I resent home organization tips.
Maybe that’s putting it a bit strongly.
But something deep within me rises up in revolt when someone tells me how often I must change my towels, what time of day I must get up, and which combination of never-ending tasks I simply must accomplish on a daily basis in order to be a proficient homemaker.
Paleo Impossible Pie is one of my favorite simple meals to make. With countless varieties and possible combinations, this one-pan dish is a great way to easily get your veggies in without having to prepare them as a separate side dish.
I grew up loving my mom’s Bisquick™ Impossible Hamburger Pie (or broccoli or cauliflower…you get the idea). This frittata is very similar in taste, but is grain free, gluten free, and dairy free—which makes it perfect for a Whole30 or Paleo diet!
Hamburger, sweet potato (or potato), and broccoli is the combination that wins the day around here. The balance of starchy and leafy green vegetables alongside the protein makes it an amazing all-in-one meal that keeps me full and nourished throughout the day. Plus, it tastes great. 🙂
Being a woman and a mother forces me to come to terms with the ever-changing seasons and constantly turning cycles of “normal” life.
When my first child was born, my mom said to me, “Remember—babies change so fast. If it starts to get overwhelming and you can’t imagine doing this indefinitely, just wait two weeks and, most likely, you and your baby will be in a new phase.”
Now, that’s true and it’s not. My second daughter didn’t sleep well as an infant and she didn’t sleep well for 18 months. I get that there certainly are phases that last waaaaay longer than two weeks.
But the mindset and the attitude of those words really helped me transition into life as a mother. Some things change predictably, while others are more erratic, but nonetheless, every stage of life is temporary and transitory.
Everything rests on the new life—the new reality—established Easter morning. All prior history is looking toward it; everything after is lived in light of it.
It isn’t just a happy ending. It isn’t just a grand miracle. It’s confirmation of a type of life that people only dreamed about before.
Crispy ham, browned bits of potato with sweet onions and tender brussels sprouts.
This was my favorite meal as a kid (well, minus the sprouts!). My grandma and mom both made this and it was so delicious. I’m still envious of the way they can get everything perfectly browned and get all of those fabulous little blackened bits on the bottom.
One of the best things about this is that, even though it’s a childhood favorite, it’s a healthy grain-free meal that I can enjoy today.
Easter bonnets are the perfect way to add some fun and a little fancy into a girl’s Easter Day celebration. If you can’t be go all out for Easter, when can you?
Honestly, I’ve always been a little concerned in the past about distracting from the focus of important religious holidays by celebrating in fun, but essentially unrelated, ways. Since having kids, though, I’ve come to realize that it’s important to let them be joyful, silly, excited little children.
If Easter really is the pinnacle holiday of our Christian faith, shouldn’t it be a high point for my children, too? Why would I want to make Halloween or Valentine’s Day more exciting than Easter? The high points of the Christian year are especially the times that I want to create fun ways for my children to celebrate. I want them to look forward to important holidays and have special traditions that they associate with them.
My Sundays aren’t always restful. Often, the only thing distinct about Sunday is the extra work of getting the family out the door to church, calming a fussy baby who is missing her nap, and then frantically trying to serve some lunch before anyone turns into a grumpy, overly-hungry pile of goo.
Can anyone else relate to this?
So, what is Sunday supposed to look like for a Christian? Should it be a Sabbath day of rest, like is described in the Old Testament? Should I do no work? Or is it just the same as any other day and Christians should treat their whole week the same way?
“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Look, I have specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft!
‘And I have personally appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to be his assistant. Moreover, I have given special skill to all the gifted craftsmen so they can make all the things I have commanded you to make…'”
Exodus 31:1-6 NLT
“When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. ‘Come on,’ they said, ‘make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.’
So Aaron said, ‘Take the gold rings from the ears of your wives and sons and daughters, and bring them to me.’
All the people took the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron. Then Aaron took the gold, melted it down, and molded it into the shape of a calf. When the people saw it, they exclaimed, ‘O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!’
Aaron saw how excited the people were, so he built an altar in front of the calf. Then he announced, ‘Tomorrow will be a festival to the LORD!’
The people got up early the next morning to sacrifice burnt offerings and peace offerings. After this, they celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.”
Exodus 32:1-6 NLT*
Reading through Exodus, particularly these passages, I’ve been struck by God’s foresight and creativity, as well as the common inclination of God’s people to grow impatient and insecure while waiting on God’s timing.
So, I’ve waited a few months between when I first told you about my adventure with chalk and milk paints and revealing the finished product. I wanted to see how the paint held up (under daily use) before I gave you my final thoughts. Some people just throw something together and then feel comfortable telling everyone “This is awesome! Do it, too!” I’m always a little skeptical unless they’ve lived with it for a good long while.
I didn’t grow up in a church that did much to celebrate Lent. We had Ash Wednesday services, but there wasn’t much to mark the rest of the season leading up to Easter as any different than any other time of year. (At least to my memory. I’m sure there were members of my church congregation who did more.)
As I’ve grown older, I’ve discovered how much I love following along with the church calendar. It’s a way of ordering my time and seasons around remembering and celebrating our faith.
With this is mind, I wanted to begin some traditions of Lenten activities with my children to mark the season. We took Peanut and Pip to the Ash Wednesday service; who knows what they actually took in, but that’s something that’s in their memory bank now, at least. (And we managed to keep most of their squeals of delight and out-of-place comments to a dull roar…)
But I wanted something to sustain an interest, a conversation, and an anticipation through the next weeks until Easter.
Enter good ole Pinterest. 😉
I scoped out clever kid-friendly Lenten traditions on Pinterest, and these are the two I settled upon because a) they weren’t too involved or complicated and b) they seemed age appropriate for my three and one-year-old children. There are many other great ideas out there, and I hope we can incorporate them into our family’s observance of Lent at some point, but not until my kids are older.