A New Year, A New Beginning

Monday, December 31, 2012

What a blessing it is to be able to look back on a year and see how far we each have come.

And as 2012 ends and 2013 commences, I am picking a word to center my 2013 (for 2012 it was Kairos): After spending a year trying daily to focus on God's time and timing has allowed me to grow a faith that I am grateful for. And in this practice of finding God's time (Kairos) I have grown.


A Christmas Prayer

Monday, December 17, 2012

Prayers are flying to God right now. The busyness of Christmas preparations have 
paled in front of the darkness of the broken world. 

Mommy hands

The Phenomenon of Mommy Hands

Friday, December 14, 2012

Do you remember the days when you would rush to get ready to hang out with your girlfriends? The hours spent picking out nail colors at store? Then of course the hours you would spend painting your nails - ensuring they looked professionally done.

I had a friend who had one of those fancy heat lights that were supposed to dry your nails into a perfect rock hard shine in sixty seconds - it always took longer!

 I'm sure there are least a few of you who know exactly what I'm talking about (and not just the nail dryer thing...). Maybe some of you are still enjoying these times with friends, and maybe others are back to a season where life has time to spend on nails. But I'm sure many of you are like me, and in the season where nail care means making sure they don't get too long or jagged...


Every Perfect Gift

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Every Perfect Gift (A Hickory Ridge Romance)
By Dorothy Love

“Whoever says nothing ever happens in a small town ought to spend a few weeks in Hickory Ridge.”  Do you feel like nothing ever happens in small towns? This story could easily change your mind!

I know a few of you have read this one (as I finally decided to take the time to read it thanks to your reviews!) so I'd love to hear more from you in the comments about this story.

Matthew West

The Phenomenon of Mommy Tears

Friday, December 07, 2012

Sitting in a room full of moms - some very new moms, others who have great insight to the journey, and many, like me, who are somewhere in between - I heard the sniffles, you know the sniffles that moms make when the tears are starting flow, but we try to keep them from falling freely? Especially in bigger groups... The music was simple, yet it was touching... and so the sniffles became a new layer of the melody.

Historical Fiction

The Wild Princess

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Wild Princess: A Novel of Queen Victoria's Defiant Daughter
By Mary Hart Perry

I came across a review of this book on another blog and was intrigued, plus this is how the book was hyped on Mary Hart Perry's page:
Fact: In 1871, Princess Louise (Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s fourth daughter) had a reputation for being the “wild child” of the family. She insisted upon mixing socially with commoners and being trained in London as a professional artist at a time when girls were denied the same education as boys. The nerve of her! 
So…what is a princess to do when she longs to break out of Buckingham Palace and follow her dream—but her mother marries her off to a man who can’t return her love?

Five Minute Fridays

Five Minute Fridays

Friday, November 23, 2012

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, or at least had time to spend with family and friends if you do not celebrate this holiday, yesterday.  I was blessed to have time to spend with family, catch up on lives and enjoy the entertainment that two young kids provide.

And now I am stealing away for a few to share my thoughts for five minutes... wanna join?

Five Minute Friday

Thank You

How do you really say Thank You to people today? Those words are used all the time, and I think they should be used all the time.

I mean I expect my son to say thank you when I give him a drink, or when someone picks up a toy he dropped. Most of the time he does, and for that I am grateful!

But then there are times when we want to say thank you to someone because we are truly thankful and grateful with every fiber of our being, and those two little words just seem like not enough...

Like the text message you get out of the blue that lifts you right out of your doldrums

Or the card in the mail that shows the love of friend who is thinking of you

Or the dinner someone makes for you because they know you are living through some extra challenging times

Or because the time someone spent listening to you talk was the best gift in the entire world

Or when you receive a gift that will trump all other gifts forever because it is forever

Image from

How do you say Thank You for such things?

Until I find the answer, I am just going to use these two small words - Thank You - and allow those feelings of thankfulness and gratitude fill me up. And maybe the recipient of my Thank You will realize my gratitude is real, and not just a rote response ingrained from loving parents who  knew the importance of manners.

Linked with:

Book review

Act as if...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Act as if...
By Holly Boyd

The idea of acting one way even if we don't feel like it isn't a new one. Yet when this ebook went on a special I thought it would be worth a shot.

Holly Boyd, a professional organizer, shares her belief that with purposeful placement we can live the life we want.


Weekly Favorites #4

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

There was a time in my life when I had time to make lots of crafts and decorate my home. Now it's filled with the job of motherhood. However I find myself drawn to great crafts to make my house more homey often. Here's one that caught my eye this week - wish I had the time to make it... maybe soon...

Holiday craft

It never fails that every week I come across a post that speaks to me where I am in that moment. This past week Tracy at My Daily Walk in His Grace, hit the nail on the head for me. Her small musing over God's refuge for us and His perfect timing and how we must continue to turn to him for such a rest was truly perfect timing.
A place to rest

I try every day to say prayers for my kids - two boys who are extremely spirited and full of loving energy. There are many days when I just don't know what to pray and turn to scripture prayers for guidance. Thankfully Jenni shared a great guest post from Jenna on just this topic!  Again what perfect timing.

Spirited Child Scriptures

And who couldn't use more encouragement every week? Joy put together a great post full of her thoughts on how “He leads me in the paths of righteousness.” Psalm 23:3. Her thoughts are personal and yet resonate with me as well. I hope you can find some wisdom from her prayers and His Words, as I did.
Soothing Encouragement

There were some of personal favorites this week. I hope you enjoy them. If you found some great posts this week I'd love to know about them - just leave a message with a link in the comments!



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

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Unglued: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Raw Emotions
By Lysa TerKeurst

This book has so much in it, I could write and write for days. However, I'll try to keep it short.


Weekly Favorites #3

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Here's to another week of great information gained from some super smart bloggers!

I don't know about you, but I learn so much from other bloggers, and this tutorial on how to make printables is great.

How-to: make your own printable to share!

Does your spouse snore? I am one of those that often finds myself laying awake in the middle of the night as the melody of my husband's snores fill the room.

Snoring spouse prayer- so helpful - glad others are praying for us.

I am interested in this book as the job of building my children's faith seems overwhelming most days. Any tips might be helpful.

With the colder weather upon us (well those of us living up north!) I am on the prowl for activities to keep my super active little boys busy during the day. Building a fort that can move to different rooms sounds like a great idea. Plus the instructions seem extremely straight forward and this project will be free!

And because I have so much time to spend on making crafts for myself I want to make this. Probably because these bracelets are never small enough for my child-sized wrists. At least now I have instructions for when time suddenly pops up on my schedule.

Craft for mama

What are some of the great posts you came across this week?  I'd love to see your favorites

Five Minute Fridays

Five Minute Friday: Quiet

Friday, November 09, 2012

Another Friday, another day of writing for five minutes just to release. 

Five Minute Friday
Join the fun!


I am not completely sure I know what quiet sounds like.

My days are full of noise: little boy talking at their wonderfully loud voices, music played in an effort to lessen the level of noise from said boys, then of course the moments of conversations with adults...

Even outside there isn't quiet: cars racing by, trains chugging to different destinations, birds singing, wind blowing through bare tree limbs.

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And of course in a rare moment when these noises aren't happening, my thoughts fill my mind!  Thoughts about which chore must get done today, and then which one needs done first. Or thoughts about friends, and the stories they have shared with me. Thoughts about the future and how I can help my kids grow into the unknown the future holds for them. 

But then again I'm not sure I would want it to be really quiet all the time. I would miss the screams, the music, the cars and trains, the birds, and all the other little things that prove that life is going on around me. And that I am not the only one in this world.

Amy McCready

Positive Parenting Solutions

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Recently I found the time to take part in a free webinar called Get Kids to Listen without Nagging, Reminding, or Yelling. To be honest I signed up because it was free and I crossed my fingers that there would be some great secret, because I feel like I spend day after day nagging, reminding and yelling!


Weekly Reads #2

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

This past week was crazy busy for me, which was a suprise because I didn't go many places like usual. Yet there are always a million things to get done, right?

I loved seeing what others were up to and thinking. It helps so much to remember we aren't the only ones - perspective!

So here are some of my favorites from the past week.

"Having made my peace (mostly) with the reality that giving my children time is a part of serving them, I was able to relax and open myself to the joys of being with them." This quote from Sally at I Take Joy really struck me. Sure I've heard such sentiments before, but for some reason this one reached out and grabbed me. 

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This post from Adelle at The MOB Society was perfect for me this week. I've just started to realize how hard it is to be the mommy who gets just a sentence from her son's teacher each time I pick him up, and usually it's about how he was too energetic. So if you're a mama who is trying to learn how to interact with teachers, this might speak to you as well.

Songs always speak to me - there is something so great about a well written song. Just another form of expression of our hearts!  Davonne shared one of my favorites - so please enjoy!

And in case you enjoyed the post from last week, about each person's perspective of Jesus, this might be a fun read.
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Please feel free to leave a link to your favorite post from the week in my comments, I'd love to see what you are all enjoying.

Election day

Election Day Quote

Monday, November 05, 2012

I'm tired of hearing it said that 
democracy doesn't work. 
Of course it doesn't work. 
We're supposed to work it. 

Ashley Ditto

Feature Blog

Saturday, November 03, 2012

I'd like to introduce you to this month's feature blog. The blogging community is so great, and I love to share some of my personal favorites with you. So please check out my friend Ashley's blog sometime this month!

Five Minute Fridays

Five Minute Fridays: Roots

Friday, November 02, 2012

What a week - I know I don't have to convince anyone that I am glad it is just about the weekend because I'm sure everyone is glad to have this week behind them.

And now time for five minutes of writing in an attempt to release my thoughts and words that are kept quiet during the week - the freedom to write that Five Minute Fridays provides, without worrying about being politically and grammatically correct - just let those thoughts and words out - such a gift.


Grace for the Good Girl

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

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Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life
By Emily P. Freeman

Let me start this review with a the statement that I didn't really think I was the good girl this book referred to, I just heard it was awesome and figured I'd give it a shot. However, I am this good girl, I just took a little detours from the "good girl" path in my past, yet my desire to be this good girl was always there battling. This revelation was made while I read the first few chapters of this book.


Weekly Reads - #1

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sure there are so many books that I could spend all my time reading books, in fact, many days I wish that was all I had to!  Still there are great topics to read online - let's face it, that is probably why you are looking at this site right now! - blogs are a great source of information and many are on my daily Reading List.


Marden Quote

Monday, October 29, 2012

All men who have achieved
great things have been
great dreamers.

Prayer break

Prayer Break

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thank you to Christian Mommy Blogger for this great challenge... Regular posts will resume tomorrow, please take a moment and pray today instead


New Hobby: Photo 101

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Have you ever found yourself in a season of your life when there was no time for one more thing and then a new dream caught a hold of you? I am finding myself in this exact situation. As a mama to two crazy busy little boys I feel like I spend many of my days just running behind them trying to keep the house from collapsing. And in the middle of this phase of life I found a new interest that I never once thought about - photography.


1776: A guest post

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

If you aren't a regular reader you might not have noticed, but I've been slacking on my book reviews. Partly because I've been finding a lot of duds recently, and I don't have a ton of time to spend reading (although I imagine myself sneaking in more reading time than I do...). So I've glad to say I have a guest post to share with you today.


Five Minute Friday: Welcome

Friday, October 05, 2012

Five Minute Friday time again. I'm amazed at how many ladies are taking five minutes each week to write, allowing their hearts to freely express those emotions that the brain holds back all week long.

Come join us!

Five Minute Friday
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Now, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes to just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.

Welcome is so many different things to me.

It is the smell of apples and cinnamon as they cook down in the kitchen. The smell of autumn floating out of the windows, beckoning my family to home.

It is the squeals of joy as my littlest one realizes we just pulled into Nana's driveway. His little hands grabbing to be lift quickly out of the car seat in order to get to Nana.

It is the warmth of a over sized blanket on a couch, covering my husband and me, while warm cups of hot cocoa warm our hands. The sounds of quiet, a reminder of the work of the day to get to the moment of welcomed peace.

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It is the view of the ocean as it rolls to meet the sand. The sounds of the water crashing. The smell of salt. The joy of a moment to soak it all in.

It is that feeling that fills your heart as you walk into a room full of people you haven't seen all summer. Their faces are smiling a welcome that fills the room.

The feelings of welcome are contagious, making others want just a little bit. Welcome spreads out slowly from loving souls like smoke curls out from a summer camp bonfire. It calls to others to feel it's warmth, it's love, it's calm, it's peace.


A yelling cure?

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

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Yelling: The Cause, The Casualty, The Cure
By Lorrie Flem

Once my second child came along the lack of sleep seriously caught up with me and manifested it self as a loud angry mama - which I am not happy with. Do you know the feeling? It's like the sleep deprived mama is never able to really get a handle on things and do what she wants... so that being said when this short ebook was on a free promotion I grabbed it.

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Hawthorne Quote

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

I cannot endure to waste anything as precious
as autumn sunshine by staying in the house.
So I spend almost all the daylight
hours in the open air. 
~~ Nathaniel Hawthorne


The Thinks and the Places & Cozy Book Hop

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Have you guessed that I'm a Dr. Seuss fan?  I've done a fair amount of posts on his books and quotes... And guess what, here's another one!

And it's a two-for-one - a real BOGO if you will.


A letter to all the princesses

Monday, September 24, 2012

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There are just so many girls, of all ages, that need to hear this, every day. If you are a lucky princess who found her prince, be thankful. If you are still waiting, know your Father has a plan for you and stay hopeful. I know that this is something I could have read every day for many years to help me realize my Father has great plans for me as long I love Him first. 

Sharing with What I know Now

Five Minute Fridays

Five Minute Fridays: Wide

Friday, September 21, 2012

Spend five minutes today and write - don't worry about what others might think as you write, just do it!  You'll feel better!

Five Minute Friday

So even as I read the prompt - Wide - my thoughts were consumed with so many emotions I didn't really know how to start. I mean wide should be like an ocean description, or a grassy field or something... at least that is my first image...

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Yet the idea of writing for five minutes on Wide just wasn't  happening in my head. and the deal is that we don't think too much about what we are going to write, right?

So I sat down to write.

Then the baby cried - 5 minutes on hold.

It is amazing how the feelings in life can be so wide, so encompassing. We, as responsible adults, know that we should not be rule by our emotions. That such behavior is childish.

And yet emotions become that wide, large part of our thoughts and words all day, every day.

Sure there are great emotions to get lost in - love, joy, hope.

And even the less fun ones have a purpose. I mean a fear of some spiders or poisonous snakes could safe lives!

Yet we know that any emotion that takes over all our thoughts and actions is not healthy. There needs to be a balance. And finding that balance is the hidden secret I think most people search their whole lives for.

What if that secret is right in front of us?

What if we are making the worse decision when we grit our teeth and just try harder?

What if the wide open arms of a Savior, standing silently beside us is that secret?

chick lit

Where We Belong

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Photo Credit
Where We Belong
By Emily Giffin

I'll start this out by mentioning that Giffin tends to be a favorite of mine when I'm in the mood for light chick-lit stories. So if you are not into that, then this probably won't be of must interest to you - if however you enjoy relaxing with a book that makes you laugh, and sometimes cry because you can feel the emotions of the characters, then keep reading!

I had a special desire to read this book as it is the story of adoption - specifically how an adopted girl decides to find her biological parents when she turns 18.  (As an adopted child I tend to really enjoy these stories)  Kirby was adopted when she was only three days old - and has always felt like the black sheep of the family. As she struggles through her high school years she wonders if her "odd-ness" has anything to do with her birth parents. So she secretly goes to meet her biological mother.

Marian is a successful television sitcom writer and producer. She is living the high life in NYC. However the secret of her past still lingers in her thoughts - she gave her daughter up for adoption when she was just 18.

The story follows these two ladies as they discover their pasts and unveil the secrets that have been hidden over the past 18 years.

Sure the story is fairly predictable - hence the chick-lit category - but the characters are extremely interesting and engaging.

