Friday, September 30, 2011

Things I Love - Betty Crocker Mini Warm Delights

Things I Love....................

This is my feature where I get to share something that I just love. Since you are my friends, I like sharing things I love with others. It could be anything from a new product, food, recipe, song, image, to a person and everything in between. This will be something I am completely doing on my own, without pressure or compensation from a company, author, PR/Marketing firm, friend, business owner, etc. This will just be something that makes me happy and I want to share it with you. Enjoy some love!


Today's love is................................Betty Crocker Mini Warm Delights
 

I had a coupon for these and so last week I decided to try them out.  Oh my, YUM!  These little bowls of chocolate are super quick and easy and taste just like a warm brownie fresh from the oven.  I tried the Mini Molten Chocoate Cake and that is exactly what it tasted like.  They also offer a Dark Chocolate and Caramel Cake variety.  Each of these little bowls of goodness are only 150 Calories, so tan acceptable amount of calories for a snack.  These are ready in the microwave faster than you can even poor a cup of coffee to go with it. 

This was the perfect snack when I was craving some chocolate.  They aren't something I am going to have every day, obviously, but they are perfect for that little sweet treat you might be looking for once in a while. Something to look forward to in the afternoon or evening.  Now these are in my secret stash, and I don't plan to share them with my kids (insert witches cackle here), but I bet if you were nicer than me and willing to share these with your kids, they would love them too!

  

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Made the Change

Today I made the leap and purchased my own domain name.  I couldn't believe it was only $10/year!!!  I wish I would have done this much sooner.  So, I am now located at http://www.sincerelystacie.com/.  You can get to me from the same old way and it will redirect you.  But, if you ever want to tell someone about my blog or have a hard time remembering the address, now you can just say.......

it's http://www.sincerelystacie.com/!!!!!  How cool is that? 

If you would like to get your own domain name, it is super easy to do.  Just go into Settings, and then Publishing.  Follow all the steps, pay your $10 and it is done for you!

Are You Willing?

A long time ago, like almost 20 years ago, I attended a health fair at my college and signed up to be a Marrow Donor.  It took a bit of time and effort, but I really felt like I was doing an awesome thing.  In all this time, I have never been called and likely never will be called.  But, what if, my marrow could save someone's life?  What if I am the ONE PERSON in the world that could help them?  I am willing and ready to be that one person.  Are you?



Just click http://www.marrow.org/ to find out more information on how to register to be a donor in your area.  It could be the most important gift you ever give someone. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Book Review: The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh



THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS
By Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Published August 23, 2011
Fiction

The Victorian language of flowers was used to express emotions: honeysuckle for devotion, azaleas for passion, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it has been more useful in communicating feelings like grief, mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen, Victoria has nowhere to go, and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. When her talent is discovered by a local florist, she discovers her gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But it takes meeting a mysterious vendor at the flower market for her to realise what's been missing in her own life, and as she starts to fall for him, she's forced to confront a painful secret from her past, and decide whether it's worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.

When I was approached by Random House to read this book, I was fascinated by the premise of the book.  I was also interested because it was the author's first novel.  I just wish I hadn't let it fall down in my pile of books to read.  Once I started this book, I struggled with the fact that I couldn't put it down, yet I didn't want the story to end.

The character of Victoria took me back to my early social work days of working with juveniles in alternative high schools and group homes.  It reminded me of some of the kids who left an impression on me and made me wonder....where are they now?  All would be adults by now.  How are they doing?  Was there someone there to help them transition into the adult world?

I liked how the author flipped back and forth from Victoria's childhood in foster care to her current life as an adult.  It made the story move faster and gave you the history you needed at the time you needed it.  I can't say I had a favorite character, because I loved each of the them in their own special way, but Elizabeth and Renata were amazingly strong, patient and caring women that I would love to know.  I also loved that a certain person in the novel was named Hazel Jones.  My grandmother was Hazel Jones, and she also was a flower lover and passed that on to my mom and to me even though I never met her.

I loved the history and language of the flowers. It was fascinating and made me look at flowers in a whole new light.  I have a new flower garden that we will be planning for next spring and I am thinking differently about the types of flowers I want to plant in there.

This novel touched on many different topics that would encourage lots of discussion including forgiveness, love, heartbreak, despair, hope, and second chances.  We all make mistakes, so shouldn't we all deserve second, or maybe even third, fourth and fifth chances?  This novel makes you believe second chances must be given and received.

THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS is powerful, engaging, enchanting, thought provoking, and beautiful.  When I got to the final chapter of the book, I was sad and torn.  I wanted to get to find out what happened, but didn't want the story to end.  This one is a keeper on my bookshelf and I have a feeling it would be on yours too.  Run out and get this book today! 

For more on THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS or Vanessa Diffenbaugh, check out her website http://www.vanessadiffenbaugh.com/ or her Facebook Page.  PEOPLE Magazine named THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS as one of their "Great Reads".  I am also super excited to report that FOX 2000 has also purchased the rights to this book to make into a movie.  I think it would make a fabulous movie and hope that it will be made soon.  For more on Vanessa Diffenbaugh and her thoughts about the book, check out this video.



Thanks to Random House for sending me an ARC of this book for review.  I was not compensated in any other way for this review.  This review is my honest opinion and I do not review anything that wouldn't benefit myself of my family.

It Finally Happened

So, it finally happened.  After living in our house for nearly 8 years.  After living right next to a corn/bean field, depending on the year.  After doing several construction projects where openings were made in the house.  A. Mouse. Got. In. 

Sunday, I decided to do some laundry.  Thank goodness I decided to do laundry on Sunday and not Monday which is my usual plan.  I did one load and put it in the dryer and started the next load.  Once the dryer was done I noticed it smelled.  Really bad.  Like poop or something.  But, once the clothes came out of the dryer they didn't smell.  I ran the dryer again, and again the smell was back, but left the clothes once they were out of the dryer.  So, I called in the troops....my husband.  He right away said....yeah, it smells like dead animal.  UGH!  Dead animal?  Where?

After pulling out the dryer, taking off the dryer vent, going outside and taking off the cap off the dryer vent and not seeing anything, we had to go to plan B.  He went in the basement and took apart some shelving to get to the dryer vent down there and take it apart.  We used the camera to take pictures inside the dryer vent.  Nothing.  Finally he went back outside and fashioned a stick with a nail and reached into the dryer vent and sure enough, pulled out a dead mouse. 

Ugh!  That was just a little too close for comfort for me.  I HATE mice.  As a child, I grew up in an old house on a farm and we had mice EVERY winter.  I still get the shivers thinking about it. I don't know what will happen the day that I see a mouse run across the floor in my house.  I may not get so lucky as to have my husband home at that moment.  But, I was sure glad he was here on Sunday to take care of that dead mouse.  We do have two cats in the house, but I'm not quite sure if they would know what to do if they saw a mouse run across the floor in front of them. 

What do you do to keep mice out of your house?  How do you handle it if you see a mouse in your house?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bible in 90 Days Update

Well, after prayer and thought on this cold and dreary Monday, I have decided to drop out of the Reading the Bible in 90 Days Challenge. I am still in Jeremiah, Day 57 when I should be on Day 78. I am full-blown into my Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) now and this is a very intense study. It has been difficult for me to do both reading for the 90 days and do my daily study for BSF. The kids schedules are crazy, my schedule is crazy. I'm subbing a lot. My volunteering has kicked in to full gear. I just can't keep it all going. Something has to go.   Don't you ever feel that way?  I don't like feeling behind or rushed.  Lately, I felt like my readings were rushed and I couldn't take the time to absorb like I did at the beginning of the Bible.   I don't like doing something "half-as*ed" for lack of a better word.  If I am going to commit to something I want to do it and do it right.  I didn't want to complete it just to say I did it.  I didn't want to complete it just to be able to put the "badge" on my blog or get the T-Shirt.  I didn't want to let everything else in our lives fall apart because I HAD to complete this challenge.  I wanted to complete this challenge to be drawn closer to HIM.  And I have been, even without doing it in the challenge time frame.  So, I had to let this committment drop.  I wasn't able to give it the time and attention it needed and deserved.  Even though I am saddened and disappointed with myself, this is what I must do. My Bible is still out and open. I am still reading it and will continue to blog my thoughts, but in my time, in God's time, and not based on what day it is. I have loved the readings and with the knowledge I have....my BSF Bible study has been easier because of the rich history I read in the Old Testament.
I am so grateful for Susan at The Confident Mom for telling me about this opportunity.  I am so thankful for Mom's Toolbox  and all the work, planning, and organization she has done for this challenge.  If it wasn't for them, I NEVER would have EVER thought about reading the ENTIRE BIBLE from cover to cover.  Thanks also to my mentor Karen at Faith Family Fibro for her support and prayers.  I "met" some amazing women in this journey and hope to stay in contact with them. 

So, I will continue to read the Bible, blog my thoughts, and I WILL FINISH THE BIBLE.  It is a goal.  I don't know when, maybe by the end of the year, maybe this winter, maybe next summer.  But, I will finish!  You will hear about it right here!  So, stay tuned. 

Do you ever feel like a failure after committing to something and then dropping out?  Today, I am feeling less pressure on my shoulders, but a twinge of guilt for not completing.  How do you handle that guilt?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Review: Quest for Zhu DVD and Giveaway

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED. THANKS FOR ENTERING!

Quest for Zhu - DVD
Released September 27, 2011

When Pipsqueak magically travels to the land of ZhuZhu, she finds a whole world filled with colorful and friendly Zhus!  Mr. Squiggles, Chunk, Num Nums, and Stinker join Pipsqueak on an exciting adventure in her quest to find her way back home.  With the help of the Great Wizard ZhuFu, the Zhus learn the value of friendship, cooperation, and hamster power! 



Bennett, Reagan, and Patrick ready for the movie
It was movie night in the Gorkow household as we had the awesome opportunity to review the QUEST FOR ZHU DVD before it even hits store shelves.  We made our popcorn, opened up the Twizzlers, and settled in for the movie. 

As I was watching the movie, it reminded me a bit of the WIZARD OF OZ storyline. A ZhuZhu pet is magically whisked away to another world and finds that it isn't so great.  There is an evil creature, Mezhula, and she tries to stand in the way of the ZhuZhu's dreams.  There is also a Great Wizard ZhuFu who imparts great lessons on the ZhuZhu pets.  The movie was a fast-paced 113 minutes and kept the kids and my attention.  There was great music and I thought the animation was comparable to many of the other animated movies out there.  The messages in the movie are also great lessons for your kids to think about.

When I asked the kids what they thought of the movie these were their responses:

"I loved the opening song."  - Reagan
"I liked the the remake of the song, ABC".  - Patrick
"My favorite character was Mr. Squiggles and Num Nums." - All 3 kids 

Patrick and Bennett both felt the message was "When something isn't going your way, just keep going on and it will get better".

Reagan took this lesson from the movie, "Best friends are always there for each other and should share everything".

I thought it was a great family movie and I would expect to find preschool to early elementary aged kids as their biggest fans.  Also any ZhuZhu Pet fans will want to see their little friends come to life in this movie.  QUEST FOR ZHU comes to your local DVD store shelves on Tuesday, September 27, 2011. 

For more on the new QUEST FOR ZHU movie, check out their Facebook page HERE or the Movie Website HERE.

But.......... if you would like to win your very own copy of the QUEST FOR ZHU DVD, all you have to do is leave a comment below.  In your comment be sure to leave your email address, such as NameATgmailDOTcom.  All entries must be received by Sunday, October 2, 2011 at 11:59 PM.  I will choose a winner on Monday, October 3, 2011.  I will email the winner and the winner will have 48 hours to contact me or I will choose a new winner.

I received the Quest for Zhu DVD as well as limited edition Zhu Zhu figurines, an authentic movie poster, and Twizzlers snacks for review purposes.  I was not compensated in any other way for my review.  This review is my honest opinion.  I wouldn't review anything that wouldn't benefit myself or my family.  Thanks to Zhu-niverse, MomSelect, and Hershey's. 

A COURAGEOUS Invitation

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Joshua 24:15

I do solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility for myself, my wife, and my children.

I WILL love them, protect them, serve them, and teach them the Word of God as the spiritual leader of my home.

I WILL learn from my mistakes, repent of my sins, and walk with integrity as a man answerable to God.

I WILL seek to honor God, be faithful to His church, obey His Word, and do His will.

I WILL courageously work with the strength God provides to fulfill this resolution for the rest of my life and for His glory.

--Excerpt from THE RESOLUTION, featured in the movie COURAGEOUS

From the creators of Fireproof, COURAGEOUS is an exciting new movie with the powerful message that honor begins at home.  COURAGEOUS opens in theaters this coming weekend, September 30, 2011. 

Below is the opening scene of the movie.  It will put you on the edge of your seat. 



