Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Goodbye old friends, goodbye.

Ahhh, one of the glorious moments of parenthood is the pleasure of taking something away from your child that has been a security since birth. There is nothing more precious than that moment when you quietly ask your child for said object and then they, with absolute pleasure, reply, "sure mommy, while your at it, would you like me to donate all my toys to unfortunate children?" and return to life as they know it with no turmoil or screaming or crying whatsoever.

Ha. Welcome to the real world.

We gave up the pacifiers last week. We have been in our new house for a month now, and Madi had no trouble adjusting to her new room, so they were no longer needed. We had tried this before about 7 months ago (we tried the "lets build a pacifier bear" and the "they're gone, get over it" method) and after the nights of endless crying, decided to wait just a little longer. We were also potty training at the time and decided not to try both at once. Well, potty training was done 6 months ago. And.... we never quite took up the challenge again. So, I just decided to tell Madi that Thursday was the day. Wednesday night I informed her to enjoy her last time sleeping with the pacis. And then explained that they were going to be sent to Jesus in heaven for all the babies who need pacis. She was completely fine with this. No qualms whatsoever. (She didn't really understand what was happening, but that's ok.) Anyway, so Thursday morning we head tp Publix to pick up a few things, among them being three balloons. The balloons were going to be our method of delivery.

We get home and pull out the pacis (we were only delivering 3, but we all know there are more than that around the house). We had a small goodbye ceremony. Madi gave them each kisses (and I saw her sneak them into her mouth a couple of times for good measure).

(Side note: gotta love those blue eyes!)

And then, once they were properly "goodbyed," we strapped them in for departure. Madi helped me tie each paci to its matching balloon. ("Colors have to go together, Mama")

We then took the balloons outside, and without much fuss, let them go.
((DISCLAIMER: I don't know what I was thinking. NO your pacis will not go into the air tied to the balloon. Obviously, the paci is too heavy and weighs the balloon down. So, while your daughter is holding the balloons toward the middle of the string, with a quick slight of hand, grab the pacis snip them off and stow them in your pocket right as she lets go. And with any luck, the sun will be in her eyes and she won't be able to see that the pacis aren't really tied to the end of the balloon. Goodness.))

There they go...(not!)... Madi's dear little friends.

And she was a little sad and confused.

BUT. The sun was in her eyes. :)

So, we went inside and continued with life as we knew it. Before long, we began to discuss the arrival of naptime, and Madi said, "I need my pacis." I calmly reminded her of their current location. And she said, "Well, I need some more!" And it began. Unfortunately for me (haha, not.), my sister was watching Madi during naptime because i had a prior engagement. I really did completely forget I wasn't going to be there. So needless to say, day one consisted of no nap and crying for about an hour before she fell asleep that night.

When I was giving myself a peptalk that evening and telling myself we would get through this, I completely expected it to take about a week before all was well. However, I didn't give Madi enough credit. By day 2, she was over the idea of pacifiers. She went down for her nap and eventually bed time, like she had been doing it paci free all her life. It's a miracle!!

And we've been paci free ever since. (She still occasionally asks for them, but doesn't mind when I remind her they are gone.)

So, pacifiers, whichever dump you now reside in, I bid you adieu.

Goodbye old friends. We had some good times. And you saved me more times than I can count. But, good riddance.

the end.

Summer's Here!!

My poor, poor neglected blog. Its been a crazy week in the Cranor household, so I haven't gotten a chance to sit at the computer for more than about 3 minutes. :) So, I have a lot of catching up to do!

I am so excited for summer's arrival. It is a very busy time around the student ministry, so it often means Josh and I are going 90 miles a minute in separate directions, but, I LOVE summer time. What's not to love - beach, cookouts, lots of daylight. Amazing! (with the exception of the 107 degree days) Humidity - you may leave now.

It is fun realizing all the long lost benefits of home-ownership. Josh gets to mow the lawn every week now. I know he has missed that beloved chore. Bahia grass sure does grow quickly. Anyway, it was super hot this particular Saturday and we decided a fun cool down was in order. So, another benefit of home-ownership: playing in the sprinklers.

You can't tell Madi was having fun at all. Not at all. She looks completely bored.

Just don't get too close to the sprinkler... lol.

Anyway, it was a nice, fun way to cool off.

How do you spend time outdoors with your family and still beat the heat? We could use all the ideas you've got. Madi loves to play outside, but we only last about 20 minutes before we retreat to the AC.

Hooray for summer!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Seeds Winner!

Congrats to Melinda!

She is the winner of the Seeds of Praise Album! Melinda, please email me your address so I can mail you the cd (! :)

Sorry for the delay, been sick around here. Kinda discourages long-term computer use.... lol.

Posting more soon!

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Seeds Family Worship (and Giveaway!)

Well, I had something else entirely planned for my next post... but when your husband takes your camera to work that has the pictures on it that you wanted to post and forgets to bring it home (and I am still waiting!), then you have to change your mind.

Tonight was the first night of VBS at our church (vacation bible school) and I am so excited about it because a) its Madi's first one actually attending and b) Seeds Family Worship is the worship band performing.

I love Seeds Family Worship. I think that every mom and dad should have at least one of their CDs in your arsenal of parenting supplies. This worship group (band? family? chorus? I don't really know) sings scripture (word for word) to music. And I love it! Madi loves it also which makes it two thumbs way, way up. They have five CDs out right now and are working on a 6th. Each CD is based around a theme. I own Seeds of Faith, Seeds of Courage, and Seeds of Praise. It is such a blessing to me to be able to turn on music in the car and hear my daughter singing scripture. She has several of the songs memorized and even when she is playing in her toy room I will hear her singing one of the songs to herself. It used to be her singing princess songs and I knew that if she could learn those, then there was no reason she couldn't learn to sing scripture too. And it isn't the boring, poke-your-eye-out-if-I- have-to-listen-to-this-song-one-more-time kind of music. It is upbeat and parent friendly. In fact, it has helped me with my own scripture memorization... lol. I find myself humming the songs when I come across one of the verses in my Bible.

One of our MOPS theme weeks was about incorporating worship as a part of your family Bible study and just as a part of family time in general. We have been trying to find creative ways to do this and Seeds has definitely helped. We usually end up singing one of the songs together (if you ever get Seeds of Courage, just listen for the lion song, we sing it over, and over, and over, and over...) Or when we are reading our nightly Bible story, we end up being able to tie in one of the songs to the story and incorporate it into the bedtime bible reading. It is a great way to reinforce the truths that we teach our children and that they learn at church. At Madi's age right now (2 1/2) and beyond, their minds are truly like little sponges soaking up everything around them. And I want to make sure that Madi isn't just remembering the "hot diggity dog" song from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or the Tigger and Pooh theme song. I want their to be things of lasting value filling up that little brain. And this is just another way I have found to put some good stuff up there. :) What do you and your family do? I would love to hear your ideas!

Anyway, because Seeds is awesome and they not only want you to enjoy their music, but want you to also pass on a "seed" to someone else, every CD you buy from them actually comes with 2 duplicate copies. One for you to keep and one for you to share. I just bought Madi's new album, Seeds of Praise, tonight. And I want to share it with one of you! So, I am giving away my duplicate copy! See below for ways to enter. And just to leave you with a little treat, here is a video of Madi singing her favorite Seeds song, The Light of the World. Ok, she is kind of singing, it was late, and she really liked seeing her foot on camera (and her fake tattoo, and her butterfly face paint, and giggling). But you get the point.

There are many ways to enter, but only one will win. :) You can enter several times or just one time.

The different ways to enter are (you don't have to do each one):

1) Comment on this post and tell me how you incorporate worship in your family time or how you would like to.

2) Subscribe to this blog via email to the right => (or leave a comment saying, "I subscribe!"

3) Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment with a link to your tweet. (ex. of link:

4) Follow me on Twitter (@mybfjesus) and leave a comment. Or if you already do, leave a comment saying so. :)

5) Post about this giveaway on facebook and leave a comment with a link to your fb.

You can enter until Noon Friday. Good luck!


Seeds Family Worship themselves have absolutely nothing to do with this blog post or giveaway and the opinions expressed are completely mine alone.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Good Earth Winner!!

Congrats to Angela!

You will receive your Good Earth Gift Pack in the mail soon!

Thank you everyone for entering. Hopefully I will have another giveaway in the very near future.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Good Earth Giveaway!! Enter to Win

When dinner means tons of pots and pans and mixing or chopping for hours, sometimes dining out seems tempting. Now with new Good Earth dry dinner kits, you can have restaurant taste without the restaurant wait and still have a wholesome dinner.
Delicious dinners that allow you to keep a healthy lifestyle without sacrificing taste, Good Earth dry dinner kits are perfect for whipping up a no-fail, five-star cuisine in less than 30 minutes.

They are 100% whole grain, no trans fat, no artificial flavors, no artificial preservatives, no MSG - just add meat and, voila! Dinner is served.

Coming to stores this June, Good Earth dry dinner kits offer a selection of four delectable meals: Mediterranean Chicken with angel hair pasta, Spicy Citrus Glazed Shrimp with angel hair pasta, Herb Crusted Chicken with mushroom risotto and Tuscan Chicken with penne pasta.

My dinner kit was sent to me from MyBlogSpark and Good earth. I received the Mediterranean Chicken with angel hair pasta and a host of goodies.

The kit includes the boxed dinner, a bamboo cutting board, two small bamboo plates, two sets of bamboo silverware, and a reusable bag. One lucky reader will receive a kit just like this! Details for entering will follow.

So, I set out to make this dinner, slightly suspicious because typically dinner from a box isn't exactly the most delicous meal... they all have a certain boxy flavor or something. Please, join me on this journey.

Almost all of the ingredients you need are included in the box. You just have to add fresh chicken, hot water, olive oil, and milk. Not too bad.

The first step is to slice the chicken on a diagonal into three pieces for every breast.

Next, bring water to a boil and drop in the whole grain pasta.

Then, while pasta is cooking, coat chicken in seasoned flour mixture.

Heat up olive oil in a 10 inch skillet.

After the pan is hot, carefully add in all the chicken.

Cook chicken for about 3 minutes on one side, then flip.

Cook for about 5 more minutes, until both sides are golden brown.

Then add in the remaining ingredients, very carefully.

Cook the mixture for about 8 more minutes, until chicken is done. Then serve.

Not only did the chicken look beautiful, but it tasted delicious! The flavors were strong and the chicken moist and tender. The combination of flavors was fantastic, and it got rave reviews around my dinner table. Even Madi, who prefers her chicken plain, took a bite and said, "This is good!" And it only took me about 25-30 minutes to prepare. Which is pretty good in my house, since I love to cook from scratch.

I cannot wait for this product to hit the store shelves so I can get it again! And I am so excited to be able to give the entire kit away to you!

To enter this giveaway:

1. Leave a comment and tell me which flavor Good Earth dinner you would like to try. Make sure you include your email address so I can contact you if you win. :)

2. Subscribe to this blog. (Enter your email address in the box on the right of this blog where it says subscribe) Then leave a comment that says, "I subscribe to your blog".

3. Follow me on twitter @mybfjesus and then leave a comment that says, "I follow you on twitter"

4. Tweet or facebook about this giveaway and then leave a comment with a link to your post (Example: Also include @mybfjesus in your tweet.

Good luck to you all!! A winner will be chosen randomly and announced Thursday night! So enter quickly. :)

Thank you to Good Earth and MyBlogSpark for the product that was prepared above and the additional gifts and also the additional product to give away. Any reviews and opinions are provided by me.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cranor's Crib: Partaaaayyy!

So, about 3 or so years ago (who can keep track, I've been around so Josh and I started have students over to our house (when we lived on Eastway) and feeding and entertaining them on a weekly basis. We had a blast, they had a blast, and it became legendary around the world... ok, just around FBC, but still.

AND, now that we have a new home, it is beginning again. Like a rebirth, a phoenix rising out of the ashes (or however that goes) come the reawakening of Cranor's Crib. I am so excited I just can't stand it. In fact, I have already started baking today. If you previously attended any CC before, you know there are always lots of chocolate chip cookies. But anyway, I am so excited to be able to open up our home again to students. Josh and I have truly missed spending time with you outside the four walls of the church. There is just something about a bunch of teenagers lounging around your house that makes it home. :) And I promise, if we watch Signs, I won't wait until the scary parts and bang on the windows.

And so, if you happen to be part of our delightful student ministry - or just wish you were- please make a point of being at our brand, spanking new house tomorrow (Wednesday) night. Email me for directions ( or get them at church.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Homemade Buttermilk

Having my own kitchen and all now, I am trying to make more things from scratch to save a little cashola. Last week I made some bread... yummy by the way. And this week, I decided to make some buttermilk. It was super easy, and I never have any on hand for when I want to make some saturday morning pancakes or biscuits or something else. And I found some recipes on (yes, it is part of Pioneer Woman's website... :) ) to make a lot of things on your own. Things like buttermilk, caramel, nut butter (like peanut or cashew butter), bread flour, and so on. Things that I think will save me money AND since a lot of you know I am on a little (ok, big.) all natural/organic kick, it will give me the confidence of knowing exactly what is in my ingredients. So, I like it. Besides you know I have ALL this time on my hands... (ha ha).

I kinda feel like I live back in the days of Little House on the Prairie. And I don't mind at all.

In case you are feeling froggie, here's the recipe for buttermilk. I promise it is so easy, Madi could have done it... except she can't reach the counter top. All you need on had is some starter buttermilk (from the store) and milk. And then mix it together. Here is the recipe from I'll let you know how mine turns out!

Homemade Cultured Buttermilk:

¼ cups Cultured Buttermilk (either Homemade Or Store Bought)
3-¾ cups Milk (Skim, 1%, 2%, Whole Or Raw)

Preparation Instructions:

Pour buttermilk (1/4 cup for a quart jar or 1/2 cup for a half gallon jar) into your clean jar. Top off the jar with your plain milk. Tightly screw the lid to the jar and shake vigorously for 1 minute. Place in a warm (but not hot) area out of direct sunlight. Let it sit there for 12 to 24 hours, until thickened. Refrigerate when thick. Use within two weeks.
If you re-culture this regularly, you can carry on re-culturing indefinitely.

Go ahead and push the button now. "That was easy."


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Why yes, my microwave does bake cookies.

So, my new house has this super crazy high tech microwave. It is a Whirlpool Velos... and it can microwave (duh.), bake as a convection oven, grill (like chicken and steaks), and steam (veggies, etc). Pretty cool.

Well, the display has a super detailed selection panel and one option is for it to bake cookies. This has caught my attention repeatedly and today was the day. My friend Stephanie and I decided to bake cookies in the microwave.

We of course had to make the dough from scratch. No tube chocolate chip cookies here... (I'll post the recipe below if you would like it)

And here is our adventure in mostly pictures.

There the cookies are... just spinning around in the microwave.

Not too shabby looking... and we kept some dough safe in the mixing bowl just in case the microwave experiment failed.

What are cookies without the milk?

So the experiment was a success.

Some observations:

The cookies baked in the oven had a slightly more crisp bottom. The microwave cookies were a little gooey-er (spelling?) and softer on the bottom.

The taste was consistent. No weird radioactive wave flavors in the microwave cookie. :)

The microwave cookies took a little longer, but I didn't have to stand at the door and watch them cook to make sure they didn't burn like I have to do at the oven. So, I Iike that.

All in all (I feel like I'm writing my conclusion for my 5th grade science project), the microwave baking cookies is amazing!! I can't wait to bake a casserole or something in it too. Yes, that is a button also.

Hope you enjoyed my little experiment!


Here's the chocolate chip cookie recipe... brought to you by Betty Crocker.

3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
2 1/4 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)

1. Heat oven to 375ºF.
2. Mix sugars, butter and egg in large bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be stiff). Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.
3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.
4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown (centers will be soft). Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

We Did It!!

We've officially moved into our new house! We are so happy, but sooo tired. Last week it didn't look like it was going to happen for another couple of weeks and then Thursday we get the call that we're closing Friday. Just a little late notice... lol.

Thankfully, our wonderful students at FBC and our amazing family volunteered to come help us unload the storage units and move everything to the new place. It only took them 2 and a half hours and there was a LOT of stuff. They rock!

Thinks are pretty well set up now. And I am slowly unpacking boxes and putting it away as I go. Its like Christmas morning, finding all this stuff I haven't seen in 2 years. And, it makes it easy to get rid of stuff I don't need since my attachment to it has long been broken.

So, all that to say, it was an amazing memorial day weekend. And I've never been so happy to unpack in my life. :0)