Thinking Time: A Daily Key to My Sanity

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Recently my kids and I were eating lunch when a neighbor boy knocked on the patio door. My six-year-old jumped up from the table to slide open the door. “Hi John, we’re eating lunch right now, and then I have a quiet time, but I can ask my mom if I can play after that.” I was thrilled that my son knew our daily “Quiet Time” was a non-negotiable part of a day at home.

I have required my sons to rest after lunch since they were born…. For several years it was a nap, but when they began to give up naps, I still needed them to rest so their siblings could nap, and so I could have a moment of peace and quiet.

Betsy talks about this habit in “Tips: Practical Ideas for Building Unity and Order in Our Children”. She recommends the following guidelines:

  • When they’ve outgrown naps
  • A precursor to quiet time
  • No toys, may have music or book, but nothing is best
  • It’s just time to meditate or think (and you get a small break)
  • 30-45 minutes long (who knows, they might take a nap)
  • I timed it so I could begin dinner and have the house calmed down for when David arrived home

I have taken the heart of this idea, and modified it slightly for our family. We have it right after lunch, because I want a quiet home in which to put my youngest down for a nap. Also, if the older ones fall asleep, I need them to do it early in the day rather than later! My kids are 3, 4 1/2, and 6 right now. Even though my boys share a bedroom, I have all three of them in different bedrooms for the rest time. I say, “It’s Quiet Time!” and the little feet run up the stairs. How did I get them to do this? I have made a deal that the first one up the stairs gets to pick the room they rest in. Being in my bed or the guest room is really exciting for them...hopefully that lasts a while! I make sure they’ve gone to the bathroom, make sure they have books, tuck them in, and set a timer for about 40 minutes. If they didn’t hear the timer go off, I open each bedroom to see who fell asleep, and tell the boys they can come back down to play. During the school year, we do school all morning, then have lunch, then quiet times. My boys know that after Quiet Time they can watch a show if we don’t have any additional school work to finish.

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Was it difficult to initiate this practice? Since the transition from napping to no-napping can be hairy, I think having a Quiet Time helped. However, I have to be honest that there are those moments that the little ones want to escape from their rooms because it is “Just so looooonnngggg, Mom!” I did set the timer for shorter periods as I was first training each one to help with this. Also…. I put a childproof handle on one of the doors. If a child has a hard time staying in his room one day, he now knows he will be in the room with the handle the next day! Even so, there have been days in which the door is repeatedly kicked, and correction is needed. All disciplines take training. You may have a frustrating week setting the standard, but you will be blessed for YEARS after it has been established! Remember, “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 12:11)

This daily practice has been such a blessing to me. My boys are energetic and loud, and it brings me a little sanity to have them each in a room by themselves, focusing on books or their thoughts, so that I can organize mine! I usually start out the time finishing up a few housekeeping items (like responding to emails or making calls), and end it by having time with the Lord. What I like about this is that when my kids come down from their quiet times, they see me having mine too! I wish I was a morning person and could clock in a good quiet time before I have kiddos jump into my bed, but it’s just not me. Instead I try to play worship music  in the mornings to start my day out inviting God in, but I need to wait to have focused time in the Word. Sometimes I need to get my focus back on God in the middle of the day, and having my quiet time then really helps me. During some of the tiring pregnancy months, I have even snuck in a quick nap. On weekends, my husband and I use the time to catch up on our to-dos, debrief on the church service, or just talk (sometimes it’s nice to do that when you aren’t tired from a whole day with the kids. :) ) Regardless of how you use the time your children are resting, we mamas need some free moments!   

I also love the training this is providing for my little guys. In a world so inundated with constant communication, I am thankful they are learning to be still. In addition, I think this has helped instill a love of books in them.

One day my boys were being very good, and I wanted them to understand that a daily quiet time is part of a life in Christ, not just part of your childhood, so I let them read Bibles (all at their own levels) on the couch while I read mine. (Of course I told them this was a special circumstance, and it would not be the norm!)

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Do you have a similar practice or routine in your home? If not, can you see it blessing your daily sanity?

Posted on August 16, 2017 .

Kids on Marriage: What Makes Someone a Good Wife?

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Sometimes you just feel completely uninspired about how to be the wife that your husband needs you to be. If you’re in one of those slumps, never fear. I have polled the experts...the ones that live with you, watch your marriage, and soak in every word and nuance like sponges. Yep, your kids.

