Happy 4th of July!

Our  puppy is ready to celebrate the 4th of July!!!!  (a puppy update is coming very soon ;) )

snowball 4th of July

Our house is almost set for a huge family shin dig and today we’ll be making our annual Dirt Cake (recipe found here) which we always gobble up fast on the 4th of July.

photo

So while I’m preparing for our party – here’s some links from Week 1 of the Women Living Well book club that is happening over at TimeWarpWife.com.

Monday’s post – What Voice Are You Listening Too?

Tuesday’s post – But Did I Share the Gospel?

Wednesday’s post – How to Unhurry Yourself. Unwind.

Thursday’s post – Because You Are {His}

Friday’s post – The Forgotten Discipline of Meditation

Have a wonderful 4th of July with your family!!!!

Walk with the King,

Courtney

Our 4th of July Pictures

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Even though it rained on our Fourth of July party – we still had a great time!

I must admit I cut one very big corner in the kitchen and I picked up Old Carolina BBQ Pork and Beef Brisket as our main dish! Yum-O!

july 4 1

Then all the extended family arrived.  These are some of our cousins.

july 4 2

Eating before the rain on our back deck!

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And my big sisters (actually they are smaller but they are older lol!) and brother-in-laws,parents, grandma and great uncle arrived with food in hand like baked beans, cheesy potatoes, cole slaw, chips, cookies and watermelon:

july 4 3

 

And the annual Dirt Cake:

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Because of the rain we could not play the yard games or on the trampoline and slip-n-slide like I had planned.  So the kids played games like Uno and Minecraft while the men went to my sister’s new home that is under construction to check out the progress.  Then we spent the rest of the evening going through a box of old photos from my Dad’s childhood days.  (I neglected to take photos because I was WAY too busy talking - oops!  Just imagine 18 people yacking up a very loud storm – we are a LOUD family!)

Then we went to our backyard to watch fireworks and play with sparklers.  We live near a lake where they set fireworks off over the lake and we can see them from our backyard!  Bonus!

 

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Hope you have a great holiday weekend!  See you back here next Monday!

Walk with the King,

 

 

**If you want to see photos from my daily life follow me on Instagram here and Twitter here.  I post about one a day there :) !

 

 

Making Your Home a Haven – Week 4 ~ Decorating

 

 

I so desire to make my home warm and cozy for the family. Think for a moment about how God has surrounded us in the winter season with scenery that is just gorgeous! If you live where it snows, the fresh fallen snow and icicles display God’s glory! Think about the crackle of ice and snow below your feet as you walk – the same crackle sound you heard when you were 5 you hear at 55. There is a continuity about the remembrance of the crisp air and the smell of pine that gives me peace.  In the same way, our Christmas decorations that we pull out year in and year out bring continuity, memories and a warm glow to our homes.

Though heaven is our eternal home, God has given us gifts of beauty here on earth – there is beauty in the fields covered with snow, in the sunset over a chilled pond, the frost in the morning on the blades of grass and smoke rising from the chimneys.

Our homes are temporary but they are an opportunity to reflect God in a small measure. Genesis 1:26 says “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.”

We have been created in the image of God and some may be very talented in the area of decorating while others are like me – not the queen of decorating –  but we all have the ability to create something special for our loved ones.

Edith Shaefer says “For the Christian who is consciously in communication with the Creator, surely his home should reflect something of the artistry, the beauty and order of the One whom he is representing, and in whose image he has been made!”

 God has given you a home whether it’s an apartment you share, a farm house, a city home, or a home identical to all your neighbors – it is your home to reflect God’s artistry in.

Here’s this week’s challenge:

Decorate! The holidays are upon us. Ann Voskamp says “Creating is good theology. In the beginning God created.” Be creative as you make your home warm, cozy and inviting for the holidays. Think about ways you can keep Christ in Christmas even in the way you decorate.  Decorate – to the glory of God!

We decorated for Christmas this past weekend.  One of my favorite Christmas decorations growing up in our home was a Santa statue bowing down to baby Jesus.  So when I found this “Christmas” word art at Walgreens for $6 I snatched it up!  I LOVE it!  

 

Up high you’ll see – we hung a mistle toe for fun and to add a little zip to our day – I expect some extra kisses!  You might also notice one stocking is not like the others – this is our Jesus stocking.  During the month of December, I am encouraging the kids to put money in this stocking and on Christmas we will donate it to the Good Morning Girls Christmas Charity – The Last Well - the goal is to raise $10,000 to dig a well in Liberia – so far GMG has raised $4,300 dollars – we are almost half way to our goal and invite you to join us if you are looking for a charity to donate to this Christmas.

 

We put candles in all our windows to remind us we are the light of the world.

And lights on our staircase. 

Next weekend we will buy a live tree and decorate it!  Here’s a picture of last year’s tree.

 
This is it! The final week!  If you are participating in this challenge leave a comment below with how it’s going – if you are a blogger copy this button into your blog post, write about how it’s going and link up on Wednesday at the Women Living Well Wednesday Link-Up party!!

Thank you all so much for your accountability. I appreciate you joining me on this 4 week journey!  If you made it through and did it all – we’d love to hear how God worked in your home! Thank you for joining me!  It’s been a blessing!

Walk with the King,

Chime In: Are you decorating this week?  How do you keep Christ in Christmas?  And how has this 4 week journey blessed you and your home? Share with us.

 

 

10 Things I’m Thankful For & WLWW Link-up!

I could make a list of 100 things I’m thankful for but I don’t want to bore you – so here’s my top 10.
 
1. God’s Word – the Bible.
 
Daily I come to this living well, to drink a tall glass of living water and it is from this Living Well that Women Living Well was born.
 

2. My Husband – our fearless leader.
 

 

3. Two beautiful gifts I get to homeschool!
 
 

 

4. A godly heritage. (my dad, mom and grandmother.)


5. Sisters who challenge and inspire me (even when I didn’t get the “purple and black” memo for Easter lol!)

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My sister’s husbands who love the Lord and love our children.

 

6. Cousins who live close by and who my children can look up to as role models.
 
 
 
 Even if 2 of the more ‘mature’ cousins steal my camera in the middle of a family get together and take 20 photos of themselves in my bathroom! lol!
{Gotcha guys – I bet you didn’t think these pics would make the ‘blog’ hehe!}
 
 
 
7.  Godly friends – like my BFF Angela from Good Morning Girls
 
 
And my real life Good Morning Girls group that emails each other everyday -
L to R: Kimmy, Janelle (ComfyInTheKitchen), Kara, Me,
Aimee – who coined the phrase “Walk with the King“, Kristy, and Kelly.
 
 And my real life friend and one of my favorite bloggers - Clare - Miss Peak 313 Fitness - {who currently has a 21 Day Holiday Challenge beginning – check it out!}

 
8. An abundance of laundry that says we have an abundance of clothes.
 
9. Dirty dishes that say our tummies are full.
 
 
10. Crumbs on the floor as evidence of our daily bread God has provided.

 

And if I could take a picture of all of you – I’d put it right here! I am SO thankful for all of my on-line friends and sisters in Christ. You, dear readers, have changed my life. I give thanks to God for all of you.
 

Have a FANTASTIC Turkey Day!

Walk with the King!

**Chime in: What are you thankful for today??

 

 

If you have never taken the time to check out these other bloggers – you are missing out! The ladies that link-up below are amazing writers and creators and I just know that one of them is going to encourage you today! So you’re invited to come on in!

Join the fun, do a little blog hopping and don’t forget if you link-up below -please add the Women Living Well Wednesdays button to your post so your readers can find us here!

(Posts can include the topics of marriage, parenting, homemaking, homeschooling, finances, recipes, organization and more!)

 

 
To find the code go to the sidebar – or right click and “save as” the button and then upload it into your post! :)
 



Discontent Americans

 

 ”But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” ~ I Timothy 6:6

 This quote below is one I’ve saved because it reminds me of how easily we can grow discontent and unaware of the amazing lives we have been given by God in America.  A few of the stats are now off since it’s from 2006 but the message is one we still need to be reminded of.

~written by Craig R. Smith and published on WorldNetDaily.com at Thanksgiving, 2006.

“Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the president. In essence 2/3s of the country just isn’t happy and want a change. I started thinking, ”What are we so unhappy about?” Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter? Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job?

Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year? Maybe it is the ability to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state? Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter? I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough.

Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all and even send a helicopter to take you to the hospital. Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home. You maybe upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames thus saving you, your family and your belongings.

Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes , an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90 percent of teenagers own cell phones and computers. How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world? Maybe that is what has 67percent of you folks unhappy.”

 

Ouch right?  We are so blessed…and though this is an unstable time with the economy, job market, and fear of terrorists - we have soooo much to be thankful for and God calls us to just be content with food and clothes – look how much MORE he has given Americans!

Praise His name today!  Give thanks and teach your children to give thanks too!

Walk with the King,

 

 

My Christmas Planner – A Tutorial

Christmas 2011

 There are only 10 weeks until Christmas!!! Woohooo!

Last year, after reading the ebook “Untangling Christmas” by Karen Ehman and LeAnn Rice, I decided to make my own Christmas Planner! I LOVE having everything I need all in one place on the shelf!

My planner holds my to-do list, baking list, gift list, decorating list and thank you list along with my Christmas card addresses, recipes, traditions and receipts from purchases – all in ONE place! Not only do I feel organized for this holiday season but every Christmas season I can pop open my planner and reuse everything I have created from years past!

Here’s how it works (and some things I added that weren’t mentioned above)!

(If you can’t view this video click here)

Visit KarenEhman.com this week where she is giving away copies of this ebook all week long along with some other fun things like a retro apron, holiday cards, and Bath & Body Works lotions!

AND visit her co-author LeAnn Rice at SheCooks.org where she is also doing fun giveaways of the ebook all week long too!

 

Chime In: 

I can’t WAIT to start playing my Christmas music. When do you start playing Christmas music? I usually start it on November 1st so I’m just 15 days away! Do you have any tips on how to stay organized?

Walk with the King,

 

Happy 4th of July & WLWW Link-Up Party!

The 4th of July Party preparations are in full swing here at our house!

My 4th of July wreathe is up!

The annual making of the Dirt Cake is done – Lexi chopped all the oreos for me – the kitchen is a mess but it’s done :) .

The slip and slide is ready!

 

In the morning, I’ll be spray painting a twister board like this for all the cousins (and maybe some adults too!) to play a HUGE game of twister on.

 

Soon Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and Grandparents will stream through the door! And the fun will begin.  The night will end with viewing fireworks that display over a local lake from our backyard!  LOVE that! 

If it rains and it’s cancelled – that’s okay – we already saw fireworks this past Saturday at a Carnival – here’s a few pics from the carnival:

 

 

 

Happy 4th of July!   God Bless the U.S.A.

 

_________________________________________________________________________

 

And NOW…

 

It’s Living Well Wednesday – Link-up time!!!

If you have never taken the time to check out these other bloggers – you are missing out! The ladies that link-up below are amazing writers and creators and I just know that one of them is going to encourage you today! So you’re invited to come on in!

Join the fun, do a little blog hopping and don’t forget if you link-up below -please add the Women Living Well Wednesdays button to your post so your readers can find us here! (Posts can include the topics of marriage, parenting, homemaking, homeschooling, finances, recipes, organization and more!)


To find the code go to the sidebar – or right click and “save as” the button and then upload it into your post! :)

Walk with the King,

Our New Years Eve Traditions

In my 36 years of life, I have never celebrated New Year’s Eve without sauerkraut and cabbage rolls! Since I was born, my extended Hungarian family has gathered on New Years Eve and eaten what we call “Pigs In the Blanket“. About 9 years ago, I inherited the holiday as mine and I love making cabbage rolls for the entire extended family.

(pictured above – cabbage roll, sauerkraut, creamed corn, mashed potatoes, homemade crescent roll, apple sauce)

I know the plate lacks color lol!  But in this home – this is comfort food and we love it. 

Every year my sisters come and help me make my pigs in the blanket while the kids play together.  This is a picture from last year’s cooking day.

 
 
 
And party time!
 I am so blessed to have wonderful sisters – We do have fun together!!!

Another tradition is to make a Time Capsule. I take a Quaker Oats canister and turn it into a capsule!

From the youngest to the oldest, every single person in attendance at our party puts something into the Time Capsule to remind them of the past year. Some of the things that have gone into the Time Capsule over the years are ultra-sound baby photos, business cards to new jobs, vacation photos, school papers, Binky’s, match box cars, sports memorabilia, and much more! And I must admit, I have NEVER made it through the passing of the capsule without crying!!! It always touches me deeply to see how much God does in just one year in all of our lives!

 After putting our items in, we open a capsule from 5 years previous and reminisce :)!
 
 Then we watch the ball drop and kiss into the New Year. We each kiss every single person there – so that takes a while to make the rounds!
Then we pour sparkling grape juice – someone makes a toast and we drink to it! Oh it is truly a blessed night to go into the new year with my favorite people on earth!
 

So that’s what we do here in our home! What are your New Years Eve traditions?

Walk with the King!

 My Pigs In The Blanket recipe:

1 pound hamburg
1/2 onion cut fine
1 cup rice
salt and pepper
dash of sugar
1 tablespoon of water
1 head of cabbage
1 Jar of sauerkraut 32oz.

Mix all of the above ingredients except the cabbage and sauerkraut in a bowl.

Put a pan of water on to boil. Cut and core the cabbage. Place the cabbage in the boiling water, core face down, and let the leaves come off one at a time.

Take a large pot and put a layer of sauerkraut along the bottom. Then roll a small amount of filling in a leaf. Make a layer of cabbage rolls and then layer it with sauerkraut and then a second layer of cabbage rolls. And top it with sauerkraut.

Fill the pan with water – sprinkle the top with pepper and let it come to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer until the rice is done and the meat is cooked through (around 3 hours). Enjoy!

When I make my pigs, I triple this recipe and get around 26 cabbage rolls.