Thursday, January 31, 2013

100 Day of School Creativity

My son's Kindergarten class is celebrating the 100th day of school this Friday. We turned to Pinterest and found some super cute ideas. My son wanted a red shirt with 100 Googly eyes so we found a shirt and the eyes at Michaels for less than $5 total. We had fun drawing the shape of a silly monster with teeth onto the shirt. We just used a black sharpie marker, and it worked great. My son attends a private Christian school, and each week they memorize a different verse so we added the verse from 1 Corinthians 2:9 “No EYE has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” Next, we just hot-glued the 100 Googly eyes randomly inside the monster shape. The shirt turned out super cute, and my six year old is so excited to be a Googly-Eyed Monster on Friday :-).

We decided to make a fun and yummy treat for his classmates as well. I took snack-sized ziploc bags and put Keebler fudge sticks as the number 1 and two Keebler fudge stripe cookies as the two zeros. We put labels on the bags that said, "I am blessed 100 times to have you as my friend". He can't wait to share them with his friends on Friday. 
I love that his class is celebrating little and big holidays. I love celebrations because it brings smiles to my children, helps them feel special and loved, and teaches them to show love to others.
Have a BLESSED day, my Friends. You are prayed for and loved dearly by your Heavenly Father!!
Rest in this Amazing Promise today:

1 Corinthians 2:9

“No EYE has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Create-Your-Own Crock Pot Steel Cut Oatmeal

Create-Your-Own Crock Pot Steel Cut Oatmeal
Serves: 4

3 cups milk of your choice (vanilla almond milk tastes yummy)
1 cup steel-cut oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
Custom ingredients of your choice (see below)

Combine all ingredients in your crockpot or slow cooker, put the lid on and cook on low for three hours. Do not stir. Use a 3 qt crock pot for the four serving size. If you double the recipe, cook for 5-6 hours and use a 5 qt or larger crock pot.

Customizable Ingredients:
*Cinnamom Raisin: add raisins before cooking. Stir in ground cinnamon and sweetener of choice (sugar, brown sugar, or honey) after cooking.
*Apple Pie: peel 2 small apples, chop in small pieces, and add them to the uncooked ingredients along with 1 teaspoon apple pie spice. After cooking, add 2 tablespoons butter and 1/4 cup brown sugar to the hot oats and stir.
*Mounds Bar: Add shredded coconut, sweetener of choice, and 1/4 cup chocolate chips after cooking. Use coconut milk as your milk of choice and top with slivered almonds before serving.
*Pumpkin Pie: add 2 Tablespoons pumpkin pie spice before cooking. After cooking, stir in 1/2 cup pumpkin.
*Mocha chocolate Chip: add 1 tablespoon espresso powder or instant coffee before cooking. Sprinkle with 1/4 chocolate chips before serving.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

God is My Refuge when I am Weak and there Seems to be No Hope; He is Still God and He is Able

God is My Refuge when I am Weak and there Seems to be No Hope;

He is Still God and He is Able

I have been so blessed to be a part of the review team for Kathy Howard's new devotional entitled "God is my Refuge-12 weeks of Devotions and Scripture Memory for Troubled Times".
I never imagined how much God would speak to my heart as I journeyed through the devotional. He has healed hurts, strengthened my heart, given me a new hope, and helped me to forgive and give grace to others.

For those of you who do not know our story, we lost a daughter in 2008, and we are currently in the midst of a very emotional adoption journey (we were one of the family's who were adopting from Russia :-().

Our daughter who lives in Heaven was named Savannah Grace, and her story can be found here:
We have named the daughter we are adopting, Emma Charity, and our journey to her can be found here:

This morning, I found myself on week four of Kathy Howard's devotional which deals with "Healing". Day 3 is called "When I am Weak" and the scripture reference is 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. The main focus of today's lesson was verse 9. We named our daughter Savannah Grace because it means "abundant grace" and we clung to that scripture and the promise that "His Grace is sufficient for us because His power was made perfect in our weakness." During the rough pregnancy as I dealt with the reality of Savannah's fatal diagnosis, I desperately needed God's grace and His power in my weakness. God did not heal our daughter on earth, but He healed her by taking her to be with Him. Would that have been my choice? No :-(. But, do I trust Him? Yes.

So, four years after her death, God reminded me through today's message that He remembers, He knows my grief, and His love for me is unending. I miss my baby girl daily, with some days being harder than others. The ache and longing are ever-present, but God's grace and love are even greater and they give me strength to keep going. My sweet Savannah gets to spend her days dancing with Jesus - how I long for the day when I get to join them.

Today's devotion was a sweet reminder to my heart that "In any situation, God may choose to physically heal or to respond with 'My grace is sufficient for you'. Either way, He is seeking to work His purposes in your life. Either way, you can experience His power and His love. Either way, God is still God, and He is still able." This last statement especially resonates with me right now as we trust and wait on God to bring our adoptive daughter home. He is still God; and He is still able; and He will bring our Emma home to our hearts. In His perfect timing, in His perfect way.

One of the Reflection questions in today's lesson was "Can you think of any ways God has used this situation in your life or the lives of others to carry outHis greater purposes."
This question reminded me of all the "good" He has brought out of Savannah's life. Because of my loss, I have a greater compassion and I have been able to pray for, listen to, and encourage other women who have lost children. As I have encouraged others, my heart has also received blessing and has been strengthened and healed even further. God used Savannah to teach me the depths of His love and the intimacy found in complete surrender to His Will. God is using our crooked and long journey to Emma to reveal His purpose, His plan, and the comfort we find in abiding in His peace.

My friends, His Grace is ALWAYS SUFFICIENT! I encourage you today to cling to Him-He is your Refuge in the storm, in the sickness, in the hurts, in the sorrows and the tears. He will not forsake you.

I love the song by the Maranatha Praise Band, "You are My Refuge."