Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mid Week Madness and Squash Casserole

It was a crazy day at work today and I was super tired when I got home. But it is Wednesday and it is prayer meeting day. The last Wednesday of every month we have dinner at church. As soon as I came home from work I started cutting up and boiling squash for squash casserole. I also cut up cucumbers, onions and tomatoes for a cucumber salad.
Here is my recipe for the squash casserole.
Cut up several squash (about 6 or 7 good size) and boil in water until almost tender. Cut up a small onion, drain the squash and put it in a 9 x 13 pan. Add the diced onion and a large can of cream of mushroom soup. Add quite a bit of salt and pepper and top it with a cup of shredded cheddar cheese and then a sleeve of crumbled saltine crackers. (I also add some garlic powder to the casserole to give a little extra kick). Bake in a 350 degree oven until bubbly. Yummy -- -it is always a hit at potlucks.
We took our mamaw with us to church tonight. She has Alzheimers and sometimes does not like to get out of the house but she had a great time! We go to an old fashioned country church. There is nothing special or fancy about us but we sure do love people and it shows. She was very happy and said she wanted to come back again.
The girls are getting ready for bed and the dog is sitting at my feet. Hubby just kissed me goodnight so I guess it is time for me to log off here. Have a great day gang!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Menu for this week

Monday -
Breakfast -- leftover pancakes and some bacon
Lunch -- tuna salad sandwiches, bbq chips
Dinner -- chuck roast w/carrots and potatoes (in crock pot so it will be finished when I get home)

Tuesday -
Lunch -- tuna salad sandwiches, bbq chips
Dinner -- fried chicken salad

Wedesday -
Breakfast -- blueberry muffins
Lunch -- bbq sandwiches from leftover roast
Dinner - smoked sausage, fried potatoes, broccoli

Breakfast - scrambled eggs and biscuits
Lunch -- tuna salad sandwiches or leftovers
Dinner - meatloaf, mashed potatoes, carrots n peas

Breakfast - cereal
Lunch -- leftover meatloaf
Dinner -- I think I am supposed to be going out with the girls for one of our friends 40th bday party so either hubby and the kids will go out and eat or fend for themselves at home

Breakfast -- sausuage, gravy and biscuits
Lunch/Dinner -- pork tenderloin, veggies

Breakfast -- bacon, fried eggs, and biscuits
Lunch/Dinner -- Leftover pork tenderloin

So there we have our dinner this week. Sounds good !

Sunday at our house

This morning I fixed bacon, pancakes and a few biscuits. Our oldest had a little friend over to stay all night. Last night was Hannah Montanna/Miley Cirus 3 D concert so they watched that and then played games until 2 this morning...ughhh.
I gave the dog a bath and cleaned out the tub. I still have to do the breakfast dishes. I was hoping to enjoy my Saturday quietly but now we have the girl from up the street down to play.
So I have four little girls playing bank and house. They have everything drug out while they play and no matter how many times I ask them to pick some of it up the answer is "We are still playing with it". I know what that means...."We are playing right now and as soon as we are done we will be tired and you, mom, will be cleaning all of this up".
We will eat leftovers for lunch/dinner. We will have baby back ribs, corn on the cob, green beans and mac n cheese....yummy. Oh and some potato salad that needs to be eat.
Church is at 7 so that will pretty much be our day.
Maybe I can squeeze in a little nap? Ha.....that's funny :-)

Angel Food in for July

I picked up our angel food for this month yesterday. We purchased three regular menu boxes and two of the produce boxes.
We got a lot of fresh corn, onions, some potatoes, two small seedless watermelons, lettuce, carrots, and several oranges in the fresh produce box. I cooked up six of the ears of corn last night and the rest I cut up and froze for future use. I don't figure we will be able to use all of the onions before they go bad so I am goign to dice them up and freeze them. I have never tried that before but I can't see why it wouldn't work. We won't eat all of the carrots but we will eat several and the rest we use for dog treats for our mini schnauzer....good and healthy and a great teeth cleaner for him.
We received baby back ribs, pork tenderloins, shef stable milk, eggs, blueberry muffin mix, cookies, meatloaf dinner, chicken fritters, frozen broccoli, peas n carrots, and more.
We are always very pleased with our angel food order. I strongly suggest that you find a location for angel food near you.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mommy handbook #2 MealTime

The table is really the family altar! Here those of all ages come together and help sustain both their physical and spiritual existence.....A family meal can be a sacrament. It entwines the material and the spiritual in a remarkable way. ....Here, at one common table is the father who has earned, the mother who has prepared or planned, and thechildren who share according to need, whatever their antecedent participation may have been. ...We can understand something of why our Lord, when he broke bread with his little company toward the end of their earthly fellowship, told them, as often as they did it, to remember him. ...There is no reason why each family meal should not take on something of the character of a time of memory and hope.- Elton Trueblood.

Providing the meals for your family is a great task and one not to betaken lightly. It starts first with budgeting. Figure out how much per week you can spend on groceries. Stay within that budget. Buy generic or store brand products, never name brand. Shop at discount stores such as Aldis and Sav-A-Lot. Clip coupons but only if it is an item that you already use and only if it ends up being cheaper than the store brand of that item. Watch sale ads and look for their weekly loss leaders and stock up when they have a deal on something that you use. -- It is really great when an item is a sale item and you have a coupon. I know of people who have gotten items free that way. Make a list when going to the store and only buy what is on the impulse buying. See my side bar for tips on feeding my family on $50 a week.

Quick Tips....Brown a week's worth of ground beef and freeze or refrigerate it for when you are ready. You can do this in freezer bags or tupperware containers. If you are making a casserole or lasagna....make two and freeze one for future. If you are making bread dough or cookie dough....double it and freeze one half. (Be sure to freeze the cookies in little balls so you can pick out just enough cookies to bake at a time). Use the crockpot....put the meat in to cook in the morning or at lunch and it will be ready by supper! When cooking always clean as you go so you don't end up with a sink full of dishes when you are finished cooking.

Here are some ideas for making meal time more interesting that I gotfrom reading "who got peanut butter on my daily planner" by CindyDagnan....

Monday -- Since Mondays are library days (they are at my house too!),each family member gets to bring the book they are reading with them tothe table. We each take turns reading a certain quote or scene from ourbook.

Tuesday and Thursday - Table Talk. Put questions on colorful index cards and let the children draw one or two. Even when guests are over you can still do this and they will think it is fun. Examples...What color was your day? Tell about the funniest thing that happened to you today. What is your favorite Bible story or verse? Why? If you could have dinner with any famous person, who would it be and why? What is your favorite family memory? What one things we have never done as family that you wish we would do? What is it about your favorite teach that makes them your favorite?Those are just a few questions....make up more for your family!

Wednesday and Friday - family devotions - short family devotions to read and then discuss together

Saturday - family something special as a family. Light candles, play dinner music. Have family movie night. Have pretend restaurant night, etc. See my previous blog for great family traditions to use on these nights.

Sunday -free day. Make sure you eat at least one meal together a day as a family and at least 3 of those as dinners. It is very important!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My spaghetti

Okay here is my recipe...I have been falling short on posting these on a regular basis. But this is one of my favs.

1 package of spaghetti, cooked and drained
.5 lb of sausage, cooked, crumbled
.5 lb of hamburger, cooked, crumbled
1 green pepper, diced
1 can of spaghetti sauce
1 package of cheddar cheese
1 small onion, diced
1 T sugar
1 clove of minced garlic

Combine all ingredients except cheese and spaghetti in a large saucepan and heat to warm. Spoon a small amount of sauce in bottom of 9 x 13 baking dish and put spaghetti on top. Top spaghetti with remaining sauce and put the cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbling hot. YUMMY

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tuesday Happenings--and a day in the life of me

Well it has been a little while since I did a "day in the life of" so I thought today would be a good day. We will just list my typical summer day.

Up at 6:30 pray, groom and start breakfast. Spend a little alone time either on the computer or watching the news.

Kids up at about 7:15. We eat breakfast and then I help them get ready for their day. I feed the dog and the cat and make sure they have fresh water. I pack hubby and my lunches. If I need to lay out something for dinner or put something in the crock pot I do it at this time.

I try to tidy up the kitchen a bit and finish getting ready for work and it is out the door by 8:15.

I drop the youngest off at Nana's and the oldest off at Ms. Jeanie's. I usually stop by McD's for a large unsweet iced tea with four splendas and a lemon. This is my way to start the day and the drink usually lasts me well through lunch.

