Day to Day Adventure: 2010

Friday, December 31, 2010

Finer Things Friday: New Year’s Bash!

Almost 20 years ago I married in to this crazy family/clan of people who LIKE to play games together—a lot.  Pre-marriage the game I played the most was solitaire.  So going to a New Year’s Eve party where all they do is play games and eat was umm… sorta overwhelming for a few years.  Now I wouldn’t miss it.
Changes over the years
There are more of us—like just over 40(28 of those are grandkids of varying ages)
The kids are getting married or bringing girlfriends/boyfriends
The aunt/uncles are older(& some still act like teenagers)
Sometimes extended family shows up

Grandma’s punch
Little kids playing
Two people taking pictures of each other
Nancy’s cheese ball
Big kids playing games
Dan’s sausage balls
Sweets & yummy stuff
Confetti at midnight(messy but fun!)
New Years’s cinnamon rolls--I am in charge of breakfast New Years morning—because as many who can stay the night.  So I am working on a huge batch of cinnamon rolls and the Sausage Egg Quiche is in the freezer.  We always have a SLOW morning & play games all New Year’s day too.  By the time we go home everyone is TIRED.  It is a blast though!
The recipe I am using is based on Pioneer Woman’s recipe.  I don’t use her frosting & I used white wheat flour.  Not much of a healthy improvement but there are things that cannot be changed!
Cinnamon Rolls(makes a huge batch!)
1 qt milk
1 cup oil
1 cup sugar
2 packages Active Dry Yeast
8 cups white wheat flour(plus 1 cup set aside)
1 tsp baking powder(heaping)
1 tsp baking soda(scant)
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 to 1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
Heat milk, oil & sugar until scalded(heat until just before it boils).  Turn off heat and leave to cool until lukewarm to warm—about an hour.  Sprinkle 2 packages of yeast in to milk mixture & let sit for a minute.  Gradually add 8 cups flour & stir.  Cover and let rise for at least an hour.  After hour, add one cup flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt.  Stir mixture together.  You can put this in the refrigerator(overnight or a day or two) at this point if you don’t have time to roll it out.   Just punch it down if it starts to overflow your pan.
Take half your dough & roll it out to form a rough rectangle.  This will be pretty thin.  Drizzle 1/4 to 1/2 cup melted butter over the dough.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of sugar over dough followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.  Starting on one of the long sides start to roll the dough in a neat line.  Keep the roll pretty tight as you go.  Pinch the seam to seal it.
Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a foil cake or pie pan.  Cut the rolls about 3/4 to 1 inch thick & lay them in the buttered pans.  Repeat with the rest of the dough.  Let the rolls rise 20-30 minutes, then bake at 375 degrees until light golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
Traditions in a family are important. 
They draw us together & keep us close. 
To me this is a truly finer thing.
To post your finer things go to Amy’s Finer Things
Weekend Hops
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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Simple Lives: Rag Rug part 4

The new location of this post is

Making a Rag Rug Part 4

This blog has moved.  Sorry for the inconvenience!!!

Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday!

Blogging Hints Catch a Wave Wednesday

Hope that your day is Wonderful!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Sneak Attack


Oldest daughter vs youngest daughter



up on the deck


I love snow


Makes perfect bombs


Here they come!


Linked up at

Wordless Wednesday @ Beautiful Mess

Top 10 Things Homeschooled Children will Tell their Kids(mine anyway)

10.  My classroom was on the couch, at the table, outside, on my bed, on the deck under a sheet. . .


9.  PE = bowling, riding bikes, soccer, swim team


8.  My teacher had parent teacher conferences in the bathroom.

7.  I walked to school barefoot.

6.  I played a games, dressed up and did my phonics worksheets at the same time.


5.  I cried in class & sometimes my teacher cried in class.


4.  Field trips were really cool.


3.  Every summer at the library we would have scavenger hunts.

2.  I cut a frog on the kitchen table.


1.  I had snow days in September & April.


Linked up at

Top 10 Tuesday @ oh Amanda

Batch Cooking for College: Sloppy Joes

Life is resuming its normal pace around here.  We aren’t baking dozens and dozens of cookies for friends.  The frig is empty because of the snow over the weekend and I MUST go to the grocery store soon. 

Michael heads back to classes in a couple of weeks & he’s requested some frozen meals to take along.  I have been trying to involve Elizabeth in the planning stages of meal preparation more so she can work towards doing this on her own down the road.


We brainstormed this morning & here is what we came up with for this weeks menu & the batch cooking we will do.

This week

Sausage Egg Quiche & Spice Muffins x 2

  —1 family meal & 12 individual size portions

Sloppy Joes(recipe below) x 5

  —2 family meals & 18 individual size portions

Taco meat x 3—18 individual size portions

Taco Soup x 3—1 family meal & 10 individual size portions

Next time Chicken is on sale

Broccoli Chicken Pie

Turkey Noodle Soup

Chicken Quesadillas

This will allow Michael to take a stash back to school.  I also plan to share some meals with another college student who attends our small group at church.  It will also give me a few meals in the freezer for the days ahead.  It is nice to have a quick meal available for those CRAZY days when I don’t have time to stick something in the crockpot.

My Sloppy Joe recipe is not one I have in a recipe book—this has frustrated Elizabeth & dear hubby so I wrote it down for them(and you).  Enjoy!

Sloppy Joes  serves 6

1 lb ground beef

1/2 cup chopped onion

1-8 oz tomato sauce

2 T quick cooking oats

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp garlic salt

6 wheat buns

Brown meat & onions.  Add remaining ingredients except buns.  Simmer until the mixture isn’t runny.  Toast buns &  top with meat.  Yummy with fresh vegies & fruit.


Linking up at

Tasty Tuesday @ Beauty & Bedlam

Delectable Tuesday @ Home Sweet Farm

Monday, December 27, 2010

Kid Power or Teaching Life Lessons

Lately life has had me on the couch or sitting in a cushy chair more often.  I DON’T like it.  I am an active person. So I am making the best of it.  However life rolls on and with an active family of 6 and that means

. . . food must be fixed.


. . . laundry must  be done.

. . . and dishes must be washed.


I have been asking myself where the lesson is in this situation.  I have learned a lot of things but there is a lesson in this for my children as well.  There is no dishwasher in our house.  So someone has to wash them by hand.

My mom told me on Christmas that it took 3 dishwasher loads to get the dishes done at her house.  I looked around on the internet & found conflicting reports on whether hand washing or electric dishwashers were more efficient.  But my point is not about saving water or electricity.

What I like about not having an electric washer is that my kids KNOW how to take care of a big job.  From 5-6 years old they are taught to clear the table & get the dishes done.  Boys and girls. 


Everyone helps. . . well sort of. 

There are so many life lessons in this.

-You dirty something. . .you clean it.

-The job isn’t done until it is all put away.

-We can have fun while the work goes on.

-Many hands make light work.

So my Money Saving Monday post is probably not really saving money but it is teaching a lesson that is worth it’s weight in GOLD for my kids.  What life lesson are you teaching your kids?  What is IMPORTANT to know before you are out of the house?

Linked up at

Money Saving Monday @ Family Friendly Frugality

Friday, December 24, 2010

SNOW!!!! Merry Christmas to all


This is what I woke up to and I thought

“Wow the kids are going to have a great time today!”


I’ve never had a 9 foot snowman in my yard!


Such purity.  So beautiful.  Merry Christmas to everyone from the Brush family.  May your Christmas be Holy and your thoughts be of a babe in the manger & not the gifts under the tree.  Enjoy your family & kiss your little ones because this life is short.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Making a Rag Rug Part 3

The new location of this post is

Making a Rag Rug Part 3.

This blog has moved.  Sorry for the inconvenience!!!

Part 1, Part 2 & Part 4

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Favorite Pictures 2010

Part 4
2010 in Pictures

Linked up at
Wordless Wednesday @ A Beautiful Mess
Wordless Wednesday  @ Michelle's Family Journal
Wordish Wednesday  @ Supermom
Wordess Wednesday @ Adventures of Goober Grape & Monkey Man

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gratituesday: Gathering to Celebrate

Christmas is about baby Jesus & his gift of grace in coming to this earth to save us.   But it is also about gathering together as a family & enjoying being together.
The above picture is just Grandma & Grandpa Brush with their grandkids(missing a few).  On Steve’s side of the family there are over 40 of us now & that will only keep growing as the kids marry & have kids.   
We are still trying to gather once a year at Grandma’s to celebrate Christmas.  It is chaos and everyone loves it.  We have changed over to a white elephant exchange that just keeps getting crazier each year.  We all have stockings & the littles exchange gifts with each other.  It is one of the best days of the year!
We gathered with them & with my family(not nearly as large) over the past weekend.  Steve & I were dog tired from being sick & helping with the Christmas program at church but it was so wonderful to see everyone & visit a little.  I am looking forward to a much quieter week as we approach Christmas Day.  We will stay home, stay in our jammies & just enjoy being together as a family.  And who knows maybe someday I will have a house full of kids, grandkids, adopted kids & more.

God places in families to grow us & support us.  I am so blessed in this area.  So thankful for our families and the love that we share.

Linked up at Gratituesday @ Heavenly Homemakers

Friday, December 17, 2010

Finer Things Friday: My helpers

Life is busy.  We seem to be crunching a weeks worth of activities in to two days.  But many hands makes light work.

I am missing my oldest.  He always makes things fun & works like a dog when needed.  Maybe he will be home soon. . .


However the pretzel making goes on.


Did I mention we have over 40 stocking stuffers to take to Grandma’s Christmas?  Yikes!  But the littles are doing great with the wrapping!  All the help I have here is definitely a finer thing today.

Now off to Christmas Play Practice . . .

Linked up at

Friday Finer Things at Amy’s Finer Things

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Making a Rag Rug part 2

The new location of this post is

Making a Rag Rug Part 2.

This blog has moved.  Sorry for the inconvenience!!!

Part 1, Part 3 & Part 4

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Favorite Photos 2010 Part 3





Linked up at
Wordless Wednesday @ A Beautiful Mess
Wordless Wednesday  @ Michelle's Family Journal
Wordish Wednesday  @ Supermom
Worldess Wednesday @ Adventures of Goober Grape & Monkey Man

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Joyful Attitude in Hard Times

Today I am struggling with being joyful.  Some days are like that. 
I know that I should find joy in all situations not just the happy ones.  So I am making a choice to smile because there are so many good things in life.
10 Joyful Things(even when life is hard)
1.  My babies are healthy—through stomach flu & sinus infections we are over all healthy
2.  My husband loves me—some days I wonder why as I struggle with pain, frustration & keeping on track
3.  My house is warm—as I look at gray days & cold snow I am thankful that my house is a sanctuary from the weather
4.  My suburban has seat warmers—see #3
5.  My job is a teacher of homeschooled children—there is no greater joy than to be with my children everyday even when they drive me up a wall
6.  My new footstool—it allows me to find a comfortable position for my gimpy leg
7.  My extended family—so many relatives who live close(or are willing to come to us) to celebrate Christ’s birth
8.  My church family—who pray for me(enough said)
9.  My friends who call at just the right moment—you know who you are
10.  My Lord who walks every day at my side & who carries me when I cannot walk any further
 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  Colossians 3:17

Monday, December 13, 2010

College Food

Michael will not be gaining the freshman 15.  If he is lucky he will maintain his pre-college weight.  Eating while on campus is a challenge.  It often isn’t healthy & the choices aren’t what he’s used to having at home.

I am glad that he can come home on anytime he wants and join us for meals.   That just isn’t feasible most of the time though.  When he moved on campus he took some basic foods with him.  Peanut butter, eggs, rice, oatmeal, cereal, salsa, chips etc.  The house where he lives has a kitchen where he can make his own meals if he wants. 

Things we’ve learned about eating on campus

1.  The food at the dorms is fried or cheesy.  Neither of which he appreciates very much.

2.  Eating out is cheaper than dorm food.  But you have to be careful what you choose in order to get full.  Favorites are a bread bowl & soup or Mexican w/ lots of vegies, beans & rice.

3.  Eating out or at the dorm takes time out of the day that you may need to use for class or studying.  Food needs to be fast & easy.

4.  Making sure you get 3 meals a day is IMPORTANT.  If you don’t eat then you get tired & can’t think to study.

Goal for Christmas Break

Identify & make some easy food to stash in his freezer/fridge or pantry for him to be able to fix in a fast & easy way. This will be one of his Christmas gift(yeah!).  Two recipes we have identified already are Sloppy Joes & Quesadillas.

P1100382Neither are hard to make but usually you make them for large groups.  A regular batch divided in to single serving portions will likely last at least a month or two.  These will also cost significantly less than a meal at a restaurant or at the dorm.

Both are easily reheated in the microwave which makes for a fast easy meal.   I am going to be scouring my recipes for other easy & quick recipes.  The week between Christmas and New Years should be a great time to make up some meals for Michael & perhaps for easy lunches here at home too.

Chicken Quesadillas

8 small or 6 medium Wheat Tortillas
3 cups shredded chicken
1 cup salsa
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup sour cream

Mix the ingredient except for the tortillas in a large bowl.  On one tortilla spread about 1/4 cup of the mixture.  Place another tortilla on top & press firmly.  Heat a skillet or griddle and cook the quesadilla for 3-4 minutes on each side.  Serve with more salsa & sour cream if desired.

Linked up at
Tasty Tuesday at Beauty & Bedlam
Tasty Tuesday @ Beautiful Mess

Friday, December 10, 2010

Molasses Cookies

We love cookies!  Oatmeal, chocolate chip, snickerdoodles, sugar cookies, peanut butter.  They are all our favorites!   The above saying about the dark side gets repeated A LOT around here.

For several years my hubby has mentioned molasses cookies & I just shied away from them because I knew I didn’t like them—selfish of me I know.  The molasses cookies that I had didn’t have a very good flavor, almost bitter.  However we did a pretty low key Father’s Day this year and one of the gifts we gave to the daddy in our house was a batch of molasses cookies.

Can I say I WAS WRONG!  I love these cookies!!  I will say they are not as sweet as say chocolate chip, however, that is okay by me.  So if you need a classic spice cookie then this one may just be the one to add to your collection.
P1100330I went to a cookie exchange last night so this is all that is left from the batch I made yesterday.  Now we do have a wonderful collection to choose from for the next few days as we bake our goodies for Christmas.  However when I went for a cookie to have with my tea this morning guess what I chose?  One of mine!  They look crisp but they are actually pretty chewy which I really like in a cookie!

Molasses Cookies (48 cookies)

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Spectrum vegetable shortening(palm oil)
1/2 cup molasses
1 large egg
2 1/4 cups whole wheat or white wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 cup granulated sugar

Combine brown sugar and shortening in a large bowl; beat with mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add molasses and egg; beat well.  Lightly spoon flour into a measuring cup; level with a knife.  combine flour and next 5 ingredients(through salt), stirring with a whisk.  Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until blended.  Cover and freeze 1 hour.  Preheat oven to 375.

Place granulated sugar in another bowl.  Lightly coat hands with cooking spray.  Shape dough in to 1-inch balls.  Roll ball in sugar & place on greased cookie sheets.  Bake at 375 for 8 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes & remove from pan.

Try not to eat them all at one sitting—they are addicting!  Enjoy!

Linked up at
Bloggy Progressive Dinner--Desserts!
Fight Back Friday @ Food Renegade
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday  @ At the Well

Friday Finer Things: Bible Quizzing





It will change your life when you pour God’s word in to your life.

Have you ever heard of Bible Quizzing?  There are ministries all over the US.  We are part of Bible Quiz Fellowship nationally & locally Summit Bible Quizzing.

What is ‘Quizzing’ as it is commonly called?

One definition

Bible quizzing is a game that motivates Christian youth to study the Bible by making it fun and involving a group of teens.

The Basics

Kids memorize a portion(usually a chapter) of scripture.  At a quiz they are asked to quote a verse from their portion or they are asked to answer a question. 

The quizzers are sitting on pads that link to a quiz set which lights up.  Whoever jumps fastest—lights up and they get a chance to answer. 

Teams are formed of 7 quizzers.  5 members of the team are in at one time.  20 points are awarded when the question is answered correctly. 

5 questions right?  Quiz out!  3 answered incorrectly?  Error out

100_4438We’ve been part of this wonderful organization for 9 years.  My oldest has memorized large portions of the New Testament. 

023The next two are working hard this year on the book of John.  Last night I listened to Chapter 5 from Elizabeth.  She quoted word for word each verse out of order. 

P1090858There were only two small mistakes. 

It doesn’t get much better than that.


Interested in find out more?  You can find a local ministry at Bible Quiz Fellowship.

Linked up at

Amy's Finer Things

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