Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I will be taking a blogging break to celebrate our Saviour's birth with my family.  We will be enjoying an extended time of celebrating with family, and the kids have off of school until next year!

It is my prayer that you will have a wonderful, blessed Christmas.  As you ponder and celebrate the birth of our Saviour, May you have a happy and healthy holiday filled with the love of family and friends.

Joy to the world, the Lord has come.
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room,
and heaven and nature sing.

(One of my favorite Christmas Songs!)



Happy Birthday!

Happy 12th Birthday, Buddy!  We love you!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY~December 21, 2010
Outside my window... is winter in Wisconsin!
I am pretty it always looks after a snowfall
I am thankful children.  I read about a fellow blogging mommy who just lost her 22 month old boy.  I also have a 22 month old boy~born just 2 weeks prior to her's, and my heart is breaking for this family.
From the kitchen...lasagna
I am wearing...jeans and sweater
I am creating...nothing this week
I am enjoy this Christmas with our families
I am reading... Bible
I am praying...for guidance on a fairly big decision
I am hearing...little ones playing and watching The Wiggles
Around the house...things need to be picked up and I need to wrap some presents
One of my favorite things...Christmas!  I love so much about this time of year!
A few plans for the rest of the week...A Christmas program tonight for our only elementary school child, a birthday for our oldest son, church on Christmas Eve, spending time together with family this weekend.  We have family coming home from Michigan and we're all excited
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
our youngest daughter at her Church Christmas Program
For more daybooks, please visit Peggy at A Simple Woman's Daybook.  Thanks for stopping by.  Have a blessed Christmas!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Frugal Living~Do It Yourself Dishwasher Soap

Many months ago I found a recipe for do  it yourself dishwasher soap.  I have not bought any dishwasher detergent since.  It is simple to make and only requires 2 ingredients.  The recipe...

  • 1 Cup Borax
  • 1 Cup Washing Soda (NOT baking soda)
Mix together and fill your dishwasher's soap dispenser as you would with store bought detergent. 

As a side note, make sure your rinse aid dispenser is filled with a rinse aid.  The dishes come out very cloudy and filmy if you don't use a rinse aid.  Another frugal tip...use vinegar as a rinse aid.  I haven't bought rinse aid in years!

Have a great day!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Goals for 2011

Christmas isn't even here yet, and I 've heard people talking about new year's resolutions already.  I don't like to make resolutions~mainly because I've given up on them by the middle of January.  But I have been thinking a lot lately about goals I would like to set for myself and my family.  I like to set goals~things that I would like to accomplish for the year, not just a couple of months (or weeks!).  This is not my complete list, but here are a few things I have been pondering lately.

