Monday, November 26, 2012

Soul Nourishment #11

1 Corinthians 13 For Moms - blog post

Seven Basic Needs of A Husband And Wife - audio and study guide from Pastor Cliff Palmer

The Purpose of Work
"Our vocations become the arena for the Christian life, where sanctification happens."

5 ways to make the most use of our time as a pastor’s wife

Biblical Femininity In Everyday Life - Nicole Whitacre
I loved every word of this!

"Faith is savoring the supreme treasure of Christ." - John Piper

A mother's smile is the child's sun -- what can grow without the warmth of grace? - Ann Voskamp

Cravings And Conflict  - with David Powlison and C.J. Mahaney

Word Based Ministry To Women - Nancy Guthrie

Reality Mothering - Nicole Whitacre 

"My hope isn’t built on my performance but on Jesus’ righteousness." -Ann Voskamp

School Week 8 and 9 - Letters I and J

We learned these letters over a two week period, but I decided to combine them on this post to save time.  I've not been good about documenting our learning experience the last few weeks.  We've had some sicknesses, Halloween parties, and things have been busy.  Now we are gearing up for Thanksgiving and Christmas so we will take a break from the letter a week curriculum until after the new year.  We still say our letter of the week verses at the breakfast table, but we are not necessarily memorizing them since we are memorizing different verses each week for the Awana program we are involved in at church.

Letter Ii:
   "In all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight." -Proverbs 3:6

Itchy the Inchworm was at the playground!

Itchy Inchworm crafts

Letter Jj:
   "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." -Hebrews 13:8

We colored Jj's and hung them in the window

The Jj books we checked out at the library

The kids enjoyed learning these nursery rhymes and coloring the pictures...

Jack and Jill video

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Chocolate Chip Applesauce Cookies

I've heard of baking with applesauce for a healthier version, but I've never tried it because it didn't sound too good to me.  While reading the Sunny Side Up blog one day she was describing her chocolate chip cookies and how she made them for friends around the holidays and wanted to eat them all herself.  I had all of the ingredients on hand and decided to give them a try.  They turned out much better than expected.  In fact, I think they are my second favorite cookie behind Aunt Suzy's Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies.

1 cup Crisco
2 cups sugar
2 cups applesauce
4 eggs
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 pkg chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Mix together the sugar and Crisco.  Add eggs.
3.  Stir the applesauce and baking soda together and add to Crisco mixture.
4.  Add the rest of the dry ingredients and bake for 15 minutes.

yield: about 60 cookies

Deviled Eggs

Everyone needs a deviled egg on their plate for a holiday meal, right?  At my Pampered Chef shower right before I was married I was given a container that held deviled eggs and kept them cold.  I used it for the first time last night.  We had a Sunday School class party at church and everyone contributed to a Thanksgiving meal.  I signed up to bring squash casserole and deviled eggs, so I found Paula Deen's Traditional Southern Deviled Eggs recipe and they turned out good, so I will keep this recipe for future parties.  I still wonder where this dish got it's name.

12 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp sweet pickle relish
2 tsp mustard
salt and pepper, for taste
Paprika, for garnishing

1.  Halve 12 eggs lengthwise.  Remove yolks and place in bowl.
2.  Mash yolks with fork and stir in mayonnaise, pickle relish, and mustard.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
3.  Fill egg whites evenly with yolk mixture.  Garnish with paprika.  Store covered in refrigerator.

yield: 24 deviled eggs

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Number The Days

Making messes is what children do best.  A friend and I recently commented to one another about how we clean our homes and turn around and they are dirty again.  I have a 2 and 4 year old - she has 3 year old twins.  I know the popular quote, "Good moms have sticky floors, messy kitchens, laundry piles, dirty ovens, and happy kids," and I try to keep this in mind, but a dirty house stresses me out!  

Monday is my main cleaning day around here.  I do laundry, straighten, do the dishes, and things like that every day, but on Mondays I do things like clean the bathrooms, dust and vacuum, mop the floors, etc...  Why Monday?  The house is usually a wreck from the weekend and this is the only day that my 4 year old still takes a nap, so I know I can get a lot done.

Today is a Monday.  My plan was to get some Christmas decorating done, but that hasn't happened yet. (The day is not over).  I woke up at 6am (latest I've slept in a while) to the sound of little children begging for Halloween candy and a movie.  You would seriously think we deprive them of these things if you heard their pleas.  When I stumbled out of my room as my husband headed for the shower I found that the kids had helped themselves to some pumpkin muffins my MIL made for us, and had gotten some cups and filled them with water from the fridge button.  I soon realized one of them (I suspected my 2 year old) had stuffed half of his muffin in between two of the couch cushions.  So, after I ate breakfast myself and packed a lunch for my husband, the first chore marked off the list for cleaning today was taking the cushions off of our two couches and assisting my 2 year old in the process of vacuuming the crumbs.  This was a good excuse to do something that needs to be done occasionally anyway, I told myself, and Weston enjoyed feeling helpful.  I took the opportunity for positive reinforcement and let him know that he was a great helper and cleaner.  He was super proud of himself!

I then gave the kids a bath.  They like to play in there for a little while, so I started a load of laundry and swept the kitchen floor while going back and forth a few times to break up fights and remind them not to splash all of the water in the floor.

Shortly after getting them out and putting clean clothes on them for the day Weston urinated in a puddle in the kitchen floor.  I should back up and say that he is potty trained when wearing a pull-up, but for some reason when I put underwear on him he forgets to go use the potty (I know the purpose of this is for my sanctification, because I went through this same ordeal when Alivia was 2, so I have all the patience I need for these kinds of things now - ha!)  He normally doesn't wear underwear for this reason, but today when he asked me if he could, with his sweet little dimply face, I agreed (against my better judgement) because we weren't planning on going anywhere today.  I was thankful it happened on the tile kitchen floor (before I mopped) and not the carpet, and quickly cleaned it up, cleaned him up, and got him some fresh clothes to wear.

It was time for a snack.  Alivia had asked me for some V8 splash juice before her bath and I had forgotten.  I fixed both of them some juice, Alivia some spiderman cheezits, and Weston a couple of fig newtons.  Alivia finished first and was tickling Weston as he finished his juice, when all of a sudden his lid came off and juice went all over him and the floor.  Thank goodness, once again, it was on the tile floor and I had not mopped yet.  I tried to remain calm as I cleaned up he and the floor and picked out his 3rd outfit of the morning...

I let the children play together while I did the dishes, mopped the kitchen floor, wiped down the kitchen table chairs, and did another load of laundry.

It was time for lunch.  The kids and I ate sandwiches, peanut butter crackers, apples, and water, while watching Calilou - Monday is about the only day we get to watch this show and they really like it!  While I was cleaning up the kitchen from lunch I noticed Alivia crouched behind the couch and obviously doing something she knew she wasn't supposed to be doing, so I walked over there and asked her what was going on.  She didn't want to tell me, but I saw the wet spot on the rug.  Not wanting to miss her show, she had an accident.  Really!?! I thought to myself.  This hasn't happened in over a year with her.  Twice in one day?  And on a Monday?  As I sprayed and scrubbed the rug, and cleaned my daughter, and got her some clean clothes to wear I prayed aloud for patience (I do this often) and said things to myself like... stay calm, gentle and quiet spirit, children are a blessing, kind words, grace...

Monday is also when sheets get changed, so after changing the sheets on the kids beds, we read a bedtime story and went down for a nap.  Alivia and I have this new deal where she stays in her bed and is quiet for one hour of rest time and after an hour I will come and check on her.  If she is asleep I let her sleep and if she is awake I let her come out and do a box activity (explanation of that coming in a later post).  She got up to use the bathroom once while I was in the shower, but then went back down and ended up falling asleep.

I was checking my facebook messages and emails, when I came across this post a sweet friend emailed me today about parenting entitled Are You Ready To Have Kids? While reading it I was laughing so hard I cried and had to share it because it was the inspiration for this post.

Weston woke up and we went to wake Alivia up since she had been asleep for 2 hours.  They get a snack of fruit when they wake up and they both wanted apple again even though we had that for lunch.  Then they wanted a banana.  They got to watch "Jake" while I got dinner going.  This is proof that I'm not making all this up...

I write all of this out in hopes that you will find some humor in the delight of homemaking and parenting.  The funny thing is, I consider today a really good day.  The kids were both in good moods, they played pretty well together, and I got a lot accomplished.  What's for dinner tonight?  I just texted the husband and asked him to get a Rotisserie chicken from Kroger on the way home and I am making green beans and frozen sweet potato fries.  Something quick and easy - we've got some Christmas decorating to do! :)

And because I think it's so wonderful, here's a link to a free printable from Ann Voskamp - 10 Points of Joyful Parenting

Momentary Motherhood - a great blog post by Carolyn Mahaney

Sunday, November 4, 2012


It's that time of year again when I start making things in the kitchen that the holiday season just wouldn't be complete without.  Toffee candy is one of those things.  Thanks to the Gaines' family traditions I make this every November and December and we make ourselves sick off of it's goodness.   I snapped a photo of some the other night and wanted to share it for other families to enjoy. 

2 sticks of butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 stack saltine crackers

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.  Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place a single layer of saltine crackers on foil.
3.  Combine butter and brown sugar in pan on stove and boil, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.
4.  Pour butter and brown sugar mixture over crackers and put in oven for 5 minutes.
5.  Take out of oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips, after 3 minutes (allowing chocolate to melt a bit) spread chocolate over crackers with butter knife.
6.  Sprinkle with pecans and place in freezer for one hour.
7.  Remove foil.  Break into pieces. Store in covered container.