Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I'm sitting in a quiet house this morning.  My husband's back to his regular schedule (finally), so I am enjoying my first bit of morning quiet time in almost two months.  It really is amazing how this affects my day.  During the school year while I'm in CBS I spend a good chunk of this time working on my Bible Study homework.  During the summer I spend not nearly enough time in the Word, but I do usually take a bit to read in the morning.  I love my house in the morning.  I love sitting here in the quiet and waiting for the children to get up.  I love thinking about the day and what we'll do together.  It pretty much NEVER turns out how I daydreamed it would.  I love the quiet.  I turn the TV off as soon as my husband leaves and I just sit in the quiet.  Just me and God.  Oh and my furry rooster (my 15 year old cat who likes to yowl all night), who will follow me around all morning, just wanting to be with me until the business of the day starts.  Then she goes outside.  Sometimes I want to go outside with her.  I think during this time of day is when I do my best thinking.  I'm not clouded by irritations, or distractions.  I'm able to look at things with a fresh perspective and decide what is a big deal, and what isn't.  So, today, as I'm thankful for my morning quiet time, I'm wondering what you're thankful for?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Menu Monday


Monday: Nachos, with chicken, beans, cheese, sour cream, olives, Peach Crisp

Tuesday:  BLT's and Fruit Salad

Wednesday:  Rotisserie Chicken, Sliced Potatoes and Onions, Salad

Thursday:  Sloppy Joes, Salad,  Creamy Pistachio Pops

Friday:  Pizza, Salad

Saturday:  Burgers, Potato Salad

Sunday:  Snack Dinner

Lunches:  I usually have some lunch meat and bread available, and we eat a lot of left overs for lunch :)

Breakfasts:  Breakfast Tacos, Breakfast cake, Apple Pie Pockets, Zuchinni Bread 

Other Prep Items to Make:  Ranch Dressing, homemade vanilla extract, maybe bread.....  depends on how hot it is~!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Supper Sunday- Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Cucumber and Tomato Salad

 Tomatoes (for our family of 6 I used 1 large red tomato and about 8 large orange cherry tomatoes)
Cucumber (again, I used 1 cucumber, sliced in half lengthwise, and then into thin slices)
1/2 Red Onion, sliced
2-4 TBS olive Oil
2-4 TBS Red Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

Slice the large tomato(es) into fairly thin half moons.  Cherry tomatoes into halves.  Add remaining ingredients.  I just did a swirl around the bowl of the Olive Oil and the Red Wine Vinegar, then a couple of shakes of salt and pepper.  Mix until well blended.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Singing Saturday- Everything Glorious

We all have times in our lives when we struggle with self esteem. There are times when we don't think we're worth anything. There are even times when we feel un-loveable. When you have a moment like that, you need to heed the words of this song. I especially like the part:  "You make Everything Glorious, and I am yours, so what does that make me?"....   Soak them up. Drink from the love of the Father.

Everything Glorious, by David Crowder Band

The day is brighter here with You
The night is lighter than its hue
Would lead me to believe
Which leads me to believe

You make everything glorious
You make everything glorious
You make everything glorious
And I am Yours
What does that make me?

My eyes are small but they have seen
the beauty of enormous things
Which leads me to believe
there's light enough to see that

You make everything glorious
You make everything glorious
You make everything glorious
And I am Yours

From glory to glory
You are glorious You are glorious
From glory to glory
You are glorious. You are glorious
Which leads me to believe
why I can believe

You make everything glorious
You make everything glorious
You make everything glorious
And I am Yours
You make everything glorious
You make everything glorious
You make everything glorious
And I am Yours

From glory to glory From glory to glory
You are glorious. You are glorious.
You are glorious. You are glorious.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Family Time Friday- Qwirkle

We have a game that my dad introduced... I've mentioned before how good he is at picking fun games....  It's called Qwirkle.
It's really a lot of fun to play.  One year when my dad came to visit he brought with him an award that he had won.  He was the Qwirkle champion amongst his Mensa friends.  Well, he brought the plaque and played my two boys a game of qwirkle for the plaque.  Would you believe that the game ended in a tie with BOTH boys winning fair and square?  How perfect was that?!  And, no, this was not orchestrated by us.  :)  Qwirkle is one of our favorite games to play, and we take it with us when we go camping, it's easy to pack because it comes in it's own storage bag :)  Sometimes when we're having a game night we'll let the Chick (who is 19 months old) play with a couple of the pieces while we play.  She really enjoys playing "with" us.  I've been thinking a lot lately about things I can do at home with her, and this game came to mind for that too.  Not that we can play it together, but it is a great thing for her to sort.  She can sort shapes and colors.  If you don't have this game, put it on your Christmas list.  You'll really like it :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Declutter party anyone?


