Raising Thoughtful, Hardworking, Servant-Hearted Kids

You know those kids who don’t think about others, who pout when they don’t get their way, and who sometimes are not even a little bit aware that the world does not revolve around them?

Yeah, those are my kids.

But kids nothin’.  That’s me too (all 41 years of me) when I forget what I know to be true.  Indeed, God made us in His image, then Satan swooped in and works to destroy all that is good.  We are, our kids are, all of us are in a battle.  Jesus already won the victory (shout hallelujah!) but Satan works all the harder to win anyway (ever heard the definition of crazy?).


You know those kids who speak politely when spoken to, who aren’t afraid to visit with the older folks at church, who run up ahead to get the door for the lady carrying a box, who happily join the leave-raking crew with the youth group, who sit by the one no one else seems to notice, who remember that their mama likes purple wild flowers and grabs a handful for her whenever possible?

Yeah, those are my kids.

Our boys don’t always get along (see first paragraph).  They are not always excited to clean out the dishwasher (see first paragraph).  They sometimes do things that make me wonder who in the world raised them and what in the world they could possibly be thinking when they did such a thing (Lord, help us).

crazy family

But after lunch today, as Asa left for his college class he hollered back, “Thanks for lunch, Mom!  It was really good.”  After church last week, Malachi ran up and hugged one of our ministers and told him he loved him.  While we picked apples recently, Justus grabbed the ladder and climbed up so his brothers and I could have the easier job.  When the compost bucket overflowed this morning, spilling tomato guts all over the floor, Matt asked Elias to please clean it up before starting school – and he did it…without a complaint, even though he hates tomatoes and their guts.

Oh my dear fellow parents.  Our jobs are not easy.  In fact, let us, in unison, throw ourselves down onto the carpet as we sprawl out in full surrender.  Raising kids is hard – harder than I ever thought, imagined, or read about in books.  But we are not alone.  We have each other, and more importantly, we serve a God who loves our children like none other.  God wants our kids’ hearts, and we can be sure that He is fighting for them.  Isn’t that the best parenting news you’ve heard…ever?  (Remember this truth the next time your child disobeys you for the 82nd time in one hour.  Keep on it, Mama.  God’s on your side.)

be still 2

I have something for you.

See, my kids are mostly big now.  Two out of four of them have man voices, and the third is working on his with an occasional crack.  Our car insurance rate is growing in scary ways as more drivers of the teen boy variety are being added to our policy.  This is where we are now.  Car insurance rates aside, I love this place.

It’s easy for me to reflect back on when our boys were little and have regrets about what I wish I would have done differently and better.  This is a wonderful way to waste time and be miserable, but do feel free to join me in this activity if you enjoy unproductive awfulness.

Take Every Thought Captive 2

I have not parented perfectly, mostly because I’m clueless most of the time and because of that Satan swooping in thing I mentioned above.  Welcome to being human, Laura (and everyone else).  God is ever gracious and my kids are very forgiving.  Here’s how I know this about my kids.  While I’ve been busy crying over all my parenting imperfections, here are some recent conversations my boys have started around our dinner table:

  • “Remember those charts we used to have on the fridge?  The ones with the stars or fruit?  That was a good idea, Mom.  I used to love those.”
  • “Oh I remember the girl you’re talking about.  We took a toy to her on ‘Tt Week‘ when I was little.  That was really fun.”
  • “I used to love it when we made Monkey Bread.  I always wanted to be the one to punch the dough.”
  • “My favorite Blue’s Clues episode was the one where they made the banana bread, and I don’t even like bananas.  I just like food.  Good thing you like cooking with us, Mom.”


True story.  And here I thought they’d surely be offering statements like:

  • “Mom, remember those times you yelled at me and it wasn’t even my fault?”
  • “Mom, remember how busy you were those times I wanted you to sit down and play a game with me?”
  • “Mom, remember how many times you’ve failed me and why I’m going to need counseling and be bitter toward you forever??!!?”

God is so much bigger than you and I!!!  Not only that…our kids are amazing!  Remember these truths as you parent your babes.  You focus on loving them and being Christ-like.  The rest will all fall into place.  I wish I would have understood this earlier.

So here’s what I have for you.  Most of these resources have been available on my site for a very long time.  They’ve blessed our family so much – more than I ever realized based on our boys’ teenage hearts looking back at their little boy days.  (Thank you, God, for making those convos happen over the past few weeks.  You knew my heart needed to hear it.)

I’ve heard from many of you that our Learn Your Letters, Learn to Serve curriculum has been a blessing as you’re teaching your kids academic basics and more importantly, the heart of service.  I’ve heard how much you’ve enjoyed our Character Charts.  I’ve heard how much you’ve loved time in the kitchen with your kids as you teach them cooking skills.

I also know that for some of you, money is holding you back from enjoying these ready-made resources.  This week, we’re putting together a package we pray will be a great big blessing to your family – financially, spiritually, and parentingly (don’t forget, I make up words).  Check it out…

Bless Your Parenting Packet 2


add to cart green

The “Bless Your Parenting” Packet includes:

~ Learn Your Letters, Learn to Serve 183 page complete downloadable curriculum kit for early learners, $45.00 value
~ Teaching Your Kids to Cook 111 page downloadable guide and cookbook, $12.00 value
~ What to Do With the Kids in Your Kitchen recipe eBook, $5.95 value
~ Heavenly Homemakers Guide to Holiday Hospitality for Kids eBook, $6.95 value
~ Fill ‘em Up Bible Lessons and eCookbook, $5.95 value
~ “Be Imitators” Kid Character Chart, $2.95 value

Total value of this package:  $78.80
“Bless Your Parenting” Package Price:  $49.00
Time teaching and enjoying your kids:  priceless  :)

Here’s what we’ve done:  We took the price of our Learn Your Letters, Learn to Serve down to just $49, then we threw in five other products for just $5 more.

add to cart green

May God bless each of us as we teach, train, and love these children He gave us!

Like This? Bless Others By Sharing!
Share on Facebook5Pin on Pinterest0Tweet about this on Twitter1Email this to someoneShare on LinkedIn0Print this page

{IMPORTANT INFORMATION!} Plus, All Subscribers Get a FREE Copy of 1-2-3 Menu Planning!

Super important information!  Please read!

We’ve been having trouble with our current newsletter subscription platform - so out with the old, in with the new!  I’m so excited about this, as it will now be so much easier to communicate with you all.

If you have been a subscriber in the past, you should have or soon will be receiving an email asking you to confirm your new subscription.  Go ahead – it’s legit!  Click on the link provided in the email so you’ll continue to receive our daily newsletters.

Not a subscriber yet?  I love that so many of you come directly to my blog to read daily updated content!  I’m still going to encourage you to go ahead and subscribe anyway.  Why?

These newsletters are completely free, and will ensure you never miss one of our posts.  Plus, every once in a while, I’ll send an additional email with an exclusive freebie, download, or awesome deal.  Being a subscriber has some definite perks.  Who doesn’t like free stuff?  :)

So lets get started with a freebie!  Every single newsletter subscriber (using this new subscription platform) will be receiving a free copy of 1-2-3 Menu Planning.  All you have to do is be a current subscriber, or submit your email address here to become a subscriber.  Boom.  Free eBook!  (Limited time only.)

123 Meal Planning Cover sm

Don’t forget!  If you’ve been reading my newsletters, but have not re-subscribed, you MUST confirm the email sent to you.  If you already received that email, didn’t know what to do with it, and deleted it, no problem!  Simply re-subscribe here.  And if you have never subscribed but would like to so that you can keep up on all we’re doing here plus receive the free eBook, click here to subscribe.

Any questions?  Let me know!

I realllllllly appreciate you all hanging with me on this.  It’s a bit of a headache to make a big change like this, but it will be very worth it in the long run.  Thanks everyone!

Like This? Bless Others By Sharing!
Share on Facebook2Pin on Pinterest0Tweet about this on Twitter1Email this to someoneShare on LinkedIn0Print this page

Final Day: Get 1-2-3 Menu Planning eBook FREE With Oh, For Real Purchase

Don’t forget!  If you purchase our Oh, For Real printed cookbook, you’ll also receive our new 1-2-3 Menu Planning eBook for FREE!

Buy this….


Get this free

123 Meal Planning Cover sm

Just want 1-2-3 Meal Planning?  Grab it for just $5.

1-2-3 Menu Planning
Add to Cart

Saturday, August 23 is the final day for this freebie offer – so act now!  Let these helpful resources make your real food cooking life easier!!!!!  Get all the details of this offer here.

Oh, For Real: Real Food, Real Family, Real Easy with 1-2-3 Menu Planning free bonus
Add to Cart

Cost for a book shipped to Canada is $34.05. If you are from Canada or another country outside the U.S., please email me before purchasing. Thanks!

Like This? Bless Others By Sharing!
Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest0Tweet about this on Twitter1Email this to someoneShare on LinkedIn0Print this page

1-2-3 Meal Planning: Hundreds of Real Food, Real Simple Ideas

I am very excited to introduce a brand new resource we recently finished for you!  1-2-3 Meal Planning not only walks you through a super simple menu planning system, it contains over 250 real food, real simple menu ideas.

