Pinterest Cooking Sleepover Recipes

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This is a recipe blog hop! Go here to get the button and join us each week: The Most Delicious Recipe Blog Hop.

Then add your recipe post to mine with the linky codes at the end of this post.

Whether you’re a paleo, vegetarian, southern cook, or baker, you’re welcome to join me and post a weekly recipe!

Pinterest Cooking Sleepover Recipes

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It’s been a long cold winter in NE Indiana. The kind of winter that calls for lots of comfort food. (Thank goodness for baggy sweaters!)

Last Friday I invited all the girls at our church, ages K-12 grade, to a Pinterest cooking sleepover. It was a total blast and I can’t wait to share the recipes we tried! I’ve been collecting Pinterest recipes for a long time on my Pinterest board. I will never find enough time to make all of them, but having a cooking sleepover allowed us to make and try six different fattening and  delicious recipes! Some were a hit and others were so-so. All were kid-friendly and fun.

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Before we started our cooking activities, I reminded the girls how God made us with His hands and how special we are to Him. I asked them to remember as we worked with our hands, how God loves what He made just as we love what we make. I reminded them that they are royalty–the daughters of the King of Kings.

Recipe 1:

Pepperoni Roll-ups

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Bing free-use image. I forgot to take pics of our finished products but this is exactly how we served them up!

This was so easy and the kids loved doing it. They were delicious, too.

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I spread parchment paper all along the table and after the girls washed their hands, gave them each two crescent roll doughs, five pepperonis and a handful of mozzarella cheese. Most recipes call for a stick of string cheese, but using grated cheese was less expensive.

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I had the help of three other adults and the older girls pitched in and helped the younger girls. This activity worked for all ages and all abilities. One of our teens has autism and an intellectual disability and she had no trouble participating like everyone else. We all had fun eating the pepperoni and cheese, too, as we worked!

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We used cupcake paper to put the spaghetti sauce in for dipping when we served them. The girls loved them. They were surprisingly filling, too! (Uh, the roll-ups, not the girls!)

Since we have a western theme going on for our Children’s ministry, while the roll-ups were cooking, I read them a cute little book about a little cowboy and a very bossy cowgirl who’s a know-it-all: Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door. We talked about how to be a good friend and the difference between being bossy and being a leader. The book also emphasizes forgiveness, so we were able to discuss that as well. (And yes, the teen girls were just as engaged. I find that teens love story books.)

Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door

The next thing we made were loaded nachos! I modified a very spicy recipe for little girl palates so it wasn’t so hot. We used Scoops brand Tostitos for the girls to put the filling in themselves. (Adults mixed the filling.)

Recipe 2

Loaded Nachos (for kids)

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cans refried beans
  • 2 cans whole kernel sweet corn drained (I think you could easily use frozen as long as it’s thawed and drained first)
  • 1 can nacho cheese sauce
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning (2 could be used if your kids like spicier foods)
  • Tortilla chips
  • Shredded cheese

Instructions:

Mix together and put in Sccops shells (you could spread this over a pan of chips, too)

Other recipes include beef or chicken, jalapenos and avocados. Any mix like this can be modified to your family’s preferences.

After the shells are filled, sprinkle Mexican mix cheese (Colby and cheddar) over top. Put in oven for a few minutes until cheese is melted on the top. Serve.

NOM! Just typing this makes me hungry!

This recipe made two full cookie sheet pans. The picture above doesn’t do justice to how delicious this was! And all the adults agreed these would make great little hors d’ourves for a party!

Recipe 3

“Gourmet” Hot Cocoa

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Again, I modified a Pinterest recipe. If you do a search on Pinterest for “Crock-pot Hot Cocoa” you’ll find lots of variations. Here’s what I put in our 8 quart crock-pot (this is not diet-friendly by any means but it’s delicious!)

  • 2 bags chocolate chips (you can use any kind, we used bittersweet)
  • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 cups heavy whipped cream
  • 12 cups milk (almost a gallon — we used 2%)

Heat in crock-pot on low being careful not to scald it. Stir often as the chips melt. When I served it to the little girls I added cold milk to their cups to cool it off. I served the adults straight up and hot. We didn’t have any marshmallows but I think that would have ruined it, actually. It was so good!

Recipe 4

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

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We had beautiful red, juicy strawberries but my method of making dipping chocolate bombed. I’d read a blog from Pinterest that said you could just melt chocolate chips. Don’t believe it. I knew better because I’ve helped my friend make candy before and she’s super picky about “tempering the chocolate.” But, I thought I’d try it.

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If you’re going to dip chocolate, get a dipping chocolate. That’s my number one recommendation. It really is a science. Bakers has a great dipping chocolate for the microwave that is super easy to use.  I’ve used it in a special education class before and you really can’t ruin it.

Next time I’ll use a chocolate fountain. I’ve successfully used those before without failure.

So what happened? I must have gotten the chocolate chips too hot and they hardened in the bowl. So I added butter and it helped some, but still it wasn’t thin enough for dipping. So I gave each girl a spoonful of chocolate in their own little bowl and plopped their strawberries on them. And, as it often does when you cook a flop, those strawberries and chocolate were the most popular treat of the night!  Everyone begged for more.

Recipe 5

Cherry Pizza

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Who doesn’t love cherry pizza? The teen girls made this easy-peasy treat and we served it for breakfast:

Ingredients:

  • Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust
  • Can of cherry filling
  • Cream cheese frosting (we made ours from scratch; recipe here)
  • Butter
  • Granola

Instructions:

Roll out the pie crusts (we used two pie crust to make two pizzas) and slather with butter. Bake until browned. Remove from oven and spread 1 can of cherries on each pie crust. Drizzle with cream cheese frosting and granola. Serve.

We didn’t put the frosting and granola on the pizzas until the next morning. (We re-heated the pizzas first.) They disappeared fast! Nothing was left!

Recipe 6

Cheesecake Cake Batter Dip

The girls’ favorites were the strawberries. But my favorite was this dip. I was exhausted by the time we got to this point and it felt so good to settle in with my hot cocoa and this dip with graham crackers. The teen girls mixed this one up themselves. It was sooo good! Instead of serving it dip-like, we frosted graham crackers with it for the little ones. Us older girls dipped to our heart’s content.

I found this recipe on Pinterest but the pin was taken straight IWashYouDry.com (see URL on the picture caption above). There are other variations on this recipe on Pinterest using Funfetti cake mix, so check those out, too. I chose this one because I love the tang of cream cheese and sour cream. Our first batch tasted “funny” and I think it was the vanilla. I think we got a bad bottle. So we threw that batch out and made another without the vanilla and it was scrumptious.

Ingredients:
  • 8 oz package of cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup white cake mix
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup sprinkles
  • Graham Crackers for dipping
Instructions:
  1. Place cream cheese in your mixing bowl and beat on medium high speed for 3 minutes, or until it becomes light and whipped.
  2. Bring speed down to medium and add the sour cream and vanilla, mix until incorporated. Slowly add the powdered sugar and cake mix to the bowl and mix until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and then gently fold in the sprinkles.
  3. Serve cold with graham crackers, pretzels, or fresh fruit slices. Enjoy!

I can hear the Mommies of the Year yelling at me about how unhealthy these treats were. This is not something I recommend serving on a regular basis. These were party foods. One night of supreme, delectable indulgence.  And because there were so many of us, there was little chance of over-indulging.

Besides, I’ve promised the girls that at our next sleepover in the summer, we’ll have a pool party and consume copious amounts of fruits and vegetables to make up for it! I see lots of smoothies in my future.

If you have any cute raw fruit and veggie recipes, send them my way!

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Strong Girl Saturday: Different? That’s Way Okay! By Elaine Stock

Today’s Strong Girl post is written by friend and fellow author, Elaine Stock.

