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

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Chicken Pasta Salad

As you may remember my children are Bible Quizzers and that means that once a month we head out of town for a Bible Quizzing Tournament. We normally will go to wherever the tournament is the night before so that our children are assured of getting plenty of rest. Nothing like trying to remember 300 scriptures while dozing off at the quiz table!

And as we are a one income family, week-end getaways once a month do not really fit in with our budget. So I cut the costs as much as possible. We ALWAYS stay in a hotel that offers free breakfast. This enables us to sleep-in a little longer and also saves us money. And we ALWAYS stay at a hotel that offers Government Employee discounts (Thank You USPS).

I also pack our lunch to eat during the quizzing tournament. I do this for two reasons. One, to save money. And two, because sometimes we have 20 minutes in-between quizzes in which to eat our lunch. Not very conducive to getting in the car, driving somewhere, ordering, eating, getting back in the car, and making it back to the church before the next quiz. 

And so I pack sandwiches, potato chips, snack cakes, grapes, and I ALWAYS take Chicken Pasta Salad! WHY? Because it is AMAZING, that's why! And I'm going to share the recipe with you! WHY? Because I like you, that's why!

Chicken Pasta Salad

Amazing Chicken Pasta Salad

2 to 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cooked and cut into bite size pieces)
1 box corkscrew pasta
6 green onions, thinly sliced (the original recipe calls for only 3 but I like them so I add more)
1 medium green pepper, diced

Mix in a large bowl.

So Yummy!

1 1/2 cups Miracle Whip Salad Dressing
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

Toss with chicken mixture.
Refrigerate overnight. (The original recipe says 2 hours but I like it better the next day). Also, if you are like me you will think that 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt is just too much but trust me and go ahead and follow the recipe exactly. When I tried to cut back the flavor was just not as great.

Shared On:
Homemaker's Challenge

Friday, March 28, 2014

No Bake Cookies (A Family Tradition)

Christmas Eve growing up was ALWAYS my favorite night of the year. We would head over to my Grandparent's (Ma-Maw and Pa-Paw) house and meet up with my mother's other 5 siblings and their kids for a family meal and presents!

I can still to this day recall that excited feeling that I would have ALL DAY long! The clock seemed to move so slow and the day felt like it was never going to end. And then somehow, almost magically, Mom would call for me to get my coat and we would head out the door. The best times were when it was snowing and the houses in the neighborhood were lit up with multicolored lights. In my mind's eye everything was beautiful and perfect. We would pull up to the house and the drive-way would be filled with cars, the windows would be steamed up from all the cooking and baking that went on in the house ALL DAY long! Their would be lights and laughter and presents and JUNK FOOD!

We ate buffet style and so once I was old enough to fix my own plate I bypassed the ham, noodles, and deviled eggs for BUCKEYES, FUDGE, AND NO BAKE COOKIES! My Aunt Shali makes the best No Bakes in the world. And still to this day it would not be Christmas Eve without an Aunt Shali No Bake.

I have to make them myself now that we have moved to Florida. The North Family Christmas parties have been over for a long time now. Siblings moved away, kids grew up, there were divorces, and deaths, and LIFE just changes. Of course, we still try and get together on Christmas Eve (from our own little corners of the world) but it will NEVER be like it was. Those perfect (if only in my mind) nights of gently falling snow, laughter, lights, Christmas trees, presents, and FAMILY!

But every Christmas Eve when I put out the Buckeyes and Aunt Shali No Bakes, my mind races back in time to Christmas Eve's long gone and I remember faces, and smells, and sounds, and sights that bring a smile to my face and joy to my heart. And as I pick up a No Bake and take that first chocolaty bite for just a second I am 5 years old again and all the world is right and it's the BEST NIGHT OF THE YEAR!

Aunt Shali No Bake Cookies (a Family Tradition)
Aunt Shali  No Bakes

2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups quick cooking oats (make sure you use the quick cooking)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Bring sugar, cocoa, milk and butter to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
As soon as it starts to boil, remove from heat and stir in vanilla, peanut butter, and oats. Mix well!
Drop by tablespoons (I use a medium cookie scoop and then flatten with the back of it) onto waxed paper.
Let cool!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Amish Baked Chicken

Amish Baked Chicken
This is my NEW "Go To" recipe for chicken. We all love this chicken. It is juicy, flavorful, pretty simple, and Finger-Lickin' good!

I have made it for company (so you know it's good) and it never fails to impress.

Now I am going to give a disclaimer on this recipe: I bake it on a stone with sides (Pampered Chef: Bar Pan) so if you do not have a stone I have no idea how this chicken will turn out! For me, the skin is crunchy and flavorful and the chicken meat is juicy and tender. If you bake it in a pan or some other way please leave me a comment and let me know how it turns out.

Thanks so much to GE for leaving a comment and letting me know that using a baking sheet will work with this recipe! 

Used a baking sheet and it turned out moist and delicious. Next time we'll try boneless... And a stone pan! Thank you!!!

Print Recipe

Amish Baked Chicken

Course: Main Course


  • 12 cup flour
  • 12 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 6 bone-in chicken thighs 
  • 3 bone-in chicken breasts 


In a medium bowl combine flour and spices. Whisk well.
Dredge chicken in flour mixture and then place on cooking stone, skin side down. I use two stones, one for the breasts and one for the thighs.
Bake at 375 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Flip chicken once, half-way through cooking. Mine always takes the full 60 minutes.

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This chicken is AMAZING! Everyone loves it.
The breasts are moist and the thighs are perfect. Nothing in this recipe needs changed! Seriously, no matter what other "baked" chicken recipe I try my family always asks "When are we having Amish Chicken again?"
I have tried this recipe with boneless chicken and it just didn't taste right for some reason. It was still good but just not as good as we have come to expect. So I am going to stick with bone-in chicken. Which since that is cheaper in my area is a good thing!

Shared on:
Make Your Home Sing
Think Tank Thursday
Wise Woman Linkup
Homemaking Linkup
DIY Accomplished 
Saturday Night Fever 
Meal Planning Monday

I do not work for nor do I sell Pampered Chef. I just love their stones and use them every single day!  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pretzels In Downtown Disney

I took the kids over to Downtown Disney on Saturday because we were having "Disney Withdraw" but I was afraid to go to an actual park because of my knee. I knew that if we went early enough in the day we would get a close parking spot and that the stores/walkways would not be crowded.

We arrived around 10 a.m. and I was not disappointed at all. I parked fairly close and the only store that was crowded was "World Of Disney" (which is always crowded). We headed over to Ghirardelli for our FREE sample of chocolate! One day I am going to buy a bag of that sinfully good chocolate and eat the whole thing myself (okay I'm not going to eat the whole thing myself, but I will want to).

Then we walked around and enjoyed the sunshine and the "feeling" of being at Disney! And because our minds are now always on our upcoming Disney Vacation we stopped at a few of the food places to see what snacks we could get with our dining plan.

After about an hour and a half of walking around I decided I had better not push my knee much further (the last thing I need is a relapse) and so we headed for the car. I knew the kids were quite let down about being so close to the Disney Magic and not getting to ride a ride or see a character and so as we headed for the exit I stopped at Wetzel's Pretzels for a quick (small) snack to hold us over till we got home and had some lunch. 
Little Sticks of Soft Pretzels

I ordered the "Original Bitz" for us to try. Think small sticks of soft pretzel. We had never had Wetzel's before but we are huge fans of Auntie Anne's pretzels and so we figured if Anne can make a good pretzel then surely Wetzel's at Disney would be even better.

And while the pretzel part was good (almost as good as our Dear Auntie Anne) they lacked BUTTER and SALT! I think what makes Auntie Anne's pretzels so amazing is that you literally LICK the butter off of your fingers after eating one. No need for napkins at Wetzel's that is for sure. And I ended up digging in the bottom of the bag for more salt to put on my "stick".

Our Bag of Sticks

And at $5.43 (I forgot to use my Passholder Discount- DUH) for a bag of about 15 sticks I really didn't feel that I got my money's worth.  As you can see from the picture either the bag is big or the portions are small (you decide).

Now in all fairness, we did not try one of their actual pretzels (which might very well be BUTTERY AND SALTY) and so I will not pass judgement on all of Wetzel's Pretzels. But I can tell you that if I am ever craving a pretzel I will be heading to see Auntie Anne at my local mall and skipping the trip to Downtown Disney.

I guess I should have just went ahead and splurged on that Ghirardelli chocolate after all!
No Complaints From This One!

Friday, March 14, 2014

In Search of the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie at Walt Disney World

As I have mentioned in the past we have Annual Passes to Walt Disney World and we go ALOT! Not as much as we would like (cause if you ask the kids and I, we would go EVERY SINGLE DAY) but we do go at least 2 times a month. And one of the many things that we LOVE about Disney is the FOOD!

Disney has some of the top chefs in the country working for them and has some of the best places to eat in Orlando! Of all the theme parks we have been to (Universal, Sea World, Cedar Point, and King's Island) we LOVE Disney food the best! Of course, they have your typical "park" meals like hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken nuggets (we even love those) but they also have ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, and NY strip steaks.

I had played around with the idea of starting a Disney Blog but then I realized how silly that was since I already have a blog and I can post anything I want anyway (now I may change my mind later- cause I'm a girl and girls are allowed to change their minds) but for now I will simply add my Disney Posts here.

Joffrey's Coffee

We spent the day at Animal Kingdom and as we were leaving the park I spotted Joffrey's Coffee (it's outside the main gates right before you get to the line where they check your bags). It's just a little kiosk nothing fancy at all.

But they had something that caught my eye and made my taste buds start to dance! Now come on admit it, these cookies look REALLY GOOD!

Disney Chocolate Chip and M&M Cookies
And I REALLY REALLY wanted one (or two) and so for the sake of this blog I bought one of each. I know sometimes the sacrifices I have to make for you all is overwhelming but I will endure!

Tyler and the Cookie
And they are HUGE! Almost as big as your head! With Chocolate Chunks the size of your eye! Okay maybe not quite that big but still BIG!

So here is my HONEST review:

Delaney and the Cookies
Perfect cookie for a small child who has not developed their palate. Any child will be thrilled (just as mine were) with these giant cookies. Nothing says Disney and Vacation like a cookie as big as your head!

The Boys with the Cookies
BUT if you have bought this treat for someone who bakes or for someone who enjoys freshly baked, melt in your mouth chocolate chip cookies be prepared for disappointment.

While I did enjoy the "Chunks" of chocolate over plain old chocolate chips they were certainly stingy with the amount they used.

And while the cookie was LARGE the taste was NOT! If you happened to get a bite with no chocolate the cookie was plain and almost tasteless.

However, I would say that these cookies are sure to cause squeals of delight from any child in your traveling party and at $3.50 will be one of your cheaper treat options.

But save your money adults, I know the "WORLD" has better delicacies for you to try!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Slow Cooker Beef (Or in This Case Pork) Stroganoff

Slow Cooker Stroganoff
I have made this recipe a few times (trying to adjust
 this and that to make it a great meal) and I think I am finally on the right track! I love Beef Stroganoff and I love my slow cooker, so if I can put the two together then you know I am going to be one HAPPY girl! The problem with the recipe is that no matter what type of beef I used I didn't like the taste. The meat was either too tough (when I used stew meat) or had a strange aftertaste when I used the cube steak. And I was not about to try an expensive cut of meat in a slow cooker recipe (defeats the purpose of a budget friendly easy meal). So I had some pork steaks in the freezer and I decided to give those a try! AMAZING!

I still have a few things I would like to "tweak" (Don't you just love "You've Got Mail"?) such as figuring out how to get the small lumps of cream cheese out of the sauce. My cream cheese is completely softened and I cut it up in small cubes before I add it to the sauce but it still is not breaking down all the way. Any suggestions?

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff  (original recipe)

Yummy Dinner!
2 pounds pork steak, cut into one-inch pieces
2 cans condensed golden mushroom soup (no substitutes)
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (14-ounce) can beef broth
8-ounces fresh button mushrooms (I leave them whole)
salt and pepper to taste
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1 bag egg noodles (for serving)

In the slow cooker, combine meat, soup, onion, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cook on low for 5 to 6 hours.
Stir in cream cheese and sour cream about half an hour before serving, stirring every 10 minutes or so to break up the cream cheese. THE LAST TIME I MADE THIS I CUT THE CREAM CHEESE UP INTO PIECES AND IT SEEMED TO HELP IT BREAK UP MORE.
Serve over cooked egg noodles or rice. The original recipe calls for adding the egg noodles to the crock pot after they have cooked and when I did this we did not like it. The noodles became very mushy so now I just serve the noodles with the Stroganoff over top.
If the sauce is not thick enough for you, you can add some cornstarch and water. I have not done this so I'm not sure how it would work.

Linked up with:
Tasty Tuesday

Monday, March 3, 2014

Dear Sports Illustrated (and Wal-Mart too)

I wanted to write a letter to Sports Illustrated and Wal-Mart. So I sat down and began typing away and then I realized that my letter would probably never be opened by anyone of any importance in either company and that it would make it's way into a garbage can somewhere along the way and my words would never be heard and my voice would be silenced and well, I just was not going to let that happen!

So, I figured I would post the letter to my blog. Probably still no one of any importance at either Sports Illustrated or Wal-Mart will ever read this but maybe just maybe my letter will be read by other mothers who will join me in taking up this fight and they will write letters to these companies or post a letter on their blogs and then maybe just maybe someone with the power to DO SOMETHING will STEP UP and do just that! So here goes: My Letter To Sports Illustrated and Wal-Mart too!

Dear Sirs or Madams,

I am writing to you today because last night I took my son to Wal-Mart to purchase a magazine for an assignment he was to complete in his High School Journalism class. And as I stood at the store with my 18 year old son, my 15 year old son, and my 12 year old daughter I was HORRIFIED! Absolutely HORRIFIED! I was staring into an abyss of  scantly clad women. There were breasts and butt cheeks as far as the eye could see! I had to stop for a minute and make sure that I had not somehow wandered into one of those "ADULT ONLY" stores for surely the level of smut at one of those places is not to be outdone by this magazine isle!

I was embarrassed for my children, to see something like this in front of your friends may be one thing, but to be looking at 3 women in thong bikinis with your mother a foot away I'm sure plummeted my boys into a psychologists couch faster than if I had kept them in diapers until they were double digits. I mean seriously, do you not realize that these are family stores that people shop at, well, with their families!

Once I recovered from my embarrassment, my good old-fashioned ANGER set in. Anger that you would expose my male children to a way that is simply a small path that leads straight to PORNOGRAPHY and call it SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is shameful and downright disgusting. But my anger did not stop with my male children, OH NO, you see your filthy (and photo-shopped I have no doubt) pictures were impressed on my 12 year old daughter. You showed her right in front of her brothers and her mother that she will simply never measure up to BEAUTIFUL unless she BARES it all for ALL to see!

You should be ashamed of yourself. I know that you are NOT in the least. But since you do not have the common sense to be ashamed on your own I will be your conscious and let you know that you should be hanging your head in utter remorse. I know this issue is one of your best selling. DON'T BE PROUD OF THAT! You are a sports magazine that makes more money off of an issue that has absolutely NOTHING to do with football, baseball, basketball, or the Olympics than any other issue you produce. That only tells me one thing! You must not be very good at your job! You cannot create a profitable sports magazine that people find enlightening and entertaining and so you must rely on soft porn to make your payroll! Perhaps you should rethink your business plan and give Playboy a run for it's money and leave the sports magazines to those that know sports.

And Wal-Mart you should be ashamed too! Put these magazines in black plastic, put them behind counters, or JUST DO NOT SELL THEM AT ALL! I shop at Wal-Mart with my children, with my mother, and I used to shop there with my Grandmother! Your a family store, act like it! Hide the smut! I should not be embarrassed to walk down any isle in my local grocery store! And you should be hanging your head in remorse too! You do not have to sell the trash that these companies are peddling. I know that you make more than enough money to keep your company afloat you should not be making money at the expense of the mental, moral, and emotional cost of our children.

And so I will end this letter with a challenge to all of you at Sports Illustrated and Wal-Mart. Get your latest swim suit edition and sit down first with your mother and father and look through the magazine with them asking their opinions and advice on suits and placements of the models. Then look through it with your wife or husband (don't forget to point out the good parts) and ask how you measure up or if they measure up to what you and society consider BEAUTFIUL. And then gather the kids around and have a family night of looking through what Mommy or Daddy do for a living and what they sell to the American people. If you can do that with no shame, no remorse, no problems then I am ever so sorry that I wasted your time. I had no idea that I was the last one left in America with morals.

Melissa Thomas

Shared on A Proverbs 31 Wife
Joyful Homemaking 
Raising Homemakers 

Friday, February 21, 2014


Have you heard about Pinterest?
Are you on Pinterest?
Have you pinned the entire internet yet?

OH MY WORD! I am so addicted! I pin, and pin, and then I pin some more. I think I would have to live to be 199 years old in order to do all that I have pinned.

Breakfasts, desserts, chicken dishes, crafts, decorating ideas, and the list goes on and on.

I want to get married again (same man, new wedding) so that I can try out all of the amazing things I have seen on Pinterest.
I want to go back and have my children be little so that I can give them a PINTERESTED childhood!

I need to build a brand new house with all of the great ideas I have found for storage and organization and then I will need to remodel it right away cause there are just too many ideas out there to fit into one house!

So if you are not on Pinterest, What are you waiting for? Get over there and start pinning. But let me warn you, your life will never be the same again! You will never again be able to throw away a toilet paper roll without thinking: Hey I can make this into a great cupcake stand, Easter bunny craft, TV stand (okay I'm kidding about the TV stand, but give someone a few months and they will figure out a way and then they will pin it)!

And if you are on Pinterest come and follow me! We can pin the internet together!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Doughnut Muffins With Chocolate Glaze

Doughnut Muffins. So Yummy!
These were DELICIOUS! And really they were not all that much effort either! The glaze was made in the microwave (easy peasy) and the muffins came together rather quickly too.

The next time I will double the muffin recipe (but not the glaze as I had plenty leftover) and I will also double dip the muffins. The glaze did take longer to set up than I expected so next time I will need to remember that and start them a little earlier so that the glaze is not quite so runny when we sit down to partake of the GOODNESS!

 Doughnut Muffins (original recipe)

Doughnut Muffins (plain)
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease muffin tins with cooking spray.
In a large bowl beat together sugar and egg until light and fluffy.
In a small bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Pour flour mixture into egg mixture and stir until well combined. (the next time I make this I am going to wait and add the flour mixture until after I have added all the wet ingredients because it was very hard to get the lumps of flour out of the batter).
Add in vegetable oil, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix well!
Pour into greased muffin tins, filling each about 3/4 full (I probably over filled mine).
Bake for about 15 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

Melty Chocolate!
Doughnut Glaze (original recipe)

6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup hot water
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

 Combine the butter with the powdered sugar and mix until well blended.
Add the vanilla and the hot water. Mix until smooth.
Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, then microwave another 30 seconds and stir again. Continue microwaving for 30 seconds at a time and stirring until chocolate is completely melted. Add the chocolate to the butter mixture. Blend until smooth.
When the doughnuts have cooled, dip each top into the glaze and then flip over and cool on a plate until the glaze firms up, about 15 minutes.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Setting My Mind

“You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind.  You can change what you are and where you are by changing what goes into your mind.”   – Zig Ziglar – Motivational Speaker
Often I have heard mums say, “I’d love to have a tidy house, but that will never happen”.  Yes it will you just have to set your mind to that’s what you want and it can be done.  Form new habits and create routines.  You will soon get order into your household.

I read this a few days ago on a blog (I really need to do a better job of writing down the blog names). And it made me think, so I copied and pasted it into a word document and went on with my reading. But all day this thought kept popping back into my head. And then for the next few days I found myself thinking about it more and more. I have read it over and over. Pondered it. And prayed about it.

I have looked around at my house and my life and wondered "WHY, why don't I have things in order? Why are the kids not doing school? Why is it 5:30 and I have not even started dinner?" Why, Why, Why?!

Well, I have the answer! Because I didn't MAKE the plan and WORK the plan and get it DONE! THAT IS WHY! It's not rocket science, it's laziness! And I REALLY need to Set My Mind on what I want to accomplish and then accomplish it!

So I have three areas that I am going to SET MY MIND in.

ONE: Homeschooling - I will make sure that every child does school everyday Monday through Friday (of course I know that their will be exceptions (like when Dad is off work, or it's a holiday) but I am going to plan for school EVERY SINGLE DAY! So I will be working on creating new habits and routines that will help me accomplish this!

TWO: Meals - I already cook almost all of our meals at home. 3 meals a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. That's a lot of cooking! Thank God I love to cook! But I am not so great about cleaning up, or planning ahead, or working the plan. So I am going to create new habits and routines in this area as well!

THREE: My Bedroom - Lord have mercy on my bedroom! It's the dumping ground for all things homeless. Seriously, my bedroom just might make the cut for that Hoarders show! It's ridiculous and embarrassing and it has got to be fixed! So I am going to work on cleaning it up and then creating habits and routines to keep it cleaned up!

There are many more areas of my life that I need to get a handle on but these three are my TOP priority. So I will start with these and as I get them under control I will branch out to other areas.

Sharing on:
Think Tank Thursday

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Easy Taco Salad

Easy Taco Salad
 This recipe should be called VERY EASY TACO SALAD! or it could even be called VERY EASY VERY YUMMY TACO SALAD! But no matter what you call it I am VERY sure that your family will love you for fixing it and you will love how quickly you are in and out of the kitchen! I make this recipe on church nights because it's quick to the table and clean up is EASY too!

Print Recipe

Easy Taco Salad

Course: Main Course


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Taco Seasoning
  • 1 bag iceberg lettuce shredded
  • 1 medium tomato diced
  • 1 bag Mexican Cheese shredded
  • 1 bag Nacho Doritos
  • 1 bottle French Dressing


Brown ground beef. Drain fat. Toss with dry taco seasoning. (Please note: this recipe does not call for water.) I add lettuce, tomato and cheese to individual bowls (for easier clean up) and then right before I am ready to serve I add the beef, Doritos and dressing. And then we just mix up our individual bowls ourselves. Using individual bowls also allows for customizing the salad for those who do not like some of the ingredients. Such as my boys who will not eat tomatoes.

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Easy Taco Salad
I do not let the hamburger cool down before using it on the salad.