Coming soon….

Untitled 214x300 Coming soon....I have been diligently working to get my home economics curriculum in a ebook form and the time is almost here!!  In a few short weeks, it will be made available to you.  It  is part of a Training our daughters series here at plainandnotsoplain.  Untitled1 300x300 Coming soon....We want to be training our daughters for a life of purpose.  That begins by expanding their skill sets.  The 2nd book in the series will cover Kitchen Skills–it will be very detailed and more in depth than my FREE home economics course that we offer.   You will not need internet access, everything will be included in the book.

You can get our first book FREE by clicking here.  It is about training our daughters to be good stewards of their time.  A good first read to training them about time effectiveness.

time managment book 254x300 Coming soon....

Keep watching and I will give updates as time gets closer to completion.

Be blessed.

 

everything bread

For the holidays I like to serve bread with our meals, as I do most our meals.  Each week, we make up a batch of  honey wheat bread that our family really enjoys.  I actually had the recipe years ago in a Taste of home magazine from 2008 and it was named Ezekiel bread.  We have always called it Ezekiel bread, but I was told what “true” ezekiel bread was and this is obviously not it.  I am going to have to “rename” our bread from Ezekiel to honey wheat.

Since we needed a bread to go with our Thanksgiving meal, I wanted to do something different than the traditional rolls that we usually make.  I found this Everything bread recipe and we really like the taste of it.

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It was very easy to mix up and the girls enjoyed braiding it together to make.  The first time we made it, we divided it into 2 loaves, and they made a BIG mound of bread. We enjoyed the taste so much, I made it the next day so that we could have it again.  This time I divided it into 4 smaller loaves so that they would fit into my containers for storage.

Mix the following into a large bowl:

  • Dissolve 1 Tablespoon or 1 pkg of active dry yeast into 3/4 cup of warm water.
  • Add 1 cup warm milk, 1/4 cup butter–softened, 2 Tablespoons of sugar, and 1 egg yolk.  Mix well.
  • Then add 4-5 cups of flour and 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and mix well.
  • Knead a few times and place in a bowl and cover with a cloth.
  • Let rise until double in size.  Punch down dough and then put on a floured surface and knead a few more times.

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  • Divide dough into 4 clumps.  Take one and roll out 3 pieces into a snake.  Braid those 3 rolls together and place on a greased cookie sheet.  Continue with the rest of the bread.

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  • Whip the egg white until foamy and brush onto the bread.  Sprinkle with your choice of toppings.  We used:
  1. dried garlic
  2. Parmesan cheese
  3. salt
  4. sesame seeds

IMG 20141125 151512 300x168 everything breadLet the dough rise until double in size then place in oven and bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

IMG 20141125 151743 300x168 everything breadWhen finished baking, let cool—-if you can wait that long:)  otherwise enjoy the wonderful tastes of this bread.  Just the toppings alone give it enough flavor that you don’t need to spread the bread with butter.  I stored mine in a plastic container and it lasted well as our other breads do.

 

IMG 20141126 162020 300x168 everything breadTry some for an extra special change from your usual bread.

 

 

Quick breads for breakfast

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We enjoy doing lots of baking around here.  I have many little hands that like to mix things up and eat them too:)  We had some guests for Thanksgiving weekend and we needed to plan for some easy breakfast meals.  These quick breads were easy and quick to mix up and tasted great for a breakfast meal.  IMG 20141125 124636 168x300 Quick breads for breakfastPumpkin bread, how can you go wrong with that?  We enjoy making chocolate pumpkin muffins on a regular basis but I have some that enjoy the taste of bread with butter.  Jadyn enjoyed mixing up this treat.

 

IMG 20141126 084655 300x168 Quick breads for breakfastYou can click here to view the recipe.  We made these and then wrapped them in tin foil.  They tasted moist still after sitting out for 5 days on the counter.

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Brooklyn with the help of Jentzen helped mix up the cinnamon quick bread. 

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This was easy to mix up and tasted very good.  We wrapped it in foil like the pumpkin and it tasted very moist still after 5 days on the counter.  We will be making both of these breads again for special morning meals.IMG 20141125 124630 300x168 Quick breads for breakfast

We also mixed up some apple dapple cake to go along with our breads–this cake gets more moist as the days go on.  If you have never tried making this before, you should, it tastes delicious.

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We set out some fresh fruit to go along with our breads.  Oranges, grapefruits, and bananas were the choice.  I also had our homemade yogurt with strawberry sauce for anyone that would like that.IMG 20141127 090013 300x168 Quick breads for breakfastHere was Brooklyn’s sample plate

 

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Clean up was easy, just wrap up the remainder breads, put away cold foods and wash a few plates.  No scrubbing of pans or big washing jobs—something I do not enjoy early in the morning hours.  Here is a snapshot of how our serving bar looked after the destruction.  IMG 20141127 093509 168x300 Quick breads for breakfast

 

An easy meal and tastes wonderful.  We will be making these again when I need a quick breakfast to feed many people.

 

Finding a new church

Moving to a new area with new people can be exciting and it can be frustrating. There are so many things that you have to learn how to do all over again. Finding all the right places to shop and visit can take time.  Every weekend, we enjoy exploring and finding new areas to play at. But just finding the grocery store to shop at can be a chore.  Thank goodness for chains like Aldis’ and Walmart.  The hardest task, which should be the easiest is finding a church.

We moved to the bible belt area of the south.  There are churches EVERYWHERE.  Literally driving a 1 mile stretch will produce 10-15 churches all of different denomination, its crazy.  There are so many different kinds of churches trying to seek God.  I say crazy in a good way:)

We attended many different styles of churches  throughout my life.  We have been to the traditional non denominational all the way to the more reverent Mennonite church back to a pentecostal church.  Extreme opposites!!  But the good thing is that God has us ALL doing different things to reach different types of people and that is good.  We are not all cookie cutter type people, we each are made in the image of God and just as our children are made of us, they take different personality types from us and act differently among the family but they are still one.  The churches are the same way, each are many members of different types but still ALL are seeking  to worship God.

How do you choose?  Do you listen to the pastor that “explains” that they keep a more reverent service in honor of the Lord and keep to traditional hymns as to not be like the world??? Or do you listen to the pastor who is up there shouting for joy “stating” that if he can’t get excited about God and what He is doing that isn’t right and that they try and show the “world” that you can worship God with their types of music but focus it on God?

It can be confusing.  So you may start looking at the congregation and what it has to offer to help persuade you or some may look at the growth and the size of the church.  I think some might like an “established” church while others prefer one that needs growth.   Lots of different facets  to  consider.

But what I believe is that if Satan can keep you looking down and searching around “trying” to look for the “right” church—like those bottom feeders, I talked about last week, then he can keep you from reading the word and listening to God’s voice.

Church isn’t about a feeling god.  It is a place to worship God.  Every service is a spiritual thing.  Some people like church because they like the choir, or the preaching.  But it has to be where you are going to be GROWING spiritually.

Take a baby, they are the greatest thing in the world, so cute and cuddly, but some of the greatest joys about their life is when they start growing.  You don’t want them to be babies forever you have to let them grow.  The same is true of church.  You have to find a church where you will GROW spiritually.

If the music is long and “emotional” and you are “feeling” the spirit that is okay BUT if the message is 15 minutes, you aren’t going to get much “meat” to take with you for the week to help your spiritual growth.

You should be looking at your life.  Every year you should be better physically, spiritually, and financially.   God is not a god who wants you to go backwards you should be moving forward!!

Large churches are great don’t get me wrong, they are established and sometimes have it figured out.  But what you want to look at is the “core.”  What is the core like?  Churches are going to be full of those bottom feeders—the ones searching for their places—but look at the core—is it growing strong and getting larger?  We need to be growing in the body of Christ and becoming more like Him.

Some preachers want to be politically correct—-what is that??  When has God EVER become politically correct???  Is it wrong to say things that are the word of God?  Your church should be preaching  the word of God.  When you preach God’s word and  it isn’t a threat, the devil cant do anything about it.

Some preachers stay away from commitment to people.  If you start talking about commitment some people will leave—no one likes commitment.  But commitment is what makes an army.  I am not much into United States and the army but something I have learned about through watching some documentaries is that the army here is very committed.  They try and bring back every soldier that is in war.  They will even go out into the battlefield after they have fought and get the remnants and remains of dead people.  Can you image if the “church” and its army went out and was committed to getting the remnants of it’s dead people?

You have to find a church that stands for something.  If you don’t stand for something than you will fall for anything.  Jesus stood for things.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
 Ephesians 6:13

He reminds us to take and put on things in these verses.  God wants us to wrap around our minds and our bodies His words so that you remember who you are all the time, everyday!!

When you leave church, you should take something with you.  The pastor is ordained by God to “pass on” a message to you.  You should be taking it with you to help you grow in your walk with Him.  We shouldn’t be looking at “getting stuff” from God.  When we go to church—it isn’t about our emotions and how we feel, it is about worshiping God and getting closer to Him.  As we get closer to the Lord, we don’t have to worry about things because He will give them to us.

Just as a parent takes care of his child—physically, emotionally,and financially—God does the SAME thing.  It is about a relationship with Him.

Romans 12:2

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Being a Christian is what God wants us to be, but He also calls us to be a DISCIPLE of Him.  He wants us to be His word and do His works.  That is what we should be seeking after when looking for a church.

