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…

November Preview

Happy Halloween! For our church’s Fall Fest I was Deb from Napoleon Dynamite (80s girls to all the generations who don’t know that movie) and Mitch was making fun of his future self as a nerdy dad. However, after he shaved his beard and looked in the mirror, he said “I look just like my dad did when I was born! Gulp!” (Sorry for the bad camera phone resolution!) However, I know many families choose not to celebrate Halloween, and I respect that, so Halloween will not be my focus today. Instead, I want to give you a preview of … Read more…

No-guilt Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin Madness

Whew. That is a mouthful! So are my new delicious muffins . . . Pregnancy has caused me to crave carbs and sweets (Really, I am just blaming our poor child, I have always craved these things). I have been striving to eat a balanced and healthy diet, but some days are better than others. The first trimester my focus was completely on survival. Now that I am feeling better {most days} I am working harder at eating healthy. I had some overly ripe bananas, so I decided I needed to make muffins. Unfortunately, this morning they were too far … Read more…

Keep Your Marriage Strong Through Life’s Changes

If there is one thing we can be certain of, it is change. Even when we resist it, we find ourselves living in a changing world: right now the leaves are turning red, orange, yellow, and falling off all together; that cold nip is in the air (unless you live in Phoenix); political parties are fighting for control at the local, state, and national level promising either change to new and better things or change back to the way it used to be; and our lives are changing day by day. We watch our children blossom and grow faster than we’d … Read more…

Six Ideas for Nurturing a Generous Child

  The children I have observed are not naturally generous. They don’t want to share their toys. They want to do things their way. But let’s face it, selfishness is a problem people struggle with whether they are two or 52. Raising a generous child is something that you have to do purposefully. Helping your child understand the why of generosity is important. Within the why it is necessary to teach them that we are not generous for the recognition or praise of people, but we are generous because we love God and we want to share God’s generous love with others. That … Read more…

5 Ways to Practice Generosity as a Family

Yesterday we talked about things YOU, as the adult, can do personally. Your kids need to see you model generosity; they will learn through your example. But one of the best ways to instill values into your family is to practice them together. I know a lot of kids who watched their parents do this or that, but they never learned how to do it for themselves. Generosity is a wonderful character trait to practice together because there are so many opportunities and ideas. Today, I brainstormed five ways you can practice generosity as a family: 1. Decorate a jar as a … Read more…

Seven Ways to Express Generosity

Wealth and generosity are words we associate with our financial status, but I have come believe they can have a much broader meaning. We can be “wealthy” or “generous” in different ways depending on the physical and emotional resources available to us. “Wealth” could mean an abundance of money, or time, or patience, etc. Sometimes people don’t need monetary generosity, but they crave a generous listener to hear their heart. As you decide how you are going to practice generosity this month, consider some ideas: Bless someone in need financially. Do you know someone who is having trouble paying their bills? (Ask … Read more…

Bible Verses Reflecting on Generosity

Tomorrow, I am going to share some generosity challenges with you; but today, I want to share a little more with you about why we should be generous. First of all, if we are blessed to have an abundance, God tells us in 1 Timothy 6:17-19, As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure … Read more…

Easy One-skein, Two-hour Cowl and a Family Vacation to Boot!

Yes, I am still on my easy cowl kick . . . I decided I would make one for all the females on my husband’s side of the family. I am stealing this idea from my Aunt Sheila who made all of us cowls last Christmas on my mom’s side. This pattern is wonderfully simple! Plus, unlike my last cowl, which was simple and chunky, (see below) this blue one has a more decorative stitch to it. One of my favorite things about the blue cowl was that it only takes a couple hours to make, and it takes less than one skein … Read more…

Baby Clay Coming Soon to Our Engaged Home!

It is official. We are expecting our lil’ pumpkin in April! Our good friend Cherise graciously took our announcement pictures. We LOVE them! She is a very talented photographer. Fall is my favorite season and I am excited that we were able to incorporate a pumpkin. I am currently 16 weeks pregnant. Which is a relief in so many ways! For one thing, it means less nausea. For another, with each week that passes it feels more real. We waited longer than some people would have liked to announce our pregnancy, but after our miscarriage last April (where we, in … Read more…

Made in the Image of a Generous God

Over the years, Mitch and I have been touched by the generosity of others. When we were first beginning in ministry, an older ministry couple compassionately took us under their wing and generously gave time to mentor us. Transitioning to Arizona took faith, but the generosity of those that opened their home for us (until we found an apartment) and provided us with grocery cards and meals touched our hearts. Even when Mitch faced major dental work that would drain our savings, an amazing couple from church blessed us by paying for the majority of it (without us even asking). … Read more…

Yarn Along Wednesday: Blue-hued Cowl

You may notice a theme developing with my crochet projects: Easy. Even though I want to advance to more difficult projects, (including learning to knit), but we have traveling and are now hosting family in town. Two of my favorite things! But they do not leave much room for complicated projects. Also, we are still trying to organize a “how to crochet and knit” group at church. Thus, I am trying to find an arsenal of simple crochet projects to teach. So, I am sticking with a cowl, though a different pattern than the last one (I still need a … Read more…

Creating Character: An Education for the Whole Family

I was inspired by the Duggar Family (20 Kids and Counting on TLC, or in our case Netflix) to begin a journey focusing on developing godly character. They incorporate character building into their homeschooling curriculum and daily life. At first, I thought practicing good character was only for little kids, something taught in Sunday school. But, I was very wrong. Just because we are “adults” does not mean we have it all together. Building character is a journey you can begin whether you are two or 72. I am a work in progress and I pray God is not done with … Read more…

Teen Book Review: I am the Messenger

(As you can tell from the picture, it is a Printz Honor Book, which is a high honor. It was beat out by another young adult book I will eventually review: Looking for Alaska by John Green.) First of all, I chose this book for a teen book review because after The Book Thief became so popular, so did I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. I am glad I chose this book because I think parents need to be aware of some of the content, and while I think it is a worthwhile book with positive, solid themes, I would not recommend it for anyone under … Read more…

The Joy of Finishing a {Simple} Baby Blanket

I love the feeling of finishing a crochet or sewing project. Sometimes, I allow myself to do a few easy projects, just because I can finish them faster, which gives me momentum and motivation. I just finished a two-sided baby blanket. I sewed it together, blanket-stitched around it, then added a crocheted border. If you look closely, you can see my mistakes in sewing it together; however, I am quite content with how it turned out! After going around the blanket with a single crochet, adding two in one spot every four stitches on the corners (to help it lay … Read more…

Our Version of a Margarita Pizza

Since we got married, Mitch and I have loved making pizza together. Pizza, and cookies, we also love to create new types of cookies together. We have tried out different crust recipes, but we usually come back to my bread maker recipe. In attempts to be healthier, I have found a couple whole wheat pizza crusts I really enjoy, unfortunately Mitch is not such a big fan of them! Over the weekend, we bought some fresh basil at a farmer’s market and decided we needed to make tomato basil pizza. We kept it simple. We pressed out our dough, put … Read more…

Compassion Calling

I have learned that when God calls you to do something, it is best to listen. Even though it may seem daunting, the safest place to live is in God’s will. For over a year, it felt like Compassion International was following Mitch and I around. We heard about them at conferences, concerts, and other various events. We were both feeling God’s quiet little tug on our hearts to sponsor a child. But, we put it off. Money was too tight, we reasoned. Maybe later, we told ourselves. We both experienced some guilt, because deep down we knew we could … Read more…

Our Five Favorite Marriage Books

* * * This post includes affiliate links. You are by no way obligated to purchase anything. But if you do purchase an item through one of my referral links or featured items on my right side bar, I will make a small percentage on the sale. It is important to me that I only advertise and share products with you that I love and use in my home. Thank you for supporting my site! Marriage can be a challenge, but it is also an opportunity to reveal God’s glory. God uses the illustration of marriage to describe how much He … Read more…

Receiving Blanket with a Crocheted Blue Trim

After finishing the cowl, I did not dive right into a new project. Mostly because everything I wanted to start required buying supplies, and it was the end of our September budget. (In other words, no money to buy crafting supplies.) As a result, I went back to my tote of leftover yarn and once-started projects. I realized I had two cute receiving blankets that I could sew together and then crochet on a border. I picked blue for the border, even though it will be for a girl, because it actually matches both sides, and partly because it is … Read more…

Protecting Our Hearts

I love wildflowers. You know, the weeds that grow naturally in nature and look so lovely alongside the road. But most of the time, we don’t want them in our yard. This is especially true if you have a rock yard. In Phoenix, rock yards are very popular. After all, who wants to pay to water their lawn every day when half the year is a blistering 100+ degrees? Not many people. During the monsoon and winter rains, it is common to wake up to a yard full of weeds. We left for a conference last January and came home to find that … Read more…

Three Simple Ideas for Quality Time as a Family

I am guilty of wasting time. Especially when I am stressed out about something. Everyone processes stress differently, and I close down under it and seek out escapes, usually in the form of books or TV. When I am stressed I feel the urge to just turn my brain off for awhile, and avoid reality. During these times, my husband and I share a lot of common time together–watching TV. And that is not always a bad thing, but sometimes it is more important to push through the stress and fatigue to create quality time. I think this is especially true in families. … Read more…

Yarn Along Wednesday: Cowl and “I am the Messenger” by Markus Zusak

  As I talked about last week, I have been working on easy Christmas presents. I recently finished this chunky cowl, or infinity scarf. When I hear “cowl” I think of Batman. It was SO easy and fun to make! I could not refind my pattern, sorry! But I found something similar, that I think I will like even more. I am going to try and make it soon. It is basically the same idea but bigger so that the infinity scarf can be worn more than one way. Check out the pattern for Pavement Infinity Scarf. As always, check out … Read more…

First Day of Autumn: Sharing a Love of Nature With Your Children

It is officially the first day of Autumn, my favorite season! I cherish something about every season: Summer’s recreation, Spring’s awakening, and Winter’s gusty, swirling snow. Yet, Autumn encapsulates so much of what I love: the way the first nip of cold comes sweeping in on the breeze; the coziness of breaking out knitted sweaters; clasping a steaming mug of apple cider as you sit around a fire; hayrides bumping around dry, sometimes shaved-to-a-stubble cornfields; pumpkin patches bursting with orange and red pumpkins and gourds, ripe for the picking; the smell of dry leaves falling; the color scheme of Autumn with … Read more…

Moms are Awesome, Agree?

I don’t want to start a who has the best mom battle. First of all, I am pretty sure mine might win. Secondly, most moms are pretty awesome. Sidenote: Awesome does not mean perfection. Perfection is an unattainable facade. But there are things moms do for us that no one else on earth would ever think to do. Like, mail a package of garden-fresh vegetables from Nebraska to Arizona just because. 😉 I have never been so happy about vegetables. This summer I struggled to find tasty vegetables. It seems like all the fruit and veggies in grocery stores “look” good, but … Read more…

Five Ways to Avoid Camping Mishaps

Mitch and I were married for six months when we decided to take our first vacation, which turned out to be a camping trip. I was set on going to my favorite place on earth, the Niobrara River Valley. As a result, he let me plan the trip. My church used to camp there and float down the scenic river lined with crags, cliffs, trees, and even herds of steers. My family also rented a cabin up there for what was one of my all time favorite vacations. I remember thinking, How hard could it be? I have this in the bag. … Read more…

Simple Crochet Projects for Christmas

  I realized the other day that I am hopelessly behind on Christmas gift making. I decided to look for some quick and easy patterns. I have a couple friends who want to learn to crochet and I thought they too may want to make some easy Christmas presents! I remember learning to crochet by doing simple hats, blankets, and scarves. I love “on project” learning where you master a new skill and have a finished product to show for it. I am hoping my friends will feel the same way. The scarf I am working on has many rows and … Read more…

Building Your Own Personal Children’s Library

Growing up, I adored my very own bookshelf. Not only was it handmade by my grandpa, but it had sliding doors, and it held my most prized possessions: books. I still love my bookshelves (plural now). As an adult, I am trying to collect a variety of genres and styles for our future kids. Here are some of my recent purchases: (In case you cannot tell, I almost always buy used books, especially children’s books!) I also tend to lean toward books with vibrant pictures and educational value. In fact, I am purposefully trying to find more “fun” books, so … Read more…

God Asks YOU to Pass on Faith to Your Children

  God asks YOU to pass on faith to your children. A lot of pressure, right? But let’s face it, you are influential in your child’s life, even if it feels like they listen to their friends more than you. While it is your responsibility to pass on faith, you are not alone. Church is a beautiful community of people who can help you raise your children to know and love God. That is the purpose of youth and family ministers and Sunday school teachers. I believe most ministers would agree that they love being a part of your child’s faith journey, … Read more…

Vacation Travels — A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

A couple weeks ago we took an impulsive day trip to Flagstaff to get out of the Phoenix heat. Yes, our dog Hazel came along! It was wonderfully simple just to lay out a blanket on the grass, play music, read, and soak in cool weather! We also got to catch up with a couple college friends over dinner. However, the real reason I have not posted for over a week is because we were on vacation. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t consider this blog work! In fact, I really wanted to bring a laptop, but we did not … Read more…

Yarn Along Wednesday: Baby Presents and A Northern Light

I have a lot of pregnant friends. So I decided it was time to try my hand at crocheting baby clothes. I also have a lot of leftover baby yarn from past projects that I need to use up. This project is barely started, but I am excited about trying to make baby clothes. It will hopefully turn into an Angel Wings Pinafore. I also recently finished, wrote a blog review, and attended a library book club over A Northern Light. Great teen historical fiction novel. I would highly recommend it. 🙂   This was my crochet project from last week. I … Read more…

Teen Book Review: A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

As promised before, I want to do a monthly teen book review. My goal is not censorship, rather awareness. If you are aware of the content in the books your pre-teens and teenagers are reading, it will allow you to have real discussions about the choices the characters make and the choices your teenagers will make. I also hope that this will help you decide what age to recommend these books to your child for free reading or for a class assignment. Because if we’re honest, maturity levels and reading levels vary from child to child. And that’s ok. A short overview … Read more…

Yarn Along Wednesdays

Love to knit or crochet? Need a little extra motivation some days? I know I do! When we lived in York, NE I had friends from college and church that I could get together with to crochet or craft. Whether we talked for hours while we completed our projects or put on a movie, it was a fun and productive time! I have yet to find such a group here, and as a result, my motivation has waned. I love to crochet on my own, but time has been scarce lately. However, these are all just excuses. Recently, I discovered … Read more…

Is an Emotional Faith Good or Bad?

The answer may not be so simple. I think we can all agree that God wants our hearts. But is there such thing as putting too much focus on emotions? I truly believe that God wants our whole being. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul (Matthew 22:37). God does not want an isolated part of us, like our physical obedience. He wants everything: actions, beliefs, emotions. Do I believe that we need to experience God emotionally? Yes. Anyone who has experienced God knows how incomparable it is to other experiences. … Read more…

Connecting Your Children to God: An Empty Pitcher Will Not Hydrate

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. – Deuteronomy 4:9 This verse always convicts me. Though I do not yet have children, this verse reminds me that if I do not keep my faith “active” through sharing with others what God has done in my life, then those things will fade from my heart. Satan actively attempts to lull us into a passive faith. I … Read more…

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar Toner

Facial Toner ¾ cup distilled water ¼ cup raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with the mother (Braggs is best) 6-12 drops essential oils of your choice Pour all the ingredients into a small glass jar and shake up well. Then, after you wash your face, apply the toner with a cotton ball. It helps to shake the mixture up every time you use it. I store mine in the medicine cabinet because it is dark and dry in there. Each month I make a new batch. This is my newest and favorite use for vinegar. I came across tons of recipes online … Read more…

Cleaning the Coffee Pot with Vinegar

I learned this cleaning trick from both my Aunt Joyce and my mother-in-law Robin. I always rinse my coffee pot thoroughly, but once a month I treat it to a white distilled vinegar bath. I fill up the pot with vinegar, pour it into the coffee maker, and run it through in place of the coffee. The hot vinegar removes stains, residue, and unsavory flavors. After it “brews”, I pour it out and run 3 cycles of water through it. Though I love vinegar, I do not want my coffee to taste like it! ***Sometimes I still have to take … Read more…

Can You Really Use Vinegar as Fabric Softener?

I love soft clothes. Pulling a soft towel or blanket out of the dryer turns the chore into a chance to snuggle up. Unfortunately, fabric softener is expensive and full of strange chemicals. So I have been researching and experimenting with better options. Here is what I have found: Vinegar continues to be amazing. Tons of people online talk about adding ½ cup of distilled white vinegar to their rinse cycle. I tried this with my fabric dispenser balls, which release the vinegar during the rinse cycle for me. The vinegar neutralized odors, reduced static, disinfected, and softened clothes. Pretty … Read more…

Using Vinegar in Your Dishwasher

  Last year I had a problem. Hard water stains. My dishwasher left them on my glasses and silverware. I tried a different detergent, which helped, but I still had the problem. So what is a gal to do? Ask Facebook. My wonderful cousin Briana shared her trick of adding 1/4-1/2 cup distilled white vinegar to the bottom of the dishwasher. Another simple solution brought to me by vinegar. I am no longer embarrassed of my clean dishes. If that isn’t wonderful enough, I recently learned that it keeps the dishwasher cleaner too! I like it when I can kill two chores with … Read more…

Cleaning Up Your Dog’s Messes (Grr) with Vinegar

I dream of getting our carpets cleaned. More accurately ripped out. Carpet does not fare well in Phoenix. The dust finds its way in and wears down the carpet. Vacuuming only seems to scratch the surface of the problem. This is why tile is very popular here. Recently I thought I had found an incredible deal for getting our carpets cleaned. I called and they confirmed. I had almost $150 of birthday money, and by golly, I wanted clean carpets. Well, the carpet guys came and after assessing everything it turned out that instead of being able to get our … Read more…

Washing Windows with Vinegar

I hate cleaning windows. There, I said it! It is sweaty work. Plus, it requires me to climb behind bushes. This is only an issue because I am afraid of scorpions and snakes taking me by surprise. However, it needs done if I want to see out my windows . . . My prediction is that in 2020 they will invent self-cleaning windows. Sadly, I probably won’t be able to afford them, so I might as well get used to washing windows. There are different ways to clean windows depending on the size of your window. For small windows, combine … Read more…

Cleaning Floors with Vinegar

{Ode to Vinegar} I use vinegar to clean my pores, I use vinegar to clean my floors, I’ll use vinegar forever more.  I couldn’t resist. It all rhymed so well! 😉 Cleaning tile and linoleum floors with vinegar was the very first way I ever employed vinegar at home. My grandma Florence cleaned her floors this way. She always kept an immaculate home. When I found out that she mopped this way, I knew it must work well. The vinegar gets up any grim and dirt, disinfects, and leaves the floors shiny. Distilled white vinegar works the best. I try and … Read more…

Cleaning Stovetop Drip Pans

I rarely clean my drip pans. Instead, almost daily, I wipe them down to keep my stovetop clean; however, a couple times a year I take out my drip pans and soak them overnight in distilled white vinegar. The next morning it is easy to scrub off any hardened residue. I love easy when it comes to scrubbing! Plus, the magical vinegar leaves them so shiny! It always deters me from cooking on them for a couple hours so I can just admire their beauty. Sigh. However, sometimes, I need something a little stronger to get them clean. I have … Read more…

