Grace to Grow

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I heard a quote the other day that summed up what God had been teaching me over the past couple of days. Joel Osteen said this; “Give people room to be who God made them to be. If God wanted us to all look, think & act alike, He would have made us that way.” I often face this challenge with my own children. Some of them are really good at one thing while others are good at something else. I find myself comparing them to each other in my mind and hoping that they will just act the way I want them to.

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The Lord has really been teaching me in those moments to stop and think about who He made them to be. They are ALL very different and beautifully unique. They all have strengths and weaknesses and it is my job to help them develop into the individual that He created them to be, NOT who I want them to be! There is a BIG difference. I need to give them grace to grow and room to develop their unique abilities.

I would challenge you this week to embrace the differences and unique strengths that each of your children have. Be thankful for who God is making them to be and recognize that they were not created to be like each other. I think that if, as parents, we can teach them this, then they will feel confident as they grow up to explore their God-given identity.

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The Lord commands us to love Him will all our hearts, souls, minds and strength, and to love others as we love ourselves. (Matthew 28) I believe that each family and member of that family will express this love in different ways. If we all make that our mission and give eachother room to grow then we will revolutionize the world!!

May you be blessed as you watch the unqiue characters and traits in your family come alive today!

Cashew Almond Butter

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In the past, I have made almond butter which I enjoyed but sometimes found it rather dry and bland. I haven’t been able to stomach peanut butter lately because of my pregnancy but I have been craving toast with some kind of spread. So I decided to try something different this time, made almond butter with raw cashews! It was simple, quick and more cost effective than buying it in the store. It is amazing on homemade bread or toast, I actually could eat it by the spoonful;)

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Ingredients:
1 cup Raw Cashews
2 cups Raw Almonds
Water

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Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Lay out the cashews and almonds on a baking sheet.

3. Bake for 15 minutes. Be sure to stir once or twice so that they do not burn.

4. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

5. Place in the food processor and blend for 6-8 minutes or until they turn into butter. If you want it to be more liquidy you could add some water.

6. Label and place in a mason jar and store in the fridge.

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Enjoy!!

Leek and Potato Soup

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One of my favorite things on a cool rainy day is a warm bowl soup. This recipe is amazing, it is meat free and dairy free but the consitency is very creamy. It is simple and quick to prep. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do:)

Ingredients:
1 lbs leeks, choppped (3 medium leek)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb baking potatoes, peeled and chopped in cubes
4 cups homemade veggie stock
tsp sea salt

Directions:
In a sauce pan combine the olive oil and leeks. Cook on low heat until the leeks are browned. (Make sure when you chop up the leeks to include even the dark green parts at the ends – they add more flavor). Once the leeks are cooked, add the potatoes and allow to cook with the lid on for a few minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer over medium heat for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Use an immersion blender and blend the soup until smooth. You can add more or less broth depending on how thick you like your soup. Add sea salt to taste and serve warm!!

Enjoy!

Happy Birthday Judah

Love him~

Love him~


I remember people telling me when I had my first born to enjoy each moment because they grow up SO fast! At the time I thought, surely it cannot go by that quickly, but I have come to realize now that they were speaking the truth! Today is my son’s 6th birthday and I cannot believe how fast the past 6 years have gone. What a wonderful blessing it has been to have him in our lives. I love watching him grow every day and become an energetic, intelligent, compassionate, loving little boy. He is such a joy! Every year around this time I get weepy because I see him growing up and realize that we will never get these years back:( (I take a lot of video footage!:)

Here are a few of my favorite pictures and memories of my little guy!! I love Him and I love the Lord for giving to him to me and allowing me to priviledge of watching him grow up right before my very eyes!! May His life to a testimony to the greatness and goodness of our God!! Happy 6th Birthday Judah!!

We named him Judah which mean “Praise”. His life truly is a demonstration of praise to our Father!!

The day he was born - April 15, 2007, 8lbs 1oz of perfection!

The day he was born – April 15, 2007, 8lbs 1oz of perfection!

6 month old snuggles:)

6 month old snuggles:)

Attacking his 1st birthday cake!

Attacking his 1st birthday cake!

18 months old

18 months old

Judah turns 2!!

Judah turns 2!!

My little man, 2 1/2yrs

My little man, 2 1/2yrs

3 year old monkey!!!

3 year old monkey!!!

First day of homeschool - 4 years old

First day of homeschool – 4 years old

My 5 year old little stud:)

My 5 year old little stud:)

My handsome 6 year old!! Love him!

My handsome 6 year old!! Love him!

May you enjoy each day and every moment, drink them in slowly because before you know it, they’ll be all grown up and you will have wonderful memories and a lasting legacy of the faithfulness of God:)!

a lesson in everything!

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Many of my readers have asked me how I know what to teach in homeschool? It’s a loaded question because truthfully I don’t know everything that I am going to teach. While I do have a weekly schdedule and have purchased materials and workbooks for language arts, reading and math I tend to leave social science, Bible and life lessons/skills up to the everyday opportunities that present themselves. Honestly, I pray that ask God for wisdom and direction and every week we tend to cover more material and topics that I would have had if I had planned for it:) For example, there was a science lesson that we gleaned this week from our maple syrup tapping and it was fun and interesting for the kids.

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The lesson was simple: We filled up two cups, both with 1/2 cup of water, then to one cup we added a tbsp of sugar. We labeled the sugar cup and put them both in the freezer. Every 15 minutes we would check to see which one was freezing the fastest. We concluded that the water with sugar freezes slower. We learned how this related to the sap in maple trees, how it acts as an antifreeze so that the maple trees dont freeze solid in the winter time!! It was cool and we all learned a little something.

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There are SO many little lessons that we can teach our kids every day, all we need to do is ask the Lord to give us the opportunities and when they present themselves be ok to steer away from the routine and have a little fun. The kids loved the project so much that they wanted to try to put other baking ingredients in water to see how long they would take to freeze:)…interesting how a little experiment can spark such interest and curiosity.

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I must admit that I never thought that I would be tapping my own maple trees and bottling syrup but somehow in the past week that is what I have found myself and my family doing. It has been an adventure. AND a learning process:)

We decided to try to tap 10 trees and see what we got, so far the outcome has exceeded our original expectations. After 5 days of collecting sap we have 3L of syrup meaning that we collected approx 120L of sap and boiled it down!! For those of you who dont know how much that it, its a lot!!!

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It has been fun to find a natural resource and literally tap into it. I am thankful for this wonderful land the Lord has given us.

Ideally, I would love to live on the land completely, to grow and sustain ourselves is a dream of mine, however we are not quite there yet. Our climate up here in Northern Ontario definitely makes it more difficult! (But we are trying to come up with creative ideas to be self sustaining)

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My favorite part of this past week has been watching our kids help us out and get really excited about this new adventure. Judah loves to go out to the trees and collect the sap with us and Mercy is my “most excited” taste tester when we are boiling down the sap:) My husband has been amazing at setting things up, carrying heavy buckets and enjoying the journey with us.

I am convinced that not matter what venture you set out to do as a family that enjoying it TOGETHER is the BEST part!!

May you experience the unity and communion that comes from doing things together as a family!!

we’re far from perfect (guest post)

hi friends, i’m allison (or al) & i blog over at www.afterhissmile.com. i’ve been so blessed by emma’s friendship & wisdom. she recently guest posted on my blog here & i’m honored to do the same on her blog. 🙂

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so these are our 3 boys… jude, sammy & amos. what a joy they are & what a tool of sanctification! 😉 as mommies we often look at others’ lives & honestly believe that they “have it all together”. we think, “how cute their kids are” or “how well behaved”. we only see the seemingly good. we just assume that somehow they are perfect & not swayed by sin & emotion. 
we need to change our view of others… not that we look down on them by knowing they struggle with sin & we for sure don’t rejoice in it, but we find comfort in the fact that there are other mommies that are walking this journey of joys & sorrows, ups & downs, laughter & tears. we have fellowship in this truth with the body of Christ. & we should not just sit in our sin together, we should be spurring one another on to repentance & sanctification. 
i challenge you to surround yourself with a community of mommies that realize their need for the Savior & point you to Him as well!
thanks again emma!
al

The Wonderful Pigs of Jillian Jiggs!

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Jilllian Jiggs is a wonderful and classic children’s book that my kids love! We have the “Treasury of Jillian Jiggs” which is the complete series of all the Jillian Jiggs books. One of them is called the “Wonderful Pigs of Jillian Jiggs”. It’s a really cute story.

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At the end of the book they show you how to make these little sock pigs that Jillian makes in the book. My kiddos had been bugging me for months to make them. SO we finally took an afternoon and made them. They were so fun to make and my kids love them. Mercy takes her pig everywhere with her, and Judah sleeps with his pig, he named him "super pig" and put a cap on him:)

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I would encourage you to make these little pigs if you are looking for a fun craft to do together. All you need is a stocking, some stuffing, a little material for ears, a button for the nose and a needle and thread to sew it all on. You can make them any way you want and add accessories or different colour clothing. I really let the kids decide so each pig is unique and their own special creation. Bottom line is: your kids will love them:)

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May you experience the joy that comes from spending time together, and enjoying the creative gifts that the Lord has placed in your children. It is truly a gift to be a mom!! In the midst of a noisy and often chaotic household I am going to be thankful for this gift and love on them as much as I possibly can!