Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful Thursday

What more appropriate day is there to post a 'Thankful Thursday' post than today?

* I'm thankful for my God, the One True God. He alone is worthy.

* I'm thankful for Shannon. He is an amazing man. I love him thoroughly.

* I'm thankful for Alex. He's growing up too fast. It seems he's gone more these days than he is home. I miss him when he isn't here.

* I'm thankful for Jackson. He makes me smile. He's got freakishly long arms. I love him anyway.

* I'm thankful for Chase. He's a smartypants. He's snarky, and has a great sense of humor. He still tells me he loves me.

* I'm thankful for Bryce. He's spending Thanksgiving with my sister's family. I miss him like crazy. He should be here with us.

* I'm thankful for Colton. He's crafty. He's flighty. He's always thinking about something. He still sits on my lap.

* I'm thankful for Katie. She helped me cook all day yesterday. She chatters nonstop. She walks through the house on her tippy-toes. She likes to dance. She's growing up too fast.

* I'm thankful for Naomi. She really, truly believes that she is a princess. She wears a purple tiara. I'm not about to tell her any differently.

* I'm thankful for Hudson. I love the way he says "Yeah," when I ask him questions. I love it when he pats me on the back with his little hand. He's silly.

I have so incredibly much to be thankful for.

I have been blessed.

What an awesome God I serve!

"The rich and the poor have this in common, The LORD is the maker of them all." Proverbs 22:2

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pancake School

Yesterday morning we made pancakes for breakfast. I got the creative idea from Becky's blog. I'm not one to get up early to make breakfast most mornings, but this time I felt inspired. We simply added food coloring to the pancake batter. Easy!

As all the children gathered around to help, we had the opportunity to learn a lot of things. In fact, I was almost convinced that after breakfast, we wouldn't even have to do any more school for the rest of the day.

Math: We multiplied the recipe by four, then measured all of the ingredients.

Science: We talked about diffusion of the color throughout the pancake batter. When you stir and speed up the molecules, the color spreads faster.

Art: We mixed colors and made patterns in the pancakes.

Home Ec: cooking

Reading: We read the recipe from the cookbook.

Writing: If I had boys who liked to write, I would have had them write about the experience. That's girly. We don't do that.

We did end up doing all of our school work for the day. It was the right thing to do.

"Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety." Proverbs 11:14

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Alex's Golden Birthday

November 17th was Alex's 17th birthday. Wow.

His day started by getting up early and working his garbage route. Then he came home for awhile, and we had some birthday cake.

He requested chocolate cake this year. This recipe just happened to be in my inbox, so that's what I made. YUM! Only 961 calories per piece. Seriously.

We had bought him a new laptop the week before for a birthday present, so there weren't any gifts to open. Soon after, he went to basketball practice.

Alex is growing into a man. It is our desire that he continue to grow spiritually, and that he do all things for God's glory. I know he'll make us proud.

Time is flowing by so quickly.

I really need it to slow down.

I'm not ready to let go yet.

Happy birthday, Alex. We love you!

"A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel." Proverbs 1:5

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

It's almost midnight, so I have to type fast--or as fast as I can one-handed, because Hudson is sleeping on me.

*I'm thankful for the miracles God performed in our friends the Kamberger's lives this week.

*I'm thankful for my home.

*I'm thankful for sunshine.

*I'm thankful for my family.

*I'm thankful we're healthy.

*I'm thankful I've lost 18 pounds so far.

"The LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Time Away

We were able to take a little bit of time recently to spend a night away with the family. We went to the Wasserbahn Water Resort in the Amana Colonies. We also did a little shopping at the Tanger Outlet in Williamsburg.

It wasn't huge, but it was fun. The kids enjoyed the time away, and Shannon and I did, too.

Basketball practice starts November 16th. Games begin November 30th. There won't be much time for get aways until the season ends.

"For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the LORD." Proverbs 8:35

Lincoln Logs

We have had Lincoln Logs for years. Some times they don't get played with for years, it seems. But once in awhile, usually after we have cleaned bedrooms and sorted through the toy boxes, the children will 'rediscover' them, and play with them.

One afternoon it occurred to me that Hudson was missing, so I went searching for him. I found him in Bryce and Colton's room, building grand things.

He was quite pleased with himself.

"The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, before His works of old." Proverbs 8:22

Jodi's Diet Update

It's been a little over three weeks since I started my Forty by Forty campaign. My first week, I had a little progress.

I have been watching calories, and power walking three miles per day, with some pilates thrown in as time allows. I am not a very patient person, and expect immediate results. That wasn't happening as quickly as I wanted, so I decided to jump start things with a Master Cleanse.

I did this about two and a half years ago. You can google it for details, but it basically consists of fasting for 10 days, while drinking a mixture of lemon juice, grade B maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. Yum. I have found that I tolerate the cayenne better if I take it in capsule form, rather than adding it to the lemonade mixture. It tastes better, too. You can also have as much water as you want.

The theory is to detox the body, and remove all waste.

I haven't eaten since Monday evening, and I'm feeling great.

I weighed myself on Friday, and had lost 10 pounds since I had started dieting.

I feel great. I've not had any hunger pangs. Shannon has been great about taking over most of the cooking, so I haven't had to deal with that.

It's crazy how often I'll walk into the kitchen and automatically pick something up to eat, even though I'm not hungry. Although I'm not feeling hungry, food still looks good.

