Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Give Thanks

During this month of Thanksgiving, let's be reminded of the many blessings in our lives and give thanks to the Lord!

Perhaps we should give thanks by serving and encouraging others.  Here are some ideas!  What ideas do you have?

  • Bake cookies together and deliver them to a police and/or fire station.  Pray for their safety and for God's provision over them as they serve your community.

  • Make care packages for men/women in the military.  Pray for their safety and for their families.

  • Have each person in your family choose someone to pray for during the week.  Make a phone call, send a card, or find some other creative way to encourage that person.

  • Donate items to a children's home or homeless shelter.  Pray that these people may experience God's love and greatness through these gifts.

  • Dine at a restaurant and secretly pay for someone's meal.  Pray together for that person/family.

  • Deliver board games and/or coloring books & crayons to waiting rooms of children's hospital. Pray for the patients, their families, and the hospital staff.

  • Make a meal & dessert for a busy family.  Call them and tell them that you will be delivering dinner that evening.

  • Have a simple evening with family and friends to enjoy God's goodness.  Pray together and thank God for his blessings.

Four Years (a little belated)

Happy birthday, Elyn!  Life's been a little busy, and this is a couple of months late, but I couldn't go without posting.  We are so blessed by this girl and can't believe she is four years old!  We love you, Elyn, and treasure your joyful spirit and heart for others.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Something about a Scarf

These little ones are loving their new scarves!  Check out my sweet blogging friend's new Etsy Shop, EverydayPitterPatter, and have a look around.  There's just something about a scarf!

Seven Years

This sweet girl turned seven on Friday.  Happy birthday, Kynlee!  You are such an amazing little girl and add so much joy to our lives each day.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

11 years

Happy birthday, Dylan!  God so richly blessed our lives 11 years ago.  We love you and are so proud of the young man you are.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Smart Money Smart Kids (post 4)

We recently had the privilege of welcoming Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze to our church to share a message inspired by their upcoming book, Smart Money Smart Kids.  What a time of inspiration!

Our kids know very well who Dave and Rachel are.  They hear them on the radio often, and we certainly live out the principles they teach.  We are very intentional about sharing this money stuff with them, and we can say with confidence that they are truly getting it.  How rewarding it was to glance down and see them taking notes as they listened to the message!

Here is Smart Money Smart Kids through the eyes of our kids...
(It's obvious that one child tends to be direct and to the point, and the other likes to elaborate a bit!) 

I hope you will take the time to order your copy of Smart Money Smart Kids today!  Teach your kids well. Their future awaits.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Smart Money Smart Kids (post 3)

Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze's upcoming book, Smart Money Smart Kids, is one that will inspire you from beginning to end.  The principles taught throughout this book are solid, God-honoring ones.  Embrace them!

May these quotes lead, encourage, and challenge you.  They have certainly done so for me.

I Was That Little Girl...

"From the very beginning, my parents gave me a legacy of debt-free living, and that’s one of the best gifts any parent could ever give their kids." - Rachel

Work: It's NOT a Four-Letter Word

"Our culture has made many wonderful advances to ensure the safety and well-being of children.  But we may have taken this too far.  Many parents today are so centered on what their children
want that they have lost perspective on what their children really need." - Dave

Spend: When It's Gone, It's Gone

"It takes tremendous strength and resolve to allow your kids to suffer the consequences of their decisions. They are persuasive, cute, and pushy, so it is really tough not to cave and say to yourself,
Well, they are only children." - Dave

Save: Wait for It

"When a kid buys something with money he or she has saved, it is not merely a financial transaction; you are watching poise, confidence, and maturity develop right before your eyes.  When you grow great behaviors and character traits in your children, you are really teaching them how to win at life." - Dave

Give: It's Not Yours Anyway

"But when your kids grow up in a house where giving is a priority, they start to see themselves differently because they see other people differently.  Other people become significant, and doing things for others becomes a priority." - Rachel

Budgeting: Tell It What To Do

"Children who can learn to plan and be forward-thinking are more poised and confident because life is not always happening to them—they are happening to life." - Dave

Debt: It IS a Four-Letter Word

"When you teach a child to lean on a plastic crutch, you are teaching them that they don’t have to delay pleasure, or sacrifice, or save up and pay cash for things." - Dave

College: Don't Graduate from I.O.U.

"I believe the two keys to graduating debt free are pretty simple: hard work and preparation." - Rachel

Contentment: The War For Your Child's Heart

"Contentment is a manner of traveling.  It’s an attitude of peace and joy where you are, even while you are working to be somewhere else." - Dave

Family: Put the FUN in Dysfunctional

"Every relationship in your child’s life has enormous potential to bless her more than you can imagine.  As the parent, you have the responsibility to manage who is coming in and out of your child’s life and what they’re bringing into it." - Rachel

Generational Handoff: Blessings or Curses

"One of the greatest gifts you’ll ever give your child is preparing her to thrive as an adult.  That happens through a lot of conversations, teachable moments, trial and error, and modeling
wise behavior with money." - Rachel

I Was That Dad...

"When we dropped a pass, we didn't quit the game and walk away.  Instead, we threw the pass again and again, so that at least sometimes it was caught." - Dave

Start reading the book now for FREE!  Click to download the first two chapters.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Smart Money Smart Kids (post 2)

"When the parents' words and actions come together, it forms a powerful statement about that family's value system." - Rachel Cruze

In their upcoming book, Smart Money Smart Kids, Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze remind us more than once that our children are watching - that it is the consistency of what we say and what we do that dictates how we will influence our children.  Our family's value system will either be strengthened by our consistency or weakened by our lack thereof.

In the chapter on giving, Rachel so passionately encourages us to step outside our comfort zones, to give of ourselves in the world - and to do so from all of our resources (the "Time, Talents, and Treasure" idea of giving).  And it is so important for us to model this for our children and create ways for them to serve alongside us.  It is in doing so that we are creating opportunities for them to experience the joy of giving and to develop a heart for others.  Perhaps your family is doing well in this area, but for us, it is an area where we really need to grow.  We are a work in progress!

I love how the chapter then goes deeper.  Rachel and Dave discuss popping the bubble of the comforts and conveniences that surround our children.  If we are not intentional, our children will quickly gain an unhealthy perspective of their blessings.  I am reminded of this in my own home often, and it is in these moments that I understand the importance of teaching my children to look beyond themselves.

I am so grateful for this book and for how it has challenged me as a parent.  It truly is a must-read.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Smart Money Smart Kids (post 1)

"Too many rules is legalistic, but too much grace is enabling." - Rachel Cruze

I recently had the privilege of reading Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze's upcoming book,  Smart Money Smart Kids.  Rachel writes of being grateful for parents who were able - and willing - to keep this balance throughout her life.  She states that this was her favorite money principle lived out by her parents. - Read the excerpt from the book here.  http://bit.ly/SMSKwedding

Admittedly, finding this balance is challenging for me at times.  I am one who ALWAYS prefers structure, and I am very rules-focused.  I like an orderly process...if this, then that.  This is what is natural for me, and it certainly affects my parenting.  Now this is not to say that I fail to extend grace to my kids!  They certainly receive my grace!  It simply means that my natural tendency is to place my focus on the logical consequence if a rule is broken.  Thus, I have to be intentional and even creative with those grace moments.  Sometimes, I suppose those lessons in grace become teachable moments more so for me than for my kids! ;)

Undeniably, this quote was more than a gentle reminder for me as a parent.  It really captured my attention and stirred something within me.  When raising my kids - whether teaching them to make smart money decisions or simply guiding them day to day - it is my hope that their character will be shaped not by my legalism, but by this balance that we sought and lived out for them.   

I love a book that challenges me.  And I am always seeking biblical wisdom to guide my parenting.  This book offers just that.  I will have more to come in future posts, but for now, I encourage you to click the {link} and have a sneak peek at the first two chapters.  It will certainly be worth your time.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Sweet Indulgence - Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting

The girls and I enjoyed making these today!

1 cup cane sugar
1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 (beaten) eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 canola oil

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.  Add eggs, vanilla extract, and oil.  Stir to form batter.  Pour batter into greased muffin pan.  (The batter is only enough for about 10.)  Bake for 16 - 18 minutes.

Peanut Butter Frosting
1/4 cup (room temperature) butter
2 teaspoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar

Add butter and heavy cream to mixing bowl.  Mix on medium until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and peanut butter.  Mix on medium for about 2 minutes.  Slowly add powdered sugar.  Mix on low until well combined.

Add frosting once brownies have cooled completely.  Top with chocolate chips.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Snow Days

I love snow days (even if they follow Christmas break)!  I loved them when I was teaching, and I love them now that I am at home.  The idea of waking up without an alarm, sipping on hot chocolate, making cookies, and playing board games with the kids simply brings me joy!  It would have been much more fun if there would have actually been snow on the ground, but we enjoyed it even without the snow.  And we have another day off tomorrow!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

From Happy Easter to Happy New Year

So it has been quite a while since my last post!  What a great year it has been - filled with so many special moments I wish I would have posted.  Thankfully, I captured most of them with my camera.  Perhaps I will flash back throughout 2014 some of what 2013 brought us!

Here is what Christmas looked like for us.

I hope your Christmas was as joyous as ours.  Happy New Year!