Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Quiet Book #20: New Testament Bible

I previously posted the Old Testament of my mom's quiet books she made for us as kids and I wanted to make sure to follow up with the New Testament book as well.  So, here it is:

The cover:

Here are the Nativity page & the Wise Men page.

Here they are in action.  On the nativity page Mary, Joseph & baby Jesus are removable.  The wise men page was hard to show but they have little stone gems inside of the pockets.  The one in the middle has a clear one and the one on the right has a blue one.  Can you see them now?

These next pages are of Jesus growing up as a carpenter and of him getting baptized.

For the carpenter page you pull out the pieces of wood to build the table and chair.  On the baptism page the white flaps open to reveal the dove that descends down on Jesus after being baptized.

This used to be my favorite page as a kid: the Fisherman's page and the paralyzed man page.

The fish are removable with snaps and can be put into the net. The crippled man is healed and stands up.

This is the story of the Lost Sheep and the women with her offering.

The shepherd finds his lamb in the thorns of a bush. You unbutton it and place it in the arms of the shepherd with another button.  The women's bag opens with her offering coins inside and you can place it into the offering bucket.

This is the Good Samaritan page and the Last Supper Page.

The Good Samaritan removes some cotton balls, alcohol swabs and some warn out bandaids (not quite too sticky) and cleans up the wounds of the hurt man.  The last supper pieces are inside the pocket of the table and match up to the shapes of a cup, and bowl of bread representing the communion.

This was also one of my favorite pages: Jesus' Death on the cross and the Resurrection.

It was probably hard to see but the crosses were in pockets lower on the page (made from felt and popsicle sticks) and were hidden again the black of the mountain, but they are now placed in the higher up three pockets and reveal the three crosses of Jesus and the two thieves.  The rock on the opposite page rolls away to reveal Jesus alive again!

I need to ask my mom about this page, not quite sure how this lacing one fits in.  Anybody else have an idea?  The opposite page however is of Paul spreading the word and establishing churches.

The first page obviously unlaces.  The page with Paul, the churches are removed from the Bible as he spreads the Word and velcro onto the different place.

And this is the final page representing Jesus on the throne.

I hope you all liked this.  My mom remembers spending hours creating these two Bible books for us and I'm so glad she did!  They've been around for over 30 years at least and have still held up quite well I must say.  Thanks Mom for all your dedication in teaching us and surrounding us with the Word.  I know this was just one of the many ways you did and now my girls can enjoy them too!

Blessings to you all!

Heather Joy

How To Plan A Water Day

At my daughters request we planned a Water Day for our Band of Mother's group at our church. So, I thought I'd share a little of what we did.

Our Band of Mother's group at church is for mother's with young ones.  We have a large demographics in our small church of stay at home mom's so this group was formed as a way for our kids and us to build relationships together.  Can I just say,  I love our group of mom's at our church?!  Because I do!

Anyways, onto the water day!

I like to keep things simple, so I used what I had and tried to provide as many activities as we could without spending any money and only using things we had on hand or mom's could easily volunteer to bring. 

When you are hosting a party it's best to have an agenda of what you will do.  This will help all moms know what to expect and can help keep things for going crazy by not having a plan.  Does anyone else notice that?  When I don't have a plan for something it almost always goes the way I didn't want it to go. Also, HAVE A DEPARTURE TIME! Mom's have a way of chatting forever (I'm guilty of it too for sure) But unless you want all the mom's to stay as long as they can until all their children are screaming of a melt down because it's WAY past nap time, HAVE A DEPARTURE TIME SET!

The agenda for us:
-Water play outside
-Popsicle treat
-Movie (while mom's take turns changing kids in bathroom & help clean up)
-Departure time at 2:00pm

-Invite the moms, especially ones you know will help contribute something
-Post agenda for the event
-Brainstorm ideas for what activities mom's have or can easily make.
-Post your requested items for lunch and/or water activities (Read Step 3)

I even made sure to reiterate when the end time is on my event details because 2:30pm is nap time for my girls, so I made sure to say we'll be sure to wrap things up and get kids sent home before our nap time starts at 2:30pm.

Don't be afraid to ask for help.  If you are hosting, most of the work for you is just getting a presentable house and opening your home to others.  Now, ask other mom's to pitch in a little to take the pressure off of you.  You'd be surprised.  Most mom's would mind pitching in one or two things if it means a whole morning of fun for their kids. 

It's best to send the kids home fed, so they can get down for nap and keep to somewhat of a regular routine for the mom's.asked each mom to bring something. 


-Activites for water play
-Lunch Items
For instance, I asked for: 
-loaf of whole wheat bread, peanut butter, jelly, juice boxes, popsicles, salad or pasta salad (for us mom's), some extra sides like fruits, vegetables, popcorn or chips to go with lunch and some shaving cream.


Here are our activities:

1. Bubbles -I LOVE the no spill containers.
2. Water Sprayers -Be sure to keep these away from the kiddie pools if you have babies in there.
3. Shaving Cream Table Washing -They can wash the tables, draw on them, practice writing their name, or just lather themselves up with it!
4. Paint The Fence -Have a bucket with paint brushes and rollers available.

5.  Rollercoaster -We have a Step2 Rollercoaster that we usually keep indoors, but we put it outside for this event.
6.  Sponge Balls -Another mom donated these for our event.  If you haven't seen a tutorial on pinterest yet, check out my board and you'll find an awesome tutorial to just cut and rubber band sponges together to make some awesome soft balls for throwing and having fights or...(see next)
7.  Target Practice -We used the sponge balls for this but you could also use whatever water balls you have.  Draw a target with chalk on your fence and let the kids at it!
8.  Slip 'N Slide -What party is fun without a slip and slide?!  Most of our kids were a bit young, but it was still fun for a few.

9.  Slide & Tarp -Just place a tarp under one of your regular slides.  Just be sure to keep it wet so it slips a bit or have a hose going down it.
10.  Wiggle Sprinkler -This was one of those things we turned on for a few minutes randomly to get their attention and they loved it!
11.  Sprinkler System -My awesome husband changed our timer for just one side of our sprinkler system and it would go off every 15 minutes for just 3 minutes.  So, whenever the sprinklers went off you'd see all the kids race there to get wet.
12.  Chalk Drawings -Throw up some chalk drawn frames on the fence and see what your kids will draw inside.  Of course they will just draw all over anyways.  :)

Not really events, but we took a break and had lunch, then had some popsicles before we came inside.
13. Movie Time -This was a great time for the mom's to take turns using the bathroom to change kids out of their wet clothes, while everyone else was happily distracted.
14. Group shot attempt -Last but not least, you have to get a wonderful group shot of your kiddos!  We had a few mom who couldn't make it, but it was lots of fun for all who did!


Get the house all ready to go.  Like most mom's I put away toys that might get easily broken by children or easily injured.  I hide lots of our large mobile items like our car, scooter and tricycle. (yes, we have a large floor plan, so these stay inside most of the time).

**A tid bit I picked up today when getting ready for this party that I HAVE to share with you was to place that shelving cling gripper under a towel by my back door.  Most people put towels to help catch all the grass but the kids end up slipping on them or they get so bunched up them don't really do much good.  Well, not if you put some of that gripper underneath! This worked like a charm.  Although, I think I would have liked to have a slightly larger piece next time.

I also was going to set up a washing station by my back door.  A bucket with water (just imagine there's water in there) and some rags to dry and/or wipe the grass off.  But honestly, the towel with the gripper worked so well I hardly had any grass in my house at the end even though I forgot to fill this up or tell anyone what it was for...ha!


Have fun and go with the flow!  All your hard work and planning will be so worth it when you see all the smiles and joy on your children's faces!  Now pat yourself on the back for a job well done!!

I was definitely tired out by the end of the day by moving everything around for set up and then cleaning up afterwards, but no money was spent!  And I am amazingly blessed with how awesome our group is because it's an unwritten rule that we leave the house as clean, if not cleaner than before we come.  They helped put everything away!  (minus a few dishes in the sink) But honest! It was awesome to be able to have everything hosed off and cleaned up and put back in place.  It makes you want to host another Water Day...okay, well maybe I need to recoup a little after this one....maybe in a month or two. :)

Happy Summer and God Bless!

Heather Joy

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Garden Stuffed Tomatoes

Okay, so here is my gem of a recipe. We always grow tomatoes every year and even if ours don't produce until later we have friends who run a farm. So, fresh good tomatoes are always within reach during the season. But most people will ask, 'how do you use all them up?' Because once they are in season there's usually an overflow of ripened red tomatoes. Well, the smaller ones are usually made into salsa and whenever we have enough large ones we make this:

Garden Stuffed Tomatoes

Here's how you make them:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. *These can also be roasted on the grill! Mmm..

Dig out the top core of your tomatoes.  Toss it into your compost bin.

Cut a larger circle around and dig out the insides, while trying to pour off as much of the juice as possible and put in a medium bowl.

Drain off any extra liquid you can of the fillings, then chop into bite size pieces. I usually use my kitchen shears for this.

Add your bread crumbs, garlic powder, oregano, minced fresh basil leaves, feta cheese, dash of olive oil and kalamata olives to your tomato guts.  You can add salt if you want. We usually find the olives salty enough to not need it, or you can always salt at the table.  Mix it all up.

The mixture should be somewhat dry but not too dry. It won't hurt it one way or the other. It will still taste awesome, but it may just be a bit more soupy or more dry.

Then stuff this mixture into the hallowed out tomatoes. Place them in a cake pan or some kind of pan with a lip. The tomatoes will leak out juices while cooking.

Place them in your oven for 30-40 minutes.  Just keep checking on them. When you see the filling kind of bubbling then you know they're done to perfection.

Then enjoy your delicious harvest!

Here's a quick overview of what you'll need.  Keep in mind these are not exact measurements, because it depends on your taste and how many tomatoes you have to use up.  This recipe is very forgiving.  If you don't care for olives, omit them. So, adapt it to what you want just make sure to add enough bread crumbs to keep the mixture somewhat dry, but not crumbly.

Ingredients you'll need:

-Large tomatoes
-Dash of Olive Oil
-Feta (we use about 1/2 cup for about 5 tomatoes)
-Kalamata olives (we use about 1/2 cup for about 5 tomatoes)
-Fresh or dried basil (we use about 1/2 tablespoon of fresh for each tomato, but add to your taste preference)
-Garlic powder -to taste
-Oregano -to taste
-Salt- to taste
-Bread crumbs to dry mixture a bit (we use the panko bread crumbs, you could use the seasoned ones and then omit the added seasonings, but we try to avoid the hydrogenated ones so we stick with the panko crumbs)

Happy Cooking and God Bless!

Heather Joy

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Emma's 1st Polka Dot Birthday Party

So, here is my baby girls' first birthday party. Sadness. I can't believe that she's getting so big.  Well, we threw her a polka dot party. One of my first loves is ice cream and my second is...polka dots!  Here's a few of the details of our party:

Here's our entry table/gift table. I found a polka dot fabric at Hobby Lobby and just covered my entry table with it.

Here is the take away gift for our guest: bubble gum balls. - Dollar store find.

Here's the big display at our dining table. Those paper lanterns are awesome!! I just got three different sets and added ribbon to hang them. I just used clear push pins and pushed them into the ceiling.

Here are the cupcake with those same gum balls on some of them as well as the extra large dot sprinkles around the edges.  Since they were gumballs I didn't put them on all of them since a lot of our crew couldn't even chew gum yet. Another note, we planned for the kids to eat outside and I'm SO grateful we did that because those large sprinkles just rolled all over the place!

Here's some of the activities we had. First, was the floral beads. I just put them in a tub outside on our kids picnic table and put an older child there to help monitor that they just didn't get thrown all out.  The kids (especially the little ones) just loved feeling them.

We also had some cupcake coloring pages that the kids took turns coloring and putting their own 'polka dot' sprinkles on top (pom poms). I thought this was going to be lame, but the kids loved this!

Here's the rest of our polka dot themed foods:
-Ritz cheese cracker sandwiches
-Nilla wafers
-Banana Nutella wafer sandwiches (these were a hit!)

-Candy dots
-Those mexican marshmallow cookies

-More gum balls, just for fun!

-Circle crackers served in a round cheesecake pan
-Hummus (round containers)

On the invitation we asked our guest to come spotting the theme: polka dots. So, whoever came wearing polka dots got to take home a bag of skittles with them!

Here's the sweet little birthday girl with her polka dot bib!

She wore a big tulle skirt most of the time, which hid her cute polka dot bloomers but I just had to show them to you! :)

God Bless!

Heather Joy

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Stuffed Bell Pepper Casserole

Summer is here and bell peppers are in full force.  Our garden has produced a ton of tomatoes and bell peppers this year. Here's one of our tomato harvests.

Now, what to do with all of them.  I loved stuffed bell peppers but they take a bit of time and they aren't the easiest thing for children to eat (or if I'm honest, me).  So, here is a take on the stuffed bell peppers recipes out there but in casserole form.

-1 can corn
-1 can black beans
-3 cups cooked rice (I always use brown, but use whatever you have)
-2-3 large size bell peppers
-1 onion (I had red onion, I ended up using about 3 really small ones from our garden)
-1 can diced tomatoes or 3ish fresh garden tomatoes, diced
-1-2 cans tomato sauce
-3 cups Cheddar cheese (use as much or as little as you want or have-we are a cheese family!)
-olive oil
-cayenne pepper
-garlic powder

Start by sauteing the peppers and onions in a skillet with some olive oil.

10 minutes later they should be nice and soft.  Add your spices and diced tomatoes.  Keep them on the heat and let some of the tomato juices evaporate.  **Add the spices to taste, I used about 1/4tsp. cayenne, 1tsp. salt, 1 heaping tsp. garlic, because we LOVE garlic, and 3/4tsp. cumin.  I always eyeball my spice measurements.

In another large skillet put your rice, beans and corn in the pan to heat up.

After the juices are evaporated out add the pepper and onion mixture to your rice mixture.  Add the tomato sauce and stir it up.

Next, place half of your mixture in your glass cake size pan, and top that mixture with half of your cheddar cheese.  Repeat with the rest of the mixture and topped off finally with another layer of cheese.

Place in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.  Check when it's bubbly.  Then you know it's done.  Let sit about 10-15 minutes until you serve. - I know, but resist the temptation otherwise the first bite will burn your tongue and that's the worst.  No taste buds for this delicious dish.

Then eat up!

Hope you enjoy this recipe.  I always find a recipe and improvise it.  I encourage you to do the same.  Try to add things your family likes, or take away things they don't.  This recipe was adapted from The Suburbs To The Sticks recipe and I made it vegetarian to fit our lifestyle and made minor tweaks to how I prepared it.  Next time, if I have some spinach or kale on hand I'll add a little bit of that chopped up (one way to sneak in some greens for the family).  I also might try to substitute the tomato sauce for salsa next time and see what the flavor difference is.

Happy Eating!

Heather Joy