Fresh-Squeezed Orange Juice and an Orange Julius Recipe

A warm spring day in Phoenix is pure bliss for harvesting and juicing oranges. Orange trees are beautiful: the contrast of the vivid orange against the dark green leaves are one of my favorite things about spring here. That and the roses! My cousin and friend Doris invited Mitch and I over to juice some oranges from her tree. We readily accepted, not just for the prospect of sweet orange juice, but because Doris is one of our favorite people. She is always so warm and welcoming, plus multitalented, insightful, and artistic. We wish we would have had more time to … Read more…

Get Your DIY Projects On: Flash Sale for The Ultimate DIY Bundle

* * * This post includes affiliate links. It is important to us that we only share products with you that we love and use in our home. Thank you for supporting our expanding Engaged Home!*** If you’ve been following my posts lately, you know that with our baby girl due any time now. Plus, several of my friends are having babies! Their sweet pictures are flooding Facebook and making me even more anxious to meet our Rebekah. With baby on the brain, I have been trying my hand at more DIY projects than usual. Sometimes I find inspiration from Pinterest, … Read more…

Book Review and Giveaway: The Magic of Family Meals

http://hollydoherty.com/

Does your family eat on the go a lot? Are you looking for ways to recover the habit of family mealtime? Does your family zone out in front of the TV or retreat to separate bedrooms during mealtime? Are you looking for more quality time as a family? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, The Magic of Family Meals: 115 Conversation Starters to Connect With Your Kids will be a helpful tool for your family. You CAN retake lost ground and reclaim family mealtime! Here at The Engaged Home I am dedicated to intentionally moving toward an engaged home life … Read more…

DIY Nursery on a Budget

I am hoping to do a “grand reveal” next week of our DIY nursery. (Keep in mind we are keeping it simple, our nursery won’t end up in any magazines!) However, I did finish several projects, which makes me feel accomplished. 🙂 1. The bow organizer I made a few weeks ago has a few more bows on it curtesy of youtube and Pinterest ideas and a bunch of cute ribbon sent from my mother-in-law and salvaged off shower presents.  2. Rebekah will have an assortment of cute bootie options!  3. Here is the finished DIY Shower Card Art.  4. … Read more…

The Man Behind the Blog: An Interview With My Husband

Mitch Clay

(He’s so dapper! And yes, he is wearing a Batman bow tie to preach in!) A fellow blogger, Betsy, from Heavens to Betsy, started a linkup called The Man Behind the Blog. Once a month she sends out questions for other bloggers to ask their husbands or boyfriends. I thought it sounded like a lot of fun, so here it goes! But first, in case you don’t know anything about him, my wonderful husband Mitch is a Youth and Family Minister, an occasional guest-poster on The Engaged Home, a fantastic guitar player, and my biggest fan. He loves Batman, Doctor Who, dogs, … Read more…

Family Movie Night: Courageous

Courageous

We didn’t go out to the movies much while dating or when first married (we still don’t, unless it’s at the cheap theater for $3). Young, married, and poor, we were picky about the movies we were willing to spend money to see. Nonetheless, one weekend the itch struck us and we indulged. Popcorn and all! Courageous had been in theaters for a week or so, and we felt good about supporting a Christian movie with our money. However, we did not know much about the movie and as a result we were inadequately prepared. Bring tissues . . . Trust me … Read more…

Let the Nesting Chaos Commence!

Baby Cardigan

My poor crochet projects and reading pile have taken a back seat to my nesting this week. I’ve barely added a couple rows to this baby cardigan! When we hit 36/37 weeks and realized our daughter really could come any time, we started getting serious about some house projects. However, I hope she waits another week at least because we are right in the thick of the chaos! From this angle the nursery looks pretty bad! I still need to make a changing table cover and obviously put away/hang up some decor. This angle’s not as bad, though still lacking … Read more…

Get Married in ModCloth: Vintage, Modest, Elegant, and Affordable!

***This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.*** Are wedding bells ringing in your ears? Whether you are going to be the breath-taking bride, belle of a bridesmaid, or a supportive friend or family member, come experience ModCloth’s new line of wedding attire: Wedding Style! I know every time I look through their dresses I make a wish list (I can’t help it, the dresses are so cute! I love the throwbacks to the 20s and 50s). ModCloth style is fashionable, unique, and often even modest. I don’t … Read more…

Family Devotional – The Courageous Christian

Family Devotional on Courage Explore the Meaning: Courage. What do you think of when you hear the word courage? (Firemen running into buildings, policemen, standing up for what you believe in, etc.) Do you think God wants us to be courageous? If so, how? (i.e. standing up for our faith, talking to others about Jesus, living out God’s calling for us rather than being afraid to go where he calls) (For older kids) What is the difference between being courageous and being confident, or even cocky? The dictionary defines courage as “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person … Read more…

Dads Hurt Too: Miscarriage Support

miscarriage

***Disclaimer: This is an account of a miscarriage we had back in April 2014. Thankfully, our Rebekah is growing, kicking, and developing just as she should at 8 months in the womb. Dedication: I would like to dedicate this post to Cadence, the child we lost early April 2014. Daddy will always love you, even though I never had the chance to meet you. I can’t wait to see you face to face in Heaven… My wife (who most of you know quite well by now) wrote an amazing post called “Breaking the Silence: Miscarriage Support”. This post takes you … Read more…

Inspiration from the Past

easy crochet project

Confession: my crocheting and knitting time has been abysmal lately . . . I am hoping to rectify that soon. This week, I am working off inspiration from the past. However, I do have a couple projects started that I would love to wrap up. I was looking back through old Yarn Along posts and found this picture of a blanket I made for a friend’s baby that is due this month. Shortly after I made it, I learned they are having a boy. Since we are having a girl, I decided to keep it. 😉 Crocheting around fleece blankets … Read more…

“Surrounding the Wounded” A Counselor’s Perspective on Grief and Loss

Surrounding the Wounded

Have you ever faced a personal struggle that opened your eyes to how many hurting people there are in the world? After our miscarriage, I felt overwhelmed. Not so much by my own pain, but by the pain of others. My heart broke in a whole new way for all the women that had to go through such an experience. It seemed like every day I met someone new who was either going through a miscarriage, or had gone through one recently. Friends were asking me to pray and talk to their friends that were going through miscarriages because they, … Read more…

Small Moments of Courage

small moments of courage

Immeasurable odds. Men on the front lines of a battlefield. Dying for a cause larger than yourself. Fighting for freedom or equality. Firefighters running into a burning building.  These are all common connotations of courage. Yet, this month as we look into the character trait of courage, I don’t want to just consider the traditional meaning. Traditional courage is important–I am so thankful for Martin Luther King Jr. and those in our country who fought for freedom and equality. But, I want us to consider and remember small moments of courage today. I can think of only a few times in … Read more…

My 30 Days’ Journey to a Fulfilled Life by Ifeoma Samuel (Book Review)

In one way or another, we are all seeking to live a fulfilled life. But so often we seek fulfillment in things that can never truly fill us or satisfy our deep longings. In her eBook, My 30 Days’ Journey to a Fulfilled Life, Ifeoma Samuel lays out the simple truth of not just what, by who leads us to a fulfilled life. Though I have never met Ifeoma (she lives in Africa and I in America), I have followed her blog and was honored when she asked me to review her eBook. Though a bit rocky grammatically in portions, her content … Read more…

A First Kiss, An Almost Proposal, and Our Favorite Spring Date (Romantic and Free!)

favorite date

(Engagement picture taken at the York arboretum in autumn. Engagement pictures taken by Summer Dickinson.) There is something so enticing about springtime. You cannot help but want to be outside (unless it activates your allergies . . . ). I remember feeling so full of energy in the spring after a l-o-n-g Nebraska winter. The world comes alive again with gentle rains (Okay, sometimes not so gentle . . . and the occasional tornado), cool breezes, warm sunshine, budding trees releasing their floral fragrances (except for the white ones . . . they usually smelled bad), green growth sprouting from every crease … Read more…

The Beauty of Simplicity

Simplicity

There is an art and beauty to simplicity. Those who practice simplicity find joy, fulfillment, and freedom. Our culture tells us that we need more. Or, it tells us what we have isn’t good enough, we need something better. Maybe you have plenty of shoes, but you don’t have any purple pumps. Your iPhone 5 might still work great, but have you seen what the iPhone 6 can do? Materialism keeps us trapped looking for that one thing that will change our world. But none of it ever does. At least not for more than 5 minutes. Simplicity brings the freedom to experience life more … Read more…

A Deal Too Good to Pass Up, Nursery Decor Projects, and Learning to Knit

Last Saturday our knitting and crocheting group consisted of all knitters. I didn’t mind. It meant I was able to relearn some of the basics of knitting: casting on, the knit stitch, even purling. In case you remember, I had started to learn several months ago. But I failed to continue practicing and forgot everything I’d learned. This week, I am determined to carve out some time to watch youtube videos on learning to knit to keep the basics fresh in my mind. If you have any knitting tips, or video suggestions, please leave them in the comments below! One … Read more…

Engaged Home News

There’s a lot happening this March and April at The Engaged Home. Check out what’s happening in our neck of the woods below: 1. Book Reviews and Giveaways:  Supporting learning and faith in the home means sharing quality resources with you. I love sharing great websites, books, podcasts, giveaways, and articles that will empower your engaged home! (Which is a great perk of following The Engaged Home on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. . . ) This month I am reviewing two books: The Magic of Family Meals by Holly Doherty and My 30-Day Journey to a Fulfilled Life by Ifeoma Samuel. I am also going … Read more…