 

Turns out they have some GREAT advice about how you can be doing better. Here’s a sampling of kids’ responses to the question…

What do you think makes someone a good wife?

“Not being mean to children.”
-Canden, Age 5

“Number one, they have to love the Lord. They have to be patient and calm so that they don’t really get too hot tempered. They have to have good work skills too, because the guy’s gonna be away almost every single day except for two days. It’s hard to think of anything else.”
-Isaiah, Age 11

“Why are you asking me?”
-Eva, Age 8

“She cares about her husband and the family and the people she loves. And she does surprises.”
-Sam, Age 11

“If you want kids, you need a nice wife.”
-Jocelyn, Age 8

“Someone who cleans up after you.”
-Andrew, Age 12

“Someone who is an artist, helps the poor because that is a nice thing to do, loves the husband, makes food for the husband, sleds with her husband, and has a lot of fun.”
-Jane, Age 6

“Someone who believes in God and also that they are beautiful. And that they are nice.”
-Gavin, Age 8

“It’s someone who listens to you, someone who will give you help when it is needed, and someone who has many talents so that they could be the mom at home or the mom at the job. Having a wife is great.”
-Brayden, Age 12

“Zero!!! I don’t want to fall in love!!”
-Lincoln, Age 6

“To be good to your kids and to help your husband if he gets old.”
-Abby, Age 6

“I love you and that’s what makes you a good wife. I don’t know what else makes you a good wife. Going on dates with Daddy, that makes you good. Mama, can I have a popsicle?”
-Violet, Age 4

Photo credits Ellen Swalley/ Red Sweater Photography

Photo credits Ellen Swalley/ Red Sweater Photography

“Give people good food.”
-Andrew, Age 5

“They love the Lord. They love you. They like their husband’s mom and dad.”
-Eva, Age 8

“Happy!”
-Everett, Age 3

“She has to be cool to me.”
-Ryder, Age 4

“Religion, meaning the same religion we believe in. Why are we even having this conversation like 10 years before I even get married? Actions, if they are nice to people. If they have any bounty.” [Mom: “What’s that?”] “It would take me like 5 years to explain. Ask Dad.”
-Luke, Age 11

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“To be a good wife is to help each other and get brothers and sisters for your babies.”
-Abby, Age 6

“I don’t know, I’m not married yet. Being a Christian, that’s about it. I honestly don’t know, I’m not getting married for like 10 years. I haven’t even thought about this stuff before!”
-Owen, Age 13

“Umm, a good husband.”
-Emerson, Age 4

“To have kids and be happy. And then maybe your kids will love you too.”
-CJ, Age 5

“When they give him a surprise.”
-Shay, Age 2

“They are happy.”
-Hudson, Age 6

“How she takes care of the family and if she tries her best.”
-Ben, Age 9

“Loves her children and takes care of her husband.”
-Ainsley, Age 6

“Ants. And moms.”
-Jesse, Age 3

“With a boy. With her wife, and her man. That she has a man, that makes her good. And she’s gonna marry him. And she gets flowers. And she gets a dress and she gets a crown. And she gets to, um, eat cake. And she gets to have wedding cake. And she gets to put it on the wife’s face. Sometimes the wife puts cake on their face and stuff. And she gets to dance with him. And the yucky part when she kisses, ugh.”
-Samantha, Age 6

“Carrie.” [Dad: “What’s Carrie? Do you know what a wife is?”] “Yeah. Her.” [Points to stuffed bear.]
-DJ, Age 3

“Make sure she doesn’t not pay attention to her husband.”
-Zoe, Age 8

“Being nice to your husband and nice to your family.”
-Abi, Age 5

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“Helping people by taking care of them, keeping them alive.”
-Ethan, Age 6

“A wife who is always growing in her relationship with God and her husband.”
-Carson, Age 13

“Loves somebody.”
-Emery, Age 5

“Emery.”
-Adley, Age 5

“I don’t know...take care of babies really good?”
-Lilyanna, Age 5

“When they dance with their husband and then he says thanks.”
-Emerson, Age 4

“She says nice stuff.”
-Anastasia, Age 5

“Someone you can trust and trusts you. You need complete trust in each other.”
-Marc, Age 18

“Someone who does the dishes instead of the husband.”
-Ryan, Age 10

“Other than someone who loves the Lord...wise and smart.”
-Zeke, Age 11

“I don’t know. Just kidding, I know. I’m just not telling you.”
-Evan, Age 5

“Loyalty and the ability to put yourself in your husband’s shoes. Intelligent and moral.”
-Sallik, Age 18

“Personality, honesty, and a good cleaner.”
-Calen, Age 10

“She is loving and caring and has ‘everyday skills.’ “
-Charlie, Age 11

“Nothing, just be good.”
-McKenna, Age 3

“My mom.”
-Lana, Age 6

Well there ya go! This was actually quite an eye opening experiment. I assumed we would get all sorts of nonsensical and hilarious answers (and there were certainly a few…!) but in general these kids knew what was up! The most common answers were that a good wife loves the Lord, is kind, is helpful, is a good listener, and loves her husband and children. Those answers were given countless times! The good news I see is 1) that our children are listening, watching, and seeing the RIGHT things modeled (yay moms!), and 2) that the formula is actually pretty darn easy to boil down. So keep it up, girls! Grow in your love for the Lord, and for your husband. Love your children. Be nice. Be helpful. And keep his “surprises” coming!

Posted on August 9, 2017 and filed under Building Your Family.

Conquering Summer Without Losing Good Habits

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School year schedules and routines provide us with great opportunities to create foundational habits in our children. But what happens when summer rolls around? Schedules become much looser, therefore less routine is needed and habits begin to fall by the wayside. How are we supposed to get through the summer without losing everything we have built with our child during the school year? My hope is to help you conquer the summer with some healthy habits and tips we have put into practice.

Creating good habits for summer activities is something we have been trying to fine tune this summer and we have now started to see some success!  Believe it or not my girlies start back school the 24th of July; that’s right my friend, the 24th. Our summer break is almost done! Since we live in Arizona and it’s so HOT here in the summers, a lot of the school districts have year round school. Our summers in AZ are like most midwest winters, you can’t really be outside too long. And everyone says, “but it’s a dry heat!” Let me tell you, 120 degrees regardless of the humidity is no joke, and by July all the pools begin to feel like bath water too. (Don’t feel too badly for us though, when the weather is beautiful we have a two and a half week fall break, almost three week Christmas break and a two and a half week spring break.)

Getting back to summers, just because school is out and there’s not quite as much to do, doesn’t mean good habits should go out the window. So what does it look like to maintain those good habits over the summer months? How much TV do we allow? Does it start first thing in the morning? How many minutes should they read? How much playtime together is expected? Should they review math over the summer? How long should they play outside? (applies only if you don’t live in the desert).

Here are a few guiding principles:

1. Expectations. Setting up expectations for your children is probably the most important thing. My girlies do so much better when they know what to expect. It’s one way for us as parents to help them succeed. First though, you’ll have to establish what priorities and habits you want to lay down for the summer months for your family.

2. Summer Rules. Our summer rules are a combination of things we already had in place and those of others who have gone before us on this journey! They consist of a list of activities that must be done before they get any screen time of any sort. Our girlies didn’t initially love the system we put in place but quickly adapted to our rules. So again, it’s all about expectations. Our rules are as follows and can be done in any order:

  • Read for 30 minutes
  • Play piano for 30 minutes
  • Make your bed and clean up your room
  • Eat breakfast
  • Brush your teeth and get dressed
  • 20 minutes of writing/coloring
  • Make/build something creative
  • Clean up one room
  • Play for 20 minutes with siblings
  • Help someone in the family
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Remember every family looks differently so adapt to what activities and habits you want to build and instill into your sweet kiddos.

3. Follow through. Don’t lose heart, it might take some time to build those habits but with continued encouragement and dare I say, even a reward system, you can create some great habits. Don’t forget, habits also lend a hand in creating character in our sweet littles so keep pressing on!

4. Grace. As with everything in life, when something is being taught, there needs to be room for growth. And with growth come mistakes. So, give your kiddos some grace as you are establishing the habits you want to cultivate over the summer months. One of our points of grace is that Saturday and Sunday they get a break from summer rules. Now this doesn’t mean they don’t have to do their normal chores such as making bed and cleaning up after themselves, it just means they don’t have to check everything off their list for those days.

Blessings as you continue to grow as a parent and find what works best with your sweet littles in this journey of parenting!

Posted on July 19, 2017 and filed under Building Your Family.

25 Summer Fun Ideas that Cost Under $5

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For homeschooling moms, summer is thrilling because we get to loosen up a bit with our kids. For moms of other school-age children, summer is a great time to build memories with the extra gift of time. Regardless of your situation, I know all of us really want to enjoy this beautiful season!

The “Summer Bucket Lists” floating around are really fun… yet some of the ideas get a little elaborate or pricey for my budget. I want my kids to have a fun summer, but I don’t think we have to go broke to do it. I also don’t want to set the bar so high one season that I can’t live up to it in the subsequent years! My goal is to have intentional time with my kids, and here are some fun ideas we’ve discovered that are all very simple and inexpensive:

  1. Catch fireflies. The most exciting part of this is that you probably have to delay bedtime!
  2. Use your plastic Easter eggs, put glow sticks in them, and have a night egg hunt.
  3. Go to a new park or beach. My boys are in a season in which this easy option is thrilling!  
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4.              Make sidewalk chalk pictures. I love the ones that have your child lay down with the image to become part of the scene. (My kids are still getting the hang of this, but it’s still adorable!)

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5.              Have a picnic dinner at a new location.

6.              Camp in your backyard.

7.              Family fort sleepover in your living room!

8.              Buy popsicles and let your kids eat them in the bathtub.

9.              Make homemade ice cream, popsicles, or slushies.

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10.           Stargaze.

11.           Stay up late for a family movie night and make your own popcorn. Bonus if you can project it on the side of your house!

12.           Sprinkler play date.

13.           Give each child a $1 and see what they can find at a garage sale.

14.           Build bottle rockets with your recycling materials!

15.           Make your own bubble solution and wands. Pipe cleaners work well.

16.           Make shaving cream paint. Do this outside on a really hot day, so afterwards you can hose the kids off.

17.           Pajama ice cream run! Get cheap ice cream cones at the drive-thru.

18.           Bug hunt at a nature preserve or park. The dollar store has great kits with mini nets, containers, and magnifying glasses. (The large butterfly net was leftover from our butterfly hatching experiment.)

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19.           Go frog catching. You can buy nets at the dollar store, and use recycled buckets for storage containers.

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20.           Cloudwatch on an afternoon that isn’t stifling hot.

21.           Have your kids wash your cars. GIve them a little tip if they do a nice job!

22.           Help garden or pick weeds, and then make dirt cakes.

23.           Perform the Mentos/Diet Coke experiment.

24.           Use baking soda/dish soap/vinegar/food coloring to create a great science experiment. Simply put the baking soda, a little food coloring, and a squirt of dish soap in cups. Place the cups inside of a baking pan, and let your kids pour in vinegar. They will love the reaction!

25.           Wake up early to see the sunrise. Take granola bars with you or have crockpot oatmeal waiting for you when you get home.

Also, see what ideas your kids have! Give them parameters, such as it has to free, and the whole family needs to be able to do it, and see what their create minds imagine!

May you have wonderful times with your little ones this summer!!

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Posted on July 12, 2017 and filed under Building Your Family.

Why Did God Place the Tree in the Garden?

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My brother recently started reading Genesis for the first time. Not a believer, he’s curious to know what’s in the Bible. A few chapters in, he started grappling with a question that many of us have also asked ourselves. “If God knew that Adam and Eve were going to eat the fruit, why did He put the tree there in the first place?”

At first glance, it might seem like the ultimate form of entrapment. Perhaps it feels like God decided to play a game of cat and mouse with His new creations for the sake of His own amusement. Or maybe it feels like God was conducting a divine experiment, the outcome of which He did not yet know. Nothing could be further from the truth. God had a perfect plan for the trees.

Yes, trees. There were two special trees in the garden: the “tree of life” and the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Adam and Eve were only forbidden from eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

There was nothing unfair or deceptive in God’s placing the trees in the center of the garden. Nothing that Adam and Eve needed was being withheld from them—at least nothing that would improve their lives. They had all that they could need. There was also nothing in God’s command that was beyond their capacity to keep it.

The garden was the place of perfect fellowship with God—a holy place. At the center were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam was put in charge of the garden but he failed in his duties. He allowed a foul creature to desecrate the holy place and gave dominion of it to Satan by falling for his scheme and eating of the fruit. Sin did not originate with Adam; it originated with Satan. Adam had no predisposition to sin before the fall but He gave into the temptation from Satan (through Eve). It’s interesting how easily we can be made to believe that we “deserve” something we don’t have, and then disobey God to get it, rather than trust Him for what He has provided.

God would actually banish Adam and Eve from the garden for their protection so that they would not eat of the tree of life (Genesis 3:24). It they had eaten of that tree in their sinful state, they would have existed forever as fallen beings without hope.

