Friday, October 28, 2016

Living and loving encouragement, weekly snapshots!

Question: Are we living for today or living for God? I am guilty many times for just focusing on the day, what I need to get done, and then forgetting the main reason I am here. Now I am not saying being focused on today is bad, I need that many times otherwise I will get overwhelmed, but who or what are we actually living for? This question is really worth spending some time thinking and praying about. It seems many today are so focused on the election and what will happen or not happen, I am over it. I did my part and voted, so now for the most part anything I see related to the election, I just pass on by. I know many of my friends are feeling the same way. I do however, encourage you to get out and vote, make a choice. I know many of you feel like we don't have a choice, because you don't care for the candidates, well I agree with you! So instead vote for the party that aligns most with your beliefs, and the people that surround and support them. When it comes down to that, it makes the decision a little easier. Most important pray, if anything is going to change, I believe in prayer and I trust God. That is what helps to give me peace in this election. Anyhow, moving on, back to that question, Are we living for today or living for God? It is a deep question, one that provokes a lot of feelings, thoughts, and things I want to do and change. I can be a selfish, internally focused instead of outward focused, distracted and not in the good distracted way. November is just a few days a way, it excites me in a way, because when I think of November, I think of it as a month of giving thanks! A month to focus on blessings and giving to others, but I don't want that to just be a month thing, but an everyday thing. So how to do that, I am not sure yet! I need to get back to writing down my blessings everyday, and focus on how I can bless someone each day. I am part of book launch group for and that is what this book is about: it is about how to give, how to love people where they are, how to listen to the heart's of people, to celebrate everyday ordinary things, how to reach out to the everyday people in your life and to those hard people in your life. When we do this we are showing love, and that is what I believe this world needs move of, love! The love that Jesus came to earth to give us, sacrificial love! That is how I desire to live, will it be easy, no! But with God, anything is possible! I just need to be obedient and willing! Oh and Ann Voskamp has a great give it forward today calendar, which shares the message of how pouring out and giving is what blesses us and I so agree with her! She is always sharing encouragement and ways to count blessings daily, go check out her site at: 
If you are in need of some hope while you are in the waiting, as this seems to be me lately, or a personal time of study, I invite you to join me and some wonderful ladies in the reading of Come Lord Jesus advent devotion. We will be gathering here for a sacred, communal journey starting November 27 at 

Weekly Encouragement: 
I think Jesus can handle that.
When this world wears me out and breaks me down and stomps on my heart a bit, may You be my vision, the only One I seek…because You are always good and You always love and You’ve already won.
We are bookish people — people of words, words, words, in service of the God who is holy, holy, holy.
In Sabbath, we allow our brain to make sense of our busy lives. We process what we have learned during the other six days of the week and apply meaning to what we’ve overlooked while moving at a frenetic pace.
Taking pictures is a natural way to slow down.  It’s also a handy tool for tracking the colors or patterns that you are noticing.
Love’s like waves — keeps reaching out no matter what tries to keep pulling it away.”

Weekly Snapshots:
Fridays we have art and music study at Raising Arrows. We learned about some piano composers, art showing fire and the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible. It was a good lesson about people turning away from God.

Little man's Saturday soccer game, tomorrow is the last one of the season!

I escorted Dorothy and a Ninja Turtle to a community event near our town!
Photo with the Minon created by the karate studio the kids attend!
Beautiful fall day with these two having fun!
Game time!

Socks seems to be growing everyday, I do believe he will be bigger then Peter.
An evening walk with little man is never dull! At least I feel protected, lol!

Working hard on writing and reading!
Swim lessons, Aidan has really improved these last couple lessons. It was Abigail's last lesson!  She is a better swimmer than I. She will start back to golf lessons.

Autumn, I adore you! Look for the beauty in all things! Ecclesiastes 3:11
Ready for homeschool co-op!
I so adore the colors and the changes with the tree's!
Enjoying our walk to the mailbox and the sound of crunching leaves. Do you not love our choice of footwear? Kids and flip-flops and mama in boots, autumn in the south is confusing sometimes!
Peter-cat is one spoiled cat! He only likes my daughter, she is the only one he will allow to pick him up. Bless them, she carried him all the way back on our walk! Love!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Where Jesus Slept~Book Review with Give-away!

My children and I love books, especially books about Jesus. This is a cute children's book, Where Jesus Slept by Norma Lewis, is one that younger children will enjoy. The rhyming and repetition in the words help children understand and grasp the message of the story, along with the beautiful illustrations throughout the entire book! This will make a great book to read and reread again and again throughout the Christmas season! Also a great book to give as a gift!

If you are reading this, be sure to enter to win the give-away. All you have to do is leave a comment or like the post to enter, for one book to be given away. This give-away will close Saturday, November 5, 2016.

From the wonderful promotions company, FlyBy:

About the book:
“This is the bed where Jesus slept. This is the straw that lined the bed where Jesus slept.” From here, the story builds with each spread, adding a new element and explaining the relationships among the participants and witnesses to the first Christmas. From Jesus sleeping sweetly to the wise men bringing gifts, this charming book reminds readers young and not-so-young of the joyous event we celebrate at Christmastime. Children will love the delightful illustrations and the engaging repetition in this cumulative tale.

            Format: jacketed hardcover
            Trim size: 10x10
            Page count: 32
            Retail price: $16.99
            Reading age: 4-7

About the author:
Norma Lewis is the author of ten books. She lives in Grand Haven, MI, with a marmalade cat named Scalawag. They both love spending time with her six grandchildren, ranging in age from three to twenty.
Illustrated by Katy Hudson.

Social Corner:
#WhereJesusSlept #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, October 21, 2016

Third way done!!! Weekly encouragment and snapshots!

I think this Friday calls for a celebration!!! We are a third of the way through our curriculum for the 2016-2017 homeschool year, whoohoo!!! My brain is tired, not much on my mind to write or share this week, other than, I can't believe 10 weeks till Christmas!!! I am looking forward to doing an online study of Come, Lord Jesus, more details about that soon! Working on some projects and doing lots of reading is where my time is spent right now, when we are not running to and thro and homeschooling! Yes, most days I am tired, but it is good tired! I am grateful, grateful for the people that God has placed on our path and that I am able to stay home with my children, even though some days I feel like I may loose my mind up in here! Which is why I can't thank Jesus enough! Nothing in this world will fill your soul, nothing in this world will save you, just Jesus! So remember not to worry, not to be anxious, have no fear, find what fills your soul and be a light! Not always easy to do, but we have a choice and some days I struggle and don't always get this right! Thank you for God's promises and the way He reminds me! Through His Word, people He has place in my life, a sunset/sunrise, a devotion, book or quote. All good things point back to HIM!

Weekly Encouragement:
Bible Verse that stood out to me this week:
Matthew 10:26 So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.

 "In our awakening, we see that God has been doing things we did not look for all along." Come, Lord Jesus 

All things don’t work out. I need to remind us of this, not to make us pessimistic about our life, but to remember God’s promise that if we love God and follow Him, our life works together – all the good, all the bad, all the hard, all the disappointing – and it is truly the best life, still and always because life doesn’t depend on one just thing — even a big thing — to make it good. 
We consider our homeschooling part Classical and part Charlotte Mason, this article so inspiring! 
"Perhaps the experience of seeing our finitude in the face of boundless knowledge is a process which leads us to the greater goal of wisdom." 
Character building happens in the midst of life, a life of vitality and growing – which is education. 
My railroad friends will relate to this! Love her story; finding blessings and Jesus through it!
 Pics of the week:
At soccer field, my little bookworm!
Saturday soccer game! Whoohoo little man!!

Abigail and her Girls In Action group, raising money at their Souper Supper!
Socks has grown, we rescued him behind an ice machine at about 4 months!
Happy Halloween mail!!
Checking out the neighbors cows on our walk, the cows probably think we are a crazy bunch, but I am OK with that!
Enjoying a beautiful fall evening, fresh country air, autumn breeze, changing leaves, and walking with these two blessings!
Well, hello there Socks, peaking through the window!
Ninja boy!
Lego creation!
Enjoyed a beautiful sunrise. Thanking the Lord for His love and mercy, reminder of HIS light overcoming the darkness of this world!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Humble Roots review

If you ever want to learn more about what being humble is and grow in humility this is a must read book. If you are among the 75 Americans that worry or feel stress, then this is a book for you to read. If you struggle with restlessness or feeling you need to do it all, then this is a must read! Humble Roots~How Humility Grounds and Nourishes Your Soul by Hannah Anderson

Hannah writes about how being humble gives us rest! When we understand what living in true humbleness looks like, you will breathe a deep breath of fresh air, that is what this book is about! Trusting God, relying on Him fully, is what being humble is. "Humility is not a commodity. It is not something you can achieve. It is not something you earn or accomplish. Being humble is something you either are or you aren't." Most of our stress comes from being driven by fear, punishment, judgment or manipulation. Instead we need to be motivated by goodness, beauty, and truth. Where do we get that, through Jesus, trusting God. Knowing that all is a gift, that we came into this world with nothing. To be faithful and grateful. Walk humbly with God. "Humility frees us to flourish as the human beings we were made to be: to celebrate the goodness of our physical bodies, to embrace the complexity of our emotions, and to own our unique gifts without guilt or feeling like an imposter."

This book brought much nourishment to my soul as the author shared stories of living in Appalachian and weaved in truths of God Words with the process of growing, weeding, vines, grapes and wine, growing tomatoes, pure honey process, wild-berries, milkweed, etc...

Every chapter started out with a beautiful illustration of a plant. Throughout the book are quotes from other writers and Bible verses.

From Moody Publishers: Feeling worn thin? Come find rest.
The Blue Ridge Parkway meanders through miles of rolling Virginia mountains. It’s a route made famous by natural beauty and the simple rhythms of rural life.
And it’s in this setting that Hannah Anderson began her exploration of what it means to pursue a life of peace and humility. Fighting back her own sense of restlessness and anxiety, she finds herself immersed in the world outside, discovering a classroom full of forsythia, milkweed, and a failed herb garden. Lessons about soil preparation, sour mulch, and grapevine blights reveal the truth about our dependence on God, finding rest, and fighting discontentment.
Humble Roots is part theology of incarnation and part stroll through the fields and forest. Anchored in the teaching of Jesus, Anderson explores how cultivating humility—not scheduling, strict boundaries, or increased productivity—leads to peace.  “Come unto me, all who labor and are heavy laden,” Jesus invites us, “and you will find rest for your souls.”
So come. Learn humility from the lilies of the field and from the One who is humility Himself. Remember who you are and Who you are not, and rediscover the rest that comes from belonging to Him.

 “Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Moody Publishers . 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.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Say & Pray Devotions book review with give-away!!

My kids really enjoy this book! Abigail said, "I liked the Bible verses in it. It is a lovely book!" Aidan said, "The book is awesome!" What I like about this book: it is the beautiful colors and illustrations through the entire book, it is durable book, my children are able to read it together, the message throughout the book with short prayers and Bible scripture about God's world is encouraging, and the labels of the items on the pages throughout the book, so my children can learn the word by seeing it which makes it educational.

I have one book give-away!!! Any readers are welcome to enter into a drawing to win this book. Be sure to like post or leave a comment no later than, Monday October 31, 2016.

From our awesome promotions company FlyBy:


Bestselling children’s author Diane Stortz has sold nearly 300,000 books—Bible storybooks, devotionals for children, and more. This brand-new title, Say & Pray Devotions, is the perfect beginner devotional for little ones.
Parents who already know and love the Say & Pray Bible will love Say & Pray Devotions as it helps their youngsters continue to engage their faith in a personal way. Featuring the same fun style of artwork and the educational elements as Say & Pray Bible, this devotional for little ones will teach the basics of identification and comprehension while sharing biblical principles for life. Each devotion offers a topical message to help little ones learn and follow biblical principles.




“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, October 14, 2016

Weekly encouragement and snapshots, and growing roots!

We are have officially been Tennesseans now for a whole year! My husband and I have not lived in many places together for more then a couple years at most. I think for now it is safe to say we are putting roots down here in Tennessee (my hope). I love to have a place to have roots for our family together, sometimes I feel like my life with my husband has been almost like a nomad, except we have always had a place to live, a roof over our heads. I share this because the kids and I had a conversation the other day about how many places we have lived, it is crazy to think about it. Abigail has lived in three different states already, 4 different towns, with 6 different addresses. Aidan just a little bit less. They have only been on earth for 8 years or less. For me I have moved 10 times in 13 years with the hubby.
My deep roots are in Minnesota where I was born and raised, but life for me the last 13 years has been about moving. I have been blessed and loved the many people I have met, new friendships, how I have grown, been challenged, but most importantly how my faith has deepened and my trust in the Lord has grown because of this. God will use all kinds of different situations to get us to notice, to get our attention, why because HE loves us and sometimes that love of HIS is hard to understand, because of our struggles, our sin, and not being perfect. But thankfully because of God and His great love for us, He made a way for us. So I hope that you are noticing Him and if not, I encourage you to just stop long enough in this world that pulls at us, to open your heart and mind to Him, to His will, because it is what brings me peace in this world.
From Let Your Light Shine Bible study

Weekly encouragement:
Bible verse:
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. Philippians 4:8 MSG

Quote: "Our eyes are the window to our whole body, what we see has a lasting effect." 

Because small change does add up. And while I’m not in a radical life changes season, I am in a small victories season. Small victories matter. 
"Sit down with your children and listen to them. Eat with them. Hug them. Teach them to tend a garden, placing your hands in the wounded yet life-giving earth. Stop doubting and believe. Look your daughter in the eye and tell her she is more beautiful than she could possibly imagine. Muster the courage to show up at church on Sunday. Make your home lovely. Commit to the slow work of shaping the world around you so that it looks like your best guess at what the Kingdom looks like." 
Every day, every minute, I have to remind myself that this humble work of loving, nurturing, learning, teaching, home-making, celebrating is my calling. 
I’m not promoting a product as much as I am supporting someone whose voice I believe in. I’m promoting my friend. This means sometimes I promote things that may not perfectly fit my preferences. Or material for which I may not be the target audience. I give my support because I know the artists (or know about them) and personally believe in and want to support their work. I want them to thrive and grow as artists. 

Be sure to check out my review of this beautiful inspiring devotional
Weekly snapshots:

This girl won a cake at the Hoof Beat for Hope cakewalk!
Abigail and I enjoying a beautiful sunset while we watch little bro practice soccer!
Chilly morning play, love the bare-feet with hat look!
A much needed afternoon coffee break, my view!
Peter-cat has the life!
Beautiful fall sunshine day, love reminder of HIS light shines!
Perfect way to end a day with family!
Love these cuties!
Marshmallow roster, love him!
The kids made out with a pile of books from our homeschool read-a-thon challenge! Thank you to all that sponsored!
This is my fav road we drive down when heading to town. Even more spectacular in the fall!
Visiting the neighbors on a walk! One of God's beautiful creatures!
Little fall on the front porch!