Thursday, April 30, 2009

$25 Amazon GIVEAWAY!!

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.



~ This giveaway is now closed ~

When I started this blog a year and a half ago, who would have thought I'd have enough to publish 500 posts?

{Those of you snickering and thinking that I always have something to say can just be quiet now...and you know who you are...Christin}

But having reached a monumental blogging occasion, I'm thinking that this calls for a GIVEAWAY!! To celebrate, one of my lucky readers/commenters will win a $25 gift certificate to Amazon.

How's that sound to you all?

There are several different ways to enter this giveaway {and several ways to get some extra entries!}. You have the chance to enter up to five times!

Are you ready??

Here are the ways to enter:
  1. Leave a comment on this post ~ 1 entry.
  2. Subscribe to my blog using the lovely RSS feed on the side or become a follower. Once you become a follower or subscriber {or if you already are}, leave me another comment letting me know ~ 1 additional entry.
  3. Let me know a few of your favorite posts. If you are new to my blog, I'd recommend clicking on the label 'Zachary' on the sidebar. There's tons of material there. :) You can leave up to THREE additional comments on this giveaway post telling me the titles of your favorites. Leave one comment for each of your favorites ~ up to 3 entries.
As always, be sure to leave a way to contact you. If you don't have a blogger account, you can include your email address or blog site in your comment(s). This giveaway will run until next Tuesday, May 5th at 8pm EST. I will randomly draw a winner from the comments left on this post and announce the winner on Wednesday, May 6th.

Thanks so much for being a reader of my blog!!




p.s. Be sure to check out Heavenly Homemakers giveaway carnival this week!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Emergency Binder: Medical Information Sheet

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

The is a medical information sheet for our Emergency Binder. It can be used for any family member (just print off as many copies as you need ~ I like to do front/back copies too) and fill in all the information that applies to each family member. The medical information sheet includes space for primary doctor information, allergies, immunizations, diseases, surgeries, pharmacy information, medications, insurance companies, and more.

Click on graphic to print

What is an Emergency Binder? Simply put, it's a binder that stores all the important information in one central place so it can be grabbed quickly in any emergency {i.e. fire, flood, accident, etc...}. Something to flip through and have everything handy that might be needed: life insurance contact information, bank contacts, monthly bills/addresses, work information, etc...all organized and put together to help save time in the event of an emergency.

The information you choose to keep track of is entirely up to you ~ if you don't feel it's safe/essential to keep track of certain things, just leave that area blank. There are also blank areas provided to keep track of other important information that might not be on forms. These were created and are relevant for our family, so it might not all apply to your family.

If this is the first you are reading of my Emergency Binder documents, you can find any other ones that I've currently posted here ~ but stay tuned, there are more coming in the upcoming weeks too!

Just wanted to pass along a little something that is Working for Me! Hope it helps you out!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Bone Scientist

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Zachary plopped himself down on the couch next to me and proclaimed, "I am a bone scientist. I know all there is to know about bones. Yep."

Really.

So I asked him to tell me what he knew about bones.

"Well, sometimes they break. Like when you hit something really hard, they can break like that."

Ok.

"Like when Oma went over a speed bump. Her arm broke off."

{This would be about the point that I had to hide my face from laughing because the look on his face was ever-so-serious}. Just so you don't think Zachary's gone and completely fallen off the deep end, I will tell you all that my mom was born with only half of her left arm. Something that we are all so unaware of at times because ~ well, it's just always been like that. And sometimes that means we forget how others see it ~ grins}.

"Sweetie, Oma was born like that. Her arm didn't break off by going over a speed bump."

We later figured out how his little mind came up with the speed bump idea though.

A few years ago my mom was walking in a parking lot and 'tripped' over a speed bump and fell onto her left arm, breaking the elbow part of the arm. She ended up having some serious problems because of it and was taken to the ER.

The humorous part of that was the scene at the emergency room that day. When she walked in bleeding horribly, with the lower half of her arm missing ~ can you guess who didn't have to sit in the waiting room for long at all? As miserable as that day was for my mom, she still laughs at the reactions and prompt attention she received.

And apparently Zachary does listen and pick up on the little things - because Oma's arm did break (just not off) when she went over a speed bump.

Silly us.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Fit for a Cat

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Tuna is not something that I generally cook with. As best as I can remember, I don't think that I've ever served anything containing tuna to the kiddos in the 4 and under category.

I really dislike it that much.

Not so much the tuna, but the smell of the tuna {and the thought of it right now is making me ill}. Of course, it could be because I actually can smell it at the moment since I caved and used it in a meal tonight.

Amazingly, it was going over pretty well with the kids. Mainly because I didn't tell them what was in the meal {'cause I'm smart like that}. Just served it and tempted them with the thought of pudding for dessert.

After Laurianna was finished with her own food, she let everyone know the TRUE ingredients ~ a.k.a. tuna was involved.

"TUNA???" McKenna immediately dropped her fork. "YUCK! Tuna is for CATS!!"

And right now, because of the smell in my house...I would have to agree with the girl.

The neighborhood cats might just have a little smorgasbord tonight.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

On My Nightstand: April Week 4

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

I was wrong. I thought I had the last book in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series - but there is still one more left. {insert a lovely grin here}. I did read The Miracle at Speedy Motors this last week {and loved it!!}. I really do with that I could see the BBC series based on the books or at least watch it on HBO, but maybe someday it will air on PBS for those of us without the cable packages. Sigh.

I did tackle more fiction this week ~ and I have so much swimming in my head right now from reading a few more chapters in Finding Favor with the King. I know I've said it before, but let me say it again...

If you haven't read Finding Favor by Tommy Tenney, do yourself a favor and buy it. Request it from paperbackswap.com - whatever. That book has some amazing nuggets and my copy is so covered in ink it's pitiful.

I hope to soon post about the things that are impacting me from the book, but if you want to know more about how to touch the heart of God and what worship entails, this is a GREAT book to read.

I also read a few more chapters in The Mentoring Mom and am happy to report that I am almost finished with the book. Just in time too!! I should be receiving a copy of Jackie Kendall's newest book to review soon ~ and can't wait!!
  • The Mentoring Mom: 11 Ways to Model Christ for Your Child - Jackie Kendall
  • Finding Favor with the King: Daily Inspirations- Tenney
  • Finding Favor with the King - Tenney
  • Grace Based Parenting - Dr. Tim Kimmel
Did you notice that? NOT ONE FICTION BOOK for the next week ~ there will be fiction people in the next month...but I'm going to finish a non-fiction book.

Believe it when you read it. :)

I was just looking back at my stack from this past month and find it amazing that I read 11 fiction books this month. I have a few books in mind for the future and on order from the library for this coming month too: the last book in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and another book that I recently read about from Kaye Dacus.

Be sure to stop by and visit 5 Minutes for Books and their monthly meme called "What's on Your Nightstand?" and also the Saturday Review.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Carrot Cake for Everyone!

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.



This is the cake that my dad and Laurianna both wanted for their birthdays last year. Which meant that when Rick's birthday rolled around two weeks later, I was all carrot-caked out. Because three carrot cakes in less than a month seemed a bit much to me.

But after making it again this week for my Dad's birthday, I should have just caved and made it. Because it really is one of the best carrot cakes ~ along with wonderful lick-the-bowl-clean cream cheese icing.

Best-Ever Carrot Cake

Cake Ingredients:

~ 2 cups flour (I use whole wheat)
~ 2 tsp. baking soda
~ 1/2 tsp. salt
~ 2 tsp cinnamon
~ 3 eggs
~ 2 cups sugar
~ 3/4 cup oil
~ 3/4 buttermilk
~ 2 tsp. vanilla extract
~ 2 cups grated carrot
~ 8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
~ 4 oz. flaked coconut
~ 1 cup chopped pecans

1. Mix flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together.

2. Beat eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk and vanilla together until smooth. Add in flour mixture, beating until blended.

3. Stir in carrot, pineapple, coconut and pecans.

4. Pour batter into three 9 inch round pans {greased and lined with wax paper}.

5. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or til toothpick comes out clean.

6. Prepare buttermilk glaze below to drizzle over cake layers when baked.

7. Cool cakes in pan for 10-15 minutes and then remove from pans. Cool with glazed side up on wire racks.

8. Frost with Cream Cheese Icing {see recipe below}.

Buttermilk Glaze

~ 1 cup sugar
~ 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
~ 1/2 cup buttermilk
~ 1/2 cup butter
~ 1 tbsp. light corn syrup
~ 1 tsp vanilla

Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil over medium heat. Boil 4 minutes, stirring constantly until glaze is golden. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla. Cool slightly.

Drizzle over warm cake layers.

Cream Cheese Icing

Icing Ingredients:

~ 11 oz. of cream cheese, softened
~ 3/4 cup butter, softened
~ 16 oz. powdered sugar
~ 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Beat cream cheese and butter together at medium speed until smooth.

2. Gradually add powdered sugar at a low speed until icing is light and fluffy.

3. Stir in vanilla.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dear Baby Weight

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

I know that truly I can't call you 'baby' anymore. Or for that matter blame it on a baby since it has been well over two years since the last one made his appearance into our house.

Unfortunately for me, you decided to stick around and if the truth be known, you've frankly overstayed your welcome.

Somehow though I don't have the heart to kick you out. It might not be so much that I'm unwilling ~ truthfully, it's more that I'm too exhausted to think about it and boils down to me just being plain old L.A.Z.Y.

I need to tell you, even though I have kept you around, you really aren't that fun to be with and with you around there is a general feeling of 'yuckiness' surrounding me. I would be more than happy to issue you a 'vacate the premises immediately' but don't think you are going to go without a fight.

I'm guessing you think you have rights of your own:

~ Rights to all the excess and hidden Easter candy.
~ Rights to finishing up whatever happens to be around {and believe me, with four kids I know there can be a lot at times}.
~ Rights to hang out and see how much fun it is when I don't fit into those summer clothes. Again.

Please consider this your formal written eviction notice and know that I sincerely wish you the best elsewhere. Far, far away from me and my body.

I know that separation can be difficult, but I really think it would be best if we don't visit each other any more. Please don't try to convince me otherwise and above all, don't bring any of your little friends by to visit me either.

Let's just make a clean break of it and be done. This is probably the best for all involved {especially me}.

Thanks so much for understanding,

Your {un}willing Host for the past 2ish years or so

Emergency Binder: Family Information Sheet

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

The Family Information Sheet is another document for our Emergency Binder. It can be used for any family member (just print off as many copies as you need ~ I like to do front/back copies too) and fill in all the information that applies to each family member.


Click on graphic to print

What is an Emergency Binder? Simply put, it's a binder that stores all the important information in one central place so it can be grabbed quickly in any emergency {i.e. fire, flood, accident, etc...}. Something to flip through and have everything handy that might be needed: life insurance contact information, bank contacts, monthly bills/addresses, work information, etc...all organized and put together to help save time in the event of an emergency.

The information you choose to keep track of is entirely up to you ~ if you don't feel it's safe/essential to keep track of certain things, just leave that area blank. There are also blank areas provided to keep track of other important information that might not be on forms. These were created and are relevant for our family, so it might not all apply to your family.

If this is the first you are reading of my Emergency Binder documents, you can find any other ones that I've currently posted here ~ but stay tuned, there are more coming in the upcoming weeks too!

Just wanted to pass along a little something that is Working for Me! Hope it helps you out!

Town Hall for Hope ~ April 23rd @ 8PM

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.



Mark your calendar for April 23 at 8:00 p.m. EDT! We are holding an exciting one-time national event called Town Hall for Hope, and you're invited!

We all know that the economy is causing a lot of fear among Americans. It's time for our nation to come together to find hope for the future—and that's exactly what Town Hall for Hope is all about.

At this free, 90-minute event, Dave will address the nation live with straight talk about what's really going on with the economy. He will discuss the history of the economy, real stats, and steps to take toward hope! Plus, he will answer questions from all around the country.

You do not want to miss this historic event! It's shaping up to be one of the most-viewed webcasts in history. Over 6,000 host locations across the U.S. will be broadcasting the live feed on Thursday, April 23, at 8:00 p.m. EDT (West Coast delay—7:00 p.m. PT). The event is completely free for anyone to attend. Search for a host location nearest you on our site using the zip code tool.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

If Receipts Could Talk

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

I went shopping with just Kaleb the other day {a small miracle in itself}. Turns out shopping CAN be semi-enjoyable at times. :)

To keep him occupied, I usually hand him the store receipt to play with after we've checked out. Today he was looking closely at the numbers and inspecting it so I asked him, "What does it say?"

I then continued to put groceries in the cart, wallet back in my purse and when I turned back around he was holding the receipt up to his ear and was concentrating so hard....

Then he held it up to me with a puzzled look and said, "It say nuffin!"


Monday, April 20, 2009

The T-Rex Meets Polly

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

It's all about playing fair in toyland.

The girls have had their fun dressing Zachary up as a princess and parading him around the house, so it was about time that the tables were turned. And in all truth, it's amazing that Polly Pocket wasn't introduced to more of the boy's toys earlier.

Or should I say ingested by more of the boy's toys.

Little Polly was playing innocently enough when a pterodactyl swooped in for an early dinner.



Fortunately, one of her friends was around to rescue her and had some rope handy to tie the pterodactyl up.



Unbeknownst to her, the T-Rex was lurking ~ waiting for the perfect moment.



Poor Polly. She should have stayed around the leafeaters.



Saturday, April 18, 2009

On My Nightstand: April Week 3

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

What's On Your Nightstand

This week I really wanted to read The Daisy Chain because I had heard such great reviews. If you are looking for a book to drag you over some emotional coals, this is a great book to do it.

I really enjoyed the book, but it is definitely one of those books that takes so much of what you think you know, twists it up into a little wad and makes you rethink so much. The book didn't quite 'end' ~ wouldn't you know it's part of a series. :)

The Twilight series is officially over. I finished the last book early this week (yes, I loved them) ~ and while I wish there were more, I'm thankful at this point that I'm done! Crossed off my list and moving on!

This week I am going to finish up the last book in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series and actually sit down and finish one of my non-fiction books (full comprehension or not). I think it will be a lot easier for me to get the overall picture and a few ideas at this point and then go back to re-read it at a slower pace and comprehend more...Grace Based Parenting is the one I think I'm going to fully tackle, so wish me luck!
  • The Mentoring Mom: 11 Ways to Model Christ for Your Child - Jackie Kendall
  • Finding Favor with the King: Daily Inspirations- Tenney
  • Finding Favor with the King - Tenney
  • Grace Based Parenting - Dr. Tim Kimmel
  • The Miracle at Speedy Motors - Alexander McCall Smith

Be sure to stop by and visit 5 Minutes for Books and their monthly meme called "What's on Your Nightstand?".


Friday, April 17, 2009

Delicious Chicken Pot Pie

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

I have always loved chicken pot pie. There is just something so....comforting about it. I love the fact that you can mound lots of vegetables into it and smother it all in a yummy cream sauce. This recipe has gone over very well with our family and it also makes 2 pies, so you can freeze one for later {and who doesn't love that!}.

It seems like a lot of work, but really it isn't so bad ~ especially because the end result is wonderful!



Ingredients: {remember, this makes two pies}

~ 2 cups peeled diced potatoes
~ 2 cups sliced carrots
~ 2/3 cup chopped onion (I use diced frozen onion)
~ 1 cup butter
~ 1 cup flour
~ 1 1/2 tsp salt
~ 1 tsp thyme
~ 3/4 tsp pepper
~ 3 cups chicken broth
~ 1 1/2 cups milk
~ 4 cups cubed cooked chicken
~ 1 cup frozen peas
~ 1 cup frozen corn
~ pastry for two double pie crusts (9 inch)

Directions:

1. Place potatoes and carrots in a large pot; cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes or til crisp/tender. Drain and set aside.

2. In large skillet, saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in the flour, salt, thyme and pepper until blended. Gradually whisk in milk and broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened {be careful not to singe the milk}.

3. Add chicken, peas, corn, potatoes, and carrots to the cream mixture. Remove from the heat.

4. Line one pie plate with the bottom pie pastry; fill with half of the chicken pie filling. Place extra pastry over filling; trim and seal.

5. Bake one potpie {place on a cookie sheet} at 425 for 35-40 minutes or til crust is lightly browned. Let stand for 15 to thicken before cutting.

6. Prepare extra pie for freezing. You can either put it together as a pie or put the extra filling into a gallon ziploc bag and freeze premade rolled pastry with it to pull out when you would like to make it {I usually do the ziploc bag since it takes up less room in the freezer and I can thaw it during the day to cook later}.

To bake a fully frozen chicken pot pie: Cover the pie edges with foil; place on a baking sheet and bake at 425 for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake 70-80 minutes longer til crust is golden brown.



Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Emergency Binder: Emergency Plan

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Before we left on vacation {with no kids}, I had a sudden panic. What if something happened to us? Would my parents know who to call? Would they have the information they needed if we were unreachable? I left all the information I could think of, but decided it was time to pull more together and get prepared.

Rick and I had been talking about putting together a notebook to grab in an emergency. Something central that we could flip through and have everything handy that we needed to know. That way if something happened to one of us, we would have life insurance contact information, bank contacts, monthly bills/addresses, etc...all in one central location.


Click on graphic to print

I'm in the process of putting together a bunch of printables for myself and thought you all might like to work through the documents along with me. I'm planning to do one a week (a do-able project time-wise for me to fill out) and when I'm done, I'll have a great 'Emergency Binder' at my fingertips.

In the upcoming weeks I'll be putting together documents that include the following: family information, medical information, insurance, banking/financial, legal/wills, general forms. Feel free to follow me or subscribe to the site so you can get the rest of the documents for your own binder!

Just wanted to pass along a little something that is Working for Me! Hope it helps you out!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Everyday Food Storage

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Some friends and I have been looking into food storage ideas and figuring out our own little plans. Today I came across this contest from Everyday Food Storage (a site that I am still digging through the resources of!!).



Crystal has a new book called I Can't Believe It's Food Storage that will be released on the 15th (tomorrow!). She is also giving away a few free copies of her book on her website ~ be sure hop over to her site and check out all the ideas and resources she has available!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Manuals Should Come Standard

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

I know this isn't a new concept. But I am of the firm belief that there should be some sort of specific instruction manual to deal with 4-year-olds.

Ok. Really any-year-olds.

You know why too. Because I'm sure that in your experience as a parent you have had multiple moments that you can look back and groan, wince, or just cry because of things your children have done. Or said.

And you were too numb with shock to know how to handle it quickly and effectively.

That would be the time that it would be nice to whip out THE MANUAL, flip to page 327 and read how you as a parent can run damage control on the situation.

IMMEDIATELY.

Without feeling the need to find a large, gaping hole in the ground to swallow you whole.

There are instances when I try to steer clear of impending danger ~ when I can forsee something that might possibly turn into an embarrassing situation. Then there are times when I am completely broadsided and can only grasp frantically for something, anything, to cover the faux pas of my children.

Not making the situation worse {because I'm famous for that too}.

Like when you child states an something completely obvious to everyone, but something that you just don't talk about or say...still they are just wondering.

OUT LOUD. For all the world to hear.

Because how in the world am I supposed to react when my child blurts out: "Why are your teeth all rotten and brown?"

Do you know what page in THE MANUAL that is covered?


I'm Not Partial or Anything

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

We survived Easter pictures without one major meltdown.

From the parents even.

AND we managed to get a great picture of all of our children. You know - the one where they all look at the camera at the same time. We did have to resort to having Rick be completely goofy behind me to accomplish it ~ but it is done!!



Of course, I happen to think I have some fairly photogenic and super~cute kids too! {Feel free to agree with me...}



Align Center





Now off to make some prints and update the pictures around the house!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The TP Tube Train

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.



If you don't read my homeschool blog and think the above train is cute {and trust me, it is}, you can read about how to make one with your kiddos by clicking here.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

More than Colored Eggs

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Just a little clip for you today...



Friday, April 10, 2009

On My Nightstand: April Week 2

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

What's On Your Nightstand

The library called and Rick was gone on a business trip.

That's really the only excuse I have for reading a 650 page book this week ~ the third book in the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyers. I (sadly) read the book in 5 hours and on Thursday picked up the last book, Breaking Dawn, to read.

The series has sadly sucked me in.

Having the chance to read on vacation and remember how much I really enjoy it has been good...but bad. :) I want to keep reading, but my body can't keep up with the late nights. I still have several books piling up on my nightstand though:
  • The Mentoring Mom: 11 Ways to Model Christ for Your Child - Jackie Kendall
  • Finding Favor with the King: Daily Inspirations- Tenney
  • Finding Favor with the King - Tenney
  • Grace Based Parenting - Dr. Tim Kimmel
  • Breaking Dawn - Stephanie Meyers
  • The Daisy Chain - Mary DeMuth
  • The Miracle at Speedy Motors - Alexander McCall Smith

If you have any other great suggestions, let me know!! My fiction list is dwindling.... *grins*

Be sure to stop by and visit 5 Minutes for Books and their monthly meme called "What's on Your Nightstand?".


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bubblegum Flavoring Makes it All Better

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Yesterday morning we discovered something new about McKenna. She's apparently developed an allergy to amoxicillin. We can now add her name (along with Kaleb's) to the list. She's never had any adverse reactions before, but I think today she pretty well proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that she can't touch the stuff anymore.

It all started out innocently enough with just a few little spots yesterday and we thought we were in the clear until she woke up this morning looking ever-so-pitiful.

And being the camera-happy mother that I am (and to send some pictures to Daddy who is away on another business trip), I made the poor child stand and pose for me (and all the world) to see. Sadly, as today progressed, her face only became more red ~ although the swelling did go down quite a bit.

Then there are her poor little legs. This morning she didn't want to walk around the house because the rash is even on the bottom of her feet and it hurt her.



Tonight after she talked to Daddy on the phone I found her writing notebook on the couch and was flipping through it. Today was noteworthy enough to journal about:
My medisin I'm takinge taste like bublegum. I like it a lot it is delishes. I'm going to have some tonite. I was talking to Daddy on the phon and I told him my medisin taste like bublegum. he said cool. I said thank you he said your welcome and then I told him I love you and goodby and gave the phon to Laurianna.
The shot she had to get must have been too traumatic to mention and she's created a mental block on that one.

But it's all ok ~ the medicine tastes like bubblegum.


 

Blog Design by: Relevant Designs