Monday, December 31, 2012

100 Verses ~ Week 1

100 Bible Verses in 2013

The new year is upon us, which means it is finally time to begin our scripture memorization journey!  I am so amazed how God has taken this little idea to start a Facebook group for people who might like to take the challenge of memorizing 100 verses with me and grew it.  Honestly, I expected only about 30 or so people to join our group.  As I am writing this, our group is now over 220 participants!

  I am truly excited for each one us as I am reminded of the words of Isaiah 55:11.  " So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it."  God is in the business of transforming lives and He uses His Word to accomplish His purpose.  I fully believe that we not only have the opportunity to memorize God's Word this year, but we have the opportunity to be transformed by it!

So, let's get started!

We will begin in the beginning with The Bible's Fantastic Four (2 verses this week, and 2 next week).  Our verses this week are...

Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (NIV)

John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (NIV)

If you are memorizing from a different translation, feel free to click on links of the verse references to find these scriptures in your preferred bible translation.

Memorization Tip of the Week:  Each time you say your memory verses out loud while memorizing start and end with the reference.  For example, while reviewing our first verse I will say, "Genesis 1:1.  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Genesis 1:1"  The references are usually harder to remember than the verses themselves, so if you review your verses using this method, you will be practicing the references twice as many times as your verse, helping to secure it in your memory! Pin It Now!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

My Pregnancy Journal ~ Week 16

As I'm rushing from one task to another, tripping over clutter and toys, answering endless questions, refereeing the last sibling argument of the day... I mean it, I've had it. Just be nice to one another or at least handle it yourselves...And that's when I feel it.

Two swift movements.  Deep within.  Is that what I think it is?

Two days later.  The presents unwrapped, the clutter hidden away.  I'm sinking down into the first peace of the evening.  A little body snuggles into my side and lays his head on my shoulder...There it is again.

Just a small flutter.

I reach down with one hand and press into the skin of my abdomen.  Searching.  Will my fingertips fill a kick?  A push back in the palm of my hand?  Not yet.  But there is a sure flutter.  Movement inside.

The little one sees my hand and lifts his head. "Is your baby awake?"  he asks, wide-eyed.

"I think so," I smile.

He smiles too and I wonder if there is anything better in life than this.

Read more and link up your pregnancy, post-partum, and baby update posts at My Joy-Filled Life. Pin It Now!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Snapshots of Christmas

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Bars

 I met my husband when I was just 15 and I can still remember my very-young-self standing in the kitchen next to my future mother-in-law making "Peanut Butter Balls" for the first time.  The first thing I realized was that these peanut butter balls were nothing like the peanut butter balls that I had ever had because they were not covered in chocolate.  The second thing I realized was that my would-be husband really liked them.  Thus, I wrote the recipe down on an index card and we have been making them ever since...well, at least we have been making a tweaked version of the recipe.

5 cups of rice crisp cereal
1 cup sugar
1 cup kayro syrup
1.5 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

 First, measure out your 5 cups of cereal and set aside.  Trust me, when it is time you will want to have it ready.
 On the stove top, mix all other ingredients and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.

Once your peanut butter mixture is boiling, quickly mix in the cereal.  And this is the part that you have to call in extra enforcement and act FAST!  Everyone gathers in the kitchen, quickly grabbing small bits of the burning hot peanut butter cereal mix, rolling them into balls and then throwing them onto waiting wax paper.  If you don't act quickly, the mixture will cool and crumble and no longer stick together.  So just accept the fact that you'll be burning the fingerprints off of your finger tips.  There will be screaming and peanut butter cereal will be flying all over your kitchen.

(and this is where I tweaked the recipe)...

 You could simply pour the mixture into a greased baking pan, press firmly, let cool, and later cut them into bars instead of rolling them into balls.

Less screaming.  Still just as delicious.

(See my previous post for simple directions for those Christmas Kiss Treats.)
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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Been There, Pinned That ~ Christmas Kiss Treats

 Last week I participated in an annual cookie exchange with friends.  Unfortunately, as much as I love to eat sweet treats I really dislike baking....and cooking....really, I prefer to stay at least 10 feet away from the stove at all times.  I use my crock pot.  A lot.

  Thankfully, the world of Pinterest has opened up a whole new world of discovering new "recipes" that are actually easy to make and yummy.  (Unlike one of those fancy cooking magazines that claim "simple" recipes, yet have 20 ingredients and 35 steps.) 

  Now, if you are on Pinterest, you've probably seen the directions for these easy Christmas treats as it has been a popular Pin the last few weeks.  A Pin I found linked to these directions on Cooking Classy.  And if you haven't already tried it yourself, I am here to tell you that these little candies really were simple to make and super tasty!  Here's what to do...

Preheat oven to 200.  Place chocolate kisses on top of square pretzels.  Bake for 5 minutes.  Top each kiss with an M&M.  Let cool and set in refrigerator.

  Funny story...the original Pin called for Hershey's Hugs instead of kisses.  I sent my husband to the store to get the ingredients and soon received this text from him...

"Pinterest is of the else can you account for a SUPER Wal-Mart being out of both square pretzels and hugs?!?!"

  :o).  He eventually found the square pretzels at another store, but we opted for the kisses as they were also out of hugs.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Pregnancy Journal~Week 14

      So we were blessed to announce the news of our expected 9th child a couple of weeks ago to our family and friends.  This was made even more special because our sweet friend and photographer Tammy Stayton, took pictures of our family to announce our big news.  We even waited to tell the kids until our photo shoot, so that Tammy could capture our children finding out about the new baby.

     We had already told the kids to line up in birth order and I handed them a number to hold that corresponded.  Once every one was lined up and Tammy was ready, I pulled out the #9 sign.

     "Um, wait a minute?!!"  I said.  "What's this?  Why do we have a #9...what do you think that means??"

      My know-it-all G12 replied, "Mom, that's an upside down 6."  Hmmmmm.

     "No," Dad said, "that's a #9.  Why do you think we have it?!"

      Here is their reaction...

 G12 finally gets it!

They were definitely surprised, which surprised me.  I figured the older ones had noticed how sick I had been for the prior couple weeks and were already in the know.

 E9 was most expressive.  I asked him what this look was all about and he said he was thinking about all the dirty diapers!

 L4 looks so sweet here.  It's hard to imagine I started this blog when I was expecting her.

Here the little ones try to figure out what it all means.

I had my second appointment this morning and all is well.  Once again, we heard a strong heartbeat and my midwife says it definitely feels like a 'baby #9' in there and 'not a baby #9 and 10'.  Also, I was excited to schedule our ultrasound for the next visit in mid-January.  We always find out what we are having and I've been pinning ideas for a gender reveal party.  What do you think?  Should we do a gender reveal party?  Still trying to decide.

 By the way, linking up to My Pregnancy Journal at My Joy-filled Life this week.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Scripture Memory System Box

You may have noticed that I now have a new tab at the top of my site.  Please check out 100 Bible Verses in 2013 to find out how you can join in the challenge to dig into God's words and "Write them on the tablet of your heart." ~Proverbs 3:3

When I decided to take on this challenge and revamp my scripture memory practice, I was totally inspired by another awesome Scripture Memory System to create a Scripture Memory System Box to organize my verses and help with my daily review.  My box is simplified from the original version a bit, but I'll share it with you along with instructions to set up your own.

You'll need:
An index card  box with tabs (at least 20)
Plenty of index cards (at least 100!!)
A pen - preferable one small enough to fit in the box

So you may want to start by writing down all the verses you already have memorized and or a couple that you want to begin memorizing.  Just write one verse per card.  (Sometimes I memorize a chunk of scripture at a time.  If it is only 2-3 consecutive verses, I will put that all on one card. If it is longer, I will often divide them up over multiple cards but keep them together in a group to review at the same time.)

When you are first learning a verse, write it down on an index card and place it in front of the tabs.  You will review these cards daily.  Keep these verses in this 'daily review spot' until you can easily recall it.
Once you have worked on the verse for a while you will move behind one of the first five tabs.  Label these tabs M, T, W, Th, F for the days of the week.  (I choose to only use M-F, but of course you may want to add Sa and Su tabs as well.)  Now that you know this verse pretty well, you can just review it once a week.  Review the verse weekly for several weeks until you feel confident that you will not be forgetting it.

Finally, you can move it behind one of the next 15 tabs.  Now to be honest, the original creator of this system suggested having 31 tabs at this point and labeling them accordingly, so that your memorized verse would only be reviewed once a month.  But I didn't have 31 tabs...I had 15.  So I decided I would review my memorized verses bi-monthly.  As you can see my tabs are labeled '1, 16', '2, 17', etc.  So, if I put a verse behind the '1, 16' tab then I will review it on the 1st of the month and the 16th of the month.

In the back of the box I keep blank index cards and an ink pen to write new verses.  I have been using this system for about a month and I'm loving it!  I try to spend a few minutes each morning during my quiet time and I often throw my box in my diaper bag to take along with me.  My kids like to quiz me in the car.

I'd love to hear about scripture memory systems and tips that you use!  Let me know in the comments what works for you.

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