Monday, May 30, 2011

Can You FEEL the Love?

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Just had to share…

Family at Arboretum-30

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Sometimes, you just have to take what you can get. But I’m thinking these will make a GREAT collage for the kids, no?

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ministry of Motherhood Book Club ~ Week 2

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How did you first official week of Ministry of Motherhood Book Club go for you all? Did you keep up with the daily S.O.A.P.? Were you able to finish reading the introduction and sit down to answer the questions at the end?

This past week we focused on reading the introduction of Ministry of Motherhood and answering the questions at the end of the introduction. In case you missed it, Good Morning Girls has a great additional printable for you to use in putting together your own plan using the GIFTS acronym, so be sure to print that off.

My Thoughts This Week

First off, the GIFTS acronym really hit home with me. Rick and I have been talking about how we’re want to paint our house and were discussing a Scripture verse to put on the ‘ledge’ that runs between our kid’s rooms. We wanted something up there that would remind us to have GRACE with our kids, especially in the heat of the many moments that seem to occur.

A little later that day I sat down to read the introduction of Ministry of Motherhood where Sally shared the GIFTS acronym to help them remember their family ministry goals.

G ~ gift of grace

I ~ gift of inspiration

F ~ gift of faith

T ~ gift of training

S ~ gift of service

I knew right away what we were going to do and snapped a quick picture of the wall and did a little bit of editing in Photoshop to make sure it would work…

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Now I’m trying to get the vinyl letters ordered and ready to put up there. I’m especially loving the first word is Grace! :)

My favorite verse this week was Psalm 127:3.

“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.”

I don’t know about you, but when I see that section “they are a reward” I sometimes wonder WHAT in the world I did to deserve the reward {please tell me I’m not the only one???}.

This past week though, this particular verse fell on my birthday and I began thinking about the thought and time that a person spends picking out that ‘perfect’ gift to give someone for their special day. Sometimes hours are poured into creating a gift that is tailored just to that person.

God didn’t just make a last minute run down the aisles of Walmart before my party to grab something without thought or intention. He knew. He planned.

Each one of our children was given to us because He knew.

That thought alone gives me a bit more energy, motivation and grace with my kids.

A few links…

~ My Blog Frog forums ~ several threads are going where we’re talking about the daily S.O.A.P. and our thoughts on the part of the book we’re reading.

~ Good Morning Girls Ministry of Motherhood posts

~ If you haven’t already, please be sure to fill out this quick survey and answer a few questions for me. I’m trying to create an email list to keep better in touch with all of you ladies, and this will help me out a bunch!

With all that said ~ start linking up and sharing what God showed you this week!

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p.s. If you’d like to join in, there’s still time! We just finished the introduction of Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson and will be reading chapters 1 & 2 next week. You can find the reading schedule for the duration of the book club in this post.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Spring Into Reading ~ Month 2 Update

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My original Spring Reading Thing list is now in the final stages and winding down. However, I keep finding more books to add to my reading list, thanks to some great freebies on my Kindle. I’ve been trying to make it a habit to spend at least half an hour at night reading to help me ‘wind down’ before falling asleep and it’s been working well {sometimes too well!}.

Because I’m loving the Kindle freebies {and you can download them even if you don’t have a Kindle ~ there is a desktop reader you can use!!}, I’ve included some links below to a few of the most recent freebies I have on my reader.

Here’s a list of the books that I’ve completed since my Spring Reading Thing Month 1 update…all of the books not originally listed are marked with an {added}.

Completed Fiction and Non-Fiction for May

~ The Lightkeeper’s Ball by Colleen Coble

~ Serendipity by Cathy Marie Hake

~ {added} Jewel of Persia by Roseanna White

~ {added} A Stray Drop of Blood by Roseanna White

~ {added} Paper Roses by Amanda Cabot

~ {added} A Tailor Made Bride by Karen Witemyeter

~ {added} A Vote of Confidence by Robin Lee Hatcher

~ {added} Paid in Blood by Mel Odom

~ {added} A Reluctant Queen by Joan Wolf

~ Seasons of a Mother’s Heart by Sally Clarkson

~ {added} 31 Days to Clean by Sara Mae

Currently Reading…

~ Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God by Mary Demuth

~ {added} Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson

~ {added} The Power of a Positive Mom by Karol Ladd

~ {added} One Thousand Gifts by Anne Voskamp

Spring Reading Thing 2011 is hosted by Katrina at Callapidder Days and runs from March 20th til June 20th. If you are interested in joining up, or learning more, be sure to stop by and visit!

Current FREE books for your Kindle

 

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ministry of Motherhood Book Club ~ Week 1

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If you’d like to join in, there’s still time! This week we focused on learning the S.O.A.P. method for studying the Scripture that goes along with our book club reading. We will be starting the introduction of Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson beginning May 23rd. You can find the reading schedule for the duration of the book club in this post.

What does the acronym S.O.A.P. stand for?

Scripture ~ writing down the Scripture passage for the day and focusing on it.

Observation ~ Writing down 1-2 observations from that Scripture passage. What do you hear God saying to you?

Application ~ How does the passage apply to you right now in your daily life?

Prayer ~ Write a prayer based on the passage ~ be honest!

My Thoughts This Week

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My favorite verse this week was 2 Timothy 1:5.

“I know that you sincerely trust the Lord, for you have the faith of your mother, Eunice, and your grandmother, Lois.”

I sincerely pray that it can be said for generations to come that our faith in Christ is evident!! What an amazing testimony this family had and I desire that the same be said of ours for EACH generation that follows.

A few links if you are just joining…

~ My Blog Frog forums ~ several threads are going where we’re talking about the daily S.O.A.P. and our thoughts on the part of the book we’re reading.

~ Good Morning Girls Ministry of Motherhood posts to grab all of the downloads for the book club

~ If you haven’t already, please be sure to fill out this quick survey and answer a few questions for me. I’m trying to create an email list to keep better in touch with all of you ladies, and this will help me out a bunch!

With all that said ~ start linking up and sharing what God showed you this week!

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The Lightkeeper’s Ball {Book Review}

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Olivia Stewart is a New York socialite who has been trying to avoid the arranged marriages that are continually being thrust in front of her. She doesn’t wish to get married because it will advance her in society ~ she wishes to marry for love. When her sister dies mysteriously, Olivia convinces her mother to let her visit the California coast to investigate.

Olivia’s arrival in Mercy Falls, CA involves her nearly drowning and her rescuer is none other than her sister’s fiancé, a man that she is extremely suspicious of. She doesn’t let anyone know who she really is so that she can fully investigate her sister’s death, which she quickly realizes was actually a murder. As her search continues, she struggles to know who she can trust ~ both with her suspicions and her heart.

My Thoughts

Colleen Coble continued to add twists and turns throughout the novel, keeping me guessing as to what was really going to happen in the end. She does a great job portraying the value that society placed on what today seems so trivial and also delving into the ‘new’ era of air travel with one of the characters.  Overall I enjoyed The Lightkeeper’s Ball, although there was a point about 3/4 through when it seemed to suddenly ‘rush’ through and end rather than deepen the storyline a bit more.

The Lightkeeper’s Ball is the third and last book in the Mercy Falls Series, but can be read as a stand-alone book. Until getting ready to write this review, I didn’t even know that it was part of a series, so it can definitely be read independently without losing any information. Knowing that though, I now would like to go back and find the other two books in the series to read.

Find Out More

~ Visit Colleen Coble’s website

~ Purchase the book via Amazon or on your Kindle

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This book was provided for review on my Kindle by Thomas Nelson via Net Galley. All opinions expressed in this review are solely my own.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Israel Gets a King ~ What’s in the Bible 6 {Review & Giveaway}

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I do believe that out of all of the What’s in the Bible? dvds….we have a favorite one now. Israel Gets a King! has been seen and repeated verbatim in our household a LOT over the last week, thanks to the creativity of the Phil Vischer and friends.

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Israel Gets a King! covers the books of 1 and 2 Samuel and looks at the first three kings of Israel: Saul, David and Solomon. It focuses on God’s promise to David and how that promise impacts the salvation story. Through the stories and examples of the kings, children learn the importance of what happens when they make mistakes and what repentance and forgiveness mean.

DVD 5, Israel Gets a King!, features two 25-minute episodes:

Part One: “The People Want a King!” Covering 1 Samuel and the life of Saul as Israel’s first king.

Part Two: “Kings Make Mistakes Too!” Covering 2 Samuel and the first chapter of 1 Kings, including the reigns of King David and his son, King Solomon.

The Man Behind the Series

imagePhil Visher has been creatively teaching kids {and adults} about the Bible for years, through series such as Veggie Tales and now What’s in the Bible? This new series strives to walk kids through the entire Bible using a fun cast of characters and creative ways, bringing the Bible to LIFE with humor, animation, and fun songs. The What’s in the Bible? series will feature a collection of 13 dvds.

Our Thoughts

You know what has completely enthralled my boys? In the story of David and Saul, Saul turned to the ‘Dark Side’…and there were light sabers involved. My boys are now hooked.  This is just a quick peek for you…

As I was watching along with the kids, I couldn’t stop laughing, especially at the creative use of popsicle stick puppets ~ it will forever make me smile when thinking about Saul chasing David. :)

Find Out More

You can order the What’s in the Bible? dvds from their website, order it through Amazon or pick it up at your local Christian bookstore. Downloads of episodes are also available from the What’s in the Bible? website.

The Giveaway

Would you like to win a copy of Episode #5 ~ “Israel Gets a New King”? Leave a comment on this post ~ be sure to include your email address!  The giveaway will be open until Tuesday, May 24th at 8pm.

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I was provided this product in exchange for my honest review of the product. All opinions expressed in this review are solely my own…or my children’s.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Who Needs Skinny Jeans?

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The other morning I was sitting in our bedroom reading when Kaleb came into the room and grabbed onto my arm.

“Mom! I can’t find my skinny jeans! You need to help me find them!”

I can’t even find my own, nevermind FIT into them…and now I need to find them for my 4 year old?

 
Head on over to Mary's at Not Before 7 for some more Tiny Talk Tuesday!!
 
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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ministry of Motherhood Book Club

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I have really enjoyed a recent book I read by Sally Clarkson and bought several other of her books to read over the next bit.

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I was SO excited to see that there is a Ministry of Motherhood Book Club starting up via Good Morning Girls. The book club starts Monday, May 23rd. I am starting up an ‘accountability’ group on my Blog Frog page if you would like to participate along in reading with us. Interested? Here is what you need to do to join!

1. Get your hands on Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson {also available on Kindle}! You still have time if you order it from Amazon. You can order the book here: http://amzn.to/mhRAuh

2. Print off the reading schedule, the first week of daily S.O.A.P notes from Good Morning Girls. There is also a fun book cover binder that you can slide into the front of a 1/2” or 1” binder to store all of your study notes. All downloads can be found here: http://bit.ly/koMvbr

The S.O.A.P. Method stands for:

1.  S- Write out the scripture passage for the day.

2. O- Write down 1 or 2 observations from the passage.

3. A- Write down 1-2 applications from the passage.

4. P- Pray over what you learned from today’s passage.

By the end of the 12 weeks, you will have written out and meditated on numerous verses all geared toward strengthening and growing us as mothers. Many days you will only see one verse listed to read….we do that for a reason! We want you to mediate, ponder, apply and eventually store these verses in our memory and hearts.

3. Join in my Blog Frog community and introduce yourself if you are planning to participate. Let me know too if you have a Twitter account.

4. Keep an eye out for our book club accountability. I’ll be posting reminders and new conversations via Blog Frog during each week {don’t worry, I’ll also be sure to link via my Facebook page too}. There will not be a specific time for you to ‘check-in’ ~ you can chime in at any point during your day via the Blog Frog conversation. Our schedules are all different and I don’t want any of you to miss out.

