Fab Five

fridayfavefivespring1

I have not done a Fab Five at Susanne’s – Living to Tell the Story for a long time.  I do always enjoy reflecting on my week and think it’s a great idea!

What a week I am having!!  It’s that crazy time of the year at our house.  It’s the time where my brain feels like mush, and lots of important information tend to get lost in the black hole of my brain.  Therefore this task of reflecting upon my week is somewhat difficult due to the black hole problem! 🙂

My Fab Five for the week include;

  • Finally some beautiful spring weather…..in my neck of the woods it has been cold and rainy.  Yesterday I came home from school on a lovely afternoon, and before I even changed my clothes, I plopped down in a chair on my deck and soaked in the glorious sun and listened to the sounds of the birds in the trees overhead.  I then promptly fell asleep for about 10 min.  🙂

  • I love pretzel sandwich rolls.   Our oven bit the dust, and we have been having lots of soup and sandwich nights, and everything seems to taste better on a pretzel roll!

  • I am so into this scrubber sponge now I am in the know on how people get that baked on crud off of their pyrex dishes!!!

  • To get a good work out in I often ride my cool Trek bike, I rode on Tues. night right before a storm hit.  I had my eye on the progress of the storm the entire time and made it safely back to my car just as the rain started.  The good part about the whole thing is I rode so much faster trying to beat out the storm and got a good work out in!

  • I had fun camping out in the basement with The Inventor, we were so silly and made clothes out of foil.  I quickly realized that choosing a career as a teacher was the right thing for me, and fashion design is something I could never do.  While The Inventor has a such a creative, fashion designing brain that I do not!  And here is………oh I can’t believe I am going to post this…..uh…..here is a picture of our stylin foil outfits!

m-and-me-in-foil

Works for Me Wednesday

wfmwbannerkristen1

This is the easiest dinner I know!  And Little Ceasers is NOT giving me any money to promote their cool deal I promise.  One night last week, things did not go as planned for dinner.    I noticed an ad for a new Little Ceasers that had recently opened nearby……… you can walk in, and immediately pick up a fresh pizza for a mere $5!!!  It’s a large pizza, you can even get it with one topping for the same price.  $5 for dinner, is that great or what!  I then cut up fruit, poured milk in paper cups, and served everything on paper plates.  This works for me and I have a feeling it will work for you too!  🙂

Here is a scientific equation to help you understand this on a deeper level


simple dinner + no dishes to clean up = happy mom

little-ceasers

Skipping church for a baseball game??

It’s Sunday and I am heading to SportTman’s baseball tournament, then leaving early for The Inventor’s two soccer games, then hopefully back to SportTman’s games for the championship.  So on this Sunday our day is filled with sports instead of church.  How do you feel about this??  I have wrestled with this for years since my kids are “sports kids.”

I finally think I have come to a place that I am comfortable with.  When they were younger (11 and under) they did not miss church for games, but now that we have established a foundation of the importance of church and SportTman also goes to youth group regularly, I am fine with it.  In SportTman’s case I believe he has God given talent and is able to play at a highly competitive level.   Then we should allow him to keep striving to do his best and play at the most competitive level, even if it means missing an occasional Sunday service.

When they were little we made it very clear to their coaches that they would be a church on Sunday mornings, and may have to miss a game or practice on occasion.  And the coaches in our experiences always respected our choice and we never got grief about it.  SportTman has also on occasion left practices a little early to make it to youth group on time, we have never gotten grief for that either.  We stood our ground and I think coaches respected it.  What truly matters is their relationship with Christ, and how they are living that out.

But alas, now that they are older and the stakes are higher and the competition levels more intense we are comfortable with allowing our kids to use and develop the gifts God has given them!  So off we go, play ball!

What are your thoughts?

This is what The Inventor does during SportTman’s games……she invents a shade shelter! 🙂

Dump Cake – Works for Me Wednesday

wfmwbannerkristen

For more Works for Me Wed. Click Here

This is such a simple and VERY delicious dessert, and in this fast paced world, this homemade treat is a winner in prep time and taste. That WORKS FOR ME! 🙂

Dump Cake……I know the mental image of a cake with that name is not real appealing.  However, this quick dessert is a lifesaver when you haven’t had time to bake something, but don’t want to spend money to purchase a store bought dessert.  Dump Cake is your answer.

