"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

October 30, 2008

Our favorite soup

My sister-in-law made this for us years ago and ever since then its been a family favorite. Last time my brother-in-law came to FL to visit, one of my boys said "Mom, you have to make tortilla soup! We always it eat when our family is together." I guess it has become a tradition.
~But even if we don't have company, I always double this recipe because if I didn't my gang would be mighty sad. Enjoy! If you make it, call us and we'll come over and help you eat it! ; )

Tortilla Soup

1 med. onion chopped
1 jalapeno pepper seeded and diced
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 lbs. beef chuck cut into small cubes
3 T. oil
28 oz. can of Mexican Tomatoes with chilies (Rotel)
1 can beef broth
1 can condensed tomato soup
1 can chicken broth
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1-3 t. Tabasco sauce
1 T. ground cumin
1 T. chili powder
1 T. salt
1/4 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
6 corn tortillas cut into 1 inch squares
grated cheese

Cook onion, jalapeno, garlic and beef cubes in oil. Add tomato soup, both broths, tomatoes and one and a half cans of water. Add all seasonings. Bring to a boil. Then simmer uncovered for 50 minutes. Then add the tortillas and cook for 10 more minutes. Serve with grated cheese. (we also like it with sour cream).


October 29, 2008

The Souptacular


Its the season for soup! I can't believe it was 39 degrees here this morning. In FLORDIA in October! Amazing!!!
Bring on the Souptacular! I need some new, yummy soup recipes! And I'll post our family's favorite!


October 26, 2008

Leading boys

We found this OLD Disney movie at the library...

I'd never heard of it before, have you?

Honestly, it goes on forever...(130 min) But it is sweet and PRECIOUS!

If you are involved in Boy Scouts or Royal Rangers than it will touch your heart. : )

The scout leader reminded me of my hubby. He's been giving of his time to share the Lord with little boys for almost 7 years now...

A new project

These handmade pieces of wood were being thrown away at my hubby's job sight recently. They are pine and maple. Aren't they intricate and pretty? Hard to believe they were considered trash.

They caught my hubby's eye and he brought them home. He has a vision to make them into a piece of entryway furniture! (that's what they are called when you look them up on the web. We call it a 'coat hanger.') : )

I would've been happy with something like this:

But he is going to make something similar to this:

~I'm so excited!

Those discarded pieces of wood reminded me of God's love.
It's extravagant, isn't it? He so sweetly lavishes us with it.
We are His craftsmanship created in Christ Jesus to be like Him...

October 22, 2008

A Birthday Girl!

It's Honey's birthday!!!!!!!

She is 10 yrs. old now! And we are so thankful for her!
Years ago we tried getting a puppy .......and ended up selling it. To make our little kiddos feel better, we used the proceeds of the sale to take them to an amusement park! Puppy training was just not for me in the middle of child training.

When the gang got a little older, we started dog sitting 2 weeks out of every month for a couple who ministered the gospel in countries all around the world.

And this dog of theirs had issues! Oh mercy!
-It used to dig holes in our yard.
-Chase cars going down the street and try to bite the tires.
-Hide in my closet during every thunderstorm
and hold us hostage every time we tried to go anywhere by planting herself under our car so that we couldn't move it. If you tried to get her out from under the car, you'd just about lose a hand. She made me late everywhere I went! AHH! Good times! LOL!
~But we loved this dear couple and their ministry and so we kept "dog sitting for Jesus."

Then the Lord blessed us with the perfect dog for us.

We personally think we "reaped" the perfect one because we "sowed" into the crazy one. : )
("for whatever a man sows that will he also reap." ) LOL!

-A friend with three golden retrievers offered us one of theirs for FREE. She was four years old, had papers, was house trained and very good with kids. Amazing!!! The only thing wrong with her they said was that she seemed to need to be in a one-dog house because she needed lots of attention. We knew our four kiddos could give her PLENTY of attention! And so we said 'Yes! and that is how we got HONEY.
What a sweet dog! The first time my hubby brought her home, the kids thought it was the other dog and they all groaned. When they realized it wasn't and that she was THEIRS they were so excited. She ran all over our yard and then lightly jumped on each one of us as if she wanted to look us in the eyes. She was so graceful about it that we didn't mind. And she didn't do it to Andrew who was only 3. That jumping turned out to be her unbreakable bad habit, but since she is "practically perfect in every way" we haven't stressed too much over it. Besides that, she came with such lovely manners. We were all so impressed.
We've let her run the show since then and now her manners aren't so impeccable. : )

She has loved being the one and only dog at this house and we have loved having her.

Honey is a character though. She believes in retaliation....
Very specific retaliation. On three or four occasions I offended/disappointed her and soon after found that she had chewed the handle of my current purse in half and didn't touch a thing that belonged to anyone else in this family. She's funny like that.
When she was new to us, and thought that my hubby was gone too long, she snipped his cell phone charger cord in half.
Another time Zach corrected her for something one morning and we came back in the afternoon to find that the cord to his drum machine had been cut in half.
She also isn't fond of VBS week. Since we spend a lot of time away from home that week, she let us know that by going in the laundry and ripping up only VBS t-shirts. It was the only time she'd ever done anything to any of our clothing...
She's pretty smart like that!
But, I think old age is mellowing her out. I don't think anything has been snipped or ripped in a couple of years... either that or she's got us trained pretty well. ; )

She is a total sweetheart and we are so thankful to have "reaped" her! : )

October 21, 2008

Wednesdays in the Word

I think God wants us to partner our faith with His power to see things happen!

In Mark 6: 56 it says: "Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them."
(We can only wonder and imagine what He would've liked to have done in that place!)
Their unbelief was the reason He chose to be limited in what He did there. It says "He marveled because of their unbelief."
Don't you think we still make Him "marvel" about that today?

Mark 9: 14-30 tells the story of the boy with an evil spirit that the disciples could not "drive out." His father said to Jesus "But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."
And I love what Jesus says because it reminds me that the problem of course, is not with Him or His ability or willingness, its with us!
The missing factor is our belief...
' "If you can?" said Jesus. (I think I might of been a little bit offended right then if I was the Lord) ; )
"Everything is possible for him who believes." '
And that dear father says "I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief."
Amen! Me too!



Knitting is actually getting fun!

I can even talk and knit at the same time now...Whoo-hoo! Such skillz! LOL

But, I'm not good at knitting and giving a spelling test! I've been known to say the word and then spell out the answer before a certain student has even had a chance to write it. ~Not good! : )
I actually find yarn interesting now and I hear myself saying: "OK, as soon as I'm done with this row."


October 17, 2008

When the dog bites, when the bee stings...

Today I made my annual trip to a farm store to go and buy one of "my favorite things!"


And I just can't wait to grind it and make homemade bread and waffles. ~I love to hear Andrew tell me that fresh baked bread is better than "ANY kind of cake." : )

I've started the quilt and I'll show some pictures soon...
My house is a scary state of dirty and so I am planning to spend my Saturday baking, cleaning and sewing. Whoo-hoo! I can't wait.

October 15, 2008

Wednesdays in the Word

Here are some thoughts I've had lately on faith, specifically faith for healing.
Mt. 9:29 keeps coming to mind, where Jesus said
"Let it be done according to your faith." (He said this to two blind men)
But first He asked them this awesome question:
"Do you believe that I am able to do this?"
What if He asked us that question about our prayer request?
What if He said to us today "Let it be done according to your faith."
Would we be healed? Or would we remain sick?
-More next Wednesday! : )

October 13, 2008

A recipe exchange

Our home school support group is having a recipe exchange tomorrow night!
It sounds like a lot of fun.
We are each making a favorite dish of some kind for everyone to try and then making the recipe available for ladies to take home with them.
I am bringing some muffins that I enjoy making in the fall. Someone at work made these for my hubby and he LOVED them so much, he said "My wife has to have that recipe!" Today they made my youngest kiddo declare that "these are the best thing you've ever made in your life, Mom. I'm serious!"And they caused my oldest to volunteer to do some work for me in exchange for more muffins! Whoo-hoo!
Here they are:
Pumpkin Butterscotch Mini Muffins

1 stick of butter
1 ¾ c. of flour
½ c. sugar
½ c. brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 can (16 oz) pumpkin
2 large eggs

Melt butter in bowl and aside to cool. In large bowl combine dry ingredients and stir. In another bowl combine sugars, butter, pumpkin, eggs and vanilla to melted butter and stir.Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Do not over mix. Stir in butterscotch chips. Spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray. Fill tin ¾ full and bake at 350 for 15 min. Makes 40 mini muffins.
And thanks to Joy, I have THE cutest potholders to bake with! She's been making these lately and I just love them!

October 11, 2008

A baby, a blessing and a blankee

This is so humbling and it blows me away...
A dear friend who was in the youth group we led (years ago)
is having a baby girl and this little girl is going to be my namesake!
~I don't even know what to think about it! -Hard to process.

I was reminded the other day, that Becky (Rebecca) means 'close to God.' So, that has been my prayer for this little girl, who will make her appearance into the world around Christmastime, that she would always be close to God! : )

I've also been thinking that I need to make 'Little Becky' a QUILT!
(I certainly can't knit her anything yet. LOL! Which by the way, is not the most relaxing hobby yet!)

So, a quilt it will be!

I was so discouraged about how long it took me to make my last one, that I've been a little afraid to start another.... I made Carlos a quilt for Christmas and finished it in August. But it wasn't even the following August! Ahh!
But this one is so cute, I'm going to pluck up my courage and give it a try. The only hard part will be to applique those too-cute chenille flowers on it. I've never tried anything like that before.
It's from a book called Cuddly and Soft and it uses Mink-y Fleece, chenille and flannel fabrics...in other words it will be too soft for words!

And if it goes well, then I may have to make that cute quilted pom pom pillow to go with it and maybe at least one matching bear! (if that doesn't take me until she starts kindergarten! LOL)

Anyone have some color suggestions? I'm not crazy about the pink and yellow color scheme.


October 9, 2008

A New Recipe

When I find a recipe that all six of us like

and it doesn't include a bun or pizza sauce then I am amazed. : )

And this turned out to be one of those recipes!

It's from Living on a Dime. I enjoy their free newsletters and tips.

-Here it is. It's called Sonja's Chicken. Since leg quarters were on sale, I made it with 2 packs of those instead of a whole chicken. (it made lots of 'gravy')
I served it with mashed potatoes and Caesar salad. It was a big hit! -Even with my extremely picky child. ; )


October 7, 2008

Boat Ride and a Blonde Moment

What do you call a major 'blonde moment' when you are a brunette? I could use an explanation of some kind for what I said the other day! ; ) Let me know if you think of one. LOL

-We were on a field trip with a friend and her kids downtown for a one hour boat ride. All that we knew was that the first ride of the day was free and that the boat held 45 people... We were pretty excited because it sounded fun and we love FREE!

As we walked down some stairs to the dock, the only 'boat' I saw was this one:

And I said "Wow! We get to ride on the American Victory!?" in awe and amazement.

At that moment my poor boys were horrified. : )
"Mom!!!!!!" "That's a battleship!"
"How can you think we are going for a ride around the bay in a battleship?!"

I did get a clue as we walked closer to it.
Our boat was the small, sleek looking one in the water next to it. LOL!
-No, we definitely didn't end up riding around the bay in a 58 year old battleship....
But it was fun to look at.
And my boys had a good laugh with their Dad over this at dinner that night!


October 6, 2008

A New Hobby

Since I find myself waiting for my drummer at band practices a couple times a week, I thought I needed a new hobby...
Sarah at the In the Midst of it is always making the cutest projects and she's inspired me to give knitting a try.
It think it will be a fun, take-anywhere hobby. -Much easier than carrying around a bulky quilt to work on!!!
~And a lot cheaper than buying a laptop so I can blog on-the-go. LOL

I've been dying to learn for awhile now. I was going to take a class at Michael's but I just kept thinking that if I kept looking I would find someone who would be able to teach me and I'd save myself $25.

With some of my birthday money from my sweet parents, I bought a beginning knitting kit!
It included a book called "I taught Myself to Knit." Which so far hasn't been true of me. Too bad!
Then I thought about You Tube! Sure enough, they had beginning knitting videos but I still couldn't get the hang of it.

So, I just had to console myself in the fact that having this in your living room looks cute and cozy, even if you can't actually do it yet. LOL!

Until yesterday when my friend's daughter gave me a lesson after church! I was so excited!

I think she had to show me about 10 or 15 times, but she was very patient and I finally got it!!!!! I think I learned 'casting on.' (???)

Anyway, it was great fun and I can't wait for my next lesson.

Joy caught on MUCH quicker than I did and she really enjoyed it so we are soon to be knitting buddies! : )


October 3, 2008

A Homeschool Day in Pictures

If you'd like to visit our school day in pictures,
I put it on our new homeschooling blog here.

~And didn't Sarah Palin's hair look cute in the debate last night? : )
I thought she did a great job.

Have a blessed weekend! : )


October 1, 2008

Wednesdays in the Word

These excerpts from the book of James remind me of what's in the news lately:

"Your riches are corrupted..."
"You have heaped up treasure in the last days..."
"You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury: You have fattened your hearts as in the day of slaughter."

No matter what happens with W*ll St., the economy or the election:

"My heart will rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord. Because He has dealt bountifully with me." Psalm 13:5-6

~If you belong to Him than you know He's been EVER SO bountiful to you. Amen? : )


"You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand." James 5:8

~Isn't THAT is a glorious thing?! : )

Have a blessed day!