Making Your Home a Haven {Week 3} Plus a Kitchen Aid Mixer Giveaway

Making your home a haven week 3


This week’s Challenge:

 Focus on the kitchen, the heart of the home.  Cook things with pleasant aromas  like homemade bread, pies, and cookies.  Don’t wait to have a reason to make something special – do it simply to show love to your family. Invite your kids and/or hubby to cook along side of you – make memories in the kitchen – test tasting, being creative, laughing and loving. Remember the importance of dinner time around the table as a family. Work on showing love to your family this week.  

This is such a fun time of the year for cooking.  The holidays mean we have reason to be in the kitchen! But sometimes all the kitchen work can be overwhelming. Let’s face it we eat over 1,000 meals a year (that’s counting breakfast, lunch and dinner) – and if you have a family you provide all those meals for – and snacks too – cooking can become a chore.

When I first had children, I dreamed of them cooking along side of me. Then reality set in.  Bringing my kids along side of me in the kitchen was more work than I expected. They were messy and needed constant instruction – “stir slowly”, “stay away from the hot pot”, “be careful with the knife”, “don’t wipe your hands on your shirt”, “stop eating the dough”, “one at a time on the stool” and the list went on.  At some point, I threw in the towel literally and sent them off to play or watch Curious George so I could get dinner on the table in a timely fashion. And my dream bubble popped with the reality that inviting my children into the kitchen would be a sacrifice.

And here’s where “Making our Home a Haven” comes into the equation.

It is only when we as women learn how to lay down our lives for those in our home, that the home will begin to thrive. 

When we learn that creating a culture of love means sacrifice on our part – our homes will transform from being a shell – to being a place of hospitality, the breaking of bread, laughter, training, deep talks, loving embraces and fun memories.

Bringing the kids into the kitchen has been hard for me – but it’s worth the memories!


alex cookies


It starts with following Jesus – laying down our lives and our desires – so we can bless those who sleep under our roof.  And as we learn to lay down our lives – we model to our children how to lay down their lives for others.

We aren’t responsible for every home on the block…just the one God has given us.

God has given us one home to turn into a haven for his glory.

One home to use to shine brightly for him.

One home to subdue, manage and cause to flourish.

And when one home is flourishing – the souls that pass through that home are forever touched and changed by the work of your hands.


Keep your candles going this week  and add in some soft music and tasty treats full of love.

Edith Shaeffer reminds us of how deeply food can bless those we prepare it for:

“Food cannot take care of the spiritual, psychological and emotional problems, but the feeling of being loved and cared for, the actual comfort of the beauty and flavour of food, the increase of blood sugar and physical well-being, help one to go on during the next hours better equipped to meet the problems.”


Chime In: What are you cooking this week? And do you bring your kids into the kitchen with you? Do you have any tips to help other moms manage little ones in the kitchen?  We’d love to hear them!

Walk with the King,


This week’s giveaway in celebration of my book, Women Living Well, releasing is a Kitchen Aid Mixer!!!

kitchen aid mixer giveaway

Enter to win here.

*The winner must live in the U.S. or Canada.

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Don’t forget – the fifth FREE Webcast is coming THIS Thursday night!!!!!
We’ll be featuring the Clare from Peak 313 on the topic of Your Health.
 Women Living Well Schedule 2
The book is now available in most bookstores
and on-line at
3D wlwbook cover




  1. We’re baking a BUNCH of cookies for the harvest party at church. My girls are so excited to help me bake. We also made some yummy apple turnovers this morning, just because it’s fall, and they taste good!

  2. We are making pumpkin patch dirt pies for two gatherings, can’t wait to make make things less stressful let them know what they can help with and have them watch you do the other stuff. Expect delays and mess, and just fun. When you expect more than what will happen your less stressed. Make sure to do things that are easy and any child can do. If you have a complicated recipe it will be stressful.


  3. The Art of Biblical Homekeeping! I love this topic so much, I have woven it into our Homeschool as an official course! But, with four kids and every one having different tastes and giftings, it has been a challenge to get the whole thing come off smoothly!

    My middle child, 9yrs, has been apron-clad and at my side in the kitchen pretty much since she could walk – her willingness and (and natural ability) makes it easy! She is my all around, go to gal, whether it’s strippin’a’chicken for soup stock, or let’s roll out a pie at 9 pm! I let her work independently as much as is reasonable and she thrives on it.

    My youngest girl, at 5, has a knack for getting under my feet a little bit and has a need to touch, feel, squeeze and smell everything before she does what she’s supposed to do with it! She loves to squish together biscuits and slice up fresh fruit with a butter knife!

    My oldest, 11 was a little bit discouraged in the kitchen early-on…with my Mama-sense I perceived that she was being overshadowed by her younger, more eager sister so I had to one-on-one her for awhile. Using her gifts of leadership and creativity, we map out weekly menus and create shopping lists. She also loves to bless the Family dinner table with hand-made name tags.

    Letting them operate in their areas of expertise regularly in the realm of hospitality, gives them the confidence it takes to operate in the kitchen with Mom, taking direction and correction as equal blessings!

    I love what you said about sacrifice being essential in including young ones in the kitchen, because heaven knows, in the beginning, it takes longer than knocking it out alone! As for me, I plan ahead as much as I can, and above ALL, make sure my own expectations are IN CHECK! Remembering my calling as a mom, that patience and diligence yield big rewards in the long run and that including everyone, increases Shalom in the home many times over!

    1. I really like your ideas for including your kids in the kitchen! I’m still kind of new at the whole cooking thing, so it’s going to be a while before I can really teach my kids anything. : )

      1. Yes πŸ™‚ It does take awhile! I like to find little things they can do that seem like no big deal to us…things that show them, ‘Yes I can’ contribute to serving the household in big ways, or little! It’s fun to watch this develop!

  4. I love to cook with my kids !
    They help me with anything. Yet it is sometimes hard for me. I think it works best when you lower your expectations…I mean they are kids and sometimes clumsy !

    (P.s. I don’t have any accounts (yeah I’m a geek!). Is there a chance for me to enter the giveaway ? Thanks a lot !)

    1. Isabelle, your not a geek, I don’t have a twitter account or a facebook account anymore either! Too bad the publisher cant offer other options for us moms who choose not to participate in those forms of social media. Other giveaways have options like leave a comment or simply hit enter. Oh well I still love women living well & will continue to follow her blog thru email. πŸ™‚

  5. I will be making pumpkin bread this week. It is a family recipe and we all love it. I make a ton so we can all stack it away in our freezers and eat more of it as the holiday season progresses. I share with my Parents, Aunts, Uncles, Sister….etc. A great smell good way to remember my Grandma (Memaw).

  6. This week I’m continuing to make a large quantity of Pumpkin Bear Pancakes- 2 c. Bisquick per 1 cup cooked pumpkin (put through food processor) and mixed well. I cook it in a bear cookie cutter on the skillet. Then I freeze then reheat later for quick breakfast.
    When cooking with Ava I find it helps to have as much organized and prepped before I bring her in the kitchen with me.

  7. This will probably be my favorite challenge! I absolutely love to cook & bake. My daughter is always helping me! Love it when my house smells like a good dinner or sweet stuff! ❀️

  8. I dislike cooking & baking while I was younger but God opened my heart to cook for my family when we moved to the US. My daughter loves to watch me cook and at times help to beat the eggs and stir sauces. Now I am enjoying baking with my almost 3-yo daughter. She helps to mix the batter (I let her hold the Kitchen Aid hand mixer with me) and enjoys watching the muffins “rise up” in the oven πŸ™‚ I am looking forward to more cooking & baking with her.

  9. I bake a batch of 4 loaves a bread every week to help feed my family of six. I am also going to be making a test batch of cookies for my daughter’s preschool. Probably also gonna try to whip up a lasagna for a friend.

  10. I will be making apple strudel and cinnamon rolls for sure this week. Not sure what else we may be able to squeeze in!

  11. With 4 grown children who used to cook in my kitchen, they now are cooking in their own kitchens. I do love to cook with my girls though. We work in harmony moving throughout the tasks that need to be completed. I did teach both my boys as well to cook. They are both great in the kitchen. When our house is full, it can get a little cozy in the kitchen. My husband has started a new eating habit and I spent the day cooking all the special things he will need for the week. I normally do not cook this way and it was a challenge for me to do this. He had asked me if I would help and after reading the challenge for this week, my heart was finally in the right place to do this for him. The house smelled wonderful from both the cooking and my candle blazing. I tried a new turkey meat loaf. He loved it. Great day serving my husband and the King!

  12. I love cooking and baking, I have a 4 year old boy and 2 year old girl I love having them help me cook, I give them each a bowl and let them have the flour job, sugar ect…. Than they stir and I love teaching thwn we need to look for measurements and Such we make it a lot of fun and messy of course πŸ™‚

  13. While my mom was visiting this weekend she whipped up a batch of her infamous chicken and dumpling soup and filled our house with a wonderful aroma! It was a perfect evening to enjoy a bowl full of goodness. πŸ™‚

  14. I love to cook with my kids! I usually have specific tasks for them though, let them help a little bit and then send them off to watch Curious George. We went apple picking this weekend and are making an apple pie this week!

  15. A few tips that may be helpful from experience. πŸ˜€
    1. Use age appropriate recipes. Younger children need quick easy ones to go with their attention span.
    2. If you have more than two children take turns. Maybe allowing two to help on one day and the other the next.
    3. If your child can read a recipe allow them to choose what they would like to make.
    4. If the recipe used calls for many ingredients have them measured before hand. It saves time and chaos. πŸ˜€
    5. Something I have found with young boys is they love using a knife. Give them a plastic butter knife and allow them to slice bananas, cookie dough, butter, etc.
    6. Make clean up fun. If they see you are enjoying yourself then, so will they. Clean up won’t feel like a chore. πŸ˜€
    7. Always, think safety! If you have small children and fear they will fall off bar stools, be burned or climb upon unsafe surfaces, it may be wise to use all plastic dishes, so in the event one would fall they wouldn’t be cut by broken glass. You may want to consider spreading a clean tablecloth on the floor and sitting small children on it with cup cakes to decorate or cookies to cut out…etc
    8. Always encourage each child by pointing out something they are contributing or doing well.
    9. Take pictures, before, during , and a final one. This will capture memories, and give your child a sense of appreciation for what they have made. πŸ˜€
    10. Teach children to share what they make and how to serve it with love. β™₯

    1. I like your list! I especially second the butter knife cutting, taking turns, and taking pictures…and to make clean up fun – we practice our gospel hymns πŸ™‚

  16. Last week I learned how to cook my very own homemade applesauce, which my family loved. I allowed my daughter who is 5 to help me a little even though I would tend to get aggrevated because things were moving too slowly πŸ™ but this week I am going to attempt to make a homemade pumpkin pie or homemade apple pie (not sure yet), in hopes that I can slow down and enjoy these times with my baby girl that are quickly fading into the past. We need to make the most of our days this side of heaven and spend time with the ones we love…the mess can be cleaned, the dishes can wait, the laundry can sit but the time will pass, never to be regained!

  17. Our meals/snacks this week will have somewhat to do with our homeschool lessons…. like today, we had chicken b/c we need the bones for a science experiment =D We’ll probably have a hot dog roast b/c we need the charred sticks for an art project, and the little guy is learning about dinos, so I think dino cookies are in order. It’ll be fun! Some days I love having my kids in the kitchen w/ me. Sometimes I give the littles some of the extra pots and spoons to keep them busy while I’m cooking. I love that the older ones are really able to help out now and even prepare simple meals on their own! Thanks for a lovely post…it’s an encouragement!

  18. I am not always the best at letting the kids in to help me the way I should or the way they would like, but little by little I am letting go and finding ways to invite them to help. Or in the case of the two year old to watch and occasionally stir a bowl of flour. In this house we are constantly baking. I bake all our own bread, and I enjoy making goodies from scratch. One example of a meal we made from scratch was our pizza yesterday. It became a family affair. One person made the cheese. Another made the crust and the sauce. And a third person assembled the pizzas. Kids walked in and observed and helped in various ways all day. Most of it was just little ways though, since yesterday was a birthday party and they were mostly busy playing.

  19. Love this time of year. I’ve already started baking and love the way the house smells. When my daughter was still living at home she loved to help. Now when she comes home for a visit she tells me that all of the smells and decorations make her feel welcome back home πŸ™‚

    1. I love this time of year too! My daughter came in yesterday and said “I love to come home, the house smells so good and looks wonderful”.

  20. I love cooking. I especially love cooking while wearing a cute apron! This week, I will be making up tomato soup and grilled cheese, Crockpot Turkey chili, Pumpkin pancakes for breakfast, smoothies. The kitchen makes me happy. Excited to do something fun with my kids this week in the kitchen.

  21. I HATE cooking! I’m lucky in that DH does most of it since he has to also feed his mother, since she lives with us. Plus I have a lot of dietary restrictions the rest of the household doesn’t have. So I just cook for me. Now, I do enjoy baking. I’ll let my son help with mixing and beating batter.

  22. Dear Courtney,

    the kitchen is the heart of our home. πŸ™‚ But I have to confess, I have a hard time letting the children (my two daughters) help with cooking and baking. I am struggling, but little by little letting it go. I used to have that magazine picture in my head of how the girls would bake, and cook alongside me. Yep, never happened! But this Fall break and for the Holidays, I am letting them in into my kitchen. We will make delicious food and most important MEMORIES. What’s on the menu: well I guess since it is apple season: apple sauce, apple cake, apple pie, pear cake, muffins, soup (minestrone), stews, chili and lots more ……. Yummy!

    P.S.: Book still hasn’t arrived yet, so, still waitig impatiently ……..



  23. I love to bake and cook for my family- but in a relaxed way, not in the usual quick let’s go go go way that I do during the week. So yesterday, I spent a good 6 hours in the kitchen, cooking my lunch, prepping the kids’ lunch for today, prepping for tonight’s week and baking three different things- healthy protein packed breakfast cookies, zucchini muffins and as per my boys’ request, brownie bites. There’s something calming about just being in the kitchen and cooking for my family. I am a working mom so although I do cook almost everyday, cooking during the week isn’t an enjoyable as cooking in the weekend. It’s just more relaxed and I don’t have to rush. The novelty of cooking with me has sadly worn off for the boys. They do like helping during the holidays. And somehow when I’m baking, they come just at the end to “help” put the batter into the muffin tins or cake tins… but I think it is so they can lick the left over batter from the spoons. :P.
    I am blessed to have a DH who cooks. He usually cooks at least one night a week.
    I also love to cook meals for people. I just discovered this love recently. God willing, if I ever get to be a stay at home mom/wife, that’d be one of my main ministries- like Janelle (Comfy in the Kitchen). God willing…

  24. My “babies” are now 24 and 27. However (!) – I can send tasty treats to my son who lives 12 hours away (miss him so!) and ask my daughter to come over to help me bake – fun times!
    That mixer? Oooooh – what a fun thing to win:)

  25. I took an example from my mother as to how to get my 2 boys in the kitchen. First they get to use mom’s “power tools”- the mixer, food processor, blender, etc. that makes it cool. I also do a lot of canning or freezing food. So during that season everyone has a job, when they were little and helping with spaghetti sauce, the youngest was to wash the tomatoes, celery, peppers while the oldest would run the food processor and put the celery and peppers through. I would have one on each side of me. Once their job was done they could go play. But they would be back to taste test for sure.

    Recently my nephew asked to learn how to make a pumpkin roll, so now cooking with children has expanded to my nieces and nephews too. Two weeks ago I had 3 boys and a1-3 year old girl making 2 pumpkin rolls in my kitchen-how fun!!!! But I needed to be very organized and know where my supplies were and know that they had a little bit of knowledge and were reading the measuring spoons/cup for the correct measurement.

    And I’m still making pumpkin rolls around here and maybe a apple pie too.

  26. I love too cook and bake for my family. I live with my oldest daughter and 2 granddaughters. They like helping me in the kitchen We made a batch of brownies.

  27. I try to bake something with my 3 year old every other weekend. I would do it more except her almost 2 year old brother gets mad when he can’t help and he really struggles in the kitchen (doesn’t understand the concepts very well). I wish I could think of way to include them both without me losing my mind. Maybe I could just give him his own little bowl and dump a few ingredients in it that we don’t actually use (like flour and oatmeal or something) so that he feels included but also when he dumps salt in it or spills it I won’t get frustrated? I would love to bring him in on the action some way. Loving the challenge as usual!

    1. When my little guy was almost 2 he could help by joining my in pouring and stirring jobs. I would hold a full measuring cup and let him hold on as we poured together. Now that he is older I let him pour and stir by himself. he knows to go slowly and I am there to help him. He wants to do eggs, but we’re not there yet. Even when he was little, if he got to do 1 thing he felt included. That was important. I think about “What can he do?” as a way to approach kitchen tasks. Even stirring a tough batter, he can help for a while and then I’ll finish up.

  28. I always joke with my kids that we don’t “craft” we bake πŸ™‚ glitter is a “swear word” in our house but bring on the sugar, butter, eggs etc πŸ™‚ I am blessed by your blog!!

  29. In Canada, we celebrated Thanksgiving last week. I LOVE baking with pumpkin. My mom cooked up the pumpkin (bless her). I made pumpkin breads, pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin pie – yum! My boys are older (20 and 23) and are not into cooking πŸ™ They do help me with getting supplies ready (when I ask) and do help with gathering the produce from our garden which I really appreciate!

  30. This is so true…. I’ve had the very same thoughts and then ended up doing the very same things. I was finding it so stressful, but then I was convicted on that and we have had great memories with working in the kitchen together. Yes, the kitchen can get messier, but we can clean it up too. Children enjoy working along side their mama. πŸ™‚

  31. I am working toward getting my kids in to kitchen more. I, like you, have tended to end up frustrated with kids helping and sloshing more out of the pot than in……but we have a schedule for one kid to help with supper one night a week.

    I love the statement about a woman laying down her life for those in her family — what a challenge for me. Lay down my expectations and perfectionism and enjoy the time with my kids……

    Thanks. I will take this challenge and work hard at remembering that statement. I am going to write it down so I don’t forget. Thanks so much!!!

  32. I love to cook and bake goodies for my family. We just celebrated my mother in laws 83 birthday. Made ravioli and homemade pumpkin brownies and chocolate brownies. What a blessing to be able to do this for my family. I thank God that I am able to do this for them

  33. My daughters doctor recommended a gluten free diet and we’ve had fun experimenting together in the kitchen with some new recipes.

  34. We’ll be making pumpkin muffins and baked cinnamon apples. Love cooking in the Autumn and Winter. The tastes and smells are divine!

  35. My daughter has always loved to help in the kitchen. The patience I invested when she was much younger has paid off huge for me now. She’s 11 and I can hand her a recipe and she takes charge. There are just a few things that she will sometimes ask for help with. Her favorite thing to do is season pasta dishes that we create. She’s little for her age so baking is easiest for her since the stove top can be a little scary. Take the time when they’re little! They’ll learn to love cooking and baking and soon enough doing it for you.
    Our meals this week? Whatever I can put in the crockpot before heading out to help with harvest. It’s a crazy time. I need all the help my daughter can give. πŸ™‚

  36. Lots of soups this week! My daughter LOVES to help, we made a cherry pie last week and we both were so proud, lol. We may do another kind this week!

  37. Do comments count as an entry? I don’t use FB or Twitter. I’ll be baking something for Wednesday night treats. The crock pot is such a time saver, especially if you have little ones!

  38. I have the children in the kitchen with me all of the time! Even, when I’m not really “ready” for them to be in the kitchen. This week we’ll be making a few deserts together and at least one of the three will help with dinner each day. The 5yo is helping to make turkey burger sloppy joes tonight. And the eldest two make lunch for everyone almost every day.

  39. Courtney,
    This series has been such a blessing. We recently sold our home and moved our two kids and a dog into a tiny apartment while we look for our next house and frankly I have been feeling cramped and cranky. This series has been helping to remind me that our home is wherever our family is and I have been striving to make each weeks challenges help our family feel welcomed and loved in our current home.

  40. I have had the same issues with my boys. So, we keep it to just small sessions like making boxed brownies, cookies or even just making there own peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Yesterday we spent some time making gourmet caramel apples together πŸ™‚

  41. We’re going to be baking up Red Velvet Cupcakes. My son loves to help, and he’s just getting to where he can start helping. Before he was too busy trying to fling the food on everything. πŸ˜€

  42. I hate cooking but I love baking. Today is my only free day (for the forseeable future) and it just happens to be my birthday so I’m naking pumpkin bars. I love anything pumpkin so this is perfect!

  43. I have had our kids in the kitchen since they were/are very little. My oldest son is 15 now and can cook many meals and make bread from scratch. My oldest daughter is almost 12 and has loved cooking since she was 2. At 4 everyday she knew it was time for her to watch her favorite showRachel Ray lol she is also a very good cook now. I am starting to really teach my second daughter now she just turned 8. With 8 kids in the house there is always a chance to whip up something here. I start them around 2-3 helping me dump cups of whatever into the bowl after I scoop it. Then as they show they can be careful I let them scoop also. Then when they can read we work on follow a recipe. I have 2 that I start with amish white bread or a corn bread. At 8 is when we usually start teaching how to use the stove and make things like home made mac n cheese. I figure I am investing in their future and working myself out of a job lol soon I will be able to supervise and teach more rather than cook every meal. Well got to go my daughter just made me some eggs for breakfast πŸ™‚

  44. Something that really really helped me in the kitchen: a Learning Tower for when my kids were small. I love to cook & especially bake and I wanted to teach them alongside me.

