I know I've been a bad blogger, but I've been a zombie pretty much with a teething baby I feel like I sleep in 15 minute intervals! Anyways, Today was a great day starting off with MOPS…which always makes for a great day! We learned about good lasting gifts we can give our children (a good topic at this time of year when we are all pretty much shopping for the perfect Christmas gift, and the best gift isn't even something you can find at the store!). Today I decidedly was more firm and strict with J as she’s been acting up a bit lately and I've been getting super frustrated and needed to change my approach…we had a couple moments during the day, but in the end she made the right choices and listened to me without a TOTAL melt down. Anyways, I made Orange chicken for dinner for the first time and it turned out great despite my husband’s prediction as I started adding the breaded chicken pieces to the hot oil “I have a feeling this is going to be a disaster…” showed him not to doubt me! Haha!
Dinner was followed by Toy Story 3 on blu ray that we rented from the good old Red Box to have some family time enjoying my hubby’s black Friday/early Christmas present (blu ray player). Anyways….As I was putting J to bed, I came in to give her a kiss as my hubby was saying good night…she wanted to kiss my cheek and after, as I pulled back she grabbed my neck and pulled me in close, hugged on tight and said in the most loving warm sweet voice “oh Mommy, you’re so nice to me!” I can’t tell you how that just made me light up. I don’t like being the bad guy, but obviously my extra firmness today didn’t seem to make her feel less loved at all….if anything..she felt more loved today because other than that, it was a normal day! And she’s never done anything like that to me before, pulling me in for more cuddles and telling me I’m so nice…usually she is whining about something or trying to beg me to sit a few more minutes or read another book etc.
Had to snap this cute picture of family waiting for me to come watch the movie with them!
Here are the bullet points the speaker gave out at MOPS on good gifts we can give our children (and their children and generations to come) by the lovely and amusing Nell F. Bush, Ph.D.
- A Pleasant, Manageable Name (their badge of honor, give them a meaningful name that they can live up to) “A good name is better than fine perfume.” Ecclesiastes 7:1
- A Positive Birth Story (kids are very literal and don’t get adult humor so don’t tell them about how funny they looked or how hard it was –they’ll hear “I was not cute, or I was disappointing or I was trouble and hurt my mom”…tell them how wonderful it was and only the positives. You can add in the other details when they are teenagers and able to grasp the humor of it) “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord;” Psalm 127:3
- Freedom to Love Grandparents (Children absorb our emotions, they may know your emotions before you are even aware, so we have to be careful not to taint our kids relationship with other family members through our own attitudes. A sense of connection to extended family is an important part of a child’s identity and development) “Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32
- A Place of Refuge & Comfort. (Instead of trying to solve all their problems or talk them out of their feelings, just give empathy and turn to the bible together. Sit together and be a source of comfort. Our job is to absorb the upset and comfort and nurture. We have to remember to pause, comfort first and correct later when they are able to receive it.) “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who comforts us in all out troubles, so that we can comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have from God.” 1 Corinthians 1:3
- Positive Role Model of Marriage. (Always present a united front. If they come to you about something first response should be “What did Dad say?” and then “Well, then listen to your Dad”, Show respect in your marriage, build your spouse up in front of the kids, talk about how you love being married, respect each other’s parenting styles. And when it comes to teaching about sex, teach them the ideal, that sex is for marriage…but if they ever make a mistake, let them know “we want the baby” we will take care of the baby or we will find a family to take care of the baby, we’ll figure it out, just don’t do anything you would regret the rest of your life.) “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29
- Positive Role Model of Parenting. (Studies show adolescent girls really benefit from a firm father figure. It keeps them out of trouble. Have a simple predictable style, especially when they are little, have a very simple routine because kids crave that security of knowing what to expect. Be at home as much as possible, don’t over-schedule with so many activities and commitments. Provide them the opportunity for lots of open ended free play OUTSIDE. Also lots of free play in their room with no distractions.) “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish with all wisdom.” Col. 3:16
- An Abiding, Unhidden Faith. (Pray together throughout the day, share your faith openly. “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2
Name one “good gift” that your parents gave you as a child.
Is there a gift you would have liked to receive from your family, but didn’t?
What good gifts are you currently giving to your own children?
Discuss (think about) a gift that might be challenging for you to give.
And For the Orange Chicken Recipe. I found it on Allrecipes (of course!) and figured it was a good one since it had over 700 reviews and was 4.5 stars! It turned out DELICIOUS! Next time I will put in less sugar though, it was pretty sweet and would still be plenty sweet with less. I also tossed the chicken pieces on egg to help the flour batter stick.
do yourself a favor and just print off the recipe card here!
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Pour 1 1/2 cups water, orange juice, lemon juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce into a saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Stir in the orange zest, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, chopped onion, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and cool 10 to 15 minutes.
- Place the chicken pieces into a resealable plastic bag. When contents of saucepan have cooled, pour 1 cup of sauce into bag. Reserve the remaining sauce. Seal the bag, and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- In another resealable plastic bag, mix the flour, salt, and pepper. Add the marinated chicken pieces, seal the bag, and shake to coat.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken into the skillet, and brown on both sides. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels, and cover with aluminum foil.
- Wipe out the skillet, and add the sauce. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Mix together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water; stir into the sauce. Reduce heat to medium low, add the chicken pieces, and simmer, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.