Sunday, December 28, 2014
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Wisdomantics is an interactive Bible trivia game. I know that on the box it says for ages 12 and up BUT my 8 and 10 year old really enjoyed playing and were able to play with no problems.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
I met the CEO and the choreographer for Shazzy Fitness while at Allume. They were so friendly and so full of energy! I was excited when I picked up my DVD for review. I am not the person who actually wants to purposefully work out. I will admit that I am lazy and I would rather sit on the couch and read or sleep later in the mornings that get up and do a workout video. But this one sounded so different.
I started off with a bang. I actually enjoyed these workouts. I picked up the dance video because I know that if I have fun I will come back for more. So it was going well. I was doing these workouts because hey- they are 10 minutes. I gave time for that. They I dropped a couch on my foot and all thoughts of a workout went out the window. And then I got sick. So I just got back to it. And while my foot is still sore, I am enjoying the workouts again.
I would definitely suggest that you watch the tutorials about how to do the moves BEFORE you start the actual workout. It will be much easier when you go to do the workout.
Here are Apollo, Vera, and Leslie to tell you about Shazzy Fitness!
Want to find out more or get a copy of the DVD for yourself? Check out their website at www.shazzyfitness.com!
I think that this would be great for anyone and with the new year around the corner, all those resolutions need some action behind them. Here is a fun way to help.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Chesed is an angel who hears of the orders for the angels to tell the world about the birth of Jesus. But he has been left out. He wonders why. Is he meant for a special "mission"?
Monday, December 8, 2014
1. Our kids get 3 gifts from Santa. That's it. We give them clothes that they need but Santa brings 3 gifts. It has been our biggest budget saver. No more matching amounts of money or making sure everyone has the same amount of big gifts. 3 gifts- no more and no less.
2. Shop sales and use coupons. - This was big last year and this year. Last year we didn't have teacher gifts for school since I homeschooled but we did have Bible class teachers. I scored some amazing deals at Allume and got teacher gifts for $.25. This year I went to Hobby Lobby after Thanksgiving and bought rolls of wrapping paper for less than $2.00 and used a coupon for tape. So their teachers are getting wrapping paper and tape for Christmas. It is a useful gift that I would love to get myself.
3. BUY EARLY! Face it- if your kid wants it and you can get it over the summer, get it. The price is either less than what you are going to pay or even if it's the same- you aren't stressed over it. And if you are one of those who can go right after Christmas and stock up on stuff for the next year- DO IT!
4. Being on a budget does not mean that you have to be cheap or less meaningful with a gift. Do you have a family member that needs some help with their Christmas decorations or watching their kids so they can do their Christmas shopping? What a great gift that would be! And what did it cost you- time, not money.
5. If you can make homemade gifts then make them. I love homemade gifts but don't have the time to do them myself or I would.
6. If you can wait on clothes or shoes until after Christmas, I would. As a matter of fact we are this year. The boys and I will go shopping the weekend after Christmas for their clothes and shoes. Take advantage of those after Christmas sales.
These are just some things that work for us. They may not work for your family but you never know.
Monday, November 24, 2014
I love Christmas! The reason behind the season, the decorations, the lights, and the books. So we have a whole lot of books around the house for our kids. A couple of my favorites have been my favorites since I was a child and I still enjoy reading them with my boys. So without further ado here goes.
I am really excited to be pulling these back out next weekend and start reading them again this year. We are also adding a few more books to our library this year but I will share more on that later.
What are your favorite children's Christmas books?
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
God Sized Dream team. I don't even remember what I wrote at that point. I'm sure it was some lofty
dream about writing a book or having a huge blog with millions of followers. (I was a little niave back
then.) But what I do know is that my God sized dream is not anything like what I would have thought
back then (because you know, two years ago is such a long time).
I realize now that I wasn't looking for fame or big paychecks from a book or a blog- I was searching for community. When I opened the email a few weeks later telling me that Holley had seen something in my application that made her want me on that book launch team, I could never have imagined where it would have taken me. I don't even blog that often anymore. Instead I sit and bask in the friendships and the family that were given to me through a God sized dream that wasn't really even for me. I know, how could it have been a God sized dream if it really wasn't for you?
Want to read more? I am guest posting over at God Sized Dreams today. Head over and check it out.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Monday, October 27, 2014
Last year I went to Allume expecting to learn more about blogging and do some networking. Instead I came away broken and raw in a good way with messages from God to go and to speak. In a way, I listened. And then in a way, I made it into some lofty dream in my head. So this year, I went with an open heart and mind, ready to be broken and raw again. I went with the plan of talking to everyone and being an extrovert when it scared the socks off this introvert (seriously- I am an ISTJ).
What happened was not what I expected at all.
I drove BY MYSELF (huge deal) to Greenville, SC for 5 and a half hours through DOWNTOWN ATLANTA y'all! I should mention I told Siri that I wanted a route that avoided downtown Atlanta and she took me straight through it. The trip was perfect. All it took was me being brave and just doing it. It only took 14 years for it to happen. ( If you have never been to Greenville, SC go! It is beautiful and friendly. They embody hospitality.)
