ad: Teaching Children Generosity and Compassion, a Hunger Heroes Project with my Grandkids

On July 25, 2014, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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Super heroes don’t necessarily need to wear masks, capes, and tights.  Sometimes, small gestures and actions can make you someone’s hero, even though other people may never know about what you’ve done. Others WILL know you by the way you treat the people around you, though.  That’s an important lesson we’ve tried to teach our kids and […]

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My granddaughters with one of the dishes they created for the cookbook, Taco Dip.  |  Busy-at-Home Hunger Heroes #HungerHeroes #shop #cbias #kidscooking #recipe

My granddaughters with one of the dishes they created, Taco Dip, for their very first cookbook. It’s a great appetizer, but because of the great balance of nutritious ingredients, can also be a simple, delicious meal. It was simple for them to put together on their own, after Grandma cut the tomatoes and onions.

Super heroes don’t necessarily need to wear masks, capes, and tights.  Sometimes, small gestures and actions can make you someone’s hero, even though other people may never know about what you’ve done. Others WILL know you by the way you treat the people around you, though.  That’s an important lesson we’ve tried to teach our kids and I was so excited to help my granddaughters learn a little something about it, while being Hunger Heroes, this weekend.

Damage and destruction have been common sights, in southeast Nebraska, the last several weeks. Tornadoes and flooding have left whole communities of Nebraskans without homes or even a town.  Farms have been leveled and businesses destroyed. Rebuilding will take a LOT of time and money. At times like these, local food pantries can be overwhelmed with more need than they can fill, so I want to encourage you to give some thought to how you might be able to lessen that burden, fight hunger and help serve those in need in your own hometown, with even a small donation of necessities.

tornado in Nebraska

Some of the devastation a tornado leaves in its wake is hard to comprehend. This picture is a small example of how much loss has been experienced. Photo Credit: Reed Timmer: Meteorologist and Extreme Storm Chaser ( http://www.facebook.com/ReedTimmerTVN?fref=photo )

 

It has always been particularly important to me, to instill the values of compassion and generosity in my children. Even though we may not have a lot by the world’s standards, we ALWAYS have something we can share.  The words of Matthew 25: 35-40 are powerful in their instruction and I wanted our kids to understand, even at an early age, the importance of their meaning. I believe, it’s “the point of us” – why we’re here. To love people the way Christ loves us, and by doing so, to help others see Him more clearly.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Recognizing the needs of others and having a sincere desire to help alleviate that need are signs of open and loving hearts in young children and skills that are developed over time, by practice, and by following the example of  the adults who love them. It’s so important to model those behaviors and work together with our kids to help them develop those character qualities. I am truly blessed to be able to watch our oldest daughter and son-in-law work to develop giving hearts in our grandchildren and to get in on some of that “training”, myself.

Shopping at Sam's Club for #HungerHeroes, Tyson Chicken Nuggets, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Capri Sun Juice | Busy-at-Home Hunger Heroes #HungerHeroes #shop #cbias #kidscooking #recipe

I always love shopping at Sam’s Club for the best values on our family’s favorite name brand products. The clean, wide aisles and clearly marked signage make it easy to find exactly what I’m shopping for. My experience was exactly that, when I picked up Tyson Chicken Nuggets, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Capri Sun Juice drinks, this past week.  Great prices makes it easy to grab plenty to share.

The legacy of memories and skills that is passed from generation to generation, in the kitchen, is something about which I am extraordinarily passionate. Spending time with my kids and grandkids baking, cooking and preparing family recipes creates unforgettable moments of laughter, learning and family-connectedness. The memories you make when you cook and eat meals with your children will still be with them, as adults, and they will carry the tradition to their own children. How can I be so sure of this? Because many of the recipes and memories I share with my kids and grandkids, today, were learned in my grandma’s kitchen. When you take the fun times spent together, the homey smells and tastes of family meals that come when you’re creating great recipes, together, and tie all those in with a life lesson, that lesson will be part of a child’s memory forever. They will recall it again and again as they experience those same smells, tastes or feelings, as they reach into their recipe box and pull out that recipe or sit down to share that dish with the ones they love. Even as adults, those memories of you taking the time to teach and spend time with them will be powerful. That’s a legacy of love I am so excited to pass on.

