Friday, February 27, 2009

How is your reading going?

I'm going to work up a different format for the bible reading challenge. What do you think would work best? One thread a week, to converse as we wish or just check in? I confess I've fallen behind in my reading. I've been playing "catch up" with the BIAY list.

How about you?

Family Update- (long and possibly upsetting)

I thought it might be time for another family update and let y'all know what's new with us :) You might have read last week that Jay was able to get a new truck. This has been a tremendous blessing and burden off of him. For him to be able to leave out for work in the mornings and not have to worry about whether something pops up like a kid getting sick at school, if something comes up at work and he is not able to get home in time to pick up the kids (thus having to depend on my parents to jump in in an hour's notice some days ..). With having his own vehicle, he is able to do his job better, and that actually, for us, brings in more income for us- which is a HUGE bonus!

Speaking of income, I am currently pondering my resume and plan on applying to Gymboree for a part time job while the kids are still in school. I'd appreciate prayers concerning that, if you think about it. That is where I love getting Hannah's clothes and the emplyees always pick around when I'm in there cause I squeeze our dollars so tight and get such good deals there, lol If employed, I'll be able to get a 40% discount off regular price, which is awesome considering there have been a number of outfits I've really liked, but missed getting because they sold out before the discount was good enough for me. I really believe this will be something I will enjoy doing a lot. I already have dealt with the staff quite a bit and they are all really friendly, especially the asst manager. The store manager assured me she was able to work with my availability, and no weekends if I was not available- which is huge for me.

My mistake the last time I "went back to work"- it was a good opportunity, a wonderful job, but more than our family really needed to take on. I wanted part time and they were only willing to offer full time. The pay was higher (by dollars) than what I would be making with Gymboree I'm sure, but I believe when you're honoring God with your money, He will honor you, too.

Our goal with the extra money is going to be getting the kids back into private Christian school. Until this school year, they had only been there, then this school year the Lord led us to take a break to regroup not only our finances but our family. It has been an interesting school year, and I have no doubt we're in the Lord's will right now with the kids in the charter school, but it's one of those situations you think sometimes "why me? why do I have to do this?", but there have been many things revealed, many blessings, and our family has come much closer as a result of this change.

The change has not been without challenges. The main one, is Jackson. He is struggling with school in a big way. Now that we're in third quarter, the pressure is really on him, and he is showing it. It's become apparent he has lost a lot of respect for his teacher, and it hurts to see. He's not a disrespectful child, there are reasons behind his thoughts, that I do not doubt. From some things he has said, I can see it through his perspective. My conclusion is the school''s educational philosophy is not conducive for him.

You cannot take a child that has made straight A's the first four years of his life, effortlessly; going into the 4th grade with a 7th grade reading level; having attended a school whose test scores were GRADE LEVELS above the national average (his class was two grades above); and watch his grades plummet into Bs, Cs and Ds, and say it is the child. You cannot just claim "irresponsbility" against the child, when there's TOO MUCH for said child to have to keep up with! I agree a child needs to learn to be responsible, but there is such a thing as "too much". WE have a hard time keeping up with his work and what hes expected to do! Why is there just as much emphasis put on whether worksheets are turned in, as there is tests? Don't the tests prove whether the child is learning?

I just disagree with the way things are done. He used to enjoy school, and enjoy learning. That has been completely sucked out of him. So, I'm trying to encourage him to do his best. I am not going to tell him they are going back to their old school because right now, I still do not know 100%. I just know, that is what we want, and are praying for.

Speaking of praying, this has been such a big a hit to him- the other day I said something about praying for something to happen and his response was "what good does it do to pray? nothing ever happens!". Oh that broke my heart. But that showed me he's at a point in his life where his relationship with the Lord is his own, and he's going to have to work that out hisself. I do know, that if he does get back to the old school for next school year- he's going to be a completely different child. That I have no doubt. He will never forget this experience. His burden for the lost is much stronger, but his personal relationship is weaker, if that even makes sense. I found a kid devotional website yesterday, and plan on implementing that in our days. We talk about spiritual things and the bible every day, but I'm thinking this might put more of a narrow focus for them.

Hannah is facing her own challenges now, and I'm watching her carefully. About two-three weeks ago, she spoke up and said the kids were mean on the playground. Now, anyone that knows my Hannah, knows that she is a heart a thousand miles wide, and will give anyone the shirt off her back if she saw they needed it. She shares everything. She is friends with everyone. She meets NO strangers. She was recognized at the end of second quarter she was recognized for forgiveness! So to hear people were mean to her? That grabbed my attention.

I asked her how people were mean to her, what happens, etc ... She said "The African American kids tell me every day they don't want me on their team because I'm white." :-O I asked if the teacher was watching the teams getting picked and she informed me it was free play type of teams. So you have these first graders (!!!) on the playground, deciding to play a game, dividing into teams- all healthy, normal as far as social development ... and yet, somehow, racial bias has already been taught either by word or action in the lives of these children. and it's not the white kids!

So Hannah is coming home each day for Lord only knows how many weeks this had been going on before she decided to tell me (she just says they "always" do it, no telling with a first grader, kwim?) wondering why kids don't want to play with her because she is white. It just bewilders me, how parents can ... NOT know, their kids say these types of things. Then I think about the comment our new Attorney General said last week about us essentially being a "nation of cowards" when it comes to race.

"Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot,
in things racial we have always been and I believe continue to be, in too many
ways, essentially a nation of cowards," Holder said.
Race issues continue to be a topic of political discussion, but "we, as
average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about

Well I have the answer to ALL of the hoopla- if you teach your children that God created us ALL to live up to our God given potential in life, that he died for the WORLD, that God sees NO COLOR~ then we won't really have racial issues in this country now will we!!?? When are people going to GET OVER THIERSELVES!!?? Seriously! I think we talk TOOOOO much about race!

My kids don't care what color the skin is of another child, they look at the content of the heart. and even then- they forgive! Case in point, the racial comments come home over a week ago. Day before yesterday, we're sititng at the table eating and she said "B got on RED today.". Red is the worse offense you can get, it calls for a trip to the principal's office, and a call to the parents. Usually, "M" is the one that gets in that much trouble, and Hannah has been praying for M quite often this school year. But this boy, I don't really recall hearing much of.

I do know, that there's only one white boy in her class and his name is A. As she's sitting there eating her mashed potatoes I ask why B got put on red ... "He hit me on the playground." :::deep breath::: I ask her to share what happened. "We were on the playground and I told him the chicken joke. He said he didn't like it and he punched me in my head and ran off. It hurt, too." Her teacher promptly handled it and done exactly what I would expect a teacher to do, except B refuses to apologize to Hannah (but I don't believe in forced apologies either), and I was informed by Hannah, and not a note from school. I know it's elementary school, but I still believe it would be appropriate for teachers to have that kind of communication with parents. I realize she did not have a black eye, or a bruise, or a bloody lip, but, she was still hurt.

So she's told by the black kids at school that they don't want to play with her because she's white. She used to be buddies with one of the black girls, but they're not close any more because her friend is playing with the other black girls. Hannah was, at the beginning of the year, one of two white girls in the class, since the beginning there's been another white girl put in that class. She's being isolated because of her color, and now, a black BOY hits her. There's another GIRL, the same one, that is apparently telling Hannah she has fat legs (she doesn't, she's not a string bean, but shes not heavy by a mile!)
This is after a number of days of her coming home "tired" and ready to go to bed early most nights. and she's "tired" when she wakes up. I mean she plays at home, but overall, she's complaining quite a bit about being tired. She sleeps ten hours a night, too.

Is Hannah becoming depressed? Fatigue is a symptom of depression, and frankly, racial tension for a first grader is a bit too much. I'm not sure when it's time to speak up and say something. I know kids will be kids, but if the situation were opposite, I can't help but to wonder if something would have been done by now :o(

So. That's what's going on with us. pray as you see fit!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Better than Obama, hands down

I just saw this video on Carrie's blog and ... well ... get some tissues, and we'll talk about it.

Who is your audience?

My friend Joanne made a guest appearance at Laced with Grace and wrote this sweet devotional. What a great reminder for us all.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Simple Reflections: Finding JOY In The Midst Of It ALL

Simple Reflections: Finding JOY In The Midst Of It ALL

Gratituesday 2-24

This Tuesday I am thankful for Jackson.
We were faced with the possibility of adding to our family this week under very unfortunate circumstances. There are two children in my family tree that have not been raised under good conditions and were put in the care of their aunt and uncle as "next of kin", so their parents would have a smidgen of a chance of possibly, maybe, one day, getting them back. I've kept in touch with said aunt to offer support for the family, and when we spoke last week she explained the turmoil having these kids with them was causing on their family.

It wasn't tough circumstances and their parents were trying their best- their parents' drug addictions was the cause. These kids have not really been raised with ... manners, expectations, standards, structure ... the list could go on. There wasn't another option, really, for these kids. They either went into foster care, into a system that is heavily strained in this state anyway- or they went to their grandmother in another state, who did not offer much of a better environment at all. Understanding the pain and frustration aunt and uncle was feeling, I agreed we'd consider taking one into our home as a form of "divide and conquer" approach.

