living on pb & j

Ordinary moms living on Prayer, the Bible, and Jesus!


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Thankgiving

I asked a panel of amazing moms to answer the following questions about their observance of Thanksgiving.  I hope this is a blessing to you and gives you some ideas and encouragement.

Favorite Thanksgiving Memory.

  • My favorite Thanksgiving memory is waking up to the smell of my mom’s pumpkin bread. When I bake pumpkin bread, and the smell carries through the house, I am instantly back at home with my parents and sisters!
  • Big group get-togethers with my aunts, uncles, parents and grandparents.
  • My favorite memory was our dinner time growing up. Due to our large family, we would have a long table full of food and family. It was a always a fun family day with great food and board games. I loved it

Who do you spend Thanksgiving with?

  • It depends on where we are living. If we are home for the holidays, we alternate between my family and his. If we are on the road, we invite friends/neighbors who are not going home for the holidays to share in our Thanksgiving meal.
  • We spend it with my husband’s side of the family.
  • We have an open-house policy, so any of our friends, family and church family that do not have a place to go, come to our house. Everyone brings a dish so that makes it easy.

What do you normally cook/eat?

  • We normally eat turkey and ham or cornish hens, cornbread dressing, sweet potato casserole (with marshmallows), green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, Mac and cheese, corn (corn casserole, hot corn, corn salad, or just corn), rolls, pumpkin bread, fruit salad, pies (pumpkin, chocolate, pecan), and homemade candy!
  • We go to DoubleTree Suites for their Thanksgiving buffet J When I was pregnant with baby #3 I just couldn’t handle home-school, kids and hosting it at our house. This has become our new tradition.

  • We normally have ham and turkey with a variety of different sides like green bean casserole, corn, rolls and so on.

Do you have any favorite recipes that you can share?

  • This is a new recipe…that will become tradition in our home this year. It is a spin off from our pumpkin bread. My 10 year old created it…and named it pumpkin spice cake!

How is your family intentional about making the holiday about Thanksgiving to God?

  • Daily reminders, Bible verses related to praising God and giving thanks, or devotionals related to thankfulness. We also pray around the table prior to our thanksgiving meal. We take turns expressing our thankfulness to God for his many blessings! One year we created a turkey, and on the back of each feather was a bible verse about thankfulness. It was a fun way to count down to Thanksgiving, while discussing the Word of God with our children.
  • One thing I do is read a book I have on Kindle every year in November called 365 DAYS OF THANKING GOD Each day’s passage is very, very short, so I can do so easily.
  • We made a tree this year and the kids put up a new leaf every day with something they were thankful for.
  • We read several Christian books to the kids about Thanksgiving during the month of November. SQUANTO AND THE MIRACLE OF THANSKGIVING, PILGRIM BOY (A Beka Press), BEARENSTAIN BEARS GIVE THANKS, and THANKSGIVING: A TIME TO REMEMBER, by Barbara Rainey.

Do you have any traditions that you do?

  • We create our Thanksgiving meal together! It is fun to have the entire family involved in preparing the meal. We also watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade. The month of November, my children also create a “thankful tree”.
  • During the 2nd winter that the Pilgrims were in the new world, legend has it that food was so scarce that everyone was forced to eat a ration of 5 kernels of corn a day. The day before Thanksgiving, during my kids’ snack time, that is all they get for their snack. We talk about how that is all the pilgrims got to eat for a WHOLE day. Yet, no one died of starvation. God sustained them. I also have the kids listen to an episode of ADVENTURES IN ODYSSEY that we have on a CD called “Stepping Stones” and it’s all about the pilgrims and how they came to the New World for freedom to worship God.

  • We watch the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special on DVD which also includes a show called the Mayflower Voyagers and talks about how the pilgrims were come to the new world for religious freedom.

If you could give advice to other moms/wives about Thanksgiving, what would it be?

  • Don’t stress over clean homes and a dinner to impress! Enjoy the day!
  • For many years I felt like I had to be the perfect hostess and cook a bunch of food for Thanksgiving. I felt exhausted and almost dreaded it. Now that we eat at a lovely buffet, I really enjoy it and look forward to the day. I watch the Macy’s parade on TV with the kids, we sleep in a little, and we just spend the morning as a family. It also frees me up to put the focus back on thankfulness to God because I’m not spending the week killing myself with cooking and cleaning.

  • Enjoy the day and let other’s help you. You don’t have to do it all yourself. Also enjoy your family. We have so much for which to be thankful, enjoy that instead of stressing.

How do you balance Thanksgiving and Black Friday?

  • Thanksgiving is for time with family and friends. Friday is for shopping. If we miss the deals, it’s not the end of the world!
  • The evening of Thanksgiving we go out as a family and do the evening Black Thursday sales and we get some great deals. Then on Friday we just stay home and do family stuff together.

  • I think it’s all about your attitude. If you are going from thankfulness to greed in a matter of a few hours, there is a heart issue. Enjoy your family and enjoy the sales, but don’t allow the Black Friday sales to interfere with your time with your family.

Rejoicing,

Joy

 

 

 

 

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Confessions of a Mommy Blogger

The other day in our mom’s group, one of the moms, (just for fun) wrote a status called “Confessions.” One mom mentioned she had a pile of clean laundry on her couch for over two weeks, while another confessed her struggles to clean and yet another admitted her dislike of and struggle in the schooling of her child.

The replies went on and on! It made me feel good just reading them all. It was oddly encouraging to know that all of us moms struggle. It could appear that I, as a blogger, have it all together. You might think that I’m organized, creative, a super mom and spiritually mature. You might be very wrong!

Paul said it best when he said “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” – I Timothy 1:15

I feel like this verse pretty much sums up my life. I am the chief sinner.  I struggle with my feelings, my responses, my mouth. Ihave too many battles that I need to/ would love to win!

Organized?  BWAHAHAHAHA!  Ok, sorry, I had to have a good laugh there. You should ask my mom. Girl, I am a mess! I “try” to be organized to keep sane. I have to prepare on Friday, for Sundays. I literally write out times to play with my kids and times to clean the house so I  make sure I can get it all done. Even with the lists & schedules, my life is crazy!

Super mom? …more like sinking mom. . 🙂

Ladies, moms, friends, please know I am just like you. We, mommy bloggers, are just like you. We blog because we are learning and we are so excited about our journey that we want to share it with you.

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I hope that you will see through this screen to a humble wife and mother whose laundry is not done, whose child’s room has the smell of potty-training, whose dinner did NOT turn out once again, whose son had 3 meltdowns at church tonight and who finally was able to take a shower at 4:30 today.

I learn and I teach what I learn. More times then not, my teaching comes from studying either the Bible or reading someone else’s life/blog.  So it’s not original with me and, I suspect, it’s not always original with them.

We mommies all have our confessions. We bloggers are just like you. We are not perfect, just sharing our life with you.

Some closing thoughts–

Do you know what? I only need to be awesome to God and my family. YES MA’AM.

The Bible gives me some very simple principles concerning my family.   “… to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children” – Titus 2:4

I just have to love my husband and love my children. That may look different in your life than it does in mine. Different families, different husbands and different children have different love languages.

Find out what makes your family members feel loved.   Ask each individual. Then do what it takes to make them feel loved. That may mean that your laundry gets left for a week, or that you don’t get to clean out your frig. It may mean that your child gets some cuddle action while he is watching Veggie Tales or it may mean that you need to put ___________ on hold so that _______________ can be carried out.  (Fill in the blanks.)

Each of our lives are going to look different. We are all going to have rough days and we are all going to have amazing days. So, the next time your friend posts a message about her amazing day, be happy for her, learn from her life lessons and just know that her laundry probably needs to be put away and her dinner might be burning on the stove.

Rejoicing,

Joy T


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Stress-Free Sunday

It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m exhausted!  My son woke up in the middle of the night screaming his head off due to YET ANOTHER ear infection. It was a “fun” night not filled with much sleep. I got out of bed later then I should have, had to deal with a very cranky boy, and got my daughter and myself out the door in time for church.

This morning could have been VERY stressful and I will admit it was not one of my favorites,but a few things that I started doing a while ago saved the day.

Sundays, in general, are stressful. It means getting your family, nicely dressed, to church, fed and happy by a certain time. It is also the day that the devil seems to attack MOST families. If you are pastor’s wife or a single mom, it means that you are probably getting your family ready by yourself.

After a few years of stressful Sundays, I decided I would have to eliminate the stress. Since, eliminating church was not an option, I came up with a few ideas that would help me. I have shared this post in the past, but since it’s been so helpful to me, I felt I must share it again for those who may have not seen it.

PREPARATION IS KEY

1. Start preparing on FRIDAY

Because the devil is smart and my flesh can be lazy, I start 2 days out so that I am prepared and ready. Saturday can be busy and stressful which, in turn, can make Sunday stressful.

I pick out and iron all of our Sunday clothes on Friday so that they are ready to go. Then I finish all the laundry from the week and put it away. Finally, I do a thorough cleaning of the house.  This way there is a more relaxed atmosphere for the weekend. Then, I don’t clean or do laundry again until Monday. I mean how much damage can the family do in 2 days. HAHAHAHA BUT, seriously, it does help.

2. Prepare on Saturday

I give the children each a bath on Saturday night. The next morning, my child may wet himself or there might be some accident (IT DOES HAPPEN) but it does give you the upper hand if you don’t have any accidents.

I try to make extra food Saturday night so we can have leftovers on Sunday afternoon for lunch. Another idea is to prepare a crock-pot meal.

Finally, I place anything I need to take with me to church by the door, so that I will see it when I head out the door. I also check my diaper bag and make sure it’s stocked.

3. Sunday Tips

I usually try to give my son a hearty breakfast so that he will be full; this will hold him for a while at church. I DON’T DRESS THEM until we are done eating. “A” usually sits at the table in a diaper at breakfast. This way food will not get spilled on my child’s Sunday outfit.

When we get in the car, we play some praise music. It helps to get your mind in the right place.

This Sunday, it wasn’t super stressful. Why? because we had clothes ready to go. I had a lunch ready for when we got home. I didn’t worry about the house. I just worried about getting to church to worship. For the most part, I was prepared.

I hope some of these ideas help. Sunday is God’s day.

You know, we plan for 3 months to a year for a wedding. Why? because it’s important. Is God and His’ day important to you? Let’s make it important.

Rejoicing,

Joy T