Monday, October 31, 2011

Mission for November

Mission for November:

I ran across a blog called  She has great homeschooling ideas. One of the things  I liked best was she has a mission of the month.  This is when she shares with her fellow bloggers her mission or goals for the month.  This inspired me and so here are my goals for the month of November:
  • Organize my kitchen cupboards (ugh!)
  • Finish my meal planning for November(better get that done quick, so we can eat) 
  • I am going to actually plan this year’s Thanksgiving beforehand
  • Start planning Christmas (when I figure out what that means I will share it with you)
  • Finish putting together new calendar set up for classroom.

  • Write more inspirational posts
  • Start writing a Bible study
  • Write an article or two for other sources

Okay, there they are out there for the world to see.  Not all of you can actually see if I stick to it but some of you who know me well can.  I would say that Melissa put hers out their for us too.  Thank you for Jenn for your inspiration.

Mission of the Month


Easiest Meal Planning ever!

So for all you busy moms out there, whether you work outside the home or not, I have found the easiest meal planning resource to help! It is called 5 dinners in One Hour! It has opened our taste buds to good home cooked meals that are healthy and delicious! It has helped me get away from my typical spaghetti and tator tot hot dishes. My kids are trying new things. Their favorite right now - Tuna melts or the meatloaf cupcakes - yummy! I encourage you all to check it out.

For $15 dollars you get 3 months worth of meals. The format is five meals in one week, comes with a grocery list and instructions. The goal for this format is that over the weekend you prepare the five meals.  It should only take one hour. I don’t know if I am explaining this very well, but for all you moms out there looking for resources and options check out her website. 

I have been doing this since around March and it has been so much fun trying new things. It has been so nice to be organized during the night and to have my meals planned. When I come home from work we are not looking through cupboards and the fridge looking for something quick or doing the next best thing - ordering pizza. Now because of 5 dinners in One Hour I am able to provide great home cooked meals every night!

Have a wonderful Week!


So I have fallen off the wagon….

And it is about time I hop back on it. When I went back to work, I promised myself and my family one thing - to keep them my priority.  For one example, I was going to provide the evenings with routine and home cooked meals. Well, over the last month I have failed in that department. I have let my priorities at work, school and our crazy home schedule catch up to me and consume my thoughts and my time.

To be honest, this goes much further than the evening routines.  I haven’t been feeling much like the Proverbs 31 wife much at all, which is something I strive to be.  As a working mother, is it realistic to be this wife of noble character?  There are times when I say YES and I feel like God has prepared me to handle this crazy schedule I have signed up for. Other times, I say NO, it is just too much to for me. 

Today was our first weekend with no plans as a family and I must say the time spent doing nothing (ok, some cleaning was involved) was awesome! I have come to realize this weekend I need to return my attention to my Lord and Savior and my family. I feel a renewed energy as I take on this coming week.  So here I go again, back up on the wagon.

Working outside the home is manageable, after all, the noble wife did look for ways to bring in some income to the home. My source just happens to mean working outside the home. Moving forward I am reminded that it may take some extra effort and some extra planning to provide for my family. But with a renewed faith, I know that God has blessed me and I will do my best to take care of all that God has given me. Read below for an excerpt of the Proverbs 31.

Proverbs 31:15- 18 15“She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. 16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. 18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.

Why do I share this with you all? I am hoping that by sharing this with you all and knowing that some of you are working moms just like me, that you have a renewed focus and  are guided to be that Noble wife that we all strive to be. We love our families and we love our God. So, if by all this, it means I have to be that much more committed to meal planning (more to come on that topic) and to be that much more organized with my time, then so be it. I will do this with joy and enthusiasm.

Have a wonderful Week!


