Thursday, May 14, 2015

Jesus is Better

I love the worship song Jesus is Better!  As we were adjusting our hearts to the surprise of baby #4 (8 years after our 3rd child), this is one of the songs I sang over and over again to train my heart to believe that Jesus knows best.  Great lyrics!

Friday, May 08, 2015

Orange Julius Recipe!

I love a good Orange Julius, but hate paying the prices of the ones at the restaurant chain!  I can't wait to try this recipe from the 36th Avenue blog!  And I bet we can make it with splenda instead of sugar to make it just a bit more healthy.   :)

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Sugar Cookies - A Favorite Family Tradition

My kids love making sugar cookies!  This is a super easy sugar cookie recipe that we use with the big box of cookie cutters that mom gave us.  It makes lots of cookies, so be ready to share!  Tonight we are making them to share with a friend that just got our of the hospital.

Sugar Cookies

·     2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
·     1 teaspoon baking soda
·     1/2 teaspoon baking powder
·     1 cup butter, softened
·     1 1/2 cups white sugar
·     1 egg
·     1+ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.
  • Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.   OR refrigerate for 30 minutes, then roll dough to make cut-outs.
  • Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks. 

Monday, May 04, 2015

Motivate your child action plan!

I have found a new parenting resource that I love!  And I'm thrilled to be a part of a giveaway for the book and other cool stuff!  I hope you will enter the contest, and check out this action plan for growing your children in character and godliness.  I love that the book walks you through the various steps in the action plan, allowing space to ponder the personalization of your plan.  It's like having a family counselor in your home!
Motivate Your Child Action Plan Giveaway To celebrate the release of Motivate Your Child Action Plan, we are joining other members of the Launch Team in a wonderful giveaway filled with an iPod Touch, $50 iTunes Gift Card and several biblical parenting products! A value of nearly $350! Here's what you could win: 

Apple iPod touch 16GB Black/Silver  ($195 value)  

  • In the Box - iPod Touch, Apple EarPods, Lightning to USB cable, QuickStart guide
  • Brilliant 4 Retina display with Multi-Touch IPS technology
  • Front-Facing FaceTime camera with 1.2MP photos & 720p HD video recording.  
  • iOS 6 features - Siri, Apple Designed Maps, Integrated Facebook, Shared Photo Streams, Passbook & more

iTunes Gift Card ($50 value)

 Because you'll need apps and music for that iPod Touch!

The Christian Parenting Handbook and Companion Guide ($56.95 value) 

The Christian Parenting Handbook contains nuggets of parenting wisdom condensed into 50 short chapters, each one biblical, practical, and relevant for parents of children ages 2-18. Learn appropriate ways to correct, instruct, and set limits. Glean wisdom for dealing with emotions, conflict, and developing closeness in your family… and much more. These 50 strategies provide you with hands-on tools for parenting children of any age.  The Companion Guide is a workbook of 50 lessons along with 50 audio tips to take you through The Christian Parenting Handbook step by step. Each lesson contains advice from Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller in a 5 minute audio tip and then offers teaching, an assignment, a Bible verse, and a prayer to help you apply each idea or strategy in your family. The tips are available to you as MP3 downloads and access to them comes in the workbook.

Family Time Activities Book Bundle ($45 value)

Your kids will have fun learning about God's Word and how it applies to their lives. Science experiments, art activities, and games are all designed to reinforce spiritual truth. Each lesson is clear and simple, yet profound even for parents! You'll teach kids how exciting it is to learn about God and his ways. Your kids will love these books, but more importantly you'll build spiritual memories of Family Time in your home. Titles in this giveaway include:  Seeing Is Believing  Playing for Keeps  Running the Race Enter the Giveaway using the Rafflecopter below! This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY to those 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited by law. a Rafflecopter giveaway Join us for the Action Plan Facebook Party on Wednesday, May 20 at 9:00PM ET. There will be even more prizes and giveaways there and the authors of Action Plan will be present to answer your questions! The winner of this giveaway will be announced at the Facebook party!

RSVP here for the Party! 

Action Plan Facebook Party  

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Making Beds and Changing the World

This one minute clip about "How to change the world" is really cute, and we need to show it to our kids!
http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/head-of-the-navy-seals-explains-13471955/

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Lori Benton - New Author on my Reading List!

I just finished reading my first Lori Benton novel, The Wood's Edge - It was very good and I'll be adding Benton to my list of authors that I enjoy.

The storyline was very creative, both in plot and in setting. I enjoyed learning more about some historical pieces, and thinking about the relationship between Indians and soldiers and their families. I enjoyed learning about different cultural traditions of the time. The themes of love and forgiveness run throughout the story line, and most readers will find that very easy to relate to.  I found that it was hard to put the book down!


From the publisher:
At the wood’s edge cultures collide. Can two families survive the impact? 
 
The 1757 New York frontier is home to the Oneida tribe and to British colonists, yet their feet rarely walk the same paths. 
 
On the day Fort William Henry falls, Major Reginald Aubrey is beside himself with grief. His son, born that day, has died in the arms of his sleeping wife. When Reginald comes across an Oneida mother with newborn twins, one white, one brown, he makes a choice that will haunt the lives of all involved. He steals the white baby and leaves his own child behind. Reginald’s wife and foundling daughter, Anna, never suspect the truth about the boy they call William, but Reginald is wracked by regret that only intensifies with time, as his secret spreads its devastating ripples. 
 
When the long buried truth comes to light, can an unlikely friendship forged at the wood’s edge provide a way forward? For a father tormented by fear of judgment, another by lust for vengeance. For a mother still grieving her lost child. For a brother who feels his twin’s absence, another unaware of his twin’s existence. And for Anna, who loves them both—Two Hawks, the mysterious Oneida boy she meets in secret, and William, her brother. As paths long divided collide, how will God direct the feet of those who follow Him?



I would recommend this book to any reader at age 14 plus. this book was a gift from the publisher, given in exchange for my honest review/

Easy Dessert or Indulgant Snack - Chocolate Chip Dip


8 oz cream cheese, softened (reduced fat or regular)
½  c butter, softened
¼ t vanilla extract
¾ c confectioner’s sugar
2 T brown sugar
¾ c miniature semisweet chocolate chips
chocolate graham crackers

Beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a mixing bowl ‘til fluffy.  Gradually add sugars; beat just until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Cover and refrigerate 2 hours, then serve as a dip with chocolate graham crackers.


Next time, I want to try adding crème de menthe to make mint chocolate chip dip like we found at an Amish Market near our house.  It was so delightfully yummy!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Kool-Aid Slurpees!


Doesn't this Kool-aid slurpee look yummy?  I can't wait to make it with the kids this summer!  Find the recipe at Thirty Handmade Days.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Daytime Baby Schedules

Routine is good for mamas and babies.  Baby #4 is one month old and on a 4-hour feeding schedule  (give or take according to the needs of baby and family).  Here's a peek into our daytime routine.

7am wake up & nurse & snuggle, change diaper
7:30  playtime sitting in the boppy by the window to soak up some sunshine
7:45  playtime in the playmat
8am  tummy time on the playmat or on my knees
8:15  swing time
8:30 snuggle and go down for nap  (rest or work for mom!)
11am  wake up and repeat

Once the kids come home from school they want to hold the baby & play with him, so the afternoon activities change a bit.  I'll post more about siblings & baby and babies on the run later...

What works well for your baby schedule?

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Another Good Read from Terri Blackstock

Breaker's ReefCape Refuge Series

By Terri Blackstock 


From the publisher:
"A famous mystery writer has just moved to Cape Refuge when a teenage girl is found murdered. Sheila Caruso–ex-con, mother to Sadie and Caleb, and resident of Hanover House–is working for the writer when she discovers that a scene in one of his novels matches the crime scene. When Police Chief Cade and Blair Owens discover a second dead teenager–mirroring a murder in another of the eccentric writer’s books–Cade is drawn into a web of trickery and deceit. Evidence turns up in Cade’s own truck, and suddenly he becomes the number-one suspect. Cade tries to clear his name, but when eighteen-year-old Sadie Caruso disappears, tensions mount to a fever pitch. Can Cade find the real killer before Sadie winds up dead? Is the novelist a demented killer, or a hapless victim? And what does Sadie’s own mother have to do with the crimes? Secrets are uncovered, while lessons are learned about the sins of the father being visited upon his children. Will the consequences of Sheila’s life be fatal, or is there redemption and mercy for her and her children?"

If you're looking for a good clean suspense novel, Blackstock delivers with this novel.  You'll find yourself playing detective and searching for clues to the small town mystery.  You'll find yourself pulling for the characters as they pursue love and relationships.  And you'll find yourself on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens next!

I would recommend this book to any reader age 14+, though readers age 18+ might find the book more appealing.

I received this book as a gift from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

New Christian Fiction Author to Enjoy - Dani Pettrey

I just finished reading Sabotaged, book five in Dani Pettrey's Alaskan Courage series.  I'm thrilled to say that I have found another christian author that I enjoy!

This was a very unique novel, set in Alaska, and featuring the Iditarod race.  I enjoyed learning a little bit about the race, the culture and the terrain (though I wanted to learn more!).  I enjoyed meeting the characters and watching them work together to protect one another and solve a series of mysteries.  I enjoyed the lessons on faith, friendship, courage and love.  The romance was a bit sappy, but sweet as well.

I was afraid I might feel a bit behind on the storyline, since this is book #5 in the series, yet my first delving into the series, but it was fine to read as a stand-alone book.

I would recommend this book to any female reader age 16+.

I received this book as a gift from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.