Friday, January 31, 2014

Praying for Boys Giveaway Winner!

Thanks everyone for your response to the review and giveaway for the book  Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most by Brooke McGlothlin.

The winner of the giveaway is....

#14. Molly M

Congrats Molly!  I've emailed you and look forward to sending your book to you soon.

Have a wonderful day everyone.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Books While We Wait - January 2014 edition

As you know, we are buying a new children's book each month while we wait. Since the original post has gotten rather long to keep reposting, I'm trying something different this month.  I will still update the original list and have added a link near the header, but each month I will only post about the new book.  If you want to see the entire list, please feel free to click on the link and review the other ones :)

January 2014 -- One Special Day by Lola M Schaefer

This book is written for big brothers, celebrating all things boy (strong, fast, loud, funny, messy).  It is not about what the baby does, but celebrates the new the big brother role. It has simple text with great illustrations.  My son enjoys looking through it himself and can remember the text to "read" it himself.

My only other comment is that I think it would be nice if it came as a board book.  It works fine for us, but when I started to think of giving it as a gift, most of the new big brothers or big-brothers-to-be we know are closer to 2 yrs old :)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: Praying for Boys

I've been honored to be part of the Launch Team for Brooke McGlothlin's new book "Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most".  I was given a free copy of the book to review and one to give away but as always, my opinions are my own :)

Parenting is one of the toughest and most rewarding jobs I have.  It is a such a huge responsibility when God places these little ones in our care.  Being mom to my son both fills my heart with joy and sends me to my knees regularly.  Yet after growing up without any brothers, I am sometimes puzzled how best to encourage and pray for my son.  Over the past year or so, I've been blessed by The MOB Society (Mothers of Boys) through blog posts, prayers for the day, and encouragement in all forms on their site and their Facebook page.  So when I heard one of the authors behind MOB was releasing a book, I was excited and sure it would be good.

This book Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most by Brooke McGlothlin exceeded my expectations.  It is not simply a parenting book nor a devotional written for parents of boys.  It is a unique combination of the two, concisely sharing the author's passion of prayerful parenting, while giving readers accessible tools to add fervent scriptural prayers to their parenting faith walk.  It encouraged me in so many ways and challenged me to be more intentional about my prayers for my son.

The book contains 21 chapters of areas in a boy's life that need prayer from "Heart Change" to "Fear" to "Fruit of the Spirit" and so much in between.  Each chapter explains the importance of that area of prayer, nuggets of parenting wisdom, and a list of scriptural prayers to guide you in praying for your son, over your son or with your son.

Throughout the book the author meets the reader right where you are with honesty and passion.  She reminded me again that no matter what I do, I cannot change my son's heart.  Heart change is God's job, prayer is mine.  The extra blessing of these scripture-based prayers in this book is that as I pray them, God's word is resonating in my heart as well, influencing my heart and day.  As I've found so many times, my prayers for others impact my heart as much or more than the one I'm praying for.

Brooke also included some great tips on using the prayers in the book, how to integrate them into your daily/weekly routine, and even how to use the book in bible/book study group.  I think Brook has put together in this book a wonderful resource for moms of boys, not something to just read once and leave on a shelf.  Instead, it is a book you can open again and again, especially when the day has brought you to the end of yourself and you need help finding the words to pray.

“Raising boys brings one adventure after another, but we’re losing the beauty and importance of training up godly men. Our boys need faithful Christian parents now more than ever. We can choose to rejoin the war for the hearts of our sons…today.” ~Brooke McGlothlin

More About the Author

Brooke McGlothlin is Co-founder of Raising Boys Media, where moms and dads come to discover delight in the chaos of raising boys. You can find her writing about fighting for the hearts of her sons at the MOB Society blog, or living a life in pursuit of Jesus at her personal blog  A normal day finds Brooke homeschooling her two boys, wrangling two large Labs, Toby and Siri, writing to bring hope to the messes of life (in the midst of her own messy life), and falling more and more in love with the man she’s had a crush on since the third grade (who just happens to be her husband).

Its been a while since I've hosted a giveaway on this little blog so its exciting to have one again.  I want this drawing to be open to everyone, not just moms of boys.  Its a great book for dads and grandparents too.  I think parents of girls can also benefit from much of this book and if you are not parent I'm guessing you know someone who is that you could bless with this book!  US residents only please.  If the giveaway form isn't working for you, please just write a comment as your entry below and I'll make sure to include you.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Happy 5th Birthday

I looked back at last year's birthday post to remind myself of how much you have changed and how quickly time has passed...

Some highlights of your year as a 4 year old, as told by Mom include:
* Your creativity and imagination continue to amaze me.  Your stories during play, the costumes you put together, the questions you ask, and the way you ponder the books we read remind me both how much you are listening all the time as well as how much God has blessed you with an intensely creative mind. 

* You place a big importance on your time with friends, always talking about your buddies even when you haven't seen them in a while.  Preschool, MOPS, Sunday School, gym time, and playdates fill your weeks with lots of time to with your buddies that you look forward to.

* We have started reading chapter books together and you love them.  Because it is a passion of mine, I love seeing that passion in you too and pray it continues.  I can't resist when you ask for "just one more chapter".  I am always amazed how well you grasp parts that are complicated or long, remembering the story long after the book is finished.  James and the Giant Peach is a big favorite as well as Magic Treehouse books... but I've got some good ones on our list for this year ;)

* This summer was filled with many firsts for you: tball, swimming lessons, VBS, and taking care of our new chickens.  You took all the new challenges in stride and had loads of fun.  Of course there was also Summer Reading, playdates, trips to the lake, camping, fishing, time with family and even a big 80th birthday party for a special Great Grandpa.

