Archive | July 2013

Page Turning Mondays: “Apple Farmer Annie”

Hey y’all! Jenn here with your latest Page Turning Monday post!!

Today’s book is:

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Written by Monica Wellington

This is a fun book about Annie who is an apple farmer. It talks about her collecting apples in the fall and using them to make different things. Then it follows her to the farmers market where she sells her apples. At the end of the book it list recipes to make some apple goodies!!

Now for some fun to go along:

– Talk about different fruits. How they grow, and what season they come in.

– Take a trip to your local farmers market. Talk about how farmers grow things and sell them. Buy local and teach your children about that.

– Use this as a time to discuss how God provides food for us.

– If you can, plant an apple tree with your little one. They will enjoy digging in the dirt, watering the tree, and eating the “fruits of their labor”.

– Go to an orchard in the fall. They usually have apple festivals with games, hayrides, locally made crafts, and of course you can pick your own apples or buy them while your there.

– Make the apple goodies from the recipes provided in the book.

– Talk about the importance of eating fruit, and encourage it at meals and snack time.

I am sure there are more things you can think of, but those are my ideas that I had while reading the book.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as we did! I immediately texted my girlfriend to tell her about it and we plan to use this book and its recipes at our annual apple festival adventure!

Don’t forget to do something to make someone smile today!

Love,
Jennifer

Blooming In Christ: Being Distracted During a Sermon

Hey everyone! Jenn here with a new Blooming In Christ post.

If you missed the start of this it was a post titled Am I Blooming In Christ? Are You Blooming In Christ? And what I have realized is that I was not blooming in Christ so I have begun working on that. I made a list of the things I was doing when I felt the most growth to compare to what I am doing now…..so I can address the things on the list and correct them.

Today’s topic is:
Being Distracted During a Sermon

I am not going to sit back and say that “if you don’t take anything away from a sermon you have a heart problem”, because I don’t believe that is always true. Sometimes it is caused by us thinking we do good in the topic at hand, so we really don’t think we need improving, so we don’t pay attention to the sermon. Sometimes it is caused by negative feelings for someone else, and we let that cloud our mind and then we get nothing from a sermon. Sometimes it is caused by thoughts of someone we know who is struggling, and when we really care about people their struggles hurt us, this can distract us from the sermon. Sometimes we get distracted by our “smart” technology. Sometimes it may be that there is a heart problem, but you have to examine yourself to determine that, that is something that only you and God know.

Letting “it Doesn’t Apply To Me” Distract:

Have you ever seen the topic for a sermon and immediately thought “this doesn’t apply to me”? What an injustice we are doing to ourselves! We may do a great job at evangelism, inviting others, praying, teaching, using our talents, we may already know how to observe communion respectfully, we may know baptism is required for salvation, whatever the topic we may have it down…..that doesn’t mean we can’t improve or learn something we could teach someone else.

Christianity is a constant growth process. For example, we may be great at inviting other to do things or into our home…..but we should still listen intently to a sermon on inviting others. We may find that yes, we invite others to our home or out with us shopping or for lunch…..but we may realize through a sermon that we only invite certain people or we only invite the same people all the time. By listening to a sermon on inviting we could realize we need to invite new families to our home, we need to invite new Christians out for lunch, we may need to invite strangers to services or events. We can never invite enough different people to services, lunch, our home, shopping, ladies class….we never know how much that invitation could mean to someone.

-No matter what the topic and how great you think you are at it, there is always room for growth or new ideas. –Even if you “know all about” what the preacher is talking about, he may say something that makes you see something in a whole new way, he may point out a verse that you just need to hear, or he may say something that will help you discuss that topic later with someone else.

Letting Negative Feelings Distract:

How many times have you been listening to a sermon and the whole time you had a certain person or people’s in your mind and all you could think was “man I hope so and so is paying attention! Because he is talking to them!” Or have you had this thought “man he is giving this sermon, but so and so isn’t here! This is for them! He must know what they did, why didn’t he wait until they were here?”

You may not struggle with this, or you may not have realized that you struggle with this, but I feel it is pretty serious.

If we start to hear a sermon and it brings negative feelings to mind about another person, it hurts us. We should listen to sermons intently and look for ways to apply them to our daily lives, not sit there thinking harshly about a brother or sister in Christ. When we do that we may miss something that could help us bloom.

I am not saying its easy. We have all had a problem with someone and it is sometimes hard to get past that. So we need to focus on pushing that negativity out and filling that space with person growth and love.

So how do we get past that negativity?
– Remember that everyone makes mistakes and everyone has their own struggles, yourself included.
-Is there someone who has wronged you or offended you that you need to mend fences with? Take the time to sit with that person and talk to them about the problem, and make sure to listen to their side to.
-The next time you hear a sermon and those negative feelings start to come up, pray about them and pray for your heart to be rid of that negativity so good can come in.

Distracted By Others Struggles:

Now sometimes when we are listening to a sermon we think of someone else and it is not in a negative way. We may know of something someone is struggling with, we may know of someone suffering with what is being discussed, we may be having a Bible study with someone on the very topic the preacher is discussing…..there are times that other people will come to mind and we mean nothing negative by it at all.

In those times we can still find a way to apply it to our lives, but we can also learn so we can go back and talk to that person who has popped into our mind.

If this happens my goal is to not be so distracted by my thoughts of the other person that I fail to pay attention to the preacher. I want to pay attention and take notes, that way I can go back to the other person as prepared as possible. And I want to go talk to that person as soon as possible so the sermon is still fresh in my mind.

So what to do if this happens?
-Take notes so you can go back and talk to the other person.
-If appropriate write a note or card using verses or quotes from the sermon that may uplift the other person.
-If you need this for a Bible study see if the sermons are recorded. If so ask for a copy so the other person can listen to it or y’all can listen to it together and discuss it.
-You could also get a copy to simply give to someone that you know is struggling. They may find comfort in listening to it in private, but make yourself available for them if they need to talk, cry, eat, whatever.

Distracted by our “smart technology”:

In this day of iPads, iPhones, droids, tablets, and Bible apps a lot of us have switched from using a paper Bible because the electronic one is so much more convenient. But we need to beware of what a distraction they can be. It is so easy to click on a notification about a new email and completely stop listening to the sermon. It is also easy to hear something and then you feel the need to google it and then you are way off track because you started down the Wikipedia trail. Be careful of electronic devices!!

-If you use an electronic device and have come to realize it distracts you, I encourage you to switch back to a paper Bible or work harder at not letting yourself be distracted by all the other things at your fingertips.

Distraction of not getting anything from the sermon:

Sometimes, no matter how hard we try….we just struggle with the sermon. This has happened to me before and it makes me feel like a terrible Christian because I leave going “man, I got nothing out of that, I am more confused than anything”. I have really struggled with this and beat myself up over it, but I don’t think that is healthy. Don’t let that happen to you. If you really have a heart that is zealous for God and learning about him and you tried…..don’t worry. God knows the heart, He knows your love for Him and if your heart and mind was in a sermon or not. But, if you leave every sermon feeling as though you got nothing out of it, then I beg of you, examine yourself; we shouldn’t leave every time not learning anything.

So lets all try to bloom in Christ by keeping away distractions during sermons. Lets always look for ways to apply sermons to our own lives.

Until next time,
Jennifer

Page-Turning Mondays: Skippyjon Jones

Hey y’all, Jess here with a muy, muy fun read for today’s PTM post. It’s…

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This is a super cute and delightful story (It’s actually a series! This book is the first) that my boys, especially my oldest, really love to read. One of my very best friends had mentioned this book, and how fun it was to read aloud, and indeed, she was right!
Not to spoil this story for any new readers, but the plot mainly focuses on Skippyjon Jones, a Siamese cat who thinks he’s a Chihuahua, and then finds himself off on a muy loco adventure with the Los Chimichango gang.
I certainly hope y’all will check this book, and the other titles in the series out and read it aloud to your little ones. Even if your child can already read well, still read it aloud. It’s totally worth it!

I’m all about making books more meaningful and engaging to my boys, so here are some ideas for you to try at home:

-Take a trip to the pet store (or look up pictures online) to see if you can find a Siamese cat and/or a Chihuahua. How are they similar, different? Based on your results, why does Skippyjon think he’s a Chihuahua?

-Let your child’s imagination soar, and join in on the fun! Recreate a scene from the book, or find your own adventure. Outdoors, indoors, build a fort, use old boxes, dress up in costumes…the sky’s the limit! Enjoy your children and the memories you’ll make!

-Since Skippyjon Jones uses and mentions several Spanish words and phrases, introduce some Spanish words to your child’s (and maybe yours, too!) vocabulary. Greetings, colors, and numbers are often a gentle start to learning the language.

-Make a Mexican meal, with the help of your kiddos, for supper. Tacos, burritos, refried beans, rice, chips and salsa (I pinned a great homemade salsa recipe on my “Oh, Yum!” Pinterest board if you’re interested in making your own…tons better than store-bought!) are all big hits. Or, go out and enjoy the cuisine at your local Mexican restaurant. Mmm, my favorite! 🙂

-And as always, check Pinterest or have fun creating your own ideas!

Until next time, amigos! Adiós!

DIY Days: Coconut Oil Lotion

Hola all! Jenn here with a new DIY Day!!

So I love DIY things and I have developed a new found love of things all natural, organic, free of pesticides, free of a gazillion different chemicals, things simply made from “what God gives us” well imagine my surprise to see a blog post on using coconut oil as lotion, and the woman mentioned reading the back of a bottle of lotion. Well I went and read the back of a bottle, then another, then another…..I had a strong Bath and Body Works addiction so I had LOTS of reading material. There were so many ingredients in them it was scary!!

So I immediately went back to the post on using coconut oil to see what I needed. I was shocked to see I only needed a jar of coconut oil. Well, that was simple enough. So on my next shopping trip I was determined to buy a jar and try it out. I was alarmed at how expensive it was…..that was a lot of money for something I wasn’t sure I would like!! Then I remembered a $5 Kroger coupon I had so I went there and got a jar and only ended up spending $1! Score for cheap!!

I started using it right away as my lotion. I would just scoop some out of the jar and rub it right on my skin. It made my skin feel so smooth! I was in love. The only downside was the greasy feeling it left afterwards.

I started looking online more and found a site where a woman mixed her coconut oil with vitamin e and she really liked it. So I decided to give that a try. I think this made it a little better consistency for rubbing in. You can view her post here: http://www.littlehouseliving.com/homemade-coconut-oil-lotion.html

I have to say I LOVE this lotion. It takes some time to get used to the initial greasy feeling, but I have been using this oil, in some form, since march and I don’t notice the greasy feeling anymore. It is not the best when it comes to a hand lotion, I use it….but I use others to. I am hoping to find a natural hand lotion solution, so if you have any suggestions let me know!

I also use this lotion on my daughter. She loves that we made it and that she gets to scoop it out of a mason jar with her finger. I love that I am using something on her that is all natural and it has helped clear up her skin. She is prone to eczema (slight) and heat bumps, since using this lotion her skin is clear 🙂

If you are looking for an all natural lotion alternative, I recommend trying out coconut oil!

You can go online and read tons of other uses for coconut oil and the benefits of using it.

Hope this helps you in some way!!

Don’t forget to do something to make someone smile today!

Love
Jennifer

Page Turning Mondys: “The Library Doors”

Hola all! Jenn. Here with your latest Page Turning Monday Post!!

Today’s book is:

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Written by: Toni Buzzeo

This book is so cute! I was surprised when I opened it and started to read and realized that it was actually made to be sung. It is to the tune of “The Wheels on the Bus”, but the words are all about the library! It goes through different things from the doors going open and shut, to books being checked in and out, to people going Shhh. It was such a fun read/sing! I definitely recommend checking this one out!

Now the things that came to mind to do along with the book…..

-Well obviously, visit the Library and check out the book.

-Talk about different things in the book:
* Checking books in and out.
* Using the computer to look up books.
* Whispering in the library.

– Let your little one do things shown in the book:
* Let them go play on the computer.
* Take them to story time.

– Find out about different events at your library and take your little one. Ours has movies, story time, Lego play time, and all during the summer they have different events. So far we have done a craft, and gotten to see, touch, and learn about different reptiles.

– Give the librarian/staff a thank you note for always being so kind, helpful, and their hard work. If you want attach that note to some freshly made cookies. Everyone liked cookies!

– And what I hope to do: learn the song and sing it (whisper it) during your library trip 😉

Well, those are my ideas, but I am sure you can come up with some more, and there is always Pinterest.

Don’t forget to do something to make someone smile today….. Like taking a child to the library and/or thanking the library staff with a note or baked good!!

Until next time,
Jennifer

6 Days…

Hello all. Jenn here.

It has taken a while for me to post about my daughters 6th seizure….probably because it had been the hardest to cope with.

It was Friday, July 21st. The first day if summer. We had a fun day! We spent time with some new friends playing in their bouncy house, playing in the sprinkler, and having a blast!

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I don’t remember everything we did that day. But when my husband got off from work we had planned to meet him at Lowe’s to get stuff for the house. (We are remodeling)

Well about an hour before he got off, my daughter suddenly had a fever. She was acting completely normal, but she had a temp of 101.2. I naturally started to panic. None of her past seizures had come after a fever, but a seizure following a fever is a common thing and since she is epileptic and this was the first fever she had since this all started I was panicked. I texted my husband and told him she had a fever and we were going to the drug store. I got there and spoke to the pharmacist to see what she could take. The pharmacist said she couldn’t help because she wasn’t comfortable recommending anything and I would have to call her neurologist. Well, it was after 5 on a Friday so I had to call and leave a message for the answering service to page the doc and have him call me.

