Thursday, December 29, 2011

Facing my biggest challenge... ME!


Ever met your match? Locked horns with the biggest bull on the block? Smacked into the hardest wall ever?Only to find out that the real obstacle is Y. O. U.?!? I know I have many times, in fact I'm what you might call stubborn, pig headed, dense, obstinate etc... when it comes to learning life's lesson's. For example: when your Father say's don't touch the tool box he means the handle as well. OR when your parents say "this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you", their right, it does. OR when you leave that huge project for the last minuet and then are shocked by the grade it received. OR when you start training your body to be healthy and it turns out not to be so easy?!? AHHHCK!!
Follow the link to my newest challenge I have set before my self along with making daily devotions as essential to my day as breathing. A seed was planted in my head by a old family friend via Facebook, it was then watered by friends and family members as I began to think out loud "I'm going to do a couch to 5K". The final push were two of my friends saying "I'll do this with you! Come on! Together we can do this" The treadmill was dusted off and the couch to 5K training began. The hiccups have been many, the excuses have been long and, the will power has been weak. Yet, (Proverbs 27:17) "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." My friends and family have been right along side me encouraging me, letting me know I have encouraged them, sharing their "failures", expressing their frustrations, yet pushing me forward when all I want to do is give up and go to bed!! Funny thing is I feel so much better after I've worked out, drank my water, and read my devotions. So why all this "belly aching"? Why am I beating my head against a brick wall? I have no idea, its just the way God created me and I am trying my best to embrace my inner bouncy ball and all that comes with it! Including the stubborn, pig headed, dense, obstinate etc... side of me!
Soo... I wrote this just to let you know; I've been there too (if you haven't guessed the examples are from my life.) I know what happens when you close your self off, ignore the gentle prodding of the Holy Spirit who is whispering in your ear "Get your degree in early childhood! Your not a business management major!" Pull a "Jonah" and flunk out of college...awkward! I praise the Lord daily for his promise in Romans 8:28 "We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God—those whom he has called according to his plan." and my life verse 1 Corinthians 15:10 "by the grace of God I am what I am, His grace to me is not with out affect..." And my newest verse to chant as I'm "DYING" on the treadmill Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." and those HE has surrounded me with!
I leave you with the quote that inspired this blog... "Your biggest challenge isn't someone else. It's the ache in your lungs and the burning in your legs, and the voice inside you that yells 'CAN'T'. But you don't listen, you just push harder. And then you hear the voice whisper 'can', and you discover the person you thought you were is no match for the one you really are."- Dave Scott, U.S. Triathlete-

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I'm a mess!!


It's a great song! Listen to it! Even if the quality is "poor".

I know it's a MESS!! But please oh please let your kiddos have those sensory experiences even if you have to pay a preschool teacher 3day's a week or a special art teacher so they can make a MESS!! A few 'MESS' examples are shaving cream, finger painting, 'Goop/gack' (corn starch and water), soap, glue painting, glitter... the list can go on and on my friend. If you need help finding messy activities I can help with that!! If you need help finding ways to make it less of a MESS and more enjoyable for all person's involved I can help with that too! But please, oh please! Let your babies, kiddos, pre-teens, teenagers... make a mess!!
We have a rule in this house "No ginormous messes! (with out a consenting adult). So I try my best to once a week have a GINORMOUS mess day!! Shaving cream has been my 'go to' because it is the easiest to clean up! But today we tried 'goop/gack' and it was a big hit! Filled about 20 min of kiddo's time (we added washable paints to stretch the fun!) then 20min of clean up(kids, floor, table...) and they reieved a great sensory experience! and it really didn't "cost" me any thing except time which is an expense I am willing to expend in the pursuit of raising the my blessing. So many valuable lesson's are learned when GINORMOUS messes are aloud. Like 'it's okay to get dirty', or 'its a solid AND a liquid', 'cleaning is necessary', 'making messes is okay', and a important one 'life get's messy! just clean your self up and keep on'.
So...those squeamish and faint of heart at the thought of play dough, finger paints and shaving cream! Fear not! This phase in life is short lived, so live it up! Make a MESS!! There will be plenty of time to have a clean and neat house later in life (when you'll be arguing about their MESSy room's;)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Question for you to ponder...

Will instant access, internet, facebook, twitter etc... create a generation without character and/or courage?

Character and courage require a meekness that is not being fostered when all you have to do is "hit send" and any one of your 500+ closest friends can commiserate with you. I my self have done it, having a bad day... post it on FB and my friends make me feel better. At a rough point in life... post it on twitter and even people who aren't your friends can commiserate with you.
Chuck Swindoll says " The real test of courage are much quieter. They are inner test, like remaining faithful when nobody is looking, like enduring pain when the room is empty, like standing alone when your misunderstood."
Psalms 118
6The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid.

What can man do to me?

7The LORD is with me; he is my helper.

I will look in triumph on my enemies.

8It is better to take refuge in the LORD

than to trust in man.

9It is better to take refuge in the LORD

than to trust in princes.


The Lord is where our sorrows should go! Get in the habit of sending 'knee mail' before email and reading HIS book before you Facebook. We( as "grown ups") have a responsibility to lead this next generation (parent's or not). It should scare you, it does me, how easy it is for the next generation to breeze through life with out learning valuable lessons such as character and courage. Disciplining my son for hitting a friend, (who has just hit him), isn't something I want to do, I'd rather tell him "nice shot" but instead I pray that I am teaching him the importance of turning the other cheek. Giving him the ability to build upon his experience as a child and the bigger lesson's in life will be just a little easier to understand and he can grow in his character, build upon his courage and make straight his paths.


Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."


Proverbs isn't just speaking to parents, it is also speaking to all adult's who have 'direct access' to children. The old adage "It takes a village to raise a child" is true. Each person who comes into a child's life leaves something behind, let that be a quality lesson learned. I pray character, courage and a heart for the Lord over "my small child" and all those precious gifts I am directly connected with and so should you.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pumpkin Songs


Pumkin Orange
I had a pumpkin orange (encircle head with arms to mimic a pumpkin shape)
I gave it to big eyes (trace eyes with pointer finger).
I cut around a tiny nose(trace nose with pointer finger)
and a great big mouth that smiles(trace a smile on your face with pointer finger)!
Now I'll hide behind the hedge(hide face with hands and crouch),
wait until it's dark. Then when daddy come's along...
UP(pop up)! I'll jump! BOO! I'll shout(shout BOO!).
What a surprise! (YEA!)

Jack-o-lantern
Jack-o-lantern, Jack-o-lantern, you are such a funny sight (laugh)!
Sitting up there in the window(Place hands under chin like face is pumpkin sitting in window), looking out at the night(place hand over eye brows as if your searching for something).
You were once an orange pumpkin(encircle your head as if a pumpkin)
growing on a curly vine(use pointer finger to make a curly vine from top of head out).
Now you are a Jack-o-lantern see your candle light shine(make candle with index finger and blow it out at end of song).

Five little pumpkins
Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate.(hold up five fingers)
The first one said, Oh, my it's getting late! (wiggle thumb)
The second one said, "There are bats in the air"(wiggle pointer)
The third one said, "But we don't care." (wiggle middle)
The fourth one said, "Let's run, let's run!" (wiggle ring)
The fifth one said, "Isn't Harvest time fun?" (wiggle pinky)
Then Woooooo went the wind (blow air)
And OUT went the lights. (clap)
And five little pumpkins rolled (make rolling motions with hands) out of sight.

Pumpkins! Oh boy!
















Oh Halloween how you CREEP ME OUT!! There is nothing worse (okay, maybe a few things but not much) to me than 'spooky' halloween mask. These mask's touch a nerve in me that leaves me 'shaking in my boots' causing me to lock my door on 'trick or treat night', turn on happy cartoons, and jump every time someone ignores the lights out and knock's on my door...blech!
Moving on... Every year since I can remember we(the Baranowski's) have carved pumpkin's to celebrate the fall harvest and have a load of fun!! Most nights there were treats, popcorn and singing/telling of pumpkin related stories (all G rated due to MY low tolerance for 'spooky' stories). Many memories were made! The honor of carving a pumpkin was coveted, the proper scoping out of the pumpkin was a 'big' job, just watching how many faces Dad could carve into his pumpkin was better than cartoons! Each member of the family participated in their own way and we spent time together in a creatively positive way (sans Chinese checkers **nervous tick**!!).
This year brought back my child hood memories due to B's exuberance towards 'fun' activities dubbed; "the best ever that he's NEVER done before" (pumpkin gutting was not given this title, he was grossed out).
We are now creating memories, we are now creating traditions, we are now personalizing his view of family interaction. How exciting this time is for him as well as me since I get to see these activities a fresh and a new through his eyes. I am on pin's and needles whilst I plan the next fun activity with, **dun dun dun ** no media!! **scream of terror**. Stayed tuned for the next "Best ever that he has never done before" activity to enhance your normal daily lives.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Too many cooks in the kitchen? NEVER!!




When it comes to teaching small ones. Have you ever stopped to think of the many different lesson's you are able to teach in the kitchen? Safety, science, reading, math, self help, patience, cause and effect, self confidence... the possibilities are endless and your just making pancakes:) Yes, you will make a mess, and yes it will take a little longer and yes it could result in some "crunchy" pancakes. But what's a little egg shell when you see that smile on your child that says "I'm proud of my accomplishment" So the next time you have the chance; let them in, teach them what you know, encourage them to help in the kitchen! This could be a future chief, food critic, food scientist and or food enthusiest and your actions are encouraging these possibilities all by making pancakes, or eggs or pasta together. Be flexible and just about any recipe can call for a small child's help. So go ahead! Cook a little with your kiddo(s) and watch them grow!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Oh SNAP!


It's 3pm and I forgot to take ANY meat out of the freezer?!?! WHAT IS A MAMA TO DO!?!
Oh! I know:)
  1. Take a frozen roast and place it in a pan with some sort of covering
  2. add a little oil (just a trace)
  3. add seasonings (I used garlic and season salt)
  4. toss in oil and seasonings
  5. put in pan
  6. cover pan
  7. put in oven at 350*
  8. and in about 2-3hrs you should have a nice plump roast!
  9. serve with starch and veggies/fruit!
For the rest of this meal I chose to saute' fresh green beans, mash potatoes and enjoy the roast! But almost anything goes with roast! You could just grab a can of green beans and a can of peaches! Or toss a bag of salad and some garlic toast! Possibilities are endless!!

think, thank, thunk!

You can....
hold a grudge
carry a grudge
bear a grudge
nurse a grudge
Trouble is...
to hold/carry/bear is to pick up that grudge every day!
to nurse is to feed into the grudge and give it life or power over you!

Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as a member of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving him thanks to the God the Father through him.

Just think! If you 'let go and let God'! How much freer you would be!

Think, thank, thunk!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

YOGURT!!


I just figured this out today (have been doing it for a while but just never officially noticed it:) I buy a large (4lbs) tub of plain non fat yogurt from Cost-Co for $4.00. It being plain and needing a little flavor I also purchase a 2 pack of strawberry jelly (all natural!) for about $6.00 for the pair. Mix it all together, about 1tsp($.03) of jelly 3/4($.40)cup of yogurt (its really thick!), and you have strawberry yogurt for $.43!! It's just awesome how satisfying thriftiness can be!! Its also being "green" since your only buying to containers, one plastic and one glass, BOTH recyclable! Yes, this is cheaper than making your own yogurt, unfortunately. Just in case your curious as to what on earth you will do with 4lbs of yogurt! Well let me enlighten you! You can use it as a substitute for oil in muffin's, breads, brownies, cakes etc... It can be used as a sour cream substitute (it is PLAIN yogurt after all:) Like today I used it to stretch out the last bit of the Classico- Sun-dried Tomato Alfredo sauce to pour over noodles, add some shredded cheese, seasoning and TA! DA! You have the worlds best mac'n cheese EVER!! Okay, maybe I'm biased but it was pretty good! The kids asked for more so... yum!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Decision!


I have been a stay at home mom for the past 4years. I have been there with him for ALL of his moments! Big or little they have all been imprinted on my heart. Even when I fuss/whine/moan/ groan! About his eating habits, toileting set backs and wake up times that seem to be more in line with the birds than humans. Each moment is a joy, maybe not right away, but it's really a true joy to be able to be there always for him (excluding date nights or mom's night/day's out!!) But now I face a challenging decision, do I go "back to work"? There are several great things about working outside the home(I have a list of at least 5 pros!) I hold nothing against "working mom's" in fact I applaud them. Just the thought of "going back" terrifies me(I have 7 con's)?!!? It really strikes my heart with fear and sadness. And I am struggling to reflect why? What is it that causes me to tear up each time I think of working outside the home? Thus far I haven't been able to put my finger on it, only to be able to finger the actual emotions I feel inside each time the topic comes up. Terror....Sadness...Stress...Overwhelming... Tentative.... Its not the first time I've been at a loss of what to do, yet its the first time as a mommy. I was hoping it would be a little more clearer as to which path I should take, which opening I should pass through, what decision I should make. All I know for certain is "I'm gonna miss this!"http://youtu.be/lBDN8yWyNYU At least this moment will be captured in time for me to look back at as a mom of a teenager when I want to sell him to the zoo! Or pay the circus to take him!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Dream a little dream of...

Okay, I know that song has absolutely nothing to do with the thoughts I'm about to share with you but!!! It's the peppiest little tune and it has the phrase in it I used as my title so I figured I'd better throw my props out there:)

I'm sure you've noticed, by now, how "dreams" (future aspirations) have changed since you were about 5 years old/ understanding the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" What was your five year dreams? Did they differ from year to year? Who inspired those dreams? What inspired those dreams? How much different are your dreams now from then? For me... not so much... I mean sure, I had the occasional "I wanna be a ballerina" (I have two left feet, really, I do!), "I wanna be a princess/royal dignitary" (I'm thinking my story wouldn't have turned out as Cinderella with the "sassy sass" I dish out!), or the "I want to be a successful "business" woman" (now if I just liked sitting at a desk for extended periods of time....doh!) But through all those dreams I found one to ring true, when I grow up I want to be a mom! And guess what, I am!! Isn't that awesome? I am amazed every day I hear "Mommy!" and realize its me the small child is referring to I smile! (unless it's "mommy! mommy! mommy! mommy!" then it's more of a grimace but...who's counting?)
Now that the "Mom" dream is realized, I realize I have other dreams to chase! Here are a few of them...
  1. Leaving a legacy behind me that my family/loved ones can celebrate
  2. Knowing my child(ren) are believers of Jesus Christ
  3. Finishing my Bachelors degree (and possibly a Masters)
  4. Realizing my desire to create a welcoming daycare/preschool/re-source center for special abilities children and their families:)
  5. Being a Proverbs 31 woman (at least close to one:)
  6. Finishing my basement!!(and 2nd bathroom!)
  7. Creating healthy habits (working out, eating right, daily devotions....)
  8. Blogging regularly
  9. Being a good friend
  10. To have more babies!!(naturally or adopted:)
  11. Self control to resist chocolate!
So what are your dreams? Or future aspirations ? Have you spoken them aloud? Do you pray about them? do you dare to dream a little dream?
Psalms 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Delay of game!!

Phew! Time fly's when your having fun! And when your stressing out about stuff! Either way it just keeps tick, tick, ticking away!POOF! A month has past and I haven't blogged, what is with that? I guess I figured laundry, dishes, cleaning, meals... were a little more important:) Or was it that REALLY good book? Or it could have been me enjoying the fleeting day's of summer! Literally they are, fleeting away right before my very eyes! I had to wear jeans 'the other day' really?!? I'm not ready for summer to be over! But I am, because with the end of summer come's a new adventure! PRESCHOOL (home schooling)!! I don't mean just the age group I mean my small child is actually ready to do some school work! I am so excited to be able to see him work at something and then.... **light bulb** those moments are so precious as a teacher and I'm sure more so now that I'm a mom! Time to start digging out ALL those teacher made resources I've been hording, transporting and collecting over the years. As soon as I figure out how to post pictures on here I will add a few of the resources, easily made, can be used in your home to enhance even a regular day! keeps the TV off and the child engaged! oh happy day!

Monday, July 18, 2011

FYI


I just thought I'd let you know: those delicious coffee creamer (you know, international delights dark chocolate and MANY other delightful flavors) are FREEZE-able!! That means when there is a crazy good sale, or you have multiple coupons, or room to stock up on a discontinued favorite! Go ahead and keep one out and FREEZE the rest! Then take them out as needed!(the night before because going to make coffee and NOT having the creamer is sadness!!) They also make great gifts for the coffee drinker you visit:) As a "thank you for letting me crash here" gift!! Happy Monday!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

a thought to think...

The other day (which in my world could literally mean the OTHER day or it could mean weeks, months, years ago;) a friend of mine posted an article about how blogging was selfish. I was like "WHOA!!" and then like "Whoa" so I discontinued blogging for about 19 days to think and pray about what it was I am actually trying to do with this blog (BESIDES promoting my...*cough cough* own AWESOME ideas;) http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Famous-Blog Read point number 4, it will make you stop and think for a minute.. why am I blogging? what is my motivation? to be immortalized forever in this world or am I using it to glorify the Lord? So....why am I blogging? I know now:) It really is just a way for me to share the ideas that are inside my head, maybe they are helpful, maybe they are not, but it does leave me with a feeling of bountiful peace when the idea is out there. I wont lie, it makes me feel uber special when one of my friends/stalkers/admirers comments on my postings....oops! my human nature is showing again?!? This verse 2 Corinthians 3:5-6(MSG) "We wouldn't think of writing this kind of letter about ourselves. Only God can write such a letter. His letter authorizes us to carry out this new plan of action. The plan wasn't written out with in on paper, with pages and pages of legal footnotes, killing your spirit. it's written with Spirit on spirit, his live on our lives" No fair taking this out of context! I am not trying to say I am writing the Bible here... just a place I can write my thoughts down and share them with my friends and if they are helpful they can share them with their friends and so on... it's a better way of playing telephone because you can read what the original person wrote and not have to guess from the whispering's of others(nifty, another cool topic to explore!!!):) So with that said, I am going to try my best to keep this blog strictly to glorify my creator who created me to be; a bouncy ball, with all the flaws and imperfections that make for a uniquely effervescent ball bouncing along life's way!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

more BUGS!?!? in my food

Another twist on an old favorite! just to add texture in a non threatening way, also other forms of protein.
BUGS in noodles
Mac N cheese (how ever your family prepares it)
Black beans

1.) make your macaroni and cheese 2.) add black beans to the macaroni and cheese 3.) Serve BUGS in noodles and let the kids "play" with the theme:)

IDEA!! Make a center piece out of bugs and plants! Have a magnifier at the table so they can investigate their food. Maybe put on "safari" hats and be bug hunters! If your kiddo is as "picky" as mine, playing at the dinner table (in a respectable fashion) is a much needed thing! B always had 2-3 "meal time buddies" to help him eat his food! (just make sure they are dishwasher safe!)

BUGS!!in my food?!?

Soo.... another picky eater recipe! Finding way's to shorten the eating time (from 2hrs to 45/1hr) kept me on the hunt and forced me to be a little creative with food. I am sure I am not the first person to blog about this, "cook" this, or even think of this but! I figured I'd share it and maybe it's helpful to one.

Ant's On a Log/Frogs on a lily pad
bread/leftover pancakes
banana's(frogs)
peanut(other nut) butter
cinnamon sugar/ sprinkles
raisins(bugs/ants)
carrots(log)

1.) prep carrots into thin sticks, wide enough to spread peanut butter on 2.) spread peanut butter onto bread and carrots 3.) adorn peanut buttered carrot(log) with raisins(bugs) 4.) cut bread into four equal parts 5.) cut banana into circles 6.) place one banana circle (frog) on each lily pad (bread/peanut butter) 7.) sprinkle frog with cinnamon sugar/sprinkles 8.) serve with milk and you have a complete meal!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Picky Eaters!!

You know how you have this wonderful plan for your life and its just so wonderful that you tell God that about it. Of course after wiping tears of mirth, our loving Savior kindly reminds us HE is in charge!!(thank you Jesus! Because I would have made a really bad aristocrat's wife, schmoozing is NOT my thing:) In this wise wisdom I asked the Lord if he would be so kind to NOT give me a picky eater!! Because of all the frustrating characteristics children exemplify picky eater's were my Achilles heal! I have now grown a little more patient and a little more tolerant of the small children (and occasional adult) who is VERY particular about what they like and dislike to eat. I being a lover and enjoyer of food still find pickiness a baffling trait! I would like to thank my son for being God's instrument of change for me, I'm sure it wasn't easy because I am not one to change quickly:) Here is a recipe that came in my desperation to get my small child to EAT!!(he really just didn't like the actual act of eating, oddness to me?!?)
Veggie Pancakes
1 cup flour
1/2 scoop protein powder(3T)
3 T baking powder
1 egg
1 pureed steamed veggies
1/4 cup oil
Instructions: 1.) whisk all dry ingredients together 2.) whisk all wet ingredients together 3.) whisk ALL ingredients together (may need a little more milk to moisten) 4.) cook pancakes 5.) add butter and syrup 6.) serve! They'll never know they are eating vegetables!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Just in a Visiting Mood

Just in a Visiting Mood

was so very blessed by my mommy(via one of her friends:) To have the privilege to see Beth Moore live and in color!! She used the theme UN-tangled as a play on the movie tangled (She even showed a clip, she's so cool!!) I just wanted to share some of her bouncy ball type insight! I really related well to this wonderful woman of God:) She just bounced from one topic to another, leaves some people spinning but me... keeps me engaged, focused and there 90% less sightings of....SHINY SQUIRRELS!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What do you crave?

NutriGrain commercial

As I was giggling / chastising my self for having coffee(2 cups) and a piece of yummy pound cake for "breakfast" making me hungry one hour later:) I remembered this NutriGrain commercial. You see in the commercial how her one choice in that split second at her desk influenced each and every food choice she made that day.
Isn't this the same with the way we chose to spend our days? I know I've noticed that if I start my mornings off with the Lord everything else seems to be easier to handle. Be it a short verse to meditate on(KTIS texts me the verse of the day/ I also have a few sticky notes around the house to re-focus my attention on the Lord), devotions from www.cbn.com, or my 30-45min time of devotions and prayer. This choice I make most days influences my cravings through out the day. Keeps me focused on the things eternal, less likely to sweat the small stuff, and just a more positive outlook on the day versus the day's I just don't make the time for anything Christ centered...those are not pretty days! So whatever your "flavor" may be... short and sweet! online! or those wonderful, enjoyable, beautiful hours with the Lord! Make the "right choice" and keep your eye's on HIM before you get too far! http://youtu.be/UHmenrxcbsw

Composure, control, and creativity!

Just to let you know, I do LOVE my child with all my heart but there are days when I would rather eat cauliflower(BLECH!!) than deal with ONE MORE battle of wills!?!? I'm pretty sure that days like those are why God created chocolate, coffee, yummy creamers, diet coke and nooks! But we can argue theology another day! Today we can discuss ways to discipline effectively. I want to state that I am in NO WAY an expert! Yet I do have experience on both ends of the "stick" being a "spirited child" as well as the parent (for 3.5yrs) of a "spirited" child, I also hold a degree in early childhood development to give me added "umph" to my ideas. 1.) BREATH!! Unless the child is in imminent danger, or putting someone/something in imminent danger you have time to take a deep breath, count to five and think rationally! 2.)Think to your self "is this really a big deal?" I mean really, is it going to do eternal damage if he has his toast in his arm pit? will blowing bubbles in his milk really create his soul to be in peril? I'm going to go ahead and say probably not... However these are things that you might not want to happen at a restaurant, other peoples houses, etc... so deal with them accordingly. "When you blow bubbles in your milk, do it at your little table, don't make a ginormous mess and make sure your eating as well." 3.) Deal with them on their level. Lecturing a 3yr old probably isn't going to go farther than the first few words you say, lets face it no one likes to be lectured. Short sweet and to the point "Because you did this ___ this ___ will happen" eg. "Because you used your mouth to be rude(Yelling at Mommy) you will get 'sours' (lemon juice) on your tongue". Be specific, be short, be shrewd! 4.) Be creative! While I am a firm believer in 'spare the rod spoil the child'. I do not believe that every situation is a 'rod' situation. I save that for DIRECT DISOBEDIENCE (thanks Mom & Dad:) "B you may not go in the street" He goes in the street, it's a 'rod' situation! Most others can be "solved" by creative discipline! Sours for offensive mouths, time outs for un-wise usage of "free time", removal from a situation (usually into a time out) for being rude and disrespectful in the situation. Or for older kiddos 'hit them where it hurts' usually the bank:) Charge $$ for issues that go on... and on.... and on... 5.) GRACE is a good idea! Explain it, pray with them, and give it when it seems appropriate but not as freely as one might think. 6.) Prayerfully consider, with your spouse/partner in crime a plan of action for all courses of discipline! I know I put this one last, it should be first but I figured I'd give you some "fool proof" ideas before I gave you the "meat and potatoes". Write out this plan, post this plan, live and breath this plan but also be flexible with in the plan.... life is ON THE RUN! You never know what's happening next (although my 3yr old would believe that ALWAYS knowing "whats gonna happen next" is a must!). Start your day in the word and HE will guide your steps!(PS I am encouraging my parents to write a book on creative discipline so if you see them tell them, 'How to heat a hiney with out a match' Is a great title!!)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

MORE cube steak!!

Just what you always wanted! More cube steak:):) Or not really so another way to use it up is to put it in the spaghetti sauce:) I know its not really "spaghetti season" but if you have it use it right? or just freeze the (cooked) steak till your ready to have spaghetti:) I make my own sauce(cheaper and has no HFCS in it:) but there is no shame in buying the bottles and using that too:)

One of the dangers of me, I never cook the same way twice unless I write it down...doh! But this last time I made sauce (little too spicy for kiddos, but B ate it enjoyed it) I did write it down... approximately...
Ingredients: 3T Mrs. Dash Table blend(in that blend is onion powder, black pepper, chili pepper, parsley, celery seed, basil, bay leaf, marjoram, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper(the spice so you can eliminate this if you wish not to have spice), coriander, cumin, mustard rosemary, garlic, orange peel/zest, lemon oil/zest), 16oz can of stewed tomatoes, 12oz can of garlic and olive oil tomatoes, about 1/4 cup brown sugar(to take away the acid of tomatoes:), 2T sea salt
Directions: 1.) Puree all ingredients 2.) dice meat 3.) put everything into a pot to simmer, add about 3T olive oil 4.) bring to boil, then simmer for about 30min (or less) depending on the taste your going for you may want more garlic:) 5.) Put on noodles and enjoy!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Cube Steak

I never thought I would ever see the day that I could actually eat much less serve cube steak to my son?!?! I am still in shock and awe at the ease of this and that I can finally use the ENTIRE cow quarter we buy (okay so I give the liver and tongue away but.... close enough right?)

Ingredients: Cube steak( I had 4), 2c beef broth, 2.5T garlic(used powder), 3T parsley, salt, (pepper if you HAVE to;), celery, chives (or onions), 1/2c red wine vinigar
Directions: dump it all in the crock pot and cook it on high for 6.5 hrs or until it is tender enough to be cut by a fork(yes I know, cube steak, trust me!)

Now that its cooked to perfection you have a few options: 1.) make gravy with drippings&corn starch to be served over mashed potatoes 2.) Make it into BBQ beef, just drain most drippings leave 1/2c and add BBQ sauce, catchup, Worcestershire sauce 3.) make stir fry!!(we did, it was awesome!!) recipe TBPosted:)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Leftovers, leftovers, leftovers!

This assumes you have turkey/chicken& wild rice soup leftover to use up:)
Ingredients:
Leftover Turkey/chicken wild rice soup
1 Can -cream o mushroom soup
biscuit dough
Directions: 1.) mix the cream of mushroom soup with the leftovers 2.) pour into greased pan large enough to accommodate leftovers and biscuits on top 3.) pre heat oven to 450 4.) make biscuit dough 5.) roll dough into balls and place on top of soup mixture 6.) bake according to biscuit recipe 7.) cool, serve, enjoy!

Biscuit Recipe
2c flour
1tblspn baking powder
1/3 c butter
3/4 c milk (or water if need be)

Directions: 1.) measure out flour and baking powder into a bowl 2.) melt butter 3.)drizzle butter into flour mixture using a whisk/pastry cutter to "cut" into flour 4.) add milk mixing with wooden spoon (or hands) till its not sticky, barely 5.) Handling the dough as little as possible shape into balls and bake! @450

GRADUATION!!!

Tis the season, fa la la la la la laa la la laa, to march down the aisle and commemorate a mile stone. So... if you have a few of these wonderful people in your life and don't have alot of cash to lavish your love on them why not do it in a quirky kit? I know I will be! Now these links are to ideas(from others, no its not an 'bouncy ball original'), and one does NOT need to fill each (reusable) shopping bag (preferable on that folds up small, Target has them) with every single item. Customize them, personalize them, make them as unique as the idea!
A few idea of how to package these kits; 1.)tag each item with an explanation(add a verse or two) and toss em in the bag. 2.)to create one big list (in the card or attached to the card) and envelope it with one verse. 3.) another idea is to label each item with its usage (computer sticky labels) and then send along a card with a inspirational verse (perhaps one you will pray over them in the years to come). This mile stone is HUGE! make it memorable for you as well as them! Its also a great opportunity to witness to them!
Here is the link to the "kits" and the reasoning behind the gifted item:) http://kitchenmixgifts.budget101.com/survival_kits.htm I hope this is a gift to you as well as the graduate in your life:)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cloth Diapers!

I know, I know, not ANOTHER posting about how the environment is at risk:) But I am a "green gal" so I must say my piece and be done! Okay, maybe not totally done but hey, bouncy balls are like that:) So my biggest contribution to making the world a better place is using cloth diapers!!TA-DA! Not really hat big of a "feat" but it's a little step. So the diapering system I have used is http://www.gdiapers.com/. Reason's being cost, ease, options, and they are just sooo darn cute!! There are other options and I will have to admit that for our next one (when the Lord allows). I may have to choose another system for night times, or not since I have not had a chance to use the cloth option the come out with most recently. http://www.pootersdiapers.com/Getting-Started/ is a great resource for checking out different diapering system's without "wasting money". That is the goal right? Saving money, the environment, and maybe possibly the world? :) or just being green. This is my way of contributing a "greener world" and it has worked so far!!

Easy Pasta Salad

For those nights when you just don't want to cook!

Suggested ingredients:
Meat(we used Italian sausage on the grill), noodles(angle hair or any family favorite), veggies (broccoli and canned diced green chili tomato's), oil & vinegar (I used Paul Newman's Balsamic light vinegaret), salt/pepper/garlic to taste if needed

Directions: 1) Boil noodles and Cool 2.) Cook/reheat meat 3.) Cook/prep veggies 4.) Toss noodles with vinegar and oil (possibly add salt and pepper if needed) 5.) add the rest of the ingredients 6.) plate and serve!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mind your P's and Qs

Manner #1

When asking for something, say “Please.”

Manner #2

When receiving something, say “Thank you.”

Manner #3

Do not interrupt grown-ups who are speaking with each other unless there is an emergency. They will notice you and respond when they are finished talking

Manner #4

If you do need to get somebody’s attention right away, the phrase “excuse me” is the most polite way for you to enter the conversation.

Manner #5

When you have any doubt about doing something, ask permission first. It can save you from many hours of grief later.

Manner #6

The world is not interested in what you dislike. Keep negative opinions to yourself, or between you and your friends, and out of earshot of adults.

Manner #7

Do not comment on other people’s physical characteristics unless, of course, it’s to compliment them, which is always welcome.

Manner #8

When people ask you how you are, tell them and then ask them how they are.

Manner #9

When you have spent time at your friend’s house, remember to thank his or her parents for having you over and for the good time you had.

Manner #10

Knock on closed doors — and wait to see if there’s a response — before entering.

Manner #11

When you make a phone call, introduce yourself first and then ask if you can speak with the person you are calling.

Manner #12

Be appreciative and say “thank you” for any gift you receive. In the age of e-mail, a handwritten thank-you note can have a powerful effect.

Manner #13

Never use foul language in front of adults. Grown-ups already know all those words, and they find them boring and unpleasant.

Manner #14

Don’t call people mean names.

Manner #15

Do not make fun of anyone for any reason. Teasing shows others you are weak, and ganging up on someone else is cruel.

Manner #16

Even if a play or an assembly is boring, sit through it quietly and pretend that you are interested. The performers and presenters are doing their best.

Manner #17

If you bump into somebody, immediately say “Excuse me.”

Manner #18

Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and don’t pick your nose in public.

Manner #19

As you walk through a door, look to see if you can hold it open for someone else.

Manner #20

If you come across a parent, a teacher, or a neighbor working on something, ask if you can help. If they say “yes,” do so — you may learn something new.

Manner #21

When an adult asks you for a favor, do it without grumbling and with a smile.

Manner #22

When someone helps you, say “thank you.” That person will likely want to help you again. This is especially true with teachers!

Manner #23

Use eating utensils properly. If you are unsure how to do so, ask your parents to teach you or watch what adults do.

Manner #24

Keep a napkin on your lap; use it to wipe your mouth when necessary.

Manner #25

Don’t reach for things at the table; ask to have them passed.

(Originally published in the March 2011 issue of Parents Magazine.)

Life on the run!

Television is on, the radio is on, the blender is going, dishwasher is washing, the phone is ringing, the door bell is being pressed, a dog is barking, there is a loud discussion happening, the lawn mower is going, the windows are open and there is a fire truck driving by all of this on HIGH SPEED! Sounds like mass chaos right? It is and is also how the brain of some one with "bouncy ball syndrome" works, also known as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHyper activityD). To me, thats just every day life. I may be talking to you about the weather but being a "bouncy ball"; I am also thinking about dinner, which chore I should do when I get to it, the projects I have left to do, along with a continuous loop of songs running through my head. "Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice!" Philippians 4:4 also a great song! It has actions, a catchy tune and moves along fast enough to keep my focus! Well done!
I am as my son state's "30 old" and have bounced along thus far learning a few things along the way about how to be a effective bouncy ball for the Lord. I have also learned how to seek out the other bouncy balls along the way... especially the small ones who just need that extra mile. You know that kiddo that never sit's still, is always touching some one or something they shouldn't and just seems to be a general disturbance in the room. Yup, that one, the one that is there just to test your sanity and patients to the max, yes, that child, is also my child. Together we are learning so much more about being a bouncy ball!!Most days I don't feel qualified to do the dishes let alone trying to guide a bouncy ball along the way. 1Corinthians 15:10 "By the grace of God I am what I am! His grace to me is not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them. Yet not I but the grace of God that is within me". Here are just a few of the things that we have learned along the way.... Wal-Mart is not a store to go to, errands are better done with out small bouncy balls! If they must be done with the small bouncy ball bring alot of snacks! Some days need to be movie days, some days need to be spent outside, other days need a mixture. Routines are good! (not as in '9am we do this...' but as in 'when I wake up in the morning I get milk'.) Balance 'on the go days' with 'pajama days'. Keep fruit snacks close at hand along with anti bacterial wipes (if you see ones that can be used in mouths let me know!!). Relish the small things (bugs, shiny rocks, dandelions, sink bubbles...) Please whatever you do don't sweat the small stuff!! OH LOOK BUNNIES!!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Oh by the way!!

Just in case you had not heard... I assisted in a lovely talk this morning titled "Eat, Shop, Play with out throwing your money away!" My co-bouncy ball and I (by the grace of God) were able to impart the wisdom that has been imparted upon us to the lovely women at EPAG's Gather Mom's group! They were such a great audience(even when I opened with the worst possible attention getter, sheesh!)!! If your even a tiny bit curious as to what it was all about, information shared or just wanna see whats inside the head of a bouncy ball (or two:) here is a link https://public.me.com/gfleener . Gretchen also has her own blog, IDMommy, if you look below at the blogs I follow she is one of them, she has more links to share. Feel free to poke around, ask questions, soak up the information from our trial and errors, and share your experiences with us! Because with out iron to sharpen iron, we would be wanting for a sharp knife!! Thank you all for your part in our presentation, your prayers, and attending!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Time fly's

Have you ever sat down and just thought "where has the time gone"? Its not just something your Grandmother used to say... its real life! WHOOSH! And you've gone from winter to spring, your child has grown into a pre-schooler when you could have sworn he was just a baby, your siblings are growing up and moving out (FINALLY:) WHOOSH! Where did it all go? was I present? Did I value that time when it was there? WHOOSH! It almost makes me dizzy how a whole week/weekend can just disappear into thin air and leave me wondering... was my time well spent?WHOOSH! I am one of the fortunate ones, I am blessed, I am a daughter to the King of Kings. He smooths over all those rough edges I leave behind when I'm "WHOOSHING" around. Psalms 46:5 "God is with (her), (she) will not fail; God will help (her) at break of day." Those words are so comforting when I'm sitting here worrying about how my time was spent and then I am reminded Matthew 6:27 "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" ohh snap! I guess I'd better knock it off and make a better usage of my time here! WHOOSH!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

BULK IT UP

I must admit I have very fond memories of Whole Foods ("back in the day":) when they used wax pencils to write on plastic containers or those extra wide twist ties to close the baggies. These fond memories extend to Sam's club when it wasn't stream lined and the only option you had for a cart was a flat bed!! Good times! But aside from wonderful childhood memories of shopping for groceries (which is a large part of life when there are 8 kids in the family... just say'in.
All of this is to say going to these stores is still great for the budget! I just re stalked my spice cupboard for $5.57+tax. It is a little time consuming when you have to locate the spice on the massive shelving, write down the name and pu#, and package it up! It can seem daunting and a little less appealing but, when I am able to buy 5 spices (including FRESH ginger) for the same price as one bottle of dill in the store I think this pursuit of bulk spices is worth my time and possibly yours!
Other benefits of bulk spice buying is the ability to choose how much of each spice you purchase. In our family during the warm weather months the dill usage is UP. However during the winter months the usage of oregano and thyme goes UP. So I can adjust my spices to the season, keep waste down and cook as flavorful as I wish without worrying about breaking the bank!

Monday, April 25, 2011

SHOT DOWN!!

Have you ever felt built up, encouraged, and maybe a little bit prideful? I know I have and today was one of those days. After having a wonderful day of being sharpened by a dear friend I left feeling very confident in my self... as I was driving home I thought to my self "how am I going to guard against being prideful"?
Well God through http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/devotions/Meyer_Trainable.aspx and Joyce Meyer had the answer for me; 1Corinthians 1:25-31
(yes I'm going to type it out because, lets be honest here, are you really going to go and dig out your bible? didn't think so:)
"For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength. Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak thing of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things-and the things that are not- to nullify the things that are, so no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus who has become for us wisdom from God that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. Therefore, as it is written; "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord".
So the time of me basking in my "competency's" is gone and I again cling to the verse given to me a few years back 1Corinthians 15:10 "By the GRACE of GOD I am what I am. His GRACE to me is not with out effect. No, I worked harder than all of them- yet not I but the GRACE of God that was with me." I am confidant in the Lord, I know that through him ALL things are possible and no plan of his is thwarted! (Job 42:2 Brayden's memory verse).

Poster Board:)

Yes, I am one of those "weird" people who gets excited for school to start! All those brand new crayons, markers, glue, tape, stickers, pencils?!?!?oh my! I just love that isle:) I love it for its potential to create something wonderful like: games, teach tools, crafts, gifts and happy birthday cards! And don't even get me started on the smell of new crayons... its AH-MAZING!! Fresh out of the box, not worn down, new and just calling my name "Jessica, use me, it can make something awesome!" -yes I speak to inanimate objects and they talk back! I know this concerns you for my mental health! I assure you (thus far) I have been cleared by mental professionals. (I also encourage small children to follow in my foot steps so...you may want to pray for them instead of me who is so far gone down the "rabbit hole" I'm a lost cause!) *insert laughter*- But in all honnesty if I can get this excited about "school supplies" how much more is God's excitement and love for us?!? ..."I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness".(Jeremiah 31:3) or Psalms 136 "his love endures forever!" (as a crabby "pre-teen/teen" I really resented my mom for making me say this EVERY Friday for like EVER?!?!) But now that I'm 30 old I see... thanks mom! Think on these things every time you are consumed with excitement/passion for something or some one remember just how much more our Father in heaven is excited about us!!
p.s. there will be pictures of my creations to come...dun dun dun!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

what have I agreed to do?!?

The title almost says it all "What have I agreed to do?!?" I had this BRILLIANT idea of giving a speech/talk with my "co-bouncy ball" host, all about budgets and how to have "fun" with in them! It sounded great, still sounds like an amazing talk, but lately I have been doubting my "qualifications" in this area. I am only 30 old, have only been married 10.5years, only have one child and only have my Associates degree in early childhood. What on earth made me think that I could somehow have any sort of wisdom or insight into how to live on a budget?? 1Corinthians 15:10!! Oh yeah, it is not me or my qualifications that matter at all! It is what I am willing to allow God to do through me that counts. DOH! I just felt led to share these thoughts with you, because I am really good at "putting on a happy face" and keeping cool as a cucumber when inside I am wasting away(2Corn. 4:16-18)! Freaking out! Loosing all "control" on the inside of me while, the outside says "I have this!". Lovely contradiction isnt it? Well Mark 10:27 "Jesus looked at them and said, " with man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God" or Job 42:2 "I know that you can do ALL things, no plan of yours is thwarted." Or as Steven Furtick suggests ‎"The greatest humility you could ever demonstrate is to put yourself in a position where if God doesn't come through, you're going to look stupid." So I am going to do just that, this speech/project to share the wealth of knowledge God has given to me with others so that they might benefit from it will leave me look'in pretty silly if God doesn't show up. Without God working through this bouncy ball and co-bouncy ball its just that... words and pretty pictures.