Being a mom is the hardest thing I've ever done, but it has brought me so much joy! I want to encourage other moms on their journey, I'll share motherhood tricks, spotlight tips I've learned from friends, and I hope you will share your ideas. I will focus on secrets that help families stay balanced, healthy, frugal, creative, and closely knit. I will also share favorite fiction and nonfiction books that I have enjoyed. Many blessings to you on your mothering journey!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Here's the recipe for the super-yummy Caramel Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake that my sister made for Thanksgiving.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's almost time for Thanksgiving!

I'm getting very excited about spending the holidays with family and friends. I am grateful for opportunities to hang out with the people I love so much! Here are some articles I thought you might enjoy, as you prepare for Thanksgiving weekend.

Easy Make-Ahead Recipes for Thanksgiving Day from The Mother Load

Hosting Overnight Guests: 10 Easy Tips To Help Your Visitors Feel Welcome from Simple Mom

Preparing for Thanksgiving from Nourishing Heart & Home

And this one doesn't relate to Thanksgiving necessarily, but it's all about food:
Baby Steps to Nutritious Eating: 12 Steps to a Real Foods Diet from Passionate Homemaking

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Gift Ideas for Girls

I've been working hard to get my shopping done for Christmas, and I bet you are too! Here are some more gift ideas for the little girls in your life. They are from the Jolie Fille Bowtique.

She makes beautiful Tutus for $15 - an awesome gift for little girls who like to dress up like princesses or ballerinas. And it makes a great photo opp for moms that want to capture their little ones on camera!

Her clippies and bows start at just $1.50, and they range in price according to the time she spends handcrafting each product. These are great gifts, because the girls can wear them so many times! Here are a few of her holiday products and some of my other favorites:

If you missed seeing Amanda's beautiful headbands from last week's post, make sure look at them on the Jolie Fille website. They're super cute!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Christmas ideas and deals this week

If you're thinking about Christmas, check out these great deals compiled by Kelly at Faithful Provisions:

50 Free Photo Cards (with free shipping)

Cooking Light Magazine: 1 Year Subscription Only $5

Gap, Old Navy & Banana Republic 30% off Coupon

Toys ‘R Us: Hasbro Game Deal $.56/ea!

This is also a great article with gift ideas:

Top 5 Charitable Gifts from CAbi Canary - CAbi Blog

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Saturday, November 07, 2009

Striving for Godly Families.

I stumbled upon the Duggar Family's website tonight, while searching through some of Angie's favorite websites. I like this grid of character qualities that they follow, and I also like their House Guidelines. Both would be interesting tools to adapt for our own families! They also have a good list of web resources that they suggest for raising families of faith.

I also thought I would share their answer to the question, "What are your top five best parenting tips? (For parents with families of all sizes.)" that I found on their site:
  1. Teach our children to love God with all of their heart, soul, mind and strength, and memorize God’s word together as a family.
  2. Teach them to have a servant’s heart, leading by your example. Love your neighbor as yourself.
  3. Daily read the Proverb of the Day that corresponds with the day of the month and discuss it as a family.
  4. Diligently keep up with each child’s attitudes and actions and ask what is going on in their heart.
  5. Pray with them one on one letting them lead in prayer and then you closing the prayer time together.
  6. Ask God to help you conquer anger because it can destroy your relationship with your children.
  7. Praise them ten times more than you correct them.
It's so fun to learn from other families!

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Yummy Cake!

My friend Michelle brought a wonderful cake to Bible study last week. It was Southern Living's Buttermilk Breakfast Cake. She says that it's easy to make; it's beautiful; and it's super yummy!

1 (18.25 oz.) white cake mix
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup melted butter
5 large eggs
3 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
Buttermilk-Vanilla Glaze (recipe following)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer 1 1/2 minutes or until thoroughly blended; add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
2. Stir together brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
3. Grease a 12-cup Bundt pan with shortening; sprinkle with 1 tbsp. granulated sugar.
4. Spoon 1/3 of batter into prepared pan; sprinkle brown sugar mixture evenly over batter. Top with remaining batter.
5. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool 20 minutes. Drizzle Buttermilk-Vanilla Glaze over slightly warm cake.

Buttermilk-Vanilla Glaze
Makes about 1/3 cup
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 to 2 tbsp buttermilk
1. Stir together first 3 ingredients and 1 tbsp buttermilk until smooth, adding additional 1 tbsp. buttermilk if necessary.


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Beautiful Headbands for Little Girls

Jolie Fille Bowtique has the cutest accessories for little girls - and they are all handmade by a sweet mommy friend of mine. If you have gifts for girls on your shopping list, take a minute to visit her website. Here are pictures and prices for her headbands, but she also has tutus, bows, beanie hats and pony-o's. They are very fairly priced and very carefully made - I think you'll love them!

Sparkle headbands $5
Crocheted with bow $6
Custom crocheted $8
Crocheted with a flower $7

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Sunday, November 01, 2009

Teaching Children About Purity.

Recently, several mommy friends have initiated conversations about teaching children and tweens about sexuality and purity in a Godly way. I think that must have been God's nudge to get me thinking about these things, so I did a little research.

These are books that my trusted mommy friends recommended:
  • 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter by Vicki Courtney. It is a wonderful resource for teaching our girls purity. I highly recommend it to all moms of daughters, no matter how old they are!
  • “Sex Has a Price Tag: Discussions about Sexuality, Spirituality, and Self-Respect” by Pam Stenzel.
  • We used the series "God's Design for Sex" (1st book is called The Story of Me, and they have a book for each age range - got a little hokey by book 3 but the first few were good for the early ages)
  • Preparing your Daughter for Every Young Woman's Battle (good for tween age - the 1st 1/2 of the book is for mom/dad, and then the 2nd half you do together)
  • Preparing your Son for Every Young Man's Battle (same as above - there is also a Every Young Women's/Man's Battle, but we felt this would be more appropriate for high school age)
  • Tribe - Michael Ross (My son did this as a devotional)
  • We've had conversations with our girls, but not used any books thus far. When they are high school age (maybe younger?) I'm going to have them read Lauren Winner's book Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity because I think it addressed the heart component of purity much better than anything I've ever read. It's not at all, "Don't have sex before marriage. Just don't" which is what I think kids hear most often. Instead, Winner explains why this is what God wants for us and, as always, she does so in an authentic, compelling voice that makes you feel like you're having a dialogue instead of reading a treatise.

I also found several books recommended by either Focus on the Family or Family Life Today, but I haven't read any of them yet.

  • Created by God: Tweens, Faith, and Human Sexuality Parent Guide and Student Book
  • How to Talk Confidently With Your Child About Sex
  • How to Talk to Your Kids About Sexuality
  • I Want to Teach My Child About Sex by Dr. Karl Wendt and Shannon Wendt
  • Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality: A Biblical Approach to Preparing Them for Life
  • Teaching Your Kids About Sex I-II
I also found a list of articles and podcasts by Family Life Today that might interest parents interested in these topics.

I'm sure some of you have already found great resources to help you on this journey - do you have suggestions for other moms? If so, I hope you'll share them, so we can learn from each other.


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