Tuesday, September 20, 2016

How to Change a Child's Heart

It has been a very difficult three months with Little Man.  Completely absorbed in himself, he battles lies, lacks self-control, and struggles with defiance.  He wants what he wants and no consequence is going to cause him to think twice.

Every time Little Man bows up, my demeanor falls as I know it will be yet another battle that I have to win.  And quite frankly, I am tired of having to battle.

A friend told me about a Christian counselor who works with troubled teens at a long-term residential program.  He counsels boys with disorders like ADHD and who have chosen very destructive lifestyles.  Praying he could shed some light on our situation, I called to schedule a session. 

The appointment finally came and I found myself sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of Little Man.  The counselor shared some good ideas, but I left discouraged.  I wanted an ABC answer to produce an XYZ result. I longed for a magic solution to turn Little Man into a compliant, fun, mature eight-year-old. This was not what I received.

Instead I received the following tips.  See if you would have been discouraged too.

1.   Pray for Conviction

An idea from a radio program I heard, I pray that our children will always get caught in their sin.  I never want our children to "get away" with stealing or lying.  In explaining this, the counselor told me to change my prayer from my children getting caught to my children being convicted of their sin.

2.  Children Need Purpose

One of my fears with Little Man is his obsession over random things.  Rocks, computer games, pencil sharpeners.  Obsessions that can quickly turn into addictions.  I discussed this common ADHD character trait with the counselor.  He told me that youth who become addicted to drugs, pornography, gambling and alcohol are lacking purpose.  Children who understand their purpose in life don't go looking for it. 

3.  The Holy Spirit will Guide You

There are times in parenting that I have absolutely no idea how to handle the situation.  Not even an inkling. Many times the situation centers around lying.  I know that someone is lying to me but I can't figure out the exact truth.   In situations like this, the counselor told me, "That is when you have to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide you."

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4.  Don't Give Up

In a nutshell, parenting is loving the child and logically disciplining them.  But what do you do when consistency and firm boundaries aren't working?  The counselor quoted to me Galatians 6:9.

5.  You Can't Fix the Issue Until You Fix the Heart 

Since Little Man was very young I have been unable to keep things high enough, locked securely enough, and out of his reach.  If he wants it, he will find a way to get it.  Upon describing this, the counselor explained that you have to fix the heart issue before you can see the behavior improve.

How to Change a Child's Heart

Not receiving from the counselor the magic ABC/XYZ equation to fix Little Man's behavior issues left me discouraged.  But what I failed to realize is that I don't need ideas to change his behavior.  That is temporal.  I need Biblical wisdom to change his heart.  And I praise God that He sent me to a wise counselor who realized this.

Let's look at those points one more time...

1.  Getting caught changes the behavior of children.  Being convicted of sin in their life changes the heart.  

2.  Children who understand their purpose in life don't go looking for it. They know who they are in Christ.

3.  If we daily spend time in the Word and in prayer, the Holy Spirit will guide us to know exactly what our children need.  

4.  We can't lose heart in wise, Biblical parenting.

5.  It all comes down to shepherding a child's heart.

Further resources:

Basic Discipline and Setting Boundaries - Love and Logic
  Ideas for Establishing a Child's Attitude, Behavior, and Character - Have a New Kid By Friday

  The best book that I have read to understand ADHD - Taking Charge of ADHD
This post may contain affiliate links. Without any cost to you, when clicking on these links you are helping to support the further development of this blog and the ABCJLM website.  Images by Pixaby

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Over 75 of the Most Delicious, Easiest Meals for Your Family


Last week I posted on Facebook the need for two dishwashers.  Obviously I am thankful for the one I have but with the craziness of life, I wouldn't turn down a second one.  Why?  Because as our children have grown, my time with them is even more important.  I don't want to be stuck in the kitchen when I could be sitting on the couch listening to them recall their day. 

Turning to Facebook one more time, I went searching for the most delicious, easy meals available.  And boy did you come to my aid.  I dare you to read through this list and not get hungry!


Lauri's Beef roast with Vegetables
Season to taste (I use beef stew seasoning mix packets) put in crockpot in morning.  Add raw vegetables.
One Pot American Goulash
Great for frugally feeding a crowd. - Erica
Sloppy Joes 

Amber's Quick Rice 'n Beans
Brown a pound of beef and add taco seasoning. Then I add 2 cans pinto beans with liquids and 1-2 cans diced tomatoes with liquids (or Rotel if the kids can handle the spice of the green chilies). Serve over rice. Easy! And I always have fresh cornbread, shredded cheddar cheese, and jalapenos for toppers!
Awesome Slow Cooker Pot Roast
I make one large enough to have for dinner and enough leftovers for pot roast philly "cheese steaks" later.  - Amber
Taco Casserole

Tater Tot Casserole

Wendy's Italian Meatball Subs
Italian meatballs with red sauce in slow cooker while I'm at work, return home and scoop onto hoagie buns, top with shredded mozzarella, broil 3 - 5 minutes. Open face meatball subs.
Lauri's Taco Salad or Taco Soup
Brown hamburger with taco seasoning, drain. Make soup with hamburger, ranch dip mix, tomatoes, corn. You can use tomato soup, or cream corn if you like it a little thicker.
French Dip Sandwiches 

Ashley's Taco Pasta
Brown ground turkey/beef/chicken, drain fat and add taco seasoning; boil pasta and drain; combine meat and pasta in bowl. Stir in 4 oz. cream cheese and 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 1 can of Rotel diced tomatoes/chilis to meat/pasta bowl, then eat it up!
Impossible Cheeseburger Pie 

Jessica's Meatloaf Muffins
1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 medium zucchini, grated
1-2 medium carrots, grated
1 large egg
1/2 cup cooked (leftover) rice
1T onion powders
1T garlic powder
Coconut oil (or your fave oil)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375, grease cupcake/muffin pan with coconut oil. Mix all other ingredients in mixing bowl and divide among the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until cooked through, reaching at least 165 internal temp. (Our favorite rice to use is Basmati, but everyone is different)  Serve with any veggies or sides you like!
Pot Roast 

Natasha's Rice and Beans
Boil 2-3 bags rice (10 minutes). While rice is boiling or 10 minutes before rice is done brown meat (1 to 2 lbs ground beef or turkey) add spices (we like chili powder, garlic, onions, red pepper). Drain meat and add 3 cans kidney beans (we like dark or red), add corn (1 16 oz frozen package, 2-3 can corns, or 1/2 family size frozen corn). Mix in rice once beans and corn are heated through. Serve with cheese- our family loves feta or sharp cheddar.

Cassey suggests an Instant Pot

Cassy's Penne and Meatballs
1 lb bag of small frozen meatballs (Italian flavor)
1 box of penne noodles
Jar of pasta sauce, then jar full of water. Layer in that order, don't stir in an Instant Pot. Lid, sealed, then manual pressure 6 min, quick release. It is so good, it's crazy!!
Lynda's Homemade Tacos
Hamburger meat browned. Add ranch style beans.  Then serve with tortillas.  Yummy!


Lacie's Homemade Mac and Cheese
Boil mac, brown hamburger or ground turkey, mix in corn to the mac as it is boiling, strain, add turkey, add milk and Velvetta.
Katy's Hot Dog Casserole
I add a can of baked beans (fix it up with brown sugar, bbq sauce, whatever I have that sounds good) and add about 4 cut up hot dogs (I usually use turkey.) I add beans and hot dogs to a 8x11 pan. Mix a package of corn bread according to directions and pour on top on bean and hot dog mixture. Try to get it to evenly spread on top. Bake in oven according to corn bread instructions. Or just until corn bread is golden and cooked through. Easy and cheap!


Lacie's Chicken & Rice
 Chicken, cream of chicken soup, cheddar cheese soup in a crockpot. Serve over rice.
Charla's Crockpot Italian Chicken
Dump in a crockpot chicken breasts and a bottle of Italian dressing.  Cover, cook on high 4 hours (or longer if chicken is frozen)
Easiest Mexican Chicken Nachos 

Debra's Chicken and Rice (or Noodles)
Chicken in the crockpot add cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup& cream of celery soup. Add rice or noodles.
Jessica's Chicken Tacos
Cook chicken in a skillet with taco seasoning and add a bag of frozen peppers. Serve as tacos or burritos.
Honey Dijon Chicken

Bethany's Chicken Sandwiches
Shredded chicken, mix with salsa, and verde salsa (however much you want, I do about equal parts), heat on the stove. Serve on sandwich buns, top with sour cream, avocados, and shredded Colby cheese. 
Cafe Rio Shredded Chicken Copycat
This slow cooker chicken is super moist and a crowd-pleaser for yummy chicken tacos if you're tired of the same old beef! I usually skip the dressing, but it looks great!  - Amber
Bree's One Casserole Dish Meal
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed potatoes, frozen green beans or broccoli. Line up each food longest length side by side. Take one stick of butter and slice thinly, place slices all over the top of food, sprinkle with 1 packet of Italian or ranch dry mix seasoning. Bake at 350 for 45 mins or until potatoes are tender.
Skinny Orange Chicken 
I've used the sauce on bought chicken bites and done it with shredded chicken. Lots of options. - Rachel
Caryn's Crockpot Chicken
Chicken in the crockpot (you can use boneless or bone in) with half a bottle of Catalina French dressing and a packet of onion soup mix. Serve over rice or noodles. Very tasty
Crockpot Chicken and Noodles (may add peas or carrots)

Country Crock Pot Chicken

Sandy's Chicken and Noodles
4 to 5 boneless chicken breasts in crock pot with one stick butter, four cans of Campbell's condensed chicken broth (you can use a more watered down version but it won't taste as yummy), and one large can cream of chicken soup. I put all that on low for 4 to 6 hours and then pull the breasts out and shred them and add them back with one bag of Reames frozen egg noodles and voila it is done in about 90 minutes. You can season to taste, but it doesn't really need any because of salt in the broth and soup. I serve it with sweet green beans and a pan of Sister Shuberts pull apart yeast rolls (freezer section) and it's a family fall/winter fave.
Loaded Chicken and Potatoes

Carrie's Baked Chicken
Roll chicken into crushed chips and bake.  We like Doritos or Cheetos
Wendy's Chicken Tacos
 Chicken breasts in slow cooker with taco seasoning for soft or crunchy tacos.
Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken

Jessica's Crockpot Fajitas
2 chicken breast
2 fajita seasoning packets
One onion
2 bell peppers
2 cups chicken broth
Shredded cheese
Sour cream

Put chicken breasts, 1 1/2 packets seasoning 1\2 onion cut in strips, 1 bell pepper cut in strips and chicken broth in crockpot. Cook for desired time low or high.
Before serving if desired
Cut 1/2 onion in strips
Cut bell pepper into strips
Cook in skillet for desired crispness with additional packet seasoning to your tastes.
Serve in tortillas with cheese and sour cream. So so yummy!
Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole 

Jenna's Chicken Enchiladas
Shred 1 can chicken
Mix with 3/4 can of mild enchilada sauce and 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Spoon some into tortilla shells
Roll them up and line in a 13×9 pan
Pour remaining sauce and sprinkle cheese over top
Bake at 350 for 25 min.
Marci's and Rebecca's Chicken Tacos
Put chicken breasts in crockpot, sprinkle with packet of taco seasoning, and then pour a jar of salsa over it. Simple and delicious!

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Million Dollar Spaghetti 

Creamy Garlic Pasta -  Could add shrimp, chicken, or vegetables

Make Ahead Ravioli Lasagna - May add hamburger

Italian Wonderpot (One Pot Pasta)

Pasta with 15-Minute Burst Cherry Tomato Sauce


BBQ Sausage & Rice
One of our go to meals is bbq sausage and rice with a side vegetable...we love it and never have any left overs! - Jamie
Funeral Sandwiches (Ham Sliders)

Lauri's Pork Chops and Potatoes or Rice
Brown pork chops, with garlic powder seasonings. Mix cream of mushroom soup with a little onion soup mix. Soup mix on bottom of pan, add pork chops, put soup over chops, bake 1 hour. Boil potatoes slices, or make rice.
Basic Fried Rice with Bacon (or other meats or seafood)

Italian Quesadillas

Misty's Sandwiches
Bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches for dinner!


Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Lacie's Potato Soup
Southern style hash browns, small can of cream of chicken soup, 32 oz chicken broth, bacon bits all in the crockpot. An hour before you eat, add cream cheese. 
Tortellini Soup

Linda's Chicken Taco Soup
Add to slow cooker, 1 can each of black beans, chili beans, corn (drained), tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, chicken broth. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning (mild for my kiddos) and 2-3 boneless chicken breasts. Shred chicken when done. Eat with Tortilla chips, shredded cheese, avocado, and sour cream! 
Denysse's Taco Soup
2 cans of corn
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can Rotel
1 can pinto beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
2 taco season packets
1 dry ranch packet
2 lbs of ground beef or ground turkey

Brown meat, then throw all ingredients in a crock pot! Low for about 6 to 8 hours.  Serve with Fritos, cheese and sour cream!
Brittany's Quick Chili
Chicken in the crockpot add cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup& cream of celery soup. Add rice or noodles.
One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese

Amber's Butternut Squash Soup
Roast your butternut squash in the oven while boiling about a cup of red lentils on the stove, each just until tender. Add both to the blender and puree until smooth. Add a touch of water as needed, until you reach your desired consistency. Pour some puree aside for baby, and then season to your liking for yummy butternut squash soup. I personally thin it a little more with water to make it soupy and add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne. Delicious!


Impossible Easy Tuna, Tomato, and Cheddar Pie
Add dill sour cream to top it. - Sarah
Lentil Burrito Bowls 
Makes a bunch, and my kids all love it! - Carrie
Sweet and Spicy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches


Laura  -
My favorite time saver is to brown a few pounds of ground beef and the package in 2-3 cup portions. They can be easily thawed and used for spaghetti, chili, tacos etc. I also mix up meatloaf and portion into 1/3 to 1/2 cup mini servings (covered with a sauce); when ready to cook, place in baking dish and cook 30-40 min
Sara -
Buy a Ninja cooker.  Super fast meals. 
Holly -
33 3-Ingredient Crock Pot Recipes - I've tried almost all of these and they have all been good, easy, and inexpensive!

Kayla -
Not a recipe but a meal planning service Emeals, has saved our dinners. You buy a membership, pay for it upfront ( ends up being $5 a month) and they plan your dinners for you as well as give you a shopping list for easy shopping. We love it and have been doing it for over a year now! It's recommended by Dave Ramsey and saves us tons of money at the grocery store.
Joan -
I like to cook up a pot full of chicken breasts to have last minute meals. Some can be frozen for later. I use it for quick stir fry, chicken Alfredo pasta, chicken salad, fajitas and other meals. So handy to have on hand!

Beth -
I totally live by the Pioneer Woman cookbooks.
Heidi -
Almost all of these recipes would work beautifully with a freezer meal exchange group

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Monday, September 12, 2016

Would You Take 10 Seconds to Help Me, Please?

So many of you have taken the time to let me know how much you appreciate this blog.  I will be forever grateful for the encouragement.  But do you know the greatest compliment that you can give me is to share Our Out-of-Sync Life with your family and friends?

One way is through Facebook.  Would you please take 10 seconds to click on the LIKE and SHARE buttons below?

Thank you!  And be sure to check out tomorrow's blog post as I will be sharing a collection (from my Facebook friends) of over 75 easy and delicious meals for you to whip up for your family.

Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Creating a Preschool Notebook

Wondering what to do with your little one's art and writing masterpieces?  Check out this idea from 2013. 

With four littles in our house, our refrigerator is not big enough to hold all of the artwork and handwriting papers.  I needed someway to showcase and organize the learning our children were doing during preschool time.  The idea of a Preschool Notebook or Journal came from Dina on the ABC Jesus Loves Me Facebook Group.  It's a way to keep current worksheets and calendars accessible, combine all of the activities that the child has done throughout the curriculum, and see progress along the way.  I love the idea and want to pass it on to everyone.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Preparing to Impress

permission to use

In 2013, I shared a series called "Preparing to Impress." Packed full of practical ideas, it has been such a popular series.  Since we have so many new readers to this blog, I decided to revisit it today.

Before we look at the ideas, I want to explain the meaning of the title.  For when you understand the title, you can understand the contents. 
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.   ~~ Deut 6:4-9
In these verses one word stands out to me.  Impress.  Webster defines it as "to leave an imprint or mark" and "to transfer, transmit."  I love the idea of impressing upon our children the commandments of God.  Our pastor shared the illustration of biting your hand and leaving teeth marks; leaving an impression. 
This series prepares you to leave an imprint on your child's heart.  The ideas will help you transfer to your child what God is teaching you as well as remove any obstacles that would cause this transfer to not impress correctly or deeply.  

But with 15 total posts, it can be daunting to find the information you desire.  Please use the links below to find the topics that will most help you make a deep impression!

Preparing Mommy:
Preparing Your Home:
If the word schedule makes you nervous, think of these as guides to help you organize your day. 

Preparing to Use ABCJesusLovesMe in Your Home
I pray that this info has helped you prepare your heart, home, and the ABCJLM curriculum to impress upon your children the commandments and love of God.  Let me know how it goes!

This post may contain affiliate links. Without any cost to you, when clicking on these links you are helping to support the further development of this blog and the ABCJLM website.

Thank you to all who entered to win Allison's personalized digital party package ($40 value) shared in last week's post.

Out of  110 entries, the randomly chosen winner is:
Entry #43 - Marrissa (email Mrs.Sanc...@)
Please contact me within 48 hours using the winning email address.   Thank you to everyone who entered and thank you to Allison at EyePopDesigns for providing this giveaway.