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Book review: Frost Bible (ICB version)

The glittery, wintery Bible produced by Tommy Nelson is cute and attractive to the little ladies with Frozen Fever. It’s hard-covered and comes with a handy bag, too. Inside, you will find a page for documenting family history, explanations on why you should read the Bible, an illustrated time line, places to write down your favorite Bible verses and helpful maps. 
According to the preface, the International Children’s Bible is written in such a way that a third grader can comprehend the content. The editorial staff chose particular words to put into bold print that are defined in the back of the book. Also, there are key verses highlighted, which bring the readers attention to the main point of that particular passage. 
The little bag that is included for free is cute, but I don’t foresee it holding up long with weekly wear and tear. 
This is a great gift Bible for the elementary girl in your life. 

I was given a copy by the publisher in exchange for my own opinions.

Managing the Christmas Craziness, a guest post from Lisa Potter

Hi friends!  My dear friend, Lisa Potter, has graciously written a guest post for me this week. She is a beautiful mother to two great, grown-up kids and has lived through the hectic season of Christmas many times. I learned a lot from her many years ago when we lived in the same town. She and her husband pastored our church and she was an integral part of launching the Moms and More Bible study that so wonderfully helped us young momas when our babies were all so little. Some days we all showed up with bedhead and spit-up stained shirts, but she loved us despite it. Those moments are so precious to me and rank in the top 5 things I miss most about Virginia. 

Top 5 Tips for Managing Christmas Craziness
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… or is it?  Unfortunately, I’m Type A with high hopes and a short fuse.  Adding one more thing to the organizational portfolio can often send this task oriented gal spinning in a downward direction.  I LOVE Christmas, the reason we celebrate: Emman…

My day

There's a reason my blogging has been a little slow lately. I have been writing a weekly post for a homeschool curriculum company, and while the discipline of having a deadline every seven days has been good for me, I am still learning to make time for other writing. Maybe one day I will get it all together... Until then, here is a little post I wrote about how I spent a semi-typical day a few weeks ago. 
So, what do your days look like? Are your days the same everyday or do you have a different schedule?

Thanksgiving, Christmas decorations and books

Our Thanksgiving feast was less than 24 hours ago and we have already had leftovers a few times, set up the Christmas tree and wreaths on the windows, and watched a Christmas train movie. We began a new tradition of the kids wrestling Gil after all the dishes were done. All were safe until a lip or nose was bumped a little too hard on the floor. I wonder how long it will be until the kids can combine their strength and out-wrestle Gil?


I’ve done almost all of our Christmas shopping already, but I have two more books to tell you about if you are looking for some ideas....

Randy Frazee wrote a 90 day devotional for kids called Think, Act, Be Like Jesus. I like it and will gift it to one of the girls for Christmas. It has nice, high quality pages, nice pictures and the length of the daily reading is perfect for my readers. He includes about 30 devos on thinking like Jesus, 30 on acting like Jesus and 30 on being like Jesus. It’s basic and easily understood. It will be a great companion t…

Benjamin's Guide to Celebrating

His view of the outside world all shifted within a few months...a new (to me) car that required him sitting in the middle of a bench rather than behind a captain's chair in front of him, him becoming old enough for a forward facing car seat, and an awareness of what we do at certain locations. He has the prime seat in our SUV which allows him to see exactly where we are going and he practices the art of celebrating. 
When we pull up to the gym parking lot, he throws both fists and feet in the air and cheers- he knows the childcare room has a good stash of Thomas trains and the gymnasium has open space for wild running. When we arrive at the library, the same thing happens- he knows they have a train table. At the Dairy Bar parking lot- he knows how wonderful their frozen treats taste. At church- he knows they have good toys too. At his friend’s house, he knows he has loads of fun. 
It happens at home too. He cheers for his favorite shows on TV, when his trains ride  successfully …

Looking at beautiful things

So, I have been blogging for a homeschool company and although I can't repost what I wrote for them, I can link to it. Within a blogpost about why I love homeschooling so much, I shared about how my dear mentor taught me "to look" at my kids. She told me about how it made her kids feel a little awkward at times...but she studied their faces in an attempt to remember them at that age forever.

I try to do that, but I still seem to somehow forget what they look like. Thank goodness for pictures!

There are beautiful things around us all the time and we seem to slip right past them.

As for another beautiful thing, I received a gorgeous coloring book for grown-ups. It's called The Time Garden by Daria Song and it has a little story that goes along with it...about a girl and her German cuckoo clock. The images are so pretty, imaginative and detailed. The paper quality is nice. Also, if you'd prefer the book without the jacket cover, you can color in the cover of the boo…

21 Day Challenge and a new cookbook

My bff and I are finishing up a 21 day fitness challenge. We texted each other every bite we ate and when we worked out. We also shared our starting weight, measurements and pictures...then again at the end of each week. The accountability has been nice. Coincidentally, I received Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook during the first week of the challenge, which was a great help when it came to preparing healthier meals for myself and the family. 

Flipping through the cookbook, I immediately noticed the beautiful images, the high quality way the book was made. (Strangely, I love nice paper and books made with attention to quality.) 
I was excited to get hard copies of drink and smoothie recipes floating around online. I feel armed with 496 pages of recipe ideas to get me through the slumps of “what’s for dinner tonight?” moments. 
As far as the cookbook itself, I do have to say that this isn’t something for someone who has not read the first Trim Healthy Mama book. There is lingo, abbreviation…

The husband does a book review: The Dude’s Guide to Marriage

My husband, Gil, recently read a good book he would highly recommend to other husbands...or those wishing to become a husband. Darrin and Amie Patrick co-wrote this fun book, an easy-to-read, yet encouraging guide to helping husbands develop skills to love his wife well.


I can tell when Gil likes a book. He moves it from room to room in our house- from the bedroom, to the living room, to the dining room- where ever he will sit for a few minutes and read a few pages. Also, he reads me quotes he appreciates from the book. 
Of all the quotes from the book that seemed to really cause us to think, the best one is: ”Community is diverse, disturbing, and challenging, unlike affinity, which is bland, reinforcing and safe.” (58)
We speak a lot about community in our own lives and ministry. We get the importance of having a strong community around ourselves, but using the terms “diverse, disturbing and challenging” brought true community into new light for me. It’s so easy to keep ourselves sur…

A good Bible for tween girls (Book Review)

Shhhhh! Christmas shopping spoiler alert! 
I am on the hunt for the right Bibles for my girls for Christmas. It sounds snotty and silly, but I have a few things I’d like to see in a Bible, other than the obvious.... 
I want Bible that are real, not children’s editions. Since they are memorizing scripture in the ESV and NIV translations, I want them to be able to look up their verses on their own and have it match what they are learning. 
I’d like their Bibles to feel sturdy enough to last being tossed in backpacks, taken to church in bad weather and hidden down in the depths of the mysterious land under their beds. 
So, BookLook sent me one to review and I am happy with it. The NIV Faithgirlz Bible has a hard cover with a magnetic closure, cute devotionals and definitions within the text....and best of all, the text is printed in PURPLE ink. The purple text sold me. As far as the devotionals and definitions go, I like that the editors included age appropriate questions for the girls t…

Book Review: The Rainbow Egg

The Rainbow Egg, by Linda Hendricks, M.D, is about a little bird in need of a safe place for her egg to hatch. She searches for the perfect spot, but realizes she can’t find one. Then, she stumbles upon a hen house that is home to a chicken family without an egg. The little bird sweetly places the egg on the hen house nest and celebrates as the baby chick is hatched tucked under the wing of the chicken family. What a great way to introduce the idea of adoption for children! My little recap doesn’t do the cute story justice. 
This is a cute book with a mighty message, shared in a simple way. First, I enjoy all things chicken. Second, the artwork was beautifully done. Third, I enjoy the way the author speaks of both the birth mom and the adoptive family. 
(Here is where I pull out my deep desire to be on Reading Rainbow when I was a kid...) But don't take my word for it, go out and get yourself a copy today! 
I was given a free e-book copy of The Rainbow Egg in exchange for my hones…

Book Review: Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

A few quiet evenings during our favorite week of the year (family camp!) offered me the chance to read through a great book. Eric Metases did a great job on his research and development of a student edition of his famous biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer; Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. 
I enjoyed the extra definitions, historic timelines, thought provoking questions, quotes and the maps he included in this edition. It seemed the perfect amount of information for a student learning about Bonhoeffer and the horrific acts towards the Jews.

Since this is a student edition, I would suggest it be read by an older middle schooler or high schooler. It would be a great source for a research project, class report or personal study. I plan on keeping it on our bookshelf to add to our homeschool history lessons when the time is right. 


Thanks BookLook for a free copy to read and review. All thoughts on the book are my own.

Father's Day

Father's day is coming this weekend and while I sit with the baby as he makes laps around his train table, I thought of a few things that make my husband a great dad. Here is my quick list:

I know he's a good dad because the girls always sleep in his T shirts when he is out of town, then they wake up smelling like his cologne. 

I know he is a good dad because he treats them to Starbucks cookies or ice cream after they've done well- or just because. 
I know he's a good dad because others have said they wish they had a relationship with their dad the way he relates to our kids. 
I know he's a good dad because he dances with us to our Refit DVD, watches CloneWars cartoons like they are his favorite show of all time and sings Let it go. 
I know he's a good dad because of the way he told me he was ready to face the challenge of being a dad. 

I know he's a good dad when he steps in and sends ME to time out when I need it. 
I know he's a good dad because of the…

Make new friends but keep the old, some are silver and the other is gold

Women Are Scary (book review)
Honestly, I was a bit skeptical of this book. I am not a fan of fluffy reads nor books that are overtly girly. It’s like the girly gab oozes through sometimes and I can’t handle the silly remarks. But, I was wrong. Melanie Dale is hysterical. I am a huge fan of clean, stand-up comedy and I was literally laughing aloud in my backyard while I read her book. While I sat with the kids outside, I chuckled through the first few chapters before I had to shake the sand out of the baby’s clothes and do tick checks. Melanie also found a way to win out past mom-to-three-exhaustion at night and I kept picking up her semi-scary covered book. 
Woven in between her super funny stories, Melanie (I pretend she and I are on first name basis because she replied to my facebook comment about what “base” moms are on when they take over the kids’ trampoline) gets real with the fears and frustrations moms of all walks of life face when wanting friends. 
Being a part time working/s…

Move Over Monday- the final and cutest post

Move Over Monday- the final and cutest post

Last night at dinner, both girls (3 years & 18 months) were talking to one another from across the table very loudly. After a few minutes of this craziness, this conversation occurred:

G- "Girls, this house will be quiet. Talk quietly." E-"Daddy, this is Emma's house!" G-"This is your house? Do you pay rent here?" E-"Daddy, Jesus gave me this house." G- (to me) "I just got schooled by a 3 year old"

Favorite Things Friday!

Hello world! Yay, it's Friday!!! Even though my Friday's don't look too different than the rest of my days, there always seems to be a lighter feel to the day. Do you feel it, too?

So, here is my list of the best things or thoughts this week:

#1 Nourish Organic Body Lotion, lavender mint scent. Gil stashed this in my stocking at Christmas and I instantly loved it. Soon though, the baby found a way to hide it from me for the last 4 months. It turned up again this week and the girls and I have been using it like crazy. Go get yourself some and try and tell me you don't like it too. (If you don't like it, I'll happily take it off your hands!)




