Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What Are They Thinking, Anyway?

One of my sons, who shall remain nameless, asked me today: "Mom," sigh, "can I put a leash on Sweetie Pie?" - mind you this is his nine month old sister - "It would be so nice to take her for a walk... since we don't have a dog and all."


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sweet Words...

Someone gave us boxes of books the other day, seems as if everyone knows our status as book lovers.

Anyway, I found a little books among the others called How Shall I Tell My Child? by Mrs. Woodallen Chapman It was published in 1912. And, can you believe it, it's tells you word for word what to say to your child to explain the birds and the bees.

I really enjoyed this little excerpt, I think you will too.

"There's another reason why there must be fathers as well as mothers. You see, while the mother is carrying the baby in the little nest, and eating and breathing for him, and taking all possible care of herself that he may be well and strong, she couldn't very well be earning the money needed to take care of her and her baby, could she? And that's what father does. He earns the money, he takes special care of mother, for he knows that she is carrying within her body his own precious baby..."

When did things change so radically?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow Ice Cream

If you haven't tried this, you should!

At first I was completely grossed out, who knows what is our polluted air that comes down with the snow, but my husband convinced me... he grew up making this every year.

Snow Ice Cream

1 gallon of snow
1 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2 cups of milk
When new snow is falling, put a big bowl outside to catch it. When you have enough, add your ingredients, stirring in enough milk to make it the right consistency. Pass out spoons and eat right away! Your kids will love you. :)

BTW, these aren't even my kids, I found them on the Internet (I have yet to upload any snow pics)... but you can imagine that mine look pretty much the same, bundled up like the Stay Puffed Marshmallow man on Ghost Busters, whining that they are too hot / too cold / want to come in after you spent a half hour getting their thumb in the thumb hole of their mitten. Ah, the snow days, wet snow suits dripping and sleigh bells ringing! :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Apple Cranberry Muffins

How 'bout some muffins for breakfast this morning? Maybe afternoon snack? These are warming in my oven for my little pumpkins when they get up today.

Apple Cranberry Muffins
2 cups white flour
1 cup wheat flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups apples, diced
1 1/2 cups whole cranberries
1 cup nuts, chopped

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, leaving the last three for the end. Mix just until everything is combined. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. This recipe made 24 muffins for me.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Chicken Salsa Soup

Need some meal ideas? Try this soup- it's from a unique blog called A Year of Crockpotting - remember to soak your beans tonight and you'll be half way to dinner tomorrow.
Chicken Salsa Soup

--1 pound chicken (I used frozen breast tenderloins)

--1 cup dried black beans (or 2 cans, drained and rinsed)

--4 cups chicken broth

--1 cup sliced mushrooms--1 cup frozen corn

--1 jar prepared salsa (16 oz)

--1 1/2 tsp cumin

--1/2 cup sour cream (to stir in at the end)

--shredded cheddar cheese, avocado slices, cilantro (all optional)


I used a 6.5 quart crockpot. You will need a 4 quart or larger.

Soak the black beans in enough water to cover and another 2 inches overnight. In the morning, drain the water and rinse the beans. Put in the chicken, and add the broth and salsa. Pour in the corn and mushrooms, and add the cumin. Stir, but don't disturb the beans---let them stay at the bottom of the pot, closest to the heating element.Cover and cook on high for 9 hours.

If you'd like to thicken the broth (I did this), you can use your immersible blender (I love that thing) to blend a bit of the beans and chicken. If you don't have one, scoop out 2 cups of the soup and carefully blend in your traditonal blender. Stir the mixture back into the crockpot.

Stir in the 1/2 cup of sour cream before serving, and garnish with shredded cheese and avocado slices.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rights of the Child

A Letter (in part) from Michael Farris,President of ParentalRights.org.

