back to school prayers for our kids & teachers

back to school prayers pinterest

It’s August which means it is time to get ready to go back to school.

As a mom, you might be experiencing some back-to-school anxiety. I know I am. There are book bags to wash, new shoes to buy, and school supplies to gather. We wonder who will teach our kids this year and which friends will be in their class. We make lists and schedule our kids for after-school activities. There is so much prep work to be done to get ready to go back to school but prayer can help us accomplish our to-do lists and settle our nerves.

Praying for our kids and their teachers will not only help settle our nerves as moms but it gives our children and their teachers confidence as they begin a new year. First John 5:14-15 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.”

Below are two Back-To-School Prayers for Your Kids and Teachers. Feel free to share these with other moms! If you are a children’s minister at your church, consider hosting a Blessing of the Backpacks or a Prayer Night to pray these prayers for your kids and teachers. May we cover our children and their teachers in prayer as we begin a new school year!

back to school prayer for kids

back to school prayer for teachers

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

 

 

#70daysofsummer recipes

In the summertime, our family loves to eat! Whether we are celebrating a birthday, having dinner with friends, or enjoying a family weekend at the beach, we love eating food that screams “summer.” If you’ve been following along with our #70daysofsummer on Instagram (@chris10price), you can see that we have enjoyed some delicious desserts like lemon blueberry anniversary cake and some fun summer salads like layered cornbread and turkey salad. Many of you have asked for the recipes for these two desserts so I thought I would go ahead and share them today so you can make them before the summer ends. Hope you enjoy!

Layered Lemon – Blueberry Cake

layered lemon blueberry cake

On Tuesday, Raleigh and I celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary (or, as the girls called it, our “ammiversary”). Last year, I discovered this delicious lemon-blueberry layer cake recipe by Sally’s Baking Addiction. With two blueberry bushes in our backyard, I welcomed a cake that combined both sweet and tart flavors of the blueberries with the tang of lemons. Now, I make the recipe as both a cake for special celebrations or as cupcakes (I can freeze the cupcakes and icing and just pull them out whenever I want a taste of summer!).

The cake portion of this cake has a few extra steps than a normal cake recipe and the batter is thick. But, the buttermilk really does add an extra zest that makes the cake batter cook so light and fluffy. It is so much better than the boxed stuff and worth the extra effort!

I’m such a sucker for cream cheese frosting and adding a hint of lemon makes this frosting burst with flavor and not feel so heavy. Add a few blueberries on top and you’ve got a wonderful cake that you will want to serve all year long.

Lemon-Blueberry Layer Cake Recipe

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (360g) sifted all-purpose flour, careful not to overmeasure
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk
  • zest + juice of 3 medium lemons
  • 1 and 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh (258g) or non-thawed frozen (275g)
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces (224g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (420g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 – 2 Tablespoons (15-30ml) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and lightly flour three 9×2 inch cake pans with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Make the cake: Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high until creamy – about 1 minute. Add granulated and brown sugars and beat on medium-high speed until creamed, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until everything is combined, about 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Set aside.
  3. In a large sized bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Beat on low speed for 5 seconds, then add the milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Remove from the mixer and stir lightly until everything is just combined. Toss the blueberries in 1 Tablespoon of flour and fold into the batter. Batter is extremely thick. Do not overmix at any point. Overmixing will lend a tough, dense textured crumb.
  4. Spoon batter evenly into 3 prepared cake pans. If only using 2 cake pans, your bake time will be longer. Bake the three layers for about 21-26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Mine took 21 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  5. Make the frosting: Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until no lumps remain, about 3 full minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, 1 Tablespoon cream, vanilla extract, and salt with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add 1 more Tablespoon of cream to thin out, if desired.
  6. Assemble and frost: First, using a large serrated knife, trim the tops off the cake layers to create a flat surface. Place 1 layer on your cake stand. Evenly cover the top with cream cheese frosting. Top with 2nd layer, more frosting, then the third layer. Top with frosting and spread around the sides. The recipe doesn’t make a ton of frosting, just enough for a light frost. Top with blueberries or lemon garnish if desired. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before cutting or else the cake may fall apart as you cut.
  7. Make ahead tip: Prepare cakes and frosting 1 day in advance. Keep cakes at room temperature, covered tightly. Refrigerate prepared frosting in an airtight container until ready to use. Frosted or unfrosted cakes may be frozen up to 2 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature if desired before serving.

 

Layered Turkey and Cornbread Salad

layered turkey - cornbread salad

Twice this summer, I’ve been invited to dinner parties with the theme being “summer salad.” My friend Hannah had made a wonderful cornbread casserole one night for small group so I asked her for the recipe. It’s from Southern Living and oh-so-good. I went a little light on the onions and tomatoes but loaded up with layers of turkey, bacon, cornbread, and cheese. I cooked the cornbread and bacon in the oven the night before and cut up the veggies then assembled the layers six hours before my dinner so it wasn’t too soggy. It turned out to be such a light and festive summer salad!

Layered Cornbread and Turkey Salad Recipe

Ingredients

1 (6-ounce) package buttermilk cornbread mix
1 (12-ounce) bottle Parmesan-peppercorn dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 (9-ounce) package romaine lettuce, shredded
2 1/2 cups chopped smoked turkey (about 3/4 pound)
2 large yellow bell peppers, chopped

1 package of cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 red onion, chopped
1 cup diced celery (about 3 celery ribs)

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
10 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
2 green onions, sliced

Preparation

Prepare cornbread according to package directions; cool and crumble. Set aside.

Stir together dressing, mayonnaise, and buttermilk until blended.

Layer crumbled cornbread, shredded lettuce, and next 7 ingredients evenly into 6 (3- to 4-cup) glass containers; spoon half of dressing mixture evenly over tops. Cover and chill at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours. Sprinkle with green onions just before serving. Serve with remaining half of dressing mixture on the side.

To make 1 large salad: Layer half each of crumbled cornbread, shredded lettuce, and next 7 ingredients in a large glass bowl; spoon half of dressing mixture evenly over top. Repeat layers ending with dressing mixture. Cover and chill at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Sprinkle top with green onions just before serving. Prep: 45 min., Chill: 8 hrs.

 

Hope you can enjoy these wonderful summer recipes before fall. They truly are delicious! What are some of your favorite summertime recipes?

We want you to show us your summer! Hashtag #70daysofsummer as you capture your final summer memories. Seventy days ends August 8th!

2015-06-15 14.31.31

 

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

 

 

the choices we make {back porch wednesdays}

May My Face shine upon you today. As you awaken from your slumber, give Me thanks for this day I have made. Choose to see Me through your routine. Invite Me to sit beside you during your meetings, travel and housework. I AM everywhere…you just have to choose to see Me.

You may question my motives today and wonder why I choose to sleep as the storm is raging outside. Trust Me, child. Don’t you think if I can tell the wind to be quiet and the waves to be still that I can also take care of you? Do not be afraid today. Have faith that I am with you.

Numbers 6:24, Psalm 118:24, Mark 4:35-40

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

quiet time {back porch wednesdays}

Close your eyes. Allowing your mind to still, listen to the rolling waves cascading over the earth’s crumbled floor. Now, take a deep breath and give Me all that jumbles your heart today. Do you smell the salty air? Cast your face toward the sun, allowing its’ radiant light to warm your skin. I give what is good and My glory dwells in your land.

Giving Me this moment each day is a necessity in your life. Without Me, your life will never be fully fulfilled. No job, no child, and no other person can give you the same type of satisfaction. Daily, you turn to these things before you turn to Me. Mortal men twist your words and needy children beg for your attention. Instead of feeling My peace, you struggle with earthly discontentment.

I hear your cry. Child, know today that I came into this world to save the brokenhearted and to show you mercy. Sit beside Me on this back porch and share all that troubles you today. Take your time – I have unlimited patience.

Psalm 85:8-13, Psalm 56:3-6, 1 Timothy 1:15-16

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

how to not go crazy in the chaos

Good Morning Friends! How has your summer been? I’ve loved following along with everyone who is using the #70daysofsummer on Insta! Can’t believe how fast time has flown this summer. Today, I’m sharing over at The M.O.M. Initiative about what’s been going on around our house for the past two weeks. Hope you enjoy!

chaos

“They found the kidney stone,” he told me on Monday. “And I’m going to have surgery today at three.”

This was the conversation that my husband and I had after his doctor’s appointment last week. While I was relieved that he would be having surgery to relieve the pain he had felt in his back for over five months, I was completely caught off guard by the timing. “Today? At three?!”

I’m a full-time working mom who hasn’t accumulated enough vacation time. We have three kids five and under who would need to be babysat. I had just meal-planned a whole week’s worth of meals. It’s crazy how fast plans can change.

To read more, head on over to The M.O.M. Initiative.

the architect {back porch wednesdays}

I AM the Architect of this world. I created the heavens and the earth. I gave the earth form and turned darkness into light. My design gave birth to a world filled with detail and beauty. All this I created for you…for us.

Then came you. I orchestrated your conception and knit you together in your mothers womb. I smiled as I thought about how you would use your own hands one day to create for others. You have your fathers eyes and your mothers nose. To you, my child, I gave you the gift of compassion, wisdom, and strength. Each day, I look forward to our time together before the glory of the sunrise.

After I created for six days, I rested. Rest with me today dear one. Dip your feet in the swirling ocean and feel the water washing over your toes. Run, jump, and play. Allow me to hear your laughter as you celebrate this day with all those that love you.

Genesis 1, Psalm 139:13

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

why you have to rest {back porch wednesdays}

You and I are co-heirs to our Fathers kingdom. We have been given an inheritance; an abundant life full of His mercy, grace, and love. As you scurry through your day, I ask you to lift your head from your work and soak in this gift that has been given to you.

I know you are busy and your to-do list is a mile long. You are a hard worker and others are counting on you. I admire your responsibility and dedication to work. But, just as there is a time for work, there is also a time for restoration. Enter into My rest. Here, you will live completely with Me and be away from your own rest that is still full of distractions.

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

freedom this july {back porch Wednesdays}

Be strong and courageous today. Remember that I have already won the battle the accuser wages against you. Allow My spirit to fill your soul, enabling you to overcome trials of any size that you face. I AM the Wonderful Counselor and the Prince of Peace.

If you live life in chains, be chained to Me. Break free from a life of lies, deceit, and fear and live life encouraged, honorable, and free. Freedom can only be found in Me. I AM the Light that leads to a dawning of a new day. I want you to shine like the stars in the universe. Open your arms wide today and breathe in a renewed life full of hope and joy.

Deuteronomy 31:6, Isaiah 9:6, Philippians 1:13-14, 2:15

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

all free clear makes traveling easier

Last week, our family was scattered all over the place.

I surprised Raleigh with a trip to Chicago for his thirtieth birthday! We had so much fun seeing the city together and catching up with old friends.

2015-06-19 16.54.36

While we were up north, Ridley went to the beach with Raleigh’s parents and my parents took the girls to Disney World.

ridley waving

goofy

It was crazy getting everyone packed and sent their separate ways. A must-have travel companion of all three of my kids are their blankets. Adeline’s is a pink minky dot blanket, Maralee’s is a yellow check blanket that was mine as a kid, and Ridley’s is a super soft blue and white striped Pottery Barn blanket. They seriously can’t go anywhere without them! But, I was glad that they had a piece of home since we were so far away.

m sleeping

After four days of fun, we got back into town on Sunday night, just in time for Raleigh to get a Father’s Day hug before everyone passed out from traveling. That night, the girls sneaked into our bed (does anyone else’s kids do that still?) and Monday morning we woke up to those munchkins snuggled up next to us (with their blankets!). It was so hard to get out of bed and start the day. Even though they kick and twist and twirl, I really do love these sweet little moments.

This week has been rough getting back in the groove of things and I have just really treasured being at home with the kids after work each day. We’ve caught up on laundry (thank goodness for “all” free clear!) and the blankets have all been washed and dried, ready to be used by our kiddos. I love how “all” free clear is 100% hypoallergenic and how I can wash Ridley’s clothes, blankets, and sheets in it, even though his skin is still baby sensitive. I also really like how it makes our clothes smell! It’s not a strong fragrance – it is just a fresh, clean smell.

2015-06-17 21.06.40

All moms need laundry detergent, especially for their summer traveling laundry. My friends over at “all” free clear are offering a $1 coupon off any all free clear product. Their products include OXI mighty packs, OXI booster, and “all” free clear laundry detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets.

Who doesn’t love coupons?!

Summer has been so much fun around our house and we are getting ready to hit the road again this weekend. Laundry is a necessity after traveling but it is so worth it to get to make sweet memories as a family. I love having our family “all” back together again! ha :)

“all” free clear is the #1 recommended detergent brand by Dermatologists, Allergists, and Pediatricians for sensitive skin. It’s tough on stains yet gentle enough for the whole family. Plus, it’s safe for use in standard and HE machines. It rinses clean and has a gentle, hypoallergenic formula. Powerful Clean. Gentle on Skin.

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

friendship {back porch wednesdays}

To journey life with a friend is one of the many gifts I love to give.  Molding two individuals into companions can happen over gatherings of food, weekend retreats, or even back down a road once traveled. As I watch you laugh, joke, and play, I can feel the joy exuding from your soul.  You appreciate My blessing and I accept your thanks in return.

Even when friends vow to love at all times; adversity can strike a relationship. A quick tongue, an unsettling glance, avoidance in public settings…all these things (and so much more) can tear two friends apart.  So often, I am caught in the middle.  She says this; you say that…the cries come at all times day or night.  My answer to both of you is clear: seek forgiveness and grace.

A simple word can wash away the past.  Let go of your pride and apologize for your wrong-doing.  Be humble and merciful and trust Me when I tell you forgiveness far outweighs resentment.  A tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.  In this life; you will find very little friends that stick closer than a brother.  Keep these friends and mend relationships when necessary.  Your joy can never be complete with hatred in your heart.

Proverbs 17:17, Proverbs 15:4, Proverbs 18:24

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen