Beautiful Work

Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands…. Psalm 90:17a

Pumpkin & Sausage Soup October 31, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kate @ 6:00 am

I’m on a pumpkin kick!  (But hey, it’s only fall once a year, right?)  We tried this soup last week (per Matt’s encouraging and my skepticism) and REALLY enjoyed it!  I got past the fact that it wasn’t a sweet pumpkin flavor, like all the other pumpkin things I’m used to, but it was a deliciously light savory pumpkin.  It was wonderful with some biscuits … although THEY weren’t low-carb! :)  Give it a try and enjoy!  (I didn’t serve it in a pumpkin, but isn’t that a great idea!?)

Low-Carb Pumpkin & Sausage Soup

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces country style sausage (the kind in a tube)
  • 1/2 cup onion, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1-2 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions

  1. In a large pot, brown sausage, drain, then add the onion, garlic, Italian seasoning and mushrooms and sauté until onions are translucent.
  2. Add the pumpkin and broth and mix well.
  3. Simmer 20-30 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the milk, sour cream and water.
  5. Serve and enjoy!
 

Giving of what you have October 30, 2008

Filed under: Holidays,Saving money — Kate @ 6:00 am

I love thinking of all of the fun things we could give our families for Christmas!  I always wish that I could give each person exactly what they want/need (the practical side of me!) but it’s also a fun time to pamper those that I can’t always pamper!

I enjoy being able to give something handmade.  While I don’t have lots of money to spend on each gift, I DO have some time, talent, creativity and love that I can pour into each one!  In past years I have done fleece vests, hats/scarves, knit felted purses, made book thongs (a beaded string, used as a bookmark!) to go with a good book, done a cross stitch, put photos in a serving tray, and made aprons for the kids!  It’s also sometimes nice to do ONE thing that I can make for all of the girls in our families and ONE thing for all of the boys (eg, purses for girls, scarves for boys.)

There are plenty of things that don’t require being ‘crafty’ to do, maybe they just take more organizing.  Doing gift baskets for families and couples (like Gretchen suggested) is one of my favorite things!  I always have trouble coming up with gifts for the adult males of the families (the ones that love expensive electronic devises) :)  Giving a gift that encourages time together for the couple or family is a good way to keep the gifts personal and fun and affordable.

 

So, you think your stocking is stuffed??! October 29, 2008

Filed under: Holidays,Homemaking,Saving money — Leah @ 6:00 am

I didn’t know the true meaning of stocking stuffer until I became a Moffat.  My husband’s side of our family has a great gift giving method for the holidays.  It goes a little something like this:

Each family member has a stocking at Eric’s parents’ house on Christmas.  Each family unit spends $5 getting a gift (or gifts if you are creative enough with that cash) for each other person.  SO, for example:  we have 8 adults and 8 kids right now.  But since we don’t buy a stuffer for our own fam- our family buys for a total of 11 people (6 adults and 5 kids).  Do the math:$5 across 11 people = $55 for the opportunity to get a gift for everyone in the family.

At first I was skeptical that I could really enjoy gift giving on such a small gift budget per person- but you would be amazed at the things that you can find….without even hitting dollar store.  :-)  Think end of season sales at Bath & Body works, or clearance after Halloween at Target and Walmart (costume accessories for kids anyone?), or Day after Thanksgiving sales at Joe’s or Fred Meyer or REI.  Think magazines and nail polish, fairy wands and matchbox cars, caribeaners and battery testers.  By the time everyone has distributed their stuffers into the proper stockings…they are rather full…or is that rather overfull?!  :-)  Then we open stockings together…instead of opening gifts.  It’s great!

We also buy a gift for Eric’s parents, after all they do for our families all year- it’s a joy to be able to give them something at Christmas!!

 

Family gift giving October 28, 2008

Filed under: Holidays,Homemaking — Gretchen @ 8:14 am

First of all thank you to all who gave me wonderful advice with my vacuum dilemma!!  I greatly appreciate it.

Since we are sharing ideas for Christmas gift giving I thought I would share one idea we started a few Christmas ago.  It can be hard to know what to get everybody on your list especially if you are newly married.  What we do for our family is try and buy one present for an entire family that will help to foster family togetherness.  For example, my Aunt and Uncle and their 3 kids really enjoy pizza.  So for one Christmas we bought them a pizza kit with a stone and gourmet pizza crust and a few non-perishable pizza toppings and they got to have a pizza night together.  Another idea we did for my brother-in-law was to send a breakfast basket since he loves to make breakfast.  He and his daughter enjoyed a fun breakfast together.  Another idea is a family movie or game night.  Really the idea is just to provide a little treat that would help the family spend time together so it really could be anything.  It can get very expensive to buy for every person in a  family and some people do not want to just accumulate stuff.  This idea also really fits well with our current economic status as a lot of people are spending more time at home and less time going out

 

Free Ice Skating in Spokane for AAA members October 27, 2008

Filed under: Saving money,Wife-ing — Kate @ 3:05 pm

Here is a deal I just came across for all of you in the Spokane area.  You still have to rent or borrow skates, but at least it’s free to get in :)  (There are also a few other discounts for AAA members at Riverfront … like $1 off an IMAX movie, etc)

Free Ice Palace Admission with Coupon and AAA Card

From October 27, 2008 through March 1, 2009 receive one free admission (skate rental extra) with this coupon and your AAA card for the Monday evening session from 7 pm to 8:30 pm . The following dates are excluded: Nov. 11, Dec. 22, 29, Jan. 19 and Feb. 16. Must present coupon as the free admission can not be given without it.

AAA Coupon for Ice Palace entrance

 

Planning for Christmas

Filed under: Holidays — Andie @ 8:28 am

   We had a request from a newly married beautiful worker that we discuss what to do for gifts when you have a huge family. Now that she is married, they have 25 family members to buy for! I thought I would broaden the topic this week to planning for Christmas. 

    While I haven’t quite become my mother in buying Christmas gifts in January, I have begun shopping quite early. In September, Christmas was VERY much on my radar. I finished our family calendars by the end of the month because Shutterfly had a 50% off sale. They are currently having the same sale through Oct 29 (midnight west coast time :) ). The first calendar is $20 and subsequent calendars are $10. These make very good Christmas gifts for grandparents, especially. And it is likely that grandpa and grandma will want their own. I don’t mind this since Grandpa is always hard to buy for anyway! 

    With my husband’s side of the family, we have taken to drawing names for Christmas. So each person only buys for one other person. This means that my family of 4 buys 4 presents. Naturally, since moms tend to be in charge of the gift giving department… I take care of all 4 of those presents. Everyone participating sends out a list of gift ideas via email. We put a dollar limit on it, though sometimes people do not adhere to this!! We have liked this system because it allows us to buy less gifts and to focus on fewer people. 

   Last year, Andrew and I started a new tradition in our family of buying fewer gifts overall. Each member of the family only gets 1 gift for each other family member. (At this point, I will be the one taking care of Byron’s gift for Andrew, and I will help Ruth to choose one). My mentor from church  gave me this idea and said that her kids grew up doing this. It helped teach the children to focus on the giving rather than receiving because they would put a lot of thought into the one gift they would give to each person. It also reigned in the “gimme” syndrome that is natural when there is an overabundance of gifts.

 

Pumpkin Coupon October 26, 2008

Filed under: Saving money — Kate @ 5:59 pm

Here is a coupon for some pumpkin … perfect if you don’t have some in the freezer and want to try some of the yummy recipes posted ;)

$1/2 Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin