Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday's Fave Five - Dec 3rd, 2010

~Sometimes in our busy-ness, we tend to overlook or even take for granted what God does in our lives. So our Friday Five posts help remind us to have that moment of reflect over the past week and realize the blessings in our lives.~

1. watching and savoring the moment...of putting up the Christmas tree with the kids. Seems like such a pain to us, but they bring out the wonder & excitment of it. Seeing the 1 yr old's face light up in awe when Daddy plugged in the lights!

2. the rare opportunity to go out with my husband. True, it turned into a group thing, but was still nice. And this way, he knows he still owes me a date!

3. VIP tickets to Winter WonderSlam - TobyMac & Skillet concert. Super-fun show.
My ears are still bleeding.

4. when you get that "aha" moment while reading God's word. All of a sudden, your previous outlook is flawed...but His grace gives opportunity to change. And what makes it even better is sharing in the confirmation with a friend.

5. Hot Caramel Mocha. 'Nuf said.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY ~ November 30th, 2010

::Outside my has been spitting snow all day. The kids are hoping we wake up to the ground covered, I dont think we're supposed to though :(

::I am thinking...about faith and the power of healing. Praying for a family member.

::I am thankful husband, who always tries to help me as much as he can on those days that I am frazzled with the kids.

:From the learning rooms...we just started a Little House on the Prairie unit study. We sit on a blanket in front of the fireplace and read Little House in the Big Woods. I need to research and find some more activities to go along with it...maybe a lapbook. Anyone know of any sites?

::From the kitchen...I just brought a pan of super-thick & creamy chocolate fudge in from where it was cooling on the deck. Oh devine!

::I am wearing...layers!

::I am creating...been working on some new and fresh blog ideas. Also working hard on that secret project Ive been talking about...guess I need to reveal that huh? :) Maybe...tomorrow?!

::I am meet TobyMac in a couple of days!! So excited (in a teenager/groupy sorta way. lol)

::I am tutorials.

::I am hoping...

::I am hearing...the hum of the computer. I love silence.

::Around the house...snowmen, pinecones, candles, and dark red ball ornaments.

::One of my favorite things...used to be DC Talk. hahaha old school

::A few plans for the rest of the week: meeting some friends of Fred's from Hawaii...fixing them an italian dinner, concert, Christmas on the Square, blog work, and school.

::Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

For more daybooks check out Peggy's blog.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Menu Plan Monday -11-29-10

Monday: Sausage, hashbrowns, and eggs

Tuesday: Venison steak, scalloped potatoes, green beans

Wednesday: Oriental beef & rice

Friday: Fred's italian ham & zucchini rigatoni, bread, salad

Saturday: Christmas party at the radio station

Sunday: homemade pizza

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Forever on Thanksgiving Day
The heart will find the pathway home.
~Wilbur D. Nesbit

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cranberry Orange Relish

Cranberry-Orange Relish

2 ½ cups orange juice

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp ground clove

1 pkg ( 4 serving size) cranberry jello

2 diced delicious apples and ¾ cup dried cranberries

1/2 to 1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)

1 Tbsp grated orange or lemon peel (optional)

Mix juice, cinnamon, cloves, in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil on a med-hi heat. Add apples and cranberries. Boil a few minutes or until apples are tender.

Add to dry gelatin in a large bowl. Stir at least 2 minutes until jello is completely dissolved.

Refrigerate about 1 ½ hour or until thickened.

Stir in nuts and orange peel.

Refrigerate 1 hr or until chilled.

Simple Woman's Daybook - Nov 23rd, 2010

FOR TODAY ~ November 23rd, 2010

::Outside my is sunny & chilly. Just yesterday, we were having thunderstorms & tornado warnings.

::I am thinking...of ideas & ways to teach gratitude to children. I heard a great program on Focus on the Family that got me thinking about it.

::I am thankful A close-knit family.

:From the learning rooms...a lot of "real life" learning recently. Not as much book work as I would like to be doing. I'm trying to not stress over it...soon we will have the schoolroom unpacked and put to rights.

::From the kitchen...tea pot is starting to whistle on the stove.

::I am wearing...jeans & a brown long sleeved t-shirt.

::I am creating...some fingerless gloves, after my Mom gave me a refresher course in knitting!

::I am pick up some clutter, light some pumpkin candles, and make a pot of coffee before some friends get here this afternoon.

::I am reading...Ha! who has the time?!

::I am hoping...we see snow soon :)

::I am hearing...Ashleigh reading a Little House story to her little brother & well as the toy zhu zhu pet hamsters,though I'm not sure they're listening!

::Around the house...things are becoming comfortable as we continue to empty boxes, hang that tv and internet are hooked up, things are certainly easier.

::One of my favorite things...down comforters. And feather pillows.

::A few plans for the rest of the week: clean house, cook/host Thanksgiving dinner with some of the family here, try to clip & organize some coupons, downtown Christmas Parade on Saturday. Packing up the fall decor and possibly setting up the tree.

::Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Basic Bread Stuffing

Basic Bread Stuffing

12 cups bread
3 cups chopped onion
3 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 tablespoons dried sage leaves
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread bread cubes on 2 baking sheets. Bake until bread cubes are dry and crisp, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Transfer bread to large bowl.

Place chopped onion and celery in skillet and sauté until tender and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.
Add sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour mixture over bread cubes.

Mix in 2 cups broth. (Stuffing can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place in a greased 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish.

Bake stuffing until cooked through and golden brown on top, about 1 hour.
While baking, moisten stuffing with more broth if stuffing is dry.

Monday's Menu Plan

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday: Italian Night - Chicken & Spinach Alfredo, Artisan Bread

Tuesday: Crockpot Night - Italian Beef Stew over garlic mashed potatoes

Wednesday: Chicken & Dumplings

Thursday: Thanksgiving Feast - roasting instead of frying the turkey this year, bread stuffing, mashed potatoes & gravy, yams, cranberry orange sauce, cornmeal rolls, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie

Ah! on Thanksgiving day....
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before.
What moistens the lips and what brightens the eye?
What calls back the past, like the rich pumpkin pie?
~John Greenleaf Whittier

Friday: Family Night - homemade pizza & a movie/games...maybe bbq turkey pizza?

Saturday: Leftover Night

Sunday: Sub sandwiches & chips

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!
~Author Unknown

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook Part 2

I am hearing...children arguing over who is the boss. Sigh....

Around the house...rooms are beginning to look more like home.

One of my favorite things...fireplaces.

A few plans for the rest of the week...homeschool co-op classes, Christmas show at Opryhouse, Fred gone on three-day hunting trip.

I am unable to share a picture thought this week :( My blogger text doesn't seem to accept them.

So until next time....

Simple Woman's Daybook - via my iPhone/text

Outside my a new neighborhood. A few quiet houses, but mostly trees.

I am thinking...about how men are such babies when they're sick.

I am thankful....that His mercies are new every morning.

From the learning rooms...we are back to the books this week. As well as unpacking, organizing and setting up our new Study.

From the kitchen...chili and bread bowls.

I am wearing...old sweat shorts & a black jersey. Unseasonably warm here today.

I am creating...our new haven. Our home.

I am get these kids to bed soon. This time change has us all messed up!

I am reading... Getting ready to start Unlocked by Karen Kingsbury.

I am hoping...tomorrow is less windy. Wanting to take kids to explore the park and take some fall pics.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Monday - enchilada casserole, rice, bunt cake

Tuesday - chicken marsala, salad

Wednesday - crockpot potato soup

Thursday - Applebees

Friday - leftovers

Saturday - pizza

Sunday - Meatloaf, baked potatoes, green bean casserole

Monday, October 25, 2010

A brief hiatus....a new house

Just letting you all know I will am taking a brief hiatus from the blog. We are in the midst of packing and will be moving to our new home in just a few days! Just signed papers last week, so have only had 9 days to pack up seven yrs & three kids worth of stuff :-O


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Check out my new button!!

Here it is. My very own Blog Button. I have been wanting to make one for awhile now. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself!

Thanks to such a great tutorial at
The Blog Guidebook, it only took me about an hour.

If you would like to add my button to your blog, you can "GRAB" it copying the code on my sidebar.

I am sharing this post over at Works For Me Wednesday. Check it out for even more great ideas and tutorials.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook - Oct 10th 2010

Would you like to linger on the simple things...then join me and many others in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those who are focusing on of the everyday moments. @ Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY ~ Oct 12th, 2010

::Outside my window...dusk has turned into darkness. Its chilly, and the stars are bright.

::I am thinking...about possibly moving to a "real house".

::I am thankful for...God's provision. That He never fails.

:From the learning rooms...boths kids are doing very well with their lessons. I feel I need to spend a little more time planning ahead of really optimize our time.

::From the kitchen...just finished up the dishes. Kids finished off the last piece of Grandma's Pumpkin Cake.

::I am wearing...jeans & a t-shirt.

::I am out of chaos. LOL ok, so I just thought that sounded good :P
Have been working on some different writings, mostly for blogs. Getting a book project underway.

::I am going...

::I am reading...The Doctor's Perfect Match, by Irene Hannon. We just had our library's used book sale a week ago. Found lots of good books. Even an old copy of Betsy, Tacy & Tib; which we already have a copy or two...but THIS was an original. Hardback :) Love.

::I am hoping...I get a chance to run to walmart pretty soon. Think we're down to one last diaper. Uh oh!

::I am hearing...husband sneezing. Been that kind of day. Temps dropped from 80's to 60's...our sinuses are all messed up.

::Around the house...the kids are all piled up on Daddy on the floor.

::One of my favorite things...big houses!

::A few plans for the rest of the week: homeschool co-op classes, taking pictures of the kids outside with all the fall colors, trip to the pumpkin patch with our MOPS group, a baby shower for a sweet friends 4th baby, and our small group's chili cook-off.

::Here is picture for thought I am sharing... end-of-summer playdate at the park

Monday, October 11, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Italian Night - Giant Meatballs & Spaghetti

Tuesday: Soup Night - chicken noodle soup

Wednesday: Leftover Night - Dirty Rice

Thursday: Crockpot Night - deer steaks in gravy, mashed potatoes, broccoli

Friday: Family Fun Night - homemade pizza

Saturday: Mexican Night - Chili & bread bowls

Sunday: Breakfast for Dinner - french toast

Monday, October 4, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Leftover Night - from the weekend

Tuesday: Italian Night - Spaghetti and Meatballs

Wednesday: Soup Pot Night - Chicken Noodle Soup with Oatmeal Bread

Thursday: Comfort Food - meatloaf, mashed potatoes, broccoli & cheese sauce

Friday: Family Night - homemade pizza

Saturday: Crockpot Night - Venison Steak in gravy, brown rice, cream corn

Sunday: Breakfast for Dinner - Sausage & Hashbrown Skillet

Monday, September 27, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Crockpot Night - Hearty Venison Stew, biscuits, apple butter

Tuesday: Freezer Pleaser - Kroutburgers

Wednesday: Breakfast for Supper - scrambled eggs, sausage, hashbrowns, oj

Thursday: Mexican Night - Carnitas, black beans, tortillas, and guacamole

Friday: Family Night - homemade pizza and a movie/games


Sunday: Football Fare - Meatball Subs

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

Would you like to linger on the simple things...then join me and many others in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those who are focusing on of the everyday moments. @ Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY ~ Sept 14th 2010

::Outside my window... is a misty gray day.

::I am thinking...a coupon class that I will be teaching this friday. A little nervous.

::I am thankful for...convenient & fast instant oatmeal packets :)

::From the learning rooms...we are two weeks in to school. Its been mostly smooth :) We are all learning how to work/schedule around Keira and her playtimes & naptimes. I've been able to get more creative with teaching methods. Logan has been catching on to stuff very quickly, even wanting to do more than I've planned, and has learned almost all his letter sounds which I hadnt planned on doing yet!

::From the kitchen...getting ready to start marinating some chicken breasts for supper. Its a new recipe so was anxious to try it tonight....moved it up on the menu plan.

::I am wearing...shorts and a t shirt. Am actually chilly though with the breeze coming in the windows.

::I am creating...a quilt block with Ashleigh. She goes over to my mom's once a week for a sewing lesson. She loves using the sewing machine.

::I am work on my handouts for the coupon class.

::I am reading...over and grading homework.

::I am hoping...Keira naps a little longer this aft.

::I am hearing...happy children! Ashleigh sing while she finsishes her lesson. Logan talking to himself while he builds a racetrack in the living room. Keira, through the baby monitor, playing and giggling in her crib.

::Around the house...dishwasher is running. Washing machine is running. Dryer is running. Now if the vaccum could run its own....and the toilets were self-cleaning.....sigh

::One of my favorite things...the beginning of fall. Apple season. Fresh-pressed apple cider.

::A few plans for the rest of the week: fieldtrip to Moore's Orchard. Coupon class. Church small-group potluck.

::Here is picture for thought I am sharing...what a differance a yr makes:
Keira, exactly 1 yr ago

Keira last night

Monday, September 13, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Venison Steak, creamy mashed potatoes, corn

Tuesday: Spaghetti & meatballs, salad

Wednesday: Fred's mom's Chili Burrito's

Thursday: Sticky Garlic Chicken, rice, peas & carrots

Friday: homemade pizza & movie night

Saturday: church small group - havent decided what I will make yet

Sunday: Roast in the crockpot, potatoes, carrots....

Check out orgjunkie for more menu ideas and recipes. I was #262....thats a LOT of menu planners :)
Do you plan you use a menu plan? Weekly or monthly?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday's faves

A few highlights from this week:

1. Now that Keira is one, her vocabulary has doubled! I get the biggest kick out of hearing her say "look!" or "all done". She's even trying to say "elmo" and "cracker". So little and so sweet.