We brought home Papa Murphy's pizza for lunch today, and it was quite tempting to smell, then watch everyone eat it. I managed to mix and bake all of the sugar cookies last week without snitching any, which was a huge accomplishment!

I've been exercising normally, and although I felt a bit drained on Day 3, it has improved since then. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Sugar Cookies--Assembly Line Style

Every year in November the city of Reinbeck hosts a Holiday Season kick-off called 'Miracle on Main'. Businesses on Main Street stay open late, have open houses, and activities are planned for community members to participate in. There is story time at City Hall, ornament making, visits from Santa, wine tasting, chain saw ice sculptors, horse-drawn trolley rides, and other small town festivities.

Shannon's office was chosen this year to host the drawing for $50.00 in Reinbeck Bucks, to be spent in local businesses. We were told to expect high traffic through the office as town folk signed up.

We have an open house for Miracle on Main every year, serving cookies and hot apple cider. We chose not to serve drinks this year, mostly because it gets really messy. As I planned how many cookies to bake, I just couldn't decide how many to make.

I started out making six batches of Betty Crocker's Soft, No-Roll Sugar Cookies. I'll include the recipe at the end of the post. They're easy, and yummy. Later that evening I mixed up four more batches, just in case.

At 8:00 p.m. we were ready to start baking. These are the times a large family really comes in handy.

I manned the cookie dough scoop, and handed off to Alex.

Alex rolled them into nice little balls,

and passed them to Katie and Colton, who rolled them in sugar.

Jackson's job was to arrange them on cookie sheets, squish with a glass, then add red sugar sprinkles to the top.

Shannon was in charge of the ovens. He was baking three sheets at a time--two in the top oven, one in the bottom oven. Shannon was the photographer tonight, so we have no pictures of him.

Chase was in charge of removing the baked cookies from the sheets, cooling, then counting them as he packed them in tupperware.

Bryce was in charge of keeping Hudson off the kitchen table and keeping the guys up to the minute on the football game. Naomi helped here and there.

Two and a half hours later, we had scooped, rolled, sugared, squished, sprinkled, baked, cooled, tallied...........51 DOZEN cookies. Apparently Betty Crocker makes her cookies bigger than I do.

And we still had cookie dough in the fridge.

Friday morning I baked 14 dozen MORE sugar cookies. That's a total of 65 dozen cookies (780 cookies) , not counting those that broke or got a little too done along the way.

Needless to say, we had plenty of cookies. My mom made some cookies, too. We had tons of leftovers. They're all in my freezer now. Waiting for the next occasion to share.

Betty Crocker's Soft No-Roll Sugar Cookies

PREP: 20 min. CHILL: 2 hr. BAKE: 13-15 min per sheet
YIELD: About 3-1/2 dozen cookies

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened (I use butter)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 large eggs
4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar.

1. In large bowl, beat 1 cup granulated sugar, the powdered sugar, butter, oil, milk, vanilla and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with a spoon. Stir in flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm.

2. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

3. Shape dough into 1-1/2 inch balls. Place 1/2 cup granulated sugar in small bow. Roll balls in sugar. On ungreased cookie sheet, place balls about 3 inches apart. Press bottom of drinking glass on each ball until about 1/4 inch thick (I don't squish them quite this much). Sprinkle each cookie with a little additional sugar.

4. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until set and edges just begin to turn brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

As I posted this, I realized we did not get any pictures of the finished product. Oops.

"So your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine." Proverbs 3:10

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

+ I'm thankful that my husband likes to cook.

+ I'm thankful for lemons. More on that later.

+ I'm thankful for my laptop.

+ I'm thankful for sugar cookies. Lots of them.

+ I'm thankful that Shannon was Valedictorian of his high school class.

+ I'm thankful that Shannon knows how to do a magic square, or at least he did in high school.

+ I'm thankful that Hudson is talking so much these days.

+ I'm thankful that Jesus died on the cross for MY sins.

+ I'm thankful for our youth group kids.

+ I'm thankful we have enough vehicles to get us where we are going.

+ I'm thankful that BASKETBALL starts next week, even though it means the rat-race will begin again.

"The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, but He overthrows the words of the faithless." Proverbs 22:12

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday

*I'm thankful for Chase and his dry sense of humor.

* I'm thankful for cappuccino in my Kum & Go free refill cup. It gets me moving!

*I'm thankful for safety while taking a quick getaway with the family earlier this week.

*I'm thankful for the sunshine and weather in the 60's that's forecasted for this weekend.

*I'm thankful for hand-me-downs.

*I'm thankful that we were able to find basketball shoes in size 14 for Jackson--even if it meant having them sent to us from New York, and even though they charged my credit card twice. We're working on getting that resolved.

* I'm thankful for paper towels.

*I'm thankful for Shannon and my family.

*I'm thankful for the opportunity to spend some alone time with Shannon this weekend.

*I'm thankful for my Sunday School class. I enjoy discussing things with them, and getting to the 'meat and potatoes' of scripture and how it translates to everyday life.

*I'm thankful for ITBS and ITEDS. They help me evaluate how my students are progressing.

*I'm thankful for my dog. He loves me.

*I'm thankful for brownies. Colton baked some for breakfast this morning, and it made everyone smile.

"There is no wisdom or understanding or counsel against the LORD." Proverbs 21:30