Screen-Free and Peppermint Patties–Say What?!?

This year, April 29 to May 5 marks a time when families participate in Screen-Free Week. At first, I had no idea what this was about. I happened to stumble upon it in a local magazine at a coffee shop. I saw this article and thought, “Huh, maybe our family should try this.”

When the kids and I got home, I talked to my husband about it. We both agreed that we would not turn on the T.V. for a whole week. This included video games, as well as iPad and iPhone games. Our oldest, Aedan, can use these devices better than we can, so I thought this would be a nice “break” from technology.

Our culture has evolved into this hustle-and-bustle mindset. Wherever we go, someone is on his or her phone, texting, updating Facebook, etc. Now don’t get me wrong, I too am guilty of this. I get wrapped up in the world of technology and the media that I forget to stop and smell the roses.

So lo and behold, we survived our first night. I had explained to Aedan Sunday night that if he did not complain about not watching T.V. or playing games, then we would go out for ice cream on Sunday as a reward. There are no complaints about not having the television on and we were able to get through the day.

The next day, we headed out to the gym and then went to the store to get groceries. While we were in the checkout line, Aedan wanted to help put the food on the conveyer belt. Now, I don’t know if he was trying to be extra helpful, or he genuinely just wanted to do everything himself. Nevertheless, I was able to bag everything and we were out of the store in a timely manner.

We then headed to another store where I decided to get a family board game. If we were giving up T.V., I thought it would be fun to incorporate a game-night. Aedan and I decided on “Chutes and Ladders” and then headed home to unload our groceries and begin dinner. Despite the craziness of chores and cleaning up the house, Aedan and I were able to sit and have our smoothie and play the new family game.

When the kids were in bed, I thought that this “screen-free” week was too easy; no T.V. for a week—I’ve got this! However, Tuesday is my day off from homework and after a crazy day, all I wanted to do was sit and do nothing. I was tempted to watch something on Netflix or T.V., but I did not give in. Instead, I turned on the radio, made some tea, and read my new “Green Living” Magazine. And you know what, I actually enjoyed it. I used to do this ALL of the time, but I slowly moved away from the simplicities in life and became immersed in technology.

I know it has only been two days, but I am seeing a difference in Aedan’s behavior. He has been whining less and he has been helping out more often with the animals. I don’t know if he is sugarcoating because of the incentive at the end of the week or what, but I am a loving this extra help and better behavior.

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So as I said in my intro blog, I have been cooking and baking more often than before. I haven’t been buying candy from the store because there is a lot of sugar and artificial ingredients that my children do not need—they have enough energy as it is. This doesn’t mean I deprive them of goodies and “junk,” they just have them on occasion. Anyway, back to my peppermint patties. Aedan has inherited his love for peppermint from me. Together, we could devour anything with peppermint in one sitting. I thought about a new dessert and I came across a recipe on york peppermint patties. The recipe was pretty simple. With only four ingredients, I was on my way to being “awesome mom” for the night.

The recipe called for coconut butter. I had the oil, but that is NOT the same. So I found another recipe on how to make coconut butter. Come to find out, that too was pretty simple. So I made the patties and I will say, they were pretty darn good.

Link to recipe:

http://www.joyfulabode.com/2010/06/10/homemade-york-peppermint-patty-recipe/