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.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Counting My Blessings

I'm going to start out this post by being brutally honest, y'all: I'm struggling. If you Google a list of life stressors, we hit most of the top five in one way, shape, or form. I'm not trying to win a pity contest, I"m just feeling like I'm at the end of my rope. And of this cute little internet kitty has taught me anything, now is the time to tie a knot.

There's also an adage about lighting a candle instead of cursing the darkness, so even though I'm feeling like I should be eating lots of carrots to improve my night vision, I'm going to go ahead and make myself light a candle. I really do have a lot of things to be thankful for.

1. Last night at dinner, I think the kids could tell I was stressed. They had been arguing a picking at each other on the way home and I had turned of the radio to get some quiet. At dinner, Ben accidentally spilled his lemonade all over his plate. He immediately made a face and looked like he was about to burst into tears. Almost as immediately, Frances reached across the table with her napkin and started mopping up the spill. Henry held out his cup and said, "You can have my lemonade." (It was the last of the lemonade, so that was a sacrifice. I got up to help Ben dump his plate and get a new one and miraculously no one cried!

2. The bigs have art camp this week. The camp is downtown in a place with no parking. The directors have arranged a drop off/pick up location where I don't even have to get out of my car. Compared to some of the transportation fiascos we've had with some other camps this summer, this is a huge blessing!

3. Pokemon GO is keeping me active and connected to Ken. He sends me texts during the day about things he's caught or hatched and we've been taking lots of nightly walks and just chatting. A tiny part of me thinks maybe I should be packing or folding laundry at those times, but screw that part! I need some decompression time!

4. My job had been pretty slow this summer, but things are starting to pick back up again. I'm excited about the students coming back and getting back into the swing of things. I like my routines and I like having more people to interact with. Also, I"m part of a pilot program for a new certificate series and I'm excited about the new classes and learning opportunities.

5. Sometimes when friends are hurting, it's hard to know what to say. The truth is, there's often not a lot that you can say, but good friends know how to be there anyway. I'm blessed to have a friend like that in Julie. She gave me this necklace over the weekend that says a thousand things I need to hear in such a beautiful way. I don't know what I'd do without her!

6. It's harvest season and that reminds me to be thankful for my own garden and the gardens of friends and family who share with us. I think it's also great that the kids are so excited about the garden. Henry jumps up every morning to check on the tomatoes on the front porch. And Ben is so excited he might even try one of them one of these days!!

7. There's a woman who comes in every year to laminate things for her classroom. She teaches kindergarten in a local private school. She always has such fun drawings and pictures that she's created to make her students feel at home and enhance their learning. It's so much fun chatting with her when she comes in and she's got such a great, uplifting personality. I got to see her yesterday and she told me about a new children's book she's written. I"m excited to take a look at it and see more of her personality on the page!

8. I wore my favorite dress yesterday. It's brightly colored and stretch, so it always fits. Plus it has pockets. I'd had a bit of trouble getting it sipped up in the morning so Ken had to help me. Partway through the day, I reached over to scratch my side and I poke the sipper. The doggone thing popped right open from armpit to hip! I'm thankful for a sense of humor to be able to laugh at it and also thankful for my grandmother's box of safety pins that live in my desk for a moment such as this! Always be prepared!

9. I have vacation next week! We don't have a lot of plans, but the fair is in town, so I'm sure we'll be spending time over there. My other objective is to get more packing and cleaning done. We'd like to schedule an open house in the next few weeks and hopefully with a week to really focus on the house, I'll be ready for that!

10. I woke up this morning with a roof over my head, hot water in my shower, and food in my refrigerator. It's often easy to forget that those things are luxuries to many across the world. It's good to take a moment to be thankful for all the things we often take for granted.

What are you thankful for lately?



Monday, August 8, 2016

Desk Organization with School Spirit #DIY

It's August! Where did the summer go?? Oh, that's right! I probably packed it up in a box somewhere! LOL!

We've got two weeks left of summer at this point. The kids have one more week of camp and then a week stuck home with me! Muah ahahahah! Actually, it's the week the county fair is in town, so we'll probably hang out there a few days. I'd like to try to wrap up all the things we didn't get done over the summer, but sadly, that's a pretty long list.

My friends from the Blog with Friends challenge are doing School Spirit for the month. I"m also trying to start the school year out organized, so I combined the two. As with a lot of my projects there are many ways you can take this. I'll tell you what I did, and offer a few suggestions to do it a little differently.

I used:
  • #10 can I got from Ben's day care
  • 15 oz. soup can
  • Blue and silver duct tape
  • School specific transfers 
First I covered both cans with duct tape.  Make sure to fold the tape over the sharp edge to cover it up. After both cans were covered, I used a strip of tape to secure the small can inside the larger can. Then I used the Cricut machine at work and cut out a lion and the school initials for Frances' school. Lastly, I adhered the logos to the can. The small can is for pens, pencils, scissors, etc. and the large can will hold papers. Frances loves this for her desk because she can have all her stuff in one place!

If you don't have a Cricut machine available to you, you can simply use clear tape over any letters, cutouts, or pictures. You can put one of these in the kitchen to hold recipes, by the front door to hold mail and stamps, or on your dresser to hold lotions and brushes. The possibilities are up to you!



Check out the rest of the Blog With Friends crew for more School Spirit ideas!


Karen of Baking in a Tornado has School Spirit Mini Cupcakes


Lydia of Cluttered Genius has 9 Tips for Chaos Control {Before School Starts}

Dawn at Spatulas on Parade has some ideas for School Spirit-Crazy Hat Days

 Eileen's Perpetually Busy has these School Color Cookies

Melissa at Home on Deranged offers tips for How to Choose the Right Elementary School

Minette from Southrn Belle Charm has a beautiful Wrap Bracelet


Friday, August 5, 2016

Karma is not a Boomerang

Yesterday I was driving some colleagues to lunch and I waved a car along in front of me. I didn't have to do it. There was space behind me. I told my work mates that I'm trying to do anything and everything I can do lately to put good karma out into the world. I laughed because I mentioned that having our house on the market has inspired me to be as nice as possible so good karma will come back to me in the form of a home buyer.

I am mostly joking about that. I don't really believe in karma the way most people seem to. I don't truly think that I deserve good things any more when I am nice than when I am not nice. Sure, things happen for a reason, but day to day most of what we do doesn't have a huge impact on the world as a whole.

Or does it? Maybe karma isn't such a strange concept after all. You can't think of it as a boomerang though. It's not like you can disperse all these good deeds so that good deeds will come flying back to you. That's not realistic. However, if we stick with a metaphorical boomerang for just a bit maybe you can think of it this way:

Your good deed may go out and affect someone else in a positive way. That puts that person in the mood to do good as well. They throw out their own little boomerang of karma and it hits someone else (gently of course). Each person that gets hit has the choice to put more good out into the world or not. Hopefully the more people who choose to do good, the better our world will become. Eventually positive actions come around to affect everyone, including people who initially started the good deed chain.

The opposite is true as well, unfortunately. If I am cross with someone or rude to them, it can have a negative affect on that person's day. That might, in turn, cause them to treat someone else rudely. Those kinds of actions and behaviors can have a ripple affect too.

In each case, though, we can choose our reactions. We can choose to take the good that we receive and stash it away in a pocket or we can choose to pass it along. We can also choose to take the hateful things that come our way and set them aside, or we can pass them on to others. In the end it's all about our choices.

Karma seems like a tit for tat type of arrangement. In reality, cause and affect are not usually so immediate as to make a direct link in our minds. However, people who do good and are kind tend to attract good and kind people. And people who are selfish tend to be surrounded by others who are likewise.

If we could all make a conscious effort to put more good out into the world than bad, think of what a positive impact that could have. Sure, bad things would still happen, but our attitudes about it would change and over time, on average, things would be mostly positive.

Today, to make the world a better place, I will pass along more smiles than scowls, more hugs than hurts, and more kindness just for the heck of it than for the sake of karma. How about you?


You've just read my contribution to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 13 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
The Bergham Chronicles
Spatulas on Parade
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver
Southern Belle Charm
Confessions of a part time working mom
Sparkly Poetic Weirdo
Never Ever Give Up Hope
When I Grow Up
Climaxed
Evil Joy Speaks

My subject was "Today, to make the world a better place I will..." It was submitted by: http://www.eviljoyspeaks.wordpress.com
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