6 Must Have New Books

6 Must Have New Books

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Are you a reader?  I love a crisp afternoon in my hammock with a good book!  Crisp is my favorite temperature.  If you like warm, then you can put your hammock closer to the equator.  Either way, it’s really about the book!

I have 2 book piles in my bedroom right next to each other.  One is for books I am waiting to read and the other is books I recently finished reading.  I like to keep the recently finished books nearby so I can refer back to them or loan them out.  Books are meant to be loved and shared!

Rabbit trail: That’s one thing I don’t like about the Kindle or digital audiobooks.  They’re super convenient, especially with all of the traveling I do, but they are not very sharable.  But if I didn’t have audiobooks I would not get nearly as much “reading” done, so it’s a tradeoff.

Most of the books in my waiting-to-read pile are either something that came highly recommended or books my friends wrote.  I have a lot of brilliant friends who write incredible books.  So I thought I’d share some of them as a recommendation from me to you to add to your own waiting-to-read pile!  I have read all of the books on this list and loved them, plus I do actually know fer realz these authors (well, a few of them have 2 authors and I only know one author from each of those books).  Like, I have met these gals in person and most I’ve talked with on the phone like teenagers do.  This isn’t like my relationship with Lysa Terkeurst where I think she’s my friend but she doesn’t know I exist.  These are my peeps.

Another cool thing is these are all recently released, so they’re fresh off the printing press.  You could be the first in your circles to read them and share.  Your friends will think you’re so cool to know the latest and greatest.  They would make wonderful gift ideas too!  Baby showers, birthdays, Mother’s Day, any old day you want to bless someone!

great-books

 

  1. Planted with Hope  by Tricia Goyer and Sherry Gore.  This sweet book is second in The Pinecraft Pie Shop series and it’s a darling story of friendship and community.  Get the first book too….reading them is like a nice, little vacation.
  2. Pressing Pause by Ruth Schwenk and Karen Ehman.  I just got this book and flipped through it and love the simplicity of it.  If you’re thinking you don’t have time to read a whole book, pick this up and just do a chapter at a time.  Each chapter is just 2-3 pages and very encouraging!
  3. The Unhurried Homeschooler by Durenda Wilson.  This short, simple read will be just the reminder you need to keep going.  Even if you’re not a homeschooler you can get a boost of strength from the book.  It’s like having coffee with a trusted friend.
  4. Triggers by Amber Lia and Wendy Speake.  I’ve mentioned this book to you before, and it’s worth adding to your list….especially if you struggle with angry responses.  I read this before it came out and was absolutely inspired by how many women this book was going to help!
  5. Raising Uncommon Kids by Sami Cone.  This is a great book focusing on how we model behavior for our kids….grounded in Scripture and very practical.  I loved it!
  6. Mama Needs a Do-Over by ME!  OK, so I don’t have this one in any of my piles, but I want to remind you that it’s available at most booksellers.  We all need a way to hit the reset button every once in a while.  I know you’ll enjoy it!

And because I truly believe all of these books are amazing and worth adding to your library….I asked each of these friends to give me one of their books to add to a bundle so I can give them to YOU!   And they’re all so kind and generous they agreed without hesitation.  I’ll even toss in my favorite essential oil starter guide for fun.  That makes this bundle valued at over $70!!!

Enter below to win over $70 worth of great reading material!

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I hope you win!

This Will REALLY Make You Smile!

This Will REALLY Make You Smile!

(I am an Invisalign MAB member and one of my sons is receiving complimentary treatment but all opinions completely my own!)

The holidays are a time of spending money and hanging onto the budget like a loose tooth.  In other words, not.  It can be so hard to stay within the boundaries you’ve put on paper: $15 per friend gift, $5 each for teachers, etc.  That’s not even mentioning gift wrap, cookie ingredients, gas to get around and lunch a few times at Chick-fil-A!.  Even my hair costs more during the holidays.  You know, for all of the parties I am going to….hey, a girl’s gotta look good!

That’s why I am so, so excited to share this amazing giveaway that my friends at Invisalign are doing right now!

3_DecemberSmiles_INVISALIGN

Our family is so, so thrilled with the Invisalign treatment that 2 of our boys are in right now.  You can read more about it HERE and HERE.  We have an orthodontist appointment next week and we will do some Christmas shopping afterward, maybe catch a movie.  It’s funny how these appointments open up the day and give me a chance to stop and enjoy my boys.  It’s an unexpected blessing.

5_FunFact_INVISALIGN

If you’ve been thinking of looking into Invisalign, this is the time to do it.  Go HERE to find a doctor in your area!  It doesn’t cost anything to learn more about it.

