Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Dinner


Orange Cream Italian Sodas
Summer Sourdough...I let it raise outside in the sunshine
Tommy's Crab Salad

Monday, June 28, 2010


Gourmet dinners are such the treat, but I refuse to be in the kitchen for too long when the sun is out! Here is a fancy schmanzy dinner to serve your family or if you are having company {or both!}...and nobody will ever know you weren't slaving all day in a HOT kitchen!

Lemonade with fresh lime and mint
Chips and Salsa if you want
Corn on the Cob
Green Salad...because you need your GREENS!
BBQ Mexican Chicken

What is your favorite "go to" dinner when it is HOT? Going out does NOT count! :)

adapted from a fancy schmanzy restaurant
{on a date night with MR. PEARSON}

Soak 6 chicken breasts in salt water overnight.

Rinse until water runs clear.

Place chicken in crockpot with 1 bottle Trader Joe’s Bold and Smoky Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce

1 cup Good Seasons Italian Dressing {prepared} or your favorite Italian Dressing
Crockpot chicken on low for 6-8 hrs.

Put on serving platter.

Put the following on top of each chicken breast:


Daisy Sour Cream

Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese

Sliced Green Onions

Sliced Olives

Sliced Avocado

shared with: comfy in the kitchen

Summer Giveaway

Yep. Yep. It is finally Summer here in the Pacific Northwest. To celebrate lots of gatherings, entertaining, picnics and casual get-togethers, I am giving away two adorable, fun aprons. I don't know about you, but wearing aprons are not just for in the kitchen. I feel just SOOOOO domesticated when I put one on. You can wear it when you are gardening, crafting, doing laundry, bathing babies...they will love these polka-dotted beauties...or sipping a glass of sun-tea on the deck while the kiddies are having their one hour "time-out"...or should I say while YOU are having your "time-out". Right now, I would LOVE for someone to tell me to go to my room for an hour...especially since it is laundry day. YUCK! Oh well, fresh sheets and pillows that have been washed and dried outside will be well-worth it tonight.

Back to the aprons. Just leave a comment as to what you would do with a one hour block of time...your chores don't count. Dream if you have to.

Giveaway ends on Wednesday at 12:00 Pacific Standard Time. Check back to see if you won! Have fun!

I am going to try the random.org this time. We will see if I can get it to work.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Family Day/Night and Making Memories

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Having a set time for your family to have fun together allows you to be a healthy family unit that is strong and capable of loving and nurturing those around you who may not have family or who have maybe NEVER experienced what it means to be a family. Again, I am not saying all circumstances have to be PERFECT to entertain and have people in your home. I justy think that when the family is functioning together, it is very natural to want to share what YOU have with those around you.
Here is our family chart. It may not be practical for you to do it on a weekly basis, but it is an idea for you to get it on paper and to do it. Over the years, we have changed days, changed our style etc. but it is a way for you to create memories for your family together and then some ways for you to make memories by including those around you: Neighbors, co-workers, teachers, friends, new people at church, ones without family, students from a local college, etc.

Family Day/Night

This is the day or night each week that we spend together as a family.
We can use this time to work, play, worship, and grow together.

ACTIVITY: This person gets to choose the family activity for family time.

DEVOTIONAL: This person gets to deliver a family devotional.

SERVANT: This person takes prayer requests during devotions and leads prayer time.

TREAT: This person gets to choose the treat for family time.

"The great value of traditions comes as they give a family asense of identity and belongingness. All of us desperately nned to feel that we're not just a cluster of people living together in a house, but we're a family that's conscious of its uniqueness, its personality, charachter and heritage, and that our special relationships of love and companionship make us a unit with identity and personality." Dr. James Dobson

Children love things that happen repeatedly. These ideas can be kept simple, but they can grow to make a family tradition...in our case Charlie Brown Thanksgiving the night before Thanksgiving is a FAVORITE! {Jelly beans, opcorn, pretzels etc. for dinner...just like Charlie Brown, but we have added in fish sticks and tater tots!}

THEME NIGHT: Thursday Taco Night, Friday Pizza and Movie Night, Sunday Soup and Salad Night etc. These evenings will give everybody something o look forward to. When situations are crazy and uncertain...a family tradition can be just what the Dr. ordered.

SHARING MEMORIES: There are times when we do not have time to reflect back to how things were when we were young. Our children do not get a chance to hear how things were when we were their ages. Mealtime is a great way to talk about family camping trips, a special Christmas vacation etc. This is also a great opportunity to share a special letter or story you have read recently. If you are having company for dinner, be sure to include them. They will really enjoy this. You will be suprised what others can share.

YOU ARE SPECIAL PLATE: ANOTHER MUST-HAVE! These make creative birthday, wedding, and even baby shower gifts. We use ours all of the time. I would say on a weekly basis. Friends even "expect" it at times. It has really become a fun tradition. We actually have two now. This plate is used when a member of the family ro friend is to be honored, such as Father's Day, Mother's Day, a birthday, after having received a good report card {EVEN A "D"...don't ask!} or after a friend has completed a huge project etc.

DINNERS FOR OTHERS: As a family, we are striving to learn to care more, to love more unselfishly and trying to reach into our community with a compassionate heart. Even if you are purchasing a rotisserie chicken from Costco, taking a bottle of 7 UP to a neighbor with the flu or having your children pick some flowers from the yard...it is showing your children how important it is to care for others.

MY SPECIAL DINNER: Once a month, have each child prepare dinneer for the family. Let the child help you shop for groceries and help prepare the food. Use this project as a means for the child to learn about nutrition, about the effort involved in preparing the meal, the expense of food etc. Encourage them to invite company over...their choice! What a great way to teach them at a young age the gift of hospitality. {As young adults they are able to budget grocery money...and do the grocery shopping for us!}

Our budget envelope: Since allowance was not given out to do regular chores etc, but given out as a way to teach our children how to tithe, save, and spend money on birthday gifts etc...we would budget $10 a week for family night. It was fun to see the children "save" together for bowling, miniature golfing, the batting cages, ice cream out etc. This would mean doing something for free until enough money was earned! This was the perfect tool to teach them how to save for family activities as they grow up and have their own families. Our fun outings were appreciated and we loved the memories made even more because they were carefully planned for and made special by the anticipation of saving for them!

Ideas gleaned from my parents, my hubby and from Dobson

Shared with: women living well

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Kiddies in the Kitchen...It's a Family Affair!

Could NOT wait to write about this. This is one of my very favorite subjects. I know. I have a lot of favorites!

Here are some ideas to help you get your kiddies involved in the mealtime experience. It can be fun and educational. I honestly don't think that you can start with this one too early. If they can toddle with toys, they can certainly toddle with measuring cups and spoons!

*Have them hold things for you. If they are in the highchair snacking on Cheerios, they can have a few "safe" things that you will be using to bake or cook with...even if it is a pot holder ot tea towel.

*Teach young children to count when you are using measuring cups.

*They love stirring ingredients together. Sometimes I would give my kiddies a bowl of their own with a bit of flour in it to "stir".

*They can help get things set up. If you are baking, have them get out the rolling pin, sprinkles, cupcake liners...whatever.

*Purchase a small rolling pin. {Cost Plus World Market} Have them roll out their own piece of dough for cookies or bread or just give them some playdough. This will keep them occupied for quite some time. Add in a few cookie cutters and they will love you.

*Put some water in the sink with a bit of soap and let them do the "prep" dishes...even if they have to be washed again later-by you. :)

*For little ones, you can place a small basin of water on a towel on the kitchen floor and let them "wash" clean dishes. This teaches them that they are needed at a very young age. Be sure they are always supervised!!! Never unattended.

*Get down on their level. Peel potatoes, carrots etc. on the kitchen floor over a basin so they can watch and "help".

*Have them help set the table. Even if you are holding them, they can put a napkin by the plate. Not perfect. Just helping you so they get in the habit early. Their little contributions will pay off in the end. Trust me!

*Young children can fold napkins. Bright-colored ones are a huge incentive. They love them. IKEA always has a great variety to choose from! Party stores have discontinued patterns on clearance for pennies.

*Send them out to the yard to pick flowers to make an arrangement. Even if it ends up being leaves and dandelions. They will feel proud to have contributed to the beautiful tablescape! i think every Mom needs a little spice jar for flowers picked by their kidddies. There is something about a flower picked by your son. Moms, remember it is these little boys who will one day be picking or bringing flowers home to their wives!

*They can help clear the table. Toddlers love to help. Really they do. Unless they are covered from head to toe with spaghetti sauce and they need to be rushedd to the tub...have them take something from the table back to the kitchen. This is not about child labor, but letting them know they are vital to your family.

*When they are a little older have them find containers to store leftovers. Our kiddies LOVED this. This helps teach them important estimation skills. You may end up having a lot more dishes to wash if they have a hard time, but they will become really good at it, eventually. It was always a huge deal when they got things to fit on the first try!

I saved THE BEST for last. If you don't have a basket or container with dividers, {they are usually sold during the summer in the outdoor entertaining section at Target} DO NOT WALK. RUN as fast as your little feet can go and invest in one. They are most likely already marked down. They are perfect for keeping knives, fork,spoons and napkins in. HELLO! That is what they are intended for, but they are perfect for the kiddies to carry around the table as they are setting it. A simple solution to all the trips back and forth with the right amount of silverware and napkins. And since we are picnic fanatics, it is always ready for a picnic dinner on the deck. For a quick picnic at the park, you can replace your silverware with disposabe cutlery, paper plates and napkins.

Doing these things may add some extra time and work into getting a meal ready and cleaned up, but the process will be very rewarding for your family. It is living generationally. Knowing that the little things you are teaching your children day by day, week by week and year by year are worth it. Knowing that with God's help you are molding future husbands, wives, dads and moms should inspire you to take the time and make the effort.

I am constantly having to ask God for patience and for wisdom and having to apologize to my family, but I can assure you, God always keeps His promises. I know that when I am seeking Him in raising my children, He gives me the strength I need for that day.

What is your favorite way to have your kiddies help you in the kitchen?

Have a Happy, Happy Wednesday!

Shared with: at the picket fence

Chore Chart ,Summer Routines, and mini banana cream trifles in a jar {FINALLY!}

Chore Chart:

Our chore chart was made for our family of four. If you have a smaller family or a bigger family, you can tweak it to what you need for your family. There are some things that are just asked to be done, but the main things are on the chart.

Also, we revised this from when the children were younger, so you will need to tone the job description down for younger babes.

Our chart breaks down to one child being on housekeeping and the other on kitchen help. We always had the kids on their job for one week instead of changing it every day because it allowed us to really teach them how to do things well and master it before switching jobs. Plus when children are younger, it is easier for them to KNOW "this is your job/resposibility for the whole week".

Chore Chart

We are all responsible to help keep our home a clean and livable space which means we all are responsible to clean up after ourselves as well as cleaning up messes we find as we go through our day. Doing these little things will give us more time to have fun as a family and do things for others.

Housekeeping job listing and description:

1. Vacuuming: Vacuum bedrooms and family room being sure to pick up and or move objects that are in the path of vacuum.

2. Laundry: follow verbal instructions from mom regarding loading, rotating, running loads. Help fold, sort, and put away laundry that is done being washed and dried.

3. Clear Table: This entails waiting until everyone is finished with dinner and then clearing all items from the table and helping to put away all leftovers etc…

Kitchen helper job listing and description:

1. Grocery shopping: Help with menu planning, shopping, and putting away groceries after shopping.

2. Dinner prep: assist cook with getting dinner ready. This may include actually assisting with cooking as well as making sure all dinner prep dishes are done and dishwasher is unloaded if necessary.

3. Set Table: This job is pretty self explanatory keep in mind setting the table includes setting out all dressings and condiments for a meal as well.

Note: If you will be unable to do your assigned job it is YOUR responsibility to arrange a trade of duties or to set up ahead of time if possible.

As soon as the kids got home after their last day of school and we had our traditional dinner out celebrating the arrival of summer vacation, it was time for our "ANNUAL COME TO JESUS MEETIN'".

We would talk about summer plans. It was lots of fun. We would also talk about maintaining a "schedule" during the summer. {You might want to stop reading right about now if you are "fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants" because this will drive you insane. I admire Moms who have the ability to do whatever, whenever, but since I am a clean-freak and control-freak...this is our happy medium for our family!}
I found that when things are "done" we all have way more fun and are able to help others with projects, knowing that home life is not complete mayhem.

