Monday, October 31, 2011

Not Me, Monday

Welcome to Not Me Monday, a blog carnival created by MckMama at My Charming Kids. It's a place where we can share what we have "not" been doing this past week.

So here are a few things I did "not" do.

I did "not" make a last minute dash into the Family Dollar store on the way to church Sunday morning because my kids needed a bag lunch to eat between church service and Christmas Pageant Practice. I did "not" buy a pile of junk food (plus some raisins just so I could convince myself it was a little healthy) for my kids to eat for lunch. I would never do that, I am always prepared to feed my kids healthy meals no matter what the occasion.

When I came home that afternoon and found nearly everyone outside I did "not" try to sneak inside and eat the last few Pringles in the can. When I heard one of my kids come in the door I did "not" run upstairs to eat the chips in the safety of my bedroom only to have another child call out "Are you eating chips?" I did "not" selfishly eat them all myself anyway. I am always willing to share the last of the Pringles with my kids.

I did "not" wonder the rest of the day how it is the kids junk food radar always manages to know when I am trying to sneak some past them.

I did "not" forget to give one child his morning medication before he left for the day, causing my husband to have to make a detour on the way to church to take it to him. I always remember important things like that.

The sad part is all these things I did "not" do are just from today (I'm writing this Sunday evening). I don't even want to think about all the things I did "not" do all last week.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake

I've seen several versions of this cake recently and love how simple it is to put together. So I took what I liked from several different recipes and made it my own.

1 (18.25 ounce) yellow cake mix
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 in. pan.

In a large bowl mix together cake mix, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips.

Bake for 25 - 30 minutes in preheated oven, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Let cool. Frost if desired.

Since it is a very simple recipe I had the kids help me make it.  We had fun each taking a sniff of the spices and seeing if we liked how the smelled. I liked them all, the kids weren't so sure.

I didn't have a chance to take pictures while they were putting in the ingredients but was able to get some while they stirred.

And after everything was thoroughly stirred in, there is, of course, the fun of licking the spoons. Since there is no egg in this recipe I was happy to let them enjoy this.

A couple pictures of the finished cake. This cake was all gone (except for the piece I put in Doug's lunch for the next day) by that evening. I used Butter Frosting to add the finishing touch to this cake.

~ Linking Here ~

~ And Here ~

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Multitudes on Monday

Slowly and sporadically counting my way to 1,000 blessings and beyond, today I share a few more.

111. A fun evening with  new friends celebrating the 5th birthday of their granddaughter. It's such a blessing to learn to know people and enjoy time together.

112. Trying out new recipes with kids. Our Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake was a big success.

113. Watching and listening as Michael enjoys learning and practicing songs for the upcoming Christmas program.

114. Queso Jalapeno popcorn. What?!?!?!? I like spicy food and it's always a treat to find a new one.

115. The Wednesday evening class of 4 and 5 year olds that I help teach. I was hesitant to take this on but I'm so glad I did. We have so much fun together.

116. Helping my 5 year old begin to learn to read. It's so much fun to snuggle up on the couch together and explore the mysteries of letters, sounds and words.

Exposing Ourselves to God's Word

Credit: Arvind Balaraman

One question we discussed in Sunday School today was - What are some of your favorite ways to expose yourself to the Word?

We know it's very important to to read, hear and study the Word of God and we are fortunate to live in a time when there are many ways to do so.

Here is a list of some ways

- Read the Bible
- Read Christian Books
- Christian Radio Programs
- Podcasts
- Download to Kindle or to the Kindle app for PC
- Television Programs
- The Bible and Christian Books on CD
- The Bible and Christian Books recorded on sites like Librivox that are available to listen to on your PC

What resources do you use now?

Are there resources listed that you could begin using that would allow you to learn even more?

Whiter Than Snow

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7

Monday, October 24, 2011

Homemade Granola

Recently I went on quest for a granola recipe I really liked and after looking and a whole bunch of them I came up with one that I really love to eat. And I like the fact that I'm not hungry again halfway through the morning after eating a bowl of this.

Here's my recipe

8 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups sunflower seeds
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup wheat bran
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup honey
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons vanilla

In a large bowl combine the first eight ingredients; mix well. In a saucepan, cook oil, brown sugar, honey, water and vanilla until sugar is dissolved. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well. Spoon into two greased 13 x 9 x 2 in baking pans. bake at 275 degrees F for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely.

~ Linking Here ~

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Oats

I am not a morning person and it's always hard for me to manage to serve much more than cold cereal first thing in the morning. But with this recipe we can have something nice and warm on these cool fall mornings because I can put it in the slow cooker the night before and let it cook overnight.

1 cup steel cut oats
3 1/2 cups water
1 apple, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Spray inside of slow cooker with cooking spray. Place the steel cut oats, water, apple, butter, cinnamon, brown sugar and vanilla extract in slow cooker, stir until sugar is dissolved. Cover and cook for 6-7 hours for firm oats or 8 hours for softer texture.

~ Linking Here ~
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Our Art Display Wall

A few small nails or thumbtacks, some yarn and some clothespins are all that's needed for a simple place to display kids art.

Here's the one we have in our playroom.

~ Linking Here ~

Sustaining Faith


It's a word I cling too. And yet so much more than a word, it's a lifeline I hold on to desperately. 

So much pain and uncertainty surrounds me, that when I look around I find myself faltering. In the last week, a life changing diagnosis for a new friend, a flare up of illness in a small innocent child, another friend stalked and harrassed. A family hurting and reaching for help, needing strength and healing.

Part of me wants to try to fix it all, part of me wants to run. I know I can do neither.


Faith in the God who loves, who heals, who transcends time and hurt and disease. Faith in the God who has already seen the end of the story and has already claimed the victory. Faith that makes no human sense, and yet sustains.

Faith that falters, that is no bigger than a mustard seed, but still there, sprouting, growing, tended carefully by the Giver of all things good. The faith that holds on to me when I cannot hold onto it.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall Themed Activities - Fall Memory Game

With the days turning cooler and the leaves changing color we've been doing a lot of fall activities. One activity we've been enjoying a lot is a game of fall memory.

To make this game I printed two copies of page 3 of the Preschool Fall Fun Printables pack from Homeschool Creations. I cut the pictures apart and glued them onto construction paper backs for added durability and so that we couldn't see the pictures through the paper. It would be even better to laminate these but I don't have a lamintor. Yet.

Anyway, the kids are enjoying this activity and we're having a lot of  fun playing it together.

~ Linking Here ~

Monday, October 17, 2011


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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Daily Bread

Give us this day our daily bread. Matthew 6:11

Will More Money Make Me Happier?

In Sunday School the last couple weeks we have been talking about greed, and the many ways it can show up in our lives.

One of the questions asked today was whether more money will make us happier.  I think most of know that being happier isn't usually as simple as just having more money. At the same time it's easy to think that surely it would have to help.

But there was one point made in the lesson that I found really interesting and it was this - nearly all the studies done recently on money and happiness show that only when it relieves abject poverty does money make a measurable difference in a person's level of happiness. Somehow this really  stuck with me.

All too have often I have a tendency to think that I really don't need to be rich but just a little more money would make me so much happier. But apparently that isn't the case. I am not experiencing abject poverty. I have plenty of food, clothing, a sound home that keeps me warm in winter and cool in summer.

So I guess that "little bit more" probably wouldn't do a whole lot for my happiness. What I really need to learn is found in these two verses . . .

And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 1 Timothy 6:8

. . . for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. Philippians 4:11

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Today's Adventures - Tuesday October 11, 2011

Today's Verse
Whosoever trusteth in the Lord, happy is he. Proverbs 16:20

Today's Quote
Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Working, Learning and Playing Together

Putting together word puzzles, while talking about beginning sounds.

Playing fall themed memory.

Pre-writing worksheets.

Austin keeping the younger kids entertained with his car collection.

Michael in concert. The blurs in the second photo are Macy and Khristian dancing.

It was rainy today so the kids played with Legos on the front porch instead of playing in the yard.

Michael watching PBS's Alpha Pig on my  laptop.

Doug spent the evening making a walnut cracker.

Michael tested it and it works wonderfully!

Austin working on his own projects - which involved taking apart a few of the cars from his car collection.

Tre doing his homework. He did a wonderful job.

From the Kitchen

Austin serving the kids their snack of bananas and milk.

Michael helping make chocolate pudding for lunch.

Amanda wanted to have a picnic lunch inside today.

Amanda and Holly getting ready to serve dinner.


This is from yesterday - my fall leaf wall.

Two more patches for the patchwork curtain for the playroom.

Tonight I am Grateful For . . .

. . . family, friends and laughter.

Every day is an adventure and I never want to forget.