Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Planting An Herb Pot

At our Mom2Mom Cafe @ RB today we got a taste of Spring, even though the weather outside was anything but Spring-like. We broke out of the normal routine and did a demonstration on how to plant flower and herb pots. If you missed it, here are the how-to instructions to plant your own herb pot at home:

To get started, you’ll need the following:

Pot to plant herbs in
Rocks or gravel to fill bottom 1/4 of pot
Potting Soil
Herb plants (the number will vary depending on the size of your pot)

1. Pick your plants.

2. Prepare your pot.
Make sure that your pot has holes in the bottom for good drainage.

Put gravel or small rocks into the container to about a quarter of the pot's depth. This will help water drain out from the bottom of the soil.

3. Fill
Once the gravel is in place, start to fill the pot with a multi-purpose potting soil. This should fill approximately three quarters of the pot's remaining depth.

4. Start planting
Place the herb plants into the pot, with a few inches between each stem.

Squeeze each herb gently from its temporary pot, and tease the roots from the root ball; this will encourage them to spread out.

Place the taller plants in the center of the display, and the trailing ones near the edge. This will help to ensure the best growth. The display may look messy at first, but do not worry, as this will start to fill out and look lush within a few weeks.

Fill in around the planted herbs. Once you are happy with the positions, start to fill the gaps between the plants with potting soil. Firmly push the compost into the gaps by pushing your fingers deep into the soil that you have just added, being careful not to damage any roots.

Add more if necessary. Leave about an inch between the pot's rim and the soil, so that the pot does not overflow when watered.

5. Top the herbs
Cut the tops off the taller plants, roughly halving them in height. This will encourage each herb plant to bush out and provide more leaves to pick at harvest time.

6. Water
Water thoroughly, until the water starts to drain out of the bottom of the pot. The compost needs to absorb a lot on first watering, so expect to apply four litres or so. Continue to water over the coming months, at least every few days, or when the soil seems dry. Herbs like to dry out between waterings, and some herbs such as Rosemary can easily be over watered.


If you have a large window sill area in your kitchen that receives plenty of sunshine, this can be a great place to keep an herb pot, as it is always within reach while you are cooking.

Herbs prefer well drained soil. Let the soil dry out on top between waterings and don't leave the pot standing in a tray of water.

If you like scented gardens, make a version with only highly aromatic herbs, such as basil and lemon-scented herbs.

Herb pots make fantastic gifts for people who enjoy cooking, gardening and easy-to-care for plants. Add a large bow around the middle of the pot and present to your recipient with a card.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mad Deal Mondays - Ever After Resale

Introducing Mad Deal Mondays!!!

One of our great moms is helping us with some amazing deals and sales. Check back every week for a new way to save...we can all use that!

Here is this week's "Mad Deal" -

Portland's Premiere Baby Sale...

April 3rd and 4th

Only high end items at this re-sale...SALE!
Plus, if you consign and volunteer at the event for only one eight hour shift, you get 80% of your total sales... Not just 40% like everyone else. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Fruitful Friday - Baked Omelet

Sorry Ladies for not getting my post up for you on Friday. I have company in town, coupled with Spring Break...Friday came and went.

In honor of having guests in the house, I want to share my favorite "Make the Night Before" breakfast dish:

Baked Omelet

Mix the following ingredients in a large bowl (this is the "base" mixture):

10 Eggs, beaten
1 small container Cottage Cheese
2 (or more) cups grated Cheddar Cheese
1 (or more) cups grated Monterey Jack Cheese

Add any of the following ingredients to Base mixture:

Sauted Mushrooms and/or Spinach
Green Onions
Bell Peppers
Green Chilis
Cubed Ham
Crumbled Bacon
Crumbled, Cooked Sausage
(or any leftovers you want to use up)

Place mixture in a 9x13 pan and bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Then turn oven down to 325 and bake for 25 minutes longer. Recipe can be cooked right away or refrigerated overnight.
Ladies, please remember though, when taking glass pans from the refrigerator, don't place them directly into a hot oven. Let them it sit on top of the oven while you are preheating it to warm it a little bit.
Hope you enjoy this one. Be sure to check back this Friday for the FUNNEST recipe for kids on Easter morning!!!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Kids Learning Activities

Sorry girls, I really did intend to post something every day this week, but, I have a really good excuse as to why I flaked out. My daughter gave birth to her daughter this week, so I have been a little distracted. :) One of the most amazing things about being a mother is watching your daughter become a mother. It truly is the most incredible miracle.

I hope you have all had a wonderful Spring Break here in Portland. I'd love to hear about all of your adventures.

And, here's something I wanted to pass on to you from Dyane:

If you are looking for creative, hands-on ways to teach your child about shapes, numbers, colors, etc. you should check out this website - no time for flashcards. She has a lot of great ideas to keep kids busy with learning activities.

Have a great weekend and we'll see you Tuesday, when mom2mom cafe resumes.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pottery Barn Kids Book Club Event

If you are looking for a spring break activity on the west side of town, join Pottery Barn Kids for a story time featuring Beatrix Potter classics and celebrating the wonderful world of Peter Rabbit™.

This special Book Club event will be held at all Pottery Barn Kids stores on March 24 and March 31 from 10 a.m - 10:30 a.m.

You can also receive a free Peter Rabbit growth chart while supplies last.

Pottery Barn Kids, Washington Square
9345 SW Washington Square Road
Tigard, OR 97223

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Break Fun For Kids

Hey Moms, it's Spring Break in Portland. Woohoo!! I know a lot of families try to get away but even if you are sticking close to home, it's a great time to have a break from routines and spend time having fun with the kids. The Portland metro area offers many fun outings and activities that are great for family bonding.

This week we will be posting some of those ideas. Since the forecast has mostly rain for the week (no surprise there), we'll skip posting any of the great family hikes the Northwest has to offer ;).

Craft Warehouse in Gresham is having a craft time from 11 am to 1 pm Monday through Friday this week. Click here for more information about the crafts they will be doing.

East Portland Community Center - new pool is open - so fun!
Also East Portland Community Center - Indoor play park - M,W,F $1 (but only up through age 5)

Hope you all have a wonderful week enjoying your precious gifts from God. And, if you any fun ideas you'd like to pass on to the other moms, just leave them in the comments.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fruitful Friday - Kids' Lunch Menus

How about starting a conversation about:

Kids' Lunches

Below is a quick reference chart I keep handy. The top section is all the main dishes. The shaded area is a list of sides or snacks. I try to keep my fridge and pantry stocked with all these items, so that I can have lunches ready in a snap.

Sandwiches or Pitas:

- Lunchmeat

- Cheese

- Peanut Butter

- Tuna

- Avocado

- Egg

- Cucumber & Cheese

Hot Thermos Containers:

- Oatmeal

- Chicken Nuggets

- Hot Dog Slices

Tortilla Wraps:

- Cheese

- Lunchmeat

- PB & J

- Pickles & Cream Cheese


- Lunchmeat

- Cheese

- Crackers

- Black Olives


- HardBoilded

- On English Muffins w/ Meat &/or Cheese


- Cream Cheese

- PB & J

- Lunchmeat


- Noodles

- Steamed Rice w/ Hoisin Sauce

or Soy Sauce

- Taquitos

Kids’ Lunch has ONE main dish choice,

ONE juice, water or milk, napkin, spoon & TWO of the following:


fruit slices

cheese stick or slices

chips or crackers

graham crackers

toss salad


bag of granola

fruit snack/leather


celery & peanut butter

carrots & dressing

(sugar treat on Fridays)

These meals are great for lunchboxes with school age children. And for preschoolers, my favorite thing to do is to get 4 or 5 items and put them in small bowls and set them out on the table. They love to "mix and match munch".

Here's a link with a ton of recipes for Quick and Easy Kids' Lunch Recipes at www.kaboose.com.

Will you take a second to make a comment and share some of your favorite lunch ideas for kids?

I'll compile them in a few weeks and create a link to a printable version of our list. Thanks for your input!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Embracing Motherhood

Each mom reading this has a different story. Some of you are just beginning the journey, while others have been at it a while. Some are working moms, others are stay at home moms, and some of you serve in different areas of ministry. But no matter where we are at in our personal lives, we all have this in common: we share the gift of Motherhood.

Today I want to encourage each of you to embrace motherhood. It is the most amazing gift you will ever receive.

Sometimes we can get so caught up in believing the lie that our children are distracting us from more important things. When in fact, raising them is the most important thing we will ever do.

Maybe it's different for you, but when my children were young, I would occasionally get caught up in a pity party when I was stuck home changing diapers or folding what seemed like the millionth load of laundry, while my husband got to be out doing important ministry stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved being a mom. It’s what I always wanted to be when I grew up. And still, I would find myself wishing I had the freedom to be more involved in other things.

During one of those pity parties, while I was complaining to the Lord, He spoke the following truth to my heart:

He showed me that I had right there at my feet, my own little mission field, so to speak. These children were my harvest. I had these precious little lives to shape and mold. They were looking to me, not just for their physical needs to be met, but also to teach them how to love Jesus and grow up to be who they were created to be. It doesn’t mean all those other things aren’t important, it just means that being a mom is the most important calling we have.

God gave me this scripture to hang on to as a reminder through the years:

Deuteronomy 6:5-7 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might. 6 "These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.  7 "You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.

The Message Bible says it like this:

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that's in you, love him with all you've got! Write these commandments that I've given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night.

What this tells us is that first a mother should fill her own heart with God’s word and then deliberately and diligently teach her children every minute of every day. How do we do this? We teach them through our words and our actions.

First and foremost, we should live our lives in such a way that we are a reflection of the love and character of Jesus. We should recognize and take advantage of every opportunity to teach our children what God’s word says.

I took this mandate from God seriously and looked for teaching opportunities. If one of my children had been unkind, I would teach them that the bible tells us in Ephesians 4:32 that we are to be kind to one another and that we are to forgive one another. When they disobeyed we would go to the bible and talk about Ephesians 6:1 that tells children to obey their parents…because it’s the right thing to do, etc. I also started looking for opportunities to pray with them all throughout the day, not just at bedtime. When someone got hurt we would stop and pray; every time we heard sirens, we took a minute to pray for the emergency workers and whomever it was they were going to help. I wanted them to learn that they could pray anytime. I spent time teaching them by my example to love the church and show respect to their leaders (church, school, sports, etc.). I taught them by my example that it was not okay to badmouth teachers, coaches, youth pastors or anyone else when something didn’t go their way. 

Moms, the more time we spend talking with our children about the things of God, the more likely they are to get it into their hearts. After a while, it becomes a way of life.

I encourage you to make sure you are embracing this season and not wishing it to be past, because moms, you only have such a short time to parent these little ones and before you know it you’re 47 years old and you have 3 grandsons and a granddaughter on the way. Believe me, I know ;). Like the commercial says: “Life comes at you fast.” Make sure to embrace every moment.

There is no greater place of ministry, position, or power than that of a mother.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Princess And The Principal

I have always found it humorous how little ones, when they are learning words and conversation, can have words that come out wrong, but in their minds, they think they are saying it right. 

The other day my grandson was in my daughter's bedroom with her. While looking at one of their wedding pictures on the nightstand, the following conversation took place:

Grandson: Mommy, this was when you were a princess and Daddy was a principal.
My Daughter: You mean a prince?
Grandson: Yeah. A principal.

Well, alrighty then. Now that we cleared that up.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Fruitful Friday - Pizza

I am headed to a Ladies Cooking Night tonight!

