4 Easy Steps To Teach Your Kids How To Respectfully Interrupt

164656209 (1)Every kid does it.


It happens while you’re on the phone, or talking to someone at the store, or just having a conversation with your spouse.

In exasperation we usually say something like, “It’s rude to interrupt,” or “Stop interrupting me when I’m talking to someone.”

Are we saying what we really mean though?  We don’t necessarily want our kids not to interrupt us, especially if something is very important for us to know.  What we want them to do is to be respectful of what we’re doing.  So instead of telling them what NOT to do, what if we taught them how to interrupt respectfully?

Here are four steps to teach your kids to interrupt respectfully:

1) Have your child touch your arm, hand, or leg—whatever they can reach.

2) Have them wait until you have a break in the conversation.

3) Reassure them you know they are there by touching their hand.

4) Ask them what they need when you have a break in your conversation.

The best way to teach this is to do some role-playing.  When we were teaching it to our kids, we would often use our time together around the dinner table.  After dinner, we explained what we wanted them to learn and then we practiced it over and over.  We had some fun with the role-playing like I pretended to be having a conversation with one of the kids and daddy had to interrupt me.  This modeled for the kids how we wanted them to handle interruptions.

The best part of this is that Mark and I began to use this with each other.  If Mark’s standing in the church lobby chatting with people on Sunday morning and I need to get his attention, I’ll walk up and put my hand on his shoulder or touch his arm and wait. When there’s a break in the conversation, he’ll turn and ask me what I need.

It’s a respectful way to interrupt for any age!

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Quote of the Week

Quote-of-the-Week pic“Significance in life doesn’t come from status, because you can always find somebody who’s got more than you. It doesn’t come from sex. It doesn’t come from salary. It comes from serving.”

                                                                 ~Pastor Rick Warren

Posted in Miscellany | Leave a comment

Two New Favorite Clean Eating Recipes!

So I’ve finally begun a serious move toward clean eating.

Cancer will do that to you, you know.

It also helps that two of my kids have really gotten into clean eating. They did the Whole 30 challenge and got me started in the right direction.

I’m focusing on lean proteins, veggies, nuts, seeds, and fruits.

I’ve removed processed foods out of my diet, no refined sugar, no grains.  I’ve greatly reduced dairy as well. I’m two weeks into the journey and I’m learning to cook a whole different way.  Mark’s on board, but my 17 year old is still lobbying for some of his old favorites (he’ll be away at college in a few weeks and I’m sure he’ll get plenty of comfort food there!)

I started changing my eating about 6 weeks ago. I got really serious two weeks ago. In the past six weeks I’m already down 12 lbs (I finally got those 12 lbs off that chemo so kindly added on!)  My oncologist told me to get to a healthy weight and maintain it so I’m working towards that.

I love to entertain and bake so instead of giving it up, I’ve been looking for clean eating recipes that I can still enjoy and share. Thankfully a couple of friends made and shared these two recipes that I LOVE!  The first is super easy.  The second takes a little more time but is soooooo worth it!

photo 3Trail Mix Cookies (makes about 20 cookies)

1 c natural peanut butter (almond, sunflower seed…any nut/seed butter)
1/2 c dark chocolate chips (sometimes I add them, sometimes I don’t)
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. chopped dates
1/4 c. sunflower seed kernels
1/4 c. pure maple syrup
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
dash of salt

Stir all together in mixing bowl
Bake 350 degrees for 15 minutes

(Original recipe also included 1/2 c coconut, but I don’t like coconut so I don’t add it!)


This next recipe is sooooo yummy but I confess that I was initially overwhelmed with the different kinds of ingredients.  When I finally decided to jump in and try it, I found most at my regular grocery store and then I had to go to the local health food store to find the rest.
I just served these at a party I had and everyone was raving about them.  They are that good!!!

They are packed with protein, healthy omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants! And you use your freezer, not your oven! You’ll also need a food processor for this recipe.  A small one works just fine…that’s what I have!

Two Layer Raw Chocolate Brownies (Makes 16-20 small squares)

photo 1For the brownie layer:

1 cup raw walnut pieces
1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds (got those at the health food store!)
1.5 cups pitted Medjool dates (got those at Meijer)
1/2 cup cocoa or dutch processed cocoa powder
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
2 heaping tablespoons raw cacao nibs (got those at the health food store too!)

For the chocolate layer

1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup cocoa or dutch processed cocoa powder
1/4 cup put maple syrup
pinch of fine grain sea salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract (I sometimes also add peppermint extract)


1) Line an 8 inch square pan with wax paper or parchment paper, one piece going each way to make it easy to lift out the brownies later on.

2) In a food processor, process the walnuts into a fine crumb. (I don’t like walnuts, but having them in a fine crumb makes them almost unnoticeable in the brownies!)  Move the walnuts to a bowl.

3) Put the hemp seeds in the food processor and pulse a few times. Add the dates and process until the mixture is finely chopped and sticky. (It will be similar to the consistency of a Larabar. If you haven’t tried Larabar’s yet–they are yummy too!)

4) Add the cocoa, vanilla, and salt until thoroughly combined in the processor.

5) Pulse in the nibs and a heaping 1/4 cup of the raw walnut crumbs. (I put the rest of the walnut crumbs in the freezer to use for future brownies.)

6) Evenly press the mixture into the prepared pan until smooth.  Place in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

7) While that is freezing, melt the coconut oil over low heat in a medium pot. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa, syrup, salt, and vanilla until combined and smooth.

8) Remove the brownies from the freezer and pour the chocolate topping over the brownies until they are evenly covered. Put them back in the freezer on a flat, even surface. Chill for 20-30 minutes.

9) Lift brownies out of the pan using the wax paper or parchment paper. Set on cutting board. Run hot water over a knife for a minute or so, wipe quickly with towel, and carefully slide the knife into the brownies to slice (waming the knife helps it slice more evenly without much cracking).

10) Store leftovers in the freezer for a chocolate treat anytime!  (You want to serve these frozen or nearly frozen–they aren’t frozen hard…just firm. They don’t serve well at room temperature.)


(Original recipe with lots of prep pictures can be found over at OhSheGlows!)

What about you?  Do you have any yummy, healthy recipes to share? 

Posted in In The Kitchen | 7 Comments

Keep Calm and Love Your Kid

So what’s bugging you today? 

Are you knee deep in school supply lists?

Are you looking at the mess in your child’s bedroom and wondering where to even start?

Have you already dealt with a spilled drink today….multiple times?

Are your kids bickering with one another?

Have you answered the same questions twenty times over?

Got a fussy baby who just wants to be held?

Are you dealing with end of the summer boredom?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need this simple reminder from No More Perfect Kids: Keep calm and love your kid.

Or maybe like one mom who picked up this button at the Hearts at Home conference in March, you just need to pin the message right on the kid! Gotta love it!



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Summer Reading

I seem to read so much more in the summer than any other time of the year. Reading is one way that I take care of me! I’ve read some great books this summer that I would definitely recommend!

Biblical Fiction. This book brought the Biblical story of Rahab to life!

 Biblical Fiction. This story is about Nehemiah’s cousin. I’m loving anything that Tessa Afshar writes!

Biography. This true story offered powerful insights into Amish beliefs and traditions.

Devotional. This book is a gift for any woman who has experienced trauma or pain in her life.

Fiction. I loved this book! While sharing the story of 4 women on their own spiritual journey, the author teaches the reader key spiritual practices to take your relationship with God to a new level!

What about you?  What have you been reading this summer that you would recommend? 

Posted in Taking Care of Me | 3 Comments

Quote of the Week

Quote-of-the-Week pic“Relationships blossom when sacrifice takes the place of selfishness.”

                                                                ~Darlene Schacht

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Must Versus Might

Mom_EssentialsWEBToday’s post is a guest post by Kasey Johnson who is the author of the brand new book/Bible study Mom Essentials: 10 Words Successful Mothers Live By.

Kasey is also a Hearts at Home blogger and one of her blog hop posts appeared in No More Perfect Moms: Learn to Love Your Real Life  (see the hilarious sprinkler story on page 57 if you have the book!)

If you’re looking for a renewed connection with who you are as a woman and a child of God, Mom Essentials may be just perfect for you!


KaseyHe was in tears as I empathetically explained to my son that he couldn’t join his brothers on the trampoline. You see we had made a deal. He needed to pick up his room and complete his chores for the day before heading back outside to play.

Instead of using his time wisely like his brothers, my youngest discovered his love for Legos and made a really cool truck/trailer combo.

I saw him playing with Legos and I thought about saying something, but we’d been in this situation before and without my constant reminders and redirection he would have never finished his task. This time was different – I knew we didn’t have to leave for an activity and all he’d miss out on is playing with his brothers (but let’s be honest – that’s a BIG deal when you’re 5!)

In our house we have a T-Chart with the words “MUST” and “MIGHT” written on each side.

The musts are things that simply aren’t negotiable – they are a requirement or at minimum a prerequisite to the items in the might column becoming a reality.

I explain it to my boys this way: I must pay the mortgage. I must shower. I must be on time to work. In exchange for meeting my list of musts I MIGHT be able to buy that pair of shoes I’ve been wanting. I might be able to go out for coffee with my friends.

Teaching our kids the difference between the “musts” and the “mights” in this life will help them prioritize their time, talents and treasure.

How to define a “must”:

  • Has a direct influence on your family’s financial well-being and situation
  • Although perhaps difficult to complete, the return is greater than the investment either short-term or long-term
  • Carry with it an opportunity to exercise discipline, focus and/or accountability
  • Directly influence others (in a negative or positive way)

As mothers we need to do the same thing. What are some of your “musts”? Things that simply have to be done in order for you to enjoy your day, or for your life to continue running smoothly?

What are those fun extras, or the “mights”, you get to enjoy when you complete the items defined as a “must” in your life?

Staying focused on the items that need our attention will keep us from spending our energy on activities or (shall I say it?) people, that aren’t a MUST in our life.

We have limited time, energy and resources – let’s use ours wisely and continue teaching our children to do the same! You’re doing an amazing job with all the “musts” in your day – I hope you are also able to enjoy some of the “mights”!


What about you?  What are some of the “musts” in your life?  How about some “mights?”

Posted in Parenting | 3 Comments

Post-Cancer Nutrition Changes

When I met with my oncologist after my last treatment he told me that I now have three jobs:

1) Exercise Regularly
2) Eat Right
3) Keep my weight down

As he explained, lifestyle changes can make a difference in “turning on” the cancer cells in our body.  There’s nothing we can do that will 100% remove the cancer risk, but there are things we can do to lower the risk as much as possible.

So I’m changing the way I’m shopping, how we’re eating, and my exercise plan.  I’m determined to do what I can do to stay cancer-free.

The Cancer Center offers the services of a dietitian, so I’ve been taking advantage of that and meeting with her to discuss food choices and nutritional improvements.

Here are some things that are now appearing in the Savage household. I’d love to hear about any changes you are making to pursue healthy choices!

Berries...filled with antioxidants. We're eating alot of fresh fruits and veggies these days.

Berries…filled with antioxidants. We’re eating alot of fresh fruits and veggies these days.

Dried plantains have replaced chips in our house! They are so yummy!

Dried plantains have replaced chips in our house! They are so yummy!

I hesitated using coconut oil because I don't like the taste of coconut, but it doesn't taste like coconut at all!

I hesitated using coconut oil because I don’t like the taste of coconut, but it doesn’t taste like coconut at all!

Rather than fish oil capsules, I'm taking liquid fish oil as recommended by my doctor and my dietitian.

Rather than fish oil capsules, I’m taking liquid fish oil as recommended by my doctor and my dietitian.

We're trying to get more healthy oils into our bodies, so the dietitian recommended flax oil. I pour it over our salads. I like it as my only salad dressing.

We’re trying to get more healthy oils into our bodies, so the dietitian recommended flax oil. I pour it over our salads. I like it as my only salad dressing.

While I love me some Jif, I'm learning to like natural peanut butter, made with only peanuts. This brand is the creamiest I've found.

While I love me some Jif, I’m learning to like natural peanut butter, made with only peanuts. This brand is the creamiest I’ve found.

Aluminum Free Deodorant is all I'm using these days.

Aluminum Free Deodorant is all I’m using these days.


Posted in My Cancer Journey | 5 Comments

Quote of the Week

Quote-of-the-Week pic“The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together.”                                                            

                                                                ~ Robert C. Dodds

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Do You Love The Ordinary Parts of Your Day?

HAH-Blog-Hop-graphic-2This week I’ve had my grandchildren and at times it feels as if I’ve gotten nothing done!

As I surveyed my day yesterday, it was tempting to say that I didn’t get much done. But then I thought again. There are many things accomplished in the ordinary parts of life: connection, relationship, rest, nutrition, laughter, music, conversation, and words on a page sinking deep in my heart.  The ordinary parts of our life are sacred. They are the “stuff” of life, the content of memories, and the joy in our heart.

Yet too often we miss them.

We look for the big accomplishments, only to miss the small effort.  We desire check marks on our to-do list, but miss the dozens of deeds done that we’d never write on a “to do” list.  We chastise ourselves, our spouse, and our kids for the “more” that could have happened, blinded to the energy spent and the gift(s) given.  We spend the entire school concert behind a video camera, losing the opportunity to capture the moment in our heart.

The ordinary parts of life are a gift rarely unwrapped. Motivated by a society that says bigger is better, we move faster and faster, reducing the everyday moments of life down to interruptions of efficiency. Mislabeled, these precious moments fall by the side unnoticed and unappreciated.

Just for today: Slow down. Increase margin. Embrace ordinary. See the effort. Feel the emotion. Accept limitations. Enjoy the meal. Laugh hard. Connect. Refuel. Listen. Hope. Marvel.

Do you want to love your life? Take a step today to see, embrace, and love your ordinary. While you’re at it, find encouragement from other moms who are learning to embrace their ordinary.  It’s our Third Thursday Blog Hop where you have your very own online moms group each month.  (If you receive my blog through email, you can find the blog hop links here!)

Posted in Miscellany | 5 Comments