Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It's Moving Day!

It was only a few short months ago when our family physically moved across the state of South Dakota. Today I am moving again, this time it is my blog that is moving.

I am excited to transition to this new platform with a new design and all new category pages. The old Girlfriends Get Real content will all be located in the new Faith Page. In addition I am adding Family, Food, @Home, Kids and the Bookshelf.

If you would like to check out my new site, you can find it at

Monday, September 13, 2010

Over One Hundred Gifts

I have only been keeping my gratitude journal for a few short months and I am already over 100 this week. Isn't it amazing how blessed we feel when we slow our lives down enough to notice all of the little things. God leaves His fingerprints everywhere in our lives. Stop, look around, He is there.

#101 Grandma time for Nadia. It is so fun to see her everyday ask "Can we go to Grandma's House?"

#102 Having coffee with my sister at school when I substitute teach.

#103 Spending the day at an auction with my sister. Been so long since we spent quality time like that together.

#104 My beautiful 10 year old Birthday girl.

#105 Watching "Letters to God" again and crying just as hard the second time.

#106 Sand Paper and Paint turn $5 trash into family treasure.

#107 Daughters that take care of mommy when daddy is gone and mommy is too sick to take care of them.

#108 Grandparent's Day (Mine are all gone, but my girls sure do have special ones :-)

#109 My Daddy's Homemade French Fries. Yummy!

#110 A husband that knows how to wash clothes and actually does, often.

holy experience

Friday, September 10, 2010

For Time and Eternity

I was very intrigued when I first read the back of Allison Pittman's new book For Time and Eternity. I found in the first few chapters that I was emotionally invested to the main character Camilla. My mind was yelling at her to not leave her home. As she was becoming enthralled by her new love and believing lies.

My heart was hurting for the life that she was leading. I was aching for her to learn the truth of her childhood. This book gave me insight to the Mormon religion. This is the first book that I have read by Allison Pittman and I look forward to her next book in her new Sister Wife Series.

Here is more info on the book:
When Camilla Deardon hears their songs coming on a breeze, they sound just like the songs in her own church. This is all she knows of the Mormons camping near her family's farm. Mama and Papa warned her to stay away, but she doesn't understand their fear, especially after meeting a young Mormon man named Nathan Fox. So handsome. So charming. His eyes hold the very image of this Zion he talks about, and his step seems a promise to take her there.

Though Camilla knows she should obey her parents, she can't refuse her heart. But Nathan's promises can never prepare her for what she will face in Utah. She's been willing to share her husband's faith, but can she share her marriage with another woman?

About the Author:
Allison Pittman is the author of Stealing Home, the Crossroads of Grace series, and her nonfiction debut, Saturdays With Stella. A former high-school English teacher, she serves as director of the theater arts group at her church. She is also the co-president of a dynamic Christian writers group in the San Antonio, Texas area, where she makes her home with her husband and their three boys.

Would you like to learn more about Alison or about her next project? You can visit her website at:

Thank you Glass Road PR for the opportunity to review this book.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ten Years Ago Today

Ten years ago today I became a Mother.

I was a young mom without a clue. I spent hours holding her because I didn't know any better. We walked to the library almost everyday for the first four months of her life. Then I would rock her in my arms while I read. Now she reads to me.

When she was born we didn't ever go to church. Last night she recited all of the books of the Bible to me and then explained why she thought Jesus came to earth for the sick and not for the healthy.

A lot has changed in ten years. Praise God that He wasn't finished with me the day I became a mother. I thank God that He still isn't finished with me.

I pray everyday that she will know to teach her children about Jesus from the day she becomes a mother, not years later. I pray that she already understands how much God loves her.

Happy Birthday Taylor. What a blessing you are to me.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Family Bible Time

Four of us grabbed our Bibles and headed to Taylor's room. Each of us found our way to the book of Mark. We went around the room and each read from Chapter 1.

We studied. We shared. We learned.

