Monthly Archives: February 2013

Introducing Our Newest Member of Our Writing Team: Dana Baran

We are excited to be bringing on some new writers to our team.  Some you have seen as guest writers, but Dana is new to Mosaic of Moms.  We are excited about her fresh perspective in the mosaic of thought that we enjoy on our team. 

Dana Sterling Baran is a beloved child of God, wife to the man of her dreams and mother to a happy and bubbly baby girl. She is a former reading teacher turned homemaker/blogger/crafter/decorator/organizer.

Dana was raised by loving parents who taught her the love of Christ and instilled a deep desire to serve Him. She has a younger brother whom she considers to be her first “BFF.” Her mom and dad live life as an adventure, evidenced by their move from Southern California to the mountains of Colorado when Dana was nine, and a year-long journey around the US in a motorhome when she was thirteen. Her parents also encouraged Dana to participate in a short-term mission trip to Europe when she was seventeen. During that trip she began to truly own her faith in God and to claim Him as Lord and not just Savior of her life.

Dana attended John Brown University where she majored in Elementary Education, and she stayed in Siloam Springs AR to teach 4th grade for four years before answering the Lord’s call to teach kindergarten in a Christian school in Santa Cruz Bolivia for a year. When she returned she found a job at a middle school in Rogers where she fell in love with teaching 7th graders. She also fell in love with a wonderful man named Chris, whom she met through her church’s single’s group, and they married in July 2009. They welcomed sweet baby girl Charlotte in April of 2012.

Dana is a detail-oriented planner as well as a “recovering perfectionist.” She tried to prepare for motherhood by reading every parenting book she could get her hands on, only to discover (as she had been warned) that her baby hadn’t read the books. She depends heavily on lists and routines, but is striving to let go of her need for control and to find balance between meeting her baby’s needs, maintaining her relationships, and making time for herself. God is using mommyhood to teach her daily lessons in humility, selfless love, and service. She is becoming more and more convinced of her inability to do it all on her own and seeks instead to claim the promise of Ephesians 3:20, that God is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.”

To learn more about Dana check out her personal blog: Salty Cinderella.  

Creamy Artichoke Dip

But he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast. Proverbs 15:15b

by: Jennifer Mullen

This is my go-to-recipe for any event where I am supposed to take a snack to share.  It ALWAYS turns out great!  Thanks to my friend, Karen, who shared it with me a few years ago.  There is NOTHING healthy in it, so forget your New Year’s Resolutions for a moment and enjoy!

What You Will Need: 

  •  2 Heaping Wooden Spoonfuls of Mayo– I only use Hellman’s.  Have not tried it with 1/2 fat or olive oil mayo. (This was how the recipe was explained to me.  Never strayed.)
  • 1 Can of Quartered Artichoke Hearts– sometimes chop them smaller
  • 8 oz. of Cream Cheese– softened
  • 5 oz of Shredded Parmesan Cheese– I always use Frigo.
  • 1 Tbsp each of Garlic Powder and Parsley
*This recipe is very easy to double depending on how many you are serving. 
What to do:
  • Combine the mayo, garlic powder, and parsley
  • Add the Parmesan cheese
  • Fold in the softened cream cheese
  • Stir in the artichoke hearts

Bake on 350 degrees until warm and bubbly (about 30 minutes).

Serve with chips, crackers, or pieces of yummy bread.


One Little Word:It’s Not Too Late to Choose Your Theme for 2013

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.        Proverbs 16:9

By: Jennifer Mullen

On New Year’s Day my friend, Stephanie McCratic, at Evolved Mommy posted this amazing article about choosing your One Little Word for the year.  The idea is that you chose a word that helps you focus your goals for the year.  Or sometimes, like in my case, the word chooses you.  Before I even finished reading the article, I knew that my word for 2013 was going to be transition.  Having this focus has really changed the trajectory of my year because, I already felt like I was spiraling out of control with all the changes I knew I would face.

I must confess, I was really disappointed that my word would not look pretty on the necklaces that you can purchase to remind you of your One Little Word.  Let’s face it, transition sounds like a word that you read in a technical manual, not that you would find etched on a beautiful piece of jewelry.  I frantically searched the thesaurus for a more eloquent word, but there was no word that fit my situation better than the word that chose me.

I was so moved by this concept that I asked the MOMS on our writing team to share with you all their One Little Word.  Enjoy!

Jennifer’s Word: Transition

I need to stop fighting the change and embrace the transition.

  •  Transition out of the baby phase of motherhood: no diapers, no crib, no high chairs…
  • Transition to having a school aged child.  My oldest starts kindergarten this year!
  • Transition how I study the bible, in what setting, and with whom.  I have felt lead to pursue the LORD though other means beside my Thursday morning studies with my church.  Once I gave in to the leading, the LORD has blessed me…that is a whole other post. 🙂
  • Transition back to working outside home.  I took a part-time job and am loving it.
  • Transition with the blog…stay tuned! 🙂
  • Transition to other ministries as the LORD is leading me out of some beloved work into other areas.
  • Transition for my family as some close family members are preparing to move away.
Gretchen’s Word: Engage
My goals are to:
  • Engage my kids and husband in conversations. I want to be more present with them when we talk instead of always multitasking while talking with them.
  • Engage in the study of God’s word.
  • Engage in friendship. I want to talk to my close friends more. I need to be more intentional in all my relationships.
  • Engage in a healthier diet. Less sugar, more REAL foods.
  • Engage in exercise.
  • Engage in the present instead of always looking ahead.
  • Engage in my responsibilities and work as if working for The Lord.

Kerri’s Word: Breathe 

This year I hope to…

  • Breathe when the changes all around me are overwhelming and I just want to curl up in a ball and cry.
  • Breathe in the laughter and sheer delight of my children as I play alongside them
  • Breathe in the new culture and language I will be living in.
  • Breathe when I’m doing sit-ups and lunges and training my physical body
  • Breathe in Scripture and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit as my Source in my time alone with God.

Sarah’s Word: Intentional

In 2013 I will be intentional in the following areas –

  • Reading God’s Word – Bible Study – Daily
  • Prayer – Daily, Continuous, Focused.
  • Loving/Supporting my Husband –  date nights, communication.
  • Caring for my health and the health of my family  – exercise and healthy eating.
  •  Loving my children – have fun, help them stay on task, be supportive, be kind
  • Caring for my home/finances – simplify, organize, upkeep
  • Homeschooling – prepare, participate, achieve.
  • Serving – as called by God to glorify Him and further his kingdom
Sarah was so intentional about this she even made this poster for herself to post around her house to be a reminder to be intentional. 🙂 Click here: Intentional

Melissa’s Word: Deliberate 

  • I will be deliberate about planning time with each of my daughters.
  • My Bible reading and prayer time will take place – deliberately.
  • Character training will be deliberate this year.
  • I will continue to exercise deliberately.
  • Pictures will be organized and scrapbook albums updated deliberately.
  • I will encourage my husband and deliberately work at being his help meet.

And Introducing Dana!  Look for her bio next week!

Dana’s Word: Abide

This year I want to:

  • Abide in Christ as I read, memorize, and meditate on His Word and maintain a running dialog of prayer throughout my days.
  • Abide in my relationship with my husband, making an effort to be truly present during our time together, to serve and encourage him, to “bring him good, not harm all the days of [my] life” (Prov. 31:13).
  • Abide in my new role as a mommy, allowing myself to make mistakes and learn from them, cherishing each moment with my baby girl as the days fly so quickly by us.
  • Abide in my home with happiness and contentment, making an effort to simplify, organize, and beautify our dwelling place so that it is our haven and a blessing to all who enter it.
  • Abide in my physical body, learning to love and accept my new “mommy shape” while striving to stay healthy and strong.

As Stephanie mentioned in her article, Ali Edwards is offering a great online workshop to help you creatively document your year with your One Little Word.  It is not to late to sign up.  Click here to see the details.  Also, there is a Facebook group of women in NWA who are encouraging each other to work through the workshop.  Message me if you would like to be apart of this group. They have been posting some great project ideas and are even planning some meet-ups soon.

Even though it is February, it is not too late to think about what you want out of 2013 and where the LORD may want to take you.  I encourage you to consider identifying your One Little Word.  Share with us your word and some of your goals.  We would love to hear from you!