Monday, October 18, 2010

Oh so Yummy Oatmeal Pancakes

I saw a delish looking recipe for Oatmeal pancakes a while ago somewhere in the blogsphere. The dunce i am didn't bookmark it or write down the site. I vaguely remembered the recipe so I swagbucked for it and this is the one that I found that looked right. These are so good!!! All the little b's ate at least 4 pancakes each and daddy liked them too. They are scrumptious with warm maple syrup or just alone. I'm thinking of adding a few raisins to make smileys the next time I make these since they remind me a little of oatmeal cookies in flavor.

Oh so Yummy Oatmeal Pancakes
1 1/2 C rolled or quick oats
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour ( regular works fine)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C buttermilk or sour milk(1 1/2 TBSP lemon juice plus milk to make 1 1/2 c)
1 c milk
1/4 c applesauce
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 c sugar

In blender or food processor blend rolled oats until they resemble flour. (in my blender I have to do 2 batches, in my food processor not) combine with the rest of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

combine in a small bowl. mix well and add to the dry ingredients. mix until just combined. cook on a greased/buttered griddle until the edges begin to look done and bubbles form across the top. flip and cook on the other side until golden brown.

These are so yummy!!! The only thing I have noticed is I think there's a little much sugar in them as they go from golden to dark brown to burnt quickly. I'm gonna try reducing the sugar to 1/4 C. I don't think flavor will loose anything but I hope it will help with the color issue. I hope you guys enjoy these as much as we do.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Operation Christmas Child

My friend Kim has two of the most giving children I know. (I can say that because they're my "adopted" nieces). This past year for her birthday, the oldest daughter asked not for gifts, but money so she could buy ducks or geese from Samaritans Purse for a family in Africa. Isn't she great?? And she's only 5. I aspire to be a totally rocking mom like Kim. She challenges me in many ways. The girls also put together Shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child every year. So I've been thinking that the Shoe boxes are one of the most effective ways to teach my children about the true Spirit of Christmas....Sharing the Love of Jesus. This evening as I checked my facebook, I noticed that Laura @ HeavenlyHomemakers had recently posted about Operation Christmas Child. Her post was a link to Oxana's post, which has strengthened my resolve to have the 4b's (all 5 of them) participate this year, and as Oxana shared we will include one of the treasured letters in each of our boxes. So, please, go check out Oxana's Story and pass on the word.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Gratituesday: And the angels are rejoicing in Heaven

Being a parent is such a hard job. You never know if you're doing it right and it takes years to see the fruits of your labors. I think being a Godly parent is even harder. I try to teach my children about God's love and His plan of salvation through Jesus. My greatest desire is to see them join their baby brother and sister in heaven, but you can never really know what goes on in the hearts and minds of a child can you? So, I try to diligently plant seeds of faith and water them. I try to keep all the influences positive and ones that would nurture Godly characteristics within them.

Last week, I was able to see the harvest of some of the seeds I've been planting and watering. I was putting Bean to bed Tuesday night and she was her normal chatty-trying-to-stay-awake self. But as I listened to her chatter, all of the sudden, a very important question popped out of her mouth...."Mommy is God and Jesus in our hearts?" "Well Baby, do you want them to be in your heart?" "Yes, Mommy." "Then all you have to do is ask them to be in your hearts and obey what God teaches us." "Jesus, will you be in my heart?" Beanie prayed. And then she promptly passed out for the night. I delightedly rushed down stairs to share with Dh the miricle that had just occured. I must say I've struggled with pride thinking "I" did such a great job, but i know that I could never have done anything so miraculous as cause a little child's heart to turn to God...only God could do that, along with the help of parents, and a very outspoken 5 year old who Loves God. I only watered and planted but God in His awesomeness brought about the fruit. And the assurance that my 3 year old has a desire to have a relationship with God that I pray I will properly nurture during the remainder of her life under my roof so that she will cherish and serve God all of her days.

As if having this experience with Beanie wasn't great enough, Wednesday, when I was hanging out clothes, Rich called me in because he had just been asked the same question by the Boy. We talked to him about it, and he too decided to make the same step as Bean. I will now do my best to nurture him to become the man God desires for him. I hope and pray that Belle will make the same decision as her older siblings have and will not turn from it.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Weekly Menu 8/22

All good things must come to an end. Summer as we know it in our house is coming to an end this week. Monday is DH's last day of vacation and the school year starts with in-service days Tuesday.

Our menu plan for the week is as follows:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with sliced peaches
Lunch: Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches, pears and raisins
Dinner: Meatloaf Packets (recipe at the end of the post) and broccoli

Breakfast: Peach Muffins
Lunch: Noodle soup and peanut butter pinwheels, peaches
Dinner: Pork Chop Hamburger helper and broccoli

Wednesday, Pasta Day:
Breakfast: English Muffins and fruit
Lunch: Quesadillas and mixed fruit
Dinner: Butternut Squash Ravioli

Fishy Thursday:
Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs, toast w/ jam
Lunch: Bologna or Salami Sandwiches
Dinner: Salmon Burgers (patties to the rest of the world), rice, sauteed summer squash and zucchini

Meatless Friday:
Breakfast: Oatmeal and fruit
Lunch: English Muffin Pizzas, veggie sticks

Breakfast: Pancakes or Waffles (Triple batch for the freezer and quick breakfasts another day)
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Hot Dogs, Mac or potato salad, fruit or veggie stix

Crock Pot Sunday:
Breakfast: Bacon, Eggs & toast
Lunch: Stuffed Peppers (main meal)
Dinner: noodle soup, quesadillas, leftovers

Meatloaf Packets

1 1/2 lb ground beef (80%)

1 Package onion soup mix

1 egg

3/4 C milk

1/2 C bread crumbs

1 lb potatoes skin on, cut into wedges

3 C carrot sticks

1. Heat gas or charcoal grill. Cut 6 (18x10-inch) sheets of heavy-duty foil; spray with cooking spray. In medium bowl, mix beef, dry soup mix, egg, milk and bread crumbs. Shape into 6 loaves, 4x2 1/2x1 inch. Place 1 loaf on each foil sheet. Microwave potatoes for 4 -6 min. Place about 1/2 cup potatoes and 1/2 cup carrots around each loaf.

2. Bring up 2 sides of foil so edges meet. Seal edges, making tight 1/2-inch fold; fold again, allowing space for heat circulation and expansion. Fold other sides to seal.

3. Place packets on grill. Cover grill; cook over medium heat 25 to 30 minutes, rotating packets 1/2 turn after 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender and meat thermometer inserted in center of loaves reads 160ºF. To serve, cut large X across top of each packet; carefully fold back foil to allow steam to escape. Garnish with parsley.

I may just try to bake these in the oven depending on the weather. i will probably start cooking them at 350 degrees for a half hour. I will try to remember to include the oven baking instructions if that is what i do.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Menu Plan 8-15 to 8-21

It’s Back to School time again, and time for me to get back into my routines. The biggest one I have missed is my Menu Planning. I’m tired of pulling something frozen out of the freezer and thawing it 30 minutes before I want to eat. I have drawn up a monthly game plan and have decided to add themed days. ..Crock Pot Sunday, Meatless Friday (because I can’t do it on Monday like the rest of the world lest I make something that would trigger DH’s stomach issues), Pasta Wednesday, Pizza Night, and Fish Thursday. I also would like to send the kids off to school with a warm breakfast daily, so will be researching some recipes for that to keep some variety. And I’m sorely in need of lunch inspiration. We’ll see what I can come up with for that. Here’s what I‘ve Planned for this week.


Dinner: Spaghetti, Italian Sausage, and Salad


Lunch: English Muffin Pizzas, fruit

Dinner: Mediterranean Quinoa Skillet derived from this recipe from the $5 Dollar Dinner Mom ( for my meatless meal of the week)


Lunch: Peanut butter and Jelly, fruit or veggie sticks

Dinner: Steak with all the trimmings…baked potatoes, Salad,


Lunch :Quesidillas, veggies



Lunch:Salami Sandwiches, fruit or veggie stix

Dinner: Whatever my mom makes…we’ll be going down home for the weekend.


Lunch: Bug’s Birthday Party.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches, coleslaw, rolls

Hot Dogs, Buns

Broccoli Salad

Jello Salad

Chips and pretzels

Grandma Eva’s Baked Beans


Cake & Ice Cream

Dinner: Green beans & Potatoes & Lunch leftovers

Next week I’ll try to plan a Breakfast schedule to and practice that with dh being off to school again.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thursday, April 15, 2010

one month ago...

One month ago, I announced on my facebook that i would have my little girl by 6:00am the next day...boy was I wrong... I've decided though that since Marielle is a month old, I should get around to blogging about her. So, without further ado, I'd like to introduce you to Marielle Elizabeth Thompson. She joined us at 4:49pm on March 16, weighing 7 pounds 2 ounces (the exact same weight as her cousin born just 3 days earlier...I think that's so cool.)

Marielle is the fifth "B". Part of the reason waited so long to blog about her is because I was searching for the perfect "B". I tried several references to the size of her feet, as they're sweet, but quite large for a little tiny girl.

As you recall, we've know for quite some time that she would have firm grounding.

I finally decided on "Belle" as it rhymes with her name.

Belle's pregnancy was a difficult one for me. Not overly difficult by standards, but compared to my others my most difficult by far. First it was the worst case of morning sickness to date. And it lasted well into my second trimester. I didn't mind too terribly much though because I knew that the hormones causing my morning sickness were the same ones that meant my baby was growing strong and the likely hood of miscarrying her was low. Then there was the issue with my blood sugar being too high. Thankfully it stopped short of being gestational diabetes, but i did have to cut back on my sweets and carbs. Then at our 34 week ultrasound, the doctor declared my amniotic fluid level borderline on being too low, and Belle's heart rate too high. Off I went to OB for a non-stress test on her. She passed, but for my next several appointments, Dr. said he would monitor my fluid level. If he thought it was too low, well we'd be having a baby.

As luck would have it, a week later I caught a bad cold. i coughed and coughed. So much so that Istarted spotting, and felt like i might've been leaking amniotic fluid too. The worst part...Dr. was out of town. So I called the office to see what they recommended. I was told to call OB and get their opinion. They wanted me to come up for observation. The verdict...I had an upper respiratory infection but was not leaking fluid. So I was put on bed rest by the on call Dr. I wasn't happy. The nurses told me I just had to make it to Monday when Dr. would be back, and Belle would be 37 weeks. I had big plans for the weekend after all...Rich was taking me out for my birthday. Except for my cough, I felt perfectly fine. Thankfully, Rich had a long weekend as I was put on bed rest Thursday and he was off Friday.

Somehow I made it through the boredom of the weekend and made it to Monday when I had an appointment with my doctor. He started me off with a non stress test. It wasn't good. Belle's heart rate was high until I turned on my side and it went down to "normal". Then came an ultrasound to check my fluid levels. Even more bad news. I could tell from the start Dr. was not happy. He wore a seriously concerned look and didn't say too much. He asked if I felt like I was leaking, which I thought I might've been over the weekend, but I wasn't going back to OB after being told it was all in my head on Thursday. He checked, lo and behold I was. Back to the hospital for observation and another ultrasound at the end of the day. If my levels had dropped at all I was going to be induced. They did. My nurse came in at 6:00 (right after I'd sent rich home to eat dinner) and asked how I felt about having a baby. Of course I was ready, so I was started on pitocin. I HAVE to remember to ask to be induced by having my water broken if there is a next time. Five hours of pitocin later and i'd barely started having contractions. I was certain once we started things that i would have Belle here in 12 hours or less. I know Aunt B was hoping that it would take 6 hours or less so Belle would share her birthday. I did my best, but Belle just wasn't going anywhere.