I have to begin work at 9 AM and I try to be there at 8:50. I work at a printing company as a customer service representative. I handle 28 accounts and I work with all of the customers to get their work into the plant and then process it through the plant and ensure that it meets a timely bind and mail date. I also work with customers to ensure that they meet all postal regulations, etc. It would be difficult for me to explain what I do in just one small paragraph. I work mostly with trade publications and special interest publications. I work to ensure the happiness of both my external and internal customers. I really like my job and it gives me a sense of worth outside of the home. But I would trade it all in a heartbeat for the chance to stay at home and be a full time mother and wife.

Even though I work outside of the home I make sure that my children are surrounded by a Christian environment throughout the day and that I fill the evenings with as many special memories as I can. See previous posts about my family life.

Hubby gets off work at 3 and unless he has to mow a yard (he mows yards on the side to help ends meet), he picks up the girls and they are all waiting for me when I get home at about 5:15.

As soon as I get home I give lots of hugs and kisses to both the girls, hubby, the dog and the cat. Then I immediately start supper as the girls tell me all about their day. I make sure that my family eats a home cooked meal the majority of the days. There may be a few here and there that we order a pizza or stop and get a burger but those days are very rare. A lot of the time the girls will help me fix supper.

We don't watch tv in the evenings unless it is an old movie or the occasional disney show. Hubby watches tv in his room but I find it all revolting and not worthy of mine or my children's attention.

After dinner I work in the garden or work on the pool or something for a few minutes outside. Then it is back in again for baths and to get jammies on for bed.

The evenings are filled with baking, cleaning house, playing games, doing homeschool summer work, reading, cuddling and maybe watching a movie if we have time.

I tuckthe girls in and have prayer usually around 10 in the summers. Then I spend some time reading or posting on the computer or straightening the house some more. I try to be in bed at 11.

That is our day in the summer during the week.....we stay very busy around here. Idle hands or the devils workshop. And I definitely do not eat of the bread of idleness. So how are your days?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mommy's Handbook - Entry #1 Making Memories

Making Memories....

I work outside of the home so it is very important to me that my children are surrounded with loving and fun memories during the time that I am with them. I am going to share with you some ways that I made these memories with them.

Let each child pick a day where they get to pick the dinner menu. Now this may end up being just mac n cheese but let them have full control over the dinner menu. If you have older children then let them not only plan the meal but cook it too. They can even prepare a special them night for the family. For example if they want to do mexican night they can fix tacos, they can research Mexico on the internet and create some fascinating facts to share with the family. They can decorate the eating area too. Let their imagination soar and give them the freedom to express themselves.

We also like to have special nights in our family. Like movie night or picnic day. We will make posters advertising the event and hang them up around the house several days before the event. This will make the day even more exciting and the anticipation will build more and more each day.

How about having a talent show once a month? You can make posters and each child can decide what talent they want to share. They can even make tickets for mom and dad to get into the event. Make it a big deal and host a special dinner or dessert that night.

Another good idea is to have an "I remember when..." night for each of your children. Each child is given a specific night when they are the star. Gather home videos of the child, special projects that they have made throughout the years, photos, etc. Serve that child's favorite meal and mom and dad share special memories they have of that child. Every child loves to hear about when they were little. The other siblings can get into the fun too by telling different things they remember about their sister/brother too.

One thing that we do at the dinner table is tell our high and low. We ask each child (and mom and dad too) what their high of the day was (the best part of the day) and what their low of the day was (the worst part of the day). This can open communication and allow your child to share with you their joys and sorrows. You can help them through their sorrows when you know what happened to them that day.

Have an art works kind of like the talent show. Each child showcases their artwork as mom and dad take a tour of the show.

Have backwards day. Everyone comes to the table with their shirts on backwards and serve dessert first!

Creation Island -- Make hamburgers on the grill and have everything imaginable for each family member to top off their burgers with. (This can also work with baked potatoes and pizza)
For a twist have family members draw a name of another family member and they create that persons meal for them.

Make a big deal over small accomplishments. When my oldest recently came out from the dentist with a report of no cavities we did a little happy dance a song right there in the dentist's office.

Christmas -- don't just decorate your tree....get all the family involved. What we do is get the tree up and the lights on and then the family gathers around the tree, we put Christmas Carols on and as I pull out each and every one of the ornaments I tell the story of that ornament. Where it came from, when we bought it or who gave it to us. Every one of our ornaments has a story....if it doesn't have a doesn't belong on our tree. Then each child and mom and dad too, take turns hanging the ornaments on the tree. Our tree is never one of those picture perfect trees where everything matches and is all one color scheme. Our tree is a family Christmas tree and I encourage yours to be the same.
Another good idea is to have a goodie tree in your kitchen. This is a small tree that is on your kitchen table and on the tree is all sorts of edible yummies. Homemade cookies and candies all individually wrapped and hung with ribbon. Then the children can get a special treat off the tree every day. And visitors enjoy the goody tree too.

This is probably my favorite holiday. Of course we go around the table and tell everything we are thankful for, the children create something homemade for the dinner table. Sometimes they create placemats sometimes it is placecard holders. I have a special meanu that I fix every Thanksgiving and my children and hubby know and love the meal.

Halloween -
We go camping every halloween. We decorate our camper and we give out candy to all the children who are camping at the campground. This provides a safe and happy halloween.

Easter -
Another one of my favs. We plant jellybeans Easter morning before breakfast and after breakfast we go outside and the magic jellybeans have bloomed into lollipops growing out of the ground...amazing! We do not do the Easter Bunny...we want nothing to take away the meaning of this most sacred religious holiday. Our children know what Easter is all about. We have a special meal and they get an Easter basket and outfit for church.

Other fun stuff....

Don't forget the special notes in the lunchboxes! It means more to your child then you can imagine. Sometimes spruce it up and send an inexpensive special card. Or maybe put a message on your child's banana peel -- it is easy just "scratch" a message on the peeling of the banana and by the time your child eats his lunch the message is easy to read. Make up little poems or cute rhymes about your child and stick it in their lunchbox. Make it fun and exciting.

Celebrate your child's half birthday....exactly 6mos from their birthday celebrate with half a cake and half the candles.

Have a special plate in your family and when a child makes an A on a test, wins the soccer game, or any other accomplishment have that child's meal served on the special plate. You may want to include a little notebook with the plate to record the special events that have been celebrated on that plate.

Create a time capsule. As a family create your very own time capsule and open it in five years together.

As you can see there are many, many ways to create fun memories with your children. These are all things that you can do on little or no money and they will be priceless to your family.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

This week's menu

I am so glad to get back to normal. Last week I wasn't even able to keep to any of my meal plans as I had zero time at home. I can't even tell you what we ate for dinner most days but I did fix a nice breakfast every morning before work.
Today the oldest and I slept in, really late. So our lunch was our brunch and we had leftover pizza from last night at church.
For dinner I fixed chicken and dumplings, and frozen mixed vegetables. I also fixed a yellow cake with chocolate frosting for hubby and the girls.
Breakfast in the morning will consist of scrambled eggs, biscuits and fried bologna. Lunch will be hamburgers, baked beans and deviled eggs. We will just have leftovers for dinner as each of us gets hungry. I will also be making blackberry dumplings for everyone to enjoy this week.

Monday -
Breakfast==scrambled eggs and toast
Dinner ==fried chicken, mashed potatoes and baked beans

Tuesday -
Breakfast == cereal and juice
Dinner==spaghetti and garlic bread

Wednesday =
Breakfast ==biscuits and jam
Lunch == leftovers
Dinner ==pizza rolls and mac n cheese

Thursday --
Breakfast ==cereal and juice
Dinner == BBQ chicken, potatoes, veggies

Friday --
Breakfast == cereal and juice
Lunch ==leftovers
Dinner == Leftover night

Next Saturday we get our Angel Food in for the month and I can't wait!

The week is finally over!

Oh my word! I can't believe how tired I am! This week has been so difficult on my body. But not my soul! This is a good tired. This is the tired that comes after doing the Lord's work. I am exhausted but I am overjoyed at the results of our Vacation Bible School.
I had about 16 kids in my class and they ranged from 3 to 8. They were all such a blessing!
On Thursday night we had about 10 kids come up to altar call to be prayed for. They were so sweet walking up there. The Lord says Let the little children come.
There were days when I felt all I did was chase the kids round and round. As in the pix on this blog. I felt as though we were not accomplishing much. But then I would ask them a question and they would know the answer and I realized that even though it may seem like they were not listening to a word I was saying they really were.
I pray above all else that a child was touched this week, that a family was touched, and that they would find a church home and give their lives to the Lord.
God bless every one and I hope that each of you have the joy of teaching Vacation Bible School.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Midweek update - VBS Week

It has been VBS week at our house so that is the reason for no posts. We have been so very tired and busy each and every day. By the time we get home from VBS we are exhausted! But I thought I would jot down a quick note.
VBS is going great. I had thirteen kids in my class tonight and I have had 15 total attending my class. They are such a joy. I have children ranging from 3 to 8. Each of them are so very special in their own way. It is definitely a challenge keeping children in that large of an age group busy but with the help of hubby and another mother, and of course God's help above all, we are getting it done.
The kids are learning so much and they are really enjoying themselves. My oldest is not in my class, she is in the older class, but the youngest is with me. They are both having a grand time.

