Tuesday, November 14, 2017

God's Big Plans for Me

“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 on the same blog, 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.

I'm sure you've already noticed, but my kids love to read. They've each got about three or four books within arms reach at all times. For the most part, I don't give much input on the books they read. I trust them to make their own decisions, and I've been pleasantly surprised a few times when they've asked if they were old enough to read something specific.

One thing I can do is make sure they are surrounded by good choices. My dad helps a lot with that because as a retired librarian, books are his jam! He curated an entire box of books for Frances for her birthday and she was in the clouds!

I, personally, like to leave Bible study books and Christian stories around for them. I've been asked to review a number of them lately, and the kids have been really excited. The most recent one we've been looking at is Rick Warren's God's Big Plans for Me Storybook Bible. He's taken his best-selling Purpose Driven Life and adapted the 40 foundational principles for kids. Each Bible story illustrates a principle and comes with a relevant precept, bible memory verse, and question to ponder. The stories will likely be familiar, but they are presented in such a way that you and your kids will get a bit more out of them than before.

You can buy a copy on Amazon, or win a copy below!

God's Big Plans for Me giveaway

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Museum of the Bible Books

I accordance with FTC guidelines, I need to tell you that I received these books from WorthyKids/Ideals for free in exchange for an honest review. The links below are sponsored links, in that if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. Thank you for your support.

When I was growing up I loved reading. I read all the time. Now my kids do too and it makes me proud. One big difference I've noticed is the larger variety of non-fiction books available. Now, I may have read the encyclopedia a few times for fun as a kid, but in reality it wasn't that interesting. Today, though, there are lots of fun non-fiction books for kids.

I love this trend, so imagine my delight when we were sent some Bible books to review and they are in the same vein!

These Museum of the Bible books (I received four) were so much fun to read with my kids!

What's the Bible All About? is a board book intended for 2-5 year olds. It has a great overview of what the Bible is about, what's in it and who wrote it. There's even a great Catholic shout out for those extra books we keep in! Even though it is intended for 2-5 year olds, I think it has great information for kids (and adults) of all ages!
Children of the World Storybook Bible is a collection on Bible stories from the Old and New Testament. Most of the stories will be familiar to people, but there are some not so common ones in there too. The stories are illustrated by kids from around the world, which makes for a cool discussion point. It also has an index, so you can look up people and places; as well as a map showing all the countries the illustrations come from.

Wild and Wacky Things in the Bible is a collection of fun and important stories to help understand the background of many Biblical stories. For example, there's an explanation of the Jewish Day of Atonement and Yom Kippur to go along with a story from Leviticus. It teaches where the term "scapegoat" comes from and why we still use it today.

That's So Weird is a collection of weird and wacky Bible facts. It is full of scripture verses and references with the kind of weird tidbits that my kids love. Did you know that King David was a talented musician and a great dancer, although his dancing embarrassed his wife? (2 Samuel 6:16)

All these books were published by Worthy Kids in cooperation with the Museum of the Bible.

The Museum of the Bible is an innovative, global, educational institution whose purpose is to invite all people to engage with the Bible. In 2017, Museum of the Bible, which aims to be the most technologically advanced museum in the world, will open its 430,000-square-foot nonprofit museum just three blocks from the Capitol in Washington, D.C. A digital fly-through of the Museum is viewable here.

You can purchase these books (and more) here, or on Amazon.com.  I'm also giving away a copy of the winner's choice right here on this blog. Enter below!
Museum of the Bible Books

Monday, November 6, 2017

Fall Decor

Ahhhh...Fall. That time if year when the weather starts to cool off, and you start to pack up the shorts. Then it gets hot again and the kids yell at you because they are too hot. So you get a few pairs of shorts out again, but then it gets cold and they are freezing and "how come we don't have any jackets!?" and "Are these pants or shorts? My ankles are showing!'

I'm honestly not a huge fan of Fall. Being the perpetually cold person that I am, it's just one big tease of a season. We'll have a warm day and I'll let my guard down and then I'll walk outside the next morning and get a blast of cold air in my face. I am constantly holding jackets that the kids needed in the morning, but no longer need in the afternoon (but I have to keep track of them in case we are out after sunset because it will get cold again)!

Can't I just stay in bed?? I'd really like to be able to hibernate. I'm already eating all the food, why not check out a few books, and snuggle in under some blankets for a month or two? Is that asking too much? It is? Ok, Fine, never mind!

Fall is when things can start to get crazy again too. I lost a few hours of sleep from making the kids' Halloween costumes. Soon it will be time to stress about when and how and who we visit for Thanksgiving. And can the kids get along for just 36 hours so I can enjoy part of the holiday myself??

I try to enjoy the season. Really, I do! Family time, togetherness, holidays centered around eating...I get it! There's lots to love in the Fall. I even signed up to do a project for the Blog With Friends November challenge. The theme is Fall Favorites. I love my BWF peeps more than I love Fall, so here I am.

I made this wall hanging/door decoration with very little preparation. In fact, I had a last minute idea to use some pine cones from our yard since I knew we had a ton of them.

Well, it turns out we have lots of pine trees, but not so much with the pine cones. Also...it was pouring down rain. For some reason, though, Henry volunteered to go out and look. And he filled a small bucket with soaking wet pine cones. What a sweetheart!

I put the pine cones on a cookie sheet and placed them in a 250 degree oven for about an hour. My house smelled heavenly! I would honestly recommend it even if your pine cones aren't wet. (If they are from your yard, it should kill any bugs living in them.)

While they were drying out, I sketched the letter "L" on a piece of spare cardboard and cut it out. You can do a letter for your last name, or multiple letters to spell out a word, or even just a circle to make a wreath. That's up to you.

I arranged the pine cones to cover as much of the cardboard as possible and hot glued them on. Then I added a ribbon I had. Now I can hang it on the wall or door, or even about the fireplace. Obviously, I haven't decided yet!

Want some more fabulous Fall fun? Check this out!

Karen of Baking in a Tornado has this amazing caramel topped apple spice bread.

Alicia at Taylor Life has Favorite Fall Foods that Help Fight Depression.

Kia of Think in English has Fabulous Fall Activity Ideas and Resources for ESL Teachers.

Lydia of Cluttered Genius has some Proven Fall Favorites for Kids.

Dawn of Spatulas on Parade has Chocolate Faux Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.

What's your favorite thing about fall?

Friday, November 3, 2017

I think I can

For a while I was thinking that if we could just get through the beginning of the school year then things would calm down a bit. They did. We got back into our routine and things were fine. Of course, then all the extra-curricular stuff started: soccer, ballet, jazz, violin, music club, leadership club. And let's not forget fun stuff on the weekends: football games, birthday parties, cleaning house (not really fun, though), Sunday School, corn mazes, etc.

Phew, my calendar is just crazy and when I'm juggling all the stuff the kids and I do I start to feel overwhelmed. Things happen at work and I take on more responsibility. I get asked to help out with something at church that turns into a bigger commitment than I anticipated...twice! If you want something done, ask a busy mom, right?

But we settle into the routine and it doesn't seem quite so overwhelming again. And currently a few things are winding down. Soccer ends this weekend and we'll have our Tuesday nights back. I only work three weeks in November because of Thanksgiving. I'll get a bit of a break, but of course that means that shortly after that comes Christmas, which brings with it its own stress.

Honestly, I'm not really complaining. I don't mind being busy and I've done a pretty good job of keep the plates spinning and the calendars juggled. If I've dropped any balls, they weren't essential ones, and I am willing to forgive myself that.

Mostly, I feel like I am just chugging along. I can see a few hills ahead, an occasional mountain or two. There are a few times I've felt like giving up, but I've taken a quick break and gotten things back on track. Sometimes after climbing a certain hill, there's a stretch of time where we can all coast for a bit. Then we see another hill ahead. That's just what happens. That's how life works.

I think if life were all a straight stretch, we'd get a little bored. Just like you can't appreciate the sunshine without a little rain; without busy-ness and deadlines, hills and mountains to climb, we don't grow and we don't make progress in life ad we don't appreciate the calm moments when we get them.

When my mom retired, she took a bit of a break and then dove in completely with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, helping seniors at church to go grocery shopping, attending prayer group, being available for grandkids, etc. She went from a very busy career in nursing, to a busy retirement. She can step back a bit easier now and takes breaks when she needs to, but there was something about her that didn't want to just sit home.

I look forward to retirement myself (in the way off future). Not because I want to stop doing things, but because I want to spend more time doing things that bring me great joy. Some of those things might overlap with things I do know; I'll just have more time for them.

Our goals and our destination change throughout life, but it's always important to keep moving forward, no matter how difficult or stressful things may seem.

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
Cognitive Script 
The Blogging 911
The Lieber Family Blog
The Bergham Chronicles
Southern Belle Charm
Bookworm in the Kitchen 
Never Ever Give Up Hope
Part-time Working Hockey Mom

My subject is "The Little Engine That Could for adults in modern society. Make it funny, cathartic, serious, but give us the grownup version." It was submitted by https://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com.
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