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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

T is for Thoughtful

This morning when I woke up. Amber & Delaney were already awake. Those of you who know Amber are probably in shock! She does not like to get up no matter what time she goes to bed. When I came down stairs Amber brought me my glass of water & told me I could not go in the kitchen & that I needed to get in the shower first. When I came down they had my breakfast ready.
 
Waiting for me was a bowl of steel cut oats with strawberries & blueberries, yogurt with blueberries, a mini chocolate chip muffin they had made yesterday, coffee, and the newspaper.
 
Breakfast was delicious.
 
Morgan has been on her own for over 2 years & I still miss her! One thing that just isn't the same without her is the random picture taking. Morgan loves to take silly pictures of herself & well everyone. She has an eye for picture taking and gets some very good pictures that I wouldn't normally think of taking. I don't know how many thousands of pictures we have stored & she has taken most of them.



I was so surprised yesterday, because I had a package from Morgan. I was thrilled to find a photo album full of random pictures of her & her sisters. It contained pictures from the past few years when she was on vacation with us, and scenery pictures from all the places she has been.  
My girls are very thoughtful & I cherish every minute I have with them.
They grow up way too fast.
 
 
 
Blogging Through the Alphabet

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Chocolate Chip Muffins

photo (2)
My girls love chocolate chip muffins, especially when it is cold and foggy outside. These muffins are easy enough that my girls can make them by themselves.

1 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup chocolate chips

~Mix flour, powder, salt, and sugar together.
~Combine egg, milk, & oil.
~Mix flour mixture with wet ingredients and stir til combined.
~Fill muffin tins and bake at 400 for about 15 minutes for regular size & about 10 minutes for mini muffins.

Makes about 10-12 regular muffins or 20-24 mini muffins.

photo

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

S is for Stromboli

stromboli finished slice
When I make Stromboli for dinner I know everyone will be happy. My family enjoys this so much that I make 3 different loaves so we can have leftovers in the freezer. Of course, they all have to be different.
Stromboli
Dough:
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3-4 cups of flour
~Dissolve yeast in warm water & add remaining ingredients. (I have a Kitchen Aid mixer so I can mix my dough completely in there. If you don’t have one you may have to add your flour gradually.)
~Let rest a few minutes & then roll onto a greased 11X15 cookie sheet.
Butter:
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 egg yolks (save whites for egg wash)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon parsley
  • 2-3 cloves crushed garlic
~Melt butter and then add all other ingredients & stir.
~Brush on the middle third of the rolled out dough.
stromboli garlic butter
Filling:
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • pepperoni
  • hamburger or sausage
  • onion
  • bell peppers
  • tomatoes
  • olives
  • jalapenos
  • whatever you like
~Cook hamburger & sausage.
~Chop veggies
~Layer them onto garlic butter & then top with mozzarella cheese.
~Fold over the two sides without garlic butter until they meet in the middle. Pinch together.
~Brush the top of dough with egg white.
~Bake for 25-30 minutes at 425°

sromboli finished 1
Delaney & Alaina like pepperoni, hamburger, & cheese in their Stromboli. Amber likes to add green olives.
I like pepperoni, hamburger, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, & cheese. Mike has the same thing with olives & jalapenos added to his.
This week I am linking up to two different blogs. Marcy at Ben and Me is hosting Blogging Through the Alphabet. Lisa from Home to 4 Kiddos is hosting a Recipe link up. Head over to their blog and read what other people wrote about.

Blogging Through the Alphabet
Thanks Marcy

The Reunion Coupon Code & Giveaway




We are always on the lookout for good books to read aloud as a family. I like when we find books that teach Christian principles and values and my girls like books that are about things they are interested in. In The Reunion when 4 year old Rebecca finds a baby in a basket my girls were so curious about what was going to happen they wanted me to read more and more. We were all pleasantly surprised at the twist of the book.

The Reunion gives us a look at not only the baby's life as she grows up in a christian home & has to deal with every day issues from the world, but takes us to her past and how she came to be left in the basket. We get to see how different lives can be when people live for God and not themselves. True forgiveness is shown with a story line that you probably wont expect.

We enjoyed this book together as a family. I read it out loud to all three of my girls ages 8, 10, 11, & my husband even listened in to part of it. We were all very much caught up in the story line & couldn't wait to see what happened. I really like that they discuss adoption as a gift from God, and that the young kids turned to God & their parents for counsel on dealing with issues of life. I love when we find books from a christian perspective with a great story line. I thought the christian characters in this book were a little much & came across as kinda fake, but loved that we didn't have to worry about foul language and inappropriate topics for children.

This is a book that you can enjoy with the entire family, and we are looking forward to more books from the same author.

The Reunion is published by Elisha Press and can be purchased for $9.99 with free shipping in the United States. I have a coupon code to receive $2.00 off every book ordered.

Discount Code expires 2-28-2013:
REVIEW-MCCLAN

I also have one book to giveaway. See below.



The author of The Reunion, Rachael McIntire
Rachael McIntire enjoys writing a good story without making a plan, she just lets the story happen. She has written several books for home-schooled children, but The Reunion is the first one to be published.





~~Giveaway~~ 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received The Reunion to read with my family & one copy to giveaway from Elisha Press, no other compensation was given. All opinions are my own & I am not required to post a positive review.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Triple Action Purex for Baby Giveaway


Purex Baby Detergent
Did you know that Purex makes a Triple Action laundry detergent just for Babies? I didn't, and although I don't have babies in the house any more I wondered how well it could work for the entire family.

I used this laundry detergent on all of our laundry with great results. The weather has warmed up a bit & all of our snow is melting. The girls have been going out to shoot some basketball and the ball seems to end up in puddles of water. Not clean water, but the dirty melted snow water from our garden area. When that happens & they continue to play ball, the muddy water ends up on them. The Purex gentle enough for babies also took out all the mud from their clothes. This is good news for those with children of different ages. When my kids were babies, I never washed their clothes by themselves I just didn't have that much time.

Triple Action Purex for Babies is hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested, and has a gentle baby-inspired fragrance. No need to worry about all those sleepers that newborns wear because it will not harm the flame resistance of the sleepwear.

Purex Baby comes in the 50 oz. size with 100oz. bottles coming soon. It is not available everywhere, so if you want to know where the nearest location is to you check the store locator.

I have 3 Triple Action Purex Baby coupons to giveaway to 3 lucky winners within the United States.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
As a Purex Insider I received Triple Action Purex for Baby & 3 coupons to giveaway free of charge. All opinions are my own & I received no other compensation. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

R is for Reading

A couple of months after Michael was born we joined a book club where we received 2 books a month. I can't remember how long we participated, but most of the books were by Dr. Suess. We kept them on a low shelf in the living room & he loved them. As soon as he could crawl he would pull each book off the shelf one at a time and look at it. When he had looked at all the books he would look at them again and try to put them away. Of course that didn't happen it just ended up being a pile. He loved for me to read the books to him & I would read to him every night before bed.

Fast forward 22 years & nine book cases and I am still reading out loud to my kids. To bad I didn't keep track of all the books I have read over the years. I pretty much have my kids favorite story books memorized. A few of the books have been stuck in my head for years.

Morgan loved this book. We never actually owned it, but she would check it out at the library just about every time we went. She had me read this book to her so many times that I made her a tape recording of me reading it so she could listen anytime.

Product Details
Amber's favorite was The Gingerbread Man Little Golden Book. It is an older book & I'm not sure where we got it from, but we read that over & over when she was younger.


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Alaina loves Ten Dogs In The Window. She has checked this book out at the library so many times & she still does.

When we first started homeschooling I wasn't sure what should be taught when, but one thing I did know was that my kids needed to learn to read well & comprehend what they read. I taught all five of my kids to read using the Phonics & Reading program from Rod & Staff Publishers. It worked very well with all 5 of them. Morgan was my youngest reader at age 4. She didn't want to be left out when Michael was learning to read, so she learned right along with him.

Teaching a child to read is the greatest gift that we can give them. It not only opens up the entire world to them, it makes every other subject in school easier. It also allows them to be able to read God's word and understand what is being said.

I wanted my kids to establish their own habit of reading the Bible, so as soon as they could read I had them read a Bible for children. The one we used had a story on one page & a picture on the other. At the end of the story was one simple questions to answer. Once they were finished with that bible they got to pick out their very own "real" Bible. I had them start at the beginning and just read a little every day. I know they didn't understand a lot until much later, but it was forming a habit. Genesis is a long book for a child that young, so it took awhile for them to finish that book. Once they finish a book, they highlight it in the table of contents. I have very happy children when they can get out the highlighter.


Blogging Through the Alphabet

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wedding Cake, Michael & Shelby

I have been decorating cakes since 1990. A few years ago Morgan set up a free webpage & a blog for me, and then later I bought my own domain name Lisa Cay's Cakes. Well Morgan decided to grow up & move away, and I have done nothing with my webpages. I have actually uploaded some pictures to my facebook page, but not many. I decided that for now I will start blogging about some of them here.

I'll start with Michael's wedding cake. His lovely wife didn't have any trouble picking out the style of cake she wanted & she already knew she wanted marble. We had a lot of cake left over, but she is my daughter-in-law & I wanted her to have her hearts desire.
She picked out the cake & I came up with the idea for the gazebo. We just covered it with Tulle & icicle lights. I used fresh roses, and the topper is actually in between the pillared tiers.

 This cake has about 276 servings. I did not count the 6" because they saved it for their first anniversary.
Size & Servings
6" hexagon serves 12
9" hexagon serves 26
12" hexagon serves 40
15" hexagon serves 70
16" square serves 128
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