Posts Tagged ‘parent support’

What’s For Dinner?

by Shelli Thompson
February 13th, 2014

title % titleIn our fast paced world with all of the conveniences at our fingertips it’s hard to imagine having enough time to actually cook a nutritious meal that doesn’t have some ingredient that is processed. Many recipe’s today include opening a can of this or a box of that. I may be a cooking snob but when I see these things I usually discard the recipe unless I can make the ingredient fresh.

The media helps us in this thinking that we need nothing but convenience when it comes to our meals. I love the Olympics so I dusted off the TV and turned it on and really enjoyed the stories of the athletes and their competitions. What I didn’t enjoy is the bombardment of the media and their convenience foods. The Mom talking about how “toasted” she is at the end of the day so she stops by KFC and gets her family a meal.

I was thinking now she isn’t only toasted she’s fried too!!

With a little bit of planning it is not difficult to cook healthy meals with nutritious single ingredient simple foods. The best place to start is on the weekend, this is a great time to plan the weeks meals and strategize about how to make it more simple and convenient. Planning ahead will guarantee you will have all ingredients at hand and any prepping can be done ahead of time.

Todays meal is Cajun Chicken Gumbo so I planned ahead.
This take about 7 hours to cook in a slow cooker so the best part about it is that you put everything together and leave it. When you get home, dinner is cooked.

Last night because we had a planned out meal it was simple to chop up the onions, peppers, celery and garlic and seal it up in the fridge. Then this morning I took 15 minutes to make my roux and cook my sausage at the same time and drain. A small amount of Italian sausage is the only processed item in this recipe, Gumbo just isn’t the same without it. When it is pre-cooked and drained it is much healthier than cooking it in the gumbo like most recipe’s call for.

Another thing that I do for convenience is that I can organic chicken breast meat in jars. It is amazing for quick meals where chicken is called for. I only use it if time is an issue or there is no chicken on hand, it is an amazing time saver. I will go through the steps for you so you can learn how to can your own chicken in an upcoming blog but for now lets stick to the gumbo.

Shelli’s Cajun Chicken Sausage Gumbo:

1/3 cup Flour
1/3 cup Canola oil/ cooking oil
3 cup Water
12 OZ Cooked Italian Sausage
1 1/2 cup Cooked Shredded Chicken
1 cup Onion chopped
3/4 cup Sweet Green Pepper chopped
1/2 cup Celery chopped
6 cloves Garlic minced
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red peppers
3 cups cooked rice

Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 7 hours

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To make roux: combine oil and flour in pan, cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes stirring constantly until it is a rich dark reddish brown color like the photo, set aside and let it cool (hint: take if off the heat before it is to the finish point and it will finish as the pan cools, make sure and stir it occasionally)
Cook and drain the sausage and cook and shred the chicken (or open a jar of home canned chicken)
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Add 3 cups of water to a pan, add the roux, it will look like the photo


Add the sausage, chicken and vegetables and let it simmer all day.
When you get home it will be done. Serve over rice. it’s delicious!


Because dinner was so easy tonight, you can plan for tomorrows meal and prepare anything that needs to be chopped ahead of time.

A great hint if you don’t have a timer on your crock pot is to buy one for the wall and plug the crock pot into that, set the time for 7 hours and head off to work.

There is no substitute for fresh locally grown food that is cooked freshly delicious.

Bon Appetite!

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Staying Home and Raising the Children is Rewarding.

by Shelli Thompson
January 3rd, 2012

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In these times it really is a privilege to be able to stay at home and raise the children.  This is something that Mom’s 50 years ago didn’t even think twice about.  Today it is a necessity due to economics to have both parents work outside of the home.

Many times all the working people want to do is be at home with their kids and raise them as they see fit.  And then the stay at home parents start to get bored and feel totally un-appreciated would like to go out and get paid for what they do.

It is our duty to raise children that are compatible with society and we would like our own values instilled as well.  When we give our children to others to raise we do give up some of ability to oversee what is actually instilled in our children.

If you have the privilege to have a quiet moment, take it and say this affirmation out loud and repeat it if necessary.

I delight in staying home with my children.

My choice to stay at home with my children is something I am proud of. Although draining at times, I am committed to doing the best job I can at raising my children.

My calling as a parent is to nurture my children socially, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. For me, staying at home is the best way to fulfill that purpose. My life’s devotion is to foster a healthy home for my whole family.

I am grateful for the blessing that I have to spend my days watching my children flourish before my very eyes. I am present in my children’s lives to witness every new accomplishment. I celebrate their triumphs and help them overcome challenges.

Staying home gives me the opportunity to teach my children about life just the way I want to. I am able to pass on family ideologies and spiritual beliefs to secure their identity.

I appreciate my spouse’s support for my choice to stay home. My spouse works hard for me to have the privilege of staying home. While my spouse works hard outside of the home, I work hard at home to teach our children.

I am accountable for the time I have at home. My time is spent on educational activities and outings with the kids. I refrain from wasting time on idleness. The television, computer, and even household chores, fall second to taking care of my children.

Today, I celebrate my ability to stay home.

I am free from guilt about not having a full time job outside of the home because staying home with the children is a full time job of its own.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. Do I ever feel guilty about staying home?

2. How can I maximize my time at home with my children?

3. Why do I love staying home with my children?

Reflecting on these questions will help you get a handle on where you are at.  Many times if we don’t get a handle on it, stay at home parents can start to feel a little resentful.  Taking care of kids is a full time job and I don’t believe I have ever heard a toddler tell their Mom or Dad how much they appreciate them, they are much more likely to pay you back for your patience with a tantrum. Click HERE to read about teaching your toddler about calmness.

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Parent Support Groups

by Shelli Thompson
January 3rd, 2012

title % titleSo many times in our busy world it can feel like you are alone.  It is important to feel supported in order to be effective. There are so many places you can go to get that support.  Church, community centers, friends and family, neighbors, YMCA, meet ups and many support groups have regular meetings in different locations.  If you feel a lack of support you need to get out there and check out what is available to you in your area.

Affirmations can make you feel more confident to get yourself out there so that you can find the support you need.  Starting with your own self will also prepare you to be open and receptive to the support.  Find a quiet place for reflection and repeat the following words or similar words, if you hear them repeated your mind will start to believe.

I am surrounded by a caring parent support group.

Everywhere I go, I run into people who are eager to offer their help. From the doctor’s office to the nearby playground, I can reap the wisdom of experienced parents. I feel blessed to have such a large selection of resources.

Parenting is challenging regardless of my child’s age. I also realize that every child truly is different. Yet, when I open myself up to other parents, I gain more than just knowledge; I gain friends.

Whenever I find myself facing a challenge, I am quick to speak up in order to find someone who has had a similar challenge. I listen to the advice of experienced parents and draw from their wisdom.

If I feel lonely or just want some company, I know who I can call. There are other parents waiting by the phone, wishing someone would invite them on an outing. I take the initiative to plan gatherings for other parents.

I am surrounded by a community that cares about my children and me. People who offer their advice are simply trying to prevent me from repeating some of their own mistakes. I value the input of others.

Fear and shame are absent from my heart because there are countless parents who have struggles just like mine. The more I search, the more I find that the struggles I experience are very common.

Today, I choose to embrace the caring support group available to me. I welcome others into my life and benefit from what they have to offer.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. What keeps me from reaching out to other parents?

2. Who has helped me in the past that I can I talk to when I need support?

3. What do I have to offer to other parents?

Taking the time for your self, asking these questions will help you to move forward.  Click here to read more about life skills training.

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