And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Friday, June 28, 2013

Connection





Are you looking for ways to connect with your spouse? Hubby and I recently celebrated 12 years of marriage. Some days it seems like we blinked and those years flew by. Other days.....well other days I feel like I can clearly remember every one of those 4380 days. You know what I'm talking about......

I find it's even harder for Hubby & I to connect now that his work schedule is constantly changing. Some days we have just enough time to pass on vital information to one another before he heads in for another shift. Needless to say that can be a strain on the relationship. That's why I was so intrigues by Couples of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study to Draw You Closer to God and Each Other by Robert & Bobbie Wolgemuth.


Now Hubby & I just don't have much time to put into doing this devo side by side right now BUT I started reading it and I will be introducing him to it ASAP. Even if we can't read it together, reading it will be beneficial. The Wolgemuths have turned to the couples of the Bible for inspiration and guidance. This 52 week devotional is divided into short reading sections for each day Monday through Friday. 

As you read these enhanced stories based on scripture, you will see that many of the couples from the Bible shared the same issues you face in your relationship today. This devotional is sure to open your eyes to God's will for you in marriage as you scour the scriptures and the examples He has given us. Now obviously the authors had to take some of the scriptures and imagine the story details or settings that are not specifically given in the Bible. I was able to read through the enhanced stories with an open mind and an open Bible. I hope you will too!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.com> 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Queen Quilter

Facebook has really made it easy to reconnect with classmates of long ago. I love seeing how friends from years past have changed and found their callings and discovered their talents. Most of us are vastly different than we were in high school an I find that some of my "best" Facebook friends are the ones I spoke to the least in school.

One of these amazing ladies is a super talented quilter! She does great things with fabric and thread. I'm not much on the crafty side so I enjoy seeing her finished products. Kelly was so sweet and sent me a free key chain wallet ro replace one that I had purchased from her a few years ago. She let me make a few specifications and this was the end result:




I love it! The colors are great and the size is perfect for my driver's license, insurance card, and a little cash. I keep those things in there all the time so I don't always have to carry my purse. I can just grab my keys and go. This nifty little creation of Kelly's is a great time saver for me.

She doesn't have any of these currently in her shop but I wanted to jot up this quick blog to first of all give her a big THANKS for my key chain wallet and to let all my awesome readers have a link to Kelly's Etsy shop. It is a wonderful place to find baby quilts and regular quilts as well!

kelbysews on Etsy

kelbysews blog

kelbysews on Facebook

Get the Gold!







I told you in this post how much I love Dial body wash! Dial offers many varieties of body wash for adults and children. They have a wide range of scents and benefits to choose from. In honor of their fabulous body wash line and 65 years in business, Dial is hosting their 65K giveaway! You can win $65,000 in GOLD or a year's supply of Dial body wash! Please use my link to the easy Facebook entry form for this MEGA giveaway Dial 65K Gold Giveaway! You may use the link and enter every day to increase your odds of winning. You will also have the opportunity to share the giveaway in exchange for a Dial coupon. This ends August 19, 2013.



So excited you can't stand it? How about this.....I have 4 coupons to giveaway! Each coupon is good for 1 FREE bottle of Dial body wash! I want to reward 4 of my readers with 1 coupon each. Again I'm trying out Giveaway Tools. Make sure to let me know if you like it!


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Free Fallin

Some stories are really hard to tell. Some stories feel like they should be tucked away forever, hidden like a dark secret. The thing is when you love Jesus sometimes He prompts you to tell the really hard stories because they can help others. So here is my hard story........


It's Father's Day weekend. This is my daddy:


It's okay to be jealous of his long hair and stunner shades.


My daddy wasn't perfect but he loved me. He didn't always hold a steady job and he wasn't a great husband to my mom but he loved me. He was very funny, he could play the guitar, he could grow anything, and he liked Tom Petty & Kid Rock. He had a Ringo Starr haircut forever, he had a big ol' van at one time and a jeep at another time. When he worked he was a maintenance man and he was good at it, he just wasn't great at showing up every day. He liked to fish and ride boats on the river and he was the kind of guy that could make anyone like him. 

He had a whole host of pros and cons just like we all do. He had one big con though. One that contributed to most of the small cons. My daddy was an alcoholic. He had a classic addictive issue. He tried to stop many times and a few times he was successful for a little while. I begged him to quit. I begged him to at least quit driving while he was drinking. When I was 13 I told him in tears that he was going to kill someone or himself if he didn't stop drinking and driving. He got several DUIs over the years but they never slowed him down long.

I grew up and got married and was able to make the choice to stay away from him when his drinking was really bad. It was more than a little embarrassing when he had to spend time in jail because of his habits. I loved him though. He was my daddy no matter what. I prayed for him all the time and I tried to enjoy his sober, happy times as much as I could. When my kids were born he didn't get to see them much. By then he was living a few hours away from me and we didn't visit often. He was faithful about sending them gifts or money and I sent him pictures whenever I could. We went for a rare visit before Thanksgiving a few years ago. Honestly it wasn't a picture perfect visit but he did get to play with the kids and we ate a holiday meal together.

3 days later. 3 days after we came home. A week before Thanksgiving. He did it again. He was drinking and driving. We don't really know the details but he was less than a mile from his house when he flipped his truck. He wasn't wearing a seat belt (he never did). He was ejected from his truck as it rolled. He was life flighted to an exceptional medical center nearby. It was over 12 hours before I knew about the accident then the hospital wouldn't give me any information on the phone. My sweet mama (who had been divorced from him for a long, long time) drove me the 2 hours to the medical center. 

To be honest I couldn't believe he survived the crash. He had injuries from head to toe. He was in a coma and his whole body was so swollen that he was almost unrecognizable. His body was so battered that for over a week the surgeons couldn't decide where to begin. His spinal injuries kept them from doing anything for several weeks. Finally they did do a spinal surgery even though the spinal surgeon didn't want to because of all the injuries to my dad's face. 

I am a stay at home mom. I was a stay at home mom then. I tried to divide my time between my kids and visits to my dad but there was always guilt. Guilt that I wasn't with him every moment. Guilt that I wasn't with my kids when I should have been. I was a basket case. I wasn't prepared to deal with everything. I am not naturally inclined to ask for help and so I didn't even when I desperately need to. My mom jumped in and helped without me asking. She was my "taxi" to an from the medical center pretty much every single time. I could never thank her enough for all the support she gave me. 

My dad eventually came out of his coma after over 30 days. He came out of the coma but MY DAD never really came back. He had a trach and couldn't talk even if he wanted to. He was usually out of it though. A few times I felt like he really recognized me. He seemed to respond when I talked about my kids and when I prayed. He "survived" for over 6 months. It was such a dark 6 months. He was in excruciating pain. He couldn't talk, he couldn't eat, he couldn't move. He lost so much weight and had all those broken bones in his face and his head was shaved and he was  almost unrecognizable. 

During those 6 months I prayed. I prayed for God's purpose in such a tragedy to be revealed. It took a little while but eventually I felt like God revealed His purpose to me. My dad never would've stopped drinking on his own. He was addicted beyond control. He had been drinking for over 40 years. My dad never really turned to God and relied on Him. He believed in God and when he had things he thought warranted prayer he would call and ask me to pray. He had read most if not all of the Bible. All that but he had not ever turned himself over to God before his accident. After the accident though he had over 6 months that he was sober. He couldn't drink. He may not have been cognizant the whole time but I believe God gave him those 6 months as an opportunity to turn to Him. Now I don't have a specific Bible verse I can point to but it is what I have peace with.

Now why did I share this story? Not for pity certainly. If you are a drinker I hope this story will make you think twice about drinking, especially drinking and driving. You are not invincible. If you have a family member that has died in a similar manner you aren't alone. If you are praying for someone with an addiction problem, keep praying! God will hear your prayers. If you have an amazing Dad that is still alive, give him props this weekend. Hug him tight. Thank him for his contribution to your life and let him know how much you love him.




Friday, June 14, 2013

Action and Adventure

I received a free copy of this book for the purpose of review because I am a Tommy Mommy! All opinions are my own. 



If you have an older elementary or middle school child that enjoys the supernatural then they will enjoy Shadow Chaser the 3rd book in Jerel Law's series Sons of Angels. The book follows a group of quarterlings (half angels) as they attend a special school. I haven't had the opportunity to read the first two books but Shadow Chaser focuses on Jonah as he struggles through a Job situation. 

Jonah & his classmates are ready for a set of tests for school but Jonah finds himself in supernatural battles to test his strength and faith. Will he trust in God to bring him through or will he succumb to the powers of darkness? Will his classmates turn on Jonah or help him through?

This book is fast paced and intriguing. It is recommended for ages 8-11. I think Apple would enjoy this book but I'm afraid some of the material in it might bog her down. I will hold onto it for 6 months or a year and then let her read it. I think the series is a great alternative to many secular series that focus on the supernatural. In a time that many popular books focus on vampires and witches it is wonderful to have a Christian book that is action packed and fun for older kids to read.

Find out more:

Flipbook






Does this look like something your child would enjoy? Great because I have one copy to giveaway!
I'm trying Giveaway Tools for the first time. Let me know if you like it!

If you have a Kindle there is a limited time sale happening right now! You can get a Kindle Edition of Shadow Chaser on Amazon for only $1.99!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Incredible!

