Sunday’s Best Linkup #38

 Welcome to Week 38 of Mother 2 Mother’s Sunday’s Best Linkup. It’s hard to believe that school is back in session and fall is around the corner. This will be the last week of our Leaves Are Falling theme.  We will be starting our Spooktacular theme next week.  We’re looking for posts on fall crafts and decorating, recipes for apple sauce and other canning recipes, your photos with fall colors, fall flower arrangement ideas, fall tablescapes and anything you would like to share on the season.

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Sunday’s Best Linkup – #37

 
Welcome to Week 37 of  Mother 2 Mother’s Sunday’s Best Linkup It’s hard to believe that school is back in session and fall is around the corner. We’re continuing our Leaves Are Falling theme this week.  We’re looking for posts on fall crafts and decorating, recipes for apple sauce and other canning recipes, your photos with fall colors, fall flower arrangement ideas, fall tablescapes and anything you would like to share on the season.  

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Kim Cattrall’s Parenting Advice

Image-Defining-Motherhood

How do you define motherhood?  I read an article on-line that discussed an interview with Kim Cattrall from Sex and the City week that has me baffled and a little annoyed I may add. I thought I would share this post with you, and maybe you will understand why. For some reason Kim Cattrall believes that she is a parent, but she has no children. How does that work?

In her words, “I am not a biological parent, but I am a parent. I have young actors and actresses that I mentor. I have nieces and nephews that I am very close to.” She goes on to say that there are ways to become a mother and you don’t have to have your name on the birth certificate. She also stated that she didn’t change diapers, but she helped her niece get through medical school and she helped her nephew get through a rough time. She considers those motherly things. Hang tight, I’m picking myself up off the floor. I’m wondering if I got the mothering thing all wrong.

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Why You Should Visit Amish Country – The Home and Farm

 

I spent the week-end in Lancaster, PA recharging my battery and admiring the Amish.  Regardless of the time span between my visits, I always find it to be peaceful. First, who can’t use a little peace in their life, right. We may recharge our batteries and seek peace in different ways, but we all need to stop and take action at some point.
Next, watching the Amish and their way of life causes me to pause. The fields of corn, horse and buggies, roadside produce stands, handmade quilts and the slow pace take me to a peaceful and simple way of living. They are gentle people with a deep belief in God and family above all else. Furthermore, they have a deep sense of community and helping their neighbor without the distraction of modern technology. Most importantly, they are self-sufficient, independent, and they take care of each other. They pay taxes, but no welfare or social security benefits for their community. They have no desire to integrate into our society, their lifestyle is a choice.  Plain and simple is their motto and they live it.
During my visits, I’ve taken tons of pictures and I thought I would share some of them with you in a two part post on the Amish and their lifestyle. This is Part I  – The Amish Home and Farm.  Before the Amish Home and Farm became a tourist attraction, Amish and Mennonites families lived in this house for many years.

 

 
Because most Amish families are large, most have 7 or more children, Amish homes are usually quite large.  When parents get older they remain at the home.  They usually stay in another home on the property called a Dawdi Haus.   The second home can also be used as a guest house.  The Amish take care of each other life.  Rarely is an Amish person put into a nursing home or sent elsewhere to live.
Furthermore, the Amish are a deeply religious community.  However, they don’t attend churches as we know it. For example, families take turns hosting church service at their homes. The picture above shows an Amish living room that has the furniture removed.  The host family removes the furniture and replaces it with benches.  Or, benches are set-up barn or buggy house on the property.
Benches are placed on both sides of the room. Women sit on one side and men on the other.  So, benches are placed on both sides of the room.  German is the official language of the service.  After the service, lunch is served.   Everyone socializes while the children play.  Sunday is the day of worship, so only the basic chores are done at home.  Therefore, businesses are closed. Visiting neighbors is high on the list for the Amish on Sundays.
 
There is no divorce in the Amish community.   The women take care of the home, husband, children and kitchen gardens.  The men bring home the money, work the fields and take care of the farm animals.  There are some Amish men and women who work outside the home or farm.  They own businesses such as making furniture, storage sheds and yard furniture.  Additionally, they also work as waitresses, in factories or other jobs with the English, non-Amish. I own 2 storage sheds built by the Amish.  Their work is superior.
Those who work on the farm are ready to go at sun up and stop working at sun down.  As a result, they eat a hearty breakfast before heading out to the fields.  Normally, they return around noon for lunch and again for dinner. They usually start their day at 5:30 am and are in bed by 8:00 or 9:00 pm.
The above picture is a typical Amish kitchen. Appliances are powered by propane gas.  Lights, faucets, sewing and washing machines, as well as blenders and mixers are powered by compressed air. As in most homes, the man sits at the head of the table and his wife to the right of him. The oldest child sits on the opposite end of the father. There are no pictures of family or children hanging on the walls, Amish do not take pictures. They do hang quilted wall hangings, a framed list of their children and their birthdays, framed puzzles etc.
 
Amish serve hearty meals.  They typically preserve hundreds of jars of vegetables, fruits and meat during the canning season to feed a family of 9 or more during the winter months. They are masters at baking bread, pies, and cakes.  Fortunately, they are able to grow their own fruit for jams, jellies, pies and cobblers as well as vegetables in their kitchen gardens. Their gardens and flower beds are meticulous. You won’t find a weed in them. The children start in the morning pulling weeds to ensure that nothing distracts from mom’s garden.  They butcher or use Amish butchering shops for their meat. Self-sufficiency and being experts at it is the name of the game.  And the Amish know how to play. They are astute at making things happen.
Amish women are experts at sewing and quilting.  They do the sewing for the entire family.  Furthermore, they make their own dresses and aprons, pants and shirts for their husbands and all of the children’s clothing.  Additionally, they also make quilts, diapers for infants and a host of other items. Most prefer the old Singer treadle sewing machines shown above.
They do shop at local stores such as Wal-mart for plates, glasses, and other home goods as well as undergarments, socks, hosiery, Birdseye diapers/pampers etc. Most stores provide hitching posts for their horse and buggies while they shop.
 
 
This is the typical wardrobe for Amish girls.  Dresses are muted colors and calf length.  Muted colors include: pink, green, purple, blue, brown and black.  However, no prints are allowed.  Prayer coverings are black or white. And are pinned onto the solid colored dresses.  Hook and eye closures can be used, but no buttons.  Prayer caps are white and heart shaped. Shoes are black.  I have seen the Lancaster Amish wear sandals, Crocs, sneakers or go barefoot.
 
Girls wear a white prayer cap around age 9.  A black bonnet can be worn over the prayer cap.  In the winter, a black cloak is worn.  The black bonnets may be worn without the cloak, but the black cloak can’t be worn without the black bonnet.  Also, Amish women do not cut their hair.  Amish women are not allowed to wear prints or jewelry, not even a wedding band.
 



This is a picture of a nursery or small child’s bedroom in the Amish home.  They have the usual furniture that you would find in a nursery: a crib, rocker, changing table and dresser.  What I didn’t see was a bottle warmers, mobile or  baby monitors.

 

I bet this changing table is worth a mint.  It was heavy and study.  The hardwood floors are the wide planks and absolutely beautiful.  Amish women take their ability to keep house seriously.  As a result, their homes are spotless.

 

This is the typical Amish boy’s room. The boys wear black pants that hit about the ankle.  Their shirts are muted colors with snaps and hook and eyes.  The pants are worn with suspenders, but they have no zipper.  Instead, hook and eyes are used.  On Sundays, the boys and men wear black pants, white shirts, black vests or jackets.  Married men grow beards without a mustache.

 

This is the typical dress of a married Amish woman.  Her aprons are black instead of white.  Her husband’s clothing, is the same as the boys.
Another fact is, Amish women usually give birth at home and are assisted by a mid-wife.  However, they can use a birthing center or hospital if they desire.  

 

 

It looks like an older son is replacing posts on the farm.  Also, he has several of his younger siblings on the wagon.  He made sure everything was in place after making each turn.  Amish boys work the fields with their fathers at an early age.  Women and girls also help if needed.  Usually, Belgian horses or mules pull the equipment.

