stories of the Mix family lovin' the country life

Monday, September 26, 2011

Country Corn Bread

I love cornbread, especially with a big square of butter melting all over it.  My mom taught me to make it in a cast iron pan when I was--umm, maybe 7 years old. 

1.  First of all, give the baby a chocolate cookie.  He will happily make a big mess while you make the cornbread.

2.  Put about 5 tbsp shortening, bacon fat, or butter in your cast iron pan.  Place the pan in your oven while it is preheating at 425 degrees.

3.  Mix together 1 cup flour, 1 cup cornmeal, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tbsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt.

4.  Add 1 cup milk and 1 egg.  Stir just until mixed. 

5.  By this time, the fat in your pan should be melted, and the pan should be hot.  Carefully tilt your pan to make sure it is well coated with the fat, then pour most of it into the batter.  Quickly stir and return the batter to the pan.  You should hear a nice sizzle when you pour the batter into the pan.

6.  Bake at 425 degrees until it's done (you know, the whole toothpick thing). It takes about 15-20 minutes.

7.  Turn upside down onto a large plate.  Cut into wedges and serve. 

Hannah Mix

This post is part of a linky party hosted by Raising Four Princesses


Friday, September 23, 2011

Today I held little Jon in my arms.  He fell asleep while he was nursing.  I kissed his cheek before I put him in his crib, and then I kissed him again.  Life goes by so fast.  Tomorrow is not certain.  I held him a little bit longer.  Such a sweet little baby!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Smiling through tears

The smile on my face doesn't really hide the tears in my eyes.

Yesterday we took James and Amber to the airport.

They will gone for just a couple weeks, but soon they will be in Russia permanently.

I miss them so much already.

They are two Christian soldiers on their first "deployment"

I am proud to call them family.

Friday, September 16, 2011

One of the great joys in my life now as a grown-up missionary kid is seeing some of our dear pastor friends who have supported my parents since I was a little girl.  Tonight I was privileged to hear one such pastor preach.  His church has supported my parents for 18 years, and he has been the pastor this whole time.  Not many preachers stay at a church for that long, and not many pastors will take notice of the missionary KIDS.  This pastor and the church where he pastors bring up so many warm memories of everything I loved about traveling on deputation with my parents and siblings.  I really enjoyed the sermon tonight.  Here are a few of things that were said:

"In order for your prayer life to be effectual, you must have a place where you pray every day."

"With everything else that you are doing, how much time do you have left for God?"

"We are good at forgiving people who don't really need it, but we don't like to forgive those who really need forgiveness."

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Let them try

I'm sitting at the table watching Abbey (4) try to eat a grapefruit. I offered to help her, but she wants to do it herself. Grapefruit juice and pulp is flying all over the table and the floor as she stubbornly tugs at her spoon.

One of the things I try to build in my children is independence. Before Abbey was born, I used to teach in a Christian school. Those children who were independent enough to do things on their own were always better prepared to start school. I don't mean a rebellious independence that says, "I am not going to do this the way you said, Mommy." I mean an independence that I can give them a job and they will get it done on their own. I say that as a goal, because we haven't arrived there yet.

My children are preschool age.  There's a lot that they can't do, but yet there's a lot that they can.  By now, Abbey has finished her grapefruit.  She is holding up picture cards and asking Lizzie (2) to name the picture.  She is independently teaching Lizzie and increasing her vocabulary, and they are both having fun. 

Let your children learn to do things for themselves. 

  • Have a small water jug in the refrigerator and let them pour their own drinks. If it spills, have a small mop or a basket of cleaning rags that they can reach and clean the mess themselves. 
  • Let them count out their own snacks.  Show them how many crackers are in a serving size, and let them count their own snack.  (Did you know that 42 mini pretzel sticks are in one serving?)  This is a good way to reinforce math and nutrition. 
  • As soon as they can walk, you can teach them to bring a diaper to you at changing time. 
  • When they are a little older, they can carry Daddy's coffee to him (don't fill the cup all the way).
  • If you keep the cereal and bowls in a lower cabinet, you can teach them to get their own breakfast.
  • You can let each child keep a lunch box in the refrigerator with his own snacks for the week.   This also teaches honesty (don't take food from someone else's box) and frugality (if you eat two snacks today you won't have any tomorrow).  
  • Teach your children how to use a cell phone--they might already know :)  If you get hurt, they should know whom to call for help.  They should know your address, too. 
  • Let them wash fruits and vegetables. 
  • Let them shuck corn and snap green beans.
  • Let them tear up the lettuce for salad.
  • Let them open tea bags when you make iced tea.
  • Let them add ingredients and help stir when you bake.
  • Let them put the dishes into the sink (teach them how to be careful).
  • Let them set the table. 
  • Let them wipe the table after a meal.
  • Give them a spray bottle with water and a little vinegar.  Give them an old rag and let them wash walls, windows, cabinets, etc.
  • Let them sort socks.
  • You can get a small lightweight vacuum for under $20 (one without a bag).  You can let them be responsible for vacuuming their room or cleaning up the baby's Cheerio mess.
  • Teach them to pull weeds and pick the vegetables in your garden.
  • Let them choose the produce at the grocery store.  Count as you go, and show them how to weigh it (more math).
  • Have low hooks near the outside door.  Teach them to hang their own coats up.  You can do the same thing in their room for hanging pajamas.
  • Let them be responsible for emptying the bathroom trash.
  • Make sure even the little ones put their dirty clothes in the hamper.
  • Teach them to sort the laundry.
  • Teach them what to do if they get lost.
  • Teach them what to do if somebody tries to take them.  
These are only a few of the things that toddlers and preschoolers can do.  They naturally want to help.  We mothers need to encourage them and guide them.  Don't expect perfection, but praise their efforts.  Do you have more ideas?  Please comment below and share them!

Hannah Mix

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

a tea party with Daddy

It's very special to little girls when Daddy takes some time to have a tea party with them. 

He is such a wonderful Daddy!!!

(and we love him so, so much)

Here are some things to remember for a nice tea party with Daddy:

1.  Remember the way to a man's heart is, you know, his stomach.  Serve something good, not just pretend food, even if it's just his favorite candy.

2.  Remember something might get spilled.  Don't complain.  Don't ruin the memory.

3.  Remember that Daddy is not Mommy, and he might do something different from you.  Don't correct him.  Let him have fun with his daughters.

4.  Remember that you will probably end up cleaning at least part of the party after it's over.  Look back at #2

5.  Praise him for being such a good daddy.  Praise him again before you go to bed.  Praise him the next get the picture. 

Hannah Mix

This post is part of a blog hop going on at Raising Four Princesses.