I checked into the hotel and met up with new friends and old and poured into my soul with my sisters, my tribe. I went to dinner with someone who I have waited 2 years to meet and it was everything I imagined it would be. The next day I set out to be an extrovert- insert inward cringing and middle school fear. I talked to people. I re-connected with others. I made sure I talked to vendors and learned about the businesses and to talk to women who last year scared me because they were big bloggers. Seriously, one of the first people I hugged was Sarah Mae. (Right after I finished crying from attending Beta induction via Face Time and the screen going out right when Pacey was pinned). She knew something was up and she hugged me and encouraged me and it really means the world to me that she took that time. She is still one of my favorites let me just tell you that.
I poured prayers into journals for the ones who God gave me to words to write and spoke to the ones who God gave me the words to speak to. I realized that when God clearly told me I was supposed to speak at Allume 2014 that he didn't mean on a stage. He meant in the lobby, to the staff, to the newbie blogger who looked scared, to the vendors, and to my friends. I put every ounce of my introverted self into a pouch for the weekend. I did what he said to do. I spoke at Allume 2014.
I heard the message of hospitality and took it to my heart and realized that it doesn't mean that I have to bring 500 people into my home to practice hospitality- I can take it to the people. I can create warmth and welcoming within myself, at work, at church, and yes, at home. I can create warmth and welcoming here in this space.
I also heard a message that worried me. A message that diversity is skin color. And I was made to feel guilty for being a youngish, white woman in this country. And then I realized- God made me to be who he wanted me to be. I am not going to let anyone make me feel guilty for it or lessen the worth that he has given me. Diversity is not skin color alone. Diversity is our hearts, our backgrounds, our experiences, our beliefs, and the unique gifts given to us by a father who loves us for who we are. It worries me that women believe that there has to be different skin tones for a conference to be diverse. And it worried me how many women I heard say they felt guilty for being white. Because I live right outside Albany, GA. A big location in the civil rights movement. And I am here to tell you- color doesn't matter. People matter and what they do matters. And we tend to drift to like people- people who like the same things we do, believe like we do, and people who have similar experiences. They can mean that they have the same skin color and that can mean that they don't. It doesn't mean that you are hateful towards someone else. And putting a token person of color on a speaker panel that is prayerfully chosen does not make it right. It makes it a token and it makes it obvious. And y'all- God don't like ugly- and forcing someone to pick you using the color card is UGLY.
I decided then and there that I was done with that. I will teach my children diversity in the true form- persons of different cultures, sinners and believers, and yes, even people of different skin tones. And I will not be made to feel guilty for being who God made me.
I also realized that as much as I love Sole Hope- an overseas mission trip is not for me. We have missions here at home that need our attention. So I am shifting my focus to them for a family trip. I met some amazing women who unknowingly spoke straight to my heart at the booths this weekend. One was selling SHOES!!!! Awesome, beautiful shoes made by former gang members in a country that guarantees that would not work otherwise. I met a woman who hosts orphans in her home for short periods of time to show them love that they otherwise don't experience. I met a woman who makes sparrow jewelry to remind these orphans that they are loved. I spoke with another woman who realized over the last year that it was time to take her experience somewhere else and help another empowering company grow. I realized that these women are providing a mission field right here at home.
I walked away realizing that I am ready to write again after taking a break when there were no words to write. I am ready to re-envision a dream that for a while made me feel tired. I am ready to make some choices that I otherwise would not. And to talk about some choices that we can make as a family that I would never have thought of before.
Allume has blessed me and given me direction both times I have attended. And for that I thank Logan and Sarah Mae for following God's direction. And I pray they never waver from where God wants it to go. Logan- you are an amazing woman and leader and follower of Jesus and God. You offer diversity throughout the entire speaker panel and never let someone make you feel like you don't. Never give in to the pressure. Continue to prayerfully chose speakers and listen to who God wants to put up there.
** This post is being written on a day when I unexpectedly ended up at home because someone put a bomb threat on a website about our schools. As a blessing in disguise I was able to process Allume a little more and spend time with my boys who had not seen since last week. I will never understand why people feel this is cool and I also lost a little confidence in our school because they acted like it was no big deal when they were informed. I went and got my children out of school as soon as I found out. I am not sure I trust that they will not treat it like a joke every time when it could be the real deal.
Friday, October 24, 2014
So this will be a little (or a lot) controversial.
As a member of the Church of Christ, I have been taught that worshipping God with instrumental music and hands raised is wrong. And yet I don't feel that way. While I don't agree with it in a church service, I don't see anything wrong with it at a gathering or in my car or home. Because y'all, have you heard some of the "modern" worship songs. They are wonderful and inspiring and truly touch your heart. And yet we continue to say that they are wrong and written to make money and get worldly recognition. I imagine that the same was said when hymns were written as well. They are songs that inspire and songs that uplift and songs that give glory to God. And when you are in a room where people are singing along and their hands are in the air and they are truly worshipping from their hearts- it is good. It is worship. And they are making a joyful noise and giving glory to God. And I just can't believe that when hearts are worshipping like that there is anything wrong with it. And I question why we keep telling our children it is wrong to sing a hymn with instrumental music and why we discourage them to listening to "modern" christian music but have no problem with them listening to modern rock, country, or pop. Would I rather my children sing about God and Jesus or about sex,money, and drinking? I would rather have them singing and worshipping with their hearts regardless of an instrument or not. So I have to wonder why we are so dead set against it at anytime and yet not dead set against "regular" radio stations in our cars and in our homes. What are we really teaching them at that point?
Thursday, October 23, 2014
I am so excited to be at Allume again this year but it came with a lot of mommy guilt. See today is Beta induction- but I won't be there. Instead I am in South Carolina. I almost canceled my whole trip over this. Then I thought about it, John will be there, he can Face time me so I will see the whole thing, and I need to be here do me. So lingering guilt will be my companion this trip.
For the first time in 14 years, I drove by myself for more than 2 hours. Completely solo for almost 6 hours. Through downtown Atlanta. I should point out my fear of merging, overpasses, and more than 4 lanes of traffic so you understand how big that is.
So now I am here at Allume. Open and ready to be raw and broken by Sunday. And that is a good thing. So here is to the next 4 days, meeting online friends in real life, and getting closer to God.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
This book is also part of a series. The titles in the series are: Willie's Redneck Time Machine, Phil & the Ghost of Camp Ch-Yo-Ca, Sin in Space, Jase & the Deadliest Hunt.
These books will make great Christmas presents for the boys in your life!
Monday, October 13, 2014
Sunday, September 28, 2014
Monday, September 15, 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Pacey had his first Cross Country meet last weekend. It was HOT. I was proud of all the kids for finishing. Especially since it was close to 100 degrees out there.
I have been nominated for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I am in debating mode right now about completing it. I am not going to donate to the charity that they suggest. They fund embryotic stem cell research. And they get their "donors" from abortion. So I just can't. But then there is the whole dumping a bucket of good clean water on my head and wasting it. I just can't see the point. I love that ALS is getting the attention but when clean water is so hard to come by around this world I can't justify wasting it.
We have gone through our first "bug" of the school year and we are now working on our second school related illness. If this keeps up, the doctor's office is going to make a killing off of us this year. Other than that all is going normally around here. See you soon.
Monday, August 18, 2014
Miles has started school and thrown me a curve ball. He doesn't talk about it. He hates going. And he is the baby who is not a baby anymore. But he still wants to be a baby. He wants to be carried, he wants to sleep with us at night, and he wants to stay at home. He does not want to grow up. The other three loved school and wanted to be big boys. Miles- not so much.
Josh is a challenge too. My "Mom gut" tells me that there is something going on but state regulations make it hard to even get something happening at schools these days. I am definitely going to become "that mom" that the school hates to see coming before long.
It makes me grateful that the older two are relatively "easy". Other than a really bad attitude on one that is.
I am going to be writing more regularly now that I have a better footing in my life. So I certainly hope that y'all are going to keep reading. :)
Friday, August 15, 2014
Cassia and her family move to Galveston, Texas to open a new restaurant. As Cassia's father enters into a feud with another restaurant owner, Cassia finds her dream job, wonderful friends, and her dream guy. But she has to keep it all under wraps because of her father's feud. The hilarity of the family dynamics and Cassia's determination to hold onto all she has found, make this book worth ever minute that you read it.
This is the third book in a series that I am definitely going to go back and read from the beginning but is also a wonderful stand alone novel. As we reach the end of the summer and as the kids head back to school, this book is for the enjoyment of moms and grandmas who are for the first time in months getting to read a book and for those of us who just need to read something fun after a long day at work and fighting over homework.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
In "Wherever the River Runs", Minter takes the reader to the Amazon and a forgotten people who love Jesus with a deep seated passion that everyone can learn from. With appalling conditions and numerous tragedies the people of the Amazon were eager to here about Jesus and to show others what he has done for them. It is clear that with their love and passion, Minter saw past the circumstances and saw what God and Jesus can do in this world. Minter has an uncanny way of bringing the reader along on the journey and having them feel the passion felt by the members of this trip.
I am so excited to be able to offer this book to one of y'all. If you are a fan of Hentown Mama on Facebook or a subscriber to the newsletter you are already entered. If you aren't go like us or subscribe to the newsletter and you will be entered to win. I will notify the winner on Friday afternoon.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
I enjoyed reading this book and look forward to picking up more from the series. I actually started reading this the day before I started my new job so it took me longer to read than normal. But it was definitely not the book- it was all me and adjusting to the new job.
**I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.**