You simply MUST check out the giveaway and enter as many ways as possible!  I want one of YOU to win!!!

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Again, I am an Invisalign MAB member and one of my sons is receiving complimentary treatment.  My opinions are completely my own and I only work with companies whose products I believe in.  Click HERE to read the full disclosure statement

Come with Us to the Forge Conference!

Come with Us to the Forge Conference!

What are you and your family up to September 10-12, 2015?!

‘Cuz if you’re not busy, I hope you will come join us at the Forge Conference!  This event is for the entire family!  It’s a beautiful, loving gathering of like-minded people who want to learn to be better parents, leaders and this year’s theme….how to love one another!

Really, you will adore this group of people.  This will be our third year to attend and I wouldn’t miss it.  The keynotes are Kevin Swanson, Scott Brown and RC Sproul Jr.  This is a powerhouse lineup that the men in your family will especially be uplifted by.

Its really affordable too….check out their website for more info.

Come to this fantastic conference in September for families who want to lean more about how to love one another!

AND….drumroll….I am going to host a luncheon during the conference just for the ladies.  I am super excited about this!!!  I will share from my new book, “Mama Needs a Do-Over” and we will have fun prizes and food and of course, chocolate!  It will be a time of encouragement and fellowship.

An encouraging ladies' luncheon that will leave you uplifted!

This event is for adult women only (and nursing babies).  The cost is $10 which includes all of your food and fun.

Click HERE to learn how to sign up!!!!

If you have questions about Forge head over to their Facebook page and ask.  They are very helpful.

Here’s a way to make it even easier…..I get to give away a family registration!  I am so thrilled to do this and I hope you win!  I am also giving away one seat at my lunch so you have TWO chances to win!

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Some Essential Oils You May Not Have Tried!

Some Essential Oils You May Not Have Tried!

Y’all know I love me some Young Living essential oils.  To me it’s a lifestyle choice.  We need help and support in our health and well being.

I use them to help us with attitude, stress, prayer, so many areas!

I start the diffuser each morning with oils that I feel led to use.  Sometimes it’s Thieves (if I want to support our immune systems) or Purification (if we’re needing a good airing out), but most often I use oils that encourage a healthy attitude.

Many of you have asked me, “Is it new age-ish to say that the oils affect your mood?”  To that I say definitely NOT!  When you smell the oils, the airborne molecules interact almost immediately with the brain and the limbic system.  The limbic system is directly connected to those parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone balance.  That explains a lot about how they affect your moods and responses.

If we’ve been struggling with attitudes, I love these two oils, Motivation and Harmony, in the diffuser.  I have it going in the living room so everyone can get the benefits.  That’s what is so great about the diffuser…the whole family reaps the benefits!

Great ideas for what essential oils to use to support a healthy home environment

Speaking of harmony….occasionallywe do struggle with getting along.  The younger boys especially tend to get fussy with each other.  So I grab some Humility and Forgiveness and rub it on the back of their necks.  Then we pray together and work on learning to love one another.

Great uses for essential oils in the home

Another important way we use the oils is with our homeschool.  I adore Brain Power and Motivation for diffusing during school.  If we really need that extra boost I will also put it on the bottom of their feet or on their wrists.

Oils you may not have tried before!

The last common way we use the oils that I want to share is specifically for the girls.  With this many women in the house, we need a way to get through those, you know, certain times.  So we lean on our two favorites, Dragon Time and Clary Sage.  We use it topically both on the bottoms of our feet and wherever we are dealing with a womanly issue (i.e. across the abdomen or lower back).

Some tips for using essential oils you might not have tried!

 

If you are interested in getting started with Young Living oils click HERE to sign up.    I am sending my favorite reference book and an extra goodies that changes every month or so!  My member # is already on the form (just in case, it’s 1386112).  Here’s a post where I share more about the oils in that kit.

Shine Your Light

Shine Your Light

I’m sad to report that I don’t have any little girls anymore.  {excuse me while I go have a good, hard cry!}

Thankfully my sister has 2 baby girls, so I can take my occasional need for pink and purple glitter out on them.  And this little book fits the bill.  I got it, carried it around under my arm for a few days twirling, and now I will send it on to my nieces for their girly enjoyment.

Sweet little devotional for girls

Oh the sweetness!

God’s Little Angel: Shine Your Light Devotional is a darling way to read Bible verses to your little girls every day.

Sweet little devotional for girls

Now I want a pair of those plastic heels that are impossible to walk in but make you feel oh, so pretty!

