Sunday, September 26, 2010

Be Transformed

Just a little something for you to remind you that in Christ renews us...daily if we ask.  I took this picture last month and today I found the wordart at Precepts & Promises...I have a feeling I will be visiting this blog often in the future.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Uggh...A Bad Realization

Don't you hate it when something hits you suddenly that you should have seen coming all along.  I stepped on the scale this morning and saw a number that I promised myself I would never see again.  I haven't seen it in over 6 years since my weight loss journey began right after Skylar was born.  The last time I saw this number I was thrilled as I was weighing less than I had in years and I was still losing.  However, this morning when I saw it I was less than thrilled.  So, today is the day.  I have used this blog before as a motivation tool for my weight loss, and today I begin again.  As of this morning, I have 20 pounds to lose to get back to my "comfort zone."  This is Day one....

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Church Website

My project of the day has been setting up a website for our church.  While it is still a work in progress, I would love for you to take a look and give me some feedback.  I will be working on it over the next few days and hopefully improving it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A New Project

I started a new project called Project 365. I will be attempting to take and post a photo each day for the next year. "Why," you ask. Here are a few of my reason:
  • It was somewhat of a challenge. My niece posted on facebook that she was undertaking the project, and asked if anyone would join her. I had considered the idea before and decided it was time to take the plunge...btw if you are interested, here is a link to her project...
  • I hope to be able to look back at this time next year and be able to recall something from each day of the year.
  • I am also hoping it will improve my photography skills. While I don't expect every picture to be a masterpiece, simply using my camera each day will help me to learn it better and allow me to see the masterpieces in everyday life.

So if you are at all interested in this little project, check it out at My Project365. And while you are at it, you might consider rising to the challenge yourself...

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Skylar in Wonderland Portraits

While Skylar was all dressed up for her costume party yesterday, we decided to take a few pictures using the Alice in Wonderland theme. She had a lot of fun pretending to be Alice, and some of the pictures turned out really cute.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Alice in Wonderland

Skylar has been invited to an Alice in Wonderland themed costume party this Saturday. Of course she wanted to dress as Alice even though I suggested another less popular character. So I was suddenly in search of an Alice costume. This it what I came up with...
  • 1 yard of eyelet fabric - $0 (thanks to Mimi and her stash of fabric)
  • 1 perfectly blue dress - $4.20 (thanks to the clearance rack at Yours Truly Kids Consignment Store)
  • 1 adorable Alice - Priceless
Oh and notice the new hairdo - she decided she wanted her hair shorter. It should be easier to take care of now.
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Friday, August 27, 2010

More Butterflies

I stepped out in the backyard this afternoon and found a bunch of butterflies
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Deja Vu

Ever felt like you have been there, done that before? I am having a severe case of that right now. Flashback 2 years and read the post Change of Heart. That is what we are dealing with once again. Skylar loved the first day of school - remember it was "Awesome." Unfortunately she has once again had a change of heart. The only explanation she will give us is that she wants us there with her. School is fine, but she seems to think that Brian and I should quit our jobs and attend the second grade once again, or her other solution was for us just to not make her go. Even when we explained that we would go to jail if she did not go to school, she said she would pay the money to get us out. It would almost be comical if it were not so painful to watch her cry every morning and every afternoon. She cries throughout the day in class. I am praying that God will deliver her of whatever fear she feels and soon she will enjoy school once again.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Boy and His Guitar

Stephen has always had an interest in music. For his 10th birthday, we bought him a student guitar and his cousin started giving him lessons. We have been pleasantly surprised at how quickly he has learned. Within a week he was playing Happy Birthday. Recently he started taking his guitar to church and playing with the guys there. It is such a blessing to watch him slowly come out of his shyness and begin to have the confidence to play in front of people. It is even more of a blessing to see him use his talent for the Lord.
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Friday, August 20, 2010

My Sunflower Garden

Last spring I bought a packet of mixed dwarf sunflower seeds. I planted a handful in the planter on our back deck not knowing whether they would grow there or not. I have been very pleasantly surprised by the beautiful blooms, as well as the insects they have attracted. Stephen has been particularly impressed with the butterflies.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

First Day of School

The 2010-2011 school year started today. Skylar was nervous this morning (just like her mom always was) and for Stephen it was just another day. We were very pleased to hear Skylar describe her first day of second grade as "Awesome," and Stephen agreed that fifth grade was "Awesome" as well. We are looking forward to a wonderful school year.
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Monday, August 16, 2010

Want Your Own Copy?