Friday, October 28, 2011

Homemade Waffles


We have been making these waffles in our house for years.  You know really you have to mix up waffle and pancake mix anyway, why not just make it homemade.
I love making things homemade because then we always have the supplies on hand.  Even if you don’t have pancake mix in the pantry you always have flour, milk and those other basics.
Here is the recipe I use.  This makes quite a bit but it keeps well in the fridge for a few days later or you can cook all of them and then package them and freeze them for next week.
1 3/4 cup flour- you can use any amount of wheat here.
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
2 Eggs
1 3/4 cup Milk
1/2 cup Veg. Oil
1 Teaspoon vanilla
Just mix together the dry ingredients and then add the wet ingredients to it and mix very well until all incorporated.
You can add mini chocolate chips to the mix after you pour the batter onto the iron before you put the top down.  Have fun with other add ins and toppings.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Football with Girls?

Two weeks ago my son had a game in another town.  As we sat on the home side (because it was so stinkin windy) we noticed on the other teams line up, one of the players had a ponytail.  And “he” looked a little curvier than most.  “He” was a she. She stood on the side for a while, then she went in - on the line of all places.  Guess where our guy played.  Yes, he was matched up with her. 
I know you are all thinking, "Well, why shouldn’t a girl be able to play football if she is qualified?".  As the mother of a daughter, who may really want to do this, I would think  I would want to support her.  But as the mother of a son, I have to say that I hated it.  From a very young age we have taught our son not only to NOT hit girls, but also that girls/woman are meant to be treated gently and cherished.
Now, he is being told “slam her to the ground man”.  What is up? How can we send these mixed messages?  Is this even a good message to send to our daughters? 
I really have no answers at all except that my gut tells me maybe there are some things  girls can do, but maybe shouldn’t do.  What do all of you think?
P.S. If you want to leave a comment but are unable to get it to work, please send us a message on Facebook to let us know.  We think we are having trouble with the comments.  Please help us know if we are. Thank You!!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fall! I love this time of year.

Here are Gigi and Franklin, my two little ones.  I call them these names after each of their favorite books.  Gigi is from the book by Sheila Walsh called Gigi God’s little princess.  Franklin is after our favorite series of Franklin books with the cute little turtle that we love.  Plus, they just remind me of those characters.
This is our annual jump in the leaves picture. This tradition is highly recommended. It helps you see their growth and is just a fun thing to do.
I love the one below, except for the fact that I had to endure getting plastered by leaves in order to get the shot.
Happy Fall ! !


Monday, October 24, 2011

Gooey Chocolate Cookies

These are what we call The Bomb Diggity, a little phrase we picked up from Scooby Doo.  I got this recipe from my friend Beth. 
You have to try these:
Now I know these look like your typical chocolate cookies but look at the ingredients below.
1 pkg. Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1t. Vanilla
1 pkg. (18 1/4 Oz.) Chocolate cake mix
  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Add cake mix and mix well (dough will be sticky).  Cover and refrigerate for 2 hrs.
  • Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls.  Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 350 for 9-11 min. or until tops are cracked.  Cool for 2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
Hope you enjoy these as much as we did.  You notice I said "did", they disappeared in one day.  We did have our daughter and her friend home from college but still.  I did tell you they were the Bomb Diggity.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pumpkin Jars

I found this idea in the Family Fun Magazine last month. We had a lot a fun doing these and I thought I would show you.
Do you see the little peeper behind the jars?
To do this, all we did was put masking tape on the jars where we wanted the light to come through, then painted the entire jar orange. These are just old spaghetti sauce jars. Then we put a little tea light inside. Light and enjoy!!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

There Is Something More Painful Than Giving Birth!

Our first born was a beautiful 9 pound baby girl.  She was huge and two weeks early.  This being our first and me only being 5’3” it was painful.  Plus, you know on your first you want to be heroic, so no drugs for me.  Ouch, for me and her, she broke her collar bone on the way out.  But that was 18 years ago and I think I have experience a pain much worse.  Not to long ago we dropped her off at college.  It is not that I am scared for her, I know she will be just great.  When I gave birth to her the pain was worth it and forgotten quickly when I saw that beautiful face.  Then I got to take her home.  This pain stinks because there is no gain for me in the end of it, or is there?  For 18 years we have raised her in the best way that we knew and raised her to know her heavenly Father as well.  It is time to release her into the world to use the wings that we have groomed for flight.  In the Book of Proverbs in chapter 31 the word tell us of a woman that we can model ourselves from if we are to be a woman of noble character.  In that chapter at the end of the list of all that the woman does it says that her children will rise up and call her blessed.  This our reward for all of the thankless jobs and hours that a mother puts in and seeing your child fly on their own and succeed is where we are blessed.  She is only at the beginning of this flight but her faith is strong, our bond is strong and she is following her Lord and Savior.  I know that even if she does fall she won’t get too bruised up.   I on the other hand feel like a piece of me has been torn away.  I pray to be strong and courageous  right now.  If you know a family with one going off to college now you know how to pray for them and so do I now.
Love you Honey!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Q of the Week

We would like to know how you show respect to your man?  The bible tells us that as women we are to respect our husband and husbands they are to love their wives.  Why is this different?  This is because we process acts of love differently and this is how we feel validated by our spouse.  As wives, feel cherished and loved when our husbands do something for us.  And just the same, when we do something for our husbands, they feel cherished and respected when we do something for them. So, what do you do to show respect to your husband?  

Here are our answers:

Melissa- While I heard of this concept years ago, I am new at understanding what it really means being fairly new to my commitment to the Lord.  I now understand that my husband IS the head of our home and it has been work in progress for me to give up "wearing the pants".  I show respect to my husband by allowing him to have the final say in the decision making process (sometimes this is done with gritted teeth). But I know it means a lot to him that I step back so that he can be in the role God gave him.

Jeannie-I know this seems silly but my husband loves to have the bed made each morning.  I really could care less; it is just as comfy unmade to me as made.  But to show respect for his needs/wants I make the bed every morning.
Let us know what you do.

Melissa and Jeannie

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Respecting Your Man

When we start going out with our husbands, we can’t stop talking about how great they are. I'm sure my friends and family were tired of hearing how great Mike was.
Two years down that road called “marriage” we stop talking about how great they are. Has he changed? Has he lost his luster? Why do we stop? He is still the same man. Men don't change very easily. Everything we loved about him in the beginning is still there. It is just that once you are married, you know everything about them. 
              The good, the bad, and the ugly. You know what I ‘m talking aboutWinking smile
As the God given title of “provider” is given to them, our husbands get stressed by all of these changes. Take babies for instance, we walk around with a blissful look on our faces for the entire nine months. That is the glow that everyone talks about. We are doing what we were made to do. Our bodies were made to produce children. Sure we have a little stress about the prospect of a new child but, have you ever seen that blissful look on a man's face. Occasionally, yes, but in general they are thinking about all that having a child is going to do to your finances, your relationship and his life. My husband was like that with everyone of our children. You would think by the fourth child, he wouldn't worry so much.  But it is who they are.
We need to take a different look at this stressed out man. We should look at him with respect. He is stressed because he loves you and your child(ren). He wants to be a good provider, a good husband and a good father. The thought that he would fail you and his child kills him. This continues on from the day they find out they are going to be fathers until the children are grown and probably even longer.
I would say that nine times out of ten, when Mike has been really stressed and showing signs of it, it has been related to him as a provider,he felt inadequate in some way. Our job as wives is to start talking about how great they are again, just like in the beginning of our relationship. You don't need to tell anyone else, just him. Thank him for being a good provider, good husband and father.
One last thing, I realize when they are acting this way, some of their negative attitudes and words are aimed at you. This can be painful. When I finally stopped taking it personally  and realized that it was his love for me that caused him this stress, I was able to help him through these times. When he starts acting frustrated, I simply say, "You seem kind of stressed. Do you want to talk or is there anything I can do for you?" Sometimes he will talk right then and sometimes it takes a few days. Eventually, though, he always talks it out and we get through it.
As Christian women we need to give him to the Lord also. Only God can change the heart of a man. Pray for him. Praise him. Respect him. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Christmas Gift idea!

