Saturday, November 26, 2011

Week of Thanksgiving Day 7

Today I am thankful that God not only supplies my needs but has given me so much more. He has not only provided my daily bread but I have cabinets, a fridge, and a freezer full of food. He has not only supplied shelter for me and my family but has blessed us with a nice home that keeps me warm in the winter and I have air conditioning that keeps me cool in the summer. He has not only supplied me with clothes but I have a closet and drawers full of them. We have a car that takes us where we need to go. We have furniture to sit on, comfy beds to sleep, modern appliances to cook, clean, and do the laundry. Thank you Lord for the material blessings that you have given to our family.

Eucharisteo means "to give thanks," and give is a verb, something that we do. God calls me to do thanks. To give the thanks away. That thanks-giving might literally become thanks-living. That our lives become the very blessings we have received.
Ann Voskamp

Friday, November 25, 2011

Week of Thanksgiving Day 6

Today I am thankful for friendships. Friends that I've known since I was little and friends that I've known for a short time. Those that have helped shaped me into the person I am today. Those who have challenged me, laughed with me, cried with me, put up with me. Friendships that have encouraged me, friends that have taught me and given me advice. Friends that have listened to me and friends that I lent a listening ear.  Those who have been there in good times and those who have been there in difficult times. Thank you Lord for all the different friends that You have brought into my life.

Friendship is born at the moment when one person says to another, "What! You to? I thought I was the only one."
C.S. Lewis

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Week of Thanksgiving Day 5

Today I am thankful for a great day spent with family and friends.

I am thankful for the sword fighting pilgrim and Indian that came to dinner today.

I am thankful for the traditional meal that we had of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and rolls.

I am thankful that my first attempt at making Thanksgiving dinner was not a failure.

I am thankful for a fun time bowling with 6 adults and 9 kids. I am thankful for being able to take our kids bowling for the first time today.

I am thankful for a fun evening at our house with both of my sisters and their families and new friends.

Although it wasn't a typical Thanksgiving for us, it was a great day with great food and surrounded by great people. I feel very blessed.

Thank you Lord for the food, relaxation, family, and friends.

Psalm 100

 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. 
 Worship the LORD with gladness; 
 come before him with joyful songs. 
 Know that the LORD is God. 
 It is he who made us, and we are his; 
 we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
 Enter his gates with thanksgiving 
 and his courts with praise; 
 give thanks to him and praise his name. 
 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; 
 his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Week of Thanksgiving Day 4

Today I am thankful for the beauty of the world that surrounds me. I am thankful for the beautiful snow that blankets the earth in the winter, new life that comes in the spring, the warmth of the sun in the summer, and the beauty of the colorful leaves in the fall. I am thankful for colorful flowers, green grass, blue skies, white clouds, animals that I see in my back yard, the chirping of the birds. Rain that waters the earth, thunder and lightning that remind me of His power. Thank you Lord for your creation, for the changing of the seasons, for the weather.

Every time you feel in God's creatures something pleasing and attractive, do not let your attention be arrested by them alone, but, passing them by, transfer your though to God and say: "O my God, if Thy creations are so full of beauty, delight and joy, how infinitely more full of beauty, delight and joy art Thou Thyself, Creator of all!"
Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Week of Thanksgiving Day 3

Today I am thankful for the 4 children that God blessed me with. I am thankful for all the joy they bring to my life, the smiles and the laughter. I am thankful that I get the opportunity to teach them about the love of Christ and the opportunity to watch them grow both physically and spiritually. They are constantly teaching me things as well. I am thankful for the frustrations that they sometimes bring, for the messes they leave behind, the things they break, and all the dirty laundry that I wash. I am thankful for each of their different personalities. Thank you Lord for the blessing of children.

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. 
William Arthur Ward

Joshua, Alex, and Amanda's class had to write their turkey recipes for Thanksgiving. These brought a smile to my face and just another reason I am thankful for my children. Here are their recipes in case you need to know how to make a turkey this week.

Joshua's Recipe

Get a medium turkey from the grocery store. I know they cook it in the oven and my oven beeps when things are done so take it out then. While it's cooking get all the other stuff on the table. Then sit down and pray. Cut the turkey with a knife and use a fork to eat it.

Alex's Recipe

Go to Jewel's or Walt's and buy a big turkey. 
Put it on the big long pan.
Put it in the oven for 15 hours.
Cut it up and set the table.
Put the meat on your plate and cut it up smaller and then you can eat it.

Amanda's Recipe

Have your aunt go to a store and find a turkey.
Put salt on it and put it in the oven.
Then play with Grandpa and Grandma and Avery.
When they call you go and eat.
I don't really like the turkey. I like it when they make hamburgers.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Week of Thanksgiving Day 2

I am thankful for my husband. I am thankful that he is willing to work odd and long hours to provide for our family and am thankful that he is such a hard worker. He loves the Lord and even though he has to be at work many days at 3 or 4 in the morning, he still gets up early to spend time with God. I am thankful for the father he is to our children. That he is a great dad, loves his children and takes the time to run around in the back yard with them and faithfully teaches them about God. He has a generous heart, loves to serve others, and is a man that is devoted to me, to his family and to his friends. He has taught me so much by his example. Thank you Lord for blessing me with him.

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.
Sarah  Ban Breathnach

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Week of Thanksgiving

It's been a while since I posted to my Gratitude list. In honor of Thanksgiving this week, I thought I would add to it every day.

Today and every day I am so thankful for my heavenly Father that has given me life. He has given me everything that I will be thanking Him for the rest of the week and all the blessings that I am thankful for each and every day. He gives me each and every breath that I take. He has sent trials into my life that have taught me lessons and have brought me closer to Him. He sent His Son to pay the ultimate sacrifice that I might have eternal life.  I live my life in gratitude to the great God that we serve.

All gratitude is ultimately gratitude for Christ, all remembering a remembrance of Him. For in Him all things were created, are sustained, have their being. Thus Christ is all there is to give thanks for; Christ is all there is to remember. To know how we can count on God, we count graces, but ultimately there is really only One.      
Ann Voskamp

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Singing the Old Testament Books

Alex, Amanda, and Joshua had to learn the Old Testament Books of the Bible this year for Awana. Last year they had to learn the New Testament books which are a little easier. They learned them no problem but with all the hard names in the Old Testament, I figured it would probably be easier to learn the song.

The only problem with the song was that it was stuck in my head. I woke up singing it, I went to bed singing it. Thankfully it's been a couple weeks and it is finally out of my head. But I must say, when I need to find a book in the OT that I don't usually go to very much, the song has been very helpful to me. So if you'd like it stuck in your head, feel free to listen to this video over and over and over again!

And yes, Isaac is singing it too because when his brother and sisters have to learn something he tends to learn it right along with them. So we are all set for next year!

The delay of me posting this 2 weeks after they learned them is because I am not very good when it comes to technology. It took me a very long time to figure out how to get this posted here!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Adding To My List

Thursday morning while getting ready for school, Joshua asked me if I would sew the ear on his pillow pet.

He has actually been asking me to sew his pillow pet for about 6 months now and I tell him the same thing each time. "I'll try, if I remember."

This time he wanted to make sure I remembered. After all, the ear was now hanging by a thread.
He asked me where my list was for the day because he wanted to add it.

While I was running through the house getting the other kids ready, I was yelling how to spell 'sew' and 'pillow'. After all, Joshua is a little like me......he does not like spelling errors.

Since he took the time to add it to my list, I had to make sure I took the time to sew the ear back on.

By the time he got home both of us had kind of forgotten about it. After supper I remembered.  I called downstairs (he was playing in the basement) to him, "Joshua, didn't you ask me to do something today."

Joshua, "Yep, sew my pillow pet. Did you do it?"

Me, "Why don't you go check in your bedroom."

We walk to the bedroom. He sees it. Big smile across his face, he jumps up and gives me a big hug and thanks me.

Definitely worth my time to sew that ear on.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Breakfast Sandwiches

I'm not a fan of mornings and because of that I'm also not a big fan of making breakfast. My husband on the other hand is often up at 2 or 3 in the morning to head off to work.

That means he wants breakfast.

There is no way I'm getting up that early but because he has to get up that early he gets a lot of sympathy from me. Much more sympathy than when he works the evening shift and gets home at 3 or 4 in the morning.

Buying premade breakfast items at the grocery store can take a big chunk out of the grocery budget, so I've tried making them myself.

I've tried several different ways but here is one. I love it because you can get creative with it.

I fried up 1 lb of pork sausage.
Added 6 eggs. Beaten.
Mixed the two together.

Put them into greased muffin pans.

Baked them at 350 degrees. I wish I could tell you a time but really I just kind of watched them until they were done.

I toasted english muffins in the oven.
Put the two together and then wrapped in tin foil and put them in the freezer.
Each day he can grab one out of the freezer and take it with him to work.

I'm guessing this cost me about $5 to make a dozen.  This is way cheaper than the premade ones!

My husband said they needed some salt and more eggs. The second time I made them I added salt, a few more eggs and some shredded cheese. It then made about 18.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Breakfast and Dessert Brought To You By Pinterest

My Saturday was spent doing what I love most, hanging out in the kitchen and baking.

I always love to bake something special for my family for Sunday morning, plus we are getting together with my husband's family tomorrow and I get to be in charge of dessert! Yeah!!!! I love to be in charge of dessert!

Pinterest is my newest and favoritest place to find new recipes to try. So that is where I found them all.

Instead of me retyping all the recipes, I'll link you to the blogs where I followed the recipe and then I'll give you some of the changes that I made.

I know a lot of people follow The Pioneer Woman. I have checked out her blog a few times and have only tried a couple of her recipes. I actually found this Apple Dumpling recipe through someone else who had posted it on Pinterest.  It looks delicious, it is super easy to make and I can't wait to try it!!!!!

She made the recipe with Granny Smith apples and I didn't have them on hand, so I used Gala. The apples I had were also kind of small, so I decided to wrap 2 apples slices instead of 1. I also used Diet Mountain Dew instead of regular Mountain Dew, so I guess that makes this a recipe for all of you who are on a diet.
(Just forget about all the butter and sugar.)


My next recipe is for breakfast tomorrow morning and I can't wait to eat it! I was picking little pieces that fell off after I took it out of the pan and eating them and when I made the glaze, I must admit....I licked the pan. I am so excited for tomorrow morning and I am never excited about morning or breakfast!
I was a little nervous when making this that it wasn't going to turn out. Yeast always makes me nervous, especially when it starts to get cold outside because my kitchen tends to be cold and my yeast recipes just don't rise very fast.
The only change made to the Pull-Apart Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Bread was that I omitted the nutmeg because I didn't have any on hand and also because I'm not a huge nutmeg fan. I also used vanilla for the glaze, not the suggested rum.

And my last recipe I made a couple weeks ago and I made it again today. Of course, this one I switched up a little different both times.

It's actually called Pumpkin Blondies but I didn't make them blond either time. This recipe came from The Girl Who Ate Everything.  I still love that name!

Anyway, back to the recipe. The first time I made it the only change I made to the recipe was substituting Chocolate Chips instead using White Chocolate and Butterscotch chips.

The second time I had to mix it up a little more. I was out of Pumpkin Pie Spice and didn't feel like making a run to the grocery store for one item, so decided to substitute Allspice. Now if you don't keep Allspice in your cupboard I suggest getting some. I use it as a substitute all the time in baking, mostly for nutmeg which I already mentioned I'm not a fan of. I was a little nervous about adding a full Tablespoon, so only used half a Tablespoon. Then as far as the chips go, I had Butterscotch this time but no White Chocolate. So I did half Butterscotch and half Semi-Sweet Chocolate.

Both times I omitted the Pecans. As a rule, I usually omit nuts. My husband is not a fan.

I did take a little bite of the one I made today and think I'm a bigger fan of the first one I made with just Chocolate Chips but I guess it all depends on what you like.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chasing a 2 Year Old Around Can Be Tricky

Last week I tried to take my nephew's pictures. All around the situation was not easy.

It had rained the day before so the grass was wet. The only shade that we could find was a pavilion. It was sunny and taking a 2 year old's pictures in the sun as he wants to run around doesn't work so well. Lots of shadows on the face.

When you tell a young boy to stand still, his idea of standing still is for 2 seconds and then he runs. Finally some bribery was in order. When a sucker was on the line, he didn't move!

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Monday, November 7, 2011

A Shoe Problem

I've never really thought of myself as a shoe person.

 I'd hate to see what my kitchen floor would look like if I actually thought of myself as a shoe lover. As you can tell, I am pretty boring when it comes to shoes. Lots of browns and black.

Sad thing is, I couldn't get all the shoes in the picture.

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Few of the Kids

A few weeks ago we had a really nice day and the weather was supposed to turn ugly after that. So I took my kids and my camera and we headed to the Forest Preserve. 

It's taken me awhile to post them because I have since downloaded Photoshop Lightroom. I am still trying to figure it out and figure out some storage issues. I hate not having a system and a little organization and I've been doing some editing in Picasa yet just because that is what I know, while I try to learn Lightroom. I'm excited about all the new things I can do, it's just going to take some time to learn. 

While trying to figure out how to post these from Lightroom, I learned that if I download them to my hard drive, they also go into Picasa. The cool thing about that is I can post directly to my blog from Picasa. This made me very happy.

Here are a few that I shot that day and edited in Lightroom.

Be patient with me as I learn. Learn how to use it and learn what I like. Although I love all the options Lightroom has to offer, I'm not good with so many options. Yikes!

This first one I love their faces but not crazy about the blur. Should have had my shutter speed up more.

We practice the jump shot one day this summer and I was never able to even get one. This day, all it took was one. I guess all that practice paid off!

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Loved to Pieces

This is Isaac's blanket that he has had since he was a baby.

He refuses to give it up even though it is falling apart.

For awhile he would ask me every day to fix it for him.

Grandma did take a look at it to see if there was anything that could be done.

The diagnosis was not good.

He has accepted its fate but still will not give it up.
When a piece falls off, he actually brings it to me to tie back on to it. 

Last time I washed it I was afraid to even throw it in dryer for fear of it completely falling apart.

We'll see how far he lets it go before he decides it's time to go.