Category Archives: Motherhood

How to Make Baby Food in the Crock Pot

How did I not know that you can make baby food (without a bunch of mess!) in the crock pot?? Why didn’t someone tell me on kiddo #1, the child who ate gallons of purees?

Well, I want to save you from that sad, late realization.

How to Make Baby Food in the Crock Pot

This video is SO. FUNNY.

Because Emma.

Well… you’ll see.

If you didn’t watch – all you do is poke the veggies, wrap them in foil, and turn the crockpot on low! That’s it! Even with a full crockpot, my veggies were all done in 6.5 hours.

Make Baby Food in the Crock Pot

Intentional May – Gospel-Centered Kids’ Crafts for Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, Week 4

Intentional May

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bayasaa/2693171833/

In May, I am picking a relevant scripture each week to focus on. My conversations with my kids will be about the verses, and bonus! – I’ve picked a craft to help us (and you!) talk through spiritual things.

Don’t forget – you’re the primary influencer in your kids’ lives, so be intentional about sharing God’s truths with them! I’d love to hear if you have success with these. Share in the comments!

Week 4

 

Connect Memorial Day to the Gospel

This week, we’re looking forward to Memorial Day, and we’re discussing freedom! We made the eagle craft above. I found the original idea on Babble. Eagles are such a beautiful picture of freedom and stature! And while we think of them as free, even they are under God’s sovereignty.

I shared with my kids what freedom means, especially the freedom to worship God in our country and how men and women have given their lives for our freedom.

I also want them to see that God has given them the freedom to make their own choices – choices to obey God and choose Him over their own desires.

When we talked about the verses, we made sure to also land on the true freedom we have from our sin through the cross.

Job 39:27 “Does the eagle soar at your command and build its nest on high?”

Bonus verses:

In a desert land he found him,
    in a barren and howling waste.
He shielded him and cared for him;
    he guarded him as the apple of his eye,
like an eagle that stirs up its nest
    and hovers over its young,
that spreads its wings to catch them
    and carries them aloft.
The Lord alone led him;
    no foreign god was with him. (Deuteronomy 32:10-12, NIV)

You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. (Exodus 19:4, NIV)
Easter egg: Does the “eye” on the eagle look fake to you? That’s because it is! We forgot to add one, and I put a little dot on there for Pinterest’s sake! 😉

Intentional May – Connecting May Flowers to the Bible, Week 3

 

Connecting May Flowers to the Bible

In May, I am picking a relevant scripture each week to focus on. My conversations with my kids will be about the verses, and bonus! – I’ve picked a craft to help us (and you!) talk through spiritual things.

Don’t forget – you’re the primary influencer in your kids’ lives, so be intentional about sharing God’s truths with them! I’d love to hear if you have success with these. Share in the comments!

Week 3

This week the craft is the life cycle of a flower. We created the life cycle below (inspired by this post). The kids get to be hands on with this one!

Flower Life Cycle

  1. glue seeds (I used watermelon seeds from my garden stash.
  2. Brown paint for dirt
  3. Use a cotton ball for a cloud (which will bring the rain)
  4. blue paint fingerprinted on for rain
  5. sun picture to glue or draw – we used a yellow pom pom and colored the rays
  6. picture or drawing of flower – we had some real flowers from her recital that were dry and a flower stamp.

The important point I will make is that for there to be seeds, the flower has to die. Living things have an ending. People also have an eternal ending unless we trust Jesus as our Savior. God doesn’t end, and our verse teaches that neither does His word!

The Bible verse this week is

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever. Isaiah 40:8, NIV

 

Free Printable for Teacher Gift – Chips & Queso

I’m quite a delinquent. I don’t buy into all of the Pinterest-perfect hype – although I do love Pinterest and get tons of simple ideas there!

I do, however, totally buy into getting our kids’ teachers something special. They work so hard for so little cash, and I love the opportunity to make their day.

But, I’m always planning things last minute around here, so my teacher gifts are usually some sort of food or gift card for food! (Hey, I’d like that, so I assume they would too!)

