Category Archives: Homemaking

Quiet Time with Kids-New Update

Several years ago I wrote about scheduling a “quiet time” for our children. At the time they were ages 6, 2, and 15 months. You can click here to read about that, and then an update here.

For now, here’s what works for us. Our two girls share a bedroom, so they take turns with one staying in their room and one going to the living room. Our oldest, 11 years old, reads her Bible, prays, journals, and if time allows, reads some of a missionary biography each day.

Our middle child, 7 years old, reads her Bible, prays, and sings songs from our church’s songbook.

Our youngest, 6 years old, is learning to read, so he sometimes looks in his Bible to find words he knows. Mostly he listens to praise music and looks through his Bible storybooks in his room. Though we may listen to other contemporary Christian music throughout the day (they like it especially when they are cleaning), only certain music is allowed for quiet time. This is a time for singing praises to God versus singing about our walk or various life situations.

Also, our younger ones sometimes color their picture in their Bible coloring book from their devotion with Dad the night before during this time.

I usually give them around 20 minutes. Sometimes more if they ask for more time.

We occasionally ask them how their time is going, what they are doing, and for those that can read, what they are learning. We don’t want this to be something we just do everyday without them knowing the purpose, which is to have a relationship with God.

As a result of this scheduled quiet time, one of our daughters repented and believed in Christ while reading the Word. As she read Ezekiel, the Lord opened her heart to see that the same sentence on Israel for their sin also rested on her. Therefore, she put her trust in Christ alone for salvation.

Looking back from when we first started this, I can see we have come a long way! I am thankful for God’s faithfulness to remind us and give us patience as we are training our children and much fruit already!


Resurrection Resources: Resurrection Tree

Part of decorating our house for Resurrection Sunday includes our Resurrection Tree. This is similar to what we do at Christmas with a tree; we put on ornaments that remind us of the biblical account of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. This year we have a small artificial tree, about 2 feet tall. One year we attached small tree limbs to a board so that it resembled a cross. All our ornaments are homemade. The kids have drawn pictures and then attached yarn to them to hang up. You can write Bible verses on index cards, poke a hole in them with a hole punch and hang them up with yarn or ribbon.  We’ve used popsicle sticks, foam stickers, whatever we have on hand. My point is that you don’t have to go to the store and buy expensive items for this to be a special decoration. Be creative and really make it your own!


Resurrection Resources: Resurrection Rolls

Here is a recipe and devotion we have done with our children as part of our Resurrection Sunday celebration. I got the recipe and only slighted adapted it from here.

Resurrection Rolls

  • One can crescent rolls
  • 8 marshmallows (one for each roll or 2-3 minis)
  • Melted butter
  • Cinnamon sugar (1 part cinnamon to 3 parts sugar)
  • Bible


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Read John chapter 19.
  2. Unroll the crescent rolls.
  3. Take a marshmallow, symbolizing Jesus: pure and without sin, and roll it in the butter. This represents the embalming oils.
  4. Then roll the buttered marshmallow in the cinnamon sugar, symbolizing the spices used in burial.
  5. Wrap the marshmallow in a crescent roll, securely covering it. This represents verse 40, “they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths.”
  6. Put the rolls in the oven. Bake according to the package directions. This symbolizes Jesus being laid in the tomb.
  7. While the rolls are baking, read John 20:1-18.
  8. When the rolls are finished baking and have cooled enough to handle, break one open to discover what happened to “Jesus”! He is not there!



He is risen indeed!


Resurrection Sunday Resources

For years it seemed as though the holiday of Easter, or Resurrection Sunday, was upon us without taking much time to prepare. Certainly nothing like we did for Christmas. So, a couple of years ago we tried to be more intentional about celebrating this important holiday. I’d like to share over the next few days some different ideas we have enjoyed and hope to continue as traditions in our home.

One resource that has been helpful is the book, Treasuring God in Our Traditions, by Noel Piper. She includes not only activities for Resurrection Sunday, but also other holidays and ways to make any day special.



Christ is Our Passover Lamb

We have remained steadfast in our discipline of “Family Friday Night.” It began while we were in seminary because time was very limited and very valuable. So, on Friday night, Dad stopped studying at 5:00 pm and did not start back until Saturday at noon. The Saturday morning was a time my wife could actually have an uninterrupted quiet time (husband, you should add up the amount of time your wife is spending with the kids…she needs a break!). And we are still keeping the Family Night though we are not as busy. That is the history and context of Family Night.

Therefore, we plan each Friday night on Wednesday (or further in advance if we are doing something that needs extra preparation). It usually involves everyone’s input. However, when the Holy Days of old roll around, we incorporate them into our family night. I would like to encourage you to consider using these holidays as a teaching tool for your kids. They are rich with imagery that will help your kids develop categories of theology.

So, we have planned the next several weeks to teach our kids about the Passover, The Day of Atonement, and The Feast of Booths. If you are going to attempt this, check out the material available through Jews for Jesus. They have some excellent resources. You will want to spend some time thinking about this and how Christ is our Passover Lamb before you do this. I hope to post my devotions for the kids as I take the week of our scheduled Passover to lead them in our family worship time each night.

I hope you will be encouraged to use these holy days to point to Christ (and learn yourself) in the following days. Also, don’t think you have to do them on their scheduled dates. It can be overwhelming for someone to do all of them. We have been doing them for a few years now, so it takes time to develop a strategy. You can spread them out or just pick one for the year and focus on it and do it well. May you and your family be blessed!

Quiet Time for Kids Update

We have been fairly consistent in the mornings with “Quiet Time.” I wanted to give an update as I have been blessed to see the children know this is part of our day. For the original of what I am updating, click here!

Lydia (6 years old) is continuing to read her Bible in Dad and Mom’s bedroom by herself. She is not reading through Matthew anymore; she told me she looks for certain passages and reads those. Our Sunday School curriculum offers a take home sheet that includes questions to think about, Scriptures to read, and prayer suggestions. She goes through this sheet each day during her quiet time as well.

One day this past week, Madi (2 years old) went to look for Lydia. When she saw that Lydia was in our bedroom reading her Bible, she immediately went in the kids’ room, turned on her praise CD, and sat on her bed with her books without being told!

I am continuing to read my Bible aloud in the living room with Joshua (17 months) by my side. He looks at Bible story board books that we keep in a basket in the living room. We’ve had some great “conversations” about Job and Genesis as I read, following a chronological Bible reading plan!

Family Fun Friday! Homemade Pizza

Family Fun Friday began in our home about four years ago. It began with letting Lydia, then 2 years old, sit on our bed and have a special snack while we all watched an episode of Andy Griffith together. Now, four years and two more children later, this is a night we intentionally guard and plan for our family to do something special together.
This has been extremely helpful for us during our busy time in seminary. Even when Jason has many assignments, he does not look at them on Friday from 5p.m. until Saturday morning. We think this will also be a good thing to have in place when we are (Lord willing) in full time ministry. There have been a few times that we did not have FFF such as a one time event at church, a major assignment due at midnight on Friday, or an invitation from friends. We have found that there are not too many conflicts at this time. So when something does come up, we feel the freedom to take advantage of that activity also.
Now to the pizza. This has almost become the Friday night staple. We like it so much that we hardly ever eat pizza out anymore! I got the crust recipe from Crystal Paine at Biblical Womanhood. (This site, by the way, has been a huge encouragement to me.) I changed it a little for my recipe book because I am very blessed to have a stand mixer with a dough hook. If you are kneading by hand, I believe the recipe calls for kneading five minutes.
Pizza Crust:
1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F.)
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups all purpose or bread flour

Dissolve the yeast in the water.
Add the rest of the ingredients in and mix with dough hook until it forms into a ball around the hook.

Flour the pan you will cook the pizza on and dump the dough onto this.

Roll out in the desired shape.

You are ready to add sauce, toppings and cheese!

Bake at 450 degrees F° for anywhere from 9-15 (depending on your oven) minutes until the crust is lightly browned and cheese melted.

My plan tonight is beef and bacon pizza with an Oreo dessert mix we were given in a Christmas package.

Live to Eat or Eat to Live?

Over the last several months we have been making changes in the way we eat. We have taken it one step at a time. Once something becomes a part of our lives, we move to another area. When at one time we drank sweet tea at every meal, now it is an occasional treat. At one time we ate all convenience type foods, now we eat almost everything made from scratch. (This includes trying to stay away from processed meat and foods high in preservatives.)
Our most recent change has been trying to add many more fruits and vegetables in our diet. We mostly eat sandwiches for lunch each day and these were always accompanied by chips. We began by adding fruit on the side and then one day when we ran out of chips I decided not to buy anymore. This may be obvious, but when you don’t have something in the house, that really helps out in not eating it! We then replaced it with raw vegetables. Now we have a sandwich, fruit, and broccoli and carrots with dip almost every day for lunch. We all use to think raw broccoli was terrible, but God has changed our taste buds because now we love it!
I thought at first it would be expensive to buy all fresh produce, but actually I spend less at the store now than I did before. I price match at Wal-mart and usually only buy what is on sale. This is still plenty for us in a week. I think it helps that I shop for these items first and I am not buying a bunch of prepackaged ingredients for other dishes.
The kids enjoy helping prepare these foods also. Here they are a few months ago snapping beans!

snap beans

Now, this is not to say we never eat all that other stuff anymore. There is nothing better to us in the summer than a grilled hot dog with chips, baked beans and potato salad! We are just trying to get to the point where those meals are the exception and not the norm!

Themes: Blue Day

In our homeschool kindergarten we have started having theme days once a month. Our first one was “Blue Day.” Keep in mind we also have a lively 21 month old and 4 month old with us so we keep things pretty simple. Here are some of the ways we included blue in our day:

During our Bible time we read from Exodus that blue was used on the garments of the priests.

We made a list of all the blue things in the house.

We all wore something blue.

We made blue water to drink and blue cupcakes with blue icing for a special treat. 

       Lydia blue

         Lydia’s favorite part: cleaning up the bowl!

Madi blue

Looks like Madi enjoyed it, too!

 blue cupcakes

                                          The finished product!

I’ll admit, they were not the best tasting cupcakes, but we really had fun making them! One of my favorite things to do with the girls is bake. Recently I thought about how I am seeking to “teach younger women” and I realized I have two precious ones right under this roof that I have the privilege to teach. I was convicted to use more of our daily activities as teaching moments.