Yes I start early.  Not as early as some but still early.  I found this great deal on my absolute favorite site for finding deals.  I found almost all of my Christmas gifts there last year. Here is the link for my latest find. 
These are not our sweatshirts of choice it is the picture she had on her site.  I can't tell you the ones we ordered I may have snooping eyes.  Shh!

 Finish Line is having a sale on hoodies with College logos on them, for every state that I could see or at least for the ones I was looking for.  They are $20 each originally $50.  You can get 4 for $80.  Great deal!  Check it out.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap

My Friend Stacy over at has a great recipe for Homemade Laundry soap.  She has used it forever and loves it.  I am not "allowed" to use it.  I have a husband whoses one request in life is that we have nice smelling laundry which he means heavily scented, so that is one area I don't skimp on.  It is a small price to pay for a happy husband.  Check it out she has great pictures and instruction.  Here is all she uses:
Hope you enjoy!!!

Green or thrifty? You decide.

I just wanted to pass on this tip that I used often.
We buy Target brand nuts in this container:
And when they are gone (which doesn’t take long)-
I take off the label and use them for the storage of all kinds of things.
In this one I have pattern blocks that the kids use.  I also use them for glitter glue and anything that is small that needs contained.
I also found this cool craft that was super easy, otherwise I would not have done it.  I apologize that I don’t remember where I saw it.  I don’t take credit for the idea just the container usage.  Anyway, here it is.  It is an I-spy jar.  You put little objects in the jar of rice and your children can turn it this way and that to find the toys.  Great portable entertainment.
I you have any great container suggestions let us know and we will post them or just link them here.
Have fun creating!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Homemade Hamburger Buns

Now don’t get worried, this is soooo easy.
My family loves homemade bread, who doesn’t.  Until about 3 years ago I was scared to death to make it.  I learned from a woman who was taught by her Mennonite mother-in-law.  She gave use the recipe that I listed below and showed us at our moms group how to mix and knead and knead and punch the dough.  I did this for about 3 months and then my hands started to hurt.
  So, I pulled out my bread maker that was quite dusty and through all of the ingredients into the pan.  Voila! Homemade bread!!  I make this in the bread maker about 2-3 times a week and it is gone in seconds it seems.
Homemade Bread dough
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup oil- veg or olive
1 teas. salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 1/2 cups flour I use 2 cups wheat and 2 1/2 cups all-purpose
1 heaping Tablespoon Yeast click here to see my yeast tip
This recipe fits perfectly in a 1 1/2 lb. bread maker.
When make this dough I make it on the dough setting on the machine.  Then I take the ball of dough out and form it however I want.  I can make French bread type loaves on a cookie sheet or put it into 2 loaf pans. 
This is the same dough I use to make the most yummy buns.  I take the dough and pinch off small balls of dough about the size of a baseball then place them on a cookie sheet with about an inch between them.
Bake them at 350 degrees for 20 min.  They will be golden and crunchy on the outside and soft and warm on the inside.  Oh, I need to go make some more of these. I can’t stand it.  My daughter loves to take these to college she can keep them in the freezer and just bring out a few at a time.  She is a bread and honey junkie.
Hope you enjoy these as much as we do and seriously they are super easy.  Don’t be afraid like I was be strong and courageous. Winking smile

A Great Bargain on Yeast for your Bread Maker.

I make a lot of homemade bread for our family.  Now don’t get like that!  I use my trusty bread maker of course and I have the easiest recipe known to man. 
So, anyway since I make so much bread we go through tons of yeast, well more like pounds but it is a lot.  I found a bargain at Sam’s club on yeast.  In the grocery store yeast is about $5 for 4 oz. unbelievable! At Sam’s club I get 2 lbs for less than $6.  Huge huge difference.  I have used this for years so I can vouch for its ability to work well everytime.  Check it out!
I do keep this in the freezer.  I have an old jar from the expensive yeast I purchased long ago so I keep a small amount in that in the fridge.  Yeast is kept best in cool dark places so the dark container kept in the fridge is the perfect spot.

