Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thanksgiving Turkeys

Grandpa Stacy and Grandma Carol like to stop by our house for a few hours before our annual fundraising auction for our bible camp. And with them usually comes a fun, kid-friendly project to make and donate...something cute and edible. Here's what happened on our kitchen island the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

DJ had also been working on these hotpads to donate to the auction, too (with some help from sisters now and then).

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancake Mix

These are a wonderful variation from the typical pancake. And you can make them in a jiffy with this easy mix you make ahead.

4 cups old-fashioned oats

2 cups all-purpose flour (or 3 cups wheat and 1 cup white)

2 cups whole-wheat flour

1 cup packed brown sugar (I usually do 2/3 - 3/4 cup)

1 cup instant nonfat dry milk

3 tablespoons baking powder

2 tablespoons cinnamon

5 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar


2 eggs

1/3 cup canola oil (I have substituted half of this with unsweetened applesauce)

2 cups pancake mix

1 cup water

1. Mix all ingredients together well. Store in a sealed gallon-size plastic storage bag or airtight container. Yield: 10 cups of pancake mix.

2. To make pancakes, beat eggs in a large bowl. Gradually beat in oil. Alternately add pancake mix and water to mixture. Blend well. Preheat and oil griddle. Pour 1/3 cup batter per pancake onto griddle. Pour 1/3 cup batter per pancake onto griddle. Cook until bubbles form around edges, turn and continue to cook until done. Yield: about 10 pancakes.

This makes up to five batches of pancakes and is great to give as a gift along with a printed recipe.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Boys in action

Any idea who this might be?

Yep. It's Levi with a wig on. He got quite a kick out of seeing himself in the mirror like this!

Kade's favorite new item to carry around - popsicle sticks! And this is how I usually see DJ when I have my camera ready. He's running by.Or he's making volacanoes early in the busy he doesn't even have time to get dressed! Or he could be taking pictures with my camera....multiple pictures of random items such as his math papers. I picked only the choicest of the many!

Or I get something like this. He's getting tricky!

Food is for least some of the time

I don't know how it is at your house, but at my house, meals aren't always a culinary experience! And when I say "culinary experience," I'm speaking of it in a very positive light! In fact, sometimes, it's just about getting leftovers out of the fridge, cooking the fastest meal possible to ease hungry little tummies, or scrounging together whatever we have in our near-empty fridge to make a meal.

Now, I would like to make every meal not only a delight to the taste buds, but also one to the eyes. But, I've accepted the fact that it's not always to be. Sure, many days I manage to get it all right, and everyone around the table seems to savor every morsel, but there are moments when we just have to realize that food doesn't have to be all about our enjoyment and entertainment

I think our society actually makes it very hard for eaters to be thankful for something that is merely nourishment and isn't perhaps the most delicious thing ever eaten. (Note: I don't believe nourishment excludes delicious, rather it can be quite the opposite!) With "have it your way" fast food, to the myriads of grocery store choices, to the many times a month an average family eats out, we have grown a society that finds it difficult to give thanks if we have to eat the same meal two weeks in a row (or maybe twice in one week!!), or if we have leftovers frequently, or if the new food or recipe just isn't something that would make our mouths water if it were made again.

Just in case you wondered...this case of culinary disappointment never surfaces at our house! :) (note sarcasm) But I'm hoping to figure out ways to help my children give thanks...for those fantastic meals and those not so fantastic meals. I want us to learn balance...that we can totally be thrilled in God's amazing creativity to have made so many foods for us to enjoy, experiment with, combine, etc., but I also want us to realize that we live not for food merely to selfishly enjoy, but rather food enables us to live...and to live a life pleasing to our Father.

Yeah...maybe a weird post, but this topic has been on my mind. You know, I'm actually feeling kind of hungry. Some popcorn sounds good!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


It was late last night, while holding a Kade who wasn't able to sleep without me, that I discovered this wonderful website (recommended by an author of a mommy blog).

I sat and read article after article, feeling encouraged, challenged, convicted, and ready. Ready to train my children better than I have been, especially my young children. It's not as if I haven't been training at all, but I needed the practical scenarios she gave so that I could actually "picture" doing it with my children. We've worked on coming when called, obeying happily, obeying when told "no", sitting quietly, and so on, but I feel like I haven't been quite as focused on this as needed. I know these early years are crucial years. I know we'll avoid many troubles if we can work on happy obedience right now!!

So today, I am keeping more of a keen eye for any situations that arise...half-hearted obedience, pouting, and whining. I worked with Kade on coming when called and realized I've really waited too long! (nothing irreparable) but he is certainly capable of understanding, following through each and every time, AND being willfully stubborn!

The title of this website is a little quirky, but she explains this concept quite well, and it's a great word picture! Several key points for me:

1. Listen to the mommy radar (if my child is irritating me it's probably not because he's just being childish but rather there's some training that needs to be done.)

2. Don't give up. They'll eventually get it, even if we must practice over and over and over, until they get a happy attitude or obey, or whatever. Just make sure that I LAST LONGER!

3. Keep my children close at all times until I feel like I can trust them. Keep a close eye on any situations of the slightest disobedience or wrong attitude. (I generally keep Levi and Kade on the same floor with me. DJ gets more freedom but I still have him close by for much of the time).

4. This kind of training will ensure no yelling, major frustration, emotional spankings, but rather a household of children who are happy to obey and children and parents who can really enjoy one another. (This is my goal).

Anyway, I'm thankful for the words of wisdom from this website (she has a book, too) and I'm praying for diligence to train my children and not lower my expectations to meet the world's ideas of children and their behavior.

Sometimes it's so easy to ignore disobedience or only deal with an action, or give up because they're not getting it right away because of all the daily things calling. But I remind myself that school work, laundry put away, scrap booking time, meals on time....all are nice but they are nothing in comparison to training my children to be obedient, for obedience to their parents teaches them obedience to their Heavenly Father.