Month: April 2016

Why I’m thankful to be an Introvert 

Since I started blogging, I’ve clarified, that I’m awkward, quirky and plain out weird sometimes. It’s also no secret that I’m an introvert. Guess what?I’m glad.

Yep. 

I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Some of you may see it as a personality disorder that I need to change or “overcome.” I don’t see it that way at all. Here’s several reasons why I wouldn’t change a thing;


1. I can entertain myself

I don’t hyperventilate when my schedule isn’t full for the week. I enjoy a few weekly social functions, with a few good friends, but I don’t need to desperately find things and people to fill up my time. Introverts get a bad rap sometimes, and we get treated like we have personality issues. I’d much rather be the way I am, than needy and clingy as extroverts can come across sometimes. 

2. It saves money.  

Being at home generally saves money, unless you’re addicted to using credit cards online. Being content to stay at home, not only saves me from spending money on eating out and at stores, but It allows me more time to make things from scratch and do things to stretch our budget. Having the time to make homemade pizza  as opposed to spending money on cardboard frozen pizzas is a win win for the finances and our taste buds 😉 

3. I can keep our house clean. 

Go ahead and roll your eyes. I know what year it is, and that keeping a clean house isn’t supposed to be a big deal anymore. I’m old school. It makes me happy to walk into a clean living room. Keeping to myself allows me more time to clean and declutter. I can do a load of two of laundry everyday and keep the dishes washed and put away. Not going out as much also keeps me from bringing more junk into the house. 

4. My friendships are real. 

I don’t have a huge clique, or a slew of stuff on my calendar, but my friendships are real. I won’t carry on with someone I don’t click with, just to have human interaction. I’ve seen that happen, and that’s not the same as being polite, that’s being two faced. Conversations with my friends have substance. Many of my friends are introverts, and we respect each others space and allow everyone in the room to talk and share. When you’re used to being talked over by extroverts, that’s huge. 

5. I can teach my kids what socializing isn’t. 

I’m socially awkward . I screw up publicly. Introverts have trouble opening up. Extroverts can’t shut up. Is one better or worse than the other? I don’t think so. All I know is, a lot of people have a very skewed opinion of what it means to “socialize.” Socializing doesn’t mean being loud, interrupting, being the center of attention and never stopping to take a breath. It means having the sense to know that when the Pastors preaching, the Teachers teaching and two people are already having a conversationo, you keep your big trap shut. I can’t tell you how much rudeness bugs me. Socializing doesn’t mean draining others of all their mental energy. It doesn’t mean making sure your opinions are heard without hearing the opinions of others. That’s why I don’t worry about my kids “socialization” even though they’re Homeschooled. I don’t want them to socialize the way so much of the world does. They might not be up in your grill, but I’d like to think they have manners. They know better than to have their own conversation in the middle of Sunday School. They better. They can even, *GASP* entertain themselves from time to time. 

“But little Johnny is social, and I have to make a full time job of running him here and there and everywhere.” That’s your business. My kids are social too, and “No, we’re staying home today…” works just fine on them 🙂 

  6 The weather is no concern of mine. 

Give me rain or snow. I don’t mind. I do need some sun in there to balance things out. I love the way my house looks filled with sun, but I actually enjoy a good day shut in. We know how to break out the board games and popcorn. Ok, we usually end up watching T.V. But anyway, I am just fine and content being stuck in my house. Which leads to my last point.

7. I can enjoy the house God blessed us with. 

Just let me stay home with a good book and a cup of coffee! I find it ironic that many people with larger homes, don’t even like being home. Our house isn’t huge.

Actually, it’s pretty small 🙂 But we all spend a large portion of our lives working hard to pay for these homes we live in. Why in the world do they get treated like hotels? Our home is our life. We do school here, we learn about the Bible, and nurture friendships and family here. We bake together and plant flowers. My favorite “dates” with the Bearded Man have been watching Netflix after the kids are tucked in. I have an adorable kitchen, and the most comfy recliner ever. I’m thankful to be a homebody, and get the most enjoyment out of something my Husband has worked so hard to pay for and make beautiful. I’m proud to be here, keeping it clean and teaching my kids the value in being neat and tidy. Letting them see that being quiet and alone with your thoughts from time to time is perfectly healthy. 

“Bored” isn’t even an option here. I recently read “Little House in the Big Woods” to Keira. I can only imagine the look on Ma Ingalls face, if Laura had come in and said, “Ma, take me somewhere, I’m bored!” I seriously doubt Ma would’ve replied, “Oh, my poor little social darling, how would you like to be entertained today?” Nope, Laura would’ve probably gotten stuck doing chores for making such a silly complaint. 

Our little home is a sanctuary after a hard day for my Husband. How sad to think it would only be a place to sleep, or an option after all others have been exhausted. I told you I was old school. 

If you’re extroverted, don’t be gettin’ your panties all in a bunch. We live in a world that revolves around extroverts. You have your day. It’s everyday. Let us introverts enjoy the things that make us unique and ultimately contented individuals. We might seem weird and unsociable to you, but you seem intrusive and downright barbaric. It doesn’t make either of us right, just different. I’m so glad we’re not all the same. But seriously, quit talking in the middle of sermons. It’s not cool man, just not cool. 

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Fancy Day 

Fancy Day 

My little girl is turning 7 tomorrow! It’s unbelievable to me! I remember being on the way to the hospital 7 years ago today, and I was a complete bundle of nerves! Here she is, all grown up and such a sweet girl! 

We have a Fancy Nancy book, where they have “Fancy Day” at school. We decided that we would try that when it was our turn to host Homeschool Group. Her Birthday was the perfect excuse to give it a go! I was out of my comfort zone, as I tend to be a bull in a china shop, but I made it work! 

We broke out the beautiful tea set my Mom gave Keira for Christmas a couple years ago. 


Our menu included mint tea, sausage cheese bites, pizza rolls and pink goldfish crackers, because we’re refined like that. 


We did have some little pink miniature cupcakes! Perfect for a fancy afternoon of tea drinking! We sang Happy Birthday, and Keira was gifted with two new lovely dresses and an adorable pocket book. 


We had an amazing time, as we always do with these special families. 

Creamy Crockpot Tortellini Lasagna 

It’s always a good night when my kids eat spinach. Maybe you’re feeling smug because your kids gladly eat spinach every night. Well, good for you, but mine don’t. I’m all about keeping it real here. I put this dish in the Crock-Pot yesterday, and oh man, it was good. You can’t go wrong with tortellini. Cheese wrapped in pasta? Yum. You don’t even even have to boil it first, which is always a win in my book! 

I used a homemade cream of chicken soup mix and added half and half to make a “sauce.” If you already have some shredded chicken  in the freezer, this will come together pretty quickly! 

Creamy Crockpot Tortellini Lasagna

1 1/2 cups ricotta(I used homemade)

1 cup sour cream 

1 egg 

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese 

2 cups cooked, shredded chicken

1 can cream of chicken*

1 cup half and half 

1 package Italian dressing mix**

5 ounce bag fresh spinach***

19 ounce bag frozen tortellini 

2 1/2 cups mozzarella  

Mix together ricotta, sour cream, egg and parm cheese. 

In another bowl, mix chicken, cream of chicken and seasoning mix.

In a 6 quart crockpot, layer half of the tortellini, half the ricotta mixture, half the spinach, and half of the sauce, then 1 cup Mozzarella cheese.

Repeat layer with the remaining tortellini, ricotta, spinach, sauce and the remaining cheese. 

  
Cook on low for 3-4 hours. 

Enjoy! 

  
* I used a homemade mix  that I keep on hand and mix with DIY Chicken Broth.

**The packets are found in the salad dressing aisle. I used this homemade version. 

***If you’re afraid that’s too much spinach, you can cut it in half! 
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How to make Slow Cooker Ricotta Cheese

Tortellini Lasagna was on the meal plan for tonight, so of course I knew I’d need some Ricotta Cheese! Man, I love that stuff! The lasagna is in my slow cooker at this very moment, and it’s making the whole house smell heavenly. This is one of those recipes that’s ridiculously easy, and after I start making it, I feel silly for not doing it all along. 

This method is similar to Crock-Pot Yogurt. There is very little hands on time, but a lot of “waiting”, so if you need Ricotta at this very minute, you’re out of luck! 

  
Slow-Cooker Ricotta Cheese 

1/2 Gallon Milk 

1/4 cup white vinegar 

Add milk and vinegar to your slow cooker and stir. Cover and turn on to the low setting, and allow to heat for 2 hours and 45 minutes, or until milk has reached 180 degrees. 

Turn off the slow cooker and wrap a beach towel or heavy blanket around it to hold the heat in. 

Allow to sit in a warm place for 6 hours. 

After 6 hours it will look like this. This is a terrible picture, because mine was finished at 5:30 this morning. No daylight=bad food pictures.

  
Strain through a fine mesh strainer and store the cheese portion in the fridge until ready to use! The cheese will firm up as it gets cold. 

  
Recipe adapted from: http://www.food.com/recipe/homemade-ricotta-cheese-crock-pot-345985

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DIY Butter Spread 

I won’t call out the name of a certain tubbed butter, that is questionable in color and ingredients, but I bet you know what I’m talking about. It doesn’t even taste like real butter, and has no place on homemade bread. Not in the Sours household anyway. You can buy butter spreads that only contain butter and oil, but they get pricey. I discovered this recipe about 5 years ago. It’s perfect for toast,  pancakes, waffles, grilled cheeses, baked potatoes, Artisan Bread and 30 minute dinner rolls! I wouldn’t recommend putting into baked goods like Cookies though!

  
DIY Butter Spread 

-2 sticks salted butter, softened 

-1/2 cup oil 

-1/2 cup room temperature water 

Add softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer, and mix on high until it looks like this:

  
Add water and oil to a glass measuring cup, and slowly pour into butter, continuing to mix. You may need to stop the mixer, and scrap the sides of the bowl a couple of times. 

When mixture is ready to pour, it should look like this; 

  

Pour into a 1 quart glass bowl and store in the fridge. This won’t be as soft as tubbed butter spreads. You can microwave the bowl for 10 seconds to soften the butter when serving from the fridge! 

Original recipe from:http://www.tammysrecipes.com/soft_butter_spread

Photos and wording my own. 

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Do you feel invisible? 

I have a superpower. I bet you didn’t know that, did you? And no, it has nothing to do with being able to talk on the phone, check my email, change a diaper and cook dinner at the same time. Let me explain…

A few years ago, I was hooked on a T.V. show that aired on ABC. It comically portrayed a middle class family. I liked that it showed what a “real” family functioned like….although some things were a bit exaggerated to make the show funny. 

One of the main jokes of the show revolved around the awkward teenage daughter. Sometimes it was scary how much I could relate to her as a teen, and not because she had bad hair and braces. 

She had a superpower. She was invisible. 

Not literally, of course, but in the sense that most of the population didn’t even know she existed. Or they chose not to. 

She’d go to class, and her teachers would ask, “Are you a student here?” 

She got forgotten and left out of a lot, not intentionally, but because nobody paid her any mind. She just didn’t have a personality that got her noticed.

I can so relate. It’s gotten to a point in my life where it’s comical. The Bearded Man has to laugh sometimes. He’s noticed it. It’s not in my head, guys 

I can be standing in line, and someone will come get in line right in front of me. 

I donated blood in a blood drive once, and the Head Honcho got up and thanked everyone but me. I didn’t mind, because I didn’t donate blood for the glory, but in my mind I was chuckling, “Yep…invisible.”

I was sitting in a staff meeting one time, and the person running the meeting said something about the two staff members in the back. Except, there were three, and I knew exactly who he was overlooking. Little miss invisible. 

I can be talking, and mid-sentence, get cut off like it never happened.

I remember struggling as a High Schooler with feeling invisible and left out. Once I got out of school and started working, things didn’t change a lot, but I started accepting it. 

As a new Mom, I felt like I was working so hard, changing diapers and staying up all night. At that point, I knew I was more invisible than ever. 

Except, I’m not. Maybe to the general population. But I have a Maker, who over the years has reminded me that I’m not invisible. Not to Him. 

Often at night, we get out a Praise and Worship Lullaby DVD, to help Elijah when he’s fussy. The lyrics to one song in particular always stand out to me. I can’t post the lyrics, because I don’t want to get sued, but basically it reminds me that my Maker formed me long ago and He is fully aware of my thoughts and tears. 

I think it’s amazing that the same Maker that gives me sunrises like this one, created little old me. 
  
Maybe you’re like me, and you feel invisible? 

Maybe you’re constantly hearing words like, “I don’t remember you?” and “Oh, we went to the same school?” Been there. 

It might hurt, or you’ve possibly accepted it, and chose to laugh it off as I have. Just know, that even when you’re overlooked and invisible to the rest of the world, you’re not to Jesus. He’s crazy about you. 

As I get closer to 30, and become more of a hermit, I’ve learned to use my invisible status to my advantage.  

I can leave social functions whenever I’m ready. I can fly under the radar like nobody’s business. It’s pretty awesome. 🙂 I doubt I’ll ever walk in a room and people think, “Oh golly, look at HER, she is gorgeous, and so hilarious.” Nope, the only thing that might get me noticed is a crying baby, or tripping over something. I knew The Bearded Man was the guy for me, because a week after not even technically meeting(long story), he remembered me, and wanted my phone number. As in, he actually noticed I was in the room. 

Hang in there, my invisible friend. What bothers you the most about yourself, may be your superpower. 

What about you? Do you ever feel invisible? Comment below, and share your story! 

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“Free” Crock-Pot Chicken Broth

  
Over the weekend we went to Costco, and let me just tell ya, we love Costco! I get almost all of my baking supplies there. Then there’s cheese,milk, sour cream, paper goods. A big bag of pepperoni for homemade pizza. That ginormous bag of chocolate chips to make cookies and granola bars 🙂 I even got a pair of glasses there last Fall, because sometimes Contacts and me don’t get along too well. They are always kind enough to readjust them for me, because Elijah likes to grab them. We even ended up getting a nice faucet, because mine was leaking, and a similar one from a hardware store was about triple the price. 

*Post contains affiliate links. I’m not affiliated with Costco. I just love it that much! 

I think my favorite part is the Rotisserie Chicken. 5 dollars for a seasoned and cooked chicken? You just can’t beat it. We like to take one home to keep us from hitting the drive-thru on the way home(that’s when we don’t end up eating Costco pizza).

We ate some for dinner, and I saved the rest to mix with beans and rice, to serve wrapped in tortillas(also from Costco).

But that’s not the end. No sir. I don’t throw the bones away. I’m that cheap. Here’s how to make amazing chicken broth that’s practically “free!”

Crock-Pot Chicken Broth

Take the bones of the rotisserie chicken and add to a 6 quart Crock-Pot.

Add a peeled and quartered onion. Add water until chicken is covered. 

Cook on low 8-10 hours, or on high for 4-5 hours. 

Place a strainer on top of a large stock pot. Carefully pour broth through the strainer. 

Some people like to chill the broth and strain the fat. I don’t get a whole lot of fat with this method, so I skip that part. I did chill the broth, because it was ready late at night, and I didn’t want to mess with it then. 

  
Pour the broth into mason jars. If you’re going to freeze, then only fill half to 3/4 of the way. I’ve sadly lost chicken broth and mason jars, for overfilling and they bursted in the freezer. Don’t be like me. 

Label the lids. Just do it. I’ve skipped this part before, and I never remember what’s in the jar. 

  
If you do a lot of Crock-Pot cooking, you know that you’ll need lots of chicken broth. These are so nice to pull out of the freezer. I used some last week to make All Purpose Crock-Pot Chicken.

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