Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I've been thinking a lot lately of the impact I have on these children, good and bad. I've noticed that the more I talk about Christ, the more they talk about Him and ask questions. The more I get frustrated with them, the more they get frustrated at each other and at me.

Children are so moldable. So moldable... This week I've just been praying that what I say to them, how I say it, how I interact, how I handle situations, etc would be honoring and glorifying to the Lord because three sets of little eyes are watching every little thing that I do. They listen to every single thing you say, and they remember it. I mentioned off-handedly to Caiti about my friend Ashley who is moving to Niger for medical missions. Caiti remembered, and yesterday she had question after question after question about why Ashley was doing that, how she was going to talk about God, that she wanted to pray for her, where Niger was, etc etc. Because of one comment I said, Caiti's mind was perked.

We love singing in the car, and they memorize songs SO quickly. I've began to feel convicted about what we listen to in the car. Is Mat Kearney bad? Does Taylor Swift have questionable lyrics? NO! And it's all good and it's all fun, and trust me, we listen to those. But, that can't be it. Because when I play Veggie Tales, or The Village Worship Kids album, or Hillsong, or Phil Wickham, they memorize those too. And there is nothing more beautiful than hearing a 4 year old belting out "Jesus came to save sinners like you and me! He died on the cross to set us free!" THAT is forever.

Jake has begun praying at every meal. He prays the exact same thing (in a whisper): "Thank you Jesus, for dying on the cross and saving us. Thank you for loving us." And whenever I forget to pray for a meal, he either reminds me, or I get an ache in my gut that I missed that opportunity. Simple things like prayers are meals have an impact that we (as parents or caretakers) cannot comprehend.

The older the kids get the more I see how my sin affects them, and it crushes me. Be it emotions or whatever, but just typing this my eyes are filling with tears. I've had to apologize and ask those kids forgiveness more this year than the other 3 years combined. Call it negligence of not asking beforehand or the kids being too young, but I've never felt so burdened for them to recognize that I too am a sinner and in need of Christ's grace. On those days I raise my voice or get impatient, it's humbling to see them break down and cry under that pressure, or begin treating each other the same way. It is so humbling and it is so scary to know that they can see my sin and mimic me. As, as the Lord begins humbling me and pressing me to confess that sin to them and ask forgiveness, the more I see them asking each others' forgiveness and my forgiveness. It's such a simple and beautiful thing.

If you have kids in your care - whether you're a mommy, an aunt, a nanny, a grandma, a teacher...these kids are watching you like hawks. They're looking up to you as heros, examples, givers of love, protectors... I guarantee you, they will do what you do, say what you say, act as you act, and live as you live because they view you as "right." Be vulnerable and honest. Confess where you've sinned against them, ask forgiveness, point them to the cross. Show them that you ARE NOT perfect. And it's okay that they aren't perfect, because there was Man who came to die for the imperfect. And, it's because of HIS righteousness and HIS goodness that we can come before the throne of grace and receive help; and find mercy. We find salvation at the cross of Christ.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has
passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God,
who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry
of reconciliation; that is in Christ God was reconciling
the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them,
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are
ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake
He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might
become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


It's been two months since I posted! Where did that time go? I entirely missed Thanksgiving and all my yummy treats and fun crafts and sweet stories. Ah. But...as we all know...Christmas will not be missed.

Since tomorrow is December 1st, it's fitting to do a post on the Advent.

I love Advent season. I love reading on and meditating on the Israelites and their expectation for the Messiah. Their waiting and hoping. Then Jesus came. He died and redeemed and rose again. And one day He will return and ransom His children. He will make the broken healed, the lost found, the damaged restored- once for all. I can't wait!
So, in the meantime, we wait.

I was thinking through how to do the advent with my little charges this year. I have a couple of really cool things I'm starting with them tomorrow I want to share!

This is an awesome Advent ornament. I'm going to just use it as a stand alone. You turn the bottom as each day passes, and every day (Dec 1-25) has a short explanation with a child explaining the events leading up to a Messiah. It's so so neat, entertaining, and a fun way to share truth. I can't wait to give it to them in the morning! You can get it at any Hallmark store for $25.

I found this book at Barnes and Noble today and was so excited. It's about a little bear and his mommy talking about the excitement of Christmas coming. They embark on a journey on their "road to Bethlehem." Each day has a small story, adding onto the story of Jesus, up until the day He was born. Again, a sweet way to talk about Christ; waiting for His first coming, Him coming, and now waiting for His second coming.

I'm praying that these simple truths would resonate in the hearts and souls of my kiddos. Christmas is a busy and stressful time - for everyone - but don't lose sight of Jesus. All of this excitement and joy is but a shadow of the Messiah. My pastor has been doing a series on the advent and will continue it until Christmas. You can listen to those here. Be encouraged and see Christ in traditions, decorations, anticipation, expectation, family gatherings, buying gifts, etc etc. If we base our hope in the "season", what happens when it's gone, when it fades? Let us wait to eager anticipation for JESUS!

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee
Israel's strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Audio Bible and scarecrows!! :)


So, I've talked and talked about the Jesus Storybook Bible - seriously amazing. And, I love it even more. I went online (right here) and bought the deluxe addition, with the Bible and audio Bible. I have been so impressed. The guy who reads the Bible is funny, uses different voices for different characters, etc etc. My kids love listening to it (even Jake, 2 years old), and the girls (ages 4 and 6) have even gotten into arguments over who gets to hold the Bible while the audio plays. Maddie (6) reads along with it, so she understands it a bit better. We have gotten into so many wonderful conversations the past couple of weeks. I am so thankful for how the Lord redeems and uses technology!


I love anything fall (duh) and I love researching and finding the fun kids/hands on crafts. My favorite website for my crafts is kaboose. Seriously impressive. I love finding crafts and switching them around to give my own taste to it. The following craft is a cute little scarecrow craft we found. Super fun to make with kids!

  • Coffee can, sour cream container, etc etc.
  • Felt- any fall color will work- for the face and nose cut out.
  • Buttons for the eyes
  • String for the mouth
  • Tafia for the hair
  • Small hat or flowers (like below pictures)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue felt around can. Add all the pieces and "hair" and flowers, etc. There is so much extra stuff that can added to this craft, but my girls wants the simple rout. We love this and have it decorated in the play room. So precious and so easy for the kids to do!! (they need help with hot glue gun obviously) :)

This was Caiti's. She wanted short cute hair. :)
Maddie went more for the sophisticated hat and long pig tales!

I keep thinking and meditating on Psalm 34:5 as of late. It says:

"Those who look on Him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed."

My prayer every day is that I would know Jesus and make Him know - that as I spend more time in the Word and with other believers and listening to Jesus glorifying music and sharing Him with people, that I would shine, that my very face and countenance would radiate the love, joy, and hope of Jesus. And there is an incredible confidence in knowing there is no shame. I NEVER HAVE TO BE ASHAMED OF MY LOVE FOR CHRIST.

I hope and pray each of you know and feel that. I pray you would shine Christ Jesus, so that your family, co-workers, grocery baggers, pedicure givers, pastors, friends, etc would recognize His love. And that you would be ready and prepared to defend that hope in you. (1 Peter 3:15)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Oh my goodness. Probably the best thing I've ever tasted! Today, anyway. :) I got the recipe here, but I changed it up a bit to suit my liking!


2 cups flour
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
pinch of allspice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup of sour cream
3/4 cup of milk
1 cup of pumpkin puree (or canned)

Mix liquids together, then add dry ingredients. Treat like any other pancake from there! I love love love spices, so I added nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, and cloves. I did a full cup of milk instead of 3/4 cup, and I did fat free cool whip instead of sour cream. It was so ridiculously good!!

Baking in my great granny's apron and Christmas pjs. Lovely morning!

Mmmm good.

Because of the pumpkin color, they'll turn out darker. But don't worry, they're not burnt. :)


Monday, September 26, 2011

Pumpkin bread!!

I talk so much about Pumpkins and fall and baking, that I figured I should back that up with sharing a delicious recipe. This is kid proved, tested, and loved. I got this recipe here!

Pumpkin Bread Recipe


  • 1 1/2 cups (210g) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (240 ml) pumpkin purée*
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) chopped walnuts
* To make pumpkin purée, cut a pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff, lie face down on a foil or Silpat lined baking sheet. Bake at 350°F until soft, about 45 min to an hour. Cool, scoop out the flesh. Freeze whatever you don't use for future use. Or, if you are working with pumpkin pieces, roast or boil them until tender, then remove and discard the skin.


1 Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.
2 Mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, 1/4 cup of water, and spices together, then combine with the dry ingredients, but do not mix too thoroughly. Stir in the nuts.
3 Pour into a well-buttered 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes until a thin skewer poked in the very center of the loaf comes out clean. Turn out of the pan and let cool on a rack.
Can easily double the recipe.

