"I will live with a heart of integrity in my house." Psalm 101:2b

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I am a student of Jesus, the wife of a wonderful rocker, Tracey, and stay at home momma to our two sweet things, Remy & Halle.
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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tradition (or lack thereof...)- Third Thursday Thoughts


Happy Thursday, sweet ones! We are one week out from Thanksgiving, and I have a lot less done in preparation that I would like... I desperately need to make a list! Last weekend I was blessed to be in Rochester, MN with the Hearts at Home team and several thousand momma friends, and it was amazing! I am so thankful every day that I have the opportunity to work with and serve some of the most amazing women! And today is no different~ It's the Third Thursday, and so we're blogging together.

Today's topic is (surprise, surprise) Thanksgiving. What makes Thanksgiving special to our family? Do we have certain traditions that we try to keep going? Recipes that are a must-have every year?

Truthfully, this question makes me kind of sad because neither Trace or I are very 'traditional' people. You might laugh if you are reading this and know us... traditional is not a word that has probably ever been spoken about these two hippies! But as my wee ones get a bit older, I find myself really craving some special things that might be repeated year after year... I just don't know what they should be!

This year we are staying home. And I am so thankful! Last year the holidays were a whirlwind of wonderful visits to Indiana and Florida, so this year we are keeping our little family firmly planted in Illinois. With this plan in place, I am trying to wrap my brain about what traditions we want to establish. Remy and Halle are at such fun ages, 6 and 4, that I love seeing things through their eyes and love that they are old enough to participate in and remember things.

All this being said, I'm just not sure... I find myself thinking about the menu and what to include. I'm certain that turkey and pecan pie will be on the list. (So original, aren't I?) But beyond that I draw a blank... And we are going to be doing a thankfulness tree (much like Ann's here... scouring the yard for acceptable sticks is on tomorrow's list for me and my curly girly). I struggle with it all being too much, when I really just want to help my family bring their eyes to point to Him. To being thankful for our Savior and for our abundance.

So what are your traditions? I'd love for you to click over to Jill's blog to see what she has in mind, and to see the thoughts of the other amazing mommas that are hopping along!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Everything: a book review

Happy Tuesday, lovelies! I wanted to share with y'all today about a book that I had the privlege of reading before it was published. You are going to love it! Mary DeMuth is an author that I have loved from books and her blog. Her style is great, like talking with your best girl over coffee... I love reading and feeling a closeness with the writer. So when she put out the word that she was looking for a launch team to review her newest book, I jumped at the chance. And Everything arrived in my inbox.

Now calling a book Everything may seem a little pretentious, but the subtitle perfectly rounds it out: What you give and what you gain to become like Jesus. Start to finish, this book challenged me to look at how I live in light of the gospel... and I must admit at some points I didn't like what I saw.

I think I was most challenged by what Mary calls the 'AYDI gospel'. AYDI stands for 'all you do is' and she was talking about our Christian campaigns to 'save' people by luring them into making some sort of decision... 'All you do is pray this prayer and you are done'. But we neglect to tell them the hard parts~ that living the gospel message means laying down your life and dying to yourself. I think this is what Bonhoeffer was speaking of when he coined the term 'Cheap Grace'. We are selling something that doesn't cost anything. And we then have a lot of 'converts' who don't want to or know what it is to become disciples of Jesus. This chapter and others forced me to look at my life, what I'm living and what I'm preaching, to see if they line up with this message of cheap grace, or if I'm truly willing to lay it all on the line to follow Him.

I was also sort of smacked in the face by a chapter about control. I like control. I like to be in charge of my own life (and the others in my life may or may not tell you that I like to be in control of their lives too... ahem...). In the last year, I have really embraced letting Jesus and His Spirit, His Word control me. I have found such freedom in living a life transformed by Him, but I must admit there are areas that I still cling to. And I'm not sure why... control. Mary says this: "We need an exchanged life where Christ woos and changes us. Christianity is not a self-improvement program! It is resurrection! It is a new life! And it is expressed in a total exchange of identity!" Reading this was a lightbulb moment for me~ I can't be a new person if I'm hanging on to some parts of the old. It reminds me of Jesus' example to the Pharisees about the outside of the vessel being clean but being filthy on the inside. It's all or nothing.

