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1…….2………2½ …….. 2 ¾ …….. 2 7/8 ……..look, knock it off, already.

Does that sound familiar?

How about: “You are grounded until you are 30!” Two days later, “Mom, can I go to so-and-so’s house” “Yeah, sure, have a good time.”

Or perhaps: “The reason you can’t do that, is……..**Twenty minutes later**….do you understand?”

We all have our parenting issues…whether learned from our parents, from well meaning parenting classes or even the University of Hard Knocks. Regardless of the differences, there is one thing that I hear from almost every parent: “I wish there was a manual that came with this kid.” The closest thing I have ever found is 1-2-3 Magic.

The 1-2-3 Magic concept is actually pretty easy to understand and implement. The biggest problems I can see with implementation is using it too much, not using it enough and following through with whatever discipline is chosen. It will also probably work best if whomever is caring for the children on a regular basis, also uses the program….or at the very least doesn’t undermine your use of it. There are books and movies available to illustrate the concepts much better than I could ever describe in a quick blog post. While I suggest trying to find a more frugal method of reading the books or watching the movies, you can certainly purchase the entire set of books/DVD’s/CD’s from the website: http://www.parentmagic.com/

According to the book by Dr. Phelan, you will use the 1-2-3, or counting method to deal with obnoxious behavior (like arguing, fighting, whining, etc.) not things like getting a child up in the morning, doing homework or practicing an instrument. The “magic” is not in the counting, but in the “No-Talking and No-Emotion Rules,” which makes the kids think and take responsibility for their own behaviors. The other main ingredient is short and sweet punishments. For example: If you choose to use the ‘time out’ method, you may want to use the formula: 1 minute for each of the child’s years on Earth (a 10 yr. Old gets 10 minutes of time out). So, when you count, you would say “Junior, that’s one.” Wait five seconds to see if he has taken control of his behavior….if not, you say, “Junior, that’s two.” In many cases, this is all you need; however, if your child continues, you say, “Junior, that’s three…take ten” (Meaning take ten minutes in the designated ‘time out’ location.) Dr. Phelan describes some tough situations like discipline in public and dealing with testing and manipulation.

As a veteran parent, I could see (even just in my own family) some of the problems that may come up. My husband, in wanting to remember to use this program may use it too much and it won’t be as effective…..or he might forget and not use it enough. He is also a “people pleaser” and might have a hard time following through with the punishment. All of that, though, can’t hold a candle to the offenses that I would do to make it ineffective, namely showing WAY too much emotion AND talking too damn much!

If you are able to work through the possible problems in your own parenting/home situation, the program itself is really much easier to implement/follow than all of the other parenting programs I have been a part of, thus far….particularly Love and Logic. This program will work best if it is used as consistently as possible….which shouldn’t be a shocker; however, it may be tough to get all of the folks who co-parent or care for the children on board….not to worry, though, it will still be effective if you are the only person who chooses to use it. 🙂

I borrowed the DVD and book from CASA. When I checked them out, the only reason I was interested in watching/reading about the program was to get in-service credit; however, within minutes of watching the DVD, I was hooked….and interestingly enough, so were the kids. (I was watching it while we were eating dinner.) I think they liked it ’cause it promised that Mom wouldn’t lecture AND that the punishments would be over with very quickly!! James watched it with me the next night and he liked it as well. We have only “counted the kids” three times (two of which were the night we watched the movie….I think, ’cause they wanted to “try it out.”) and not once did it require time out!! We also avoided all of the other unpleasantries!! All-in-all, I think it is a fantastic program…it is easy to use, easy to implement and easy to maintain….what more can you ask for?

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Meal Plans

Typically, when making a “meal plan” people will assign certain meals to certain days; however, I found that for me, this just didn’t work. What HAS worked for me is to plan certain meals between runs to town and then make whatever happens to “trip my trigger” for the day.

I like to have several “types” of meals available: super easy, pretty easy, a little challenging and then a couple absolute new meals (which may be really challenging.) Since we are also on a budget, I tend to shy away from too many desserts; however, I will try to serve at least one per week.

Since my “go to town” trips are typically planned when we either deposit my husband’s check or have doctors appointments, the “plan” can be from 4 or so days to 9 or 10 days. (I do try to shop about once a week, if I can, ’cause I do use quite a bit of fresh ingredients.)

In any case, this is my current plan…..and provided that I remember, I will have photos and recipes to share as the days go by.
I hope this helps some of you who are also vegetarian/vegan, on a budget or just wanting to try something new. If you try something out, let me know how you liked it!! 🙂

Bean Burgers, Roasted Potatoes, Salad, Fruit

Leek and Potato Soup, French Bread, Fruit

Creole Black-Eyed Peas, Rice, Corn Bread, Fruit

Spaghetti with Red Sauce, Salad, Fruit

Black Bean Tacos, Mexican Quinoa Salad, Fruit

Brown Rice Pizza, Salad, Fruit

Fried Rice, Salad, Fruit

Roasted Tomato Soup, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Fruit

Desserts: Brownies (on my son’s birthday, per his request) and Pumpkin Spice Cake

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“One hundred twenty-five years ago, Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley took the first microphotographs of snow; 46 years later he died of pneumonia contracted while photographing snowflakes in his barn. Today, CalTech physicist Kenneth Libbrecht is carrying Bentley’s work into the 21st century — and posting the findings online.

Libbrecht’s gallery includes a remarkably beautiful photograph of the “stellar dendrite” — a many-branched, starlike form that creates the light, fluffy powder that skiers adore. You’ll also see a “hollow column” (which resembles a tiny pipette) and the superdelicate “needle” snowflake, which appears only when the temperature nears 23 degrees F. Keep looking, and you’ll find prisms, sectored plates, and the rare triangular snowflake. According to Libbrecht, each of these flakes holds about a billion billion molecules.” – – VSL

http://www.newscientist.com/gallery/dn16170-snowflakes 

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Drop.io is a totally free, totally private server space that allows you to upload and share documents and (unlike Google Docs) music and video files.

“Drops” can hold up to 100MB of data and come with their own e-mail addresses and fax and voice-mail numbers: Once you’ve built one, you create a password to allow others inside. Work on group projects, back up your files, or post all your holiday photos at once and shoot the URL over to your friends and family members. The best part? Unlike other file-sharing sites — YouSendIt, box.net — drop.io doesn’t ask you to register or provide an e-mail address.” – – VSL 

http://drop.io/

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“The producers of PBS’s best science show, NOVA, have posted an excellent gallery of online experiments: Skydive from 100,000 feet. Replicate Shackleton’s 800-mile open-boat journey from the South Shetland Islands to South Georgia. Tweak the variables in a steroid, a rice paddy, or a rocket. Perform a virtual heart transplant. You may get so caught up you never escape.

Our favorite experiment involves Bill Goldfinch — a British prisoner in a Nazi POW camp who looked out the window, saw snowflakes rising, and had an epiphany: Could he glide to freedom on the same updraft? Together with another prisoner, he constructed a false wall, then built a handmade, two-passenger glider behind it. They were almost finished when the war ended — but decades later, some of Goldfinch’s fellow POW-camp alums used his design to build and launch another glider, one that actually flew. Here you can test-fly a virtual version — and at far less risk of crash or capture than Goldfinch might have faced.” – – VSL

 http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/hotscience/

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“Oxford’s podcast series allows you to audit courses at the English-speaking world’s oldest university — free of charge, and from afar.

Learn about quantum nanotechnology while riding the subway. Study Milton in the Laundromat. And hear the creation story as it’s described in the Torah, the Bible, and the Koran. You can also hear American economist Joseph Stiglitz’s recent talk on the credit crunch (it’s the top-ranked podcast at iTunes) and tag along with Michael Palin (Oxford ’65, Monty Python ’83) as he gives you a video tour of the university and its Bodleian Library (it’s home to 9 million items, including four Magna Cartas). Oxford has launched the careers of countless movers and shakers — including 25 prime ministers. Here’s your chance to join their ranks!” – – VSL

http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/

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“Hold the globe up to a funhouse mirror and you’ll get a sense of what the Atlas of the Real World’s all about: Here, you’ll find a series of global maps, all of which reshape countries according to various demographic rankings.

Take housing prices: On that map, Western Europe is as big as — well — a house, but Africa barely registers. India and China rule the rails (hence their plump presence on the trains map), while the U.S. dominates the skies. Which country is just bursting with mopeds? Greece is the word! China was the richest country 2,000 years ago — and according the projected 2015 map, it’ll be the richest country in the world again soon. And anyone who’s nostalgic for the Cold War can take comfort in the nuclear-weapons map: The U.S. and Russia are as massive as they ever were.” – – VSL

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/picturegalleries/3109042/The-Atlas-of-the-Real-World.html

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