Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Adventures in Motherhood: Little Helping Hands and Spiders

Rebekah's newest thing is handing things to me. She does it all the time. Books, balls, and dolls. Sticks, dirt, and leaves. Anything she picks up, she wants to put it in my hand. This is especially true when she gets her little fingers wrapped around something she knows she is not supposed to have. I know this is happening because I hear her little mischievous giggle and then her little feet running towards me as she holds out her fist with a look in her eyes that says "Look what I have for you, Momma!".

This morning, we were finishing up breakfast and watching the morning news on the couch in the living room, and Rebekah was handing things to me. A book. A scarp of paper she found on the floor. A book. A finger puppet in the shape of a lion from her quiet book.A book. And then she came walking up to me with her fist closed tight around something that I could not see. I asked her what she had in her little hand, she giggled, and I held out my hand for her to give it to me...and she dropped into my open hand....a slightly squished, still kind of alive, SPIDER!!

I may have yelled a little. Maybe it was more like a scream. Even typing this now, I still feel like I need to shake the spider off of my hand and its been a few hours since I was holding it. (blahhhh! yuck! spider in my hand, spider in my hand, spider in my hand!!!) But Rebekah was so proud of that little treasure she had captured found for me.

What a silly girl!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Adventures in Reading: Let's Learn About the Lord's Prayer

As a former teacher, I am constantly on the look out for resources to add to our home library. I like books that are both fun to read and have some kind of educational aspect to them. Let's Learn About the Lord's Prayer does a good job at meeting this criteria. 

The story is told by Emma, and takes readers on a play date. Emma introduces the reader to her room, her toys, her best friend, and a new prayer she is learning to say. Emma goes through the prayer line by line - which I feel is very helpful in helping children understand what the prayer is about. The book ends with the whole prayer together. 

The book is a board book that is easy to hold and the pages are easy for small fingers to turn. The suggested age for the book is 2-4 years. While some of the vocabulary may be a bit over a 2 year old's head, I think the book does a good job of teaching about the Lord's Prayer. It would be an excellent resource for a Sunday School library. 

This book is the first book in the Heart Smart Series, designed to teach children about God and make Him personal to their lives. You can learn more about the series and this book HERE

I received this book complimentary for the purpose of an honest review. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Adventures in the Kitchen: CSA weeks 16 and 17

Well, I let you in on a little project that I've been working on around here...and today I realized that I never posted last week's CSA haul! So is what we got in our last 2 boxes...

Week 16: Apples, tomatoes, garlic, Brussels sprouts, peppers, onions, pears, broccoli, yellow squash, orange squash, potatoes, raspberries, and plums. 

Week 17: Spinach, corn, acorn squash, green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, apple, onion, carrots, peppers, and a cucumber. 

I've said it before, and I will say it again, I'm not a squash girl...but I have been enjoying the challenge of preparing the squash we have been getting in our boxes. This week I think I will use our squash to try this stuffed squash recipe that I found on The Cozy Apron.

Only 3 CSA boxes left! 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Adventures in Life: I'm Power Purging!

It has been a little quiet around here because I've been working on a new project.

The 4 years I was in college and the 3 years after college, I moved at least once every year. Moving forces you to purge. If you don't want something enough to pack it and move it to a new home, you get rid of it. Done and done. But after nearly 6 years of living in our house, we have accumulated 6 years of ...stuff. Stuff we don't use. Stuff we don't need. Stuff that just takes up space and makes the house feel cluttered.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine on Facebook posted that she was going to do a 30 day challenge and she was looking for friends to join her. (I totally thrive on accountability and competition, so I was IN!)The challenge is called the 30 Day Power Purge from Hannah Help Me blog. And it is exactly what it sounds like - 30 days of purging/cleaning/organizing your home. Bit. By. Bit. Turning a project that seems overwhelming and impossible, into daily tasks that are totally doable.


So, about 12 days ago we started. Each week is a different area of the home. And each day Hannah has a video with a challenge for the day. An area to purge and de-clutter. We started in the kitchen with the refrigerator. Then the pantry. Here is my pantry before and after picture. 

Next up - the junk drawer 

And the cabinets...

Now we are moving on to the living areas of the house. Things like toys, books, movies, and the office (read papers!!! I have a problem with keeping every single paper - but I'm starting to let go

So, you get the idea, right?! 

Anyway, that is what I have been working on during nap time. (Nap time is usually when I get some blogging done.) I just wanted to share the link to Hannah's blog, in case there were any of you who may want to do some fall purging too! 

Here is the link to Day 1 of the 30 Day Power Purge. Let me know if you do it!  

Friday, September 18, 2015

Adventures in Life: Daily Devotionals

Spending time with God each day, reading the Bible and praying, has always been an area that I have struggled with. I go in spurts. Sometimes it is a few weeks on and a few days off. There have been times in my life that it has been months off. It's not because I don't want to have a little bit of quiet time in my day to spend time with God. I do! I want the quiet time. But for whatever reason, the habit has been a difficult one for me to form. 

I am a work in progress!

One tool that I have been using this year is an app on my phone called She Reads Truth. I have been doing their read through the Bible in a year study - and I've done a pretty good job of keeping up for most of the year. I started in January and at the moment I am just a few days behind - but I fully intend on catching up and finishing this year. 

Even though it will still be a while before Rebekah can read on her own, I still want to be modeling for her reading the Bible every day. We just got a great new book to help us do that! It's called Read Me A Bible Story 365. This daily devotional book starts in Genesis and goes through the Bible, ending in the book of Acts. For each of the 365 days of the year, there is a kid friendly paragraph paraphrase of several verses from the Bible.
Here is the page from Tuesday. At the top you can see the date, the verses that the story comes from, and what I call the kid friendly story that the writer, Sally Ann Wright, came up with from the verses for the day. I really appreciate that the Biblical reference is included in each day, so that we can teach Rebekah that these are not just stories that someone made up, but the word of God. 

I am really looking forward to using this book for family devotional time! 

If you would like to win a free copy of Read Me A Bible Story 365 -  There are 3 different ways you can enter (and if you do all 3 you will have your name in the drawing 3 times!)

(1) Leave a comment on this blog post telling me if you have a daily quiet time, and if you do, what does it look like?


(2) Click over to our Adventures of D and V Facebook page and like or comment on the post about Read Me A Bible Story 365


(3) Visit my Instagram page and like or comment the picture I have posted about Read Me A Bible Story 365

The winner will be selected and contacted on Monday, September 21st. 

I was provided this book for free from Tommy Nelson Publishing in exchange for sharing my opinions. My opinions on blog are all my own true thoughts.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Adventures in the Kitchen: CSA #15 and a new cook book!

I can't remember if I told you that our CSA box is coming from an Amish farm. Did I? Well, it is. Sometime I think the Amish way of life is something to be desired. Simple. Slower paced. Family oriented. Everyone working together...And then I think about having to use an outhouse in the winter...and or not being able to Skype my family....Anyway, I digress. Here is our CSA box from last week (I know, I'm behind. I'm going to try to do better this week!)

Beets, peppers, potatoes, onion, apples, garlic, cucumbers, carrots, green beans, cabbage, yellow squash, and a spaghetti squash. 

So I have to be honest, I'm not a big fan of squash. But I feel like we are going to be getting a few more in the last 5 boxes of the summer. So I'm going to make a go of it. For most of the summer I have been finding recipes on Pinterest. I found this one for the spaghetti squash 

Recently I received a new cookbook from Litfuse to review and I have been loving the recipes in it! 

Amish fruits and veggies + Amish recipes and stories = yum and interesting! 

I have gotten to try a few recipes with the fresh fruits and veggies of the end of summer, but I have quite a few more on my list to try. One thing I really like about the recipes included in the book are that they mostly use staple pantry ingredients. I can pick almost any recipe and have all of the ingredients on hand. No crazy shopping lists or jars of something that you just need a teaspoon of and then have nothing to do with the rest of it. The book had 10 different categories of recipes. Everything from breakfast, to salads, meat, and pies. And on many of the pages there are short stories by Leid and other Amish contributors explaining their personal connections to the recipe. I really enjoy the short stories, because many of my special memories in life have recipes or foods attached to them. And when I cook that recipe, the memory gets a little sweeter. 

Do you have any recipes that bring back special memories when you make or eat them? 


I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my review of it.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Adventures in the Kitchen: CSA Week 13 and 14

Well, you get 2 weeks in one post this time for the CSA updates...I forgot to hit publish last week and so you never got to see what was in week 13's box. Here it is!

Week 13: Cucumber, yellow squash, broccoli, onion, garlic, jalapeno peppers, bell peppers, pears, peaches, tomatoes, carrots, green beans, and potatoes. Oh, and a melon!  
Week 14: Peppers, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, brussels sprouts, green beans, a huge watermelon, and sweet corn. 

We have been LOVING the sweet corn, but it has been just a little much for us to eat in a week, so I decided to cut, cook, and freeze some corn. I followed my Aunt Julee's recipe. First, I cut sweet corn from cob with an electric knife. I ended up with about 8 cups of corn. Put it in a big pot and added 6 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 cup of water. Then I brought it to a boil and boiled for 5 min. Spread on jelly roll pan to cool and put in freezer bags and freeze. 

Here is the yummy corn cooling!

This week I'm going to be on the look out for brussels sprout recipes. Not a normal purchase for us, but we do enjoy them. I'm thinking of trying this Balsamic Bacon Brussels Sprout recipe I found on The Joy Parade blog. 

Because, let's be honest, everything is better with bacon! 
Any other brussels sprout recipes I should try?