Archive | January, 2013

My Church Planting Journey & The Church Planting Wife (A great read! Buy it for your pastor’s wife AND for yourself)

30 Jan

I’m linking up with Christine over at Grace Covers Me today as she releases her book, The Church Planting Wife: Help and Hope for Her Heart and collects heart stories from church planting and ministry wives. Join us there?

Two of my very favorite people in all the world, Jo and Betsy have a friend named Christine Hoover. Jo, Betsy and I went to church together in Nashville and our sons are the same age. I spent lots of time with Jo and Betsy (and I’m a much better follower of Christ because of that!). Jo and Betsy spoke often to me about their friend, Christine. I remember the first time they told me that she was moving from Texas to Virginia in order for her husband and family to plant a church. “Hmm, I thought. That’s kinda weird.” I had no clue then that several years later I would also be a church planter’s wife and that God would use Christine’s blog, Grace Covers Me, to minister to me in the midst our church planting journey. So, when she shared on her blog that she was writing a book called, The Church Planting Wife, I could not wait to read it. When she asked for volunteers to be a part of her launch team to read the book before it was released and share it with others, I immediately signed up!

To celebrate the release of her book, she asked those on the launch team to write a blog post about how God has worked on/changed our hearts through church planting. I was eager to do that. God has graciously worked on my heart in significant ways during our 2 1/2 years of church planting. I had never taken the time to write many of those things down, so thank you, Christine, for encouraging us to do so. So, here are my thoughts, and I’m so sorry if they’re rambly! 🙂

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My church planting journey

I’ve done many things in my short lifetime that I never thought I’d do. (I can say “SHORT” lifetime because I’m really not that old, right??!!!?!?) I lived overseas and served on a team of missionaries in a Muslim country as a single gal. After returning home, I worked at my alma mater, Union University, and coordinated mission trips for the students. This fantabulous job took me to countries on almost every continent for the purpose of sharing Christ. I got married, had children (both of which I was unsure were in my future), and homeschool. Yes, none of those were things I ever thought would be a part of my story. However, the greatest surprise that I never, never, never imagined I would do is this–be a church planter’s wife.

Our church planting journey began 3 years ago and resulted in our involvement planting Redeemer Church in September 2010. Honestly, the idea of church planting had never entered my mind before my husband and I were approached about it. At the time, we were in a great place in life. My husband was on staff at an amazing church, and I was very pregnant with our 3rd son. I felt settled, safe, and like I never wanted to be anywhere else. Life was good. The church plant would be sent out from our amazing church where Jamie was on staff, so the idea of a church plant sounded intriguing. I wasn’t sure, though. Life was good where we were, remember? However, after several months of praying through the opportunity, Jamie and I said, “Yes.” God was leading us to plant Redeemer. We knew that; we felt Him directing us in this way. We went. Little did I know what was about to happen to me.

You see, I have a confession to make–I’m a control freak with a slight bit of OCD-ness. You know when I realized this about myself? I realized this over the past 2 1/2 years as my husband, sons and I have been planting Redeemer. Let me just tell you if you are a control freak or enjoy attempting to control your life’s circumstances, I wouldn’t jump into church planting. Wait, actually I would. 🙂 

Church planting takes faith in God. By definition, faith is depending on someone or something outside of yourself. As a control freak who enjoys attempting to control my life’s circumstances, do you see where the “rub” came for me as I ventured into church planting? Before church planting, I would have told you that I had faith in Jesus. However, church planting became the flashlight  spotlight that God used to shine on the areas of my life where I was failing to have faith in Christ. There were many, many areas in my life where I, clearly, was choosing to trust only myself. Faith, for Suzanne, meant trusting in Suzanne, not trusting in Christ. Before church planting, I never realized this. After and in the midst of church planting, He showed me this.

