Monday, August 27, 2012

Hello Morning!: Week 2

Last week was a good start to the development of my Hello Mornings Habit.  I was up a bit earlier each day, though I did not get my study time in each day before others were up and needing attention.  

I did get through all five days of my Bible Study and actually had an extra day to do some additional reading.  Yah!   The feeling of taking control of my day and being more proactive and intentional is wonderful.  I think also, the fact that my family is seeing that this is important to me has been wonderful.  

This week's focus will be to not only continue getting up a bit earlier to do some reading and study, but to be getting to bed a bit earlier to make those morning moments more enjoyable.   This should help too with solidifying my evening routine as we head into the school year.  

How are you doing on the development of your new habit?  Do not allow yourself to be overwhelmed.  One tiny baby step at a time . . . you are moving forward!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hello Morning!

Yesterday was the beginning of the Hello Mornings Challenge over at Inspired to Action.  Though, I am not officially joining the challenge, I am using their study of I Peter and doing my own Hello Morning! Challenge.

There are several aspects to the Hello Morning Challenge routine:  God. Plan. Move.  Check out more at the Hello Mornings official site.

God:  Spend time reading God's Word, studying Scripture, and praying.  This area is the the primary focus for me this challenge.  I have a big need to grow in my personal Bible study habits and prayer time. 
Plan: I could spend all day in this area of the routine, so for me it is more of putting into action my plan for the day - acting on the flexible structure I try to have in each day.  
Move:  This habit of exercising is not one I plan to focus on during this fall challenge.  I do think the habit of basic stretch routine might be in order, though. 

Come join me in this twelve week challenge/adventure.  Whether it be in study and prayer, moving, or planning.  Join me in solidifying the habit of starting our days with a Good Morning.  

Friday, August 10, 2012

Book Review: Large Family Logistics

Large Family Logistics: The Art and Science of Managing the Large Family by Kim Brenneman is an easy, enjoyable  read.  Kim's ideas are encouraging and practical.  She starts with the reality of where we may be as women and systematically presents principles and ideas that will help us grow.

Kim, mother of nine, and her husband run a farm and micro-dairy in Iowa.  She home-schools her children and enjoys a variety of gardening and sewing activities.   She offers a variety of ideas and suggestions for household, personal, and learning management. 

Kim starts her book with a section presenting principles that can help you be the women, wife, mother, and manager that is God-honoring.  Her premise that we need to be grounded in Scripture helps to bring the focus back to the reality that all we do is for God - even the care of ourselves and our home.   The second section of her book focuses on presenting ideas and plans for the organization and running of your home.  She approaches everything with the idea that we are to be working together as a family and, as a mom, we have the responsibility to teach our children the maintenance of a home and family and allow them the opportunity to "practice" by working with their siblings to help mom and dad run the house.  
I enjoyed the easy reading of Kim's writing.  She wrote in a way that is very familiar and it was almost as if she was having a conversation with you.  The chapters are fairly short, some only a couple of pages, which makes fitting a moment of reading in easy amidst everything else of life.  She has excellent ideas and lays them out in a very understandable and easy to implement way.  

There are a few times where Kim's strong feelings about how something should be done, came across very clearly.  It is important to remember in everything we read to measure it against the Truth and our own priorities.  What she says is great! but if you are not sure of where you stand you could be lead to feel badly about where you currently are and choices your family has made.  

I would recommend Large Family Logistics to most any wife and mother who is seeking to improve the management and function of her household.  It is especially helpful to those who have a large number of family members and/or a variety of responsibilities.  Her ideas can easily be translated and modified to apply in a smaller family setting as well.  

Thursday, August 9, 2012

My Newest Lasagna Creation

We love lasagna in our family (well, four of the five of us love it, one will force it down when required to do so and motivated by the thought of dessert).  I have recently found a couple of different recipes for lasagna meals, and several weeks ago (actually months now) made an attempt at one of them.  

I love cooking with my crockpot - the fix it and forget for the day idea works well with my brain, since I usually think about supper when I am cleaning up from breakfast.  And I love the ability to easily get supper on the table in the evening when we are all very hungry and I usually have a toddler wrapped around my legs or am attempting to assist with homework studies.

The recipe I tried was very tasty, though more like chili.  I added my modifications below and would even suggest trying it with a different large noodle next time.  Also, watch the cooking time carefully.  It burned easily along the edges once the noodles were done cooking.  Of course, our cheese loving family topped each serving with a pinch of parmesan or mozzarella cheese.  

Lasagna Chili (modified from Easy Crockpot Lasagna)

1+ lb. gr. turkey and sausage (½ and ½)
½ c. onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1 – 26 oz. jar of Prego traditional pasta sauce
½ c. water

1½ c. mozzarella cheese
2 c. cottage cheese
2 T. grated parmesan cheese
2 T. parsley
1 egg

6 lasagna noodles, uncooked

½ c. mozzarella cheese
1 T. grated parmesan cheese

    1. Cook ground turkey and sausage.  Add onion and garlic until cooked tender.  Combine with pasta sauce and water, simmer for five minutes and set aside.
    2. Combine mozzarella cheese, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, parsley and egg.  Set aside.
    3. In 4-6 qt. crockpot pour 1 c. of spaghetti meat sauce.   Place half of the noodles in, breaking them as necessary so they fit.  Top with half the cheese mixture. 
    4. Place remaining noodles and top with 2 c. of meat sauce, and remaining cheese mixture. 
    5. Top with remaining meat sauce, and cook for 4 hours on low or until noodles are soft.  (I would start checking it after 3 hours.)
    6. Top with mozzarella/parmasen mixture and let it sit for 10’ covered with the heat turned off.