Thrive December Edition

Easy gingerbread men cookie recipe

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice

In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses, egg and water. Combine flour, ginger, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide dough in half. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes or until easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion of dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 4-in. cookie cutter. Place 2-in. apart on greased baking sheets. Re-roll scraps.
Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Decorate as desired. Yield: about two dozen.

Click here for more recipe ...

Winter provides many wonderful opportunities to increase your child’s vocabulary, articulation, understanding and use of language skills—including activities as simple as baking cookies.
Icing is easy to make with a little butter, water and powdered sugar. If life seems too hectic to make cookies, consider buying pre-made vanilla wafers and painting the frosting on.  You can use language concepts to describe the steps or textures: first, next, last, shape, color, smooth, thin, thick and lumpy. Different extracts can flavor the frosting with coconut, lemon or cinnamon. Add more language activities by adding sprinkles to the icing or stacking the cookies with the frosting “between.”  In the end, eat your creations and talk more about concepts such as crunchy, sweet, crumbly, etc.

Read more ...


This time of year can have parents wondering how they can help their child be creative, get excited about learning, and enjoy the toys they have.
As you consider play options for your child, it is important to understand and consider the developmental age they are currently experiencing.  If the purchase of an item is made as the child is growing beyond that stage of development, he or she may only play with the toy for a short amount of time before it begins to collect dust in a corner. The opposite can also be true, if a toy is too complex for a child’s developmental age, then the play may be short lived as the child becomes frustrated.

Read more ...

Brighten the holidays by making your health and safety a priority. Take steps to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy—and ready to enjoy the holidays.

  1. Wash hands often to help prevent the spread of germs. It's flu season. Wash your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Manage stress. Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out, overwhelmed and out of control. Some of the best ways to manage stress are to find support, connect socially and get plenty of sleep.
  3. Don't drink and drive or let others drink and drive. Whenever anyone drives drunk, they put everyone on the road in danger. Choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same.
  4. Bundle up to stay dry and warm. Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: light, warm layers, gloves, hats, scarves and waterproof boots. At home, work, and on the road be prepared and prevent injuries too. Cold temperatures can cause health problems. Remember to protect you and your family this season by dressing in layers of light, warm clothing.

Read more ...

Preventing Osteoporosis with Exercise
Jan. 5 - Feb. 25, 2015
This eight-week class is designed for men and women diagnosed with osteoporosis and for those wishing to prevent osteoporosis. It focuses on strengthening, posture and balance. Each class consists of an educational portion, aerobic workout and core strengthening. The series is led by licensed physical therapists from St. Charles Health System. Physician referral is not required. The class meets at St. Charles Bend on Mondays, 8 to 9 a.m., from Jan. 5 to Feb. 25. The cost is $63.
To register, click here