One of my favorite quotes from The Church Planting Wife is this one, “God’s heart for you is that church planting be the soil in which you grow in Christlikeness.” This is my story of church planting. Being a church planter’s wife has been one of the primary ways that God has chosen to chip and chisel away the sin that was present in the nooks and crannies of my heart. Remember earlier when I confessed that I’m a control freak and can obsess over trying to control my circumstances and outcomes in life? I never realized these realities about myself before church planting. When Jamie was on staff at our sending church, I never had to worry if he would receive a paycheck or if the church’s doors would be open the next few months. When we entered church planting, these thoughts crept into my mind and my heart, and my response was not, “I know that God will provide for us in all things.” My response was quite the opposite. Anger would well up in my heart and soul towards my husband–“Why did you sign us up to church plant?!?!? Why did you take us away from a steady, established job and life?” And, I may have said those questions to him out loud in a not-so-friendly tone. 😦 Anger also welled up in my heart towards God–“Why did you call us to do this? This is so hard. My husband and I are working really hard to build Redeemer. We’re trying with all our strength, but I don’t really see that You’re honoring that.” And, I may have said those things to Him out loud in a not-so-friendly tone. Ouch.

However, the Lord loves His children so much that He disciplines us because He loves us. This was the reminder that He gave me, particularly from Hebrews 12:6-11 Read here:

“And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? ‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.’ It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
Hebrews 12:5-11

The Lord loved me enough that He knew what was best for me. He knew where my faith was–it was not in Jesus. It was in my friends, a secure church, my comfortable life and my circumstances. Therefore, He knew that taking those things away from me would be best because they would return my faith to its foundation, Christ Himself. I would like to say that this process of sharing in his holines–taking those things away from me–was painless, but it wasn’t. It was difficult to go from my “secure” life where I was in control (or so I thought!) to a life where everything was out of “my control.” The process was quite painful, and it was with much sadness that I realized that I had lived the majority of my life trying to control circumstances and life around me. It’s never easy to realize how messed up and broken you are. However, in those dark moments when God revealed my sins of self-seeking and self-sufficiency, God’s grace to me became even more evident. Despite all of my failings as a church planter’s wife and as His child, He still loved me. He loved me enough to take me away from my “secure” life and “plant” me in church planting. This was His process for me making me because His desire is that I be more like Christ.

I am thankful for the discipline of the Lord in my life that came and continues to come through being a church planter’s wife. I’m thankful that He’s shown me through church planting the sins that will tempt me the most. I will be tempted to trust in myself instead of trusting Him. I will be tempted to control my circumstances instead of trusting that His ways are better for me. I am confident that there are other sins present in the nooks and crannies of my heart. I am confident that He will reveal those to me, and He will most likely use the vehicle of church planting to do so. In going forward, I pray that I will open my heart and mind to His discipline, remembering that He disciplines those He loves. I pray that I won’t kick and scream through the process of making me more like Christ as I have these first years of church planting. Most of all, I pray that He will continue to transform me into the image of His Son. As I read Philippians 1:6, I know that He will (for me and for you, His children).

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

You may not be a church planter’s wife, but I am sure that as a child of God, you have found yourself in the midst of the Lord’s discipline. Maybe He’s used a move to a new town, your children, a relationship ending, your job, or a whole host of things to reveal your lack of faith in Him. So, don’t be like me in our early church planting days–kicking and screaming at God. Remind yourself that the Lord disciplines those He loves and embrace the “heart” work that He is doing in you. That’s the secret of being a follower of Christ, remember? In losing ourselves (and in my case losing my sense of “control”), we are gaining the greatest thing, Christ Himself.

“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” Luke 9:24

Now, I leave you with 3 challenges:

1) If you’re a church planter’s or minister’s wife, go out and buy this book for yourself. You’ll thank me later, I promise.

2) If you’re not a church planter’s or minister’s wife, you know someone who is. Buy this book for them. They’ll thank you for it later, I promise.

3) Finally, to any female reading this post, no matter who you are, go buy this book for yourself. As you read of the “heart” work God took Christine through, He will inevitably lead you through “heart” work as well. What could be greater than becoming more like Christ? I’m confident that He will use this book in your life for that purpose. Thanks be to God!

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Pampered Chef #11-Mini-Serving Spatula (last day to order!)

28 Jan

I’m hosting an online Pampered Chef party… and today, Monday, January 28 is the last day to order! 🙂 So, don’t miss out! To celebrate, I’m featuring some of my favorite Pampered Chef items here on Suzanne Shares. Missed previous posts? Read all of them here

If you’ve been around Pampered Chef at all or know of anyone who has anything from Pampered Chef, it’s probably this little beauty shown here. I.LOVE.THIS.THING! Hello, blog readers, meet the amazing, Mini-Serving Spatula. Mini-Serving Spatula meet the, also, amazing readers of my blog. Great, now everyone knows each other. Love it. 🙂

The Mini-Serving Spatula is a must, must, must for your kitchen! Plus, it’s only $6…such a steal! Have you ever made a fresh batch of yummy, gooey brownies and tried to get the first piece out of the pan with a spatula that looks something like this…

You’re giggling right now, aren’t you? You’re giggling because you’ve done it, and you know what a disaster it is. You don’t just get one brownie out of the pan with this bad boy. You manage to unearth about 3 or 4 at a time. What.a.mess.

Viola! The Mini-Serving Spatula to the rescue! It only gets one brownie out of the pan at a time, thank you, and it does it neatly and with much grace. Thank you, Mini-Serving Spatula. It’s petite size and design allows you to maneuver it easily to get brownies, cake, or any other yummy dessert from your dish. It, also, beautifully unpries from my Large Bar Pan those yummy, made-from-scratch chocolate chip cookies that we like to eat here at the Mosley casa. I love it because it’s the perfect size for serving desserts. It takes what used to be really awkward with my spatulas like the one above and makes it easy, seamless and mess-free. So, if you’ve not tried anything ever from Pampered Chef, make this the day that you change that. I promise you will love, love, love this Mini-Serving Spatula. It’s a kitchen essential for me, and I’m sure you’ll find that to be true in your house as well.

Ready to order one?? Here’s how…

To participate in my show, shop online here. You’ll need to search for my name (last name Mosley) and click through to order. Thanks to my fabulous neighbor, Aimee Howell, wonderful Pampered Chef consultant for allowing me to host a party! And…no worries if you don’t live anywhere near me! When you order online, you can have it shipped directly to your door! Oh, how I love shopping online. 🙂  Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Party ends today, Monday, January 28 at 11:59PM CST, so don’t miss out.

Pampered Chef favorites #9 and #10–Glass storage containers

26 Jan

I’m hosting an online Pampered Chef party…for only a few more days! 🙂  (Monday 1/28 is the last day to order). To celebrate, I’m featuring some of my favorite Pampered Chef items here on Suzanne Shares. Missed previous posts? Read all of them here. I’m sooooooooo close to my goal, so if you need some Pampered Chef goodies, I wold love, love, love for you to order them through my party! 🙂 Thanks a million!

One afternoon when I was at my neighbor Aimee’s house (the fabulous Pampered Chef consultant through whom I’m having my Pampered Chef party), and she commented that she was trying to get rid of plastic from her home. “Interesting,” I thought. I had never given that much thought but later read online some interesting things about plastic. I decided that I would do my best to monitor our use of plastic in the kitchen (especially avoiding it in the microwave). Also, I thought I would start replenishing our storage containers with glass ones as the plastic ones got old and needed replacing. This was all about the same time that I had my Pampered Chef party last year. I had a friend order the 2-cup Prep Bowls (#1742), and she said she was going to use them for storing leftovers. Brilliant! I decided to get some for our house, too. (There are also 1-Cup Prep Bowls-item #1825 and 3-Cup Prep Bowls-item #1743). We have the 2-cup and 3-cup Preps Bowls and really, really loved these! I don’t use them for “prep” as much as I do leftovers. It’s also super convenient with leftovers to take off the lid and just pop the glass bowl into the oven or toaster oven. Less dishes for me to wash, too!

These great Leakproof containers were a Host Special at the time, too, so I ordered those for us as well. These also are fabulous! I love the glass storage, and the leakproof, snap-on-tight lids are wonderful. With little boys in my home and in my refrigerator, I need all the help that I can get minimizing spills. They have 1 1/2 cups (item #1201) , 3 cups (item #1202) , 5 1/4 cups (item #1203) or 8 1/4 cups (item #1204) storage options. We have some of all 4 of these, and I can’t say enough about them!

No judgement from me if you have plastic containers. We still have some in my cabinets. 🙂 We’re all about taking baby steps, right?!?!? If you are making the switch from plastic to glass and looking for some stellar, glass storage options, I would highly recommend these from Pampered Chef! We love, love, love them!

To participate in my show, shop online here. You’ll need to search for my name (last name Mosley) and click through to order. Thanks to my fabulous neighbor, Aimee Howell, wonderful Pampered Chef consultant for allowing me to host a party! And…no worries if you don’t live anywhere near me! When you order online, you can have it shipped directly to your door! Oh, how I love shopping online. 🙂 Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Pampered Chef favorite #9–Medium & Large Scoops (a lifesaver with muffins & cupcakes!)

25 Jan

I’m hosting an online Pampered Chef party…for only a few more days! 🙂 (through 1/28). To celebrate, I’m featuring some of my favorite Pampered Chef items here on Suzanne Shares. Missed previous posts? Read all of them here.

Last night, I made 4 dozen of one of our family’s favorite breakfast items, Breakfast Power Muffins. Yes, 4 dozen! This is a great, freezeable recipe, by the way, which is why I make so many at a time. (Instructions on how to freeze them is included with the recipe.) Making 4 dozen muffins at once can be quite labor intensive, but thanks to one of my favorite Pampered Chef tools, the Large Scoop (item #1790) the intensity of my labor has lessened. The Large Scoop works much like the old fashioned ice cream scoops I grew up with as a kid. As you squeeze its handle, there is a mechanism that goes back and forth inside the scoop to scrape free what’s inside the scoop. Before I had the Large Scoop, I would use a variety of different things to try to get the perfect amount of muffin batter easily into the muffin pan. I tried spoons, which I inevitably always had to scrape with my fingers to get out the rest of the batter (sanitary?? I think not!). Sometimes I would use my liquid measuring cups and pour them into the muffin pan. Boy was that a mess! Transferring the muffin batter to the measuring cup and then pouring the batter into the muffin pan. Whew! Doing this 48 times (and having to continually refill the measuring cup with batter from the mixing bowl!) was extra, extra labor intensive! I’m just tired writing about it! 🙂

I saw the Large Scoop (and there’s also a Small #2530 or Medium #2540 one, too!) in the Pampered Chef catalog and thought, “Hmm, these would work well with my making my muffins.” So, I asked my fabulous Pampered Chef consultant what the Scoops were used for and she said, “They’re great to use for scooping out cookie dough or muffin and cupcake batter, or even ice cream.” Okay, I’m sold! So, I got the Medium and Large Scoops and have been a happily, pampered chef ever since! I use the Large Scoop for my muffins or cupcakes. I’ve used the Medium one for those as well, too (whenever the Large one is in the dishwasher!), and it also works well to scoop muffin batter into mini muffin pans since its smaller than the Large scoop. So, if you make lots of muffins, cupcakes or cookies, I would highly recommend any of the 3 scoops–Small, Medium or Large!

Which muffin pan do you use for your Breakfast Power Muffins? Well, glad you asked! 🙂 I have and use the Pampered Chef 12 Cup Muffin Pan (Item #1465) with my muffins, and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! It’s another great stoneware treasure that I love having in my kitchen! 🙂 No more metal, nonstick coating in our muffins…just like my cookie sheets! 🙂

Ready to order one of the Scoops or the Stoneware Muffin Pan? Here’s how…

To participate in my show, shop online here. You’ll need to search for my name (last name Mosley) and click through to order. Thanks to my fabulous neighbor, Aimee Howell, wonderful Pampered Chef consultant for allowing me to host a party! And…no worries if you don’t live anywhere near me! When you order online, you can have it shipped directly to your door! Oh, how I love shopping online. 🙂 Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Party ends Monday, January 28, so don’t miss out.

Pampered Chef favorites #8-Large Bar Pan (stoneware!)

24 Jan

I’m hosting an online Pampered Chef party…for only a few more days! 🙂   (through 1/28). To celebrate, I’m featuring some of my favorite Pampered Chef items here on Suzanne Shares. Missed previous posts? Read all of them here.

Can you believe that I had NO stoneware pans in my home until 12 months ago!?!? I know, I know. I’m soooooooooooo behind the times. I decided to take the plunge because the nonstick surface on my metal cookie sheet was peeling off. YUCK! Metal with your chocolate chip cookies, Mosley boys? Yeah, disgusting. I decided that my family probably didn’t want to ingest metal with every chocolate chip cookie or roasted sweet potato that I frequently made on that metal cookie sheet. Gross, gross, gross.