#2 My second favorite thing this week has been this cake! Cinnamon, chocolate, banana, brown sugar…. are you drooling yet? Many moons ago, Gil asked me to make him a coffee cake. Surprisingly so, there are loads of theories on the perfect coffee cake. In my opinion, this one fits the bill. Head on over to the Idea Room and t…

From Protected to Projected- The projected part

He sent them into the world- John 17:18
Let’s zoom in on another key term Jesus employed. He said “As you sent me into the world, so I am sending them (the disciples) into the world.” The words “sent and sending” both come from the same Greek word /apostellō/ which means “set apart, to send out on a mission literally or figuratively: put in, send away, send forth, send out, and set at liberty.”`
        When Jesus released his disciples into ministry, he literally projected them into the vocation God called them to. Included with Jesus’ instructions to the disciples to be “sent” was his prayer that they would not be alone. Believers are supposed to be held together in unity with others (Acts 4:32) so that body of Christ can remain strong until the day he returns. We are not meant to be an island unto ourselves (Romans 14:7), so we should model and teach our kids likewise. Encourage participation in their community and begin praying now for your child’s future surroundings, such as colle…

Move Over Monday: My Family Right Now

Hello there. I unintentionally took a two week hiatus from blogging. We had family visiting us during the first week and it seems I am not the type of blogger that can get my posts prepared far enough in advance to make it happen nor the type to steal away a few minutes to get my non-essential things done with company around. Week number two, well, who really knows what happened to week #2? Normal life continued to roll on in all other areas except the blogging. Maybe my next goal should be to get ahead of my posts and set them to post at the right time…. I'll need a lesson for that. 
So, in honor of Mother's Day approaching, I'd like to share a little poem I wrote many years ago to celebrate those that call me "mom". In all honesty, becoming a mom was the greatest fear I ever had- yet one of the things I desired so deeply. I had plenty of reasons to be fearful of the task, just as most women feel prior to (and during) mothering + a whole bag of extra reasons (t…

Move Over Monday: The Violinist

The Violinist A little known fact about violinists: in order to hear themselves stand distinct from their orchestra colleagues, they unintentionally tend to tune their instruments slightly sharp or flat in comparison to the other violinists nearby.  Let me explain. As an orchestra warms up and tunes before a performance begins. The best violinist, known as the first chair or concertmaster, plays her open A string once. The rest of orchestra hears this pitch and adjusts their instruments to match. Concertmaster plays her A again and orchestra joins her forming the sound of one note and one giant instrument. Finally, the concertmaster hands the perfectly tuned orchestra over to the conductor and the show begins. This is the ideal situation.  However, inexperienced violinists have a hard time making this happen sometimes. The same musicians that can tune any violin in a matter of seconds, struggle. Additionally,  the instrumentalist that can hear a short sound stroked from a violin and judg…

From Protected to Projected: Challenge #2

He told them many things and gave them God’s word- John 17: 13,14
Jesus spent time investing in the lives of a handful of people with the final goal of ensuring they will have the ability and knowledge to carry on his message to the rest of the world. He spoke with them about the laws of the land, customs of the day, incorrect teachings from religious leadership, God’s plans for the world, and other fabulous things. He shared personal prayer requests with them and found ways to connect their day-to-day lives with furthering the message he came to bring. Jesus took seriously the time he had with his disciples and spent it as best he could. If we use the same lens to look at parenting the way Jesus looked at discipling, then raising kids similarly to the way everyone else on the block raises their kids just won’t cut it. Our calendars and weekly schedules won’t look the same as everyone else’s. Our values and rules will take a shift from the average. Our household budget won’t match othe…

Move-Over Monday: Timeout Tag-a-long

My Move-Over Mondays will soon be ending, but this week I wanted to share an old post about when the girls were very little. I was reminded of this bff tendency earlier today when one didn't want to go outside without the other. Gil and I often talk about how they will need very strong, confident men to marry because their love and devotion to each other is stronger than anything I've ever seen. Good luck, boys.
So, here is this week's Move-Over Monday, called Timeout Tag-a-long!
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4/22/2009
Timeout Tag-a-long /[tahym-out tag-uh-long]/noun. Meaning- /a. to assist in the service and duration of discipline given to an older sibling for the purpose of not parting or preventing the potential boredom that might occur while older sibling is serving timeout sentence./ b. must place gluteus maximus as closely beside older sibling’s as possible. /Origin- mom moment in my kitchen.
Our youngest has created a new self-designated post during her sister’s timeouts- right by her side. …