My nephews love these snacks

 

 

As a mom of three active kids I am always looking for quick and easy snacks, and now I’m also babysitting my nephew. Unlike my kids who will eat almost anything, my nephew is a little pickier, so I’ve had to do a little research. After finding a few simple recipes and trying them out on my nephew, I thought other parents might find these easy snack ideas useful. Each one only takes a couple of minutes to put together, and the best part is you’ll have peace and quiet while they’re happily munching.

 

 

One of my favorites calls for sliced turkey. Now all you need is either celery sticks ( celery is actually pretty healthy), pretzels rods or in my case multigrain crackers. My nephew won’t eat celery or pretzels. If you use celery top it with cream cheese and a slice of turkey, my kids love it when I wrap the turkey around a pretzel rod. It’s really good with a side of mustard for dipping. If you’re using crackers add a bit of ranch dressing on top. Trust me, even the pickiest child will love this easy snack.

As finicky as my nephew is I was surprised and pleased that he has developed a taste for humus. Not only is it nutritious, but it is also extremely affordable. There’s nothing better than feeding your kids a healthy snack that they love for only a few cents. My nephew loves to dip raw cauliflower in the humus, while my kids like it on a bagel with a slice of tomato.

Whether you have good old fashioned peanut butter in your pantry or Nutella either will work perfectly in this snack that my nephew loves. He likes it when I spread peanut butter on sliced pears and top it with a little bit of granola. I prefer it on a rice cake, and I usually add some blueberries on top. I figure if nothing else this is a great way to ensure that I get some fruit in my diet. My kids usually ask for peanut butter on toast with honey and some dried cherries on top. Whichever way you choose to make it, you’ll end up with a healthy and delicious snack that only takes minutes to prepare.

Do you know how many quick and easy snacks you can make with just a slice of cheese and a few other items? When my nephew is over, I often slice up an apple and wrap the wedges with cheese and a little bit of ham, though my daughter does prefer turkey. My sons and I both like a slice of cheese on some warm toast, and with a piece of avocado on top, it is a snack that adult palates will love.

These are just a few of the easy snack ideas my nephew enjoys if you have any that you would like to share I look forward to reading them in the comments below.

Why I Enjoy Going to Church Every Sunday

I know that many followers of the Christian faith are not as keen to going to the church every Sunday as they used to be in the past. I also know for a fact that they are not doing this because they fell out of habit, and not because they are no longer followers of the faith. I personally enjoy going to church Sunday after Sunday and only if something important really gets in the way, I skip this tradition. So, without any intention to preach others what to do, I am going to tell you why I personally enjoy doing this and why I think it is important for communities to cultivate such customs and not let them die.

First of all, going to church every Sunday keeps me in touch not only with God, but also with other members of our community that I meet there. After church, we often spend a little time together, talking about our lives, exchanging ideas and promising to each other that we will see each other again next Sunday. In a way, I believe that this simple habit of going to church gives life structure, for me and for anyone else who is attending. This structure pertains to human bonds that are so frail and so easy to lose in this day and age.

I use the time I spend in church each Sunday to learn more about the Bible and its teachings. Tradition lacks too much from our daily lives and that shows in the fact that there are so many people today that feel anxious and unhappy, because they no longer have something to believe in. This is someone I never wish to become and that is why I want to cultivate the same good habits in my kids, as well. When I am asking people that do not go to church why they choose this, they tell me that they find it nothing less than an obligation, so for them, this has no meaning. In our community, there are few people who are like this, so I cannot say I know all the reasons of those who do not go to church. However, this is where I think I have something to say.

Going to church means an occasion to reconnect with God, to give our thanks for living yet another week on this earth, and also to reconnect with old friends. It is this continuity that is the best reward for what we are doing every Sunday. So, you see, going to church has a deep meaning, one that is bound to make us happy and thrive in our communities. People get too much involved with competition, with climbing the social or the career ladder, and they forget their friends in the process. The worst thing is that, once they get there, on top, they realize, too late more often than not, that they are alone and not happy at all. That is why I encourage everyone to go to church every Sunday and enjoy being together with people from their communities.

 

Making Cake Pops for My Fellow Volunteers

As I mentioned in the introductory post to my blog, I am quite involved with community life and I like being part of it. That means that we often gather for volunteering work, and sometimes that means that a lot of time and effort is spent for the greater good. Don’t get me wrong, no one is complaining, but once I noticed that even the most pleasant people can become tired and a bit cranky after a few hours of volunteering work, I decided to make things right.

 

That is how I started making cake pops to bring with me during our get-togethers. Cake pops are a really fun and easy desert to make, and also easy to serve. For instance, a few of us gather every Wednesday and Friday to tutor the kids in our community that have troubles keeping up with school. Teaching kids can be very rewarding, but quite tiring, especially for adult brains who practically do all the heavy lifting. I noticed right away how only after an hour or so, both adults and kids were becoming too tired to continue and needed a break. That is when I made their introduction to my delicious cake pops.

 

Do not think that I toiled for hours in the kitchen to make them. I still have a house to run and three kids that need to be cared for. Actually, because I wanted to help and do so in an efficient manner, decided me for cake pops. As you may well know, these delicious treats are like cakes on sticks. They are bite size and they are packed with delightful flavors. To make my job simpler, I got myself a cake pop maker, you know, the type of machine that turns the dough into perfect round cake pops within minutes. I got myself a model that can churn out 12 cake pops at a time, so I was pretty productive. Next on my list, I had to purchase plenty of sticks, which are really very cheap and can be reused, and some cake pop stands.

 

I was very pleased to see how happy the kids were when they saw the cake pops so neatly arranged on the stands, waiting for them. Now they know they have something to look forward to when they come for their extra lessons, and no longer find it like such a big chore. But my fellow volunteers were as enthralled with my choice, as well, since they are putting plenty of their time and effort into helping the community. For them, and the look on their faces, I will definitely continue to make a lot of cake pops in the future. Especially since I have such a handy tool to make a lot of cake pops in record time, I do not find it difficult, and it is really a big pleasure for me to be able to help, in my own way.

Preparing meals for the less fortunate members of our community

My local church is always doing something that benefits our neighborhood and recently I volunteered to help prepare meals for the less fortunate members of our community. I was promptly put in charge of desserts and thankfully I own a cake pop maker. Since these meals are going to be handed out whatever I chose to make for dessert had to be easily portable, which is why I decided on cake pops.

 

19Cake pops are fun, delicious and really easy to make. You can almost any flavor of cake, and trust me when I say that it is actually fun decorating the pops. Some people have asked me how I got my cake pops to turn out perfectly round and the answer is simple, it is because of the batter I use. I never use box batter I make my own and the recipe can be easily found online simply by looking up “cake pop batter”. If you do decide to use a box mix remember to decrease the amount of liquid. You don’t want the batter to be runny like it is for a normal cake, instead it should be nice and thick. This will help ensure that the cake pops are nice and round.

 

20Once the batter is mixed it is time to pour it into the cake pop maker ( I recommend the one from Holstein), and I recommend using a plastic bag. Pour the batter into the baggie, snip off a small corner and squeeze the batter into the small holes on the cake top maker. After that simply follow the operating instructions that should have come with the machine. When the cake pops are done, simply let them cool before decorating.

 

This is when it gets really fun, at least for me. Depending on how creative you feel and the decorating tools you have laying around your kitchen you can put almost any design on a cake pop. Create a funny face or add fun stripes and swirls, or add colorful sprinkles after the pop is frosted. If you were wondering if you have to use a special type of frosting the answer is no. You can use your favorite brands and flavors or make your own. Once the cake pop is frosted and decorated all that is left is to sit back and enjoy the delicious treat.

 

I should also mention that my cake pops were a real hit, especially with the kids. Just seeing the smiles on their faces made it all worth the time and effort.

Story of my life

Hello folks! Welcome to my blog. I am Abigail McAdams and I am 45 years old. I am the happy mother of three wonderful children and I am a stay at home mom. As the kids are growing, I am starting to have more free time of my hands, which I do not want to see going to waste. For this reason, I started to take an active part in the activities organized by our local church. I find that these activities are very healthy and helpful for our community and this is what this blog will be all about.

Baby plays outdoors in the fall weather with her family, photographed by portrait photographer Becca Bond

I sincerely believe that the role of the church in local communities should be more active and widespread, because families can take great advantage of being part of a helpful community. Even if I am a stay at home mom, I know how difficult it can be for parents who both work full time to always look after their young ones. Just recently, our church community came up with the idea of offering affordable babysitting services within the community. The initiative was welcome, and right now I believe that our community is growing stronger because of the help given to those parents in need of an occasional babysitter.

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Another activity organized in our local community with the involvement of the church that I tremendously enjoy is cookout contests. And it is not just us, the ladies, who get involved in this fun activity. We also bring our kids who learn how to cook from an early age, which I personally believe that it is a life skill that should not be overlooked. All the food we make is donated to the poor, so they can enjoy a warm home cooked meal, at least once in a while. We also organize free lunches, where the poor can come and sit at the table, so we can together enjoy a nice meal.

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We have many other activities people like getting involved in. The whole point is getting closer to other members of the community and offering them a helping hand. On Saturdays, some of us visit the elderly who do not have their family close and help them with a few chores, to make things easier for them. While not all activities can involve children, I especially love the idea of being able to transmit something to the young generation. I strongly believe that kids should be taught to be helpful and generous with those in need from a young age, so they can grow as honest individuals who never forget the importance of giving to others.

 

I hope I will see many people interested in my blog and that I will inspire others to outreach to those in need and get involved in such community projects.