I also wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you guys that read my blog. I have so much fun posting. Once I get this VBS week finished I am going to start a new series on this blogspot titled....Mommy's Handbook. I look forward to sharing it with you.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

New Recipe -- Italian Chicken

I used to own a restaurant years ago named "Mattingly's". It was a very nice place to eat and relax. It was a place that fed not only the body but the soul. One of the dishes we served there was Italian Chicken. It was so easy to prepare and people really liked it.

Several boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Bottle of Italian Dressing

Put your chicken in a crock pot and cover with italian chicken. Cook on low until chicken is finished.

That's it! Enjoy!

Sunday at the homestead

Well it is Sunday at the homestead and usually we don't do much work on Sundays but we simply had to today. The children visited a local VBS this past week from 6 -9 and with the camping trip last weekend....we are very behind on our housework.

So today we all pitched in and got the house in somewhat of an order. The bathrooms are scrubbed the kitchen is cleaned the bedrooms are straightened and some of the laundry is finding its way into the washer, out to dry and put in its drawer -- but not all of it.
I also need to try to get some cooking done today since we will be hosting our VBS this week and I will be teaching every night. Our VBS starts at 6 and ends at 8. I don't get off work until 5 so I need to have food that hubby and the girls can eat and already have their bellies full by the time I get home so we can hit the road running and get on to church.
So the menu this week is going to be simple and easy and items that can be prepared ahead of time and finished up quite easily. Sunday - today for lunch we had smoked sausage in beans and macaroni and cheese; for dinner we wil probably just have leftovers of that. Monday I am going to put some chicken in the crockpot that morning with some bbq sauce, I will serve that with some baked beans and deviled eggs that I will make tonight. Tuesday we will have sausages with peppers and onions with the leftover baked beans and deviled eggs. Wednesday we will have tuna salad sandwiches. Thursday it will be Turkey with gravy dinner that can be cooked in the oven and some mashed potatoes. Friday we will have dinner at church.
Also I will have zero time to do any house cleaning this week so it will be up to everyone to pitch in to keep the house in some sort of working order. We will see how it goes!
The girls and I just got out of the pool it was so much fun. Hubby isn't feeling well so he is resting in bed and it is going on 5PM so I am thinking of taking a small rest myself before church. Today we will be studying Abraham in my children's class.
I am looking forward to VBS this week. Our theme is SonForce Kids "special agents for Christ". I will get some pix taken this week of the church and how we got it decorated and will post them for you guys. My sister is going to come and help out this week and possibly her husband. Hubby is off this week lack of work so he will be coming in the evenings to help too. I hope that we have a good crowd of children and that they are all blessed and walk away with a closer relationship with Christ.
We are also sitting a big Golden Retriever this week named Maggie. Her and Buddy are getting along well. It will be interesting to see how this week will work out in our lives! As I tell hubby sometimes "Warp Nine!" It is going to be fast and busy! There will be much to do! But with God's help and guidance everything will turn out just fine.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Remembering My Mamaw

I remember my mamaw telling me a cocky bull story as we would snuggle in bed.

I remember peanut butter fudge and potato candy.

I remember learning how to make biscuits from scratch and sugar gravy.

I remember everytime I was sick I would get boiled potatoes with lots of butter.

I remember dinners would consist of potatoes, spinach and mac n cheese meat and that was okay.

I remember bingo and her letting me play with the chips....oh and when they came out with magnetic wants and metal wrapped fun!

I remember twinkies, turkey sandwiches, and yoohoos.

I remember going to yard sales and her looking for money in her wallet that she hid from herself for just such an occasion.

I remember eating ice.

I remember Hummingbird Cake at Christmas.

I remember a Christmas tree that was so perfect you could measure the exact distance between each ornament.

I remember big lights on the tree and so many of them that you would break out in a sweat if you sat beside it.

I remember skillet burgers and needing a green pepper.

I remember grocery lists and going to Jim's Key Market.

I remember meatloaf.

I remember Victoria singing and dancing to the silly songs she taught us. I remember I found a peanut, Philadelphia lawyer, and Barbara Allen.

I remember Little House on the Prairie and The Price is Right.

I remember the big yellow car that had a name....but I don't remember that.

I remember You toucha my car...I breaka you face.

I remember how much she loved the husband that left her with four children to raise, and no money and how she took him back with open arms everytime he came home. I remember how much she missed him when he died and misses him still.

I remember the little pink house.

I remember Saturdays with ringer washers and mom and aunt and cousins all doing laundry on it at her house.

I remember the smell of burning oil lamps and burning oil furnaces.

I remember crooked floors and uneven walls. And the sound of the porcupine as it moved under the bathtub when you took a bath because there was no floor beneath your tub.

I remember how she held me in her lap.

I remember how she used to be before she got sick.

I remember when she could remember.

Girls we have to Garden

Hey ladies! Now more than ever we need to garden. Have you seen the prices of produce? Oh my!

So I propose that if you do not have a garden this year that you hook up with a friend who does and help her can/freeze her produce if she will give you some of her harvest. And start preparing this year for your garden next year!

Get you a Ball canning book and read through it and decide what you want to put up for your family and then study gardening books to see when and how those plants should be placed in your garden.

Ladies it is up to us to get our families through this tough economic time. We have to be creative, we have to work hard, we have to go back to the old days and see what worked then...and do it now. Learn from our ancestors.....chances are if they did it then....we need to be doing it now.

So get out that hoe and get to gardening!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tuesday Happenings

It is Tuesday morning and I am sitting here eating a simple bowl of cereal before the girls get up. I have a pot of chicken boiling on the stove because I have to make some dumplings to take to work this morning for a friends birthday. The cat is asleep right beside the computer as I am typing and the dog is asleep at my feet. The sun is bursting alive outside and I can tell already that it is going to be a terribly hot day here in Kentucky! Hubby has already left for work and the oldest is still asleep in her bunk. The youngest woke up a little bit ago and went to my bed to watch PBS and catch a few more winks.
Here in about 10 minutes I will have to close up the computer and head down to reload the laundry, make the beds and take my shower.
Today I will take the youngest to Nana and the oldest to the sitter and head off to work. It will be a fairly busy day at work so I will have to cancel all of the dentist appointments for today. When I get off work the girls and hubby will already be home and I will fix a quick bite of supper and then take the girls up to VBS and head off to the store. I have a few more things to pick up for our VBS next week and a few things I need for the house. I want to head up to GFS (gordon's food service) and see what they have available this week.
I don't know if I will be heading up to the church to decorate tonight. I won't have time since I will be needing to go to the stores.
Once we are back home I will check homework and make sure oldest is finishing up Where the red fern grows -- she is really not interested in this book at all which blows my mind. I have to practice prepositions with her as well. She struggles with English and I have to work with her on that.
Of course there will be laundry tonight, dishes to wash and straightening to do. After all of that then it will be off to bed for me.
"Dear Lord thank you for this beautiful day. Thank you for the bird I hear singing outside. Thank you that just like that bird I don't have to worry about where my food will come or how my shelter will come but it will be provided for me. Your are an awesome God. You are worthy of our praise. To you be all the glory in heaven and earth! Jesus name above all names! Glory to You! Thank you for my family. Be with my children and keep them safe O Lord! Help me Lord to be patient and kind and to raise them in Your Holy will. Help Lord to be a helpmeet for my husband. Help me Lord to serve and obey him as You have intended. Lord be with hubby. Prick his heart Lord. Give him a desire to be the spiritual head of the household that you have called him to be. Remove O Lord the thorns from his life. Help him Lord to seek you in all that he does. Help him Lord to turn from evil and run to that which is good. Oh Lord help me to be the wife and mother that you have called me to be. Help me to do all that I have to do each day and to do it to the best of my abilities and with a smile. Help me Lord to be a sweet spirit in this home. Help me to speak words of kindness and to create an atmosphere of peach and love for my children and husband. Lord Jesus thank you for my salvation and for saving me again each and every day from my sinful life. Lord thank you for the promise of heaven and the joy of an eternity spend in your presence. Lord you know my heart's desire to be home with my children and I pray that your will be done in this area and that if it is your will then a miracle happen to allow me to be with them. I pray this in your precious and holy name, in the name of Jesus, AMEN.

