Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Maybe I'm the Last One On the Planet...

Okay, so I am a kitchen gadget junkie. Take me to a Pampered Chef party & I will swear I need everything the consultant is showing! (This explains why I have a food chopper & the cheese grater-thingy, AND the cool whip dispensing thingy...which (except for the food chopper) I can count on one hand the number of times I have used.)

So, the Kitchen Unlimited store is not a safe place for me. But, we are starting a book called "Learning Responsibility at Home" (or something like that) & I needed some garnishing tools. The Big 3 (Walmart, Target, & Meijer) didn't have what I needed, and last Saturday I found myself at the new 'outlets' off of I-75 beside Trader's World. (How they can be called 'outlets' with a Saks 5th Ave, I'll never know). Anyways, after Children's Place (the real reason for our stop) Abbey & I decided to take a look around.

So, after I found what I was looking for (Whew!!), I might've bought something that has the potential to gather dust, or be totally awesome...

But I tried it out today. And, I {HEART} it!!

{ignoring the mess on my counter would be appreciated, thanks! LOL}

Basically, you chop the top of your pineapple off, center the "device" over the core, and start twisting. AMAZING how quick & clean it makes cutting up this pineapple. Can you picture the possibilities with this thing? Using the pineapple shell as a vase, container, DRINK cup... Seriously cool.

But, maybe I'm the last one on the planet to have one...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Max on Life

Max on Life is a new book written by Max Lucado. He writes this book because of the many questions he has received over the years he has been "America's Pastor." These are not easy questions! The topics range from salvation and becoming a Christian to "Where is hell?" The book is segmented into different topics, and are actually numbered.

I was worried when I first read the title of this book. It sounded a bit self-absorbed, but once I started reading the book I remembered who I was judging! Don't let the title fool you. This is not a book all about Max's wisdom! He definitely points to the One with All Wisdom, and he shares the wisdom he's gained with grace and love.

I wasn't sure I would love the layout of the book, but as the Mom of young children I found it an asset! As I mentioned before, all the questions are grouped together according to content, and numbered. The answers are also short & not chapter-length. The answers are delivered with love and grace, as well as short and to the point. Very easy to pick up and read through, or, as I had to do, put down for a bit until the next moment I could snatch some time to read!

I can definitely say that I have found comfort and peace because of the answers I have personally struggled to answer. I loved the scripture references, because they showed me that Max didn't "pull the answers out of a hat!" I would absolutely recommend this book for everyone. It would make a great witnessing tool, also, and a good gift for someone struggling for answers.

*As a note, I received this book free in exchange for my review.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

For All the Doubters

Ok, who am I kidding? There aren't many readers that read this blog to doubt that I would deliver on my promise of another post this week that was NOT HMJ-related. lol But, because I believe I should keep my promises...

I am going to share a recipe!! It's a family favorite, very easy & always adaptable. I hope you (whoever you are) enjoy!! :)

{Be sure to notice the Paula Dean bakeware the pizza pasta's in!! My favorite sister got that for me for Christmas!! It makes everything I bake in it look prettier. I'm such a dork.}
Pizza Pasta

9x13 pan
1 box of pasta (we use rotini noodles)
1 jar Pasta sauce
1 2c pkg of shredded Mozzarella cheese
Onions, chopped (optional)
Peppers, chopped (optional)
Mushrooms, chopped (you guessed, optional)
Any other of your favorite pizza toppings! Or, get creative!

1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 & spray your pan with some non-stick cooking spray.

2. Cook your noodles per pkg directions; drain, add pasta sauce to noodles. Layer this mixture in the bottom of your prepared pan.

3. Top with shredded cheese.

4. Layer pepperoni on top of cheese, plus additional desired toppings.

5. Bake @ 350 for about 30 minutes.

This is so easy it's stupid. Just sayin'. I feel a bit silly posting such an easy recipe, but I know I appreciate an easy recipe in my pocket! LOL

So, enjoy!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal (Blog Hop)

I'm joining the Homeschool Chick's blog hop again, but I didn't make the deadline for last week, so this is actually from the week before! haha (March 31-April 4th is highlighted, especially) Please show me some grace! We've been very busy & very exhausted...but having fun! And, I promise I will try to do at least one other post a week that isn't HMJ related!! HA!!

In my life this week... We’ve been getting over a very crazy weekend!! We went to the Midwest Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati last weekend (we went down on Thursday, left late Saturday night). We took a MUCH needed day off on Sunday, then Monday morning went back to Cincinnati for a day at Newport Aquarium with our homeschool group PEACH.

In our homeschool this week... Still focusing on the basics. Because we were gone, we didn’t “do” much school, but focused on where we were & where we want to go with homeschooling. The Convention was, of course, ideal for that!! Haha

Places we're going and people we're seeing... I’ve already mentioned the top 2 places we went to this week!! But, I’m sorry to say we didn’t really get to slow down much this week. Tuesday we took Eli to class, went to the Library; Wednesday we stuck around home most of the day then went to church (I’m teaching our Youth group on Wednesdays for a short time right now). Then, Thursday it was back to Eli’s class & the Library!! BUSY!! We were out all day yesterday After we stopped at Target & shoe shopped (UGH!!), both of the kids fell asleep in the back seat. So, I drove around & we ended up in my parent’s town (15min away, not another long day trip! HA!) & played at the new park playground there as a special treat. Eli went to bed SO easily!! I’m looking forward to a low-key weekend THIS weekend! We’ll see if I’m successful!

My favorite thing this week was... The Homeschool Convention. And Newport. I guess just spending time as a family made both of those things MORE special. It wasn’t easy taking the kids to the Convention , but it was worth it to all be together.

What's working/not working for us... Things are going pretty well. No new changes, yet, but I have a few ideas floating around in my head that I’d like to start implementing.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have... One of the best things I’ve heard that just brings RELIEF & JOY to my soul is from a book Steve got me from the Convention by Todd Wilson. HE.IS.HILARIOUS. Just sayin
Keeping it real. Stop wearing a mask. Stop comparing what I’m doing to what others are doing. We’re not all perfect! Let go of my often too-high expectations & have fun enjoying my kids. Seriously, I don’t think I do that enough.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...

{Abbey's highlight of the whole convention! Meeting Jessa & Jana Duggar... Them, and seeing Tim Hawkins!}

{I think Steve's face is priceless! Our homeschool group had a ps-like "meet-the-reptile" session!}

{Eli's favorite! NEMO!}

{Our family's favorite! The Penguins!}

The Homeschool Mother's Journal