  • Sending birthday cards out each month.  I used to be soo good at this, even having them done at the beginning of the month so all I had to do was send them out as the birthday drew near.  Somewhere along life's journey, I started slipping on this, then stopped altogether.  I love to get birthday cards, so I am going to get back into sending out birthday cards to my family and friends.  We have a couple of birthdays in our family in January already, so I get to start right away.
  • Read the Bible every day in 2011.  Every year I say that this is going to be the year that I read through the entire Bible in that year.  I start out with a bang, then life happens and I feel like I'm behind.  Then I'm always trying to keep up and I'm reading just to say that I did it.  I'm not really applying the Word to my life and self, and this is just not a good way to go about reading the Bible.  So this year, I'm just going to say it is my desire to read from His Word daily.  Even if it is only a chapter.  Even if it is only a few verses.  Even if I don't finish the entire Bible in the year.  This is a more realistic goal for myself.
  • Monthly date night with my husband.  I really enjoyed going out last week alone together.  It has been years (yes, years!) since we went out without any children.   For several years I have been nursing babies, so the baby went with us.  Or we would take the older children and leave the little's with a babysitter.  While I still think it is good to have alone time with each child, I say we (hubs and I) need to get out alone together.  Even if all we do is go to get groceries, it would be time to be together and talk.  It will be good for our marriage.
  • Live healthier.  Everyone has the loose weight resolution, but I want to go farther than that.  Loosing weight is something that I want for myself, but I want to live a healthier lifestyle.  Exercising more and eating better is something that will be good for our entire family.
  • Family worship time.  We have devotions together after our dinner, but I would like to spend some extra time as a family reading the Bible, praying, and worshiping together.
  • Spend less.  'Nuff said!
  • Be more organized.
I'll have the entire list as the new year approaches.  Have you started thinking about goals for your 2011?  Have a great day!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY~December 14, 2010
Outside my window... Snowed this weekend, sunny today, but it was -2 degrees when I got up this morning!  I think think it may get up to 5 degrees today!  Yikes!
I am thinking...about the date night I had with my husband last Friday, and how we need to schedule that into our lives more often!
I am thankful for... my husband and good neighbors who all helped each other with the snow this weekend
From the kitchen...beef and potato casserole, applesauce
I am wearing...jeans and sweater~I need to find my slippers, my feet are cold
I am creating...burp cloths for some friends
 I am make lots of baked goodies this week!
I am reading... Bible, A Simple Amish Christmas by Vanetta Chapman
I am praying...for simplicity in our lives, for our family to be closer to one another, to follow God's Will in my life
I am hearing...little ones playing~I love that sound!
Around the house...Vaccuming done, sheets in the washer and towels waiting to go next, going to make some cookies
One of my favorite things...snow storms~it was great to sit at home with my husband and kids and spend time together.  My husband didn't exactly like the aftermath though!
A few plans for the rest of the week...A Christmas program tonight for our oldest two children, youth group tomorrow, music lessons on Thursday.  We're thinking about our annual Christmas light drive for this weekend.  We get in the van (kiddo's in their pj's), and drive around to see all the Christmas lights.  There is a business not too far away that has a great light show set to music.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
More from the snowstorm!
For more daybooks, please visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook.  Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great week!


Monday, December 13, 2010

Winter Wonderland!

This weekend we had a snowstorm that affected almost the entire state.  I love snowstorms.  I have a feeling of anticipation when a large amount of snow is expected.  Thankfully, it happened over a weekend, so there were no worries about driving in the snow.  We watched movies, had a lot of hot chocolate, slept in, and some of us stayed in our pajamas all day.  Overall, it was a good weekend!  Here are some pictures of the weekend!

 The same picture, only this time with the flash and you can see how much it is snowing!

 doesn't it look pretty??
 the neighborhood...

 it is hard to tell, but the snow drift on our deck is taller than our son!

 the kids love the snow....
 while daddy...not so much!

 my snowman!!  8)
This week looks a lot quieter, although it is going to be very cold.  The high today is only going to reach 5!!  Another good day to stay inside!  I am very thankful for my warm home!

Have a great week!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thankful Thursday!

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Happy Thursday!  Thankful Thursday!

The greatest gifts I have been blessed with is my children.  God has been very gracious to us and has blessed us with 5 children.  There was a time in our marriage we wondered if we would have any children at all.   Then we wondered why after 2 biological children, God was sending us on a journey across the world to bring our 3rd child home.  We were then blessed with 2 more children through birth.  Now we wonder what God has in store for us next...but that is another post!!  (No, no announcements are forthcoming!)

Today I am reflecting on the gift of adoption.  When I think about our adoption story, we can see God's hand at work in so many different ways.   From the financing to the flight over, from the paperwork to the placement, from beginning to end...He was with us.   We have so many things in our story to be thankful for.
But our adoption would not have been possible if our son's birth mom had not chose life for her child.  It would have been so easy for her to choose abortion.  She had so many reasons not to choose life for her child.   But she had one very big reason to give him life.  Love.  Like me, the minute I saw the positive line on the pregnancy test...I became a mom.  This was no longer my life, but our life.  Decisions no longer were made for me, but for us.   We felt a love so great for someone we had never met.  

 Today our son turns 8.  I am more thoughtful of his birth mom on this date each year.  And I am thankful for the gift she has given me.  So today we celebrate a special birthday in our family.  And we'll say a prayer for the woman who gave life to a precious gift from God.

It's a wonderful day.  And I am thankful!

For more thankful posts, or to participate, please visit this month's host, Iris, at Grace Alone.

Have a great day!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Frugal Living--Making Ground Beef Go Farther!

I learned this trick from Michelle, who sadly no longer has her website. She had a website called "Leaving Excess", and I learned many good tricks from her. Unfortunately, her website became the excess in her life and she let it go to concentrate on her family. But here goes for making your ground beef go farther.

You will need 8 pounds of ground beef...

I like to use a combination of ground beef and ground turkey.  The ground turkey is better for you, but it is also cheeper than ground beef (unless you can get ground beef at an excellent price!).

along with 2 onions, four carrots, and 6 celery stalks.

First, chop your vegetables into small pieces.

If you have a food processor, it would probably work wonderfully for this. I really wanted one, but really didn't want another small appliance in my kitchen. The first time I did this, I chopped all the vegetables by hand. It was very tiring to say the least. I found a hand chopper on clearance for $4, and almost ran to the checkout. The hand chopper works so nice. You can chop your vegetables into any size you wish. I used to chop them all sooo small, because I feared if my family knew that there were vegetables in their meat, they wouldn't eat it. Now they all know I do it (the carrots are a BIG giveaway!), so I don't stress about trying to chop them into invisible pieces!!

Place all your vegetables into a bowl and mix them up.

Start frying your hamburger with the veggies mixed in the meat.

Place the amount you desire into freezer bags. 

I like to put it into quart size bags, then place those bags into a gallon size bag.  Place in the freezer, and you are finished!  It is nice to have hamburger already made up, and just pull it out and thaw it.  I generally use ground beef for taco's and casseroles.  It took a couple of hours out of my day, but saves a huge amount of time from another day.  It also makes a huge amount of grease, so have a large bowl handy for draining the meat.

This also helps my grocery bill go farther.  I started with 8 pounds of meat, and when I was finished I had 12 packages made up.  I can't really say whether they were each exactly a pound or not, but I have what I know my family will need for meals.

I have also experimented with other vegetables in the ground beef.  I generally always use the carrots, onion, and celery; but sometimes I have been known to sneak something else into the meat.  The last time I made this I had a few mushrooms leftover that I chopped into it, and I have also chopped broccoli stems into the meat.  It is a good way to get some extra vegetables into your family's diet, and a good way to use up things that you may not have another use for.   I sometimes will add in some brown rice to the ground beef.  This really helps make the ground beef go farther.  As I said, we generally use ground beef for taco's or casseroles~ the rice in the ground beef works perfectly for the taco's, and if it is in a casserole, no one will probably ever know.  Try whatever you think would work for your family!

Have a great day!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY~December 6, 2010
Outside my window... SNOW!!  Very cold this week with windchills below 0
I am thinking...about some good points our pastor had in the sermon yesterday
I am thankful for... the health of my children.  I have heard a lot about ill children and I realized how much I took our health for granted
From the kitchen...lasagna and salad
I am wearing...jeans and sweater
I am creating...burp cloths for some friends
 I am get Christmas cards done this week and enjoy this holiday with our families
I am reading... Bible
I am praying...for simplicity in our lives, for some specific needs for a couple of friends
I am hearing...little ones playing and watching "The Magic School Bus"
Around the house...Christmas decorations up, thinking about moving our curio cabinet
One of my favorite things...spending time with my family~we had a great birthday party this weekend for 2 of our boys
A few plans for the rest of the week...a birthday for one of our kids, piano and guitar lessons, date night with hubby on Friday~it's been waaaay tooo long
Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Thanks for stopping by!  For more daybooks, please visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook.  Have a great week!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Baking!

I love baking, but at Christmas time, I really love baking!  Everything is better at Christmas, including the goodies.  This year, while I am trying to scale things back to just mildly out of control :), I want to try a few of my grandmother's recipies.  She loved baking at Christmas time also.  I got started today with our 2 littlest kiddo's.  I am waiting to do cutout cookies until all the kids are around, but today while the oldest 3 were at school we made Christmas tree cookies with the cookie press. 

Of course, the best part about cookie baking is licking the beaters!

Waiting patiently for them to come out of the oven...
And since the beaters have been licked clean, it's now time to start on the empty bowl....
....And finally enjoying the finished product!!

Yummy!!  Have a great weekend!