Soup, Stew, Chowder, Bisque, or Chili?

I generally consider winter to be “soup season.” Subsequently, I’ve been looking over a lot of soup recipes as I plan my winter menu. In addition to soups, I’ve seen recipes for stews, chowders, bisques, and chilies. Many of these recipes look similar, so how can we tell these different … [Read more...]

FUNtastic Tools for Teaching Toddlers About Shapes

When my oldest daughter was 18 months old, we gave her a puzzle that featured 8 common shapes. Within days she was able to identify a couple of them. However, it took her a little longer to learn the remaining shapes and to differentiate between similar ones (e.g., square and … [Read more...]

Wonderful Gifts for Entire Families

It seems that my husband and I struggle every year to come up with ideas for Christmas gifts that will be appreciated by their recipients and fit within our budget. Sometimes the best solution is to use some sort of alternative gift exchange. This year I’ve had another idea that I think is … [Read more...]

Where to Find Meal Ideas and Recipes When Menu Planning

Sometimes I draw a blank when I sit down to plan a new menu for my family. I’ll want to try something new, but nothing comes to mind. It seems I’m not the only one who experiences this. Becca emailed me with the following question: “I know you plan your menus with an entire month’s meals. … [Read more...]

DIY Jesse Tree Ornaments

As I noted when I wrote last summer about Christ-focused Advent traditions, the Jesse Tree is one of my favorite parts of Christmas. A Jesse Tree helps families reflect on the people, prophesies, and events that preceded Christ’s birth.  There is one Jesse Tree reading for each day of Advent. … [Read more...]

Nipping Discontentedness in the Bud

My mind was swarming with negative thoughts as we drove to church a few weeks ago. I wish I had more time to get things done. I wish my infant would nap for longer stretches. I wish my husband would help out a little more around the house. Though these thoughts were about different things, they were … [Read more...]

Healthier Versions of Your Favorite Thanksgiving Dishes

On Thanksgiving Day around here, no one wonders how many calories are in the sweet potato soufflé or if the rolls were prepared with whole wheat flour. What my family members want to know is what time dinner will be served and what flavors of pie were prepared for dessert. However, just … [Read more...]

A Skill You Must Master In Order to Get Things Done When You Have Young Kids

There are a lot of skills you must master when you become a parent. You eventually get comfortable and confident in your new role and are able to balance parenthood with all of the other tasks you face. I felt I arrived at this point about the time I found out I was expecting my second child. … [Read more...]

3 Toddler Activities Using Cardboard Shape Cutouts

Several weeks ago I wanted to let my toddler paint, but all of the paper we have around the house gets too wet and tears when she uses paint on it. I decided to cut some shapes out of cardboard for her to paint. I figured the cardboard wouldn’t tear and we could talk about the shapes to help … [Read more...]

Pumpkin Cranberry Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

It doesn’t feel a whole lot like fall here on the Texas Gulf Coast, but that hasn’t stopped me from baking up some fall-themed treats. I wanted to bake some oatmeal cookies for my toddler because she absolutely loves oatmeal. She’ll ask for it for breakfast, snack, lunch, and pretty much any … [Read more...]