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Friday, December 30, 2011

A Word for 2012

Intentional... Does that word sound familiar?

If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that this was my word for 2011. 

 In 2011 I wanted to be intentional...

Intentional as a wife...
                           as a mom...
                                    as a friend...
                                             as a student the Word of God...

I wanted to be intentional in every way I lived my life.

SO...  as it draws to a close, I am reflecting on this year. 

It is a year that flew by.  
It have been a good year in many ways, a tough year in many ways.  
I have been stretched, I have grown and I am still learning MANY things.

As a wife, I have prayed more for my husband, I have tried to listen more, be less selfish, and love him more fully.
As a mom, I have tried to have more fun with my kids, tried to understand and meet their individual needs.
As a friend I have tried to listen more, talk less.
As a student of the Word of God, I read through the Bible, studied Philippians, memorized scripture.

I didn't always get it right...I have messed up and I have gotten back up.

I have experienced God's grace, God's leading and God's blessings.

SO what about 2012?

I want to continue to be intentional in every area of my life but I have been praying over the last few weeks about another word to help guide this new year.  

The word that continues to come to my mind and heart is ...


tem·per·ate [tem-per-it, tem-prit] adjective

1.moderate or self-restrained; not extreme in opinion, statement, etc.: a temperate response to an insulting challenge.
2.moderate as regards indulgence of appetite or passion, especially in the use of alcoholic liquors.
3.not excessive in degree, as things, qualities, etc.

Through God's power I will be...

Temperate in my speech. 
Self controlled in my interactions with my husband, my children and others. 
Sensible in decision making and goal setting. 
Not unreasonable in my expectations of myself and others.
Prudent in my spending.
Moderate in my eating.
Pure in my thoughts and deeds. 

One area I commit to NOT be temperate in is my witness for Christ!  
I want to live boldly
for HIM 
this year!  

What about you?  Is God speaking to you about how you should live your life in 2012? Prayerfully consider how you will make a difference and allow the Holy Spirit to work in you!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Seasons Greetings!

Hard to believe that Christmas is over!

We had a great Christmas day and now we are enjoying some family time between now and the New Year.

As this year comes to a close, here's a look at some of our memories of 2011. It was fun for me to put this together... looking back, seeing how much the kids have grown and how much God has blessed us.

We look forward to making many more memories in the year to come!

Hope you enjoy it! Have a great 2012!
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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Island Mama in the Kitchen: 6 Week Muffins

I like making muffins for our family but I never know how many to make. A recipe for 12 is not enough for our family of six (yes, my kids will devour 3 regular sized muffins at one sitting) Doubling the recipe make more than enough but not enough leftovers for a second sitting. I know I could freeze the leftovers but I'll probably not remember they are in the freezer. You see my dilemma? Granted,  not a life changing problem but one of those little annoyances that I only remember as I am making the muffins. SOOOOO... when I stumbled upon this recipe I was pleased.

6 Week Bran Muffins (Auntie Anne's Muffins)
Photo from

First of all the name was intriguing... 6 week muffins? At first I though it meant muffins that lasted 6 weeks... I couldn't imagine how fresh they would taste in all that time..okay, don't laugh at me.. I am only a little slow :)

So here's the deal, this recipe makes enough batter for 24- 30 regular sized muffins but you can keep the batter in the fridge for up to 6 weeks!  My dilemma solved.  I can make the exact number of muffins needed at the time and save the rest of the batter in the fridge.  And if I'm the only one that wants a muffin for breakfast, I can bake one or two at a time. 

BUT how do the taste?? I don't know who Auntie Anne is but if I knew her I'd hug her!  The are delicious... really.  They are the best bran muffins I have ever had, moist, tender, sweet but not too sweet.  A perfect muffin in my estimation.  And to top it off... pardon the pun... there is an optional cinnamon sugar topping that my kids {and I} LOVE!  Sometimes I make mini muffins, roll them in the cinnamon sugar and they are almost like eating donut holes.  I have now made 3 batches and I always get 6 thumbs up!  Definitely a keeper.  I can't really vouch for the 6 weeks though since the batter is never around that long!

Here's the recipe as posted on

Six Week Muffins (Auntie Anne's Muffins)

  • 3 cups bran buds (Kellogg's All Bran cereal preferred-the little stick type cereal...not flakes)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups oil
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs , beaten
  • 2 cups buttermilk  (I make my own- 2 TBS of white vinegar or lemon juice and enough milk to make 2 cups)
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Optional Topping

  • butter 
  • cinnamon sugar 


  1. Pour boiling water over 1 1/2 coups of the bran buds. Let stand while mixing other ingredients.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine rest of dry bran buds, flour, soda, and salt.
  3. In another separate bowl, cream sugar and oil.
  4. Add eggs to this mixture.
  5. Add buttermilk alternately with dry ingredients.
  6. Add the 1 1/2 cups soaked bran buds and mix well.
  7. Store batter in fridge for up to 6 weeks.
  8. Bake as needed in 400F oven.
  9. Bake regular size for 15-20 minutes and mini muffins for 8-10 minutes
  10. Dip tops in melted butter and then cinnamon sugar.
  11. If you are really trying to be healthy, skip the butter and just dip the hot fresh baked muffins in cinnamon sugar and it will stick.
    Try them and let me know what you think!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fractazmic!! A Review

I am always looking for ways to make math fun for the kids.   I struggled with some math concepts when I was a kid.  In my experience with the kids,  the more ways something is presented the easier it is to understand.   I was thrilled when I received a deck of Fractazmic cards in the mail to review.

PhotobucketSo what is Fractazmic?   Fractazmic is a fraction card game from the the makers of I See Cards .  They have a few different card games designed to make learning fun. 

With  Fractazmic you can:
  • Quickly learn to convert and add fractions.
  • Understand the relationship between fractions and measurements.
  • See real world use of fractions.
How does it work?


Fractazmic is a deck of 60 cards split into 3 suits, 10ths, 12ths and 16ths.  Each suit has cards that can be converted to the identifying suit.  For example the 10ths suit has cards that can be converted to 10ths namely,one- half, fifths and tenths, the 16ths suit has one-half, quarters, eighths and sixteenths.
Each suit has a graphic that can help to identify the amount that is on the card.  For instance the 12ths suit has a carton of eggs, the 1/3rd card would have 4 eggs in the carton, the one-half card would have 6 eggs and so on.

There are a couple of  ways to play the game but the basic idea is to make hands that add up to one using cards from the same suit.

 So what did we think?

We played this several times over the past few weeks.  It was right on time as Micaiah who is in grade 3 has been covering fractions in his math curriculum.  The first time we played I had to give Micaiah a lot of help but after playing a few rounds he understood the concept of converting fractions.  After the first round I made a cheat sheet for him so he could play more independently and eventually he needed to rely on the sheet less and less.  Eli who is in grade one and has just been introduced to fractions could not grasp the game yet.  He was content to watch us and I am sure he will soon catch on to the concept of adding the fractions together.  When I asked Micaiah what he thought, this is what he said, "It was a bit challenging but lots of fun."

I am sure it is a game we will play again and again. 

Fractazmic is available on the I See Cards website and is priced at $6.95 per deck making it affordable for individual families as well as classrooms that may want to purchase several sets (there is even special pricing for ordering 5 sets or 10 sets).

I See Cards also makes the following games.  Because we enjoyed Fractazmic so much I have added them to my wish list!!

Check out this link to see what others thought of this product.

Disclaimer:  As a reviewer for the TOS crew, I was given this product free of charge in exchange for an honest (favourable or otherwise) review of the game.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Countdown to Christmas: Truth in the Tinsel

Wow! how did it get to be December already?!

I was really excited to come across an e-book this week called "Truth in the Tinsel" written by Amanda White of

Before I found it I had been planning to use the Jesse Tree Devotional we used last year as a countdown to Christmas. It is a great devotional but a little over the kids heads. I did a lot of paraphrasing last year and I wasn't sure how much of it they absorbed.

This e-book however was written with younger kids in mind and so far has proven to be just what we need. The book provides a scripture reading and instructions for making an ornament for each day of December leading up to Christmas.

There are little clue cards that I printed on the back of patterned paper and have strung up across our mantle. Each day for our Truth in the Tinsel time, the kids turn over the next clue and try to figure out what the word of the day is.

As I read the scripture the shout out the word they think as I read it. For example, day one's clue was a candle. The scripture reading talked about the Saviour being a light. Each time I read the word light, they shouted out light. They love that part as I am usually telling them NOT to shout things out. After we read, I talk to them about the key word and introduce the craft of the day. While they are making the craft we have a discussion about the meaning of the scripture, its relationship to Christmas and any lesson we can learn for our own lives. So far the whole process has been a hit... for the kids, and for me! The crafts are easy to prepare and to put together, the devotional is simple and easy enough for Eden to understand but challenging enough to also keep Micaiah's attention.

Here are some pictures from our first 3 days:

Candle ornament- Jesus is our light

Busy at work

Crowns: Jesus is our King

Zechariah with a bubble mouth that the kids popped (to symbolize God making him unable to speak).

Do you have little kids?  Go and check out Truth in the Tinsel.  It's not too late to jump in.  Amanda provides alternate schedules for those that can't or don't want to make all 24 crafts.

Stay tuned for more!