17Jul

Summer Fun with Cold Stone Creamery!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cold Stone Creamery. All opinions are 100% mine.

On Saturday, we took our boys to the park, where they did a lot of stuff that looked like this:

After all that running and jumping outside in the hot sun, what better way to cool off than with some delicious Cold Stone Creamery Creations™?! The boys had actually never been there before, so they were very excited. Ice cream is kind of a big deal in this house.

Here is my 4-year old showing off his shark Creation™…while still wearing his sunglasses. Yep, that’s our boy :)

Both boys got that same thing, except my 6 year old got his shark gummies mixed in. Here they are enjoying their ice cream…leave it to mom to get a shot with full mouths and blue ice cream lips :)

I, on the other hand, go straight for the chocolate! This is the new Summertime Creation™, OREO® Double Chocolate, which includes chocolate ice cream mixed with OREO® pieces, fudge, and whipped cream:

The whole family had a great time enjoying our ice cream. They were very reasonably priced. The boys each had a small create-your-own, while Hubby and I each had a “Gotta Have It” sized Creation™. However, we were able to use a BOGO free coupon which you can get, too, when you join the My Cold Stone Club. They will also send out additional BOGO free coupons for special occasions like birthdays, etc.

Here is our attempt at a “selfie” of the family…

And, hubby and me :)

Also, I just found out that July 20 is National Ice Cream Day. So, if you’re a person who needs a reason to eat ice cream (we’re not! lol), then there you have it…and Cold Stone Creamery is the perfect place to celebrate! They use high quality ingredients and their ice cream is made fresh daily at all locations. And, you get to watch them mix your ice cream Creations on their frozen granite stone.

For more info, Follow Cold Stone on Twitter.

I asked for flavor recommendations on facebook and got a bunch, so I know a lot of you are already Cold Stone fans!

Which new Summertime Creation™ would you like to try?

Visit Sponsor's Site

16Jul

Thriving Thursday 7/17

Yesterday, the #boymom hashtag came under fire, so I shared some of my thoughts about what I mean (and don’t mean!) when I say that I’m a boy mom.

Earlier in the week, I shared some thoughts about how we can respond when life feels like a struggle…along with a free 8 x 10 printable of a verse that has been empowering to me lately.

When Life is a Struggle

 

I also shared about a little science experiment we did–Will an Egg Float? A fun experiment to learn about the dead sea and water density.

Dead Sea Experiment

 

 

Finally, I shared my favorite gifts under $10 from Dayspring’s huge customer appreciation sale! (everything is 25% off with code THANKS25 even clearance!)

Dayspring Apron

 

Whew! It was a busy week here at the blog!

Don’t miss my great list of nearly 40 free books for kindle that you can get right now…all from the best publishers and authors in Christian fiction, so definitely check that out.

What have you been up to this week?

There were so many FANTASTIC posts linked up last week and I can’t wait to see what you ladies have to share this week :)

Thriving Thursdays Link Up!!!

Thriving Thursdays is a link up for family-friendly bloggers, who are choosing to THRIVE in their lives. It’s a place for us to encourage and inspire one another to live life to the fullest–in Jesus Christ. Link up your posts about thriving–in marriage, faith, parenting, homemaking, relationships, in the kitchen, in frugality.

Everything we do can be a ministry and worship to our Lord. Link up as many posts as you want, and I hope that you’ll take the time to visit some other participants as well.

I am so blessed by the posts you all share! I really look forward to seeing all of the encouragement shared here each week. Keep it coming! Sometimes I highlight posts here, and I also pin my favorites to the Thriving Thursdays Pinterest Board.

16Jul

When I say I’m a #boymom

How my use of the boy mom hashtag has nothing to do with gender inequality. #Boymom

Image Credit: Pixabay

I usually don’t write reactionary articles, but I read this post  and it is just really bugging me today. In it, Mandi  shares that she is offended and annoyed by the #boymom hashtag.

