Friday, May 27, 2011

Biology Lab - Take 2

Last year we held a two week biology lab in our home. It was so much fun! It sort of happened by accident. My dear Aunt taught this class years ago in California to a bunch of homeschooled students, including her own two sons. It somehow came up in conversation that my oldest would have to take it soon and I asked if she might consider teaching him. She asked if there might be others who might want to join us. There were. A class was born! My Aunt did such a great job, we decided to do it again even though neither of my sons will actually benefit this year. My oldest son will be an assistant teacher (which will go directly on his high school transcript, thank you). We have a full house of teens who make it so much fun! I can hardly wait for it to begin. I think it is so amazing how God orchestrates these types of things in the homeschool community. We have a parent with a talent who in turn teaches our children. My boys have been blessed to have wonderful supplemental teachers who have taught Latin, Spanish and Speech. The teachers always gush over our kids and tell us how much fun they had. Now, having assisted in teaching a class, I know what they mean. Even after only two weeks, I truly adore every kid. Don't overlook the talents of your friends and family. Tap into the richness that God has abundantly supplied you. Not only are your kids blessed, but the teacher gets blessed too!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Don't Trifle with me about Trifle!

A friend posted a picture of a beautiful red, white and blue trifle she was making for Memorial Day. Trifle is soooo good and very pretty. Just the perfect thing to take to a party! I purchased an actual "Trifle" bowl years ago and have gotten lots of use out of it. It's a great way to show off the beautiful layers. Of course, a small punch bowl or other glass bowl will work too. Now, the picture to the left, isn't a picture of my trifle, but I couldn't find one on my drive. This one will have to do.




Trifle

3 boxes of instant french vanilla pudding (3.4 oz)
1 frozen Sara Lee Pound Cake
2 small tubs of Cool Whip (extra creamy)
2 pts. of fresh strawberries sliced

1. Follow recipe on box for pudding except substitute 1 cup of Cool Whip for 1 cup of milk (e.g. the recipe calls for 2 c. of milk, use 1 c. of milk and 1 c. of Cool Whip)
2. Slice pound cake thinly
3. Layer cake in a trifle bowl first, followed by pudding, followed by strawberries
4. Continue with the layers until about 1 inch from the top. Top with Cool Whip and decorate with a whole strawberry.

You can also use peaches, blueberries, raspberries and/or pineapples.

feeds 20 very impressed people

Monday, May 23, 2011

How to Get your Kids to Eat Squash or The Great Summer Squash Disappearing Act

We overplanted yellow summer squash in our garden this year. The plants are overflowing our garden beds and have taken over the pine bark walk areas. This morning I found a huge squash that was begging to be sliced and fried. I obliged. This is a family favorite and helps the squash disappear like magic! It's fast and easy and makes a great side to anything. I like them with sandwiches or hamburgers as they make a nice replacement for french fries or chips.




Slice your squash in 1/4" slices.




Dip in a mixture of 1 egg and approximately 1/4 cup milk beat together with a fork


Toss in a mixture of 1 to 1 1/2 cups flour mixed with Tony Chachere's seasoning to taste (about 1-2 Tbl.)


Fry in hot peanut oil until golden brown and drain on paper towel


These guys are *HOT*! Be very careful. Don't burn your tongue in your haste to eat them before the kids get to them. :) Enjoy!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons can be applied to website purchases! Yipee!

Yes they can! A call to my friendly Bed, Bath & Beyond operator gave me some valuable information I wanted to pass on. If you order something from the Bed, Bath & Beyond website, print out your Internet receipt, bring it along with the credit card you used and the coupons you want to use to any BBB store. They will immediately give you credit back on your credit card! Fabulous! According to the company representative, you don't even have to wait until the item comes in. I did it, and it worked! Of course, you should always call your local store and speak with a manager to confirm they will do this before you make the trip over there. You can also return any ordered items you don't want/like to the physical stores. Colors just don't translate well over the Internet. An easy return policy makes it much less of a hassle to take a chance on an online order. Why they don't publicize this on their website, I'll never know. They are losing out on major website business. Maybe they will read this and get a clue! BTW friends - as of this writing, BBB's policy is that they will accept coupons that are expired. Don't throw those suckers out! I clip them and save them in my coupon folder every time I see one. Because you can only use one per item, you can go through them quickly if you are buying towels or napkins. This frugal message brought to you by Frazzled Mom. :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

An economical and quick trick to juicing key limes!

I'm a huge fan of my garlic press. It is also the perfect key lime juicer! That's right! It gets every bit of juice out and makes quick work of juicing these Lilliputian limes. I juiced a whole sack of them in no time. Normally, you could expect to get 1/2 a cup from the sack. I ended up with 1 1/2 cups! I froze the rest for future recipes. Now that's what I call economical!

A bit of interesting trivia, the yellow key limes are actually the ripe ones (not the green ones).

-Firmly roll the limes on a cutting board under the palm of your hand.
-Cut them in half across the fat middle part of the lime (not end to end).
-Put one half in your garlic press with the cut side to the bottom.  
-Squeeze. An added benefit is that the seeds stay inside the press.
-Now you can make something yummy like a key lime pie!

Monday, May 9, 2011

About Marriage

It is both surprising and *not* surprising when I hear about dear friends going through marital problems. Marriage is the foundation of families so of course our Enemy would want to strike this area. As Christians, we are all still works in progress and so are our marriages. I will be married twenty-three (23) years this May. Is our marriage a wonderland of bliss and perfect harmony? Uh... no. We're working on it though. (smile)

If I could go back in time and shake that newly married girl and give her some advice, what would I tell her? Probably nothing she would listen to (the stubborn thing).

Talk to your husband before you make a decision that affects him. Wow, that seems basic, but I can't tell you how many times I made plans with friends or relatives just assuming my dear husband would be just as excited about it as I was. He rarely was and he got his feelings hurt that I didn't consult him first. Unless I have talked with him about it first, I will wait to confirm plans until I've spoken with him.

Let your husband answer questions directed toward him. I came face to face with the ugliness of this not long ago. A newly married woman was constantly answering questions I lobbed at her husband. The husband was the strong but silent type and I tried to pull him into the conversation by asking him a few questions. The dear wife was probably trying to save him the trouble but ended up making him look whimpy. He looked helpless as she answered the questions over and over. That's the last thing you want to do ladies.

Ask your husband's advice and then follow it. Yes, you have to do the last part. Start with something small. Your husband knows you better than anyone on the planet. God has given him wisdom to be your husband. Trust that! I can't tell you how many times I have been so blessed just listening to what my husband was saying and doing it. He isn't always right, but it goes a long way when he sees me taking his advice.

If you are having marital difficulty, follow this one simple rule. Pray for your husband. If you can, pray together outloud for each other. It's awkward and weird at first. It gets better. You build intimacy for whom you pray and with whom you pray. This is the number one advice I was given and now I give.

If your husband is a basket case, pray that God would change you. What???!!! Yup. Let me tell you it works. As God works on me and my heart, he works on my husband in the background. God does it perfectly. Much better than our "suggestions" and nagging ever would.

Speak praise about your husband to others in front of him. Make a special effort to speak about the wonderful things your husband does for you. Make sure he hears it. Husbands need to hear it often. Don't assume your husband knows you appreciate him. They don't. If you are going through marital difficulty, this can be especially challenging. Find something, anything, you can praise him about. Matching socks or that he flosses regularly is good.

Remember what drew you to him. You picked the guy out of a crowd. There must have been something wonderful that caught your attention. Tell him about those special things that you admired when you first started dating. Look at old pictures together. Think about your dating days yourself during the day. By the time he gets home... Ahem!

Don't forget to date each other. My husband and I have been awful about this one. Paying for a babysitter is expensive. Now that our boys are older, we have no excuse. Recently we resolved to go out every month after our second paycheck. If your kids are still at the age they need a babysitter, trade off with another couple. Keep track with poker chips (1 poker chip for each hour) so that no one is taken advantage of. We so love dating one another again. I wish we had done this sooner. We also have a hobby we do together. If you know us, you know that is riding a motorcycle together. It is something we did when we were first married and we do now. My dear friend told me that she noticed a "spark" between us since we started this. Blush!

Maybe you were not exposed to a good marital example growing up. Make friends with older couples that you admire. Just remember, they aren't perfect either. Maybe there is a nugget or two they can share with you that will make your marriage stronger. A good marriage takes daily work. If you are coasting along, your marriage is dying. Resolve to not let a day pass without doing something positive for your spouse.

A tribute to my Mamon Guidry - a living legend

Mamon Tribute

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