February 9, 2015

You Rock!

My little kindergartner loves rocks. He has amassed a pretty nice collection of rocks and he decided to share some of his favorites with his friends. We came up with this fun Valentine's card for him to pass out...

We painted the rocks with tacky glue and sprinkled glitter on the glue. After the glue was dry we used a dry paintbrush to brush away excess glitter...

With my help we hot glued the rocks onto red cardstock paper. He hand wrote each card with "You Rock!" and then signed  his name on the bottom.

He wanted solid red paper but this would also look amazing on scrapbooking paper or any cardstock you have. Also, it would be fun to use scrolled scissors to trim the edges. My son wanted it to be plain and simple and focus on the rock lol. I love him.

I hope this inspired you to get creative and make your own Valentine's cards!


February 8, 2015

A Day with the Beavers

I have been reading to the boys each night from C.S. Lewis' "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe".

I love to draw out lessons from the books we are reading. Watching the stories come to life for my children is amazing!

When the robin led the children through the snow to meet Mr. Beaver we stopped and studied robins...

When we got to chapter 7 of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" we stopped and studied beavers. We watched documentaries on the importance of beavers and how they build their dams. We also looked at their anatomy and studied their behaviors.

Tonight we finished our time with the beavers by recreating the dinner Mrs. Beaver made for the children. This was a SUPER FUN way to bring this chapter to life! Here's the spread...

I read chapter 7 again to the kids as we served up and ate the food...

I tried to stay as true to the dinner Mrs. Beaver served as possible but I did have a few variations.
I served tilapia instead of trout. It was YUMMY!
I served boiled potatoes with butter like she did, but I also offered oven roasted potatoes. I had way too many potatoes so I just cooked them up :)
I added green beans, because, well, they are delicious and were only $0.99/lb!
I served creamy milk with our dinner, just like Mrs. Beaver did.

I could not find a recipe for a marmalade roll so I made cinnamon rolls...

This one loved it...

He was super happy...

And now she is saying she loves fish and wants to be a beaver...

We had a blast recreating the day with the beavers and can't wait to continue exploring & learning through literature!


December 26, 2014

A Grace-Filled Christmas

Christmas is by far the most intimate and grace-filled season for a believer.

Intimate in that the God of the universe - the God who dwells in inapproachable light, whose throne is surrounded by angels crying out "Holy! Holy! Holy is the Lord God almighty!" - came down to me. Me! And He came in such a lowly, approachable, and humble way. He is the express image of God and yet He is the approachable one - the Emmanuel, God with us. How intimate and kind!

Grace-filled because I do not deserve Him let alone all that He brings to my life! The theme for this season has been "exceedingly & abundantly".

Every gift under our tree this year had a grace-filled God-story behind it. You see that manilla envelope on the tree? Well that came from our sweet sister-in-Christ Mercy whose family we were able to bless with 2 goats and 2 chickens through the bake sale we had for Promise Child ministry (www.promisechild.org). The letter and pictures in that manilla envelope just happen to be my favorite grace-filled gift this year...

I have 3 healthy, sweet, and silly children! How kind and gracious God is to us...

My father-in-law caught this moment when my daughter stopped and ran over and thanked me for all her gifts (grace-filled, tear filled moment for this mama)...

My children were blessed with a computer this year! I had been praying for a computer for 2 years and my dear friend gave us one but it wouldn't run their learning software correctly. This year the Lord provided exceedingly and abundantly! Again, such an undeserved grace-filled gift!

I often feel like the Luke 7 woman - I was forgiven so much - I was given everything - I will love HIM and others MUCH because of this intimate and grace-filled forgiveness! Oh how sweet and gracious is my King & Savior!

Merry Christmas dear friends. 
Love God & Love Others!

Isn't it wild how much you change over the passing years? I used to be many things I am not today. As a daughter of the King, when I place my identity in Him, the Alpha & the Omega, the never changing one, the one who is the same yesterday, today and forever more, who I am becomes secure and fixed in HIM! Oh how this is transforming "my" life and showing me again and again that "my" life is not mine anymore - for "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Gal 2:20

December 18, 2014

Merry CHRISTmas & A Blessed New Year!!

I am so VERY blessed by the amazing year the Lord gave my family in 2014. As I stop and reflect I am finding myself in a place of gratitude, praise, and thanksgiving, oh, and a lot of awe in the Lord! We are eager with joy and excitement to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus! Christmas time is such a beautiful time as a believer in Christ because EVERYTHING around you is beckoning you to "fall on your knees, oh hear the angels voices, oh night, divine, oh night, when Christ was born." I heard this in the Dollar Tree the other day with my 3 yr old daughter and she and I literally paused in the tupperware section and worshiped! Christmas music and decorations and food and gatherings can all stir your heart towards Christ! Let it! I heard an awesome message at a women's luncheon about the word "LET" in Colossians 3:15. We need to "LET" Christ rule in our hearts! What better and more perfect time to practice this than Christmas!

As I thought through where I have grown and what I have learned this past year I started jotting down some things. So, here are some of my 2014 milestones...

I have not been a very faithful blogger this year, but I have been a better wife & mom. I have been more focused & present in life, rather than observing and capturing life.

I still have not enrolled my boys in a sports program, but they did do music lessons and are doing AWESOME on the guitar and drums (yes, drums, lol). Wanna see them in their recital performing "Jingle Bells"...

I did not clean and organize every inch of my home during the November Organization challenge that was going around Pinterest, but I did clean and organize SOME of my home, and some is more than none!

I have not lost any weight since Summer started, but I am thinner than last year at this same time. 35 lbs thinner to be exact! (Oh yeah!!! It was a great year overall for losing weight!)

I still am horrible at meal planning and really want to be better at that, but I have been very consistent in providing yummy dinners for my husband and children. I think I like the element of spontaneity so I am learning to keep key ingredients on hand.

I am still a copycat crafter and love Pinterest, but this year I decided to put myself out there and start A Bunch of Bishops Etsy shop that features some of my own work. I am pleased to say I actually got some orders this Christmas! What a blessing!

I am still a night owl and cannot seem to get my booty out of bed before 7am, but this time last year I was not getting out of bed until 8am, so, PROGRESS!!!

In 2015 I hope to grow in my walk with the Lord, grow in my marriage and be a strength to my husband, and lead my children in wisdom and grace by the Lord's guidance, and also extend my hand out to those that are in need around me. Basically, I want to grow up to be the P31 woman :)

Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes! Bless the Lord oh my soul.


November 3, 2014

A Month of Othersmindedness

This will be a running blog post.
I will update this post as the month progresses.
Come back and check in, often.
Here we go...

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I think I love it because it is all about giving thanks and blessing others and opening your home to anyone and everyone. November is all about pausing, taking time to reflect on the goodness of God, and then seeking to bless others.

So for the month of November, my blog will be all about blessing OTHERS!

The theme verse for Others November is,
Philippians 2:3b "count OTHERS more significant than yourselves."

Here are some of othersminded activities...
*deliver groceries to a shut-in
*neighbor gifts
*hot chocolate stand for passerby's (with a candycane & gospel tract for each person)
*mailing out anonymous encouragement cards
*adopt a missionary and pray for them daily
*donate goods to Salvation Army
*collect cans and bottles, bag them up and set them on the top of trashcan for the sweet lady who comes by on trash day to collect them out of my trashcan :)
*cards to soldiers
*allowing others to go before you in line if they seems rushed
etc., etc., etc.

As the month goes along I will post photos and share some othersminded ideas. This has nothing to do with showing you anything good about ourselves (Rom 3:10), rather, it has everything to do with stirring you up for OTHERS. I really considered whether sharing our acts of service was right or wrong. I thought about the verses that talk about not letting your right hand know what your left hand is doing, and, when you give do not do it for all to see (Matthew 6).

The Bible says to stir one another up for love and good works, to encourage one another while it is still today! So, here I am trying to encourage you to go be OTHERS minded this month! :) As a young mom I had no clue how to bring my children into serving others. I searched the blogs and prayed for ways to reach out to others. It all started with prayer and then looking for inspiration from other moms around me. I share this blog post with you, filed with some of our ways to reach out to others, all in the attempt to stir you up and give you inspiration, like I received. Our family is nothing special and we are not seeking to receive praise in any way. We seek to stir you up. Plain & simple. So, go, get busy praying about how you can be a blessing to others...


11/5 - Checking in and I have some things to report :)

Last night I was at Walmart and let a lady go in front of me in line. She was so thankful she kept smiling at me and thanking me. Blessing others by letting them go first is an easy and awesome way to be OTHERS minded.

A few days ago I made some cinnamon chip oatmeal cookies using the "vanishing oatmeal cookies" recipe on the Quaker Oats container. I omit the ground cinnamon in the recipe and add 1 cup of cinnamon chips in it's place. They are super yummy this way! My neighbor came home as they were coming out of the oven so we ran a plate full of cookies over to them. You too can go and be OTHERS minded by showing your neighbors some cookie love! :)

Tonight I let my sweet daughter paint my fingernails and toenails. This too is othersmindedness cause she really wanted to "help" me :) I will admit, letting her paint my nails was my favorite way to show love to OTHERS today :)


11/17 - Checking in and I have some more things to report :)

I have been participating in a November home de-clutter challenge with my friends. I had a huge pile of clothing and household items that we were able to donate to the needy. Yay!

I gathered together some coats we were no longer using and I am donating them to our church's homeless ministry. Our church has a passion for the homeless in our community, which is right were my heart is too!! Have some old coats you are not using? Donate them to the homeless in your area! Last year my kids and I delivered our coats and warm socks to the homeless directly. My kids still talk about that day. Oh I pray that they catch a spark that burns to a blazing passion for the lost and hurting around them!!

I gathered all of our bottles and cans and set them in a bag on top of our trashcan for the sweet lady who comes by each week to find recycled goods in peoples trash. She found them sitting on top and took them :) It's even in this simple way that you can be othersminded. Pray for the Lord to open your eyes to the needs around you and give you a passion to support and bless others. 

And, on Saturday morning we are setting up a hot chocolate and lemonade stand at the grandparents house to bless the neighbors and raise money for a great cause! All the money that the kids make will be donated to the ministry Promise Child (http://www.promisechild.org)

Today we are off to Walmart to gather supplies to make homeless care packages & neighbor gifts.

Homeless care packages...


November 22 ~
We set up a bake sale & hot chocolate stand to raise money for Promise Child ministry (www.promisechild.org). My kids did awesome explaining what they were raising money for and they were blessed with generous donations and chose to bless a family in Nepal with a goat and some chickens :)