Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Yum-O Dinner

Sooo...what's for dinner tonight?  Any ideas?

I've actually got chili cooking in my crock-pot today and I'm very much looking forward to eating that tonight...(it's cold here, how is it your way??) but I brought you a delicious recipe that you just might want to whip up right now.

Teresa's Chicken Enchiladas

My dear friend, Teresa, shared this recipe with me several years ago.  When I tried it on my family they went cr-azy for it and request it frequently. 

1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup picante sauce
2 tsp chili powder
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
6 flour tortillas (warmed)
small tomato (chopped)
green onion (sliced)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Stir soup, sour cream, picante sauce, and chili powder in medium bowl.  

Stir 1 cup of the soup mixture, chicken and cheese in large bowl.

Divide the chicken mixture among the tortillas.  Roll up the tortillas and place seam side up in baking dish.  

Pour remaining soup mixture over filled tortillas.

Cover and bake 40 minutes.  Top with tomato and green onion.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Raising Thankful Kids

You've probably noticed.  I can't keep my blog up like I used to.  

I'm in a very full season of life and I don't have to tell you how that is.  You've been through one too, I'm sure.  I get what I can get done each day and the things I can't get to just have to wait.  

I've got a new little motto - {if you will} - People before projects.  

There's a lot of peopleness going on here.  

I promised you a post on raising thankful kids.  We all want thankful children, right?  I know I do.  I not only want to increase gratitude in my own life but I'd like to see that in my children also.  

Here are some simple and fun ways to raise kids who are thankful:

  • Have your children write thank you notes (or decorate them if younger). This small act of gratitude goes a long way in helping children to recognize and remember the gift they've been given, and the giver.   

  • Make sure your kids are helping out around the house and doing chores. It's a fact - children who work are more thankful than those who have everything done for them.  

  • Look for opportunities to include your children in buying and giving to others.  Instead of putting your child's name on a gift tag to say a present is "from" them, have them help shop for a gift, maybe even pay for the gift with their own money, and wrap the gift.  Thankful children know what it is to give to others.

  • Train the children to always say please and thank you.  Always.  To the waitress, to the mom who hosted them for a play date, to their siblings, neighbors, the librarian, family members and friends.  

  • See to it that you are setting the gratitude example.  Our children are great imitators of everything we do - the good, the bad, and the ugly.  BE THANKFUL!

  • Every night at dinner have each family member share one thing they are thankful for.  This is a fun one we like to do each night at suppertime or Bible time.  It helps everyone to remember we have so much to be thankful for.

  • Don't buy them everything they want.  Really, don't.  A child who gets everything they want, when they want it, is rarely a thankful child.  Waiting for something is good -it increases thankfulness.

Those are some of my ideas.  What are yours?  How do you help your kids to be thankful?  

Here are a couple of little projects we've done in the past.

The Giving Thanks Tree

Thankful Pumpkins  (You will have to scroll down a bit on the post to find the pumpkins.)  

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Our Carving Party

Hey Blog Reading Friends,  

I really didn't mean to go a whole week without posting.  I'm not even sure how it happened!  Last week got lost in a party, a soccer tournament, and lots of time spent with friends, oh, and Halloween.  Before I knew it, it was the start of a new week and time to get my act together once again.  

Here are some pictures from our carving party.  I really wish I had gotten these posted sooner but like I said... 

The only thing I don't have a picture of are the invitations we made.  (I always forget to snap a picture of something!)  We folded orange construction paper in half and cut out the shape of a pumpkin.  We cut out the eyes and nose and mouth like a traditional jack-o-lantern and used black sharpie to write all the party details, the most important of those being B.Y.O.P. (bring your own pumpkin).  

Our menu consisted of a big pot of chili, hot-dogs my honey cooked on the grill, chips, and s'mores.  It was yummy!  Everyone pitched in and brought something and it was almost no work for me.  Yay!  :)

My very clever and crafty friend, DeeAnna, fixed up this 2 liter.  Isn't it cute??

You cannot beat Hobby Lobby for cute tableware!

It was a super fun night and I'm pretty sure everyone had a great time.  

Time is marching on (as it has a habit of doing) and now it is time to start getting ready for Thanksgiving.  I love Thanksgiving and I can't wait!  

