Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Thanks to the quick thinking of the people who were there-- our lifeguard and some of our neighbors-- he was given CPR and by the time the paramedics arrived, he was alert and stabilized. He spent two nights in the hospital and arrived home on Sunday afternoon-- just in time for the swim team banquet. And you know what he wanted to do as soon as the banquet was over?
His father looked at him and then over at me and said, "I know he's ready but I just don't know that I am!"
I watched on Sunday night as that little boy jumped into the pool in complete and total oblivion. He twirled and splashed and smiled, not realizing what a miracle he is. Not noticing the way his parents watched him like a hawk. Unaware that, because of him, we all watched our kids closer than ever and hugged them a little bit tighter as we wrapped towels around them. His brush with death was a wake up call for all of us. As one lady said to me, "It's sad that it took this to make us all take it up a notch. Because we should have been doing this all along."
But the truth is, we all suffered from a sense of false security. They have floaties on their arms. There are lifeguards posted. They know how to swim. They're on swim team, for crying out loud! And yet, for reasons that are still unclear, this little boy sank to the bottom of the pool in a moment.
If you take your kids to the pool regularly, let this be a wakeup call that extends beyond just our little neighborhood. Watch your kids. Talk to your friends while you sit on the side, but do it with your eyes trained on your children. Don't be lulled into that false sense of security that things will be okay. Because they aren't always guaranteed to be. No matter how great a swimmer your child might be-- no matter how much experience they have around water-- stuff can happen. Water is fun and great and part of the summer experience, but we need to respect it. I can promise you the parents at our pool will be doing a much better job of that in the months to come.
"Did you see how everyone clapped and cheered for Zeb tonight?" my 9yo daughter asked me after the banquet.
"Yep. It was really neat. A lot of people are really happy he's okay. A lot of people had tears in their eyes seeing him get that trophy."
She looked at me and smiled. "Mom," she said, "I had tears in my eyes."
I smiled back at her and said, "I did too honey. I did too."
Monday, June 29, 2009
Go here to read the interview with Christa Parrish, author of Home Another Way:
Outside my window... heat, heat and more heat... summer is here. I said yesterday as I walked across the hot asphalt of a parking lot, it felt like walking on the surface of the sun!
I am thinking... about pool safety. (I will post more about this later.)
From the learning rooms... sight words flash cards have been added to my 2nd grader's daily regime... go figure, he likes them and begs to do them!
I am thankful for... summertime
From the kitchen... mom's on strike (I will post more about this later.)
I am wearing... my daughter's jeans and a grey "Modest Is Hottest" tee shirt
I am reading... Elvis Takes A Back Seat by Leanna Ellis... cute, cute book! Just finished Talking To The Dead by Bonnie Grove... it was different than I expected, but very good.
I am hoping... for a good week and some creativity on my part to fill our days. It's the end of June and boredom has officially set in.
I am creating... some new Proverbs 31 Devotions. I like to write a bunch in the summer and stockpile them to use throughout the year. Doesn't always happen but if it does, it's a great feeling!
I am praying... for hurting people in tough situations.
Around the house... a good, deep cleaning is in order.
One of my favorite things... my three year old dressed in one of her too-cute bathing suits
On my iPod... Summertime by Kenny Chesney
A few plans for the rest of the week... All Star meet tonight, a tour of Great Harvest bread, several trips to the pool, a free summer movie with the kids, meeting up with some old friends from high school Wednesday night, celebrating the 4th with friends this coming weekend.
Love The Simple Woman's Daybook format? Want to read more? A Mr. Linky is at http://www.grandmotherwren.com/.
Want to write your own? Here's directions on how to participate:
Saturday, June 27, 2009
I got so tired of that;
I got so lonely
I dropped down and I called out to heaven
“Send me someone to love.”
Heaven shot back,
“You get the love that you allow.”
