So glad you came to visit today! Here at my little corner of bloggy world I share a little bit about everything--family, parenting, goals, struggles, photography, recipes, n more! So curl up with a cup of hot tea {or not} and feel free to peruse around my site! Check out my sidebar for links. And come back again!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday Meanderings

Okay, I took my holiday today and now it's time to start thinking about the rest of the week! On with the plans...

Bible Study - Mission of Motherhood

Memory Verse - Isaiah 26:3-4
"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal."

Husband Encouragement
* keep up with reading in Love Dare devotional - I've been forgetting about it lately!
* pray for him daily
* ask him to show me how to do some of the house projects that need done so I can help do it myself
* stop complaining about how much I dislike his work schedule. It is what it is, so I NEED to give him my support.

Train Them Up
* Eli - be loving to him and don't discipline in anger, get a new pen so he can actually mark on his responsibility chart, do something with his naptime routine (if he does nap then he ends up being awake til 10 or 11 at night! so I need to either wake him up earlier or just switch to quiet time altogether)
* Hannah - first time obedience
* Carter - may start rice cereal this week at the dinner time hour

Personal Goals
* Get up before the kids
* Read daily marriage devo.
* Start sewing my skirt.
* Be productive with my time this week. Last week was great and it felt AWESOME!

New Habit of the Month (yes, this is ANOTHER one I'm adding to the list! But at the beginning of the month I want to pick a new habit to work on throughout the month)
* Clorox wipe down bathroom counter every night. (I started this last week and it's working great to the keep counter decluttered and clean! I want to continue with this!)

* schedule eye appointment for next week
* schedule hair cut for next week
* pharmacy
* pack away MOPS stuff for the summer
* mow (arg, why does this need done every single week?! LOL)
* mail cupboards plan for a quote
* paint dining room before the weekend
* bag up all our empty milk jugs

Zone - get completely caught up on laundry and get it put away!

M - pizza
T - meatloaf, mashed potatoes, peaches
W - kids nite - macaroni and cheese w hot dogs, cupcakes
Th - grilled pita pizzas (hopefully this week I can find some pita somewhere!)
S - spinach ricotta quiche, fresh fruit
Su - leftovers

FUN Things!
* progress on our dining room! after the final sanding on our drywall we get to start the decorative process with paint, trim, molding, and flooring!
* Kevin's 6-day off starts on Friday!

3 things I'm thankful for today:
1. My best high school friend and her husband came and visited us for the first time here this past weekend!
2. The weather has been GORGEOUS! Sunny and not too hot! I'm LOVING it!
3. My kids. They have been sooo well behaved lately! I've been so proud of them!

What's your week look like?? Join me with your plans, and leave your link below so I can come visit you! Blessings on your week!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kids Memory Verse Song

I came up with this song in the fall for a MOPS lesson with the kids. We talked about all the things changing around us but how Jesus never changes. This is one of Eli's favorite songs he asks me to sing.

Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."
(tune: Jesus Loves Me)

Jesus loves me this I know
Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Even when things start to change,

Jesus will always stay the same.

Hebrews thirteen eight

Hebrews thirteen eight

Hebrews thirteen eight

Jesus will never change.

He'll forgive me every day

He listens every time I pray

He's always with me wherever I go

For the Bible tells me so.

Hebrews thirteen eight

Hebrews thirteen eight

Hebrews thirteen eight

Jesus will never change.

Find more of my Bible verse songs here, here, and here!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Shaving cream lids

...are a collectors item at this house!

Such a wonderful array of colors makes for bathtime fun!

Hobbies: What inspires you?

I love browsing through fabric {not when I'm with my kids though PLEASE} and often I'll find one or two that immediately give me a vision like ooo, this would look perfect for this style of dress! Several times now I've found a fabric and design/pattern and then handed it over to my mom to make since she loves to sew. So fabric inspires me.

And a few weeks ago I found a little notebook at Dollar General. {Love that store.} I was actually looking for a new, boyish looking small notebook for Eli since he's filled his, and instead I found one for myself {since the boy ones had SKULLS on them!!!}. It's small and clutches nicely in my hand, and it's got a cute butterfly on it. When I got it I was thinking Hannah might use it sometime. But after I brought it home I realized I wanted to keep it for myself. {that's okay to do, right??} And since it's so small I thought it would be just perfect for a little thankful notebook. So every night at the end of the day I've been writing 5 things I'm thankful for about the day. I'm going to try to do this every night for who knows how long. Til I fill the notebook I suppose. Notebooks inspire me. They make me want to write and make thankful lists and blessings lists and goals and prayers.
So what inspires you? What do you look at and immediately think, Ooo, this would be great for THIS! Are you a paper person? Baskets? Decorative things? Fabric? Flowers? Notebooks?

A new yummy secret!

Today at lunch I was having leftover soft taco in which we wrap like an open burrito. Anyway... As I was eating it I was thinking about how much I like Taco Bell's grilled stuff burrito and the yummy sauce they put in it, wondering what it might be made of. I still don't have a clue, but I mixed together some ranch with a little taco sauce mixed in, stirred it in to my burrito stuffing and mmmm, that was GOOD! Definitely going to do that one again!!

And because I love y'all so much, I thought I'd share the goodness! =)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Prayer Clock

I am so excited today because this project has been on my list to do for MONTHS now, and I finally finished it today! Sort of. More on that part in a minute though.

So shortly after we got married, or as a wedding present, I can't remember, we got this photo clock. At first I put all kinds of flower pics in it that I had taken. But in our new house I wanted to repurpose it and I came up with a great idea that got me really excited! I wanted to fill the clock with pictures of people we're praying for regularly. Not everyone but our missionary friends, soldiers, pregnant friends, etc. So on this clock I put... Missionary Friends #1, Missionary Friends #2, Stellan (and other babies that are sick), Missionary Friends #3, Soldiers, Family, Missionary Friends #4, Daddy, Compassion kids, Missionary Friends #5, Pregnant Friends, and Church.

This is going to hang on a wall in the play room, and I'm hoping it will help us be more intentional about praying for our people. I had to find pictures and resize them to fit the frame. I measured the frame spots first but even still the pictures print a little too small, and it's bugging me but it's not worth fixing right now. So for now I'll call it done. I'm happy.

By the way, I'm not sure the actual clock function works anymore, so this whole deal is really for decoration and picture purposes. =) Isn't it GREAT when you can repurpose something old into something new and fun!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Monday Meanderings

Look, I made a banner! Right click on it and save to your computer to use it for your post or sidebar. I'll probably change it sometime but for now, this will do!

Bible Study
Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson

Memory Verse James 3:9-10
"With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be."

Husband Encouragement
* make sure he has lunches for work and even set things together for him in the fridge
* help as much as I can this week with house projects
* have better attitude about bedtime. I've had a bad attitude lately about having to get up all the time in the night when everyone else is sleeping. My saying lately has been, "I am a person too!!" It's been a little ugly.

Train Them Up
* Eli - responsibility chart (I printed it out again but this time laminated it and stuck magnets on the back so 1. Hannah can't rip it apart and 2. we can reuse it and just mark everything off with a dry erase marker and 3. it saves paper and ink)
* Hannah - first time obedience
* Carter - still sleep training, ugh

Personal Goals
* go for some early-morning walks at the pond. With Eli's new bike he can ride a LOT faster now so with him not loading up the stroller, hopefully I can go for a fast walk like I like.
* drink water
* watch snacking - been having bad habits lately and we don't even keep snacks in the house!
* wash the dishes instead of leaving them for the next day.
* stay off the computer during the day
* wipe down the bathroom daily

* get bills out
* mail B-day cards to people
* call Tessie Thursday night
* call about dining room cabinets quote
* call about bathroom quote
* paint 2nd coat on door
* call about electrical quote
* paint the inside side of door

* get suitcases put away



M - soft tacos
T - kids nite - lunchables, apple
W - breakfast nite - stuffed French toast, strawberries
Th - meat loaf, mashed potatoes, peaches
F - appetizer nite - cheesy spinach and artichoke dip, mini corn dogs
S - grilled pita pizzas
Su - day off

MOPS picnic - star shaped lunch meat and cheese, fruit of some sort
Church picnic - ricotta pepperoni dip, fruit salad

FUN Things!!
* MOPS playdate and potluck on Tuesday
* SIL's birthday on Thursday
* My friend Tessie might have her baby on Friday, depending on her appointment on Thursday
* Potluck picnic after church on Sunday

3 Things I'm Thankful For Today:
1. Sprinkler fun with the kids!
2. Family movie night. Trying to start this. Just have to find good movies the kids won't be scared of. Wish we had more Veggie Tales stuff around here.
3. A talented husband who can fix just about anything!

Join me and link up! Blessings on your week!!

This is what's really going on.

If I'm not around my blog much these days, THIS IS WHY. I am overwhelmed. Going to try to stay focused, less distracted, use the most of my time, and conquer! "Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:15-17

Prayers would be good.

