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Friday, June 19, 2015

Preparing Students for Real Life before college

A few weeks ago we saw many young people graduate from high school. Now that they get ready to head off to college there are a few things that they need to prepare for or gain knowledge of doing

If they have never done their laundry before (lets hope that mom has all ready had a few lessons) then they should gain knowledge of how to do their own laundry. College students while busy should do their laundry at least one time a week. By doing so the chance of running out of clean clothes will be limited Simple lessons such as sorting clothes, pre-treating when needed and reading special directions on clothing tags are all lessons that will come in handy. Lessons learned the hard way can be costly.

While parents will no longer be there to remind students to clean their rooms the best advice is for students to do it anyways. Students who are organized will do better. Creating a daily schedule can reduce student stress and make the college years more successful

Financial responsibility is very important as well. Mom and dad are not there to loan a few dollars and students can rack up so much debt in college years that it is very important to try their best to stay on top of financial sorts. Rent, food and bills are no longer the responsibility of someone else it now becomes the students. Budgeting becomes very important tool in this stressful time. It is the first time the student is going away and to be responsible for self it is best if parent has a talk and keeps up with what is going on.

Often there is not a lot of time or means to cook a meal so meals will need to be simple and easy to prepare. Help your child form a shopping list and create a meal plan. the good thing is that many colleges have meals built into the room and board of dorms.
Gifting students with the knowledge that college is stressful but that they can do it is very important. The student will learn responsibility, mature and gain an understanding of how life really is. Scheduling in time to study will help students be prepared for class work, test and special projects.
Life is different than it was when parents attended. Social media has become a resource as well as a gathering spot. Teach kids to responsibly use social media and that what they place on the internet others can see it. The future of what may of been can change because of social media responsibilities.
Reach out to professors when in need they are there to help. They have knowledge about college related issues, study related information, and information of what classes need taken etc...
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 weekend retreat

Thursday, June 18, 2015

CNA Week

After being a CNA for over 20+ years I have seen a bit of everything. I have had patients pass away while holding my hand, I have worked double and sometimes almost triple shifts, made friends with co-workers and heard remarkable stories from those I take or took care of. I have loved the many years of the job that some consider the hardest around. While I have had the opportunity to care for those that some of my family members have known I have also cared for those that some may never have wanted to. Some of my residents have little to no family. We become their family to many and they wait to hear our daily stories as we earn to hear their stories of the past. The stress involved is not even a joke as those that we care for are demanding and we strive to please as well as those that we work for demand that all is done right and when we are wrong we are corrected. The business of slacking is not in the medical field because the care of others is very important While those that love us offer us a hug, handshake and a big thank you there are those that we care for do not have the ability. I personally love my job as a CNA and will continue to do so for as long as I am able.

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Have You Seen This Guy

Here in southern Illinois these alligator snapping turtles have become fairly popular. Don't remember them as a kid myself. They look prehistoric with claws and such like little dinos or dragons. Are you familiar with them? Like everything else there are recipes for these snapping turtles here is one

General Tso's Turtle
General Tso’s Turtle
Adapted from Hank Shaw
Serves 4

Turtle meat soakingTurtle meat soakingIngredients:

  • 4 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste mixed with 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch

  • 1 pound turtle meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 tablespoons canola
  • 8 dried hot tien tsien chiles, broken in half and seeds shaken out (use less if you don’t want it spicy)
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  1. Mix the marinade ingredients together and then add the turtle meat. Let sit for about an hour.
  2. Heat canola oil or your favorite frying oil to about 350 degrees and fry the turtle in small batches, being careful to not let the pieces stick together. After all the pieces are fried, place them on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 300 degrees.
  3. While the turtle is baking in the oven, mix together the sauce and set aside.
  4. In a large pan or wok, heat 3 tablespoons of canola oil and stir fry the chilies for about a minute, then add the ginger and cook for another minute, lastly add the garlic and stir it a couple of times in the pan.
  5. Add all the turtle pieces and the green onions to the oil. Pour the sauce mixture over the turtle and stir until it thickens. Once the sauce thickens, serve the turtle over rice with chopped fresh green onions on top.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

3 ingredient grilled porkchops

Ready to get out there and grill?? This easy recipe will do the job nicely Enjoy
Grilled Glazed Pork Chops
  • 4 boneless pork chops
  • ½ C Italian dressing, prepared (zesty variety)
  • ¾ C apricot preserves
  1. In a bowl whisk together preserves and dressing.
  2. Place pork chops in resealable bag and pour most of the mixture over pork, reserving about ¼ cup. Refrigerate 4 hours.
  3. Preheat grill to a medium. Place chops on grill and cook covered, 4-5 minutes per side, or until desired temperature is reached (minimum of 145 degrees) Brush additional preserve mixture on pork just before serving.
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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Budget Friendly Recipe : Banana Taco

Here we are having a bit of fun on one of our outings. So many outings so much fun all done on a budget. Here is a fun recipe that is budget friendly and kid love as well

Peanut Butter Banana Taco

peanut butter, banana, honey
Peanut Butter Banana Taco!

Not only is this super healthy – it’s super easy and fun for kids to make themselves for a snack.  Packed full of protein and nutrients, both mom and kiddos are happy.  (Little secret I LOVE these myself!)
Peanut Butter Banana Tacos

Recipe Type: Snack
Author: Busy Vegetarian Mom
Prep time: 2 mins
Total time: 2 mins
Serves: 1
A simple healthy snack kids can easily make themselves
Peanut Butter
  1. Lay Tortilla on a Plate.
  2. Spread Peanut Butter on Top.
  3. Drizzle Honey Over Peanut Butter.
  4. Lay Banana on Top.
  5. Roll it Up.
  6. Enjoy!
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Monday, June 15, 2015

Pasta Meal Featurin Home Raised Veggies

Smoked Chicken Sausage with Vegetables, Fresh Ricotta Cheese and Whole Wheat Spirals


  • 8 oz Whole Wheat Spirals
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb smoked chicken sausage links sliced
  • 1/2 cup onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 2/3 cup cream
  • 3 cups zucchini sliced
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup basil thiny sliced
  • 1 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan grated
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
Cook pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water for 9 minutes or until al dente and still rather firm.  Save ½ cup cooking water and then drain the pasta.  Set both aside.  In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes or until both sides are browned.  Remove sausage from the pan and set aside.  Add onion to the drippings in the skillet and sauté until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes.  Put sausage back into the pan with the onion and add Marsala wine and cream.  Simmer for 2-3 minutes, scraping up any bits stuck on the bottom of the pan.  Reduce heat to medium-low and add zucchini and tomatoes.  Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes begin to burst.  Add the pasta and basil to the skillet and toss to coat.  Cook for another 2-3 minutes to warm everything through, adding reserved pasta cooking water a tablespoon at a time if sauce becomes too thick or needs to be extended.  Serve immediately with a dollop of fresh ricotta on top of each serving and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. 

recipe soure here

Mamal Diane 
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Cedar Hill Ranch

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Me and Princess

Me and my princess sitting at one of our favorite places at the river. Summer time we love to spend time at the river and walking the many trails you will find here in southern illinois We take along one of our favorite snacks most times to keep our energy high and make us feel great.

  • 2¼ cups quick oats
  • 1¼ cups whole spelt flour
  • ¾ cup chocolate whey protein powder (or a chocolate vegan protein powder)
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • ¾ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ¼ cup whole flax seeds
  • ¾ cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup sultana raisins
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate large bowl, combine wet ingredients.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
  5. Portion cookie dough using a ¼ cup measure and place onto lined baking tray. Gently flatten cookies before baking. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
recipe source here

Flag Day and Craft to do together

Today, June 14th, is flags day in the United States. June 14th is the date that the United States Second Continental Congress adopted the flag in 1777.

Popsicle (craft) sticks
- Small wooden stars (I found mine at Michael's)
Red and white paint
- Paint brushes
- Small piece of white card stock
- Small piece of blue card stock
- Magnetic adhesive strips
- Glue gun

To make our flag magnet first paint the popsicle sticks red and whit. Paint 3 red stars white s well.
In the meantime cut a piece of white card stock that will fit on back of the flag. As the popsicle sticks dry cut a piece of magnetic adhesive tape to the back of white card stock.
On the front of the flag make a square of blue to attach the white stars to.

art source here