Thursday, November 5, 2009

Coming Soon...

I am going to blog again. Soon. Be afraid. Be very afraid.


Look forward anxiously to the brilliance from which I will spew.
Agh, probablly not.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ding Dong Dinner

I don't know...just go with it.

Since you are dying to know whats on the menu this week, here goes.

*Meatloaf w/ bacon on top- Homemade mac' n chz- veggie

*French Dip Sandwiches- Corn on the Cob

*Fish Tacos- Black beans and Corn

*Cream Cheese Chicken- Rice- veggie

*Birds in a Nest- Bacon- Fruit

And since I KNOW you are gonna say next, "How do you make_____"
I will also give you some recipes, cause lets face it folks...thats how I roll.

Fish Tacos:
I got some grilled garlic fish at Aldi.
Figure I'll add some black beans, lettuce, fresh salsa, cheese, a squeeze of lime, sour cream, throw them in a tortilla shell, and we'll call it a day.

French Dip Sandwiches:
Again, at Aldi, I got some French Dip meat ( It was a special item in their special freezer case. I think you have to be special to get it.)
Also got some French Baguetts at Aldi, and some Muenster Cheese.
Gonna heat the meat and au jus. Gonna toast the bread. Gonna top the bread with meat, au jus, and cheese. Gonna pop that in the oven until the cheese melts.
While I'm doing that, I'm gonna put some corn on the cob in a pot for about 5 minutes.
Yep, thats what I'm gonna do.

Cream Cheese Chicken:
I got this recipe years ago from Danae Haskins. I make it a little differently I think, but its still GOO-OD, and EA-SSSY!

4 frozen chicken breast
1 packet of Italian Dressing Seasoning OR Ranch Seasoning
2 cans Cream of Mushroom ( I use low fat)
1 -8oz block Cream Cheese ( again, low fat)

Put the FROZEN ckn breast in the crock pot ( That is the genious of this recipe, you can use frozen chicken).
Sprinkle seasoning packet on top.
Pour Cream of Mushroom in.
Cube (or just break off in really messy pieces like I do) the cream cheese.
Add to the top.

Cook on low 4-6 hours, stirring every once in a while.
MMM and another MMMMMMMMM.
Serve over Rice and there you have it.

Homemade Mac 'N' Cheese:
( I also make a different version in the crock pot, but Master Logan has requested it this way this week)
(This is the famous Bonnie Preslar way to do it)

2 cups Elbow Noodles (Cooked and drained)
2 cups Milk
2 Tbls Butter
2 Tbls Flour
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp Ground Mustard ( this is my addition to the recipe cause it just adds a little zip)
3 Cups Cheese (Sharp Cheddar and Colby is what I use)

Make a white gravy by melting the butter, and whisking in the flour to make a "rue".
Slowly whisk in the Milk. Stir until thickened. Add S & P, and mustard.

Now, I do things a little differently, cause I have found that my family likes it best this way.
I add 2 cups of the cheese to the gravy, and let it melt.
Then I add the noodles and stir around.
Pour it into a greased casserole dish and add the other cup of cheese to the top for a yummy crunchy top.
Bake @ 350 for about 30 minutes.
Serve it to your family and let them think you are Queen of the world.

Birds in a Nest:
I'm going to make some homemade bread. Then slice it into medium size pieces.
Next I will lightly toast it.
After that, I am going to heat my electric griddle.

Actually, I am going to plug it in, and electricty and a little heating element are going to heat it.

I will then, melt some butter.
While my butter is melting, I will cut holes out of my toast.
I shall then, add the toast to the afore mentioned skillet.
In each hole, I will crack an egg.
I will let the egg set until it looks like I like it.
While it is setting, I will take the pieces from the holes that I cut out approximatly 7 minutes ago, and I will add a little butter and cinnamon sugar to them.
Oh yeah, thats gonna be good!

Somewhere during that process I will have fried up some bacon, and cut up some fruit.
Then I will put it all on a serving platter, and bring it to the table, where my family will be anxiously awaiting their Birds in a Nest with bacon, fruit, and Cinnamon treat!

And there you have it. Ding Dong Dinner.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Little Impromptu Chinese Dumpling

No, we didn't adopt a Chinese kid! (Although I am certainly not opposed to the idea)
This morning we were enjoying a nice rainy Saturday morning, watching Kung Fu Panda, when it hit us that we NEEDED some Chinese Dumplings. How it could occur to us when we've never actually HAD them, well I really have no idea. I guess it was just the site of PO the Panda and his master tossing a bit of cartoon Dumpling around, that got our mouths salivating a little bit.

How sad that we are inspired by cartoons, but alas....we where.

