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Showing posts from 2012

A Game for Organizing with the Kids

First, call the kids so that they can watch you dump out all of the plastic containers and lids all over the kitchen floor  - for some reason it is really fun for kids to watch mom/caregiver making a mess......they will squeal with delight.

Next talk with the kiddos about matching - shapes, color, size. Have the children match lids to containers. Hey, may as well make it "educational". 

Place correct lids on the correct containers and make a tower. I encourage the kiddos to try to make a tower taller then me!

Leave containers on the kitchen floor ALL day for two reasons:
1. The kids can come back to play, building more towers throughout the day. This beats any fancy "learning station" found at a daycare/preschool center.
2. By the end of the day I had a grudge against all those containers that I had been stepping over which made it much easier for me to say good bye to my "abundance".



Organizing "likes with likes" and stacking, or nesting, biggest to …

Wreath Making

Supplies ~ straw wreath, pruning "snippers", pins and fresh greens. Once the greens are done it's time for some "embellishments". I prefer simple.
Merry Christmas!


Quiet Month of November

It's been quiet here in this room. This room that I've created to share bits of me. I look back over the last couple weeks and I've missed three Five Minute Fridays. Even as much as I love these writing exercises I just couldn't find the desire to write. I could list my excuses such as an online class I'm taking this month that includes reading and a weekly paper to write. I could blame my month of writing, those 31 days of blogging which I loved doing, however that commitment left my house and other necessary work in a bit of a shambles from 31 days of neglect.

I think my silence here goes a little deeper then being busy. During October, while writing each day, a voice silently whispered in the back of my head, "What's this all for?" When I started this blog my wish was to encourage others. To share the things in life that I was learning. To teach and inspire. Yet somehow along the way I lost my inspiration. I've been humbled as I search my heart…

Giving Thanks

Sunday blessings as I reflect on my weekend:


199. Date Night with my darling son. I'm not sure why he's looking so forlorn because he really was excited for Medieval Feast that we were attending. 



200. Our Saturday night routine is attending church followed by dinner at church.While hubs and I have dinner my son heads off to Student Ministry activities. After dinner, my husband and I have an hour to "kill" before Isaiah is done which usually involves grocery shopping. I enjoy my Saturday night date night with my husband even if it includes dinner with others and grocery shopping.  


201. Instead of grocery shopping last night, Barry and I wandered a few stores at a local strip mall. I ooh'd over pretties at Pier One, we scrounged the Dollar Store for great deals (we left empty handed), and joked about the "stylish" clothes at Savers (thrift store). 



202. Going to church on Saturday night allows me to sleep in on Sunday mornings. After a week of rising early,…

This Week's Menu Plan

Monday (Boy Scouts) 
                Lunch: Brats, homemade fries (baked in bacon fat...so good!), banana
                Dinner: Pork Roast, potatoes, carrots in the crock pot.

Tuesday (Online class for me/Bible Study for my boys)
                Lunch: Leftover brats diced into homemade Macaroni and Cheese, peas, apples
                Dinner: Stuffed Shells with Marinara (homemade spaghetti from the freezer), salad, garlic bread

Wednesday (Church Night) ~ this night always seems more rushed so it's been designated as "Soup Night"
                Lunch: Leftover Stuffed Shells, corn and pears
                Dinner: Chicken and Rice Soup

Thursday (NIGHT AT HOME!! WAHOO)
                Lunch: Leftover soup and PB&J Sandwiches, apples
                Dinner: hmm..haven't decided yet. I'm thinking the Monday night's roast will either turn into stew or pork fried rice. 

Friday (Date night for Mama and The Boy)
              Lunch: PIZZA FRIDAY! Pizza, apples, carrots a…

Roots

It's Friday, a joyous day to sing praises after a long week of work and activities and a day in which I join a community of writers to spend five minutes writing without fear. No fear of errors. Perfect grammar, punctuation and spelling are not needed here. No fears of sharing my heart. This morning, after seeing Lisa-Jo's (our fabulous hostess) prompt word, I headed straight to biblegateway.com to find the verse that would inspire and shape my words. 

The verse from Jeremiah, as well as my (borrowed) prayer at the end were not included in my five minutes but only used as "framing" for my five minute of words. 


Jeremiah 17:5-10
This is what the Lord says: Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh
and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.
But blessed is the one who …

A Welcoming Rest

I am so thankful that I can give God my days. The hard days. The days when my chest aches from various burdens, burdens of the heart. It's often difficult to find gratitude in days such as these however I know, a deep down in my heart knowledge, that HE will bring me through the hard days to days when the sun will shine brightly. And those bright, sunshiny, happy days will seem all the more brighter because I have seen and lived through the gray, cloudy, hard days. Thank you, God, for the end of a hard day, for rest for this weary soul, and for a new day dawning in tomorrow.


Day 31 ~ Halloween Spiders

I have to give my cousin credit for this cute craft! I did make a few alterations to make our spiders a little easier for the preschoolers to assist me. She used a real pumpkin, I opted for foam pumpkins. She also used a hot glue gun which I don't like using around the little kiddos. 
Supplies: Small pumpkins Pipe cleaners (2 or 4 depending on length of spider legs) "Heavy-duty" glue Wiggly eyes
1. The kids painted the foam pumpkins with black acrylic paint.
2. Attach the eyes. I found some crafter's glue at Walmart and it worked!
3. Cut pipe cleaners in half and then fold in half.
4. Carve a small hole into the pumpkin to "stuff" in the spider legs (pipe cleaners).
5. Bend pipe cleaners to make legs.
The middle spiders had full length pipe cleaners folded in half but I ran out of "legs" so decided to try shorter legs, using half a pipe cleaner folded in half. The kids loved this craft! I love that these pumpkin spiders can be saved for next year…

Day 30 ~ Be thankful in everything....even spilled milk

This morning my schedule was disrupted by a cup of spilled milk. One of my girlies didn't finish her milk at breakfast so I had put it in the refrigerator. Unfortunately, an hour later, I forgot about the milk and knocked it over. I started wiping it up when I realized that the milk had dripped through the cracks of each shelf, finally draining into the crisper. If ignored, the milk-soaked vegetables would become tomorrow's problem. I guess it was time to deep clean the refrigerator.

A couple of years ago I had read (or heard) a great piece of advice; bring your daily schedule to God and pray over it every morning. While praying, tell Him what you would like to accomplish, ask for His blessings and end with "YOUR will be done". It's important that we relinquish control, even control of our days, to the one who truly is in charge. Although I've valued this advice I haven't been very good at following it. I do try to daily ask God to guide my day and to hel…

Day 29 ~ Hidden Treasures

The wrought iron fence around the graveyard beckoned me, calling me to walk through it's gardens, to pause and wonder about the lives of those buried there.

The atmosphere caused me to slow my tourist pace so that I may marvel in the beauty of the garden, the church and the monuments. With the reverence of a scared place while taking in the breathtaking architecture, and listening to breeze rustle the remaining leaves on the trees, I slowed down long enough to thank God for his many blessings. 

Just outside this fence, the sidewalks of Wall Street bustled, yet inside? Inside was a sanctuary. Quiet and peaceful. A simple fence, a garden of flowers and head stones muffled the sounds from the street.
This hidden treasure was stumbled upon as we walked from Battery Park, after touring Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, towards the 9/11 Memorial. Yes, we were taking a round-about way as we explored this area of NYC....or maybe we were lost. Regardless of circumstance we were well p…

Day 28 ~ At the Door

Revelation 3:19-21
I rebuke and punish all whom I love.  Be in earnest, then, and turn from your sins.  Listen! I stand at the door and knock; if any hear my voice and open the door, I will come into their house and eat with them, and they will eat with me.  To those who win the victory I will give the right to sit beside me on my throne, just as I have been victorious and now sit by my Father on his throne.

Day 27 ~ Italian Meatloaf in a (Freezer) Bag

Making meals ahead of time saves time, energy and stress as I discussed onDay 12. This is another meal that I prepared a few weeks ago when I made ten meals for the freezer. This recipe won my families approval so I can now share it with you! :) In a freezer bag combine: 2 lbs of ground beef (or turkey if you wish), 1/4 cup oatmeal, 2 T. Wildtree* Hearty Spaghetti Blend, 2 T. Wildtree*Rancher Steak Rub, 2 eggs. Now here's the fun part. Squish it all up to distribute the herbs into the meat. Label the bag and store in the freezer. Easy. Gathering supplies (if already on hand) and assembling this meal takes less then 15 minutes. The hard part is remembering ahead of time to take the meatloaf out of the freezer to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. This is where sticky notes on the refrigerator come in handy.  When ready to bake, form into a loaf and bake for 50-55 minutes. Add marinara sauce during last 10-15 minutes of baking. 
While baking the meatloaf prepare the "topping&qu…

Day 26 ~ Five Minute Friday ~ VOICE

Years ago, during the years of my rebellion, one of my favorite songs was "Silent All These Years" by Tori Amos. I wanted to be heard. Ironic that this was a time when I was most vocal. However at that time of my life I was better at making noise then sharing my inner voice. My deepest thoughts, dreams and desires. At that time of my life I was still searching for my voice. 








Often we feel silenced.
Interruptions come in forms of people thinking they can complete your sentences and when corrected they still don't hear that your thought, your voice, was not the same thought as their own. 
Silenced when one is more interested in their agenda then your thoughts.
Questions are asked but your answer is not heard.
Then there are the Half-listeners. Those who are obviously are listening in order to appear to be listening but all the while not really caring what you have to say.
Interruptions come in simple everyday demands. The children need more milk at dinner time. The baby needs he…

Day 25 ~ All I Really Need

This morning as I pondered my topic for today, I looked at the word art from yesterday's post, "all you need is less", when I was struck with a thought. "No, all I need is Jesus!"
It doesn't matter if my house is neat and orderly. Jesus loves me anyway.


Although He would be pleased if I managed my money and my time better, I know that He still loves me.
It doesn't matter if I carry around a few extra pounds (or more). Jesus STILL loves me anyway.


My worth is not found in having it all together or in having the perfect home or in having the perfect family or , well, having a perfect anything! Among all the imperfections in my life, I only have one perfect "thing". Christ's love. Let me tell you, I'm feeling mighty blessed to be a recipient of that love. And I've done nothing to deserve this love yet He loves me. I am mighty blessed indeed!
Want proof that you are loved? 
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten …

Day 24 ~Less

The Nesting Place posted the above photo in her post today. I love its simplicity, that even the image speaks "less". It reminded me that at the beginning of the year I had declared 2012 as the Year of Less.  I think it is time for me to do a little reflection and evaluating.

Less stuff/clutter?  Well, I still have too much.
Less "body stuff" (that's a nice way of saying body fat)? Yep, too much of that too.

Less wasted time? Argh......I've found a few more favorite blogs that I like to keep up with. I'd like to argue that inspiring words from like minded women is like reading a "self-help" book. I'm improving me, right? Oh, I know I could do better at managing my time.

Less exhaustion? Oh, I'm still pretty tired but I'm learning not to feel guilty about my Sunday afternoon nap time. :)

Less stress? I think I've been successful in this only because 2012 has taught me to lean on my Savior. Giving over all my worries to Him and …

Day 23 ~ These are a few of my favorite things.......

Larabars and Naked Juice. Yummy and nutritious. When I moved into my daughter's hospital room this summer these, along with God's grace, helped energize and sustain me.

I think I've tried almost every flavor of Larabar. I'm not particularily fond of any of the chocolate flavors. I'm not sure why as I am a chocolate lover. I guess when I think of Larabars, I think of fruit and nuts......and that's what I want. Top three flavors: Pecan, Cashew and Carrot Cake.

Carrot Cake is my absolute favorite however it is difficult to find. I was so excited last week, to find that the grocery store I was shopping at not only had Larabars on sale but they also had my favorite flavor! Yep, I bought 'em all. Larabars aren't cheap but I like keeping a few on hand for afternoon "slumps" when the sugar cravings hit. MOST (read the labels as I've found a few different Larabar varieties that aren't completely sugar free) Larabars are simply made from fruits …