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A Sick Child Should Never Lose Hope.

DJ’s Hope 4 Hearts Mission is Giving hope to others through the spirit of one child, we are dedicated to the healing hearts of children, So that he or she can grow in love, peace, and happiness. We believe and teach that giving is the way to accomplish our hopes for them. We welcome you to follow our cause and all the Children and families we help.  You can also follow us at djshope.com, twitter @djshope4hearts & facebook.

Please consider us for any future donation as every dollar  given makes a difference to a sick child. Also feel free to share your childhood heart disease story below.  We have helped many Transplant kids & hope they to join us for feedback.

I Dream A World

By Langston Hughes.

I dream a world where man
No other man will scorn,
Where love will bless the earth
And peace its paths adorn
I dream a world where all
Will know sweet freedom’s way,
Where greed no longer saps the soul
Nor avarice blights our day.
A world I dream where black or white,
Whatever race you be,
Will share the bounties of the earth
And every man is free,
Where wretchedness will hang its head
And joy, like a pearl,
Attends the needs of all mankind-
Of such I dream, my world!

Hughes, L. (n.d.). I dream a world by Langston Hughes. I Dream A World. Retrieved February 4, 2022, from https://allpoetry.com/I-Dream-A-World

Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. (n.d.). Langston Hughes. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved February 4, 2022, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Langston-Hughes

The Healthy Halloween Treat Your Kids will LOVE!

Seriously, these look so addicting they’ll be gone in seconds. 😍

Recipe from lovelyindeed.com

PUMPKIN SPICE GRANOLA CUPS RECIPE

Granola Cups

  • 3¼ cups traditional rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup chopped almonds (or your nut of choice)

Toppings

MAKE TIME: 15 MINUTES PREP, 35 MINUTES COOK

  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Spray two muffin tins with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, cinnamon, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and nutmeg until thoroughly mixed. In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, honey, and vanilla. Whisk the wet ingredients together until thoroughly mixed and the honey is smooth. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix until even.
  3. Gently fold in the almonds until combined. Spoon 1/4 cup of the mixture into each cup on your muffin tin. Use the back of a spoon to firmly press the mixture into the tin, creating a cup shape out of the granola. You’ll want to pack the granola cups as firmly as possible.
  4. Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden. The granola cups should be firm and spongy to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing them from the muffin tin. Allow to fully cool.

THE BEST YOGURT FOR PUMPKIN SPICE GRANOLA

Now that you’ve got your cups, you can fill them up! We made our granola cups ahead of time and filled them for snacks the next day. We found that the Stonyfield Smooth & Creamy Maple flavor is so good with this pumpkin spice granola recipe.

The fall flavors come together perfectly. I also chose Stonyfield for this particular recipe because the smooth, creamy texture of the organic yogurt really holds up well for putting the fruit decorations on top. The Smooth & Creamy is just the right consistency to fill up the cups without getting runny or overflowing – it’s like a pillow of yogurt deliciousness.

Not to be biased or anything, but we’re just into Stonyfield in general. We use the big tubs of yogurt at home for everything from snacks to recipes to smoothies and more. I love that it’s non-GMO, pasture-raised, and full of great nutrition for the kiddos. So it’s perfect for a healthy snack like this!

ADD SILLY FACES TO YOUR RECIPE

Next start planning the toppings for the granola cups! We used sliced bananas with tiny chocolate chips to make ghosts. We also made silly monster faces using sliced grapes or bananas with chocolate chips for eyes, and jagged slices of avocado for toothy mouths.

15 Labor Day Activities for Families That Are Fun & Memorable

By Kristin McCarthy M.Ed.

Shared from: https://kids.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Kid_Activities_for_Labor_Day

Labor Day is known as the summer finale for outdoor celebrations and barbecues before the fast-paced days of the school year are once again upon families. Spend Labor Day with loved ones, bonding, making memories, and slowing down with a few of these fun Labor Day activities for kids and families.

Labor Day Activities for Families With Older Children

Older children can spend this holiday digging deeper into the meaning behind the holiday, while having a blast with family members.

