Homeschool Conference!!!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Waffle Creations!

For Christmas I received a wonderful gift from my mother-in-law...some people might think something you use in the kitchen wouldn't be a perfect gift...but for me it certainly is, since that is where I spend a tremendous amount of my time each day!
She gave me a fabulous WAFFLE IRON!!! And wow does it make some yummy belgian waffles! The kids love the creations we come up with for waffles - here are some of the favorites from a couple days ago!





Blackberries & apricots with powdered sugar and whipped cream...the blackberries and apricot combination is perfect as it is not too sweet and adding a little whipped cream makes it divine!
A couple of the kids added fresh bananas and mini chocolate chips...they said it was the best!
One of our other favorites is strawberries and cream over waffles - this was introduced to us and how we love it!!! Another one that is yummy is sliced bananas with real maple syrup!
So let's see what the kids had to say...They all agree - Thumbs Up for the Waffles!
They have a great idea ~ how about we open up a restaurant ~ we'll call it "Momma's Waffles"! Sounds fun, but I don't see that happening anytime too soon, so instead we'll just share our yummiest waffle creation recipe! Enjoy!

Momma's Waffles

4 Cups Flour 4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt 8 large eggs

4 Tbls sugar 2 Tbls Vanilla

1 Cube butter (melted) 4 Cups Milk

Mix dry ingredients, add eggs, vanilla, milk and finally melted butter. Mix together, being careful to not overmix. Batter will be lumpy. Heat your iron and spray with non-stick cooking spray, then wait until nice and crispy. Add all the delish toppings you can think of and enjoy!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Unto one of least of these


For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in.
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:35-40

This past week in our home, we have enjoyed a week of service for others. Pictures here are from blankets the kids are making for the LINUS PROJECT.


Each of our kids went to purchase the fleece of their choice. They purchased with their own money and then did all the preparation and cutting to give to children who are in hospitals.


It fills my heart with total joy to watch them happily doing this work for someone else...someone they don't even know!

I truly believe one of the best gifts we can give them as parents is to teach them to love others and to be willing to share that love!

A tremendous blessing of teaching them service from the time they are just little ones is that even as teenagers, they see and feel that the work they are doing makes a difference to others!


During our week, we also did work for the people in Haiti. The devastation that is there is hard for us to understand. We wish we could do more, but have to believe that every little bit helps ~ just think about it...if EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN AMERICA would just put in a touch of effort...what a difference we could make for those people!
We took a field trip to our local Deseret Industries Humanitarian Center to deliver 12 Hygiene Kits we had put together. The kids felt so great believing that these would go to kids or adults in Haiti who would need the things in them.
I Loved every moment of watching them...as we walked out the door, I asked them how they felt...it was beautiful because their comments were all basically the same, "We feel so good inside!"
It really doesn't matter where or how we serve...but we should always remember that when we are in the service of others, we are in the service of our Lord!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Why do I do the things I do...

My Dear Husband recently asked me why I started this blog, who I am writing it for, why I want to do blogging??? He wasn't asking me not to do it, I think he just wanted to understand why it is so important to me. Well, to tell you the truth, I really didn't have any answers to his questions. But it has given me a lot to think about.

