Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Garden's Bounty: Bok Choy Salad

HammockTracks
Welcome back for day two of the five-part series, “The Garden’s Bounty,” which is being hosted by Savannah of Hammock Tracks. Five different bloggers are linking up each day this week and sharing recipes that take advantage of the delicious fresh fruits and vegetables that are readily available during the summer season.  So, make sure you check back every day to discover some great new summer recipes!  Today we shine the spotlight on one of summer's "star players" - Salads.



I'm sharing a deliciously different salad recipe today, which I originally enjoyed at my sister's house.  I had never before eaten Bok Choy, which is a type of Chinese cabbage, and probably wouldn't have tried it on my own, so I think my sister for expanding my palate!  This is her recipe, with my tweaks!  :)



Bok Choy Salad

Salad:
1 large bunch bok choy
1 bunch green onions

Topping:
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 pkg. Ramen noodles, broken in pieces
2 TBSP butter

Dressing:
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 TBSP soy sauce

Directions:
1. Rinse and chop bok choy and green onions; place in serving bowl.
2. Saute almonds and Ramen noodles in butter, stirring constantly, until browned.  
3. Mix together all dressing ingredients in a jar; shake well.
4. When ready to serve, toss Bok Choy and onions with Ramen noodle topping and dressing.  Serve immediately.

A Gentle Reminder

If you've been thinking about ordering a flexi-clip from Lilla Rose, today is the last day to take advantage of my Buy 3, Get 1 Free special!  Also, there is still time to enter the giveaway for a flexi-clip over on Jules' blog!  So, don't forget to do that!  If you take the time to go ahead and register as my customer on my Lilla Rose website when entering the giveaway, you significantly increase your odds of winning! I can't tell you how much my daughters and I are enjoying our flexis!  I think I've even converted my husband, because he pointed out a woman to me on Saturday and said, "She really needs a flexi-clip!"  ;)


Also, this is very last minute -- but my blog was just nominated yesterday to be included in the Circle of Moms in the large family category.  Voting is well underway and ends August 1st!  However, I have a chance to make it into the Circle of Moms Top 25 Moms with Big Families.  Right now, I am still in the "Pending Approval" category, which means my blog is listed at the top of the page under that tab.  However, sometime today it will be moved onto the main page, and then you will have to scroll down near the bottom to see it.  As of this writing, I'm only 40 votes away from making the Top 25!  That seems doable with your help!  Will you please help me accomplish that goal by Voting today and again tomorrow??  It's easy and just takes a minute!  :)


  

Please Click on the circle below; then click on the purple tab that says "Pending Approval" and vote for my blog -- "Yes They Are All Ours!"  :)  



Remember that if you don't see my blog listed at the top of that list, go back to the main listing and scroll down until you come to it.  Then, just click on Vote!  

Speaking of voting, we have primary elections today, so I need to make sure I get out and vote in that.  How about you?  Does your state have a primary today too??

Monday, July 30, 2012

Marriage Monday: Treating our Sons with Respect {Link up}



Marriage Mondays"

For the past several weeks, we have been considering the greatest need of our husbands, which is to be respected and admired.  Conversely, our greatest need as wives is to be loved and cherished.  Love and respect are two sides of the same marriage coin -- you don't get one without the other. 

That means, if a husband wants respect, he doesn't get it by demanding it or barking out orders like a drill sergeant.  He gets it by loving and cherishing his wife.  If a wife wants to be loved and cherished by her husband, she doesn't get it by trying to make him jealous or by whining about his lack of tenderness towards her; she gets it by respecting and admiring her husband.

This is a foundational marriage truth!


Last week, I took a little side trip to explore how this love and respect relationship affects not just the marriage, but the children in the home, as well.  Today, I'm still off the main path, exploring that theme a bit more, and specifically as it relates to sons.


Four of my six sons ~ November 30th, 2011

As the mother of six sons, I find that other moms often turn to me for advice when it comes to rearing boys.  I certainly don't feel like an expert in that complex subject, but I have learned one thing.  In the same way that our husbands' greatest need is to be respected and admired, our young adult sons also need to be treated with respect. (Click here if you'd like to tweet that!)

I find that moms often panic as their young adult sons begin to make their own decisions and set their own standards.  It is a natural tendency to tighten the reins, try to protect, "remind," smother, control, etc.  However, what I've discovered by both experience and observation is that the more we try to force our young adult sons to do things our way, the more they will run in the opposite direction. The more we try to tighten the reins, the more they will buck.

Men, whether 18 or 48, absolutely hate to be nagged, scolded, preached to, controlled and manipulated by women!!  The fastest way to drive your son (or your husband) away is by employing these tactics!  

Instead, I encourage you to treat your young adult sons with the same respect with which you should be treating your husband.  Look for ways to admire them, praise them, encourage them, believe in them, and treat them with esteem.  Never criticize or tear them down in their areas of manly pride; instead look for ways to build them up in those areas!  (Need a refresher??  Click here!)  This applies even if they are pushing the boundaries.  Even if you don't agree with all of their music or movie standards.  Even if you don't like some of their friends.  Even if they don't go to church as much as you like.  

By the time a young man reaches 18 or so, he wants and needs some wiggle room to wrestle with his own beliefs, standards, and convictions, and to choose his own path in life.  Naturally, it terrifies us conscientious mothers if our sons look like they are not making the choices we had hoped for, but trust me, nagging them, trying to put them on a guilt-trip, giving them regular sermons, and breathing down their necks will not achieve the desired results!!!  

It is a natural God-given desire for a young man to seek some independence from his family and to want to figure out who he is and what he believes.  Even if your son appears to be living for God and adopting your values, don't celebrate too soon.  Until he has wrestled with God (think of Jacob) and come out on the other side trusting God, submitted to Him and willing to live for Him, come what may, you really can't be confident that he has made his faith his own.  Unfortunately, your faith cannot save him.

Our biggest enemy is fear.  We simply cannot be controlled by fear!  We must keep our eyes on Jesus and live by faith and not by sight!  Our greatest weapon in the battle is prayer!

Your Turn to Share:


If you have sons, please share specific ways that you treat them with respect and encourage them to become men of God?  Do you have a testimony of a son who was headed in the wrong direction and turned back to follow the Lord?  Please share!

If you were blessed or encouraged by this post, please consider sharing it with your friends on Facebook or other social media sites.  Thank you!


Link up:

I'd love to have you link up your blog to mine!  Please link up any past or present posts related to marriage.  Don't forget to link back to my blog by copying and pasting the HTML code for my blog button below into your post or by simply linking back to my blog.  (Unfortunately, my code is messed up and my blog button is not currently working.  If anyone knows how to fix that, please let me know! Thanks!)



Photobucket



 


linked up with these fabulous blogs:







Photobucket


The Alabaster Jar


Marriage Moment

Two Shall Become One



Blog Button Final




Growing Home
amothersheritage.com





a-wise-woman-builds-her-home



Beholding Glory

The Garden's Bounty: Summer Garden Stew

HammockTracks
Today is the first post in a five-part recipe series, “The Garden’s Bounty,” which is being hosted by Savannah of Hammock Tracks. Five different bloggers are linking up each day this week and sharing recipes that take advantage of the delicious fresh fruits and vegetables that are readily available during the summer season.  So, make sure you check back every day to discover some great summer recipes!  Here's the line up:




Monday – casseroles or hot savory dishes
Tuesday – salads
Wednesday – soups, or chowders
Thursday – preserves, pickles, salsas, etc
Friday – Sweet Desserts
Of course, we are all looking forward to Friday for the sweet finish!!  ;)

Today, I'm sharing a recipe that came from my Mom, along with my tweaks!  I sometimes call this Pat's Low Carb Stew, because this is an excellent recipe for those who are limiting their intake of starchy carbs.  It is also a fabulous dish for using up an abundance of ripe bell peppers, zucchini and okra from your garden.




This stew is satisfying, nutritious and colorful, and something my whole family will eat. My children like it better when I serve it with some yummy yeast rolls and I often make rice to eat with it.  (Obviously, those who are limiting their carbs would want to skip the additional bread or rice, but I have some whoppin' boys to fill up!)  My buttery cornbread is also a perfect companion for this savory, summer supper!





Summer Garden Stew


Ingredients:
2 lbs. ground chuck
2 sweet onions, cut into 1” pieces
2 bell peppers, preferably red, yellow or orange, cut into 1-1 ½ “ pieces
1 pound fresh okra, sliced or 1 bag frozen (not breaded)
2 small zucchini, cut into 1" chunks (optional)
4 cans diced Italian-style tomatoes*
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBSP oregano, or to taste
1 TBSP basil, or to taste
2 TBSP fennel seed, or to taste (I've never added this)
1 TBSP salt, or to taste
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced (optional)


Directions:
1. Brown meant in large saucepan, leaving in medium-sized chunks. Drain and set aside.
2. Pour a little olive oil into pan (or use fat drained from browning the ground beef) and add peppers, onions, and garlic. Saute until nearly tender, 2-3 minutes.
3. Add okra, zucchini (if using), tomatoes, and spices.
4. Bring to a boil; simmer for 30 minutes or so.
5. Add mushrooms and simmer 10-15 more minutes and serve.


*Note: Use home-canned tomatoes or Hunts brand, as Del-Monte has high fructose corn syrup added!  If using a store brand, check label for added sugar or HFCS.







Friday, July 27, 2012

TGIF: Birthday Fun {Link up}






TGIF



Welcome to my link up --


Thank God It's {Family Fun} Friday -- TGIF!!





I want to encourage you to create memories, build family traditions, and have fun with your family!  Because children grow up faster than you think possible . . . 

Many families look forward to having a Family Fun Night on Fridays.  Is this something your family does?  Tell us about it!  What are your favorite Friday night activities?  Do you plan special activities on weekends?  What do you do for Fun with your family??  How do you create memories?  Do you have any special family traditions?  How do you celebrate birthdays?  Please share any of the above by leaving a comment or linking up your blog!


Matthew's Birthday, Part 1

Matthew's birthday falls on a busy time of year -- July 3rd.  We always seem to have a lot going on then, and this year was no exception!  My sister and her family arrived from out of town just in time to enjoy his birthday dinner and celebration.  It was actually one of those crazy evenings where plans and menus kept changing!  My husband was planning to grill chicken, but he unexpectedly had to work late, and so did my older sons, so I just decided to change the menu from chicken on the grill to pork chops in the electric skillet!  (Both go with macaroni and cheese which was the most important item on the birthday boy's list!)  Fortunately, I've learned through the years that FLEXIBILITY is the #1 character quality needed by the mother of a large family!  ;)

His cake looks a bit droopy here, but that's only because it was!  ;)  Also, I asked 7-year-old Bethany to count out ten candles and put them on the cake - and she did so -- crowding them all together in one little spot!  LOL!  (This is a great example of how I've matured and let go of unrealistic perfectionism through the years!  There was a time when I would have rearranged all the candles with an equal space between them and tried to smooth out the icing in between!  Obviously, this is not such a time in my life!)





Finally -- the moment every little boy dreams of -- getting to open his presents! 




Matt was thrilled with this surprise gift -- a casting net so he can go fishing with his brothers and catch their bait and other interesting things!!!   He's exaggerating a bit, but yes, it's very heavy!




Matt absolutely loves being the center of attention and his birthday is his favorite day of the year!!!






Random glimpses of family having fun together!  (That's my niece and brother-in-law on the left joining in the craziness!)










Matt's Birthday, Part 2


While many kids equate birthdays with birthday parties with their friends, this is not the standard for birthday celebrations in our family.  Not that I think it's bad -- it can just be expensive  . . . and messy . . . and takes a lot of energy  . . . and has to be squeezed into the already-crazy schedule, and did I mention that it's messy?  ;)  


So, I've generally tried to avoid kid parties as much as possible!  ;)  Nevertheless, I think all (or at least most!) of the children have had one or two parties with friends through the years.  However, our usual tradition is to celebrate with our family and maybe another family or two.  


All that being said, this year, I really wanted to let Matt have a party with his friends. He is blessed to have a bunch of little boys his age at church, and they all have yearly birthday parties and have invited him to their parties.  He wanted one last summer, and it never happened.  So, I promised him one this summer -- but would you believe he got a stomach virus right before his party and I had to postpone it??  Poor little guy!  He really had a great attitude about it, so I made sure to reschedule his party as soon as possible, which ended up being about a week after his birthday!  


His party was a huge success!  Yes, it was messy . . . and loud . . . but he had a blast!  :)


He requested "Dirt cake" and Hannah used her creative abilities to make him this delightful cake with a fisherman, since he is into fishing these days!  :)   




Love this picture of the whole gang of boys kids!  (Yes, little Bethany is right at home with all those rough and tumble boys!)



Doesn't that cake look amazing with the glow of candlelight and all those little worms emerging from the dirt?  (Fabulous job Hannah!)




The boys are obviously admiring his special cake!  (Note to my friends:  don't be surprised if your little boys ask for dirt cake for their next birthday!!)  ;)






Matt thoroughly enjoyed himself!  I don't think I've ever had a kid that enjoys his birthday as much as Matt!!










He was very gracious as he opened his gifts and delighted in each one!










Yes, it was definitely worth the mess and the noise!  Matt had a fabulous time!!!



Happy birthday Matt!!!  ;)





Your Turn to Share:

Link up to my blog and join the fun!  :)  You can link up any past or present blog post that shares ways to create memories, build family traditions, or have fun as a family!  Just be sure to link back to my blog or add my blog button to your post!   (For some reason the code for all of my blog buttons is totally messed up and I haven't been able to figure out how to fix it, so you will just have to link up without the blog button for now.)





Thursday, July 26, 2012

3 Ways to Enjoy a Flexi-Clip from Lilla Rose!!

Have you been admiring the beautiful Lilla Rose flexi-clips??  I know I admired them for a long time before I ever took action and finally ordered one to try!  Immediately, I was hooked and looking for ways to get more!  This is the first flexi that I ordered:




If you've also been looking for a way to buy your first (or thirty-first!) flexi, I have three opportunities to tell you about!!




First of all, I want to encourage you to take advantage of my Buy 3 Get 1 FREE special.  July is flying by, and there are only 5 more days to take advantage of this special promotion! With this offer, you can get 4 flexi-clips for the price of 3!!  (Just order 3 clips from my website and contact me and tell me which flexi you would like to receive FREE.)




Secondly, Lilla Rose has put some of their clips on Clearance, and I've heard they have already sold out of many of the discounted styles!!  However, a very few are still available as of this writing.  So, you will want to act quickly if you are interested in grabbing any of these discontinued styles!  Just go to my website, click on Shop Now, and then click on the size flexi that you are shopping for and look for the styles with the price marked out in red and a new price inserted . . . and then "cross your fingers" for availability!!



Thirdly, Jules, my "friend down under" posted a fabulous review of the flexi-clip and is hosting a Lilla Rose Giveaway right now!  Go to her blog -- On Eagles' Wings -- to enter the giveaway for a FREE flexi!  The giveaway ends in 12 days!  :)


Let me know if I can help you select the style or size of flexi-clip that is perfect for you!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What's Cooking? {Buttery Cornbread}


I recently made a classic Southern meal that included purple speckled butter beans and cornbread!  My family is usually not that fond of cornbread, which tends to be dry and crumbly, but this was The Best Cornbread I've ever made!  They gobbled it down and begged for more!  So, I thought you might like to give this recipe a try!






Best Ever Buttery Cornbread


2/3 cup butter (11 TBSP) (plus a couple more TBSP for bottom of baking pan)
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt






1. Put 4 pats of butter in 9x13 baking pan and place in oven while oven pre-heats to 400 F.  Keep an eye on this -- if it melts before you are done mixing up the batter, you may have to take it out so it doesn't burn.


2. Cream butter and sugar in mixing bowl until light and fluffy.  While this is creaming, mix up the rest of the ingredients.


3. Combine eggs and milk in a small bowl; set aside.


4. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in another small bowl; set aside.


5. Add flour mixture alternately with milk mixture into butter and sugar and mix well, scraping the bowl as needed.


5. Pour batter into greased 9x13" baking pan.  Bake at 400 degrees F for 22- 25 minutes, or until golden-brown.  


Serve warm with plenty of butter!  :)


Enjoy!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Marriage Monday: Love and Respect {Link up!}






Marriage Mondays"

For the past few weeks, we have been considering the greatest need of our husbands, which is to be respected and admired.  Conversely, our greatest need as wives is to be loved and cherished.  Love and respect are two sides of the same marriage coin -- you don't get one without the other.  (Click here to tweet that!)
That means, if a husband wants respect, he doesn't get it by demanding it or barking out orders like a drill sergeant.  He gets it by loving and cherishing his wife.  If a wife wants to be loved and cherished by her husband, she doesn't get it by trying to make him jealous or by whining about his lack of tenderness towards her; she gets it by respecting and admiring her husband.


Today I want to take a little side trip and look at how this love and respect relationship affects not just the marriage, but the children in the home, as well.  




The husband/wife relationship is the foundation of the family, while the family is the foundation of society. It doesn't take an advanced degree to study the situation and see that marriages and families are in serious trouble every where you turn, and that the disintegration of the family is jeopardizing the future of our nation! 


Two principles that have echoed through the halls of our home for years are these:

1.  The greatest way to love your children is to love your husband/wife.

2.  Children learn love primarily by watching their father love their mother, and they learn obedience by watching their mother submit to their father.


Think about both of those statements in the context of your own family.  
  • If your children have started "acting out" or are obviously insecure, is it because they see Mom and Dad fighting all the time and are worried that their parents might separate or divorce and cause their safe, little world to crumble??
  • If your children are disobedient, do they see you completely disregarding your husband's wishes?  Or perhaps doing one thing in his presence and another thing in his absence?  Or even warning them not to tell Daddy about something you've just done (or bought) that you know your husband would disapprove of?
  • If your children are harsh and unloving with one another, have they been affected by a spirit of harshness, indifference, or even abusiveness in the marriage relationship?

Painfully, our children are often "mirrors" that reflect the faults in our own life and in our marriage.  However, this can be valuable if we examine what we see and make changes accordingly!  (Consider James 1:22-25.)

God designed marriage to illustrate the relationship between Christ and His church.  (See Ephesians 5:22-33.)  The husband should be loving the wife and laying down his very life for her just like Jesus gave His life for the church (which is referred to in Scripture as His Bride), while the wife should be submitting to her husband's leadership in the same way that the church should submit to the will of Christ in everything.  New life is the natural fruit of such a union -- both in marriage and in the church -- and should be expected and nurtured.

I will be continuing to share more about this topic next week.

Your Turn to Share:


How have you seen your marriage relationship mirrored in the lives of your children?  Please share!


Link up:

I'd love to have you link up your blog to mine!  Please link up any past or present posts related to marriage.  Don't forget to link back to my blog by copying and pasting the HTML code for my blog button below into your post or by simply linking back to my blog.  



Photobucket



 


linked up with these fabulous blogs:







Photobucket


The Alabaster Jar


Marriage Moment

Two Shall Become One



Blog Button Final




Growing Home
amothersheritage.com





a-wise-woman-builds-her-home



Beholding Glory

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...