Friday, September 28, 2012

Deviled Eggs

This is one of my Grama's recipes (nope, that's not mis-spelled, that's how I say it) so you know what that means?  Yep, no measurements!!  I know that's frustrating to some of you, but this way you can get as much sweet or as much tang as you would like.  Enjoy!!

Here is everything you need.
miracle whip
white vinegar
hard boiled eggs, cooled
a plate and knife to cut them in half
a bowl and fork for mixing
a sandwich or storage bag
a container or plate for the finished product

  • Start by cutting each egg in half longways and placing the yolk in the bowl.  Place the empty white on your egg plate.
  • Once you have all of the yolks, start mashing them with a fork until you have a very small crumble.  If you like a "runnier" filling, you could add a little water right here so that you make the yolks into a paste.
  • Add miracle whip and mustard to taste.  I usually have about 2/3 miracle whip to 1/3 mustard.
  • Once you have the consistency and taste at this point, splash in a little vinegar...not much at all, maybe a spoonful...and then sprinkle with just a little sugar, again maybe a spoonful.  Go back and forth with these two ingredients until you get the balance of sweet and tang that you like.
  • Take your sandwich or storage bad and snip off one lower corner with scissors.  We are going to use this as a piping bag.  Put all of your yolk mixture in the bag and squeeze it down to the opening.
  • Fill all the whites with your yolk mixture.  Garnish if you like.

Until Next TIme.....

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fruit of the Spirit - Peace

Another "guest post" this week.  I love the questions to ask ourselves.  I couldn't have written it better, so why try?!  I hope you enjoy and find some peace!  For further studies on the Fruit of the Spirit check out the series of books as pictured above.  A friend and I did the whole series and they were really good.

Until Next Time.....

Fruit of the Spirit is Peace
By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir

Is Peace working in you?
Here is how you can find out. Take a careful look at this Fruit of Peace from God's most precious Word by examining the passages below. Now ask yourself:
1. How do I exhibit Peace in my daily life?
2. What can I do to develop a more Peaceful attitude?
3. What blocks the practice of peace in my life?
4. How can I make Peace function better, stronger and faster even in times of uncertainly and stress?
Galatians 5:22-23
Peace (Isa. 26:3; Matthew 5:9; Luke 19:42; John 14:27; 16:33; Rom. 5:1; 12:18; Colossians 3:15; Philippians 4:7) is surrendering and yielding ourselves to the Lord to be in His control, for He is our ultimate peace! Allowing tranquility to be our tone and control our composure. This will be fueled from our harmonious relationship with God to handover control of our heart, will and mind over to Him. Once we make real peace with God we will be able to make and maintain peace with others.
Chaos and turmoil are the opposites. This can range from seeking destruction and chaos to being a distrustful and impatient person, which will bring you despair. You will be unable to build positive relationships or handle difficult situations. You will have an "I must have control" orientated personality and be unable or unwilling to give yourself to God and others.
· Here are positive examples from Scripture (Psalm 27:1-6; Luke 1:26-38; 2:25-32; John 14:25-31; Acts 27:21-25)
· Here is are negative examples from Scripture (II Sam. 15:1-13; Matt. 2:13-18; 26:69-75; 27:1-7; Luke 8:22-25)
Further Questions
  1. How would you define Peace?
  1. What are the things that cause despair for you?
  1. How does despair counteract Peace?
  1. Do you cooperate with Christ as your Lord, to allow His peace to rein in you, if not what is in the way?
  1. When have you been filled with Peace the most?
  1. In what situation did you fail to have Peace in which you should have?
  1. What issue is in your life that would improve with more Peace?
  1. Think through the steps you need to take to put Peace into action in a specific instance. Such as a counteracting the attitude of despair or hopelessness, or not letting your circumstances get in the way of your peace?
Peace can be maintained for a time out of ignorance or denial, but when the realities of life come upon us, peace can be impossible unless we let His peace rein in us! When we do not let go we will blame God and lose our unity and serenity in Him. Peace is learning to let go of our will, desires and plans. Peace is not the peace of the hippie movement or even between nations, although those things can be applied from it. Peace is serenity from the realization that God is in charge and we can relax because He is in control. Peace is the recognition that our biggest problem has been solved! It is the stillness we have when our trust is upon Christ as Lord (Psalm 46:10). Peace will also enable us to yield our will over to Him. Peace enables us to be moved from the stronghold of fear and trepidations into a life of harmony (Isa. 26:3; II Tim. 1:7). When we are on the verge of giving up, or losing our hope, peace can be the anchor to keep us on His path, to see His hope, to let it give you the confidence to keep moving on His path.
John tells us that He must increase and we must decrease (John 3:29-30). If we refuse this vital call, God just may allow those hardships to come our way, breaking us down so we will yield and grow as His child.
Colossians makes the definition clear: "compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience", then says they are put together with, forgiveness and love, and that they operate in the parameters of peace and wisdom. Because wisdom and peace promote virtue and love and forgiveness demonstrates this virtue we all need to have (Col. 3:12-17).So Peace is a fruit that comes from the tree of love that is fruited with wisdom, pruned with virtue, watered with forgiveness producing the sweet fruits of "compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience".
Do you have peace in your church? If not remember those who seed strife and make divisions in the Church are not doing Christ's work, but are attempting to gratify their own selves. They cause people to follow a person and not the Person of Christ! Contentious, divisive people will cause others to stumble, so they must be avoided, and disciplined, which means removing them from fellowship if they persist (Rom. 16: 17-24; 1 Cor. 5:9-13; 2 Thess. 3:6; 2 Tim. 3:5; Titus 3:10)!
Remember the Fruit of the Spirit are codependent entities, neither one can stand or work by itself as they are designed to work all together synergistically to build us up for His service.
© 2002 R. J. Krejcir Into Thy Word Ministries