This is a ladies cooking group, open to anyone who is interested in learning how to cook whether you're a beginner or pro. Come and join us for a fun girls' night out and learn how to prepare an authentic dish from a different country each month. For more information Email Lois.

Tonight I will be demonstrating Pizza.

I am using my Grandmother's Pizza Dough Recipe...sorry, family secret can't give it out. But here is a wonderful website with lots of really great recipes, ideas and information about homemade pizza.

For the blog though...I thought I'd share some of my favorite "cheater" pizza ways:

For the Crust - Boboli is always a good bet, but growing up we used Tortillas as crusts.
For the Sauce - Gotta admit - the jar Ragu isn't too shabby.
For the Toppings - Leftovers always work!

So the idea of a perfect after school snack growing up was a Tortilla with some pizza sauce out of the jar, some cubed chicken or ground hamburger topped with mozzarella cheese.

What are your "quick and easy" ways for a fast pizza?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name”
~ Psalm 100:4 (NIV)

Today I am thankful for:
  • Another day of sunshine!
  • Having grown daughters who like to hang out with me.
  • Watching those daughters become the women God created them to be.
  • All of the wonderful and amazing friends God has blessed me with.
  • Finding old friends on facebook.
  • Only three more weeks until my new granddaughter's expected arrival.
  • Beth Moore bible studies.
What is it you are thankful for today?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Fruitful Friday - Penzeys Spices

In keeping my posts real...I am trying to share what's on my plate this week, rather than stressing out to contrive something out of nothing for you. So this week's food highlight came in the mail for me:
Penzeys Spice - Spring 2009 Catalog
Please know I am not being paid for this unsolicited endorsement, but they are just too good to keep a lid on. I get such a kick looking through this spice catalog, truly a joy for me when it arrives. It comes with tons of great recipes and information on various herbs and spices.

I learn so much about cooking and possible flavor combinations just by looking at the catalog!

And if you get a chance to visit their store (11322 SE 82nd Avenue) ... call it a "Mommy Field Trip"!!! They have more varieties of pepper, cinnamon and salt, than you knew existed. They have individual containers of practically every herb and spice imaginable. And that's only half the store. The other half is devoted to various blends and mixes. You'll walk away enriched (a little less wealthy) but with some goodies none the less.

Because I am charged with providing recipes for the blog...I will pass along one of my favorites from the catalog. Click here for an amazing looking Apple Pancake Recipe.

...I'll give away a CBC Cafe Gift Card for the first lady to try it an give us a review.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Daylight Savings Time

This Sunday, March 8th, @ 2:00 a.m. marks the start of Daylight Savings Time.

We moms know that this minimal loss of sleep can wreak havoc on children's natural sleep systems. 

In order to help the adjustment go as smoothly as possible, here are some tips parents can follow to ensure their children gain a good night's sleep despite the time change:

  1. Make sure that your child is well rested prior to the change.
  2. Maintain your child's regular bedtime and nap times. Resist the temptation to compensate for the lost hour by delaying bedtime or allowing your child to sleep in. This will increase the time it takes to transition. There may be some crankiness from being tired, but this should last only a day or two.
  3. Make gradual adjustments. Some parents find it is best to try to start making adjustments on Saturday night rather than wait until Sunday, a school night. You can also make a slow transition by starting on Thursday night before the time change, moving your child's bedtime earlier by 15 minutes each night. By Sunday night you will be right back on schedule.
  4. Make sure they get plenty of exercise during the day.
  5. Avoid caffeine, as this can disrupt sleep.
  6. No Internet or video games before bedtime as they are stimulating and can make falling asleep harder.
  7. Do not use OTC meds such as Benadryl to knock them out, as you will interfere with their natural ability to change over time.
  8. Begin the winding down process about an hour before bedtime. This gives plenty of time for hygiene, bedtime stories, prayers and so on without feeling rushed or stressed. A nice warm bath is a good way to help them relax.  

Remember, your child will adjust to the time change within a few days to a week.