I made this for a friend the other day and she asked me for the recipe for the “cherry cobbler like thing.”  When I told her it was called “dump cake”  my 14 year old son who overheard the conversation replied, “you mean like going to take a………..”   Oh never mind I won’t go there when talking about food!  I am really much to immersed in the life of 8th grade boys!

Regardless, the facts are it’s yummy and E-A-S-Y!

2465426903_e114ed12da

First DUMP one can of crushed pineapple ( I drain about half of the juice) in a greased 13 x 9 pan

Second DUMP and spread carefully cherry pie filling on top of the pineapple

Third DUMP yellow cake mix on the cherry pie filling and spread over the filling

Fourth DUMP one stick of melted butter over the yellow cake mix

Bake at 400 for 40-45 min. until cake mix is “set”

Dab a little ice cream or whipped topping over it, serve on a fancy plate and friends will think you worked so hard to make this yummy dessert!

I know it sounds a bit strange and you think how will this all turn into something delicious.  But I have been bringing this simple dessert to pot lucks and other occasions for years and it is ALWAYS a hit!

~ENJOY!~

blc142

Can’t we just resurrect my vacuum cleaner?

We have a central vac at our house, and yesterday, at the age of 21 it pretty much died.  I am thinking when you see sparks coming from the motor that is usually a good time to call it dead!

So what is a women to do with out a vacuum cleaner……sure the thought of never having to vacuum again does sound appealing.  But dust, dirt, and the build up of little red, airsoft gun pellets around the house would get annoying.

It is very costly to get it repaired, and I am not sure what we will do.  Wouldn’t it just be easy if Jesus could resurrect my vacuum cleaner and bring it back to working order again.  That would be so easy, problem solved!

But that is the thing…….life is not always easy.   What Jesus went through on the cross was painful, difficult, miserable and unbearable.  It was far from easy!!!!  My dead vacuum cleaner is really nothing in comparison to the struggles many of you endure daily.  And in light of all the Jesus endured, it doesn’t really seem to be a major concern.  I am thankful today for a Godly perspective on life!

After the pain and difficulties of life comes the amazing resurrection!  And today I am pondering the resurrection of Christ and the power and meaning it has for me.  He has risen and that is reason to celebrate.

Oh, and uh………..if you are having a giveaway on your blog of one of those cool Dyson vacs anytime soon, please let me know. 🙂

~Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified.  He is not here; he has risen, just as he said….

Matthew 28:5-6

Happy Easter to all my dear blogging friends!

christ-is-risen-793972

How did I get here!!??

Work for Me Wednesday

Tips for moms who are weary! 🙂

For more Works for Me Wednesday, Check out We Are That Family!

My 6’1″ son asked today if I could please get him new jeans since his are getting too short…..again!  My daughter asked for band-aids because she cut her leg shaving.  How did I get to this point………. my almost 12 year old is shaving her legs and my 14 year old is over 6 feet!  I remember people telling me “it goes so fast, enjoy ’em!”  And “they” were right!
Well I have learned a few key things over the years and I thought I would share them with those who still have younger kids.  Just a little advice to keep you going when in those moments you think to yourself..Does this really matter?  Will this make a difference? Will this shape their character?  Will this draw my kids to God?  And for those tired, weary moments that everyone has…..hang in there what you are doing matters! 🙂

Here are a few things I have learned over the years……..

Read, read and  read to them while they are young!!!  I know I am a teacher telling you this, but I have seen what a difference it has made in my kids!  They are not huge readers at this age, but will pick up a book and enjoy it when they have time.  We used to pay them a dollar a book in the summer and other reading motivational incentives to get them to read.  I am convinced the background knowledge from books has made both of my kids good students.
Do not feel bad about disciplining your children.  I know it is hard at times.  But it is so important for children to understand there are consequences to their behavior.  This understanding is huge when they are teenagers.  My kids do not like being grounded now, nor did they like spankings, time outs or having privileges taken away when they were little.  But they accept them now, since they know their are consequences to their actions.
Be involved with their lives.  Teach their Sunday School class, help coach a soccer team, be a room mother, allow them to get used to having you around for their activities.  When they are teens and don’t always want you around, they will be much more comfortable with it since they are “used to having you around.”
Talk to their friends, find out what is going on in their lives, be personal with them.
Start early with feeding them food that is good for them, even if they keep spitting it out, keep trying.  Once they are teens (especially boys) all hope for good nutrition is gone.  So it helps if they come into those tween years with healthy habits!
Don’t rush the kids to embrace the latest trends, styles, or material objects.    Don’t rush them to see movies that are “just a bit beyond their age group.”  Don’t rush them into growing up.  Don’t give them a cell phone in 4th grade.  Let them wait for things. This is very helpful when they are teens when things really start to move fast and they want everything. If they are used to waiting is is SO much easier!  If they are used to being ahead of their peers, and getting everything they want, they will be very demanding of this as teens.  My kids still have not asked for a cell phone!  And we did not rush them into different stages of growing up and even though they have been public school kids all along, they still have a healthy sense of innocence to them.
Have FUN, be silly with them. Do activities with just them.  I have played 9 holes of golf with my son the last 3 summers, I am no golfer, and walking 9 holes of golf is not my idea of fun.   But the time together with him is priceless.  I met him at his level and interests and it always lends itself to fun and bonding.  He is 14 and he is still fine with hanging out and doing fun things with his mom.
Family game nights, silly times together, sleepovers in a tent in your house, wrestling with the kids, baking together, swinging on swings with them, playing laser tag with them, go hiking together.  Just a few ideas.

I know see how important the foundation we built for my kids when they were younger is so important now!

So there is my Part 1 on How did I get here and What Have I Learned. Stop by next week, same Bat time and same Bat place for Part 2.

Life and Times of Me

I got home from school on a beautiful Thurs. afternoon and knew even though my schedule looked VERY busy that I really need to get a nice bike ride workout in. So I attempted to squeeze it in during a 45 min. empty time slot I had.  Thinking that it looked nice out, but that I would be cold, I dressed in a sweatshirt and sweatpants.  Now try to get a mental picture of what I am going to present to you here……..
I’m heading out on my bike, about 5 min. into the ride I knew I overdressed.  I was sweating away, so I did as any trendy 40 something momma biker does, I rolled up my pants above my knees cuz I was hot!  I happened to glance down and notice that I was still wearing my brown dress socks from school, with my lovely black sweatpants. I must also note at this time, in my rush this morning I could not find my nice girly brown dress socks, so I wore my husbands!
Feeling like a real athletic dork, I pressed on not wanting to go home to change!
As I got farther out into the county relieved that no cars had passed me for the last 10 min.  I decided that…… (this is fair warning for those who did not grow up with brothers may find my actions offensive, you may want to stop reading this post.)
I decided that I needed to hawk a good loogie, ok for those who are not familiar with 14 year old boy language that I  often hear these days………. I needed to spit.  And for those of you who grew up with sisters only and may find that offensive,  see if this sounds better…I needed to discharge some saliva.  So just as I  discharged some saliva I heard a car go by.  I looked up to see my neighbors, and as any women who was just seen by her neighbors riding her bike with hot pink headphones in her ears, discharging saliva, her pants rolled up and gorgeous brown dress socks showing for all to see.  I did as any good women would do……I waved!
I arrived home 25 minutes later to find that my children and a large neighborhood gang of 6 kids had ordered pizza and had it delivered to SportTman’s fort in the woods.  Nice I don’t have to make dinner tonight!  🙂
I realized in that moment on my bike that as long I’m serving Jesus, being a good wife and mom, being embarrassed really doesn’t matter much anymore I don’t have time for it!  Life is about priorities, and riding my bike was a priority.
But even more important,  is that I am striving to  live a life that honors God, even if I look like a dork doing it. Sure there are those times when I end up doing goofy things, forgetful things, embarrassing things, but in the big picture, it really doesn’t matter much in this life.
I strive to have my priorities, actions, and time reflect  Him on a daily basis….even if I am wearing hubs brown dress socks!