Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Forward to share...

I have to admit it is very seldom that I forward emails.  You know, like jokes or warnings or even the inspirational ones.  Oh I don't mind reading them.  Some of them truly touch my heart or bring a tear to my eye.  It is just seldom that I keep the chain going.  But today I received one that I loved so much, I figured I would just post it.  I have no idea who it is by, but it is completely touching and relevant in so many ways!  I hope the following story speaks to your heart like it touched mine.  Again, the following is an email forwarded by a friend and I do not know who wrote the story...

God is never wrong!

A king who did not believe in the goodness of God, had a slave who, in all circumstances would always say my king, do not be discouraged, because everything God does is perfect. He makes no mistakes!
One day they went hunting and along the way a wild animal attacked the king. His slave managed to kill the animal, but could not prevent his majesty from losing a finger.
Furious and without showing his gratitude for being saved, the nobleman asked
"Is God good? If He was good, I would not have been attacked and lost my finger."
The slave replied:  "My king, despite all these things, I can only tell you that God is good, and he knows why these things happened. What God does is perfect. He is never wrong!"
Outraged by the response, the king ordered the arrest of his slave.
Later, the King left for another hunt, this time alone. He was captured by savages who engaged in human sacrifices.
On the altar and ready to sacrifice the nobleman, the savages discovered that their victim did not have one of his fingers. According to them, only a whole person with all his/her parts intact could be offered to the gods. The King without a finger was deemed an abominable sacrifice for their gods. So they released the King.
Upon his return to the palace, the King authorized the release of his slave. He received the slave affectionately.
He asked his slave, God was really good to me! I was almost killed by the wild men, but for lack of a single finger, I was let go! But I have a question: if God is so good, why did he allow me to put you in jail?
The slave answered, my King, if I had gone with you on this hunt, I would have been sacrificed instead because I have no missing finger. Remember everything God does is perfect. He is never wrong. He made you keep me in jail so I would not be with you on the hunt.

Often we complain about life, and negative things that happen to us, forgetting that nothing is random and that everything has a purpose.
Every morning, offer your day to God, don't be in a rush.
Ask God to inspire your thoughts, guide your actions, and ease your feelings. And do not be afraid. God is never wrong!

Today's Verse
2 Samuel 22:31  "As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him."

I would like to add a P.S. - It was so lovingly pointed out to me that I forgot to include friends in my prayer list from yesterday's post.  I had already realized it myself and I honestly meant to type "family and friends" in the #4 category.  I do promise I pray for my friends, which in all actuality is just an extension of my family.  I love you all!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What's Cookin' Wednesday!

MMMMMMM....Muffins...And what is the best part...the tops!!!!

Here is a recipe for Cranberry Muffin Tops.  These are not too sweet, but you could certainly add a little more sugar in the batter as well as sprinkle a little more on the top, depending on your sweet tooth.  I am sure you could make these with blueberries or chocolate chips as well, and I do hope to try that sometime!  These are very soft and tasty!  They are great warmed in the microwave or toasted.  Spread with a touch of honey butter or your favorite s flavor cream cheese, and it is great and quick breakfast treat.  These also freeze well.  Hope your family enjoys!

1  cup chopped dried cranberries (our family likes the cherry flavored kind)
4 Tbsp light brown sugar - divided
1 1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour   
3/4 cup(s) Whole wheat flour   
1 Tbsp baking powder   
1/4 tsp baking soda   
1/4 tsp table salt  
1/2 tsp cinnamon 
1 cup skim milk   
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp unsalted butter - melted   
1 large egg or 1/4 cup egg product


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with baking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, toss cranberries with 2 Tbsp brown sugar; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together both flours,  baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together milk, honey, vanilla and butter. Slowly whisk in the egg or egg product making sure not to scramble the egg.  If the butter mixture is still too hot it will scramble so be careful and make sure to add the egg to the wet ingredients last!  Pour wet ingredients into flour mixture and beat thoroughly to combine; fold in cranberries.
  • Place 2-3 Tbsp of batter on prepared baking sheet about 2-inches apart. Sprinkle batter with remaining brown sugar.  Bake until tops just start to turn golden, about 12 to 15 minutes. Makes 20-24 tops.

  • Today's Verses - We learned a way of singing the first verse, so the girls and I have been singing this in the morning for devotion this week!   :-)
    "Children obey your parents in the Lord:  for this is right.  HONOUR THY FATHER AND MOTHER; which is the first commandment with promise; THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH THEE, AND THOU MAYEST LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH."  Eph 6:1-3

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012

    Praying Priorities

    After our first daughter was born and the Lord led me to start staying home with her, my relationship with God changed drastically.  I depended on Him more and more to get me through every passing day.  The life of a SAHM can be so monotonous and seem so insignificant some times.  Things always seemed to go smoother on days that I spent extra time in God's Word and prayer.  But those days were not everyday.  With an infant that liked to be held 24-7, some days it was all I could do to read one verse or one quick devotion.

    During this busy time it seemed that I was beginning my prayer time in the same fashion every morning..."God please give me the strength and wisdom to be the best mother I can be for my daughter"... I would go on to pray about our day and anything specific on my mind that morning, and then near the end I would throw in..."And help me to be a good wife, daughter, servant and friend."  I was so worried about making it as a mom, everything else went on the back burner in my life, including my most important earthly relationship with my husband.

    Through much conviction and many trials, the Holy Spirit finally nudged me one day during my prayer...I was a wife first and mother second.  God had given me a wonderful husband.  Gerrad was exactly who I was supposed to marry.  Everything about how we met in English class could have only been designed and drawn out by God.  But here I was praying on and on about my daughter and me and saying very little about my husband.  It is natural for mothers to put our children's needs before anything, but we cannot let that cause destruction in our marriage.

    I changed my praying habits, and the difference we saw in our marriage is only a miracle from God.  I started praying for my husband first.  I prayed to be the wife God had called me to be and then I prayed about being the mother He had also called me to be.  My praying priorities changed and our lives changed.  It had been hard figuring out this new bundle of joy and how it was all going to work, but we started working together when we started praying for each other first.

    This all occurred to me again recently because of our oldest going to school.  I had started praying for school and my daughter first - again.  My husband needed prayers for the changes in his job and other things in his life, but I had once again put praying for him on the back burner as I thought and prayed about starting Kindergarten.  It hit me again one morning in the shower as I was praying about our are a wife first. (and yes I get quiet showers again since no children our up at 5:30 - YAY! for quiet showers)  Something my husband had told me he was praying about entered my mind.  He had told me 2 or 3 days earlier and I had not uttered that prayer to God a single time.  I felt ashamed!

    Today's Verses
    "And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh:  she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.  Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife:  and they shall be one flesh."  Genesis 2:23-24

    We are one!  I was joined with my husband first and then God blessed us with children.  I should pray for him first and then my children.  I should pray to be the best wife and can be and them pray to be the best mother I can be.  When I do that, I can always tell such a difference in our lives and relationship.

    I am to keep my life in order -  Him, him, and then them!

    Praying Priorities...
    1)  Thanking God for His holiness, His forgiveness, His mercy, His grace and loving-kindness and all the many blessings He has given us.  WE CAN NEVER THANK HIM ENOUGH...
    2)  For my husband and anything he may be facing.  For his health, his job, his leadership in our home, and most importantly his walk with God.  I pray that he may be a light used by God...
    3)  For my children and anything they may be facing.  For their health, their learning and development, their friends, their future spouses and most importantly for their salvation, and to have a heart for God.  I pray that they may be a light used by God...
    4)  For my parents, my inlaws, my grandmothers, my cousins (siblings), my nieces, my nephews, my aunts, and my uncles.  I pray they will be used as a light by God...(and trust me when I say everyone I just listed is a whole lot of people, but I am very thankful for each one of them!)
    5)  I pray for our church and the trials each member may be facing.  For those who have been visiting that need to come to know Christ as their Savior.  For growth, for the faculty and staff, and for the many, many workers.  I pray our church can be used as a light for God...
    6)  I pray that everything I do, I do for the glory of matter if it is cooking and cleaning and helping my little girls paint a picture...I pray I do it for the Lord and not for anybody else.  I pray that I may be a light used by God!

    I have to remember to keep God first, thanking Him and praising Him - not just asking.  Then my husband comes next, them my girls...and everything else will fall into place!

    Monday, August 27, 2012

    Get it together - Part 2

    So I shared my many calendars last Monday.  Writing things down is my way of storing info in my brain.  Yes, my husband would love for me to use shared family calendars online or the many other techi ways of keeping important dates, but the old pen and paper is my friend.  Next Monday I will be sharing one more of my to-do lists formats that helps me plan our week. I hope you will check it out.

    Today I was just going to quickly share the system I came up with for the paper work that was compiling in my kitchen junk drawers.  I also am using this system to keep up with the forms needed for my daughter's Kindergarten class.  (One of the folders holds Absence forms that are needed and sadly we will have to use those this week.  My little Kindergartner had to miss school today with a fever and sore throat.  She is severely upset about her first absence, but she needs the rest to get better.  She said she didn't want to get her new friends sweet!)

    I am using an over the door organizer that I purchased on Amazon.  It is perfect for storing my folders and hanging the girls bookbags and lunchboxes on.  (Yes my little 2 year old wanted a "packpack"  of her own!) This door leads to our morning exit, so everything is right where we need it.  I have folders for my daughter's class and for her returned classwork and homework.  I also have folders for new recipes I want to try, articles from magazines with info I find important, my coupons, and finally for take-out menus.  This one I promise is not used very often, but it is important for those ultra crazy weeks or like this past weekend when my parents and grandmother came over and Mom said to lets order out and not cook :)

    This organizer is super sturdy and it even has pouches for pens, tape, scissors and books (I keep the girls devotion book in one pouch).  Everything is right at hand and no bookbags to trip over!  Yay!   

    Today's Verses
    "Bless the LORD, O my soul:  and all that is within me, bless his holy name.  Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.  Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases;  Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;"
    Psalms 103:1-4

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012

    What's Cookin' Wednesday!

    I promise our family does not have a Nutella addiction, but it is very good stuff!  :)  If you have never tried it, it can be found in the peanut butter section of your grocery store.  It is a hazelnut and coco spread.  Yummy!  I have told y'all before that I took a peanut butter and honey sandwich everyday for lunch in Elementary school.  Well my daughter would take a peanut butter and Nutella sandwich everyday if I would let her.  When she was in preschool and I packed this delicacy, she would ultimately come home with chocolate on her face or clothes or both.  To try to remedy that problem this year, I decided to make sandwich bites instead.  I am sure this would work for PB and J as well as any nut butter and condiment of choice.

    I simply tear the crusts off the bread and use for croutons or give to the bunnies out in our yard.  I take a rolling pin and roll the bread flat.  I spread pb on one half of the slice of bread and Nutella on the other half.  I roll jelly roll style and slice into little bites.  They pop right in your mouth and no mess is made.  YAY!

               Hope your little ones enjoy!

    Today's Verse
    Matthew 6:11 "Give us this day our daily bread."

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

    That's what friends are for!

    How many friends do you have?  I mean really good and faithful friends.  What's the number?

    My number might be kind of embarrassing.

    Who's your best friend?

    This has occurred to me over the course of these first days of Kindergarten.  My Kindergartner declared a new best friend the second day.  I was happy because she had been missing her best friend from Preschool. I was a little worried about how the whole process would go on finding a friend.  She knew children in the other Kindergarten class, but she did not know anyone in her own class.  But as always, the Lord answered this mama's prayers and sent someone for her to play with.

