Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Almost Here

I seriously feel like a kid who is waiting anxiously to go to Disney!  This is my first time ever going away with the girls...alone....no husband....no kids....just me and a group of Godly woman from Thursday-Saturday!  It's going to be so blissful!  I won't have to do laundry, change diapers, clean up after kids, entertain them, watch cartons or listen to video games.  I will have the opportunity to have a weekend of uninterrupted conversation, dinner in a restaurant where I won't have to cut up any one's meal into bite size pieces, be sure there is a lid on the cup, or take anyone to the potty in the middle of the meal.  I will actually get to sit, with a napkin on my lap, eat my food, carry on wonderful conversation and laugh at all of Candyce's wonderful stories!  She's one of the best story tellers I know.

Even though we are going away to do planning for our MOMS group next year, spend time in the Word and prayer, we are also going shopping, and just enjoying each others company...did I mention kid-less?  I am so excited to soak up the wisdom of the older ladies and really develop closer relationships with a group of fabulous woman!

I can't wait!!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

First Canning Experience

I wanted to plant a garden so I could not only enjoy fresh produce from our own garden but also to be able to can & freeze some of it.  As I am sure most of you know we have our first garden this year over at my parents house.  It has been so much fun learning about how to grow things, the space they need, what they look like as they transition from a seed to a big flower bearing plant into fresh, yummy produce!  It just amazes me that such beautiful & wonderful things come from such a tiny and small seed.  Our God is so amazing!  I just stand in awe of the creativity!  I feel so special that I know Him!

Sorry about the trail, but it's so true!  This morning started like most except for Lily not going to school because she was sick...I think just allergies.  She's up & kickin' tonight though.  My mom surprised me and said she was at Walmart picking up the stuff to make pickles.  Seriously?  I was pumped!  Everything else I had planned for the day could be put on hold.  I was so excited to try and can something!  It brought back memories from when my grandma used to make her homemade pickles.  It kind of made me feel domesticated as I then whipped up some Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies, dinner followed by some homemade banana bread.  Watch out Betty Crocker!  Ohhh wait my bread is done!  The timer just went off!  It looks wonderful!  I can't wait to dig into it in the morning!  My kitchen is filled with that yummy, warm, sweet, banana smell!  Yummmm.....

Back to canning....I totally enjoyed the time spent with my mom as we talked about her childhood experiences canning with her mother.  Not always good memories seeing that they peeled tomatoes until their hands bled practically.  But they always had food and it always lasted them through the winter.  My grandma, Nana was definitely a hard worker.  I made 6 jars of pickles today and I thought that was an accomplishment.  :-)  My Nana would can just about everything!  Her pickles were hands down the best ever!  Maybe one day mine will be like hers. 

Here are some pictures of my first canning experience along with the recipe we used.

Here is the recipe that we used.  We didn't have all the fresh dill it called for so we used what we had along with 1/4 tsp of pickling spice, and a sprinkle of dill weed just to be sure they are dilly!  I'll let you know in 8 weeks how they are!  The process was successful, let's just hope the product is too!

Here are a fe good canning websites too!  Home Canning and Ball

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sneak Peek Into Gabe's Room Makeover

I thought it would be fun to give y'all a little sneak peek into Gabe's bedroom makeover! This is what we are doing for his birthday gift this year. We have always talked about redoing his room before he goes into Kindergarten and we are so excited to do it. We have never really ever done his room like we did Lily's. It was first his nursery stuff and then a hand me down set which is fine we were grateful to receive it especially at the time we did. So it's a big deal to us because we feel like we have come a long way since we have had Gabe and God has blessed us with the opportunity to do this for him. So, we are super excited about it.

Gabe knows we are redoing his room. We have been talking about it for over a year now. He got to choose the paint color and his bedding but the rest was up to us. He doesn't know about all the cool extra's he's going to get. Check out the pictures and let me know what you think!




Wall color Magnetic Gray
Guitar Bedding Collection
Some fun hooks we found at Bed Bath and Beyond!
His new bunk bed. The only thing that stinks is having to buy a second mattress and 2 bedding collections, lol.
A reading chair...that reclines!
A Cool Nightlight!
My homemade magnetic memo board!

I think I am also going to spell his name out in guitar picks, spray them all one color, and mat and frame it. We also want to do a drum set in either paint or Target has a cute chalkboard vinyl sticker that would be fun too. We shall see what we decide though!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Some Days Are Just More Productive Than Others

I often wonder if I had this much energy & motivation every day how much more I could accomplish in a week. I woke up at 6:30, had some coffee, got into the word, showered, and got to Albertson's around 7:30 this morning. I forgot it was Hawaiian day at school and Gabe had to bring grapes for the fruit salad, oops! So, I figured why not just get groceries while I was there so I did. I raced home to get the kids ready for summer camp, put away groceries,pack lunches, and get get them to their school by 9:00. I then hit up Hobby Lobby, McDonalds for a yummy hazelnut ice coffee and an oh so fattening breakfast sandwich that was oh so yummy and then went to Lowe's to pick up some things for Gabe's room, flowers, and soil. Came home to realize that I was locked out of the house! A friend watched our dogs and I still need to get my key back and Bill locked up before going to work as usual. So, he had to come rescue me! :-) In the meantime I planted 2 new perennials out in the front flower bed before he arrived.

Once I got in the house I decided to finish planting the flowers out back. I planted 7 flowers today 2 which I already had. My goal was to just put them in the existing flowerbeds but that didn't happen. I had to be over adventurous and dig up all along the side of our house where we have a walk way into our back yard. This is what it looked like before.
And after much sweating and planting, flowers and seeds this is what it looks like now.

In between planting I would be working on this for Gabe's room makeover! (shh it's a surprise)



I started with a frame that I bought like 4 years ago at that huge garage sale that Meals on Wheels puts on each fall for like $3. I just knew it would come in use one day.

Then I gave it a new coat of black spray paint.

I inserted a piece of sheet metal that I bought at Lowe's.

I added some cardboard to make it sturdy. You could spray it black too but I didn't. :-)

I also added some new wire and hooks so we could hang it up. Voila!


It's a magnetic frame for Gabe to put all his art work on, school stuff...whatever he wants in his room. I love it!

Along with doing laundry (6 loads I think) I decided to start organizing. Oh boy did I need it! Since we have traveled so much this summer, the kids busy schedule and not to add taking the house off the market...I just needed to get cleaned out and organized again. I felt like I just couldn't stand it anymore. Organizing is an ongoing process at my house but these 3 areas really needed some TLC! Besides feeling slightly embarrassed by my craziness I thought it would be fun to post some before & after pictures!

I forgot to take the inside of my cabinet before I took everything out so here is all the stuff that was shoved into this little cabinet.

Here is the after

I also did the pantry...again.

Before


After


Tackled the laundry room next!
Before



After



Well, that was my day in a nutshell...well besides some coloring with Lily this evening and making brownies with Gabe oh yeah and painting in his room...lol. I need to get off here so I can go fold the last few loads of laundry while watching America's Got Talent! :-) Good Night Friends!

Beautiful Blessing

When we moved into our house we had this big plant right in the middle of our yard so we decided at one time to try and take it out. Well, the dang plant kept coming back. So we just decided to leave it. We have never had flowers on it. We have mowed over it, ran over and drove over it many times and it still won't die. When we got home from vacation this past weekend I went outside and was over-joyed by something so simple.




It had flowers! For the first time since we have ever lived here! It's so beautiful! God is so good!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Crock-pot Stuffed Peppers

Okay you asked for it so here it is. This is the only way I make stuffed peppers and I think they come out great! Not to mention it is super easy!

4 Large Green Bell Peppers (I serve 1 per person)
1 lb ground turkey
Whole Grain Rice cooked (serving for 4)
2 small cans tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 clove fresh garlic or a dash of garlic powder
1 bag mozzarella cheese

Brown and drain turkey. While your turkey is cooking or draining...cut the tops off your peppers (save them) and clean out all the seeds from the inside and the top. Leave upside down to drain all the excess water out and leave the tops near the coordinating peppers.

Add drained turkey back into the pan along with the cooked rice, seasonings, 1 can of tomato sauce, tomato paste. Combine all ingredients until mixed together well.

Stuff each pepper with the rice and meat mixture and place inside your crock-pot. (sometimes you have to level them out if they don't stand up by themselves by trimming the bottoms a little) Place the tops back onto the peppers (this keeps everything nice and moist) Add a little water to the bottom of the crock-pot. Cook on low for about 6 hours or on high for about 3-4. About 20 minutes prior to serving take tops off the peppers add some mozzarella cheese and put the top back on. Heat up your other small can of tomato sauce and serve on the side.

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Red, White & Blue Strawberries!




So, I found this recipe here and they were so easy to make! Gabe loved it! Well, Lily did too! This blog has lots of fun stuff on it. This was just one of the activities we did.

Here are the ingredients! Super easy!

Strawberries!
White Chocolate Morsels melted (I used 1/2 a bag)
Blue Sugar Sprinkles

Dip in white chocolate, then in blue sprinkles, then lay on a wax paper covered cookie sheet or plate and place in the fridge. (or if you are Lily you can just dip your berry and eat it immediately)



Friday, July 2, 2010

Sarah's Best Ever Cheese Fondue Recipe

Okay so I always look to try and new fondue recipe and I always have enjoyed the ones I have made but tonight I made a more kid-friendly one (with no wine) and it has been my favorite one by far! You can adjust the cheese how you want it...more or less of one or the other but this is what I did tonight and LOVED it!

1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 clove of garlic, minced
.25 lb Manchego Cheese, shredded
.50 lb good quality swiss cheese (from the Gruyere section just a little cheaper), shredded
1 bag of Monterey Jack Cheddar Cheese
3 teaspoons flour

Pour the chicken broth into a pot, add the minced garlic. Once it starts to simmer scoop a little out into a cup and mix with the flour until smooth. Add the shredded cheeses and then stir in the flour mixture. Cook until everything is smooth and creamy.

Rub the inside of cool fondue pot with a clove of garlic before turning on. Warm up and add your yummy cheese mixture!

Serve with your favorite dippers. Mine are lightly steamed cauliflower & broccoli, bread, and apples.




A Woman's Heart

I just completed week 3 of A Woman's Heart: God's Dwelling Place and let me tell you it is rockin' my world. I am just soaking up all this new stuff I am learning about the Israelites and their journey in the wilderness. Some fun things I have learned about are the different meanings of gold, silver and bronze. Gold being rare & pure and representing God's deity. Silver representing redemption and atonement. Bronze often for strength and judgment. I never knew that...to me it was what it was...but it really is far more. I was reminded of people we don't ever read about other than maybe in bible college like Bezalel and Oholiab. Who? Exactly! But let me tell you God handpicked them to furnish His dwelling place. You can read about them in Exodus 35 & 36. They were available and obedient to God! I have meditated on the names of God
El Elyon-The Most High God
El Shaddai-The Caregiver
Jehovah-Shamma-The Lord is Present
Jehovah-Jireh-God will provide
Johovah-Rapha-God who heals
which I meditated on the most being at Exodus last week.

I also learned a lot about bitterness and how it is "spiritual cancer" according to Beth Moore and how it can consume your life. Bitterness is so contagious that we can pass it on to our children. Woah....protect my lips & heart oh God! I don't want to pass that along by any means.
Some of my favorite statements I have read so far by Beth Moore are:

Often our character is at greater risk in prosperity than in adversity.
Only God's provision can satisfy a starving soul.
Nothing is more misleading than an unsatisfied heart.
Sin is not the product of our have and have nots. It is a product of the heart.
No amount of comfort is worth missing the greatest adventure humankind can experience.
God seeks to set his people free from their dependence on themselves so that they depend instead on Him.
God's supernatural provision for humanity is most recongnizable when we find ourselves in a wilderness devoid of self-sufficiency.

God has really been working on my heart about sin. Since we went to Exodus I have gained a new perspective on sin and recognized my own weakness of classifying them and still do as I noticed this morning as I was discussing this study with Bill and how it's hard not to see God as an angry God and that he just wanted to destroy the Israelites because they were so disobedient. Then Moses interceeded and reminded Him of the promise He made to Abraham and how they didn't want the Egyptians to say that God took the Israelites from Egypt just to kill them in the wilderness. I found myself defending the Israelites and thinking that God should of offered them more time to get their act together...and that some were killed for "big sins" and others for small sins like grumbling and complaining...then I realized what the heck and I saying? God is holy! He provided manna for them to eat each day, he was a cloud by day and fire by night, He was Jehovah-Jireh! The Israelites were so weak and needed to just trust God.

How many times do we do that? God provides, meets needs, gives and we focus so much on what we were given that we lose focus of the Giver and want more and are just simply never satisfied. I pray that I find my satisfaction in Him because when I do...not much else seems to matter as much. I feel like I don't focus on all the other "stuff"

God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him, we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Cor. 5:21

I know this post is all over the place so thanks for hanging in there...I need to go to sing another encore of The B-I-B-L-E with Lily!

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