Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Raising Funds

I'm trying my hand at doing something new in order to raise funds for my kids to go to church camp this year. Last year it was $350 total for the girls to go and this year they will have a day camp for Mason. I also went last year so that was another $50. I'm hoping to go this year as well and Patrick is praying about whether or not he will go. So, that means, camp is a really big expense. We have some major projects on our house that we need to get done this year, so I decided to make an effort to raise the funds myself.

Since I got a really nice new embroidery machine, thanks to my hubby and my new job, I thought I could raise a little dough using it. There are pics in the slideshow at the top of my blog. I'm still a little unsure about my pricing (although I think I've got it set, just need to run it by a couple of people) I will be making checkbook covers, business card holders (also good for holding debit cards and licenses, etc.), bookmarks and keychains. I would love some input, let me know what you think. I don't have pics of the bookmarks or debit holders, they will be similar to the checkbook holders. I will add more pics as I have them, so check back often.

I will be adding more fabrics later (there will be some boy fabrics for bookmarks), but please let me know if you are interested in item, but would want another fabric and I will do my best to accomodate you.

Be blessed!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Yummy New Lunch Ideas

My friend Cindy gave me an idea for some new things to try for lunches and it has worked wonderfully. We love it and if I'm busy the kids can make them for themselves.

It's nothing more than using flour tortillas to make pizza, mexican pizza or quessadilla's. The kids have been making pizza with pizza sauce, shredded cheese and pepperoni. They are also going to try refried beans, salsa and cheese. Today I had a pepperoni quessadilla. I put shredded cheese, pepperoni, parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning between the two tortillas and baked until the cheese was melted and it was GOOD. They are really simple to put together and cook very quickly. I think I want to try mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, italian seasoning and spinach. The possibilites are endless and if you are like me and have been a stay at home mom for 11 years, you are sick of sandwiches and soups. It's nice to have a quick and easy change of pace.

Thanks for the idea Cindy!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Another Yummy Experiment

****Edited to add: We decided after eating these leftovers that it really reminds us of stuffed bell peppers. It was really good!

I tried something new again tonight and it's another hit.

Patrick said it reminds him of Spanish Rice. As usual I just added stuff until it tasted good, so I really can't give you the measurements. I'll just have to give you the ingredients.

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion diced
1 bell pepper diced
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cups rice
4 cups water
chili powder
dry mustard
red pepper
garlic powder
black pepper
Worcestershire sauce

I combined the rice with the water and cooked in the microwave on high for 5 minutes, then on medium for 15 minutes. Let stand in the microwave for 5 minutes. Brown ground beef in skillet with onion and bell pepper. When browned add 2 tomatoes. Then add seasonings to taste. I used a good bit of chili powder and garlic powder. I'm going to guess at the amounts of seasoning. 1 Tbsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. Worcestershire, pinch of ground red pepper, 1/4 each of cumin, paprika and dry mustard. Salt and pepper to taste. Of course you can add spices as needed for taste. When rice was done, I combined the tomato beef mixture with the rice and served. It was another hit.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Studying the Word

Patrick and I have really been seeking the Lord about His will for our lives and we feel that He is going to be asking us to do some things that are outside of our comfort zones and beyond our areas of knowledge. So, to prepare for whatever it is He's sending us into, we feel the need more than ever to really know His Word in an in depth way. While we've been trying to figure out the best way to attain that knowledge and cement it in, I've been doing a bit of searching on the internet. I've come across some helpful sites and wanted to share them with all of you. Maybe you'll find some or all of them helpful as well.

Click HERE for online audio of bible teaching through the bible book by book. These are about 45 minutes in length (or at least what I have listened to so far, was) and he was pretty interesting to listen to. I enjoyed it. It will be nice to have some teaching to go along with reading the word.

Click HERE for free a free New Testament Bible study. This site also has good information on Christian Parenting and many other very good topics.

We've also been considering some different Bible reading plans. Patrick can really just read without a plan and glean lots of good info. He's a major history and geography buff, which we all know is what the Word is made up of. So, he gobbles it all up anyway. I however struggle with what to read next and staying focused (seems I've had more trouble with that since becoming a mom). We've come across many different options and plans, but have decided to start with a couple. Our first plan will be a 61 day chronological reading plan that you can find HERE. Here is the websites description of this plan:

Chronological Bible Reading Plan (61 Days)
Would you like to read through the key stories of the Bible in chronological order, tracing the development of God's plan from Adam and Eve to the church of the New Testament? This reading plan introduces you to the major people and events of the Bible in chronological order, beginning with Creation, moving through the birth and history of the Israel nation, and ending with Revelation's prophetic words. It's all broken down into 61 easily-readable segments.
When we are finished with the above reading plan we will start another plan that combines reading the Old and New testament at the same time. If I understand this plan correctly, we will read through the entire Bible in a year. This site has several different plans and even has the option of clicking to read the scripture online. HERE is the combined plan that we will be using.
I'm excited about what God is doing in our lives. Even if there proves not to be something new and profound on our horizon, what is happening in our lives right now is pretty amazing and can't do anything but grow us even more. That's what I want is maturity and a closer and closer walk with Him. I want to look more like Him daily and to be more like Him I need to know all I can about Him. I'm excited to be studying the Word and praying with my husband, that in itself is such a HUGE answer to prayer. God is so faithful and if we will just trust Him and pour out our hearts to Him and be patient to allow things to happen in His time instead of our own, He will give us the desires of our heart. My family is living proof of that.
Be Blessed!

Mason has......

the FLU!

I never ever would have guessed that was the diagnosis we would get from the doctor. His only symptoms were a headache and fever. I'm so thankful I took him in so quickly. We did have the flu shot (all of us except Patrick, who rarely gets sick, but please pray that he won't get this), so she doesn't really expect any of the rest of us to catch it and she thinks he will only have a mild case. I tend to agree, considering he started regainning his energy last night and woke up this morning with no fever and says he feels pretty good. She did put him on Tamiflu.

I appreciate all of your prayers for him yesterday.

Hope you all have a great day!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Say a prayer for Mason please

As most of you know Mason had several ticks on him after he was thrown off the horse a few weeks ago. We were told to watch for certain symptoms that would be an indication of Lyme disease. We have not seen the bullseye rash that they speak of. However, yesterday he began having headaches. I gave him tylenol around 9am and then again at 4 pm. While we were in church at about 7 pm he felt feverish and he was pretty laid back most of yesterday. Which is totally not his personality. That boy is busy all the time. When we got home from church around 9 pm I gave him Ibuprofen and Benadryl. Around 3 am he woke me with another headache. By the time he woke me his head was hurting pretty badly, so I had him take a hot shower and gave him Tylenol and a decongestant (just in case this is a sinus issue). He has also been coughing a little. This very well could be nothing more than allergies, but because we were told to watch for flu like symptoms I be calling the Dr. and probably taking him in today. Mason does have a history of headaches. He had severe headaches often before we had his tonsils and adenoids removed. It would not be at all unusual for him to have a headache with sinus issues. So, it's probably nothing out of the norm, but because of the tick bites I have to have him checked. Just wanted to ask you all to offer up a prayer for him. Please pray for the doctor to have wisdom, Mason to feel better and this to be a simple issue and pray that he and I will have enough energy for the day.

I'll let you know what I find out.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Santa Fe Rice and Beans

I told you I was tired of the same old stuff, couple that with the fact that I haven't been to the grocery store lately and I'm turning out some interesting meals. I made this for lunch today. It was pretty quick and the kids really liked it.

1 can kidney beans
1 can rotel (mild or original it's your preferance)
1 can corn (I used frozen so that will work as well)
ground cumin
chili powder
1 1/2 c. rice
3 c. water
shredded cheddar cheese

Put rice and water in a microwave safe dish with a lid. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Then microwave on medium for 10 minutes and let stand in the microwave for another 5 minutes.

In a pot place beans, rotel, corn and sprinkle in cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil then turn on low until rice is ready. When rice is done add mixture to rice and add more seasoning to taste. Serve in bowls and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. This one is pretty healthy and yummy.

Last Nights Supper

I haven't come up with a snappy name for this meal. It was one of those things, where I just kind of put together some things I had on hand.

1 lb. smoked sausage
1 onion
1 bell pepper
4 roma tomatoes
9 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

I diced the smoked sausage, onion, bell pepper and tomato and put them in a greased skillet to cook (Medium heat worked well). When they were finished cooking I added the eggs and scrambled them, then added salt and peper to taste. I served with biscuits. Next time I will add diced potatoes to the meat and veggie mixture and serve over scrambled eggs or use as a filling in omeletes. It was really good though.

