Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Praying that you cherish the day as you remember our Lord and the incomprehensible love that drove him to the cross.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

2013 March Bookmarks

*Bookmarks is an online book club hosted at Creative2xmom. Here we discuss the books we've read in the past month as well as the suggested reading. Our suggested reading for March was Hope for the Weary Mom by Brooke McGlothlin.

These are the books I read this month:

4 Moms of 35 Kids: Answer your Parenting Questions by Deputy Headmistress, Kim Coghlan, Kimberly Rivera, and Connie Hughes--Written in question/answer style, 4 Moms work through several parenting issues that we all face, whether raising large or small families.  Issues range from sibbling squabbles to talking about sex to managing chores.  Although I do agree with all their answers, having 4 different Christian perspectives gives me a great jumping off place in praying about and finding our own place as a family.  Great book, loaded with info.

Love Times Three by Joe, Alina, Vicki, and Valerie Darger--Ok, so I confess.  This is the second polygamy book I've read in three months.  When my library had both, I couldn't help myself.  Curiousity got the better of me.  The Dargers, a generational polygamy family, stepped forward to share their story when they realized the world had a twisted view of their lifestyle.  Feeling the fanatics always made the press, they started speaking out in hopes that the world would begin to see their lives as very "normal."  The majority of the book is written by the women with Joe's voice scattered in.  Interestingly, their voices all sounded similar.  There was a lot idyllic language used in describing their lifestyle.  Only Valerie, who was in a previous polygamous marriage, speaks with her own destinctive heartache and resolve.  Through it all their devotion to family and their children shines through and the presents an interesting, although incomplete, look into their world.

Days Like These by Kristian and Rachel Anderson--See my review here.

Becoming Fearless: My Ongoing Journey of Learning to Trust God by Michelle Aguilar--As Season Six Winner of the Biggest Loser, Aguilar is no newbie when it comes to be in the public eye.  But it was her personal life, full of it's ups and downs, that deepened her character and made her into a Fearless woman.  Aguilar's life has not been one without its heartaches, but it has been one that continues to inspire long after her weightloss journey.  If you're looking for a how-to book, this is not it.  But if you are looking to be challenged in your perspective of God, this is a great book to add to your list.

Our suggested reading for March was Hope for the Weary Mom by Stacey Thatcher and Brooke McGlothlin--  Are you weary, worn-out, exhausted with motherhood?  Yeah, me too.  Motherhood is exhausting.  But Thatcher and McGlothlin's book is full of hope.  Not the kind of hope that comes from creating a better home organization binder or streamlining your schedule.  But the kind of hope that comes from truly believing that God will meet you in your mess.  The chapter that reached me deepest was remembering that all moms struggle and yet we all feel alone.  One of the greatest tools for combating loneliness is being honest with each other about where we're at.  This is a great read for any mom, but especially those of us that are willing to be honest about where we are and find hope in our mess.

So what are your bookmarks this month?

Tell us in the comments about the books you're chewing on. Or link up a review from your own blog. Let's share the books we're finding, good and bad. And give us your thoughts on Hope for a Weary Mom.

Don't forget to come back April 26th as we discuss Frugal Living: How to Save Money and Not Feel Like You're Broke by Jamie Walker.

*Linked to these Parties

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

26 Intentional Acts of Kindness #6: Blessing your Neighbors

So we missed another one and this is one that I really wanted to follow through on.  And one I will be going back to int the future.  The hospital can be a lonely place and whatever we can do to help out a little, I want my kids and I to be involved.  So we will be doing this, just not right now.

I think that's been one of the hardest lessons for me as a mom.  No matter how noble the cause, I just can't do it all.  And I hate that.  There is so much of the world for my kids to see and be involved in.  I just don't ever want them to forget to look out for everyone else around them.

But moving on.  I really hope you've had a chance to complete this last challenge and you're ready for this one.  This one keeps us a little closer to home and those we know best: our neighbors.  This week's challenge is to find a way to serve your neighbor.  Dinner, trash morning, running an errand, mowing their lawn... How creative can you be?  Here's your chance to step out your own front door and bless your immediate community.  Best of luck!

Will you join the challenge?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

More Easter Basket Ideas

  1. If you're out and about this weekend finishing up you holiday preparations, here are a few ideas to help you complete those Easter baskets as well.
  2. Coloring books
  3. Markers and crayons
  4. Stuffed bunny
  5. Fun toothbrush
  6. Play dough
  7. Silly putty
  8. Puzzles
  9. Barbies
  10. Superheros
  11. Bubbles
  12. Sand toys
  13. Pool toys (squirt guns, goggles, etc.)
  14. Movies
  15. Bouncy balls
  16. Sidewalk chalk
  17. Slinky
  18. Legos
  19. Letters and shapes for bath time fun
  20. Felt food
  21. Eggs full of cheerios
  22. Eggs full of small toys
  23. Blocks
  24. New sippy cups or water bottles
  25. Gardening supplies
  26. Hair accessories
  27. Nail polish
  28. Mud mask
  29. Movie tickets
  30. Magazine subscription
  31. USB drive
  32. Trail mix & Jerky
  33. Cologne
  34. Bible
    Dess-up Accessories
    Compact Mirror
    Vegetable Seeds
    Bug Catching Box
    Mad Libs
    Glow in the dark bands
    ABC Magnets
  35. Baseball cards
  36. Frisbee
  37. Personalized stationary
  38. New pajamas
  39. Sunglasses
  40. Rubik’s cube
  41. Admission passes to the zoo, museum, etc.
  42. Gas card
  43. Bunny ears
  44. Crazy socks
  45. Finger paints
  46. Fruit snacks
  47. Jump rope
  48. Neck tie
  49. Wii controller
  50. Homemade coupon booklet
  51. car seat bar
  52. linkadoos
  53. Books (A few ideas: That’s Not My Bunny or Pat the Bunny for a baby; The Runaway BunnyA Beatrix Potter TreasuryThe Parable Of The Lily and The Easter Story for toddlers and young children. The Jesus Storybook Bible (Every child needs a copy of this Bible. If your child is older, you might get their own bible with their name on the cover.)
    Small doll
  • t-shirt (maybe one that is personalized)
    Toy animals
  • Small game
    Card games
  • Plain wood, canvases or ceramics to paint
  • Foam stickers and shapes (You can usually find these really cheap at craft stores)
    Bath soap
    Bubble bath
    shaving cream
    Sandbox toys
  • Rain gear
    Bouncy balls
    Big ball (soccer, basketball, football)
    Fun band aids
    Fun summer shoes (ie: sandals or crocs)
    Fairy wings
  • Painting smock
    Photo canvas for their room
    Small purse or wallet
    Small instrument  (recorder, tambourine, cymbals, etc.)
    Temporary tattoos
    Word searches
    Construction paper
    Stamps and  ink pads
    Water bottles
    Disposable camera
    Personalized notebook
    Comic books
    Picture frame
    Bike accessories (horn, streamers, etc.)
    Silly Bandz
    Magazine subscription (Highlights, Ranger Rick)
  • Monday, March 25, 2013

    Monday Menu

    If you follow Creative2xmom on Facebook, I posted this weekend that our laptop took a dive last Friday (the 16th).  Since then I've been doing what I can on my husband's IPad.  But the IPad is severely limited in my abilities to edit, add photos, and so many other things I usually do in my blogging.  So over the next couple of weeks, things will be looking different around here as I ask for your patience.  Whenever I get a chance, I'll be posting and adding as I can.  :-). Thanks!

    Here's our menu this week:

    Monday:  Spinach Calazone

    Tuesday: Tomato Soup

    Wednesday: Taco Soup

    Thursday: Chili and cornbread

    Friday: Homemade Pizza

    Saturday: At Grandma's

    Sunday: At Grandma's-- taking Lime Jello Salad???

    Sunday, March 24, 2013

    Friday, March 22, 2013

    Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

     photo IMG_9622_zps2b4975ac.jpg

    Who doesn't love a Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie?  I know I do and have a hard time keeping myself out of them.  Hope you enjoy!

    Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

    2 1/4 c. flour
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. salt
    1 c. butter, softened
    3/4 c. sugar
    3/4 c. brown sugar
    1 tsp. vanilla
    2 large eggs
    2 c. chocolate chips
    2 c. chopped nuts (optional)

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. 
    2. Beat butter, sugars, and vanilla in a large bowl until creamy.
    3. Add eggs one at a time.
    4. Gradually beat in flour mixture.
    5. Mix in chips and nuts.
    6. Place on ungreased baking sheet.
    7. Bake 9-11 min 
    8. Let stand 2 min; remove and cool on wire rack.

    Monday, March 18, 2013

    Banana Split Bites

    A couple of weeks ago, we made these fun Banana Split Bites.  I got the kids in the kitchen with me and we worked on them together.

    Just cut up some bananas into bite size pieces.  Then dip one end in chocolate and sprinkles.  Finally top them off with whipped cream and a cherry.  

    They were a fun way to spen dome time in the kitchen with the kids and a fun treat without a lot of sugar.

    Friday, March 15, 2013

    More Easter Basket Filler Ideas

    I love the newness of Spring and the freshness of the turning season.  As I have been shopping the last couple of weeks, it's been fun to see the pastels and fresh Spring colors popping up.  And do a little shopping for the kids' Easter baskets.  I'll be sharing those later this month.  But while we're all busy in our lives, here are a few ideas to get your creativity going.

    Babies and Toddlers:
    --Large Color Crayons
    --Sippy Cup
    --Character Socks
    --Small Books
    --Sensory Bottles
    --Yogurt Cups
    --Teething Rings

    Older Toddlers and Preschoolers:
    --Small Watering Can and Garden Tools
    --Moon Sand
    --Sun hat
    --Dried fruit
    --Bath toys
    --Juice Boxes
    --Sand Toys
    --Bunny Ears

    Grade Schoolers:
    --Bouncy Balls
    --Light Up Yo-Yo's
    --Stretchy Hands
    --Hair Accessories
    --Beef Jerky
    --Movie GC
    --Magazine Subscription
    --Rubik's Cube
    --Gel Pens

    Tweens and Teens:
    --Movie GC
    --Redbox G
    --Magazine Subscription
    --Mud Mask
    --Gas GC
    --ITunes GC
    --Neck Tie

    What are you planning for Easter Baskets this year?

    For more ideas, see:

    Wednesday, March 13, 2013

    26 Intentional Acts of Kindness #5: Hospital Vending Machines

     photo IMG_9748_zps1d98e994.jpg

    In our search to be purposeful in loving others, our last assignment was to bless someone monetarily.  Through prayers and lots of keeping my eyes and ears open, I felt the need to reach out to a new mom. She's a first time mom and many of us can remember what it was like in that first year, getting our bearings and trying to figure out who we are in this new role.  So I just wanted to bless her and remind her that she's not alone.  While I was out this past week, I picked up a $5 starbucks gift card and a card congratulating her on her new addition to the family.  We wrote a short message and then popped it in the mail.  I hope it brightened her day.

    What about you?  Where you able to bless someone this week?

    This next challenge we're busting out and take it to the streets.  During the next two weeks, we're going to the hospital to leave change at the vending machines.  We live in a very small community with a pretty small hospital.  So we're going to leave some change taped to the soda and vending machines.  I think this will be a great opportunity to open up a variety of conversations and I really look forward to doing this with the kids.

    Will you join us in an Intentional Act of Kindness this week?

    Tuesday, March 12, 2013

    Breastfeeding Tips from This Mama of Three

     photo IMG_9413_zps07b1c01c.jpg 
    *The first month will be crazy.

    *Nurse as much as you can in the first four weeks.

    *If you want to schedule, four weeks in your milk supply will be established.

    *Don't be afraid to check with a nurse or La Leche League if you're having trouble with latching on.

    *Nurse while laying down in those early days to get some rest.

    *Lansinoh is a lifesaver.

    *Drink a tall glass of water while you nurse.

    *Listen to some relaxing music while you nurse.

    *Have a special box of toys for toddlers to play with just when you're nursing.

    *Don't be afraid to breastfeed anywhere and everywhere.

    *Know that baby will quickly outgrow your cute cover and not want to be covered up.

    *Don't quit just because everyone else wants you to.

    *No, you won't breastfeed till your child is in high school, but you will breastfeed till you and your baby are ready to quit.  No sooner.

    *Pumping isn't fun.  Don't do it unless you have to.

    *What you pump is not an accurate gauge of what your child is receiving.

    *There will come a day when you can leave the baby and not worry about breastfeeding.

    *Surround yourself by other breastfeeding moms for support.

    *Know the signs of mastitis, how to treat naturally, and when to call a doctor.

    *Know that there's life after mastitis.

    *Enjoy your portable meal supply.  It's a time when you don't have to prepare food, spoon feed a baby, or clean up a meal.

    *Enjoy these quiet moments that can only be shared between you and this baby.  No one else can do what you're doing right now.

    *Trust your instincts.

    Monday, March 11, 2013

    Resurrection Eggs

     photo IMG_9749_zpsbc8e22b8.jpg 
    I've been thinking a lot about how to make Easter meaningful to my children this year.  They're getting older and I want to make sure the deeper Easter meaning doesn't get lost in the rush for chocolate.  But  making things meaningful times and forethought.  So here I am planning.

    We've been making lots of cross and flower crafts.  And I'm planning the menu to include Resurrection Rolls as part of our Easter breakfast.  While we're at it, it's time to pull out the Easter eggs and make our Resurrection Eggs.  Resurrection Eggs are a twelve day countdown to Easter using symbols and verses that recap the significance of the holiday.  It's a great activity for hands-on learning as the kids can touch, taste, and smell each symbol hiding in the Easter eggs.

    With that in mind, these are the symbols and verses included in our Resurrection Eggs:

    Day One:
    Symbol: Leaves
    Verse: So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out "Hosanna!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!" (John 12:12-13)

    Day Two:
    Symbol: Sample of perfume
    Verse: For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. (Matt. 26:12)

    Day Three
    Symbol: Cracker
    Verse: As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it.  Then he broke it into pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying "Take it, for this is my body."  (Mark 14:22)

    Day Four
    Symbol: Small flowers
    Verse: Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He told the disciples, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." (Matt 26:36)

    Day Five
    Symbol: 3 dimes
    Verse: Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders. (Matt 27:3)

    Day Six
    Symbol: Gold pipe cleaner crown
    Verse: So Pilate asked Him, "Are you the King of the Jews?"  Jesus replied, "You have said it." (Luke 23:3)

    Day Seven
    Symbol: 3 nails
    Verse: Then the soldiers nailed him to the cross. (Mark 15:24)

    Day Eight
    Symbol: Dice
    Verse: They divided my garments among themselves and threw dice for my clothing. (Psalm 22:18)

    Day Nine
    Symbol: Sponge soaked in vinegar
    Verse: Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture He said, "I am thirsty."  A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips.  When Jesus had tasted it, He said, "It is finished.  Then he bowed His head and released His spirit.  (John 19:28-30)

    Day Ten
    Symbol: Linen cloth
    Verse: When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus.  He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.  Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him.  And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud (cloth) and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock.  And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away.  (Matthew 27:57-60)

    Day Eleven
    Symbol: Rock
    Verse: (And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.  His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.  And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men (Matthew 28:2-4)

    Day Twelve
    Symbol: Empty
    Verse: (But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.  He is not here, for He has risen, as He said.  come, see the place where He lay." (Matthew 28:5-6)

    Sunday, March 10, 2013

    Weekend Links

    This Week:

    What I Made: Lots of memories with the kids, playing in the backyard since the weather's been so nice.

    What I'm Reading: I'm loving our book selection for the month.  If you haven't picked up Hope for the Weary Mom, you're definitely missing out.

    What I'm Doing: Getting ready to record a vlog on clothing swaps.

    What I'm Watching: My kids playing pirate ship.

    What I'm Enjoying: My juicer.  We've had it awhile and I'm finally really using it.

    What are you Enjoying?

    Friday, March 8, 2013

    Do-A-Dot Crosses

    A couple of nights ago, I was looking for a quick and frugal craft to keep Lydia busy while I made dinner.  Since Easter's coming up so quickly, we decided we were going to do some Do-A-Dot art.  These crosses are a great way to focus on the season.  And you probably already have all the materials around your house.
     photo IMG_9711_zpsb9b733b7.jpg

    We took some plain white cardstock and made a cross with two pieces of masking tape.  You really need cardstock to withstand the tape.  But just raid your scrapbook supply and you're good.

     photo IMG_9709_zps76dcb1f5.jpg 

    Then take out the Do-A-Dot markers and go at it.  I helped her see that she needed to go around the cross thoroughly and she took it from there.  After she finished, we let the paint dry before removing the tape.  The tape was mommy's project as I really had to take it slowly.

     photo IMG_9725_zps06b84199.jpg

    But didn't it come out so pretty?  Frugal and meaningful... now that's my kind of craft.  

    What a great way to refocus on the season!

    Wednesday, March 6, 2013

    Resurrection Rolls

    I can hardly believe that Easter is coming up so quickly.  Spring is ready to bust out where we live and we just feel the freshness of a new year around us.  Well, Mommy's still trying to figure out how it's become 2013, but the kids and I definately have Spring Fever.

    As Easter is coming, I wanted to share with you a new tradition we started last year and that's Resurrection Rolls.  These were a fun treat to go with breakfast last year and a great reminder why we celebrate.  Here's what you'll need:

    RR #1 photo IMG_7230.jpg
    Crescent Rolls
    Melted butter
    Cinnamon/ Sugar Mix

    RR #2 photo IMG_7231.jpg
    Lydia's going to be my model today

    RR #3 photo IMG_7232.jpg
    Roll your marshmallow in the melted butter.
    Show your child how the white represents how
    pure Christ was.

    RR #4 photo IMG_7233.jpg
    Then roll it in some cinnamon.
    Explain to your child that this represents the
    spices that Jesus was anointed with at his burial.

    RR #5 photo IMG_7234.jpg
    Wrap your marshmallow in a crescent roll.
    Explain to your child how they wrapped Jesus
    in a cloth at his burial.

    RR #8 photo IMG_7237.jpg
    Bake according to package directions,
    in the oven (tomb).
    While you're waiting, talk about those three days
    everyone waited for Jesus.
    No one knew what was about to happen.

    RR #9 photo IMG_7238.jpg
    Carefully remove your rolls from the pan
    and break open.
    Where is Jesus?
    The "cloth" is empty.

    This is a great activity to do while reading 

    Together we celebrate:
    "He is not here; He is risen, just as He said"
    (Matthew 28:6).
    Related Posts with Thumbnails