Friday Links

Have a blessed weekend, do something that scares you, live with joy.

25 MORE Make-Ahead Breakfasts for Back to School

Two years ago, we posted 25 Make-Ahead Breakfasts for Back to School, a post that’s been very popular. And why not? We all need breakfasts we can easily make in advance. Who wants to get up at 4 a.m. to start cooking? All of these recipes can either be made the night before or pre-made and frozen. Enjoy, and let us know if you try a recipe and love it!

 

  1. Honey-Almond Scones
  2. Crockpot Breakfast Casserole
  3. Baked Oatmeal
  4. Banana Breakfast Cookies
  5. Crunchy Granola Breakfast Cookies
  6. Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Muffins
  7. Corn and Tomato Quiche
  8. Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Pie
  9. Pumpkin Praline Pancakes
  10. Easy Western Omelet Muffins
  11. Baked Double Chocolate Donuts
  12. Apple Cinnamon Muffins
  13. Breakfast Enchiladas
  14. Easy Pancake Bites
  15. Strawberry and Cream Danishes
  16. Breakfast Pizza with Hashbrown Crust
  17. Oatmeal Superfood Breakfast Bars
  18. Peach Pecan Pancakes
  19. Strawberry Coconut Overnight Oats
  20. Overnight Creme Brûlée French Toast
  21. Easy Breakfast Pizza
  22. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Scones
  23. Chai-Spiced Scones
  24. Portland Coffee Cake
  25. Waffles & Sausage Breakfast Casserole

When Your Kid Is THAT Kid

When your kid is THAT kid

For most people, it seems like it’s the second child who is THAT kid. The wild one, the one for whom you have to create the rules, the one who is causing you to run wildly all over the place while your friends sit and sip coffee and their obedient children give you the side-eye.

For me, it wasn’t. My second child was an awful baby. He was lactose intolerant, wanted to be held nonstop, and didn’t sleep through the night until he was 15 months. But then he became the easiest toddler in the world. At 4 1/2, he is still quiet, focused, brilliant, and altogether pretty easy to parent.

But then we had a third.

And my Joshua is THAT kid.

See above: while waiting for his brother and sister to be done at the dentist’s office, Joshua grabbed a Sesame Street book and climbed into a stranger’s lap and insisted said stranger read him the book. (Note: the stranger obliged, for which I am very grateful.)

When your kid is THAT kid

I’m pretty sure Joshua exited the womb with a sneaky grin on his face. He has always been giggly and finds everything hilarious. At 2, he makes silly voices and tries to trick Mommy and Daddy by hiding behind doors.

It’s not all fun and games, of course. He also runs away in parking lots, refuses to obey any and all rules, swings from stair rails, and I live in fear that he will break all his bones or bust his head open on a daily basis.

So what do you do when your kid is THAT kid? When people give you funny looks because you’re nonchalantly watching at your child runs laps in a public place or dives from chairs onto your lap 36 times or is singing loudly at the grocery store?

You take deep breaths. You try to keep him safe while letting him have free reign and make his own mistakes. You remember that he belongs to God and not to you.

blue tongue toddler

You make peace with the fact that most parents see the inside of the ER with their child. You figure out what is a big deal and what is not. And you pray. And pray and pray and PRAY.

Most of all, you try not to worry about what other people think. It’s what God thinks that matters. So others may think I need to discipline more/less, structure more/less, school him, unschool him, go back to work, work less … but I have to keep my mind on what God has for him and our family.

I pray that one day my sweet Joshua will aim that joy to rejoicing in Jesus.

smiling toddler

 

Friday Links

Have a fantastic weekend! And send us links you love – here, on Twitter, or on Facebook.

More for Girls Only {GIVEAWAY}

More for Girls Only

Young girls today live in a world that’s changing so fast their parents can’t keep up! How is a girl to process all the advertising, broadcasting, entertainment, and social media out there? And how is she to think biblically about this constant barrage of messages, many of which come from her close friends?

Girls need help finding their identity in Christ and modeling their behavior after Him rather than after media stars, sports figures, or popular kids at school. But parents need help getting the message out, and Tyndale has just the resource to help! In a broken and sexually charged culture, girls often find their parents’ Christian values attacked and minimized. Glamorous people model lifestyles in direct opposition to what they hear at home and in Sunday school, and many girls lack strong role models.

At a time when “truth” has become subjective, how’s a girl to find her way? If you’re looking for relatable scenarios and scriptural advice to point your daughters or granddaughters or nieces or friends in the right direction, Carolyn Larsen’s More for Girls Only! Devotions is a must-read, serving as a light to guide young girls as they learn to make good and wise decisions. Girls will learn not only how to be a caring person, modeling the love of Christ, but how to pursue God in every aspect of their lives. Who doesn’t need that?

More for Girls Only! Devotions introduces real-life situations and looks to Scripture for answers while also offering a call to action for readers to put into practice. Here’s just one example: Kylie is certain she will get the solo in the upcoming end-of-the-year school choir concert and lets everyone know it. But when her friend Maria suggests that Shauna might be chosen, Kylie brags about her own abilities while putting down Shauna’s voice, sending Shauna from the room with hurt feelings.

The author asks readers to consider honestly how often they promote their own gifts while neglecting the gifts of others. A sample quiz is provided so readers can take a personal inventory and look at their own willingness to build others up. The author offers suggestions for ways to show care to friends—such as paying a compliment to someone every day. At the end of the devotion, Scripture passages reinforce the lesson—“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).

Other examples of topics include handling advice from adults; seeking after inner beauty—like kindness and caring—rather than up-to-date styles; putting God first, even above passions like sports; learning to pray for those who are mean to you; asking God into every situation through prayer; remembering to be thankful; serving others. These devotions will teach girls how to grow in godly character in all areas of their lives, becoming testimonies for Christ to everyone around them.

We’ll close with two meaningful and powerful quotes included in the section on forgiving those who mistreat you:

  • Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die. —Anne Lamott
  • Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends? —Abraham Lincoln

Aren’t those powerful lessons every girl (and person) needs to remember?

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A Behind-the-Scenes-Look at Bible Studies for Life

Meet some of the people behind the Bible Studies for Life Curriculum in this new video from LifeWay Kids! (Spoiler: they use it to teach Sunday School, too!)

Weekend Links

I hope you had a lovely and restful weekend! Enjoy this last week in July, and as always, let us know if you come across a link you love.

Where to Find the Best Deals on School Supplies

If you’re anything like me, school supply shopping can get pretty frustrating … not to mention expensive! I can’t even imagine how it will be next year when I have two kids in public school. Whether you’re shopping for homeschool, public, private, or just looking for some art supplies, here are sites that will help you catch a great deal during this time of the year.

 

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Passion for Savings has deals sorted by store for the office supply stores, big box stores, and pharmacies. The author also has a price list to help you aim for the lowest prices possible!

While Southern Savers doesn’t have a back-to-school section, you can search by item, see store details, and also get coupon match-ups, which I find helpful! You can automatically make a shopping list with these match-ups as well.

We Are Teachers is giving a top-10 list of school supplies for teachers each week, but these also apply to parents. If you are a teacher, they share how to save more, too, with educator programs.

Don’t forget to consider stores you might not think of for school supplies: Dollar Tree or other dollar stores, Big Lots, Tuesday Morning, and even thrift stores. Also many stores also have apps now, allowing you to save extra percentages or check prices, like Target’s Cartwheel app.

Enjoy your school shopping!

An Anchor in the Storm: One Mom’s NICU Journey

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In 2010, Kayla Aimee found herself pregnant after infertility and miscarriages. She was thrilled. But her pregnancy only began a rocky sail as Kayla delivered her daughter, Scarlette, at 25 weeks gestation and spent six months with her in the NICU.

If you’ve ever read Kayla’s blog, you know she finds humor almost by accident in every situation, especially now that Scarlette is 4 and adds quite the commentary. But alongside this humor, Kayla found deep faith, a faith she’d never really had to test before. She writes about it in Anchored: Finding Hope in the Unexpected.

Check out this Q&A with Kayla.

How did you keep it together when you felt like your world was falling apart?

I didn’t. Absolutely I fell apart with it. I think it surprises people to hear that because on the outside I looked like I had it together, I was stoic and did the hard things in order to keep myself together when I was at the hospital. Away from that space was different, full of fear and sorrow. But it was in allowing myself to fall apart that I discovered the truth in the Scripture that says that His strength is made perfect in our weakness. I learned that God’s grace really is sufficient and the only thing that was comforting was knowing that I could just lean into that and let it do what I could not.

How would you say humor and the ability to laugh at yourself have helped you through parenting? In your marriage?

I remember the first time that I laughed after Scarlette’s birth. I was weary from weeping with heartbreak when the nurse brought me nursing pads and they were wrapped in a bag that said DANGER! HAZARDOUS MATERIALS! I laughed so hard that it hurt my stitches and I remember that was the moment when I knew that I wasn’t lost to my grief. Finding the humor in the moments that are hard helps to shift my perspective. It keeps me from being too quick to anger and makes me appreciate the little things more.

Ecclesiastes says that there is a time to laugh and a time to cry and I think that the intersection of the two is a beautiful portrait of our humanity. Plus, it just brings me so much joy to live a life that is full of laughter and so I chase that, I try to seek out the hope and the humor because that just makes everything a little bit brighter.

What is the #1 thing God taught you through Scarlette’s birth experience?

I tend to want to control things or at the very least to know what is coming. Our experience with Scarlette’s birth and NICU stay really revealed to me that I had a tendency to layer my own plans over my prayers. When there was nothing I could do I learned what it meant to genuinely trust God. I think it was this specific time that sharpened my faith, when I was the angriest at the situation and when I least wanted to be faithful was when I found God faithful to me. Not because of a happy ending but because I felt the hope of Him staying steady in the chaos.

What is your favorite Bible verse?

I love the promise of First Corinthians 13:12-13. I love that it acknowledges how life unfolds in a way that we can’t always know what is around the bend but we can find joy in the middle of the unknown in faith and hope and love.

“We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.”

What is a funny/favorite parenting story that you don’t share in the book?

Oh man, there are so many to choose from, I could write an entire book just on that topic alone! Recently we had a day where I was having to say “No” a lot and my four year old expressed her disappointment that things weren’t going her way, telling me, “I don’t like it when you say no to me, Mommy! That is very bad.” So we had what I thought was a lovely, fruitful discussion about why Mommy sometimes has to say no and why that is a positive thing, because Mommy’s job is to help her.

Later we went to the grocery store and the cashier greeted Scarlette and asked her how her day was. And my daughter responded “Well, not so good, actually. My Mommy has been saying BAD WORDS to me ALL DAY.”

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Weekend Links

Happy end of the weekend! Hope you have a wonderful week.