 

Corn fields are abundant in Lancaster.  It is harvested in stored in the farm silo to feed the farm animals.  This young man above is handling a team of 6 horses.  The Amish are masters of their domain.   The women are subordinate, but equal partners in their marriage.  Women are involved in the daily operation of making the farm efficient and productive.  Many can be seen hand picking various vegetables or helping with the harvest.
Amazingly, the Amish still use wringer washers to do laundry.  Hanging clothes outside on a clothesline is still a part of their chores.  Once dry, they iron the clothes.
Most of all, Lancaster is a combination of things. For example, traffic, shopping malls, horse and buggies and endless rows of corn and other vegetables.  It’s a place where you can lose yourself in the simplicity of a culture.  The beauty of the farm houses and acres of rolling land capture your deepest senses.  Furthermore, it draws you into a life that can only be admired by those who are willing to put down their smart phones and laptops.  I admire their ability to persevere in the mist of modern technology.  Also, their calming affect takes me back to the days of running through the cool grass bare foot.  Eating homemade ice cream or drinking ice cold water from the hand pump down the lane when I visited my grandparents.  Oh, how I yearn for those days now.
Last, if you have an Amish community nearby and you haven’t visited, you should.  We can all learn from the Amish, and it’s a great family activity.  Additionally, you may also like:  Quilts, Transportation and Great Food.  
 
 

Sunday’s Best Linkup – #36

Welcome to Week 36 of  Mother 2 Mother’s Sunday’s Best Linkup It’s hard to believe that school is back in and session and fall is around the corner. We are starting our Leaves Are Falling theme this week.  We’re looking for posts on fall crafts and decorating, recipes for apple sauce and other canning recipes, your photos with fall colors, fall flower arrangement ideas, fall tablescapes  and anything you would like to share on the season.  

We also welcome other recipes, crafts, DIY, home makeover and gardening tips, SEO and blogging information, sewing projects, patio and deck makeovers, front porch makeover ideas, organization tips, ideas for backyard hot dog roasts, and more.    

25 Ways To Feed Your Soul

 

self-improvement, spirituality, self-esteem, confidence

Our soul is the essence of who we are.  Feeding the soul is different from feeding the body. We feed our body to live, we feed our soul to connect with who we are and to make us whole.  Are you feeding your soul?  If not, we have a few suggestions on how you can get started.     

Feeding our soul awakes our passions. A few benefits are releasing stress, finding peace, and enjoying life. It requires us to connect on a deeper level and it’s as individual as you. What works for one may not work for another, so it requires you to connect with you. Find inner peace and getting in touch with who you really are will lead you to what you really love.   

For me, I find peace and connect with nature. Its beauty touches my soul.  I could literally spend hours enjoying all of its glory.  In the spring the grass turns green and flowers come to life.  It motivates me to become one with nature and it awakens one of my passions, gardening. In the summer I enjoy the sound of the ocean and fall the beautiful colors.

Just sipping a hot cup of coffee while inhaling the crisp air on a fall morning stirs my soul too. I gather fall leaves for crafts and take nature hunts with the kids. These things illuminate who I am and brightens my spirit. Feeding my soul leads me to my voice. 


Here are a few ideas on how you can feed your soul and awaken your spirit:

  1. Take a long walk/hike.
  2. Have a good old fashioned picnic with your husband/significant other.  
  3. Go to the book store and buy a book. 
  4. Pick a bouquet of flowers from the backyard.
  5. Take a drive through the country. 
  6. Plant a garden or a few flowers. 
  7. Listen to your favorite songs. 
  8. Take a bubble bath.
  9. Curl up with a cup of tea. 
  10. Let go of all things and people that cause you stress.  
  11. Take a yoga or meditation class. 
  12. Light your favorite candle and have a cup of coffee.
  13. Attend/join church.
  14. Take a walk on the beach and listen to the ocean.  
  15. Read daily inspirations. 
  16. Watch the sun rise or set.
  17. Refinish or paint a piece of furniture. 
  18. Have a good cry. 
  19. Go sight seeing. 
  20. Get a manicure and/or pedicure
  21. Bake a batch of cookies and enjoy. 
  22. Clean out a closet, attic, or basement and reminisce.
  23. Revisit one of your favorite childhood places. 
  24. Refresh your bedding.
  25. Spend time with your children/grandchild and laugh. 

