A Heart Toward Home

"...But as for me and my house, we will serve (worship) the LORD."
Joshua 24:15

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Party for Joanna!!

 We had a birthday party for Joanna on the 19th. Both sets of Grandparents came to help us celebrate!! :)
 Joanna was so blessed with gifts and lots of love and attention.
 We originally were going to do a "monkey" themed party, but she has been crazy about "Minnie Mouse" lately. Joanna says "Minnie Mouse" so well...its cute!
 I made strawberry cupcakes with strawberry icing. (You can get the recipe here.) Then Sarah and I decorated them with candy pearls and "Minnie Mouse" stickers on toothpicks. (Very easy decorations! I just  took Minnie Mouse stickers and placed them on pink and black card stock paper. Placed a toothpick under one of the stickers.)
 She was so excited!!
She loved blowing out the candles....I think she had to do it twice or three times. :) The little boys even took a turn blowing out candles.

Joanna had a great birthday and we all enjoyed every minute with the grandparents!!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

I Got the Picture!!! :)

Remember when I posted about the boys in their Daddy's cowboy outfit? If you missed that post you can read it here. I had mentioned that I am sure Bryan was just as cute in the cowboy outfit when he was wearing it. Well, when my Mother-in-law came for Joanna's birthday she brought me this picture!!! I was so excited!!
Bryan is in the blue and his older brother, Aaron, is in the yellow.
Here is a better picture of just Bryan. I KNEW he was cute in the cowboy outfit!!! :)

So which one of our kids look like their Daddy?

Friday, January 25, 2013


I received a text from one of the students in our Youth group asking me what was the greatest advise I had ever been given. She was doing a project for her English class.

WOW.... I began to think about this and knew pretty quickly what I would say.

In 50-100 years it will not matter how much money I made, what kind of car I drove, if I had a spotless clean house, if I was famous or not, etc. but it will matter if I made a difference in the lives of those around me.

As a mom I apply this to my mothering but I see that this can apply to others (the ladies I teach in Sunday School, the youth girls in our church, a neighbor, etc.). As a Christian I see this through spiritual eyes (leading others closer to our Lord, leading others to Jesus for salvation, etc.).

I don’t want to just make a difference, I want to make an eternal difference!! Nothing else matters when you get down to it!

As I read the Bible I see over and over again that this is exactly what Jesus and His disciples did....made a (spiritual) difference in the lives of those around them. Our world is full of lies and ways that are so far from the TRUTH that as Christian’s we have to rise up and be intentional about making a difference in the lives of those around us.

I am so thankful that I was asked this question because it did make me think and realize what I need to be doing every chance I get!

What is the best advise you have ever been given?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Curriculum for the Younger Ones

As I prepare to start our school day I thought I would share what curriculum we chose for the younger ones.

Before Isaac was born I taught Kindergarten at a small Christian school. They used the ABeka curriculum and so I was really familiar with that. When we started homeschooling Isaac this is the curriculum I went with. I have been VERY pleased! We use this complete curriculum for K4, K5, and 1st grade. Starting in the 2nd grade we begin to use other things along with some of the ABeka curriculum.

As far as teaching the kids to read, the ABeka curriculum has been great for us. I love the workbooks, the teacher guides, and the little readers.

What curriculum do you use for your younger ones?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Happy Birthday to the Man of My Dreams!

   Best Friend

These words are just a few to describe the man of my dreams! Bryan had a birthday today and the kids and I have done all we could to make him feel as special as he makes us feel! So thankful that God brought us together 16 1/2 years ago.  Happy Birthday Bryan, I love you more today than ever before!!

Here is the cake that Bryan and Sarah made for me for my birthday! He cooked me supper and it was all so delicious! Bryan and the kids went above and beyond to make my birthday such a wonderful day! Thanks so much!! I love each of you very much! :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

Yesterday I posted the steps to making whole wheat bread and rolls. I divide my dough into three sections and with one of those sections I make cinnamon rolls. Thought I would share the "rest of the recipe" for how I made the cinnamon rolls.

For making the dough you will need to go back to yesterday's post here. Then to make the cinnamon rolls you...

Roll out your dough onto a floured surface. Roll it out into a rectangle shape about 1/4 inch thick. Then you brush the dough with melted butter (Sarah is brushing the butter on in the picture below).
Once you have covered all of the dough with butter then sprinkle cinnamon on there. Elijah is sprinkling the cinnamon on in the picture below. (I love those kitchen helpers!)
Once you have enough cinnamon (see picture below for how much we put on) then you sprinkle on some sugar.
I have been using Sugar In The Raw for this and we really like it!
Sorry I don't have exact measurements on the cinnamon and sugar, I just put on what looks like enough to me. You don't want to skimp on these two things. :)
Then you will roll your dough up length wise. Make sure you roll it pretty tight so it won't fall apart. You also want to go slow so if your dough is sticking to the counter you won't tear it.
We use dental floss to cut our cinnamon rolls. Works great but I did forget to take pictures of that. Slide the dental floss under the roll, at about an inch you will criss-cross the floss and pull. It should slice it for you. You want your rolls to be about an inch think. Then place each roll into a greased casserole dish.
Cover the rolls with a kitchen towel and let them rise for about 45 minutes. They should double in size (see picture above).
Then you will bake the rolls at 375 for 20-25 minutes.
Then you can ice the rolls with your favorite icing. (Here I used a powder sugar icing)
The roll I took out and iced individually to show texture of roll.

When I made rolls the other day I was out of powder sugar, so I made a yummy brown sugar icing and I can't wait to share that with you! :)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Whole Wheat Bread and Rolls

For Christmas I got a wheat grinder from my parents and Bryan and the kids got me a stand mixer and I have been making bread. I have had so much fun making the bread that I wanted to share a step by step process that I use. My recipe came from a lady in our church (I could adopt her as my other mother). :)

This first picture is of the Wheat berries before they are ground into flour (look like rice). My kids have enjoyed watching this.
The picture below is my wheat grinder. It is a Nutrimill. There are tons on the market but this is the one that I had heard more about.
Then we have the flour. Isn't that neat!!
Now I will give the recipe below each picture.
In my stand mixer I put...
5 cups of warm water (you want it to be as warm as you would have the water to warm up a baby bottle).
2/3 cup of oil
2/3 cup of honey
1/3 cup of potato flakes
Mix together
Then Add 2-3 cups of whole wheat flour (I used my fresh ground flour)
2 TBSP of yeast
2 TBSP of sea salt
Then using dough hook, mix in about 10 cups (one cup at a time) of whole wheat flour until dough pulls away from sides.
Then I take the bowl off the stand mixer and mix it well with my hand. Should look like the above picture.
Leave it in the bowl, cover it and let it rise until double in size. I use a clean kitchen towel to cover it.
Let it rise for about an hour. This is what it should look like.
While it is rising I clean me off a spot on the counter and clean it really good. Put flour on the counter surface so that when you roll out your dough it won't stick. Then you punch down the risen dough in the bowl and pour out the dough onto your floured surface. Knead your dough. I have to keep flour on my hands too so the dough doesn't stick to my hands.
Then I divide my dough into three sections. I make two into loaves and place each one into its own greased loaf pan. I use the last section of my dough to make cinnamon rolls (that will be my next post....I promise).
Then cover your loaves (I use the same kitchen towel as before). Let them rise until double (about 45 minutes).
Then I bake the loaves for about 40-45 minutes. Your home will smell so wonderful! Once it is out of the oven I brush the top of the loaves with butter.
We are ready to eat one of those loaves as soon as it comes out of the oven! Once the other loaf has cooled off I wrap it with foil and place it in a freezer ziplock bag. When we are ready to eat it I will lay it out and let it thaw then I remove it from the ziplock bag and with it still in the foil I warm it up in the oven.

I hope this all makes sense and that I haven't missed anything. I would love to hear from you and how your bread turns out!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Part 2 of A Birthday Vacation

On Saturday we went to Paoli Peaks to go snow tubing! Oh my...so much FUN! This was the reason we chose to vacation in Indiana. It was not too crowded, so by the time you rode down the hill and got back up to the top it was time to go again.
Here is some of our crew riding the conveyor belt back to the top.
Taking a break and waiting on his turn. Isaac LOVED this!
Sarah stops and lets me take a picture. She and Isaac could have done this all day! Our pass was only for 3 hours.
Timothy was checking out the snow. :)
This little guy was having lots of FUN!
Here is the crew deciding which one to go down next and who was going to go with who.
Joanna rode about 3 times and was done! She got a little scared but really liked playing in the snow.
The kids liked linking up and riding together much more than riding alone. The more people linked up the farther you went. We all (7 of us) linked up and rode....we went real fast and far. :)
Bryan decided to take a few pictures as we were riding down the hill.
Too funny!
We all enjoyed our short vacation and had a blast being together as a family!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Birthday Vacation!

Bryan took a week's vacation for our birthday week! Joanna, Bryan, and I all celebrate birthdays this week! So since he took off we wanted to do something FUN!! My sweet hubby planned this trip and did a very AWESOME job!! :)

 Last Thursday morning we left and headed to Indiana. There is a indoor water park there that Bryan had taken the youth to last year. We arrived around 4:00 and was ready to play! There was very few people there, that was so nice!! The water park closed at 9 on Thursday night, we were the only ones at the water park between 8:15 and 9!!!
These kids had so much fun! Timothy was sick on Wednesday so we were worried that he wouldn't feel well enough to enjoy the trip. We prayed and God was so good! He felt great for most of the trip and got to enjoy lots of it!!
Timothy loved the "little" water slides!!
Here is Joanna, Timothy, and daddy coming down the water slide together.
Here is smiley (Elijah) having lots of fun on the water slide!
Here is macho man (Isaac)! :) It was a smaller water park but just right for our family! Since there wasn't alot of people there Isaac and Sarah got to ride the "big" water slides alot!!
Sarah is a water girl! She wanted to stay at the water park 24/7! She made a couple of friends and had fun with them.
Not the best picture of me....but I love this picture of my hubby! So thankful for all he does for us and how he leads our family!!
This little birthday girl has no fear!!
She had so much fun! One time I picked her up and went to get our towels, she went to kicking and screaming, she thought we were going to the room. She did NOT want to leave!
Taking a break! Elijah would go wide open and then want to sit down and just chill out. He is sooo funny!
Timothy liked this little slide and so did Joanna!
Our big boy!....or should I say, young man!
Sarah had so much fun playing with her siblings. She is just a good helper, sister, friend, and daughter! :)
So thankful that this little man feels much better!! We had so much fun and would love to go back next year!