Friday, September 30, 2011

Recipe Friday - Pulled Chicken and Slaw Sliders

You may recall me talking about kick-off Sunday for football and the good food we had that day.  We had lots of snacks but we also had a "main dish" which was Pulled Chicken and Slaw Sliders.  They were super easy and so good!

Pulled Chicken and Slaw Sliders
adapted from : Recipe Shoebox

I turned these "sliders" into full size sandwiches by using regular hamburger buns.  Also, I did not use the rotisserie chicken but rather put some chicken thighs in the crock pot with chicken broth and seasoning in the morning so it was ready to shred for sandwiches later in the day.

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbs. dill pickle juice (from a jar of pickles)
2 Tbs. cider vinegar
2 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
1 (16-oz) package shredded coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage)
1/2 cup green onion

1 cup favorite BBQ sauce
3 Tbs. cider vinegar (we left this out completely)
3 cups roughly shredded rotisserie chicken

1 pkg. (12) mini-hamburger buns (I used 8 regular-sized hamburger buns)
To prepare slaw, in a large bowl whisk all ingredients together, except coleslaw mix and green onion. Add coleslaw and green onions and toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve

To prepare chicken, combine BBQ sauce, vinegar, and chicken in a glass bowl. Microwave about 3-minutes or until thoroughly blended.
To serve, place chicken mixture on bun bottoms. 
Spoon slaw on top of chicken.

Place remaining bun halves on top.
So very yummy!!!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Flylady (A New Mini-Series)

Welcome to my first attempt at a mini-series of sorts.  I have spoken about my love for Flylady often over the course of this blog but it has always come in bits and pieces instead of really giving you a birds eye view of what she is all about.  The best place to learn everything there is to know about Flylady is at the the Flylady website.   I am not about to take away any of her "thunder" but, rather, I'm going to share some of her basic ideas along with what I've learned along my journey with this system. 

I first met the Flylady about 8 years ago.  A friend of mine told me about this great site that helped you totally organize cleaning your home.  Well, I heard the words "organizing" and "cleaning" and was already hooked.  This 8 year journey has been just that, a journey.  I learned what worked for me and what didn't work for me plus, along the way, I started to understand the program more and more which made it easier.  I have "fluttered" my way through a few years and finally feel like I'm "flying" for once. 

Where to begin?  Well, with babysteps, of course!  If you feeling overwhelmed by your home, please take time to pop over to THIS page and read the Flylady's encouraging words.  Baby steps are just that, one small thing at a time.  If you are like me, you'll read step one and say "Seriously, that is all you want me to do", than you'll look at steps 2-10 and try to do them all.  All I can say is  . . .don't.  This system works if you take it one step at a time. 

Baby Step 1:  Clean Your Sink.  That's right, just clean your kitchen sink.  Put out a clean towel, and make sure that there isn't a dirty dish in that sink!  If you click on that link, it will take you to the Flylady page where she gives detailed instructions on how to clean your sink.  It really does work.  Now, I don't do this step in detail anymore - at least not how she describes.  For my stainless steel sink, I have found that Liquid Barkeepers Friend works miracles. 
I usually clean my sink twice a week with this cleaner.  The other days, I just wipe it out before running the dishwasher at the end of the day.  Periodically I do take a toothpick or skewer and use that to clean around the edge of the sink as well (you know - that little lip that catches all the junk!)   I do work really hard to leave my sink empty at the end of the night but it doesn't always happen.  I hate washing dishes so if anything doesn't fit in the dishwasher, it waits for the next day :-) 

Honestly, if you have never done this, it will amaze you how good it feels to walk into a clean kitchen - or at least a clean sink area - in the morning.

You are now done with day one of your Flylady Journey :-)  

Step 2:  Get Dressed to Lace Up Shoes.  Flylady is HUGE on getting dressed "to your shoes".  Basically, it is the simple concept of getting up in the morning, getting ready, and getting clothes on, right down to your shoes.  By wearing shoes, you are ready for anything - an emergency, taking out the trash, or chasing the dog down. 

Now, this is reality in my life . . .I don't wear shoes in the house.  I really don't like wearing shoes.  Instead, I keep a pair of flip flops, crocs, or other slip on shoes by the back door so I can easily put them on when ever needed.  With little hands under foot, I don't want to step on them either.  So, for me, I get dressed to my . . .bare feet :-) (I don't even like to wear socks - even in the winter!!) 

(And remember to clean your sink at the end of the day - now you have two steps down! FYI - you don't have to bleach your sink every night, just that first night.  The rest of the nights you just wipe it out and leave a clean towel ready for the next day)

Step 3: Is simply to do what we have already done.  That's right, on day 3, just do those first two things again and you are on your way to success. 

Next week, I'll talk about a whole group of steps that have to do with writing some things down and finding hot spots.  This will also start the bare bones of a control journal (I call it my Home Management Journal) 

So . . go clean your sink :-)

What I'm Reading

Olivia's Touch  by Peggy Stoks

Synopsis: Local healer Olivia Plummer is excited to learn that a doctor is coming to the tiny frontier town of Tristan, CO, but her excitement turns to antagonism when Dr. Ethan Gray demands her arrest for practicing medicine without a license. However, within the week, the good doctor manages to cut his hand so badly that Olivia is the only person who can treat it. Seeing a chance to bring the two together, the sheriff orders Olivia and Ethan to work together until his hand mends. Olivia's simple faith in a God who heals touches Ethan's soul and heart, and he realizes his actions may keep Olivia from healing others, as Colorado passes a law prohibiting anyone without a license from practicing any kind of healing. Unfortunately, Olivia comes across as a saint, while Ethan is the obnoxious, know-it-all doctor, which leaves the reader wondering why they end up together

My Review: I would like to clarify that though Olivia Plummer is deemed as a "healer" - the term really refers more to a midwife who has learned how to treat other illnesses and injuries.  She is natural at what she does.  I would also like to disagree with the above Synopsis - I did not feel that Olivia came across as a saint; nor Ethan as obnoxious.  Rather, I saw how each one changed throughout the story due to the influence they had on each other.  There was a bit of a mystery in the book that took me most of the book to figure out.  This is book one in a series and I'm hoping to pick up books 2 and 3 at some time so I can read those as well.

My Rating: * * *  I really enjoyed reading this book and would easily pick it up to read it again in the future. 

A Untamed Land by Lauraine Snelling (Book 1)

Synopsis: She had promised herself that once they left the fjords of Norway, she would never look back.
The promise of free land lures Roald and Ingeborg Bjorklund from their beloved home high above the fjords of Norway, and after three long years of scrimping and saving to buy tickets for their passage to America, they finally arrive at the docks of New York City. This new land promises a rich heritage for their children, and here they hope to build a good life.

After a long journey by train and then by covered wagon, the Bjorklunds finally arrive in Dakota Territory, where they settle on the banks of the Red River of the North. But the virgin prairie refuses to yield its treasure without a struggle. Will Roald and Ingeborg be strong enough to overcome the hardships of that first winter?

Proud of their heritage and sustained by their faith, they came to tame a new land

My Review:  Very simply, my review for this entire series will be the same - I love this series of books.  Lauraine Snelling is a wonderful author who is able to paint a picture of what is happening in the story.  You feel like you love the characters and fight for them at times. 

My Rating: * * * * *   Yes, 5 stars.  As I said, this series is fantastic!  I would recommend them to anyone! 

A New Day Rising  by Lauraine Snelling (Book 2)

Synopsis: The dream of their own farmstead and a good life in America had brought Roald and Ingeborg Bjorklund across the Atlantic to pioneer the virgin prairie of Dakota Territory. But Roald's tragic disappearance in a winter storm had turned Ingeborg's dreams into a living nightmare. Against nearly impossible circumstances and overwhelming grief, she struggles to keep the farm and her family together.

When spring appears, Roald's distant cousin Haaken arrives to help with the heavy field work, and Ingeborg is able to once again concentrate her efforts on home and children. After the bleak winter, she cannot ignore the joy that Haaken brings to their lives or the attraction she begins to feel toward him. When Roald's brother from Norway also arrives to help the family, things become very complicated around the simple prairie dwelling!

He reminded her of a Viking of old--
could he be persuaded to stay

My Review AND Rating: My Review is the same as above AND so is the rating!  If you are looking for a great series to read, pick this one up!  I'm currently reading book three :-)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

120 Day Challenge - Phase One, Marriage

Several months ago, I started reading this book entitled "It Starts at Home" by Kurt Brunner and Steve Stroope.  After finishing the first section titled, "Intentional Couples".  This chapter talks specifically marriage; how to redefine love, release expectations, refine communication, reboot forgiveness, and reignite intimacy.  There are some really great truths surrounding each of those 5 "R"'s that will help strengthen your relationship with your spouse.

At the end of the section the authors presented a 120 day challenge. First, they ask you to think back over the last 120 days and gave a list of 8 things to mark off if you have done them during that time frame. There is also a grading scale.  I will admit, that based on their scale, my marriage would receive a "D" which is kinda close to failing but, take it into perspective.  This little quiz is pretty specific and not about your overall marriage; more about what are you doing intentionally within your marriage to make it stronger.  Life gets busy, doesn't it? 

The next section is the actual challenge. The author lists 7 different ways to accept the challenge (or you can come up with your own) but the point is to choose one thing and do it completely (or intentionally) for the next 120 days.  I chose to add a date nights.  At several points in our marriage, we would have weekly date nights, normally on Friday, and for a long time we took turns planning them so that the other person was surprised.  Kids, time, jobs, money - those things kind of put date night on hold.  Periodically we would do something but it was hit or miss.  Starting in September, I have been working on planning 2-3 date nights a month.  In my plan, I'm trying to do one thing very specifically as a family of four (kids can be part of dates too!), one at home date and, if at all possible, one "out on the town" date.  Earlier this month, my parents had the kids for a weekend so we did two things 1) We went out to dinner with some great friends.  This wasn't a "just us" date, but it was so enjoyable to sit and have dinner with some adults that we truly enjoy hanging out with - something we seldom get to do due to our schedules.  2) Since our friends treated us, we actually got to go out to dinner on Saturday evening with the money we had planned for Friday :-)   Sometimes, it is nice to eat out without kids! .   On a recent Friday evening, we took the kids and headed to the park - talk about family fun!  We laughed, ran through playground stuff, tried not to throw-up while Josh rode the merry-go-round (uuggg!) and just had fun being kids with our kids!  Finally, I am in the midst of planning a movie date night at home .. .but that will get pushed to October because we have run out of free Friday or Saturday evenings in September!!  But that's ok.  The whole point is that I am being intentional with my planning.  As month one (or the first 30 days) comes to an end, I feel like I have done something more than what we were doing so that is a good thing!  Now, on to October!

This is really a great book so far.  I'm just started reading the chapter on being Parents but am not in a rush, I want to finish the marriage 120 day challenge prior to beginning the parenting challenge anyway.  (And FYI - the last section is on being Grandparents - so this is a book for any age!)

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I'm loving . . . that I got to go scrapbooking for the majority of the day on Tuesday.  I got a lot done and got a break from my normal, every day routine.

I'm loving . . .rainy days . . or nights.  I would love a rainy day, actually, but I'll settle for listening to the rain in the evening.

I'm loving . . . my new hair . . three colors . .. something new for me but so much fun!

I'm loving . . . that my fantasy team is doing so well :-)  I'm such a proud owner!

I'm loving. . . that both of my boys make very funny facial expressions - they are getting funnier by the day!

What are you loving today? 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Too Cute Not To Toot!

Check out these great ideas I found out in blog land this week :-)  So much cute stuff . . .where do people find the time!

This is a really great game idea for the fall from A Little Tipsy.  It is super simple idea that could be played inside or outside.
The Diary of Dave's Wife shares this great printable for Halloween - right now it is free but get it while it's hot because it will move to her Etsy Shop eventually!
Last year I found lots of wreath ideas and, eventually I hope to have a wreath (or two) for each month so when I saw this one - I loved it.  It is easy and inexpensive - check it out over at Alderberry Hill.
This idea from Holiday Snobs is super cute.  It wouldn't really work with the way my house/porch is set-up now but someday, maybe I can use it!
I love this idea for my dining room - yes, I have a ceiling fan over my dining room table but we need it otherwise, in the summer, we could not sit in that room.  BUT I hate the light fixture - this would make it so much better :-)  Check out the simple idea over at A Turtles Life for Me.
How about some food ideas?  Don't these Candy Corn Cheesecake Mousse's (Mice, Mouse? how do you say that?) from Glorious Treats look yummy!
I really love this pennant idea from A Step in the Journey not only because I like the "Fall" idea but because she gives a super simple tutorial on how to make the banner that you could use for any holiday or special occastion!

Check out these cute (and easy) Candy Corn blocks that you can make !  Sassy Sites makes it look so fun too!

I saw this idea for a desk over at Ana White Homemaker and thought it was perfect.  One of my boys has a very small room and, as he grows, I've thought already about how to make the best use of the space.  This desk would be a perfect solution :-)  The plans for building the desk are included in the post :-)

That's it for this week :-)  Hope you got a little inspired!


Monday, September 26, 2011

My Garden

You may remember that way back in the spring, before the putrid hot, humid days of summer that almost killed me, or at least caused me to melt into a puddle of sweatiness, I planted a garden.  It is something that I had wanted to do for a few years.  Just a few things that we could use as they ripened, nothing big and nothing that was a ton of work.  I planted my little garden (very late because . . well, I'm like that) and then, waited for it to grow. 

Here is what is left of my garden - just the small little thing that it is :-)  I'm sure you are wondering what I grew, right?  Well, this is what I grew according to my kids:  tatoe's, hots, yunions, and . . . bananas.  Yep, you read that right.  Allow me to clarify.  "Tatoe's" are . . .tomatoes.  I grew cherry tomatoes, which the boys LOVED to pick and full size tomatoes.  We tried to teach them to wait until they were red but . .. they were just too excited.  There are tomatoes all over my yard . . . hard and green but they were picked with love :-)  "Hots" are Jalapenos.  Darryl told the boys not to pick them because they are "hot" so therefore they become "hots" and yes, they still picked them, carried them to me and would say "momma, hots!"  "Yunions" are . . .onions.  They loved pulling them out of the ground.  Just last week, Josh came walking in the kitchen carrying two "yunions" and promptly threw them in the garbage HA!  Finally, bananas.  So, the banana's grow on vines and are long, a little prickly and taste a lot like cucumbers but don't tell my kids that :-)

A few things I learned. 
1) You need to water your garden especially when you get no rain for a long time and it is really hot.
2) Tomatoes will take over your garden.  Next time, we will stake them for sure!
3) Eggplant will not grow if the Tomatoes overtake them.
4) I should probably weed more often. 
5) Next time, I should plant it earlier so that the veggies actually get ripe before we have frost again (or my kids pick them)

Am I happy with my garden?  Absolutely because I had one main goal and that was to get my kids interested in what was growing outside.  They constantly were asking to pick "tatoes" so I think I succeeded.  I look forward to next year when I can do some things differently but also so that they can learn more how to pick things and maybe, just maybe, they will eat the veggies instead of throwing them away!

The kids LOVED the big tomatoes so much they HAD to pick them to show me!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tot Time - Apples Apples week 2

Before sharing what we did this past week, I want so share some really cute ideas that you could use with your kids.  The would make great Rainy Day or Saturday activities too! 

This is a super cute counting game just right for the season from The Princess and the Tot.  The best part?  She supplies the printable!  (Yes, another adventure basket activity we will be doing in October!)
The Princess and the Tot also shares some great ideas in a post about the letter "D" - I really like the color matching activity she shows using the Dot-to-Dot markers.

My kids were at my parents part of this week so we didn't get through as many of the items from Apples unit so I am going to carry it over to next week and skip the Leaves unit for now. 

Today I had planned to pick back up with some of our Apple pages but, my kids found some games I had hidden  put on the shelf so we played with those instead.

This game is called "Colorama" and there are a bunch of different ways to play.  Today, I just let Josh match up the shapes to the board.  He matched color to color too so it was great!

This game is called "Lucky Ducks" and the point is that the kids are to pick a duck (they move around in the water) and if it matches the shape that they are sitting in front of, they keep the duck, otherwise they put it back.  The first person to 3 wins.  Granted, they just liked putting the ducks on and then slapping them across the room!

Nate figured out Colorama - he could match shape to shape but didn't worry about color. 

This is Nate trying to play and Josh saying "Mine, Mine, Mine" Yes - we are in THAT stage!

We also played an ABC matching game but I didn't get any photos. 

After lunch, Josh and I went outside while the little boys napped.  I took my Bible and Notebook outside to have my devotions.  Once I had written down my verses for the day, this is what happened:

Isn't that awesome?  Josh took my Bible and sat on the porch for a good 30 minutes just going through it page by page.  I told my accountability group today that as much as I like to have my quiet time be ... . quite, I also think that having my devotions in front of my kids, where they can ask me what I'm doing, take my Bible, and even draw in my devotional journal is a way to teach them by example.  How else will they know that I spend time with God daily if they don't see it?? 

Tot School

Classified: Mom

Weekly Menu - September 24

Hello once again!  Been a crazy few days so I'm kinda scrambling to get this posted!  I had wanted to post a link to my actual menu and to recipes but . . .well, I just want to get it up for you to see :-) 

Saturday - Today was my Mother-in-law's 70th birthday party so we all went out to eat at a great Italian place . . .well the food was great, the service was lacking . . .but the family time made up for it!

Sunday -  Chicken Thighs, Mac and Cheese, Peas, Biscuits for lunch; Paula's Chicken Nuggets, left over dips from the family party (that we didnt' use - long story).

Monday - Just the kids and I so Buttermilk Waffles, Sausages and Low Fat Grape Salad

Tuesday - I will be gone all day Scrapbooking but I'm leaving Amish Breakfast Casserole and Overnight Coffee Cake for my mom to cook for the family.  Plus there were be Grape Salad left.

Wednesday - Stuffed Shells with Cheese, Garlic Bread, and left over salad or veggies depending on what we have left from the week

Thursday: Chicken Alfredo Pizza, Pillsbury Breadsticks

Friday: A friend of mine is scheduled to deliver her baby at the end of the week so we are planning on visit the new little bean as well as attending Art Prize so we will grab something quick and cheap to eat!

That's it this week - a little boring, actually!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Weight Watchers Saturday

I would like to say that I had huge success this past week but, well, I had kinda success :-)  I did not follow my lunch plan on Monday or Tuesday - on Monday, I ate a big breakfast and then did not eat lunch because I was full.  Tuesday, my kids came home so I just threw a couple of pizzas in the oven and we ate those instead.  BUT, I did actually make recipes I had planned.

On Wednesday, I made the BLT Lettuce Cups and Fruit Salad and posted the recipes HERE.  They were both fantastic and I'm finding that I'm craving that fruit salad/drink.  We ended up using the rest of the bacon for dinner on Wednesday with pancakes.

So, on Thursday I made the Thai Chicken with Pineapple and it was fantastic!  I will be posting that recipe soon - probably next Friday so be watching for that one!  My husband ended up eating the rest of that on Thursday afternoon so . . I settled for left overs on Friday :-)

This next week, I said I was going to focus on breakfast.  I didn't end up making the Pumpkin Muffins this past week so I am going to make those this weekend and use them for breakfast. 

My lunch plan this week is:
M, W, Th- Salad with spinach dip and crackers
Tuesday:  I'm going scrapbooking all day - diet is forgotten. HA
F - I usually make the kids pizza so I'm going to try a recipe for a Wabash Pizza and see if I like it.  I figure I can freeze the extra breads and it will carry me through for weeks. 

Neither of these recipes were on my original list but are recent posts on Gina's Skinny Recipes and they looked so good so I figured I would try them this coming week.

Sorry for this kinda chaotic post - running out of time today to get it posted :-)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Recipe Friday - BLT Lettuce Wraps and Salpicon

I had thought I would have a couple of really good recipes to share with you this week but . . .I had some not so great things this week so I'm going to share two recipes I used for lunch this week! 

Isn't that pretty food??? 

adapted from : Gina's Skinny Recipes

This a delicious fruit salad that leaves you with a refreshing drink when you are done.  The best part is that you can use any fruit combination that you want to.  I would suggest that you add the Sprite about 5-10 minutes prior to eating it so that the flavors have a moment o blend.  I would suggest using watermelon every time because of the liquid it gives off plus at least one or two other fruits that have a lot of juice like pineapple or a good orange.  Also, you can reduce the amount of fruit and just make enough for 1 person :-)

  • 1 1/2 cups diced apples, I used green and macintosh
  • 1 1/2 cups diced strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups diced watermelon
  • 1 1/2 cups diced banana
  • 1 1/2 cups diced papaya
  • 1 1/2 cups diced orange
  • 1 1/2 cups diced fresh pineapple
  • 1 1/2 cups grapes (red and green)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced kiwi
  • 6 1/2 cups Sprite Zero

Dice all fruit to equal size 1/2 inch pieces. Refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready to serve combine with sparkling soda and place in a large pitcher or punch bowl. Ladle into cups and serve with a spoon.

