Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Growing Like Jesus

I have been MIA for awhile. I was trying to get caught up on everything before baby Cooper Lane made his appearance. He is now here! He was born on December 21, 2009 at 5:39 pm. He weighed in at 8 pounds 11 ounces. A whole pound larger than his big brother. I am so glad that he is here. He is the perfect addition to our family.
Christmas Morning

As this year comes to a close I have been thinking about my goals for next year. However, I was challenged to also think of goals for Max and Cooper as I am "training them up in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6)." In the new issue of Mom Sense magazine that I got in the mail there was the perfect article about this very thing!

Luke 2:52 is a great verse for this time of year. "And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men." The article challenges us to examine four different areas where we can grow too: intellectually (wisdom), physically (stature), spiritually (favor with God) and socially (favor with men).

Will you take the Luke 2:52 Challenge? Be intentional about challenging your children to grow in all four areas. Make and use a chart to keep track each time they do something to grow like Jesus did.

"Growing My Brain"-some fun age-appropriate intellectual goals might be to teach your child which colors mix together to make other colors or to help him learn to count in another language.

"Growing My Body"-choose a physical goal such as trying a new fruit once a week or teaching her how to pedal a tricycle or bicycle.

"Growing My Faith"-A spiritual goal could be acting out a Bible story together each week or teaching your child to pray out loud by repeating after you at bed time or meal times.

"Giving to Others"-Social goals for your kids may involve meeting new neighbors and scheduling a play date or regularly making pictures to mail to grandparents or other relatives who live in a different city.

There are many options to stick in each quadrant. I am challenged to use these four areas to help train up Max and Cooper.

Mom Sense Magazine-January February issue pg. 16

Friday, November 20, 2009

Is My Jesus Enough?

by Lysa TerKeurst

I was stopped in my tracks the other day as I was mindlessly singing a beautiful praise song. I say mindlessly not because I wasn't focusing on God. I was definitely lifting up my heart to Him. But the mindlessly part came when I realized I had no clue of the weight of the words in this song. Did I really mean what I was singing? The song said this: "(Jesus) You're all I want. You're all I ever needed."

Really? Did I really mean those words? Is my Jesus enough? Ultimately the question should be: Is my relationship with Jesus in such a place that if He was truly all I had today, would I still stand and sing those powerful song lyrics?

My husband Art is flying on a small private plane today. You know the ones you hear about that crash with no survivors... yes, that kind of plane. As I kiss him goodbye in a few minutes can I send him off with full confidence that no matter what, Jesus is enough?

My son Jackson just got his driver's license and will be driving to a friend's house to watch the football game in a few minutes. His friend lives less than five miles from our house. But don't the statistics show that most car accidents happen on the roads we are most familiar with, closest to our homes? Will I be able to smile, tell him to be careful and let him drive down our driveway with full confidence that no matter what, Jesus is enough?

I don't know what kinds of twists and turns might come during my life journey. But, I know the only way to travel with a joyful peace is to settle in my heart the answer to this question once and for all. So, today, I declare Jesus is enough. Before I even know in what way this declaration will be tested, I've made the decision to say it, believe it and settle it.

Jesus is enough.

I think this is why one of my favorite portraits of a godly woman in the Bible says, "she can laugh at the days to come," (Proverbs 31:25). She was filled with such incredible joy not because life was perfect but simply because she had decided to make laughter, peace, and true happiness the hallmark of her life. Proverbs 31:30 goes on to say this was a woman to be praised because she so reverenced God in the shrine of her heart that she knew without a doubt, He was enough.

Lysa TerKeurst is a wife to Art, mom to five priority blessings and a nationally known speaker. She is an award-winning author of 11 books including her latest, "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God." She has been featured on Focus on the Family, Family Life Today, Good Morning America, Woman's Day Magazine, "O" Magazine and on the Oprah Show.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday's Mothering Moment

Week 4 of the Deceptively Delicious Challenge!
The Testers for this week: The Beach Family

I met Autumn this year through MOPS and have so enjoyed getting to know her (she is so fun to be around). We both have two year old boys, so we have a lot in common!

Recipe: Quesadillas

Ease of Recipe: I will give this recipe a 3. I found the prep work to be somewhat involved – cooking the chicken and pureeing the butternut squash. Lots of clean-up, too. But once the prep work was finished, this recipe zipped right along! You basically just make a tortilla sandwich and bake for five or six minutes. Also, this was my first experience with pureeing! I found it quite enjoyable, as did my two helpers. Who knew pureeing was fun for the whole family?

Child Rating: I would say my two-year-old son would rate the quesadillas a 1. He hustled to the table eager to try mommy’s experiment. Picked one right up and took a big bite. However, his enthusiasm ended at that. No other bites were taken, and when I asked him if he liked it, his response was “no”. But at least it looked good enough to try that first bite!

Adult Rating: My hubby gave this dish a 2. I, unfortunately, have to agree. However, add some salsa, and the quesadillas are muchos better. I would even bump them up to a 3.

Additional Comments: Keep in mind, I live with two of the world’s pickiest eaters. So, other children/husbands may enjoy the quesadillas. I didn’t think they were too bad considering butternut squash and navy beans were involved.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Issues, Issues, Issues!

In week three, day 3 of Me, Myself, and Lies by Jennifer Rothschild we are looking at "Speaking Truth to Your Issues!" We are looking at the circumstances of the woman in Mark 5:25. Who is that woman you may ask...well we do not even know her name, but we can learn a lot from her thought closet, because it was full of wisdom.

One thing that all of us have in common on this earth is that we all have issues. Issues like illness, financial troubles, insecurities, relationship conflict, fear, and sadness. Our thought closets are filled with a lot of tricky things. As we look at the woman in Mark 5 we see that "this woman had a single, insurmountable issue, and she had endured it for 12 long years. It had challenged her physically, strained her emotionally, drained her financially, and ostracized her socially."

She had been dealing with the same issue for 12 years. I'm sure some of you can relate to her as you may have endured or have been in the middle of a particular issue for many years. Take heart, daughter of God, and lets look at what this issue laden woman did in Mark 5:27-28. "When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, "If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well." She practiced some soul talk. "She encouraged, counseled, and advised her soul. Her wise words prompted her action. With that brush of homespun cloth across her fingertips, her great need ran head-on into His limitless provision. In that instant, her courage met His compassion; Her hope met His holiness."

We see in verse 29 that the blood was dried up and she was healed of her affliction. "The most important thing isn't that she talked to herself. It's what she told herself that matters. She didn't mouth a bunch of happy talk of feel-good phrases." The key is that "she spoke words of wisdom and truth to her soul. Wise soul talk helps us overcome our issues."

What brought her healing you may ask; Mark 5:30-34 holds the answer. Jesus told her that her faith had made her well. Rothschild remarks, "Jesus never said her soul talk made her well. He said it was her faith. Her faith invited healing. Her soul talk contributed to her faith, but it didn't replace her faith. She spoke truth to her soul in the same way you and I need to speak truth to our souls. By faith we receive truth. By faith we believe truth. And by faith we act on truth." It is important to remember that "soul talk can never substitute for faith. The woman could never have talked herself into healing--not in a hundred years. But she did talk herself into seeking Jesus, and that was what she needed. Soul talk is faith's companion, not its replacement."

This days ends with a story,

"Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there was a desperately unhappy woman who talked to herself.
She might have said any number of things. She might have told herself to cheer up, to walk on the sunny side of the street, to whistle while she worked, or to simply accept her lot in life. She might even have told herself that her problems were illusions; she was really healthy and whole.
But those aren't the sort of things she said when she spoke to her soul. What she did say led her to an act of faith more daring than anything she could have imagined. When this woman talked to herself, it initiated an encounter that brought immediate healing to her body and soul. It was all because of what she had in her thought closet during one of the most important conversations of her life. She told herself the truth, and that led her straight to Jesus. May you be that woman."

Saturday, October 17, 2009

"Give This Christmas Away" Music Video Amy Grant and Matthew West -VeggieTales Bonus Song

I am always so excited when it is time for Operation Christmas Child. It is such a great organization. I have participated several times and just love going to shop for what I am going to put in my shoe box. We are so blessed and receive so much, it feels great to give especially to kids who this may be the only present they receive. Last year Max and I helped get all the donated boxes boxed up. It was a great way to start showing Max even at 18 months how to give back to others and serve. Get involved, you won't be sorry! Here is the link to Samaritan's Purse. You can find a drop off location near you.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Rich Home

By Sharon Glasglow

"Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions." I Kings 10:1 (NKJ)

The Queen of Sheba was rich and beautiful. She had everything a queen could want - gold, silver, ivory, precious jewels and servants taking care of her every need in the palace. What more could a woman want?

She heard about the fame of Solomon concerning the Name of the Lord. Even though her people had many gods to worship, none penetrated her heart as the name of the Lord God of Israel. Her heart was so moved by His name that she decided to take a 1,400 mile trip across the desert sands of Arabia to visit this man who knew this God personally.

The trip would take her approximately six months each way with camels being able to travel around 20 miles a day. She took a great caravan of servants, loads of spices, gold and unusual wood to give as gifts. Her heart and soul longed for riches that she did not have, and she sensed they would be discovered through Solomon. Finally, she arrived. It was the grandest palace she had ever laid eyes on. But her purpose wasn't to see the most beautiful archeological place ever built, it was to find a secret treasure.

The secret entrance to the wisdom of the One and only God of the Universe would be worth a year of travel. She talked to Solomon for hours, asking him deep questions about God. She was exhausted, but satisfied by his answers. She found what she had longed for and she said, "Blessed be the Name of Lord."

Jesus mentions the Queen of Sheba in Matthew 12:42. He honors her desire for His wisdom. The Queen of Sheba took great pains and trouble to find wisdom, yet the wisdom available to her at that time was the lesser wisdom of a man. The wisdom we have access to through Jesus far out shines that of Solomon. If the Queen of Sheba would travel six months to find truth, how much more should we search for wisdom by opening our hearts to Him who freely gives wisdom, truth and the secrets of His heart?

When people travel to our home it is not the seasonal decor or the cleanliness that will ultimately impress our visitors. It is not the perfectly sculpted yard or the new car in the garage. It's the pearl of spiritual insight that they will be drawn to through the Holy Spirit living through you. They will be full and satisfied when they have departed, and the richness of the visit will live on forever when you impart to them the riches God has placed in your heart.

Your home is where your heart is. Ask God for wisdom. Spend time getting to know Him and you will not only be spiritually rich, but those who enter your home will find treasures that people have traveled the whole earth in search of.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Our Thought Closet Recap

Wow! Our first week of Bible study really packed a punch! The introduction video to Me, Myself, and Lies by Jennifer Rothschild held so much good information for all of us as we begin our journey to cleaning out our thought closets!

Women have an inner dialogue of 150-300 words per minute. This totals 41,000 to 51,000 thoughts per day. Now, most of these are harmless thoughts like, "Don't forget to get milk at the grocery store." However, we have to be careful of the damaging things we tell ourselves because if you do not control your thoughts, your thoughts will control you. We must monitor what we tell ourselves!

We learned that our thought closets are divided into these six areas:
Cares and Concerns-our responsibilities (as a mom, daughter, and wife), worries, thoughts are we doing a good job?
Likes and Dislikes-who we are, preferences, what we like and don't like to do
Objectives and Goals-dreamy plans, travel, house
Secrets-What we really think about certain things, secrets we have kept inside
Eternity-designed for eternity, eternal matters
Treasures-reflect where your heart is

When looking at which of the closet sections gives me the most problems I realized that I need to place more of God and less of me in my thought closet.

Jennifer also said that our thoughts lead to our destiny. This is why it is so important to have good and true thoughts! We learned that...if you sow a thought, your reap an action, if you sow an action you reap a habit, if you sow a habit, you reap character, if you sow character you reap a destiny! You can trace your destiny back to your thoughts. What is in our thought closets is what we clothe ourselves with.

"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my redeemer." Psalm 19:14 KJV

Up this week: "What's In Your Thought Closet?"

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday's Mothering Moment

Week 3 for the Deceptively Delicious Challenge!
The Testers for Week 2: The Grisier Family
Jana is a great friend of mine. Her two beautiful daughters Jaylen and Emmie are pictured above as they help Jana cook!

Recipe: Scrambled Eggs

Ease of Recipe: 4 – I wouldn’t give any of these recipes a 5 for being easy, because making the purees does take some extra effort.

Adult Rating: 4, They are pretty good and healthier than my usual way of making scrambled eggs.

Child Rating:
5, Both of my picky toddlers eat them happily.

Additional Comments: Cauliflower seams to be one of the easiest purees to make and can be hidden in any meal easily. I am likely to continue making eggs with both the white and yolk as old habits die hard.

Recipe: Banana Bread (our favorite recipe in this book!)

Ease of Recipe: 4

Adult Rating: 5 - I think this tastes best when it is a day or two old instead of fresh out of the oven.

Child Rating: 5 – They think of it as a dessert.

Additional Comments: This recipe always takes longer to cook in our oven than the 60 minutes suggested. It is a long time for a kid to wait! If you make this banana bread, you have to add the streusel topping. It is so good!

Recipe: Spaghetti Pie

Ease of Recipe: 3 – It has a lot of steps and is time consuming.

Adult Rating: 1 – It was runny and looked nothing like the picture in the cook book. I tried to cook it longer to dry it out with no success.

Child Rating: 3 – Emmie (2 yrs) ate it gladly, but Jaylen (3 yrs) wouldn’t even consider eating a meatball.

Additional Comments: After having so much trouble with my runny Spaghetti Pie, I did some research online to find out that other people were also having this problem. In the future I would just add any vegetable puree I have on hand to our regular spaghetti sauce.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Just a Little Update

"Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him." Psalm 127:3

God is amazing. That is all I have to say. I went to MOPS on Thursday morning before departing on my 2 1/2 days away from my little boy for the first time. The segment at MOPS "God Word For a Mom's Heart" was written especially for me that day, unbeknownst to the speaker/writer. But, that is exactly how God works, isn't it. Dropping the right word in your lap at exactly the right moment. Sandy, our speaker, was talking about letting go of your children, and how the process starts right from when your children are born. I had never thought of it that way. You are beginning to let go from the moment that you let someone other than you or your husband hold your baby. Then leaving your child with a sitter for the first time, leaving them overnight, dropping them off at preschool, and on and on. It happens in small little steps. Sandy said, "We need to hold on to our children tight, but not too tight, always remembering that they belong to God."

That was exactly what a needed to hear before departing for my weekend away. The Lord sent me a little word, a word that brought me so much peace. The weekend went extremely well. My little guy did great, and we had a great time away. It was fun to come home to my little boy running full speed into my arms and holding me tight. Thank you God for our children, for they are a gift from you. I pray that we seek to honor you in our parenting everyday, knowing that our precious babies belong to You!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Peace Like a River!

I have to do something very hard today. I have to leave my two year old overnight for the first time ever. I am praying for God's peace today. This verse will be at the forefront of my mind for the next few days.

For this is what the LORD says: "I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees.

13 As a mother comforts her child,
so will I comfort you;
and you will be comforted over Jerusalem."

Isaiah 66:12-13

I am so thankful that the Lord is our Comforter! I am praying for God's peace for you all today!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What kind of a light are you?

13"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Today's sermon was one that really made you evaluate yourself and do an inventory. How do I measure up? Am I a shining example to the world? Those that are a shining example stay on the path of living a righteous life. Pastor Steve asked, "Do you live a marked life?" Is your life marked by a uniqueness, are you different and can others tell? He then challenged us to quit trying to live a unique life in our own power and stop and ask the Holy Spirit to fill you and give you the strength and power to do it. He commented that if you think about the people you know who live a life that is marked by uniqueness that they share a common trait, consistency. They will not waffle or waver, but walk in consistency. I don't know about you but that is the trait I want to possess, consistency! Examine yourself today, what kind of light are you? Can others tell you are a believer, or is your light so dim that others do not even notice?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Record Breaking Granny: 1,400 Relatives

I heard this story while driving to the gym yesterday on K-Love. I'm sure some of you heard this story as well. Here is an excerpt from the article.

Rachel Krishevsky was 19 when she married her cousin Yitzik from within the ultra orthodox Haredi community in Jerusalem. The young couple then set about following the Jewish commandment to be “fruitful and multiply.” And they certainly succeeded.

By the time she passed away last Saturday in Jerusalem aged 99, Rachel had according to her family, no less than 1,400 children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and even great-great-grandchildren. She and her husband had seven boys and four daughters. Among the ultra orthodox jewish community large families are seen as a blessing. Each of their 11 children followed in Rachel’s footsteps, resulting in 150 grandchildren. In turn these descendants had 1,000 children of their own and in the last few years several hundred great-great-grandchildren started to appear.

According to one unnamed grandchild Wednesday, “grandma knew all of her descendants by name.”

This really amazed me. She had 1,400 children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren and she knew all of them by name. WOW! That seems like an amazing feat to me. As amazing as it is here on this earth, that cannot even hold a candle in comparison to God and the love He has for His children. My mind instantly went to our one and only Father who knows all of His children so intimately that He even knows the number of hairs on our head! I don't know about you, but that brings me such comfort. He loves me and cares so much about me, that He knows the number of hairs on my head.

"Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb. I thank you, High God--You're breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration--what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day."

Psalm 139:13-16 The Message

I thought it would be neat to read this verse in the Message translation. How comforting that the Lord not only formed me, made me, and knows all about me. He watched me grow from conception to birth! He can see all the stages of my life. All the days of my life were all prepared before I had even lived one day. I want to live all of those days to the fullest for my Maker. I thank you God for making us just how you have fashioned us to be. I give thanks to you today, for Your love endures forever!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy First Day of Fall!

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1

I love this verse. Thinking about the seasons reminds me me of how there is a time and a season for everything under heaven. God is in control!

In honor of the first day of fall I have complied a list of the 20 things I love about fall!

1. The changing leaves (what beautiful colors!)
2. The nip in the air
3. The weather (cooler temperatures)
4. Fall scented candles (Pumpkin Vanilla from Yankee Candle is my newest fall scent)
5. Taking a trip to the pumpkin patch
6. Switching to Fall/Winter clothes (clothes you have not worn for awhile)
7. The smell of fireplaces when you go outside at night
8. The anticipation of the upcoming holidays
9. Fall decorations
10. Pumpkin Pie (with whip cream)
11. Hay rides
12. Football (not that I really watch), but fond memories of college football games
13. New shows are back on the networks (no more repeats)
14. Cozy sweaters, sweatshirts, hats, and scarves
15. Hot Chocolate and Hot Tea
16. Soups and stews (comfort food has returned)!
17. Thanksgiving food (need I saw more)!
18. Day after Thanksgiving shopping
19. putting up the Christmas tree/lights
20. ...and this year the anticipation of the arrival of our new baby boy in December!

I would love to hear what you love about fall. Feel free to add your comments!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday's Mothering Moment

Blueberry Oatmeal Bars (with Spinach)

Blueberry Oatmeal Bars (with Spinach)
Crunchy and sweet, but full of spinach! Let the bars cool completely before serving so that the taste of the spinach has a chance to disappear completely.

Makes 12 bars

  •     Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup Balance trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread , chilled
  • 1 cup low-sugar blueberry preserves
  • 1/2 cup spinach puree
Preheat oven to 375°. Coat an 8" x 8" baking pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and vanilla and stir to mix well.

Add the margarine and cut it quickly into dry ingredients with two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal and is no longer powdery. Do not overmix—bits of margarine will still be visible.

Set aside about half of the oat mixture; press the rest firmly into the pan. Bake until lightly browned at the edges (but not fully baked), 13 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the preserves with the spinach puree in a small bowl.

Spread blueberry mixture over the partially baked oat layer, then sprinkle with reserved oat mixture. Bake until topping is slightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Set the pan on a rack to cool completely before cutting into 12 bars. 

From the book 
Deceptively DeliciousSM

The Testers for Week 1:  Deceptively Delicious
The William's Family (Chris, Kate, and Max)
Ease of Recipe:  I would give this a 4 out of 5.  The recipe was easy except for the pureeing of the spinach.  I was also surprised at how 1 bag of spinach did not make very much puree.
Adult Rating:  I would give this a 3 out of 5.  The bars did not taste too bad.  You really could not taste the spinach.  However, I did not like the texture that came along with the spinach being included (slimy).
Child Rating:  4 out of 5.  My son did not seem to mind the texture!
Additional Comments:  I will not give up on this cookbook!  I have heard too many good comments on some of the other recipes.  I would probably not make this recipe again in the future.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Are you a Disciple?

I am just loving this study on 1 Thessalonians. It is amazing how you can read something and not get anything out of it, but when you take a study it closely, the word can come alive and things just start jumping off the page at you. Wednesday night we were talking about Paul and studying how his journey to Thessalonica came about.

We see how Paul met Timothy in Acts 16:1. "And a disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek, 2) and he was well spoken of by the brethren who were in Lystra and Iconium. 3) Paul wanted this man to go with him; and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those parts, for they all knew that his father was a Greek."

Timothy was circumcised to be a witness. He would not have had to have done this. That was law back in the Old Testament. He did this on his own accord not wanting the Jews to be able to say anything about his unbelieving father. He went above and beyond what would have been required. We see that "being a disciple is optional" not everyone is going to be able to do it. Sure anyone who has accepted Christ as their Savior will be in Heaven, but when I get there I want to hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant." I don't want to do the bare minimum. I want to be a disciple for Christ. I hope everyone asks themselves the question "What is it that I can do to serve and do exactly what God wants me to do?" Not just what would be easy for me to do, but what is God calling me to do? It may get me out of my comfort zone and I may not like it, but if that is what God is calling me to do, I want to be found faithful.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday's Mothering Moment

The next month of Monday's we will focus our Mothering Moment section on Healthy Eating for our families! Whether you have young children, teenagers, or an empty nest I think you will find this series both interesting and beneficial.

This series is going to consist of tips and tricks to get your family to eat more healthily. It is also going to involve an "experiment." I hope I have peeked your curiosity. We will have a variety of woman trying out and rating some of the recipes in the cookbook "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld. "In Deceptively Delicious, she shares her solutions: easy, mouthwatering recipes that even the most overwhelmed families can make-stealthily packed with unseen veggies, pureed so kids will never suspect."
This week I wanted to share my healthy eating findings from According to them these are the five best strategies to improve nutrition and encourage smart eating habits at any age.
  1. Have a regular family meal. "Family meals are a comforting ritual for both parents and kids. Children like the predictability of family meals and parents get a chance to catch up with their kids. Kids who take part in regular family meals are also:
  • more likely to eat fruit, vegetables, and grains
  • less likely to snack on unhealthy foods
  • less likely to smoke, use marijuana, or drink alcohol
To get teens to "buy into" the family meal here are some tips.
  • allow your teen to invite a friend to dinner
  • involve your teen in meal planning and preparation
  • Keep mealtime calm and congenial--no lectures or arguing
2. Serve a variety of healthy foods and snacks. "Kids, especially younger ones, will eat mostly what's available at home. Here are some guidelines from for serving healthy foods.
  • Work fruits and vegetables into the daily routine.
  • Make it easy for kids to choose healthy snacks
  • Serve lean meats and other good sources of protein
  • Choose whole grain breads and cereals
  • Limit fat intake
  • Limit sugary drinks

3. Be a role model by eating healthy yourself. The best way is to eat fruits and vegetables and not overindulge in the less nutritious stuff. Also, it is important to serve appropriate portions and not overeat.

4. Avoid battles over food.
  • Establish a predictable schedule of meals and snacks.
  • Don't force kids to clean their plates.
  • Don't bribe or reward kids with food.
  • Don't use food as a way of showing love.
5. Involve kids in the process-"Most kids will enjoy deciding what to make for dinner. Talk to them about making choices and planning a balanced meal. Some might even want to help shop for ingredients and prepare the meal. At the store, teach kids to check out food labels to begin understanding what to look for.

If you would like to read this article in its entirety please click the following link to visit
Come back next week for our first installment in the Deceptively Delicious Experiment!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Alive Again

I had a wonderful time of worship on the treadmill this morning. The song "Alive Again" by Matt Maher came on the radio. I loved the words and wanted to share it with you.

Matt Maher says of his song, "'Alive Again' is my attempt to use language and music in the form of a pop song to re-create the moment when God reached in and grabbed my heart for the very first time. There's nothing more compelling than waking up in a dark world and knowing that God is fervently pursuing me and shouting my name -- even if, at first, I don't recognize His voice."

I love the words "you called and you shouted," I often find God calling and shouting to me when I let the busyness of life and my own selfish desires get in the way with my relationship with Him. I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Taking one another by the hand

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV

I am in a Precepts Bible study (Kay Arthur) on Wednesday nights. We are studying I Thessalonians-You Blameless at His Coming. We were watching the video and it was amazing how what Kay was discussing was so timely, I just had to share it with you!

