Live in Nebraska or Visiting Soon(ish)? You Should Check This Out!

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Hey fellow Nebraskans (and those who want to come visit our wonderful state)!

I’m excited that I get to present an opportunity for you to enjoy some of the finest we have to offer.  I mean, you’ve heard of our Omaha Zoo, right?  We’re listed in the Top-10 zoos in the United States.  (You like how I said “we” – like I can somehow take credit for our amazing zoo?  Maybe because my household is often a zoo, so I assume they used me as a model for how to do it.)

Here is a picture of our boys at the Omaha Zoo four years ago when I was still taller than all of them:

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We also visited the Durham Museum several years ago.  Very fun and lots to learn!  (Take note that there is no charge now to visit the Durham Museum!)

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Here’s what Visit Omaha has to offer for free to one of you:

Nice, huh?!  Plus, you can go to the Joslyn Museum and enjoy the following exhibits for free:

  • American Moderns, 1910–1960: From O’Keeffe to Rockwell (through May 17, 2015)
  • Art Seen: A Juried Exhibition of Artists from Omaha to Lincoln (June 21 through October 11, 2015)
  • Go West! Art of the American Frontier from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West (November 15, 2015 through the end of 2015)

So who wants this fun prize package?  Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win.  I’ll draw one random winner on Tuesday, March 17.  Be watching for a post stating your winner as you will be responsible for contacting me if your name is chosen.

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My Fingernails are Ready for the Basketball Tournament! (and a Jamberry Nails Giveaway)

Clean uniforms – check.  Shoes by the door – check.  Plenty of water bottles – check.  Fingernails covered with basketballs – check.

What?  Isn’t this on every mother’s list before heading out the door for a big basketball tournament with her kids?

basketball fingernails

They’re Jamberry Nails.  Heard of them?  I realize they are a little bit hard to see in my picture – but I chose basketball fingernail stickers.  See?  See the little basketballs?  My boys are impressed.  These are perfect for me to wear to our basketball tournament this weekend.

Allow me to walk you through the progression of my thoughts as I applied my basketball nails.

Thought #1:  This is silly.  I don’t care about nails.  This is taking too long.
Thought #2:  Okay, three nails later, I am starting to get the hang of this.  I’m getting faster and better.
Thought #3:  Aha.  Now I understand how to put these on more easily.  These are looking super cute!
Thought #4:  Finished all ten nails.  Well that was way more fun than I thought it would be at first.
Thought #5:  Hehehe.  I can’t stop looking at my nails.
Thought #6:  I would definitely do this again.  I may actually go with something a little more “me” next time.  How ’bout that?

Then one by one, my boys saw my fingers:  ”Oh, your basketball nails…Nice!”  Score one for boys noticing and boys liking.  You know what?  Score two.  The noticing and the liking is a big deal.

So Jamberry Nails.  I give them a big thumbs up (which is extra fun because I have basketballs on my thumb).

jamberry nails

I encourage you to check out this fun product.  You won’t believe all the unique style choices!  You will also appreciate that these nails are non-toxic and stay on your fingers for weeks.  Plenty of bang for your buck and time.  I also encourage you to look into this as a possible business option for you and your family.  Who knows?  Maybe you could become a consultant.

Speaking of consultant, Jen Jennings is working with me this month as a site sponsor.  She’s excited to get the word out about Jamberry Nails so she’s offering a giveaway!

Four of you will win one sheet of wraps to try out.  Leave a comment here for a chance to win one.  I’ll draw four random winners on Tuesday, March 10.  Be watching for a post stating the winner as you will be responsible for contacting me if your name is chosen.

And now, my basketball fingernails and I are off to our final big tournament of the year.  If my nails don’t bring success, I don’t know what will.  :)

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A Lesson in Trusting God ~ And a Chance to Win Noah’s Ark Veggie Tales DVD

We grown-ups.  We’re good at complicating uncomplicated truths.  We don’t do this on purpose.  Our brains and schedules just get full and the reality of life sometimes shuts down our ability to think simply.

This is why I like children’s books and movies.  Phooey, this is why I like children.

It never fails.  Any time I need to explain a Biblical truth at a level kids can understand – the easy words with their basic meaning prick me to the core with a simplicity that is remarkably profound.  God’s truth isn’t complicated, friends.  It’s the believing and taking Truth to heart – that’s where I tend to stumble in my frailty.

So heart check:  Our oldest son is a senior in high school, making weighty decisions and preparing to launch into the next big thing.  Never before have I faced the need to trust God with my children at such a level.  Regrets and what-ifs threaten to suffocate me when I forget that my God is faithfully and lovingly in control.  Overwhelming, precious peace takes over when I realize that confident trust in God is the only gift I have to offer my children.  Not one time has the Father failed to keep His promises.  Trust is the only option.  I will choose this.  I must choose this.

The Only Gift

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It’s interesting what comes to light when your heart is searching.  As I take time to read the Word each morning a theme of “trust” continues to shine through the pages.  Jesus isn’t waiting for me to line up my ducks in a perfectly ordered row before kneeling at the cross.  He just wants me to take a knee.  God doesn’t ask me to present the answers to all the tough questions.  He just wants me to seek.  The Spirit doesn’t wait for me to understand all that is to come.  He simply whispers, “Trust me.  I’ll show you.”

And so I do.  And then I forget.  And then I remember.  And sometimes I cry.  But always, He’s right.  And always – peace wins.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7

That was a word from me, and then a word from the Word, and now a word from Bob and Larry.

What?  I couldn’t think of a good transition.

There’s a new Veggie Tale in town, and we get to be the first to know about it.  I found it fun that as I’ve been seeking to understand full trust in God, Veggie Tales were working on a show to explain the profoundly simple concept to children.   When I saw the title Noah’s Ark: A Lesson in Trusting God I laughed and said, “A lesson in trusting God?  Well of course it is.  It’s perfect.”

noahs ark veggie tales

This movie is darling.  The creators did a great job sharing the story of Noah from a Biblical perspective, with a little bit of veggie silliness thrown in for good measure. Malachi said to be sure and “tell all your blog people that it is an amazing video!”  So there you have it.  The ten year old has spoken.

Noah’s Ark: A Lesson in Trusting God can be ordered at Amazon now and shipped to you next week.  It’s a great one to have in your collection, and you can pre-order for just $9.96.

I happen to have a copy here to give to one of you – so leave a comment for a chance to win.  I’ll draw a random winner on Tuesday, March 3.  Be watching for a post stating the winner as you will be responsible for contacting me if your name is chosen.

This post contains affiliate links.

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Silicone Mat Giveaway Winners (From Healthy Cooking Products)

Silicone Baking Mat

The winners of the silicone mats from Healthy Cooking Products are:

1) Ellen: ellenmkimsey@
2) Emily K: emily-knight@
3) Terri: wrapwithlundells@
4) Carol Dowling: dowlingcarol@

Winners, email me to let me know your addresses! :)

Everyone be sure to check out the great silicone mats Healthy Cooking Products offers.  They are an incredible price and a wonderful way to use your bakeware safely!

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Lilla Rose Giveaway Winners

The winners of our Lilla Rose Flexi-Clips are:

1) Carie W-F: folzfamily@
2) Lynette: netteshome@
3) Betsy: betsy.tripp@

Winners, please email me and I’ll forward your info on to Paula for your prize. :)

Don’t forget:

Get a FREE SURPRISE FLEXI when you place a $40 order between now and January 23!!!*

*Place an order of $40 or more (excluding tax and shipping) through Paula’s website, then message her to redeem your free surprise flexi! Offer valid for U.S. customers only and expires January 23, 2015. This is for both new and Paula’s returning customers, but if you already have another Lilla Rose consultant, please stay with her; I’m sure she will appreciate it!

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A Safer Kitchen ~ What to Do About Aluminum Bakeware (and a giveaway from Healthy Cooking Products!)

I really appreciate our discussion last week on switching from Teflon to cast iron and stainless steel!  Today we’re going to talk about our bakeware.

A Safer Kitchen

Many cookie sheets and cake pans are made from aluminum.  Unfortunately, this is not a safe option.  Nor are the baking pans that have a teflon-like non stick coating.  Here are safer alternatives that I’ve switched to through the years:

Glass

We all know how much I love my Pyrex.  :)  For casseroles and cakes, I use 9×13 Pyrex dishes.  I love these so much!!!

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Stoneware

I love baking bread in stones.  Not only are they safe, they make my bread turn out delish!

loaf pan

 

Silicone Mats or Parchment Paper

I have several cookie sheets that are made from aluminum.  They are in great shape, but I don’t like my food to touch aluminum.  I’ve been using sheets of parchment paper to cover the pan, which works great – but even though I reuse the sheets a time or two, I don’t like using the paper.

I was very grateful when the folks at Healthy Cooking Products contacted me and sent me some of their silicone mats to try.  This is a great solution, and a huge money saver.  No more purchasing parchment paper!  These mats are BPA free and can be used over and over and over.  I lay them on top of my aluminum cookie sheets, and they protect my food.  I am very excited about this solution!

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My dad and his wife gave me this super nice air bake pan for Christmas this year since they know how much I love to bake.  I am so glad I can use it now with these easy mats.  They wash up very nicely, then roll up to store.

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We made cookie dough balls last week to store in the freezer for a “cookie emergency.”  My silicone mat fit perfectly on this cookie sheet.  It does not get easier.

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I also used a mat on my aluminum pan this week to make homemade pizza.  It worked great, and clean up was super easy!

I’m anxious to hear what you use for baking!  Glass, stoneware, parchment on cookie sheets?  I encourage you to look into these silicone mats from Healthy Cooking Products.  They are very reasonably priced (only $9.00 right now) and will be a big money saver since having them means you don’t have to use parchment paper.

I have some of these great mats to give away!  Four of you will receive two mats each from Healthy Cooking Products.  Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win.  I will draw four random winners on Wednesday, January 28.  Be watching for a post stating the winners as you will be responsible for contacting me if your name is chosen.

This post contains affiliate links.

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Win a Free Flexi-Clip ~ Three Winners and a Special Offer

I’ve bragged on Lilla Rose Flexi-Clips for years.  From the day I received my first one in the mail, I’ve worn them almost daily.  They are awesome.  So awesome, in fact, that I ordered myself two more during a Christmas sale.  They work so much better than rubber bands, and they are super pretty too.

Gibson Tuck Celtic Cross

So here we are again with another chance for you to win one!  Paula, our very own Heavenly Homemakers Lilla Rose Consultant (we share her with others too, but she sure is sweet about giveaways and discounts to all of us here!) is giving away a free Flexi-Clip worth up to $16 to three different winners.

Not only that, here’s a special offer for Heavenly Homemakers readers only!  Get a FREE SURPRISE FLEXI when you place a $40 order between now and January 23!!!*

*Place an order of $40 or more (excluding tax and shipping) through Paula’s website, then message her to redeem your free surprise flexi! Offer valid for U.S. customers only and expires January 23, 2015. This is for both new and Paula’s returning customers, but if you already have another Lilla Rose consultant, please stay with her; I’m sure she will appreciate it!

Take advantage of this special deal!  To enter for a chance to win a free Flexi-Clip, leave a comment on this post.  For additional entries, follow Paula’s Lilla Rose board on Pinterest, subscribe to her personal monthly newsletter, and/or join her brand new exclusive Facebook group, Paula’s Super-Awesome Lilla Rose Fan Club! Get hairstyle ideas, see newly-released products, and get members-only special deals and giveaways!

scarf

What a fun idea, to use a Flexi-Clip on a scarf! (photo credit)

I’ll draw three random winners on Wednesday, January 21.  Be watching for a post stating the winners as you will be responsible for contacting me if your name is chosen!

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