Best Year Ever!

Best Year Ever aYes, that’s right… we are expecting this to be the “Best Year Ever” in our home (BYE for short).  I have never been one to make silly New Years resolutions because they are always dropped within a couple weeks and nothing ever really comes of them other than regret and disappointment in yourself.  I don’t need that 😉

However, this year my husband and I came across this course called “5 Days To Your Best Year Ever” by Michael Hyatt.  He designed it for “busy, high-achievers” like me… well at least that is how I would like to think of myself.  My past is spotted with holes of unrealized goals because life just “got” in the way.  In reality I haven’t found the right thing to keep me on the right track.  I had never learned how to plan, create real goals, and I had never learned how to put those goals into workable action.  That is where this course comes in and it has been amazing.

Yes, we just started this the first of the year, so no we haven’t seen the end results yet, but after all the work we have put into this I believe it will be our BYE because we now have clear have working steps for every goal and more importantly, our reason WHY.  I will be sharing about our walk throughout the year, as well as about aspects of all of my goals I have set for myself.  Some are personal and fun, others are serious!  All are good.  I may not hit them all… but I will never reach them if I never try and I never have a plan to work.

Here are my goals for this year… of course simplified for this blog. 😉

  1.  To cultivate a stronger and more pure relationship with Jesus so I know His voice better and I will follow Him no matter what.
  2.  To cultivate a more vibrant and Godly marriage.
  3.  To pay down debt.
  4.  To get healthier.
  5.  To treat myself well.
  6.  To read more books.
  7.  To be a better mom and homeschool teacher.
  8.  To revamp my blog and write again.
  9.  To improve my hand-lettering.

Best Year Ever 1aNow of course my goals in my workbook are much more specific with great action and purpose. What I just posted is very general and if they were left that way wouldn’t get accomplished because they are ambiguous.  That is why I love this course, it gets you into the meat of the matter.

So, as I blog this year, the things in my life that fall into those categories will be on the list to share.

What changes are you making this year?  Like Michael Hyatt says, “Nothing great ever happens in the comfort zone!”

Here’s to our Best Year Ever!

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Happy Anniversary!

Well life has been busy in our home due to lots of homeschooling, horse riding, drama and other extra-curricular activities that come with being a homeschool family.  Not to mention church, serving in different ministries inside and outside of our church, my personal business (Thirty-One Gifts) which I love and regular family life!

My Muppin’s school work got more intense this year and she is doing amazing.  It isn’t without it’s bumps and bruises along the way though.  I am just thankful that our fall this year has been incredibly warm and wonderful because she loves doing her work outside!

Even with all her hard work it amazing me she finds time to do some amazing things for her family… for example, most recently my and my husband’s anniversary.  She is amazing!  Let me show you why!

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As you can see she went to a lot of work to draw and write poetry for us, but that wasn’t all!  She also performed a show for us!  Below is her show program, and inside it lists her poems she wrote for us and funny clips she performed.  She truly is an inspiration in our home.  And she was fabulous!

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Here is her first poem.

“Happy Anniversary Poem”

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Happy Anniversary, mom & dad.
I’m sure you’re very happy & glad,
Cause today’s a very special day,
for you & yours,
now you’re walking through another door.

So Happy Anniversary from yours truly,
C…. E…., now that’s pretty coolly!

She is pretty amazing isn’t she!  Here is another one she wrote and performed.

“I Love My Parents!”

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I love my mom,
she’s a loving mom,
a caring mom,
a beautiful mom,
a funny mom,
the best mom…. ever…. forever.
She is a blessing!

I love my dad,
he’s a great dad,
a cool dad,
a handsome dad,
a silly dad,
the best dad…. ever…. forever.
He is a blessing!

I…. Love…. My…. PARENTS!!!!!

And if that wasn’t enough!  You know, writing poetry, performing it, drawing pictures and stuff… she also created rings for us and gave them to us to wear as a reminder of our vows 19 years ago.  She is truly a blessing and I am honored to get to be her mom!  Her heart is so full of love that I can’t wait until she get’s to be a mom someday and share that love with her kids… I mean… I can wait… lol… I can wait a LONG time! lol

19th anv 1 aPoetry is copyrighted by this blog… please do not share without permission.

Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions Giveaway! – WINNER, WINNER!

Wooohooo!  We have a winner!  After a very scientific approach, well ok, maybe not so scientific… but definitely fair approach we have a winner to this drawing!  I put all the names on a piece of paper, crumbled them all up and put them in a basket and had my hubby pick one.  🙂

And the winner is……..  Michelle!

Congratulations Michelle.  I will be contacting you soon to find out your mailing information.

For everyone else who participated…. A Huge THANK YOU!  Please check out my current giveaway at http://wp.me/s2WVaA-imagine, I would love for one of you to win those books as well!

God Bless each of you!

Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions Giveaway!

I have had the great pleasure of reviewing a couple books by Tricia Goyer.  I have fallen in love with her writing, both fiction and non-fiction and have now been given the opportunity to review a devotional for children that she has been able to work on.  The devotional is Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions by John Avery Whittaker with help from Tricia Goyer and Crystal Bowman.

Mealtimes in our day and age are very sadly a dying thing.  Many people are so over-booked, overworked and overwhelmed to sit down and take a meal together because there just doesn’t seem to be enough time.  But what a wonderful thing for the family it is.  There have been many studies that show that families who eat meals together regularly have less troubles within themselves and with their kids as they grow older.  The family grows into a tight knit unit and I ask this…  how wonderful is that!

This devotional is wonderful because it gives the family something fun to chew on during that mealtime.  It gives your mealtime more meaning that just the fact that is is centered around food.  They are short fun little devotionals.  And each one is a little different.  Sometimes they require getting out the Bible, other times it is just about asking and answering questions.  Regardless, they are so great and filling.  I highly recommend it for your family.  They will love it as much as I do!  But the best test was my daughter… she is head over heals in love with this devotional and ask, “Do we get to do the devotional again!!!”  She can’t wait!

Here is a copy of the first several pages if you would like to check it out for yourself!

Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions!

Now after all that I have something exciting for you!  I have been given a free book to give away here on my site!  Yay! I am so excited I can hardly stand it!  So, if you are interested in winning this book there are a few ways you can enter to win it.

1.  Leave a comment below with your favorite devotional that you do with your kids.  Also, if you have a special thing you do at mealtimes to make it more meaningful, please share with us so we can have some fun too!  Also leave a note if you followed my blog, Facebook page or Twitter page as well.. so I can be sure to count those entries as well!

2.  Follow my blog 🙂  Easy peasy!

3.  Follow my Facebook page!

4.  Follow my Twitter page!

5.  Post on Facebook about this giveaway!

6.  Tweet on Twitter about this giveaway!

7.  Pin this giveaway on Pinterest!

If you post, tweet or pin an this please leave a link for me in your post below!  🙂

That is it!  There are 7 easy ways to enter!  I will be picking the winner June 22th!  Good luck to you all!  God bless!

Three Ways You Are A Leader in Everyday Life … and how to be a better one

Tricia Goyer is one of my favorite authors and I have the privilege to be able to have her here as a guest blogger!  Her most recent book, which you might have heard me talk about, is called “Lead Your Family Like Jesus.”  It is a book written by her, Phil Hodges and Ken Blanchard.  You can see the first of my three reviews here, “Lead Your Family Like Jesus.”

LeadYourFamily_1.99In her guest blog with us she is going to discuss what it means to be a leader and how to be a better one.  I hope you are truly blessed by her wisdom and for a limited time you can get her book on Kindle for only $1.99 which is an amazing deal.  Without further hesitation, here is Tricia.

Three Ways You Are A Leader in Everyday Life … and how to be a better one

Many people are confused about the term “family leader.” As I’ve blogged about moms being leaders I’ve had both men and women pipe up, “But wait, the man’s supposed to be the leader in the home, right?” Yes, but women are leaders, too, in many ways you may not realize.

1.  You are a Leader in Your Role As Spouse. Yes, friends, I believe in the “S” word … submission. I believe God has called men to be the spiritual head of the home, and the one to care for and provide for his wife and family and lead the family unit. I believe wives come under their headship in willing submission … yet women are leaders too.

Any time you strive to guide the thoughts, behavior or direction of another person we are a leader! Or as John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

Go ahead, read that again. Mom, you are a leader! Wife, you are a leader! Your thoughts and attitudes guide your closest relationships. Family leadership can be as intimate as offering words of guidance and encouragement to a discouraged loved one, or it can be as directive as issuing specific instructions on how to drive the family car.

2.  You are a Leader in Your Community. A man or a woman’s position as a family leader also extends beyond the four walls of the home. Just think of your roles at your work, at your child’s school, and in your neighborhood. Influence can also be exhibited in your roles as church volunteers and community leaders. These are important roles in our every day life, especially since many couples today are often not well-connected with siblings and parents. Many families are spread out, living far from extended family members. This causes many couples to create their own “family units” with like-minded friends. These are the people they vacation with and spend free time with. Seeking God in roles is important because it’s then couples realize they can be a positive influence in their church and community outside of their own home.

3.  You are a Leader in Your Extended Family. Sometimes this is the hardest place to be a leader. We can’t choose our relatives, and sometimes the relationships with parents, siblings, aunts, uncle and cousins can be the hardest. Often people are put into “roles” within their family. Yet in your actions and reactions you are showing leadership—whether you like it or not.

In each of these areas … you make an impact!

As a leader you …

  • Build enduring relationships within the home that can have far-reaching impact beyond the home
  • Set the basic direction of life values, character development and relational behavior
  • Involve seasons of personal sacrifice to promote the spiritual and physical well-being of others
  • Sustain love, loyalty, trust, mercy, forbearance, forgiveness, and sacrifice
  • Mature and grow
  • Foster values of love, compassion, trust, commitment, honesty, and grace within its members.

Think your role as a leader doesn’t matter? Think again. The #1 way you can be a better leader in each of these areas is to pray.

Today take a few minutes to pray for your role as a leader.

Pray for your leadership in your family.
Pray for your leadership in your church.
Pray for your leadership in your neighborhood.
Pray for your leadership at work and school.
Pray that God will show you how to lead.
Pray you will submit to His leadership in your life.

The impact we can have in the lives of people around us can’t be underestimated … and only prayer prepares us for the work ahead!

Leader Everyday Life Photo 2

Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions Giveaway!

12-Day Diverting Dinnertime Giveaway  

Do your kids clam up at dinner time? Are you tired of asking them how their school day went that being the extent of the conversation? John Avery Whitaker of Adventures in Odyssey’s Whit’s End has just the solution for you: Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions. Tricia Goyer and Crystal Bowman helped him come up with 90 ideas to help build your kids’ faith and your relationships.

To celebrate, Tricia is hosting a 12-day Diverting Dinnertime Giveaway! From April 20 to May 1, visit this page for a new giveaway each day. Only those in the U.S. are eligible to win. Oh, and don’t forget to come to her Facebook party on May 1 (RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/350106761758181); you might see a few familiar Adventures in Odyssey characters.

Head here to enter Tricia’s 12-Day Diverting Dinnertime Giveaway!

I have personally used this devotional with my daughter and she loves it!  Look for my review soon and a giveaway for that as well!

Lead Your Family Like Jesus

I have an 8 year old daughter and as her mother I love her dearly.  She is an only child and sometimes my husband and I are not sure what the best approach is to dealing with different things that we go through as parents when it comes to raising a Godly girl.  She is a great kid and we don’t have major issues, but as a parent I always want to do the very best that I can to raise her in the way she should go… in God’s ways 🙂

Lead Your Family Like Jesus: Powerful Parenting Principles from the Creator of FamiliesI love reviewing books and finding gems where I had not expected them.  I was very blessed to have been asked to review the book “Lead Your Family Like Jesus” by Ken Blanchard, Phil Hodges and Tricia Goyer.  I love Tricia and her books but wasn’t quite sure about this one because I have never read anything by the other two co-authors of this book.

I have to say at the beginning that this book is amazing!

What I love the most about it is that it is written with three points of view, with both sexes represented.  I love this because dads and moms can see things differently sometimes and this approach covers the different perspectives and points of view very well!

Note: I will be writing multiple blogs about this book because it is so rich that I want to share with you all without creating such a long post that none of you get to the end 😉

While reading the first thing that really struck me was this comment in the introduction, “God has gifted you with your children.  Will you nurture them with a servants heart, as Mary and Joseph nurtured Jesus?”  How often do we feel like the all powerful parent that needs to be in charge, instead of… the servant parent that wants to help our children grow and become exactly what God intends them to be, not what we intend them to be?  I often only want my daughter to do what I want her to do, instead of taking the time to see her perspective and serving her the way I should.  That doesn’t mean she gets away with things, but it means I need to look at how and why she is doing what she is doing and why I act the way I do.

Am I seeking to serve God and the well-being of my family members, or am I seeking my own self-interest?”  Often, it is my own interests that I am protecting.

Another thing I loved was when Ken talked about things that are Important Forever or Temporary Stuff.  When going through your day trying to figure out what is most important ask this question, is this important forever or is it just temporary stuff?  It really opens your eyes to all the things we focus on that are not really important.  Do I want my daughter to remember all the house work I do, or the chores that got done if something happens to me, or do I want her to remember that no matter what was going on, she came before all the stuff and that I loved her deeply and unconditionally?

There are so many incredible nuggets in this book.  I will be sharing more with you soon.  I highly recommend getting this book and taking the time to create a plan on how to make an eternal  difference in your kids life.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Litfuse Publicity Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are honest and my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner.