Psalm 113 Printable Bible Verse Cards

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Psalm 113 Printable Bible Verse Cards | Through Clouded Glass

People don't give presents for Thanksgiving.  I guess that is because we are typically focusing more on what we have already received instead of what we are going to receive.

But I'm going to change things up a bit and give a little present to my newsletter subscribers anyway! 

I have been wanting to memorize more Bible verses (though it's been challenging to follow through with how busy things have been the last couple months!), and I think it is so much easier to memorize verses if they are printed in a pretty way.

Psalm 113 Printable Bible Verse Cards | Through Clouded Glass

Psalm 113, is a Psalm that I have been wanting to memorize in full.  This Psalm speaks to the power and provision of God, and it has been one that I have clung to when life has been unpredictable.  

I don't know where Thanksgiving will find you this year, whether you are in a time of abundant blessings and have a heart of joy, or whether the unimaginable is happening to you and your heart is full of pain.  These are verses that have given me hope through difficult seasons.  Our God has the power to perform miracles.  But even when life is heartbreaking, and nothing is changing, Jesus has already brought us up from "the ash heap" by dying to save us, and promising us Heaven when we believe in Him.  

Psalm 113 Printable Bible Verse Cards | Through Clouded Glass

This Psalm is still like a balm to my soul when life gets hard.  It reminds me of His power and provision, not merely for life here, which will never be what it should be until He returns, but for my eternity.  When I remember all He has done, it's hard not to give thanks.  I hope that no matter where you might find yourself, you find these verses as encouraging as I have.

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Pumpkin Maple Fudge

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The very first year Derek and I were married, I went all out on the holiday baking.  When you are newly married, the holidays are twice as exciting, and for Thanksgiving and Christmas that year, I baked as much as our small budget would allow us.  I actually made four different kinds of fudges for Christmas.  Four!  That's not even counting the cookies and store bought candy.  It's a wonder we made it through January without having to buy all new pants.

Lucky for you guys, all that fudge recipe experimenting made me a fudge-making expert, and now I come up with a new variety practically every month.  Since Thanksgiving is in two days, I thought I'd share my newest fudge recipe with you.  In case you are an over-eager holiday food maker, like I am.  You may not need another pumpkin recipe with the abundance of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, but this recipe is great for Christmas too!

Pumpkin Maple Fudge

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
4 tbsp pureed pumpkin
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
1 bag white chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows

1. Combine sugar, milk, pumpkin, butter, and spice in a saucepan.  Heat over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, and boil five minutes without stirring.

2. Remove from heat and stir in maple flavoring.

3. Add white chocolate chips and stir until melted.  Add marshmallows and stir until melted.  Pour into a greased dish - refrigerate until set.



Every Girl Gets Confused (A Review)

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In Every Girl Gets Confused, Katie Fisher is working at Cosmopolitan Bridal Shop, with her boyfriend, Brady.  As Brady prepares for knee surgery, Katy finds herself visiting her small hometown to prepare for her grandmother's wedding, and running into her ex-boyfriend Casey.  As Brady becomes more and more distracted, Katie is confused on where their relationship is heading.

I have read some of Thompson's other novels, and I enjoy her light-hearted style - this book was an easy read, but I also appreciated the lessons the characters learn about God's faithfulness through different seasons. 

The "theme" of this book was Doris Day, and in addition to mentions of Doris Day in the plot, there were Doris Day quotes to start each chapter.  I thought having a muse for the book added a fun dimension (and it looks like the inspiration for the next book in the series will be Audrey Hepburn, which I am excited about).

Many of the characters in this book were eccentric, in a way that wasn't quite believable, but that is typical of the sense of humor in Thompson's books.  There was one conversation line that alluded to an unwitting old lady accidentally viewing p.orn online that I did not appreciate.  I don't like jokes about por.nography because it is a serious problem, and a source of a lot of evil, so that didn't sit well with me, even though I know the author meant it to be silly.

I did enjoy some of the more over-the-top characters.  However, the distinct characters in this story did make me feel like the main character, Katie, didn't have enough quirks.  I felt like I wasn't able to get to know her as well as I would have liked because all the other characters stood out more.  

I do suspect I would feel more connected to Katie if I had read these books in order.  This book is the second in this series, and as I read it, I felt like I was missing some of the background story.  These novels are not stand-alones, but follow Katie through her romantic and family struggles, so for that reason I would recommend picking up the first book before this one to get the full picture.  However, I did enjoy this book and the quirky humor fit my mood perfectly.  A lot of the story also takes place during the holiday season, which made this time of year a fun time to read it. I look forward to picking up the next book when it is available!

Note: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for this review. This is my honest opinion.


Managing Baby And Toddler Schedules


A few months ago I went to a party of a friend.  She used one of those e-invite systems (I'm still not sure what I think about them, because I'm old-school and still send party invites through the mail).  With e-invites you can usually see everyone else's comments about their RSVP - and I was in a curious mood, so I read through some of the responses.

One comment in particular caught my eye - someone said they couldn't come to my friend's party because the party was in the evening, and their toddler usually went to bed at 7:00 PM.  

The comment struck me, I think in part because I understand even more than most how miserable things can get when your child is cranky and tired.  I have four kids under five, three of whom still nap and also go to bed at 7:00 PM.  When one of the kids cries, at least a couple more join in.

It can certainly make attending certain events more difficult. This can especially be an issue during seasons when schedules are not the same, like in the summer when it is light outside longer and there are more evening events, or during the holiday season when there are naturally more gatherings that might interfere with your normal routine.

I have two main thoughts about handling your baby's or toddler's routines when events or schedules interfere with the norm.

First, it's okay to say no.  

If you know a certain event will just push your child (or your own patience) beyond the limit, it's okay to pass on certain events.  Sometimes you know a week will be extra busy, and it is okay to say no to just one more thing for your sanity's sake.  Rest is something we all need, and it's undervalued in today's culture - but little ones have a tendency to remind us of that need.  If you need to take your cues from them sometimes, I think it can be a healthy thing.

On the other hand, I do think it is a problem if you let your baby or toddler's routine dictate your schedule.  Which brings me to my second bit of advice:

Don't always say no.

Events and gatherings with friends and family build those relationships, and build community.  I don't think it's a good thing to neglect that community just because it might cut into your toddler's naptime.  Yes, the nap time years are temporary, but depending on your child and the spacing of their siblings, it still adds up to several years of your lives.  Kids benefit from community and relationships outside immediate family, just like you do.

Is it hard to go to an event that will throw your child's routine off?  Yes, and I am aware that some kids are less flexible than others.  However, most babies and toddlers can learn to be flexible if given the chance to practice.  If you never give them the chance to be somewhere besides home when they are tired, it will ensure that they won't handle it well.   I don't recommend participating in things on a regular basis that will disrupt their routines, but doing the occasional unusual thing does get easier on everyone with practice.

I know these two points on handling young children's routines seem to contradict each other a bit, but I think of them more as two sides to the same coin.  During these baby years (and with so much else in parenting), it's all about finding a good balance.  Say no and rest when you need to, but don't rob your children or yourself of the chance to do fun things and have meaningful interactions during these young years just because it may require a bit more effort.

But is there anything you can do to make unusual schedules less of a nightmare?

You will also get better at managing schedules that are thrown off the more you do it! When we have something planned at an unusual time, I do a few things to hopefully make the whole thing easier.

1. With evening or nighttime events, I adjust naptime.  I move their naptime up or down by an hour (when I can) to help them be more rested for whatever adventure we have planned.  Doing this occasionally is also a good way to help your kids get that practice at being flexible, while still in the "safety" of your home!

2. I bring lots of snacks, toys, and board books.  Distraction can be a great thing to delay crankiness.  Board books with colorful illustrations are always great to keep my kids occupied.  If I may suggest a book, I Prayed For You is an adorably sweet book that is brand-new this month!  The illustrations are interesting and perfect for little ones, and the message is so touching and reassuring for tired kids.

3. I recognize the signs of an impending meltdown, and leave when I have to.  If I can tell my toddler or baby is getting to a dangerous point, we may leave early, and the kids will fall asleep in the car on the way home.  Bringing pajamas to change them into before you leave also makes the transition to bed easier.

You learn to prepare the best that you can, then manage the crankiness when it appears.  In the end, it is worth the effort, because you and your children got a chance to build relationships and maybe even make some fun memories in the process.

What do you do when an event might interfere with your child's sleep time?

Note: This post is sponsored and brought to you by Tommy Nelson.  All opinions are my own.


10 Thanksgiving Bible Verses


Bible Verses For Thanksgiving | Through Clouded Glass

This year we are hosting Thanksgiving at our house.  I am not one of those mini Martha Stewarts that has a grand plan for place settings and gourmet-type Thanksgiving dishes.  But my sister-in-law told me long ago that hosting Thanksgiving can be easy, because you just cook the turkey and have guests bring the sides.  I am taking her sage advice, and we are keeping things simple.  If I get the urge, I may buy some cloth napkins for our Thanksgiving table.  This is the extent of the "fancy" around here.

I want to keep Thanksgiving simple this year, because I want to spend less time stressing about getting a huge meal prepared, and more time enjoying our family and focusing on our gratitude for the blessing God has given us!  So one thing I would love to do over the days leading up to Thanksgiving is teach my kids some Bible verses that have to do with giving thanks.  

I looked up a few favorite thanksgiving Bible verses to share with you all!  A few ideas for how you can incorporate verses in your celebration:

-Memorize some of these verses with your kids, and have them each recite one before Thanksgiving dinner.  All of these would be easy for young kids to memorize, and you can add in some of the surrounding verses to give older kids more of a challenge.

-Print up these verses on decorative cards to include at each place setting.  Have guests read them aloud, or just allow them to take the cards home to use as a bookmark.

-Write a verse on a chalkboard, or create your own Thanksgiving printable to display!

Thanksgiving Chalkboard Verses | Through Clouded Glass

Thanksgiving Chalkboard Verses | Through Clouded Glass

10 Thanksgiving Bible Verses

"In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

" Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!"

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever."

"We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks!
For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near."

"Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous,
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.[a]"

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

"I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous works."

"Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms."

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
Be to our God forever and ever.
-Revelation 7:12

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples!"

-1 Chronicles 16:8

I love the idea of teaching Bible verses to my kids that go along with different seasons of the year, and I think these are some good verses to focus on as we enter Thanksgiving and the Christmas season!  Our blessings are so apparent at this time of year, and it's wonderful to have reminders to thank God for our blessings.

If you are looking for some ways to incorporate Bible verses that go along with different holidays or seasons, Liz Curtis Higgs's parable children's books are a great place to look for inspiration!  She has written four children's books that tell stories surrounding different seasons, with valuable lessons hidden in the stories - The Parable of the Lily (Easter/spring), The Sunflower Parable (summer), The Pumpkin Patch Parable (fall), and The Pine Tree Parable (Christmas/winter).

The Parable Treasury Book | Through Clouded Glass

The books also include Bible verses throughout the pages that go along with the principles of the stories.  I always thought these would be great Bible verses to work on with my kids, so I was excited to get The Parable Treasury, which is a volume that includes all four of the Parable books!  My kids have already been pestering me to read it with them, and I am happy to use this as an opportunity to help them hide more of God's word in their hearts over the next months.

(P.S. See those little cards in the background of the first photo in this post?  Those are printable cards of Psalm 113, going out to my newsletter subscribers soon.  Cards are so helpful in memorizing verses.  Sign up for my newsletter if you haven't already, and keep an eye out in your inbox!)


