Testimonies from Big Sisters (April Challenge)

…Who Took the “Encourage Your Siblings Challenge” in April

We were so encouraged to hear from those of you who took the “Encourage Your Siblings” Challenge last month. Here are just a few stories we received and wanted to share!

Before we do, however, we want to congratulate the winner of The Maiden’s Menu Cookbook and potholder giveaway

Abby Cooper!

We will be sending your prize shortly! God bless each of you who took the challenge; may He continue to bless your investment in each of your precious siblings.

Kinslea Davenport

My name is Kinslea Davenport, and I am 11. I have four brothers. From the very first day that we began this challenge, I felt closer to my siblings. We read a chapter of Proverbs every day. We also memorized Philippians 4:8, James 3:5, Colossians 4:24, and Matthew 28: 1-9 throughout April. For the special things we did together every week, we played soldiers, made a special breakfast, made a mopping team, played kickball, and had pillow fights. At the end of April, we had a special dinner, and it consisted of salad, meatloaf, baked potatoes, okra, and asparagus. For dessert we ate homemade ice cream and cookies. I am very thankful that we did this challenge because it brought me closer to my siblings.

Gracie Harmon

My name is Gracie Harmon, and I am 12 years old. I did the Bible study with my little siblings in April, and they really liked it! They kept asking me through the whole month of April when we could do another study. I don’t think that one day went by without them asking me! We memorized 5 verses together last month. Even my little 3-year-old brother can recite most of them. Thank you so much for you testimony to all of us that receive KBR!

Christianna Hellwig

Our special dinner went really well; we have a park behind our house and we went there to have a picnic. I have been really encouraged by my siblings’ response to our Bible study time together; they all want to do it again. I think we will do a deeper study of some godly men in the Bible next month. I have grown closer to them during this time and am seeing fruit in their lives. It is truly wonderful how the Lord works when we follow Him. I am so thankful that the Lord did not allow me to give up on our relationships and say it was to late; it is never too late to invest in them and create a memory that will last. Praise be to Christ.

Bethany Melton

We took the sibling challenge in the month of April. It was truly a challenge, but it helped all of my siblings and I grow closer together.

Alyssa Grace 

At the beginning of the month I gave my siblings a few eggs to attempt hatching them in our incubator. So far seven chicks have hatched, and we still have 6 eggs that should start hatching tomorrow. Leah (age 6) is so excited! I also let Leah help me with “chick chores.” Little children seem to love to do jobs that they see older people do! Throughout the month, I tried to participate in games that my siblings were playing. They enjoy it so much when there is another person in the game. I was amazed at how well my siblings did on their Bible verse memory! We memorized Ephesians 4:31-32, Matthew 5:44, and Mark 11:22.

For our special dinner together, my siblings and I made garlic butter chicken, mashed potatoes, broccoli, brownies, and frozen yogurt. I let my little sisters make the brownies. They were delighted! I’m sure that this challenge will not only encourage my siblings, but also be a fun family tradition.

Abby Cooper

My name is Abby Cooper and I am 9 years old. I have three brothers and we completed the “Encourage you Siblings Challenge.” It has helped me because I have heard and listened to God more on how to treat my brothers and how I should react to them. Before I would not have treated them very nicely, because I thought they were not being nice to me. The Bible verses we have memorized talk about “being kind to one another and building each other up.” (1 Thess. 5:11)

Throughout the day we say the verse when a reminder on how to treat each other. I think my brothers liked reading together. We enjoyed it so much that we are going to keep reading the Bible every day and memorizing verses too. Thanks for encouraging me to do this challenge.


The Cooper Siblings enjoying a trip to the zoo together

Elizabeth Bryan

We enjoyed the challenge; in fact, my sister Anna and I are continuing our Bible Study together! We had our special dinner together last week.

Sarah Wiens

Thank you for sending out the sibling challenge for April! When I first received it in mid-March, I knew that God wanted me to take the challenge. I was very busy preparing for a music exam, and I really felt this was God’s way of saying, “What’s more important? Your siblings, or your music?” So I took it, along with another girl from my church. It wasn’t easy. Memorizing verses was hard, especially for my little sister, who often ended up frustrated with herself because she couldn’t memorize as fast as everyone else can. But it was a lesson in patience; and as I kept going, I was really blessed. I couldn’t believe how there could be so many jewels of truth even in chapters of 1 Samuel that seemed purely factual! Every time I chose to spend time with my siblings instead of doing something else, I was blessed by the time I spent with them. At the end of the month, we did the special dinner, and then we quoted and acted out our memory verses for Dad and Mom. I also gave each of my siblings a character award (a ribbon with a piece of paper that stated various character qualities that I saw in each of them). They were simple awards, yet each of my siblings treasures their awards. Thank you again for sending the challenge out. It was a blessing to our whole family!

