Tag Archives: Rebekah

MOM! What’s for breakfast?

Why is it that kids always wake up earlier and hungrier than their parental units? 

It never seemed right that the most energy buzzed in the people with the least amount of responsibility.

I used to get up early and make a nutritional breakfast for my kids every morning.

Used to.

Somewhere between babies #5 and #6 and three bouts of thyroid cancer, it wasn’t easy anymore.  Yep, the kids had to eat, but it wasn’t going to be homemade waffles, muffins or pancakes.

We ate a lot of cold cereal, instant oatmeal, cold cereal, fresh fruit, cold cereal and whole wheat toast.

Sometimes mommas gotta’ do what mommas gotta’ do.

Of course, getting my kids in the kitchen greatly improved our culinary fare. One of the recipes that got us through many mornings was Baked Oatmeal.

fosters 007

I blogged about having Kids in the Kitchen a few years ago.  It’s true.  Kids make a mess.  But, if you don’t let them mess up the kitchen, they can’t learn to cook for you.  Simple as that.

Oatmeal Jars 002
Beka and I wanted to be ready for school this year, so decided to make those cool jars people are always making and pinningimage and giving away for gifts.

Oatmeal Jars 003

All the dry ingredients were placed in the jar.  We’re “git’ ‘er dun” kinda’ people, not “perfectionist you can pin me now” kinda’ people.  The layers aren’t perfect, the lids don’t match, but hey, Beka finished this quickly.

I also learned the hard way, the more you demand perfection from non-perfectionist people, the less they wanna’ work with you. You can either allow the children to do a project and accept how they do it, or you can do it yourself and have it perfect.

Oatmeal Jars 005

We  substitute the butter in the original recipe with applesauce, so one small organic (did that impress you?) no-sugar added cup of applesauce is placed on the top of the jar.

Oatmeal Jars 008

Since I can never find my tape, why yes, I have blogged about that, thank you for asking, you can read that blog here,so my son, who just got his drivers license and will go anywhere if I hand him the car keys, drove to three different stores looking for blue tape.

I have just enough residual OCD that this look was really, really bothering me.

Yes, I know the jars will be in the cupboard.  I know nobody will see them. But, they were buggin’ me.

Oatmeal Jars 012

I had these….

Northwest Christian Writers Renewal 2013 156

leftover from these quart milk bottles I’d decorated for our writers conference last May. The decorative fabric was slipped off and put in a scrap drawer.  The bottles are being decorated anew for an October wedding.

Oatmeal Jars 013

Slipped them over the top, added the tag with the wet ingredients to add and we were dun.

D.U.N. dun.

We make a smaller batch now that so many kids have flown the coop, so this recipe fills an 8×8 pan.

Beka’s Baked Oatmeal

Place the following in the jar:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups oatmeal (we use quick or old fashioned

Tape to the top:

  • 1 – 4ounce unsweetened applesauce

Wet ingredients to add:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs

Bake 350° for 30 minutes in a greased 8×8 pan.  You may add any combination of nuts, fresh fruit,  or dried fruit to this. 

I love putting almonds and dried cranberries in one corner just for me.  The kids think it is yucky, so I let them eat theirs plain.  You can serve it in a bowl with milk or on a plate as a piece of breakfast cake.  Yea, tell ‘em it’s cake for breakfast.  It can also be topped with warmed applesauce as frosting. 

Beka's Baked Oatmeal 004

Baked Oatmeal.

It’s what’s for breakfast.

 

 

Kids’ Imagination Spurs on Creative Service

My ten year old daughter, Rebekah, started our summer off right by making a commitment to serve others.

She accepted this challenge from Adventures in Odyssey, Focus on the Family’s Christian kids’ radio program, and signed up for their program called A.C.T.S. I previously blogged that “Kids Who Serve are Winners Not Whiners.” No parent wants  “Mom, I’m bored!” ricocheting off their eardrums all summer.

 

 

clip_image001

 

                                  A – A

                           C – Call

                           T – To

                           S – Service

 

We downloaded theimage progress chart, watched this video image about the program, and started brainstorming. (click graphics to download)

Personal inspiration needs no prodding, so follow-through would be increased if she was doing things she wanted to do, not things her mom wanted her to do.

Her own enthusiasm and imagination took off; she owned it from the beginning. When parents let go of the reins, they can be surprised by the direction their kids take.

 

I was thrilled to watch the creative ways she served the family, the neighborhood, and the local needy. In the first few weeks she had already completed the 12 hours of service, and hadn’t finished crossing things off her list. At first, she was thinking about winning the grand prize, a mission  trip to Costa Rica with one parent, (what ten year wouldn’t think of the prize?),  but then she began concentrating more on others.

Adventures in Odyssey radio programs teach kids to use their imagination to learn about history and faith, it was fun to see her imagination to come up with ways to serve.

conference decorations 002She started by volunteering to help paint the lime green walls with two coats of primer. I liked this idea, especially since it took two coats of primer and two coats of pain to turn the lime green to a soothing gray.

 

conference decorations 018When a neighbor had surgery, Rebekah enlisted the nieces and nephew to make homemade cards and cookies. I was humbled.  It hadn’t even occurred to me to reach out.  Brayden made some tiny cookies in the Easy Bake Oven and some big cookies in the real oven.

 

conference decorations 023 Brookelyn enjoyed making cards so much, she made a few for her parents.

 

conference decorations 027Maddelyn enjoyed coloring her card, her fingernails and the table. She stayed on task so long, she almost colored a hole in her paper. 

 

conference decorations 038
When they were done, Beka rallied her troop to walk to the neighbor’s house.  It isn’t raining, but doesn’t every little kid love an umbrella?

conference decorations 042The finished product looked so beautiful, they told me later they were trying to sneak the first cookies out without marring the package so the whole family could see Rebekah’s handiwork.

 

Other projects Rebekah has accomplished so far:

  • weeded the trees for a single neighbor who works full-time and has a hard time keeping up on her garden
  • babysat several times for another neighbor
  • baked muffins for her older sister who had a baby
  • started collecting toys, shoes and clothing for the women and children at the Gospel Mission shelter

It was hard for her to understand that serving family “counted.” But, I shared her Gramma Mary’s wisdom, “Charity begins at home” to convince her serving family teaches you to serve others.

blogging stuff 057
Her big summer project is to make 30 drawstring bags for the kids at the homeless shelter.  Most of the time they arrive with little or nothing.  Beka plans to fill the bags with small trial size personal care items, snacks, toys, and Christian reading material.  It’s a challenge coming up with items that are not gender or age specific, but it’s been a good stretch to imagine yourself in their position.

We hope to have these finished and delivered at the end of July.  Then we’ll make our video about Rebekah’s summer of service and enter the competition.  Who knows?  Maybe a future blog post will show Rebekah and I working with the orphans in Costa Rica! 

Even if she doesn’t the grand prize, we both feel like winners.  She’s had fun using her imagination to come up with amazing ways to see and meet needs.  I’ve been blessed to watch her take the lead and follow-through.  Thank you, Adventures in Odyssey, for challenging us to  A.C.T.S.!

 

 

It’s not too late to sign-up for A.C.T.S.!

 

image.

Click on the image to download your service kit.

image

Visit the website to learn more about Adventures in Odyssey’s
summer challenge to serve.

 

image

(Click on image to download this free e-book)

Just for reading this blog post today, you get a free gift,
an e-book called “Voyage with the Vikings.”

image

There’s still a lot of summer days left to encourage your family to accept the summer challenge to serve. You can either join the Adventures in Odyssey program or serve in your own way.

I’d love to hear the things your family is doing to serve this summer. Many of you work at Bible camps, Vacation Bible School, or do short-term mission projects. 

Those that comment will qualify to win the special package of The Imagination Station books #1-3 pictured above. I will choose a winner Wednesday, July 3rd and announce the winner in a blog post that day.

Encourage us by leaving a comment about the way your family serves!

WHWButton#2

 

I Am An Old, Old Mommy

I started my family when I was 21, but I looked younger.

People marveled at how young I looked when I had my 3rd child at 26.

When I was 31, being spotted in public with my 5 children was like being spotted by the paparazzi.

Or so I told myself.

“Are these all yours?”
”You don’t look old enough to have five kids!”
”You look wonderful for having 5 kids!”
”You look like one of the kids.”

It was some kind of amazing for a little while.

When I had my 6th child at 38, there were no more comments about my age.

There were looks.

You know the looks.

People are wondering about your life, wanting the story, but are too polite to ask, so they just stare.

I could hear the little gerbil wheels in their minds. Was she mine?  Was she one of the teenage daughters’?  Why would I want so many kids?  Didn’t I know what caused it?

When hubby and I would go out in public and take all the kids, people would stand in the parking lot and watch kids pour out of the Suburban.

You could see their heads nod and their lips move.

I actually was impressed so many people could count to six. 

People let me know how thankful it was ME and not THEM.  I was thankful it was not them, either.  I wanted this child.

The hands that held her were just a bit more wrinkly, but my touch had so much love.

The legs that shuffled to her crib in the middle of the night were a bit more creaky, but eagerly went to the precious child we’d prayed into our lives.

It seems my age confused more than just strangers, it even confused little Rebekah.

IMG_0089
(Don’t let this picture fool you.  I’m pretty sure I combed her hair once in awhile.)

She was very observant of all the people around her and in her 3 year old frankness would stare until caught. We quietly told her not to stare, or would gently turn her gaze away with our fingertips. One day she was enthralled with a beautiful toddler girl and an equally beautiful young mother strolling by us in the grocery store.

“Look Mommy, she’s with her big sister,” she said, pointing to the little girl who was only about a year younger than herself.

“No, honey, that’s her Mommy,” I replied.

Rebekah was confused and looked from the other mom’s face to my own several times before protesting again.

“No, it’s her sister,” she insisted.

I laughed that Rebekah comprehended her 18 year old sister, Jana, was closer in age to the young mom than I was. Rebekah had been taken on many exciting excursions with her older sister, but always came home to an older mommy. She didn’t understand that some children have young mommies and some have young sisters.

I  explained  I used to be a young mommy and looked like that other Mommy when Jana, Daniel and Bethany were little kids. But,  I kept having kids and kept getting older. Now, I was her Mommy, but was an older Mommy. I finished loading the rest of my groceries onto the conveyor belt, while I enjoyed the sensation of being able to fill a toddler’s precious mind with my words of wisdom and unravel life’s great mysteries for her.

That other mommy might be prettier.  She might be younger. But, like wine and cheese, I was aged to the perfection granted only to older mommies.  I was wise. I was experienced.  I could answer any question a toddler could throw at me.

Or so I told myself.

Light chuckles from a man proved I had an amused audience ahead of me. His laughter  punctuated Rebekah’s final I’m-gunna-win-this-conversation-statement.

"OK, Mommy, but I know it’s her sister."

 

Making your home sing Mondays

A Big Ol’ Belt-Buckle Future

My horse-loving daughter
was thrilled to be at her first rodeo,
the Stampede Rodeo in Helena, Montana.

She oohed and aahed and twisted in her seat,
living vicariously through the cowboys and cowgirls around her.

I was thrilled, too.
There was a rock wall to climb and a family safe seating area,
where I didn’t have to worry about having beer spilled on me
or chewing tobacco spit on me.

IMG_1441

There were adorable little kids in hats bigger than their dreams.

When the Rodeo Queens came out, Rebekah was enthralled.

 IMG_1226

They waved at us during the Stampede Parade earlier in the day,
so I think Beka assumed they were acquaintances already.

(Miss Rodeo Montana Mariah Rys-Sikora on left, Miss Teen Rodeo Montana Jennika O’Neil on right.)

IMG_1313

Beka voiced her desire to meet the Miss Rodeo Montana.

Mommas like to make their kids’ dreams come true,
so when Miss Rodeo Montana left the riding arena
and walked into the concession stand,
we took off after her, like star struck women.

Judging by the size of the belt buckle,
it’s no wonder we
were star struck.

Love me some big belt buckles!

In fact, I plan on getting one some day.
My husband always worries about my inability to function in life,
because I forget to put gas in my car, forget to pay bills,
and sometimes I forget important things, too.

He’ll say to me in loving exasperation,
loving of course,
’cuz he’s a good man and all,
“Honey, what are you going to do when I die?”

Raised in Montana, converted to city-slicker
when I followed him to
the Seattle area, I always answer,
“Buy Ropers, Wranglers and a belt with my name on it.”
It just goes without saying that the belt would have to have
a big ol’ shiny buckle.

Miss Rodeo Montana, she’s got the cowgirl gear already.
I bet she even remembers to put gas in her car,
or truck,
or cattle trailer,
or whatever she drives.

IIMG_1551

Mariah not only paused for pictures, she graciously answered questions.

This was the highlight of Beka’s life, to this point, I’m sure.

IMG_1552

I look at MRM and think, “Of course, she’s a beauty queen, she’s GORGEOUS!”

(Read the link to see the rigorous scoring criteria,
and you will understand she isn’t just another pretty face.)

I know she diagnosed Beka’s horse fever,
so i
n the few moments it took to pause for a few pics
and squeeze in a few quick hugs,
she gave Rebekah some practical  and inspiring advice,
just in case she wanted to be a Rodeo Queen.

1.   Learn all you can about public speaking
and get used to speaking in front of a crowd.

2. Learn all you can about horses.

3. Learn all you can about world events.

Beka  saw a belt buckle and sash looming in her future.
I saw disappointment looming in her future.

I was picturing our little city backyard,
where a few scrawny chickens couldn’t be free range.

Rebekah was picturing our backyard, too,
but with a horse grazing free range.

Hoping to gently squelch the fires of an impossible dream
with the voice of reason,
I asked, “But, you grew up on a ranch, right?”

“Oh no,” she said, obviously surprised.
“My parents grew up out East,
then moved to Montana.
I decided I wanted to be a Rodeo Queen when I was 13
and worked towards that goal.”

A city girl gone cowgirl.

Suddenly, I was even inspired.

Back home,  during our first trip to the library
Beka checked out a huge stack of horse books.

She was turning advice into action.

Think I better check into the zoning laws for our backyard.
Maybe we could fit one horse back there after all…

‘Cuz ya’ know,
mommas like to make their kids’ dreams come true.

Going EMO

It’s that time of year,
when we start going EMO.

I don’t mean the depressed, black look with hair hanging in my eyes.

I mean

EVERY
MOMENT
OUTSIDE.

I blogged about this a year ago today,
and the weather has been reminding me of my yearly resolution.

After all, the rains are coming soon, and then will will spend

EVERY
MOMENT
INSIDE.

Prairie School pics 005

We’ve been doing school outside. 

(Hey, speaking of school, I started a new homeschool blog called Prairie Momma.
Would love to have you check it out.)

Labor Day Weekend 128

We’re playing outside, enjoying the last hours warm enough to splash around.

Labor Day Weekend 037

We’re still cooking outside at the Redneck Grill,
although we had an epic failure with the first Jiffy Pop popcorn.

But, if laughter is the best medicine,
that experience should stave off the first colds of the season.

Barbie Hair 010

We watch movies outside.  Of course, a fire always helps keep off the evening chill.

Like 49’ers after gold,
every drop of fall sunshine
is soaked up
because we know
it will soon be gone.

For a few days,
knowing I would soon be inside for months,
I skipped cooking and cleaning,
and opted for reading on the deck
in the sunshine.

The skies will be gray
and our windowpanes will be streaked
with the constant dribbles
of the winter rains.

Our flip-flops will be tossed
to the back of the closet
and our rainboots will take prominence.

But for now,
the battle cry of the day is
EMO!

I’m gunna spend

EVERY
MOMENT
OUTSIDE.

Gotta’ run.

Those Friday rays are calling…

I Served Garbage for Breakfast

Earlier in the week I confessed I pick my scabs.
I have another confession to make.

I fed my kids and grandkids garbage for breakfast.

It wasn’t organic,
free range,
gluten-free,
or healthy.

It was just pure,
unadulterated,
delicious garbage.

Sugar Cereal

Health conscience people are thinking,
You DID NOT feed your kids that garbage!”

Sugar freaks are thinking,
“Momma Mindy, why didn’t you invite me to breakfast?

Since you are all judging me,
I know you are because I would be judging you
if I found out you fed your kids this garbage,
but hang with me.
I have a good reason.
A spiritual reason.

Proof.
I’m the worstest Gwamma in the whole wide world.

I’m the worstest Mommy in the whole wide world.

Look, an avid cereal box reader!
Wasn’t that one of the best parts of having what my kids wrongfully labeled
“the good cereal?”

Wheaties and Rice Krispies might taste good and be good for you,
but the boxes were boring.

Anyhoo, back to my true confession
and my spiritual reason.

This is My Romans 7 Rule.

The Law and Sin (New International Version)

…sinful passions are aroused by the law…

I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law.

15  what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.

18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

Confused?

Here’s the Momma Mindy Version:

People wanna’ do what they’re told not to do.
They know what’s right, but can’t do it on their own.

That’s why I had such a hard time coming up with
Rules for Our House.

Rules are good, but they do make people wanna’ break them.
Law incites riots, even around your dining room table.

So, I became tricky.

Instead of saying, “We’ll never drink soda again,”
I  stopped buying it.

My children weren’t warned about white bread,
it just stopped showing up.
First the bread became darker,
then the bagels and English muffins,
then the hot dog and hamburger buns.

Cereals gradually becamer nuttier, grainier and fibier,
(these are my new words for more grain and  fiber)
crackers and nuts replaced chips, and
dried fruit appeared in snack jars.

Romans 7 Rule – Section One

I never say never.

NEVER incites riots and longing of unbelievable proportions.
Even if they hated Captain Crunch before,
they CRAVE it the moment it’s banned.

Foods aren’t outlawed, they just aren’t purchased.
They’ll be served at homes of friends and relatives,
and I want them to eat what’s set before them with thankfulness.
(No food allergies in our family so we can do this.)

If we’re eating according to my standards at home,
but eat a few random hotdogs with nitrates
and Diet Cokes with McDonalds, it  won’t hurt them.

Romans 7 Rule – Section Two

Daddy Overrules Mommy’s Rule

Like many Dads, my hubby loves buying snacks and pop for our kids.
He even fed them cake for breakfast once.
Yes he did, and the kids still love gloating over this event.

I  don’t restrict my husband.
He respects and encourages the health changes,  and I let him randomly buy garbage.
It’s a good balance.

Romans 7 Rule – Section Three

Kids Can Never Say Never

Once my kids say
“I never”  I pay attention.

I learned long ago  Satan loves to wedge these words between kids and parents.

A new believer fervent for Jesus and the Bible,
I was working as a Resident Assistant in a college girls’ dorm.
When sharing my testimony with one of the residents,
she regretfully confessed she was raised in a Christian home.
Her whinings often began,
“I never got to…”
 

Her grievous  litany against her parents was long, and all the worldly things they faithfully
shielded and protected her from, she chased after.

There are some things, by the grace of God, I can never allow my children to do.
But, I know that too many “I nevers” can burden them with undue law.
So, if it isn’t a compromise to the Word of God, when I hear
“I NEVER”
I might do it once,
just so they don’t have so many
“I NEVERS.”

When my kids were feeling sad they NEVER had Easter baskets,
we celebrated Easter. We explained our reasoning why we didn’t,
but that it wasn’t sin to do so.

When my youngest daughter proclaimed,
“I’ve NEVER had Fruit Loops,”
I stepped into Romans 7 action.

Along with Fruit Loops, I bought others she’d NEVER tried.

Yep, I did, I served garbage for breakfast.

I can compromise on cereal,
because I will never compromise on the True Food,
the Word of God.

Where in the World was Momma Mindy?

I never enjoyed reading those blog posts that began, “I’m sorry I disappeared for awhile, but I was…..”

But, now I have to write one of those blog posts that begin, “I’m sorry I disappeared for awhile, but I was….”

busy

overwhelmed

seeking

accepting

praying

traveling

If there’s one thing I finally learned, you can’t be Super Woman every day of your life.  When  juggling the events of your life, you eventually will drop a few things.  Things you love to do, things you want to do and things you need to do. Things like blogging.

You just can’t do it all.

So, you choose, or life chooses for you.

Back to where have I been?

On a spiritual journey.

Every summer for the past 12 years, my husband has been preaching at this summer camp in the woods of Minnesota.  Should I add mosquito infested woods?

He started attending as a child because his mom made him. He was a troubled, angry kid trying to survive his parents’ divorce.  In need of relief, his mom shipped him off to this camp for two weeks because it was free. She never had to make him go back again, he loved Bible camp.

Yea, the camp is free.  It runs on faith and faith sustains. Faith also saves.  After four years of attending camp, Scott trusted Christ as his Lord and Savior. That’s what makes preaching there even more special, he was born-again there and helps bring others into new life in Christ  by preaching the Gospel.

It’s been our thrill and delight to travel from Seattle to Duluth each summer to join the dear  midwest believers in ministering the Gospel. OK, not every part of the 1665 mile trip is thrilling and delighting, but camp is always worth the trip.

After a long year of homeschooling, I’m always tired.  This past year we’ve had a lot of serious trials, so I had spiritual fatigue in addition to physical fatigue. But, every year we make the trip and I am reminded that serving is what restores me to face another year.

After our week with the junior high kids, our son got married in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Then, hubby flew to Georgia for business while Beka and I stayed at Story Book so she could be a camper for the

very.

first.

time.

ever.

EXCITING!

Beka and I traveled home, visiting friends and relatives in MN, ND, MT and ID.  It would have been easier to blog as I traveled, as I have in the past, but this year I wasn’t SUPER MOM.  I was just one tired mom who needed to spend time with the women who have impacted my life.  I arrived back in Seattle with a bajillion bugs plastered on the outside of my husband’s car, vintage stuff PACKED in inside the car, and a heart refreshed for another year.

My husband got the car washed, I’m almost unpacked, so it’s time to get back to blogging…….