I really like how there was a fair amount of time spent with Kirby's adoptive family, since this is the family she considers to be her parents - a big point for adopted kids. Giffin also spends time developing Kirby's adoptive mother and does a fair job of showing her emotions as she stands by as her daughter searches for questions about where she came from.

My overall favorite line in the book is:
"I'm glad everything happened the way it did. I'm glad I got pregnant with you. I'm glad I had you. I'm glad you have a family who loves you. And most of all, I'm glad you're here now."  (286)
Marian tells Kirby this near the end of the book. I think those are important words because adopted kids never want to think of themselves as a mistake that was simply given away to erase the past. This book seems to follow idea - adoption is the chance for a child to be given a life with a family who deeply desires him or her and will provide the best life possible for that child.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick light read.

Have you read it? What did you think?

Linked up with: ,


John Burroughs Quote

Monday, September 17, 2012

To find the universal elements enough;
to find the air and the water exhilarating;
to be refreshed by a morning walk 
or an evening saunter, be thrilled by the stars at night;
to be elated over a bird's nest
or a wildflower in the spring,
these are some of the rewards
of the simple life.
~~ John Burroughs

Photo Credit

American Sign Language

Sign Language ABC & Cozy Book Hop

Thursday, September 13, 2012

One the best things about books for kids is that they often teach multiple lessons at one time. Of course when I can use them as a teaching tool with multiple purposes I love them even more.

Recently I've been enjoying Sign Language ABC a Sesame Street book with Linda Bove as I teach my youngest sign language and review the alphabet with my preschooler. It is a two-in-one story time, and both of my boys think it's the best book ever!

Sesame Street Sign Language ABC with Linda Bove (Pictureback(R))
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The book shows the signs for each letter of the alphabet, one letter at a time. Each letter also has at least three additional signs to help reinforce the letter.

Sure it's a simple easy little read, but such a wonderful tool!


And now it's time for another book hop!   I can't wait to see what you all have to share!

Please link up any and all posts related to reading, or books. I love to hear about all kinds of books from baby's first book, to grandma's reading lists.

Also if you could grab a button, or link back that would be great.

Get ready - hop!

Linked up with:

Irish blessing

Irish Blessing

Monday, September 10, 2012

These things I warmly wish for you;
Someone to love,
Some work to do,
A bit o' sun, a bit o' cheer,
And a guardian angel always near.

~~ Irish Blessing

Pictures of Ireland: Green Tunnel
© Copyright Hauke Steinberg
Just a little something that makes me smile when I hear it - hope you enjoy it this week!

Five Minute Fridays

Five Minute Friday: Graceful

Friday, September 07, 2012

I love Fridays! It's great to know the whole weekend stretches out in front of me waiting for fun. Friday also means I will push myself to write for five minutes without worry about being right or perfect or even correct. I am just going to write and let it be.

Five Minute Friday


Yeah, that's not really what I felt like as I pulled my super bag filled with my notebooks and such on my shoulder, followed by the diaper bag - filled with all the stuff a baby might possibly need for two full hours - I mean that's a lot of stuff right?

Then with my shoulders loaded with bags, I open the door and am greeted with "yeahs!" and ga-gas. My oldest crawling under the car seat to scramble out the door and I reach, in a very not so graceful move, to unbuckle the baby from his car seat - all the while those bags are on my shoulder - the just in case bags.

We rush in - the kids get settled in their classrooms and I move towards the large room filled with women - all smiling, all talking pleasantly with each other. They all look put together - hair done, clothes matching and accessorized. Others have those gorgeous outfits that look like they belong in the store display windows, complete with purse and shoes.

Suddenly I feel like I should have tried to find a better outfit this morning. Something that didn't scream, "I'm a mama to two energetic boys who don't allow me more than 30 minutes to shower, dress and prepare for the day." But too late now - besides I remembered to put in earrings today, huge bonus - the thought, crazy as it is, gives me a tiny boost of confidence, and I take a deep breath.

Then I walked into the room, put on my smile and think nice things - hoping that I come across graceful just like them. Thinking, they probably had a moment just like mine...

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