Dear Friend of Parental Rights,

I was in the United States Senate this past week meeting with lawyers for a Senate office. They told me directly what I have been hearing indirectly on a regular basis ever since the election.Those who want to change family policy in America to comply with international law are preparing a full-scale effort to seek ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child during this next Congress. Barbara Boxer recently told a planning group that they intend to use children’s health care as leverage to seek ratification of this UN children’s rights treaty.Please link to our website to see a succinct summary of the problems with this UN treaty. The strength of their forces has been greatly increased with the addition of Hillary Clinton as the nominee for Secretary of State. She will have direct control over the submission of this treaty to the Senate and will acquire the authority under international law to sign any other treaty on any subject. Hillary Clinton was the person who made the announcement for the Convention on the Rights of the Child when her husband’s administration signed the treaty. Seeking its ratification is a lifelong dream for her.Our situation is grim if we were to look only at the position of the elected officials.However, recent post-election polling demonstrates that almost 70% of Americans do not believe that the use of international law in American courts on such matters is appropriate. Less than 20% favor the use of international law. (The rest are undecided). Virtually every sub-group in America opposes this kind of use of international law. America is on our side. However, we have to be able to get the word out to help people hear the truth about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.Our proposed Parental Rights Amendment will permanently stop this treaty. So we have a one-two punch planned for the internationalists....

...Here is what they are saying about us. At the hearing which featured Barbara Boxer, one of the speakers said that the people who will oppose this treaty are the “narcissistic sovereignty crowd.” In other words, those who love America first are so guilty of excessive self-love that he describes us as having the mental illness of narcissism. This is their real heart. Not only do they want international law to control our families. They think that we are mentally ill for loving America. It is time for those of us who believe in loving our families and loving America to rise up! We will not surrender this country or our children to such people.Get involved today! The battle is about to begin.

For God, family, and America,

Michael Farris

Monday, December 15, 2008

Snowy Days

So what's with this cold snap anyway? The high for tomorrow is expected to be 7 degrees!
Make some hot cocoa, hunker down with your kids and read a good book.
A classic. Excellent for preschoolers.

My personal favorite. Both a mom and a dad present (and only one of each!) Very sweet story.
About an Amish family who help people in need.

Caught Red Handed!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Hushed little voices whispering secrets everywhere!

Although we don't celebrate Christmas, we are helping the children to give each other gifts. This year Hanukkah falls during the same week as Christmas... we've been so busy! Trying to find time with the giving child when the receiving child isn't around has been quite difficult. Every nap time and spare moment we've rushed off to a secret room to plan and craft and sew and wrap.

Earlier this week I took Macho Man (who does not enjoy glue guns or ric rac) on a little trip to the dollar store. Carrying his jar of money up and down the isles he chose gifts for all of his siblings, his dad, the two grandparents that will be joining us for the holiday and Uncle Rusty who is staying with us at the moment. He kept putting things in the cart but then found something he thought would be better and had to trade for what he'd gotten earlier. He didn't really like any of my ideas but did make really good choices for each person. As soon as we got home he ran up with his purchases to madly wrap them and they are now being displayed on the mantle.

Creative Genius and Mr. Right have made the cutest little baby cradle for Girly Girl's dolls. They cut the wood and put it together. Each day they've been down to the basement to put another coat of paint on it. I went with my husband yesterday to the craft store where he spent quite a bit of time finding just the right stickers to complete the project. It was so sweet to watch him find just what he wanted in the flowers and hearts section. I never thought I'd be discussing the pros and cons of different shades of pink and the wonders of decoupage with him. He's putting as much of himself in to it as our six-year-old son is.

That same six-year-old and I sewed a pink baby blanket for Girly Girl's doll cradle. Creative Genius doesn't know it but it exactly matches the quilt I've made his sister. She'll be thrilled to find out that her babies have one too.

Creative Genius also helped to sew a "sleeping bag" for Speed Racer's new little boy doll that we found to give him at a thrift store. Speed Racer has been teased often for his "girl" dolls so we thought this would be perfect for him. To make the sleeping bag, we used bits and pieces of the left overs from S.R.'s quilt, so, his doll will also have a matching blanket.

My husband is also working with a child on a book shelf with a reading light for my oldest son to use on his top bunk bed. He's always reading and doesn't have anywhere to keep his books.

My two little ones will be making a couple of *Top Secret* projects for their big Sissy this week too.

I won't give away what that big Sissy is planning for the little ones in case she wants to blog about it but I have to say it is just adorable! I did take her to buy a gift for her dad last week that I know he'll love. It's so nice to see her empty her entire wallet to buy something that she knows someone else will enjoy. I am amazed that she works week after week (babysitting) to earn money and then, week after week, will spend it on other people.

This is one of the MANY benefits of having a big family. My children are so excited for the holiday. Not for what they will receive but they just can't wait to g-i-v-e. I am so blessed!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Linking Scripture to Discipline

We all want to discipline our children correctly. Discipline does not necessarily mean punishment - it is disciplining our children to walk as Jesus did.

Today I received Teri Maxwell's Mom's Corner. (Go here to sign up for these free emails) She'd answered a letter from a mother asking about using scripture to discipline her child. She included these:

Child is bickering with a sibling or being unkind:
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering. (Colossians 3:12)

Child is angry:
But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. (Colossians 3:8)

Child is unhappy:
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)

Child is worried:
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

Child isn't content:
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (Philippians 4:11)
Child says, "It is too hard," when asked to do something:
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13)

Child isn't being kind to his siblings:
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. (Colossians 3:12-13)

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil. (1 Corinthians 13:4-5)

Child is lying:
Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him. (Colossians 3:9-10)

Child isn't obeying:
Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. (Colossians 3:20)

Child is proud:
. . . Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. (1 Peter 5:5-6)

May the Lord bless you in your parenting endeavors!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Oldie but Goodie

A couple of weeks ago, my daughter made Chex Party Mix for everyone during afternoon snack. It went over very well. I added dried apples to the leftovers and they ate a handful for several more snacks. I made a new batch this morning with bagel chips. I was just thinking of the possibilities. What a great way to extend Cheese-Its or Fish Crackers (not that we have these around much, but with holiday sales sometimes I pick up a box of crackers - it's a real treat for my kids), add it to the snack mix. I think I'll try it.

I hope your children love it as much as mine do.

The Original Chex Party Mix

Start to Finish: 15 minutes (it says this on the box but - that's laughable - it took me like 45... I had to stop and make a new batch of seasoning salt, get the baby from her nap, give instructions for school, get someone else back to their forgotten chores, you know what I mean)

3 cups each Corn, Rice and Wheat Chex cereal (I didn't have wheat so I used Cheerios)

1 cup mixed nuts (I just used almonds, that's what I have)

1 cup bite sized pretzels

1 cup garlic-flavored or regular bagel chips (left out the first time but I had something similar this time)

6 T butter

2 T Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 tsp. seasoning salt

3/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1. In large microwaveable bowl, mix cereals, nuts, pretzels and bagel chips; set aside. In small microwavable bowl, microwave butter until melted. Stir in seasonings. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated.

2. Microwave uncovered on high 5-6 minutes, thoroughly stirring every 2 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool. Store in airtight container.

24 - 1/2 cup servings

Diet Report

Yesterday, while exercising, my shorts were falling off. And these are bike shorts. What an amazing thing.

I am at a 100 pound loss now. I just can't believe it. Since I've always struggled with my weight, I've always wanted to loose some. On a piece of paper I found a while back, my husband and I wrote down things we wanted to do before we die, it was dated 6/06. Of course, one of mine was "get skinny"!

When I was younger, I always wanted to be thinner to look better. Things have sure changed. Now I want to be at a weight where I can do the things I want to do: ride a bike with my 10-year-old, bend down to say prayers at the lower bunk with my 3-year-old, take walks with my husband, be around for my children's children's children.

