Sunday, December 19, 2010

Terrific Chicken Recipe

This is my mom's recipes and one of my favorites! I got some requests for the recipe tonight so I thought you all might like it too.

Rolled Chicken Breasts

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (if you get the huge ones you can cut them in half)
1 jar of dried beef*
16 oz sour cream
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
Worcestershire sauce (I just slosh one glug in, about a tablespoon)
6 slices of bacon
slivered almonds (optional)

Roll chicken up and wrap with bacon. Line the pan with the dried beef and place wrapped chicken on top. Stir together the sour cream, mushroom soup, and Worcestershire sauce and spoon evenly over the chicken. Top with slivered almonds and bake at 250 degrees for 4 hours. Serve with mashed potatoes! If you are short on ingredients you can make it with 8 oz sour cream and 1 can of soup, but we like having the extra sauce and using it as gravy over the mashed potatoes.

*In case you don't recognize this, it is found by the canned tuna. It is just dried slices of beef. The small can will be enough to cover the bottom of you pan. Here is a link to a picture of it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

How to be Free From Bitterness.

I have wanted to read How to be Free From Bitterness for some time. I even printed it off last week, but finally read it just last night. It is wonderful. It takes about 10 minutes to read and is worth every bit. Here are a few little excerpts:
~~~~~~
Guilt is what we feel when we sin, and bitterness is what we feel when others sin against us.

Bitterness is always based upon someone else's sin--whether real or imagined.

It is not concerned with how big the sin is; it is based upon how close it is....Bitterness is related to those people who are close.

The bible does not grant anyone the right to be bitter. The text says to get rid of all bitterness (Ephesians 4:31)

Bitterness remembers details...Memory is helped by review, review, and more review.

But suppose he does not quit? Suppose he never quits? Are you going to be bitter the rest of your life because someone else insists on being in sin?
~~~~~~~~~~
What can you do if you are bitter? Read on to find help.

Entire article here.

Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits

We got these from Schwans when I was growing up. This recipe tastes just like the ones from my childhood! If you don't have Christmas breakfast already planned then you could make these part of the meal.

Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits

1 c whole wheat flour*
1 c all purpose flour
4 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon
3/4 c butter
1/2 to 1 c milk
1 c raisins

Mix first 5 ingredients and cut butter in until there are no large hunks of butter left. You want it all crumbly and evenly mixed. Then add the raisins and the milk. Start with 1/2c and add more just until it will stick together well. You don't want it too sticky to work with. I like to use this dough whisk to mix it with. Turn the dough onto a floured surface, sprinkle a tiny bit of flour on top of it and knead with floured hands just a bit until it is uniform and not too sticky. Roll to 1/2 inch thick and cut out biscuits. Place on baking sheet with some space between them. Bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes (for 3 inch diameter biscuits). Allow them to cool a good bit and then top with the icing. If they are too hot it will all just run off. Store in an airtight container.

Icing

2 T butter melted
1 1/4 c powdered sugar
little big of water

Mix the butter and powdered sugar as much as you can and then add water just a tiny bit at a time. YOU DON"T WANT IT TOO THIN. Whisk until smooth.

YUM!

*I use freshly ground soft white wheat. Soft wheat flour is also known as whole wheat pastry flour. The soft wheat makes them lighter and fluffier than the hard wheat varieties. If you don't have access to the soft wheat then regular whole wheat flour will work just fine.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Contentment

Everything is needful that He sends; nothing can be needful that He withholds. Be content to bear the cross; others have borne it before you... (John Newton)

Thanks Lori for this quote!

Organizing Tiny Space

My friend Donna posted this video on facebook. This would not work for those with children of course, and it is not very conducive to hospitality (as Donna mentioned in her post). But, I was still motivated to look around and get rid of the things that are cluttering up my house, and taking up my time, that I do not even want or need! Maybe before you unwrap the gifts it would be helpful to do a 27 Fling Boogie.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk

If you run out during holiday baking, no need to run to the store! My grandmother gave me this recipe years ago and it has helped me in pinch more than once. Happy baking!

