Monday, April 20, 2009

Flying with Children

I have had opportunity to fly to several countries throughout the world with my two little ones.

Flying with babies and toddlers can be quite daunting, but here are a few helpful hints that helped make our trips a little easier.

1. Allow your baby to nurse or drink from their bottle during lift off and landing.
A dummy also works to help equalise their ears during the pressure changes.
I even allowed my 5 year old to suck a dummy when we last flew as she suffers with her ears during the flights. It made quite a difference to her take offs and landings.
Chewing gum also works for older children.

2. Pre-arrange children's meals with the airline.
I have found that the adult food can be quite spicy and my children would not be able to eat the meals.

3. Take plenty of healthy snacks for the trip.
Try and stay away from sweets and sugary foods as this can result in irritable children.

4. Take a bag with small toys, colouring books and special surprises for the children when they start becoming a little miserable.

5. Take an empty drinking bottle that you can pour their drinks into, as they are usually offered in those little cups - guaranteed to be poured all over Mama!
Try and get the kids to drink mostly water as flying tends to dehydrate one's body.

6. Take an extra pair of clothing on board, for your children and maybe even for yourself.
Having been thrown up over, I would love to have been able to have changed my clothes.

7. Take lots of wet wipes.
Great for cleaning your kids, yourself, the seats - you get the picture!

8. Take along children's paracetamol or Neuraphen for pain & fever.
On the one trip my daughter started with a high fever, fortunately I had meds for her.
Anything can happen on a plane trip!

9. Pray, and get all your friends to pray for you and your children :-)
Pray that God will keep you calm and happy, and that He will keep your children calm and happy.

Hope this helps, above all else try and enjoy the trip. Children pick up on our stress, if we are happy, our children tend to be happy as well!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Dairy Free Rusks

If you suffer from Dairy Allergies like my family does, you can sometimes get a little frustrated with the lack of suitable recipes avaibable. I have adapted my recipes to cater for my family and I will be sharing some of my favourites in the coming weeks.

(If you do not know what a rusk is, find a South African and ask them to explain to you.)
1,5kg selfraising flour
5ml baking powder
100ml Pronutro (optional)
100ml raw oats
350ml sugar
1/2 cup crushed pecan nuts
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 eggs
500g dairy free margerine - melted
500ml soy vanilla yoghurt
5ml vanilla extract
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
Mix the rest of the ingredients in a seperate bowl.
Now mix all the ingredients together in the large bowl.
*Hands are definitely needed for this exercise*
Roll portions into balls and then flatten out slightly.

Pack into 3 rows of balls in 3 greased bread tins.
Bake for 30-45 minutes in 180 deg C oven until cooked.
Allow to cool and then break apart and dry overnight in a 70 - 100 deg C oven.
Once completely dried and cooled, store in an airtight container.
Make yourself a good cup of coffee, dunk and enjoy!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z
My daughter has been enjoying learning to read and playing all sorts of alphabet games.
Yesterday we were waiting for a friend and she came up with the Bible Alphabet Game.
You start at A going through to Z, coming up with a Biblical word or character for each letter.
This was such a fun way of learning her letters and at the same time a bit if theology thrown in on the side.

More Important

"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves"
This verse has been one of the most helpful 'mommy verses' in my parenting.
I remember reciting this verse to myself at 3.oo in the morning, when my new born would not go back to sleep.
There have been many times since when I have had to remind myself that my children, and my training of them, is more important than myself, my hobbies - even my sleep!
God has been so gracious to allow any irritation with my children to disappear when this verse was brought to mind.
And now phase 2 is to teach this verse to my children.
In applying this verse to their lives, they could be potentially saved from any anger and fighting that always comes from putting ourselves first.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Making every moment a 'God Moment'

To take an everyday occurance and bring God, His power, His glory, His provision into the situation and thereby teach our children the attributes of God.

I must admit that the first time I was introduced to this concept I failed miserably at it. I was a young wife with no children as yet, but I had friendships with many of the young girls at our church.

That evening one of the girls came to chat to me, I asked her how school was and what she had learned that week. She told me that they had been learning about space and all the planets. My reply was, 'that's nice'. There was no 'is it not amazing how God was able to create something so big and awesome?', or 'we should thank God that the Heaven's declare His Glory every evening when we see those stars'...just a 'that's nice'.

As the little girl walked off I was immediately convicted in my heart that I had not applied the lesson I had learnt that morning. I told myself that I would have to make a more concious effort in looking for, and exclaiming those moments. I would love to say that ever since I have made every moment a 'God moment', but that would be telling a huge fib.

