Thursday, December 29, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
I just made this homemade Hot Cocoa recipe for a Christmas Party and I loved it! Thought I would share with you fabulous ladies.
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/3 cup boiling water
- 3 1/2 cups milk
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup half-and-half cream
These little beauties are free Christmas tags, just head over to love vs design and download and print.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Saturday, September 24, 2011
The Strength of Gentleness
by Gary Thomas
Imagine being able to watch the apostle Paul in action. How did he treat people, especially those who often failed? In 1 Thessalonians 2:7, Paul gives us a glimpse of how he treated others: "We were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children."
Gentleness is a strong hand with a soft touch. It is a tender, compassionate approach toward others' weaknesses and limitations. A gentle person still speaks truth, sometimes even painful truth, but in doing so guards his tone so the truth can be well received.
Puritan leader Jonathan Edwards called gentleness "the Christian spirit." Edwards said, "All who are truly godly and are real disciples of Christ have a gentle spirit in them."
The Bible goes out of its way to demonstrate Jesus' gentleness. In fact, the Old Testament depicts the Messiah as unusually gentle, telling us that Jesus would not break a "bruised reed" or snuff out a "smoldering wick" (Isaiah 42:3). In the Gospels, Jesus affirmed His gentleness: "I am gentle and humble in heart" (Matthew 11:29). And the apostles often reminded the early church of Jesus' gentleness: "By the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you" (2 Corinthians 10:1).
Unfortunately, too many people equate gentle with weak. Unless you would call the heroic apostle Paul, the fiery Puritan Jonathan Edwards and the almighty Christ "weak" individuals, it is clearly a misunderstanding to assume weakness has anything to do with gentleness.
In fact, the reverse is true.
When my daughter was young, she used to love to squeeze my hand as hard as she could, trying to make it hurt. She could squeeze with all her might, but it never hurt. She didn't need to be gentle because she lacked the power to cause me any pain. Then, just for fun, I'd give her hand a tight little squeeze until she yelped.
It's the strong hand, not the weak one, that must learn to be gentle.
- Gentleness is a strong hand with a soft touch.
- A gentle person speaks the truth in a way others can receive.
- True followers of Christ are distinguished by gentleness.
Family Memory Verse
"Let your gentleness be evident to all."
For a more in-depth look at gentleness, read these Bible passages:
1 Peter 3:15
Copyright © 2011 by Gary Thomas. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.
Bring out the first-aid kit (a few bandages and cotton balls) for a make-believe boo-boo mending. Explain that you're going to pretend you have a scrape on your finger. (You can draw it on with a marker or pen.) Let your child use a soft cotton ball to clean your "wound," and then help him apply a bandage. Give hints or suggestions when needed, and compliment your first-aid helper when he's finished. Talk about how gentleness is important, especially when someone is hurting. Ask your preschooler how it feels when his brother, sister or playmate is not gentle with him.
Together, come up with other times when you would want to be gentle. This might be when petting a kitty, hugging a baby, touching a flower or playing with siblings and friends. Explain that each time he is gentle, he is showing how Jesus cares for others..
— Karen Schmidt
Copyright © 2011 by Karen Schmidt. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.
Take an uncooked egg for each of your children, and write his or her name on it. Then place the egg in its own Ziploc bag. Assign each child's egg to a sibling. Explain that these eggs are fragile and must be handled gently. The children should carry their assigned egg with them during the next hour or two. They can carry it in their hands, a shirt or coat pocket or in another way, but they must not set the egg down.
Let life go on as usual. Don't remind anyone about his or her egg. As the children carry the eggs, at first they will probably be careful, but they may eventually forget about their eggs and get careless. Even if the eggs do not crack, your children will find it difficult to be mindful of their eggs for the entire time.
Afterward, check on the eggs. Explain that these fragile eggs are like people's feelings. Sometimes we can accidentally say something that hurts a sibling's feelings. Or we can be reckless with our words and crush others. Gentleness means treating each person with care, similar to how we needed to care for the eggs. Explain that when we get busy with everyday life, we may find it hard to be careful with our words all the time. But we can ask God to help us be gentle and mindful of others.
— Jeannie Vogel
Copyright © 2011 by Jeannie Vogel. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.
Use this activity to help illustrate the effectiveness of gentleness. You'll need some balloons, a bit of dish soap and a (very) sharp bamboo skewer.
Use your fingers to lightly coat the skewer in dish soap. Then blow up a balloon, not inflating it too much. You should be able to dent the side of it with your finger. Now ask if your tweens think it's possible to put the skewer through the balloon without popping it. They'll likely say, "No way."
Tell your kids that, with a gentle approach, it's possible to keep the balloon intact. Starting at the balloon's top (where the color is darkest), slowly spin the skewer as you gently push on the balloon. Keep spinning and gently pressing until the skewer goes into the balloon. Carefully push the skewer to the opposite side, next to the knot. Spin the skewer again, gently pushing it through to the outside of the balloon.
If the balloon pops, try again. When successful, let your kids skewer a balloon, too.
- How were you able to skewer a balloon without it popping?
- What would have happened if you used all your strength to force the skewer through?
Explain that gentleness is sometimes more effective than sheer strength. This is especially true in our relationships. By using a gentle approach with others, we can talk more easily about difficult things with people. Read Philippians 4:5.
- How can you show gentleness to your siblings? Your friends?
- If you had to speak a difficult truth to a friend, what approach would best preserve your friendship?
— Vance Fry
Copyright © 2011 by Focus on the Family. ThrivingFamily.com.
Time With Your Teen
With 150 teens and leaders on a trip to Six Flags, I walked into the hotel lobby to pick up 37 room keys. I discovered that the hotel had lost our confirmation and didn't have any rooms reserved for us. A mistake had been made, and the hotel staff now seemed unwilling to help.
In that moment I had a decision to make. My response to the hotel staff would either distinguish me as a Christ follower, or it would show me to be just another demanding customer. And 150 team members were watching.
I quickly reminded myself that "a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger" (Proverbs 15:1). As I calculated my response, I recognized the moment for what it was — an opportunity to demonstrate the power of gentleness.
You can help teens understand how gentleness works by explaining a concept I call "the glass door." This door represents any person or relationship that stands between us and what we want. How we attempt to get through that door will determine the outcome. If we're careless, we may still get what we want, but we'll cause a lot of damage in the process.
As you discuss gentleness with your teen, point out that gentleness can only be shown by those who are strong. This concept makes gentleness more attractive.
Teens need to understand that gentleness is essential for maintaining healthy relationships. Ask your teen to share about a recent conflict he may have had with a friend or family member. Then have your teen assess whether he handled it with gentleness. Discuss together what actions or attitudes can shatter "the glass door" of relationships. You might mention such "glass busters" as anger, selfishness, pride and careless words. Ask your teen to help you draft a list of gentleness guidelines that could help to avoid shattering family relationships. Jot them down and post them somewhere they can be easily referenced.
So what happened at the hotel that night? I opted to be firm yet gentle, and sure enough, my response "turned away wrath." The issue was resolved with gentleness — and the teens slept in all the available hotel suites.
— Dean Hawk
Copyright © 2011 by Dean Hawk. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Hope you are all enjoying the last week or so of summer :( The boys and I picked blackberries today poor Emmett ended up walking into 3 bushes. We even had our rubber boots on but the little critters still ended up scratching up our legs. After our first few bites of cobbler though it was all worth it. Here is a recipe I love! You can use it for any fruit cobbler super easy and hard to screw up :)
- 1/2cup butter or margarine
- 2cup sugar
- 1/2cup water
- 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour*
- 1cup milk, room temperature
- 4cups fresh or frozen blackberries
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 Heat oven to 425°F.
- 2 In medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, milk, 3 tablespoons sugar, lemon peel, and the butter until soft dough forms.
- 3 On ungreased cookie sheet, drop dough by spoonfuls to make 6 shortcakes. Sprinkle sugar over tops using 2 tablespoons sugar.
- 4 Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
- 5 Meanwhile, in 1 quart saucepan, combine sugar and water. Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, stir in blackberries.
- 6 Split warm shortcakes; fill with blackberries and syrup. Cover with top halves of shortcakes; dollop with whipped cream and additional blackberries.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Motherhood Is Application
The days of a busy mother are made up of millions of transformations. Dirty children become clean, the hungry child fed, the tired child sleeping. Almost every task a mother performs in the course of a normal day could be considered a transformation. Disorder to order, dirty clothes to clean, unhappy children to peaceful, empty fridge to full. Every day we fight against disorder, filth, starvation, and lawlessness, and some days we might almost succeed. And then, while we sleep, everything unravels and we start again in the morning — transforming.
Days of these little cycles add up and suddenly you see a big transformation. A nursing infant has become a boy on a bicycle, a baby bump has grown into a toddler, and children have been changed into brothers and sisters.
Then there is the kind of transformations that we do — not because we work at it, but because we were created to do it. You eat your lunch, and your body transforms it into nourishment for a baby. Taking something too big for an infant, and still finding a way to feed them with it — with the goal of growing them up to do it themselves.
Pregnancy and nursing are only a small part of a child’s life though — and this cycle is clearly not only a physical one. It is the spiritual cycle of food that is so much more important, and so much less talked about. Christian mothering is a constant cycle of nourishment — both physical and spiritual.
We Apply What We BelieveIn the same way we take the food we eat and make it into something the baby can eat (and our bodies simply do this without us willing them to), so we take what we believe about God and the gospel and faith and life, and we apply it in the places that seem too little for it.
Imagine yourself in your kitchen trying to make dinner for a group of little kids who are tired and should have eaten a half hour ago. Imagine that things are going wrong beyond that — maybe you are out of something you assumed you had, children are fussing with one another, and maybe your littlest is still at the age where they come stand on your feet and pull on your pant leg. Bonus points if you are wearing maternity pants and this little person is actually capable of pulling your pants down. You are hot, you are tired, and you are sick of it.
This is no time for a gospel presentation. There isn’t time. There isn’t anyone to lead the discussion around the felt board, because you are still scrambling to figure out dinner. This isn’t a time for a gospel presentation because it is a time for gospel application. This is a time to take the grace that God has extended to you, and feed your children with it. Apply what you believe about God’s mercy and kindness and long suffering towards us, and pour it out to them — in a form they can believe in. Unrest like this is just like a baby crying for a bottle — only what they need is spiritual milk. They need you to feed them, not with a lecture, but with application.
You Have Everything You NeedMothering is a job that is full of difficult moments. Diapers blow out in stores when you have too much in your cart to just walk out. Sudden carsickness can leave you pulled over on the side of the road wondering just how much can be done with half a bag of wet wipes. You need to take what you believe and apply it to these difficult moments. Does the Bible teach us that God is disgusted by our frailty? That he doesn’t want to carry our burdens? That he doesn’t have the energy to deal with us?
The good news is, you don’t need to have been through some elite mother’s training camp to apply the gospel in your life. You need to believe. Trust God, give thanks. Laugh. Believe — and that will feed your children. Rest in God, and your children will learn to. Extend God’s kindness to you, to them. Forgive them the way God forgave you. You have everything you need to spiritually nourish your children, because you have Christ.
Mimic the GospelOf course, this side of heaven we will not do perfectly. Harsh words will be spoken, patience will wear thin. Frazzled mothers will act frazzled. And when this happens, our own sinfulness does not detract from the power of the gospel, it illustrates why we need it. Do not use your own mistakes as an excuse to wallow about what a bad mother you are. Repent, seek forgiveness, get it right, and move on. Believe. Be forgiven. Extend that forgiveness, that belief, that joy, to your children.
As you go about your daily transformations, set your heart on the truth. Mimic the gospel in what you do. Bring peace, bring order, bring joy, bring laughter. Bring it because it was brought to you. Give, because it was given to you. The gospel is not too big to fit into little situations. It is too big not to.
Rachel Jankovic is a wife, homemaker, and mother. She is the author of "Loving the Little Years" and blogs at Femina. Her husband is Luke, and they have five children: Evangeline (5), Daphne (4), Chloe (2), Titus (2), and Blaire (5 months).
Recent posts from Rachel Jankovic —
I copied this from desiringgod.org
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Quotes to inspire you today:)
"The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of christian, But the fact that I am a christian does make me a different kind of woman."
— Elisabeth Elliot
"This job has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness."
— Elisabeth Elliot
The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck
Monday, July 11, 2011
Thursday, June 30, 2011
- 1 9" Crust or Graham cracker crust
- 6 cups strawberries, hulled makes 2 graham cracker crust pies or 1 deep dish pie
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chilling time: 4 hours
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
1. Purpose: Where are you going as a parent?
-What is your goal, what will really matter in the end?
2. Priorities: What matters most?
- The big picture
3. Putting Purpose and Priorities into Practice
- Practical help :)
Hope to see you there!! 9am at Community Chapel
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Friday, April 15, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Psychedelic eggs add a fun, funky touch to a traditional basket. And the decorating techniqe is so simple, even the littlest egg artist can help.
- a colander
- 10 hard boiled white eggs
- 1/2 a cup of white vinegar
- Vibrant food coloring ( I suggest McCormick neon food coloring)
- Place several hard boiled eggs in the colander in the kitchen sink and splash them with vinegar.
- Drip Yellow food coloring on eggs.
- Gently aggitate the colander for a few seconds to help the color spread. Let the color set on the eggs for 30 seconds.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 with up to two shades (any more and your colors may get muddy), allowing each to set for 30 seconds.
- After the colors have set, give the eggs a light rinse with water and let them drain for a minute or two. Air- dry them on paper towels.
I hope you all enjoy this! I got this idea from www.familyfun.go.com/crafts
Monday, March 7, 2011
-The difference a mom can make
-The atmosphere of our homes
-Belonging, Acceptance, Competence
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Feb. 27 ~ 6pm
in the auditorium