So, I took the plunge…no more metal cookie sheet. Hello, Pampered Chef stoneware! I think one of the most common and probably best selling Pampered Chef products is the round pizza stone. I went to my friend Aimee, Pampered Chef Consultant extraordinaire and told her that I was ready to invest in some stoneware. She did what any great consultant should do, she consulted! Here’s how our conversation went:

Aimee: What are you planning to do with the round pizza stone? Would you ever cook something that you would need to have a lip around the pan so that the contents wouldn’t spill off the stone?”

Me: “Hmm…great questions. Actually, one of the main uses I had for my metal cookie sheet was roasting sweet potatoes and other sundry vegetables. I’ll also use it for cookies and pizza.”

Aimee: “I would actually recommend the Large Bar Pan (item #1445). It is rectangular instead of round. But if you roast a lot of vegetables, they would probably slide off the round pizza stone as you take it in/out of the oven. There is no lip around the edge of the round pizza stone. With the Large Bar Pan, it still functions like the round pizza stone, you can bake cookies on it and continue to make homemade pizza (just rectangular instead of circular). It’s the size of a jelly roll pan for cakes (which was important to me because of this heirloom recipe), and you can continue roasting your vegetables. You can do all of these in the Large Bar Pan, or you can order the Round Pizza Stone and cook some of these things.”

Me: “Oooooooooh, great point! Okay, scratch the Round Stone and order me the Large Bar Pan!”

Thank you, Aimee, for sharing your fabulous Pampered Chef wisdom with me! I’m one happy customer a year later. First and foremost, we’re no longer eating non-stick metal coating with each bite of my homemade chocolate chip cookies. Whew! That’s a relief to my internal organs, I’m sure. I’m also enjoying roasting away with sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, and on and on the list goes. All of these things with my fabulous Pampered Chef Large Bar Pan. (AND…I also have the small and medium ones, too. They’re pretty fabulous, too!). Now, shop, shop away and order some Pampered Chef. 🙂 Here’s how…

To participate in my show, shop online here. You’ll need to search for my name (last name Mosley) and click through to order. Thanks to my fabulous neighbor, Aimee Howell, wonderful Pampered Chef consultant for allowing me to host a party! And…no worries if you don’t live anywhere near me! When you order online, you can have it shipped directly to your door! Oh, how I love shopping online. 🙂 Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

 

Pampered Chef favorite #7–Salad Chopper

23 Jan

I’m hosting an online Pampered Chef party…for only a few more days! 🙂  (through 1/28). To celebrate, I’m featuring some of my favorite Pampered Chef items here on Suzanne Shares. Missed previous posts? Read all of them here.

This is a relatively new Pampered Chef product…the Salad Chopper. 🙂 I got it last year and honestly, wasn’t sure if I really needed it.  The thing that pushed me over the edge last year was when my neighbor, Aimee, the fabulous Pampered Chef consultant I’m hosting the  party through, told me that it worked well in chopping cooked chicken. Fast forward a year later, and I’m so glad I bought it! I make lots of chicken salad around the Mosley home, and it’s so nice to use the Salad Chopper (aka “Chicken” Chopper) to chop the chicken once it’s boiled. Chop, chop, chop the chicken with my Salad Chopper, a few grapes, celery salt and mayo, stir, stir, stir, and Chicken Salad…viola!

It also works wonderfully well at its namesake–chopping salad! I buy lots of Artisan lettuce from Aldi (have you tried it?!?!? It’s lovely!), which comes intact. This requires me washing and cutting up the lettuce. This kitchen prep is a piece of cake now that I have the Pampered Chef Salad Chopper! 🙂 Seriously, my favorite part of all of my Pampered Chef products is that they drastically slash my “prep time” in the kitchen. When you’re cooking from scratch and have 3 ravenously hungry boys, minimizing kitchen prep is a beautiful thing.

Need to cut your kitchen prep time? Order this great Salad Chopper, or any other fabulous Pampered Chef product! I would love for you to order with my catalog party. Interested? Here’s how…

To participate in my show, shop online here. You’ll need to search for my name (last name Mosley) and click through to order. Thanks to my fabulous neighbor, Aimee Howell, wonderful Pampered Chef consultant for allowing me to host a party! And…no worries if you don’t live anywhere near me! When you order online, you can have it shipped directly to your door! Oh, how I love shopping online

Pampered Chef Favorite #6-Apple Peeler, Corer, Slicer

22 Jan

I’m hosting an online Pampered Chef party…for only one more week! 🙂  (through 1/28). To celebrate, I’m featuring some of my favorite Pampered Chef items here on Suzanne Shares. Missed previous posts? Read all of them here.

The Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer is one of the most recognizable Pampered Chef products. The first time I saw one was at a Pampered Chef party YEARS ago. I thought they were cool–peeling, coring, slicing–all in one contraption, but I always thought it was a luxury and not necessary for my kitchen. However, when we moved to our house 2 years ago and fruit trees started blooming in our backyard during our first Spring, I had more interest in the Pampered Chef Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer. 🙂 We have apple and pear trees in our backyard, and those trees make lots and lots of fruit. After seeing this post for Crockpot Applesauce, I was inspired to make applesauce and pear sauce with our bounty of fresh fruit. On her post, she mentions using the Pampered Chef Peeler/Corer/Slicer to make prep her apples. Brilliance, true brilliance.

So, I called up my neighbor and Pampered Chef consultant and asked to borrow hers! She graciously let me, so I was in business. I made apple and pear sauce for days on end. (Yes, it can be used on pears, too!) It freezes beautifully and because several of our breakfast recipes (including this one!) call for apple sauce, I have used every package that I froze. The pear sauce that I made and froze lasted our family for 4 months! Isn’t that amazing?!?! I haven’t had to buy applesauce at the store for FOUR MONTHS. I feel so very Martha Stewart and Ma Ingalls (well, probably, only like Ma!) making my own pear sauce. I never would’ve attempted this had it not been for Aimee’s Pampered Chef Corer/Peeler/Slicer. Thank you Pampered Chef for helping me save lots of $$ in our “grocery” line item of our budget.

So, if you’re wondering what the first item I’ll be purchasing for this wonderful Pampered Chef party, it’s the Pampered Chef Corer/Peeler/Slicer (item #2430). It was a sad day when I had to return Aimee’s to her, so shop shop away! In doing so, you’ll be helping me snag the fantabulous Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer for my casa. Gracias, gracias, gracias. If you have apple or pear trees or have access to them in abundance, you need this great Pampered Chef item, too! Happy shopping!

To participate in my show, shop online here. You’ll need to search for my name (last name Mosley) and click through to order. Thanks to my fabulous neighbor, Aimee Howell, wonderful Pampered Chef consultant for allowing me to host a party! And…no worries if you don’t live anywhere near me! When you order online, you can have it shipped directly to your door! Oh, how I love shopping online. 🙂

Pampered Chef Favorite #5: Core & (oh-so-much) More

21 Jan

I’m hosting an online Pampered Chef party for one more week (through 1/28). To celebrate, I’m featuring some of my favorite Pampered Chef items here on Suzanne Shares. Missed previous posts? Read all of them here.

My 3-always hungry-eat every 30 minutes-their mom fixes food for them all day-sons have benefited greatly from the Pampered Chef products that are in the Mosley kitchen. They love when it’s kiwi and strawberry season thanks to the Egg Slicer Plus, which, by the way, I never use for eggs. (So, you don’t have to use it for eggs either. Egg haters unite!) My neighbor, Aimee, the fabulous Pampered Chef consultant who is helping me host this fabulous Pampered Chef Online party told me about another Pampered Chef treasure that’s made my “Favorites” list! It’s the Core and More (item #1176), and you need it in your kitchen, blog readers….no joke!

Of course, you can use the circle end to make beautiful cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew balls. Those are always beautiful and perfect (and yummy!) for a wedding or bridal shower. My friend Annie Laurie, also, clued me in that you can use the circular end to remove the core of an apple or pear after it’s sliced in half (glorious!) Those are wonderful uses for this Pampered Chef treasure, BUT neither are my favorite use for this tool. Does anyone have a guess as to my favorite use?!?!!?

If you guessed capping strawberries, you’d be correct! Aimee taught me this great trick with the Core & More. You can cap the strawberry in 2 seconds flat, and it allows you to have more strawberry to eat and enjoy! Before the Core & More came into my life kitchen, I would cut off what seemed to be half of the strawberry in order to get rid of the leaves. So, in essence I was throwing half of each strawberry away, and with 3 boys who need every bit of caloric intake I can offer, the Core & More has been a great help! Now, I cap all of them quickly, and then I slice them up with my Egg Slicer Plus! We have a bowl full of strawberries prepped and ready to be eaten at all times. (And I really love storing them in this Pampered Chef glass container! 🙂

So, if your home is filled with strawberry fanatics, you need to add the Core & More (and the Egg Slicer Plus…for slicing!) to your Shopping Cart now. You’ll thank me later,  I promise!

To participate in my show, shop online here. You’ll need to search for my name (last name Mosley) and click through to order. Thanks to my fabulous neighbor, Aimee Howell, wonderful Pampered Chef consultant for allowing me to host a party! And…no worries if you don’t live anywhere near me! When you order online, you can have it shipped directly to your door! Oh, how I love shopping online. 🙂

Classical Conversations Earth Science book list

20 Jan

One of my favorite things about being a tutor with Classical Conversations is that I’m learning so much. When I was in college I had an entire class on Earth Science. Honestly, I can’t remember anything that I learned. That’s pretty sad to me…and probably reflective of some immaturity on my part, eh? Well, thankfully, I’m getting a “do over” (or “mulligan” for my golf-loving blog readers, anyone? anyone?) through Classical Conversations this 2nd semester of Cycle 1. If you would’ve told me in December that I would be loving the Earth Science focus of Cycle 1 Weeks 13-24, I would’ve called you crazy. When we had our tutor meeting mid-December and went over all of this semester’s science projects and grammar, I thought…boring. Boy, was I wrong! To learn about the complexities, beauty, purpose and order of the amazing Earth that God made, it has led me, on more than one occasion, to worship our all-wise, creative, majestic God.

One of the other perks of being a tutor with Classical Conversations is that I get to peruse resource after resource about the Grammar, Science Projects, Artists that we’re learning about this semester. I thought it might be helpful to list in one location my favorite Earth Science books that I’ve stumbled upon. Pick up one or two from Amazon or your local library. Have fun learning together with your kiddos and learning about the greatness and wisdom of God. Hope this list is helpful! Enjoy!

The Magic School Bus Complete Series DVDs-My boys are enjoying these DVDs from The Magic School Bus. Related to Earth Science, we’ve watched the episodes about the Solar System and Volcanoes. I love how fun they make learning with my boys! We pile up on the couch and watch them together! This is a really well-done series. I’m excited to have this resource as I know future CC Science will coincide with other episodes in the series as well. Love, love, loving this!

The Magic School Bus Blows Its Top and The Magic School Bus Voyage to the Volcano-Both of these focus on volcanoes. The Voyage to the Volcano is a chapter book, so if you have an older elementary child, he/she might enjoy that one for independent reading. Both of these books are Amazon 4 for 3 books! Most of the “educational” and classic books for children are Amazon 4 for 3 books, which is wonderful! If you buy 3 participating books (or products as there are many non-book items), you get the 4th one free! So, if you need several books, check to see if they’re 4 for 3 eligible, and you just might score a free one! I’ve gotten some great books at a great price this way!

The Magic School Bus: Inside the Earth-This book does an excellent job focusing on the layers of the earth as well as explaining the 3 types of rock. This is an Amazon 4 for 3 book.

The Best Book of Volcanoes-I was pretty taken back by this title. Really? Self-proclaimed “best book” of volcanoes? Seems pretty presumptious, Scholastic. 🙂 After reading through it though, I thought they had a good reason to claim that! The graphics in this book are wonderful. The cross-section of the volcano (of particular interest to Cycle 1 Week 17 Science grammar) was well done, vibrantly illustrated and eye catching. This is a quality book. It’s very visually engaging, so if you have non-readers, they would have a hay day just perusing the illustrations and could probably learn just as much that way.

Why Do Volcanoes Blow Their Tops? This covers a wide variety of information, and it, too, is in the Question and Answer format, which I really enjoyed. That format allowed me to skim through to the specific topics that we wanted to further study. I didn’t feel obligated to read all of it and with the Q&A, I could quickly navigate through what I wanted to read to the boys and what I wanted to skip over. Great read!


Let’s Read-and-Find-Out Science Series: Earthquakes-I love this series! If you’re not familiar with it, click the previous link to explore the books in the series. My sons enjoyed this book. Son #2 especially liked the instructions for how to keep safe in an earthquake at the end of the book. We’re not too far from the New Madrid fault, so hey, we’ll be prepared. 🙂 This is an Amazon 4 for 3 book!

Rocks (Sally M. Walker)-This book is wonderful! It’s a part of the Early Bird Earth Science series. I will definitely check into other books in this series because of how much we enjoyed this one! The content on the 3 different kinds of rock and the rock cycle was excellent. It was child-focused in the content and easily accessible for early elementary age. SUCH a great book.

What Is the Rock Cycle? (Natalie Hyde)-I’m embarrassed to say that I knew nothing about the Rock Cycle before our CC Earth Science adventures! This was another favorite book! It goes in depth about the 3 kinds of rock and had 3 REALLY great “experiments” to make a sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rock. We did the experiments for the igneous and sedimentary rocks. Hoping to blog soon about those. My boys really enjoyed them!

Birth of an Island (Millicent E. Selsam) and I Can Read about Earthquakes and Volcanoes (Deborah Merrians)-I scored these 2 treasures at a thrift shop…the 1960s editons! I love vintage books. They’re so old that there were no images on Amazon! ha! I’m sure you can find them at your local library. I love how Birth of an Island does a wonderful child-focused explanation of how islands are created by volcanoes. Yes, child-focused but no “skimping” on facts and information. I Can Read About Earthquakes and Volcanoes is another great one. It explains the layers of the earth and igneous rocks.

Atlas of Geology and Landforms (Cally Oldershaw)This probably will need to be located at your library. From the looks of Amazon with no photo available, I’m assuming it’s out of print.  I love the illustrations in this book as well! It covers a wide array of Earth Science topics from plate tectonics, rocks and the rock cycle, earthquakes, volcanoes, the ocean floor just to name a few. There is a section on Darwin and Evolution…just a heads up! Would be great fodder for a conversation with your child about Creation and our Creator.

What are your favorite earth science books that you’ve discovered? Pray, tell! Would love to hear from you and discover even more great ones! 🙂

Pampered Chef favorites #4: Citrus Peeler

20 Jan

I’m hosting an online Pampered Chef party…for only one more week! 🙂 (through 1/28). To celebrate, I’m featuring some of my favorite Pampered Chef items here on Suzanne Shares. Missed previous posts? Read all of them here.

If you’ve never peeled an orange using a Pampered Chef  Citrus Peeler, you’re missing out! Don’t you hate when you’re trying to de-skin that beautiful navel orange and you break your finger nail?!? Ugh! Peeling citrus=no fun! I grew up with these wonderful orange peelers, and it, literally, takes the work out of peeling an orange.

To use, start at the top, use the Citrus Peeler to cut into the skin all the way around back to where you started. Then, repeat on the other section of the orange, starting & stopping again at the top. You’ll now have 4 sections of orange peel to easily pull off and remove. If the peel is still giving you trouble, use the curved end to pry the peel away from the flesh. Marvelous! Break open the orange and enjoy! What can take 5 minutes or more (and come with heaps of frustration!) is easily a 30 second task with the Pampered Chef Citrus Peeler. I love that Pampered Chef makes it easier, more efficient to eat healthy foods!

The other great thing about this Citrus Peeler is the price. It’s $1! Yup, that’s right! 100 pennies, 20 nickels, 10 dimes, 4 quarters. One buck. Love it! I have several of these to send in different lunch boxes and because we use them so frequently. So, add this to your wish list and head on over to my Pampered Chef party and add one to your cart!

To participate in my show, shop online here. You’ll need to search for my name (last name Mosley) and click through to order. Thanks to my fabulous neighbor, Aimee Howell, wonderful Pampered Chef consultant for allowing me to host a party! And…no worries if you don’t live anywhere near me! When you order online, you can have it shipped directly to your door! Oh, how I love shopping online. 🙂