• mud cake

    The Benefits of Outdoor Play (Kids’ Club Intro)

    **Someone hacked my website last night with a PRIVATE post about mud cakes. Mud cakes, of all things. I was deeply concerned until my daughter confessed that she was the culprit. When did she learn how to post something onto a blog? Seriously, children these days seem to be born with the natural ability to use technology. I read through her short post again and have decide to make it PUBLIC. She is excited to have it added to the Kids’ Club collection of posts.   What is Kids’ Club, you may ask?   Kids’ Club is a collection of posts on this blog that we feel will benefit children of all ages in their efforts to create a happy, healthy,…

  • Safe and happy neighborhoods

    Safe and Happy Neighborhoods

    Some time ago I sat with a city councilman and other members of the community to discuss how we might improve our neighborhoods.   “We need more police presence in our neighborhoods,” someone suggested right away. Most everyone agreed. I sat back in my seat and listened to their argument. When they were finished discussing the idea of increasing the police force in an effort to curb the crime, speeding, and other safety issues in our community, I sat up in my seat as someone said, “That’s an interesting perspective. What if, however, we were to approach the problems in our community from another angle.” All eyes were on this person. I mean, what other angle could there possibly be,…

  • An Adventure Awaits Taj Majal

    An Adventure Awaits

    **This page contains affiliate links. You can view my full disclosure HERE. Each day is an adventure waiting to be discovered.   It was a hot afternoon when my children and I stepped outside our house, flyers in hand, and peered down the street.   “Which houses should we visit?” I asked. Our first choice was an easy one–the house across the street. Charles and Judy, our adopted grandparents, are some of our favorite neighbors. We invite them to everything. They never come, but they always appreciate the invitation. This time was no different. They were gracious when we presented them with an event flyer, but really came to life when we accepted their invitation to come inside for a visit.…

  • Strengthening families through storytelling photos

    Storytelling: The Return Of A Lost Art

      Isn’t it about time to bring storytelling back into our lives?   A couple months ago I watched a free webinar on the lost art of storytelling and was inspired to increase the amount of storytelling that takes place in our home. It occurred to me that I could use the storytelling tactic to increase our family’s enthusiasm for family history work, improve our public speaking skills, and practice hospitality all at the same time.   My husband and I immediately set to work telling our children stories about their ancestors. We pulled out the family histories and family photos, which had been packed safely away, and started going through them.     Who knew how engaged our five-year-old son would be…

  • child swing a child shall lead them

    And A Little Child Shall Lead Them

    **This page contains affiliate links. You can view my full disclosure HERE.   …and a little child shall lead them. (Isaiah 11:6)   It was getting late, it was uncomfortably warm outside, and I was tired, but that didn’t stop them.   “May we PLEASE stop at the park and play for a few minutes?” the three of them begged, ganging up against their dad and me. We had gone on a last minute family walk around the block and I was anxious to get home and start our bedtime routine. “Fine,” I relented, “you can play for ten minutes.” The kids cheered and ran for the playground equipment; my husband smiled and followed me to a bench. As my…

  • A {Cookie} Recipe For Connection

    Cookies and connection go way back.   Throughout the generations, apron-covered grandmothers, relying on their superb homemaking skills, spent one afternoon after another baking cookies in their old-fashioned kitchens. Why? For the sole purpose of warming their loved-ones hearts with a plate of fresh cookies and a tall glass of cold milk. Sitting down at the table next to you, Grandmother would ask, “So how was your day?” Food binds us together in ways that little else can. In the Bible, Jesus was often found sharing food with others; filling stomachs and filling hearts was always part of His ministry. It’s been said that Jesus ate and drank His way through the Gospels. He ate and drank with sinners, fed the 5,000,…

  • Fall Food Ramekins

    5 Fun Fall Food Ideas For Kids

    Listen. I know what it’s like to have picky kids at the dinner table. Not. Fun. Do yourself a favor and check out these five fun fall food ideas that will have even the pickiest of kids asking for more! Owl Veggie Tray Pull out a large cutting board and let the kids put together a vegetable owl. They are bound to eat some veggies in the process! Fill ramekins or cups with vegetable dip, fresh pesto, or salad dressing. A nibble here, a nibble there, and the veggies will be gone before you know it. (I’ve seen it work with my own eyes!)   Fun and Colorful Ramekins 2. Don’t just serve up cobbler in fun ramekins. Try serving soup…

  • Tea

    How To Throw A Poetry Tea Party {Three Easy Steps}

    Perhaps you’ve already heard, but Poetry Tea Parties are all the rage! We don’t have them as often as I would like to in our home, but that seems to make them all the more special in the eyes of my children. Fortunately, when I do decide to have them, they are a cinch to put together.   Three Easy Steps to Throwing a Poetry Tea Party: Make some tea (or lemonade, fruit juice, hot cocoa) and pour it into some special cups (teacups, small glass cups–anything you don’t use on a daily basis) Provide a simple snack (for instance, cookies or crackers or fresh fruit Grab a poetry book and start reading for 10-15 minutes (borrow a book from…

  • The Time We Hosted A Spring Tea Party Discussion

    Last year my girls and I hosted our first Spring Tea Party Discussion. We invited a few friends and neighbors to our home and kept the preparation simple. The girls dressed up as princesses and sat at their own fancy table outside. The women sat around the kitchen table, which was decorated with fresh flowers and place cards specially made by my daughters. We drank fruit-infused water and ate cucumber sandwiches, fresh fruit and veggies, and cookies while discussing the following questions: 1. What is a favorite Bible scripture or story that has had a positive effect on your life? 2. How can we, as women, do a better job loving one another so that the world would know us…

  • Comfort Zone

    **This page contains affiliate links. You can view my full disclosure HERE. “Mom, is it a good thing to step outside my comfort zone?” asked my daughter.   “Yes,” I said, giving her a cautious motherly glance, “as long as there is little risk for bodily harm.” “Oh, no need to worry about that,” she giggled.   {silence}   “It’s just that stepping outside your comfort zone is a hard thing to do,” she finally whispered. “Yes, that’s true,” I said thoughtfully, “but the benefits of doing so can be great. Remember when you were afraid to go to the party because you didn’t know anyone there, but you returned home with two new friends?” “Yes,” she said, smiling. “And remember when you were terrified…