The Death of Jesus

 

At the age of 33, Jesus was condemned to the death penalty.jesus

  At the time crucifixion was the “worst” death.

Only the most dreadful criminals were condemned to be crucified.

The nails are thought to have been driven into His wrist, not into His palms as is commonly portrayed.

Each nail was 6 to 8 inches long.  Can you imagine?

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There’s a tendon in the wrist that extends to the shoulder.

The Roman guards knew that when the nails were being hammered into the wrist, that tendon would tear and break, later forcing Jesus to use His back muscles to support himself so that He could breathe.

Both of His feet were nailed together. Thus He was forced to support Himself on the single nail that impaled His feet to the cross.

Jesus could not support himself with His legs because of the pain, so He was forced to alternate between arching His back then using his legs just to continue to breathe.

Imagine the struggle, the pain, the suffering, the courage.  Jesus endured this reality for over 3 hours.

Yes, over 3 hours!

Can you imagine this kind of suffering?

A few minutes before He died, Jesus stopped bleeding.

He was simply pouring water from His wounds.

The human adult body contains about 3.5 liters (just less than a gallon) of blood.

He had no more blood to bleed.

But before the nails and the spear, Jesus was whipped and beaten.

The whipping was so severe that it tore the flesh from His body.

The beating so horrific that His face was torn and his beard ripped from His face to the point of being un-recognizable.

crucifixtionThe crown of thorns cut deeply into His scalp.

Most men would not have survived this torture.

All this plus carrying His own cross for nearly a mile, while the crowd spat in his face and threw stones.

  The cross was almost 66 pounds, only for its higher part, where His hands were nailed.

Jesus had to endure this experience, so that you can have free access to God.

So that your sins could be washed away.

All of them, with no exception!

Don’t ignore the reason we celebrate Easter.

easterIt’s not about a silly bunny who delivers chicken eggs.

It’s not about new clothes and Easter baskets.

It’s about the fact that JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR YOU!

  And would’ve given His precious life even if you were the ONLY person on Earth.  Because He loves you that much!

The truth is that Jesus is the only salvation for the world.

What held Jesus to the cross was not three nails… It was His love for you and me that held Him there to endure to the end.

Acts-2-21-Photo-Bible-Verse

May today we be still.

  May we be in silent meditation, awe and wonder at the ultimate sacrifice;  God’s only Son, the perfect lamb, given as atonement for our sins.  Sins so filthy and so ugly draped across Jesus, that the Father Himself had to turn His face away from His Son.

Or was it because He couldn’t bear to see the agony of it all, lest He send angels to swoop down and save His Son from this slow and painful death?

Thankfully, this story has a happy ending: 

The grave couldn’t hold Jesus for long.  Hallelujah!

On Resurrection Sunday, may you celebrate our risen Lord!!!!!!

He died for you. He would’ve given His life if you were the only person on this Earth.

The reason is….YOU!
Amazing grace, amazing love…….please watch this, it will rock your world today.

Happy Easter to you and yours, I am taking the rest of the week off to enjoy Easter break with my family! 

~T

Here are some favorite Easter Recipes from years past:

Green Bean Haystacks
Sugar Bunny Pops
Lemon Blueberry Trifle
Resurrection Cookies
Coconut Cream Pie Bars

 

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Fun Mommy Lunches: Part 3 Strawberry Salad

   This is our final day of Fun Mommy Lunches. Hopefully you have been inspired to change things up at bit a lunch time, rather than eating off your kids plates as you clean up….

  Today, I am sharing Strawberry Salad.  It uses a bottled dressing that I found accidentally one time when I had a coupon off of Marzetti’s dressing.  {Its found in the produce refrigerated section, close to veggie dip.}  Its called Strawberry Poppyseed Vinaigrette.  I know there are lots of homemade versions of this online, but I need lunch to be fast.  I think this already made version tastes AMAZING!

  Oh, and if you don’t like Feta cheese, just use a goat cheese.  It has less flavor, but will still add the element you are wanting from these cheese crumbles.

Strawberry Salad

{click title to print}

Strawberry Salad txt

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Leaf Lettuce, Romaine Or Combo, Ripped Into Small Pieces
  • 3 Tablespoons Feta Cheese, Or Goat Cheese, Crumbled
  • 5 strips Grilled Chicken Or Steak {its Good Meatless, Too}
  • 2 Tablespoons Each Cucumber, Carrot Shreds And Red Pepper
  • 4 whole Strawberries, Sliced
  • Marzetti’s Strawberry Poppyseed Vinaigrette

Preparation Instructions

Wash, dry and rip lettuce into bite sized pieces. Wash and cube cucumber, red pepper and strawberries. {I try to get these all done ahead of time, so that each day for lunch, they are already ready to go.}
On a bed of lettuce, sprinkle veggies of your choice. Next, lay slices of cold grilled meat, if using, and strawberry slices. Then, sprinkle with feta cheese crumbles.
Drizzle with Strawberry Poppyseed Vinaigrette and enjoy your easy and tasty lunch!

~T

Fun Mommy Lunches Part 2: Red Pepper Wraps

Today I continue on our quest to make lunch time “FUN” for SAHM’s out there.  I don’t know about you, but when Dale comes home and tells me about the AMAAAAAZING Chinese he had at Hu Hot.  I get a little grumpy about the PB&J I ate while standing at the sink doing dishes.  🙂

  I went on a quest to make lunch more exciting, besides the ones I listed yesterday, this one is also one of my favorites:

Red Pepper Wraps

{click title to print}

Red Pepper Wrap txt

Ingredients

  • 2 whole Chicken Breasts, Thawed
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Combo Of Mexican Seasonings: Southwest, Cumin, Chili Powder Or Even Taco Seasoning
  • 1 whole Red Pepper, Cut Into Thin Strips
  • 1 package {12 Oz} Mexican Blend Cheese
  • 1 whole Lime
  • 1 package Whole-wheat Tortillas
  • Sour Cream Or Guacamole

Preparation Instructions

In a small pot, cover chicken in water, add a couple of dashes of salt, then boil chicken for 10-20 minutes, or until fully cooked.
Place chicken in small bowl and shred. Add listed salt and pepper, plus your choice of 2 T. Mexican seasonings. Allow to cool a bit.
Spread sour cream, guacamole or a combo on a whole wheat tortilla, sprinkle with Mexican cheese and 1/4 cup of your shredded chicken.
Top with strips of red pepper and squeeze some fresh lime juice over all. Wrap and eat! Delicious.

Save leftovers for another yummy lunch another day.

Happy Lunch Making!

Another recipe coming your way tomorrow….
~T

Keeping Lunch Fun: Mom Edition

   We talked yesterday about ways to keep lunch fun for your kids.  Today can be about keeping lunch fun for Mommy.   🙂

I rotate lunch choices, sometimes eating what the kids eat with them, sometimes picking something else and waiting to eat until the house is quiet and they are all resting.

  For a couple of weeks I will be on a salad kick. So I’ll stock 3 kinds of lettuce, shredded carrots, and have cucumber, red pepper, and tomatoes diced and ready to go in the fridge. While Dale is home on the weekend and grilling anyhow, I have him grill me a couple of chicken breasts or a steak to go on my salads all week. 

Grilled-Steak-Salad-with-Homemade-dressing_thumb.jpg

  The next rotation might be sandwiches with the kids, I get fun kinds of mayo like the A1 sauce version, yum!  I also like to buy unique kinds of cheese like Smoked Cheddar, Muenster or Provolone, to keep it interesting.  

sandwich spreads

  Sometimes I like to do Oven Nachos in my toaster oven: a layer of chips, cheese, taco sauce drizzles, shredded taco chicken, cilantro and lime juice with a dollop of sour cream and some tomatoes on top after it comes out of the oven.  

  Within these rotations, I am also eating supper leftovers with the kids some days.  Sometimes we just don’t have enough leftover for all of us to eat the same thing.  

  So, the other day, I found a new lunch to add to my rotation….  

  Oh man, I loooved these when I was preggo with Paxton. I had forgotten all about them, until the other day when a friend posted a pic of her Super Bowl Snacks.

  Move over Pigs In A Blanket, because here comes Pickles in a Blanket! The lunch of choice for pregnant (and not-so-pregnant!) women everywhere.  


Yum.

 Pickles In A Blanket

{click title for easy printable}

IMG_2243 txt

Ingredients

  • 4 slices Oscar Meyer Cutting Board Ham (These Are Sliced Thicker Than Lunch Meat)
  • 4 Tablespoons Whipped Cream Cheese
  • 4 whole Baby Kosher Dill Pickles

Spread slices of ham with 1 tablespoon of whipped cream cheese. (like what you put on bagels) Add a whole pickle and roll.

Easy, right? Enjoy this lunch when everyone is laying down for nap time.  Tastes great with a good book.  🙂

 I’ll share a few more simple lunch favorites of mine in the days to come!  

Happy Lunch Making!

Another recipe coming your way tomorrow….

~T

Blog reader, Rachel, posted a great dip on my Facebook page when she saw this photo.  It is found here and looks AMAZING! It’s the dip version of the above pickle and ham deliciousness.

Keeping Lunch Fun

  It’s been one week since the Media Detox post, so, how’d it go?  Did you notice a change in your home and how your kids played together? I think a reset is good for all of us once in a while.  I’d love to hear from you, or just leave a comment about how it went!!!  So on to today’s post…..

  I feed 3 of my 4 kiddos lunch at home every day.  It’s pretty easy to get into a rut, so I did an experiment this month and it was a SMASHING success!

kids

{Pax CLEARLY was not impressed with me snapping his picture mid-apple bite}

  We typically have sandwiches or supper leftovers for lunch, with some fun ones thrown in to the mix.  I will be sharing those with you today as well as the results of my mini-experiment!

  The experiment was, if I take the same lunch items, but change-up shape and size, would it be more fun again?

The answer was a resounding YES! 

For our sandwich days, meat and cheese or PB&J I changed bread shapes:

Flat bread

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Whole wheat hoagie buns, mini whole wheat cocktail buns and the flat sandwich bread circles.

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   I also changed veggies, rotating between celery, snow peas and broccoli.  Carrots are always a staple at our house, so I rotated between big ones peeled, regular baby carrots and petite carrots.  {Don’t forget those wafer chip carrots, too! Not pictured}

  IMG_1233

  Sometimes veggies are served with ranch, sometimes not, because I want them to learn to eat them both ways.

  They were so excited for lunch again, you’d have thought I was coming up with a whole new menu!!!!!!  Who knew it would be that simple?

Here are some of our more “fun” lunches:

Mini Pizzas with a small salad

mini pizzas

Pita bread dipped in Hummus, with carrots and grapes

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Cheese Roll Ups with cherry tomatoes

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Bean Burritos with chips and guacamole

Bean burrito

Tuna Bunwiches with carrots and chips

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Egg Salad Sandwiches or served on Whole Wheat Ritz Crackers with cheese cubes, raw veggies and apple

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  Lots more ideas for simple and unique lunches on this blog post!

More lunch ideas coming tomorrow,

Hugs, T

 

Orange Cilantro Glazed Salmon

 

Flashback Friday

Welcome to Flashback Friday!  

I picked a yummy Fish Recipe for you that are giving up meat for Lent…..

But since we are talking about fish, check out Destiny’s Flying Fish Project for school.  🙂  flying fish

  I learned so much while we researched for her report! Did you know the Flying Fishes tail moves 70 times per SECOND?  This allows it to appear to “fly” across the water, sometimes as far as 1200 feet before going back under.  Our Creator is SO creative! 🙂

 Now for some fish you can sink your teeth into…..

Orange Cilantro Glazed Salmon

click recipe title to be taken to Tasty Kitchen

Orange Cilantro Glazed Salmon

Hugs, T

Mushroom Spinach Bacon Quiche

  It’s PI Day!  

Pi Day Collage

Quiche is kind of a pie, right!?

  I was so happy when I found this recipe for a Mushroom Spinach Bacon Tart at Weekend Potluck, invented by It’s Not Just About the Recipe.  Recipe GENIUS, I tell you!!  It was so beautiful and appealing that I couldn’t wait to make it. 

Quiche, it’s what’s for dinner.

Mushroom Spinach Bacon Quiche

(click for easy printable)

adapted from It’s Not Just About The Recipe

Mushroom Spinach Bacon Tart (1)

Ingredients

  • ½ pounds Sliced Mushrooms
  • ½ pounds Fresh Spinach Leaves, Stems Trimmed
  • 6 strips Of Bacon, Rough Chopped
  • 4 whole Green Onions
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Pressed
  • ⅔ cups Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 2 whole Eggs Beaten
  • 1 package Of Refrigerated Crescents

Preheat oven to 400° F. Set out crescents for 20 minutes for easy spreading. While you wait, go ahead and pour the cream into a small saucepan and press in the garlic cloves. Heat over low heat for 20 minutes to allow the cream to be infused with the flavor of garlic. Remove the cream from the heat and cool.

Now that the crescents are ready, press them into a pie plate or Pampered Chef circle baker with sides, covering the bottom and sides. Par bake just a few minutes to seal the bottom crust. Remove from oven until ready to fill.

Steam spinach until it is wilted and completely soft, about 4-5 minutes. Drain the spinach into a colander and run under cold water to cool. Drain well! While the spinach drains, prepare the rest of the tart filling….

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the bacon and onion. Stir occasionally and cook until the bacon becomes crisp and the onion is translucent and soft. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking for about 6-8 minutes.
After one last squeeze, rough chop the spinach and add it to the bacon and onion when they are done cooking.

In your saucepan (now off the heat), whip together cream, eggs and dijon mustard.

Spread the veggie-bacon mixture into the bottom of the par-baked crescent crust; spread evenly. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetable filling. Carefully slide the quiche into the preheated oven.

Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the filling is uniformly puffed, browned and set. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Delicious.

Bon appetite!

~T

Mushroom Spinach Bacon Tart (2)

If it’s REAL pie you are after, check out these Pies! Click photo for recipes….

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Peanut-Butter-Pie-txt.jpgPeaches-Cream-Pie-5.jpgIMG_1832.jpgIMG_3946.jpgIMG_2568.jpg006.jpg

4 little Ferguson’s Photography: Love Is In the Air

  Today on the blog, a recent engagement session.  I will be photographing Kris and Melissa’s reception this May in our hometown. They are having a Florida Beach Wedding!  FUN in the sun!

Blog collage 1Blog Collage 2Blog Collage 4Blog Collage 3Blog Collage 5Blog Collage 6Blog Collage 7IMG_4446eIMG_4480v

    I second shot for this wedding as a favor to an oh-so nauseous pregnant friend. I am so glad I did. I LOVE vintage everything, so to get to edit these “vintage” made me so HAPPY!

B Collage 1Blog Collage 2Blog Collage 3Blog Collage 4Blog Collage 5Blog Collage 6Blog Collage 7Blog Collage 8Blog Collage 9Blog Collage 10Blog Collage 11Blog Collage 12Blog Collage 13Blog Collage 14

Favorite shot of all time……seeking the Lord in prayer before they said I DO.IMG_0754 vint crop blur edge

~T

Heads Up on Being Heads Down: A Guest Post Must Read

  I read something that stopped me in my tracks on Friday. A guest post written by Gregg Murset, who is the Founder of www.myjobchart.com, which we love!  And, as the father of 4 boys and 2 girls, you can tell he writes from his heart.  It’s called: The Demise of Guys and it’s shared over at We Are That Family.  {great blog, one of the first I started following!}

  I HAD to pass it on to you!  Here is the photo from it:

ImageProxy

WOAH.  Now that I have your attention….go read that guest post

~T

 

What Are We Feeding Our Kids?