See you tomorrow though with my Meanderings!

Sunday Psalm

Psalm 40:4-8

Blessed is the man
who makes the Lord his trust,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.
Many, O Lord my God,
are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare.

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but my ears you have pierced;
burnt offerings and sin offerings
you did not require.
Then I said, "Here I am, I have come--
it is written about me in the scroll.
I desire to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart."

Friday, May 21, 2010

One more goodie

Ooo, I forgot to mention one of my very favorites of the year yesterday in my post of new recipes!! A really great appetizer/snack to make for parties or for not parties! It's soooo soooooooo good anytime of the day--super yummy to eat the leftovers (if there are any) for breakfast the next morning. You HAVE to try this one!!

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

I followed the recipe and fried the cinnamon chips, but next time I'm going to bake them, using this recipe. Should be just as good! And goodness the cinnamon chips are good all by themselves too!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Recipe Love

Just some recipes I've tried lately and loved. Thought I'd share...

Tri-Color Pasta Salad
Very yummy. I couldn't stop! I added even more tomatoes because it added a nice freshness to the salad (this is coming from a girl who never used to like tomatoes at all!!) This recipe is a keeper! Kids did OK with it.

Cheesy Cauliflower Bake

Mostly I liked this. Kevin wasn't home that night. The kids didn't like the crunchies on top but otherwise I think it would've been okay for them. Also good with a little sour scream stirred in with it.

Cheddar Spirals
I usually use this recipe (super good!) for homemade mac n cheese but this was a new take using condensed cheddar soup and the crockpot. Kids approved! (sorry for the small pic, that's all there was)

Honey-Spiced Chai Bundt Cake
I made this for our MOPS brunch last week. Who says you can't have cake in the morning?! LOL I really liked this, especially with the delicious cream cheese frosting all over it. It's basically just a good spice cake. Real mild flavored and yummy!
Southern Mashed Potatoes
I've figured out how to make 'em "southern style" (from a girl who's not really from the south at all). LOL I suppose I'm comparing to what you might get at Cracker Barrell. Smash the potatoes with a mixer (learned this from Kevin's family and it's so easy that way). Add in lots of butter. For 4 potatoes, that's at least 1/2 stick of butter. Add milk to consistency and a moderate amount of salt. And here's what I learned, LOTS of pepper. Keep adding it 'til it tastes like what you want. It had to have been at least a teaspoon when I made it last. Soo good! (That was all so vague, did that even count as a recipe?? LOL)

*All the photos are from the recipe websites.

Have you tried any new recipes lately that have been delicious successes?? Do share!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A giveaway!

One of my very best bloggy friends Julie is starting fresh with a cute new blog, His Grace Reaches Me, and jump starting it with a giveaway! So head over to HERE, leave a comment, and get your name in before the drawing on June 1st!

Win this
or this!

Book Activity: Rock Cakes

So sometimes it's just too much for me to plan a whole week of lessons for "school time". And I'm not very good at doing seasonal crafts anymore, not sure why. But lately I've been thinking how fun it would be to do activities based on some of the kids' favorite books. So here's our first try at it...

The book: Fun To Learn, Counting by Nina Filipek (great series of books, by the way, for learning time , counting, early reading etc)
The activity: making "rock cakes", aka popcorn balls, like on this page and coloring them the same as in the book.

The popcorn balls were super yummy! I followed this recipe. It made it a lot more complicated to do different colors because I had to divide up the sticky sauce into four bowls to dye it, then four different bowls of popcorn. All of which had to soak for a few minutes before washing. But it was good and we got to do some color mixing. The big flaw in this whole activity is that the kids never got to eat any!! LOL We made them right before going to Grandma and Grandpa's for the weekend and we brought them with us to share them, and we were having so much fun at their house the kids just didn't have much chance for such a sweet snack. Daddy didn't get any either so I'm thinking we'll make some more but without all the colors, and then it will be much easier to make. Fun activity though!

Next idea: The kids love The Color Kittens book, so I want to do color mixing with paint and paint some pictures.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I love mixing toys!

Sometime last year Eli was given a train set from one of Kevin's coworkers whose kids had outgrown it. Combine it with a small set he already had, a new box with some special connector pieces in it, and some of his other toy sets and he can make some really amazing tracks! It's fun for me even and with my help we can set up something quite elaborate!

Complete with a dinosaur park...that even has a entrance and ticket booth...a farm
...and a train yard
..and a gas station and parking garage
perfect for a tunnel!
Simple fun and wonderful imagination!! I love it!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday Meanderings

I really want to make a little graphic for this meme. Maybe someday... =)

Bible Study - Mission of Motherhood

Memory Verse - TBD

Husband Encouragement
* try to have a more organized meal time - prepare meals in afternoon if possible, wash dishes so my counters are clean and remove any kitchen clutter

Train Them Up
* Carter - I'm starting some real sleep training this week! Carter's been waking up at least a couple times in the night, starting as early as 1:30am after he just went to bed around 10:30. I've been feeling reeaally tired lately, like newborn phase again, and I know Carter really doesn't need to eat in the night anymore because he's big enough now.
* Hannah and Eli - working on first-time obedience with a happy heart
* Eli's actually getting pretty good at reading an analog clock if it's on the hour. So I want to put batteries in his bedroom clock and tell him he has to stay in his room reading books or whatever until 7:00am since he's my early riser, especially these days with the sun rising earlier.

Personal Goals
*ahh, the house was much better last week! still trying to get caught up on laundry and get everything put away, but with the kids playing outside (not today though cuz it's rainy) I have a lot more time to do it.
* work on spring cleaning list

* resend one of Moppet questionnaires because I wrote the address wrong on it
* start thinking about upcoming birthdays

Zone - living room hutch

Menu Plan - I feel like trying some new recipes this week!

M- kielbasa, cheddar spirals, cauliflower
T - grilled Italian chicken, grilled potatoes, fruit salad
W - slow cooker pork chops, cooked carrots
Th - best-ever meat loaf, mashed potatoes, baked apples
F - brats, grilled ranch veggies
S - tacos
Su - leftovers

* Kevin's day off today
* zoo with family on Saturday

3 Things I'm Thankful for Today:
1. A great weekend home this past weekend and actually having time to catch up with old friends. It was so so good!
2. Family time today!
3. Found a babysitter!!!

Join me and leave your link below so I can come visit you! (sorry I didn't get by last week; last week was crazy busy!) Have a great week!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Finally seeing a little of this

After a week of temps dropping back into the 40s and turning space heaters back and making hot chocolate again {FOR REAL, you guys!! isn't that INSANE?!}, we're finally seeing a little sun again! Still wearing jeans and jackets instead of shorts but at least we can get outside again! Here's the view out the back of our yard.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Monday Meanderings

Bible Study - Mission of Motherhood

Memory Verse - Ephesians 5:15-17
"Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is."

Husband Encouragement
* Have a good attitude with the kids.

Train Them Up
* Eli - his prayers these days have been FABULOUS! Nothing recited, just real prayers and so heart-warming to hear. Be really encouraging to him.
* Hannah - I've started teaching her the Lord's Prayer and to my surprise she knows almost all the key words when I let her fill in the blanks! So proud of her! She's also into counting right now 1,2,4,5,6,7,8,9 so we'll do some practicing with that.
* Carter - SLEEP! He's so out of wack, will NOT nap more than 30-45 minutes in the afternoon without waking up or lately in the morning it's been 15 MINUTES into his nap he wakes up. For no apparent reason. He's a snuggler so the last two days I've taken a nap with him in the afternoon just so he'll sleep good instead of me spending the whole afternoon trying. He'll sleep forever if he's right next to me! it's sweet! But I'm also getting REALLY anxious for him to be a better napper!
* Popcorn balls. This is going along with one of the books they've been reading all the time lately. Stay tuned for what that's about.

Personal Goals
* get back on track with house stuff. It's kind of a busy week this week but last week I got pretty much NOTHING done around the house, and for no reason either! I was just lazy!

* schedule Carter's 4-month (!!!) Dr. appointment for next week
* finish getting things ready for this last MOPS meeting
* mail out letter/questionnaires to the Moppet workers
* send thank-you notes to extra volunteer workers
* pay bills

Zone - laundry! after I get all caught up, why do I think I can then take a couple days off??? And with Kevin sleeping during the day this past weekend I really didn't get anything put away!

Menu Plan

M- popcorn shrimp, fries
T - oriental chicken salad, mandarin oranges
W - mommy's going out!
Th - ribs, mashed potatoes, peaches
F - Iowa
S - Iowa
Su - TBD

dessert of the week: blackberry cheese pie (didn't get to this last week)

* children's museum with friends on Monday
* last MOPS meeting of the year on Tuesday
* mommy's nite out dinner on Wednesday
* home to Iowa on Friday for a friend's baby shower on Saturday, excited to see lots of high school friends again!

3 Things I'm Thankful for Today:
1. Great friends I can't wait to dine and chat with Wednesday night!
2. Group family vacation plans for Colorado this August!!
3. My three beautiful babies. I really really love them!
*4. One of my missionary friends and her husband and 2-yr old are back in the U.S. 'til July!! Can't wait to figure out when I can see them!

Join me! And leave your link below so I can come visit you! Blessings on your week!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Springtime Crafts

I was browsing the crafts on the Family Fun website this morning and marked several projects I'd like to do with the kids. Check 'em out! Aren't they adorable? (Click on the titles to go to the craft instructions)

Cool Creatures
Trail Tote
Painted Rock Playset

Painting in the Rain

Sidewalk Paint

Eli saw this sidewalk paint picture and wants to do it right now. So after lunch we might whip up a sample and try just a spot of it on the sidewalk to make sure it's going to wash off! =)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

THE Surprise of the day!!

{For my new readers, we have three farm cats. They don't have names and they stay in our outside shed at night}. So after dinner I went out to feed the cats and SURPRISE, SURPRISE! The calico cat was sitting near the window feeding three tiny, mouse-sized kittens!! Kevin had suspected about a week ago that she was pregnant, but I had NO IDEA that she would be delivering anytime like NOW!!! When Kevin and I were in Kansas City weekend getaway, we saw a Discovery show {or something} about cats delivering their babies {why we watched THAT on our weekend away I don't really KNOW! LOL probably because we were at a hotel with TV and the show was fascinating} Anyway... because of the show I learned that it was a really short gestation period {that is what it's called for them right??} So I'm NOT the animal person around here. It takes all my strength just to pick up one of the cats, and if one of them ever gets in the house, I pretty much freak out. So when I saw the cat had kittens and Kevin is working tonight, I FREAKED OUT!! I dropped the bags of cat food and came rushing inside, slamming the door shut, yelling at the kids to be quiet so I could talk on the phone. I called my parents - no answer, I called my vet-tech friend Katie - no answer, and then I called my SIL cat-owner and she directed me on what to do. I knew that the whole birth thing was done--it's a natural process, no cords to cut or anything {saw that from the show. the kittens just poop right out! sorry if TMI} but I do know, especially being outside cats {and NO I am NOT bringing them in all by myself!!!!} they need protected from our night visitors. So anyway, I shut our other two farm cats out of the shed, left them food and water though, and left the mommy and her three little kittens alone all safe and warm in the shed with plenty of water, food, and warmth.

Eli was so cute about it, once I managed to regain some sanity. He said "I'm superman! I'm going to save the day! I'm not going to be upset about the cats!" Because CLEARLY he saw how frazzled I was!! LOL Love that boy!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Monday Meanderings

Bible Study - Mission of Motherhood

Memory Verse - Psalm 128:1-2
"Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours."

Husband Encouragement
* Help him with the dining room as much as I can this week, even if it means working hard to keep the kids out of his way.
* Make his favorite pie.

Train Them Up
* Carter - nap/sleep - not too many changes all at once.
* Eli - daddy day on Wednesday - breakfast out, then fishing for the first time
* Hannah - mommy day on Wednesday - van oil change and shopping
* school: do book-related activities

Personal Goals
* work hard to get chores done with kids so I can use naptime to read and study because it's a very important part of this job too
* exercise

* thank you note
* deposit checks
* pharmacy
* call around to contractors
* MOPS postcards and prep for next week, confirm additional workers

Zone - bathroom

Menu Plan

M- Chinese takeout (hubby's request)
T - warm chicken ranch wraps, apples
W - grilled Italian chicken, pasta salad, mandarin oranges
Th - kids nite - cheesy cauliflower bake, hot dogs
F - breakfast nite -
S - skillet lasagna, salad
Su - oriental chicken salad

dessert of the week: chocolate pudding pie, blackberry cheese pie

* MOPS planning meeting on Tuesday
* Omaha errands on Wednesday
* maybe to a friends' house on Thursday?

3 Things I'm Thankful for Today:
1. beautiful spring weather
2. Kevin's days off!
3. Eli's starting to wake up earlier these days so I've told him to stay in his room and play quietly or look at books when he wakes up, and he's been so good about doing that!

Join me with your plans! Blessings on your week!

Sunday Psalm

Psalm 19:7-14

The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever.
The ordinances of the Lord are sure
and altogether righteous.
They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the comb.
By them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

Who can discern his errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then will I be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.

May the words of my mouth and the
meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.