Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Fun Things

One week from today and the kiddies will be waiting for the night to come, finding it hard to sleep, and being so excited for the fun and presents to come the next day.  I truly can't believe it!  I truly am unprepared! But I am trying to get ready and be excited for my girls sake.  I have never quite felt so "off" during the month of December.  So not to bore you with the details and to be completely honest, I am looking forward to December 26th when the mayhem is behind us and then to December 27th when my hubby and I will celebrate 10 wonderful years of marriage!

I have asked and prayed for the ability to find the joy of the season in even the smallest of things.   I have thankfully been able to see many small occurrences that brought a smile.   A couple of examples...While sitting in the dreaded Dentist office yesterday morning, I watched a small toddler just learning to walk play with an ornament and peer around chairs to smile at me.  And I found a little glimmer last night as my daughter asked if we would still have our tradition on Christmas morning.

I had to ask her which one she was talking about.  She went on to describe our Christmas mornings.  We go and get the girls from their beds.  We cover their little eyes so they can't see the surprises that await them. We snuggle in the bed while Daddy reads Luke 2.  Then Daddy goes ahead of us and waits with the camera to capture every smile and delight!

"Yes my darling, we will still do this."  And she was excited.  She didn't sigh, like in all honesty I might would have done at her age; she was genuinely excited.  I am so glad she likes our tradition, and I am so glad we can focus on our Savior before the ripping of presents ensues.

Don't forget to read the true Christmas story at some point during the craziness.  Don't just listen to the preacher say it, or Linus say it, or the Narrator of the Cantata say it...read it yourself.  Soak in the meaning. Reflect on the importance, the prophesy, the unimaginable sacrifice, and the miraculous events.  Make  reading the real story a priority in all the fun things that December brings.


Here are some of the new fun things we have done this season...

Donut Snowman...This was an absolute hit in my oldest daughter's class!  I wish I could share some of the hilarious pictures of her classmates while we were making these little treats, but I will just share our practice snowman.

http://www.worthpinning.com/2012/12/powdered-donut-snowmen.html



Cookie Cutter Ornaments...We used craft beads and poured them in metal cookie cutters.  Then we baked at 300 for about 10 minutes. We tied with pretty ribbon and it is a beautiful homemade ornament.



M and M Christmas cards...These have been the treats for my daughters' classmates and teachers.  Really cute!  We used double sided tape to attach the cards to the MMs.




I do hope you all have a Marvelous and Merry Christmas!  

Today's Verse
Luke 2:16
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.







Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What's Cookin'

Now don't be afraid to try this!  I have always thought if I were to try to make these little tasty things I would have a messy kitchen, frazzled nerves and a burnt mess.  But I have to say this was so easy and soooooo tasty!  My daughter had asked me the night before Thanksgiving could we try to make crepes over the break.  So I found some bravery went searching for a recipe and this is what I landed on.  I wanted something festive and fallish, and this was exactly perfect.  We also tried with chocolate chips and with nutella and banana.  Delicious every way we tried it.  The crepes did keep well in the fridge for a couple of days.  We layered them with papertowels and placed in a ziploc bag.  Another tip was using my immersion blender.  The batter has to be very smooth so using a blender of some sort is recommended.  I used plastic chop sticks to help with flipping and a ladle to put the batter in the pan.  So much fun, not hard and so worth the effort.  We will be trying savory crepes soon and I'll let you know how that goes.  I hope your family enjoys!


Pumpkin Spice Crepes with Pumpkin Butter

http://www.skinnytaste.com/2010/10/pumpkin-spiced-crepes-with-pumpkin.html



Today's Verse
2 Corinthians 9:15  Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A sliver of blue

After four days of nonstop cold, mist, rain, drizzle, fog and just plain grey... my spirits are down.  It's not just the weather, or the anxiety that is building from the endless to do list, or the busyness of this time of year, or the wrapping and spending and etc. and etc.; it's much more.  But the weather has definitely not helped the situation.

As I was driving to pick up my daughter, I thought  a lot about the grey around me.  About others feeling grey this time of year.  It is not always the happiest time for everybody.  There are people who are missing loved ones or dealing with so much pain that its hard to find the joy we sing about.  As the grey seemed to be stuck around me forever, it happened.  I crossed a bridge and looked over the lake...and there...small as could be...a sliver of blue... through the thick dark grey...it smiled at me.  A sign of hope to come.  A sign the sun and the gorgeous blue skies are still up there.  They may not be visible, but they are there.  A sign the grey would go away.

I thanked the Lord for the sliver.  For the remembrance that just as the sun is behind the clouds, He is still there as well when I am grey.  We may not always feel Him, but He is always watching.  We may be thinking He is not answering or listening, but He is always working.  We may not understand the circumstances, but He always has a plan.  A plan bigger than we could imagine.  A plan better than we could ask for.

Just like the saying goes, out of the blue, the sun appeared.  As if God just blew the thick dark clouds away the sun appeared and the warmth was so refreshing.  I smiled and thanked Him for the sun.  I prayed for those who are hurting right now and can't see past the grey.  I pray that something or someone will be their sliver...the remembrance that God is there and there is hope.




Today's Verse

Psalms 34:17
The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Broken Things

Broken.

That is one word to describe our Thanksgiving Holiday.

Broken.

There were several things broken over the time off, but thankfully, we did not let it break our spirits.

It started with our family traditions being broken.  It in turn broke my heart.  I spent a better part of Wednesday morning in tears and prayers.  What was happening?  How could everything I had known for my whole life, just not exist anymore?  Slowly, the Lord sent peace.  I decided the holiday would not be ruined. New traditions could be started.  The girls would still have fun, we would still have delicious food, and most importantly, we still had an immeasurable amount to be thankful for.  So by mid morning, we were making turkey cookies and turning my breaking, sad heart into a grateful, glad heart.

But the breaking didn't stop there.

Other things broke. I really think the devil was trying to break me into throwing a pitty party.  But instead, I figure all the breaking will be stuff we can laugh about later.

The next broken thing was actually my youngest daughter's face.   No laughing matter to begin with.  But once the tears were done and the black eye had appeared, we laughed at how she would tell people so frankly, "My sister hit me in my face."  Truth be told they bonked heads while playing a hide and seek game, but she loved to tell everyone just the short version.

An hour later I managed to break my tooth...and I mean I broke it BAD!  So there was a sign I was not suppose to eat so much :-).  We built a temporary tooth...and yes my teeth are so bad I keep that stuff on hand...and yes I am still in pain and will be having a root canal and crown in my future...but it is still funny to think about breaking my tooth on a piece of pizza the night before the biggest eating day of the year!

The next morning, Thanksgiving morning, when I dropped my wedding band and the diamond flew out, I was scared to leave the house.  What in the world would happen next!  But thankfully that was the last broken thing, and thankfully we remained positive and thankful!

We did celebrate my hubby's birthday over the days off.  We skipped the normal evening "surprise" party for a breakfast party since it was on Saturday.  And instead of the traditional cookie cake, hey why not break tradition and shake things up every now and then, I made my first homemade from scratch Chocolate Meringue pie.  And I have to say, it was pretty tasty.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and I wish everyone a happy next few crazy weeks as we prepare for all the fun and hopefully focus on the Christmas season and everything it means!  Try to stay sane and if traditions are broken, just remember new ones can be super fun!



Pie recipe can be found at link below.  I made a simple crust of 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1 stick of butter, 4 oz of cream cheese (room temp), and 1 Tbsp of sugar.  The crust was very good, but it was a little thick.  Hope your family enjoys!

http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/grandma-s-chocolate-meringue-pie



Today's Verse
Matthew 1:21 "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins."


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Give Thanks

I am running around the house today .... cooking, preparing, making placemats with the girls...you know the fun pre-thanksgiving stuff.  All the while, I am singing a song my youngest sung in her little preschool show this week.

Give thanks (clap, clap)
To the Lord (clap, clap)

Give thanks (clap, clap)
To the Lord (clap, clap)

For He loves you...
He loves me too...

Give thanks to the Lord above!


The big things...

My salvation
My husband
My girls
My parents
My extended family (Even though we will not be together this year for the first time in my 33 years, I love each of them!)
Our house
Our food
Our vehicles
Our health


The small things...

Devotions that touch my heart
Hearing I love you from my girls without me saying it first
Getting a LYMY message from my hubby  (LYMY darling!)
Sunrises
Miracles (big and small)
Baking cookies
Playing games
Toes in the sand
Vacations
Laughter
Bubbles
Christmas ornaments


The list could go on and on!

Happy Thanksgiving!

James 1:17a "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above"






Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Roller Coaster

I have been on an unplanned hiatus.  Just like our weather here in NC has been on a roller coaster ride, so has life!  Isn't everyone's?  I am not complaining... just saying... I wish I could have posted more.  There were so many days that things would pop in my head or things would actually happen that would make me pause and say "I need to post that"...but sitting down just never occurred!  I didn't realize life would get as crazy as it did starting in October...it is usually at least mid-November until it gets this busy.  I am taking a quick moment to post today.  I hope everyone is ready for the wonderful week ahead and ready for the excitement to follow.

 I do pray we take time to pause this season... hang out with loved ones, eat good food and spend time thanking our Heavenly Father in prayer and song and devotion for everything He has given us.

I wish everyone a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving!  I wanted to post a few links of recipes we have tried recently and some we plan to try!

Happy Gobble Gobble Day!

Psalms 100:4  Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.



Recents...

Sweet Potato Crescents
http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/sweet-potato-crescents

Pumpkin Sticky Buns
http://www.bettycrocker.com/tips/tipslibrary/baking-tips/easy-pumpkin-brown-butter-streusel-sticky-buns

Roasted Cauliflower - go ahead and give it a try!  We added a little Parmesan and my hubby even liked it!
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/roasted-cauliflower-recipe/index.html


Few of the recipes we are planning to make (hopefully, cross my fingers)...

Dinner Rolls
http://www.ourbestbites.com/2009/10/worlds-best-dinner-rolls/

Stuffed Potatoes
http://mansionmoms.blogspot.com/2012/08/whats-cooking-wednesdays-blueberries.html

Toffee
http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/food/video/13141793/#/vid13141793



Check out Thanksgiving  last year...
http://mansionmoms.blogspot.com/2012/11/thanksgiving.html



Fun games we played in Sunday School...

Hide the Drumstick
http://www.parents.com/holiday/thanksgiving/grateful-for-fun/#page=9

Pin the nose on the scarecrow



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What's Cookin'

Pumpkin Muffins...one of my faves.  I have to tell a story about what I tried with these little treats.  But I must warn you, it means I have to be negative about a product.  I am not being mean...this is just my taste buds talking.

I love pumpkin pie spice items...lattes, coffee creamer, pies, cookies, breads and all sorts of treats.  So when I saw pumpkin spice hersey kisses, I had to try.  Well I was disappointed :-(.  I didn't want to not like them, but I just couldn't make myself like them.  So, not wanting to throw them away, I decided to chop them and try them in a few of my pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.  I have to say it was pretty good.  I prefer chocolate of course, but it was still tasty.  So I will be trying to chop these little things again and try them in other goodies.  I will keep you updated!


So here is my take on the muffins.  You can certainly use only all-purpose flour and melted butter in place of coconut oil and they are still tasty.  I hope your family enjoys!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
3/4 cup pumpkin
3/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup milk
3 Tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla 
1/2 cup chocolate chips

  1. In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Combine the egg, brown sugar, pumpkin, milk, coconut oil and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Stir in chocolate chips.
  2. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 375° for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.Yield: 1 dozen.



Today's Verse
"Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."  Matthew 5:14-16

Monday, November 4, 2013

Gobble Gobble

So we had a family project this weekend to decorate a turkey for my first grade daughter's class!  It was so fun...but it did lead to lots of glitter which Daddy is not a fan of!  He didn't really have a choice.  All us girls thought it must have lots of glitter!  We laughed as we all four sat around this turkey placing beads and feathers and jewels.  We had to talk Daddy out of wiring it to light up and gobble out loud...such a man thing! :)  We think our princess turkey is lovely!  (I don't really think it is a girl, but my two little ones thought it had to be a princess.)  So I promised to post the pic, so please excuse me while I show off our handy work :).



All this turkey talk is making me already check out new recipes and think about what to try and which classics to stick with.  I am fighting the urge to be a Bah-hum-bug!  I am excited to know my little ones are already counting down the days...and the fact we passed a house this morning that was already decorated for Christmas made them clap and cheer!  Their excitement gives me hope!  

But besides the turkey and the excitement...we are thankful!  I am so glad this time of year brings out the thankfulness in all of us! We are thankful for God's love and forgiveness.  Thankful for our family.  Thankful for every moment we get to spend together.  We are thankful for every single thing...because every single thing comes from Him!!!

The girls and I have been talking about praising God through prayer and song lately.  I had told them I really wanted to teach them some of the old hymns that I love so much.  We do not sing them often at church, but I want them to know these precious songs and the peace they hold.  Then, we got the chance to sing a favorite yesterday at church!  I was overjoyed.  I leave you with the beautiful words and the hope that you can thank God today that these words are so true!

Today's Verses

Psalm 100

King James Version (KJV)
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.


v -1 I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how He could love me,
A sinner, condemned, unclean.

v-4 He took my sins and my sorrows,
He made them His very own;
He bore the burden to Calvary,
And suffered and died alone.

v-5 When with the ransomed in glory
His face I at last shall see,
’Twill be my joy through the ages
To sing of His love for me.


O how marvelous! O how wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
O how marvelous! O how wonderful!
Is my Savior’s love for me!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What's Cookin' Wednesday

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind!  So much to do and so much fun!  We had a great early 10 year anniversary trip!  The weather was beautiful, the scenery was perfect, and just to have several meals with nobody whining or saying they didn't like their food was so wonderful! And speaking of the food...that was amazing also!  We thanked God everyday for the blessing of the trip and His beautiful creation!

We also have been getting ready for fall festivals and classroom parties.  It is a beutiful time of year, but I think this is just the calm before the storm.  I suppose this is preparing us for the next two very busy months to come!

As I sat down exhausted Friday night...October 25th...I looked at my husband and said, "Two months from tonight and it will all be over!" It's not that I don't look forward to the fun that is ahead, but I do have a small amount of dread as we get ready for all the excitement and exhaustion to come.

I did want to share a few of our favorite fall treats before we start talking tinsel and lights.  The girls and I have made some fun things in the past and some of our favorites are linked below.  We tried something new this year.  I had seen an email about making these cupcakes in red for apples, but I thought why not try them in orange for pumpkins.  They turned our super cute!  I hope your family enjoys and I hope you get some rest this weekend because the first of November begins the countdown :)



Frost your cupcakes with orange tinted icing and then roll in orange sugar sprinkles.  Stick a pretzel in the top and voila...perfect and pretty pumpkins!  (Making orange sprinkles is easy with regular table sugar and a few drops of red and yellow food-coloring.  Stir and within seconds you have orange sugar.)


Other Faves:








Today's Verse
"The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe."  John 1:7



Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What's Cookin Wednesday

Oh we finally saw the sun in our part of NC yesterday, and it was wonderful!!! It had been 9 days...9 very long and dreary days!  And a I type now, the clouds are back and the mist is here.  It can make me feel sooooo blah!  The only thing keeping me going is the fact we leave for sunny Florida tomorrow.  Yay! 

I have recently been using verses about our heavenly Father being our light.  These verses are so helpful when the blah dark days come.  When our situation is draining us.  Our circumstances seem depressing.  Or if just the clouds are bringing us down.  Remember He can be our light; He can be our strength, and He can get us through the darkness if we just trust and rely on Him. 

I feel certain we'll see the sun again soon, but as I wait I will use these verses to keep my day sunny!

I recently made these delicious cinnamon scones that I saw on the Women Living Well blog.  It certainly brightened our day and the day for some the ladies that work for my husband.  They are a great fall treat! Make them huge like we did or you could cut differently to make them smaller.  They would also be good with chocolate chips, but cinnamon is just so fallish (Is that a word?) and comforting to me.   You can certainly top with powdered sugar or make an icing with milk and powdered sugar to be like a cinnamon roll...yummy! I hope your family enjoys!


Cinnamon scones




  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 4 T butter
  • 2 T coconut oil - solid (or shortening which is what the original recipe calls for)
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup cinnamon chips
Instructions
  1. Sift together dry ingredients.
  2. Cut in the butter and shortening.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat cream and egg.
  4. Add to the dry ingredients.
  5. Stir in cinnamon chips.
  6. With floured hands, shape dough into a ball and lay out onto a floured surface.
  7. Flatten into a disk.
  8. Cut into 8 even wedges using a pizza cutter.
  9. Place individual scones onto a baking sheet covered in foil or parchment paper.
  10. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-25 minutes or until golden brown.




Today's Verse
"The LORD is my light and my salvation;"  Psalms 27:1a


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What's Cookin'

So the chill is here and I have tried a lot of recipes recently that I can't wait to share.  But I also had a flop this week :( .  It happens!  I am going to still work on it and hope I can share it soon.  It is a great cooler weather meal!

This recipe is so quick and easy! You can use a rotisserie chicken or boil your own chicken breast and shred.  I do this every other week and freeze.  That way I can pull it out and throw in pasta, casseroles, soups or these delicious sandwiches.  I used mini buns for my little ones, but you can use whatever kind you would like. I hope your family enjoys!


Bar B Q Chicken sandwiches

2 cups shredded cooked chicken
2/3 cup ketchup
1/2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp apple cidar vinegar
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
4 hamburger rolls or 8 mini sandwich rolls

Mix all the ingredients except for the rolls.  Simmer on Medium heat for 15 minutes and stirring occasionally.  Serve on warm rolls.




Today's Verse
"God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." 1 John 1:5b

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Why Why Why

Every toddler usually goes through a "Why?" stage.  It can be unbelievable as they constantly ask the question at everything you say.

Mom:  "It's time to eat lunch."
Child:  "Why?"
Mom:  "Because we need to eat food."
Child:  "Why?"
Mom:  "Because food helps us grow and be strong."
Child:  "Why?"
Mom:  "Because that is how God made our bodies."
Child:  "Why?"
Mom:  "He knew we needed food for energy."
Child:  "Why?"
Mom:  "Because I simply said so."

We all hated those words as a child, but you end up saying them as a parent.  Even when you promised you never would.  When the "whys" keep coming, you have to finally say it to make them stop!

Our six year old is going through a new "why" stage, and it is frustrating!!!  She is questioning everytime she is told no or not now.  She is questioning discipline.  She is saying "why" at the drop of a hat.  Her father made the "no asking why" rule a few weeks ago.  I think she is finally getting the concept and slowing down on her whys.

But then everything came full circle yesterday!

We were making our usual commute home from school.  After my little one gets out of school, we have a one and a half hour wait until the oldest one gets out.  Then we have a 19 mile commute home in traffic with stopping school buses.  My little one was getting antsy and asking if we were almost home. I blurted out-loud as we pulled into our driveway, "Lord, why can't we live closer to school!"  

My smart little first grader immediately reminded me, "No asking 'Why' Mama!"

I had to laugh.  She is right!  No asking Why!

We are prayerfully considering putting our house on the market for a third time.  We have talked to a Realtor and weighing all the pros and cons. Oh how nice it would be to be closer to school and church, but we are waiting for God's hand to move.

We will look back at all the things that prevented our house to sale in the pass, and we will laugh knowing God had a reason for the wait.  We will be able to give Him all the credit if and when we are able to ever move.  But for now, we are oh so thankful for our house, our wonderful back yard, and the my van that drives us all those miles everyday!

No asking Why!  I am simply glad I had a reminder that it is not nice to ask why! And I am glad for the Father who knows the when to my whys!

Today's Verse

Lamentations 3:25

 The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The real thing

Have you ever tried to make buttermilk?  Well I did for the first time this week, and to me personally, it was not the same.  Buttermilk is rich and creamy.  It adds such a distinct flavor and fluffiness to biscuits and baked goodies.  I have heard of drinking it, but that is not something I would really like to do, but I do love to cook and bake with it.

So when I wanted to make buttermilk pancakes, but found myself without buttermilk, I decided to make my own.  I have read to add a Tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to milk to create the concoction.  So I gave it a try, only to be very disappointed.  It was like I had just used plain milk. There was not the same tang and fluffy texture that buttermilk usually gives the pancakes.

It was just not the same as the real thing!

There are so many books I want to read.  Devotions that warm my heart and comfort my soul; books to help with so many of life's trials, and true stories that inspire us.  If I had time, I would read a book a day!  But I can never let those great books replace the best Book for everyday life. Our Bibles can speak to us during happy times as well as hard times.  We can find comfort, guidance, and God's never-ending love written throughout the pages.  I will continue to read other books, but they can never replace or be better than my Bible.

Our Bible is the real thing!

Today's Verse
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."  Psalms 119:105


It is pumpkin time!!!!  I love pumpkin recipes.  Here is the pumpkin waffles we made recently.  No buttermilk required!  You can top with maple syrup, melted butter, powdered sugar, chopped pecans or however you like.  The girls love pumpkin and chocolate, so we topped with just a sprinkle of chocolate chips and syrup. I hope your family enjoys!

2 1/3 cup baking mix (such as Bisquick)
1 1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp apple sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Beat all ingredients and pour into heated waffle iron as directed.  Make sure to spray the waffle iron with butter or canola oil for easy cleanup.  Serve warm with desired toppings.





Monday, September 30, 2013

The "G" Key

As I type, I am internally and even a little outwardly frustrated at my laptop!!!  You see, my "g" key has messed up.  We have worked and worked, but there is no fixing...scrrrrream...it.  The scream is for the extra effort it took to press the "g" key in the word "fixing"!!

I don't recall exactly how it happened, but it now sticks out higher than the other keys.  And as I type, and the words start flowing....scrrrrream...I have to stop and put forth extra effort to get that g to appear on the screen.  It is ruining my day!  It is messing up my flow!  It is causing me to pause when I don't want to pause!!!  Did you see how many g's I just has to stop for!!!

As I was contemplating my frustrations, I began thinking of my actual day and the tasks at hand.  How many times do little g's pop into my day, and how do I handle the interruptions?  Let me clarify.  How many times am I going with the flow, getting things done, and suddenly a frustrating moment happens?  Example...had a great devotion time, everything is going smoothly this morning, and then...Bam...milk is spilled everywhere.  How do I handle the difficulty of stopping for something irritating in the middle of my day? Do I get mad and bang on the keyboard, like I have done a few times this week? Or do I take the bump in my day in stride and keep going?

Unfortunately I have not been good at taking things in stride lately! 


Just like the g key is messing with my happy when typing, everyday little mishaps have been messing with my happy outlook on life.  And there seems to be a lot of g key moments lately!

While trying to turn my frustration into motivation to stay positive, I have decided that every time I must pause for the g key, I will say a mental praise or thank you to God.  You see, I had to pause right then to make the big "G" appear to spell God.  It is even harder to make the g capitalized.  So every time I am to type a g, I am to quickly thank God for the beautiful weather, the ability to type, the words He gives me to share, my family, the food we have to eat...you get the picture.  Instead of wanting to scream at my g key, I am going (Wow that is two thankfulness thoughts in one word!) to be thankful!

And I will try to do the same in life!

Instead of getting mad at spilled milk, I will be thankful for the milk we had and the precious child that spilled it.  When we are in bad traffic in the morning, I will be thankful for the ability to drive.  When I can't find my keys, I will be thankful my vehicle.  For every g key moment or bump in the plan that causes frustration, I will turn it into a moment of happy instead a moment of mad!

When life hands us lemons, we might not feel like making lemonade.  I don't even really like lemonade.  But if we are just thankful for those sour lemons, something sweet is sure to develop.  And every time I hit the g key, a sweet and precious moment with God will follow!


Today's Verse
"For thou art my lamp, O LORD:  and the LORD will lighten my darkness."  2 Samuel 22:29

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What's Cookin'


I didn't talk about this over the summer, but my husband and I did a week of the Daniel's Fast at the beginning of the summer...and it was HARD!  Fasts are generally hard, and that is kinda the point...to focus on God instead of what we are missing.  I am praying about doing the fast again soon, and I will definitely be using this recipe if I feel lead to pursue this again.

When doing the fast, I missed Coke Zero and ice cream the most.  This recipe would be an alternate to ice cream. Unfortunately I didn't read about it until after the fast, but it is still good anytime.

Freezing bananas and mixing in the food processor makes an ice cream like texture and it works great in smoothies.  If using for the Daniel Fast, you would need to use all natural peanut butter, almond milk and no chocolate syrup.  I hope your family enjoys!

1 sliced banana - frozen overnight (So much easier to process if you slice before freezing.)
1/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup oatmeal
1 Tbsp peanut butter
1/2 Tbsp chocolate syrup

Just throw in the food processor or blender or use an immersion blender and mix until creamy!  Pour into a glass and enjoy!



Today's Verse
"when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me."  Micah 7:8b


Wondering what the Daniel fast is?  Here are a few websites...
http://www.daniel-fast.com/
http://www.wikihow.com/Do-a-Daniel-Fast

Thursday, September 19, 2013

What's Cooking - a day late

Oh there is a chill in the air...time for soup and the sniffles.  My little one and myself have been suffering from a bad cold.  So hence the day late!  I have already made two delicious soups this season.  These are sure to hit the spot on these chilly nights!  On both soup, we added a little heat with some fresh jalapeños after getting the kids' servings out.  We also topped the wonton soup with something new and so tasty.  We took egg roll wrappers and sprayed with a little butter spray and sprinkled with salt.  We baked for 8-10 minutes at 425, until golden.  We then crushed and added to the soups.  It was the perfect, crunchy accessory.  I really hope your family enjoys!


Creamy Mexican chicken soup

2 cups chopped, cooked chicken

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 to 2 cups of chicken stock
4 oz cream cheese
1 can tomatoes and green chilies
1 cup of corn
1 can of pinto beans (drained and rinsed )
1 tsp cummin and cilantro
1/2 tsp onion, garlic and chili powder

Throw in a crockpot on low for 6 hours or high for 3-4.  Top with tortillas  guacamole, cheese, jalapenos or what ever you like!





Wonton soup

1 box chicken stock
1 can cream of chicken soup
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp ginger and onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic
8 frozen Chinese chicken wontons
Fresh jalapeño

Combine the stock, soup and spices and simmer for about 10 minutes on medium.  Add wontons and reduce to medium-low.  Continue cooking for about 20 minutes or until the wontons are cooked through.  Top with jalapeños if desired. 





Today's Verse

"whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe."  Proverbs 29:25b

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My Source

No internet!!!! We had no internet all week last week.  No real explanation.  Everyday we would call and listen to an automated voice say..."The problem will be resolved by 12:00 pm"...call again..."The problem will be resolved tomorrow by 5:00 pm" and so forth and so on went the waiting for the internet issues to be resolved.

It is surprising how much I rely on this little source of information.  I check my email (a main source of communication with both of my daughters' school); I check the weather, the news, my recipes, and the list is long.  Not to mention this!!!  I missed typing.  And then there's the fact my daughter has homework every night on a math program that can only be pulled up using...you guessed it...the internet.

