Friday, November 29, 2013

Food on Friday - Herb Stuffing

I have no picture for my recipe for this week. I got all involved with cooking yesterday and took no pictures of food. Shame on me.

Herb Dressing
Ingredients
16 slices of bread, cubed
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cup melted butter
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp Accent
2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp pepper

Mix together the butter, salt, Accent, sage, and pepper. Set aside. Combine bread, milk, celery, and onion in a large bowl. Lightly toss with seasoned butter. Spoon it into a casserole dish and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes.

Do you have a recipe you want to share? Link up below.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Foosball

We were gifted with a Foosball table last year. The small people have a good time playing it, and it's a source of easy entertainment when friends come over.

Do you have a wordless (or not so wordless) post you want to share? Link up below.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving

Eating turkey, dressing, pumpkin pie. Watching the Macy's Parade. Spending time with family. Watching football.

All of these are traditions for Thanksgiving Day at my house. All of these are good things. There's nothing inherently bad about eating, watching a parade or football game, or spending time with family.

This year, though, it doesn't feel like enough. Because it isn't. Nowhere in that list of traditions is stopping to BE THANKFUL. Sure, we give thanks as we sit down for the big meal. We even go around the table saying what each of us is really thankful for. But this year I want to do more. I plan to do more, to spend more time being thankful. Not just on this Thursday, but every day.
  • To be thankful for the huge mountain of laundry that needs to be washed and folded - We have clothes.
  • To be thankful for the early mornings, crazy hectic school days, and even crazier and more hectic afternoons running around to various activities - We have been blessed to be able to homeschool and to have the opportunity to participate in those activities.
  • To be thankful for the pile of dishes waiting in the sink to be washed - We have food.
  • To be thankful for the high noise level in my house - My children are healthy and able to run around and make noise.
  • To be thankful for the large amount of money paid at the gas station - We have vehicles that get us where we need to go.
 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

On My Mind

I've been quiet here lately. Of course I've shared snippets of life via Wordless Wednesday and recipes via Food on Friday. But overall, I've been quiet.


It's not that I don't have thoughts to share. I do. They roll around in my brain all day long, every day. Maybe that's the problem. There are so many thoughts rolling around that they crash into each other, creating chaos in my brain. Yep, chaos. Utter craziness.

I've been struggling with watching my small people grow up. The Boy is now a teenager. While we do sometimes have to deal with teenage attitude, for the most part I'm really enjoying this phase of his life - except for the whole "he's growing up WAY too fast" part.

As the youngest of the small people, Sassy will always be my baby. But when I look at her, I realize she's no longer a baby. She's a little girl. She lost her first tooth a couple months ago and has a 2nd one about to fall out. She's reading really well now too. In just a few years (fewer than I want to think about), she'll be the only one left here when the others graduate and go off to school.

Speaking of years, this year is just flying by. It seems like just yesterday I was making out my list of goals for 2013. Now I'm getting ready to start my list for 2014, knowing that I didn't even get to most of the ones for this year. I don't know if I should be disappointed with myself for not meeting the goals, or just start looking forward to starting over. Although, now that I think about it, why do I have to wait until January 1st to start over? I can start new today. I can refocus my life - my brain - today. So that's where I am. Deciding that I need a new focus.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Food on Friday - Bar-B-Q Cups


These Bar-B-Q Cups are great for a hot lunch. I made 2x the amount of filling, used half, and put the other half in the freezer to use another time.

Bar-B-Q Cups
Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 tbs minced onion
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 (12 count) can buttermilk biscuits
3/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese

Combine ground beef, barbecue sauce, onion, and brown sugar. Set aside. Separate biscuit dough into 12 biscuits. Press each one into bottom and sides of a muffin cup. Spoon meat mixture into biscuit cups. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 375 for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Do you have a recipe you want to share? Link up below.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Snuggles

Now that it's getting cooler here, Little Red enjoys getting all snuggly with Buddy.

Do you have a wordless (or not-so wordless) post you want to share? Link up below.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Food on Friday - Italian Green Beans

I'm always excited to find a way to get my small people to eat their veggies. They absolutely LOVE these green beans.
Italian Green Beans
Ingredients:
1 lb fresh green beans, rinsed and trimmed
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup Italian dressing

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in green beans and Italian dressing. Cover and cook for 25 minutes, stirring often. Uncover and cook until beans are tender.

Do you have a recipe you want to share? Link up below!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Spider

This guy had spun a web across the gate of the fence going in to Soccer Girl's practice field.

Do you have a Wordless (or almost Wordless) post to share? Link up below.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Food on Friday - Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

This has been a crazy busy week. Because of the time change, soccer practice for the small people was moved up to an earlier time, which then interfered with ballet class times, or had us going straight from practice pick-up to another activity with no time for me to actually cook. So I'm pulling a recipe from the archives this week.


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies 

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp clove
pinch of ground ginger
1/ 2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
15 oz can of pure pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 cups chocolate chips 


  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Sift together (or whisk in small bowl) flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and ginger together and set aside.
  3. Beat butter, brown sugar and sugar together in a large mixer bowl.
  4. Add pumpkin and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
  5. Add egg and beat well until fully incorporated.
  6. Gradually beat in flour mixture.
  7. Stir in chocolate chips.
  8. Drop rounded spoonfuls onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  9. Bake for 13-15 minutes until edges start to brown. Remove from oven and let sit on hot baking sheet for 2 more minutes.
  10. Move cookies to wire rack to cool completely. 
I had a 29oz. can of pumpkin, so we doubled the recipe and ended up with about 5-6 dozen cookies.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

King's Faith DVD - Review and Giveaway

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this movie for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." 
I recently was given the opportunity to review the movie King's Faith. The older small people and I all sat down to watch this together. 

About the film:
Eighteen foster homes. Nine arrests. One life-changing moment.
After Brendan King’s life spiraled to rock bottom, the teen found hope in a new relationship with Christ while serving time in a juvenile penitentiary. Recently released from prison, Brendan finds solace in the foster home of a couple struggling with suppressed grief.
As the city-bred teen enrolls at a suburban high school, he finds support from a group of believers. Yet the bonds of his old way of life—and the gang that wants to know where he hid their stash on a long-ago night—are strong. In his darkest moment, Brendan found faith. Now he must decide if it’s worth the price to hold on to it.
KING’S FAITH is produced by DiBella and Faith Street Film Partners LLC, a Rochester, NY-based collective of filmmakers, churches, investors, and supporters.   

KING’S FAITH is a compelling story 
which features solid acting and a good storyline.”  
The Dove Foundation

KING’S FAITH is a very redemptive, uplifting movie
extolling the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” 
MOVIEGUIDE®

KING’S FAITH stars Emmy Award winning actress Lynn Whitfield (The Women of Brewster Place, Madea’s Family Reunion), Crawford Wilson (Judging Amy, Zoey 101), Kayla Compton (Entourage), and James McDaniel (Malcolm X, NYPD Blue).
KING’S FAITH features the themes of courage, forgiveness and overcoming your past highlighted with the important message of youth in foster care. The film prompts audiences to consider many of the questions they struggle with today: How can I stand firm in my faith when life’s challenges put me to the test?   Where do I turn when I feel paralyzed by loss and grief?  Can I find true forgiveness from my wrong choices?
Release Date: October 22, 2013
Run Time: 108 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13           
Suggested Retail Price: $14.99
Special Features: A 10-minute behind-the-scenes feature, commentary, discussion guide, Bible study clips affiliated with the LIVE IT OUT Bible Study
 
My Review:
King's Faith is about Brendan King, a young man whose troubled past includes multiple foster homes and arrests. After finding a relationship with Christ in his most recent incarceration, King begins his new life in his latest home with foster parents who are dealing with their own issues of grief. King's faith is challenged when his past catches up to him. 
 
This movie is great for pre-teens and teenagers. It gave us a wonderful opportunity to have great discussions about standing firm in our faith in the face of challenges. 
 
This film is rated PG-13 for violence, drug content, and thematic events, but it was just fine for the 10 and 13 year old's to watch.
 
You can learn more about King's Faith by checking out the website, following on Facebook, or following on Twitter.

Now for the best part, not only did I get to review King's Faith, but I get to offer a DVD to one of my readers. 
 

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Candy

This is just a small portion of the "loot" my small people came home with from Trick or Treating last week.

Do you have a Wordless (or almost Wordless) post you'd like to share? Link up below.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Can't-Wait Willow! - Review and Giveaway

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." 


I was given the opportunity to check out another great children's book. I couldn't wait to check out Can't-Wait Willow! by Christy Ziglar.


About the book:

Written by: Christy Ziglar
Illustrated by: Luanne Marten
Hardcover
$14.99

Willow is so excited that the Over-the-Top Circus has finally come to town! The only problem is, that when left to her own devices, she can’t say “no” to some good things. On the way to the show, she is distracted by enticing treats and fun that she just can’t turn down. Willow arrives late and is sad to find that, not only has she has run out of time, but money, and she won’t be able to enjoy the pink cotton candy she’s been dreaming of. Willow is given valuable advice and a second chance and is ultimately taught the lesson that sometimes in life you have to say “no” to good things to end up with something great!

You can find Can't-Wait Willow! at Barnes & Noble and other fine retailers, as well as Ideals Books.

About the author:
Christy Ziglar, financial planner, mother of twins and niece of legendary motivator and the world’s original optimist, Zig Ziglar, is bringing the same timeless wisdom and ageless advice to an entirely new, younger audience through her new Shine Bright Kids picture book series.

About Shine Bright Kids:
The Shine Bright Kids series provides children and their families with a relevant framework to help instill solid values and teach the importance of making good choices. The series teaches principles including: using good judgment, taking responsibility, self-control, having a positive attitude, and demonstrating perseverance.  Check out their website at www.ShineBrightKids.com for free reward charts, activities and other parenting resources.

My Thoughts About the Book:
In this age of instant gratification, this book is a great tool for teaching children the importance of patience and planning. Willow just can't say "no" to each good opportunity that comes up, but that leads her to miss out on the circus show that she had been really looking forward to. One of my favorite lines in the book is "sometimes you need to learn to say no to little things that are good to end up with a big thing that is truly great." How true that is!! It's a truth that people of all ages need to learn, not just children.
This book would be a great Christmas gift for a child in your life!

You can find more information about Shine Bright Kids and Can't-Wait Willow! on Facebook, Twitter, and the Shine Bright Kids webpage.

Not only was I offered the opportunity to review this book, but I also get to offer a copy to one of my readers. Enter the giveaway below for the opportunity to win your own copy of the book Can't-Wait Willow! If you don't win the giveaway or if you "can't wait" to buy the book, you can get a copy here.
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Friday, November 1, 2013

Food on Friday - Chewy Lemon Cookies


These cookies were a hit when I made them last week! With only a few ingredients, they were fairly simple to make. The hardest part was trying to make the dough into balls since the dough is rather sticky. My hands were a mess, but it was definitely worth it!


Chewy Lemon Cookies
Ingredients:
1 lemon cake mix
2 cups Cool Whip
1 egg
Powdered sugar

Mix together cake mix, cool whip, and egg until moistened. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. (Dough will be sticky.) Make into balls. Roll in powdered sugar. Flatten with glass dipped in powdered sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until lightly brown. When first out of the oven, cookies will be sticky so let them cool first on the pan.
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