God reveals His justice in condemning the serpent (Satan and his seed). He also reveals His mercy in dealing with Adam and Eve by providing a Way of salvation for the guilty. The first mention of the gospel in the Bible is in Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He (Jesus) will bruise you on the head (destroy evil forever) and you (Satan) shall bruise him on the heel (unsuccessfully attempt to destroy his plan).” The final outcome will be that those who are in Christ will live in a restored Eden (heaven) without the presence of evil.

Apart from a fuller understanding of Adam’s sin and its impact on all humanity, it is not possible to understand how Jesus’ sacrifice restores our fellowship with God. Jesus reverses the curses; He is the One who rescues the guilty, making it possible to “pass from death to life” — eternal life. (John 5:24)

Did God place the trees to trick Adam and Eve? Certainly not! God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. He is perfect in all of His ways. He is love. He has numbered every hair on our heads, and holds every one of our tears in a bottle. He knew us before the foundation of the world, knit us together in our mother’s wombs, and is intimately acquainted with all of our ways. God loved the world so much, that He gave his only Son as the payment for our sin, so that whoever believes in him could have eternal life.

So how can we let this grow our faith? First of all, take comfort that God doesn’t do anything lightly. He does it purposefully. He has our best interests at heart. When hard things happen, when awful tragedies strike, and when life seems its most unfair, God can be trusted. He will be faithful to you. His plans are perfect, and His motivation is that the world would come to see Him as He really is and glorify Him.

Secondly, He will not abandon you. I believe it is good to ask these questions of the Bible. Study reveals time and again the great lengths to which God will go to save and provide for His people. He has promised that He will not forsake you in your time of need. He is the God who saves.

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And lastly, He longs to be in a relationship with you. Do not harden your heart. Today can be the day of your salvation. Accept the payment for your sin that Jesus made on the cross, and believe in Him for eternal life.

The tree of life means that God’s intent for humanity was always life and not death. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was there because God is holy and we are to obey him. Those who trust in Jesus Christ by faith will live in the restored Eden and partake of the tree of life.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
” (Revelation 2:7)

 

(This post is co-authored by Betsy Corning and Laura Irion)

Posted on July 8, 2017 and filed under Building Your Faith.

More is caught than taught: what am i really teaching my children?

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One of the things that has been convicting me on my mama journey is this thought: "More is caught than taught."  

I have known this truth for a long time but was reminded of it recently through my two junior high-aged daughters in a couple of different ways. 
 

Each morning, just like you, I wake up and go about my day. Doing all the things. Momming, cleaning, comforting, disciplining, cooking, driving, exercising, talking on the phone .... all the things we moms do each day, every day, without really thinking about it. Every day kind of looks like the one before and the one after, but then...God has a way of waking us out of our fog and teaching—or reminding us of—a valuable truth.

I was first recently reminded of that saying, "More is caught than taught," one day, when a teenaged girl from the kids' school popped over to have me cut her hair. (My fancy salon setup consists of a chair placed in the middle of the kitchen and a hair cape.) To my surprise both of my girls snuggled up on the kitchen eat-in bench and sat unmoving and fixated on this "big" girl's every move and word. It is the quietest my girls have been in our home in a loooooong while. They both just sat there taking it all in. 

It struck me, and reminded me, how much "littles" look up to "bigs."  It also reminded me that although I am not a cool, cute high school girl, I am still my girls' constant "big."  My little girls look up to me, observe and take in what I do and how I do it all day, every day. 

The second time was a "call out" by my girls. I had just shut the door from chatting with one of our elderly neighbors and turned around to see those two sets of brown eyes staring at me. They giggled a little and said, "Mom, whenever you talk to someone at the door you talk so Southern and sweet. Then you turn back to us and say in a "blah" voice, 'OK kids get back to our chores please.'"

It was true. Here I was slathering mere acquaintances with sweet honey tones from my mouth but not treating my kids to that same sweetness in tone and attitude. And they are the people I love the most! It was a good "call out"... a sobering healthy "call out." 

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You see, they were observing and learning. How am I going to teach them to "speak life to each other, use your kind words first always, be encouraging even if you're joking, look at my eyes when you talk to me, love your brother /sister well..." all the things I say over and over daily to my kids if I, as their mama, am not also holding myself to that same standard?

Now don't hear me saying that this should be an all-the-time-24/7-sweet-talk thing. There is a definite time for a "mommy tone" in our kids' lives, BUT what is my daily interaction with my kids layered with? It made me stop and think, repent and realize, the importance of being intentionally sweet to my kids in action and speech. 

They learn most from how I respond when the Gatorade—with no lid on—gets knocked across the kitchen, and seeps down into the island drawers and floor and is all over me as well.  (Obviously this is a real thing that just happened ... I only had to wash the floor 4 times to get it unsticky. Bless it.)

They learn when they are telling me something and I'm nodding and texting on my phone at the same time, no eye contact involved. They learn when I choose social media over a game, reading, or playing outside with them.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3

All of this is to say: Stop this week and do a quick "call out" on yourself. See what needs to be weeded from your life in this mom season. Intentionally determine what convictions you want your kiddos to be picking up, because how we live as mamas on an everyday basis is what they really see and learn from. 

Now the beauty of this all, is that it has been a sweet reminder of my intense, daily need for Jesus. I am a sinner that messes up, and my kids (who are also sinners) see that too. That's not a bad thing! But, they also get to see a God who lavishes me, and them, with his love and grace every time we do mess up. They get to see a mama who has to stop and apologize to them for being grumpy or angry and we remember together that Jesus paid it all and gives us a clean slate every time. Thank you Lord!  

Unless the Lord build the house they labor in vain who build it;
unless the Lord guards the city the watchmen labor in vain.
 Psalm 127:1

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 So the good news in all this is that just because more is being caught then taught doesn't mean we have to walk a perfect tightrope of right choices. It means, our responses in those mess ups and in our daily small choices, is what our kids get to "catch on" to; that a life filled with a relationship with Jesus brings joy, hope, peace and trust in the only Someone who never messes up. It's us being prayerfully dependent upon God and not our own self sufficiency and learning to  "pray without ceasing" I Thessalonians 4:17.

So why not take a moment this week to intentionally think through, What is being caught by my kids in my life that might need tweaking? Take some minutes to be before the Lord and ask for his help to change and grow in those areas. Over time, He will patiently and lovingly change you from the inside out, just as He promised. 

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.

What a beautiful promise for mamas (and their children) who daily need this hope. 

Posted on June 28, 2017 and filed under Building Your Family.

Entrusted Recipes: Key Lime Pie Cookies

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Every so often I get a hankering for sugar cookies. Not the ones that are a bit crispy around the edges but the ones that have more butter than sugar and well...just plain melt in your mouth.
I grew up with this yummy kind of sugar cookies my entire life. Every Christmas we would make cutouts with them and decorate with gobs of frosting, and every Valentine’s Day my mom would make giant heart cookies with frosting for each family member with our name on it.

Needless to say, the cookies went very quickly and unfortunately we only got them twice a year.

Last summer as I was craving a sugar cookie (it had been 6 months without a bite!), I decided it might be fun to create a variation so I would have an excuse to make them in the summer months; thus the Key Lime Pie Cookie was born.

They are super easy to make…

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Place butter and sugar in your mixer and beat until creamy. Add in the key lime zest and mix to allow the flavor to incorporate throughout. You can use either a lime or a key lime. (I have found it is easier to juice and zest a lime rather than a small key lime.)  

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Add in your egg and beat until creamy again and then add vanilla and lime juice and mix.

I have been using pure Mexican vanilla for about 7 years now in my baking and let me just say, it makes all the difference in the world.

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Mix your flour and baking powder together and slowly add to the mixer. The dough will eventually form into a ball and will not be sticky.

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Transfer the dough and roll it out to about a half an inch. Pick any shaped cookie cutter (even the top of a round drinking glass will work) and cut them out. I chose a star because I realized I had only Christmas cookie cutout shapes and that wasn’t going to work in summertime. Since the Fourth Of July is coming up, I thought the star would be very patriotic!

Place in the oven and make sure to not overbake. Pull them out before they get any color.

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Let them cool and in the meantime it’s time for the homemade frosting! You will never want to use another can after you taste this! So easy too!

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Beat the butter and key lime zest together in the mixer. After it becomes a little fluffy, add in powdered sugar and key lime juice, alternating until you get the taste and consistency you desire. Now, I like my frosting to be a bit more tart than sweet, so I discovered that adding a bit of fresh-squeezed lemon juice as well, gave it the tart I craved.

Frost those cookies and voila, you have a key lime pie cookie! Hope you enjoy!

Click here for a printable recipe card.

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Posted on June 21, 2017 and filed under Building Your Home.