Memorization The Easy Way (Part 1)

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Our church attended a ladies retreat about a month ago. The breakaway class I chose was called “Falling In Love With God’s Word.” I learned a new method for quickly learning Bible verses. I don’t know about you but memorization has gotten a lot harder for me over the years, probably because I don’t get the practice with it that I got in school.  I am sure this method could be utilized for anything you needed to memorize and intend for my kids to use it with all their subjects that they memorize for including their Bible verses.

Step one: write the verses on one side of a 3×5 card. I know it looks exactly like your regular  method right?



Next, flip the card over and put the first letter of every word  and all the punctuation. Remember to capitalize properly!




Flip the cards back over to the regular side and read it through a couple of times. Then flip it back to  letter only side and see how well you remember it with just the letters to prompt you. I was amazed at how much you can remember in just a couple tries with the letter only side. . Of course, this isn’t going to put it in long term memory yet.  Now put the card someplace where you will see it several times a day, with the  letter only side visible. The sink where you wash your hands all the time or the cabinet you open fifteen times a day might be good places for you. I put mine on the refrigerator, I have four boys after all and seem to be in the refrigerator a lot! Every time you see it work through the verse. If you have trouble remembering a word flip it over and read it again. As you improve ignore the letters as much as possible and just practice the verse.


Another thing I like to do with verses I am memorizing is to try to get to the heart of the verse. To do so, I like to ask myself questions about the verse. Considering the verse in this manner seems to help me recall when I get stuck so that sometimes I don’t even have to flip the card for the word. Here are a few to ask:

  • What is the main idea of the verse.  Is it about love, mercy, anger?
  • Who is speaking, and who are they speaking to? Job to his “friends”, a prophet to the nation of Israel, Jesus to his disciples?
  • Is this a verse you would use for soul-winning, for comfort or to work on to sharpen your character?
  •  Is it similar to other verses you are familiar with? Which ones?

When you get one memorized put it in your file box and write out another verse. In an upcoming post, I’ll give you a great system that will have you working through all your memorized verses often enough that they will be yours forever!


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Kindle Freebies 10/31/2012

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Lots of great kindle freebies today, most of them about families saving money. We need all the help we can get about that don’t we? I hope you enjoy these selections!



How to Slash your Grocery Bills in Half! 51 Ways to Save Money on Christmas: Living on a Dime Around the Holidays Downshift to the good life (52 Brilliant Ideas)
Coupon 101: Saving Money with Coupons – How to Create a Second Income Couponing in just 15 Minutes per Day! When a Mother Follows Christ Recession Survival Guide: How To Get Back Into the Driver’s Seat

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Kindle Freebies of the Day (Oct 30, 2012)

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I love Kindle freebies and have discovered some excellent books just checking for the free ones. Some Kindle freebies tend to be limited time only so get them quick because you never know when they will go off free status. Remember, you don’t need to have a Kindle to take advantage of free kindle books, you can download Kindle Software for Computers and Other Devices







When God Whispers Loudly Handcrafting Artisan Salves & Lip Balms From Your Kitchen 40 Tasty Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes (Easy Dinner Recipes – The Chicken Crock Pot Recipes Collection) Kindle Buffet: Find and download the best free books, magazines and newspapers for your Kindle, iPhone, iPad or Android
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Fall 2012 Zaycon Foods Events

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I love Zaycon foods. They are one of the few  emails I open as soon as I see it in my email box. I have to admit I was a little leary the first time I placed an order last year and they told me to head down to the local middle school to pick it up during the one hour window. But the prices can’t be beat and when I picked up my first order and saw the quality I was hooked. I’ve had to pass up a couple of sale events because my freezer was overstocked (not a bad problem to have but I sure did regret missing out on their fantastic deals.)



I was amazed at the heft each chicken piece had to it. It isn't lightened up with solution. The breasts are very thick too, I had to pound them out so they would cook in a "normal" amount of time.

Most recently at the October event  I picked up a 40 lb.  box of chicken at $1.69/lb. Zaycon’s boneless skinless breasts are much heavier and thicker than anything you ever get at the store. They don’t inject the sodium solution like the grocery stores so that great price is all chicken and with no 7% “solution”.  My friend and I each got a box and then we put together a bunch of freezer meals.



I am looking forward to trying the Bacon for the first time.

