Thursday, October 31, 2013

Teaching Our Daughters to Rest

Hey you guys! (I just had to say "you guys" once more since I'll be saying "y'all" by Christmas!) 

One of the biggest honors of my blogging "career" is my guest post on Raising Homemakers this morning. In fact, Mrs. Fuentes has invited me to be a regular contributor for the site. Isn't that exciting?! I'm so thrilled to be a part of the blessing that blog is to everyone who desires to bring up girls in the ways of the Lord.

I hope you'll take a minute to check out my article. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Homemaking Party: The Collers Are On The Move!

Welcome to the Homemaking Party! Tonight I've got some EXCELLENT news to share! My hard-working, self-sacrificing, wonderful husband has just accepted a job offer in NW Arkansas! He'll be doing software programming with a great, nationwide company. Can you imagine the fun I'm going to have going from the Pacific Northwest to the South? Ha!

We've got just a couple weeks to pack it all up and move our family of 11 over 1,800 miles across the country! It's going to be an adventure, for sure---and I'm SO looking forward to it!

It's short and sweet tonight---I've got packing to do! I sure appreciate every one of you who faithfully links up your creative posts and leaves sweet comments to encourage me. I'm excited to share this new chapter of our lives with you!

Thanks for linking up!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Make Bake Create #31: Mac & Cheese Breakfast Casserole -- Big Family Recipe

Welcome to the Make Bake Create Party! 5 Blogs-1 party-lots of fun and creative ideas for you!

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I had the opportunity to play around with a new macaroni and cheese recipe this past week, and came up with this unique breakfast casserole. It was a hit with all nine of my kiddos so it's probably safe for you to give it a shot too!

Mac & Cheese Breakfast Casserole -- serves 12

10 c. prepared macaroni & cheese (I used Stouffer's frozen Party Size)
1 lb. ground breakfast sausage
1/2 c. chopped parsley
1/2 c. chopped pimientos
1/2 tsp. pepper
12 eggs
3/4 c. milk

Prepare macaroni & cheese according to package directions. Meanwhile, cook sausage in a large skillet. When it's cooked through, mix in cooked mac & cheese, parsley, pimientos, and pepper. Whisk eggs and milk together in separate bowl and then combine with the mix in your skillet. Pour everything into a greased 13x9 pan and bake at 400ยบ for 50-60 minutes, or until egg mixture is set.

Follow the MBC Pinboard!

There were lots of great ideas and yummy food featured last week.  Here are a couple of my favorites.  If you're featured, make sure to grab a "featured button" for your blog!


Mary Ellen at Recipes, Food, & Cooking shared these yummy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls last week. I just finished pureeing one of our pumpkins to bake with so I think these are on the list!

Shop Girl has an awesomely fattening recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins up this week. Don't these look amazing?!!

Linking with:
Inspire Me @ Mamabuzz

Monday, October 28, 2013

#ad Sunday Night Easy Dinner with Tyson Chicken Nuggets #LoveUrNuggets #cbias #shop

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client. All opinions are honest and are my own.
As much as we try to keep things to a minimum, Sunday is still a pretty busy day for our family. By the time dinnertime comes around, I'm always ready to just break out the pb&j and call it good. Tyson came to my rescue tonight with two varieties of gourmet chicken nuggets: Cheesy Chicken Nuggets and Spicy Chicken Nuggets.

One of the reasons I have difficulty spending a lot of time on Sunday night dinner is because we all tend to nap late. Once church is done and we have lunch, we're ready for a long rest. Liam (3) and Kynthia (2) woke up from their naps just in time to help me get our special dinner in the oven this afternoon.

Our family buys Tyson nuggets often, but we'd not yet tried these two new flavors. Yesterday, during my weekly grocery shopping trip to Walmart, I bought two bags of Cheesy and one of Spicy. We have more little than older people in the house and I thought the youngers would prefer the Cheesy ones.

As I was opening the bags to prepare them for the oven, Elisha (10) noticed the coupon for Chuck E. Cheese's tokens on back of the Cheesy nuggets package. He's now planning his June 2nd birthday---at Chuck E. Cheese's, of course!

We paired our nuggets up with some fries and tater tots so there would be something for everyone. I also made a BBQ dipping sauce--my husband's favorite. The kids thought it was pretty awesome when I brought out this big tray of yumminess!

Like I said, Jamie loves BBQ sauce. He will put it on just about anything. I mixed up some homemade sauce and, at first, everyone thought it was too sweet. So, I made some modifications and now it's much better!

Tangy BBQ Dipping Sauce

Just mix the following ingredients until sugar is dissolved and store in the refrigerator.

1 1/4 c. ketchup
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
1 TB. Worcestershire sauce
2 1/2 tsp. ground mustard
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. pepper
3/4 tsp. salt

Everyone wanted to try each flavor of nuggets with both ketchup and the homemade BBQ sauce. They all agreed that both dipping sauces complemented the flavors of the nuggets.

The Spicy ones were the favorite, hands down. Even the little ones liked them at first---but after a couple, they decided to switch back to Cheesy. Overall, our Sunday Night Easy Dinner was a hit!

Connect with Tyson:


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Chicken, Bacon, Mushroom & Snap Pea Skillet for the Homemaking Party

Welcome to the Homemaking Party! I've been experimenting with some gluten free recipes this week and this one is definitely a favorite. Let me know if you try it out!

Chicken, Bacon, Mushroom & Snap Pea Skillet (serves about 8)

5 chicken breasts, cubed
5 TB. cornstarch 
1 lb. bacon, cut into small pieces
2 TB. olive oil
1 1/2 c. chicken stock
2 TB. soy sauce 
3 c. snap peas
3 c. fresh, sliced mushrooms
salt, if desired

Mix cubed chicken and 2 TB. cornstarch together in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, combine chicken stock, soy sauce, and remaining cornstarch, then set aside. Heat 1 TB. oil in a skillet on high heat. Cook bacon pieces for a couple of minutes and then stir in chicken. Cook until chicken is heated through. Remove to a clean bowl and set aside. Add remaining TB. oil to the skillet and stir fry the peas and mushrooms for a few minutes. Add in chicken and bacon, as well as the liquid mixture, stirring well first to recombine the cornstarch and stock. Boil and cook for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened.

Now for the linkup.  Please remember to return the favor by adding my button or a text link to your post.  Have a great weekend!


Hope In Every Season is on Facebook!  If you like what you've read here, please follow me and keep up with the latest posts.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Millionaire Shortbread Bars

When I was in England last month, these shortbread treats were everywhere! Read on to see how easy it is to whip them up!

Welcome to this week's Make Bake Create Party! 5 hosts...5 blogs---SWEET! Meet your hosts:

your hosts

Imagine how many places in the US you can pick up a Snickers or Reese's PB Cups so easily---that's how prevalent these were in England. These and carrot cake--but that's another post.

I came home and immediately began searching for them online. What were these delightful goodies called? I asked a couple English friends on Facebook and it sounds like they're most well-known as Millionaire Bars. The toffee chips on top are my own little addition. Enjoy!

Millionaire Shortbread Bars

Bottom Layer
1 ½ cup flour
¼ c. powdered sugar
¼ tsp. salt
3/4 c. butter, softened

Carmel Layer
½ c. butter
½ c. sugar
½ c. corn syrup
7 oz. sweetened condensed milk
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Top Layer
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
crushed toffee bits (optional)

Butter a 13x9 pan and set aside. Mix bottom layer ingredients until they form a ball. You may need to add a drop of water to get it to form---but I do mean a drop! Press mixture evenly into bottom of the pan. Bake at 325° for 30-40 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool.

While shortbread is cooling, melt butter in a pot on the stove. Then stir in sugar and corn syrup. Once it's combined, boil for 4 minutes without stirring. Then, remove from heat, add sweetened condensed milk, and return to heat. Boil, stirring constantlyuntil it reaches 234° on a candy thermometer (about 5 minutes on medium heat). Remove from heat, carefully stir in vanilla (it will steam at you!), and pour on top of shortbread. Cool completely.

When carmel layer is completely cool and set (about 3 hours), melt chocolate and pour on top. Immediately sprinkle on the toffee bits, chopped nuts, or whatever suits you. Let cool and enjoy!

There were lots of great ideas and yummy food featured last week.  Here are a couple of my favorites.  If you're featured, make sure to grab a "featured button" for your blog!


One of my favorite homemaking blogs is Penny's Vintage Home. She has so many neat ideas! I love her breadbox turned coffee bar. Super cute!

I think this Treasure Map from The Grant Life is just the most awesome thing ever. If someone gifted me with a roller blind, this is exactly what I would do with it! Thanks for sharing, Kelley!

Follow our Make Bake Create Party Pin Board where we will be pinning the projects linked up here!  

* Be sure to include The Make Bake Create button or text link to in your linked post; this is recommended in order to be featured!


Now Ready... set... Link Up!!!

Hope In Every Season is on Facebook!  If you like what you've read here, please follow me and keep up with the latest posts.

Linking with:
Lou Lou Girls Party
Inspiration Monday @ Your Homebased Mom
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch
Motivate Me Monday 
Modest Monday @ The Modest Mom 
Living Proverbs 31
Inspire Me Monday @ Create With Joy 
Masterpiece Monday @ BoogieBoard Cottage 
A Round Tuit @ Creating My Way to Success 
Monday Funday @ C.R.A.F.T. 
Making Your Home Sing Monday
Tabletop Tuesday @ A Stroll Through Life
A Return to Loveliness @ A Delightsome Life 
Teach Me Tuesday @ Growing Home
Tutorial Tuesdays with Hope Studios 
(Titus 2)s Days @ Time Warp Wife
The Scoop @Stone Gable

Monday, October 21, 2013

Am I Doing Enough? The Mixed-Up Priorities of the Average Homemaker

So I'm saved...so what?

Think I'm being flippant? No, just honest. How many of us have asked this question once or twice?

For me, it started out as an honest inquiry: since I'd given my life to Jesus, I wanted to know the next step in the Christian walk. A couple years later, I was wondering what real ministry God had locked away for me in his Super Secret True Calling vault.

Nowadays, I'm well past the honeymoon phase where I'm constantly surfing the waves of baby Christian emotion. I've also worked through my "true purpose" issues since discovering my husband and nine kids were given to me for a reason.

I think I'm now in the stage they call the day-to-day grind. I'm in the trenches...apparently.

Yet, after 15 years of walking with Jesus on a daily basis, I sometimes still find myself asking the question: is there something more?

Now don't get me wrong, this is not a wistful wishing sort of wondering question. I'm not saying, there MUST be more. I'm so thrilled and blessed with the life I have, I can't imagine anything more important and fulfilling for myself than what I'm doing right now.

It's more of an, "am I doing enough?" sort of question. Because, believe it or not, even grounded and mature Christians, even happy and loved wives, even mothers with NINE children, can buy into the lie that says, you're not doing enough.

In fact, just the other night I was telling God how I really don't feel compelled to do anything more than I'm doing already. The responsibilities of home and family are pretty much all I think I can handle right now.

Of course, there was the usual blabbering on about him showing me his will and blah-de-blah. Then, all of a sudden, WHAM! An answer.

"He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" ~Micah 6:8

Do Justly: Treat one another with fairness, be honest, walk in integrity, don't gossip, give one another the benefit of the doubt

Love Mercy: have compassion for one another, put yourself in another's place, think before you speak/act/condemn

Walk Humbly: don't put on airs, listen more than you speak, be who you really are, give all you can

We spend way too much time trying to figure out if we're in the right ministry, if we should take on that one. more. thing. We completely miss the essential character traits that are a million times more important to God than any good works could be.

Anyone with ears, let her hear: just because it's good to do, doesn't mean it's good for you to do.

More on this: Stop the Glorification of Busy

Friday, October 18, 2013

No-Mess Crafting with PomTree #PomTreeKids

When I was asked to do a craft tutorial using mess-free PomTree Kids craft kits, I jumped in right away. A craft day at our house can get out of control fast and the clean up often takes longer than the project! PomTree playsets come with paper, foam, and felt stickers so children can customize their creative project in their own way---without the mess of glue.

Look at all the great goodies we were sent for the PomTree Kids campaign! How exciting! I was given these products for free to use in a campaign for PomTree Kids and Blueprint Social. All opinions are honest and are my own.

 We decided to make the Creamery Playset and the Treat Truck Playset. Since these two seem to go together with a frozen treats theme, we thought they'd be fun for our first go round.

We began by splitting the kids into teams and reading through the instructions included in the box. Because the playsets fit together like puzzle pieces, kids can practice problem-solving by figuring out the best way to assemble them. This is great for our Lego-loving kids.

PomTree states that adult assembly is required---and I agree. The instructions basically say to look at the picture and figure it out for yourself. The problem with this is that the pieces don't always lock together how they should, or the sticky backs are not strong enough to hold things like the hanging window box on the Creamery in place. This was frustrating for some of my older kids, so I helped when needed.

Next we punched out all the cardboard and foam pieces. There were no scissors required and everything punched out easily. I was impressed by the initial sturdiness of the pieces.

Once we assembled the cardboard and foam pieces, (all are interlocking---remember, no glue required!),we began decorating. This was the most fun part for the kids as this was where they really got to use their imaginations to customize the pieces. The boys decided to display one of each kind of treat on both sides of their truck so customers can see all of their options.

The boys thought it would have been fun for the set to come with a stand up cow character so they could walk him around to hand out treats. Since it didn't, they decided they'd use Lego figures as the characters for their ice cream game.

 The girls' playset was supposed to come with two character girls, but they were not included in the box. Luckily, the boys said they could be in on their Lego game as well. (After contacting PomTree, I received a very prompt reply and apology, and our replacement set is on it's way!) All in all, it was another fun crafty day at the Coller house.  Thanks, PomTree!

Would you love to win a PomTree Kids gift basket worth $50? 10 winners will! Use the Rafflecopter widget to enter to win. (Widget may take a moment to load)

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Homemaking Party...Just Barely!

Am I the only one who feels like she's totally running behind? Whew! Holding my head up...trying not to get discouraged here! Hope you all are having a peaceful week. 

Thanks so much to everyone who faithfully comes and links up posts each week. You're all very much appreciated!

Now for the linkup.  Please remember to return the favor by adding my button or a text link to your post.  Have a great weekend!


Hope In Every Season is on Facebook!  If you like what you've read here, please follow me and keep up with the latest posts.

Linking with:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Make Bake Create #29: Autumn Spiced Cornbread

Here is a delicious cornbread recipe I began making for my family a few years ago.  They love it and are always a little bit disappointed now when I try and change things up or make it the "old way".  This batch is arranged on the beautiful fall plate my daughter, Lynzie, bought for my birthday one year. 

Autumn Spiced Cornbread

3 Tb. melted butter
1/3 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 1/4 c. milk
1 1/2 c. flour
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. cornmeal
1 Tb. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk melted butter, oil, milk, and eggs.  (If you put the eggs in after the milk, they won't cook from the heat of the melted butter)  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Pour into a buttered 9" square pan and bake 18-22 minutes at 350˚ or until done in the middle. 

Now Ready... set... Link Up!!!

Hope In Every Season is on Facebook!  If you like what you've read here, please follow me and keep up with the latest posts.

Linking with:
Craft-o-Maniac Monday  
Motivate Me Monday 
Modest Monday @ The Modest Mom 
Living Proverbs 31
Make the Scene Monday @ Alderberry Hill 
Inspire Me Monday @ Create With Joy 
Masterpiece Monday @ BoogieBoard Cottage 
A Round Tuit @ Creating My Way to Success 
Monday Funday @ C.R.A.F.T. 
Marriage Monday
Manic Monday @ Cupcake-n-Bake
Making Your Home Sing Monday
Inspire Mondays
A Return to Loveliness @ A Delightsome Life
Cottage Style Party @ Lavender Garden Cottage 
Teach Me Tuesday @ Growing Home
Tutorial Tuesdays with Hope Studios
Character Corner
Women Helping Women @ Teaching What Is Good 
Domestically Divine @ Far Above Rubies
(Titus 2)s Days @ Time Warp Wife

Monday, October 14, 2013

General Cat O'Neill's Favorite Cat Food #shop #ShebaCat #cbias

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Our cat, O'Neill, doesn't show his emotions much, but I'll bet he's just thrilled with the costume we gave him this morning. On second thought, I think he's pretty embarrassed with his outfit; but, he is thrilled about his Sheba cat food treats I bought him!

We live just a few blocks from our city's main downtown area---a place that gets lots of traffic on Halloween. Local businesses stay open later that evening to provide a safe place for little kids to show off their costumes and snag some great candy. This year, I imagined O'Neill sitting out on the porch, watching the kids go by, and wishing he had his own great costume. 

I felt sort of sorry for the poor guy so I thought I'd make him something that would show off his personality. O'Neill is named for our favorite Stargate SG-1 character, Brigadier General Jack O'Neill. Like his namesake, our O'Neill is a strong and fierce warrior and is brave in the face of danger.

While I was at Walmart, grabbing him a few tasty treats, I picked up a child-sized camo t-shirt to make him a fitting costume. I just cut off the arms and slid his front paws through the holes. The rest of the shirt was just long enough to cover his body, and I made a little do-rag with part of a sleeve.

One way we help keep O'Neill in great shape is by making sure he's got lots of tasty MREs on hand. This week, Walmart has Sheba cat food on rollback for 50 cents each and you can even find a coupon on Sheba's website! I used mine to buy 6 and get 1 free. One thing I like about the way these cans are designed is the easy-to-open tab on top. This makes it simple for my kids to feed him without help.

O'Neill thinks the varieties with gravy are the best and I appreciate the affordable price Walmart offers for this high-quality brand. He's enjoyed every flavor he's tried and, at less than a dollar a can, I love to treat him often. He's a full-grown cat, so the serving size is just the right amount to give him in the afternoon. He's always polite to leave his empty can on the porch when he's done.

Ok, so I don't think he's interested in wearing this camo uniform and do-rag on a regular basis---but I think he'll agree his reward was worth a few minutes of humiliation!

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