Monday, September 24, 2012

1 Year to an Organized Life - September Week Four

This week you can:

  • learn how and when to volunteer
  • learn step by step tips for successful projects
I found an awesome website for organizing any kind of volunteer project.  This could be used at school, say through PTA or room mothers or coordinating library volunteers, it could be used within your family, it could be used within your church, or all the way down to within just your small group.  It's very easy to use, and I have it linked permanently on the blog.  Go check it out...after reading the rest of this post!

Since this month is focused on back to school, we will talk about volunteering at school.  There are a million and one opportunities to volunteer at school, but the first thing to decide is whether you really and truly have the time to give to make it successful.  If not, you are not doing anyone a favor by saying yes then only doing a halfway job or having to quit halfway through.  So think about it carefully and think back to a previous post.  Just like your child does not need to be involved in every activity that comes along, you do not need to volunteer for every opportunity that comes along.  Pick only the things you have time for and mean the most to you and your family.

Now, if you said yes, here are Regina's 5 steps to handling a volunteer request.  Remember to read the chapter for in depth description of each step.  You will be glad you did!!
  1. thank the person who requested your help
  2. get all the basic facts: date, budget, committee, goal
  3. having a committee is vital
  4. break the event down into steps
  5. be sure steps are in chronological order
I cannot stress enough the value of number 4.  Everything in my life is broken down into steps.  Lists are awesome, they are lifesavers, and they show accomplishment...who doesn't love marking something off?!  Sometimes each section needs to be further broken down into even more steps.  This may sound like a lot on the surface, but when you do it, you will see how valuable it really is.  For one thing it makes the biggest of projects seem less overwhelming when you can take little bites out of it.

Can you believe we are ready to move on to another month?  So looking forward to October!  The first word in the chapter is "relaxing"!  Yep, can hardly wait!!

Until Next Time.....

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Easy Garlic and Herb Dip

1 envelope Lipton savory herb and garlic soup mix
16oz tub sour cream

let sour cream sit on counter about 15-20 minutes to slightly warm up
mix the two ingredients together
keep refrigerated until serving

use more sour cream for a milder herb and garlic flavor

great for chips, crackers, bagel chips, pita chips, etc.

Until Next Time.....