What I've come up with is that I started this blog out of a need to CREATE.
Who I am writing it for was a really big thing to ponder...I guess I'm still not certain of the answer to that one. I believe I am really just writing it for little ol' me. But if it were truly just for myself, wouldn't I just jot everything down in a personal journal? Maybe I am writing it with thoughts for whoever may be "out there" who needs a moment of hearing what life is like for another woman, mother, wife, sister, friend. When I put in some of my thoughts, they are usually things that have come to me in some way, either in the quiet of the shower or early in the morning just before anyone else is up and needing me, sometimes as I am deep in my reading or possibly some treasure that has been passed on to me or that I've been blessed to receive. I feel such a sense of comfort when I share (again, I have no idea who it is I am "sharing with") these thoughts that bring peace, joy, or laughter to me.
His last question was why do I want to do blogging? Well, I have this incredible desire to have a beautiful journal of the happenings in our life...filled with photos and thoughts...I am TERRIBLE at making this happen. Out of seven children, only the two oldest have baby books and the second one is pretty sad! It is not that I haven't had the desire to put all of their beautiful photos or their crazy things they do and say down on paper, it just seems that life is so full that it never happens.
One day, I had a thought about this...I could spend hours on end trying to catch up on putting their lives into a book or I can spend hours on end enjoying life with them now. I believe they would wish for the latter and so that is what I've chosen.
But, doing a blog, is different. I can accomplish "journaling & scrapbooking" in one shot while at the same time creating a piece of work that brings me great joy. The best part is that I don't have to get out all the supplies, cover my counters or table or floor and have it all there for days on end as I create the perfect page (yes, one page would take me forever because I would need it to be just so!) I can do a little here and a little there...I can sit down in the wee hours of the night if I am wide awake and can't sleep or I can sneak a moment in while all of my kids have run outside for their lunch break.
I guess my last thought on all of this blogging is that I think I find myself while I write, I love to write, but just don't really ever find the time to do it. I should re-state that thought...I just haven't made the time to write. The time is always there in my days, just as it is in yours, we just have to decide how we wish to use our time.
So, now I have answers for that sweet man in my life...I think I'll send him to my blog for a reading moment!
Have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Ultimate Indulgence

It's 4:00 in the afternoon...that time of the day when I would love to just have a little nap, but with all the kids and things to do that just isn't going to happen! So, instead I will treat myself ~ and there is nothing better than CHOCOLATE for the job!


I love Dove Chocolates ... they not only taste heavenly...they always have such perfect messages inside meant just for me!








My confession...I always have a secret stash of chocolate hidden somewhere for those moments when nothing else will do...
just has a way of makin' me feel so happy!!!

Must be a mom thing...I think there's time for just one more before I have to go face this crazy world again! Until next time~

P.S. Go find some chocolate (I know you must have some hiding somewhere!) and you'll find a perfect little smile come across your face! Doesn't it feel great...oh, the ultimate indulgence!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

It's my 1st "Joyful Expressions"Creation!

I have been dreaming for about the last year of creating pieces of jewelry, specifically necklaces, that would bring joy and happiness to those wearing them and to those who would read the messages of joy being worn by another person.


Hours and hours of research and fun went into my last many months, while I slowly collected treasures to add to these necklaces. Each item was just added to my box waiting until that magic day that I would be ready to blow off the dust and begin this new venture.

Finally with the New Year, I have decided to start creating these dream pieces of artwork. My first piece (finished just an hour or so ago) is pictured below ~

I started with one simple word that can mean so very much, and can be so many different things to different women.




"be"

I am so happy to have the first I sample done!
My hope is within the next few months to have several necklaces complete and start "shows" with the creations and sharing my thoughts behind each!
Please give me any helpful hints you might have...thanks a million!

My Christmas Present...


My Dear Husband made this special box for me for Christmas. I knew he was up to something ...but little did I know it would be something as wonderful and precious to me as this is!

I have always kept a box, which eventually turned into two boxes, for all of my "special treasures".

The first one I actually called my "Chad Box", because it was filled with all of the little love letters and cards that he'd given to me, I added to it tickets from events we'd gone to, some special photos and various things that made me think of him. After all of our kiddos kept coming, sweet little things about them were also added into these boxes ~ seems only appropriate ~ they were gifts to me also! Definitely my "special treasures" in this life!!!

Well, now I have this amazingly beautiful piece of work that my husband put so much love and effort into that I can put all of my treasures into.

I actually referred to it as "My Treasure Box", but the kids said that sounded too much like a Pirate's Treasure...so I haven't come up with the perfect name for this new treasure of mine!

Anyway, you must see some of the incredible detail that he added because he just knew I'd love it...and I do!
The metal on the sides is so ornate and beautiful, I wish it would show up a tad better, but hopefully you can get the idea. The wood is a knotty alder and it is so perfectly smooth across the top ~
That sweet man of mine never ceases to amaze me!
Yep, he's pretty wonderful! I am one lucky woman...like I said at the top of the blog ~ He is my greatest catch ever!!! Love that man!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It's A Letter Kk Day...