Our kindergarten teacher is amazing, and her favorite food is queso, so guess what our teachers got this year? Uh huh. Chips and queso! Fresh and hot!

Teacher Gift Chips and Queso

If this idea suits you, feel free to download and print the little punny tags for your own gift.

To download, right-click on this image and choose Save Link as… You will get a .pdf with 6 tags to print on cardstock. Enjoy!

Queso

The pdf link is also here: Queso Teacher Tag

Intentional May – Connecting Kids’ Crafts to the Gospel, May Flowers, Week 2

May Flowers Kids Craft

In May, I am picking a relevant scripture each week to focus on. My conversations with my kids will be about the verses, and bonus! – I’ve picked a craft to help us (and you!) talk through spiritual things.

Don’t forget – you’re the primary influencer in your kids’ lives, so be intentional about sharing God’s truths with them! I’d love to hear if you have success with these. Share in the comments!

Week 2

The craft this week is all about May Flowers. We already covered April Showers. 🙂

We’re always planting and gardening around here, and I know I have random flower pots hanging around in the garage, so this little craft will be super fun. We’re going to make thumbprint pots like these:

thumbprint pots

I guarantee you my kids’ pots will start with thumbprint butterflies and end up looking like a brown goopy mess, but that’s not the point! 😉 I will take them to our favorite nursery to pick out a cheap annual for their pot. They love taking care of things!

The Bible verse is:

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. (Matthew 6:28a, NIV)

The whole point of April showers (which God provides) is that you get May Flowers – God even provides for the beauty of creation! Of course, He also would provide for His own children.

Light Saber Pinata Stick – Star Wars Fundraiser Birthday Party

Making a Light Saber Pinata Stick Star Wars

May the 4th be with you!

Big surprise that in 2016 my 6 year old wanted a Star Wars birthday party, right? Him and every other kid (and adult)!

I’m definitely not gifted in the birthday party department. It stresses me out to no end, and thus, I keep it simple and old school.

Park = free venue? Check.

Grandma loves to make epic birthday cakes? Check.

Star Wars Birthday Cake

Kids love individual bags of chips? Check.

Adorable FREE printable Star Wars invitations? Check.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/170785010848059319/

Water bottles? Check.

Family and friends and love? Check.

Sounds like a great party to me! We don’t even ask for presents. Instead, we ask families to make a $5 donation to charity (and you know birthday presents cost more than that.) We usually raise around $150 for a charity of the child’s choice! My kids are used to this rhythm, and Samuel knew right away he wanted his birthday “money” to go to orphans in Africa.

But I did plan something pretty epic! When Halloween clearance went 70% off, I snagged an adult Darth Vader costume, and my husband dressed up and crashed the party. I informed Samuel that the Jedi counsel had appointed him to slay Vader! He got a cheapo $3 light saber and a brown robe (fabric tied with a rope), and they battled it out. He literally had no idea it was daddy.

darth vader crashing birthday party

Also, we got a pinata because old-school-birthdays. Well, pinata sticks are like $5 for a tube of cardboard. Even I can do better than that!

I grabbed a 1″ dowel we had at home and some acrylic paint. I taped off the saber so it would have a handle and light beam. Then, I painted the light beam green and let it dry – drying took only about 45 minutes. Then I taped the other side to paint the handle silver. I let that dry, then taped off half of the handle to paint it black. Then, I used sharpie to draw on some buttons.

Star Wars Light Saber Pinata Stick

Easy! Darth Vader didn’t stand a chance against all of the Jedis who showed up to fight.

pinata

 

Using Tangled/Rapunzel to Teach the Gospel – YouTubesday

I’m SOOOO super excited about today’s video. I’ve been filming and editing it for a few weeks now, and I’m dying to share it with you!

My husband and I have been having conversations about how to redeem anything the kids are interested in – how to leverage it for the gospel. Like many parents, we want them to have a solid foundation – with Christ as their cornerstone – from a young age.

So I’ve been pondering how Disney princesses play into that, and I want to share with you how you might remind your kids of the gospel using the Disney movie Tangled.

Please note – I’m not saying this movie is the gospel. God’s son is not in this film after all. I’m saying once you’ve already taught your children about Jesus, you can use parts of this movie to further that conversation and give them pictures of the abstract gospel elements.

I hope you enjoy it.

Intentional May – Connecting Kids’ Crafts to the Gospel, Mother’s Day, Week 1

Connecting Mothers' Day Crafts to the Bible

Pic by Aubrey Stopa

In May, I am picking a relevant scripture each week to focus on. My conversations with my kids will be about the verses, and bonus! – I’ve picked a craft to help us (and you!) talk through spiritual things.

Don’t forget – you’re the primary influencer in your kids’ lives, so be intentional about sharing God’s truths with them! I’d love to hear if you have success with these. Share in the comments!

Week 1

This week, we’re going to do a free-form art activity called I Love You Because. I was inspired by this post, but I’m modifying the activity.

I’m going to put the words I Love You Because on art paper, and I’m going to let the kids fill in (words or drawings) what they love about their mama. Then, on the back, we’re going to write I Love You JUST Because – because loving your mama should be free haha!

It feels a little strange to ask your children to make you something, but I actually do teach my children that they have a good mama. I tell them they have the best mama in the whole wide world (don’t worry; you can tell yours the same!). I am their mama, so it is true. 😉

No, really. I want my children to value their mom. Thankfully, my husband teaches them this by example, but let’s be real – I’m with them most of the time. I surely want my daughters to feel worthy of respect as a mom one day, and I surely want to teach my son to respect the mommy of his children. I think it starts here.

The verse focus is:

Her children rise up and call her blessed (Proverbs 31:28, ESV)

Bonus verse:

Listen, my child, to the instruction from your father, and do not forsake the teaching from your mother.

The Worst Years

My Worst Years

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jesusabizanda/ (changes mine)

The two years before this one have been the pits. The absolute worst. They haven’t been the worst years of my marriage – those were the seminary years – but they’ve been filled with suffering, pain, depression, and doubt.

The pattern of pain started with postpartum depression after having my second child. It lasted for several months, and while I am fulfilled as a mom, it just left me feeling empty and alone.

Then, on our road to adopting a beautiful 4-year old from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, we found out his birth mom was alive and had taken him home. A mixed blessing filled a hurting heart.

For some reason, my marriage wasn’t so hot by this point. It didn’t worry me, but we needed help. After a marriage counseling intensive, we were able to heal tremendously and move forward.

Then, my mom found out she had breast cancer, and she went through a year of hell to be free of cancer.

It was in the middle of her treatment that I found it I was pregnant with Katherine. Oh boy, did this surprise make me cry out to the Lord in doubt and fear.

He didn’t mind that I yelled at him inside. He patiently listened while I ticked off the reasons I could not have another baby. He assured me that He was giving me a gift, a gift I was afraid to accept.

He intended all of this for His own glory. My story is His story, the story of Him always, always drawing me closer to Himself.

I don’t have a conclusion here, or a poignant point. It’s all been said in His holy word, after all. I’m just laying this out there because it is. It was. It may be again soon. But He doesn’t change. He’s there, holding me close. An unmoving rock of grace and mercy.

Melissa & Doug Smarty Pants – Give Your Preschooler Ownership of their Learning (YouTubesday)

Every Tuesday, I’m going to share one of my YouTube videos. I created a channel not only to share videos of spiritual encouragement, but also to share my ideas for daily stewardship.

So far I’ve created videos for recipes, gardening, family management, cloth diapering, encouraging your husband, and discipling your kids! Subscribe to my channel here.

Today, I’m sharing how I use Melissa & Doug Smarty Pants PreK set (affiliate link) to engage higher level thinking skills and ownership in my 3-year old… she’s also my child who’s not the keenest on sitting down and “learning things”. See how I grab her interest in the video.