Friday, November 30, 2012

November Is National Adoption Month

I love the how God works things together.  Eight years ago this week, we were in Korea meeting our newest son and getting ready to bring him home.  At the time, I don't think we even gave a thought to the fact that we were adopting our son during National Adoption Month (I know that I didn't!).  We were just super excited to receive that call.  Those who have adopted know what call I am talking about.  The call that says come and get your son/daughter.  Your life will never be the same.  Nor would you have it any other way!

Adoption has blessed our family in many ways.  It added our son to our family.   We met some wonderful people and families.  We travelled to a land we NEVER thought we would see.   It was during this time that we realized just how big our God is. 

Please consider adoption for your family.  You will be blessed in more ways than you can count!

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."  John 14:18

"Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow."  Isaiah 1:17

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."  James 1:27


"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God"
1 Corinthians 10:31

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Our Daughter's Wearing Skirts

I told you HERE about my decision to wear skirts.  I also want to share with you about our daughters wearing skirts.

We have 2 daughters~one is 15 and the other is 6.  One enjoys wearing skirts and the other does not!  The 15 year old is most comfortable in jeans and a T~shirt.  Our 6 year old is a girly~girl and enjoys dressing up and wearing skirts.  So we let them wear what they want~~within certain limits of course.

Remember, I just started on my own journey in the past couple of years.  Prior to that, while I wore dresses or skirts to church,  I wore jeans every day.  That is what our 15 year old grew up with.  When I started wearing skirts, Sweetcheeks was only 4.  It was easier to have her wear skirts along with me~mainly because I still picked out her clothes!  But I don't want them to wear skirts because I do, or because I say they should.

Wearing skirts is a heart issue for me.  I wear skirts because that is what I feel the Lord calling me to do.  I want my girls to see my heart in the reason for wearing skirts~a heart of obedience.  I want to live out my faith in front of my girls and not just talk about it.  My 15 year old knows how important modesty and dressing like a lady is to me.  We discuss it often, and I've noticed that she is beginning to look at things like hemlines and necklines when picking out her clothes.  That is my desire~that she picks up on the important things.  If she doesn't wear skirts every day, that's OK.  It is my prayer that she grows into a young woman after God's heart~and obey's His leading.  I have the same prayer for our 6 year old.

So you may or may not see my daughter's wearing skirts.  And we're OK with that!

Have a great day!


"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God"
1 Corinthians 10:31

Remember use coupon code HOMESTEAD during checkout to receive 15% off of total purchase at CPT Worldwide.  Offer ends FRIDAY!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What's Really Important

 "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1Thessalonians 5:18

This past week was Thanksgiving.  Like many families, we spent time around our table enjoying a feast and thanking God for his blessings this past year.  What we didn't realize was just how thankful we would be by the end of the weekend.

Hubby's dad went to the hospital Thanksgiving night and was in ICU on Friday with heart problems.  We were VERY thankful that he was able to come home this weekend, and it looks (he's seeing the cardiologist today) like he did NOT have a heart attack.

Then, we found out my grandpa was in ICU Sunday nite/Monday morning with a stroke.  Again, we were blessed with the news that it was a small stroke, and it only seems to be affecting his left leg~~and even that is minimal.

It has truly been joy to see these two men, who are very important in my life, talking and laughing, knowing themselves how blessed they are.   We are very thankful that God has allowed them to be with us here for a while longer.  Giving thanks in ALL circumstances is hard sometimes, but it is situations like these that put life into perspective and we are reminded what is really important in life.


"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God"
1 Corinthians 10:31

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Choosing Gratitude When It's NOT Thanksgiving

Each year at Thanksgiving time, we pull out our Thankful Box.  This is just a box that I decorated many years ago when my first kiddo's were small and I attended a MOPS group.  It had pine cones glued to the top~most of which are now missing!  It has seen better years.  But each year it is the kids that want me to get it out and put it on the table.  Then during the month or so before Thanksgiving, we all add little notes stating what we are thankful for.  We usually save last years notes so we can look at them this year.  It's interesting to see how many of them are the same, and how many are different. 

On Thanksgiving day, after we are all thankful for our stuffed bellies, we go around the table and take turns reading the notes.  There are the ones you would expect~family, home, food~ and there are silly ones~the window, snow, chocolate, and our annual Thanksgiving Monopoly game~ but this year we had an abundance of thanks due in part to one child.

One of the kiddo's had put a LOT of paper into the thankful box.  And each piece of paper had more than one thing listed on it.  We laughed as we read some of them.  Some of them touched my heart.  But that night after all the kiddo's were in bed, I started thinking about that box.

While he hadn't intended to, the child that placed all those notes in the box was right on track.  He had listed some of the ordinary, mundane things in life to be thankful for.  Things that we usually take for granted.  While I am very grateful for the blessings in my life, I don't always (I can even say rarely) say thanks for the little things in my life.  The things that I take for granted (I will have clothes to wear today).  The things that I expect will happen (the lights to turn on when I flip the switch).  The things that I've been blessed with even though I don't deserve them (pretty much everything!). 

Gratitude is really a choice.  I can choose to see all things as a gift from God and be thankful for everything~even the things that I wouldn't really have chosen~ or I can complain about those things.  I am sad and ashamed to say that my children haven't always seen their mamma with a grateful heart.  I am purposing to change that.  I want my children to see that life is a gift from God, and all things that go with it are also.  I want my children to grow up with an attitude of gratitude.  I want my children to fill their thankful boxes even when they are adults.

I have been reminded often lately of something that was said at our wedding by a sweet aunt....

"He does not promise all sunshine and roses, but He does promise that 'My grace is sufficient for thee'."


"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God"
1 Corinthians 10:31

Remember use coupon code HOMESTEAD during checkout to receive 15% off of total purchase at CPT Worldwide.  Offer ends November 30!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Why I Didn't Wish Hubby A Happy Birthday!

Hubby's birthday was last week.  I of course DID wish him a happy birthday, and made sure the kid's did also.  But I was asked this week, why I didn't wish my husband a happy birthday....on Facebook.

I love facebook.  It is a great way to stay connected to old friends, or family members who live far away.  It is a great way to notify a lot of people of news or prayer requests.  It's a great way for our homeschool co~op to announce upcoming events so everyone knows about them.   It's a great way to show pictures of that beautiful new baby, or wedding, or vacation, or new home.  Facebook can be a great tool.

I hate Facebook.  It is a huge time stealer.  It is so annoying to page through everyone's political rantings.  I get so many requests for ridiculous games.  Do I really need to know when one of my friends "likes" a post by someone I don't know?  And do I really need to know that someone (again...that I don't know!) has posted a comment on a post I commented on?  In order to get specials with some companies, I must like their facebook page, then I get all kinds of posts I really don't want to read.  Facebook is annoying!

OK, so I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.  I think it can be a great tool, but I've learned that if I'm not careful with it, it can also be harmful.   I prefer the old fashioned way of communicating.  Face to face. 

So...yes, I did wish my hubby a happy birthday.  I said it to his face and followed it with a kiss.  You can't do that on Facebook....or have they figured out a way to do that too?


"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God"
1 Corinthians 10:31

Friday, November 23, 2012

CPT Worldwide~{Product Review}

Have you been trying to conceive?   Do you want to monitor ovulation while charting your BBT?  Obsessed with pregnancy tests and looking for great quality tests for a reasonable price?  Then you need to head over to CPT Worldwide and check out their fabulous products.
I was excited to try out the ovulation predictor tests.  I have been charting my BBT since shortly after my miscarriage last year.  I was on day 9 of my cycle when they arrived, so it was perfect timing.  I received 7 tests, and was a little worried when after 4 tests, they had all been negative.  Then, finally, I saw two bright lines on the test, indicating that I would be ovulating in the next 24-48 hours.  This also corresponded with my BBT chart. 

These ovulation predictor tests are a great way to monitor your fertility, with or without BBT charting.   It is a great tool to have when you need to see your OB/GYN.  Your ovulation tests, along with your chart can provide your doc with much information.  I'm starting to see some changes in my charts, so I will definately continue with the ovulation testing and discuss them with my doc (someone please tell me that 39 is not old!).  At 60 cents a test, they are an economical advantage to costly store bought ovulation predictor tests.  They also carry pregnancy tests starting at 50 cents per test, and offer fertility supplements, books, and basal thermometers.  This is a great deal, especially if you are becoming addicted to testing (read ME here!). 

CPT Worldwide is a Christian company that believes that life begins at conception.  They never supply abortion clinics with any of their products.  You can read more about their company and policies at their website. 
CPT Worldwide is graciously offering a 15% discount to my blog readers!  Just use coupon code HOMESTEAD during checkout for your discount!  This is a great time to stock up on all your fertility needs! ends November 30!


