Congratulations to our Graduates!

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Well, it’s taken me a little while, but I’m finally getting around to posting about our graduates! We are so proud of these two sons as they have achieved two important milestones in their lives – graduating this spring from college and high school!  Ryan completed his Bachelor of Science in Ministry Leadership from Moody Bible College and Tommy has earned his High School Diploma from our home school.  They have both worked so hard and a special dinner celebration was in order.  We took them out for a nice steak and Mexican dinner and were joined by our family, which made for a lovely evening.

I decorated the long main dining table at the restaurant, as well as a side table with framed pictures of the graduates, and another which held dessert and gifts. On the main table, I used a burlap runner, sprinkled with Hershey’s kisses, and then added candles, green plants, and an assortment of wisdom/advice quotes.

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Jeff gave a nice speech with teary eyes and Ryan spoke for a little bit too. We presented Tommy with his high school diploma and took some pictures (all photo credits to our daughter Sarah!). It was a very wonderful and special evening!

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We’re so excited to see where the Lord takes these two in the coming years. They are quite a blessing to our family!

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Blessings,
Nancy

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My Family Page is Updated!! (Finally)

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I’ve been tweaking and testing things around the blog this week, trying to reaquaint myself with things, and am feeling a bit more comfortable on the whole.  One area that has been so woefully neglected over the past few years is my Family page.  My children have chided me on numerous occasions about how outdated it was and pleaded with me to please do something about it.  “Mommmm!  It still says I’m 14 years old!!!” (spoken by the current 17 year old).  “Mommmm!  You neeeed to add Jessica to the family page soon!!” (spoken by her youngest sister-in-law and flower girl).  “Mommmm!  I gave up ice skating two years ago! (spoken by the soon-to-be high school graduate).

In my own defense, I haven’t written a blog post in a year (until this week), and so I certainly wasn’t thinking about being up to date on everyone’s statuses.  But – I am now proud to announce – that I have finally taken the time, tackled the challenge, and typed in the updated information for all of these sweet little baby chicks in my coop.  You can hop over and take a look, if you’re interested, by clicking on the “My Family” tab at the top of this page.

I’m sure that my children will all sleep easier tonight once they know that they are finally current and all is well with the world.

Blessings,

Nancy

Anna’s Snickerdoodles

Anna is working on the cookie baking badge for her Keepers of the Faith club. She needs to bake 6 different types of cookies to earn the badge. She has already made Chocolate Chip Bar Cookies for us and now has added Snickerdoodles to her list. We got the recipe from this book ~

This is a wonderful cookbook that I found at Half Price Books a few years back, and which Jeff bought me for a Christmas present. Many great recipes from everyday cooks around the country! This recipe is credited to Michelle Goddard of Memorial Baptist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Anna almost didn’t get to make these the other night when I realized that I had no cream of tartar, called for in the recipe. I decided to just go ahead and let her try them without it and see how they turned out. I am happy to report that they were just fine, delicious in fact! And Anna was quite proud of herself as she served them to the family. Here is the recipe ~

Snickerdoodles

1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Additional sugar and cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cream the shortening, sugar, and eggs until light and fluffy. Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Add to the creamed mixture. Stir in the vanilla extract. shape into balls the size of walnuts. Roll each ball in cinnamon/sugar mixture. Bake on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes; watch carefully so they don’t burn. Makes 5 dozen cookies.

This was a good learning recipe for Anna, and she had a great time with it!

Blessings,
Nancy

Welcome April!

It’s a brand new month filled with the rebirth of the earth – flowers, trees, warm weather, and blue skies are beckoning us outdoors each day. There is change in the landscape now on a daily basis and I love it. Spring porch weather is here and I am making the most of it – which may be one of the reasons I have been slack in my writing here.

We have a lot going on these days – birthdays, schoolwork, weekly activities, and the ever calling out of doors. Oh, and we have another little bird about to fly out of the nest – I wonder if the mama birds feel like I do when their babies spread their wings and fly off – a necessary and good thing for them to do, but heart-wrenching for the mama who feels their absence so deeply!

More to come on all of these matters – and I will get Sarah’s Chicken Finger recipe posted asap. Hope you are all enjoying the arrival of spring in your part of the world!

Blessings,
Nancy

Sarah’s Cooking Night

Sarah decided last week that she wanted to cook one of the meals for dinner this week. She had seen a recipe for chicken fingers on a Bisquick box and this inspired her to want to cook a whole meal, something that she had never done before. She has made a number of desserts for the family over the past few years, but never anything as ambitious as a complete meal. So, on Tuesday, I made sure we had all of the ingredients she needed and joined her in the kitchen to supervise, teach a bit, and help her out. The menu she planned consisted of ~

    Ultimate Chicken Fingers
    Homemade Mashed Potatoes
    Green Beans
    Chocolate Chip Bar Cookies

Here are some pictures of her time in the kitchen ~

She started by making dessert – Chocolate Chip Bar Cookies. She has made these before, so she didn’t really need my help with this part. She gave the younger kids a spoonful of dough before she baked them.

Next she began work on her mashed potatoes. She used this recipe and learned how to wash, peel, cut and cook the potatoes. Her arms were a bit tired after scrubbing and peeling 5 lbs. of potatoes by herself!

While the potatoes cooked, she started her chicken fingers. As I mentioned before, this recipe was on the back of the Bisquick box. She had to triple the recipe for our family, so she got a little practical Math practice along the way. It was her first time to handle raw chicken, but she decided that it wasn’t as bad as she thought it would be. I gave her lessons on why it’s important to wash it well, and then she trimmed it up and sliced it for fingers.

Her potatoes were ready to mash before she got her chicken breaded, so she put the chicken on hold and finished up the potatoes – I told her that timing was one of the hardest parts of cooking.

With the potatoes all mashed and covered to keep warm, she went back to the chicken, which she found to be messy job!

While the chicken cooked, Sarah heated up the green beans (canned) on the stove. Finally, everything was ready, and we sat down to a delicious meal!

This chicken was so wonderful – it had parmesan cheese and garlic salt in the coating, which gave it a scrumptious flavor. I will post the recipe as soon as possible (if you can’t wait, go out and buy a box of Bisquick – it should be right there on the back of the box) –

Homemade Mashed Potatoes – she did an excellent job on these – they were smooth and creamy –

A great dinner –

and a delicious dessert to finish it up –

See you again soon!

Blessings,
Nancy

Anna lost her first tooth!

It popped out last night with a little help from her sister. She is very excited and is already working on the next tooth, which is ready to go at any moment as well.

We’ve been keeping the tooth fairy very busy this week – Michael lost two teeth the two days before Anna, so we have had fairy visits for three nights in a row now. If Anna gets the next one out before bed, that will make four nights in a row – that fairy might as well just pack her bags and move in with us!

Be sure to check out my 500th Post Giveaway ~ click here to enter the drawing for a lovely basket of goodies!

Have a nice evening!

Blessings,
Nancy

Matthew’s New Car!

Our son, Matthew, bought his first car yesterday! He has been searching for the right one for weeks, driving many and coming home empty handed each time. Yesterday, the search finally ended, and he is now the proud owner of this new (to him) car –

I think it’s safe to say that he’ll be wearing a smile (at least on the inside) for some time to come.

Blessings,
Nancy