Thursday, September 30, 2010

Family Cook Book

I have been working on a family cook book. There are so many meals and treats that my family has enjoyed over the years, I decided to write down as many as I could. I am looking forward to passing this collection on to my children when they are grown. I think this would be a perfect addition to a hope chest!

What are your family recipes? Is there a special place you keep them so they can be enjoyed by generations to come?
My grandmother always had something wonderful to share when I was at her home, and I would love nothing more than to provide that same loving welcome to my family.

My mother's favorite cookies, and my (favorite) Aunt's favorite side dish:

Taken from Betty Crocker
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose or unbleached flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

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  1. Heat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Mix 1 1/2 cups sugar, the butter, shortening and eggs in large bowl. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.
  3. Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Mix 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Aunt LuLu’s Rice and Broccoli Casserole

Bake 350 degrees, 45 Minutes

8oz. Jar Cheese Whiz
1 cup milk
1 ½ cup minute rice (uncooked)
1 can cream mushroom soup
½ cup diced celery
¾ stick margarine

Grease casserole dish, mix all ingredients together, bake 45 minutes

Alternative recipe to try:
1 cup rice, cooked
1 cup milk
10 ounces frozen broccoli, cooked
1/2 lb Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 small onion, diced
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1 (4 ounce) can mushrooms
Mix everything in a big casserole dish.
Bake at 375°F, for 45 minutes.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Praying for our children

The following is a condensed list of items to pray over our children. It was taken by writings of Bob Hostetler. Maybe some or all of these can be added to your daily prayer list.

Biblical Virtues to Pray for Your Children
By Bob Hostetler
1. Salvation—"Lord, let salvation spring up within my children, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory." (Isa. 45:8; 2 Tim. 2:10)

2. Love—"Grant, Lord, that my children may learn to live a life of love, through the Spirit who dwells in them." (Gal. 5:25; Eph. 5:2)

3. Honesty and Integrity—"May integrity and honesty be their virtue and their protection." (Ps. 25:21)

4. Self-Control—"Father, help my children not to be like many others around them, but let them be alert and self-controlled in all they do." (1 Thess. 5:6)

5. Love for God's Word—"May my children grow to find Your Word more precious than much pure gold and sweeter than honey from the comb." (Ps. 19:10)

6. Mercy—"May my children always be merciful, just as their Father is merciful." (Luke 6:36)

7. Respect (for self, others, and authority)—"Father, grant that my children may show proper respect to everyone, as Your Word commands." (1 Pet. 2:17)

8. Purity—"Create in them a pure heart, O God, and let that purity of heart be shown in their actions." (Ps. 51:10)

9. Kindness—"Lord, may my children always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else." (1 Thess. 5:15)

10. Generosity—"Grant that my children may be generous and willing to share, and so lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age." (1 Tim. 6:18-19)

11. Responsibility—"Grant that my children may learn responsibility, for each one should carry his own load." (Gal. 6:5)

12. Faith—"I pray that faith will find root and grow in my children's hearts, that by faith they may gain what has been promised to them." (Luke 17:5-6; Heb. 11:1-40)

13. Self-Discipline—"Father, I pray that my children may acquire a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair." (Prov. 1:3)

14. Healthy Marriage “Lord, I pray that my children will find a loving, kind, Christian spouse with whom they can share a blessed, godly life while serving you whole heartedly.”

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Clean air ~ Look what was in my house!!

So I never thought about it, until my kids started having really bad allergies. We moved about a year ago, and ever since my poor kiddos have been miserable. Stuffy noses, headaches, itchy eyes, you name it, they were dealing with it. What to do? I started with steaming the mattresses, carpets and curtains in their rooms. Nothing. Then, I bought mattress and pillow covers to prevent allergens. Nope. I didn't know what to do about it, other than medicating them every day.
Then one day I thought, "What about the air?" Is the air in this house the problem? So, my dear neighbor gave me a coupon for air duct cleaning. I gave them a call. This is what they found in my house:

I couldn't believe it. That is what we were breathing! No wonder my kids were so bothered! You can actually see the tar from the previous owners cigarettes in the dirt! Gross!!!
I decided to go for the full treatment. As far as I'm concerned, this was a worthy cause. I had them do all the ducts, vents, & mains. (the coupon only covered a portion, of course) Then, I had them sanitize everything. The cost was large, but guess who can breathe now!

Heating duct before and after pictures:
I'm amazed at the results. My daughter hasn't woken up complaining of a sore throat since. My son hasn't coughed at all during the night.

I'm so glad we made this investment.

Here is that same vent after they cleaned it:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Being frugal for your home

Being frugal is always in the forefront of the mind of a home maker, and lately I have been trying my hand at refinishing furniture. My husband is something of an estate sale nut, and he is often coming home with little treasures for our home. I took an old coffee table stripped it, refinished it, and turned it into a beautiful tv stand. Just this last week, I took on another project ~ Kitchen chairs. I actually bought these on craigslist. I bought 5 old country looking chairs and spent a week refinishing them for our kitchen. This is what I started with:

Unfortunately, these chairs didn't work at all in my kitchen. But the price was right!! So, I set to work. I went off to the hardware store and came home with everything I needed. Stripper, sand paper, spray paint, stain, and sealer.

The hardest part was taping off the seats of the chairs! after several days of painting and letting paint dry, I was able to bring something beautiful and charming into my home. For about what I would have spent on one new chair, I got five!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Train up a child in the way he should go...

... And when he is old he will not depart from it. ~Proverbs 22:6

In my opinion, wiser words were never spoken. I also think that part of making a home is training our children to reverence their father, and show him the respect he deserves.
How happy would you be to come home to this:

How would you find the couch? Where is the paper? I don't know about you, but this room would make me very nervous, there is no way I would be able to relax after a long day. I'm sure my husband would feel the same way.

So, what does this have to do with my kids? This is my responsibility, isn't it? My job as a mother is to train my children. Part of that is to teach them how to care for their home. If done correctly, this can become something of a point of pride for our children. They can honor their father and mother by pleasing them! What kid doesn't want to please their parents?... Ok, maybe lots, but mine are young enough to still want to please us.

How do we do this (without duct tape)? This is something that has been on my heart quite often lately. What do I need to do as a mother to teach my children to take pride in pleasing their father?
Answer? Training. Rather than discipline them after they offend, train them in the way they should behave before the behavior becomes a problem. We have recently started doing little "run throughs" before we enter certain situations. It seems to be going well. My youngest, also my craziest, really seems to benefit from a rehearsal, of sorts. It goes something like this:
What will we do when Daddy walks in the door?
~ We will say "hi, daddy!"
Will we jump on Daddy?
That's right! lets give daddy a few minutes to come in and get settled, then he will sit down and visit with you.

If all the toys and books are put away before daddy comes home, the kids learn to care for their home and recognize that daddy has had a long day and wants to come home to peace, quiet, and gentle adoration.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Our Favorite Comfort Food

This is my husbands favorite comfort food recipe. It's called Cheesy Chicken Pot Pie. I make it quite often. It's simple, quick and oh so cheesy! Fall is the perfect time to pull out all those yummy comfy recipes that have been put away all summer because it's just too hot. I hope you try it at your home!
Here's what you need:

2-9 inch pie crusts

2 cans cream of potato soup
2 c. cooked chicken, cubed
1/2 bag frozen mixed veggies, thawed
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Line ungreased 9" deep dish pie plate with one crust. Set aside.
Mix soup, chicken, vegetables, and cheese together. Spoon into pie crust.

Top with remaining crust, seal and flute edges. Cut vents in top, bake at 350 degrees for an hour.

And there you have it! Our very favorite cozy weather food!
I hope you love it!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Decorating The Home For the Harvest Season Autumn is by far my favorite season. Every year, I look forward to the crispness of the air, the breathtaking transformation that all the trees go through before dropping their leaves, and of course all the fall goodies! I love all the wonderful thing about fall, especially making my home reflect the season. Being a single income family, I can't always justify spending like crazy to decorate the house, but with a little creativity and bargain shopping, I always wind up with a few beautiful decorations to display.

Dollar Store Junkie

Now, there are certainly things I wouldn't buy at the dollar store, but decorations are one of my favorite things to grab. I love to see what I can put together with only a few dollars. Lots of times, looking at what is available at the local dollar store can leave you feeling a little flat, but look a little deeper, and you'll be amaized at where your creativity can take you on just a couple dollars.

This is what I brought home from my last visit: I got about 16 little "picks", and a roll of very fall-ish ribbon. At 2/$1, I had to figure something out!

A few minutes and a roll of duct tape later, This is what I have:

A beautiful swag to put in front of the fireplace mirror.

I paired it with a few other decorations that I already had,
and my living room is ready for fall company!

In my same dollar store trip, I picked up three other little things to pair with my mums outside.

My hope is to honor my husband by making our home beautiful, as I strive to be more like the proverbs 31 woman.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Must be nice...

We've all heard it. Comments from a woman we know who works on how we "Get to stay home and not do anything all day". How do we respond to that? Many times our first impulse is to shoot back some nasty comment about how this woman has chosen herself over her family and that staying home is a real sacrifice on our part. At that point, we must remember Psalm 19:14: Let the words of my mouth be pleasing in Your sight, oh Lord.
So where do we go from here? We share with them the holy calling we have received as women, to build our homes, care for our families, and glorify the Father through our work. How do we make our house a home? We work REALLY REALLY hard, that's how. We sacrifice the things that many think they can't live without, in order to survive on one income. We may go without trips to the salon, or to the spa with our girl fiends, in order to make sure that our home is the warm, loving, welcoming place that our families deserve to come home to. We clean with love, scrub with the intent to please, and fill our homes with joy and serenity. A home maker's work is never done, and it is an honor to have been chosen for such a task. So, I set out on my journey with a specific goal in mind... to become a little more like the proverbs 31 woman each day. Maybe we can take this trip together.