Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunday Mornings

Sunday mornings can be very rough, trying to get out the door earlier than usual and everyone looking their best.  Sometimes instead of being a day of rest and a day set aside for the Lord it becomes a stress filled, icky, grumpy day.

But what if you could have an enjoyable and even fairly restful morning and still have a lovely breakfast and get everyone out the door on time looking great?  It can be done!  It just takes a bit of thought and planning.

Prepare the clothes ahead of time.  If you do your ironing throughout the week all of the clothes should be set and ready to go.  Look over all of the clothes on Friday or Saturday to make sure they really are clean and ironed.  I pull out tights and such for the girls as well and put them on the hangers with their dresses.  Remind yourself throughout the week to check on these things and see what you can do.  Sometimes I'll have everyone change out of their "Sunday clothes" as soon as we get home if they are still clean.  That means less laundry and ironing for me, and their clothes are all ready for next week!  If you do this you will want to inspect to make sure everything was hung up again properly, otherwise this method does you no good.

Little girls playing "church" on Sunday afternoon while Daddy reads out loud to all of us.

Check the diaper bag, make sure it is well stocked on Saturday afternoon/evening.  Is there anything else you need to take with you?  Potluck?  Snack? Returning something to someone at church?  Make sure anything you can do ahead of time is done and sitting out where you will remember it.  I'm finding that I need to actually put things in the car or leave a note at my space at the table the night before to help me remember. No matter how well I plan getting nine of us fed and out the door can be enough to think about! ;)

Breakfast.  That is a big one.  Sunday morning can be a long one, it is important to start it with a good meal that will stick with all of you.  I need protein to keep me going, and some of my kids do better after a meal with plenty of protein so we generally have some eggs, bacon, or sausage.  Coffee cake makes the meal fun too.  I prepare it the night before so all if have to do is pop it in the oven in the morning, this mix makes it easy while still being homemade!


Think about what you will be eating when you get home as well.  We often have something simple like bagels with cheese melted on them or cheese, crackers, salami and fruit for lunch.  Sometimes our church has a potluck after service though and we LOVE that, the fellowship is great and it is fun to share a meal with our friends.  I try to have dinner in the crockpot so that I don't really have to cook all day, that makes the day much more restful!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cooking for a crowd; Baked Beans

In the last couple of years we've started eating more beans.  Not just because they are inexpensive, but because they are good for you!  Some of my kids seem to like beans in just about and form, other are not quite so excited about beans.  This is a bean dish they all like.  I don't exactly have a recipe for this, but this is the general idea

Baked beans
1 lb. navy beans (rinsed and then soaked over night)
4 cups chicken stock/broth (I just pull a container of my homemade stuff from my freezer) you could easily use much more if you have it in place of some of the water.
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup mustard or use some dry mustard
1/3 cup or more molasses or honey (we like it sweet)
Salt and pepper to taste
Bacon *optional* We just cut up a few pieces to add flavor.
Water enough to cover beans after everything else is added.  You may need to add more as these bake.
Adjust these to fit your taste, this is very easy to play with!

Put everything in a large pot or casserole dish and bake at about 350 all day.  Check it though out the day to make sure there is still enough liquid and stir from time to time.  Your beans are done when they are soft and brown!

Sometimes we add 1 pound of cooked ground beef to this just before serving.  My kids really like this with cornbread.  Sometimes we serve it in a bowl over the cornbread.  This time we served it on plates, with cornbread and a salad.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Rescued (adoption documentary) and Giveaway!

UPDATED- Thanks for entering this giveaway!  From a random number generator entry #2 was chosen!  Christine that is you!  I'll be in touch with you to get this DVD out in the mail!

I'm excited to get to do a giveaway for Rescued a documentary on adoption.  This is a beautiful film about the heart of adoption and caring for orphans.

We want to get the word out about this movie so; here are some ways to win this movie with that goal in mind...
For each entry leave a comment and an e-mail address or some other way to contact you.

1. Facebook this blog post or a link to Rescued (2 entries)
2. Tweet this post or a link to Rescued (2 entries)
3. Blog about Rescued (2 entries)
4. Be a follower of this blog (1 entry)

I'll end this giveaway on Wednesday February 15th


I was not compensated for this and get nothing out of it except the joy of getting to pass on the information to others!   The Wintons  (the makers of the film) are good friends of ours, but we would think this was a great film even if we didn't know them! ;)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Struggling AND Gratitude

Entitled?  Ungrateful?  Whining?  Angry?  What would happen if I was Grateful for what I do have?  If I realized I'm a debtor and entitled to nothing?  I know I struggle with these things, and I'm guessing that others do to.

These past few weeks have been rough.  My dad's passing has taken a lot out of me.  I was already wiped out after the birth of our seventh baby, helping my wonderful hubby through his PhD, and moving.  I had been looking forward to our Christmas break (hubby had 2 weeks off!).  The day that my dad passed was the day that break was supposed to start.  Its been hard to keep going and do what needs to be done. I've been in a bit of a funk.

  It can be so easy to fall into the bad attitudes of thinking that others should be picking up my slack, others should be taking care of me, life is rough, poor me, I deserve a break....  What I find is that life goes on; there is work to do.  The baby still needs to be fed, changed and settled, toddlers trained, children taught and corrected.  My husband needs me too.  If I'm not running to the cross, running to Jesus, it all just gets to be too much and I grow weary (even on a good day!).  I start thinking of myself, my needs, my wants, what I "deserve" instead of being the living sacrifice I am called to be.  I begin to think too highly of myself and not put others first.

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, aceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." Romans 12:1-3

This is the King James Version, and I like the phrase "your reasonable service."  Being a "living sacrifice" is not going above and beyond. It is not even special. It is just "your reasonable service."  We are bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  We are His.  We are His sons and daughters, and as such we must obey Him.  This is more than I can do on my own, but through the Holy Spirit working in me, it can be done!

This week I picked up a book that had been given to me about a year ago.  I'd started reading it when I received it but just didn't get very far into it.  Choosing Gratitude has been a great book so far.  While it is a fairly light and easy read, it is not lacking in biblical encouragement and conviction.  So far (and I'm only through chapter 3), I've been given quite a bit to think about, and it has helped pull me out of my "funk" a bit.  Just thought I'd share.  If you're in a funk too I'd encourage you to pick it up.  Even if you are not struggling, I think this is a great book and would bless just about anyone.

**I was not compensated in any way for this post.  It's just a book I have, found it a blessing, and thought I'd pass the blessing on.  If you do purchase the book through one of my links I may make a few cents though. :)