Training vs. Discipline

Scurrying through the dining room to complete a quick 15 minute pick-up session before supper, I turned to my 5-year old daughter for assistance.  “Could you put that brush in the bathroom, please?” 

My request was met with a very nonchalant, “It’s not mine.”

SCREEEEECH!  Somehow those words hit me like fingernails on a chalkboard.  After teaching tweeners for eight years, I do know what that sounds like!  De-cluttering no longer important.  Time for some training.  Let me be the first to admit that my normal reaction would be to give her the evil eye, say “do it” in a not-so-tender-mommy tone and huff on to my other pre-dinner responsibilities.  I don’t know what made me stop this time, but I’m glad I did. 

So began a quick talk about what would happen if mommy only took care of her messes…  how everyone needs to contribute to the family for us to run smoothly… and, of course, the proper response when I ask for her much needed help.  “Yes, mommy” would be an appropriate choice, along with some followthrough.

So we practiced.  Task completed.  No more hairy brush on my dining room table.  “Thank you.  And now I need you to put the doily (currently used as a headress) back on the table where it belongs.”  Before I had put the period at the end of my verbal command, out came the popular excuse  “That’s not where it was…” along with a stunted explanation of exactly where the doily had been discovered. 

Hadn’t I just talked about this?!?  Again, I could have disciplined for disobeying and talking back (and trust me, it’s my go-to method entirely too often), sent her to her room to stew about it, and done it myself… but in another moment of patience and sanity (two in one day!  WOW!) I chose to train my daughter, even as she walked away.

Stop right there.  Come back.  Let’s try this again.

“I need you to put the doily back on the table where it belongs.”

“Yes, mommy.”

Ahhhh, temporary relief for a Mama’s ringing ears and frazzled mind.

Discipline is easy less time consuming in the present, but training will pay off in the future.  It will make my life simpler someday.  Right?  Anyone? 

For more Living Simply Saturdays, visit Keeper of the Home.

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Meat and Potatoes

Lance and I both grew up on good old fashioned meat and potatoes meals.  One of my favorite meals to fix:  BBQ meatballs and cheesy potatoes.  Double yum!  This meatball recipe makes a lot, so I usually divide it into three pans; one to eat and two for my freezer.  I freeze half of the potato recipe, too.  I love having meals handy for crazy days, or to give to a new mom or any family in need. 

BBQ Meatballs

  • 1 can (13 oz.) evaporated milk
  • 3 lbs. ground beef
  • 2 c. oatmeal
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. chili powder

Mix and shape into balls. Place in pan in a single layer.

Hint:  Skip the mess (and have perfectly uniform meatballs)!  Shape your meatballs with a cookie or muffin scoop.   

Sauce

  • 2 c. ketchup
  • 1 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion

Mix together and pour over meatballs. Bake at 350 for one hour. (I cover them for 30 minutes and then uncover for the last 30 minutes.)

Cheesy Potato Casserole

  • 2 pounds potatoes, diced and cooked (can use frozen hashbrowns, thawed)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1cup (or more!) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional:  1 cup crushed cornflakes and another 1/2 cup melted butter

Mix first seven ingredients.  Spread in 9×13 pan.  Optional:  top with cornflakes tossed in melted butter.  Bake at 350* for 1 hour.   

For more recipes, head over to Life as Mom and The Grocery Cart Challenge.

Living for Giving

Stewardship is not always a popular topic in local churches.  Often it invokes negative images or experiences.  But stewardship is a gift from God, a spiritual discipline and a means of God’s grace.

The above message from Bishop Kenneth L. Cardner was prominent on the back of our church bulletin last weekend.  It is timely as we all prepare for the holiday season (and is timeless, really).

Giving is something that everyone can and should do.  Yes, everyone.  Rich, poor, talented, not-so-talented, young or old.  We all, in any of our broken circumstances, can give.

Based on the stewardship definition of time, talent and treasure, I’ve put together a list of things to get us all in the giving spirit.  This list is certainly not complete, and definitely not just for the holiday season (or for church!)… please help me compile more ideas in the comments!

