Monday, April 30, 2012

I love you because...

I am very thankful for my amazing husband and had been wanting to think of new ways to let him know just how studly I think he is.
 I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought it would be fun to recreate it for myself. I stuck one of these babies in a frame, grabbed a dry erase marker and put it on our bathroom counter right by where the hubs shaves off his mountain man beard and brushes his pearly whites. That way he will see it every day. And of course I wanted the first message to really catch his attention...
 But, seriously, this is a great place for me to let my favorite guy know just how much he means to me and how thankful I am for how he serves our family.
P.S. If you don't want to make your own I will happily e-mail you the one I made in Word and then you can pop it into your favorite frame. Just shoot me an e-mail at KatieLRamsey(at)gmail(dot)com.

I am linking up today at The Better Mom and Growing Home!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

About my Sophie

This is my Sophie Nichole. She is just cracking me up lately. She was an early talker and basically started speaking in complete sentences right away. But, she was super shy so she rarely talked in front of other people. I remember feeling so offended when people would say "oh, is she talking yet?" And I was thinking "Yes! She talks about as well as my child two years older than her!" But, she only talked at home and with people she knew really well.

But oh my goodness lately that has changed. She talks to everyone and anyone and she talks ALL the time. At stores she talks the store clerks ears off. She even gets geared up when we are in line and tells me, "I am going to tell that lady about my new purse, and how I got to hunt money for Easter, and how I have a friend named Ara, and how my Grandma has a coat that matches mine...." And then when we actually get up to the checker she proceeds to do so.

Seriously! She. Never. Stops. Talking. Ha!

The hardest part about her being such an early talker and talking so well is I have always forgotten she is so little and my standards for her can get too high. I expect her to behave like a 5 year old should sometimes because she talks like she is one!

Ahhh, but even with all of her non-stop talking I am very thankful for my little Sophie-Lou. She has such a sweet heart. She loves people hard (mostly her Grandma and Daddy these days). She likes to take care of people and talk to people on the phone. She is so precious.

Yesterday she wanted to help me make the brownies for our small group. Honestly, I really just wanted to get them made quickly because I had so much to do but I let her help anyway. I remember at one moment during the process feeling a little annoyed at the extra messes that were being made by my helpful helper and then she looked up at me with those huge blue eyes and said, 
-"Mommy, I just love this."
-"you do?"
-"Yep! Cooking with you is my favorite"
And my heart basically melted. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake

All right ladies. Here is another "recipe" I got my hands on. Like the Ooey Gooey Chocolate Butter Cookies and the Butterscotch Poke Cake I hesitate to call it a recipe because it is just too easy. But, what it lacks in difficulty it makes up for in pure deliciousness. My good friend Crystal shared this recipe with me over lunch on Monday and I was able to run to the store and grab a few ingredients and have a yummy dessert to take to a friend's house for dinner within about an hour.

To make this Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake you need
1/2 stick butter
1 box yellow cake mix
1 can crushed pineapple
1 can cherry pie filling

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix pie filling and pineapple and spread evenly into a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle box of yellow cake mix all over the top (don't mix in). Slice butter in thin slices and set all over the top of cake mix. Bake for an hour.

And as Truvy from Steel Magnolia's would do I chose to serve it with ice-cream to "cut the sweetness".

I am linking up at Raising Homemakers and Raising Mighty Arrows!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Family Worship 101

When we started attending our new church a few months back I learned about a concept that was totally new to me: Family Worship. Family Worship is just that- worshiping God together as a family. At the time we were reading the Bible to our kids every night (which was a huge step up for us from where we started) but we hadn't really taken time to worship together just as a family. We were encouraged to take some time every night to have a family worship time where we read the Bible, sing songs together, pray together, and anything else the Lord lays on our hearts. 

Family Worship is now something we all look forward to in the evenings. But, I have to give all the credit to the hubs. I tend to let routine things fall by the wayside but he makes sure we spend this time together as a family every evening that we can. 

I thought I would share a few of our favorite resources for family worship! Our kids are 5, 3, and 1 so these resources are geared towards younger kids. Do you have any favorite resources you like to use to help you disciple your young kiddos? 

1- The Jesus Storybook Bible- by far my favorite children's Bible. We use this one most of the time to keep things short and sweet but I love the way that the Jesus Storybook Bible points every story in the Bible to Jesus.
2- Our 24 Family Ways- one of my biggest goals as a mom is to help my children develop Christ-like character. I don't think kids learn these things naturally and I think it is important to be intentional. This book is one I am going to start using with my kids and also hope to tie into our homeschool curriculum next year.
3- Questions With Answers- this little C.D. takes the Westminster Catechisms for kids and puts them to music. The first time I listened to this C.D. I thought the songs were a little dorky but as I found my kids (and MYSELF!) memorizing the truths of our faith I was sold.

Another resource not pictured that we love at our house are the Seeds Family Worship c.d.s. They have Bible verses set to music (and not cheesy music... really good music that you actually won't mind listening to) to help memorize scripture! I wish I could get these for every verse I need to memorize.

I am linking up today at Growing Home, Raising Homemakers and Women Living Well!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Max's first soccer game and why I hope to always be a Stay at Home Mom

 Max, my 5 year old, had his first soccer game this weekend. The poor child was not passed down much athletic ability genetically through his father or myself. He hasn't really shown much interest in sports up until now so I wasn't really sure how he would do. But, honestly, he did great. He didn't kick the ball much but he stayed with the team and ran around and had a great attitude. For it being his first game with only one practice before I would have to say he did great!
 It also didn't hurt that he had quite the cheering section... Max's Grandma and Grandpa and his Aunt Emily and Uncle Simon were all there to cheer him on.
 I am so beyond thankful that my kids have such a wonderful family. I love that my parents and sister and her husband are always there for my kiddos. They come to games and dance recitals and are such a huge part of my kids lives. My kids love their grandparents (and frankly, prefer them to Nick and I). I am so thankful that we live so close. Although, I know that even if we didn't my parents would be incredibly involved and try to make it to as much as possible.
They are such an amazing example of grandparents that I hope to always be able to be a "stay at home mom" so that I can be those kind of grandparents for my grand kids as well. I hope to be able to be able to attend all of their activities and if they live farther away travel to visit them very frequently. I just see how special that bond is and I can't wait to keep it up!

I know a lot of grandmas have to work (actually my own mom works but thankfully she is a teacher so we get her all to ourselves in the summer) but I can see so much benefit to not working out of the home even when my children are grown. Aside from obviously being able to serve my husband and church wholeheartedly I love that I could also really serve my adult children by being available to help them. As a mom of young children I know what an amazing blessing it is to have help and I hope to be that for my children (and moms in my church as well).

Linking up at The Modest Mom, Raising Arrows, Growing Home and

Friday, April 20, 2012

Dinner is in the Freezer

Is there anything more beautiful than a freezer packed with meals ready to be eaten?

My sister and I have been on a freezer cooking kick lately. We get together for a day every few weeks and spend several hours cooking and then part ways with several meals a piece. I am now obsessed and in love with freezer cooking. I have a board on Pinterest dedicated to just freezer cooking and another board with freezer meals that can then go straight to the crockpot.

What I love about freezer meals is the time it saves. Not only the time cooking but the time cleaning. With little kiddos right before dinner can be the hardest time of day. Not having to spend time prepping dinner in the evenings has been a life saver!

Last time my sister and I got together we made several recipes from this site.

My sister and I also did our first freezer meal swap with another friend of ours. If you aren't familiar with a freezer meal swap it is when everyone makes a few meals and they make enough for themselves and for everyone else in the group. Then you trade and you have lots of different freezer meals. To start out we each made a soup and a casserole to trade. We shared beforehand what we were making to ensure a variety of meals. I made Skinny Taste's Enchilada Soup and mannicoti (which I now can't find the recipe for but I will be searching because I need to make it again!).

Have you ever done a freezer meal swap? Do you do any freezer cooking? Care to share any of your favorites?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Boys and their toys

Max has always been such a little boy. He loves animals and dinosaurs and pretending to be a super hero. He seriously melts my heart when he tells me that he wants to be Super Max when he grows up because he wants to save the world and then says, "but, I still need Jesus to save me because even super heroes can't save themselves" (insert Momma's heart melting).

But, Jack has been super fun because he is all boy too but in different ways. Jack LOVES cars. In fact, so much so that he goes to bed with one every night and takes one everywhere we go. It cracks me up. Since our home has a farm behind it whenever the tractor is out Jack just stands and watches.
One of my absolute favorite things about having more than one child is just seeing how they are different from one another. Seeing that they truly are little people with their own personalities given by God is such a neat thing to watch play out.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Does modesty really matter?

I love the show The Big Bang Theory. Maybe because I am married to a nerd really smart guy that I just feel like I can relate sometimes! Lately my absolute favorite character is Amy Farrah Fowler played by Mayim Bialik (you know, from Blossom?). She is just hilarious on that show.
I recently found out Mayim is Jewish and because of that chooses to adhere to certain standards of modesty. One of those being that she always wears skirts that come down to her knees. I had never noticed that before but now in every episode of The Big Bang Theory I noticed Amy Farrah Fowler is always wearing a skirt. The first thing that popped into my mind was... "oh wow! She must REALLY be Jewish." At the risk of sounding like "Judgy-Judgerson" lots of celebrities profess a certain religion but one look at how they live their lives leaves me with a big feeling of "yeah, right..." I am not saying that it is just about clothes. But, the fact that she is adhering to the standards of the faith she professes really stood out to me.

And then I look at someone like Michelle Duggar and her beliefs are obvious just by looking at her. (Ahh... but I won't go into all that I love about Michelle Duggar... I think we all already know I am team Michelle all the way)

Now, I am not saying that just because someone shows their faith on the outside means they have it all together or really even do believe what they say. BUT... if we really DO believe what we say, shouldn't it show on the outside?

I think dressing modestly has gotten a bad rap because we look at it as being legalistic. And let's be honest, the Bible seems a touch vague on the subject to me. I mean, I kind of wish Jesus had just laid it out in black and white what we should wear, you know? But, I will say that when I see a woman who is dressed very modestly it does stand out to me and my first thought is that I can tell visibly that they are probably a Christian.

A good friend and I have been talking about modesty a lot lately. I think it had been on both our hearts a lot lately and when we finally admitted it to one another it was like the floodgates opened and we have been talking a lot, sharing a lot of articles, and I think both really taking a closer look at modesty.

When I used to think about modesty I used to think about this:
Photo Source

You know what I mean. Modesty = denim jumper. I am not saying we all need to start wearing denim jumpers (although by all means... and if you look like this model you can totally pull it off well!)

 But, I do think what we might need to consider what we are wearing because the Bible brings it up.

"I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works."  1 Timothy 2:8-10 

And I think that when people look at us it should be obvious that we believe in the book that we claim is absolute truth and that we are trying to do what it says. And this obviously goes way beyond what we are wearing... the end of the verse above points out what people should see in us first- GOOD WORKS.

So, does modesty really matter? I think it does because God's word says it does. But, what does that look like? Anyone care to share their thoughts?

Monday, April 16, 2012

{Thank you}

Thank you so much for all of you that prayed for me Saturday morning. I felt them for sure. I think my speaking engagement with the Effingham MOPS group went pretty well. You know how it is... I felt like I was terrible but all of my feedback was positive... but then people aren't likely to come up and say, "wow, that was just not good at all..." Ha! But seriously, I couldn't have been blessed with a nicer group of ladies to speak with!

I also got a few questions on my last blog post on our new family consequences chart. If you are interested please shoot me an e-mail and I would be happy to e-mail you the Word document that you can edit to fit your own family. E-mail me at KatieLRamsey(at)gmail(dotcom).

I will be back later this week with a post on my sister and my new hobby: {freezer cooking} and a post on modesty. Have a blessed Monday.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Our new {consequence chart}

Oops. I lied in my last post! I forgot I had this one in the works so I thought I would go ahead and finish it up and put it out there.

One of my biggest pet peeves is being around someone constantly threatening their children (stop hitting your sister right now or you are getting a time out.... and then you hear that 25 more times and the little stinker doesn't ever get the slightest punishment!) Well, I might have noticed that I was becoming one of those moms.... oops.

I also firmly believe that for young children the most important thing you can do is be consistent. So, I am not a huge fan of super creative consequences for young kiddos. I think they need to be to the point and easy to anticipate. Nothing is more frustrating or confusing for a little kiddo than not knowing what to expect from their mamma... "Sometimes when I throw a toy I get a time-out, sometimes mom just yells, sometimes the toy gets taken away... I wonder what will happen this time!?" I also like to keep discipline short. A small child is not really going to grasp their favorite toy being taken away all day when they threw a tantrum at 5am.

I had seen the idea for a consequence chart at the homeschool conference and then at Confessions of a Homeschooler. I loved the idea of being able to be super consistent and use the scripture to help your child understand why what they did was not okay.

So, I created my own little system for the Ramsey Family!

There are a few behaviors in our home that lead to a loss of privileges (less serious things like whining as opposed to direct defiance). We decided it would be easiest to list out what we consider to be privileges in our home (TV, Wii, dessert, etc.). In order for the kids to understand and have a visual we made these little smiley faces. If you lose your right to privileges your smiley card gets turned over (for a half day) which helps keep mom and dad on the same page.

We have been using this for almost a week now and I feel like we are already seeing a huge turn around. Our kiddos get ONE warning and then we go straight to the consequence chart. Obviously Jack has a smiley face just to keep up appearances. But, so far this seems to be working well with Max and Sophie.

Growing Home


Hello Friends!
Sorry I have been blog absent this week. I have actually been asked to speak at a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) event in Effingham, IL this weekend. Actually, speaking stresses me out. I feel so unequipped! But, my wonderful friend Elizabeth asked me and I would do just about anything for her! So, most of my mental energy has been spent preparing stressing about that! If you think of it, please pray for me on Saturday!

Thank you! See you next week with some real blog posts!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I heart {Homemade Granola}

Have you seen the price of quality granola at the store lately? To get something without high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils at the top of the ingredient list you have to pay almost $5 for a teeny tiny bag. Which is pretty ridiculous once I realized how totally easy it is to make some yourself!

To whip up your own batch at home gather these ingredients:
4 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup ground flax seeds
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tsp. vanilla
salt to taste

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine wet ingredients in a smaller bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine. Spread out mixture in a cookie sheet and cook for 2 hours at 200 degrees, stirring every half hour. Store in an airtight container.

I think I will be making a double batch next time!

Monday, April 2, 2012


There is nothing quite like having two boys. I am loving these rare moments of brotherly love followed by a WWF match on my living room floor...

Butterscotch Poke Cake

I don't normally love short-cut recipes... canned frosting, get thee behind me... In fact, I am not sure if you can even call this a "recipe". However, this recipe whatever it is sounded too good to pass up. The required ingredients are: a chocolate cake mix, 2 boxes of butterscotch instant pudding and crushed cookies to go on top (and then the egg, oil, and water to make the cake and milk to make the pudding. This recipe is easy as pie cake., and your taste buds will thank you.

Bake the cake according to package directions and when slightly cooled use the end of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the cake. Mix the pudding and milk and let sit for 2 minutes and then pour all over cake (getting it into the holes and spread over the top). Refrigerate for at least one hour and then top with crumbled cookies if desired. I used these ones and they were top notch. Serve cold and keep refrigerated.

The best part about this recipe is the possibilities are endless. Use any combination of cake mix, pudding, and cookies that you like!