To find out more about COURAGEOUS and the message of the movie, check out http://ecards.dayspring.com/courageous/ or http://www.courageousthemovie.com/.  Make a date with your husband to go and see this movie. 

The movie trailer is below.  You can't go wrong going to this movie.  Go with other couple friends, go with a group from church, go with your family.....just go.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Birthday Arrived Early

I am SUPER EXCITED to announce that............... I WON A KINDLE!!!! 

I have the Kindle App on our iPad, my iPod touch and on my phone.  But, it isn't always the most convenient to read it on those items....especially when I have to share 2 of them with the kids.  But, it wasn't enough of a "need" for me to purchase a Kindle.  But, let me tell you, any blog or website that was giving one a way....I was signing up.  It finally paid off.  I won my Kindle from Jennifer Tankersley of the awesome ListPlanIt site and the author of the new ebook 100 DAYS TO CHRISTMAS.  Check out my review of 100 DAYS TO CHRISTMAS here

Thank you, thank you, thank you Jennifer!  You made my weekend and gave me an awesome birthday present!  What will I win next????????


Friday, September 23, 2011

Things I Love - Fall

Things I Love...


This is my feature where I get to share something that I just love. Since you are my friends, I like sharing things I love with others. It could be anything from a new product, food, recipe, song, image, to a person and everything in between. This will be something I am completely doing on my own, without pressure or compensation from a company, author, PR/Marketing firm, friend, business owner, etc. This will just be something that makes me happy and I want to share it with you. Enjoy some love!

Today's love is.................................Fall!
I Love Fall!  It is my favorite season (with Spring close behind).

1. I love watching the changing of the leaves, the warm and sunny days with a hint of chill, and the cool nights. 

2. I love football season.  By the way, I won 2 weeks in a row with our family picks.  So, far I have $2.50 in my pocket, winning 8 games the first week and 12 the second week.  Maybe I have a new calling!!! Vegas, need my help?????

3. I love Homecoming. We had an early Homecoming at our school this year, but still it reminds me of fall. When I was growing up, I was a football cheerleader and Homecoming was the highlight of the season. I loved the pep rallys, the decorating of the school and communities, the fun dress-up days, the marching band, and of course the game. The school our kids go to also has a great Homecoming week with the dress-up days, parade, pep-rally, crowning of King and Queen, and the big game.


Patrick on the float

Cheerleaders - Our friend Ashley in the center

 
Bennett, Reagan, and Patrick all decked out for homecoming.

4. I love Pumpkins.  I love carving pumpkins and eating anything with pumpkin in it.  I stock up on the Libby's pumpin and go crazy....pumpkin bars, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin desserts, etc. 

5.  I love Pumpkin Spice Lattes.  Starbucks started making my favorite treat early this month and I have already treated myself to 2 of them.  YUM!  I am also anticipating the arrival of Coffeemate's Pumpkin Spice Creamer.  It has yet to arrive on the shelves here, but I am patiently waiting. 

6.  I Love Bible Study Fellowship.  BSF began last Wednesday and it felt so good to be back with an amazing group of women all learning God's word together.  We are studying the Book of Acts as well as other books of the New Testament and I am already loving the study.

7.  I Love My Birthday.  Yes, my birthday is in the fall (my husband's is too) and I love celebrating it.  This year will be the last in my 30's and I will be launching a whole new page on my website dedicated to that, so stay tuned!

8.  I Love Fall TV.  I was very excited to watch some old and new shows this season.  My favorites are SURVIVOR, THE MIDDLE, DANCING WITH THE STARS, CASTLE, and I'm looking forward to checking out THE CHEW and seeing what the new TWO AND A HALF MEN is all about.

What is your favorite thing about fall?  Is it your favorite season too?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Review: Compelling Creations Jewelry

I was super lucky to win a Charm from Compelling Creations on my friend, Karen's Blog Faith Family Fibro this summer.  It was super tough to pick just one charm....



 But, I finally decided.....my most important job I will ever do is be a mom, so why not wear the charm that reminds me of the three beautiful children God gave to us and the job He has entrusted me to do. 
All of these charms are dainty and beautiful and a perfect for a bracelet or small chain.  I chose to wear it on a simple silver chain necklace and have gotten lots of compliments on it.  Compelling Creations was founded in 1998 by Jill Felts who has an amazing story to tell HERE.  Her jewelry is a ministry that can speak to all ages and has developed into a direct selling business through home parties, expos, and personal websites.  The products are extremely reasonably priced and are of excellent quality.  These would make great gifts for family, friends, youth group leaders, and sunday school teachers. 

Thanks to Shawnee Halligan for sending me the charm.  Be sure to LIKE Shawnee's Facebook Page or check out her Website


I received this charm for free as a win on another blog.  This review is totally on my own doing and is my honest opinion.  I wouldn't review anything that wouldn't benefit myself or my family.  I received no compensation for this review.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What I Learned from Isaiah - Chapters 34 to 66 - Reading the Bible in 90 Days

As you know I have started reading the Bible. I have 90 days to complete it and I am reading it with hundreds (1200+ to be exact) of other women. Each week (and even day to day) we check-in with each other on our progress, to pray for each other, and to share our thoughts. How cool is that?

So, I thought I would take each Book of the Bible and share my thoughts, verses, or people that stood out or spoke to me on that particular day. I have been doing most of my reading in the mornings reading whenever I can! The key is to get it done. If you get behind, you keep at it....catching up in chunks each day. The readings have been manageable and I am still praying it stays that way for me. I have to admit, I'm worried because I am behind and we are in the home stretch.  I should be reading the New Testament by now, but am still in the Old Testament. I really want to complete this challenge. I really want to do it in 90 days, not 100, not 125....90 days. So, would you pray that I can find time to finish this challenge. Pray that I can make it a priority in my list of To Do's each day. Pray that it doesn't get pushed aside like it isn't necessary. I want to do this and need to do it. Thanks for cheering me on!

If any of this has peaked your interest in Reading the Bible in 90 Days, check out Moms Toolbox. I am sure there will be another session this winter. And, if I can do it.....YOU CAN TOO!

I studied Isaiah during my Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) last year. But, as I read through Isaiah again, I found verses that hit me differently because of the previous books of the Bible, the history that I had been reading, and the people I learned about. Isaiah became a book full of wisdom for me and very humbling.

Isaiah 35:4 say to those with fearful hearts, "Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengence; with divine retribution he will come to save you."

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever. 
A-MAZ-ING!!!!

Isaiah 40:11 He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. 

Isaiah 40:28-31 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  LOVE IT!!!!!!!

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 

Isaiah 41:13 For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Isaiah 43:18-19 Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!

Isaiah 43:25 I, even, I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.

Isaiah 44:6 I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.

Isaiah 44:22 I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist.  Return to me, for I have redeemed you.

Isaiah 45:5 I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God.

Isaiah 48:17 This is what the Lord says - your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go."

Isaiah 53:5-6 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Isaiah 64:8-9 Yet, O Lord, you are our Father,.  We are the clay, you are the potter, we are all the work of your hand.  Do not be angry beyond measure, O Lord; do not remember our sins forever. Oh, look upon us, we pray, for we are all your people. 

Isaiah 65:17 Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. 

Isaiah 66:13 As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.

No on to the Book of Jeremiah..................

Monday, September 19, 2011

Book Review: Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore

SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME
By: Ron Hall and Denver Moore
with Lynn Vincent
Published: June 15, 2006
Non-Fiction

From the back of the book:
A dangerous, homeless drifter who grew up picking cotton in virtual slavery. 
An upscale art dealer accustomed to the world of Armani and Chanel. 
 A gutsy woman with a stubborn dream.
A story so incredible no novelist would dare dream it.

It begins outside a burning plantation hut in Louisiana....and an East Texas honky-tonk....and, without a doubt, in the heart of God.  It unfolds in a Hollywood hacienda.....an upscale New York gallery.....a downtown dumpster.....a Texas ranch.  Gritty with pain and betrayal and brutality, it also shines with an unexpected, life-changing love. 

Incredible is just one way to describe this book.  Other ways to describe this memoir would be emotional, heart-wrenching, hopeful, gripping, and inspiring.  This was our book club pick for the month, but had been on my To-Read list ever since my Sister-in-law, Julie, told me about this book a year or so ago.  My Sister-in-law works at the Mission of Hope, a place for homeless people to go and feel loved by God, to get a meal, a prayer, or just a place to rest.  Their mission is to meet basic needs, change hearts, disciple people and teach the church.  No one is turned away.  For more on their services and needs visit Mission of Hope.  The needs there are great and the love is overflowing. 

So, as I read this book, I thought about Julie and her work a lot.  13 years ago, I also used to run a homeless shelter for women and children.  This story took me back to those days as well.  No matter where you live, there are homeless people.  They may be staying with families or friends or bouncing from house to house rather than living on park benches or under interstates, but they are homeless just the same. 

I was drawn into the story immediately.  The chapters are short and flip back and forth from Ron's, (the art dealer) story to Denver's (the homeless man).  The horrors of Denver's life were tough to read, but his strength and faith helped you move through each chapter, hoping for Ron and his wife Deborah to break his shell.  The marriage of Ron and Deborah also imparted lessons of faith and forgiveness that couldn't be ignored.

I became deeply emotional throughout the story and once I got into it, I could not put it down.  Thankfully, it was a quick read.  I appreciated the pictures included in the back of the book.  It put faces to names and gave photos of Denver's past life.  As a Christian, I wasn't shocked by the expressions of faith in the story as others might be.  But, I did find that I was moved and changed by Denver and Ron's story. 

I gave this 5 out of 5 stars.  I recommend this to Christians as well as non-believers, book clubs, church groups/Bible studies, and anyone looking for an inspirational life-story. 


Zhu Zhu Winner

The winner of the Zhu Zhu Pet prize is....................................

Random Integer Generator


Here are your random numbers:

3

Timestamp: 2011-09-19 16:26:29

Comment 3 was
AJ Townsley said...


Emma'd love the purple one - Rori!

Congrats and I will be contacting you by email!  Thanks to everyone for entering!  Be sure to check out my newest giveaway......A VeggieTales Prize Pack!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What I Learned from Isaiah Chapters 1 to 33 - Reading the Bible in 90 Days

As you know I have started reading the Bible. I have 90 days to complete it and I am reading it with hundreds (1200+ to be exact) of other women. Each week (and even day to day) we check-in with each other on our progress, to pray for each other, and to share our thoughts. How cool is that?

So, I thought I would take each Book of the Bible and share my thoughts, verses, or people that stood out or spoke to me on that particular day. I have been doing most of my reading in the mornings reading whenever I can! The key is to get it done. If you get behind, you keep at it....catching up in chunks each day. The readings have been manageable and I am still praying it stays that way for me. I am currently 20 days behind with just 20 days left in the 90 Day challenge.  So, I need to do 40 days of reading in 20 days.  I have to admit.  I'm worried.  I really want to complete this challenge.  I really want to do it in 90 days, not 100, not 125....90 days.  So, would you pray that I can find time to finish this challenge.  Pray that I can make it a priority in my list of To Do's each day.  Pray that it doesn't get pushed aside like it isn't necessary.  I want to do this and need to do it.  Thanks for cheering me on! 

If any of this has peaked your interest in Reading the Bible in 90 Days, check out Moms Toolbox. I am sure there will be another session this winter. And, if I can do it.....YOU CAN TOO!

I studied Isaiah during my Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) last year.  But, as I read through Isaiah again,  I found verses that hit me differently because of the previous books of the Bible, the history that I had been reading, the people I learned about.  Isaiah became a book full of wisdom for me and very humbling. 

Isaiah 2:12 The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled). 

Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.  Excuses for our actions only blur the distinction between right and wrong. 

Isaiah 7:9 If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all. 

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. 

Isaiah 8:13 The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread.

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 

Isaiah 12:2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.

Isaiah 25:4 You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.  Am I a refuge for the poor and needy? Have I offered shade and shelter?  Am I offering enough?

Isaiah 26:4 Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal. 

Isaiah 33:2 O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress. 

Isaiah 33:22 For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; it is he who will save us.

More from Isaiah coming soon..............




Saturday, September 17, 2011

Movie Review: Princess and the Popstar and Giveaway

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED. THANKS FOR ENTERING!



VeggieTales Presents:
PRINCESS
AND THE
POPSTAR:
A Story of Trading Places
A Lesson in Being Yourself

Princess Poppyseed’s life on her family’s farm is far from the glamorous world of her favorite pop singer Vanna Banana.  While Princess milks the cows and dreams of a life on stage, Vanna has her own dreams of a life far from the hectic pace of stardom that leaves her feeling alone and lonely.  On a chance meeting at a playground, Vanna and Princess cross paths and realize they look almost exactly alike, which leads to the crazy notion that maybe they could switch lives!  In a flash, the girls’ secret plan is launched and Princess is whisked to her new life as a pop star while Vanna gets to live her dream of a life away from the pressure of fame!  As Princess tries to live up to the demands of being a diva and Vanna learns how to milk the cows, things don’t go as smoothly as they would like!  As each girl realizes the life they longed for doesn’t fulfill all their dreams, they learn that the life God gave them is the one for which they were uniquely and lovingly designed.