I have to apologize, on one of our family videos that we recorded and posted on here, my husband and I were talking about a church we attended and they had given our children money and candy when we first visited.  We used the term “reach the children so you can reach the parents” and we laughed about it—not realizing how hurtful to some it may have been.  We have attended a church in the past that used this phrase and this church DOES have a wonderful outreach to children.  We weren’t “mocking” that church by any means, we were referring to something else that we had discussed with someone earlier.  This church member was all about reeling people in for more tithe money and bigger numbers to build bigger buildings.  It was not about shepherding and disciplining people.  It was more of a heart issue when we were stating that.  But I do realize now how it was taken harshly.  I have already apologized personally but want to make it publicly as some readers might also take offense, especially if their church does outreach to children in the community.

Sometimes we NEED to reach the children first because as parents and adults we DON”T listen as well.  But if the children enjoy going to church sometimes the parents may follow.  I will be more careful in using terms loosely as we did in the video.

So where do we go?  I don’t know, we pray and seek God and listen for His word and direction as far as where to be planted.  It is all part of this journey we call life.

Be blessed.

Give them something to do!!

Do you ever have days where your children are bored and quarrelsome?  I know I have had my times of letting the little ones just free range doing whatever it is they want to do and it results in arguments, too much tv, and boredom.  So what should we do?

I think back to when I had my first few children, I never had them do many chores at a young age.  Actually, I think they MAYBE had to pick up their rooms with the help of me of course when they were school aged.  Not a whole lot of expectations coming from my side.

Well, I got smarter over the years….I realized that children NEED work for a sense of accomplishment especially at a young age.  That is why, I have even the youngest of our children, help with tasks around the house.

Do I require them? No, not with the littlest ones, but my school aged children know what is expected of them and if they don’t they look at their charts.  They are pretty good to follow what it is they need to do and then they know that once they complete their tasks they are free to do as they please.   This has helped with attitudes and whines.  They know that they have a set thing to do before it is free time.  This allows them to set the bar for happiness for themselves.  “If you want to have free time, then you had better get working, otherwise you will still be doing this all day.”

Sometimes, I have days where there is A LOT Of things to get done. I will then write them on our marker board, under the appropriate child names and  they know what else needs to be done.  I usually save these miscellaneous tasks for after school.  That way we can get our school done without having to wait for the other children to complete extra work.

Having a list let’s them see what it is they need to do and they know what they have to do to get it done.  The other approach is basically giving them jobs to do when they come to my mind. That never goes over well.   Can you imagine having to wait for your boss to decide what else he would want you to do each day?  It might be fine for a day or so, but for regular work, wouldn’t you be better off if he gave you a list and you knew what you had to complete.  It takes off the stress and the strain of wondering when they will be done.

If I notice that my children are squabbling, I take note and see what they are up to.  Does someone need a break, maybe some food, or maybe they just need something to do.  I take care of important needs like food and comfort and then if they are still squabbling, I give them a time away.

Sometimes that might mean that they are overwhelmed with life, as I get too and just need a hug and a short talk.  Sometimes it is just complete rebellion and then they  need a discipline.  Currently in our home, copying works well for that.  We are doing a book called Wisdom and the Millers and it has a short chapter read that we do each day with a lesson connected with the book of Proverbs. IMG 20141204 134721 168x300 Give them something to do!!

We relate it, as the book does, to our life and how we can do better.  We make a simple drawing and put it on the wall with the corresponding bible verse.  If anyone needs “correction” it has been helpful to direct them to the lesson we talked about and then have them copy the verse  one piece of paper full.

IMG 20141204 134702 168x300 Give them something to do!!

I used to have a discipline chart on the wall, when I had the older children.  It had the offense on one side and the bible verse as to why they should not do it and then the punishment on the right.  That was good as a “quick reference” but for now, it helps to use the lessons we are currently learning for school.

For the toddler, he has been ‘testing” his boundaries and learning to cope with life without a pacifier.  When he begins to scream in defiance , we tell him “no” and then if he continues we take him to his room and let him sit on his bed.  He doesn’t come out until he is ready to calm down.  This works much better than letting him lay on the floor in a fit.  Which I have done in the past by the way.  There have been MANY times, I have been lapsed in my disciplining, just didn’t put it as a priority, but you do what you can do.

I don’t have a cookie cutter approach to disciplining my children.  My children are not of the cookie cutter kind. Each one has been different and we have dealt with them differently.  There have been times, when I had many little ones that I let them do whatever, then as it wore on me and got me frazzled, I knew I needed to change.  I started training them and correcting them as best as I could.  Now I don’t have as many little ones that take up all of my time and I can focus more on training and correcting them.

Did my older children grow up all bad?  No, not horrible, but I can see where I never “nipped in the bud” some of the attitudes that they have carried into their older years.  Not impossible to fix, just more of a heart issue and growing up issue to correct.  So what does that motivate me to do?  To help correct and train heart issues at a young age with the other children.  When I see them get angry with each other or snippy, I realize most of the time they just need something to do.  As a Mom, I like to do most things myself, but I realize that they need something to do as well.  Start rationing out the work, let them feel a sense of worth as they go about their day.  You will benefit from their help, their hearts will be molded, and you have just helped them deal with and correct an issue in their life.  You did kingdom work—and that is the best out there.