Thursday, September 30, 2010

Abortion Survivor – A Must See!

This is an inspiring video from Gianna Jessen, an abortion survivor.  It speaks for itself and reminds us of the importance to pray for abortion to end.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

September Summary

September always seems to go by extremely fast!  It hosts the start of school, the start of extracurricular activities (like soccer and piano), four birthdays in our families (including my husband’s and my own), and much more!


The past few weeks have been even more tumultuous as Brian’s job has been extremely stressful.  His team has been dealing with many computer outages, and he is barely getting sleep.  I am trying to be a good helpmeet but find myself feeling well-spent and needy.  Nonetheless, we were able to get out for a date last weekend to celebrate my birthday, and it was very nice.  We went out to a Thai restaurant for dinner, came back to nurse the baby, and then went shopping together so we could buy my birthday presents.  It was a refreshing time.


Friday, September 24, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.   inspired by SouleMama


If you’d like to join in, leave a link to your photo with a comment or join in at SouleMama and leave a link here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Proud to Be a “Loser”

This week, I discovered that I am not “Cool”.  Actually I am a real “Loser”!  That’s what the Hotpockets’  crisping sleeves told me!  See for yourself!


Yep, that’s right… I’m just one of those old-fashioned, not “with the times” kind of person.  I *do* have a dining room and believe that it *should* be used, not just to collect dust or display fancy dishes, but for the purpose of serving healthy, homemade, tantalizing dishes to hungry members of my home and others as we connect through discussions about our days and our dreams.  The coupling of food and love is some of the best medicine around!  It sure beats the coolness of carrying around a Hotpocket in a crisping sleeve!

I guess I am just a “loser”, as the wrapper says.  I like to “stay put” to eat my food.  I don’t like to eat “on the go” unless I absolutely have to do that!  Eating on the go pales in comparison to eating a nice, hot, tasty meal in my own home or someone else’s.  Hmmm… let’s see… tough choice… enjoy a lovely meal with family and friends in a cozy spot that has been built up with affection or sit in my car or some other awkward place, scarfing food in a hurried manner.  Yep, I’ll be a part of the loser club any day!

Here’s a toast to all the homemakers out there who have joined the “uncool, loser” club with me!  Cheers!  Our meals may not be hip, but they are geared to win hearts!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Flexi Clip Giveaway

I ran across this giveaway, and the hair jewelry is not only very pretty but appears to be very practical as well – especially since I wear my hair up A LOT lately!

Check out the giveaway here…

Tostadas and Strawberry Lemonade

I made these tostadas last week, actually on Brian’s birthday, and they were a hit!  Yummy black bean puree topped with chicken and cheese, broiled a bit and then slathered with fresh avocado salsa, lettuce,  and sour cream.  YUM YUM!!!


We paired these DELICIOUS tostadas with some SWEET AND SAVORY (as Paula Deen would say) strawberry lemonade.  I forgot to take a picture of it in the pitcher, but I think this photo gives you a clue as to how it turned out.  :-)


Soft Black Bean Tostadas

Recipe credit

Yield:  4 servings (serving size: 1 tostada)

1/2 cup chopped peeled avocado
1/2 cup chopped seeded tomato
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1 cup shredded roasted skinless, boneless chicken breast
3/4 cup (3 ounces) preshredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

Preheat broiler.

To prepare salsa, combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Toss gently, and set aside.

Combine 2 tablespoons water, lime juice, cumin, salt, ground red pepper, and black beans in a blender; process until smooth.

Place tortillas on a baking sheet, and spread about 1/4 cup black bean mixture evenly over each tortilla. Top each evenly with 1/4 cup chicken and 3 tablespoons cheese. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts and tortilla edges are just beginning to brown.

Top each tortilla with 1/4 cup lettuce, 1/4 cup salsa, and 2 tablespoons sour cream. Cut each tortilla into 4 wedges.

Fresh Strawberry Lemonade

from “My Kitchen Cafe

*Makes about 8 cups of juice

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 5-8 lemons)
1 cup sugar
2 cups sliced, fresh strawberries

Combine the lemon juice and sugar in a blender and blend for about 30 seconds to combine. Add the strawberries and puree or pulse until the strawberries are at the desired chunkiness.  Blend to your own preference!

Pour the lemon/strawberry mixture into a pitcher and add 4 cups of cold water. Mix well and serve chilled.


Friday, September 17, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.   inspired by SouleMama


If you’d like to join in, leave a link to your photo with a comment or join in at SouleMama and leave a link here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, Honey!


Today is my husband’s birthday!  I celebrate him and all that he is!  God has truly blessed me with his companionship! 

Brian is a wonderful man, one of the best men on earth!  He is a great provider, a super duper dad, gracious, wise, ever-loving, faithful, hard-working, and all around great.

Brian, I wish you a wonderful, HAPPY birthday today!  May God’s richest blessings always be yours. 

I love you!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Sticks


I made these Cookie Sticks for dessert tonight.  One thing that is great about this recipe is that you don’t have to soften any butter to make them.  The recipe actually calls for canola oil instead.  Everyone enjoyed them thoroughly!  They were a bit difficult to cut into the strips with the gooey chocolate chips on top.  HOWEVER, isn’t that when chocolate chip cookies are best – when they are warm and gooey?!  I saved half the batch for tomorrow to see how they will taste once they are completely cooled.  I imagine they will be splendid!  Enjoy!

Cookie Sticks
*recipe taken from “Amanda’s Cookin”.  She’s got great process photos on there if you are interested.

adapted from Taste of Home

1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
In a large bowl, combine the oil, sugars, egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to sugar mixture and mix well. Divide dough in half.

On a greased baking sheet, shape each portion into a 15-in. x 3-in. rectangle about 3 in. apart.

Sprinkle chocolate chips over dough; press lightly.

Bake at 375° for 6-7 minutes. (Bake for 8-9 minutes for crispier cookies.) Cool for 5 minutes.

Use a pizza cutter to cut each section into 4 large pieces to make them easy to transfer to cooling racks

Use a serrated knife to cut the cooled sections into 1-in. strips.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Why I Love Blog World

Some people just don’t understand…

“Why would you want to write your thoughts on a web site for people to read?”

“Why do you want to read other people’s thoughts or know about other people’s families, possibly even people you don’t even know in person?”

“Why, just why, would you want to spend your time that way?”

Well, I’ll tell you why…. Blogging is therapy!  Getting out some of those thousands of words and thoughts are important for some of us women, especially those of us who feel like we were born to write, or at least born to think a lot! 

After a day like today, one filled with

  • Dirty, stained undies from children who are too “busy” to go to the bathroom
  • An entire pan of freshly made brownies spilled on the floor as they were cooling
  • A two month old baby who cried often and didn’t want to nurse on one side at times
  • A continual reminder that things just aren’t going well in certain aspects of our home
  • Multiple laundry baskets, an attempt to meal plan, and a scornful scope of the finances, ETC…

Yes, after a day like today, I am glad to sit down with my Chocolate Moose Tracks ice cream and write.  Therein I find a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.

And then, when I am done writing, I am glad to peruse blog world and gain words of life and encouragement… words that will strengthen my heart and tell me to press on… words and pictures that will remind me that there *IS* joy in the world and God is truly there in the midst of His people.

That, my friends, is the beauty of blog world.  Enjoy!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy 60th Birthday, Dad!

This past weekend we celebrated my dad’s 60th birthday, which was actually a couple weeks ago.  My parents and nephew spent the night on Friday night.  We had a lot of fun playing with the gift we got Dad – a crokinole board. 



When my sister and niece came on Saturday, we enjoyed a BBQ steak lunch, played some more crokinole and Blongo Ball and also took a group family photo shoot.  We were happy to celebrate this special occasion with my dad.


We love you so much, Dad and Papa!


Friday, September 3, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.   inspired by SouleMama

If you’d like to join in, leave a link to your photo with a comment or join in at SouleMama and leave a link here.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Making History!

Yes, that’s right folks… I made history last week when I FINALLY decided what I was going to use for History this year in our homeschool… well, at least what I am going to start using for now to see how things go.  Much ado has gone into making this decision!  After all, there is so much to choose from…  Should I continue the chronological approach?  Do I want to use a textbook or “living books” or both?  Which curriculum seems most appealing?  Etc…



We will use this book, The Story of the Romans, by Helene Adeline Guerber (written originally in the late 1800s) as our “spine book” for my son’s 5th grade history.  A spine book is basically a book that ties everything together and enables you to expand as much as you want.  For more on that, see here.  My son will narrate to me, either orally or written, what he learns through the stories he hears from me.  In addition, we will try to get books from the library (or buy some) that enable him to study certain topics and people further. 

Last year we studied Creation to the Greeks, mainly, through The Mystery of History.  There were plusses and minuses to the program.  I felt overall that we needed something that was more cohesive.  My brain (and my son’s brain) didn’t work so well studying an Israel prophet one day, someone from Greece the next, and a little Roman history the next.  I am excited about our studies this year on the Romans!

For my younger two who are in 1st and 2nd grade, I am planning to give an overview of American History with this book from Christian Liberty Press.  I am also hoping to teach all of the children the National Anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance, and other important national/historical details that come to mind.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Creation Book Giveaway

“Like a Warm Cup of Coffee” is giving away four copies of this creation-based, children’s book.  Check it out…

The giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on Thursday (Sept. 2).