Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Greater Is He Women's Home

Decatur Area Friends,
We have a friend, Angie Corrigan, who is the founder of Greater Is He Women's Home in Decatur.  They will be a transitional home there in Decatur...the women will be paroled from the prison in Decatur--and will be moving in its first residents in May. Below there is a list of needs...if you are able to meet those needs once, or on a monthly basis..that would be amazing!  I think it would be fantastic if we could all shower this home with the love of Jesus and bless these women as they begin anew.  If you find a good deal on a toiletry item once, or are cleaning out your home, or your cabinets...please keep this ministry in mind!  Contact info is listed on their website, and they also do have a facebook group.  I spoke with Angie today and she also requested donations of notebooks or journals for the women to use in their Bible Study, computer/printer paper, and writing utensils.  If I find out there is need of anything else, I'll post it!  Thanks in advance for your kindness and compassion for these women and your giving hearts!

http://www.greaterishewomenshome.org/

How You Can Help...

Proposed Monthly Budget & Need:
Rent/Mortgage     $500
Utilities                   $250
Insurance               $250
Housemother        $1000
Daytime Staff        $800
Groceries/Misc     $600
TOTAL BUDGET $3,400--You can give online on the website too!

Every person's support is vital to the home, no matter how much or little!
Volunteer Services Needed:
Bible Study facilitators (no experience needed)
Care Team (each woman will have a specific team to help her meet initial needs upon release: transportation to Dr checkups, getting her ID card, copies of birth cert, clothing, etc.)
Mentors
Musicians/bands/singers to lead worship
Those who can share talents or skills on Saturdays for special projects & events (i.e. sewing, cooking, manicures, painting)
Donations/Items Needed:
Toiletry items
Linens/towels/curtains
Kitchen items
Clothing
Media (TV's, radios, DVD players, Christian books/CDs/DVD/movies)
Notebooks & pens
Health items (hand weights, fitness DVDs, workout equipment)
 
Blessings to you!
Amanda

Wordless Wednesday


We had a wonderful Easter and hope you and your family did too!

Banana Bread

This bread is our family favorite! It has been my mom's recipe for years and is fantastic!  The riper the bananas the better!

1 c. sugar
1/2 c. margarine or butter
3 ripe bananas (mashed)
2 c. flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 unbeaten eggs
1 tsp. soda disolved in 1 tsp. sour milk (read how to sour milk below)
1/2 nuts-- optional

This recipe is SO easy...just mix it all together with your mixer and pour into a loaf pan!

To sour milk, add 1/2 tsp of vinegar to 1 tsp milk--it will appear to curdle.  Then, add the soda to the milk/vinegar mixture it will fizz and foam up...then pour it into the mixture.

Bake on 300* for 1 hour and enjoy! I usually pop it right out of the pan onto a cooling rack and when it is cool place it in a bag to either freeze or store.  I usually make more than one batch at a time.  Also, the top "crust" is better when it has had time to sit in the bag. 

Happy Baking!


Amanda

31 Days to Clean - Having a Martha House the Mary Way

31 Days to Clean-Having a Martha House the Mary Way
by Sarah Mae

I have been hearing lots of buzz about this book!  
Today, I am posting about it...so I can get a free one!


I can't wait to read it!  Will you join me?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Largest Loser

Ok...so at our old YMCA I participated in their Get-Fit Challenge and did well loosing some weight, and getting more in shape.  I have a LOT to loose, so after we moved here, I started going to the Y on Tuesday nights and riding a bike (I can watch The Biggest Loser and get some miles in).  Aaron convinced me to participate with him in the Tour De Doughnut this year, which is about 30 miles--and one day of the Hilly Hundred, which is about 50 miles.  He is also trying to cut time from his Century and has his own goals for the year.  Since about a week after we moved, I have been going to the Y and getting my miles in--and Aaron gets everyone in bed and works at home those nights.  Our new Y has a program similar to the other one I participated in, The Largest Loser, and I decided I needed the motivation.  Our first weigh in was this week and I was not looking forward to it.  The good news is that I had maintained my weight loss from the first challenge!  Yesterday was the fitness assessment and it was tough...I would compare it to the fitness testing you did in school--but in school I was much more in shape all of those years ago.  Then, I heard many people saying we'll see you in the morning--I thought that was strange, as the group I signed up for had classes every day, but in the evenings.  So, I decided I would ask...and...as luck would have it I was wrong! The classes are in the evening on Tuesday and Thursday and at 5:30, yes 5:30 in the morning Monday, Wednesday, and Friday...yuck! I have worked so hard to get my kids to sleep until 8 or 8:30 and was very disappointed in finding this out--however I am committed to the program, and it will probably be very good for me! So, this morning I rolled my already sore, behind out of bed to go to the Y when my alarm went off at 5:00--in the morning, just need to say that again for emphasis--in the morning.  We did some circuit training and it was good.  I came right home afterwards and then Aaron went to work. 

