I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.

4 Apr

it’s a cake!

I saw this fun project in the Food Network magazine and decided to give it a go!  And for the record … spending an hour putting jelly beans on a cake is extremely therapeutic!

{download directions here}

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Posted in creative, easter, recipe

24 Mar

in this house, we do …

God’s Rules
I’m Sorry
Second Chances

Another Pinterest project!  I saw this … brought the girls into the loop and started scheming immediately!  Honestly, it wasn’t hard at all … helps that I have a handy-man friend to put the boards together.  But after that, just a coat of paint and some stencils.  The girls are proud of what we put together and …

sigh … I could spend hours looking at our new piece of art …

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Posted in craft, creative, easter, family, pinterest

5 Apr

spring break 2010 :: easter in exuma {post three}

Ahhh … if we could only spend every Easter in Exuma!  Heaven on earth {as far as I’m concerned}!

The Easter Bunny did a great job of hiding eggs and baskets … and the girls did a great job of finding them.  And as per usual … we found a “lost” egg later in the afternoon.  That bunny really should do a better job of keeping track where he leaves those eggs! ;)

In case you’re wondering … I had their baskets shipped down ahead of time.

The only super bummer was that I totally forgot to give the girls their personalized Easter jammies the night before! :(

I suppose they’re still cutie pies, huh?!

Lastly, the girls have taken to climbing a large tree we have in the back.  They’ve been spending a lot of time up there lately … even the baby has learned how to get up there.

So where do you think we found them after church?  They brought their loot up into the tree with them, found a place to hang each of their baskets and then proceeded to hang out themselves!  Seriously, to be a kid again … does this not look like the best way to spend an afternoon?

We seriously had the best Easter … and pretty much did nothing!  Maybe that was why.  As much as I missed my family today and our traditional brunch and Easter games with the kids … and of course my home church service … it was kinda nice to have nothing on the agenda.

It also helped to start off the morning with another great service!  The guest pastor spoke on the Resurrection Power and it was nothing short of … powerful!  People were “Hallelujahing” and “Praise Goding” all through the service.  My absolute favorite part was hearing the pastors wife say “uh-huh preacher!”  or sometimes she’d just shout “preach it!”  Loved it!

Other than church, we had a quiet lunch of spaghettios, watching movies, book reading and ordered some take-out for dinner.  Perfect, I’d say!

Posted in easter, family photos, vacation

2 Apr

he’s alive!

I’m a crazy mess of passion, thoughts, feelings … even tears, as I try to write this post … praying it comes out coherently, explaining all I want it to say.

On Palm Sunday, we attended service here in Exuma.  It was an amazing service given by an old school Bahamian pastor that shouted, stomped, pounded and got me all riled up for God!

He challenged us … as Christians … what are we doing to spread God’s word?  Especially during this … the Holiest week of all.  Starting with Palm Sunday … ending on Easter.

What does it mean to you?  What are you doing to share the love, mercy and grace God has given to all of us?

As I sat there listening, I thought, “heck, I can’t do anything … I’m traveling and basically have no one to minister or witness to.”  And then God reminded me of all of you … He told me I could share His sacrifice and my thoughts with all of you.

I picked up this book a couple of Sunday’s ago in my church bookstore, knowing I’d be bringing it on vacation to share with the girls and help them further understand the sacrifice Jesus made for us and also the true meaning of the Easter celebration.

During the Palm Sunday service, I decided we would come home and read some of the story and also find palm branches to help illustrate further the meaning of Palm Sunday.  The girls really enjoyed it.  And I had to be careful to remember that … even though CJ came back with palm branches taller and wider than him, which left the girls giggling and not listening entirely to the story … even with those distractions, I had to remember that any seeds of information that we, as parents can plant in them will begin to grow.

It amazes me sometimes what they recall or remember … when I truly had no idea they were even paying attention.

So what do I want my children to know?  What do I want to share with you?

This is Holy Week.  This is the week that Jesus gave His life for us.  We received the greatest gift that anyone could possibly give … forgiveness, grace, mercy and salvation.

Some of you may not believe.  And that makes my heart heavy {starting to tear as I write this}.  But my prayer is that, through my faith, through my beliefs, through my sharing … that I’m planting seeds within you.

That when you have a trial, a situation … when you’re faced with a bad hand … that you’ll recall some of of the seeds I’ve “planted” here.

I believe with all my heart that our Lord Jesus Christ was sent to this earth to suffer. and die. for us.  Man, if that isn’t a humbling thought … if that doesn’t do something to your insides.

As I’ve been reading this book to the girls, I start to cry knowing the depths of sacrifice that was given. for me.  When I read about the Last Supper.  When I take communion in church … I cry every time … He broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” … “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” {1 Corinthians 11:24-25}

I love this song … there are many to choose from that would be perfect to share in this post … but this song {Sunday, by Tree63} in particular kept coming back to me.  I truly hope you’ll take a listen … all the way through.  The lyrics scroll through the song … and I’m going to share some of my thoughts after the video … please watch and listen.

For me, this song speaks to a couple of things …

First, it speaks to the obvious … the crucifixion of Jesus, which was on a Friday … Good Friday.  And that he rose from the dead on Sunday … Easter Sunday.  So even though it’s Friday and He’s being crucified … just wait … because Sunday’s coming!  Ooo, that gives me shivers!

Second, it speaks to a dark place you might be in … let’s call that place Friday.  But just wait, just stay strong, just hold on … because He promises … it.will.get better … and let’s call that place … Sunday.  Hallelujah!  Sunday is coming!

Will You Doubt … or Believe?
{quoted from He Is Alive}

Thomas, one of the disciples, was not there when Jesus appeared on Sunday night.
He wouldn’t believe the other disciples had seen Jesus.

“First I must see the nail marks in his hands,” Thomas said.  “I have to touch
where the nails were.  Only then will I believe what you say.”

One week later, the disciples met together again.  This time Thomas was with them.
Suddenly Jesus came into the room, even though all the doors were locked.

He said to Thomas, “See my hands.  Put your finger here where the nails were.
Touch my wounds.  Stop doubting – and believe!”

Thomas fell to his knees and cried out, “My Lord and my God!” Thomas didn’t touch
Jesus.  He didn’t have to.  He knew Jesus was alive!”

Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed.  Blessed
are those who have not seen me but still have believed.”

John 20:24-29

Let me repeat that … “Blessed are those who have not seen me … but have still believed.”

Hallelujah!  Sunday is coming!

Posted in easter, faith, jesus

1 Apr

easter treat :: a learning moment

A friend sent me this recipe for Resurrection Buns and I couldn’t wait to make it with the girls.  Better than sounding super yummy … I loved the message shared while making them.

So here’s what you need:

  • Pillsbury Grands (or other large) canned biscuit
  • Large marshmallows
  • Melted butter
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon

Since we’re traveling, I had to make due with what ingredients we could find.  As you’ll see by the photos at the end of this post … I’m thinking the “Grands” in the ingredient list is key! ;)

Step One:
Have each child flatten a biscuit until it’s about 5 inches across.  Then they spread melted butter, sugar and cinnamon on it.  Explain that the spices represent the spices used to anoint Jesus’ body before His burial.

{if you give a baby a marshmallow …}

Step Two:
Each child gets one large marshmallow.  This represents Jesus:  it is white because it stands for His purity and His sinless life.  Place the marshmallow in the center of the biscuit; then fold the sides around it forming a “tomb.”  (Help the younger children pinch the sides of their tombs closed – then place them crease-side down on a baking sheet so they won’t open while cooking).  Put more butter, cinnamon and sugar on the outside.  Talk about the sweet taste of the spices and how Jesus gave us the sweetest gift we will ever receive.

Step Three:
Bake the buns according to the directions on the biscuit package.  Note:  they need a little extra cooling time because the marshmallow makes them very hot.

{this is definitely not how you want your finished buns to look …}

Step Four:
When the children bite into their buns, they will be surprised to find the center empty.  The marshmallow has melted.  As each child discovers the empty tomb, we celebrate that “He is not here; He has risen, just as He said.” (Matthew 28:6)

The girls were really excited while we were making these.  They loved the project, but also had fun talking about what we were doing and why.

We decided we’re going to try another go.  I think because I had smaller biscuits and because of the marshmallow inside … this time I’ll lessen the cooking time, or at least keep a better watch on them!

Click here to download a printable pdf of this full recipe {sans burnt buns photos}.


Posted in craft, easter, jesus, recipe