Monday, December 28, 2009


So, I've never attempted to make the beloved dish that my Grandma used to make, and she never passed on the recipe to me.  Now, years later, my grandparents were coming for Christmas to my Dad's house and Dad asked me to make chicken and dumplings and bring it to share with dinner.  Needless to say, I was a little worried that whatever I concocted it wouldn't come close to my Grandmother's recipe from long ago.  I was small and didn't pay much attention, and since then my grandma had suffered a stroke that has left her left side pretty much useless.  But, long story short, I threw some chicken in a pot with some water and bullion and let it cook while we opened presents, and then skimmed the foam off and let the chicken cool so I could shred it.  Then I found a recipe for dumplings that I hoped would not produce a chewy tough result, but rather a light and fluffy dumpling.  Much to my surprise, they turned out wonderful, and I believe it will be a common dish for me to make to bring to the family gatherings from now on.  I am also excited to experiment with other soup dishes to see what else the dumpling can add too.... Hooray!



    * 2 cups of white flour
    * 4 tsp. baking powder
    * 1 tsp. salt
    * 4 tbsp. soft margarine or butter
    * 1 cup of milk (or more)


   1. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
   2. Cut in butter that's been kept at room temperature or use soft margarine.
   3. Stir milk lightly into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon and adjust amounts to make sure that you have a moist dumpling dough. (not too much though, or you get "fluff" balls, as my kiddo's called them)

Dumpling Cooking Tips

    * Make sure your soup or stew is on a gentle simmer. The liquid does not have to be boiling to achieve tender dumplings. Remember that pot temperature rises with the lid on and you don't want the contents to stick and burn.

    * Drop dumpling dough into the liquid by teaspoonfuls or for larger dumplings use a tablespoon.  Cover your pot with a lid so that the dumplings can steam.

Check your dumplings after 10 minutes. You can use a knife to cut a slit in one dumpling to check inside. Cook until dumplings are no longer raw in the middle. Ladle into serving bowls, including a dumpling or two per bowl.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The warmth in the leaves set the tree on fire

It's such a wonderful day outside, the kind where you wake up and just know inside the it's going to be an awesome day.....  We're driving out to help celebrate a birthday, and see those we've not seen in a bit.  But, I love driving in the fall on a sunny day, to thoroughly enjoy the colors of the trees in the fall.  It's one of those things that just amazes me about the wonderful God we serve, that he created it all, and yet took the time to decide the colors of the leaves, all the way down to the intricacies of each of our personalities.  I love the fall, the pumpkin picking, the collage leaf making, the leaf pile making and jumping in and doing it all over again, and watching everything anew through my childrens eyes.......

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dad Dollars Endeaver

     So, I had found this idea in a family fun magazine a while ago, but then proceeded to misplace the magazine and I couldn't remember the web address to go to to print these "dad dollars" out.  Anyway, I googled it and found My blessed Home's Family Blog, and found the link, which is awesome.  I had all these idea's, but then ran out of oomph for a bit after I got them printed out.....maybe I would say I got sidetracked by the other things going on in our daily life.   Anyway, I finally got around to cutting them out and making the list of what my kids could do to earn them, and what "prizes" they could turn them in for.  Yesterday.
     So, we've been having trouble with my 5 year-old son sometimes in preschool.  This is his first year going to "school", and most of the time he's great, but occasionally he does poke a hole in the Styrofoam bowl and not tell the teacher before she pours his soup in.  He's all boy, and I think has a bit of trouble harnessing all that energy.  So, yesterday, I told him that he would get a dad dollar every day if he had a good day at school.  Today, I went to pick him up, and he had a big smile, and said,"Hi mom, I did good, so I can have my dad dollar, right?"  How cool is that?  Time will tell whether or not  the desired effect will last.  What I am most excited about is that the "prizes" are things like an extra 1/2 hour of video game time, movie night, staying up a 1/2 hour late, and of course a few things like small candy, or some silly string I picked up for a dollar.  So, the out of pocket cost is very minimal for the parents, which is an awesome thing!

     I am so hoping that this will reinforce some of the daily habits we're trying to get into the habit of doing, as well as lessening the chaos that tends to happen when you try to get four kids together before school, when 2 of them are completely capable of doing it themselves.  Also, one of my stipulations is that the "job" gets done the right way, without the throwing of fits, which for some reason a few of my children think will work in getting them something.  So, only one day in, and doing pretty well, I think.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A sort of Epiphany

So, I think I've finally come to the point where I've realized I really do need to make some sort of cleaning schedule, much to my chagrin.  This is coming from someone who is a "messy", so I feel like I'm making some sort of headway.....never mind it's taken me 8 years to get to this point.  How long it has taken for me to reach this point doesn't truly matter, does it?  Anyway, I'm in the middle of a true upheaval in the way I'm trying to do things around the house, as well as with our "budget" which currently is non-existent.  I'm so hoping that I will be able to get my husband on board, as well as being self-disciplined enough to at least get to the part where we've figured what we've been spending and can make a "spending" plan. For now, I'll be happy with the fact that I've got to the place again where I'm not having a desire to be out all the time and always finding some way to spend something, justified or not.  This is truly an accomplishment, and something I would've never been able to do without God's help.  Shopping is my "thing", finding a bargain is even better.  I've been struggling with this for a very long time, and God is slowly helping me through it, so I can be satisfied in every sense with what I have, and what he has for me, which is a truly awesome thing in my book.  I do have to say that my husband thinks it's an awesome thing too, in a funny sort of way.  So, we'll just have to wait and see how everything pans out.....and whether I can trust God and know that he has something way better for me than anything I could buy.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Most Interesting Day

I’m pondering how many other mom’s have done what I did at lunch today. I picked up my 4 and 2 year-olds from preschool, and decided we’d make a run through the drive through at steak n shake. I asked my 4 year old son what he wanted, and he asked if we could go in, as that’s a big treat for them, and his birthday is tomorrow…..I had to feed our 9 month old, so I thought sure, why not. So, we parked and in we went. Lunch itself went pretty well. It was the paying at the register that was a little rocky…..I handed the cashier my card, and she swiped…..and it was declined. Ugh, I had totally forgotten our ordeal last week that involved someone out in Cali using our card number to the tune of 150 dollars, and therefore we put a stop on our card. I’ve been really good at remembering this fact, until today at the restaurant when it was just me and three kids, and only 10 dollars in my purse. So, embarrassed, I ask if I can run to the bank, and bring her the other 5 dollars. She thinks for a moment and whispers “okay”. Off we race to the bank, and back……20 minutes go by, and when I rush back in to the restaurant, there’s another woman at the register, and she can’t find my check in the computer. I think shift change was going on, although at 1:00 in the afternoon would be a strange time for that, who am I to say. So, she says she can’t find it, but I hand her the money anyways. What a day……and I still have to go to the store for birthday salad items, as my boy wants salad with chicken on it for birthday dinner tomorrow….who woulda thunk it. We also have to go shopping for a pattern and material for Halloween costumes, and after I get them to bed some wrapping of birthday surprises must be done. I need some liquid energy I think…..