Thankfully we have this great thing on our computer called "Google". So we "Googled" and found THIS great cooking website with a post about Chinese Dumplings. COMPLETE with pictures I might add. This is always helpful when you've never made something before.

Husband decided that we must have them and so off to Wal-Mart I must go.

I have to tell you, it was a lot of fun all of us doing this together. There was lots of chopping involved, as well as deveining of shrimp...and we all know what that REALLY means! Yes, Lana MAY have been freaking out just a little.

Stacy worked on the dough. He's a cute little dough boy ;)

MMMM, this is ours simmering in the pan...

And the finished product....

OH YAY, and how about a little Teriyaki Rice and a Fortune Cookie to go along with it.

And what was my fortune today might you ask?
"Yours will find true love soon."
Really? Yours will? Yours what?

Of course, in the continuation of rainy day movie day, we had to have the PERFECT movie for Chinese Dumplings..
That's right folks, a little Karate Kid II!

~Sigh~ I sure did like me some Ralph Machio back in the day.

OK, a few tips if you too feel inspired to make Chinese Dumplings.

1. We did the pork and shrimp filling- I used mushrooms (minced) instead of the water chestnuts.

2. The dough on this recipe site uses only half of the filling. We got 16 dumplings out of it and I froze the other half of the filling for another day.

3. You only use 1/2 a lb of ground pork, so I froze the other 1/2 lb for another day as well.

4. We made Teriyaki rice to go with it. I discovered that rice that you cook for a long time and NOT minute rice, is the best for this. I just added some Teriyaki sauce and it was really good. I like it when my rice sticks together. It makes me a little giddy.

5. You have to have Fortune Cookies. Have to. Non negotiable. I'm thinking Homemade Fortune Cookies might be my next big endeavor.

You might recall that we had another Chinese Food Night a while back. I never liked Chinese as a kid. It's nice to that my kids like it and that we can have fun making it together.

Linking to Todays Creative Blog! Check her out!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

On the Menu

I really should come up with a permanent name for my menu postings. I don't think I've named it the same thing twice. Maybe I just like to keep you on your toes! Or maybe I should do a contest and YOU can name it! Oh, but then I would have to give you a prize, and I would certainly stress about what to give you. So, nevermind. Just be suprised whenever I post menus. Variety is the spice of life right?!

I didn't have much to report this past week cause we did a lot of leftovers and squeezing out what I could find.

I did however, make 4 lbs of this taco meat for the Taco Filled Pasta Shells. We ate one batch and I froze the rest for this coming week.

Tonight we are having this Enchilada Casserole.

Some other things for this week are:

Homemade Pizzas- Don't be afraid, pizza dough is very easy.

This is my sisters recipe for Homemade Pizza dough, and since she is the Domestic queen of things homemade (you know you have to be when you live in the bush of Africa), you know you will love it! She even makes her own Pizza Sauce! How cool is that?!

Pizza sauce
1 can Tomato paste/water
I have no measurements, I just cover the top.

Pizza dough
1TB yeast
1 1/4 c warm water
2TB oil
1t salt
3 1/2 c flour

Dissolve yeast, stir in oil and salt. Mix in flour. Knead. place in oiled bowl and cover. Let raise until double. Divide into 2 parts and put in pizza pans. Should be enough for 2 9x13 pans.
Bake around 425

Steak Bites from the one and only Pioneer Woman- The most amazing woman on the planet!

Baked Mushrooms, eggs, and Orange/Chocolate Scones ( I made those mushrooms a few weeks ago and they were so good that its already time to have them again!)

Chicken Ranch Casserole (thanks Amy Thompson!), that you KNOW is going to be good because its got Doritos in it. And you know what they say about Doritos don't you? Oh, you don't...well I'm not gonna tell you!

1 Whole Ckn (cooked and cut up)
1 Can Rotel
1 Can Cream of Mushroom
1 Can Cream of Chicken
Half bag of Doritos (crushed)
Shredded Cheese

Combine the soups and rotel.
Layer, Chicken, Sauce, onion, Doritos, and Cheese. Then Repeat.
Bake @350 for 30 minutes.

Now just for an added bonus, cause I love yous guys...I am going to share some goody recipes with you.

If you haven't discovered Bakerella yet, then go....right a new window...check her out!
She has a post about this recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies.
However, if you look at her post about them, you will see, that Betty Crocker SHOULD pay her to advertise this product because her pictures make you want to lick the screen.

I will prove it too you...take a close look at Betty Crockers Picture...

Yep, that looks good. You are possibly salviating slightly. You at least have licked your lips a little bit.
But now my friends...
Wait for it....
Wait just a little bit longer....
Yes, yes, good things come to those who wait...

Embrace it, go ahead! It's perfectly OK that you have just jumped across your desk to lick your computer screen! Do not feel embaressed that you are taking in deep sniffs trying to catch a wiff of what is surely heaven!
I tell you, this woman is a genious.
I love that instead of plain ole Betty Crocker frosting, she kicked it up and went with homemae Ganache.
You cannot beat homemade Ganache.
I dare you to try.

All I can say is WOW, I sure can't wait to make these for Brush Arbor on Sunday.

Now for something a little less sinful, but good nonetheless.
Monkey Muffins.
It is a good idea to buy bananas simply with the intention of letting them go bad. Cause then you can make things like this little bit of yummy goodness.

Lana and I made them the other night and they are most scrumptious. We used Crunchy PB cause thats what we had in the house + I didn't have mini Chocolate Chips so we used regular.

And that my friends are the things that we will be partaking of this week.
Hope you find something good in your pantry!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Me OH My

Monday is the day. The dreaded day. The day that I have look forward to and yet fall into a glazed over trance when I think about it. The day that ushers in routines and the "D" word.
Yes folks, that day would be our official first day back to school.






Why oh why can't I just be a normal person? I ask myself this every day.
We may never know the answer.

But alas, it is here. The day that I over analyze and plan for. I promise you, I do.
In my mind our first day back to the homeschool way of life has to be PERFECTION. ( Chandler Bing once said, "That would be perfection", when a supermodel asked him if he wanted some gum. I just thought you should know that I am not the only person to use the word.)
Back to the subject at hand....
I have these visions for our first day back ( last week we had a couple of trial runs with some busy work). I invision the children sitting nicely at their respective desks, clean new shirts on (yes, I bought them each a new back to school shirt...its part of my visions of sugar plums), pencils freshly sharpened, eyes filled with wonder...."Teach us Mother. Let us glean from your wisdom. Help us soak up all the knowledge that is stored away in the text books, waiting for us to explore."


This is the reality...
"I got syrup on my shirt, can I go wash it off?"
"My pencils won't sharpen, can I get a new one?"
"I don't understand!!! Do I have to do all this work today? Can't I just finish it tomorrow?"





I have tried. Honest I have. I have planned. I have prepared. My ducks are in a row.
I have such high aspirations for what this year will hold. I have goals for each of the kids in their studies. I have goals for myself as a more disciplined person (there goes that "D" word again).
I have some cute little things planned, like Brain teasers, Fun Facts, Limericks, Silly States. And not just once. ONE FOR EVERY WEEK!
I've got a Psalm and a Proverb of the week. Even a missionary of the week.
I mean come on now people, this is going to be great.



And all of these things are contingent on one day. One measly day. Monday August 17th.
The day that will go down in our homeschooling history as the day that we make it or break it.

Why OH why do I put so much stock into this one measly day.






Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My Epic Cupccake Fail

It started out as a good idea.
Back to school cupcakes for a little back to school pool party.
It seemed simple enough...cake, frosting, m & m's, chocolate covered graham crackers, good and plentys, more icing. Check, check, check, check, check, and check. Yes, I can SO do this.

See lookey how cute!

But OH NO, mine did not turn out like this....not even close...

Why yes, yes these do look like "Back to the GRAVE", cupcakes and NOT Back to school.
Or maybe they are "Back to the TOILET", cupcakes with the very large suppository's resting on the side.
Or maybe they are "Sorry you have the chicken pox, or whatever that red sore is that is apparently going to KILL you", cupcakes.

Lets back track. Where did I go wrong?
Mistake #1: Trying to save a buck or 2 I got Wal-mart brand Chocolate Covered Graham Crakers, as opposed to the Keebler ones that are in fact perfect little rectangles.

Mistake #2: I saw Mike and Ikes before I saw Good and Plentys, therefore, Mike and Ikes it is!
Oh and look, who needs white when they have all these lovely tropical colors.

Mistake #3: And speaking of tropical colors, I'm going to get Neon gels to write everones names with. Hey, they'll match the Mike and Ikes and how cute is THAT going to be?!

Mistake #4: Actually taking them and serving them to people. One child (Ellas of course) looked at me and said "Why are we having tombstone cupcakes?"
Why Ellas? Why? Because, I am a failure at Back to school cupcake making! That is why!
And well, dadgummit, because I just wanted to remind you that there are indeed worse things than going back to school! Yes, yes, thats right. That really was the point of these cupcakes.