When I signed up to review Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom from the Simple Life by Suzanne Woods Fisher, I received an extra copy to give away. If you would like a chance to receive a free copy of this inspiring little book just leave a comment with your favorite proverb, bit of wisdom or family tradition. To celebrate Suzanne's Facebook Party on September 1, I will draw a random winner from those who leave comments. (Open to those in US and Canada only)

To get things started here is one of my favorites from the book:

Parents who are afraid to put their foot down usually have children who step on their toes.

Now lets hear your...

Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom from the Simple Life Review & Giveaway

About Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom from the Simple Life

Through firsthand research and personal relationships, Suzanne Woods Fisher has collected more than 200 proverbs that uncover the rich heritage, folklore, faith, values, history, and essence of the Plain People. These proverbs serve as teaching tools and maxims for practical living--but they're not just for the Amish. They're for anyone who seeks God's wisdom and truth for everyday circumstances.

Ranging from the simple to the profound, from the serious to the humorous, these sayings will stick with you through life's joys and sorrows. With beautiful full-color photos throughout, Amish Proverbs is the perfect gift for any occasion.

About Suzanne Woods Fisher: Suzanne Woods Fisher is the CBA bestselling author of The Choice, The Waiting, Amish Peace, and Amish Proverbs. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, W. D. Benedict, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Benedict eventually became publisher of Christianity Today magazine. Suzanne is the host of a radio show called Amish Wisdom and her work has appeared in many magazines. She lives in California.

Just My Thoughts: I truly enjoyed this book. It is broken into eleven chapters, each covering a different topic ranging from time to faith and even some just for fun items. Each of these chapters starts with a short story about the chapter topic. I found each of these stories to be thought provoking and enjoyable. Following the story are several pages of wonderful sayings and proverbs along with some gorgeous photographs depicting the Amish way of life. While some of the proverbs were familiar to me, many I had never heard, however all made me think about things in simpler way.

Enter Suzanne Woods Fisher's Simple Wisdom KINDLE Giveaway!

Simple Wisdom giveaway=

It has been said that if you want to know a people, know their proverbs. Suzanne and Revell Books have pulled the wisdom of the Amish into a beautiful gift book perfect for any occasion. Amish Proverbs is in stores now and to celebrate Suzanne is hosting the Simple Wisdom KINDLE Giveaway. One Grand Prize winner will receive a Kindle preloaded with Suzanne Woods Fisher titles. The Prize Pack (valued at over $205.00) includes:

* A brand new KINDLE, Free 3G, 6", Latest Generation
* Amish Peace by Suzanne Woods Fisher
* The Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher

To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry form, then tell 5 or more friends about the contest. Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on September 1st.

Join Suzanne for a Wrap-up Party on September 1st! She’ll be announcing the winner of the Simple Wisdom KINDLE Giveaway, chatting with readers, and giving away copies of Amish Proverbs and The Choice! Be sure to join us on Wednesday , September 1st at 8PM EST at Suzanne’s Author Page.

For more reviews check out the blog tour at Litfuse.

Disclaimer: I received a book for myself and one to giveaway from Revell Books through LitFuse Blog Tour. No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Summer Secret by Kathleen Fuller

Every girl needs a secret hideaway, and Mary Beth is no different, especially since she shares her home with three brothers. In an effort to get away from their boyish pranks and irresponsibility, she is thrilled when she finds a place to hide from all the chaos: an abandoned bard in the field neighboring her family's home. It is dilapidated, not to mention her parents have forbidden her to go there, but she can't resist having a place to be alone.