I left Rite Aid and went to the church building to get my class stuff because I had forgotten it….I forget a lot of things lately. When we got there I texted my sis in law and my best friend and told them what was going on and to please pray because I was upset and didn’t know what was going to happen. Not long after getting there the on call doc returned my call and told me what medicines I could give that wouldn’t affect the seizure medicine.

So we bought that and I gave it to my daughter right when we got in the truck. Then we went home. By the time we got home she no longer had a fever and was her normal happy self. (This all happened in a span of probably 40 minutes-we live close to the building and the drug store). I just figured it was a weird thing that happened. Her temp was normal and she was completely fine.

Once home I don’t remember everything we did. My husband called or texted and told me what time to meet him. When it was time to leave I sent my daughter to get her shoes. As she was going down the hall I heard a “thud”.

I looked and she was laying in the hallway on her stomach with her face and arms up….I naturally panicked. I started to call out to her….falling is not unusual for her…but before I got her name out I heard the unmistakable unforgettable sound she makes during a seizure.

I ran to her and rolled her to get her on her side. It was something I will never forget no matter how hard I try. When she fell she busted her lip and hit her nose. So she had blood running from her nose and mouth. It was one if the scariest moment of my life, words can not explain what I felt watching her have a seizure and watching her lips turn blue while blood was running out of her mouth and pooling on the floor.

I sat there waiting for the seizure to end and singing to her…..while trying to keep myself together. When it was over she just cried. I held her and tried everything to console her, but she just cried and cried. I called my husband who rushed home. She was having some moments during crying where she would stop crying and make the sound she makes during a seizure and some of the jerking movements she makes during a seizure, this was the first time that had happened. So I called a doctor from church and asked his advice, he said if it continued an hour after the seizure to go to the ER. The doctors at church have been such a blessing.

She was still just crying when my husband got home. We sang to her and consoled her until she finally stopped crying. She asked to be held while I walked around so we walked her around the house. Then she asked to sit on the couch and not long after she fell asleep.

The next morning when she woke up she had a bruise between her nose and upper lip, a bruise on her lip, a cut on the inside of her bottom lip, and 2 of her teeth were loose.

We took her out that day for ice cream and went to see Monsters University, but the only showing at that time was 3D and call us over protective but we decided against that for now. So then we went to the playground.

After this seizure the doctor upped her medicine dosage and moved our follow up appt from August to July.

This was the first time she had gotten hurt during a seizure. This was the first time I was alone during a seizure. It was very hard to cope with and get past.

I think the hardest things I have come to realize during the past few months is that you can’t unsee your child having a seizure and you can’t unhear them having a seizure, and you have no control over their seizures. When I close my eyes to try to rest the image of her having a seizure finds its way into my head, I try to replace that with an image if her laughing. My advice is to pray, a lot! I pray for them to stop, but I also pray for her to not get hurt during a seizure. Her getting hurt has been very hard for us. But you also have to lean on others for support. I don’t know how I would have handled this without my husband, my family, my friends, and my amazing church family. We have had some amazing people constantly praying for us, coming to visit us, checking on us, sending us cards, and letting us know to call them anytime day or night.

If you ever have to deal with this I hope you can take my advice and lean on God and others, you can’t get through it alone.

Bye for now,
Jennifer

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One of My Favorite Things: My Foodsaver

Hola! Jennifer here with another of my favorite things:

My Food Saver vacuum sealer!

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Mine is a Food Saver V3425. This is my second vacuum sealer and I LOVE it! We bought this at Wal-Mart a few months back in an effort to save money. It is so simple to use! You can buy pre sized bags, rolls to make whatever size you need, and containers. Then you simply buy whatever in large quantities and separate how you need, seal, and freeze. I buy meat, veggies, and fruit in bulk (which is usually cheaper) and freeze them for later use. I have also used it to freeze homemade cookie dough for later use, and to freeze deer meat. And I am hopeful that our first garden will produce some veggies for me to freeze 🙂

The Food Saver systems come in different sizes and vary in price. So you can find the right one for you needs! If you have been considering a vacuum sealer I highly recommend it!

Hope you enjoyed this!

Don’t forget to do someone to make someone smile today!

Love,
Jennifer