2. Our mops group started up for the fall last tuesday night. I love MOPS. Its like my own little mommy suport group. Friendships and food, free childcare, and most of all that having a place where its safe to be real, they're all mom's too, and know exactly the issues you are struggling with.

3. Ashleigh (our oldest) turned seven. How time has flown! We had a Fancy Nancy Tea Party, based on the books. Outdoors at the park, it was a gorgeous late summer day. There were seven little girls, all dressed-up in beads and boas and their mommy's high heels :) We decorated picture frames, posed for pics, made glass pendant necklaces, and had a lunch of ham&cheese/rolls, strawberries, and mini cupcakes. Was a day I'll never forget....and I'm sure Ashleigh won't either!

4. Yesterday was 67 degrees....and rainy. I had a pot of potato soup simmering on the stove. Ready for autumn.

5. Marked more off my to-do list :)

Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado

Life is a rat race.

A daily grindstone.

Passing us by.

We want our lives to matter. We want to live a life of purpose, on purpose.

This is what best selling author, Max Lucado, invites us to do in his new book Outlive Your Life. He delves right in, in that easy-to-understand way the he has. Through scripture, history, personal stories, and beautiful word pictures he reminds us that we were created by God to do great works. We can use our ordinary everyday lives to make a difference.

I loved how Max Lucado examined the Jerusalem church in the first 12 chapters of Acts. He shows us how they lived together, prayed together, endured together, and reached out to the bruised and broken together.

This book is inspiring. Pulls us out of our little boxes, Gives us pause, and we begin to think more outwardly. Our heart changes to become more Christlike. Helping us to see people as opportunities rather than problems. We have a once-in-history opportunity to glorify God however, wherever, right now.
To be Jesus’ hands and feet.

Max Lucado lives this. More than just encouraging his readers to make a difference, he himself is donating one hundred percent of his royalties from this book to "benefit children and families through World Vision and other ministries of faith-based compassion."

I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Works for Me!

WOW Wendy’s is offering a FREE Artisan Egg Sandwich with any purchase! So purchase a coffee for under $1.00 and get a sandwich free, breakfast for a dollar…you can’t beat that!

To get your free sandwich click HERE and click on the Wendy’s ad at the top. You may need to refresh to see it!

Friday, September 3, 2010

My week in a nutshell...

Sharing five high-lights from my week with you and the meme at Living To Tell the Story.

  1. We started school this week. Ash in 2nd grade and Logan in pre-k. I have to be honest, I stressed and almost dreaded this first week. But it has gone sooo good! Our schedule flowed. Kids have actually been getting along so much better this week. Less squabbles, less talking back. More obedience. And its been fun! For all of us :)

  2. I went to our first fall steering team meeting for MOPS. (mothers of preschoolers). Had such a good time planning September's meetings. Really looking fwd to MOPS starting next week and expecting God to meet a lot of moms there.

  3. The new Jeremy Camp worship cd. Need I say more?!

  4. Got to see my latest "secret project" come together and it looks SO good. I can hardly wait to reveal it to you :)

  5. Also, had another freelance writing job open up. Its a one time project, but a very cool one. Will be reading the galley for a new christian novel coming out, by a best-selling author. Then writing the discussion questions for the book.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Perfectly Iced Coffee

Finally, I discovered the secret to the perfect cup of iced coffee!

It's all in the brew. Cold-brewing coffee grounds produces a smooth and less acidic cup of joe, not to mention cuts out the pouring hot liquid over ice step. This is usually done with a french press, but can also be done in a simpler method, without specialized equipment.

If you are an iced coffee drinker, the difference between cold-brewing it and just letting hot coffee cool off is remarkable.

What you need to do is fill a glass jar, (a clean recycled spaghetti sauce jar works great) with a mixture of cold water and med-course ground coffee. I use one rounded coffee scoop to a whole jar of water. Stir this mixture up and let it set overnight.

In the morning, strain through a filter or cheesecloth. This yields a more caffeinated brew and apparently is easier to guzzle down because of the lower acidity. Try diluting it with some water or milk, or beware of the caffeine jitter fest. I fill my cup about half full of the coffee, add a tsp of sugar and top it off the rest of the way with milk.

For my ice cubes, I fill a couple ice cube trays with this mixture, freeze, and then store them in a ziploc bag in the freezer. That keeps my melting ice from diluting my drink.

You can also throw this mixture in the blender with extra ice and make a blended drink!

Also good to know, this concentrated brew can be kept in the fridge for up to a couple of weeks.


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