Enter below to win one of the precious devotionals for your little girl….or for yourself.  I may keep mine since it makes me feel like a princess all over again.

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Getting the Deck Ready for Graduation!

Getting the Deck Ready for Graduation!

This post is sponsored by HomeRight and contains affiliate links.

A great deck washing tool and a giveaway!

Well, it never stops around here.  The next weekend after we get home from Kansas we will have a graduation celebration for two of our daughters.  Yep, I have advanced to graduating 2 at once.

As we get the yard and house ready for this party, I wanted to get the deck really clean.  Between the chickens pooping on it and leaves staining the deck, it looked pretty bad.

So I handed one of the boys a HomeRight Deck Washer.

Using the HomeRight Deck washer to get the deck super clean!

You attach the hose to it and it keeps a flow of water on the deck while you scrub.  There are 2 settings so we used the zero pressure for my son.  I didn’t need high pressure in this case, but I am definitely thinking of a few other places that I can use that feature!  I was really happy with how well it cleaned.

He thought it was fun!

Cleaning the deck with a HomeRight Deck Washer

He loved the constant flow of water.

Using the HomeRight Deck washer to get the deck super clean!

And my deck is squeaky clean and ready for the party!  Is it wishful thinking that it will stay that way for another week?

Using the HomeRight Deck washer to get the deck super clean!

And, you guessed it, I get to give one away!  Enter below to win your very own Deck Washer…..

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10 Fun Ways to Use Essential Oils for Summer

10 Fun Ways to Use Essential Oils for Summer

With summer right around the corner I am embracing the citrus oils….lemon, lime, tangerine, orange, oh heaven….so many!  My latest fave is called Citrus Fresh…it’s bright and sweet and tangy and YUMMO!  I add it to my water all day long for a refreshing treat.

10 fun ways to use essential oils for summer

The great thing about the citrus oils is that they are more affordable than some of the other oils, which makes it fun to play around with them.  I like adding them to recipes occasionally and just let them wake up the rest of the ingredients!

Here are 10 ways to enjoy citrus oils for the summer….

1. Like I said already, add them to your water – Especially if you’re traveling and stuck with drinking water in a restaurant or somewhere that it tastes bad, a few drops of lime will really help!

2. Sweet drinks – Of course, you can use it to make a sweet drink too.  I’d start with about 1/3 packet of stevia (I don’t like it super sweet), 2 cups of spring water and  2-3 drops of your favorite citrus flavor.  Then adjust as you like!

3. Laundry – you know how it goes….if you leave wet laundry in the machine overnight in the summer it stinks when you wake up.  Well I discovered that if you add a few drops of lemon or lime with your detergent (in my front loader I can put it in the little dispenser) and ran it again it eliminated the odor.

4. Immune System – While winter tends to be when we think of giving extra support to our immune system, we can forget that we need that in the summer too!  Lemon and Melaleuca are fantastic for that!  I love to diffuse it and rub it behind our ears to help us stay healthy and strong!

5. Speaking of diffusing – I love, love, love my diffuser  and I wish I had one for every room.  The citrus oils are great for freshening up the house when there are sweaty kids running in and out, swimming clothes drying and general heat issues.

6. Mood lifter – who doesn’t need that every once in a while?!  Citrus oils are great for perking you up.  I love lime the most….or maybe tangerine…wait….Citrus Fresh.  I can’t decide!  Drink it, diffuse it, rub it behind your ears or on your throat, whatever you feel like.  You can’t go wrong.

7. Tummy –  Plenty of s’mores and hot dogs means occasionally you need a little tummy support.  Citrus is grrrr-reat! (especially if you combine it with peppermint oil)

8. Clean and fresh – I keep a spray bottle (You have to use glass with citrus oils!) filled with spring water and a few drops of citrus oils.  Then I spray it on surfaces after cleaning, like the kitchen counter and bathtub.  Lemon is known for killing bacteria plus it smells great!  Sometimes I use lemon and orange together.

9. Cleaning fruit – Yep!  Use that same spray bottle to clean your fruits AND increase their shelf life.  Or put them in a bowl of cold water that has a few drops of citrus added.

10. Night – citrus oils can help keep your skin fresh and clean, especially on those warm summer evenings.  So while you’re spraying your counters, spray some on your arms and legs before going outside.

And diffuse, diffuse, diffuse.

Happy Summer!!!!

Win a Finish Max Pro Paint Sprayer!!!

Win a Finish Max Pro Paint Sprayer!!!

This post contains affiliate links.

While I’m gone to SNAP, I am joining my sweet friend Ashley from Simply Designing for a fun HomeRight Giveaway.

Y’all know I love me some HomeRight tools and this  is no exception.  I used it last month on a project (which I don’t have pictures of yet, I’m sorry to say!) and it is amazing.  It makes me want to spray everything with a fresh coat of paint……kids better get to steppin’ or they’ll be getting a coat themselves.

Just enter below, say a little prayer and cross your fingers for extra imaginary help.

A great giveaway!  A Finish Max Pro Paint Sprayer valued at $125!!!

Click here to enter:

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Have a great weekend!HomeRight Finish Max Pro

Homeschooling with Babies and Toddlers Around

Homeschooling with Babies and Toddlers Around

This week for homeschool month I want to share some ideas for you moms trying to juggle teaching older kids when you have babies and toddlers around.  It sure is a challenge….but you can do it!!!

Tips for homeschooling when you have babies and toddlers around!  PLUS a giveaway!

Babies: When I had a new baby (which I did for almost 2 decades!), I always kept a rocking chair in the room where we did our school.  That way I could comfortably hold baby and teach at the same time.  I also would take school into my bedroom or the nursery when necessary.  This season is really about being flexible.  Take 20 minute breaks while you nurse.  Relax and enjoy your baby.

Toddlers: Once they are big enough to move around and play a little, it’s a whole new situation.  This time takes training and work and patience.  Here are a few things I did while I was homeschooling and raising toddlers.

1. Teach them to play alone in small increments.  Depending on their age, they can play in one spot with just a few toys for 10 minutes or so.  I’d keep a special set of toys that are a favorite set aside for this time.  I’d spread a blanket or create a spot where they have to stay, give them the toys and tell them to stay there until the timer goes off.
2. Fifteen minutes of sibling time.  Yes, an older sibling can play with a toddler for 15 minutes while you work with other kids.  It should be time with a purpose that is teaching the toddler and keeping them safe.  This time is not for the older child’s enjoyment, but for them to serve. (I used a timer a lot during these years to remind myself not to expect them to be still and quiet for too long)
3. Work during nap time.  Toddlers tend to have regular nap times that you can count on, so why not use a little of that time to get some school work done?
4. Tactile activities.  Toddler respond really well to doing things with their hands.  A 9X13 pan filled with rice or a sink with water and bubbles can entertain a child for 10-15 minutes.
5. Videos.  Yep, I’m just gonna say it.  There are some days when I needed to really occupy the littles to get a big chunk of school done.  I tried not to do this more than twice a month.  So if I was going to use electronics, I just tried to be sure it was “educational.”  Here are a few fun ones:
*I Will Trust God (a sweet, simple message about trusting God)
*My First Signs (learning sign language)
*What’s in the Bible? (a really cute series)
*Creation Proclaims: Climbers & Creepers (a little older, but great lessons about creation!)

AND I am giving away a copy of “I Will Trust God” to one blessed winner!
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This post contains affiliate links.

PaintStick Mini Contest and Giveaway!

PaintStick Mini Contest and Giveaway!

Y’all know I love me some HomeRight tools.  My Steam Machine that powered through my filthy stove top (which has stayed clean, by the way) and the car washing AutoWash Stick that I am crazy like a lunatic about (this thing cleans my car so well!) both make me happy.

Since I am a part of the HomeRight Ambassador Program, I got to try the PaintStick Mini…you know…for those smaller jobs when you don’t want to make a mess.  Well, I really never like to make a mess.  But I do like painting things.  It’s my therapy.

For this project I had 2 dressers that I bought at different flea markets, totally separate, a year apart.  But when I set them next to each other a few weeks ago to see if they would work as a console for my TV in the bedroom I was shocked to discover that they were exactly the same dresser!  It’s even more shocking that I haven’t noticed it for the past year and a half since I have owned them.

And HomeRight is having a Super fun contest that is going to be so much fun to join that you really must enter!  You can see the official rules here.

This is such a fun contest!!  Plus a giveaway....come enter....you'll love it!

This is my contest video…..I thought I’d share it here so you can see the PaintStick Mini and get inspired to make your own video!

Look what you might win….

1st Place:  iPad Air 64 G WiFi version (valued at $699)

2nd Place prize: $200 Cash

3rd Place prize: $100 Cash

Not only can you enter the video contest, but you can also enter to win a PaintStick Mini right here!  And don’t forget that you can buy them on Amazon, homedepot.com and Lowes!

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Check out some of my friends’ other posts about the PaintStick Mini! Bliss at Home, Makely School for Girls, My Repurposed Life,

This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own.