Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Match Holder

I've had the below picture on my Pinterest board for some time now.  I've been looking for just the right bottle to put my matches into.

Today, at my local Antique Store I found this bottle for $3.  I was excited, because with the decoration on front, I can use my strike anywhere matches.  Of course you could put the striker on the bottom, but this was so cool.



Keep looking for those special items.  You never know where you'll find them.  Now I want another one for my room to keep next to my candles.  I'll keep looking. :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

It's Done...No, not yet!.....Ok, now it's ready...No, no not yet....Finally, It's DONE!

I tried a new recipe.  I was super excited about it because it had all the ingredients of a wonderful dish.  One main ingredient, Tater Tots, my husband loves, so I was eager to serve it.  My recipe called for a one hour cook time.  It smelled delicious at the 1 hour mark.  I took it out, called everyone to the table.  It looked wonderful.  I scooped out the first portion and noticed that the chicken was still raw.  At that point, I put it back into the oven for another 30 min.  Time passed and I took it out again.  Sure that it was done, I called everyone to the table again.  Scooping cautiously this time, I saw it.  Raw chicken.  This time I was determined.  I scraped off some of the hash browns to revile the chicken.  I put it back into the oven and put it on Broil.  I figured, if 500 degrees can't cook it, nothing will.  After about 10 min. on broil and the edges started to get crispy I put the temperature on 375 and set the timer for 40 min.  I went outside to read a magazine.
Over 2 hours later from my first "sit down for dinner" time, it WAS ready.  It WAS good and everyone loved it.  My son said that the anticipation of the dinner made it all the more good.  Smiling...I sighed and came up with the fix for next time.  I'm pre-cooking the chicken before I put it into the casserole.  Below, I'm posting the recipe I used.  Let me know how yours turns out.

The Country Cook


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Introduction to Preschool Section

I've taught preschool for many years.  I have a background in Speech-Language Pathology and have worked one on one with many children ages birth to 5yrs.  This area of the blog will be to visit the most useful strategies and ideas for the classroom and at home.  I also like to encourage teachers to remind their parents to practice developmental skills at home.  I can not tell you how many parents I've worked with that didn't give their child a pair of scissors or play-dough because it would cause too much of a mess.  I'm here to empower parents and teachers to let their preschoolers make a mess in a safe environment.  Preschoolers need a place to develop their likes and dislikes, master skills, and improve social abilities.  By building a healthy, thriving preschooler, we are building strong, masterful thinkers.  Yes, I do believe that education starts in preschool.  We'll start with developmental charts and work our way from there.  The following are developmental charts for emotional and educational growth.

Zero to 3 has a nice list of developmental charts for you to check out. Look on the left sidebar and you will see the choices.

I look forward to growing preschoolers with you.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Home...Clean...Home

Truth be told, my house is not clean.  Two teenagers help keep an ever evolving clutter pile of paintball, scouting, camping, computing, gaming and clothing things all over.  We're working on picking up as we go.  I've found two sources that help me make home cleaning a more manageable project.

The first item that holds weight is my Home Routines App.  It follows, roughly, the ideas behind Fly Lady with having a different "Zone" per week to work on.  I find it extremely helpful to have the tasks already there and on my phone for easy check off.  It keeps paper clutter down.  You can edit the tasks by adding or subtracting different cleaning chores based on your home.  You can find more information about this app at http://www.homeroutines.com/.



The second item I love is a book by Stephanie O'Dea "Totally Together Shortcuts to an Organized Life". She writes an easy week by week way of making sure those "fun" cleaning tasks get done.  I take the items she lists for the week and input them onto my HomeRoutines app.  I can use the ideas year after year.  It's my go to book for what can I easily do this week to make my home a cleaner place.



I hope you find these two resources helpful.  Let me know if you have good home routine ideas I could try.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pretty Coasters

Coasters are one of those household items that doesn't get much "lime-light" in the decorating world.  These coasters, I made for Christmas presents last year.  They were super easy to do and did not take long to make.  I was able to customize them for each family according to their decor.


I'm leaving you a link for the blog I got this from, here.

There are a few things I did to make them in bulk.  I used my Cricut Machine to cut out the circles.  Super Easy!  I bought the clay pot dishes at Hobbly Lobby with a coupon.  Super Cheap! I used the same color paint spray that Suzy used on her blog. After traveling to Lowes, Home Depot and Walmart looking for the paint, I found it at Walmart for the cheapest price.

**This is Key:  Don't use newspaper under the clay disks to spray paint them.  It sticks!!!  My friend, Heather, suggested wax paper and it worked brilliantly.

Be patient with the dry times.  I wrapped mine with a ribbon and gave them out at Christmas.  Everyone loved them.  My mom wants some in a bigger size to hold her larger cups.  I'll work on that project soon.

Now, on Pinterest there are several coaster ideas.  I'm going to list a couple of links below.

Coaster 1

Coaster 2


I hope these links give you a good start on making some fun and memorable gifts.  Be sure to look on my Pinterest board for more ideas.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Warm Smell of Cinnamon

The boys love breakfast.  It's been their first words for many years each morning..."What's for Breakfast, Mom?"  Today we are making Maple French Toast Muffins.These can be made ahead of time and frozen for a quick on the go breakfast too.

The boys think they don't need "cooking lessons" if they can read directions.  While I see their point, there is a lot to be said for actually making a dish.  They don't, yet, understand that just because the recipe calls for something or a certain measurement that it can often be changed, omitted, added and subtracted.  That is why the journey of cooking with the boys is taking place.  Let's see how it goes.

I am using a recipe from www.food.com called Maple French Toast Muffins.


In true form, I changed some of the directions for my batch.  Instead of making the "Topping Mix", I put the bread cubes into the egg/milk wash to soak.  Then added that to the dry ingredients.  It worked FAMOUSLY!   Below is a picture of our muffins.


The boys ate them with syrup and were pleasantly surprised at how good they tasted.  "Texter" and I made a double batch so I could freeze them for easy eating on a busy morning.

Let me know if you have a favorite French Toast recipe.  I'd love to see what you're making.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Nehemiah

Is Nehemiah a Hero or just a worker. At church today, we discussed Nehemiah as a Hero...A Work Hero. It was a new perspective to the story I knew.  Work with purpose.  Work with honor.  There's nothing new in his actions but a quiet reminder that even in our work we should be bringing glory to God.  As I'm starting this blog, feeling a bit overwhelmed, I'm going to take Nehemiah's leadership into account.  Blogging is not a job but bringing honor to God through it is a goal.