Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Madness: Play dates, well visits, and cakes! OH MY!

As you can see from the title, we have a busy day planned! I'm trying to sneak in a quick blog update while T watches Little Bear and L takes a little nap. Today, I am taking Sweet T to play at Ikea for the first time. My neighbor said that they have a fun little play area that's free. I like free! He likes playing. We both like our neighbors so when they invited us to go with them, we couldn't pass it up :) I hope he loves it! We are leaving Ikea, grabbing lunch on the run, and heading straight to L's well visit. I still can't believe my sweet baby boy is already 6 months old!!! I didn't think it was possible for him to grow up faster than his brother did. Both kids will get a shot today. Poor kiddos. We do not follow the AAP shot schedule, so thankfully L will only get two vaccines, one of which is oral. T will get his first Hep B vaccine, which part of me thinks I should skip all together. How would a two year old catch Hep B??? But J and I decided to go ahead and start those ones now. We cannot make all of his decisions as he grows up, and although we'd like for him to wait until he's married before having sex, and stay away from drugs all together, that's a choice that he's going to have to make. Scary!!! I don't like that at all! But it's life. And if he chooses a different path than we'd like, we want him to be protected. Why do I even have to think about these things already? :( Ok, back to our day. I have a friend who recently started decorating cakes. Have I mentioned on here that I decorate cakes too? With two babies at home, I really don't have a lot of time to dedicate to a cake business. Shoot, I can barely keep up with the things I have on my plate as it is! But we talked at church yesterday and I think it'd be a lot of fun to start a business together! I wouldn't have to commit as much time to it that way but still get to have fun doing something I'm passionate about. We are hoping to get together today to talk about ideas and see if we can really make this work. We want to start off slow and small, of course. I'm excited though! As if that's not a full enough day, I also want to start tagging the clothes that I'm selling at the consignment fair. It HAS to be done by 8 tonight. Yay for procrastinating!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Friday's Looking Good: Baby Bum edition!

Ha ha! Yep, that's right! This post is about how cute my kids bums look... in their new HOME MADE cloth diapers!!!! This was my Friday project and I'm so excited about it, plus I can only talk about my looks so much. I somehow convinced my mom to help me sew (and by help, I mean she had to do 90% of the work because I can't sew) a fitted cloth diaper and a cover. I cannot tell you enough how adorable they turned out! They are far from perfect, but soooo cute! And now we know how to do them and what to change, so they will look professional next time (Ha! Mom, ready for the next one??? You know you want to...) We started with a Large cover because it said 18-36 pounds. It definitely was not the correct size for Little L. It fits T, and almost fits me (LOL!!!). It's seriously huge. We used PUL and this pattern Here's a bunny we borrowed from my sister's room to model:

After we finished the cover, I made a fitted diaper following this pattern:
It was super easy! I actually did most of the work!!! My mom of course helped me with the hard parts, but I'm proud to say that I actually did one :) We used Batman material (flannel I think?) for the outside, and then terry cloth on the inside. CUTE! I'll edit this post with a picture once I get one. Unfortanately I don't have any baby safety pins, snappis, or snaps for this diaper, so I can't use it yet :( Oh well, I will figure something out soon because I cannot wait to try it out!

Thoroughly Clean Thursday: Time to declutter

A few times every year, there is a local children's consignment sale. This year, I'm thinking I'll try to sell some things! My kids have WAY too much stuff. I don't want them to be spoiled and there's really no need to have all of these toys. They don't even play with all of them. I also don't have room to store everything! So far, I've gone through their clothes. It's hard getting rid of some of these things. My kids wore these clothes when they were itty bitty, and now they're big and I miss the tiny little guys they used to be. I'm keeping my favorites. I don't know why it's so hard for me to get rid of these things. Some of them were never even worn by my kids but I can't help but think "This is cute! Maybe I'll actually put it on the next baby!" I wont. I'm kidding myself. Plus, now that we've switched to cloth diapers, a LOT of T's old pants will never fit L. L already has thick and chunky thighs. Add the "fluff" to his tush and there's absolutely NO WAY possible I'll get them up :) The consignment sale is next week so I really need to get a move on going through the rest of their stuff. If I can just motivate myself and get it done, I think we'd all feel a lot better. Less clutter means less mess, which means less stress! Anybody want to come over and do it for me???

Remember I told you that J sometimes describes me as a hoarder? It's moments like these that I think he may be on to something...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wednesday's Walk with God: Part 3, Tithing

Again, I'm late on this whole blogging thing. Maybe I need to give up the days of the week part and just write? Nah, I like this even if I'm always late. It fits the rest of my life. Ha!

God has been working on my heart with regards to tithing lately. A lot. He's been dealing with me and money in general, but especially tithing. Basically, I feel like God has been saying "Trust Me." and I've been saying, "yeah, I do. But we have two kids, only one income, a house payment, a car payment, hospital bills, and so on." God replies again with "Trust Me." "yeah, yeah, yeah, I do. Really, I trust You with my life, my kids, everything. But just let me deal with the money part right now..." Arguing with God never works (and I am not saying that God verbally talks to me like I'm writing it out. But He DEFINITELY has been "telling" me this) When J and I first married, we had nothing. Literally. We didn't even have jobs (some might think we were young and stupid... we were :) and looking back I wouldn't change a thing!). But we always made sure to give God first. Of course we quickly found jobs, even if they were only part time. We didn't need much back then. But even with very little, we tithed first. And God took care of us! Somewhere along the line, things changed. While we still tithed, it wasn't necessarily with our "first fruits" and more from what was left over. God doesn't want my left overs. He wants the first pick! Everything I have comes from Him and He doesn't ask for much in return. So J and I have decided that we need to start tithing more, to give God first and trust Him with the rest. A friend once said that this is an area where God tells us to test Him, so we are. Who should we tithe to? Well I feel like that's a very personal question that we each need to decide for ourselves. Our family goes to a church with some wealthy people. The church prints out the financial needs and how much has been given and more often than not, the church's needs are met. I don't always feel led to give to them, although I know others who strongly believe you should tithe to the church. I have lots of missionary friends, whether short or long term missions. I absolutely and completely love to give to missions! I have also enjoyed putting our money toward those who don't have much. For example, at Christmas time we like to "adopt" a child to buy presents for. As the kids get older, I'd like to have them really involved with this; maybe I'll let each kid pick out a child they want to buy presents for and then have them pick everthing out (we buy clothes, toys, and wintery things like hats and gloves). The past couple of weeks, I've felt like God has been placing on my heart to give to the homeless ministry at our church, so that's what we're going to do with a good portion of next month's tithes. I haven't decided yet if I should buy the things I think they need or just donate the money to the guy who heads that ministry, since he knows their exact needs better than I (side note: did you know that homeless people do not like to keep a lot of foods on hand? Even canned and non perishables. Seemed stupid to me at first, until I learned that if they have food, even in storage containers, squirrles come and eat it. Apparently squirrles can chew through almost anything!!! Even coolers. Crazy. But if you decide to go buy tons of stuff for homeless men and women, keep that in mind :))
So now that you've read what I have to say, let's look at what God has to say. Are you tired of reading yet? Lol, I told you that God has been working on me in this area! It's given me a lot to say! I did not gather these verses on my own. I googled it and just c&p from another site to my blog :) It's cheating I know, and probably a little bit of plagerism. Here's the site I got this from :

Proverbs 3:9-10

Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce; so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine.

Exodus 23:19

You shall bring the choice first fruits of your soil into the house of the Lord your God You are not to boil a young goat in the milk of its mother.

Ezekiel 44:30

The first of all the first fruits of every kind and every contribution of every kind, from all your contributions, shall be for the priests; you shall also give to the priest the first of your dough to cause a blessing to rest on your house.

Genesis 28:20-22

Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, and I return to my father's house in safety, then the Lord will be my God. "This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God's house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You."

Malachi 3:8-10

Will a man rob God Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, 'How have we robbed You ' In tithes and offerings. "You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.

Matthew 23:23

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.

2 Corinthians 9:7

Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Luke 12:33-34

Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Proverbs 11:24-25

There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered.

Galatians 6:7

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Lemon Chicken.

You may have noticed by now that I use my crock pot a lot. Probably at least half of my new recipes involve my crock pot because it's a lot easier to just throw a few ingredients in there than to spend lots of time trying to prepare a meal with two little ones at my feet (well, L is usually in his jumperoo, but he gets bored in there pretty quickly). Here is yet another crock pot recipe: Lemon Chicken! It's very good! J said that it tasted like a store bought rotisserie chicken, only better! We love rotisserie chickens, by the way. He gave it a 7.5. I'd give it an 8, or maybe even and 8.5. Yum Yum! Enjoy!