Taylor led us to two other scriptures that she wanted to share with us. Chad and I looked at each other in amazement. We were not just the ones doing the teaching. We were all learning together.

We each picked out one verse to write down in our Scripture Journals. We each shared why we picked the verse that we did. Madelyn our little prayer warrior chose the verse on Jesus healing the sick. Taylor chose a verse about Jesus baptizing us with the Holy Spirit. Then she proceeded to explain that this verse is talking about salvation.

We read exactly the same passage, but it spoke to each one of us differently.

My heart is full of joy tonight. We have been wondering if the girls are starting to develop their own faith. I think that this time together as a family answered that question.

Madelyn asked, "Can we do this again tomorrow?"

Monday, September 6, 2010

Friendships are Golden

I have a song stuck in my head from one of my daughter's Pooh books,
"Make New Friends, but Keep the Old. One is Silver and the Other Gold."

Four years ago my husband's career took us on a new adventure. We were excited and scared out of our minds.

We were moving farther away from family. We were moving to a place that we didn't really desire to move to. We were moving to a place that we knew no one.

Before we made the move we had a list of "must haves". Things that had to fall into place or we were not going to go. Of course, it seemed like none of those things worked out according to our plans. However, the move just felt right, we felt like God really wanted us to go.

It did not take long after the move for us to see God's hand at work. He provided us with amazing friends. He opened our eyes to the beauty of this new place. Our hearts were touched forever by this stop on our journey of life.

Three months ago we moved again. Over the past year we felt like it was time for us to go. Our hearts were heavy for our families. We decided that it was time to move home. We were very excited about this next step on our journey.

The move has been positive for all of us. We have made more memories with our families in three months than we had made in the last four years.

But a piece of us is missing. When we made that move four years ago, God provided us with wonderful friends. Friends that we laughed with and cried with. Friends that shared every part of our lives with us for four years. Friends that loved us unconditionally. Friends that became family.

This weekend we were able to spend time with some of these friends. It was so hard to leave them on Sunday.

On our trip home we started to talk about how God has provided for us over the past few years. At a time that we felt so alone, God provided us with friends that will forever hold a very special place in our hearts.

Today I am unwrapping the amazing gift of friendship. God knows what we need exactly when we need it. He provides for us always. We just have to have our eyes open enough to see the amazing gifts that He places before us.

What gifts are you unwrapping today? Join Emily at Chatting At the Sky and share your gifts.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Last week was a week of discovering and a week of listening. Sometimes you just need to force yourself to slow down and breathe in life. I am celebrating more blessings this week with the Gratitude Community over at A Holy Experience. It has been an amazing experience for me to really slow down enough to notice God in every moment.

holy experience

#92 Spending a week listening to Him.

#93 A weekend road trip with my family.

#94 Dressing up with my girls.

#95 Celebrating a new marriage with a beautiful couple.

#96 Smiles and Hugs from friends that we miss dearly.

#97 Surviving my first day of Substitute Teaching

#98 Arriving home after a weekend away.

#99 Labor Day Holiday with Daddy home from work all day.

#100 Cool Days that make me want to pull out my jeans and sweatshirts.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Berenstain Bears and the Gift of Courage

Whenever I am looking for a book to teach something to my kids I always know that I can find one that is perfect from Stan and Jan Berenstain. I was not disappointed when I received a copy of The Berenstain Bears and the Gift of Courage.

This book is coming at the perfect time as my girls head back to school for another year. The book addresses bullying, which unfortunately can become a big problem in any school. It focuses on the story of David and Goliath. It is a wonderful example of how even the smallest of us can be brave with God's help.

This book would be a great addition to your family library. My girls loved it and it will be one we will read over and over again. Check out the book below.

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

The Berenstain Bears and the Gift of Courage

Zonderkidz (April 9, 2010)

***Special thanks to Krista Ocier of Zondervan for sending me a review copy.***


Stan and Jan Berenstain introduced the first Berenstain Bear books in 1962. Mike Berenstain grew up watching his parents work together to write about and draw these lovable bears. Eventually he started drawing and writing about them too. Mike is married to Andrea, and they have three children. They live in Pennsylvania, in an area that looks a lot like Bear Country.

Visit the authors' website.

Product Details:

List Price: $3.99
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Zonderkidz (April 9, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310712564
ISBN-13: 978-0310712565


Monday, August 30, 2010

Words of Wisdom from the Simple Life

As I spent time offline today I finally took the time to finish reading through Suzanne Woods Fisher's new book Amish Proverbs - Words of Wisdom from the Simple Life.

I had taken it out on a different occasion but I was in a hurry and I knew this was a book that needed time. It needed me to be able to sit and savor each word and every picture.

I think that I was meant to pick up this book today. I was drawn to Psalm 37:7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Exactly the direction that I feel God is leading me.

This book is full of Words of Wisdom dealing with: Time, Money, Faith, Children & Family, In Word & Deed, Work Ethic, Handling Adversity, Education, Community, Character and Just for Fun.

About Amish Proverbs: Simplify your life with Amish wisdom

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. Find out more about Suzanne at

You can buy a copy of the book here!

This book is meant to sit out and be looked at often. I can take so much out of this book. It is full of life lessons.

This is an absolutely beautiful book and I am so excited that I have a copy to share with one of you.

Just leave a comment about one of your favorite proverbs for a chance to win. I will notify the winner on Tuesday, September 7th. Check out another contest below. Hurry and enter to win You only have until the end of Tuesday to enter for a chance to win!

Suzanne's Amish Proverbs just hit the shelves. To celebrate she's giving away a KINDLE and throwing a party! Let the fun begin. See below for info and links.

Find out more about the book, Suzanne and the blog tour here.
Enter Suzanne Woods Fisher's Simple Wisdom KINDLE Giveaway!

Simple Wisdom 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.

Sweet Kindle Giveaway 
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
Be sure to check out the blog tour here or purchase a copy of Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom from the Simple Life!

A Time to Listen

It was a long week and I am tired. There was a whole lot of whining and crying going on around here and I think that mama whined and cried the loudest.

Nothing earth shattering happened, I just think that a lot of emotions started to overwhelm me and I broke.

I am incredibly thankful for all of the blessings that have been showered upon us this year. This move has brought me an incredible amount of peace. I just think that now that everything is settling in, a lot of the emotions that had not surfaced for months all came at once.

Today I was spending my quiet time working on my Bible study for the week and I read from Ecclesiastes 5:1-2:

"Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.

Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few."

I felt like these words were jumping off the page at me. I am praying for God's guidance and wisdom. But I realized today that I am not being quiet enough to hear His voice.

So this week my time online will be limited. My girls need me and I need my girls. My husband needs me and I need my husband. But most of all, I need God. I need to hear His voice. I know that He wants nothing more than to be heard, but I need to shut my own mouth long enough to hear Him.

So I am sharing the many things that I am thankful for from this past week, and then I am going to focus on Him.

holy experience

#82 My Bike and nice enough days to leave my car in the garage and get some exercise.

#83 Getting back to the gym and being sore enough to know that it has been way too long since I have been there.

#84 The friendships that my girls have found so quickly.

#85 A brave girl that sheds no tears and does so much better than her mama with needles.

#86 A kind nurse and doctor that take care of a not so brave girl when she starts to scream before they even touch her.

#87 Old treasures found to make our new house our home.

#88 Reading the same book over and over and over to a little girl that gets delight over it every time it is read.

#89 A prayer journal that is filling up as I am making the time to fill it.

#90 A table full of dirty dishes because it means we are eating meals together as a family.

#91 Knowing when it is time to quit talking and listen no matter how hard it is and no matter how long it takes.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Vanishing Act

I had the opportunity to read the book Vanishing Act by Liz Johnson this summer and I am so glad that I did. This suspense filled romance kept me intrigued until I read that last page.

The story is one that will keep you guessing and I always love a good romance, too. Just when you think you know who is after the main character Nora, there is a twist in the story that leaves you unsure until the end.

Here is a little more about the book:
Eighteen months ago, Nora James watched as her father was shot in an alley-and then she fl ed. She changed her name, her appearance and her job, hoping to keep her father’s shooter at bay. For months, it worked…but now her luck has run out. A ruthless assassin is on her trail, and soon Nora, now known as Danielle, will be found. But this time, she has FBI agent Nate Andersen by her side-right? The handsome agent would give his life to protect Danielle, but he’s wary of giving his heart…until a deadly confrontation leaves him with both on the line.

About the Author:
Liz Johnson grew up reading Christian fiction, and always dreamed of being part of the publishing industry. After graduating from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff with a degree in public relations, she set out to fulfill her dream. In 2006 she got her wish when she accepted a publicity position at a major trade book publisher. While working as a publicist in the industry, she decided to pursue her other dream-becoming an author. Along the way to having her novel published, she completed the Christian Writers Guild apprentice course and wrote articles for several magazines.
Liz makes her home in Nashville, TN, where she enjoys theater, exploring the local music scene, and making frequent trips to Arizona to dote on her two nephews and three nieces. She loves stories of true love with happy endings. Keep up with Liz's adventures in writing at

Thank you Liz for sending me a copy of this book to read and review!

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Forbidden Highway

When I was a little girl there was one road that we were not allowed to cross. A highway ran through the middle of the town and that was our boundary. We were not to allowed to venture to the other side no matter what.

One time when I was in about fourth grade my friend and I decided it was worth taking the chance to cross it. We went to the stoplight (at least we knew enough to cross where we could go safely, right mom?!) Well, we pulled up to the corner and who pulls up to that exact same corner in the car. . .my mother.

I don't think my friend and I had ever rode bike as fast as we did home from that corner that day. Technically we hadn't crossed the road yet when we saw them, but we had every intention of doing so and needless to say we were in trouble.

I never did like to cross that highway, even as I got older, I think they had pounded the rule into my head enough that from then on I listened.

Now that I am back in my home town, I will teach my own girls that, that is the forbidden highway and they are not allowed to cross it, either.

A couple of days ago I was going to pick my daughter up from preschool. I decided that it was a beautiful day so I would hook up the bike trailer to my bike and head to her school. I was over at my parent's house visiting with my mom and dad before I left for the school. Both of them at different times said to me, "You be careful crossing the highway."

Boy, did that take me back to that day when I tried to disobey them. What made it even more funny is that later that night my mom said to me, "How was it crossing the highway?"

I am so glad that I had parent's that set boundaries for me when I was a child and they are still watching out for me today.

As I was telling my husband this story we both had a good laugh. But then we started to talk about the boundaries that God has for us. These boundaries are there because He loves us.

However, just like I did that summer day, we try to cross those lines, but He is sitting at that corner waiting for us, and protecting us.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Licensed for Trouble

I haven't had a lot of time to read this summer and my list of "to read" books keeps growing. There are a few authors that I really love and Susan May Warren is one of them.

If you still get to head to the beach, Susan May Warren's PJ Sugar Series would be some great options for you.

Her newest release is Licensed for Trouble, the third installment in the PJ Sugar series. Make sure you check out the awesome contest below to win an awesome Kindle prize package.

You will love the character of PJ Sugar. This book is filled with suspense, without some of the details that leave your feeling a little queasy. If you love a fun, light-hearted mystery, you will love these books. You will not be disappointed in book three. These books keep getting better. You will get hooked in the first chapter and you will not want to put it down.