The Gift of Time

  • Red Cross Bloodmobile (either giving much needed blood or as a volunteer… just the other night I got a phone call.  “We’re hosting the blood mobile on Friday.  Would you like to donate a pie, 5 pounds of cooked potatoes, or $5?”  It wasn’t would you like to donate, but what would you like to donate.  😉  That lady knows how to get her volunteers!  Love it.)
  • Visiting elderly neighbors.  Last week Kate wrote about their homeschool lesson in manners.  I know that all of us have neighbors who would love to be “used” for homework practice!
  • Helping a new mom with chores so she can sit and enjoy the baby.
  • Grab some sacks, take a walk, and pick up some trash.
  • Participate in local nursing home events.  (Is this just a Tiny Town thing?)  Our nursing home offers kid parties at Halloween, Easter, and a carnival in the summer.  Fun for the kids, and a great change of pace for the residents.
  • Update:  Check out Toni’s Coupons for Troups program.  (Thanks, Kate!)

The Gift of Talent

  • Help create costumes or the set for a school or community play.
  • Go Christmas caroling!
  • Heat up your oven and bake… for neighbors, for new parents, for shut-ins, for someone battling a chronic illness, for a family who’s recently experienced a death.  Here’s a list of meals I use to bless others.
  • Direct or perform in a community cantata.
  • Have your kids (or your homeschool group?) make decorations such as place mats for the local nursing home or hospital.  Deliver them together.

The Gift of Treasure (on a budget)

  • Operation Christmas Child boxes (if you’re a bargain hunter, you can fill these boxes cheap!)
  • Angel tree — I’ve seen many variations, but you pick an ornament from a tree and purchase the gift that’s on the ornament (a fun family outing).
  • If it’s not a regular practice in your household, eat an untypically frugal meal once a month (or week) and donate your savings to a favorite charity.
  • If you’re switching to a whole foods diet, give your processed pantry stockpile to a local food bank.
  • Donate gently used baby clothes and toys to a pregnancy crisis center.
  • Last Christmas we made a donation to The Lord’s Diner in honor of my parents, who said they didn’t want anything for Christmas.  😉  They loved that gift.

We should give something, because He gave everything.  And because it gives us an opportunity to serve.  And because it feels so good.

Living for giving… works for me!  Peruse Shannon’s blog for more WFMW!

Oh, the Things They Say!

Each of the following statements is a future blog post all its own, but sometimes a Mama must take a minute to relish her kids’ creativity, imperfect speech, and their way with words.  Here’s what I’ve been hearing at my house:

 

“We a team, wight Mom?”

“Good job, Mom.  Good job!”

“Mommy, I wish you were an octopus.” 

“Maa.  MAAAAAAAAAAAA!”

“I help you ’cause you my big boy, wight Mom?”

“That MY job, Mom.”

(gasp!) “We fogot to pray!”

“Hey, Mom!  I pooped a big one.  Come see it or you’ll miss it!”

Oh, the things they say!  Definitely a Finer Thing.  I am grateful for every one!

Head on over to Laura’s place to get your Gratituesday fix.

Floss Your Rolls

A quick tip for making pretty cinnamon rolls:  don’t slice them, floss them!  Using unflavored waxed dental floss, slide the floss under the rolls.

 

Bring the ends of the floss up, cross and pull.

No more squishy rolls!

Pretty, right?  She sure thought so…

You can find more kitchen tips and recipes at Tammy’s Recipes and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace.

Menu Plan Monday, 10/20

Last week’s MPM was a great resource for me this week as I planned my menu around what we already have in the house.  (My addiction to cheese really surfaces when we’re almost out!  It will have to stretch this week!)  Thanks, ladies!  Here’s what we’ll be eating…

Sunday, 10/19

  • waffles and eggs
  • snack stuff… cheese, crackers, leftovers, etc. 
  • grilled steak, potatoes, peas

Weeknight Suppers

Saturday, 10/25

  • Team Breakfast — deluxe scrambled eggs, coffee cake (haven’t found the recipe yet… anyone have one for me?), apples and dip
  • veggie beef soup — I’ll use leftover roast from Thursday (thanks, Ms. Recipe)
  • clean out the fridge

Be inspired!  Check out tons of recipes and menus at OrgJunkie!

Frugal Living in a Tiny Town

A warm Finer Things welcome to Money Saving Mom visitors!  For all the rest of you, head on over to Crystal’s awesome money saving blog to check out my latest guest post:  Frugal Living in a Tiny Town.

**Note:  This is not my post office.  It sure is cute, though, and ours isn’t much bigger!

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