1 t dried oregano
1/2 t salt
1/4 t ground black pepper
2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 T butter
1/4 c water (I ended up using a lot more than this, though...)
3 T fresh lemon juice (does the stuff you buy at the store count as fresh? If not, then I didn't use fresh lemon juice, lol)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t chicken bouillon granules
1 t chopped fresh parsley

1. In a bowl, mix the oregano, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture into chicken. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken in butter for 3-5 minutes on each side. Place chicken in slow cooker.
2. In the same skillet, mix the water, lemon juice, garlic and bouillon. Bring the mixture to boil. Pour over the chicken in the slower cooker.
3. Cover, and cook on High for 3 hours, or Low for 6 hours. Add the parsley to the slower cooker 15 to 30 minutes before the end of the cook time.

Recipe from the allrecipes app on my phone :)

Monday Madness: Underwear

I know it's not Monday, but once again, I'm behind on my blogging, so you will (most likely) get three blog posts today. This one will be short though, because not a lot has changed in my kids since last week. They're both still totally amazing and wonderful and I think the world of them :) So instead of writing about them, I will just post a link to my sister's blog where she shares a story of my two year old. We are having a hard time keeping underwear on him these days. Here is what happened while she was over yesterday...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Weekend, woo hoo!

This is a picture of Sweet T learning the family business (my mom and I bake and decorate cakes) He helped me with Daddy's birthday cake back in January.

"The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe."
Proverbs 18:10

Friday's Looking Good: Doing ok.

Another late blog. Ha! Oh well, I guess at this point, no one is surprised :) Anyway, back to becoming beautiful... A couple weeks ago, I felt very insecure about my looks, then the following week I felt a lot better. Now I'm just kind of in the middle, and I kinda like it here! When I feel decent, I don't obsess over it. I haven't stepped on a scale lately, but I'm guessing I've lost at least a pound or two because my tight pants now fit me well. And my bigger pants are a little too big. Yay! That's a GOOD problem to have. But I still don't fit into my pre pregnancy clothes. I am also really happy with the length of my hair right now. Every couple of years, I get tired of my hair and have it all cut off (to about my chin). That look just doesn't look good on me. I don't know why I do it, and I regret it every time. Hopefully I'll remember that next time I get tired of my longer hair. My hair is now about shoulder level and I like it! I wish I could pull off really long hair again, but I just don't think it would work on me now. But this level is good. I look like a grown up but not too old. I can wear it down and it looks fine, but if I don't like it on my neck, I can pull it back. The boys and I are all ready for spring time! We are all excited to get outside and PLAY! Sweet T can get energy out, and J and I can get some exercise, which we are definitely missing. We LOVE family walks in the evenings! It's one of the things we miss most in the winter. We also want to get a double jogging stroller and start running. Hubs is trying to convince me to do a half marathon with him... I think he's crazy :) I'm also looking forward to my skin looking healthier. I am so dry right now! I hate it.

Even though I'm feeling content with how I look, I need to try a little harder... Especially when I'm out in public! It's not usually a good idea to wear pants covered in chocolate cake batter to gymnastics like I did this morning........ ;)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thoroughly Clean Thursday: Fail!

So after keeping my house clean for the month of January, I seem to have fallen off the bandwagon for February. This stinks. I feel like I'm starting over from the beginning again. Where'd my motivation go? How do I get it back? I wish I had magic cleaning fairies to come do it all for me ;)

Today has been better than most days recently. I came down stairs to a nice kitchen (not perfectly clean, but it still looked decent). Thanks Hubs! I have done a load of laundry, picked up quite a bit of clutter, dinner is in the crock pot, and I wiped down kitchen counters and the table. Sad that so little is more than usual, huh? My goal is to do another load of laundry, complete with folding and putting away, and then to dust. Most of tomorrow will be spent at my parents' house because I have a cupcake wedding that I will be working on, so no cleaning then either. Next week will be better... I hope :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wednesday's Walk with God: Money, part 2

The last time I blogged on a Wednesday, I wrote about money. Specifically, I listed Bible verses to help me have a better attitude regarding money and to encourage me to be content. Today, I'd like to write about spending money. There are once again two main points we have to consider. The first is that we need to be responsible with our money and the second is that we need to tithe. I'm only going to write about one today, because I'm exhausted and ready for bed :)
Let's talk a little bit about being responsible with our money. Before I start, I feel like I need to say that I'm not a very deep person. I will not say anything that will blow your mind. I just write what God is teaching me, which is usually just very basic stuff :) Ok, so responsibility. I believe that the Bible teaches us to be responsible with all that God has given us, including money. There is a parable about a master who gave three servants some money to take care of for him while he was away. Two servants were wise with their money and made more in return, while one servant hid his money and made nothing in return. The master was pleased with the first two and doubled their rewards. He was unhappy with the third and punished him (if I remember correctly, he fired him and sent him on his way with nothing...). There is another parable about a foolish son who begs his father for his inheritance early and then runs away and spends it all. He ends up losing everything, money, friends, home, and so on. This son gets a job feeding pigs, but it's barely enough. When he finds himself eating the pigs' food, he realizes how foolish he's been and decides to go ask his dad for forgiveness. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, but I completely and fully believe that God wants us to spend our money wisely. We should not go spending our money on every little whim. Those fancy diapers may be super cute, but should I really be spending $35 on a diaper when I already have enough? Do you really need that Starbucks coffee every morning? Is there something more important you should be spending your money on? Should you be preparing for your future instead? It's ok to have nice things, but think about what's really important. Maybe instead of buying another new dress that you will barely wear, you could give that money to your church, or the crisis pregnancy center, or even to a friend who is struggling (but be careful not to offend if you do that...). I'm rambling now, which is usually a sign that it's way past my bed time. Good night folks! Feel free to add your thoughts on how to spend (or save) your money wisely. What is God teaching you right now?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: A Different Kind of Recipe

As I've mentioned several times (and I'm sure you're tired of hearing...), the hubs was extremely sick last week. I didn't do a lot of cooking, if any at all. I spent most dinners at my parents' house. I definitely did not try any new recipes :) I found a sweet little recipe on-line though. I would love to share this one with you instead.

Recipe for a Happy Marriage:

1 C. of consideration
1 generous dash of cooperation
1 C. of courtesy
3 t. of pure extract "I am sorry"
2 C. of flattery carefully concealed
1 C. of contentment
1 gallon of faith in God
1 C. each of confidence and encouragement and each other
1 large or several small hobbies
2 C. full of praise
2 children at least
1 small pinch of in-laws
1 C. blindness to each other's faults
1 reasonable budget

Flavor with frequent portions of recreation and a dash of happy memories. Stir well and remove any specks of jealously, temper or criticism. Sweeten well with generous portions of love and keep warm with a steady flame of devotion. Never serve with a cold shoulder or hot tongue.

I do believe that love and appreciation for what we receive is a bond that is renewed over the breaking of bread. The joy of cooking, the pleasure of eating, the comfort of a good marriage.

This is more than a dish like spinach (something you eat it because it is good for you). It is soul food.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Monday Madness!

I realize that I have not been blogging much lately. Life has just been too busy. Hubs is FINALLY feeling better and went into work today! Hooray for him feeling better!!! Boo for his entire time home spent in bed. He has quite the busy day, too. He is a deacon at our church and in charge of a bathroom remodel that began today. He left bright and early to go unlock the church and get things ready for the contractor. Then off to work. When he leaves work, he's going straight to the church to check things out, do whatever needs done there, and then heading back to... work?!?! Yep, that's right. Church, work, church, work, and then home pretty late. I have the upmost respect for military wives, or any momma who does this alone day in and day out. Despite how busy I am and how much I'm NOT cut out for this type of parenting, I'm choosing today to be happy and rejoice in the new day that I get to spend with my kids...regardless of how crazy they make me :)

Sweet T: Sweet T continues to try to show us who's boss. It seems like a never ending battle. He is becoming very independant too and wants to do everything on his own (unless it's something he sees us doing for his brother). It requires a lot of patience on our end, which is something I have very little of these past few weeks. It also requires consistentcy, even when I'd rather just let things slide for one night. I KNOW that this is an important stage for him and that this is how he will learn that our behaviors have consiquenses and all that good stuff. I also KNOW that it's good to let him do things on his own, to figure it out and become an independant little guy. I just wish that I had the enegry and patience to help him through this ever so important phase of life.
He has shown a lot of growth in his relationships to peers this past week. For the first time, I saw him playing with someone. Not just next to this child, but with him. I was so proud of him. He's really growing up. He also went to his second birthday party this weekend. It's really cute to see him interacting with other kids. He doesn't cling to us and is involved with whatever activity is going on. He seems to prefer to play with older kids, as in elementary school age kids, rather than kids his own age.
On a slightly grosser note, he ate a red cupcake at church last night. Guess what color his poop was this morning. Nasty!!! But kinda funny too.

Little L: Little L has also matured quite a bit recently. He's like a new baby! He has discoved his hands and tries to grab everything! His favorites right now are hair and anything on T. Poor T gets grabbed a lot, but he doesn't seem to mind. L tries to grab plates and cups on the table, T's toys, blankets, fingers, anything other than baby toys really, lol.
He has also become a pro at rolling from his back to his belly. Diaper changes have become a bit of a challenge, and sometimes he screams like crazy because he gets stuck. But I LOVE it! You can tell that he is so proud of himself by the huge grin on his face each time he does it. Occasionally, he figures out how to roll back onto his back. The days that he "gets" it, he goes back and forth, back and forth, all day long. It's so much fun to watch. Then it's like he forgets how to do it the next day. I've also seen him try to scoot. He is just so determined to get things. Maybe he's more like his brother afterall :) It wont be long before he's mobile. While my job as Mommy will continue to get harder and harder as he figures things out, I can't wait! This is my absolute favorite stage so far! Everything is so new and exciting. You can see the little wheels turning in their heads as they try to figure it out. I just love it!

I could talk about my kids all day long. I really think they're great! And today, as I choose to focus on all of their wonderful qualities, I encourage you to do the same with the people YOU love. I'm sure your kids, spouse, parents, or whoever drive you just as crazy as my guys drive me, but I wouldn't trade this for the world!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thursday: My wonderful hubby!

My house is a disaster. I am still playing "single mommy" while my husband tries to recover from this nasty, horrible flu that has my poor man stuck in bed. Actually, I've seen him more today than I have in the past week. Yay! But that doesn't change the fact that I've been handling everything on my own for what seems like forever. With my hubby practically disabled (I'm possibly exaggerating... just a tad though), I can see very clearly how much he helps me out. My hubby really is amazing. Since my house is currently a mess, I thought I'd dedicate this week's cleanliness post to all the work J does. Most husbands do the manly chores like car maintenance and trash. Mine does those things too. He does more than that, though. A lot more! He does all of the dishes. Yes, you read that right. He does ALL of the dishes. There are two reasons why. The first has to do with his love for me (I absolutely hate dirty dishes. They are so nasty to me) and the second is because he is a little OCD about it and re-does everything when I try to help him with them :) I won't complain though. I'll let him correct me all he wants (with regards to the dishes) if he continues to do them for me. I hate dishes! He also does a lot of laundry. I have taken over some in this area, but he still helps me out a lot. He used to do all of the laundry for us. Never complained or asked me to help out either. Isn't he sweet? Then I started doing more and more. Part of me thinks he enjoys it. He even asked me to leave his clothes, or at least his work clothes, for him to do. OCD kicking in again ;) If the house is a little cluttered when I go to bed, he straightens up before I wake up. If I leave crumbs on the kitchen table, he wipes them off. It's not unusual for him to vacuum, sweep, cook, put clothes away, and so on. In fact, he is willing to do everything except the bathrooms. It's true. My husband does it all! I'm not saying he does it all on a daily basis, but he's always willing to. There have been plenty of times in our 5 years of marriage that he HAS done it all for extended periods of time (like after a baby is born...). What can I say? He spoils me! And do you want to know how often he has complained about it? Never. Well, ok. Maybe a few times, but usually only when I complain that he isn't spending enough time with us as a family because he spends all his time working or cleaning (he is a much cleaner person than I am). My point is, he not only cleans, but he does it joyfully. He knows that I am busy with the kids all day and respects how much time and energy I devote to them. I'm pretty sure he doesn't mind me pitching in more, though... as long as I leave the dishes and his work clothes alone ;)

J-Mo, I love you! Thank you for taking care of us! Now hurry up and feel better soon! I miss my house keeper...I mean...umm... partner. Lol, kidding :) You're the best though!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tasty Tuesday:Kabobs! Or something like it...