I watched this movie with our daughter and you should watch it with yours too.  The lesson of God's special love for each one of us and that we are all different because God made us that way, was a great reminder for her and I.  It is natural for us to want someone elses life because it looks easier, or they drive better cars, or wear nicer clothes and beautiful homes.  But, that isn't the life God wanted for us.  We need to remember that we all have special gifts and using those gifts to faithfully honor Him is what God intended.

Reagan, age 6, really enjoyed the movie.  When I asked her what she like best, she said she liked the songs in the movie.  She is loves music and said the songs in the movie were fun to listen to.  As the mom, I liked the message of family values and loving ourselves and others just the way they are.  This is definitely another winner in the VeggieTales collection.  You can find this movie at your local Christian retailer or Wal-Mart. 

Now for the best part...I have a VeggieTales Prize Pack to giveaway to one lucky reader.  The VeggieTales Prize Pack includes VeggieTales Silly Bands, A VeggieTales CD, and a Laura Carrot Bouncy Ball. 

To enter this prize, leave a comment below telling me your child's favorite VeggieTales character or movie.  Only 1 entry per person.  All entries must be submitted by 11:59 PM on Sunday, October 2, 2011.  I will use random.org to choose a winner on Monday, October 3, 2011.  I will contact the winner by email and the winner will have 48 hours to respond or I will choose a new winner.

As a VeggieTales Ambassador, I received this movie to review and share with our church community.  This review is my honest opinion and I was not compensated in any other way for this review.  I would not review anything that wouldn't benefit myself or my family. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book Review: 100 Days to Christmas by Jennifer Tankersley

100 DAYS TO CHRISTMAS - eBOOK
A Daily Dose of Inspiration and Motivation for a Meaningful Holiday Season
By Jennifer Tankersley
Published September 2011

September 16 begins your countdown to 100 days to Christmas.  This book is a step-by-step guide to getting things done so you can relax and truly enjoy the wonder and beauty of the holidays. You'll find  links to craft ideas, recipes, and decor ideas.  Each day gives you a task/challenge focusing on something to help you prepare for the coming season.  I especially like that it doesn't just focus on Christmas but all the stuff between now and then, such as Halloween, Election Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, Advent, etc.  Very early on, it helps you lay out your Christmas budget as well as creating a list of people to buy for.  That way, as you are out about about, you can start picking up items and checking people off your list. 
100 Days to Christmas is about so much more than the gift buying.  Some of my favorites were about decorating your home for fall and for Christmas, the Christmas card idea board, the stocking stuffer ideas, favorite soup/stew recipes, and the Advent Activity Planner. 

Even if you don't do every activity/task listed in the book, doing just a few will definitely put you in the mind-set of planning for Christmas and help you become more organized as the holiday gets closer.  At just $4.99 this is a book that should definitely be part of your Christmas planning.

The planner in me can not wait to open up each day and see what I can do to prepare for the upcoming days and weeks of Christmas madness.  Some of the items were things I already do, but as I read through it, I loved all the links for new ideas and for the ability to download new lists.  I also appreciated how the book also focuses not just on giving within your circle of family and friends, but giving to others in your community who need the joy of Christmas brought to them.   

100 Days to Christmas can be downloaded to your computer or to your Kindle/Kindle App, or Nook. Check out http://100daystochristmas.com/ for more information about purchasing the book.   Then as each days task is completed, you can interact with other 100 Days to Christmas readers on its FACEBOOK PAGE.  I have a feeling there will lots of other awesome ideas shared there.   For less than $5, you can have a sense of direction and a sense of peace towards planning for Christmas in your home.  It could just be the best $4.99 you ever spent!

“Christmas waves a magic wand
over this world, and behold,
everything is softer and more beautiful."

~ Norman Vincent Peale



I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  I was not compensated in any other way for this review.  This review is my honest opinion and I wouldn't review anything that wouldn't benefit myself or my family.  

Monday, September 12, 2011

Review: Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

CUTTING FOR STONE
By Abraham Verghese
Published February 3, 2009

Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother’s death in childbirth and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics—their passion for the same woman—that will tear them apart and force Marion, fresh out of medical school, to flee his homeland. He makes his way to America, finding refuge in his work as an intern at an underfunded, overcrowded New York City hospital. When the past catches up to him—nearly destroying him—Marion must entrust his life to the two men he thought he trusted least in the world: the surgeon father who abandoned him and the brother who betrayed him.


I added this book to my to-read list shortly after it was republished in paperback in 2010.  This is a novel that should be on your to-read list as well.  But, maybe at a quiet/less busy time.  This book is nearly 700 pages and is not what I would call a "quick read".  Our book club chose it for our August book and then had to move it into September as well after only one of our members was able to finish it in that month.  I am hoping that others were able to finish it, because they are lots of great discussable topics!

With so many pages, you know this isn't going to be a fast-moving story.  The writer takes his time by sharing history, detail, and gives great emphasis to the relationships in the story.  At times, you are thinking, just get on with it.  But most of the time, the detail is so beautiful and gives you a full picture of the moment he is sharing. 

There were so many pages that I dog-earred due to wonderful quotes in the book.  Here are some of my favorites and give you an example of the style Verghese used in his story-telling.

"Hema was told when she first came to Ethiopia that this strange haircut was so that if God chose to take that child (and He took so many), the tuft gave Him a handle by which to lift it to heaven."
Page 91
"Wasn't that the definition of home? Not where you are from, but where you are wanted?"  Page 95

After the twins were born, Hema, the doctor dismisses the probationers request for circumcision by saying, "What have you been doing all the time, eh? You should have been worring about their swallowing ends, not their watering cans."  Page128

After the twins were born... "Hema felt light-headed, giddy. I won the lottery without buying a ticket, she thought.  These two babies plugged a hole in my heart that I didn't know had until now."
 Page 130

After a disagreement over which Biblical doctrine was better, the Matron of the hospital in Ethiopia states, "God will judge us, Mr Harris, by what we did to relieve the suffering of our fellow human beings.  I don't think God cares which doctrine we embrace."   And then goes on to say, "We need medicine and food. But we get Bibles. I always wondered if the good people who send us Bibles really think that hookworm and hunger are healed by scripture? Our patients are illiterate."  Page 188
 
"'Call me old-fashioned,' Deepak said, 'but I've always believed hard work pays off. My version of the Beatitudes.  Do the right thing, put up with unfairness, selfishness, stay true to yourself....one day it all works out. Of course, I don't know that people who wronged you suffer or get their just desserts.  I don't think it works that way. But I do think one day you get your reward.'"  Page 508
 
There were many other parts of the book that made an impression on me.  I was fascinated and learned so much about Third World medicine.  I was amazed at what the doctors could accomplish with so little.  Death has such a different tone in Ethiopia rather than in America and within America between rich and poor hospitals and one I had never thought about before reading this book. 
 