Here is a little about the book:

PJ Sugar receives shocking news that she's inherited the Kellogg family mansion. Though she has no idea why, the timing is perfect-PJ has clearly worn out her welcome at her sister's house. Unfortunately, the mansion is in shambles, and PJ is short on cash. Rescue comes in the form of Max Smith, a mysterious handyman willing to trade his services for PJ's investigative skills. But PJ already has a full docket with cramming for her PI license and nurturing a growing romance with her boss, Jeremy Kane. Can she take on Max's case without dropping the ball?

Find out more about book one, Nothing But Trouble and book two, Double Trouble.

About Susan May Warren: Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of twenty-four novels with Tyndale, Barbour and Steeple Hill. A four-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Book of the Year.

Susan's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder of, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.

Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!) A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at:

Enter PJ Sugar's "Sweet" Giveaway

Enter PJ Sugar's

Licensed for Trouble, Susan's brand new PJ Sugar novel, is in stores now! To celebrate the release, we’re giving away a Kindle!! You can enter using Twitter, Facebook, or e-mail using the icons below.
One Grand Prize winner will receive a A SWEET Kindle prize package that includes:

  • A brand new Kindle (Free 3G, 6”, Latest Generation)

  • The entire PJ Sugar series by Susan May Warren

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 2nd.

Be sure to check out the blog tour here or purchase a copy of Licensed for Trouble here!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Think Think Think

Since the girls have started back to school I have been spending a lot of time in thinking mode. Reflecting on how our family spends time together.

This week I started to read aloud to them The Classic Winnie-the-Pooh book. At first the older girls looked at me a little funny. I explained to them that their little sister is always following along and trying to be bigger than she is. This is one way that they can participate is something that is just right for her.

With a couple of weekends away as a family we have had a lot of time to really focus on each other. It was long overdue with the stress of the move and the craziness of summer. We played board games, played ball games and visited around the fire.

They have only been back in school for five days and I can already see how our family time could easily be stolen away by after school time in front of the tv, activities and their friends. I am focusing on organizing this time so that our family time remains.

It seems that for some families, family time doesn't exist anymore. I am not willing to let that happen in our home.

What are you doing to hold on to your family time? What is your favorite thing to do as a family?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Women in Jesus' Life

Over the last several weeks I have had the opportunity to work through a brand new study by Mindy Ferguson titled The Women in Jesus' Life.

This six-week study is designed to help you walk with the women that encountered Jesus during His life and ministry. The women in this study walked side by side with Jesus and witnessed our Savior at work.

Each week you will study five lessons on each of the women in the study. The questions will challenge you to dig deeper into the Word and to reflect on your life. At the end of every lesson is a Heart Question. I encourage you to really take your time with this question. It may help to read the question and contemplate it before answering it.

This would be a great tool for a Bible Study group. It takes you on a journey through the lives of many women. I learned so much as I worked through the study. I read about women that I had never thought much about when reading about them in the past.

If you are looking for a study that focuses on scripture, this is a great study tool. Thank you Mindy for sending me a copy for review. Make sure you visit Gather Inspirit on Wednesday for a chance to win a copy of the book.

About the Author:
In a world that urges us to live for ourselves, Mindy Ferguson encourages women to live for Christ. She founded Fruitful Word Ministries in April 2003 and is passionate about encouraging women of all denominations to apply and abide in God's transforming Word.
Mindy stumbled her way into the arms of Christ at the age of twenty-six. She speaks nationally at women's events and at retreats as one who understands the tug of worldly passions and the emptiness of selfish ambition. Her writings have appeared in Christianity Today's, the P31 Woman magazine, Just Between Us magazine, Chicken Soup for the Mother of Preschooler's Soul, and the One Year Life Verse Devotional.
Mindy is the author of Walking with God: From Slavery to Freedom; Living the Promised Life, Hugs Bible Reflections for Women, and The Women in Jesus’ Life.
Mindy is also the Women’s Ministry Director for her home church in Cypress, Texas where she lives with her husband of twenty-three years. Their son is currently attending college and their daughter is a junior in high school.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Fog Is Lifted

A fog greeted us as we woke up on Grandpa's Farm Saturday morning. The corn was hidden from our view. The sheds were peaking out from above the fog.

