Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Walnut Acre Daily - Cheesy Ranch Biscuits And More

Words to Live By

Psalm 103:1-2

Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise His holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all His benefits. 

In the Kitchen

I decided to try a new biscuit variation for dinner this evening and came up with these Cheesy Ranch Biscuits. They were good and this recipe easily fed us all plus I had some leftovers for breakfast tomorrow which is a win for me. 

Cheesy Ranch Biscuits

1 cup shredded low fat American Cheese (I would have used Cheddar if I would have had some on hand)
1 cup water
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. 

Mix all ingredients together to make a soft dough. Drop by spoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets. 

Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. 

Yield: 24 

Outdoor Fun

These pictures are from yesterday. Michael and I went out in the snow/sleet for a little. I wanted to try to make a little snowman but every time I started Michael would run through and step on it, daring me to a snowball fight. So a snowball fight it was. I love that goofy kid!

Just For Fun

CJ, Mykalin and Michael spent a large part of the morning putting on concerts. CJ got a mic stand for Christmas and he did such a good job of sharing with Michael who was truly obsessed with it! 

Michael and Mykalin played with Michael's two new playdough sets this afternoon during quiet time. 

I think Christmas wore Lauren and Madalyn out - they did a lot of this today. 

Today's Quote

I have often noticed that when chickens quit quarreling over their food they often find that there is enough for all of them. I wonder if it might not be the same with the human race.  ~ Don Marquis

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Walnut Acre Christmas 2012

1. My pile of presents. 2. Michael looking at his stacks of presents. 3. Amanda passing out presents (since she had organized them so many times.) 4. Doug holding his stack of presents.

1. Austin hardly able to contain his excitement. 2. The opening begins! 3 and 4. It looks like Austin and Amanda liked their computer monitors!

1.Michael checking out another gift. 2 and 3. Amanda loved the big blanket Austin gave her. 4. Doug holding up his new coffee mug from Amanda. 

1.Austin likes his mini MP3 player. 2, 3, and 4. More gift opening.

1. I have no idea why Michael has this look on his face in this picture. 2. Here he is looking at his favorite present - a leapster - there was a moment of total amazed silence when he saw what he had. 3. He also really liked this truck and playdough set from Amanda. 4. Pepper is looking over to Doug's shoulder to see if he has anything good to eat to share with her.

1. Austin holding up the Double Barrel Dart Blaster (foam and suction cups) Amanda gave him. 2. Michael holding another addition to his tool set. 3. Checking out the "Instant Railroad" sponge capsules Austin gave him. 4. Amanda excited about her new MP3 player.

1. Looking things over. 2. Doug setting up Michael's leapster. 3. Austin setting up his MP3 player. 4. Amanda setting up her MP3 player.

1. Amanda still setting up her MP3 player. 2. Austin setting up his monitor. 3 and 4. Almost finished setting up the Leapster. 

Amanda bought all the animals their own Christmas gifts. Here is Pepper opening hers.

In the evening we went to my parents for a Christmas dinner and gift exchange. I was disappointed that none of my pictures from the evening turned out well at all. My phone camera is fussy about lighting and just didn't cooperate with me. But it was a wonderful evening! 

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Walnut Acre Daily - It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

It's been pretty busy around here but I wanted to do a quick update and share some photos. 

After some last minute shopping and lots of wrapping it's beginning to look like Christmas is right around the corner.

This morning Austin and Michael were in a Christmas play in my parents church that my sister directed. It was beautiful and the kids did a wonderful job. Here are some photos I was able to get. I didn't get one of the actual manger scene because of the lighting and I was in the wrong place to get a good shot. But I love the photos I did get. 

So that's a quick little update. The next couple days will be really busy but I'll try to pop in here and update. 

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Friday, December 21, 2012

The Walnut Acre Daily - Breakfast Cookies and More

Words to Live By

John 1:29

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

Homeschool Fun

This morning Michael, Lauren and Damien watched The Bible Christmas Story and Baby Jesus is Born to go with our Jesse Tree readings. They also watched Counting to 30 and the Letter J Song. All of the pages they chose to color came from DLTK Kids.

Books We Enjoyed Today

In the Kitchen

I mixed up a batch of these Breakfast Cookies yesterday and put them in the refrigerator on a baking sheet. This morning I popped them in the oven for a quick and easy breakfast. The recipe is here. I substituted Italian flavored ground chicken for the sausage and I used homemade biscuit mix

We Are Going

Austin and Michael went to practice again for the Christmas program and Doug, Amanda, Cayson and I went to do some (almost) last minute Christmas shopping. 

Just For Fun

Coloring, Building with K-Nex and Playing Store

Cousins - Michael and Cayson

Today's Quote

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you. ~ Maori Proverb

Daily Deals

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Walnut Acre Daily - Thursday, December 20

Words to Live By

2 Timothy 1:7

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Homeschool Fun

Michael and Calla watched Baby Jesus is Born and Merry Christmas Baby Jesus to go with our Jesse Tree readings. They also watched Children's Addition and the Letter I Song.

Our worksheets and coloring pages today came from 
3 Boys and a Dog (Color by Number Candy Cane)
Coloring Pages for Kids (Letter F)

Books We Enjoyed Today

I read the first three books with Michael, Calla and Gage at storytime this morning. The next two I read with CJ at bedtime this evening, and the last one I am reading myself. 

In the Kitchen

Amanda got the chili for dinner started in the crockpot this morning and then finished baking cookies with the last of the cookie dough from yesterday. Michael helped me make lunch by putting the meatballs and the sauce in a pan to heat for spaghetti.

I tried a new cornbread recipe to have with our chili this evening but it totally flopped. I had a favorite cornbread recipe I would usually make when we had chili, but the site it was on took it down so I've been on a hunt for another I like as well. I haven't found one yet so the search continues. 

We Are Going

Austin, Amanda, and Michael went to practice for the Christmas play this evening. They've been working hard on this and are excited.

Just For Fun

Today's Quote

Attitude are contagious. Are yours worth catching? ~ Dennis and Wendy Mannering

Daily Deals

Why I Write the Walnut Acre Daily

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Walnut Acre Daily - Quick and Easy Pizza Crust, Free Kindle Downloads and More

Words to Live By

Psalm 34:18

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Homeschool Fun

Michael and Lauren watched The Story of John the Baptist to go along with our Jesse Tree Readings. They also watched the Letter H Song, Children's Basic Addition, Adding for Children, and Add 'Em Up. They weren't interested in doing any worksheets or coloring pages today and I didn't push the issue. We did take time to review the -ag word family though.

I didn't give Austin and Amanda any assignments today because I decided to go ahead and start our Christmas break.

Books We Enjoyed Today

I read the first four books with Michael and Lauren and the last book is the one I'm reading for myself.

In the Kitchen

For breakfast this morning we had Spiced Sweet Potato Bread, applesauce, and yogurt.

Amanda made pizza for lunch using the Homemade Biscuit Mix in the crust. This is a nice quick crust for a simple pizza with the kids or any other time you're in a hurry. 

Quick and Easy Pizza Crust

1 1/2 cups biscuit mix
1/3 cup very hot water
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 tsp rosemary

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Grease a 12-14 inch pizza pan.

In a bowl combine the biscuit mix, hot water, garlic powder, oregano and rosemary. Mix to form a soft dough. 

Press the dough into the pizza pan and top with your favorite sauce and toppings. 

Bake approximately 15 - 20 minutes.


CJ needed cookies for school tomorrow and we had an hour and 15 minutes to bake cookies and do homework from the time he got home from school until time to leave from church. So I decided to have him try some simple sugar cookies made from biscuit mix. They were so easy and quick to make so I thought I'd share the link to the recipe - No Roll Sugar Cookies.

Around the House

I did the morning cleanup in the kitchen (dishes, sweep, etc.) and then dusted and vacuumed two bedrooms and the hallways and stairs.

Austin did the morning cleanup in the living room, playroom and upstairs bathroom and cleaned up the kitchen after lunch. He also did the dusting in the livingroom. 

Amanda did the morning cleanup in the mudroom and downstairs bathroom and worked on the laundry. 

Outdoor Fun

Austin went outside with the little ones for about an hour this morning . . .

. . . and Amanda went outside with them for about 45 minutes this afternoon.

We Are Going

Austin loves antiques and coins and has been wanting to go to the Antique Mall for awhile now. I had told him I would try to take him last Saturday but then it didn't work. Today was a fairly quiet day so after we took Lauren to preschool I took him to the Antique Mall to look around. We didn't stay very long because I had to take Michael along and he was getting restless, but Austin really enjoyed the time he did have and bought and old coin and an old belt buckle. He also started thinking about what would be involved with opening a booth of his own there someday.

This evening we had church as usual on Wednesday evening. After dinner some went Christmas caroling while others stayed at the church for normal Wednesday evening classes. My family all stayed at the church except for Austin who wanted to go Christmas caroling. After classes and caroling cookies and hot chocolate were served for all who wanted to stay.

Today's Quote

To escape criticism - do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. ~ Elbert Hubbard

Daily Deals

Free Kindle Downloads

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Walnut Acre Daily - Spiced Sweet Potato Bread and More

Words to Live By

Luke 1:68-70

Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has come to His people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation  for us in the house of His servant David (as He said through His holy priests of long ago)

Homeschool Fun

This morning the Damien, Lauren and Michael watched Story of John the Baptist and Pretty Angel to go along with our Jesse Tree readings. They also watched Letter G Song and Numbers Help Me Count. Our worksheets came from
Coloring Pages for Kids (G coloring page),
We also reviewed the -ag word family.

Austin and Amanda studied Prime Numbers in math and the body's Circulatory System in Science.

Books We Enjoyed Today

I read the first three books with the little kids (Michael, Lauren and Damien) for storytime. The next two are the books I read with CJ  before bedtime. The last book is the one I am reading myself.

In the Kitchen

We had oatmeal and fruit for breakfast this morning, leftovers from the last couple days for lunch and Amanda fixed Hamburger Helper Stroganoff, corn and fruit for dinner.

Amanda also made two loaves of Spiced Sweet Potato Bread this morning and we had some for snack this afternoon.

Spiced Sweet Potato Bread

2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2/3 cup water
2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans.

In mixing bowl combine sugar, oil and eggs. Beat until smooth. Add water and beat until well blended. Stir in pumpkin, nutmeg, allspice,  cinnamon, and cloves. 

Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and blend just until well mixed. 

Pour batter into loaf pans and bake in preheated oven until toothpick comes out clean, about 1 hour. 

Outdoor Fun

The kids played outside for about a half hour this morning. I had thought I would let them go back out this afternoon but the temperature started dropping and the wind picked up so I decided to keep them in.

Just For Fun

They didn't get to go outside and play this afternoon but they sure did have fun playing with playdough. 

I don't know how Amanda managed to cook dinner with this menagerie under her feet!

Daily Quote

We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties. ~ Oswald Chambers

Daily Deals

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Walnut Acre Daily - His Calming Touch

Words to Live By

Matthew 3:3

"A voice of one calling in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him. '"

Homeschool Fun

We didn't watch any videos this morning with our Jesse Tree readings because I couldn't find any I liked that fit. We watched the Letter F Song and Counting 1-20. The worksheets they did came from:
3 Dinosaurs - (Counting and Find the Difference Worksheets and ag word family )
Coloring Pages for Kids (F coloring page)

Austin and Amanda studied more on fractions in math today and started a unit on the body's circulatory system in Science. This evening we read pages 51-74 from No Woman So Fair by Gilbert Morris and Proverbs 12. 

Books We Enjoyed Today

I read the first four books with Michael, Lauren and Damien during morning storytime. The next two after that are the books I am reading with CJ and Michael before they go to bed at night. Then there is the book I am reading with Austin and Amanda and finally the book I am reading myself. 

In the Kitchen

Today was Amanda's day to fix lunch. She served chicken nuggets, salad and peaches. Later this evening she mixed up a batch of Homemade Biscuit Mix

Lauren brought these delicious Peanut Butter Cookies to share for snack today. 

For dinner this evening I made chicken and noodles with the chicken left over from lunch yesterday, butter beans and peaches.

Around the House

I did the morning cleanup in the kitchen this morning and five minute cleanups in four rooms and other misc. things come up every day to take up my time.

Amanda did morning cleanup in the bathroom and mudroom and also did lots of laundry and cleaned out the guinea pig cage. 

 Austin did morning cleanup in the living room, playroom and upstairs bathroom. He also cleaned the kitchen after lunch and after dinner.

Outdoor Fun

Both Austin and Amanda spent time outside today with the little ones. They are enjoying this poor old swingset with it's one swing and slide. I'll be glad when it's all fixed up but for now it's keeping them busy.


Austin worked some more today on the wooden block set he's making for the kids. It's going to be a long process but he likes to work with wood and is enjoying it.

We Are Going

I just had to take Lauren to preschool and stop by the store for milk. This evening Austin and Michael went to my sister's to practice some songs for a Christmas play they have part in. 

Just For Fun

On My Mind

There's a lot on my mind today and it's hard to even know where to start. But there's one thing that really stands out to me. Michael has always had trouble sleeping. He cries out in his sleep, and his arms and legs jerk suddenly and rapidly. He's on two medications to help him sleep at night and that has helped a lot. It helped even more when he began taking medication for seizures. But even with all that there are some nights when it's still pretty bad. Last night was one of those nights. His left leg and right arm would suddenly, simultaneously jerk upwards sharply, over and over again. As I sat there and watched, I struggled with what to do. Is this some type of seizure activity? Should I be giving him his emergency seizure medication to stop it? How could he be getting any rest at all? Maybe I should sit up each night and document each jerk so that the doctor will take it seriously when I say there's something going on while he sleeps. But then I began to realize that I was leaving out the most important step in this whole process. There's someone who loves Michael even more than I do. I began to pray that God would touch Michael, that he would bring His Presence into this situation in a special way and that he would give him rest. And within minutes Michael's restless body quieted. This is something we've been through many nights and repeatedly God reaches down and touches him. Unfortunately, it all too often takes me far too long to remember to reach out and ask for that calming touch. Why am I such a slow a learner? I'm so grateful God loves us even though we repeatedly forget to reach out and take hold of that love and care.

Today's Quote

A man with God is always in the majority. ~ John Knox

Daily Deals

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Walnut Acre Daily - A Busy Saturday

Words to Live By

Psalm 62:2

Truly He is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

Books We Enjoyed Today

In the Kitchen

CJ made dinner this evening. He made spaghetti and meatballs, salad, and garlic bread. It was delicious!

Here he is chopping vegetables for the salad.

Around the House

We really didn't do much of interest around the house today. CJ did help Doug move a dresser upstairs because Austin needed one in his room. Doug also repaired a window screen and a door seal. Other than that it just basic things like picking up and dishes.

Outdoor Fun

CJ and Doug went for a walk through fields this afternoon. They poked around in some barns that are rarely used and then they went for a walk up the road and back. It was a nice sunny day to be out and I think they both enjoyed it. 

We Are Going

Michael and I had practice for the Christmas Cantata/Play that we are part of tomorrow morning at church. Practice took almost two hours but I think we were able to get the last minute details sorted out. I'm looking forward to tomorrow morning and I think it's going to turn out well.

CJ and Doug took trash to the dump this morning. CJ had lots of things to tell me about that little trip - from seeing chickens alongside the road to fire trucks and a fire. 

This evening Austin, Amanda and Michael went to practice for another Christmas play they have parts in next Sunday. They are busy but they love it. Austin is a wise man, Michael is Joseph and Amanda is working the lights. 

Daily Deals

Today's Quote

We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future. ~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt