Apparently, there is a wonderful blogger's conference going on right now in Nashville called the Blissdom Conference. In lieu of hopping on a plane to Nashville, Household 6 Diva is hosting the "Blizzard Blog Hop!" This is a way for those of us who enjoy blogging to "meet and greet" and discover other great blogs. (It has a truly fitting name by the way, as I spent my morning helping Husband shovel the driveway!) If you're interested, the event begins began at 12 noon Thursday, January 27th until 12 midnight on Sunday, January 30th. Part of the "meet and greet" is to introduce ourselves to new readers, so here we go!!!
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I am a daughter of the Most-High God and am blessed to have Jesus Christ as my Savior. . .



 I've been married almost 10 years to Husband (as I affectionately call him). . .



We have 3 sweet children, daughters SJ (7yrs) and TM (5yrs) and one son, JR (3yrs). . .


I am in a season in my life in which I am learning to Biblically embrace all things at home. . .


We are not a homeschooling family as of yet, but that will change in the very near future. . .

. . .any tips/advice on homeschooling you'd like to share? I'm ALL EARS! :)

I love my family dearly and want to be found in God's will in the ways I care for them. This blog is a place for love, encouragement, and inspiration. Here is where I share the pages of my life, my hopes and goals, my questions and ponderings, my joys and my struggles. I hope you are blessed by something you found here and that you will visit again!
 
{This post is linked HERE for the Blizzard Blog Hop link-up.}

Blizzard Blog Hop

by on Thursday, January 27, 2011
Apparently, there is a wonderful blogger's conference going on right now in Nashville called the Blissdom Conference . In lieu of hop...



This wonderful little children's book is based on a passage of Scripture in Ephesians which says:

". . . And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
-Ephesians 3:17-19

In this book, a little boy spends his day pondering the wonder of God's love. He discovers the measure of God's love by comparing it to things in the world around him, from a child's point of view. For example, it reads, "How much love does God have for me? More than the letters between A and Z. More than the bumbles in a bumble bee. God loves me more than that!" By the end of the book, the boy has greater appreciation of the love God has for him.

My children (ages 3, 5, and 7) got a kick out of this book when we read it today. The pictures are detailed and eye-catching. The words grabbed their attention, flowing smoothly in rhyme. I asked my children if they enjoyed the book and I received a resounding "YES"! I thought it was great, too. What I liked was that my kids walked away with vivid imagery and tactile examples of how great God's love is for them.

Beautifully written and well illustrated, I would recommend this book for elementary-aged children and younger.



I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for this review. I was not compensated in any way for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

There were two lonely looking carrots left in my refrigerator. Oh, how sad they looked! LOL
I thought to myself, "Mmm, carrot bread? With raisins? Some cinnamon?" So, here's my slightly modified version of a recipe I found in my **Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.


Ingredients:
  • 3/4 C raisins
  • 1/4 C orange juice
  • 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2 finely chopped carrots (about 1 C)
  • 1/4 C cooking oil
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together the raisins and orange juice and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together all dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg). Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and set aside.
  3. In another bowl, combine the egg, carrots, and cooking oil, then stir in the raisin mixture. Next, add the egg mixture all at once to the dry ingredients. Stir until moistened; the batter will be lumpy.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Spread it evenly in the pan. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Once completely cool, wrap and store overnight before serving.
This bread turned out very well and it smelled so good while baking! I ate it warm with just a touch of butter and I made my favorite tea to go with it! This bread would be great with some chopped nuts add to the batter, and even a cream cheese drizzle on top! (I'll have to try that the next time I make it.) Delicious!


**This is a newer version than the one I own; mine is the 11th edition. I couldn't find a link for it!**



This post is linked HERE at RaisingHomemakers link-up day.

Carrot-Raisin Bread

by on Tuesday, January 25, 2011
There were two lonely looking carrots left in my refrigerator. Oh, how sad they looked! LOL I thought to myself, "Mmm, carrot bread...

Let me start by saying that this was most unexpected, but I was pleasantly surprised. Jen at Adventures in Unsell Land! gave me a blog award:



I am appreciative of her thoughtfulness--so a big, heartfelt "Thank you!" goes to Jen for sending some
cheer my way! **[[Inserted 01/26/11]]** I was also given the above award, along with the one below, by Heather at The Blessings Pour Out. I am appreciative of her thoughtfulness. I am grateful--to God be the glory!! So another big "Thank you!" goes to Heather as well.

What I like about this award these awards is that I get to share my gratitude with you. They come with the following "rules". . .
  1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award
  2. Share 7 things about yourself
  3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers
  4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award
So here we go. . .

Seven things about myself:
  1. My favorite color is PURPLE!! Just about any shade will do. My bridesmaid's dresses were lilac (sorry, Ladies! I thought you all looked gorgeous!)
  2. I really like to CROCHET and I will be sharing some of my projects with you all in the future. It's sort of a family craft. My late GrandMommy used to crochet; we made a doll blanket once and I still have it. Also, my Auntie and my Mother-in-law are both great at the craft.
  3. To "piggy-back"off of #2, my Mother-in-law can also KNIT really well. One day, I hope to learn how to knit as well as she does. There seems to be so much more you can make by knitting versus crocheting.
  4. I love, love, love to SING. My children will tell you, "Mommy sings ALL the time!" (Hope you like it, kids! :) It's my instrument of praise.
  5. I enjoy READING. I have been a bookworm for as long as I can remember. My parents used to joke with me about reading while doing other things, like eating or watching TV. (Hey, who says you can't get a few pages in during the commercials?!) I firmly believe that the book is always better than the movie!
  6. I've recently gained a passion for my NATURAL HAIR. For so long, I relaxed it (straightening it) because, in a nutshell, I felt that was most acceptable. But, what I found is that God makes no mistakes and my hair is coily because that is how God made it--period. Why shouldn't I accept that? So, I have and I am blessed in many ways by simply accepting a part of me that God made. I hope to be an example to my daughters in being confident in the features God has blessed them with.
  7. I have THREE DOGS--thanks to Husband and my children. If it were my choice, I think one would do! They are all miniature Schnauzers, one gray (Biscuit), one white (Meridius) and one black (Wimbley). Funny names, but so fitting for their personalities!
So, next up is to share this award with others--these blog sites are listed in no certain order. Each blog below has touched my heart in some way, or has offered great information for my home life as a wife and mom, or has challenged me to try to live better for the Lord. I'm grateful to have come in contact with such wonderful Ladies and I hope you enjoy their blogs as well.
  1. From Snowflakes to Hotcakes, With Bits of Grace
  2. The Midlife Housewife
  3. Along the Narrow Pathway
  4. Willing Hearts-Busy Hands
  5. A Domestic Queen, Enjoying Life in Her Humble Castle
  6. A Homemaker's Heart
  7. God... it's me, Gertha!!
  8. The Blessings Pour Out
  9. WildCrickets
  10. I Live in an Antbed
  11. Just Peachy in Dixie
  12. Views from the Farmstead
  13. Inspired Moments in Time 
  14. A Glimpse of Our Life
  15. Buildeth Her House
Okay!! That was a lot of work--but definitely worth it. I hope you've enjoyed learning a few more things about me. Even more, I hope you enjoy visiting, supporting and encouraging these other Ladies on this blogging journey of ours!

God bless!!

**Please know that I understand, not everyone likes blog awards. My intent is not to offend but to let you know your words are appreciated. Also, if you choose not to participate in the "rules" of the award, I am okay with that too!**

Who--Me?

by on Monday, January 24, 2011
Let me start by saying that this was most unexpected, but I was pleasantly surprised. Jen at Adventures in Unsell Land!  gave me a blog awa...

This is a very simple, yet beautiful praise song. If you listen to it, I can almost guarantee that you will walk away humming the tune! I hope you are blessed by it and take the words to heart.



"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service." -Romans 12:1 (KJV)

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship." -Romans 12:1 (NIV)

"I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship." -Romans 12:1 (Amplified)

I Give Myself Away

by on Saturday, January 22, 2011
This is a very simple, yet beautiful praise song. If you listen to it, I can almost guarantee that you will walk away humming the tune! I h...

An Amish Love is a collection of 3 novellas, by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, and Kelly Long. Each love story takes place in the quiet, Amish town of Paradise.

In the first story, "A Marriage of the Heart," Abigail Kauffman lost her mother when she was a small girl and lives with her father. She dreams of escaping the lonely life she leads and devises a plan to do so. Joseph Lambert has just been accepted into this Amish community after years of being away. He feels blessed to be welcomed back. These two hastily find themselves united in matrimony. . .will they learn the key to love?

The second novella, "What the Heart Sees," gives us Ellie Chupp, a very determined young woman, who also happens to be blind. After losing her sight in an accident, she fears that her disability will prevent her from ever marrying. Her good friend's brother, Christopher Miller, comes back to Paradise after a tragedy causes him to stay away for 5 years. Ellie helps Chris on his way to healing and Chris begins to see Ellie in a whole new way. . .

In the last story, "Healing Hearts," Naaman and Levina Lapp have been married for 35 years. Once all their children have grown up and "left the nest," Naaman leaves too, on a journey to "find himself." After being away for almost a year, Naaman humbly returns home. Levina is forced to deal with learning to trust her husband. Will they find love all over again?
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Let me begin by saying that although I do enjoy Christian fiction, I've never read any Amish romance before--or any other Amish literature for that matter. The reading overall was pleasant enough and did pique my interest in finding out what would happen to each of the couples. I learned many things about the Amish way of life, as the authors are careful to explain certain attitudes and behaviors through out the book. Also included was a glossary of Amish words and phrases, along with study guide, in case the book is used for a small group or book club. As an extra bonus (at least it was to me!), there were a few recipes in the back of the book that were mentioned in the stories. (I'll be trying a few of the recipes and if they're good, I'll let you know!)

Because each of the novellas had the same setting, the authors took great pangs to let the reader know that each character knew each other or were connected in some way. It almost seemed forced and unnatural, distracting from the story. The other thing that I wasn't too fond of was the predictability of each story. Each tale told of someone who'd left the community, only to return at some point, for one reason or the other.

Overall, it was a pleasant set of stories, very modest in tone. If Amish romances are included in your repertoire of books, then I think you will enjoy this one.


I review for BookSneeze®
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Something to think about. . .

My Husband is:

One hundred percent sold-out for Christ, a great provider, a loving man, firm in his authority, and wonderfully handsome. . .

If he lacked any of these qualities, would I still respect him?

Having these qualities, do I respect him?

Is honoring my Husband conditional or based upon my mood?

Is it something he should earn?

What does God's word say?

"So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." -Ephesians 5:33

"In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives." -I Peter 3:1-2

Mmmm, as much as my flesh wants to cry out at times, "But what about me?! What about when my feelings are hurt or if I'm angry or if he's just completely wrong?!" Well, I notice that there are no conditions listed (as in whenever I feel like it!) on my respect or reverence for my Husband. Check out the Amplified Bible's translation of these verses:

"However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly]." -Ephesians 5:33

"IN LIKE manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives, When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him--to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband]." -I Peter 3:1-2

WOW! That's a lot to take in. As I read these verses, the Holy Spirit convicts my heart and I know I must submit to the Truth. It doesn't matter how I "feel" or what the circumstances are, or who was right or wrong. Respect, honor, submission to my Husband is what the Lord expects of me. It is part of my "reasonable service" as a married daughter of the Most High God.

Why does God expect this from me? Ephesians 5:22 says, "Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord." The submission, the honor, the respect, the reverence, is all for the glory of God. It is one of the most precious ways I can serve and worship the Lord. Sure there are times when that reverence spills out and overflows from a real and sincere love for my Husband.

However, it is during the difficult times that the true attitude of my heart's worship is reflected in my behavior. I must remember my behavior and attitude toward my Husband is directly linked to my attitude about my service to the Lord. What does my heart reflect when I'm stressed or when I'm discouraged or when things aren't going the way I planned? Am I glorifying God through the way I treat my Husband?

Is it always easy to be respectful? No. Is it always glamorous? No. Am I perfect at this? NO!! Even still, it is my prayer that the Lord will continue to refine me and mold me in this area. I pray that I'll never be too smug that I can't grow. I pray that my heart for the Lord is reflected in my behavior toward my Husband (in Jesus' Name, Amen!)

Remain encouraged, Ladies!!!


This post is linke HERE @ RaisingHomemakers. . .
 Raising Homemakers

. . . and also HERE @ GoodMorningGirls.

But What About Me?

by on Saturday, January 15, 2011
Something to think about. . . My Husband is: One hundred percent sold-out for Christ, a great provider, a loving man, firm in his autho...


I recently "discovered" instant coffee! Can you believe it? What rock have I been living under to not know about instant coffee? LOL! I always thought it had to be brewed (don't laugh at me too loudly!) I am the only "coffee drinker" in my house; Husband is just not into it! I used to have a coffee-maker, but I got rid of it because it wasn't efficient for just one person to use. While I enjoy the taste (and smell!) of coffee, I only drink it from time to time. But when I get the urge to have a taste, it comes on pretty strong!

So instead of getting it at a coffee shop (and spending way too much!), I picked up some instant, decaffeinated coffee! Yummy! I just pour a pre-packaged, single serving size of coffee into a mug, add hot water, and there I have it--instant coffee. I add a little french vanilla creamer and sugar and I'm good to go! I am solely into coffee for the taste, not for the caffeine, so this works well for me. It is extra cold here, so this has been a welcomed treat!

COFFEE!

by on Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I recently "discovered" instant coffee! Can you believe it? What rock have I been living under to not know about instant coffe...
One thing I must admit I have struggled with, is consistent, personal, unhurried quiet time with the Lord.
I may read/study the Word with my children, or reflect on Scripture with Husband, but my own personal quiet time with the Lord is something I must be more diligent about. I know life is life and as such, it can be full and even overflow with "this and that."

But even still, the Lord is calling. . .

I've tried afternoon study time and before bed quiet time and these, my friends, don't always work for me. During the day, there is housework to be done, errands to run, and kids to tend to. My evenings are full with family activities, time with Husband, bedtime routines--by the day's end, I'm completely spent.

But even still, the Lord is calling. . .

During the family time we spent over the Holidays, the Lord impressed upon my heart, "Stacie, seek Me early in the morning." Oh, how I wish my first response had been "Yes, Lord!" Instead it was more like, "But I'm so tired, Lord! Don't You see all that's going on? What about my sleep time?" {How selfish and vain!!}

But even still, the Lord is calling. . .

"My heart has heard You say, 'Come and talk with me.'
      And my heart responds, 'Lord, I am coming.'”
-Psalm 27:8 (NLT)

"When You said, 'Seek My face,'
         My heart said to You, 'Your face, LORD, I will seek.'”
-Psalm 27:8 (NKJV)

After one daughter's surgery and my other daughter's illness, I felt a bit worn. But still, the Lord challenged me to make this tiny sacrifice for Him. . .early in the morning. I purposed in my heart that I would heed His call to me. So this week, after Husband has gone to work and before my little ones wake, I've been getting up in the 6:00 am hour to spend quiet time with my Lord. I leave my Bible downstairs on purpose, so that I literally have to get up to do this. It is still dark and everything is peaceful and I'm able to still myself before the Lord.

As much as I want to squeeze in extra sleep (I am so NOT a morning person, more like a "night owl"), it has been a blessing. There is something about seeking God early in the morning, for me, that is just renewing.** Before "life" has had the chance to "attack" me with all of its duties and all of its neediness, before I am distracted by whatever it is I just HAVE to get done, I have a sense of peace because I already spent time before the Lord.

While the Lord was dealing with me about this, I found an opportunity to join other women in quiet time accountability. Now this may not be for everyone, but it was just the encouragement I needed. Angela and Courtney @ GoodMorningGirls host a quiet time accountability for women, 3 months at a time. This particular session runs from January 15th-April 15th.

The idea is to join with a group of women who will wake each morning around the same hour, have their quiet times and then contact each other (email) with what they read, prayer requests, and the like, Mon.-Fri. The main purpose is to keep each other encouraged in our walk with Christ. I'm partnered up with my Mom right now, but if there are any ladies interested in joining us, feel free to let me know. Or if you want to form your own group, just click HERE to join or for more information.

To find GoodMorningGirls was just further confirmation for me of what God already placed in my heart. Please pray for me as I submit myself to the Lord. God bless you, Ladies, as we strive to be more like Him.

"And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart."
-Jeremiah 29:13

**{Ladies, please note that I am not suggesting that every one's quiet time must come in the morning. Do as God leads you, when it's right for your household. Sometimes it is effected by your season in life. For example, a new baby in the house can make things tricky or an illness may slow you down, etc.}


This post is linked HERE @ Women Living Well. 

Early in the Morning

by on Saturday, January 08, 2011
One thing I must admit I have struggled with, is consistent, personal, unhurried quiet time with the Lord. I may read/study the Word with m...

Merry Christmas!
   
Oh my, how my family was not yet ready to greet this day! For about 2 weeks, we all have spent every single day together. My daughters are not home schooled (not yet anyway--preparations are underway, more to come on that later!! :) and they were on Christmas break. Husband also took some vacation time off and so my boy and I had the whole family home with us!! There we were, just getting in an extra dose of family love during the Holidays.
TM and I making cinnamon Christmas ornaments.

We took a break from our normal routines and really stopped to enjoy the season and each other. We had a wonderful Christmas day. The kids played and played and played.  If there was a movie on that Husband wanted to see, I just plopped right down on the couch and watched with him, even if there was just one more load of laundry to do. When we wanted a pajama day, we had one. It felt really good to take a break!!



Grandparents gave them gift cards to McDonald's.
 
As our time drew to near, each of us voiced our lament. We had a good time and just didn't want it to see it end. I also think that there is such an anticipation for the Christmas holiday that it feels like it comes and goes all too quickly. Husband and I discussed some different ideas for celebrating for next year. I would like to have a Jesse Tree, as the kid's and I have been reading the book during the Advent season. {The Jesse Tree by Geraldine McCaughreanHusband and I thought about "The 12 Days of Christmas" and maybe stretching our celebration a bit longer, but neither of us is sure about the history behind that (seems like a little research is in order, huh?). We also really liked the New Year's eve count down that I saw HERE, posted by Jen @ Adventures in Unsell Land.



"Look, Mommy! Daddy showed me how to hold my new sword!"
 At any rate, the Holidays have passed and THE DAY has come. Husband is back at work--Thank you Lord for providing for us. I took my precious girls to school--Thank you Lord that You've shown us a different plan. The boy and I have resumed our routine at home--Thank you Lord that I have a home to look after.



JR in a blanket!
 Although I had some misgivings and a feeling of dread about this "back-to-the-routine Monday," I am encouraged. The Lord has whispered some promises in my heart today and I am encouraged (I've been reading Psalm 19). There are some changes to be made and some things to overcome, but I am encouraged. Routines themselves aren't bad and are actually quite productive. I must remember to do things as unto the Lord.

Back to the Routine

by on Monday, January 03, 2011
 Merry Christmas!     Oh my, how my family was not yet ready to greet this day! For about 2 weeks, we all have spent every si...
In this book by Donita K. Paul, Christian fiction/romance meets fairy tale. In this book, Cora and Simon are co-workers who have been merely cordial with one another over the years. One day, they are inadvertently given tickets to a Christmas Ball that neither of them planned on attending. Through a series of strange and somewhat enchanted events, their lives become entwined and they find that they share a common faith in Jesus. But will the bizarre circumstances of the Christmas season bring them closer together or drive them farther apart?

Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball was a great Holiday read. It was light-hearted, heart-warming and overall a fun book to read, even during the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. Paul's writing style is witty and easy to follow along. Although the story has a good dose of fairy tale magic (obviously the fiction portion), the underlying message is unashamedly Christian. I must say, I enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend it for any time of the year.



 

To comply with regulations by the Federal Trade Commission, please note that Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
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