    I met a great friend in Kindergarten.  I still remember the moment I met her. We were two peas in a pod. We roomed together in college and still remain in contact now.  I wanted that for my daughter!  I prayed for that for my daughter.  So when a best friend was declared, I was so happy!

    My best friend on earth is my husband by far.  I am so thankful I can call him my best friend.  I tell him everything.  I can cry to him, complain to him and even get mad with him, and he still loves me and supports me!

    I used the term best friend "on earth" for a reason.  I am sure you are aware of that :)

    Would you consider God as your best friend?

    I am even more thankful that I can use that same list for God.  He is my ultimate best friend.  I can cry to Him, complain to Him, and even get mad with Him, and He still loves me, supports me, answers me, and most importantly forgives me.  It has taken a lot of years to view God in this light as my best friend.  He is so powerful, so mighty, so incredible; He would never want to be a friend to little ol' me.  Oh but He does!  And oh how glad I am that He does!

    Even though I have been thinking about friendship a lot lately, I read a verse this morning that made me really start thinking about the friendship we have with our Savior.  Yes we know "What a friend we have in Jesus", but would God think I am a good friend to Him?

    I was reading a favorite passage in Isaiah 41.  I love verses 10 and 13, "Fear thou not:  for I am with thee:  be not dismayed:  for I am thy God:  I will strenthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.  For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee."

    Such comfort. Such relief.  He is holding my hand.  He is helping me.  God is telling me to not by dismayed.  What a great friend!  But let's take a closer look at another verse a little further up.  Verse 8 says, "But thou, Israel art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend."

    Did you catch that?

    God just called Abraham "my friend".

    Can He say that about me?

    Yes I depend on Him as a friend.  But do I truly treat Him like the friend He is, enough for Him to call me, "my friend"?

    Friendships take communication and not just one way communication.  We have to not just talk to God as our friend, but also listen to Him.  He has to be able to depend on us.  He needs to know that we are faithful and He can call on us to complete a task, and we will complete what He has called us to do.  That's a friend and that's what I want God to be able to call me...Candice my friend.

    Today's Verses
    "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.  Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth:  but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you."  John 15:14-15

    We have all heard that Christians long to hear "Well done thou good and faithful servant" when we get to heaven.  And yes, I want to desperately hear that.  But I would love to hear God call me His friend as well.  Someone He could count on when He commanded me to do something.  I have a long ways to go, but I am working to be the best friend I can be to God...I know He is the best and the most perfect friend I will ever have!

    Monday, August 20, 2012

    Getting it together!

    With our first few days of Kindergarten behind us, we are excited as this first year of school begins.  This is not only new stuff for my big little girl, but this is all new to me too.  Preschool and Kindergarten are two totally different ballgames.  Twice a week is nothing compared to every single day!  Not to mention, there were so many forms to fill out and turn in, online policies to review, and so much to take in the first few days, I honestly felt overwhelmed.  How will I remember to turn in lunch forms every Friday, two other forms are due once a month, homework is every Mon, Tue and Thur, and send something for "share-time" every Thursday?  The lists of papers and things to remember seems long!   I needed a system and I needed one fast!!!

    Organization will be key in remembering and completing everything expected of us in the year ahead.  As I have briefly mentioned, we are staying in our current home and have taken it off the market, so I am in the midst of a major revamping and organizing.  This coincides perfectly with the organization needed to start Kindergarten. I hope to be able to share things we have done to make our small house (but one that we love and feel blessed to have) into well-working, organized home of two busy parents and two very busy girls.  :)

    I have ordered cheap organizing materials from and hope to start making things more efficient with these products. I also have a monthly calendar with lots of writing space on our refrigerator and a large weekly wipe-off calendar on our laundry door.  There is also a responsibility chart on our pantry door, but I have not implemented that as of yet...that will be in the coming weeks after settling into an established routine.

    I've got to get it all together to make this work and work well.  I would like to keep stressful mornings and evenings to a minimal.  Besides the preparation and planning that occurs everyday, the main way we as a family hope to accomplish this is to make morning devotions a priority.  I have written about the girls' devotions before.  Now instead of having them in the living room at some point in our morning routine, we plan to have them during breakfast everyday.  Our books and Bibles are on the table ready for us each morning.  I am also striving to get up a few minutes earlier to read and pray by myself before waking everyone else up.  This will help me to start my day on the right foot by seeking God's guidance everyday first thing.  And a quiet cup of coffee is a definite helper also :)  I will still strive to still spend my normal quiet time with God and with posting as much as possible on Mon-Thur.  But unfortunately posting will now have to move a little further down on my priority list.

    I can't get it all together on my own.  I am fully aware of that.  Nothing will go smoothly if I am not totally relying on the Lord for guidance through our day.  Not just in the morning, not just when I am stressed or frustrated, but all throughout the entire day!  I pray for everyone that will be having little ones and big ones beginning school in the coming weeks.  I pray for a smooth transition and happy, organized mornings.  I pray the Lord will bless us as we get it all together!

    Today's Verse
    "Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which... leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go."  Isaiah 48:17

    Wednesday, August 15, 2012

    Kindergarten Prayer

    Heavenly Father,
    My heart is breaking 
    in every way,
    My little girl 
    started Kindergarten today.
    She smiled and waved 
    and walked away,
    "I love you" and "Be good" 
    was all I could say.
    I know You'll hold 
    her hand everyday,
    But it still hurts to leave 
    and let her stay.
    She'll have fun and make friends, 
    laugh and play,
    Yet my tears keep falling 
    on this first day.
    Watch over her, protect her, 
    keep all harm at bay,
    Thank You for Your peace 
    and making me feel okay.
    I am proud of my big girl 
    in every way,
    And to have a great first year 
    is what I pray.

    Today's Verse
    "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."  
    Matthew 28:20

    Tuesday, August 14, 2012

    Not so good for you, but ooooh so good waffles!

    Let's pretend today is Wednesday for just a moment...

    Be in prayer for us tomorrow as we (and I do mean the whole family) begins Kindergarten.  I have cried a lot, my youngest daughter says her sister cannoooooooot go to Kindergarten, and my Kindergartner is a little nervous.  So I am not sure if I will be able to type tomorrow, hence today being the "What's Cooking Wednesday" post on a Tuesday.

    This morning before orientation I made our special treat breakfast.  I do not make waffles very often this way, but on special occasions this is a fun way to give your little one a delicious treat.  We call these Nutella MMs Waffles.

    2 cups Bisquick
    1 1/3 cup mile
    1/2 cup egg product (or 2 eggs)
    1 Tblsp vegetable oil
    1 Tblsp unsweetened applesauce
    1/3 cup Nutella
    3 packs of fun size MMs

    Mix first 5 ingredients until well blended.  Swirl in Nutella.  Make sure to spray your waffle maker between each waffle with butter spray.  Add the MMs as you add the waffle batter to maker.  If you mix in the colors will run as the batter sits.  So good even without syrup!

    A great first day of school treat!

    Today's Verse
    "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."  Phil 4:13  (Even sending my little one to Kindergarten!)

    Wednesday, August 8, 2012

    What's Cooking Wednesdays?

    I was not able to make something “new” this week.  If you have ever seen the show Hoarders, that is what my kitchen looks like right now.  There is the smallest of paths and things are piled to the top of the ceiling.  It is absolutely crazy trying to make our way through the maze.  The girls are not liking being confined to one room!  We are getting new floors put in throughout the whole house with the exception of the kitchen.  Everything from our closets and all the toys are crammed into one room.  I am excited about the new floors, but the process is making me want to pull my hair out.  So, to not get too detailed, I was unable to prepare the recipes I was hoping to share with y’all.  I will still share some recipes, but no pictures are available.  I did prepare one of these recipes this weekend before the madness ensued, but I forgot to take a picture and it was gone in a flash J
    These are my 2 most requested recipes, one of which calls for blueberries and it is that time of year!  Yummy!   I am sorry to my family and friends who already have these, but if you don’t have them I do hope you enjoy. J

    Blueberry Pound Cake – Perfect for breakfast, brunch or dessert.  I sometimes make a basic glaze with powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract, but it is good without it too!  This slices easily and can be wrapped for bake sale items. 

    1 package yellow or vanilla cake mix
    ¼ cup sugar
    3 eggs
    1  8 oz. package cream cheese
    ½ cup vegetable oil
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 ¼ cups blueberries

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease and flour 10 in bundt pan.  In large bowl, stir together cake mix and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in eggs, cream cheese (at room temp.), oil and vanilla.  Beat on low until blended and beat four minutes on medium.  Stir in blueberries.  Bake 40-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes until turning out on wire rack to finish cooling. 

    Twice Baked Potato Skins – Feeds a crowd.  I make these often for family get-togethers and holidays.  These freeze well also, so I can make a batch and freeze for a quick side on busy weeknights.  I usually eye-ball the ingredients, so you might want to play with the measurements to see what taste you like best. 

    5 lb. bag white potatoes

    Wash potatoes and wrap in tin foil.  Bake at 325 for about an hour or hour and a half.  Unwrap and wait until cool enough to handle.  Cut and scoop insides out into a bowl being careful not to break the skins.  To the potato insides add…

    3 or 4 Tbsp. melted butter
    1/3 cup sour cream
    1/4 cup skim milk
    2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
    1 jar of real bacon bits
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Mash and stir ingredients together with the back of a spoon leaving a lot of chunks.  Spoon filling back into the potato skins.  Sprinkle tops with 1 ½ cups of blended shredded cheese (I use pizza or Mexican blend.)  Bake for another 15 -20 minutes at 375 degrees. 

    Today’s Verse
    Hebrews 12:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.” 

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012

    What is God?

    In the middle of a lively discussion at our supper table last night, my 2 year old posed the question, "Mommy, What is God?"

    I sat shocked.  What do I say?  How do I explain to my toddler the whole concept of God?  She knows we talk about Him, we sing about Him, we memorize verses about Him, we go to church to learn about Him, but how do I make her understand His holiness, His awesomeness, His love, His forgiveness...What is God?

    I know it would be more appropriate to begin by correcting her and say the right way to ask about God would be to say "Who is God?".  He is an actual being.  We are made in His image.  He is not just an idea, He is real in every sense of the word real.  But, I did not get too technical.

    My first response was, "God is who made you, remember?"  We then went around the table and talked about all the things God made and how everything we have is from God.  We didn't get too detailed.  We didn't make it too complicated.  Because thankfully God is not too complicated.  Yes it can feel like His love and forgiveness is unbelievable, but in all actuality, it is simple that all we must truly know is the John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

    God is the Creator of the world...Gen 1:1
    God is forgiving...1 John 1:9
    God is eternal life...1 John 5:11
    God is faithful...1 Cor 1:9
    God is a refuge...Ps 62:8
    God is holy...1 Peter 1:16
    God is power...1 Cor 4:20
    God is mercy and hope...1 Peter 1:3
    God is love...1 John 4:8b

    "What is God?"

    It is a great question to ask ourselves.  What is He to you?  What does He mean in your life?
    My prayer is that your answer is...He is EVERYTHING to me!

    Let's tell Him what He means to us.  Don't ask for anything.  Don't complain about anything.  Don't worry about anything...let's just simply sit and praise Him...tell Him how much He means to you!

    Today's Verse
    "God, thou art my God; early will  I seek thee:  my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for see thy power and thy glory...Because thy loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.  Thus will I bless thee while I live:  I will lift up my hands in thy name.  My sould shall be satisfied...and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips."  Psalms 63:1-5

    Wednesday, August 1, 2012

    Back to school time

    We are counting down the days until my oldest "baby" starts Kindergarten.  (Sniff, Sniff, Sniff!!!)

    She begins in less than 2 weeks and she is very excited (thankfully).  No matter if you send your little ones off to school everyday or you homeschool, you must feed you little one three nutritious meals a day.  This can be a daunting task for any mother.  Not just the age old question "What's for dinner?", but also "What's for breakfast?  What's for lunch? and What's for snack?"

    My mother...who yes was the best mother ever...packed my lunch everyday from the time I was in Kindergarten until I was a senior (and yes you are reading that right) in high school.  Now everyday of my life in elementary school I had a peanut butter and honey sandwich.  My pallet thankfully has expanded, but I was a very picky eater as a child. My husband had a ham sandwich everyday in his lunch box.  We are hoping to expand our little Kindergartner's lunch choices, and we have been practicing this summer.  Preschool was easy with just 2 days a week to pack lunch, but now we are talking 5 days a week.  YIKES!

    My plan is to start answering these "What should we eat?" questions every Wednesday and share a recipe or two to try.  I am including 3 lunchbox ideas, a breakfast recipe and a nice surprise treat for that first week of school.  I hope you will find these helpful and will give them a try and enjoy!

    Today's Verse
    Proverbs 31:15a "She raiseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat (food) to her household..."

    Homemade Ham "Lunchable"
    Using a heart shape cookie cutter cut out deli sliced ham, whole wheat tortillias, and then add shredded cheese.  I was able to find a reusable, sectioned plastic container to package it like a real lunchable.  Include a fruit or carrot sticks and your little one is good to go!

     Homemade Pizza "Lunchable"

    Using the same container, I added a 1/2 cup of pizza sauce.  (I found one by Preggo that says it has a full serving of veggies.)  Then I take 10 turkey pepperonis and quarter them to make the little triangles.  Add your little ones favorite shredded cheese.  For the crust, take a mini pita pocket and slice to make two separate "crusts".

                          Bean Quesadilla
    This can be prepared in the microwave or on an indoor grill like a George Foreman.  Serve with salsa if your little one is adventurous.  My little one loves these hot or cold so they do pack well in the lunchbox.  Simply take a tortilla and place black-beans that have been drained and rinsed on one half.  Sprinkle with favorite cheese (my oldest daughter likes any white cheese while my youngest prefers yellow on hers) and fold other half over.  Then grill for 5 minutes or microwave for a minute and a half.


     Egg Cups
    We love these for breakfast.  They also freeze really well.  You can double the recipe and freeze the leftovers, then pop them in the microwave for 2 minutes and have a hot and delicious breakfast in no time.  Simply spray a 6-cup muffin tin.  Place 2-3 Tbsp of frozen hashbrowns in the bottom of each muffin cup (I have also used leftover sliced baked potatoes).  You can add your own meat (bacon, sausage, or ham) or you can go meatless.  Over your meat, pour egg mixture.  I use low-fat egg product in the carton - 1 cup, or you can use 4 eggs mixed with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and 1/4 cup of skim milk. Then sprinkle with favorite cheese and bake for 20-30 minutes at 400 degrees or until set and golden brown.  Dad likes to eat these with a little salsa, but the girls like them as is!

    Finally for a great afternoon treat or after dinner dessert I have homemade ice cream sandwiches!  Yummy!!!!  This would be an extra special treat for that first day back to school!

    I used a boxed chocolate cookie mix and prepared as directed. You can also use a brownie mix with one stick of softened butter and one egg.  Drop onto cookie sheet in 1-2 tablespoon rounds.  Bake about 7 minutes. You want them to be soft.  Allow to cool.  Then you can add your favorite ice cream and freeze.  Or, to save calories, which is what I did with these pictured, I used fat-free whipped topping.  Place 2-3 tablespoons on a cookie and top with another cookie and freeze.  It will freeze to a similar consistency of ice cream and your little ones will never know they are better for you!!!!

    I am linked up today!!! Check out the Women Living Well blog...