Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Because of Him

Families. Simply said they are struggling. Sickness, disability, bitterness, loneliness, abuse, neglect, poverty, divorce, despair, discouragement, tragedy and fatigue from every day life can often create a sense of hopelessness and a void of happiness. We can write and discuss solutions to these problems forever and still these things will exist. Every family no matter what it's current state struggles at times. There is hope. There is hope for all of us and our families and it is found in our Savior, Jesus Christ. This Easter enjoy this video, Because of Him and let it inspire hope and peace for you and your family.

Rice Krispie Easter eggs

I thought you might also enjoy a sweet Easter activity:

I made these with my girls and it was a hit! Feel free to use your favorite rice crispy recipe but just in case you don't have one you can use mine. (I've been told that if your rice crispy treats are too runny they will not mold as well). The recipe below worked perfectly.

What you need:

  • Large and or small plastic easter eggs
  • 1package jelly beans or chocolate easter eggs
  • 1 10.5 oz pkg. mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cube butter (4 Tbsp)
  • 6 C. Rice Krispies 
  • Cooking Spray
Melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add marshmallows, stir continuously until melted. Remove from heat, add Rice Krispies, and stir until mixed.

Open your plastic easter eggs and coat the inside with cooking spray.

Take a chunk of your rice crispy mix and mold it into a half circle. Set a jelly bean or chocolate easter egg in the center and then put another chunk of rice crispy mix on the top. Push it inside your easter egg mold. Close the egg and let it cool. Repeat until all your eggs are full or your rice crispys are gone.

Once cooled open the plastic egg and pull out your sweet treat. Now its time to decorate. We just rolled ours in sprinkles, but you could go crazy with melted chocolate or other fun candies. 

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Introducing Stressed Out!

Working cover...Look closely, my name is there.

Dr. B. on channel 5 News
Dr. Ben Bernstein

I am so excited to introduce Stressed Out! For Parents: How to be Calm, Confident, and Focused. This is the title and cover of my new book. It is going to be released this Fall (2014)! I have been working along side Dr. Ben Bernstein, author of A Teens Guide to Success, and Test Success, Doctor of Psychology and well known performance coach. He has worked with children and parents for over  forty years. Together Ben and I have compiled all of his greatest stress relieving techniques in an effort to relieve parental stress and improve happiness and satisfaction in family life.

The idea is that every person has an optimal window of stress where they
perform at their best. Too much stress and you will not perform well. Too little stress and you will
also not perform well--As a parent I've never had the problem of too little stress but I suppose it could happen. When we as parents are calm in body, confident in mind, and focused in spirit, we will find that optimal window of success that Dr. Bernstein teaches us about.

What is my role in this fantastic book? I write the stories, I re-write the model from a parenting perspective, and I consult with Dr. Bernstein weekly and sometimes daily to make sure the model is presented at it's best. The neatest part is that I get to live and practice the model with my own family while Dr. B coaches me on how I can improve, what I'm doing well, and what I can change. Basically it's free therapy. My husband has used it. My daughter Ella has used used it (There is a section in the book on teaching some of the models of success to your children). And I have used it. It works! And that is why I am so excited to share this book with you!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The New Language of Love...Is it Working?

I'd like to re-introduce my husband Bryce. He is wonderful and always full of opinions! He has been kind enough to share with us how he feels about technology, communication, and family.
I just got back from a Scout awards ceremony where a neighbor of hours received his Eagle rank. Eagle is the highest rank a scout can earn and takes years to accomplish. When I was a boy, I also participated in Boy Scouts and found myself enjoying the leadership around me, the training I received, the years of camping, fishing, and hiking, and most especially, the friendships I made along the way. I also earned the Eagle Scout rank and received letters of recognition from Reagan  Nixon, George W. Bush Sr., and Bill Clinton, along with many other commendations and a photo in the Denver Post. I looked at this boy and wondered, "What will he do with this achievement?"

Over the past few weeks I have been interviewing candidates for a couple electrical positions in our company and have recognized a trend with the younger society. Almost every young person had a social disorder; some not so severe as others, but still relevant as evidenced by the awkward moments throughout the conversations we had. I had no issues with the 'older' generations but those around 27 and younger where really having a hard time. Why?!

Then it hit me, I was witnessing a generation of people who have lost the art of body language. This is where I impress or frustrate my wife with my simple solutions; and here it is, the rise in technology has given a way for our younger generation to communicate in ways not requiring body language. Texting, email, SMS, twitter, cell phones, even web chats, and video game chats are the backbone of their social platform. These languages have replaced body language with smiley faces, hash tags, bold/capitol letters, etc. Wouldn't that create such a catastrophic dinner scenario where we have forgotten how to show--I love it but not enough to eat it again without a smiley/blah face. :P Instead we have children plugged into their iPods  never making eye contact, and parents wondering what to make of it. Stepping into ourselves, are we affected by it? What are the signs? How would we know if we were socially handicapped in body language and is it bad?

I believe a good way to know is by asking, "How would it be if we were socially advanced in body language?" Wouldn't we stand, attentive, with eyes and ears open to the instructions of our parents or advice of our spouse because we understood the importance of communicating respect, interest, and love? Would we kneel before our children and hold their hands as they expressed their heartaches, showing love and compassion? How would we feel if our boss sat by our side and spoke next to us, not at us, to explain the poor actions we had prior. We would know when our spouses were upset with us and when they were proud of us. We would know so much more about ourselves.

Let the Eagle Scout in all of us fly high this week. Put our technology down and allow ourselves to be immersed in the touch, sound, and flight of family life. Play a song on a real musical instrument, play a board game with your kids, hold your spouses hand and walk around the block or in the mall. Do what I like to do with my wife and try to interpret other couples lives in the mall and make up their scenario in real time. We may find that we are wanted and loved, or that some one wants our arms around them. We may find our every-day words sting ears or our distracted glances reduce trust from our partners. In any case, we will become more than we were before and will increase in love, understanding, and power to make a change in our lives.