Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Biggest Story #Giveaway

This is a sponsored post. It contains links for which I will receive a commission if you choose to make a purchase.

Life throws lots of twists and turns at you. Sometimes things go really well and sometimes things go not so well. In both kinds of situations, I rely on my faith to answer the questions I have about the whys and wherefores.

We were recently sent a CD/DVD combo to review and it was just the reminder I needed that there's a rhyme and reason behind all of life's twists and turns. It's all connected and all part of The Biggest Story.

The Animated Short Film: Featuring beautifully animated illustrations adapted from the book, The Biggest Story: The Animated Short Film is a joy for parents and kids as they see how all the classic stories in the Bible connect to the Bible’s main message about God's plan for His people.

The Audio Book: This audio book of The Biggest Story—written and narrated also by the best-selling author Kevin DeYoung—leads kids and parents alike on an exciting journey through the Bible, connecting the dots from the garden of Eden to Christ's death on the cross to the new heaven and new earth.

Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor of University Reformed Church in East Lansing, MI, husband to Trisha, and father to seven children.
 This set contains beautiful illustrations and imagery as well as a story that we all need to be reminded of from time to time. You can order the DVD or CD on Amazon.com.

Or you can enter to win a copy for yourself, by entering the Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Grandparents' Brag Book

Did you know yesterday was Grandparents Day? I actually didn't know specifically when it was and now I feel bad because my parents were in town and we didn't even get them a card! I even had a project ready to celebrate Grandparents Day and to fit with the #BlogWithFriends monthly theme of Grandparents.

I've heard that being a grandparent is more fun that being a parent. You can play and have fun and spoil the grandkids and then give them back when they get tired, cranky, or dirty! That's not completely true in my experience. My mom does a great job of keeping the kids clean, well-fed, and happy.

Most of the grandparents I know love to take pictures of their grands. My mom has several albums of my kids' pictures, and she's made some for the kids to keep after their adventures with her. Today I have a project for a cute brag book you can make and fill with pictures and quotes for your favorite Grandma!

You will need:
  • Five sheets of colored scrapbook paper (12x12). Use any colors you wish, but at least two should be the same for the covers.
  • Stiff cardboard (think cereal boxes)
  • Coordinating Ribbon
  • Hot glue
  • Glue stick
  • Pictures
First cut two squares of the cardboard into 6x6 squares. Cover each square with paper and secure with hot glue. Your seams on the inside won't show, so don't worry about lining things up perfectly.

Next take each of the three remaining squares and fold it horizontally, vertically, and diagonally; unfolding after each fold.

Open the paper and push the diagonal folds inside towards each other. The top and bottom of each square should be un-creased.

Slide the top of one into the bottom of another and glue them together with your glue stick. Do the same with the third. Let the glue dry and then open it up. It should unfold out, accordion style.

Next cut your ribbon into two pieces 12-14" long. Place each ribbon on the inside of each cover and secure with hot glue. Now glue the covers to the outsides of the book and let dry.

Now you can open and close your book easily, and tie it shut when not in use for bragging about the grandkids!

Want to see some other posts celebrating grandparents? Check these out!

Karen has Grilled Lobster Crab Rolls.
Dawn has some spicy fried chicken.
Minette has an orange cake recipe.
Sarah has the Story of Them.
Lydia has some tips for getting ready to care for your aging parents.

Friday, September 9, 2016

What do Bullies Know Anyway??

Sometimes I like to dive right into a story and tell it from the inside out. Other times, things flow out of my fingers with a definite beginning, middle, and end. Today, however, I'm not sure where to start. I have a secret subject swap topic in front of me. When Karen assigned it, I felt like I knew exactly what to do with it. I probably should have started writing right then, but of course I didn't.

Part of my pause is because I haven't actually written anything in a long time. Life has had too much going on. I also haven't read anything from my blogging friends in a while. I hate feeling disconnected from that part of my world, but other parts (like moving) are taking precedence right now.

The other reason I hesitate is that I hate telling this story. Any part of it. I hate that this story exists in our family and in the world.

What am I talking out? Here. This is where I'll start:
Your “Secret Subject” is: How do you handle it when your child is being bullied -- and the bully's mom is doing nothing about it? It was submitted by: http://batteredhope.blogspot.com
Frances has been bullied and picked on quite a lot. At one point, I had thought it stopped, but it actually turned out that she had stopped telling me about it. That was worse than the actual bullying: the fact that she had gotten so used to it that it didn't seem noteworthy anymore.