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Elaine Stock, Author

Can you see her? She’s the kindergartener reading a book in the corner because a speech impediment tossed bricks between her and the ability to make easy friends. She’s the one whose mom pushed her into awkward social situations that made her feel as if she were an elephant balancing on a tightrope while she watched her mom seclude herself behind a closed door. She’s the serious one, yet a dreamer, the one who writes stories. She’s the one who clung to God even before she understood the full meaning of faith.

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She’s me. And I used to struggle with being what others typed as “different.”

The red and gold bracelet shimmy down her arm

The ankle bells clanks and rings

She hears music and dances steps that calm

Closing her eyes to life’s stings.

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Others laugh

They tease, they taunt

They think they’re cool, but they’re only half

If they really had it all, they wouldn’t have to flaunt.

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She hears the One who loves her so much

Her confidence isn’t dependent on the cruel

Her esteem, rather, comes from Him who has her in His clutch

She learns to love the others, but lives on His fuel.

(© Elaine Stock)

It’s taken me many years to learn that it’s okay to be me. Really, I’m not a bad person. Not freaky. Don’t mess with drugs or drink. I do no harm to others. I admit to owning a few quirks, but nothing in the too-seriously-weird category.

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What I’ve come to realize the past decades of my life is that everyone—without an exception—is singular, as well as we should be. God created each of us in His image, but like each kitten with patches and zigzag stripes or like each snowflake that falls, we are all unique. If we obey God’s words, then our individuality is very okay.

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The popular singer, Taylor Swift, recently said, “Maybe you’re not meant to fit in. Maybe you’re supposed to stand out.” Yay, Taylor! What a bold statement from someone in today’s times who is pressed to be outrageous, but instead is creating her own way and is enjoying each day.

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Be true to yourself. Be a good person. Believe in the One who created you with an expressed purpose. You won’t go wrong.

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Rejoice in the good stuff. Ignore any discouragement.

Author Bio:

Elaine Stock never expected that a college major in psychology and sociology would walk her through the see-saw industries of food service and the weight-loss business; co-ownership with her husband in piano restoration; and ten years in community leadership. All great fodder for creating fiction.

In the spring of 2011 Elaine placed in the Semi-finals category in the ACFW Genesis Contest for her novel WALK WITH ME. In 2013 she received the honor of My Book Therapy’s Frasier Bronze Medalist award for NO GOING BACK. And in 2014 she was blessed with the news that her short story IN HIS OWN TIME won the People’s Choice Award in the FamilyFiction Contest and will be published in a printed anthology. Her short story, THE FOREVER CHRISTMAS GIFT is about to be released in CHRISTMAS TREASURES: A COLLECITON OF SHORT STORIES.

Elaine’s blog, Everyone’s Story has been graced by an awesome international viewership. She hosts weekly interviews and reflections from published authors, unpublished writers, and readers who share inspirational stories. Its viewership is dedicated to “Readers, Writers, and All Those In-between.”

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You can connect with Elaine at:

Website/blog: Everyone’s Story  elainestock.com

Twitter  http://www.twitter.com/ElaineStock

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AuthorElaineStock

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Happy International Day of the Girl!

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Today is International Day of the Girl!

Who is your girl hero?

Go on twitter and tell us and use the hashtag #girlhero.

Also, remember when I wrote about Strong Girl Malala Yousafzai? She just became the youngest person in the world to win a Nobel Peace Prize! Way to go, Malala!

Just listen to her inspirational speech:

What an amazing young woman all girls everywhere, regardless of their religion, can look up to.

There are so many heroic young woman in the United States who deserve a shout out today. Girls who’ve remained firm in their convictions, faith and goals. Be sure to honor them on twitter today with the hash tag: #girlhero.

I happen to be the grandmother of six Strong Girls! And I’m very proud of their determination to be true to who God created them to be. I’m also God-grandma to another little Strong Girl! How blessed I am!

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Trinity, Avery, Maggie, Sonya — 4 of grandma’s strong girls!

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My daughter, Melissa. I’m so proud that she’s a Strong Girl!

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My daughter, Melissa, and my granddaughter, Abbey. Two Strong Girls!

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Strong Girl, Lauren, another one of my beautiful granddaughters!

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My God-granddaughter, Emma Leigh! She’s one tough cookie!

These girls are my heroes today because they will take the Strong Girl message to the next generation.

As Christian Strong Girls, our message isn’t that we’re strong only because we’re girls. We’re strong because of the strength we gain from the Lord. When we’re weakest, God is strongest. We know this because of what Paul wrote to us in 1 Corinthians 12. He had prayed for God to take something away from his life that was causing him some sort of pain. But here is what God told Paul about it:

“Therefore, so that I would not become arrogant, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to trouble me—so that I would not become arrogant. I asked the Lord three times about this, that it would depart from me. But he said to me, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, with insults, with troubles, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong” 2 Corinthians 12: 7-10, NET.

Our Strength comes not from our own power, but from the Lord:

“The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation” Psalm 118:14, NIV.

Don’t forget to tweet about your #girlhero! And let me know in the comments below who you admire as a Strong Girl!

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Strong Girls aren’t ashamed of their Christianity

Stronggirlslogo2We are living in troubling times as Strong Girls. Which is why now, more than ever before, it’s important to remain strong and firm in our faith.

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Christians throughout the world are dying for believing in Jesus. Maybe you think this will never happen to you, but I’m sure other Christian women and girls in the world thought the same thing.

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Mariam Yehya Ibrahim is one of those women. She was put in prison in her own country (Sudan) for being a Christian and for marrying a Christian. Even though she had her little boy with her in prison, and was also expecting a baby, she refused to renounce her faith.

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All she had to do to get out of prison was tell the prison authorities that she would become a Muslim and deny Jesus as her Savior. She was hungry. She was carrying a child. Her little boy was hungry, too. But she refused to renounce her faith. What a strong woman.

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I wonder — are you that strong? Am I?

Mariam revealed the secret to her strength in a recent interview on Fox News. It wasn’t that she had her own superpowers, but the power of faith: “The situation was difficult but I was sure that God would stand by my side. I relied only on my faith.”

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“When I was in prison I was only thinking about my children and how I was going to give birth. I was most scared of giving birth in prison…I gave birth chained — not cuffs but chains on my legs. I couldn’t even open my legs, so the women had to lift me off the table.”

Meriam Ibrahim with her daughter, who was born in Omdurman women's prison last week

Because of the way she was forced to give birth, her baby girl may never walk.

While you watch the video below, think about what you would do in these circumstances. Someday you may need to take a stand for your faith. As a Strong Girl, you, like Mariam, will need to draw on the strength that comes from faith in God.

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts” Zechariah 4:6b.

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Tweet This: Is your faith strong enough to be tested?

Strong Girls aren’t Mean Girls part III

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A few weeks ago I wrote to you, dear Strong Girls, about standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.

Today I want to share a great Strong Girl story with you.

Last night, in front of thousands of people, Anahi Alvarez gave her Homecoming Queen crown to her friend, Lillian Skinner.

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Lillian, described as sweet and innocent, was targeted by mean girls and told she’d been nominated as Homecoming Queen, which wasn’t true. When her friends, Anahi Alvarez, and Naomi Martinez, who were nominated as Homecoming Queen, found out, they vowed that if they won the crown, they’d give it to Lillian.

Watch the amazing report here:

 

Today, I’m happy to award the first Strong Girl Commendation Award to Strong Girls Anahi Alvarez, Namoi Martinez and Lillian Skinner.

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Do you know a Strong Girl who should receive this award? Let me know and I’ll honor her here.

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How Strong Girl, Cynthia Koenig, is changing lives

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Strong Girl, Cynthia Koenig

If you’re reading this blog from a home with running water, it only took a simple turn of the wrist to turn on the tap. But many, many women and girls in the world spend hours a day collecting and carrying water. Girls carry water instead of going to school. Women must collect water instead of helping make money to support the family or pursuing an education or career.

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The WaterWheel

With the invention of the WaterWheel, women can get water faster and easier. Instead of carrying Jerry jugs on their heads, they can push twice as much water home. Now Cynthia Koenig spends her days trying to get the WaterWheel to the people who need it most in India.

In 1991, two South Africans invented the Hippo Water Roller for use in Africa. On their website, they offer the following stats:

  • Every day, millions of women and children in developing countries are forced to walk an average 6 km per day, carrying heavy loads of water, typically in heavy 20L (kg) containers balanced on their head.
  • Women worldwide spend 200 million hours each day to collect their families’ water.
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Hippo Water Roller

But Africa’s Hippo Water Roller, won’t work in India because the terrain and needs of Indian women are different. That’s why the WaterWheel invention is so important.

The Wello website states the following about the WaterWheel:

It’s…CONVENIENT.
Women spend over 25% of their time each day collecting water. With the WaterWheel, they can now transport 50L at once – between 3 and 5 times the amount of water possible as compared to traditional methods: this means MORE water in less time!

It’s…HYGIENIC
The WaterWheel’s cap-in-cap design prevents recontamination at the point of use. The single most effective strategy to reduce incidents of diarrheal disease (the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 5, according to the WHO)

It’s…HIGH QUALITY.
The WaterWheel is manufactured from high-quality, human-safe plastics. It’s a smart investment: long lasting and is durable enough to handle the roughest terrain.

It’s..AESTHETICALLY PLEASING.
The WaterWheel’s form was inspired by the shape of the traditional matka – both aesthetically pleasing and a clear indication of the WaterWheel’s intended purpose (clean water!).

AND it’s…AFFORDABLE.
In recognition of the fact that the people who need the WaterWheel the most have the least ability to pay for it, we developed an innovative business model that will enable us to offer the WaterWheel at an affordable price. Local manufacturing (in Ahmedabad, India) and CSR partnerships help us keep costs as low as possible.

Strong Girl, Cynthia Koenig, makes the case for the WaterWheel in the video below.

Strong Girls change the world. That’s why it’s important not to remain a victim but to fight hard to be a victor. Someone needs your influence in their life.Ask God to show you what you can do to improve the life of someone else. It’s what your strength is for.

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Lies Strong Girls refuse to believe

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There are a lot of lies out there. But just because they exist doesn’t mean we have to believe them. From the beginning of time the enemy, Satan, has been lying to women, twisting God’s Words and causing them to doubt Truth.

Here are some lies that flow through today’s culture. Lies you don’t have to believe.

Lies a Strong Girl stands up to and dares to defy:

  1. It doesn’t matter who your friends are.
  2. It doesn’t matter how you dress–fashion is more important than modesty.
  3. It’s okay to talk trash about people behind their backs.
  4. It’s okay to use profanity.
  5. Pretty girls/women are more worthy or “I’m not pretty enough.”
  6. Skinny girls/women are more worthy or “I’m not skinny enough.”
  7. Only girls/women who have a boyfriend are worthy.
  8. Your value is based upon how many friends you have on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram (you get the picture…)
  9. It doesn’t matter what music I listen to or movies I watch.
  10. It doesn’t matter what I post online.
  11. It doesn’t matter what I text.
  12. It’s okay to experiment with sex as long as it’s not intercourse.
  13. You can hate your parents or other family members and friends and still be a Christian.
  14. The most important thing in life is to have fun.
  15. Being sexy is more important than being modest.
  16. Education isn’t important or “I’m not smart enough.”
  17. It doesn’t matter how you earn your money just as long as you have the latest gadget or fad.
  18. You’ll never keep a boyfriend unless you have sex with him.
  19. I’m stuck and the only way out is to do something against what I believe.
  20. I’ll never have a friend I can trust.

Through the next few weeks, I’ll be addressing these lies and what our response should be to them.

What lies have you been told?

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Tweet This: A Strong Girl stands up to lies and defies them.

Strongs Girls can wear bonnets, too!

Stronggirlslogo2I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

Just because you’re a Strong Girl doesn’t mean you don’t like to feel feminine and wear pretty things!

Sometimes I wish Easter Bonnets were still in vogue. I love hats. And I’m one of those girly girls that loves frilly things as well as bling and glamor. My style runs from the Bohemian to the Classic tailored to romantic frills. Depending on my mood, that’s how I’ll dress.

I thought you’d have fun gazing at some of these bonnets. Easter Parades used to be a big deal in some parts of the country. Here’s a song that commemorates the festival:

And now for the bonnets!

Which one is your favorite? (I’m rather partial to the ones with the gigantic ostrich feathers.)

(Click to enlarge and/or print images.)

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Strong girls read

Stronggirlslogo2God never intended for women to be dumb.

That’s a mankind idea, not a God idea.  Societies and cultures of the past and present have treated women as chattel–property to be owned and kept ignorant.

But you don’t see that in the Bible. Jesus exalted the woman. He treated her as an equal. (There’s an excellent article about this here: Jesus Friend of Women.)

Why would God give women a brain if they weren’t to use it?

One of my favorite stories is the one in the movie, Yentl. It’s about a young Jewish girl who disguises herself to be a man just so she will be allowed to read books that only men are allowed to read.

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I put myself in her shoes and I think that if I’d been born in such a time, I may have gone to the same lengths to learn.

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Maybe you’re a girl and your thing isn’t books. Learn anyway by some other means. God has given you a talent for a reason and it’s not to sit idly by and wait for someone else to take care of you. Learn to take care of yourself. Waiting for a man to take care of you is the worst way to live your life and make your plans. And trust me. In this day and age? It’s probably not going to happen.

MjAxMy01YmVmODYyMzI3ZTEyNzlkYou are responsible to God for your own brain, talents, and gifts. It won’t be your spouse or boyfriend who stands before God and gives an account for how you lived your life–it will be you.

042811_PrinceCharming1If you do love books (like me), don’t stop reading. Read all you can. Especially God’s Word. Because there’s a lot out there to read that will lie to you. Don’t fall for it. The only way you’ll be able to know if it’s a lie or not is to balance it with God’s Word. Compare it to what God has to say and you’ll know the Truth. You’ll never be confused.

Be wise, Strong Girl. Be wise.

 Work hard so God can say to you, “Well done.” Be a good workman, one who does not need to be ashamed when God examines your work. Know what his Word says and means.” 2 Timothy 2:15, TLB

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Strong Girls Saturday: Helping trafficked women and teens

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No matter how strong a girl is, bad things happen. One of those bad things is human trafficking. Here are some statistics found on the Covering House website:

  • Human trafficking generates $9.5 billion yearly in the United States. (United Nations)
  • Approximately 300,000 children are at risk of being prostituted in the United States. (U.S. Department of Justice)
  • The average age of entry into prostitution for a child victim in the United States is 13-14 years old. (U.S. Department of Justice)
  • A pimp can make $150,000-$200,000 per child each year and the average pimp has 4 to 6 girls. (U.S. Justice Department, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
  • The average victim may be forced to have sex up to 20-48 times a day. (Polaris Project)
  • Fewer than 100 beds are available in the United States for underage victims. (Health and Human Services)
  • Department Of Justice has identified the top twenty human trafficking jurisdictions in the country:” Houston• El Paso• Los Angeles• Atlanta• Chicago• Charlotte• Miami• Las Vegas• New York• Long Island• New Orleans• Washington, D.C.• Philadelphia• Phoenix• Richmond• San Diego• San Francisco• St Louis• Seattle• Tampa  (Department of Justice)
  • A pimp can make $150,000-$200,000 per child each year and the average pimp has 4 to 6 girls. (U.S. Justice Department, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
  • One in three teens on the street will be lured toward prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home. (National Runaway Hotline)

Teenage Problems, Social Issues and Bullying

To learn more about what you can do to help stop sex trafficking, check out these links:

In Your Light

Safe Horizon

Kim Purcell, author

Love 146

La Strada International

Salvation Army

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Strong Girls make contributions to this world to make it a better, safer, kinder place. This is why we need Strong Girls. This is why we mustn’t allow ourselves to be victims. Others need our strength.

What will you do today to build your strong girl muscles?

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