Friday, October 26, 2012

Home Project: Walls

When we moved into our home 16 months ago, the previous owners had left us some not so pretty holes in the walls from their pictures and other hangings.  The goal is to repaint most of the house, but until then I've been working creatively to cover up some of those holes.  In Weston's room I decided to paint stripes to cover the random holes at different heights.  I used paint that I had left over from painting animals on his nursery walls in our previous home.  I used red, navy, and brown since those colors are pretty basic and can hopefully go with new bedding colors as he gets older.

In the master bedroom there was a large area on the wall adjacent to the door that has been glaring at us for a while now and I wasn't sure how to cover such a large area. . . . until recently.  I've been seeing the "Always Kiss Me Goodnight" phrase all over Pinterest and in many stores and decided to use some more of that leftover paint and some stencils I bought a few years ago (to stencil a Bible verse in our kitchen) to paint this phrase over the holes.  My Pawpaw taught me how to putty holes a few years ago and then sand them down and paint over them.  I'm pretty pleased with the outcome and it only took me a couple of weeks of working on it a few minutes here and there when I found the time.  AND it's a good reminder. :)




Saturday, October 20, 2012

School Week 8 - Letter H

Our new routine is to go to the library on Tuesdays when we leave Parents Day Out.  My children know that they are supposed to whisper in the library and there is a rug and couch that they are told to sit on and read a book quietly while I get books for our letter of the week.  Otherwise, we disturb everyone, or they pull several books off the shelves, or roll around on the plastic colored tube pillows (why are they even in there?), or better yet stand on top of the tube pillows (for lack of a better description) and jump off of them.  It's all in little kid fun, but for the library, siting still and being quiet are the rules.  I told the kids this Tuesday that if they behaved in the library we could go get a slushy at Sonic when we left.  This was also to reward Weston (2 yr old) for not biting anyone at school that day. . . . major accomplishment!  And it just so happened to be Happy Hour at Sonic - 1/2 price.  One child got one, the other did not.  I think this is a great new tradition.

The same sweet lady at church that gave us worksheets for "G" week gave us these worksheets for "H" week.  The kids loved them and it took out a lot of preparation time for me.  Alivia has really enjoyed thinking of words that start with "H" this week.  We recognize the letter "H" everywhere we go and say the sound that it makes.  These worksheets are great for teaching Alivia how to write and Weston traces the letters with his finger each week.

I also took the opportunity to start the "forced sibling Hug" last week.  I read about it on a blog somewhere and thought I pinned it, but now I can't find it to share the link.  The blog suggested forcing siblings to hug for a minute if they fight with one another.  This is like taking the, "Tell your sister you're sorry" scenario to a whole new level. :)  Instead of setting a timer, I learned that my kiddos did better if I counted out loud to 60.  They have to embrace with two hands or I start over, and after the minute is up, they have to say, "I love you ____" to one another and kiss each other.  They end up giggling and completely forget about the argument.

Memory verse: "Hear O Israel:  The Lord our God, the Lord is one." -Deuteronomy 6:4

I told Grant that one of the things I wanted to teach the kids this year was the books of the Bible, so he found (on iTunes) the Old Testament song from Wee Sing that he learned when he was a kid.  After a few weeks of singing it in the evenings, Alivia knows it and sings it all day and Weston is pretty close to knowing them all.  Now they can learn the New Testament after the new year.  Here's Alivia singing it a few nights ago. . . .

We also enjoyed singing this song this week:

Ho, ho, ho, ho-sannah
Ha, ha, ha-llelujah
He, he, he, he saved me
I've got the joy of the Lord

Sausage and Cream Cheese Casserole

This recipe is so easy and really good.  I made it last Saturday night for our Sunday morning breakfast and it was just as good reheated the next day.  Only 4 ingredients are needed and not much time.

1 lb sausage (I used Jimmy Dean Sage)
1 cup frozen, chopped onions
2 packages of crescent rolls
8 oz cream cheese, softened

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 9x13 baking dish.
2.  Cook sausage and onions on stovetop over medium high heat.  Do not drain.
3.  Stir cream cheese into sausage and onions.
4.  Roll out 1 package of crescents in bottom of dish and pinch separations together.
5.  Spread cream cheese and sausage mixture over crescents in dish.
6.  Spread the other package of crescents over the top, pinching separations.
7.  Bake for about 25 minutes.


recipe from Rochelle

Cleaning Around The Oven

One of the things on my home projects to-do list was marked off yesterday.  Clean around the oven.  This hasn't been done since we moved into our current home 16 months ago, and after completing the project I think I'm safe to say it hasn't been done since the house was built in 2006.  Yuck!  The gunk building up between the counter and the oven is one of those things that you notice while you are cooking dinner every night, but it never seems to be the right time to tackle the job.  Friday morning was the right time.  The hubby was preparing a lecture and grading papers for a college course he teaches, so I set each of the kids up with an educational iPhone game and got out my supplies.  I did ask Grant to move the oven out of its spot, but when I was finished, it was light enough to push back into place myself.  Here's the before and after photos and some helpful hints along the way. . . .

The before photo makes you appreciate the after photo 

After sweeping and mopping the floor area under the oven, I used antibacterial all-purpose cleaner and a rag to wipe away any remaining dirtiness.