So here we go, to our new local, fancy gas station, to have an icee and do math homework on my laptop.  Kinda interesting!  Lot's of strange looks.  But hey, we got her homework done!

You can find anything on the world wide web.  Ask it a question, it will supply hundreds and hundreds of answers.  It is an infinite source of knowledge, but it is not all knowing!

There's only one Source for that kind of power.  And I am so glad He is my Source.

Last week was one of the craziest weeks on record.  Not only because of driving to gas stations to do homework, but just the whole weeks's schedule.  Several dental procedures for my oldest and myself, a few volunteer chances and several other things that left me driving all over town.  I am not a fan of driving in our big city downtown area, but I found myself downtown two days in a row.  By the time I had to sit in the dental chair on Friday for almost three hours, I was kind of glad for just the chance to sit down!  (Even though the pain was horrible!)

We made it through as a family.  We were a family that prayed our way through the hectic and completely crazy week.  A family that relied on the Source of power to get the lists accomplished. It wasn't a perfect week, but He gave us the strength to keep us going.  We had to rely completely on His Power!


Today's Verses
"My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation (hope) is from him.  He only is my rock and my salvation:  he is my defense; I shall not be moved.  In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength...Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him:  God is a refuge for us."  Ps 62:5-8


He is our refuge. He is our only Source of hope.  He is our only source of power.  Without Him, we can do nothing.  We were thankful to get that internet power back, but even more thankful...eternally, never able to express our appreciative hearts...thankful for our heavenly Father.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

God Supplies ALL Our Needs

We are out of paper towels AGAIN!!!!  This morning I put the last roll out, and it will be gone by tomorrow.  Spills, hand washing, counter wiping...these things are used for everything in our house. We are also running low on toilet tissue.  I am forever buying these paper products.  I should really buy more of this stuff in bulk!

As I was making a mental list of what we needed again, and secretly grumbling about another trip to the store, a story randomly popped into my head.  I smiled as I remembered the setting and the story.

It was Sunday school class...junior girls.  Just a bunch of silly 11 and 12 year old girls...that was funny in itself!  I pictured our big hair and the funny things we used to do.  I had a good laugh.  I remembered our teacher reading a story to us.  We were sitting in metal chairs and intensely listening, all packed in a circle around her.  The story was about a young lady who was watching her pennies.  Money was tight and she had a few more days before she got paid again.  She was making it, but barely.  Then the story took an interesting turn.  The girl in the story was about to run out of toilet tissue.  I remember us girls giggling.  Our teacher smiled, but softly scolded us.

What would it be like not to have the money to buy something we needed?

The girl prayed for God to help her.  She had faith.  She knew He would come through.  The story would count down the squares left as the girl would pray.  The night came when she was completely out.  She prayed again, only to be interrupted to the sound of laughing outside her door.  She opened the door to the best site!  Some neighborhood boys had TP'd her trees completely in toilet tissue.  The stuff she needed was hanging everywhere!  She laughed and thanked God as she cheerfully cleaned up the best mess she could have imagined!

I'm not sure if it is a true story...but it sure kept our attention, and obviously it stuck.

Today's Verse
"The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want (lack)."  Psalms 23:1

The lesson...God will supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19).  We shall not want!  The solution might come at the last minute.  It might be answered in a way we never could have imagined.  It might not be exactly what we were praying for.  It literally might come straight from above and rain down upon us.  But we have faith our need will be taken care of.

I am thankful I can stop by the store tomorrow and pick up the few items on my list.  But there are some bigger things we are in need of in our family.  A roof in need of fixing, dental work needing to be done and an air condition that needs to be replaced...just to name a few.  But when these needs start to mount and the temptation to worry creeps in...I will remember the toilet paper raining from above, and I'll remember it will all work out!  He will supply all our needs.  We can be certain of that fact!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What's Cookin'?

So we are getting into the swing of things!  It has been a great start to the school year.  With the little one loving preschool (Big sigh of relief from mama!) and big sis loving first grade, we are excited to see what the year will hold.

The first day of preschool was last Wednesday, and I was very emotional.  The plan for the day was changed at the last minute.  This made me upset and threatened to ruin the day!  But we put on a smile and accepted things can't always go the way we would like.  It was a fabulous day in the end, and thankfully she declared she loved school!  She even wanted to go the next day and was disappointed when I told her she would have to wait until Friday to go back :).

I was a little disappointed when my preschooler declared she did not want the usual MM waffles for her special first day.  YIKES!  That is always the go-to-breakfast when we have special days! She wanted chocolate cinnamon rolls!  What was I going to do?

So this is what I came up with.  I was already making chocolate dipped marshmallows for something else, so I saved a few tablespoons of melted chocolate and spread onto crescents with some butter, sugar and of course cinnamon.  There are no exact measurements, but I don't think anyone could mess this up! It was quite tasty and I hope your family enjoys!

Rolls
1 can crescents
2-3 Tbsp melted milk chocolate
1-2 Tbsp cold butter cut into small pieces
1-2 Tbsp brown sugar
1-2 tsp cinnamon

Icing
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2-1 Tbsp milk
1/4 tsp vanilla

Half the dough and spread out and press seams together.  Spread with melted chocolate and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and dot with butter.  Roll jelly roll style long way and slice into about 10 rolls.  Altogether you should have about 20 small mini rolls.  For larger rolls, roll the short way and you should have 8 big rolls.  Place on a parchment lined pan and bake at 350 for about 12-15 minutes.  Mix icing until desired thickness and pour over baked rolls.  Warm and so so so good!




Today's Verse
"And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more."  Hebrews 10:17


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Practicing and Praying

We've practiced with the lunch box for over a week now.  How does a 3 year old learn to eat like a big school girl without some practice?  We unzip the brand new, cool lunchbox, get out the containers and practice opening them, wipe our hands, eat the good food (with no complaining or asking for someone else's lunch), wipe our hands and our face, clean up our area, put all the containers back in the lunchbox...and it is as simple as that.

YIKES!!!

My baby is going to preschool tomorrow and I am slightly panicking!!!

Will it be good for her?   YES.
Will she learn a lot?   Of course.
Will she make new friends?  That is my prayer.
Will it be fun?  I'm sure of it.

We've been over our manners again this morning.  I have talked about sharing and waiting our turn. There's lessons on not pouting and how we can't win all the time.  We've read "The Night Before Preschool" and "JoJo's First Day Jitters".  I am preparing her with all I can think of.  I'm reassuring her and encouraging her.  I am promising her it is going to be great!

We're practicing and praying.

Practicing for the procedures and rules of school and praying for a smooth adjustment and easy acclimation to the whole process.

I am reminding myself that this is good for her. This is preparing her for all the many years of school ahead. Preparing her to learn.  Preparing her to grow up.  Preparing her to be the young lady God wants her to be.

God is preparing her and her big sister for all He has in store...and He is preparing me too!  I am nervous as to what is to come.  I don't know what to expect.  What will I be called to do?  Is there something new in store for me as this new stage of motherhood begins?  I am a slightly panicking!!!!  But...

Will this be good for me ?  YES.
Will I learn a lot?  Of course.
Will I make new friends?  That is my prayer.
Will it be fun?  I'm sure of it...as long as I keep my eyes on my heavenly Father and trust Him and what is to come!  As long as we keep practicing and praying I have no doubt the year ahead will be a great one!


Today's Verse

Joshua 1:9

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.




Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Recipe Remake

I have been attempting to remake some of our family recipes a little more healthy.  And I have been trying to makes some suppers ahead of time and freezing for easy quick suppers, and making our own pancakes and waffles and freezing for easy morning prep.  This has been fun and given me a chance to try new things.

The news ingredient is...coconut oil.  It looks a lot like shortening, has no coconut flavor and is a healthier fat!

I recently tried to remake these applesauce muffins...


Here are the new ingredients and they were a hit!

Applesauce/Carrot with Coconut Oil Muffins

1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups of applesauce (I used all natural, unsweetened)
1/4 cup minced carrots (1/2 carrot finely minced in the food processor)
6 Tbsp melted coconut oil


Mix dry ingredients in bowl and set aside.  Whisk together sugar and eggs until smooth.  Stir in cooled melted coconut oil, applesauce and carrots.  Pour wet ingredients in with dry and mix until just combined.  Over mixing makes a tough muffin.  Makes 36 mini muffins or 12 really big muffins.  Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes for minis or 18-22 minutes for big muffins.  Yummy and even more nutritious!


Today's Verse

"I am crucified with Christ:  nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:  and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."  Galatians 2:20

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What's Cookin'

So I have missed this!!!!  I can't say when I will be back on schedule, but we have got one child in school and one more to go (sniff, sniff).  Yesterday was the first day of first grade! (I have loved saying that!  It sounds cool!)  We are excited about the school year and all the fun and learning to come.  I did want to toss out some recipes.  I hope your family enjoys!

Please don't think I am tooting my own horn...but here are some back to school recipes from Thriving Family.  My jello apples with a twist are included along with other great ones...

http://www.thrivingfamily.com/free/www.thrivingfamily.com/~/media/Thriving/1-articles/PDFs/school-lunch-recipes.pdf


I did store up some frozen homemade pancakes (Just the Bisquick kind) and these french toast sticks from Taste of Home...

http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/French-Toast-Sticks


And of course we had nutella and MM waffles yesterday for the first day of school...

http://mansionmoms.blogspot.com/2012/08/not-so-good-for-you-but-ooooh-so-good.html



Today's Verse
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."  Phil 4:13
(Even send my oldest to First grade and youngest to Preschool in two weeks!)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

It may get worse...pt. 2

OK OK OK, I know I am taking a break from posting, but I just had to throw this out there.  I wanted to talk about it yesterday, but time got the best of me.  But I have been staring at the computer and feeling I should type one more thing and a few verses.

One story in the Bible that is sooooo "It had to get worse before it got better", was the story of Joseph.  Imagine what he went through.  Being the favorite of his father and despised by his brothers.  Being sold into slavery by his on family.  Making it to a high position only to be lied about and thrown into prison.  But even in prison it says, "But the LORD was with Joseph, and showed him mercy and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison."  Genesis 39:20. Even after he had favor and correctly interpreted dreams, he was forgotten by the butler who was set free and for two full years he still remained in prison.

But God had a plan.  Joseph could have faltered.  He could have given up.  Joseph could have thrown in the towel, walked away from God, let go of his faith, and lost all hope.  (I can't say I wouldn't have lost all hope in his situation!)  But he kept going; he kept his faith, and God did restore his freedom and put him second in command.  Not only that, but he was reunited with his family and forgave them completely!

Genesis 50:20a  "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good."

It got worse, and then a little better, and then worse again, and worse again, but it DID get better!


Today's verse
Psalms 139:8-10
"If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there:  if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.  If I take wings of the morning, and dwell in the utter-most parts of the sea.  Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me."  (emphasis added)

He is there.  No matter what is happening, where we are, how bad it is...HE IS THERE!  Holding us; leading us!



A.S. I love you and am praying for you!!!



Monday, July 22, 2013

It may get worse...

Have you ever had an injury that didn't look too bad?  Yeah, it hurt a little, but nothing major! Then the time past and wow the pain really started stinging.  The hurt was bigger than we expected. The ouchie made us twinge with pain.  The boo-boo was getting worse!

My daughter had a small scrape this morning.  I was proud of her big-girl approach of it not being that bad!  (She is usually my drama queen when it comes to ouchies!)  But by lunch, the sting was really apparent.  She looked at me and said, "You know, you have said some things have to get worse before they get better!"

Wow, I have said that!  And man, I needed that little phrase just at the exact moment she said it!

Nothing we are facing is too big for God to handle.

There are some situations in our lives that may appear to be getting a little worse.  Things not going quite like we had planned.  Situations changing that we thought were becoming stable.  Plans being turned upside down.  We know there is a purpose for everything we experience in our lives. We pray for guidance and peace.  We hand the cares over to the Lord and try to move forward in His will.  But there is no guarantee that a painful or stressful situation is going change for the better as soon as we would like.  It may take a while.  It may even get a little worse before it gets better!   But we hold on to that hope that God is in control and it will get better!

We want the best for our children...don't you think God wants the best for His!

Today's verse

Matthew 7:11, "If ye then, being evil (or sinful), know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him."

The storm may rage a little longer, but there will eventually be sun after the rain.  The hurt my get worse before it gets better, but it will heal.  The darkness may seem inevitable, but the morning light will come again. Keep our eyes on Him and not the negatives, and we will see the rainbow after the storm. 

  

http://mansionmoms.blogspot.com/2012/01/extra-o.html


Summer has definitely come and gone too quickly!  There are only 3 short weeks for us until it is back to school time.  We will be soaking in every last drop, so no more posts until we get back into the swing of things!  Enjoy the sun, your family, and every moment our heavenly Father blesses us with!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

King Hezekiah

It's funny to say and funny to spell, but this king from the old testament has been popping up in my reading a lot this week!  It's so fun when that happens, because I know there is a lesson to be learned.  First, the story of his healing was in one of the girls' devotions this week; then he made an appearance in one of mine, and finally it just so happens I was reading in 2 Chronicles some this week as well!

I have put a link to the P31 devo below, so please go and check that out b/c it is a good one!  And then also, I really feel led to share the verse I read last night!  It was just what I needed and I hope it speaks to you as well!

Today's Verse
2 Chronicles 30:9b  "for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him."


We've all turned our back on God.  It may only have been for a minute, when we were at our lowest and in the deepest despair.  We felt like He wasn't listening and we questioned if He cared. It may have been for a week, when one bad thing after another bad thing was bogging us down and the devil was whispering to throw in the towel.  We refused to pray and refused to pick up His Word.  Maybe we walked away for years, because surely we could handle things just fine on our own.  We never felt good enough to be one of His children.

Whatever the circumstances.  Whatever the pain and heartache.  No matter what we have done, thought or said.  If we return to Him, run back to Him, cry to Him...He is gracious and merciful and will not turn away His face from us!  He is there waiting "if ye return unto him."

WOW!  That is our powerful and loving heavenly Father!


http://www.proverbs31.org/devotions/gods-strength-still-available-me-2013-07/





Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Easy sweet treat

Wow it is hot today!  But I am thankful to be seeing the sun here in NC.  We had so much rain last week and the poor farmers need their fields to dry out!

This is a sweet treat the girls and I like to make in the summer and perfect for a hot day like today.  A lot of people make this with graham crackers but we used mini vanilla wafer cookies.  The girls loved making these!  The mini cookies makes it is so tasty and easy for little ones to eat.  There is not a recipe but simply instructions and lots of smiles.  Hope your family enjoys!

Simply fill a plate with mini vanilla wafer cookies.  Spread about 1/4 tsp of chocolate syrup on top of flat side of cookie and then 1/2 Tbsp of whipped cream (We use the fat free kind and it works great!)  Top with another cookie to make little sandwiches.  Wrap plate with plastic wrap and freeze for about 4 hours.  Then you have tiny "ice cream" sandwiches they made all by them selves.  No oven or ice cream required :)


Today's verse

Proverbs 21:23 "Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles."

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Homemade chicken nuggets

I can't believe it has been a whole week since the last post!  Summer is definitely flying by, and we are having lots of fun! The girls went to a three hour day camp this morning and I didn't know what to do with myself.  That was a first for me!  I have never been without both of them during the day, so I got a little taste of what the new school year will be like.  YIKES!  We'll see what the Lord will have me to do next :)

I wanted to share a recipe that I tried recently.  I have discussed how picky my little one is.  She would eat French Fries and chicken nuggets every meal if we let her.  She will eat real chicken tenders but she prefers the processed kind.  I dislike processed chicken nuggets, so I tried to make my own.  I made them with ground chicken using a similar method to making meatballs.  My little one walked in on the process and I was worried she wouldn't try them after watching me assemble them.  She has a tenancy of not trying things after she sees me cook.  But she ate them and she liked them!  She told her daddy "Mommy made them all by herself!"  I also froze them in freezer bags and they heated up perfectly in the microwave!  I was so excited!  Hopefully your little ones will enjoy!


1 lb ground skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup panko crumbs
1 egg
1/4 tsp garlic and onion powder
1/2 tsp sea salt

Mix the ingredients together and form into nugget shapes.  Roll in extra panko crumbs for that breading crunch.  Bake at 375 on parchment lined pan for 15 minutes and then flip.  Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until slightly browned and juices run clear.




Today's verse

Psalms 51:10  "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me."