NOTE: Summer can be a special, but irregular time of year. In the midst of the varied schedules and activities it can be easy to let our time with the Lord become shortened each day. My siblings and I have enjoyed doing the Summer Pursuit each summer (hosted by Loving the Lord Ministries), as it is a special challenge to keep us diligently studying God’s Word together. It begins next month and we would like to encourage you to do the pursuit with your own sisters (and/or brothers)! Read our testimony here and check out the pursuit here.

Looking forward to what He will teach,
Sarah Lee

Honor Your Mother! (May)

by Maggie B.

“Honour thy father and mother;
(which is the first commandment with promise).”
{Ephesians 6:2} 

When thinking about the topic of blessing your mother on Mother’s day, I find it interesting that just the other day I was telling my mommy that it seemed every plan I’ve had to surprise her, did not work exactly as I had planned, because she wasn’t helping me with it! We are so close that I find it hard to do a grand project, without consulting her for her ideas and help!

Though I have planned elaborate surprises to bless my mother before, simple works well. A loving mother will enjoy any effort her children make to bless her. Here are some ideas that I hope will encourage you as you make your mom’s Mother Day special.


Meal Ideas

Over the years, I, with the help of my sister, have planned meals to make on Mother’s Day. It’s a challenge to put together a “special occasion” meal at times, but you really cannot go wrong, if you consider what foods she enjoys. You can either plan a “secret menu” or just ask her what she would like. Collaborate with your siblings and scout around to see if you can find a new recipe to try. Planning is the key to success.

I thought I’d share a couple recipes with you that I have made for a special occasion breakfast for my Mommy. Preparing a breakfast-in-bed is another special idea! [KBR’s cookbook, The Maiden’s Menu, includes special menu suggestions for a “Mother’s Day Breakfast in Bed” and a “Mother’s Day Tea,” along with more wonderful recipes to try!]

Vegetarian Egg Strata

“My mother loves vegetables, so this dish was a hit. You can change this recipe based on what you have on hand, or what vegetables your mother likes.”

    • 1 medium zucchini, finely chopped
    • 1 medium sweet red pepper, finely chopped
    • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
    • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
    • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon pepper
    • 1 (1-pound) loaf day-old bread, cubed (French bread would be great!)
    • 2 (5.3-ounce) packages fresh goat cheese, crumbled or shredded cheddar cheese
    • 1 ¾ cups grated Parmesan cheese
    • 6 eggs
    • 2 cups milk
    • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg, optional

In a skillet, sauté zucchini, red pepper, mushrooms and onion in oil until tender. Add the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper; sauté 2 minutes more.

In a well-greased 13×9-inch baking dish, layer half of the bread cubes, half of zucchini mixture and half of cheeses. Repeat layers. In a bowl, whisk the eggs milk and nutmeg together. Pour over layers. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

Lemon Pound Cake Muffins

“Mommy and I both like lemon. These “muffins” are more like dessert and are quite fancy! One key to muffins is to stir only until the dry ingredients are moistened so they come out tender.”

    • ½ cup butter, softened
    • ¾ – 1 cup sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • ½ cup sour cream
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • ½ teaspoon lemon extract
    • 1 ¾ cups flour
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

Glaze:

    • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
    • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the sour cream and extracts. Combine the flour, salt and baking soda; add to creamed mixture just until moistened.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 400 degrees for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Combine the glaze ingredients; drizzle over muffins. Serve warm. Yields 1 dozen.

 


Gift Ideas

Again, any gift is special when it is given with love. Remember to include your siblings and ask for their ideas! They may have heard your mother mention something that she needs something in particular. Here are some thought-starters.

  • Potted flowers and plants. You can either start your plant from seed or pick it up at a garden center or greenhouse. Pick out a pretty pot or dress up a plain terra cotta pot with paint. Or get some flower bulbs that will bloom every year.
  • Cut flowers – whether they’re from a florist or gathered from the yard – are a very special gift.
  • Make a “coupon” book. Fill each page with things like “Redeem to have the windows washed” or “Good for one candlelit dinner.” Be creative and ask your siblings to pitch in and contribute jobs that they will do. Tie or staple the pages together and present them to Mother.
  • Fill a jar with slips of paper, each containing a Bible verse.
  • Make a handicraft project, such as an apron, tablecover or dishcloth and present it prettily in tissue paper and ribbons.
  • Create a card, either stamped, hand-drawn or purchased, and fill it with a message from each of the children of the family. For a different approach, you could also each compose a message and record it on a cassette tape, CD or video. This would be a special keepsake!
  • Make a basket filled with pretty and useful things that she will enjoy. Some ideas? Boxed tea, a tea cup, stationery or note cards, a pen, a cooking magazine subscription, a gift card to a favorite restaurant, a herbal sachet or handmade soap, flower seeds, or a CD of music.

I hope these ideas help you to plan a delightful Mother’s Day this year!

Maggie B.
{Guest Writer}


May’s Desktop Wallpaper: