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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Home Responsibilities

I take my call to "train up your children" very strongly - whether it be in their faith, actions or even home responsibilities.

Before the summer began, I made it my goal to get a Home Responsibilities Plan implemented and routine before the school year started back up.

Once summer began, sickness invaded. While I could have started anyway, I decided to let Dylan just heal and get better. He was really, really sick.

Now that everyone seems to be on the mend (and summer's almost over... oy!), it's time to get down to business. Here lies the next problem....

Where do I start? Where is the line between "my way to get it done right" and teaching them to do it correctly to the best of their abilities? Where does the patience come from when I just want to get it done and it takes 45 minutes to do a 10 minute task?

How do you implement chore systems or home responsibilities? Do you start them young?

I'll leave you with a picture collage of my youngest. He is, by far, the one that wants to help me clean. :) (Oh and he dressed himself that day. Haha!)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


This morning as I was cleaning up the breakfast mess, I was reflecting on just how rough the morning and even days before had been. There had been sickness, physical but it was more than that. There was an aura that reeked of sickness. Not physical but emotional sickness.

Heart sickness you might say. There was the stench of unhappiness both on my kids parts and mine.

As I continued to reflect, I heard the Lord speak to my heart. I am angry and for quite a silly reason. I am angry because I am not the mother that I want to be. The mother that I'm called to be. My attitude stinks of unhappiness but what my kids don't know is that it's unhappiness with myself, not them.

Deepening my reflection, I became more and more angry. I feel convicted and called to be a more intentional mother but how? If He's going to call me to do something, shouldn't He be guiding me?

Praying, I decided that I needed quiet time. I need to dive in the Word.

I remembered that our recent sermon series have been coming from the book of Proverbs so I began there.

Proverbs 15...

The first verse smacked me upside the face. It hit so hard that it hurt. Physically.

"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."

My answers to my children had been harsh, even hateful. And while they continue to forgive me - time and time again, the anger comes on my part. The anger that I cannot control my tongue and feelings.

So today, I am working on the first verse. (I am so ashamed that I couldn't make it to the second but this is going to be a work in progress). I am going to work on showing love through my answers to my children. I refuse for the Devil to have a strong hold on my tongue and cause hurt to the children that I love.

 I refuse. I am taking a stand.

That brings me to the second part. This blog.

I have for a long time been writing in journals because I want to some day pass on the knowledge that I have learned through this season to my daughters (Lord willing) and daughter in laws. But today it struck me, I might not be alone. There might be young mothers and sisters in Christ who need to hear what I'm saying and walk with me as I learn.

Why hold out for tomorrow what could be used today?

So this blog is going to move from only physical nourishment to nourishment abroad. Nourishment of the soul.

I'm scared. I fear that now that I have proclaimed Jesus over my home, family, parenting and writing that He's going to use me in ways that I'm not ready for. But I am joyous and ever so grateful that I'm proclaiming Jesus and banishing the Devil. I feel peace and joy abound.

Join me as I journey deeper into His words and learn. Learn His plan for me and Lean -lean on Him. Give Him control. Today, I am giving Him control of my tongue...

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tickle My Tummy Thursday #1

I am trying to get into a routine of doing certain household tasks on certain days. I need the structure and discipline.

Here is what I will be in the kitchen making tomorrow:

  • Pumpkin bread
  • Applesauce bread
  • Kefir - dairy
  • Kefir - water
  • Vanilla creamer
  • Start sourdough
  • Start yoghurt
  • Chocolate chocolate-chip muffins
  • Peanut butter chocolate muffins
  • Cut carrots 
  • Can peaches
Lots of work to be done but looking forward to the all the yummies! 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Blueberry Cobbler

Hello. My name is Jodi and I want to be a baker.

I want to be a baker really bad. I am a cook but not a baker.

When I bake, things happen. My kitchen turns into a mad scientist laboratory where green things are exploding and there is crazy bubbling. A lot of bubbling. All the while, I am standing there with this dumbfounded look on my face and wondering what happened.

I have these grand notions of making my house smell of breads and my family slicing it and putting butter on it. They will be gazing at me with love because I shared my love for them through making bread...

Yeah I'm a baking romanticist.

So I am here to share my latest romantic baking recipe. Are you excited? I'm quite the romantic, just ask Andy. :)

Blueberry Cobbler (Doesn't that just sound like scrumptious summer right there?)

1 1/4 cup of unbleached white flour
1/2 cup of honey or succanat
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 tsp. aluminum free baking powder
3/4 cup whole milk
1/3 cup butter - melted/softened
2 cups blueberries - fresh, frozen and thawed, canned (I used home canned)
1 cup quick oats
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, add flour, sea salt and baking powder; blend. After well blended, add honey or succant, milk and melted/softened butter. Spread in a greased 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Evenly spread blueberries over mixture. In mixing bowl, combine quick oats, cinnamon and brown sugar. Evenly sprinkle over blueberries. Bake in heated oven for 40-45 minutes. Serve warm with or without ice cream. Enjoy!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Be Gone MSG - Homemade Taco Seasoning

Did you know that MSG could be contributing to your headaches and doing many other crazy things to your body? Yeah, it's true....

I am trying to rid my house of all prepackaged foods and foods that contain MSG. So today when I went to make dinner and found myself needing taco seasoning and none on hand, this was a good time to make some. It was so easy and most ingredients you'll have on hand. You should totally give it a try.

Taco Seasoning

1/3 cup (heaping) chili powder
1 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 3/4 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 3/4 tsp. oregano (dried)
2 tbsp. paprika
4 tbsp. ground cumin
2 1/4 tbsp. sea salt
2 1/4 tbsp. pepper

Put all ingredients in a container and seal (air tight). Shake. Use seasoning to taste. (Andy said tonight that he thinks the amount we use depends on the meat we use.) Enjoy!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Menu Plan - July 7

Sunday, July 7
Pumpkin bread, yoghurt
Chicken enchiladas, refried beans

Monday, July 8
Sandwiches, pretzels
Grilled steaks, baked potatoes, salad

Tuesday, July 9
Scrambled eggs, cheese
Chicken with cream sauce, broccoli, salad

Wednesday, July 10
Use up cereal
Re-runs or sandwiches
French toast, eggs, bacon

Thursday, July 11
Yoghurt, fruit
Cheese, crackers, fruit
Chicken gnocci soup, salad, bread

Friday, July 12
Breakfast cookies, fruit
Macaroni and cheese, peas
Pizza, fruit ad veggie tray

Saturday, July 13
Pancakes, eggs
Salmon patties, macaroni and cheese, salad

Adjusting Our Eating

I was talking to a girlfriend on the phone yesterday. We were talking about all the crazy sickness that has been going on around the Davis' house.

It seems like all the sickness has increased when I stopped putting so much effort and thought into nourishing eating.

Here's the thing. I stopped worrying about nourishment and began worrying about getting our bellies full. Just getting dinner on the table.

Looking back, it links back to when we went back to store bought milk and not good, hormone free meats. We had sickness but not near what we have had now. Dylan's asthma was less persistent, I became pregnant without assistance and colds/flu didn't seem to be so frequent.

With all these thoughts of bringing my family back to the table and bringing nourishing foods back to our stomachs, my mind has been reeling with where to begin again. What I think are the most important things to implement back in our diet are...

Here is the list I have come up with:
  • milk from Farmer Haney
  • good hormone free meats from Landes
  • raw cheese
  • fermented dairy
  • raw sugars
It's going to take a while to get all these healthy steps into place but I feel better just thinking about these changes. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Fast Dinner Friday - Cooking Meat Ahead of Time

One of my secrets in the kitchen is to cook meat in bulk.

If I have a family pack of chicken breasts, you will find me putting them all in the slow cooker or marinating them and baking them. Five pound package of ground beef? You won't always see me cutting it into one pound packages. Brown it all at once.

You're going to be cooking at least some of it then so why not all?

This is a HUGE time savor.

Tonight our family is having chicken enchiladas. With already having the chicken cooked, the prep time is cut in about half to three-quarters. Here is my "go to" chicken enchilada recipe.

Creamy Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas
2 cups cooked chicken
garlic powder
10 wheat tortilla shells
2 cups cheese (I use white cheddar)
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 can (4 oz) diced chiles

Preheat oven to 350 and great a 9x13 baking dish.

In bowl, mix chicken with a pinch of cumin, pepper and garlic powder. Then add one cup of cheese and mix. Fill tortillas with one-fourth to one-half of the chicken and cheese mixture. Place side by side in baking dish.

In a saucepan, melt butter and add flour. Cook on medium-low until mixture is bubbly. Slowly stir in chicken broth. Whisk over medium - high heat  until thick and bubbly. Turn down or take off heat.

Add sour cream and green chiles (I always puree my chiles). Be careful not to have on full or high heat. You don't want the sour cream to curdle.

Pour sour cream and chile mixture over enchiladas and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese on top is browned.

This meal is really easy to do all the prep work and stick in the fridge until you're ready to bake. Just add a couple extra minutes and dinner will be a super Fast Dinner!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Now is the Time

We are two days into the challenge and we just got back from Bob Evans for lunch.

I screwed up already, you say?

Well one could say that but I choose to say that we survived.

Dylan has had pertussis for quite some time now. We are all exhausted. We are grasping on straws to keep it together.

Dylan has the complication that every time he coughs (which is often with pertussis) his nose starts squirting blood.

Gross. I know.

Today the doctor wanted us to come in.

Ok. Well with Caleb and Tyler here as well, that makes five boys.

We can do this. So off we go.

They were so well behaved at the doctor's office but were starving and all wanted different foods when we got out.

I was in no mood to fight over lunch.

So some might say I have failed already but I say I succeeded. Instead of making a challenge more important and having a bad attitude, I took all five boys to eat cheerfully. I am much more relaxed and the boys' tummies are full.

Tonight we will eat at home and tomorrow we will pick back up. I will not be discouraged by today.

So I encourage you, no matter how today went, pick it back up. You'll be glad you did.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Not My Fave.

Besides eating at home, I have also been reading and following blogs that talk nutrition and nourishment. I would have to be crazy to say that I didn't see issues in my families diet - too much sugar and flour, not enough fruits and vegetables are among the list.

I know this sounds juvenile but I just don't like them. I can't stomach the thought of eating them so I don't make them and therefore my children do not have a chance to form an opinion. I have these crazy childhood memories of sitting at the table for hours or being forced to choke down lima beans as I sat gagging. I still don't like lima beans and don't even offer them at our table.

I also struggle with fruits. I hate fruit. Nothing disgusts me more than fruit. It's not the flavor. It's the texture. I know it sounds crazy but it's so gross.

I am also very particular about the vegetables I eat. I tend to lean towards the carb veggies and leave the rest sitting.

There are articles after articles talking about the health benefits of  fruits and vegetables and I just cannot ignore the facts anymore. In my opinion, it's one thing to be ignorant of the facts and a completely other to know the facts but ignore them. I cannot ignore any longer.

I pray for an abundant and healthy life for myself but even more so for my children.

As parents, we want to give them every advantage - put them in sports so they can meet friends or even get a scholarship, put them in the best school so they have every academic advantage and the list goes on.

Why if we want the best for our children is nutrition put on the back burner?

For me, it's pure laziness and lack of motivation. Why make a good meal when there is carry out down the street?

For the Davis house, the tide is turning. It's beginning with our journey (once again) to the family table and as we join hands around it, we will be thankful. As we get eating at home down, we will move into more healthy and nourishing preparations and foods.

I'd be kidding myself if I said this is going to be easy. It's not but I can tell you that watching my 8 year old son with debilitating asthma is much more painful. Here is where I take my stand.

Will you join me? If not for yourself, for the health of your family.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Shall We Give it a Go?

A fun little fact about me...

I am really competitive.

In order to be successful, I need to make it into a game and compete against myself or others. 

Today is day 179 of the year 2013. 

Do you know what that means? That means we are about half way through the year with only 186 days left. 

Scared yet? :)

Our last attempt at coming back to the table for every meal for A YEAR was cut short. We I didn't have the grit for it. I lost interest. I stopped caring. 

So here I am to try again. This year, however, it's going to be a little bit different. I am going to challenge myself to get meals on the table, around our home table for the remainder of the year 2013. 

This time, I am not going to be so ridiculous. This time, I am going to allow myself a little wiggle room. The downfall of the last experiment was that both Andy and My's families go out to eat to honor each other on their birthdays. That's just something they do. I got so tired of feeding our family then heading to a restaurant and then hearing my kids fuss that we didn't get to eat. This time, I am going to allow us to take part in family birthday meals. If we are invited to dine with friends, we will.

This time we are going to focus on nourishment and fellowship instead of a challenge. 

Now will I still make this into a personal challenge? Why of course! That's how I operate. However, I will not resent the challenge but embrace it. 

The challenge this year is..
  • to eat at home all meals except for meals in which we are celebrating a extended (as in not someone in the house's) birthday and if we are invited out to fellowship with friends.
  • to get on and blog something about how the day went. Whether it be recipes, menu plans, complaining, putting up food, anything to bring my focus back to my home and the family table.
  • begin tomorrow, the 180th day of the year, and go through Tuesday, December 31st, the 365th day of the year.
  • Don't be too hard on myself or my family. No resentment! :) 
Can we do it? Who knows! But we're going to try. What do we have to lose?

Will you join me? Bring your family back to the table. Need just a little more of a push? Check out this post!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

When life hits you square in the nose...

How is eating at home going for you?


Um... We're doing better but life always seems to happen and happen hard.

Here is a little preview of what's been going on in our neck of
the woods...

Boy meets end table... End table wins.

Spidey band-aide makes it all better, right?

Wrong. After a week of continued whining and crying, I take him to the doctor. Broken nose. Here it is a week later... He's still so beautiful though. I could eat up his cheeks and stare into those eyes forever!

So let's recap... End table vs. Kristian - End table wins. End table vs. Mama (always a day late and a dollar short.) - End table wins.

But here is the rest of the story.... When I took him to the doctor. They thought there was a blood clot so down to the emergency we go. Praise God it wasn't a blood clot. Mama always had an anyurism worrying but Kristian is good! Woohooo!!

Happy day! :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Fast Dinner Friday - Take ONE!

One of the biggest obstacles that stands in our venture to eat at home is lack of time.

Sometimes, we are just busy and overwhelmed or just plain tired. Sometimes we just don't want to cook. Sometimes we don't want the mess. Sometimes we just don't want to. Plain and simple.

I want to dedicate Fridays to fast foods. Foods we can make in a hurry without a lot of mess or work. If we come together and share our good "Fast Dinner" recipes, we'll soon all be around the table instead of being at a true fast food establishment.

So with that little announcement, please take part. Add your blog or favorite recipe to the comments and if we get enough growth, we'll add Mr. Linky! :)

Here is my recipe for Fast Dinner Friday!

We are really working on adding more beans and lentils to our menu . It's a slow and not always yummy process but we are getting there.

Bean Soup - Slow Cooker Style

What you'll need:
* large slow cooker
* about a quart jar of your choice of beans
* ham bone
* salt and pepper - to taste

1. Go through beans and toss all cracked and nasty beans.
2. Put ham bone in bottom of slow cooker.
3. Add beans and salt and pepper graciously.
4. Cover we water to the rim of crock.
5. Allow to cook on low for 24 hours.

With this amount of time, the beans will be mushy. However, that is how we like them. It kind of makes a gravy and is delish! All you need to do in the evening is make a batch of cornbread and toss a salad!

Now this might not be a start to finish quick dinner however, it is little mess and little work. My kind of meal! :)

Your turn! Post your favorite and tried and true fast recipes so that we can go and check them out! 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Are We Weirdos?

Are we weirdos? Are we not normal?

Those were the questions Andy asked as I was kneading bread this morning. 

Why would you think that hunny? I just opened our fresh wheat berries, grinded fresh wheat flour from them and now I'm kneading homemade bread.... Are we different? Hmm....

I looked at him puzzled. He went on to talk about how birthday celebrations are usually done eating out or having pizza ordered. Not homemade and definitely not organic.

Maybe, he isn't crazy and was on to something. 

I had a friend that was in utter horror that I make family's birthday cakes and not purchase them from a store. Kind of reminded me of the baby carrots moment... 

Lincoln's five year old cake... Not too hateful, right? :) 

With all of this talk about us being weirdos, my mind starting wondering... Do a lot of people not celebrate in their homes because of all the work they *think*  it is to cook for a group?

Cooking for a group does not have to be expensive, hard or take a lot of time. 

In fact, the meal for over 25 people yesterday was easy and I used ONLY things I had on hand. Actually the food was made early and just left in the refrigerator until it needed heated for the party. 

The feast included - 
* bean soup
* chicken and noodles
* chili
* cheesy potato soup
* corn muffins
* salad (delegated)
* fruit (delegated)
* pumpkin bread
* cookies
* cake
* ice cream sundae bar

The BEST part! Most of the left overs could be put in the freezer for a later meal. Easy clean up and everyone loved it! 

What are some quick, inexpensive and easy ways that you feed a large group? Do you get carry-out or pizza for celebrations? Do you make your own cakes?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

But I Don't Wanna... and a Quick "Throw Together" Dinner !!

Put I really don't want to cook...

That seems to be a continual thought going through my mind lately. I will not beat myself up about this because I know I cannot be the only mama in the world who is run down and just doesn't want to think about preparing dinner.

Can I get a witness?! :)

Today, I rose above. I made breakfast, lunch, bread AND dinner!

Above is my quick, easy and thrown together dinner...

Chicken - I butterflied it, put it in a pan and dumped BBQ sauce on it. Put in the a 350 degree over for an hour and there it was!

Potatoes - in a large zip loc bag, I added three pounds of red potatoes (halved and quartered), 1/3 cup of olive oil and a package of oil soup mix. Shake it baby, shake it! Put in a greased baking pan and put inside the oven (next to the chicken) for 40 to 45 minutes.

Peas - pull them out of the freezer (you know, you are good and put them up from your garden last year! :) ). Warm them with 2 tablespoons of butter.

Voila! Done and dinner is at the table!

Next step, I need to revisit the series on FINDING the kitchen table! :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Getting Back in the Swing of Things

What is the quote.... ?? "When we plan, God laughs." ? Maybe? Is that it? I constantly feel like that is my life quote.

Over the passed couple of years, I have planned to eat at home constantly. To bring the joy of the table back to my family.

It hit me last Friday. Do you know what last Thursday was? It was Maundy Thursday. The Last Supper. The last time that Jesus met with His disciples. It was the last time they would be together as a group. What did Jesus do? Did He meet them at the movies? Did He meet them at Applebee's or the closest pub? No, they met together at a table and shared a meal. They met at the table.

How amazing the table must be! So once again, here am I. Ready to begin another journey into bringing healthy foods and joy to the table at my home.

With the spring planting season coming, we are quickly trying to go through our surplus of food in the pantry and freezer. I detest how many foods are going to waste at my home.

This morning, I pulled out all the foods in the pantry and put them on the counter. Booting up the computer and pulling out the cook books, I went to work trying to find recipes to use up all those ingredients. I have found that when I just make a list of meals and work from that, I am more likely to stick to a menu plan. I then labeled all the pantry ingredients by the number on my menu plan and put them all together in the pantry.

  1. Spinach Lasagna Rolls
  2. Upside Down Pizza
  3. Round Steak with Gravy
  4. Tacos; Refried Beans
  5. Salmon Patties
  6. Sour Cream Noodle Bake
  7. Buffalo Chicken Dip
  8. Tex Mex Dip
  9. Grilled Cheese with Chicken Noodle Soup
  10. Grilled Cheese with Chicken Noodle Soup
  11. Black Bean Burgers
  12. Easy Chicken Bake
  13. Chicken Sandwiches
  14. Cheesy Enchilada Bake
  15. CP Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti
  16. Chicken Dumpling Casserole
  17. Chicken and Biscuits
  18. Chicken Enchiladas
  19. Chicken Pot Pie
  20. Lasagna
  21. Ranch Chicken Pasta
  22. Speedy Chicken Quesadillas
  23. Beef and Broccoli 
  24. Cheesy Sausage Stromboli
  25. Ultimate Grilled Cheese with Vegetable Soup
  26. Breakfast Casserole
  27. Pancakes and Meat
  28. Sausage Gravy and Biscuits; Home fries
  29. Meatballs
  30. Chicken Salad
  31. Chili Dogs
  32. Chili Spaghetti
So April's menu plan is in full swing! I cannot wait to share some recipes and how the went with my family!