123 Meal Planning Cover sm

Overwhelmed trying to put healthy meals on the table each day?  Burned out on all your old stand-by meals?  Want to be better at serving fruits and vegetables?  Have limited time to cook?  Well – this eBook is just what you need.

Ideas, ideas, ideas.  This book is full of them.  From fall to winter, spring to summer – these easy, seasonal meal ideas will make you hungry and inspire you.  Best of all, this resource will take the frustration out of thinking so hard about what food to make.

100′s of recipes in the book are auto-linked, which means you can click directly on the link and gain immediate access to the recipe right here on my website.  You can buy this eBook right now and access it right away for just $5.

1-2-3 Menu Planning
Add to Cart

Like This? Bless Others By Sharing!
Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest0Tweet about this on Twitter0Email this to someoneShare on LinkedIn0Print this page

41 Years Old, 42 Jars, and 40% Off. Last Day for Sale!

Remember how I turned 41 on Sunday and how I’m running a 40% off sale in my shop all week to celebrate?  That sale was supposed to end Friday.  I usually throw out a “last day” reminder, but I got distracted yesterday and completely forgot.

Distracted, you ask?  Distracted with what?

canning jars 1

Well, I got on a roll with my canning jars, and I just couldn’t stop.

We’d been given several bags of cucumbers on Wednesday night at church.  On Thursday I made and canned a double batch of Sweet Pickle Relish.  I then canned peaches that Matt and the boys had brought in from one of our peach trees.  Then, since I had cucumbers left after making relish, I tried my hand at dill pickles.  (We haven’t eaten them yet – hope they’re good!)

I had so much fun.  There’s just something so rewarding about seeing all the food fill the jars, knowing my family will be well fed this winter.  36 canning jars later, we wrapped it up for the night.  Then Friday, I made 6 jars full of Super Creamy Peanut Butter to keep in the fridge.  We should be all set with peanut butter for a few weeks now.

canning jars 2

 You like how I dribbled peanut butter all over the outside of the jars,
then didn’t clean it up before snapping the picture?
“Wow, Laura is so clean and neat when she cooks,” said no one.

All that to say, I’ve extended the 40% off sale one more day.  I wanted to give you a “last day” shout out, which means that instead of the last day being Friday, the last day is now Saturday.

Head to our Heavenly Homemakers Shop.  Every downloadable item and eCourse is 40% off – a great deal!  (Printed books are not included in this sale.)  Use the code BIRTHDAY at check-out for your 40% discount.

Shop our 40% off sale now through midnight, August 9.

Like This? Bless Others By Sharing!
Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest0Tweet about this on Twitter1Email this to someoneShare on LinkedIn0Print this page

How You Can Get Our Curriculum Kit Plus Four Other Resources For LESS Than the Cost of the Curriculum

I loved watching this order come through on Monday, knowing the recipient was getting a huge bang for her buck.

shopping cart

See, normally our Learn Your Letters, Learn to Serve complete curriculum kit download is $45.00.  You get a lot in this kit, no doubt.  But this week? Since we’re running a 40% off sale on everything downloadable on our site, you can get the curriculum kit plus several other resources – for LESS than the original cost of the curriculum.

If you’ve been eyeing any of our downloadable items, from ebook to eCourse to curriculum – you must take advantage of this great deal this week.  Use the code BIRTHDAY at checkout to receive 40% off your entire order of downloads.  Note:  All printed items are excluded from this sale.  Watch for fun bonus buys with printed books soon!

Many are taking advantage of this huge discount.  Have you?  Come and get it!!

Like This? Bless Others By Sharing!
Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest0Tweet about this on Twitter1Email this to someoneShare on LinkedIn0Print this page

Get 40% Off All Downloadable Items – Let’s Celebrate My Birthday Together!

I turn 41 this week!  Let’s celebrate with a 40% discount in the Heavenly Homemakers Shop!


Now through Friday, use the code BIRTHDAY to receive a 40% discount on all of our downloadable items (and eCourses).  This means every eBook, every eCourse, every downloadable curriculum kit, every recipe card – it’s all hugely discounted!!

Have you been eyeing our Learn Your Letters, Learn to Serve curriculum?  Grab the download now for just $27!!!  Want to teach your kids to cook?  Grab those curriculum items for just $7.20.  And have you seen the packages we’ve put together at a discounted price?  Well, you can use the 40% off code on those too, getting them for a steal!

This entire package ends up being just $11.97 after the 40% discount!

Please Note:  The 40% discount code is not available for use on any of our printed curriculums or books.  Printed items purchased with the discount code will be refunded.  But don’t worry – we’re working on some special deals for our printed items to offer you very soon!

Scroll through all of our downloadable items and eCourses in the Shop.  Grab all the downloads you want, use the code BIRTHDAY, and receive 40% off your entire purchase.  This offer is good through Friday, August 8.

Have fun, and be blessed!

Head to the Heavenly Homemakers Shop.

Like This? Bless Others By Sharing!
Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest0Tweet about this on Twitter1Email this to someoneShare on LinkedIn0Print this page

Last Day to Get Our 40 Menu Plan Ideas Packet for 50% Off!

Saturday, July 19 is the final day you’ll be able to get Heavenly Homemaker’s 40 Real Food Menu Plans Packet at half off.  Grab yours now!


The 40 Real Food Menu Plans Downloadable Packet includes 40 (of course) real food, real easy menu plans - 10 for each season of the year.  In each menu plan, you’ll find ideas for all 3 meals each day for an entire week.  No need to follow the menu plan to the letter.  Change them as needed to fit your family’s schedules and preferences.  You’ll find most of the recipes included in the menu plans here on the Heavenly Homemakers website (hyperlinks included on the pages!) or in the Oh, For Real Cookbook.

See some sample pages of 40 Real Food Menu Plans Here.

Last day for the discount!!

40 Real Food Menu Plans Downloadable Packet
(use the code HALFOFF for the discount)

Add to Cart

Like This? Bless Others By Sharing!
Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest0Tweet about this on Twitter1Email this to someoneShare on LinkedIn0Print this page

How I Will Blog and Be Away From Home At the Same Time

During the next two and a half weeks, I will be making a quick trip for the 4th of July, then I’ll be out at our church camp with my family.  There is wireless internet at the camp, so we’ll be packing up the laptop to keep up with work as we can.


However, internet can be a little tricky there.  Plus, I plan to spend time with campers and other staff while I’m there instead of working on my computer for several hours each day like I try to do at home.

Here’s what you can expect here during the next two and a half weeks:

  • New posts now and then.  I’ll try to check in here when I can, because two weeks is a long time to be gone and I’ll just miss you all too much if I stay away that whole time.
  • Gratituesday as normal – hopefully.  At the very least, I hope to get online to share how God is working in my life and to praise Him with you on Gratituesday.  If my schedule at camp just doesn’t allow this, or if the internet doesn’t cooperate, we’ll all just be grateful on our own.  :)
  • Older posts re-posted each day.  To date, I have written 3,650 posts for this website.  I bet there are a few you’ve missed here and there, eh?  I’ve picked out some that I think will benefit you to read (or re-read), and scheduled them to pop up throughout the next two weeks.  It’ll be a fun blast from the past!

How can you pray for me?

Oh hey, thanks for asking.  :)  This summer has been great so far, and also very, very full.  I’m a little tired already as I head into these weeks away from home.  I’d love prayer for energy.  But mostly, I need prayer to be fully surrendered to letting God work.  I want the people I’m with to see Jesus shining through me, not myself shining through me.  I struggle with this.  But God is biggest, and He has already won the victory over this battle in my life.  How very gracious of Him to continue working this out in me.

I’ll be praying for you too.

You are all an important part of my life, and I appreciate you.  I want you to know that I pray for you, and will continue to pray while I am away.  Thank you for being a blessing in my life!

Like This? Bless Others By Sharing!
Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest0Tweet about this on Twitter1Email this to someoneShare on LinkedIn0Print this page

Get 6 Heavenly Homemakers eBooks For Just $7.40 – This Week Only

Have you heard of BundleoftheWeek.com?  Each week, subscribers are offered a set of 5 digital books, which can be purchased at a huge discount in either eBook, Kindle, or ePub format.  So first you’re going to want to sign up for the weekly newsletter so you’ll be kept up to date with each new bundle.  Who knows when it might meet a need for you!

I’m excited to share that this week only, all 5 of the books in this bundle are Heavenly Homemaker books!  I hand-picked a bundle of my cookbooks that I thought everyone would enjoy.  Simple recipes, easy homemaking…well, I can’t tell you any more.  You have to go to BundleoftheWeek.com to see the group of books we put together.

I can tell you that when you purchase the 5 books in the bundle, you’ll get this one for free…

40 Real Food Weekly Menu Plans

I’m super excited that you can get so many of my eBooks for such a low price.  $7.40 for six of my eBooks?  And you can get the Kindle or ePub version if you prefer?  Well, that’s just awesome.

BundleoftheWeek.com, 5 eBooks for $7.40!

Go check it out!  Enjoy this fun bundle through Saturday, June 28 only.

Like This? Bless Others By Sharing!
Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest0Tweet about this on Twitter1Email this to someoneShare on LinkedIn0Print this page