After Rich and I had a fitful night's sleep, I sent him home to help Mom get the big kids off to school. While he was gone, Dr came in and broke my water. Okay, now I was uncomfortable. I still hadn't dilated much more than 3 cm. I was a little discouraged. She was supposed to be there by now and I was still in labor. What had I done to deserve such a long labor...About noon I was only 5-6 cm and things were really starting to hurt. I told the nurse I was ready for some pain meds. I was greatly opposed to having an epidural. That needle just freaks me out. Something that big should be nowhere near my spinal cord. Two doses of Stadol later I was nearly in tears. I was so exhausted and i just couldn't take the pain any more. I told rich it was time to find a nurse...I was going to have an epidural. That was about 1:30. Rich was watching "The Great Escape" on TMC. The anesthesiologist came in and was explaining side effects and all....I didn't care...I was ready to do whatever it took to make the pain go away. I did get a glimpse of that huge needle when I was being prepped and almost chickened out. But the pain and need for relief was greater than that. Let me just say that until Belle got out it was heaven not to feel anything.

About two hours later, I was fully dilated and felt quite a bit more relaxed and a tiny bit rested. I did still feel my contractions some what but no pain. The Doctor came in and we were ready to start pushing. A few minutes in, my doctor exclaimed "Boy that's a big head!" Let me tell you (as all you mom's know) that is the last thing anyone wants to hear as you're squeezing a human out your...well you know. After 5 minutes of pushing, I stopped long enough to ask if her head was out yet. Nope she was stuck. Another 5 minutes later (10 minutes total of nonstop no waiting for contractions) pushing, Belle was here. A few hours later, I decided my epidural was not worth it. I have had headaches for 3 weeks because of leaking spinal fluid, but they've finally gone away. I won't ever have another epidural again and i've really got to remember to tell the doctors to lay off the pitocin and just break my water already.

Everyone loves their little sister and seems to be adjusting well to her presence. She has continued to be the most difficult child to date (since i have 5 and counting). She came home and immediately had newborn jaundice. It took 2 weeks on the light belt to cure her of that. The second day she was on it, we almost ended up with her hospitalized because she just wasn't pooping and there was no way for her to get rid of the biliruben. But all's well that ends well.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

She's Just Like Me

And it drives me absolutely bananas. I know. Which "She" you ask. Bug. Bug is just like me. She would rather dawdle than do her homework. Doesn't like to ask for permission before doing a craft because she's doing it as a gift for someone she loves. She's scatterbrained. Tonight, she forgot her spelling list for the 2nd night in a row because...?? Well I really don't know. But she did give me a good laugh tonight.

DH had ordered Girl Scout Cookies at work and they arrived. Bug and I sit across the table from each other. We were both eating a Tagalong (you know the chocolate peanut butter kind). I was nibbling the chocolate layer off my cookie edges first. DH started to laugh because Bug was sitting across the table from me doing the exact same thing. We had a good laugh. Usually when I see myself in Bug it drives me bananas. I'm not my biggest fan. But I've known so few people that eat cookies or pick the chocolate layer off of candy bars before eating the filling that it gave me a good laugh. I was able to enjoy that facet of her personality. I guess I need to focus less on how much our similarities drive me bananas to find the things about Bug that I can appreciate.

After all, she is my Bug and I do love her even if she drives me bananas.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Food for Thought

My friend Melanie shared this on her blog last week. I found it to be something that convicted me, and really made me think. I hope it provides you with some food for thought too.

My daily devotional was great today. Exactly the kind of thing I needed to reflect on and I though there might be other mom's out there who need to hear it as well.

Feb 10th: "My Child, how I will rejoice if you become wise. Yes, My heart will thrill when you speak what is right and just." Prov 23:15-16

My oldest son, Chad, owns a twelve-year-old white Pontiac Bonneville. It's served him well during his post-college years, carrying him to camping trips on the West Coast, friends' weddings on the East Coast, and back and forth to the high school where he teaches every day. But with over 160,000 miles on his car, he suspected that it might be approaching its demise. Recently, after his car failed an emissions test, Chad concluded that the car had indeed reached the end of the line.

When Chad showed me the charts and graphs he received from the Illinois Vehicle Inspection Station, I better understood the reason for emissions testing. The inspection station tests cars for carbon monoxide (a toxic gas) and hydrocarbons (unburned fuel that causes smog and contributes to eye and throat discomfort). A dictionary definition of the word emit is "to utter or exhale." After I read that, I got to wondering, What would happen if we moms were required to have periodic emissions testing on our speech? What if someone listened to us and tested the words that we utter throughout the day?

Would our words be full of kindness, truth, wisdom, and blessing? Or would they be found to be full of criticism, rumors, flattery, and anger? Although we probably all have days that we would fail the test, here's the good news: our problem with words is one of the reasons Jesus Died for Us! As we confess our sin and look to him for wisdom with our words, he will help us. A failed "emissions" test doesn't mean the end of the line for us! If we turn to Jesus, he will help us with necessary repairs.
One Year Devotions for Moms: Ellen Banks Elwell

Hope you enjoy that. ~Melanie

The original post is found at the Waltz Family's Blog

My kids are always saying things that I wonder "Where on earth did they come up with that?!?" Oops. Mama you need to watch what you're saying the Boy is especially fond of picking up on those things. I'm grateful that they can be my "emissions testers", but I do wish they would not pick up on those things. Especially since it is so difficult to get them to stop using the "foul emissions" that they pick up on. It is helping me to remember to curb my sarcasm and keep my tone kind and at a normal level instead of yelling so much. Kids are a great mirror for us. I look forward to seeing the good things that they pick up on too.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Getting Ready for Baby

With the count-down at 47 days maximum till Little Bit's arrival we've begun to get ready. Last weekend, DH got the cradle out of storage and put it up in our room. We were blessed a few months ago with oodles of disposable diapers ranging from newborn to size 4 by one of DH's Co-workers that she couldn't use because her child has a sensitive bottom. Yesterday, DH and I had the opportunity to spend the day by our selves. We went shopping and I found the perfect little sleeper to bring Little Bit home in. It's pink with darker pink flowers and lady bugs on it. The feet are ladybug faces. I'm excited about it. The biggest thing we did to get ready for Little Bit's arrival, though is the new van we have sitting in our driveway. We've recently purchased a 12 (yes that's right) passenger van. My Freestyle, though it was a 7 passenger vehicle, just had no where to put the 5th car seat(not to mention once we took our first trip with all of Bean's baby paraphernalia, there was no storage space in the trunk either). While a mini-van would've been nice, DH insists I am absolutely NOT allowed to outgrow another car in 3 years, like I have the last 2. He figures that there's no way we will outgrow our new van. I'm not planning on trying to either and it also has plenty of storage space for all our stuff when we make the occasional overnight trip to visit family. I am pleased with the van...or "that Bohemoth" as we call it. It's not a glamorous vehicle, but 99% of the time it gets the job done without too much trouble. Driving it in the fresh snow is an ordeal though. I've never been one to stay in because of the snow, but after driving the Boy to school a few mornings before the roads have been cleared well has changed me. Preschool just isn't that important.

The big kids are looking forward to her arrival. Especially the big girls. I know I am. I'm actually looking forward to all parts of getting her here. I'm anxious to see how Bean takes to her little sister. I don't anticipate any problems, but she's been the "baby" for almost 3 years, so it will be an adjustment for her. Especially when it comes to losing our one-on-one time when the Boy's at school. At least for the most part Little Bit will only eat and sleep which won't change our routines too much.