Salmon Croquettes

I've been really tired of eating the same stuff lately. So, I've been trying to make some different things. As a child I loved to go to my Grandmother's and have salmon patties for supper. I tried a recipe a while back and didn't love it. So, the other night I just made it up and it turned out so well it will be what I do from now on.

2 cans salmon
3 eggs
one onion (diced)
garlic powder
cornmeal mix
canola oil

I put the salmon, eggs and onion in a bowl. Then I sprinkled with garlic powder, salt and pepper (I just eyeballed this but 1/2 tsp of each would probably work). Then I added a splash of milk (probably 1/4 to 1/3 cup) and stirred it all up. Finally I poured cornmeal mix in ( I guess I used around a cup) I mixed this in. I wanted it to look a little dry, but still feel a little wet. I heated canola oil in a skillet on medium and fried them. You just brown on one side then turn and brown on the other. I made mine about the size of a hamburger patty. Raw they just barely held together, which is how you want them if you still want them to be moist after cooking. They were a huge hit and I will definitely make them again. However, next time I will probably make a half batch. This recipe was enough for two meals for my family of five.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Electrical Issues & Thankfulness in Spite of Them

I have had a fabulous day today. I intended to get much accomplished. I got a couple of things done this morning then was thinking that I really needed some quality time with my kiddos. So, we played a game of Phase 10 dice. It's really fun and a very good game for the kids. They have to keep track of what they need to roll, do a little strategizing, and work on multiplication and addition. We had a good time then we ate some lunch. After lunch I got work caught up and did some extra stuff that I've been needing to do for work. When I got finished working I headed outside to help Patrick in the yard. He was almost finished so I came in to work on supper. Not long after I came in he asked me to flip a breaker for him. He had lost power to an outlet on the carport. When I went to flip it I realized it had not been flipped. I turned it off and when I turned it back on it made a sizzling sort of sound, so I turned it right back off. He came into look at it and decided it was a bad breaker. He quickly solved the problem and we are back up and running. I was thinking about how easy it would be to be frustrated about a problem like that, but instead how we should be giving thanks. I am thankful that we have electricity, that I wasn't home alone with the children or that we weren't all away from home and I am especially thankful that God has given my husband the knowledge to take care of problems like that. I have had a pretty ordinary day today, but in the midst of the ordinary there is much to be thankful for.

What do you have to thank the Father for today?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Still Here.....

just been REALLY busy!

I have been so busy with work this week and I also was not feeling well at the beginning of the week. I just haven't had time to blog. I do want to get out all of my notes and blog about my retreat. It was AMAZING as usual.

Here's my week in a nutshell, so you can all pray for my sanity ;)

Monday - Worked for a little bit then went to Huntsville with my cousin and her kids to look for supplies for a project for school that her daughter needed my help with. I hit Kids Market while I was there and then came home to do more work.

Tuesday - I'm pretty sure I stayed home most of the day because I was feeling so bad. I did take the dog to the vet to get her stitches out, went to the grocery store and got some more work done.

Wednesday - I worked most of the morning, then my cousin and her kids came over so we could work on the school project (It was a victorian era skirt). Then of course we went to church and afterward I had to run to the store.

Thursday - I had a horrible headache and I worked and that was about it.

Friday - I worked for about 3 1/2 hours. Left and took my kids to stay with my brother (so the girls could help him with the baby while he worked in the yard. They are such good helpers) and my sister in law headed out for a day of fun. We went to Kids Market, Jason's Deli (YUM!), Shoe Carnival (I finally got some new athletic shoes, on sale of course), Babies R Us, Lifeway, Family Christian Book Store, the NEACA craft show and Hobby Lobby. Then I took her back home and picked up my kids, came home and did some more work. Crazy but fun day. I really enjoyed spending time with my sister in law all day and as rare as an all day shopping outting is for me that was fun too.

Today I'm hoping to get a lot of work done. I have 2 things I have to do to be caught up this week. Then I hope to tackle my list of pending things, so that maybe I can get completely caught up in the next few day. With all of our recent traveling and illnesses, I have gotten so behind with my work and house work. It feels like this place is falling apart and I'm not spending near as much quality time with my family as I would like to. So, please pray that I can accomplish much in the next few days (I don't work on Sunday's if I can help it, so today and probably Monday and Tuesday), so that I can get back into a regular schedule with the house and my work and things won't feel so chaotic.

Hope you all are having much less frazzled lives than mine is at the moment.

Many blessings!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Lots To Do and then Some Fun

Well, it's pretty early and I did not sleep well at all. Thanks in part to the steroid I think and the fact that I have a lot to do today. My mind tends to race at night if I have a lot going on. So, I didn't really get a good nights sleep (which is a bit of a bummer because I probably won't get a good one this weekend either), but I don't feel overly tired this morning. So far I feel much better. My nose is barely stuffy this morning, my head feels much clearer and my throat doesn't hurt near as bad. Yay! Hopefully I will feel better and better each day, so I can really enjoy the retreat I am going on. I have lots of neat friends in my homeschool group that will be there and 4 of my good friends from church are going as well. So, I get to go hear an awesome word from the Lord, spend some quality time in prayer, get to spend some time worshipping, some time laughing at funny skits, doing a craft or two, playing some games, eating good food and fellowshipping with some of my favorite people who also happen to really sharpen me. This retreat has been amazing in the past and I'm expecting great things yet again. I'm excited! Can you tell?

On the home front my sweet hubby took off today to take care of the kiddos, so I could head out a little early with my friends and have a nice lunch before we head to Joe Wheeler (the retreat location). He will have to take our daughter to the pulminologist this morning, do a little bit of shopping, go to the post office and take the dog to the vet today. He is also doing something I think is pretty amazing. You see, my church is having a women's conference this weekend that I have to miss because I will be on the retreat (that was a bit of a tough decision). There will be childcare provided and since myself and my friend are lead coordinators in the nursery (she does the scheduling and I handle curriculum and eventually I will handle teacher training) and our husbands work in the nursery a lot, they are going to be coordinating and working in the nursery at the women's conference that we won't even be at. I already knew I was married to an amazing man and this was just further confirmation of that. I have friends whose husbands will barely keep their own children and mine is keeping ours all weekend, playing mom, housekeeper, cook and taxi and taking care of the children at my church. I am a very blessed woman!

I have some prayer requests please:

-Pray for the retreat and all that is involved in it, that above all else, the Lord would be there and we would hear from him and bring something tangible to come home and apply to our lives that will make us better wives, mothers, teachers, friends and especially children of the King.

-Pray for my church's women's conference. That God would move in an amazing way and truly touch our city. Pray for the leadership, the children and the men caring for the children.

- Pray for my husband as he has a lot of responsibilities and very little down time this weekend. Pray that he is still able to feel rested when he returns to work on Monday.

- Please continue to pray for my healing.

Thanks to you all and many, many blessings!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Home from the Doc

Well, the Dr. agreed with me. I have another nasty sinus infection. Thankfully she gave me a steroid shot and a z-pack, which is a pretty strong fast acting antibiotic. I also have to take an antihistamine and decongestant (which I was already doing). So, the good news is I should be feeling better fairly quickly. I feel kind of bad, but I'm not going to take my girls to dance today. I left here at 7:45 this morning and didn't get back home until about 11:30. I talked to my hubby and he just thought I should come home and take it easy. I love that man! That's what I'm doing is taking it easy and eating chocolate, surely I'll feel better soon.

Off to the Dr. I Go

Honestly, between the two-three times per week that we've been at the vet lately and our recent ER visit, I am really tired of doctors for the moment. However, I am sick. I have my seasonal sinus infection. I seem to get this two or three times every year. Not fun. Most of the time I just tough it out and if I can't shake it in a couple of weeks I will go in. This time I'm on day 2 1/2 and miserable and I have my ladies retreat this weekend. I'm sharing a room with two of my friends and just really don't want to be sick all weekend. So, I'm heading to the Dr. bright and early this morning.

Please pray for me. Pray that the Dr. will give me the meds I need (namely a shot and antibiotic), that I would heal quickly and also for my stomach issues. I have a very touchy stomach anyway, but the decongestants and such really make it much worse.

Thanks and I hope you all have a great day!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sewing Old and New

I made this blanket for my niece's baby dedication. The floral fabric is one that belonged to my Mammaw. I thought it made a nice sentimental gift.

The previous two burp cloths I made for my niece not long after she was born. I actually made her a diaper bag, a car seat cover (one for warmth) and I think about 9 burp cloths, but I forgot to take pics of them before I gave them to her. She's here today, so I was able to take pics of these because she had them with her.

These burp cloths I made yesterday and I embroidered the bottom one today. I'm not too happy with the embroidery. The color of the thread is off, although it is not as orange as it looks in the picture. I'm also not thrilled with the placement. I'm still learning to use my machine though, so for a newbie I guess it's not too bad.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fun Skirt

I recently made the girls poodle skirts for their 50s themed birthday party. They really liked the skirts and wanted some more made like them. Here is the first of a few that I plan on making for them and yes it was cheaper to make than to buy. Most of the fabrics that I bought were on sale for less than $3.00 a yard. This one was I think $4.00 or $5.00 a yard. So even with the elastic and thread I have less than $6.00 in this skirt. The shirt we bought at hobby lobby for $1.50. They were wanting these to wear with flip flops this summer. It's pretty full, but that is what they asked for.

The Culprit

These are pictures taken at our friends birthday party, just before Mason was thrown from this horse. Minus the accident the kids did have fun and praise God Mason only had a bloody nose and some ticks on him.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I Praise You, Oh Lord, For Protection

Today (or yesterday and this morning) has been one seriously long day. We got up early and took the dog to the vet for another bandage change. We at lunch at Sonic, went to Hobby Lobby with my SIL and then headed to a birthday party for a friends little girl. The kids all had a great time. Our friends have horses and they brought one of them out for all of the children to ride. Everyone had ridden except for Mason. So Mason got on the saddle and another little boy got on behind him. Something irritated the horse and it bucked and ran and threw the boys off of the horse and knocked down my friend's husband and another little boy that were leading the horse. The horse also fell. I was witness to the whole thing. I took off running down the hill and was literally yelling prayers (I must have looked crazy, but I do not care). When I got to Mason his nose was bleeding, but he was telling me over and over again that he was fine. The other little boy that was on the horse was complaining of his back hurting. Mason was not himself afterwards and I was concerned enough to take him to the ER. We just got home and he is fine. The blood work, urine test and cat scans all were clear. PRAISE GOD!!!!

Please pray that he would not be sore. We also found at least 7 tiny ticks on him, so please pray that there would be no complications from that.

I know this may sound weird and not worded well, but with the time change it is 3:30 in the morning and I haven't been to bed yet.

Friday, March 6, 2009

It's a Busy, but Wonderful Life!

As usual I am going 90 to nothing around here. I had a friend point out yesterday how busy I am and that is definitely true. This week has really been crazy.

Monday - I had a friend over (I think I did some work, too.)
Tuesday - Worked, ran errands in town, went to Scottsboro
Wednesday - I worked, kept my niece, went to church, came home and worked from 9:30 to 12:30
Thursday - got up and worked, then went to co-op and dance, then ran some errands and worked for another half hour
Friday (today) - Working, going back to the vet and hopefully will be adding cleaning and sewing to my list for today and the weekend
(And of course there was schooling going on in the midst of all that chaos).

It's true I am really busy. If I get stressed it's usually not because of what I have to do, but how much I have to do. I am working on organizing my schedule a little better, so it won't be so overwhelming. Sometimes people ask me how I do it without pulling my hair out and the truth is that most of what I am doing is enjoyable to me or is for the benefit of my children or my family in general. I guess I figured out that if we were going to do all the stuff we want to do we are going to be busy and we just have to make the best of it. It sounds a little simplistic, but honestly my take on it is that it is what it is and I can either be stressed by it or enjoy my life and keep going. I'm choosing Joy!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pray for You You's Open Heart Surgery

Please click on the button on the right side of my blog to visit YouYou's prayer site. She is the recently adopted daughter of a guy I went to high school with and a girl I went to church with when I was in high school. They adopted her from China knowing that she has some heart issues. She will be having open heart surgery today (I believe around 9 or 9:30) and they expect it will take around 5 hours. Please read her blog for all the details and pray for this sweet child and her family.