I know it's not really Tuesday, but like I said on Monday, it's been a hard few days. Anyway, Tuesday my sister came over to cook with me. We decided to make Kabobs. So we found a recipe that sounded good on All recipes and decided to give it a try.
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 pinch ground ginger
2 red bell peppers, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 large sweet onion, peeled and cut into wedges
1 1/2 cups whole fresh mushrooms
1 pound beef sirloin, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into cubes
1.In a large resealable plastic bag, mix the teriyaki sauce, honey, garlic powder, and ginger. Place red bell peppers, onion wedges, mushrooms, beef, and chicken in the bag with the marinade. Seal, and refrigerate 4 to 24 hours.
2.Preheat grill for medium-high heat.
3.Discard marinade, and thread the meat and vegetables onto skewers, leaving a small space between each item.
4.Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill skewers for 10 minutes, turning as needed, or until meat is cooked through and vegetables are tender.
Without reading the directions, we wrote down the ingredients and headed off to the store. We made a few of our own adjustments because we don't like mushrooms or ginger. We also added a green pepper. Once we got home, we got started. That's when we realized that you're supposed to marinade the food for 4-24 hours! Whoops! We definitely didn't have 4 hours... more like 40 minutes. Oh well, we'll do it anyway. We started up the George Forman, and then realized that we didn't have skewers either. Ha! This is pretty much how a normal cook experience goes when we're together :) We cooked it as it was. So basically, here's OUR recipe:
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 red bell peppers, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 large sweet onion, peeled and cut into wedges
1 green pepper
1 pound beef sirloin, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into cubes

Mix the teriyaki sauce, honey, and garlic powder in large zip lock bag.
Add peppers, onion, steak and chicken as you cut them into pieces, and mix often.
Heat grill to medium/high
Cook for about 10 minutes, turning as needed.

Believe it or not, it turned out really good even though we didn't marinate it! Stacy gave it an 8, Jason gave it a 7, and I gave it a 7 1/2, I think it would have been even better if we had done it the correct way :) Enjoy!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday Madness: True madness here!

Hubby is very, very sick.
Sweet T is cranky, whiny, and unusually disobedient (as in, moreso than his average self. I expect a little disobedience from a two year old, but this is a bit much).
Little L is CLINGY and extra needy tonight
Momma, me, well, I'm not feeling great either but thankfully not as sick as the hubs. You could pretty much use the same words to describe me as I used to describe Sweet T. Cranky, whiny... yup.

I don't think I need to go on any further. You can pretty much tell how my day has gone just from that little bit of info.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thoroughly Clean Thursday: Vinegar

So a few years ago, I used to roll my eyes at people who were conscience about chemicals and all things "crunchy granola." I thought that people overreacted a lot and that they should not make a big deal out of it. So many people use chemical based products and are just fine. However, I find that as I get older and research more about what is best for my children and family, I am becoming one of those people. It started with being determined to deliver my babies without any medical interventions. I know many people use epidurals or other pain management during child birth, and I'm sure if I had long labors that involved pitocin or other extreme circumstances, I would have ended up with one. I'm not trying to say anything negative about medication because I know sometimes, it really is necessary. For me, however, it was best to go natural. Anyway, next came vaccines. Again, I wanted to limit medications entering into my babies little, delicate bodies. We get some vaccines, and eventually they will have all of them, but I see absolutely no reason why my one day old newborn needs to be vaccinated against an STD. I moved from there to making my own baby food, and then on to cloth diapers and wipes(something I swore I'd never do...). What does this have to do with cleaning? Well, my new obsession to do things as "crunchy" as possible has moved on to the way I choose to clean. I am now using vinegar. Yep, that's right. From now on, I am going to use that stinky stuff. It's great though! And it really doesn't smell THAT bad. I have a spray bottle filled with half vinegar and half water, and then a smaller spray bottle filled with just water for Sweet T to use (but don't tell him that it's different than mine:)). I feel safe with it. I do not worry about nasty chemicals coming into contact with my precious babies. Sweet T can help me as much as his little heart desires, where as before he could only help with dry wipes and such. You can also scrub the shower with it! Just sprinkle with baking soda and then spray with vinegar. It can unclog drains. Again, sprinkle with baking soda and pour vinegar down the drain, wait a little while and then pour boiling water down the drain. I have seen websites that list other ways you can use it to clean too. Added benefit: it's cheap!