She thinks the barn is her secret, until she starts finding clues that someone else has been there. She knows her secret is no longer safe and solving the mystery leads to something very unexpected.

While this book was written for a younger audience, I still enjoyed reading it. I have always been drawn to the Amish genre, so I truly expected to like this book. I did find that it didn't seem to explore the Amish way of life as much as some of the books I have read, though some of their customs were explained in simple ways. There were some good lessons taught in this book dealing with obeying, honesty, and caring for your fellow man. I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who enjoys this genre of book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their "> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Princess Treatment

Skylar getting the princess manicure and pedicure for her 7th birthday. She is such a diva...of course as soon as we were done, she headed outside to play in the dirt with the boys for the rest of the day...dirt diva.
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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Somewhere to Belong by Judith Miller

Johanna Ilg has lived her entire life in the village of Main Amana. As a part of the group of devout Christians who believe in a simple lifestyle and cooperative living, she has grown up in faithful service to God, but she has always longed to see the outside world. When she learns a troubling secret about her past, she wonders if she should remain in the only world she has ever known. Is Amana where she truly belongs?

Berta Shcumacher grew up living the privileged life of a doctor's daughter in Chicago, but suddenly her parents uproot her when they decide they want the simpler lifestyle that Amana offers. She resists the structure of the Amana villages and creates turmoil for not only her own family, but for others in the village. Can she ever be content with the simple life she will be forced to live in Amana?

I truly enjoyed reading this first book in the Daughters of Amana series. It gave me a glimpse into a community of believers that I had not heard of before reading the book. I like the historical fiction genre, and this book did not disappoint. I look forward to reading more in the series, and learning more about the Amana villages. I felt sorry for Johanna when she found out the secret about her past, but it was a reminder that even the devout are not perfect in their decisions and actions. In the end, all lies and secrets lead to more heartache and pain for all involved. As for Berta, I immediately felt she was a spoiled rotten child who needed to grow up. Through the course of the book she learned many lessons, including the love of God. I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House publishers to review. The opinions expressed here are my own, and I was not compensated for my review.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Yard Tour

So I have been attempting to do some landscaping and gardening in the yard. I added a lot of color to the deck with the pots I got for Mother's Day. Here is a little tour of our yard. Hopefully over the next few years we can add some plants and get rid of the pesky persimmon tree and continue to make our yard look better and better. Any one who has been to our house knows that we don't have a lot of yard to work with, but we want to make the best of what we have.
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Saturday, May 08, 2010

I Survived

Here I Come

And There I Go

Today I ran my first 5k race. I have walked the Race for the Cure 5k for the last 5 or 6 years, but wanted to see if I could manage running. Ten weeks ago I started the Women Can Run Run/Walk Clinic. I went to the track twice a week with the other participants and trained to run a 5k. We started out running for one minute and walking for four. As the weeks went by, we worked our way up to running for 30 minutes straight, and today we graduated by running the race. I managed to run the entire 3.1 miles, and was invigorated afterward. I was stoked when I crossed the finish line and forgot to even check the clock to see what my time was. The results should be posted in a day or two, but I think it was around 37-38 minutes. Definitely not blazing speeds, but I am still very proud just to have finished. One of the most amazing feelings of the whole race was when I saw my family standing on the sidelines cheering me on. It made my feet a little lighter and gave me that extra push to carry on. And believe it or not, I actually look forward to doing it again.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Take it from the Top

It’s back to the basics in Take It from the Top, the long-anticipated 51st album of Adventures in Odyssey! Enter Whit’s new invention, the Inspiration Station, and find out why Connie wants to spend so much time in it. Solve mysteries with local sleuth Emily Jones, and learn why 10-year-old Matthew Parker doesn’t think being “target of the week” is such a good thing.
Catch up with Whit, Connie, Eugene, and Wooton, and meet two new families, as they learn lessons about responsibility, revenge, and God-given inspiration. Whether on a baseball field, at home, or at Whit’s End, there’s never a dull moment in the town of Odyssey!

