Monday, December 17, 2012

Engagement announcement

Our daughter Jordyn is now
officially {and finally!}
Engaged to Ethan Long!

We are all looking forward to the big day,

May 25, 2013

Congratulations to a wonderful couple!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fall 2012 Highlights

I haven't been blogging for a number of reasons.  Busy? yes, but there is more to it than that.  I had an adrenal fatigue relapse this summer and, quite frankly, I don't remember much about these last few months!  when I have that I am super tired and cannot think clearly, much less keep up with things!  On top of that I have had computer issues, elderly parent issues, and, well, being busy at home, too.  I wish I could brag blog about all the stuff I have accomplished since about August, but there just isn't much to say!  I have totally been in survival mode.  Among with my "computer issues" was that my pictures haven't been automatically downloading and saving into the computer.  I'm not computer savvy- I just figured out plan "B" for that!  So here are some pictures of some of the bright spots of this fall.

 Kids play "sleeping".  Love that "baby"!  
{Side note: that couch is NOT in my livingroom!  Its in the basement and its a hide-a-bed or we probably wouldn't still have it! LOL}
 Hanging out in Grandma & Grandpa's back yard

 Peter's 8th birthday.

 His party consisted of his friend Shad and his family.
Silly picture!  Love Dallas' Stanly Laurel imitation!  {And Jordyn peeking in the back!}

 G&G with the girls.
Joseph Donald, Grandpa Donald, Mary, Grandma Mary
First day of school, including Lucy & her "blanket" which is no more because she completely shredded it until there is nothing left.  Maybe she ate it?  Who knows!
Corah, 8th grade
Joseph 4th, Peter 2nd, Mary 1st, Leah is 3 and she "homeschools" too.

My lovely back yard-- boy do I miss those leaves!!!
Playing in the leaves

Isn't that an awesome picture?!?  {Too bad she's wearing a gubby old shirt with paint all over it!LOL}

One of "Oreo Kitty's" last days with us.  He and Lucy made us understand the meaning of "fighting like cats and dogs"! Since their last {really big!} fight, we haven't seen him.  I don't understand why he would leave, Oreo ALWAYS won!!   

Jordyn's fall fun party

 "Happy Birthday to ME"
 Thanksgiving at Grandma & Grandpa's house, wearing the turkey shirts with tu-tus that Jordyn made for them.  Aren't they adorable?!
Grandpa hug!

I am so glad we were able to spend Thanksgiving as a family at Grandma & Grandpa's house because that was our las time to visit them there.   The next time we all go to visit, it will be at their new assisted living apartment. They "aren't ready" but it will be such a relief to us "kids" to know there will always be someone there to watch them and keep them safe.  It is a lot safer than their house that just isn't handicap accessible.  They are changing so fast... but I am so glad we still have them!!! 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Crispy Ranch Chicken

Chicken strips was on the menu.

I felt like spicing it a bit.

The kids put ranch dressing on everything (that's why I buy it by the gallon in the "bulk" section at Walmart), so I thought I'd beat them to the punch and put it on the chicken first.


Chicken breasts, cut into strips
1-2 cups of ranch dressing (I didn't measure and I had to refill my bowl once or twice)
Italian bread crumbs

I sliced the chicken into strips, dipped them in ranch dressing, then rolled them in the bread crumbs.  I placed them on a greased baking sheet and baked at 350 for 20 minutes, flipped them and baked another 20 minutes.

That's it!  The verdict?  Yummy!  Juicy! (not as dry as rolling it in milk/egg mixture)  No leftovers!  I was pretty bummed about that, but I guess that means it got an "A"!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Every Thursday night is Mexican night at our house.  Tonight we had Chicken Enchilada "soup".  The original recipe was not labeled "soup" but that is what it turns out to be.

6 small flour tortillas, cut into triangular pieces like a pizza.  I use whole wheat.
In a mixing bowl, combine the next 4 ingredients to make a (sort-of) soupy sauce.
1.5 lb (3 cups) of cooked chicken pieces.  Sometimes I grind chicken breasts, if I can get a good deal.
1 can of 98% fat free cream of chicken soup.
1- 19 oz. can enchilada sauce.
1-2 can beans (black or kidney) I added both.  More protein, and it makes the recipe go farther.
8 oz shredded Colby-Jack cheese.
Optional extras: sour cream, green chilies, black olives.

Use a round crock pot or deep baking dish. Cover the bottom layer with the sauce, then a layer of tortillas.  Continue alternating layers, throwing some cheese in there every couple layers, like you would when making lasagna.  Put sauce and cheese on the top layer.  Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, until cheese is melted. (Or microwave for 5-10 minutes or crock pot a few hours.)  Serve with a ladle.  Serves 6.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Homeschooling with laryngitis

Today I have learned a lot about Proverbs 15:1,

"A soft answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger."

Due to either a cold or allergies, my voice is abnormally soft.  In fact it is only a whisper!  My kids keep saying, "Just try and talk normal."  "I am," I whisper back.  I have had a scratchy voice before, due to a cold or chest congestion, but I don't think I have ever lost my voice so completely!  Ugh!

What I have learned is that if I speak in a whisper, they respond in a whisper.  This has probably been the quietest day we have ever had!  Without having any control over the volume of my voice, I have managed to control the volume of their voices.  Hmm...  I guess King Solomon knew what he was talking about.

For those moments when they still got loud and I needed to get their attention, I was sure glad they are trained to respond to a finger snap or a hand clap!  That sure comes in handy in public when I don't want to shout their names because they disappeared around the corner, I clap my hands.  Or if they are too far away for me to reach in church and I need to get their attention, I snap.  I know, they should be trained to NOT walk away from me at the store or misbehave in church in the first place, but for those times, it works. 

The one thing I wish I could change in this situation {other than NOT losing my voice!} is that I wish I would  have taught them sign language!  I still can, it just won't be too handy NOW! 

I think I'll go drink some more hot tea.  And sleep, I am soooooo tired!


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Why I haven't been blogging

I decided at the beginning of the summer that we needed to "unplug." Less T.V. and computer, more God. Once I got off the computer,  I realized how much of my time gets sucked away when I am on it! I also realized how I really, really, really needed to be more of a "present mom." Not presents like gifts, but present like really there!  When I'm not "really there," well, you know the saying... "When the cat's away, the mice will play!"  Messes. Fighting.  Sin.  Not the godly character I would like to cultivate in my children!  At the end of each day I would realize, another day had gone by without reading Scripture or praying with them.  My excuse was, "that's Dallas' responsibility," which is true, but his job is different from week to week and he is not always able to get it into his schedule, either.  So it's my responsibility, as well!

Something else I have been working on all summer is getting my thoughts organized, then getting them on paper, then following the plan.  Once upon a time, I had a notebook organizer.  I made it up myself, with printed planner sheets from MicrosoftWorks and plain notebook paper.  The dividers were recycled from something else, I just flipped them over and wrote on the backs.  I had everyone trained to just look in the book for chores, shopping list, homeschool contacts, etc.  And guess what... it worked!  It worked really well, too!  At that time I had three high schoolers, one little'un in school, and then came the babies... February 2003, October 2004,  July 2006, and June 2009.  Throw in six wrestling seasons, Hubby's bout with cancer, rebellious teenagers and very little sleep.  Oh, and my health crashed. (Barely any progesterone and phase II adrenal fatigue.)  All I could do was survive.  Barely.

Anyway, I forgot all about that handy-dandy notebook organizer!  The Holy Spirit poked and prodded at me all summer to get an organizer.  I really didn't want to make one again, so I looked and looked and looked online for the "perfect" notebook to buy.  Several had a lot of what I needed but not ALL of what I needed, and they are expensive.  So guess what?  I made one after all!  I need full-size pages (I am less likely to lose it that way!)  I need a weekly planner with lots of writing space per day, a calender, a menu plan, and a shopping list.  I found just what I needed at Organized Home.  I went to Staples and bought dividers with built-in folders to store pages that don't have holes.  My other sections include: schedules (MicrosoftWord2007), cleaning schedules from Money Saving Mom, chore charts from Homeschooling at the Speed of Life, Bible, (just different ideas I find or notes), goals (ideas from Sarah Mae), old menu plans to refer back to, and a school section, with attendance charts, notes from homeschool conventions of the past, copies of CPI forms,  copy of supervising teacher contract, etc. The theme of this organizer is

"The wise woman builds her house, 
But the foolish pulls it down with her hands."
Proverbs 14:1 

(This verse and picture is on the front cover of my notebook.)

Now that I have my organizer all organized (he-he) all I have to work on is, "eh-hem", #1 NOT letting it get buried on my desk*blush*, and #2  following it!  I honestly don't know which one is harder!  Really!!!  I have come to realize a little bit of rebellion in my heart when it comes to following a plan rather than being lazy.  (I am praying about a submissive spirit in this area!)

Through all the toil I also suffered with some depression.  I have a lot of back and neck pain and normally visit my chiropractor weekly.  But our insurance decided I go too much, I guess, because they have cut me off.  So every visit comes out of pocket now.  I have suffered more aches and pains than any 40-year-old should have!  Sometimes the pain was debilitating.  That's depressing.  We made our first real estate investment and it made a huge impact on our finances up front. (We're pretty broke until we get the house ready for a renter.)  That's depressing.  I could hardly walk through my basement due to piled-up junk, misplaced toys, and construction supplies.  That was frustrating, and a tough task to attack while having a lot of hip pain, especially while going up & down stairs.

But God is good!  He is patient!  And He wants me to ask for His help- which is a good thing since I need so much of it!!

I also haven't blogged much because my computer was in the shop several times.  Mr. Fix-It did a clean up but couldn't find anything seriously wrong--- at first.  He ended up saving all our data, wiping out the computer and re-installing the programs.  When that didn't work, he told me that it is just time to get a new one.  (Not what you want to hear when you are flat broke.)  So I am still using it, and asking God to heal it.  So far its working!  But next time I drop off the face of the earth, that just might be WHY!

If anyone actually had the patience to read this entire article, thank you for your time and patience!  I know, Laurie, you are probably the only one, so, thank you!


Friday, July 27, 2012

Psalm 103:10-12

There a lot of things I regret in my life.

 Things I did that I shouldn't have done.

 Things I said that I shouldn't have said.

 Things I didn't do that I should have done.

 Things I should have said and didn't.

 Even a frown when I should have smiled, or laughed when I should have condemned.

 I am so thankful that "He (God) has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities." (verse 10) I deserve hell. That's all there is to it. I don't deserve forgiveness, or a second chance. "For as the heavens are high above the earth,So great is His mercy toward those Who fear Him. "As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed out transgressions from us." God's forgiveness is great. So great that He never even thinks of them again. Jeremiah 31:34 "...For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." Now if only I could forget... and even more importantly, that others would.


 All Scripture taken from the New King James Version.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July

We don't normally associate the 4th of July with something sad like a funeral.  But we spent July 3rd at the most patriotic funeral I have ever seen.  A man who was a veteran of WWII, though he never left state side, he trained hundreds of young Navy pilots to serve our country.  The whole Legion group was there.  Twenty-one gun salute.  Flags.  Taps.  The Navy officers saluted the casket before they folded the flag to give to Grandma.  All the flowers were red, white, and blue.

He married Dallas' Grandma... two months after Dallas' brother and sister-in-law married... two months before we were married.  {How many people can say they got married the same year as their grandparents?!}  Grandma had been a widow for 20 years.  Now after nearly 17 years, she is widowed again.  They were very in love.  They were full-time companions.  They were so good to each other.  Now Grandma Alice is alone again.  

"Grandpa" John Ole Evans
September 9, 1920 - June29, 2012

Today we rest before our church 4th of July celebration.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Delicious Iced Coffee

There is just nothing like a nice cold glass of iced coffee on a hot summer day!  It is so cool and refreshing.  With the help of a friend, I have developed a delicious recipe so I can enjoy it any time, and at minimal cost, too.

In the blender add:

Some ice {maybe 4-5 cubes}
1 cup water
1 cup milk {I use skim, then its a fat-free drink!}
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1 heaping tsp instant coffee
Blend until the ice is chopped and enjoy your iced coffee!

Linked up with MenuPlanMonday

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Homemade {and healthy} Coffee Creamer

I love coffee.

I love to smell it as soon as I can after crawling out of bed in the morning.

I love to hold that hot mug in my cold hands and warm up in the wintertime.

I love it iced in the summertime.

I love coffee creamer.  

I love lots of different kinds of coffee creamer, but vanilla is my all-time favorite.  Hubby doesn't like me to buy the pre-made coffee creamers because one of the ingredients is "hydrogenated" somethingorwhatever.  {Hydrogenated anything is "not healthy".}  So for a while I was using coffee syrup with half & half.  "Yummy!" but I decided it was an unnecessary expense, so I thought I would try and invent my own vanilla coffee creamer:

1 quart carton of Half & Half
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsps. vanilla flavoring
Shake well,

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

We've adopted!

It has been almost a year since we lost our dear old Molly.  I think about her often.  I don't think we ever really realized what a big part of the family was until she was gone.  Sometimes I think I hear her, breathing heavily as she did in her senior years; or stepping onto the front porch. {She sounded like a person because she weighed as much as a small adult human!}  I was never afraid of intruders - she never would have allowed one!  Her bark was definitely worse than her bite.  She was very cautious about men.  Grown men would refuse to leave their trucks when she stuck her nose up toward the driver's window.  She hated the garbage man.  Think about it, 1) a man 2) stopping by our house during the day when her kids were playing right there in the yard 3) taking away something that "belonged" to us!  I have to laugh when I remember his face!

One sunny morning when I was having my morning prayer time... something triggered a memory.  I don't remember what it was, but I shed a little tear, thinking about Molly.  So I prayed... "Lord, You know we want another dog.  You know we have tried to get a puppy and it just never worked out.  I ask You to bring us the right dog at the right time... and with a shock collar... all for free."  Looking back, part of me believed it was just too much to ask.  But not too much for our God!

A week or so later, Tyler came home from work and asked what we would think of taking in a 1-year old American bulldog.  {Ummm, a bulldog?  I was thinking more like German Shepherd.}  His friend at work had her as a house dog and couldn't keep her any longer.  She had outgrown the house and was bored there.  She was chewing up everything in sight!  He couldn't keep her in the backyard because she could jump the fence!  We agreed to adopt her.

Meet Lucy!
{Shock caller and everything!}

She came to us on Memorial Day!  She is sooo sweet, and loves the country.  She hasn't destroyed anything since she's been here, she is having too much fun following all these kids around!  She has had to adjust to not being allowed in the house, that was tough at first, but she is learning.  She especially didn't like the day it rained off and on all day!

The cats aren't thrilled with her, but they have "put her in her place" a few times.  Today she killed a raccoon! That was funny to me since Molly {the brave dog that she was} was scared to death of raccoons! LOL


Leah's birthday was Saturday.  She turned THREE!!  {Wow! Where does the time go?}  Two months before her birthday we started asking what she wanted for her birthday.  And do you know what she said?  Get this... A Christmas tree!!  That's right, she never got over us taking the Christmas tree down in January!
So I told Jordyn.  I knew the garage saling queen would come through for us on this one!  Sure enough, someone a friend found a PURPLE CHRISTMAS TREE at a garage sale for $.25!  So Leah got just what she wanted for her birthday.  Jordyn decorated it with water balloon "Christmas balls" and a "Happy Birthday Leah" garland!  She loves it!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Mother's Worry

I have been reading through a book my mother gave me, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, By Joanna Weaver.  Its hard to read much with a house full of kids, but am trying to read a little each day since we are on our summer schedule.  It has been a real blessing.  Yesterday I was talking to someone who was telling me about how much she worries about her children and grandchildren.  I know how easy it is to get wrapped up into worrying about our loved ones! {Spiritual, emotional and physical concerns!}  The section I read in the book today directly addressed this exact topic! {Funny how that works!}

Here is an excerpt from chapter 3 under the section titled, "Worry versus concern":

"Concern:                                                    Worry:
* Involves a ligitimate threat                         * Is often unfounded
* Is specific (one thing)                                * Is generalized (spreads to many things)
* Addresses the problem                             * Obsesses about the problem
* Solves problems                                       * Creates more problems
*Looks to God for answer                           * Looks to self or other people for answers

"Pastor and teacher Gary E. Gilley sums up the difference like this: 'Worry is allowing problems and distress to come between us and the heart of God.  It is the view that God has somehow lost control of the situation and we cannot trust Him.  A legitimate concern presses us closer to the heart of God and causes us to lean and trust Him all the more.' {Gary E. Gilley, "think on These Things" newsletter 4, no. 2 (February 1998).}

"Concern draws us to God.  Worry pulls us from him.  I think this distinction is especially helpful for those of us who tend to spiritualize worry, convincing ourselves that it's our duty to fret about such things as the state of the world, our finances, or our futures.  Oswald Chambers put it this way in My Utmost for His Highest:

                   'Fussing always ends in sin.  We imagine that a little anxiety and worry
                   are an indication of how really wise we are; it is much more an indica-
                   tion of how really wicked we are.  Fretting springs from a determination
                   to get our own way.  Our Lord never worried and He was never anxious,
                   because He was not "out" to realize His own idea;  He was "out" to
                   realize God's ideas.  Fretting is wicked if you are a child of God....
                   All our fret and worry is caused by calculating without God.'
                   {Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (1935; reprint, Uhrichsville,
                    Ohio: Barbour, n.d.), 135}

"That's something we all need to remember when it comes to this issue of worry.  We face legitimate concerns every day of our lives.  But instead of fretting, instead of worrying, we need to focus on discerning what we can do (with God's help) and what should be left entirely up to God.  Even more important, we need to keep our focus on who God is and what God can do." {Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, by Joanna Weaver, Copyright 2002, Waterbrook Press, pages 38, 39}

I am so guilty of worrying!  I mean, I have 8 children to worry about, a husband who is on the road for 60 hours each week, elderly parents who are prone to falling and forgetting important things, quite a number of unsaved relatives....  "What if robbers come in the night while Dallas is gone?  I don't even have a dog anymore to warn me!"  "What if I am not prepared for {fill in the blank!}"  "What if something happens to Dallas and I am left to take care of this family by myself?"  The list goes on, and on, and on.  The list could go on forever!  But I can't think about things like that, but rather, trust the Lord in all things!  Two of the most valuable verses I memorized as a child is Philippians 4:6-7  "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, let your request be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."  I quote these verses to myself often, but not often enough!  I still worry!  This book is such an encouragement to me.  I would encourage every woman to read it!

Add caption

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Spring Cleaning Week 1: Kitchen Results

Things went really well this week.  The kids helped me a lot and did a very good job!

Ta-da!  My clean kitchen, with Leah posing.

No more clutter!

Clean cupboards inside, outside and even above!

All the drawers were dumped, washed sorted and organized.  I threw away every lid that didn't have a container, and every container that didn't have a lid.


It feels so good to have a clean kitchen.  I can't wait to get the whole house done!  It will take about a month... for the upstairs, anyway.  {The basement is a whole other world!  There won't be any "before" pictures of THAT!!}

We also managed to continue with the morning Bible time.  That is not always easy, since the kids are not really used to it yet.  Some days {like today} they were more interested in bothering each other than listening!  {Sigh} Satan is always at work!

Monday, May 14, 2012

"Spring Cleaning" - Week 1

I know that most people do their "spring cleaning" in early spring.  Since we homeschool, that would be rather difficult for us!  We turned in our portfolios last week, thrusting us into our summer schedule.  Our summer schedule is loose, but busy.  Every year I say we will do school all summer, but don't.  This year I want to try REEEALLLYYYY hard to keep somewhat of a schedule, and keep the kids busy doing things like... NOT watching TV!  From what I have heard, "normal" women take about a week to do their spring cleaning.  Some can do one room per day and have it done beautifully!  {Kudos to you!}  Not me.  Every summer I pour a lot of time, effort and energy into cleaning and organizing the house, top to bottom.  Cupboards, closets.... the basement... {YIKES!}  I even do this over Christmas break hoping that when summer hits I won't have the same terrible mess I had last year.  Except that when summer hits, I have a huge, terrible mess!  {It doesn't help that we have had and "adult" kid living in our basement for over a year!}

Today starts my "spring cleaning".  The goal is to do a little each day and still have time to be a "fun mom" for a while.  Each week through the end of June will have a "focus".  This week the focus will be the kitchen.  I will tell you the week's goals, then check in on Friday, if not before, and update you on my progress!

Monday: Clean out kitchen cupboards 
Tuesday:  Finish the cupboards
Wednesday:  Scrub cupboard fronts, woodwork, table pedestals and chair legs
Thursday:  Clean off the tops of the cupboards and the refrigerator
Friday:  Kitchen drawers

 Overall, messy kitchen.


More clutter!


The other thing I really, REALLY, REEEALLLLLYYYYY need to work on, more important than any household task, is to have CONSISTENT  Bible time with my children.  Doing it here and there when there is trouble is just not good enough!  Today I got everyone up to have devotions {instead of get up to clean their rooms}.  Such a no-brainer... but I am such a Martha.   By the way, today I started the book, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, by Joanna Weaver.  I have always been intrigued  by the title, but my Sweet Mama got it, thinking of me.  {She's 86 and can't remember a lot of things,  but I am so thankful she still remembers me!}  We had a good devotion time, using Keys for Kids.  It seems like a great  place to start.


Time to get to work!  Check back on Friday!

Linking Up With Domestically Divine Tuesday   Homemaking LinkUp Wednesday

Monday, May 7, 2012

Kitchen Tips & Tricks #6: Pre-cooked Meat

I have found it very helpful to our schedule to always fry up the hamburger ahead of time, in bulk.  I normally fry about 6-8 lbs of meat at a time.

I use my huge roasting pan on two burners.  (I think there might actually be 10 pounds in this picture.)

I then freeze it into 3-cup containers.  This helps me get a meal on the table in, usually, under 30 minutes.

One container is enough for most of my recipes.  I use two for tacos and tater-tot casserole because we like the leftovers!


Ground beef has become so expensive, I refuse to buy it at the grocery store for $3.00/lb.  Especially with a larger family, it would cost us a fortune!  I try to never spend over $2.00/lb. on meat.  So I would like to share some ideas on how to eat at a lower cost.

Ground chicken!  I know it sounds very strange.  But when chicken breasts go on sale, I buy them, lots of them!  I can usually get a 40 pound box... or two.  I cut the meat off the bone if its bone-in, or just slice it up to fit in my KitchenAid mixer's meat grinding attachment..  I know dealing with chicken is disgusting, but it saves money and it is much lower in fat than beef or pork.  A friend of mine does the same thing with pork, except she takes it to someone who has a meat grinder, pays him a little something, and still saves money.

My other alternative is ground venison.  It's not my personal favorite, but with some good advice from a friend and the grace of God, I can cook so it doesn't taste gamey.  I cook it with bay leaves.  Last fall Hubby {Dallas} shot two deer and his hunting partners shot 3 more.  None of them were able to take home their meat so they gave it to Dallas!  He took three to the locker and gave away two to someone in need.  The pictures in this post are of ground venison.

Today I am linked up atMenu Plan Monday and The Welcome Home LinkUp

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Praise the Lord!


Elizabeth is recovering from complications of e-coli poisoning.  Praise the Lord she is doing a lot better!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Skillet Dinner

I am what you might call a "dump" cook.  I can, of course, follow a recipe, but I like to make up my own, too.  This recipe was inspired by a restaurant inside Silver Dollar City,  Branson Missouri.  There was a giant trough-like skillet, right along the sidewalk outside the restaurant where they had this hodge-podge of vegetables and sausages cooking together.  I stopped.  I stared.  I studied.  Then I went home and started cooking and experimenting with my skillet.

I start with olive oil, garlic (the kind already minced and jarred in olive oil) an dehydrated onions (Since I can't chop onions!), salt, cracked black pepper, and a little water.  Then I add chopped chunks of a dozen or more baby carrots and start dicing potatoes.  For our family I usually use 6-8 large potatoes, depending on how many will be home for dinner.  Sometimes I add green or red peppers if I have them on hand.  I like to throw in some zucchini  I froze in a quart-size freezer bag last summer.  Then I take one of those Kielbasa sausages and dice up the whole thing and throw that in there.  I put the lid on and let it get all steamed up.  (I use low-moisture cookware.)  After a while I add a couple tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce stir well, put the lid on for 10 minutes, stir again, steam for 10 minutes... until the carrots are tender.  I serve it with some whole wheat bread & butter, and that's our meal.  Its very low calorie, and low fat, and very healthy!  Its not for everyone, but {most of us} we like it!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Birthday, Joseph!

He's my Little Man.

My Blondy-Boy.

 My "Comedian Bacon".

{Photo taken in the cave at Silver Dollar City, 2010}

And he's nine.  NINE!?!?!   When did that happen?  The poor little guy turned the big nine while I was in the hospital.  In fact, I had my third surgery that week on his birthday!  Did he complain?  No.  He was too worried about Mamma.  Others pitched in and tried to make it special, but not on his birthday.  {Big Sister} Jordyn held a hospital party for him the next morning.  She bought decorations and made a cake.  She even had a birthday hat he "had" to wear.  Next, some dear friends took ALL FIVE {of the little set of} kids for the entire weekend!  They did all kinds of fun stuff, including bought each one a brand new outfit... new from head to toe!  Shoes, jeans, socks & undies, 2 shirts, jackets... we just couldn't believe it!  (We've never done that!  I usually say, "If we find something good at Salvation Army, then you can get something!")

Joseph eating his birthday cake Jordyn made for him.

Celebrating with his brother & sisters.

Dad & sick Mommy... two IV pumps and too many IV's to count!
{These pictures were taken February 18, 2012}

Joseph is more reserved than some of our other kids.  He is very sensitive and sweet... but sometimes that sensitivity is unbridled and manifests itself as anger. {Or is that just a "man thing"?}  The best part is that he is sensitive to God's word.  When he was about five years old, I was convicted to read to my children from the Scriptures, not just children's picture Bibles.  I was reading in Proverbs, those verses that contradict good with bad.  He was so convicted about his "bad" behavior, he got saved that night!  What a blessing to lead my own son to salvation in Jesus Christ!  He was so sincere, I felt sure that he truly accepted Christ that evening. Praise God!


That is why we do this!  That is why we homeschool... why we make sacrifices on one income... why we follow the commands of Deuteronomy 6:  “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. {KNJV}


Well, Joe, I hope you had a great birthday, anyway, despite the unfortunate circumstances of the week.  I sure wouldn't have had that surgery done that week if I had known it would turn out so disastrously!  Mamma still loves ya, and your turned nine without me.  I LOVE YOU, LITTLE MAN!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kitchen Tips & Tricks #5: The Dishpan

A great friend of mine who has a dining room separate from her kitchen gave me this idea.  Clearing the table can sometimes take longer than necessary.  Even when the kids are supposed to clear their own places, it seems there is always a fork or glass left behind.  Though my table is right beside the dishwasher, I still find this idea to be very helpful.  If you have a separate dining area, dining room, you may find it really saves you a lot of time and trips back & forth.

It is the same concept as what restaurants do when they bus tables!  Make one trip from the dining room to the kitchen.  This plastic dishpan is also very useful for many other things, like in the garden when I pick vegetables.  When I have lots of dishes to wash and need an extra "sink" to keep them in until I am ready to wash.  I have even used it to put an extra large batch of  popcorn in when we have company!


Psalm 90;12

So teach us to number our days,

That we may gain a heart of wisdom.

I don't know about you, but I am always trying to figure out ways to make my life easier and to use my time more efficiently.  We just don't know how much time we will have with our families.  Its seems like our family has been in contact with a lot of untimely deaths in the last few months.  Mothers.  Fathers.  A child.  Even an infant.  We need to uses every moment we can to teach our children God's love and Salvation.  

Deuteronomy 6

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
{texts copied from Bible Gateway }

We teach as we go.  We teach all the time.  Even louder than our words are our actions.  My kids are impatient because I am impatient.  My kids are negligent because I am negligent.  My kids are grouchy and bossy  because I am grouchy and bossy.  Wow.  Actions speak louder than words!  That is not a new saying, but it certainly rings true around here!  So I need to work on my behavior so that they will be patient because I am patient.  Diligent because I am diligent.  Gentle because I am gentle.

"Lord, I ask you to make me a Spirit Filled parent!"

Please pray for my little friend Elizabeth. CLICK HERE

I am linked up at Our Simple Country Life

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Weekend

The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, the grass is growing... seems like beautiful weather for Easter!  As we consider the Resurrection of our precious Saviour who so lovingly and willingly died on the cross for our sins, we enjoy the resurrection of the earth after the mildest winter I can remember.  It is a time for celebration! I would love to share some of the ways we celebrated this year.

On Saturday {since Sunday morning we get up and eat breakfast at church} we made our resurrection rolls:

 Start by rolling up a large marshmallow in a crescent roll.

Pinch the ends, making sure they are completely sealed, no gaps!
This is the "tomb."

Mary models the sealed roll.

Bake according to Pillsbury's baking directions, 375* for 10-12 minutes.  Even though we tried really hard to make sure they were sealed, they still leaked a little.

After they are cooled, open them up...  the marshmallow is gone!
The tomb is empty!

The marshmallows melt into the dough, making them sweet!  Mary told me they did it in children's church also, only it was "differenter" because they rolled the marshmallows in butter and sprinkled cinnamon on them!  Mmmm!


The next very exciting thing we did for the weekend was watch my great-nephew Hunter's get married!  Awww!  They are such a sweet couple!
Welcome to the family, Maria!!!

Most of our family on Easter Sunday, 2012

Thanks for stopping by!