I Thessalonians is a letter that shows how we can come along side others believing, caring, teaching, urging, encouraging, and exhorting others! Wow, that is the purpose I would want for this blog.

Kay was saying that she believes that there is so much "sin in the camp" of believers today because there is not someone to come along side people and care and love on them. We need to encourage, exhort, and comfort one another. We need to spur each other on in the faith!

Kay ended the video with a challenge to each of us that I would like to extend to you as well. She said that we should be praying about who we can come along side and encourage today.

Girlfriends of Grace be encouraged in the Lord Jesus Christ!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Birthday Surprise!

My doorbell rang yesterday and I was greeted with the most beautiful flowers! My amazing and thoughtful husband had sent me flowers on my birthday. It was so exciting. As I was gazing at them last night I could not help but behold their beauty. I was reminded of Proverbs 31:30 "Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
These beautiful flowers that are so vibrant, and so alive at this moment cannot last forever. That is the sad part that comes along with enjoying flowers; their beauty does not last. Just as nothing on this earth ever will. However, we can look forward to eternity where nothing will ever fade away!

I hope you take the time to enjoy the beauty around you today, remembering the Maker of all things!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Best Apple Pie I've Ever Had!

A month ago I had the best Apple Pie I have ever had! We had gone to a party celebrating the end of my husbands sand volleyball summer league season. There were two of these pies setting on the counter. I came upstairs from watching my son play with all of the older kids in the basement when I heard all of the men in the kitchen raving about this pie (that tells you how good it was)! I fixed myself a piece and topped it off with some vanilla icecream. I was not ready for what I was about it encounter. It was so amazing! I like Apple Pie, but it is not my favorite dessert. However, if this pie was in the line up...I would have to have a piece.

I made this pie this weekend for a Labor Day Barbeque that we attended. The recipe is from the Pioneer Woman website. She has some amazing recipes. If you make this Apple Pie, be sure to also make the crust from the recipe link she has included. It is the best, most flaky crust I've ever had! Enjoy!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Psalm 92:4 "For You Lord, have made me glad through Your work; I will triumph in the works of Your hands."

I am so excited to have the blog up and running! I want this to be a place that will inspire and encourage you on in the faith. Our God is so good and it is so easy to get bogged down by the everyday issues, circumstances, and responsibilities of life. We need to make sure that no matter what our circumstances or mood is this day, that we rejoice in the Lord, for He has made me glad!

I have many exciting ideas for the blog that you will see unfolding in the coming weeks. Everything from guest columnists, parenting tid bits, recipes, tips on how to be an effective manager of your home, how to love on your family, how to balance the responsibilities of life, etc! If you have anything that you would love to read more about or see featured please send me an email ( or leave a comment and I will research/check into it!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Welcome to Fall Bible Study! This semester we will be studying Me, Myself, and Lies by Jennifer Rothschild. I am very excited not only for this study, but to get to know all of you.

Here is some information on the study, Me, Myself, and Lies.

Adapted from the trade book, Self Talk, Soul Talk, in the Bible Study, Me, Myself and Lies, Jennifer shares practically and helpfully from her own life and from Scripture to show how every woman can turn her words—and her life—around for good.
This six-week Bible study for women encourages them to clean out the junk in their thoughts and replace these hidden negative thoughts and failures with positive truths from God’s word. Rather than struggling with self-esteem, body image, stress and other unhealthy thoughts and emotions learn to replace the lies you may have been telling yourself with the truth from God’s word.

Information you might find helpful!

The Me, Myself, and Lies Bible Study will start Tuesday, October 6, 2009 and run until Tuesday November 17, 2009.

Time: 9:00-11:00 am

Where: Lenexa Baptist Church in room 244

Books are available in the Lexena Baptist Church Bookstore anytime church is in session.

Invite Friends! Please feel free to invite friends to this study. If you have someone who would like to join our class please encourage them to come!

Childcare: Childcare runs from 8:50-11:00 am. I will make sure that we are done with the video and discussion so you can pick your little ones up by 11:00 am. If you would like to continue chatting after 11:00 am please pick your little ones up and them come back and stay as long as you would like!

I can't wait to meet you. See you soon!