To be honest, I was quite surprised to learn that calling myself a boy mom could possibly be offensive.

I don’t have any girls. I am a mother of boys, hence the #boymom hashtag you might find on some of my tweets, and instagram pics…(when I remember to post there, that is).

Mandi, however, finds this hashtag offensive.

Here is what she has to say about it (condensed for space):

Our girls are about frills and fashion, but they’re also rough and tumble…So when I see one of these activities labeled with the #boymom hashtag — as if they’re things that only boys do — I get more than a little annoyed… the #boymom hashtag is used liberally for activities that plenty of girls enjoy.

Here’s the thing…My days look a lot like this:  swinging on the swingset, baking with my boys, playing legos, playing with hot wheels, dinosuars, and other toys, homeschooling, playing in the mud…and lots of jumping, climbing, and being rough. Some days, like today, it also includes sewing up pink-eared stuffed animals.

Some of the things my boys do are typically considered “boy” things and some are typically considered “girl” things. While I believe that gender differences are real, I also believe that no one fits perfectly into any little box. And that’s okay.

Because I grew up a little girl, I know that my days could look very similar if I were a mom of girls.

But I’m not. I am a mom of boys.

I think the biggest problem here is our society’s fascination with taking a positive statement and implying a negative.

When I tag something with #boymom, it doesn’t mean, as Mandi implies, that girls can’t or shouldn’t do those same activities. It doesn’t even mean all boys do them. It means that my boy does. Plain and simple. It means this is a little glimpse of my life as a boy mom. 

So lets make a deal? When you share a picture of your little girl donning her apron in the kitchen and tag it #girlmom, I’ll just comment about how cute she is. I won’t think that the fact that your girl enjoys baking somehow means my boys can’t.

And when I share a picture of my boys doing something, please don’t twist that around to mean that your girl can’t or shouldn’t do that thing. It doesn’t mean that at all. And to be honest, I think the whole idea is a bit absurd.

But, the truth is Mandi has the right to read whatever negative connotation into my celebration of motherhood that she chooses. Jon Acuff wrote a great post a while back about how I can write what I write, but I can’t control how someone else chooses to read it.

But, isn’t it exhausting to be looking for offense in everything?

Motherhood is hard enough. Life is hard enough. And the mommy wars have been raging for far too long about far too many things for us to be inventing insult and offense where none was intended.

I agree with her that we should let our kids be who they are.  I’m just confused about how my sharing about my boys doing that somehow prevents her girls from doing the same. When I browse through the #girlmom and #boymom hashtags, I don’t see moms who are trying to somehow oppress the opposite gender. I see moms who are celebrating their children and motherhood.

Let’s just all agree to enjoy and celebrate our kids…and let others do the same.

15Jul

When Life Feels Like a Struggle {With a Free Printable Verse}

When Life is a Struggle

Sometimes, life just feels like a struggle.

Some struggles are bigger than others, but the ones we are in the midst of can feel overwhelming to us, regardless of what they look like to other people.

Maybe you feel like you’re bending under the weight of financial struggles. Or maybe it’s some sort of addiction. Or problems in your marriage.

Maybe you are like me and struggling with food addiction, weight problems, depression and anxiety.

Maybe you’re like my friend and suffering through a broken marriage. Or my other friend who just lost her dad.  Maybe cancer is your battle.

Whatever the battle…sometimes it just feels too big.

There are literally hundreds, thousands of positive, encouraging, and empowering verses full of life and promise in God’s word. A couple of weeks ago, a reader shared this one with me and it really spoke to me.

Therefore, I will look to the Lord.
I will look to the God of my salvation.
My God will hear me.

Do not rejoice over me, my enemy.
When I fall, I will rise.
When I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me.
-Micah 7:7-8

These verses are so powerful!

You see, while these verses are talking about a different enemy, you and I have an enemy as well. He seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. He is prowling around like a lion, seeking whom he may devour. He is ruthless.

