Saturday, March 24, 2012


Wow! What an amazing true story. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand is about Louis Zamperini and his spirit that could not be broken. Louie was a former Olympic runner. He joined the Army Air Forces. His bomber plane crashed on the ocean where he endured 46 days on a small raft. 46 days of heat, thirst, starvation, and sharks constantly swimming around them. When that ordeal was over, he was taken as a prisoner of war to several Japanese POW camps. For 2 1/2 years he was beaten, starved, enslaved, and deprived of basic human needs and dignities. What happened to those POW's is heartbreaking. Louie's resilience and drive to survive is inspiring. For him WWII did not end when he was released; his war ended when he was able to forgive those who tried to take everything from him. They almost succeeded, but his unbreakable spirit could not be taken from him.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Parenting With Love and Logic

It's too bad kids don't come with an owner's manual because I could sure use one. I just read a book that comes pretty darn close; Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay. I have noticed a huge difference in the frustration levels in our home (in both the kids and Eric and I) as we implement what we have read. Love and Logic is all about teaching kids responsibility by letting them make their own choices and living with the natural consequences of those choices.

"Effective parenting centers around love: love that is not permissive, love that doesn't tolerate disrespect, but also love that is powerful enough to allow kids to make mistakes and permit them to live with the consequences of those mistakes. Most mistakes do have logical consequences. And those consequences, when accompanied by empathy--our compassionate understanding of the child's disappointment, frustration, and pain--hit home with mind-changing power."
 Here is one of my favorite examples from the book about teaching kids to keep their rooms clean:
Parent: "Would it be reasonable for you to have your room cleaned by Saturday morning?"
Child: "Aw, I don't want to clean my room."
Parent: "Well, that's okay. You don't have to. You can hire me or your sister or your brother to do it. We'd love some extra cash."
Child: "But I don't have any money."
Parent: "You know, when adults don't have any money, they sell something."
Child: "Sell something?"
Parent: "You don't have to decide now what you're going to sell. You can tell me by Saturday. If you can decide by Saturday, that means you get to choose what to sell. And if you can't, that means I choose. So you have a choice of who chooses. That's up to you."

And another funny example from a parent:
"I never knew if the Love and Logic principles were sinking in with my husband until one day, in the car, when we were driving together and the kids were raising low-grade heck and high water in the backseat, he said, "Guys, it's going to be a lot quieter in this car the last mile home because your mom and I will be the only ones in here!"
There was a moment of deafening silence, and then our ten-year-old son, in a slightly challenging and snarky voice, said, "You wouldn't do that!"
Quick as a wink, my hubby said, "That's what Tommy said."
Again a moment of silence. Then one of the kids asked, "Who's Tommy?"
My husband replied, "Your older brother!"
A mile from home, the kids got out and hiked home, and, of course, we never had to use that method again. But the cute and wonderful thing is now that the kids are grown and travel with their families on trips, they write us and sign it, "Poor lost Tommy." It's the family joke. Wandering Tom is still out there somewhere, wandering the highways and byways of the world after being kicked out of the car and becoming lost on the way home."

I am excited to use some of these techniques and to see my kids squirm a little as they face the consequences of their poor choices.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Poppy Seed Chicken and Rice

I shared a recipe very similar to this last week (Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole) but I think this one is even better!

Poppy Seed Chicken and Rice
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • poppy seeds
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers
Put cooked rice in bottom of 9x13 pan. Mix chicken, sour cream, soup, milk, and lemon juice together and spread on top of rice. Crush the Ritz crackers and mix with melted butter and put on top of chicken mixture. Sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ordinary to Ornate Frames

I needed something to do with my empty newly painted walls and didn't want to spend a lot. Frames can be so expensive. So here is what I came up with...I found some old frames from a thrift store for $4 total and transformed them into decorative frames that match the colors in my room:
Here's what you need:
  • Old frames with a FLAT FRONT...doesn't matter what color/condition they are in.
  • paint to cover the edges of the frames
  • decorative paper (I chose 3 that coordinated together)
  • ribbon to match the paper
  • Mod Podge
Here's How:
Clean up the frames to get rid of any dirt. Paint the sides and edges of the frame. Don't worry about getting paint on the front, it will get covered with the paper.
 Cut the paper to fit slightly smaller than the front of the frames. I used one paper for 2/3 of the frame and a coordinating paper for the other 1/3. Mod Podge the paper onto the frame and then Mod Podge on top of the paper to secure it better and give it a glossy finish. Press the edges of the paper down and press out any bubbles with your finger.
Let dry and tie the ribbon around the frame where the two papers meat. The ribbon makes it a little harder to get the glass and board back onto the frames...just use some gentle force.

And's the finished wall:

It adds such a nice, personal touch to our room without breaking the bank to do it!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

My Golden Ticket

"In the beloved children’s story Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the mysterious candy maker Willy Wonka hides a golden ticket in five of his candy bars and announces that whoever finds one of the tickets wins a tour of his factory and a lifetime supply of chocolate.
Written on each golden ticket is this message: “Greetings to you, the lucky finder of this Golden Ticket … ! Tremendous things are in store for you! Many wonderful surprises await you! … Mystic and marvelous surprises … will … delight, … astonish, and perplex you.”   President Uchtdorf
What is your golden ticket?
I have a golden ticket...well, it's more off -white actually. My ticket won't get me into a chocolate factory or even grant me a life-time supply of chocolate (which sounds pretty dang good). My ticket allows me entrance into the House of the Lord and an eternity of blessings if I live worthy of them. What is it?...My Temple Recommend. With it, I can receive the greatest blessing our Father has to give us...that are yes, dare I say, even more tremendous than chocolate! I am so grateful that I can enter these doors with my "golden ticket".

***Want to learn more about the LDS Temples? Just click here. You may find the golden ticket you have been searching for.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

I have seen this floating around Pinterest a lot so I decided to actually make something from all of things I have pinned. It turned out pretty good...although I would rather have actual chicken cordon bleu...this was an easy substitute. I adapted this recipe from organizeyourstuffnow

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
  •  3 cups cooked rice
  • 3 cups cooked and shredded chicken
  • 6 slices Swiss cheese
  • About 10 slices of ham, chopped
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 20 saltine crackers
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
Spray a 9X13 pan with cooking spray and put cooked rice in the bottom. Put shredded chicken on top of rice. Layer Swiss cheese on top of chicken, then the chopped ham on top of the cheese. Mix the soup, milk and sour cream and pour over the ham. Crush the crackers and mix with spices. Sprinkle that over the top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Monogram Wreath

I finally finished a wreath for my front door. It has been one of those projects that has been hanging out in the back of my mind nagging I finally put it to rest. Here's what I did:

  • Took an old wreath covered in flowers and greenery and took everything off except for 3 flowers that I liked.

  • Found a wooden G at the craft store and painted the sides  and part of the front brown.
  • Mod Podged  paper onto the front of the G.
  • Secured the G to the wreath with hot glue and a ribbon

 About $10 and 1 hour later I have a personalized wreath for my front door:

Friday, March 2, 2012

Cracker Toffee

This is a simple way to make toffee...and surprisingly really good! It was a fun recipe to make with my kids and we all loved it.

Cracker Toffee
  • 1 sleeve saltine crackers
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter (two sticks)
  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper ( I didn't have any so I just used foil and it worked fine).
Put the saltine crackers on the cookie sheet in a single layer, leaving some room between each cracker.
In a saucepan combine the sugar and the butter. Bring to a full, rolling boil, then boil for 3 minutes. 
Immediately pour over saltines. Do your best to pour some on each cracker, but don't worry about covering each one completely - the candy will spread in the oven.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 7 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the top. Put back in the oven for 2 minutes. 
Spread melted chocolate and top with chopped nuts. Cool completely and break into pieces.