Updated family photos

Having a blog, I realized how many outdated photos that I have on here.  I don’t usually go through and check my blog, I usually post and leave it.  Once in a while I start looking around to see if something needs to be fixed and today was a day I realized that I could update our family photos.

I have on our wall in our living room a sign that my husband made that says, “All because two people fell in love….”  and around that sign is all of our children’s photos.  I started this about 3 years ago.  When they were all little, I barely had time to take photos of them. Smart phones would have been great back then, but unfortunately they were not “in” as they are now.  I am thankful to always have my phone near me and I can easily snap a picture of my children doing something worth remembering.

Each year, I like to take an updated photo to place on our wall.  I then send them to Walmart.com and print them off in 8×10 and then use some Modge Podge to glue them on my wood pieces.  It works, it is easy and I am done.

Here are this year’s updated photos:

This is our oldest, Ashlyn (24) and her “very serious” guy, Paul.  She lives back in Michigan as she was going to school for education and didn’t want to leave when we made the move down here.  She has graduated and has a job as an educational specialist.  She is successful and doing great!  I am very proud of all her accomplishments.  Paul is a wonderful man and a great match for her.  We shall wait and see the future.  This was taken at Dupont Forest, Triple Falls.

Collin is our next oldest, he turned 21 this year.  He is our main worker for our sign business and a great asset to our family.  He is very personable and enjoys going out and doing the sign installs and meeting the customers.  His personality is great for that. Photo taken at Dupont Forest.

Lauren is 19 this year, this was taken in our driveway before a wedding she attended this summer.  Lauren is enjoying preparing herself for her future.  She is working on being a good child care worker, by nannying many children.  She professionally organizes and cleans and next year she said she will stay home more so she can work on her cooking skills—yes!  Very excited to see what the Lord will do over the next few years for her.

Evan is 17 this year and is growing up into a godly young man.  We have enjoyed seeing him sprout out of this “quieter” boy into this good-hearted young man.  Yes, he still loves XBox 360:)  but he is better about balancing it between exercise, church, friends, and family.  Wonderful seeing them grow. (another Dupont Forest photo)

Jadyn is 12 this year.  She has made it to a hair shorter than me, her mom.  (5ft 7 in)  She has grown from little girl into “preteen” stage and that has been great seeing her transition.  I always called them my babies (all younger half) but now she is part of the “older” group.  She has mastered baton twirling and is really good at it!  I love watching her dance and spin it.  I also love watching their hearts grow and mold more into a woman after God’s heart.  (photo taken at our home)

Brooklyn is right behind her at age 10 almost 11.  She is transitioning into that preteen stage as well.  At first, there were some struggles between the two girls, but they enjoy spending time together away from the “younger set.”  It will be a blessing to them as they grow more together.  Brooklyn loves spending time playing with friends and using her roller blades.  (photo taken on our driveway)

Autumn turned 9 and she has really grown up this year.  I realized her legs are growing really long by how short her pants are on her!  She has sprouted up a lot this past year.  She is at the inbetween stage–where she wants to hang with the older girls, but still enjoys playing younger things.  Another wonderful blessing to our family.  I can’t say she has a favorite of things, because she loves lots of things:) (photo taken on our deck stairs)

Jentzen is 7. He is Daddy’s right hand man.  He enjoys being in the garage whenever he can.  He is always making something, creating something, or taking part something.  Very creative mind.  He loves lego’s and anything that belongs in the shop:) (photo taken on our deck stairs)

Madelyn is six this year.  She is growing up very tall as well.  She is moving away from her “needing me” age and become a little girl.  She loves her babies and playing dollhouse with her sisters or brothers:)  We have plenty of Ken dolls:) She is always the first one to pray or want to pray for someone else.  (photo taken in front of our retainer wall)

Our number ten is Stephen.  He turned 5 this year.  He is a super smart and a very witty little boy.  He still enjoys a snuggle:)  but is right there with all of the other children playing.  He loves bowties and button up shirts:) I love seeing him grow up and do things like all the other children. (photo taken in front of our retainer wall)

I look at my life in stages.  At first it was that we were all done with diapers and I got rid of them. Then it was that we didn’t need a stroller anymore so I got rid of that.  Then it was thinking I used to have to cut 120 toenails and fingernails for six little children, no longer have to do that–I am down to helping on 80 of them:)  Then I only need to make three plates for little ones meals, instead of all six.  Then the other day my youngest, started brushing his teeth on his own and I thought to myself, “Wow,  my work is almost complete.”  I know it will never be completely done, but it tapers off in stages.

As they grow, it is one less thing you have to do.  One less diaper, one less baby equipment to lug around, one less set of nails to cut, one less set of teeth to brush, and one less dish to prepare.  Momma’s out their with little ones, it WILL get easier, I promise.  Endure and enjoy those moments no matter how chaotic they are.  I have been there and a lot of it was a fog to me:) but I enjoy where I am at today and I know that my life is only going to get easier and be more blessed because of enduring.

Love you ladies, have a blessed weekend!

The things unseen..

I often times think about the things unseen.  How many times do the things unseen affect our walk in life?  How many times have we been offended and hurt by someone and immediately put up a wall to protect ourselves from that? The things that we think are unseen are seen by God always.  God knows our hearts, he knows our intentions towards things, he knows what we think about things.  He knows all about us.  When He tells us to forgive and we don’t, He knows.  When he tells us to do something and we hold back and only give part because we are saving for ourselves, He knows.  Nothing is hidden from the Lord.

We want our walk with the Lord to be pure and without blemish.  I like the verse in Psalms 24 that says:  Who shall ascend to the mountain of the Lord and who shall stand in His holy place?  He who has clean hands and a pure heart.  It goes on to say:  who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.  He will receive the blessing from the Lord and the righteousness from the God of his salvation.

I want to be that.  I want all that I do to be pure and with a good intention.  I want to be blessed in all that I do–even in secret.  I thought about it today as I was up early and getting this post ready.  I thought that I could take a few moments and catch up on some Youtube people.  Now I like Youtube and I am not knocking it, but I have asked the Lord to teach me and to give me knowledge and revelation about Him. I take most of my spare time (what little I have) and I listen to sermons, or I read my Bible and this has blessed me so much. I am learning more than I have ever in my life.  I get tempted just like everyone else, to want to sit and waste time.  So today He reminded me, “What did you ask of me? You want revelation, you want to be blessed, you want everything you do to prosper?  Then learn of me.” That Youtube video was not going to get me anywhere, but listening to the Word of the Lord is.  I had a decision to make and I am happy that I chose the one I did.

For the things unseen………………..I daily look at my pantry  and my laundry room. I visit it often throughout the day and am constantly reminded of the ugliness on the inside, so I decided to make what was “unseen”  clean again.

Before moving into our home everything was perfect. I didn’t have to paint, the colors were exactly what I would have chosen so I had no need to do that. But two of the areas that were unseen, needed some repainting.

One of those areas was the pantry.  The owners left a gallon of turquoise colored paint that was used for an accent wall and I knew I should use it up before it got old.  The longest part was the taping, because there are lots of brackets:)

I had repainted some scuffs downstairs, that the children had made and so I cleaned my brush and roller and stored them in a plastic bag in the freezer.  As they thawed , they were good as new for this task. 

Then there was another area I constantly stare at….the laundry room.

I wasn’t sure if I would tackle this room because I knew I wouldn’t be able to do behind the washer and dryer without taking them out and that would require some work, so I would have to do as far as I could reach.  It worked, no one looks behind my washer except me if something falls so it was good.

Here it was after a few coats. 

This is my finished pantry. It looked a little brighter last night, I am thankful that it has toned down today a bit.

Now when I open the pantry it brings a sense of brightness to my kitchen. I am happy that I did it.  I like painting it is very calming and gives me a sense of accomplishment. I don’t like to do “work” on Sundays, unless necessary so when I started painting my downstairs Sunday, it was not like work at all, it was relaxing and peaceful.  I was glad to be able to carry that into my day yesterday.