"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God"
1 Corinthians 10:31

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Our Thanksgiving Traditions

"Give Thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." 1 Chronicles 16:34

This Thanksgiving as always, we will be celebrating a fun filled weekend together.  We have a few traditions that our family has created over the years that we enjoy.

After watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, we have the traditional Thanksgiving meal (well, our traditional meal!)~turkey, stuffing, corn casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls, and apple and pumpkin pies (with lots of whipped cream!).  We also have the traditional stuffed bellies after dinner!  After we have finished dinner we pull out our thankful box.
Our thankful box is something I made when our oldest children were small and I was part of a MOPS group.  During the month of November, we put it in the middle of our dining room table.  We all add notes to it stating what we are thankful for.  After Thanksgiving dinner, we go around the table reading what we are all thankful for.  It is humbling to see all the things we have to be thankful for.

We also have our annual Thanksgiving day Monopoly tournament!  Some of us like this more than others!  Some of us are trying to go for broke, while some of us are trying to be the richest man around.  I shall not name names, but we all know who (Sport!) ends up with the most money.  Funny...he is always the banker too....I think we need a new sheriff in town!

While we do NOT participate in Black Friday shopping, we do go out on Saturday for breakfast and Christmas tree shopping.  This is MY favorite part of the weekend!  We I am hoping that hubby and Sport will cut down our tree this year, they are not quite as sure!  We'll see what happens!  I am excited to decorate for Christmas, listen to Christmas music (because I haven't already been listening to it for a couple of months now....nope...not me! Cough, Cough!), and begin to enjoy the holiday season.  I've said it many times before, but I'll say it again....I LOVE the Christmas season!  Time to stock up on Egg Nog!

Whatever you are doing this weekend, I pray you will enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday!

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God"  
1 Corinthians 10:31

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Large Family Logistics~Sale at Vision Forum!

Today Only~

Large Family Logistics is on sale at Vision Forum for only $8.00.  This is today's Deal of the Day, and ends tonight!  This is a great book, and gave me a lot of valuable information that helped me get organized with our family.  Whether you have 2, 5, or more children, there is something in this book that will help you!  I highly recommend it!

Don't forget to stop at Vision Forum this Friday for lots of Black Friday deals!  Vision Forum is a great place for quality Christmas gifts!


"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God"
1 Corinthians 10:31

Easy Pumpkin Pie

I found this recipe while browsing through a magazine in a waiting room recently.  I wrote it down because I was pretty sure it was different than what I always made.  I always made my pumpkin pie with evaporated milk, but this recipe called for sweetened condensed milk.  Since I had some at home, I decided to use this recipe instead.  I think it is easier to make, and was just as delicious.

Pumpkin Pie
  • 1 can (15oz) pumpkin
  • 1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1TB pumpkin pie spice
  • pie crust (I cheat and use the ready made roll out kind!)
Mix pumpkin, milk, eggs, and spice until smooth.  Pour into pie crust.  Bake at 425* for 15 minutes.  Reduce temp to 350* and bake 40 minutes more.

I can't wait until Thanksgiving dinner to enjoy a piece of pumkin pie!


"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God"
1 Corinthians 10:31

Monday, November 19, 2012

Frugal Living~Making Ground Beef Go Farther

Ground beef is something that we use often here.  I've found a way to make it go even farther by adding some veggies to it.  Here's what I do....

I start with 8 pounds of ground beef...

I like to use a combination of ground beef and ground turkey.  The ground turkey is better for you, but it is also cheeper than ground beef (unless you can get ground beef at an excellent price!).

along with 2 onions, four carrots, and 6 celery stalks.

First, chop your vegetables into small pieces.

A hand chopper works very nicely for this. You can chop your vegetables into any size you wish. I used to chop them all sooo small, because I feared if my family knew that there were vegetables in their meat, they wouldn't eat it. Now they all know I do it (the carrots are a BIG giveaway!), so I don't stress about trying to chop them into invisible pieces!!

Place all your vegetables into a bowl and mix them up.

Start frying your hamburger and add your veggies into the meat as it is cooking.

Place the amount you desire into freezer bags

I like to put it into quart size bags, then place those bags into a gallon size bag.  Place in the freezer, and you are finished!  It is nice to have hamburger already made up, and just pull it out and thaw it.  It took a couple of hours out of my day, but saves a huge amount of time from another day.  It also makes a huge amount of grease, so have a large bowl handy for draining the meat.

 I started with 8 pounds of meat, and when I was finished I had 12 packages made up.  I can't really say whether they were each exactly a pound or not, but I have what I know my family will need for meals.

I have also experimented with other vegetables in the ground beef.  I generally always use the carrots, onion, and celery; but sometimes I have been known to sneak something else into the meat.  The last time I made this I had a few mushrooms leftover that I chopped into it, and I have also chopped broccoli stems into the meat.  It is a good way to get some extra vegetables into your family's diet, and a good way to use up things that you may not have another use for.   I sometimes will add in some brown rice to the ground beef.  This really helps make the ground beef go farther.  We generally use ground beef for taco's or casseroles~ the rice in the ground beef works perfectly for the taco's, and if it is in a casserole, no one will probably ever know.  Try whatever you think would work for your family!

Have a great day!
"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God"
1 Corinthians 10:31

Friday, November 16, 2012

Vacation Fun!

This past week we spent some time together at an indoor waterpark/hotel in the Wisconsin Dells.  We got a room that had two bedrooms and a kitchen, so we brought our own food and never had to leave the hotel.  If you are familiar with the Dells, you know that this can be a huge money saver.  There are many restaurants there, and for a family of 7, we can spend a small fortune!

I also realized something with this vacation.  Usually, I am the one trying to capture pictures of everyone.  I realized that I am actually missing out on some of the fun by trying to get the pictures of everyone else having fun!  So, I didn't get the usual "ton" of pictures, and settled for a few pounds of them instead!  But I had a great time being in the action and having fun with the kids!  Here's a few pictures...

I know it's hard to see in this last picture, but it was snowing (just a little, but still snow!) while we were there.  It was quite funny to look out the window and see snow, while we were in our swimming suits and enjoying warm water!

Have a great day!


"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God"
1 Corinthians 10:31

Friday, November 9, 2012

On Vacation!!

Just wanted to let you know that I will be on vacation for a few days with my family.  It is time for some much needed quality family time at an indoor water park.  I'll be back late next week with the details~and pictures of course!!

Have a great weekend!


"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God"
1 Corinthians 10:31

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Best Granola In The World!

“The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness” (Psalm 24:1, NKJV)

Well...that is what my kids call this!  Everyone loves this granola!  It is also quite simple!  Here's the recipe for what is actually called "Lazy Granola".

Lazy Granola
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 7 cups old fashion oats
Mix brown sugar, oil, and honey in small pan.  Bring to a low boil, remove from heat.  Stir in cinnamon and vanilla.  Pour over oats in a large bowl.  Stir until well coated.  Spread in 9 X 13 pan.  Bake at 375* for 10 minutes.  Stir and return pan to oven.  Turn oven off.  Go To BED!!

In the morning you will have delicious granola ready!  Our family loves this over ice cream, in yogurt, with fruit, as a cereal for breakfast, or just eating a bowl full while watching a movie!

This should tell you how much we love it!  This was written on the back of the recipe card by one of our kiddo's years ago (love the mis~spelling!)!

Have a great day!
"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God"
1 Corinthians 10:31

Remember use coupon code HOMESTEAD during checkout to receive 15% off of total purchase at CPT Worldwide. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Today is election I had to tell you that!!  I'm just reminding you to get out and VOTE.  This is an important election for many reasons!

Today, I'm thankful I have so many freedoms!


So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God"
1 Corinthians 10:31

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Family Dinner Table

Our family during our annual Christmas Eve candle light dinner.

We try very hard to have everyone home for dinner at night.  This is something that has been very important to hubby and I.  There are nights when a child is missing, but our kids know that eating together is just the norm in our family.

Eating dinner together brings everyone together for not only a meal, but also time to re~connect with each other.  Since hubby doesn't get home from work until 5:00, the dinner table is usually the first time he gets to talk to the kids and find out what is going on in their day.  There are days where everyone has something to tell daddy and they all want  to talk to him at the same time! 

We have found that the kids just seem to open up more during a meal.  We have found out some pretty interesting things about our kids (and sometimes other kids as well!) during meals.  We are all forced to have "face" time with each other as we are all sitting next to or in front of each other.  Sitting together also gives us a chance to let each other know of changes in schedules, upcoming events, or any other announcements we may want everyone to know about. 

Family meals also lets us have devotions with our kids and a time of prayer together.  This is another important aspect of our family dinners~something we pray our children will carry with them as they grow.

A table full of children ~toddlers to teenagers~ makes for some interesting meals sometimes.  But we love it and feel it is such an important time of our day.


"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God"
1 Corinthians 10:31