Make your own shower spray

Why buy that expensive shower spray? How about that one automatic one that you just push a button and it sprays your whole shower....sweet -- but the price is not so sweet.
Just get a simple spray bottle and add one part rubbing alcohol to three parts water. Keep this bottle in you shower (up high little hands can't reach). When you get out of the shower simply spray everything and it will be clean and ready for next time. Now I must put a disclaimer to try it in a small area so to see if it will damage your tub.....not that I have any problem but I don't want any nasty complaints from anyone that did it without trying that first. I have a bath fitter fiberglass overlay tub and it is fine.

Simple Christmas part 3 -- The Rat Race

Hopefully you are not subject to this during the holidays but many of us are....the rat race. This is the time of year when we have party after party to attend. And then there are the cookie exchanges, school plays, church plays and it seems to us that every family member has their own Christmas at their house and we must attend all of them.
We used to go to every one and we literally would go non stop. It became ridiculous. My children cannot even enjoy Christmas at home because we are constantly watching the clock about where to go next.
In the past few years I have gradually scaled back and will again this year. It is not fair to go to one grandparents and not the other, to go to one parents and not the other. I come from a divorced family so you can automatically multiply my parents times two, I have two sets of grandparents (thank God in heaven they are still with us). Hubby has the one place to go during the holidays for his entire they have the right idea :-). This year I will be telling everyone....we will be going no where on Christmas day. That is reserved for my own family and my own family traditions in my home. Anyone that wants to stop by and see us is very welcome but we will not be visiting anyone's home on that day. The Saturday before Christmas we will go to my Dads --they do this so as not to interfere with anyones schedule and it works out well. Christmas Eve we will go to hubby's family but that is the only place on Christmas Eve. I am not sure when my mother will have hers but since I am the only child we can pretty much work out a schedule that works for us. We will see our grandparents on the days that follow up to Christmas on our own and spend some time with them and give them their gift. It is better that way anyway because you actually get to spend time alone with them.
Don't get me wrong. I love being around all of my family but I simply cannot be everywhere and if I went to all of the Christmas gatherings my children would have no special memories of Christmas at home with mom and dad. And no time to sit and focus on the true meaning of Christmas which has nothing to do with running from place to place and forcing yourself to eat another meal when you just ate one. It is about Jesus and celebrating His birthday and focusing on His love.
So I encourage you this year to just say no to the cookie exchange, work party, sister's uncle's son's brother's party, and to just stay home with your children making new family traditions that will last a lifetime.
My next blog on this subject will be on Christmas traditions. Come and join me!

Monday, July 7, 2008

This week's menu

Monday - today we had leftover hotdogs and mac n cheese for dinner

Tuesday - Breakfast -- cinnamon bread
Lunch -- bday dinner at work of pintos and dumplings
Dinner -- chicken strips and tater tots

Wednesday - Breakfast -- scrambled eggs and toast
Lunch -- tuna salad sandwiches
Dinner -- tuna casserole

Thursday - Breakfast -- cereal
Lunch -- leftover casserole
Dinner -- pizza rolls

Friday - Breakfast -- french toast
Lunch -- tuna salad sandwiches
Dinner -- hamburgers and tater tots

Saturday -- Breakfast -- sausage with gravy and biscuits
Lunch - leftover burger
Dinner - chicken casserole, mashed potatoes, green beans

Sunday -- Breakfast -- cinnamon rolls
Lunch - leftover chicken casserole
Dinner - smoked sausage

This will be a busy week so I have to keep it simple Mon - Thurs. Next week will be VBS so we will not be cooking during the week. HMMMMM I will have to be creative.

Monday Recipe - easy broccoli casserole

Frozen broccoli
cheese slices
cream of mushroom soup
cream of chicken soup
ritz crackers

Boil broccoli on the stove until almost tender. Drain and put in a mixing bowl. Mix one can of cream of mushroom and one can of cream of chicken soup. Put mixture in bottom of 9 x 13 baking dish. Preheat oven to 350. Melt one stick of butter in a saucepan on stove top. Crush and add one sleeve of Ritz crackers. Stir constantly over medium heat until Ritz crackers are browned. Take cheese slices and layer over top of broccoli mixture until all is covered. Add cracker mixture and bake in oven until cheese is bubbly. Great broccoli casserole and so easy.

Vacation Bible School

This week the girls are going to a local church (actually where hubby and I were married) for vacation bible school. I am going to use this time to spend the evenings working on VBS at our own church and getting it ready for next week. So you probably won't see many blogs from me over the next two weeks as I will be extremely busy.

Please find a VBS for your children to attend. I have so many wonderful memories of VBS in my childhood. It is a great thing for every child.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

We're Home!

Well we are back home from our camping trip to the lake. It is good to be home but it was sad to leave. Also when you come home from your camping trip you have a LOT of stuff to do. There is a ton of laundry to catch up on!
Hubby and I have decided that it would be great fun to have someone watch our girls for a weekend and just the two of us head out camping from Fri to Sun. Boy we could really use the time alone together. It has been a very long time since we have been alone.
Well I am making my blog short today and I am off to reload laundry.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bloom where you are planted

Hello ladies.
I once wrote a book "Still blooming". I never sent it off to a publisher although maybe one day I will.
Today I wanted to talk to those of you who feel that through your own mistakes and failures and sins you are not anywhere near where God intended you to be.
You are not alone. I am right there with you. You cannot imagine my past. It is filled with all kinds of sins and mistakes and many failures. Some sins that would probably cause you to judge me harshly and maybe even not want to be my friend anymore.
But let me tell you something, when you confess those sins to God and ask for His blessed forgiveness, and turn away from that sickening self, all of those sins are gone. Yep all gone. They are scattered as far as the east is from the west. God put all of those nasty, dirty sins at the bottom of the deepest ocean and then He posted a sign there that says "No fishing allowed!". They are never to be remembered again. If He doesn't remember them then why are you?
Also I know that God had purposed for me a life in the mission field of Africa. I know this with all of my heart. But through my own many selfish sins this didn't happen for me. Now I know that this dream of the mission field in Africa is not possible now.
Does this mean that God has all but given up on me? Does this mean that I am not walking in His glorious will now? No. It means that yes, I am not where I was meant to be. BUT I am where I am meant to be now!
I started out in beautiful soil...fresh and new. There was a nudge, a calling, a whooing to the mission field. I didn't go. I instead left the shelter of my Christain beliefs and became something awful and dry. My leaves were drying up, my soil was rocky and cracking. I was at the point of not living much less producing any fruit. It was at this point when I was at my lowest that I cried out again to God. And He moved heaven and earth and reached right down where I was and picked me up out of that rottening soil. He oh so gently held my roots and replanted me in soil that was once again rich and full of nutrients. He watered and fed me oh so sweetly until once again I was standing tall in my soil.
Now not only am I standing in the rich soil of His love but I am blooming. I am blooming for all to see and to know that God is with me. To give Him the glory! To show others His love!
He has given me a husband who loves me, children to nurture and raise in His love, a home to keep, and friends and family to help.
So you see you may not be where you were first called but that doesn't mean that God gave up on you! Bloom where you are planted....even if it is in replanted soil!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tuesday Recipe -- my meatloaf

This is an absolute favorite of hubby's....enjoy

3lbs ground beef
one small green pepper, chopped
one small onion, chopped
1t pepper
1 t salt
2 eggs
1 sleeve of crumbled saltine crackers
1/3 c ketchup

Mix all of the above ingredients and shape into a loaf and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Spoon additional ketchup over meatloaf to cover top and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Check and make sure the center of the loaf is done. Let sit for 10 min before slicing to serve.
***You can also shape and back mini loaves in muffin cups. It is quicker to bake and fun to eat!

Tuesday Talk

Hey guys I just got home from another long day at work. I am going to do a couple of quick blog posts and then up I go to get supper on the grill, laundry reloaded, bathrooms cleaned, beds made, floors swept and vacuumed, etc. Since we are leaving out Thursday for a camping trip I will be short on days to clean this week. Ughhhh -- there aren't enough already much less having less!

So anyway I wanted to let you guys know how much I appreciate those of you who come and visit me on my blog. I also enjoy visiting yours! I think it is great that we can share ideas and get to know each other. I have found great support in many of your blogs!

Today youngest and a child from up the street are playing dollhouse and it is so sweet to sit here and listen to them play. Hubby is mowing and won't be back for a couple of hours. Oldest is spending the night with Nana. I know she is having fun!

Another thing I want to do today is organize the freezers. I don't know if I will get to it or not. Hmmmm......and the pool needs to be vacuumed...again. :-) So I guess I need to quit rambling and get moving.

Oh and one last thing remember to pray for your husbands (see previous blog post!). And please remember me in your prayers as I have put on a lot of extra weight and I am really feeling it in my health. I need to loose 30lbs to be at the weight I should be for my height. So please pray for me!