Thursday, July 31, 2014

God Did It! He Really Did It!

That's My Name In Print

See that by-line? That's me!

I had my first ever published article in an actual magazine! I got an entire page (just like a real author)!

This is my dream, my heart, my desire and God is working it out! He is leading me and directing my steps and he is making my dream a reality!

Let me tell you, this is no ordinary moment! This is an extraordinary moment that only God could bring to pass. 

I know without a shadow of a doubt that any talent I have is from the Lord and I am so grateful and humbled that he is allowing that talent to be put to use for his kingdom!

I have a dream of writing a book and also of traveling to women's conferences and churches (maybe even a homeschooling convention or two) and speaking to women. It's a BIG dream. It's a GOD sized dream. But I know that if it is his will then it will come to pass.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A First

My "Little" Girl When She WAS Little
My "Little" girl shaved her legs for the first time yesterday!


How is this possible?

She was just a tiny pink ball of fuzz last week! How in the world can she be so grown up already? I think there has been a HUGE mistake.

Growing Up Way To FAST

She is turning into a beautiful young lady and I am so very proud of her but I really would like to stop the clock and just let her enjoy being little for a little while longer.

Another ordinary moment turned extraordinary. The beginning transformation from girlhood into womanhood. Just a tiny step into the adult world but I was there to guide and witness it.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Heading Out for Vacation (Kind of)

My children are Bible Quizzers (a whole other post) and they have made Nationals (think Superbowl).

Tyler and Andrew "FLORIDA 2"
 So our family will be loading up the car with suitcases and kids Friday morning and heading to St. Charles, Missouri (a 16 hour drive according to Google maps) for a week of intense competition with other Bible Quizzing teams from around North America.
Delaney and Christina "FLORIDA 3"

Getting a family of 5 ready for a 2 day road trip and a 5 day hotel stay followed by another 2 day road trip home is no small undertaking. It takes planning, preparation, and lots and lots of lists.

I have lists of errands I need to run.

I have lists of foods I need to make, pack, and buy.

I have lists of chores I need to accomplish before we leave.

I have packing lists for clothes and toiletries.

I was thinking about making a list of the lists that I need to make (and I guess I just did that) but I thought that might be a little much!

These lists are what help to keep me sane! They help me to not forget that the boys need dress shoes and that I need pajamas! They also allow me to not be a crazy woman (crazier woman)  for days wondering and worrying that I will forget something.

Packing and getting ready for a trip while stressful and a little overwhelming is just one more of the things in my life that I am SLOWLY learning to appreciate. Because I know that way sooner than I am ready our family of 5 will be headed out for our very first vacation as a family of 4 and then probably not long after that we will be down to just 3. I of course dream of huge vacations with my children's spouses and children all coming along but I know that even then it will not be the same! Someone else will be making the cookies and packing up the cars and telling Mom that she doesn't need to do everything. And my heart will break a little.

So this week, I will make my lists, pack the bags, cook the food, map out the route, do the laundry, AND ENJOY EVERY SINGLE MINUTE!


Monday, July 28, 2014

It's the Ordinary Moments

Lunch Break at McDonalds
Lunch Break at McDonald's

Yes, life is full of “Grand” moments.

When your future husband drops to one knee to ask “the question”.
When you announce to the world that you are expecting your first child.
When you buy your first home.
When your oldest child gets his driver’s license.

All BIG moments that take your breath away.

But what about the “little” moments.

Sneaking glances of that man (who would make you his wife) across a miniature golf course.
Buying the first tiny outfit that your new bundle of joy will wear home from the hospital.
Struggling and saving up every penny so that you can buy your first home.
Hours in prayer before you let your first born drive a car for the first time.

It’s the little moments that pass us by so quickly, that we hardly even notice, which will make the greatest impact on our lives. These are the moments we will search our memory banks for time and time again so that we can recall the look, the feel, and the smell of a place in time.

Yes, it’s the big moments that change our lives but it’s the small moments that change us!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ordinary Girl...Extraordinary Life

I named my blog this because it's really how I feel!

I am quite simply a very ordinary girl (maybe even below ordinary) but I live an extraordinary life thanks to my husband, my children, and most of all my God.

He blesses me when I don't deserve it with extraordinary people, things, and events in my life. I have been guilty of not seeing and not recognizing the truly magnificent life that I have been given and so I'm praying that by writing this blog I will begin to see and appreciate more of the blessings that God has bestowed upon me.
Perhaps even see the blessings in the mundane and ordinary things that make up my (and everyone's) life.

What an accomplishment to be able to see the blessing in dirty dishes, laundry, and bickering children. I will admit I am nowhere near this level of Thanksgiving and gratitude but I sure would like to be!

After 40 years on this earth, giving birth to 4 children, being a mother for 18 years and a wife for almost 20, and burying a 2 month old son I have learned that …


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Easy Homemade Pizza Crust (You Will Never Need Take-Out Again)

Our family spends wastes a lot of money on eating out!

After a LONG day of school, Bible quizzing, cooking, cleaning, and on and on and on, that phone number to the local pizza place is so TEMPTING! I know that with just the push of a few buttons dinner will arrive fast and hot. However, my bank account will take a hit that it was not expecting and I will have to figure out where that money is going to come from.

ENTER Easy Homemade Pizza Crust! With a just a few ingredients and a little bit of time, I can save some DOUGH (you saw that one coming right?) by making DOUGH!

Easy Homemade Pizza Crust (original recipe)

1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon yeast
1 heaping tablespoon sugar

Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees.

 Add water, salt and vegetable oil to a large bowl.

Add bread flour, sugar and yeast, mix with a spoon until a soft dough forms.

Put dough onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes. Then roll out dough, on floured surface, until a little larger than your pizza pan (I use a stone from Pampered Chef). Place the dough onto your pan and roll up the edges to create a lip that will keep your sauce on the pizza while it bakes. Using a fork prick holes in the dough.

Pre-bake your crust in your pre-heated oven for 10 minutes. Take out and top however you like.

Return pizza to the oven and bake another 10 minutes. ENJOY!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Melt In Your Mouth Buttermilk Biscuits

I have finally found a biscuit recipe that I can make (EVERY TIME) and they always turn out GREAT! I have also learned a few "secrets" to making fluffy, soft, EDIBLE biscuits that I will share in the recipe!

I am not sure if it's the recipe that is "fool" proof or if the "tricks" are what make this recipe work but either way it has taken me 17 years of marriage to be able to make a Homemade Biscuit that is worth eating.

Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits (original recipe
Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups bread flour
8 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 heaping tablespoons sugar
1 stick COLD butter, cut into pieces
1 - 2 cups buttermilk (may need more or less, depending on flour)

Mix flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together in bowl of Kitchen-Aid Mixer. (If you do not have a Kitchen-Aid, or some other type of stand mixer, you can try this recipe using a hand held mixer).

Using your Kitchen-Aid mixer cut the butter into the flour mixture. Mix just until the butter becomes "pea" size.

Add just enough buttermilk to make a heavy, workable dough. I have found the drier the dough the more stable the biscuit.

Knead the dough lightly (still using your Kitchen-Aid), only enough for everything to stick together. DO NOT OVERKNEAD!

Dough Folded Over
Pat dough out onto a well floured surface to around 3/4-inches thick. Fold dough over so that it makes a "double" biscuit.

Use a floured glass or mason jar ring to cut dough into circles.

Place on an un-greased baking sheet (I use one of my Pampered Chef Stones). If you leave the edges touching it will make for a softer biscuit. If you want your biscuits to have a crunch, space them out a bit more.

Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for between 10 and 12 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack (we actually eat them straight from the oven)!

Buttery, Flaky, Goodness