There are so many discussable topics that this would be a great book club choice.  I am looking forward to our discussion next week.  I am sure we will hit on topics such as religion, forgiveness, grief, love, betrayal, and immigration. 
 
I give this 4 out of 5 stars and is a book that could be placed on a level with other classic literature.  It should be read and talked about. 

Fall Means Football....and Soccer

The boys started their soccer season this past weekend with a win, 5-0.  They are playing on a co-ed 6-8th grade team. Even though Bennett is only a 5th grader, he is playing on the team as well.  They did an awesome job and it was fun to watch them.  I was amazed at their ball handling skills and how they looked ahead for opportunities to pass and get the ball in to the right person.
Patrick, in yellow, going after it

Bennett, in yellow, in the center


Then, after soccer we switched gears to football, watching and cheering for the Iowa Hawkeyes even though they lost to our biggest rival in 3 overtimes - The Iowa State Cyclones.  I hope it isn't a precedent for our season.  I also will be logging on to my computer every Saturday to watch the Bemidji State Beavers of Minnesota play football.  My nephew, Eric, is their offensive coordinator.  Even though their game this weekend went into overtime as well, the Beavers came away with a BIG WIN!  It was a nail biter and kept me on the edge of my seat.  I am grateful their division has the ability for us to watch them play live online! Then Sunday is spent watching and cheering for all the exciting NFL games.  We make a spreadsheet each week and make our picks for which team is going to win the game.  Some teams are picked because they are favorites (Vikings rule in our house) and others are picked because they have some of our good ol' Hawkeye players on their teams.  It is fun to see who picks the upset of the day and who is winning in the picks each week.

So, even though there are lots of other things our family could be doing, football does have a hold over our weekends....for a few hours anyway, and I'm not complaining. 

Who do you cheer for?

What I Learned from Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs - Reading the Bible in 90 Days

As you know I have started reading the Bible. I have 90 days to complete it and I am reading it with hundreds (1200+ to be exact) of other women. Each week (and even day to day) we check-in with each other on our progress, to pray for each other, and to share our thoughts. How cool is that?

So, I thought I would take each Book of the Bible and share my thoughts, verses, or people that stood out or spoke to me on that particular day. I have been doing most of my reading in the mornings reading whenever I can! The key is to get it done. If you get behind, you keep at it....catching up in chunks each day. The readings have been manageable and I am still praying it stays that way for me. I am currently several days behind schedule, but, gradually, I am catching up.

If any of this has peaked your interest in Reading the Bible in 90 Days, check out Moms Toolbox. I am sure there will be another session this winter. And, if I can do it.....YOU CAN TOO!

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 A Time for Everything

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 5:5 It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it.  It is better not to promise than to promise and break it.

Ecclesiastes 5:10 Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.   If our worth is always based on money and things of this world, we will never have enough.  Base your worth on love, family, friends, and faith and you will never be happier. 

Ecclesiastes 5:19-20 Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work - this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart. 

Ecclesiastes 8:15 So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun. 

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.  God knows what is truly in our hearts.  Nothing is hidden to him.  All of us will be judged and God will not accept excuses. 

Song of Songs 6:3 I am my lover's and my lover is mine; he browses among the lilies.  Another favorite.  Song of Songs is like a romantic novel.  Read it if you haven't!

Now on to Isaiah.......................

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What I Learned from Proverbs Chapters 17-31 - Reading the Bible in 90 Days

As you know I have started reading the Bible. I have 90 days to complete it and I am reading it with hundreds (1200+ to be exact) of other women. Each week (and even day to day) we check-in with each other on our progress, to pray for each other, and to share our thoughts. How cool is that?


So, I thought I would take each Book of the Bible and share my thoughts, verses, or people that stood out or spoke to me on that particular day. I have been doing most of my reading in the mornings reading whenever I can! The key is to get it done. If you get behind, you keep at it....catching up in chunks each day. The readings have been manageable and I am still praying it stays that way for me. I am currently several days behind schedule, but, gradually, I am catching up.

If any of this has peaked your interest in Reading the Bible in 90 Days, check out Moms Toolbox. I am sure there will be another session this winter. And, if I can do it.....YOU CAN TOO!

Proverbs is so FULL of verses that are humbling and convicting. You read through it and then start saying prayers of forgivenes and asking God for guidance in those areas. Proverbs has no room for pride or judgment of others. First look at yourself and start changing your ways and those around you will see a difference. I could have written out nearly every verse. But these were the ones that pertained to my life, or were convicting for me. You may have others that mean something to you.

Proverbs 17:6 Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.

Proverbs 17:14 Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out. 

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times.

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
Do you run to the Lord when you need protection or need to feel loved?

Proverbs 21:13 If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he to will cry out and not be answered.  What are you doing to help the poor in needy in your community?  Watch for bargains at your local store and stock up on them.  Drop them off at your local homeless shelter or food pantry.  There is so much need in our communities today and time and time again, the Bible said we need to help them.

Proverbs 21:19 Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.  A reminder for myself when I am feeling ill-tempered.

Proverbs 21:21 He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.

Proverbs 21:30 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord.  No matter how much I try to plan, schedule, and lay out our lives.....God can intervene at anytime, any where....because it isn't my plan for our lives but HIS plan!  I need to read this verse every single day.

Proverbs 22:2 Rich and poor have this in common: The Lord is the Maker of them all.  The least, the last and the lost are THOSE people, they are God's people, just like I am and you are.  Next time you look down on someone, remember, God made them the same way he made you.

Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.  I can only hope I am training them up the way God would want me to. 

Proverbs 22:9 A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.  Another example of our requirement for giving.

Proverbs 23:13 Do not withhold discipline from a child. God wants us and expects us to give them rules and structure.

Proverbs 24:3-4 By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.

Proverbs 25:21-22 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.

Proverbs 31:10-31 The Wife of Noble Character - I strive to be a Noble Wife, but do not succeed.  These lessons are ones that show how a woman who fears the Lord, respects her spouse, cares for others, and works hard for her family will find happiness in life and with God.

No on to Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs........





Rocking, Praying, and Watching



Today.......I am remembering......................................

I remember that morning as clear as day.  I was sitting in the rocking chair feeding our 6 week old and watching our 1 year old play.  My husband and brother-in-law were installing a patio door onto our house.  So, it was chaotic, but I was watching FOX News and heard them say a plane had hit the World Trade Center.  I remember telling the guys to come in and look and then watching the coverage.  Then watching, live, as the 2nd plane crashed.  I remember holding both of my boys close and wondering what was going on.  I remember being scared for several family members who worked in the Pentagon at the time as we learned about it being hit.  I remember rocking and praying and holding our 2 boys.  It was a very emotional day.  As new parents it was scary wondering how we could protect our children if something happened here.  I remember thinking of all the parents who were trapped on planes and in buildings and wouldn't come home to their children that night or ever.  Since then, my husband and I have traveled to NYC and visited Ground Zero twice and in the summer of 2010 we took our family to Shanksville, PA to visit that site.  It is something that will always be tied to our generation and our children's generation and I want them to know what happened and the heroes that were part of that day and the days after 9/11.

I saw a clip on Good Morning America Saturday morning that featured what was going on in the world on September 10, 2001.  The world before 9/11 and the world after 9/11 is a much different world.  All the families that spent Monday going about life as normal and then their world came crashing down the next day.  All that we took for granted before 9/11.  All the security measures in place since 9/11.  All the families that were forever changed after 9/11 and ache for 1 more moment, phone call, kiss, or hug from their loved one. All those people who survived the attack and wonder why they did and their friend didn't.  Those who missed a flight, didn't go to work that day, or who were in a meeting across town and are forever wondering, why were they saved?  All the firefighters, police and first responders who saw things no one should ever have to see and forever live with those images.  Today I am praying for them.  

My heart aches for anyone who life was forever changed by the terrorist acts committed on our country.  I have to believe our government is being vigilant and working hard to protect us from further harm, knowing that there is no 100% full-proof protection.  The best way to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11 is to not take one day with your family for granted, love the ones your with, and don't sweat the small stuff.  That's what I intend to do.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Things I Love - In the Kitchen: Kashi Mountain Medley

Things I Love...


This is my feature where I get to share something that I just love. Since you are my friends, I like sharing things I love with others. It could be anything from a new product, food, recipe, song, image, to a person and everything in between. This will be something I am completely doing on my own, without pressure or compensation from a company, author, PR/Marketing firm, friend, business owner, etc. This will just be something that makes me happy and I want to share it with you. Enjoy some love!

For the next few weeks I am going to focus my Things I Love on things I love in my kitchen. I love to cook and bake and there are a few things that I Could. Not. Live. Without.

Today's love is..............................Kashi Mountain Medley

This is one of my favorite things to have for breakfast.  It is tasty, healthy, and filling.  If I eat this for breakfast, I am full for several hours which is a huge bonus.  Since it is a granola, it also works as a snack.  I've only eaten it in a bowl with milk though.  Just a half a cup of granola gives you 7 grams of fiber.  So, if you are looking for a tasty way to add more fiber to your diet, this is a great way to do it!

The only place I can find the Kashi Mountain Medley around here is at Hy-Vee in their organic food section.  It is not with the other cereals in the mainstream food aisles.  I have never seen this product at Target or Wal-Mart here, even though they carry other Kashi products, but your particular ones could have it.  Even though it is a relatively small box when compared to other cereal boxes and a bit more expensive (around $4/box), it is worth it to me because of the benefits it offers me.

I highly recommend you check out the Kashi brand of organic food products.  They have cereal/granola bars, cookies, cereals, crackers, and other products.  If you go on their website, KASHI, and join their email club, you can often receive FREE samples of their products, which I have done frequently. 

What do you usually have for breakfast?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Review and Giveaway: ZhuZhu Pets Fashion Review

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED. THANKS FOR ENTERING!

Do you have a little girl in your house that is all about fashion???  Well, I do.  She loves to shop, pick out her outfits and accessorizee.  So, you can imagine her delight when I pulled out the ZhuZhu Pets Fashion toys.  She loves to play with her ZhuZhu pets and now she has another way to interact with them.  Mom Select and Cepia sent us the NEW ZhuZhu Pets Fashion Closet, new colorful ZhuZhu Pookie, and an outfit to play with. 
Since ZhuZhu Pets now come in fun colors, they need a whole new wardrobe to go along with it.  There is even a wedding dress so your kids can have a ZhuZhu-themed wedding.  Along with the Fashion Closet, there is a ZhuZhu Pets Fashion Runway with lights that really turn on. 
All the pieces came together very quickly.  The closet's conveyor belt even moves so choosing an outfit is easier and  more fun!
video

Reagan, who is 6 1/2 enjoys playing with her ZhuZhu Pets and all the neat new things that they have come out with.  ZhuZhu Pets are available at your nearest retailer such as Target, Wal-Mart, and Toys R Us.  For more about the ZhuZhu Pets, check out their website, ZHUNIVERSE.  There you can play games, learn about the new ZhuZhu Pets, or watch a trailer for the new ZhuZhu Pets movie coming out on DVD this month titled, QUEST FOR ZHU.  You can also follow @Zhuniverse on Twitter or like them on Facebook to keep up on all the latest happenings in the Zhuniverse. 

Now, for the BEST PART!!!  I have a ZhuZhu Pet from the new Fashion Review line along with an outfit to
giveaway to a reader.  If you would like to win leave a comment below with:

1 - MANDATORY ENTRY - Visit the ZHUNIVERSE site and tell me which of the new ZhuZhu Pets you think your child would like best.  Be sure to leave an email address (nameATemailDOTcom) so I can contact you if you win.

For Extra Entries:

2 - Follow Me on Twitter Here or state that you already do
3 - Like My New Facebook Page Here or state that you already do

All entries need to be posted by 11:59 PM on Sunday, September 18, 2011.  There is a maximum of three entries allowed per person.  The contest is open to US residents only.  I will choose a winner using Random.org on Monday, September 19, 2011.  I will contact the winner via email and the winner will have 48 hours to contact me or I will choose a new winner.  Prizes will be delivered to the winner via the company. 

Thanks to Cepia and Mom Select for sending me the ZhuZhu Pet package for review.  I was not compensated in any other way for this review.  This review is my honest opinion and I wouldn't review anything that wouldn't benefit me or my family. 

Tip of the Day - Organizing Hair Accessories

If you have a daughter, then I would bet that you have hair accessories.  Our bathroom was being overtaken by barrettes, hair "piggies", as we call them, headbands, etc  So, before school started, I decided to get that mess under control.  I had already been using an ice cube tray for the tiny "piggies", but that wasn't big enough for all the barrettes. 

FULL DISCLOSURE:  I AM NOT CRAFTY AT ALL!!!  So if you are reading this to get some awesome craft idea.....you might want to look elsewhere.  I am someone who wants the simplest and quickest way to get something done and this is what worked for me. 

I went to Wal-Mart and bought a pretty wide ribbon, a thin wooden dowel.  Both items totaled less than $3.00!  I cut the ribbon to an 18 inch length and folded it over the dowel.  This is where the crafty part comes in.....I then stapled it.  I did have to ask Pat to drill tiny holes into the end of the dowel so I could slide the fishing line through it for hanging.  Then I placed all the barrettes on the ribbons.  TA DA!
I know there are probably a lot fancier and prettier options out there.  But this works for me.  Reagan can reach it, take barrettes off and put them back on, and see right away which one will match her outfit without digging through a drawer. 



Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What I Learned from Proverbs Chapters 1 to 16 - Reading the Bible in 90 Days

As you know I have started reading the Bible. I have 90 days to complete it and I am reading it with hundreds (1200+ to be exact) of other women. Each week (and even day to day) we check-in with each other on our progress, to pray for each other, and to share our thoughts. How cool is that?

So, I thought I would take each Book of the Bible and share my thoughts, verses, or people that stood out or spoke to me on that particular day. I have been doing most of my reading in the mornings reading whenever I can! The key is to get it done. If you get behind, you keep at it....catching up in chunks each day. The readings have been manageable and I am still praying it stays that way for me. I am currently several days behind schedule, but, gradually, I am catching up.

If any of this has peaked your interest in Reading the Bible in 90 Days, check out Moms Toolbox. I am sure there will be another session this winter. And, if I can do it.....YOU CAN TOO!

Proverbs is so FULL of  verses that are humbling and convicting.  You read through it and then start saying prayers of forgivenes and asking God for guidance in those areas.  Proverbs has no room for pride or judgment of others.  First look at yourself and start changing your ways and those around you will see a difference.  I could have written out nearly every verse.  But these were the ones that pertained to my life, or were convicting for me.  You may have others that mean something to you.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. 

Proverbs 3:3-6 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 6:16-19 Six things the Lord hates. Do you know what they are?

Proverbs 7:27 Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.  Every man should read Chapter 7 - talking about the adulteress woman.  This verses says it all.

Proverbs 10:4 Lazy hands made a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth. This verse reminds me of my dad - always working, doing something.

Proverbs 10:27 The fear of the Lord adds length to life, but the years of the wicked are cut short.  Enough reason for me to fear the Lord!

Proverbs 11:2 When prides comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

Proverbs 11:13 A gossip betrays confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret. A great reminder.

Proverbs 11:21 Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free.

Proverbs 11:25 A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

Proverbs 12:4 A wife of noble character is her husband's crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.

Proverbs 15:13-14, 29-30 A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. The discerning heart seeks knowledge but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly. The Lord is far from the wicked but he hears the prayer of the righteous. A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.

Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do; and your plans will succeed.  When I look at my To Do list for the day, I ask God to help me complete that list.  I ask Him to help me accomlish what I need to get done and then I am accountable to Him and myself!

Proverbs 16:28 A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends. Well, this is nothing new!

Proverbs 16:31 Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.  We should be proud of our gray hairs instead of covering them up.  (Easy for me to say since I haven't gotten any yet).  But reading this verse, I am reminded of my beautiful Aunt Susie who has the most striking gray hair and my mom who turned gray early in life.  Both lead  lives of example.  

Sisters - Aunt Susie and Mom
More to come from Proverbs....................

Sunday, September 4, 2011

What I Learned from Psalms Chapters 101 to 150 - Reading the Bible in 90 Days

As you know I have started reading the Bible. I have 90 days to complete it and I am reading it with hundreds (1200+ to be exact) of other women. Each week (and even day to day) we check-in with each other on our progress, to pray for each other, and to share our thoughts. How cool is that?


So, I thought I would take each Book of the Bible and share my thoughts, verses, or people that stood out or spoke to me on that particular day. I have been doing most of my reading in the mornings reading whenever I can! The key is to get it done. If you get behind, you keep at it....catching up in chunks each day. The readings have been manageable and I am still praying it stays that way for me. I am currently several days behind schedule, but, gradually, I am catching up.

If any of this has peaked your interest in Reading the Bible in 90 Days, check out Moms Toolbox. I am sure there will be another session this winter. And, if I can do it.....YOU CAN TOO!

In my Bible it gave a list of reasons to read the Psalms. I found this helpful and am going to include it here today. To see the previous listings, scroll down to my earlier blog post from Psalms.

When you want to meet God intimately...............................................................Psalm 103
When you want to know why you should worship God.......................................Psalm 104
When you want to understand why you should read the Bible..............................Psalm 119
When you want to learn a new prayer.................................................................Psalm 136
When you want to give thanks to God................................................................Psalm 136
When you want to feel worthwhile......................................................................Psalm 139
When you want to give praise to God.................................................................Psalm 145
When you want to know that God is in control....................................................Psalm 146

Psalm 103:8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.  Good, because too often, I need his compassion, understanding and love!

Psalm 106:1/107:1/118:1 Praise to the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord , for he is good; his love endures forever.

Psalm 111:2-3 Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever.

Psalm 112:1 Praise the Lord. Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands.

Psalm 113:2-3 Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore. From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.

Psalm 118:26, 28-29 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord we bless you.  You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his loves endures forever.

Psalm 119:105,114 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.

Psalm 121: 1-2 I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 130:5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.

Psalm 136 - A beautiful Psalm, perfect for praising the Lord and all he has done.

Psalm 139:13-16 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, and your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. If you have any doubt that you are a child of God, read these verses again and again!

Psalm 142:1-3 I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way.

Psalm 143:8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. A favorite of mine.

Psalm 146 - God is in control, not us or other people.  This Psalm reminds us of that.

Psalm 148 - Praising the Lord for all of creation!

Psalm 150:6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.

AMEN!

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the Book of Psalms.  Reading them brought a calmness to my day.  Now that my favorites have been marked, I look forward to reading them again and again as troubles arise, on days I need to be reminded of his love, and on days where I am praising His greatness!

Now on to Proverbs......