Charm is deceptive and beauty disappears, but a woman who honors the Lord should be praised. Proverbs 31:30

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I Will Follow You

This song has really been speaking to me lately. God is doing amazing things and this is song is a great reminder that HE is the one who is in control and that I need to follow Him, always.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

You Are Here

Ever feel like a bible study or a sermon was being taught and preached JUST for you? That you were the ONLY ONE in the room and God was speaking directly to you. I had this experience on Sunday. 

I was able to go to our Women's Bible Class for part of the time (without kiddos...now that's a big accomplishment). I walked in 5 minutes late and had to leave 10 minutes early, but I was determined to go for a bit. I wanted to go because I knew that in the coming months I won't be able to go, since I'm now the Director of Children's Ministry at our church. So, I went. I walked in, quietly, and sat down to watch the video they were watching for the bible study they were on, talking about different women of the bible. This week they were talking about the story of Hannah.

Since I walked in late and walked out early I only got part of the bible study, but it was enough for God to move me.

I took a whole page worth of notes, in about 15 minutes. That says something.

I have had a lot of things on my mind lately. Stressors that are/were causing me to focus on my daily life, where God has placed me now. The way this bible study was done helped me realize I am where I am, and I should surrender.

I came to realize, once again, that emotions don't bother God. We don't have to "hold it together" for God. God doesn't want to see your happy face if your not happy. He wants you to be honest. Be honest before God and before yourself. Pour your heart out to God.

God sees us where we are. Not where we want to be. Isn't it hard to not focus on the "there" in life and focus on the "here" in life. The woman on the bible study video gave the example like this. Imagine you are walking into a mall, a mall you have never been to before. What's the first thing you do? You find the directory. You want to see what stores are there, do you need to go to the lower level or upper level. How can I best utilize my shopping time. But before you leave the directory, what else do you need to find? You need to find out where you are. You Are Here. That's where God sees you. Where you are. Here. The Now. Not the there, the tomorrow, the next week. The NOW. There is a lot more to being here than you thought.

Whatever you are waiting for, life isn't necessarily going to be better. Live your life in the fluid dance with God. We need to go to God open handed and give him the thing we are wanting...because we are more to Him than that. We, I, need to surrender to God in the wait.

I've been "waiting" for some things lately, and God spoke to me and helped me realize its not as important as where I am now and what I am doing NOW. I AM HERE. 



Monday, August 26, 2013

Recipe Monday: Squash-Rice Casserole

NOT ANOTHER ZUCCHINI POST! Yup, sure is. Our bountiful garden is producing a TON of squash...so I have went near and far to find awesome zucchini recipes. This one is especially great if you are wanting to use up a LOT of zucchini!

Wait no longer. Here is the recipe.

8 cups sliced zucchini (I chopped mine so my little people couldn't really tell what was in it)
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chicken broth

Bring to boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Drain, partially mash with a potato masher.

2 cups cooked rice
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I used more)
1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Combine with zucchini mixture and spoon into 13 x 9 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 2 TBSP Parmesan cheese (I used more here too). Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Preheat and broil for 1 minutes or until lightly browned.

I did had 2 cups of cooked chicken into mine as well, and made it a main dish. It is SUPER yummy, for those who like zucchini.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

KOOL Party Favors

 #2 turns 3 on Friday....where does the time go? I tell you, by the third kid time just zips by. On Friday #3 is also 9 months (so she's been "out" as long as she was "in").

We are having a little birthday bbq for #2 on Friday, her actual birthday. She's pretty excited about her party. She will tell you how old she is going to be and what kind of party she is going to have....a LADYBUG party. She chose that...easy. I've decided to do cake pops, decorated like ladybugs. Works well. We will do one bigish cake, like a dirt cake with a couple ladybugs on the top. I'll show you Friday, when the masterpiece is finished!

For now, I'll show you what I've come up with for her party favors. They aren't ladybug themed, because lets face it, some little boys (she has both girls and boys coming to her party) don't really want ladybug things. So we decided that since its the end of summer, this would work. She is thanking everyone for making her party KOOL. The party favors include a crazy straw, kool-aid, salt, flour, and directions to make kool-aid play-doh (hence what the flour and sugar are for). The play-doh is pretty fun to play with (once you made it).





Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Homemade Tomato Sauce

One of my great friends here in town gave me such an awesome tomato sauce recipe to try. It's SUPER easy, smells good while you are cooking it, and best part is, you don't have to have all of the canning supplies!

Things you'll need:
Enough tomatoes to cover the bottom of a 9x13 pan. I used cherry tomatoes.
Garlic
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Italian Seasoning
Salt
Pepper 


 First cut all your tomatoes in half, or quarter (otherwise it'll be too watery of a sauce) 

Fill the baking pan full of tomatoes.

 Add in crushed garlic, drizzle olive oil on top, and put in 2 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar
 Bake for 40 minutes at 400 degrees.
 Put the tomatoes in a food processor (sorry, no picture here) on low speed.
 Blend to desired consistency. Add in Italian Seasoning, Salt & Pepper to taste.
 Let it cool COMPLETELY.
Store in freezer bags. 

TA DA! A wonderful tasting tomato sauce recipe! Super easy, Super Yummy, and Kinda quick!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Recipe Monday: Zucchini Pizza


I'll be sharing new zucchini recipes with you the remainder of the summer I think. My garden is exploding with squash....all kinds, especially zucchini. They aren't little either. Here's my proof!



So we made Zucchini Pizza this past week. I made them into circles, but then realized the center (aka, seeds) aren't the best to eat, so next time I'll slice them the long way and take out the insides.

It was really simple.
I took a big Zucchini, sliced it about 1/2 in thick. Brushed it with Olive Oil and broiled it for 2-3 minutes.
Then I added 2tbsp pizza sauce, Canadian bacon or pepperoni (Canadian bacon ones were my favorite), and cheese!
Then I broiled them for another 1-2 minutes and voila. Fast, Easy, Healthy, (Gluten Free) Pizza! 
Next week I'll share a Zucchini Casserole that my family (minus Pastor, because he doesn't like squash, I now find out) LOVED.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Day Break

This past Tuesday was a day. A BAD day. The kids just being super cranky....I prayed that after nap time they'd wake up in a better mood, but they didn't.

I mean we did FUN things in the morning.

We biked to not one, but TWO different parks (biked, all 3 kids and me, just me).

We had fun cookie cutter peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the deck.

We enjoyed a game of Uno Moo.

Still the big kids were CRANKY. I mean cranky.

#1 yelled at me halfway home from the park (he on his bike, me on Pastor's....it was connected to the bike carrier and I was too lazy to disconnect it and connect it to mine) about something...I wasn't exactly sure what. I'm sure the cars that drove by thought what a horrible mom, she's just biking away while her kid screams for "help"....but it wasn't screaming for help...it was just SCREAMING.

It was 12:01, I had a head ache (did I mention I had wisdom teeth pulled the Friday before...mouth still throbbing at this point, causing my head to hurt, let alone the screaming didn't help).

I decided it was an early nap day. So I laid the kids down, PRAISE THE LORD that they napped, for a little while. Not as long as I had hopped (until pastor got home, which would've been 3.5 hours).

We had some guests, I put on my "be happy, entertain" face...the kids enjoyed that...as soon as the guests left it was back to the same bickering.

Pastor then asked a simple question, "Do you want to go to Lowes and get some more paint for the shed". I replied, "SURE". I had suggested to get .50 ice cream cones at BK on the way....but that didn't happen. As I was pulling out of the garage Pastor gasped and what I heard was a yell, but was probably just a normal voice, "WHOA, you almost took off the side mirror"......

OK, PAUSE for a moment....remember my morning....

trying to provide the kids with fun entertainment, fun food, fun games, and all I got was screaming....

ok fast forward. I about loose it. I start saying things I regret now. We didn't get ice cream. We went to Lowes. I brought #3 with me, walked away from Pastor, #1, #2, and tried to take back some felt squares that were the wrong size for our chairs.The poor clerk at Lowes, I had had a day from the dumps and here I was about to take it out on him. I didn't have a receipt (my problem) and he said I couldn't return them until I had the receipt. It was a stinkin $9! Just give me a flippin Lowes Gift card for the difference and I'd be on my way, but NOPE. Notta. I stomped back to the car and waited while the others chose the paint color, without me. It wasn't going to matter anyway, Pastor knew what he wanted so I wasn't needed, or so I thought.

I drove home. The van was silent. I pulled in the driveway (not the garage, I might get "yelled" at again), grabbed the baby and went in to search for this stupid receipt, because I knew it was around the house somewhere. I found it, Pastor came downstairs and in a quite calm manner said "why don't you just leave now" (see you see I had book club to go to tonight, and he was just suggesting that I take some time for ME and go early and do what I wanted....) Which reminded me of something I read earlier this week....it went like this:

"I need to refuel.  And it’s not by grocery shopping with only 1 kid instead of all 3.  I need to get out of the house.  Alone.  I need to ride in my car and listen to adult music.  I want to use the public restroom in the small stall. The one without the changing station.  Alone.  I don’t need extravagance.  [I mean, I won’t turn down extravagance, of course.  But I don’t need it.] ;) You know what I’d love?  To wander the isles of Target for an hour.  Or to sit at Starbucks alone for 30 minutes.  Or to walk in a shopping mall without pushing a stroller.  It really is that easy.  Will I come back completely changed and ready to conquer the world? Honestly?  Sometimes yes.  But mostly, no.  But what I WILL come back with, is a little more life in me.  I will have a spring in my step.  It’s a little shot in the arm.  I reeeeallly need this.  When you ask if I want it, and I say, “I’m OK.”  I need you to tell me to go anyway."

So I went early. I knew I still had to come home to feed the baby before book club, but I went out, took back those stupid things from Lowes (didn't even say a word to the clerk), then shopped. Shopped for #2s birthday supplies, birthday presents, and just wandered around....I didn't need to push a cart, it felt glorious. I came home, showered and felt 110% refreshed. It was my refuel.

Here's the thing, Pastor could "tell" I needed to refuel, he suggested it, even without my asking. It was blissful. I'm thankful for a husband that can tell when I need that refuel. I'm blessed.

To those stay at home mommas, know that needing refuel is an okay thing. I realized this, first hand this week.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sick Kid Activities

I certainly didn't think I'd be posting about sick kids in the midst of summer....but what do you know our little germ carrier (ie, #2...the one who ALWAYS starts the house of being sick) was up and puking the other night. The night before I got my teeth pulled actually and Pastor was so gracious and stayed up with #2 for hours into the weee morning holding her hair while she puked, changing sheets (we've learned after one round of puke not even to put sheets back on the beds, because we have these NICE waterproof bed covers. I'm so thankful for them! Anywho, Pastor stayed up with here so I could rest before having my teeth pulled out (which wasn't as bad as I had imagined.).

So, this post came to mind because we don't have a lot of "tricks" to entertain the kids when they are sick. Other than to turn to the TV and netflix. So I searched the web, found some ideas, and came up with our own. Here's our running list so far.

10 Activities to do with sick kids at home
1. Set up a TV tray in your kids bed or on the couch and give them some pretty beads and thin elastic thread. Tie one bead at the end of the thread, then let her string other beads onto the elastic in a pattern. Tie the two ends of the elastic and trim off the excess.

2. Pull out some old socks, random buttons that have fallen off shirts, plus some fabric scraps and fabric glue — and let your child's creativity run wild. Once you have finished making your sock puppets, put on a little puppet show with your child. (This one is good for the well kids who have to stay home because of the sick kids!).

3. Resusable sticker books. #1 likes these, #2 likes these.

4. Coloring books (I keep a set of "NEW" sick crayons. The kids look forward to the small new things from time to time). 

5. Sorting and counting money. 

6. Read, Read, Read. We often sit on the couch and read chapter books together when the kids aren't feeling 100%. It's fun to get "lost" in a book. 

7. Teach them a new game. This last time I taught #2 how to play tic tack toe. She really enjoyed it. Other drawing games are the square game, hangman, pictionary, etc. 

8. Play Play-doh or other table games when they are ready for a break from sitting. I've found that kids get tired of activities faster when they are sick. We usually set up different rest stations among the house, one the living room, bedroom, toy room, etc. The

n they don't lay on the couch all day.

9. Play some education kid games online like pbskids.com

10. Last but not least, enjoy some love and cuddles while watching your child's favorite kids show. Currently my kids are into Wild Kratts.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Recipe Monday: BEST Zucchini Muffins, EVER

I have a TON of zucchini in my garden. A TON. I'll be making zucchini bread in the dead of winter, which I'm pretty pumped about.

Last week, August 8th was National Zucchini Day. So I came up with a new muffin recipe and its the best one I've made, to date!

Want to try them?

Zucchini Bread Muffins
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups grated, unpeeled zucchini
3 tsp vanilla

Beat eggs and sugar, add oil and spices. Blend. Add flour and zucchini and mix. Stir in vanilla. Put 1/4 cup into muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes for regular size muffins, 11-15 minutes for mini muffins. Allow to cool. Frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1/8 c butter, softend
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4c powdered sugar
1 Tbsp milk

Combine all until smooth. Frost Muffins.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Book Review: Intentional Parenting

I can't say I enjoy picking up parenting books. I feel like all the parenting books are the same knowledge just written by other people. So, I was a little apprehensive to pick up Intentional Parenting by Sissy Goff, David Thomas, and Melissa Trevathan. However, I was oddly surprised. I received a complimentary copy of the book from Thomas Nelson Publishing from Booksneeze, which is a book review program. The opinions below are my own opinions and I was not paid for this post.

Pastor and I read this book aloud to each other on our drive to Oregon in July. The authors have had their own counseling center for many years. They are based out of Nashville. The authors are trying to lead parents to understand themselves, because then they will understand their children. I think this is a great philosophy to parenting. 

Each chapter is based on a common myth in parenthood today. Examples of the chapters are being a patient parent, consistent parents, hopeful parent, encouraging parent. While reading the book the authors embedded scripture in with the advice for parenting. How awesome is it that we can get our advice from the bible! The authors also provide the reader questions while reading, which was especially nice since Pastor and I were reading this together.

I LOVE to mark up my books. I write in them, underline, highlight. You name it. This book is one that I will reread again and take new notes and look at my old notes. I feel this book can help a parent at any stage of parenting (young or old children). It is a book you want to keep as a reference. I highly recommend reading it!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Bathroom Project

Are you tired of all your kids bath toys sitting on the sides of the tub? Do the bowls of toys knock over when you walk by? Are the toys just piling up? If you answered YES to any of these questions, this EASY DIY project is for YOU! It cost me less than $20 and took only 15 minutes! It has made life SIMPLE in the bathtub with toys.

I wish I would've taken a BEFORE and After picture because this picture doesn't do my mess justice!

So what you'll need for this project is:
  • Shower Rod
  • Curtain rod hangers
  • Mesh Bags (I got mine at walmart. I was going to make my own, but these were cheaper and faster) 

You'll need to install the shower rod.
Add the curtain rod hangers.
Hand your mes bags.
Organize your toys.
Ta Da! Your finished.

This was SO easy and the kids can see ALL the toys much easier. Oh and we threw away the gross buckets that the toys were in (I think we got the buckets when the kids were born!).

Linking Up with:

Monday, August 5, 2013

Zucchini Galore.


In our garden, our MASSIVE OVERGROWN garden, we have a TON of zucchini. I planted 2 plants and right now I'm picking about 2-3 zucchini a DAY. Yes I LOVE zucchini, but I'm the ONLY one in the family who eats it....well that's about to change hopefully. I have shredded most of what I've picked so far (except for grilling a couple, because that was SUPER yummy).

Today I tried this recipe from an AWESOME blog I follow.The little people helped me make it. I used sour cream in my recipe and DARK CHOCOLATE Coco. I think that made a the cake a little more rich and gooey.

We had a lot of fun...the batter was super yummy...which is most of the reason I think my little people enjoy baking so much with me. They know they get to lick the spoons (even if it is at 8 in the morning!).


We made this so early in the morning because it gets HOT fast (even though we have AC I still like to keep the windows open and the air off as much as possible).

While baking this I thought it was a little runny after adding in the Zucchini. Since we live at about 4500 feet I typically add about 1-2 tbsp more flour than whats called for, but it still looked runny...but I put it in the oven and let it bake. It took me about 47 minutes to bake it, when the recipe calls for 40. 

We made this to share with the Monday night pre-worship meal. So apologies on the no so "fashionable" pictures. On the right is a picture of #1 with his slice of cake...which was GONE in a matter of seconds. The cake was devoured by everyone at church. Needless to say, it was a HUGE HIT! It was so yummy. Almost fudge like! SUPER moist. You couldn't even tell there was Zucchini in it, so people like PASTOR maybe will eat it.

Beautiful Mornings

 
I really enjoy August mornings. They are nice and cool and the days are filled with a lot of sunshine. Today, while I was letting our Chocolate Zucchini Cake (post about that tonight) bake I enjoyed our beautiful weather and took my coffee, homemade Greek yogurt and my book outside on the deck to read. The big kids were playing in the back and it was peaceful!
 
Only after a while did the kids realize I was on the deck enjoying snacks, so they quickly joined in.
 
 
I absolutely LOVE reading on the deck!!! More importantly when its a book that spiritually feeds my soul! Captivating has captivated my heart and its so hard to put it down.
 
Back to enjoying the wonderful day and an amazing book.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Projects...

So I know I said I was going to have a bathroom project up on Thursday. Well. I didn't. Here's why.


Add caption


We're building a shed, under the deck we built last summer. We are 2/3 the way done....


So I'm hoping on Monday to get a new zucchini recipe up (but it will be later afternoon as we will be making it on Monday). Tuesday I'll show you the bathroom remodel, Wednesday I'll do a Wordless Wednesday, and Thursday I'll have a book review for you. Friday next week I'm getting wisdom teeth pulled, so I'll be at the dentist. Boo.

So come back on Monday!
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