Saturday, November 23, 2013

Christmas Memories

Our first Christmas as parents - 2008

I love Christmas!  It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!  In our home, the Christmas tunes are turned on beginning November 1st and we enjoy them for two solid months.  My husband always says it's a little early, but I know he secretly enjoys it. :)  I loved Christmas as a kid, and feel so blessed to have kids of my own now to make memories with.  My kids (who are now 5, 3, and 2 months)  have already started getting excited talking about the special things we did together last year.  Well, the two oldest have been talking about it and the two month old will get to experience her very first Christmas this time around.  I wanted to remember what we've done in the past and think of some new ideas for this year.  Here are some of our favorites in no particular order...

1.  Go to Lowe's and buy a tree.  

We like to make a day of it and spend some time decorating the house as well.  The kids love putting ornaments on the tree, but it usually turns into Grant putting lights on (because he can reach to the top and I don't like to), and me rearranging the ornaments once the kids are asleep.  Cool story... The train around the bottom of the tree (pictured below) came from the side of the road in our neighborhood.  In June of last year I saw a box in front of someone's house that said "free toys", so I stopped and looked through it and came away with this treasure!

2013 Christmas Tree





2.  Make a felt Christmas tree.  I made this a couple of years ago after seeing it on Pinterest, and we reuse it every year.  Command strips work great for attaching it to the wall and easy removal.  By doing this craft, I learned that felt sticks to felt. :)





My babies have changed a lot in a year!


3.  Make a gingerbread house.  I always get the kits and the kids love eating the ingredients more than making the house, but that's okay.  This one is a hard one for me since it makes a terrible mess, but this year I think I'll put a dollar store tablecloth under it and throw it away when we're finished.  I also have to tell my perfectionist self to let them decorate it however they want every year, but I'm not always successful.






4.  Watch Frosty The Snowman and make a "Frosty" snack.  Ingredients include powdered doughnuts, chocolate chips, jelly beans, and fruit roll-ups.  Place three doughnuts on a skewer and decorate snowman.  Use toothpicks dipped in melted chocolate chips for eyes and mouth.  We could also go get a frosty at Wendy's.





5.  Bake together.  My kids love to help me cook!  A couple of our favorite things to make this time of year are chocolate chip oatmeal cookies and toffee.



6.  Watch The Grinch and make Grinch floats.  Just mix Sprite and lime sherbert.  This year I think we'll also make Grinch kabobs.


7.  Teach the kids the words to classic Christmas carols.  Grant can play them on the guitar or I can play them on our new piano.

8.  Make paper snowflakes.  We did this for the first time last year and the kids enjoyed it more than I had imagined.

9.  Read Christmas books.



10. Let the kids sleep in the same room on Christmas Eve.  My siblings and I did this growing up and I have fond memories of staying up late and talking and running down the hallway together on Christmas morning to see what Santa had brought us.

11.  Make a nativity scene centerpiece out of food.




12.  Watch The Polar Express and have tickets ready for a surprise trip.  This was my favorite memory from last year!  I think this movie is a little odd, but my kids really like it.  Last year I printed these tickets and laminated them (so Conductor Grant could punch holes in them) and after watching the movie we got the kids ready for bed as usual and when they were already in bed we had them check under their pillows for the hidden tickets.  They couldn't believe they had "real" Polar Express train tickets under their pillows.  We had them board our own version of the Polar Express (minivan) in their pajamas (after having their tickets punched, of course) and drove them around to see Christmas lights.  They thought it was the coolest thing ever!  Weston checked under his pillow for another ticket for the next month. :)



13.  Fill a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child.  We went as a family this year to buy presents for a child in another country who would otherwise not get anything.  It was a good opportunity to talk to the kids about being grateful and giving.

14.  Take the kids to buy Christmas presents with their own money.  They can buy each other gifts at the Dollar Tree with some of the money they've been saving in their piggy banks.

15. Act out the Christmas story.  When we read the Jesus Storybook Bible to the kids in the evenings they always want to act out the story afterwards. Advent Bible reading plan

16.  Attend the Christmas Eve service at church.  Thirty minutes of singing about the birth of Jesus and hearing dad read the story from the Bible.  Looking forward to the day when the kids are old enough to hold candles when we sing Silent Night for the closing song.  We almost burned the church down last year!

17.  Go to Hobby Lobby and pick out an ornament.  Everyone gets to pick their very own each year.

18.  Make reindeer pancakes and watch Rudolph.



19.  Watch Home Alone, Elf, White Christmas, and Miracle on 34th Street.



20.  Jesse Tree.  This will be our third year to have a Jesse Tree, but I'm excited about this year because I know the kids will understand more.  I bought  a small $2 tree at Goodwill a few years back that we hang our ornaments on.  I found a good kid version and ornaments to print and laminate here.

21.  Get a picture with Santa.  If you live in a town with a Bass Pro Shop they do them for free! 



22.  Sing Happy Birthday to Jesus Christmas morning before eating our special Christmas breakfast.  I usually make a sausage and egg casserole and cream cheese danish.  We light a candle and sing the Happy Birthday song.

23.  Take a picture of the kids in front of the tree.  Christmas pajamas are the best!






24.  Go to Nonna and Papaw's church to see the Singing Christmas Tree.  


25.  Take Alivia to see The Nutcracker.  Someone recently told me about the Ballet Arts here in Jackson and how they perform this every year.

26.  Visit extended families.  Grant and I are so blessed to come from families with parents who have been married to each other for 30+ years.  We each have three siblings and as they have gotten married and had children we enjoy so much getting to spend time with them!  We also have grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins - some of which we only get to see at Christmas.  I'm so thankful my kids get to be around some of their great grandparents.



*At this point we obviously don't have a problem with incorporating Santa into our Christmas festivities.  Grant and I had fun with the Santa tradition in our families growing up and want to continue the fun with our own children.  As for Jesus being the reason for the season - we celebrate the birth of Christ at Christmas and all throughout the year.  




Friday, November 22, 2013

White Chicken and Cheese Lasagne



I recently tried this lasagne recipe from Tasty Kitchen and it was better than expected.  My kids don't normally like lasagne, but they loved this and even ate the spinach.  It didn't take too terribly long to make and I plan to add it to my list of regulars.

Ingredients:
9 whole lasagne noodles (not oven-ready)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup frozen, chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk
4 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried Basil
1 tsp dried Oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups Ricotta cheese
2 cups cooked, cubed chicken
10 oz frozen, chopped spinach (thawed and drained)
Parsley

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Cook lasagne noodles according to package instructions.  Drain and rinse with cold water. Don't let these sit out too long because they will stick together.
3.  Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Cook the onion and garlic in butter until tender.  Stir in flour and salt.  Simmer until bubbly.
4.  Mix in the broth and milk, and boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute.  Stir in 2 cups Mozzarella and 1/2 cup Parmesan.  Season with basil, oregano, and pepper.  Remove from heat and set aside.
5.  Spread 1/3 of the sauce mixture on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Layer with 1/3 noodles, and all of the Ricotta and chicken.  Arrange 1/3 of the noodles over the chicken and layer with 1/4 of the sauce mixture, the spinach, and the remaining 2 cups of Mozzarella and 1/2 cup Parmesan
6.  Arrange remaining noodles over cheese and spread remaining sauce evenly over noodles.  Sprinkle with parsley.
7.  Bake for 35-40 minutes in preheated oven.  Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.



