Sunday, December 15, 2013

My Blog Has Moved!

I will eventually figure out how to have folks automatically redirected to my new site. :) Until then, I hope you will click the link above and visit me at my new site anyway! 

Also, my new site is not yet designed and looking pretty. I'm working on sprucing it up. I hope you enjoy my posts over there in spite of the rather plain look it now has. 
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Friday, October 18, 2013

What's the Big Deal About Gender Differences?

This morning I was looking at the news headlines on my phone. I noticed an article about a Halloween costume for girls. It's a Spider Girl costume, and it's pink, and it has a skirt. The truth is that my family doesn't celebrate Halloween, but this article caught my attention because it was totally bashing the costume saying that it looked too feminine. Now you may agree with the critics who thought it was simply terrible that the costume made girls look too sweet and pretty. It made them "less esteemed" than it should have. It made girls...(gasp!)...look different than boys!

I apologize for being sarcastic, but the truth is that girls are different than boys!! And it's also true that it's perfectly ok for girls to be different than boys!! What the critics don't get, in my opinion, is that different does not mean inferior. In fact, it's kind of ironic to me that these same critics who are trying to prove that girls are just as important and valued and necessary as boys (which is true...we were all created by God for a reason, and He loves us all) are using boys as the standard of comparison. In other words, it seems to me that these critics themselves are saying that boys are more valued and important, so girls must be seen the same way as boys in order for girls to be of equal value. Ridiculous! 

I have two daughters and one son. And guess what? They're completely and totally different. They have been since birth. Ever since my son was old enough to hold a toy, he loved any kind of ball game or electronic device. I didn't realize when he was born that he would be different than his older sister. I'd never really thought much about it at that point. It surprised me that he wasn't much interested in playing with her toys. He wanted toy Super Heroes and dinosaurs. He wanted cars and trucks and basketballs. He wanted electronic toys that made noises and had cool lights. And that surprised me.

My younger daughter was absolutely not interested in playing with her older brother's toys. She wanted stuffed animals and dolls. She loved pretty music, dress-up clothes, jewelry, and arts & crafts. She spent hours coloring pretty pictures, making jewelry, changing clothes, dancing, and singing. I didn't teach her to do those things. I didn't tell her that girls are *supposed* to love those things. I didn't forbid her to play with her brother's dinosaurs or trucks. She naturally gravitated toward certain toys and certain interests because she's a girl.

Now obviously my point here is not that boys are more valuable than girls. Neither is it that girls are more valuable than boys. It's not even that girls should only be allowed to play with toys *for girls* or that boys should only be allowed to play with toys *for boys.* My point is simply that it is perfectly fine for there to be gender differences! Yes, I said it. My opinion is that different doesn't mean less. Different doesn't mean inferior. Different just means...different. 

My children are older now (two teens and the youngest is in the double digits), so their interests have grown with them. My son's interests, though, are still cars, video games, shoot-em-up movies, action and adventure, and other traditionally male interests. My daughters still enjoy arts & crafts, dressing up and looking pretty, sewing and creating beautiful works of art, and dancing. Both my son and one of my daughters play tennis. Both my son and daughters enjoy watching movies together. There are some interests that they share. That's ok. It's also ok, though, that there are interests they do not share. There are ways that they're different. Because different just means...different. Not inferior.

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Monday, September 23, 2013

My Grandmother's Pumpkin Pie

One of the things I love best about fall is baking yummy pumpkin pies! Sometimes I make them at other times of the year, but fall just seems like the absolute perfect time to bake and eat them. 

My grandmother (who happens to be the best cook and baker in the entire world--isn't your grandmother the best in the world too?) introduced me to this deliciously different pumpkin pie when I was just a little bitty girl. At the time, of course I had no idea that her recipe was different than the recipes used by most other people. I just new that I loved it!

As I got older, I realized that my grandmother's pumpkin pies were very different than those made by others. I remember how disappointed I was the first time I ate a more traditional pumpkin pie. It just tasted so strongly of cloves and nutmeg. It tasted so heavy. That gave me a new appreciation for my grandmother and her yummy pies! 

I have many warm-and-fuzzy memories of my grandmother in the kitchen, hearing the familiar sounds and smelling the familiar smells as she cooked and baked for her family. And I remember waiting with anticipation for her to be finished so we could eat! I will forever think of my grandmother every time I eat this pie or share the recipe with someone. Sweet, happy memories! 

If you like more traditional pumpkin pies with lots of spices, you may be surprised by this rather different recipe, and you may even enjoy it! I hope you'll give it a try and let me know what you think. 

And if you have a pumpkin pie recipe that you'd like to share, I would love to try your recipe too! 

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Getting Healthy by Choosing Healthy Eating Habits

Before you run and hide from a post about forming healthy eating habits, let me encourage you to stick around and read it. :) You'll be glad you did! The book that I reference here is one of the most reasonable plans I've ever seen, and I'm excited about trying it out and sharing it with you!

I don't write a lot about health-related topics because the truth is that I don't really like to think about health-related things any more than I have to! However, over the last few years, I've noticed that it's so much easier to put on a little bit of extra weight than it ever has been, and I don't like it! I've always been able to eat whatever I want without putting on weight, and I surely don't like this change in my metabolism! 

Also, I've become more aware of how good nutrition (or the lack of it!) affects my children. When they eat lots of junk food, skip meals, and eat too many sweets, they get grouchy and don't sleep well. They fuss and argue more. They just plain don't feel very well. 

My sister (who is much better about eating healthy than I am) recommended that I read a book called Trim Healthy Mama. She read it recently, and she's been putting the information to use and has lost weight and looks really great! (BTW, this is NOT a compensated review. I just feel like this book is something that other moms like me might benefit from, so I'm sharing about it.) And the great thing is that the guidelines are so much easier to follow than those of any other health and nutrition-related book I've ever read! Here's why:

In this book, the two authors acknowledge that God created all kinds of foods for us to eat. It's ok to eat fruits and veggies and breads and meats. It's even ok to indulge in sweets now and then. It all has to be done in the right combinations, though. It's best not to eat a lot of carbs along with fats. It's best not to eat sweets in combination with fats. Carbs and fats and even sweets (with the right natural sweeteners) are all fine to eat, but if you eat them all in the same meal, you will put on weight--especially as you get older and your metabolism changes. 

Anyway, I won't try to tell you about the entire book, but that's the main idea. Of course they go into more of the "science" of it all so you'll understand why their way of eating works. Even that part of the book is interesting! And of course they give lots of recipes and ideas for healthy meals and snacks.

One of the most wonderful things I learned from the book is that it is ok to eat healthy fats! Most books about health and wellness advise that people drastically cut fats or stay away from them entirely. This plan includes fats and actually works best when you do eat fats at some meals! 

I've just finished reading the book, and now I'm officially ready to start putting to use the information I've learned. I'll let you know how it goes! 

Do you have a plan for healthy eating? What do you do? How do you get your kids (and your husband!) to eat healthier? I'd love some tips and advice!! 

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NOTE: This post contains my affiliate link. You won't pay any more for the book by using this link, but I will make a small profit. I appreciate your using my affiliate link! This book is a little on the expensive side, but I totally love it and can truly say that I've found it to be worth the money!