Friday, May 1, 2020

Five Things Friday

It's May! Here are five things from me on this Fabulous Friday!

{one} 
Garden. Last Saturday, I spent time tilling my small garden and getting it ready to plant my new crop of vegetables and fruit 🍅😉. I was so excited that we stopped by my favorite small business plant/garden pop up shop and picked up some plants and flowers. I came straight home and got them planted, and woke up the next morning to unexpected rain💦. There was two inches of water standing in my garden! I must say I was a little bummed, if I had known I would have held off in planting. However, I think all is well. I planted tomatoes (4), green peppers(4), red peppers (1), macarroni peppers (4), jalapeños (4), zucchini (1), and basil (1). I would like to find cilantro (I've stopped at two stores and still no cilantro). I've never had much luck with my bell peppers or zucchini but maybe this will be my year. What are your favorite things to plant?


{two}
Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts by Jennie Allen
I can't wait for this book to arrive on my doorstep so I can start reading. Would you like to join me?

"In Get Out of Your Head, Jennie inspires and equips us to transform our emotions, our outlook, and even our circumstances by taking control of our thoughts. Our enemy is determined to get in our heads to make us feel helpless, overwhelmed, and incapable of making a difference for the kingdom of God. But when we submit our minds to Christ, the promises and goodness of God flood our lives in remarkable ways. It starts in your head. And from there, the possibilities are endless."

Jennie Allen also has a Bible study on this topic that I will be starting with a group of women via Zoom, in a few weeks, a 6-week study in the book of Philippians. If you would like to get involved in a women's Bible study, I would love for you to join us.



{three}
Whole 30 Comfort Food. If you are looking for a "clean eating" meal that tastes great give these Lazy Meatloaf Muffins a try. The recipe calls for Whole 30 approved ketchup, My favorite is Primal Kitchen Ketchup Organic Unsweetened you can find it at Walmart, Target, and your local grocery store. I've made my own ketchup, but it just doesn't come close to Primal Kitchen's Ketchup! 



{four}
Next Tuesday, we are going to run a virtual 5K as a family, the Fiesta Frenzy5K, on Cinco De Mayo! It's been fun to have the boys get out and "train." It's a great way to for them to some physical activity, and to get out of the house. We have been taking daily 5K walks, where they either ride their bikes or walk. I hope that maybe we are developing little runners, and maybe one day some of my boys will want to do some distance running with me, a mom can dream 😉! But no matter what, it's great to get out and move your body and get some exercise. What have you been doing to get out and move?

{five} 
The Chosen. Have you heard of the new series on the life of Jesus? My family and I have thoroughly enjoyed this portrayal of Jesus. Check it out https://studios.vidangel.com/the-chosen. The Bible study I'm currently in "Finding I Am," by Lysa TerKeurst, looks at the "I Am" statements of Jesus. In the last episode of season one, two of those statements were covered and it's fun to see what you are studying in the Bible be acted out on the big screen.


Have a great weekend!

In case you missed it this week:

Healthy Chicken and Veggies

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Healthy Chicken and Veggies

If you are looking for a healthy meal that the entire family will love, look no further. This easy chicken and veggie recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser. It is a family favorite at our house! It even gets rave reviews from the picky teenager. Actually, the last time I made this meal my 13 year old said, "Mom, can you make this meal again soon?" My jaw about hit the floor. He's hard to please unless you are serving take out or anything that fits in the unhealthy category 😂. I felt like I had just won an Academy Award or 1st Place on Top Chef! 

The beauty of this recipe is you can use any combination of veggies you have on hand, and you can change it up each time you make it. It is a great meal for busy nights because you can prep the veggies ahead of time and simply line the pan and pop it right in the oven! If you serve it over cauliflower rice it is a clean eating recipe!




Healthy Chicken and Veggies

Ingredients:

  • ●2 medium boneless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
  • ●1 medium red onion, chopped
  • ●1 medium zucchini chopped
  • ●1 medium yellow squash
  • ●broccoli florets (2 cups)
  • ●bell peppers (any variety you would like. I used red, green, and orange bell peppers), chopped
  • ●any other veggies you would like to use (mushroom and grape tomatoes are also delicious in this recipe)
  • ●2 cloves garlic minced
  • ●1 T Italian seasoning
  • ●1 tsp salt
  • ●1/2 tsp pepper
  • ●1/2 tsp paprika
  • ●2 T olive oil (avocado oil for clean eating recipe)
  • ●Brown, Wild, or Cauliflower Rice, cooked (optional)
Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a cooking sheet/pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking   spray.
  2. Cut all veggies and chicken and line on cooking pan.
  3. Drizzle chicken and veggies with olive oil.
  4. Prepare seasoning in a small bowl, stir to combine and sprinkle evenly over chicken and veggies.
  5. Bake 15-20 minutes until chicken is tender and veggies roasted.
  6. Prepare rice, and place portion in bowl. Spoon chicken and veggies on top of rice.




Enjoy! This meal is delicious and is great for left overs!



Thursday, March 12, 2020

Three Ways to Wait Well

You will be restless in your waiting, until you surrender your will to God.
Are you in a season of waiting? Maybe you are waiting on:

  • *A child (positive pregnancy test or adoption)
  • *A new job
  • *Healing (illness, restoration of a relationship, or marriage)
  • *A spouse
  • *A loved one to come to Christ, or a wayward child to return home.
As humans we don't do waiting well. Why is that? Because we want what we want when we want it!

In the Bible (Genesis 15-18) we see Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years for the child the Lord had promised. The answer did not come until Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah, 99. By the world's standards, all hope seemed lost for them. During the waiting, Sarah let fear and doubt take hold and she took matters into her own hands by giving Abraham her maidservant, Hagar, so that Hagar might bear a child for them. Most of us are thinking, "HOLD ON! Stop! This is a bad idea." Yes, it was a bad idea, but how often do we try to step ahead of God and take control in situations in our life? We all may be a little more like Sarah than we thought.

God had promised Abraham that Sarah would be the "mother of nations." Genesis 17:16 tells us she would conceive and bear a son, but Sarah did not believe, so much so, that in Chapter 18 when she overheard the promise, she laughed. And the Lord responded,
"Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'will I really have a child, now that I am old' Is anything too hard for the Lord?" Genesis 18:13-14
Think about that for a moment. Is your situation too hard for the Lord? Is my situation too difficult for Jesus? No. Nothing is too hard for Him. Let that encourage you in your wait today.

Waiting is hard. Especially in our microwave mentality culture. Waiting can feel like a passive activity. That we have no part other than sitting and twiddling our thumbs, while time slowly ticks by, wallowing in our circumstances. Waiting is not a passive activity. God wants us to actively participate in the waiting, to seek Him. We do this by filling our mind with truth about God's character.
"Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth." Colossians 3:2
Waiting reveals where we are putting our trust, in ourselves or in Christ? Let me give you three ways to wait well while putting your faith in Jesus, not self.


Three Ways to Wait Well

1. Seek Him Through His Word

To wait well, we need to seek Him through His Word. There we can find wisdom and patience for purposeful living. The Bible is full of God's promises, which bring hope in our waiting.
"For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgement." 2 Timothy 1:7
"Wait for the Lord; be strong and courageous. Wait for the Lord." Psalm 27:14
I love how the psalmist starts and ends the verse with the same phrase. By repeating it at the beginning and the end we see waiting was being emphasized. It was as if the psalmist knew would need to hear it twice for it to really sink in.

"Wait for the Lord." 

2. Seek Him Through Prayer

The second way to wait well is to seek Him through prayer. When we engage our Savior through prayer, the automatic response is we are no longer focusing on our fears, our troubles, our issues, or even our circumstances. We are fully present in our relationship with our Creator.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

3. Seek Him Through His People

The third way to wait well is to seek Him through His people. We can find encouragement through fellowship of others. The primary purpose of the gathering is encouragement. Encouragement to live a faith-filled life, not a fear-filled life.
"And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encourage each other, all the more as you see the day drawing near." Hebrews 10:24-25

Peace will come in your waiting when you realize you exist for Him. As a believer in Christ, our life is a beautiful testimony to the saving grace of Jesus. When you focus on this fact, you realize that no matter the outcome of your waiting, your life will bring Him glory. No matter the outcome, whether it is what you hoped for or something less, your life will bring Him honor, if you are surrendering your will to His. When we have the right perspective on Christ and our circumstances, there is peace and purpose in the waiting.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Valentine's Day Scavenger Hunt



One of my favorite childhood memories involved the Valentine's Day scavenger hunt that my mom would create for my brothers and I each year. She would create clues and my brothers and I would work together to figure out where the clue was taking us and at the end was always a fun surprise. What a fun way to make Valentine's Day special. I love that this activity encourages siblings to work together to read and figure out each clue, it is a fun way to promote team work and strengthen sibling bonds. Fun memories are sure to be made that will stand the test of time. 


This activity is quick and easy to put together. You just need a little prep work, paper or note cards to write the clues on, and a writing utensil! To make it easy, I sit down with a notebook and plan out the places I want to send the boys for each clue. After listing out fun locations in and around the house, I decide the order of the clue locations to send the boys the farthest distance between clues, so the entire hunt can last as long as possible! Now that you know the locations you are sending your kids, the last step is to write the clues. You can be as simple or creative as you like. You can make it festive by adding stickers or using Valentine cards to write the clues on.


A few fun places to send them include the mailbox, microwave, somewhere outside, shower or bath tub, closet, toy box, the sky is the limit. I like to get creative and have a few more challenging clues. You can use a line from a favorite book on their bookshelf and hide the clue in the book. I've hidden a clue inside a board game before, and they had to go get if off the shelf and open the box to find the next clue. I have as much fun creating the clues as the boys do figuring each one out and running to the next place.

Don't forget to write the clue number on each card so you don't forget the order. It makes it easy to hide. You will hand them clue #1 when it is time for the scavenger hunt to begin, so keep it out, and hide the rest of the clues. To ensure they don't see where you are hiding the clues, have them go to a room that you are not using during the hunt. Excitement will build as you are hiding the clues. 


At the last clue spot have a fun small treat or surprise waiting for each child, or a group treat. A few ideas would be a fun item from the dollar store or Target dollar spot, a small box of chocolates, book, favorite sweet treat, hair accessory, etc.

Another fun idea would be to create a family scavenger hunt and the last clue take you to your favorite ice cream shop for an ice cream treat.


Most years my boys want me to hide the clues all over again, even though they know where to go the second time around. They think it is so much fun, and watching the smiles and joy on their face is priceless! Each year they ask if we are going to do a scavenger hunt again, it has turned into a fun family tradition at our house. Enjoy making memories with your family this Valentine's Day!

Here are some more fun Valentine's Day ideas:

Valentine's Day Canvas Art for Kids

Hand Stirred Milkshakes

Special Valentine's Day Breakfast

How do you like to celebrate Valentine's Day with your family?