Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Homemade Turkey/Chicken Pot Pie

One of my all-time favorite meals!

3 Tbs Butter
3 Tbs Flour
3/4 c chicken broth
3/4 c half and half cream
2 1/4 c turkey/chicken
1/2 c chopped carrots
1/2 c frozen peas
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp pepper
pie shell (top and bottom)

Melt butter in pan. Stir in flour. Add broth and milk and cook on med-low until thickened, stirring frequently. In a separate bowl, combine turkey/chicken, carrots, peas, thyme, and pepper. Mix in cream sauce. Pour into pie shell and place top shell. Bake at 350* for approximately 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What to do with all those Christmas Cards?

I love Christmas cards, but we get SO many every year that I don't know what to do with them all! When we first got married, I would set them out on the counter. But as our family grew, and especially after we got into the ministry, I began to have very limited counter space during the holidays! That's when I began to get creative (which is hard for this gal!).

Last year, I taped a giant piece of wrapping paper up on the wall and then taped all of the Christmas cards to the sheet. It was adorable!

This year, we decided to try something different - a paper chain with all of the cards hung on it!
I found this to be not only a fun, easy craft project for the kids, but also a counting activity for my 4 year old (we held each chain loop for 30 seconds). By the end, I was even attempting to make things interesting by counting in foreign languages - did great in spanish and german, failed at french by making it only to 14, and then royally failed with a whole 6 in japanese, but made for chain-making entertainment!  Here is our product:

Enjoy those Christmas cards, and Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

How to Have a Successful Grinch Party

My mom says that I will find any reason to have a party. She's right! Made-Up Reason Parties are my way of creating fun memories with my kids. One of the ways we decided to kick-off December this year was a Grinch Party. It is easy-peasy.

Grinch Party Essentials

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! book by Dr. Seuss. Having a reading of this wonderful classic is a must! You can find it at any local library!

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas movie. Yes, there is the new Jim Carey one as well, but there is none like the original. Besides, my kids are still a little young for the more modern, adult version.

Grinch attire. Yes, I have Grinch pajamas. But really all you have to wear is green! (Unless you want to be Cindy Lou Who, like my princess was!)

Camera! Make sure you capture the best grinchy faces and save those memories!

 A Feast! Three words: green food coloring. A few drops can turn any regular food into grinchy fanfare. If you really want to go all out, have a Who Feast, with Who-Pudding and Roast Beast!
Here were our choices:


1 pkg cream cheese
1 pkg full size flour tortillas
1/2 cup salsa
1 can green chiles
1 cup shredded cheese
green food color (amount desired)

Blend all ingredients (except tortillas!) in large mixing bowl. Spread mixture evenly over tortilla (about 1/4 cup on each). Roll tortillas and wrap in saran wrap. Chill for 1 hour. Slice the tortilla roll along the length to create beautiful green pinwheels.

Grinch Punch

1 liter 7-Up
1 can pineapple juice
1 quart lime sherbet
White Syrup
Green Sprinkles

In a punch bowl pour in 7-Up and juice. Scoop sherbet on top. As the sherbet melts the punch will turn green. To decorate your cups, put a tiny bit of white syrup on the rim and then dip in green sprinkles. Enjoy!

Grincho Nachos

You guessed it, nacho cheese and green food color!

Be Creative!
There are so many things you can do to make a party like this a success. Just use your creativity and let your kids join in! It will be a great memory!

I think we have discovered a new family tradition!

Monday, November 26, 2012


Sometimes it just happens! Life is about love and laughter! Do something spontaneous today!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chocolate-covered Pumpkin Pie, Oh, My!

'Tis the season to eat to your heart's content, and regret it later. Here is a very bad for you, heavenly dish that my kids chose for us to make this year! I will give you step by step of what we did and how, so that perhaps you can indulge as well!

1 pre-made Chocolate Graham Crust
1 small sweet pumpkin
1 8oz package softened cream cheese
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (+ an extra handful to sprinkle on top)
1/3 cup whipping cream

Step 1
Cut your pumpkin in half. Optional: put 1/2 stick butter or margarine in each half. Bake your pumpkin at 400* or until it is soft when pierced with a fork. Cool and scoop out the meaty center. Mash. Measure 2 cups for recipe. Save the rest for another meal!

Step 2
Preheat oven to 350*

Step 3
Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Slowly add and mix eggs. Stir in pumpkin, vanilla, pumpkin spice and salt.

Step 4
Pour into crust. Bake for about 40 minutes. Cool on a rack for 1 hour.

Step 5
In a microwave safe bowl, heat together whipping cream and chocolate chips for 1 minute. Mix until smooth. Cool and spread evenly over pie. Sprinkle top with remaining chips.

Step 6
Chill in freezer for 1 hour. Then cover and chill another 2 hours or until you serve! Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Party Like a Christian!

I think one of the things that youth leaders battle is trying to "make Christianity fun."  We try to balance between discipleship and a good show. It is a delicate balance! We can not just draw them in by our outrageous programs, but we must also draw them near to Christ, build the foundations of their faith and then lead them down the path to spiritual maturity!
The great part is, there are already many things that we can do that will accomplish both agendas! One of these is to take part in events that take place near you - concerts, conventions...these are great places for your teens to have a great time and get a real, impacting message. One of these places is

Winter Jam

I have attended Winter Jam since I was in High School myself! I still remember my first - Newsong, Newsboys, Rebecca St. James... I even went when I was very pregnant, feeling the baby jump to the Newsboys beat! I try not to ever miss a Winter Jam concert!  Now that we work in youth ministry I love it even more!  It is a great experience for our teens to have a great time and see real (cool!) people on fire for Jesus Christ.  It is a place for them to feel unashamed of their faith.  It is a great opportunity for me to connect with them on a level that they are oh, so familiar with - music! And it is a great opportunity to show them that Christians do know how to party! There's singing, dancing, lights, smoke and flames (thank you, Skillet!!) and a whole lot of jumping and screaming! It doesn't get better than that!
The amazing people that put together the Winter Jam tour do an amazing job of giving pure, incredible musical talent, an outstanding show, and real, heart to heart testimonies of faith in Jesus Christ. It's one of my favorite events of the year, and it has become our teens too...they won't let us miss it.  Know how I know?
This year we were planning on attending Winter Jam in St. Charles, MO instead of Springfield, MO (they like the mosh-pit).  When the date came we had 25 teens and only seats for 12 and couldn't find more drivers.  We rescheduled for last night's concert in Springfield, MO.  On the way to the concert last night, we blew a tire on the church van.  Some wonderful kind person changed it and we hit the road again...only to blow another tire. We made it to the tire store, got a replacement and I called my hubby.  He suggested we just come home...not a chance!  Our teens were even more fired up than before! I know that when something great is going on, Satan is quick to try to jump in.  Winter Jam is something great.  We had an amazing night and I heard the feed back all the way home (until they all fell asleep in the back and I had to crank up some Peter Furler jams to keep me awake!)
Winter Jam 2013? I'm there. You should be too!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Alphabet Soup

Last night we played a great game with our youth.  We took 4 bowls of alphabet soup and divided the kids into groups.  The goal was to dig out the letters and form words.  There was a point scale depending on the length of the word, with extra points for books of the Bible.

I began to think, youth ministry is a bit like this game. We have kids of all "shapes" in our youth. Our job is to reach down into that muck of adolescence, pull them out, determine their "shape" and then find them a place that fits. We think it is important that each teen take part in the body of our youth. We seek to find what interests and talents each one has and put them to work! We have teens in our youth band. We have teens that run projection. We have teens that decorate. We have teens that serve in the background. It is our goal to give them a taste of what it will be like to be a part of the church body as adults and hopefully we will form them into strong church leaders.
As far as the ultimate message...well, we think they've got that: