Saturday, September 29, 2007
But I still took pictures of my delicious confection for you all to drool over anyway.
This was the piece I just ate and Mmmm it was good! But I have got to stop baking, it does nothing for my waistline that is for sure. For this pie I used a recipe I found over at Recipezaar.com called Yummy Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie which had rave reviews, and I have to say, I wasn't disappointed!
P.S. Please excuse his messy look. We had pancakes for breakfast and I was in such a hurry to try the hat on him that I didn't bother changing him or washing his face. It's 9 a.m. and we are all still in our jammies. I better get off my behind and get it together!
Friday, September 28, 2007
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups peeled, diced apples
Preheat oven to 325. In large bowl, mix first 7 ingredients with mixer on low for 3 minutes, continually scraping sides. Add apples. Spoon into muffin tins. Makes approximately 18 muffins. Bake for 25 minutes or until muffins are golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean.
In my 26 years living in this part of the country, this is the first real hailstorm that I can recall. We've had hail, but nothing to really talk about. This actually covered the ground and made it look like it had snowed. It did this in about 5 minutes. Before it began it was sunny, and now it's sunny again and you really can't even tell we had a storm.
Lego's. . . *sigh*
Thursday, September 27, 2007
1. I am so thankful for my daughter, Megan! She is 3 years old and just a hoot! She is loving and affectionate, not just to her family, but to everyone. She is ever the happy little girl, and never fails to bring a smile to my face. She's got a stubborn streak a mile long, but stubbornness and perseverance go hand in hand, and I think with a little guidance and discipline it will be a strength.
Megan has the cutest little run! Though I think she may be destined to be clumsy, but there are worse things in life. . .
Megan's silly cheese face tickles me pink!
Megan is the perfect mix of little princess and tomboy.
I had to grab this shot last night as we were getting ready for Awana Cubbie's. It was crazy hair night and I thought she just looked so cute. . . though probably more cute than crazy! Megan passed two 'Bear Hugs' last night! Yea Megan!
2. I am thankful for the 4 hour (Yes, I said FOUR hours!!!) nap that my children got yesterday afternoon! Woohoo! I have no idea what I did to deserve such a blessing!
3. I am thankful for my sister-in-law, Holly, who gives me free haircuts, and does an awesome job! Thank you Holly!
4. I am thankful for peace beyond understanding and unspeakable joy found in my relationship with Christ!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
My mom is also a great cook. Though she would never tell anyone that because she really doesn't enjoy cooking. But she did a great job feeding us while we were growing up, AND she did a good job teaching me the foundations of cooking so I can now successfully cook for my own family (which my husband especially appreciates). One of the things she taught me how to make was jelly/jam. One of the reasons I called my mom today was to get her recipe for Spicy Apple Jam. It's the absolute BEST jam EVER!!!! YUM! So while the kids napped I tackled that project and was able to finish it! I'm just waiting for the jam to set so I can make some toast and give it a try! Ooooh! My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
Spicy Apple Jam
3 lbs apples
7 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 bottle of 6oz fruit pectin
Peel and core apples. Put 1/4 of apples and 1/2 cup of water into food processor and process until finely chopped. Do this 3 more times with remainder of apples and same amount of water. You should end up with 5 cups of apple/water mixture.
Mix apple mixture with lemon juice and spices and heat on high, stirring constantly until it comes to a rolling boil.
Add sugar and return to rolling boil. Let boil for 1 minute
Remove from heat and stir in fruit pectin.
Ladle mixture into sterilized jars. Makes approximately 10 cups of jam. Boil jars in water bath caner for 15 minutes.
Oh and I just have to share the good news! I completed my canning, and finished blogging and my kids are STILL ASLEEP! Woohoo!
