Showing posts from July, 2013

What I'm Reading: Parenting with Scripture by Kara Durbin (book review)

I read a lot of parenting books, hoping to gain some insight so I don't mess my kids up. :) "Parenting with Scripture" by Kara Durbin tops my list of must-haves for parents. It's a "topical guide for teachable moments." I'm in the throes of discipline with my kids. A few more years and Moose will need less and less (as I'm praying), then Squirt will follow suit. I can't tell you how many times in the last year I've written in my journal about how hard this parenting stuff is. Well, I could tell you but I don't want to go back and count. Anyway, parenting isn't an easy gig - it's super hard, and harder if you take it seriously. And I take it very seriously. These two little boys are mine to mold - their hearts, souls, and minds. Yikes that's a big responsibility. And the one that keeps me working hard is their souls. Soul-shaping is tough and the biggest of big responsibilities. "Parenting with Scriptures" has alr

I forgot how long wrestling meets are

I LOVE wrestling! Not WWE but real, masculine Greco-Roman wrestling.  I grew up with it - my cousins wrestled. My big sister was a matmaid (stat keeper) for 6 years. I was for 3-4 years (I can't remember now - getting old).  I even married a wrestler. Yet I'd never seen him wrestle... until this past weekend. Kansas has the Sunflower State Games where people of all ages can do all sorts of sports; including wrestling. Big A signed up, practiced with a friend. And got 3rd place in his age/weight division!! Sweet! wish you could see how sweet this medal is! Well worth the 9:30-3:30/4:00 sitting in the gym with kids under 6 years old.  Once I relaxed a little, (sometimes my expectations are a little high for my kids' behaviors) we had fun. We read, they played with Super Friends, we ate more than necessary (I'm sure the latter is a requirement at wrestling, if I remember correctly). We cheered for Big

Wordless Wednesday: Where's Squirt?

How do you sleep under all of that?? LOL

while we wait to hear about the royal bebe...

I thought I'd share some water baby pictures from swim lessons. Oh dear, they are much of babies anymore, are they? Moose & Miss K - she was an aide in his preschool class  so last summer we thought she'd be the best teacher for him. turns out - I was right! Mr. R and Squirt. They made a pretty good team this summer! Mr. R had to have a dentist appointment so Squirt got Mr. J for one day. I don't know how she taught him anything. All he wants to do is go under water. there were many races between these four boys the boys just wanted to play! and by the end Squirt was loving it as much as Moose! Squirt passed level 1!!!  he liked to tell Mr. R what to do. Let's go under together. You go off the diving board. So fun. Moose got to try out a new teacher, Miss A, for a few days the second week.  she was super patient with him and got him to go off the diving board!! He passed level 2!!! Yay for water boys!

1,000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp WINNERS

Thank you to everyone who entered. Those who didn't enter - you missed out. This is one of my favorite books (and I don't give out that title to just any book...pretty much The Bible, Wuthering Heights, The Hunger Games, and One Thousand Gifts). On to our winners (picked by! Congratulations to: #3 Stacey #11 Julie I sure hope you ladies enjoy this book. If you can email me your addresses in the next 48 hours so I can pass them on, that would be great. Otherwise, I'll be forced to pick a new winner. Boo. Thanks again to everyone who entered.

What I'm Reading: The Christian Mama's Guide to the Grade School Years by Erin MacPherson

Last year was Moose's first year of full-time school. I feel I had a leg up on the letting him go part because he'd been to 1.5 years of preschool plus 3 days a week summertime preschool. Well, I was wrong. Full day is a whole other ball game! Plus I had him in full-time AND Squirt in part-time - whew was my mama heart full of stress for awhile. I didn't know what Moose was eating, who he was (or wasn't) playing with, who his paras were, how he acted, how other kids acted. Nothing. It was really hard for me. Until I prayed. Of course, prayer makes everything come into perspective. God was with my Moose (his Moose) - always. Erin MacPherson's book "The Christian Mama's Guide to the Grade School Years" is a wonderful book to read (along with being a prayer warrior for your kids) to get moms comfortable with the idea of their children being in school. This book is not just for public/private school goers either! I would say it is more geared toward

The Unknown

I have a hard time dealing with the unknowns of more about it at Her View From Home where I'm guest posting today. Also, today is the last day to enter my "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp giveaway - 2 copies! Low entries (4 entries by 2 people).

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers (book review)

I first read "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers in college (this newest copy is a 20th anniversary edition). A dear friend of mine recommended it and I devoured it. I was a new Christian, stepping out in faith and walking in the light. I still love being around new Christians; they have such an enthusiasm. I had such enthusiasm when I read this book, which is a love story that tells you about God's unconditional love, I believe I read it in a few hours. In "Redeeming Love" a man named Michael Hosea takes a leap of faith when God leads him to marry Angel, a woman sold into prostitution as a young child. He (Hosea) loves her unconditionally, despite her checkered past and often disgruntled attitude toward him. Angel feels her heart softening and runs (if your heart is hardened that much, I imagine it'd be scary to feel it thaw out). She runs back but realizes that she cannot run from the One who loves her even more unconditionally than her husband: God. I

Popular: Boys, Booze, and Jesus by Tindell Baldwin (book review)

