Wednesday, June 30, 2010

4th of July Celebrities

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Last year we made some fun 4th of July hats and ‘sparklers’ to celebrate the holiday. On parade day we sat front and center {waiting for the candy that would be thrown around} and caught the eye of a newspaper photographer.

The kids looked patriotic enough to land in the paper last year with a big ol’ picture and again this year {and really, who can blame the paper ~ they are pretty cute!}. I even managed to squeak into the corner of one of the pictures.

The kids are thrilled, of course, and willing to autograph your paper if you so desire.

4th picture Now I’m on a hunt to come up with some more ideas that will top our crafts from last year.

Any ideas?

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Technical Glitch…

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Thanks so much to Ashley today for letting me know that my email subscription box wasn’t working! If you’ve tried to subscribe by email and have been unable to do it, I apologize. :)

The gadget has been fixed and should be set to go now!

 

 

 

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What is a Bobcat?

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McKenna brought me a magazine the other day, pointed to the picture of an animal on the cover and asked me what it was.

I looked at it and said, “I think it’s a bobcat.”

She looked at me funny {in all seriousness} and said, “Mom, that is not a bulldozer.”

It took me a bit to get what in the WORLD she was talking about {especially since a friend who was visiting immediately started laughing and caught on right away}.

This is the Bobcat she was thinking of…

image Head on over to Mary's at Not Before 7 for some more Tiny Talk Tuesday!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Menu Plan Monday {6.26.2010}

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Menu Plan Monday

Last week I somehow completely managed to forget that my husband would be out of town all week on a business trip.

Forgot to write THAT in my planner. {oops}.

Because I’m a sweet wife {and because we had a lot of leftovers otherwise}, I didn’t make the Pulled Pork BBQ sandwiches and decided to have those this week instead.

Monday

Tuesday

  • Breakfast ~ Baked oatmeal
  • Dinner ~  Zippy Beef Skillet w/salad from garden
Wednesday Thursday
  • Breakfast ~ Whole wheat pancakes
  • Dinner ~  Leftovers
Friday
  • Breakfast ~ Cereal
  • Dinner ~ Homemade pizza
Saturday
  • Breakfast ~ Scrambled eggs, bacon & toast
  • Dinner ~ Indonesian Pork {if the weather cooperates}; opt ~ quiche
Sunday
  • Breakfast ~ Monkey bread
  • Dinner ~ Popcorn & smoothies

As Always: A double batch of homemade granola bars for kids. I’ve linked to any recipes that I’ve already posted. That’s it for the week ~ what on your menu? 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sponge Toss Game

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Now I can't take credit for this game - just the "me-ified" version. I saw this game in Family Fun magazine and despite the fact that we don't have a full-size pool, I adapted it to work in our little kiddie pool. The kids LOVED it! And really, in the middle of the hot summer, when the kids are hot and cranky, one hour of squealing, laughing kids makes it so worth it. The Family Fun version needs:

  • 3 pool noodles - shaped into a ring using duct tape
  • 3 (or more) plastic plates/bowls
  • Sharpie
  • Sponges, cut into pieces
  • A large pool
My version needs:
  • Sponges, cut into squares (we used a different color for each child
  • Plastic/foam bowls or plates - you can only fit so many in a pool
  • A Sharpie
  • A kiddie pool

Write different numbers in the bottoms of the bowls (1-5) assigning "points" to each bowl. Once the pool is filled, float the bowls/plates in the pool and let the kids take turns tossing the sponges into the bowls, earning points. The kiddo with the most points wins.

This game lasted for about 10 minutes and then it turned into several different things for the kids. Zachary had a great time trying to toss the sponges in and identify the numbers. McKenna and Laurianna were trying to add and skip count as they tossed theirs in. Kaleb just kept trying to grab everything or throw anything else into the pool.

  Then the kids figured out that the wet sponges make some lovely wet shapes.

On Mommy.

So we spent about twenty minutes with Mommy being chased around the yard screaming and soaking wet, until the hose came out in my defense and then the screaming was reversed. I tell ya' - it's quick, painless and pretty cheap when it comes down to it. And you can't beat that!

