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Month: December 2015

Thanks for coming by!

Thanks for coming by!

Thankyou

I just want to say a big thank you to those of you who have stopped by Creating Kilter this year. Most of you know this blog was sort of reborn in March and I have been slowly figuring out where we will go with it. I am so thankful for those of you who have been coming by and checking up on what’s new here.

Since March we have had 1,480 visits from 32 different countries. My most viewed posts were The Chocolate Lover’s Gift Basket, Printables Collection, and When You’re So Tired It’s Funny .

My favorite posts were How Does She Do It, Do Him Good, and A Clean Crib.

What were some of your favorite posts? Thanks for being a part of this blog this year. In the next year I pray I can bring forward posts that will be encouraging, helpful and motivating! I hope to see you around here in 2016!

Should I Make New Year’s Resolutions?

Should I Make New Year’s Resolutions?

2016Blog

I can only remember a handful of times that I have ever made a New Years Resolution. And even at that, they weren’t truly resolutions. I used to start every January with no chocolate and see how far I could make it without chocolate. Each year I would increase my goal. I think the last time I did that I made it to 17 weeks without chocolate.

But what is the point in a New Year’s Resolution? Should we all be making them? Should we even bother with them?

I am always interested in ways I can do things better. I am constantly setting goals for myself in all areas. But starting something different, setting goals and plans to accomplish those goals at the start of the year has some definite advantages.

In a sense we are starting out fresh. This does not mean the mistakes of the previous year are somehow vanished but it does mean we are given a new year to make new choices.

So how should I go about making my resolutions? Psalm 139:23-24 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be some wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

That verse tells me that not only will God reveal to us what we need to change in the next year but also how to change it. We just have to ask Him to help us see that.

Following the order stated in Psalm 139 I suggest you pray for a while before making any resolutions. Ask God to reveal to you what is the most important thing for you to work on this coming year. Maybe it is more than one thing. God will let you know.

Next ask God to show you how to accomplish your goal and keep your resolution. Most people give up on their resolutions within the first week of making them. Why? Because it’s hard to make a change in behavior and we NEED God to help us. We can’t do this alone.

Write it down. Put your resolution somewhere you will see it often. And even better, put a Bible verse next to it to help you remember why you are doing it. I created this list to help me write down my goals. You can use it, too. Write down goals and add a Bible verse to help you follow through with them. {2016 Goals  <<<Free Printable}

Comment with some helpful ways you make and keep goals. Then next week let’s all link up here with some goals for the New Year!

 

When Should I Speak?

When Should I Speak?

sunlightverse

 

“And when they [shepherds] had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”

1 Event.

2 Different People.

1 Message.

2 Different Responses.

What determined how they responded? Who was in the right? Should Mary have also been proclaiming Christ’s birth? Should the shepherds have just gone back to the fields and enjoyed this special blessing quietly?

How do I know when to proclaim and when to hold my peace?

Why did the shepherds proclaim? They were excited! After learning such wonderful news of the long awaited Savior they just could not hold it in. They were changed men and needed to tell people about it!

Why did Mary hold her peace? Was she overwhelmed at the thought of raising God’s Son? Was she just enjoying the moment? Instead of posting it on Facebook and Instagram she was just enjoying her new Son.

Why did they respond differently?

God spoke to them differently.

God used them differently.

When God says to speak, SPEAK! But when God says, “Peace be still.” You had better be still! God’s plan is not the same for everyone.

If God wants me to speak I cannot base my obedience or disobedience on whether or not someone else is speaking. If God says to hold my peace I cannot go against that just because someone else is out there spreading the words that I want to be speaking!

God speaks to us differently.

God uses us differently.

So, how do I know if I am to speak or hold my peace?

Be close to God. Be listening for His voice and His direction. His answer will not be the same every time so everyday we must be listening for His voice.

Forgotten Cookies

Forgotten Cookies

If your home is anything like mine right now it smells amazing! I bet you all have started your holiday baking and can hardly keep your hands out of the cookie jar. I actually don’t have a cookie jar. But I do have a cookie bin. I think it might hold more cookies than an average cookie jar. That’s a good thing.

forgotten cookie title

One Christmas cookie that I ALWAYS remember having is the Forgotten Cookie.
As long as I can remember my mom made them for us every Christmas.recipe box I made them for Shane our first Christmas together and now they are his absolute favorite Christmas cookie.

These are a delicate meringue that will melt in your mouth. But before you can enjoy the deliciousness you need to follow these careful instructions.

You must beat the egg whites STIFF. peaks farLike, super stiff. Here, let me show you a
picture of my egg whites in all their stiff peakness.                                                                                      —->>>

 

Can I get a close up?

peaks close up

Yes, that is better. When you lift the beaters out of the egg whites you should be able to make peaks that stay put. If you don’t then you better get back to beating or you are in for a major disappointment. Seriously.

Ok, our eggs are beat stiff. We FOLD in our vanilla, sugar, and chocolate chips. Did you read that correctly? Fold them in. Please don’t stir them in or you will ruin my wonderful cookies.

Now, drop them by the tablespoon full onto a baking sheet DSCF7717covered with parchment paper. DO NOT GREASE your pan instead of the parchment paper. I threw away a double batch yesterday because I thought I could just grease the pan. So. Sad.

Now, at this point your oven is already preheated to 350 degrees. Put your cookies in the oven. Now don’t miss this last step as it is the most important: TURN OFF THE OVEN. Then forget about them. Get it, forgotten cookies. Leave them until the oven is completely cooled. DSCF7729My mom used to always make them before bed then just pull them out in the morning.

 

Now, enjoy your new favorite Christmas Cookie! Print the recipe Forgotten Cookies.

cookies

What are some of your favorite Christmas cookies? Have you ever made my forgotten cookies? Share some Christmas memories with me!

The All in One Popsicle

The All in One Popsicle

A couple weeks ago I talked about teething popsicles for my toddler (who is actually toddling around now, by the way). And then last week I mentioned my new love for Greek yogurt. Between those two things you can probably guess where I am going with this post…

Did you know Greek yogurt has protein it? Well, now you do. That is part of what makes my new popsicles so amazing. They have protein from Greek yogurt and peanut butter (or soy butter if you have a peanut freepopsicles2 home like mine). They have dairy from the milk and the Greek yogurt. They have fruit (and sweetness) from the bananas. And they have completeness from the cocoa powder. So, taking a step back and looking these things over they have three out of four of the food groups! Amazing.

Not only do they taste yummy but they seriously fill me up! They are as filling as eating a sandwich. They work for breakfast, lunch, post workout, etc. These popsicles are something you need to try!

To make my delicious popsicles you need:

  • Popsicle Mold (if you don’t have one, get one! They are worth the investment!)
  • Blender
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (you can use vanilla if you want more sweetness)
  • 1/4 cup milk (add more if you want a thinner consistency)
  • 2 1/2 TBSP soybutter (or peanut butter) and cocoa powder
  • 1 over ripe banana

 

Just combine all the ingredients until smooth. Pour it in the molds and wait not so patiently for them to freeze. popsicle titleThis recipe is something you can change to your liking so experiment a little and find the perfect recipe for you! Let me know what you think or what changes make these even better!

 

Everyday Beauty

Everyday Beauty

new everyday beauty

When I saw that Young Housewife was hosting a link up I was excited to be part of it. Her topic: Everyday Beauty. While there are extraordinary things that I get to enjoy the beauty of (Northern Lights, 24 hour daylight, etc) there are many many more everyday things that I love and that have beauty to me.

I see beauty in the fact that my DSCF7598husband purposely left my favorite snack on a shelf that is low enough for me reach. I didn’t have to reenact a scene from Kung Fu Panda to get it down.

 

 

I see beauty in creating things. In having time to create things. DSCF7600I see beauty in providing for my family in this way.

 

 

 

 

I see beauty in sisterhood. I have 4 sisters and they are my best friends. We live worlds apart and yet are still best friends.

sistersWe share memories and bonds that no one else can be a part of. And now I see beauty in raising two little girls who will be best friends for life. I see beauty in teaching them the beauty of sisterhood.

 

I see beauty in a simple childhood. Enjoying the little things like watching cars go by and baking cookies. I love when my kids get excited to see the moon in the night and sun in the morning. They are surrounded by snow 9 months out of the year yet they still get excited to see that it is snowing.

DSCF7302When it is time to read they all pile on my lap to hear the story and see the pictures. They like building forts and playing house. I find a simple childhood to be beautiful.

 

 

I could go on and on but I will end there. Be sure to visit the Young Housewife to share your list of Everyday Beauties. Comment below with some for me, too!

See It For Yourself

See It For Yourself

It is a dark, calm night. The only light comes from the stars and the only sounds are the bleating of the sheep and the gentle ripples from the brook. It is probably a very typical night for the shepherds in that field.

And suddenly, something not so typical happens. We all know the story. Angels appear before them and they are given a wonderful message. The Saviour they had been waiting for was born not far away in Bethlehem.

What they did with this information is what challenges me. mountains post photoThey left their flocks and went to see it for themselves. Just knowing about Christ was not good enough for them. They went to see Him for themselves.

Let me challenge you now. Just knowing about salvation is not good enough.Do something with that information- see it for yourself. Accept Christ as your personal Saviour. Just knowing about happiness and contentment is not enough. We need to find (in the Bible) how to have it in our own lives and then have it. Just knowing about forgiveness is not enough. We need to see it for ourselves, in our own lives. We need to forgive.

When we learn a biblical truth, just knowing it is not enough. We need to apply it and act on it…with haste.

Eating Clean: what I learned after one week

Eating Clean: what I learned after one week

I am currently following Diary of a Fit Mommy’s  25 Days of Fitmas with my sisters, Emily and Becky. Along with the workouts she has put together, Sia recommends eating clean for the duration of the challenge for best results.

I have to admit, I was a little scared of the idea of “eating clean.”
I am SO AGAINST dieting that I never really even looked into what clean eating is. I am not about to go after a diet fad.orange-5 But, I wanted to follow the Fitmas Challenge so I started looking into what eating clean is all about. And I am here to share my new knowledge!

  1. Eating clean IS NOT A DIET. So just pop that thought bubble and we can move on.
  2. Eating clean is essentially eating foods with very few ingredients. The smaller the ingredient list, the better! If you look at the list of ingredients in something and see more than 5 things it is probably not the best thing for you. This is not a rule that works for everything, but it helps as a guideline. Another thing to look for is if you can pronounce the ingredients. If there are crazy words in there you can’t even begin to pronounce I suggest moving right along.
  3. Eating clean is not about eating only steamed carrots and green beans all day. The first few days of eating clean were so boring because I felt like all I could eat was plain fruits and veggies. But remember, a healthy diet is a balanced diet. And a balanced diet includes food from all the food groups: meat, fruits and vegetables, dairy, and grain.big-red-apple I started adding some tasty foods to my menu: hard boiled eggs, 1 slice of gluten free toast, cheese string, yogurt (not the sugary kind!), soy butter, etc.
  4. Eating clean is not about counting calories. Not all calories are created equal. Just focus on food as pure as possible and you’ve got it.
  5. Eating clean is not about restricting tasty foods. I LOVE sour cream. I love it in anything spicy…tacos, burritos, enchiladas, chili, etc. The other day I was frantically searching the web for whether or not sour cream was considered a clean food. Most everyone said to look at the ingredients (see #2) and decide for myself. I decided that it depends on the brand BUT found that there was an awesome alternative: plain Greek yogurt. It tastes the same as sour cream but has a ton of protein and is actually good for me. So, I could have sour cream that is not the worst thing for me or I could have Greek yogurt that tastes the same and costs the same but is GOOD FOR ME.

And while we are talking about replacing our not so great foods for amazing alternatives, I HAVE to share my newest discovery for Greek yogurt!12347857_10153779477918970_3009769505196080118_n

This is especially exciting for two reasons: 1) who doesn’t LOVE ranch dressing??? 2) my oldest, William, is allergic to eggs and misses ranch dressing so much! Now, using Greek yogurt, he can enjoy it’s yumminess again.

Egg Free Ranch Dressing

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp dill weed or seed 

1/4 tsp garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Add more or less of any seasoning to get the perfect flavor for you!

Who do you run to?

Who do you run to?

Mary had just been visited by the angel Gabriel. She was given the most wonderful and the most terriwith hastefying news of her life: she was going to carry the Son of God.

Can you imagine how she might have been feeling after the angel left? Probably overwhelmed, frightened, worried and excited.

And what did she do with these emotions? Post it on Facebook, of course. She poured her heart out to those on her friends list and waited for likes and comments of sympathy. Okay, maybe she didn’t have Facebook or internet or anything of the sort. But I don’t think that would have been her first response even if she did have all those things.

Mary went to Elisabeth with haste. Her first response was to go to Elisabeth and pour out her heart there. Why? Why Elisabeth?

  1. Elisabeth wasn’t jealous. Elisabeth was also pregnant at the time. She did not mope around about not being chosen to carry God’s Son. She called Mary and the baby she was carrying blessed. She was genuinely happy for her dear friend.
  2. Elisabeth was humble. She asked why the mother of her Lord would come to her. She was lowering herself. She found herself unworthy to be the one Mary would come to.
  3. Elisabeth recognized Mary’s faithful heart. “Blessed is she that believed…”
  4. Elisabeth was encouraging. Mary was fearful, remember? Mary was full of all sorts of emotions and going to the right person would make all the difference. What if Elisabeth had brought out all the bad in the situation. “What will people think?” “Joseph won’t marry you now.” “You will be looked down on for the rest of your life.” But she didn’t. She said, “There shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.”

Who do you run to when your heart is troubled? Psalm 1 says, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly.” Make sure you are going to someone who will give you godly advice and encourage you to do the right thing.

 

 

Preschool Angel Craft

Preschool Angel Craft

You might remember last week I told you about my Christmas Countdown. We have been having a lot of fun with it so far! Today, day 3, we made Christmas Angels using basic shapes and materials. I did this intentionally to use it as a double learning time. Not only are we learning how to use glue and following instructions, we are also reviewing our shapes.

angel

 

We glued these onto a paper bag but you could use whatever you want: construction paper, toilet paper roll, etc. First lay the heart down (angel’s wings), then the triangle (angel’s body), then the circle (angel’s head). The kids can draw on the face, hair, halo and whatever else they want on it. We added a lot of snowflake stickers.

angel complete

It works well as a tree topper, too.

angel on tree

 

angel main photo