This post is written in connection with US Family Guide Bloggers. I will receive free passes to Incredible Pizza in exchange for my post.
  The Fun Never Ends at Incredible Pizza! Spin to Win An Incredible Prize! WIN GAME POINTS, GAME CARDS AND FREE BUFFETS http://memphisincrediblepizza.com/fun-for-kids/Spin-To-Win/online-games.php

Play Fun, Food and Family; America's Incredible Pizza Company is the place to find it all! Incredible Pizza Company delivers high energy and a quality experience for the entire family. After enjoying our freshly homemade buffet; enter our world famous Fair Grounds and play over 100 arcade and carnival style games. Race to the finish line while driving our go karts, get lost in a friendly game of laser tag, get a hole-in-one while playing glow golf, and spin away on the bumper cars and more! So whether you're 6 or 60, enter our fairgrounds and have an incredible time while making memories that will last a lifetime!

 

We've never been to an Incredible Pizza location but we've heard GREAT things about the one in Memphis and the one in St. Louis. My kids are going to be SO excited to go and check it out! It seems like a great way to beat the heat on these warm summer days.

 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Value

As we are going through this crazy process of looking for a new home, Hubby and I have really had to pick apart what we value in a home. We've had so many discussions about the features we absolutely need in a home, what we would like to have, and what we can live without. We've looked at some nice homes so far but every single one has some things we want, some things we don't want, and is lacking in some areas.

While we've learned to communicate with each other about these houses, we've also gotten a better insight into what is really important to each of us. Apple & Speedy have had some input as well although the final choice will be ours. The dog even gets a silent vote because we need a yard area for her.

So all this has me thinking, what DO we really value? Not just in a house but in life. What do you value for yourself? What do you value as a spouse? What do you value as a parent? What do you value as a friend? And here's the biggie......what do you value as a Christian?

I think as we age it is easy to walk through life without stopping to evaluate. I mean if you are anywhere near as busy as I am then your time is limited for self-analysis! However I think it's important. It is so easy to slip into the rut of life and look up to realize you've been a real grouch for a month or you haven't spent any quality time with your kids in 3 months or you haven't prayed   for weeks. I'm sure Satan loves those times in our life. When we are moving through the routine mindlessly then we aren't seeking God.

So it's time for me to ask myself (and for you to ask yourself):

What do I value more?

Time with my kids or time online?

A kind word to my spouse or having the last word?

My favorite novel or tucking my kids into bed?

A few minutes to relax or a few minutes in prayer?

Sleeping in or worshiping the Lord?

Having the latest wardrobe piece or giving to the community?

The list could go on forever.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Southern Fiction

I received a free copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.



Meg Moseley's fish out of water story Gone South is a great gentle fiction read. I haven't had a lot of time for fiction lately so I was excited to delve into this book with any stolen moments I could find. I quickly found myself drawn into the story of Tish. Tish is a Yankee with southern family ties. She finds herself buying a home that once belonged to her ancestors in Alabama. While Tish is excited for the huge change in her life she finds the south isn't always so sweet.

Moseley does a great job of developing the characters and slowly drawing out their stories. Tish, Mel, George, and Calv are all endearing characters. I love that the story wasn't fake. It all seemed very viable. I was also pleased that every character didn't become a saint in the end. We all know that real life doesn't work that way and I tend to feel a bit frustrated when stories wrap up with everyone smelling like roses. 

If you are looking for a good summer read, check out Meg Moseley's Gone South. I think you will find it charming, true, and engaging.

Make sure to check out my review of Meg Moseley's When Sparrows Fall.

The Clouds Didn't Slow Us Down



We have such a wonderful group of friends at our church. We started attending this church a little over a year ago and we've been so blessed by the friendships we've strengthened and new ones we've made. For awhile some of us have discussed a family gathering outside of church but with ball and busy schedules it has taken awhile to get it together. Since Wednesday night meals have ended for the summer, one of the couples graciously opened their home to all of us last night. 

I was so excited to bring some great items that came free from my latest BzzCampaign! I had coupons for hamburgers, buns, chips, colas, and ice cream. I wanted to try the new Kroger brand sliders but unfortunately my local store isn't carrying the slider buns yet. So we went with full size burgers. 



We grilled the burgers up here at home and then packed them up to take to the get together.


I also packed up the fixings to go along with it!



Everyone else pitched in with extra drinks, condiments, desserts, etc. We had tons of delicious food and even better conversation and fun!


I didn't get a pic of the whole crowd but you can see that we easily filled the deck with several tables of grownups and kids. The burgers were a big hit as were the other fantastic Kroger products!



After dinner the kids all lined up for SEVERAL turns at the zip line. 

Everyone had such a great time. We had well over 20 in attendance and everyone got full. It was so easy to put it all together (because it wasn't at my house & I didn't have to clean! ;) Thanks J!) with everyone contributing a little. Thanks to BzzAgent and Kroger for the wonderful products to try! All the guests were impressed!