    The Learning Tower (I included a link) lets kids stand next to the counter with no fear of falling off a stool or chair. It’s ok to have two kids at a time on it, which happened a lot in our kitchen! The “floor” of the stool adjusts to different heights so it works even as your kids get older. We are finally about to retire ours after almost 10 years/4 kids using it. I totally recommend it. And you can set it up and use it as a stage for puppet shows too πŸ˜‰ I hope this helps someone!!!

    You can read reviews on Amazon for more info.

  45. I LOVE to spend time in the kitchen with my daughter. She is 3 1/2 and has been cooking with me for at least a year, within reason. Now that she’s getting old enough, she takes great pride in ‘cracking eggs’, whisking them together ‘just like mommy’ and stirring all sorts of things. It’s a blessing to me to see her find joy and pride in being in the kitchen with me. Love it. πŸ™‚

  46. It’s amazing just how much homemade baked goods does us good. This week I plan on baking a pear upside down cake for my husband and I.

  47. Great giveaway!!! I have always done everything by hand in the kitchen. I use a mixer for making meringue and mashed potatoes and that’s literally it…all the breads, etc. get mixed, kneaded, etc. by hand. It would be nice to have a good stand mixer πŸ™‚

    I love to bake and my boys are always right there with me. I love that I can ask my 6 year old to get me the yeast and he knows what that is πŸ™‚ They both love to help me in the kitchen, but especially my older son.

  48. As a younger girl I had NO interest in helping my mom in the kitchen! Now, it is so fun for my girls to help me out! But I do totally just have to step back and let them do it their own way ( cracking an egg, getting a smidge of flour on the counter top) because I DO NOT want to crush their spirits when it comes to cooking! I would LOVE a mixer!!

  49. We do weekend breakfasts prepared with the children! They love it ! We always do an annual Christmas sugar cookie day mixing, baking, and decorating with dad. This will be year 12!

  50. I love cooking! My children, daughter 9 and son 7, love to help in the kitchen. This weekend my daughter ad I made a savory chicken stew in the crock pot. She helped chop onions and break up bacon pieces. Then I let her add in the cream of mushroom, milk, and carrots. We cooked it in the crock pot all day. Later she made green bean casserole all by herself (except for putting it in and taking it out of the oven). She really enjoys helping out and it gives her a feeling of accomplishment when everything is done and seeing the whole family enjoy what she has made. My son helps by adding pre-measured items to just about anything and he is the nominated froster for everything. Sunday morning we made cinnamon buns and he was so excited he was able to put the cream cheese on all of them for our breakfast! I have always enjoyed time in the kitchen with my family (mother, grandmothers, aunts, ect.) and I am happy I get to share that experience with my children!

    1. The only thing I will not let them do is handle raw meat. They understand the concept of washing their hands but I don’t want to take the chance.

  51. My daughter, Caity, was just telling me how much she LOVES her Kitchen Aid over the weekend. I was SO excited to see your giveaway on facebook and entered today! I look forward to sharing it in my kitchen with Caity’s younger siblings; Violet (13), Isaac (almost 10), and Levi (8). Thanks so much for your encouraging series.
    love, a

  52. I am going to make some bread, probably whole wheat with oats. My daughter wants to make cookies as part of her homeschooling lesson. I guess it really is a great math lesson with all of the measuring! I put my 16 month old son in the high chair, sprinkle some flour on the tray and he plays. It is a little messy but it keeps him occupied!

  53. I don’t have kids but I do have nieces, Greenleigh and Joleigh. Every Fall break they stay and my parents home for the week. well I always get a phone call from the oldest, Greenleigh saying “AnnieMac lets bake or cook something” It’s every year that we get to bake and cook. They call me and want me to teach them how to cook. With me being the Aunt I am more than willing to teach them.
    The best part is at Christmas, they ask me to cook and tell the story of Baby Jesus. Its so heart warming and it makes me smile. I tear up thinking about it. I love my girls.

  54. I’m not on twitter or pinterest. I notice on most giveaways twitter and pinterest exposure gives a contestant more points. Do you consider contestants who don’t meet all the point requirements? Just curious and thanks for giving us a chance to win these amazing items!

    1. I apologize Rochelle – my publisher is running these giveaways and just sending me the code to embed and then they choose the winner and send out the giveaway.

      I’ll see what I can do for next week.
      Courtney πŸ™‚

  55. I’m making yogurt, sauce, sourdough bread, homemade ricotta, and probably some cookies to send to work with the hubby. No kids though, so I go it alone.

  56. I come from a family that always gathers to cook big meals gor holidays. We do everything from scrach just like my grandmother taught us. I am passing all this down with my 4children. My sweet grandmother has went to be with the Lord now. My children love helping in the kitchen. I am so thankful for all our memories I have and the one’s we are making together now. I really enjoy the page where i am able to read about all the other great stories. Great recipes to try and enjoy.

  57. This is the easy one for me. I bake bread at least once a week and today it smells like simmering BQ pork. Last night it was chocolate brownies for my daughter to take to work. Later this week, it will be another batch of apple butter simmering for a couple of days in a crock pot. I love a good excuse to do some extra cooking.

  58. I love having the kids in the kitchen with me. You’re right, it does make things slower, but it also keeps them happy and they feel so proud of their accomplishments. My two preschoolers were even featured in the newspaper for being “kids in the kitchen”. They were super happy about that!

