The Nadel family- Enjoy reading our everyday adventures!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I am taking time off from my blog for the next week, as we will be traveling to visit family. I hope you all have time to spend with family, enjoy some new things, and focus on Jesus this Christmas! It is HIS birthday after all!



We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Mini-middles recipe

This is one of my very favorite Christmas cookies ever. I married the son of a baker, and with this son that I married, came his mom's fabulous cookbook! :-D What a bonus! I had all of the recipes that he knew and loved so I could bake and cook them after we married, and I have... many, many times.

I have a vivid memory of visiting my husband's family in their home at Christmas when we were dating. I stopped by their cozy little home on my way home to college. I remember his younger sister, Morgan was putting various cookies in baggies with labels and sending them to her boyfriend at the time...(later to be her husband!) The treats all had such cute names, like "Ting-a-lings", "Mini-middles", "Melting Moments"and "Mexican wedding cakes". There was quite a variety of cookies too! :-D

Here is a recipe from my mom-in-law's cookbook, a delicious buttery cookie that I bake every Christmas!

You might need a little helper to make these with you...

Mini-Middles
1/2 cup butter, soft
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 T vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips

(I usually double the above recipe, since this one only makes about 2 dozen cookies.)
The buttery dough...

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in flour and salt until blended. Shape dough into balls and hide a few (6-8) chocolate chips in center of dough and pinch closed.
Hiding the chocolate chips in the dough... like a secret treasure!

Place cookies 1 inch apart on un-greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until light brown. Remove from sheet and cool. Dip top in powdered sugar. YUM! (TIP-don't leave them in too long, or they'll get too hard! I learned the hard way!)


Hidden treasure... ready to go in the oven!
All baked and dipped in powdered sugar...

See the chocolate hidden on the inside-- what a scrumptious surprise!

If you decide to make these cookies, let me know your review! I'd love to hear your comments!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

New Bunk Beds!

For my youngest daughter's birthday, we also set up the bunk beds in our little girls' room. We had them set up in our old house for the older two kids, but haven't had them set up here yet. We thought the youngest, Bethany was too young to be able to crawl into the big bed, until now!

They were so excited when we set them up, and have loved sleeping in them. Our five-year-old likes sleeping on the top bunk, and is glad that she still has "her bed". It was a little stressful for a bit when she thought she'd need to give her bed to her sister... No, it's still your bed. Yes, you'll still have your bed to sleep in, you'll just need to climb a ladder to get into it! She thought that was pretty cool!

We had to get a new mattress for it, since we only had three twin mattresses. I found one on Craigslist and my hubby picked it up. It's in great shape! We also bought a support board for the under side. It is great to have set up in their room, and makes their room so much more spacious-- without the toddler bed! We gave the toddler bed to some friends, who were happy to have it for their little girl!

Here are some pics of the excited girls:



They were really posing for me...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas Tree decorating

(Well, almost wordless!)

We decorated our Christmas tree a few weeks ago and I never posted pictures of it!

Here is our oldest daughter decorating our little tree in the bay window, that can be seen in through the front windows of the house...
See the leg lamp on the right of the tree? :-D
It's a major award!

All set up, love that the lights are already on it!

No pics of putting on the ornaments... it's a frenzied time!

Add caption
Our youngest daughter "helped" Daddy put the star on the tree this year! You can't really see the crowded areas of ornaments near the bottom, placed by the 3 and 5 year olds... :-D

I love looking at it, curling up under a fleece blanket, sipping peppermint tea in the glow of the tree...

Reminds me of Jesus, His gift of life and death on a tree! What a huge blessing! I hope you know and enjoy that blessing this CHRISTmas!

Psalm 96:12
Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.



Galatians 3:13
 "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us,

 for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas crafts- {Kindergarten}

I have posted before about our homeschooling kindergarten, and the crafts we've made for holidays. We've been having fun making crafts for Christmas this year, so I thought I'd post about a few of them that we've made. If you need something to keep your kids busy this week while they are home from school, you might try a few of these crafts!

1. Paper Chains

These are relatively simple to make, all you need is red and green construction paper and a stapler. I cut the paper into strips about 1" wide. I cut three pages of each color, and had plenty of paper for a long chain! The kids like to help thread the strips and staple them. They're a kid-friendly decoration on our tree each year!
 2: Laced Stocking
This is one from my kindergarten teaching days. We just traced the hook shape onto two pieces of red construction paper,  punched holes while holding the two papers together, and she laced them with a piece of white yarn. Then we wrote her name on it, and added a cotton ball to the top.
 3. Oh Christmas Tree
A friend gave me this pattern. All you need is to copy the pattern onto green construction paper, cut it out and glue it into a tree. It is good cutting practice for any kindergartener! We also discussed the song and the German version, O Tannenbaum, on the day that we made this tree. We read books about Christmas trees too!
Click on the picture and it should be full size for you to print!
4. Jingle Bell Bracelets
These are simple: take three pipe cleaners in red, green and white (one each color.) Thread a jingle bell onto each color, and wind the three colors together, twisting into a circle. They can wear it as a bracelet or place as an ornament on the tree. Shown in the photo above are the three that my kindergarteners made over the years. The yellow is my son's, I guess we couldn't find any Christmas colored pipe cleaners that year! 
The next craft we got from this book, Crafts for Christmas, by Kathy Ross. We found it at our local library. 
 5. Matchbox wrapped ornament
 Take a small box, such as a matchbox or jewelry box. Have your child help you wrap it in Christmas-themed wrapping paper. Tie a bow around the box, and then thread a piece of ribbon or yarn through the top to hang on your tree!

A funny story about this ornament... my older daughter made this same ornament in kindergarten. This  daughter pictured above, Mallory unwrapped Rebekah's ornament when she was age 3, to see what was inside! Imagine her disappointment when it was empty! :-D So we had to finally re-wrap that matchbox this year.

6. Paper Plate angel
 This craft is also found in the above book. You'll have to see the book for the directions, since they are a little detailed. I love hanging my daughter Rebekah's angel each year from kindergarten! (below)
Enjoy! It's fun to make crafts at Christmas! It's also fun to hang them each year...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Emmanuel (song)

I recently discovered a new song by one of my favorite artists, which was released a few years ago. I have posted about songs by Laura Story before (here and here), and this one is one of my new favorites! I love her meaningful lyrics, her sweet voice, and her sincere devotion to our God.


You can listen to and download this song on iTunes here.

Emmanuel

Author:
Laura Story
Lyrics:
Once in royal David’s city
stood a lowly cattle shed,
where a mother laid her baby
in a manger bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little child.

Chorus:
Emmanuel
The promise kept
Its longing of my heart for God in flesh
Through this child, all earth is blessed
Emmanuel

He came down to earth from heaven,
who is God and Lord of all,
and his shelter was a stable,
and his cradle was a stall;
with the poor, the scorned, the lowly,
lived on earth our Savior holy.

Bridge:
Our answered prayer
Our faith’s reward
Redemption’s near
Redemption’s here

Alt Chorus:
Emmanuel
We will rejoice
We will worship you, our Savior and our Lord
We will join creation’s voice
Emmanuel 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Three soup recipes!

We had a birthday party recently, and we made three great soups that were each delicious! So in this colder time of year, here are some yummy soups to warm your mouth and belly!

The first one is from Allrecipes.com, called Sunday Gumbo. We don't usually cook with okra here, and it is unusual for us to buy shrimp. This tasty soup included both, and was nearly gone after our gathering! (It was gone before I got a picture of it, sorry!)

    Sunday Gumbo Original Recipe Yield 16 servings 
    Ingredients 
    1 pound Italian sausage links, sliced 
    1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 cups frozen sliced okra

Directions

  1. In a Dutch oven, (we did it on the stove in a pot) brown sausage and chicken in oil. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm. In the drippings, saute red pepper, onion and celery until tender. Stir in the seasonings; cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the broth, rice and sausage mixture; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, shrimp and okra; cook for 10 minutes or until shrimp turn pink, stirring occasionally.

______________________________________________

This second soup (below) was also popular, given to me by my mom, found in her Guideposts magazine, which she has received for years. She likes to give them to me when she is done reading them, and I enjoy 
the encouraging stories about the way God works. 


Warmhearted White Bean Chili

Need a comforting soup recipe? Cozy up to this twist on red bean chili!
By Brad Schlossman, Fargo, North Dakota

As appeared in
Brad Schlossman, CEO of the West Acres Shopping Center in Fargo, North Dakota, shares the recipe his wife added to the project.  When a mall food court came up with a creative way to help feed a food bank, many families contributed their favorite recipes to the cause.

Ingredients

6 cups chicken broth (2 15-oz cans)

2 15-ounce cans white beans (rinse them first and they won't make you gassy)

4 cups chicken breast, cooked and chopped

½ cup onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 4-ounce cans green chiles

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground red pepper

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 cup shredded cheese for garnish

Preparation

1. Combine all ingredients in stockpot except cheese. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for ½ to 1 hour, or longer. (We made it in a crockpot on low for about 4 hours)

2. Garnish with cheese and serve.

Serves 6

______________________________________
The third one was also from my mom, and she found it in her CrockPot cookbook.

The Best Beef Stew
Makes 9 servings
prep time: 20 minutes, Cook time: 8-12 hours on low, 4-6 hours on high

Potatoes and beef= YUM!!
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1" pieces
1 can (16 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
3 potatoes (I did 6 for our larger group)
1/2 pound smoked sausage, sliced
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped leek (I omitted this)
4 ribs celery, sliced
1 can chicken broth (1/2-1 cup, depending on how soupy you want it)
3 gloves garlic, minced (we left them whole)
1 tsp dried thyme
3 Tbsp water


Combine flour, salt and pepper in a resealable plastic bag. Add beef, shake bag to coat beef. Place beef in bottom of Crock Pot. Add tomatoes with juice, potatoes, sausage, leek, onion, celery, broth, garlic and thyme. Stir well.

Cover, cook on low for 8 hours or on High for 4-6 hours. One hour before serving, turn slow cooker to High. (I forgot to do this and the potatoes were a tad crunchy.) Whisk together 2 Tbsp flour and water in a small bowl, stir into slow cooker (to make gravy, which we didn't really want). Cover, cook until thicker.

This was a nice soup to be able to prepare the night before, and leave in the fridge overnight. Then I put the beef in the CrockPot with the veggies, and turned it on in the morning. It smelled soooo good all day!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thrifty Thursday: Kids' gifts...

 What kind of gift do you give your child who has a birthday in December? Your youngest child who already has plenty of toys? In the time of year when we try not to overspend, and shopping can be a daily event? Something homemade and crafty, that's what!

My youngest daughter, Bethany has a birthday on December 7. Being the youngest, she already has lots of clothes, tights, dresses, toys, games, puzzles... so it is a challenge to find something new and different for her.

This year we made her an Elmo shirt that we printed on our home printer, with iron-on transfer paper. We'd made one when our older daughter was two, and it was a short-sleeve shirt. All I could find at Walmart in her size was a turtleneck, so that's what she got!
Wearing her I <3 Elmo shirt
I also made her a tutu out of tulle, and elastic. I found the basic pattern/ tutorial here. I found the tulle by the yard at Walmart for less than $1 a yard. I bought three yards and elastic for the dress-up skirt.

I found this website which has great, inexpensive gift ideas for kids. I cut up some dollar store sponges for her to stack, line up, and pattern and enjoy during our homeschool time.

I also got her a fun ice cube tray at Goodwill, like I saw used on this website for school time. I already have some pom-poms that she uses for sorting into an egg carton. I also already had some bamboo tongs which we use for saving our fingers while extracting extra hot toast from the toaster oven.

I love inexpensive ideas that will keep them busy when I need them to be busy, don't take up a lot of space,  and are fun to make! Maybe this will give you some ideas for a little special person in your life!

But don't go too crazy getting ideas from the above websites, I will be using some of the homemade gift ideas for Christmas gifts (:-D)... but that's another blog post!

Here are some of my favorite Bible verses related to gifts to leave with you:

James 1:17

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."
Matthew 7:11
"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wordful Wednesday: Ornaments

I am going to highlight a few ornaments from our tree that we have made, or were made by friends and given to us. They are all ornaments that you can make with your children. I love cross-stitching ornaments, but that is not the easiest thing for kids to do, and it can take a little more time. SO here are four easy ornaments to create...
My wreath ornament given to me
 from a preschooler 16 years ago! 
This ornament would be easy, simple and quick to make as a gift for a teacher, friend or neighbor. You would need:
-a green puzzle (maybe from Goodwill)
-hot glue gun
-red thin ribbon.

Directions:
You just glue and stack the puzzle pieces, and add ribbon to the back( hanger) and front (bow). I bet your children could even make it, with the supplies and parental supervision for the glue gun!
____________________________________________
Another one was inspired by a book that I read by Marilyn Boyer, talking about keeping Christmas Christ-centered, and making ornaments with your kids. This is one that she described making, and I really like it. I just typed Luke 2:11 into my word-processing program, and changed it to a calligraphy type (I can do some calligraphy, but not this perfectly!) Then I printed the verse on vanilla card stock, and tore the edges. I punched a hole in the corner. Then I very carefully burned the edges with a candle. You have to be careful because you can burn more than you want! I wanted to give it an antique edge, so that's why I burned the edge. I think I did three of them until I didn't burn too much! : /   After I was done burning the edge, I attached a piece of hemp twine through the punched hole.


____________________________________________________
Several years ago, my family visited Chicago in December. I have family there, and when we had a free day, we visited the Museum of Science and Industry. In December each year, the museum has trees decorated from around the world. They are so amazing, and such a variety! If you are ever nearby in December, it is well-worth the trip! One of the trees (I think it was Denmark) had lots of red heart ornaments on it. Here is some information about the trees and ornaments on them.

For this ornament, I took a piece of wood that was heart-shaped, drilled a hole in it, and painted it red with acrylic paint. I attached some red ribbon. It is so striking on the tree, red against the green-- a perfect contrast! I am sure you could find wooden hearts at the craft store, or you could cut red paper and punch a hole in it, too.

 ___________________________________________________
This final ornament is another one that we saw on a tree at the Museum of Science and Industry. It was also striking because it was crisp, clean and WHITE! My daughter drew an eye on the other side, even though I told her not to... I'm not sure where we got this pattern, but there are two similar patterns below. I didn't want there to be wings on it, so we didn't insert wings. We punched a hole near the top and inserted clear fishing line, or cord. It is an easy one for kids to make! Just print on card stock, cut out and punch a hole!
A beautiful white dove, a symbol of peace!
Here is one printable dove pattern: http://printables.scholastic.com/printables/detail/?id=30515

There is another dove pattern here.


I hope you've been inspired to be crafty and find a fun new ornament to create with your child for your own tree. It is a fun activity for kids to do to stay busy while they wait for Christmas to come!

"Today in the town of David,
a Savior has been born to you; 
He is Christ the Lord."
Luke 2:11

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ladybug rocks

I wore red a lot this past week. Why? you ask... Well, it was L week in our kindergarten in homeschool. Ok... You know, Love= red, hearts... Christmas was starting...=Red. And we discussed ladybugs! I wore my two (yes, I own two pair) of ladybug socks. (See my post about silly socks here.)
A sample from previous kindergarteners...
One of the activities that I have done with my kindergarteners during L week, after reading books and discussing ladybugs, we go outside and find a few smooth, oval rocks. Then we get out our acrylic paints and paint them RED! After letting them dry for about an hour, we add the black details in.

As an added stressor, my almost three year old wanted to paint too. So we got out the smocks and got ready for a mess. And a MESS it was! Oh my-- no spilled paint, but it was all over the hands, table, brushes, chairs, a little on the floor, on the sinks, on the shirt under the smock... sigh. It's all cleaned up now and back to normal!

Here are some pictures of their amazing works of art:
My two-year-old painting...
My kindergartener painting...
Such diligent work requires your tongue in your cheek...
A dry red rock...
2 year old's beautiful creations...
My 5 year old's ladybug rock...

 We will use them as doorstops and paperweights around our house. And just in case you didn't believe me... here they are...
Ladybug socks! :-D

Monday, December 12, 2011

Music Monday: Dynamite song...

Here is my take on one of our kids' favorite songs, which they sing around the house quite often...

On the left are the real lyrics, on the right are my slant on what they mean to me as I train! Since we have potty training our youngest daughter, Bethany for almost a year, that is what they relate to for me... silly, I know...




Dynamite Lyrics (version by Mike Tompkins, originally done by Taio Cruz)

I throw my hands up in the air sometimes (Is this girl gonna figure out this process?)
Saying AYO!
Gotta let go!  (Just let it go, baby girl, let the pee out!)
I wanna celebrate and live my life  (without changing diapers 3-4 times a day forever!)
Saying AYO!
Baby, let's go! (Go, baby girl, go!)

I came to dance, dance, dance, dance (because she's done with diapers!)
I hit the floor   (to change her again!)
'Cause that's my, plans, plans, plans, plans   (that's the problem, it's MY plans!)
I'm wearing all my favorite   (and she peed through her diaper on them again!)
Brands, brands, brands, brands   (Hanes, Gerber, Dora panties)
Give me space for both my hands, hands, hands, hands  (no hands in the potty!)
Ye, ye 
Cause it goes on and on and on    (the diapers and the changing...)
And it goes on and on and on   (again and again and again!)

Yeah! 

I throw my hands up in the air sometimes   (in frustration!)
Saying AYO!
Gotta let go!  (Just let the pee out, relax, girlie!)
I wanna celebrate and live my life (sans diapers)
Saying AYO!
Baby, let's go!   (go without diapers, please!)

'Cause we gon' rock this club   (the potty club!)
We gon' go all night   (with no diaper, but maybe a pull-up!)
We gon' light it up   (if our potty had lights when you peed...)
Like it's dynamite!  (sometimes there's an explosion in there...)
'Cause I told you once   (please try to go...)
Now I told you twice (try again please!)
We gon' light it up   (turn the bathroom light on!)
Like it's dynamite!   (it's bright sometimes!)

I came to move, move, move, move   (hurry, run!)
Get out the way me and my crew, crew, crew, crew  (or brood going into the bathroom!)
I'm in the club so I'm gonna do, do, do, do   (I know how to go, watch Mommy!)
Just whatever I came here to do, do, do, do   (on the potty!)

Yea, yea

Cause it goes on and on and on  (this potty train...)
And it goes on and on and on    (goes on forever, well, seems like it!)

Yeah!

I throw my hands up in the air sometimes (I'm getting desperate)
Saying AYO!     (I'll try nearly anything!)
Gotta let go!    (relax, sit down and try!)
I wanna celebrate and live my life   (without buying diapers!)
Saying AYO!
Baby, let's go!   (just GO!)

'Cause we gon' rock this club    (come join the potty club, baby!)

We gon' go all night   (without a diaper!)
We gon' light it up   (turn the light off when you're done!)
Like it's dynamite!
'Cause I told you once   (turn it off!)
Now I told you twice     (please!)
We gon' light it up  (You can turn on the light this time!)
Like it's dynamite!     (You're dy-no-MITE, girly!)

I'm gonna take it all like,   (all the pee out...)
I'm gonna be the last one standing,   (I'll stand outside the stall and wait for you...)
I'm alone and all I        (alone in the potty? Can that happen?)
I'm gonna be the last one landing  (landing your bottom on the seat!)
'Cause I, I, I Believe it    (I know you can do it, girl!)
And I, I, I
I just want it all, I just want it all    (all done with diapers)
I'm gonna put my hands in the air   (hooray! You did it!)
Hands in the air     (You get a treat!)
Put your hands in the air    (help her celebrate her success!)

I throw my hands up in the air sometimes  (and pray for divine help!)
Saying AYO!
Gotta let go!   (God, help her figure this process out!)
I wanna celebrate and live my life   (I want to move on, is it too much to ask?)
Saying AYO!
Baby, let's go!   (to the potty, now!)

'Cause we gon' rock this club   (big girl club)
We gon' go all night    (someday...)
We gon' light it up   (the bathroom)
Like it's dynamite!   (with your successes!)
'Cause I told you once   (you need to go potty?)
Now I told you twice   (How about we try?)
We gon' light it up
Like it's dynamite!    (You can do it, baby girl!)



You must watch this version on YouTube here. It's our favorite, we've watched it at least 25 times, and it has clean lyrics. The guy who sings it , Mike Tompkins is amazing-- he makes all of the synth, snare, bass, 
piano, etc., with just his mouth!


You can see what it means at my sister-in-law's house here. They're the wonderful folks that turned our kids on to this song...
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