Thursday, December 13, 2007


I have all kinds of things I would like to post about, and talk about, but it is Christmas, and while I am keeping up with things, there is much more to be done. There is celebrating Christmas early with our own little family this coming Sunday, a Christmas in Oregon to prepare for, cookies and memories to make, and more errands to run. :)

So I am continuing my break and starting my Christmas blog break now.

If there is something that is just too good to not share, and cannot wait until the new year I will pop back in to post, but if not, I will see you in the New Year!

May the Lord Bless you and your families.

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
2 Corinthians 9:15

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Work of our hands

Taking a bit of a blogger break. Although, there are tons of "future postings" swirling in my head. Must write them down on paper. :) So, a break there will be. Working on preparing Thanksgiving Dinner, welcoming Grandpa & Grandma for a visit (the kids can't wait!) and finishing some projects with fast approaching deadlines.

I'll leave you with this quote from Missy's Blog Everyday Graces.

"In this week when many of us will spend hours preparing food, laying a table, writing down our blessings and speaking them aloud, we will be communicating our love with the work of our hands."

Wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Giving Thanks for

Sourdough stuffing

Stuffing is an important part of the holiday menu in our home. Here is a wonderful combination of ingredients that play a great supporting role to the rest of the Thanksgiving dinner. The sourdough bread gives the stuffing a tangier flavor than regular bread, but you can use the latter in a pinch.

8 cups (1/2-inch) cubed sourdough bread (about 12 oz)
1 pound turkey Italian sausage
Cooking spray
5 cups chopped onion (about 2 pounds)
2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrot
8 oz package pre-sliced mushrooms
2 cups (1/2 inch) cubed peeled Bartlett pears (about 2 medium)
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven 425 F

Arrange bread in single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 425 F for 9 minutes or until golden. Place in a large bowl.

Remove casings from sausage. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sausage, and cook for 8 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add sausage to bread cubes, tossing to combine. Set aside.

Return pan to medium-high heat. Add onion, celery and carrot; saute 10 minutes or until onion begins to brown. Stir in mushrooms; cook 4 minutes. Stir in pear, basil, tarragon and salt; cook 4 minutes until pear begins to soften, stirring occasionally. Add pear mixture to bread mixture, tossing gently to combine. Stir in broth and pepper.

Place bread mixture in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; cover with foil. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake stuffing an additional 15 minutes or until stuffing top of stuffing is crisp.

Makes 12 servings.

NOTE: This stuffing could be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Store the stuffing, covered with foil, in your refrigerator. Bake as directed.

To view more Thanksgiving recipes, craft ideas, decorating ideas, cleaning/organizing or anything else that has to do with this special holiday; then head over to Kelli's Blog "There is No Place Like Home where she is hosting a week long "Giving Thanks" Celebration!

(*Recipe from The Associated Press and Photo from Becky Luigart Stayner AP)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Love this...

~Ps. 23:7 “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

“What you feed your mind affects your attitude, and your attitude affects the choices you make, which in turn affect every area of life for good…or for evil, and the choices you make determine the consequences!"

by Connie Julin

Saturday, November 10, 2007


What is it about marshmallows that are so much fun?

The other day, I was telling my husband, "Watch this. When I give the kids a marshmallow there will be an instant smile". It never fails. Marshmallows bring out the smiles in people. Go ahead, I dare you - just try and eat one without smiling!

While you are partaking of this soft, yummy treasure; I also dare you to not have a fun memory of eating marshmallows. For me it's playing the "Pudgy Bunny" game in High School or roasting them over a campfire.

What happens when you eat a marshmallow?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Living it

I recently heard this song again and this time I intently reflected on the lyrics. It's verses had renewed meaning:


Oh Lord, You're beautiful
Your face is all I seek
For when Your eyes are on this child,
Your grace abounds to me.

Oh Lord, please light the fire
That once burned bright and clear;
Replace the lamp of my first love,
That burns with holy fear.

I want to take Your Word and shine it all around
But first help me to just live it Lord.
And when I'm doing well,
Help me to never seek a crown.
For my reward is giving glory to You.

*The last verse really got me. My prayer is that I will start & KEEP living what I have learned from His word and the lessons He is teaching me right now. Then when I'm doing well, that I would seek to give Him glory, instead of looking back at myself.


Just recently, my little boy showed interest in why and how his body works? You know, those important questions:

How come by bones don't fall off?

Why do I yawn?

What's in my brain?

Our answer is "Well son..."

Word descriptions don't seem to do justice for the type of explanations that are needed. So, off to the Library we went. Checked out 2 books: "What's inside? My body" by Scholastic and "I Can Move" by Mandy Suhr.

Here are some of the activities we did to help understand how our bodies work:

~Ran in place for 30 seconds and then listened to our hearts thumping to understand the chest.
~We practiced doing the following movements and then found pictures of people dancing, crawling, sitting, walking, and bending and posted on a poster.
~Counted the different places that bend in our bodies, and then all the places in one foot.
~Talked about the difference between pushing, pulling, and lifting.
~Compared our bodies to that of plants and animals.
~Talked about how people move in different ways. Those who need wheelchairs and crutches in a house. Found places that it would be hard to move, like stairs.

This was so much fun. Just watching them sit there quietly soaking in the information and then jumping around in discovering how their body works. Good stuff! And a privilege to watch them learn.

Cheating time

For once TIME has been kind to us. Typically, with the time change that most of us experienced on Sunday - our household usually struggles with it. The kids sleeping, waking, napping, and eating schedules become totally off kilter. Truly, I think that Daylight Savings Time is a secret plot against parents. :)

But this time, the change has worked in our favor. It has helped tremendously with our kids "time to go to bed" routine at 8:00 p.m., instead of much later; like it was before. Now my husband and I look at the clock that reads 9:00 p.m. and strangely there are no kids around.

Another time saver has been getting haircuts for everybody. No more fighting the unruly calick's, hair falling in the face, finding that hair clip, and also trying to figure out what would look good with an outgrown hair style. It has been such a great help for those days that we have to leave the house.

Even, when we can "cheat" time - here and there - it just still keeps ticking on by. This morning, I found that one of my children had quietly climbed into bed along side of me. So I put him back in his bed. But wait, he was already in his bed! I was realized that I was actually holding my daughter. Then again, just before the alarm went off at 6:30 a.m., I woke to find another child in my bed. So this time I go to put her back in bed, and found that she was already in bed! I has been actually holding my son.

So it could have been that I was really tired and confused. More so though because these children are 18 months are apart in age. My daughter is growing taller. My son is also growing much taller. Now we have to swing to one side of the bedroom doorway as we walk by to avoid bumping his head. This is where time has not been so kind to us. Realizing how fast these little/big kids are growing. :(

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Coffee Date

All last week, my husband said that he was looking forward to having a coffee date. The idea was to go to Fred Meyer's with the kids. Then check them into the "Play Land" and have a date with his wife for an hour.

Later, I had to admit to him, and now to you readers that I struggled with this date idea. I just knew for sure that at any moment the "Mommy Guilt Police" were going to come to our table with shaking fingers of shame on you - as we were enjoying our Starbucks Peppermint Mocha and Caramel Macchiato.

But you know my sweet husband reassured me that all was well. After finishing our treats, we then went on through the aisles (while ignoring the prices), and looked at the household and toy sections for future gift ideas. As our precious alloted time came to a close, we then walked hand in hand back to claim our children. The report was positive. They were fine. They were happy! So were husband & wife!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Fall crafting

Here's a sample of the different crafting activities we have been doing during this Fall Season:
These bird feeders were simply put together with an empty toilet paper roll, peanut butter, and bird seed (from WinCo's bulk section).

We then hanged the feeders up in the backyard. The squirrels were really attracted to this treat, but very frustrated that they couldn't get to it. :) ha, ha.

Here is our son's collection of the different types of leafs & plants we've been finding on our nature walks. It's been so precious to hear him ask to place another specimen onto his
Collection poster.
We then took our favorite leafs and placed them in the middle of wax paper, along with some crayon shavings; and then ironed the pieces together. It was really neat to see the colors blend together.
Here is a pumpkin decoration that I made in our MOPS Group. I have had lots of practice putting it back together again, and, again as the kids would take it apart because of their curiosity to see the full toilet paper roll inside. They thought it was silly that the pumpkin didn't have seeds inside.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Painting pumpkins has been a tradition in our house for many years now. It is so easy for these little ones to create their own art, and then be able to see them all month long.

Hayride fun

We recently had a field trip day at the MAIZE. This place is a working farm that offers hayrides, educational talks, a huge maize, petting zoo, refreshments, and of course a pumpkin patch. The hayrides were the "hit" for the day.

They loved watching the red tractor work.

This one is my favorite pictures of the day.

Navigating the children's maize

Found the perfect pumpkin.

A great day overall. The kids had fun.
And mommy did too!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Catching up

...on pictures from September and October. Best do this before we say hello to November. Can't believe how fast October went. My favorite month of the year!

Here are some pictures of our little girl turning 3 years old:

Look at me - I'm 3!

Our little girl LOVES horses.
So deciding on the theme for her party was not too difficult.

A thrilled little girl who loves Appaloosa Horses, for sure!

Note to self: Do not serve caked after 5 p.m.
Keeps children up until midnight going potty.
We think it had to do with the frosting and Red Dye #40.

She got a horse stamp collection, an Appaloosa horse toy, animal farm shapes with holes and strings to sew with; along with a window gel Birthday Cake decoration from her Auntie; then a card and gift from Grandma & Grandpa. We also played "Pin the tail on the donkey (horse)".

All in all a very good day. I don't think I've ever heard my daughter talk and chat that much! She was very excited.

Precious Treasures

In an earthly mine (the type you dig) men are looking for (usually) one precious thing. In the mine of God there are all kinds of precious treasures. Each on is the mother lode with veins running in every direction and leading to other mother loads; rich each one beyond all the others.

Nobody digs in the mind of God without effort, so those who do not dig never know what they are missing.

It is dark in the mine, for (Pr 1:6) the words of the wise are full of dark sayings, but the owner supplies light to those who are earnest, the light coming mysteriously with effort.

Those who come must spend a lot of time searching for they know not what, for the treasures of God are fully of mystery; but once found they know what they have found and rejoice as those who have (Ps119:162) found great spoil. And the value increases as they have not yet found.

Moreover, they take it away from the mine in their hearts only to find that others have also found it before them; and they took it away, yet it was still there, put there to be found by (James 2:5) the poor of this world rich in faith. Then mysteriously they discover that they give it to others with the greatest diligence and effort, they cannot get rid of it all. The harder they try to get rid of it the richer they become. Each vain just keeps getting wider and richer.

Treasure Found

Well I'm back from the retreat!

It was an enjoyable time of being with other women who had like minds of loving their Lord, husbands, and families. It was a short trip with about 28 hours teaching, talking, eating good food, quick trail walks, and sleep (actually not that much). The schedule for the retreat was different then typical ones, as it wasn't all about "personal enjoyment", but more about an intense time of learning and encouragement. Making the most of our moments together. There was uncontrollable laughter and the shedding of tears. Good stuff.

I had been thinking that I couldn't remember when was the last time I had sat for so long. My only concerns were of taking care of myself, eating (no cooking, or coaxing little ones to eat, or cleanup!), having conversations with other women with little to no interruptions, and then simply focusing on the teaching times. It was an odd feeling for me as the day before, I hadn't "rested" the entire day while I was running around preparing for this trip. My mind was definitely going in different directions. So I was thankful for this different state of mind and being.

But truly, what was most impressed on my heart was how the Lord provided exactly what I had needed. As I shared in the previous post, I was simply looking for a rainbow in my heart again. Not only did I receive a rainbow, but a treasure. Not just one treasure, but many! He gives so much more than we can ever imagine to those that He loves. I am so thankful.

The treasures that He so tenderly gave to me were gems to hold onto even when the rainbows do fade.

Hope to share some more about the teachings we learned and catch up on some pictures soon.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Looking for a rainbow...

My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the
strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
Psalm 73:26

Isn't this verse just beautiful? My heart is heavy today, actually for a few weeks now. It seems like the slightest of offenses from someone wounds my heart. From those who have disappointed me or then being hurt by someone I love. My soul feels empty and there is a battle for truth amongst the discouragement that surrounds it.

I am trying to remember, but struggling to find peace in that the love of God is far greater than any earthly relationships or situations. His love is a secure love. I am so glad that He never changes. I just need to BELIEVE in His promises that I can rest in Him!

This weekend is our "Keepers of the Home" Women's Retreat. God is so good in His perfect timing to provide this special weekend of teaching and encouragement by some wonderful mentors. The theme for this weekend is Marriage and Intimacy, with the titles of each session being: Precious Treasures of the Heart, Mind, and Body. If you would, please pray with me that when I return from this trip that a rainbow will be present in my heart again. I also hope to share with you any special gems that were learned from this weekend.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Caught again

Here we go again...

Sharing each other's colds. Lots of fun!

It started with Daddy being sick last week. I hoped (deluded thinking) that the rest of us would be immune. No such luck.

Out comes the Airborne, Tylenol Cold, Saline Spray for stuffy noses, disinfectant wipes, and other helpful concoctions to help rid ourselves of these colds. Ah yes, not to forget the pile of tissues. We ended up getting a big pack of tissue boxes at Costco, as we had used up every last tissue in the house. Almost had to resort to good old T.P. :)

What's your regiment when cold season arrives at your home?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Being still

"My heart is not proud, O Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forever more" ~Psalms 131

"How trusting is a baby? Not very, some would say babies cry violently as soon as they feel the slightest hunger. It is the weaned child, a little older, who has learned to trust its mother, to fret less and simply ask for food instead of wailing. The profound simplicity of this patience is David's model for how he, and all Israel, should wait on the Lord. The apostle Paul comments similarly, "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation...I can do everything through him who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:12-13). ~NIV Student Bible

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Study Challenge

Book of James

A. Read through the book of James. (5 min.)

Then re-read each verse and record 54 direct commands of how “we” should act. (45 min.)

Pray everyday, for one week, over 5 of the commands that you are most struggling with in your life.

For further understanding, read through the Book of James using Bible helps and/or a Bible commentary.

(This devotion was such a blessing to me, that I wanted to be sure to share it with you. My prayer is that it would be a special encouragement to you, as well.)

Monday, October 8, 2007


I recently came by a recipe called "Easy Pizza Dough". The recipe was simple and to the point. That is where I went wrong. You know that saying, "It's too good to be true". Well it was.

Throughout my married life, I have taught myself to cook. I wouldn't say that I'm a beginner by any means nor a chef. I am definitely not put off by trying new recipes, but for some reason just trying yeast in baking has just been one of those things I'm a bit timid to try.

As of late, we've been having pizza nights. Whatever crusts we use have been the store bought types on sale. So when I came by this recipe for easy pizza dough, I then found courage to open the small, shiny package of yeast and take a go at it.

Everything was going smoothly until I started to roll the dough onto floured wax paper. A nice circle was forming, but then when I went to pick it up the dough stuck to the paper. I was having to peeeeel it off. Leaving quite a bit of dough remaining on the paper. Then I tried more flour to help with the stickiness. This time rolling it out on the pizza pan. That didn't work because the dough would sink into the holes of the pan and wouldn't move; and again sticking to that pan.

Tried more flour. By this time the dough was too tough, and probably had too much flour.


Although, I was bummed, my husband showed what a sweet guy he was and told me how it was really okay and that he was proud of me for even attempting this new thing. Doing pizza dough from scratch. He quickly saved the day by running to Nick & Willy's to purchase some cheese pizzas. We then put on our own toppings and had some tasty pizza for the night.

So now I am determined to find a good, FOOL PROOF pizza dough recipe. I know there are some accomplished cooks out there.

Maybe someone would be willing to share their own recipe with a comment on this blog or through an email?

Birthday Update

O-kay, so isn't my hubby the sweetest guy to have hi-jacked this blog with birthday greetings. I was proud of him for the great job he did, along with clip-art, too!

I had a pleasant day celebrating the event of growing another year older. Wish it was in height, but no it is only in age. I was so very blessed by the thoughtful phone calls, cards, and emails sent my way throughout this last week. Then to top it off with a special dinner at the Olive Garden.

Yes, truly a good Birthday. Sweet memories. Thanks to all of you for sharing the love...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Birthday Wishes

Hi Everyone,

This is John, Lisa's Husband, and I have high-jacked my Wife's blog in order to wish Lisa a Happy Birthday. She really is a great Wife and wonderful Mother. I really enjoy her companionship and look forward daily to coming home to her. So please join me in wishing her a hearty Happy Birthday.

I love you Sweetheart.

A good week...

It seems like this week is turning out to be a "good" week. Here are some of the highlights:

~My home seems to be in order (for the moment).

~No sick kids.

~Hubby is home this week!

~We received a new dishwasher from our landlord.

~Tonight, I am going to a women's social dessert. Looking forward to meeting other women, but also being able to try a few tasty desserts. Not too much. Just enough to put a silly smile on my face. :)

~Then tomorrow, is my Birthday! Hoping to make a rare visit to the Olive Garden. Their bread-sticks are simply to die for.

~The mailman has also been kind to me this week. I received a new cook book, "Taste of Home's" - Quick Cooking Book 2007, a card from my sweet Grandma, and another card from an old friend. I love emails, but truly treasure a handwritten note. The best ones are those "just thinking of you" notes.

~Much to be thankful for; in this moment where life seems a little easier.

Hope your week has been going well.
What have you been up to?

Monday, October 1, 2007

Halibut anyone?

Thanks to my father-in-law's fishing trip to Alaska, we have a nice little stash of Halibut tucked away in our freezer. So far, I have made one yummy dish with these, but I am now looking for some other ideas.

Anyone have a tried and true recipe or some ideas for using Halibut?

Best so far...

Grilled Garlic Herb Turkey Burgers

A flavorful grilled turkey burger seasoned with garlic and other herbs.

4 servings

1 pound lean ground turkey
1/2 small onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Add sliced cheese, lettuce, sliced onions, ketchup, mustard, pickles and hamburger buns, for serving.

1. Combine ground turkey with seasonings in a bowl and mix well with hands. Shape into 4 patties, each about 1/2-inch thick. Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours or overnight.

2. Grill, covered, on medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes per side or until done. Serve with cheese, buns, lettuce, mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles, sliced onions, etc.

10 minutes + marinade time
12-16 minutes

**These are the best Turkey Burgers we have had so far.
Very flavorful, along with all the sandwich fixings.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out "Tammy's Recipes". I have found this site enjoyable to look at and very helpful.

Just finished...

I have just finished the devotional journal, "Whispers of Hope", by Beth Moore. It was a 10-week odyssey of prayer. This devotion asked the reader to adopt the P.R.A.I.S.E. format for their prayer time.

The acronym meaning:
~Supplication for self

It seems that through every Beth Moore study I've ever done, my life is eternally changed because of it. It's not necessarily that "she" is changing me, but more from the deep study and reflection of God's Word that "coincidentally" mirrors what I happen to be experiencing in life, or apply to the trials I soon will be coming to. This last study was no different. So thankful!

For now, I will be reading straight from the Bible, for two weeks. I will be studying about the women of the Bible. Not all of them, just the main characters. Already, I have seen that even though they were "Bible Women", they also struggled with sin. They often took situations into their own hands. The women used everything they had fairly or unfairly - and did it skillfully.

The question was raised, "How can I achieve God's Will despite obstacles?"

My honest answer was by being a woman of prayer, being diligent, seeking my husband's leadership, being courageous, and relying on Him!

What's your answer?

And, do you have any devotionals or studies that you have particularly enjoyed?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Is it possible?

I have often heard people say that eating healthy and using coupons is just not possible. Saying that the coupons "out there" are for only junk food. The following example is of a recent grocery "find" shows that this just isn't true. This is how I was able to purchase organic food for little to no cost:

Right now, there are printable coupons available at these locations : Link, Link or Link. They are Save $1/1 when you buy any flavor/variety of Muir Glen/Cascadian product (Exp. 10/18)

I used these at our local North Western Albertson's store that has Muir Glen organic diced, whole, or fire roasted tomatoes 14.5-15 oz on sale for $1.25. With coupon, made them .25 cents each! [price good till 10/3]

Then again at our local Fred Meyer's (Kroger Company), I used these with their Muir Glen Tomato paste for .99 each. Which made them FREE, but for some tax.

Lastly, at WalMart, I used this coupon with their Muir Glen organic diced, whole, or fire roasted tomatoes 14.5 - 15 oz. for $1.17. Final price .17 cents each. They also had packages of the Cascadian Farm Broccoli Florets - 8 oz package for .48 cents w/coupon.

Last year when these coupons came out, I was then able to find the Muir Glenn Tomato products, and Cascadian mixed vegetables, corn, carrots, cereal, and granola bars for some good prices.

I simply brought these coupons with me when I did my regular shopping trips, and then made notes of whether these would be good values or not. Our family really enjoys these brands of organic products. They seem to have a much better taste than even some of the name brands; and they are healthier for you, too!

Be sure to stop over at Money Saving Mom where this discussion of "Balancing health and frugality" continues...

*Special thanks to for the links*

Quiet here...

...on the blog that is, but not at home. Daddy is coming home from another business trip, and then again in a few more weeks. So, this causes mom to be on double duty". :) Despite this, I really do enjoy having one on one time with the kids. Just simply playing together is good stuff.

My little boy's favorite game is playing, "TAG - YOUR IT!", and then another new game we made up that closely resembles Soccer. The object of the game is to kick the ball past mommy and sister; ultimately hitting the fence to make a goal. I have to say that "J-dog" has a pretty good kick. :)

Then today, we tried to find different ways to turn a small amount of orange juice, into the color RED. Ketchup, red slushy, red sprinkles, and paprika work good. :) Mom had to stop the fun when the kids started asking, "Let's put grass, and then let's put dirt in it..."

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Dear friends,

If you love things about the home as much as I do, then be sure to visit Everyday Graces with her posting "Measure for Measure". It's beautiful posting.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Welcome Autumn!

There are just a few more days until Autumn officially starts. But, I am already celebrating its arrival. This is my favorite, favorite, favorite time of the year! :)

~The first leaves have fallen on the grass.
~The weather is in the 70's - which is perfect for me!
~The stores are showing off their Autumn decorations (even some Christmas -shhh. I didn't say that) .
~Starting to dream about Thanksgiving Meal delights.
~There is that "baking is in the air" mood with friends here at home and with "blog friends".
~We've pulled out the lightweight jackets from their slumber.
~Looking forward to going on our annual country drive of the valley and into the mountains to view the splendor of the changing colors.
~Then there is hopes of going to the pumpkin patch and finding that perfect pumpkin...
~Hoping to visit a Bazaar or two.
~My kiddo's are eagerly anticipating more leaves falling down so that they can jump into "Mommy's leaves" as soon as she gets a nice big pile raked up. And then again rake up the same pile so that they can gleefully tear it down. Doing this again for 20 or more times. :)
~Last night, I made my husband some Rice Crispy treats. Puts a smile on his face every time.
~MMM... Maybe it's time to break out the hot chocolate or apple cider.

Welcome Autumn!

Freezer Pleaser #5

Simple Salisbury Steak

1 can of mushroom soup
1 pound of ground beef
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1 egg beaten
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (or 2 small cans of sliced mushrooms)

In a bowl, mix together 1/4 cup of the soup, beef crumbs, egg and onion. Shape firmly into 6 patties. (If you are using raw meat, you can freeze it now and brown the mushrooms and freeze them too, or you can freeze everything after cooking)

In a skillet over medium heat, cook patties, a few at a time, until browned on both sides, spoon off fat, set aside.

Stir in remaining soup and mushrooms, return the patties to the skillet, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 20 minutes or until done, turning patties occasionally.

Allow to cool and place patties and sauce into freezer bag. Lay flat to freeze.

To COOK: Allow to thaw. Reheat and eat!

*Can put this dish over rice or noodles and make with a little extra gravy mixture.

(Campbell's soup recipe)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A first

We had an abundance of tomatoes gifted to us by a neighbor. So I decided to try my hand at making Spaghetti Sauce from fresh tomatoes.

There were 8 tomatoes to work with. Most of them were small and getting very ripe.

Making this sauce was very easy. Just blanched the tomatoes. Peeled the skins off and pureed in the blender. Added seasonings, a can of tomato paste, and additional veggies. Then simmered for 1 to 2 hours. Added some ground sausage (optional) . And served.

This made 20 oz of red sauce that we used for pizza and then kept the remainder for spaghetti another night. It was yummy and flavorful!

Happy Dance

There are some people that I call my friends who don't use creamer in their coffee. Just black is good for them. I'm not one of those people. ;) I love to flavor up my coffee. So when I came across this deal at Walgreen's, I was doing the happy dance.

Here's how it worked out:

~2 Coffeemate Liquid Creamers 16 oz: $4.38 regular price
~Buy one get one free: $2.19 on sale
~Used two, $1.00 off each printable coupons = .19 cents


There's just something about the smell of bulk cooking spices. So says the cashier at WinCo. I sure wouldn't know as I don't have much of a smeller for a nose. : )

Here is what I picked up to help restock and refill the spice jars:

~Parsley Flakes
~Pumpkin Spice
~Garlic Powder
~Minced onion
~Parsley Flakes
~Yellow Mustard
~Italian Seasoning
~Grated Parmesan Romano Cheese
~Dried Cranberries

All these spices were purchased for just under $5.00 total. Lovin' the bulk section!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Job Title Change

Whew! So glad this week is done! It has been another busy one. I think that my title of "Stay at Home Mom" was changed to "Stay in the Car Mom". We were gone every single day along with 3 out of the 5 weeknights. Then Dad was gone for another business trip. Toward the end of this week the kids were falling apart.

This busy schedule is not my true desire for our family. My goal is to usually stay home for at least 2 days a week, even better would be three days. This helps me to manage my home better, care for my husband and kids, and save money with less gas usage, not going out to eat, etc.

I find that so often us moms say that we are "Stay at Home" Moms, but are rarely home due to the demands of our busy schedules. I know for me, this is an area that I constantly need to be balancing. Purposing each day and week for what is really important and lasting.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Thank you to all you wonderful bloggers out there that have been leaving comments on this blog. You are such a source of encouragement to me! It puts a smile on my face to have this connection with you.

Grateful to walk with you in this life and online journaling.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

40% Chance

Today, I decided to take the kids to the Zoo. Since we have a yearly pass, it makes going to the zoo another option than going to the park again. They offer a nice kids section that has an Educational building for children to discover all sorts of things, exhibits that are kid friendly, a giraffe slide, and gopher tunnels to play in.

Before leaving, I checked the weather forecast. It said a high of 74 degrees with a 40% chance of rain. The clouds in our area didn't look threatening. More just heavier clouds than usual with blue sky shining through some pockets. Well as soon as we left the play area the skies opened up and let go it floodgates of water. Let's just say that we learned so much about the Kimono Dragons.

We huddled there for 10 minutes. Then decided to run to the next exhibit for cover. I looked back and my little boy was missing. He had tucked himself into a kids tunnel near the Mearkats viewing area. He called me over and we huddled there until the water started to then stream into our small area. Then we ran into the Rain Forest Exhibit to get out of the rain!. Pretty ironic. This rain forest didn't even have the real mist. Just dry as can be. :)

The rain had stopped, but thunder was still threatening another downpour. So we quickly went over to the Penguin exhibit. What we found was an empty pool with penguins walking around the bottom of it. There was a window in the viewing area that had cracked. So until the workers got it fixed, the penguins were enjoying the rain from above. My little children couldn't understand how the penguins could be happy without water in their pool. Momma did her best to explain and cheer them up.

Next time I read 40% chance of rain, I will take head. :)

4th Time

Today, has been one of those busy, full days where I am now on my 4th attempt to warm-up a cup of tea. And this one is being threatened by the dog whining for a walk and then the kids fighting sleep with all their might. Their Daddy is gone on a business trip. So here I am, "escaping" to the blog.

My complaints are really not warranted. There truly are many more people out in this world that are having much more than just a "hard day".

Reading about Amy's First Day of traveling to their new home really made me feel more thankful for my present circumstances. You'll come away thinking, "Man, I hope tomorrow gets better". Check out Amy's Humble Musings.

Friday, August 31, 2007

New Word

"Look Mom!" -
"It's an Appaloosa!"

Yes, my dear daughter who is almost 3 yrs. old shared these words with me.

It took me by surprise.

I guess with all the horse books we have been reading lately, they have started to make an impression on her.

This also reminded me of when I was a little girl. I became so enamored by Appaloosa's when my Uncle took me to a horse ranch and showed me the horse he rode. All I remember is that it was the most beautiful horse I had ever seen. So since then, there has been a special place in my heart for Appaloosa's. And now also in my daughter's.

Morning surprises

This morning, as I opened my living room shades and peered out the window, there was a bright green sign beckoning to me. It was a garage sale sign directing to the sale just across the street from our house. So I put down the freshly poured coffee, got the kiddos dressed & presentable, and left the house without having breakfast. I'm talking priorities, people!

It wasn't a "great" garage sale, but we did find a treasure or two. We picked up a few coloring books, some national geographic type magazines for the kids to look through, a new Bingo Game that had a Cage Set for the balls to turn in, and my favorite find the: "Sammy The Seal" Book by Syd Hoff. I remember this book from when I was a kid. It is simple as can be, but so very intriguing to children.

After breakfast we read "Sammy The Seal" and the kids proceeded to act like seals catching fish. So funny. :) When that was done, we played a game of BINGO. My little boy enjoyed this so much that he wanted to keep playing this game over and over. But mom told him to wait until Daddy got home and we could all play together. He was satisified.

Anybody else remember reading this book as a kid?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - Fun at the Park

4 yr old logic

Here is a recent conversation we had in the car with our son:

Dad asks: Where do eggs come from?

J. says: Chickens!

Dad: Where do chickens come from?

J: The Barn!

then Dad asks: Where does milk come from?

J: Cows!

Dad: Where do cows come from?

J: The Barn!

Dad: Who made the cows?

J: God did!

then Dad asks: Where do hamburgers come from?

J: McDonalds!!!

Lots of smiles and stifled giggles from the parents in the front seat of the car. :)
It makes sense - to a toddler.
Although, going to McDonald's is a "big" deal in our family, as we don't go too often. So he remembers these things. :)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Discovery walks

At least once a week the kids and I, sometimes the dog, will go on a bike ride around the neighborhood. They all really enjoy this time as we always find new things to talk about and discover.

This morning, my son's bike had a flat tire. So we decided to go for a walk instead. Besides, the wee little ones were ancy as could be and mom really needed some fresh air. Here are all of the things we talked about, learned, and did on this walk:

~Held hands
~Brought our elderly neighbor's newspaper to her front door that was left on the sidewalk by the paper boy.
~Talked about our favorite flowers.
~What colors they were?
~Why they looked like that?
~We saw a construction site with workmen, their trucks, and a crane.
~We talked about what the crane was doing.
~How the engine worked?
~Why the men were on the house and what their jobs were?
~Watched earth worms in puddles.
~Saw a big old tree that had a limb break away and had fallen down into the street.
~We found where the break was.
~Talked about how it landed and why it broke?
~How the branches would be cut up with saws.
~Who was going to clean it up?
~Wondered if the tree was okay and whether we should give it a band aid. :)
~Learned about directions: Left, Right, Stop, Go, Run to this post and stop there. Then do it again at the next post.
~We named the colors of the mailboxes.
~Watched & laughed at the squirrels playing in a tree.
~Counted the squirrels.
~Talked about why they eat nuts?
~Threw stones into the irrigation canal.
~Watched a dog fetch a stick in the water.
~Later saw a mommy duck with her ducklings.
~We counted the ducks.
~Noted how the ducklings always follow where their mommy goes.
~Counted all the American Flags.
~Talked about the colors, counted how many stars & stripes were on it, and what the name of the flag was.
~Pointed out airplanes and helicopters.
~Watched, but didn't touch the butterflies resting on the flowers.
~Talked about how they are a caterpillar, go to a cocoon, and then a beautiful butterfly.
~My son's favorite is the Swallowtail, "with the "legs" on the bottom of the wings", he says.

Our walk was full of discoveries. It became a true learning experience for our kiddos. It was such a precious time to see the world through their eyes. :)


My husband and I recently celebrated our 11th Anniversary. This was a pretty important year for us. We have seen God move in amazing ways and we are closer than ever before, because of Him.

Leaving our small group meeting the other day, we heard the words, "Congratulations on your anniversary". I thought to myself, "Yeah, this is something to celebrate." There was that sense of accomplishment when you have worked hard at something. And the blessing of seeing the fruits of your labor can be seen soon thereafter. We have much to be thankful for. :)

For the actual day of our anniversary, August 10th, we went to dinner and the movies. A sweet woman from our group gifted us with free childcare for our two children that night. We went to McGrath's Seafood House. For an appetizer we had coconut shrimp. The main entree's were Red Snapper with a crab cake topping and lobster sauce drizzled on top, for me ,and then my husband had the Louisiana Catfish. Both of them tasted just wonderful. Not to mention the Clam Chowder!

We then went to see a movie at the Edward Cinemas. Our first movie alone as a couple in 5 years (I know - we need to fix this. We usually rent movies). The movie we watched was "Borne Ultimatum." It was great! - action packed, fast cameras, and good intrigue. A must see for those of you who are fans of the previous 2 Borne movies.

Happy Anniversary My Beloved!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

In the Crisper

I love fruits and vegetables freshly picked from the garden. So when when my husband brought home a bag of garden extras from a coworker - I was excited! There were yellow squash, fresh green beans, green bell pepper, zucchini, and cucumber.

After having these in the veggie drawer for a little while, the first 3 veggies were threatening to go bad if they weren't used right away. We hated to have that happen, so I did a recipe search on the internet and found this recipe for a "Farmer's Garden Stir Fry". This recipe was just right for using up all the veggies, plus some more in the veggie tray: carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, and white sweet corn. My husband also likes peanut sauce on his Asian Stir Fry's. So all in all it was a perfect match. :)

Farmer's Garden Stir Fry

In the far east, peanuts are commonly used to add intense flavor to vegetables and noodles. These will look like big helpings, but your family will probably be able to eat the whole dish in one sitting. You can use any leftovers in fried rice, adding fresh ginger and garlic to the vegetables.


  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups long-grain white rice


  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (any kind)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups fresh green beans, cut on the diagonal, or frozen beans
  • 1 small yellow squash sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced

Bring water to a boil in a large pot, adding salt. Add rice, stir once, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 18 minutes, or until water is absorbed and rice is tender.

To make sauce: Trim and discard roots and any wilted green tops from green onions. Chop them and combine in a small bowl with soy sauce, peanut butter, vinegar, sugar and red peppers. Stir to blend liquid with peanut butter. Set aside.

To make vegetables: Heat oil in a large skillet, Dutch oven or wok. When it is quite hot, add green beans and stir-fry for 3 minutes for fresh, 2 minutes for frozen. Add yellow squash, zucchini and green peppers and stir-fry for another 2 minutes.

Add sauce and cook, stirring, until vegetables are coated and heated through, or until they reach the texture you like.

Serves 3 or 4 over rice.

Sesame Seed Sauce for Vegetables

Serve this on the side or on top of cooked vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, winter squash, sweet potatoes or zucchini. I especially like it with green vegetables: broccoli, green beans and sautéed fresh spinach.

  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (any kind)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

Toast sesame seeds in a dry heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir them frequently, removing the pan from the heat for several seconds if they seem to be cooking unevenly. When they are golden and smell toasty, remove from the heat.

Combine sugar, vinegar and soy sauce in a jar or dish. Stir to dissolve sugar and stir in sesame seeds.

Makes about 1/3 cup.

Recipes from: Vegetarian Express Lane Cookbook

Monday, August 20, 2007

Seed update

These mixed colored marigolds have brought so much enjoyment this spring, during the summer, and most likely into the fall.

They were originally from 2 year old seeds left in the garage from the house we recently moved into a year ago.

The kids and I, had such a fun time planting them from seed into egg crates and then watching them grow (see this post). We've had many fun conversations about flowers and what is needed to help them grow. I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing them just outside the kitchen window every day.

When the flowers shrivel up, you can pull the seeds and save for another planting. Which I plan on doing. A whole lot more next year!

Can you do this?

Roll your tongue, that is.
I can't.
But my little girl is so proud of herself as she learned to roll her tongue with no problem tonight. Her and her daddy have been practicing. So cute. Although, she will have to wait till daddy gets home from his trip to show off her latest accomplishment. :)

Where's your Momma?

Yesterday, my son was looking out our front window just watching the activities of the neighborhood. He then asked me, "Mom. What's that boy doing?"

So I checked it out. What I saw was a toddler in the middle of the street. I quickly put my shoes on and ran out to him. We live on a busy street with lots of blind spots. This is also the same street that our dog got hit by a car a month or so a go. So he was in danger.

As I came up to him, he was riding a tricycle with only a shirt on, no pants or a diaper, filthy from head to toe and a bit confused looking. He looked to be maybe 2 years old. As I steered him away from the road, I asked him where his Momma was? He said, "Sleeping". The only other words he could say was his name and unintelligible baby talk.

I did not recognize this boy as a neighbor kid, so the assumption was that he came from the apartment complex down across from our house. Because my kids were still in the house, I could not go searching for the mom.

So I then brought him into our house, and left his tricycle outside on our porch as an indicator that he was there. I called the police to report finding a lost child. Then I proceeded to quickly put a diaper on him, give him some water, and washed the dirt from his legs and arms. My heart was breaking for this boy. All I wanted to do was hold him and keep him safe from this situation, but it was not my place. :( He happily played with my children until the police showed up and started the door to door search.

Finally, his grandma came as she and his parents were looking for him once they discovered he was missing. The story goes that mom is a single parent who works the night shift and was trying to catch up on some sleep. This type of incident was not the first time, as she was going to court the very next day for a previous incident. I felt bad for her, but still there definitely seems to be a problem that needs to be addressed. My first thought was I could babysit for her, so someone could be caring for him at all times. Although I didn't think she would appreciate that as I was the one that had to call the police.

Just a real bummer. But so thankful he wasn't hurt from being in the street. I couldn't imagine and don't ever want to experience the panic of loosing a precious child.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Taste Test

Many of our favorite foods have milk products in them--ice cream, yogurt, cheese, and any bakery product with butter in it. The picture to the right is a typical U.S. Holstein cow. At her peak, she will produce 12 gallons of milk per day--that's 172 eight ounce glasses per day.


We finally did it.
We went to other side...
We purchased Organic Milk.

Certified Organic Milk means we are supposed to be assured that the cows are fed only naturally grown corn and grain, and graze on pastures that are free from synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. As well as the cows are not given growth hormones or antibiotics. So the result is that organic milk should be healthier for us than "regular" milk. That is if all the testing is "up to par". Another positive, is the long expiration date. The half gallons we purchased on August 5th, are set to expire on Sept. 17th.

Unfortunately, it hasn't yet passed the taste test. Even the Fat Free milk they offer is still thick on the tongue. Not like the "regular" milk that you can guzzle down as a nice refreshing drink. For us drinking organic milk has been small glasses, with 2 meals a day, and sometimes adding chocolate syrup. The kids don't seem to mind the taste, but Dad & Mom sure notice the difference.

Then there is the price. Organic cost much more than the "regular" milk. You get less for your money. Also, the price matching between different stores ranges greatly. For example:
Last week this milk was very expensive at Fred Meyer's, so we purchased it at Costco. Then this week, Fred Meyer's had the best price in town. They were also offering Catalina Strips at the register that gave additional discounts on milk.

Our initial review is that Organic milk is "okay". It may just be something we sacrifice in our food budget to allow us to purchase it. Or we may go back to the "regular" milk and pray over our food!! The jury is still out. :)

Has anyone else done "the switch"?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The views

A few more sights from the trip...
(I thought these had been posted?)

A mountain lake

A favorite...

A view from Mt. Constitution

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Here is a picture of the guys just after they had hiked up
Mt. Constitution.

Their entire journey on Orcas Island turned out to be 50 miles
of bicycling and hiking.

Here's looking to next year!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Bike Trip

Here are pictures from my husband's biking camp/tour with his Dad and brothers to Orcas Island, Washington.

Truck loaded with 4 bikes, a trailer, and supplies.

The guys. A road trip to Washington, a ferry ride to Orcas Island, then a bike ride to the camping site.

More pictures to come...

Orcas Island

The Ferry

This mama seagull was giving the guys an evil red eye. One of her babies that is brown, is sitting on a rope to the bottom right of the stack near the black post.

Each morning the deer walked graciously through the campgrounds.

Seemed to be an old boat out in the water.

Here is my hubby getting the fires going. He 's so good at that. ;)

John's brother provided the 4 man tent. It was so helpful to have the gear stored just outside the tent.