I just have not been able to find the time to post anything lately and I am sure a lot of people haven't had time to check in anyway. We have been getting ready for Christmas. My sister and brother are coming down on Thursday. My grandad(mom's dad) and grandmother are coming from Washington. We are all supposed to go to my Aunt Darla's(mom's sister) house for Christmas dinner. It will be a good time I am sure!! Darla just became a grandma again on Sunday. My cousin Tony and his wife Jessica just had a baby girl. She is coming home from the hospital today so we will all have a brand new baby to hold on Christmas. I still have a ton of laundry to get folded and put up but the kids have really been a big help this week on getting the house cleaned. OH! To share a blessing...I have talked some about Monty's job being sooo slow lately. He has not even been getting 40 hours for the past 3 or 4 weeks. This has hit us REALLY hard, especially since we are used to him having some overtime just about every week. Well the company decided that all full time employees get to have Christmas Eve, Christmas day , and the day after off for the holiday. He got home by 9:30pm last night so at least we know he will have 3 full 8 hour days this week. Also, they have decided to shuffle some of the shifts around, so as of January 12, he will work 12pm to 8pm instead of 330pm to 12 am. He was hoping to move to the first shift but this will be good. He should be more sure of at least 8 full hours and also if the night shift needs help he can always stay for overtime. We are not a go to bed at 830 get up at 630 start school by 800 kinda family. We are all night time kinda people, so if he gets home by 830pm, my kids will get to spend time with dad everyday. That will be something new for us all and we can't wait!! We haven't told the kids yet but I know they will be ecstatic!! Well I hope you all have a Wonderful Christmas!!!
I have not posted recipes on here before but tonight I decided to share one of our all time favorites-homemade chicken pot pie. It is oh so good!! My family LOVES this so I use a large pan. This recipe would make about a cake size pan.
pie ingrediants: chicken 3 or 4 chopped potatoes 2 cans of mixed vegis cream of chicken sour cream
I boil a whole chicken and debone it(I use 1/2 the chicken for another meal). While I am deboning the chicken I add several chopped up potatoes to the broth. When the potatoes are soft, I add a few cans of mixed vegis and the chicken. I drain the broth keeping about a cup in with the chicken and vegis. Then add a small container of sour cream and can of cream of chicken some salt and pepper and mix well.
crust: 2 cup flour 2/3 cup oil 1/2 cup milk salt(I like onion salt) pepper
mix the crust and pinch peices off and press against sides and bottom of pan.
pour chicken mixture into bottom crust. for top crust, rollout between wax paper or saran wrap and lay on top of pie
put slices of butter on top and put in oven at 350*
about 30 minutes later, when the crust is golden brown, dinner is ready!
About 5 minutes after that-IT'S GONE!
This is an all time favorite. If anyone trys it, let me know what your family thinks. I have not yet decided if I should include more recipes on the blog. I just don't know if anyone really wants to read about them, so let me know how you feel about that.
Last night the kids put on their Christmas program at church. It was supposed to be pretty simple. Half of the stage was set up as a living room and the other half was the manger scene. The older kids and the teens where carolers. They came in singing, knocked on the door and were invited in to Mrs. Brown's "house" to warm up and hear her read the Christmas story from the Bible (Luke 2 1-20). After every few verses, the carolers sang an appropriate song. During Little town of Bethlehem, Joseph(Brandon) and Mary(Keslee)-holding the baby Jesus- walk down the aisle to the manger. They looked sooo sweet as Mary laid the Baby in the manger. After a few more Bible verses the Angels arrive and take their places around the couple. Then the sheep are herded in by 3 tiny (totally adorable) shepherds. As they take their places around the manger, one small shepherd(Caiden) tripped on the manger. Baby Jesus went flying and hay was Everywhere! The sheep began their grazing with help from the shepherds and a few angels. As Mary collected her Baby and laid him back in an almost empty bed, the others continued to crawl all over the stage collecting hay and putting it back where it belonged. One little sheep(Jeremiah) did escape and ran down the aisle to his mama. As one little angel(Trinity) stood over (via a bench) the scene, she picked hay from the top of the scene and tossed it gently into the air to watch it float down. With the spotlight on this little angel and everyone whispering her name, she remembers her solo "Hawk the hewald Angels sing, Gory to da new born Ting!" It was the sweetest solo ever!! The kids had a great time, the audience had a great laugh and the carolers were still able to sing their songs(for the most part). The message was delivered, even as our Lord was arriving- life was happening. The problems we all face everyday and the unplanned obstacles that pop up happened just the same 2000 years ago but our Savior still came. He could have called the whole thing off but He loves us so much that He chose to arrive amid the chaos and always be there beside us.
(I forgot my camera but if I can get some photos from someone, I will post them later.)
Friday we spent the day making Christmas candy. YUM! We made hard candy(cinnamon, root beer and watermelon), divinity, fudge and peanut butter fudge(my favorite!!). I was so excited that they ALL turned out great! I made the fudge from the recipe on the back of the marshmallow cream jar but used chips(chocolate and peanut butter) instead of baking chocolate. I burned my finger a few times while making the hard candy but what is one little blister, no pain no gain, right?! I was planning on using the day as a home-ec type class with lots of participation from the kids but then when I realized that we were gonna just have pots of boiling 300* sugar and syrup I had to seriously limit their participation. They still did get to help with the best part.... LICKING THE SPOONS!!!
AND CLEANING THE JARS!!!
RESULTING IN MESSY FACES!!
We are planning on doing some baking before Christmas so they will get to help out more.
The Christmas spirit is alive and well in our home! The kids have started the count down until they get to see their cousins again. Kenyon is missing Hunter, the only other boy besides 1 year old Ashton, so bad he can hardly stand it! Here are some of the signs that Christmas is near.... We finished painting our salt dough ornaments. They have not yet been added to the tree but they are done. The hardest part is not eating them because they look so much like cookies. Kalysa just could not stand it. One day(before the paint) she asked about eating them 4 or 5 times so I finally let her try it. She was quite excited and broke a piece off to share with Keslee. They tried and tried to chew the hard crunchy dough and when it finally got moist enough, they got a good taste. They both headed for the trash can to spit them out. I try to tell them that they should always trust what mama says but some things you just really have to see for yourself!
Mrs. Barbara, our neighbor across the street, called and said she had something for each of the kids. Kenyon ran over to retrieve it and brought back three Christmas tins....
filled with goodies!! They had cookies and candy and each of them were nice enough to share a cookie with mom(now that is what a cookie is supposed to taste like). The cookies did not last until dad got home but they did share Hershey's kisses with him.
LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!
Monty has gotten home early 3 days this week. It may hurt on payday but the kids definitely don't mind it. We always seem to play more games together around the holidays. Maybe because the weather is colder and the sun goes down early so the kids are actually in the house instead of playing outside. When Monty and I were dating, we always had game nights, just the 2 of us. It is something we don't do nearly enough now but something we all Love! I sat out this round so it was just dad and the kids. KALYSA WON!!
To top it all off-we even got some snow on Tuesday. Granted it was only about 1/2 inch and was gone the next morning, but it was snow none the less and it was really pretty coming down. The kids drug out the sled determined to go down the small hill in front of our house. They got to play outside for about 15 minutes before I went out and realized....IT WAS FREEZING COLD!!! I had to ruin the fun and make them come in. The wind was just too bitter cold for them to play outside. It gave us all a taste of winter and maybe we will actually get a good play outside kinda snow before it is all said and done.
Are there any definate signs of the Christmas season at your house?
I have made mention of pets before so I thought I would share our zoo with you.
KENZIE DIANE-cocker spaniel from one of the first litters my sis n law had when she started her kennel. Kenz is my baby and is spoiled rotten. She loves the kids, loves the cats and loves to go anywhere we go.
PEPPER-min. poodle given to us in hopes of having cockapoos but so far no luck. He is a really sweet boy but really drives me nuts. He seems to be glued to my ankle-he follows me everystep I take all day long!
JOHNNY CASH-my dad's min. wienie dog. We just call him Cash. He is also from Kacy's kennel and usually rides with dad on the truck(dad is a truck driver) but has stayed with us this week. He loves to run and CHEW and he sleeps at my(apparently I am dads substitute)feet UNDER the covers.
REECEE KATE-followed us home from the park a few months after we bought our house 3 years ago. She was a little bity kitten then and we left her outside all day hoping she would go home. When the sun went down and she got stuck in our tree, Keslee insisted she come in(to stay). She can usually be found in Keslee's bed(as pictured).
JEFFERSON THOMAS-was the neighbors but was a playful kitten and they have a baby they were afraid would get scratched so they gave him to the kids about 7 months ago. He is Keslee's baby and is perfectly content being held, dressed up, pushed in a stroller, wrapped in a blanket, draped over your shoulder, carried around in a purse- etc. Monty and I were afraid he would never be able to walk because he was not allowed to when Kes was around(he is still not). He is truly the sweetest, gentlest cat around.
SOFFIE JEAN-My baby. She is gorgeous and more than once has been victim to attempted kid(cat)nappers. She went missing for 6 months but found her way home. She has recently gone missing again so the kids and I are praying God will protect her and return her to us once again. I miss my Soffie!!
JASMINE-guinea pig Aunt Darla gave to the kids for Christmas last year. You would be amazed how much personality these things have! She loves to talk to us and will stand on her hind legs to get a treat.
I LOVE pets and Monty often accuses me of trying to start a zoo. I told him until I ask for an elephant(I LOVE ELEPHANTS!!) than he can't call it a zoo. I do agree that we are at our limit(maybe one over-anyone want a 6 year old min poodle?!?). As you can probably guess by the fact that I use "people" names (including middle names) that each of the pets are part of the family and we all love them all.
1.Getting to take the "Journey to Bethlehem" with the kids. It was such a neat experience that we ALL loved. Kenyon asked 1/2 way through if we can do it again next year. Kalysa and Keslee both recognized people they had heard stories about in church. Keslee kept asking if each of the characters "really are the ...." When I explained each time that they were acting to show us what happened in the Bible times, she asked "Well do we REALLY get to have cookies and hot chocolate at the end or just pretend?!" 2.Monty being home early 3 nights this week-(I have to enjoy the blessing of that and the fun the kids have gotten to have with daddy and trust God is gonna work out the money part.) 3.Having Bryn in children's church-she is soo sweet and always ready to answer questions. 4.Getting ready for the Christmas program. The girls are so excited and have invited the whole neighborhood! 5.Camden deciding he doesn't want to be a sheep in the program-he wants to be a cow! That kid is just the cutest thing ever!! 6.Two of my brothers could have been badly injured this week but through God's grace neither one got hurt at all. THANK YOU LORD!!! 7.My kids being so helpful. They have been doing a great job of cleaning up the living room and their rooms each night before bed! 8.Brother David coming to the discipleship classes. I love that he is full of questions and doesn't hold back as he seeks to know and understand the truth. 9.My dog Kenzie-she loves me and is always ready to cuddle and keep my feet warm. We often end up taking our pets for granted but they really do enrich our lives sooo much. Any time I call-she comes right then to do whatever-no questions asked- regardless of if I am interrupting her nap or dinner or anything else. If only we could trust in our Master and love Him the way our dogs do us, things would be alot easier for us. 10.That God loves me anyway!
I got this email today right after Kalysa could not find a spoon left in the drawer and dirty spoons in the dishwasher should really only be about 1/2 of what I know I have/had. I am sure we will find some next spring when we mow the yard again. I also found a measuring cup and a ladle in the bathtub. I am not even gonna start with the sticky floors. I must be a real mother!
Real Mothers don't eat quiche; they don't have time to make it. Real Mothers know that their kitchen utensils are probably in the sandbox. Real Mothers often have sticky floors, filthy ovens and happy kids. Real Mothers know that dried play dough doesn't come out of carpets. Real Mothers don't want to know what the vacuum just sucked up. Real Mothers sometimes ask 'Why me?' and get their answer when a little voice says, 'Because I love you best.' Real Mothers know that a child's growth is not measured by height or years or grade... It is marked by the progression of Mommy to Mom to Mother...
Saturday night the kids and I took a journey to Bethlehem. It is a production put on by Forest Hill Christian Church in Oklahoma City.
We started out getting our "papers" and were all given a name. Kalysa was Naomi, Keslee was Rachel, I was Eve, and Kenyon was Jedidiah. Then we met up with "Daniel" and "Rachel". We were all in "Daniel's" family and were traveling to Bethlehem to pay our taxes.
We came to a lady(and her donkey) selling maps for one shekel and "Daniel" bought one to help us on our journey. He asked "Rachel"(Keslee) to hold it for him (and she got to keep it after the journey). Along the way, we came to several different "camp sites."
We talked to "Jacob" and his wife and they told us about their son and his pregnant wife that were also on their way to Bethlehem
We continued our journey and met up with a couple that was hiding in the woods. They did not have their papers with them so the "Roman Soldiers" were after them. They gave "Daniel" a note to give to "Ethan the blacksmith" if we met up with him along the way. It was not long after that encounter that we were also stopped by the "soldiers"They were yelling at us and demanding to see our papers. It was frightening for a moment, especially for "Naomi"(Kalysa), but we were not hurt. Luckily, we all had the proper papers and were allowed to continue our journey.
Farther down the path, we were approached by some "zealots" that wanted us to join them in their fight. They were not happy with Caesar and warned us not to trust King Herod.
Our family declined their request to join the fight and continued on our way.
As we continued our travels, we came upon the camp of a very important looking man. We were then introduced to the king, "King Herod
The king told us there had been rumors that a baby was to be born that would be The King. He told us to keep our eyes open for this Baby and if we found out where he was, we should report it to him. He claimed he just wanted to worship him with everyone else, but thanks to the warning we has received earlier, we did not believe that and were not going to report anything back to King Herod.
We came upon the campsite of some scribes that were busy writing the scriptures. I believe it was "Matthew" and "Nathaniel". We spoke with them as we warmed ourselves by their fire before continuing the journey.
The next campsite we came to was that of 3 very "wise men". They told us about the birth of a baby. They explained that this baby was to be the Messiah. Our Savior. They were traveling to
find the baby and present him with some very expensive gifts. They showed us these gifts and they were beautiful and fit for a King. This was very exciting news.
Not long after the wise men told us of the Baby, we met some "Shepards" that were with their sheep. They were quite excited and said angles had appeared to them and announced the arrival of and Baby. The shepards showed us the star in the sky that was leading the way to the Baby. As soon as we left the Shepard's camp, an "Angel" appeared to us as well!
She shared with us the same news she had given the shepards. Then a "multitude" of angels appeared in the sky singing praise to the Lord.
We knew we were getting closer to Bethlehem when we met up with "Ethan" the blacksmith.
He showed us some of the things he had made including some Very Long nails. He explained how you can place your trust in a good nail to hold. We delivered the message we had been given for him and continued our trip.
It was not long before we encountered more soldiers. This time they had captured a man without papers and they were not treating him very nice. Our "family" had to line up as they checked all of our papers and we were ushered into a large room in front of "Caesar".
."Daniel" paid the taxes for our family, even though he was forced to pay more than what was expected, our papers were stamped and we were ushered out. We finally saw the entrance into Bethlehem ahead!
We walked through the market where we could have bought anything from chickens, to woven baskets, to fruit, to scrolls and maps.
The market place was very festive and our family even joined in on a Hebrew dance before we left. We were very tired from our long journey and wanted to find a place to stay. We came to an Inn and tried to get a room. They had nothing available.The Inn keepers wife was very kind and seeing that we had been on a long journey, she asked her husband if there may be room for one more family to stay in the stable. She informed us that a young couple had been in earlier and they put them up in the stable because the whole city was full with people returning to pay taxes. Her husband said we could stay in the stable but we must be quiet because the lady had just given birth. We shared with them the news we had been hearing about the Messiah being born and everyone wondered if this baby may be him.
We were all very quiet as we entered the stable and there we saw the Baby. The innkeeper confirmed that this was the Child we had been told about. The Baby was the Messiah! Our Saviour Was Born!!
The trip was a beautiful interactive journey and one I plan on taking with the kids every year(as long as it is still available). What better way to bring the Bible to life than to actually live it.
As we watch the neighborhood gradually light up, the kids started asking to put up our Christmas tree. It is just so much work that I wasn't entirely ready to do so I told them they had to have their rooms, living room and play room clean before we even thought about digging out all the Christmas stuff. Low and Behold-after some school projects yesterday-Kenyon took out the trash, cleaned his room the living room AND the play room - INCLUDING vacuuming them- all with out me saying a thing. Then he convinced daddy to get all the Christmas boxes down from the attic before he left for work today. Kenyon later asked me if he had been helpful. I let him know he was more helpful than he has ever been in one day since he did it all with an awesome attitude and without being told each thing to do. He was wondering why I thought he was able to be so helpful now. I let him know that it must be because he is maturing. When he asked what that meant, it hit me....I DON'T HAVE A BABY BOY ANYMORE!!!:( Guess that means we had to put the tree up today.
this is the finished product. I actually took this
picture with the lights off-wow my flash is good!
It is alot of work-especially when 10 hands are all trying to do different things-but I really do love having it up. I love the Christmas season. I love the trees and the lights and the warm feelings and the time spent with family and especially the celebration of the birth of one very special baby.
this is outside. I love my big front window! You can
not really tell from this picture but it looks SOOO pretty!
Our tree is made up of lots of homemade ornaments. I have some I made as a child and some the kids made in school and at home. I love making ornaments and we have made something just about every year. We made salt dough ornaments in school today but they are not yet on the tree. Here is a sample of some of the ones on the tree.
an angel-the kids and I made these about 3 yrs ago
This is Keslee's handprint around a ball. The fingers
are painted into snowmen. She made it in school
a dog I painted for Kenyon when he was little
(I made the girls similar things but have not
found them yet this year)
An angel I made when I was younger
a train we made a few years back
I love our tree! Now that the kids got the tree up and decorated they want to know.....Where are the presents?!?
Conservative Christian homeschooling stay at home mom married to Monty for 15 years and mother of 3. We are striving to raise our kids with a Biblical worldview so they grow up to love and serve the Lord and they will be willing and able to stand alone. We, as a family, are no where close to where God would have us be but we are all growing in His grace.