In trying to be objective about the situation, I can see a lot of reasons why my daughter would be the butt of someone else's jokes and comments:

  • She doesn't wear the latest designer fashions. In fact, most of her clothes are hand-me-downs or from the second-hand store. She also likes to make some...shall we say...unique combinations out of them. She wears skirts with pants, stripes with plaid, and colors that make her happy, but might not compliment each other.
  • She hangs with the less-than-cool crowd. Currently, her friends include an autistic boy who needs help understanding social cues in the classroom (Frances sticks close by and whispers clues in his ear), a girl from Iraq who speaks very little English and needs help navigating middle school society, and a kid with anger issues who frequently blows up in class.
  • She's smart and enjoys learning about complicated things. She does well in school and grasps concepts fairly quickly. She enjoys analyzing things and talking about how pieces fit together. She thinks knowledge is fun.
Being objective is good. It can give you some clarity in an otherwise murky situation. It's hard to be objective about your own children though. Everyone thinks their kids are the smartest, best behaved, best looking ones around, right?  If I take a look at those same characteristics of my daughter through a mother's eyes, this is what I see:
  • My darling, you are unique and creative. You have a flair for originality. You like to surround yourself with what makes you happy. You take what life gives you and make the best of it.
  • Sweetheart, you see people with your heart. You can look beyond the surface of a person and see their true worth inside them. You know how to reach out and connect with lots of different people.
  • Love, brains will take you much farther in life than beauty. And you know where true beauty lies anyway. Keep learning; keep questioning, keep trying to figure out how things work.
Ultimately, Frances has stopped telling me about a lot of the comments she's gotten, because she's mostly stopped caring. She has learned an inner strength that will be quite useful through the rest of middle school and beyond. She hasn't quite found her niche yet, but she will.

So how do I handle it when my daughter gets bullied? I help to build her up so that she knows what's really important. And people who disagree? Don't need 'em!

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 11 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado
Not That Sarah Michelle
The Bergham Chronicles
Spatulas on Parade
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver
The Lieber Family Blog
Confessions of a part time working mom
Southern Belle Charm
Never Ever Give Up Hope

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Family Christian Stores: Power of Prayer

Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

I'm on vacation this week and it has been a much needed break for me. We aren't going anywhere and we haven't had any definitive plans. It's basically been a lot of hanging around, going to the fair, packing and cleaning (yay!), and running errands.

One of the fun errands we had a chance to run was visiting our local Family Christian Store to use the $25 gift certificate I was given by them. I used to go in there all the time when I was the Youth Minister at our church, but I haven't visited in a while. They have made a lot of really great changes in the their store!

They've opened up the store so you can see from one end to another. It makes the whole place look a lot more inviting. One of the other things you can see are their signs for their awesome Buy One, Get One 50% Off promotion! What a great deal; it works for books, movies, and music and it's mix and match!

Ken looked through the movies and music, while I looked at their home decor. I also found some fun stuff the kids would love, like this Minecrafters Bible.

Whether you're buying for yourself or for a gift, Family Christian Stores has you covered. They have a great selection of cards and gift bags so you don't have to make a separate stop for those things.

I was also pleased to discover their Catholic section has expanded. That's a section I have need of frequently with Baptisms, First Communions, and Confirmations for friends and family. How cute is that Pope Francis doll??

I found my new favorite verse on a few things, too. I need this reminder frequently.

Ultimately, we decided on a few shelf sitters for the house. They aren't part of the BOGO deal, but they are the kind of reminders we all need lately. The sign about my front door reminds me that "Worry ends where faith begins." as I leave the house each day. 
And the boys are reminded to "Pray without ceasing" in their room. Frances has one that says "When worry makes it hard to stand, kneel to pray."

Family Christian Summer Sale

  •  Make the most of your summer with Family Christian’s unbeatable Buy 1, Get 1 50% Off sale on ALL Books, Movies and Music for the whole family!
  •  Shoppers can mix and match products to get the deal, which means they don’t need to shop within the same department. 
  •  The sale is going on now through August 25, so visit your local store today or shop online at familychristian.com.
About Family Christian

  • Family Christian is a Christian retailer, operating in 250 stores across the country. They are committed to helping you find, grow, share and celebrate your faith through a wide selection of Christian books, music, Bibles, DVDs, gifts and more. 
  •  When you shop with Family Christian, your purchases support their efforts to unite with ministries that are helping children and families around the world.
You can win a $25 gift certificate to Family Christian Stores by entering below. Visit their page and tell me what you'd buy with $25 and BOGO 50% off! Your certificate is good online or in stores. This giveaway ends Monday, August 22nd, so act quickly!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.
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