Well, at least my homemade icing was good.
Oh my, and there is some a my fridge...excuse me ple

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Money and the Gospel

I love it when I've been thinking about things, and then I see a clip of someone waaaayyy smarter than me, actually articulate through the scriptures, what it is that I've been thinking.
(This is a clip of John Piper entitiled "Wealth is almost always a curse, not a blessing", and whether you "like" JP or not, he is passionate about this filth we call the "Prosperity Gospel")

Money, Money, Money. I hate money. Really I do. It probablly has to do with the fact that it is yet another area in which you have to have discipline. And discipline with money is much more nebulous than discipline in other areas, cause we "need" stuff. Now granted, we are in a place of life right now that we don't have any money. We don't have any "wealth" stored up anywhere.
I am not complaining. We have a house, we have a car, we have food for the week and money for next weeks food. We have clothes on our back, in our drawers, and quite frankly, on our floors, and in our washer and dryer. We have a computer, and a TV, and internet access, a couple of CD players, some MP3 players, and dvd player or 2.
There is nothing wrong with these things, I don't think. I like my computer and my internet access. I like being able to keep up with people this way. I like being able to talk to my sister 8000 miles away, and let the kids Skype with their grandparents whenever they want to.
These are not bad things. These things honestly make me thankful for God's provision, but I still have to be a good steward of them.

The problem as I see it, is that the more we have, the more we want, or "need".
Where is the line? At what point do we fall into bad stewardship?
I always think that if I could just fall into a large sum of money, then I could do so much for other people. I sincerely mean that. But would I actually do it? Would my "needs" out way my goodwill? How would I decide what causes are worthy? Would I just give up and keep it all to myself?

If we came into a large sum of money I think I would like to sell the house we live in, and buy a house with some conveniences we don't have now. Why? Really, there is nothing wrong with my house. I mean there is, but does that matter? There is good stewardship, taking care of the things God has blessed us with, but then there is excess. Do I really need a better house? Nope. My house has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and living room, a den, a school room, a garage, an eat in kitchen, and a large fenced in back yard. There are things about it that I don't like, and things about it that I need to improve, in order to be a good steward of what God has blessed us with. Is it Ok for be to want better, when God has given me enough?

I would like to think that if we came into a large sum of money, we would pay off our debt, put a little away, and give the rest away.
If God was to bless us in that way, I don't think He would be blessing on the fact that I am such a worthy person and deserve the best. If God blessed us in that way, I would like to think that its because He sees us as a faithful steward that is going to use the bounty of our blessing to further the Gospel for His glory and not our own.

"He who is faithful with little, is faithful with much."
How are we doing now with little?
How are we doing in deciphering our needs from our wants?
Am I doing what I can do to further the Gospel for Gods glory without money?
If it does not require money to reach out to those around me, then why don't I?
How do I take a burden I am feeling, and turn it into a practical outpouring of the Gospel at work?

Just some thoughts I've been thinking. What do you think about this subject?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dinner Time

I have a goal for this week.
Would you like to hear it?
NO return trips to the store.
Say it with me now.
"NO return trips to the store."
Return trips to the store kill me.
First they ruin my budget, and 2nd they just annoy me.
And considering this next week is the first week back to school for many kids, plus this weekend is the "tax free holiday", (which btw is a joke if you shop in jeff co, since they are not participating. Braving crowds of half crazed school shoppers, just to save 4% is not my idea of savings at all.) the stores will be crazy this week.
So I went today to Aldi and Walmart. $80 at Aldi and $20 at WM. And if anyone in this house needs anything between now and next Friday, they will just have to live without it or starve.
There, that is my small rant. I am done.

On to dinner for this week: (btw...Friday is always fun night at my friend Crissy's, so I usually just take whatever I have on hand, or leftovers, and we all pull together our stuff. This is why there is usually no dinner plan for Friday.)

Saturday- We are FINALLY going to eat THIS Salmon.

Sunday- You know I don't cook on Sundays.

Monday- Chicken, Bacon, and Mushroom Alfredo with Wheat Rotini Pasta & Brocolli on the side
Alfredo Sauce
1 block of cream cheese
1/2 stick of butter
1 cup or so of milk
1/2 cup of paremsan cheese
S & P to taste
Melt cream cheese and butter with milk. Add parmesan cheese and stir until melted. You can add more parmesan if you like. Add s & P to taste.

Then I add some cooked chopped chicken breast, some bacon, and some sauteed mushrooms to the pasta, toss with the alfredo, and waallaa (is that how you spell that?) yummy yummy yumminess!

Tuesday- Enchilada Casserole ( I will use enchilada sauce instead of tomato sauce, just because I'm cool like that) Chips and Salsa, and Corn

Wednesday- Italian Pineapple Chicken, ( I don't add the cheese to this, and today I found "Parmesan Light Italian Dressing" at Aldi that I will use)
Rice a roni (The Alabama Treat), Peas

Thursday- Worscesire beef and mashed potatoes, Green Beans

This is a recipe that my sister made while I was in Africa, and I really like it.
1 lb ground beef
Onion and garlic (as much as you like)
Worscesire Sauce
(I don't know a measurement, but a good amount. You really want to taste it!)

Saute beef with onion, garlic and worscesire.
Make mashed potatoes.
Place mashed potatoes in the bottom of greased 11X9 dish.
Top with beef mixture.
Top with about a cup of shredded cheese.
Bake 2o minutes at 350.

Lunches this week:
Grilled Cheese
PB & J
Lunch Meat
Buffalo Chicken Wraps ( I have been craving these, and found some grilled buffalo ckn strips at Aldi today...MMMM)
Pizza Quesedillas

Cinnamon Raisin Toast

Bing Cherries
Graham Crackers
Pop Ice

So, what are YOU having for dinner this week? Enquiring minds want to know. I want to know.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Yes, we still eat

I am commited to posting my menus every week.
I am. I am. I am.
I just had a busy weekend, and didn't do it Saturday as per my plan.
Friday night I went to my friend Crissy's house for the whole night.
Whole night as in, period of 24 hours.
I took all of my homeschooling stuff and planned like a fool for the upcoming school year.
Like a fool, like a fool. (sorry, I digress into a little Phoebe Boufee)
I did get a lot done, which makes for 1 happy Mama, and hopefully some very well educated chillens come August 13th.
Why August 13th? Its the Last quarter moon that day. Duh.

OK, I digress. Some of you just want to know what we're eating this week, so I will shut up now.

I will back track so as not to hurt your feelings:

Saturday- Well, I planned on the Salmon that we never ate earlier in the week, but I was so pooped when I got back from my planning session, that my nice husband said "Don't worry about fixing dinner, we'll fend for ourselves." AH, nice husband!
Anyways, one of these days we will have Salmon. I promise.

Sunday- Don't even....

Monday- Baked Mushrooms with Crispy Bacon, Scrambled Eggs, Monkey Bread
OK, I have to tell you, (cause it is Monday night at 11:00, so obviously we have already eaten dinner) the mushroom bake was REALLY good. I mean REALLY good. Even the children ate it. Of course, throw a little bit of bacon on anything and my crew will eat it.

Also, the monkey bread was the perfect thing for my 7 year old to make.
Since this recipe calls for bread stick dough, it was easy for her to cut, dip, and dip again, and place in a pan. She was very happy to have made this all by herself.
Some modifications. I just had her cut each bread stick in half, and we placed it in a round cake pan instead of muffin tins.

Tuesday- Logan and I are going to a ball game, so Stacy and Lana will be having bean burritos.
That should be pretty self explanatory, but in case its not:
Tortilla shells
Refried Beans

Wednesday- Lemon Shrimp with Parmesan Shrimp
This has become a family favorite and is so good.
And I might add that this, as well as the mushroom bake, called for fresh parsley.
Get it? Thats right, I used 2 recipes needing parsley, so as not to waste.
Yes, I am a brilliant chef.
Oh, except I always add mushrooms to this, and I just remembered that I used all of my mushrooms in the mushroom bake.
Uh, we should strike the brillant chef comment from the record.

Thursday- Happy Birthday to Me! The question now is, what is the family going to cook for dinner?

Friday- PAY DAY! Start over!

Hope you all are enjoying your week!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Raising Discerning Kids in an Undiscerning World

This is what has been on my mind of late.
How do Stacy and I teach our children to be spiritually, morally, even on a level of basic common sense, discerning, in this world that is filled with "Me. Me. Me."?
At times I am overwhelmed with this task.
As a Mom that also homeschools, I am left with a huge responsibility towards my kids on many levels. I am 100% positive that this is where God wants our family right now, and I look forward to attacking this coming school year with a new fire and increased discipline in my own life.
However, the older my kids get, the heavier the weight is becoming for the directions I still need to steer them in.

I have always been a big proponent of the "First 5 years". I believe that those years are foundational to a childs grasp on many things. Obviously there are the basics, learn to walk, talk, eat with a spoon, etc... but there are the areas that prove more effort on the parents part, like discipline, spiritual introductions, manners, etc.
I enjoyed the first 5 years of my childrens lives. I enjoyed seeing them learn and understand and grow. Progress was easily measurable in many ways, and things were a little more cut and dry. More black and white if you will.

But now, we have what I will call "The next 5 years". My kids are 9 & 7 now, so I guess we are in the middle of childhood. I feel the weight of these 5 years differently than I did the first 5. I look around me and I see the forces trying to suck my kids in. I see the world marketing all it has to offer to my 9 & 7 year olds. I see the church (as a whole) trying to entertain my kids and lull them into a false sense of spirituality.
Basically, I see a lot of things being thrown at my kids, that they have to learn to discern whether it has merit and is favorable in God's eyes, or not. The lines of black and white are being sketched more into gray, with some shadows of blue, maybe a little green thrown into the mix, and some red for a "POP".

I have been convicted lately about personal discernment. First of all, am I discerning the world, (and this includes the church) and my response to it, through the lens of Scripture? Am I teaching my kids to do the same thing? How do I teach my kids to do this? How do I teach them to examine their hearts, to measure things by the Gospel?
I will be the first to admit, its not always easy. It takes time, it takes patience, it takes energy, it takes discipline. This area of discernment is not an issue you just visit once or twice and move on. It is constant. It is everywhere. It begins with me. Ouch. That hurts sometimes.

I have to be honest and say that sometimes I tell my kids "Just go watch TV.", and then I don't take the time to see what they are watching. I mean obviously I know they are watching Disney Channel or Nickolodean, but I don't know what show they are watching.
Wow, shame on me for letting Disney and Nick discern for my kids what is appropriate to watch. I was ashamed of myself when I saw that the show my 7 year old daughter was watching, showed a teenage girl in her teenage boys bedroom, alone and kissing. It was "harmless" by the worlds standards, but what about through Gods standards, and what should be my standards.
Tomorrow I will be going to the "Charter" office, and we are getting rid of our cable.
Extreme? Maybe. Necessary at this point in our lives. Yes.
But there's a kicker. I'm not just cancelling cable and leaving it at that. We will talk, at length I'm sure, about the "harmless" things we watch and about the standards that God has laid out for us.

Here's the thing though. I can cancel our cable and get rid of the Disney Channel, but that does not solve our problem. The problem with raising discerning kids in an undiscerning world has crept into the church. Our kids are being raised in a media savvy culture, and that hasn't been left in the church parking lot. I am NOT in anyway against technology, media, lights, the band, etc. I am not against these things in our church buildings. What I am against is the churchs competition to be as good or better, than the "world" in these things, without any discernment and clarity of the Gospel.
I don't believe that we need to sit on hard wooden pews, and have an all day hymn service, and wear our long skirts. But I wonder what we are teaching our children when they have to be entertained every single second they are on church property. Its a hard line. I work with kids enough to know that. I don't know the answer either. I'm a VBS director for crying out loud, and VBS is about FUN! I'm all for fun, without compromise.
"I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ." If I am not ashamed, then I don't need to compromise it either.
Do I think we compromise the Gospel with bright lights, and loud music, and engaging speakers?
Not necessarily. But I do think we can. And I think in many cases we do.

And this is where I start to feel the overwhelming responsibility as a Christian Mother, trying to raise discerning kids. In light of recent experiences and discussions with my 9 year old, I am newly reminded of my responsibility in helping him work through issues that the church has helped to confuse. I'm realizing more and more that this same child needs me to help him talk things out, and through these talks, he is learning to be a more discerning believer.
I can tell you that we still have a long way to go, but I am encouraged that God is working in his life to give him the desire to be a more discerning young believer. Whether he realizes thats what is going on or not.
But WOW! What a responsibility I have as a parent to discern for my kids so that they can learn to discern!
It kind of boggles the mind doesn't it?

I desperately want to raise Godly children. I am thankful for other parents God has placed in my life that want the same for their kids. I am thankful for Godly influences in my kids lives. People that are willing to invest themselves and live out the Gospel and further the kingdom of Christ in this young generation.
I pray that we all strive towards being discerning parents in an undiscerning world and that we might help our children do the same.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Dinner Bell

It is my goal to post my menu for the week every Saturday.
I didn't have to do it last week because we were at my parents over the weekend, and then Logan and I were at kids camp (along with 1300 other people!) during the week.
This left Lana at Marmi and Pappy's and Stacy to fend for himself. (With the groceries I left for fending of course!)

So here we go for this week....

Saturday- Pork Chops, Fried Poatoes, Corn ( Yes, this was completly unhealthy and everyone finished their plates!)

Sunday- How many times do I have to tell you people, I DON'T COOK ON SUNDAY!

Monday- Basil Caesar Salmon, Rice, Green Peas (as opposed to Magenta Peas)

Tuesday- Breakfast for dinner- Can I get a MMMMM???!!!

Wednesday- Red beans and Rice w/ Smoked Sausage and Corn, and Sour Cream Sauce (basically just some melted down sourcream and melted chedder cheese with a little garlic salt)

Thursday- Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin (from Aldi) Rosemary Potatoes, Brocolli

Friday- Tacos, refried beans, chips and Salsa

Breakfast this week:
Fresh Pineapple Juice- We bought 3 whole pineapples this week and are going to start juicing again.

Lunch this week:
Ham or Turkey Sandwiches
Pepperoni Quessedillas
Ramen Noodles
Bean Soup
Grilled Cheese

Bing Cherries
Blueberry Bread
Cheese cubes

Seriously folks, I had better not hear "I'm hungry, there's nothing to eat!"

Monday, July 13, 2009

Some Goodies

These are a few of my favorite things...

I've been doing some exploring of creative blogs in order to come up with some new ideas to get my creative juices flowing.
For those of you that share my interest in such things, I am sharing with you, my faithful 3 readers, a list for your enjoyment.
Some of you may have been the ones that suggest these sites to me in the first place, and if you are, I thank you and am sorry to steal your thunder.

1. We are that family

2. Complete Organizing Solutions

3. EHow

4. Simple Mom

5. Spearmint Decor

6. Todays Creative Blog

7. How about Orange

8. Lloyd and Lauren

9. Not Martha

10. Better homes and gardens
I like this site because you can sign up for there e newsletter. I also like that the format is usually in pictures. I.E. 15 ways to spice up your kitchen, followed by 15 pictures. I'm visual! If you want me to do it, I've gotta see it!

There are others, I'm just leaving it at 10 for today. Leave me your favorites and I'll compile another list soon.

Happy Juicing!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Whats the Plan?

Last weeks menu posting went well for me.
I even got a little dollar dry erase board and put it on the fridge.
The kids loved looking at it and knowing what was for dinner that night.
So I am going to try again this week.
5 more weeks and it will be a habit!
I never even got to 2 of the meals because we had so many leftovers from other meals, so that was what Martha Stewart would call, A good thing.

Breakast, Lunch, and Snacks are pretty much the same.


Saturday- Tacos, Refried Beans, Chips and Salsa

Sunday- Event at Church

Monday- Shrimp Stiry Fry and Stewed Apples

Tuesday- Pork Chops and Oven Roasted Potatoes (Diced-tossed with Butter, Rosemary,and S & P), Brocolli

Wednesday- Red Beans and Rice with Smoked Sausage, Salad

Thursday- Breakfast for dinner- Hashbrowns, Sausage, Eggs

Friday- Leftovers

Saturday- Caesar Crusted Salmon, Rice Pilaf, Peas

Monday, July 6, 2009

As Requested...

This is my recipe for Chicken Dressing Casserole.
You MUST eat this with Apple Sauce. My sister and I do that for some reason and it just makes it yummier than yummy.
We also like to have it with Green Beans for a well rounded meal. ( I say this in my best Food Network Hostess voice.)

Chicen and Stuffing Casserole
3-4 chicken breasts-cooked and cubed ( I just microwave it for about 12 minutes)
1/4 stick butter
1 can Chicken Broth
1 tsp. Rosemary
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
8 oz Sour Ceam
1 Box of Stuffing

Heat butter, broth, and Rosemary til boiling.
Add stuffing and set aside.
Mix mushroom soup, sour cream, and chicken in a seperate bowl.

Place in a greased 9x11 baking dish.
Top with stuffing mixture.
Bake @ 350 for 20-30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.

When I made it tonight I used Cream of Mushroom and Cream of Ckn just because, and it was really creamy and good.
You can use low fat soups and sour creams.
You can also had celery to the broth mix, but I don't.

Enjoy :)

Must give props: This recipe (although I do it a little differently) comes from a cookbook from the ladies of Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, Ga.
I love this cookbook!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

2 Birds-1 Stone

I blog tonight for 2 reasons.
Reason #1- I need to be a better blogger. I just haven't been feeling it lately.
So in an effort to be more disciplined, I will be blogging more often.

Reason # 2- This week will be one of those tight grocery $ weeks, so I need to really use up what I've got. I thought if I actually have a menu documented, that I just might have to stick by it.
So, here we go.

Cinnamon Toast

PB, Honey, and Granola Wraps
Ham and Swiss Wraps
Cheese Quessedillas
Ramen Noodles
Bean Soup
Grilled Cheese

Fruit Smoothies
Blueberry Bread
Key Lime Bread

Sunday- Leftovers

Monday- Chicken Dressing Casserole, Apple Sauce, Green Beans

Tuesday- Spaghetti

Wednesday- Ckn stir fry-from a bag cause I already have it, Stewed Apples

Thursday- Breakfast for dinner- Sausage, Hashbrowns, Eggs

Friday- Pay Day

Needed from Store:
Apple Sauce ( You have to have applesauce with CKN casserole. It is a requirement!)

Friday, July 3, 2009

An All American Boy Birthday Party

Now, say that 5 times fast!
Last Friday was Logans 9th birthday, and in honor of this momentous occasion, we threw him an "All American Boy Party".
What does one do at an All American Boy Party, you might ask...

Well, when I throw an AABP, you are limited to 5 friends! Sorry Charlie, 6 boys for a sleepover is all I can handle!

A good old fashioned AABP has to start on the trampoline...

And some water balloons...

And maybe some boys thinking about throwing water balloons over onto the trampoline!

An AABP must have All American decorations...

And good old All American Boy food...
A shrimp boil, complete with Shrimp, Smoked Sausage, Corn on the Cob, and Potatoes, with some garlic bread on the side.
Of course you have to have Coca Cola in glass bottles to round out this All American Meal!

Cheers to some truly All American Boys!

No AABP would be complete without a gift card from Wal-Mart.
After all the Wal-Mart smiley face IS the new symbol of America.

Of Course some good ole fashioned Lincoln bills are pretty All American Boy too!

Now what good ole American boy doesn't love a Smore?
Here we combine the best of both worlds with these Smores Ice Cream Sandwiches.

All American boys must have at LEAST 1 picture with the classic "Rabbit Ears."

These All American boys where a little to wet and messy to eat Smores inside this All American Moms house ;)

NO Red blooded All American Boy actually wears their PJ's the right way in front of others All American Boys!

All American boys don't sleep until at least 3 A.M. and of course the ones that fall asleep first, get pranked on!
Even the All American Birthday Boy got a taste of the blue marker!

All American boys go to bed late, and awake mid morning, hungry and waiting for their Cinnamon Rolls! Give me Cinnamon Rolls or Give me Death, they declare!

Yes being an All American Boy is a good thing. The ages of 8-11 are kind of like the "Golden Years" of boyhood, and I think these Golden age boys succeeded in having a Birthday that Logan won't soon forget.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Slumber Party!

As you may know, last Friday, June 5th, was Lana's 7th Birthday!
Also my ten year anniverary, but since I just had a hysterectomy, we had a child with the stomach bug, and one with a bday, there really isn't much to say about that. ;)
We will be going away in the fall, just the 2 of us, so that will be nice!

Anyways, this year was the first year since Lana turned 3 that her Bday did not fall during VBS. It was the day after, so her and I got to do some fun stuff.
We went to the Chocolate Biscuit Tea Room for lunch, which was lovely.
Then I took her shopping at Cato and let her pick out a couple outfits. She's been dying to shop at Cato and they start at size 7, so this was a nice treat for her.

The real fun though started last night when she got to have a slumber party with 3 girlfriends!

Since Lana likes pretty things I tried to make the table extra pretty.
I picked some flowers from the yard (OK, really the only flowers!), and we had a candlelight dinner with my China plates and nice glasses.

On the menu, per birthday girls request...
Crescent style chicken and dumplings, mashed potatoes, and green beans.

Here the girls are enjoying their "fancy dinner"!
Lana, Christina, Gracie, and Bella.

Of course she wanted chocolate cake!
And she wanted chocolate covered strawberries.
So in honor of turning the ripe old age of 7, I made a Triple 7 Cake.
7 layers of cake. 7 layers of homemade/madeup frosting. 7 ginormous chocolate covered strawberries.
And yes, I was a liiiitle bit nervous about carrying this monster. But it never fell!
Add some sparkler candles....

And we are ready to present it to the birthday girl!
I think she likes it!

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Lana!
Happy Birthday to you!

I know you are wondering how to cut a cake of such large proportion...
Um, there just was no perfect we settled for taking off a couple of layers.

This face is why I do what I do!

And obviously the guests are pleased !
Christina knows how to work the camera!

Gracie, being the queen of suave!

Bella, cute and poised!

And yes, let us not forget Daddy, with chocolate on his teeth, embarrasing his little girl!

After present time, which was totally fun...we gathered on the couch for a group hug!

And a few silly shots as well.

On to the movie watching and a little dress up with makovers.

Time for bed!
Yeah right!
They had a good time giggling on their pallet.

And finally fell asleep around 12:00.

By 7:30 in the morning they were already out jumping on the trampoline while I made some pull apart cinnamon rolls.

MMMM good!

And they finished out the morning making bracelets from the bead kit she got from Bella.

All in all I think they all had a wonderful time and I was happy to do this for my little 7 year old.
My kids have had to put up with alot this year and I wanted to thank them for a job well done and honor them on their special days!
Lana got to go first, but Logan is soon to follow the end of the month.
Thank you LanaLou for being a totally sweet girl and appreciating the little things!
I hope you had a memorable 7th birthday :)