  Bet you thought I was going to talk about all the gross stuff hidden in “kid” foods like hot dogs, mac and cheese and freezer pizza, right?

  Nope, I am talking about feeding their Brains!  Hungry for tactile, hands on, run around outside and play, kitchen table turned tent, kind of stuff.

  Today I am asking you to watch this week at how often your children’s brain “consume” fast food, sugar and junk.

  Lets say playing Xbox, PSIII or even Wii, is like eating McDonald’s cheeseburger and fries.  Once in a while is ok, for a special treat, right?!  But if you eat this McDonald’s meal every day, your health is going to go downhill. 

McDonald'scredit

  I know its “In” to let kids play video games because it keeps them quiet and with Wii, they can at least enjoy it while being active, right?

   For us, we have decided no video games at all for now. {This can be re-addressed later as they get older.} The decision comes much easier now that Dale put away his video games and quit Xbox Live. 

  What about TV time? Regular shows like PBS’s line up of Daniel Tigers Neighborhood, Sesame Street, Super Why.  I am not including cable shows, because we don’t have cable. {From what I hear, we aren’t missing much but sassy, too big for their britches, wanna-be-teenage 9 year-olds, on the kids channels now!}  

  If Xbox is fast food, then those PBS shows, are little Lollipops or a candy treat. They are sweet, they are sugary, and they keep our kids quiet right?! How bad can they be?

Pretty bad if ingested every day, all day long.

Candy

  As a mom of young children, its important to me, to really limit Tv time, because I want them to play and use their imaginations.  The rule at our house is school kids don’t get TV time during the school week, and the little ones at home get an hour total, spent usually between 9-10am.  {That way Mommy can prep supper, or even get a shower!} That hour of media time can also be spent on an educational lap top or computer game, their choice.

   I used to set a timer, but I am better now at watching that it doesn’t go over an hour.  And, all the kids know when the words come up at the end of a show, the tv goes off.  If it doesn’t, then they are grounded the next day from any media time!!!! 

  Setting a timer will train your brain too, what an hour feels like, so all of a sudden 2 hours hasn’t passed you by.  Also, the kids quickly learned that if you ask for laptop time the last 15 minutes of Sesame Street, mom will say no.

“Sorry Pax, One or the other, not both!” 

laptop toy

  We try to take it a step further, and promote TV time to be educational, or about Jesus, that way they are still learning during that hour.  But, I sure don’t mind when they want to watch a fun longer movie once in a while. Just not every day, or even every week!  {When we are all sick, there is grace for this hour time to be longer, as we all rest and try to heal! But, they also love to listen to Adventure in Odyssey Cd’s…..that has been the BEST investment ever!}

 In the evening, Dale helps promote this by keeping the TV off until the children are all in bed. I am so blessed that sometimes, he doesn’t even turn it on at all! {Unless of course, there is some AMAZING football game he has to catch the end of.} He finds too, that the kids don’t play as well when it’s on.

    So, let’s go back to TV time during the day when we are home with the children……

  I know, I know, we SAHM’s can all get LOTS done while our kids do these activities, because they are so darn quiet!  But, just like sucking on a sweet little sucker every day, eventually there is a cavity, or problem.

Did you know?  {source for the following info}

The average American child watches about 4 hours of television a day [Source: AAP], while 20 percent of children under 2 have televisions in their rooms.   

Did you know…….

 That more and more parents are allowing their tiny babies to watch videos on their phones. Some will even lay them in front of the TV, thinking it is harmless, when in fact, the flashing screen and loud sounds can actually disrupt important brain connections that need to be made in those early on months and even up to the first two years….. 

 Among babies 3 months old and younger, 40% watch TV, with the percentage increasing significantly for children age 2 and younger. 

A study in 2003 found that children 6 months to 6 years old spend an average of two hours a day dealing with “screen media” like televisions, computers and video games. 

The study also revealed a correlation between time spent watching television and difficulty reading.

Researchers contend that even {Baby Einstein Videos} don’t provide this stimulation…they don’t provide the benefits they claim, and they may even do harm.  

   

To determine how programs like “Baby Einstein” affected development, they focused on vocabulary:

  On average, for every hour a day a child {8 months to 16 months} watched these programs he or she knew six to eight fewer words compared to children of the same age that didn’t watch…….

  One of the researchers involved with the “Baby Einstein” study said that he would prefer that parents watch television with their children, if they allow their children to watch TV at all. That way at least the parents would be engaging with their children and helping them to understand unfamiliar concepts on the screen. The creators of the “Baby Einstein” series offer the same advice! 

  Babies of today are also missing out on the stimuli that comes from seeing Mommy face to face during play time, and lying in her arms instead of the car seat when out together.
The quiet, non flashing, non-noisy toys of yesteryear, are being passed by in stores to pick up the lights, sounds and “entertain me” toys of today.  All the lights and noise can actually over-stimulate our babies and just like watching TV, it can cause them to miss out on some very important development and brain connections. 
 

Reading time....Baby Pax, looking at a book

A child’s brain is very sensitive before age 2. It’s still developing neural connections and growing in size. Because of this sensitivity, it’s important for babies to have a lot of interactive stimulation to learn and develop.

  Is it any wonder that after all the tv and playtime with flashing, noisy toys, these children are less likely to want to sit in school and color a picture?

Why would they? It doesn’t sing, dance, do flips or flash lights at them!

There are many, many good sources on the web for good ol’ fashioned wooden toys, or soft board books to start giving your baby to play with.  And maybe, just maybe, when the batteries run out on your Lights and Sounds baby toy, leave it that way.

So how about a Media Detox for our kiddos this week?  

What?!

You mean no computer, no iPad, Tablet, Laptop or TV time for SEVEN WHOLE DAYS?  

Are you crazy!?!?!?!

Maybe.  🙂  

  We all know the kids will whine and be BORED at first, you will be irritated and wonder why the heck you are even trying this, but just wait……

With a detox, you always feel worse before you feel better, right!?  

  I bet, by the end of a week, or maybe two weeks for those die-hard media fans, your children will be playing so nicely together!

  They might even disappear under a kitchen table tent, out into the backyard, or into a play room-turned castle for hours, as they travel to far away lands!!! All without needing media to occupy their thoughts!

  I bet you will be surprised how the tone of your home feels different, too!  

Avery made herself a reading chair

  Next, I want to encourage you to replace 20 minutes of that normal slot of media time, reading out loud to your kids. 

  This can also be done at the table while they eat lunch, right before they go down for afternoon naps, or even save it for before bed. 

Set that time aside and watch it grow into a special family tradition.    

Reading

And, in the long run? Reading will make them better students, too! 

Reading

Additional Info:

  • Today, kids under 2 spend more than twice as much time watching videos, as they do being read to.
  • In 2/3 of households, TVs are on during meals. 
  • In 75% of households, TVs are on when no one is watching them.
  • More than 70% of kids have TVs in their bedrooms 
  • Only 1/3 of households have media-consumption rules

  “No surprise, more media is consumed in households in which TVs are always on, where there are no media consumption rules, and where kids have TVs in their bedrooms.  And, no surprise, kids who consume the most media get the worst grades. (but is this cause or effect?)”

  The original play station

 Here’s to “Feeding” our precious bundles of joy some good wholesome “Food” this week….
Happy Detox!

Hugs, T

 “You’ll see your true self when you look for your reflection in the eyes of souls, not the glare of screens.” Ann Voskamp

{Source for parts of this post}

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Want to read more?  

Additional Info & Stats

More reading statistics here:  “Mommy, Reading Makes My Brain Strong!”