A Spoonful of Sugar

Making every day life as a mom just a little bit sweeter.

Medicine Soup~Good for What Ails Ya’! February 20, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janine Chance @ 11:37 am

With the weather being so cold and rainy, (and even snow for some!) and so many people suffering with yucky viruses and sickness lately, I thought re-posting this was a mighty fine idea.  Actually, I just made some this week for my family and friends who are fighting off the crud…..I am having some myself even as I type!  Enjoy…and let me know what you think and if it helps!

This is a chicken soup recipe I use every time the sniffle monster comes to my house. I’ve noticed quite a few of my readers have sick kids, and are battling it themselves, so I wanted to post this recipe to help the healing process along. It has great healing properties, and it’s really soothing for those raw winter days!

My ‘Homemade Medicine Soup’ (This is what my girls call it!)

1 whole 4-5 lb. chicken

4 carrots

3 celery stalks

15 cloves fresh garlic (I know, it seems like a lot, but trust me on this one!)

1 lg. onion

2 – 3 bay leaves

kosher salt (or salt of choice)

fresh ground pepper (or pepper of choice)

optional: 2 TBSP. chopped fresh ginger root (this is good especially for stomach flu stuff!)

Rinse chicken well and discard the stuff inside. Put in a large stock pot and fill with water about 1 in. above chicken. Place on the stove on high. Roughly chop all of the vegetables and put in pot with chicken with the bay leaves. (All of these vegetables will be discarded, so don’t worry about peeling the carrots..just big chunks of all of the veggies is fine..also, if you are adding the ginger, do it here!) Add about 2 – 3 tablespoons of salt and 1 – 2 tablespoons of pepper to the pot and let the whole thing come up to a boil. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to simmer and let ‘er go! I let mine simmer usually about 3 – 4 hours, stirring occasionally. You will know it’s ready because the water will have reduced considerably, and the chicken will be falling apart. At this point, I use tongs to remove the chicken pieces from the broth and put them in a large bowl in the fridge or freezer to cool so it can be picked. Strain the broth into another pot and discard all of the vegetables. (These are the casualties of war…the martyrs!) I let the broth cool and then use a spoon to skim the oil off the top. I then put it back on the stove to simmer a few more minutes. You now have your crazy-good-for-you broth that you can use as a base for any soup you want…or you can serve this to your under-the-weather friends and family just as is! Great with some pasta thrown in there, fresh-cut carrots, celery, onions and peas, whatever you like! When the chicken cools, pick it apart, discard all the bones, fat, etc. and cut it up or pull it apart and throw it back in the broth.

Here are some links explaining the health benefits and medicinal properties in this soup:

(Make sure you scroll down enough to read medicinal properties)






Hope this helps, guys! Feel better soon!


Out of the Box, Into the Nutshell…NICE. August 29, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janine Chance @ 11:37 pm

Ok, so I’ve been home schooling for about 8 years now.  We sent our oldest to Christian school last year, which was not a ‘complete’ disaster…we  look at it as a wonderful learning experience.  And it truly was.  It wasn’t bad, just different. We learned some things, saw some things, and grew.  All of us.  I guess you could call that success, right?

Anyway, this year all of our girls are back home.  However, we decided to…..ugh…….wait a minute…hold on….

 (I haven’t blogged in so long, my nails are so stinkin’ long I can’t even type!  Need to cut them off…NOW…be right back….)

Whew!!!!!!! So much better.  Ready to type.

Anyway, what was I saying?  Oh, yeah…all of our girls are home again this year…YESSSS!

Having said that, last year with our oldest at private school, we got a taste of another sort of ‘good life’.

Kaitlyn was getting a great education, and I didn’t have the stress of making it all happen.

However, on the other hand, I dropped her off at 8:00 a.m. and didn’t get her back until 3:10 p.m.  Not so great in my book.  So, I started to research a middle ground.

We decided to look outside the box, and enroll the two oldest girls (6th and 8th grade) in an online virtual charter school curriculum. (Heavenly music inserted here)

 LOVE IT.  Not only do they have a full workload of school that  is completely organized and well put together, but they have teachers for every subject who are ready to tutor them at any time and assist me with ANY questions I may have.  WHAT?!  INCREDIBLE…TOTALLY LEGIT!

OH, wait, did I tell you that it was FREE??!??!!  NO CHARGE???!!!   GRATIS???? (That’s free in Spanish)


So what’s the catch?

OK, so it’s not a Christian curriculum.  However, we have used a Bible-based curriculum since the beginning of our home schooling career, and our girls have a great Christ-centered  foundation, so it’s proving not to be a problem for us.

My oldest daughter actually said she was grateful for the alternate education so she is able to minister to others based on facts…pretty cool, huh? And because they’re still at home, we have the opportunity to teach them based on Biblical principles!  Super sweet!

I was a little afraid of the change, to be quite honest.  It’s different from traditional home schooling, but with the ages and grades my girls are getting to, I was curious to explore the ‘different’.  I’m so glad I did.

They have home room teachers who email you back within hours, and are willing and happy to answer any questions you have, and teachers for each subject who are happy to help, and tutor (if necessary) your kids when they have any questions.

Also, I am able (because of this awesome ‘accountability-filled and free’ schooling alternative) to give my time and attention to my youngest daughter, whom I am home schooling in our traditional way.  She is in third grade this year.

I am able to spend one-on-one time with her, (which speaks to her primary love language, ‘quality time’) using the great Bible-based curriculum that I used with my older two girls.  (Comment if you want any info. on what we’re using and I’ll send you links….good stuff!)

So, in a nutshell, we are going GREAT this year with school.  Everyone is happy…and that’s not an easy task!

What?  Dinner???….tomorrow!!??

Did you actually think I’d swing on back to the blogging arena and not give up a great dinner idea?!

 How about some crazy Meatball Subs?  (Or ‘heroes’, depending on your location!)

 Here’s the food 411:

Meatball Subs

4-5  lbs. ground beef (or any ground meat of choice…fyi, if you are using chicken or turkey, make sure to season well!  It may seem like a lot of ground beef, but you’ll want leftovers…trust me!)

2 eggs

2 TBSP. Montreal Steak Seasoning

1/4 c. bread crumbs

1/4 c. parmesan cheese

1 tsp. kosher salt

Baguette (or any other carb-o-licious vehicle)

Marinara (of choice)

Sliced provolone or mozzerella cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Mix chopped meat of choice, eggs, seasoning, parmesan and bread crumbs together until well blended.  Use a 1/4 c. measuring cup to scoop out meat mixture and roll into a ball.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or tin foil sprayed with olive oil cooking spray.

Bake meatballs for about 20 minutes or until brown and yummy looking. = )

Lay out paper towels to roll meatballs on to soak up any extra grease.  (Turkey or chicken will not have much excess, but if you use ground beef, you’ll want to execute this step.)

Cut baguette into desired sandwich roll size, cut in half and spray with olive oil cooking spray, then lightly sprinkle with garlic salt. Place the sandwich rolls in oven for about 3 minutes to lightly toast.

Now, to build.

Press down the inside of the rolls in order to ‘make room’ for the meatballs.  Using tongs,  dip the meatballs in the hot marinara sauce, and place on the roll. (2-3 meatballs per roll, according to guest)

Spoon a little extra sauce on the meatballs, then place slices of provolone, or mozzerella over the meatballs, just enough to cover.  Place the sandwiches back into the oven until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted.  Enjoy!

McKenna thought they were good, anyway…What do u think?


My Big Fat Plans March 3, 2011

Filed under: Homeschooling,Juicy Little Mommy Tidbits,Oh My!,Parenting 101,Teenagers! — Janine Chance @ 6:09 pm

Ok, so I won’t go on and on about how I haven’t blogged….

life changed….things were hard…blah, blah, blah…love me or hate me, I’m here now. Enough said.


During my ‘absence’ a new development took place in the Chance household.

My oldest daughter, (now 13…holy toledo ‘I’m feeling old-ER’) is going to a local Christian school.

Yes, me, the die-hard home school mom actually agreed to this preposterous plan. Hmm.

Sometimes I wonder about myself.

Actually…it’s been the best thing for her.

Not necessarily the best thing for ME, but like I’ve always told you guys….



I so wish it was!

However, I started noticing that she was losing her ‘joy’……

not good for a 13 yr. old girl whose middle name should’ve been Joy.

Here’s the story.

She came to me in mid October and stated that she’d been praying for months about going to school.

She said she was praying about whether it was just because she wanted to be there,

or if God wanted her to go.

She also talked about being ‘bored’ and that is practically a cuss word for a home school mom.

How do you argue with that? Not very successfully, obviously.

After many talks, including one where I told her she needed to ‘do her homework’.

She needed to talk to a panel of her peers and find out the good, the bad, and the ugly about both sides.

Home schooling verses Christian school.

I also told her she needed to obtain wise council from adults that she knew and trusted

and that knew her….her pick.

I thought that was fair..to her and to me.

(No, I didn’t sabotage the process…although I was tempted!)

She had already talked to her dad who of course stayed ‘kinda’ neutral.

He was ‘for’ her going, but understands the purpose behind home schooling.

Alot of help he was…kidding.

So, my incredibly motivated, determined, smart, sweet,

and absolutely integrious 13 year old first born girl did what she does best.

Exactly what I told her to do.

I was impressed with who she chose to draw her guidance from….not biased…very honest and fair.

Within 2 days, she had made all of her phone calls, made all of her lists, and presented me with her case.

Of course, all the while I was praying…..after all, what’s a mom to do?

Ok, I admit it, I prayed WHILE doing the laundry, and the dishes, and the…..well, you get the point.

The result? I had more peace about her going to school than I care to say.

After all, MY plan…my BIG FAT PLAN was to ‘home school my kids all the way through school….

to go on amazing field trips and make school so absolutely incredible

that my kids would never want it any other way………….’


Needless to say, Kaitlyn started Christian school in November, uniform and all.

She made the A honor roll, and a 4.0 GPA her first semester there, cheering,

all the while still keeping up with her ministerial obligations at church.

Oh, and not short of that, my girlie made

Homecoming Queen for the 7th grade only 2 months into it.

Go figure.


Totally kidding.

So, who was I to get in the way? The mom who says it’s ‘my way or the highway’?

I always promised God, my husband and my children that

I would have an open spirit to what God wants for them….including school.

The result? A much happier 13 year old girl….much happier….which makes me happy….

even though I still cry about it every day.

Well, almost every day.

I miss her. Terribly.

But, like I’ve been told…it’s a part of life.

I still feel peace through my tears, though, and that’s what’s important.

Life takes turns, mama.

That’s why you should always wear your seat belt and have your hands at 10 and 2.

You never know when that curve is gonna come.

So, my ‘big fat plans’ changed……what else is new?

Here’s my girl as ‘Homecoming Queen for 7the Grade’ 2010.

Think she needs a paci?

……maybe not so much, mama.

Thanks for listening.


Me? A Slacker??!! No way… October 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janine Chance @ 8:31 am

Yes,  it’s true.  I’ve completely slacked on my blog.  Having said that, you can forgive me, and keep reading, or….or….well, just keep reading.  My summer has been filled with awesomeness.  My kids are completely busy, and now that we’ve started school, it’s only gotten crazier!  We joined a home school co-op which my girls love, and they have all completely taken off with their music.  Kaitlyn, my oldest is playing her guitar and singing like a mad woman, as well as continuing to write crazy good music, my Madelyn-in-the-middle is rockin’ it on the drums, and the little Monkey started piano lessons.

Also, my littlest one just turned eight.  Can you believe it?!  My BABY is 8!  This month begins birthday mania.  Between Oct. 5th, and January 19th, we begin the celebration of every anniversary, and birthday, besides Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year.  It’s nuts!

Well, I won’t bore you with a long, boring blog about my busy life, but instead, here are a few pictures to update you a little.  Oh yeah, and losing 55 pounds certainly has been a highlight for me…I started April 15th, and lost all the weight by about the middle of July.  I don’t have much in my closet to choose from anymore, but I’d rather have two items of clothing in the size I’m in now, than a million in the size I used to be!

So, If you’re still reading, I’ll assume you’ve forgiven me.  Thanks.

Pumpkin Patch Day!

My Little Chef…she made our awesome anniversary dinner…featured below!


The hubby and I enjoying our anniversary dinner in  the backyard…it was beautiful!

My handsome man doin’ what he loves…


My sissy and I at the beach….good times, good times!


I think it’s obvious from the above pics that my girls have had an incredible summer…



My girls and I in Charleston…field trip!



I didn’t know monkeys played the piano?  My little girl is rockin’ it!


Pool party?  In October?!  So much fun!


Well, I hope you enjoyed the pictures…I’ve missed you!  Let’s talk again, soon…



Yellow Light Testimony July 14, 2010

Filed under: Jesus rocks!,Juicy Little Mommy Tidbits,Speaking a Thousand Words... — Janine Chance @ 9:44 am

We all remember that game, right?! Red light! Everyone stops….and thennnn…Green light! Everyone run, run, run…run for your life! Then…Red light! Remember how hard it was to go from green to red in an instant? Someone always fell over or tripped up trying to come to a dead stop after flying across the yard in the hopes of being the first one across the finish line. There was no yellow light in that game…no slowing down to give you time to think. Hmmm. Sounds so familiar. Oh! that would be because that pretty much describes my life right now! Well, last night, I slowed down. Finally got the yellow light, and it wasn’t because I got smart, or used wisdom. No, it took an injury.

Here’s my story.

I absolutely love, love, love having people at my house and entertaining.

This describes our home:

We love it, but it’s all fun and games until…

We had friends over for dinner, and I decided to make my homemade zeppoles

(a delectable Italian donut~recipe to be posted on a later date) for dessert.

I borrowed their fryer (they live right next door) to make it easier and move the process along. I was once again going a hundred miles an hour flying around my kitchen, cleaning up, getting ready to make coffee..you know, movin‘ and groovin‘. I went to move the fryer over to get to the coffee pot, (the important stuff) when the rubber feet on the fryer got caught up and studdered on the glass cook top stove and hot oil came flying out. A large splash on the inside of my wrist immediately began to burn, along with the splashes of oil that hit my neck and chest. I paused, trying to collect myself, and to see how bad it was. Was I on fire? Was my entire neck and arm melting away? My husband came over immediately and looked at my neck. His alarmed face was sign enough that it was bad. In my mind, I immediately began to pray.

I mean, what else should I do? Screaming certainly wouldn’t have been beneficial, so I decided to go with prayer. Good choice.

Now, you may not believe that God can heal, but I myself have experienced it. Not just once, so, I knew He could, and wanted to heal me.

Even though I’ve experienced it, I still hear myself say,

‘God, help me in my unbelief’…after all, I’m just human you know.

My friends immediately sprung into action, getting all of the items needed for first aid for burns….ice packs, vitamin E, Aloe, you name it…My wrist was swollen and blistering and the blister on my neck had broken open. The pain was intense. My husband and friends gathered around me and prayed, while I placed the ice pack on my neck and chest. I was most concerned about my wrist because it was the one closest to the fryer and got the biggest splash of oil, and I couldn’t bend it. As they prayed, I felt the pain begin to subside. By the time they were done praying, the blister had gone down, there was only some shading left where the blister was, and I was able to move it all around.

