Archives for December 2015

New Year = New Opportunities

Here we are, on the cusp of another year. I’m excited as I face 2016 and ready to bring on some resolutions. I am honestly not a big resolution-maker, but this year I’m committing to the following:

  • Having some sort of quiet time and reading my Bible every single day.
  • Going to the gym to continue to build muscles and get healthy and dramatically lower my sugar intake.
  • Remembering that cultivating my children’s hearts with the gospel is the most important task I’ve been given.

My daughter invited Jesus into her heart in September, and we think she will be baptized in January. She got a devotion for children for Christmas, and I am so looking forward to seeing her grow in her faith! I hope as 2016 progresses, I will also see the faith of my two sons increase as well, as little as they are.

I am wishing you the sweetest New Year. What are some of your resolutions for the year? – Jessie

Weekend Links

Happy Christmas week!

Weekend Links

Have a wonderful week!

Forget Cookie Baking & Embrace Cooking Dipping for Christmas Gifts!

Personally, I love baking cookies. But I’m also a stay-at-home mom, so I have more time at home than many. And this year, I still haven’t been in the kitchen much as I’ve dealt with sickness, school events, and just general life stuff.

chocolate dipped pretzels

If you, too, have been lacking for time to make homemade treats, I wanted to share with you my easiest tips and recipes for making a giant batch of semi-homemade goodies to hand out. 

When I was working, I would fill a Christmas tin from the thrift store for all my co-workers with these yummies. It takes just an hour or two to make all the treats, as opposed to hours baking dozens of cookies. And everyone loves them!

Here is what you need:

  • Cookies and pretzels for dipping: shortbread, Oreos, pretzel rods, pretzel twists, vanilla wafers
  • Almond bark in white and milk chocolate
  • Toppings for sprinkling: any variety of Christmasy sprinkles or sanding sugar, chopped nuts, crushed candy canes, toasted coconut, crushed Oreos
  1. Open all packages of dippers so you are ready. Place different sprinkling items on plates. Lay out wax or parchment paper for items to dry on.
  2. Melt chocolates in the microwave in large measuring cups. For melting chocolate, I always microwave on high for 1 minute, stir, then microwave in additional 15-30 second intervals, stirring after each, until completely smooth. Be careful with white chocolate or almond bark, because it is more likely to scorch.
  3. Dip each cookie or pretzel about halfway into the chocolate. Then press into a sprinkling item. Place on wax paper to dry.

With this method, you can make a large variety of treats simply by using different sprinkling toppings. So fun, and easy for the kids to help with, too, for teacher, bus driver, mail person, Sunday School teacher, pastor (you get this idea!) gifts!

Want another simple treat? 

Melt white almond bark in the microwave. Spread onto a jelly-roll pan lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Let cool, then break into pieces. It looks fancy but couldn’t be easier.

Do you pass out cookies or other treats during the holidays?

Photo source: Christi Johnstone via Flickr Creative Commons

Weekend Links

 

A Time-Tested Way to Encourage Good Behavior by Becky Brandvik {GIVEAWAY}

Jesus was always generous, kind, respectful, hardworking, truthful, responsible, and so much more. He’s the perfect role model for all of us – kids and adults alike!

When I was a child I sometimes spent summer vacations with my grandparents, who lived in Florida. My sister and I were allowed to eat candy for dinner, sleep in half the day, and go and do wherever we wanted. The mantra was, “Anything goes at Grandma and Grandpa’s house!” We never felt like they disciplined us, but we were always anxious to please them by doing the right thing. There was just something different about my grandparents, but as a kid I couldn’t quite put my finger on it!

My grandparents liked to teach us grandkids good behavior by modeling the life of Christ. They lived and spoke Scripture regularly. As a kid, I thought this was a goofy thing to do. Whoever heard of going around and quoting Scripture all the time? One day it hit me! This was their teaching style! They weren’t trying to annoy us– it was simply their “subliminal method” of teaching and reinforcing good behavior in their grandkids. My grandparents sincerely wanted to model to us how the Bible can be a real, living part of our lives. It’s not just a dusty old tome that you allow to rot on your book shelf. It’s a testament to how we should live our lives every single day.

God’s Word is there to help us through our time on this Earth giving us guidance, comfort, and teaching us right from wrong. My grandparents modeled this principle numerous times to us in ways that no other believer has ever done for me. They actually modeled good character by inspiring us to be just like Jesus.

Just Like Jesus Storybook

There is no better way to teach children right from wrong than by showing them how to model the character of Jesus. Author and songwriter Stephen Elkins has written a great resource called I Want to Be JUST LIKE JESUS. In this fun and colorful book, stories are paired with lessons that teach about the character of Jesus. Lessons about Jesus’ character – how He was always humble, caring, hardworking, kind, honest, respectful, generous, and so much more.

When applied to everyday living, we should walk as Jesus walked and live as Jesus lived! After all, HE is the perfect role model for living our lives the way God intended us to live. So, the next time the kids misbehave ask them, “Who wants to be JUST LIKE JESUS?” That’ll get their attention for sure! They’ll strive to please God which in turn will please you as a parent!

Sneak Peek Lessons:

JESUS was PATIENT
If you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you. 1 Peter 2:20

JESUS IN THE BIBLE
You must be very patient to catch a fish! Jesus showed us how to be patient. He spent three whole years teaching people about God’s love.

He was never in a hurry. He even prayed for people who did unkind things. He knew they were lost and needed His love. Jesus was “fishing” for people who would love Him back!

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