Monday, October 30, 2006

Where in the world...

have I been? We have been gone out of state on vacation for the past week. Aren't you just shocked that I didn't let you know that I was taking a blogging hiatus? We had a wonderful trip and enjoyed spending time with The Grandparents. I am happy to be home again, and I'm absolutely exhausted! We drove all night long on the trip home, and the weather was rainy a good portion of the way (which I don't do well with at 2 a.m. on the interstate). I was very thankful for the Lord's protection and for Mr. C's excellent driving skills. It is so much easier traveling at night while the kids are sleeping. We usually cut about two hours off of the drive time when we make the trip at night since we don't have to stop to eat or use the restroom every hour. Needless to say, it will take me a few days to get caught up on my sleep and housework. We'll be getting back into our homeschool routine this morning. I mentioned in my last post that we will be painting a few of the rooms in our home this week, so I'll be preparing for that, too. I'll pop in for an update when things calm down a bit. Have a blessed week!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Decisions, decisions, decisions! How hard can it be to choose paint color? Just ask me! I've spent a good part of the past few days holding sample after sample of paint swatches up against the walls. I have absolutely no problem looking at a magazine and knowing what I like, but put 50 paint cards in my hand and I'm as confused as can be! I ((think)) that I have decided on the following colors: "Rosebud"~ a light pinkish-lavender for Bookworm's bedroom "Balmy"~ a light sky blue for Mickey Mouse's room "Unfussey Beige"~ for the guest bathroom "Lightweight Beige"~ for the office/music room These four rooms are all badly in need of painting. I bought a gallon of paint back in July for the bathroom, but I never got around to actually painting. So, now that my sweet mom is having these rooms painted as a gift for me by a professional painter, I'll use the gallon I bought to paint the laundry room...someday. I think I can handle that! P.S.~ Thank you, Mom. You're the best!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting I spent most of this morning tidying up my laundry room. I had a mile-high pile of folded laundry on the counter that needed to be put away. With the kids' help--mission accomplished! I think that a cleared counter in the laundry room is the equivalent of a shiny kitchen sink; if the clutter is kept off of the counter, the rest of the room looks nice. Hopefully I will now be inspired to keep the laundry room neat and organized. The valance above the window is my favorite thing in the room. I found it at a Macy's closeout store for only $3; I just love a good bargain! If you look closely you will notice that the laundry basket is not empty; it never is in this wonderful family of six!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Slow Cooker Chicken Cordon Bleu 4 chicken breast halves 1 can cream of chicken soup 8 oz. sour cream 1 Tbs. flour bacon slices 1) Wrap bacon slices around chicken breasts and secure with toothpicks. Place chicken in the slow cooker. 2) In a medium bowl, mix soup, sour cream, and flour. Pour over chicken. 3) Cook on LOW for 6-7 hours. Can you tell that I like VERY simple slow cooker recipes with only a few ingredients??? The yummy aroma of the bacon and chicken will have you drooling! For more Slow Cooking Thursday ideas, head over to Sandra's.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Book Basket

As far back as I can remember I have been a book-lover. I know know there are many of you out there who are guilty of staying up way too late at night (or early morning) to finish a good book. Here are a few of the titles I've finished recently: Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss (I saw this listed as a favorite by so many bloggers that I just had to read it.) Persuasion by Jane Austen Mansfield Park by Jane Austen The Brethren by Beverly Lewis (The final book in the Annie's People series~~a sweet ending!) Found by Karen Kingsbury (Family has been released, and it's on my list to get.) The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson Moses and Paul by C.S. Stam I'm in the middle of several more books right now, which I'll post about soon. What books have you been reading?

Chicken Enchilada Bake

I've had several requests for the enchilada casserole recipe I included on this week's menu. Well, I aim to please! This one is a big hit with my family. My kids aren't crazy about hot red sauce, so there isn't any in this recipe. Of course, you can add ingredients to your taste. Enjoy! Chicken Enchilada Bake 8 flour or whole wheat tortillas 2 Tbs. butter 1/2 C. chopped onion 1 garlic clove, minced (I use 2-3 cloves.) 1/2 C. sliced black olives 1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies, drained 1/2 C. sour cream (I use a bit more.) 1 can cream of chicken soup 1 1/2 C. cubed, cooked chicken 1 C. (4 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese (I really like cheese, so I use 2 C.!) 1/4 C. milk 1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2) In a medium saucepan, melt butter; saute onion and garlic in butter until tender. Stir in 1/2 of the olives (reserve other 1/2 for topping), green chilies, sour cream, & soup; mix well. 3) Set aside 3/4 C. of the soup mixture. To remaining sauce in pan, stir in chicken and 1/2 C. of cheese. 4) Warm tortillas & fill with chicken mixture; roll up. Place seam side down in a large, ungreased baking dish. 5) In small bowl, combine reserved soup mixture & milk; spoon over tortillas. 6) Bake for 30-35 miniutes or until bubbly. To serve, sprinkle with remaining cheese and black olives. I also like to add sour cream and salsa on top when I serve mine. I serve with tortilla chips; they're great to scoop up any leftovers!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Here's what's cookin' this week at our house: Sunday~ roast beef; broccoli w/cheese sauce; scalloped potatoes; fresh rolls Monday~ broiled tilapia; brown rice; roasted asparagus Tuesday~ We'll be dining at the home of some dear friends; I'll take a dessert. Wednesday~ Hamburgers; french fries Thursday~ enchilada casserole Friday~ homemade pizza Saturday~ vegetable beef soup; grilled cheese Laura is hosting more menu ideas here.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Brrrr! It's quite chilly here today. I stayed in my cozy jammies as long as I could this morning. We had our usual Saturday morning pancakes-and-bacon breakfast. I need to go light a delicious-smelling candle because now the whole kitchen smells like bacon grease! The kids enjoyed hot chocolate with their breakfast; that's the only thing they like about cold mornings. I have a few things on my "To Do" list for today: *1 load of laundry *Sunday preparations (clothes, shoes, hair bows, belt, Sunday school lesson, sheet music, Bibles, food prep.) *iron for 15 minutes *read *bus route visitation How are you spending your day? I hope it is a relaxing, yet productive one.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday's Favorites~ The Little Girls' Bedroom

This bedroom is shared by Curly Girl and Lil Nut. It is one of my favorite rooms in the house. The wall colors don't show up very well in these pictures, but you can still get the idea of the sponged stripes below the molding. The previous homeowner used this room as a den and had it filled with hunting trophies (of the stuffed and mounted variety). We thought that the deer painting on the faux window was quite unique, so we didn't paint over it. I really like this room for the little girls because it is very large. There are also two small dressers in the room, but there is still plenty of space for the girls to play. It helped a lot when we took the crib out of the room and Lil Nut was promoted to the bunk bed. There is a walk-in closet that's pretty narrow, so there's not much storage space in it. I store their toys and books in clear plastic boxes on a small bookshelf. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Creamy Crock Pot Spaghetti

This is a very simple recipe that's great for serving when you have company. Add a tossed salad and some fresh garlic bread, and you have a wonderful meal!

Creamy Crock Pot Spaghetti

1 C. chopped onion

1 C. chopped green peppers

1 T. butter

28 oz. can of tomatoes w/the juice

4 oz. black olives, chopped and drained

4 oz. can mushrooms, chopped and drained

2 tsp. oregano

1lb. ground beef, cooked and drained

1 can mushroom soup

1/2 C. water

12 oz. spaghetti, cooked and drained

2 C. shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 C. greated parmesean cheese

1) Saute onions and peppers in butter until tender. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, oregano, and beef. Simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to crock pot.

2) Add spaghetti, mixing well.

3) Combine soup and water. Pour over mixture. Sprinkle with cheeses.

4) Cover and cook on LOW 4-6 hours.

For more Slow Cooker Thursday ideas, go to Diary of a SAHM.

Contentment

With the Lord's help, I'm striving to practice Philippians 4:11, "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." God has blessed my life in countless ways. However, sometimes I lack the contentment I should have. Webster's 1828 defines the word "content" as quiet; not disturbed; having a mind at peace; satisfied. The word "satisfied" jumps out at me. Am I satisfied with my role as a Christian wife and mother? Am I wishing for time to do what I want? Am I lamenting the rigors of housework and homeschooling? Do I wish that I had the freedom to fill my day with fun projects or activities outside my home? Discontentment is a meek and quiet spirit robber! I definitely need to cherish my family and embrace the responsibilities God has given me. I desire to be satisfied each and every day. Susan over at ByGrace has an excellent post on the seasons of life. Here's a quote from her:

Let me encourage you to embrace whatever season you are in right now. Let go and just revel in it! You're newly married and want a baby? Enjoy the free time you have with your husband. You have 3 . . . 4 . . . 5 little ones who need you all the time? Play with those babies! Drink them in! Give yourself to them completely. You have teenagers? Enjoy these active years; get out and play with them, get to know their friends, fill your life with them. Do you have an empty nest? Make it a sweet nest for you and your husband! Act like newlyweds again. You have empty arms - no children, maybe no husband anymore, maybe still single after all your friends are married - God has a purpose for this season in your life. Find that purpose and embrace it.

I encourage you to read Susan's entire post here.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Serving ice cream at a party can be messy and time consuming. Here's a helpful tip: Before your guests arrive, place paper or foil liners in a muffin tin. Put a scoop or two of ice cream into each liner, then refreeze. When you're ready to serve the ice cream, place each liner in a bowl or on a plate. Enjoy! Head over to Rocks In My Dryer for more WFMW ideas.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Rejoice!

This morning I was feeling a little overwhelmed by a trial I'm facing. I began to dwell on some negative thoughts instead of focusing on the Lord. In the midst of my pity-party, I stopped and prayed. In fact, I was pleading with God. I felt a little bit better after praying, but I still didn't have an answer to my problem. Not 10 minutes after my prayer time, the need that I was pouring out to the Lord was supplied unexpectedly. Needless to say, I was shocked! But I shouldn't have been. My Saviour is able to meet every need I have. My job is to trust and submit to Him. I just started crying and praising the Lord for His goodness. Of course, God isn't good just because He answered my prayer almost immediately after I prayed it! He is good ALL THE TIME! Instead of looking at my circumstances, I need to look to Him for strength and encouragement. My outlook today changed drastically after I spent time thanking the Lord for showing me how He loves me and cares about me. I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all."
REJOICE
I'll rejoice in the Lord for this beautiful day,
For the great blessings He has sent my way.
For feet to walk and eyes to see,
And the gift of God that set me free.
I'll rejoice in the Lord for ears to hear,
And in His precious Word that calms all fear.
He gives joy and peace to the troubled soul,
And through His promises we are made whole.
I'll rejoice in the Lord for supplying my needs,
I'm far more important than the birds He feeds,
I'll praise Him daily for His encompassing live,
For showers of blessing that come from above.
~ H.L. Stevenson

Monday, October 09, 2006

I make out my weekly menu and shopping list on Thursday when our weekly paper is delivered. I check out the grocery store ads and plan my menu according to what's on sale. I do my grocery shopping on Friday, and our weekly menu goes from Sunday to Saturday. I make a meal plan for breakfast, lunch, supper, and an afternoon snack. I keep the menu posted on the refrigerator so that the kids always know what we're having and they don't have to come and ask me. Here's what's on the menu for supper this week: Sunday~ covered dish meal at church Monday~ roasted turkey breast/brown rice/green bean bake/corn casserole Tuesday~ pot roast with veggies/fresh baked bread Wednesday~ beans & rice/salad/cornbread Thursday~ chicken fettucine w/alfredo sauce Friday~ tacos w/all the fixins' Saturday~ hamburgers

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Today has been quite busy for a Saturday! Tomorrow is our annual Round Up Sunday at our church. We dress in old-fashioned attire, and the children are treated to a western show during children's church. We will also be having a covered dish luncheon after the morning preaching service. It is going to be such a fun day! We are praying that the Lord will send lots of visitors our way. Mr. C will, of course, be preaching a salvation message, and we're praying the Lord will use it to see souls saved. Mr. C and some of the men from the church have been out knocking doors and passing out flyers all week. The weather is supposed to be perfect! We have a houseful of guests today. There is a family that comes from out of state to help us with Round Up Sunday. They put on the western show for the kids. Today we enjoyed a great time of fellowship with them at our home. Mr. C grilled some hamburgers and hotdogs, and they were delicious! The kids had a great time playing outside all afternoon. We still have some preparations to finish at the church for tomorrow's services, and I have LOTS of cooking to do tonight. I hope you all have a blessed Sunday!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Friday's Favorites

Here is a one of my favorite squash casserole recipes that I especially enjoy on a cool fall day. I sometimes add some zuchinni to the yellow squash for a little variety. If you are a cheese lover, than you will definitely want to try this one! Good Squash Casserole 8 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced 1 stick of butter 1 1/2 cups onion, coarsely chopped 2 cups milk 2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded (10 oz.) 1 tsp. pepper 2 tsp. salt 4 eggs 2 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs grated parmesean cheese
~Boil squash until tender; drain. ~ Saute onion in butter until soft; combine in bowl with squash. ~ Add remaining ingredients (except bread crumbs) and mix. ~ Place in a casserole dish and top w/bread crumbs. Sprinkle parmesean cheese on top. ~ Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes. Yield: 8-10 servings

