Archives for May 2014

Friday Links

 

Did you read or write something you’d like our readers to see? Leave a link in the comments, on our Facebook page, or send us a Tweet!

Added to Saturday Linky Love at JessieWeaver.net.

Friday Links

Did you read or write something you’d like our readers to see? Leave a link in the comments, on our Facebook page, or send us a Tweet!

Added to Saturday Linky Love at JessieWeaver.net.

Summer Beach Reads for Moms and Dads

My husband and I are very much looking forward to spending some time this summer ALONE for our 10th anniversary. We’re hitting up a nice island with a beach and without our kids for a few days. I am excited about spending a lot of time reading.

Are you headed to the beach, too? Or at least a chair by the pool or in your backyard? If you’re looking for a nice, clean book for a summer read, here are some ideas.

 

What would you recommend for a good beach read?

Friday Links

Did you read or write something you’d like our readers to see? Leave a link in the comments, on our Facebook page, or send us a Tweet!

Added to Saturday Linky Love at JessieWeaver.net.

Weelicious Lunches & Healthy Apple Muffins

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I’m always looking for a way to sneak some more nutrition into my kiddos. I’ve been a fan of Catherine McCord’s site Weelicious for quite some time for this reason! Recently I bought her cookbook Weelicious Lunches, hoping to find some lunchbox-packing inspiration.

At first glance, I was pretty sure it was a bust. No way were my kids going to eat things like Roasted Carrot Hummus or Avocado Honey Dip. And yes, those are some of the recipes. But as I looked farther into the book and started making recipes, I found that I love this cookbook more and more! Even standard recipes, like berry muffins and pizza, are adapted into healthier versions – using whole grains, less sweeteners, more vegetables.

Here are my reviews of some of the recipes I’ve made.

  • Apple, Honey, and Cheese Quesadillas – Everyone thought these were delicious, except my Extremely Picky Eater, who picked the apples out. She has a hard time trying new things, even if the new thing consists of ingredients she likes separately.
  • I think we’ve made everything from the pizza chapter. The White Wheat Pizza Dough is great, and I LOVE how healthy the Veggie-Heavy Pizza Sauce is. It’s easy to freeze, too.
  • Chicken Satay Bites – I think the garlic flavor might have been a tiny bit strong for Extremely Picky Eater, but she tried these. Baby Man enjoyed them greatly.
  • Roasted Carrot Coins – I thought these were a nice change from raw carrots.
  • Roasted Honey Cinnamon Chickpeas – Mine burned to a crisp. Just like every other time I’ve tried to make toasted chickpeas. What’s up with that?
  • Whole Grain Fruit-Filled Bars – My kids all love bars. But Extremely Picky Eater didn’t like how these were kind of crumbly. My other two kids chomped down, and I thought they were divine!
  • Polenta Berry Muffins – I made these for Extremely Picky Eater’s preschool class and they ate them all happily.
  • Whole Wheat Lemon Blueberry Muffins – yum!

And then we have the Apple Cinnamon Muffins. The first time I made these, I sent them to my husband’s student group at school. He said the boys demolished them in minutes. I’ve made a few adaptations, so I’m sharing my slightly different version of the recipe here.

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Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Makes 12-16 small muffins

  • 1 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup milk soured with a squeeze of lemon juice (or buttermilk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped (something tart is best, like Granny Smith, Gala, or Golden Delicious)
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon-sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 400F and spray muffin cups with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In a larger bowl, whisk honey, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and oil.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir together. Fold in apples.
  4. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Sprinkle each with a pinch of cinnamon-sugar.
  5. Bake 15-20 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Cool.

Do you have a great go-to cookbook? Share the title with us in the comments!

{This is a completely unsponsored review. I bought this with my own money and was not asked to review it.}

Raising a P.R.I.N.C.E.S.S.

RaisingAPrincess_CVRWith the success of the movie “Frozen” princesses are back in the spotlight, and much is made about raising daughters to be a princesses, but what does that really mean? Former Alabama defensive back John Croyle, and founder of child safe-haven Big Oak Ranch, believes the answer lies in Proverbs 31: “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’ Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in her gates” (vv. 28-31).

In his new book, Raising a Princess (B&H Books, May 2014), Croyle walks through the importance of raising young women in a biblical, strong, and compassionate manner. Touching on themes of unconditional love, failure, and trust, Croyle offers nearly four decades of wisdom in raising a godly woman from a dad’s perspective.

“A hundred years from now it will not matter what kind of house we lived in, the kind of car we drove, or how much money we had in the bank,” says Croyle, author of The Two Minute Drill to Manhood, which looks at what it means to raise godly young men. “But the world may be different because you and I were important in the life of a child.”

In The Two Minute Drill to Manhood, he tackles the necessities of equipping young men in the most pivotal moments of their adolescence. However, in Raising a Princess Croyle writes with a different end in mind: womanhood. The end is a Proverbs 31 woman and Croyle provides parenting techniques to help the reader raise their princess to someday be a queen. Croyle’s specific approach to raising young women is spelled out through the acronym P.R.I.N.C.E.S.S:

Praiseworthiness – A princess understands she is worthy of praise simply because she is made in the image of God.

Righteousness – She lives according to God’s normal, not the world’s normal.

Initiative – A princess makes good things happen.

Nurture – God built into girls and women an instinct to nurture that boys and men simply don’t have in the same way.

Character – A girl of character knows what her deepest desires are and chooses accordingly.

Empowerment – Your princess needs to understand life isn’t just something that happens to her. She has the power to choose.

Servant-Heartedness – A princess finds purpose not in being served, but in serving others.

Stability – As stability is provided for daughters, they will grow into the kind of people who help create stability for others.

John Croyle was an All-American defensive end at the University of Alabama during apic_administration4 renowned title run under Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Croyle declined a career in the National Football League and instead went on to found and develop the Big Oak Ranch for Boys. Over the next few decades they worked to start the Girls’ Ranch as well as the Westbrook Christian School. He and his wife, Tee, together have raised hundreds of young men and women, including their daughter and Big Oak child care director, Reagan Croyle Phillips, as well as their son and former NFL quarterback Brodie Croyle. For more information, please visit www.bigoak.org.

Weekend Links

Did you read anything great this week? Let us know in the comments!

Are You Ready for Summer?

Believe it or not, summer is right around the corner. Have you planned your summer adventures yet? Check out these helpful products to help you and your family stay safe (and have fun) this summer!

  • BabyBanzBaby Banz Sunscreen Lotion Spray — Baby Banz has made it easier than ever to protect your little one’s skin from the harmful rays of the sun. They have created an amazing sunscreen perfect for young ones ranging from crawling toddlers to growing teens! The sunscreen is formulated with SPF 50 UVA/UVB protection and is PABA free for peace of mind! Simply point and press and the convenient spray emits a continuous, angled spray for maximum coverage. It’s never too early to establish good skin care habits!
  • Baby B’Air — The FAA-approved Baby B’Air Flight Vest is a safe solution for lap-held children while traveling in an airplane. The Baby B’Air is the perfect solution for all babies, securing them safely to their parent so that both the baby and parent are comfortable and there is no squirming or potential for baby falling. The Baby B’Air is worn by the infant like a vest. Constructed of 100% cotton and comfortable to wear for baby, the Baby B’Air is used by simply connecting it to the seat belt of the adult. The baby can then be held, fed, and even changed while both parent and child remain securely fastened in their seat. For more information, visit babybair.com.
  • PuddleJumperPuddle Jumper Life Jackets — The fun lasts longer for kids in the water with a Stearns® Puddle Jumper® Life Jacket. The comfortable design allows children 30 to 50 lbs. to move and swim freely in pools and lakes and at the beach, without the life jacket riding up around their necks. Each PFD is Coast Guard-approved and can be used as a learn-to-swim aid. They come in lots of different colors and styles.

What are your family’s must-have summer products?

Acceptance Defies Stereotypes by Ellen Stumbo

I love the energy that kids have after school: running, smiling, hugs to parents, stories of the great adventures that took place at recess. They squeeze in every minute of fun with friends before going home.

One afternoon, two little boys from my daughter’s class posed for a photo as they hugged side by side. When my daughter noticed the camera, she wanted to join in. I was about to tell her that the photo was only for the boys, but one of the little boys noticed her and said, “Come on, Nichole!” He waved at her to join in and then put his arm around her too. Soon, a few more kids joined in the photo.

It might seem like a regular happening, just a group of kindergarteners getting their picture taken with their friends … and it was! But it was also more than that. My daughter has Down syndrome, and this everyday happening reminded me that disability is inconsequential to friendship. Some people say that little kids don’t notice differences, which is why they accept everyone. I don’t think that is true. I do believe that little kids do a much better job at accepting everyone, but I also know they notice differences, they just don’t care about those differences the way adults do. They have not been touched by cultural expectations or norms. The beauty in that moment was the fact that she was one of the kids. She was included, invited to join in. She was one of the kids, and nobody cared if her speech is hard to understand or if she is delayed in some other ways. They just knew she was part of the group.

Those kids in that little group of friends were defying a stereotype, all of them. And I was so proud of them!

Ellen Stumbo Head ShotEllen Stumbo is a writer and speaker. She is the mother of three daughters: Ellie; Nichole, who has Down syndrome; and Nina, who was adopted and also has special needs. She is wife to Andy, a pastor. Visit her at ellenstumbo.com.

Friday Links

 

Did you read or write something you’d like our readers to see? Leave a link in the comments, on our Facebook page, or send us a Tweet!

Added to Saturday Linky Love at JessieWeaver.net.