Friday, December 19, 2014

English Toffee

This time of year I love to make gifts to take to friends and loved ones. This candy is fast and easy to make. AND everyone thinks you're a great cook because it tastes so good. (Butter and sugar always melts in your mouth.)



2 cubes butter which is half a pound (must be AA grade. Lesser grades of butter have water in them and the candy will separate.)
1 cup sugar
5 T. water
1 t. vanilla
Chocolate – use good quality, your favorite
Nuts – any kind you wish.

Put the butter, sugar and water in a frying pan and turn the heat up high. Don’t turn it down. Stir the whole time. It takes about 10 – 15 minutes to make. Cook it until the color turns caramel.


You can see little puffs of smoke coming from the caramel-colored bubbles. Take it off the heat and add the vanilla.
Pour the candy over the sliced almonds or chopped walnuts. I have a marble slab that I pour the candy on, but you can use a cookie sheet set on a bread board. The candy gets so hot, I wouldn’t put the cookie sheet directly on Formica. It might burn through. If you want the candy covered with chocolate, sprinkle pieces on top while it’s hot and let it melt. Spread it out.

Cool, break it into pieces and enjoy. Plan on making several batches. My kids can eat it faster than I can make it.

Happy Holidays! Enjoy!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Holiday Granola



Holiday Granola that blesses our lives all year long.

My husband loves granola, so I've experimented over the years, and this is what we've come up with that we both love. It started as a holiday treat to give family and friends, but we've extended it to last all year long.
It's quick and easy to make!

Bob and Christy's Holiday Granola
12 cups old fashioned oats (use good quality ones)
1 cup wheat germ
2 cups sun flower seeds
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Add nuts, chopped or whole, as you wish.
I include almonds, cashews, peanuts, walnuts - all unsalted and coarsely chopped

Bake on a cookie sheet at 275 degrees for 15 minutes, stir and bake another 15 minutes.
Add dried fruit you wish.
I add 16 oz raisins and 1 cup of dried pear bits (from the tree in our back yard)

Enjoy!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Book Winner Announced

Congratulations to Kristina, winner of Family Talk.

Thanks to all of you who entered the contest. I am grateful that you visit my blog. Have a great holiday.


Hugs all around! Christy

Friday, November 14, 2014

Book Giveaway Gratitude Hop



Thanks to all those of you who have followed my blog this past year. I appreciate having you for readers and count many of you who keep in touch as dear friends.

All of us have times when it's hard to be positive and upbeat. Dark moments happen in all our lives. Whenever I'm feeling 'less than' or 'down' I write in my gratitude journal. As soon as I begin I am filled with an overwhelming sense of love for God, family, friends, and surroundings.

I am grateful for you as readers, and would like to give my latest book as an appreciation gift for your support.


Praise for Family Talk
The Family Council Guidebook is a vital and necessary addition to every home. In this day and age when emails, chat rooms, and staring at computer screens are rapidly replacing real-time human interaction, what better corrective could there be than a guidebook to how to talk with one another in meaningful, productive and healing ways. Christy Monson knows what she is talking about. It is a great blessing that she is sharing it with all of us.
—Ben Bernstein, PhD, Author of Test Success! and A Teen's Guide to Success

This is a great holiday gift for all the families on your list. It's a lasting present that will help children reach their greatest potential—the gift of a lifetime.


Enter the contest by following this blog your favorite way:
Connections Blog 

Gratitude Hop

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Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. Melody Beattie
 
Buy Family Talk

Buy on Amazon
Buy at Familius
Familius 
Buy the book on my website
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Monday, November 10, 2014

New Challenges for Kids




Children come in all shapes and sizes, and with different types of personalities. When confronted with a problem, some kids are up for the opportunity to find a solution. Others hang back, afraid to look for an answer, fearing they will be wrong. What type of children do you find in your family? Maybe some of both.

So how do you foster the growth of the solution-oriented child?
How do you help him:
·         Define a problem?
·         Brain storm solutions?
·         Decide the best action to take?
·         Follow through with the plan?



What do you do with the child that just complains and wants you to fix the problem?
How do you help him:
·         Look at his dilemma in a positive way?
·         See that there are several solutions to his problem that could work?
·         Find fulfillment in working out his difficulty?
·         Feel good about himself as he finds resolution?

The answer to these questions and many others can be found in my new book, Family Talk, How to Organize Family Meetings to Solve Problems and Strengthen Relationships.

Praise for Family Talk
The Family Council Guidebook is a vital and necessary addition to every home. In this day and age when emails, chat rooms, and staring at computer screens are rapidly replacing real-time human interaction, what better corrective could there be than a guidebook to how to talk with one another in meaningful, productive and healing ways. Christy Monson knows what she is talking about. It is a great blessing that she is sharing it with all of us.
—Ben Bernstein, PhD, Author of Test Success! and A Teen's Guide to Success



This is a great holiday gift for all the families on your list. It's a lasting present that will help children reach their greatest potential—the gift of a lifetime.

Buy on Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Family-Talk-Organize-Strengthen-Relationships/dp/193830179X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412041743&sr=1-1&keywords=Family+Talk+How+to+organize+family+meetings+to+Solve+Problems
Buy at Familius
http://www.familius.com/family-talk
Buy the book on my website
http://www.christymonson.com/familytalk.htm


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Review of Christmas in Snow Valley




Christmas in Snow Valley is only $.99 until November 8th.