And everything is different now
(Lyrics by Don Henley)
Thursday, June 25, 2009
The second one is the book trailer for my friend Mary's new book, Thin Places, which comes out this January. I am one of the fortunate people who has already gotten to read this book and I tell you it's a must read... so put it on your list. I would compare it to the style of Donald Miller or Anne Lamott (minus her cursing)-- very well written and spiritually powerful. So check out the video now and put the book on your "to buy" list for this winter!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
What would happen if every Christian used the 4 hours daily spent in front
of the television a day (more than 126 hours a month!) or the near hour a day the average American surfs the internet and spent two of those hours developing their skill in a particular domain ( woodworking, quantum physics, photography) and one hour more on the spiritual disciplines that lead into a deeper relationship with God, (prayer, memorization, Bible meditation, fasting) – only repurposing three hours a day from the five we spend on passive entertainment --- and in one decade, our entire culture – and the world at large – would be entirely revolutionized. How are we being faithful stewards of our 10,000 hours?
Want to read the rest?
Just go here: http://www.aholyexperience.com/2009/06/how-to-nurture-geniuses.html
This reminds me of a book I have sitting on my shelf, patiently waiting to be read. Bringing Up Geeks by Marybeth Hicks.
(Why yes, she does have a cool name...)
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
- Comfort my kids who ended a four year undefeated streak last night at their swim meet. It hurts all of us to have that one black mark on an otherwise perfect record. The other team was celebrating, talking about how they were making history and were going to break out the champagne while our kids filed out of their pool with heavy hearts. Seriously people. Did you have to say that in front of them? I realize you were happy but geesh!
- Pray for Jon and Kate. Am I the only one who doesn't feel like we should give up here?
- Ponder why nearly 40 year old women can still get acne.
- Go to the grocery store, put gas in the car, and get some more tomatoes at the produce stand. I had a bacon and tomato sandwich for lunch yesterday (my first of this year, always an occasion to celebrate) and it was as good as I remember.
- Make a peach crisp, serve it with ice cream tonight. Find something to serve the people in my house who don't eat peaches but will surely complain if they don't get something. Perhaps this? Naaah, I'll just make the rice krispy treats my son has been begging me for ever since I made some for our local theater to sell. But I will make that chocolate cobbler very soon!
- Listen to a cd on writing a fiction synopsis that I bought back in mid May. As in over a month ago. I still need to make myself sit down and take notes on it so I can learn how to do this.
- Workout for 40 minutes. I have upped my time and my speed recently. It's a little game I play with myself. You know. For kicks. (This is so I can eat peach crisp and not feel as guilty.)
- Actually read aloud some of the books I brought home for my kids from the library.
- Sit with my children while they whine and moan and complain their way through the measly two pages of summer school I ask them to do each day.
- Take my daughter to driver's ed, then pick her back up again.
- Deal with the laundry-- or make the kids deal with it. Enforce the various chores the kids like to pretend they don't have to do because it's summer and we are way off routine.
- Choose a winner for the dvd giveaway. Yes, that was supposed to be announced Friday. I know.
- Make breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast: whole wheat toast, cantaloupe, milk Lunch: Fried bologna sandwiches (don't knock it til you've tried it), wheat thins, popsicles for dessert Dinner: chicken over salad, rolls, peach crisp or Rice Krispy Treats for dessert. Clean it all back up again.
- Take kids to swim practice. Even though they will surely complain that they shouldn't have to go now that they just had their last meet. Remind them that All-Stars is coming up and they just might get chosen to swim in that. Encourage them that they can get revenge on that team that beat us last night at the All-Star meet. But I'm not bitter. Nor do I get overly invested in trivial things like summer swim league records.
Last night some of the moms and I were talking about to-do lists at the swim meet. (It was better than talking about how we were getting beat.) One of the moms said, "Well at least you have the list. I just have the to-do's that never seem to make it on the list."
I live by my to-do list. The satisfaction of crossing things off provides me a little too much happiness. Plus, with all these things swimming around in my brain, having a place to put them just makes sense. Think about it once and write it down. That's my motto-- one I learned years ago. When I get that famous question, "How do you do it?" Well, my to-do list is a big way. When I can see what I have coming up on any given day it makes me feel more capable, more in charge.
Yeah, I know it's an illusion. Just let me dream...
