Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Crock Pot Saves the Day

I love my Crock Pot. I really do.

I am a woman who loves routine and order. I like to eat dinner with my family at the same time everyday (5:45 pm in case you're curious). Using my Crock Pot is the only way I can make that happen consistently. I use it once or twice a week (and then we usually eat leftovers once or twice a week).

The biggest benefit to me is being able to prepare dinner at a much more convenient time earlier in the day. In other words: when my children are not hungry or tired. I've learned that 5pm is not a good time to try to cook a meal and only partially pay attention to my children.

So my Crock Pot has saved the day on countless days.

I make quite a few different chicken recipes. This is one of our favorites that I modified from the family cookbook.

Chicken Stuffing in a Pot
2 chicken breasts, frozen
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
2 Tb. orange juice
1 cup dressing mix (like Stove Top-I stock up during the holidays when it's on sale)
1/4 cup butter
Mix cream of chicken soup with sour cream. Add orange juice. Pour over frozen chicken in Crock Pot. Sprinkle dressing mix on top. Melt and drizzle butter on top. Cook on high for 3 hours. Serve with rice.

Here's another good one.

Cranberry Chicken
8 oz. bottle of French salad dressing
1 can of cranberry sauce
1 packet onion soup mix
Mix the above, then pour over 2-4 chicken breasts, frozen. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for longer. Serve with rice.

This is a great recipe from my friend Janene.

Italian Chicken Bowties
1 pkg. Italian dressing seasoning
1 pkg. cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1 large chicken breast, frozen
Mix dressing, cream cheese, soup, and milk in mixer until well blended. Pour over chicken in Crock Pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve over one box of bow tie noodles.

The simplest recipe ever. We had it last night.

Barbecue Chicken
1-2 chicken breasts
1 (18 ounce) jar barbecue sauce
hamburger buns
Put the the chicken in the pot and pour the sauce over top. Cook until the chicken is tender, shred, then serve on hamburger buns.

I love being able to put frozen chicken straight into the Crock Pot!

Another favorite at our house is Crock Pot lasagna. It's not your typical lasagna so don't expect that, but it's a nice noodles and cheese and sauce combo.

And did you know you can cook baked potatoes in the Crock Pot? I didn't until a few months ago, but I tried it and they turned out great!

Looking for more CrockPot recipes? This lady used her Crock Pot every day for one year, so she has plenty of recipes to share.

What do you make in your Crock Pot?

Off the subject, but I had to share a nice Mama Moment.

Yesterday at lunch the Ant Bug turned to me and said "When I grow up I will try to be a good mom like you". My heart melted--all my efforts are not in vain!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The greatest forces in the world..

"It is so obvious that the great good and the terrible evil in the world today are the sweet and the bitter fruits of the rearing of yesterday’s children. As we train a new generation, so will the world be in a few years. If you are worried about the future, then look to the upbringing of your children. Wisely did the writer of Proverbs declare, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

"When I was a boy, we lived on a fruit farm in the summer. We grew great quantities of peaches. Our father took us to tree pruning demonstrations put on by the agricultural college. Each Saturday during January and February, we would go out to the farm and prune the trees. We learned that by clipping and sawing in the right places, even when snow was on the ground and the wood appeared dead, we could shape a tree so that the sun would touch the fruit which was to come with spring and summer. We learned that in February we could pretty well determine the kind of fruit we would pick in September.

"E. T. Sullivan once wrote these interesting words: “When God wants a great work done in the world or a great wrong righted, he goes about it in a very unusual way. He doesn’t stir up his earthquakes or send forth his thunderbolts. Instead, he has a helpless baby born, perhaps in a simple home and of some obscure mother. And then God puts the idea into the mother’s heart, and she puts it into the baby’s mind. And then God waits. The greatest forces in the world are not the earthquakes and the thunderbolts. The greatest forces in the world are babies.”1

"And those babies, I should like to add, will become forces for good or ill, depending in large measure on how they are reared. The Lord, without equivocation, has declared, “I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth” (D&C 93:40)."

Gordon B. Hinckley, “These, Our Little Ones,” Ensign, Dec 2007, 4–9

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mama in Training

Recently the Ant Bug and I had a conversation about mothers.
Ant Bug: "I want to be a mommy when I grow up."

Nurture Mama: "How do you learn how to be a mommy?"

Ant Bug: "You just grow up, and then you know how to be a mommy."

So until my little girls grow up, we are training to develop some of the most commonly used mommy skills.

Making lunch

Reading to children

Cleaning house


Occasionally getting dressed up

Doing the laundry

Multitasking: Holding a baby while blogging or checking email

Home repairs

And the most important skill of all: nurturing your babies.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Father and Mother: Complementary Roles

"It is useless to debate which parent is most important. No one would doubt that a mother’s influence is paramount with newborns and in the first years of a child’s life. The father’s influence increases as the child grows older. However, each parent is necessary at various times in a child’s development. Both fathers and mothers do many intrinsically different things for their children. Both are equipped to nurture children, but their approaches are different. Mothers seem to take a dominant role in preparing children to live within their families, present and future. Fathers seem best equipped to prepare children to function in the environment outside the family.

"Parents in any marital situation have a duty to set aside personal differences and encourage each other’s righteous influence in the lives of their children."

James E. Faust, “Fathers, Mothers, Marriage,” Ensign, Aug 2004, 2–7

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Gospel Art Kit: Have you used yours today?

I really, really love the Gospel Art Picture Kit. It saved me tonight when I was trying to come up with a last minute Family Home Evening lesson.

(Yes, I know today is Thursday. My husband is teaching a class on Monday nights this semester--as a graduate student he doesn't exactly have a lot of leeway when it comes to his schedule--so for now Thursday night is Family Home Evening night at our house.)

Tonight we played Scripture Story Scramble. I had the Ant Bug choose 6 or 7 pictures from the kit, then we each took turns choosing a picture to discuss.

Our selection was pretty random, but thanks to the brief synopsis on the back of the picture we had some great talking points that were perfect for the attention spans of our young children.

If you don't have a copy of the kit, you can access it online here.

This kit was also instrumental in our December plan to focus on the Savior.

Lastly, I have managed to convince the Ant Bug that the music of this musical is fun and worth listening to.

Consequently, we have been talking a lot about the story of Joseph who was sold into Egypt, and she likes to look at these pictures from the kit for a little visual reinforcement. do you use your Gospel Art Kit?

Monday, January 12, 2009

"Our youth need steadfast, courageous mothers."

"Many of you will remember that I have spoken at some length recently about the need to raise up the greatest generation of missionaries in history. Conditions in today's world demand a missionary corps of young men and women filled with faith and deeply anchored testimonies of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith. They need to be like Helaman and his 2,000 stripling warriors, young men who "were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all--they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted" (Alma 53:20).

Helaman explained the power of these young men:
"Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.

And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it. (Alma 56:47–48)
Our youth need steadfast, courageous mothers."

M. Russell Ballard (2003, August 19). "The Sacred Responsibilities of Parenthood," BYU Devotional Address.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


The Ant Bug loves cats.
Photo by samdiablo666

She likes to pretend to be a cat, and spends a lot of time saying "Meow". She also roars like a lion.
Photo by dougwoods

We have printed and colored countless cat pictures.

And we have tried our hands (or should I say paws?!) at any number of cat crafts, like this latest one.

Her favorite movie of all time stars a really big cat.

But mostly, we like to read books about cats.

Kitten's First Full Moon, by Kevin Henkes
This is a delightful story about a kitten's adventure in the moonlight.

Slinky Malinki, by Lynley Dodd
A mischievious cat learns his lesson.

My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes, by Eve Sutton
This is a great book about talented cats from all over the world. But the best cat is the ordinary down home cat who likes to hide in boxes.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Teach your children to pray

"I believe I am safe in saying that the most earnest desire of every true Latter-day Saint is that his children may grow up in the nurture and the admonition of the Gospel, keeping the commandments of God, so that they may be saved in His kingdom.

"I may know the multiplication table, and my wife may also, but I cannot on that account expect my children to be born with a knowledge of the multiplication table in their heads. I may know that the Gospel is true, and my wife may know it; but I do not imagine for one moment that my children will be born with this knowledge. We receive a testimony of the Gospel by obeying the laws and ordinances thereof; and our children will receive that knowledge exactly the same way; and if we do not teach them, and they do not walk in the straight and narrow path that leads to eternal life, they will never receive this knowledge...We find that it is laid down to the Latter-day Saints, not as an entreaty, but as a law, that they should teach their children:
“And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her Stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents;

“For this shall be a law unto the inhabitants of Zion, or in any of her Stakes which are organized;

“And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands,

“And they shall also teach their children to pray and to walk uprightly before the Lord.” [D&C 68:25–28.]
Chapter 22: Teaching Children in the Nurture and Admonition of the Gospel,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant, 199

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