Wednesday, February 29, 2012

{Leap Day Giveaway + Review} God Gave Us Love

Hey all and Happy Leap Day! The month of L-O-V-E is coming to it's end. I can't think of a better way to end it than with a giveaway. This is one that's close to my heart.

I was given a chance to review the book God Gave Us Love by Lisa Tawn Bergren. If you remember a while back I reviewed one of her books. I was pretty disappointed with it. I was hoping this book would redeem my love for her books and the illustrations. I have to say, that I think it did.

God Gave Us Love has been the perfect book to read to my son right now. He getting to the age where he is recognizing when other kids are mean and he tells me he doesn't like them. This book has become the perfect tool to use with him. We've been told to love one another. I think that's a hard concept for little kids to get, let alone us adults. We don't have to like each other, but we've been called to love one another.

"I always like and love you, Grampa, " Little Cub said. "But why?"
"It's something deep within us, something I can't totally explain - only that God is love , so he created us to love. He ties us all together like the strings on our snowshoes, heart to heart."

I love that the book goes on to explain how love between Mamas and Papas is a special kind of love, given by God.  And that we don't always want to love, but choosing love is always right. But the best part is the explanation that God will always love us and that we can't do anything that will make him not love us.

Lisa Tawn Bergren did a great job of getting down to a child's level of thinking and explaining a topic that isn't always easy for parents to explain to their children.

Here's the best part....I've got an extra copy to give away to you guys!

 Let me know how you show others love and you'll be entered to win a copy. There's a chance for four extra entries if you "like" this blog post, share the post, tweet about it and rank my review. Giveaway end March 9th. Winner will be notified and announced on the 10th. If you don't see the box for the giveaway, click on read more.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. 

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Goofing Around

So February pretty much turned into a month of fun for my family. I know it's supposed to be a month where you're showing your family and friends just how much you love and care for them, but I think a little fun goes in hand with that. So this month we put on our love glasses and spread the love with new friends and family.


One of the primary ways my little man likes to receive love is through play. He likes to goof around a lot. To the point that in one of our many car ride conversations on the way home from preschool went like this.
      Me: How was school today buddy?
      Little Man: I like to make my class laugh. (more a statement of fact)
      Me: You do? How do you make them laugh?
      Little Man: I dance and make funny sounds and drive fast cars.

In a nutshell, I'm expecting many phone calls from the elementary school once he makes it there. He just loves to be the center of attention and make people laugh. So when I found these love glasses I knew it would be perfect.

 I was least I like to think. Any we spent the afternoon dancing, laughing, playing and eating more sweets than should humanly be allowed. Followed by an evening with friends and movies.

 Now...doesn't that sound better than roses and chocolates? I think so. Hope you all are have a great month and remember to keep it simple and "Love one another." 1 John 4:7

Monday, February 6, 2012

It's a boy!

This past weekend we made the trip down to visit family and await the delivery of a new niece or nephew. I'm so excited to announce that my sister-in-law, Carrie, and her husband John have welcomed a new baby boy!

Take a peek at my new nephew, Grant Oliver. Isn't he just the cutest....and he has the cutest little baby squeaks too. What makes this even more exciting is that he's got a big sister who is ready to be mommy's little helper.

So, I spent my weekend staring star-eyed at this precious little guy. 
And his cute little nose. 
And his cute little baby rolls. 
And smelling his head.
And looking into his cute little eyes.
And smelling his head. 

Okay, I'll stop. I can't promise I'll stop in the future.

You have to admit though....babies just smell sooooo good.

Okay, I'm really done now.

Friday, February 3, 2012

{Book Review + GIVEAWAY!} The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge

I'm always on the hunt for a good devotional. There's all kinds of them out there. Ones where they want you journaling your thoughts and prayers. Ones that you do together with your spouse, sister, child....small groups. I've tried them all. First of all, if you haven't figured it out from my previous post, that I'm not a good journaler, you'll know now. I plain stink at it. It's just not how I process things. I always promise to give them a shot, but ultimately never follow through with using them daily, weekly...or monthly for that matter.

So, when I open up The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge by Tony Dungy and Nathan Whitaker, I expected just these sorts of things. I expected them to ask me to do what's "uncommon" to me. In actuality, it's like most conventional devotionals. You have a small devotion for each day of the year with a small question or thought (uncommon key) to follow through on for the day. What I haven't gotten from previous devotions, I have gotten from this one. Thought provoking questions that have me put to action biblical teaching and personal convictions.

Not a football fan like I am? That's okay....seriously. Tony Dungy may talk about team dynamics or use sports analogies, but he gets down to the core issues and is easy to understand. Tony is someone I have admired for years for his bold faith. I think he's just as bold about it in this book.

What I'm finding and reminded of daily is God's timing of when I need to hear things.  It seems like each day I moved onto was written just for me. If you don't know me already, I've been put into this sort of holding place in my life right now. I think God is really trying to teach me and my little family patience. And patience isn't always the most fun place to be. I'm learning that I can't do it all, I've got to let Him be a part of it. So the verse that's always in my head is Jeremiah 29:11  

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
 Six days into this devotional, I was met with this same verse. Here's what this day's devotion had to say, "How would you live differently if you really believed that God had intentionally designed you to impact others? What steps of faith would you take if you knew He already planned them? What would you attempt if you were fully convinced He was backing you? Would you set out to accomplish big things in your community? would you walk into local schools with a sense of mission? What impossible problems would suddenly seem possible to deal with? The fact is that when you believe you were designed for a purpose, you will live with a purpose." This shook me to the core. How was I living my life? Was I truly living a live of purpose or taking steps of faith? Or was I too scared and lacking faith? Question after question began pouring out of me. I knew I seriously had some thinking to do, that was going to require a change in how I chose to live my life. That I was going to have to be "uncommon." All from a devotional that took me literally two minutes...maybe, to read.

To say that I would recommend this devotional is an understatement. It's one a few great ones I've seen out there. So, here's the exciting news! Tyndale House Publishers has been kind enough to give me one to giveaway to one lucky reader! Tell me what makes you "uncommon" and you just might be my lucky winner. Deadline to enter: February 12th. Winner will be announced on Valentine's Day.
If you don't see The Uncommon Giveaway box below, please click read more. |  
Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or ARC.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My list of excuses...

Distractions....distractions...distractions. That what I've going to blame for my massive blogging absence. That and the feeling like I've got nothing important to say. Although, I guess you don't have to only blog when you have something important to say. If that were the case I think I would only blog a few times a year. Are you getting my point yet? Excuses....excuses....excuses.

Not much has been going on in my little world. This week I'm a little more amped up than usual. I'm getting pretty anxious. My sister-in-law is expected to delivery my new niece or nephew. Pretty much everyone is counting on this baby being a boy. So it is going to come as one huge shocker if that baby comes out a girl. I can't wait to hold that baby regardless.

I'm excited to see the face of this little girl when she's finally a big sister. She's been asking to see that baby for months. She's going to be her baby brother or sister's little mommy, that's for sure.

So I keep thinking about sharing some of my party planning and decorating that I love so much, but completely forget about it until after. I may just have to do a post soon about the birthday party I threw for my little man's fourth birthday. It was Mario Kart themed. With a little help from Pinterest I succeeded in the party throwing department. That's exactly where I'm head after this ideas. Eeek! I'm so excited.

Have a wonder Wednesday. I'll be back soon with a new book review...and book giveaway!