Our Blessed Chaos

My hubby + a 1st grader + twins in kindergarten + 4 critters..... Yeah it is chaos, but we are blessed!

Today's Verse

I have been tossing around the idea of hosting a Carnival. Please leave a comment and tell me what you think, if you are interested in joining me, if you have ideas, etc. And of course if you have photos that are Fun with Food.

There are a ton of Carnivals out there, I really like Menu Plan Mondays and Wordless Wednesdays. Then I entered the Sleeping Angel contest at 5minutesformom.com and was a finalist. Of course we never won, but it was so much fun to look at all the cute photos of kids sleeping. So then I starting thinking of a photo carnival that has a theme each week. I also saw a blog tag where you had to post the 6th picture out of your 6th album. I thought that might be an idea for a theme too.

Anyways, I have alot of ideas and it seems like it would be fun. As of today I will start to post Photo Friday's. I had alot of fun looking for a photo to enter into the latest 5minutesformom photo contest, so for the first Photo Friday the theme will be Fun with Food.

Perhaps you will join me - that is if I can figure out how to put in misterlinky's. Until I do just leave your link in a comment. Friday is almost over so I think it is fair to leave a comment & link anytime, not just on Fridays.

Welcome to my first Photo Friday! Today's theme is Fun with Food - Birthday Cakes. I hope you will join me in posting your fun photos - that is if I can figure out how to put in misterlinky's.

I really am supposed to be either visiting with my company or marking papers (two reasons why I have not been blogging this week). But I have neglected my fancy new blog long enough and when I had so much fun looking back at messy faces photos I thought that I should post some more photos! Hope you enjoy them!

Sam's 1st Birthday Ice Cream Cake



Ben's 1st Birthday Ice Cream Cake



Carlee's 1st Birthday Ice Cream Cake


Next week's Photo Friday theme will Fun with Food again - Messy Spaghetti Faces

I chose to have another Funwith Food theme so that maybe you will findone you can enter into the 5minutesformom Photo Contest
Hooray!! It looks like Mister Linky is working! To join me in Photo Friday (well it can be all week) then simply add your Photo Friday link below!





5 Minutes for Mom is having another great photo contest. This one is called "FUN With FOOD". Click here to see the contest and lots of really cute photos! Prego will give the finalist a $500 grocery card!!!

I had a really hard time selecting a photo to enter because I have alot of the spaghetti and cake smeared face pictures of all our kids. But because it was sponsored by Prego I was originally leaning towards a spaghetti face photo. That was until I read the instructions again and saw that they are looking for photos that are fun, family, and food related. This photo won in my books!

FUN - The photo really does not do a good job representing how much fun they had licking out this bowl. They must have spent 15 minutes licking and giggling! It was a glorious 15 minutes for me to listen to them while I was washing the baking dishes (without any little helpers who tend to not be a whole lot of help!)

FAMILY - It is not often that I get a good photo of all three of our kids willing sitting together for a photo! I try to get a photo of all three together once a month. Most of my attempts lately are quite pitiful, but this photo is already in my annual family album.

FOOD - Who doesn't love licking the beaters after mixing a cake. Unfortunately I have three kids and a mixer that uses one beater - it doesn't add up, so I improvised that day by simply putting the bowl on the floor!






This is my first Gratituesday post, what a great idea! At one time I used to keep a Gratitude Journal, writing 5 things I was grateful for that day. I like this way better! Thanks to Laura at
Heavenly Homemakers for hosting this and you can be encouraged by others over at her site.

Tonight I pick my mom up at the airport. She will be staying with us until the end of November. On Saturday I am back at the airport to pick up my hubby's Aunt & Uncle. I am so grateful that members of our family can come and stay with us.

While they are here they attention that my kids get is amazing and they absolutely thrive on it. Because we live so far away from our families and we have no relitives near us, the time we do get to spend with family is so much more special.

While they are here I have lots of adventures planned, trips like the zoo, the aquarium, children's musuem, and a fall harvest pettng zoo. I am not able to do these things on my own, our kids are still too young and I am scared of losing them in the crowds. Hubby & I would like to do more things like this, but it seems like by the time Saturday rolls around we are both to tired for adventures, plus there is always a bazillion things to do around the house. Anyway, the point is that the time that our family is here is going to be funfilled!

I am also looking forward to getting my house under control. I am placing my mom on Nanny duty while I clean and organize. Now this will be somewhat of a difficult task because she loves to clean (yes, there is something seriously wrong with her haha). I love to have a clean house but am not all that excited about the process to get there and keep it there. Anyway, I will have to convince her that her job will be to play with the kids, maybe it won't take that much convincing after all.

I am grateful that I will have the chance to finish unpacking those last few boxes from our move this summer. But I will be most grateful for being able to have the opportunity to gt into my craft room. I have big plans to complete three quilts for the kids for Christmas. I would never have the chance to finish all of them if se wasn't going to be here.

I am grateful that my mom is so amazing that I can leave her in charge of our three 2 year olds without even a moment of hestitation. I am grateful that she can spend nearly 6 weeks with us and it will never seem long enough. She was with us for 4 1/2 months when the twins were born and even that wasn't long enough. I love having my mom around and am grateful for every moment.

Oh and I would also be grateful if you would vote for Carlee's photo. She is a finalist in their Sleeping Angel contest. The winner will be decided by most votes and we are still not doing very well. So to vote please click here to go to 5minutesformom.com

Carlee's photo is #9 Carrie @ Blessed Chaos.

Scripture

1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Normally I read out of my NLT but it just sounds funny when I am so used to hearing it in the KJV!

Study on Psalm 23

This is one of my favorite passages because it reminds me of my Grandma. I stayed at her house often when I was little and at bedtime she would say Psalm 23 as the prayer. I was used to saying the kids prayer "Now I lay me down to sleep..." So whenever I heard her say Psalm 23 it was so special. And I was always amazed that she knew the whole thing, it seemed so long! Obviously this was before I knew about the importance of memorizing scripture.

Because this is one of my favorites, I decided that today I am going to dig deeper into every verse, and I am starting with a prayer. Lord, please open my eyes so that I can see this passage with a fresh perspective. Guide me deeper into your Word and guide my understanding of it.

Verse 1
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

What does a shepherd do? He guides the flock, he ensures the flocks protection. What do sheep do? They follow the shepherd. We are the sheep, if we follow Jesus, He will guide and protect us. Following Jesus is all we need, we have everything we need in Jesus.

Verse 2
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

Here the sheperd provides for his sheep. Grass and water, what else could a sheep possibly need! But it is deeper than that, the grass is so green and lush that the sheep can be full and content to lie down and rest. The water is still, it is easy to get to. Water is essential but it is also refreshing, when our thirst is quenched we are at peace. So to be rested and at peace is to be content - all our needs are met.

Verse 3
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

The shepherd guides us. We are led down the right paths. The path to salvation restores our soul for eternal life. But also, we can be led daily in all our thoughts, actions, and decisions.

Verse 4
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

As a kid I loved this verse and it scared me. First, I loved to hear my Grandma say YAY! But I was always scared about the "valley of death" - which is how I remembered it.

I think that the moment we are born we are walking in the shadow of death. We will all die, some of us sooner than others. Death is the result of the first sin, so we experience death because of evil. However, we do not have to fear death or fear evil because God is with us. Our comfort is in the rod and the staff - the tools of the shepherd used to guide his sheep. We are comforted by His guidance.

Verse 5
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

As a kid I always thought it was silly to pour a cup so full it would run over!

But what this verse is saying is that God is our host. He prepares an abundant table for us, so abundant that it s overflowing. He provides for us even when we are faced with evil. The anointing oil can be for healing or for anointing a king. We are also anointed with the Holy Spirit when we receive Christ.

Verse 6
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Our days on earth are short, but while we are here we can count on God's love and mercy. Our reward is eternal life, to be with the Lord forever.

Michelle at Our Little Monkeys left me a comment and asked this question:

As far as taking care of the kids, coordinating schedules was the hardest part. Any tips for that? :)


I never really thought of myself as an expert, but with three kids under 2 I suppose I have some experience. HAHA that's a joke!!! But seriously my best advice it set a schedule and stick to it - at least until they change it on you!

I had alot of trouble early on with coordinating nap schedules. For a long long time they all napped at different times. Sam only need one nap, and Ben & Carlee still needed two. But I tried to set it up so that we had lunch at the same time every single day and then right after lunch it was time for Sam's nap. Slowly I was able to move the babies into just one nap and by the time they were one I had all three napping at the same time! What a blessing that was - a two hour break for me, for awhile I napped when they did but eventually I started to do my own thing - like read a book or a Bible Study.

This nap schedule worked well for us until a couple weeks ago. They are sleeping in later and are not sleepy enough for a nap after lunch. Later in the afternoon is too late because then they won't go to bed well. So I am now struggling with what to do with them all day without a nap and me without a break! uggg

What I really need to do is get them outside for most of the morning and see if the fresh air will help make them sleepy.


Visit orgjunkie.com for more menu plans. Every Monday more than 200 people post links to their sites with their weekly menu plans. So if I am ever stuck for ideas here is an endless source of plans and recipes. Too Cool!!!

My menus must be quick and easy and I have found that I use my crockpot at least twice a week! Here is my menu plan for this week.

Breakfasts are Cereal, Whole Wheat Waffles , Oatmeal, or Homemade Bread with PB&J

Lunches are usually Leftovers

Suppers this week are:

Monday Veggie Bake and a slice of fresh bread

Tuesday Crockpot Stew and a slice of fresh bread

Wednesday Juicy Meatloaf and Peas & Carrots

Thursday Southwestern Pot Roast
and a slice of fresh bread

Friday Pizza Night

Saturday no plans yet as company is arriving around meal time

Sunday eat out to celebrate family and birthdays

Please remember to vote for Carlee's photo. The winner will be decided by most votes and we are still not doing very well. So to vote please click here to go to 5minutesformom.com

Carlee's photo is #9 Carrie @ Blessed Chaos.




p.s. Make sure to enter my book giveaway

My bloggy friend Kerry at Ramblings of a Wannabe Housewife had another great question that I really wanted to answer. Her comment was this,


Well, its a great blog! Godd for you for opening it up to your "real life". I am learning so muchh, especially about emergency prep and bread baking. I am even considering a grain mill. Is that a crazy thought for someone who works outside of the home?!?!


It is crazy not to get one! So yes, absolutely get a grain mill!!! I love it, my family loves what I make with it, and we are healthier.

The first thing you need to know is that I hated to cook. In fact the deal we made before we got married was that hubby would cook, I would clean. This was a wonderful arrangement until we decided to live in the country and hubby would commute to the city. He no longer gets home in time to do the cooking, so now I have to do all the cooking. The funny thing is that once I started to do it I found some really easy recipes that are really good.

As for baking homemade bread, I started to research all the benefits of milling your own grain and baking with freshly milled flour. It is amazing all the nutritional value that is lost in the processing of flour, even store bought whole wheat flour! Here is just one example that you should read from Nutrition Lifestyles. After reading this I am on a quest to never use store bought flour ever again!

I started with making bread. But first I needed to make an investment. Yes, this was alot of money to pay at once, but considering that I will never again buy a loaf of bread, store bought flour, cake mixes, eggos, etc etc, it will eventually save us financially. If I just consider no longer buying bread, all of this will be paid for in about a year. Of course the biggest benefit is nutritional, and that is well worth it. So here is what I needed to buy:

  • a good mixer, I bought a Cuisinart because the reviews for the Kitchenaids in my price range said they were not great for mixing bread dough.
  • a grain mill, I bought a Wondermill. Again based on reviews it seemed like this was a better choice over the Nutrimill.
  • some grain. We bought 45 lb of grain in 5 gallon pails, we now have several of these pails. It was never a question if we would store grain for long term food storage, the deal for me is how would I use it regularly

Now that I had all the things I needed, I was ready to bake. If you can follow a recipe you can bake bread. And it really does not take any longer to use a grain mill. Here is what I do:

  • Click here for the recipe I have been using regularly, first I measure out how many cups of grain I need to grind, about 4 1/2 cups. This will give me some leftover that I freeze and will use later to coat stew meat or roasts in.
  • I turn on the grain mill and dump it in.
  • While it is running I heat 2 cups of water in the microwave for 1 minute.
  • Then I measure 1/2 cup of oil and 1/2 (or less) of honey. Here's a tip I learned from My girlfriend -pour the oil in first, then the honey and it all comes out nicely. Otherwise the honey just sticks everywhere!
  • By the time I have dumped the water, oil, and honey into the mixer the mill has finished. So then I just have to measure out the flour. I do pack it down because it is very fluffy compared to store bought flour that has had months to settle!

And that is it, all the rest of the steps are no different than baking bread with regular flour. The link to th recipe and the rest of the ingredients is above. The way I see it there is only 2 extra steps. 1. measure the grain, and 2. pack the flour!

I challenge you to bake your own bread, and if you do, then there is no reason why you can not also grind your own wheat! If I can do it, (remember that I am very cooking challenged) anyone can do it.

Let me know what your plans are to bake your bread or what your experiences have been. I would love to hear from others who are doing this.

I have been following Michelle's blog Our Little Monkeys and left a comment on her blog and mentioned that at one point we had three babies under one year old. She responded about a week ago with this comment:

Thanks for your comment on my blog. I can't believe that you had THREE under ONE for a little bit. How in the world did you do it? I thought it was difficult having two under two- haha!


I am finally getting around to answering her question and thought it would be interesting for others to know as well - we get asked this question all the time!

Here is our story. Sam was born in the middle of Nov-05. I found out in Feb-06 that I was pregnant again - oops! I had peed on a stick and it was positive, this happened on my birthday. My hubby was away for a couple of days so I took a picture of the stick and when he got home I asked him if he wanted to see what he got me for my birthday and then showed him the picture. He started to laugh! I immediately told him it was not funny because I had figured out that this baby would be born before Sam turned 1 so we would have 2 under 1. Good Grief!!! And so, I started to tell myself every day, several times a day that God does not give you more than you can handle. It is a good thing that I had been saying that to myself because I could never have imagined what was to come!

I told myself this for a month, it was exactly one month from when I peed on the stick to my 8 week OB appointment. Because I had a previous problem she had the nice ultrasound lady give me an ultrasound. We immediately saw the heartbeat and she said "Oh what a cute baby!" At 8 weeks the baby looks like a peanut, but it was sweet of her to say that. She also said, "the baby looks great and there is only one in there" Well that was a relief!

So she went ahead and did some measurements, all of which were fine. Then she said she needed to get just one more measurement and had to move into a different position. When she moved we both immediately saw two sacs! Her reaction was a very loud OOOOHHHH there are two in there!!! Let me tell you that it is a darn good thing I was lying down. I would not have believed it if I had not seen the two black spots for myself.

Now she had to start all the measurements again because they needed to be labelled Baby A and Baby B. Meanwhile I am slowly coming to the realization that we will have three babies under 1 year old. As I laid there I said, Oh Lord there is no way I can do this! Then I remembered that I had been telling myself that God does not give you more than you can handle. Well that is all fine and dandy, but at that moment I decided that God also has a big sense of humor and I must be the punchline of this particular joke!!

Well after the ultrasound I needed to drive myself home. At the time we were living in Los Angeles and my doctor was 45 miles from where we lived. Nearly all of it was 8-10 lane LA freeway traffic. And because the appointment and ultrasound took much longer than I had planned I ended up having to drive in rush hour! I did not know whether to laugh or cry, so I did both - hysterically! People were looking at me very strangely and all I could think was "if you only knew!"

Then I had to tell my husband, he was away and was not able to go with me. Now you have to know about a conversation we had frequently. He always said he wanted 7 or 10kids. I never knew why he said 7 or 10 and not some other numbers but it didn't matter because I always told him that I was too old to have that many babies. I was already 31 when we got married. To that he always said "well just have a couple sets of twins or triplets and you will catch up in no time."

He called soon after I got home, in fact my girlfriend who was watching Sam was still there. She was giggling and I was just in shock. I told him "I don't know how you did it, but you got your twins!"

So that is the story of how we found out. Now we need to fast forward to actually having them. My mom came when I was about 7 months pregnant. When she got there I let her take over everything. By that point I looked and felt about 10 months pregnant already. I was never officially put on bed rest,but my doctor knew that I was not doing much of anything and that my mom was there. I had many many ultrasounds and so we were pretty confident that they would be good size babies. Because of this my doctor scheduled the c-section for 37 weeks. Carlee was 7 lbs 7 oz and Ben was 7 lbs! I was carrying nearly 15 pounds of babies, no wonder I was so uncomfortable!

They were very healthy and had no problems. We went home and had lots of help. My mom was there and so was my hubby's Aunt, Uncle & Granddad, who stayed for a several days. The extra hands were nice, I just let everyone else feed and change babies and take care of Sam while I enjoyed watching all of them and rested. I was tired!

Then my Dad came and we settled into a routine where someone was always downstairs to take care of the babies. Between myself, my hubby and my parents it worked out well. We had their crib set up in the dining room, while all the bedrooms were upstairs. When it was my turn to sleep I had to close the door and put the fan on full blast so that I could not hear them crying or it would wake meup instantly and I would never sleep.

The sacrifice my parents made for us is amazing. My mom was with us for 4 1/2 months and my dad was there for 2 1/2 months. The celebrated their 40th anniversay apart! Although when my Dad arrived we sent them away for a weekend to make up for that. We all worked well together and established routines that saved my sanity once they left when the babies were 3 months old. The first day I spent alone with all three of them was the scariest day of my life. I was not sure that I could do it, but I did and I am. Sometimes the best part of the day is when Daddy gets home and I can retreat for awhile!! I can manage because he does so much when he is home.

I have had other opportunites for help. The kids & I spent about a month or so at my parents place last summer and then about 2 months with them this summer, and we spent a couple weeks with my hubby's family too. My mom will be here this week and will be staying until the end of November. My hubby's Aunt and Uncle get here next week and will be here for 10 days. It is so much easier when there are others around all day. The kids thrive on all the attention, and so do I!!!

The easy answer to the question "How do you do it?" is this..."ONE AT A TIME". And that is how I deal with them to this day. I am only one person and I can only do one thing at a time. I am grateful for the time when I have help but usually it is just me, so that's my motto - one at a time. That and with alot of strength and grace from God.

I have a new bloggy friend named Kerry and she is special to me because she is my blog's very first follower! She just started her blog Ramblings of a Wannabe Housewife and I think I am her first follower too! So far I have learned alot from her and I am excited to hear what she has to say next. Anyway, a couple days ago she left me a comment with some questions. Here is part of that comment...


Carrie, do you do this bible study with others? How does one begin? I would love to get more structured when it comes to reading the bible. Can you explain how you do it? (I hope this is not a weird or silly question, as I said I am new to learning about the bible... sadly I never realized the importance when I was younger.)


So even if it is only read by Kerry it is fun to have my very first Q&A!! First of all I must tell Kerry that it is not at all a weird or silly question. I applaud you for asking it and for recognizing the importance of studying the Bible. You have asked a question that maybe someone else who is reading this is not brave enough to ask. So good for you for taking this step!


SOAP Method

This Bible Study is not done with others, it is on my own pace and I write about what speaks to me that particular day. However, the SOAP method I learned from Amy at Mom's Toolbox. She also started the SOAP Ring which lists other blogs that use this method.

Oh and SOAP is simply an acronym:
Scripture
Observation
Application
Prayer

It is great because it is easy to remember. But it also makes you look harder at a verse or verses because you need to make an observation about those verses. Basically how they spoke to you or why. Then the application is how you can apply the verses or results of the observation to your life. And of course we should start and end all Bible study with prayer.

In this method you write out the prayer at the end so it takes more thought about what you want to pray about. Also, although I don't write it out I usually begin a Bible study by asking for guidance and for my heart to be opened to what I need to hear or understand from the passage I will be reading. I love the verse Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your law.


Journal Method

The next question Kerry asked me was how to begin because she wants to be more structured in her Bible reading. First of all I must confess that I have struggled with this until recently. I knew I should read the Bible more but I never really got much out of just reading. For me I need to slow down and really study. So journaling about what I was reading has been the key. And now with the Soap method it has become easier to do and more meaningful too.

I have a couple of methods to share with you. First is how did I choose to do Mark and Psalms to start journaling. Most study plans start with Genesis for the Old Testament and Matthew for the New Testament. I have studied both in other ways so I wanted to start in another place. I also wanted to do an OT and a NT at the same time, but have now decided to just do one at a time. I always wanted to study Psalms so that was easy. For the New Testament I wanted to start with a Gospel and have not done alot of study in Mark. So now I had two books to study.

I believe that you need to know the context of what you are reading so for me it is important to study a whole book at a time. The easiest way to break up a book is by chapters, but sometimes the chapters are so long and have so much in them that you will have to break them into two or three sections. How you do that doesn't matter, it is your Bible Study and you make the rules. I study out of my NLT Study Bible but I also have my NIV Quiet Time Bible that has sections already nicely separated. When I am done Psalms I will probably close my eyes and point randomly to pick the next book to study.

I have a Bible Study chart that I found on the internet here. I like it because it is all on one page and the books are in order, plus I use it as my bookmark! I check off a chapter after I have journalled about it. My goal is to have the whole page checked off (even if it takes me 5 or 10 years).


Sermon Method

I also do another type of Bible Study, but it is not as regular and in fact, I just started doing it again. I am a note taker in church, I take notes while the pastor is speaking. Not everyone can do this, but for me it helps me to focus on what he is saying. Then I started to find all kinds of resources on the internet. At the time we were going to a Calvary Chapel and so I found the Blue Letter Bible website. On it you can find audio of many pastors sermons. Some of them like Chuck Smith, Jon Courson, and Bob Davis have sermons for every chapter of the Bible. Sometimes there are several sermons for one chapter because there is so much depth to their teachings.

The new plan for me is to listen to sermons until I have covered every chapter in the Bible. This might take 20 years, but that's ok - it is my Bible Study and my rules! Right now in my Wednesday night Bible study at church we are looking at 2Peter and generally we cover a chapter or close to a chapter every Wed night. I was finding that I wanted more out of the discussions so I went back to listening to sermons. I started at 2Peter and decided to listen to one pastor for the whole book. I made sure that I listened to the chapter that I expected we would be talking about that coming Wed, so I will likely only do this type of study once or twice a week now. But what a difference it made in that night's Bible study. I understood it better, I could discuss it easier, and I had examples to share from what I had listened to. I walked away with a much deeper understanding of that chapter.


Bible Marking Method

Along with the Sermon method I have started to mark my Bible. I have found that when I do this and go back to read those chapters I can also read some of the notes I made. It helps to pull things together a bit better. I make the most notes in my Bible while I am listening to an online sermon. I can always pause the sermon to make the note how I want it and to do it neatly. There is not a lot of space to write in a Bible so it has to be small and neat. I use my NLT study Bible for writing in and it has alot more white space to write it.

In addition to this I use colored pencils to highlight certain passages. There are many methods or colors to this that you can find on the internet. I have adapted some of the ones I found to suit myself and for what made sense to me. My Bible Study, my rules! Here are the colors I use and why:

Blue - Salvation/Eternal Life. Blue is the color of the sky and to me means eternal. One passage I have colored blue is Romans 6:23

Green - Growth through right living. Green is the color of growing plants, so when I see a verse colored green it tells me that is a verse on how to grow spiritually. 1John 2:6 is green in my Bible
Yellow Commands. I saw one example that used Yellow for commands because it related it to the golden rule - made sense to me. Deuteronomy 6:5 is yellow for me.

Pink - Promises & Blessings. I use pink only because Promises & Pink both start with P. Genesis 9:11 is pink, so is the words "the rainbow" in verse 14, and also verse 17. It quickly shows God's promise, and the sign of the covenant He made.

Red
- Praise & Prayers. Red means stop, so when I see a verse colored red I know that is where I can stop to praise & pray to the Lord

I tend to highlight during or after I listen to online sermons. I think because it is such an in depth study and also because I have more time to think about what should be highlighted. It has to be a very important verse, it has to fit into one of the categories, and it needs to really speak to me in some way. I don't just randomly color my Bible like I sometimes randomly write in it. I want to choose carefully because when I open my Bible and I see something highlighted I want it to be meaningful.


Okay so there you have it, much more than I ever intended to write about - it just kept getting longer and longer and I kept thinking about more to write about! I hope you made it through all this and it will help you develop your own Bible Study methods. Keep me updated with how you are doing and let me know if you have any other great ideas.

May you be richly blessed as you study the Word of God.

Scripture

Psalm 22

verses 30-31 Future generations will also serve him. Our children will hear about the wonders of the Lord. His righteous acts will be told to those yet unborn. They will hear about everything he has done.


Observation

For this Psalm, I was formulating in my mind how I was going to discuss that this is on of the many Psalms that are clear references to Christ. This one is about the agony Christ experienced on the cross.

Then I got to the last two verses and was stopped in my tracks. Why will our children serve the Lord? Because they hear about the wonders of the Lord. How will they hear about these wonders? Because it is our responsibility as Christian parents to teach our children the Word of God.

Even two year olds can memorize scripture and understand what it means. When I say Genesis, my little ones who just turned two, will say one,one! How cute is that! When I ask Sam, who is still 2 himself, who made the trees, sky, moon, Mama or whatever he answers "God did". I am trying to lay the foundation of God and His Word very early so that they can be rooted in the Word much sooner than I was.


