the teacher can’t see your facial expressions or read your mood, but they can see the speed with which you share your concern. Do you take the time to reread what you have written? Would you say the same things in person with others around you? Have you considered all sides to the question? Are you angry??   Please put the email aside for an hour before hitting that send button…sometimes just breathing will give you a totally different perspective on the issue, and if not, at least you will have given yourself the chance to cool down.


Most parents are lovely sponsors for their children, and their children will become lovely role models themselves. Others might be able to use some simple reminders of civility. If this post seems negative in any way, I’m only sharing advice after teaching for 41 years. I hope what you see is someone trying to help!


Happy Parenting!

D and C

A Perfect Baby Gift

Maybe this would be the perfect find if you’re looking for a baby shower gift or new-baby-home-from-the-hospital gift:


This Amazon site:  “How to Break 10 Common Childhood Myths” now allows you to look inside the book to see what tips might help you or those you know.


….and if by chance you are a perfect parent and never need any helpful hints to make your life easier – anyone? anyone? – copies could surely be shared with others:

- that sister or sister-in-law

- your children who are now parents

- teachers at your kids’ schools

- church groups

- day care areas

- dance studios

- anywhere that children and their parents congregate


Once you check out the book, or before, come check out our website and blog at Childhood Myths where you can learn about our workshops for parents and teachers and about our Sassy Kids Home Parties.


Have fun while reinforcing good habits!

We hope you'll love it and share it with others:)

Happy Parenting!

D and C

Reviving Table Manners

How important are table manners?

messy at this age is cute, right?

Well, unless you want your 12-year old or 17-year old to look like this…I guess manners are pretty important!! Start early at the dinner table at home…teaching manners normally, encouraging what you want to see and discouraging what won’t be helpful in the future.

sometimes “extras” arrive at the table

Kids need to learn how to use utensils properly, even if it’s easier on you to let them do it their way. That interaction of passing food and using please and thank you all of the time is an important part of encouraging manners.

practicing out with others

Each time you go out to dinner with the kids, practice, practice, practice! Kids should stay at the table the entire time, and because I’m sure you haven’t chosen a fancy restaurant that will take longer than their little ‘patiences’ can handle, they can join the family in talking. Okay, you do have to make sure you bring your goodie bag, filled with age-appropriate distraction: Cheerios or Kix, raisins, coloring books, puzzles. I’m hoping beyond all hope, and probably not very realistically, that all electronics for both parents and kids are turned off and ignored during dinner. This should be a great family time, learning how to have fun and be polite in a restaurant.

indoors and outdoors

Eating with the Torch Lake kids has been a constant event for our boys. All the kids learned manners appropriate for the occasion, inside manners, outside picnic…older ones were always encouraged to be good role models for the younger ones. Did it always work that way?? Of course not, but that was what we were trying for!

There is always a time for fun :)
the group

Whether at a Christmas dinner or on a trail ride on vacation, we hoped the boys would remember their manners. Being polite to those who serve you is necessary. Can your kids order their meal themselves (after you have given them their choices)? If they learn to speak up and politely answer the server’s questions, they will be far ahead of the majority of young ones. Do they say, “Thank you” when their order is placed in front of them? Do you? Remember that you are always the role model, one way or the other.

in Gulf Shores with the group

Our Torch Lake Group has taken many vacations together which involves many meals eaten out. As the kids grew older they were able to be at their own kids’ table as long as they were careful with their manners. They loved that idea so much that they usually controlled themselves…notice the usually?? They were our kids, and we have been known to be less than proper at dinner from so much laughing, so we could never be too upset with them. They were definitely chips off the old blocks!! But we were not ever rude to other customers or the staff and neither were the kids. Goofy is good, mean is not!

Kids’ table this year

We continue to enjoy each other’s company every year. The kids are grown, but they still love having their kids’ table.


……and here’s to teaching and learning great manners!!

here’s to us :)

Manners inside the home translate to manners outside the home, and good manners leave wonderful impressions with those we know and those we don’t know. Encourage the best in your children!!

Happy Parenting!
D and C 








The Christmas "Gimmees"

   Here are some hints for a peaceful and grateful Christmas morning!

     At our house after the kids woke us up, we went directly past the Christmas tree (eyes hidden behind their hands) and headed for the Christmas stockings. That always kept the beginning hoopla of Christmas Day a little calmer with smaller treats including things like fruit, socks, a small Lego, a candy treat…all small, but with Mom and Dad reinforcing – “Wow! Santa knew you needed socks!” or “Sure, you can eat the apple if you want to.” or “Want to put  the Lego together now or wait until later?”  AND take photos, it slows the kids down!
     When we went to the tree, we checked to see if Santa had left any unwrapped gifts for the kids  to see right away. Sometimes they were the ones that had to be put together the night before, but sometimes Santa wrapped those gifts so the kids could share in putting them together. We didn’t want Santa to be too predictable!!
     We then began taking turns opening gifts one at a time with Mom or Dad always commenting positively on each gift. “Aunt Susie is always so thoughtful, isn’t she?” after receiving a sweater, beautiful or not! Make sure your children “parrot” you and appreciate each gift  before moving on to the next child’s turn. If there ever were a negative comment or a “yuck” attitude, we would put on our Game Faces and say something like, “Uh, oh…maybe Christmas is over if we can’t all be nice…”  Very calm, just a little nudge in the right direction is usually all it takes to remind them of their manners.
     Santa does Not, and should not, give a child every gift he wants. Children can learn that Santa knows best when and where to have kids receive what they should have. Use your imagination to continue the joy! Remember, it’s really not about the presents!!
     Thank you notes are important! Please make sure your kids, of all ages, follow through with appreciating all gifts. It helps if the family can sit down and write them together. Also, since kids are so anxious to write letters to Santa before Christmas, how about sending thank you letters to him after Christmas??

I know you’ve seen this pic before, but how about I say “Thank you, for my boys!!!!

Be thinking about the consequences of your actions on Christmas Day. Make is JOYFUL and GRATEFUL!

Happy Parenting!
D and C

Holiday Presents, Part 3

The past two blogs were all about the giving and then hiding of presents. Our Part 3 of Holiday Presents deals with receiving gifts!

It is important to start training your children early if you would like them to become gracious, thankful, and thoughtful receivers-of-gifts as adults.

     1. Make sure your children always say thank you when receiving anything.
     2. Teach your kids to have a kind, smiling face showing appreciation, even if they totally dislike the gift. 
     3. Give your child the gift of being able to appreciate whatever they receive, because of the person giving it and the thought behind it.
     4. One-at-a-time delight and appreciation of each individual gift is taught by your modeling whenever you receive gifts of  any kind. Be careful of what you say in front of your kids…they hear it all!! Please remember that your kids, from a very young age, watch and emulate your responses.

family is important

Show your children that each gift, whether from friends, family, or even Santa Claus, is special and deserves to be acknowledged in a positive, appreciative manner.

Help your children to learn the spirit of the season. Give joyfully to others, but also receive joyfully from others.
The companionship of friends and family should always be the best gift to give and receive. Have fun with each other :)
Use the season to teach your children the values you wish them to have! 

Happy Holidays and Happy Parenting!
D and C