Tuesday, March 27, 2012

An Early Spring, 2012

I just love spring!  I love the weather change, the color change, the change in where the kids can play {and eat}.  The first thing they always want to do when it gets nice out is have a picnic.  That works our just fine because our back deck is right off the kitchen through a patio sliding door.  They are in and out all the time when its nice out... which saves a lot of sweeping the floor!
Here they are on our front deck.  I am not sure why they chose the front, maybe it was less windy.  Mac & cheese and strawberries, what more could a kid ask for?
Once the winter breaks, which isn't normally until about now, or even a couple more weeks, we start preparing the ground for our garden and planting tomatoes & green peppers in the house.  This year I used egg shells in egg cartons, which I thought was brilliant.  In the past I have bought the trays with the little disks of soil that plumps up when you water it.  The trays are big and made of a fragile plastic.  Then we have to figure out where to store them the rest of the year without them getting damaged.  I like the egg shell idea better.  We will plant shells and all!

The tomatoes {on the right} were up in just 3-4 days!  After putting them out on the deck a week later, some of them grew about an inch in just one afternoon!  I was so amazed!  Dallas has the garden all tilled and ready for me to plant... whenever I get around to it, that is!

Happy Spring!

Linked up with:  Our Simple Country Life  Raising4Princesses

Monday, March 26, 2012

Our Breakfast Menu

After years of feeding my kids cold cereal, only to have them begging for a snack 30 minutes later, I decided a couple of years ago that I needed to actually cook breakfast.  It saves us a lot of money on cereal and is so much healthier and more filling for the fam.  Also needing to simplify life and cross one more thing off of my list of things I have to think about each day, I made a "set" breakfast schedule.  It makes life so much easier for me, and the kids love knowing {and looking forward to} what they know is for breakfast that day!

Monday is Oatmeal Day {not a favorite, but very simple for a Monday morning!}

Tuesday is Toast of Bagel day  {not too exciting, but we have an early lunch on Tuesdays/Thursdays due to activities}

Wednesday is Pancake Day {Yeah!!!  Everyone loves that!  Served with Little Sizzlers}

Thursday is Eggs & Toast Day

Friday is French Toast Day 

Saturday is our special Omelet Day {Served with bacon or sausage and sometimes leftover pancakes or French toast}

When possible, I make Saturday breakfast sort-of a party.  My husband is normally only home for one meal per day {if that} so when he is home on Saturday I want to make it special for everyone and fix something he really likes.  The kids prefer just eggs with cheese {no "yucky" stuff like onions, peppers, etc.}  Dallas & I like to put all kinds of "yucky" {YUMMY} stuff on our omelets.  

Green onions, green peppers, red peppers & mushrooms sauteed in butter.

Kids' cheesy eggs.

The Little Sizzlers

Mamma & Daddy's omelets.  Mmmmm!

It makes a great start for our Saturday!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Psalm 85

I have been so blessed as I have been reading through the Psalms.  When reading Psalm 85, I noticed some of the promised blessing in the chapter.

In verse 4  "Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; They will still be praising You."  Dwelling in His presence is something I find hard to do, only because it is a constant effort.  It doesn't just happen.  Continual repentance and praise is necessary for this.

In verse 5 "Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage."  In and of ourselves, we are just weak.  God wants us to be always pursuing HIM.

Verse 12  "O LORD of hosts, Blessed is the man who trusts in You!"  For everything (period.)  My flesh wants desperately to live independently of God... only to fall into sin and bring shame on myself!  Trust.  For everything.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

"Nevertheless they flattered Him with their mouth..."

I was reading in Psalm 78 when I came across this verse.  "Nevertheless they flattered Him with their mouth, And they lied to Him with their tongue;"  {verse 36, NKJV}  The word "flattered" had a cross reference beside it, and I was prompted to follow it.  After all, you don't think of the word "flatter" as being something associated with one's relationship with God.  In the Old Testament, the examples of the Israelites are really illustrations of we, the Christians and our relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ.

The cross reference that lead to Exodus 24:7-8 showed how the Israelites, in the wilderness were moved by the reading of the Law and they said, "All that the LORD has said we will do, and be obedient."  {Sounds like ME... such good intentions... only to fail, and probably within minutes of saying that!} These were flattering words, after all, isn't that what God wants to hear us say?

