Archive for October, 2011

Really Simple Outdoor BBQ (and homemade ketchup)

This might seem like no-brainer, but our family never thought of it until last year…

One way to enjoy the outdoors in the Fall without a lot of prep or clean up is to just have roasted hot dogs and buns (that’s it!) for supper.  Our family did this on Saturday; it was such a nice day, we did a last minute outdoor fire and hot dog roast, even though it wasn’t on the menu.

  • Scott ran to the store for hot dogs and buns with a kid (quality time).
  • While I made homemade ketchup with Barrett, Scott started a fire with the rest of the kids (quality time).
  • We brought outside hot dogs, buns and hot dog forks (that’s it!)  (And the bowl of ketchup)
  • Everyone ate their hot dog(s) as they sat around the fire.
  • Everyone brought something inside and then got a drink of water.
  • Scott and I even snuck back outside after the kids went to bed and restarted the fire!
  • Would I invite company?  Probably not; they might feel very unhealthy.;) winking

Ketchup recipe:

1/4 c. tomato paste
1/4. water
2 T. sugar
1 T. vinegar

Mix and serve!


How “substitution” is freeing me today

In today’s sermon, John Piper said, “Substitution” is at the heart of the Christian faith.”  Essentially, God killed Jesus so that He wouldn’t have to kill me, a sinner.

So I got to wondering, How often do I condemn myself for little things as if Jesus was NOT my substitute for EVERYTHING?  It’s as if I believe, Sure, Jesus paid the price for my sins and saved me from eternal death, but it’s MY RESPONSIBILITY to have a clean kitchen at all times!  It’s MY responsibility to make sure my kids learn their spelling words, etc.  I admit, I have a problem with beating myself up over little things (little things compared to eternity, anyway.)

So as I’ve been walking around my house today, I’ve been doing this:  See a mess that I normally blame myself for instantly (because I didn’t plan my day wisely enough or did not train my kids well enough), and instead say, “Substitution!”  As in, “Jesus’ death paid for this, too!  I’m free from the guilt of this AND I can trust God even with this mess (or whatever failure I happen to be viewing)!” ( Now, if I were actually were being completely lazy, that would be a slightly different story. :))

Note:  I’m not saying I’m perfectly free of laziness.:)

Annual Fall Day Trip

Every Fall we go on our annual Fall Day Trip, which includes apple-picking, hiking, picnicking and pizza.  It’s a highlight for the kids, mostly because we do it EVERY year.  We bring a picnic lunch, our own apple cider (it’s cheaper) and cups, trail mix (for hiking), and maybe a Fall treat like apple pie or molasses cookies.  Then we end the day at a pizza place (something we hardly EVER do!)  It’s interesting how traditions become loved, simply because they’re traditions.  Here are some pictures…

I think that a family could do just about anything once a year at a special time, and the kids would think it the greatest thing ever!  (Adults, too!)

Morning Offering

Here’s a morning prayer about time that I read in my new book, and I really like it.  The author, Pat King, got this from a friend of hers, and her friend called it her “Morning Offering.”  For moms (or anybody) with too much to do, this is a keeper!

“Dear Jesus,
I offer to You this day and ask the Holy Spirit to guide my ways at all times.
I ask that time will be used efficiently,
that I will not be so rushed I cannot smile,
that I will be Your tool,
that I will meet people I should meet,
that I will share Your love.
I ask that as I use Your time, You will give me time to accomplish everthing on my list today.”

(From How Do You Find the Time by Pat King)

I still need to post about what happened when I had to fit in more than what I had time for right after reading this the other day!

The Creator of Time is Also the Giver of Time – Do you need more?

I read this today, and was inspired…

“The most delightful fact of all regarding time is simply this:  the creator of time is also the giver of time.  When we have exhausted our supply, used up our twenty-four hours, and still need time, an amazing thing can happen to those who ask for it.  God will give us time.  I don’t know how it happens, but many people besides myself have experienced it.  God can do this for one reason—time belongs to Him.”   (from How Do You Find the Time, by Pat King.) 

I love this book!  The author goes on to describe many stories of people who should not have had enough time to do all they needed to do, but because they chose to pray and trust God for everything on their list, it got done!  I’ll have to post later about my little “experiment” this afternoon regarding this.

A Super Simple Breakfast or Lunch

BUT…you need leftover pancakes.  Our family makes dozens of pancakes every Saturday, and SOMETIMES we have leftovers.

A really simple way to serve them again is to make what I call “Pancake Bake.”  I cut up all the pancakes into bite size pieces (several at a time), put them in a crock pot, drizzle some butter over the top (or chunks of softened butter), heat it up on low for awhile, then serve it with syrup.  This way, you don’t need to divide up any leftover pancakes OR do any cutting for small children when it’s time to eat!  🙂


Oatmeal Bake recipe to prepare the night before for a simple breakfast

We aren’t a cold cereal family (at least, we try not to be), so it’s one of my goals to prepare part of our breakfast the night before so I can just quickly mix it together and stick it in the oven.

Here is my recipe for oatmeal bake that I prepare the night before.  You will notice that I “soak” the oatmeal in a honey mixture overnight.  This not only makes a softer and more moist product, but it’s actually more healthy, too!

The night before…(this takes about three minutes; I just timed it.)

In a large mixing bowl, mix together …

2 cups oatmeal
About a tablespoon of lemon juice (I don’t measure)
1/2 cup honey (I don’t measure this, either)
Enough water to make a pancake-battter-like consistency

This next part you can mix together the night before and put it in the refrigerator OR just add it the next morning.

Mix together…
3 beaten eggs
1 stick of butter, melted

Add the next part RIGHT BEFORE baking…
1/2 c white flour
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (less if you use table salt)
1 tablespoon baking powder
Lots of cinnamon (5-7 dashes)
Lots of nutmeg (2-3 dashes)
Vanilla – about 1 teaspoon
AND enough milk to make a cake-batter-like consistency

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.  We serve it with real maple syrup drizzled over each piece.  Serves 8-12.

Note:  I just heard from a friend that you can buy gluten-free oatmeal, so this would work for a gluten-free diet if you used rice flour instead of the wheat (which I have done.)