The next post I have scheduled is about raising thankful kids.  Hopefully I will get that finished up today or tomorrow.  Stay tuned! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Good Monday Morning!

Can you believe it is Monday again already?  They come around quick!!

I wish I loved the act of cleaning house as much as I love a clean house.  I'm always looking for fun ways to switch up my cleaning routines, faster ways to get things done, and organizational tips.  I stumbled upon this little graphic on Pinterest and really liked it.  It sort of makes cleaning house like playing a board game.  Sort of.

What do you think?  Would you use this?

We're busy getting ready for a Pumpkin Carving Party.  There's lots of cleaning and cooking to do, and even a little shopping.  My honey has some pretty lofty project ideas he plans on knocking out.  I hope he does!  You know what they say, if you want to get your household projects completed invite company to visit.  We shall see.  :)

I hope to take lots of fabulous pictures during the carving party to share with you later in the week but we will have to see how that goes too.  I've not totally learned how to balance the act of hostess and photographer.  I'll do my best.  

How are you and your family enjoying the Autumn season?  Pumpkins?  Parties?  Plans?  Please share!

Have a cozy Monday!!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

50 (More) Days of Home School

A while back I gave you the first 50 Days of Home School.  Here's part two.  I hope you are enjoying these as much as I am!
  1. Teach your children the difference between except and accept.
  2. Begin reading Strawberry Girl.  (It's not just for girls!)
  3. Learn ways to be a good host/hostess and how to be a polite house guest.
  4. Read the 10 Commandments from Exodus and make 10 Commandment posters.
  5. Have the children make up Math tests to give each other.  They will surely make them difficult.
  6. Allow the children to choose a fish or mammal from the sea and learn all about it.
  7. Have your children plan, shop for, and cook dinner for their parents.  Help as little as possible.
  8. Go swimming.
  9. Help your children plant something.  Teach them how to take care of it and over time watch it grow.  Learn the parts of a plant.
  10. Check out an educational DVD from your library.  Watch it and discuss with the kids. 
  11. Trace each child's body on large paper.  Hang on the wall and label body parts.
  12. Have a laundry day.  Everyone learns how to do laundry and helps get all the laundry washed, dried and put away.
  13. Learn some basic Sign Language.
  14. Discuss and memorize Psalm 1 with your children.  Draw pictures to illustrate this passage.
  15. Choose a body part and learn all about it - eye, ear, heart, etc.
  16. Go on a family bike ride.
  17. Have the children write a Haiku today.  
  18. Using manipulatives practice fractions today.  Teach (depending on age) to add or subtract or multiply or divide fractions. 
  19. Using a blank map of the United States begin filling in the states.  Start with where you live, where you have visited, and go from there.
  20. Begin reading Little House in the Big Woods.
  21. Visit an Aquarium.  Have children take their journals with them and jot things down as they go.
  22. Invite a new family from church or in your neighborhood over for dinner.  Have the children help clean and cook and think of ways to make it special.
  23. Play board games today.  Serve snacks.
  24. Help the children work on a science project.  (Manager's choice!)
  25. Write letters today (to cousins, far away friends, grandparents or whomever).  Send in the mail. 
  26. Learn about finding area.  Help the children measure their rooms for new carpet.  (Not that you are getting new carpet - just pretend.)
  27. Decorate thankful posters.  Have the children cover the entire poster with things they are thankful for (pictures or words).   
  28. Teach your children the difference between lose and loose.
  29. Talk about The Lord's Prayer today.  Memorize Matthew 6:9-13 with your children.  
  30. Begin reading Little House on the Prairie.
  31. Teach the children the difference between weather and whether.  While you are at it start Weather Journals.  
  32. Read and discuss a biography on George Washington today.  
  33. Talk about sew and sow.  Discuss what it means to "reap what you sow".  Have children write several examples of reaping and sowing.  
  34. Make graphs today - a favorite day of the week graph, hours in the day and how they are used graph, etc.
  35. For today, learn about Christopher Columbus.  Begin a "Story of America" timeline.
  36. Read a book about Johnny Appleseed.  Take a trip to an apple orchard.
  37. Give each of the children their own check register and teach them how to balance a checkbook.
  38. Do something special for your pastor today - bake, write, draw, shop, mow, rake leaves, etc.
  39. Make homemade pizza today.  While slicing and serving, demonstrate fractions.  
  40. Have the children begin learning a musical instrument.
  41. Begin reading Farmer Boy.  
  42. Discuss what it means to be a good citizen.  Make good citizen posters.
  43. Think of ideas your family can do to help a widow in your church or neighborhood.  Begin one of the things on the list today.  (Call, visit, help with yard work, etc.)
  44. Learn all about your state today - capital, flower, tree, bird, etc.
  45. Play "Beat the Timer" today with Math fact sheets.  Reward hard work with m&ms.
  46. Memorize Galatians 5:22-23 with the children.  Make a "fruit" tree.
  47. Take a long walk in your neighborhood.  Bring along a bag and pick up trash.  
  48. Begin reading Stories of the Pilgrims.
  49. Have the children choose a Bible story and begin preparing a play - costumes, set decor, actor's lines, etc.  Set a date to perform.
  50. Have the children write a letter to a worker in the church (custodian, secretary, ministry director) thanking them for their service.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hey Mama, Do You Need to Breathe?