And, how lucky am I that I have an opportunity, this week, to help others create their own wonderful memories and legacy, even in the midst of a difficult time after these awful storms? I was able to share with my granddaughters the importance of giving, and helping those in need, while we visited and enjoyed a special meal, together; and then I spent some time cooking and creating a gift, with them,  for someone to receive through our local food pantry. It was truly a double blessing, thanks to the #HungerHeroes campaign I am working on with #CollectiveBias. Not only do the girls learn about cooking and make some fun memories in Grandma’s kitchen, but they also get an opportunity to practice compassion and generosity. A triple blessing, really, if you consider that our food purchases will also be able to trigger yet another donation. Beginning in August, Tyson and Kraft will donate 4oz. of protein, 6 oz. of CAPRI SUN, and/or 2.5 oz. of KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese Dinners, to help alleviate childhood hunger, for every item purchased each time a Tyson® Fully-Cooked Chicken Nuggets 5 lb. bag, along with a KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese Dinner (7.25 oz.) 12-pack, and/or a Capri-Sun (6 oz.) 40-pack are purchased at Sam’s Club during the month of August. How cool is that? The food for my own family, contributes a meal to someone else’s family whenever I make that purchase!

This fantastic Hunger Heroes program means the food you are already buying for your family will trigger the donation of a meal to someone in need. #HungerHeroes #shop #recipe #cookingwithkids #giving

This fantastic Hunger Heroes program means the food you are already buying for your family will trigger the donation of a meal to someone in need.

Armed with all this information about how we could be Hunger Heroes and help people who are struggling, right now, the girls and I devised a plan over a tasty meal of chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese and Capri Sun juice! Since we have made donations to our food pantry before and have had some time to visit with the director, I have a little insight that may help you when you make your own donations. One of the difficult things for those “getting groceries” for their family at food pantries, especially in small towns, is that there may not be items that really “go together”. It can be a challenge to find enough complimentary ingredients to create a meal. And often, there are ingredients that someone is not sure how to use. When I asked if it would help to have a specific recipe in a bag that is filled with all the ingredients to make it, I was told that would be an amazing and welcome treat for someone “shopping” at the food pantry. So, that is how we always deliver groceries, there, now. This week, we want to include recipes for several meals and also some recipes that are fun and easy for kids to make. We’re hoping that the food will be a blessing to a family in need, but also create some opportunities to spend time together having fun, cooking and eating together, and to give them a break from all the stress and worry created by the damaging weather.

There are so many fun and kid-safe ways for children to participate in meal preparation.  They learn valuable life skills as you create wonderful memories they will carry with them for a lifetime. Hunger Heroes #HungerHeroes #shop #cbias #kidscooking #recipe

There are so many fun and kid-safe ways for children to participate in meal preparation. They learn valuable life skills as you create wonderful memories they will carry with them for a lifetime.

The girls created four different recipes on their own, and Grandma snapped pictures, so they could make a cookbook to include in our bag.  That way the kids who receive it will be able to recreate the dishes and enjoy the yummy snacks, as well as some fun, kid-safe time in the kitchen. My granddaughters made Taco Dip, Peanut Butter Apple Rings with Raisins, Pretzel Fruit Kabobs and Homemade Taco Chips. They did a fabulous job and the cookbook is a treasure! I had to make a copy for each of them to have, too! I hope to share a couple of the recipes with you, on the blog, but here are a few pictures to whet your appetites and to inspire you to create some family memories while teaching kids to be generous and compassionate. And if you really can’t wait, or are curious about how to put something like this together with your own kids, you can flip through the girls’ cook book at the bottom of this post. It’s simple for all of us to be Hunger Heroes and I’ll be sure to share links and more information, in August, so you can share meals with kids, by making purchases of Tyson Chicken Nuggets, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Capri Sun Fruit Drinks, at Sam’s Club. In the meantime, grab your kids and grandkids and get creative with some ideas for your local food pantry. Even something small can make a HUGE impact for a family in need and in the hearts of young kids learning to be generous, compassionate givers.

There are so many fun and kid-safe ways for children to participate in meal preparation.  They learn valuable life skills as you create wonderful memories they will carry with them for a lifetime. Hunger Heroes #HungerHeroes #shop #cbias #kidscooking #recipe

Making these yummy Peanut Butter Apple rings with Raisins was almost as easy as…

There are so many fun and kid-safe ways for children to participate in meal preparation.  They learn valuable life skills as you create wonderful memories they will carry with them for a lifetime. Hunger Heroes #HungerHeroes #shop #cbias #kidscooking #recipe

eating them! DELISH!

 

We included the recipes and ingredients for multiple meals of several simple, economical and delicious casseroles, Tuna Casserole, Lentils and Rice, Chicken and Rice, in our donation bags, fresh produce and cheeses and some canned veggies for side dishes, along with the kid’s recipes and ingredients, too. We are so fortunate that our food pantry has a way to accept and store fresh produce, as well as refrigerated and frozen food items. Be sure to check ahead of time, and see if your local food pantry can accept them. Even if they don’t, there are some great alternatives like canned Tyson Chicken, instead of fresh or frozen, canned fruit and vegetables, shelf stable milk, etc. We also added some Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Capri Sun Juice Boxes for extra meal and snacking opportunities. It doesn’t have to cost a lot to provide complete nutritious meals, but you do want to be 100% certain your specific food pantry is set up to receive all the ingredients you contribute. No one is served by food that will spoil.

There are so many fun and kid-safe ways for children to participate in meal preparation.  They learn valuable life skills as you create wonderful memories they will carry with them for a lifetime. Hunger Heroes #HungerHeroes #shop #cbias #kidscooking #recipe

Homemade Taco Dip calls for some equally fabulous…

There are so many fun and kid-safe ways for children to participate in meal preparation.  They learn valuable life skills as you create wonderful memories they will carry with them for a lifetime. Hunger Heroes #HungerHeroes #shop #cbias #kidscooking #recipe

Taco Chips! You won’t believe how simple these are to make. The girls were able to do everything except put them in the oven, all on their own. So tasty!

 

I’ll bet there are Hunger Heroes in your family! Do you have some other great ideas to help with ridding the United States of childhood hunger? Large numbers of people taking small, manageable actions can have a huge impact over time. I want our children and grandchildren to understand the important “pieces” they are in the “puzzle” that makes a long-term difference for good. It’s not about doing something big and splashy or “making the news”. It’s about making a difference, sharing the love of Christ, helping and alleviating need wherever we can, even if it’s only one family at a time. My greatest hope is that sincere compassionate giving will become as second-nature to our children as breathing, and that generations of great, great-great, great-great-great, etc. grandchildren that will never know me, will have the legacy of generosity and compassion instilled in them, as well.

There are so many fun and kid-safe ways for children to participate in meal preparation.  They learn valuable life skills as you create wonderful memories they will carry with them for a lifetime. Hunger Heroes #HungerHeroes #shop #cbias #kidscooking #recipe

I’ll bet you know kids who would LOVE these Pretzel Fruit Kabobs! There are so many delicious fruit possibilities. We used bananas, red grapes and sweet cherries.

I hope you’re inspired to become a Hunger Hero! I’d love to hear the actions you and your own family will take!

Food pantry donations, ready to go, complete with recipes and all the necessary ingredients to prepare each one.   |  Busy-at-Home  Hunger Heroes #HungerHeroes #shop #cbias #recipe #cookingwithkids #giving

Food pantry donations, ready to go, complete with recipes and all the necessary ingredients to prepare each one.

How do you teach your children and grandchildren to desire to be compassionate and generous?

The girls being photographed at the Food Pantry with their cookbook and food pantry donations, ready to go, complete with recipes and all the necessary ingredients to prepare each one.   |  Busy-at-Home  Hunger Heroes #HungerHeroes #shop #cbias #recipe #cookingwithkids #giving

The girls being photographed at the Food Pantry with their cookbook and food pantry donations, ready to go, complete with recipes and all the necessary ingredients to prepare each one. Our Food pantry is part of the Blue Valley Community Action Center which provides many services to people and families, in need, in our area.

Do you believe, like we do, that modeling compassion and generosity is a critical part of teaching those characteristics? Teaching them to be Hunger Heroes is where we started. Could that work for your own family?

. . .

Wordless Wednesday: How it Looks to be Blessed – Our Easter Sunday

On April 27, 2011, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome
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This is my first Wordless Wednesday post.   I get the concept, but seriously; did you really think I would be totally wordless? -  lol-   Maybe I’ll start calling it Mostly Wordless Wedneday. I love these people and the only ones missing from this day were our daughter and son-in-law, who were just married […]

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This is my first Wordless Wednesday post.   I get the concept, but seriously; did you really think I would be totally wordless? -  lol-   Maybe I’ll start calling it Mostly Wordless Wedneday.

I love these people and the only ones missing from this day were our daughter and son-in-law, who were just married and now live in a distant land called California.  :)  I’m putting in a picture of them, anyway.  I also realized that our son-in-law, Jason, cleverly maneuvered himself to not be included in any pictures on Sunday.  He’s sly like that.  :)  So, I am also including a snapshot of the portrait the kids gave me for my birthday, last August.  Jason is in it.

Lacy and Eric, our distant kinfolk!

Our oldest daughter, Tia and our son, Michael. We celebrated his birthday, too. Note that height has nothing to do with age, as he towers over nearly all of us. :)

Our two granddaughters with their new Barbies!

David and our youngest daughter. She'll always pose for a picture, he just wants some lunch! :)

Our grandson. Is it dinner, yet?

There was one moment of dissension about the appropriate sprinkling process for paprika on the deviled eggs. It all worked out. :)

...and I want a "doubled egg", please. :)

Enjoying her "doubled egg".

Posing with Aunt Jenna after enjoying her "doubled egg".

Posing with Aunt Jenna.

More posing with Aunt Jenna. Can you guess who managed my camera all day? :)

Michael and Jenna.

Michael making his baby sister look very short. :)

Me and our resident photographer. :)

Last August, the kids had this portrait done for my birthday. Jason is in this one! :)

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