Big Music Giveaway (on Instagram)

Music giveaway
Music has always been a huge part of my life–especially my spiritual life.

I kid you not, I can still recite lyrics from almost every Micheal W. Smith, DC Talk, Point of Grace and Amy Grant album produced in the 90s. If you’re not familiar with these names, they are some old school Christian albums (whose songs will forever be stored away in the recesses of my memory).

Because music has such a powerful effect on its listeners–especially children–I want to share some great albums and artists that (in my opinion) are worth bringing into your home in one way or another.

And guess what? One lucky Instagram follower of mine will take home all of these! To enter, all you have to do is:

  1. Be a follower of my Instagram account.
  2. Tag two friends you think would like the giveaway

Entering will like you like, 3.8 seconds. Easy peasy!

Here are the albums/artists up for grabs:

Seeds of PromiseFullSizeRender

This is our Seeds DVD Pack (valued at $87.88). Half of the songs on each DVD uses the official Seeds Family Worship hand motions that have been tested across the country and were made to engage kids during worship.

Rain for RootsThe Kingdom of Heaven Is Like This_cover

A lost coin, a wedding feast, a mustard seed—Jesus uses all of these images to convey the bigger picture of the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven is Like This, by Rain for Roots, reminds little hearts and ears of the truths of these parables and the hope and promise of the Kingdom to come. 

Rain For Roots is a collective of songwriters, young mothers and friends who came together around a single vision to make new scripture songs for children. Inspired by traditional folk melodies, this band of four set out to make new, timeless songs about the old gospel Story. 

 

Sing the Bible with Slugs and BugsScreen Shot 2016-08-04 at 11.47.53 AM

Sing the Bible Volume 2 is truly a “musical handbook for the Christian home” because the verses combine practical instruction and bedrock foundational truths. And the melodies make all that goodness easy and fun to remember.

Oh yeah, and it’s really fun and groovy. And there are monsters. And raccoons. And a sharkbug. And raisins.

Yes, the fun quotient on this CD is high. At times it should remind you of Monty Python, the Muppets, and early VeggieTales. But behind the catchy melodies and the random acts of silliness, we deeply desire to partner with families for their good and for God’s glory. A fan recently tweeted that our “songs and lyrics have become part of their family culture.” And when the lyrics are word-for-word Scripture, that can be truly transforming.

The Corner Room: Psalm Songs

paslm songs vol 1_itunes image

A new collection of ten musical settings of Psalms written verbatim from the ESV Bible, Psalm Songs provides a fresh and unique way for children, students, adults, pastors, congregations and others in ministry to know, sing, share and ultimately love the Word of God.  We challenge you to give these a listen and see if it doesn’t impact the way you view and interact with Scripture.  When we know and love God’s Word more deeply, we will know and love God more deeply. 

Hop over to my Instagram account and enter!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies: BEST EVER Soft Batch Version

A perfect Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip cookie does exist! These are the best soft batch ones ever.

Yes, it is true. A real food, whole wheat version of a soft, chewy chocolate cookie does exist! I’ve searched high and low and baked many failures over the years. But, this one. Oh, this one. It works.

In fact, just to prove my point: My farm boy husband, whose mom is a fabulous baker, straight up told me, “These taste just like mom’s.” I didn’t tell him that they don’t have shortening or white flour in them. That’s just our secret, k?

Here’s the deal. To make this cookie taste just like the white flour version, you MUST buy a variety of whole wheat called “White Whole Wheat”. It’s a softer, less grainy whole wheat variety that still retains all the nutrition of the one you’re used to (typically hard red wheat). White Whole Wheat is becoming more and more prevalent in stores. Although King Arthur has a version that’s delicious, I’ve bought the off-brand and it works well too. So buy it in store or order online to have on hand for all your baked goods.

Now on to the recipe that I tweaked from my America’s Test Kitchen cookbook, The New Best Recipe, a must-have cookbook in my summation. Feel better about sneaking this soft batch whole wheat chocolate chip cookie!

“Real Food Meets Reality” Menu Plan: August 22-28

August 22-28, 2016: A FREE healthy, easy meal plan that the whole family will love every Friday at Thriving Home (thrivinghomeblog.com).

Sponsored by Hy-Vee (Columbia)

With soccer and baseball practices already in full swing for fall, I’m whipping up quick week night meals like Baked Nachos, Ham and Cheese Sliders, and make-ahead Bacon and Spinach Quiche. And, then, I’m taking it somewhat easy this weekend by utilizing the grill, some leftovers, and my slow cooker. I hope you can find some recipes your family will love this week on our menu plan, too!

P.S. Did you know you can have these menu plans emailed to you to weekly? All you have to do is sign up here.

30+ Kid-Friendly Freezer Meals

30+ Kid Friendly Freezer Meals. Look no further for healthy, make ahead meals that you can stock up on. All of these recipes are kid friendly and freezer friendly. A must have resource for the future!

Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with Frigidaire Gallery. But the opinions are all ours!

A few days ago, my three year old threw a 15 minute tantrum at the kitchen table. The reason for the unrest?

A broken banana.

I wish I were joking. As I was peeling it for him, it broke in half. My attempts to explain that it would taste just the same fell on deaf ears.

Don’t even ask what happened when I cut his cinnamon toast the wrong way.

Drama.

If you’ve had young children, you are well aware that most kids are very particular about their food. They can love something one day and consider it a crime that you would even consider putting that food on their plate again. Their fickleness about food can be maddening–especially if you’ve worked hard to make a homemade meal.

Because we are well acquainted with the struggle of finding meals that kids will like, we have done some digging and rounded up 30 kid friendly meals. An added bonus is that all of these meals are freezer-friendly. This means if you are a wise mama, which I’m sure you are, you should probably double the recipe and freeze one for later.

30+ Kid Friendly Freezer Meals. Look no further for healthy, make ahead meals that you can stock up on. All of these recipes are kid friendly and freezer friendly. A must have resource for the future!

Both Rachel and I have made doubling and freezing meals a lifestyle, and it has saved us tons of time and a lot of money over the years. Not to mention the added health benefits of eating at home more.

Truth be told, I could not be an advocate for freezer cooking if I didn’t have a quality secondary freezer in my basement. I love my Upright Freezer. Love it, I tell you. First of all it’s massive. There is so much space so I can stock up on seasonal fruits and vegetables, have room for meals when I come home from a freezer meal party, have the freedom to cook in bulk and even stock up on grocery items when they are on sale. A quality freezer is a thrifty-mama’s best friend.30+ Kid Friendly Freezer Meals. Look no further for healthy, make ahead meals that you can stock up on. All of these recipes are kid friendly and freezer friendly. A must have resource for the future!

Both Rachel and I use the Frigidaire Gallery® 2-in-1 Freezer/Refrigerator and will gab all about it to anyone who will listen. Hop over to Frigidaire.com to learn more about it yourself!

Now that you know where to store these delicious meals, let’s get to the roundup!

30+ Kid-Friendly Freezer Meals

A Third Kid is Like…

“So, how is life with three kids?” is a common question I’ve been getting these days.

It’s such an innocent question that I can answer in one sentence or in three hours.

And, as with most things in the realm of parenting, one’s experience is entirely dependent on the existing family dynamics. So much of the transition is affected by the state of your marriage, the ages and temperaments of the older kids, the external factors (work, extended family’s availability, etc.), and the health of your spiritual life. So, when someone asks me how it is having a third kid, I speak entirely out of my experience when I say it is a wonderful crazy.

Having a Third Kid is Like: