Five Things

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On my heart: Philippians 2:17 — Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. — being poured out as an offering. As a sacrifice. Doesn’t sound pleasant, but wasn’t Jesus the ultimate sacrifice? Then isn’t it something we should be striving for? Homeschooling is a sacrifice. Being a mother means constantly laying down – sacrificing – my wants for the needs of others. I need to pour myself out for the people that God gave me to serve and raise, for our local church and for people around me that need to see Jesus.

On my mind: Are we doing enough spelling? Why didn’t I start using Easy Peasy All In One Homeschool sooner?  Are we ready to start raising our own pigs? Will the girls get too attached to them by slaughtering time? Why are we so loud?  Khan Academy, I still love you. I need to write my quarterly reports, like, right now. When will the jam muffins be cooled off? (recipe below!)

On my iPod: I Know That You Are For Me by Kari Jobe,  Wasting All These Tears by Cassadee Pope, We The Redeemed by Hillsongs, All Sons And Daughters and Chris Tomlin

On my DVR: lots of Little Bear and Sofia the First … a new show that my big girls and I are getting into is When Calls The Heart … Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s Cinderella … Last Man Standing (Tim Allen cracks me up!) … lots of sports shows … reruns of The Cosby Show

On my schedule: making dinner for a friend that just had a sweet baby girl, an extra special review for a great reading product, a dinner date with my hubster thanks to a gift certificate we won at his company party, sending my oldest off to a youth conference at our church, lots of Upward basketball and the Superbowl.

Plus a recipe —

Jam Muffins

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup oil

Preheat oven to 400* and grease muffin tin.
Mix dry ingredients, then add in wet ingredients.
Stir until dough is smooth.
Fill muffin tins about 2/3 full with batter, then drop about a half teaspoon of your favorite jam on top. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from muffin tins and cool on rack. These are delicious just as they are but for an extra treat, split a muffin and add a pat of softened butter.
{Beware — the jam is the equivalent of molten lava until the muffins cool so be careful!}

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I haven’t done many recipes on here, mainly because I’m not a very good food photographer. I love to cook and bake. Having a child with food allergies has made this a little tricky at times. My mom reminded me of a recipe that she used to make every Thanksgiving – pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Bonus? No dairy or egg. They’re totally safe for my Alyssa.

Here’s the recipe:

1 cup sugar
1 cup pureed pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 bag of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Mix the first three ingredients until creamy. Add the rest of the ingredients except chocolate chips and stir well. Then fold in chocolate chips.

Not the most appetizing looking dough but just stay with me here.

Bake on ungreased cookie sheets for 8-10 minutes and remove from pan immediately.

Once they are cooled, these cookies stay soft and delicious. This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies. After tasting them again, I want to add a bit of nutmeg and ginger the next time we make them. But even with just cinnamon, these cookies are so yummy! You might want to double the recipe because these don’t last long. 😉

Truth

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This is what happens when you try to make your hubby nachos while cleaning the kitchen and getting your kids ready for bed.

Looks good, right? A little salsa on top and it should be fine.

My recipe book

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I have an old marble notebook that I write all my favorite recipes in. Over the years, it’s gotten pretty beat up but I love it to pieces.


This is all that’s left of my grandmother’s sugar cookie recipe.


Bagel recipe? Gone.


Another family recipe? Half gone.


Not sure what this recipe was for!

How does this happen, you say??


11+ years of this. Little hands helping, sprinkling, spilling and smooshing ingredients on the pages.


I love chubby toddler hands.


“what’s the problem? I’m making cookies!”

Now you know why I love it so much. Lots of memories and lots of little handprints.

Lastly,here’s the only photo of the girls at their concert. The older two weren’t ready yet so I missed them.

Summertime snacks

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This has been saving my sanity every day around 2 pm.


I don’t know how things are in your house in the summer, but once our homeschool works wraps up my kids are outside. A lot. We are blessed to live way out in the country, surrounded by very good friends that have lots of kids. If not for my morning harping about chore cards, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of my daughters ran out the door in their pajamas.

Around 2 pm every day, my girls come in for a snack. Sometimes they bring friends, sometimes they don’t. But snack time is a definite. To cut down on how many times I hear “what can we have for a snack?” I put together a snack basket. I keep it in the kitchen, where I can keep an eye on what’s being grabbed. But for the most part, if I say they are allowed to take something out of the snack basket everything is fair game.

Some of our favorites are:

– homemade granola bars, packaged in snack-sized bags. (we are working on the girls dropping the bags right into the sink, so they can be reused. Hasn’t really stuck with them yet.)

– all natural fruit snacks (the ones pictured are sold at Aldi, in a large box. Not #1 on the healthy snack list but it all balances out, right?)

– fruit

– strawberry oat bars (recipe to come!)

– trail mix bags (sunflower seeds, dry cereal, dried fruit, chocolate chips, shredded coconut, etc.)

– veggie chips (love these single sized serving bags from BJ’s)

The only other thing the girls like to snack on that isn’t in the basket is pretzel rods. I buy the big tubs of them from Aldi also.

I find that if I make sure and stock the basket early in the week, it lasts for several days. It takes a bit of time up front but saves headaches through the week. We keep a mix of homemade and store bought snacks available. The girls like being able to choose their snacks and I like knowing what they are grabbing on their way out the door.