Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013- A Year in Review

2013 brought a lot of changes, losses, and growth here at the Pratt household. I went from a part time worker and full time mom with the closure of our hospital. We lost family members and friends this year. We became a stronger family. We learned to cut costs and how wasteful we were before. We learned to downsize while moving into a bigger house. We learned how blessed we truly are.

I gave up keeping up with what I have read because there was just so much. I do know that I read over 200 books this year which is a record for me. ( Expect a whole lot of book reviews this week- I am behind.) My boys have finally started to pick up books and read them on their own without a lot of begging this past year. They still have a long way to go but we are getting there.

I went on a adventure that put me far out of my comfort zone and I grew spiritually from it. I am looking forward to 2014 using what I learned and growing from it even more.

I took a dream and made it a reality this year. It was a year of discovery and growth there as well.

So what can you look for in 2014- well a lot.

Of course there will be more book reviews and product reviews. I will share more recipes. And there will be a lot of writing. But one thing you can look to change is the amount of posting. I will post on the blog at least once a week but I have felt that sometimes content has suffered for frequency. I am also going to combine our family blogging with this blog. It has suffered big time because I just don't have the time to keep up 2 blogs.

So Happy New Year and here's to a wonderful 2014!

Monday, December 30, 2013

"The Redcoats Are Coming" an Imagination Station Review.

The Redcoats Are Coming!: 13 (AIO Imagination Station Books) is a fun book from the Imagination Station series. Patrick and Beth are about to go on vacation and want to learn a little more about their destination. They enter the Imagination Station and it takes them to a time of Paul Revere, John Hancock, and the Revolutionary War.

My 9 year old and I enjoyed reading this book together along with his History unit about the American Revolution. I am definitely a huge fan of the Imagination Station books and this one held to my expectations. I highly recommend this book for kids and also for a fun family read. I love the fact that I do not have to worry when my kids pick up this book because they will not only learn something but there is no questionable material in the story.

**I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.**

***Affiliated links used in this post.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! I will be on hiatus from the blog until 2014. We have a lot of family events and a dear friend and fellow dreamer is coming to spend some time at my house over the next couple of weeks so I want to concentrate on that. I want to thank everyone of you for a wonderful year and here's to many more.

Monday, December 16, 2013

One Word 2014

2013 was the year of dreaming. And after a lot of thought and prayer I have finally picked my word for 2014 and it is not what I originally thought it would be.

Originally my word for 2014 was going to be "GO". But after a lot of thought that word just didn't seem to fit. So my word for 2014 is:

Create Joy.
Create Hope.
Create Vision.
Create Awareness.
Create Love.

I am excited to see where 2014 takes me and what is created throughout the year.

What is your word for 2014?????

Friday, December 13, 2013

End Bible Poverty- Christmas Edition

How many of you give Bibles as gifts at Christmas? I do.

You want to know another way that you can give back this Christmas?

Visit www.endbiblepoverty.org and donate just $10 and you will place a Bible in the hands of someone who needs one. A Bible that will be in their native language so they can read it without having a translator. A great gift for someone that will never stop giving.

The Seed Company has translators all over the world who will make sure that a Bible will go to someone in their country and that person will get the right Bible for them. Give the gift of God's word this Christmas!

**Please pray for the translators all over the world. There have been some attacks and even deaths recently that leaves a hole in the hearts of the End Bible Poverty family.**

Friday, December 6, 2013

Home Depot and the Policy YOU Should Know About

As you know we moved earlier this year. We have put off installing the duct work for the central unit until now. Mainly because you can't buy the size we need in the store and we had to order online. Well Black Friday rolls around and Home Depot had free shipping. So we ordered it. Then Monday we got the shipping confirmation. I started tracking on Tuesday and wondered why in the world my duct work was heading north when it should have been heading south. Then I noticed late Tuesday night that it was being shipping to Connecticut. Um, I live in Georgia. So we made the decision that I would call first thing Wednesday morning since it was so late when we noticed this.

Welcome to Wednesday morning. I call customer support. I will say that the girl I talked to was very, very nice even if I can't remember her name. She checks and sure enough- they sent it to the wrong place. So per policy
1. They would cancel our order.
2. In 10 business days they would refund our money
3. I could place a NEW order with a discount code and they would reship.


I didn't make the mistake and yet I am the one being punished for their error. They should be all rights send us duct work without us having to do anything else. And since we used Paypal to pay for our order we have to wait until they finally refund our money to Paypal transfer the money back to our account and then re- order the items.

I'm sorry but there is something wrong with a policy that makes the customer have to do all the work when the company made the error.

So I want to make sure that all of you are aware of this policy. If you order something from homedepot.com and THEY make an error such as shipping to the wrong place then YOU will be responsible for doing all the leg work to get your order. And they will not really offer you that much of a discount- 10%. And if the free shipping promo is over then you now have to pay shipping.

Also did I mention that this is for our heater. So because we paid them so much for this duct work and we have to wait for them to refund our money we also have to now wait to go somewhere else and get duct work. So no central heat in December. Let's just say that I am one very unsatisfied customer and will not be ordering anything online from Home Depot again.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Gift Ideas- Kids

Shopping for the kids tends to be easy when they are younger. But I am at a complete loss for my 13 year old. So he is getting a lot of gift cards this year. So here are 9 ideas for kids of all age groups.