  59. I needed this encouragement. I can’t even handle other adults in the kitchen while I’m cooking. It makes me crazy – the bumping into each other, the hot stuff, the GIANT messes that are made. I guess I’m a teensy bit high-strung. πŸ™‚ I like my house clean. But my kids LOVE to help in the kitchen, so I guess I’ll try and start including them in some tasks… maybe start with once a week or something.

  60. I love to bake/cook.
    My most special memories as a kids were cooking with my grandma, when she died in 2004, I got her kitchenaid mixer, everytime i used it i thought of her. I was so sad when it stopped working over the summer but what do you expect from a 30+ year old machine.

  61. Hello Courtney and fellow friends! As I hold my 8 week old ‘Brie’, she so sweet and little, she makes me think of baking cupcakes. She is my third, and my two older children are eager to help me in the kitchen. My 5 yr old daughter, Elisha, loves to help put cookie dough on the sheet. She loves to help mix in the ingredients for pancakes. Her 3 yr old brother Elijah, loves to help me prep dinner. I usually lay out all my ingredients and measuring tools. Carefully they each pour in and help mix. Sometimes they help set the table. My son likes to help push the buttons on the microwave and push the door open when food is done. My daughter likes to help sweep and mop. Both kiddos are taught saftey first in the kitchen. it has taken patience and the understanding that it might take a little longer with them helping but the memories and life skills are worth it! Tonight stove top lasanga and I know Elijahwill love dumping in all the ingredients ( tip: when dumping in ingredients into a hot pan/pot remove from stove and put on countertop. This allows for saftey for your younger ones not to get a burn.) and Elisha will enjoy setting the table and taking drink orders! May the Lord bless all who are willing to be humble and patient to teach and bless their families. Peace to you and yours.

  62. I let my kids cook, when they were young, and they love cooking. I have a licensed in home day care, and we try to incorporate cooking once a week, and they love it!!

  63. I agree with some of the comments, I prefer not to be getting on facebook, twitter, etc. Email is good enough for me to communicate with others!

  64. My girl is still too small to help mama cook but she’s always in there with me.
    (She’s 22 months)

    Thanks for the awesome contest. I would LOVE to win. It would be a sincere blessing and addition to my new kitchen.

  65. Love having my daughter in the kitchen with me!! Even when she was 2 yrs old I would let her mix things together. My suggestions would be start them when they are little; not putting things in their mouth anymore – – I would give my daughter 1/4 cup of flour a couple bowls and spoons and let her play then as she got older I would let her measure flour and mix. Now she wants to help with alot more and we have some great conversations as we do.

    My advice – – JUST HAVE FUN!! Don’t worry about the mess – – it can be cleaned up. Oh the memories you will make.

  66. Candles burning daily……we piled on the floor Friday night with blankets and pillows galore and watched a movie. This week: attempting to make pumpkin cinnamon rolls. Thanks for your inspiration!

  67. It’s funny that this week is about the kitchen. We are in the middle of “remodeling.” By remodeling, I mean, the cheapo way. We’re painting the walls, switched the positions of the fridge and stove, and we stripped down the cupboard doors and restained them. Way cheaper than really remodeling. But today, as I was painting the walls, I realized how bright the yellow is turning out. I wanted to cry! (Partly because of the paint and partly because it’s already been an emotionally heavy weekend with the death of a friend, trying to sing praises to God while crying in church. Heavy.) But thankfully the hardware store said they can tint it a little. Did I mention that we’re having a big get together this weekend? I’m hoping and praying it will all be done! So LOTS of cooking will be going on come Friday. πŸ™‚ Baby Alice is too young yet to help in the kitchen, but sisters will be over to help.
    As for the give away, I’ve been wanting to give my mom a standing mixer for Christmas. If I win this one, then this could be the year!

  68. I love to bake.Just last night made a homemade strawberry cheesecake.
    I love to make christmas cookies and make cookie trays and give them away at christmas.

  69. I am right there with you. It has been a struggle to let the kids help because I am a little OCD! But today I was inspired by you and my three year old helped me make chocolate chip cookies for the other kids when they get home with Dad from the Christian school he teaches at and they attend. It was fun and he did a great job. I think I learned that maybe one kid in the kitchen at a time is easier. And my nine month old enjoyed the few chocolate chips I sneaked her. And the cookies were so yummy before nap time!!! Thanks for being so open and honest. I enjoy reading your blog. (I froze some cookie dough so we’ll be enjoying cookies for a while! YUMMO!!

  70. I have owned a Kitchen Aid Mixer for several years. It is my favorite kitchen appliance. Could not do most of my baking without it.

  71. This would sure make an awesome asset to my kitchen! Also, Sarah K. I really enjoyed your posted comment, blessings.

  72. Since it’s just me & my husband now & he works full-time, I’m going to be baking some breads (banana, pumpkin) plus at least one cake. I’ve been light my candle – it’s one that has fragrant wax potpourri that fills our apartment πŸ™‚ I do recall a few times involving my son in a few kitchen things as he was growing up – I love & cherish those memories!

  73. Hi Courtney! I’ve just got to tell you how blessed I am
    by your encouraging words! I have three children but even my
    youngest is in college. It just flies by. I’m enjoying your book and
    making my home a haven! We’re trying new recipes this Fall because
    we’ve had to go gluten free. It’s an adventure to adapt my favorites
    (anything baked with apple or pumpkin)! Please include me in the
    mixer drawing.

    I still have not received the 10 ebooks – any advice?

  74. First thing this morning my youngest said to me , very excitedly “Mommy can we make some animal shape cookies!” I hadn’t said a word, ( we often make our own as they are really expensive here in Canada) so off they go to get all of the ingredients they need, and before we know it there are two baking pans full of their wonderful creations!! The trick I find now is my older 2 are nearly teenagers, so they are willingly able to help the younger 2 who are 5 & 6 to continue to learn and enjoy the art of cooking and baking. Along side of them I made Janelle’s from Comfy in the kitchen -Yummy Banana Bread!

    Thank you Courtney for this awsome fall challenge – it is sure paying off for us as a family!
    Have read your book – it’s excellent ! I’m sure to read it again!

  75. As hard as it is at times, my little ones, 2 & 3 years old, love to help me cook or bake. This week we will be making something for dessert for our bible study group and I will have them help me! I try to get stuff prepped out a little ahead of time so that it’s not as stressful.

  76. Well my kids are grown and gone but when they were little they did help me in the kitchen and then lo and behold….when my husband and I were out for our Anniversary…we returned to find they had called a friend to check about using yeast and we returned to wonder, warm cinnamon rolls!! So many great benefits…now our son often cooks fancy meals when their family have guests. And the blessings flow….

  77. I love cooking! I especially love baking.

    I don’t have any children of my own yet, but hope to a few or 12 kids someday.

    During the summer I lead a cooking club for elementary age kids! It is a lot of fun. I find that since the children are actually making the food they are much more adventerous eaters. This summer we made veggie quiche. It had tomatoes, broccoli, and mushrooms. Everyone tried some and most really enjoyed it. A few even went home and made the quiche for their family!

    Cooking with children takes time and patience. I love how Michelle Duggar has her really little ones wash the tops of the cans before they are opened. This gives the little ones a job that is easy enough so they can work independently and feel sucessful. L

  78. Always had my daughters in the kitchen from a very early age. Now I care for my grandblessing 5 days a week. She loves to help do little things like pat out dough and use the cutters to make cookies.

  79. I have limited patience, something I’m trying to overcome! So, having my little girl in the kitchen with me comes very few and far between, but she is so sweet and excited to help!
    What always warms me up, though, is listening to my husband giving her instruction and letting her stir things in. It’s always an amazing thing to watch them working together in the kitchen. I will live on memories like those.

  80. My 8 year old daughter loves helping me in the kitchen. She’s going to make a couple pumpkin pies this year. Kitchen Aid mixers are the best!

  81. It is a beautiful mixer!!! What an awesome gift!!! My granddaughter Simone (5 years old) and I are going to make Vegetable Beef Barley soup on Wed night. It will be her first time helping with soup!! She does not have school on Thur or Fri so we thought that might be fun. I am sure we will make a couple of loaves of banana bread too!! We would soooo love to win!!! Thank you and many blessings!! Simone and Barb Wall

  82. I love having my daughters help me in the kitchen- lots of memories (and messes) are made there!! I also enjoy cooking with my daycare kiddos! A new mixer would add to our fun!

  83. Courtney,

    I HAVE IT! Yes I HAVE IT!!!! I just got your book. Wohooooooooo!!!! Can you tell I am excited ?!?

    As soon as the dishes are put away, everything is in place and order, the kids in bed, I will dive into your book.And will be able to join the book study as well. So happy.

    Thank you for everything you do and write and are dear Courtney !!!!!

    As Always: Blessings to you and your family.


    xxxx Abby


  85. Hey, is there a way to enter the contest without facebook or twitter? I do not have an account w/ any of the options I see available, but I thought I entered the very first time without any?

  86. I have been cooking with my kids since they were little and would love to win the mixer for my oldest. thank you Courtney for encouraging women tomdomthis. I know it is a lot of work ,but I can say I have some great cooks in the house now as a result of training them in the kitchen.

  87. Grandchildren get to find a few favorite cookie cutters and we have fun. Sometimes they get to help mix the dough and other times I have the dough already mixed and chilled. Frosting and sprinkles may be thicker than the cookie. They enjoy sharing their creations with their parents.

    I too have wondered if there is another option than facebook and twitter to enter.

  88. One of my favorite things is to cook with my kids. I was never allowed to help in the kitchen as a kid, but as a mom, I let my kids help as much as they want. My daughter likes to explore and try different things. She is always mixing different spices or ingredients together and most of the time it is really good!
    Love that you are enjoying sharing the joy with your blessings!

  89. We love to bake here and can often be found in the kitchen together! *Unfortunately, I’m not the most patient mom in the kitchen… especially when eggs are involved!… but I’m always working on this {and I’ve joked w/my teenage son that if he should ever decide to be a professional chef and his head-chef is somewhat harsh in his training, he’ll be used to it and not intimidated… lol.. :/…}. πŸ™‚
    |Enjoying your “Making your Home a Haven” series!~ Loving fall all the more, Thank you for sharing it!

  90. P.S. We are making an apple cake {} together today, Lord willing; made three batches of classic peanut butter cookies last week– and one thing we’ve started doing for the shorter chefs is to place two or three chairs into a walkable row along the countertop we are using and the sink so that washing hands {especially after eggs have been cracked by sweet, little hands} is easier, quicker. Probably too simple a tip, but it’s been working for us! πŸ™‚

  91. We started are week with a Apple cinnamon honey pork loin that was delicious and also made our home smell like fall. I also baked chocolate chip cookies that we were able to share with my husbands employees. Today the kids and I are going to my our pumpkin spice bread. My husbands employees will also get most of this (its their favorite and saves us from eating it all πŸ™‚ ). On Thursday we will be carving the pumpkin and baking the seeds. We are also doing a lesson on pumpkins and will be eating pumpkin pie! My leaves candle is still burning away, I may have to buy another one soon!

