Fried Ham and Potatoes with Brussels Sprouts

Crispy ham, browned bits of potato with sweet onions and tender brussels sprouts. This is my favorite healthy comfort food meal! grain free, dairy free, gluten free, whole30Crispy ham, browned bits of potato with sweet onions and tender brussels sprouts.

Uh—yum!!!

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

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.

Easter bonnets are the perfect way to add some fun and a little fancy into the Easter celebration of a girl in your life.

5 Ideas for Sabbath Rest

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?

Waiting on God’s Timing

“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*

Learning from the Israelites reaction to waiting for Moses to return from Mount Sinai in Exodus, we're reminded that God can and will provide a way for us to glorify Him, but we must trust and wait sometimes. (Christian motherhood, marriage, life)

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.

Milk + Chalk, Part 2: Final Product and Review

Details of furniture refinishing project using a combination of chalk and milk paints (final thoughts and review).

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.

Lenten Activities for Kids

Observe Lent with preschool and toddler aged kids using the easy and inexpensive activities of a prayer chain and kindness jar.

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.

Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath

Decorating at this time of year is always hard for me. I’m tired of wintry looking things. Despite some recent warm temperatures bringing out a few early snowdrop blossoms, the full release of winter’s grip still seems a long way off here in upstate New York. I’m waiting for winter’s one-last-gasp blizzard before I set my sights on spring.

Nevertheless, I’m ready for something new and fun around my house. Something bright and colorful, but not flowery; wintry, but not dark and cold and harsh.

I decided a yarn pom-pom wreath was just right to add a little something to my winter decor, while still keeping it seasonally appropriate. So, it’s an “Early Spring Wreath”—that sounds so much more hopeful than a “Late Winter Wreath,” don’t you think?
Here's a DIY, no-sew craft for a soft and cheerful yarn pom-pom wreath to brighten your late winter or early spring decor! (Pom-pom tutorial included.)