personal

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.

Christmas

Christmas Break

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I was trying to juggle a million things this month, and was doing alright. But now, with only a few more days before the holiday, I'm making cuts. And sorry to say this is one of them.

Prayer

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...

Children

Christmas Traditions & Cozy Book Hop

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Here are three books I enjoyed that open up the conversation about three Christmas traditions that are often lost to the overwhelming commercialization of the holiday.  Granted all three are not short or quick reads and therefore not great for real young kids, but they are great tools once your kids are old enough to start questioning.


Christian

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.

Cozy book hop

Cozy Book Hop

Thursday, December 06, 2012

After trying to juggle Christmas preparations and advent activities with my kids I've been super busy. Then just when I was confident I had it all under control the flu bug hit my house. So I don't have a kids book to share this week with the hop...

I'm sure you will all find some great examples to include to help fill my gap.  And to get you started here are some great lists from previous link ups!  Oh and a fun giveaway!




I've really enjoyed reading all your posts every week - I can't wait to see what you all have this week.

Like usual, please link up a post (not just your blog) about a book you're reading, have recently read, loved when you read years ago, etc; or any post on teaching your kids to read, their favorites, or special holiday books you are excited to share this year.  Really anything that has to do with books and reading are fair game.

Please link back to the hop so others can join in on the fun - the button code is on the side if you want to use it.


Try to stop by another post to support our community of book lovers - who knows you might find a new friend.







Favorites

Weekly Favorites #6

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

This has been one crazy week for me, but I figure it's because of the extra items on my to-do list for the Christmas season. It is amazing that I think I might be able to do squeeze more into my life for a month... Anyway, here are my top three this week!


Granted my little ones are still not in school, however it is quickly approaching. As a result I've been reading tons of different articles on schools and our kids' education in general. This article caught my attention - half because of the article and half because of the great discussion occurring in the comments.

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I stumbled across this great post this week from Second Change to Dream and loved the message. Barb laid out her take on her current Bible study, and I'd say her message is worth reading for everyone.
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I am a huge fan of The MOB Society, as a mommy of boys, it comes in handy to have a place to turn that is full of understanding mamas. Anyway, this week they helped me smile with this great post Confessions from B.K. I hope you laughed like I did!
Image credit

Here are a few of my favorites this week - I hope you enjoy them.  If you came across a great post let me know! I'd love to check it out




Children

Oh No, Little Dragon & Cozy Book Hop

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Currently I'm trying to teach cause and effect to my oldest so we can better discuss feelings behind things (this parenting thing isn't easy!). So I've turned to books!

Our local librarian gave us a great list (I'll include it at the end) and this wonderful book that both of my boys are enthralled by.

Historical Fiction

The Wild Princess

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Wild Princess: A Novel of Queen Victoria's Defiant Daughter

Mary Hart Perry
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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?

Favorites

Weekly Favorites #5

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Although the current hop doesn't reflect it, I am full blown into Christmas!  The halls are decked and the Santa picture has been procured - I know that is a feat with two little kids that aren't keen on strangers. As a result most of my favorites this past week are Christmas focused... I'll try to limit my Christmas favorites for the rest of the month...


I am so grateful Laura from I'm an organizing junkie put up this post with a list of how to let go of those frazzled feelings that tend to come with the holiday season.  Why is it that we find ourselves frazzled during the holidays anyway?

I'm an organizing junkie

I'm super excited I came across the printable on pinterest - I know that site is addicting! Kristin from Simply Klassic Home did a great job with this Christmas tree scripture. I think I'm going to have to add it to my decor this holiday season.
Simply Klassic Home

I find myself going back again and again to gain some wisdom from Darlene at Time Warp Wife. She reposted a great piece on how to keep Christ in Christmas for our little kiddos. She has some great ideas that will be easy to incorporate this holiday season.

Time Warp Wife

So there are my tops this week. I hope you enjoyed them also...

If you have a great post you'd like to share please leave a comment with a link to it, I love to see what you are enjoying!

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: http://www.simplyhelpinghim.com/2012/11/28/iam/

Children

Thanksgiving Favorite & Cozy Book Hop

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to give an extra emphasis to being grateful and spending time with family. At least that is always my goal with my little guys. Yes I agree that we need to be thankful every day of the year, but when it comes to teaching kids having a holiday to help impress upon them the importance of being thankful is a great help!

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.

Favorites

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!



Christian

Unglued

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Photo credit
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.

Favorites

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!
http://www.thepurposefulmom.com/2012/11/how-to-make-free-printable-and-offer-it.html


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.
http://unveiledwife.com/prayer-of-the-day-when-spouses-snore/


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


http://www.joleneengle.org/2012/10/how-to-strengthen-your-childs-faith-at.html


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!


http://www.cornerstoneconfessions.com/2012/10/newspaper-activities-day-10-fort.html


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
http://www.baconflavouredjam.com/?p=441


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!


Quiet

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.

Train
Photo Credit
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.




Cozy book hop

Cozy Book Hop

Thursday, November 08, 2012

It has been a few months of fun book hopping going on over here. And yes it is still a smaller party than some, but some smaller parties can be more fun, right?

If you love to read this is the place for you!    (Tweet this)

If this is your first time to the party, Welcome!  I hope you can dig through your posts and add something to our hop. And if not, just keep in mind we party every week, so when you finish that book, magazine, kids story, etc, come back and link your new post.

I think this little community of book lovers and reading enthusiasts is a great opportunity for all of us to grow a strong subset of our blog communities  I am hoping you are each finding some time to link up your favorite book related posts and stopping by some of the others' posts. There is so much to gain from each other, why waste such a great opportunity.


So here's to another week of sharing our favorite stories, reading adventures and teaching endeavors  Please feel free to link up new and old posts.  Also help spread the word so even more reading enthusiasts can join us.

I would love if could grab the Cozy Book Hop button and display it on your post, or blog. Please at least include a text link back.  I try to send twitter and facebook love to those of you who link back throughout the week.

I can't wait to see what you all have in store for this week - let the fun begin!













Linked up with: http://passionateandcreativehomemaking.blogspot.com/http://www.oursimplecountrylife.com/http://blog.jennimullinix.com/http://www.livingintheshoe.com/2012/11/shoe-lace-linkup-4.html, http://www.athometake2.com/, http://www.yourthrivingfamily.com, http://www.cheeriosandlattes.com/saturday-show-tell-36/, http://christianmommyblogger.com/fellowship-friday-13/http://www.nictomsmom.blogspot.com/http://www.missionalwomen.com/http://the-life-of-faith.blogspot.com/, http://www.frommymountainview.com/2012/11/momsagainstmanicmondays.html, http://www.michellederusha.com/, http://www.whatjoyismine.com/, http://www.thebettermom.com/, http://www.time-warp-wife.blogspot.com/, http://www.aboverubies.net/

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!

davonneparks

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. 


Photo Credit
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.

Children

Pat the Bunny & Cozy Book Hop

Thursday, November 01, 2012

There are so many amazing classic children's books. I'm sure you have plenty that come to mind from your childhood, right?

Christian

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.

blogs

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.

quotes

Marden Quote

Monday, October 29, 2012

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

Children

Tag & Cozy Book Hop

Thursday, October 25, 2012

One of the best gifts my son has received was a Tag system.  Of course as a book lover, I found this to be a great gift right off the bat. Now that my second is older and demanding some extra attention the Tag has found it's way back into our daily lives.

Children

Giraffes Can't Dance & Cozy Book Hop

Thursday, October 18, 2012

As my son gets older I'm looking for more and more books that offer the chance to discuss life lessons. I have a hard time just teaching behavior, but discussing the behaviors of characters in books is so much easier.

One of my current favorites in this line of children's literature is Giraffes Can't Dance, by Giles Andreae. This book opens up the door to so many different discussions about life that, for me, it is priceless.

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Gerald, the giraffe, is our main character, and he learns how important it is to be yourself, even though that might mean others will laugh at you. It's about overcoming fears to excel at what you are good at - I mean who doesn't need to learn this life lesson?

Plus this books opens the door to discussion about peer pressure and bullying.
Photo credit

The pictures are amazing and so engaging for kids and parents alike - Guy Parker-Rees did an absolutely superb job.

To add to my love of this book, we always end by dancing!

Looking for some extra learning activities for this book? Try this packet or this craft.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sorry for the delay this week (didn't realize the hop was delayed - read this post) but sometimes we have to break our schedule for different things.

But now we are back on track, and it's time for another Book Hop. Yes it might be small right now, but I think this is a great hop, and it can only grow, right?

So link up any post you have about a book, any book, it doesn't have to be a kids book...  Share your craft ideas that come from books, your favorite recipe book, your favorite holiday magazine inspirations... Reading is all around us, let's celebrate it!

If you could grab my button or link back that would be great because I think the more people hear about this hop the more we will grow - no?  And maybe stop by a few others and say hi, and see what they are reading.









Linked up with: http://lifewithtwinsandadramaqueen.com/http://www.nictomsmom.blogspot.com/http://blog.jennimullinix.com/http://christianmommyblogger.com/the-key-to-increase-your-facebook-traffic-and-fellowship-fridays/http://www.whatjeanlikes.com/http://www.beholdingglory.com/http://www.oursimplecountrylife.com/http://passionateandcreativehomemaking.blogspot.com/http://www.yourthrivingfamily.com/2012/10/weekend-whatever-43.htmlhttp://www.cheeriosandlattes.com/saturday-show-tell-33/http://the-life-of-faith.blogspot.com/http://www.whatjoyismine.com/http://www.thebettermom.com/http://www.michellederusha.com/http://www.time-warp-wife.blogspot.com/http://www.shandaoakleyinspires.com/http://www.aboverubies.net/2012/10/domestically-divine-homemaking-link-up_23.html

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

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