Friday, February 27, 2015

Goodwill Finds {New shoes, Books and More!}

I had a day off today so decided to meet up with my new friend Jessica at the Goodwill (she runs a super cute consignment store out of her home! Find her on Facebook - Fresh Style.) Between the two of us we had kids that spent the night with grandparents and others there were in school - so we had a kid-free day out! {How rare is that?!}
 
Jessica found a ton of cute shirts and a few jackets to add to her boutique - along with a few toys and books for the kids.
 
We ended up being at the Goodwill for 3 hours - just in one store - but they were having some good deals! All the books, DVDs, CDs and VHS tapes were half off (most were only marked $0.99 to begin with!) so we both spent time looking through all of the books. My oldest son Ashton just got his first CD player not too long ago, so I found a couple of CDs for him - Jason Castro and High School Musical. I also got a book for each kid and they were happy as pie when I picked them up from school!
 
I found myself a few shirts at first, but after trying everything on, I only brought one home. It's just a plain black shirt ($3.59) - nothing much to brag about and I also got Ashton a pair of Air Jordan basketball shorts ($3). I also found a pair of New Balance sneakers for me! I have {really} big feet so I normally can never find shoes second hand - and they were just $6 too!
 
Here are the few things that I was pretty excited about....
 
 
First if the yellow bowl from Z Gallerie ($1)- I love this bowl for some fruit in the middle of the table or a serving dish for dinner. You might even find it pictured right here with some soup in the future!
 
I love the wavy wooden bowl! Such a beautiful design! I can see some dainty appetizers being served in it...and for $1, I couldn't pass it up.
 
Next was the book "Act Like a Lady Think Like a Man" by Steve Harvey. I haven't heard anything about this book, but I think Steve Harvey is a riot, so {again} for one dollar, it went straight into my cart!
 
Lastly is the Casting Crowns CD - anyone else still listen to Cd's? I have seriously never downloaded a song in my life. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't even know how or what to do with it. I still like buying and listening to Cd's. I know this will be a good one!
 
That's it for me - what goodies have you found recently?
-Sam
 
 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What I'm Reading....

 
I usually don't read this many books at one time - but between two different bible studies that I'm involved with, my own personal studies and reading for pleasure - my stack has gotten pretty big!
 
I'll start with Children of the Day by Beth Moore. Beth Moore has got a ton of energy in her writings and in the video series that goes along with this book. This is a great women's bible study group! I've had several AHA moments just in the first few chapters - one that I'm hanging on to is - "Joy is happiness with out the moodiness." Ain't that the truth!
 
The NIV Quest Study Bible is a great tag-along to any bible study...whether is be a group or your own personal study. The sidebar notes have helped so many times. Think of it as a Cliffs Notes for your bible.
 
What the Bible is All About by Dr Henrietta Mears is another book that I'm always looking at. I love that it gives word origins, maps and other illustrations. Again, another great book to have by yourself with any type of bible study.
 
I'm re-reading The Shack by WM. Paul Young. I read this book first as a new believer so I wanted to read it again because I was so in love with the beauty of this book. The second time reading - I'm seeing so many new dimensions of this book and am loving it even more!
 
If you're looking for a great small group bible study then I recommend Improving Your Parenting by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. It's part of the Homebuilders Parenting Series and is an excellent study. A great study to do along side your spouse to see where you are with the core values you'd like to pass onto your children.
 
The newest book I've added is Believe  Living The Story of The Bible to Become Like Jesus. Randy Frazee, Editor. Think of it as the bible is story format with some excellent notes to help you better understand situations about how you can use them in your daily life. Look for a full review of this book in the coming weeks!
 
What have you been reading this month??

Monday, February 23, 2015

{Easy} Crockpot Swedish Meatballs and Bible Study

My husband, Chris, and I have been part of a bible study group for about five years now. I really love being able to get together and learn more about the bible. Just about every single time we meet, I have one of those "Aha!" moments where I realized something that I never had before until that very second.
 
I love those moments. I  love learning something new - and new way to look at my life.
 
 
Our bible study group is now going through one of the HomeBuilders Parenting Series from Family Life Today. Our book is "Improving Your Parenting" by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. So far, we're into the second chapter and already I'm seeing new things about our parenting style and how much is really reflects how our parents parented us!
 
The last chapter talked about our core values as parenting - what we consider to be the most important traits we want to pass onto our children. Something Chris and I never thought about before we had kids - but I am thankful that Chris and I share a lot of the ideals.
 
Our group meets on Friday evenings and rotates houses each week and this week we are the hosts! I really enjoy having people over so I'm glad that it's rotated back to us. For our group - the hosts provide the main dish along with water and another drink (we'll do lemonade) and everyone else brings a side dish or dessert to go along. It makes for a nice end to your week and for us - it's something fun to do! The kids love it too - we have a little activity set up for them and make sure they eat first! (We learned quickly how important this is!) And after their craft - they all play or watch a movie together.
 
For our night we decided to do something easy for the food and have my Great Aunt Betty Lou's Swedish Meatballs. This is something that our family eats along with our turkey every Thanksgiving - it's extremely popular in our family! This is a simple but delicious dish! I love anything I can throw into a crockpot and forget about!
 
Betty Lou's Easy Crockpot Swedish Meatballs
(serves 20)
 
2 bags of frozen meatballs
5 cans of brown gravy
2 cartons of sour cream
1 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp Italian seasoning
pepper to taste
2 bags of egg noodles
4 tbsp. butter
 
Turn your crockpot on low and add the meatballs. In a separate dish mix together your gravy, sour cream, garlic salt and Italian seasoning. Add mixture to the meatballs and stir well. Cook on low for 4 hours. Stir well when done. Make sure and taste before serving to add more salt and pepper if needed.
 
When your meatballs are done cooking, that's when you'll want to start cooking the egg noodles. Cook according to package directions. Drain and add butter along with salt and pepper to taste.
 
Serve meatballs over egg noodles and enjoy!
 
 
 
Hint: If you need to cook these meatballs in a shorter time frame, you can warm the meatballs up in the microwave or a skillet for about 5 minutes then add them into the crockpot and cook on low for 3 hours.
 
 
I hope you enjoy these Swedish Meatballs and much as our family does! They were a hit with our bible study group too!
 
If your church has Community Groups or Life Groups (as our church calls them) - you should really look into joining one! They are a great way to meet new people in your community - the people in my group have become my very best friends. It's also a wonderful way to grow in your faith and even help teach others. If you don't have community groups - read my article about starting your own bible study.
 
I'd love to know what you're studying right now?! Do you have a bible study group that you mean up with? Are you interested in wanting to become a leader yourself? Did you try the meatballs?? (lol)
 
Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a beautiful day!
 
-Sam

Today I've linked up to:
Creative Kids,

Thursday, February 19, 2015

How to Start a Bible Study

My husband and I have been part a great bible study group for years now. We really enjoy growing in our faith with what have become our very best friends. I consider all of them family.
 
The thing that held me back initially from joining a bible study group was my lack of knowledge. I didn't know the bible at all. I couldn't recite verses off the top of my head (and still really can't!) I was scared that others would look down on me and that I would feel completely lost in a sea of biblical scholars. Ha! What I quickly discovered is that we are all learning - all the time! And we learn from each other!
 
I have learned so much from every person in my bible study group. We are all in the same life stages (married with young kids) and are all works in progress!

 
If you're a part of a church that has Community or Life groups - I strongly suggest that you look into joining one. If you're church doesn't have bible study groups to join, you might want to look into starting one!
 
I've found some great articles that I hope will encourage you to look into a group or start one yourself!
 
Enjoy - have a beautiful day!
-Sam
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Today I've linked up to:

Monday, February 2, 2015

30 Days of Teaching Boys to Be Kind - Part 2



This has been a good week. I literally have not heard my boys fight once.

Not once. I can barely believe it myself.

This week, we've been on track with them of picking out their cards and doing nice things for each other, us as their parents and for strangers. It's funny how quickly you can change when your focus is not 100% on yourself. When you try to make others happy, you become happier too.

I've also had my oldest son, Ashton, each morning looking up bible verses. He's taking the time while eating breakfast to locate the verses and he's writing them word-for-word. And then we talk for a few minutes about what it means and how he can translate it to his day.

I had another thought this morning about being kind - that it is most certainly taught by the way my husband and I treat each other. Of course, as a married couple - we don't always use the nicest words towards each other. But we should. He's my partner, my best friend - why do we sometimes feel as though we can speak negative words over our spouse? Say things to them that we would never say to some random person walking on the street.



The challenge of this week is to continue having the boys do their "Kind Cards" as they have been known as this week, continue with our daily bible verses and in addition to all of that....my husband and I need to make sure that we are only using kind words towards each other...and to our children.

If you're a parent - you know how hard it can all be. Things get stressed - you have 50 million things to do tonight, and  you still have no idea what you're fixing for supper....and everyone is complaining that their hungry (at least that's what my nights are like sometimes!!)

What is it......if you don't have anything nice today, don't say anything at all?

That will our motto this week.

By the way - here's the second week of "Kind Cards", fill in the blank ones to suit your family!




Enjoy!
-Sam