Thursday, February 25, 2010

1,000 Things Update

Well, I’m into the 200’s now. It is getting more and more challenging to think of all the things I can be thankful for, without repeating things I have already written. It’s really got my brain working hard. It’s good practice, helping me to think about the good things in life. I thought I would list some of the more recent items.

102. The kids are playing well together

117. Cereal, making mornings easier

125. Good health

132. Children who initiate tasks

153. The color pink

171. God’s provision of good food

179. Feeling Baby move

194. Makeshift banana split sundaes

212. Soapy water

219. God’s mercies are new every morning

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Homeschool Tips

I enjoyed this article on de-stressing your homeschool.

Hope you find something helpful!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Spinach Salad

IMG_4396 I told my friend, Nancy, that I would post my spinach salad recipe on my blog, so here goes…

The original recipe (that I have tweaked a little) from Southern Living magazine calls for pan-fried chicken in addition. It is very good with the chicken for a main dish, but if you are just looking for a delicious side salad, try this.

Mix the following together in a bowl:

1 6 oz. pkg. Baby Spinach

1 large apple, thinly sliced and chopped (I like Gala)

1/2 cup pecan or walnut pieces

1/2 cup dried cherries

1 8 oz. jar poppy seed dressing (I use Brianna’s or Marzetti’s All Natural found in the refrigerated section of the supermarket, usually near the produce).


You can play around with the proportions. I just eyeball it now and add to my liking. I gave you the amounts the original recipe suggested.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Enjoying the Sabbath Rest

IMG_3066 What do you think about when someone says “weekend”? I’m sure all of us have different expectations and goals for the weekend. Actually, that has caused tension in my marriage over the years. When Saturday came, I always felt like it was time to chill – time to take a breather from the norm and spend time with the family and others you appreciate. I was ready to punch my time card for the week! My husband, however, usually saw Saturdays as a day to get household projects done. As much as that was (and is!) a blessing for our family (and for me to have such a hardworking husband), I would get discouraged , thinking there wasn’t enough time for us just to BE with each other.

As I became a mom and then of more children, I felt like I never had a break. Life is plenty busy as an adult, and with my growing family, it just seems to get busier! Weekends don’t always seem to be the refreshing weekends I have imagined in my fairy tale mind. HOWEVER, I realize the appreciation I have for Sunday – the Lord’s Day, the Day when we can set aside our time and energies to focus on God and His goodness…. the Day when we can put aside work (or at least most of it) in order to re-energize and regroup.

I appreciate the benefit of corporate worship, good teaching in God’s Word, and fellowship with the believers. I appreciate being able to take a nap in the afternoon and not worry about time constraints. I appreciate doing various activities with my family in the evening and regrouping our thoughts to start a new week. I will take out my 1,000 things list tonight and add “the Sabbath rest”. Thank You, Lord!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tortilla Treasure


Recently, I found some tortillas at Costco that were fairly economical ($6.99 for 44 count) and seemed very tantalizing. They are all natural, containing only wheat flour, water, canola oil, salt, and sugar.


You cook them on the skillet yourself so they are nice and fresh!

I tried them last night, and they were scrumptious! I think the only thing that could make them better is if they were whole wheat.

If you shop at Costco, check them out! I found them in the half-height refrigerated section near the hummus, salsa, sliced cheese and other treasures.

AND…. if you want to try a new recipe with the tortillas try this recipe. (This is actually what I made last night with my tortillas). The recipe is from my friend, Rebekah.

Chicken Flautas

IMG_4343Boil and shred 2 full chicken breasts. Cook with taco seasoning. Mix with 8 oz. sour cream. Put mixture in tortilla (only need a small amount going down the center of the tortilla) and then into an ungreased 9 x 13 pan. Fill pan (about 8 flautas).

Pour can of enchilada sauce on top. Sprinkle top with 1 cup shredded mozzarella and 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese.

Bake at 325 for 45 minutes (covered). Enjoy!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Brownie Pizza

Wondering what to make your sweeties for Valentine’s Day? How about brownie pizza? It is absolutely delicious! I haven’t found one person who doesn’t like it yet. Beware… it’s so good, you and your family might eat it in one session! :-)

Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!


Lisa’s notes:

* I use Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix

* I use my round pizza stone, as you can see from the photo, for baking. I spray it with a little oil spray and spread the prepared brownie mix throughout the pan, leaving some room around the edge. You don’t want your batter to go over the edge while baking!

* I omit the 2 T sugar when I am mixing the cream cheese and pineapple. I figure the dessert is already rich enough!

* I serve this with whipped cream! YUM!

Banana Split Brownie Pizza

recipe from Paula Deen


  • 1 (20-ounce) box fudge brownie mix (recommended: Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix)
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained, juice reserved
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 bananas, sliced and tossed in lemon juice to prevent browning
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • Chocolate ice cream topping or chocolate syrup, for drizzling


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a 15-inch pizza pan. Prepare the brownie mix according to box directions. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until done. Remove from the oven and cool. Beat the cream cheese, pineapple, and sugar together in a bowl. Use any reserved pineapple juice at this time, if needed, to soften the mixture to a good spreading consistency. Otherwise dispose of or save the juice for another use. Spread the mixture over the cooled brownie crust. Arrange the banana and strawberry slices over the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with the chopped nuts and drizzle with chocolate ice cream topping. Refrigerate. To serve, slice as you would a pizza, and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Plow

Who needs to hire a snow plow when you’ve got a family like this??!! I love my hubby and kids!


Here they created their own human snow plow, creating a large shovel with their shovels together... Dad’s idea! :-)


Monday, February 8, 2010

1,000 Things

My mind has been in a slump for a while. Negative thinking prevails, and it is hard to feel at peace. I have been thinking about how I need to have a transformation. Somehow I need to think more positively and experience more joy in my life. Well, God is always faithful to teach us; isn’t He? He has been leading me to various articles and blogs that have been encouraging me to be “transformed by the renewing of my mind” (Romans 12:2). I ran into one challenge in particular that I decided would be good for me. I started it a little over a week ago. The “challenge” is to make a list of 1,000 things for which I am thankful. The woman who did this gave herself a deadline of a few months, and I figured I would try to do it before Baby #4 arrives. That gives me about four months. I started about 9 days ago, and I have 92 things listed so far. It has been quite an exercise! It gets me to think about the various little blessings that God bestows upon me each day. It helps me to break out of my box of downward spiral thinking and lift my thoughts to the Lord and His goodness towards me. Here are some of the items on my list so far:

1. Brian’s energy

15. A cup of tea

19. The joy of cookingIMG_4288

20. The satisfaction of vacuuming

32. My mom got out of the hospital

41. The privilege to homeschool

50. Thoughtful people

52. Happy children

57. Warm showers

62. Good friends

69. Reuniting with my kids after a weekend without them

76. A hard-working husband

82. Dimmer switches

84. God’s love

87. Quick meals

I have realized how hard it is going to be to remember if I have written something down already. I think I have repeated a couple things. I don’t think that is critical, though. I think the important thing is that I am trying to recognize the good things in life each day. Want to join me?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Comparing Apples with Pears

131685_red_apple_yellow_pear I have been in various schools lately. I notice myself comparing what is there to what I have at home… “Am I giving my children enough? Look at all of these activities and crafts they are doing. Have we ever done that project?” Last night, I was in one of these situations and shortly after a thought dawned on me. Why do I compare what I am doing at home to what a school is doing? A school teacher would not come into my home and say, “Wow! We don’t have what you have at our school. Their siblings are missing in action. Mom is not around all day. We can not provide continual individualized instruction, etc…” Schools and homes are set up very differently. Of course our homes will not look like schools. Each institution serves different purposes and things are done differently, and that is OKAY!

If you are homeschooling and comparing yourself to what the schools are doing, ask yourself these questions:

*Am I doing what God wants OUR family to do?

*Are my children learning and excelling?

*Do we spend our time on worthwhile activities?

*Are my children learning how to get along with and serve their siblings?

*Am I tending to my children’s character each day?

Be encouraged! Don’t look at what the schools are doing or even what the homeschooler next to you is doing. Look at your own homeschool, your own family life, and discern what GOD wants for YOUR family.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

If You Give a Mom a Muffin

I found this posted on another blog somewhere. Enjoy! For those of you who aren’t familiar with the books, it’s a play off If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (and similar).

If you give a mom a muffin,
She'll want a cup of coffee to go with it.
She'll pour herself some.
Her three-year-old will spill the coffee.
She'll wipe it up.
Wiping the floor, she'll find dirty socks.
She'll remember she has to do laundry.
When she puts the laundry in the washer,
She'll trip over boots and bump into the freezer.
Bumping into the freezer will remind her
she has to plan for supper.
She will get out a pound of hamburger.
She'll look for her cookbook
("101 Things To Do With a Pound of Hamburger").
The cookbook is setting under a pile of mail.
She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow.
She will look for her checkbook.
The check book is in her purse
that is being dumped out by her two-year-old.
She'll smell something funny.
She'll change the two-year-old's diaper.
While she is changing the diaper, the phone will ring.
Her five-year-old will answer and hang up.
She'll remember she wants to phone a friend for coffee.
Thinking of coffee will remind her
that she was going to have a cup.
And chances are... If she has a cup of coffee,
Her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

-author unknown

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Think Pink

IMG_3872Yep, that’s right! Start thinking pink because we found out today that Baby #4 is a GIRL!!

We have never found out the gender of our babies-in-womb before, but decided to go for it this time. There’s been so much going on in our lives, and unfortunately a lot of challenging/bad news. It was a blessing #1 to see our healthy baby in the womb on screen and #2 to find out the gender. Now, I can shop a bit and “focus” a little more on this Baby.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Happy Birthday, Cheryl!

P1020812 Today is my sister’s birthday. In honor of her and the “birthday” she had last year in giving her life to the Lord, I celebrate the goodness of the day. I pray for her, that she will continue to grow in the Lord and be strengthened each day. I thank God for her and her life. (Photo is from Cheryl’s baptism).

I love you, Cheryl.