The Simple Life
By Sheryl Simons
One of the hardest things for parents is picking out Christmas
presents for their kids. Once they start getting past babyhood,
they start having their own ideas, don't they? Some kids are very
obviously more opinionated than others. My little granddaughter
Aubriannah, just 11 months old, is already very opinionated. When
she wants her mom, she wants her mom, and no substitute will do.
She knows just how to tell us what she wants and she gets it. She
starts looking around and you know she is looking for something. If
she can see her mom, she starts leaning in that direction. And then
she starts to pucker up that cute little face of hers. She's so
cute when she's unhappy, you just have to laugh, but she lets you
know that there is no dissuading her. She has her mind made up.
When it's already been a long day, she's not taking any guff. As
soon as she's back in her mom's loving arms, she's happy. Before
long, she's fallen asleep. She knew exactly what she wanted and as
soon as she got it, she was content.
She's a lucky baby. She is surrounded by people who love
her and want to meet her needs. Any one of us would move mountains
to meet her needs- and at this age, they are mostly needs. Feed me,
love me, clean me up, and do it all over again, many times a day.
At her age she doesn't know that any lap in the room is attached to
a heart that loves her.
I've heard that the first "Law of Parenthood" states that nobody
really wants your job, but everybody thinks they can do it better.
Everyone's heard the old joke, "Before I got married I
had three theories on raising children. Now I have three children
and no theories!"
"Quote Magazine" (September 1, 1985) published ten behaviors
children ages 8 to 14 identified as qualities they wanted in
parents. These young people, from 24 countries, agreed on ten traits
they believed were important for all parents to possess. They are
pretty simple. Here they are:
1. They want harmony. They do not want their parents to have
unresolved and destructive conflict in front of them.
2. They want love. They wish to be treated with the same affection
as other children in the family.
3. They want honesty. And to be told the truth.
4. They want acceptance. They desire mutual tolerance from both
5. They want their parents to like their friends. They want their
friends to be welcomed in the home.
6. They want closeness. They desire comradeship with their parents.
7. They want their parents to pay attention to them and answer their
8. They want consideration from their parents. They do not want to
be embarrassed or punished in front of friends.
9. They want positive support. They wish for their parents to
concentrate on their good points rather than their weaknesses.
10. They want consistency. They desire parents to be constant in
their affections and moods.
These children want what all of us want - respect,
consideration and love. In fact, these work well with "kids" of all
ages! The best thing we can do in the new year is to meet the
simple needs of our kids by making it a priority. Any time you find
yourself about to say something negative, turn it around to a
positive and watch it take effect. It happens by simply paying
* * *
"You can't deny laughter; when it comes, it plops down in your
favorite chair and stays as long as it wants." --Stephen King
* * *
Make a list of what you want to accomplish in the new year, and do
one thing a day. Make no compromises when it comes to your goals.
* * *
So Simple Baked Potato Soup
4 large baking potatoes
2/3 cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup flour
6 c milk
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
4 green onions, chopped
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)
1 1/4 cups (5 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese
1- 8 oz. carton sour cream
1 heaping Tbsp. chicken base
Wash potatoes and prick several times with a fork. Bake in a
preheated 400 degree oven for 1 hour or until done. (I cook in
microwave) Let cool. (The best way to do this is bake extras earlier
in the week!) Cut potatoes into half inch cubes, leaving the skin
on. Melt butter in heavy saucepan over low heat. Add flour, stirring
until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add
milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is
thick and bubbly. Add potato cubes, salt, pepper, green onions,
crumbled bacon, cheese and chicken base. Cook until thoroughly
heated. Stir in sour cream. Add extra milk if necessary, for desired
thickness. Garnish with additional bacon and cheese if desired.
Makes 10 cups
You will love this. Serve with a small green salad and some bread to
dip in. Thickens up as it cools.
Keeping it simple,
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