Now that I have my own children, it is a lot easier to have those moments. Children are great at finding the beauty in God's creation, the big or the small things that we adults often miss due to familiarity. A beautiful sunset, a flock of noisy birds, even a shady parking on a sunny day.

Let's eagerly search out those moments when we can exclaim God's glory to our children. Not only will it encourage them, but it will encourage our hearts at the same time.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

More Than Gold

Psalm 19:9-11 (NASB)
"The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward."

What a wonderful Easter weekend, a blessed time to be reminded of our Saviours' great love for us.
The love that took Him to the cross where he lay down His life for us.
The place where He Who knew no sin, became sin on our behalf, that we might gain His righteousness.

What a wonderful time to spend together as a family,
pondering the truths of Christ's sacrifice.
What fun the children had in hunting for the golden eggs hidden among the plants.
Their faces full of delight as they found each hidden treasure.

May they learn, as the grow, to delight in God's law,
to treasure His words more than any worldly treasure in their lives.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sweet Words

Pleasant words are a honeycomb,
Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

A gentle answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.
Oh, how I wish that I could submit my heart, my mouth, my words, to these verses when dealing with my children.

In general, God is gracious to remind me to speak to my children with gentleness, but there are those times when my sharp tongue makes our home not such a 'honeycomb' place to be.

This usually happens when I am in a hurry to get something done or to get somewhere. In the back of my sinful mind I convince myself that talking harshly to my children will get them to bend more quickly to my will and instruction.

However, this usually has the opposite effect and I end up with children in tears and an overall 'sour' atmosphere in the home.

I am reminded of the wise teaching that I was taught years ago, being a good mother takes
TIME. Sometimes other things, other people, can wait, if it means that we take the TIME necessary to train our children to obey when called or given instruction.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9
"Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!
"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
"These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.
"You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
"You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.
"You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."

If we are to obey the instruction given us as parents, we are to take the TIME we need to invest in raising our children in the Lord.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Listen to your children.

Is it not amazing how little sympathy we have for someone unless we have experienced the same pain, struggle or trial.

My family has been struck with Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease the past few days - and let me tell you it is no fun. My daughter started with a sore throat, and what she said was a sore mouth, a couple of days ago. She complained when she had to eat or even when she had to drink. Other than that she was quite cheerful, so I put it down to her being a little dramatic - which she can be at times! It was only until I had the exact same ulcerous sores in my mouth that I then understood the pain my daughter was experiencing.

I felt quite convicted in the lack of sympathy that I gave my suffering little girl.

I watched with interest a TV program last night where a male doctor underwent a 'simulated labour'. He was attached to electrodes that would contract his muscles in a similar fashion as contractions would in labour. He experienced the pain and suffering - to a shorter degree - that most women have to endure to give birth. He did not manage to last the many hours of an average labour, as the pain was too much for him to bear. Afterwards he apologised to his wife - and all women - that he had previously assumed he understood what they went through.

I cannot help but think of our Saviour and the following verse:
Hebrews 4:15
"For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin."
It is truly wonderful that Christ suffered all temptation, we are not alone in our suffering - whatever it may be - Jesus can sympathise, comfort and guide us, no matter how hard our trial!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Little Fellow - Anon

A careful mom I ought to be,
A little fellow follows me.
I do not dare to go astray,
For fear he'll go the selfsame way.

Not once can I escape his eyes;
Whatever he sees me do he tries.
Like me he says he's going to be,
That little chap who follows me...

I must remember as I go
Through summer sun and winter snow,
I'm moulding for the years to be -
That little chap who follows me.

I just love this little poem. It speaks volumes on the fact that our children see and then imitate all we do. Let us make it our prayer that our Lord will mould and shape us, make us worthy parents of the 'little fellows,' (boys & girls :-)), who will follow in our actions and attitudes.

Philippians 1:6 "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus"

Monday, April 6, 2009

'love your children'

J.C. Ryle described the tender love we need to have for our children as “a willingness to enter into childish troubles, a readiness to take part in childish joys--these are the cords by which a child may be led most easily—these are the clues you must follow if you would find the way to their heart.”

Kids are the cutest...

My 2 1/2 year old son was asking, rather impatiently, for a snack. I proceeded to instruct him in how to ask in a more respectful manner. After he asked more politely for his snack, I reminded him that he needs to remember his manners, to which he replied, 'yes, manners.' I then asked him if he had any manners, he replied with a firm 'yes', when asked where those manners were, he confidently told me they were in his pocket! :-)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Skip the Dairy

Allergy Prevention Tip

The best advice I was given in regard to allergy prevention in babies, is to breastfeed for as long as possible. At the same time try and avoid dairy in your own diet. I gave up dairy for about a year with both my children. This sounds harder than it is, once you educate yourself on the many substitutes available - life carries on pretty much as normal. The second great bonus is that it helps to shed those extra preggie kilos, because just about everything fattening contains dairy!

