10.22.2014

GIVEAWAY: MEGA BLOKS FAST TRACKS RACEWAY

I have a great giveaway for you today- the girls have had a blast playing with this! We love Mega Bloks inside, outside and in the tub/shower! Enter to win- such a great gift for Christmas!

JOIN THE MEGA BLOKS FAST TRACKS RACING TEAM!
One (1) winner receives the First Builders™ Fast Tracks™ Raceway
Prizing & samples courtesy of Mega Bloks. Giveaway open to US addresses only







ABOUT THE FAST TRACKS™ RACEWAY
Drivers, start your engines! Gear up and get ready for some high-speed adventures with the Fast Tracks Racing Team by Mega Bloks First Builders. Your little race car driver can build with the tracks and blocks and mix and match the race cars for endless play. Use the colorful stickers to create even more imaginary fun. Watch as they screech and vroom through the raceways, and the fans in the stands cheer them on! Who will be in the lead, as the checkered flag is waved?

Ideal for ages 1 to 5.

Features:
         Two mix-and-match buildable cars for lots of raceway fun!
         50 pieces, including new easy-to-build tracks and three building plates
         Fun sticker sheet to customize your little racer’s blocks and cars!
         Compatible with all Mega Bloks First Builders sets for endless building possibilities and family fun


a Rafflecopter giveaway

9.07.2014

Potty Training Boot Camp!


Well, I have successfully finished potty training child #3...what a relief! I thought I would jot down my notes before I forget. I very LOSELY used the The 3 Day Potty Training Method, (HERE is the book) although (of course) I modified it to not be SO hard core..and it has worked for me every time. I might say that there isn't much of that method that I really stick to- I just want to give them credit for the shell of my plan!
Here is what I did:
NOTE: Of course, every child is different- this is what worked for 3 of my very opposite girls. I will say, none of them were "ready" when I potty trained them!

PREPARE: 
1. Download a fun potty App- we used "Potty Time with Elmo" and Milly loved it. There are also a lot of fun YouTube videos for potty training- Milly is obsessed with the Pull Ups Potty Dance.
2. Get lots of drinks and snacks- Fiber rich foods or foods that make them need to poop are really helpful (raisins, natural fruit snacks, I added flax to a lot of smoothies, apple juice, fun juices in fun boxes that they usually don't get, probiotic smoothie drinks, chocolate milk, donuts, etc..) The point is that they need to have lots of opportunities to use the potty. Have one extra special treat for when they putty successfully- candy, fruit loops, etc..
3. Buy some new exciting underwear
4. Purchase one box of Pull Ups 
5. Purchase Moist Flushable Wipes - this is not required, just helpful (especially with girls)
6. A little stool at the potty is helpful- I do not use potty seats, just train on the toilet you want them to use- I don't really understand why we would train on the little potty seat and then train again on the big potty- just do the big one and be done. (you will not find the potty seat in public- so just go big! That being said-it is nice to have a potty seat in the back of the car for girls in emergencies (from what I understand, boys can find a tree) just grab a used one or one from a friend in case of emergencies. You might use this for a week- so don't spend a lot of $$ on it.
7. Block out your schedule- I am serious, do not leave the house for 3 days. It is nice to have someone else with you- or at least to send your other kids out and about so you can focus.
8. Have beach towels and clean up rags ready. (if you use Clorox wipes, have some on hand- I used Norwex cloths)
9. Finally, have a bottle of wine on hand- if you like wine! It is a LONG 3 days!

THE BIG DAY:
1. The night before set it up- tell the child- "Tomorrow is Potty day!!!" Yea!! Get other people to be excited for them also- call grandma or an aunt or friends- let them hype it up!
2. Have all of the above ready when they wake up in the morning.
3. When they wake up- have them throw away their diaper. Tell them that they will no longer need a baby diaper. (the 3 day method says to have them throw away all of the diapers, I think this is a little extreme, just bag them up and give them to a friend who needs them) It is helpful to get the diapers out of the house- that way you don't give up in a moment of weakness.
4. Let the child pick out the underwear they want to wear and make a big deal of it.
5. Take them to the designated area for the "potty party" (preferably this location would not have carpet or material- wood or tile floors and plastic chairs are best for clean up). I set up a few towels with a plastic kid chair in our kitchen with my computer for movies and picnic style activities (painting nails, coloring, iPad, snacks, movies..anything to get them to stay put)
6. Pump them full of drinks and snacks so they will need to potty a lot- ask them "do you need to go potty" and "are your panties dry" a lot- just so they are aware that you want them to be dry.
7. The 3 Day Potty Training method says to wait until they start to potty to run them to the potty. I have them sit on the potty every 20 minutes or so- that way they will have early successes. Chances are you will do a little of both the first few days. They will have an accident and you will run them to the potty and tell them "this is where we potty- good job!!"  The real key is to STAY HOME and continue to run them to the potty.
8. My #2 and #3 did not have a successful toilet potty until day 3- DAY 3!! I thought it was hopeless, but then it clicked and they never looked back. One week after starting to potty train Milly she was sleeping in panties and out and about with little to no accidents.
9. Pooping takes a little longer, it just doesn't happen as often. It takes time for them to get it, just be patient and continue to encourage them to try on the potty. This is where the App comes in handy, they can sit and try with a game and not notice that they are trying.
10. Napping and sleeping- the 3 Day Potty Training Method says no pull ups- I say have them wear "nighttime panties" to nap and bed. I am not trying to change sheets every day. I had my #1 & #2 wear panties and put the pull up over them. This way they could still feel the nasty wet panties, but no mess. I also had them wear a pull up when we went out for an extended period of time. They understood we still needed to use the potty. I told them "I want these panties to be dry also, it is not a baby diaper". Milly on the other hand (child #3) refused to wear pull ups, she put panties on and never looked back (after 4 long days of training). She sleeps and naps in big girl panties and does great.
11. I remember thinking with all three of them- "are they ever going to poop?" This process just takes longer in my experience. Eventually they get it- be patient.
12. I find it easiest with the child just wearing panties, no need for clothes on these days- if anything a t-shirt, but try to make it easy for them to run, pull down the panties and go!
13. Finally, when you put them to bed at night, take a deep breath, have a glass of wine, unwind and know that tomorrow is a new day. Do not be discouraged by lack of success on the potty- just remember it is 3-4 days of your life and they will get it- don't lose hope! Stay positive, stay calm..don't freak when they have accidents- they will get it!

NOTES:
1. Everyone and I mean EVERYONE, will tell you "maybe he/she's not ready" several times. You will begin to doubt yourself and the timing. You will want to quit. DO NOT. Once you start, do not stop. You have to do this at some point, if mom is ready...do it. The 3 Day Potty Training Method says you can do it any time after 22-months and I agree. It might take 1 day, it might take 5 but they will get it. Like I said, not one of my girls was "ready" based on the articles you read about potty training readiness.
2. Try to have some fun, your child will feel it if you are stressed- just clean up the mess and move on- they will get it- THEY WILL GET IT!
3. Stay home, stay home, stay home. At least for 3 days- seriously, do not run around town with a potty training child- it does not set them up for success.
4. Finally, if you have a friend or relative who is potty training here are some things to do for them that will bless their socks off: 1) encourage them- no negative talk!! 2) encourage the child- celebrate when they potty, call them on the phone to check on their success 3) take them wine and food 4) take their other kids 5) take a 1 hour potty training shift- let them have an hour to let off steam while you run the kid to and from the potty. I bet the child will love the new helper also.


That is it, I am not going to lie, potty training is BRUTAL. Seriously, one of my least favorite milestones, but it has to be done and it is over before you know it! Go Mom!!!

9.01.2014

10 Current Delights!

I have been MIA for a while, life is fun how it takes twists and turns and we never know what the next season will bring! God is adventurous like that, never boring, always exciting..His mercies are new every morning and His grace is abounding! Since I am in a total rut, and by "rut" I mean- running around crazy without a moment to spare- I thought I would check in with a little update of some things that I think are Delightful right now...i.e. give you a little update!

1. What I'm doing: In June, I started working at our church part time. (www.visitgracechurch.com if you are in the KC area come visit!!) I am dipping my toe back into planning events and feel so blessed to have the opportunity to plan them for the church. Both of my passions colliding. Of course, it comes with sacrifice (my house, my family, my friends..all getting a little less) and I feel like I am wearing 20 hats, but I blessed to have the opportunity.

2. What is challenging me: Potty Training (enough said) there is no other toddler activity or phase that I dread more. I, frankly, like diapers- no matter where we are they can potty without me dragging them into a nasty public restroom! I seriously "h word" the whole process! But..we are doing it, we are all in! (and by "we" I mean "I"!)

3. What I'm excited about: I host a Bible Study (we call it "Wine and the Word") with the most darling girls and we are getting ready for "Children of the Day" Beth Moore's brand new study on 1&2 Thessalonians. I cannot tell you how excited I am to get back into a study!

4. What I'm wearing: 
+ These are my absolute favorite jeans right now, I am obsessed!
+ Laura Mercier released the fall caviar stick colors and I am in love with Copper. (thanks to Christina for this very expensive obsession)
+ I am in LOVE with RMS "Un" Cover UP and Lip2Cheek (totally organic and natural- JCrew models use this brand)

5. What the girls are wearing: Of course I love Crewcuts for kids but I am a big fan of Zara Kids right now- LOVE!

6. What I'm cooking: My godmother, Marsha, introduced me to Cindy's Kitchen Marinade/Dressing (I get it at Whole Foods) and I have been putting organic chicken breasts (from Costco of course) in the slow cooker for 5-6 hours with Cindy's Kitchen Fresh Avocado Vinaigrette- literally just pour a bottle over several chicken breasts and leave it for 6 hours then shred them with a fork and it is so yummy and can be used for SO many dishes. Really simple, which is necessary these days!

7. What I am now an expert on: Lice, that is right, I can spot a "nit" from a mile away! The first week of school our whole crew (minus Dave of course) had FREAKIN' LICE! I have never had lice in my whole life and it spread through our long, curly headed crew in no time. I am not kidding, it is the worst. I had to sit with the girls for HOURS picking those nasty little tiny things out- not to mention laundry, vacuuming, etc..we finally went to a "lice treatment" place and paid a small fortune for them to treat all of us. I did however learn a few things- 1)we use Tea Tree shampoo and conditioner every day (Trader Joes has a good one) 2) I would not use "Rit" or the other poison they sell at Wallgreens, I would go straight to the removal place 3) there are really great natural products- but nothing kills the nits- you have to remove them strand-by-strand 4)This Nit comb is the best- even if you don't have lice, you can comb through hair when kids have been at school or somewhere with a lot of kids and cloth. I pray with my whole heart we never get that again!

8. What I'm reading: I have been reading "Releasing the Ability of God through Prayer" by Charles Capps- it is fascinating, making me really think about my prayers and being aware of the words that I speak.

9. What I'm listening to: Holy Cow, I am loving Steffany Gretzinger, The Undoing. It is such precious worship with the Lord. I also love and have way over played Bethel Music, You make me Brave (Live) - "It is Well" just gets me!

10. What is rocking my world:
Wunderlist: It is the best App- I am a "list maker" and this lets me categorize my to-do lists and then check them off when I am done- so great for grocery shopping, when you grab an item it takes it off the list! AND..you can share tasks with friends or uhhum husbands!
+ Amazing Meal Powder: I make a morning shake with 1 scoop of this, 1 banana, almond milk (unsweet) and 1/2t Matcha Green Tea (see next)- I feel great and have lost some weight- I love that it isn't soy or whey but plant based protein! There are fun flavors but I like plain.
+ Matcha Green Tea Powder: My Brother and SIL introduced me to this- it is awesome for you. It is a bit pricy but lasts forever!

That is the scoop! I do actually have another post I have been working on- so it won't be another 4 months before I post! Happy September!

6.24.2014

Healthy Protein Balls- Perfected!!!

I have been trying to perfect my "Protein Balls" for quite some time! I used to add all of these ingredients whole and freeze them, however, they were always a little chunky to eat and my girls didn't love them. We have a darling little juice bar in town and they make the most perfect PB's so I have been trying to recreate them for myself. AND...success! Here is the scoop:

{I start with the following: Decadent Blend (chia, flax, coconut, cocoa), Unsalted Raw Walnuts and Almonds, and Oats- I put these in my food processor and blend until it is really fine-almost solid. Then I take that blend and add some honey and NATURAL Peanut butter (the only ingredient should be peanuts and salt- but if you can find one with just peanuts, get that. Trader Joes has a good unsalted PB) I mix it with my hands until it feels moldable. I then take my small ice cream scoop and dip it out like cookies on a tray. Finally, I add a unsweet cocoa chip on the top and keep them in the fridge. They are seriously AMAZING- the girls love them too! (optional ingredients: protein powder, coconut oil, coconut, other nuts, almond butter, etc..)}

{This is the result - I am telling you- they are so good and they really fill you up in a pinch. They also help with that 4pm sweet fix!}

6.08.2014

Driveway Fun!

We love playing outside as much as possible. When we are not at the pool we are usually on our driveway and we are usually on our driveway with tons of kids! We live at the end of a cul-de-sac- so all of the kids end up at our house- which we LOVE! Here are 10 ideas for outdoor fun this summer! 


{#1: The water table is a great way to contain the mess! We like to fill it with bubbles- I use all natural dish soap so that they can cover themselves with it and I won't care- they find SO many things to do with the soap!}

{#2: We also use the water table for painting- we have a bunch of rocks or sea shells and they go to town with washable paint. When they are done- just add soap for bubbles and everyone gets clean! (see #1) We like THIS PAINT}

{#3: We love Sidewalk chalk- we do a lot of sidewalk painting with a cup of water and a paint brush. They draw their picture with chalk and then "paint" over it with water and it makes the colors so bright and it lasts a lot longer.}


#4: Driveway Games: Hangman, Tic-tac-toe, hopscotch, 4-Square- all you need is sidewalk chalk, a rock and a ball in the case of 4-Square
#5: The girls are obsessed with the Plasma Car- they go to the top of the hill and ride it down full speed- all ages love this!
#6: My girls love THIS bubble machine- we have tried several and this is the only one that hasn't broken on the first few uses (bonus is it dances and plays music). It it so much fun to have bubbles flying everywhere.
#7: Water Guns..of course! We fill up a blow up pool and the kids can refill the guns and have tons of wet fun! (I have 10-15 water guns in my garage just in case we need to have water gun battle at any time!)
#8: There is an area of the yard where they can take shovels and dig away in the dirt- they find bugs and worms and explore!
#9: Speaking of Bugs! We have bug houses, bug "suckers", bug tools... you name it- we are ready to study bugs at any time!
#10: Slip and slide- fun no matter how old or young- don't forget the baby oil to lube it up!


5.22.2014

Vegetable of the Week Club !

We have a summer plan for learning to like Veggies around here! I have a "food philosophy" (and I seem to be the only one in our home who finds this life altering!) it is this... "You have two choices when eating food- you can eat to fill your stomach or eat to nourish your body". In the end you are feeling full either way, but when you eat for nourishment it effects so many more aspects of your life! In a "Sunday School Mom Moment" I even relate this theory to TV and Music- you can watch TV and listen to music that fills your head with "stuff" or you can nourish your mind with truth, hope, knowledge, worship, etc.. ANYWAY...I am on a mission to get this crew to love veggies (and worship obviously!) so we are starting the "Vegetable of the Week Club"- here is the scoop:

Vegetable of the Week Club!

+ Membership to this "club" is included with room and board and is not optional!
+ On Sundays, we will venture to the store or Farmers Market and pick out enough veggies for the week (if they can last that long)- Just one kind of veggie for the week (with as many variations as possible of that veggie)
+ We will start with 12 Weeks- see our list below
+ We will prepare our "Veggie of the week" differently every day- (raw, cooked, with dressing, peanut butter, butter, cinnamon, cheese, hummus, blended in a soup...different every day)
+ On day 6 we will vote for our favorite preparation and "enjoy" that for the final day!
+ We are trying to grow several of the veggies in our garden- we are new at this- but hopefully that will help our excitement!
+ The ENTIRE family has to be on board (and by this I mean, DAD has to be excited about it!)
+ Let the kids come up with ideas for how to prepare the veggies- if they dip them in icing one day...fine. The point is, veggies are exciting!

