We don’t know if it is a personal problem or not. We’ve talked to other parents who expressed a similar sentiment when we asked, so we don’t feel like the exception. Yet, we find ourselves repeating the same phrase over and over again everyday. “Please stop yelling.” Actually, most of the time the “please” is missing from that sentence. Our son has no “inside voice.”
We’ve read that kids equate loudness with getting heard and apparently you can “give your kid an inside voice” by speaking “calmly, quietly, with a soft demeanor.” What? Had we known that, we would have gifted him one a long time ago. And if we spoke calmly and quietly, I am quite sure he would never hear us!
Most everything that comes out of his mouth is decibels higher than it needs to be. While a whisper comes in at 15 decibels and a normal conversation occurs at 60 decibels, we are quite sure if we could measure his voice it would be well above that…almost anytime. At dinner, with the four of us sitting no more than an arm lengths away, I am quite sure he would come in around 110 decibels, or the equivalent of a car horn.
We’ve just decided he’s passionate or easily excitable, which describes many Italians and is not necessarily a bad thing.
His heart is just as big as his voice. If we give him crayons, scissors, or some chalk, he turns contemplative, creating a masterpiece he is sure to give to one of us to treasure.
So when I mentioned needing some help with the photographs for the blog, and that it involved chalk, both the kids were happy to oblige. After we finished, they created some wonderful chalk art…on themselves and the chalkboards.
A friend requested these Cherry Chocolate Biscotti and we are glad she did. Cherries and chocolate are a classic combination.
Cherry Chocolate Biscotti
YIELD: approximately two dozen
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for the topping
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon black cherry flavored oil, plus ½ teaspoon for the topping (We used LorAnn Oils Brand.)
¾ cup dried bing cherries
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
2. In a large flat-bottomed bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs and black cherry oil.
4. With a rubber spatula, stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until the dough just starts to come together. Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough in the bowl until all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is tacky.
5. Add the cherries. Knead the dough until incorporated, about 10 – 20 times.
6. Separate the dough in half. Form two logs, approximately 3 inches wide and 1 inch high on a parchment lined baking sheet. Leave several inches between the logs, the dough will spread as it bakes.
7. Mix 1 tablespoon sugar and ½ teaspoon black cherry flavored oil with a fork in a small bowl. Press mixture firmly on top of each log.
8. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack or split. Transfer logs to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
9. Transfer biscotti logs to a cutting board. Slice the biscotti on a diagonal and place cut side down on the same parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, turning the biscotti once halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
What to do with the ends #59: Crumble the ends on your lawn Christmas Eve for the reindeer to eat.