Friday, July 30, 2010

"Sometimes I can't be good."

This past week we've been learning about the letter I. I just posted our Letter H week. I usually post the crafts, etc from the week prior, but I wanted to share something that happened this week. Our scripture from this week is:

"May my prayer be set before you like incense." Psalm 141:2

Typically, at lunch time, we talk about our memory verse and what it means. Then we listen to our Songs for Saplings CD and sing our verse (and previous verses). The boys LOVE singing. I just wish there were more kids scripture CD's out there. It's great for them and for myself! It's so easy to learn verses set to music!

So, we were talking about what incense means. I told the boys that in the Bible incense was something that they used to worship God. They would burn spices to praise and worship God. So, we talked a lot about what it means to worship God. Worship is singing and praying to God, reading our Bible and obeying God. As we continued our talk we focused on obeying God being a form of worshipping Him. So, Luke was curious about what 'obey' meant. We use this word a lot in our home and I'm pretty sure he knows what it means but I was glad he was asking questions. So, I explained that it means to follow rules/instructions. We must obey God. We must obey our parents, which is a commandment from God. We continued talking about different ways we obey and disobey. During our discussion Luke said a very profound statement:

"Sometimes I can't be good."

This was music to my ears. Yes, son!! You are right! Now, many parents would have corrected their child. Oh, sure you can, we can all be good if we just try to do the right thing. But the Bible tells us that there are none good (Romans 3:10).

At that moment, I was just so thankful that he is learning that he can't be good on his own. So, I took the opportunity to share with him that the only way we can be good is through Jesus. I also took that opportunity to thank God that I am home with my children to take advantage of moments like that.

My prayer is that we will be diligent in teaching our boys the truths of the gospel and that God will give Luke & Eli wisdom to see themselves in great need of rescuing. And may we also be diligent in teaching them that there is only One who can rescue them!! Oh Lord, save their souls!

Letter H!

We started out last week talking about the letter H and Hearts! Here is their heart lunches, heart shaped PB&J and cheese with apple slices!

Next, I cut out Hearts in different sizes and colors for Luke to sort! Well, he cut out one, can you tell which?

Then he glued the hearts on a big letter H. He also used the scraps of paper to build letter H's!

Our next craft was probably my favorite of the week! Eli even got to help out with it! Here he is making his grass for his Hedgehog!

Actually that is all Eli did. When it came time to put his hands in the paint... he was not interested. So I ended up making his! Luke's turned out great!

We watched a Hedgehog video on National Geographic Kids and learned about them, too!

Our Letter H craft comes from Totally Tots. H is for House!

It turned out super cute of course! After making the craft we read, This Is The House That Jack Built.

We also practiced using a Hole punch and then Luke made an H out of all of the little dots (fine motor skills at work!).

We finished up the week doing a letter H search. We also did Letter A-D searches for review too!

I didn't take a picture but our Bible verse for the week was:

"Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!" Ps 144:15

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Double Chocolate Cherry Muffins

I had a bag of cherries in the fridge that really needed to be eaten! I LOVE cherries but these were almost too far gone. In all honesty, I had just forgotten about them. I have a serious fruit buying compulsion, especially during the summer months when fruit is so yummy! I buy too much! I guess that could be a good thing, right? Anyway, a few weeks ago, I had found a chocolate chip cherry muffin on a blog and thought I'd saved the recipe. Nope, could not find it. So, I found a few and just came up with my own version! They are so good!! The cherry flavor doesn't really come through too much, but they are still great! And healthy too!

Double Chocolate Cherry Muffins

1/2 cup coconut oil* (or melted and cooled butter)
2 large eggs (best if at room temperature)
1 cup buttermilk (best if at room temperature)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup rapaurda**
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped fresh cherries

Preheat oven to 375. Butter muffin tin or line with paper liners. In a medium bowl whisk buttermilk, eggs and vanilla together. In a large bowl whisk together flour, rapadura, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir in the chocolate chips. With a spatula fold in wet ingredients and cherries until barely combined. Next mix in coconut oil. Spoon mixture into muffin tin and bake for 18-20 minutes. Toothpick in center should come out pretty clean with a few crumbs!

*If you've never used coconut oil, I highly recommend trying it. It is so good for you! In these muffins I can't taste/smell the coconut oil at all. If you have a problem with the smell of coconut, get refined coconut oil. When baking with coconut oil it's best to use room temperature milk/eggs because the coconut oil will solidify when added to something cold. I didn't set mine out very long but it mixed in fine. Always melt coconut oil in a pot on the stove. Or just set it near a hot oven and it will melt!

**Another note, rapadura is not the same as brown sugar. Brown sugar is not a healthy alternative to sugar. I think this is a huge misunderstanding. Brown sugar is basically white refined sugar with added molasses. So, it is not a better alternative. Rapadura is still sugar. It's just not processed or refined which means that it has much better nutritional value than white sugar. So, it is healthier but of course it should be used in moderation!

Oh and do you want to know what all fruit we have right now? I just went to the store yesterday and bought:

seedless watermelon
cherries (yes, more)
green grapes

and we already had:
oh, and the old bag of cherries (they are gone now though!)

I also have organic frozen strawberries and blueberries in the freezer. How do we afford it?? Well, we get help from WIC. And also I buy more fruit than packaged snacks. I'd rather buy a bag of grapes than a box of crackers.

We're just a little fruity!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Check it out!

I think this post just might be number 300! Crazy huh?

Anyway! I just wanted to share a few new blogs that I have found! There is so much on the Internet that can steal your time and it's so important to manage that time well, as I am ever learning. But there are some fantastic blogs out there that are such great encouragement! God has really been working on my heart here lately about what biblical womanhood is. And these blogs have really been helpful. First and foremost, the Bible should always be where we go to seek counsel and instruction. But these women seek Him and have a great way of encouraging and sharing wisdom on what it means to be a godly woman. I definitely suggest you spend some time looking around their sites! It will be time well spent!

A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Like a Warm Cup of Coffee

The Stay at Home Missionary

Menu Plan Monday 7/26

I'm busy this morning and have lots to do and am so behind! So, this is going to be short and sweet! Here's what will be on our plates for dinner!

Chicken Parmesan over Whole Wheat Spaghetti, Salad (repeat)

Honey Pork Chops, Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes

Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Carrots and Ranch Dip, Cantaloupe

Three Cheese Chicken and Pasta (or however many cheeses I have at the time!), Steamed Broccoli

Homemade Pizzas

I'm also planning on making some strawberry bread for us to enjoy! I need to find a good recipe though! And if we need another meal.. it'll be pancakes and scrambled eggs. That's my standby!

Check out for more meal ideas!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Letter G!

Last week we focused on the letter G. We also did some letter review (A-D) and some scissor practice. Here are some pictures from the week:

Here is Luke practicing using his scissors. He was a little frustrated to begin with because he was having a difficult time. But with a little encouragement he was able to finish! This is something we'll continue to practice! And yes, he is wearing a cowboy hat and a pumpkin suit!

And as you can see he really did a great job! He was proud of himself! (downloaded the cutting practice worksheet from Confessions of a Homeschooler)

We also did some letter matching. I thought this was going to be super easy for him but he did have some difficulty to begin with. Every time he matched a letter he had to say the letter out loud. I wanted him to verbally name the letters to help him remember what they are called! We'll be practicing this more too!

Now onto the letter G! We had fun talking about all of the things that start with the letter G! Here Luke is Gluing Green and Gold Glitter to his letter G!

We also learned a little bit about Goats! Here is Gary the Goat!

And lastly, from Totally Tots, we made our letter G into a Goat!
Our Bible verse this week was: "Every good gift is from above." James 1:17

Hope you all have a Great weekend! ;)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

No place I'd rather be...

I just finished rocking my sweet little boy to sleep. As I ran my fingers through his sunscreen soaked hair and kissed his little ketchup stained face I thought to myself..

"I wouldn't trade this for anything in the world"

There is no bank account big enough to draw me away from raising my boys. I wouldn't trade it for a car upgrade, a house upgrade, a wardrobe upgrade. Those little faces are my purpose. I could fear when things are tight. I could worry and fret. But God has called me here. And I trust Him.

There is no other place I'd rather be.

