The World’s Best and Easy Dip

I love a simple and easy dip that will go with just about anything.   A friend of mine who is also a Pastor’s Wife gave me this recipe a few years ago and I have used it for so many parties and cookouts.

 

I don’t even know the name but it is so simple with only 4 ingredients…

  • 16oz. of sour cream
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese
  • 1 pack of ranch seasoning
  • 1 small package real bacon bits.

Mix all of these ingredients together and chill for 1 hour.  Serve with your favorite veggies, crackers, chips, bread, or pretzels.

This recipe gets so many compliments from everyone!

 

Breanna is 15 months

Breanna you are 15 months old!

  • I can’t remember how much you weigh but I think it is around 29 pounds.
  • You wear size 18-24 month clothing.
  • You are taking one nap in the afternoon and it usually lasts 2 hours.
  • You love your blanket.
  • You love playing with Garrett and Lexi.
  • You still are not walking. You have taken some steps but really enjoy crawling so won’t even bother walking.
  • You love our morning walks and enjoy being outside.
  • You love animals.
  • You have been chatting up a storm, but we cannot understand you. The only words we understand are momma, dadda, pekaboo, bye bye, luv you, and uh-oh.
  • You LOVE reading books. This is one of your favorite things!
  • When you are happy you are giggling, eating, or playing with the kids. You are still a very picky eater and can make it really hard! If you don’t like something you throw it off your high chair. We are really working on this issue.

We love you dearly and are really enjoying you at this age. You have a very big and silly personality which makes us laugh a lot!

 

 

 

First Day of School

Garrett and Lexi started a new year of school today.  They both have such wonderful teachers and were so excited to start the year.  I have a feeling in a few years they will not be as excited, but for now I am very glad that they enjoy school.  I might enjoy it a little too much.  I didn’t have to tell them to stop fussing at or touching one another all day…well all day until they came home.

Garrett was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed this morning.  He got right up and wanted to talk our heads off.  I am not much of a morning person so I had to be very patient with him as he was a lot more excited about waking up than I was.  🙂   Lexi is not a morning person but got right up the second time we told her to get up.   That is a huge blessing!

Breanna has really enjoyed having the kids home this summer.  Today while they were in school she kept looking around the house for them.  She was even looking in the backseat of the car for them when we went out for our morning walk.  It didn’t take too much time for her to adjust, but when they got home she was so happy to see them!

I am really looking forward to this school year and am really excited about all that God is going to do in our lives.   It has been so exciting to see all that the Lord has done this summer in our school.  He has brought us new staff in miraculous ways and timing.  He has really knit a wonderful teaching staff together.  Praise the Lord for His many blessings!

I hope everyone has a wonderful school year whether you are homeschooling, going to Christian school, or public school.  Be a light where ever you are and stand firm in your faith.

 

Printable Thank You Cards

Printable thank you cards make card giving so simple and inexpensive.  I love designing  and making handmade cards, but it can be very time-consuming.   I designed these cards so that I will have them when I need them without the worry of having to make one by hand.

This design has 3 cards per page.  Just simply print, cut out, fold, and give.

I highly recommend using a heavy weight paper like cardstock when printing.  The link for these cards is below.

Black and White Thank You Cards

Blessings,

Valerie

A New Momma!

A new Momma…that’s me!  Mark and I were able to get away this week and go on a little vacation.  We not only got away from our town, but from our kids as well.  The timing could not have been more perfect.  Perfect for me, but also the children.  I know they were  ready to have a vacation from their parents.

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We all had a wonderful time.  The kids really enjoyed staying with both sets of grandparents, the grandparents got their fill of the kids, and we were able to come back refreshed and renewed as parents again.

It is great to be home again as a family and we each have a renewed appreciation for each other.

 

The Road

The Road

by Maria Hartman

On a recent road trip with my kids, we got on the subject of heaven and hell. Specifically, how Jesus clearly speaks more about the place of torment called hell than about the glorious paradise called heaven. “Why is that?” asked one of my sons. I answered him the best way I could, and then God gave me an analogy that really hit home.

Come join us on our drive…

I told them to imagine that we were driving along an ordinary road, exactly as we were, and everything was fine as far as we could see.  Although we wouldn’t see it coming, there was going to be a sudden drop off in a few miles, and we and our car would plummet hundreds of feet to our death. There was no other option on this road, and we would
never be able to tell exactly when it would happen. Without plans to get off, we’d continue on it, unaware of the horrific danger we were in. BUT, if we exited off the road we were
on, we could get on a new road that would not only lead us to permanent safety, but would bring us to a beautiful garden. There, everything we could ever want to see and experience would be ours. I asked the kids, “What good would it do to know about the existence of this great place, and to keep talking about this great place, if we were about to drive directly off of a cliff?”

In this analogy, we will never reach that place of beauty if we don’t understand the dangers of the cliff. And in real life, we will never reach heaven if we don’t understand the dangers of hell assigned to every person who is not born again.

If we were truly about to head off of a cliff, it wouldn’t matter what other options ‘could
be’
, we’d have to deal with that one first. We’d want someone to tell us what was
going to happen to us, wouldn’t we? It is a loving thing to warn someone of impending harm, especially if you know how to avoid it. It is the only right thing to do; others must know that unless there is a specific road change, great horror will await. There is a way of escape; there is ONE way of escape.

John 14: 6 Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  ONE road leads to heaven, not all roads. Any other road, no matter how wonderful or noble, leads to the end, and to the sudden cliff that will swallow up each and every life.

For Today:
What road are you on? Are you sure you are heading to heaven because you have personally asked Jesus Christ to forgive your sin? Have others seen the fruit He has produced in your heart and life? Have you warned anyone lately (or ever) of the grave danger awaiting them on the road to destruction? This is not an opinion: this is truth; this is real. People all around us are driving aimlessly along, without a clue of what is to come.

Does that break your heart?

Then let’s love them by pointing them onto the road of Redemption, Hope, and Life; the way of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 20: 14-15
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

There’s Nothing Like The Living God

A couple of weeks ago we had a very special visitor in our Sunday morning worship service.  The quarterback for Virginia Tech came to see a guy in our church so he decided to come to church with him.

I didn’t tell Garrett because I wanted it to be a surprise.  Plus, he has a way of bugging us to death if he is excited about going somewhere or seeing someone.  He is a planner so he  counts the minutes (one minute at a time) until the exact time we leave.   That may be a very slight exaggeration.

It was neat to watch everyone in the church respond to this visitor.  Some were excited, some got autographs, and some just stared.  It was a very neat experience…

But all morning I wondered if we would be as excited if God showed up at our church.   I mean, if the God of all creation just showed up at our church how would we respond.   I was almost afraid to ask myself.

We have been praying for God to do mighty things in our midst.  We have set aside times to meet with Him in prayer to seek His direction and will for our church.  Our church now has a furnace room (a prayer room) during our morning worship services.  We have a house of prayer on Wednesday nights that is set aside for prayer alone.  And we have a ladies prayer chain/group that prays daily.   We are seeking and this last Sunday morning He showed up.

Did you know that when THE God shows up things happen?  I still cannot explain it (definitely an evidence it was God – beyond human comprehension), but He showed up and worked in a mighty way.   Three people were saved by the power of the Holy Spirit, one person dedicated their life to the Lord, and one person wants to join the church.  Hallelujah.  Everything from the opening prayer to the closing prayer had God’s name written right on it.  It was one of the most amazing worship service I have ever been apart of.

Was it neat to have a famous person (to us) in the church?  Sure.   But there is nothing like the Living God!

 

Spiritual Snack – Printable Verse Cards

A friend of mine (Lisa) had the most wonderful idea of making “Spiritual Snack” memory/verse cards.  She made some for me today and I loved the idea so much I wanted to share it with you.

A Spiritual Snack verse card is just a verse card that you can put on your fridge, in your car, or on your desk.  It doesn’t take place of a quiet time with the Lord, but gives you small verses to snack on throughout the day.

I have already designed a sheet with 4 verses, but you can edit and change these verses in your Word program to any verse/quote you would like.  For best results print this document on cardstock for a more sturdy card.  Click on the link below to access the snack sheet.

Spiritual snacks sheet 1

I will be posting more in the future.  Enjoy your “snack”

Valerie

Perfect For the Job

Perfect for the Job

by Maria Hartman

Have you ever felt like you just couldn’t do what God wanted you to do? If you’re honest, you most certainly would answer yes.  Have you ever felt guilty for feeling like that? You aren’t alone. Throughout history some of the most godly men and women have felt that way. But that doesn’t mean we have to give into this or any other ‘feeling’. With a willing heart and obedience to God we can do anything.

Exodus 4:10-12 Then Moses said to the LORD, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” So the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD?

Moses was called of God and there was no excuse he could give to the One who made him just as he was. I sometimes think that if we thought we were good at all the Lord asked us to do, we’d be so much less dependent upon Him every step of the way.

1 Corinthians 2: 1-4  And I brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of
power

Paul too, did the work God specifically called Him to without a level of confidence that he would have liked to have. But he came as he was with a deep reliance upon God and a keen awareness of his limitations. Don’t gloss over the fear and trembling part; this man was not in his comfort zone! But Paul clearly states what all this demonstrated: the Spirit of the living God and His power. This IS what it demonstrates when you and I step out and into the job that God has chosen for us as well.

Do you know that even though you have been given a specific way of doing your job, we all have the same exact job? And we are all perfect for this job! He who has called us is faithful and will equip us. THE job is to be a witness of who He is, just like it was for Moses and Paul. I tend to think of these amazing men as never fearing; and bold as lions… willing to persevere no matter what. But they too knew they couldn’t do anything without Him. As they obeyed, they learned that with Him, there was nothing they couldn’t do.

For Today:
Friends do you realize that Jesus Christ has made you perfect for whatever job He has for you to do. Stop thinking you are inadequate and therefore can’t make progress for the kingdom of God. Of course you are inadequate alone, but you are not alone if you are led by Him to take ground for Him. Why would he ever call us to anything and not provide what we need to succeed? I remember hearing someone once say: “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.”

What task or ministry has God provided for you personally? It may look too hard, feel too hard, and others may tell you it’s too hard. But remember this: God knows who is perfect for the job.

Sidewalk Art

On Thursday and Friday we had a few guests come to visit.  Lexi and Garrett wanted to decorate the sidewalk to welcome these guests to our house. 

The object was to cover the entire sidewalk. 

It turned out beautiful!  The only drawback…the floors had just been swept when they came in from chalking the walkway.  Chalk foot prints were all over the floors.  The bright side:  The floors got a good mopping 🙂