Monday, March 27, 2017

#PrinceofPeace - Finding Peace through Jesus Christ

My mom is a person who does things because she believes they are right. She will be the first to defend something she believes in. She shares what she believes. She speaks up about what she believes. And she lives what she believes.

Growing up, I never questioned that my mom believed. Actually, that's not entirely true. I remember one time as a teenager, asking her if she ever just wanted to do something that was wrong.
Just because.
I certainly felt like it sometimes and felt frustrated with her seemingly perfectness. She looked at me with the saddest expression and simply said no. It is evident in her actions what she believes in. And that is a perfect definition of faith.

Because faith is not just believing.

Faith is acting on what we believe.

And if that faith is founded in the Savior, then we will feel true peace in our lives.  When we are trying to live in a way that reflects what we believe, we feel peace.

Throughout my life, my mom has been an example to me and a guide to follow as I learn to develop my own faith in Jesus Christ.

This post is going to be quite different than any I've shared for a long time. And that's because it's deeply personal and not at all crafty :)  However, I feel impressed to share an experience I had when I felt an overpowering sense of peace through my Savior.

I share this to coincide with the #PrinceofPeace Easter campaign from I'll explain more about what this is after I share my story.

It all started a couple years ago with a phone call from my husband. It was the middle of the day and not at all unusual, since he often calls to check in when he's at work. What was unusual, was his choked up voice and the first words out of his mouth: "Sherwood's been shot, he's alive, but another officer has been killed."

You see, my husband is a police officer and a nightmare was unfolding. Things like this just don't happen in our area. Do you know what scared me the most? It was the fact that the man who's not afraid of anything sounded scared. He said he didn't know when he'd be home. He was going to stay and help. I didn't get any details. I hung up the phone with a feeling of complete terror.

My three older kids were on their way home from school. Leaving my preschooler inside, I went out to look down the street to see if they were coming, wanting to rush them inside quickly and keep them safe. I also needed time to compose myself. Thoughts like "How can I continue to send my husband off to work?" "What if I have to raise my children alone?" and "How could I raise my children to choose right in such a terrible world?" flooded my brain. I felt I was drowning in fear, panic, and dread.

I turned my thoughts into a prayer, pleading with my Heavenly Father. I wanted to raise my kids to believe as I did. To have the faith that my mom taught me. But at the moment it felt impossible with the appalling events happening around me. How could I accomplish that when the opposing forces for evil were so blatantly invading my life?

I remember the exact spot I was standing in the driveway when it happened. It was as if a switch had been flipped. Instantly, I felt an intense, overpowering sense of peace. So strong were the feelings of peace that the fear and panic vanished immediately.

The circumstances had not changed. But somehow, my feelings had. I felt the love, strength and peace of my Savior. I felt as Paul, who said "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" {Phillippians 4:13} I was no longer worried about the very real and hard questions I had had just moments before. Instead, I felt confident that through faith in Christ, I could do what was required of me. Whatever that might be.

My husband eventually came home from work. Not everyone did that day. I pray that the families involved were able to feel the peace and comfort of the Savior, as they needed it so much more than I did.

How can we come to feel peace? 

It's a question many of us may ask as we go through hard times. As you may know, I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I'm excited to share with you a message from our church. It's an initiative from that will help us to focus on Jesus Christ this Easter Season. The campaign is called #PrinceofPeace. It specifically focuses on the peace we can feel through our Savior.

The effort begins on March 31st when you can view a special short video on This video shows us the role of Jesus Christ as the Prince of Peace. I was honored to get a sneak peak of the video and I felt such truth in it. It's powerful! And so touching! I encourage everyone to view it.

But the effort doesn't end there. Each day leading up to Easter Sunday there will be a new video sharing a different principle of peace:

Scripture {God's Word}

These daily clips will each focus on one of these principles of peace. Along with each video is an invitation to implement that principle in our lives, so that we can feel the peace our Savior has to offer us. I'll be sharing more soon about how I'll incorporate these principles into my family's Easter week with a fun craft/decoration for our home.

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Dinner Meal Plan - Family Dinner Ideas - March

It has never been more apparent to me why I love to meal plan than it has this month. I've had many days this month when I have been on the go from the moment I wake up until late into the night. It's important to me {and to my budget} that we don't eat out just because we're busy. I like to have home cooked dinners. It's a priority to me. The only way I'm able to pull it off when I'm so busy is because I plan our meals ahead of time.

