Monday, April 30, 2012

How do you get connected?

This weekend I went on my first youth conference as an adult.  My teens have gone for years, but having little ones also, has made it difficult for me attend.
praying 2I had a blast,  I really didn’t realize how much I would enjoy the kids.  I love mine, but normally get irritated by others.  I think that God is changing my heart.

The theme of the the conference was “Connected”.  The speaker taught them all about staying connected to God, through prayer and about how that is as essential to our life, as plugging in our ipad is to its use.  If you don’t plug in the pad you have no power when you need it.  If we don’t plug into God, through prayer, we also won’t have the power when we need it.

It was so amazing, through the whole weekend the kids and leaders did 6 hours of prayer.  Not once did the kids complain or get tired of doing it.  One speaker said “We can bring in the best speakers and the best bands but nothing can change your hearts like God can through the power of prayer”. praying
Isn’t that so true.  We can talk and talk but only God can change the hearts of those we love.  I am going to set up a weekly time at our church for the kids to come as they are and have a quiet place to pray, starting this week. 

God also convicted me on my prayer life.  I pray almost constantly, daily but I don’t spend very much time waiting on the Lord.  I normally do all of the talking.  So, I am going to, next week present a prayer challenge for you all to join me in.  More details on that later.  But for now I just encourage all of you to take a look at your prayer life.  How well are you connected to the King of the Universe?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cornbread Salad


I was just about ready to “pin” this recipe on Pinterest but it looked to good to just “pin”.

I love cornbread and love, love, love a great salad.  So, there you go, two greats put together.

I found this recipe over at one of my new Favorites

Country Momma Cooks


  • 3 c. left over cornbread(cut into small pieces)
  • 1-15 oz can of kidney beans(rinsed and drained)
  • 1-15 oz can of corn(drained)
  • 1/4 c. chopped red onion
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped tomatoes
  • 3 c. chopped lettuce
  • 1 c. grated cheese
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 2 tbs. powdered ranch dressing mix

Mix sour cream, milk and ranch powder and set aside. Layer cornbread, beans, corn, onion, tomatoes and lettuce. Top with dressing and sprinkle with cheese.
You can add layers of anything you like, black olives, bacon crumbles or cucumbers. 
Head on over to her site to get a great cornbread recipe

I am going to try to make the Salad next week.  You try it too and we’ll meet back here and compare notes.



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Homemade Bread

We usually make this in the bread maker but I decided to have the little ones help me to make it by hand.
It is nothing big, the bread just looked so good.  I thought that I would inspire a few of you to make some homemade bread for your family for dinner tonight.
You know it looks good!  We even buttered the top.  Don’t be afraid of homemade bread like I was for years.  It really is so easy.

White or Wheat Bread
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oil (you can use anything you like, I have tried many)
1/3 cup brown sugar or honey (both work great)
1 cup boiling water
1 cup cold water

*Stir until dissolved*

3 cups flour (for wheat bread use 1-3 cups wheat flour and the rest white flour for a total of 3 cups)
1 heaping Tablespoon Yeast (For a yeast tip go here)

*Use spoon and stir till flour is all mixed in.*

3-4 cups flour
*add each cup slowly until you have smooth, elastic dough.  Knead several minutes(about 5 minutes).  Cover with a light dish towel and let rise till double (around 30-40 minutes). 
 Work down the dough and let rise till double again. (around 30-40 minutes, I have skipped this step, but the bread comes out better if you do it). 
 Shape into two leaves and put into greased pans (Crisco works best).  Poke fork into each loaf to get rid of extra air pockets.  Cover and let rise till double (30-40 minutes).
  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-28 minutes.  Bread is done when you tap on the bread and it sounds hollow.  Remove from pans immediately and lightly(or not lightly) grease the tops with butter.
  Cool around 30 minutes. At this point you can even freeze them in freezer bags if you would like for use later.*

I hope that you give it a try.  It really is very simple.  Also, I again use this recipe in the bread maker.  Hand made does taste best.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Recognizing The Lies and Saving Your Relationships

Last week I talked about Spiritual Warfare.  Our family has been in the midst of warfare for 2 weeks now.  I so appreciate God allowing us to experience this with our eyes wide open.
Winter girl high-key
I am going to share something with you that has happened a thousand times in 20 years of marriage and so I know that it will speak to some of you.  Mike and I were blessed with a date night, thanks to our oldest Allie.  She offered and we jumped at it.  All that day we had been fine, work went as usual for Mike and my day was busy but good.  He asked me where I wanted to go for dinner, I said that I didn’t care.  He said he didn’t either.  Seeing that one of us had to make some suggestion, I said that I would like to go to the little Mexican place in town.  Mike did everything he could to talk me out of that place so I said that again, I didn’t care where we went.  (I know you have been here, why does this happen?)

Anyway, he wouldn’t make up his mind but wanted me to and yet talked me out of the one place I did suggest.  So, up till here is just normal stuff, I suppose.  All of a sudden in my mind, I was this beat down wife who was never able to speak my own mind, Satanwho sacrificed everything for everyone with nothing in return.  O.K. well that is all a big fat lie! Where was all of that coming from.  I even had vindictive thoughts toward the love of my life.
Thankfully, the Lord opened my eyes and instead of becoming the victim of whatever was going on here.  I simply talked to Mike about what I thought was going on.  I said  “I think that Satan in lying to me”.   I explained all that has gone through my mind.  He agreed that I must be under attack but also admitted to being partly at fault. 

In the past I would have given in to the lies and pouted and ruined our night.  I am so glad that God helps us to grow and get stronger in our faith.  So, next time you feel beat down by someone or circumstances, reach out to the Lord and ask him to lead you through so that you can conquer those lies.  It seems like a daily occurrence for us, that we are seeking God to help us to be more than conquerors.
Rom 8:37
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Chicken Sausage Sauce Over Noodles

Here are one of those dishes that you put together because you have a couple of ingredients and you just have to make it work or run out to the store. 

I had some Chicken Sausages that I picked up at Sam’s Club last weekend and a jar of pasta sauce.  The sausage had a Italian flavor, with Provolone cheese in it.  I thought that may make a good addition to pasta sauce. 

I don’t know how but I was out of Spaghetti noodles, that never happens, I always buy tons.  But I did have some egg noodles.  So we gave it a try.  My family loved it, of course or I wouldn’t be sharing this with you. 
4 Chicken Sausage Links-Italian seasoned
1 Onion, diced
2 Cloves Garlic, diced
1 jar of Pasta Sauce
1 16oz. bag of Egg Noodles, prepared directed.

I cut up the sausages into bit sized pieces, then added it to a pan with the onion and garlic.  I sautéed them for about 10 minutes.  Next, I added the sauce and let it all simmer for 30 minutes.  Prepare Noodles as directed.  Finally, pour the sauce over the noodles and serve with a nice green salad. 

One last tip.  This sausage is great grilled and then sliced up and put on crackers with cheese. 


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spiritual Warfare

From very small I was taught about the spiritual warfare.  My mom understood it and spoke about it in prayer or about different situations. 
I didn’t really have a very good understanding about what she meant until years later as an adult I read the book This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti.  This book gave me a visual, at least in my mind, of what the spiritual realm is about and how it can effect my life. 

Just recently I was reading Hinds' Feet on High Places [Illustratred] by Hannah Hurnard.  I started to read one version that was forwarded by Jars of Clay but I just got lost.  The book that I am now reading is the Illustrated version.(I am a visual person)  I started by just reading it to my children, but found it very interesting.  The book talks about things like fear and doubt as people.  It gave the spirit of fear a face and sort of opened my eyes a little more to the spiritual world around me. 

Now, I don’t see demons and things, I just see that the anger that may come out of nowhere in me or the unexplained fears that rise up in my children, are not just part of life.  They are a part of a life that we can not see, but affect us greatly.

The wonderful thing about all of this is that the part of Spiritual Warfare that I did understand as a child, was the fighting it part.  I was raised to know that, I as a believer, had power through the name of Jesus to get this evil out of my life. 

The demons shriek at just the name of Jesus. (I have not heard this sound.  I just read about it in the bible.)  If you say “In the name of Jesus, spirit of fear get out of here”  it has to leave you or the person you are praying for.  We see an example of Paul doing this in Acts 16:18.

I really recommend taking a look at these two books and researching from the word of God, to learn to understand the power that you have over things like fear, doubt and depression in your life and the lives of those in your family.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Addition War

This is a fun game that we used to teach Bella her Addition facts and now we are bringing it back for 5 year old Jacob.  You use the same rules that you use for the game war, except you use addition cards.  The person with the highest answer wins the round.
(For those who have never played War.  Deal out all of the cards to the players.  I would recommend 3 or less players.  Then each player flips one card from the top of their pile.  The person with the highest card wins that set of cards, they take the cards played and place them on the bottom of their pile of cards.  You repeat this until someone runs out of cards or Mom just gets tired of it.)
In this round, two of us had the same highest answer.  At this point you have to do a play off.  Each player lays down two cards, face down.  Then one more face up, the highest answer on the last card flipped is the winner of the entire group of cards.
Just a couple of pictures of my goofballs sucking on suckers while we play the game. 
You will love this game, you will see their math skills improve so quickly and they don’t know they are learning.  When we first started playing this we used homemade flash cards, then we found a set at a garage sale.  I am not really that cheap it just worked out that way.  You can get them in the Target $1 section also.  Have Fun!!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Free Club House Magazine-Focus on the Family


Focus on the Family is giving away a 3 month trial offer for Club House and Club House Jr. Children’s Magazines.  Head on over here to get one for your child.

0chusat     0chjusat



The Ultimate Blog Party!!

Ultimate Blog Party 2012

Today is the first day of the Ultimate Blog Party.  I am all about parties.  Here at 2 better than 1, we love to talk about life, motherhood, marriage, and Jesus.  He is the reason for this blog and we want to give Him all of the glory! 

Our posts include recipes for great food:IMG_1452

Homemade skin care:

Life with Kids:



And Anything Else that Comes to Mind.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

How to Make Milk More Fun

Around our house we have no problem getting anyone to drink milk.  We go through about 7 gallons a week when all of the kids are home. 

bananaOne day we found banana milk at the Grocery store and my kids love anything banana, so we tried it.  They of course loved it.  For a half gallon it was about $2.40.  I thought there has to be a way to make this.  I found banana extract in our grocery store that I picked up and just added about a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar to a small cup of milk.  They love it.  I know artificial flavor and sugar, but come on they get 3 times the junk in just a piece of candy.

StrawberriesWe have tried lots of flavors.  We made strawberry syrup from the strawberry jam that I made last summer.  Also, if you have Nesquick you can add that instead of the sugar in the banana milk. 


The stores have all sorts of extracts in the store.  If you are concerned about chemicals you can try to find natural extracts or make you own.  Just have fun.  Milk is a plain base that goes well with most flavors.  Hey, I just thought of Peach milk, you know peaches and cream.  I might have to find some peach preserves and melt it on the stove and add a little water.  Yum!!  Have fun!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How Hospitable is your Home?

We received, what I thought was a great compliment the other day.  My oldest daughter asked if a few of her friends from college could come and stay with us for Easter since they lived so far away. 
During a late night talking session, one of them, who boringgoes to a Christian college but grew up in an unbelieving home, said that our family was way more normal than they thought we would be.  I guess they thought that Christian homes were stuffy and unfun.

I took this as a compliment that someone would come funto the realization that being a Christian can be a fun and “normal”.  We did have bunches of fun, going to the park to play basketball and tag, also playing games at home and just hanging out.  I hope that we gave them a good picture of what their family life could look like one day, in their Christian home.

fun 1I wanted to remind you all too, to have a home that has boundaries and rules to follow and yet is still a great place to be.  After all getting down and playing right at the stage that they are in is they best way to have the opportunity to teach them.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Hope you all had a great Easter!!

We sure did.  It was a different Easter than we normally have but great.
We did do our annual Easter Egg Hunt with Melissa and Family.  This year we did it at a park instead of one of our yards.
The kids collected tons of eggs, hidden by the Daddy bunnies.

IMG_1507That night Allie,my Dad, and two friends came into town.  So nice to have my big girl home it has been 3 months.  The next day, all of the kids colored eggs.  It was so much fun to watch a 16,18 and two 20 year old kids have so much fun coloring eggs. 

The next morning before church at 7:30am we went down to see what the Easter bunny had brought. 
I held the camera.  No way your going to catch me on camera at that time of the morning.  After that we went to church for a great Easter service.  Lots of praise and a good message.

This morning we had to say goodbye to my Dad and the kids left after lunch.  Dad left at 6:00am and these were the only kids that stayed awake long enough for a picture.  Jacob was so enthusiastic.  Nice face!  This was our Easter, post a few words about yours.  I would love to hear.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

DIY All Purpose Citrus Cleaner

I love making my own household cleaners and I just found this one over at The Prairie .
I love the ingredients in this one.
And I love how easy it is to make.

DIY All-Purpose Citrus Cleaner
You will need:
  • 1 or 2 quart sized mason jars
  • A spray bottle (a repurposed one is just fine!)
  • White vinegar (around 1-2 quarts)
  • Orange, grapefruit, lemon, or lime peels (any combination of these will work, too)
  • 3 -4 drops of lemon, grapefruit, or orange essential oil (optional)
I want you to go on over to her site and check out how to make it.  That is why I left the directions off.  It just looks so easy. 
I have some oranges so as we use them I am going to save the peels and then I will let you know how it goes. 
Happy Cleaning!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Summer with your Kids


School is going to let out for the summer soon. Are you dreading each day? Wondering what in the world you are going to do with your children home.

dandilionThese thoughts take me back about 5 years to a day about this time of year. A great friend of mine (fairly new at the time), said "I can't wait for summer to start I get my kids back at home with me!". She loves to have her kids with her, she looks forward to that time. I thought at first "what is wrong with this woman?", but God spoke to me that day and reminded me of how much I loved being with them when they were tiny. From that point on, I worked on looking forward to them coming home, summer break and all of the days they had off. Don't get me wrong, about August 15th or so, both they and I are ready to go back to our old routine , but we have had our bonding time together and enjoyed each other.

The thing to focus on here is that it was just a little change in attitude on my part that altered our summers and our time together forever. I had decided that I was going to make the best of these days ahead for the sake of our relationship. I wanted to build those relationships.

summer bag

There are so many great things to do in the summer, beaches, gardening, parks and water fun. Teach your children how to have fun and how to relax with a good book.

Summer can be a time when you teach them anything and everything, you finally have the time. The school year is so rushed and busy we don't have time to teach them about life and relationships.

kid on beach

My two older children are in Jr. High and High School and I am realizing how few years I have left with them under my wing. I am so thankful for my friend's great attitude and to God for showing me, early enough, to just relax and enjoy my children when I get them.

P.S. Something we are finding successful is for the kids to earn screen time. What I mean is, to earn the right to watch T.V., play video games or use the computer. I am using school and Bible work. They get minute for minute. If they do 30 minutes of work they have earned 30 minutes of screen time of their choice. I have them get this done first thing in the morning before they do anything else.

Kids have so much structure at school that when they are just given a loose schedule, they don't know what to do with themselves. Try to keep some structure and I think you will find that you and your children will be happier.

P.P.S. (is that how you do that) I wrote this several years ago I now have one in college and the other three are homeschooling with me now. God really did change my heart and my attitude.