Self-Esteem Boosters for Your Kids

Sadie and Daphne

Take a little time each day to watch the way you talk to your kids.

*What do you say to them when they share a problem?

*How do you react when they tell you things?

*Look at the ways they are trying to solve their problems.

*Can you see the way they view the world? Take a peek at the world from their eyes.

Grandmother 2

Do you use statements such as:

*That was a very thoughtful way to handle that.

*Looks like you really spent some time thinking about that.

*What a great job you’ve done!

*How do you feel about your hard work?

Help a child look at their own process and feel encouraged about their actions.

Do take time to acknowledge your child’s strengths. Children are young for such a short time.

Christie MonsonThere are more ideas in Family Talk, How to Organize Family Meeting to Solve Problems and Strengthen Relationships by Christy Monson. Available on Amazon or at

5 Fantastic Fall Apple Recipes

Fall Apple RecipesApple, apples, apples! Sweet ones, tart ones, crisp, juicy apples!  I love all things apple!  From the cliché apple pie, to cheddar bacon dip with apple wedges!  I also am reminded of my mom’s fresh apple cake.  What a moist and rich treat on a fall afternoon snack or as a dessert after a hearty soup or stew.  Apples are not expensive and come in many varieties.

Kids love them in their lunch box or as an after school snack.  I always love to drip mine in caramel sauce. The tart and sweet is an amazing combination.

When choosing apples, keep in mind what you are going to use them for.  For eating, choose a Red Delicious, Fuji, or a Gala.  Some who enjoy a tarter taste may choose a Winesap or even a Golden Delicious.  For cooking, choose an apple that will hold up well to cooking. Braeburn, Newton Pippin, and Granny Smith come to mind here, as well as other lesser known, more exotic varieties.

You can test your apple’s mettle by adding some sugar and water to it and microwaving it for a few minutes.  See how it stands up to moisture and heat.  Is it too mushy?  It may be better to make applesauce with!  Once you master the varieties of apples, do not be timid.  Mix varieties!  It’s all good! Also, the size of the apple matters here.  Small to medium sized apples deliver the best flavor.  The large ones somehow lose their flavor and tend to be pithy in texture.  Do not worry about how pretty the apples are when you are going to cook with them!  They are to be peeled and chopped or sliced, so who cares!  It is the flavor and texture we are looking for!

If you are lucky enough to be the owner of an apple tree, go for it! Or if you live close to an orchard and can go pick your own, it is an absolute treat to use local produce in your baking.  Most supermarkets have a wide variety of apples to choose from.  Again, just be aware of what you intend on using the apples for, eating or cooking.

It’s apple time!  Go get some and get busy! Here are some fabulous fall apple recipes.

Apple cake



1/2 C. Mazola oil
2 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 C. applies, diced
3 C. sifted flour
1/2 tsp.cinnamon
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. nuts, chopped

Stir together the first 4 ingredients only enough to break up eggs. DO NOT OVER-MIX. Add apples, flour and rest of ingredients. Grease and flour angel food cake pan or bundt pan. Pour into pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Can be sprinkled with sifted powdered sugar or glazed with a powdered sugar icing.

(I always grease with margarine and I don’t flour the pan – I turn it out soon after I take it out of the oven – usually – with margarine – it will slide right out. Also, I put raisins in sometimes)

apple cobbler


photo source: Martha Stewart

My Grandmother’s Apple Cobbler

Dough for crust:
3 c. of flour
¾ c. sugar
1 ¼ c. shortening
¼ t. salt
2T water

Cut all of these ingredients together with a pastry blender. Divide into two. Press half of dough into the bottom and sides of a 9″x13″ pan. Be careful not to overwork this dough, so as not to make it tough. Save the rest of the dough for lattice over the top.

4 c. peeled, sliced apples, (for COOKING)
1 ½ T cinnamon
1T nutmeg
2 c. sugar
2 c. water

Heat all ingredients over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens. Pour apple mixture into crust. Create lattice by rolling remaining dough out on lightly floured surface. Using a pastry wheel, cut strips and lay in a criss-cross pattern over top of cobbler, squeezing dough at sides to secure. Sprinkle top of cobbler with cinnamon-sugar, if desired, and dot the top with butter. Bake at 400 degrees for the first 30 minutes, then down to 325 degrees for 1 hour. Serve with vanilla ice cream or even half and half.

Bacon dip


photo source: Pillsbury

Apples with Hot Cheddar and Bacon Dip

Core and slice 4-6 apples. Dip in lemon juice and refrigerate.

6 slices bacon cooked crispy, then crumbled
8 oz. cream cheese
2 c. grated sharp cheddar
6 T cream
1 t worcestershire sauce
¼ t dry mustard
¼ t onion salt
dash of tabasco sauce

Cook in heavy saucepan on low heat until melted and blended. Transfer to a chafing dish. Arrange the lemon juice-dipped apple slices around the dip. Enjoy!

apple blueberry cobbler


Maple Apple and Blueberry Crisp

3 apples, peeled & thinly sliced
1 package frozen blueberries, thawed and drained
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, toss sliced apples, blueberries, sugar, flour, lemon juice and cinnamon.
Spread in an 8×8 inch square baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
For the topping: In a bowl combine brown sugar, flour, oats and cinnamon. Pour maple syrup and butter over and toss until moistened.
Sprinkle topping over fruit and bake 1 hour or until golden and fruit is fork tender. Let cool 15 minutes.

apple crisp

Improving Apple Cobbler: Best Ever Apple Cobbler {gluten free option}Wicked Good Kitchen


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When Kids Worry

When Kids Worry

A concerned mom wrote this: My child worries excessively. Any bad thing she learns about, from world hunger to tornados, keeps her upset constantly. Just this past week she asked her father to buy a Geiger counter. She wanted to see if our home was radioactive. What should we say and do to help her […]

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Packing School Lunches and Snacks

school lunches

I don’t know about your house but it seems that my boys never can agree on anything. Every once in awhile they do agree on what to watch on TV.   However I think my youngest just concedes the choice to his older brother. So it goes without saying that one of them prefers the school […]

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Making a Difference…One Child at a Time

Making a Difference…One Child at a Time

In days of old kids grew up and wanted to take on the role of those who society considered heroic. My buddy wanted to be an astronaut. Another friend from the neighborhood was going to fly fighter jets. Some wanted to be firefighters. And yes…some wanted to strap on a gun and be a police […]

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4 Packed Lunch Ideas for Kids


When your kids are back to school again, your schedule will only get busier. That is why meal preparation is very important and useful for packed lunches for the kids! While it is easy to just make the same lunch consisting of peanut butter jelly sandwich, goldfish, and fruit- it is more healthy for them […]

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Be a Person Who Wants to Help

Be a person who wants to help

Have you noticed there are wonderfully talented people in the world? People who wake up in the morning, grateful for having found their passion and purpose? Are you one of them? Are you filled with excitement and knowledge that what you do makes a difference? Are you happy? This is the ultimate goal, is it […]

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In today’s society children are faced with many negative influences, such as bullying, social media, Internet, divorce, cutting, depression and many others. Once it is determined what the issues are and where they were developed a positive intervention can be applied. Where are the negative influences developed? It depends on the developmental period of a […]

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Role Models Don’t Have to be Perfect

Role model

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Fun, Fruity After School Snacks


It’s that time of year again! The little kiddies are back to school and it is time to get organized. When your kids come home from school, they may be tired from their long day or even energized and excited from being with their friends- but most of all, they will be hungry. They will […]

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