Here is my finished laundry room.  We had terrible rain storms with flooding so it was a good day to accomplish this task. Plus we had no water.  Something happened and the water stopped flowing. I popped the breaker, and nothing.  So my husband told me to get a tire pressure gauge so he could check our tank when he got home from work.  I decided to just pray over it.  I know we are tithers and when we tithe God promises to keep the devourer from taking our stuff.  I wasn’t going to doubt that.  I was also going to the store to purchase our second refrigerator.  Something the Lord told me to do and I received one a week ago and now I was ready to get the second one.  So of course as I am driving the devil just wanted to make me not do what God had already promised.  It was like, “You might need that extra money to put towards a well, they can get awfully expense!”  So immediately I had to change my thoughts and say, “No, my mind is my mind, devil out!”  I knew God did not give me this home for things to break, especially something that expensive.  So as the day went on, I trusted. I knew it would be nothing. Plus I ordered my refrigerator without wavering and doubting that I would need that money for something else, like a well pump.

My husband came home, looked at it, popped the breaker again, and it worked.  He was trying to rationalize, “well maybe this was happening…” I stopped him and said, “Or maybe I prayed and took hold of what the Lord promises, and now it is fixed:)”  He said, “Well, yes or that:) “

I am thankful for a God who is true to His word.  In Malachi 3:11…”I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts.”  Those things will happen, when we don’t rob God of what is His.  Yes, I am talking about tithing.  I don’t want to be the cursed one, as it says. We have been that before and I didn’t like it. I like the blessed life.  I like the Lord’s protection for my things and for my family.  That is why we choose to tithe our income.

Hope this was inspiring for you to clean up some areas in your life that might need some repainting:)  Have a blessed day!

Abundant Life Study week 7

Hello everyone, I hope you had a wonderful fall weekend. I am happy to be done with some other projects so that I can continue working on this Abundant Life Study.

To me, this is the most important thing that I want to pass along to my children.  Sure an education is great, I want them to learn and be smart, but the MOST IMPORTANT thing that I want them to do in life, is to get a good strong foundation of the Lord, so that nothing will be impossible for them.

This entire study goes over many different areas that took me years to learn. I want my children to learn them in way less of the time that I did.  Plus help anyone else out that wants to live that completely free life with zero regrets!

Here is week 7 of the study. 

Enjoy and have a blessed day today!

100+ Meals for Large Family (11 people) in 28 hours

Ok, I finally did it!  I got back into once a month freezer cooking.  I don’t think I will ever want to go back:)

I did all my shopping this past week and got everything that I needed to make over 100 meals for our large family. I spent 800 dollars and I have plenty of food, even a few extras that I didn’t need.

You can watch my youtube video on how I did everything here.

Or for those who want to see photos, continue…………

These were all the dinners that I made:

I started out with my large bag of onions from Sams Club, I pureed almost the entire bag.  I saved two for future meals.

Then I got my crockpot going and cooked 2 packages of chicken breasts.  This was going to be used for shredded chicken in multiple recipes.I then got my red sauce dishes going.  I bought two big 10 pounds can of tomato sauce from Sams Club.  I made a spaghetti based sauce out of that and spices.                                 

I cooked some lasagna and some pasta.

I then made two pans of Million Dollar casserole

two pans of lasagna

and two pans of chicken parmesan   This I will serve over spaghetti noodles.  I added sauce to the top of these.

I then added more sauce and few extra spices to make two pans of sausage red beans and rice

I then added the remainder red sauce for a pan of Jared’s casserole.

We made four pans of shish kabobs.  This included chicken and beef.

I made two big pans of gwumpkies

I made philly cheesesteak sloppy joes.

two meals worth of sloppy joe

I made two chicken marinades–-one salsa pineapple and the other terriyaki and orange.  I will either grill or crockpot these.

chicken cordon bleu for a pan.

I did a pan of meatloaf out of ground turkey.

A pan of tater tot casserole

I then cooked 24 packages of bacon that I found at an awesome sale–they cost me $8.  I froze some and used the rest for these recipes.

Here is the chicken all shredded.

Here is the bacon after it was cooked in the roaster—it cooked it all together so there was no need to have to food processor them–I wanted them into bit pieces.

Four pans of fried rice with bacon and some roast beef.

This was a meal for me...enchilada casserole–I used quinoa.

I then made a new dish called oriental chicken salad–I am going to put it on lettuce leaves. I froze these as well.

Two pans of southwestern chicken penne pasta

Two pans of chicken pot pie

two meals worth of poor boy subs

I then cooked a bunch of egg mixtures in muffin pans. I placed on the bottom bacon, scrambled egg mixture, shredded cheese.  Baked 350 until done.

This was an easy way to make them for sandwiches.

I then placed them on English muffins to make breakfast sandwiches for the month.

I then topped bagels with bacon, cheese, and eggs. 

French toast for the month.  We can eat this once a week.

I also tried something new.  ginger carrots I like fermented foods so I thought I would try this.

I also made a pan of cube steak with gravy

Then I made a pot of corn chowder soup to eat as an easy meal for Sunday lunch.

I made two cakes that I had wanted to make last month.  Gramma’s pineapple cake.

Preacher cake--this was a good one as well.

Overrall, I started after I got home from shopping on Friday at 5:00 and finished Saturday night around 8:00.  I slept for about 4 hours and made over 100 meals. Of course I had to stop and tend children and feed them, but for the most part, I had meals that I was making so I just put out extra or leftovers.  It worked.  Now my freezers are full for the month and I won’t have to cook.

I also did some bagels with cream cheese and salami and froze them.

I made a double batch of yogurt as well to make smoothies.

This is what I have for the month:

Breakfast we can each week have the following:

  • bagel egg sandwich
  • english muffin sandwich
  • breakfast burrito
  • french toast
  • yogurt smoothies and muffins

I have to make waffles still as I am waiting until my bananas go ripe and then I can use them.  Also a batch of muffins I will make on baking day. I will serve yogurt smoothes that I froze in little cups and we will eat those two times per week. 

If I get them out the night before and place them in the refrigerator they will be slushie and the children like them this way.

If I need anything else we can do oatmeal or toad in a hole for breakfast.  But with this above list, we should have a nice homemade breakfast each day. I didn’t even buy one box of cereal!!!

For lunches which I don’t have pictures, there is some in the video we did enough to have the following once per week:

  • peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • grilled cheese sandwiches
  • grilled ham and cheese sandwiches

We will have to make this once per week:

  • lentil rice casserole
  • mexican grill cheese
  • chicken salad on tortilla or crackers

Snacks will be:

  • bananas
  • apples
  • chips and salsa

We are going to bake this in the month.  Choosing two per week to do on baking day:

  • pumpkin pie bars
  • easy cheesecake
  • double chocolate crumble
  • chocolate eclair dessert
  • dirt cups
  • lara bar balls for mom

Dinners we will eat:

  • 2- million dollar casserole
  • 2- lasagna
  • 2 chicken parmesan
  • smoky bacon sloppy joe
  • 2-southwestern chicken penne pasta
  • 2- whole baked chickens
  • philly cheese sloppy joes
  • jared casserole
  • 4-shish kabobs
  • chicken cordon bleu
  • tater tot casserole
  • 2 gwumpkies
  • 2 sausage red beans and rice
  • 4 fried rice
  • meatloaf
  • 2 chicken pot pie
  • salsa pineapple chicken
  • terriyaki chicken
  • 2 sloppyjoes
  • cube steak
  • poor boy subs

Meals I didn’t freeze but have on hand to make:

  • beef stroganoff
  • mac cheese-hotdog-peas
  • chili
  • hamburgers

Meals for myself:

  • oriental chicken salad
  • enchilada chicken

This in total gives me over 30 dinner meals, over 30 lunch meals, and over 30 breakfast meals.

I can tell you right now that this is working amazingly.  I worked really hard for those two days, got to rest on Sunday, went through 5 huge black trash bags of garbage but now I am finished.  Each night I head down and take out the meals I need for the next day and they are done.  No thinking, no work, it frees up my days hugely!!!  I spent way less than I usually do for the month. We were spending over $1000 by making meals each night, now we have things for every meal, all I have to buy is milk, cottage cheese, and produce and fruit that will go bad. I am assuming another $100 I will spend.  Well worth the two days of crazy.

Here is a PDF of my food list that I will put on my refrigerator.  As I make a meal, I will cross it off so that I know what is in the freezer.

Download (PDF, 172KB)

Hope this gives you some inspiration to start freezing some of your meals.  Have a very blessed weekend!


Life Skills for young men—printables all finished!

Today I am posting all the remaining  lessons for Life Skills for Young Men.  This course is great for your young men who need to learn a few basic “life skills” to excel.

You can click here to go see all of the courses. This includes 18 weeks of lessons.

Hope you enjoy!  Be blessed