Knowing the tremendous impact it would make on our own family, I talked to our kids about it. The kids knew who I was talking about, though they've only been around said kids twice. The first time, Jackson told me not to make him visit them again because the younger one used such horrible language :( That really shocked me on a few levels.

My son's reaction to the prospect of same said child coming to live with us ... for an indefinate amount of time?

"Well mom- why wouldn't we do it? The boy has never been to church? With us
he would get to learn about God and Jesus and maybe even get saved while he is
with us. That's sad, mom. As long as he won't break my Wii of PS2 I'll share my
room with him- he needs a big brother."

You know it's moments like that, that shows me that by golly- we are doing something right!

As to the decision, it was made for us. Last I heard they are (parents & kids) headed back to live with the grandmother out of state. Please pray for this family!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cats meet mouse

The night we divided the boy and girl mice into separate cages, the daddy mouse decided to start bullying one (not all, but just one) of the boys. So I took "the ball" out of its wrapper, put him in it, and introduced him to the cats. I believe he learned not to bully the others cause we haven't seen him be aggressive again!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Jordan

A year ago today, a sweet little bundle of joy come into our life. He was our great nephew #2, Jordan. I was already babysitting his big brother Braden full+ time. I was back in "toddlerland", well on my way back to "babyland". The house was babyproofed, we were stocked up with Cheerios and Goldfish crackers. We had a toybox in each room of the house, Braden had his own cabinet in the kitchen to plunder through. Due to mom being on maternity leave, Braden's paternal grandma volunteered to keep him part time while mom adjusted to "life with infant".

Three weeks later Jordan would join us full time as mom went back to work. Being an assistant convenience store manager, 70 hour weeks was not uncommon to us. The first day back, my having both of the boys while the kids were at school, while they were both napping, I fell off our back steps spraining my ankle. It was rough, thank the Lord the boys were asleep! A friend brought the kids home and mom come to get the boys a few hours later. It was agreed that paternal grandmother would keep Braden while my ankle healed.

Without having a distraction of toddler-like proportions, I was literally back in babyland. It was me and Jordan. Since mom opened the store most mornings, she would drop him off around 4:30 every morning. She had her own key so she would leave the sleeping bundle of preciousness in our bedroom so I would hear his little squeaks easier as he was a very quiet baby. Usually he would wake within the hour of his arrival. He had his own portabed, bouncyseat, and I even had an exersaucer for when he got bigger. I was so proud of mom pumping when she was away, she done her best- even fighting a case of mastitis that led to us supplementing with formula.

I was back to the whole routine that fit so well for me with my own two. Eat, burp, play, sleep. He was such a little guy. Hannah was petite for a girl, but Jordan was a lil fella, like a lil peanut. We were so in sync I could look at his face and tell you what he was up to- sleepy, hungry, gas, etc .. The most precious moments were him laying in the floor beside me as I would fold clothes. I loved watching him learn to focus on my face, learn how to toss his arms back and forth, and kick those legs. It seemed to take him longer to do those things than Hannah and Jackson, so it seemed that I found myself watching him closer.

Picking up the kids from school was fun. The both looked so forward to getting in the car and talking to him on the way home. Jackson had no problem playing the "entertainer". They both had been missing Braden anyway- so the baby was a nice distraction for them. We were all ready for Braden to come back as we noticed my ankle healing.

Friday, April 11th, I had plans to go to a local theater with my aunt as free tickets had fell in our laps. I had picked up my dad from work and brought him back to the house because Jordan's mom (our neice, Brandy) could take him home on her way home, after picking up the baby that evening. She had not gotten there when it was time for me to leave right after supper, so I leaned over and kissed lil bit on the top of his soft- almost bald head and told him I would see him Monday, as mom was supposed to have the weekend off.

Little did I know ....

Monday morning I woke on my own about 7:45. I got up and walked through the house to get my coffee started, and spoke to Jay. That night I had had a horrible, HORRIBLE feeling dream. I mentioned it as I was going back in the bedroom to Jay. My dream was more about a distinct feeling rather than a vivid memory of the visual.

I remember it being as if, in my sleep, I was physically feeling like every nerve in my body was being electrocuted on a low wattage, just enough for you to be alert enough to know something is WRONG. I remember screaming to whoever would listen in my dream, that something BAD was about to happen- that I did not know what it was, but it was happening SOON and it was very, Very, VERY bad. It was one of those dreams where you wake up the next morning thinking "Oh man, I'm so tired..." cause the dream took so much energy from you. very intense.

Jay's phone rang about 8:10. I remember sitting on the bed and him coming in the room saying "it's your sister, it's not good, do you want to talk to her?", I told him to tell her I'd call her back, because I knew I can handle bad news coming from Jay better than her. Brandy woke up that morning to start getting ready for work as she had a mid shift that day. Jordan had a restless night, and she had him sleeping on his side in the bed with her. She went to wake him up, to find that sometime between 4am and then, he had died in his sleep. His face was blue.

Final verdict was accidental death. His head had turned down, causing his trachea to bend over like a straw, because infants do not have the cartilage around their windpipes to protect that from happening. His neck muscles were not strong enough for him to lift his head up for him to be able to get air. By far, that ranks way up there with the "worst days of my life".

to be continued ...

The first thing I ever made in Photoshop (and not a reflection of things I'm doing now, lol)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

raising foodies 2-19

Hannah took the reigns for almost a whole meal one evening! Jay's brother was visiting, and it was the night we were to go to the wake for the teen that died last week. So really the meal was for BIL and the kids, otherwise there would be more vegetables incorporated in it, lol But it was easy for her.

We started out with her washing the red potatoes while I peeled the rough patches. As I finished peeling and slicing, she was tossing them in the pot as we waited for the water to boil. After the potatoes were in she poured the elbow pasta into it's water for the mac n cheese while I was getting the eggs out of the fridge. I put the eggs in the water hoping to avoid cracks, and she put the last one in the water to boil for the deviled eggs. We had everything going on the stove boiling. I needed to jump in the shower so she stood watch over the stove while I took a 15 minute (or less) shower (Jay was in the next room in case she needed him).

She done great! We continued with the potatoes- I drained them and she started mashing. It was cute, I hate I didn't think of snipping a picture of that. While she done that I cut up the Velveeta for the mac n cheese and got that going. We finished about the same time. The only thing we done with the potatoes was add 4 tbsp butter (around a pound of potatoes to start with) and thinned it out as needed with canned evaporated milk.

When she finished the potatoes she got started peeling the eggs- her favorite thing. While she worked on that I threw the chicken on the grill pan and went to put up my makeup. She started smashing the egg yolks and when I finished my makeup I went over the yolks one more time to make them fine. My deviled egg recipe is not an exact science, I just seem to 'know' when it's ready. That's probably Jay's favorite thing I fix, aside from potato salad, maybe. The deviled egg recipe will be something Hannah will master first. That is a goal of mine.

Wendy's Deviled Eggs:

mask your yolks up with a fork finely.
start out with .. for every four yolks or so, use two- three tablespoons of mayo. (Use light or fat free mayo at your own risk!)
Yolks should be a thicker consistency still after the mayo is added.
Add a tablespoon of white vinegar. Stir well.
If it is still thicker, add more mayo, alternating with half the amount of vinegar until you have the consistency you like for your yolk filling.
Don't forget to add salt and pepper to taste!

That's about the best I can do ;o) It sounds so simple, yet I always get rave reviews over my deviled eggs. One day I hope Hannah does too :O)

This column is a part of:

Grace's Kitchen Friends

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Gratituesday 2-17

Jay got a truck! We've been working off of one vehicle for a good while now. He drives 30 minutes to work one way, but he's needed his own vehicle to be able to do the traveling that is involved with his job. It's hard with one car cause we have to depend on others to get the kids to and from school, and I don't like really having to call on my parents much for help.

SO! after much praying for the Lord to open the right doors, he led Jay to the perfect "little pickup truck", exactly what he wanted. As you can see the body is in great condition (it's a '96 model, so I was very impressed!).

It was a little more than what we were wanting to spend, but it was exactly what Jay wanted. Jay went to talk with the man at a local used car place close by our church. He come down $500 and offered to finance $1000 interest free for six months :-O Jay took the deal then the Lord provided the $1000 from out of the blue, so we literally got the truck for the price we were praying for! PTL!

and it has a back seat for the kids, and the interior is impeccable (10X better than my '05 model!)