Thursday, October 24, 2013

Cheeseburger Soup



It's fall yall!  And fall at the Gaines' house means soup on Saturdays.  I've been making this cheeseburger soup for a couple of years since finding it on Pinterest and it is the perfect combination of meat and potato warm goodness.  I have Taste of Home to thank for the recipe, which has been a good resource for my menus since I got married and started cooking 8 1/2 years ago.  Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onions
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
4 Tbsp butter, divided
3 cups chicken broth
4 cups diced peeled potatoes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
8 oz Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup sour cream

Directions:
1.  Brown beef on stovetop, drain and set aside.
2.  Saute the onion, carrots, celery, basil and parsley in 1 Tbsp butter until vegetables are tender.  About 10 minutes.
3.  Add the broth, potatoes, and beef and bring to a boil.
4.  Cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
5.  Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter.  Add flour, cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly.
6.  Add to soup, bring to a boil.
7.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low.
8.  Stir in cheese, milk, salt, and pepper.  Cook and stir until cheese melts.
9.  Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Blueberry Crunch



Sometimes I'll make a dish that I haven't made in a long time and wonder why I waited so long to make it.  I had forgotten about this recipe until last week when I saw a friend post on facebook that blueberries were on sale at Kroger for 99 cents a pint!  I was right in the middle of making my grocery list and of course added blueberries.  My kids love them and I know they are good for you but they are usually pretty pricey.  I stocked up (because you can freeze them) and came home to make this yummy recipe that I got from Grant's Mamaw when we were newlyweds.  Some eat it for breakfast.  I consider it more of a dessert.  I have seen this recipe made with strawberries instead of blueberries and minus the pecans, but this is how we like it.  It is a very quick dish to make!

Ingredients:
1 box yellow cake mix
20 oz. crushed pineapple, undrained
3 cups blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup chopped pecans

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Spread pineapple in 9 x 13 dish.
3.  Spread blueberries on top of pineapples.
4.  Sprinkle with sugar.
5.  Pat dry cake mix over all.
6.  Drizzle butter over cake mix.
7.  Top with pecans.
8.  Bake for about 45 minutes.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Fruit of Her Hands

Recently my husband went on a mission trip to India and the kids and I went to AL to visit family.  This was a ten (turned eleven because of a missed flight) day trip where I took five books to read and was able to read two of them and start a third.  With a three and four year old in tow I was proud of this accomplishment.  Whenever I read a really good book I want everyone I know to read the book as well.  By the way, I only read what I would consider really good books, because if a book is not really good then I stop reading it.  There are way too many good books out there to waste my time on the not so good ones.  The Faithful Parent by Martha Peace and Stuart Scott  was one that I had high hopes for (because of other books written by these authors) and began reading not long ago only to decide it was kind of boring and the information was not all that helpful.  The two that I read in AL, however, were excellent and I want to share some of the highlights.  The first small book, The Fruit Of Her Hands, by Nancy Wilson is the first of many I hope to read by this author.  Here are some of the highlights broken up by chapters...

A Woman's Orientation to Marriage

"In the Song of Solomon we see a delightful view of the beloved: 'Like an apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my beloved among the sons' (2:3).  When you think of your husband, is he an apple tree in the forest? He should be.  Or do you see one tree in the forest, dwarfed by many other imposing trees of greater stature?  Perhaps you need to adjust your view."

"A head is given to a woman for protection, safety, and shelter... Submitting to someone whom God has placed over you with loving authority is a relief, not a burden."

"We need to see submission to our own head as a God-ordained means to our protection and happiness."

"Her (a christian woman's) ministry should be visibly connected to him (her husband).

Walking With God

Sit down and read straight through five chapters of the New Testament every day and that small amount of time will take you through the NT once every two months.

"Paul teaches that women are more easily deceived than men (1 Timothy 2:14)"

"What does a wise woman do who needs spiritual help? Go to your husband first... if you have gone to him humbly, and he does not want to counsel you, get his permission to seek pastoral or biblical counseling."

"How can we know what God requires if we are not reading what He has written? (Deut. 8:3)."

"Stay away from books that get you to look inward instead of away from yourself to Christ."

Respect

"Let the wife see that she respects her husband."  -Ephesians 5:33

"Sometimes I wonder where the church would be today if the men in it were respected as they ought to be by their wives.  What power would God unleash through godly men who were respected in their homes?  I am certain that lack of respect and, in some cases, overt disrespect are holding many men back."

"A wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands." -Proverbs 14:1

"It is far too common to hear wives complaining about the shortcomings of their husbands... it is disrespect if you do."

