Archives for August 2012

Friday Links 8/31

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 Vanderbilt Wife.

A Trusting Mother by Nancy Cornwell


As a mother, my job is to take care of the possible and trust God with the impossible. ~ Ruth Bell Graham



nancycornwell.jpgWow! How true is that statement? There are so many things we do each day as parents. We make sure to feed and bathe our children. We provide them with shelter and love. We help them with their homework and encourage them when they are having a bad day. We clean the house, do the dishes and the laundry, take care of the pets, pay the bills, get the oil changed in the car, and the list goes on and on.

I don’t know about you, but my list also includes worrying about things I can’t control. As a mom, I think that usually comes with the territory. My youngest daughter, Emmalyn, will soon be 5 months old. The day after she was born, testing showed that she has profound hearing loss. There were so many times in those first weeks when we were following through with more testing to confirm her diagnosis that I wondered what could have caused it and what we could do to fix it.

As her diagnosis was confirmed, my husband and I came to realize that while this isn’t something we would choose for our daughter, her hearing loss is not life threatening. There are treatment options available for her. Now, at almost 5 months of age, she is already wearing hearing aids and is in therapy. Doctors tell us that she should progress at a normal rate of development because her hearing loss was found at such an early age.

We are blessed. And more than that, we realize that God knew everything about our sweet Emmalyn long before we did. We are learning to give our fears and worry up to Him.

Our oldest daughter, Lilliana, is 4 years old. For the first time this week, she asked me, “Mom, why can’t Emmalyn hear?” and I told her, “That’s the way God made Emmalyn.” Her response? “Mom, I’m going to pray and ask Jesus to let Emmalyn hear.” Her faith blows me away. As parents we need to remember that our God can do anything He wants to do. We need to trust Him and let Him take care of those things we think are impossible.



Nancy Cornwell is the content editor of ParentLife. 


Choosing Adoption by Dawn Hollomon

You’ll be seeing more from Dawn on adoption in the September issue of ParentLife



My husband, Chris, and I adopted two sons from Ethiopia. Myles, now 3 years old, was our first adopted child. Then we adopted Leul, who is 13 years old.

When we are together as a family, many people have questions to ask us and even more comments to share. Here are a few of the funniest questions and comments we’ve heard:

Are they yours? 

This question never fails to crack me up. Chris and I are both fair-skinned and fair-eyed, and Myles and Leul have milk chocolate colored skin and soulful brown eyes with the thickest, most luscious lashes you’ve ever seen. They are truly some of the most beautiful children I’ve ever laid eyes on. I feel like I can say this without bias since, clearly, I didn’t give birth to them. I think when most people ask this, they want to know if we adopted the boys, not whether we’re baby-sitting. Or they want to know from what country we adopted them.

Are they brothers? 

Myles and Leul share a mom and a dad, a last name, a house, and according to Myles, whatever belongs to Leul is also his. Although they aren’t biologically related, they are brothers in every other way. 

He speaks English so well! 

We often get this comment about Myles from strangers. It makes me laugh because he’s been here (in the U.S.) since he was 6 months old and has only ever spoken English and, in fact, speaks more Spanish than he does Amharic.


When these funny or awkward questions come, the most important thing for me to remember is that most people mean well. Often, people who aren’t familiar with adoption simply don’t understand the process or know how to phrase the questions they want to ask. I have to keep in mind that I, too, once was uninformed about adoption and need to give these individuals grace. How I respond helps to educate others and communicate God’s heart for adoption. 

For questions that really throw me, simply responding with “Why do you ask?” usually gives me a few seconds to collect my thoughts before answering. And using a little humor never hurts!


Dawn Hollomon is a pastor’s wife and the mom of a toddler and a teenager adopted from Ethiopia. She’s also the editor of HomeLife magazine.



Banana Split Bites

Remember how we’re giving away a copy of Candy Making for Kids? (You should totally enter the giveaway since I think we have THREE entries right now! Good odds!)

We are privileged to have one of the fantastic recipes to share with you today, to give you a small taste of the fantastic cookbook concoctions you could make with your own kids! (Think Christmas!)


Pg 61.jpg

Banana Split Bites


Makes 30 bites


12 ounces white bark coating

1 (6-ounce) bag banana chips

1 cup sweetened coconut

12 ounces chocolate bark coating

1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles

30 maraschino cherries


Melt white bark coating in microwavable bowl in 30-second intervals until smooth.

Dip half of the banana chips into white bark coating and coat completely on both sides. Lay coated banana chips on layer of parchment paper. Sprinkle sweetened coconut on top of banana chips while coating is still wet so coconut sticks. Top with a second, uncoated banana chip.

Melt chocolate bark coating in microwaveable bowl in 15-second intervals until smooth. Drizzle chocolate over second banana chip.

Top chocolate layer with rainbow sprinkles. Finish with maraschino cherry.

Sweet Tip: When assembling Banana Split Bites, use extra white chocolate as “glue.”

Don’t forget to go enter the giveaway


Friday Links 8/24

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 Vanderbilt Wife.

Candy Making for Kids with GIVEAWAY!

Ready to have a bit of a sugar coma just from looking at a cookbook?

That, my friends, is Candy Making for Kids by Courtney Dial Whitmore, the author of the popular entertaining site


Candy Making for Kids


From the Skittles-colored backgrounds to the powdered sugar-heavy concoctions, everything about this small cookbook spells fun. Thirty recipes are included, and none use a candy thermometer, making it easy for your little helpers to work alongside you in the kitchen.

Sweet holiday treats like peppermint patties and marshmallow candy corn make way to candy play-dough and rice cereal caterpillars. The book ends with elegant candied rose petals, for a special party touch.

This cookbook would be great fodder for a birthday party or give you something to do on a rainy afternoon. Either way, your kids will go ga-ga … and, let’s be honest, probably have an insane sugar high.

We’re thrilled that the publisher has given us one copy of Candy Making for Kids to give away to our readers. So answer this question in the comments for a chance to win: what is your favorite thing to cook with your kids?

A winner will be selected at random August 31, 2012. LifeWay employees are not eligible to win.  


Taking FLYTE This Fall?

 LifeWay is very excited to introduce our new preteen curriculum, FLYTE. This was designed for preteens and with their input. 


Subscribers may need to click through to the post to see video.

FLYTE is an undated curriculum, which means you can do the books in any order and they won’t go out-of-print like a quarterly. Each unit has 13 sessions, each with video, topics, and fun add-ons, as well as a plethora of leader materials and books.

We hope FLYTE will make teaching this age group – who say they’re not "in between anything!" – a little simpler and a lot more fun.

What do you think about teaching preteens at your church? How are their needs different?


Getting a Great School Picture

The beginning of the school year means school picture time is probably drawing close again. Here are ten tips from Linda Russell, the CEO of Mugshots.

Johnny Compton - Vintage 1944 School Portrait

  1. Avoid hats. Photographers will often remove for the shoot and then the child is left with “hat head.”
  2. Parents should stay away. Children are more natural when no one is watching — that means you, Mom, peeking around the corner!
  3. Don’t practice poses with your child. Let the photographer unlock their natural expressions, not cheesy grins they’ve rehearsed for hours.
  4. For boys, the best bet is a collared shirt that compliments their eyes and hair. Small patterns or solids are best. Avoid words, superheroes, and pop culture images on T-shirts.
  5. Ironing your child’s collar in the morning will make a big difference in those head shots.
  6. For girls, avoid spaghetti straps. They tend to hang low and if it is chilly, the goose bumps on their arms show.
  7. A gap tooth or braces are beautiful. Let them shine. Don’t have kids keep their mouth closed — show off the smile!
  8. For eyeglasses, non-reflective lenses are best. Feel free to ask the photographer to shoot a photo with and without the glasses to see which you prefer.
  9. Schedule a haircut at least 10 days ahead of photo day.
  10. Ponytails are great with barrettes or hairpins to manage fly-aways.

Did you have a favorite or least favorite school picture? In my favorite, I’m wearing a pink sweater with cows and have a side ponytail, but I look happy! In my least favorite, I’m wearing a paisley-print dress and refusing to show my buck teeth. (See #7…) — Jessie 

Photo used with permission of Flickr Creative Commons.

Originally published September 2010. 


Small Helpings for Busy Families

Pencils? Check. Notebooks? Check. Concentration? Check.

As parents stock up on school supplies, there are three they should not overlook: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Countless studies have shown the important role healthy meals play in keeping kids focused and alert in the classroom. It’s simple: kids who are hungry are not hungry to learn.

Of course, getting kids dressed and out the door with a healthy breakfast in their tummy and a healthy lunch in their backpack is no easy task. Now parents can turn to Small Helpings, a new online meal planning service, for help.


Small Helpings menuIn addition to having access to 1,400 kid-tested recipes with vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free options, Small Helpings subscribers receive a weekly meal plan plus shopping list for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with recipes that can be prepared in 15 minutes or less.  Featuring seasonal dishes such as Orange Cranberry Pork Loin and tasty lunchbox options like Chicken Salad with Chutney and Apples, the menu plan can make a big difference at the table and in the classroom. 

“When kids are in school, every meal counts. Breakfast sets the day in motion, lunch keeps the momentum going and dinner (or an emergency snack) needs to be at the ready when the kids return home, ravenous,” said Brenda Khoury, Ohio mom and Small Helpings founder. “Parents are relieved to get 15 meals + 10 snacks in their inbox every week.” 

The subscription is $8.99 month, less than the cost of delivery pizza, and can help families save both time and money. “With a categorized shopping list in your hand, a trip to the grocery store becomes a breeze. It also helps cut down on down on expensive impulse purchases or even more expensive take-out. My family started saving $35 a month just by planning out meals,” said Khoury.

“The idea of helping families enjoy a healthy meal while recounting a successful school day makes me incredibly happy,” said Khoury.


image.pngSmall Helpings is a kid-friendly meal planning service for the entire family.  Based in New Albany, OH, the subscription service provides five days of customized menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner plus two snacks. It also provides a weekly shopping list, an electronic recipe box, meal archives, a library of resources and a blog.  For about 30 cents a day, a family can have access to quick, easy and healthy meals, creating the foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating.


Have you ever used a menu planning service?

Friday Links 8/17

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 Vanderbilt Wife.