I seriously could go on and on and expound upon many other things in this book. It's a great one for whatever point in your journey you may be at, and I feel so thankful for being part of Mary's launch team. She is a woman of tremendous character and ministry! By the way, if you're interested in getting your hands on a copy, you can find it here or here.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Money Matters


Happy Thursday, sweet friends! This month has already been a whirlwind, and it doesn't look like it will be slowing down any time soon. Such is life, no?! My littles have been sick this week, so I'm trying to catch up with the usual stuff on top of the demands of wee ones who don't feel so hot. Argh...

This month the topic for the Hearts at Home Blog Hop is Money. How do you teach your kids about money, stewardship, tithe, etc. Do you assign chores? Give allowances?

This is an area that I'm eager to read about from others. With our littles just being 6 & 4, we are just starting to enter into discussions about what to do here. We have always taught them about giving, whether it be tithing on money that they get or offerings of extra in response to God's gifts to them. But we have been feeling lately like it's time, particularly in Remy's case as he's older, to start teaching more the responsibility end of having money.

Trace and I have discussed chores a little but haven't yet gotten down to the nitty gritty details. We both agree that certain things need to be done (and with a good attitude!) just because they are part of the family and not for money. But we would like to get a short list on paper of things that can be done to earn extra. It's just so hard to decide what's appropriate at this point.

So what are your thoughts here? I am definitely excited to be on the learning end of this month's posts. You can click on over to Jill's blog to see her thoughts and the links of other moms!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Third Thursday Recipe!


Happy Thursday! It has cooled down here in Illinois, and I am thrilled... makes me want to stay inside and bake breads and cook soups and snuggle by the roaring fireplace.

Today is the Third Thursday of the month (eek, can't believe it!), and I'm again jumping in line with the Hearts at Home Bloggers. This month we are linking up our favorite fall recipes or traditions. We Pfeiffers are admittedly bad about tradition~ we are a sporadic bunch that rarely do the same thing twice. Some days I feel remiss about that, wishing we had more things on our list of traditions, but on the other hand, life is always new and entertaining.

We do, however, have lots of recipes that come back around. When it gets to be fall, I am in heaven. You start talking pumpkin, ginger, or apple, and this girl is drooling!! Unfortunately for me, Tracey isn't quite so in love with all the warm flavors that fall brings. How on earth did I marry a guy who doesn't like soup or pumpkin?! (Add that to the list of things where we fall on complete opposite ends of the spectrum. It's a LONG list...) I am discovering that my Remy loves all of these flavors, so there is some progress. And just because I'm the only one enjoying it by no means means that I won't be making them. I just eat them all. (Therein lies the trouble, I guess.)

The recipe I thought I would share is one that I could quite possible live on. Are you familiar with the wonder that is the  Gingersnap cookie?!  This recipe comes from my sweet friend Karen, who happens to be best friends with my momma. These are really simple to whip up and make the house smell as good as they taste... perfect with a cup of strong coffee and good conversation, which always happens at Karen's house.

Gingersnaps~

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 cup molasses
3/4 cup shortening
1 egg, slightly beaten

Combine sugar, flour, salt, soda & spices; stir lightly to mix. Cut in shortening to resemble coarse crumbs. Stir in molasses and egg. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll them in sugar. Place on ungreased baking sheet; bake at 350* for about 10 minutes. Remove from sheet immediately. See, so easy!!

I hope you will try this recipe and also 'hop' over to Jill's blog to see who else from the Hearts team links up today~ I can't wait to see what other goodies they come up with!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

God Who Sees

To the God Who Sees
I am thankful in times when I can't see any further than my own hand...
That You are a God who sees each face.
"The eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him-
those who depend on His faithful love
to deliver them from death
and to keep them alive in famine."
Psalm 33:18-19
I am thankful that you see Nthiani in Kenya.
And that through Compassion
You reach out to touch each life that You see.
That Your hand goes further through those who are
Obedient to extend it.
Your love reaches further.
Your faithfulness stretches to the sky.
I am thankful that You see when I can't,
That You 'look down from heaven'.
Beautiful God Who saw fit to see me...
Thank you for loving each child.

Join the Compassion Blogger Network
Won't you join me in praying for each Compassion Child today?
There are still so many that need sponsors!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Happy Monday! I just dropped Halle off for preschool and am home relishing just a few hours of alone time. What do you do when it's so quiet? First thing I brewed a strong cup of coffee (my third for the morning, if we're counting, but it's just part of the routine!), and now I'm sitting down to spend a few minutes with y'all. I really do love the fall, getting back into a routine and to reconnect with some of you more regularly. Summer was a blur!

Over the summer I started working at a bakery a couple of days every week. It is crazy fun, and I don't think it really counts as work because I love it so much. But in order to continue working two afternoons during the school year, it means that Trace has the littles and much of the dinner prep two days a week.

To make it easier on him, one habit I'm getting more into is meal planning. I love having everything planned out for the week, but especially on Thursdays and Fridays when I'm at the bakery until 5 and Tracey needs to get dinner rolling. Plus I kind of feel like the Proverbs 31 woman, 'rising while it is still night and providing food for her household'... seems like great stewardship of time and resources to have a plan in place!


My plan of attack involves making a detailed plan in my planner (Have I told y'all before how much I love my Erin Condren Life Planner?!) and then making a grocery list. I usually do this on Sundays, so that the week is mapped out. It is such a good feeling to see it on the page!

While I am definitely inclined to be in the kitchen, what I'm finding as I talk with friends is that menu planning is an intimidating task for some. Please know that it doesn't have to be! I cook and bake almost every day, just because I like to, but I am all about simple and meals that a)use regular ingredients that everyone will actually eat, b)don't cost a lot, and c)are quick and painless to throw together. I have started using my crock pot and freezer meals a lot, and it is so nice to have everything ready to go in the evenings!

So I thought that I would share with you a simple meal that I made last week. I really try to make things that use up stuff I already have, and the ingredients for this Pizza Soup were all here just waiting to be used!

Pizza Soup~

Ingredients:
1 large jar Pasta Sauce
2 jars water (just refill the pasta jar)
Italian Seasoning, to taste
Pepperoni
Sausage, cooked
2 cups pasta (I used penne, but whatever you have on hand)
1 cup green pepper
1 cup chopped mushrooms
any other pizza veggies you like!
shredded mozzarella

Directions: Put the pasta sauce, water, seasoning, and meats into the crock pot. Set on low for 4-6 hours.  One hour before serving, add the pasta and any veggies that you want. Put into bowls and sprinkle with the mozzarella. Easy Breezy!


I also made these breadsticks that I found on pinterest from Grateful Belly. They come together pretty quickly, but because I was working in the afternoon, Halle and I made them in the morning. I just had Trace warm them up in the oven right before dinner.  They were really simple, and Halle had a great time with the twisting and dipping them in butter.

So how do you stay on top of the weekly menu? Do you have a system in place? There are lots of great printables that I've seen on pinterest and other places to keep things organized... I'd love to know what works for you! I'm also planning on posting some more simple recipes in the days to come.

I hope you have a blessed start to your week~ see you soon, sweet friends!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Be Changed

Happy September, sweet things! Life around here is (finally!) getting into a rhythym... Halle starts school tomorrow morning, and that is the last piece of the puzzle as far as things getting back to normal. I am a girl who loves a good schedule!
Join the Compassion Blogger Network 
I wanted to post tonight something that I think is super important~ September is Blog Month for Compassion International, and they are trying to set a record for number of children sponsored in September by using bloggers to get the word out. I know that I have talked about Compassion before, and I cannot say enough how much I love what they do!!

Our family has sponsored a little boy named Nthiani in Kenya for the last six years. We made the decision to sponsor when Remy was first born- we loved the idea of Remy growing up with a 'brother'. Nthiani is truly a part of our family, and we cherish each photo and letter that he sends. Remy and Halle both love praying for him and his family, and they love making pictures and sending notes and stickers. It is such a privilege to be a part of his life and to work with Compassion to share Jesus in this way!

So I'm going to ask a favor of you today~ Would you go to the 'Sponsor a Child' page on Compassion's site today? Would you pray for the child featured there? Pray that they would be sponsored... that they would meet Jesus in a real way... that they would have their physical and spiritual needs met in a profound way today? Perhaps even pray that God would lead you to a child to sponsor?

You can see from the link what a difference $38 per month can make in the life of a child. And I guarantee that it will make a difference in your life too.