5. Link up! I’ll be hosting a weekly link-up starting Friday, May 27th here on No Ordinary Moments. You can share a blog post that you’ve written during the week with something that impacted you from the book during the week. More info on that to follow soon!

6. Fill in the answers to this quick survey ~ I just have a few questions for you about the Book Club: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Z99XY5G

You can read more about the S.O.A.P. method on Good Morning Girls. Good Morning Girls will also be providing the following support via their website:

On Monday’s, you’ll see Sally Clarkson’s exclusive videos pertaining to that week’s reading in Ministry of Motherhood.

On Wednesday’s, several bloggers will be guest posting on what they learned while reading Ministry of Motherhood!

On Friday’s, Courtney and Angela will close with a discussion on what we learned through that week’s reading as well as share our answers to some of the discussion questions.

Sound like something that you would like to do? I would LOVE for you to join me in reading along {and help keep ME accountable too!} in the next 12 weeks. Be sure to stop by my Blog Frog page and introduce yourself!! Leave a comment if you have any questions. :)

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Homemaker’s Challenge ~ 31 Days to Clean {Week 2}

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Homemakers Challenge - 31 Days to Clean

 

For the last 2 weeks, I’ve been spending time reading through Sarah Mae’s ebook 31 Days to Clean. It is an easy read that offers 31 days of challenges and ways to get your house ~ and most importantly your HEART ~ in order. Each day offers a ‘Mary and Martha’ challenge for the day ~ one something that can physically be completed to take care of the physical environment around you and the other to look at various heart issues.

In short, it’s something that is completely doable and encouraging all at the same time. :)

Joyful Mothering is hosting a challenge during the month of May and I’m just now getting around to posting how I’ve been participating…even though we’re ten days in. The nutshell ~ so far, so good! Many of the things that have been the Martha challenges are things that I generally keep on top of, so those haven’t been too difficult overall.

Sometimes getting to the heart of the matter IS. Day 9 addressed the issue of laziness, which is often an area that tends to rear its ugly head {over and over again}. This verse in the daily study really stuck with me:

“Whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly as though you were working for your real master and not merely for humans.”

Colossians 3:23 {God’s Word Translation}

Putting off can be so easy to do, especially when my little earthly offspring are driving me nuts and I don’t FEEL like doing it for them. Or I want just five more minutes to do what I want to do.

But that’s not what I’m asked to do, is it? I’m asked to respond with my WHOLE heart in whatever I do. Scrubbing a toilet. Folding endless laundry. Sorting through seasonal clothes that a certain 6 year old has completely unorganized.

This week I printed off a round of my Daily To Do List or Daily Docket. I’m using these to keep track of my Six List {from Day 6 of 31 Days to Clean}. Having a pretty ‘to-do’ list helps me out immensely and also helps keep me focused on the things that I NEED to do each day.

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Join in the 31 Days to Clean Challenge! We’re using Sarah Mae’s 31 Days to Clean as a Homemaker’s Challenge. Feel free to jump in and purchase the book {PDF or Kindle} at any time.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Story of Our Move {Part 3}

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If you are just tuning in, you might want to read Part 1 and Part 2 the first part of our moving story {I promise, it’s fun!}.

Our drive to the airport that Saturday morning involved a flurry of phone calls back and forth between our realtor and us and we waited to hear what this new couple thought of our house. We anxiously waited, flew to Florida and obsessively checked email and texts {ok, I obsessively checked}.

Saturday passed with nothing solid in place and Sunday we prepared to leave on our cruise.  We had brought along our laptop in hopes that we may be able to connect with our realtor at some point while in a port, because the internet fees were outrageous on the ship. We settled onto our ship, but while we were somewhat relaxing…it wasn’t quite what we were hoping for, especially with the thought of having two mortgage payments looming over our heads.

Tuesday we arrived in our first port and found a Starbucks {go figure!!}, bought a coffee, and logged into our email account to find an email from our realtor with an offer on our house! We began emailing back and forth with her, gave her our thoughts on what we would agree to…and then headed back to the ship and out to sea.

Still waiting.

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Wednesday we ported in Cozumel and again found another coffee shop. After getting a good laugh at the signs on the tables surrounding the shop {fortunately, we were ‘costumers’}, we set up camp, waiting to hear from our realtor. This would also be the point that we discovered that our debit card had a freeze put on it due to suspicious activity {umm…our own from traveling in Mexico}.

Our purchase of a bottle of authentic vanilla extract and a coffee proved to be MOST beneficial. After emailing back and forth with our realtor…WE HAD A CONTRACT ON OUR HOUSE!! From the day we listed our house until the day we had a contract on it ~ ten days.

Thank you, Lord!!

Vacation and relaxation were in full swing … but now we had to wait and see if our purchase on the new house would go through as planned in five days, while we were still away from home.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Suffering Through Diagramming

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If you have to diagram, it always helps to have someone to commiserate with you, right?

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Husband Thinks He’s Funny…

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Rick has been out of town the last few days, so when Kaleb walked into the house and said there was a snake in the garage…I was none too happy.

I ran out and found it all coiled up in the garage, but between the kids opening and slamming the door to get a look at the snake, it got a little irritated with us.

Rick suggested via the phone that I grab a shovel and either try to whack it’s head off or scoop it up and carry it outside. IT would have none of it and kept striking at me.

And even though I know it’s ‘just’ a black snake, I really have zilcho tolerance for a snake that isn’t happy with me.

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I snapped a picture of the intruder, sent it to Rick to have him verify that it was ‘just a black snake’ and when I went out to the garage 10 minutes later to check on it….the snake was gone.

I texted my hubby to let him know it was gone and do you know what his reply was?

“Van door was closed, right? :)”

 

Can you FEEL the love??

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Art of Romance by Kaye Dacus {Review & Giveaway}

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English professor Caylor Evans has a writing past that few people know about and one she isn’t exactly proud of. Although she now writes inspirational romance novels, there was a time when she wrote more ‘steamy’ books under a pseudonym, inspired largely by the model on the cover art for those books. That model still inspires her current writings…and her thoughts of what her ideal man would be.

When Dylan Bradley returns home after losing his teaching position he finds himself immediately drawn to Caylor, but compared to Caylor he feels inadequate. Secrets are hidden in his past that he is hesitant to reveal ~ years ago he put himself through art school by painting cover art for several romance novels.

There is something familiar about Dylan that Caylor can’t quite put her finger on.  Although both are hesitant to take a step toward a relationship, they have grandmothers that enjoy meddling a bit in the lives of their grandchildren…but will they together be able to discover the true art of romance?

My Thoughts

In The Art of Romance, Kaye Dacus introduces two wonderful main characters that you will grow to love as their story unfolds. Dacus tackles some different issues between the two main characters that are not typically addressed: a male that suffered from an emotionally abusive relationship and then an age difference {Caylor is seven years older than Dylan}.  Both of these issues are  handled wonderfully and the characters are deeply developed.

The Art of Romance is the second book in the Matchmaker series by Kaye Dacus and you will love all of the characters introduced in this book, and hopefully we’ll be seeing a spin-off involving all of Dylan’s brothers in the future! I have absolutely loved all of the books that Kaye has written and this one will be put on my ‘to keep’ shelf for sure!

Find Out More

~ Visit Kaye’s website

~ Join Kaye’s Facebook fan page

~ Buy Kaye’s book on Amazon

~ Read an excerpt from The Art of Romance

The Giveaway

Would you like to win a copy of The Art of Romance? I have one copy to mail to one of my readers! Leave a comment on this post ~ be sure there is a way for me to contact you. The giveaway will be open until Tuesday, May 10th at 8pm.

This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read my disclosure policy. This book was provided for review by Barbour. All opinions expressed in this review are solely my own.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Private Prejudice

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Zachary was sitting next to me while I was flipping through pictures of the royal wedding online.

He asked: “Are those pictures for real, or is that Private Prejudice.”

Think he’s heard enough about Jane Austen?

Head on over to Mary's at Not Before 7 for some more Tiny Talk Tuesday!!
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