As I spent a good 15-20 minutes searching my house up and down looking for my "One Year to an Organized Life" book, I couldn't help but chuckle out loud, because, really, the irony was just too much!  Yeah.  That's pretty much the way it goes with me most of the time.  I am how God made me.  And, those around me love me inspite of myself.  You see, the reason I misplaced the book in the first place is because August's habit and challenge was about moving...  and well that was a perfectly good excuse for me to not follow through, because, I've pretty much come to acceptance that when we move we're just going to leave EVERYTHING here and start fresh!!!  Ok, probably not, but that is a good majority of the reason why I haven't looked real hard at houses either, even though we've really grown out of this one.  I don't want to move my stuff!!!

Anyway...  September is just around the corner, so it's time to take a look at what this nice little book has on tap for me in September and see if I'm up for the challenge LOL..  Hmm... "September:  Back-to-School Busy Season"... Ya think?  Oh I think we should jump on this one...  The habit of the month is positive self-talk....  It then goes on to say "When you hear yourself saying 'What am I doing?  I can't succeed at organizing.  I'm too stupid'. Stop the tape".....  Wow.  Was she just in my living room????
Ok, so in the month of September the book has us working on positive self talk and planning on a positive change this fall, week 2 we're organizing the  kid's room, week 3 we're creating chores and considering the consequences, and week 4 we'll revisit the concepts of time and goal setting as they apply to the busy school and *gasp* holiday season.

I think I can.  I think I can.  I think I can......  Who's up for a declutter party?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Not Back to School

Yesterday I took the kids to the mall where we met some friends of our who also homeschool to celebrate "Not Back to School Day".  It was a lot of fun to just get together and hang out with friends.  I found myself feeling very blessed that we have the friends we have.  We have the kind of friends that you don't have to dress up for them.  We have the kind of friends that we can be real with each other and be honest about where we're at.  We have the kind of friends that share their struggles with us.  We have the kind of friends that will do anything they can to help us out.  We have the kind of friends who like us for us, and not because they'll get something from us, or it's the popular thing to do, or because they have to.  We have some really really great friends, and that is what I'm grateful for today :)  God-ordained, real friendships :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Menu Monday


Monday:  Chicken Salad, Tomato and Cucumber Salad, Butterscotch Bars

Tuesday:  Tacos (Make extra beans and meat for burritos)

Wednesday:  Salmon Patties, Coleslaw, Pumpkin Bars

Thursday:  BLT's, Fruit Salad

Friday:  Pizza, Salad

Saturday:  Burgers, Potato Salad

Sunday:  Snack Dinner

Lunches:  I usually have some lunch meat and bread available, and we eat a lot of left overs for lunch :)

Breakfasts:  I am in the middle of a strike against store made cereals for breakfast.  I Made Breakfast Cake last week and it was a serious hit.  So, this will be a regular occurrence around here :)  I plan on making french toast (I make a whole loaf or two and freeze them, then the kids can just pop them in the toaster in the morning ),  and the boys like to have oatmeal a lot.  I'm also making some breakfast tacos and freezing them so they'll be on hand.  Breakfast is going to be a lot of my freezer cooking now that school is starting back up, because we have a very full calendar.  Home Schooling in our case rarely means "home"......

Sunday, August 22, 2010

33 days....

Supper Sunday- Fruit Pizza

I've been trying to add more fruits and veggies into our diet.  I looked over several recipes for fruit pizza, and adapted a couple to come up with this.  Yum Yum :)

Fruit Pizza
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cup dehydrated cane juice(divided)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese (softened)
  •  3 teaspoons vanilla extract (divided)
  • fruit- I used bananas, strawberries, kiwi, and grapes, sliced
Preheat oven to 350.  Cream butter and 3/4 cup of the dehydrated cane juice until well blended.  Add in the egg, flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.  Mix well in a mixer.  Spread out on a pizza stone to cover the majority of the stone.  Bake for 10 minutes until lightly browned.  Let cool completely.

Cream cream cheese, remaining 1 cup dehydrated cane juice, and remaining 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.  Spread cream cheese mixture over cooled crust.  (You may have some left over)  Arrange fruit on pizza and chill until serving.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Singing Saturday- Lead Me

Lately our local Christian radio station has been playing this song and it really really speaks to me.  If you know anything about me, you know that marriage is something very heavy on my heart.  It's so heavy that I even write another blog on the subject (though I don't update it as often as I would like).  When the radio has played the song they've included sound bites to an interview about the song.  I've put that on my Life Inside a Marriage Blog.  You should pop over there and watch it, it's worth it!

I look around and see my wonderful life
Almost perfect from the outside
In picture frames I see my beautiful wife
Always smiling
But on the inside, I can hear her saying

"Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, what about us?

Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone."

I see their faces, look in their innocent eyes
They're just children from the outside
I'm working hard, I tell myself they'll be fine
They're independent
But on the inside, I can hear them saying

"Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, what about us?

Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone."

So Father, give me the strength
To be everything I am called to be
Oh, Father, show me the way
To lead them
Won't you lead me?

To lead them with strong hands
To stand up when they can't
Don't want to leave them hungry for love
Chasing dreams that I could give up

I'll show them I'm willing to fight
And give them the best of my life
So we can call this out home
Lead me, 'cause I can't do this alone

Father, lead me, 'cause I can't do this alone 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Family Time Friday- Not Back to School Fun

This month the public schools go back to school.  I have never been a mom who looked forward to sending her kids to school, even when I WAS a public school mom.  But this year, I decided that we should do something fun to celebrate the fact that they aren't going back to school...

So, we're going to get together with some friends and see a movie and then have lunch together and let the kids play in the "EuroBalls" that they have out at the mall now.  Wait.  Just a second..  Was that just a super long run-on sentence, or what?  Here- let me try again...  (Sorry, hairried homeschool mom here)

So, to celebrate, we're going to get together with some friends on the day the public schools go back to school.  We're going to see a movie, have lunch together, and then let the kids play in the "EuroBalls" they have at the mall now.   I have no idea what these balls are, but my teenager says they look cool.  So, we'll go see.  :)

Did you know the first movie of the day at most theatres is significantly discounted?  Typically $5 or $6 :)  So sometimes during the school year I'll tell the boys if they get all of their school work for the week done Thursday we can go see a movie on Friday.  :)

If you're one of my local homeschool friends and you want to join us for our "Not Back to School" day, just send me a note and I'll give you the details :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

127 Days Until Christmas!!!!!

Christmas Countdown - Christmas Layouts

127 days left until Christmas.  Can you believe that?  127.  That's not that many.  In just one month we'll be under 100 days until Christmas!!!  The thought makes me giddy.  Really.

I know, a lot of people dread Christmas because they think it has gotten too commercialized.  And, I guess it has in a lot of ways.  But, to me Christmas is about so much more.  It's about Christ, and what He did for us, and the gift that He is to the world.  We give gifts to our loved ones in celebration of that gift.

Christmas is also about tradition.  My family has several traditions that I really treasure.  We have traditional gifts that we give every year, like we all get new PJs on Christmas Eve so when we have our pictures in the morning we're in nice fresh PJs.

We also give the kids socks and underwear every year.  And here's a funny story:  One year, when Grego was about 5 every day from Thanksgiving until Christmas he would ask my husband, "Dad, what am I getting for Christmas?", to which my husband would reply, "Socks and Underwear!"......  well, Christmas morning came and the first present we had him open was....  yep you guessed it....  socks and underwear :)  Well, Grego opened this present and quickly threw them down on the floor and yelled, "THIS IS THE WORST CHRISTMAS EVER!!!"  LOL!!!  It was soooo funny!  We had to coax him to open the rest of his presents!  LOL  Now, that's the running joke when they open their socks and underwear. :)

We try to give the kids a couple of board games, and book, new clothes, and they each get a big gift that they open last.

In addition to this, we have other traditions.  We make gingerbread houses every year.  I've been doing this with the kids for several years now, but as a child I did it every year with my grandma and grandpa.  It's a memory that I treasure very, very much.

Several years ago we also started going to a Christmas Tree Farm and cutting our own tree down every year.  It's a lot of fun, and this farm is a very family oriented place to go.  They have a giant tree house for the kids, a TeePee, tricycle race area, and they give you free hot chocolate and wassail.....

Mmmm...  Wassail....  I'm getting really excited now :)

I'm wondering, what are some of your traditions that you look forward to every year?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I'm going bald!!!!


I, like pretty much everyone else, have had friends and family affected by cancer. Who hasn't anymore? Have you ever sat in prayer for a friend or a family member who is suffering from cancer or the treatment of the cancer and wished you could do more? Yeah. Me too. I want to tell you a couple of stories of people I have been inspired by.

I have an aunt who was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was still a teenager. A lot of the suffering that she endured was hidden from me to protect me, but I still remember it. I remember that she had a double mastectomy and had implants put in. I remember the day one of her implants sprung a leak and she was leaking fluid from her breast. How embarrassing. But, she endured it all with a smile on her face.

I have a friend who's daughter was diagnosed with Wilm's, a cancer of the kidneys that occurs in children. She was just a baby. She had to endure chemo, radiation and have parts of both kidneys removed. It was a very very scary time. Then after a few years she had a bad scan and had to go back through treatments again. She's doing very well now, and her mother has affectionately, (and appropriately I think) nicknamed her "Little Warrior".  She has a Caring Bridge Website, if you'd like to read more.

I have a friend and pastor who has been an amazing source of strength to me. She is always thinking of others before herself, and a true testimony to God's work in her life and answering the call. She recently got married and then took on a position as senior pastor over a small church. Within a couple of weeks she was diagnosed with Stomach Cancer and had to have her stomach removed, chemo, radiation, the whole lot. It's been a very difficult road for her, but one filled with prayer and one that has touched many lives.

I have a neighbor whose wife was diagnosed with breast cancer many many years ago, and she too had to do all the usual things. She made it through and was in remission several years and then it was back again. Back to the treatments she went, and watching her go through those treatments was very difficult, but I know I had it easy. Her son is Auston's age. Last year they found her collapsed on her desk at work. After all her trials with breast cancer, it was brain cancer that killed her.

These are just a few of the people in my life who are affected by cancer, there are more, my family has a bit with skin cancer, prostate cancer, my husbands as well. The truth is each and every single one of us is affected by cancer in one way or another. I have in the past had my hair cut and donated it to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths program.  I chose Pantene over locks of love because I only needed 10 inches instead of 12.

Well, this year I'm "Kickin it up a notch" in honor of the many people in my life who are so brave to fight this horrible disease, including Martha, Marena, Janet, and JoAnn.  I'm going to have my head shaved to raise money for St. Baldrick's, an organization that contributes to cancer research.  This event is being organized by Little Warrior's mom, so you can rest assured that the money will be used wisely.  Please, if you will, consider donating to my head, and if you've been affected like I have by cancer, please leave a comment in honor of your loved one on this blog post :)

Oh, did I mention?  My husband and I are BOTH doing it!  We're on a team together...  I'd REALLY REALLY like to raise more money than him...  Can you get on board with that?????

Yeah....  and I'm just a *little bit* nervous....  Mostly because we're leaving for vacation the NEXT day to see friends and family we haven't seen in years .....  ah well...  it's just hair, right??????????

This post is linked to Heavenly Homemakers for GratiTuesday :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Menu Monday


Monday: Steak Strips, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans (Make Extra Mashed Potatoes for Wednesday)

Tuesday:  Chicken Salad, Tomato and Cucumber Salad, Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wednesday:  Shepherd's Pie, Fruit Salad

Thursday:  Ham and Rice Bake, Strawberry Peach Smoothies

Friday:  Yep, you guessed it- Pizza, Salad

Saturday:  Snack Dinner :)

Sunday:  Steak and Baked Potatoes, Something Green, Brownies

Breakfasts I'm making this week:  French Toast, Pumpkin Pancakes, and Breakfast Cookies

Lunch- leftovers and sandwiches :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Supper Sunday- Home Made Applesauce

A couple of weeks ago I was able to purchase 20 pounds of apples from a local food co-op for just $23.  I had no idea how I was going to use them all, but honestly I went through them very fast!  I bough Gala Apples, so when making this recipe be sure to understand that Gala's are pretty sweet, and you may need to adjust your sweetness according to your tastes.  Oh, and I am happy to report that my friends who tried it said it "tasted like the baked apples at Cracker Barrel".  Well, can't be too bad, then, huh?

