Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday~happenings and encouragement!

Last week was freezing cold and snow and today sunny and 60's. I can not complain, loving my southern weather today!!! So today for school-time, our learning will take place outside!!

We had another great triumph in school this week, well you may not think it is but for the first time this week Aidan wrote his name legible!! I did not think I had it in me to teach him in his preschool years, but the Lord knew otherwise. So not only am I not super proud of him, I am thankful for the opportunity to teach him. Of course, I have my moments with his crazy antics, his need to take a part and yes sometimes break things, eeek!! I know it will serve him well as he gets older, this boy is teaching me so much! Also, those are minor in comparison to how he makes me smile, his thoughtfulness to help, his sweetness, and how hard he works on his school work. You see if I can homeschool, you can too! So please don't use the excuse, I could never. Because you can, with God anything is possible!

When we think we are failing or struggling with something, we need to remember yes God! We believers have the ability, we just have to be obedient and trust, though that in itself is not always easy. When I have those moments, it helps to know the Word, remind myself of His truths, pray, and ask those God has placed in my life for encouragement or help. He didn't put us here on this earth to do it alone. That seems to be my theme this year with the books I am reading, about building a place of belonging, friendships, community, and kindness (which by the way is not the same as niceness, as I am reading in Love Kindness).

In the book Better Together, Jill Savage talks about not being self-centered, but others-centered! How to be like Jesus with skin on. Nobody should go through life alone, so we are to take notice, pay attention to how to care for someone else.

In the book Life Giving Home, "Give foundations of strength and inspiration to these precious ones, but give them wings as well. Prepare them to take risks, to live by faith, so that they can take the messages and cherished values they learned at home and share them with a hurting world." Seriously, this needs to be my mission, as a homeschooling mom!! (I have been working on a mission for our home, and this book has helped me to see what it is.)

A couple snapshots this week:

Math drills!
Encouraging reads:
Having hope in God brings an endless flow of emotional strength to make it through each day.

Christianity and all that it entails is not just about getting from point A to point B. It’s not even about doing “God’s work.” It is completely and totally and forever about Jesus.
Great reminder, I get wrapped up in homeschooling, to do’s and trying to do it all…So today, let’s do something. Let’s walk away from it all, for a day, and remember what’s truly important.
It is still a struggle for me. But I'm thankful for the battle, because it keeps me coming back to God, clinging to Him, focusing my mind and heart on what I know is True.

It’s my job to prepare my kids for life and the future. And if I turn everything they think is hard into an easier road, I haven’t done either.

Are you an HSP, this will be helpful, especially if you also homeschool.

Friday, January 22, 2016

A little weekly update, there is snow and encouragement here!!

Today the snow is coming down and the kids are excited to play in it, me not so much, but I do love hot chocolate, movies and books! Unfortunately the railroad doesn't shut down, and of course my husband was called out before they got the chance to all play in the snow this morning. My awesome hubby did manage to make me a path to my girls (aka chickens) with his leaf blower, now snow blower. We finished our school work for the week, so today there will be bundling the kids up to go out, tending to my outside critters (by the way, they don't want to go out and I can't blame them), probably lots of hot chocolate, movies, and for me I think it is a book and PJ day, well sometime today. Because us mama's know our jobs are never that easy. All I have to say about this snow, is it is pretty and peaceful to watch! I am always reminded of the precious hymn, What can wash my sin:
 Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
  Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Blessed and excited to be a part of these two book launches, two of my favorite book authors!!

Oh and don't forget to enter the give-away for Jesus Today

 Pics of our week:

My awesome hubby, making me a path with the leaf blower, aka snow blower!
Still coming down!
These two crack me up, fun times during read-a-loud time!
Latin time!
Puzzle time!
Love this, caught in the act, big sis reading to little bro!
Baby it's cold out there!
Encouraging reads:
Because we live out of what we meditate upon. When life presses against us, whatever takes up residence in our souls drives our reaction. 

In the place between what is comfortable and what feels like it may kill us is where we become all we’re created to be.

Just yes…The next time you’re tempted to put off that moment of rest for the sake of ‘doing something productive’, remember that renewing the soul and mind is profitable. Stop, take that break; then return to life’s never-ending responsibilities, ready to rock!

Just love this…Your life, your story and the message you bear is written inside you for a reason. Embrace it! Learn from it. Lean in to the gift of grace that was freely given to you so that you might find hope and peace in the midst of your story — and then the courage to give it away. Life is beautiful, and it’s even better together.  

Knowing Him intimately and personally will radically change your life. Knowing about Him won’t do much good.

Perspective… Maybe you have a child that wakes up at the crack of dawn. Maybe you are exhausted and overwhelmed. Maybe, just maybe, they are not waking up early to frustrate or anger you. They just want to BE with you.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Jesus Today review and give-away!

I recently received for review, a new devotional book for children, Jesus Today ~ Devotions for Kids by Sarah Young. First the hard-cover of the book is so cute, I love the blue! What is even better is the daily devotions, there are a 150 of them, in addition with quotes and scripture verses throughout. There is a scripture index at end of the book for looking up Bible verses in the book. Kids and many adults (I have been enjoying reading it with the kids!) will enjoy reading it. This book would make for a great morning devotional time and discussion. In addition a great gift to give! I love the reminders and message throughout it!

One of my blessed readers has an opportunity to win their very own Jesus Today book. Thanks to FlyBy for this super awesome give-away for kids or for your parents, grandparents, etc...that enjoy reading to your children. Be sure to comment no later then Sunday, January 24, 2016 to be entered into the drawing.

I love what our promotions company shared: The awesome people at Tommy Nelson (a division of Thomas Nelson) have made available a devotional just for kids.  Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids is about Jesus and His amazing Love for you.  It's also a book about hope.  Some kids may think that hoping is just wishful thinking.  But the hope Jesus offers you is something you can hold on to -- knowing it will never let you down. Because Jesus will never let you down!  No matter what is happening -- whether you are happy, scared, angry, or sad -- God is always in control, and He is always good.

About Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids
Jesus is the Friend who is always with you.  Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids will pour this powerful truth into your children's hearts as they learn that He knows everything about them and loves them more than they can imagine.  Each devotion is based on Scripture and is written as though Jesus is speaking directly to you, assuring that He is in control, that He is good, and that an amazing future awaits all who put their hope in Him.  Adapted from the ECPA 2013 Christian Book of the Year-winner Jesus Today, this devotional has the same themes as the adult version, as well as written-out scriptures.  It is a great choice for families to read and discuss during devotional time together.  

Hardcover: 368 pages
Age Range: 6-10 years 

About the author Sarah Young: 
Sarah Young's devotional writings are personal reflections from her daily quiet time of Bible reading, praying and writing in prayer journals.  With sales of more than 14 million books worldwide, Jesus Calling has appeared on all major bestseller lists.  Sarah's writings include Jesus CallingJesus TodayJesus LivesDear JesusJesus Calling for Little OnesJesus Calling Bible StorybookJesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids, and Peace in His Presence -- each encouraging readers in their journey toward intimacy with Christ.  Sarah and her husband were missionaries in Japan and Australia for many years.  They currently live in the United States.  



#JesusTodayKids and #FlyBy

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Friday, January 15, 2016

Mid-January peak and encouragement!

Wow it is mid-January already! We survived our first snow here in Tennessee this last weekend. I am not much of a snow lover, having lived in the north for 30 years is about all the winter weather a girl needs in her life. However, my kids are a different story, they love it and cold weather! Go figure, they were both born in Texas!

The hubs and I both passed our Tennessee handgun permit class with flying colors! It was a fun class!! I'll admit I was a bit anxious before the class, being in a room full of strangers and all (and yes I did douse myself in stress-away EO right before, so that helped). It was a huge class, 40 of us, so if that tells you something! So this week, the kids and I had a couple extra errands than normal. First going to the divers license office to pay for permit fee and get my snapshot. Next was fingerprinting. Oh the things my kids learn on these adventures. It all went smoothly and soon I should have my TN permit, all in time before my Kentucky one becomes voided. A girl has to be safe and protected!

This week we completed week 19 and oh how I love checking off a completed week of school! We had a great week, even had a poetry tea time this week and one morning the kids decided to play a game before school. Hey how can I say no! We started a new read-a-loud, Mountain Born and we just love it. We finished Understood Betsy, it was a long book but a great story. I love seeing Abigail put together the history she is learning. We are study around the 1500-600 BC era about the Greeks, Assyrians, Egyptians. Very interesting, it makes the Bible come alive even more then it already is, when you study them side by side! History was not one of my favorite subjects in school, but it is now! I see how important it is and how it all comes together. If more people studied history, I don't think our country would be in as much trouble as it is in. So homeschooling not only benefits the child, it benefits the parents! This week the kids and I also took some time to gather items in our house we don't need or use to donate to a needy organization, that always feels good. This is something I am looking at doing more with the kids this year, finding ways to give back and serve together, to share the love! Not only that, it is of utmost importance to help and serve others. Jesus gave us that great example and freedom to do so, it's mentioned many times throughout the Bible and to be able to do it is a blessing.

I picked up some new reads this week, that I am excited to start reading this weekend: The Fringe Hours (only 1.99 right now), Money Making Mom, How To Teach Your Kids Shakespeare, and Habits: The Mother's Secret to Success (only .99 right now)

Lord this week there has been much sickness, depression and worry among people I know. I deal a bit with anxiety at times, so I do have a few things on my heart. However, I do know and trust the ONE that all the needs will be done according to His will and also that your light will shine through each of these situations. Lord may we continue to grow in our faith and encourage one another and share your great light here on earth! Verses to focus on: John 8:12~Jesus said "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."and 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

Don't forget to enter in for this give-away, it's a great story! I will have more reviews and other give-aways in the near future that I am also excited about!!!

Pics of our week:
Aidan working hard, mastering numbers!
Game-time before school!

Poetry time!
Proud of my kiddos working so hard on their school work!
My family and our first Tennessee snow!
Redneck sledding!
Pretty snow view from my back yard!
Encouraging reads:
So, don’t let anyone tell you that following Jesus will be easy. Don’t believe for a second that being a Christian should be easy. To which I will add, BUT it will be worth it!!

Just yesThe most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

Being a wife and mother is not just something we ARE; it’s something we DO.

Maybe you’re wondering if what you’re doing matters in the long run.

Life is unpredictable and it’s impossible to know what the next twelve months will bring. But the one thing I can control, the one thing I can count on, is how I respond no matter how many dreams come true – or not; how many goals I meet – or don’t; how many resolutions I keep – or break.

So needed this message, as I tend to get anxious….Walk by faith. Live by faith. Don’t miss out. Don’t waste a single moment.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Captive, movie review and give-away!

Thanks to FlyBy for the opportunity to watch and review the movie Captive. I recognized the actress playing Ashley from House of Cards. She was great in this movie. Ashley is a recovering meth addict working hard trying to get her life back together after the killing of her husband by a drug dealer and losing temporary custody of her daughter due to addiction. She comes in contact with Brian Nichols who just escaped from jail and is on the run after killing several people he came in contact with. During this time he held her hostage in her apartment that she had just moved into and was unpacking and putting things away to prepare to be reunited with her daughter. Currently at that time, Ashley's Aunt Kim had custody of her daughter. Ashley was scared but did her best to remain calm. Brian gained some type of trust or connection with Ashley after she read a few pages from The Purpose Driven Life, a book by Rick Warren. Brian asked if I were the one who killed your husband could you forgive me, as he was thinking about all the things he had done. Ashley said I don't know but with God maybe. She was able to finally leave her apartment as he was thinking about what he had heard from the book. The book is about hope and finding what is our purpose here. At the beginning of the movie they showed verse Romans 5:20...But where sin increased, grace increased all the more. That does sum up what this story is about, God can use anything for good!

At the end of the movie, the movie shared an update about Brian and Ashley's life. She never used meth again and became a leader in Celebrate Recovery. Be sure to watch the special features at the end, this is not something I normally take time to watch, but I would definitely recommend it. 

The web-site for Captive has free resources to use for discussion or with a youth group, along with preview and more about the movie.

Now for the fun part!!! I am able to give away one free DVD of the movie to one of my readers. All you need to do is leave a comment letting me know you want in before Saturday, January 16, 2016.

From the Captive Movie Resources
ABOUT: CAPTIVE, based on a miraculous true story that drew the attention of the entire nation, is a thrilling drama about the spiritual collision of two broken lives. When Brian Nichols—on the run as the subject of a city wide manhunt and desperate to make contact with his newborn son—takes recovering meth addict Ashley Smith hostage in her own apartment, she turns for guidance to Rick Warren’s best-selling inspirational book, The Purpose Driven Life. While reading aloud, Ashley and her would-be killer each face crossroads where despair and death intersect hope.
What follows is a story that is gripping, contemplative, often cringing and very satisfying. From fear to redemption, but the question is, who’s being redeemed. Uplifting, positive and inspiring.

DVD Release Date: January 5, 2016
Runtime: 96 minutes
Rating: PG-13 (for mature thematic elements involving violence and substance abuse) 

There are over 30 minutes of bonus content on this DVD including Journey Through Darkness: Filming Captive and Faith and The Purpose Driven Life.  Also included with this DVD is a Digital HD copy that can be instantly streamed and downloaded.  



#CaptiveMovie and #FlyBy

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”