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    Blog — benefits

    Elderberry Jello Snack

    Elderberry Jello Snack

    Jello is always a fun snack to have for the kids so why not add some Elderberry in there to add some health to the fun. We have found the perfect recipe to enjoy Elderberry Jello snacks for both in the house and on your way out of the house. 

    Ingredients

  • ½ cup tart cherry juice
  • ¼ cup gelatin
  • 1 cup Elderberry Syrup from The Elderberry Co
  • ¼ cup Honey from The Elderberry Co

  • Instructions

  • Heat cherry juice and ¼ cup elderberry syrup until almost boiling.
  • Remove from heat and stir in gelatin until dissolved.
  • Stir in The Elderberry Co. Elderberry Syrup and Honey.
  • Pour mixture into a mold of your preference, we love these ones on Amazon!
  • Put molds into the refrigerator for two hours or until mixture has set.
  • Enjoy!
  • Back To School List

    Back To School List

    While we have enjoyed a little summer break, yes we are already talking back to school! *Cue a long sigh for the kiddos* That transition can sometimes be rough. We want to be able to make this a somewhat easier process for you parents when it comes to the supplies! It can sometimes be a little hectic going into the store having a long list. Maybe you don’t have the time or can’t find something you need. We have provided some links below of some products we found that will help this process be as smooth as possible for you, by coming straight to your door. Some of these products are even on sale currently! We’ve added prices in the description, however that can change depending on the time you are reading this.

    This organizer will keep all of those smaller supplies in one place!

    Large capacity pencil case that comes in 6 different colors for $6.99!

    For those pencils that get lost… 

    150 ct #2 Pre-Sharpened Pencils for $12.49

    Stock up on those notebooks because they go so fast!

    This 6 pack of notebooks comes in assorted colors so you have a notebook for each class! They're $8.42!

    These can get misplaced so easily, so have some for backup! 

    3 Pack of Scissors for $8.99!

    Stay organized for each class!

    6 Pack 3-Ring binders! $26.99

    For those smaller kids, these will most certainly help train them parents! 

    4 Pack of cute Butterfly Pencil grips for the little ones! $3.99

    Stay stocked up on highlighting those important deadlines for assignments!

    8 Pack Sharpie Highlighters! $8.26

    Keeping their lunch organized and clean!

    Bento Box kids lunch organizer! $16.90

    For our homeschooled kids, this tabletop board is perfect for you parents! 

    Portable white board with expo markers for $21.99!

    Staying organized while teaching at home! 

    Easy assembled organizer for School Supplies! $15.42

    Figuring Out Fatherhood - Part 2 By Michael Watson AKA Mr. Elderberry

    Figuring Out Fatherhood - Part 2 By Michael Watson AKA Mr. Elderberry

    Last week, we chatted about Relationships and Integrity in Part 1 of Figuring Out Fatherhood. Catch up on Part 1 HERE. This week we conclude our blog with the final two gifts we can give our children in our journey of fatherhood: Teaching and Experiences.


    TEACHING

    This is the gift that will lead our grown children to adopt the lessons learned from us or to run in the opposite direction. “Great dads gift their children with a kind of upright teaching that prepares them to meet the challenges of life and walk in their God-ordained purpose. Doing this well necessitates vision and intentionality” (Loritts, pg. 91). As a follower of Jesus, I believe that God has gifted us the opportunity of stewarding His children, with the ultimate goal of pointing them back to Him as their true father and to launch them into this world prepared to pursue and live out the calling He has placed on their lives. 


    But there is the practical, disciplinary side of teaching as well; Where we teach our boys how to be men and our girls how to be women. Discipline is difficult, and the main reason I want to throw in the towel as a dad. It takes so much consistency and vision, knowing that putting in the hard work while they are young, will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Vision leaks and must be repeated again and again to be retained. One way that we have been able to implement some great teaching moments with our young kiddos is what we call Best, Worst & Weirdest. In the evening, usually at bedtime, we take some one-on-one time with our kiddos to talk through their day.

     

    Best: What was the best part of your day? Let’s celebrate that! 

    Worst: What was the worst part of your day? Let’s talk through it. 

    Weirdest: What was the weirdest part of your day? Let’s laugh at that!


    The age-old tactic of sandwiching the hard stuff in the middle of the good stuff plays out pretty well. But it gives us a chance to do some significant teaching while also helping our kiddos identify things throughout their day and how it made them feel. Right now, one of our short term goals is to raise teenagers who will want to talk to us about how they are feeling!  


    EXPERIENCES

    We are the architects of our kids normal. Especially in the early stages of childhood, we as the parents get to determine our kiddos experiences and and begin shaping their world view. “Great fathers place a premium on giving their children the R.I.T.E. kind of experiences over gifts. Things wear out and expire. Experiences endure, marking us forever.” (Loritts, pg. ?)


    Start with the end in mind. Picture your kids as adults. What are the things you would want them to have learned? What values would you want to instill in them? How would you want to prepare them for life on their own? Start there and work backwards. What moments and milestones over the course of their 18 years of adolescents will help to accomplish those goals? It’s easy to exchange long term resilience for short term comfort and happiness. Father with the long view in mind. An incredibly practical resource for planning out these moments and milestones is the book Family Discipleship by pastors Matt Chandler and Adam Griffin.


    The best advice Bryan gives in his book is the simple, yet often forgotten truth that “the best parenting we will ever do is from our knees. (Loritts, pg. 140) As dependent as our children are on us, we are equally dependent on our Father in heaven to accomplish anything good in the lives of our children. Fathering and failure go hand in hand. Even when we have the best intentions, we are going to fall short. Before you pick yourself back up, spend some time on your knees asking God for the strength and wisdom to try again.


    Thanks so much for joining us on this journey. Comment below with any questions or reflections that come up as you pursue fatherhood. Here's to the difficult but rewarding road ahead! 


    RESOURCES


    Books


    Podcasts


    Websites

    Figuring Out Fatherhood - Part 1 By Michael Watson AKA Mr. Elderberry

    Figuring Out Fatherhood - Part 1 By Michael Watson AKA Mr. Elderberry

    Being a dad is tough, but it is the most important job we will ever have. Not to mention the fact that the majority of us probably feel completely lost and unequipped for the role of father. For the longest time, I was told to “lead my family” but no one would tell me how! It is an ambiguous expectation and at times seems like I’ll never figure it out. Experience over time helps; we learn the “tricks of the trade” as we try and fail, and try again. But there is a turning point in fatherhood when we take a proactive approach, rather than a reactionary one. We cast a vision, we have a plan that we begin to implement and take steps forward.


    There are a ton of resources I have filtered through over my short, 6 years of being a dad, searching for the “key” to fatherhood. The most recent that has had a tangible impact on that endeavor is a book by pastor and author Bryan Loritts entitled, The Dad Difference. Drawing on his own experience of being raised by a father who took a proactive, visionary approach, Bryan unpacks four key areas that we should focus on as a father, even changing my perspective as a dad, describing them as gifts we give to our children. His main thought is based around these four gifts- How to Parent R.I.T.E.


    Relationships - Integrity - Teaching - Experiences


    RELATIONSHIPS

    Relationships take proximity. “We cannot lead effectively those we are not connected to intimately. Healthy relationships demand presence, grace, and time” (Loritts, pg. 27). Our first gift as a father is to be present in the lives of our children. But just being around isn’t enough… there has to be intentionality in our presence.


    A goal that I have set for myself is to do one intentional thing with my kiddos every single day. No tv, no phones, no interruptions. One moment every single day where they have my undivided attention. Whether that is playing a board game, jumping on the trampoline, going to the zoo, reading some books, playing make-believe in the treehouse or asking about their days at bedtime. These little moments of intentionality add up over time. The cumulative effect is a powerful thing- small actions, repeated over time, have great and lasting results! Simplicity and consistency are huge motivators for kiddos too! 


    INTEGRITY

    This gift is all about us and what our kids witness as we live our lives. “More than listening to what we say, our children will watch what we do. When actions and words become one, we call that integrity” (Loritts, pg. 62). Arguably one of the most important gifts we can give our kids is following through and doing what we say we are going to do. This is also arguably the most difficult gift because we know we are going to fail at it. The other end of integrity is admitting when we’ve failed and to ask for forgiveness. “Apologies are the voice of the humble. It takes a humble person to say sorry, to acknowledge and confess a wrong. And it is humility that becomes the lifeline to a healthy, vibrant relationship with our children” (Loritts, pg. 73). It’s our job to show our kiddos how grace works- it being extended to them and in turn, them being able to extend it to a dad humble enough to admit when he was wrong, or lost his temper and ask his children for their forgiveness.


    Try it out

    Next week we will release “Part 2” of our blog Figuring Out Fatherhood, where we will chat about Teaching and Experiences. In the meantime, try out one of the gifts listed above, either Integrity or Relationships and comment below with how it went! Also, here are some resources to help you along your journey as a father. 


    RESOURCES


    Books


    Podcasts


    Websites

    Elderberry Smoothie Recipe

    Elderberry Smoothie Recipe

    Smoothies have always been a favorite around our house.We like to put all kinds of fruits and vegetables in them to make our bodies healthier. The kids seem to take their veggies easier in drink form, mostly because they can't see or taste it! Our smoothie recipe is a simple, quick and healthy way to cool down this summer...the whole family will LOVE it :-)

    5 quick ingredients to make a delicious smoothie!

    • 1 Banana
    • ½ cup of blueberries
    • 3 strawberries
    • 1 cup of vanilla greek yogurt (or coconut milk if you prefer)
    • 1 tbsp of Elderberry Syrup
    • Optional: Toss in a handful of spinach to give your kiddos daily veggies.

    Directions:

    • Throw it all in a blender and blend until smooth! 
    • Enjoy!

    We know you are busy getting kids from A - B, working and juggling all the things! We recommend this Portable Blender for smoothies on the go!

    Have you tried this recipe or our other recipes? Let us know which one is your favorite or if you have any new ones you would like to see!


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