Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
First of all, I attended a Selah concert with a very dear friend (THANK YOU to my hubby for keeping the kids at home!), and heard the most beautiful voices and music live. Their arrangements of old hymns were gorgeous, especially "It Is Well With My Soul," which my hubby sang at his grandmother's funeral last year. And they finished it all off with "You Raise Me Up" and "Amazing Grace." I was in tears several times throughout the concert, but we also had plenty of smiles watching Allan play the piano! You can tell he loves what he is doing!
The second blessing was getting to see a friend who I go all the way back to elementary school with! Jess and I hadn't seen each other in years, but have kept in touch through our blogs, Twitter and Facebook. Didn't even know she and her mom would be at the concert, so it was a beautiful surprise! So good to see you Jess!
Angie (wife of Todd from Selah) is a beautiful woman of God who has blogged her way through the heartbreaking loss of their baby girl Audrey. Bring the Rain has been a place of healing and inspiration for thousands of women and Angie was at the concert to speak about their experience. It was amazing to hear her share in person and cry along with her.
And cry we ALL did as they sang the song Selah wrote just for Audrey, along with a slideshow of the months before and hours after her birth - so powerful...
Angie claims she is not a gifted speaker, but trust me, she had a completely captive audience - crying, laughing (something about a deranged gopher...) and praising the Lord for His faithfulness and comfort - and for the little baby girl they are expecting later this year!
If you haven't read Audrey's story - or Angie's blog at all, for that matter - I strongly encourage you to head over there now to see God at work in this beautiful family.
Posted by Erin at 8:52 PM
Friday, March 26, 2010
Sara, who blogs over at Happy Brown House, is a kindred spirit.
A former kindergarten teacher, she decided to stay at home after having her son. As a creative outlet, and a way to earn some extra money while staying at home, Sara started her Etsy shop - Stitches by Sara. You will find her crafting away during naptime and after bedtime! Busy lady!
Wait til you see some of the CUTE stuff she makes...
And that's not all - key fobs, children's birthday shirts, tutus, monogrammed baby items, and more! All personalized gifts with a unique touch!
Did I mention she is hoping to go to Relevant as well? This is her way of earning the money to go!
In honor of Friday, the day of the week I most need some good coffee (Monday is a close second), Sara is giving away one of her adorable coffee cozies like the one she made for me...
I LOVE IT! Can't wait until I can go grab a cup of joe and use it!
How can you win your own? Leave a separate comment for any or all of the following...
-Follow Sara's blog
-Follow Sara on Twitter (@HappyBrownHouse)
-Follow me on Twitter (@homewiththeboys)
-Become a fan of Happy Brown House on Facebook
-Tweet OR post on Facebook - if tweeting, include the direct link to this post, @homewiththeboys & @HappyBrownHouse
-Write a blog post about it with linkbacks
And for three extra entries, make a purchase from shop :) The hard part will be deciding what NOT to buy! The more the better - get Sara to Relevant!
This giveaway will end Friday, April 2nd at 9:00 p.m. CDT, when the winner will be chosen by random.org.
Thank you to the lovely Sara for providing my beautiful cozy and this giveaway!
Thursday, March 25, 2010
And Megan wants to put together a special one just for you! You can go to her blog to check out her ideas, pick the fabric (all 180+ choices!!!) you like and let her know the monogram you want - and help her get to Relevant!
Since I know you're going to go buy one for yourself, why not win one for a friend?
Oh yes, Megan is giving away one of these personalized zippy bags to ONE OF YOU!
So it's time to get your entries in and here's how (separate comments please folks!):*Subscribe to Megan's blog - Half-Pint House
*Follow Megan on Twitter (@MeganDunham)
*Follow me on Twitter (@homewiththeboys)
*Tweet about this giveaway - please include the direct link to this post, @MeganDunham & @homewiththeboys OR Post about it on Facebook
*And for three extra entries, you can head on over to Half-Pint House and order a zippy bag!
This giveaway will be open until Thursday, April 1st at 9:00 p.m. at which time the winner will be chosen by random.org!
Thank you, thank you, thank you to Megan for providing me a zippy bag for this review!
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Monica is another one of the wonderful ladies joining me at Relevant and crafting her way there! I just love the name of her blog - The Homespun Heart - isn't that beautiful?!
Monica makes lovely "Names of Jesus" garlands for both Easter...
We already have our Easter one hanging above our front window and Jeremiah asks me daily to read it! Love that! I encourage you to head over to Monica's post to learn more about the care and thought that went into creating these.
Monica is giving one blessed reader one of her handmade Easter garlands, just like this one...
And just in time for Easter! How perfect!
So how do you enter? Any or all of the following ways...
*Subscribe to The Homespun Heart
*Follow my blog
*Follow me on Twitter
*Tweet about this giveaway - please include @homewiththeboys and the link to this giveaway - OR post about it on Facebook
At last count, Monica was only 34 garlands away from her goal - let's get her to Relevant! You can follow her progress and find out how to order here.
This giveaway is open until Wednesday, March 31st at 9:00 p.m. when the winner will be chosen by random.org. Please make sure there is a way to contact you if you are the winner!
Thank you so much to Monica for providing garlands for this review and giveaway!
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
And maybe it's because there isn't really a place for new bloggers to really feel supported and encouraged.
Or there wasn't - until now.
I am so excited to let you know about Gather Inspirit, a new site dedicated to Christian women bloggers - big and small. And I am so honored to be a part of the Gather Inspirit team!
Rather than rewrite everything this site is about, I want you to hear the words of the woman who started it all, Chele...
We are a group of nine ladies from various walks of life. We all are mothers, writers, bloggers, and encouragers seeking to expand our personal God-given ministries by reaching out through an incredible combined website. Our vision is simply to inspire, encourage and uplift all bloggers in their journey and in life. We believe that if you put the Lord first, all other things will fall in place. He will show us the way even in blogging.
Our foundational Scripture is “Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truths and teach me for you are God my savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” Psalms 25:4-5 (NIV)
I am so excited about the rest of the giveaways this week because they are each from ladies who are going to the Relevant Conference with me!
And each of these women is selling handmade goods to get herself there! I love handmade!
Today's beautiful giveaway is from a lovely lady - Cherie from Heart and Soul Reflections! We met through Twitter and are now both part of an amazing project that I will share about later today!!!
Anyway, I just fell in love with Cherie's pendant necklaces - made from washers!!!
How fun is that?!
Each one is unique and eye-catching...
Isn't that fun and funky?!
And Cherie is giving away this sweet red pendant necklace to one of you!
Here's how you can make it yours...
*Follow Cherie's blog publicly
*Become a fan of Heart and Soul Reflections on Facebook
*Follow Cherie on Twitter (@MySoulReflects)
*Follow me on Twitter (@homewiththeboys)
*Tweet about this giveaway - please mention @MySoulReflects and @homewiththeboys and include the link to this giveaway!
*Post about it on Facebook
And here is a special deal - if you order something from Cherie's Etsy shop (which you can find from her blog) during this giveaway, you can get 3 extra entries!
Let's get this girl to Relevant!!!
This giveaway will close Tuesday, March 30th at 9:00 p.m. CST. The winner will be chosen by random.org. You must leave a separate comment for each entry!
A huge thank you to Cherie for providing me a necklace to review and giveaway!
Monday, March 22, 2010
We are HUGE Veggie Tales fans around here, so when I heard about Phil Vischer's latest project with Tyndale House, I was definitely interested!
A few months ago, I was sent a preview DVD of this project and immediately, the whole family fell in love with "What's in the Bible?"
And that was just a few minutes of preview!
I, of course, jumped at the chance to review the first two DVDs.
"What's in the Bible?" is a project very near and dear to Vischer's heart - in fact, it has been ON his heart since he started Veggie Tales. His goal behind this DVD series is to take the time kids have in between church activities and fill it with humor, entertainment and Biblical knowledge. Great combination. For kids and parents.
I stuck the DVD in and my kids were instantly quiet and tuned in. And then they started singing along with the theme song. And laughing. LOTS of laughing. From me as well.
The interesting thing about this series is it is for kids but it presents a WEALTH of Biblical knowledge. Many things I didn't know that my almost four-year-old goes around reciting now! This series doesn't dumb anything down - just makes it fun and entertaining to learn.
And the music.
The music ROCKS. The kids walk around singing songs from it all the time. And how great is it to hear their little voices singing about Genesis?! We LOVE that song!
In true Phil Vischer style, this DVD entertains everyone from my toddler, to the elementary kid who caught a few minutes while his mom and I chatted, to his mom who stopped talking to me to hear the puppets talk! I love how it appeals to all ages!
It really is fabulous.
Just take a look for yourself...
Did I mention there will be 13 DVDs in this series?! And ours is one family who wants to own every single one! How about you?
Well, I can help get you started!
Thanks to the generous folks at Tyndale House (who I love), right here today, I am giving away the first two DVDs to one lucky reader!!!
It's all just the start of my birthday week celebration with one giveaway every day!
So here is how you enter...
Just leave a comment telling with whom you would watch "What's in the Bible?"
And you know I will give you extra entries so here they are...
*Follow What's in the Bible on Twitter (@whatsinthebible)
*Become a fan of What's in the Bible on Facebook
*Follow me on Twitter (@homewiththeboys)
*Publicly follow this blog
*Tweet about this giveaway: Check out this giveaway from @homewiththeboys & @whatsinthebible! - http://homewiththeboys.blogspot.com/2010/03/whats-in-bible-its-here.html
*Post about this giveaway on Facebook
That's a lot of extra entries! But make sure you leave a SEPARATE comment for each entry or it won't count! Please include your e-mail address or a way to contact you if you win.
This giveaway will close Monday, March 29th at 9:00 p.m. CST. The winner will be chosen by random.org.
Thank you so much to Tyndale House for this awesome giveaway!
I was provided with the DVDs for this review by Tyndale House. All opinions are my own.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Reading with Grandma...
Coffee with Grandpa...
And a nice stroll around downtown...
It was so wonderful to have a leisurely weekend with them!
We also enjoyed a FABULOUS dinner at Outback - appetizer, steak, AND dessert! - to celebrate my birthday a little early!
Oh yeah, did I mention my birthday is next week?
And while there is no giveaway TODAY, there just might be one every day next week to celebrate! Get those typing, commenting, posting, tweeting fingers ready!
And have a fantastic Friday!
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
My birthday comes.
And today happens.
The day we get to celebrate this beautiful country...
and this man...
St. Patrick was an amazing man.
Do you know his story?
Because it really makes this a wonderful day to celebrate even if you aren't Irish. Unlike me, of course :)
Back to St. Patrick...
Patrick was kidnapped and taken to Ireland at a young age. He was forced into slavery there, but escaped after several years. After he returned home, he became a priest and felt a strong call to go back to Ireland and spread Christianity among the Irish. His efforts were very successful, including converting the ruling class which trickled down to all people through their example. He is also said to have brought the written word to the Irish.
Can you imagine going back to a place where you were held captive to help them out? To tell them about Jesus? That is incredible.
I am very proud of my Irish heritage! Can you tell?!
St. Patrick's Day is such a fun day to celebrate for us. And the other reason is this...
In Ireland, ten years ago, on this day, this wonderful lad and I started dating.
That's right - we were in Dublin, Ireland when we started dating! On St. Patrick's Day! Crazy, huh?!
Maybe even crazier that it's already been 10 years!
But it's been the most wonderful ten years! I thank God for where we've been and where we are right now - I love you honey!
So happy March 17th to all!
And I pray this Old Irish Blessing for each of you...
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
And to kick off our Tuesday Tunes, I wanted to share a verse to encourage each of you this week - and to share with your kids, thanks to Seeds Family Worship!
Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall. ~Psalm 55:22
Isn't that a lovely promise to stand on?! We will be memorizing this verse this week and resting in the assurance that God will sustain us through whatever may come! He is amazing!
Now, everybody sing...
Monday, March 15, 2010
The random winner of the $25 of Tastefully Simple products is...
#6 - Julie!
Congrats! Please e-mail me so I can get you hooked up with some yummy food!
And if you didn't win, you can head on over to Stephanie's site linked below and order something delicious for yourself! If you spend $50 or more, you get free shipping!
And if you live in the area, she also has some great deals going right now if you host a party. Just mention that you read about it here on the blog!
Thanks again for this great giveaway Stephanie!
Happy Friday all! So glad it is here!
A few things to share today, so the post is a little long, but there is some extra FUN at the end, so don't miss out!
And we're ready for some FUN around here because Stephen's spring break starts today! WOOHOO!!! So excited for a week with him home - lots of FUN things planned!
Last weekend we met up with a fellow med school mommy & her kiddos and Stephen's parents for a FUN day at the zoo!
Yes, you may see a little snow on the ground, but it was warmer than it had been in a LONG time and it was so wonderful to be outside. And when the wind did pick up, there were lots of great indoor exhibits to warm up in!
Big J calls this the "Big Zoo" and I would agree! Not enough energy in those boys (or this mommy) to get through everything in one day - as evidenced by Big J asking to ride in the stroller and then falling asleep!
Little J was more than happy to go for a walk while big brother snoozed, whether with Grandma Mo or Daddy once he joined us after studying!
If you couldn't tell, penguins are a favorite in our house and we all got to pet one! So FUN!!!
It was a whole day of FUN and FAMILY and we were so happy to get to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa Mo - thanks for making the drive!
And thanks to Natalie and her kiddos for a yummy breakfast and FUN friends to hang out with! Glad we're in this med school thing together :)
To add to the FAMILY part, Grandma and Grandpa Mac are headed our way today to spend the weekend with us! So glad both sets of grandparents aren't too far away to make these quick trips either way! Should be a FAMILY FUN weekend!
And finally the FOOD!
Oh, the possibilities with a beer bread mix in the house...mmmmm....
Back to the FOOD!
To celebrate the new spring catalog, Stephanie is generously giving away $25 in Tastefully Simple products to one of you!
That's a lot of beer bread!
And I know you want some, so here's how you can enter...
Visit her Tastefully Simple site and let me know your favorite product!
And for some extra entries, you can...
*Become a fan of Tastefully Simple on Facebook.
*Share about this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter. If tweeting, please include @elmusic4kids in your tweet!
Comments are open until Monday, March 15th at 9:00 p.m. CST! Please leave a comment for each entry. Winner will be chosen by random.org.
Thank you Stephanie for this yummy giveaway! Stay tuned for some special deals from her when the winner is announced!
To each of you, have a FUN, FABULOUS weekend!
Why did I ever stop doing these? It feels SO good to look back through the week at laugh at ourselves! Thanks MckMama for hosting this carnival!
Let's start with today...
I did not just sit back, watch and laugh as Little J made farting noises on an unopened fruit cup. I was not slightly proud that he was able to figure out how to make the noise and then repeat it over and over again. I obviously am NOT learning what it is like to be the mother of boys.
I am also not known to respond to my husband's or sons' clothing needs, such as clean socks or underwear, by just going to get that ONE item out of the dryer. No, I never leave the rest of the clothes in there because I am too lazy to fold them at the time, even though I had to go downstairs anyways. That would be counter-productive and I just do not operate that way.
And in preparing for a fast that started yesterday, I definitely did not gorge myself on a huge meal at a steakhouse the night before, including appetizer, meal AND dessert. That would have just made today harder, so of course I did not do that.
Lastly, I did not plan a date for us that consisted of shopping for a dress for me and grocery shopping. That sounds lame. I would never do that.
That is just not me.
Friday, March 12, 2010
By: Kari Chapin
From: Storey Publishing
Disclaimer: Mama Buzz and reviewers received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes
Turn your craft into a successful business! Even the most expert crafters may find it challenging to market and sell their wares, but with Kari Chapin you have an experienced guide at your side. Learn to determine your cost of goods, set prices, identify the competition, and understand the ins and outs of wholesale and retail sales. Explore the various sales venues available, including independent craft fairs, Web sites such as Etsy, and traditional stores, and learn to maximize your visibility and sales in each one. Want to start your own Web site? Chapin shows you how to style and prop your crafts for photography and explains how the most popular Web marketplaces operate. You’ll find everything you need to turn your talent into profits.
What a great resource for the world of crafters out there hoping to make a living, or just some spending money! I found some very helpful advice for the online store I am managing for a friend.
This book offers tips for every aspect of a handmade business and features some wonderful contributors from Design*Sponge, Etsy, Craft and CraftyPod, just to name a few. And the book has a fun, artsy look and feel to it!
From branding to marketing and everything in between, author Kari Chapin doesn't miss a thing in helping you make the most out of your talents and creations - in your community and online!
This book is also available on Amazon for $10.17.
Thank you to Storey Publishing for providing this book for me to review!
Thursday, March 11, 2010
All attacks of the enemy.
Your storm may not seem as "big" as someone else's storm, so you may try to "handle it yourself." No need to bother anyone else when their troubles are obviously worse, right? And they need prayer more than you do. Right?
If the storm in your life is big to you, it is big enough to disrupt, destroy, deplete.
And whatever that storm may be, you have a choice.
I have a choice.
I can feel sorry for myself. I can let the anxiety, grief, fear, stress pile up.
I can let the enemy win.
Or I can praise.
In the middle of the storms of life, I choose to praise the One who is ALWAYS with me, BECAUSE He is always with me. And He is SO much bigger than that storm.
Storms will come and go, but He will not. He is our constant help...
I lift up my eyes to the hills— where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Join me in praising Him today, no matter your circumstance...