Disclaimer: I still roll my eyes at a lot of "crunchy" things people do. While I believe that God commands us to care for the earth He created for us, I think people take it too far. I do what I do because it's best for my CHILDREN, not because I want to save the planet or anything.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wednesday's Walk with God: Money

I decided to write about money today, mainly as a reminder to me of how we should handle our money. I have been a little stressed out over money lately and I feel like I need a reminder from Scripture.

First, I need to look at my attitude toward money. I should be careful not to make it too big of a deal, an idol if you will.
Mark 4:19
But the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

Mark 8:36
For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?

1 Timothy 6:9-11
But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness

Secondly, I need to remember to be content. Money does not meet my needs, GOD does!

1. Philippians 4:19
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Ecclesiastes 5:10
Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.

Matthew 6:31-33
“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Philippians 4:11-13
For I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances may be. I know now how to live when things are difficult and I know how to live when things are prosperous. In general and in particular I have learned the secret of eating well or going hungry of facing either plenty of poverty. I am ready for anything through the strength of the One who lives within me.

1 Timothy 6:7-10
For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Hebrews 13:5
Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have.

I wanted to write more regarding money, but I'm tired and I have a cranky baby. I will try to finish my thoughts on this next week. Have a great night, everyone!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Monday and Tuesday, because I am having a hard time finding time...

Monday Madness: Jan 31 (actually written on Tuesday the 1st of Feb)
This past weekend, hubs was sick. He's actually still feeling pretty icky, but that's besides the point. He needed to get as much rest as he could so I took the kids out with my mom. My fabulous neighbor told me about a local gymnastics place that has open gym on Saturdays. My 2 year old was wild and so disobedient for the past least... I decided it would be good for ALL of us to take him somewhere where he could get some of that energy out. Let me tell you, that was one of my best parenting decisions ever! Lol, ok, maybe not quite ever, but still a great decision. Kiddo swung on a rope, jumped on a trampoline, RAN RAN RAN all over the place, and best of all, jumped into a foam pit. I jumped in too. It was fun! When we left, he was back to his normal, sweet, and obedient self. Oh how I had missed that boy! I'm glad he's back :)
Little L has been cranky lately. I feel bad for him. I think he's working on teeth. I'm not a big fan of teething. It breaks my heart to see him so miserable. His infant car seat quit working on us for some reason. It wont latch in properly without a fight. It also makes us fight to unlatch it. Good think BRU is having their trade in sale! We took it in and got 25% off a new big boy car seat. I have been dreading this day. I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to carry both kids, along with our stuff, to and from the car. We have a billion steps out front and I am scared to death of ice. I was really hoping we'd make it through the winter with that carrier. Oh well though. L is just about 20 lbs anyway, so it would have only lasted another month anyway.

Tuesday: Chocolate icings (X2) :) YUM!

Chocolate cream cheese icing:

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1.Melt chocolate and the butter together. Let cool and blend in the sour cream, vanilla, and salt. Gradually add the confectioner's sugar until the frosting is of spreading consistency, beat well.

I'm not a big fan of cream cheese, but if I were, I think I'd love this recipe! It was really easy to make and looked great! Spread on the cake nicely too. J does not like cream cheese either, but my mom really likes this icing.

Texas Chocolate Frosting:
1/2 cup margarine
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.Melt margarine over a low heat. Gradually beat in cocoa, sugar, milk and vanilla, mix well.

Yum! Yum! Yum! I love this one! It's very sweet...too sweet for some. But I love it. J loved it too. He gave it an 8.5. I need to keep looking for a chocolate icing recipe that my mom and I can agree on (she is not a huge fan of this one), but this will be my go to recipe for my home cakes. Why are we trying all of these chocolate frostings? Because we are doing a cupcake wedding cake and the groom wants chocolate frosting. Yay for having another wedding cake!!!