Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March Newsletter

Below is our March Nesswsletter if you do not get our email version!
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We pray that everyone is doing well. Thank you so much for praying for us; especially for my trip to Haiti. The trip was mind blowing to say the least. The Christian Haitians are very rich spiritually....really rich. I walked away feeling spiritually poor! They have nothing and yet they rejoice in worship and life. I have a continual tremor in my spirit mentally, spiritually, and emotionally for Gods glory. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God led me there.

Day 1....After traveling 16 hours through the night on a small van, we set up our tents on top of the pastor's house. I was asked to preach by Pastor Olistin in the evening worship service. The regular church was damaged so we had church outside in a field full of rubble under a wooden structure with no roof. 8 Haitians were saved! It was moving to hear them pray in their native tongue speaking to the same Father! Praise God!!!!....very cool. After the service we helped with rice distribution. Two aftershocks in the middle of the night.

Day 2...... We dug footings with pick's and shovels all day alongside fellow Haitians trying to rebuild another church that had been damaged. Prayed with a Haitian through a translator.....very moving! Awakened by an aftershock at 4:30.....That'll bless you!

Day 3 We poured concrete all day with fellow brothers. Even though we couldn't speak but a few words to each other, we felt a kinship not only to the Haitians but to each team member. In the evening we had church in a field next to the church we were rebuilding. It was funny because all day while we worked there was a cow roaming around in that same field. We tried to distribute rice that night but things began to get out of hand and we had to leave for safety reasons.

Day 4.......We poured concrete until noon and then we went to an orphanage. We helped feed 100 children and then played games with them, soccer with the boys and duck, duck goose with the girls. It was difficult and moving as the children would move close and want to hold our hands or want us to hold them but the most difficult was when they would ask for water. We left and drove to Port-Au-Prince and witnessed the damage. Wow! That's all I can say.

Jesus has given me a new set of lenses to look through. I pray that neither the world nor myself will ever take them off. Go on a mission trip! Christ tells us to go! Matthew 28:19

Things to Pray about:
*Pray for the youth in schools and churches I will be speaking to; pray that they would come to Christ and grow closer to Him.
*Pray for our financial needs. Pray for funds for new updated web site, new mission opprotunities, supplies for kids who recieve
Christ. Part time office help.
*Pray for opportunities to share His great news.
*Pray that our new media projects would go well.

Thanks is not enough to express our gratefulness to you!!

Love you guys,

Eric and all the Helms

Web site:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I LOVE crock pots....I have the one pictured holds 6 quarts and it is pretty.....not that that helps the cooking but it helps me every time I walk in and see it! I use mine all the time. They are relatively inexpensive...I have other one is small for dips and things like that.

Yesterday morning I loaded it up with boneless skinless chicken breasts......15 to be exact(on sale at Kroger last week :) I filled in all the way up with water. I didn't season these at all because of what I needed them for but sometimes I do this for chicken soup and I season the water. I turned it on low and left it for 10 hours. Oh my goodness...TENDER!!!!

This is the breakdown of how I used the meat.......6 chicken and cheese (remember all that free cheese!!) quesadillas. I would normally use 3 for my family but I was feeding another family of 6. It really doesn't take a whole lot of meat on these.

5 chicken breasts I used to make Ritz cracker caserole.....we don't eat many caseroles but this one is so good.....1 can cream of chicken soup......3/4 cup sour cream(you can't taste it I promise!) 1 sleeve Ritz crackers(Iuse the whole wheat kind) 1/2 stick of butter

Shread chicken with fingers and put on the bottom of pan...I usean oval casserole dish.....9x5 mix soup and sour cream together and spread over the top of the chicken. Crush crackers over mixture and drizzle melted butter over all. Bake 30 min. at 375 I serve with veggies and a salad.

The remaining 4 chicken breasts I froze covered in the broth and I will use them at another date either for quesadillas or for chicken and rice. Either way the crock pot was already running so why not load it I am partly ready for another meal.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Am I getting old?

Am I getting old...don't answer that!!! First I want to preface this post with this statement......I am not a perfect parent...not even close! I do not have perfect children....not even close! I have said it before and I will say it again...parenting is hard work and very very very intentional! It will not just happen....oh now there are those children that are so complacent it seems that very little parenting is needed....if you have one of those children and it happens to be your only child...either keep quiet or keep having them!

OK now that I got that out of the way??? On to the am I getting old part.....there are so many things that get on my nerves more that I can't stand to sit with someone who is crunching ice or eating chips beside me...oh it doesn't bother me if I am eating at the same time but if I am not...I really feel like I am going to come out of my skin if I have to sit and endure the crunching!

Well I am increasingly feeling that way when I am out and about and see out of control children! It makes me crazy...why..because most of it could be handled relatively easily by just being the parent and not the push over! I have never seen so many parents who back down and give in to their children.....even little children. You do not need to scream and do need to take control! I promise you will be so glad that you built this type of relationship when they are older!

Friday, March 26, 2010


I believe that most Bully's learn their technique at home. Sometimes they are bullied by fathers, uncles or whoever is the male figure in their lives and that is so wrong! I am going to address sibling bulling. It is interesting to me that parents let their children make mean intimidating comments to their brothers and sisters while parents are in ear shot and then the parents are surprised that their child is bulling someone at school or church????

One of my kids greatly struggles in reading. I have younger kids who read at a higher level than this child. I was working with another mom who's child struggles with reading as well and she commented that one of the hardest things for her child was that her sister always made little jokes about her reading skills. My response...That isn't joking....that is bulling. She looked at me like I was nuts. I don't have that problem because that isn't tolerated here! If you can't find something positive to say...keep your mouth shut! Mom's do not allow your children to make fun of each other. When my kids say...I was just joking.....I remind them that it is only a joke if both parties think it is funny! Even with that comment we have to be careful because I have one child who laughs even when she is offended to keep from crying. I want my kids to be able to joke around and to be able to laugh at themselves....and we talk about those things all the time...especially with my more "sensitive" children, :) but seriously I am shocked at how cruel siblings can be and the parents will make some ridiculous comment like.....sibling rivalry!!??

As parents we are supposed to be teaching them and training them. It is not easy.....they do not learn because you tell them one time to be nice to each other! It is a full time job! It is a hard job! Oh but it is a rewarding job! Love those babies!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


One of the hardest things for me to get used to in regards to coupons was meal planning. It took a little juggling but I am pretty good at it now. For the most part I get the same type things over and over again so I can plan based on what I know I will get....for instance I regularly get spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, tomato paste and pasta. I collect all the supplies and wait for a really good sale on hamburger meat. I get my biggest pot and dump in everything.

One little trick I learned about cooking hamburger probably know this but I'll tell you anyway....brown meat slowly and stir frequently, this will help it to be tender. I have made the mistake of rushing the cooking time by turning the heat up...not good! I'm not very patient so this is hard for me! :)

I put it all together and then put as much of it as I can fit into my huge crock pot...on low...all day.....this just simmers it all together without burning to the bottom. I simmer the rest on top of the stove for 1 hour and then I use that sauce to make up 2-3 pans of lasagna. I cook these for 30 min..,...which is half, cover tightly and freeze. I have a convection setting on my oven so I can load it up with all three pans at once...if you do not have can load your oven up as well but you will want to move everything around after 15 min.

We eat spaghetti the first night out of the crock pot and then I divide the cooled sauce into gallon freezer bags for another day. I am not one to have a "cook for the month day," but there are many things like spaghetti sauce that I make in huge batches.....seriously I make about 4 gallons at a time in 2 huge thinking is that it really isn't much more work but it saves me greatly in time later and if I am going to heat up the oven and use the stove saves me there as well.

If you have a small may not want to do 4 gallons :) but you can do 3 - 4 times the amount needed for your family. One of the great things about freezing spaghetti sauce is that if you have unexpected can pull a bag out......set it in a large bowl of warm water and quiclky thaw to have a fast home-cooked meal!

Monday, March 22, 2010


We love guacamole at my house and I have been seeing avocados on sale everywhere I go. This is a great snack or a side dish with your quesadillas. First pick a good needs to be ripe. Avocados are ripe when they turn purple-ish...greenish...I know that just sounds bad!! It should feel soft but not mushy. I usually buy them ripe because we eat them within 24 to 36 hours after getting them. I put mine right in the fridge because we like the dip cold and the cold will slow down the ripening process. If you are going to use them at a later date you can buy them green and leave them on the counter until they ripen.

There are so many different ways to make this dip and we like to make it several different I will show you the easiest way. This is how I make it when I need to whip it up quickly.

First cut the avocado in half...if you have never done this before, there is a large very hard seen in the cut to the seed and then cut around the seed and then pull apart. Use a spoon and scrape the avocado out of the skin.....this should happen easily if it is good and ripe.
I chop the avocado in chunks and then use a fork to make it the consistency that you like.
Sprinkle a little Garlic salt.....and a little red pepper. You can even put 3 or 4 drops of tobacco sauce...for a little kick.
Squeeze half a lime into the mixture. Mix well and dig in!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Perfect Roast

I grew up on roast......amazing roast! Everyone who came to our house on Sunday ate my mama's roast and they all moaned and groaned because it was so amazing. The great thing is that is so very simple! I like Eye Round because of the way it slices but I also buy other bottom round. The main thought behind good roast is low heat for a long time! Since I am using the oven so long...I load it up...I buy 2 whole eye round......about 5-7 pounds each....I serve it the first night with veggies and then I separate enough meat for "French Dip" sandwiches the second night. I divide the rest of the meat into meal size portions for more "French Dip" sandwiches and freeze for later.

