Thursday, May 30, 2013

Simple Six Layer Dinner

This is one of those dinners that is so quick and simple to put together. Honestly, I know it doesn't look the prettiest ever, but it tastes good! It's also healthy, unless you put the fattiest kind of hamburger in it!

2 C. Sliced raw potatoes
2 C. chopped celery
2 C. ground beef , raw
1/2 to 1 C. sliced raw onions
1 C. minced green pepper
16 oz. can cooked tomatoes
2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. pepper

Spray a 9 X 13 pan with cooking spray.  Place ingredients in pan in the order listed. Season each layer as you go so that the given amount of salt and pepper is used.  Garnish with green pepper slices and back at 250 degrees for 2 hours.  Makes 6 servings.


Linking to:Craft-O-Maniac  Mad in Crafts Jam Hands This Gal Cooks Kitchen Meets Girl

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Stroll Through the Garden

If you couldn't already tell, planting and gardening are in full swing at my house this month. Flowers are my other children during spring and summer (my children that don't talk back and always smell good). My hobby stems from my mother-in-laws beautiful garden. Over the years she has taught me a few things, and the mortality rate of my plants is on a steady decline.

My mother in law once told me "What is the point of a beautiful yard/garden if you can't share it with others?". So, that is what I am going to do! I am going to take you on a stroll through her garden and let you be inspired as much as I am.

The amazing part of this garden is that mother-in-law does this on her own! All of the fences, gazebos, and arbors were built by my father-in-law. And that amazing fireplace, my brother-in- law. How is that for talent folks!

Have a good one,
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Monday, May 27, 2013

Easy Teriyaki Beef Stir Fry

This is one of my favorite meals.  It is so easy to make too!! 

Photo Credit
1 package of Stew Meat or chicken pieces
1 bottle of Teriyaki Sauce (I really like this Kikkoman Baste and Glaze)
Cut up Veggies
1 cup Cashews
Cooked Brown Rice

Marinate your meat overnight or at least a few hours before cooking. I like to put it in a ziploc bag and then shake the sauce all over the meat. Coat electric frying pan with olive oil.  Cook meat til mostly done.  Add veggies. (I like brocolli, cauliflower, carrots, celery)  Cook until you can put a fork through veggies.  Add cashews and cook a few more minutes. (I like my cashews crunchy but the hubby likes them tender if you like them tender add cashews when you add veggies).  Serve over cooked brown rice and dinner is done!!!  YUMMY!


Linking to: Not Just a Housewife Lady Bug Blessings Kitchen Meets Girl Pin It

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

265 Ways to Make a Difference in the World

When I was in college, my friend Kindee started a school in Africa {Yep, just like Oprah}.  I'll always remember how my my heart expanded 500 times when she showed me her pictures and told me about her experience.  She inspired everyone around her to MAKE A DIFFERENCE in the world. My life changed because she shared this experience with me.

 Now, as a mother, I want more than almost anything to teach my children to give, serve, and love others {AND NOT just at Christmas time}.  I want to be more involved personally in improving the world--even in some small way.

My heart goes out to the people in Oklahoma who are now homeless or who have lost loved ones in the tornado this week. I wish I could be there to help.

We can't all go to Africa, or relieve suffering in every tragedy or disaster.  However, we all can do a little something to serve others and make the world a better place.

 I love Jo from "Little Women"... she said,

Even though we may not know what "splendid" things we'll do, here are some ideas to get your family inspired to make a difference in the world-- big or small. Remember, when all is said and done, the small things are REALLY the big things.

1. FIRST: brainstorm needs in your own family, extended family, among your friends, neighborhood, community, state, and throughout the world....

Hunger, education, safety, disabilities, improving health, sickness, disease, elderly, homelessness, poverty, prematurity, animals, loneliness,  death, depression, birth, those who are overwhelmed, the environment, victims of natural disasters or accidents, violence, abuse, unemployment, soldiers and veterans, refugees, orphans

2. NEXT: Brainstorm places and organizations in need of help... here are some local ideas:

 Nursing homes
Assisted Living Centers
Newborn Intensive Care Units
Homeless Shelters
Shelters for battered women
Animal shelters
Food Banks
Foster care children
Indian reservations
Public pools and facilities
Rehabilitation centers
Blood banks
The Ronald McDonald House
United Way
Community Gardens
Salvation Army
Justice centers
Youth centers
Soup Kitchens

Here are some global organizations that need help and donations:

3. THEN: Figure out what you  feel strongly about, and what you have to offer. What talents do you have that you could use to benefit others-- musical, medical, artistic, crafty, creative, technical, or many others?  How much money are you willing to give or earn to help?

Unless your service is anonymous, make sure to get in touch with the facility or people you are planning to help. Propose your plan, and ask if they need the service you are planning.  {All your work could be in vain if they don't need it}. However, many people will say no when they really need help- use your judgement, obviously.

5. Carry out the plan:
Here are some Ideas... {I originally was going to post 75 ideas, but I just kept finding more. There are millions of ways to serve...}

1. Donate blood

2. Make lunch bags for a soup kitchen

3. Create artwork for those in nursing homes or assisted living centers

4. Play games with people in nursing homes

5. Visit people in nursing homes

6. "Adopt" a grandparent

7.  Help a senior citizen in your neighborhood with their "to do" list

8. Bring flowers to widows in your neighborhood. 

9. Visit your own grandparents.

10. Write a letter to your grandparents... or draw a picture.

11. Collect shoes for homeless children

12. Collect coats for homeless or poverty stricken children

13. Collect stuffed animals for displaced children

14. Assemble "home in a bag" kits for displaced people

15.  Sing or play instruments at nursing homes

16. Ask local "senior center" what needs they have, then do what they suggest

17. Donate books to libraries, hospitals, or schools in need

18. Organize a toy drive for kids in hospitals

image source

19. Make "fun kits" or CRAYON BAGS for kids in the hospital

20. Tie fleece blankets for kids and teens in hospitals

21. Make baby quilts for infants in the NICU

22. Make lap quilts for seniors in nursing homes

23. Donate hair to "Locks of Love" 
24. Run a race for charity or a cure

25. Have a bake sale and donate to a favorite charity

26. Donate pet food to your local animal shelter

27. Write notes-- compliment friends or family members

28. Write thank you notes-- lots!

29. Plant trees (See THIS article about planting 400,000 trees in Haiti)

30. Make pillow cases for cancer patients. Find out how HERE.

31. Make scarves or pretty hats for those in chemotherapy

32. Put money in the mailbox of a family in your neighborhood who you know could use some help

33. Have a lemonade stand and donate to a favorite cause

34. Set up a recycling station in your home

35. Teach others to recyle

36. Take food to a soup kitchen

37. Collect cans for a food bank

 38. Just listen to a senior citizen

39. Make hats for new babies

40. Make surprises for big brother or sister of a new baby- they need some love too!

 41. Help someone write their life history

image source

42. Interview a grandparent, and write down their memories

43. Forgive someone, and do something nice for them

44. Pay for the person behind you at a fast food restaurant

45. Make care packages for soldiers or missionaries

46. Take a meal to a someone who is home bound. HERE is a great chicken noodle soup recipe

47. Bring a meal to a family who just had a baby. HERE are 9 quick and easy dinner recipes

48. Take a meal to any overwhelmed mother

49. Make a treat for a family who needs some cheering up

50. Visit an animal shelter and pet the cats and dogs

51. Ask those who work at an animal shelter how you can help animals get adopted

52. Smile at everyone you see

53. Make jewelry and sell it- donate to cure hunger

54. Collect money for hurricane victims

55. Play bingo with senior citizens

56. Collect batteries to recycle (they contain toxins that are harmful to the environment)

57. Read with kids in foster care

58. Ask local DCFS how you can help children in foster care

59. Make dolls or stuffed animals for children who are taken into foster care

60. Make blankets for children in foster care

image source

61. Make quilts for displaced persons

62. Donate teddy bears for firemen or police to take to kids in distress

64. Collect new cosmetics for battered women shelters

65. Have a coin box in your home- fill it, and donate it

66. Make skirts or dresses for little girls in shelters or 3rd world countries

67. Read the Hundred Dresses by Elanor Estes, then collect 100 dresses to donate to girls in need     

68. Mail treats and small games to cousins who live far away

69. Do yard work for a family who needs some help

70. Mow lawns for senior citizens and single moms

71. Secretly wash cars of single mothers and senior citizens in your neighborhood

72. Make book marks for patrons of the library (there are LOTS of fun ideas- just search on Pinterest!)

73. Take popsicles to a shelter with children

74. Have a day camp for young children in your neighborhood

75. Teach a skill to younger children

76. Babysit for a busy young mother

77. Weed for someone in your neighborhood {anonymously if possible}

78. Donate toys to charity

79. Donate gently used items to 2nd hand stores

80. Read to younger brothers and sisters

image credit

81. Make hair bows for little girls in shelters or justice centers

82. Practice soccer or softball with young kids in your neighborhood

83. Hold a puppet show for kids

84. Teach younger brothers/ sisters/ neighbors a skill

85. Take flowers to someone who needs some cheer

86.  Knit hats for people in need

87. Make dolls for shelters-- try these Mini Swaddle Baby Dolls

88. Make jewelry for women's shelter

89. Make a child life doll  for small children in hospitals

90. Make hygiene kits for homeless people

91. Pick up litter

92. Take out the neighbor's trash   

93. Make a treat for your local Fire Fighters

94. Write a letter to thank your city officers

95. Make a treat and thank you letters for local librarians

96. Take back carts at a grocery store

97. Collect care kits for kids in hospitals or shelters: bubbles, books, chapstick, colored pencils, hair care

98. Make tutus for little girls in shelters

99. Make superhero capes for little boys in shelters or hospitals

100. Have a "bandaid" drive- donate to hosptials or young mothers :)

101. Start a community garden

102. Volunteer in a special Olympics

103. Volunteer at a home for those with severe disabilities

104. Collect money for wheelchairs for those in need of them

105. Collect money for schools for the blind

106. Make a welcome kit for a new family in the neighborhood

107. Make a quote book for a friend having a hard time

108. Plant flowers for a friend who has lost a loved one. HERE is a great container planter tutorial.

109. Learn how to arrange flowers, and take them to someone

110. Make overnight bags for the Ronald McDonald house

111. Make kennel mats for animals in a shelter

112. Make a spa kit for women in shelters

113.  Donate backpacks to kids in poverty

114. Donate clothes to refugees

115. Stop negative comments-- change the subject

116. Tutor immigrants

117. Leave generous tips

118. Take a life saving class

119. Cook a meal at a homeless shelter

120. Become a "buddy" for a child at a homeless shelter

121. Make place mats for people at nursing homes, or homes of those with disabilties

122. Paint fences in the community

123. Host a free movie night for the neighborhood

image source

124. Start a neighborhood clean up project

125. Take baskets of fresh fruit and veggies to neigbors

126. Clean up graffiti

127. Hold doors open 

128. Make rice hot packs for the elderly or sick

129. Make a get well kit for a sick friends

130. Make paper dolls or paper airplanes for a sick child

131. Make homemade playdough for a sick child

132. Go grocery shopping for a home bound person

133. Share inspirational quotes online

134. Host a magic show for children in the neighborhood

135. Collect Pennies for Peace                                                         

136. Repaint lines on a parking lot that needs it in your community

137. Teach a skill to the boyscouts or the girl scouts

138. Make stationary for people in rest homes, and youth centers- to help them keep in touch with family.

139. Take some good books to a sick person

140. Make a new friend

141. Record parents who are in prison reading books- give those to their children

142. Participate in United Stated Indexing

143. Work on your family history

144. Play and have fun with whoever you are with

145. Adopt a national park- donate and help beautify

146. Make bread for neighbors     

147. Sew Pillow case dresses for a cause. Read about it HERE

148. Knit chemo caps. Find the pattern HERE.

149. Help clean and pack for a family who is moving

150. Save money and go on a service expedition in another country (see global organizations above)

151. Give pedicures to expectant mothers

152. Join Dress a Girl Around the World 

153. Make birthday cards for all your friends and family. Mail them on their birthday.

154. Crochet headbands for Elderly ladies, at risk women, or teens in need

155. Make burp cloths and bibs and donate (Here are 57 free bib patterns)

156. Make fairy wands for little girls in crisis

157. Volunteer at your local zoo or aviary

158.Make tote bags with kids' activities for at-risk children

159. Clean up a hiking trail

160. Make a happy pillow for child in crisis center or hospital

161. Make and donate leprosy bandages

image source

162. Donate and decorate journals for at risk youth or adults

163. Make keepsake envelopes for grieving parents who have lost their newborn.. donate to hospital. 

164. Stitch a "pocket heart" to be given to children in crisis

165. Make puppets or finger puppets for underprivileged children.

166. Plan a kickball tournament at a children's home or refugee center

167. Donate board games and card decks to a homeless shelter

168. Donate video games and Disney movies to a children's hospital

169. Collect Books for Africa   send to THIS foundation.

170. Organize a "dog wash". Take money earned to local animal shelter

171. Collect sports equipment for the Peace Corps to take to 3rd world countries through IAYS.  

172. Participate in KidKnits 

173. Paint nails and do hair for residents of a rest home (spa day)

174. Donate to Feed my Starving Children

175. Organize a 5K for charity

176. Hold a fundraising dinner and donate money to hunger causes.

177. Create awareness of global issues (such as the genocide still going on in Darfur).

178. Start a 100 acts of kindness project

179. Help clean up after an earthquake, tornado, or other natural disaster
This is the aftermath of the May 2013 Oklahoma tornado. Image Source here.

180. Paint picnic tables at a park

181. Help bring a clean water system to a 3rd world community

182. Collect money to buy eye glasses for children in 3rd world countries.

183. Collect money for immunizations for children in underdeveloped countries

184. Make birthday cards for foster kids or the elderly

185. Leave money in a vending machine

186. Organize a charity auction- or participate in one

187. Host a baby shower or birthday party for charity

188. Make get well cards for people in hospitals  

189. Donate dress-up clothes to a daycare

190. Make dress-ups for little kids in your neighborhood.. or a princess play apron :)

191. Help get your town to fix dangerous intersections

191. Organize a bicycle rodeo to help kids learn about bike safety

192. Get permission to fix up your city's fire hydrants

193. Make emergency kits for your home and neighbors' homes

194. Start a campaign against teen suicide

195. Start a neighborhood watch program

196.  Organize a self defense workshop

197. Tutor students who are learning English as a second language

198. Organize a story time for young children in your neighborhood

199. Design and paint a community mural (with permission, of course)
image source

200. Organize a food scavenger hunt to collect food for a food bank

201. Organize a clothing drive for a local shelter

202. Collect art supplies for a child in a homeless shelter or crisis center

203. Make first aid kits for homeless people

204. Collect blankets, sheets, towels, and diapers for a homeless shelter

205. Start a project to create a library at a children's hospital

206. Assist Habitat for Humanity in your community

207. Research local historic sites and give research to visitor's bureau

208. Volunteer to help set up for a community event

209. Plant flowers in some public areas

210. Build park benches

211. Make bird feeders for public places, friends, or even for your own yard

212. Start a butterfly garden

213. Test drinking water in various places for lead. Campaign to clean the water if you find it.

214. Create a children's nature garden. Label plants and trees.

215. Plant a tree to honor and commemorate someone

216. Wash windows for a senior citizen

217. Go walking with a senior citizen in your community

218. Celebrate holidays with people at a rest home {bake, dress up in costumes}

219. Organize a pet show for a local nursing home

220. Adopt a zoo animal

221. Organize a neuter and spay campaign for dogs and cats
image source

222. Donate books to a doctor's office

223. Become a foster family for a pet

224. Collect animal supplies for needy families with pets.

225. Thank the garbage man

226. Write love letters to your closest family members (and not just on Valentine's day)

227. Take ice cream to someone who is going through a difficult time

228. Make a memory quilt for the family who has just lost a loved one (use that person's clothes)

229. Participate in Project Linus

230. Give a mini vacation to a family who could use it

231. Look for families whose problems may not be obvious, find a way to lighten the load

232. Take or mail thank you gifts to all of your teachers

233. Make and sell these Soccer Cookies and donate money to Relay for Life

234. Host a play date food drive

236. Teach children to finger knit... then go yarn bombing (it will brighten the area!)

237. Make these quilted jackets for children in need

238. Using old jeans, make kids' purses. Sell them and donate money

239. Make bracelets for Hekima girls in Kenya

240. Participate in virtual baby shower for baby Watoto home in Uganda 
      Must watch video on this link!!
image source

 241. Learn about Reese's Rainbow {A Down Syndrome Adoption Agency}. Help a family adopt one of
       these precious children.

242. Make a glass tile pendant necklace for cancer or aids patients

243. Mail someone you love a long distance hug

244. Invite a struggling family to your house for a good dinner

245. Upcycle old t-shirts by making reusable bags out of them, then use them!

247. Design monsters with kids, and make them together

248. Make blessing bags and keep them in your car for people who need them

249. Take art supplies to the family waiting room of labor and delivery unit of the hospital for siblings of
         the new baby.

250. Make Soap Pouches for children, teens, or adults in need

251. Donate baby items or money to New Hope Foundation in China - for orphans

252. Sponsor a surgery for an orphan through Show Hope (these surgeries help them become
         "more adoptable")

252. Learn about International China Concern and help... watch this video!

253. Donate to ConKerr Caner

254. Participate in the Red Scarf Project

255. Donate to the Fire Fighter's Burn Institute

256. Make sock monkeys for children who need some cheering up

257. Make blankets, hats, mittens, and other warm clothing for children in cold and poor areas
        (such as Mongolia or Romania)

258. Make {adorable} educational bean bags for children in need

259. Sponsor a child through Orphan Outreach in Russia, Kenya, Guatemala,  Honduras, India
        or Latvia

image source

260. Assemble birthing kits for women in Haiti through Konbit Sante

261. Sign up for Konbit Sante and find the latest project to help Haiti

262. Join Craft Hope!!! An amazing lady started this organization- she lists new projects for
        people in need throughout the world.  AMAZING!

263. Donate cards to Operation Write Home

264. Make bracelets or purses, sell and donate money to an important cause

265. Find out about human trafficking and children sold into sex trade. Donate, or find a way to help raise
        donations and awareness.

Resources:  Kid World CitizenUniversity of Nebraska 4-H ResourcesCraft Hope

   My sincere hope is that no one gets overwhelmed by browsing this list. We CANNOT do everything, but we definitely can do something. In the end, it's what we give that really counts. I hope I can teach this lesson to my children.


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