1. Gift cards to Barnes and Noble for books. My oldest loves to read so this works for him.
2. Clothing store gift cards. This actually works for lots of age groups. But with older kids it works so that they don't hate what you bought.
3. Sole Hope or Freeset USA shirts.
4. Ear buds!
5. Electronics
6. Sole Hope shoes for babies.
7. Action Figures for both boys and girls.
8. Button Beauties! You can order these from my friend Lani at her Etsy store. https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheCrazyGraceStore. I have seen them in person and I love them. I want a daughter just so I can get her one.
9. Fisher-Price Mike the Knight: Glendragon Castle Playset (can you guess what Santa is bringing Miles). He loves this thing. Everytime we are at the store he plays with it and asks to buy it. Great for younger kids.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Liebster Award

My dear friend Kristin at The Riches of His Love nominated me for the Liebster Award. Basically it is a way to introduce "smaller" blogs to new people. Kristin is honestly one of the most amazing people that I know. We finally met at Allume after "knowing" each other for about 10 months through the God Sized Dream Team. I am so honored that she thought of me! So here goes.

11 Random Things About Me:
1. I am not an outdoors person AT ALL. But I love to go on nature walks with my kids.
2. I hate grammar while I am writing but can't stand to see anyone else use bad grammar.
3. I can stay at home and read for days on end if everyone would just leave me alone.
4. I love to paint and draw.
5. I love to cook but hate to clean up.
6. I love to make lists (they just don't always get followed).
7. I am my mom's only child.
8. I am not an animal person and really don't understand why there are stricter laws about animal abuse than there are about child abuse.
9. I hate to fly.
10. I also hate to drive. I would much rather be the passenger in the vehicle.
11. I have a very irrational fear of bridges and overpasses.

Now to the 11 questions Kristin asked me.
1. What is your favorite time of day?
   About 6:30 in the morning when I am the only one up in the house. Even if it only lasts for about 5        minutes.
2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
    Scotland or Ireland.
3. What is your biggest pet peeve?
    When there is a perfectly good laundry basket in the bathrooms and yet someone takes their clothes      off and leaves them in a trail all through the house. AND when a person refuses to take                        responsibility for the choices they make.
4. Salty or Sweet?
    BOTH! If I have something sweet I need something salty to go with it and vice versa.
5. If you could have one wish granted what would it be?
    Win the big, big, big game lottery so that I can give to all of the causes that are close to my heart         and still be able to pay my bills.
6. What is your middle name?
7. What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
     Driving around to look at lights with my kids.
8. What book are you currently reading?
    I really hate to admit this but "Fifty Shades of Grey" and "God is Able". And just so you know I           honestly skip over the "juicy" parts of Fifty Shades because I don't feel like the book needs all that in      it. It is a pretty good story without it.
9. What is the last package you received in the mail?
  The "Thrill of Hope" cd from Delonna Gibbs. IF I waited and wrote this tomorrow my last package      would still have been from Delonna Gibbs because my Black Friday purchase will be here today.
10. How many loads of laundry do you do in a week?
     Over 20. And sometimes I think I re-wash clothes because the kids just throw them in the floor            instead of putting them up.
11. What is the best Christmas present you have ever received?
   To be honest, the 2 gifts that John has surprised me with- a Nook tablet and Ugg boots. Mainly            because it has been the only times that he has gotten me gifts with out me spelling it out for him or        buying it myself.

Okay. SO I am going to nominate 3 other blogs.

1. Christine Wright at www.livingjoel225.com. She is a fellow dreamer and a very dear friend. Especially since the first time I met her in person was when I showed up at her house to go on a road trip.
2. Teri Lynne Underwood at www.terilynneunderwood.com. Even though I really consider her a bigger blogger. She is my Dream Buddy and my fellow Auburn fan.
3. Crystal Stine at www.crystalstine.me. Same with Teri Lynne, to me she is a bigger blogger BUT this woman is such an encourager!

SO my 11 questions for the above bloggers ARE:

1. What is your favorite Bible verse?
2. Are you a coffee drinker?
3. Cupcakes with or without sprinkles?
4. If you could travel to one place on this earth and spend 2 weeks, where would you go?
5. What is your favorite "go to" gift for people?
6. Reading- actual book or an e-reader?
7. Are you a light or a heavy packer for trips?
8. What is your favorite movie?
9. What is your favorite music genre?
10. If you could meet one person in the world (living) who would it be?
11. What is your favorite college team?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Gift ideas for the Guys

So let's continue with gift ideas this week. Today is about the guys.

1. Earbuds are always a winner.
2. Microwavable Pork Rinds. Y'all my husband and father-in-law love these things.
3. Ball Room Jeans from Duluth Trading Company are good too. Actually anything from this store is good.
4-6. Books and gift cards to their favorite stores are always good.
7. An Ipod Touch
8. Coffee from Just Love Coffee is another gift that gives back.
9. Tees from Sole Hope or Freeset make great gifts too.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Gift Ideas for Women

So this week I am going to do a series about gift ideas. I know that Christmas is right around the corner and that we can all use a little help with ideas. So today we are going to talk about ideas for women.

1. This is from the Lyrics for Life collection at Dayspring. Bless the Lord O My Soul is my personal favorite.

2. The Dream Mug is another favorite from Dayspring.

3. The Choose Joy pillow is also from Dayspring.

4. This Bondhu Bag is from Freeset so if you buy this bag you are also giving back.

5. The Freeset shirt is honestly one of the most comfortable shirts you will ever own. But buy one size up because they will shrink the first time you wash them. They have different styles available.

6. I love Glory Haus frames. They have several sizes to chose from as well.

7. Sole Hope is another shop where when you buy you give back. I love their shirts.

8. I also love this Sole Hope Jacket. It is light weight and extremely comfortable.

9. And of course gift cards from her favorite store is always good.

Stay tuned tomorrow for Men's ideas and later this week I will have a giveaway.