Yesterday was a better day temperature wise for us, it was finally in the 50's and we hooked up the bike trailer for Lydia and the boys pedaled their little hearts out for at least a mile after we had eaten our dinner.  They love their bikes and all I can say, is that it is a good thing they wear helmets, because they love to fall! They are sooo funny! Hope you had a productive, exercise filled week like we did! Have a blessed Easter!

Love and Blessings to you,

Amanda

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Levi

Levi loved "school" so much yesterday that this morning he came bounding into my room with his backpack on...and full of books.  He bent over to pick something off of the floor and he couldn't keep his balance...it was SO loaded with books. He said he was ready to do school.  I told him we do school downstairs, he responded that he was ready to go downstairs then...I had him take the bookbag off--I was afraid he would go rolling down the stairs! He is so funny!

No More Rack!


Follow the link to get a $10 credit to your account.  You could use it if you need something or if you are needing to buy a gift.  There are often things this cheap on their site!  I have also gotten emails randomly giving me additional $5 credits to my account!  Happy Shopping!

Check out nomorerack.com -- One day, 8 deals, up to 90% off retail price. These deals are crazy! http://www.nomorerack.com/?cr=86898

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday








Today's Tot School

Today we got out some new "school" items, it's really not school...just a play that is more structured and new!  I have been working to put together some Montessori centers so that the boys could have some more structured play on their rugs.  I love this website-www.1plus1plus1equals1.com!  It gave me a lot of ideas!  

Here's what we were doing today!

 We affectionately call this one spooning, it is sorting pastel colored pompons with a large spoon--
This one is Silas' favorite!
I bought all of the pompons, the little bowls, the spoon, and the silver trays at the Dollar Tree. 


 This one is just moving one pompon over at a time into a different bowl--they are just learning to use their fingers in a new way.  I have two different pairs of tongs and plan to get a smaller, easier pair...this one is harder for them.  But, they loved trying! The only thing I had to buy for this one is the pompons...everything else is from my kitchen.
 This is our spaghetti sorting...putting the spaghetti into the small holes of a Parmesan cheese shaker and salt and pepper shakers that I also purchased at the Dollar Tree. 



I found some great cutting pages on a Montessori website--I plan on putting them on a tray for tomorrow! 

Our Easter memory verse this year is Matthew 28:6--"He is not here; He has risen, just as he said..."  Hopefully they'll have it memorized by Easter morning!  Have a blessed week!



Amanda

Deals!

I got a few deals today that I just have to share! 


Today I got a great STEAL from GROUPON!  I got a Groupon $8 for One Large Any-Topping Pizza at Domino's Pizza (upto $20 value) I had a Groupon credit and was able to buy 3 for $14, which was even a better deal.  You can use 1 at a time, but for us that is three different dinners for $14.  Can't beat that! The link is HERE, but hurry...it is over tonight at midnight!

Also, Coldwater Creek is having a sale on their clearance merchandise.  You get an additional 40% off the already reduced clearance price, check it out HERE.  Plus, I looked them up on Retail Me Not and got a code for an additional 30% off and free shipping.  I got three items for $20 shipped! Click HERE for the Retailmenot codes. 

I also got some freebies in the mail today
I am a member of Vocalpoint and signed up for the Breve' Sample a few weeks ago.  It cup came in the mail and contained a coupon for a free bottle of Breve' Creamer and coupons for friends!  I also got the Nestle-Taster's Choice samples I signed up for--Since it is still really cold here on a daily basis, I'll have no problem using these right up.  I also got some good coupons from Vocalpoint today for the new Frosted Mini Wheats, and from Finish on their facebook page!  Become a member of Vocalpoint today, they send out good samples when you sign up for them on their website. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Menu Planning Monday



This is a short menu week for me I am only planning through Friday--due to our Easter plans. 

Monday- Tonight I am making Chili, it was on the menu for last week--but due to my headache and my husband's frozen pizza rescue, I'm making it tonight--with cornbread!

Tuesday- Roast with potatoes and carrots, celery and onions.  I am using meat from a 1/2 cow we split with Aaron's parents.  I put it all in the crock pot, sprinkle liberally with steak seasoning and seasoned salt and add some water.  My crock pot is very hot, so I watch it and add more water if needed. 

