Apr 16, 2012

“Mama! Say Book Baby!”

Little brown eyes stare up at me longingly as a tiny cardboard book is thrust into my hands.  Naomi pulls on my skirt and tries to drag herself into my empty lap.

“Mama!  Say book baby!”

This is her way of saying “Mama, read to me!”  I pick her up and we cuddle together, and let the story take us away.

In the last few months, books have become a great and wonderful way for us to share some time together.  We were richly blessed when a good friend donated three grocery bags full of gently used books that she and her daughter purged from their library.  Old classics like The Little Engine That Could and Goodnight Moon now share prominent places with our own favorites, If Jesus Came to Visit Me, and Guess How Much I Love You.  


 Along with these were some really wonderful new stories that have quickly become favorites.  Of the whole collection, the one that caught my attention was Slinky Malinki, a fantastic story about a sly devilish cat who sneaks into homes and touts away treasures.  The rhythm and rhyme are very reminescent of Dr. Seuss, without the delightful made-up words.


One favorite is the sweet but simple story of Little Quack Loves Color, where Little Quack, and his sister Piddle, discover the amazing colors that can be found around their pond.


Naomi’s favorite book to read to herself has been The Big Book of Animals.  It’s a bright, simple book full of clearly drawn animals.  Naomi loves to read it to us, telling us what each of the animals are, and what sound they make (including the elephant.  She puts her nose to her arm, waves her arm in front of her face like a trunk, and says “Mooo!”).  It’s by YoYo Books, and for the life of me, I cannot find it online anywhere.  Regardless, it is a really cute little story.


Disclaimer: Yes, I am compensated for some (but not all) of the purchases made via the referral links in this post. You can read my entire disclosure policy here.  


This post is a part of…

Works For Me Wednesday
We Are THAT Family
Finer Things Friday
Amy’s Finer Things


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Apr 12, 2012
Comments Off on That Works For Me!

That Works For Me!

How exciting is this?!  A couple months ago, I was asked if one of my posts could be included in a new eBook put together by Kristen and Jen called That Works For Me!  I was so excited and felt so privilaged to be included amongst so many amazing, respectable bloggers.

That Works For Me! is a compilation of posts that have been featured over the past five (!) years on the long-running blog carnival, Works for Me Wednesdays.  Kristen and Jen have gone through them all, and picked over 800 recipes, useful tips, ideas and suggestions, and compiled them all together into one handy volume.

You know what’s also really cool about this book?  A portion of the proceeds of each sale go to Mercy House, an organization set up by Kristen and her friend Maureen to help pregnant prostitute girls in Kenya.  Often these girls are forced into prostitution as a means to help their destitute families.  The resulting pregnancies are usually terminated via backstreet abortions so the girls can continue “working”.  It’s a tragic, devestating circumstance that Kristen and Maureen are determined to help these girls avoid.

So if you’re interested, please go check out That Works For Me!  Not only will you be discovering some great tips and ideas from some great bloggers, you’ll also be helping Maureen and the girls in their struggles in Kenya.  Or better yet, look into their power of three program!  I bet you didn’t know it was so simple to help!


This post is a part of…

Titus Tuesday at Time Warp Wives

Homemaking Link Up Wednesdays at Raising Homemakers

Finer Things Friday at Amy’s Finer Things



Disclaimer: Yes, I am compensated for some (but not all) of the purchases made via the referral links in this post. You can read my entire disclosure policy here.



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Apr 10, 2012

Don’t Toss That Turkey!!!

On the weekend we were blessed to enjoy a delicious homemade turkey dinner with Michael’s parents, his brother and sister-in-law, and their adorable niece.  Naomi and “Lala” had a wonderful time wandering around the house, reading, playing and getting to know one another.  It was great to get to see everyone again in my in-law’s gorgeous log cabin in the woods.

Michael’s mother normally takes the carcass and makes turkey soup afterwards, but this year she decided she would just toss it.  Rather than let it go to waste, I volunteered to take it home and make use of it.  So she took off enough meat for them to have sandwiches the next day and sent me home with the remains.


After pulling apart Mr. Turkey, I was delighted when I had about 5 cups of turkey meat, and enough bones and skin to overflow my humble little crockpot (thanks again, Sebastian — she’s getting plenty of use!).  There’s nothing more wonderful than making something out of nothing.  And, it took me less than 15 minutes, start to finish!

Today, we’ll add some carrots, onions, peas, and spices, along with turkey and noodles, and let it simmer all day tomorrow for a delicious turkey soup.  And we have enough meat left over to make hot turkey sandwiches for supper tonight, with some oven roasted potatoes and carrot sticks.  Delish!


So before you think that getting the last bit off that turkey isn’t worth it, stop!  If you don’t have the time to deal with it now, throw it in a bag and freeze it — he’ll come in handy later when you’re craving turkey soup.  :)

Sunday Night Soup Night
Easy Natural Food
Real Food 101
Ruth’s Real Food
Tackle It Tuesdays
5 Minutes for Mom.
Real Food Wednesdays
Kelly the Kitchen Kop.
Pennywise Platter Thursdays
The Nourishing Gourmet.

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Apr 9, 2012

Celebrate with Great Joy — Keeping Easter Religious and Fun

Easter Eggs

Photo Credit: Grant Hutchinson

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”  He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.  And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.  If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

Matthew 18:1-6

A friend of mine recently posted this on Facebook (names edited for privacy).  This lady is a real inspiration to me in my walk with Jesus.  She is the devoted and faithful wife of a pastor, and the mother of seven beautiful and delightful children (the youngest of whom is not quite a month old!).

“‎96 plastic eggs in 6 different colors all stuffed with the children’s favorite things. Baskets lovingly filled with a few special things. We’re ready to hide eggs (by color…[Oldest Child]’s orange eggs are super hard to find and [Youngest Child]’s blue eggs are pretty much in plain sight) for our annual hunt. The REASON we celebrate Easter is Jesus. The WAY we celebrate is with great joy! Gifts in honor of The GIFT.”

It”s was a wonderful reminder.  So many of us get so stuck on the religious dogma and the “reason for the season” that we lose the joy and the fun in the celebration, and we take away a lot of the fun from the celebration.  We try to discourage the commercialization of Easter (or other religious holidays) and instead try to stick to the faith-based celebrations.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the fun in the day either!  Chocolates, egg hunts and family meals can all have a special place in the celebration of Easter, as much as solemn church services, prayers of thanks and singing hyms.  There’s lots of ways to celebrate the joy of the holiday without focusing on the candy and the bunnies.

Here are some ways we have discussed and discovered to teach Naomi about Easter, and the Resurrection of Christ, while still keeping the fun and joy in the holiday.

 All photos are the credit of the links in the descriptions beside them.
The few that are not were found via Google Search. 

Empty Tomb Snacks made from chocolate cookies and donuts (not recommended just before bedtime!). These are a clever — and delicious! — way to discuss the story of the three women coming to find the empty tomb, and how the rock might have been rolled away.
  Lots of beautiful printable coloring pages, including Jesus, Mary, crosses, hot crossed buns, and several other lovely pictures.
  A great alternative to traditional chocolate and candy eggs is Resurrection eggs, in which you tell the Easter story using pictures and plastic eggs with small treats.  This is a very festive take on the Advent calendars.
  An Easter garden would be a lovely centerpiece to your table.  It would keep your little ones’ attention as they watch the grass grow from the day that the stone is rolled over the tomb to the day it is rolled away.  It would be an excellent way to let the imaginations of older children get a better understanding of the story.
   I bet you never thought of M&Ms at Easter (except maybe as filling for chocolate eggs).  But here’s an adorable poem about how to use them to explain the Easter story.
   A great idea for your artsy toddler would be to make a paint stamped cross on canvas.  A little tape and a cheap paint canvas make for gorgeous art.  I think this would be especially cute to do with hand prints.
  A delicious and well thought out dessert is Resurrection cookies.  As you include each ingredient, you get to read a passage from the Bible.  Each ingredient has a special significance to the story.  What a passionate way to discuss Jesus while connecting with your children!
  The Jelly Bean Poem leads to lots of crafty inspiration.  Making a stained glass cross, a bracelet or necklace, a jar of layered colorful jelly beans… pretty much anything involving multiple colors!

Do you have some other fun ways of teaching your children about Easter?  Feel free to share them!

This post is a part of Sunday Snippets Catholic Carnival
at This, That and The Other Thing.


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