"Let's split the Baby Jesus!"

>> Monday, November 24, 2008

My parents sent my husband and I an early Christmas present. The girls have to wait until Christmas for their presents, but we were told we could open ours now. They sent us the coolest set of cookie cutters that make up the manger scene! The set includes Mary and Joseph, Baby Jesus and a manger, a king, camel, shepherd, sheep, donkey, star, heart, and angel. Mom and Dad wanted us to have our present early so we could make use of the cookie cutters during the next few weeks. So today I washed all the cutters, and prepared a batch of our favorite sugar cookie dough. I'll have to share the recipe here sometime, and also post pictures of our nativity cookies. :-)

Well, once the cookies came out of the oven the girls were marveling over the different shapes, and my oldest daughter piped up, "I want the Baby Jesus!" To which my younger daughter said, "But I want the Baby Jesus!" They continued to argue over which one should have the Baby Jesus, and my husband had his own idea. "I don't think we should eat the Baby Jesus. Something just doesn't seem right about that." Finally my youngest piped up, "I know! We can split the Baby Jesus!" That got me to thinking, so I grabbed a knife and cutting board, and brought it to the table. I asked the girls, "Why did Jesus come?" My oldest replied that He came to die for us. Then we talked about Jesus coming to give His life for all of us, and that His whole reason for coming is so we could all share Him. So I cut the Baby Jesus into four pieces, and gave one to each of us. I will admit, there was something strange about cutting the Jesus cookie into four, and then eating it... but it drove a point home to each one of us. My husband said we could almost do this for communion, as it would help to cement in our girls' minds as to why we take communion, and the sacrifice Jesus made.

Eating the rest of the cookies was much easier, but I think from now one when we make the nativity cookies, we will all share the Baby Jesus. Because that's what He came to do; He shared His life for us. I look forward to many more memories we will make as we celebrate this Christmas season, and the birthday of our King!


I'm thankful for...

>> Sunday, November 23, 2008

Seeing as how Thanksgiving is this week, I'd like to talk about some things for which I am thankful.

  1. My husband who loves me and provides for our family
  2. Two beautiful children who have both asked Jesus into their hearts
  3. My parents who raised me in a loving home and taught me about Jesus
  4. My husband's parents who also raised him to know Jesus
  5. My husband's job, which is fairly secure in these difficult times
  6. A roof over our heads, food in the fridge, clean clothes in our dressers
  7. My Jesus, who wants to have an intimate relationship with me, and everyone He loves
I'll write more about which I'm thankful for as I have time throughout this week. Now it's time to start thinking about what I'm going to fix the girls for supper. Have a very thankful week!


Crock Pot Granola

>> Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cooking is not one of my gifts. However, there are a few simple recipes I have come across that I enjoy making, and my family enjoys eating. With two picky children, sometimes finding things they will eat can be difficult. So when I found this recipe for home made granola, I was thrilled when both of my children loved it! And lately granola has become a staple in our home, especially considering we can easily go through a box of cereal per week. With all the preservatives and sugar, not to mention the price, we've decided store bought cereal will be an occasional treat, rather than a daily indulgence. In fact, I've got some cooking right now! So here's the recipe...

  • 6 cups Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

In your crock pot, mix oats and cinnamon. Stir in olive oil, honey, and vanilla. With lid cracked, cook oats on low 3-5 hours, or until granola just begins to turn golden brown. Once the granola is finished I usually pour it out on a baking sheet to cool, then store in an air tight container. I'm not sure how long the granola stays fresh; it doesn't usually last too long in our home. The girls like it with milk for breakfast, or dry as a snack. I think the longest it has ever lasted is 5 or 6 days, but as oats can be bought pretty inexpensively in the bulk department of our grocery store, it's a pretty economical food.

Tips and Hints:
  • Be sure to keep the lid cracked during the entire time you are cooking your granola. I usually stick a silicon spatula in the crock pot, to prop the lid open.
  • Stir the granola every hour or so, to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the crock pot. If your crock pot has hot spots, stir more frequently. Usually some granola will stick to the bottom of the crock pot, but I let it soak for a couple hours with hot soapy water after I empty it, and then it's a snap to clean.
  • If you like dried fruit or nuts in your granola, mix them in for the last 30 minutes. Raisins and dried cranberry's go well.
Well it looks like it's family movie time, so I'd better shut down the computer. I'm looking forward to granola for breakfast tomorrow! :-)


My Greatest Wish...

>> Monday, November 17, 2008

My daughter's birthdays are coming up. We pretty much know what we're doing for our soon to be 8 year old, but I haven't got a clue yet what we will do for our soon to be 4 year old. And her birthday is only about 3 weeks away, so we'd better get on the ball!

The other night I asked the girls if they could have anything they wanted, what would it be? I didn't say anything about birthdays or Christmas, I just asked what they'd want if they could have anything. My oldest daughter thought for a moment, but when she answered I was blown away.

"Well, I could ask for more toys... but when I really think about it, what I really want is to grow closer to God. I mean, toys are nice and everything, but sometimes I feel like I'm just not growing close enough to Him, and that's what I'd really like. I want to learn to pray more, and read my Bible. Yeah, that's what I'd really like."

