Family Night: Easter Edition

Hi All!

Fridays in the Johnston house are reserved for family night.  I’m looking forward to sharing some of the interesting things that we do.  I am committing to do more creative things as a family.  Pizza and the Magical World of Disney Junior are okay, but not every week.

With Easter approaching I wanted to do something fun and themed for Maddy, so we had an Easter party! We decorated the dining room for our egg coloring festivities.  We did the traditional egg coloring and then to keep the fun going a while longer I purchased paper eggs and a paint set.  She will spend days painting eggs.  Everything fits on a cookie sheet so the mess is contained and transportable from the dining room to our art space.

IMG_4235

IMG_4234

IMG_4236

After the eggs were done, we made “Resurrection Buns.”  I have seen the recipes for resurrection cookies where you mix up dough and bake it overnight, but that just freaks me out because if it doesn’t work you waited all night for nothing.  I found a recipe for a different bun version here and since it was easy, fun, and worked I wanted to share it!

IMG_4281

For this project you need:

1 Package of Ready-Bake Biscuits

Marshmallows

Cinnamon & Sugar

Butter

Preheat the oven per the biscuit package instructions.  Take out the biscuits and flatten them out to about five inches across.  Brush or spread the butter on the biscuits and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  Place a marshmallow in the middle of each biscuit and fold over the biscuit pinching it tightly.  The marshmallow represents Jesus in the tomb!  Place the biscuit folded side down on the tray (or on its side like a crescent) and spread butter and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top.  Bake according to the instructions and then remove to cool.  Once they are cool you can tear into them and see that the marshmallow has disappeared and the “tomb” is empty!

IMG_4280

IMG_4282

IMG_4283

IMG_4284

My one tip to making sure you have an empty tomb is to make sure the biscuits are folded and pinched very tightly.  If they open up the marshmallow expands, but does not fully disappear so you may find yourself in the kitchen secretly scooping out the marshmallows…two worked perfectly and two were not.

IMG_4285

Before we let Maddy enjoy hers Michael took some time to read the Easter story to her.  The book we use for family devotions is Jesus Calling.  You can find it here.

IMG_4293

IMG_4286

Happy Easter!  If you get a chance to try this recipe please leave me a comment!  If you have any fun Easter projects or traditions you use in your family, please feel free to post them here too!

Until next time…

Must Read Book: Jesus Is _________.

Hi Friends!

I like to read, but I’m going to keep it real.  I don’t read a lot of books…blogs yes…books no.

But this book I had to read…

_240_360_Book.783.cover

I’m not sure if it was the massive amount of buzz it had in my twitter feed, the mod cover, the snappy title, or what that made me have a burning desire to hunt this book down.

Actually, I know it was God pressing in my heart that I needed to learn something…

But this chick does not venture through more than one store, dragging her husband along the way, to find many things…especially a book, but I did!  And even more surprising – I read it!  And wrote notes in it!  This is serious.

I don’t even know where to start about how simple a read it was.  If you are new to the whole “Jesus thing” or if you are a “seasoned saint” there is so much to learn here.

As I grow older…look at me acting like I’ve wisdom beyond my years…I’m realizing that the box I put Jesus in through my life was beyond ridiculous.  I judge…a lot.  Sometimes I still do…hey! no one is perfect.  But God used parts of this book to help me see how amazing the love is that Jesus has for each of us.

One of my favorite parts of the book talked about reaching others.  Jesus’ message is simple: God loves you and wants a relationship with you.  People: we complicate it!  We throw up all of these restrictions and weird rules in order to reach Him and to reach others for Him.

We say that Jesus wants everyone to come to Him, but then when someone shows up at our church that may not fit our happy church mold we don’t welcome them.  We assume the position: God wants you; just not at my church.  If you want Jesus you are going to have to shape up before you go forward and accept Him – I know your Facebook profile, I follow your Twitter feed, and there is no way you can say you want Jesus and really be serious about it!

Seriously!?!?!  Now if there was ever a moment for us to as Christians say WTF (what the faith?  yes I used it…judge me) then this is it! Jesus hung out with the lowest of low; why?  because they need Him!  We all need Him!  But who understands sin better than a sinner who isn’t pretending to be a saint?

Judah Smith, simply reasserts what Jesus told us so long ago.  In order to be an effective witness and reach people we need to follow this order for being witnesses to others:

1. Belong     2.  Believe     3.  Behave

I admit that I have often switched up the order when I’m trying to reach others!  Sadly, I’ve missed opportunities because of that…

So I’m not going to summarize the entire book for you.  Just know that it is an easy read, and it is a read that anyone who has been a Christian for a while needs to read. So often we get wrapped up in our little bubble and forget that Jesus told us to be witnesses…and that does not mean stay in your Christian circle and ignore everyone else around you.

If you want to learn more about the book you can do so here.  If you want to order the book you can do so here.

If you’ve read it, what did you think?

Blogging Frequency

So this is not so much a post for you, but more a post for me.

I’m setting expectations for myself.  In the past…especially with this blog…I’ve put parameters and expectations on blogging so frequently that anytime I hit a wall or get busy I begin to resent it or just give up.

In an effort to restart and keep moving I’m setting up some expectations for myself.

1.  I will blog once a month.  Even if I don’t want to or feel like it I will post something.

2.  I will not blog everyday…at least for now.

3.  I will have fun with this blog!

4.  I will share what is in my heart – because that is really what it is all about!

Back from the black…

IMG_3519

Hello…again!

It’s time to get back to blogging.  Where have I been?  In case anyone is still following me from before…and there’s probably five of you left…there’s a simple answer for that.  I wasn’t feeling it.

No really!  If you’re local family or friends you may understand that last year was hard with having a new baby and losing my grandpa, but honestly it was so much more than that.

I wasn’t happy.  Not the I’m having a bummer day that my clothes don’t look right or I’m having a bad hair day unhappy.  I mean that I’m not sure where I fit in and I don’t know what exactly is going on with my life not happy.  There comes a point in life where you just stop “faking it” and just walk away…from a lot.  For the majority of last year I was not present in a lot of things: family…work…marriage…everything.  I was just in a bad place, and when you’re in a bad place…if you’ve ever been in one…you just don’t want to do anything.  It cripples you; whether you realize it or not.

In the past when I haven’t been happy with things I’ve been able to push through and keep the happy facade.  And there were times last year that I thought I was doing pretty good keeping everyone in the dark, keeping up appearances, pretending, but I wasn’t doing so well with it…I think everyone knew that something was going on whether or not they could put their finger on it.

I was angry.

I was sad.

I disengaged from a lot.

So what changed my outlook?

It is so simple: Jesus.

I started praying again…REALLY praying.  I renewed my relationship and reconnected with my God and He delivered me from the darkness.  I’m changing and growing everyday and I look forward to spending time with Him each day.

Some days are better than others.  And I still have a lot to learn, but I’m back on track.  God has done a lot of healing in my life, my marriage, my outlook, and I can honestly say that my connection with God is stronger and more true than it has ever been.  Because of that connection, the relationships in my life are growing and blossoming in ways that I never imagined.  I’m finding true happiness.

God just didn’t deliver me; He gave me greater!

As time goes on I hope to share more about my faith and my journey with you.  There is so much that God wants me to share, but for now I’m saying I’m back…and this time I really am. I’m not going to be serious all the time…after all, so much of life (especially mine) laughs even at the hard stuff.  To quote Carl Lentz, “I will come out of my shell because I have a story to tell.”

Recently during my SOAPing (more on this in a later post) I read Proverbs 20:24…

“The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?”  Prov. 20:24 NLT

For the ultimate control freak, that’s me, this is becoming more of a life verse than I could have ever imagined!  Looking back over the last year I am amazed at the healing, deliverance, and joy that has come from it all!

So what can you expect from the blog?  I’m not exactly sure yet…

There will be crafting…

…and family fun…

…and faith…

If you have some ideas or suggestions, feel free to post a comment.  I’m looking forward to where God takes me.

This is the beginning!

Hard…

Have you ever had one of those – stop the world I want to get off weeks?  I think I’m having one of those; except it is more like a year.  Since the beginning of the year things have just seemed to move at warp speed.

This is a year that we get to say hello to a new life, and the year that we will probably say goodbye to another one.  My grandpa was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this month.  Things here are hard right now, but I guess when you live in a close family it is the price you pay for loving the way you do.  So if the blogging gets a little inconsistent – send me a comment.

…and thanks for reading!