Monday, July 30, 2012

Coffee Mug Chocolate Chip Cookie


Did you know you can make a single serving chocolate chip cookie in a coffee mug in your microwave?!? Seriously!! I found this recipe on Pinterest and it basically rocks. It's pretty dangerous that I know about it because now I can whip up my own personal chocolate chip cookie any time I want! I thought I'd pass this wonderful knowledge on to y'all just in case you wanted to try it. :) Your welcome.

Coffee Mug Chocolate Chip Cookie

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp brown sugar
a few drops vanilla
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
1/4 c. flour
2 tbsp chocolate chips

1. Melt butter in coffee mug.
2. Add sugars, egg yolk, vanilla and salt. Mix.
3. Add flour. Mix until just combined.
4. Fold in chocolate chips
5. Microwave 45 sec.

Memory Verse Monday: DISCIPLINE





I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend filled with lots of Olympic watching! :) This weeks verse is a nod to the games.


"For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later is yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it."
-Hebrews 12:11


I really love this verse because it's filled with so much Truth!! Discipline is hard no matter what your doing: dieting, training, waiting on God's timing, budgeting, abstaining from gossip, etc.


Discipline requires strength, stamina and sacrifice, but if you can stick with it you will reap so many blessings! The passage says that for the moment it is hard, but it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Basically, if you put in the hard work now, you will reap the rewards later. 


Think of all the hard work and sacrifice the Olympic athletes have endured over the years. I'm sure their lives have been extremely difficult and demanding and they've had moments of wanting to give up, but now they're reaping the benefits of all their hard work! They're able to compete at the highest level and get a shot at winning a medal!  


I'm excited to be memorizing this verse because I know I'll need it in my day to day life. It really encourages me and I hope it does you too

Featured Reader Monday


Our last featured reader of the month is Sarah from 


If you could describe yourself in five words, what would they be?
Christian
Wife
Mommy
Creative
Fun

What do you blog about and why?
I blog about the everyday life and happenings of my military family. Life with baby, sewing, crafts, recipes and more. ..

What are your hobbies outside of blog world?
sewing
crafts
reading
painting

Show us your favorite family recipe:

Show us three of your favorite or most popular posts:

Thanks Sarah for sharing with us!

I hope you've enjoyed getting to know some new bloggers this month. 
Now I want to hear from YOU!

Have you enjoyed the featured reader posts?
Would you like to see more in the future?
If so, would you consider being featured?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Cleaning House: A Book Review


I just finished reading Cleaning House: A Mom's 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement by Kay Wills Wyma and oh my goodness it was good!

This book is about a woman with five kids ages four to fourteen who is "dismayed at the attitude of entitlement that has crept into her home." Basically she's sick and tired of her kids acting like the world revolves around them and that they're entitled to a free ride. So she embarks on a year long journey of whipping her kids into shape, so to speak.

She basically picks one important life skill each month for her kids to take responsibility of hoping to equip them with a strong work ethic, self-confidence through a job well done and concern for others along the way. 

Here is the schedule she follows:

Task 1 - Operation Clutter Control (Making Beds and Picking Up)
Task 2 - Kitchen Patrol (Cooking)
Task 3 - Grounding Time (Outdoor Duties)
Task 4 - Working for a Living (Employment)
Task 5 - Domestic Dirty Jobs (Cleaning Toilets)
Task 6 - Roll Tide (Laundry)
Task 7 - The Handyman Can…or Can He? (Fixing What's Broken)
Task 8 - The Entertainers (Hospitality)
Task 9 - Team Players (Working Together)
Task 10 - Runner's World (Errands)
Task 11 - It's About Other's (Service) 
Task 12 - Lades and Gentlemen (Manners)

Following along with Kay as she strives to instill responsibility and a strong work ethic into her entitled children is entertaining and motivating. I'm so glad I got ahold of this book before I have grown kids. I want to raise them to consider others, be respectful and work hard and this book inspires me to do so! I highly recommend reading it! :)

You can read the first chapter of Cleaning House here. Also, for more info and to learn how Kay's journey began you can visit her blog here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hospitality: A Gift or A Mindset?

We can probably all think of someone who appears to have the "gift" of hospitality. You know the social butterfly type who loves being around people and seems to host parties without any effort at all??

But, is hospitality really some supernatural "gift" that is given to some and out of reach for others? The more I think about it, the more God is showing me that hospitality is a way of life. To show hospitality is to open our homes, arms and tables to others. Does this come more naturally to some? Yes, I believe it does, but I also believe those who are continually opening their homes to fellowship are being intentional about it

Life is busy and if you wait until things are "perfect" to invite people over then it probably won't happen very quickly, if at all. If we're going to open our homes and show love to our neighbors we have to plan it and be intentional about it. And just like anything else in life, it gets easier with practice.

God has been dealing with me in this area and I've started working out details and setting dates for people to come and fellowship in our home on a more regular basis. Having people over every once in awhile when I feel like it is okay, but I want to make it a way of life. A trademark of our family. I want my kids to see us reaching out and serving those around us on a regular basis. 

You see hospitality is all about serving others. It's not about showing off your house or your cooking skills, its about considering the wants and needs of others and focusing on them. I want more of this in our family's life. I could make the case that we live in a small house and have a baby so having others over just isn't practical for us right now, but think of the blessings we would be missing out on. Think of the fellowship we would be forfeiting. 

Here's a portion of what the bible says about it:

"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, 
for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." 
-Hebrew 13:2

"Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality." 
-Romans 12:13

Obviously, God wants us to be hospitable towards one another by serving them and we can do this by being welcoming and opening our homes to others. 

Who could you call right now, that you've been meaning to have over?
Do you have a neighbor that you've been wanting to get to know?
Has someone just had a baby or a major surgery that you could deliver a meal too?
Do you know a widow or single person who might enjoy the fellowship of your family?

I hope this has inspired you to consider reaching out and serving others!
 I know I'm working on it. ;)

Do you view hospitality as a gift or a way of life? 
Do you believe it gets easier with practice?
 I'd love to know your thoughts! 

Women Living Well Wednesdays
Homemaking Link Up
Better Mom Mondays
Teach Me Tuesdays
Work In Progress Wednesdays
Heart & Home

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Monday Memory Verse



Sorry I'm late posting this!! Here's this week's verse:

"The Lord is my rock and my fortress
and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, 
my stronghold."
-Psalm 18:2

What comfort lies in these words. God is my ROCK, my FORTRESS, my DELIVERER, my SHIELD, my STRONGHOLD. When I read this I realize that God is my protection and has his hand over my life and in that I have great peace. "For if God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31) 

What verse are you meditating on lately?


Monday, July 23, 2012

Featured Reader Monday


This week we're welcoming Vikki from The Quirky Quail!
 

If you could describe yourself in five words, what would they be?
Upbeat, Creative, Sassy, Friendly, Frugal (of course my kids would just say cheap!)
 
What do you blog about and why?
I mostly blog about refinishing furniture and sewing. Both of which I love. I have sewn since I was five and can (and have) made almost anything, including jeans (not a pretty story, but I tried). I mostly sew for my four granddaughters nowadays, though sometimes I even sew for my seven grandsons!

I started redoing furniture out of desperation when I was a new mom. We had an ugly old couch covered with brown plaid that drove me crazy. Not only was it ugly, but the plaids didn't even match and my daughter would tell you I am a bit OCD about stuff like that. I would sit there day after day nursing my son and staring at that ugly couch. One day I told one of my girlfriends about it and she said, "We can fix that!" And we did. We used sheets and recovered that eyesore, and that old couch lasted another six years. Mostly now I like to find poor unloved items and remake them into beautiful items for my home, grandchildren or to sell. Luckily I live in a retirement community and lots of people are downsizing so I get to pick up things for cheap.

 
What are your hobbies outside of blog world?
Sewing, refinishing furniture, painting and lots of crafts. 
And of course PINTEREST!
 
Show us your favorite family recipe:
Funny you would ask that question. Even though I raised six kids, I hate to cook but will make cookies from time to time. My husband now does most of the cooking around here. The one recipe that all my children have asked me for is my pancake recipe. They say no one makes pancakes like their mother. I took an old Betty Crocker recipe and redid it until I liked it. Funny also is the fact that since I have been on a low carb diet I haven't eaten these for several years. They're kind of like crepes. Enjoy.
 
Mom's Famous Pancakes
6 c flour
3 eggs (beaten)
2 c plain yogurt (you can even use sour cream for a bit different taste)
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c oil
1 T salt
1T baking soda
1T baking powder
4 c water (more or less for the consistency that you like)

Mix all together (don't beat, just until mixed) and cook on a pancake grill. 
Enjoy with maple syrup, homemade jam or honey
 
Show us three of your favorite or most popular posts:


Thanks Vikki for sharing your story with us! 
Stay tuned next week for our last featured reader of the month!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Filling Our Home with Scripture

Before I was married, I used to say (mostly to myself) that I wanted to fill my home with scripture! It was (and still is) my desire to put God's word in literally every nook and cranny. I wanted people to be blessed and encouraged and know without a doubt what we believed when they visited.

Fast forward a few years and I haven't done the best job at this, but after reading an inspiring post by Katie from Blessed Femininity I'm encouraged once again to fill my home with the Word of God!! 

I'm in the middle of some major decluttering and redecorating, but I wanted to show you a little glimpse of how God's Word is displayed in our home right now. I do intend to add more in the near future. :)

This painting is in my living room and I love it! I won it in a drawing at church. 
It's a great reminder that God is always with me!

This canvas is from Hobby Lobby and was displayed at the guest book table at our wedding. It's now hanging above our bed. (Although probably won't stay there long due to some redecorating.) It's a great reminder of how God desires for us to love one another. 

I got this sign at Hobby Lobby as well. It used to sit on the bookshelf in our living room, but I'm about to hang it in the hallway (I think). I love this verse! It reminds me to stay focused on what is pleasing to God!

Lastly, this vinyl scripture is above Walker's crib. I knew I wanted to have scripture prominent in the nursery and I love this verse as it reminds me what a blessing children are!!

 I hope to add even more scripture soon. I love decorating with it because it serves as a constant reminder of God's love and promises for me and my family! God's Word is so very precious to me and I love using it as decoration to encourage and bless my family and anyone who visits. 

Do you display scripture in your home?


Better Mom Mondays
Teach Me Tuesdays
Women Living Well Wednesdays

Pico de Gallo


I've only made pico de gallo once before this and it tasted kinda like onion water. Not so good. This time I used garden fresh tomatoes and The Pioneer Woman's recipe, so how could I go wrong?

This stuff is sooooo delicious and addicting!!

Pico De Gallo

equal parts tomato, onion and cilantro (chopped)
1 jalapeno diced and deseeded
juice of half of lime
salt to taste

Mix up all ingredients and enjoy!!

*NOTE: After 24 hours it will start to get mushy so only make enough for one sitting.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Gardening Journal - July 17th

Someone please tell me what I'm gonna do with all these banana peppers?!? I've already pickled a few half pints and I'm not sure how they turned out. I'm kinda skeptical because I just used vinegar and water. Anyway, I have a boat load of these that I need to use up.
My beans and cucumbers are starting to come up, which is really exciting since I've never grown either before. I can't believe how fast the beans are growing! (Sorry the picture is focused wrong.)
 Here are some of the marigolds that I grew from seed this year. I'm pretty proud of them since last year they all died. I think I planted them too early though. P.S. Have you ever seen a marigold seed? They are the weirdest looking things.
 I pulled some runners off of my strawberry plants and I'm gonna replant them. I've got my hopes up for a good strawberry crop next year! Any tips?


Thanks for reading my ramblings.
What's going on in your garden?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Boy Mom Blog Hop!


I'm so excited to be participating in the Boy Mom Blog Hop hosted by the MOB society! In case you didn't figure it out already, it's a blog hop for mom's of boys!! :) For those of you stopping by from the hop let me introduce myself: 

My name is Missy and I'm the momma to one sweet baby boy named Walker. He just turned four months old and is sooo very precious too me! :) 
Here are some links to get to know us a little better:



I don't have a whole lot of wisdom to share since I'm a new momma, but I look forward to gleaning from all the more seasoned mom's of boys participating in the hop! 

Link up below to meet lots of new mommas!




Memory Verse Monday



I didn't post a verse last week because we were a little behind and decided to review our older verses instead. Here is this weeks memory verse:

"This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it." 
-Psalm 118:24

I can't read this verse without hearing my grandpa say it in my head! He's said this verse for as long as I can remember. Isn't it a great reminder that the Lord has made all of our days?? God is good and we are too rejoice in what He has made. We are too be thankful for all the days that God has given us because each day is a gift and should be used to Glorify Him!!

What are you memorizing this week?

Featured Reader Monday


This week's featured reader is Tiffany from Healthy-N-Balanced!


If you could describe yourself in five words, what would they be?
Imperfect, real, loves to laugh

What do you blog about and why?

In April, 2011 I was set to have gallbladder surgery to have my gallbladder removed due to some serious nausea and tummy issues I’ve had since I was a teenager. However, my very discerning husband felt we should postpone it to try a more holistic option. We were a little unsure because it is so hard to find a good natural/holistic doctor that isn’t wrapped up in beliefs with which I don’t agree. However, in May 2011 God opened up the doors for me to go to a Christian holistic doctor. Through healthy eating, exercise, and vitamins-I am allllllllll better. :) Since then I have been on a journey to spread the word that living a healthy lifestyle is essential and that is anything but impossible. I don't just blog about food and exercise, but also about spiritual health, relational health, and financial health. 

I hope to challenge others to live healthy lives…to think about what we are eating to fuel our bodies…to take a little walk instead of turning the TV on…to take a minute to thank God for the day and read His word. We need to simplify our lives. Get rid of the relationships, circumstances, food, etc that are not healthy. Live today as if it is our last. Laugh, Laugh, And Laugh some more! Serve God and love love those around us.  When we do that, we will start to find a little more balance in our lives and a lot more joy and peace.

What are your hobbies outside of blog world?

I wish I could say that I sew cloth diapers and make my own butter…but alas I’m just not skilled like that. ;) I love to play and laugh with my little 2 month old, teach and preach to kids, youth, and adults, and hang out with at my parents and chase the chickens around work on their little farm.


Show us your favorite family recipe:


Show us three of your favorite or most popular posts:





What an awesome testimony Tiffany! Thanks for sharing with us!
Stay tuned next Monday to meet another lovely reader. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Walker is 4 Months Old!!


My baby is four months old today! Wow!

 He hasn't been to his four month check-up yet, but I think he weighs somewhere between 15 and 16 lbs. He's still wearing size 3 diapers and 6 month clothes, but he can fit into some 9 month clothes. 

He is definitely becoming more social. He loves to squawk like a bird and kick when he gets excited and he's finally found his hands and feet.  He stares at them when he sees them, but not as much as I thought he would. He's also gotten really good at grabbing things and putting them into his mouth. He's rolled over from front to back a few more times, but nothing consistently. 


He eats 5 times a day and takes 3-4 naps that are somewhere between 45 min-2 hours. He's sleeping around 10-11 hours at night. I hear him awake at some point most nights, but he doesn't cry so I just let him go back to sleep. 

He's started waking up earlier (6:30) which is OK, but I'd love it if he'd go back too sleeping until 8 am! Oh well. 


Walker is such a joy to take care of and so easy and laid back most of the time. I'm having a blast watching him learn and grow!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Gardening Journal - July 12th

I've been harvesting lots of tomatoes, banana peppers and jalapenos. Everything else hasn't done quite so good (corn, bell peppers, carrots). Anyway, here's a picture of our strawberry plants. They seem too look pretty healthy. I'm hoping for a nice crop next season. 
They look kinda ghetto in the random pots, but you use what you can, right?
We planted a second crop of potatoes in these bins. Your suppose to keep adding dirt as they grow and then just dump the bins when the leaves die back. We'll see how it goes...
 We pulled up our corn, potatoes, and carrots so we planted some sweet potatoes (hopefully it's not too late), cucumbers, carrots, and green beans. This is my first year to do a second crop in the same bed and I'm pretty excited about it. Plus, I've never grown green beans or cucumbers so I'll be learning a lot. 
 Here's our other bed still going pretty strong, except the okra is infested with aphids and ants (I gave them all a good spray with the hose!!) and there are these nasty black bugs eating my tomato leaves and pooping all over the place!!! It's disgusting and I WANT THEM GONE!!! I'm gonna buy some organic spray tomorrow so hopefully that will do the trick because they sick me out.

How's your garden growing?

Spending Time Wisely - Ephesians 5:15

"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is."
-Ephesians 5:15-17

These verses seem to be in the back of my mind a lot. Maybe it's because I feel guilty for spending just a little too much time on the Internet. Obviously, these words apply to everyone. We are all going to be held accountable for the way we spend the precious time God has given us, but I feel like these words have special meaning for me as a stay at home mom

As a stay at home mom, I don't have anyone planning my days or telling me how to spend my time. It's up to me to get done what needs to be done. It really takes some self discipline to do what I'm suppose to when no one is watching. 

But wait, isn't God watching!? 

Yes, of course He is! I need to remember this as I'm on Pinterest for just a little too long. God has called us all to be wise in how we spend our days, therefore we need to be asking ourselves: Does what I'm doing have an eternal impact? Could I be doing something else with my time that would Glorify God more?

I believe every generation has it's own set of temptations and these verses have always been relevant, but it seems so easy to waste time with the Internet at our fingertips ALL. DAY. LONG. I don't know about you, but I get to the point where I don't even want to look at a screen any more. 

I'm not saying the Internet (or whatever your time waster is) is bad, but we should be setting boundaries and planning our days in a way that Glorifies God. I'm really writing this for myself as a reminder to step back and try to stay balanced. It is my prayer that I would examine my time and make sure that I'm spending it wisely and understanding what the will of the Lord is for me. 

Do you struggle in this area? 
I'd love to know I'm not the only one!


Better Mom Mondays
Teach Me Tuesday
Women Living Well Wednesdays

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

10 Ways to Use Tomatoes


If your a gardener, then you probably have a widow sill or two piled high with ripe red tomatoes right now. And if your like me and don't really have enough to can, then you might be wondering how your going to use them all up before they get too mushy!

Today, I'm gonna make a list of ways (as motivation and a reference for myself mostly) to use them up.


10 Ways to Use Tomatoes

1. Give them away!Gardeners are notorious for being extra generous. ;)

2. Slice a few up at every meal and add a little salt. Delicious.

3. Make BLTs. This is one of my FAVORITE ways to eat homegrown tomatoes.

4. Crush and simmer on the stove until you have tomato sauce for pizza or pasta. Add Italian seasoning and your good to go!

5. Mix some cherry tomatoes in with a pasta salad (or green salad, or potato salad, or any kind of salad!)

6. Make Salsa. Enough said.

7. Slice and let dry on the dash of your car for sun dried tomatoes. 

8. Freeze them to enjoy later! (Instructions here.)

9. Make stuffed tomatoes. Hollow out and make mixture of rice, peppers, cheese, corn or what ever you like.

10. If you have enough, can them! There are MANY ways to can tomatoes: whole, diced, stewed, crushed, as a sauce, as soup, etc. (Instructions here.)


 I hope you've enjoyed this!
Well, I'm off to make lunch (full of tomato-ey goodness, of course.)

What are you favorite ways to use tomatoes?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Garden Happenings

Since our corn didn't do very well this year, we bought a few dozen from a produce stand. 
We shucked 'em, blanched em' and froze 'em!
 We also got some peaches and froze them in 2 cup portions to make cobblers. 
 It's crazy how much work goes into preserving (even just to freeze!). I don't know how women used to do it with babies to take care of! They must have helped each other out a lot. 

Anyway, we dug up our potatoes and carrots tonight. The potatoes did pretty good especially since we didn't hill them or do anything, but the carrots were pretty puny. We fed most of them to the neighbors goats.

I'm gonna replant the ones that are sprouting and see if they will make before our first frost. I think I'm gonna try growing them in baskets this time. Has anyone tried this before?

What have you been preserving or harvesting lately?


Featured Reader Monday!

I hope your enjoying getting to know some new blog friends this month!
This week I'm welcoming Bekah who blogs at Everyday Faith and Simple Modest Fashion.


If you could describe yourself in five words, what would they be?
Different. Passionate. Romantic. Strong. Random.
{although there are a lot of words that would describe me well! *laughs*}

What do you blog about and why?
On my personal blog I post about whatever strikes my fancy at the present moment! I love to share my odd sentiments on everything from Bible verses, to quotes, to happenings in the world. I post a lot of photos, since I enjoy photography, and you will see other things that consistently appear on my blog, like mice, Kate Middleton, Anne of Green Gables, books, and music. But like I said, I’m random… so you never know what you might find their! *smiles* I really enjoy blogging, so I have a feeling I will be doing it somewhere, somehow, the rest of my life!

On my fashion blog, I obviously post about fashion, from my perspective. I share outfits that I’ve put together using things from my collection, photos of things I love, tutorials, polls, and whatever interesting tidbits I come across that are fashion related. I just love fashion and enjoy sharing that love with others, who also desire to be classy and in style, yet remain modest and God-honoring. 


everydayfaith

What are your hobbies outside of blog world?
Well I love the online world, so I do spend a fair amount of time emailing, blogging, chatting, tweeting, and face-booking. But I have a lot of other hobbies too…
They include, but are not limited to… traveling, writing, photography, taking long walks, reading, card making, shopping, visiting with friends… 

Show us your favorite family recipe:

Late Night Breadsticks
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
½ tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. onion powder
1 load (1 pound) frozen white bread dough, thawed
¼ cup butter or margarine, melted
In a shallow bowl, combine the first five ingredients; set aside. Divide dough into 16 pieces; roll each into a 6” rope. Dip ropes in butter, then roll in cheese mixture. Place 2” apart on a baking sheet. Let rest for 10 minutes. Bake at 400F for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Yield: 16 breadsticks

Show us three of your favorite or most popular posts:

On my fashion blog, it really varies. I never know what my readers will love!

 But here is a link to an outfit I recently created:

On my personal blog, this post was quite well received:

This post is on a topic I really struggle with, but am slowly, by God’s grace, overcoming:

And it’s posts like this I love to share, because laughter is really good for the soul!

Thank you for reading this, and thanks, Missy, for allowing me to be here on your blog!  God bless! 



Thanks Bekah! Those breadsticks sound awesome! 
Stay tuned next week to get to know another reader! 


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