Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Guidecraft Country Kitchen complimented with a Giveaway

I’m jealous of my daughter’s kitchen. 


She has gas burners. 


I used to.  But we moved.  No gas burners.  I’ll live.

But I still miss my old gas burners.

Her oven is also cleaner than mine . . .


And the rack even pulls out.  

Her kitchen resembles something out of Pottery Barn . . . it must be the bead board.


It even sounds like a gas oven . . . minus the real gas unless my sons are around. 


So, I’m thinking that once the boys and Naomi are too old to play with this kitchen, I’m going to be able to store it in our basement until the grandkids come along, should the Lord tarry.

The Guidecraft Country Kitchen has hinges . . .

Guidecraft 014

And a secret (not really) key to turn your kitchen into a Transformer . . . only 6 inches thick. 

Guidecraft 016 

It has the IKEA advantage of saving space.  (Not my house . . . I think Jolanthe’s but I pulled this picture from the Guidecraft website.)


This solid wood kitchen is like a bomb shelter.  It is solid.  Seriously solid. 

It was built to last.  (The price reflects it at a whooping $200 over at Guidecraft or  $188 plus free shipping on Amazon.) 

Guidecraft 003

However . . . this would be the kitchen  I personally would ask for next time (not that I am going to ask for one or need to ask for one now). 

I purchased a significantly cheaper wood play kitchen . . . and three years later much of the parts are missing. 

Our old kitchen is actually somewhat hazardous, to be honest.

That’s why I jumped at the chance to review the Guidecraft Country Kitchen . . . I knew that Miss Naomi was going to need one.  And basically anything Guidecraft . . . is solid. 


It’s compact.  Sturdy.  Wide enough to cook multiple dishes (which is a the habit of our real kitchen stove.) Cute.  And it comes in one other color

To celebrate Naomi’s launch into being trained up in righteousness (thanks to Guidecraft), Little Light Creative, who is also a homemaker in training, is offering one of my readers a custom print or a preprinted illustration.  Your choice! 

Guidecraft 012

I specifically wanted something something unique to Naomi . . .

Guidecraft 002

Naomi Torah . . . who means pleasant word . . .

Guidecraft 010

And Hannah, the woman behind Little Light Creative, knew how to give me what God had put on my heart. 

image(That’s Hannah . . . I actually know her!)

How does Hannah create?

I specialize in graphic design and will do custom work on my shop as well as freelance work. As of right now, I am not offering custom illustrations with the exception of the silhouettes. Most everything I do starts with a pencil, paper, and God's gracious gift of creativity! From paper I move into Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, where I digitalize my ideas. I love print work and am so very blessed to print on a high quality Epson printer.


But why does she create . . . this I love!

I have so many scripture design ideas, so God's Word definitely inspires me. The Proverbs 31 woman is such a beautiful example of biblical womanhood, her example is what inspired me to start a shop.

I’m hoping that Hannah creates a design with the Shema on it . . . hint, hint Hannah!

Want to win an amazing

11x14 print for your home (free shipping)?


Mandatory:  visit Little Light Creative and tell me what your favorite print is.

  • Become a follower on Hannah’s blog, Immer Wachsen
  • Follow @ImmerWachsen on Twitter.
  • Retweet this giveaway: 
  • subscribe to my feedburner and receive my blog posts in your inbox
  • become a fan of my blog
  • tell me what is the Shema?
  • Like Guidecraft on Facebook.
  • Follow Guidecraft on Twitter.

Remember, only #1 is mandatory. The rest of the entries are optional (bonus), but you MUST comment separately for each one.

Whatever you do . . . please spread the word about this giveaway.  I want to bless Hannah’s socks off!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Fine Print: I will email you when you have won. You must respond within 48 hours.

Contest ends April 13, 2011 at Midnight (not that I will be awake)

Word Wednesday: A Clear View of the Missing Teeth

We have several teeth missing in our household (dog included).


Here . . . allow me to draw you closer to the monumental action . . . really quite an amazing process.


Since were were . . . forced to know.  (Thanks impacted tooth.)


Moral of the story:  put your child in a cage so they can’t get hurt.  Well . . . then again, a boy could find some way to get hurt if put in a cage. 

So, moral of the story:  pray for the Lord’s protection over your children.

Precious boy. 


He has no idea what a big deal it is to loose your first tooth.  Have I mentioned how big his tooth was?  No wonder it didn’t come down on its own.

However . . . it was a pretty hard fall.

Moving on to other lost teeth . . .


And people who want to loose teeth . . .


Lastly, people who are growing teeth . . .


However . . . I will not open my puppy’s alligator-like mandible to take a picture of her teeth for you.

I am kind of hoping that all her teeth fall out at once. 

Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes 4 Mom


Wow . . . I was absolutely blown away . . . and blessed . . . and honored . . . and humbled by all the entries for the Guidecraft Wooden Farm Animals set

I know you visited my blog to win something . . . but still. 

436 entries

I felt like The Pioneer Woman.  Except I’m not.  I don’t know that I would ever be able to give away a Nikon Camera, rather multiple Nikon cameras. 

Unless the Lord should decide that I become a professional blogger.  But then I’d have to give up my day and night job = a mom. 

  • According to . . . the winner is comment #195, Precious Treasures Homeschool!  Congrats!

Next winner is of the Pick and Draw game by Rich Davis . . .

  • Out of 51 comments, comment #13 is the winner is my sweet IRL friend, Wildflower Wendy!  (Lord willing it will show up at AWANA tonight!)
  • And the blessed lady of the Evan Moor 6th Grade Daily Writing workbook . . . coming in at a whopping 34 comments is comment #9 . . . MamaHowie! 

Don’t forget about the Palm Shortening Giveaway and the Resurrection Stick Figure Bible Curriculum Giveaway

Plus I have three more really sweet giveaways . . . that I am super excited about.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Seeing The Gifts In Front of My Face

This journal.063

It has glass glued on the front cover, much to the dismay of my inquisitive son who attempts to explain everything. 

I’ve had it since the Hottie came back from India

(By the way, I think I’m going to change his name, from Hottie to something you all could actually call him while sitting around the family dinner table – not that you talk about us during your meals. 

At least, I hope not.

Because I highly doubt your husband or boyfriend would be happy if you said, “Hottie is biking across the country on his blog.  You should join him.”  That wouldn’t go over well – you calling another man, “Hottie.”

Not appropriate. 

At least I won’t have to let the Social Security Administration know that. . . I’m changing Hottie’s name.

I’m thinking – the Cyclist or something bike related.  His guy friends could probably come up with a better name . . . but none of them read my blog.)

Anyhoodle . . . the journal.


I’ve saved it.  Saved it for something special.  Meaningful.  Something that will impact my children, impart wisdom to them should I go to slumber in my Father’s arms before the trumpet blast .  . .

But is has come time to use it.  I’ve found just the thing to fill it’s pages with. 

I’ll let you in on a family secret.  I can be a grouch.  A baboon is what we call it in our house.

In fact, recently it was flippantly remarked that I can be well . . . negative.

So, instead of wishing to be something different.  I’ll do something different.  I’ll practice gratitude, along with Ann Voskcamp who wrote, 1000 Gifts:  A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You  Are, the book the Cyclist and I are reading for our nightly devotions together.

Because we aren’t going anywhere. 

God has called us to the land of “horizontal beauty,” as my pastor would say.    And it’s time to be content with that. 

If being thankful changed one woman’s life . . . why not mine?  Motherhood doesn’t have to be dreary.  Whole foods cooking doesn't have to be overwhelming.   Laborious.  I don’t have to be surrounded by laughter but never able to penetrate the barrier to join in. 


This morning these words were printed into my handcrafted journal . . . may they provide a legacy of gratitude, to be passed down from one generation to the next. 

  1. getting to sleep through the night, solid, uninterrupted . . .
  2. hearing Naomi swallow as she nurses and tightly grips my hand as if to squeeze more milk out011
  3. a flowing, turquoise pen that reminds me of the ones at my grandma’s house, except hers were ALWAYS red or black
  4. Dutch-pressed unsweetened cocoa instead of generic cocoa in my espresso
  5. the crinkle of a down comforter
  6. Veggietales Worship music blaring down the hall as I remain swaddled by the pages of my Bible in mysterious lamplight
  7. a sassy haircut 083
  8. the Cyclist taking out the trash, despite the need to hop on his chosen mode of transportation this morning:  the bicycle
  9. glorious sunshine that is like a natural opiate to my brain
  10. effective nursing pads (‘nough said)
  11. airplanes flirting through the sky on their way to a surprise location . . . reminds me of summer days
  12. a used house . . . used – not clean – used
  13. the return of my camera, Willow
  14. a friend who loaned me her amazing camera and with whom I get to hang out with tonight . . . and tomorrow night
  15. surprise gifts from Sarah and Maureen 
  16. my mom’s endless supply of international teas that come with a story
  17. daffodils


Friday, March 25, 2011

Chocolate Carrot Cake and a Palm Shortening Giveaway

Half birthdays are a big deal around here. 

My mom celebrated mine.  And I have passed the tradition on, with a little help from my mommy still. 


Half a birthday card, half a dollar (in coins), half an envelope, half a piece of cake . . . you get it. 

But since becoming granola . . . one that that I have missed is icing to top off all of the celebratory food. 

Christmas Vacation 038

Real icing.  Thick.  Rich.  Smooth.  Creamy.

Enter:  Tropical Traditions Palm Shortening.

Exit:  Crisco

Equals:  a happy Jodi . . . and cinnamon rolls with icing . . . .  and birthday cakes with loads of icing . . . and a few non-granola sprinkles. 


Anyone got a substitute for that?

But I digress . . . half-birthdays . . .

You see . . . Ezra’s 1/2 birthday kind of slipped by us this year . . . so we had a pretend 1/2 birthday celebration last week complete with cake, a special lunch, 1/2 of a present, and seeing slightly over 1/2 of his grandparents. 

To top all the fun off . . . he wanted . . .

Chocolate Carrot Cake

(I didn’t know it existed.  But it does.)


  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
  • 3/4 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 cup Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly ground sprouted whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


It is possible to have siblings help you create this moist and dense cake.  Just be in a patient mood.

I mean . . . have a lot of patience -- especially if you put a child in charge of grating the carrots. 

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine carrots, honey and coconut oil.
  2. Pour water over the mixture.
  3. Set aside, preferably out of reach of your dog’s long tongue or a hungry husband walking through the room who knows where the spatulas reside.
  4. In another bowl, combine flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Add to the carrot mixture; mix well.
  6. Pour batter into a lightly oiled 8" glass or stone square pan.
  7. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes.

Now for the frosting . . .


Here is where I might disappoint you . . . I don’t have a recipe.  I just create.  Like an artist – a kitchen artist (doesn’t that sound glorious?!)

Don’t shoot me all of you who like to cool EXACTLY. 


  • 1/2 cup – 1 cup palm shortening
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup cocoa (I use Dutch-pressed from Frontier)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla


This is easy . . . mix it to the taste and consistency you like. 


Want to win some

Tropical Traditions Palm Shortening? 

It is a must in my kitchen! (I wonder if I can use it on the GAPS diet?)

Please, please, please . . .do not put more than one entry per comment. I will be using to pick the winners.

Make sure you are logged in to Disqus or leave your email address in your comment.

All options are worth 1 entry.

(Mandatory) Click on the link and subscribe to the Tropical Traditions Newsletter.

  1. Become one of my fans through Google Connect if you aren't already!
  2. Buy something from Tropical Traditions. When they ask you how you heard about Tropical Traditions, list my sponsor id (5498794). I won't make any money off of this . . . but I will get a coupon for other Tropical Traditions products.) 
  3. Tweet or blog about the giveaway and then come back and leave me the link.
  4. “Like” Granola Mom 4 God on Facebook.

Remember, only #1 is mandatory. The rest of the entries are optional, but you MUST comment separately for each one.

The Fine Print: I will email you when you have won. You must respond within 48 hours.

Contest ends March 31, 2011 at Midnight

Author's Note: I was given this product to review from Tropical Traditions, and I do not have to return the product to the vendor. I was not paid for this post. All opinions expressed in this post are mine unless otherwise noted.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Simple Woman’s Daybook



Outside my window... the flowers are silently yelling at the atmosphere for the harsh conditions they are being exposed to.  (I contributed to the clamoring. . . but didn’t protest silently.) 

It’s just not right to have snow resting on the slide where less than 24 hours ago little boys ran tractors down the blue plastic.

I am thinking... my regular subscribers must wonder what is up with the flurry of giveaways going on and my deviation from my normal broadcasting. 

I’m wondering.  Not.  Well . . . a little.  Many of you have faithfully been with me for such a long time.

Kind of a long time. 

Is 3 years long in the blogging world?

It’s all part of my plan.

Oh, did anyone remember that I have yet to answer the question I posed for my “So Dialogues?”

The answer is coming.

I am thankful for...  homemade chicken broth and little boys who pretended that today was my 1/2 birthday. 

Does that say something that they decided to celebrate my pretend 1/2 birthday instead of my pretend real birthday?

1/2 birthdays must be more important.

From the learning rooms...  a success.  Our kitchen table is working well.  We took a trip to Earth today.  It was a pretty short ride.  We tolerated Mercury until night time and Venus was simply too hot! 

From the kitchen...  I am creating a new flavor of water kefir soda . . . blueberry!

I am creating... sprouts for the garden. A legacy for my children.  Memories with my husband. 

I am going... to go the the home school conference next week.  Surprise for me.  I had planned on going to the Indy one.  But we’ve ditched that plan. 

And I need to go grocery shopping.  We are having company coming and I failed to plan ahead.

I also have a date with Ruth to puppy kindergarten again.  Don’t tell Ruth’s teacher that Ezra was eye level with her.  He might get mad.


I am reading… the NLT Bible at night chronologically and the GAPS book that I picked up at the library yesterday. 

I really want to join in with the Spring Into Reading blog posts . . .


I am hoping... to make Emily’s sling this weekend . . . and plant more seeds in the greenhouse.

I am hearing... the dishwasher, two monitors, and my dog giving herself a bath.

Around the house...  people are sleeping.

One of my favorite things... silence.  And knowing I didn’t eat too much.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . maybe do art with the boys tomorrow, take a trip to Whole Foods, and have a date with the Hottie.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing... chocolate carrot cake . . . for Ezra’s 1/2 birthday . . . and also part of the next giveaway.


Draw In Your Bible: A Giveaway and My Story

I clearly remember the moment.

It was an incident in my childhood that for some random reason has been placed in the religious or vacation manila folder of my cranium's filing system.

In my search for finding some the motel stationery (which I still confiscate whenever I stay in a hotel) on a family vacation somewhere near Four Corners, I carelessly dropped the Gideon Bible on the floor.


I thought lightening might strike me at that moment. 

It didn’t. 


Through grade school and middle school I had a friend named, Zoe.  She was agnostic, if not an atheist.  So, I followed suit.  But I never told my mom that.

I knew it would hurt her feelings.  (Sorry Mom, but I think you know the ending to this story!)



My next memory of the Bible is a child’s Bible that sat on my closet shelf for years collecting dust quite effectively.  My memory may have changed the facts, but as I recall it was printed on paper similar to construction paper.  There were four or five sections, each one a different color. 


At the beginning of my junior year in high school, I closed my closet door, and using a shovel I unearthed it from that dusty shelf.  I sat on a child’s yellow chair . . . that my children now sit on, and read this Bible in secret with a flashlight.

I’m not sure why.  My parents wouldn’t have gotten mad at me. 

Maybe I was embarrassed. 

Embarrassed that somehow my peers would find out that I had no clue what Biblical allusion was . . . that when an author referred to a story from the Bible, I simply didn’t get it.

And for this future English major, current teen who loved to write . . . my ineptitude wouldn’t – couldn’t be tolerated.


Then, I met the Hottie. 

Have I every told you our story?  Remind me to sometime if I haven’t shared.

He had a sister. 

A frilly--Jesus-lovin’ --I’m so excited to share--and I want you to know about my Lord--sister

You see, she had gotten “saved” during her freshman year of college at Indiana University through Campus Crusade for Christ. 

She works for them now.

Fortunately, I’m glad I had no choice but to listen to her.  I wanted to go to college at Purdue . . . but the Hottie encouraged me just to “try” IU out . . . a free weekend with his Jesus lovin’ sister was ideal for this young man who wanted me to believe in the same Savior as him . . .

Shortly after my now SIL got saved, the Hottie had come to realize that God wasn’t just a far away figure . . . He wasn’t a genie in The Book . . . God wasn’t distant . . . He wasn’t just a ritual . . . God was real . . . He desperately wanted a relationship with me, and the Hottie understood that. 

So, I was stuck with the Hottie’s sister for a weekend (of which I am thankful for now).

Two days after my return . . . my mom took me to buy this:


At first, it intimidated me. 

The pages were white.  They had a lot of words on them.  And I didn’t want to disturb the Bible smell (ink) that I have come to love.  


I got over that. 

A Bible needs to be used.


Loved.  Even if it is by your dog. 






It is my hope and prayer that my kids will have Bibles even more colorful than mine.

For this reason, we have been Stick Figuring our way through the Bible.


I don’t want them to think that God will smite them should they drop the Word of God on the floor. 

Accidents happen. 


But let me tell you about our set up.  Don’t do it like me

Get the teacher’s manual and the student workbook.  It’s much easier


Not as time consuming. 

I’ve always wanted an excuse to buy these really cool black blank books at Barnes and Nobles. 

I also thought, I would save money.  Nope.  The student manual would have been easier.  Cheaper.


Anyhow, I have to write each lesson twice . . . . once in Asher’s little black book . . . once in Ezra’s little black book. 

Not good when you have elementary children waiting for you . . . wanting to get started after already waiting for you to make your morning latte.

And the little black blank notebooks aren’t forgiving.  They don’t give much room for human error.


I skipped some pages . . . and being slightly prone towards perfectionism, I bound the blank pages with a shamrock sticker.  Total waste of paper, though.

So . . . don’t be me.  Don’t be the cheap mom. Buy the student book . . . ebook or bound. 

This is my set-up:  coffee(optional), Bible (which you can’t see), paper sized dry-erase board, dry erase markers, Teacher’s manual.


We read the scripture for the day and then I walk them through the steps of drawing their stick figures.


While we draw . . . we’ve had some great conversations.  And it gives me time to share how God may have used that particular scripture in my life. 

Sweet moments.  Simple moments.  Just the Word of God.  Nothing fancy. 

You can read my full review here.  And my previous giveaway from this company here


And now, I’d like to offer you an opportunity to win the Grapevine Studies, The Resurrection Teacher Manual and Student book . . .


Please list each entry separately!!!!

(Mandatory)  Read my original review (click on the link . . . also the only time I have uploaded a personal video!) of Grapevine Studies and tell me what you learned.

  1. Become one of my fans through Google Connect.
  2. Tweet about this giveaway using the following :   @GranolaMom4God is hosting a Draw in your Bible Giveaway @GrapevineStudies
  3. Would you like the e-book or a paper manual? And what level?  Click this link to see your choices.
  4. Put my button on your blog.
  5. Like Grapevine on Facebook.
  6. Follow Grapevine on Twitter.
  7. Follow me on Twitter.
  8. Subscribe to my blog (I have a few other kid-related giveaways coming up).
  9. If you are going to the Midwest Homeschooling Conference next week where you can meet the creator of Grapevine Studies, give yourself an entry.
  10. Try a Sample study over at Grapevine Studies.

Remember, only #1 is mandatory. The rest of the entries are optional (bonus), but you MUST comment separately for each one.

The Fine Print: I will email you when you have won. You must respond within 48 hours.

Contest ends March 31, 2011 at Midnight (not that I will be awake)