Life as a homeschool momma can be a very interesting thing...how many of us, by choice, would do the almost unimaginable to learn "EVERYTHING" about a letter? If you are a mom like me and you are dying for your kids to never forget a letter and to know the importance of that special letter of the day ~ you might do crazy things like what is pictured below. Aside from making Kangaroo's, blowing Kisses, eating candy Kisses, talking about kites and kittens (but not Cats, because that is "actually a letter Cc" word!) drawing Keys, checking out Kernels of corn (there's another dousy~a Kk and a Cc) talking about Kings and special Kids. We didn't even attempt things like Knife or Knock! That might be a little much for a 4 year old! Then comes our favorite part of letters - treat or snack time! Hmmm...treats with the letter Kk. Well, our little one wanted to make a Cake cause that starts with K, but "actually" it doesn't, it starts with a Cc. Whew...this is hard business for little ones! So...what do I have on hand that would be fun, nutritious, memorable??? I have it! We'll make Kabobs out of fruit and cheese! Whoohoo!!! So here's how it went...


"So, little people, what is the very first thing we do before cooking or preparing food?"


Running to the bathroom they are yelling, "Wash your hands!"




Peeling the oranges...


Here's all the goods - let's break out the "sticks" and go to town making our creations...some of them turn out in perfect patterns, others are just what they love the most. Maybe it was a mistake to put the mini marshmallows out...oh well, can't have all nutritious and no delish!






One of the finished products...she just wants to "EAT IT UP!"


Treats are served...Ahhh...another day is complete!

Monday, January 11, 2010

What's for Dinner???

One of the biggest questions in a mothers day..."what's for dinner?"

Well, I've decided to have a little fun with blogging some new recipes and a few that we haven't made in quite a while. We'll be sure to have a thumbs up or thumbs down by the kids ~ aren't they our biggest critics with food anyway!? Hubby's are usually happy to come home to a nice warm home cooked meal ~ doesn't even really seem to matter what it is ~ if they could all be so easy to please!
Tonight's meal was a crowd pleaser!!! There's the Thumbs Up!!! I just LOVE that adorable little face!



Creamy Italian Chicken with Pasta...mmm, makes my mouth water just thinking about it!


Such an easy meal, just need a few chicken breasts - plop 'em in your crock pot, add a couple of blocks of cream cheese, couple cups of water, you'll need either italian seasonings from your cupboard or if you want to make it easy, grab an Italian Dressing packet from the store and throw one or two of them in. Mix it up and let it just simmer for the day. Sometime during the day when you have a free moment or two, shred your chicken and then toss it back in the cream sauce...then just let it cook some more.

Just before you're ready to eat, cook up any kind of pasta that your heart might desire (my choice for tonight was tortellini ~ cheese filled) Did I mention that it was simply delectable?

When the pasta is complete ~ either toss it all together or place pasta on your plates and spoon the Creamy Italian Chicken right over the top. I usually put a side of grated parmesan to add to the top if so desired by those eating.

Make a scrumptous tossed salad and you are set for a fabulous meal! And the best part is...the kids love it, too! One last very important thing I forgot ~make sure just before serving to find the best wooden spoon you have, place it in the sauce without a lid, give it just a few minutes, all calories will climb right up the spoon and out of your delish dish...so enjoy as much as you like!

Why?

Why did you get out of bed this morning? Why are you reading this message? Look at your list of things to do today. Why has each item been added to the list? For what reasons do you work, love, play, strive and pray?

You've gotten good at going through the routine, but perhaps you've lost touch with the reasons why you're doing it all in the first place. Stop for a moment and think about why.

The reasons are there. Buried under the noisy complications of daily life is the person you truly wish to be and the things which you long to achieve. In some way, whatever you're doing at any moment is connected to those reasons. But if you've lost touch with the reasons, the connection may be distorted and your actions may be less effective than they could be.
When you remember why, you get where you wish to go with much more speed and effectiveness. Take the time and make the effort to stay in touch with the why. Know what drives you, and let it take you wherever you wish to go.

Take the time to ponder the why's in your life...perhaps by focusing on why we do the things we do each day, we will again focus on the joys found in all that surrounds us!

Have a fabulous week ~ Stacey

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Are you what the world needs? I believe you are!


"When you observe kind and gentle mothers in action,
you see a woman of great strength...
They seek fine educations for their children
and have a thirst for knowledge themselves.
They help their children develop skills that they can use in serving others. They know that the way they have chosen is not the easy way,
but they know it is absolutely worth their finest efforts."
"Surely when a woman reverences motherhood,
her children will arise up and call her blessed."
"Women of God can never be like women of the world.
The world has enough women who are tough;
we need women who are tender.
There are enough women who are coarse;
we need women who are kind.
There are enough women who are rude;
we need women who are refined.
We have enough women of fame and fortune;
we need more women of faith.
We have enough greed;
we need more goodness.
We have enough vanity;
we need more virtue.
We have enough popularity;
we need more purity."
Margaret D. Nadauld
(General Conference Address ~ October 7, 2000 ~ Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
I believe that the "trials" that we go through make us the kind of women that we should be...True beauty is found in our refinement.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

FREE BOOKS! Can't beat that!

DeseretBook.com

Click on this link and you can download 8 books from Deseret Book. I haven't actually read these, but I'm sure that they would be worth your time. Just couldn't miss the chance to send this out.

Pearls...


Early this morning as I was reading my scriptures, I came across a true treasure! It caused me to ask myself, "Do I offer my whole soul?" "Do I immerse myself freely and completely?" I would like to share a beautiful story with you:

Jenny's Pearls

The cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them: a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box.
"Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please!"
Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's upturned face.
"A dollar ninety-five. That's almost $2.00. If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. Your birthday's only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma."
As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked Mrs. McJames if she could pick dandelions for ten cents.
On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace.
Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere--Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.
Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story. One night when he finished the story, he asked Jenny, "Do you love me?"
"Oh yes, Daddy. You know that I love you."
"Then give me your pearls."
"Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess--the white horse from my collection. The one with the pink tail. Remember, Daddy? The one you gave me. She's my favorite."
"That's okay, Honey. Daddy loves you. Good night." And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.
About a week later, after the story time, Jenny's daddy asked again, "Do you love me?"
"Daddy, you know I love you."
"Then give me your pearls."
"Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my babydoll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is so beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper."
"That's okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you." And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.
A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek.
"What is it, Jenny? What's the matter?"
Jenny didn't say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver,she finally said, "Here, Daddy. It's for you."
With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny.
He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her genuine treasure.
What are you hanging on to?
--- Author Unknown

This story is a sweet reminder that He has all for me and for you! He wishes for us to enjoy all the Treasures He has prepared and waiting (just for us ~ and that truly is beautiful). I am amazed at His love and pray that I will be able to immerse myself in the love that He offers to me. Have a beautiful day!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

That's my Dear Husband!!!

He is one Happy Man! Meet my husband ~ the man who loves any and all adventure! He's out on the top of a mountain having the time of his life on the snow bikes! If you want to know more about all this crazy fun stuff, you can check out 2Moto for the scoop!



Just a little about my dear hubby ~ he is the BEST husband ever!!! He makes me laugh every day, he dances with me in the kitchen almost every day, he is the greatest daddy in the world and he makes a pretty fine "Poppi", that's what our little grandbaby calls him... sweet! He amazes me constantly. I will try to post the fabulous Christmas present he made for me soon. It is soooo beautiful ~ but what is even more beautiful is the way he loves me! I am so grateful for the incredible man he is! Sometimes I think I need to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming, but after all these years, it is a dream and I am not asleep!!!

By the way ~ Happy New Year ~ Here's to endless Joyful moments this year!

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Friday, January 1, 2010

Need a little drama in your life???




We certainly don't need any additional drama with all these crazy kids running around...but I absolutely could not resist the fun this would add to our days. This idea of creating the perfect "Puppet Theater" came to me a couple of years ago when I had one of the biggest surprises of my life. It was arranged for me to head to Disneyland with two of my favorite people in the world and while on the airplane I found the most adorable picture of a puppet theater. Well...it was far too expensive for this family, so we just had to make it instead. I had a ton of help from DeeAnne (thank you, thank you, thank you!) We just gave it to the kids this evening and they LOVED it! Hooray. I can't wait for the drama to start, I'm sure I'll be thoroughly entertained by puppet shows, barbie fashion shows, probably an occasional army man moment, man-eating dinosaurs are sure to be present (much to the girls disliking!) and who knows what else the imaginations might bring in. Stay tuned...magical moments willed be shared!