We had our last ultrasound a week ago. We got some nice pictures of Little Bit. She's still a girl (I'm holding out hope that if I deliver her on April Fools, Dr. Sosic will seriously say "It's a Boy!") She still has HUGE feet. She looks different than the other girls do. Maybe I should say she looks different than Bear and Bean since they are the only two that we had 3D pictures of. She may look like Bug, but she's definitely not going to look like Bear and Bean. I hope she doesn't look too much like her brother. He's a handsome boy, but he just wouldn't make a pretty girl. Know what I mean ;-)

Here are a few of the pictures from her ultrasound. A perfect little fist. All 5 fingers.
Here's a shot of her face. It was difficult to get a good shot because her hands are always in front of her face.
The dark shadow across her upper lip, that Bug called a mustache, is actually her umbilical cord, which she likes to suck on.

The only things I can think of that I still need to get done before Little Bit's arrival are getting out the baby clothes and having them all put away and finding all my stuff that I had saved from when I made Bean's cloth diapers. I need to find them because my diapers start at the 12 pound range with mediums. I need to get everything together so my friend Lynne can make me up the newborn diapers I need.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gratituesday: Little Things

Little things you say....what are little things? There are lots of little things in my house ;-) I am thankful to the Giver of all Good Gifts for the peaceful night I had last Thursday. Thursday nights, Rich works late at school to get his lesson plans, copying, and just to get ready for the next week. He usually is there 2-3 hours and it requires me to put the kids to bed on my own. Usually, Thursday nights are not pretty in my house. By the end of the day, my patience has worn thin, Bug knows how to push all my buttons, and will proceed to do just that. Last week, I was blessed with 4 cooperative children at bed time. Bean and the Boy both require a "lay down with", and it's hard to put everyone to bed at once for that. Bean had napped in the afternoon, so after doing story time with everyone, I sent her down to watch some Dora while I layed down and cuddled the Boy. He was a tired fellow, having been out to play in the snow at preschool and burning off some much needed energy. Bug didn't give me any trouble at all and obeyed all my directions and did her homework without any complaints. Bear usually has issues going to sleep when Daddy isn't around because she becomes more afraid. Last week, that wasn't the case. I can't begin to tell you how much of a blessing it was to have all the kids go to bed without a fight. I actually felt relaxed at the end of the evening.

Another little thing...we were blessed with an unexpected invitation to dinner Saturday evening. Everyone was greatful for that since Saturday was supposed to be clean out the fridge and eat leftovers day. We had a Delicious meal of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and broccoli Normandy with cranberry tangerine cheesecake and brownies for dessert. All I had to do was enjoy the meal and make the dessert. We also had a great time of fellowship with our friends while the children played.

And a Big Thing...In my house, there are 2-3 picky eaters that just won't eat "normal" food because it doesn't look or smell as they expect it to. Tonight I was feeling uninspired, unmotivated, and just plain lazy about dinner. I decided I would use a bag of frozen ravioli and some meatballs I had waiting in the freezer. Bug surprised me when I was draining the ravioli. "Those look like perogies. Are those perogies?" I explained that while they were similar, they get cooked in a different manner and didn't have mashed potatoes in them. "Well, what's inside?" she wanted to know. I figured I'd over-simplify my answer on the off chance that she might actually try it and told her "hamburger". She decided to try it since she liked perogies and hamburger. Lo and Behold, she did like the ravioli. Not only did she like it, but so did Bear, the Boy, and Bean, who didn't like ravioli the last time I made it for dinner. Then Bug proceeded to shock the pants off of me. She commented that she didn't like meatballs in spaghetti sauce, like they were, but wanted to try them. She ate one, then another, and i believe, she actually had a third. I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to see our practice of insisting that everything goes on your plate even if you decide not to taste it is finally paying off and Bug is starting to taste it. She was an excellent eater oh say...about 5 years ago. She became picky shortly after Bear's arrival. I am hopeful and optimistic that she will return to her previously well appetited self. Mainly because I know that many of the things she comments negatively on I cannot get her brother to try because of her comments, and if I can just get her to eat it he is more likely to.

