Monday, December 31, 2012

The Best Books for Working Moms

This post is a little tricky to write because, to be honest with you, there aren't a lot of books for working moms.  You'll find some here and there, but they are few and far between...which is exactly why I decided to make working moms a major focus here on my blog. 

Some of my biggest struggles as a working mom are with time management and home management.  There are so many things that need to be done every time, but limited time to do it all.  There are a few fantastic books that I would recommend:
  1. Taking Care of the Me in Mommy (Lisa Whelchel) - One of the best, most practical books I've ever read!  I've put so many of Lisa's ideas into practice.  In fact, this is the book that inspired my prayer journal.
  2. Tell Your Time - Great tips on time management
  3. What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast - I recommend this for working moms AND for anyone doing the Hello Mornings challenge!  Very inspiring.
  4. Organizing From the Heart - I'm reading this right now, and it's making me look at homemaking in a totally different light. 
What are your favorite books for working moms?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Counting My Blessings

This Christmas, I am a very thankful momma.  This has been a wild and crazy year, full of ups and downs for our family...but I'm thankful.  We've grown stronger through the hard times, we've grown more grateful in the good times, and most of all, God never let us go.

Now I'm on my month-long Christmas break from school, and I'm enjoying every second of it.  I'm also staying busy planning and prepping for the first few months of 2013 (and my LAST semester of college!).  I'm reorganizing my coupon stuff, planning a monthly menu, cleaning, decluttering, working on and planning for my blog, writing, and enjoying my family.

This was the scene at our house this weekend - brothers baking cookies as the puppy stood guard, just in case anything fell.  It makes me happy.  Life is good.  God is good.  I'm counting my blessings this Christmas season.

Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Mexican Egg Rolls

If you're like me, you don't have a lot of time to cook right now.  Balancing Christmas parties, shopping and wrapping gifts with work, home, and family leaves very little time for cooking.  This recipe is fast, easy, and delcious - my whole family loves it, kids included.

·         2 c. cooked diced chicken breast
·         2 c. shredded Monterey jack or Mexican cheese blend
·         1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
·         1 can whole kernel corn, drained
·         1/2 chopped red bell pepper
·         4-5 diced green onions
·         2 garlic cloves, minced
·         1/2 tsp. salt
·         1/2 tsp. pepper
·         1/2 tsp. chili powder
·         1 tsp. cumin
·         1 (16 oz) package egg roll wrappers
·         Oil for frying 

  1.       Mix all ingredients together.
2.       Moisten the edges of an egg roll wrapper and put approximately 2 tbsp. of filling in the middle.
3.       Fold like you would fold an eggroll.  (Picture and directions are on egg roll package.)
4.       Make sure the flap is sealed.
  5.       Heat oil and cook egg rolls until golden brown; drain on paper towels.
6.       Serve with sour cream.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

10 Awesome Kids Ministry Finds

I'm so excited to be leading our church children's ministry again, after taking a year off to get through the hardest part of the dental hygiene program.  I really missed it!  Kids ministry has been my passion since I was 12 years old, when a wonderful pastor's wife introduced me to it by letting me help with puppets. 

I've got tons of new ideas to try!  Here are some awesome products and ideas that I'm either already using, or I've recently ordered for my classes, or that I'm working into my budget for the future...
  1. Drama Tool Kit from Awesome Video Stuff - If you're short on time, skip to Backdrops Vol. 2 and watch the sample...I can't wait to teach about the burning bush or the pillar of fire once I get this program!
  2. Animated Bible Maps from Awesome Video Stuff - Wow, talk about making the Bible come to life...when I get this one, my husband and I may be fighting for custody of it - he wants it for his sermons, too!
  3. Child Training Bible - What a great concept for kids and parents to easily look things up!  I'm thinking about helping the parents in our church make their own.
  4. PrayKids curriculum - I'm going to work this in as a part of our regular weekly lessons, spending about 10 minutes per week on it.  It teaches big concepts and big truths in a kid-friendly way.
  5. Hillsongs Kids Worship - I already have two of their DVD's and am about to buy more.  Their kids worship songs are just as amazing as their adult worship songs!
  6. Voice of the Martyrs: Kids of Courage - It's been a long time since I found such an amazing resource to use when teaching missions to kids.  Tons of great resources to teach kids about the persecuted church and missions.
  7. High Point curriculum - I've been using this for a while, and I love it!  It's a little pricey, but it's so easy to work with, and completely adaptable to whatever group size you're working with.
  8. Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge (BGMC) - The best kids missions program ever!  Not only does it teach kids about missions, but it encourages kids to give to missions, and shows them how the money they give is changing kids lives!
  9. Welcome to Holsom comics - My 10 year old LOVES this great comic book series from Gospel Publishing House!  These Christian-themed comics are great for outreach, Sunday School, children's church and more. 
  10. What's in the Bible - I've been a huge VeggieTales since they were just getting started (and I was a teenager, lol), and this series from Phil Vischer is just as awesome.  I was amazed at how much my children's ministry kids learned when we went through unit one.  They were rattling off things like "septuagent" and "primevil history" - wow!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Little Christmas Vacation Reading List

I'm so excited about the beginning of Christmas break!  Once I take my last final of the semester on Tuesday morning, I'm free!  What to do with all that time normally taken up by studying?  For a book lover like me, the only answer is READ.  I always have a long list of books, and I know I'll never get through them all, but here's a sample of what I want to get to on my break...

What reading list would be complete without at least one book from my favorite I'll start my list with THREE, thank you.
  1. Mortal - Ted Dekker
  2. The Sanctuary - Ted Dekker
  3. Identity - yes, another by Ted Dekker
  4. Opening Moves - Steven James
  5. Comes a Horseman - Robert Liparulo
  6. Rest - Keri Wyatt Kent
  7. Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl - Lysa Terkeurst
  8. Grace for the Good Girl - Emily P. Freeman
To get through my list, that will mean two books a week over break.  I'm not sure that I'll get them all, but it's not unrealistic to shoot for half that list.  I can't wait!  What will you be reading this Christmas?