BLT Lettuce Wraps
Adapted from: Gina's Skinny Recipes

These surprised me.  I kept wanting to change the ingredients but decided to stick with the recipe the first time and it was pretty much dead on.  I do think that next time I might not put the shredded lettuce in the lettuce cups - that's a lot of lettuce!! 


  • 4 slices lean bacon (pork or turkey) cooked and chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 tbsp light mayonnaise (I like Hellman's)
  • 3 large iceberg lettuce leaves
  • fresh cracked pepper

Carefully remove 2 large outer leaves of a head of lettuce. If you rip or tear one, just save it for the 3rd leaf you need to shred. Shred the 3rd leaf and set aside.

Dice tomato and set aside in a bowl.

Combine diced tomato with mayonnaise and fresh black pepper.

Place lettuce cups on a plate, top with shredded lettuce.

Add tomato...

Then bacon and roll it like a wrap and dig in!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

What I'm Reading.

In case you were wondering on a busy SAHM with three kids under three running around all day finds time to read . .. well, we spend a lot of time outside.  The boys play and I read.  I don't garden and hate weeding so . .reading is my best option :-) 

Synopsis: Wrapped up in dreams of boys and marriage, 13-year-old Virginia Eide is brought back to a harsh reality when her uncle loses his job and his whole family is forced to move in with the Eides. Slightly resentful, Virginia doesn't fully understand why Jim can't just get another job. Visits to "Soo City," a housing camp for the homeless on the edge of their town, open Virginia's eyes. Along with her doctor father, Virginia helps care for the homeless. Virginia also begins to realize that God may not only have a place in her day-to-day life but has plans for her entire lifetime. Tatlock's first novel brings the Depression era to life, especially in its depiction of the of Soo City residents. Recommended, especially as an alternative to the romances and thrillers that usually populate Christian fiction.
My Opinion: I truly enjoyed this book.  It is told from the viewpoint of Virginia Eide and, as I read it, I felt liked I learned everything I could about her and grew through her.  The story grows as she grows and becomes less of a little girl and more of a young women.  It is a book that you can read on a rainy day, curled up with a blanket and a cup of Hot Cocoa. 

My Rating: * * * *  4 stars - such a good book all the way around. 

Synopsis: Chiaverini’s latest offering is another in her series of novels intended for the holiday season. To follow The Christmas Quilt (2005), The New Year’s Quilt (2007), and a novel leading up to Thanksgiving (The Quilter’s Kitchen, 2008), she needed to get a little more inventive this time. The Quilter’s Holiday concerns a tradition taking place the day after Thanksgiving. The quilters’ circle gathers at the Elm Creek manor for a daylong marathon to create holiday decorations or gifts. The group pauses in their work for a scrumptious potluck lunch of dishes made from Thanksgiving leftovers. This year, in the midst of an early snowstorm, they also renew an old cornucopia tradition. Each quilter inserts a quilt block into an antique cornucopia, representing something for which they are especially thankful. Although the novel is a continuation of the long-running Elm Creek series, it may also be read as a stand-alone story evoking the holiday spirit. Longtime fans of the series will learn more of the quilters’ backstories and get delightful hints of what will follow in subsequent novels. A must for series fans.

My Opinion:  This is another book in the series "The Elm Creek Quilters".  I have enjoyed all of the books in this series but I liked the way that this one told the stories of the current quilters - I prefer the life stories verses the history style books in this series.

My Rating: * * *  Three stars :-)  Yes, I enjoyed the book but I also found that I skimmed quite a bit of it because information was repeated within chapters as the story was told from the different points of view.

 A Son Comes Home
Synopsis: Having fled his Indiana home after his brother's tragic death, Chris LaRue must overcome his bitterness to reconcile with his father, who is seriously ill.

My Review: My mom gave me this book and told me that I wouldn't be able to put it down and she was right.  From the first chapter to the last I wanted to read to find out how it ended.  And  . .it ended it well!!  This is another book that is told from the different points of view of the main characters in the story so you really see the minds of those telling the story.  I love how it really is a story of the Prodigal Son but in so many ways (it all comes together at the end and you will know what I'm talking about )

My Rating: * * * * * Yes, that is 5 stars.  It really was that good - I think I could pick it back up today and re-read it and learn more about the characters.

The Power of a Positive Mom
I have finally picked this book back up and am doing it with my daily devotions.  It has been so long since I started this book that I've actually started it over again and, amazingly, as I read the introduction chapter, I didn't even remember 1/2 of what I had read before.  I've really slowed down with this book and feel like I will take so much more away from it this time. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Move - Mercy Me

I haven't posted a song in quite awhile -probalby because I don't get a chance to listen to the radio much but I came across this Mercy me song on another blog and really liked it.  It is a "moving" song (thus the title MOVE!) and gets you snapping your fingers and singing along.  So enjoy :-)

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I'm loving . . . .that my kids are back home.  They got to spend some time with Papa and Nana and LOVED it.  As much as I enjoy a little break, I sure do miss their little faces!

I'm loving . . . that I finally got my scrapbooking stuff organized and cleaned out.  All the projects are ready to go and I have an updated goal list of when to get everything done. 

I'm loving . . . that all of the new shows are starting.  I was ready for some new things to record :-)

I'm loving . . .we got to go out to dinner with friends last Friday.  They treated us and we just had such a great time.  We need to do that more!

I'm loving . . .  football.  Yep :-)  My fantasy team is doing well already and I just love watching the games - both Pro and College!!!

I'm loving . . .my wonderful family!  It always feels nice when we are all together once again.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Too Cute Not To Toot!

Here's this weeks great ideas!

First up is one of my favorite blogs, Oopsey Daisy.  She shares a super cute food craft that fits in with both her Insect Mommy School unit as well as the upcoming Halloween Holiday.  I'm thinking that this will have to be an activity that makes it into our "Adventure Bucket" on an upcoming week.

Next up is a cute Halloween Countdown Felt Calendar from The Crafting Chicks.  She gives a nice tutorial for this project so if you have extra felt laying around - you could easily put this together.

You may remember that I shared an ABC photo book awhiel back from Lines Across My Face.  I have started these for my boys arealdy but, she has graciously supplied all of the pictures she took for her book.  I love it because it has given me some ideas for some of the letters.  If you are looking for inspiration or just want to print them to make a quick book feel free :-)
I just love these felt leaves from Rosy- Posy.  They would be great in a sensory bin or to be used for counting.  For older kids, they make a great craft idea too.
To go along with the leaves, you can also make felt pinecones.  There is a pretty easy to follow tutorial over at Salt Tree.

Lines Across My Face also shares a really cute photo idea using glass bottles.  To me, this would be the perfect way to keep your family close in the kitchen - the bottles would look great on a window above the sink.
My Mother-in-Law and I are throwing a Bridal Shower Brunch for my niece in a few weeks and we've decided to do a fall theme (ironic isn't it HA!) .  These pumpkin candles from A Pumpkin and a Princess will be a perfect addition to our decorations.

Yes, I Pinterest.  Sadly. HA!  I have found some cute ideas though and that is how I ended up at a site where I found this cute idea in a linky party.  It is a birthday countdown chart from Come Together Kids.

Ok, this made me giggle.  I guess because I have boys and they would think this is awesome.  I love this googly eye wreath from A Pretty Liffe in the Suburbs.  Plus, it looks super easy!
This next idea is 100% for me.  We are on the front end of potty training and by that I mean, we aren't having much luck.  Well, I came across this great idea (and a fantastic post) over at The Scrap Shop and I think it is exactly what we need.  We already have the Potty Treat Jar but I love the idea that she gives 1 sticker if he sits on the potty - it gives some encouragment that I think we need over here :-)  I will be getting this all prepared this week and we'll see how it works!!
In our house, we have a large patio door that is our main entrance to our home.  When I saw this idea I thought it would be a fun project to do with the kids plus it would look so great on the window.  Check out the full idea over at Frugal Family Fun Blog.
From the same Blog is a cute idea (and easy . .. not messy) for making Fall Sun Catchers for the window. 

This summer I saw several ideas for "Summer Checklists" and really liked the idea.  Today I came across this idea for a Fall checklist over at Come Together Kids and wanted to share it also.  What a great idea; no excuse not to get out as a family and get some things accomplished together!

Are these plaques the cutest things?  I was looking at the Pottery Barn versions and knew I couldn't buy them but now, I can make them thanks to While He was Napping