Sunday, March 31, 2013

Jesus paid it ALL

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3

Friday, March 29, 2013

Oh the Wonderful Cross

But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. 
Isaiah 53:5 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Resurrection Eggs Preschool Style

I have linked to this idea several times in past posts, but after putting them together in minutes today, I decided to share more details here. I'm just in love with this idea!

Thank you, Stacie Nelson @ Motherhood on a Dime, for this excellent (and easy!) way to teach our littles about Easter!

What you'll need:
  • 6 large plastic eggs
  • Letter stickers
  • Heart sticker
  • Band-aid
  • Paper cross
  • Tomb made of play-doh or clay
  • Rock
1. Take your large eggs and spell out "Easter" putting one sticker on each egg.

2. Put the heart sticker in the first letter E egg.

"E is for Each of us. God loves everyone."
3. Put the band-aid in the A egg.

"A is for A broken world, so He sent His Son."
4. Put the paper cross (or in our case, the cross that Marie made at MOPS) in the S egg.

"S is for our Sins that Jesus took away."
5. Put the tomb in the T egg.

"T is for the Tomb where He lay for 3 whole days."
6. Put the rock in the second E egg.

"E is for the Empty tomb. The stone was rolled away."
7. Leave the R egg empty.

"R is for the Risen Lord. Jesus is alive today!"
The poem written by Stacie Nelson:

E is for Each of us. God loves everyone.
A is for A broken world, so He sent His Son.
S is for our Sins that Jesus took away.
T is for the Tomb where He lay for three whole days.
E is for the Empty tomb. The stone was rolled away.
R is for the Risen Lord. Jesus is alive today!

Click HERE to download and print!

I laminated mine in hopes that it'll last until we no longer have preschool age around.

... that is a very sad thought!

It's not too late to put these together and add some meaning to your traditional egg hunt!
And He was shown to be the Son of God when He was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 1:4

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Craft Time {Easter Edition}

Last year we made stained glass crosses.

Look how little my big kids were! How has it been almost a year already?!?

Even after Easter, you'll have an excellent reminder of what Christ did for us hanging on your window! Ours were up well into summer.

Last week we made lambs at our playdate:

Perfect to go along with the verse we learned last week...
Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29
Today we plan on doing this Sunday School type craft:

And later on this week we'll be making this cross craft:

Looking forward to celebrating our risen Savior!
He is not here; he has risen, just as He said! Matthew 28:6

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Happy Saturday!

Derek decided to take today off, and I didn't even ask him to! He's so wonderful.

So we piled into our beautiful new-to-us van and headed out to Shipshewana. We got a handful of things from E&S and ate some delicious lunch there. Then pet a horse and some puppies and played on the playgrounds!
Later tonight I get to go out with my sisters and mom for a girls night! Woot!

All this after a week full of playdates, workouts, MOPS, and free clothing for the babies! So grateful for a God who enjoys being a Dad.

I hope you all are having just as amazing of a Saturday.

This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it! Psalm 118:24

((Remembering some friends who are hurting tremendously. Praying they have a beautiful and peace-filled Saturday, too!))

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Strawberry Rhubarb pie is my favorite.

I only learned what rhubarb is last summer, and as homemade pie stresses me out, I've never attempted strawberry rhubarb pie.

Then I found THIS recipe.

What is sad is I saw rhubarb at Kroger the other day and was tempted to buy some with out any idea what to do with it. But I stuck to my list and passed over it. So I ended up making this with just strawberries (like the girl I got this recipe from did). I cannot wait to try it with rhubarb next time!

Here's the super easy instructions:


For Filling:
- 6 medium stalks of rhubarb, cut into half-inch pieces
- 2 cups strawberries, cut into bite-sized pieces (I used almost 3 cups since I didn't have rhubarb)
- 1/2 cup sugar

For Topping:
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted (I used about 3/4 of a stick with no problems!)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. In a large bowl mix filling ingredients (strawberries, rhubarb, sugar) and pour into pie or baking dish.
3. In another large bowl, mix flour, oats, sugars, cinnamon, and salt.
4. Add butter and mix til moist crumbs form.
5. Sprinkle over strawberry mixture in pie dish.
6. Bake 35-40 minutes - until rhubarb is tender, juices are bubbling, and topping is golden brown.

7. Serve warm with some vanilla frozen yogurt and thoroughly enjoy!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Easter on Pinterest for the Littles

I have a confession to make...

(That is if you haven't figured it out already!)

I'm not creative.

People are often commenting on how creative I am, but the truth is, I love pinterest and utilizing all of everybody else's creativity!

Now that that's out of the way... I've been searching for weeks for good ways to help my kiddos focus on Easter... some packets and activities that aren't all eggs and bunnies.

*For those who don't know - my kids are 4, 2, and 7 months*

Ahead is a list of all sorts of creativity that I had nothing to do with but am enjoying! (Click the pictures).

This first link is a simple and excellent way to get your babies thinking about and discussing Jesus. The most important thing we can do!

Here is a fun little game. We are Jacobs' so there's gotta be a game!

This packet is perfect for Marie's age. We've already done most of it!

I love that there aren't any eggs or bunnies in this preschool pack! "R is for Risen."

We're huge fans of coloring pages!

This is something we did last year that we plan to continue on Easter Sunday...

There's so much that I need to stop here. Go to my "Resurrection Day" pinboard for even more ideas! I definitely just printed a good 50 pages of fun.

Look for a craft idea or two sometime at the end of the week.

How are you focusing on Christ this Easter?

((Again, THANK YOU SO MUCH to all of you talented momma's out there for providing all this free fun!))

Monday, March 18, 2013

Waiting for the best blessing

You've probably noticed that I love our house.

Love. It.

It is the biggest example in our lives of how waiting for God's timing is always the best option. We (mostly Derek) searched and waited for a house for 10 months before we closed on this one. Our realtor was getting a little irritated. Especially when the previous owners of this house rejected our best offer and we didn't really have a second choice. We loved this house.

God's timing is always perfect.

But it is stinkin' hard to wait for sometimes.

Just last week, God did it again... blessed our socks off with this...

We tried buying a van last year with our tax money. We (mostly Derek) searched and searched and searched and doors slammed over and over.

This year, I'm telling ya, God plopped this baby right into our laps!

Sold to us by another family that I will be praying showers of blessings on!

A house... a sufficiently-sized vehicle... food... clothing...

All necessities God is very much aware of. Wait, and these things will be more than just needs met, but truly the best blessings.

30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6)
Linking up HERE.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Beating the Blahs {Part 4 - All Thing Homemade}

I can't believe it's already the middle of March! What on earth?!?

I thought that the winter would be boring and slow so I decided to do this "Beating the Blahs" series to keep me productive. I had no idea this would end up being probably the busiest winter of my adult life thus far.

It's okay. I'm loving it!

That doesn't get me out of the final "beating the blahs." I will be focusing on all things homemade.

First, I must tell you that I do not have a conviction to get rid of everything store-bought just because it might have something iffy in it (what doesn't cause cancer anymore??). While I am a fan of all-natural for sure (been buying Melaleuca for most of my life!), my main goal is to save money. And hopefully save money while keeping it as natural as possible!

Some SAHM's have a home-based business. Some do the coupon thing. God has made it very clear on a number of occasions that neither are for me! But making things at home to save money... I enjoy it and so far God is blessing it!

You may recall the homemade laundry soap I make now that has saved us lots of moolah.

We were spending about $10/month on laundry detergent (this was before Kempton!). Now I spend about $12 every 6 months or so. That looks like a pretty stinkin' good deal to me.

What is next on the homemade agenda?

Dishwasher Detergent.

The Ingredients:

1C Borax
1/2C Washing Soda
1/2C Baking Soda
4 Packets unsweetened lemonade (or citric acid)
1/2C Kosher Salt

Put all ingredients in a container at least 32oz in size. Seal up and shake!

Use 1T per load. Then add white vinegar as a rinsing agent to your machine.

Because of the citric acid (lemonade), this will probably get clumpy. I left the container open for a few hours, stirring occasionally. And each time I go to use some, I stir it. After the first day I haven't had any trouble with clumping.

Check out THIS SITE for cost breakdown and lots more info.

Next up: Handsoap/Body Wash. Suggestions or recommendations appreciated! Also, if you make something homemade that you love, please share!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mary and Martha

The other day in MOPS, a sweet lady brought up something about the story of Mary and Martha with Jesus that I had never thought of before. The irony was, as she read the story and before she made her point, I noticed it.

Here is the passage...
"... He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord's feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, 'Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.' But the Lord answered and said to her, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.'" Luke 10:38-42
The obvious lesson we always take from this passage is that spending time with the Lord is so much more important than, well, anything else. But as I heard this read to me, I suddenly wondered,

Why didn't Martha just tell her sister to come help her? Why did she bother Jesus with it?

It was like the lady speaking was answering my question when she pointed out that Martha went to Jesus... first.

It's so easy to think that Mary was the spiritual one; that Martha had no idea who was in her house. But she knew Jesus was there. While she was distracted by wanting to serve Him (um... guilty...) she came to Him first about her frustrations. She didn't do what I would have done and pull Mary aside and chew her out for leaving her to do everything herself.

She went to Jesus first.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Rainbow Pasta

At our last playdate, we read about Noah and talked about how God created rainbows to remind us that He promised to never flood the whole earth again, and that He always keeps His promises.

The craft was pasta rainbows!

To dye pasta:

1. Gather materials:

  • Box of pasta
  • Rubbing alcohol/white vinegar (I used vinegar bc I had some, but word on the web is the rubbing alcohol works best)
  • Liquid food coloring
  • Ziplock bags

2. Fill 6 bags with evenly distributed pasta.
3. Pour in alcohol/vinegar (I put in just enough to coat but some directions say to fully cover. I skimped because I'm cheap!)
4. Add drops of food coloring (I used the back of the food coloring box to figure out how to best make the orange and purple). Be fairly generous.
5. Rub the pasta around in the bag to coat, then place the bags on a cookie sheet covered in foil in case of leakage.
6. Let sit for a few hours, turn once or twice.

7. Once they have set for a few hours, empty the bags by color onto the cookie sheet/sheets (drain any excess liquid first!) to dry overnight.

I spread it out on 3 different cookie sheets, but had to take this pic first!
I just love all the color!

Grab some paper and glue and make some rainbows! (Remember "Roy G. Biv"?)

And thank God for the beautiful reminder that He always keeps His promises!

Linking up HERE and HERE.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


After more than a decade of basically the same straight cut (with the occasional layer), I sucked it up and got bangs and some really short layers. Derek isn't a fan, and at the moment, neither am I. But it is fun to finally have a different look! Be kind :)

I just realized these are the first pics of my -27lbs self. I have somewhere between 6-10 pounds to go so you'll have to wait for more on that another time :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Queen Esther

The other day I asked Marie what she wanted to learn about in school, and she said princesses.

I know Esther wasn't ever a princess, but she came to my mind first. And she got to wear a crown so I figured that would satisfy Marie. So I set to work to find some fun ways to learn about Esther (in addition to our normal K4 work)

Here is a quick list of some fun ideas I found online. Some of which we enjoyed doing last week!

This first one was by far my favorite...

I printed, laminated, cut out, and taped on a large craft stick. Marie loved them! It was fun telling the story with these.

What little girl wouldn't love this activity? You could also use any paper dolls or magnet dolls you already have. Use this after talking about how Esther had to get all dressed up to go before the king. You could also play dress-up with your girl!

I've just started using "Find the Difference" worksheets with Marie. It took her a little time, but she did so well with this one!

I have so many fond memories of my Maw-Maw when I think of flannel board stories. I haven't done any with Marie yet, but I plan to! Here's a printable for your flannel board Esther story.

Our school week is never complete without a coloring page or 4.

Source: via Missy on Pinterest

And finally a craft...

I'm sad we didn't get to making these. Life got in the way. I'm sure I can think of another reason to make them!

The biblical theme I chose to pull out of Esther's story is to pray, then listen and obey God. We learned about when we listen and obey God, He works all things for good. We got to learn in real life when a certain little girl did not listen and obey her momma and everything went awry!

For the slightly younger babes, there are plenty of "Q is for Queen" printables...
The Schoolhouse
Confessions of a Slacker Mom
First School name a few.

I am SO grateful to all of you out there who use your gifts of creating printables and of coming up with crafts/activities, and sharing them for free! I am a better homeschool mom because of you. Thank you.

I'm always on the lookout for themed preschool/K4 packets, so please share any you've made or know of!

Linking up HERE.

Monday, March 4, 2013


A Daddy Draft

Have you ever watched someone do something that you know is wrong and you simply wonder to yourself, "What were they thinking?" The Father who blows his whole paycheck at the bar on Friday night and gets waisted. The wife who racks up thousands of dollars of credit card debt just so she can wear clothes that are "in style." The straight "A" student who steals prescription drugs and overdoses on them. The husband who beats his wife. The woman who abandons her children. "What were they thinking?"

My story begins twenty years ago when a friend of mine introduced me to pornography. It began simply as my curiosity getting the best of me, and it morphed into an unbreakable chain that grew stronger and tighter as the years went by. I grew up in a Christian home, I have parents who love me dearly. I went to church regularly and actively participated in their events. I studied the Bible for myself, went to Bible college, and served in various ministries. I got married, i had three kids, and I worked in a Christian organization. And all the while I was dabbling in a secret sin that few knew about.  Cautiously finding time alone to serf the web and look at images and videos of people having sex and living promiscuous lives. 

You're probably saying to yourself,"What was he thinking?"

My wife knew of my battle with purity. She had caught me a few times in the past. I always assured her that I would do better. I would seek counsel from my friends and pastors and I would try to live a pure life. But I always turned back to my sin. It was so rampant that my daily struggle that nearly always ended in failure would leave me thinking, "It is impossible to be pure, this is just who I am."

On September 22, 2012, my wife discovered that not only was I still failing at living a pure life, but I was about one step away from having an actual affair. She confronted me and told me that I had to change and find help because I was destroying our family. And she asked me, "What were you thinking?"

The truth is, I didn't know what I was thinking. I didn't understand how I could love my wife and kids, and yet still look for something else to satisfy me. I immediately sought counsel from my pastor and my father-in-law. One of my biggest frustrations was that I didn't feel like I was truly remorseful over my sin. I desperately wanted to break down and cry and weep over what I had done to my God and my family. But I couldn't. In fact, I couldn't even remember the last time that I had ever cried at all.

I began praying and asking God to grant me repentance. It was something that I felt only God could give me. "God  may perhaps grant them repentance  leading to a knowledge of the truth, (2 Timothy 2:25 ESV)" On October 15, 2012, my Pastor met with me and my wife to discuss my sin and how we could move forward as a couple and as a family. He told me that I needed to have a conversation with Lindsay and tell her everything about what sin I had been involved in and how I had been hiding it from her and I needed to ask her to forgive me. He warned me that it wasn't good enough for me to simply tell her 90% of what I had been involved in, but to be completely honest in every detail not hiding anything. 

That night Lindsay and I sat in our living room and I shared with her the sin that had enslaved me for the past twenty years of my life. It was not a pleasant conversation; I was ashamed and humiliated, and Lindsay was furious that I would be involved in something so disgusting. Lindsay was so angry that she ended up turning to scripture and just started reading from the Word. I don't remember what she read, I simply remember how the Word of God pierced my heart like a two edged sword and I began to weep over the sin in my life. God had finally granted me the repentance that I had been longing for. 

Since that night I have spent most mornings reading the Word of God and clinging to Him each day. He may have granted me repentance from my sin, but their was still a lot to do to mend the relationships that I had broken with my wife, family, and friends. I began reading through Proverbs and The Lord showed me something very interesting. Many times throughout Proverbs it contrasts the wise and the foolish. "On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found, but  a rod is for the back of him who  lacks sense. (Proverbs 10:13 ESV)" It is very clear in Proverbs that those who are wise have understanding and they obey God's Word. But the fool lacks sense, and has no understanding. Proverbs repeats this idea over and over again. I was a fool. I was trapped in sin, and that sin caused me to lose my senses so that I couldn't see or understand how gross and wrong my actions were. The more I sinned, the more distorted my mind became and I was unable to understand that I was destroying my marriage and my family. 

So what do you do if someone you love and care about has lost their senses? Timothy lays out a very simple plan of action on how to help someone who has lost their senses. He says,"And  the Lord's servant  must not be quarrelsome but  kind to everyone,  able to teach, patiently enduring evil,  correcting his opponents  with gentleness. God  may perhaps grant them repentance  leading to a knowledge of the truth, (2 Timothy 2:24, 25 ESV)"

1. Do not be Quarrelsome 
     - Arguing with someone who has lost their senses is useless. Only God can give them understanding

2. Be Kind
     - It is against human nature to be kind to someone living in sin. God commands us to be kind and to love one another regardless of the sin in our lives. 

3. Able to Teach
     - We must know the Word and be prepared to speak truth into the lives of others. It is only the truth of the Word of God that can lead someone to repentance. 

4. Patiently Enduring Evil
     - This may be the most difficult step of all. What if when my wife confronted me I had not changed, but continued in my sin? The world would say,"Get a divorce and leave that pervert." But God says we ought to patiently endure evil. My wife endured my sin for 7 years before God finally granted me victory in my life. Where would I be if she had not patiently endured evil. 

5. Correcting with Gentleness
     - It is hard to be gentle when you have been wronged. Ask God for grace to show gentleness to those living in sin.

As you live your life and you observe sin in people's lives and you wonder,"What we're they thinking?" Remember that sin is powerful and it causes people to lose their senses. They can't think clearly and they need the Truth of the Word of God to give them understanding and clarity of thought. For the past four months I have been living in victory over my sin of impurity and have renewed my relationship with Christ. It is such a blessing and extremely humbling to have the privilege to be married to a woman who is not quarrelsome, but is kind, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, and willing to gently correct me when I am wrong. 

((I, Lindsay, am linking up on Multitudes on Mondays because there is nothing I am more thankful for than Christ's redeeming blood!))
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