I went to bed, exhausted, but feeling pretty good. The big test for me and my unbelief was getting through the night…

once the ibuprofen wore off, and time went by without putting ice on it…

“I know He can do it, but would He do it for me? Now?”

I fell asleep at 11 last night, and slept through until 6:30 this a.m.

When I woke up, my once burned wrist was underneath my pillow,

tucked up under my head without a care.

I pulled it out and looked.

That’s it….that’s all that was left, without an ounce of pain.

I immediately reached up and grabbed my chest, and felt the blister, but no pain.

Slightly disappointed, I looked into the mirror in the bathroom and saw it there.

“That is what your arm should have looked like..” is all I heard.

That one little spot at the bottom of my neck is a small example of what I escaped everywhere else.

(Don’t mind the freckles…= )

Looking at my clothing, I should be covered with blisters.

The oil went straight through my clothes, but never burned my skin.

What did I learn from this, besides the fact that God is awesome and miracles do happen?

Add a yellow light.


I tell my girls that all the time, so I need to do as I say. Lesson learned.

I am thankful to God, and to those who prayed, but I leave you with this:

Let your testimony be your balanced life, not your lack of burned skin.

P.S…I did turn to my girls when it happened and said to them, “This is why Mommy tells you to slow down.” The mom in me just couldn’t help myself. It was important for them to learn the lesson along with me. I took advantage of the whole ‘I say things for a reason’ moment. Moi importante, Mommies.

This post was linked to:

Wordful Wednesday @


New Surroundings… July 13, 2010

Filed under: Movin' on up!,Talk to Me! — Janine Chance @ 7:29 am

I know, I know…I’ve been a complete slacker.  Well, not really…

Actually, I’ve been so completely engaged it’s not even funny!   We literally haven’t stopped since we moved here!  That certainly is not a complaint, however, as we are absolutely loving life!  It almost feels strange to be sitting here in front of my computer screen…almost foreign….yikes!  I shudder at that thought!  My computer?   FOREIGN?   Not hardly!!!!  Ok, it was only for a  moment…I’m better now.  Whew!

Where to begin…  At the beginning you say?  Well ok… here goes.

So, we moved exactly one month, one week and five days ago.  I had my new house completely unpacked, pictures hung, and boxes empty in exactly 6 days.  I rested on the 7th day.  God did it, so I figured, why not follow the footsteps of the Master?  Just kidding…I didn’t realize that’s how long it took until I sat here and thought about it.  And actually, I didn’t rest on the 7th day.  God is way smarter than I am!  I haven’t rested until today…my body spoke to me last night and basically said, “That’s it, woman…I’m DONE!”  Not even the shirt could move me today!

I have just been so thrilled about our new surroundings and busy lifestyle that I haven’t wanted to stop!  It’s like being a kid at a carnival.  You just want to stuff that last piece of cotton candy in your mouth so bad even though you know your mom said ‘that’s enough…you’ll make yourself sick!’

Well, I stuffed it.  Was it worth it?  Oh yeah baby…you know it was!

So today, I rest.  Well, rest and blog.  (Don’t push it people…this is resting for me!)

Here are some highlights and FYI’s about this past month that I will be touching on in future posts:

1.  We still have Abby and she’s doing well.  It’s been a little rough because of the busy schedule, but we’re getting there and we love her dearly!

2.  All three of my girls have been to camp.  If you’ve never sent your kids…do it.  Find some camp that is suitable for your family and let them go…so important!  Especially when you home school…I’ll ‘splain later.

3.  Hosting movie nights at your house can be the most fun you’ve had in a while!

3.  We had a great yard sale in which we raised moolah for my oldest daughter’s trip to Detroit next month.  Very successful…I’ll be talking about the do’s and don’t’s of yard sales later on.  Hopefully I can save you some time and footwork!