Thank You Jesus, for these little and big things that have brightened my past week.

For more Gratituesday, Head on over to Heavenly Homemakers.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Weekly Menu~ January 4

Lunch~ Macaroni and cheese, orange & apple slices
Dinner~Chicken Noodle Soup, veggie sticks, Hamburgers

Lunch~Ravioli, Toasted Cheese, Fruit
Dinner~ Spaghetti, Garlic Knots, broccoli

Lunch~Tomato Soup, toasted cheese, fruit
Dinner~ Lentil Rice Tacos*, rice, pineapple, corn

Lunch~Peanutbutter & Jelly, Chicken noodle soup, fruit or veggies
Dinner~Fish, Shrimp poppers, broccoli normandy, pears

Lunch~Soup, bread, fruit
Dinner~ Pizza or Strombolis, veggie sticks, fruit

Lunch~ Leftovers
Dinner~Steak Stir Fry/out to chinese if the kids are good

Sunday (Crock Pot Day)
Lunch~ Ramen noodles, leftovers
Diinner~ Bar-b-que pork roast, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, fruit

Taco Style Lentils & Rice

3/4 cup dry lentils
3/4 cup brown rice**
4 cups tap water
4 beef bouillon cubes
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

In a 2-quart saucepan bring the water to a boil. As the water is heating, add the lentils, rice, bouillon, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, and garlic powder. Bring the whole thing to a nice fat boil. Reduce the heat to low. Place a lid on the lentils and allow the mixture to simmer for about 45 to 50 minutes. The water should be mostly absorbed. You may serve this as it, topped with a little cheddar cheese if desired. Or you can use it to fill burritos or tacos instead. Both ways are very tasty.

**if you want to get the most nutrients out of your brown rice (or have super tender tummies like my house) Put the rice in the pan with 1 C of cold water and 1 TBSP of cider vinegar. Drain before cooking and follow the recipe as directed.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! What are your plans for this New Year? My first plan is to stay warm :-). I've been freezing cold for the past week. It seems that we're unseasonably cold, but I think reality is I'm just not used to it since the snow came late this year.

We will be working with Bean to use a big girl cup. No more sippys. It will make my life a little messier for a month or so, but it will be nice not to have to worry about dragging cups with us wherever we go. She will also be getting a big girl bed and moving out of her toddler bed some time in the next two months. My goal is to have the crib/toddler bed put away before Little Bit arrives. My last goal for Beanie is actually one she instituted herself. She is giving up naps. I am hoping that she will quickly learn the proper rest time procedure for resting on the couch. Even the Boy lays down on the couch for 30 minutes each afternoon and I will be in desperate need of that time myself once we get closer to and Little Bit arrives.

For the three big kids, Bug, Bear, and the Boy, I want them to pick up more responsibility around the house. Keeping their rooms clean, making their beds, putting away their clean clothes, clearing off their dirty dishes. I guess my goal for them is to return to the habit of keeping their chore charts and earning their allowance. I do have a few things I want to add in for Bug & Bear, like unloading the dishwasher. Bug also enjoys mopping and vacuuming, so I need to let go of those responsibilities and let her share in those chores too.

For myself...boy do I have a long list. I'll try to keep it brief, knowing that I will probably not make it through this month before most of them fall by the wayside. First, I want to cement the habit of daily prayer and Bible study time for myself. I go in fits and starts with this, which, I know is better than what used to do...nothing, but I so long to cement this habit in my life. I know everything runs smoother, chores get done, and I am a more patient, fun mom when I have my relationship with God is right. I want to blog at least 3 times each week, one of those times being my weekly lunch and dinner menu, which I hope to do a better job sticking to. The last main goal I have is to create a housekeeping routine and stick to it. Something along the lines of I have followed Flylady in the past and always "fallen off the wagon". I want to use the parts that work for me and stick to them.

I hope your New Year is full of Blessings and God's Best.