Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Homemade Ice Cream


My son has been having a friend over a few nights this week for a sleepover, so I decided to make some homemade ice cream & let them make sundaes. I tried a new recipe & it was really good. It was one I had cut out of the newspaper long ago. Here it is!

Ingredients:
3 tbs cornstarch
6 cups whole milk
2 2/3 cups sugar
4 eggs
3/4 tsp salt
1 12-oz can evaporated milk
1 pint whipping cream
3 1/2 tbs pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Mix cornstarch with 1/2 cup milk. Add 1 1/2 cups milk and cook in double boiler or large pot until thick and smooth, beating constantly to avoid lumps.

Blend sugar, eggs, salt and evaporated milk with electric mixer. Add whipping cream, remaining milk and vanilla extract. Pour into freezer and crank.

I like to make my ice cream either early in the morning or the day before, that way it's not as soft. Enjoy!

This post is linking up with:
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Tuesdays At the Table

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Soaking Up the Summer- Pictures From Our Week

Well, last week started out pretty rough, but things did get better, thankfully. I appreciated everyone's encouragement in the comments. It's nice to know that others struggle with the same things & that I'm not the only one.

Before we know it, the summer will be gone, so we've been trying to enjoy it while we can. Here are some pictures of my boys last week, soaking up what's left of the summer:

Big J cools off in the pool with friends... the temps have been pretty high here lately.


Little J enjoys the sand almost as much as he enjoys the water. Good thing our local pool has a sand area.


My mom gave us her playground this weekend, and the boys are loving it.


Little J got a big coloring book for his birthday, so we've been doing lots of coloring around here lately.


This post is linking up with:
A Lot of Loves
5 Minutes For Mom
Wordless Wednesday
Wordful Wednesday
Two of a Kind
Gratituesday
Chatting at the Sky

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Just Not My Week


This just hasn't been my week. After a really productive weekend getting most of my school preparations done, I just can't seem to accomplish anything this week. Add to that the fact that it seems there's always someone crying or complaining, along with me having a headache for several days, my energy level has been running low, and I've been feeling overwhelmed.

The hardest thing is we've been dealing with a lot of attitude from my 9-yr old & it's really been getting me down. Constantly arguing with him about his chores, about following directions, about being nice to his brother, about watching how he talks to us, and even about lying is sapping my energy. I think being a parent is so much easier when they're babies & toddlers! It's hard when your child acts unthankful about everything no matter what you do, especially when you're already feeling pulled in so many directions, trying to keep everything going.


Now that August is here, I'm feeling the added pressure of trying to fit in the rest of the fun activities we wanted to do this summer, while still trying to finish up some projects on our list before the busy-ness of school starts up, as well as getting all the school preparations, chore schedules, & routines in place. Whew! No wonder I'm overwhelmed!

I actually really love this time of year, getting organized, the fresh start of a new school year, thinking about new ways of doing things... I think January & August just might be my favorite months of the year! But right now, it's not feeling so fun. I'm just feeling overwhelmed. And impatient. And grumpy. Maybe I should just let some of that stuff on my to-do list go.


I had so much fun yesterday afternoon, spending 3 hours of one-on-one time with my 2-yr old at the pool & sand area. But the entire rest of the day was literally spent arguing with my 9-yr old. The. entire. rest. of. the. day!

So last night, I talked with my hubby about how something needs to change. It seems like we're just not getting through to our son, and we're talking to him about the same things over & over again. Then we remembered that we bought a couple of books at the curriculum fair a few years ago:


We still haven't even used them yet! So we got them out & looked through them & they seem perfect for what we're dealing with right now. Both are written by Pam Forster & published by Doorposts. You can look up a certain character topic like disobedience, laziness, arguing, theft, etc and it points you to a list of verses as well as ideas of things you can have your children do to help them to grow in a Godly manner in that area. I don't know why we haven't been using them all along!

So after realizing that, I've been feeling a lot better. More than anything, I want my son to have a heart that's tender towards the Lord and have the desire to do what's right. We plan to add these books as part of our curriculum for the coming year. I'm excited to get started!

This post is linking up to:
5 Minutes For Mom,
Wordful Wednesday,
Works For Me Wednesday,
Two Of a Kind,
Word-Filled Wednesday,
Tuesday Unwrapped,
Tidy Mom,
Gratituesday


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Our Financial Journey - Part 2

This week, I am continuing on with Part 2 of my family's financial journey. To read Part 1 of our journey, click here.

(Hubby & I with Little J in 2008)

When my oldest son was born, we were debt-free, other than our house payment. It felt really good to know that we had reached our goal of paying off our debt of $20,000. We remained debt-free for over 3 years. I was a stay-at-home mom & we were living on one income. We didn't have a lot, but we had enough. God was providing.

(Big J @ 4 months)

In 2003, we owned 2 vehicles that were paid off, a 30-yr old pickup and a 9-yr old Dodge Neon (which was slowly dying). The Neon was becoming extremely unreliable & constantly breaking down, leaving us stranded (with a toddler in tow). Not a good situation. My hubby spent a lot of time working on the car, fixing each thing as it went wrong. It was costing us a lot of his time, as well as money.

We had been putting up with this for about 3 1/2 years, never knowing when & where we were going to get stranded. It was so frustrating! So we finally decided to trade in the Dodge Neon for something more reliable, and we bought a used mini-van, adding a vehicle payment to the mix. It has never left us stranded, and we still own it today. I love it!

(Big J @ 5 years with van in background)

Then the following year, my hubby decided to sell his 30-year-old pickup for a newer model. I can't say that I blamed him... I sure wouldn't want to drive that thing... it was as old as I was! Add in vehicle payment #2.

(Hubby with his old truck)

(Big J @ 4 years in new truck)

Somewhere in there, we also added in a credit card & began using it occasionally to live beyond our means. Not really the vision we had when we first got married. We were still doing okay, but things were tight. Having debt was really starting to become a burden. Something needed to change...

Check back next week to read Part 3...

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

You Know You're Probably Nesting When...

... you realize at 2am on a Saturday morning that you just can't live with your stove being dirty for one more minute. So you decide to clean it. At 2am on a Saturday morning. Then you continue on with the rest of the kitchen.


Yep, that's how I started my weekend. Pulled the burners out, lifted the top, and started scrubbing away. I had been needing to do some deep-cleaning around here. This rental just wasn't up to our standards when we moved in, and although I did do some deep-cleaning at the time, I just didn't have the energy during my first trimester to do it all. So this weekend, I decided to not put it off any longer, and I got quite a lot done, actually. Yeah, I know I'm weird. But when you hate cleaning, and all of a sudden, you actually feel up to it, you just go with it.


I'm starting to think about the school year, and there are some things that I'd like to get behind me so we can have a successful year and I can focus better. One is cleaning, the other is decorating. I don't really enjoy either one. But I'd like to be able to feel comfortable having people over & having those two things done would certainly help. Plus it's really helping this place feel more like home. My mom said it would.


The past few weeks, she's been helping me decorate & we're getting close to being done. Most of the rooms have picture frames up now. Do you know just how long it takes to hang a series of 3 pictures on the wall & have it turn out right? Good thing I have my mom to come help me since I'm clueless in that department, otherwise this place might have always looked like we just moved in (& we've been here 3 months already!). Now I just need to get some pictures printed up to put in those frames. So that is my project this week. I'm also planning to get portraits done of the boys, since it's about time for that too.

This post is linking up to:

Monday, August 2, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - Aug 2nd


The best thing about my menu this week is that I don't have to cook until Wednesday! We're having pizza with my college roommate & her family tonight. Then tomorrow, our new friends from church have invited us over for dinner.

The rest of the week, all of my meals will be in the crockpot by noon, giving me the rest of the day to be anywhere but my kitchen. That's right, I'm doing all slow cooker meals this week, mostly soups.

I'm in a weird mood for soups. And my husband said he's getting tired of chicken so no chicken this week. Haha, after this week, he'll be telling me he's tired of soup! I'm trying some new recipes out of my Fix-It & Forget-It Cookbook, so I'm putting page numbers after the titles.

Here's what we're having for dinner this week:

Monday: Pizza with friends

Tuesday: Dinner with friends

Wednesday: Meatloaf Casserole (P. 107)

Thursday: Texican Chili (P. 31) & Cornbread

Friday: Manhattan Clam Chowder (P. 44)

Saturday: Taco Soup with Pizza Sauce (P. 38)

Sunday: Spicy Potato Soup (P. 52)

To see more menu plans, visit OrgJunkie.
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