Homemade Eagle Bran Milk
1 c powdered milk
1/3 c boiling water
3 T melted butter
pinch of salt
3/4 c sugar
Put all ingredients in blender and process until smooth. Makes 14oz (=to one can) and will keep in the fridge for weeks!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The 40 Maryts of Sebaste

Jeremy has told this story of martyrdom to my boys many times. It is an amazing story of faith, perseverance, and the affect that we can have on those watching us.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
In the year 320, Constantine was Emperor of the West and Licinius of the East. Licinius, under pressure from Constantine, had agreed to legalize Christianity in his territory, and the two made an alliance (cemented by the marriage of Licinius to Constantia the sister of Constantine), but now Licinius broke the alliance and made a new attempt to suppress Christianity. He ordered his soldiers to repudiate it on pain of death. In the "Thundering Legion," stationed near Sebaste in Armenia (now Sivas in Turkey), forty soldiers refused, and when promises, threats, and beatings failed to shake them, they were stripped naked one evening and herded onto the middle of a frozen lake, and told, "You may come ashore when you are ready to deny your faith." To tempt them, fires were built on shore, with warm baths, blankets, clothing, and hot food and drink close by. The mother of the youngest soldier was present and encouraged her son from the bank. As night deepened, thirty-nine men stood firm, while one broke and ran to the shore. However, one of the soldiers standing guard on shore was so moved by the steadfastness of the Christians that he stripped off his clothes and ran out to join them. They welcomed him into their company, and so the number of the martyrs remained at forty, and by morning, all were dead of exposure. (One source says that the few in whom a little life remained were stabbed to death at dawn.)

We still have what some scholars believe to be an authentic eyewitness account of their martyrdom. It includes farewell messages to their family and friends written shortly before their deaths.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I found this account of the story here.

Are You Aging Well?

Here is a post to help you answer that question. Are you growing more lovely, or just growing old?

Monday, December 06, 2010

Best Book Ever For Mom's of Littles

I LOVE Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches! Rachel Jankovic is the mother of 5 little children (and twins are in the mix). Here is a link to the Amazon listing where you can read 4 great reviews. The one by Amanda Evans is really helpful. If you buy one book this year on mothering, make it this one :0)

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Tell Your Time

Tell Your Time is an amazing little tool! I first saw it over at Money Saving Mom and got it while it was on sale. Right now it is $9 and it will take you about 30 minutes to read. It's short, practical, and easy to apply to your life. What mom does not need a little help figuring out how best to spend her time?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A good wife in the 1950's.

My great friend Sharon had this on her fridge and I asked her for a copy. Man! We have come along way baby...but I'm not sure it's all good. I am typing it here in it's entirety and some parts may be a bit overstated! But I found enough challenges here to pass this along. After all, we are to make our bodies living sacrifices (Romans 12:1-2)and lay down our lives for our friends (John 15:13). How much more does this apply to our husbands?

The Good Housewife's Guide
Originally printed in Housekeeping Monthly Magazine May 13, 1955

*Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is a part of the warm welcome needed.

*Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.

*Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

*Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.

*Gather up schoolbooks (HA HA HA), toys, paper etc and then run a dust cloth over the tables.

*Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare a light fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you immense personal satisfaction.

*Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and, if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.

*Be happy to see him.

*Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

*Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first-remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

*Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.

*Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

*Don't greet him with complaints and problems.

*Don't complain if he's late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.

*Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.

*Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

*Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of your house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.

*A good wife always knows her place.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Generosity


This time of year there are many asking questions about how to balance out giving gifts to friends and family on the one hand and giving to the poor on the other hand. There is a push to get back to a simpler celebration of Christmas and not be so commercialized about it all. I love to simplify (I'm actually addicted to it!). And I don't want our kids to be materialistic, but we are celebrating the most wonderful event in history! We do want to actually celebrate! We want the world to see us celebrating Jesus in a wonderful, beautiful way! And we want to include the orphan and the widow in our celebrating. I would like to offer up another word (or two) on the subject via some terrific articles that say things much better than I ever could. My introductions will be in italics. Enjoy your Christmas celebrations, whatever they may look like!
~~~~~~~~~~

We can celebrate in grand style, but we invite the poor to celebrate with us! Sending money is one way to help the poor, but there are poor and needy all around us that need ministering to as well.

"Israel was not supposed to refrain from feasting because there were orphans and widows around. Rather, they were commanded to bring the orphan and the widow into their feasting, so that the needy could share the abundance of their joy and of their goods. We in the new covenant have an even more profound reason for doing so: God has shared the abundance of His life with us in Jesus, and so ought we to share with one another.

So, feast this Christmas in good conscience. Lay your hands on whatever your soul desires, and eat it in rejoicing and thanks. But look for opportunities to share your abundance with the orphan, the widow, the aged and the poor. God has filled you when you were empty, and helped you when you were helpless. Go and do likewise.”

I found this quote here.
~~~~~~~

Is buying presents materialistic?


"As you do your Christmas shopping, you are bound to run into the person who is feeling very guilty about buying presents. It’s so materialistic, they say. Well, yes, it is in one sense. After all, it is stuff. But if we are buying this stuff to bestow on our friends and family because God has bestowed so much of it on us that we just have to let it slosh over, then that is not materialism.

Thankfulness is a great antidote to false-guilt giving. Look at how much God throws away on us all the time. How much rain just runs down the gutter? How many sunsets are enjoyed by the whales because no one else is around to see them? What about the mountainsides covered in wildflowers that no human eye will behold? God just gives and gives and gives recklessly. He doesn’t want us to feel guilty about the sunset or the flowers. He wants us to overflow in thanksgiving. And though we cannot come near His capacity to give, we can imitate His extravagance by giving gifts and filling stockings and making fudge, all to the glory and praise of The Great Gift Giver Extraordinaire."
Entire article here.
~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is a little idea for gift giving. We sometime get more than one gift in a category, but it is helpful to have an outline to start from.


Something they want
Something they need
Something to wear
Something to read
Entire article here.
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Celebrating and rejoicing is a discipline that we have to learn how to do well. It takes work and effort to celebrate such a wonderful occasion! Simplify in another area to cut out stress if you need to, but put in the effort to make this time of year a festive time. She refers here to the 12 days between Christmas and Epiphany.

"May you all enjoy your post-Christmas celebrations. I know many of you keep going for the full twelve days. Learning to rejoice and celebrate is a real discipline that requires patience, stamina, practice, and endurance. So go for it! God must be pleased that we are making progress!"
Entire article here.
~~~~~~~

This man's parents gave extravagantly in every way and to everyone. It taught him and trained him in the delight of giving.

"I grew up in a family that practiced extravagant giving. In other words, when we woke up on Christmas morning, we could barely see the tree for all the presents. My parents overwhelmed us. Some would say that spoiled us. They gave physically, tangible gifts that we as children enjoyed: trains and guitars and dolls and forts and more. And yet, the giving was NOT a substitute for time. They gave time extravagantly as well. They played with us, told us stories, and listened to our stories.

They gave us so much, we couldn’t help but become givers. That’s right. The extravagance was not simply self-indulgence. It was celebration. It was an overflow of the joy they had in raising us. That joy continue to flow as we grew up. Our house became the center for all the lost friends and souls who had no where to go on Christmas (or any other holiday).

The party kept extending outward and inviting others into a celebration.

Did they give us too much? Of course (and they still do). In my parents, we learned the true intoxication of giving of everything. Presents, time, laughter, and life.

The answer to our outward culture’s selfishness is not inward selfishness (either in miserliness or in self-righteous judgment of those around us). Rather, it is in giving even more of our life, our love and our STUFF. Once we get the hang of it, giving is so fun that you can give anything away. Our hands open and we can freely give to the deserving (and undeserving), to the poor and needy, and even to the selfish."
Entire article here.
~~~~~~~~~

Being called to give things away, not give them up
.

"We do not give anything up. We are privileged often to give things away, including ourselves, but that is another activity entirely. When you give things up you are acting like a son of the devil—he is the father of lies, and he started with you. The lie here is that God is a grinch.

When you give things away, they always come back to you—thirty, sixty, and a hundred fold. When you give things away, there is a person on the other end, receiving. What you are giving is called a present. When you give presents, you are acting like God. When you give expensive presents, you are acting like God. When you give unreasonable presents, you are acting like God.

But when you give unreasonably like this, won’t you run out? No . . . the one who supplies seed to the sower will continue to supply you with all you need (2 Cor. 9:10). This is why we should be dedicated to learning how to give in order to get, in order to give again. Wisdom is needed here, but it is not a stingy wisdom."
Entire article here.
~~~~~~~~~~
A historical view of Christmas here.
If you've seen Advent Conspiracy check out this response.
To pay off debt or celebrate Christmas? Both! Here is an article that might balance things out a bit. And if there really is NO money, then get creative and still have fun!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Liturgy

Here is an interesting short read about why we might need a little liturgy in our lives. I know I sure do.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Savvy Nest

I met Emily from Savvy Nest through her sister Susanne many years ago. She is a sweet gal and she just began her blog 9 months ago. I have to say, I have loved it from the start! I don't have tons of time to spend reading blogs, but when I see one from her in my Google Reader, I can't wait to read it. She is very crafty, but in a practical, frugal, down-to-earth kind of way. You can actually DO the things that she suggests AND they don't break the bank. She also posts good sales going on now and then, along with a few fun seasonal reminders about cleaning or gardening. The last think that I like is that she does not post too often or posts that are too long. That sounds funny, but I have had to unsubscribe from some blogs that I LOVED because I did not want to spend a lot of time trying to keep up with all that they were publishing (extremely long posts or multiple posts per day). All of her posts are a manageable length for a mom on the run. I hope you like it too! I'll leave you with a few of my favorites:

Essential Oils I did this and it was easy and terrific!
Fall Cleaning Still need to do this one, but I'm motivated by her!
Fall Gardening This was really helpful
Nice Re-covery Great job!
Great Gift Ideas
MORE Gift Ideas

Monday, November 15, 2010

To Serve

"You want truly happy children? Get this one thing through to them....we are here to serve, not to be served." -Kelly Crawford

Monday, November 01, 2010

Trickin' and Treatin'




Why do we trick or treat? Well, my friend Dolly reminded me of a great post by Wondergirl that spells it out quite nicely :0)

*This year we got to have cousin Brody (Buzz Lightyear) here from Missouri to trick or treat with us!*

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Overnight Turkey?!

Thanks Tricia for posting this link to the Overnight Turkey recipe. I'm passing it on for those of you that might enjoy having the Turkey done when you wake up on Thanksgiving morning :0)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Cake

Pumpkin Pie Cake (Another of my mom's recipes)

32 oz pumpkin (or 29 if that is all you can find :0)
4 eggs
1 1/2 c sugar
12 oz evaporated milk
1 t cinnamon
1 t ginger
1/2 t cloves

Mix all and pour into a greased 9x13. Top with:

1 box of yellow cake mix (spread evenly over pumpkin mixture)
1 c butter melted (just pour it all over the top of the cake mix)

Bake at 325 for 1 1/2 hours or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. It tastes like pumpkin pie (minus the crust) with a terrific crumbly topping. Yum!

Friday, October 15, 2010

My Mom's No Bake Cookies

I made them today. If you've never had these, give 'em a try. If you have, by all means make 'em again!

No-Bake Cookies

1/2 c butter
1/2 c milk
1/4 c cocoa
2 c sugar

Melt these ingredients together in a large pan and bring to a boil. Boil for a full 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Then add:

1/2 c peanut butter
1/2 t vanilla
3 c oats

Stir until all oats are well coated and drop into spoon sized dollops on waxed paper. Allow to cool. Lick the spoon and drink a big glass of milk :0)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Poem I Love

Song For a Fifth Child

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth, empty the dustpan, poison the moth, hang out the washing and butter the bread, sew on a button and make up a bed. Where is the mother whose house is so shocking? She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue (lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo). Dishes are waiting and bills are past due (pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo). The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew and out in the yard there's a hullabaloo but I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo. Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue? (lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow, for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow. So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep. I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Writing Tips and a Discount

Here is an article by Susan Wise Bauer about one school that totally changed the way they teach writing...and it worked! She gives her own thoughts on why their approach worked. Her comments on this topic are always very helpful to me. Since she posted on this topic her writing lectures (download only) will be discounted from noon on Tuesday to 5pm on Friday. These are great! If you need a little boost in the writing arena check these out.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

How to Get Your Sons to Read

Here is a terrific short article about how to get your boys to love reading. The author has 6 sons so I'll take his word for it :0)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

How to Improve Your Writing

Well, I am not a real writer. But, I am a teacher and so I want to improve my writing. I found the article 10 Ways to Seriously Improve Your Writing very helpful. It is more for the professional writer, but I still gleaned a few nuggets.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Joyful Parenting?

Peter Leithart has a wonderful post called Joyful Parenting. How can you be joyful when parenting is so much work? Sometimes "the kids join up in ever-shifting alliances to torture one another." Dr Leithart is the father of 10 children and has many helpful things to say on this topic. Check it out:0)

Monday, September 20, 2010

LA over at Habits For A Happy Home

If you are interested in some great language arts curriculum, check out my review over at Habits for a Happy Home. Have a great week!

Friday, September 10, 2010

School

Well, the main thing that is going on in life right now is...school! So, I thought I would do the typical "What we are doing for school this year" post. Here goes!

Aiden is in 2nd grade. Alex is in 1st grade. Riley is 4 and beginning to learn to read. Remy is 2 and very busy :0)

BIBLE
The Picture Smart Bible
Topical Memory System
Reading chunks of the bible with Daddy

HISTORY
We are still loving Sonlight! This year I am doing Core 2 (World History part 2) and P 3/4 (Fiction Fairy Tales and Fun for Riley and Remy). We especially love the Geography Songs that come with Core 2. They are great!

I am not using A Child's History of the World from Core 2. I am continuing on with Story of the World Book 2 instead.

I am not joining Classical Conversations, but I am going to use much of their memory work this year. The boys love stuff set to music and little ones memorize so easily! I am reading The Core by Leigh A. Bortins (founder of CC). She said that when her two older boys got into high school they wanted to delve into some deeper literature. They were hampered because they did not know the the context of these works. Basic science facts, history markers, math facts etc give a strong base in each subject. From there you can learn more of the hows and whys. With her younger two she made a point of having them learn many of these basics. She writes about how invaluable it was. I wish I had a better knowledge base, so I am happy to work something like this in for my boys. I'll learn it too! I got:

CC Cycle 2 Audio CD
CC Cycle 2 Memory Cards
Vertias Press History Cards and song CDs
Vertias Press Bible Cards and song CDs

LANGUAGE ARTS
Ordianry Parents Guide to Teaching Reading (I still love this book)
The Complete Writer Level 1 and 2
First Language Lessons
Italics Handwriting
Dynamic Literacy Word Builder
Spelling Power and Activity Task Cards This I will start about half way through the year.

MATH
I thought I would never do it, but...
Saxon 1 and 2
I'm not doing all the little extras, but I do like it so far.

SCIENCE
Noeo Science Bioligy 1
This comes with many DK, Usborne, and other great books, AND the kit with all the experiment ingredients in it!

ART
Artistic Pursuits (I LOVE THIS!)
This has received wonderful reviews. I ordered it with the art kit that includes all the needed supplies for the year for one student. It has worked fine for all the kids so far. There are just a few things that you would need multiples of.

MUSIC

Discoveries in Music: Melody Lane
(The boys love the video)

OTHER
The boys are interested in Chess so I am wanting to teach them this year. But, I have to learn myself!
Lastly, I got these two books to help me think of good "field trips" and activities.
101 Places You Gotta See Before You Are 12
101 Things You Gotta Do Before You Are 12
I have loved these two books so far. And, it is a good reminder for things to show the little boys too. Aiden and Alex have seen many of these things, but Riley and Remy have not!

We usually start school around 9 and we are done with the majority of school by noon. We have a lot on the list, but many of the things only take a few minutes. We usually have some reading left to do in the afternoon (or we can do it at bedtime).

Well, there you have it!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Picture Smart Bible

The Picture Smart Bible is one really fun tool that I picked up at my last curriculum fair. There is a detailed picture for each book of the bible that summarizes the main points in that book. For younger kids you can copy the complete picture and have them color it. For older kids or adults there are outline pages that have light lines that they are to trace as you read the scripture for that symbol and explain why they put it on the page. There is not much interpretation. Just the raw data found in each book. So, it works for many different denominations. In each book there is symbol that shows how that book points to Jesus...wonderful! AND, the copyright law is very generous. If you teach Sunday School, VBS, Women's bible study, family bible studies, or the like...you can make as many copies as you need for your group. They basically just restrict copying of the complete manual or copying for sales. They want as many people to benefit from this wonderful program as possible. I hope you like it! We do :0)

*NOTE* artistic skills are not necessary. All marks that need to be made are outlined with gray and simply need to be traced, any words written, and then colored only if you want to.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Are you a Princess or a Pioneer?

"In one of the books I was reading recently, there was an offhand comment about how there are really only two kinds of women: the princess and the pioneer. I was struck by the wisdom and insight in this observation, and the more I thought about it, the more it seems to really sum up how women generally handle life. We either are the kind who are willing to roll up our sleeves and dive into the business at hand, even if it is something we have never done before; or we are looking around for the people who are going to be taking care of us." (Nancy Wilson, Femina, April 24, 2008)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dirty Dishes

Thanks God for dirty dishes,
They have a tale to tell.
While others may go hungry,
We are eating well.
With home, health and happiness,
I shouldn't want to fuss.
By the stack of evidence,
God's been very good to us.

Dining on a Dime Cookbook
(I love it!)

Friday, July 02, 2010

Tricia's Vacation Tips

I love this post by Tricia. She gives some great tips for how to enjoy a family vacation(even when it is still lots of work for you :0). And, the best part...many of her great tips apply even on your own turf!

Yard Sale Treasure Map

Yard Sale Treasure Map is a really nifty site! You type in a town and it shows you yard sales in the area and makes you a map taking you from sale to sale. It even puts the description of each sale right on the printable directions. It uses info from craigslist to compile it's list, but you can add other sales manually. A pretty great tool...check it out :0)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Eli Tree



Please pray for this sweet family. Brad and Christy Tree just found out that their little son, Eli, has leukemia. It is treatable, but they have a long road of treatments ahead of them. They will be driving to Kansas City weekly for treatments for the first 6-8 months and that is 3 hours away from where they live. They also have a little girl named Ellie. The mom Christy is my sister-in-in law's sister. Let's lift them up to God for comfort, wisdom, and strength for the days ahead.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered,
And confidently waiting come what may,
We know that God is with us night and morning,
And never fails to greet us each new day.

Yet is this heart by its old foe tormented,
Still evil days bring burdens hard to bear;
Oh, give our frightened souls the sure salvation
For which, O Lord, You taught us to prepare.

And when this cup You give is filled to brimming
With bitter suffering, hard to understand,
We take it thankfully without trembling,
Out of so good and so beloved hand.

Yet when again in the same world you give us
The joy we had, the brightness of Your Sun,
We shall remember all the days we lived through,
And our whole life shall then be Yours alone.

Deitrich Bonheffer

The Magician's Nephew

Read it. You will love it! The Magician's Nephew is the first book in the Narnia series and I just wrapped it up tonight with my boys. C.S. Lewis uses such wonderful language and weaves such an amazing and rich story that it is simply not to be missed. I can't wait to start the second book!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

How to Read a Hard Book (take 2)

HERE is the article that I was supposed to link to last time :0)

I just got The Well Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and it has some of the same thoughts in it. Basically, it takes work and practice to be able to read hard books. It does not really "come naturally" to some and not others. Anyone can do it with a little practice! I'm looking forward to the part right after all the "practice" :0)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

How to Read a Hard Book

This article was really helpful. The author gave a few practical tips for how to approach a book that seems way over our heads. His main suggestion...skim it. Don't get bogged down in all that you don't know. Instead, look over the topics, read what you understand, and keep moving. Then you can go deeper with some familiarity with the topic, or put it down, knowing what the main points in the book were. The article is worth a read. I want to go find a hard book to read now! I just need the time...

Apple Says No To Porn

Here is a terrific article about Apple's stand against porn. So terrific! As if their products were not great enough already.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Alice in Wonderland

We LOVED this movie! Here is a link to a terrific article highlighting some of the christian themes in it.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Breakfast Cookies

I made these Breakfast Cookies this morning and they are terrific! I made one change. They call for 2 cups of Sucanat or Turbinado. I just used 2 cups of white sugar. My hubby (who does not like healthy cookies!) loved these.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Wife of Valor

I loved this post by Nancy Wilson. I always appreciate when someone shows us a balanced and biblical view of what a woman is to be.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Thanks Jeremy!

My sweet husband sent out this quote I thought it was excellent.


God is not who you think He is; He is who He says He is.
-- Clarice Fluitt

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Staying on Course

I loved this post about settling into a routine and just keeping on with the business of school. It is tempting to always be looking for something better, newer, more fun, easier, or faster. But, sometimes it is nice to just get down to business and do what you are doing. Thanks for the link, Angie!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

You Can't Do It All

Kendra re-posted this terrific message that her husband wrote her a while back. It was really encouraging and I wanted to pass it along! Find it here.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

The Cooking Tip That Changed My Life

Well, it's not really that dramatic, but I want to share it with you. Tricia mentioned that she does "Big Shop Cooking." The part that I have latched onto is buying a huge amount of ground beef and putting it in the crock pot as soon as I get home. I buy 10 pounds at Sam's, put half in the crock pot, turn it on high and add salt, pepper, and onion powder. I stir it now and then, keeping an eye on it. I usually get 80/20 so there is enough grease to keep it moist. Then when it is done I bag it up (using a slotted spoon to get it out of the grease) and freeze it. I just did 5 pounds tonight and now it is ready for a quick evening meal. I love that!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

12 Tips for Teaching Boys

This article by Michael Thompson has 12 great tips for teaching boys. He is mainly talking to school teachers I think, but much of it can be applied to anyone trying to teach boys anything at all. Even bible study with the family in the evening could be better if you knew how your boys learn. Thanks to Hal and Melanie Young over at Raising Real Men for linking to this!

*BONUS* I just read another great one posted over at Raising Real Men called Boys Need Heroes. Spot on!

Morning Bars

I made these for breakfast yesterday and they were SO DELICIOUS! Thanks Tricia for posting the recipe and photos!

Morning Bars

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

1 1/3 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cup rolled oats

10 oz jelly (black raspberry jam is best!)* (I used Seedless Blackberry)


1. Cream butter and sugar.

2. Add all other ingredients.

3. Do not grease the pan prior to baking (8x8 or 9x9).

4. Press out half of mixture into bottom of pan.

5. Cover with black raspberry preserves.

6. Cover top with remainder of oatmeal mixture (you can sort of press out large pieces and drop it on top).

7. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes.

8. Cut into squares (about 1 in) immediately after taking it out of the oven. Let cool (can eat them still warm)

You can also double the recipe. The bars freeze nicely - then can be warmed in the microwave.

*the jam can be hard to find at Walmart. Publix and Kroger usually have it.

I love it.

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be-
I had a mother who read to me.

Originally posted here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Overwhelmed?

Can't seem to get it all done? Committed to activities that keep you from getting things done at home? Kendra says one of the best pieces of advice she received was "Just stay home."

Now, we can take this too far of course and be so centered on our family that we never think to go out and serve others. Or, we can shelter our kids so much that they don't know how to interact with people that don't think like their family. But, there is a real temptation these days to "run, run, run." Sometimes you just need to hear that it is ok to stay home and train your kids. Love on them. Have time to read books. Teach them to help with household tasks. Keep your home running smoothly (or as smoothly as it can with little ones about :0).

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Can't Stop Reading

Take a look at Preschoolers and Peace. A friend mentioned it to me recently and it has so many terrific ideas and suggestions. The site has specifics about homeschooling, but it would be helpful to anyone that has a preschooler in the house.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Raising Real Men

I am crazy about this book. Raising Real Men is an excellent resource for anyone with sons. It is endorsed by:
Dr. Tedd Tripp (We loved Shepherding a Child's Heart!)
Dr. R. C. Sproul, Jr.
Chris Klicka
Douglas Wilson (We loved Future Men!)
J. Micheal Smith Esq.
Kevin Swanson

There are more great reviews over here and a helpful summary here.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Understood Betsy



We just finished Understood Betsy tonight! I loved it! I was reading it to Aiden and Alex as part of their Sonlight Read Aloud books. The boys are 5 and 7 right now and some of the language was bit tough and the sentences were sometimes long, and yet I think they really liked it! It was probably the toughest book that I have read to them so far. I read to them at many levels, but sometimes I like to read one that stretches them a bit. This was a great story for that. Read a few of the Amazon reviews. They summarize it much better than I can in the few minutes I have to post!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Misc School Stuff...SWB Style

SWB...that is Susan Wise Bauer. I read a few of her articles tonight that were REALLY helpful for me.

Does your child need a Gap Year? Susan Wise Bauer talks about the idea of taking a year off between high school and college. Sounds terrific! Check out part 2, part 3, and part 4.

Can Classical Education be fun? You bet!

Classical Education and Charlotte Mason...Similarities and Differences. This one has been very helpful for me.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Suffering Well

Here is a terrific article about a 35 year old pastor that is suffering well. I saw this over at Little Sanctuary.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Remy


My baby is 2 today! Happy Birthday Remy Christian Sexton!

Moms Need Naps Too

Here is a great post encouraging us to close our eyes and RELAX for 10 or 15 minutes in the afternoon. My kids have rest time, but I always feel like I need to get lots done! Starting tomorrow I am going to put my feet up and take Tricia's advice. I think she is right that it will make me more calm and happy during the crazy afternoon hours. Here are some ideas for kids during rest time.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Accountability Update...

My "read the bible through in 90 days" reading plan is, well...it may take a smidge more than 90 days. I actually don't know how long it will take me! I can't say that I am totally surprised, but I wish I was a little farther along. But, the good thing is that I have been trying to make it much more of a priority and have been enjoying reading large chunks of scripture at once. Using the free ESV audio bible online while I read along is very helpful if I am able to sit at the computer while I read. If you click the link above look for the word "listen" to access the audio bible.

One of the things that has been on my mind through this reading plan is that I want my kids to *SEE* me reading the bible and *SEE* me praying. I could do it after they are in bed or before they get up, but I also want them to grow up having seen me in the bible and in prayer often. It might not be a predictable, regular schedule, but I want them to grow up with those images fixed firmly in their minds.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

How Transparent Should You Be?

I have often wondered about this topic. Just how open should you be about your sin? How much should you share? Who should you share it with? This terrific article had some really great thoughts on the issue!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Children Who Care

While reading Steady Days by Jamie Martin I came across a Charlotte Mason quote that is worth sharing. Charlotte wrote:

"The question is not,-how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education- but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him?"

Work Boxes...Yay or Nay?

Well, after day one of the Work Box system Aiden's verdict is...

YAY!!!

He totally loved knowing just what he needed to do and he felt big knowing what to get next all by himself. I am going to separate things out a bit more tomorrow. I put too much in each box today. But, I just had to write and say that it was a huge success :0)

The Work Box System

My new friend Angie mentioned The Workbox System at our homeschooling group Tuesday night. It sounded great! I did not research the whole system. Instead, I just got a few boxes and separated Aiden's schoolwork out between them. When he has gone through all the boxes he knows he is done with school. It lets him know where he is at and how much more there is to do. Eventually I want to add chores and other things to their boxes, but for now I am starting with the basics. I went with the modular latch boxes that stack together (from Wal-mart).

I'm also posting a picture of some tall skinny file boxes that might work well for some (from Office Max).

Monday, February 15, 2010

Savvy Nest

Savvy Nest is a terrific new blog run by Emily. She is the sister of a long time friend of mine (Hi Susanne!) and she knows her stuff. Stop by her blog and don't forget to click on each heading to see each section. Consider subscribing to help her get going!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Teaching Kids at the Table

Nancy posted this recently and I LOVED it. I have always thought I should be focusing on eating habits a bit more with my boys, but I felt a bit mean and wanted meal times to be fun. Well, this article about manners helped me with some of my thoughts on the matter. A terrific read (and not too long!).

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Get Earth "Thrown In"

I happened to come across this quote that Pastor Tommy Lee recently posted:

“If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the slave trade, all left their mark on earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’: Aim at earth, and you will get neither.”
~ C.S. Lewis

Plan some fun kid cooking!

Here is a short fun article about planning some fun kid cooking. This smart momma has a "cook box" that helps her out. Terrific idea!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Products I Love...take 3




These two are terrific together. The crackers are at Walmart and the cheese is at Sam's. I think the crackers are my favorite part. They go really well with any extra sharp cheddar cheese. Give 'em a try!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why won't men lead?...thanks Femina!

Once again I have to link to a terrific article over at Femina. This one is entitled Why Men Won't Lead. I think she hits the nail on the head! Look here to read it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wanna live long?

I just read a really interesting article about the cultures in the world where people live the longest. It takes less than 5 minutes to read and you can find it here.

This is an excerpt from a similar article found here.

The Power 9
In 2000 a team of scientists and I began studying cultures where people live longest. The residents of these "Blue Zones" don't diet or belong to health clubs, but they do share common healthy behaviors. We call them the Power 9:

1 Keep Moving
Find ways to move naturally, such as walking, gardening, using fewer labor-saving devices.

2 Find Purpose
And pursue it with passion.

3 Slow Down
Work less, rest, take vacations.

4 Stop Eating...
...when you're 80 percent full.

5 Dine on Plants
Eat more veggies, and less meat and processed foods.

6 Drink Red Wine
Do it consistently but in moderation.

7 Join a group
Create a healthy social network.

8 Feed your soul
Engage in spiritual activities.

9 Love your tribe
Make family a high priority. -D.B.

You can watch this 20 minute video on the subject.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Products I Love...take 2



I really love this. I shopped around in 2005, did some comparing and bought a PC because it was cheaper. After that experience I decided that my next computer would be a Mac. My PC crashed (as in fried) in 2008 and and I took the Mac plunge. It is terrific! And, although it can be a little more expensive at the beginning there is no antivirus software to buy and it comes with lots of terrific software already on it: iPhoto, iMovie, Garage Band, Photo Booth, Address Book, iTunes, and iCal. It has a screen, keyboard, and mouse. You plug in one power cord and you are ready to go. I have had any major problems with it since June 08. When I have had little things I could not figure out, this came in handy...



If you get a Mac, get this. It is amazing. For 3 years from my purchase date I can call and get a live person on the phone to help me with anything Mac...any of the programs and any of the settings and hardware on my computer. For a non-computer person, this is HUGE. I had a little trouble with my mouse last month and they mailed me a new one...OVERNIGHT...with a prepaid label to send the old one back.

So, if you have been on the fence, go ahead and cross over. You'll be glad that you did.

*If you call and ask about refurbished ones you can get an older model for much cheaper. We did and it has been great.

Products I Love...take 1



I love this stuff. My friend Leslie said she loved it a while back. When my dishwasher was not doing so hot (I had to rewash a lot) I gave this stuff a try. WOW! If you need a little extra help at the sink after dinner, pick some up and give it a try.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Haiti

If you want to see what has happened in Haiti, look here. Then pray for the people.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sequential Spelling

I was using Spelling Workout for my first grader, but really wanted to try Sequential Spelling. I waited for 6 months and just kept doing what we were doing. Last week I bit the bullet and just switched in the middle of the year and gave SS a try. It is terrific! I love interacting with my son over his spelling instead of just handing him the work book. I know that he is really learning the words better this way, too. He would do fine on the workbook pages, but he was just filling in the blanks and moving on. With this system he has to think before each word and come up with the spelling himself, but it is in the context of words that have similar roots. The book says that on day 5 your child will be able to spell "beginning"...and he could! I have been amazed at the connections he has made and what big words he has been able to spell on his own because of this teaching method. You basically just give them the test (with no previous studying) and then if they misspell a word you tell them the correct spelling right then and they erase and rewrite it correctly. That is it! It's simple, but it has really worked for my 7 year old son. Give it a try!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Mint.com

Has anyone ever tried Mint.com? I was about to use a pencil and paper for our budget instead of trying to learn some new software, but I came across Mint and I think I like it! It is not as simple as Pear Budget. But, it imports all your transactions automatically and you can split 1 transaction between multiple categories. Pretty nice. There is a lot there that I won't be using, but so far I am liking the budgeting part of the site.

Amazing...and good

My friend Wendy put this on her Facebook. I've never seen anything like this in the news either.