Upon reflection, I think this is why I am having more success than I have in the past. These things really are more important to me. I can say no to myself and mean it because I truly want to be able to climb the stairs while caring my two-year-old. They need me to take them to bed at night and I want to be the one. Know what I mean?

Although I am feeling much more like my old self, I still have a ways to go. Sixty-nine pounds to go, if you want exact numbers. And it's coming off much more slowly these days. I want to keep going, though. I've come this far, it sure would be a waste to stop here.

Every day, I ask myself, "What have a done today to achieve my goal"? Am I writing down everything I eat? I am looking up the accurate amount of calories for each of them? Have I exercised today? Really, these are the only three things that I need to do. If I am consistent with them, the weight will come off.

It's really not even that hard, to be honest with you. There have been times in my life where I have struggled and struggled to just stop eating cake or whatever and it was so hard. The thing that I didn't understand that you have to go beyond that. The struggle does come to an end. Once you've done it, you've done it. "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." James 4:7 Once the devil flees (or your flesh gives up!), which is sooner than you think, there is no more fighting, you just go about doing what you know you need to do. Day after day, you keep it up and the finish line slowly becomes visible.

"But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love." 2 Peter1:5-7 Here's where the spiritual growth comes in to the diet arena. Dieting is all about self control and perseverance.

These are some of the thoughts I've had along the way. I hope they bless you today. If you have a lot of weight to loose like me, don't despair. You can do it. It won't kill you. You can enjoy life along the way. Truly, life is much more enjoyable today than it was a year ago for me.

Be thinking along these lines: What have you ALWAYS wanted to do? What New Year's resolution do you make every single year but give up on my January 3rd? Think about these things, because 2009 is your year! Watch for my Get-It-Done challenge at the end of this month. I'd really like you to join me. Even more, I'd really like to see you have success.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Courtship update

A few months ago I did a post on Courtship.... I think it's fun to check up on the happy couple today. Here's the link to do just that.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Holiday Projects

I've been hard at work on a few projects for my children. My younger ones will all receive a quilt from me this year. Here's a peek:

For Speed Racer, I found about a yard of each of these construction type fabrics in my storage room. I bought them to make a quilt for Macho Man years ago and it never even saw a pair of scissors. Back then I had more good ideas than follow through. :) I was thankful not to have to buy anything and be able to just start. This is just the quilt top. I bought a twin sized blue top sheet to use as the backing.

This one has been the hardest so far. It's for Creative Genius, he loves to have stuff with him at all times so I think he'll love the pockets I put on it. You should have seen the look on my husband's face when he saw the jeans I cut them out of. They were just missing the backside. I could tell he was thinking, "What are you up to now?!" Anyway, the cowboy fabric here was all left over from other projects so there is really no rhyme or reason to this quilt. I'm anti-mathematical so I hope it works out in the end! I was able to find a few yards of blue flannel cowboy material at Joann's for the backing.This one is for Macho Man. I tried to make it as plain as possible, one side with the camo and the other will just be plain, I bought a tan top sheet to finish it. I wanted it to be more grown-up, if you know what I mean.
This last one is for girly girl. I just love how it turned out. I saw this fabric and knew that it was for her. Sissy helped me find a coordinating material for the back, I think it was perfect.
I'm behind on getting these done - along with the other projects I'm trying to complete but have a hard time finding alone time for. I'm committing to spending every nap time working on them until they are finished.... starting next week. :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Quick Tip

Remember that holiday I blogged about a while back, Rosh Ha Shana? If you are interested in teaching your children about it next year, now is your chance to snag a free lap book kit at CurrClick. You will probably have to set up a (free) account but it'll be useful to you in the future anyway, they have freebies all the time.

More on Submission

A dear friend of mine lent me a wonderful message by S.M. Davis. I am a firm believer in wives submitting to their husbands, but some of the things I heard on this CD, I've never heard or thought of. If you are a married woman, please consider listening to this.