My ten year old son absolutely loved these cd's. He has listened to them on a couple of occasions. They are filled with good messages and held his attention well. My six year old daughter however didn't find them as compelling, though she is a much more visual child. I would recommend these entertaining cd's for kids who like to listen to stories and will probably be buying additional sets as they are released in the future.

I received a free copy of this cd to review. I was not compensated in any way for this review.

Tipsy Pots

These are my Mother's Day gifts from my family this year. Aren't they neat? I had been wanting to add some planters to my deck and these neat pots are what we got. I love the unique look and even more I love that Brian built them and the kids helped to plant the flowers. Now I just have to remember to water them.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Plain Paradise by Beth Wiseman

Seventeen years ago, Josephine gave up her baby to an Amish couple at the urging of her family. Now, having been diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor, she longs to find the daughter she has never know before it is too late.

Linda, as her Amish parents named her, is seventeen years old and promised to her true love Stephen Ebersol, the bishops grandson. Her life is turned upside down when she learns that she was adopted as a baby. When her birth mother arrives at her family's farm, she is drawn to the world she has never known. Will she stay true to the convictions she has held since childhood, or will she change her path?

I have read several books in the Amish genre, and this one was quite different from the normal. I enjoyed the storyline and the characters. While this was the forth in the Daughters of Promise series, I didn't feel a bit lost having not read the first three novels, and there were just enough allusions to some of the characters and their stories to make me want to read the rest of the novels.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Monday, March 08, 2010

The Flowering Cross by Beth Ryan

The Flowering Cross is the story of a six-year old Katie and her neighbor "Mean Old Jack" who after discovering the true meaning of the Cross is transformed by God's love into Papa Jack. Jack was known by all the neighborhood for his ill temper rather than his beautiful flowers. Katie and her family show him God's love by treating him with love and kindness in all situations. They take him soup when he is sick, help him in his yard, and Katie continually shares her bright smile with him. Eventually Katie and her family are welcome visitors. Katie invites Papa Jack to church on several occasions, but he always declines, until this Easter. While at church, Papa Jack finally realizes how much Jesus loves him, and that realization transforms his life.

I really liked this book, as did my six-year old daughter. The illustrations were well done. My favorite part was the Faith Imprints sprinkled through out the book. These Faith Imprints are cues for parents to share Scripture with their children giving parents a good teaching opportunity with this entertaining book. I would definitely recommend this book to others and will be sharing it with my friends and family.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God - Sheila Walsh

In this book, Sheila Walsh shares about her lifelong battle trust and the choices she made to follow where God was leading. After a life changing event, she only wanted things to get back to "normal" however she found that trusting God meant that things would not be as they were before and that God is not there to get us out of our difficulties, but to get us through them. Sheila draws examples not only from her own life, but from the Bible as she introduces us to ten people who were also transformed by a trusting encounter with Christ.

This is not the type of book I would usually read, but I have enjoyed it. So many times we feel like we are the only ones going through trials in this life. Sheila shows us not only through her own story, but the stories of those in the Bible, that we all have to endure difficulties in this life. Our decision to put our faith in God to help us through those difficulties makes all the difference in how we handle those difficult times. I liked the story Sheila shared about being on a playground swing as a child. As long as her sister, whom she trusted wholeheartedly was pushing the swing, she enjoyed every minute of the ride no matter how high she was swinging, however when the neighborhood bully started pushing the swing, she no longer felt safe and cried until her sister made him stop. The only difference was trust.

I also liked the fact that there is a Bible study included in the book. It provides some in depth questions as well as a discussion guide, which would make this book an excellent resource for a small group. I would definitely recommend this book to others who might be dealing with a lack of faith, or those who just need to have their faith strengthened.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Friday, January 29, 2010

Snow Day

We have had sleet all day, so needless to say the kids are out of school. They have had a blast sledding down the hill with the neighborhood kids.
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