Fresh New Workout

Did anyone try that popsicle stick workout I wrote about a couple months ago? If so, here’s a new way to use it! Grab six sticks (or choose six different exercises) and put them in groups of two. I usually like to have one high intensity and one low intensity exercise in one group. Each group makes up one round. You want three rounds.

Here is an example of the workout I did yesterday:

Round 1: 10 calf raises, 10 tricep dips

Round 2: 10 plank jacks, 10 burpees

Round 3: 10 one leg bridges, 10 plank/tricep kickbacks

Do Round 1 three times. Rest one minute. Do Round 2 three times. Rest one minute. Do Round 2 three times. Stretch it out, you’re done!

rounds workouts

Homemade Lollipops

I could feel his pain. I had been there. Not literally, but on more than one occasion I can remember feeling his sadness, his pain. There he stood, with his face in his hands. Warm tears were escaping his grasp and rolling down his fingers. His hard cry just about broke my heart. I stopped everything and just held him. Sometimes you just have to cry. And there, as William stood over his broken lollipop that he had been so proud of just moments before, he needed to just cry.

As we cleaned up the broken lollipop (which was a giant swirly one, I might add) we talked about it and how we can make him feel better. He looked at me and said, “I know, Mom. We can just find a recipe and make a new one.” I felt so proud of him in that moment. I love making things and I love that his first thought was to make one instead of buy one. We browsed several recipes and techniques and sort of combined some ideas. The original recipe we found here. I am a big fan of these for a couple reasons:

1. They are easy. Seriously…easy. From start to finish they took about a half hour and that is WITH the help of two kids.

2. Speaking of my two kids, I loved this recipe because they could help make it. They did some pouring, some mixing, some laying (the sticks in place). There are a lot of things the kids can do in this recipe to really feel like they made it.

3. All the ingredients were already in my cupboard. We found a lot of great recipes we can’t wait to try. But we can’t try them until we get to the store to get some more ingredients. I love when we can do things spontaneously with whatever we have in the cupboards. Okay, I won’t put it off any longer (I hate when people do that). Here is the recipe for:



3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/4 cup butter

1 (3 oz) box of Jell-O, any flavor 

Lollipop Sticks (we used straws because that’s what I had on hand!)


Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. 

Combine sugar, corn syrup and butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly. Bring to a boil. Boil for 7 minutes. Add Jell-O. Stir until smooth.

Spoon the candy mixture into small piles on the parchment paper. Lay the straw on the candy as you pour it. It cools quickly. If it cools before you finish just put it back on the stove for a few minutes to soften it. Let cool (about 5 minutes). Enjoy!

An Overflowing Gladness


It’s good to be reminded of truths every now and then. That’s just one of the reasons why I take notes during preaching. I like to go through my notes during my devotions sometimes and be reminded of what the Lord has already taught me. Yesterday I came across this definition for joy that Pastor Gardner shared down in Leola:

An overflowing gladness that only God can give. This is not an emotion. It is focusing on facts even when we don’t feel it.”

Christian, you may not feel like having joy this morning. But I challenge you to, like David, ask the Lord to restore unto you the joy of your salvation (Psalm 51:12). Choose today to have joy based not on circumstances or emotion but rather on God and all He has done for you.

Road Trip Games {for toddlers}

road trips

In the last week I have spent about 36 hours in the truck with the kids. About 5 minutes into the trip we heard the famous line, “Are we there yet?” Knowing the long trip ahead of us I felt a little nervous about how the kids were going to do. We were driving on roads that literally went hours between any towns or even signs of life. No restrooms, gas stations, coffee shops, etc for HOURS between stops. And lucky me, I have a kid who gets motion sick so no books, leap pads, games, etc. Shane and I had to get creative with how to keep the kids happy (or let’s be honest, QUIET!)

