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Awana Leader Thank You Gift

Thank your kid's Awana leader with this simple thank you gift - includes a free printable!

Our girls have been in Awana this year and have absolutely loved it.  W is a Cubbie, learning short Bible verses every week with the help of a rockstar leader.  And G is a Spark, having a blast each week, playing games and learning about Jesus!  All the leaders for the Awana program we go to demonstrate a dedication and love for these kids and the Lord every week.  We are so thankful for them!

We were working on making some holiday gifts in the kitchen the other day and I had a flash of inspiration.  We made the most amazing Christmas “Candy” and I was thinking about who we could give it to.  (If I don’t give it away, I will eat it all!)  And I had a sudden inspiration for a super simple Awana leader thank you gift. Continue Reading

Nest Building

Simple Ways to Be More Productive on Facebook

simple tips to become more productive on Facebook. Avoid the time suck!

I am in danger every day of getting sucked into a vortex which succeeds in pulling me under and releases me hours later, numb and feeling less-than accomplished.  This vortex has a couple of entry points: my laptop and my cell phone.  And if I am not careful, I can ruin what could have been a productive day in my home (and in my business, this blog) simply by turning on the portal to this vortex: Facebook.  Please, tell me I am not the only one!  I know I can’t be!

Well I have decided I am taking back my time and my productivity from this fiendish Facebook!  And I have a number of simple things I do to make myself more productive on Facebook in less time!  Since I have a strong feeling I am not alone in the Facebook trap, I thought I would share with you how to be more productive on Facebook.

My name is Leah and I write about meaningful homemaking without fussiness at Simple.Home.Blessings.  And I am NOT an expert on Facebook, but I have learned a lot about it because of my business.  These tips are for those who consider themselves experts on Facebook and for those who haven’t quite figured it out yet.  They are simple step-by-step strategies to get a hold of your time on Facebook.

Ready? Continue Reading

Nest Building

Simple Pumpkin Yogurt Bark – A Perfect Fall Treat

pumpkin yogurt bark, a frozen treat for fall!

We have a favorite summertime breakfast.  It involves yogurt and assorted berries of serious awesomeness.  It is a magnet for kids and adults alike. And it is perfect for summer because it is so stinkin’ hot outside.  But we live in the desert and the summer tends to stretch into what would normally be called fall.  This seriously shortens my pumpkin-treat-eating season – which is a problem.

I was dreaming about fall the other day when the temperature outside was hitting upwards of 115 degrees.  And I started to imagine all the pumpkin goodness I would be making this fall, when the temperatures dropped somewhere in the 80s. Continue Reading

Nest Building

Filling the Freezer: Meatball Madness

preparing meatball recipes for the freezer

Somewhere in the past year, my 5-year-old girl has become obsessed, OB-sessed, with meatballs.  She can’t get enough.  When we go to the pizza place we love, she wants meatballs on her pizza.  She requests spaghetti and meatballs quite regularly.  And when I made our most recent batch of meatballs to fill the freezer for this fall, I had to give her some for lunch before freezing the rest.

But not everyone in our family is as mad about spaghetti and meatballs as she is.  Specifically, my husband.  Not because he doesn’t like meatballs.  He doesn’t like pasta.  I KNOW!  Something that, try as I might, I cannot remedy – yes, it is an illness.

Combining the need to get dinner on the table with the many-varied desires of my family, while trying to get through the day around here can be super-difficult some days.  Often I start to dread the moment when my husband asks, late-afternoon, “What’s for dinner?”  Ugh.

“Um…pasta?”

“Um…I don’t know.”

Instead of relying on the old standby of drive thru or convenience meals this season, I am working on filling my freezer with things I can quickly prepare in the early morning (slow-cooker) or afternoon (after-school) that will make everybody happy.  Or, at least most of us happy.

So, I found myself the other day taking 4.5 pounds of ground beef and making a serious amount of meatballs.  I got the ground beef on sale at our new Aldi store – I am so impressed with how much a homemaker can get there on a budget!  But before I got started on making those meatballs, I made sure I had some unique meatball recipes in mind to try this fall. Continue Reading

Nest Building

Simply Beginning Homeschool with Peace

homeschooling with peace - a discussion of the book Teaching From Rest by Sarah Mackenzie

I recently went to a homeschool event – a sort of training.  It was my FIRST experience with anything homeschool.

I have known a number of homeschooling families throughout my life.  I have gone through the phases of thinking it is the weirdest thing ever (my junior high self), to thinking it seems like a pretty good idea.  My thoughts on homeschool have run the gamut and have settled on this:

{Deep breath}

We are going to do it.  And I am excited. Then nervous…and excited…and nervous.

I have shared these thoughts here before.  Aren’t they deep?

Anyway, back to the homeschool event.  I saw it ALL there.  And I talked to all kinds of moms preparing to teach their children at home this year.  There was a tiger-mom.  There were the overwhelmed moms.  I heard a powerful testimony from a mom to a boy likely “on the spectrum.”  I heard from mother’s of 6, 8, 10(!) kids who homeschool.

Prompted by questions, these women would begin to share the practicalities of their homeschool days.  To a woman, each had a book they recommended for this homeschooling journey.  I began to make a list.   Continue Reading

Nest Building

7 Simple Ways not to Lose Yourself After Baby

Adjusting to motherhood is HARD! Here's 7 things to do so you don't lose yourself after baby.

Oh, goodness!  The motherhood!  There is a reason women say being a mom is the most important thing they have ever done.  And I am convinced it is because they forgot about all the other things they did. Kids have a way of stealing brain cells. {HA!}   Adjusting to mommyhood AND trying to hang on to who you are as an individual can be rough.

I was getting ready the other day after my bi-weekly shower (kidding…sorta) and I was thinking about what I should wear.  And I had to have that conversation with myself wherein I tell myself that my comfy pants and tank top are not a uniform.  I had to remind myself  my day wear should not seamlessly transform into bed-clothes.  Basically, I had to try.

I was convincing myself to choose a shoe with some height instead of my go-to Sanuks.  And I started thinking about how difficult it is to keep up with other people in your life; much less, trying not to lose yourself after baby.

After having three kids and going through the ups and downs of feeling connected and disconnected with myself through the early baby months (while recovering from a c-section), I have some ideas for not losing yourself in the motherhood of it all.  And I thought I would share them with you.  I warn you the tips are not all deep.  Some of them are quite shallow. But I am a little shallow, so indulge me while I remain myself after babies.

Continue Reading

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