Wednesday-This week, we're eating at home--Chicken Enchiladas with Philadelphia Cooking Cream. 

Thursday- Island BBQ Tilapia, couscous that I bought in Shipshewana, and salads.

Friday-Salads, with blackened chicken on top. 

I plan on making resurrection rolls sometime this weekend with our kids.
I also have some ripe bananas and plan on making our family recipe for banana bread this week to...I'll share that sometime this week. 

What are you making for dinner this week?

Blessings to you,

Amanda



Hamburger Vegetable Soup--A family recipe

This recipe is a family favorite.  I have eaten it since I was a child.  It is an easy, nutritious soup to make and freezes well.  I usually make this in a double or triple batch and freeze a couple of bags for later.  

1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 16 oz. can tomatoes
5 cups water

2 medium onions
2 medium carrots
2 stalks celery
1/2 cup barley (pearl)--if you are eating this quickly, you want to use quick barley, if not, the regular barley will be just fine
1/4 cup ketchup
1T beef bouillon
1 tsp basil
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper

Cook the ground beef or turkey with onion, add the carrots, celery, basil, salt and pepper.  Add the tomatoes, water, bay leaf, bouillon, and barley, so that everything is mixed.  Cook until veggies are tender. Remove the bay leaf and serve. It is a great, warming soup for the whole family!  Enjoy!


Amanda

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Shipshewana Saturday!


Today our family had a great time going to Shipshewana, you know...Amish Country, Indiana.  It is only about a 1/2 hour from our house and totally worth the drive. Our plan for the day was to check out some Amish furniture stores to price furniture so we would know how much to save toward getting a super sturdy, Amish made table and chairs.  Our current ones still work, but not for long.  We walked into our first store...and I found the one I wanted...it was absolutely perfect AND amazing...only problem was--today it was $7,000!  If I waited until their open house in a couple weeks, I could get it for around $5,000.  I had a very hard time walking away, we were only window shopping in the first place, but I was in love.  I should have taken a picture, but didn't think about it--if  you're up here and have $5,000-$7,000 to spare, it is at Lambright Woodworking and it is totally worth the drive to check out.  After I came back from my dream world--we left, after eyeing some fantastic potential Christmas presents for the boys, and headed to the popcorn shop.  The boys loved it and ate every piece of their free bag of popcorn!  We asked the ladies there where the best place to buy furniture was, and they suggested another place down the road.  It was much smaller, but great quality--and they'd customize, and the prices were MUCH more down to earth! So I walked away knowing the type of table I wanted, and chairs, and benches, and I even picked out the finish. It was a good size and even had 4 leaf inserts.  Now to save for it!  It will be a TON easier when we sell our previous house, we need to sell it yesterday!  But I'm in no hurry to purchase the table...I'm still unpacking BIG time!  After finishing our furniture window shopping, we went to a bulk foods store...it was SO much fun--all kinds of great things! I took a picture of the things we got there--we got Organic Bread Flour (there were so many to choose from), Pizza Dough Mix, Chicken Broth Powder (this was a seconds item in the back), a big bag of pretzels, cinnamon butter, rice cakes, couscous with chives and saffron, garlic salt (because we were out and it was CHEAP!), coloring books for the boys, and some yummy black bean salsa (if anyone out there has a good recipe for black bean salsa, I would love to have it!).  From there, we went to Guggisberg Cheese Factory, and then had lunch at the Essen Haus.  All in all, it was a fantastic, casual, family day and we all had a great time!
 
These buggies were all at the bulk foods store...I can't believe I forgot to take a pic of their sign or something!

These buggies were at a flea market...there were TONS of them there!

This is the cheese factory.

...and our finds for the day!

Today in my mailbox came a 10 sample bag of Tide Stain Release that I signed up for on their facebook page. Along with a detergent sample and coupon.  As well as samples of miracle whip that I signed up for on their website too!  It was kind of fun--so I decided it was definitely picture worthy! 


I am also posting a picture of our garden starts just over one week after planting them!  They are doing SO well!  This morning Silas came in the room to look at them with me and after I opened it, he got so excited to "See what God did last night"!  He called Levi in and they were both mesmerized.  They both were going on about what God did and how we are going to eat the plants...they have awesome faith and I LOVE watching them so taken by God.  I pray that they will always be so amazed by what He has done!  Our little planting project fits so well into this Easter season, so remember today to-- "Look what God has done!"



Blessings to you and yours,


Amanda