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The Mom’s Talk Network website (http://www.momstalknetwork.com) has been quiet since Kelly McCausey assumed ownership back in October 2007, but no more.  Starting today the website will be brimming over with fresh Guest Blogger appearances and a resurrected Mom’s Talk Forum which I will be helping to breathe new life into as a Moderator.  Come on over and say hello today and be entered for a chance to win gifts, free advertising and even a cash prize.  Every blog comment and forum post made on April first will serve as an entry in today’s relaunch drawing :)

To see prizes: http://www.momstalknetwork.com/forum/april-fools-day-no-foolin-giveaways-vt1505.html

Cinnamon Butter Cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup butter (or you can substitute ½ cup butter, ½ cup margarine)
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
3 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar together.  When light and fluffy add the beaten eggs and beat until well blended.  Stir in 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon, all the nutmeg, flour and vanilla extract. Stir until mixed through.  Shape into a log shape and wrap with cling film.  Place in refrigerator for approximately 4 hours until chilled.

Preheat oven to 350F and grease two cookie sheets.

Unwrap the dough and place on a lightly floured surface.  Cut into ¼ inch slices and place an inch apart on cookie sheets.  Bake approximately 8 to 10 minutes or until golden and baked through.  Mix the remaining teaspoon of cinnamon and a little sugar and sprinkle over the cookies as soon as they come out of the oven.  Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

FREE Christmas Coloring Book

Just In!!!!  Courtesy of My Special Note

Download this 12-page Christmas Coloring Book for your kids!

You can even photocopy and distribute the pages to:

  • Preschool or daycare classes
  • Sunday School class
  • Kids you babysit
  • Neighbor kids who need something to occupy them :)

Just print these pages out and you’ll have time to do some gift-wrapping in peace!!

Happy Holidays!

Easy Cheesecake Cups

Ingredients:
16 vanilla wafer cookies
2 8oz packaged of cream cheese, softened
½ cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 21 oz cherry pie filling

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F and line a muffin pan with cupcake papers.  In a bowl cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla.  Place one wafer cookie in each cupcake paper then pour the cream cheese mixture over the wafer.  Top with a little cherry pie filling and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until golden and set through.

For the last several years, public schools have undergone many different changes.  While the math and reading scores are still low, there is a crisis in public school education which goes beyond these important elements.  The things going on at your teen’s school they don’t want you to know about encompasses many things.  Let’s review some of the problems that are currently raising concerns among educators.

Gangs: Whether you realize it or not, this has become a major problem in high schools today.   In fact, there are so many different types of gangs that law enforcement can’t keep track.  They are preying on the middle schools kids and, depending upon where you live, can be identified by distinctively colored head wear.

Weapons:  While some high schools have incorporated metal detectors in high schools, this does not deter the use of weapons.  Knives and guns are confiscated on a daily basis. 

Sex:  From middle school through high school, teens are having sex every day.  Whether it occurs in the boys’ bathroom, bus, auditorium, or stairwells, it is a situation that cannot be controlled, and is on-going.

Cameras: To deter teens from cutting school, cameras have been placed in many stairwells, but unfortunately there are not enough funds to place cameras in all stairwells.  Thus, the teens know where they are and find other methods to cut classes. Remember, in most high schools that have a population of 2,000 or more, there are not enough security guards to control every exit in the school, thus teens are cutting school at all hours of the day.

Fighting:  Whether in the schoolyard or stairwells, or even within the hallways, fighting among students is a daily occurrence.  Specifically among teen girls, the number of fights per school term is astounding.  Moreover, both female and male teens sometimes take their fights to the streets.  They have these fights off school property and, in some cases, have caused serious injury to each other.

Drugs:  Depending upon your high school area, drugs are being bought and sold every day.  Although there are no statistics to support this, it is occurring and you should be made aware of it.

You may be asking: Why aren’t the schools’ administrators addressing these situations? In fact, they are…every day.  The problem stems from the fact that some teens and parents fight the administration because they feel their child has been unduly cited for wrongdoing.  Moreover, these teens and parents know the law better than we do, and sometimes use it to their advantage. 

Unless and until every parent of every teen becomes intimately involved in their teen’s education, these incidents will never cease.  Join the Parent’s Association and make your voice heard.  Demand that additional security guards and cameras are installed in every high school; in every bathroom if necessary.  The apathy that exists among certain parents is the real problem.  If the parents do not stress the importance of education to their teens, how can you expect the teen to?

Easy Orange and Walnut Bread

Ingredients:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 orange (rind and juice)
2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup chopped walnuts

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F.  Lightly grease a medium sized loaf tin.  Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

Wash and grate the orange zest into a large bowl.  Squeeze the orange juice over the zest. Add 1 cup of boiling water and mix.  Add the melted butter or margarine, sugar, beaten egg and vanilla to the bowl and mix together.

Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients and lightly mix (take care not to over mix).  Gently fold in the chopped walnuts and transfer to baking pan.  Bake at 350F for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour or until baked through.

My Special Note - your online source for personalized gifts and letters – is giving back to a very special cause this holiday season.

Someone very close to us has Cystic Fibrosis – a disease that affects the lungs and digestive systems of about 30,000 people across the U.S.

SO…in support of Breanna, 10% of all sales between Thanksgiving and Christmas will go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Shop My Special Note for:

Buy a personalized gift for your child and give back at the same time!

To learn more about CF, visit their website at:  http://www.cff.org

Happy Holidays!

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