Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bible Visuals

Wow-it has been a busy week.  I've gotten so many things done and I feel so productive.  I really wish every week felt like this, but more often than not, I don't get much done and I feel overwhelmed.  I am sure that by next week, things will be back to "normal" :-). 

I have recently taken over the 2 year old class at my congregation.  I have 5 two year olds and 1 eleven month old.  I was so excited to take this class.  I have so many ideas and plans.  However, last week was not such a good class.  There was an incident during "potty time".  Let's just say that it involved a bloody lip and a toilet seat, but no one had to go to the ER, and the children seem to all have forgotten about it and will hopefully trust me again this week.  I do plan to eliminate potty time from my curriculum.

This week's class lesson is on the fiery furnace and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.  This story is from the book of Daniel and has always been one of my favorites.  I thought I'd share with you my very large visual.  I used a big piece of cardboard, some black paint, a sponge and some tissue paper to make this "fiery furnace".  I hope the kids will enjoy pretending to be "thrown in", and I sincerely pray there will be no more bloody lips.

Before. . . .
After. . . 

Monday, April 26, 2010


Apple pie - the all-American dessert.  I happen to be blessed with a husband who has planted a beautiful orchard on our property.  For the past two years, our trees have yielded beautiful apples.  I was fortunate enough to come across a great recipe for canning the apple pie filling I make with these apples.  I can several jars and we are able to enjoy "fresh" apple pie throughout the year.  Now, I am in now way an expert canner and in fact, I rather despise doing it.  It makes such a mess in my kitchen!  However, I like to be able to run to the pantry any day of the year, throw a pie together quickly, and know that my hard work has paid off.   Love/hate relationship for sure!

I made this pie for my parents when they were visiting last week.  Here's the recipe I use for the filling:

First, peel and cut your apples and pack them tightly into clean canning jars.

4 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
10 cups water 
1 cup corn starch
3 tsp. lemon juice

Cook until thick and bubbly.  Pour into the jars over the apples.  Pour slowly and you may have to use a spatula to move things around so it is all nicely filled.

Give them a hot water bath for 20 minutes to seal.

The pie crust recipe is from my good friend, Marie.  I always hated working with pie dough until I tried this recipe:

2 tsp. salt
1 cup Crisco
1/2 cup water
2 cups flour

Easy as apple pie!

Sunday, April 25, 2010


I love fruit, but for some reason, I have a hard time getting in my 2 servings a day.  I aim to have fruit for my morning and afternoon "munchie" time, but I usually end up grabbing a fiber bar.  My goal this week is to eat 2 servings of fruit a day.  Small steps. . . 
My other goal is to run 3 days this week (2 miles each time).   Can I do it???? I hope so!
Any suggestions from you all on getting fruit into your diet?



Nothing tugs at my heart like a big bouquet of yard flowers (aka- weeds) in the hands of my little boys as they run across the yard yelling "mommy, I got you flowers".  Their big blue eyes shining and a smile on their little faces.  Daddy may be their "buddy" and who they prefer to hang around with most of the time, but Mommy gets the flowers, smiles and kisses.   I display my beautiful bouquets in a plastic cup on the window sill and keep adding more each time they play outdoors.  It warms my heart just looking at it.  Soon, they will grow and the flowers they give will be for some other girl who has their heart, but for right now, at this moment, I am the only girl they care about.  And I love it!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Sorry I've not posted in a long time - been so busy visiting with family, running to see my son play baseball, etc.  Busy time of year.

I recently had the opportunity to photography  my nephew, Jesse, and his girlfriend, Alyssa before they went to the prom.  I played around in Photoshop Elements and did some changes with the coloring.  I love black and white and also I love "vintage".  I think the "vintage" shot adds something, especially with Jesse wearing a cowboy hat! Here are some of the shots - what do you think?  Any suggestions???


Sunday, April 11, 2010


We took a trip this weekend to the southern part of the state.  It was a necessary trip - a trip where Dan was to preach at a small congregation.  We tried to make this a fun trip for the boys, but frankly, it wears me out to try to entertain them for 4 hours' drive each way when the only thing they have to look forward to is the fact that we have a hotel with a pool.  So, 30 minutes from home, Levi starts asking when we are going to the pool.  Ugh!  It was a long long journey full of McDonald's grease, lots and lots of farms, and two boys in the back seat whining to go swimming.  

However, there were some enjoyable moments.  I will share those wonderful moments with you.
I'm glad to be back - there's no place like home!

Friday, April 9, 2010


Okay, if you know me at all, you know I'm not a big sports fan.  My friend, Sheila likes to quiz me to see if I know the difference between a baseball and a football.  It is not THAT bad, but I will admit, football is a game that I don't really understand.  I have sat in the stands at countless games, cheering for my boys, and all the while, I really had no clue what I was cheering!  It's not that I don't try - it's just that the game really makes no sense to me and I have to say that I really don't care if it makes sense.  When I see my boy out there, I cheer for him, all the while saying a prayer in my head that he will not be injured.  Those guys are just too rough.

However, I do enjoy a baseball game.  I never thought I would until I got to see a Pirate game at Three Rivers Stadium.  I was hooked.  Now, don't get me wrong, I don't understand all the rules, and all the ins and outs of the game, but I do enjoy it.  Add to that the fact that my boys have played baseball since they were 5 and we lived in the Little League zone of the country.  I've spent a lot of time at the field, for sure.

I just love to see my boys in their uniforms.  They are just so stinkin' cute.   I know they will be really embarrassed when they read this, but I'm their mother and my job is to embarrass them now and then.

Here are a few shots from last night's very very very cold game.   Tanner started out playing 1st base, then was moved to pitcher.  He did well - especially considering it was 38 (or less with wind chill) degrees and they were losing pretty badly.

He's just so stinkin' cute!
Go Tanner!!!


My friend, Kim made these for a potluck one time and our family loved the recipe, so I added it to my list of favorites.  It is easy and great for nights your children have a ball game at 5:00 p.m. and you come home at 7 p.m. starving!  The enchiladas are waiting in the crock pot for you, and if you did the clean up right away when you put them together, you won't be doing dishes at 9 p.m.

You can find the enchilada recipe here on Recipezaar.  I use venison hamburger, which is very lean and I always use the light cream cheese.  I usually cut down on the amount of cheddar I use, but if you used the fat free cheddar, you could use more for the same amount of calories.  I usually use canned enchilada sauce, but yesterday I discovered I was completely out!  So, I googled "homemade enchilada sauce" thinking it would be a less-than-perfect substitute for the store bought stuff.  Boy was I ever wrong!  I have found a new, easy homemade sauce that we all like 100 times better.  In fact, when Ty was woofing down the remainder of what was left in the crockpot, he said, "what did you do different - these are so much better than you've ever made" (I did not have the heart to correct his English from 'different' to 'differently' - hey, a compliment is a compliment!).

The sauce is from an Emeril Lagasse recipe and it could not be easier!
Heat 3 T. oil in a pan and add 1 T. flour.  Cook for about 1 minute.
Add 1/4 cup chili powder and mix around.
Then add:  2 cups chicken broth (whisking as you add), a can of tomato paste, 1 tsp. oregano, 1 tsp. cumin and salt to taste.
Bring to a boil and simmer 15 minutes.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Tanner's birthday was yesterday.  I love planning a menu for my boys on their birthday.  I try to make a little of everything they love (within reason).  Tanner loves shrimp, and we got a good deal on a bag of shrimp at Sam's last week.  I made shrimp alfredo.  It was good, but the left overs were even better today!

I made him deviled eggs too.  Of course, that was easy with the Easter holiday and 2 dozen hard boiled colored eggs in my fridge.  Tanner used to think that deviled eggs were called "doubled eggs" and he always ate double helpings.  What can I say, my kids are weird.

I also made him a jalapeno dip.  Tanner LOVES jalapenos.  The recipe for this is:

1 - 8 oz. package of cream cheese
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup Parmesan chees
3 oz. canned drained green chilis
3 oz. chopped, drained jalapenos

Mix all together and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  Serve with tortilla chips.  Yummy!

And of course, I made my boy a cake.  I regret now that I used so much gray, but I was being lazy and did not want to color more icing.  I think he liked it anyway.  It somewhat resembles his Mustang- or resembles as much as icing and my limited talents would allow.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Today is my son, Tanner's 16th birthday.  I cannot believe 16 years have gone by so quickly.  Images of Tanner through the years flash in my mind like a slide show.  It is no secret how much I love my boys and how proud I am of all of them.  But today is Tanner's day, so I will dedicate this post to him.

Here he is at 9 weeks old - in a baseball outfit.  Such a sweet baby! Tanner has always loved baseball.  We are so proud that he will be starting on the varsity team this year as 1st baseman and pitcher.  It is so bittersweet for me because I know his dad would be so filled with pride for the young man that Tanner has become.

Tomorrow Tanner and I will travel to Steven's Point for his driver's test.  If all goes well, he will be a licensed driver by 11 a.m.

Oh how I love this son of mine.
Now please excuse me while I go have a good cry and thank God for giving me this child to raise.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I found this recipe at Recipezaar before Easter when I was searching for a dessert that used peanut butter cups.  Like always, I fiddled with the recipe to "lighten" it up so as not to feel quite so guilty for eating it.  Here is my version:

Mix 1 chocolate cake mix with
1 can diet Dr. Pepper and bake in a 9x13 pan for 20-25 minutes.  (Yes, that's it - no eggs, no water - just the pop and cake mix).

Mix 2 boxes of fat free, sugar free vanilla instant pudding
with 3 cups fat free milk until smooth.  Beat in 3/4 cup of peanut butter. Fold in 1 cup FF cool whip.

Crumble the chocolate cake on the bottom of a glass bowl or pan (I used a deep 9x13 pan).  Spread the pudding mixture on top.

Sprinkle 3/4 cup chocolate chips on top.

Spread a layer of FF cool whip on top of that. . . 

Then cut up Reese's P-nut butter cups and sprinkle on top of the cool whip mixture.

This can be made and refrigerated the day before.  

I was feeling so good about this dessert because I had a lot of compliments at potluck today.  Then I got home and my husband asked who "made that one dessert" in a tone that I knew was not complimentary.  When I told him I did, he made a face and said I did not have to make that anymore.  Honestly, this is a very good dessert for anyone who is not an Anderson by birth.  It's a good thing I love him.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


I was teaching my Bible class about being a servant.  We studied John 13 where Jesus washes the disciples feet.  I took a pan and put water in it and even washed the children's feet as part of our lesson.  They got a real kick out of that.  We finished the lesson by making some soap.  

I searched on line for ways to make soap that did not involve anything hot.   I found a site that said how easy it was - using Ivory Flakes.  Well, I searched and searched, but Ivory Flakes are no longer sold - at least not in Wisconsin.  So, I found another site that said to buy Ivory soap bars and shred them up.  This I could do!

Then, we added just a bit of water and mixed and "squished" the shreds around, we added some food coloring and pressed it into a mold, which was a small disposable Rubbermaid container.   Through trial and error, I found that it took a few days to fully set up, and even then, small pieces break off and stick to the sides of the sink when you're using your new soap.  Not ideal by any means, but the kids enjoyed it, and even though it was a messy project, they all had really clean hands when we were done!