Thursday, May 31, 2007

Works for me Wednesday Follow-Up

In my "Works for Me Wednesday" yesterday, I mentioned using baby powder to get sand off your body. Someone asked how to use it in one of my comments, and I thought I would post on how I use it. One way is after your little one is done swimming and you're putting a diaper or undies on them, use the baby powder to get sand out of those private parts. The powder makes the sand fall right off, and of course its safe to use there. Once when my oldest was a toddler, I brought his nude little self down to the water to rinse the sand off. The lifeguard told me he needed to get dressed (yikes!). So this solves that problem for beaches or pools with that rule. Also, once I get the sand off everybody, there is still the issue of getting it off your feet so you don't drag it into your car. So I clean off the feet last in the parking lot, using the baby powder. Try it - it works amazingly!

A word of advice - be kind when sprinkling the powder. If its a windy day, that powder can really blow around! If your husband, an older child or a friend is with you, have them hold a towel to catch the flying powder!

Also, as for the other items I pack in the bag that I need on a day to day basis around the house, I buy double of it rather than remembering if I took it out of the bag. For instance, I have sun screen, a comb, diapers, wipes, etc. that stays right in my beach bag.

Happy Summer Everyone!



Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Works for me Wednesday

Well it seems like Works for me Wednesday is the only way I get blogging sometimes! Check out Shannon's blog for some great tips.

I've found a great way to get out the door fast in the summer for last minute invites swimming or to the beach. I have a gigantic LL Bean-style bag that I keep our beach towels and all our swim suits, swimmie diapers, sun screen, powder (to get sand off feet and other body parts-another Works for Me tip!), hats, extra clothes for the kids, a book, some sand toys, diapers, wipes, comb, hair clip, etc., etc., ETC. (yes the bag is HUGE!). When we get home from swimming, the bag goes right by the washer and dryer, and as soon as everything is cleaned, it goes right back in that bag so I'm ready for the next time. Its been a huge time saver.

Works for me!



Friday, May 25, 2007

Happy Birthday M!

Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday Dear Daughter! Happy Birthday to You!
I can't believe its been one year since my sweet dear baby girl was born. She's the sweet rose in our family, and I thank God for her! After having two precious sons, I assumed I would be a boys mom, but God knew I needed a girl! She is my reminder of God's "good grace."
Sweet M, you are my precious daughter. I love being your Mama and you mean the world to me. You are a sweet, good girl, and I thank God that He has given you to me. I love thinking back to the night the doctors placed you in my arms. Since that first time in my arms, that is where you like to be, and I wouldn't have it any other way. You've had an exciting first year, with many changes, but through it all, you, your brothers and Daddy were the steady that I needed. I can't wait to see all of the things you will do this year. Happy Birthday Peanut Butter Girl! I love you from the bottom of my heart! Love, Mama

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Works for me Wednesday

With the rise of gas prices (gulp!) I know we all could use some good tips on how to save money. What has worked for my family for the past few summers was placing our satellite TV on hold for the summer. With the provider we have, we do not pay anything to do this - no fees, and no monthly bills. For us we don't watch TV in the summer anyway, so I was so excited to find that I didn't have to pay for something we weren't using! Then come the middle of September, we usually reactivate the service without any cost whatsoever! Call your cable or satellite provider to see if they offer this.

For other great tips, check out the blog Rocks in My Dryer.



Monday, May 21, 2007

Kettle Corn

I love kettle corn. Its a nice treat when we go to a fair of some sort. The other night I wondered if I could make it at home, and I found this recipe. It was SO good, and SO easy - I was surprised. Yesterday we went to a car show, and picked up some kettle corn, and I have to say, we all liked mine better! Here's the recipe!

Kettle Corn

peanut oil (I just used vegetable oil)
1/4 cup popcorn
1/4 cup sugar

Directions:Use a decent size pot (with a lid) and turn on the heat to medium high. Pour in enough oil to lightly coat the bottom. Don't use too much oil. Too much oil will sog the popped popcorn and you'll probably get sick to your stomach when you eat it. Dump in enough popcorn to make a single layer in the pot. Add a little bit of salt and pepper. When you see the corn start to get excited but before it starts to pop, quickly pour in the sugar as evenly as you can across the top. Cover and shake back and forth to pop (like Jiffy Pop). You can't pop every single kernel because you would scorch the popcorn. Also pouring in the sugar too soon tends to make the popcorn scorch more easily. Be sure to get the popped popcorn out of the pot as quickly as possible to prevent scorching from the residual heat in the pot.

Recipe from:

Be careful it was VERY hot! Make sure it is cooled a bit before letting your kids dig in. It took longer to cool down than regular popcorn.



Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Thoughts on Raising Kids

How you are going to raise your children can be so controversial. There are so many theories, and as parents we can get in heated debates about it. That is NOT my purpose here. I've read much on this subject as I'm sure you have. One thing I will say is that we must be leery of anything that is contrary to Scripture. God's Word is perfect and true, and I believe contains the framework for all situations in life, including raising kids. The Bible is the first book we should turn to for all answers.

As I go about parenting, I'm realizing that the best approach is to be a forward thinker and work back from there - for instance, when your kids are all grown, how do you hope they will be? For us, we want kids who grow to be adults that have a true burning heart for God. We don't want Sunday Christians, who go through all the motions, appearing to be fine but inside struggling, and never turning to God for His help (isn't this how the majority of Christians are today?). So how do we get there from here?

As you read the Proverbs, it is perfectly clear that God is all about our heart attitude. Proverbs 4:23 says that the heart is the wellspring of life. So think with me for a minute about yourself as a child or a teenager. We learned quickly that if we behaved, we were rewarded for that good behavior. But how was your heart? Maybe you murmured "I don't like my parents for doing this to me"; or when it came to your siblings, "I won't hit you, but I still hate you"; or you wouldn't do certain things in front of your parents, but knew you could when they weren't looking. So while we were good to get the reward, or to avoid punishment, how was God feeling about what was going on in your heart? I don't think I Samuel 16:7 deals simply with "beauty is on the inside" if you know what I mean. As a mom, when my children are well behaved, I get puffed up with pride - they look great on the outside, I get compliments from others - but if I want them to be the adults I described above, I must watch for the attitudes that emerge from within - even the subtle ones that others may not notice. As it says in I Samuel 16:7 - God looks at the heart, and I believe as a parent, we need to turn our children's attention there.

So, in my quest on how to make this work practically, I found a wonderful website - Elizabeth, a mom of 10 (yes, 10) really tells it like it is. The most challenging thing for me, and honestly something I'm struggling with (not in an "I don't agree" kind of way, but in a "I REALLY agree, but have some serious changing to do, and its not going to be comfortable") is that our jobs as moms is literally ALL the time. Now if you're like me, a mom who stays home, we can feel so righteous sometimes. "Oh I stay home with my kids" as if we are so godly, and as if that was enough. Yuck - that prideful attitude is hideous. Lets go back to the fact that God looks at the heart - we may stay home and it looks so great to others, but then we constantly push the kids outside, or in the playroom, or off to friends all in an attempt to get some things done. Here's how Elizabeth explains it: "Many well intentioned parents are used to getting up in the morning, feeding and clothing their young children, then sending them off to play. Before too long they hear arguing and bickering coming from the playroom, or they glance out the window and see shoving and pushing going on in the back yard, or somebody comes to tattle on somebody else. The parents discipline and then send them off to play again and the cycle begins all over." If you think about it, where else will those heart attitudes come out more than in the playroom or while outside playing with other children? She suggests that your children should not be away from you, but they should be with you ALL the time so that you can pick up on the attitudes and deal with it IMMEDIATELY. "How on earth will I ever get anything done?" Well Elizabeth suggests that you do all you need to with them there right by your side, because after all, they will need those life skills as an adult (Talk about a true involved parent!). I won't continue to quote and summarize, I encourage you to check out her website.

Now I know some of you will be turned off with the whole spanking thing. She definitely goes there. I'm not here to address that - I don't feel that is my place to do. So whether you agree with spanking or not, still read her website, and I think you will greatly benefit from it. In all things, we MUST seek God. He WILL answer our cries for help.

Okay, I really have to go - I'm not making any of the changes I need to by sitting here on this computer!



Works for me Wednesday

A few weeks ago, someone posted about buying colored undies for her hubby because colors get washed more than whites, etc. (thank you madridmom for writing back letting me know this was your WFMW tip!) Anyway, whites take longer to make a full load for me as well, so recently I purchased a large quantity (I'm guessing 18-20?) of white washcloths from the dollar store. I use these cloths for EVERYTHING - dusting, cleaning bathrooms, daily wiping of counters, spot mopping, etc., etc., ETC. I have so many of them, I just toss them into my whites, and it helps make for a larger white load sooner, since the colors get full fast enough (too fast if you ask me:))! Its also better for the environment! Works for me!

Friday, May 11, 2007

MIA - Enjoying the Weather!

You know how it is, the first real long chunk of beautiful weather, and all you do is spend every moment you possibly can outside, forgetting that life still goes on inside! Laundry gets dirty, house gets dusty, toilets get grimy, bills don't get paid (and for once not because there's no money in the checking account), and you realize all this when it is almost too late :) Yup, that is where I am today. I'm still in winter mode - thinking this weather can't possibly last so we need to hurry up, get out there and enjoy this - I'm still anticipating snow or frost - but no, spring is definitely here (actually feels more like summer this week) and I can't neglect managing our home like I have the past 2-3 weeks! After this weekend I plan on getting back into the swing of things again, including writing here on my blog! (I have a lot the Lord has been teaching me and I can't wait to share!) First, I must enjoy this upcoming weekend though - of course its Mother's Day, but we are also dedicating our "baby" girl to the Lord in church on Sunday (she'll be 1 in 2 weeks - sniff, sniff). I'd like to share the verse my husband and I have claimed as our verse of dedication of our children to the Lord - I Samuel 1:27-28:

27 I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. 28 So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD." And he worshiped the LORD there.

Have a wonderful and BLESSED Mother's Day!



Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Works for me Wednesday

Two posts in one day? Yikes!

Today is a birthday theme over at Works For Me Wednesday. I've been thinking about birthdays as my baby girl is turning 1 at the end of May! Well, what works for me is keeping it simple for their first birthday "party!" For my first son, I went all out, invited any and everyone - and you know what? He slept in his highchair most of the time! I was a bear because I over-did it, and all in all, it just wasn't what I had dreamed of! For my second son, we didn't have a "party" we just went to a train museum and had cake at home and he opened gifts at his own speed. It was so fun and enjoyable! So as my daughter approaches 1, we are teaming up with my brother's daughter who is turning 1 at the end of June, and just having our parents and our sister and her family over to my place for a simple gathering and just enjoying each other!

Two New Favorite Things

I've discovered two things that have become favorite things:

1. Card Games from the dollar store. About once a week I make my way over to my local dollar store. For Easter that is where I found goodies for my kids, including two card games with a Bible theme - one is called Noah's Ark (played like Go-Fish) and the other is Bible Eights (played like Uno) both made by Martin Designs. My 4 year old son loves playing these! My 2 year old son also loves to look at the pictures. Just last night I bought the classic Old Maid - and all these games are for $1 - who can beat that! They have several more that I will pick up every few weeks - its a great way to spend time with my children.

2. Meatball Subs for Dinner. A fast and delicious (and I've learned to make them healthy) dinner that I found that we all love are meatball subs (or as a true New Englander such as myself calls them GRINDERS!) I buy frozen chicken or turkey meatballs (I found chicken meatballs at Sam's Club - (2 points for 3 meatballs fellow Weight Watchers-ers!)), and dump them in sauce (today I am making a homemade crockpot tomato sauce - enough to make other dinners throughout the next few weeks. Today I dumped a ton of meatballs in this sauce for dinner tonight. But the last time I made it I just dumped meatballs in jarred sauce and it was very yummy!) I then put meatballs and sauce on long whole grain rolls, put shredded part-skim mozzarella, and then broil them for a little bit. For the kids I take some of the sauce (these meatballs are really spicy) and cheese and I don't broil their grinders. Its an easy meal that my whole family loves! Serve with a salad or carrot sticks for the kids, and it is a real healthy and delicious meal!

Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest,
For those that wander they know not where
Are full of trouble and full of care;
To stay at home is best.

Weary and homesick and distressed,
They wander east, they wander west,
And are baffled and beaten and blown about
By the winds of the wilderness of doubt;
To stay at home is best.

Then stay at home, my heart, and rest;
The bird is safest in its nest;
O'er all that flutter their wings and fly
A hawk is hovering in the sky;
To stay at home is best.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow