Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My Ministry

"The season of young children is a time to refrain. Refrain from most outside activities, even some church activities. Now is a time to be faithful in discipline...it's the spring time of mothering. Redeem the time, don't waste it." Sono Harris

”But even as Jesus took three years off from the work of the universe in order to pass his ministry on to his disciples, to live with them, eat with them, love them, instruct them, so as mothers, if we want the same kind of life-changing impact on our children, it will require the sacrifice of our time, our commitments, and it will be inconvenient and life-consuming. But leaving godly disciples is the greatest work we will ever achieve.

"We can feel that we are truly ministering when the Lord uses us to communicate a word of wisdom to someone,or He provides an opportunity to share the gospel with our neighbor. That seems like real ministry. And that is real ministry to be sure! But no more so than when we are wiping runny noses or cleaning the bathroom.That is because we have a very narrow view of true spirituality...The Lord wants to help us see the significance of ministry at home." Carolyn Mahaney
"Be a light in the midst of a society that does not embrace children. Do not be intimidated. Show your love for your children as you speak sweetly to them and are patient with them. If God has blessed you with a number of children, be proud to display your "blessings" from the Lord. You reveal to the world what God is like for He loves children. Jesus did not reject children. He welcomed the children to come to Him..." Nancy Campbell

Don't forget to enter my giveaway!



Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Diaper and Book Giveaway!

This giveaway is now closed! Congratulations to Jennifer!

Last week I received a package of pull ups from Seventh Generation, and a copy of the Dr. Seuss book,"The Lorax." My kids love Dr. Seuss, and I was excited to have something I could put on Lily- who has been potty training herself- while we ran errands, but that would still allow her to feel like a "big girl." Diapers are very insulting to my two year old. :)

This is how their website explains their new line of diapers;

  • NEW Overnight Diapers are absorbent enough to keep your baby and bedding dry through the night or during prolonged travel
  • Free & Clear diapers have improved more flexible tabs that provide even better fit
  • Free & Clear training pants have an absorbent core made with more renewable, plant-based materials.  They also feature stretchy, tear away side panels for a better fit and added convenience, as well as inner leak barriers for superior leakage protection
  • Seventh Generation Free & Clear baby care products do not contain chlorine, fragrance, petroleum-based lotions or latex, and all Free & Clear products are also hypo-allergenic
  • Starting March 2, you can register for a free The Lorax scrapbook with the purchase of any three Free & Clear diaper products, until supplies last

Because Seventh Generation has partnered with the upcoming Dr. Seuss movie, "The Lorax" I also received a free copy of the book to read to my children. The book seemed a little longer than what my kids were used to, but Jack and Anna sat with rapt attention while reading it. Jack, being the tender hearted child he is, even started crying when some of the characters had to leave the forest because too many trees were being cut down. I had to read him the ending to prove to him that everything turns out all right at the end of the story. We have since read, "The Lorax," several times today and the children enjoy the book very much.

Would you like to win your own copy of The Lorax, and a package of your choice of Seventh Generation Diapers? Please leave a comment if you'd like to win, and if you don't already please follow this blog. I'll leave the giveaway open until Friday and then pick a winner.

Disclosure:  The Seventh Generation Diapers prize pack, product and information have been provided by Seventh Generation through MyBlogSpark.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Homemade Yogurt

As you may remember, I have been trying to move our family to a more natural foods diet. I had heard of people making their own yogurt, but had always wrote it off as being too complicated(and, ok, maybe a little weird.) But when I saw this recipe, I decided I at least had to give it a try. It looked so simple! Besides, my kids love yogurt. 

So here's a picture recap, of how making my own yogurt went.

These were the only two ingredients needed.  Plus a crock pot and a heavy towel. How much simpler can you get(well besides picking up some from the grocery store?)

A picture of my towel covered crock pot. At this point, the yogurt has about 8 more hours to go.

This morning, I excitedly told the children we would be having yogurt for a snack. But to my great sadness the yogurt turned out looking like.....

Soup?! Aw man, I wonder what I did wrong. Oh well, the kids will still eat it. And they did, in fact when they first saw it they thought the yogurt was ice cream. However, after they tasted it they realized it didn't taste anything like ice cream! Yes, I do believe plain yogurt is a bit of an acquired taste, luckily we had some honey and bananas that they added to it and then it tasted fine.

Oh yes, one more thing, after we finished eating our yogurt, I started dividing it into containers. As I was finishing filling my last one, I accidentally knocked over another container, spilling the soup/yogurt mixture everywhere. Here's a picture, in case you don't believe me;

I took this after I had started cleaning up the mess, so this picture doesn't do the mess justice, but you get my point. The last time I tried making this yogurt the crock pot fell face down on my kitchen floor, and we didn't get to try any. Maybe I'm just not meant to be a yogurt maker? ;)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Clanging Cymbal

" If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal." 1 Corinthians 13:1

A few nights ago I was making dinner. I had decided to make my husband's favorite meal complete with cheesecake for desert. I really love to cook, and I enjoy blessing my husband and children with their favorite foods. There's nothing wrong with this, in fact I think it's a good thing, but there was one problem. The meal I was making requires a lot of attention. It's not difficult to make, but I have to be standing next to it for most of the time it takes to cook. 

My children were running around, being children, but truthfully I was getting a little aggravated at their energy. I had spent their afternoon nap time cleaning, but the house was quickly turning into a disaster zone. I told them they needed to take their toys back to their room, and grab a book to look at quietly, and to their credit they obeyed without any problems. But for whatever reason I was in a bad mood. One of those lovely moods, where I was letting my emotions rule me. Before I knew it I was convincing myself that no one appreciates anything I do, and started questioning why I was even bothering with making a nice meal. 

The more I allowed these thoughts to creep into my mind, the more resentful and angrier I became. But then a thought popped into my head. All right, not a thought, but a conviction.

"Are you just making noise, Jessica?" 

And as much as I didn't want to admit it, I was. And what was the point of making my husband his favorite dinner if my motive wasn't love? Because I can guarantee my husband would much rather come home to a happy and loving wife and just eat peanut butter and jelly, than come home to his favorite dinner and have to deal with an annoyed and frazzled wife. And Erik doesn't even like peanut butter and jelly!

It's so easy to dutifully serve our families. I'm thinking as women, this is a particularly big struggle. However, we must always remember that if our desire to serve is outshining our desire to love then all we're really doing is making noise. 

Linked to A Wise Woman Builds Her Home.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Two of my sickies this weekend. Yes, even though Lily didn't feel well, she still insisted on wearing a dress and tights(that girl loves tights;)

This weekend has been spent in our pajamas, sipping chicken noodle soup, and smelling like vicks vapor rub. Five out of the six people living in this house have all been sick(Max is the only one who hasn't caught anything yet), and we all came down with it around the same time! It's been an interesting weekend, especially since both my husband and I aren't feeling well. Definitely not a time where I'd be winning any house keeping awards(not that I ever would, but you know what I mean..)

But even though this isn't the way I had been hoping to spend the weekend, there have been so many sweet moments that I don't want to forget. Moments like dozing off with my two year old, and seeing my four year old try to handle being sick with a good attitude. Watching Jack and Anna try to take care of Lily like mommy and daddy do.

There has also been a lot of sitting around. As a mom, I can get so busy(as I'm sure you do too.) There aren't  many times where I can just sit and watch a video or play a game with my kids without feeling rushed to finish the laundry or start dinner. So even though none of us have felt well, I'm so thankful we were able to have this time to rest and recuperate.

So far, I'm the only one who seems to be feeling better. I'm sure I will need lots of grace to get through the next few days or the next week, but for now I'm thankful for a weekend of rest and sweet memories.

These Five of Mine

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Birthday Party Weekend

Oh my goodness, this weekend was crazy. Crazy in a good way, but crazy nonetheless. Since Lily turned two last week, and my children have amazing grandparents who want to spend time with them around their birthdays, last week turned out to be very busy.

Wednesday was Lily's actual birthday, and we celebrated it as a family. Lily is a very easy girl to please when it comes to food, but I remembered her gobbling up some Italian cream cheese chicken awhile back so that's what I made her for her birthday dinner. After dinner we had her birthday cupcakes, and tried to sing Happy Birthday, but she got very frustrated that we were singing it to her. Gotta love two year olds! :)

On Thursday, my mom and dad came down. They always try to see the kids once every month or every six weeks, and it's always a big deal when they come. The kids adore their Papa and Nana. Which is awesome, but also makes it very difficult when my parents have to leave.

My parents had to leave on Friday night, and my in laws arrived in town Saturday morning. This trip was extra special since my sister in law and new brother in law came in town from North Carolina(they didn't just come for Lily's birthday, they had job interviews), but it was so fun getting to spend some time together and get to know our new brother in law.

We headed to the Magic House in St Louis, and had so much fun watching the kids play. Places like that are really difficult to go to when it's just Erik and I, but seeing as how the adults outnumbered the children we were able to make the trip, and actually enjoy it! :)

We went on a double date to five guys while my mother and father in law babysat the kids. On Sunday we went to church, and then came back home for lunch. When nap time arrived, my in laws headed home.

It was a fun, and very busy weekend. Did the rest of you do anything fun and exciting this weekend?