I'm not sure if I've mentioned that I'm supposed to be in Haiti this week but, long story shortened, my foot acted up again, so no mission trip. Instead I bring you the latest installment of my book reviews. Boys, Booze, and Jesus reads the tag-line on Tindell Baldwin's book, "Popular." That could very well be the tag-line for my high school life. This book is a memoir about Baldwin who grew up in a Christian home and took a very different approach to life in high school than her family desired. At the heart of the issue was popularity, like the title suggests. Baldwin wanted to be popular, to belong. I believe we all have this desire, to belong. I know I did. It's really scary how Baldwin's memoir mirrors my own (not identically but to a great extent). After Baldwin's "rebel" phase of boys and booze, she felt a call to Jesus. I felt a similar call at a similar time in life - college. She had an amazing family who loved her uncon

happy birthday, Moose and Squirt

Today is officially Squirt's 4th birthday (Moose's 6th was the 1st), but I want to wish both of my beautiful boys a happy birthday. I love you guys so much! Here's some great pictures we've gotten these past few weeks. Aren't they just little Big As?!  I love boy naps! superhero friend picnic playdate - July 2 Spiderman and Wonder Woman Robin and Wonder Woman they got some DC Superfriends for their family birthday this is about as much play as Wonder Woman has gotten... Star Wars family birthday party blow out the candles! I love these boys, what a blessed woman I am. We've been headed to swim lessons all this week. They have gotten better each day; I'll be sad when they're over. Next year's gift may have to be a pool pass! Happy 6 years of being a mama and 4 years of being a double mama. I love you guys so much!

Praying God's Word For Your Life by Kathi Lipp (book review)

I have read several books on how to pray Scripture over your children, your husband, even yourself (I have five of these prayer books sitting on my bedside table right now). However Kathi Lipp's new book, Praying God's Word For Your Life, has been the most down-to-earth. I have so often read that God doesn't need fancy prayers (he even says he doesn't want our sacrifices and Christ scolded the Pharisees for their lengthy prayers because they were trying to be fancy more than heartfelt), but too often books on prayer include fancy prayers. Prayer is a spiritual discipline that's difficult for me. I'm not sure if it's because I wasn't raised to pray or what but I have a hard time remembering. I'm growing in this area but I still have a long way to grow. I believe this book has already helped me learn to pray Scripture in a real way, not a scripted way. To really use Scripture to back up my petitions or my praises rather than just rote praying. God

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp (review and GIVEAWAY x2)

I read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp  sometime last year. I talk about it all.the.time. I mention it in Bible study - a lot. It's just a wonderful book that teaches us to look past the mundane in the everyday into the blessings of the everyday. The book is full of beautiful thoughts that convict me to dig deeper into the Word, deeper into relationship/fellowship with God. "Without God's Word as a lens, the world warps." So true; when we look around, this world is full of lies that are seemingly true until we look through His eyes."I can say it certain now: All is grace . I see through the woods of the world: God is always good and I am always loved. God is always good and I am always loved. Everything is eucharisteo. Because eucharisteo is how Jesus, at the Last Supper, showed us to transfigure all things - take the pain that is given, give thanks for it, and transform it into a joy that fulfills all emptiness." Amen! God is always good and I am a

Sent by Hilary Alan (book review)

I read this post awhile back about the "new fundamentalism" of Christians being bombarded about going and living on the mission field in foreign countries. I can't find the exact post (bothering me!), but it made me wonder. Doesn't God call some of us " to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody" (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12). I don't feel the call to the mission field beyond short-term - right now. I am open if God calls us but He could very well keep us where we are.  Anyway, "Sent" by Hilary Alan is about God's calling on an upper-middle-class family who sells almost everything they own to go serve God in a Third World country in Southeast Asia. I felt throughout the book a bit of 'I'm an amazing Christian because my family sold everything and lived around poverty. And

4 things to be thankful for on the 4th

1. 2 miles walked this morning in peace. Not running (yet) but walking will do for now in my injury rehab state. 2. a house. Too many in this world don't have a stable place to live. And even in year we've been here, I feel I take this luxury for granted. 3. family. I love holidays that equal days off for Big A. It's so lovely to have us together. We've played games together, read together, shot off some fireworks, and rested. Later - fireworks! 4. watermelon. It just doesn't feel like officially summer until we eat some watermelon. And I think $2.98 watermelon just tastes a little sweeter, right? Well, not quite as good as the free (!!) peas from my garden will taste (seriously, I have peas in my fridge that I picked from our garden). How cool are gardens?! What are you thankful for today? Independence? Nice weather? Good food? Music? Thank you to the soldiers who have provided so many nice freedoms that I enjoy every day. This is a sweet holiday, a sweet

Unfriend Yourself by Kyle Tennant (book review)

I have been aware of my Facebook/email/internet addiction for awhile. I've had the internet since before high school; probably before many of my friends because my dad is really tech savvy. I remember dial-up (ugh). I've been familiar with computers since at least 4th grade. This technology starts younger now; my children know how to use iPads better than I do. I've seen 1-year-olds on their parents' phones playing games or whatnot. This technological overload takes its toll, doesn't it? I know several friends who have fasted from Facebook (and other social media sites, but mostly that one) because they, too, are aware of the drastic pull this mediator holds over them. That's what "Unfriend Yourself" by Kyle Tennant is really about. It's more "should the church use social media" but it applies to individuals as well. Along with reading this short book (91 pages including the notes and such), Tennant suggests to do a 3-day fast from yo