  1. Name That Tune– Just hum a tune and see if the kids can guess what song you are humming. Let them take a turn humming, too. A couple times I couldn’t guess William’s. His answer would be something like, “It was supposed to be that song from that movie but I couldn’t remember it so I made up my own.”
  2. I Am Thinking of a Number Between…– Exactly how the title sounds. I would say I am thinking of a number between 1-5. I slowly worked my way up to a number between 1-15 and he did really well with it. He got a turn to think of a number, too. This one is his favorite I think.
  3. What Color Am I Thinking Of– This game is the same as the number game. One person thinks of a color and the other tries to guess what it is.
  4. Alphabet Game- This game is a little trickier and it requires the child to be able to recognize alphabet letters. It is pretty much the same as the traditional alphabet game that everyone played as a kid. The only difference is we all work together as a team to find the letters on the signs outside.
  5. Number Game– Pretty much played the same way you play the alphabet game. Just start with #1 and work your way up finding the numbers on signs outside of the car.
  6. I Spy– I think everyone knows how to play I Spy and it’s as good as it was when we were kids.
  7. Storytelling- I LOVED hearing the kids tell each other stories. The way they used their hands and changed their voices had Shane and I both laughing out loud. A really fun way to do this is we each get a turn to tell one sentence of a story. Our stories were so random and hilarious. One story had a little boy named William living in the wild west fighting the bad guy for the ingredients to bake cookies.
  8. Singing- Not exactly a game but really fun to do. This was great especially when Pepper was getting upset. The right music can calm a child down so well. It’s fun to make up songs, too.
  9. Scavenger Hunt- Have a list of things to find: 1 cow, 2 trees, 3 flowers, 4 horses, 5 clouds, 6 cars, 7 signs, 8 people, 9 birds, 10 lights.
  10. Guess the Bible Character- For this game William and I took turns thinking of a scenario and we had to guess which Bible character that happened to. Sometimes we would switch it and name a Bible character and we had to guess what happened to that Bible character.

What are some of your favorite road trip games? It’s not easy to keep kids content for long road trips but it is definitely possible!

You Are Free


We are home from our travels! Thanks to all of you who kept checking in here for new posts. I am sorry they weren’t happening! I really thought I would have more time. The Lord put a lot of things on my heart in the past weeks, though, that I hope to share with all of you as time goes by.

I am so glad to have visited with so many of you during my trip to the States. I know I would have loved to see so many more of you but I understand it just couldn’t happen this time. Thankyou to those of you who traveled so far to come see my family. I know many of you sacrificed time (and gas money!) and I really appreciate it.

Before I start unpacking all our stuff and begin the never ending pile of laundry that needs washed I want to share a funny little story with you. I was driving to breakfast one morning and after I had been in the car for a few minutes I noticed a fly flying around the front. Every couple minutes he would make a mad dash for the window (which was closed) and then go back into hiding for a little while. By the third time this happened I thought, ‘Hey, I will give this guy a break and just open the window for him.’ So now my window is open and he is no where to be seen. As soon as I close it guess who comes to smash his face on the glass? That fly is back at it. I think we went through this process 3 or 4 times before I got to where I was going.

When I got out of the car I left the window open for the fly because I didn’t really want to deal with him all the way home, too. I came back after an hour or so, rolled up the window and went on my way. Within a few minutes here is this fly ready to get beat up again. Why did he not take any of the many opportunities to fly away! He was free! He could have been at peace flying around in the manure filled air (got to love Lancaster County)!

But this fly isn’t much different than me sometimes. Before I was saved I was a slave to sin. I served the devil and was in bondage. But when I got saved the Lord set me free from that bondage. I have a choice and the Lord offers strength and help to make the right choices. Yet I act like I am still bound to these sins as if I have no choice but to sin. I am free from sin! That fly in the car was free to go but he acted as if he was still in bondage. The end of Galatians 5:1 says to not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage. You have been set free. Why act as if you are still bound to sin? Why go back to that life of serving self?