Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas catch up coming soon!

We have had a great Christmas season!
I look forward to journaling & posting lots of pictures very soon!

Jacob (4 1/2) & Logan (18 mo.) in Christmas jammies

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Primal & winners from last post

Let's just say there are others that are out there not checking, updating blogs or entering contests this December besides me! The last give away was a bust but the 2 winners will enjoy their books. (I will send emails)

Now on to Primal by Mark Batterson....
This is an author that I have not read before & besides me temporary insanity to sign up for more than one blog book review during the Christmas season, I was really looking forward to trying out a new author. I will have to go ahead & confess that I have not finished this book but will definitely keep reading. It is one that I want to finish for sure!
Check out this summary:

Be Astonished Again

We have a tendency to complicate Christianity. Jesus simplified it: Love God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. If we are to live out the essence of Christianity, we must commit to being great at this Great Commandment.

In Primal, Mark Batterson explores the four elements of Great Commandment Christianity: compassion, wonder, curiosity, and power. Along the way, he calls you to be a part of God’s reformation, starting in your own life.

As Mark writes, “Is there a place in your past where you met God and God met you? A place where your heart broke for the things that break the heart of God? Maybe it was a sermon that became more than a sermon. Maybe it was a mission trip or retreat. Maybe it was a vow you made at an altar. In that moment, God birthed something supernatural in your spirit. You knew you’d never be the same again. My prayer is that this book would take you back to that burning bush—and reignite a primal faith.”

Primal will help you live in light of what matters most and discover what it means to love God. It will help you become great at the Great Commandment.

Let me challenge you to have this be your first read in 2010. I know I will definitely be finished by then because I am intrigued by the challenge. We always spend the new year refelecting & Batterson gives us a lot to ponder.

Get your copy here:

(This book was provided for review by Waterbrook Multnomah)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Blog tour "Grab Bag"

As a part of the Random House Blogging for books program, I got to be a part of a "grab bag" book tour. I knew I would get one book from the 99 ways collection & one book from the Value Nonfiction line.

When I opened my package I was very excited to see my 99 ways book was 99 Ways to Stretch Your Home Budget. For those that don't know me well, I am a proud coupon clipping, bargain shopping mom. This is a very easy read as each of the 99 ways is only about a page. The author Cheri Gillard does a great job summarizing each suggestion's savings. For example:
after the suggestion of saving by turning off electronics & various ideas, it is listed savings=$10 per month, $120 per year. This helps you to know exactly what kind of savings you are looking at. She gives me practical, very easy to do ideas. This will be a perfect book for a family just starting to examine their home budget & don't know how to get started. In these economic times, who doesn't need a few suggestions?! This would be a great stocking stuffer!

The next book I received out of my "grab bag" was What Women Don't Know (and men don't tell you). I was also excited to get this one & learn a few secrets about my other half! As I started reading I begin to realize this would have been a great book to have when my husband was on staff at our previous church as Minister to Singles as this book refers to dating a lot, finding your mate etc. I would have loved to have read it when we were working closely with singles because the authors Michelle McKinney Hammond & Joel A Brooks Jr do a wonderful job providing a male & female perspective & focus on redefining what we are attracted to, set values in order & determining goals.

Both of these great reads are available at

The good news is that you can also win them here! Leave a comment to which book you would like to win. (leave a comment for each book if you would like to be in the drawing for each book). I will select a winner on Friday Dec 18th after 12noon.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Advent Conspiracy

This is something to think about...especially after a day of shopping!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Thanksgiving catch up

I am behind blogging! We have been getting excited about the Christmas season & had a few things keeping us busy but did go and pick out our tree. Now if we could just get it decorated!

Going back to thanksgiving.... We had a great one. We did something new this year & went to the Coles lake house and celebrated Thanksgiving a couple of days early. It was nice to get away even for less than 24 hours. We still had plenty of time to come home get food ready for our other dinner, Inman helped with an outreach lunch for the community through our church. We even had time to go to the Children's Healthcare Immediate care & run all over town trying to find a nebulizer:)

Here is the group including Casey, (the Coles dog) trying to get in the picture.

After Thanksgiving dinner on Tuesday night, we had a campfire by the lake & Jacob got to do his first "real" smore since it was over a campfire! I know the picture is bad but he was really excited!

Wednesday morning was a nice morning & Jeff cooked his traditional waffle house breakfast. Man, it's nice to have that connection!

Onto the next first, riding in a boat!

And the first time to fish! He has been waiting for this day!

Logan found some other fun things to occupy his time.

The kids are all getting so big! We had a great time!

Thanksgiving (Thursday)

Jacob is trying out the chocolate pecan pie that is almost made himself. If he could have read & melted the butter, he could have done the whole thing!
It was yummy!

Troy, Brandon, Audrey & Steph

We were glad that Grandma Lois was able to come.

Grandmomma Freeman borrows some of the "Martha Stewart" type garnishes that Brandon & Audrey brought for the pies

We have so much to be thankful for!

The Saturday after Thanksgiving we went to the apple orchard. We had been rained out once before so we tried again & had a very pretty day. Good thing the weather was good because mapquest & I had a misunderstanding & we drove all over north Georgia!

Logan is much better but had an ear infection over thanksgiving & was wheezing. This was his first experience using a nebulizer. His shirt says it all...he was a good sport!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Book Review & Great Gift Idea

I am excited to have another opportunity from Random House/Waterbrook to do another blog review. This was a package deal where I was able to review 3 books. Two precious books for children & one "grown up" book.

God Gave Us Christmas

The first book I read was the book Treasured by Leigh McLeroy. The part that I loved most about this book was looking at places in scripture where an object represents something symbolic. McLeroy helped bring this into a whole new light that I had no considered before. She is quick to refer to scripture directly rather than her personal opinion but this is balanced well with some of her own testimony.

Cigar boxes. Refrigerator doors. Scrapbooks and sock drawers and top shelves. These are the places we store our treasures–the keepsakes that tell the story of whom and what we’ve loved, how we’ve lived, and what matters most to us.
God is a collector, too, whose treasures are tucked securely into the pages of his book: a golden bell here, an olive leaf there, a scarlet thread, a blood-stained cloth, a few grains of barley. Each of these saved artifacts reveals a facet of his heart and tells the story of a Father whose most precious possession is…us.
In Treasured, Leigh McLeroy considers tangible reminders of God’s active presence and guides us in discovering evidence in our own lives of his attentive love.

The next two books were written by Lisa Tawn Bergren. Although we have a bazillon children books, we don't have any by this author. I fell in those with these sweet books. Jot the names down because this is a GREAT Christmas idea for children you will be buying for! The first is God Gave Us Love. This is a great book about loving one another, a good reminder for children & adults! The story is very cute as it follows a little cub & his Grandfather as they go fishing. My 4 year old's attention was immediately held & it gave us an opportunity to talk about how we are supposed to love everyone around us & how God loves each of us.

As Little Cub and Grampa Bear’s fishing adventure is interrupted by mischievous otters, the young polar bear begins to question why we must love others… even the seemingly unlovable.
In answering her questions, Grampa Bear gives tender explanations that teach Little Cub about the different kinds of love that is shared between families, friends, and mamas and papas. Grampa explains that all these kinds of love come from God and that it is important to love others because…
“Any time we show love, Little Cub, we’re sharing a bit of his love.”
This sweet tale will warm the hearts of young children as they learn about all the different sorts of love, while the gentle explanations of each provide a valuable opportunity to encourage children to share with others a “God-sized love.”

The next book came at the perfect timing as we prepare for Christmas, God Gave Us Christmas. It was a great tool to use as we are trying so hard to keep our focus on the real reason for celebrating this season as we develop our own little family traditions. Again, the story was one that both of my boys enjoyed listening to. We were able to talk after we read it about how we will focus on Jesus' birthday this season. This would be a perfect gift for any children in your life even before Christmas to help them remember what the celebration is all about!

As Little Cub and her family prepare to celebrate the most special day of the year, the curious young polar bear begins to wonder… “Who invented Christmas?” Mama’s answer only leads to more questions like “Is God more important than Santa?” So she and Little Cub head off on a polar expedition to find God and to see how he gave them Christmas. Along the way, they find signs that God is at work all around them. Through Mama’s gentle guidance, Little Cub learns about the very first Christmas and discovers that… Jesus is the best present of all.
This enchanting tale provides the perfect opportunity to help young children celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and to discover how very much God loves them.

These books were provided for review by the Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Here's where you can find the books:


Happy Reading!