Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Parenting Part 2

After my last post, I wanted to share some key verses in God's Word about parenting.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother"--Which is the first commandment with a promise--"that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth. Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead bring them up in the training and and instruction of the Lord. Ephesian 6:1-4

Just in case someone might have thought I have a lax view of a parents role to teach children to obey...I don't. I think this verse is quite clear our children are to obey. As parents we can't let that part of our job slide. We don't have to say no all the time and have a rigid home, but when we do ask our children to obey we need to make sure they do. If we tell them to sit down on the couch and then we let them jump on it for several minutes, we are telling them we do not mean what we say. I don't know about you, but I want my children to trust me. So I have to constantly remind myself to be consistent. This is never easy, but in the long run it creates a trusting relationship between children and parents. Just like when God tells us something in His Word, He always follows through. So when we follow through we reflect Christ's love to our children. He has a high standard and when we disobey there is always a consequence.

At the same time I also have to remind myself to stop before I correct or answer my children. When we constantly correct behavior that really is not a big deal then I think we get into the danger of exasperating our children. So I have been working to be slow to speak. So that when I do speak my children know I am going to follow through.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Edwards Orchard and New Parents

I feel like I have spent the last few days trying to regain some order after our quick and enjoyable to trip to Northern Illinois last week. During our trip we spent an afternoon at Edwards Orchard. It was a beautiful place and God gave us a beautiful day to be there. Here are a few of my favorite pics from the day:

They had so much for the kids to do and most of it was free. I love fall and this was a perfect way to enjoy it. The weather was amazing, the apples were delicious, and the trees were beautiful.

We were actually in Illinois to visit friends of ours who have a new baby. It really got me thinking about all the advice new parents get...some they ask for and some they do not. When I was expecting Landon, I remember a well meaning mom suggesting a book to me she knew I would love since I was a teacher and enjoy have a schedule. She insisted it was the answer to all new baby woes. So I of course checked it out from the library, and found videos my husband and I could watch together. I set out ready to learn so much. As we got into the material both of us began to realize how flawed some of the information seemed to us. It talked about making your child fit your schedule as you were the authority in your home. A parent shouldn't change their lifestyle to fit the baby's, but rather the baby should be trained to fit the parents. The Bible does establish parents as authorities for their children, but does that really mean we don't take into consideration the little personality God has entrusted to us? I know Landon changed our routine for the better. He slowed us down, made us appreciate the simple things about each day. Now we set up guidelines and structure for him, but he taught us each day too. We learned to be more selfless, and depend on each other more. Then Elaine came along, and we adjusted again. All for the better.

I guess my point in all this is that I think that so many new parents get caught up in doing what they think they should. We worry about our child following the books, or behaving the way other parents think they should.
We forget that God has chosen us to be the parents of our particular child. Our family doctor reminded us of that at one of our first appointments with Landon, and I was so thankful for the reminder.

It is helpful to read parenting books, and talk with other parents, but just remember that God is the one we are accountable too. If the advice doesn't help you accomplish what God calls us to in His Word as parents, then don't loose sleep over it. If you are like me I loose enough sleep as it is.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
3 John 1:4

Friday, October 23, 2009

Homemaker Moments: Fall Recipe

I have not posted this week as we were out of town visiting friends who just welcomed their first little one home. They took us to a local Apple Orchard that was amazing. I will post pictures and give you more info soon. For today I am once again joining in over at Homemaker Chronicles for the Homemaker Moment.

We are sharing Fall Recipes. The following is one I absolutely love. We don't always get a chance to make it fireside for the original so this is something we can make at home.

S'more Bars

1/2 c. butter, softned
1/2 c. sugar 1 egg
1 t. vanilla extract
3/4 c. graham crackers, crushed
3/4 c. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 t. baking powder
1 1/2 oz chocolate candy bars
7 oz. jar marshmallow creme

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Add crushed graham crackers, flour, salt and baking powder; beat until well mixed, scraping the sides of the bowl. Spoon half of the dough into a greased 8" X 8" baking pan and spread evenly. Break chocolate bars into pieces and arrange over the dough. Spread a layer of marshmallow creme over the chocolate. Flatten the remaining dough into pancake shapes and lay over marshmallow creme. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool and cut into squares.

I hope you enjoy and check back soon for the details of our great trip to the orchard.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Homemaker Moments: Define Your Role

This week's Homemaker Moment is about defining my role in my home. As Angie over at Homemaker Chronicles points out. It looks different for each of us. I have to admit that it took me a little while to figure out exactly how my role in our home would work. For the years I was in college (we were married for my Junior and Senior years) and then teaching, it was hard for me to balance work with homemaking. By the end of each summer I would kind of figure out a groove and then it would all get wrecked as I returned to school. Then when I changed careers to be home with our first born, it still took a little time to see how it would all work. As I am well into the 4th year of being home, I think I have really started to feel comfortable in my role. Meaning I have found a balance between maintaining the home, caring for the children, being a loving wife, and also taking care of myself. I enjoy planning meals, scheduling our days, tucking in my children, reading endless amounts of stories, and playing kitchen. I also look forward to Daddy walking through the door to give me a breather. I think it is important that we take time for ourselves too, whether it is relaxing or doing a hobby we enjoy. We should take care of ourselves, so we can be the moms and wives our families need. Sometime last year I came across a passage that I was very familiar with but it really spoke to me about my role as a Homemaker. I"ll leave you with it:

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:10-14

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Here are just a few of the things I am so thankful for:

1. My husband having time off of work. It means a lot that he spends most of his time off with his family.

2. Other Christian Moms

3. Pumpkin Bread

4. Fall weather...the cooler temps not so much all the rain.

5. Story time at the library

6. The opportunity to study God's Word

7. Survivor

8. The flooring in our project room. Sorry I just can't tell you how much I love this floor. Elaine and I painted the other night and washed right off.


10. My Grandma

Now it is your turn. What are you thankful for?

Monday, October 12, 2009


Yes I am talking about the book of Jude in the Bible. It is the one right before Revelation. I first must admit that I had not taken much time to read the book of Jude, let alone study it. Some of you may be thinking, well it is only one chapter, a mere 25 verses, how much could you have been missing? Well I am wrapping up my first Precept class which happens to be on Jude. And I had been missing a lot. Those 25 verses are packed. I am not surprised by this since anytime I take a good look at scripture so much unfolds. Jude is a warning, a battle cry, for the believers. He warns about false teaching that has crept in amongst them. Believers have to be watchful for this, and the only way to know if something is false is to know the Truth. So we have to study God's Word. Take some time and read Jude. I think you will be surprised by how much you learn. Then you will be even more equipped to "contend for the faith".

Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. Jude 1:3

Friday, October 9, 2009

Kid Speak

I love the topic for Homemaker Moments this week. I love the way kids say things. As Elaine is just starting to say things I don't really have much to report from her, but Landon has given me lots of material. I will give you a short list of my favorite mixed up phrases and words.

hopgrasser = grasshopper

back hind = behind (ex. I found this back hind the couch.)

I changed my rules = I changed my mind (after deciding he would rather have the other choice for lunch...he proceeded to complain that he had changed the rules)

anymore again = never again (I'm sorry mom, I'm not going to do it anymore again)

This next example is a story in which he got the meaning of a word mixed up. I still laugh every time I think about it. I was giving him the "plan" for the day, which including going to the Y so I could exercise. He asked me why I had to exercise and I told him it was good for my heart. Then he said, "why?" I responded because it makes me healthy. Still not satisfied he asked, "why?" again. This time I told him I was exercising to get skinny. He started to cry. I asked him why he was crying, and he said he did not want me to get skinny, like a 'mato. I could hardly contain my laughter. See he does not like tomatoes due to the skin. So in his mind I was going to workout and then be covered in skin like a tomato.

Kid speak makes me laugh, and who doesn't need a good laugh.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Smart Cooking

I can hardly believe that my fingers are typing a post about cooking. I can honestly say I have never felt cooking was my forte or anything I would ever be writing about, but I have truly worked hard at perfecting my culinary skills. After choosing to stay home with my children, I have taken my role as homemaker very seriously. I have really gotten into meal planning and being resourceful about having good meals on the table. This has taken some work and creativity considering I have two small "helpers" and right before dinner is when they often need the most attention. So I started making meals ahead and freezing them. I also shop on a pretty tight budget and so like being able to buy in bulk when there is a sale and use ingredients in several meals. Yesterday was a shopping and cooking day for me. So I thought I would share the recipes I made and how they work together. They both come from the book There's a Chef in My Soup by Emeril. I highly recommend this cook book, and it was put together with kids in mind.

Here are the recipes:
Lean Mean Turkey Loaf
1 1/2 lb pounds ground turkey (I used 97% lean)
1/2 c chopped yellow onion
1/2 c plain bread crumbs
1/4 c chopped celery (I'm not a cooked celery fan, so I omit this and double the red pepper)
1/4 c red or green bell pepper
1 lrg egg
1/4 c ketchup
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp Baby Bam (recipe coming at the end)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1. Make sure the oven rack is in the center position and preheat the oven to 375 F.
2. Place the turkey in a large mixing bowl. Add the onion, bread crumbs, celery, bell pepper, egg, 1 T of the ketchup, the garlic, Baby Bam, salt, and ground pepper, and mix with your hands until the ingredients are well incorporated.
3. Transfer the turkey mixture to a 1 lb loaf pan and form it into a loaf shape.
4. Pour the remaining Ketchup on the turkey and smear evenly over the top with the back of a spoon.
5. Bake until brown on top, cooked through, and an instant read thermometer inserted in the center reaches 165 F, about 45 - 50 min.
6. Remove the loaf from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

My-Oh-My Spaghetti Pie
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 cups broccoli flowerets
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp Baby Bam (recipe coming at the end)
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 lb ground beef (I used the lean ground turkey)
8 lrg eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
3 cups cooked spaghetti (I use Barrila P
lus penne because it is easy to pick up for the kiddos, and has added protein.)
1 heaping cup grated mozzarella cheese (about 4 ounces)

1. Make sure oven rack is in center position and preheat the oven to 375 F.
2. Blanche the broccoli. (slightly cooked but still crisp and green)
3. Drain the broccoli and then rinse with cold water.
4. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, 1 tsp of the Baby Bam, the parsley, the basil, 1/4 tsp of the remaining salt, the pepper, and ground meat, and cook stirring until the meat is no longer pink and the onions start to brown.
5. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, the remaining 1 1/2 tsp Baby Bam, and the remaining 1/2 tsp of salt. Add the Parmesan Cheese and whisk well to combine.
6. Spread the cooked spaghetti evenly in a 2 qt. casserole dish.
7. Pour the meat over the spaghetti and toss with a fork to combine.
8. Place the broccoli on top of the speghetti and meat.
9. Pour the egg mixture over the top.
10. Sprinkle evenly with the mozzarella cheese and bake it in the oven until golden brown, about 20 - 25 minutes.
11. After removing from the oven, let firm for 5 minutes before serving.

Baby Bam
3 T paprika
2 T salt
2 T dried parsley
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried oregeno
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp celery salt

I made both recipes yesterday. We ate the meatloaf and I froze the speghetti pie for later. These recipes work well together. You can usually get 3 lbs of ground turkey at a discount, one nice sized onion yields enough for both recipes, etc. Also while you are making the pasta for the pie you can boil enough to make some mac and cheese to go with the meatloaf or for lunch the next day.

I have a binder I am working on that keeps recipes that work well together...together. So I don't have to have several cook books out at a time. I hope to share more recipes that work well together in the near future.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I love this floor

Two posts in one day...what has come over me? I have to share with you about our new flooring for our office, school, craft, etc room. My husband discovered it, ordered it, had it installed, and I am loving it! It is a type of vinyl, but much cooler! It is called Fiber Floor and it is made by Tarkett. It feels good to walk on, quiets noises, and is so easy to clean. Crayon marks wipe right off and play dough picks right up. If you have a need for this type of flooring I highly recommend it. We got ours during a great sale at Menards. I wish we had put it in our laundry room too, which still has bare concrete. It comes in other fun patterns as well as some more traditional looks. It is just so fun so I had to share!

It still hurts

For those of you that haven't been following from the beginning you may want to start here, of course I am still at the beginning of this blog thing.

I was having a great day today. We had a relatively smooth morning getting to the Y. I had finished a great workout, that even included some ab work, and was taking a quick shower before teaching an All Star Clinic for 3 - 5 year olds. I was running through all the things I wanted to get done before my husband's family got here for their visit. Then my mind drifted to seeing my nieces and how much they had probably change since our last visit. Then I thought about how much they would change before I saw them again at Thanksgiving. Then before I could really even finish the thought I was in tears. Not just a few tears, lots of them. Why was I crying? It flashed through my thoughts that our 3rd baby would have been due in February. I am not sure where the thought even came from, but I tried to stop myself from crying. I was hoping no one would hear me, because how could I explain. If someone would have asked me why I was crying, I would probably have answered, "because it still hurts". I know some people wouldn't understand why I grieved so much back in July, but I am guessing even fewer would understand now.

So I take comfort in Jesus. He created me and He knows my thoughts, and He wipes away my tears.

I'll leave you with these verses:

O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord. You hem me in--behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Psalm 139:1-6