A Heart Toward Home

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

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Homemade Peanut Butter

 For about a year I have wanted to experiment with making peanut butter. Not sure how it would work or if it would be worth the effort. Well I finally got some dry roasted peanuts and took the plunge. Elijah helped me and did great at operating the food processor. :)
We put 2 cups of peanuts in the food processor and blended it for about 2 minutes. Then repeated until all the peanuts were gone. Now we have peanut butter! I have been using it in some recipes, but too nutty tasting for us to eat plain. :) The kids had fun seeing the process...it was neat and very easy!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Helpful Hint

Anytime we discover something that works for our family I want to share it so that others might see if it works for their family. :) That is what I call Helpful Hints!

With little ones around we have a TON of books just for them. Our bookcases are overflowing. Before we moved I decided to take a few boxes and divide the books up and leave some out. This past Monday I got out a new box of books and put the others that were out away. Elijah, Timothy, and Joanna were so excited!
They were looking at books for 30 minutes or so. It was really like NEW books to them. All our kids love books and I love it that they do enjoy books so much!
In a couple of weeks or so I will swap these books for another box of books. I have also done this with toys and it goes well also.
Here are the boys looking at their books! We don't do alot of TV watching but we do alot of book looking and reading!! :)
Made this mommy smile! I enjoyed watching them enjoy looking at the books. Gave me some time to help the big kids with some school work.

Do you have alot of books?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thankful Thursday!

We enjoyed our pool this summer and are looking forward to enjoying it for many years!
Grape Jam made by The Camp Family

I am very thankful for:

169) gift cards.
170) my freezer for storing up food.
171) homemade grape jam that our family made.
172) sewing machine given to me by my mother in law.
173) The Great Physician.
174) a hubby who thinks about me.
175) our pool that we can enjoy with the kids.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Baked Pork Chops

Bryan is always so good about going by the grocery store to pick up things we need and if he happens to see a good sale we will pick that up too. He recently found some pork chops on sale and bought 2 packs (which is what our family would need :)). We don't eat pork often so cooking it is not something I am very good at. :)
Isaac was helping with supper the night I was going to fix pork chops. He likes to cook and be my helper. Isaac really likes experimenting. I knew that we wanted them baked and to seal in the juiciness I needed to sear them on both sides. We started off with Isaac rinsing them off and patting them dry. Next we dipped them in buttermilk and seared them in a skillet. Once they were seared we dipped them in bread crumbs and spices. This mixture has no set amounts...I used some bread crumbs I had left and added the seasonings that we like (paprika, onion powder, seasoning salt, etc.).
We dipped both sides in the bread crumb mixture and placed them in a greased (I use palm shortening) casserole dish. With the oven preheated to 350 degrees we covered them with foil, placed them in the oven, and baked them for 45 minutes. While they were baking in the oven Isaac and I made some gravy in the skillet we used to sear the pork chops in. After the 45 minutes was up we got them out and drizzled the gravy over the top, covered them back up and baked for another 20-30 minutes.
I didn't know how this would turn out, especially with the gravy on it...but these were absolutely the best!! I am sure it was due to Isaac and I doing this together. :) We all devoured them and will keep this recipe for future use. The gravy really made these delicious!!

I hope this makes sense and if not please comment and let me know.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Big Sister, Little Sister!

I don't always think about Joanna looking like Sarah until we pull out pictures of Sarah when she was little and Joanna says, "That's me!"

So I thought I would share a few pictures of both of the girls and you can see their resemblances and why Joanna insist that those pictures are of her. :)
Here is Sarah at age 2 eating toast.
Here is Joanna sitting at the table waiting for her breakfast.
This is Sarah taking a bath at Maw's.
Here is Joanna swimming at the pool.
Sarah on a trip that we took right before she turned 3.
Here is Joanna and Timothy playing outside.
Sarah has always liked cooking!
Joanna is showing off her apron that we made.
Here they are recently together.
Sarah loves playing dress up and she loves having a sister to play with!
I pray that these two will always be close and best friends! Sarah was 7 1/2 years old when Joanna was born and I thought they would not be close but I was so wrong!! These two are crazy about each other and I just love to hear Joanna say Sarah's name or call her "Sissy". :)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Three Years!

That’s how long its been since Bryan and I have had a getaway together. Too long!! I was pregnant with Joanna and it was the week of Thanksgiving. Bryan did a great job planning that wonderful get away for us.

Then for Pastor Appreciation this month, four families in our church gave us a getaway and took care of our children. Bryan and I were gone for 2 days. It was nice and refreshing. I know that the kids were well taken care of. :) I enjoyed this time with Bryan and then we were both ready to see the kids and love on them when we returned home!
Our getaway was to Pickwick State Park. It was beautiful! The picture above was the view from our room. The state park is very nice.
We saw lots of boats and barges. The campgrounds were really nice. We both said that we would have to bring the kids back one day and make it a camping trip! :)
Bryan and I took our bikes and enjoyed riding through the state park. The bike ride was very nice and the weather was perfect!

It was so nice to not have to cook, clean, wash clothes, etc. for a couple of days. Trips like this make me love my family so much more!! :) It is good for our marriage and for our parenting.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Overnight Guest!!

When we lived in Alabama we homeschooled under a church that had a school. One of the perks was that the homeschool kids could go on Mondays and participate in enrichment with the school kids. This was a good experience for Isaac and Sarah, something that they still talk about. One of the greatest blessings from their time there was we met a family that are still close friends to us. Sarah and their oldest (Eliana) were in Kindegarten when we met them...that was 5 years ago. :) The picture above was taken in December 2010 when we were in Alabama for Christmas. As I was looking for a picture of the kids I realized that I have more pictures of them than I thought I did. YAY!!
At that time they had 3 children and we had 3 plus I was pregnant with Timothy. Alot has happened in 5 years...we helped them move across town, they really blessed us with meals when Timothy was born, they were there to help us when we were packing up to move to TN, we have had our 5th baby and they have welcomed twin boys! We use to get together often when we lived in Alabama and now we try to stay in touch through email and text. Their girls even came up for Sarah's birthday this summer and when Sarah goes to Alabama she usually spends a day with them. (In the picture below: Eliana, Sarah, and Hannah)
Almost 2 weeks ago Mrs. Sara (the mother of this lovely family) text me and said they were headed north to visit family and could they stop at our home for a visit and to break up the distance. Of Coarse!!!!! We were tickled that they were coming. They had stopped by our home in Unionville a couple of years ago but our visit was cut short because their little boy (only boy at that time) was sick and they needed to get home. (In the picture below: (their) Elijah, Timothy, and Isaac)
They arrived right at supper on Wednesday night and we enjoyed every minute they were with us. They stayed til after lunch on Thursday and then they packed up and headed north. It was so nice to see the kids play together and us to get to talk (while watching 10 kids). :) (In the picture below: (our) Elijah and Joanna)
It was an adventure with 10 kids under the same roof but nobody seemed to notice. We are so thankful that God gave us an opportunity to be together. When we get together it is interesting because we both have Sarah's and we both have an Elijah. We usually have to clarify who we are talking to. Adds a little more fun in the mix. (In the picture below: Caleb and Josiah)
Not sure what it was that caused us to make a connection almost 5 years ago but God does. We are very thankful that he has given us this family as friends! They love the Lord, have some of the same convictions that we have, and strive to make Jesus the center of their marriage, family, and home.
The picture above is Sara and I. Usually we are the ones taking the pictures but we did ask Isaac to take a picture of us. :)
Here are all the kiddos right before they had to leave. :) We are so blessed!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thankful Thursday!!

One of my friends from Shelbyville Mills gave me this Tortilla Maker as a going away gift. It was this friend and her mother that got me started with grinding our own flour and learning about eating healthier. I will always be thankful that God placed them in my life.
I miss Laura! Her son and Timothy were right about the same age and were friends. Timothy misses Lane too! :(
Here is the sweet note that was included in the box. We had been out of town on a trip to the beach in May and when we arrived home this was waiting for me on the front porch. We are so blessed with such special friends! :)

I am thankful for:
162) a visit with family.
163) a getaway with my hubby. :)
164) watching a movie with the kids.
165) our tortilla maker. (See pictures above) 
166) deer meat.
167) our children memorizing God’s Word.
168) a new school year.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Soccer 2013

When Isaac and Sarah were younger and we lived in Alabama we enjoyed playing Upwards basketball and soccer. Then when we moved to Tennessee there is not alot of Upward sports around. There was NOTHING at all when we lived in Shelbyville. God is so good and provided a great opportunity for the kids to play sports at the local elementary school though.
Then as we were getting ready to move here Timothy asked if he could play soccer. After some searching we found an Upward soccer league not too far from where we live. We decided to let the four oldest ones all play. The picture above is of Elijah (#5) and his friend from church Cade at a game.
Elijah enjoys playing and loves running as fast as he can. He is pretty fast! :)
This is all game to Elijah, no competition at all. He is just out there to have fun. I love that about him...he enjoys life.
This soccer league is a small one and that means that the teams were co-ed. Isaac and Sarah were on the same team and that worked out really good. Isaac is the only boy in this picture. :)
Isaac plays with all his heart! He gives it 110% and then some. On his and Sarah's team there was another brother and sister. We have enjoyed getting to know them. They homeschool too and there are times at practice that their Dad and Bryan will play a game with the team. So fun to watch.
Again Isaac is the only boy in this picture. Him and Sarah enjoy being on the same team and working together to score some points.
This girl is growing up so fast right before my eyes. Sarah has really enjoyed playing soccer. She has a good time wherever she is. Being my social butterfly, she has become good friends with the other girl on her team.
In this picture she and the boy in front of her was trying for the ball at the same time and Sarah got kicked in the leg. She was down for a minute but recovered really well and got right back in there.
Here is Sarah playing defense. I have enjoyed watching the kids play and have a good time. We worked it out to where they all have practice on Thursday evenings and I pack a picnic for us all. The three little ones and I will eat while Isaac and Sarah practice and then they eat while we are driving home.
Here is soccer man! Timothy is in the middle with a grey jersey on. He looked at me during the second practice and said "OK I am done. Practiced last week and that is all I needed." Then when games started his excitement kicked in. :)
He likes being able to have the ball during a game. He has gotten a goal at every game and he likes telling us all about the game when its over.
Here he is patiently waiting for someone to kick the ball. We are so thankful that the kids have gotten to play soccer and meet new friends. Basketball is next and we have signed the kids up to play at the elementary school. So the next sports pictures I post will be of basketball. :)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Pinterest Thing

I do like seeing ideas on Pinterest. Not sure that I will ever get to do them all but the ideas are great!

I did find one idea that didn't seem too hard and the space under my kitchen sink needed some MAJOR attention!
Here are two pictures of what the cabinet under my kitchen sink looked like. Not very appealing! Your right, who sees under there anyway...I do. I really wanted to make this look a little nicer.
See the stains and the water damage areas? Off to Home Depot and buy a few pieces of peel and stick tile....
and it looks sooo much better!! Not hard at all and very cheap! We even got enough pieces to go on over to the left where I store my pots. I am sure it's not the prettiest thing but...
Looks much cleaner and I think it turned out pretty good! :) Don't you like to see an idea and then do it yourself? I do!! :)