So here we go...I promise you are going to love this! Preheat oven to 250
Rinse the not cut off the me!
Place each piece of meat in a large oven safe dutch oven or large pan.
Sprinkle the top of the roast with garlic salt and pepper....plain ole table pepper...the dusty kind....I've tried the course variety...not so good. You want to use a whole lot of pepper.....cover the roast(like in the picture below). With the garlic salt you want a good even coating but not as heave as the pepper...I'm sorry that is the best that I can is hard when you cook without recipes! :)

Put 1 cup of water into the bottom of each pan, cover tightly with foil as I did or if you are using a large dutch oven...put the lid on! I put the meat in the oven at 11 PM before I went to bed. may wake up in the middle of the night really...really hungry! I cooked 2 whole roasts for 14 hours at 250. If you have less time you can go to 300 for 7 -8 hours. I checked them at 12, and 13 hours, I wanted them to be fork tender.

When they were done...I turned the oven off and mixed up the goodness for the top. First mix the Au Jus Gravy according to the package...I used 3 packages for all the meat I made. Now you have a few choices at this point. I usually remove the meat from the pan......dip off the fat......strain the juice and combine with the Au Jus.....but this time....I left the meat so long that all the juice was gone....there was just dark coating left so I just used the Au Jus mixture....still delish! You can thicken the gravy at this point with corn starch.....I'll show you that trick another time....we prefer our gravy mom prefers it thick...same great taste...different texture.

Now put the meat on a large cutting board......See how crusty the outside is......oh that is so good....sometimes mine isn't quite this crusty.....that is fine as are looking for fork tender.

Now you will want to trim the meat first. There will be a layer of fat that will come off very easily...Just cut and pull with at fork and knife.

Turn the roast until you see this membrane....pull it will come off in big sections. You will mainly see this on eye round roasts.

Now for the fun part.....thin slices.......OH MY GOODNESS!!!! This is making me hungry! Put the slices back in the pan and poor the Au Jus gravy all over it....I try to let it sit about 30 min. in the gravy...covered! Heavenly!

Who's a Turkey?

I bought a few Turkeys after Christmas when they were on an amazing sale and I froze them. This is one that we ate the last week of our "eat on $10" deal. Yummy! I sprinkled it with pepper and garlic salt and cooked it according to the directions that came with the turkey. Super easy!! We ate it the first night with veggies and then I cut the rest of the meat off and sealed it good and tight and we ate turkey sandwiches for the next several days.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Do you ever remember being told to never pray for humility because God may give you something to be humble about?? I have been praying that the Lord would grow my faith. I want to have such faith in Jesus that it is never an issue weather or not I'm going to trust Him.

If your child comes to my house and stands at the top of our steps and my husband tells them to jump to him....there is going to be hesitation...but not with my kids...why....because they trust him...he has never dropped them.....he is dependable....he is strong....they KNOW him. Your kids do not know him so of course they are hesitant!

I don't want to be hesitant with the Lord!!!! And yet I still find myself standing at the top of the stairs saying things like...are you looks scary...I know you have caught me before but are you telling me to jump again??...I don't think I heard you clearly, could you say it again about 20 times!!....and sometimes sadly I just stand there and cry or sulk!! :( Does this mean that I don't KNOW Him well enough?

We have some ministry opportunities coming up and we are going to have to trust Him in a big way for provision. Here is a teaser....Eric is talking with an organization that wants him to go to another country for 10 days and be a part of a team that will be speaking in 200 public schools. These things are expensive.....God is able to supply...are we supposed to go......what about the other opportunities....are we supposed to do them? Please pray for us. I am going to pray for wisdom!

Oh Yes I did!

I might have gone to Publix last night and pulled 8 of the $2.00 off 2 Kraft shredded cheese coupons from the blinkie and left the store...maybe empty handed.....and drove across the street to Kroger and used them for the buy 8 kraft cheese for 99 cents each. I might have put 16 in my cart and used the the 8 / $2 off coupons and I might have gotten them all for free. If I was the kind of gal to do that sort of thing....and I AM!!

I did buy yougurt and a box of total 67.01 out of pocket 6.23 I can honestly say, that has never happened before!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Chocolate anyone?

This is one of my families favorite desserts. It is always a favorite when I make it for guests as well. It is light and yummy. I got this recipe from a good friend 20 years ago...Keith Farr...he used to bring it to gatherings at church and it was always the first to go! The best part is that it is better the next day so it is a great "make a head dish." First mix jell-o and milk for 3 minutes.
Leave pudding in bowl to set while you prepare the pan. Rub a few pats of softened butter in the bottom and sides of 9X13 pan.
Put one layer of graham crackers in the bottom...this doesn't have to be pretty just covered.

Now fold in the cool whip until thoroughly incorporated but not over mixed.