And he rejoices over us when he sees us in that pit of despair. When he sees us looking around at our circumstances and feeling downtrodden, he knows in that moment, he is winning. He may not have our soul, but he is robbing us of the abundant life Christ has to offer us.

These verses have become a bit of a battle cry for me.

I told you I’ve been doing the 30 Day Shred video, and one of the cardio exercises on level 1 (yes, I’m still on level 1) is punches. I have this passage up on the wall, and it’s a reminder to me. It’s my mantra as I’m pushing myself through the workout.

Punch.

Do not rejoice over me, Satan.

Punch.

You won’t win this battle.

Punch.

When I fall, I will arise. Not by my strength but because of the Lord almighty whom I serve.

Punch.

When I sit in darkness…When you think you’ve won because despair threatens to overtake me…Don’t you celebrate too early. Because the Lord will be a light to me even then.

Punch.

He will not win.

No matter what your situation is today, I pray that you can grasp on to these words of power, truth, and hope. Look to the Lord and He will hear you. When you fall, he will raise you back up. And when you sit in darkness, He will be a light to you.

This has been such an encouragement to me as I have memorized this passage, that I created this printable for you as well. This will print as an 8 x 10 picture.

Click here to download your Free Printable

Micah 7 250px

 

14Jul

Will an Egg Float? (Dead Sea Experiment)

Dead Sea Experiment

A couple of weeks ago, we went to Summer Reading at the library, and learned all about viscosity, and the dead sea. The dead sea is such an interesting place, and this little experiment helped to solidify some of those neat facts for my boys. They were excitedly telling their daddy all about the dead sea, days later.

So, I decided to recreate the experiment and share with you all. The best thing is that this experiment uses basic household supplies that you most likely have in your pantry right now.

Materials Needed

  • A clear glass–deep enough for the egg to sink or float. I used a pyrex measuring cup because I wasn’t sure how much salt I would need for greater amounts of water. I used about a cup of water.
  • Water–deep enough to clearly tell if the egg is sinking or floating
  • 1 egg
  • Salt–we used, maybe, a few tablespoons
  • Measuring spoon
  • Stirring spoon

(The lego guy is totally optional ;) My 4-year old snuck him in there right as I was getting ready to take this picture.)

Will the Egg Float?

Ask your children if they think the egg will float. Demonstrate that it sinks (make sure the egg isn’t bad! lol…apparently bad eggs can float, but that’s not really what we’re going for here).

No bad eggs here, ours sank right to the bottom.

Dead Sea Experiment Sinking Egg

At this point, we talked a bit about the dead sea and it’s salt content, and how people can easily float on the dead sea because of this. Then I asked them if there is anything we might be able to do to our water to get the egg to float.

Answer…add salt.

We added a scoop of salt

Dead Sea Experiment Add Salt

And stirred it in

Dead Sea Experiment Stir

At this point, the egg still sank. So, we added more salt, one scoop at a time. And eventually…

Dead Sea Experiment Floating Egg

It’s kind of hard to tell from this picture, but my 4-year-old’s excited face gives it away…yes, the egg is floating at this point. Now, they got to have some fun with it.

Dead Sea Experiment Bobbing egg

Push the egg down to the bottom, and what happens?

Dead Sea Experiment Bobbing Egg 2

It bobs right back up. Both boys loved that.

I had intended for this to be a more “scientific” experiment (i.e. how much salt must we add to 1 cup of water to make it dense enough for the egg to float.). However, this didn’t exactly work out for us because (a) I was holding the camera and they were too excited to keep track of the scoops added in, so we didn’t count very well, and (b) they didn’t stir very well either, so there was a lot of loose salt at the bottom not mixed in.

However, this could be a fun little experiment to allow your children to make some educated guesses, or hypotheses, about whether or not the egg will float and/or how many teaspoons of salt it might take before that happens.

Have you tried this experiment? Did your kiddos enjoy it?

 

 

 

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