Okay. Onward we go.

The children could stay up later and sleep in longer...BUT, nothing changed as far as chores were concerned. They were welcome and encouraged to trade jobs if they had something else interfere with their job.

It was fun as their parents to watch them wheel and deal with eachother and on occasion, old-fashioned bartering was even a means of getting the job done!

We tried individual chore charts, but felt like if the chart was posted on the fridge {a central location} we would learn to work more together as a family...a team...instead of as individuals. We have plenty of that in our society! It has been absolutely AWESOME!

Summer Routines:

KITCHEN TIMER! BEG,BORROW,{DO NOT STEAl} or BUY yourself a kitchen timer. I am not even kidding. This little gem has been my bff for many summers. I love and adore my children, but when they stopped taking naps, I thought I was going to die! Literally. I was patient and kind, but after lunch was over and their batteries were re-charged for an afternoon filled with more energy-sapping activities, I decided summer was not going to be one big three-month party. {I am so mean!} who in real-life has three months off anyway?! :) It was going to be a bit more structured. Have you ever tried getting your kids back into a routine after a three month hiatus? It is Nasty. Believe me!

I went out and bought a portable timer. I bought the kids timers, too. They would set them for one hour. Yes, you read that right. ONE FULL GLORIOUS HOUR. They had to be in their rooms. They owed me one hour of reading. It was amazing. It gave them some quiet and it gave me time to get things done or to take a cat nap, so I was able to be a really fun Momma for the rest of the day. I could get phone calls made, notes written etc. plus it allowed the kids to know exactly how much time they had. It kept their minds sharp and they knew it wasn't all about me being the entertainer and activities director. By the way, boys are WAY more interested in a wrist watch with all kinds of buttons. Pretty sure Caleb spent quite a bit of time on his watch instead of reading. :)Still, it was worth it to me.

I know this sounds really regimented, but it is really freeing. I was hesitant to writing posts on this, but since I was asked by a few people, I thought I would. It is so much more than "chores". It is learning how to function together as a well-oiled machine. It is learning to be sensitive to others needs.

As strict as we were with chores, we wanted them to learn the value of being servants, too. If a child was having a rough morning or week, we would suggest the other child help the struggling one out. This has by far been one we have found to BLESS our family and really create a bond between our children. It has also been a perfect teaching opportunity for us as parents to demonstrate grace and mercy to them as well. How refreshing it is to offer to help or do your child's chores for them and for them to be genuinely appreciative! Another tangible way for us as parents to demonstrate God's attributes to our children.

Be sure to have fun! After all, school is OUT and summer vacation is HERE. Enjoy lots of ice cream, watermelon, Slurpees, water from the garden hose, leftover berry pie for breakfast, strawberry shortcake, midnight S'MORES and don't forget to pack mini banana cream trifles in little canning jars for your evening picnic at the park!

shared with: inspirational friday

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Chores 4 Children

When it comes to parenting and chores for children, everyone {and I do mean EVERYONE!} has an opinion.

After getting a message from my friend Michelle, I thought it would be a good idea to start off the summer with some ideas that have worked for our family. I would love for you to contribute your own suggestions. Even if you don't have children or if your children have children of their own, I am sure you have something to contribute. We could all benefit from your experiences that have NOT worked as well!

************************************** DISCLAIMER************************************
I am by no means an expert in child-rearing and child-development, in fact we told our kids when they were young, "this is the way we are doing things, and we will pay for counseling later if it didn't work!" So far, college savings is still in tact and has not needed to be dipped into for child counseling services! Now we are in the safe zone-thanks to EAP!

Basic Chores: AGES 2 through adulthood {your spouse!}

1. Make bed
2. Make sure clothes are picked up
3. Make sure everything is picked up off the floor

That is it! Simple.Simple.Simple.

Before breakfast, this was{IS!} their responsibility. I would wake them up with my silly little, "wakey, wakey, little snakey" "uppy, uppy, little guppy" whatever it would take to get their sleepy little heads up. Then hugs and kisses. Then down to business.
I would set the "breakfast timer". They would know that it was their responsibility to have their chores done before breakfast. I know. I am mean, but let me tell you...their future bosses will be writing us thank you notes on company letterhead!
It is very do-able for toddlers to pull the blankets up on their bed to make it...and easy for them to clean things off the floor. Even if you have a basket for them to put it into so that you can put things away for them later. At this age, you are just trying to make them aware of picking up behind their little selves. TRUST ME, there is nothing worse than having older children/adults who expect others to pick up behind them. I am sure we have all worked with somebody like that! NOT fun!

I am not saying this is every time a toy hits the floor or a puzzle is pulled out. You have to allow time for them to be children and have legos, army men, hot wheels, stuffed animals, or baby dolls strewn about and played with. What I am saying is that you can have designated clean up times wheather they are right after play time or at the end of the day. Keeping in mind that clean up time needs to be kept at an age appropriate level.

When our son was in kindergarten, I went in to pick him up after school and his teacher took me aside. Not unusual at all. Anyway, she said,"Caleb metioned that he wasn't allowed to have breakfast before school this morning." In her concerned, baby-talking-to-me-with her head-tilted-kinda-way. As if I was a young mom who had no clue about parenting {which I still don't!} I stood up tall in my CLOGS and said, "Yep. Actually, he chose not to have breakfast. His chores weren't done by the time breakfast was ready so he spent that time taking care of his room." I was wondering if she was going to call CPS. She just looked at me like I was insane to have such high expectations for a kindergardener. The next time I saw her, she took me aside AGAIN and told me she wished more parents had higher expectations for their children, because Caleb was always so willing to help "work" and assist her when she needed help and we must be doing something right. WHEW!!! Dodged that bullet!

Start small and as they grow, you can fine-tune the details. It makes them aware of the need that things do need to be done and then they really enjoy the freedom of play time.

Teaching our children good work ethics starts at a very young age.

There is something so rewarding about instilling in them the reward of good, hard work.

We all know how observant our babies are. They take everything in and they learn very quickly from us. So it is up to us to model a healthy and good attitude toward our chores as well.

The main thing to remember is that if your children are YOUNG, they are learning. If your children are older and you haven't had them doing chores, be gentle, they are learning, too. This should be enjoyable.

Their chores do not have to be done perfectly {NO hospital corners and white glove inspections, okay?} You are teaching them to do a good {not perfect :)} job so that when they are older, they will be responsible adults with a good work ethic.

When your children are helping, and possibly making MORE work for you, make sure to praise them even if it isn't what you expect. What you are really trying to do is to allow them to be a major contributor to the success and well-being of your family. Remind them of how their happy attitude is pleasing to the Lord.

Summer is the perfect time to implement chores.
You will have bigger blocks of time to help them and even more time to play together!

If chores have not been a priority, start with a clean slate. Help your child organize their room and then help them with the basic three chores until they are on their own. I am sure you can get creative!

As our children grow into adults, I believe it is the little chores that they are taught right off the bat, that mold their views on what it means to be responsible on so many more levels in life. It is their basic chores that eventually become careers that need to be done well in order to provide for school, bills, and a home of their own.

I thank God for my husband and for the Dad he had who provided him with such a good example of what a blessing good hard work is.

Thank you, honey for being an amazing example to our children of the hardest "workin' man" I know and for leading our family in grace and strength. Thank you for coming alongside of me and helping our children with their chores and having such a happy attitude toward helping us.
Most of all, thank you for your humble prayers and allowing our children to see that it is God's strength, not yours, that has allowed your hard work to lead to your many achievements in life.

"Whatever you do, work at it with ALL your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. Colossians 3:23

P.S. CHORE CHART coming Tuesday!

Friday, June 18, 2010

{mini} pizza

It has been so much fun doing a {mini} week. I think I have become a bit obsessed. There are so many more fun things to do with little things! Oh well. :)

YAY! It's Friday! Generally speaking, that means pizza night at the Pearson Home. We love it. The kids love it. Friends love it. It is perfect, because if somebody doesn't like something, it doesn't have to be piled on top.

Well, sometimes it is NOT convenient to make the dough or to get out the Roulpat and rolling pin even if you cheated and bought dough from Trader Joes or your local Pizza shop.

SOOO, we are going to do it the easy, no mess way, okay?

Here is what you need:
English muffins {without HFCS, PLEASE!}
Chef Boyardee Pizza Sauce
Shredded cheese...I am using leftover cheese and olives from taco night when the kids shredded lotsa cheese....
and whatever toppings you wish for!

Here is what you do:

Split English muffins
Place on SILPAT
Top with sauce and spread with spoon
Cover with cheese
Garnish with toppings

Bake at 425 for at least 10 minutes or until nice and toasty and golden brown.

Easy Menu:
Mini Pizza
Carrot and celery sticks and apples
Hanes or HOT LIPS SODA POP...it's Friday! You all deserve a little treat.

P.S. This is fun for little ones. They can have a lot of fun making faces with olives, cut pepperoni etc. They love to help and they are more apt to eat it when they "make their own". It is awesome to teach them to think of others as well. Maybe they can make one for YOU. Imagine how proud they will be to know you are liking something they made just for YOU.

NEXT WEEK: Chores 4 Children and summer routine ideas {thank you, Michelle and Carolyn for the gentle reminders.} Be thinking so you can share YOUR ideas. I'm tired of my own!

Happy Friday! xoxo

Thursday, June 17, 2010

{mini} breakfast condiments

I think little condiments set out on the breakfast table are OH.SO.ADORABLE. It is always a surprise to see what will accompany Saturday morning pancakes, waffles or crepes. Here are two things that are staples in our home. It takes a little planning ahead, but it is a healthy alternative to the cost of spendy natural jams and syrups.

Homemade Syrup...that would make Aunt Jemima and Mrs. Butterworth SWOON!


1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 Tbsp. Instant Clear Jel

1 cup fresh cold water

2 Tbsp. Organic Blue Agave Sweetener {Trader Joes}

1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract...you really want the real stuff.  Trust me.  :}


Place sugars and Clear Jel into medium saucepan.

Stir to mix ingredients.

Add 1 cup fresh cold water

Add agave sweetener.

Stir until sugars dissolve.

Add vanilla.

Bring to boil.

Let boil for 1 minute.  Make sure your saucepan is big enough.  Burnt sugar is nasty clean off your stove top!

Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Strain to remove any lumps of Clear Jel.
No HFCS and no preservatives.

Serve and Savor!

Clear Jel Freezer Jam

Put six mini{8oz.}Mason Jars through the dishwasher. After the drying cycle, set jars right side up on a clean tea towel.


6 cups berries {Costco has the large bags of frozen berries that work GREAT}

1 1/2 to 2 cups sugar

6 Tbsp. Instant Clear Jel {available through King Arthur or at the Decorette Shop}


Place berries in large bowl and mash away...I LOVE THIS!!  {I use my BIG INDUSTRIAL SIZE IKEA POTATO MASHER}

Mix sugar and Clear Jel together.

Add sugar mix to berries...mash until sugar is dissolved.

Let sit for about 15 minutes

Take a one cup measure and scoop into mini jars, seal and freeze.
There will be just a tiny bit left to enjoy on a warm piece of toast or to put in a homemade berry milkshake!

The best thing about this jam is the fact that there is no YUCKY gelatin in it.  My friend's hubby was using gelatin in bow-making this week.  Perfect for alot of things...but I personally can not think about it in food.  I know.  I have issues...  :}


For clear jel info:  food safety...and while you are at it you may want to look into how gelatin is made.  :}


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

{mini} handmade berry pie

M was once a mini-pie,
YUMMY insidy, mini-pie!

I used leftover berry syrup for my fruit filling. I thickened it right out of the fridge {no need to heat!} with a bit of CLEARJEL. Grammy's Pie Crust with a bit of lemon zest was just right. I used a 4 inch round, fluted DEMARLE cookie cutter for the dough and put about 1 tsp. of filling in the center. Use fork tines to seal the half-moon pie and brush with a silicone pastry brush dipped in one beaten egg. Sprinkle coarse sugar on top. Put the pies on Silpat{if you don't have one you NEED one} and bake at 425 for about 15 minutes. Aren't they sweet? Just small enough to enjoy with a cup of tea. That's right. HOT TEA.
It is going to be comfort food here because I am celebrating FALL until summer decides to show it's beautiful little face again. Maybe we will even have a fire INSIDE!! :) Too bad my honey isn't here to cuddle me tonight. Okay. That is it. Enough rambling.

Little rhyme adapted from Edward Lear...thank you Mr. Lear! :)

Shared with: tempt my tummy tuesday, titus tuesday

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

{mini} Make and Take...Lunch for One

What is not to love about taking a litttle lunch to a friend. If you have leftovers, it is not a bad thing to share. Half the time it tastes better the second day anyway.

I just love this mini stainless steel Asian lunch box. They can be purchased at New Seasons market, Cost Plus World Market or online at Pearl River.

Last night we had a picnic dinner...and since I had leftovers, I am taking them to two people. It is perfect. I get the chance to drop it off and chat for a minute or two or three...and they don't have to think about what to make for lunch.

The tag is recycled from a new shirt. I just stamped a piece of scrap paper and glued it on top of the price tag and scrunched it a bit since the tag was already crumpled up!

Last night's picnic menu:

Asian Noodle Salad with three side sauces: soy sauce, homemade peanut sauce, Sriracha
Fresh Strawberries {I left in the fridge!}
Newman's Own Lemonade with fresh mint and slices of lemon
Chocolate Cheesecake tarts

One of the friends brought pb and j's for the kids and the other friend brought an assortment of chips. Simple, nutritious and so much fun to get together!

A VERY EASY luncheon idea:

The host can provide the cooked and chilled noodles. The guests can bring Quart size Ziploc bags with toppings. Here are a few examples: chopped cilantro, shredded carrots, baby spinach, tiny slices of Mexican limes, chopped red peppers, chopped purple cabbage, baby mandarins, craisins etc.. Set out side sauces and you have a simple nutritious lunch that can be pulled off at the last minute.

Monday, June 14, 2010

{mini} Chocolate Cheesecake Tart

Fill mini tart molds with brownie batter. Only fill about 1/4 of the way. Bake until done. Let cool. Freeze. Spread with no-bake cheesecake filling. Freeze. Pop out of mold. May top with whipped cream...if you want the full effect! Top with fresh, sliced strawberry. Drizzle with chocolate ganache. Serve and enjoy!

If you aren't making homemade {that would be ME!} I buy the Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Family size. It is $1.42 at Winco. I wont tell if you don't tell that it does have Partially Hydrogenated oil in it. Just be sure to eat your organic fruits and veggies and Spring Water and you should be just fine. :)

No-Bake Cheesecake Filling:

8 oz. cream cheese, room temp
1/2 cup sugar...scant {just a little less}
1/3 cup Daisy Brand sour cream {no yucky ingredients. Just cream.100% pure&natural!}
1 tsp. pure lemon extract
zest of 1 lemon

Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the rest of ingredients. Spread filling on cooled brownie. Be sure to wrap frozen dessert if not serving for awhile to keep freezer odors OUT!


1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup good quality semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla

Bring whipping cream to boil. Remove from heat. Add chocolate chips and vanilla. Let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk until creamy. Drizzle over desserts. May be kept in fridge and reheated to serve.

This is great served on ice cream, crepes, waffles, put into milk...and there aren't any extra chemicals...which makes all of us mommies very happy!

Shared with: Comfy in the kitchen

Sunday, June 13, 2010

"the sweetest things are the smallest things"


Join me this week in celebration of all things small! Summer is almost here, kids are almost out of school, and fun is to be had!
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Friday, June 11, 2010

Picnic at the Pittock

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Being Still and Knowing GOD IS GOD

I promise this is the last of graduation stuff.

I have to admit the last couple of days have been an adjustment.

Hubby was gone for his 24 hr. shift, Rissy was on her senior trip and Caleb went to Sunriver with his Poppi to watch the new hot tub be delivered. Even though he is 16, the boy never tires of a roadtrip with his buddy! {Scott's DAD}

We went from major busyness and our home being filled to the brim with lots and lots of hub-bub to nothing. I know for some of you that sounds like heaven on earth, but it isn't for me AT ALL.

I have had time to be still and to really put this next chapter of my life into God's ever loving hands...not to mention NEEDING to trust Him even more with the lives my growing children. How sweet to know, though that they are even more precious to Him than they are to me. After all, they are His. So grateful He has entrusted them to us and I am BLESSED to have them.. They fill our home with noise, love, fun, rough times, memorable times, tears, late night , early mornings, fireside chats, etc. ,but the times I enjoy most are the times we have to pray together...all of us in our King -SIZED bed {with lots of pillows and a little doggie!} trusting God to take care of us and the ones we hold dear to our hearts and for those we don't even know who are struggling.