"The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain.  She does him good and not evil all the days of her life." -Proverbs 31:11-12

"An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones." -Proverbs 12:4

"God has designed your husband to need respect, and He has commanded you to be the principal source of it."

"Because the husband is responsible for the decisions of the family, a wife must maintain an attitude of respect and submission in communication... Give him your input, ask for his counsel and advice, and then pray for him... When the wife is seizing the responsibility, he does not necessarily feel the need to fulfill his obligations."

1 Timothy 5:10: "Notice the order of these good deeds.  Our children are first. Next is hospitality.  Then comes relieving the afflicted.  The wife does not have to go outside her domain to 'do good.'  The home is the center of her activities, and these activities can be and should be pleasing to God."

"Remember that respect and submission are not what your husband requires of you, but what God requires of you."

"When a wife tries to bear the responsibilities that her husband should be bearing (in context, providing financially), she suffers... Quit scrambling, trying to come up with funds to meet deadlines.  It is his responsibility."

"Wives are to be submissive regardless of their husbands' spiritual state."

"Grumbling and whining are the enemies of submission."

Principles and Methods

Titus 2: "The passage does not tell us what age a woman must reach before she is older, but we must assume that she has already faithfully accomplished all she now sets out to teach."

Duties of Homemaking

"God had called me to be a wife, mother, and homemaker.  Because of this, all the mundane things I did were sanctified, holy, purposeful, and honoring to God, and I should offer them all to Him."

"When you are working hard at home, you don't have time to watch degrading television shows, you don't have time to spend your money recklessly, and you don't have time to fritter on the phone."

Lovemaking

"Paul states one of the purposes of marriage in 1 Corinthians 7:1-5: it is a protection from sexual immorality."

"It is far better to hurry up the wedding than engage in immorality (1 Cor. 7:9)."

Comparing the marital sexual relationship to a garden: In the Song of Solomon the bride is referred to as 'a garden enclosed' (4:12; 5:1).. a lush garden with its pleasant fruits... the garden is a private place with a high wall around it called the marriage covenant... the husband is the garden tender, and the wife becomes a source of great joy and delight to the husband as he spends time in the garden he faithfully tends... a christian woman takes an eager interest in making it a lovely garden that her husband delights to spend time in... a peaceful atmosphere, with a soothing effect on the soul... (she tends her garden) by being affectionate, approachable, warm, and responsive...  she hangs a 'No trespassing" sign out... a husband is never trespassing in his own garden."




The whole book is worth the read and Nancy Wilson along with her three daughters write at a blog called Femina.  I hope to share the info from the next book I read soon.



Monday, January 14, 2013

The Mission of Motherhood

My new favorite book is The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson.  Somehow last year I discovered her blog, I Take Joy, and knew instantly that I would love her books.  I was recently telling a friend about this book and she said she wanted the cliff notes of the books I read, so I decided to record all of the things I underlined in this book to share with all of you.  I wanted to go back and read the underlined parts anyway, so here we go... (I've divided them by chapters)

Introduction

"The fundamental mission of motherhood now is the same as it always was: to nurture, protect, and instruct children, to create a home environment that enables them to learn and grow, to help them develop a heart for God and his purposes, and to send them out into the world prepared to live both fully and meaningfully."

Discovering The Mission of Motherhood

"A profound need of every child: to be loved, cherished, cared for, and protected by her very own mother."

"Motherhood, while demanding, is one of the most fulfilling and meaningful roles a woman can fill."

"Over the course of the last century, traditional motherhood has become a lifestyle option - and to many, a lesser option - rather than a divine calling."

Reflecting on her experience as a mother, "They were busy little sinful creatures who demanded all of my body, time, life, emotions, and attention!"

"We mothers have the opportunity to influence eternity by building a spiritual legacy in the lives of our children."

"Those foundational years in the life of a child - those same years when I sometimes thought I was accomplishing nothing - have a lasting effect on almost every aspect of the rest of that child's life."