I used canned pumpkin and it tasted just as delicious. I wasn't feeling motivated enough to actually use a real pumpkin. I did that last year with pumpkin pie, however, and its AMAZING. Totally worth the hard work. I did this recipe without nuts as well, because Jake is allergic to them. And, I like to mix spices and add others. I didn't have nutmeg, so opted out of that - and I added pumpkin pie spice and it was wonderful. 

Looks so pretty!!!
So so good!!!


Friday, September 23, 2011

nature walks and creation pages.

One of the most simple and fun activities to do with kids are nature walks and creation art pages. I never get tired of them. Ever. Especially in this weather. So, here is a simple post dedicated to that.

Me and my boy. Love the mess out of this kid!!

His "treasure bag" - he is attached to his Buzz backpack and "T-Rex!" stuffed animal. Love this!

The end result: our nature page. So much fun!!!
You (O LORD) have put more joy in my heart than they have when their wine and grain abound.
Psalm 4:7
You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Kids Bibles and homemade place mats. Necessities :)


My favorite kids Bible ever is the Jesus storybook Bible. Every single story (based on Scripture) points back to Jesus and this whole life being about Jesus - not us. It's full of Biblical truth that kids understand. I love love love it! You can read all about it and buy the Bible here, at Barnes and Noble, or at a Christian bookstores.

That being said, Caiti (4 years old) is obsessed with anything princess, pink, sparkly, girly, etc. I had a hard time getting her to connect as I read this Bible, so I looked at Barnes and Noble to see what I could find. I found The Sweetest Story Bible. I like the foundational truths in the Jesus Storybook Bible more, but she can't read yet, so she doesn't know when I add stuff :) But I love this Bible also! Each chapter is based on a story in Scripture, along with the reference where that story is found. At the end of each chapter is gives "Sweet Thoughts" with a short thought summing up the chapter and "Sweet Words", a Bible verse for that chapter. Caiti loves this one, and with me adding a bit more truth and some of my own words, it's a winner! You can get that here, at Barnes and Noble, or at a Christian bookstore.


If you know me, you know I love anything sentimental. I use A LOT of pictures for crafts. I love that it's a moment frozen in time, used to enhance a child's creativity. Kids love it too - anything where they can always see themselves. :) One of the best ways to do that is by making homemade place mats. It's super super easy!

What you need:
  • The big square pieces of card stock paper (you can get these for 50¢ or $1 at Michael's or Hobby Lobby) 
  • Decorations (it depends on what you want the theme of your place mat to be: i.e., fall, Christmas, princess, cars, Birthday, etc etc) - I've found flat decorations work better once you laminate, but we've done both and we make it work. :)
  • Pictures printed out.
  • Glue (glue stick or hot glue gun will work)
  • Markers if you want to write on it (crayons don't show up well)
  • Decorate your place mat however you want to. Leave a little room on the edges to cut the paper smaller if you have to. Depending on where you take it to get laminated, the machines aren't always fit to the size of the paper. That's kind of annoying.
  • Laminate it: I've done self laminating, but it just doesn't turn out as well. Taking it somewhere (we always do Office Depot), like a story, or if you have access to a school. A small at home laminator is not big enough; it has to be one of the big laminators. 
  • And that's it!! Super easy. I wash mine in the sink and they're fine. Here are examples:
These are our fall ones we did last year. We decided to keep it simple and matching. :) We're using these right now!

Maddie's Christmas one from last year!

Caiti and Jake. They picked out their own themes and decorated it themselves. Love these!

As I was putting Jake in his car seat this morning, the first thing he said to me was: "Sing songs. Jesus! Jesus songs. Sing." He LOVES our WeSing Bible songs and Veggie Tales worship album. I can hear him in the backseat singing along to them. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with where the Lord has placed me with this family and my calling to share Christ with them. I am oftentimes reminded, however, that it is not I who will give an account for these children before the Lord. I am merely being used as a vessel to share Jesus and His love.
To nannies: You are NOT accountable before Christ for these kids you care for. I'm with them so much sometimes I feel that I am, but I'm not. Take a deep breath and remember that. Trust Christ with their salvation, and if the parents of your kiddos aren't saved, daily pray for that. Boldly share the gospel. You ARE accountable for that. Seeds are being planted you cannot even see. Trust Him.
To parents: You ARE accountable before Christ for your kids. Not for their salvation, but for raising them under the fear and truth of God. As a single woman, that's an intimidating (yet I want it SO bad) thought. As a believer, you MUST see your kids as souls in need of a Savior, not just a baby who won't stop crying or a toddler who won't mind you or a young kid who sasses you. They are sinners in need of a Savior. Daily share truth, hope, and love with them.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6
In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.
1 Peter 3:15
Preach the Word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
2 Timothy 4:2