Monday, April 29, 2013

10 Things This Week

10 Things We're Working On This Week:

Marriage and Parenting:
*Start memorizing a new scripture with the kids
*Finish reading Ralph S Mouse and Upstairs Mouse/Downstairs Mole with kids
*Do scavenger hunt with kids

*Finish review book
*Read 100 pages in May's book for book club
*Mail out prize

Homemaking Goals:
*Work on jewelry organization

Personal Goals:
*Exercise 4-5 days
*Get 8 hrs of sleep each night
*Finish financial application

What are your goals this week?

Monday's Menu

Overnight Oatmeal
Homemade Granola
Breakfast Wraps

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
Easy, Healthy Lunch List

Monday: Grilled Veggie Sandwiches, pea salad
Tuesday: Chili and cornbread
Wednesday: Spinach Calazone
Thursday: Shrimp Stirfry
Friday: Homemade Veggie Pizza
Saturday: Taco Salad
Sunday: Chicken Enchiladas

The Christian Parenting Handbook {Review}

The Christian Parenting Handbook by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller is divided into 50 concise chapters addressing such topics as transferring responsibility to your child, raising problem solvers, and envisioning a positive future for your child.  Written from a christian perspective, this handbook attempts to focus on the heart issues that manifest themselves in a child's behavior.  The chapters are short and you can actually read several in one setting.

But wait...

That's that I did at first.  I looked at how short the chapters where and just drove right in.  And at first, I was really unimpressed with the book.  I just felt like it was surfacy and lacked real life examples.  In fact, if I had written this review a week ago, I would have had a completely unflattering review to give you.

But something made me step back, take a deep breath, and give the book a second look.  And I realized how this book is meant to be read... slowly... intentionally... and with lots of thought.  The chapters really should be taken slowly if they are to have any impact.  The authors' purpose for you to develop a Biblical philosophy of parenting, not to give quick bulletin points and ideas.  It's all about reconstructing the way you think and the way you approach parenting.  Not as a chore of disciplining, but as a task in your day of growing a healthy relationship with your child.

All in all, I thought it was a great book to add to your parenting library.  There are lots of ideas here to begin building a healthy Biblical philosophy that will change the way you look at child-rearing.  Enjoy!

*Disclaimer: I received this book free from Booksneeze.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, April 26, 2013

2013 April Bookmarks

*Bookmarks is an online book club hosted at Creative2xmom. Here we discuss the books we've read in the past month as well as the suggested reading. Our suggested reading for
These are the books I read this month:

Home is Where the Learning is by Valerie Steimle-- In actuality, this book is a compilation of several homeschool moms comprising years and years of experience.  Some of the chapter headings include: Living the Homsechool Lifestyle Over a Lifetime, Progressive Mastery Education, Avoiding Burnout, and Homeschooling the Hard to Teach.  Each section is written in a very easy to read, one on one nature.  I found I had a take away from many of the chapters and want to go back and reread several of them.  On the other hand, the editing was very poor on this one.  There's lots of typos and the chapters don't flow well.

The Bridesmaid by Beverly Lewis-- Beverly Lewis is the queen when it comes to Amish literature.  She has such a knack for creating deep and loveable characters.  And the Bridesmaid follows right along with this wonderful tradition of writing she's created.  Always a bridesmaid and never a bride, Joanna is determined to live life on her own terms.  And finds herself in a secret romance with Eben.  When she finally decides to share him with her family, her sister's jealousy threatens to tear her away from both her love and her Amish community.  Through twists and turns, secrets and betrayals, will Eben and Joanna come together?  You can be assured that Lewis won't disappoint on this one.

Our suggested reading for April was Living Frugal: How to Save Money and Not Feel Like You're Broke by Jamie Walker-- I picked this one up for free awhile back on Amazon and was interested to see if there were any new ideas I needed to adapt to our lifestyle.  Chapter headings include such things as Uses for Vinegar, Saving on Pet Supplies and How to Get Stuff for Free.  The book is pretty well laid out and can be read in easily digested chunks.  Many of the ideas we've seen before, but it's nice to have them in a tiny convenient format to remind us.  And there was also a good chunk of ideas I haven't thought of before, like watching for hidden costs on your phone bill, checking the fuse box in the car for electrical issues, and using hydrogen peroxide to remove stains from clothing.  All in all, this little ebook does deliver some good money saving ideas.  But is it worth the $6 price tag?  Not to me.  I'd watch for a sale or freebie on this one.

So what are your bookmarks this month?

Tell us in the comments about the books you're chewing on. Or link up a review from your own blog. Let's share the books we're finding, good and bad. And give us your thoughts on Living Frugal: How to Save Money and Not Feel Like You're Broke.

Don't forget to come back May 24th as we discuss Girl Meets God by Jennifer Weiner and any other books you're reading.  Can't wait to see you then!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


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Snickerdoodles are one of those guilty pleasures in life.  They're buttery and sweet.  And just so hard to stay away from.  Hope you enjoy!


1/2 c sugar
1 c shortening
2 eggs
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 3/4 c flour
sugar and cinnamon mixture to taste

1. Cream sugar, shortening, and eggs together.
2. Mix flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt.  Add to the creamed mixture.
3. Mix until well-blended.  Chill slightly.
4. Form dough into small balls.  Dip the tops in sugar/cinnamon mixture.
5. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 min.
6. Cool slightly and move to a wire rack to finish cooling.
7. Try not to each the entire batch.  :-)

What's your favorite cookie?

Monday, April 22, 2013

15 Ways to Bless a New Mom

1. Offer to bring the family a meal-- Everyone feels better with some food in their tummy.  And even if Mom's not hungry, her other little ones probably are.  What a relief to concentrate on her family without scrambling for dinner at 5 pm.  Be sure to check and see if there are any allergies and what time the family usually eats.  Otherwise, most moms find a meal to be such a blessing.

2. Bring a little something extra-- Don't forget dessert or something quick and easy for snacks or breakfast.  Those little extra touches can go a long way.

3. Set up a meal train for others to provide meals-- Most people want to bless the new family and see the new baby as well.  Setting up a meal train gives others an opportunity to see a need, meet it, pop in for a second, and use their gifts of hospitality as well.  This can be as simple as a piece of notebook paper passed around on a Sunday morning or as high tech as utilizing a meal train on

4. Offer to bring a freezer meal-- On the other hand, sometimes a freezer meal is helpful as well.  Freezer meals are awesome for families who have relatives visiting and just want to set something aside for when visitors cease.

5. Take other children to the park-- Offer to take her other kids to the park to run off some energy.  Often times when mom's at home with the new baby, the kids get sick of being cooped up.  They need to get out of the house with their friends and mom might just need a nap.  Even if Dad's home, this could be a good opportunity for he and Mom to just reconnect and get a breather.

6. Pick up some groceries-- If you feel comfortable knowing the family well enough, pick up a few things while you're at the store that you know they'll enjoy.  If not, check in with mom before you stop by and see if she needs anything.  Most families will be blessed by something as simple as a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, and some peanut butter and jelly.

7. Clean her house-- If you can get away for a little while, send Mom to take a quick nap while you clean up the kitchen, sweep, or run a quick vaccum over the rug.

8. Give a gift card-- In today's society, there is no end to the type of gift cards available.  Coffee, groceries, diaper services, take-out, or delivery,... just to name a few.  Or if you like the idea of helping her clean our house, but don't have the time yourself, you can pay someone to make a one-time stop just to help her catch up.

9. Send a card-- If you're far away or just want to do something a little special for her, send her a note telling her that you're praying for her or a few words of encouragement.  The power of the written word can go a long way in encouraging a new mom.

10. Bring the older kids a treat-- If she has older kids, it's always nice to bring them something special.  It doesn't have to be much.  It can be something as little as some dollar store glow sticks, a pack of gum, or just telling them that you brought dessert 'cause you were thinking of them.

11. Fold her laundry--No one really enjoys doing laundry, but the real work begins when it comes out of the dryer.  This is a great one for helping out mom and still finding a way to visit.

12. Clean up her yard-- This is a big one for Moms and Dads both.  Yards often are at the bottom of the list in getting things done, but what a blessing to come home to a mowed lawn or trimmed hedges.  And this is a great way for your whole family to work together on a project: mowing, trimming, raking, prunning, or even planting.

13. Bring diapers-- Pick up a package of diapers and wipes.  If you're not sure about Mom's preference, you can't go wrong with those for sensitive skin and a receipt.

14. Take her out for the evening-- Sometimes Mom just needs a night away from the chaos.  This will probably come later, but keep her mind as the weeks go on.  Recruit her husband in encouraging her to get away for awhile and find some place where you can both be comfortable and reconnect.  Every mom will spend a lot of time talking about her kids, but also wants to remember what it's like to just be a friend as well.

15. Follow up--Keep her in mind as the weeks and months progress.  When a new baby is born, there's usually a big rush to bless the family, but eventually all the buzz dies down.  That's when she needs you the most.  Check in with her from time to time and don't let her isolate herself.

What ideas to you have for blessing a new mom?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

UBP Winner!

I ran the numbers through and the winner of the UBP giveaway is...


Congratulations, Lisa @ Lisa the Vegetarian!

Email me and I'll send out your copy of Shepherding a Child's Heart.

Monday, April 15, 2013

While You're Waiting: Creating Home

(Image Credit: Jomphong)

*Recently I was thinking about all I would want my daughters to know before they get married.  Instead of wishing the days away until they walk down the aisle, how would I encourage them to live?  Living in the joy of who God created.  The practicalities and the dreaming.  What would I want to encourage... While they're waiting?  These are some of those thoughts.

I love creating home.  From the earliest years of marriage to your growing up years, I have found great joy in creating home for our family.  It has truly been a blessing to create an environment we were can come to escape the pressures of the outside world and find refreshment for our souls.

But there's no reason why you should wait until you're married.  Now is the time to create a home for yourself and others in your life that need a safe haven.

As I was attending college and later in my own apartment, I looked for ways to make my living
space more homey.  Some days that meant a boutique.  Other days it meant burning a candle on the table.  There are so many ways you can begin creating a home no matter what stage of life you find yourself in.

-Fill your home with flowers and plants.
-Start with simple furniture and invest as you have time and need.
-Decoate for the holidays.
-Play music.
-Choose curtains, rugs, and accents that make you feel at home.

Begin creating home now and you'll create a haven of peace that will bless everyone around you.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Crockpot Sesame Chicken {Pinterest Inspired}

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We love, love, love Chinese food.  If you ask my kids where they'd rather go to dinner when Grandma's in town, they'll pick the Chinese restaurant every time.  And Sesame Chicken with honey... really what could go wrong?

I'm always on the lookout for good crockpot recipes and since we've tried this one, it's been on our menu numerous times.  If you're looking for a great tasting dinner any night of the week, this one's for you.

Crockpot Sesame Chicken

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 c. honey
1/2 c. terryaki
1/4 c. ketchup
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 onion chopped (1/2 c.)
Sesame seeds
Brown rice

1. Place the breasts in the bottom of your crockpot and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.

2. Combine honey, terryaki, ketchup, oil, garlic, and onion in a small bowl.  Pour over your chicken and cook on low for 3-4 hours.

3. When done, remove chicken and shred.  Before returning to crockpot, add some cornstarch to sauce to thicken.  Whisk in well to avoid lumps.

4. Serve over a bed of hot rice and sprinkle generously with sesame seeds.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring To Do List

Easter picture photo 581948_10151042934531276_894983063_n.jpg
It's getting later and later into the season and I haven't posted a To-Do List. Really this is as much for me as it is for giving you ideas. But I'm a list girl. So here are a few projects and a few things that we're looking forward to in the months to come.

*Replacing the sprinkler system in the front yard
*Plant some vegetables
*Kool April Nights Car Cruise
*Make a fun jewelry organizer
*Mother's Day and Father's Day
*Finishing the school year
*End of School party
*Starting swim lessons
*Hit the Farmer's Market
*Make Homemade Ice Cream

What are you looking forward to?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

2013 Ultimate Blog Party

Ultimate Blog Party 2013
There's a Party Goin' On!

5 Minutes for Mom is hosting their annual Ultimate Blog Party
and we are ready to party around here!

The Ultimate Blog Party is all about meeting new fun blogs,
new fun friends, and building this awesome blog community.
So hang around, check things out here, and
then head on over to the UBP to meet others too.

Love you! photo 182772_10150145211746276_1404549_n.jpg

My name is Lee.  I'm a wife of nearly twelve years.
My husband and I have two biological kids and one foster.
They range in age from 18 months to 7 years.
And boy are we busy!

Nothing has stretched me as parenting these three.
And I wouldn't have it any other way!

Creative2xmom is dedicated to all things Mommy, ...
and somethings not.

I love throwing fun parties for my kids on a budget.

And I love books.
That's why every month, Creative2xmom hosts Bookmarks.
Bookmarks is a montly link-up for discussing the books we're reading.
And discovering new treasures.

You'll find all kinds of creative ideas here.
From peppermint play-doh to easy meal planning tips,

Creative2xmom is all about a real mom,
living a real life,
raising real kids,

So what's a party without a prize?
During the UBP, I'll be giving away a copy of Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp.
This is one of my favorite parenting books that I return to again and again.
It's be invaluable in my parenting journey.

Just leave a comment below telling me what speaks
"Creativity" or "Motherhood" to you.

One entry per person.
Entries will be open until April 13th at midnight.
One winner will be chosen at random and announced/notified on April 15th.
Don't forget to leave your email as well so I can contact you.

For additional entries:
Don't forget to follow by email or Facebook.
One additional entry per method.

You can also join the Creative2xmom community
by following on Pinterest and Youtube.
I share all kinds of ideas through each venue,
and you don't want to miss a thing.

So pull up a chair, pour yourself some coffee,
and stay awhile.
I'm so glad you found us.

*Linked to these Parties

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

26 Intentional Acts of Kindness #7: Cleaning for Others

Hey there,
It's time for another Intentional Act of Kindness.  How did last week go?  Did you learn something new about a neighbor around you?  We have an elderly neighbor across the street from us that our kids have adopted. A couple of weekends ago we even had the chance to attend her 90th surprise birthday party.  Yep, 90 years old and still just as active as ever.  My kids have taken to popping over to her place once or twice a week, just to say hi.  So this past couple of weeks we've looked for opportunities to bless her as well, everything from taking out her trash to taking her an Easter card.  Funny thing is, my kids just want to keep giving her more.  I think we're developing a true friendship.

Ready for this week's challenge?  Here's #7: Clean something for someone.  Do you know someone who needs help cleaning out a garage?  Someone with a new baby that could use an afternoon off while you clean the kitchen?  Maybe someone who just needs you to clean out their flower beds?  Let's get out there, roll up our sleeves and get to cleaning.  Think of what a blessing you and your children can be in someone's life.  Let's get cleaning!

Will you join us as we march through our 26 Intentional Acts of Kindness?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Spring Break's This and That

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It's Spring Break and the livin's easy.  During the next week and a half, there's going to be a whole lot of:
*Word searching

*Quad riding

*Felt sewing

*Science experimenting

*BB Gun Shooting

*Cookie baking

*Movie previewing

*Popcorn eating

*Board game playing

*Book reading

*Family visiting


*Project making.

Has spring shown up in your area yet?
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