This is our veggie schedule- obviously pick what works for your family. I am starting with veggies we like and working from there!
Week 1: Carrots
Week 2: Asparagus
Week 3: Broccoli
Week 4: Avocado
Week 5: Beets
Week 6: Cucumber
Week 7: Tomato
Week 8: Spinach
Week 9: Peppers
Week 10: Radish
Week 11: Potato/Sweet Potato
Week 12: Kale

I would like to continue this, but for now I have a 12 week goal!

4.28.2014

New Music: You Make Me Brave

I wanted to share this new album with you- I am loving it and hope you do too!

 {You Make Me Brave by Bethel Music is FANTASTIC worship! If you have not listened to any of their music, I suggest purchasing all of their albums! Go to this LINK and watch the videos}


{This is my favorite song "We Dance"- listen and crank it up!}

4.24.2014

The Best Nail Polish!!

I am so excited to share this product with you all! First, I want to make clear that no one asked me to try this product- I simply went in to Beauty Brands desperate for a product that would help my manicures last longer and found it! I really like to have my nails painted..at all times... however, I have been fed up with them chipping every 2 days and looking horrible. Even when I have them professionally done, they chip in 2 days. I also do not like gels for the simple fact that you have to go back in and have them done, and lets face it, I am not in a spot where I can have a standing mani appointment! Anyway, I went in to Beauty Brands and decided to try CND Vinylux. It claims to last 7 days with no special light needed. I have heard that people love it, but I sort of expected it to be all hype! Let me tell you girls...it is amazing! It lasts without chipping (I would say 5 days for me, which is a miracle- I am so rough on my nails), it comes off easily, it dries perfectly (in about 8 minutes), the colors are awesome, it is super easy...I cannot tell you how excited I am about it (I know, first world excitement). {note, these are around $9 at Beauty Brands (same as OPI) however they around $6-7 on Amazon}
This is how I prep my nails:
1. Remove polish (even if you are not wearing any, wipe with Nail polish remover)
2. Shape nails as needed (with clippers or a file)
3. Push Back cuticles- I use CND Cuticle Remover with a Cuticle Pusher (wash after)
4. Use a buffer block on all of the nails- wash hands really well
5. Use the CND Scrub Fresh (this little bottle will last forever)
6. Paint on Color- 2 coats
7. Paint on 1 layer of the CND Vinylux Top Coat
8. Let dry for 8 minutes and you are good to go for the week!

Here are my favorite colors so far: (but seriously, there are so many awesome options)
+ Studio White
+ Cake Pop
+ Tropix




{Here are my nails after 5 very busy days}

4.16.2014

Baby Shower Recap!

We hosted a baby shower for a dear friend last weekend and I thought I would share it with you! My favorite part to plan is the food/drinks of course! Here is the scoop: (her colors are coral, navy and white)
{Here is the table- Table Cloth: HERE, Tissue Pom Pom: HERE- my girl Christina helped me with the set up- those tissue poms are a serious challenge- but cute!}

{Another glance at the food- recipes to come. White Hydrangeas are my absolute favorite!}

{I love a good mimosa bar! This was my first time trying Blueberry juice- I will ditch that idea next time- but Mango and Orange are a must!}

{I have seen this a million times on Pinterest- the veggie cups added fun color to the table! I might use this idea for every occasion!}

{We did parfait cups in stemless martini glasses- I like Vanilla Greek Yogurt from Trader Joes, and Bare Naked fit Granola (vanilla almond crunch) is the best!}

{I just love fresh flowers! Christina ordered the darling cookies- they were delightful!}

{Drink Station}

{Christina and our other co-host Nikki did these favors- they were darling!}

{ok- those Blueberry Oat Bars are my new favorite things! We LOVE the Starbucks Blueberry Oat Bars and they stopped selling them. So I googled the recipe and found one that was perfect (well, I did add more blueberries and oats) HERE is the link}

{One of my favorite things we do in our hometown is the "group gift"- everyone sends in $30-$35 and we get to give the mom-to-be one of her large items. We got to give Liza her Pack n'play and some people brought gifts as well. We also brought her books instead of cards- love that!}

Here is my menu: (click for recipe link)
> Yogurt Parfaits ("recipe" above)
> Veggie Cups (ranch at the bottom- nothing fancy there)
> Sausage Egg Casserole (from my friend Lisa- seriously the best!)

Lisa's Sausage Egg Casserole
8 slices white bread cubed and decrusted
2 1/2 cup Monterrey Jack Cheese, Grated  (sometimes use the monterrey jack and cheddar mix)
1 pound Regular Sausage
1/2 pound Hot Sausage   
9 eggs
1 4 oz chopped green chilies
1 1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt

-Brown and drain sausage.  Set aside
-Grease 9X13  pyrex dish
-Line with Bread cubes
-Sprinkle 2 cups grated cheese and green chilies
-Add sausage on top
-Mix eggs, milk and spices- Pour over mixture.  
-Add remaining cheese on top.  
Cover and refrigerate overnight

Bake 1 hour at 350

{Finally, the activities! We had everyone write a note on a diaper for the parents to read while changing those late night diapers}


{We also did a questionnaire for the mom and dad-to-be and everyone had to guess who said which answer (I stole this idea from my friend Amy)- the answers were awesome and it was a fun activity! (please excuse the horrible photo!)}


3.29.2014

BOOK GIVEAWAY: THE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH

I have a darling giveaway for you guys- this book is so fun and the illustration is darling! We have been loving it- Here is the scoop:

by Mo Willems
In stores April 1, 2014

Here is the Prize:
Get to know Pigeon!
One (1) winner receives: The Pigeon Needs a Bath! and “It’s a Busload of Pigeon Books!” collection
<Prizing courtesy of Disney Publishing Giveaway open to US addresses only>


{Here is the Video Trailer}


Visit the Official Site
Follow @The_Pigeon on Twitter

About the Book & SeriesThe Pigeon really needs a bath! Except, the Pigeon's not so sure about that. Besides, he took a bath last month! Maybe. It's going to take some serious convincing to try and get the Pigeon to take the plunge.

First in the series, Don’t Let Pigeon Drive the Bus celebrates its 10th birthday this year! Over the last  decade, The Pigeon books have sold millions of copies and enchanted young readers. The books have received numerous starred reviews, have appeared on many "best of" lists, and have even been inducted into the Indies Choice Picture Book Hall of Fame.

About the Author
Mo Willems, a number one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, has been awarded a Caldecott Honor on three occasions (for Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity). Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! was also an inaugural inductee into the Indies Choice Picture Book Hall of Fame. And his celebrated Elephant & Piggie early-reader series has been awarded the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal on two occasions (for There Is a Bird on Your Head! and Are You Ready to Play Outside?) as well as three Honors (for We Are in a Book!I Broke My Trunk!, and Let's Go for a Drive!). Other favorites include Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed and City Dog, Country Frog, illustrated by Jon J Muth. Mo lives in Massachusetts with his family.


3.05.2014

LENT: BIBLE READING PLAN

I am starting this Bible Reading plan from BibleGateway.com (see below) for Lent- Bible Gateway is my go-to search site for Scripture. I am going to read the daily Lent/Easter devotionals with the girls each day (see #2 Below).

There are several awesome resources on BibleGateway.com for you to check out:
1) You can sign up for daily emails for reading through the old or new testament- or both: LINK HERE
2) Sign up for Lent/Easter Devotionals HERE (I am so excited to start this!)
3) This is a great article of ideas of how to Observe Lent
4) They have a great Blog with awesome articles: Bible Gateway Blog
5) Finally- check out the FREE App- you can listen to the Bible, see a reading plan, take notes, etc.. so great!



Lent Bible Reading Plan (40 days) from BibleGateway.com

DayToday's Scripture Reading
Day 1Matthew 1-3
Day 2Matthew 4-6
Day 3Matthew 7-9
Day 4Matthew 10-Matthew 12
Day 5Take a Break
Day 6Matthew 13-Matthew 14
Day 7Matthew 15-Matthew 16
Day 8Matthew 17-Matthew 18
Day 9Matthew 19-Matthew 20
Day 10Matthew 21-Matthew 22
Day 11Matthew 23-Matthew 24
Day 12Take a Break
Day 13Matthew 25-Matthew 26
Day 14Matthew 27-Matthew 28
Day 15Mark 1-Mark 3
Day 16Mark 4-Mark 6
Day 17Mark 7-Mark 9
Day 18Mark 10-Mark 12
Day 19Take a Break
Day 20Mark 13-Mark 14
Day 21Mark 15-Mark 16
Day 22Luke 1-Luke 3
Day 23Luke 4-Luke 6
Day 24Luke 7-Luke 9
Day 25Luke 10-Luke 12
Day 26Take a Break
Day 27Luke 13-Luke 14
Day 28Luke 15-Luke 16
Day 29Luke 17-Luke 18
Day 30Luke 19-Luke 20
Day 31Luke 21-Luke 22
Day 32Luke 23-Luke 24
Day 33Take a Break
Day 34John 1-John 2
Day 35John 3-John 4
Day 36John 5-John 6
Day 37John 7-John 8
Day 38John 9-John 10
Day 39John 11-John 12
Day 40Take a Break
Day 41John 13-John 14
Day 42John 15-John 16
Day 43John 17-John 18
Day 44John 19-John 20
Day 45John 21
Day 461 Corinthians 15
Day 47It's Easter!
The reading plan is graciously made available by the Central Presbyterian Church of Baltimore.

3.04.2014

LENT 2014

It is that time, tomorrow (3/5/14) marks the first day of Lent. As previously discussed, I am a non-denominational follower of Jesus Christ and I am not "required" to give anything up for Lent according to the Bible or my church. I believe that when Christ died for me, it was a free gift of grace and I can in no way earn this gift. (Ephesians 2:8-9  "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast."What I can do, is take this opportunity to give something up to remind myself of the sacrifice Christ made for me. While it is in NO WAY on the same level as God's sacrifice, it is a great way to prepare my mind and heart for the Easter season ahead. You may remember 2 years ago I gave up Social Media (POST HERE)- that was an AWESOME reminder and such freedom to hit the restart button on being so "plugged in". Last Year I gave up shopping (POST HERE) that was a good reminder as well.
I always try to give something up that is a) a constant "temptation" so that I am constantly reminded (i.e. it always "hurts" a bit!) b) not totally selfish (i.e. something that will help me loose weight and be ready for swimsuit season :) and c) something that will witness to my girls that no matter what we love in this life, nothing is so important to us that we can't make a sacrifice for the Lord- with a JOYFUL heart! My goal is this, I am not going to be whining around about this sacrifice- I am going to joyfully give the attention to God, he deserves it ALL of the time! (If you find me crying around, please feel free to firmly remind me of the Joyful Heart part...)
SO....are you ready for it??? Let me begin by saying, this would not be a sacrifice for everyone. Some people will probably not understand this at all- but for those of you who know me...you will know...it is huge!!! DRUMMMMROLLLLLL.....Coffee! Oh my goodness sakes, I am giving up Coffee for 6 weeks! Not a lick of it. It almost makes my heart hurt just thinking about it. I love coffee at breakfast time, I love coffee iced, I love coffee with Baileys,  I love coffee with cream, I love coffee black, I love coffee lukewarm, I love coffee with lunch, I love coffee on a cold day, I love coffee on a hot day, I love coffee in my martini, I love coffee ice cream, I love chocolate covered coffee beans, I love coffee after dinner, I love coffee in my bed, in my car, at my desk, on my couch, at a restaurant, at the mall, while walking, sitting, standing, laying....I love coffee anywhere, anytime, anyplace....but I love Jesus more...and I am excited to remind myself of the amazing gift He gave me on the cross and the unending eternal hope He gave me when that tomb was empty! 

So what about you- are you giving anything up? I would love to hear your ideas! 


HERE are some past Easter posts.

And make sure to follow my Easter Pinterest board- I am on the hunt for fun Easter ideas! 
HAPPY EASTER! 
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