Start feeding your soul, it allows your light to shine. You will feel rejuvenated, happy, and find the way to great things in your life.

You may also like Slaying Your Dragons With Faith


5 Full Body Massages To Try

massage therapy, full body massages, massages, Swedish massage

Do you find yourself tied in knots, stressed out, joints and muscles aching at some point through out the year?  I can relate, life can be stressful and stress can wreck havoc on our minds and bodies. Stress can manifest itself in many ways, which is why we need to pay attention to our bodies and deal with it when it appears.  .

For the past few years, I have treated myself to a full body massage for my birthday. I swear by it. They relieve stress and work out the kinks. I literally leave the spa like a wet noodle. You are so relaxed, it is advised that you not drive after your session. If you have never had a full body massage, you must add this pleasure to your list. Ask your husband or significant other for a gift certificate for your birthday, Christmas or just because. Every woman deserves to be pampered at least once in their lifetime, but be warned once you start you will want to continue the service.  

Here are the massages offered at the spa that I use.  I have had 3 of the 5 listed, the Swedish, Hot Stone and Deep Tissue. I love the Swedish and Hot Stone, but I encourage you to research and make a decision on what you think you would enjoy:   


1.  Swedish –  It’s the most sought after and is used to relax the entire body. The massage therapist uses long strokes to increase the level of oxygen in the blood while decreasing toxins and improving circulation. It eases tension as well. 

2.  Prenatal –  These are great for the mother to be. The massage therapists focuses on decreasing swelling in the arms and legs, and relieve aches and pains in muscles and joints.

3.  Hot Stone – It is amazing what hot stones can do. They literally melt the stress away, eliminates stiff muscles, increases circulation and your metabolism. Because the hot stones relax muscles, the masseuse is able to do a deep muscle massage. 

4.  Deep Tissue – The Deep tissue massage is similar to the Swedish massage. It focuses on deeper pressure with the goal to be the release of chronic muscle tension. This massage is known to drop the blood pressure and boosts your mood and relaxation. 

5  Reflexology – The massage therapist will use the traditional Swedish and sports massage techniques starting with the hands and than moving to the feet, calf, and upper leg area. This is great for athletics or those who have problems with foot or ankle pain.  It also reduces stress. 

The spa that I use also offers packages for couples, girlfriends, mom and daughter/son or mom and granddaughter/grandson. Make it a family affair or  a day of intimacy, you won’t regret it. It will leave you wanting more and more.

Sunday’s Best Linkup – #35

 
Welcome to Week 35 of  Mother 2 Mother’s Sunday’s Best Linkup It’s hard to believe that school is back in and session and fall is around the corner. We are starting our Leaves Are Falling theme this week.  We’re looking for posts on fall crafts and decorating, recipes for apple sauce and other canning recipes, your photos with fall colors, fall flower arrangement ideas, fall tablescapes  and anything you would like to share on the season.  
 
We also welcome other recipes, crafts, DIY, home makeover and gardening tips, SEO and blogging information, sewing projects, patio and deck makeovers, front porch makeover ideas, organization tips, ideas for backyard hot dog roasts, and more.   

Blow the dust off your old posts and link those too. They’re great for inspiration. Don’t have posts that fit into the theme, link up whatever post you would like to share. We would love to have parenting tips, DIY projects, homesteading, homeschooling, and your posts on family and life. Your linkups and giveaways are welcome here too. Anything goes, as long as it’s family friendly and you may linkup as many posts as you would like. 

Each week your hosts will select their favorite post and it will be featured the following week. An image from your post will be used on my blog the following week with a link back to your blog. Be sure to check back to see if you’re a Sunday’s Best featured blogger. All Featured Bloggers will have their posts Pinned to the Sunday’s Best Pinterest Board.   


