Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Enjoying Family... Celebrating Thanksgiving the Old Fashioned way!

Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE holiday.... What is better than Food, Family and celebrating blessings! We have so much to be thankful for and taking time to focus on them is so good for the heart!

This past year the "modern world" has taken a stronger hold in our family life than what we want. Too much TV and internet are the main culprits. So we have decided to celebrate Thanksgiving week 'screen free' and then evaluate how much of it we want back. Focusing on DOING things with each other and enjoying LIFE as God has given us. We are celebrating Thanksgiving in an OLD FASHIONED way.... with the sounds of laughter and conversations, with the activities we do with our hands, enjoying delicious food and building memories!!

See ya in a week.... HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!


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Thursday, November 19, 2009

A penny saved is a penny earned!!

This is the picture I chose to use on our Christmas cards. I ordered 100 cards using the totally FREE deals that Money Saving Mom posted. 100 cards TOTALLY free!!!! What a blessing!

Speaking of blessings, this week I went in to Goodwill and found a much needed pair of LANDS END winter boots (in brand new condition) for my daughter for only $3.99!! I looked them up when I got home and found out that right now they are on sale at Lands End for $44... LOVE that $40 savings! God is GOOD!!

If you have a need today PRAY about it! Ask God to open up doors and watch for the ways he meets your needs. It is so much fun to see how God chooses to provide... he always does. The key is knowing the difference between a want and a need.... sometimes I perceive things as needs and they really aren't! God is FAITHFUL!!!! Sometimes God meets a need by giving us a fresh dose of creativity. Using your skills, abilities and resources is one way that God meets our needs. Sometimes making and re-purposing things our self is how God provides.... just some thoughts!


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Monday, November 16, 2009

The day has finally come!!

Not even to 12 1/2 years old and my oldest son, Wesley, is TALLER than my 5' 9 1/2"!! I started guessing when he was a baby when he would surpass me and I hit the target... age 12! It is a NEW stage of parenting when your son is slightly above eye level!! Needless to say he finds this to be very cool!! He also wears a size 12 (mens) shoe and thinks it is cool that he is only one size off from his Dad's.

Robyn has found a new hobby: baking! We are the blessed recipients of her endeavors. Tonight she made (from scratch) chocolate chip cookies COMPLETELY by herself!! YUMMY!! I am so excited that she is finding joy working in the kitchen.... something we can do together! As my only daughter I have really been hoping that we could share some hobbies together.... the kitchen is fine with me!!

Each one of our children are so different from each other and yet share a part of my husband and I. We share special things with each of them.
  • Wes (TALL like his Dad) shares his love of books and thinking with me, his love of fishing with his Dad. Wes and I share wonderful conversations about all kinds of DEEP things like politics and living out our faith. He also shares my love of public speaking... Yeah!
  • Robyn has people skills like her Dad... remembers names from the first time... not me! Robyn and I share all kinds of great things... including our strong wills! Yes, her strong will is a blessing.... just have to keep praying that it continues to head in the right direction!
  • Ethan has my eyes, has my love of cuddles and has my fair completion. He also LOVES, NEEDS, just HAS to be busy with his hands... guess he gets that honestly from both his Dad and me.... we both enjoy keeping busy. (Surviving toddler hood with a boy that took everything apart was a challenge, but now he is happy to be put to work!)
  • Nate LOOKS just like his Dad. Nate makes the funniest faces like his Dad, but LOVES to write like me! He writes me "notes" all the time! He loves the written word and is so excited to be learning to read and write REAL words! He is also my 'baby' so I still get to hold on my lap more than any other FIVE year old I ever had... There are advantages to being the youngest!
OK... enough of my motherly sentiment... I need to get off to bed!! I am just CHOOSING to focus on the JOYS of motherhood and forget about the never ending chores.


Join me over on FaceBook!

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Harvest... reaping what I have sown....

We don't farm, but we live in the middle of CORN country! Our farm consists of chickens, cats, dog and occasional pigs along with our garden, berries and fruit trees. Right now it is HARVEST season... reaping of what was sown in the spring. My husband has been helping our neighbor farm this year. He is learning all kinds of new things and having fun driving tractors and such!

Anyway, all this harvesting has me thinking about a Biblical principle that I try very hard to teach my children and to put into practice in my own life: we reap what we sow! Boiling it down to the Golden Rule. Sometimes I will admit that I don't always plant seeds I want to harvest! YIKES!!

These past few months have been a might bumpy for us. We are dealing with some difficult situations and the stress level has been elevated. However, one thing that God is continually trying to teach me is that everyday I am 'planting'!! I don't get to just let my attitude go sour or my words get edgy or my disposition be snappy just because life isn't fun. Fact is HE is the same yesterday, today and forever!! He will fill me with HIS strength EVERYday... not just the GOOD days... HE is faithful to me and I need to always keep my eyes on HIM and keep planting seeds I want to harvest!!

So, if you are like me and see fields being harvested right now use it as a reminder that our personal life is just like that... we plant seeds and then after time they have grown and produce a crop.... what crop are you planting??


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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Chicken Lime Tacos

From the November Simple Family Supper Menu Kit:

Chicken Lime Tacos

Crock Pot or Stove Top


1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken (breast or thigh)

¼ cup lime juice (concentrate is fine)

1/2 pkt taco seasoning

½-1 tsp chili powder (optional)

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup chunky salsa

12 flour tortillas

Optional Toppings: Shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, sour cream, salsa

Stove Top Directions:

1) In a sauce pan cover chicken with water and boil the chicken for 10 minutes. Remove from water and shred meat.

2) Combine chicken and remaining ingredients (not the optional toppings) in a skillet and simmer for 15 minutes on LOW.

3) Serve with tortillas and optional toppings.

Crock Pot directions:

1) Place chicken, lime juice, chili powder and taco seasoning in crock pot. Cover and cook on LOW 5-8 hours or until chicken is tender.

2) Remove Chicken, cool slightly. Shred chicken meat and return to juices in the crock pot. Stir in corn and salsa. Cover and cook on HIGH 30 minutes until heated through. (OR you can use the stove and heat everything up in a skillet or put everything in a microwave safe dish and heat in the microwave)

Side suggestions:

Optional toppings, salad, fruit

Simple Recipes, Family Time!!


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Fall Fun!! Annual pictures.... It is about time I
get these posted! We had beautiful weather this
year to take them. This is the one thing about fall
that I look forward to doing....
Above... all together...
Below: Wes (12)

Robyn (10)

Ethan (6)

Nate (5)


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Friday, November 6, 2009

November Menu is up and ready!

November! The month of THANKSGIVING! I have to say that of all the fall and winter months this is my favorite one...... and I have so much to be thankful for. CHOOSING SIMPLICITY means choosing to focus on the blessings rather than on any problems or lacks. Gratitude is like a salve that heals the heart!

One thing I am very blessed with is my Simple Family Supper menu plan. Having a planned menu makes life so much easier. The November Menu is ready for you... I know it is a little late, but my menus never have dates, just 4 weeks of menu, shopping lists and recipes so that you can jump in with week 1 any time. This month is packed with yummy, family friendly, budget happy, easy to prepare meals. This plan utilizes 'Efficient' and 'Fast Track' cooking to make your life as simple as possible!

November Menu includes:
  1. Chicken Lime Tacos
  2. Crescent Cheeseburger Pie
  3. Pita Pockets
  4. Garlic and Tomato Chicken and Taters
  5. Corn Chowder
  6. Cranberry Pork Loin
  7. Texas Stew
  8. Herbed Chicken
  9. Southwest Stroganoff
  10. Philly Cheese steak
  11. Biscuit Topped Beef Bake
  12. Santa Fe Chicken
  13. Spaghetti
  14. Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
  15. Roast Beef Sandwich Roll
  16. Ranch Chicken
  17. Fall Stew
  18. Speedy Taco Feast
  19. Simple Roasted Turkey Breast
  20. Crunchy Turkey Bake
November Simple Family Supper Menu Plan Kit: Complete Organization
Only $7
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This is what Cara Putman had to say about the Simple Family Supper Menu Plans:

"Last week, I used Heather's sample menus at Simple Family Suppers. Gut-reaction: I loved it and signed up for three months. Why did I love it?

1. Shopping was a snap. The grocery list was simple, organized, and easy-to-use. It was easy to go through the list and mark off what I already had. It took the pain out of shopping. And Eric can tell you how much I HATE grocery shopping.

2. The menus are SIMPLE. Most took fewer than five steps to complete, several even fewer. In most cases prep time was less than ten minutes. My idea of a good time!

3. Several of the recipes could be cooked in the crockpot or in the stove. So if I was organized, I could throw it together in the morning or early afternoon, and not think about it again until supper time. LOVE that.

4. My family ate all of the meals. That's a winner right now. Several of these types of plans that I've looked at before had fish, pork, etc. in each week's menu. I hate fish, and we don't eat a ton of pork. There are a few pork recipes in the January set of menus, but they continue to be recipes we would eat.

5. I didn't stress -- all week -- about what to make. Usually, it's 5 o'clock and I suddenly start to panic. What do I have in the house? What can I make? What sounds good? Etc.

So I signed on. And if you're a busy mom like me, I think you'll find this service one that can remove some stress from your life."

Cara is a published author of several books. I have really enjoyed her novels. Next time you are on the hunt for a good book dive in to one of hers!


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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wonderful Night Ahead....

Tonight I have the privilege, along with my friend Kiersten, to be speaking to a group of ladies in Indianapolis. Kiersten has an incredible anointing on her life to bring people into praise and worship! I am excited that she is going with me to usher us in to the presence of God. I will then be speaking on the importance of the Family Table. The Family is UNDER ATTACK by the enemy and one thing that we can do to fight off these attacks is spend time together. Sharing a family meal together is a wonderful way to connect, bond and pass on values. Please pray for tonight's meeting that lives will be touched and that Kiersten and I will operatein the Holy Spirit. To God be the Glory!!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mourning with those that mourn...

Today my local area is mourning the loss of a special man. Volunteer Fire Chief "Boggie" lost his battle to cancer. Today is his funeral service. Yesterday the family received the community to pay their respect for over six hours. He was a loved man. I did not know him personally, but my life was still touched by his life. His department of firefighters was one of the units that fought my parents house fire (the year before I was married). It took several departments many hours to put out that house fire... I have lived through that and was blessed by their dedication.

My children have been privelaged to visit the fire station for school field trips and we are friends with a few of the firefighters in Boggies department. It is a sad time, the department is like a family and they have suffered a great loss. Today, I mourn with those that mourn and salute a man that dedicated a large part of his life to serving his community. Today he will get a full honor fireman's funeral and will take his final ride in the beloved fire truck. My heart is with all of his family, his loved ones and his fellow firefighters. Boggie will be missed.

So as I salute this man I also want to thank all volunteer (and paid) members of the communtiy that dedicate their lives to serving us and keeping us safe. THANK you for your service!! May God be with you!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What do a cowboy, pirate and twister game have in common?

Fun time!! My kids dressed up for AWANA's Fall Harvest Party/Trunk or treat!!! Our oldest, Wes, didn't go this year... Basketball practice.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Pumpkin Pancakes

Last night I made pumpkin pancakes for the FIRST time ever... I hadn't ever even eaten pumpkin pancakes before! Have you ever had them?? Well, we enjoyed them and I will be making them again. My youngest, Nate, and I especially liked them.

Here is the recipe I used and below that you will find an extra easy recipe using bisquick (or any pancake mix)

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 TBL baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk
1 cup cooked pumpkin
1/4 cup oil
2 eggs

Mix together all the dry ingredients add remaining ingredients and stir till smooth. Cook in a greased skillet.

NOTE: These pancakes freeze well to be enjoyed again later!


2 c. Bisquick
1 egg
1 c. milk
1/2 c. cooked pumpkin
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Combine above ingredients and cook on griddle as other pancakes. Serve with butter, syrup or powdered sugar.

I also posted about these pancakes over on my Simple Family Supper facebook page... hop on over and check it out! If you haven't become a friend on this page I would love to have you join us!!