Why are so many mamas stressed out, worn out, overwhelmed, and frustrated?  Do you ever wonder?  Do you ever feel that way?

I have a few thoughts -thoughts I've gathered from a lot of years of feeling the tightness and thoughts gathered from countless mistakes I've made.

It just seems to me we women folk aren't taking time to BREATHE.

Do you spend your days breathing deep, or are your days more akin to holding your breath - like you do when you are underwater in the swimming pool? 



God wants you to know that HE is God.  He knows your circumstances and every tiny detail of your life.  He has a plan for your life.  Most importantly, He loves you!  Know that He is in control, (even when you are feeling out of control) and, as it is popular to say, He's got this.  He is God.  He's got the whole world in His hands.  He has YOU in His hands.

Know that He is God and know that by being still - still before Him, resting in Him.  {Breathing} We will know that He IS God when we are still.  We aren't knowing He is God when we are working furiously through a problem all on our own.  We know He is God when we are allowing Him to work.  We know He is God when we give Him control of our lives and breathe in Him.

Whatever you face, whatever trial or circumstance you are living through,please know that God IS.  Be still and breathe that in.  We should all find space to take some deep breaths today.  

Monday, October 13, 2014

Tis the Season

I finished up my Fall decorating over the weekend and I thought I would show you around today.  When it comes to decorating I don't do anything complicated and I try to spend very little dough.  It's sometimes surprising how thrifty you can be when you try. 

Here's our front porch area.

I made this wreath on Saturday.  It's just a grapevine wreath from Hobby Lobby, some stems I picked up there also, and a bow I purchased at a Farmer's Market.  I'm challenged when it comes to making bows so I purchased this one pre-made.  

My kids think I should take the flowers all the way around the wreath.  I had planned to only go this far.  What do you think?    

The dining room...

Would you believe I scored this tablecloth for three bucks?  I found it at KOHLS.  The original price was $25.99 but it was on sale for $12.99.  I had a $10 off coupon good on anything in the store.  My coupon brought the price down to $2.99 and with tax I paid $3.27!

These stems are from Hobby Lobby again.  My mother in law gave me the cool light up branches and I just love them.  I got the metal can for $10.  It was originally $19.99 at Hobby Lobby but was on sale 50 percent off.  (Have I mentioned I *heart* Hobby Lobby???)  I really like the chalkboard part on the front of the can.  You could write any sort of clever thing there. 

This is the area in the foyer I show you in pretty much every decorating post.  That's because I change it out a little bit for each holiday season.  

I picked up this little Halloween flag for a couple of dollars last summer when all things Halloween were very cheap.  

I didn't do a whole lot in the kitchen but I did put out a pumpkin tablecloth.  I prefer vinyl in the kitchen.  With six kids it's just too hard to have a cloth tablecloth on the table where we are constantly eating.  

Lastly, I'll show you the fireplace mantle in the family room - another little spot I change frequently.  I've gotten hooked on banners.  You've probably noticed that.  

Do you enjoy decorating for Fall?  Where's your favorite area to add some seasonal cheer?


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