Video Game Family

Interest-in-the-Wii-U-Surges-After-Nintendo-s-E3-Presentation-Report-451910-2Having a child one day is something that my husband and I are looking forward to. As I look around our home you can definitely tell we are going to be a geek family. We enjoy playing games on a PC, our phones, a tablet, a PS2, a PS3, an Xbox 360, and a Wii. Our kids will have no choice but to be geeks with us. All humor aside though, I was thinking, how much video game time will I allow my child to have and what games will I allow them to play? [Editor’s note: How much time will you allow your husband to spend coaching his electronic football squads, refighting historic strategic campaigns, or leading tactical squads against future alien threats?] – Note the Editor is my husband. :)

I love playing video games and to be honest, I’m not going to give that up. Playing video games relaxes my spouse and me. It is our hobby. I know our child is going to see us playing and will want to play too, so I can’t say, “No,” to that. But, I want to encourage outside play time, too. I also want them to be up and about rather than glued to the TV for hours. Yet, I know that they still need exposure to technology.

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My husband and I have decided to develop some rules concerning video games. First, we both agree that there will be no video game consoles in their bedrooms. It’s too much of a temptation for them. The reality is that once you start playing a game it is hard to stop. It’s even harder when you can’t sleep. It’s hard enough for adults to stop playing a video game when they know they need to go to bed, let alone a child. Also, by keeping the video games in one central place in the home, rather than one in each bedroom, it will give us the ability to monitor their time with the games. When we say, “It’s bedtime,” that means bedtime, not playing video games in bed.

We honestly haven’t figured out a time limit for video games. That is something we will have to research more, but for sure, chores, homework, and reading time will have to come first. If it’s a nice sunny day outside, you bet I’ll kick my child out of the house to play!  I also want them to develop tactile perception skills even when they’re young, meaning they learn at an early age what different objects feel like and what to do in social play settings. These are skills that video games cannot teach. When they are young and need development in these skills, video games will be a low priority for them.

Small_Mario_NSMBUThe question of what games will we allow is a question that I have to admit we are still working on. One day while shopping at Game Stop I noticed that Nintendo by far has the most games for children. After taking a look I found that there are many of Nintendo’s games that I would allow my young child to play. Compared to the Xbox and Playstation which are aimed towards older teens and adults, Nintendo seems to be aimed for young children and families.

Though I in no way want to get sucked into buying the expensive figurines for the Disney’s Infinity, we will follow the age guidelines found on all games. For Nintendo, I am impressed with Reader Rabbit For Preschoolers, Learning with the PooYoos, and the ever popular, Dora the Explorer games. Not to mention that Mario is still a family friendly game and all the Lego video games.

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There is nothing wrong with playing video games; your brain cells aren’t going to melt. In fact, the best of video gaming teaches patience, creative problem solving, and resource management. The key is to keep all things, including gaming, in moderation. As parents we need to monitor what our children are playing and how much time they are playing video games. Lay down some rules and use some common sense. By doing so, you can still enjoy some family video game time together and trust that your kids are building brain cells when they game alone!

Written By: Little Kristy

Stuffed Green Peppers

A few months ago I asked you on the One Sassy Homemaker Facebook page what I should cook with ground beef and you guys made some excellent suggestions! I went with Diane Ward’s suggestion, of stuffed peppers. Although I downloaded a basic recipe from the internet, I ended up creating my own recipe.

You Need:

Green Peppers – Eight Large Peppers

Diced Tomatoes – 1-28oz Can

Ground Beef – 1 Pound

Onion Diced – 1 Large Onion

Package of Knorr Fiesta Sides Mexican Rice

Tomato Sauce – 1 – 28oz Can

Pace Picante Salsa – 1 Cup

Cheddar Cheese – As Much As You Want

Here’s What You Do:

Preheat your oven to 350.

Using a large skillet, cook the beef until brown; drain fat. Place ground beef back into skillet and add the diced onions.  Sauté the onions and beef together for a few minutes. Add the entire can of diced tomatoes, juice and all! While the beef mixture is coming to a bubble, follow the instructions for the Mexican rice. Once it’s cooked, add the rice to your beef mixture. When the beef mixture is bubbly, lower the heat and let it simmer.

Cut the tops off the green peppers and place them in a large pot of boiling water. Remove peppers after five minutes, this allows them to become tender. Sprinkle salt into each pepper and place in a baking dish. Fill each pepper with beef mixture and add cheese to the top.

In a separate bowl, mix in your tomato sauce and salsa.  Pour mixture over stuffed peppers. Just for the heck of it, add a ton of cheese on top. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil. Let this dish of delicious goodness bake for 25 minutes or until mixture is bubbly and the cheese has melted.

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© 2014 Little Kristy

Forgive the photo quality, but this recipe creates a nice and simple Mexican dish that will use up the ground beef you have in the freezer. For myself, I only used four peppers which meant I had a lot of the beef mixture left over. I was able to use the leftover beef mixture for burritos. I created two meals with only one recipe! That to me is a recipe worth trying again!

Written By: Little Kristy

All I Can Do Is Pray

img-thingSometimes, I wonder how empty does, “I’m praying for you sound,”? When you tell someone that is going through a hard time, “I’m praying for you,” it just seems too easy to say. Currently, my family is going through a bit of a struggle and I wish that I could physically be there with them. However, due to distance, I can’t.  Yet, it seems all I can do is to tell them, “I’m praying for you.” It just doesn’t seem like enough.