Learn About the True Meaning of the Holiday

Labor Day pays homage to the hard-working men and women of America. The first weekend of September is dedicated to labor union workers to honor their great achievements. Families with older children can use this time to dive deeper into the holiday, learn how it came to be, and what paths had to be forged to arrive where the country is today. Spend the weekend at a local library researching the holiday and the people who made the Labor Day movement happen. Use the weekend to explore the nation’s industrial and economic history. Share your findings at the day’s end.

American flag in nature

Host the Backyard Olympics

Labor Day is a day for many to kick back and relax, leaving their work worries behind, if only for a minute. For many parts of the country, it signifies the end of summer and the beginning of the busy school year. Gather those closest to you and spend the day playing any number of backyard games. Choose to play a few games designed especially for children and a couple for adults only. Plan a picnic feast and top the day off with your favorite summer cocktails.

Research Your Dream Jobs

Since Labor Day is a tribute to the hardest working people in America, spend time thinking about what the older kids in your family want to be when they grow up. Brainstorm a list of cool occupations that correlate with their interests, and research those careers. How much can they make as a dolphin trainer? Where do they go to school to be a gaming programmer? What classes would they want to take in college to be a zoo veterinarian?

Older kids can set off to do their exploration, and parents can get in on the fun too. Even if they have long been set in their jobs, they can select an alternative career that they think might have been a blast. Share your findings later in the day over a delicious bbq dinner or a tasty ice cream treat.

Try Your Hand at Some DIY

A weekend off of work, school, and sports? Put those teenagers to work! It is “Labor” Day, after all. If you have a handy family who likes to tackle projects together, use this holiday to renovate and create. Spruce up the garage, repaint the deck or build a fire pit in the yard. Give a bathroom or bedroom new touches and a coat of paint, or create a reading nook or gaming area for the kids. Kids like to get involved in creating, and they might not see this type of family activity as work at all! The entire gang will head into a new school year with a brand new space to enjoy in the home.

Have a Labor Day Scavenger Hunt

Older kids love scavenger hunts! For a Labor Day scavenger hunt, create a list of items to find that reflect the patriotic American spirit. Have kids identify red, white, and blue items, an item with the American flag on it or the word “Freedom,” George Washington’s picture, bbq utensils, hot dogs, hamburgers, buns, ice cream, or any other items associated with the late summer holiday.

Write Thank You Cards for Deserving Recipients

Take time to thank the hard-working people in your community. Bring your pens, stationery, and a pitcher full of freshly made lemonade to the back deck or the four seasons room, and get everyone involved in some letter writing. You can write letters thanking workers for their service, and send them off to the local police department, fire station, schools, factories, or any number of general establishments. You can also reach out to family and friends who work hard every day to make the world go round.

Labor Day Activities for Families With All Ages

Your kiddos might be too little to understand the meaning of labor unions and the U.S. Labor Movement. However, they can still have fun with summery, patriotic activities that will make for a memorable family weekend to close out summer.

Make the Day Labor-Free

The diligent American people of the past made Labor Day something to celebrate. Honor them by taking the day off from all back-breaking work. Do zero chores, order dinner in so no one has to cook or clean up, and feel free to lie around in your pajamas all day long.

Girl having cupcake on a white, red and blue scenario

Have a Red, White, and Blue Day

If the children are not at a place where they can comprehend why Americans celebrate Labor Day, they can probably still understand that their country bleeds red, white, and blue. Play on the American flag colors to have a fun day of patriotic games and snacks. Have everyone dress up in red, white, and blue hues, and hang colorful streamers and balloons in your home’s communal space. Make snacks that reflect the country’s colors and consider doing a patriotic art project or two.

Create Labor Day Inspired Crafts

Kids love a day devoted to crafts. While major holidays like Halloween, Christmas, and Easter get lots of credit for holiday crafts, there is no reason to exclude Labor Day in the crafting department. Create paintings of fireworks or American flags, make festive U.S.A. banners out of red, white, and blue construction paper and streamers, or try to fashion fireman, train engineer, or police person hats from paper and felt. The sky is the limit when it comes to patriotic crafts.

Labor Day Pictionary

Pictionary is a great game to get the family thinking and laughing together. For Labor Day, draw clues such as the following to commemorate the holiday:

  • Grilling
  • Playing baseball
  • Fireman
  • Policeman
  • Factory line worker
  • Fireworks
  • Boss
  • Money
  • Assembly line

Learn How to Make an All-American Dish Together

If you choose to stay in and make a masterpiece meal for the holiday weekend, get your gang in on the action. Older kids know their way around the kitchen fairly well, so call upon them to be your sous chefs. Together, think up some tasty all-American treats from appetizers to main meals and, of course, desserts like apple pie. Allow each family member to create a dish, or work in pairs to contribute to the meal.

Young friends watching projection screen at campsite during night

Host an Outdoor Movie Event

In many parts of the country, Labor Day comes during a time of year when the evening weather is lovely and pleasant. This makes for a perfect backdrop for hosting an outdoor movie event in your front or backyard. Tie a sheet between two trees, or rent a screen, and project a lighthearted family film all will enjoy onto the screen. Don’t forget the popcorn!

Labor Day Activities for Adventurous Families

For some families, Labor Day is all about getting out of the house and squeezing in one last adventure before the school year starts again. These outings are excellent ideas for families who love to be on the go during the holidays.

Playful father and son sharing candy floss at the fun fair

Seek Out a Local Festival

Summer is prime festival time. It seems as if every town in every state hosts a different type of summer celebration. No matter where you live, you can be sure to find a nearby festival to hang out at during Labor Day weekend. From music to food to history, festivals offer a little something for everyone.

Volunteer in the Community

So many people give so much to make Americans stable, safe, and comfortable. Use the weekend to give back to those in need. Take the family to any community-based food bank, homeless shelter or animal shelter, disaster relief organization, adoption or foster agency, or nursing home, and spread kindness and love. Even if your brood ends the weekend tired to the bone, their hearts will be full.

Family visiting the beach on a sunny day

Wade Around a Local Watering Hole or Hit the Beach

You are going to blink your eyes, and summer will suddenly be a distant memory. Soon fall will be all around (you can probably already smell the pumpkin spice in the air if you sniff hard enough). Spend the final summer moments at any local water’s edge. See who in the family can make the coolest sandcastle, play frisbee in knee-deep water, read books under an umbrella, or take a boat out for a spin. Soak up the sun, the surf, and your loved ones’ company before you head into a busy school year.

Keep Family and Fun at the Forefront

You can make Labor Day weekend educational, spend it with friends and family having fun in the sun, or laze around and be labor-free for the day. However you choose to organize your holiday weekend, be sure to spend it with the people you love, doing something meaningful.

Source: McCarthy, K. (n.d.). 15 labor day activities for families that are fun & Memorable. LoveToKnow. https://kids.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Kid_Activities_for_Labor_Day.

Hope is the Thing with Feathers

by Emily Dickinson

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Academy of American Poets. (n.d.). Hope is the thing with feathers (254) by Emily Dickinson – Poems | Academy of American Poets. Poets.org. https://poets.org/poem/hope-thing-feathers-254. 

29 4th Of July Treats Your Kids Will Love

Article reshared from Tasty.com

1. Get the celebration started early with healthy breakfast toasts.

2. Have your kids help make these all-natural red, white and blue creamsicles.

3. Grill personal pizza crisps topped with berries, basil and brie.

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4. It just takes sprinkles, melted chocolate and blueberries to make party-worthy ice cream cones.

5. Put together dessert skewers with fruit and angel food cake.

https://a0482d534dc15da271bee1e7f9576318.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html?n=0

6. Buy a star-shaped cookie cutter once, eat super-fun pasta salad forever.

7. That goes for fruit salad, too.

chicaandjo.comPin

Get the recipe.

8. Sprinkle Pop Rocks on cookies to make them into edible firecrackers.

momdot.com

Get the recipe.

9. You can also hide Pop-Rocks inside little firecracker-shaped cakes for a snappy surprise.

https://a0482d534dc15da271bee1e7f9576318.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html?n=0

10. This star-pattern “cookie pizza” is achievable for people of any age.

11. It’s easier than you think to make these fun layered pudding cups.

12. Enlist little helpers for the three rounds of energetic shaking required to make patriotic puppy chow.

sweetasacookie.comPin

Get the recipe.

13. Give drinks some holiday spirit with fruit frozen into ice cubes.

posedperfection.comPin

Instructions here.

14. Colorful rice krispies treats are so easy you can let the kids do all the work.

Kristyn Merkley / lilluna.comPin

Get the recipe.

15. Or make a dynamic duo of M&M rice krispie treats: stars AND stripes.

16. Put together a flag-inspired cheese plate with red and blue fruit.

17. Decorate pretzels to make these adorable flag snacks.

18. Freeze individual portions of striped smoothies in jars to give out at snack time.

19. Decorate delicious peanut butter dip with sprinkles to make a flag.

https://a0482d534dc15da271bee1e7f9576318.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html?n=0

20. Cover a cookie cake with red, white and blue M&M’s.

21. All you need is styrofoam cups, frosting and colored sugar to decorate adorable “sno-cone” cupcakes.

Chantel Elder / Melissa Johnson / bestfriendsforfrosting.comPin

Get the instructions here.

22. Star-shaped marshmallows are way more fun to wave around than boring old flags.

sisterssuitcaseblog.comPin

Get the recipe.

23. For a healthier wand option, stick with fruit.

24. Make patriotic cupcake tops, because everyone knows the tops are the part that make life worth living.

25. Dress up ice cream sandwiches in independence-themed sprinkles.

https://a0482d534dc15da271bee1e7f9576318.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html?n=0

26. Combine the powers of Oreos and Cool Whip for a patriotic dirt cake.

27. Have your kids help cut out star chips from tortillas to scoop festive fruit salsa.

b-inspiredmama.comPin

Get the recipe.

28. Dip red, white and blue fruit kabobs in yogurt and freeze.

29. Add some excitement to super-simple graham cracker ice cream sandwiches.

Sanders, R. (2021, June 29). 29 4th Of July Treats Your Kids Will Love. tasty.co. https://tasty.co/article/rachelysanders/fourth-of-july-kids-treats. 

Life Lessons

A Father’s Day poem by Joanna Fuchs

You may have thought I didn’t see,
Or that I hadn’t heard,
Life lessons that you taught to me,
But I got every word.

Perhaps you thought I missed it all,
And that we’d grow apart,
But Dad, I picked up everything,
It’s written on my heart
.

Without you, Dad, I wouldn’t be
The person I am today;
You built a strong foundation
No one can take away.

I’ve grown up with your values,
And I’m very glad I did;
So here’s to you, dear father,
From your forever grateful kid.

Source: Father Poems To Show Dad HFather Poems To Show Dad He’s the Man! To Show Dad He’s the Man! (n.d.). https://www.poemsource.com/father-poems.html. 

Photo Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/more-lifestyle/father-s-day-2020-history-significance-and-why-we-celebrate/story-t1E61gqQJZ9i6iYDbjP38N.html. (n.d.). photograph. 

Human Family

by Maya Angelou

I note the obvious differences
in the human family.
Some of us are serious,
some thrive on comedy.

Some declare their lives are lived
as true profundity,
and others claim they really live
the real reality.

The variety of our skin tones
can confuse, bemuse, delight,
brown and pink and beige and purple,
tan and blue and white.

I’ve sailed upon the seven seas
and stopped in every land,
I’ve seen the wonders of the world
not yet one common man.

I know ten thousand women
called Jane and Mary Jane,
but I’ve not seen any two
who really were the same.

Mirror twins are different
although their features jibe,
and lovers think quite different thoughts
while lying side by side.

We love and lose in China,
we weep on England’s moors,
and laugh and moan in Guinea,
and thrive on Spanish shores.

We seek success in Finland,
are born and die in Maine.
In minor ways we differ,
in major we’re the same.

I note the obvious differences
between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

Source: Human family by Maya Angelou. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2021, from https://allpoetry.com/Human-Family

Photo source: Parker, S. (n.d.). [Photo of Maya Angelou]. Retrieved from https://www.readitforward.com/essay/article/authors-celebrate-90-years-of-maya-angelou/

Heart-Healthy Homemade Chicken Tenders with Everything Bagel Seasoning over Salad

Did you know that sesame seeds (like those found in Everything Bagel Seasoning) may help decrease high cholesterol and triglycerides* according to studies? Huge thank you to EatingWell.com for this heart-healthy take on every kid’s favorite: Chicken Tenders!

Tip: Using everything bagel spice is a quick way to season and add extra crunch to breadcrumbs for chicken tenders. If you can’t find any premixed, make your own by combining equal parts dried minced onion and garlic, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, salt and ground pepper (see Associated Recipes). This healthy chicken recipe tops a simple salad for an easy dinner that’s ready in 25 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 1 large egg 
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat
  • 1 tablespoon everything bagel seasoning
  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • ¼ cup grapeseed or canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 5 ounces mixed baby greens

Directions

  • Step 1 Place flour in a shallow dish and lightly beat egg in another shallow dish. Mix breadcrumbs and everything bagel seasoning in a third shallow dish. Dredge chicken tenders in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs.
  • Step 2 Heat grapeseed (or canola) oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F, about 7 minutes total, adjusting the heat as needed to prevent burning.
  • Step 3 Whisk olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey and pepper in a large bowl. Add greens and toss to coat. Serve the greens topped with the chicken.

Resources

Spring Green Soup with Chicken

Whether spring has sprung or the air is still chilly, there really is nothing quite like a good soup! Learn how to prepare this quick and easy, protein-rich, flavorful recipe your kids will LOVE. 🥰

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground pepper, plus more for serving
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces

Directions

  • Step 1 Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, flipping once, until browned and cooked through, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
  • Step 2 Add leeks, onion and celery to the pot. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits, until very tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add broth, salt and pepper; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add asparagus and spinach; cook until the asparagus is tender, about 5 minutes more.
  • Step 3 Shred the chicken into bite-size pieces and add to the soup. Stir in parsley and Parmesan. Serve the soup topped with more pepper and Parmesan, if desired.

Nutrition Info

Serving Size: 2 Cups Per Serving: 314 calories; protein 37.9g; carbohydrates 20.1g; dietary fiber 5.1g; sugars 5g; fat 11.5g; saturated fat 2.3g; cholesterol 59.9mg; vitamin a iu 5498.5IU; vitamin c 46.5mg; folate 221.2mcg; calcium 174.1mg; iron 5.4mg; magnesium 69.2mg; potassium 713.1mg; sodium 741.5mg.

Recipe from https://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/279668/spring-green-soup-with-chicken/

Colorfully Heart Healthy Salad

They say that the key to eating healthy is ‘eating rainbows’, or ‘colorful’ foods (like berry-rich, leafy green salads)! Check out this Heart Healthy Salad recipe from HeartAtWorkRecipes.com for a nutrient-rich lunch that your kids will LOVE to munch on during those socially-distanced picnics at the park!

Ingredients

  • 1 Package Organic Arugula, Baby Spinach, and Butter leaf Lettuce Leafy green vegetables are so good for you it’s staggering. On top of all this, leafy greens are rich in fiber, which lowers cholesterol and reduces your risk of heart disease.
  • 1 Can/Jar Hearts of Palm
  • 1 Container Grape Tomatoes Tomatoes have two key nutrients that have a big impact on heart health: lycopene and potassium. Some research shows that lycopene may lower LDL, or “bad” cholesterol.
  • 1/2 Cup Green Olives Olives are very high in vitamin E and other powerful antioxidants. Studies show that they are good for the heart, and may protect against osteoporosis and cancer. The healthy fats in olives are extracted to produce extra virgin olive oil, one of the key components of the incredibly healthy Mediterranean diet.
  • Chopped Green Onions Onion is high in vitamins and minerals and antioxidants and some benefits may include reducing the risk of heart disease.
  • 1/2 Cup Sunflower Seeds Sunflower seeds contain high levels of both monounsaturated and omega-6 fats, and may help reduce inflammation and cholesterol levels.
  • 1/2 Cup Raw Almonds The health benefits of almonds include lower blood sugar levels, reduced blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels.
  • Handful Craisins
  • 1 Tablespoon Flaxseed Meal Flax’s primary healthy benefit is due to the omega-3 essential fatty acids, “good” fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects.
  • 1/4 Cup Shaved Parmesan
  • Extra Virgin Felippo Berio Olive Oil To Taste-Olive oil helps decrease the total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels
  • Alessi Balsamic Vinegar To Taste-Balsamic vinegar has antioxidants present that help protect the body from heart disease
  • 2-3 Dashes Garlic Salt or Sea Salt
  • 10 Grinds Fresh Black Pepper

Instructions

Rinse and Wash all veggies and combine these heart healthy ingredients for a splendid salad…Enjoy!!! 😊

Recipe from: https://heartatworkrecipes.com/recipe/colorfully-heart-healthy-salad/