I know that not all moms are able to breastfeed, this is fine as there are many non-dairy formulas on the market that you can give your baby. Just keep dairy out of your baby's diet once they start solids. It would be best to consult your clinic sister as to which formula best suits your baby.

Dairy substitutes:
Rice milk
Oat milk
Soy milk
Almond milk
Goats milk
**most of these come in powder or liquid form**
My favourite at the moment is oat milk, but I tend to go for a soy cappuccino when out for a coffee :-)
There are soy and goats milk yoghurts available at most shops nowadays aswell.

Most dark chocolates do not contain dairy, but you have to read the ingredients on the label to confirm. It is best to read the labels on all the processed foods you buy, so many products contain dairy, from crackers to gravy powders, even salami!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Titus 2:3-5

Baby Begins Solid Food

I was given this baby diet by my very wonderful clinic sister in Pretoria, South Africa.
I used it for both my children as I have so many allergies and I wanted to do everything in my power to prevent allergies in my babies. It is quite hard to follow between 9-12 months as everyone just wants to feed your children biscuits/cookies and for some strange reason, ice-cream, but it is very worth the effort. Both my children are overall very healthy, neither of them have had a course of antibiotics up to now (aged 6 & 2 1/2), they both have their tonsils and if they do get sick they generally recover quite quickly. I must add that I keep them off dairy as much as possible as they inherited that allergy from mama.

Baby Begins Solid Food

"The intestine of the infant during the first 6 months of his life is very porous. This means that foreign proteins in allergy producing foods are easily absorbed from the intestine into the blood. This allows the early process of allergies to begin.
Ideally, depending on your baby's weight, no solids should be introduced during the first 6 months of life. Baby should be weighed regularly at your clinic. After 6 months of age, the step-wise and gradual introduction of relatively non-allergenic solid foods is allowed. Whatever else, your baby should not be allowed to starve."
Dr Matt Haus: Understanding Allergy Prevention

List of potential allergy-producing foods:
Vegetables: Tomato, carrots, potato, garlic, onion, peas
Fruit: Oranges, strawberries, apples, bananas
Nuts: Peanuts, hazelnuts, Brazil-nuts
Cereal: Wheat, Rye, Barley, Oats, Maize/corn, Rice buckwheat
Meat: Beef
Dairy: All dairy
Egg: Eggwhite
Sundry: Sesame seeds, soybean, yeast, coconut, white bean
Fish: Crab, shrimp, blue mussels, tuna, salmon

Try to prevent introducing the above foods until the child is a year old…especially dairy and wheat. In other words - avoid the above foods until the child is 1.

Introduction of solid foods:
General rules:
- Snacks can spoil your baby's appetite for important antibody building foods and can make your child overweight.
- Start with a small amount, 1 tsp (teaspoon) at a time and build up gradually.
- Only one new food a week to determine if there is an allergic reaction.
- No added salt, sugar or fat.
- Read labels - no preservatives or colourants.
- Give your baby milk before the solid feed until 9 months.
- Introduce PROTEIN after 9 months. Too high a concentration of protein can place strain on the baby's kidneys.
- Grains are difficult to digest.
- No fried foods, butter or chocolate.
- Start with very pureed food, gradually increasing the coarseness of the food.

6-8 Months:
Week ........10:00.....................14:00....................18:00
1 ................1 tsp sweet potato
2 ................1 tsp pear..............1 tsp sweet potato
3.................1 tsp butternut.....1 tsp pear..............1 tsp sweet potato
4.................2 tsp butternut.....2 tsp pear.............2 tsp sweet potato
5.................3 tsp pawpaw........3 tsp butternut....3 tsp sweet potato
6.................4 tsp pumpkin.......4 tsp pawpaw......4 tsp butternut
7 If there were no allergic reactions or sign of poor digestion, the appetite can lead.

New foods to try:
Papaya, avo, different pumpkins, peaches, mango, prunes.

8-9 months:
Broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, **spinach (fresh - no frozen)**

After 9 months:
Coarser foods and different textures, baby must try finger foods. Introduction of protein.
Lamb, chicken, yellow of egg, rice cakes.

After 10 months:Maize, oats.

Baby Food Tip #1
Steam or bake a big batch of veggies and once cooled and pureed, freeze portions in ice trays.
Once frozen, pop out into freezer bags or tupperware - ready to heat and serve!

Baby Food Tip #2
Once they were eating a variety of veggies, I would slow roast the veggies in the oven with a little olive oil, this process really brings out the sweet flavour of the veggies, and my kids loved them alot more than the steamed or boiled veggies.