When you read the Bible you find time and time again verses discussing prayer and the power of prayer.  Philippians 4:6 tells us that we are to always be praying and make requests to God, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

Another verse tells us that God hears all our prayers. Psalms 66:20 “Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.”

Why is it than that I feel that saying, “I’m praying for you,” isn’t enough? Well, it’s because I love my family so much that I hate to see anyone of them suffer. I want their pain to go away in an instant and I want to wave a magic wand and make everything right again. However, we know that pray doesn’t work that way. If it did, all the glory would then be on us and not on God.

What my family is going through, I believe, is God is working in their lives. He is preparing them for something that only God knows right now. God knows my heart when I tell my family I’m praying for them. He will answer my prayers, but maybe not as fast I think they should be answered. He will answer according to His perfect timing.

Matthew 7:11 “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

True, I do believe sometimes we throw that phrase, “I’m praying for you,” around a lot. I have been guilty of saying that to someone and then forgetting entirely to pray for them. True, sometimes when we become uncomfortable we say we will pray for someone just to feel better about ourselves. What we need to do is to be more aware of how powerful prayer is.

Prayer is powerful. When we prayer we are talking to God; we are talking to our Creator! It is good to offer prayer to someone going through a hard time and sometimes that is all we can do. Just make sure that your heart is true when you say that and make sure you follow through. When God’s people pray, God hears those prayers. He knows your heart and your intentions. Our hearts need to pray in truth.

Psalm 145:18 “The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”

Pray for those who are suffering around you. God may use you to help them in some way, but He will always listen to your prayers and will always answer prayers.  Telling someone you will pray for them is powerful. It is what God commands us to do. If all it seems you can do is pray, then pray with a pure a fervent heart and trust in the Lord, that He will help the person you for whom you’re praying.

Written By: Little Kristy

Fall Mason Jars

Celebrate Fall with a craft project! For an easy and adorable Fall decoration check out my new Fall Mason Jars I created.

Materials:

Paint: Use any Fall like colors you love. I used Folk Art Multi-Surface Paint in acrylic from Wal-Mart. I choose Vivid Orange, Royal Gold, and Daffodil Yellow.

Wraphia Ribbon

Foam Brushes

Hot Glue Gun

Dollar Store Plastic Flowers

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Written By: Little Kristy

 

 

Creating Your Own Home Notebook

Call me strange, but I love planners, notebooks, sticky notes, and calendars. I know, in today’s world everyone uses their iPhone, but for me, writing stuff down on paper helps me to remember it (well, sometimes). The key is to remember to write what I need to remember down in the first place. Anyway, I want to share with you my Home Notebook, a fancy title I know, but it contains all the information that helps run my family and will continue to do so as our family grows. I’m going to give you just a few suggestions on how to create your own Home Notebook.

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© 2014 Little Kristy

Materials:

Three Ring Binder

Dividers

Plastic Report Sleeves

Plastic Trading Card Sleeves

As you can see not much is needed to start your own notebook and you can add as much or as little to your notebook as you want. Just remember, this notebook needs to be functional for your family.

The first thing I would suggest for any Home Notebook to contain is a list of important phone numbers, emergency numbers, and addresses. Keeping them in a notebook will allow your family to have easy access to them.

The second thing I feel is important to have in your Home Notebook is a list or a sleeve of business cards with information on business that you may need to call again. I recommend using the plastic card sleeves normally used for trading cards. It’s just a simple way to keep all those business cards in once place. Only keep the cards of companies you would use again. As a military family we will probably end up moving, so I can give those old business cards to another military family just moving into the area. They may find the information helpful.

Thirdly, have a budget handy in your Home Notebook. It can be as detailed or as simple as you want. It’s a great way to remind yourself when bills are due, how much you have to spend on groceries, or eating out. You may also want to keep track of your children’s allowance there along with a list of their chores.

Lastly, create a list of what you purchase from the store on a regular basis. You never know when an emergency might hit and you are unable to go grocery shopping. This helpful list of foods and products you buy on a regular basis may help that husband or parent who has volunteered to run your household while you’re ill. They will know that you always purchase whole milk or wheat bread.  It just eliminates a step and may help things to run smoothly. You may also want to list the price along with the item, just a little reminder to you on how much each item cost.

Below are the items that I have handy in my Home Notebook. The great thing about using the plastic sleeves is it protects all the information and it makes it a breeze to remove a page when updating the notebook. Also, make sure to let your family know where the notebook is located. I keep mine in a safe place. I would not recommend placing social security numbers or other such personal and important documents in it. It would be too easy for someone to swipe the notebook.

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© 2014 Little Kristy

For my own personal Home Notebook I added the following:

A list of family birthdays & anniversaries.

A sleeve full of coupons.

A place to keep information on fun activities in our area.

Sleeves containing recipes I want to try that I found in magazines.

A sleeve with gift cards we haven’t used yet.

Sleeves containing household tips I found in magazines.

A sleeve containing local restaurant menus and coupons.

What You May Want To Add:

Information for people watching your pets: how much to feed them, where is their medication, phone number for the vet.

Information for people watching your children: allergies, bedtimes, nap times, TV shows allowed, doctor’s phone number.

Information on the various clothes sizes for each of your family members.

Your personal cleaning schedule and list.

Creating a Home Notebook will help you run your household smoothly and will help keep it organized. Use these suggestions to create a Home Notebook that works for you! Just remember to keep it updated!

Written By: Little Kristy