This month (November) it looks like Zaycon is doing ham (20 lb. boxes) and bacon (30 lb. boxes) in my area. I am looking forward to trying these out for the first time especially since my friend heard glowing reviews about the bacon being the best she has ever found. And like most everything I have seen Zaycon is cheaper than anything I have ever seen in the grocery stores at $3.29/lb (unless you count the super icky fatty stuff that does occassionally go on sale) . I know where I am getting my Christmas ham this year!



The best (and probably healthiest) meatloaf I ever made came from my first batch of Zaycon lean ground beef.

In December they are going to be having their ground beef event. I can’t wait for this! Zaycon gets the good quality 93/7 lean Ground beef with no “pink slime” Cases weigh in at 40lbs with a price of $3.29/lb, the same price I am paying locally for the fatty 80/20 stuff on sale. (Who remembers when ground beef was the ultimate budget meat?) . The last time I got Zaycon ground beef was the first time I had ever bought the super lean stuff (because it is so expensive at the grocery store.) I made meatloaf from it and was surprised at the lack of fat drippings. Normally when I make meatloaf from the “cheap” ground beef  I have a puddle of fat sitting in the bottom of my loaf pans but not so with the lean ground beef.


Zaycon has sales events all over the United States. Events start taking orders about a month before delivery and stop taking orders about a week before delivery. You will get to choose your location, often a local school, church or other large parking lot, andbe  given a one hour window to pick up your order on delivery day. Drive up and hand your confirmation slip to the staff and he will load the box into your car without you even having to get out. It is the ultimate in “drive-thru” style service. Head on over to their website and see what great deals are coming up in your area. You might be excited to see their emails too after you experience their amazing quality and fantastic prices.


**All graphics in the post were taken straight from Zaycon Foods website so that you could see the quality of the products they offer. I have not been payed or reimbursed for this post but I do get a $1 credit toward my next purchase with them  if you click the link,register and make a purchase.**



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A Few Kindle Freebies Today

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I love Kindle Freebies. I don’t even have a Kindle but with the software Amazon offers you don’t need to. I read kindle books on my PC or my smartphone. Every now and again certain books will go Free for a limited time. That is when you should snatch them up! Here are some recent finds!


Jam Today: How To Put Up Gorgeous Jams Even If You’ve Never Done So Before Edible History: Easy Recipes for Homemade Mother of Vinegar, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Wine Vinegar
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Spice Cabinet Clean-Out

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 I was cleaning up after dinner this evening and found that these had become evicted from their home!


So I opened up the cabinet they belong in and found  

  I evicted everyone so I could see who was who


The Spice Cabinet is the only place in my kitchen where I keep food. Everything else stays in the pantry.  Only the very most regularly used things are supposed to be in the cabinet!

Things like:


And then of course there is the hot collection we keep handy because my entire family, down to the five year old,  is crazy addicted to hot sauce, hot pepper, hot anything.:

But among the residents I found these poor neglected empties. These guys actually live in this cabinet but they need to be either refilled or replaced!.

There were quite a few unwelcome guests as well. These guys are supposed to be living it up in the pantry!

Finally everyone was where they should be!

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Monday Menu Planning 06/25/12

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I will be short a couple of boys this week as they head off to summer camp with the church youth group. I let Jacob ( #3) set most of the menu this week to ease the sting of not being old enough yet. My nights will be hectic this week so it is a good thing that he  likes things that are easy to fix!

Mon. – Chicken Noodle Soup (from last week – the big pot of spaghetti fed us an extra night so I never made soup!)

Tue. – Gumbo OR Indian Chicken  – depending on whether or not our friends will be joining us – If we have Indian Chicken it will be a simmer sauce out of a jar. Gumbo is my husbands recipe that I will have to post at a later time.

Wed. – Fish Sticks and Tater Tots – prepared according to package directions

Thurs. – Shepherd’s Pie – looking for a recipe for this one. Maybe someone on a link-up has a good recipe. It has to be something I can make in the morning and Jake can heat up when it’s dinner time because I won’t be having family dinner this evening.

Fri. – Rib Eye Steaks on the grill with boiled potatoes and salad with Blue Cheese Dressing.

Sat. – I am so excited that Sat some of my friends are coming over to do our first group freezer cooking session. Dinner that night will be one of the selections from our session! I will post our plan later this week.

Sun is for leftovers


This Menu Plan will be posted to the following link-ups:

 Menu Plan Monday Link-Up hosted by Organizing Junkie .

Busy Mom’s Menu Plan

On the Menu Monday at StoneGable

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Super Easy Crockpot Ratatouille

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I can’t believe I went for far too long in life without knowing about this dish. It wasn’t until the movie of the same name came out I even had an inkling what it was but even  then it took me a few years to decide to try it. I had NO CLUE it would be so absolutely easy until I came across a crockpot version in one of the many cooking mags I can’t help but pick up as they sit at the checkstand tempting me with yumminess. But the recipe in the magazine didn’t make near enough for my brood so I had to adapt.


This is another recipe that I just keep cutting things up until the dish I am making it in is full. In this case I use my 5 qt crockpot (yeah it is that popular!) but you can make it for any size dish you would like.  To start with I take 2 to 3 eggplant and cut into large-ish cubes. Place the eggplant in the bowl and sprinkle 1 Tbsp salt and mix thoroughly . Don’t worry about the sodium- this is to make the bitter come out of the eggplant and after letting it sit for half an hour you are going to stick the eggplant in a colander and thoroughly rinse the salt off. While the eggplant is sitting continue cutting up your choice of vegetables: bell peppers (I like to use a mix of colors), onions, zucchini and tomatoes (I use the entire tomato). For my large crocpkpot I use about 2 to 4 of each depending on the size of the vegetables. I try to use approximately even amounts of things but I also like to use up what I have in the house. Chop up several stems worth of fresh basil leaves and rosemary (or use a Tbsp each dried) and add to the pot. I then add a 6 oz can of tomato paste , a heaping spoon or garlic (okay okay maybe two!), and a couple shakes of salt and pepper. Mix well. I have to make this in a very large bowl and then put it in the crockpot after I mix it up cause the crock gets to full to stir thoroughly.


When it is full to the brim I put the lid on the crockpot, turn it on low and let it go for at least 4 hours. I try not to lift the lid because then I have people asking “Is the ratotaouille ready yet” every 5 minutes as if we were in the car on a very long trip. Add a large, drained can of sliced olives about half an hour before its time to eat.


From what I understand it technically has to have eggplant and basil to be a “true” ratatouille but I have seen versions that are zucchini based with no eggplant, that use other spices (oregano and marjoram for example) and other variations as well. It is highly customizable and a great dish for making sure you use up those veggies before they turn.


We use it as a side dish to just about any meat but usually for the first night I  like to make Ratatouille Chicken. To make this I brown up both sides of our chicken (boneless, skinless) in an oven-safe pan then cover with the ratatouille and bake in the oven at 350F covered tightly for half an hour or until the chicken is done. I suppose if I left room in the crockpot I could just cook the chicken in there, but then I wouldn’t have leftovers. I  use the leftovers for lunch served over rice or pasta or spaghetti squash. Or sometimes I just heat up a bowl and eat it all by itself; since it is full of vegetables that most diet plans consider “free” it makes a wonderful snack when you just need something bursting with flavor.


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Baby Steps: Menu Plan Monday 06/18/12

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A chaotic pantry, a fridge/freezer  stuffed with odds and ends, and a less than stuffed checking account have brought me to the conclusion that I need to return to menu planning. Monday is supposed to be my shopping day. Every week it comes right when it should and yet somehow I am always unprepared for it. So I wander aimlessly through the grocery store picking up a little of that and some of this and spending way more money than I should. When I have planned my menus in the past, I have done  a better job keeping the grocery bill in line and we waste a lot less food. I actually have a few more goals that I think menu planning will help me to achieve over the next year or so but I need to start with baby steps to get the ball rolling! I am going to do an easy week of my go-to, recipe-free  “toss-together” meals.  I will include the general directions for them here. The budget bonus here is that it looks like my grocery list has three items on it (milk, salad greens and celery) so I don’t have to make the big trip into town with my gas guzzler this week.


Coconut chicken and rice  – a yummy looking sauce I picked up when the Costco demo people had it out. Heat in  the crockpot with some leftover chopped  chicken I need to use up then poured over some leftover  rice with roasted zucchini on the side (cubed zucchini coated lightly with olive oil and tossed with whatever spices look yummy at the time then roasted in the oven at 400 and stirred every ten minutes until it is as browned as I like it)


Pork Chili Verde over rice with homemade salsa and other fixings – Take about 3-4 lbs of whatever cheap pork roast type cut you can find , cut it into large chunks and brown all sides in a pan with some onions. Add a large can of green chili sauce to the pan to the pan to deglaze it and get all the yummy bits.  Transfer to a crockpot and cook until the meat falls apart (usually low for a minimum of 6 hours of high for 4) . If you dont’t have the time to pre-brown the pork and onion you can just toss everything straight into the crockpot  but I like the extra flavor it gives it so I usually do. For salsa I dice up and combine  a couple tomatoes, a jalapeno or two, some red onion and some cilantro and squeeze a lemon or a lime over.


Spaghetti  Sauce served over Pasta or Spaghetti Squash – I brown 3 lbs ground beef  (or a mixture of ground beef and hot italian sausage if I can find it on sale) until almost thouroghly browned then add about 8 cups of chopped onions, zucchini, bell peppers and mushrooms. When the veggies are tender and the meat is thoroughly browned add a #10 can of tomato sauce and a #10 can of roasted diced tomatoes (I purchase these large sizes at a restaurant supply) , a 1/2 cup Italian Seasonings ( a premade spice mixture I buy or use your own mixture of dried Italian herbs) and as much garlic as you like. Bring to a boil then turn down heat and let simmer a min of 30 min. I make regular spaghetti pasta for the kids and hubby and I have it over spaghetti squash.


Roasted veggies with sausages – I fill my largest roasting pan full about 2/3 full of chunked potatoes (about half to 2/3 of the entire mixture), onions and bell peppers and sometimes add  zucchini or mushrooms if I have any to be used up (I do!). Coat with olive oil and season with choice of herbs. Roast at 425, stirring every 15-20 minutes, for at least 40 min until potatoes are tender and everything is browned to your liking. Cook whatever sausages (we try different flavors of Costco gourmet flavors) you choose according to package directions. I make such a huge pan of veggies because I then use the leftovers as a basis for Breakfast Burritos or Bowls the rest of the week -fry to reheat the veggies then add eggs and scramble until cooked (generally use a cup of veggies and 2 eggs per person). Wrap in a tortilla for a breakfast on the go or if you don’t need the extra carbs just put in a bowl. My growing kids top with cheese and  sour cream but as I have grown more than enough I do not.


Chicken noodle soup  – Bring  16 cups of broth and a  pyrex quart size container full  of chopped veggies (onions, carrots, celery) and your favorite chicken soup herbs to a boil then simmer until veggies are done. In a seperate pot boil 4 cups of egg noodles according to package direction then drain. When the  veggies are done add the noodles in along with 2 cups leftover chicken.  (This dinner starts from the carcasses of a Roasted Chicken Dinner. We had this a couple weeks ago but my week’s menu plan and the fridge was to full to squeeze a batch of soup into so  I threw the whole carcass into the freezer until a week just like this.)


Fish fillets (prepackaged, cooked according to directions)  with roasted sweet potatoes and zucchini (done just like above but I will keep the veggies seperate and make just enough for the meal. (Cash & Carry had zucchini on a GREAT special so I split a 25 lb case with my best friend and thus STILL have lots of zucchini for my recipes this week)


Sunday is for leftovers.



I will be posting my weekly plans as part of the Menu Plan Monday Link-Up hosted by Organizing Junkie . The accountability will be good for me plus I hope to find many yummy recipes to try.


edit: I have been invited to and found other Menu-Plan link-ups that I have also posted to. I will add to this list as I come across them! Thank you for the visits and invites and yummy recipe resources!

Busy Mom’s Menu Plan

On the Menu Monday at StoneGable

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My Husband, His Helpmeet

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For they Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Is 54:4, KJV)

Eve, the first bride, was given to Adam  as a “help meet for him” as he went about doing the work the Lord had given him to do. Although we try to stay on the same page I do often get distracted with the side projects which seem like worthy plans. Then I remember I am supposed to be helping my husband with the real plan and have to let go of the extra busyness.

And so it is with my Heavenly husband as well. He has a plan, a purpose (2nd Peter 3:9) as well. I am supposed to be helping. I should not be sidetracked with my projects, my busy work. I should be sticking to His vision, His plan.


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