4. And oh yeah….I’VE LOST 41 POUNDS SINCE THE MIDDLE OF APRIL!!!!  Yes, I did it.  I actually lost the unruly toddler I was carrying around my mid-section!  I haven’t wanted to blog about it because for me, it’s not accountability,  just stressful!  I know you’re wondering how I did it, so I’ll just say…come back and visit me tomorrow for the story of my weight loss journey.

So, here I am.  I haven’t abandoned you, and I hope you will continue to come visit me and make super sweet comments.  I have a whole arsenal of information, recipes and stories to share.  Stick around….it’ll be worth it!

Here are a few pics of the new crib…(quality is not so great…these were taken with my cell)

Just a few to give you an idea and welcome you in…I’ve missed you!


I’m Ba-ack!! June 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janine Chance @ 9:27 am

Ok,  so I’m back!!!   This is a short but sweet post I’m pluggin’ in from my SIL’s computer because my internet is giving me a run for my moolah.  Hopefully I’ll be up and running like normal this evening!  I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I ran over here (she’s just across the street!) to say hi and I MISS YOU GUYS!!!  Thanks for the prayers and sweet comments…it means the world!  I’ll post some pics and my moving experience this coming week.  I set a new move-in and set-up record…awesome!  I’ll just say that we’re all doing great and loving it here!  Happy Friday, everyone!  I’ll have some super sweet posts up before you know it!  Much love!


May Moving Madness~The Final Countdown May 31, 2010

Filed under: May Moving Madness!,Movin' on up! — Janine Chance @ 7:34 am

Can you even believe it?  I so can.  I’m so ready for this.

Moving a close distance makes it easier in some ways for sure, but busier.

A lot of back and forth trips can be equally as tiring.

Just as I was about to even entertain the thought that I was just too tired,

God tapped me on the shoulder, cleared His throat,and spoke five little words.

Five powerful, motivating little words that I share with my girls often…

“You can do ALL things.”

Philippians 4:13 says,

“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”

It was a kind, quiet reminder that I’m not in this, or doing this alone.

So, I woke up, dragged myself out of bed, showered, put on THE SHIRT, smeared cover up under my sleepy eyes staring into the mirror like a focused quarterback, pinned back my bangs to avoid any wispy distractions, pulled on the New Balance for the ability to run faster and jump higher, and grabbed my perfectly creamed to-go mug of caffeinated goodness…

I’m ready.

Ready to conquer.

This morning a great friend of mine is coming to do the ‘woman’s load’.

A small truck and trailer, a gutted out mini-van,

And two determined women is a force to be reckoned with.

I’ve been to the new house, bleached everything but my kids and I’m as organized as I’m ever gonna be.

I’m determined to get this thing done without a hitch.

Who’s with me?

I know He is…

This post was linked to:


May Moving Madness~Happy Blessed Sunday to Ya’! May 30, 2010

Filed under: Happy Blessed Sunday To Ya'!,May Moving Madness!,Movin' on up! — Janine Chance @ 5:38 am

Well, its only:

Im pretty sleepy, but even more excited!

Heres another cool video by my talented nephew.



May Moving Madness~It’s a Blog Meet Blog World! May 28, 2010

Filed under: Calling all bloggers!,May Moving Madness! — Janine Chance @ 5:11 am

I decided to join a blog carnival. No, it’ s not like joining the circus…although that may be fun, this is different. It’s a way to be introduced to new blogs and get your own blog out there to ‘socialize’. Who wants their baby blog to be unsocialized? Not me! Being new to the blogging world, I don’t have all of the 411, but there’s only one way to find out, right? To link your blog, click the cute little Friday Follow button below. Or, click it even if you’re not a blogger…it’s a super cool way to check out other super cool blogs!

So, I’m jumpin’ in…hold your nose ….CANNONBALL!!!!!