 

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Note: This post was originally published in July 2008.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cooking With Kids ~ Fun Recipes

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You may {or may not} know that I also write for Totally Tots, a blog focused toward parents of tots. Every other week I do a feature there called Little Books for Little Cooks where I share fun recipes to make with kids and a go-along book to read.

Here are a few of the recipes that have been our favorites over the last few months:

Peanut Butter Honey Bee Balls

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 Mini Flower Quiches

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Watermelon Hearts

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Dear Husband…

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I just wanted to let you know that I am showing incredible restraint…but it is soon to be pushed aside.

Being alone with 4 kids all day while you are gone on a business trip ~ and knowing that there is a rather LARGE bag of peanut M&M’s hidden {by you} in our closet, well…

Let’s just say that there is a very good chance that the bag might not be so large upon your return. Leaving chocolate in the vicinity of a semi-stressed out mom probably wasn’t the best idea.

Thought you should know.

{Hugs and kisses…}

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Half-Pint House Handmade

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Meghan at Half-Pint House is trying to raise money to attend the Relevant Conference in the fall ~ you know, the one that I’m planning to attend and have been going on and on about…

I ordered some zippy bags from her a few months ago ~ SUPER cute, especially since they are monogrammed with your initial! She is selling them to help raise fund for Relevant, but also has some other great items in her shop, Half-Pint House Handmade. You might just want to head over and check out what she has. Meghan updates on her blog, Half-Pint House.

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Spring Reading Thing ~ The Wrap-up

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My Spring Reading Thing list started out much shorter than it ended up actually being. Just a few days after I posted my list, some great books came up for me to review. How could I say no? {grins}

My final tally of books read ~ 13 fiction books and 1 non-fiction. Overall I’m happy with that since I read some great books this spring and still have a pile of books to keep my busy this summer!

Katrina had a few questions for us to answer and I chose one of them…aren’t you just waiting to know which one it is?

What was your favorite book that you read this spring?

My favorite book was actually a tie. I’ve been waiting for Ransome’s Crossing by Kaye Dacus and loved it!! It’s the second book in a historical romance trilogy set in 1814 England and the high seas {if you love Austen-era books, you’ll enjoy this series}.

Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs was the other one that I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s the first book in a more modern telling of the Ruth/Naomi story.

For both books I just need to wait patiently for the final book in the series {sigh}.

Least favorite? Why?

Hmmm…out of all of the books this season, probably Hunter’s Moon by Don Hoesel. It wasn’t really my favorite genre to begin with, and it took me quite a bit to actually get into it. While it was suspenseful, overall it just didn’t grab me.

The books that I’ve completed during this challenge are listed below…and I made a separate list of the ones that I didn’t complete…and had originally

Fiction {completed}

~ Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs ~ read my review

~ Ransome’s Crossing by Kaye Dacus ~ read my review

~ Ransome’s Honor by Kaye Dacus {the first book in the Ransome series}

~ Beguiled by Deanne Gist & J. Mark Bertrand ~ read by review

~ Menu for Romance  by Kaye Dacus

~ Not a Sparrow Falls  by Linda Nichols ~ read my review

~ Hunter’s Moon by Don Hoesel ~ read my review

~ Ransome’s Crossing & also Ransome’s Honor by Kaye Dacus

~ Forget Me Not by Vicki Hinze ~ read my review

~ Hearts Awakening by Delia Parr ~ read my review

~ Disaster Status ~ Candance Calvert ~ read my review 

~ Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Whitson ~ read my review

~ She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell ~ read my review

~ Ransomed Hearts by Sally John ~ read my review

 

Non-Fiction {completed}

~ Chronological Guide to the Bible from Thomas Nelson ~ read my review

 

Books I Didn’t Start…or Finish

~ Michal by Jill Eileen Smith ~ I started it…but it just didn’t hold my interest.

~ The Heart of Anger by Lou Priolo ~ started…but not finished.

~ The Bible ~ I did start reading through again, but didn’t get as far as I’d originally planned.

~ Eighth Shepherd / Ninth Witness / Tenth Stone by Bodie and Brock Thoene ~ never managed to borrow the books from my friend.

Spring Reading Thing 2010 is hosted by Katrina at Callapidder Days and ran from March 20th til June 20th. Katrina will be hosting the Fall Reading Challenge starting this September, so stay tuned for that!

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Menu Plan Monday {6.21.2010}

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Menu Plan Monday

Several of the recipes on this week’s menu are some of our favorites ~ and I can’t believe I’ve never posted the recipes before!! I searched through all of my recipes on the blog and couldn’t find them to link too…so this week I’ll be taking pictures and getting some recipes ready to post in the upcoming weeks.

Monday

  • Breakfast ~ Bagels
  • Onion Chicken & Rice ~ I will definitely have to share this yummy recipe soon!

Tuesday

  • Breakfast ~ Baked oatmeal
  • Dinner ~ Fettucine Alfredo w/ salad

Wednesday

Thursday 

  • Breakfast ~ Whole wheat pancakes
  • Dinner ~  Leftovers

Friday

  • Breakfast ~ Cereal
  • Dinner ~ Homemade pizza

Saturday

  • Breakfast ~ Scrambled eggs, bacon & toast
  • Dinner ~ Chicken BLT salad {hopefully we can grill the chicken!}

Sunday

  • Breakfast ~ Monkey bread
  • Dinner ~ Popcorn & smoothies

Additional: Make double batch of homemade granola bars for kids {and me!!} and of course, homemade whole wheat bread.  I’ve linked to any recipes that I’ve already posted. That’s it for the week ~ what on your menu?

 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ransome’s Crossing ~ Book Giveaway

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image Charlotte Ransome has been planning her passage from England to Jamaica to meet her secret fiancé.  Disguised as midshipman Charles Lott, she secures a position for herself aboard a fleet of boats commanded by her brother, William Ransome, that are traveling to Jamaica.

Before leaving England, Charlotte tried to ignore her growing feelings for Lieutenant Ned Cochrane, and thought she would be safe from her feelings. When the convoy of ships is attacked, Charlotte’s secret identity risks being exposed as she finds herself working much more closely with Ned than she originally planned. Will she arrive in Jamaica with her secret…and her heart…intact?

My Thoughts

I absolutely love books that are set in the 19th century era and Ransome’s Crossing by Kaye Dacus was no exception. To have the characters fresh in my mind, I re-read Ransome’s Honor, the first book in the trilogy a few days before the newest book arrived. Ransome’s Crossing picks up immediately where the first book finishes and is set on the seas between England and Jamaica ~ and the sailing is not always smooth.

Charlotte’s character is explored much more in depth in this novel, but the relationship between Julia and William also deepens {the main characters in the first novel}. Dacus does an amazing job describing everyday life on board a ship ~ making it very realistic to envision Charlotte in a place that no woman would truly want to be and how she could even cope in that position. The study and detail that Dacus put into knowing and understanding this historical era makes the story believable and one that I’ll be keeping on my shelf for years to come!

Find Out More

~ Visit Kaye’s website

~ Join Kaye’s Facebook page

~ Follow Kaye on Twitter

~ Buy Kaye’s book on Amazon

The Giveaway

Would you like to win a copy of Ransome’s Crossing? I have one copy to mail to one of my readers! Leave a comment on this post ~ be sure there is a way for me to contact you. The giveaway will be open until Saturday, June 26th at 8pm.

This book was provided for review by Harvest House. All opinions expressed in this review are solely my own.This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read my disclosure policy.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Summer Edition of Bible in 90 Days

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You all might remember that from January to March I participated in the Bible in 90 Days reading program ~ and finished up my reading at the end of March. It was the first time that I read through the Bible from cover to cover and truly was one of the best experiences!

Yes, it was a lot of reading, but so incredibly worth it!

Amy @ Mom’s Toolbox is hosting another Bible in 90 Days challenge, starting on July 5th. The challenge will run until October 2nd ~ and I am encouraging you all to join in.

Interested? You can find out more {a crash-course if you will} about the Bible in 90 Days on Amy’s blog. I’ll be a mentor this round and hopefully reading along again ~ hope you can join!

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sleeping Flexibly

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If only I could sleep this soundly and comfortably on the floor…

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Book Giveaway: Ransomed Hearts

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As the wife of a U. S. ambassador, Sheridan’s life was full and allowed her the ability to follow her dream of helping women living on the street make a new life for themselves. When her husband is almost assassinated, life takes an unexpected turn ~ changing everything about her comfortable and happy life.

Her husband is a shell of the man she loved…and she struggles with holding on to her marriage vows, questioning their life together. Information about her family’s past surfaces, bringing even more questions to her mind about her marriage. Will it be too late to save her marriage or is there a chance of regaining what she once had?

My Thoughts

While the issues that Sheridan is experiencing in her marriage to Eliot seem to have little to do with family events that happened over 30 years prior, it soon becomes clear that everything is linked together. Ransomed Dreams by Sally John is a story of hope, healing, forgiveness, and restoration that will pull you into the storyline and turning the pages until the very end.

~ Visit Sally John’s website

~ Buy Sally’s books at Amazon.

The Giveaway

Would you like to win a copy of Ransomed Dreams? I have one copy to mail to one of my readers! Leave a comment on this post ~ be sure there is a way for me to contact you. The giveaway will be open until Wednesday, June 23rd at 8pm.

This book was provided for review by Tyndale House. All opinions expressed in this review are solely my own. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read my disclosure policy.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Menu Plan Monday {6.14.2010}

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Menu Plan MondayLast week went so much more smoothly with the meal plan in place…although the week started out with a kink when I found out the potatoes I needed to make the Chicken Pot Pie had been accidentally thrown away. I decided to move that recipe to this week instead since I’d already cooked {and then froze} the chicken.

And yes…we do eat lunch. :) Generally, it’s just sandwiches and veggies with a smoothie. We’re boring and predictable like that.

Monday

  • Breakfast ~ Bagels
  • Chicken Pot Pie {make one, freeze one} ~ this was on the menu last week until I realized that the new bag of potatoes I bought were thrown out.

Tuesday

  • Breakfast ~ Baked oatmeal
  • Dinner ~ spaghetti & meatballs w/salad from our garden {making a double batch of meatballs}

Wednesday

  • Breakfast ~ Eggs & toast
  • Dinner ~ Meatball subs

Thursday 

  • Breakfast ~ Whole wheat pancakes
  • Dinner ~  Leftovers

Friday

  • Breakfast ~ Cereal
  • Dinner ~ Homemade pizza

Saturday

  • Breakfast ~ Scrambled eggs, bacon & toast
  • Dinner ~ Indonesian pork on the grill with veggies {I’ll be posting the recipe for this next week}

Sunday

  • Breakfast ~ Monkey bread
  • Dinner ~ Popcorn & smoothies

Additional: Make double batch of homemade granola bars for kids {and me!!}. I’ve linked to any recipes that I’ve already posted. That’s it for the week ~ what on your menu?

 

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A REAL Waterbed

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I saw this video on a friend’s Facebook page and had to share it with you. I can’t even imagine…but I laughed so very hard…

 
 

Friday, June 11, 2010

Things To Do This Summer…

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Since summer is just around the corner, I’m putting into writing a few of the things that I would REALLY like to do this summer.

Maybe SEEING them in print form for all the world to see will kick me into gear to actually accomplish a few of the things on my list.

1. Go camping. {deep breath in…deep breath out}. We’ve already taken the logical first step in this process and have a tent, sleeping bags and the bulk of the items necessary to do this. Now we just need to actually DO it. We tried a few weeks back to let the girls and Rick camp out in the backyard, and I’ll just say it was a rather dismal failure ~ and something that I’m not looking forward to repeating.

2. Read, read, read. When don’t I read, really? Summer is just the perfect time to sit on the deck or swing and let the kids play while I just relax a smidge. And while I have plenty that I would like to read, I have a stack of books that I also want to read aloud with the kids too.

3. Get my website caught up. I know, I know…it sounds like fun, doesn’t it? I have a bunch of stuff that I need to transfer over to my actual website, pages to create so that it is all working and right. Dead links drive me nuts, so it’s just one of those things I’d like to do.

4. Go to Canada. Our girls are spending a week at summer camp and I’m hoping that Rick and I can sneak away for a night or two and leave the boys with his family {ahem ~ hi, Mom and Dad if you are reading this. Want to spend some time with your grandsons?}.

5. Visit some family. We don’t spend nearly enough time with some of Rick’s family and fully intend to remedy that this summer.

6. Finish Kaleb’s 1st year scrapbook. The child will be 4 this fall..I should probably finish that up, eh?

7. Watch a few seasons of 24. Rick and I watched the first 2 seasons…and then we stopped watching. Now that I know the series is over and many of the seasons are available to watch instantly on Netflix…it’s time for a little catching up!

8. Clean the sides and underside of my table. Doesn’t this sound thrilling? I’m seriously mortified at the gunk that has adhered to the table thanks to sticky, nasty hands depositing food in various places. It’s a thrilling job, but somebody has to do it!

9. Organize the basement. This is a note for my dear husband. Please help! Otherwise, there may be a few things tossed to the curb and/or the Salvation Army that I will not be held responsible for discarding.

10. Make my laundry area pretty. This goes along with #9 ~ but the organizing has to come first.

11. Go for walks more often. Or bike rides. Either will do.

12. Have FUN with the kids and just relax!

Those are my plans for this summer. What do you want to do this summer?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell {Book Review}

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image Clara Carter had hoped to wait another year to make her social debut, but her aunt had other plans for Clara’s future ~ including presenting her to one of the season’s most eligible bachelors in hopes of a promising match. Clara would rather spend time with her tutor and focus on attending a college. She feels completely lost because she really hasn’t been educated on how to be a lady ~ focusing instead on her studies.

Galas, etiquette, and corsets abound until she just wants to hide from it all. Are appearances and society all that are important, or is there room for love amid the chaos of all the pretentions?

My Thoughts

I love period romances, especially when they give you insight and a deeper understanding of what it was truly like to live in a particular era of history. Siri Mitchell does an amazing job portraying life for a hopeful socialite in the late 1800’s. Mitchell also introduces the issue of poverty during that era as Clara reads Jacob Rii’s book How the Other Half Lives and then begins questioning all that she has been taught over the years and what is truth.

She Walks in Beauty caught my eye months ago and I anxiously waited for it to arrive ~ and it did not disappoint. This is a book that I will keep on my shelf for a long time!

~ Visit Siri Mitchell’s website

~ Join Siri’s Facebook fan page

~ Buy Siri’s book at Amazon or CBD .

This book was provided for review by Bethany House. All opinions expressed in this review are solely my own.

This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read my disclosure policy. 

 

Monday, June 7, 2010

Who is Exalted?

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We’ve been listening non-stop to our Seeds Worship CDs around these parts. As in all.the.time. That’s a very good thing, considering it is literally Scripture put to music.

Assuming that your children are singing the correct words.

As we were listening to the song ‘Be Still’ from the Seeds of Praise album, all of the kids were singing along. I stopped, reveling in the fact that our kids were singing and learning the Word of God.

Until I heard Zachary singing from the backseat ~ ‘You will be exalted, Momma Nature…’

The correct lyrics? You will be exalted among the nations.

Big difference, no?

Head on over to Mary's at Not Before 7 for some more Tiny Talk Tuesday!!
 

Seeds Family Worship is truly AMAZING! I am so thankful to have this resource with out kids. The company has graciously offered a 20% discount to my readers on any purchase ~ just use the coupon code HOMESCHOOLCREATIONS at checkout.

Apple Brown Sugar Brats and Sauerkraut {Recipe}

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When we were asked to make a meal for our local homeless shelter, the request was for bratwurst and sauerkraut. We’ve never made anything with bratwurst…or sauerkraut for that matter…so I started digging around until we found a recipe that sounded a bit more appealing and appetizing.

The result was a recipe that we’ve now added to our recipe books and one that has given me a reason to actually buy bratwurst and sauerkraut and enjoy it! I will admit that the sauerkraut can have a strong smell while cooking, so if you have the option of putting your crock pot out on your porch ~ do it! :)

Ingredients:

  • 8 uncooked bratwurst links
  • 2 cans (14 ounces) sauerkraut, rinsed and well drained
  • 4 medium apples, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground mustard

Directions:

  • Place the bratwurst in a 5-qt. slow cooker. In a large bowl, combine the sauerkraut, apples, bacon, brown sugar, onion and mustard; spoon over bratwurst.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until sausage is no longer pink.

Yield: 8 servings.


Print off your own 4x6 recipe card for Apple and Brown Sugar Bratwurst and Sauerkrat. Once printed, just cut along the line and then fold the recipe card in half.


 This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read my disclosure policy.

 

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