Oh, and the other good news. . . Tonight is Bible study night! Woohoo! I love Bible study night!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
3 very ripe bananas mashed
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cup flour
Cream sugar and shortening. Add remainder of the wet ingredients, then add the dry ingredients. Scoop into muffin tin. Makes 1 dozen regular sized muffins. Bake at 325 for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Monday, September 24, 2007
"If we could understand everything
God does, then He'd have to be a small god--small enough to fit in our little
~ Randy Alcorn ~
God is not limited by human wisdom and understanding. He is so much bigger than that. . . So much bigger than even our teeny little brains can comprehend. If we could understand everything God does or allows, then he would be limited in power and knowledge and understanding and thus not a 'big' god at all. It's ok not to understand what God is doing. It is even ok to ask him why, though we may never get an answer to that. We must know that God always works within his character that is revealed to us in the Bible, and therefore he can be trusted. Even when we don't understand why He is allowing certain circumstances or trials in our lives, we can rest assured that He knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not harm us, plans to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). And no matter what man does to try to thwart God's plans we know that God's plans will always prevail, and He is even so powerful that he can make good come out of bad circumstances even when we cannot possibly fathom it.
Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.
Genesis 50:20a But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Romans 11:33-36 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
You know, now that I think about it, it is so easy to do that very same thing in my relationship with Christ. I get so caught up in my 'duties' as a christian (going to church, singing in choir, being a 'good person') that I neglect my relationship with Christ that made me a christian in the first place. God is so good though! He loves me with an everlasting love, and patiently waits for me to come back to Him!
Today was such a beautiful day! I have been taking the kids to the playground down the street after lunch lately. I want to make the most of these beautiful days because it won't be too much longer before the winter chill sets in and we will be cooped inside. I do look forward to the winter holidays, but I don't look forward to being cooped inside for the months. After we came back from the park I put the kids down for a nap and I worked on the never ending task of laundry. Not my favorite chore in the world, but someone has to do it. I made Roasted Chicken for dinner. That was very tasty! And I made mashed potatoes and gravy for Tom, since that is his favorite. The nice thing about roasting a whole chicken is there is lots of leftover meat to use for future meals, and it's much cheaper than buying chicken breasts, or cut chicken. I plan to make Chicken Casserole, and Chicken Enchiladas for dinner tomorrow and Wednesday.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Since it's Saturday I gave myself the luxury of sleeping in until they woke up instead of setting the alarm for 6 like I would do on a weekday morning. Since Tom is out hunting I put a Veggie Tale DVD in for the kids and gave them each a bowl of dry cereal and set them on the couch hoping that would keep them out of trouble while I took my shower. Well, I must have spent too long in the shower because when I got out I came into the living room to find my daughter had decided to help herself to more cereal and dumped the ENTIRE box of Fruit Loops on the floor. No sooner did I get them cleaned up and get the floor vacuumed that my son decided to dump the container of legos all over the floor (I have mentioned before how much those little toys drive me crazy, haven't I?). I got those cleaned up and decided to put the kids in the tub for a bath and for a little play time, hoping that would give me a bit of peace. NOPE, they took the opportunity to get water all over me, and the bathroom. I finally got them bathed and got the bathroom cleaned up and the next thing I know the legos are being dumped all over the floor again. I did put them away in the closet thinking they would be 'out of sight out of mind' and that would deter the kids from wanting to dump them out, but I guess I was wrong.
So I'm sitting here at the computer ignoring the mess and reminding myself that I'm supposed to "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trails of many kinds (James 1:2)." Right now I'm having a hard time with the "pure joy" part of that verse. I knew I shouldn't have prayed for God to develop patience in me. I should have known He would take me seriously. *sigh*. Unfortunately I'm ashamed to admit that I probably haven't responded to these incidents with much patience though. I think God is definitely going to have to keep working on me. I pray that He'll give me the grace to respond better next time.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Well, first of all I want to post my Thankful Thursday. I hope no one minds me participating a day late. OOPS! I'll try to remember on the actual day from now on!
I'm an thankful that I have a husband who loves me and is patient with me. Even when it's that time of the month and I'm feeling miserable and rotten and not the easiest person to live with. I don't like to use my 'hormones' as an excuse to behave badly because I do believe that I choose how to respond to people, but it sure does make it harder to choose to respond in a loving way. It's one more area of my life where I desperately need God's help.
The other things that are taking up my thoughts today have to do with a verse that has come up in my Bible study.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Why is the fear of the Lord the beginning of knowledge and what exactly does it mean to fear the Lord? I believe that fearing the Lord includes reverence and realization that God is holy and that he holds the 'key' to either an eternity with him in heaven or an eternity in hell (Matthew 10:28). It is this fear of the Lord that helps us understand our need for a Savior. Once we have realized out need for the Savior, Jesus Christ, and accepted his death and ressurection as the payment for our sins and our only way to heaven, then we continue to show 'fear of the Lord' by recognizing His authority in our lives and deferring to His knowledge and wisdom for 'life and godliness' given to use in the Bible. It is truely foolish not to fear God because 1. As I mentioned earlier, he holds the key to heaven or hell, and 2. He is the creator and ruler of the universe and he holds ALL THE ANSWERS to life! King Solomon, the writer of Ecclesiates concludes it so well: Here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil (Ecclesiates 12:13-14)
Today has been a fairly uneventful day. I've worked on a little laundry, done dishes and vacuumed. I've done my Bible study, played with the kids, and read some of "Broken Things"(which is turning out to be a very enjoyable book). Now I'm just blogging and waiting for them to wake up from their nap. Tonight we are going to my mother-in-law's house for dinner which is always a blessing because that means I don't have to figure out what to fix, and I don't have to worry about doing dishes and clean-up. Not that I won't help her, but she has a dishwasher which makes it so easy! One day I would love to have an electronic dishwasher, but right now I'll just have to settle with doing it myself.
Well, I guess that's all for now! Tootaloo!
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Last night I went to a Pampered Chef party. That was fun. I knew everyone there, and I even won a pearing knife. Though I have to say, I have a pampered chef pearing knife already and I really don't like it. It is very flimsy. I much prefer my Cutco one. I ordered a cooling rack. Every time I make cookies (which I do fairly regularly) I've thought how nice it would be to have a cooling rack, so I'm excited that I'll finally have one! There were a few other things that I would have liked to get, but I had a very limited amount I could spend.
Today is Wednesday, which means Awana and Bible Study night. I've been working with Megan on her Bible verses for Cubbies. She is kinda getting it. I'm not sure how strict they are in the way they require memorization from the 3 and 4 year olds so I don't know if she'll 'pass' the sections or not.
I finished 2 more books since my post about what I've read this summer. I finished The Blue Bottle Club by Penelope Stokes. It is the story of a reporter who discovers a blue bottle filled with the written dreams of 4 girls from the depression era. The reporter tracks down the women and finds out if they fulfilled their dreams for their lives. It was a good story. I enjoyed it. The other book I just finished today was called The Reliance by M. L. Tyndall. It is the sequel to The Redemption which I read earlier this summer. It was so good that I had a hard time putting it down. I finished it in 2 days. The next book I plan to read is Broken Things by Andrea Boeshaar. I've never read anything of hers before, but I always enjoy trying new authors. Hopefully it will be a good one!
Well, I better get going. Kyle and I are walking down to the preschool to get Megan today which means we need to leave right about now. . .
Saturday, September 15, 2007
This morning we went down the street to visit my mother-in-law. Megan rode her tricycle, and kyle his little push tricycle. I am still working on teaching Megan how to peddle. The poor thing just is not coordinated and has a terrible time at it. She's kinda getting it, but she if she actually does manage to peddle then she can't concentrate on the steering and ends up riding off the sidewalk and into the fences and stuff. I'm sure one of these days it will click for her, but for now she requires lots of assistance. I finally had to give up letting her peddle because Kyle was getting too far ahead of us on his little trike, so I pushed Megan to catch up to him. We did have a nice visit with grandma. She ended up treating us to Burger Kind for brunch. The kids loved that. Megan and Kyle love their french toast sticks. We visited with her for a couple hours before coming back home.
I picked up and vacuumed while the kids played for a bit, but it wasn't long before the kids were down for a nap and I was able to get down to business. I threw together a batch of sugar cookies to take to my sister-in-law's birthday party tomorrow(which reminds me that I need to make a birthday card sometime tonight). Then I cleaned up the kitchen and washed dishes, and then I worked on putting away my summery decoration and getting out my autumn stuff. The kids woke up before I was completely finished with that so my summer things are sitting on my bed. I will have to wait until later to put them away.
Since they woke I have fed us dinner and now the kids are occupying themselves with legos. My living room floor is covered with them, which means at some point I will probably step on one like usual and in my pain and frustration wish that we'd never gotten the stupid things. . .but they do keep the kids entertained and happy. And as I look at them I notice they both are enjoying a cookie which they have snuck into the kitchen and stolen while I've been on the computer. No wonder why they are so happy. LOL! It won't be long until I tell the kids it's time to clean up and enlist their help of course. They need a bath tonight since tomorrow is Sunday and I like them to be clean and sparkly for church.
After that I'm not sure what we'll do. Hopefully Tom will be home soon. Then later tonight after the kids are in bed we'll watch the other movie we rented. Hopefully it will be a good one. Well, the kids are getting bored with the legos. Megan just stepped on one and is crying and as I look closely at them I see the cookies are now crushed throughout the legos. Looks like I'll be vacuuming again today. . .
Friday, September 14, 2007
Tom and Megan are currently out getting a new battery for the van and renting a movie for us to watch this evening. I had the joy of spending a little time with Kyle. He and I went for a little excursion around the block, myself on foot, and he on his little push tricycle. Then we collected some rocks from our neighbors driveway. It wasn't long, however, before his serious face and telltale body language let me know that he was filling his britches so we headed inside to change his diaper. That's all taken care of and now he is sitting on my lap playing with his rocks while I'm typing. He really is such a sweet boy. Both of my children are, in my opinion, the most lovable children on the planet! (and I'm pretty sure I'm not biased or anything! ;) )
AW! They (Tom and Megan) just called me from the grocery store to find out what kind of snack I wanted while we watched the movie. Megan is SO fun to talk to on the phone! She is just way too sweet! She said "Wa you want, mommy?". I said "I want a soft pretzel". She replied, "you wan pretzel?". Now all that sounds perfectly normal, but if you heard her adorable voice you would understand just why that little conversation makes my heart smile!
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Since the kids usually nap for a couple hours, I still had an hour left to be productive. Not that I can't be productive when the kids are awake, but it's so much easier to get things done while they are sleeping. I decided to bake a batch of cookies instead of doing more cleaning. I've got that PMS appetite that nothing seems to satisfy and it puts me in the mood to bake something sweet and yummy. Obviously I have no will-power and gave in without even trying to fight it. I chose a recipe for Scandinavian Cookies that I got from my husband's grandma. I chose this particular recipe because these cookies have a jelly filling, and I thought they would be especially tasty with the homemade raspberry jelly I made this past weekend.
Didn't they turn out pretty?!
1 cup Crisco
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 egg yolks (set aside whites)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups flour
Form into 1 inch balls. Roll in egg whites, then in ground nuts. place on ungreased cookie sheet and make a dent in the center of each with your thumb. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Fill indentation with raspberry jelly, or your choice
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
- Redemption Series (5 books) by Karen Kingsbury. This series follows the Baxter family joys and sorrows. It is contemporary romance. These are very very good. If you read these, make sure you have a tissue box nearby.
- FirstBorn Series (5 books) by Karen Kingsbury. This series follows the Baxter family again, as they discover a family secret and face the cancer and loss of their mother. Definitely another tear jerking series. These were also very good, though I did find at the end of the 10 books in these two series I was beginning to think that she just needed to end it. I don't think the family can take anymore tragedy and well, they were beginning to drag. It's hard for me to believe that there is another series to follow about this family.
- Divine by Karen Kingsbury. This novel was excellent! It is religious women's fiction. A Mary Magdalene type story of forgiveness and grace, and overcoming a life of tragedy and heartache with the help of our Heavenly Father. A really beautiful story. One that I was definitely recommend reading.
- Redemption by Marylu Tyndall. I could NOT put this book down! A wonderfully gripping romance about a lady and the pirate who rescues her. LOVED this! It has a sequel called Reliance. I haven't read that one, but plan to just as soon as my sister-in-law is done with it.
- Brides of the Empire by Darlene Mindrup. Three stories about Christian women and their journey of love in the Roman empire during the time of Nero when Christians were persecuted. Enjoyable quick reads.
- Rekindled by Tamera Alexander. This is the story of the struggle of a woman to survive in the West after her husband disappears and the chance to fall in love with him all over again. Another excellent book. I look forward to read the next two in the trilogy: Remembered, and Revealed.
- Pieces of Silver by Maureen Lang. This book was pretty good, but probably my least favorite of all the books I've read this summer. It is the story of a young German American women who finds herself without a job due to mistrust of German's during the First World War. She then struggles to believe that the man she thought was was going to marry is a German Spy, and finds herself falling in love with the Secret Service agent who is trying to get her to betray the man she thought she loved.
- The Oak Leaves by Maureen Lang. Though I didn't care as much for the first book I read by Maureen Lang, this one on the other hand was a touchingly original story! This is the story of two women in the same family, one from the nineteenth century and one in the twenty-first century, who find their lives dramatically affected by "Fragile X syndrome". I would recommend this book to anyone who has a child who has been diagnosed with any type of life-altering disorder. The author has a child with Fragile X Syndrome. And the books takes you through the very realistic gamut of emotions that a women whose child has been diagnosed with this disorder would experience.
- The Hawk and the Jewel by Lori Wick. As with every book I've ever read by Lori Wick, this was wonderful! Sometimes her characters seem a little too perfect, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
- Wings of Morning by Lori Wick. Another great read by Lori Wick.
- Heritage of Lancaster County Series (3 books) by Beverly Lewis. This is the story of Katie Lapp, an Amish girl, who finds out she was actually and "English" baby adopted by the Amish and her struggle to discover who she really is. Not the first series I've read by Beverly Lewis, and like the books I've read before, I was not disappointed!
I believe those are all the books that I have read this summer. Only twenty-two books! If you can't tell from this list, I love to read! All of these books I thought were very good, but my two favorite were:
I think I liked these books so much because they have a genuine message. Not just the age old repeat of a man and a women falling in love, but stories about real life heartache and tragedy and the hope and strength found through Christ. Both are truly moving stories and if you haven't read them yet, you definitely should!
Today I plan to start my next book. The Blue Bottle Club by Penelope J. Stokes. I've had this book sitting on my bookshelf for a few years. It was a gift, and I've just never gotten around to reading it. I actually forgot about it until just now that I'm in between reads and was searching my shelves for something good. I'll be sure to let you know how I like it.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Sure, I guess I agree with this. . .
Your type is: infj —The “Know Thyself” Mother
“I believe the joy of motherhood is self-discovery—for them and for me.”
Sensitive and family-focused, the INFJ mother looks for and encourages the unique potential of each child. Self-knowledge may be her byword. Her aim is to help each child develop a sense of identity and cultivate personal growth. In fact, she may value the mothering experience as a catalyst to her own personal growth and self-knowledge.
The INFJ mother spends time observing and understanding each child. She is drawn to intimate conversations and seeks a free exchange of feelings and thoughts.
Sympathetic and accommodating, the INFJ mother strives to meet the important yet sometimes conflicting needs of each family member in harmonious and creative ways
She is conscientious and intense as well. Probably no one takes life and child-raising more seriously than the INFJ. She approaches mothering as a profession requiring her best self.
If you want to find out your mothering style go to http://www.motherstyles.com/quiz.asp