Friday, July 30, 2010

Creative Play

So what do kids do that don't watch TV? Well, they use their imagination and come up with creative things to do instead. These are a few pictures of what my 10 year old, Kaitlyn, did the other day. It is amazing at what they will find to do when you turn the TV off. We do not watch TV during the week and only limited TV on the weekends, which is getting ready to be more limited.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not judging anyone. My kids use to watch quite a bit of TV. From the time they woke up to the time they went to bed , it was on and off through out the day. I finally decided enough was enough. They have learned to find things to do that are a lot more constructive than watching TV.

So I give you this challenge. If your kids watch a lot of TV, try turning it off and see what they find to do. It may take some coaching from you for a little while because they will not be use to thinking of things to do due to the fact that they have been fed information from the TV instead of coming up with their own ideas. Be patient, it will be worth the wait :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Church Picnic

Every year our church has two picnics in July as a time for fellowship. We meet at the Lenoir City Park and one of the things that my children love to do is go on the pontoon boat rides. Our church rents two boats and gives free rides around the lake from 2:30 - 5:00. This picnic is so much fun for our church family. There's the boat rides, praise and worship under the trees, great food and volleyball. Even after it's over our children are already looking forward to next years picnic.

I want to encourage you, that if you haven't found a church that you feel at home at or that you don't feel like part of a family, then find one. It's great for the children and great for you. This is the family that will help you get through some of the tough spiritual times you may go through and encourage you when you need it the most. It's important that we commune one with another.

Just thought I'd share a few pics from our ride on the boat. Enjoy!


Kaitlyn and Josiah


Christiana and Micah

Me and Joshua

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday's Tip

I have to admit that today's tip is not my original idea. I got it from Raising Olives a while back,but it has been helpful enough that I wanted to share it with you.

With the price of milk these days it's hard to keep enough in the fridge to drink as well as to use in recipes. A cheaper way to keep milk on hand is to buy the dry milk. Now before you decide not to read anymore, I'm not suggesting you drink the dry milk (Yuck, I can't do that). Instead, use it in your recipes that call for milk. You won't be able to tell any difference in a recipe. I like to make up about 2 quarts and just keep it in the fridge for use in a recipe so I'm not having to measure and mix each time I need milk. It's cheaper than using your drinking milk and you can save your expensive gallon of milk for the pure joy of drinking or adding to your cereal. Hope this helps :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Buddy Helpers

On Friday nights we have Friday Family Night. They usually consist of some sort of pizza dish, dessert, a movie and popcorn, then the kids get to stay up late and we watch movies together. Well, now that my kids are older (and of course not because I'm pregnant and low on energy) I let them make the dessert. This past Friday night Christiana requested that she make the brownies and I was completely okay with it. Matthew, who is 4, is her buddy and she decided as a way to help him take his nap, that if he would go to sleep he could help her make the brownies. Sure enough, Matthew fell asleep and when he awoke he couldn't wait to make the brownies with her. So, when it was time, he was ready.

I love that my children enjoy working together and how well they work together (most of the time). I thought it was very creative of Christiana to make a deal with Matthew that would help him take his nap, and that she was willing to share doing something that she enjoyed doing with her buddy. She let him do everything he could possibly do and I think they both had fun. It was so sweet that I had to take pictures and I thought that I would share them with you. Enjoy :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Birthday Club - Tuesday's Tip

I was unable to put up a tip on Tuesday because my internet was down, but I wanted to share this tip with you so I decided just to do it today even though I know it's Friday.

As you know, Matthew's birthday was a couple of weeks ago. One of the things our kids look forward to around their birthday is the Baskin Robbins Birthday Club free cone they get. I signed our family up earlier this year and for every birthday we get a coupon through our email
for their free cone. (You do need to be able to print the coupon)

We take this opportunity to spend one on one time with the birthday child. We do not take any other siblings (except maybe the baby) and we let them enjoy hanging with Mom and Dad eating ice cream. It's fun and I have to admit that I look forward to this time as much, if not more, than the kids.

Our closest Baskin Robbins is in a gas station with a Subway as well. So the picture below is Matthew eating his Rocky Road with the market in the background. I love little, messy ice cream faces :)

To get your family signed up for the birthday club you can go to Just go to the tabs at the top and you'll find Birthday Club at the far right. Then just follow the directions. It's really easy and as well as getting your free cone you also get a discount coupon for an ice cream cake.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Where's Josiah?

The day before yesterday I was in the kitchen and Josiah was in the living room reading some history. All of the sudden I noticed that he sounded very far away and muffeled. Wondering where he was I began to search for him. Once I found him I had to grab the camera and record what I saw. Please excuse the mess in my living room. I had been sorting clothes all morning and hadn't had the chance to put them all away or do any other cleaning, but this video was too cute to keep to myself.

It's amazing where kids choose to read sometimes, but hey, as long as he's reading, I'm ok with it :) Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Zucchini Bread in the Oven - Not Me Monday

Not Me Monday

Josiah, my oldest son, has taken over the job of baking zucchini bread when our family wants some. He loves to bake and has become quite efficient at it, enough that I trust him without supervision. Since he has made zucchini bread many times before, I had no hesitation in asking him to make some so we could have it for breakfast the next day.

I did NOT decide to let him make the zucchini bread while I went to take a nap. I was NOT awaken from my nap to smell something burning and the kids getting me to show me the oven in the picture below.Fortunately, everything turned out alright. I was able to clean it up easily and save the bread.

As an added note, Josiah is a very good cook and I trust him when he needs to cook. He still needs some instruction from time to time, but overall I am very proud of him and his talent.

For more "Not Me Monday - Being brutally honest and living to tell about it!" visit

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Enter to Win

I have certain blogs that I follow and one of them is Kimberly is the mother of ten children, lives here in TN, homeschools and we share a lot of the same beliefs. Well, Sonlight is offering a $50 gift card to one of her readers. All you have to do is go to her site follow the instructions and leave a comment. So, I thought I would invite my readers to participate in this giveaway (plus I get an extra entry for doing so). So if you like Sonlight why not try to win a $50 gift card for your purchase. Enjoy!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Construction Cake

We like to celebrate birthdays on the weekends, so even though Matthew's birthday was early this week, we are celebrating it tonight. I used to make theme cakes for my kids all the time but as my older kids have grown they usually just want an ice cream cake or cheesecake or something of the sort. Well, Matthew decided for his birthday that he wanted a construction cake. This came about while we were at Walmart looking through the cake designs because I was going to cheat and buy him one (at first he wanted a train cake but changed his mind when he saw the construction crew cake). As I looked at it I thought to myself, "I can make a construction cake much cheaper than buying this one." So I headed over to the toy department to see how much it would cost just to buy the trucks and make the cake myself. And, what you see above is the finished product. I'm pretty proud of it and Matthew LOVES it (to me that's all that matters anyway :) ). It was really easy and much cheaper than buying one.

So you never know until you try. You just might surprise yourself. Have a great weekend and be blessed.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Just Wondering

As I type out these blogs each week, I wonder if what my readers are really interested in from my blog. Do you enjoy getting a glimpse into our daily lives or do you wonder more about my parenting techniques? Do you have questions for me? I wonder, what would you like to see from my blog? Do you find it encouraging or are you bored with it?

So this is your chance to tell me what you think and what you would like to see from my blog. Feel free to share here on my blog or on my Facebook page. For those of you who didn't know I had a FB page you can look it up at B 4 U Ask. Thanks and be blessed.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tina's Tips for Tuesday

To help save money on your weekly grocery bill, serve breakfast for dinner at least once a week. Breakfast is one of our favorite meals, so why enjoy it only in the morning. Most of the time breakfast is pretty cheap. Pancakes, muffins, french toast, biscuits and gravy or a breakfast casserole are easy and not overly expensive. I've even been known to serve cereal on Sunday nights after church, quick, easy and satisfying.

So don't just serve breakfast in the morning, have is for dinner too. Enjoy!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Matthew is 4!

Today is Matthew's 4th birthday! He is such a sweet little boy. He loves to make people laugh and he is your typical busy, curious child. I love that he loves to cuddle and almost every morning comes and crawls in bed with us as soon as he wakes up. He was my first successful home birth and I love being his Mom! I consider myself to be the lucky one that gets to be a big part of this precious child's life. Happy Birthday, Matthew! I love you.

Friday, July 9, 2010

This and That

Sorry I didn't get a post out yesterday. I spent the morning canning tomatoes, Josiah got stung by a wasp and then yesterday afternoon our precious bunny, Lenoir, died. I had matters of the heart to take care of after that for everyone was pretty upset at Lenoir's passing.

Not a lot going on here. I've been spending a lot of time resting because I'm still tired all the time. I will be glad when this stage of pregnancy is over. I'm looking forward to having more energy.

We are enjoying our garden harvest. I love tomato sandwiches and have had one everyday for lunch since they became ripe (Yum)! I never grow tired of tomato sandwiches.

The kids are doing great with their chore packs. Especially the little guys, they are so cute and feel so grown up having their own responsibilities. The stress of me having to tell them to do their chores and reminding them to do them once they've been told is gone. I love it.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Blessings.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Works for Me Wednesday

Chore Packs

I have just recently finished reading Managers of Their Chores by Steve and Teri Maxwell. It helps you to organize your children's chores into a clip on clear plastic carrier. This way your children have their list of chores in the order they need to be done and they can't use the excuse that they forgot anymore. They even have pre-reader cards with pictures for your little ones that can't read yet.

Having chore packs take the stress off of me to keep asking if my child has done a certain chore only to hear, "Oh, I forgot." Everyone knows what to do, and when to do it and I don't have to remember each and every persons responsibilities because it's all laid out for them and me. It is a little work to get it set up in the beginning, but so worth it if you ask me.

Having chore packs for the kids and less stress...Works for Me :)

For more Works For Me Wednesday ideas visit We Are THAT Family.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


At any time of the year, but more in the summer, my kids often come into the house saying "Hey Mom, look at this!" I never know what to expect, but I love that my children are fascinated by God's creation. I love the wonder that fills my little guys eyes as they explore the bug, toad, moth, butterfly or frog, etc. that they bring in. I'm glad they find excitement in the world around them and don't take it for granted.

So many times we pass things and take no notice of them. The wonder of a flower and every amazing petal. The color of the underside of a frog and the intricate detail in it. The pictures in the clouds and the beams of sunlight and how they glorify everything they touch. May we remember to see the world as a child and find the awesome glory in it.

Cute little frog

Josiah having fun with it
Joshua getting a close up look at it

Under side of frog

Monday, July 5, 2010

Pics From Our Weekend

Rockin The Docks, Lenoir City

When we first arrived there were a few boats already on the water


Josiah working on his star

Micah working on a word search


Jonathan and Matthew waving their flags

Veteran Honor Guard


Kaitlyn working on a word search

Matthew, Micah and Jonathan playing with
Play-Doh while waiting for the fireworks.

Christiana and Kaitlyn

Many more boats showed up for the fireworks

Joshua and I enjoying the great fireworks


Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy 4th of July

Here's wishing everyone out there a safe and happy 4th of July. Be patriotic and have fun. If you're like us you will find a parade, watch some fireworks and have a cookout and homemade ice cream. Whatever you do, remember how blessed we are to live in this wonderful country and the men and women who have fought to make this the best country to live in. Happy 4th everyone from our family to yours.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Zach Wamp

I haven't been one to talk about political issues here on my blog, but I couldn't resist this one. For all of you living here in Tennessee who haven't heard of Zach Wamp, I wanted to introduce you to him. This particular video is geared more toward homeschoolers but you can go to youtube or his website to see where he stands on other issues. He is backed by Dave Ramsey and I support him as well. I'm not trying to tell you how to vote, I just want you to know this candidate. So, check him out.