Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thankfulness is Golden

I know, the phrase is "silence is golden."  So what.  Thankfulness is pretty golden too!

1. Cooler temperatures since last weekend.  No explanation needed.
2. God's miracle of calmness and cooperation in our two year old class at Bible Study Fellowship this morning.
3.  My new sewing machine is sitting at Wal-Mart just waiting to be picked up!  I am excited about getting my SEW on!
4.  Caleb's sweet spirit as he loves on each member of our family!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Quote of the Day

Seen on a marquee at a storage unit business near our house: "If winning isn't everything, then why keep score?"

Unfortunately for me, to Jadie, winning is everything.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Homemade Pizza Recipe

I have not yet tried this, but it is on my meal plan for THIS WEEK!!!

I don't usually copy and paste someone else's entire post, but I want a quick and easy place to return to when I try this for myself!

From Good Cheap Eats.

Homemade Pizza is a regular feature on the FishFam menu. I try to make it at least once a week, usually on Fridays. This makes a great start to our weekend. Coupled with rootbeer, a movie, and snacks, it creates a fun family night for my husband and me and our six children.
The first time I made pizza, it was a terrible bomb and I vowed never to make it again. That was fifteen years ago. About three years later when our first child was born and we moved to one income, I reconsidered that vow. I liked pizza, but I knew it wasn’t in the budget to indulge on a regular basis.
Instead, I set out to teach myself how to make it at home. After some trial and error, I’ve come up with something that we like just as well if not better than pizza parlour pies. I still goof up sometimes, but overall everyone enjoys pizza night.
I rely on my bread machine to make fantastic dough. The texture can vary a little, depending on the humidity, but overall it’s pretty consistent.
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons honey
4 1/2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon yeast
Combine ingredients in the bread machine pan according to the order recommended by your machine’s manufacturer. Set on dough and start the machine, checking after ten minutes to make sure all the ingredients have been incorporated and not stuck to the side of the pan.
When dough is ready, divide into portions. This makes six individual pizzas or three to four large. Shape each portion into a flat round. Place on a cookie sheet or pizza pan that has been greased and sprinkled with corn meal. Spread pizza crust with sauce.
***Suggestions for those of us without a bread machine:
Warm the water and place it in a large mixing bowl (or Kitchenaid mixer). Add honey and stir.  Sprinkle the yeast and stir. Once it starts to foam (after about 10 minutes), add the rest of the ingredients. If using mixer, put the bread hook on and mix for 3 minutes. If by hand, stir until dough forms, transfer to floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes. Transfer to greased bowl and let rise until doubled in bulk.***

I usually use whatever spaghetti sauce I have on hand. Usually something I’ve made myself, like this tomato sauce with meats. I prepare it in huge quantities and store it in 2-cup portions in the freezer. The morning of pizza night, I pull out a container to thaw in the refrigerator.
I use about 2/3 cup sauce for large pizzas, 1/3 cup for smaller, individual size pies.
Start with a sprinkling of cheese. We like a combination of shredded jack and mozzarella cheeses.
Next layer on whatever toppings you like:
  • pepperoni
  • sausage
  • sliced mushrooms
  • diced onion
  • diced or sliced tomato
  • sliced, black olives
  • chopped zucchini
  • sliced bell pepper
Top with more cheese.
A preheated oven is key to a great crust. Up to an hour before baking, set your oven to 475 &deg. Bake pizzas for 8-15 minutes, depending on their size. Use the shorter baking time for smaller pizzas, the longer time for larger ones. Pay close attention to how your oven operates and how brown your pizzas are getting. I cook only one large pizza at a time.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Quote of the Day

Caleb (after placing a piece of ice in his hand): "It's a meltdown."

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Banana Bread with Pecans

by Tyler Florence

taken from The Food Network website


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 overripe bananas
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
Mash 2 of the bananas with a fork in a small bowl so they still have a bit of texture. With an electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk, whip the remaining bananas and sugar together for a good 3 minutes; you want a light and fluffy banana cream. Add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla; beat well and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated; no need to overly blend. Fold in the nuts and the mashed bananas with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Give the pan a good rap on the counter to get any air bubbles out.
Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Don't get nervous if the banana bread develops a crack down the center of the loaf; that's no mistake, it's typical. Rotate the pan periodically to ensure even browning.
Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes or so, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. Toast the slices of banana bread, dust with confectioners' sugar, and serve.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Laundry Tips

According to this article, I wash my clothes way too often.  Can they be serious?  Are these guidelines even doable in the Texas heat?

For the full article, visit REAL SIMPLE.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Things I'm Thankful For This Week

1. A sweet co-leader for my 2-year old class at BSF.  It was a crazy, unpredictable morning, but so worth it!
2. Extra cuddle time with Sarah while we waited an hour for a (free) oil change.
3. Friends to share life with.  I enjoyed lunch with Mary and Anne on Tuesday, conversation with Courtney on Thursday, and Beth let me crash in on her consigning efforts at the last minute.
4. A healthy husband who is capable of working his tail off to support our family.
5. Jadie's release from the 10 hours a day/7 days a week schedule.  Praise, God!
6. God's constant protection of our family.  Who knows how long I drove around with a nail in the tire of our car.
7. Sewing.  I haven't done any this week, but I have enjoyed shopping for some fabrics!
8. Beth Moore and her excitement to meet with Almighty God.  She encourages me.
9. Mel's snapshot of herself wearing a GIGANTIC sombrero.  Beautiful, that girl!
10. Kristin's journaling/blogging/status updating about her adventures in refugee services.  It's challenging to step into another world as I read her thoughts.
11. An unexpected package from my cousin Teri for Sarah's birthday.  Getting fun mail is always welcome!
12. My sweet Granny, who took the time to track down a missing sippy cup from our visit with her 2 weeks ago.  I love my Granny (and PawPaw)!
13. My mother-in-law who gave me her Kohl's cash!  Cha-ching!
14. Garage sales.  Not only does it make me feel so much better about the things I hang onto, but I get to find more stuff to hang onto!

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fresh Salsa

Of course, I blend this recipe since Jadie prefers a smooth, not chunky salsa.

Fresh Salsa by Life As Mom

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Yummy Scones

Not only do I LOVE cranberries and pecans, but these scones are actually soft and cake-like instead of dry.

Here's the link to Taste of Home's Cranberry Pecan Scones.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Want To Try These

As much as I want to make that tent I mentioned a while back, I think I may have to go with some more practical projects soon.  Here are a few things I'd like to try:

(I think I'd like to use oilcloth so that it can be wiped down easily)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Failed Attempts

I tried to take some bathtub video for you.  After 4 short video attempts, I am sad to say that I have no appropriate footage to share with you.

During video #1, Caleb points out that he can see Sarah's bottom, then he begins questioning me about the female anatomy.  Not exactly a conversation that I want too much evidence of.

During video #2, Caleb does a poor job of covering his privates and Sarah drops a load in the tub.  Hilarious to see Caleb's reaction, but not really what I want to show the world.

Video #3, is fine, but incredibly short.

During video #4, Caleb points out an "owie" on his privates.  Again, with the inappropriate video footage.

So I'll leave you with a few photos from Friday afternoon.  Just normal, everyday activities that aren't so exciting.

Caleb jumping.  I'm testing my quick picture taking skills.

Caleb walking on the "balance beam" between our yard and the neighbors.
Sarah sitting on Caleb's stool in his room.  She's been climbing on things like this and the baby rocking chair.
Another stool climbing episode.  This time in the bathroom.  Exciting.

Friday, September 3, 2010

How Could You Use Amazon Gift Cards?

I try not to use my blog to persuade people to do things...and I will not try to persuade you regarding this either.  I just thought you might like to be aware of this opportunity.

I have been using Swagbucks for at least a year now.  I'm not really sure exactly how long.  Anyhow, in that time, I have been able to redeem my accumulated Swagbucks to purchase $130 in Amazon Gift Cards and $10 in the form of a Starbucks Gift Card.  Here is a screenshot of some of the Amazon cards I have redeemed online.  They are added to my Swagbucks account as a code, which I then enter on as a gift certificate code at checkout.

I thought you might like to know, in case you are interested in trying it out.  Of course, it would benefit me if you decided to sign up.  I would get Swagbucks for the first 1,000 that you earn by searching.  That would really help me earn more Amazon cards.  I have used them to purchase books, diapers, and a (random) filter for our refrigerator.

If you decide to go for it, please use my link so I can earn with you for the first 1,000.
Lauren's Referral Link