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I don't post about politics very often, but with the liberals seeking to take over our democracy, I just wanted to remind everyone to VOTE in the November elections. Here's an analogy for you: OLD VERSION: The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he's a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold. MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself! MODERN VERSION: The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he's a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving. CBS, NBC, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so? Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, "It's Not Easy Being Green." Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, "We shall overcome."Jesse then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake. Tom Daschle & John Kerry exclaim in an interview with Peter Jennings that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his "fair share." Finally, the EEOC drafts the "Economic Equity and Anti-Grasshopper Act," retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government. Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges that Bill appointed from a list of single-parent welfare recipients. The ant loses the case. The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he doesn't maintain it. The ant has disappeared in the snow. The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood. MORAL OF THE STORY: Vote Republican!
Mr. C's parents headed back to Florida this morning, but we had another visitor from the Sunshine State arrive this afternoon. My mom is now here with us for the next few days. Things are always a bit on the chaotic side with extra bodies in the house, but it's a good kind of crazy. I'm really glad my mom is here, and I'm looking forward to spending time with her. This morning after my in-laws left, I went to get my cell phone from where I put it last night when I went to bed. Well, it wasn't there. I mentioned it to Mr. C, and he told me that he plugged it in to the charger this morning. Well, that was so nice of him! I went to look for it on his dresser, but it wasn't there. The charger was still plugged in, but no cell phone! I immediately thought that perhaps my in-laws had accidentally packed it up in there things and taken it to Florida since they had been staying in our room and using Mr. C's dresser. Okay, this is not good! Mr. C called them and asked them to look through their luggage when they made their next stop on the way home. They called back and said they looked all through their belongings, and my phone wasn't with them. In the meantime, we had been searching ev-er-y-where for my phone. We'd asked all the kids if they had seen it. I had even offered the kids 5o cents, then $1, then $2 if they could find it. Bookworm and Mickey Mouse thought that this was a great opportunity to skip out on some school work. I didn't let them participate in our search party for very long. Curly Girl said that Lil Nut had been jumping up and down on my bed with it this morning. She also said that she had seen her with it in the garden, in the yard, and in the shed (but we knew she hadn't been outside). So, we didn't know whether she was a believeable witness or just trying to get her little sister in trouble. Mr. C asked Lil Nut if she had put the phone in such-and-such a room, going through every room in the house with her. Eventually she told Mr. C, "It's in your tummy!" Mr. C was laughing so hard that tears were running down his cheeks. However, after searching high and low for two hours, going through every garbage can in the house, and giving a two year old the fifth degree, I was not in a laughing mood. I was convinced that my in-laws were the temporary owners of my phone and that they would find it when they got home. I decided to take out my frustration by hand washing a sinkful of breakfast dishes instead of putting them in the dishwasher, which is what I normally do. While I was washing the dishes, Mr. C popped in front of me proudly holding my cell phone right in front of my face. He found it under the corner of my bed. Now, we had checked under the bed at least 47 times, but we had not looked right under the corner of the dust ruffle. So, Curly Girl was right after all! Lil Nut must have been jumping on the bed while the holding the phone, and it must have fallen out of her hand and landed under the corner of the dust ruffle. Mr. C had a talk with Lil Nut about snatching cell phones and playing with them, and she looked at him as seriously as a two year old can and promised to never do it again. Curly Girl was rewarded with a piece of candy because she actually told the truth (we've been working on that)! Seems like we're making progress after all.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I am always on the lookout for good books to add to our home library. Yesterday I did a bit of shopping at the used book table at the preacher's meeting we attended near Atlanta. I was so excited to find an older edition of Egermeier's Bible Story Book for only $7. I have wanted a copy of this book for a long time! I plan on using it during our preschool time. I also found Another Year's Talks To Children by Edgar Primrose Dickie. This little book is such a treasure! It is filled with 52 short stories and illustrations that are great to use as helps in a Sunday school class or Bible time. I have seen it on Amazon for close to $20, but I only paid $1 for it! I have several devotional books that I have used with my children from the "Little Visits" series. I have now added Little Visits for Toddlers by Mary Manz Simon to my collection. Each devotion has a Bible verse, activities or finger poems, a prayer on the days' theme, and lots of helpful tips and ideas for parents. I paid $4 for it at the book sale, but that was still a pretty good deal. The kiddos were thrilled to get a new Patch the Pirate CD. Needless to say, they were very quiet while listening to it on the long ride home last night. Mr. C's parents are visiting us this week, so we've been quite busy. We're cramming in school work here and there, but one of the blessings of home schooling is the ablility to be flexible! The kids have certainly been enjoying having their grandparents around, and we're looking forward to a picnic today, as well as another visit to the plantation I shared with you here.
 
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