I also have a treat for you - 

Tommy Nelson has offered to give one of my readers a copy of 
The Parable Treasury!  

I'm making this a Twitter giveaway, so to enter:

1. Go to my Twitter profile.

2. Find and Retweet this tweet:

"Great resource to teach kids valuable lessons and Scripture throughout the year!   "

That's it!  Must be a U.S. resident to enter.  I'll pick a random winner on Friday, November 20 and contact the winner via Twitter.  If winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner may be chosen.  Prize provided and mailed by Tommy Nelson.


What are some ways you incorporate Scripture and giving thanks to God into your Thanksgiving celebration? 

Note: I received a copy of The Parable Treasury for free from Tommy Nelson in exchange for an honest review.


When Christmas Stresses You Out

When Christmas Stresses You Out | Through Clouded Glass

I have a little confession to make - Christmas time stresses me out.

When I was a child, Christmas season was a month full of fun.  Parties, Christmas decorations, good food, time with family and friends, presents - what was not to love?  Little did I realize how much work went into all that Christmas magic every year, especially by my mom.  Now I'm the mom, and I realize just how stressful all the logistics of Christmas can be.

Over the last couple years I have been trying to figure out how to go about making Christmas less of a stress - so I can have a December that is a month full of fun for me too!  These are a few things that I have figured out so far (I'd love to hear any of your tips, so comment below with your thoughts)!

Shop Ahead 

You know who is the queen of planning ahead for Christmas?  My sister.  That girl starts her Christmas shopping in April, and I wouldn't be surprised if she has all the presents wrapped and ready to go by the end of October.  I tease her sometimes about the fact that she shops so early and listens to Christmas music in July, but she has one thing figured out - Christmas time is less stressful if you plan ahead.  

There really is no reason not to start your Christmas shopping in April.  I took a cue from her this year and bought several presents early, and even though I still have a bit of shopping to do, I am finding myself less stressed going into the holiday season.  Another reason to shop early is that it spreads the expense out over several months, instead of getting a big Christmas present bill all at once in December.  You can't plan ahead for everything (Christmas cookies baked in April may be stale by December), but get started early on the things you can plan for, like presents and the budget.


It is so hard to simplify Christmas because there are a million different elements to the holiday that feel so essential.  Doesn't everyone bake an array of Christmas cookies every year?  Don't we need to have an adorable (and perfect-looking) picture for our Christmas card?  And shouldn't every child create handprint reindeer for Grandma and search for that creepy little elf every morning in December?

The short answer - no.

Choose two, maybe three, favorite Christmas goodies and let the rest go - or participate in a cookie swap so you can have a variety of Christmas cookies without all the effort.  Send out good 'ole non-picture Christmas cards - tuck a snapshot inside if you want your extended family and friends to see how your kids have grown.  And for goodness sake, back away from Pinterest.  If you have time for all the Christmas crafts, go for it, but otherwise, know when to say no.  

It is okay to pick and choose your Christmas activities, and you shouldn't try to do everything.  I think it's nice to have a handful of family Christmas traditions that you do every year, but everything else can be on a year-by-year basis.  

Remember Why We Celebrate

"Jesus is the reason for the season" can start to seem cliche around this time of year, but say it with me anyway: Jesus is the reason for the season.  

It's less important to make every detail of Christmas perfect, and more important to be a blessing to our families and others, and to reflect Jesus's love to those around us.  Remember the real reason we are celebrating.  Jesus, who was God, was born as a human baby, so He could grow up and become a sacrifice for our sins.  He was born so He could die and rise again, so we could live.  That is mind-blowing, and it is tragic to become so busy with all the Christmas preparations that we miss that.  Slow down with each Christmas activity and take time to remind your children (and yourself) why we are doing all this in the first place.

When Christmas Stresses You Out | Through Clouded Glass

A great resource for reminding kids about the true meaning of Christmas is the book, "A Merry Little Christmas Prayer".  If one of those traditions you decide to keep is giving your kid a Christmas book for each day of advent, add this one in!  Each page describes a Christmas activity, and then relates it back to the best Christmas gift of all, which is Jesus's birth.  It is written in poem form and is beautifully illustrated.  I am so excited to break this one out to read to my kids in the next couple weeks, and I think it will be a Christmas bedtime favorite for our family.

What are some ways that you try to combat the Christmas time stress?

(I really want to know, because I'm still figuring it out myself!)


Note: I received a copy of "A Merry Little Christmas Prayer" in exchange for a review.  This is my honest opinion.


How Do You Hold On To The Moments?

How Do You Hold On To The Moments? | Through Clouded Glass

I had an afternoon with half the kids the other day.

Maybe I should back up a bit.  Life has been busy but good.  I am slowly figuring out this four kid thing, but I'm not going to lie, our house is rarely peaceful these days!  Derek took the boys with him to process his deer last weekend (we really only eat wild game, and it saves us a ton of money in beef costs), and I was left with only Gwen and Clarice.

I forgot how quiet the house is when there are half the kids around.  On the one hand, it was nice to have a relatively peaceful afternoon.  On the other hand, I almost cried kissing those sweet little boy faces goodbye, even if it was only for a few hours.

Clarice napped most of the afternoon, and Gwen and I had a nice time together, coloring pictures and singing songs (and maybe eating some ice cream, but you didn't hear that from me).  I'm glad we had a girl's day.  The boys came back and ran around, telling me stories (Wyatt), and blowing me kisses (Clyde).  I got Clarice dressed for bed, and she gave me the sweetest bright-eyed, dimpled smiles.

It's chaotic around here with four kids, but I wouldn't trade any moment, and I think I needed a little quiet to remember that.

During my afternoon of quiet, I was fiddling around on WordSwag on my phone, and I realized that you can choose to have the app fill in a quote for you.  So I shuffled through the available quotes, and this one popped up on the screen.

"Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory."

You know who said that?  Dr. Suess.  Apparently he didn't just rhyme and draw mythical creatures (or is that quote in one of the rhyming books?).

How Do You Hold On To The Moments? | Through Clouded Glass

I'm in this weird place right now, between being achingly aware of the value of each moment that is slipping through my fingers, and also feeling like I'm not valuing the moments as well as I should.  Clarice outgrew her first newborn outfit the other day.  Wasn't she just born a few days ago?  She outgrew it.  My (probably) last baby outgrew an outfit, and never again (probably) will another baby of mine wear those clothes.

(Yes, I said probably.  Twice.  That is another story for another day.)

It's just all going too fast for me.  It's too fast.  I'm not ready for the moments to pass even as they are whizzing by me.

Time either needs to slow down, or I need to take a minute to focus in on those moments instead of letting them fade into the ever-marching blur.

But writing it out like this?  That helps.  It helps me focus on the moments.  Writing has always helped me process and reflect, and in the midst of this blurry, busy season, I need to go back to that.

Sometimes as moms, we need a way to document the passage of time.  Some might write, some might take pictures, some may scrapbook.  Capturing those moments and emotions in some way - it's important.  It's acknowledging the value of the moment, and it's a reminder to us that the now (even the messy, pungent, noisy, imposing now) will someday be a memory.

For me, writing and photos help me tangibly grab on to those moments, grab a bit of their essence and preserve it, so I feel less anxious and obsessive about the fact that they are streaming by (yes, I am obsessing right now - it's hard not to obsess about the rapid passage of time when you have a newborn that seems to look different every single day).  And I am reminded to use these present moments well, because even though I can't get them back, what I do with them ripples into eternity.

So maybe this will be a more regular occurrence on this blog, these word dumps, these capturing of emotions and moments.  I don't know.  But today I needed this.  Thank you all for humoring me.

Because it is all just going too fast.

How do you hang on to those moments long enough to let them soak in before they are gone forever?

(That question sounds terribly melodramatic, but I am in a terribly melodramatic mood as of late.)
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