"I am to shepherd the hearts of my children whom he providentially placed in my care."

"The mission of motherhood is strategic in providing the next generation with wholehearted, emotionally healthy, and spiritually alive adults."

"I've learned that my influence on my children is limited only by the smallness of my dreams and my lack of commitment to the Lord and his purposes."

Exploring The Meaning of Biblical Motherhood

"Destroying the foundation of the family, which was designed by God to be the stable foundation of life, is a natural place for Satan to attack."

Committing Our Lives to God's Design

The dilemma confronting so many loving, well-intentioned mothers: "When they were preparing for life, they focused on career preparation and assumed that motherhood and a home life could be tucked in around the edges."

"How we choose to focus our priorities and time in light of our children's lives will have great consequences not only for their individual futures but for the future of our society as well."

"As more women work outside the home and the two-income family is considered the norm, I believe it's become harder, not easier, to be a family."

"Discovering interesting books, beautiful music, captivating art, and fun, playful moments within an intimate loving relationship nurtures the souls of children."

"The more hours children spend away from their mothers, the more likely they are to be defiant, aggressive, and disobedient by the time they are in kindergarten." - quoted from Time magazine, April 30, 2001

"Whatever the Lord requires, he also enables."

"In the absence of biblical convictions, people will go the way of their culture."

"The cost has been great, but the sacrifice was well worth it."

Mothering With The Heart of Jesus

"It's the way I respond to my children in everyday moments that gives me the best chance of winning their hearts."

"Attitude, I have found, makes all the difference when it comes to serving our children.  Serving with joy in the midst of messes and difficulty can only be done when we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit."

"My children didn't need me to be on top of all my chores or even to be perfect in taking care of all their needs.  What they needed was for me to be content and patient with life."

Reaching Children's Hearts for Christ

"I want them to leave my home with a hunger and passion to know God personally and to be used by him to accomplish great things for his kingdom."

"Often our lives are so overrun with small tasks that we get caught up in checking off the list of things that need to be done and lose sight of the big picture."

"Our primary job as parents is to focus on developing their hearts - their passions, loyalties, convictions, and commitments."

"A relationship with Christ is best taught through a long-term personal relationship with someone who knows the Master, not through activities organized around lots of people in impersonal and distracting instructional situations."

"The first principle of reaching our children, then, is that we have to make the time to be with them.  And we need to be diligent to practice what we preach!"

1 Corinthians 15:33, "Bad company corrupts good morals." - "While our children are young, we need to monitor carefully the people and ideas to which they are exposed... What does this mean in practical terms?  Children tend to take in all information as truth.  Guarding our children's influences, therefore, would certainly include keeping close tabs on their media exposure - television, movies, even books.  A wise mother will do very careful research before allowing her children access to most popular entertainment."

Training Children's Minds To Think Biblically

"In order to think biblically, a person needs to know the Bible.  That's probably the most basic aspect of training our children."

"The Bible, quite simply, is the richest treasure we can offer our children, the most valuable tool for shaping their thinking."

"All of us have times when we're resistant to truth, and that includes children.  Faithful, repetitive teaching of the biblical principles of right and wrong - plus a gentle but firm insistence that the children act on those principles - is what helps to build familiar pathways in their minds so that when they are mature, they will have a reliable basis for making decisions about what is right and what is wrong."

"In a sense, I give my children their best theological education by seeking to really know and love God in my own life and living my life out before my children."

Building Loving Relationships With Our Children

"The hunger for love, affirmation, attention, and acceptance is a deep drive that will search for fulfillment until it finds it.  A child's first attachment is meant to be with its mother, so lots of loving touches and caresses from her make a difference in the child's future intellect, emotional stability, and sense of well-being.  Time and affectionate attention from a father and significant others is crucial as well."

"All the activities that keep us so busy and involved are nice but not necessary."

"Stay-at-home moms, too, can be overly busy and emotionally unavailable to their kids."

"It is important to focus on relational time as well as on activity or discipline.  All three are important, but relationship has the highest priority, because it is the foundation upon which the rest of our life with our children will stand."

"When children feel that pleasing their parents is impossible, they often reject the values and beliefs of their parents."

"Even gentle words of correction, if balanced with affirmation of a child's potential and efforts, can be encouraging, but thoughtless criticism merely stings a child's soul."

"Even then I try to keep my voice gentle and my wording constructive.  And I seek to make more encouraging comments to our children than negative in order to keep their emotional reservoirs filled with the joy and motivation that comes from knowing they're loved and appreciated."

Cultivating and Enriching Our Children's Lives

"As a garden cannot flourish without a gardener, neither can a child reach his or her potential without someone committed to careful cultivation."

"Committing to regular, specific training in manners and graciousness is all that it takes to build confidence." (in this area)

"We want to fill our home with what is true, right, honorable, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent, and worthy of praise." (Philippians 4:8)  (Thinking about art, music, toys, videos, movies, computer games, etc...)

Embracing God's Call To Home-Making

"The task of building our homes into places of beauty and life that will feed the hearts, souls, and minds of our children is the mot comprehensive task to which God has called us as mothers.  We are called quite literally to be "home makers" - to plan and shape a home environment that provides our families with both a safe resting place and a launching pad for everything they do in the world."

"Each of us is called to make daily faith decisions that will determine the kind of environment that shapes our family's lives."

"It is a commitment of heart, mind, and soul to the task of subduing (making productive) a very specific part of the earth - the domain of the home.  It involves teaching minds and nurturing hearts and shaping souls, in addition to getting the rugs vacuumed and dinner on the table!"

"If I can succeed in creating a nurturing environment that speaks peace to their souls even as it helps them grow, I will feel that I have done my job as keeper of my domain."

"My purpose in organizing my household is not to live up to some external value system but to make life easier and more peaceful for the whole family."

"We also realized that for children to be influenced primarily by us, they had to spend most of their time with us."

"The strong and secure future we help to build for our children is laid by the hundreds of small deeds we do every day as we serve faithfully in our homes."

Opening Windows To God's Artistry and Greatness

"A crucial part to the mission of motherhood:  exposing our children to the power and majesty of our Creator God and encouraging them to respond with gratitude and their own creative efforts."

So many today are "rarely exposed to the natural elements that were meant to daily confront our soul with the greatness of God."

"being made in God's image means we are like him - each of us.  If he is creative, then we also have that potential - all of us."

"There are usually peaceful ways to motivate my children to do what I want them to do instead of always confronting them with harsh words and lectures."

"My goal is to touch my children's hearts with the overwhelming wonder of his presence."

Bringing God's Purposes Into Our Homes... and Beyond

"Service to others in need is an essential part of training and instructing our children in order to cultivate in them a loving and obedient heart."

"Making disciples of my children is certainly part of my view of the mission of motherhood."

"Helping our children develop a heart for God and his kingdom work must be my fundamental priority as a mother."

Finishing The Journey With Endurance and Grace

"Inadequacy, in fact, had been my familiar and constant companion, overcome only by "His strength is perfected in my weakness" choices of faith."

God gave me "instruction when I needed to learn how to build in reality what he had already placed in my heart to do."

"The mission of motherhood requires grit.  It requires perseverance.  And that often means years of repetitious and mundane tasks, years of repeating yourself, years of wondering whether anything you do or say makes a difference."

Hebrews 10:35-39...
"Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.  For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.  For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay.  But My righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.  But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul."

"I must choose to believe that it matters that I am choosing to be with my children and slowly build their character instead of pursuing a full-time career where the results of my labor may be more immediately tangible."

"May God's grace sustain us all in this great calling, and may we see eternity changed because of the commitments of our hearts lived out for his glory."



Sally Clarkson has raised and homeschooled four children and now travels with her husband, Clay, to speak about the importance of the family.  She has helped her husband write Educating The WholeHearted Child, which I am now reading and enjoying.  I hope these quotes offer encouragement to all moms who read them and give a desire to read the whole book.

Sincerely,
A mom with a mission