Monday, June 22, 2009
Thanks to everyone who stops by today after reading the Proverbs 31 Devotion. I love having guests drop by!!
Today the Whalen family will be spending the day recuperating after a very fun, very busy weekend. Mom and dad got away for a whole 24 hours, thanks to helpful grandparents who stepped in in our absence.
We didn't do anything special on our getaway we just... got away. It was needed time. If you haven't gotten away with your husband lately, plan something soon! It does wonders for a marriage! It's nice to have uninterrupted time to talk, dream, plan, and just finish a sentence for once. (You parents out there know what I mean!!)
Yesterday we had a great, relaxed Father's Day by the pool when we got home. Curt even cooked his own dinner (in my defense, I had dinner planned but he was in the mood for hamburgers on his father's day gift-- a new grill). So, hamburgers it was. After dinner we got the little ones to bed, left the big kids watching a movie and visited my stepfather to give him a card and wish him a happy father's day, then we stopped by Marble Slab on the way home to split a chocolate-with-Peppermint-Patty-mixed-in ice cream. Man oh man, was it good! A sweet ending to a great weekend.
So now it's Monday and I am a bit late getting this post up because I had such a great weekend. But I did want to ask the question, what is God telling you to have deliberate obedience and intentional trust in Him about right now? Please share!
I'll go first: I am deliberately obeying God in my writing, continuing to write as He directs and I am intentionally trusting Him to bring about publication in His timing and His will. It's not easy! Sometimes I just want to quit, to throw up my hands, to say "This is bogus! I am wasting my time!" But God keeps nudging me, and reassuring me, and so I keep on. Someday, I trust that I will be glad I did. In the meantime, I just keep telling myself to DO IT and leave the results up to Him.
I look forward to hearing your experiences!
Friday, June 19, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
What's more, I spent time with my kids today-- took them out to Pizza Hut to use their Book-It coupons. I also bought them a set of Tinkertoys at the used homeschool store-- remember those? They have played and played with them this afternoon instead of watching tv. At lunch today, we sat and talked and I remembered to smile.
Any moment, my husband will walk in the door from a four day trip to a totally clean house, happy children, and a homemade dinner.
Just for this moment, I feel capable. I feel like I can actually do this thing called motherhood. It is only a moment, but I had to share it with someone. Because, you see, these moments don't come often.
I am choosing to be thankful they come at all!
1. What author do you own the most books by? Lee Smith-- I started buying her books when I was in high school and one of my dad's rental house tenants moved out in the middle of the night, leaving behind boxes of books. Black Mountain Breakdown was in the boxes and I devoured it. I have loved her writing ever since...
2. What book do you own the most copies of? The Bible, it's a bit over the top how many we own, but that's totally my husband's fault... he has a Bible buying sickness.
3. Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions? No-- as an English major, perhaps it should, but it totally doesn't
4. What fictional character are you secretly in love with? Phineas (Finny) in A Separate Peace, Noah in The Notebook
5. What book have you read the most times in your life? I re-read Anne Lamott's Traveling Mercies and Elizabeth Berg's Escaping Into The Open fairly often. Also Elizabeth Foss' book Real Learning is excellent and inspiring and worthy of regular re-reading for homeschool moms.
6. Favorite book as a ten year old? Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards and Danny, The Champion Of The World by Roald Dahl
7. What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year? Typically if a book doesn't grab me, I simply don't read it-- so I can't say that I've actually read a bad book in the past year!
8. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year? House and Home by Kathleen McCleary-- I don't know why that one touched me the way it did-- probably because it's a book I would love to have written
9. If you could force everyone you know to read one book, what would it be? The Bible notwithstanding, I would say Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
10. What book would you most like to see made into a movie? Blue Heart Blessed by Susan Meissner
11. What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read? the books I had to read when I took a semester's worth of Victorian literature... I still shudder at the memory of that class
12. What is your favorite book? There are so many-- that would be like asking me to choose a favorite child!! There are those that I see on the shelves at the library or the bookstore and just smile like I am running into a dear old friend... those are my favorites. The ones that make me smile when I see them again.
13. What is your favorite play? Oklahoma-- I have fond memories of my kids being in it for our community theater's summer production several years ago.
14. Poem? "Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost
15. Essay? "Welcome To Holland" by Emily Perl Kingsley (someone gave me this essay when my son was born with a birth defect-- it so captured what I was going through and I never forgot it.) I also love the late Erma Bombeck's essays about life as a homemaker. Forever, Erma is a good book to check out to get a good collection.
16. Who is the most overrated writer alive today? I am stealing Jenn's answer but I would have to say she's right: Stephanie Meyer-- I just don't get the whole Twilight thing...
17. What is your desert island book? the Bible
18. And . . . what are you reading right now? Sleepwalking In Daylight by Elizabeth Flock (secular fiction-- not loving it but I want to see how everything turns out) and Self Talk, Soul Talk by Jennifer Rothschild (Christian nonfiction)... I have an extensive list of titles I hope to get to this summer in both fiction and non, Christian and secular... it's like at a buffet-- my eyes are always bigger than my stomach where books are concerned! I was so happy to see Elizabeth Berg has a new book out, and Jennifer Weiner's new book that comes out in a month looks great, too!
So many books, so little time!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Because of Little Bear being on at 4:00, I can freely go into the kitchen without guilt and work on dinner preparation. I am guaranteed that for that full 30 minutes, my 3yo will be absorbed in the adventures of Little Bear and I can chop and dice and saute to my hearts' content. I am sad when the music comes on at the end, because my time is up. Noggin, I confess I wish there were back to back episodes of Little Bear. Sometimes I need more than 30 minutes. Sometimes I am still cooking dinner.
I know there will come a day that no one watches Little Bear in our house anymore. That day is arriving faster and faster. I remember when my nearly 17 yo used to watch it years and years ago. Now he walks through the den and I point at the tv, "It's Little Bear!" I say. "Don't you remember?" He pats his little sister on the head absentmindedly and says something about her standing too close to the tv. Then he goes upstairs to his room to plan his life via cell phone from behind closed doors. For a moment, I wish that my little bear could have stayed little forever. But Noggin, that's just not going to happen, then or now.
Instead I choose to be grateful for Little Bear at 4:00, and for the chance to do it all again with this little one... and this time around, I am appreciating it so much more. So I wanted to take a moment to say thanks Noggin for your public service to moms everywhere.
Monday, June 15, 2009
I'd say the first day of "Summer School" at our house went just swimmingly!
If you are interested in learning some homemaking skills like these, I highly recommend these great dvd's. They are nicely done and presented in such a way that the projects seem doable. I will admit that by the end, I was fantasizing about having my own little booth on Saturdays at our local farmer's market, selling bread, candles and homemade soap with my girls. I wonder if that pays better than writing??
Want to win a set of dvd's?? Just leave a comment here stating which dvd you would most like to watch (the soap, candles, or bread) for your chance to win. Make sure your email, blog address or website is listed so I can contact you if you win! I will announce the winners on Friday so be sure to leave a comment by then!
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
The final bell rang. The kids screamed for joy. Mom sits in the carpool line wondering, "What in the world are we going to do all summer?!" Maybe as summer has begun, you've found yourself resentful and angry because your children constantly "interrupt" your schedule. If that's how you're feeling, you're normal.
But, wait. We wanted these kids, right? Are they really interruptions or blessings in disguise? How can we move from simply surviving the summer to making it a summer to remember?
Here are a few ideas to get you out of the summer survival rut:
1. Realize they won't be this way forever. What is it about your kids that you won't have in two years? If you are a parent of:
- Preschoolers: Look at their hands and notice how tiny they are. Enjoy that.
- Elementary children: When you're away from home, call them. Their voices sound small on the phone. That always reminds me to enjoy their innocence rather than expecting them to act like little grown-ups.
- Tweens: Laugh at and enjoy their giggles (usually girls) and the fascination they have with being gross (usually boys)! Hopefully that won't last forever!
- Teens: Even if they are driving you crazy, make your home the safe place. I still remember the fun place our parents created at home. It was our refuge. Let kids feel safe in your home by cutting down on the criticism and looking for ways to build them up. Mom and Dad's secret was a ping-pong table. We spent hours there.
2. Say "no" with a smile. It makes you and your child feel better. They know you have some regret at having to say no. You are on their team.
3. Play music. Anger and music don't usually dance. Movie soundtracks, praise songs, music from my teen years or even classical stations. I rarely find myself upset with my kids when we have music playing in the background.
4. Go outside. Sometimes taking a walk or bike ride with the kids can do wonders to change everyone's perspective.
5. Things aren't always as they seem. Remember that the way you are seeing things at this moment is probably not how it will look in a couple of hours. Frustrations can build and dissolve quickly when you have kids.
6. Offer them 30 minutes of your time. After they have helped pick up around the house let them pick what the two of you will do together and watch their eyes light up! For older kids, offer them the day off after helping for an hour.
7. Ask your kids what they think is fun. You might be surprised to find that their idea of fun often doesn't cost any money. My sister was amazed to find that her 7-year-old son's idea of "fun" was playing tag in the front yard with dad, mom and his little sister.
8. Slow down. Successful parenting doesn't mean you have your children involved in every possible extra-curricular activity. Successful parenting means you are there for them. If you've been running all year, it takes "practice" to enjoy staying home. Don't give up. Turn off the computer, TV, cell phone, etc. and read or play games (no matter what the age of your children).
9. Pray. When you are at your wit's end, ask God to help you remember what to do with your kids. On our own, it's hard to enjoy the moments because "life happens." But God has a way of giving us perspective that will slow us down and help us see our families the way He sees them: with love and compassion.
The next time you blow your top or realize you're just surviving your kids instead of enjoying their clumsy feet, silliness, or their constant desire to talk on the phone, stop and think, "one day I'll miss this!" The funny thing is, tomorrow we'll be longing for today. If we choose to think like that long enough, the kids won't be the only ones sad to hear the school bell ring this fall.
Sharon (Lovejoy) Autry, a mom of 3, co-authored Mom and Loving It, Finding Contentment in REAL Life with her sister, Laurie (Lovejoy) Hilliard, mom of 4. http://www.momandlovingit.org/
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Head over to Momlogic and leave a comment for your chance to win!
The 4:8 reference is to Philippians 4:8. I liked this and decided that I wanted to share it with you because it goes nicely with the "good things" posts I have written about lately. I want to intentionally 4:8 my thoughts-- seeing the good in bad, seeing the light in dim places, seeing Truth when I am prone to only see lies.
I included some different versions, as they all had an aspect I liked to them!
Philippians 4:8 (Contemporary English Version)
Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don't ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise.
Philippians 4:8 (New International Version)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8 (The Message)
Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
How about you? Do you need to 4:8 your thoughts?
PS. My "good thing" for today is the fact that I have managed to post here on my blog regularly-- even multiple times a couple of days! After a couple of weeks of feeling dry where blog posting was concerned, it's nice to be back in the swing of things!
Peanut Butter Brownie Bars
1 box brownie mix for a 13x9” pan
1/2 C. butter, softened
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
2 C. powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. milk
1 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 C. butter
Preheat oven to 350. Grease bottom and sides of a 13x9” pan with cooking spray. Mix brownies according to package directions. Bake for approx. 25 minutes at package temperature or until a toothpick comes out almost clean. Cool completely. In medium bowl, mix the next 4 ingredients with mixer on medium until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over brownies. In a small microwaveable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and butter on medium heat 30-60 seconds; stir until smooth, microwave longer if needed. Cool 10 minutes; spread over peanut butter filling. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until set and serve.
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009
There the lemons sat on the counter by the sink, growing more puckered and softer each day. Finally today I almost scooped them up and threw them away. Just then I had a fleeting thought: what if I could find a recipe to use these lemons for and not toss them? I thought that there was little to no chance of me having all the ingredients for something like that, but lo and behold, not only did I find a recipe, I also had everything in the house to make it!
And so tonight when Curt walked in from work, there were not one, but two desserts cooling on the counter. (I had made blonde brownies earlier.) He smiled broadly and I could tell he was glad to be home. Not only that, but I had made his favorite dinner: spaghetti and homemade yeast rolls. (Yes, I was in the kitchen all afternoon.) But as my family gobbled up the special desserts I had made and ooohed and aaahed over them, I was glad I didn't toss the lemons. When life (or a friend) gives you lemons, I highly recommend making these lemon bars. I know I am glad I did!
When Life Gives You Lemons Bars
1.5 sticks margarine
1.5 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1.5 cups granulated sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
4 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. baking powder
Mix crust ingredients until crumbly. Pat into 9X13 inch pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, mix filling. Pour over hot crust when it is done baking. Bake again for 20-25 minutes. Cut while warm. Sprinkle with powdered sugar when cool.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
This summer my kids will be going to the pool, eating popsicles, catching lightning bugs, riding their bikes, taking a trip to the beach... and working on schoolwork. Yep, that's right. We are having our own version of summer school at the Whalen's. You can imagine how excited my kids are about this little plan. Thankfully I have dad as backup so they don't dare argue.
In case any of you care about such things, here's what we are doing:
Each school-age child (except the 16yo who will be, Lord willing, working to pay for his car) will be responsible for getting up every morning and spending about an hour and a half on some school work and having a personal quiet time (for the bigger kids) I bought each child a Summer Bridge workbook for their grade. I have looked at these many times, but this is the first year I have purchased them. For my 12 and 14 yo's, they are also going to be going through Study Skills That Stick. They both felt this year that they needed to learn how to study more effectively and so they (almost) are on board for this choice. If you are a homeschooler who thinks that maybe one day possibly your kids might go to school, I would urge you not to make the mistake I did by not teaching study skills. They will thank you later if they do, in fact, go to school or take outside classes of any kind. Even in preparation for college, this is a good thing to do with latter elementary/middle school students to lay down a good foundation.
Other than that, we will be reading a lot. I have promised that I will take them to the library as much as they need to to keep them in good books. At night we are going to encourage reading time instead of mindless tv. Seeing my 9 yo daughter's test scores this year made me more convinced than ever that reading a lot increases abilities on so many levels. So I will keep prodding them to read. She has really exploded with reading this year and that makes me so happy to see!
I will be spending this summer making plans, which is something I love to do. I am hoping to print out and organize this handy little Alphabet notebook to do with my soon-to-be four year old next year. I know if I assemble all the components and have it all together, we are more likely to do it. And I plan to go through Family Math and gather materials to make the games that sound good to me so we can include more hands-on math in our school year. Again, if I make the effort to flag the games I want to try and gather the materials/premake anything that needs to be assembled, then I am more likely to do it. Summer is a great time to do that.
So, those are my plans as far as I know now. I am also compiling a list of books I want to read over the summer. Some fiction, some non.
I have also begun a list of fun things I would like to do this summer. Things like:
- visiting the Farmer's Market
- picking blueberries
- driving down to a SC peach stand (which is not far for us to do) and hopefully sampling some fresh, homemade peach ice cream while we're at it
- making and giving away vases of the hydrangeas that grow on the large bush in our yard from empty, washed tin cans that we decorate with ribbon (we saw this done last year and it is so cute and a great pick-me-up to surprise someone with!)
- participating in the Barnes and Noble reading program
- going to see some of the summer movies at local theaters
I plan to post the list somewhere and let the kids help pick what they would like to do. I don't want to do the same old thing every day so I hope that having a list will help us mix it up. What are your summer plans? I would love to hear what you are cooking up... maybe your ideas will end up on our list!
Monday, June 08, 2009
Tuesday) Taco Salad, sliced watermelon
Wednesday) Spaghetti, Homemade Rolls, Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies (or I might try this instead! Yum-o!)
Thursday) Chicken and Rice, black-eyed peas
Friday) Steak and beans in crockpot, corn
Saturday) Hamburgers on the grill, Roasted potatoes, Ice Cream Sandwich dessert
Steak and Beans in Crockpot
1.5 pounds boneless round steak
1 Tbsp. prepared mustard
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 minced garlic clove
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 medium onion chopped
1 beef bouillon cube, crushed
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
hot cooked rice
Cut steak into thin strips. Combine mustard, chili powder, salt, pepper and garlic. Add steak to mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to crockpot. Add next 3 ingredients and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Add beans and cook 30 minutes longer. Serve over rice.
Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert
Layer ice cream sandwiches in a flat pan, top with Cool Whip and Heath Bar bits. Repeat layer and freeze. Before serving, cut in squares and drizzle with hot fudge sauce. This is delicious and great to feed a crowd!
Want more menu plan ideas? Check out http://orgjunkie.com/2009/06/menu-plan-monday-june-8th.html
Outside my window... blue skies and fat white clouds
From the learning rooms... waiting on our "summer school" books to come from Amazon (a whole post on that will be running tomorrow)
I am thankful for... some clarity from God on some issues I am dealing with-- even if I don't love the direction He is sending me, it's still good to have direction (and that's all I will say about that for now)
From the kitchen... sub sandwiches, Garden Salsa Sun Chips, fruit-- it's a swim meet night so we have to have something quick and easy to eat in shifts
I am wearing... gray track pants and one of my husband's tee shirts, fuzzy pink socks... it's morning and I am comfortable
I am reading... Too Many Cooks: Kitchen Adventures with 1 Mom, 4 Kids, and 102 Recipes... so, so good! It makes me want to cook up a storm! Highly recommended!!
I am hoping... to squeeze every drop of summer out of the next 3 months
I am creating... plans for the summer (more about that in the post tomorrow)
I am praying... for confirmation and direction, which, as I said, I am getting
Around the house... washing all the sheets on all the beds this week, playing the Hannah Montana movie soundtrack in the background while we work! (We finally saw the movie this weekend and drove straight to Target and bought the soundtrack afterwards.)
One of my favorite things... summertime
A few plans for the rest of the week... dentist appointments for four of the children, two radio interviews about the financial book, two swim meets, a playdate for my 3yo with one of her little CBS buddies... a busy week!
Note: The Simple Woman's Daybook is not my creation. Feel free to use the starters for your own blog posts. For more entries, check out her blog:
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Seeing Hannah Montana on Saturday with my 9yo daughter... having our "best day ever" just the two of us, running errands and focusing on her.
Sunday morning pancakes made by my husband, who is a good thing himself.
The encouragement of a good friend when I needed it most.
Friday, June 05, 2009
(Disclaimer: I did no work at the event but somehow found myself assigned to the "job" of watching the graduation and eating the yummy meal that was served... not sure how that transpired, but I was happy to be the one to take that "job." My husband was a server and my daughter watched kids in the nursery... you can imagine how happy they were for me. Not to mention several of my friends who were giving me the stink eye from the back and talking trash about me amongst themselves. I told them not to be bitter. They said too late.)
But here's my good thing for yesterday-- it's a small thing, but it's one of those little nudges from God that makes you see that He truly does take care of us down to the smallest details. With the way the day was unfolding, we were going to have to leave our 12, 9 and 7 yo with the 16 yo since the 3yo and 14 yo were going to be with us at the event. Now, the 16 yo is not wild about babysitting in the first place, but having to feed them dinner that involved any preparation was going to be asking way too much. I wondered what in the world I was going to feed them and was a bit stressed about it, to be honest. Because I knew that things were timed to the wire and stopping at a fast food place or a grocery store was out of the realm of possibility. I acted like Scarlett and said, "Fiddledeedee, I will worry about that later," and just had fun at the photo shoot.
At the shoot, Shari ordered in Olive Garden soup, salad and breadsticks for us all. It was a great lunch and a fun way to unwind after the shoot was over. As Shari was packing up to leave, I saw that there was nearly a whole pan of breadsticks leftover and asked her if I could take them home. She waved her hand at the spread of food and said, "Take whatever you want!" I noticed that there was also nearly a whole container of soup leftover as well. And just like that, I had a dinner plan. I bagged up the soup and breadsticks and took them home-- much to my children's delight! My son only had to heat the soup in the microwave and all was well at home in our absence.