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Copycat Southwest Eggrolls 2 Ways

12 (6 inch) soft flour tortillas
2 C very small diced cooked chicken (OR 1 LB ground beef cooked and drained)
2 C (more or less to taste) black bean and corn salsa
     here is a recipe or try Newman's Own brand
1-2 C finely shredded Mexican cheese blend or colby-jack
olive or vegetable oil

preheat oven to 425
Mix chicken and salsa together
brush one side of tortilla with oil and place oil side down on large plate or foil to use as work surface
place about 3 Tablespoons of chicken mixture on tortilla
top with about 1 Tablespoon of cheese or as much as you want
roll up tortilla and place seam side down on a baking sheet
repeat until all are made
bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown

Until Next Time.....

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fruit of the Spirit - Joy

Galatians 5:22-23

Are you joyful?  Are you waiting for that Joy that Christians talk about to rain down on you?  Wondering where you are supposed to find Joy?

Sorry to say that on a daily basis Joy doesn't just happen.  Joy is more than an emotion, it is a choice, a lifestyle, and sometimes a task.  If you just sit around waiting for joy to hit you, you will be in for a long wait.  

You have heard people say to find the joy in the small things in life.  It is true, and it is very important.  VERY happy is the man who can find some joy in any situation.  When I first moved from the mid west flatlands to the foothills of the mountains, I said I would never get tired of looking at the mountains and I would always appreciate them after spending so many years looking at not much of anything.  But the truth is that as I drove towards those mountains to work everyday, slowly I didn't see them anymore and I got bogged down and grouchy during that commute instead of finding the joy in the beauty of God's creation.

A lot of us are always wanting the newest and latest tech gadget, or maybe coveting the home makeover we just watched on TV.  We find ourselves discontent with what we have or always wanting more.  When is the last time we really looked around at all we have (instead of what we haven't) and thanked God for it?  Your couch might be 20 years old, your walls may be scratched up or covered in dog boogers (does my dog REALLY have to sneeze in the same spot every morning?!) but you HAVE a couch and walls!!  Do you see what I mean?  Tornado season seems like it is hardly over before hurricane season begins.  Think of all that people have lost in the last year due to these disasters.  Not to mentions earthquakes and other natural disasters.  Your stuff looks pretty good right now, doesn't it?

Joy can take a million forms.  It might be found in a beautiful melody, a gorgeous flower, an awesome sunset or sunrise, the nice thing a stranger does for you, the laugh of a loved one, an unexpected hug, the nuzzle of a dog's nose, a few minutes to read part of a book, a steak cooked perfectly, a hawk perched on your deck, a surprise package in the mail, or a sticky note with a smiley face on it.  

Choose to find joy today.  And when you do, write it down or take a picture to remind yourself on those days when it is really hard to choose joy.  Trust me when I say you will be glad you did.

Until Next TIme.....

Monday, September 17, 2012

1 Year to an Organized Life - September Week Three

This week you can:

  • get your kids to stay organized
  • choose some chores
How awesome is the idea represented in this pic?  And this can be done very frugally.  Find some cheap frames that you love...clearance with broken glass is awesome, because you don't want the glass.  Staple or glue cork board from the back of the frame.  You can do the initial of your child as shown, or put their name near the top.  Have push pins in place, or a giant clip like shown to display todays to do list and maybe next to it those papers that need signed and sent back to school, upcoming school reminders of events, etc.  Then below the frames install oversize hooks for back backs and coats.  In the winter, I would put a mat of some sort under each hook for boots.  I don't know who came up with this idea...I just found the pic in Google images and it didn't have a link...but that person is brilliant!!

Another great way to make frames if your crafty is to buy a long piece of trim from a home improvement store and cut it down in to the size you want then paint it whatever color you want.

In this week's chapter, Regina offers suggestions for chores for your children in each room of the house and also a short guide on age appropriateness.  Let me say that once you put a schedule in place you have got to enforce it.  Too many times we give up and kids realize we don't always mean what we say so therefore they don't really have to do it.  This is the unfun part of parenting, but one of the most important things....follow through!  Regina makes some suggestions in the chapter for enforcing rules and chores.  Adapt them to your family needs as you know best what your child will respond to.

Until Next Time.....

Friday, September 14, 2012

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

1 (14-15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14-15 oz) can corn, drained
1 (14oz) can petite diced tomatoes drained unless you want it slightly juicy
1 (4 oz) can green chilies
1 very small onion minced or tiny dice
cilantro and lime juice to taste, optional

Stir all ingredients together
I like to slightly mash as I stir, especially if I am going to use it in recipes like Southwest Egg Roll copycats

Until Next Time.....

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fruit of the Spirit - Love

Galatians 5:22-23

I want to do this series on the fruit of the Spirit, but have struggled with the right words.  So, as in today's post, sometimes I will have a "guest post"....when I've found someone who can say it WAY better than I could.  I hope you get as much out of it as I did.

Until Next Time.....

Fruit of the Spirit is Love
By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir

Is the Character of Love in you?
Here is how you can find out. Take a careful look at this character and fruit of love from God's most precious Word by examining the passages below. Now ask yourself:
1.How do I exhibit Love in my daily life?
2.What can I do to develop a more loving attitude?
3.What blocks love from being expressed in me?
4.How can I make love function better, stronger, and faster, even in times of uncertainty and stress?
Galatians 5:22-23
The General idea of Love (John 13:1; 15:13; 1 Corinthians 13:3; 1 John) will enable us to appreciate our brothers and sisters in the Lord, and, of course, our family and others around us. Love is taking the initiative to build up and meet the needs of others without expecting anything in return. Love desires to seek and apply what God has to say. It also runs the full spectrum from romanticism and the quest for personal satisfaction, to God, and the meaning of life. And, when you have the wrong idea and definition of love, it will adversely impose on all those areas in your life. What love is not is as important as what love is!
The opposite is Hate, Lust, and Disgust. It covers the areas from disliking people who are different to deliberately seeking malice and destruction of what the Lord has for us!Not having real love will leave you empty and alone. Lust is not just the opposite it is the counterfeit!
· Here are positive examples from Scripture (1 Sam. 20:17; Matt. 13:35; 1 John 4)
· Here are negative examples from Scripture (Matt. 6:5; 23:6; 1 John 4:19; Rev. 2:4)
Further Questions
  1. How would you define Love?
  2. Would you rather love, or be loved?
  3. Look at 1 Corinthians 13:3. How does your practice of love compare to this passage?
  4. Can you give an example from your life?
  5. When have you loved the best?
  6. In what situation did you fail to love when you should have?
  7. What issue is in your life that would improve with more love?
  8. Think through the steps you need to take to put love into action in a specific instance or to improve it. Consider examples such as a person who is mean to you at work, or a distant relative, or a neighbor with whom you may not get along.Write a love letter to your spouse, or, if you are not married, to a pretend spouse, with the points you have learned so far.
Most people assume that love is the most important thing in a marriage, or the most important reason to get married! You will frequently hear people in TV, in the movies, out on the streets of life and even in the church saying, I do not need to work on love and relationships, it will just happen. And, if not, it was not meant to be, and I can get out of it if it does not work out. How sad that philosophy is! But, when you carefully examine love from the Bible, you will find that it is a choice over and against any feeling or aspiration of what we may want it to be or mean (Colossians 3:12-17; 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10; 5:8-13).
Love is a choice that also happens in a seemingly magical and metaphysical way, as poets have tried to explain it throughout the millennias. But, is that it? The Bible tells us that love is more than a feeling; it has segments and characters to it. Love is also a choice, a decision that must be perused and worked on. In our human mind, we may see it as magical, as if it "just happened," but, without pursuing its true meaning and character, it will dispel and waste away. So, when we do receive that spark of love that we cannot explain, to keep that magic, that romance, that spark going requires us to do something about it. If we do not work on it, the spark that was once there will vanish as quickly and as suddenly as it came. It will fade into the night, leaving us in the darkness of the maze of relationships, lost and confused. The way we keep that flame from blowing out is our understanding and modeling the character of love. So, as it becomes contagious and spreads, it flames and excites, burns and grows, so the winds of the ups and downs of a relationship will not blow it out!
We do not necessarily fall in love as the love songs and movies proclaim, because, you may well fall out of it, faster than you fell in it! If you never choose to make it a commitment, with love, you will never have it, or, if you do, you will not keep it! Love is a verb; it requires action that is implied for being a verb, action to do something with it. What are you doing with it? Are the precepts of 1 Corinthians 13 being put into action with your friends, family, acquaintances, and your spouse? If not, what is in the way of that verb action?
If you ask most couples who are thinking about marriage, or who are already engaged, why they are getting married, they usually will say: "Why, we're in love." It has been through studying the Word, plus, over twenty years of pastoral counseling experience, that has prompted me to question the validity of this motive. Yes, love is essential and powerful! However, if that is all you have, you will end up with nothing! The number one mistake people make when they date is to look just for love. The number one mistake married couples make is thinking that their love is all they need. This puts their brains "on hold" from everything else. Yes, love is putting the precepts of 1 Corinthians 13 into action, but most people, including Christians, do not even know what real love is! Choosing a life partner should never be based on love alone. A marriage cannot last on love alone. This may sound like crazy talk, but think it through. Have you ever seen a relationship work with just love? No, not for movie or TV stars who have everything going for them, not for the singers who sing about it, and not even for the Beatles! Because, they do not know what love is, nor do they really put it into practice.
Have you ever known some to get married to someone they did not love? Most, if not all, people who get married do it for love, yet, according to most statistical evidence, fifty percent will divorce in less than five years. So, what happened to the love? If love is all we need, should not it have worked? Why did it not work? Because, there never was real love, they misunderstood what love is, or, they had nothing but love. Perhaps they let that spark of love flame out in neglect, so that there was a huge vacuum in their relationship! Love should not be the horse in front of the cart. Love alone cannot influence a relationship. Love needs to be a result, not a cause, for getting married. Love is the result of a good marriage, not the fuel to make it. Love is an attitude that is followed by action; when this does not happen, love will sit and go nowhere.
God's love must be our model for life. It must flow into us from Christ, and in return flow out from us to those around us. God's love is the ultimate power for the Christian. We are to be fueled and empowered by love in all situations. Christian love is the turning of our backs to self-concerns, and facing our neighbors. It is the surrender of our will to His. Because, if love does not take us beyond our self-interests, then what we have is lust, not love! As the passage of 1 Corinthians 13:3 would say, we become just a noise that has no reason or purpose. Out of true love, God the Father gave us His Son, and the Son gave His life in replacement for ours. The Son sent the Spirit to save us, and we should be literally overwhelmed-consumed--with extreme joy and gratitude for what God has done for us.
Remember; "Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant." (NAS) What love is not is as important as what love is! Be aware that we will be held accountable and even judged on what we do not do or refuse to see when sin and pride are in the way (Matt. 23:27; Luke 19:42)!
© 2002, 2004R. J. Krejcir Into Thy Word Ministries

Monday, September 10, 2012

1 Year to an Organized Life - September Week Two

This week you can:

  • bring order to your child's bedroom
  • calm the elements in your child's bedroom...books, toys, dvds
  • introduce paper problem solutions to your kids
Isn't this an awesome pic???  I love this room!  I wish I would have had something like this as a kid.  Heck, I wish I had it now!  If you have been with us since January, you should be getting really good by now at organizing and space saving.  This will be a piece of cake...even if your kid has one of those rooms that make you dizzy just looking into it.  

First you need to decide what you want your child to use his room for.  Does he have his own room with plenty of space?  Or does he share a very small room?  I shared a room with my sister growing up and looking at that size of a room now, I do not know how we did it.  There was room for two twin beds and a dresser and barely a path to all three.  Obviously our room was just for sleep and storing our clothes.  There was no playing in here or doing homework.  

I actually kind of like that idea, especially if your kids don't seem to get enough rest.  The bedroom should be just for sleep and relaxing.  If it is big enough, maybe give them a comfy chair and a bookcase, but leave the desk and computer for another place in the house if you can.  First of all, there is the light that a computer gives off even when powered down most have a little light somewhere.  Second of all, you don't want your child tempted to get on the computer late at night after everyone else has gone to bed.  If it is someplace else in the home it makes it a little more difficult.

Growing up we had  "toy room".  It was just a space in the finished basement that didn't really have a use, on the other side of the laundry area.  My dad made a piece of wood into a corner desk kind of thing and we placed book shelves on either side.  He also put up a huge piece of cork on the wall next to rolled out almost like really thick wallpaper.  We could tack up schedules, artwork, etc.  This was all before computers, so if I were to have that room today, I probably would build out the desk longer on either side maybe with countertop material to have a writing place separate from the computer space.  The other side of this area is where we had our "toys" or games to play with.

If your child has a large room like in the picture above, and you want to have his desk and computer in there, I might suggest a hutch like cabinet on top of the desk that can be shut to block any light from the computer.  If your concerned with your child being on the computer at night, you can always put parental controls on it and shut it down before you go to bed then he can't log on and play around when he should be sleeping.

The rest of the chapter has great ideas for storage for all the things our kids have today.  Modify them to fit your child and his space.  Also, just like every other room you have done.  Do the speed elimination first WITH your child to decide what he really needs and what really needs to go!

Until Next Time.....

Friday, September 7, 2012

Baby Shower ideas

First decide on a color scheme.  Obviously if you know the sex of the baby you go from there.  What I did was find napkins and plates that I liked, then I pulled the other colors from them.  I got these bowls and this platter for $1.50 each from a party supply store in town, and they are Melamine, so you can wash them and use them forever (or until you accidentally put one in the microwave and melt it).

I had these awesome shortbread cookies made and decorated by my neighbor to go with my color scheme.  These cookies are stinking awesome!!

As people trickle in, I used this cute elephant made by Wilton.  The index cards say "don't forget" and each guest is to write down advice for the new mom.  That gives people a little something to do while waiting for everyone to arrive.

These are the favors I made for everyone to take home.  I noticed in party supply stores that you could get really small fake bottles to fill with candy...and they were anywhere from $1.50 to $2 each. I went to a dollar store and got real ones for $1 each.  Then if this is the type of bottle the new mom uses, you could always give it to her once you ate the candy.

 As I was trying to decide how to cover my gift table ( table) I thought, hey, blankets! Then new mom gets to take those home with her to use as blankets or burp cloths or whatever.

After people wrote out their advice on the elephant card, they could come get some snacks and socialize until we were all ready to do our activity.  NO CAKE YET!!  That's for after presents!

How awesome is this cake??  A friend made this cake, and she cut out the fondant by hand to match the plates and napkins we were using.  So cool!!!

Now for the activity!  Instead of playing games, we decided to do a craft since our group of people at this particular shower like to do crafty things.  And this was really so easy.  I can't sew on a button, but I made three of these!!  We took plain onesies, scrap fabric, heat 'n' bond, and some cutouts to make awesome one of a kind onesies.  This activity was based on a series from this blog.  Check it out, they got way fancier!

Here are a few other ideas:
  • Bib decorating, same as above or with fabric pens
  • diaper shower with diaper themed games
  • scrapbook, each guest makes a scrapbook page and all mom has to do is add pictures
  • owl theme: owl supplies and decorations and gifts are brain toys and books
  • guess the baby picture, get guests baby pictures and maybe a current picture and have guests try to match them
  • theme baskets such as, nap time, bath time, play time, story time, in the car, for the diaper bag, feeding, safety, etc.
  • book shower...great for teachers, librarians or anyone who loves to read.  each guest brings their favorite children's book for the new mom and explains why it's their favorite.  These books do not have to be new, well loved is even better

Until Next Time.....

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Princess Unaware Week Ten

Brave Princess

We all of have fear, and some of us are bound by our fear.  But we should live in confidence knowing that if God is for us who can be against us?  I know, some of you are saying "I know a lot of people who are against me".  But the point is they will never win, unless YOU let them!

We all have core fears, things like fear of rejection or abandonment, being unloved, or maybe feeling like you are just never good enough.  Satan knows we have these core fears and he uses them to get us to believe his lies.  Some people may reject us, abandon us, not love us, and I know we aren't all theoretical physicists, but the fact remains that God loves us and only wants what is in our best interest.  

There may be stirring of legitimate fear.  For example are you in a situation you shouldn't be in?  Brenda uses her daughters as an example on page 248, and I know you remember being a teenager and in school.  If you are in a  situation you shouldn't be in, an unsupervised party that gets out of control, riding with someone who then decides to drink, etc., remove yourself from these situations at once and then safeguard so that you hopefully don't get in that situation again.  Here's one time where running away is a good thing.

