A List Maker's Life: February 2009

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Soup-er Saturday

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Minestrone Soup

Brown 1 1/2 lb. of hamburger
1 can V8 Juice
24 oz. can of Baked Beans
14.5 oz. can of Drained Corn
2 (18.5 oz.) cans of Campbell's Minestrone Soup
Mix all ingredients together.
Add salt, pepper, onion, and simmer until warm

I'm looking forward to some Soup-er Inspiration from you this week too. Feel free to link to a new soup recipe or one you have in your blog archives.

This week Susan shared her recipe for Potato Fennel & Leek Soup
Vicki @ Funny Spoon submitted a recipe for Turkey Tortellini Soup
Tara is cooking Baked Potato Soup
Sarah "blames her mom" for her yummy Broccoli Cheese Soup
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Friday, February 27, 2009

And the Winner is...

...Kate @ Bloemer's Blog
Congratulations! I will be in touch & send your fun gift shortly!
Thanks to all of you who visited my blog and added your entries to this first giveaway!
I promise I won't wait for another 250 posts before offering another gift.
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D. Vine, D. Lightful & D. Licious

I signed up to participate in Heidi's challenge to list 10 things I like that start with whatever letter I am assigned. Seeing how I claim to be a list maker, it seemed an appropriate challenge to take on. Heidi's letter, G, looked do-able to me (you know with my special Gavin, Gibson, Gary, and Grampas...) Well, of course, I was assigned a different letter.

It took a little thought, but I'm ready to share my list of all things D. sireable!

Dad & Diane (aka Mom)~
My dearest parents who taught me what it means to be liked and how to be likeable.

Deli Restaurants~
When I have a choice of a lunch or dinner location I am most likely to pick an off the beaten path deli, where I would choose yummy turkey slices & provolone on wheat bread.

Desserts~
There is not a dessert I wouldn't like to eat, even though I haven't indulged in quite some time. The hardest for me to resist...anything peanut butter, chocolate, strawberry, mint chewy or gooey.

Digital Scrapbooking~
I have always liked to organize my pictures and memories in scrapbooks. In the past year I have really liked the color options, downloadable embellishments, and time saving tools offered in the Storybook Creator Plus digital scrapbook program I use! I like to digitally create postcards, invitations, games, oh...and scrapbook pages.

Date Nights~
Few and far between at this season in our marriage, but I like to spend nights away with my dearest. Our favorite date nights are usually spent in the town of South Haven, MI where we have a favorite beach, a favorite bed & breakfast, a favorite restaurant, a favorite ice cream shop, and a favorite theatre

Dutch Dancing~
Okay, stop laughing at me! I'm serious...
I really like all things Tulip Time and I like that we live close to all the action.

Decorating~
I like to decorate, re-decorate, and find new ways to decorate. I have different boxes of decorations for just about every month of the year which I like to display on a special nook in our home. During each of our family member's birth months I decorate the nook with pictures, books, and treasures unique to their life - tributes to my treasures.

Deals~
What's not to like about finding a great deal? I do not like to shop, but if there is a deal to be found at the grocery store, in an antique shop, on a blog, in a catalog, or at shopping mall I really like to take advantage.

Devotions~
I like to focus my attitude each day by spending time in prayer & in the Word, to remind me of the things God would like to see in my life.

Dishes~
I like dishes. I like to collect & display them in my kitchen and dining area. I especially like antique dishes: Pink Willow, Delft, or English floral.

You D. Serve a chance to share your heart's D. Sires in a letter list of your own? In a comment let me know if you're up for the challenge. I will email you a letter. When you finish your list, stop back and leave another comment with the URL of your letter post!

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Think It Through Thursday


Learning Objective:
The kids will draw basic shapes: circles, squares, triangles, rectangles, and diamonds

Materials:
large piece of wax paper or white construction paper
finger paint (see recipe below)

1. Mix finger pain
2. Allow kids to explore with finger paint
3. Show examples of specific shapes in the finger paint
4. Ask children to name the shapes
5. Ask kids to reproduce the shapes in the paint

Recipe: Soap Suds Finger Paint
~soap flakes (Ivory) - not detergent
~water
Add equal amounts of soap and water in a bowl. Beat until stiff (like egg whites). Add powdered paint flakes. Cleans up very easily with water!


Gavin and I did a similar activity this week. Instead of the finger paint we used pudding. Instead of shapes, Gavin practiced reproducing the numbers 1-20.
Have Fun!

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Right Before Our Very Eyes


1 Week Old

1 Year Old

2 Years Old -(the bow was a special addition to our Hello Kitty party)

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl
We love you!
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Works for Me


In the process of organizing my recipe & idea collection I ran across an idea I tore out of some favorite magazine at one time. It was exciting to actually put an idea into practice. This one is likely to save me a little bit of laundry - even better!

Between the several showers a day, in our newly tiled tub, we use a lot of towels. None of us are good about remembering which towel is ours and reusing it, not even once. Maybe this will help.

Materials
~Sharpie Markers
~Clothes Pins
~Towles
~2 Minutes

I wrote each of our names on one clothes pin. I stored all 5 clothespins in our handy, dandy bathroom buckets. When a towel is used, but not ready for the laundry pile yet, we can clip our name to our towel. No more trouble remembering whose is whose.

On a side note, I am hoping to be able to share my new recipe organizational system by the next Works for Me Wednesday. The goal is to have it done by then.
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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Teach Me Tuesday

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Learning Objective:
Anne Hope will fill in her initial letter in a basic activity meant to introduce the letters of her name.

Materials:
~poster board cut in a square
~wide tip marker
~misc. stickers & decorations

1. Mom drew a large block letter of Anne Hope's
(and her friend Emerson's) initial letter.
2. The girls filled in their initial with stickers of their choice.

Note: This is also great fine motor practice as all of those little stickers having backings that must first be peeled off.

What activities are you working on with your kids this week? I'd love to see them!

Monday, February 23, 2009

"Put the Bean Bag on Your Shoulder"


There is no way I caught myself singing along to the kids' favorite preschool songs c.d. while driving alone in the car the other night. That would be way too embarrassing. It would be even crazier if I was already 20 minutes into the drive when I finally realized it and quickly switched over to the radio. That is just not something that I would do, is it? No, that would be too much. And if I did switch back to the c.d. just for one final moment to sing the last line, "Missed me, missed me, now you have to kiss me," I would NEVER admit to that! So, I am certainly glad that was NOT me driving, singing, teasing, and smiling in the car all by myself!

Check out many other Not Me Moments on the linky hosted by My Charming Kids.

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There is still time to enter my giveaway

Meal Plan Monday

Monday: Spaghetti & Meatballs with garlic bread
Tuesday: Chicken Soft Tacos
Wednesday: One Pot Burger & Rice
Thursday: Shelby's Salsa Chili a Soup-er Saturday submission
Friday: Mini Muffin Pizzas
Saturday: "My Little Pony Starbeam Shooters Sandwiches" - using our imagination on this one for my dear 3 year old's birthday celebration.
Sunday: Bacon Apple Chicken with sweet potatoes & broccoli

Check our more menu plans at Org Junkie.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

What Do I Know of Holy?

I'm mentioned before this song by Addison Road.
It is currently my very favorite.




Tonight I listen with fresh ears in light of the committment Kevin and I re-confirmed this morning.

With the birth of each of our children we've publicly committed to raising them in a home where they will learn of God's holiness, power, grace, and love.

We believe our Heavenly Father is mighty to save, and capable of working through us. We have been reminded today, not to leave those holy truths as empty words on our page. Rather, we will strive to teach Gibson, Anne Hope, and Gavin about the mighty Savior at work within us until they knowingly experience it for themselves.

The verse we have chosen for our littlest G is Romans 15:13 (Perhaps you've noticed it before, at the bottom of our page).

So, precious one, may we overflow with hope through the Holy Spirit and in turn lead you to the joy and peace that is found in knowing Him.

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Soup-er Saturday

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Chicken Enchilada Soup
2 cups cooked & shredded chicken
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup masa harina
3 cups water
1 cup enchilada sauce
16 oz. Velveeta cheese
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder

Heat chicken broth in a large pan. Combine masa harina with 2 cups water in medium bowl; whisk until blended. Add masa mixture to the broth. Add remaining water, enchilada sauce, cheese, and spices. Bring to a boil. Add shredded chicken. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Serve with shredded cheese, crumbled tortilla chips, and pico de gallo.

Mr. Linky has been disabled for this post, but check out these participants from this week.
Shelby's Taco Soup
Michelle's Chicken Fiesta Soup
Vicki's Creamy Cauliflower Soup

If you would still like to add a soup to this week's post, please add your link in the comment section. Otherwise, see you again on Saturday!

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A New Sisterhood

This week I received a fun nomination from Heidi @ Blue Eyed Blessings. It has been my pleasure to read her blog and get to know a bit about her family. Heidi and I share the love for giving, creating, and organizing! I have found some really great suggestions, tips, and ideas on her site in the few weeks I have been reading. I truly appreciate her encouraging comments on my blog. I would most definitely agree that she shows great attitude and gratitude. It was kind of her to pass this "award" along to me. Thanks Heidi!

Now it's my turn to invite some "sisters" to join the club. There are MANY blogs I enjoy checking. I certainly don't want any of you to feel left out. However, I picked 5 sites I have not linked to with past awards. Each of these ladies has posted something recently that shows positive attitude, gratitude, and/or perspective. If you link to their sites search for something of great attitude or gratitude. It shouldn't be hard to find.

Amanda @ All About the Kapengas
Dana @ Take My Life and Let It Be
Heidi @ Coveys
Sara @ One Mom, Five Boys & Learning The Frugal Life
Denae @ Just a Little Tid Bit Into the Life of Denae
Katie @ When Hello Means Goodbye
Julie @ Tattered Threads and Willing Hands
Sarah @ Mrs D. Lightful

To each of you, thanks for sharing your sweet spirit!

The rules of this award are...
1. Add the sisterhood logo to your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 5 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
3. Link to your nominees in your post.
4. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received your award.

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If you haven't yet entered my first giveaway, you have until Friday the 27th!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Absorb This: My FIRST Giveaway

In honor of my 250th post here on A Listmaker's Life I am FINALLY hosting a giveaway for you my faithful friends & readers!!!

Recently, I was given a very useful set from my favorite Tupperware consultant. She knows how I LOVE to organize messes! She held my attention with a crazy story about baking soda and it's incredible absorbing powers.
It's my turn to pass the story on & gross you out!

Where do we normally keep baking soda?

You might say, in the fridge to absorb odor.
Or maybe yours is sitting on the pantry shelf waiting for the next batch of cookies.

Well, one experimenting mama wanted to test her soda's strength. So, you know the blue cleaner we put in toilets to keep the bowls clean? Well, she added the blue cleaner to her bowl on one end of the bathroom and left an open box of baking soda on the counter across the room.
Guess What???
The baking soda turned blue!
Wow, definitely does the job it's intended to do!

But...that means baking soda has the ability to absorb everything in the air, in the fridge, and in the pantry. YUCK!

Needless to say, after hearing this story I couldn't wait to review this product. I immediately threw away my open box of baking soda and poured a new box into my Modular Mate circle 2 with a convenient scoop and pour top!

I found that Modular Mates are virtually airtight. They are terrific storage containers for keeping food, spices, and baking products fresh. Modular Mates are space & money saving containers, which offer a variety of stacking options and space for your bulk purchases.

So, the great products I have reviewed, I now offer you. The gift includes an exclusive aqua Modular Mate circle 1 & 2. These fun containers are not available for purchase in the catalog, but are so important for saving your soda and more! The package also includes the famous Tupperware citrus peeler and a cute stuffable key chain.

Thank you to Michelle for her generous offer!

Now, you wonder, how can one win this exclusive giveaway???
Here are the options!
You will receive 1 entry for each thing you do. Please leave individual comments for each entry.

1. Leave a comment for me regarding your favorite Tupperware product. Check out Michelle's site to see all that is new and exciting from Tupperware.

2. Become a follower of A Listmaker's Life

3. Write about this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter

4. If you place an order with Michelle I would be thrilled to give you a bonus entry!

I will be randomly selecting a winner a week from today Friday, February 27th!

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Most Exciting Day!

A Most Exciting Day!

Today I get to check something off my “List of Blog Goals.” I have been featured on Tip Junkie! I am a Tip Junkie & LOVE to check out her great collection of tricks and tips for any occasion! Welcome fellow Tip Junkie fans. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you look around a bit and enjoy one of my lists, crazy interviews, crafts, debates, organizational suggestions, learning activities, pictures, recipes, or reflections. Your visit is timely, as tomorrow I will be hosting my first giveaway in honor of my 250th post.

By the way, you are also here just in time for another big announcement!

I have been anxious to share some news with my family & friends! No, no, no I'm not announcing the pending arrival of Baby #4, but I do feel some "Mama Pride" with this baby too!

The joint project I have been working on, with "the other Katie," is packed with tips, activities, ideas, and GIVEAWAYS! You, my dear readers, are going to be the first to see it & hopefully the first to cooperate! How lucky 'huh?

Teach Me Tuesday & Think It Through Thursday are just the warm-ups for our new site, which will feature TONS of teaching tips for you to try at home! The site, ABC and 123: A Learning Cooperative, is a place for you to share your great ideas and gather inspiration. We've done a lot of the prep work, but we need YOU to make ABC and 123 an A+ site!

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Ready to see the new site? Come along with me on a little world wide (web) travel! Just say the magic words and we will be on our way, "ABC and 1...2...3..."

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There is also still time for you to VOTE for my Ultimate Blog Party Design
I told you...it is a most exciting day!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Think It Through Thursday


Learning Objective:
Anne Hope will match numbers with objects to practice 1-to-1 correspondence.

Materials:
Number Symbol Objects (we are using foam bath toys)
Circle Punch Outs (we are using cardstock circles)

Steps:
1. Set out the numbers one to ten
2. Count and touch each number together to practice identifying the number symbol
3. Have your child count out enough circles for each number
4. Reverse the activity by setting out piles of circle punches & ask the child to put the correct number on each pile.

Inspiration by Mail

In an attempt to find simple, new ideas for decorating, parenting, crafting, cooking, and more I often check out piles of magazines at a time. However, I like to tear out my favorite suggestions to file away. One must not do that with a library magazine. So, I have subscribed to a few publications. Here's the list of the titles that arrive in our mailbox:

babytalk - You know, they offer the free subscriptions when you are expecting.

Parenting - Same deal...

Family Circle - These covers are my favorite. So simple & clean looking.

Redbook - This one is usually a skimmer, but they have some great giveaways.

Good Housekeeping - Wow! When did I start getting "my mom's" magazines??

Wondertime- I read this one from cover to cover...so sad though, I just heard yester
day that they are suspending publication and transferring my subscription to Family Fun.

Lasting Moments - I love the layout ideas & non-scrapbook paper crafts here.

Ready Made - My brother, whose decorating skills are FAR superior to my own, ordered this subscription for my birthday. The ideas are practical, trendy, and affordable.

Reader's Digest - I like to read all of "the funnies" and some of the informative articles.

Although I don't get them anymore, in the past I have also enjoyed Creating Keepsakes, Martha Stewart Living, Rachel Ray, and Family Fun.

What magazines do you enjoy? subscribe to?
Where do you get the most usable ideas?
How do you organize and store away the ideas for future reference?
What do you do with the piles of magazines you are reading?
I'd love to hear from you...

BTW, I'm enjoying the great ideas you've added to Teach Me Tuesday. Mr. Linky will be available on that post until tomorrow, then it will switch to math activites!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Teach Me Tuesday

Learning Objective:
Anne Hope will identify letters of the alphabet by picking them out of a pile.

Materials:
~rice
~box lid
~alphabet beads
~optional: small objects, solid color beads

Steps:
1. Mix beads and rice
2. Allow free play time to explore the texture and play with the materials
3. Ask "I Spy" questions. Ex. "I spy the letter A"
4. Have your child search through the rice to find the letter
5. With older children try trickier clues.
Ex. "I spy the first letter of the word CAT"

~This activity could also be adapted to practice identification of colors and numbers. Add beads with number labels and/or solid colors.
~By putting the rice and beads in an empty water bottle you now have a traveling activity - great for the car, waiting room, or restaurant table.

What type of activities do you do to practice literacy skills? I'd love to see them! Please leave a link to a post of your own, old or new!
Here are the links I took off Mr. Linky
Michelle

Monday, February 16, 2009

What Kind of Mother?


Would leave her tots, unattended, long enough for them to completely empty the entire toy closet, in hopes that at any moment they would comply with the request to "Get in bed. It's time to rest!" ?

Would finally check on the situation when the noise stopped?

Would find her 4 year old sleeping in the closet?

Would cover him up inside the closet, instead of tucking him into his comfy bed?

Would grab the camera to take a picture, while covering the flash button, so as not to wake him up?

Would think, "That's great! If all our kids could sleep in closets we could have at least 10 little ones in our cozy home."?

Oh Dear!!! That kind of mother is certainly NOT ME!

Not Me Monday is hosted by the clever MckMama

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Meal Plan Monday

Monday: Taco Salad
Tuesday: Rotiessere Chicken
Wednesday: Cheese Quesadilla
Thursday: Sheppard's Pie
Friday: English Muffin Pizzas
Saturday: Out with Friends!!!
Sunday: Hmm...It's dedication day for little Gibson. I'm still searching for munchie & dessert ideas for a big group...anyone???

I didn't really stick to the plan very well last week, so this week's list is a bit of a repeat since I have to use up those ingredients I bought...

As requested last week, here is a link to the recipe I use for Chicken Pockets (however, I do not add celery), but these look really tasty too!

As always, MPM is hosted by Org Junkie.

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

You Make-a Your Mom-a Proud

Click to play Bedtime Stories
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Soup-er Saturday

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So, I didn't follow through very efficiently with Soup-er Saturday this week. In all honesty, Valentine's Day is my FAVORITE holiday and I didn't want to over shadow it with soup. Anyway, sorry this is a late Saturday post. I would still love to see links to your soup posts throughout the week as you add them!

Here is a very quick & easy soup you can whip up in a flash!

Flash Corn Chowder
4 slices of turkey bacon
16 oz. can potato soup
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup fat free milk

Cook bacon, crumble & set aside.
Mix soup, corn & milk.
Stir in bacon before serving.

Also, check out this yummy looking Meatball Soup recipe!

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My Little Lovey Doveys

What color is love?
Gavin: red
Anne Hope: blue, I think

What does love sound like?
glove, shove, dove, fove (whatever?)
MMMM… (What can I say, the girl LOVES to eat)

What shape is love?
a heart
a heart

What food is love?
McDonalds
chocolate

What animal do you love?
rabbits
monkey

How do you show love?
Toys! You know, like, sharing my toys
hugs

What do you love the most?
gummy worms
trucks

Who teaches us the most about love?
my teacher
babies

What song makes you feel loved?
Love Grows
Jesus Loves Me

P.S. Have you voted yet? I'd LOVE if you did!
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Friday, February 13, 2009

Lucky to be Loved


So much of the Friday the 13th chatter is focused on luck-less-ness & misfortune. However, in honor of this fine February Friday I present...

The Lucky to be Loved List
1. Lucky to be loved by a little boy who calls me "Momma" - melts my heart every time. Will he still say this when he is 5?
2. Lucky to be loved by neighbors who would drop whatever they're doing to lend a hand or a listening ear.
3. Lucky to be loved by kids who argue over who gets to snuggle mom in the early morning hours or sit on her lap during read aloud.
4. Lucky to be loved by friends who remain friendly, make the effort to connect, but also understand when busy situations don't allow for the time we'd like to spend together. Also the friends who laugh when I'm trying to be funny & try not to laugh when I'm not trying to be funny.
5. Lucky to be loved by a brother who took the time to fix my computer issues...even if it was Superbowl Sunday.
6. Lucky to be loved by parents who will watch our kids at last minute so we an have a night away.
7. Lucky to be loved by my little girl who doesn't like to go to bed at night because she's "gonna be scared upstairs without me."
8. Lucky to be loved by my Gram who made adorable Valentine hearts for me just because she "had some extra material lying around."
9. Lucky to be loved by grandparents who call just to check in on how our family is living and growing.
10. Lucky to be loved by my baby boy who settles down when he cuddles into my chest as if to say, "I love you best."
11. Lucky to be loved by my mom who listens to me talk and talk and talk... when I've spent the entire day speaking "2 year old" and need an adult conversation. My dad too, who still takes the time to write me notes of encouragement full of kind words.
12. Lucky to be loved by a heavenly Father who gave his own life so I can live.
13. Lucky to be loved by my sweet husband who has been supportive and committed for the 8 years of our marriage so far.

What about you? How's your luck today?
I'd love to read about your love luck!

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Super Excitement & a Side Dish of Begging


I tried out my very amateur blog design skills and submitted an entry to the 5 Minutes for Mom Ultimate Blog Party 2009 contest. They liked my entry! They picked it as one of six finalists.
The designs are all really quite fantastic. Check them out and vote for me!...uh...I mean, vote for your favorite!

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