Eat New Challenge

It’s been a long time. I have taken the word “slacker” to a whole new level. Don’t think I haven’t missed you, I have. The summer got off to a rocky start in my house. Including gall bladder surgery for me, followed by recovery. All with my poor kids being home on their, oh so short, summer break.

We’ve been back to school for over a month now. It’s hard to believe!

With getting back into my groove, I have decided to try something new. First, let me remind everyone that I grocery shop on Fridays, so my menu plans normally cover Friday through the following Thursday. Because weekends are unpredictable (which is allowed for in my planning), I have decided to challenge myself to eat something new for supper each day starting Sunday, going through Thursday!

After scouring my pinned recipes, this is the menu (with links to the recipes) that I plan on preparing for my family.

Sunday – Kentucky Fried Chicken (copycat), Red Lobster biscuits, and jalapeno corn dip

Monday – Corndogs, probably with some green beans and fries, unless something else sparks my interest!

Tuesday – Crock Pot Carnitas (with rice). This is a link to the Pin, the recipe is listed there.

Wednesday – Cuban beef with baked avocado fries

Thursday – Tuscan Tortellini Soup

This week’s dessert – Vanilla Bean Cream Pie, probably will be made on Sunday!

So there you have it! Finally, my Pinterest time has come in handy ūüėČ They all looked sooo delicious! I figure my kids will be the most excited about Monday…and probably Sunday.

I’m looking forward to all the new flavors, and, if this coming week goes well, maybe I’ll give it another try the next week!

Now I challenge you to try something new. Maybe one of the recipes I’m trying out, or another one you’ve had tucked away. If you accept the Eat New Challenge, I’d love to hear from you, leave a comment and let me know the outcome!

Thanks for stopping by! ~Kim~

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Love Is…

“Happy Valentine’s Day!”

Although this isn’t a super-celebrated¬†holiday¬†in my family, I still heard¬†this phrase mixed in with our conversations this morning.¬† The kids will exchange Valentines with their friends and I do plan on making a special dessert for our dinner tonight, but, all in all, we keep this day pretty low-key.¬† From the buzz in the blog world this week, it seems we are not alone in this.

I, of course, believe love is amazing.¬† Love is “shout it from the roof top” awesome.¬† But an important lesson we try hard to instill in our children, is….

Love isn’t romantic dinners and poetic cards.

Love isn’t flowers and candy.

Love isn’t expensive jewelry.

Love isn’t merely saying “I love you.”

Anyone can give a gift, it doesn’t define who loves us, but it is something loved ones can do.

We try to show them that all of these things are fun, and¬†it’s ok to enjoy them, as long as they know……

Love isn’t tangible.

Love lives in our hearts.

Love is a gift from God.  His love makes us complete.  This is why we must love.  (1 John 4:7-12)

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.¬†It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.¬†Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.¬†It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

I write this post, not to cast a gray cloud over the day, but to be that little reminder we all need some times.

Love is more than words and things.

Love is those little things you do everyday.

Some times love is all captured in a look.  Completely unspoken, just felt.

Felt with every bit of your being.

While you celebrate with your Valentine today, take a moment to really feel the love, because love is truly the best gift of all.

For more on love, in scripture, check out these verses:

  • John 3:16
  • 1 John 3:1
  • 1 John 3:16
  • 1 John 4:7-12
  • John 15:13
  • Romans 5:8
  • Romans 8:37
  • Ephesians 3:18-20
  • Ephesians 5:1

Do you have a favorite love verse or saying?¬† If you have a blog post about love or Valentine’s Day, feel free to post a link in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by! ~Kim~

IMG_1761

Helped by the Unexpected

Have you ever had one of those days, that nothing goes right?¬† Sure, we all have.¬† Yesterday was that day for me.¬† I’m a pretty optimistic person, but I think we all have a little dread in our hearts when Monday rolls around.

I woke up yesterday at 4:15 to the sound of my eldest son blowing his nose.¬† Nice alarm clock, don’t you think?¬† I never went back to sleep after that, finally getting out of bed at 5:30.

That was unexpected.

unexpected screws up

I like to plan my day and normally adhere pretty well to my schedule, but when you start your day in an unexpected way, at an unexpected time, it sort of sets the tone for the day.  Not exactly a good tone either.  But trying to remain positive, I found some motivation and strength somewhere deep inside.  Coffee may have played a role in that, but motivation and strength, nonetheless.

I went to work on laundry, chores and was making good progress on my “to-do” list.¬† All the while, dropping about everything I touched, to the point I thought I should not look at anything, because it might just throw itself on the floor, to save it the suspense of who’s next.

Then I remembered I had to make a phone call about some personal matters.  Ugh.  Two hours later after a torturous conversation and a ridiculous amount of time filling out online forms, my schedule went right out the window.

So now it’s only lunch time, I’ve picked up nearly everything in the house. Twice.¬†¬†I’m stressed about something completely out of my control.

~sigh~

Does this ever happen to you?¬† Thankfully last night was¬†the monthly homemaker’s meeting.¬† The topic for discussion?¬†¬†Stress management.¬† What could be more fitting?

We talked about the different types of stress and how to cope with it.¬† Even though we didn’t talk specifically about my stressor, we discussed stresses that are out of our control.¬† I found it so helpful.

It’s good to be reminded that you can’t do everything, some things are beyond your control, and no one is perfect.

unexpected lesson

Everyone experiences stress.  EVERYONE.  Young, old, single, married, it shows no discrimination.

For me a big stress is the unexpected.  I am doing so much better with it, mostly due to being a mom.  Once a child is in your life, the unexpected just becomes the norm.  When you have four children, like I do, having something expected happen, becomes the crazy.

Just remember you’re not alone.

Stress can do so much to you body and mind without us being aware of it.  It can hurt us and our relationships with those we love.  It can cause illness.

Don’t let it take control.¬† Little bits of stress¬†(like my day Monday),¬†can add up before you know it.¬† Talk about it, take a walk, read a book, find a way that works for you, but relieve that stress.

Here are a couple of links about stress if you are interested…

Stress Management – Learn to Prevent and Reduce Stress

Stress Management – Healthy Lifestyle

How do you relieve stress?¬† I’d love to hear your ideas!

Similar posts:

A Mother’s Worry

No Mommy’s Perfect

Thanks for stopping by! ~Kim~

THE Best Christmas Cookies

Christmas is just over a week away. Eight days, if you’re counting. My kids are. I am too! This time of year is so full of traditions. I think that’s why I love it so much!

Making Christmas cookies has been a tradition I have participated in ever since I was little.  I can remember helping my Mom and Granny making them, and now I make them with my own kids!

I’m guessing if you’d type in “Christmas cookie” for an internet search, it would probably get millions of hits! That¬†could be¬†overwhelming!!¬† So to help you out a little, I thought I’d share with you my favorite cookie recipes of all time.

<< The following links take you to a printable copy of the recipe or the web page the recipe originates from.  I do not claim any of these to be my own creation, but they were passed to me as a handwritten recipe from my Mom.  The origin is unknown>>

 

Pecan Tassies

Peanut Butter Cookies¬†– I have tried many, but this is still the best.¬† I guess Jiff might¬†know a think or two about peanut butter after all ūüėČ

Walnut Frosties

Sugar Cookies РThese are the best to make with the kids, they LOVE to cut them out and of course decorate them!

Fudge¬†– This isn’t “real” fudge but it tastes pretty darn close, plus it’s super easy!¬†¬†It is a great versatile recipe.¬† You can omit the nuts, or you can change it up by using different flavored chips.¬† I’ve already tried it with peanut butter chips, and a mix of semi-sweet chocolate and peanut butter!¬† I bet it would be amazing with some mint and chocolate mixed!

Chocolate Chip Cookies Рthe use of pudding in this recipe makes it unique.  They stay thick even after they cool.  If you still have trouble keeping the cookies from flattening out, use 1/2 cup solid shortening and 1/2 cup butter, in place of a whole cup of butter!

IMG_0304Walnut Frosties - Christmas Cookies

I wish I had more cookie pictures to share with you, but my kids and I are planning on baking Sunday and Monday.  They are so much looking forward to it, maybe more than I am!

 

Whether you’re leaving cookies out for Santa or giving them as a gift, there’s just something special about homemade Christmas cookies.¬† I hope one of these recipes catches your eye, maybe even inspires you to start a new baking tradition in your family.¬† If you try any, I’d love to hear how they turn out!

What is your favorite Christmas cookie recipe?  Would you share?

Who I Am: November Edition

Happy fall everyone!  I live in the midwest and the leaves have changed, are falling, and making a colorful carpet on the ground.  I hope you are all doing well!

I had planned on making this my December topic, but due to recent events I have decided to do it now.¬† I had originally picked December because it is the month the birth of my Savior is celebrated, and it just seemed fitting.¬† By now, I’m sure most of you figured out, that I am a Christian!¬† First I want to talk a little about that, then I move on to why I moved the topic up to November.

I was raised Catholic, sort of.¬† I went to a Catholic school from first through eighth grade.¬† I learned the “rules” and attended church with my class.¬† On occasion I attended church with my mom.

I believed, but my faith wasn’t very strong.¬† I prayed, but rarely.¬† I was lost, so to speak.

I actually didn’t start attending church on a regular basis until I was about 17 or 18.¬† I have my husband (then boyfriend) to thank for that.¬† I grew a little in my faith, but still wasn’t there.¬† It planted the seed.

As time passed, I was married, children came.  I knew I was blessed.  I prayed more often.  I knew there was something more to this life.  I knew I needed to be closer to God.

For me,¬†spiritual growth didn’t come from going to church.¬† For some, this works, but I¬†didn’t find Him just¬†by walking into a specific building once a week.

It wasn’t something others could do for me.

My faith grew when I decided to let God in my heart.  When I opened my eyes to all He has done and continues to do in my life.

I began reading the Bible regularly, studying is more like it.  I am lucky to have my husband, among other faithful people in my life, that I can talk with and learn from.

When I love God, I find life is so amazing.  I find it easier to find the good and appreciate things more.  I find new meaning in attending church, wherever it may be.

It¬†also inspires me to share that love.¬† And so, part two of my post…..

I was blessed enough to have the opportunity to share that love, by assisting in teaching children at church.  Let me just say, children are amazing!  They are so eager and open to the Lord, when given the chance.

Recently, though there have been some recent changes in our life that makes it hard to continue to teach at church.¬† The biggest, is our church closed. We found a new one, but it’s further from home.¬†¬†Plus,¬†our youngest is struggling a bit with adjusting to school (he started kindergarten).

It was a bittersweet decision.

The bitter?  I will miss all the kids and fellow teachers.  They are truly the most wonderful group of people! We had loads of fun.  I will miss working with them all!

The sweet?  More quality time with my kids!

This week was our first home lesson.  We always tried to teach the kids about faith, God, praying, etc., but it was done (and will continue to be done) randomly, as situations arise.  Now I have set aside a day a week for Bible study.  My struggle will be the age differences of my kids and making the lesson relevant (and exciting!) to all.  I believe we are off to a good start.  This week we studied a little in the Gospel of Luke and began faith journals.

I’ve found some great online resources, like Bible Study Planet, Calvary Cirriculum, and Ministry-t0-Children.

The best part, though?¬† Wednesday evening, after study time, we all gathered around the table to pray before supper.¬† Each person takes a turn saying something they are thankful for, and my little 5-year-old W, says “learning in the Bible with Mom.” ‚̧

greatest gift

 

Here are the links to past Who I Am posts:

Who I Am: February

Who I Am: March

Who I Am: April

Who I Am: May

Who I Am: June

Who I Am: July

Who I Am: August

Who I Am: September

Who I Am:  October

Only one more month to go, if you have anything you’d like to learn about me, leave a comment!

~Thanks for dropping by~

 

“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7

 

 

Who I am: October Edition

I blinked my eyes and the beginning of October came and went.  Halloween is fast approaching and I am not doing a good job of creating a blogging schedule.  I apologize to you all.

This month’s “Who I Am” post took some thinking.¬† It’s probably the most obvious thing about me, but I struggled with whether I should write about it or not.¬† Wondering what you, my reader, might think.¬† What the reaction would be.

Well, here it goes.

I am a mom.

A mother.

You’re probably thinking, “It’s October and you are just now writing about this?¬† Why the hesitation?”

Because I didn’t always want to be a mom.

It wasn’t even on my radar.¬† At all.

I’ve heard other moms say that they couldn’t wait to have a baby, it was their “life-long dream,” or their “purpose.”¬† I would think, “wow!¬† Motherhood was their goal?”

I didn’t understand.

Growing up, I wasn’t around babies or little ones very much.¬† I was an only child.¬†¬†My cousins had little ones¬†(that I LOVE!), but we lived far from them.¬†¬†I didn’t experience¬†a lot of the¬†growing-up process, as I would only see them a few times a year.

Honestly, it really didn’t occur to me how little I¬†knew about babies until I started dating my husband.¬† He is from a large family (11 kids)!¬† As you can imagine, his life experiences and view of things was much different than mine.¬† He is the third youngest so, by that time, most of his brothers and sisters were married with kids.

We would visit his siblings often, especially his one sister and her husband.  They just had a baby about the time we started dating.  Seeing, my then boyfriend, interact with the new little baby amazed me.

I’m talking life altering amazed.¬† He was so natural.¬† So happy.

You could just feel how much he enjoyed the baby.

Thinking back, I can still picture him holding his little nephew, laughing and talking to him.

I know it sounds crazy, but I knew that moment, that I wanted to be a mom.  Without a doubt.

I FINALLY understood the “dream.”¬† Feeling the happiness and love, I knew I wanted that too.

Now that I am a mom I can’t imagine a life without my kids.

They fill every day with wonder and adventure.  Fun and laughter.

They inspire me to be better.  They give me new purpose.

They teach me more than I think I can ever teach them.

They are my joy.

I love them and I love being a mom!

I read this once, and I can truly say, that

“My greatest blessings call me ‘mom!'”

 

If you missed any past “Who I Am” posts, check them out here:

Who I Am: February

Who I Am: March

Who I Am: April

Who I Am: May

Who I Am: June

Who I Am: July

Who I Am: August

Who I Am: September

 

Did you always know you wanted to be a parent?

 

Thanks for stopping in…Kim

Let Me Share….

Long time, no post.¬† With the exception of the Who I Am for August, I have been missing from the blog world!¬† Don’t think it has been because I have forgotten¬†all of you lovely folks!¬† It’s just, well, life happened.¬† We were able to squeeze in a family vacation before school started, I’ve been preserving garden harvest, the kids started school, etc……

Instead of telling you a step by step narrative of what my life has been, I wanted to try something fun, and well, easier ūüėȬ†¬†Over the last month or so I have been reminded of a lot and learned some new things that I want to share, so here it goes….in no particular order…..

  1. Raccoons are smart little creatures.¬† They like the taste of chicken, my chickens to be exact.¬† I don’t like raccoons.
  2. Watching kids play with a broken 15 foot piece of clothes line, like it’s a jump rope, is funny.
  3. I miss my clothesline.
  4. You can sometimes find dependable people are ones you may least expect.
  5. My kids are awesome.
  6. Some people will let you down.¬† Some people will let your kids down.¬† I don’t want to be¬†that person.
  7. Much wisdom can be gained while picking berries with someone 30 years your senior.
  8. Blackberries taste better when you pick them.
  9. Sending your kids off to school after summer break doesn’t get easier.¬† Ever.
  10. Never leave for a family vacation without extra blankets, especially if 3 boys share one bed.
  11. The days spent canning are well spent, especially when your son explains how much better food tastes if it’s homegrown.
  12. Holding your tongue can be hard sometimes.¬† Really hard.¬† But it’s often the best thing to do.
  13. It’s hard not to judge those that judge you.
  14. My youngest son hates school in the morning, but thinks it’s “awesome” by afternoon.¬† I wonder his feelings on mornings? ūüėČ
  15. My husband does a lot of things to help me.¬† A lot.¬† I see it everyday, but I don’t always get the opportunity to thank him (I need to do better).
  16. My husband is amazing
  17. I like how my¬†house looks when it’s decorated for Independence Day, that’s why it still is.
  18. My baby is five months old.  FIVE MONTHS???? When did that happen??!!??
  19. Being patient, especially with those you love, results in a better outcome than the alternative.
  20. Your children notice how you treat others.
  21. Children possess more wisdom than most adults are willing to give them credit for; listen to them, you may learn something.
  22. Kindness is awesome, remembered, and often reciprocated.
  23. Don’t be disappointed in “unanswered” prayers.¬† The Lord sees all, knows all, and although His answer to your prayer may be different from what you expected, it will be ok.
  24. Putting an end to procrastination is difficult.
  25. I have missed blogging.  Way more than I realized until I sat down to write this post!

There you have it!¬† I could go on, but 25 seems like a nice number.¬† It’s funny, sometimes, how one little thing can remind you of something you’ve known all along to be true.¬† It can open your eyes and remind you to be thankful, kind, understanding, etc.

Do you have any tidbits you’d like to share from your life experiences?¬† Or stories that go along with what I’ve shared?¬† I would love to hear them, just post a comment below!

Stop over and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and/or sign up for emails over to the left side of the screen!

Thanks for stopping by!       ~Kim