The second cross reference lead to Ezekiel 33:31 {I'll admit, I had to really think about where Ezekiel is, I haven't been there very often!}  "So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain.  V. 32 "Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not do them."  {Emphesis mine}

Wow.  This reminds me of... ME and other Christians I'm sure.  We go to church.  We hear the Word preached.  We "Amen" it, whether out loud or in our hearts.  We believe it.  We want to do it!  But when the rubber hits the road, we forget it.

"Dear lord, help me!  I truly want to obey Your Word!  I am just so human and my flesh, too often, runs me!  Give me strength to NOT flatter, but to OBEY Your Word..."

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Kitchen Tips & Tricks #4: Tools for the Trade

I'm married to a Gear-Head.  He has a garage full of tools!  It seems that he has a tool for everything!  But every now and then, something will break and he will have to buy, rent or borrow a tool in order to fix it.  If he doesn't have the right tool, it makes it very difficult, and sometimes impossible for him to get the job done.

We also need the right tools in order to do our work the best we can.  I'm not talking about hammers and wrenched {though you never know when you will need one of those...}  I am talking about kitchen tools.  Granted, our grandmothers didn't have the same kinds of tools we have now and got along just fine.  But there are so many things we can do faster, better, in more bulk, and in less time than our grandmothers did. {And besides that, they didn't have the full-time job of homeschooling on top of all their regular daily tasks!}

Some of my favorite kitchen tools include:

1.  My nice, stainless steel cookware!  I wish we'd have bought this when we were first married, rather than that cheap stuff with the black lining that came off in our food!  It was expensive, but so much healthier for our family to eat from!

2. My KitchenAid mixer!  She's a heavy-duty and she does great with homemade bread, too!

3. My Pampered Chef meat chopper!  I love this thing!  It helps me get the hamburger chopped up into fine pieces instead of big chunks.

These are only a few of my favorite tools.  What works for me may not work, you may not like!  Your favorite tools, I might not like!  What's important is that we each have what we need.

But most importantly, the best tool of all.

Without it, I am not a fit wife, mother, or person, for that matter.  For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Have a great day!

  Linkin' up with Esther!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Kitchen Tips & Tricks #3: A GOOD soaking


my new best friend!

Well... maybe that isn't really an accurate description of dish detergent... but when I tried the "free sample" attached to my regular dish soap, I was impressed!  "Overnight Soaking in 5 Minutes", the label says.  It truly has made my dish washing adventures much easier!  I don't know about the 5 minutes, but if its really bad and you soak it overnight, there is no scrubbing!  NONE!  I love it.  

And now for my other new "friend"

This is my silverware crock.

We were really tired of the dishwasher not getting our silverware clean.  Between the dried-on food and having too many utensils crammed into the dishwasher rack, we sometimes had to re-wash almost half of the silverware!  So I thought I would soak it.  First I used regular dish soap and an ice cream bucket and it helped some.  Then I started using this new Dawn product and Da-Da-Daaaa!! there is no more dirty silverware!

Next I had to find something that looked better than an ice cream bucket to keep on my counter on a regular basis!  So I sent Corah and Peter on a black bucket hunt at Wal-Mart.  I told her basically what I was looking for and she came back with this elegant looking crock and it was only about $5.  I was thrilled!  Now it is a permanent fixture beside my kitchen sink.

On a different note...

I have been really needing a good "spiritual soaking".  I just haven't felt like I am walking as closely to the Lord as I once was.  What I need is a "spiritual soaking" in the Word of God.  I have been reading in Psalms and so greatly blessed with reminders of who God is and who I am to Him.

Growing up {a generation behind my brothers and sisters} I always felt I was born at the wrong time.  My parents had four grand children when I was born!  They were 45 & 51!  I always felt I had missed out on all the fun of growing up in a large family.  {Couldn't Mom at least have had twins when she had me?  Or even adopt a sister for me to play with?} 

Knowing now what I didn't know then... a child being born to a 45-year-old woman has about a 5% chance of  living to full term and being normal!  To top that off, I was born with the cord around my neck.  So when I found this verse in Psalm 71:
By You I have been upheld from birth;
You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb.
My praise shall be continually of You.
I have become as a wonder to many,
But You are my strong refuge.
Let my mouth be filled with Your praise
And with Your glory all the day.

I think I am finally getting a grasp on how special I have been to my parents and how God placed me at this time and this place for His purpose.

Linking up today with...