So when you are longing for a little peace and quiet...know that it will be here sooner than you think and LOVE,LOVE,LOVE the time you have to teach your children of God's goodness while they still like to jump in your bed and learn what it means for their little hearts to trust in a very mighty GOD.

Tonight, I am looking forward to "Being still and knowing that God IS God" with my bed filled with kids, kisses, hugs and NOISE!

Pictures taken by Rob Buster! Thank you for the pictures and for your family's friendship!

Shared with: Scripture and a snapshot

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"His eye is on the Sparrow" baby gift package


NEW!!!! Please e-mail for questions and orders.

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Open House Menu


Lemonade and Lemon Water
Olive Garlic Cheese Spread
Pita Chips
Kettle Chips
Veggies and Ranch Dippers
Strawberry Spinach Salad
MaryAnne's Korean Beef Skewers
MaryAnne's Terriyaki Chicken Skewers
Zesty Strawberry Shortcake
Kim's Chocolate Trifle

We had a ton of leftovers. We sent three coolers full with the seniors on their senior trip, and still had a few leftover veggies and strawberries.

So, on Monday night, I made stir fry with the veggies and made strawberry jam with INSTANT CLEARJEL using leftover strawberries. Watch for a post on homemade syrup and no cook strawberry jam using INSTANT CLEARJEL. It is the BEST stuff ever!
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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pink Lemonade Cake

Here it is. The much-anticipated recipe. I think I have gotten more e-mails asking about this recipe than anything else!

My friend Tammy and I met at Petite Provence to plan her grand-baby's baby shower! She is one of those friends who brightens your day! She has the biggest,most contagious smile EVER. She loves her family and cares for them in such a loving way that just inspires me and encourages me that no matter the age of your children...they need you and you NEED them.

As we were chatting and planning baby shower colors and details, she showed me a magazine with a picture of the the cake she was thinking about making. As soon as I read PINK LEMONADE CAKE, I was already imagining how good it would taste! {For those of you who are also lemon/lemonade lovers} She entrusted me with her one and only copy so I could make it.

I can never leave a recipe alone...but by the third try, it was perfect! Boy.oh.boy. is this a keeper.

Pink Lemonade Cake {Adapted from Southern Lady}
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temp
1 ¼ cups sugar
3 eggs, room temp
1 Tbsp. soy flour
1 tsp. pure lemon extract
4 cups cake flour
4 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. sea salt
2 ½ cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350. Spray 3{9-inch} round cake pans with baking spray with flour. {I made 12 individual mini cakes in my Demarle flexi tray}
Beat butter, sugar and dry drink mix at medium speed until fluffy.
Add eggs and lemon extract.
In a separate bowl: Combine cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
Add dry mix with butter mix. Mix and add buttermilk.
Spoon batter into prepared pans.
Bake for 24 to 30 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool. Wrap in Saran Wrap and freeze.
Frost with your favorite buttercream frosting while frozen. Serve and enjoy!

I put some fresh Oregon berries {THANK YOU, KIM!} and whipping cream on it to see how it would taste! OH.MY!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Graduation Open House {Simple Decorations}

My favorite FIRST: Laurissa at 4 months! Isn't she cute?!

Our son with friends

Scott and I with Laurissa

Simple gifts for Laurissa's friends...we used leftover pink tags and stamped them

A paper banner with ribbon. Numbers printed with our favorite font

Gratitude and posies were the "theme"

Posies were made with scrap paper. I didn't have white brads at 4 AM, so I used fingernail polish to paint them. I used floral foam to keep them upright while I painted them and waited for them to dry. It sure beats the nasty gold color!

Simple centerpiece! Potted flowers from Fred Meyer

Target pails from the dollar section. If you buy white, you can change the color scheme with a simple piece of ribbon to go along with your theme

We needed the baskets from the nooks for graduation cards, so I was left with two empty shelves in the island. I filled two mixing bowls with peonies from our yard and we had one more little touch to carry our theme...for free!