Semalee's Home Made Applesauce

12 apples, peeled lightly  (I like some skin left on, but not the whole skin), cored and sliced.
1/3 cup dehydrated cane juice
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Place apples in a large dutch oven size pot.  Sprinkle cane juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg over the apples. (Do not stir)  Cover an cook over medium high heat for about 8-10 minutes.  Open up and mash up the apples and stir together.  (I used my Mix and Chop from Pampered Chef).  Cover and cook about 5 minutes longer until the desired consistency is achieved.  Allow to cool just enough so as not to scorch your mouth and enjoy!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Singing Saturday- Have You Ever Wanted

A friend of mine turned me on to Shawn McDonald some time ago, and he is where I turn when I really need some deep worship through music.  Here's is just one of my favorite songs by him:

Have you ever wanted to be someone else
Have you ever wanted just to be someone
Have you ever wanted to reach your dreams
Have you ever wanted life to be more than it seems
I have tasted of a love so wide
That it stops all my time
I have tasted of a love so deep
That it blows my mind
Have you ever wanted to reach up and touch the sky
Have you ever wanted to pack it up and say good-bye
Have you ever wanted someone to care
Have you ever wanted someone to be there
He is sweet, He is sweet
What your looking for
Is my sweet, sweet Jesus
What You're looking for
Is my sweet Lord

Here's a great video from CBN about Shawn McDonald and how he got to where he is today. Definitely worth the time to watch:

Friday, August 13, 2010

Book Review- How a Christian Should Live

I recently received a copy of the book How a Christian Should Live to review.  I got it for my kids to have an additional devotional to work on over the summer.  I hate to admit that we've been SOOO bad at staying on top of bible study this summer.  I mean really bad :(  But, I do want to tell you about this book.

It was not what I originally thought it was going to be.  It is a 12 week devotional on 1 Corinthians through Philemon, and while I did learn a couple of things while reading through it, I would say it is definitely geared more towards baby Christians, or people who are not in a regular Bible Study.  It is meant to be for Middle Schoolers through High Schoolers and I would say that is a pretty good fit for most kids, but I would venture to say even a young adult who has just come to the Lord or has little training would benefit from this book.

The book also comes with a CDROM with MP3s of dramatical readings from the books.  If you like to listen to books on CD you will probably like this too.  It isn't overly dramatic, but it doesn't put you to sleep either.

Each lesson has several sections, which I really like:  Get It - where the reading takes place and the history, or foundation of the reading is explained to you.  Define It- Where they take a term that may be unfamiliar to people who haven't been churched for years and break it down for you.  Grab It- where they relate it to something from a more modern time so you can understand how it relates to you now.  The Hold It section asks you where you need to reflect on what this lesson is teaching you about YOUR life.  Live It- How do you apply this now and actually live what you're reading?  Give It- how do you share this with the people around you.  There is also a journaling section and several word games in each chapter.

All in all I would recommend this book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What do you Believe?

We started school this week and one of the things we're studying this year is Auston is taking Starting Points which is kind of the Pre Algebra of World View.  It has him reading some pretty intense books, like Mere Christianity, Know What You Believe, and Know Why you Believe.  The purpose of this curriculum is to get him really thinking about his faith and how that affects the way he thinks about the world and interacts with the world.  It's really an intense course, and something I deeply wish I had taken when I was his age, but I wasn't afforded that opportunity.  So, it got me to thinking about my own faith and what it's about.  Then I was asked (In a not nice way) the other day what church I go to, and as my faith was being attacked I couldn't help but take a moment to reflect on that faith.

I believe the same things the majority of people believe, Christ is my Savior, who died for MY sins and was risen and is the LIVING God.  I'm Episcopalian, in that I attend an Episcopalian church, and believe the words of my pastor, but I am CHRISTIAN first.  I believe it to be of great compromise to align yourself with one denomination, when we're all Christians.  And I also believe it to be a very unwise choice to follow your church leaders blindly without your own heart rooted in the Bible.  Honestly, if you're not in the Bible, and I mean REALLY in the Bible, how are you going to know if you are being led astray?

I believe that Church is for the people who don't belong to a church, and it's our duty to reach out in love to those around us.  Not with the sole purpose of "converting" them in mind, but with the purpose of sharing Christ's love with them whether they believe or not.  Sure, growth in your church is important, but it's the hearts that God's after.  If you can't capture someone's heart, they won't grow in their faith.  Also, it's important to question your faith from time to time, and to stretch, because that is when the real deep down growing happens.

I believe that Churches are full of people.  What do I mean by that?  When that person questioned my church affiliation I felt terrible that I had failed in showing Christ's love and gentleness.  But, I am reminded that just like everyone else in my church, or your church, or not currently attending a church, I am just another sinful person.  Romans 3:23 says All have fallen short of the Glory of God.  It doesn't say most have fallen short, or Jane, or Ted, or Bill have fallen short and we should all trample them.  It says all.  You.  Me.  Your friend.  Your enemy.  ALL.  I read the other day a quote I like, "Quit complaining about your church..... If it were perfect they wouldn't let YOU in it either!"...  So true.  So true!

I believe that we are all on a journey towards God, one way or another.  Sometimes people get prideful of where they are in their walk, and that very pride takes you away from God.  Sometimes people hassle other Christians about what church they attend, or what denomination they affiliate with, or what other members of that denomination do or don't do/believe/say etc...  We really shouldn't bicker like that, or belittle each other about trivial things, like what music we listen to in church, whether we are sprinkled or dunked, whether we have communion or don't, whether we have communion every week or less frequently, wine, grape juice, water....etc...  Need I go on?  REALLY, we believe that Jesus is our savior, he died, was risen, and is seated at the right had of the father, our living savior, part of the Holy Trinity.  The rest just causes division among Christians, and you know what?  IT DOESN'T MAKE PEOPLE WANT TO JOIN OUR CRAZINESS!!!!  I found a really good article on just this topic here.

So, in short (or in long), it's a very important thing to get in a good bible study, I highly recommend Community Bible Study, because they are a inter-denominational group not sponsored by one particular church, and get rooted in what you believe.  That way you can talk to others about your faith, and you can demonstrate it too.

And the next time you have a harsh thought about someone, remember they're just a sinner just like you.  :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Back to School

Today we go "back to school".  And on this "first day back to school" I have a LOT to be thankful for.  My oldest son Auston begins High School this year.  HIGH SCHOOL!!  Do you have any idea what this means????  I have approximately 4 years left with him!  In just 4 years he'll be headed off to college to begin his life, get married, have kids, and completely forget about his mother :(.  Ok, he'll probably not completely forget about me, but you know what I mean.....It just won't be the same.  I am very very excited about the young man he is becoming, and I really do look forward to seeing all that he does with his life.  But, a twinge of sadness sets in too.  I have many many friends who send their kids off to public school and I don't fault them for it.  Each family needs to decide what is best for their family.  But, I'm so glad that today, as we go back to school, I'm not shipping my kid off for 7,8,10 hours to be away from me every day.  I'm glad I'm not at the mercy of the institution as far as scheduling goes.  I'm glad that the majority of his waking hours are spent with me, not surrounded by a bunch of testosterone and peer pressure.  I'm glad that because he is with me more than he isn't with me I know my kid.  I mean, how is it possible to really know your kid when they spend more time away from you than with you?  For some parents that's ok.  And some parents have a truly wonderful relationship with their public schooled teenagers.  And it is ok for those parents.  Really.  Listen,  Public school isn't going to ruin your kid any more than homeschooling will.  But, for me, I count each moment of these last 4 years as my son begins to grow up and go out as a blessing.

And it helps that I really really like him.  like a lot.

This post is linked to Heavenly Homemaker's GratiTuesday.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Menu Monday

I've got a bunch of stuff in my freezer, so I'm going to try to cut my grocery budget this week by cooking some things from my freezer.  I've done some things like process my steak strips all at once, buy 8 pounds of cube steak and make 3 meals worth of steak strips.  Then it's done :)  We'll be having some of that this week.

Monday:  Rotissserie Chicken,  Salad

Tuesday: Steak Strips, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans

Wednesday:  Spaghetti, Salad

Thursday:  Chicken Strips, Home Fries

Friday:  Pizza, Fruit Salad

Saturday:  Burgers, Chips and Salsa, Fruit Pizza

Sunday:  Snack Dinner

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Supper Sunday- Breakfast Casserole

This is what I make every Holy Saturday and Christmas Eve to have the next morning, or for other special occasions.  It is super easy and super yummy.  It's good to have a good breakfast.  I've always used the hash browns that come in the little rectangles...  I've not tried to see if there is a healthy version of these yet, but I'm betting you can find  something, or make your own hash browns.

Breakfast Casserole
WW Points+ 5pts per serving, makes 12 servings

Hashbrowns- the rectangle ones :)
Your choice of meat:  (I often will do two) bacon, sausage, ham- brown meat before assembling :)
Shredded Cheddar Cheese- about 2 cups
Diced onions
Diced green peppers
Eggs (for a 9x13 I use about 8-10 eggs)
Salt and Pepper

The evening before lay the hash browns in a well greased pan.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Sprinkle with other desired meat and veggie toppings.  Gently whip Eggs with a splash of milk and salt and pepper in a bowl and then pour over hash browns.  Cover and refrigerate over night.  In the morning preheat oven to 350.  Bake covered Casserole for 45 minutes, remove foil and bake 15 minutes longer.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Singing Saturday- Give Me Jesus

In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
Give me Jesus.

Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus.
You can have all this world,
Just give me Jesus.

When I am alone,
When I am alone,
When I am alone,
Give me Jesus.

Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus.
You can have all this world,
Just give me Jesus.

When I come to die,
When I come to die,
When I come to die,
Give me Jesus.

Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus.
You can have all this world,
Just give me Jesus.

Give me Jesus.
Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus.
You can have all this world,
You can have all this world,
You can have all this world,
Just give me Jesus.

Friday, August 06, 2010

That's a bunch of Blokus!

While we were in Colorado we played a really fun game with my dad.  He always has games that we don't often see around, so it's always fun to see what he has in store for us.

This time we played Blokus.  It was a ton of fun.  The Regular Blokus is a 4 player game, and he brought the Travel Blokus too, which is a two player game.

If you're looking for something fun to play, I definitely recommend it.  The other day I found Blokus Online and played for quite a while on there too!

Blokus Classics Game

Thursday, August 05, 2010

What is Family?


[fam-uh-lee, fam-lee] Show IPA noun, plural -lies, adjective
–noun 1.
a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not: the traditional family.
Is that really it?  Is that really all there is to it?  I think there's more to it.  I have thought about this often with all the problems I have with my family.  And I've pondered the fact that my "family" doesn't act much like a family at all.  But, according to this definition there is no emotional bond involved.  Just parents and children.  So, what about the bond?  I would dare to challenge this and say that family is about love.
If you've read my blog at all, you are fairly well versed in my problems with my mom and my attempts to fix it.  I am living proof that you can't always get back the relationship once it has been compromised.  And you want to know the number one family bond killer?  Misunderstandings.  Not just misunderstandings, but what we do with those misunderstandings.  I want to challenge all of us to think in a different way in regards to our family.  I need this too.  I'm incorporating this into my prayers.  
Lord, help me to always assume the best about those I love.  It's so easy to get caught up in our assumptions about each other, and before we know it a small misunderstanding turns into hurt feelings.  Those hurt feelings and the pain from them causes us to lash out, which then causes hurt feelings on the other side.  Next thing you know there is damage to your relationship.  Sometimes it's no big deal, and you get over it and move on.  Sometimes it just festers.  Especially if you haven't talked it through.  When really, the bulk of what we fight about in families is misunderstandings in the first place.
I've been in a 10 year long argument over misunderstandings with my mother, that came to a huge head two years ago and we haven't spoken to each other since.  And what started the whole thing?  Misunderstanding  What made it turn into what it is today?  Not believing the best about one another.  I am just as guilty of this as she is.  I've allowed myself to fall into this trap and pay the price every single day that I don't get to hear my mom tell me she loves me, or tell her I love her.
If you are clouded by misunderstanding, humble yourself before the throne of God and ask Him to help you to believe the best about the person, and ask for forgiveness.  Believe me.  It's not worth it to let it be.

From Family Photos SLC Trip 2006