This is an SOS pad used to clean off the rust spots

I then wiped down the outside of the oven and every nook and cranny I could find

I used a rag and knife to clean the vent openings
This area is what always leads me to this cleaning project
The after photo

Not sure how long this will last

Just like brand new, almost

I would like to add that I was married 4 years before I even knew this project needed to be on my to-do list.  Oh yes, I saw the gunk between the counter and oven building up, but had never bought an oven before and didn't realize I could move it in order to clean around it.  While growing up I lived in a house that had a stovetop built into a kitchen cabinet and a double oven built into a separate kitchen cabinet.  So, there was no oven to move and clean around and I was never taught this homemaking task.  After 4 years of marriage, my husband and I were moving out of our on campus apartment at Seminary and we received a list of things we were supposed to clean before leaving.  One of those things was to move the oven away from the wall and clean around it.  Who knew?  I had lived and learned.  I now have a self-cleaning oven (my mom has raved about hers my whole life, and now I know why) which means I push a button and come back a few hours later to a clean oven on the inside. . . . going to push the button now.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

School Week 7 - Letter G

I usually spend some time on Sundays gathering ideas for the upcoming week for my kids.  When I find an activity or worksheet I would like us to do I go ahead and start a blog post and put all of the links for that week in there and then at the end of the week I fill in the pictures and descriptions.  It's a good way to keep it all in one place and then share it with others.

This week while memorizing our verse we discussed all the places we could Go to preach the Good news.  And then we talked about what the Good news is and how we can tell our neighbors and friends at school.

A sweet lady at our church gave us these worksheets and Gummy worms for this week since she knew we were on Gg week.

These are the "G" books we enjoyed reading this week.

Letter Gg for grasshopper handwriting practice - first school (4 yr old)

Guitar math - no time for flashcards (2 and 4 yr old)

Guess How Much I Love You - if you don't have this book you can have it read to you for free here

Counting Gumballs in the Gumball machine - teach preschool (2 and 4 yr old)

This is a fun website to make sure my 4 year old is skilled :) . . . .
Pre-K skills

* We fasted from t.v. and movies last week and it was wonderful!  I usually let my kids watch a cartoon while I take a shower in the morning and sometimes while I'm cooking supper.  My kids beg to watch t.v. all the time and I tell them it won't make them very smart.  I enjoyed seeing their creative minds at work more and how they played with one another instead of staring at the tube. :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Butter Biscuit Muffins

     One of the many blessings in my life was the opportunity I had to attend seminary wives classes when my husband and I lived in Louisville, KY for him to attend seminary.  These classes were taught mainly by seminary professors' wives and some by the professors.  One of my favorite classes was The Ministry of Hospitality, taught by the seminary President's wife, Mary Mohler.  This is a recipe Mrs. Mohler shared with our class and it is super easy and very yummy.

2 cups All Purpose Baking Mix
1 stick butter
1 cup sour cream

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2.  Grease mini muffin tins.
3.  Combine all ingredients just until blended, and fill muffin tins about 1/2 full.
4.  Bake for about 12 minutes.

Lasagna Soup

     I got this recipe from Family Fun magazine back in February 2009 and we have been enjoying it ever since.  I tweaked it a little, of course, and this is what I have come up with.

1 lb ground beef
1 lb sausage 
1 1/2 cups frozen, chopped onions
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp tomato paste
28 oz can diced tomatoes
6 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
12 oz Rotini pasta
1 Tbsp basil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella

1.  Brown the ground beef and sausage in a large pot over medium high heat.  Drain fat.
2.  Add the onions and saute until softened.
3.  Add the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and saute for 1 minute.
4.  Add the tomato paste and saute for 5 minutes.
5.  Add the tomatoes with their juice, the broth, and the bay leaves and bring the soup to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
6.  Add the pasta, then increase the heat to medium high and boil the soup until the pasta is tender, following the time recommendation on the package.  
7.  Discard the bay leaves, then stir in the basil.  
8.  Stir in salt, black pepper, and Parmesan cheese.
9.  To serve, place soup in a bowl and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Soul Nourishment #10

"Remember, parenting is a huge imposition in life that should be received as a calling from God to deny self." - Andy Savage

First Time Obedience - blog post
"I tend to look at my children through this lens, 'It is the kindness and mercy of the Lord that leads to repentance.' Romans" -Sally Clarkson
"Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife...the beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out." -Proverbs 17:1,14

"Reading is the exposure to Scripture, but meditation is the absorption of Scripture.  And it's the absorption of Scripture that leads to the transformation of our lives. . . . It's not so much what we read in the Bible that changes us, but what we remember." - Donald Whitney

"But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does." -James 1:25

"This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.  For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success." -Joshua 1:8

"A Wise Woman realizes that what she meditates upon will emerge in her speech." -Pat Ennis

Titus 2:3-5 - "In these Scriptures, Paul is saying that when a wife and mother fulfills her God-given duty, she acts as a barrier against that family's dishonoring God and His Word.  While the woman in the home is not the leader, she is the dominant influencer." - John MacArthur

1 Timothy 6:6-8:  Godliness + Contentment = great gain!

"A Wise Woman builds a financial reserve for financial challenges and a spiritual reserve for emotional challenges." - Pat Ennis 

"If you must become over involved - become over involved in your role as a character builder in your home." - Charles Swindoll

"Couples need to schedule time to communicate, since it rarely happens spontaneously in the midst of busy routines." - Pat Ennis

"Marriage used to be about us, now it's about me." - Tim Keller

How To Cultivate Fresh Faith In The Gospel - blog post by Jonathan Dodson
"Prayerful communion with the Spirit can lead to grace-based transformation of our hearts."

"However diligently we may impart to them (our kids) a knowledge of God and his works, if we do not appear to think highly of him, to love his character, to admire his works, and to prefer him to every other object, our instructions will have but very little effect. . . . To speak God's praises to the rising generation is then, if possible, even more important than to impart to them a knowledge of his works.  Both, however, are necessary and should never be separated." -Edward Payson