The engine, this is supposed to be really important. It's very clean. I'll admit, for an engine, it's very pretty ;) but he made a big deal about it so I took a picture, lol

and it has a bug guard (which, I'm thinking will be a good thing going out through "the country" (lol) during hunting season?); the back has a bed liner, too ... I got so tickled at Jackson. He said "Now we don't have to stuff the deer in the trunk anymore daddy!" LMBO!
Later Jay went to assure me he has never put a deer in MY trunk, which I knew, but he forgot his former car in which they did- indeed- carry a deer in the trunk to BIL's house one time when they went hunting together. :p

I like the wheel covers myself-

The happy couple~

(I did not realize how red my hair looked in the sun! now I know my photo editing sharpened it a little but even before that ... whoa! it's darker in other pics...)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Baby Day '09

This is from our annual baby day event we have at church.The infants and the one year olds are presented on stage with their parents of course ;) ... they take a quick snapshot with the Pastor and off the other side of the platform. After they're done the twos and threes go on stage and sing a couple of songs. For my newer readers I teach the three year old class with some wonderful friends, every Sunday during the worship hour. It's hard to believe I'm going on my seventh year! :-O
There are three of us weekly teachers (same ladies have been with me about four years now, praise the LORD!) In the past six weeks or more our average has been between 20-25 threes, each week. What's amazing to me is each week we're always missing "regulars", so if everyone actually all came, we'd probably have 30 kids! I just love that.

So we have the routine down pat and start teaching them the baby day songs in July (baby day is in January, lol). Apparently one of the twos was having a good time next to the mircophone, which explains the sporadic giggling of the congregation, lol
If you watch towards the middle of the stage (behind the left fern plant), you'll see a couple of the threes doing their sign language for Jesus Loves Me. We'd been working for months (since July!) with them on the motions and a lot were doing really good in class. but that's one of those chances we take with ones so little, you never really know what's going to happen once you actually get on stage.

Anyhow, I thought it was adorable and wanted to share one of the greatest prides in my life- my ministry :o)

Why I love blog giveaways

9/5/11: Welcome to my blog! I welcome you to join me on the homepage, and lets start to get to know each other from there! :) Lets connect on Twitter, and on Facebook, too!

You've probably noticed I'm into Giveaways by now. I just found the "Giveaway concept" on December 4th, when Sew Mama Sew done the HUGE Giveaway Day. It was SO huge, people extended their deadlines for days because the list was SO big it was impossible to get halfway through it in a day! But through that giveaway, I found some of my first bloggy friends and blogs I enjoy following.
These would be the people in the "crafty" blogs category in my sidebar. There might be more that was moved into the Homemaking category, too. (I don't remember 100%),

Nicole from Mom Saves Money shared why she loved blog giveaways, and I have to say, I'm in 100% agreement. I can't say at this point about giveaways bringing people back to my own blog, because I'm not sure that's happened. I haven't been approached by companies yet, but that sure would be nice! I haven't hosted a giveaway yet, but I have a couple in the works ;o)

Nicole says:

Here are the reasons I love to enter blog giveaways:
1. Free stuff This is
obvious. Who doesn't love to win free stuff?
2. Great chance to win Most
giveaways have 100 to 300 entries and therefore your chances to win are pretty
3. Finding new blogs I have found some of my favorite blogs when they
host a giveaway.
4. New products I am introduced to exciting new products or
companies through blog giveaways. 5. Attracts new readers Others see my post on
the giveaway and may click through to check out my blog.
6. Attracts
companies to run promotions Since the blog giveaway carnival, several companies
have seen my entries on other blogs and approached me to run promotions for
It might be cool to note Nicole's inspiration for said post, see what all she's won in the past month!

Product Review: Quaker Mini Delights

I saw an ad on Frugal Kitchen from Quaker offering free samples of their new Mini Delights (or Quakes) and signed up for a sample. One, I was very impressed that my sample arrived in less than two weeks! I chose the Chocolatey Drizzle Mini Delights, and they were indeed ... delightful!

Let me preface by saying in the past, I've not been a big fan of rice cakes in general. That being said, the last time I bought rice cakes was a couple of years ago. Since the kids weren't into it, I did not buy any more. I was intrigued with the concept of chocolate drizzle over little rice cakes, though. Since they are smaller than the regular rice cakes, the texture looked like they would go over better with the kids, too.

I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed these little bites! They're no bigger than a quarter, and they're not skimpy with the chocolate, either. Each bag (20g) is only 90 calories, so it would be an easy way for someone to get their chocolate fix without all the calories. Not to mention, Hannah, my picky eater- really liked them! There are five other flavors available as well: Caramel Drizzle , Buttered Popcorn, Chocolatey Mint, Cinnamon Streusel, and Peanut Butter .

Overall, I give this product "two thumbs up"! But you don't have to take my word for it, go to their website and get your own free sample!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Meet Jackie Chan

LOL, nooooooo, not the actor Jackie Chan! I'm honored if you think I have that much pull ;) No, Jackie Chan is our hermit crab. Last school year Jackson's 3rd grade class had pet hermit crabs. Jackson showed so much interest he got to bring them home at the end of the school year. I say "them" because there was another one, but it died over the summer.

I've been rather suprised because Jackie Chan seems quite happy to be by hisself, even though everything I've read says they are very social and like being in groups. It's said you can tell if a crab is happy be the active movement of their antennae, and overall activity. I noticed it in a particularly active mood one weekend and decided to film some clips for anyone who's interested in this type of thing :o)

The clip below was Jackie Chan just "hanging out" (lol)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Last minute Valentine ideas

Check out this simple but awesome idea from House of Hodgepodge for a quick Valentine's craft and / or gift. I'm going straight out tomorrow and picking up some of those candies and making these for MIL and her mother. I had been pondering something special we could do for them this Valentines - which is odd cause we usually don't do anything for anyone else for Valentines. Then we received special Valentines cards for the kids from grandmama (MIL's mom) yesterday. How nice was that? (She lives in AL)

I also thought Hannah and I might work on these neat Valentine treats to take to our next door neighbor ladies (they're widows, I thought that would be a blessing for them.)

and it hasn't happened here yet!

Joanne shared her most recent "moment with a boy", LOL ahhh the way those male minds work, so practical at times but abstract to the female thought process! One day, this will be my boy in our livingroom :p However, Jackson does go grab his gun to get the funnel web spiders away from the fornt door ;o)

Simple Reflections: Everyday With Jesus Is Sweeter Than The Day Before

Simple Reflections: Everyday With Jesus Is Sweeter Than The Day Before

Happy Valentines Day everyone, hope you have a blessed weekend. Stay safe, and hope to "see" you soon!

Happy-Birthday Jackson

Better late than never, eh? This is from Jackson's birthday party last month. The first one was for the cake at home (must see), the second was when the servers at Red Lobster sang to him (and how cute of him to sing to himself, lol). You can tell he ate that up.

The candles they got for his cake at home was supposed to be sparkler like, and they ended up being the "hard to blow out" type. I love the end of it ;o)

Speaking of Red Lobster, you might be wondering about the pictures from Wordless Wednesday htis week. That is Jackson's "before and after" pics from his birthday dinner. He got pasta with lobster bites, cherry tomatoes and asparagus. Needless to say he enjoyed every bite!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

raising foodies 2-12

This week I am highlighting our "vension scramble" recipe.
1 lb (you could actually pull this off with 1/2 lb) sausage- we are a hunting family so we get t use tasteful deer sausage compliments of my brother in law's awesome spice-recipe.

8 eggs, or 1 pint of egg substitute.

1 Cup (or a little less) of shredded cheese of your choice, we like extra sharp cheddar for this.

Scramble your sausage:

When the sausage is ready, add the eggs, stir well, then add the cheese until everything is melted and done

My camera went wonky that night so I didn't get a picture of a finished product, sorry! This is a kid favorite in our house, and Hannah (7 yo) can fix the whole recipe herself. It's easier using the egg substitute when she's cooking.

I enjoy using the Fit & Active brand egg substitute. You can buy it at Aldis for $1.99, which is a GREAT deal. I cannot tell a difference between that and a name brand!

This column is a part of:

Grace's Kitchen Friends

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Baked Oatmeal

This is another recipe I've tried lately. I found it in the most recent issue of Healthy Cooking Magazine (from Taste of Home). I was very intrigued and had to try it at least once. The results were split - Jackosn LOVED it, had two helpings before school. Hannah (the picky one) said she liked regular oatmeal better. Jackson liked the "bar" type consistency, and you can add probably anything to it to mix things up. (I'm thinking chocolate chips!)

TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 30 min.

2 cups quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fat-free milk
1/2 cup egg substitute
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Yogurt and fruit, optional

In a large bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Combine the milk, egg substitute and oil; add to the dry ingredients and stir until blended. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Transfer to an 8-in. square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve with yogurt and fruit if desired. Yield: 4 servings.


I really enjoyed the magazine. It was the first time I had read it. I did not realize Taste of Home had started a new magazine so that was a nice suprise to find on the maagzine rack one day while at Target. I'm planning on getting a subscription for myself. Something I really like is the nutritional stats with every recipe. They are not vague, either- there's enough information there to be able to calculate Weight Watcher Points. There are also diabetic exchanges for each recipe. These visuals are important to me when finding new recipes. It definitely helps that this "good for you" recipe has the same down home feel that the regular Taste of Home magazine has, as well.

25 things I love about Jay

  1. He loves the Lord.
  2. He works hard to provide for our family.
  3. He shares the same conviction about my staying home.
  4. It's rare we don't see things the same way (there are exceptions, though.)
  5. His driving is better than mine.
  6. He can stay calmer than me in a crisis (I think he's rubbed off on me.)
  7. He still loves me now as much as he did when we started, even though we've both changed a lot.
  8. His sacrificial spirit.
  9. He's a content man, not into "stuff"- gadgets, toys, etc ...
  10. He'll take me fishing and offer to bait my hook.
  11. He watches some of my shows with me, without whining about it.
  12. He loves, respects, and cares for his mother.
  13. He loves being a dad.
  14. He loves being in a ministry in church.
  15. His McDreamy eyes.
  16. He is very handy and can fix about anything.
  17. He is resourceful.
  18. He makes me laugh.
  19. He trusts my judgement (but does not hesitate to challenge it if he disagrees with something.)
  20. Getting a computer was his idea (lol)
  21. He's a neat person (but not OCD).
  22. He's never been the jealous or possessive type.
  23. He likes to cook, and will come home from work and cook for us some days.
  24. He's punctual (which balances my lateness, we'd never get anywhere if it was otherwise)
  25. He loves me :o)

Wow! That was easy! I wrote that in a fraction of the time it took me to write 25 things about myself, LOL!!

Wordless Wednesday 2-11

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Urgent prayer request

Jay just emailed me and said one of his co workers found his seventeen year old daughter dead in their back yard yesterday. Said she had a bag over her head. This is so sad. We'll be going to the wake tonight.

BIG Deal! 10 free 8x8 photo books

I was reading on one of my favorite money-blogs Mom Saves Money, and she says:

You can 10 free 20 page 8 x 8 photo books from Artscow. Once you
login, click on 'Credit and Discounts' and enter code FREE10BKS. This offer
expires on 2/28/09. If you are new to Artscow, you will
get 400 free prints, a free photo book and several other free print credits when
you join.

This is great. I told myself at the beginning of the year I was going to get my digiscrapping going so I can get some photo books done. This is very motivating!

Have you ever had a photo book created? I think they are so neat, and when you're talking about printing digital scrapbooking pages, overall, it's an inexpensive way to go. I'll be sharing my creations on my designs blog when I get them complete, be sure to peek in!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Digital converter boxes explained

For the past two years TV stations have been sending out analog, AND digital signals for their programming. Two years ago it was mandated that this year, 2009, the analog signal would stop. So anyone who does not have a digital-ready TV, will not receive the regular programming they previously got using a standard antenna aka "rabbit ears".

The motivation is because our first responders- fire fighters, police, EMS, etc ... all use the analog signal. By the TV stations not using this signal, it opens up the analog frequency to give our first responders better communication. Since this started two years ago, I, for one, can only assume this was decided as a step towards our national security in the event something else should happen on our homeland, God forbid.

The converter boxes that are being hooked up receives the digital signal, which will be the only signal given after this year (whenever they decide to stop the analog), and converts it to an analog signal, so TVs that are not digital (aka, bought in the past five years or so)- will be able to show the programming.

The government has no big concern of providing people with "digital programming" versus an alternative, it is giving the ability for programming to be shown, period. Because this is a government mandated change by way of the FCC, I can only guess this is why the government has offered to help those who cannot afford to buy new TV's, in the way of the converter coupons. Maybe they are visualing grandmas and grandpas that have had the same little analog TV for the past fifteen years that still works perfectly?
(This is, your standard local channels, for anyone who does not have cable or satellite.)

If you currently have cable or satellite, then this does not concern you. Even if you do not have a "digital" TV (aka, for example's sake, five years or older), the receivers used by the cable or satellite company converts the signal for your TV.

If you are currently using an antenna and rabbit ears, and want to continue viewing your local channels as you are now, then you are going to either need to set yourself up on satellite (*Dish Network, preferably IMO), or get a converter box.

The converter box does not send out a signal, it has no broadcasting abilities, so no, the government does not care at this point what you are watching. Do the stations know what you are watching? Yes, it's called ratings. They already know how many people watch what, otherwise, shows would not have been cut left and right in the past year ;o)

* Why Dish Network?
For one, you'll receive a better quality signal, as Direct TV actually "rents" their satellites from Dish. Dish receives signals from more satellites than Direct, so naturally, you have better coverage (in our experience never rain delays, less blockage problems, etc..)- and, in these economic times, you can get a Family-Friendly package of over 40 channels for only $20 a month (compared to Direct TV's $30), that does not contain MTV, VH1, and CMT.

Because we are a "Dish family", the knowledge shared here is a result of the professional knowledge of someone in the "digital" industry.

** One can have every right not to trust the government for many reasons, because there are a multitude to choose from, but the topic of converter boxes isn't a valid reason. To spread insinuations of a conspiracy theory of "big brother" proportions when there is no logical, possible proof as the facts lie right now, would be considered quite ungodly to a number of Christians.

BIAY- February 5th

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Funny Commercials

I LOL'd so hard when I saw this commercial, the sarcasm is just too much :p

and I see my E-trade baby is back with another commercial (LOVE him! lol)-
I was asleep during the Superbowl (Jay DVR'd it so we could watch it after church)-
I'm guessing the new ones aired first Sunday?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

25 Things about me

One of my bloggy-heros Gisele tagged me! I'm a bit delayed in answering here, but alas, I don't have just six things, I have twenty five! Yes, if you are on Facebook you've probably been hit with a tag or two in the past couple of weeks. I actually got tagged with a "Sixteen things ...", then a week later with the "25 things ...", so I wrote a "Nine more things...". (That's about as creative as I think I've been lately.)

The rules say I'm to tag six people, so the six lucky people will be:
Stacie, Melissa, Nicole, Amy, Sherra, and Becki

So here we go!~

1) I'm enjoying the bloggyworld these days, and have realized it can be time consuming!

2) I'm the youngest of two, my sister is 12 1/2 years older than me.

3) I'm still laughing over Hannah misprouncing Pastor Vernon's name as "Pastor Vermon" over the holidays.

4) I think of things as the same span of time for years at a time. My mom has been 62 for a few years (her birthday is tomorrow, remind me to ask her how old she is); Jay's grandma has been 80 since we visited her when Hannah was 2-3 years old (she's seven) ... and I'm still 28- didn't ya know?!

5) I'm a news junkie.

6) As a teen I stood in line with friends (you know who you are) for three hours to get NKOTB tickets.

7) 2008 pretty much changed my perspective on life. Aside from human loss, we lost five pets as well. It was a hard year! But my God is faithful *g*

8) I love playing in photoshop.

9) I host a message board called "Frugal Kitchen".

10) I'm trying to read my bible in a year's timeframe.

11) I've broken my arm ... about seven times.

12) I broke my nose about two years ago and still laugh about the accident (though I wasn't laughing the first year afterward, lol - that'll explain some of my flair ;)

13) I thoroughly enjoy working with the three year old nursery every Sunday monring- lately we've been having between 20-25! woo-hooo!

14) I've only been camping once, when I was in elementary school, at a friend's house, and we went inside in the middle of the night (and I wonder if *she'll* remember that when she reads this)

15) I'm very proud of my husband and don't think I tell him enough.

16. We love Mexican food. Every Sunday we go eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant after church. It's our little tradition. I'd like to find some good dishes to make at home to save some money and maybe do it every other week.

17. A little girl named Gracie and a little boy named Dante swooped into my life in 2008, and without ever meeting them face to face they made me want to be a better mother.

18. I have four pregnant mice, Dakota, Julie, Ruby and Speck. Itsy is the runt, she managed to not get pregnant. The potential fathers are Marty, Despereaux, Max, and Feivel. Anyone want some pet mice? (Update, we ended up with 21 and they've been reduced to 9 remaining now, we held them today! so sweet!)

19. I played violin in HS. I've always said before I die I'd like to learn how to play "Devil went down to Georgia" . I'd also like to be good at Phanton of the Opera, and the theme to Rocky (not eye of the tiger, the other one). Oh and the Nutcracker Suite. That's in a Symphony- the WS symphony would be fine AND dandy :D

I've always thought it would be nice to be able to teach the kids to play too.

20. If I had my way I would be getting mani - pedi's at Lambertis Spa every week.

21. I quiz our kids on family history to make sure they remember it.
Yesterday they were debating over who got to cut the last dill pickle in half for them to share. I asked them "how did mommy and daddy meet?", Jackson had it on the tip of his tongue and Hannah blurted it out and won- it was so funny cause she was hopping up and down as she was saying it like she was on the Price is Right.

22. Until a few weeks ago, Gone with the wind, steele magnolias and fried green tomatoes were at the top of my movie list (animated moves aside) ... then I saw PS I Love You, and that movie knocked them all down a notch.

23. I got my GED in '05 promptly after Jackson realized mommy never graduated high school. It was a big deal to him, still is to this day. Four years later he still talks about it.

24. I pretend to be interested in football for Jay and ask questions during the game (though I blog while the games are on). I guess it's useful knowledge for when you do watch it though. (Kim, ssshhhhh!)

25. I wasn't a girlie girl until high school. I'm thinking this is why I enjoy Jackson so much. I enjoy Hannah, but little girls are so weird sometimes! ;o)

BIAY- February 4th

Click here to view devotionals and testimonys
Click to learn more about BIAY aka the Bible in a Year challenge

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Monday, February 2, 2009