This month's tip: Take your schedule into account when preparing your menu plan. Tuesdays are crazy busy around here. So we usually have something super easy that day. Often my oldest daughter helps out while I'm running the younger ones around. If you have those days of the week that are always crazy, plan simple meals for those days. On the other hand, some of my favorite meals take a little time. I make sure to plan them on a day when I know I won't be busy with other tasks.

This is a new series I've started this year. Take a look at my January Menu and my February Menu.

March Dinner Menu Plan

As always I have included the main dish, but for a complete meal, you will need to add your favorite veggies and sides.

Here's a key:
**super easy
* easy
+ new recipe - I haven't tried it yet
^ plan ahead

Printable Menu

For almost all of the meals, I have included links to the recipe. Just click on the meal to be taken to the recipe. If there's not a link, it's because I feel that it's easy or basic enough that you probably know how to make it. However, I would love to answer any questions you may have. Please ask!

Week 1
Sunday:  Garlic Herb Roast, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, and Grandma's Dinner Rolls
Monday: Chicken Parmigiana**
Tuesday: Pigs in a Blanket**
Wednesday: Scalloped Potatoes with Ham
Thursday:   Taco Soup*
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: Blackened Chicken and Alfredo and Homemade Breadsticks

Week 2
Sunday: Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, and  Rhodes rolls
Monday: Chicken and Rice
Tuesday: French Toast**
Wednesday: Parmesan Tilapia*
Thursday: out of town
Friday: out of town
Saturday: Manicotti  and Homemade Breadsticks

Week 3
Sunday: Roasted Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, and Sunday Dinner Rolls
Monday: Chef Salad**
Tuesday: Homemade Egg and Bacon McMuffins*
Wednesday: Hamburgars, Hotdogs and Frozen French Fries
Thursday: Chicken Enchilada Casserole*
Friday: Navajo Tacos
Saturday: Aus Jus Sandwiches**

Week 4
Sunday: Sunday Roast, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, and Grandma's Dinner Rolls
Monday: Chicken and Broccoli over Rice^ - Crockpot
Tuesday: German Pancakes *
Wednesday: Drumsticks & Twice Baked Potatoes
Thursday: Green Bean Casserole*
Friday: Calzones
Saturday: 7-up Chicken

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

How to Make a St. Patrick's Day Banner

Make an easy St. Patrick's Day banner with just a few supplies and a little time.

St. Patrick's Day is one of those holidays that I just love. I think it has something to do with the fact that it's my birthday too :) My mom always made it fun and would pinch us as soon as we woke up. After a few years, we got smart and made sure that we wore green to bed. She always decorated for St. Patrick's Day and of course I follow in that tradition.

How to Make a St. Patrick's Day Banner
As with most holidays, I like to make something new each year to add to the mix of decorations.  This is what I came up with this year. A simple banner made with duck cloth, embroidery thread and foam stickers. Super easy and cute!

How to Make a St. Patrick's Day Banner

Before we get started with the tutorial, I'm going to share my first attempt. Sometimes my ideas don't work out as planned.
This was my first idea for a banner. I thought burlap would work great for cross stitching. Turns out it didn't work as well as I thought - the squares are just not very even.  And it was taking FOREVER! I gave it up quickly and decided to try something a little easier and quicker, but still with an element of stitching involved.

Want to Make your own St. Patrick's Day Banner?

You will need:
fabric {I used duck cloth canvas}
embroidery thread {DMC906 and 909 were the greens I chose}
foam stickers

How to Make a St. Patrick's Day Banner

Begin by cutting your fabric into 12" X 3 1/2" pieces. Cut as many as you would like for your banner. I did 6.  Fold in half, then cut out the triangle piece at the bottom. The point should be two inches from the bottom and centered.

How to Make a St. Patrick's Day Banner
I used all six strands of thread and did a running stitch around the sides and bottom of each pennant. Make sure to leave a little opening along the top for your ribbon. Next add stickers.

How to Make a St. Patrick's Day Banner

Finally, insert a ribbon through the openings at the top. I pinned a safety pin to the end of the ribbon to help me thread it through the fabric.

All that's left to do is hang it. I'll let you in on a little secret... I use painters tape to attach it to the mantle. I'm strongly opposed to putting holes in the mantle that my husband worked so hard to build. So painter's tape does the job, is easily removable with no unsightly holes, and you don't even notice it unless you walk right up to it and look.

How to Make a St. Patrick's Day Banner
Do you decorate for St. Patrick's Day?

This banner could certainly be modified for any holiday, season or event. I'm thinking a little Easter egg banner would be darling.

You may also like:

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