Parent Connection January News

December Recap

We had a great month of December! We had a special stocking stuffing mission for the foster children of the First United Methodist Children's home. The donations were so plentiful that we were able to fill 75 stockings for ages 3 months - 18 years old. We were so touched by your generosity, thank you so much for donating! We finished up our "Children and Materialism" study, and we are looking forward to a fabulous month of January!

Upcoming events:

January 10 - Kindergarten Readiness Meeting 9 a.m. & 1 p.m. We are so excited to have Clearcreek Elementary principal Carrie Corder as our guest speaker. Childcare is available. Please RSVP to Becky Frost at if you are planning to attend.

January 29 - Parents with a Purpose - Springboro Community Assistance Center 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.

February 5th - 9th - Valentines for Veterans

February 20 - Table Talk - The Five Love Languages of Children

February 27th, March 6 & 13 - The Five Love Languages of Children continued

February 22nd - 6p.m. - 8p.m. Corks and Crafts Special Pallet Painting Event! Please click on the link to register. Feel free to invite family and friends, all are welcome!

Recipe of the Month

Chicken Tortilla Soup

"Some simple modifications can make this delicious soup even healthier! I reduce the sodium by using low-sodium chicken broth and fresh chilies instead of canned. Also, using vegetable cooking spray instead of oil helps reduce the fat content. Adding some tasty fresh toppings helps my family get more vitamins. I also reduce fat by using boneless, skinless chicken breasts."


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed
  • 1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 banana peppers, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (14.25 ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 7 corn tortillas
  • vegetable cooking spray


  1. Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, banana peppers, and garlic into slow cooker. Pour in water and chicken broth. Season with cumin, chili powder, salt, ground pepper, and bay leaf. Stir in corn and cilantro. Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours, or on High for 3 to 4 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  3. Lightly coat both sides of tortillas with cooking spray. Cut tortillas into strips, then spread on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle tortilla strips over soup.

Helpful Hint: How to Declutter after the holidays!

3 Easy ways to Declutter After the Holidays

December 19 by Kaley

The holidays aren’t even over yet, and I am already thinking of all of the things I want to declutter and purge before the new year.

It always feels like December is filled with overindulgences and lots and lots of stuff. And we all tend to get so busy, there is no time available to even try to control the chaos.

After the holidays are over, spend a bit of time on each of these 3 steps in order to have a fresh, clean start to 2018.

Step 1 – One In, Two Out

You (and your children) likely received many gifts this holiday season, and you may be wondering if you even have space for all of this new stuff.

This is the perfect time to start following the “one in, two out” rule. For every new item you receive, you are going to get rid of two things from that same category.

If you receive two new books, then choose four old books to get rid of. For every new toy that your children receives, help them to pick a few older toys to donate.

A new pair of cozy PJs? Toss all those old ones from the bottom of the drawer.

As you are looking through your things to find something to get rid of, you will probably find a few extra things that can be tossed. Use this momentum to your advantage and purge, purge, purge!

Step 2 – Reevaluate Holiday Decorations

Whether you take down your holiday decorations on New Years Day, Three Kings Day, or later in January, you are probably super ready to just get it all down and put away in one fell swoop.

It’s very easy to just throw everything in the big bins and worry about it next December. But if you do this year after year, your two or three holiday bins will quickly turn into six or seven.

And soon your garage (basement, attic, etc) will be filled with holiday decorations that you don’t want or need.

So this year, take an extra few hours, or even a whole day, to really evaluate all of your holiday decorations before you put them away.

Take a good hard look at all of your ornaments, lights, linens, specialty cooking materials, figurines and other holiday decor.

If it is old, worn, stained, tattered or broken, toss it. If it isn’t really your style anymore, donate it. If you have multiples, pick the one you like best and let the others go.

If you didn’t put it out or use it this year, for whatever reason, it is unlikely you will use it next year, either. Toss it or donate it.

The things you choose to keep should be cleaned, organized, then put away nicely in bins so that they look great when you pull them out next year.

Step 3 – Clean Out the Refrigerator and Pantry

After the all of the holiday parties, big family meals, and lovely gourmet gift baskets, your fridge and pantry are probably filled to the brim. And since most of us will strive to be healthier in the new year, now is the time to get this in check.

Start by tossing all of the leftovers that have turned into science experiments in the back of your fridge. Gather all of the fancy jars of preserves and pickled vegetables that you will never use and donate them to a local food bank.

Check the expiration dates on all of your packaged foods and throw away anything that is past its prime. Eat one last cookie (or brownie or piece of pie) then get rid of the rest.

Once all of the old stuff is out, set yourself up to start the new year off on the right foot. Wipe out the inside of the fridge, and replace the box of baking soda orother deodorizer. Wipe down the shelves of the pantry, and organize what is left.

Now you are ready to fill your fridge and pantry with healthy, fresh food for the new year!