But other times our fear is completely baseless, for example worrying about what others will think, say or do.  Talk about borrowing trouble!  You don't know any of that will happen, but who among us hasn't spent needless hours of worry over something like this?  As long as you are following God's plan for your life, or even just beginning to align yourself to find out what that plan is, you do not need to worry about anyone else.

Face down fear with these weapons: the Word, obedience, and confidence in God.  Scripture has the answer for everything, you just have to look.  The Psalms are a great place to dwell when you are dealing with fear.  And if we are obeying God, fear pretty much evaporates on its own.  Sometimes you may feel overwhelmed, but simply take it one step at a time and if need be put your blinders on!  Obedience blinders not only keep us from being distracted, but they keep us safe as well.  Most importantly, simply knowing God, knowing who He is and what He wants for us, gives us the confidence we need to face our fears.  How to know Him better to gain that confidence?  It all circles the Word and speak with Him daily.

You made it...OK you still might be working at it, but you are on the right path.  You are a Princess of the King.  Rejoice in that....again I say rejoice!!

Until Next Time.....

Monday, September 3, 2012

1 Year to an Organized Life - September Week One

This week you can:

  • look at your past experiences of the school year
  • see what you are creating for your children
  • discover the genius of routines
  • learn how to create a positive outlook
We are back to some great journaling questions this week.  Look back at your own school experiences to see if they are influencing how you treat back to school time now with your kids.  The questions can be very insightful....don't skip them!

I'm going to focus on routine in this post, while the chapter covers a few other things.  As an educator for 15 years, I can tell you how important routine is!  Kids, and most human beings for that matter, crave routine, and boundaries.  Every family varies, so I can't tell you a single routine that will work for everyone, but most have some of the same components.  

First and foremost, a set bedtime and get up time.  This includes the weekends!!  Maybe if you and your child can handle it you could give or take an hour on the weekends, but trust me...but better yet, experience it for yourself for will be surprised at how much better your body works on a regular schedule.  Bodily functions, thinking, energy, everything is enhanced with the proper sleep, and if your body "sees" that it is going to get the same amount everyday, it focuses on tasks more than survival.  Don't believe me?  Google'll see!

Next, decide how many activities each child will be involved in.  Your child does not need to sign up for every club, sport or activity known to man just because the neighbor kids are or just because they think it's cool today, but will forget about it next week.  Your lives also should never be dictated by Susie's soccer games or Johnny's swim meets.  These activities are meant to enhance our lives, not rule them!

Now it's time to make a schedule.  You can get very fancy with this.  There are companies that sell cute-sie and/or very detailed charts with pockets and all kinds of bells and whistles.  Or you could be simple like I did in the above pic.  This is a magnet tablet.  I have one column for each kid, and one column for dinner.  Then for each kid, things are color coded.  Activities are one color, sports another, chores another, etc.  The kids check off when they have completed a chore or activity and then they see that the rest of their day is free time, or family time.

Schedules and routines are great for adults too.  When you know something is set, it takes away all the last minute scrambling and stress.  I used to think I was freer to fly by the seat of my pants, but it's not true.  I have never felt more free and stress-less than when I've got a plan in place.

Give it a shot, it will be worth it!

Until Next Time.....

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Freeze Fresh Produce

Don't want summer to end?  Wish you could have some of this awesome fresh produce in the middle of winter?  You's very easy!!

Take whatever it is you want to freeze and place it on a cookie sheet, spread out into one even layer.  In the case of my broccoli, I cut it into bite size pieces first.  For something like berries, simply spread them out.

Place cookie sheet in the freezer for 1-3 hours, depending on what you have, until frozen.  This is basically what Green Giant and other places do to make the frozen veggies you buy in the store, only they have a fancy freezer as big as a building and a huge conveyor belt running through it!  I accidentally forgot about the tray and left it overnight, but there was no damage done!

If you have a vacuum sealer, that works best because it will last a lot longer in the freezer with no freezer burn.  But, since you flash froze your produce already, you can simply place it in a freezer zip top bag and it will still last awhile.

I like to package things into single use.  This is enough broccoli in one bag for the two of us as a side dish for dinner and sometimes enough for me to have with whatever leftovers the next day.

Give it a try, and let me know what you freeze!

Until Next Time.....