Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Chocolate "Piece of Cake" Cookies

These are super yummy and easy cookies that only take minutes to mix.  And we almost always have the ingredients on hand.  I can't remember where we got the recipe from, but I've been told that it's easy to modify with other flavors of cake mix too.  Enjoy!  And try not to eat all of them by yourself!

1 box chocolate cake mix (with pudding in the mix)
1/2 cup of oil
2 eggs
**Optional – add chocolate chips


Bake at 350 for 9-12 minutes.



Fashion Fun!

On a whim, I picked up the book "How to Get Dressed:  A Costume Designers Secrets for Making Your Clothes Look, Fit and Feel Amazing".  It's very well written.  The author's writing is funny, practical, well-organized and easy to read.  She talked about finding your style, making sure clothes fit well, fixing clothes that need extra help, clothing hacks, laundry, shoes and stains.  I even learned a little bit about the history of the fashion industry!

It's not necessarily a quick read.  It's 241 pages of small print jammed pack with tips and advice.  But it's divided into chapters, so you could easily isolate specific sections of the book if you didn't want to devour the whole thing.

My one disappointment:  I was hoping for advice on fitting clothes for tall women, but didn't find anything in that regard.  It's so hard to find tall clothes that fit!!

I would recommend this to any female reader age 15+.

I received this book as a gift from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Changing a Child's Heart: Reviewing the Motivate Your Child Action Plan

I have found a new parenting resource that I love.  It's the

Motivate Your Child Action Plan 

by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller!  

Based on their previous book, Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told, this action plan will give you the tools to motivate your child to make positive changes without needing to nag or get angry..

I hope you will check out this action plan for growing your children in character and godliness.  Here are some factors i appreciate in the book:

  • it succinctly walks you through the various steps in the action plan.
  • it's easy to scan or go deep.
  • there is a lot of space to ponder the personalization of your plan. 
  • it applies to a broad age range. 
  • it's very empowering.
  • It's like having a family counselor in your home! 

I will be recommending this book to any parent who wants to change not just their child's behavior, but start to change the heart.

**This product was received in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. All opinions are 100% my own and are in no way influenced.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Jesus is Better

I love the worship song Jesus is Better!  As we were adjusting our hearts to the surprise of baby #4 (8 years after our 3rd child), this is one of the songs I sang over and over again to train my heart to believe that Jesus knows best.  Great lyrics!

Friday, May 08, 2015

Orange Julius Recipe!

I love a good Orange Julius, but hate paying the prices of the ones at the restaurant chain!  I can't wait to try this recipe from the 36th Avenue blog!  And I bet we can make it with splenda instead of sugar to make it just a bit more healthy.   :)

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Sugar Cookies - A Favorite Family Tradition

My kids love making sugar cookies!  This is a super easy sugar cookie recipe that we use with the big box of cookie cutters that mom gave us.  It makes lots of cookies, so be ready to share!  Tonight we are making them to share with a friend that just got our of the hospital.

Sugar Cookies

·     2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
·     1 teaspoon baking soda
·     1/2 teaspoon baking powder
·     1 cup butter, softened
·     1 1/2 cups white sugar
·     1 egg
·     1+ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.
  • Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.   OR refrigerate for 30 minutes, then roll dough to make cut-outs.
  • Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks. 

Monday, May 04, 2015

Motivate your child action plan!

I have found a new parenting resource that I love!  And I'm thrilled to be a part of a giveaway for the book and other cool stuff!  I hope you will enter the contest, and check out this action plan for growing your children in character and godliness.  I love that the book walks you through the various steps in the action plan, allowing space to ponder the personalization of your plan.  It's like having a family counselor in your home!
Motivate Your Child Action Plan Giveaway To celebrate the release of Motivate Your Child Action Plan, we are joining other members of the Launch Team in a wonderful giveaway filled with an iPod Touch, $50 iTunes Gift Card and several biblical parenting products! A value of nearly $350! Here's what you could win: 

Apple iPod touch 16GB Black/Silver  ($195 value)  

  • In the Box - iPod Touch, Apple EarPods, Lightning to USB cable, QuickStart guide
  • Brilliant 4 Retina display with Multi-Touch IPS technology
  • Front-Facing FaceTime camera with 1.2MP photos & 720p HD video recording.  
  • iOS 6 features - Siri, Apple Designed Maps, Integrated Facebook, Shared Photo Streams, Passbook & more

iTunes Gift Card ($50 value)

 Because you'll need apps and music for that iPod Touch!

The Christian Parenting Handbook and Companion Guide ($56.95 value) 

The Christian Parenting Handbook contains nuggets of parenting wisdom condensed into 50 short chapters, each one biblical, practical, and relevant for parents of children ages 2-18. Learn appropriate ways to correct, instruct, and set limits. Glean wisdom for dealing with emotions, conflict, and developing closeness in your family… and much more. These 50 strategies provide you with hands-on tools for parenting children of any age.  The Companion Guide is a workbook of 50 lessons along with 50 audio tips to take you through The Christian Parenting Handbook step by step. Each lesson contains advice from Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller in a 5 minute audio tip and then offers teaching, an assignment, a Bible verse, and a prayer to help you apply each idea or strategy in your family. The tips are available to you as MP3 downloads and access to them comes in the workbook.

Family Time Activities Book Bundle ($45 value)

Your kids will have fun learning about God's Word and how it applies to their lives. Science experiments, art activities, and games are all designed to reinforce spiritual truth. Each lesson is clear and simple, yet profound even for parents! You'll teach kids how exciting it is to learn about God and his ways. Your kids will love these books, but more importantly you'll build spiritual memories of Family Time in your home. Titles in this giveaway include:  Seeing Is Believing  Playing for Keeps  Running the Race Enter the Giveaway using the Rafflecopter below! This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY to those 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited by law. a Rafflecopter giveaway Join us for the Action Plan Facebook Party on Wednesday, May 20 at 9:00PM ET. There will be even more prizes and giveaways there and the authors of Action Plan will be present to answer your questions! The winner of this giveaway will be announced at the Facebook party!

RSVP here for the Party! 

Action Plan Facebook Party  

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Making Beds and Changing the World

This one minute clip about "How to change the world" is really cute, and we need to show it to our kids!
http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/head-of-the-navy-seals-explains-13471955/

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Lori Benton - New Author on my Reading List!

I just finished reading my first Lori Benton novel, The Wood's Edge - It was very good and I'll be adding Benton to my list of authors that I enjoy.

The storyline was very creative, both in plot and in setting. I enjoyed learning more about some historical pieces, and thinking about the relationship between Indians and soldiers and their families. I enjoyed learning about different cultural traditions of the time. The themes of love and forgiveness run throughout the story line, and most readers will find that very easy to relate to.  I found that it was hard to put the book down!


From the publisher:
At the wood’s edge cultures collide. Can two families survive the impact? 
 
The 1757 New York frontier is home to the Oneida tribe and to British colonists, yet their feet rarely walk the same paths. 
 
On the day Fort William Henry falls, Major Reginald Aubrey is beside himself with grief. His son, born that day, has died in the arms of his sleeping wife. When Reginald comes across an Oneida mother with newborn twins, one white, one brown, he makes a choice that will haunt the lives of all involved. He steals the white baby and leaves his own child behind. Reginald’s wife and foundling daughter, Anna, never suspect the truth about the boy they call William, but Reginald is wracked by regret that only intensifies with time, as his secret spreads its devastating ripples. 
 
When the long buried truth comes to light, can an unlikely friendship forged at the wood’s edge provide a way forward? For a father tormented by fear of judgment, another by lust for vengeance. For a mother still grieving her lost child. For a brother who feels his twin’s absence, another unaware of his twin’s existence. And for Anna, who loves them both—Two Hawks, the mysterious Oneida boy she meets in secret, and William, her brother. As paths long divided collide, how will God direct the feet of those who follow Him?



I would recommend this book to any reader at age 14 plus. this book was a gift from the publisher, given in exchange for my honest review/

Easy Dessert or Indulgant Snack - Chocolate Chip Dip


8 oz cream cheese, softened (reduced fat or regular)
½  c butter, softened
¼ t vanilla extract
¾ c confectioner’s sugar
2 T brown sugar
¾ c miniature semisweet chocolate chips
chocolate graham crackers

Beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a mixing bowl ‘til fluffy.  Gradually add sugars; beat just until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Cover and refrigerate 2 hours, then serve as a dip with chocolate graham crackers.


Next time, I want to try adding crème de menthe to make mint chocolate chip dip like we found at an Amish Market near our house.  It was so delightfully yummy!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Kool-Aid Slurpees!


Doesn't this Kool-aid slurpee look yummy?  I can't wait to make it with the kids this summer!  Find the recipe at Thirty Handmade Days.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Daytime Baby Schedules

Routine is good for mamas and babies.  Baby #4 is one month old and on a 4-hour feeding schedule  (give or take according to the needs of baby and family).  Here's a peek into our daytime routine.

7am wake up & nurse & snuggle, change diaper
7:30  playtime sitting in the boppy by the window to soak up some sunshine
7:45  playtime in the playmat
8am  tummy time on the playmat or on my knees
8:15  swing time
8:30 snuggle and go down for nap  (rest or work for mom!)
11am  wake up and repeat

Once the kids come home from school they want to hold the baby & play with him, so the afternoon activities change a bit.  I'll post more about siblings & baby and babies on the run later...

What works well for your baby schedule?