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.