Proverbs 14:1 - "The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Establish Me, O God

I can't believe I'm sitting down to blog about what's going on for me, my life, my heart! Not because it's something profound, yet it is profound. So, the kids aren't here and I actually have a minute to think. My wonderful, amazing husband took the kids swimming and that has given me 3 hours to myself! THREE! I'm heading to Zumba in a little bit but until then I wanna share. I really have no idea where this is going to go!

I haven't talked much here lately about what's going on in my personal walk with Christ. Mainly because I just don't have time. It's easy for me to sit down and type out my menu or post a few pictures of the boys and our projects but to sit down and share what God is doing in my life takes time and thought. I do want to share though because it's important. And I use to share so often.. but again, that was with one child. So much changes!

It's hard to even describe what God's been doing in my heart over the past few months. I know that He is just continuing His work in me. A verse that could sum up what's been going on in my heart is from Philippians 2:

"12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure."

I have spent the past few months looking at my life. Looking for Him. I just want to know Him deeply and in so many areas of my life everything was just so superficial. So, I've spent many days and nights just begging Him to deepen my desire for Him... begging Him to reveal Himself to me.. begging Him to help me repent of those things that steal my affections for Him... begging Him to show me His mercy and love. And He has. And He is. And He will. He is faithful. Just to know He is working in me, gives me such peace and security.

So, that's why it's profound. Because He is God. And He calls me... and He woos me. And I can't even begin to comprehend. What a beautiful God.

I'm promising myself to write more about this though. Because He truly is everything.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Menu Plan 7/19

This week is definitely meal planning on a budget! Our budget is typically tight but this week it's extra tight. So, I'm thankful that I've got some meat in the freezer and will just have to buy some extra ingredients for meals! You can eat well and healthy on a budget though!

Turkey Burgers, Corn on the Cobb, Fried Okra

Chicken Fingers, Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes

Ham and Swiss Melts, Potato Salad, Cantaloupe

Pork Chops, Pintos, Mexican Corn Bread

Parmesan Chicken over Thin Spaghetti, Salad

The boys and I just made loaded oatmeal cookies (with healthier modifications... hopefully I can share later this week) and since the recipe makes 5 dozen, I'll freeze some for healthy treats!

Here are a few tips that help me when things get tight:

~Buy sales! 2 weeks ago Sargento cheese was on sale for $2 at WalMart. I bought several packages of regular cheddar cheese since we use it often but I also bought a package of baby Swiss for future use. So, this week it comes in hand! Typically cheese has at least a month or 2 exp date on it, as long as you don't open it! So, stock up if you are able!

~Always take people up on their offers! My mom often calls and mentions to me when something is on sale at a store she often shops at. A few weeks ago they had chicken breast on sale and she asked if we needed any. Um, yes. Always. So, she bought 2 pkgs of chicken breast! They were put in the freezer and will be perfect this week! Such a blessing!

~Beans. Yes, beans. Dried beans. #1- they are cheap. #2 they are so healthy #3- they aren't in a can. I have greatly reduced our canned food consumption due to learning about BPA in the lining of cans. And pintos do NOT have to be soaked overnight. I make mine using the Pioneer Woman's method. So yummy and easy and good for you! And honestly, if I had my way, we'd just have beans and corn bread but I'm adding the pork chops that we didn't have last week to this meal.. for the meat lovers in the family!

~Meatless Meal. Like I said above, I'd eat beans and cornbread for dinner and be just fine. We do often have meatless meals. My favorites are pancakes w/ scrambled eggs, grilled cheese & tomato soup and Mexican tortilla pie. I also love potato soup in the winter! I really do need to come up with some more meatless meals!

~I would also add grow your own food, except that I don't unless you count the basil and tomato plant that I have in two pots in my front yard! But my Daddy does have a great garden and we are blessed to get lots of yummy stuff from him (corn and okra!). One day I'd like to have my own garden! I say, if you have the yard space... plant a garden. But well, you'll have to wait until next year. So, if you're lucky to know someone who's willing to share in their bounty.. take it! Oh and for fresh produce look for local food stands/markets. You'll often find much better prices! And you'll be buying local, fresher food!

Check out and for more menu planning ideas!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Banana Blueberry Muffins

Banana Blueberry Muffins

1 cup whole wheat flour*
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar**
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 medium ripe banana, mashed
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 375. In bowl mix flour, baking soda and salt together. Beat sugar and butter together; add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Mix in mashed banana. Gradually add in dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Fold in blueberries. Scoop about 1/4 cup of batter into paper lined muffin tins. This recipe makes 9 muffins and doubles well! Double and put half in the freezer for quick breakfasts! Bake muffins for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean!

The boys LOVED these and I was soo happy to give them such a yummy and good for them treat!

*I'm using King Arthur Unbleached White Whole Wheat Flour in my recipes and I love it! White wheat bakes up lighter than a red wheat, they also make an organic version but I haven't been able to find it around here.
**I used Rapunzel Pure Organic Whole Cane Sugar (Unrefined) in this recipe. It worked really well and tasted so good!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 7/12

Are you a menu planner?? Well you should be! It seriously helps to just take a few minutes a week to sit down and make out a weekly menu! You'll save time and money! And if you ever get in a rut, just hop over to Orgjunkie or Mindful Meals for a few new meal ideas!

We're eating with my parents Monday night so I'm planning 5 meals... and one night of leftovers and/or sandwiches!

Spaghetti w/ Meatballs, Green Salad

BBQ Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans

Scrambled Eggs, Hash Browns, Fruit

Turkey Burgers, Carrots and Broccoli with Homemade Ranch Dip

Chicken Nachos with fresh Salsa/Guacamole and Black Beans

What, no PIZZA of the week?? Well, we might just have pizza! But I'm kind of over it. Although someone shared with me a great tip that I'll have to share with you some time about homemade pizza!

I'm going to go back to loosely planning breakfast, lunches and snacks. So here goes:

Breakfast- Cereal, Homemade Blueberry Muffins, Blueberry Almond Coffee Cake (I'm using this recipe... but using ww* flour, full fat butter/milk, and unrefined sugar) Scrambled Eggs and Cheese, Fruit

Lunches- PB & J, Grilled Cheese, Cheese and Chicken Quesadillas, Leftovers

Snacks- PB Crackers (not the packaged variety.. just real PB on ww* crackers), Cheese Sticks (not the fried variety.. just cheese, in sticks), fruit (whatever looks yummy), Homemade Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Yogurt

*My WW stands for whole wheat.. not weight watchers. ;)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Let's do a project, Mommy!

It's been a while since I shared any of our crafts or 'projects' as Luke likes to call them, hence my title! Back in May, I decided that from June to July, we'd take a break from preschool activities but Luke started asking me about it. So, we started back up a little and have been doing some since! He just loves doing crafts and learning! So, I might as well take advantage of it! Not to mention that during the middle of the day it's just to hot to do anything outside!! So, these keep him busy! Below are a few pictures of the recent crafts that we've done. We've done the letters E and F and learned a little about different things that start with those letters. And yes, my pictures are backwards! We did E first, although it doesn't come first here! ;) I will have links to all of the crafts!

Here is Luke doing a letter Ff collage!

We also made a cute fish bowl for our alphabet book! Luke had a blast making it!

This week's memory verse is, "A friend loves at all times." Proverbs 17:17. This verse is also on the Song's for Saplings ABC CD, which I highly recommend! Actually you can enter a giveaway here to win a copy of the cd! I bought mine a while back and the boys and I love to listen to it! Updated to add: The printable verse is from Totally Tots.

Luke really loved playing this Elephant Sequencing game from Confessions of a Homeschooler!
Luke made this cute E is for Elephant (made grayish paint by mixing blue and brown) and we read a book on African and Asian Elephants!
This will look great in our alphabet book! I just LOVE these letter crafts! They always turn out soo cute!
Luke also did his very first color by number!! He did a great job!! We got the download at Confessions of a Homeschooler! Notice the wardrobe.. hat.. jacket.. in the middle of June.

And in preparation of the letter F we planted seeds to grow into flowers (now that's really confusing since I posted letter F first!)! The Hubs found these in the dollar section at Target! The sunflowers are growing great and hopefully tonight or tomorrow we can get them in the ground or into a bigger pot! Oh, and just so you know, in this photo Luke is wearing a sleeveless shirt.. with a puffy winter vest! And he wore it to run errands all morning! Silly kid!

Well, that catches us up on some of what we're learning about!