Sometimes my children astound me. So much wisdom coming from someone so young! Is this why Jesus said we should become like little children? There are times I learn so much from them.

Although I was surprised by my daughter's answer to my question, when I really thought about it, I realized that's the same thing I want. It's what I've been longing for. And I suppose if we all stop to think about it, growing closer to Jesus is something we all long for. I think He put that pull in our hearts. But too often I ignore it.

My quiet time is something that has suffered for a long time. When it comes right down to it, it is never quiet in my home. Sometimes I try going to my room and shutting the door to read my Bible and pray, but I am always so easily distracted, and I'm not able to focus. So most of the time I just let it go. But then, what kind of an example am I setting for my kids? Maybe what I should be doing is reading my Bible and praying when they are around me. I will still be distracted, but apparently no more so than when I am by myself. And I want my girls to see their Mommy spending time in prayer, and time in the Bible. If they don't see it from me, where are they going to see it?

So yeah... I want to grow closer to Jesus, too. And when I grow up, I want to be like my little girl. :-)


must... have... chocolate...

>> Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lately I have been craving Dark Chocolate. Anyone who knows me would think this strange... "Lately?" It used to be I was always craving the mysterious, slightly sweet, mouth watering indulgence. But for a while I was doing really well, and didn't have the need for much chocolate. Well, now that we are down to just a few chocolate chips in the fridge, I am really starting to crave it. Actually, this works out perfectly... I received a late birthday card in the mail yesterday, and enclosed was enough money for some chocolate! I need to write to my Uncle and let him know how much I appreciate his timing! As soon as we have the opportunity to go to the store, I will seek out the chocolate isle. And I don't want just any chocolate. I want Ghirardelli 72% cocoa. Nothing but the best! I've recently discovered not only do they have the 72% cocoa in bars, but they also have it in squares. And better yet, they've started carrying it in chips! That will be just perfect, as I can just have 2 or 3 to satisfy my craving, and I'll be done with them for the day.

My Mom has also told me about a tea I'd like to try, Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane tea. I should have enough left over to also get a box of that, as that has been sounding wonderful lately, as well. It's almost like Christmas!

Hm... I wonder if I could find a Dark Chocolate theme for my blog? I've looked, but haven't found any that reach out and grab me. But I did think this snow one was kind of cool.

Well, I'm off to indulge in a few chocolate chips...



>> Friday, November 14, 2008

We've recently started a token system with our girls. They can earn tokens for things like cleaning their room, doing all their chores for the day, staying in bed at night, and being respectful throughout the day. Usually they can earn a maximum of 15 tokens per day, but most days they get around 10. They can also lose tokens for things like fighting, being disrespectful to Mommy and Daddy, refusing to stay in bed at night, and things like that. So far their favorite thing to cash in on is computer time. My four year old often asks me, "Mommy, do I have enough money to play on the computer?" But today my 7 year old surprised me. One of the things they can use their tokens for is Mommy will do one of their chores for a week. This is a pretty expensive thing, at 50 tokens. Well this morning my daughter counted out 50 tokens and said, "Mommy, I'd like you to fold and put away all my clean laundry for the next week!" I must admit, with all the chores she could have picked, that's a pretty good one. My kids really dislike folding and putting away their clothes. But I've gotta say, they come by it naturally. Laundry is one of my least favorite chores, too. So I told my daughter that will be easy; I just won't wash any of her clothes this week! She looked at me like only a 7-year old can to let me know she didn't think I was being funny. :-) So right now I'm washing a load of laundry, and when it comes out of the dryer I have one hour to make sure it's folded and put away. She's a smart girl. I figured she'd pick something like me making her bed for a week.

Well, I'm off to clean the kitchen. I've been slacking this morning, spending too much time trying to figure out what to write about. I'd better get busy so the kitchen is ready for my Dear Husband when he's ready to fix lunch. He's such a wonderful man!


A New Adventure

>> Thursday, November 13, 2008

Starting a new blog is always difficult... what do I want this blog to be about? I've tried various blogs over the past few months, but nothing has seemed to stick. I mean, if I'm not even interested in my topics, why would anyone else bother to read it? :-) I have lots of ideas, but where should I start? My Mom has often told me I should write about my children. At ages 7 and 4 they definitely provide me with plenty of material!

I'm sure I won't have a chance to blog every day, but I will try to post at least once a week. And I guess I'll just see how this blog develops. It might just end up with a mind of its own. :-)


About Me

>> Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hello, and welcome to my blog! I'm glad you're able to stop by. If you've clicked on this link, I guess you'd like to know a little about me, so here goes. :-) I am a Christian wife and Mommy. I've been married to my wonderful husband  twelve years, now. We have two children, both girls, ages 10 and 7. We home school our children, and that has been a joy for each of us. I am so thankful for the opportunity to stay home and teach our girls. We've had seasons where I have had to work, but we are so thankful right now that I am able to stay home. Even though at times it is a struggle, we have decided it is worth the sacrifices. Life is truly a blessing!

Thanks for stopping by!



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