Saturday, October 26, 2013

More food from the boys

Meals brought to you by Zach, Tyler and Luke:

Poutine Dogs 
(yes...that would be homemade french fries, gravy and cheese on a hotdog)

Sausage, Eggs and Freshly picked garden vegetables 
(they even tried a parsnip for the first time)

Pita Pizza 
(Tyler made it easy for himself and had everyone make their own!)

(yes...made at home, from scratch...Zach is very ambitious)

Vegetable Soup
(all the boys want to do this one...because it involves a lot of chopping...but we have to spread it out)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Mom lost two coins

Yep, the boys called me on it...I lost two coins today. I guess that a really angry/scary face means I am least they think so. I got upset today, getting the kids in the van, and asked them all to sit down now...with a very angry face. Zach piped up and said, "Mom, you lose a coin for yelling"..then...I shouted, "I was not yelling". Opps. They got me! HAHAHAHA! I can laugh now, because they took two coins, and I am learning fast how to keep my cool in front of them. I was on such a good streak..oh well..all I can do is try harder tomorrow, right? No one is perfect..but it doesn't mean we can't try hard to be close.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Clean up your diet in 5 weeks

Clean up your diet in 5 weeks!

I saw a cool poster of this online, with neat pictures, but did not attach it to my blog, because of inappropriate language. I really want to keep this blog clean too... to help people focus on the positive.

Here is the summary of the poster:

Eating clean means whole, natural foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and complex carbohydrates. It also means staying away from the junk that typically makes up our diet. So, no more man made sugar, bad fats, preservatives, white bread, and any other fake unnecessary ingredients.

Week 1 - Add REAL fruits and REAL vegetables to every meal.
Week 2 - No more fast food
Week 3 - Give up white breads and grains. Switch to whole wheat.
Week 4 - Use a fruit or vegetable as the base of every snack.
Week 5 - No more soda or sugary drinks

After 5 weeks, you will be feeling cleaner, and more energetic. Challenge yourself and start today...don't make the mistake of waiting to start until the beginning of the week..or month...just start today!

Monday, October 7, 2013

So, what did we eat?

When the Friesen boys make dinner, here is what it looks like:

Luke - Quesidillas. 
He used leftover Asian chicken (from the previous night), and shredded cheddar cheese (from a bag). He picked out green tortillas, and put everything on himself. We did two large circles on a cookie tray to make it easier, and just put them in the oven to heat up. Then, he cut up (yes, with my help!) mushrooms and peppers to eat raw. For dessert, he served pumpkin pie (since there was some leftover too!) He loved the chance to do everything brothers around..and he was so proud to serve it to his family. Everyone praised him so well. We even got sour cream for Zach, because he knew that his big brother liked that "white dipping sauce".

Tyler - Spaghetti and Meatballs.
No short cuts for this guy. He wanted to make the meatballs from scratch, and he did. He loved getting messy with the raw meat, and was thrilled to make each ball (some bigger than others..and he made sure those were on his plate!). He was amazed at how easy it was. The pot full of hot water was heavy for him...especially when trying to strain it, so Mom stepped in there. He loved using the timers, and even more enjoyed it when he got to do something else while waiting for the beeper to go off. He served raw carrots for the veggie. He liked peeling, but was worried about cutting them. I replied that he could cut them however he wanted...even big chunks and we would eat them. He heated up the tomato sauce from a jar, and even put it in a gravy boat to serve it. He chose popsicles for dessert.

Zach - Mac and Tac.
That is what he calls it. My creative son, created a macaroni and cheese mix with Taco ingredients. He made the Mac and Cheese no problem, grill the ground beef, and put in whatever spices he wanted. He loves the experimental part of cooking. He added lots of garlic and onion powder! Then he mixed the two together and called it MacNTac.  Cold veggies from the fridge were served, some that were already cut up (he is a smart kid), as well as a salad (he chopped up the greens) and he served cookies for dessert (frozen ones that were made weeks before). At first he was going to put sourcream, lettice, and salsa on top, but once the food was made, he decided against it. Instead, he put out the toppings to let everyone chose for themselves. No one did but anything on top the MacNTac, but he wasn't offended, because he didn't want to either!

Each boy set the entire table, served the meal, poured the drinks, and clean up afterwards. The best part was actually hand washing dishes with each son. Most of them went in the dishwasher, but there always a few leftover and it was great fun to stand together at the sink. They washed, and I rinshed/dried (that way super control Mom could make sure they were clean!). HAHAHAHA! It also gave me a chance to thank them for the meal and praise their efforts.

So far, I am loving this experiment.

Who says that you need to eat cooked vegetables at dinner?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Healthier Halloween

Halloween is quickly approaching and we all know that it is traditionally all about candy...which can mean lots of sugar, fat, and calories. If you are hoping to keep your kids healthy during this sugar-heavy time of year, consider trying some of these tips.

Have children pick their five favourite treats from their bag, then use one of these suggestions below for the remainder of their candy.

- Switch out some of the treats they've collected for ones that are lower in calories and fat. Some favourites are dark chocolate, red licorice, or hard candies.

- Provide the option of trading in some or all of their candy for a toy or book they've been eyeing.

- Stock your own trick or treat bowl with healthier choices such as raisins, pencils, stickers, or passes to a local community centre.

- Provide an opportunity for them to earn back their treats through activities that can help burn calories.  This helps teach them that if we burn off more energy, we can splurge on extra treats.

And, if you are looking for something different to hand out this year...try some of these on the chart below. If you can't read it, click it.

Friday, October 4, 2013

No Yelling

I forgot to mention how the first month went for me. Remember that I also took on a challenge to work out every day? Well..I almost did it. I kept 27 coins, and felt a real habit forming. So, along with the kids, I get to add to my out everyday and no yelling. If I yell, they get to take a coin from my jar. And, I can lose more than one coin a day! Every time I yell, I lose one! Yikes. What have I gotten myself into? I seriously want to stop raising my voice though, and I know this can help. we go, Mom joins the out every day and no yelling allowed. I will keep you posted! Join me, if you think you can go 30 days yell free.

I found this to help me stay motivated...
Or this...
How to Stop Yelling at Your Kids

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Month 2 - Make your own Meals

Oh yah...this is going to be good!
When we announced this month that we are doing a new challenge, the boys were actually excited.
Yes, they still have to make their bed and keep their floor clean every day...and they still get 30 coins in their jar. But, this month we add to the experiment. They make one meal a week from beginning to end.

They each chose a day of the week (Luke = Tuesday, Tyler = Saturday and Zach = Thursday).
They decide what they are going to make, give the list of ingredients to mom (so she can make sure we have everything), and then on their night, they set the table, make the meal (with limited help from Mom), serve the meal, and clean up (yes...not just put things in the dishwasher...but wash all the dishes and clean up the kitchen!).
All my kids like to cook, and they already have experience in the kitchen, and have been taught safety around the stove and knives.
If, for any reason, they are unable to complete this part of the experiment, they lose 5 coins. That is right...if they make the meal, and don't want to clean up....5 coins. This is a package deal. It is all or nothing.

Who knows what we are going to eat...that is totally up to them. Hey, I serve things they don't it is their turn. HAHAHAHA

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Cash In and Curve Ball

The 1st Month of The Experiment is over and the boys were excited to cash in. Final scores were Zach 23, Tyler 28 and Luke 15. Not bad. Tyler was disappointed that he did not get all 30, but was so proud to have earned the most. During our family meeting on Monday night, we sat down at the table, had them count out their coins, and praised all their hard work, because they all did work very hard with this challenge.

Then, Scott threw them a curve ball. We had discussed it before, and both agreed that they need more guidance with the use of their money. Now that they make a whole lot more each month, we really want to motivate them to save...and not just think about spending every cent they get.

So, we thought back to when they were young, and we began their financial education...we talked about Save, Spend and Share. These are the three categories that we have always wanted them to focus on. Each month, they Share 10%, Save 40% and Spend 50%. Scott even drew a pie chart on the chalkboard, so they had a visual. We made if fun, and opened up online bank accounts for them right they could see their money go in right away. We wanted to make it clear that the money still belongs to them, it is just in a different location.

Everything went smoothly. Whew. Now they are even more determined to keep all 30 coins!

Now that they have their money (the 50% they can spend right away) I constantly hear, "Can we go to the store now?", "How much is this?". Oh we go. I just take a deep breath and take the changes as they come, and try to remember that they are becoming more independent and responsible, right?