Archive for June, 2011

  • Chex Mix Recipe

    Date: 2011.06.30 | Category: recipes | Response: 0

    We’re getting ready to go camping and when I was at the grocery store this afternoon I decided to make Chex Mix to bring with us.  I bought two boxes of chex and figured I’d raid the pantry for all of the other ingredients.  When I got home I realized I didn’t have any peanuts- boo- so I used cashews and almonds.  I also threw in some Cheerios and some Kix since I had them in the pantry.  As I was baking the mix the smell brought me right back to my childhood.  My mom ALWAYS made home made Chex Mix for our annual camping trip to Yosemite.  It stirred up lots of good memories for me.

    This is the recipe I made today- of course you can adjust it to your preferences!

    9 cups Chex (I used store brand rice and corn flavor)
    1 cup Cheerios
    1 cup Kix
    1 cup pretzels
    1 cup mixed nuts

    Combine all dry ingredients in a very large mixing bowl.

    6 TBS butter
    2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
    1 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
    3/4 tsp garlic powder
    1/2 tsp onion powder

    Melt butter in a small bowl.  Add all seasonings and mix well.  Add to cereal mixture and toss until well coated.

    Microwave uncovered for 6 minutes- stirring every 2 minutes.  Lay out on a paper towel to cool for at least 15 minutes.  Store in an airtight container until it’s gone!

    I’m so sorry that I haven’t gotten anything up about our vacation to CA yet!  I have over 700 photos to go through still and now we’re headed on a 5 day camping trip.  I’ll get to it eventually!

  • Menu Plan July 1-9

    Date: 2011.06.30 | Category: meal plan | Response: 0

    What are we having for dinner this week?

    Friday- Camping!  Grilled Steak

    Saturday- Camping!  Group Burrito Night

    Sunday- Camping!  Group Sloppy Joe Night

    Monday- Camping!  Group Pizza and Fireworks Night

    Tuesday- Spaghetti and meatballs

    Wednesday- Chicken Corn Chowder (didn’t happen last week!)

    Thursday- Grilled Chicken

    Friday- Date Night!

    Saturday- Pork Chops

  • Menu Plan June 23-June 30

    Date: 2011.06.24 | Category: meal plan | Response: 0

    What are we having for dinner this week?

    Thursday- tortellini with Philly cooking cream, ham, spinach, bacon

    Friday- chicken pasta salad

    Saturday- salmon

    Sunday- pulled pork

    Monday- stuffed baked potatoes

    Tuesday- shepherd’s pie

    Wednesday- chicken corn chowder

    Thursday- leftover night

    Friday- camping for the long weekend!

  • Off Limits

    Date: 2011.06.23 | Category: book review, parenting | Response: 0

    I finished reading a book yesterday that literally made me sick to my stomach.  I could hardly stand to turn each page, and yet I pressed on through the end.  Off Limits: A Parent’s Guide to Keeping Kids Safe from Sexual Abuse was so difficult to read, yet contained such important information that it was worth the effort.  Written by Sandy K. Wurtele and Feather Berkower, two child sexual abuse prevention professionals, this book explains how abuse occurs, and debunks many of the myths surrounding molestation.  In this generation, when as many as 1 in 8 children are sexually abused, it is worth knowing steps that I can take to protect my children and to recognize signs of abuse in other children.

    Written in a straightforward manner, with lots of references, personal stories, resources, and ideas to safeguard your family, this book was both informative and practical.  A lot of attention was paid to teaching parents how to raise their children to be body safe and how to encourage open communication about our bodies and sex.  Much of this book covered children and the relationships they have with trusted authority figures, since these are the relationships with the most risks and opportunities for abuse to occur.  Parents are given boundaries to set for the relationships your child has and are given techniques to discourage would be abusers.  Parents are also given specific rules to teach their children about body safety and the importance of having a no secret policy in place in your family.

    I found this book to be well written and very informative and practical.  I checked my copy out from the library, but went ahead and made photo copies (as encouraged by the authors!) of several pages near the back with rules and guidelines that I can institute in our home.  I highly recommend this book for all parents and for teachers and others who work with children.

  • JTisms

    Date: 2011.06.18 | Category: parenting | Response: 2

    Man I love this kid.  He sure comes up with the funniest ways of saying things.  I thought it was time for some of his latest and greatest…

    The wind blew one of our patio chairs over.  JT said “It wants to lay down and take a rest.”

    I told JT “You look good!”  He replied “I don’t look good- I look blue and orange!” (the colors of his shirt)

    If we ask JT where something is and he doesn’t know he’ll say “It’s somewhere.”

    Mollie (our dog) came home with a new haircut and he enthusiastically told her “I like your new haircut, Mollie!”

    bounce house = “boundy house”

    instead of saying that something is tangled up he says it’s “all bungled up” or “all buckled up”

    JT called the sidewalk the “walking side”

    JT noticed a new freckle on his hand.  First he thought it was poop and kept trying to wipe it off.  When I explained what it was JT said “I don’t like it mommy!  Get it off!”  He still mentions it every few days- he calls it his “sparkle”.

    instead of “I would like” JT says “Could I like?”

    pretzels = “prencils”
    pencils = “prencils”

    I entered JT’s bedroom one morning and the first thing he said was “I was still hungry last night.  I ate my pez.”  Sure enough, he had climbed up on top of his short dresser to reach the top of his tall dresser and eaten 2 entire sleeves of pez!  Needless to say he’s not getting more for a while.  A few mornings later I noticed something red in his teeth.  I asked JT what it was and he said, “I ate my chappy.  I was hungry.”  For Pete’s sake!

    We were dog sitting for a few weeks and JT would say “My puppies!  See my puppies?  She’s a black one!”  (she is a he) He also told EVERYONE that we came across that he had three puppies at home.

    Friends were in Florida for vacation (thus the dog sitting) and JT was a little confused about the whole concept.  He thought Florida was a girl and our friends were visiting her.  I explained how it’s a place that’s far away and you get there on an airplane and I showed him on a map.  I also explained that it’s where Mickey and Minnie Mouse live.  During prayer time that night he told me “Pray for TuckerTyler so they won’t be sad and that we can be good friends to them and don’t forget to pray for Florida and Mickey Mouse is there and Minnie Mouse is a girl.”

    on our way to Auntie’s- “I like Auntie.  I’m going to love her today.”

    Drew dropped his cracker.  JT said “That’s sad, Drew.  Mollie got it.  If you drop your food then it’s all gone because Mollie’s too fast.”  (Do you think he’s heard that one before?)

    Washington DC = “washing marchine c”

    Don’t you just love the way these things come out of their mouths?

  • Don’t Make Me Count To Three!

    Date: 2011.06.13 | Category: book review, parenting | Response: 2

    I’ve been struggling lately with knowing HOW to implement the type of parenting that I want to practice.  I’m a huge fan of Love and Logic, and we use a lot of those principles in our home, but I feel like that’s not quite enough.  How do I teach my kids about faith in God?  I do I obtain first time obedience with a respectful attitude from them?  What’s normal toddler behavior, what’s disobedience, and what’s normal toddler disobedience?  How do I intentionally train my children spiritually at THIS stage- ages 15 months and 33 months?  How can I maintain a spirit of peace and unity and joy in our family when I am “getting after” my kids all day long?  How do I prepare their tender hearts now so that they will have a lifelong relationship with our Savior?

    Knowing what I’ve been thinking about, my sister in law lent me a book by Ginger Plowman called Don’t Make me Count to Three. I actually think this book should have a different name, as it was not at all what I was expecting based on the title.  Ginger’s premise is that many parents try to change the behavior and hope that the heart will follow; but she proposes that if we work on the attitudes of the heart, the behavior will follow.  I love her strategy of biblical correction- when little Timmy misbehaves she shows him how his actions are contrary to God’s Word and what he can do to make amends.  She reveals how when our children are misbehaving they are actually sinning and it is our job to show them their sin and to model repentance and God’s way to them.  She encourages parents to use God’s words to reveal the sin of the heart and to teach our children what God has to say about those who sin and the consequences they will face, both in the short term and in the long term.  She teaches that we must not only tell our children what not to do, but more importantly we must show them what they ought to do and help them practice it before they misbehave and after they misbehave.  It’s not just about setting expectations, but also about helping them play it out.  She strongly supports spanking as a punishment, but she tells us we can’t stop there- we must then them help them make things right.

    I just finished this book last week, and to tell the truth it weighed heavy on my heart for several days.  I love this approach, but it clearly reveals how much I am lacking in my knowledge of scripture and how much of my attitude and actions are contrary to God.  Ginger includes 2 pages of common misbehaviors and the scriptures and disciplines she recommends to go along with them, but I can see that’s only a very small beginning.  The more I know God’s Word and the easier it falls off my tongue the more I will be able to apply her approach.

    I have begun implementing some of her suggested wording when I’m correcting JT- telling him that he is not loving his sister with his actions or that he is not respecting me and that God wants him to honor his mother, etc.  It’s hard.  I feel inadequately prepared for this task.  I don’t have enough scripture at the forefront of my mind for these phrases to just fall out naturally.  John 3:16 just isn’t going to cut it here.

    I happen to own Creative Correction by Lisa Welchel- I haven’t read this book in it’s entirety, but I know she includes many Scriptures regarding sin issues. It also appears that Ginger has another book called Wise Words for Moms which contains a more comprehensive list of behavior problems and the Scriptures that address them.  Perhaps that should be my next read- I can see that I have a long way to go in this area!

    So that’s what I’m thinking about parenting lately.  Have you read any good parenting books that you think I might be interested in?  I’d love to know about them!

  • I rock!

    Date: 2011.06.10 | Category: crafts | Response: 1

    Well, actually JT is the one who rocks.  That boy is rarely to be found without a guitar or drumsticks in his hand.  His very favorite thing is to wear one of his guitar or drum shirts.  Every day.  Lucky for him we have picked up a variety of (clearance) guitar and drum shirts, sweatshirts, and pjs over the past 6 months or so- thank goodness that the toddler rocker thing is cool right now!  So anyway, I was searching for flannel to make the burp cloths last week and to what should my wondering eyes appear?  Guitar flannel!  Of course I had to buy a yard even though I wasn’t sure what I would make out of it.  I finally settled on a pair of pj pants for my little rocker dude.  I mean really, it’s not like I’m going to make him a button down shirt- that’s a lot of work that I’m not prepared to take on.

    On Sunday night Chris took JT down basement to watch an episode of Blue’s Clues and I decided that rather than doing the dishes I would whip up the bottoms as a surprise for him to wear to bed that night.  I found another pair of pj pants that are a little big for him and used those as a template.  I just cut around one leg, used my new cut piece to cut out a second leg and then stitched them up.  I was just finishing the second hem when JT came upstairs to go to bed.  I had him try the pants on so I could measure the elastic for the waist and after a few more stitches they were ready to wear.  Bam!

    I decided to find a shirt with a stain or something that I could applique one of the guitars onto.  The next morning I cut out a guitar and some stars and pinned them in place on the best shirt I could come up with, a white shirt with green stripes (see above photo) and told myself that it would just have to do.  I took about 5 stitches and then got distracted by something (or someone) and put it aside.  Later that afternoon I popped into the Dollar Tree when what did I find?  That’s right!  A plain brown t-shirt.  For $1.  That’s what I’m talking about!  I ripped the stitches out of the other shirt, pinned the appliques onto the new shirt did some (purposely) messy sewing. (These pictures were taken after running the pjs through the wash.)

    And now JT has a new pair of pajamas!  These are plenty big, so right now we have to roll down the waist band.  Hopefully this means he’ll get to wear them for a long time.

    I am now officially qualified for Mother Of The Year.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

    I feel like poor Kate hasn’t been represented on the blog lately, so here are a few pictures of her with the most ginormous strawberry the other day.  Yum!

    Thank you for reading my blog.  I like you.  A lot.

  • Packing Tip

    Date: 2011.06.07 | Category: homemaking, saving money | Response: 0

    When I’m getting ready to go on a trip there is one thing I always do that saves me time and money. The morning before we leave I pull out my toiletries bag and set it on the counter. I keep some travel sized items and a few duplicates of my regular products in there all the time, so it’s already half full. Then as I am getting ready I place all of the products I use in the bag- makeup, toothbrush, hair stuff, etc. Throughout the day I might toss in something I think of and my jewelry or whatever. At bedtime I might add a few more items. Then the morning of the trip I get ready out of my bag. This is a double check for me to help ensure that I didn’t forget anything important.
    With this system I rarely forget something critical enough that I have to buy it on the other end and I know I’ll have all of my favorites with me.
    Just a little tip from me to you… I hope it helps on your next trip!


    *edited to add*- I never check my toiletries bag- I always carry it on the plane with me. I keep jewelry and make up and other hard to replace or expensive items with me. I don’t mind buying new shampoo if my bag is lost, but I would be bummed to lose my favorite earrings!

  • 2 more diaper cakes and some burp cloths!

    Date: 2011.06.05 | Category: crafts | Response: 2

    Tis the season- for babies!  Two of the ladies in our Families of Faith group are due the first week of July and we decided to celebrate their little ones by combining our monthly family lunch with a baby shower.  I decided to go with the tried and true- I made each mom a diaper cake and 3 burp cloths.

    One of the babies is a boy- I found sweet little owl flannel for one side and blue dots for the other side of his burp cloths.

    The other baby’s gender will be a surprise.  Joann’s didn’t have much selection of gender neutral snuggle flannel, but I was happy to find these two sophisticated prints- a brown and cream and a brown and seafoam green.  (the colors aren’t coming out super well in the pictures, but I think you can get an idea in the second photo)

    For the diaper cakes I found coordinating ribbon for each set-

    I rolled up the burp cloths and tied them with some leftover ribbon-

    I think everything turned out darling.  Don’t you?

  • Quick Fix

    Date: 2011.06.05 | Category: crafts, saving money | Response: 0

    I wore a cute little flower pin on my shirt today.

    As I was lugging my daughter around church this morning she pulled on said pin and ripped a hole in my t-shirt.  Grrrrr.

    What to do, what to do?  I didn’t want to always have to wear a pin- I don’t have that many and it would limit my color choices.  I thunk for a few moments and then… “Aha!”  All I needed to do was sew on a permanent flower.

    As soon as the kids were down for their naps I dug up an old white t-shirt that had already been cut up for another project.  I cut out four squiggly petal shapes.

    I layered the petals and stitched them on with clear beads and ….


    The hole is hidden, the shirt was saved and now I have a cute little flower that’s still in white so I can continue to wear the shirt with anything!  Hooray!

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