* You thrived at preschool last spring and LOVED going back this fall.  Writing your full name, playing lots of pretend with your friends, counting to "big numbers", memorizing the Lord's Prayer, show-n-tell time are parts of preschool that you are proud of and like to talk about.  You feel pretty important to stay all day one of the days you attend, even if it does require you to have a rest time.

*  You are waiting for the day you'll become a big brother.  Waiting is hard when you're 4 just as it was when you were 3 (well its hard when you're over 30 too) but I love that you continue to ask about "when a baby comes to our family".  As we continue to read more books and discuss adoption, its clear that you are working hard to understand it, this important thing that will change our family.

Happy Birthday blessings!  Dad and I love you so much and pray your year as a 5 year old is full of new adventures, special memories together, lots of learning, and the experiences that will continue to mold you into the young man God intends for you to be someday.

super birthday boy

Friday, January 10, 2014

Five Minute Fridays: See

Its been a while but I'm participating in Five Minute Fridays again this week hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker, encouraging bloggers to write on a prompt unedited for five minutes.  This weeks prompt is See


We drive home through blowing snow, hiding the road, the curves, the ice and even the painted lines.  The headlights shine but reflect off the snow instead of illuminating the path in front of us.  We slow down and then go slower still.  We know this road, but there is so much we can't see.

Sometimes that is how I feel about our adoption wait... like I'm trying to walk on a path with blowing, swirling snow preventing me from seeing the steps in front of me.  Any light I try to cast only reflects off the snow, not aiding in the journey.  The travel is slow.  Time moves slower still.  We haven't traveled this road before but we know its there.  We were directed to this path.

When I feel like there is no forward motion at all, when it seems like all has stopped, I need to remember.  Jesus is my light and even when I can't see the steps in front of me, He can.  He can see yesterday, today and tomorrow.  He sees me.  He sees through the storm in front of me.  He knows where this path leads. 

And as hard as it is to move forward when you can't see as far as you'd like, I'm learning to trust more than before.  One step at a time.  Trusting the One who sees.


Trusting the One who sees

Five Minute Friday

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Well of course...

 photo imagination2014_zps7d664893.jpg

Doesn't everyone's super heroes and bad guys surf on rocket dominoes through the kitchen while chasing a garbage truck driven by batman?  Love his imagination!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Crafting for Christmas (2013)

This post is much later than I intended but decided to post any, just to have a record for myself.  We didn't get nearly as many projects done this past December to get ready for Christmas... at least compared to last year's list of projects.  (I also did not take as many pictures of projects "in process" this year).

As we did last year, we decorated gift bags for preschool teachers and sunday school teachers.  We also gave a few snowman thank you gifts like last year. Here's what else we did:

Thumbprint Reindeer Ornaments
This was our big project to use as gifts for family (grandparents, great grandparents, and a few other important people).
salt dough ornaments with thumbprint reindeer

Because we made the Handprint Snowment last year on Christmas balls, I wanted to do something a little different this year.  Instead we started with salt dough, similar to last year but added cornstarch to make the dough smoother.  My son helped roll the dough and then we cut out circles, added a hole with a straw, and baked them.  A few days later we painted them white and the next day we added his thumbprint with brown paint.  I used Sharpie markers and paint pens to add the detail on the reindeer.  My favorite part of them though is that I had him print his name onto a piece of paper the size of his ornament and I transferred it onto the back of each ornament making it a unique keepsake.  (I transferred his handwriting by putting the paper over the ornament and tracing his writing with the sharpie, letting the ink soak through.  Then I wrote over it one more time).

Cinnamon Dough Ornaments
cinnamon dough Christmas ornaments

We had fun with this one, though I made the mistake of flouring the surface where we were rolling out the ornaments instead of using cinnamon as I was almost out.  They still smell great and were fun to add to presents.  We used this pin for instructions.

As last year, my husband also made a few gifts in the wood shop, though not quite as many :)

We had so much fun making homemade gifts for those we love.  Did you make any fun gifts this year?

Friday, January 3, 2014

Christmas 2013 Photo Overload

Here's my promised post of some of the many, many photos I took over Christmas break.  We had such a wonderful time visiting family and celebrating.  My husband and I were even able to fit in a night out just a few days before our anniversary which was nice.

Christmas at home, just us, before heading to lots of Christmas festivities

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day

Fun family pictures with my side of the family

Visiting other important people :)

Fun in the snow with cousins

So many wonderful memories, such a special time of year.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy 2014!!

Each day is new

Hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas and New Years!

I'm back after taking some time off blogging to focus on family over the holidays.  We spent most of the holiday visiting family but had a quiet New Years Eve last night -- games (mostly "Sorry" which our son calls "Please"), Fondue and a movie.  Today I'm hoping to pack up Christmas decorations and clean a bit... so exciting I know.

Over the next week or so, I'm hoping to get a few posts finished, included the obligatory post of lots of fun Christmas pictures :)  Of course there is still a birthday party to plan so this month still might be a bit slow on the blog.

Also, I'm helping out with a book launch of Brooke McGlothlin's new book Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most .  See the new graphic on the right column?  That's a great place to start for information on the book. Watch for a book review and hopefully a giveaway later this month on the blog.  I'm about half way through the book and loving it!

Blessings friends :)
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