So, my good thing for yesterday was soup and breadsticks, provided by a generous friend and a loving God.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
PS. I met Emily at the Colorado Christian Writers' Conference. She is a delight and I had the great fortune of running into her at the airport where we spent time getting to know each other.
Go read her blog post and then leave a comment sharing either one of the ways she listed, or another way that God has spoken to you. What a fun, thought-provoking discussion!
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Note: my new cell phone (which arrived via FedEx yesterday) is my "good thing" to share today... I am sure eventually it will just be a phone to me, but for now it is a fun new toy!
Want to learn more about Twittering? Here's a great article a friend sent me about getting started: http://michaelhyatt.com/2008/05/the-beginners-guide-to-twitter.html
Oh to see the world the way my son did in that moment. He taught me a huge lesson on perspective that day and I have been mulling it over ever since. Do I see my days as partly sunny or partly cloudy? Do I marvel at the wonders or get caught up in the mess? Do I consciously choose to alter my "glass half empty" mentality and choose to see it as half full?
That's one of the reasons I have decided to do these "good thing" posts. I want to share the good things that happen in my day, to mark them somehow so I don't lose them in the shuffle of life. I hope that you will join me in seeking to see our days as partly sunny. Sure, a few clouds may enter our horizon, but that doesn't mean our outlook has to be altered. Partly cloudy or partly sunny? My son taught me it's all in how I look at it.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
With that in mind, I am going to try to share a good thing here on the blog each day for the next little while. I am sure many days I will have more than one, but I am aiming for at least one. I also want to initiate this at the dinner table when we are all together (which is rare these days with swim team taking over our evenings). I want to get my other kids looking for their good things-- and I want to hear about them. I want to hear their hearts and get a glimpse into their perspective. I have a feeling their good things and mine will be vastly different sometimes!
So, if you'd like, you can leave a comment with your good thing. Or post on your blog and leave a link so we can all visit. I am excited to begin looking for good things to share here. Lord knows there's enough bad things around... it will be refreshing to look for the good!
Monday, June 01, 2009
Outside my window... Carolina blue skies, the summer heat has shown up but I am not complaining
I am thinking... about my decision to not write at all this week (after finishing up the speaker book and getting the novel ready for my agent, I am spent), except for regular blog posts which have been sorely lacking around here, I admit.
From the learning rooms... continued daily reading for the 7 yo. Four of the kids will have "summer school" at home this summer. The two older ones will be working on study skills in preparation for a new year and the two youngers will be doing Summer Bridge workbooks and daily reading practice to keep their skills sharp. They aren't thrilled about this plan, but it needs to happen.
I am thankful for... our church-- service was awesome last night, followed by an impromptu dinner with a dear friend. It was a great night all the way around!
From the kitchen... two rotisserie chickens I picked up last night, baked sweet potatoes and peas. A stocked pantry and fridge thanks to a trip to the grocery yesterday afternoon. Starting the weekend with a menu plan and a stocked kitchen is a good feeling.
I am wearing... gray track pants and my blue Pine Cove TX tee shirt
I am reading... The Wednesday Sisters (for fun), Facedown (for my morning quiet time)
I am hoping... to finish a proposal a friend and I are working on together quickly so I can initiate my "no writing" pledge for this week.
I am creating... the proposal I just mentioned and then... nothing for awhile. (Once I find out if the proposal was accepted, I will tell you guys what it is!)
I am praying... for confident humility-- something our pastor talked about last night. The confidence to go boldly before the throne, the humility to know I am only there because of His grace.
On my Ipod... If Today Was Your Last Day by Nickelback, The Book of Love by Peter Gabriel
Around the house... counting down til school's out so we can get to the lazy days of summer
One of my favorite things... new clothes! (birthday presents)
A few plans for the rest of the week... learning more about Twitter-- my newest social media experiment, the kids' first swim meet of the year Tuesday night, serving at the Safe Journey graduation on Thursday night, a photo shoot for my friend Shari's new book, waiting for my new phone to arrive... I am moving on up from my old Razr-- exciting times!