Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Favorite Recipes: Guacamole, Simple & Quick

Favorite Recipes: Lentil Casserole

Serves 8-10

This is a long time family favorite from my mother, who is an excellent cook and has perfected this recipe.  I call it a “dump and bake” casserole – except for browning the sausage you just dump in all of the ingredients and then bake!  *smile*  It is very simple yet extremely tasty and healthy recipe.  Children love it, too!  And the rice and lentil combination make a complete protein.  ** For a vegetarian modification, see end notes.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Large Family Preparations to Leave the House - This, too, Has a Plan

  • Make lists and notes
  • Prepare as much in advance as possible
  • Start early - it takes what it takes
  • Be the manager, not the primary "do-er" 
  • Three examples
  • Preparing to arrive home again

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sleep Better - How To Make Your Bedroom a Better Place To Re-Charge

We spend a third of our lives in bed, but no one teaches us how to orchestrate our bedrooms to help us sleep well! *smile* Here is a photo of our master bedroom. Studies show that good quality sleep (not just quantity) benefits parents of families of any size...

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Favorite Recipes: Gingerbread Cookies for Christmas

I personally love, love SOFT, frosted gingerbread cookies.  My mom has been making this recipe my entire life, and she has perfected it...

Gifts In a Jar! - Sweet Homemade Happiness

Sweet recipes of desserts or hot drinks in varying sizes of jars (depending on the recipe), and with a decorative lid and label to fit the occasion.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Large Family Christmas & Birthday Shopping

Do you look forward to Christmas and birthday shopping but have been increasingly confused or overwhelmed with the whole process - especially if you're doing it large-family style?  Wondering how you can shop for just the right items for each person while not overspending the budget, purchase items the kids need but balance that with a special items they would really like to receive, not forget any items or any people, remember what's from mom and dad and what's from grandma and grandpa, and keep it all straight in your head over the course of several weeks or months without making any expensive mistakes?  And then, remember accurately when you go to do the wrapping which gifts were for whom?  Larger families out there know what I mean! *smile* Let me offer some help...

Monday, November 16, 2015

Delicious Homemade Granola

Large Family Meal Planning & Grocery Shopping

Striving for organization, time efficiency, and for a low grocery budget... *smile*
  • My meal planning strategy
  • Using a Master Grocery Shopping List 
  • Using an Inventory Chart
  • Minimize and rotate
  • Utilizing additional freezer and refrigerator space
  • Having a "deep pantry" for longer term food storage
  • How I do shopping with the kids
  • Creating a food pantry from a coat closet!

    Saturday, November 14, 2015

    Large Families On Budgets - Making More Out Of Less, Part 1 of 2

    We are approaching Thanksgiving Day here in the United States, and then Christmas and the wonderful season of gift giving next month! I thought this would be a really good time to think through the concept of choosing carefully how we use the finances the Lord has given us.  *smile* While you are thinking of gift ideas for your families I encourage you to consider these principles for making an income stretch further before you purchase. And also see Part 2 for a list of practical ideas which we implement to make an income stretch further.

    Sunday, November 8, 2015

    Clothing Storage & Access, Thinking Outside the Box

    We purchased our current home when we had only 3 children…now we have 9! *smile*  So we had to start thinking “outside the box”, or in our case, inside our box. This has resulted in the Lord showing us over time many different do-it-yourself and inexpensive ways to adapt our house to fit the needs of a large family, projects we’ve already done and ones we hope to do in the future...

    Sunday, November 1, 2015

    Developing the Character of Faithfulness

    There are certain things in our home that seem to re-occur all the time - or not *chuckle* - unless I help improve a child's character in that area.  

    Tuesday, October 27, 2015

    Sibling to Sibling - Tattling & Child "Parents"

    • Tattling vs. Informing
    • Child "parents"
    • Proactive rather than reactive situations
    • Siblings resolving issues between themselves

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

    Sick Kids Large Family Style - What I Do When They're ALL Down at Once

    • The supplies I keep on hand
    • The strategies I implement
    • What if mom is sick, too?
    • Finishing up well - getting back into the swing of things

    Sunday, October 11, 2015

    Sunday, September 27, 2015

    Managing My Time, Part 2 of 2

    Here, in part 2, I will share with you my strategies for organizing bills, mail, and coupons as I manage my time as a mother of a large family.

    Thursday, September 24, 2015

    Mom Tips - For Cooking, #2

    I so enjoy the little "mom tips" that I've come across in life - those little things that I've learned from my mom, or a mom friend, that just make life a little nicer.  Things that make the "daily-daily" just a little easier, or make me smile a little more, or maybe will be a time saver for me.  

    Sunday, September 13, 2015

    Striving to Bless with "Yes!"

    A valuable principle I've learned along the way is to strive to bless children by telling them "Yes!" as much as possible.  The answer to pretty much every question can be Yes, if we take a moment to think about how to word it.  Really, most all of what children ask of us are things they are allowed to do - it's only a matter of when and how - right?  *smile*  This simple concept really is part of the discipleship of our children. When they know that we have their best interest at heart, and that we try to say Yes to them as much as possible, they trust us more and we are better able to keep their hearts close to us.

    Thursday, August 27, 2015

    WORKSHOP PRESENTATION: "Decluttering - The First Steps to Organization"

    ~ Strategies & methods for de-cluttering
    ~ De-cluttering principles to keep in mind
    ~ Where to begin
    ~ How to be careful with others family member's spaces

    Sunday, August 16, 2015

    Professional Parenting, Part 1 of 2

    Here in Part 1 are the first 7 points of 13 on how parenting is like a profession, and these are the points I will cover in this post:
    1. Prepare for the day
    2. Be purposeful
    3. Focus our attention on our work place (our home)
    4. Invest in the atmosphere
    5. Apply self-discipline; others are relying on us
    6. As a manager, motivate others
    7. Have a vision 

    Thursday, August 13, 2015

    Living Life on Purpose - "Isn't It Exhausting?"

    • Tiring, yes, but that's not a bad thing
    • Being realistic & preparing for it
    • It's an investment
    • The sacrifice
    • More quality and value
    • Having a goal 

    Friday, July 24, 2015

    Productively Occupying 3-Year-Old Boys

    • Boys vs. girls
    • Keeping him safe without following him around.
    • Scheduling our 3-year-old's time on a typical day.
    • Toy/activity ideas to occupy his time.
    • Three resources for activity ideas.

    Friday, July 17, 2015

    Productively Occupying Young Children

    In our homeschool we strive to not just occupy non-school-age children, but to include them; to not chase them away, but to draw them in.  Children need to know they are a valuable part of our family, and not just to be tolerated until they’re older.  
      Three of the girls having "water play" time.

      Monday, July 13, 2015

      Orderliness - A Closer Look

      • What does God say about Orderliness?
      • The definition of Orderliness, with flexibility
      • The concept of Orderliness
      • The role of leadership
      • Gaining more time
      • Orderliness and productivity
      • Orderliness and ideas
      • Application of Orderliness

      Monday, July 6, 2015

      Family Scrapbooking

      • My experience using the traditional paper method
      • Problems I had with that method and my attempted solutions
      • My first solution:  Online scrapbooking with Shutterfly
      • My current favorite scrapbooking company - Picaboo!  
      • More online scrapbooking benefits 
      • Children learning to scrapbook 

        Thursday, June 25, 2015

        Fun Hair for Girls: How to Get Spirals with Rag Curlers

        • Directions for the process, with photos and tips
        • End result photos
        • How to do them on one's self 

        Monday, June 22, 2015

        Large Family Camping (2014) - It's Very Do-Able!

        • Basic tent camping - large family style
        • Our packing list & meal planning
        • Unpacking and laundry strategies

        Sunday, June 14, 2015

        Family Audio books - With an On-Going List of Recommendations!

        • How we select audio books
        • When we listen to them
        • Why we listen to them
        • Where we've purchased them from
        • Our current library titles - which I will be updating periodically as I find new books!  *smile*
        • How we store library books, individually & collectively

        Tuesday, June 2, 2015

        Mom Tips - For the Car: Organization & Preparedness

        Are you entering in to a season of more travel in your vehicle as the weather gets nicer? Here are some mom tips from me on how you might do so more comfortably and safely.  *smile* 

        Tuesday, May 26, 2015

        Garage Sale How-to's - Organized & on Purpose!

        • Supplies to use
        • Organization
        • Free advertising
        • Timing for success
        • More than one family selling
        • A few courtesies to remember
        • A bonus idea!

        Thursday, May 7, 2015

        Incentives & Rewards for Children's Behavior, Part 2 of 2

        I've been asked many times for specific strategies for incentives and rewards with the children, so in Part 1 I presented to you 9 ideas which we implement in our home. In this Part 2 I would like to share with you our Points and Rewards System to be implemented when we leave the children with a babysitter.  *smile*

        Monday, April 20, 2015

        Choosing Thankfulness

        Being thankful is a choice.  We may not always want to be thankful in a situation or circumstances (not thankful for difficulty, but thankful in it), but we can learn to be if we pursue it - and this will bless us deeply, as well as everyone around us...

        Monday, March 16, 2015

        Motherhood with Vitality! - Part 2 of 2

        In part 1 I covered practices to encourage being well-rested; in this part 2 I will cover additional practices for being energetic, and for looking energetic!  *smile*
        • Daily time with the Lord 
        • Water
        • Green smoothies
        • Vitamin D
        • Shower before the children are up 
        • Make-up tip
        • Avoid sugar
        • Choosing thankfulness

        Monday, March 9, 2015

        Motherhood with Vitality! - Part 1 of 2

        In this part 1 I will cover practices to encourage being well-rested:
        • Adequate quality and quantity at night
        • A weekly schedule
        • Afternoon naps & "play alone times"
        • No false energy
        • Bedroom ready
        • Regular bed times
        • Exercise 
        • Being in shape
        • Ear plugs
        • Spiritual freedom
        In part 2 I will cover additional practices for being energetic, and for looking energetic!  *smile*

        Monday, March 2, 2015

        Rotating Seasonal Clothes - Large Family Style

        I've been asked many times about managing clothing for a large family.  *smile*  Moms ask whether or not I rotate the children's seasonal clothing or keep it all out year-round, and if I do rotate the clothes how in the world I go about doing that in an organized and time-efficient way?  So - here's my plan of attack.  *chuckle*


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