Being Intentional At Home

I found this great article on Pinterest with practical tips of planning time with the kids this Summer. I loved the reminder to be intentional with my time and theirs.

Make Your Summer at Home with Kids Count

Enjoy!

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A Prayer for My Daughters – Proverbs 31:10

“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.”

As I was having my devotions today I began a study of the Proverbs 31 woman. I was struck with a heavy heart to begin praying for my daughters, and the special girls I love as daughters. I wanted to share my heart I hope you are blessed with these thoughts from Scripture as I was.

My Heavenly Father,

May my daughters grow to be excellent wives. Help them to understand that being excellent in Your eyes is greater than any riches. May my daughters live lives with true purpose. A life that has weight to it. Not a life that is filled with things that are empty or without purpose. But a life that is worth more than jewels. A life that will stand the test of eternity. May their lives be invested in the work of Christ and not in a life that will pass away with no value.

Lord I pray for the future spouses of my daughters. May they value my daughters because they value You. May they value the right things for a wife, not looks, or even personality, but may they value them for their excellence in the Lord. May their future spouse value my daughters because a good wife is better than riches. May my daughters and their future spouse grow to value marriage and purity as You do and that you would be glorified in their marriage and in their lives.

Amen

Humbled at a Homeschooling Conference

This past weekend my husband and I joined the ranks and became a part of the homeschooling community. I guess technically we will start next year when we actually begin teaching our four year old in Kindergarten, but we went to our first homeschooling conference this past weekend so I thought that might count.

I am new to homeschooling. I grew up going to Christian and public school. My husband is the homeschooling veteran, being homeschooled 1st -8th grades. I must say I was very impressed by the spirit of the conference. Humility.

Before our children were born, we knew we would one day homeschool our children. Moving across the street from the local public elementary school confirms that every day. (Between the school’s failing record for the past 10 years, and the random fist fights that break out in the school yard it’s a no brainer.) We have been very prayerful about the decision to homeschool. We understand the pitfalls of home education. One of the major ones being PRIDE. It is very easy to start patting yourself on the shoulder for how great your children are. After all, you are the one educating them. But the conference did a great job of humbling me.

The spirit of the conference was a reflection on my responsibility as a parent to grow my children in the Lord. And this is something that every parent is responsible for regardless of the choice of education. Deuteronomy 6:4-7 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I comman you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”

I was reminded that my first and greatest responsibility to my child is to teach them to love God. Whether they are the best at math, or can read by the time they are four isn’t the goal. If when they take the standardized test and make it to the 99% percentile, but have no love for God and others than I have failed. After all, the reason I choose to keep them home is so that I can teach them Christ right?

The second truth I was humbled by was that my responsibility is to educate their soul. Not just with God’s word, although as I said above that is first, but the truth that all subjects (not just the Bible) are sacred. In other words, I am teaching math, science, reading, literature, history, not just so my children can use them to get a college degree so they can have a well paying job, but I am teaching them these subjects to enrich their souls. Interesting isn’t it. The speaker of one of the workshops said, “Show me a person’s education, and I will show you their view of man.” The speaker made a direct link from our current education system to our cultures view of man. If man has a soul, then we will appeal to the soul when we teach. We will teach them to think logically so that they will have a better view of God, themselves, and the world around them. However, if man is just a body, then we will teach our children to only develop outward skills for the sole purpose of earning a living.

As Christians, our responsibility is greater than a job. We understand that our purpose in life extends past the physical. We want to teach these subjects to the soul. Regardless of what job this lands them or if they go to college in 12 years is irrelevant. I want my child to see all subjects in light of their Creator so that they will have a deeper understanding of who they are, who God is, and enjoy the world that is around them.

So, now you can see why I was humbled. But at the same time I am excited. I am looking forward to starting this journey with my children. I know I won’t just be teaching them, but I will be learning myself. And I can’t wait.

Valentine’s Party (for a slightly older crowd)

In the past I posted a link to My Blessed Life and 16 Homemade Valentines Ideas. I was contacted and asked if I had any Valentine’s inspired ideas for a couple’s party. So for you, Jennifer, and anyone else who might want some ideas.

1. Hearts  – Make individual heart shaped pizzas (each couple can custom make their own), heart shaped veggies, and of course, heart shaped desserts like decorated cookies, chocolates, and even maybe some hot chocolate with a heart shaped dollop of whipped cream as the topping.

2. Candlelight – Even though there are multiple couples coming to dinner does not mean you can’t enjoy a romantic candlelight dinner. Set your lighting and decorate your table with some beautiful candles. Have a Valentine ready to send home with each couple describing why you appreciate them as friends. You can even include a rose with each note.

3. Kids- Sometimes it is hard to find babysitting. Why not have a wonderful Kids Valentine’s Party. Make those special crafts as families complete with heart shaped grilled cheese, and a cupcake decorating station. If you don’t bring the kids or don’t have kids you can still have fun being a kid again.

4. Memories – Another great idea is to have your guests bring their wedding albums to the party. You can spend time sharing memories. If the couples you are inviting are not married you can always have a time sharing first dates or best date nights, or even share worst date nights.

I hope some of these ideas have inspired you. Please feel free to share some ideas that you have used in the past.

How Was Your Thanksgiving?

My Thanksgiving was awesome thank you for asking!

We started our day by going to our church’s Thanksgiving praise service. As always, it is one of the highlights of my year. It is always a good way to reset my mind for the day. To remember that it is God who provides all and it is to God that I should be giving thanks for the food, family, and even the money that I am planning on spending during the Black Friday sales.

So, how was your Thanksgiving?

One more thing I wanted to share. Our menu. I thought about sharing this before Thanksgiving but I wanted to try it first. Let me just say, these recipes are amazing and so I can’t help but share them with you now. Maybe you can use them in time for Christmas or one of the many parties you might be throwing this Christmas season.

Here is my turkey. Looks amazing doesn’t it.  Here is the recipe for the turkey.

Sausage cornbread stuffing

Pumpkin cheesecake with a brownie crust

Pumpkin cake with caramel cream cheese frosting

These made awesome additions to my table. If you make any of these please let me know how they turned out for you.