A light extinguished to soon?

In our community we just lost a young girl in a car accident.  I did not know her well.  I did know her mother and brother from our daughter’s cross country team.  From what I understand she was bubbly and silly and full of life.  I am told also that she loved Jesus.  She would read her Bible to other kids during breaks in choir and was not afraid to display her faith and yet she was very well loved by her peers. 
Why was someone like that taken from us so early?  If she could be here witnessing to others so easily then why would God take her now?  That is a question only answered by God himself.
I did go to the movie Courageous just last weekend and in that movie a child is lost and a line in the movie talks, at least about how we can think about a young death.  “We shouldn’t mourn the years we won’t have with them but instead celebrate the years and time we did have with them” .  I love that because that makes it make a little more sense in our finite brains. 
Each one of us has free will of course but we all have a purpose as well.  This young girl in our community live out her purpose to the full and I believe that because of the life that she lead her purpose will continue on now after her death.   You see many many people are being told about her and the life that she lived, many of her class mates hearts are broken and they are seeking God for answers. Some of these kids may have never talked to God but they are now seeking an explanation and He has permission at that time to speak to their hearts.  Many doors are being opened that may not have ever opened if it weren’t for the life and death of one special girl.
Was a light extinguished to soon?  In our minds yes, but to the creator of this world our omniscience God, which means infinite knowledge, no this was perfectly in His will.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What is your History?


In my Sunday school class we are watching a video titled American Heritage Series.  It is all about our country’s history.  I highly recommend this video.


Watching this made me start thinking about how history is so important and that we are to know it so that we can learn from the successes and failures of the past. 

How many of us think about our own history?  I don’t mean necessarily all of the negative in your past and your childhood.  We are asked to look back on those things occasionally but how often do you look back on the history of how you have or have not followed God’s will for your life. 

I went back once and looked at and wrote down all of the times that I knew that I was in God’s will.  I knew this because from the other side of it (you know hind sight is 20/20) I could see that God’s hand was in the choice that we made.  Or the times when I could tell we were in God’s will because of the way things felt. 

I also wrote out the times when I knew we were not in God’s will.  I stepped back to that time in my mind and tried to remember how I felt, was I at peace or anxious.  I also tried to remember the circumstances surrounding the event, were there difficulties or did everything flow with ease. 

I noticed that the times when I know we were in His will I was at peace when I should not have been and things just flowed nice and easy as I remember them.  Of course troubles would arise but with God’s unsurpassing peace and unfailing help it seemed to go so well.  It also just felt right and with the praying that we had done I knew that that feeling was coming from my Heavenly Father.

The times when I know that we were out of His will were the times when we were anxious and everything seemed to go wrong.  We would fight and get frustrated with the kids.  And of course it just felt off, maybe not wrong because we wouldn’t have gone forward if we knew it was wrong but you know that nagging feeling you get when it just seems not quite right.

So,  I just encourage you to go back in your history and see what you can find there.  Then use this information to help you in your decision making in the future.  With this and prayer you will find your perfect path much easier.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Great ways to use that homemade playdough

I found this site that had some great ways to use playdough and many other fun kid crafts.

Homemade Play Dough

I love to make my own play dough.  I am not a very good planner, so when I ask them if they want to play with play dough and I open it and it is all dried up or the colors are mixed into the color brown.  No problem, I can just whip up a batch and yes they need to wait but they can have fun watching.  You can actually do a magic trick while making this play dough that amazes Preschoolers.
Put all of the dry ingredients into the sauce pan and stir together well.  At this point no matter what color Kool-Aid packet you choose, the dry ingredients are all white right now.  Show them the white powder and show them the clear water that you have measured out.  Tell them that you can magically (no wizardry intended just plain fun) turn the white powder into a color by adding water. 
They are astounded and think you are the coolest and of course you are because you can make homemade play dough.


Homemade Play Dough
2 packages of no sugar added Kool-Aid any flavor
2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Salt
2 teaspoons Cream of Tarter( this is a white powder that is found in the spice section of the grocery store)
2 cups water
3 tablespoons of Vegetable oil
Mix together the first 4 ingredients in a sauce pan and then pour in the water and oil.  Mix together and cook over medium heat.  Stir with a wooden or plastic spoon continuously until the mixture looks like mashed potatoes, but not too wet.  After this you dump the lump of play dough out into a oiled counter and knead it for a minute or so.  It will be hot be careful.  If it is too hot just flatten it out with the spoon and wait 2-3 minutes and try again.  Store this in an airtight container.  

We are linking up with Homeschool Creations with this post.  Check out this and other ideas for Preschoolers here.

Have Fun!!

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

I just found these lovelies on a cute blog that I heard about on a commercial.  It was funny we were watching TV and this commercial can on for I think spic and span.  The lady on the commercial mentioned her blog in the commercial.  I am always looking for new recipes and the name of the site is very cute “The Big Red Kitchen  so I looked it up.  She is very creative and I found these.
I experimented with them once  while the two older kids were at camp and the younger kids loved them.  For Alliegators our oldest daughter’s birthday breakfast we made them. 
We had to do a b-day breakfast because, any of you who have teenagers will get this, that is the only time that week we would all be together.  We are not usually that busy but it was also the last week she was home before leaving for college.  So, even her boyfriend came over at 7 am on a Wednesday morning.
Here are my pics of the fun process of making this breakfast treats:
See!  Regular pancakes and then you just swirl on the cinnamon mixture that by the way is to die for.
Then place on your plate and drizzle the icing and eat.  So, Yummy!
This is the exact recipe from THE BIG RED KITCHEN:
Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
For the Cinnamon Filling...
In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, mix until smooth:
1 stick softened butter, almost melty
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 T. cinnamon
Using a rubber spatula to scrape the sides, pour this mixture into a large pastry bag that had been opened and stood up in a tall tumbler. A large ziptop bag with the edges folded over the tumbler would work too.
For the Cream Cheese Icing...
In the same bowl that you used for the cinnamon filling, mix together, using the hand mixer again:
2 cups powdered sugar
2 ounces cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
4 T. milk
Mix until smooth and pour into a second pastry bag just like you did with the cinnamon mixture above.
For the Pancakes...
In the same bowl that you used for the filling and the icing- no need to be using or washing too many bowls now- mix together:
2 cups pancake mix- I used Bisquick's Heart Healthy
3 eggs
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 T. powdered sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
Using the hand mixer, blend until smooth. In a large non-stick skillet, over medium to medium-low heat, and using a 1/4 cup dry measuring cup, ladle 2 pancakes. Snip the tip off the pastry bag containing the cinnamon filling so that the opening is a scant 1/2 inch wide, swirl over cooking pancakes in a circular motion- 3 go-a-rounds should do. Continue to cook the pancakes until bubbles form evenly through each cake. Gently flip each pancake over and cook another 30-45 seconds, remove to a serving platter and serve immediately or keep warm covered in a warm oven. Continue with the rest of the batter. Place 2-3 pancakes side by side (too pretty to stack!) on each person's plate and drizzle each one with icing. Serve maple syrup, bacon or sausage, and fruit on the side. Makes 18 pancakes.
Note- Using a damp paper towel, wipe your skillet after each pancake is made. This will keep the next pancake from sticking to any of the cinnamon filling that has leaked onto your skillet or griddle.
After I swirled each pancake with the cinnamon filling, I returned the pastry bag, tip down in the tumbler. This kept it from leaking all over.
Store any leftover icing in the refrigerator for future use.

 Hope you all enjoy these as much as we have!!