Wednesday, March 29, 2017

#PrinceOfPeace: Easter Egg Banner



I love finding fun ways to count down to special events. Easter is coming up and I decided to make a fun little Easter egg banner. To help us think more of Christ during this Easter season, we will use this cute little Easter egg banner in conjunction with mormon.org's #PrinceOfPeace initiative.

This campaign is all about the peace we can feel in our lives through Jesus Christ. I have felt that peace - mostly in small everyday ways. But sometimes I have felt that peace in powerful, impactful, and unforgettable ways {you can read my story here}. Visit mormon.org to find out more about finding peace through Jesus Christ.

We will use this banner as a countdown of sorts. On the back of each egg is a principle of peace that we'll learn about.



Want to make your own Easter Egg Banner?

You will need:
Easter egg template
fabric {I used duck cloth}
assorted ribbons
assorted buttons
hot glue
sewing machine/thread/scissors
small clothespins

 To begin, you will need to get an Easter egg template. I'm not the best at drawing so I googled "Easter Egg Template". Tons of varieties of Easter eggs popped up. I chose one and printed it out, shrinking it to a 4 X 6 size and cut it out.

Next, I traced the egg onto fabric. I used duck cloth canvas in a cream color. Since there are 8 principles of peace, I cut out 16 eggs. One for the front and one for the back of each egg.

Gather up coordinating ribbons and buttons. I have a stash from old projects that I decided to use. I love it when I can make something without having to go to the store.
 
Now it's time to get creative.You can use any thing you have. At first, I thought I might use the glitter that you can see pictured. I ended up loving how the ribbon/button combos looked so I left it out. You could use foam stickers, like I did with my St. Patrick's Day Banner. Or you could embroidery them. Really you can decorate these eggs any number of ways.

I used hot glue to adhere the ribbon to the fabric, then trimmed the edges of the ribbon. The buttons that I used were a shank-type button. So I cut a small slit in the fabric with a razor blade because I wanted the shank to go through the fabric and the button to sit flatly on the top. Then I added a dab of glue to the button, then pushed the shank through the hole. For regular buttons, just add a dab of hot glue place it on the egg. Or you could sew them on if you want to get fancy.

Once I had the eggs decorated, I sewed the front, decorated egg to the back, blank egg. This is optional, but is a good idea, especially if you have a less sturdy fabric.


Print off the principles of peace chart. You can find it here. Cut out the prompts.

 
To make your banner, simply attach each egg, with a prompt on the back, to a piece of ribbon using a small clothespin.


Each day we'll learn about a different principle of peace:

Faith
Compassion
Forgiveness
Repentance
Gratitude
Scripture
Prayer
Hope


We will go to mormon.org and watch the corresponding video clip and read the corresponding scripture. Then we'll each choose one of the suggested activities to help us strengthen that principle and feel more peace in our lives.

I want my kids to learn how they can feel true inner peace in their lives. I invite you to join us in this effort.
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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.

#PrinceOfPeace: Finding Peace through Faith in Jesus Christ


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.

#PrinceOfPeace: Finding Peace through 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 mormon.org. 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 mormon.org 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.

#PrinceOfPeace: Finding Peace through Faith in Jesus Christ
The effort begins on March 31st when you can view a special short video on mormon.org. 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:

Faith
Compassion
Forgiveness
Repentance
Gratitude
Scripture {God's Word}
Prayer
Hope

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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