A New Haircut for a Busy Weekend

Whew. We had a wonderful, busy, loud, teenage-filled, rambunctious weekend! As a result, I thought I would take a break from the vinegar recipes, until tomorrow at least. 😉 After work on Friday, we headed to the Sold Out Youth Rally at the Surprise Church of Christ. The singing was beautiful, the speaker poignant, the classes strong, and the Illusionist amazing! Though I will be honest, I had low expectations for a “Christian Illusionist”. It sounded a bit hokey to me. But I stand corrected. Harris III not only performed impressive illusions, but he shared a powerful message about the daily deceptions in our … Read more…

Cleaning Showers and Sinks with Vinegar

Did you know that vinegar has antibacterial properties? Naturally. According to Life Gaiam, it is a better choice than high-powered disinfectants that can create respiratory problems in us and even aid the growth of superbugs. Undiluted white vinegar, the kind you buy at the grocery store, kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of viruses! You can replace disinfectant wipes and sprays with undiluted white vinegar in a spray bottle. It is easy, natural, and cheap! (http://life.gaiam.com/article/why-disinfectants-and-antibacterials-are-overkill-5-health-safe-alternatives) In addition to disinfecting, I love how distilled white vinegar leaves surfaces shiny and scum-free! There are different ways you can … Read more…

{Love} Letter to Vinegar

Vinegar, You are amazing. Every week I learn new things about you! Your uses are endless. Your variety is the spice of my life. To think, I once believed you were just a smelly liquid—but oh, you are so much more. You leave my surfaces shiny and clean! You clean my shower my sink my drip pans my floors my windows my dog’s messes my clothes my coffee pot my dishwasher even my pores! Who needs all those fancy pantsy, smelly chemical cleaners when I have you? You are welcome in my home any day. Love, Nathana P.S. I will … Read more…

In with the New, Out with the Old . . . Cleaning Products?

  I have A LOT of cleaning products (this isn’t even all of them). I like a clean house, but lately I have been counting the cost of the products I use: They are pricey They are smelly They make my dog hyperventilate They have a long list of chemicals I am not sure I should inhale . . . A few months ago, I took some small steps toward safer cleaning products: I use vinegar and water to clean floors, drip pans, and the coffee pot I use a mixture of dawn/vinegar to clean sinks and showers I bought … Read more…

Knowing is Half the Battle

Saturday was a solace after a busy week. Friday, a group from our church went to the Diamond Back’s game and stayed for fireworks afterward. Even though we lost, it was a beautiful evening full of fellowship, baseball, kettle corn, hot dogs, and fireworks!   Friday was a whirlwind of fun, but I had a hard time knowing what to do with my Saturday “off”. There were so many things I wanted to do, like read all day. If I had a dream vacation, it would involve a cabin in the mountains, coffee, a notebook, and a suitcase of books. Then there were … Read more…

Permission to Live with Purpose

It hit me when my husband said, “I don’t know what it is like to have a wife who loves her job.” Pretty straightforward . . . and spot on. It wasn’t that I had terrible jobs. Outside of the heavy lifting and pushing, I love working at the library. To this day, I am thankful for all the opportunities that came my way. They helped us stay afloat financially and they taught me a lot. Even if the only thing I learned was, I do not want to do this for the rest of my life.  What it comes down to … Read more…

Begin at Home

What begins at home?

And so, SO much more!

Disclaimer: Can you learn these things outside of the home? Of course, but your home life has a huge impact on you and your child’s development. What happens at home can equip us to navigate life, or it can hinder us.

I dedicate this blog to those of us who want our home to be a place of refuge, learning, love, faith, comfort, growth, and good food!

We are not perfect; we cannot do it ALL, all of the time. Imperfections aside, for those of us who long to nourish these wonderful opportunities in our homes and in the hearts of our family, let’s take a journey together!

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About The Engaged Home

The Engaged Home is committed to providing inspiration and resources for all the splendid (although sometimes challenging) activities that begin at home. We support families in home education, healthy lifestyles, developing Christian faith and character, and having fun together! Whether your family consists of you and your spouse, or is bursting at the seams with children, we are here to grow with you and encourage your healthy home life! About Us: Our passion for learning how to create a healthy home life began before we were married. Years later, we are continuing to discuss family, finances, faith, education, and building … Read more…