  92. I love this challenge! My home felt like a haven to me for years and since my second child…not so much. I want those who enter to feel God’s love here the second they pass through the door!
    I would love the mixer, to give as a gift to my friend Dale. She is far far from wealthy in a worldly way but you don’t feel that way at her table. She always sets the table for us as guest, has a centerpiece for the occasion or season, makes a full delicious meal and homemade desert we share while we all talk and laugh and fellowship. I love that she used to fuss when I tried to wash dishes…I feel like family now because she lets me do them.

  93. This would be awesome for our family as every December we do a big cookie day extravaganza and make 13 different kinds of cookies about 4 dozen each. We do lots of mixing.

  94. We have been baking pumpkin cookies and apple caramel cookies like they are going out of style! πŸ™‚ This week it’s going to be applesauce bread! My husband loves it when he comes home from work, and the whole house smells like we’ve been backing yummy goodies! I have wanted a Kitchen Aid mixer for so many years, and it’s never in the budget. πŸ™ Sure would LOVE to finally have one on my counter!

  95. I love to bake with my daughter! We bake cookies and various other treats for the holidays! I hope we win the mixer :

  96. Pork shoulder steak and frozen green beans (that came out of our garden) in the crock pot and then about an hour before we eat I will put sweet & baked potatoes in the oven. The kids will also make cheddar bay biscuits to go with it. We are going to try and bake wheat bread from wheat that we ground from our Little House co-op, later in the week. Would be awesome to win a Kitchen Aide mixer!

  97. I just love this yearly challenge and reminder to make my home a haven for my family. Lighting the candle and praying for peace is my favorite part! I’m already on my second candle so I may be keeping it lit a bit too long πŸ™‚

  98. My 23 month old daughter loves helping me in the kitchen! As soon as she sees me in there she comes running, says ”I help! I help!” and pulls up a chair so she can stand on it and help me. πŸ˜‰ Yesterday we made a baked ham dinner and invited my husband’s parents and his grandmother over. I love having family around! We made apple pie and brownies for dessert. After we put the pie crust over the apple filling my daughter decided to ”help” me vent it by poking her whole hand through the top of the pie. Good thing she’s cute! πŸ˜‰ Today we made baked pumpkin doughnuts to bring in for my coworkers (I only work one 4 hour shift a week, so I try to bring in a different goodie each week – they love it!) It may take a little longer to get things done with a little one helping out, and you definitely have to make adjustments to keep it safe, but it’s so fun and so worth it! πŸ™‚

  99. These challenges are a great way to bring families together. I still burn my candle. I try to leave a 3×5 index card by it. When I pass by the candle I read the card which has a bible verse on it. It also helps,e to commit verses to memory.

    My 3 year old loves to help me in the kitchen. We’ve made apple crisps. It’s a great teaching moment for him. I let him up the apples in the pan and count out the slices as well as count out the number of cups of sugar etc to put in. I even let him use our food chopper and our hand mixer with careful supervision of course. He gets a big kick out of this. Later this week. I want to try to make something with butternut squash in it. Next week I would like to try pumpkin muffins or cookies. I love the way the house smells when something is freshly baked!

  100. My girls are 12 and 14 and they are such BIG helpers in the kitchen now. They were very hard to have in here when they were younger but, trust me when I say, it gets easier. The more you teach them about cooking when they are small the bigger HELP they are as they become young women!

  101. I never thought I would need or want one of these mixers but after using one at a friends house – they are awesome. I so want one. I was a mom that stressed over the extra mess of having the kids help and focused on the wrong thing. Now they are teenagers and busy but need to teach and make more opportunities for them to help in the kitchen.

  102. This time of year we start having lots of homemade bread and waist increasing things like cinnamon rolls and cookies. i have older (teenage) kids in my kitchen. i have really found joy in cooking just recently after i learned how easy it is and was inspired by my husband getting his culinary arts degree. It was like we both went to school. My daughter has never really liked cooking (it requires her to get her hands dirty. πŸ™‚ ) But my son loves being in the kitchen. It is a good time to just talk and share all sorts of things with them. i have started learning how to make things to can and freeze and it is fun to share these skills with them. It also gives all of us a sense of accomplishment and for me to know that i am using the resources God has given me. πŸ™‚

  103. I love cooking and remembering being in the kitchen with my parents and grandma and me helping them. It took me some time, but my kids help me cook all the time. I want them to have the same memories that I had growing up. We have baked cookies, made fudge and a pie within the last couple of weeks. Oh and I would love to have this Kitchen Aid Mixer. Ours just broke last week. It has made baking a little more challenging for me! πŸ™‚

  104. I love food and me and my kids do a lot of baking around the Holidays such as, pies, cookies, cakes etc. Winning a mixer would be a fabulous addition to our kitchen. By the way . . . me and my kids recently made the Peanut Butter fudge (minus) the peanut butter cups. . . instead we used the Nutella Hazelnut chocolate spread to create a swirl with the peanut butter containing the nuts in them and it was simply delicious. πŸ™‚

  105. I’m in ht middle of moving so not really cooking this week or next as I’ve packed away the cooking things! πŸ˜€

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