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Bed Time Cuddles

I could see something was bothering my precious three year old. She's a quiet, sweet girl whose favorite thing to do is snuggle with her blanket and read the Berenstien Bears.

But that night she was struggling. I had put her to bed, hoping she'd get the rest she needed and be back to normal the next day. But she didn't want me to leave. She was having a hard time verbalizing what she wanted, and I was growing more frustrated with each passing minute.

It was one of those times where I could feel myself on the verge of losing my patience. But I didn't. I stopped. I prayed. I held her in my arms and wrapped her blanket around her, and snuggled her just like I did when she was a baby. I prayed over her.

 When I laid her back down and covered her with her blanket, the tears were gone.

And as I was walking out of her room, I heard her sweet voice saying,"Thank you, mommy."

And I wondered how many times I'd allowed opportunities like this to pass me by because I was too wrapped up in my own selfishness.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Two Years Old

Two years ago today we were blessed with this precious little girl.

She's kept us laughing

And at times frustrated..

She's been an awesome big sister to Max..

And a fun little sister for Jack and Anna..

She's pretty sure she's a princess..

Or a mommy(she hasn't decided which yet:).

We love you so much, Lily Faith, and we cannot wait to see how the Lord uses you!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Grocery Shopping & Errands

My shopping cart last week.

Grocery shopping and running errands with little ones is a challenge no matter how many kids you have. It's exhausting buckling and unbuckling car seats, and trying to keep everyone under control out in public. 

My kids actually seem to enjoy grocery shopping and errand running(probably because it means leaving the house!), but it's definitely not high on my list of things that I enjoy doing. Thankfully I have learned a few things to make the process a little easier. 

1. Park near the shopping carts. Remember the days when you wanted to find a spot close to the store?

2.If you have more than one small child, wear the baby in a sling/ backpack. Your hands will be free and there will be more room in your cart.

3.Teach the older children to hold onto the cart while you shop. I know a lot of people don't like this method, but I like it as it seems to cut down on kids dawdling through the store.

4. Let the older kids help unload groceries(just make sure they don't get the eggs!) and if there's a bench nearby let them sit down while you finish checking out. Jack and Anna will usually go sit down on a bench while I finish checking out. It's good because they are usually tired after walking through a grocery store, and it prevents them from trying to  destroy the candy and toys that always seem to be by the check out lanes.

5. Pack snacks, and try not to run errands during anyone's nap time. I'd say this speaks for itself.:)

My biggest struggle while grocery shopping with my kids is finding enough room in my cart for the food.  My back bothers me from time to time, so it's not always a good option for me to wear my almost 8 month old in a sling. It can be very amusing trying to find a place for all my items. There's been more than a few occasions where strangers have stopped to ask me where I was going to put my groceries! It's not easy shopping and running errands with preschoolers, but with a little training and a little planning it can be done. And maybe, just maybe, you won't develop any gray hairs in the process.:)

What are some of your strategies when running errands with your kids?

Linked to A Wise Woman Builds Her Home.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Training in Right Behavior

A few years ago, my husband and I started attending a family integrated Bible study. I well remember my shock and the feeling of inadequacy that followed, when I realized everyones children except for mine could sit through an hour long message(at least that's how it seemed to me at the time.) After the Bible study I asked a friend of mine how she got her two year old to sit still, and she said that they practiced the right behavior at home so he would know what was expected of him when he got in the real situation.

That one piece of advice has become the foundation for almost everything I do in child raising. If a child is having trouble standing next to me at the grocery store, I make a mental note to have that child practice standing still at home. If one of my kids has had a tough time obeying their teacher in Sunday school, I'll have them practice giving the right response at home(i.e. asking Jack what he should say when his teacher tells him to come to the table.) I've discovered that as long as I stay consistent, discipline problems decrease significantly.

I use this same principle for teaching my kids how to share toys. For example if Anna is playing with a doll, and Lily tries to take it from her, Anna is suppose to say in a kind voice,"Lily, I'm playing with it right now, but would you  like me to get you something else to play with?" As long as no one is fighting, this method seems to work rather well. However, if there is fighting the toy is usually taken away, and I have them practice what they should have done. The more they practice the right way to respond, the easier it is for them to remember when conflicts arise.

Having your kids practice right behavior does take a lot of work, but I honestly think it cuts down on discipline issues when you stay consistent. It's not fool proof(my kids still fight over toys, and I still get frazzled in the grocery store), but it does help them learn how to obey and teach them how to handle conflicts.

Read parts one, two, threefour, and five to find out more about this series.

Linked to A Wise Woman Builds Her Home &


Share this!

Link Within

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
01 09 10