To Everything There Is A Season

A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

A blog about raising a young family and keeping Christ at the center of it.

The Cyrs

The Cyrs
Photo Credit: Rachel Dewhurst

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Time for Soccer Part II

I promised Owen I would put some pictures of him playing soccer too and since I finally remembered to bring my camera to one of his games, here are some pictures. 

A Time for Dehydrated Pears

And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, 

and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself,

upon the earth: and it was so. Genesis 1:11

I was recently introduced to the cutest blog through a friend's blog. It's called Blissfully Content and there are some really great recipes and tips on it. She recently had a blog post about dehydrating pears and I decided I wanted to try this. So following her instructions here is what I did:

1. I bought pears at the store because I don't have access to anyone with a pear tree and I have no time to go pear picking (not even sure you still can around here). Then I washed them well.
2. Next I did core them, even though she didn't. I just used my apple corer and it was really easy and quick.

3. Then I sliced them into thin circles.

4. Now all you have to do is place them on your dehydrator. Mine can hold 6 pears, sliced so I did it in two batches.

5. Once you have your dehydrator filled put the cover on and set the temperature to 130-135. I dehydrated them for about 12 hours. Keep checking them every few hours till you get the texture you want. I don't think I would go more than 12 hours though unless you sliced them thick.

What you see in the jar
is 6 sliced pears, dehydrated
This is a really yummy and healthy snack. We are going apple picking this week and I plan to dehydrate some apples as well. I store them in a Ball canning jar. Enjoy!

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Time for The Most Valuable Cookie

I found this recipe in one of my Southern Living cookbooks a few years ago and it has since been a family favorite. The kids, especially, love these cookies. What I love about this recipe is that one batch makes 5 dozen cookies and they freeze great! I have baked the cookies and frozen them and also just frozen the cookie batter and either way works well. This time I let my little helpers make the cookies since they are always asking me to help cook. I admit I'm one of those people who has a really hard time letting the kids help because it's just faster when I work alone! I let them help anyway but it's a definite test of my patience! 

Most Valuable Cookie
1/2 C butter or margarine, softened
1 C granulated sugar
1 C plus 2 T firmly packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 C creamy peanut butter
1/4 t vanilla extract
4 1/2 C uncooked  regular oats
2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 C candy-coated chocolate pieces
1 C semisweet chocolate morsels

BEAT butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugars, beating well. Add eggs, peanut butter, and vanilla, beating until blended. 
STIR in oats, soda, and salt. (dough will be stiff) Stir in chocolate pieces and chocolate morsels.
Pack dough into 1/4-cup measure. (I do not do this, I make them much smaller.) Drop 4" apart onto lightly greased baking sheets. Lightly press each cookie into 3 1/2 " circles. 
BAKE at 350 for 12-15 minutes (cookie centers should be soft). Cool slightly on baking sheets; remove to wire racks, and let cool completely.

NOTE: When letting little ones help it might be necessary to put them in a time-out for dipping their fingers in the dough (repeatedly) when you are not looking! 

* This is the size I make my cookies and I yield 5 dozen cookies instead of the 2 1/2 the recipe says you will yield. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Time for Gabe Singing

Notice how Daniel prayed THREE times. This is the number Gabe and I were working on today during preschool. We thought this song tied in nicely with our lesson! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Time to Make a Spoon Necklace

This spoon necklace was a craft we did at our Bible study a couple weeks ago. We have a very talented artist in our church and she taught us how to do this. The spoons had already been cut and bent for us, we just needed to do the remainder of the work.

If you want to try this at home, here's what you'll need:

Silver spoon
Sand paper or rotary tool
Acrylic Paint (various colors)
Thin paintbrushes
2-part Epoxy Resin
1 measuring tsp
Clear disposable plastic cup
A few cups of rice
8X8 or larger dish or container
Embellishments (optional)

The first thing you do once you have selected your spoon is to cut of the handle using a hacksaw and leaving about 1 inch. Sand down the rough edge with a rotary tool (using wire attachment) or by hand with sandpaper. Next take a pair of pliers and bend the remainder of the handle to form a circle. You want the edge to touch the back of the spoon or get as close to it as you can. 

Using acrylic paint start by painting your spoon one solid color. This will take two coats. Let it dry completely in between coats of paint. We used a hairdryer to speed the process along and it took only a couple of minutes for it to dry. Now your spoon is ready for the art. Paint whatever you like. I love sunflowers so that's why I chose to do a sunflower. This is a delicate process so you want to use very little paint and a thin brush. Our teacher had some really nice gold embellishment's we could put on so I chose a dragonfly. If you choose to put embellishments on this is the time to do it...before the resin is poured on. Once you are finished your painting you want to let it dry. We did this project in two steps so I'm not exactly sure how long you would need to let the paint dry before adding the epoxy but I'd say a couple of hours to be on the safe side. 

While your spoon is drying take your tray or plate (we used a 9X11 plastic tupperware) and cover it with rice. You will use this to rest your spoon on once you have poured the resin into it.

Taking your 2-part epoxy resin you want to mix equal parts of each expoxy. We mixed 1 tsp. of the first kind with 1 tsp of the second kind (order does not matter) into the plastic cup. Take the toothpick and stir the mix gently for about 2 minutes. Very carefully pour the resin into the base of the spoon till it just meets the edge of the spoon. If you get any of the resin on the table or your hands wipe it immediately with nail polish remover. We covered the tables with newspaper to be on the safe side and I recommend you do the same. Hold your spoon and watch as air bubbles begin to rise to the surface. You want to gently blow on the spoon to pop them. Some of us had success with this process and others didn't. Joy mentioned that those who had more air bubbles than others most likely stirred the epoxy too fast when mixing. After about 5 minutes the bubbles should be done rising to the top. Then gently place the spoon onto the rice and cover the container. This is to avoid dust landing on the spoon before the resin has dried. Place the container in a place you know it won't be disturbed for 24-hrs. 

The next day check to make sure the resin is hardened. Take a piece of ribbon to put the spoon pendant on. You can use anything you like for the necklace part. 

This was a really neat project to do. I am not at all an artist but my sunflower didn't turn out half bad. If I can do it, then any of you can do it too!

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Time to Make the Most of Small Spaces

“The children of whom you were bereaved will yet say in 

your ears,‘The place is too cramped for me; Make room

for me that I may live here.’

Sometimes, in this house, I feel like the city of Jerusalem in this passage. It was at one time desolate but then it became so full of people there was no room for the inhabitants. When you have a family on the big side (I hesitate to say big because there are hundreds of families with way more kids than we have) and live in a modest home, it's important to make the most of all the space you have. One way we have done this in our house was turning basically a storage room into our nursery. Four of our babies have called this room home at one time or another and now it belongs to Jena.

To me there is nothing sweeter in a little girl's room than an armoire. My aunt and uncle are moving and had a lot of furniture they were not taking with them. This piece is one we acquired from them and I'm so excited about it. I originally thought I'd use it in the playroom to store games and puzzles but once we realized that it would fit in Jena's room there was no question that was where it would go. It even matches her crib perfectly!
The adorable polka-dot baskets you see I picked up at The Christmas Tree Store and only paid $13 for all three and they come with each their own cover. In them I store all those little girl accessories (a problem I do NOT have with boys)like her bloomers, tights, socks and shoes. In the drawers I am able to put her more casual outfits. The bins under the dresses I use for her onesies and pj's. 

Here is one of the ways we made the most of a small space. There are stairs that lead to the attic in this room so Ben built a closet under them. It was a project that took him a day to complete and we used scrap wood someone had given us. This is where I used to put Jena's clothes but now can use the space for all those extras I was having a hard time making room for like extra bedding and hair accessories! 

When we first decided to use this room as the nursery the only dilema was where would we fit a changing station...the room is really small. After Ben thought about it for half a minute, he came up with this...

A built-in changing station that fits over the stairs but can also be removed when we need to access the attic or no longer need a changing station. I love this! It's the perfect height and very sturdy. The table goes in and out  easily and again, was simple and cheap to make. 

This room is just so perfect to sleep our babies since they don't need a lot of room anyway. I'm actually going to be really sad when we no longer need a nursery and have no idea what we'll use this space for when the time comes!       

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Time for Soccer

This is the first year we let the boys play soccer, mainly because this is the first year Ben and I have felt we could handle the added stress to our schedule. It's an understatement to say they are excited to be playing and are having a fun time. Whether mom and dad are having a fun time is yet to be seen. For Noah's first soccer game, since it was in the afternoon, we all went as a family. For the first 15 minutes we were having a great time but then out of the clear blue sky Gabe got sick to his stomach all over himself...AND Will, who was so freaked out by it all started screaming at the top of his lungs and this made Gabe think he had done something really bad so now he too was crying at the top of his lungs. Mom and Dad are speechless, among other things, and scrambling to figure out how we were going to clean up this mess AND watch Noah play soccer. As Ben and Owen are walking to the truck to find anything that would help the situation Owen throws up. When Ben gets back from the truck Gabe says he has to go to the bathroom so as he and Ben are walking to the bathroom Gabe gets sick again! Finally Noah's game is over and we are more then anxious to head home, get away from the awful smell that has become our family and get everyone cleaned up. I put Will in the stroller to head to the truck when all of a sudden...yup....him too.

He got to try goal...I think he's really
good in the goal but he doesn't
like it as much.
It wasn't the best start to something we have been hesitating doing but we are powering through! For our family who isn't near enough to come watch here are some pics of the boys. We keep forgetting to bring the camera to Owen's games but for now here are some of Noah at his. Oh yeah, and to my family, Noah's Team is "Boucher's Construction"!! How cool is that??

Go Boucher's!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Time for the Prayer Box!

But as for me, my prayer is to You, O Lord, in the acceptable time; O God, in the
 multitude of Your mercy, Hear me in the truth of Your salvation. ~ Psalm 69:13

 I have loved this box since I was a kid. It belonged to my aunt and when she no longer wanted it I inherited it. I wasn't sure at the time what I was going to do with it though. A couple years ago after Christmas as I was taking down all the Christmas cards I felt really bad throwing away all the really nice pictures friends and family had sent us. That is when I had the idea to turn them into prayer cards. This way our kids can put a face with the names of family members and friends we don't see often. We have dozens of families in this box from neighbors, missionaries, teachers, co-workers and of course, those of you closest to us. If I don't have a photo of a family or person I take an index card, write their name on it and put it in the box that way. Then at dinner time one of the kids can go to the box and choose a family or individual we will pray for that night. It's been a really fun way to incorporate everyone God has placed into our lives in to our prayer lives as well. It's also a great teaching tool to show the kids the importance of hearing and knowing the needs of others and praying for them.