What’s New: We would like readers to select their favorite posts. Voting will start at noon every Friday until mid-night. We will be adding the post with the most votes from our readers to our Sunday’s Best featured bloggers. Be sure to have your blog readers and social media followers head over to vote for your post on Fridays. 


All posts linking to Sunday’s Best will be promoted on Twitter.  

In addition to the reader’s and hosts selections, a post for our monthly themes will be selected and featured each week as well. 

If you are interested in becoming a Sunday’s Best host, please contact me for details at rhonda@mother2motherblog.com or email one of our other hosts. 


                                                           Your Hosts Are:

            Rhonda – Mother 2 Mother                Kim U. – Pinterested Parent         Kim M. – Life In A House of Testosterone

 

Our lovely Kim M. is taking a break for few weeks, she will be returning shortly. Here’s the rules, please connect with us on social media before you leave or subscribe to/follow our blogs:  

Mother 2 Mother: Please like my 
Facebook Page, follow me on Twitter,  Google+, PinterestBlogLovin or subscribe/join my blog on the right before you leave.   



The Pinterested Parent: Please like Kim’s Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Bloglovin before you leave.  


Life In A House of Testosterone: Please like Kim’s Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Bloglovin, or Instagram before you leave. 


 

Mother 2 Mother Blog

 

Last, please help us grow by placing our button on your sidebar. If you are selected as a Featured Blogger please let your readers and followers know. They may want to join the party too! For those who have a Link Party list/directory, please add us. I appreciate your help in promoting the linkup with Re-tweets and shares. Now lets party! 

The Sunday’s Best Posts are:Kim U. selected 10 Awesome Science Ideas for Fall from P Is For Preschooler

I selected Shabby Chic Bedroom Ideas from Marty’ Musing       



and 

Jamaican Jerk Marinade from Sandy’s Point of View  


 

The Readers Selected: 

 
35 Easy School Lunch Box Ideas from A Pretty Life In the Suburbs  

 

 

and


                              The Favorite Theme Posts 

Back To School!  

30+ Make Ahead Back to School Recipes from My Pinterventures 

 

and 

 Back To School Crayon Wreath Busy Being Jennifer Busy Being Jennifer




Congratulations to our featured bloggers! All of the posts were great, and I appreciate each of you linking up. I would like to invite all of you back to linkup your post(s) again, it could be selected this week. While you’re here take a minute to visit these great blogs. It’s a great way to meet and connect with new bloggers. Be sure to PIN or share any posts that you like, we all appreciate a little love. 

 


 

5 Safety Tips For Latch Key Children

 

 

Did you give birth to a Latch Key Child?  Schools are back in session and some parents will be leaving their children alone for several hours after school for many reasons. Some parents are single mothers who can’t afford the expense of child care, many families have both parents working outside the home, others because their children are old enough to take care of themselves for several hours and than we have those who can’t find after school care.  What ever the reason, there are approximately 15 million Latch Key Children in the U.S. so don’t feel that you’re a bad parent or that you’re alone in your decision.   

My daughter was around 10 when she became a latch key child.  I’ve always hated that term, but it is what it is.  I was a single mother at the time and I was trying to purchase a home. I was saving every penny that I could, so I asked my daughter if she thought she could stay alone for several hours to cut out child care expense and she jumped at the opportunity. The bus stop was 500 yards from my front door and I had neighbors that would step in if there was an emergency. I felt guilty initially, but I realized that I wasn’t the only parent who had a latch key child. I soon released the guilt and became comfortable with my decision.  

Many parents question the appropriate age for leaving children unattended. The ages vary from state to state, so if you’re considering leaving your child alone be sure to check out the legal ramifications. You will also have to assess your child’s maturity level and their ability to follow directions as well as the safety of your neighborhood.  Think about the time frame that your child will be alone.  If it’s more than a few hours, you may want to find another option in my opinion. My daughter was home for 2 hours before I arrived. That was the longest 2 hours of my life.  

We decided to do a trial run and if we were comfortable we would implement the plan.  Here are the safety tips that worked for us:   

1.  Rules Must Be Established – No friends over, do not answer the phone or door unless it’s for people who are checking on them, do not leave the home to play in the neighborhood etc. It’s also important that your child understand that they can’t tell people that they’re home alone and why. It’s imperative that your child understand the rules.    
 
2.  Establish a Routine – You must give your child a routine. In my home it was to come straight home, let me know that she was home and that start on her To Do List. Today there are nanny cams and home monitoring devices that allow you to see what’s happening in the home while you’re at the office. There are also devices that allow you to turn off the alarm system remotely and reset it once your child gets inside the home. Skyping is a great idea too if it’s allowed in your office. 

3.  Create a To Do List –  Keeping your child occupied is important, they won’t have time to think too much about being alone.  I created a list of things for my daughter to do once she arrived. She could get a snack, no cooking allowed, and turn on the television, radio etc.  Yes, sound is nice here. Homework had to be completed and her room orderly before I got home. If homework was completed, she could watch her favorite movies or television show. 

4.  Establish Emergency Procedures – .Make sure your child knows to call 911 if an emergency arrives and has a list of phone numbers for neighbors or relatives who are close by. My neighbor agreed to check on my daughter as well and my daughter knew that she could go next door if needed.  

5.  Give Lots of Hugs and Praise – Let your child know that they’re doing a great job following the rules and how much you appreciate the fact that they’re growing up and helping to contribute to the household by being responsible. Children love praise and they deserve it. 

The experience actually build confidence in my daughter. It also made her understand responsibility and the importance of following directions. Did you raise a latch key child or do you currently have one?  What were some of the rules that you implemented?  They could be of benefit to other parents. 

6 Tips To Save On Travel Food Budgets

travel food budgets

When I’m traveling with my family, setting travel food budgets is imperative.  I look for ways to save on meals, but also ensure we have a great time. My grandchildren like snacks and sandwiches.  But, I’m also feeding adults who need meals that will fill them up.  Eating 3 meals and snacks out for 7 days can be expensive for a family.  I have a grocery store budget and an eat out expense within my travel food budgets. Here’s a few ways that I ensure we stay within the set limits:

1.  Check Out Resorts That Offer Kitchens/Kitchenettes  –  First, I always book accommodations that have a full or partial kitchen. This allows me to cook meals and save on food expense.  Having a kitchen is great, especially when I’m traveling with my grandchildren. It’s difficult to get them up and out for breakfast and sometimes lunch.

2.  Look For Discounts in Travel Guides or Online – Second, I research local restaurants wherever I’m staying. And if I decide that I would like to check out a few of them  I search for a coupon or discount.

3.  Take Advantage of Happy Hour –  So, if you want to eat light check out restaurants that have happy hour.  I have taken advantage of specials on wings, burgers, stuffed mushrooms etc. It’s a great way to have a few adult beverages on the cheap too.

4.  Find The Local Grocery Store  – Next, I purchase snacks, drinks, bottled water and any items that I need for meals.  After checking in, this is the first task on my list. I’m able to purchase drinks and food for the beach, bathroom items, a candle to relax, batteries if needed and anything else on the list. I save a ton of money by taking this step.

5.  Check Out The Resort/Hotel Welcome Package –  Finally, I visit the hotel or resort concierge and ask for information on local activities or restaurants. They normally have a welcome package which contains coupons for local attractions and other valuable information.  Take the coupons into consideration, it will help with your budget.

6.  Look For Resorts/Hotels That Offer Free Activities – Most importantly, I look for resorts or hotels that offer water slides, lazy rivers, or firework displays.  In addition to the beach, I like to have nearby activities for the kids.  I search for coupons for miniature golf, amusement parks, seek out free concerts.  Furthermore, I use the savings for ice cream treats, Sno-cones etc. while we’re out and about.

Finally, don’t wait until a month or two before you arrive at your vacation destination to start saving. You should be saving all year for your vacation. This takes the stress off and any worries that everyone won’t be able to have a good time because of a cash shortage.

Additionally, you may also like 15 Ways You Can Save Money to help with your travel food budgets expense.