Application

I need to put a higher priority on our preschool learning and get back into our daily routines that include time for school and family devotions. I love the website that we use for our preschool curriculum because it is Biblically based. I encourage all of you who are interested to check out this site hubbardscupboard.org


Prayer

Lord, thank you for bringing me to an unexpected path today. I knew that this Psalm spoke about Christ, but what I did not expect was to be shown my mistake in putting school aside for awhile. Thank you for reminding me how important it is to teach our children about you and to give them the same love for you that I have. Please help me to get back into our school routines and help me to maintain them.

Please remember to vote for Carlee's photo. The winner will be decided by most votes and we are still not doing very well. So to vote please click here to go to 5minutesformom.com

Carlee's photo is #9 Carrie @ Blessed Chaos.



Also a reminder to enter my book giveaway. Click here to go to my post and leave a comment to be entered to win. The book I am giving away is shown below and the contest will end on Oct 31.

I would think that most parents go through the What's this stage and then the Why stage. But why Lord, why oh why do I have to have them both at the same time.

In the last few days Sam has started the Why game. It is challenging to answer all the why's with a meaningful answer. But today I used a clever answer of "God made it that way", smart right! Oh no, that just led to more "Why did God make it that way". So then I said "You will have to ask God why He did that". Did that work? Nope that took us in a whole new direction,

Sam - Where is God? (Looking around the room)
Mama- Everywhere
Sam - Everywhere?
Mama - Yes, He hears you when you talk to Him? (I totally worded that wrong and left the door wide open for... yep you guessed it)
Sam - Why?

ARRRGGGG


Okay so if that wasn't bad enough. While Sam is asking all his why questions, Ben has started to continually ask "What's this?" The most usual time for this comes when we are eating. He will point to everything on his plate and ask "What's this?". Even to the things he knows well, he still asks. Then when he points to everything once, he starts back at the beginning. At least the questions are easy to answer. Of course he usually gives up the questions when Sam starts to ask more interesting questions like, Why?

Is it a plot? Are they working together to drive me crazy?

Carlee's new game is so funny. She will play this game with me, but when she plays it with Daddy they start to laugh so hard that they can't hardly say the words anymore. Here is how it might sound

Carlee: No
Daddy: Yes
Carlee: No
Daddy: No
Carlee: Yes (starts to giggle)
Daddy: No
Carlee: Yes (still giggling)
Daddy: Yes
Carlee: No (squeals with delight)

Well you get the idea! It is hilarous to watch them giggling so hard and then to try to figure out what they are supposed to say next.

It is very difficult to get a photo of Carlee really smiling, but here Daddy was behind me making faces. This girl really loves her Daddy!

As promised, I will post more little tidbits about the kids!

Whenever someone sneezes, Ben is the most consistent about saying Bless you. Even after he sneezes he says Bless you! He is so cute (for a trouble maker).

Here is an example of why Ben is a cute troublemaker. See how cute he is in this picture. But notice that he has pulled off a bunch of flowers from my plant!

Scripture

Psalm 21

verses 1-2 How the king rejoices in your strength, O Lord!
He shouts with joy because of your victory. 2 For you have given him his heart's desire; you have held back nothing that he requested.


Observation

When we pray we generally are asking God to fulfill our desires or requests. God will always answer our prayers in His own time and to fulfill His purposes, and sometimes the answer is No! But often our prayers are answered and if we can recognize that they have been answered then we should shout for joy.

Application

We should pray with a purpose, intentional prayer is the easiest to know when prayers have been answered. When prayers are answered we need to remember that in our joy, all the praise and glory belongs to God. He provides for us and answers those prayers.

Prayer

Lord, thank you for hearing our prayers. Please help me to pray with more purpose and open my eyes to see how prayers are answered. Verse 13 of this psalm says what I want to:

We praise you, Lord, for all your glorious power. With music and singing we celebrate your mighty acts.

Well not that it ever was a secret! The moment I started it and posted my first post it was out there in internet world for anyone to stumble on. I truly did start the blog to be a replacement for my Bible study notes, make notes about my new bread making adventures and to organize my thoughts and plans for our food storage preparations - a huge undertaking! Anyways, that is mostly what it has been, with a little kid humor and cute kids photos added in.

Then I discovered the whole world of blogging giveaway contests. I even won the very first one I entered! I also discovered 5minutesformom and one of their first contests I saw was the Sleeping Angel Contest. And I had just taken the photo of Carlee a couple days earlier!! How could I not enter the photo. Well, the photo is a finalist. The winner is determined by votes, so now I have to tell everyone I know about my silly little blog.

So to all my family and friends welcome to our Blessed Chaos and I will now try to enter more posts about the kids so that you can follow us more closely. Please leave lots of comments so that I know you are here!


A couple weeks ago I entered this picture of Carlee into the Sleeping Angel Photo Contest at 5 Minutes For Mom. I am still in shock that they chose her picture to be a finalist!!

The winner will be decided by most votes, so to vote please click here to go to www.5minutesformom.com/4521/sleeping-angel-finalists/.

Carlee's photo is #9 Blessed Chaos. Thank you for voting and please join me in praying that if it is God's will for Carlee to have the bedroom set then we will be blessed and give Him all the glory!

The funniest thing about this photo is that I had just said the day before that my kids never fall asleep sitting up. I guess that just proves the old saying never say never!

p.s. You are only able to vote once per computer so we would really appreciate if you point others to the voting page as well. Thanks and God Bless!

Scripture

Psalm 20

verse 7 Some nations boast of their armies and weapons, but we boast in the Lord our God.

Observation

There are some disturbing and scary things going on in the world. The nations of the world never seem to have enough power. But what is the most important? God's power!!!

God is in control of all world events. What happens to this country and who will lead it is determined by God.

Application

Our first loyalty is to God, our trust is in His wisdom. We can have confidence during times of hardship because our faith is stongly rooted.

Prayer

Lord, thank you for your Word and helping me to understand how you are speaking to me. Please continue to guide me in what is important and the paths I need to be on.








We all had fun for Ben & Carlee's Birthday Adventure to the zoo. Visit 5minutesformom.com for more Wordless Wednesday.

Scripture

Psalm 19

Verse 1-4a

1The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship.
2 Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.
3 They speak without a sound or a word; their voice is silent in the skies;
4 yet their message has gone out to all the earth, and their words to all the world.

Observation

The world is created by God. All the wonders of the universe speak to His existence. No amount of Science can come close to explaining the intricacies we know about. It amazes me that the theory of evolution is still so widely acknowledged. Verse 3-4 say that the evidence of the Creator is simply in viewing creation - there is no other explanation.

Application

When looking at the sky, the moon, a butterfly or anything in nature we should give thanks to God for His amazing and beautiful creations.

Prayer

Lord thank you for giving us a beautiful world to live in. I look out my window to see the leaves changing color and am in awe of how beautiful our world is. Thank you for helping me to see this beauty.

Lots of sites with giveaways that I have found give you the option for additional entries and one of those options is to post about it on your blog. So rather than making a bunch of posts, I am going to try a new way to do this. I will simply have one post with links to all the giveaways contests that I enter in a week. Hopefully this will make it a bit easier for me(and you too!) and I still get to enter these giveaways with extra entries!

For a tupperware giveaway at momdot.com

Bissell: We mean Clean (CONTEST, Canada & US)at momdot.com I really really want to win this! Bissell ProDry

For A very cute BabyCape at momdot.com

For a beautiful necklace at momdot.com This is from Pearl Girl Tags

For a VeggieTales DVD at momdot.com

For an I Spy Private Eye game at livinwithme.com

For a 3-2-1 Penguins Save the Planet DVD at islandlife

For a Ellema the Elephant Zoobie Travel Pet at An Island Life. These are made by Little Jet Set who have some really cool travel stuff for kids!

For the Caillou Winter Wonders DVD at An Ordinary Life

For a Literature-based Preschool Curriculum from The Itty-Bitty Bookworm at All Because Two People Fell in Love

I found these on 10/13/08

For a Pot-Tee Prize Training System at Project Nursery I really need this one!

For a really fun Mrs. Goodbee Dollhouse at Little Window Shoppe This contest is different in that a children's hospital will get one of these too!

For a pair of Pediped shoes! at thriftyandchicmom.com

Scripture

Psalm 18: 25-50 A Prayer for Equipping

Verse 30 As for God, his way is perfect.
All the Lord's promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.


Observation

We know that every single promise in the Bible is true. God is faithful! We are told that Jesus will return and so we know with absolute certainlty that He will return.

While we wait for His return we are protected. I am therefore not very concerned with the state of the economic world. Of course I am affected by it, we all are. But I am confident that I am protected by God. He will not allow more suffering than I can bear.

Application

I am waiting patiently for Jesus to return, but I am also preparing. While I wait I have three goals:
1. To know the the Lord and His Word
2. To raise my children to do the same
3. To ensure my family is physically prepared for whatever will happen with this country. I am preparing by having a store up food and supplies.


Prayer

Lord, thank you for your loving protection over me and my family. I pray for those members of my family and friends who do not know you that you will work in their hearts and they will come to know you. Please guide me along the right path as I work on my preparations.

Scripture

Psalm 18: 1-24 A Prayer for Justice

Verse 16 He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters.

Observation

Verses 7-15 are scary! It describes what happens to the earth in God's anger. I am so grateful I have been adopted into God's family and am protected by Him!

The verse that really spoke to me today was verse 16. I often feel overwhelmed - like I am drowning. This verse reminded me that all I have to do is reach up - God is reaching down from heaven waiting to rescue me. I may not be rescued from the troubles I am facing but my rescue is in the safety I can have with God's protection.

Application

We need to continually look up because God is waiting to pull us into His protection. All around us are trials and evil but when we are focused on God we are held in His loving safety.

Prayer

Lord thank you for delighting in me and protecting me even when I am allowing the world to overwhelm me. Help me to overcome the troubles in my life and be able to focus more on the wonderful protection you give me.


I entered a couple of giveaways for this book and I won TWICE!!! Thank you to Kate at a simple walk and Tabitha at 123pizza for hosting the giveaways and choosing me as their winners. It really made my day when I found out I won! The best part is now I can share a copy with someone else. I haven't had a chance to get into the book yet, but after my temper tantrum earlier I think I should be reading instead of typing!!

So rather than trying to recreate a review or a summary of the book here are the links to both reviews:

Kate's review at a simple walk

Tabitha's review at 123pizza

To win please leave a comment (make sure I have a way to contact you!) by October 31 and I will randomly chose a winner the next day.


Visit orgjunkie.com for more menu plans. Every Monday more than 200 people post links to their sites with their weekly menu plans. So if I am ever stuck for ideas here is an endless source of plans and recipes. Too Cool!!!

My menus must be quick and easy and I have found that I use my crockpot at least twice a week! Here is my menu plan for this week.

Breakfasts are Cereal, Whole Wheat Waffles, Oatmeal, or Homemade Bread with PB&J

Lunches are usually Leftovers

Suppers this week are:

Monday Veggie Bake and a slice of fresh bread

Wednesday Juicy Meatloaf and Peas & Carrots

Tuesday Crockpot Stew and a slice of fresh bread

Thursday Mom's Chili and a slice of fresh bread

Friday Pizza Night

Saturday Leftovers or Roast Chicken

Sunday Southwestern Pot Roast and a slice of fresh bread

p.s. Make sure to enter my book giveaway

This is my Mom's recipe except that I use black beans instead of kidney beans(yuck). It is very zippy (technical term!) so use less seasonings for a milder chili, especially the chili powder.

1-2 lbs ground beef
1 med onion, diced
Brown beef & onion then drain

Add the following ingredients:
1 can tomato soup
1 can tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can beans
1 can mushrooms
1 can corn
3 stalks celery, diced

Also add seasonings,
1 tsp Chili Powder (less for milder chili)
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/8 tsp Cayenne
1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper

I have not yet tried this recipe and I actually am adjusting it from the original to suit what I have on hand.

1 pkg (16 oz) noodles, cooked & drained
1 pkg (16 oz) frozen mixed vegetables
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 cups grated cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients then pour mixture into greased 9x13 casserole
Cover & bake at 350 for 45 minutes

Scripture

Psalm 17

Verse 4 I have followed your commands, which have kept me from going along with cruel and evil people.

Verse 15 But because I have done what is right, I will see you. When I awake, I will be fully satisfied, for I will see you face to face.


Observation

The Goal
In verse 4 we see that following God's commands keep us on the right path. The goal of life is to know God. To do that we follow His commands, His Word. To know God is to know His Word.

The Reward
Verse 15 tells us what we can expect when we follow God. When we know and follow God our reward is eternal life.


Application

Keeping our focus on God and learning His word is sometimes difficult. The world seems to penetrate into our lives and can easily begin to take over. We need to be very careful what we let in, I need to turn off the TV more and focus more on study and prayer.


Prayer

Lord, please help me to better manage my time so that I can grow spirtually. Help me to keep out those worldly influences so that I can better focus on you.

An Ordinary Life has a giveaway for a set of 101 Dalmations DVDs. We love Disney movies and have a movie night everyFriday!

Another giveaway at An Ordinary Life is for the new Sleeping Beauty DVD

An Ordinary Life has another fantastic giveaway for a
Rose Petal Cottage. What a great gift that would make!

Giveaways are my new way to shop! If I win great, if not then I might have some great ideas for gifts!

I found another fun giveaway contest at An Ordinary Life, this one is for a Water Babies doll. I just love toys that do not require batteries and if Ido not win they I think I will get one for Carlee anyways.

There is another great giveaway at 5minutesformom.com

All I have to do is post about the contest and give a list of the costumes I want to win! How easy is that!

  1. Astronaut Space Suit Size 6-8 in White (would take any size of this one!)
  2. Firefighter Suit with Helmet Size 2-3 in Black
  3. All other costumes are in sizes that would take a few years for our kids to grow into, but we would be grateful for any costume we had the chance to win

Scripture

Psalm 16 blueletterbible.org

verse 9 No wonder my heart is filled with joy,
and my mouth shouts his praises!
My body rests in safety.


Observation

Whenever I read a psalm I always look for a guidance (or reason) to worship the Lord. This psalm was easy to find that, in verse 8 David tells us he is filled with joy and shouting praises. But why?

In the NIV bible verse 9 starts off with the word Therefore. I had a pastor that often said 'When you see the word Therefore, you need to ask yourself what is it there for?

And so, to find out why David is filled with joy and shouting praises we need to look back to verse 8 I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. It really is that simple, I am filled with joy and I praise the Lord simply because the Lord is always with me.

Application
I have no reason to worry or to fear. I can be content with the circustances of my life because God is in control. Hallelujah!!!

Prayer

Lord, thank you for being in control of my life and for guiding me ever deeper into a place of contentment.

Scripture

Psalm 15 blueletterbible.org

A Psalm of Honesty

Observation

verse 1 asks Who can worship? verse 2 says those who are blameless. Then we are given several standards for how to be blameless. Essentially these are all based on being honest and doing what is right.

If we come to worship the Lord while we are doing wrong in our lives the worship we
present is just another lie.

Application

We need to continually seek out those area of our lives where we are sinning and repent of those sins. Repent means to change, we need to change our lives to be more like Christ. When we do, our worship becomes more meaningful and fulfilling to the Lord and to ourselves.

Prayer

Thank you Lord for reminding me that I need to be watchful of my sins so that I can repent of them and be able to more deeply worship you.

When I started the SOAP bible study here in my blog I started where I was when I was making study notes in my journal. At the time I was doing a Psalm and then a chapter in Mark. However, my kids have decided that nap time is now shorter or does not exist at all. sigh... So I am having less time to devote to this time frame for bible study sigh, sigh...

Anyway, I started to do just a Psalm or just a chapter in Mark, and yesterday I finished Mark, so now I am going to finish Psalms. I have never studied all of the Psalms in depth so I am excited to do this because I always find Psalms to be so rich with worship.

I better hurray, I hear someone waking up already!!!

These are very yummy and passed the kid test. My kids went from Eggos to these without any question or complaint!  In fact they preferred these and asked for them again and again!!!

Mix together dry ingredients:
3 cups freshly milled flour
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder

Add liquids:
1/2 cup oil
4 eggs
3 cups buttermilk (add 1 tbsp vinegar for each cup of regular milk to substitute for buttermilk)

Stir until just mixed, pour onto hot waffle maker. Makes about 20 waffles that freeze well.

I have been taking small steps to changing how we eat so that I can eventually prepare most of our food from the food we have stored. The first step was to make bread from freshly milled grain.

The next step I decided to take was to tackle breakfast. I fell into the trap of simplicity of Eggos. It is so easy to pop in 4 Eggos to our 4 slice toaster and voila we have instant breakfast that is quick, easy, and neat(assuming Ionly use tiny amounts of syrup).

In the same cookbook as the bread recipe there was a recipe for waffles. I happened,quite by acciden,to find a little waffle maker for $10 at Walmart. I have every thing I needed so I made waffles last weekend and again this weekend. They turned out great and they freeze well. I can still have my quick weekday morning waffle breakfasts! Hooray!!

Here is the recipe Whole Wheat Waffles

Scripture

Mark 16 blueletterbible

verses 9-20

I recently heard a discussion regarding a major criticism about Bible translations. One of the arguments was that there appears to be an addition to Mark. The theory they were presenting was that Mark did not write this ending but that it was added later.


Observation
So now that I am here I can review it for myself. This chapter shows a shorter ending and a longer ending. The footnote of my NLT bible states The most reliable early manuscripts conclude the Gospel of Mark at verse 8. Other manuscripts include various endings to the Gospel. Two of the more noteworthy endings are printed here.

In the NKJV the footnote says this Verses 9-20 are bracketed in NU-Text as not original. They are lacking in Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, although nearly all other manuscripts of Mark contain them.

Then I looked again at my bible and noticed there are references for each little section, (this does not appear in the blueletter online version, but mine is a study bible). Here are the headings as they appear in my bible.
at verse 9 Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18)
at verse 12 Jesus Appears to Two Believers Traveling on the Road (Luke 24:13-34)
at verse 14 Jesus Appears to Thomas (John 20:24-34)
at verse 15 Jesus Gives the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20)
at verse 19 Jesus Ascends into Heaven (Luke 24:50-53)

I realized that there is not anything in this section that is not also told in another gospel. My study Bible simply makes it very easy to compare the gospels.

Does it really matter that this seems to be an addition to the earliest manuscripts? I don't think so, there is nothing in this text that is new or contradictory to the rest of the Bible. We will never know for sure who added the ending - at least until we get to heaven and can ask Mark himself! So for now I think that that it is an interesting fact and nothing more.

The more important fact is found in verse 15 And then he told them, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere. This is what Jesus is telling s to do!


Application

This is another area where I feel like I am beig lead to slow down and study, not just read. If I had just been reading I may not have ever noticed the footnote. Even though I decided that this particular instance is not that important, there may be something very important in the future that I would miss if I am just reading.

Prayer

Lord, thank you for your Word. I praise you for the inerrant quality of your Word and I understand that the translations I have are prepared by man and they may have errors in it. I also thank you for guiding these men so that the errors are likely minimal. I fully trust the Word that I have in front of me because I place my faith in you. I pray and trust that you will guide me to what I need to see.

Scripture

Mark 15 blueletterbible

This chapter has so much, it is so rich, so today I will look at just one verse.
verse 38 And the curtain in the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.

Observation

I think that the importance of this little verse can easily be overlooked. The Jewish Temple has the room called the Most Holy Place. This room can only be entered once a year, on the Day of Atonement, and then only by the High Priest to make a sacrifice for the forgiveness of all the sins of the people. The people did not have access to God, nor could they have a relationship with Him, it had to be done through the High Priest.

So when Jesus became our sacrifice, the final sacrifice, this room was no longer needed. Jesus is our High Priest, and through Him we reach God. Jesus is our final sacrifice, through Him all of our sins are forgiven.

I read in a commentary that it was also important that the curtain was torn from the top to the bottom, signifying that it was God allowing us in.

Application

As I learn more about the Bible, I find that there are so many pieces that are so rich. One verse can lead in several wonderful directions. It doesn't matter if I read the whole Bible in one year - it matters that I am studying and learning from one verse at a time. I truly learning that my understanding of the Old Testament will always point fuller understanding of Jesus in the New Testament.

Prayer

Dear Lord, thank you for your amazing plan of salvation. Thank you for helping me to see the importance of understanding the Old Testament so that I can more fully appreciate and understand the importance of Jesus in my life.

This is the most simple meal I prepare - less than 15 minutes!

8 small or 4 med-lrg potatoes, cut into large chunks
1/2 pound baby carrots
1 large onion, cut into large slices

place potatos and carrots on bottom of crockpot

Coat 2-3 lb roast (trimmed of fat) with 1/4 cup of flour (I keep the extra flour I grind when I make bread for this purpose) and place floured roast on top of potatoes and carrots, place onions in any spaces or on top of roast

Pour 1 jar (16-20 oz) medium salsa over all

Cook for 6-7 hours in crockpot

Edited to add that I really must give the proper credit for this recipe, it certainly isn't my idea!! It comes from the Oct-03 #201 issue of Betty Crocker Slow Cooker Meals.


I have been planning my menus for awhile, but I found a great website orgjunkie.com. Every monday more than 200 people post links to their sites with their weekly menu plans. So if I am ever stuck for ideas here is an endless source of plans and recipes. Too Cool!!!

My menus must be quick and easy and I have found that I use my crockpot at least twice a week! Here is my menu plan for this week.
Breakfasts are Cereal, Whole Wheat Waffles, Oatmeal, or Homemade Bread with PB&J
Lunches are usually Leftovers
Suppers this week are:

Monday Pasta & Veggies and a slice of fresh bread

Tuesday Crockpot Stew and a slice of fresh bread

Wednesday Juicy Meatloaf and Peas

Thursday Tuna Casserole (have to look for a new recipe)

Friday Birthday Adventure to the Zoo, no plans for meals but likely something in a bag!

Saturday Chicken (have not decided on a recipe yet)

Sunday Southwestern Pot Roast and a slice of fresh bread

This recipe came from my mom's church cookbook. I simply adjusted the seasonings to make it "zippier" (Yes that is a technical cooking term, at least it is in my family!)

2lbs ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
3/4 cup oatmeal
2 eggs
1 cup tomato juice (I often use V8)

Seasonings:
1 tsp lemon pepper
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika

Mix together then form into a loaf shape in a 9x13 glass baking dish. Bake at 350 for 1 hour, let stand for 5 minutes before slicing

1/2 cup flour (whenever I have ground too much flour when making bread I put the leftover flour into a baggie and freeze it to preserve the nutrients)
2 lbs stew meat (I have used beef and pork - both work well)

put flour and meat into a large ziploc bag and shake to coat meat pieces then place floured meat into the crockpot

spinkle on the following:
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika

Add:
1/2 red onion, large slices
1 red pepper, diced
1 lb package of frozen mixed veggies

boil 3 cups of water and dissolve 3 beef broth cubes then add 3 tsp Worchesterchire sauce and pour over meat and veggies, stir just to mix ingredients

Cook in crockpot for 6-7 hours, stirring occasionally

This is a very easy meal to make and great for adding in frsh veggies to our diet, as I tend to use frozen more often. I have no idea how much of each veggie I add it is based on how much I have on hand and how much fits heaping into my large Corelle serving bowl.

I always use fresh veggies:
broccoli
carrots
mushrooms
red pepper
red onion
green onion
celery

I cut these up and put them into a large skillet with some oil and have this on medium to high heat and stir often. I don't like to overdo the veggies so my test is when I can just cut through a carrot easily - the hardness is gone but not the crispness??? Does that make sense? Next time I make it I will try to remember to time this stage.

While the veggies are cooking I start a large pot of water to boil. I add a half a package (about 8 oz) of pasta to the boiling water and cook for 7-9 minutes depending on the type of pasta.

Drain the pasta and add to the veggies (if timed right I usually have the pasta done about the same time as the veggies, but this took some trial and error).

Add half a jar of pasta sauce - I like Classico's Spicy Red Pepper.

Stir and serve.

Optional, if I find can find it on sale I add shrimp - yummy!!! I have been buying the packages of frozen cooked tail on. I simply defrost, remove the tails and add to the veggies, but I don't like them over cooked so I add them only long enough to have them heated.

Here is another cool giveaway! high-road

The problem with all thesecool giveaways is that I want ALL of these products to control the chaos in my van!

Here is another giveaway at sassyfrazz.blogspot.com. I think that we would have fun with the I Spy Bingo game.

here is another giveaway at SassyFrazz - I love it and of course we love Cookie Monster! sesame-street-knex

SassyFrazz has another giveaway sassyfrazz.blogspot.com/. Enter by commenting on her blog, and I can enter again by simply blogging about the giveaway here on my blog. Then I can enter two more times because I subscribe to her feed and I placed her button on my blog page. This is so much fun!

Here is the link to the diaper bag giveaway...ju-ju-be-belight I would chose the mint julep pattern only because I am not gusty enough to walk around with the groovy garden pattern. I get enough stares and comments with three under three as it is!!!

Who knew that there were so many giveaways to enter. I have just found a great website called sassyfrazz.blogspot.com/. In it she has some really cool giveaways, and I can enter more than once by simply blogging about the giveaway. How fun is that!

Today I entered the giveaway for a chance to win a potty training DVD. sassyfrazz.blogspot.com

I hope I win, I need all the help I can get in this area! I am getting very tired of the 15-20 diapers a day!



The best part about baking cake from scratch is watching this!


It must have been the cake batter that knocked her out!



I was looking for more information on Wordless Wednesdays basically to see if there were any rules to the idea. I never found anything like that but I did stumble across a photo contest at www.5minutesformom.com. They are calling it the "Sleeping Angel" contest.

The prize is a new bedroom set. Soon Carlee will be 2 and ready for a big girl bed. I think she would love the Lily Rose Setso that she can get a proper nap!