Dust Bunny Crafts

  My dear friend Sarah Eggar is the creative genius behind Dust Bunny Crafts. She creates quality cards for a fantastic price. Her cards add the perfect touch to a present and brighten somebody’s day when received in the mail. Today, I am blessed to share her lovely work. Sarah lives and works in Montana where her husband is a minister. She is working hard to share her cards at craft fairs and online. I ordered this beautifully unique card from her in September to put with my sister-in-law’s birthday present. I love the wood background, and of course, the tree! … Read more…

2014 Black Friday Deals

Black Friday shopping is a tradition in my family. Seriously, it is what I remember most about Thanksgiving. Don’t get me wrong, it never intruded on our family time. It was just family time part II. After our big Thanksgiving dinner, the men would fall asleep and all of us girls would get out the newspaper adds and pour over them. Then, at like 3 AM (back before stores started invading on Thanksgiving time), we would get up, bundle up (it’s cold in Nebraska!), and go stand in lines stretched around stores only lit by street lights, while we strategized further … Read more…

Last-Minute Thanksgiving Recipes

Hopefully, most of you have your Thanksgiving menu set and all your groceries bought! But if you are not quite there, or you were asked to bring a dessert or side and are still looking for ideas, check out some of my favorite, last-minute Thanksgiving recipes! The first recipe I am going to share is an original: Mini Apple Crumb Pies. I created it when I had ton of sweet and tart apples from my grandma’s tree and a leftover crust in the fridge. My mom came up with this idea of keeping flour for rolling out doughs in a … Read more…

Cultivating a Thankful Spirit

On good days, when you are not stressed about work, family, money, {fill in the blank} it is easy to be thankful. Sadly, sometimes we are still guilty of not slowing down enough to tell God thank you. Like the nine out of ten lepers that Jesus healed, we just hurry on our way, enjoying the blessings, but not giving praise and thanksgiving where it is due. Other days, the weight of the world presses down on our weary shoulders as we stress over the budget and bills, clean up another dog mess, navigate work pressure, cope with another tantrum … Read more…

Embracing the Pink: Our Baby Girl

      Nathana (mom): A baby girl: pink, ruffles, hair bows, and dolls . . . I know this is a stereotype, but we are trying to wrap our heads around a baby girl. When taking these last minute announcement photos, we realized that we do not own any pink clothes. Opps! But red and white make pink, right?! Fortunately, my mother-in-law surprised me with a beautiful pink maternity sweater a couple days later. I certainly was a tom boy growing up. Don’t get me wrong, I liked princesses, dresses, barbies, and baby dolls. But I could climb trees, build … Read more…

My Favorite Things: Usborne Books and Giveaway

Books are one of my favorite gifts to give and receive! As an avid reader, I love collecting books, and most years they are at the top of my Christmas list. I am also “that aunt” who’s always buying children’s books for my niece and nephews. I can’t help it! Children’s books are just too cute! Plus, many are both engaging and educational for young minds. In addition to buying for others, I have already started a personal children’s library at home in preparation for Baby Clay in April. I am a firm believer in reading with young children, even young babies. My mom … Read more…

Yarn Along: Crocheted Infinity Scarf Pattern

I am almost finished with my crocheted infinity scarf pattern. This pattern from Fiber Flux is easy to follow and is turning out exactly how I hoped it would! I also finished a very pink cowl and discovered that I had some gloves to match it perfectly that my mom bought for $1! Now, it is a great set–plus, there is enough yarn leftover on the skein that I can make a matching headband. As far as reading goes, I need to find some personal free time to dive into a good book . . . But, Mitch and I … Read more…

Teaching Praise and Worship

In Bible Hour at church we have been talking about developing a thankful heart and attitude toward God and others. Thankfulness led us to talking about the importance of praise and worship in our relationship with God. Praise and worship are directly tied to our expression of thankfulness to God. To help us remember this concept, we spent time memorizing Psalms 100:2: The book of Psalms literally means “songs of praise”, which is fitting because it is full of direct praise! Don’t get me wrong, the Psalms are genuine prayers and songs that capture the diversity of human emotion: praise, thankfulness, sorrow, … Read more…

My Favorite Things: My Old Tennessee Home GIVEAWAY!

I love Christmas time: Glistening colored lights strung up everywhere, tinsel, garland, hot chocolate, sweet and salty treats, Christmas music, how the days get dark early, decorating the tree, pageants, and of course, finding or making Christmas presents. I love wrapping up a present I think someone will be excited about and putting it under the tree. Even though receiving gifts is wonderful, giving is much more fun. I a big advocate of making homemade Christmas presents, but they can also be so fun to buy, especially if you are short on time (which is most of us at Christmas … Read more…

Yarn Along Wednesday: Multicolored, One-hour Cowl

No, you caught me. It is not cool enough for a jacket. 🙁 That was staged because it was so cute with the cowl. It’s probably 85 degrees out currently . . . still. But by the end of the week we should be in the 70s! Woo-hoo! I wish I would have written down what brand of yarn this was because I loved how soft and workable it was! Once again I followed an easy, one-hour cowl pattern. I really need to start branching out from cowls . . . but almost everyone is getting one for Christmas! I keep … Read more…

Killer Homemade Tomato Sauce and Soup

Hello everyone, today The Engaged Home is being hijacked by the husband of the home to share with you a great recipe that I’ve been using for about a year now. Do you love tomato sauce but worry about the sugar, salt, or preservative content in the jared or canned tomato products at your local grocer? Ever wanted to know exactly what goes into your food? Ever wanted to eat the best tomato sauce EVER? Well, you’re in luck, because I’m going to share with you a homemade tomato sauce that will completely ruin other recipes for you. It is … Read more…

Thankfulness Amidst Disappointment

This past week has included little sleep, headaches, bad hair days, stress, fatigue, and disappointment. My husband and I had one of those weeks where what we thought was an open door God wanted us to go through, slammed shut in our face. That’s ok. Those days will come, and God is good–ALL the time. We both tried to stay positive and practice strong communication through it with each other and God. But, I have to admit, I had my moments where I did not handle it well, and I did NOT feel very thankful . . . I could … Read more…

Pregnancy Week-by-Week Preview: 18 Weeks and Counting, Plus Gender Poll!

Monday, week 18. I thought for the “Ready-set-SNAP” Self-portrait blog hop it would be fun (and a good picture diary) to capture my pregnancy week-by-week. Tuesday, week 18 (Moral of the story on Tuesday: learn to take better selfies and crop pictures!) Wednesday, week 18 So, I forgot to take pictures the rest of the week, but really nothing changed. In fact, next week I will probably only take one picture. Week 18 hasn’t been too bad, all things considered. Most of the gross, sick feelings are gone. I also have more energy (most days) and a good appetite. Since … Read more…

Operation Christmas Child

Last night some of our teenagers participated with us in buying items and packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. Operation Christmas Child is ran through Samaritan’s Purse, a non-profit Christian relief organization that helps children and families around the world. Since 1993, over 113 million children have received shoeboxes full of toys, school supplies, hygiene items, and more as a physical example of God’s love. With the Christmas boxes that they receive, Samaritan’s Purse partners with local churches in America and overseas to make sure these children and their families are followed up with through their “Gospel Storybooks” and “The Greatest … Read more…

Yarn Along Wednesday: Crocheted Headband, Cowl, and My First Knitting Adventure!

My tactic for Christmas is to make “one-skein gifts”. It makes the creation process faster and cheaper. Every week I take a 40% or 50% off coupon to Micheals and buy a nice skein of yarn for $2.50-$3.00, instead of the usual $5.00-$6.00. Cowls are a great “one-skein gift.” Plus, there is often enough yarn left over to make a matching crocheted headband or hat! This yarn was a bit chunky for a crocheted headband, but I like it anyways! I think it would look even spiffier with a lighter, solid-colored yarn. I modified the pattern because I was a little … Read more…

Teen Book Review: Life As We Knew It

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer Life As We Knew It is most certainly a page-turner! Its storyline is one that has been very popular lately: There is a catastrophic event and the world changes forever. We see this over and over again today in Zombie lore, books like The Road, and movies like The Day After Tomorrow. It addresses questions such as “What would people do in this situation?” or “How would humanity cope?” Ultimately, it is a book about familial love and survival. In the book, a meteor hits the moon and moves it closer in orbit to the earth. This … Read more…

Thankfulness Family Devotional

Family Devotional I wanted to create a family devotional that you can start the week with together. This month we are focusing on thankfulness. Read the devotional and scriptures aloud as a family. The italicized questions are for you and your children to discuss out loud. “Explore the Meaning” introduces the concept and assesses your children’s prior knowledge. I tried to define words as much as possible, but depending on the age of your children, you may need to back up and explain some vocabulary (great learning opportunity). “Look It Up” offers some scriptures from the Bible to illustrate the concept. “Apply … Read more…