Snow Valley, Montana, is a small community with the tradition of doing Christmas big. Festivities begin with tree lighting in the town square the day after Thanksgiving and continue until the culminating romantic Christmas Ball. From the Polar Express to a Winter Carnival, there’s something for every wonder-filled  child—and every couple who’s in love—or about to be.

An Unexpected Kiss by Cindy Roland Anderson
Lucy Phillips doesn’t want to spend her Christmas vacation dodging her ex-boyfriend, so when he turns up at the airport to give her a ride home, Lucy panics and asks a complete stranger to kiss her. Although the kiss is incredible, Lucy never expects to see the guy again. Is it bad luck or destiny when Lucy comes down with a sore throat and the new doctor in Snow Valley is none other than the guy she kissed at the airport?

Feels Like Love by Jeanette Lewis
Christmas in Snow Valley is the perfect way for April Winston to introduce her city slicker fiancĂ©, Scott Mecham, to life on a farm. If only Wade Hadley, hometown boy and high school sweetheart, will cooperate! But Wade has no intention of letting April go without a fight. This Christmas, Wade is determined to overcome their painful past and show April that she already has what she’s been seeking all along.

Full Court Devotion by Cami Checketts
Kazlyn is too busy with her schooling and future plans to enjoy life, let alone fall in love with a man who has heartbreak written all over him. Tyrese Hamilton, a college basketball star and major heartthrob, is intrigued when Kazlyn doesn't pursue him or even seem interested. Ty's career is in jeopardy, and he needs a miracle and Kazlyn to save him.

The Christmas Eve Kiss by Taylor Hart
When Molly O’Hare gets a prediction that she will kiss her true love on Christmas Eve, she thinks it’s utterly ridiculous. But when she gets teamed up with Kevin Snow, aka her ex-boyfriend, to decorate a Christmas tree, things start to change. Too bad getting over the past is hard and seeing him kiss another girl is even harder. Now Molly is left with a choice—run away from home and heartbreak or let Christmas work out a miracle all of its own.

Risking it all for Love by Award-Winning author, Kimberley Montpetit
Ever since her high school boyfriend's death from a car accident three years earlier, Jessica Mason and her hometown of Snow Valley, Montana with all its awful memories have NOT been compatible. Running away to New Orleans on a ballet scholarship, Jessica cringes when she thinks about confronting Pastor John and the community church--she doesn't want to talk about God, not after He took Michael, the boy she was going to marry ever since third grade.
In the local scene of funky New Orleans, Jessica seeks out Madame LaBlanc, hoping Michael will absolve her of her guilt the night of the car accident in a seance, but the spirit world is silent and she fears the grief will drown her.
Finally succumbing to family pressure, Jessica reluctantly returns for Christmas - and the little town of Snow Valley does Christmas BIG. When she visits Michael’s grave in the church yard, Jessica is shocked to meet handsome James Douglas, Pastor John’s nephew, who’s studying for the ministry. No, she is NOT going to be attracted to someone who wants to be a preacher! Definitely not compatible! But James Douglas is unlike any minister-in-training she's ever met. James can not only dish back Jessica’s finely-tuned sarcasm but understands grief all too well, turning Jessica’s world upside down.
Can Jessica forgive herself for that terrible, fateful night? Can she take another risk on love?

Blue Christmas by Lucy McConnell
As head of Snow Valley hospital's fundraising effort, Paisley Hackett barely has time to organize the craft show, cookie decorating party, and the annual Christmas Ball. What she doesn't have time for is falling in love with Clay Jett, the incredibly handsome bass player who sweeps into town. She's been burned by a tourist romance before and, with everything going on, Paisley will have to work overtime to protect her heart from Clay and his swoon-worthy ballads.

Click here to enter to win a reader's choice of any of the author's books.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Helping Children Appreciate Life




Our children’s lives can become clogged with school, sports, getting the video games they want, and thinking about what kind of entertainment is most important at the moment. How do we teach them the value of life itself—gratitude for the things they already have and the beauty that surrounds them?


Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others. Cicero
  
As we get caught up in the daily hustle and bustle of life, we sometimes forget to take our time and enjoy the beauty of the moments around us. Appreciation can’t be hurried. It must be savored—slow down and let gratitude into your life.

Young children are naturally curious. They will stop to watch a ladybug crawl across a leaf or giggle as they chase a grasshopper through the grass. Kneel down with them and explore their world.


Have a “Appreciation of Nature Day”
1.                  Take a nature walk in your area.
2.                  Make a leaf sculpture—include pinecones, acorns or the like.
3.                  Dry some wild flowers and laminate them into bookmarks.
4.                  Identify the birds and butterflies in your area. Draw and color them and put them in a scrapbook.

Kids love doing things with their friends. Discuss with them the things that make their friends special. Help them understand how friends make life better.


Have a “Appreciation of Friends Day
1.                  Throw an appreciation party and share something special about each of your friends.
2.                  Tuck a thank you note in a friend’s backpack.
3.                  Compliment each of your friends during the day.
4.                  Invite your friends to a sleep over.

Sometimes we don’t appreciate those we live with and love. Take time with the whole family to talk about everyone’s good qualities. Examine the ways our relationships make us better people.  


Have a “Appreciation of Family Day”
1.                  Draw names for a Secret Family Pal. Do something special for that person.
2.                  Make your mom a special ‘I Love You’ card.
3.                  Play ball with your dad.
4.                  Read your little sister a book.

Look for the good in the people around you and the beauty in your surroundings. It will improve your quality of life and enhance your children’s view of their world.

Read more about this subject in Family Talk by Christy Monson