When the fog lifted I started to see beauty all around me. In the tall green grass and the weathered sheds. This old farm has seen many years and many generations.

My girls do not see buildings that need to be painted or swing sets that need to be replaced. Instead they see paths to explore and homes for kittens.

An old playground that brings laughter.

Balance Beams of Broken Wood.

A place where their daddy dreamed and now they can dream, too.

I am so thankful that when the fog lifted, my eyes were open to the beauty of the farm. Next time we visit many of the buildings will be painted and the old wood cleared away. Although a fresh coat of paint will bring newness to the view, the memories of old will always remain.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

I am unwrapping this gift with Emily at Chatting at the Sky for Tuesdays Unwrapped. Have you opened your eyes to discover any gifts lately?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Thankful for New Beginnings

Last week was a week filled with first moments and memories. New backpacks, new schools, and new friends. I am so thankful that the week went so well. I am so thankful that no one had to be convinced to go back another day. God is so good.

holy experience

#72 Surviving a Back to School Bash with 14 girls.

#73 A beautiful day so that 14 little girls could be outside instead of running crazy in my house.

#74 A mom and dad that joined into the craziness and helped keep 14 girls busy and well fed.

#75 Wonderful first day of school for all three girls.

#76 After school snacks shared with Grandma and Aunt Sara.

#77 Spending over an hour in the library with little one.

#78 Grandpa being 2 blocks away for movie money when mom's billfold is empty.

#79 Sharing fresh baked chocolate chip cookies with cousins and neighbors.

#80 Unexpected date night when even the little one goes to the movie.

#81 Pretend camping at Grandma and Grandpa's farm.

#82 Grandma's Dress Up Clothes.

#83 Reading Bringing Up Girls with my husband and trying to figure out how we are going to do it together.

#84 Reading about another adventure with Christopher Robin and Winnie-the-Pooh to the girls while little one drifts to sleep.

#85 Little one staying in her own bed until morning.

#86 Daily time in prayer.

#87 Daily reading of a Psalm and Proverb.

#88 Unexpected text messages from a friend many miles away, letting me know she is praying for me.

#89 Surprise visits from old friends.

I read a portion of Psalm 19 to my oldest daughter tonight before bed.

The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.

The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.

The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever.
The ordinances of the LORD are sure
and altogether righteous.

They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the comb.

She said some of the words were hard for her to understand. I read just the bolded words to her one more time. She said, "Now I understand." I am so thankful that we have the Word to help us understand.

What are you thankful for today?

I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you. Genesis 28:15

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Capturing Summer

This week I spent some time uploading all of my pictures from the summer to Shutterfly. It was long overdue and I know that Christmas present creation is right around the corner. (I know it is sad, but true)

This summer I captured over 1500 memories on my camera. Moments when my kids were acting silly, and sometimes naughty. Times that everyone was giggling and a few with tears.

It is so much fun to look through all of the pictures and recall all of the fun that we had this summer. These pictures will be made into prints for scrapbooking, calendars for 2011, photo books for coffee tables and Christmas cards.

Every winter when the snow starts to fly I am busy at my computer on Shutterfly creating presents that mean more to the recipient than any other gift I could give.

Right now I am working on a photo book of our Family Trip to Orlando and Birthday Invitations to my daughter's 10th Birthday.

I am working on getting a new Nikon camera and I can't wait to see what I can create when I get it. For now I will get busy creating with the pictures I already have.

Did you take a lot of pictures this summer. How do you display the pictures that you take? Do you use Shutterfly?

Leave a comment. Do you want to win 40 free Stationary Cards from Shutterfly? Leave a comment and you will be entered for a chance to win. This giveaway will end on Friday, August 27, 2010 at midnight. I will announce the winners on Monday, August 30th.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Prayer Calendar

I was inspired earlier this week by a post over at Scripture Dig to create a prayer calendar. I have been working on mine all week. Thanks to my friend Teri Lynne I used her prayer calendar as my guide and added a few things that were on my heart and I was ready to go.

After I had my list complete, I grabbed a new DaySpring notebook, my Bible, a David Nevue Piano CD and I was ready to focus on prayer.

I wanted to share my calendar with you today. Teri Lynne suggests using Stormie Omatian Power of a Praying. . . books for the topics of your children, yourself and your spouse. I have these books and I think it would really help me as a guide.

Daily Prayer: My husband and my girls. Prayers for healing and any other urgent prayer concerns.

Sunday - The Church
Monday - My family consisting of my parents, siblings and spouses and nieces and nephews.
Tuesday - My husband's family
Wednesday - Our Community and Country
Thursday - Missions
Friday - The Lost
Saturday - Our friends

Teri Lynne suggests picking one topic that you focus on for an entire month. Here is my plan.
January - Direction in my life and in my ministry focus
February - Friendships
March - Focused prayer on the Names of God
April - My marriage and our family direction (It is my anniversary month)
May - Summer (Our plans, our goals)
June - My husband (I will use the Power of the Praying Wife book)
July - Myself (It is my Birthday Month. I will use the Power of a Praying Woman book)
August - Back to School
September - Taylor (Her birthday month. I will use the Power of a Praying Parent book for each of my daughters birthday months, but also use a journal to get really specific about the prayers for each child)
October - Madelyn (Her birthday month)
November - The Holiday Season (our family plans, the devotion focus we will have through the season)
December - Nadia (Her birthday month)

Each day I will also be spending prayer time with a Psalm and a Proverb. I may also incorporate in one chapter each day of the book Power of Praying Through the Bible.

Do you have a focused prayer guide that you use daily? I would love to hear about how you focus your prayer time daily.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Walking with Him

My house is empty. It is just me with the windows open feeling the fresh air and listening to the crickets. It seems so odd in the middle of the afternoon. The girls are all away at their first day of school.

I turned on some soft music and grabbed my Bible. I am still journeying through Genesis. I read through the lineage of Adam and moved to the flood.

A story I have read so many times. Probably one of the first Bible stories I learned. As a child I focused on the animals entering the ark two by two. As I read this story today my heart stops at Genesis 6:6.

"The Lord was grieved that he had made man of the earth,
and his heart was filled with pain."

". . .his heart was filled with pain." I think of times in my life that my heart was filled with pain. Times that I thought my life was going to fall apart. Times when I didn't know what it meant to rely on Him. Did I grieve the Lord? Did my story fill the Lord's heart with pain?

It goes on in Genesis 6 to say that Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. It doesn't say that Noah lived a perfect life. It does say he lived a righteous life and that he walked with God.

God doesn't expect us to be perfect. He knows that is not possible for us. He wants us to love Him and obey Him.

Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with
all your soul and with all your mind." Matthew 22:37

We have a choice every day. We can wake up and choose sin and cause grief and pain to the one who created us. Or we can wake up and choose to love Him and walk with Him. He is always here. Always. Waiting for us.

Will you join me and walk with Him?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Back to School Bash

Today is the first day of school!

The girls all had a hard time going to sleep last night thinking about going to a new school with new kids.

My middle daughter couldn't sleep because she doesn't know any kids in her class and she was afraid she will get lost.

My little one thinks that she gets to get up and get dressed and head to school. Unfortunately, she doesn't go to school until after lunch. :-) It could be a long morning.

Please say a prayer for my girls today.

I have more pictures to share about their Back to School Bash, but for now I wanted to share with you their "School Pictures" from the party.

Thanks Mom for helping me get the party organized and for helping me pull it off!

Thanks Dad for cooking the girls supper. They loved your homemade pizza!

It is hard to believe that Taylor's Birthday is only 4 weeks away. She is thinking Hollywood Stars. . . For now I can't even think about it, I am still exhausted from Tuesday.