Ooooo doesn't this look yummy....I may have dipped into this once???twice????? well more than I should have! :)

Pour half the mixture over the crackers....then another layer of crackers and the second half of the batter. And top off with a third layer of crackers. Cover and put it in the fridge while you make the topping.

Now for the best part.......mix cocoa, corn syrup, powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and milk together and pour over top layer of crackers.....spread carefully with the back of a spatula or spoon. Here is a trick....spray the back of the spatula or spoon with Pam...then spreading will go much easier.

Oh my goodness....look at all that yummy goodness! I think I need to have a chocolate break!
Graham Pudding Pie

2 3.4 boxes French Vanilla instant pudding
3 Cups milk ( I use skim or 1%)
1 8oz. cool whip
1 box Graham Crackers...plain variety

1/4 Cup Cocoa
4 Tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
6 cups powdered sugar
4 Tablespoons softened butter
4 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cups of milk (mix together and add a few more drops at a time if the mixture is too thick)

Put back in the fridge until ready to serve.....stay out of it......seriously...not a bite!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Last week

Well we will be finished this Friday with our 10 a week challenge. I have learned a few things....we eat a great deal of cereal.....I mean a GREAT deal and I ran out after the first week. It has been the biggest thing that my kids have noticed. Next time I will have that better stocked. I did go to CVS last night and I got 4 boxes 50 cents each of Rasin would have thought it was Christmas.

2nd thing that I have learned......I can make this work on less. We still have a huge amount of food left! We have enough of just about everything to make it another 2 weeks. I would run out of meat but otherwise we could do it!

3rd We eat a lot of fresh fruit. It ran out last week and we have had many fruit smoothies over the last week and we have enough for the rest of this week but it is not the same as fresh!

4th Eric went to Haiti during the helps put things in perspective.....he told stories of how the orphans wanted fresh water........seriously am I going to complain about fresh fruit when they want water????? We are soooo blessed!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

You are the parent!

I have written and rewritten this post several times and every time it sounds so ridiculous.... here is the bottom line...Parents....parent!!! That is intentional....hard is grace and mercy mixed with disciplin and hard decisions. I have a great relationship with my kids...I love spending time with them....I love to laugh and play...I love to hear their heart....I love to hear their dreams and their hurts and fears......It takes so much time to listen and talk and listen and hug and listen.....but hand in hand with that relationship that I am intentional about.....comes the discipline and the hard decisions. Parenting is hard and for some reason parents feel powerless. I'm not sure why this is but many parents just shrug their shoulders or throw their hands up in exasperation as if they have no choice in the matter......get in is a race.....GO.....PARENT!

Thursday, March 4, 2010



So some of you who know me asked why do I have all the cleaning products(seen in the pictures of my stash) if I don't like chemicals.....well....

#1...I do use Lysol in my toilet....well because they are gross and I like them clean and I don't like to buy the expensive stuff with less chemicals and since I get that stuff for free or almost free....but I am open for other ideas???

#2...I use those items all the time in gift baskets for brides or for house warming gifts. So basically I am saying that I don't like to breath those fumes but I will give them to a new bride????? That sounds bad for sure! If you are a new bride come by and I will teach you how to save enough money so that you don't have to use those products! That is the best I can offer :)

I use Shaklee Basic H for so many things! It costs about 15-16 bucks after shipping but is so worth it! I love all their products and honestly if I could afford it I would buy a whole lot more from them but if you can only get one thing this is the one to get.

While it looks expensive it is not at all. I mix 3 drops....literal drops.... with 16oz of water and use it to clean and wipe down everything! All windows and counters, hardwood floors, walls....anything that doesn't need to be disinfected. It is is extremely cost stinky vinegar :) 3 drops makes a great many spray bottles. I use 1 teaspoon in my homemade laundry detergent as well and I have had the same 16 oz bottle for 8 mos. I will order some next month because I only have about 2 tablespoons left.

My friend swears by the scour off paste but I haven't tried it yet....I am going to order it next month as well...I'll let you know what I think!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I am trying to get another post together with the step by step for homemade laundry detergent and this is what happens when you leave the soap on high and walk away for a split second??? UUGG

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I Love Spray Paint!!!

I LOVE spray can take almost anything and transform it into something fun or classy or warm or whatever!! I wanted a new look in my dining room so I went to the thrift store and bought a shinny brass grade type light fixture. I paid 4.88 and I bought 2 cans of paint...Kilz for 2.00 and can of satin black 1.50, then I bought new shades for 2.00 I have 17.50 in the entire light. I LOVE it! It makes the room so warm.
I wiped it down and then I hung it between a latter so that I could get to the bottom and the chain easily.

Then I used black satin spray paint...sorry I didn't take a picture but I bought it at Walmart......just the cheap stuff.

Isn''t it just so cute!!!

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