Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Amazing Easter Egg Roundup

~Guest Posting Opportunity~

As summer is quickly approaching, so my schedule is also filling up.  To help alleviate this some, I am looking for some bloggers that may be interested in doing some guest posts for me.  Any size blog will be considered.  Your post can be on any subject having to do with family life, homemaking, homeschooling, crafts, cooking, get the point.  It needs to also be new content that has not been previously shared anywhere.  If you would be interested please contact me here.

Friday night, my family will be busy dying our Easter Eggs in preparation for Sunday.  I have enjoyed this tradition since I was a little girl.  Last year we made our own dye using food coloring and vinegar.  It really worked well and the colors were nice and vibrant.  I found the directions for how to do it right on the back of the food coloring box along with a chart for how to create new colors.  This allowed us to create any color we wanted and that was a huge hit with my kids.

I have seen some other amazing techniques for decorating Easter Eggs.  So today I have rounded up some of my favorites to share with you!  :)  Let me know which one you like best!

Tie Dyed Easter Eggs
 Modern Christian Homemaker

Easter Egg Decorating - Resist with Stickers 
Creative Connection for Kids

Rubber Band Egg Dying
Sandy Toes and Popsicles

How to Make Leaf Print Eggs

Watercolor Eggs
Craftberry Bush

Homemade Resurrection Eggs
This Simple Home

How to Make Easter Egg Terrariums
The House That Lars Built

Mickey and Minnie Easter Eggs
Mendez Manor

Minions Eggs
A Thrifty Mom

Fuzzy Easter Eggs
Pajama Crafters

For more fun Easter Egg ideas be sure to follow my Easter Egg Pinterest Board.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Allergy Friendly Easter Dinner Menu

I am hosting Easter dinner for my husbands family on Sunday, and so I have been thinking a lot about what to put on the menu.  Usually when I think of Easter dinner, I think of ham and baked mac and cheese.  It is what my grandmother served at our family gatherings every Easter.  While I will most likely make the traditional Easter meal I grew up with, I thought it would be fun to come up with an alternative Easter menu.  You will notice that this menu has recipes that will work for The Virgin Diet, or could easily be adapted for it.

Easter Dinner Menu




What will you be serving this Easter?

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The Faith Journey - #24 - Verses 1-17 Review on Being a Proverbs 31 Woman

Sorry I am a little late getting The Faith Journey out this week.  This weekend just flew by me, however I guess a little late is better than not at all!  :)
This week I want to go back and review what we have learned so far about the Proverbs 31 woman.  This will help to refresh in our minds all that we need to be working on, and will also remind us of all that we are doing well.  :)  If you need to go back and reread or maybe read for the first time any of these post, please take the time to do so.  Even though I wrote them, I have found rereading them has been rather convicting and I know I have let a few things slide already.  You probably can figure this out on your own because you are so smart, but the title of each bullet is a link back to that post.  ;)

  • Being a Proverbs 31 Woman in Today's Culture   - At the beginning of this Proverbs 31 series we took a look at why it was written.  We learned that it is a mother, most likely Bathsheba, the royal mother of King Solomon, who is the voice for these verses.  She instructs her son on the type of woman that he should be seeking.  It is her love and affection for her son, as well as her experience that make her words so powerful.  The woman she describes is not only the type of woman I strive to be, but also the type of woman I pray my sons will find for wives.  
  • Being a Proverbs 31 Woman Vs. 10 - In verse 10 we took a look at Ruth.  Ruth is a great example of the Proverbs 31 woman.  She is a "precious jewel" of the bible and proves her worth through her actions.  She shows that this type of woman isn't impossible to find, but is worth seeking out.  Couldn't we all benefit from a wife, sister, daughter, or friend like Ruth?  Don't we all wish we could be more like her?  She is a wonderful example which is why I chose her to be our Proverbs 31 woman mascot!
  • Being a Proverbs 31 Woman Vs. 11 - Verse 11 taught us that we need to find the value of our own self worth.   The Lord sees us as worthy, and for others to see us as worthy, we must first know our own worth.  We also learned that we are to be trustworthy.  We started a list of 10 things we find valuable about ourselves.  In addition, we began to pray for our spouse daily.  These are both things you can do even if you are not already married.  Take this a step farther and pray also for your children and their future spouse as well.  Ask the Lord to even now be preparing their hearts for each other.
  • Being a Proverbs 31 Woman Vs. 12 - Our look into verse 12 revealed that we should be taking care of our husband.  We need to pamper him with our love, shower him with our affection, and build him up with our words.  Our actions should never be harmful to our spouse.  We should be doing at least one act of love for our spouse everyday.  I hope at this point it is becoming habit and you are doing much more than just one thing a day to show your love.
  • Being a Proverbs 31 Woman Vs. 13 - In verse 13 we learned about being good stewards of our money and our time.  We started a "to do" list of all of those projects we put off for "some day".  That day is today!  It is time to start picking away at that list.  We also started asking ourselves "Do I need this?" and "Is this the best price for this product?" before making a purchase.  
  • Being a Proverbs 31 Woman Vs. 14 - Have you been making meals for your family?  In verse 14 we learned that we should be cooking for our family, because it shows love and it is a better use of our money.  I gave you some ideas for ways to stretch your meals and easy items you can make for your family dinner.  FYI family dinners are one of the BEST ways to bond as a family!  Be sure to sit down as a family for meals at least 3 times a week!
  • Being a Proverbs 31 Woman Vs. 15 - When we reached verse 15 you learned of my weak area!  Rising early to prepare breakfast for my family is not my strong point!  This has been one area I have struggled and prayed over.  We talked about setting the alarm 10 minutes early so that we can pray, or do morning devotions without interruption.  We also learned to look for the needs of others.  We should be seeking out ways that we can be serving those around us, and not just waiting for things to fall into our laps.
  • Being a Proverbs 31 Woman Vs. 16 - Verse 16 revealed the importance of taking an interest in your spouses work.  It also pointed out that we should be fruitful ourselves (using our time and money wisely).  We talked about getting a plant to remind us of this.  If you garden, or have ever thought about starting a garden, this is the time to be getting it ready.  
  • Being a Proverbs 31 Woman Vs. 17 - While looking at verse 17 we discovered that part of self worth is good health.  We learned that the Proverbs 31 woman takes care of herself.  She exercises, eats well, and keeps herself healthy.  A sick woman can not serve her family well, and the Proverbs 31 woman would know this.
So that sums up what we have learned thus far in Proverbs 31.  Next week is Easter so I think I will be doing a special Easter post.  I hope you will join me for that!  Have a beautiful week my friends. 

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Why I Still Love Mad Libs

*Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.  Any purchases made through these links will result in a compensation to me.  The opinions and views shared in this post are all my own.  I only share with you things I really love!
I can still remember picking up my very first Mad Libs book, The Original Mad Libs 1 as a kid and excitedly filling in the blanks.  My friends and I would giggle with glee as we read each short story we had created.  I would bring them home and get my sister to help me write one.  Then we would roar at the craziness of it.  After awhile I started to even make up my own stories for her to complete.  I wounder if she even remembers that?

Mad Libs is a small workbook.  Each page has a short story that is missing key words.  You can play the game several ways, but my favorite is to turn the book over so you are seeing a page for the story that only has blanks and word types.  It may ask you for a family members name, a state, and noun, a number, a verb, etc..  Once finished filling in the blanks, you turn over the book and use the words you just filled in to complete the story.  Because you can't see the story as you are filling in the blanks, you can get some pretty silly stories!  You can also do it straight just reading the story and filling in the blanks with the types of words it asks for, but in my opinion that isn't as fun.

This past Christmas I gave my two oldest boys their first Mad Libs.  I demonstrated how to use them, and stood back to watch.  Just as I had remembered my own sister and I having a ball with them, my boys did too.  Neither of them enjoy grammar or writing, so this was a great opportunity to get them engaged.  
I could hear Perry saying, "give me an adjective".  
After a brief pause "furry" was shouted back.  
Perry would next ask for an adverb.  
"Yeah, you know it describes a verb,"  
"Oh right, uh how about quickly?"   
As these conversations continued I realized how much this was helping their grammar.  I have seen an increased understanding in the definitions of noun, verb, adjective, and adverbs.  While they understood them before and could pick them out of the sentence, having to do them in reverse without seeing the rest of the sentence has made them grow in this area.  We don't use the Mad Libs as part of our curriculum, but I am so pleased to see my boys reach for them over a video game.  I enjoy listening to them read the stories they have created, and I love how it has encouraged them to be more creative in their writing.

Mad Libs now comes in every theme out there!  Lego, princess, pirates, ninjas, summer vacations, you name it, they've got it!  I am planning to put some more Mad Libs books in the kid's Easter baskets this year!  Your kids will love them too!  They are great for long road trips, days on the beach, or boring rainy days.  Get the whole family involved in the fun!  There are so many to choose from! (FYI the pictures are all links too)
Have you ever done a Mad Lib?  What did you enjoy about them?  What other nostalgic items do your kids enjoy?

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How to Clean Ridges Around Sinks and Stoves

*Please note - knives can be very dangerous and cause scratching if used improperly.  Use extreme care with this method of cleaning so as not to endanger yourself or others.

About a year ago, I had my boys take over cleaning the kitchen.  It has been an interesting experience to say the least!  Aside from the fact that some nights it will literally take them hours to finish just loading the dishwasher, things never quite get cleaned the way I would like it.  I pick my battles at this point, and go in about once a month to do a heavy cleaning in there. We are working on improving their skills.
One thing that always drives me nuts when I am doing a deep clean is seeing the dirty, nasty, gunk that builds up on the edges of the stove.  It also happens around the spout of the sink, and in our bathrooms around the sink.  It just really stands out to me and makes the room still look dirty.  My solution to this is quick and easy!  Grab a damp rag and a knife.  You will need to be careful as you do this so that you do not scratch the counters or fixtures you are cleaning around.

Using the edge of the knife, gently trace the seams where that gunk is hiding out.  You will see it starting to build up on your knife.  With each pass, wipe your knife and the seam with your damp rag.  I usually have it done in about 2 passes.

See all of that stuff that has built up!  Nasty!  That was from the second pass too!

After you have wiped everything down, you can stand back and admire how much better this little detail makes your kitchen look!  I have heard people say that they use dental floss to clean these areas as well.  I have never tried it because the knife always works well for me.  I have used toothpicks however, and they also work really well especially in small areas like around sink fixtures.

Once again I apologize for the grainy pictures.  One of these days I will figure out how to get good pictures from my phone!  So are there any areas in you kitchen that you can't stand to see dirty?  How do you keep them clean?

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