Stepping On Cheerios

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Family life is beautiful and motherhood is a privilege, but it ain’t no picnic!

Being a mother isn’t easy. Sometimes it’s hard to experience a personal connection with God and community when you are caught up in the chaos of just “doing family”.

Independent and self-sufficient, author Betsy Singleton Snyder lived a full and busy life as a pastor, missionary, and wife to a husband who served in the U.S. House of Representatives. She had her first child at age 44, then at 47, she found out she was carrying triplets. Suddenly finding herself overwhelmed is an understatement.

Stepping on Cheerios is a collection of funny, warm, and charming tales from the frontlines of parenthood, written for women who are juggling to accomplish everyday feats of work, motherhood, marriage, church, and more. It’s a comical story of one woman’s realization that her crazy life is a gift and how she found the grace in it.

Learn more and purchase a copy. 

My Review 

when I first started reading Stepping on Cheerios, I didn’t like the book at all.

When I read further I realized that what i didn’t like was the preachiness.

If you are able to get past that, you are left with a great little devotional, a lot of comedy and some new parenting skills.

Add into that some different viewpoints on The Bible that maybe you hadn’t seen

Overall, I give this book 3 Stars. Preachiness sometimes is a good thing because the words are all God talking, if you take the time to listen

I received an ARC copy of this book as part of the Blogging Group at Litfuse Group!


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The Joy Of Letting Go

 Did you know parents let go of their children every day, often in ways they don’t realize? Whether your kids are in kindergarten or college, learn how to prepare your hearts for your kids’ independence with Vicki Caruana’s The Joy of Letting Go. The 52 devotional readings within shine a light on all the times readers have loosened their grip on their children and encourages them to continue to let go in life-giving ways. Written by a parenting and education expert, The Joy of Letting Go will comfort and inspire parents in all seasons of parenting.

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The Joy of Letting Go: Releasing Your Teen into Real Life in the Big World (David C. Cook, April 2017)

With readings of encouragement and inspirational quotes, this devotional helps parents prepare their hearts for their children’s independence, whether their kids are just starting kindergarten or graduating from college.

Parents let go of their children every day, even in ways they don’t realize. The 52 devotional readings within shine a light on all the times readers have loosened their grip on their children and encourages them to continue to let go in life-giving ways. Written by a parenting and education expert, The Joy of Letting Go will comfort and inspire parents in all seasons of parenting.

Learn more  and purchase a copy.


My Review

My children are 37, 33, 33 and 28. I was that person that, while teaching my children to be extremely self sufficient, I also was THAT MOM. You know the one.

My child was special! Amazing! Going to rule the world!! (Rolling eyes at myself here)

I also was going to do whatever it took to make that happen.

In doing that, I alienated all my kids and made their life more difficult. Not only were they not 100% prepared, no matter what I taught them, and me having nothing (so I thought) to hang my hat on, our lives became very complicated to say the least.

You raise your kids for the result, to leave your home and be out on their own.

You need to give them the self confidence that they can leave your home, and want to come back and more importantly are comfortable coming home to visit.

They want to come back, NOT because they need to, but because they want to.

God gives us resources to work through this season of our lives!
Vicki Caruana puts these resources together in a great devotional called “The Joy of Letting Go: Releasing Your Teen into Real Life In The Big World
“The, very best words we have from God are Phil 4:6-7- Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”

SLAP ME UPSIDE THE HEAD WITH A 2X4!!!

There it is. The direction in which we should let our kids go.

From their first little steps, all the way to the college dorm (or first apartment and job etc.)

With prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving.

Oh, how I would live a do-over!!
1st. For the plain and simple reason that I would follow God’s command.
2nd. So that my children could see me and their childhood home in a different frame of mind. By reframing my whole “mother hen” attitude to a #spreadtheirwingsandwnjoytheirflight attitude, I would give my kids the best thing ever.

Truth that Jesus will protect them and truth that they would always find their way back home.

The verse I gave is one that Caruana uses with 52 devotionals to help parents understand that growing up and moving on (in most cases) isn’t optional, it is the way God intended life to be.

You can purchase The Joy of Letting Go  here at the bottom of the information http://litfusegroup.com/author/VCaruana


Dr. VicVCaruana-435ki Caruana is the author of 20 books and the blog Apples & Chalkdust—named after her bestselling book that has touched the lives of a million educators around the world. Caruana is one of four parenting experts on “Starting Points,” Focus on the Family’s parenting DVD series. Formerly a public school teacher and a homeschooling mom, Vicki is now an assistant professor of education at Mount Saint Mary College in New York. She lives with her station wagon loving husband, Chip, in Newburgh, New York and has two grown sons in Colorado Springs.

You can find Vicki at this blog  http://vickicaruana.blogspot.com.
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Wedding At Orange Blossom Inn

 

A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn by Shelley Shepard Gray | Blog Tour and Book Giveaway

 

When widow Emma’s family opposes her new friendship with widower Jay, she begins to wonder if she’ll be alone forever. Don’t miss Shelley Shepard Gray’s third book, A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn, in the Amish Brides of Pinecraft series! A wedding brings together two young widowed parents, and once again, love has come to Pinecraft. But can these two parties of four become a happy, healthy family of eight?

Enter to win a copy of A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn—five winners will be chosen! Click the image below to enter to win. The winners will be announced October 1 on Shelley’s blog!

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A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn

 

{More about A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn}

A Wedding at the Orange Blossom Inn (Avon Inspire, September 2015)

A wedding brings together two young widowed parents . . . and gives them a second chance at love.

Emma Keim was heartbroken when her husband, Sanford, passed away, leaving her to raise three young daughters alone. Though several years have passed, her relatives have made it no secret that they expect Emma to remain a widow, mourning Sanford indefinitely. But when she meets Jay Hilty—a handsome widower with three young sons of his own—Emma is delighted to have a new friend who understands her struggles. Still, she is dismayed that her family is so opposed to their friendship—and the idea of it ever becoming anything more. She honors her husband’s memory every day, but is she destined to be alone forever?

Emma’s gentleness with Jay’s boys stirs something in his heart that’s been quiet for far too long. But when his oldest son becomes engaged to a local woman, suddenly Jay, Emma, and their children are swept up in wedding preparations. Witnessing his son’s joy, Jay wonders if it’s time for him to move forward, too, and find happiness again.

Once again, love has come to Pinecraft. But can these two parties of four become a happy, healthy family of eight?

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Learn more and purchase a copy.

My Review

Brady Bunch Meets the Amish Country.
Or something like that!
Emma is a widow with three girls
Jay a widower with three boys!. Between them they have so many friends and relatives that it is a full house all the time!!

Oh and a precocious pup named Frankie!  Who was an escape artist and a food thief!!

The thing they have most of is God and Love!  Who can ever have too much of either!

As their courtship blossoms they learn fast and hard that with a family this big, a town as small as they live in.
Everyone knows everything about everything.

Frankie does his escape artistry one day during one if the biggest events of the year and Emma is devastated, embarrassed and unwilling to go back to the event because Frankie has ruined everything.

Or has he.

Go check out Wedding At Orange Blossom Inn and fi d out how Frankie’s catastrophes change Emma and Jay’s lives as well as the kids.

 

 

Shelley Shepard Gray

More About The Author

Shelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Times bestseller, a two-time USA Today bestseller, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Holt Medallion winner. She lives in Southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

Find out more about Shelley at http://www.shelleyshepardgray.com.

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Among the Fair Magnolias

Four best-selling novelists bring tales of four Southern women who face near impossible choices on their journeys in life and in love during the most turbulent decade of our nation’s history in Among the Fair Magnolias. Don’t miss this collection of stories from Tamera Alexander, Shelley Gray, Dorothy Love, and Elizabeth Musser.

Did you ever feel so into a book that you feel like every time you open it you are snuggling down with a pice of your heart.

This book, Among The Fair Magnolias did just that for me. This compilation of 4 novellas by Tamera Alexander, Shelly Gray, Dorothy Love and Elizabeth Musser did just that.

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I mean look at that cover.  Isn’t that like a fairy tell setting?  Just somewhere to take your mind off everything.  You walk into each novella with your heart a little heavy and end up with your heart lightened and full of love

The stories involve you from the beginning and never leave you hanging.  Having strong main characters and having led you back to the 1800’s is just great for those that want a book that you can meet these characters in their stories as if you were right there with them.  Never was I bored during reading these 4 novellas.

I am finding that I love this historical period.  While I am still not “in love” with love stories.  The need to sometimes drown out the world and get lost in a book very quickly!

My Favorite An Outlaws Heart is just that.  A book that keeps  you involved from the very first words to the end  Russell comes home after being gone for 7 years and finds his mother very ill.  While hanging around trying to help her, he runs into his old girlfriend who had run him off the last time she saw him.  Was it all because she didn’t love him anymore or because of love that’s why she asked him to leave.  Read An Outlaws Heart in Among The Fair Magnolias and you can get it here

To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander – Savannah is so angry about the war  It killed her parent’s.  Left her with a family to raise even at her young age.  They also lost the family farm “Darby Farms” in the process.  Only to have it purchased by a Union Soldier.  Savannah is hired to be the seamstress on the Darby Farms remodel. she is ecstatic because that gets her back in the home.  Where she is in a race against the clock that will end her reasons to be in the home.  Does she keep looking for the mistake.

Dorothy Love – Abigail must marry her distant cousin Charles.  She knows that she doesn’t want to and her heart belongs to another man.  Should she listen to her parents or realize she is destined to a life of unhappiness

Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth Musser – Emily is in love.  With a freedman.  He is taunted by the KKK.  The person that loves Emily is part of that KKK she soon find out.  What other secrets are there to be found.

Check out each of these Novellas, in Among The Fair Magnolias by these 4 authors.  You can get this book at the following links

http://litfusegroup.com/books/among-the-fair-magnolias

Among the Fair Magnolias Authors

Tamera Alexander is the best-selling author of numerous books including “A Lasting Impression” and “The Inheritance.” Tamera is a two-time Christy Award winner, two-time RITA winner, and a recipient of the prestigious Library Journal Award. A native of west Tennessee,

Dorothy Love makes her home in the Texas hill country with her husband and their golden retriever. An award-winning author of numerous young adult novels, Dorothy made her adult debut with the Hickory Ridge novels.

Shelley Gray is the author of The Heart of a Hero series. Her Amish novel (written as Shelley Shepard Gray), “The Protector,” recently made the New York Times best seller list.

Elizabeth Musser, a native of Atlanta, Georgia now living in France, is a novelist who writes what she calls ‘entertainment with a soul.’ For over 25 years, Elizabeth and her husband, Paul, have been involved in mission work with International Teams.

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Devotions Off The Map – 52 Week Devotional Journey #FCBloggers

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I had the opportunity to read an Advanced Reader Copy of Devotions Off The Map – 52 Week Devotional Journey with Family Christian Stores.  Written by Katherine Blackmore, B&h Kids Editorial and Dandi Mackall.  This book is published by B&H Publishing, and let me just say, they know what will catch a kid’s attention and keep them reading. Or at least it did for this old kid!!!

Upon opening the book, you cannot help but notice all the super bright colors and the just complete “neatness” of the book. It isn’t busy, nor is it slow.

unnamedAs you get into the book there are 52 devotions that give you life situations, and I am going to use this one as an example: Making Camp: Learning to Love Along The Way.

Devotions Off The Map is available for Preorder at this link.  It should be in the stores by August 1, 2015 . The book has special graphics that explain each part of the devotional, like

ThTreee Overlook – it explains what your child will learn in the devotional – our example is “You can learn to show love to everyone”

 

CompassThis Is The Way – provides one key Bible verse and some scripture references to memorize, study, word by word, and/or life applications. All pointing you back to the devotional. Our example is O John 4:20 – If anyone says. “I love God” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother he has seen cannot love the God he has not seen. And a few more verses that go with the devotional.

treehouse formatedLessons From The Tangled Treehouse – this section is where the devotions come in. Easy to read, challenging for your child and something that your child might find that He or she already knows – Our example is about a person that goes somewhere for a few weeks, and upon their roommate walking in the room, immediately judges them. In their own mind, they are sure they don’t like the roommate, and are not going to be open to getting to know them. However, upon getting to know them, they realize that they and the roommate really do have a lot in common and the further they go into the time together, they really do like each other a lot and become very close friends. Something kids go through at school, camps etc. all the time. God tells us we are liars if we say we love Him, but do not like our brothers. That’s harsh! However, the devotional puts it in words that are so easy for any child to understand.

Bushes FormatedShady Grove Prayers – this is the part of the devotional where simple prayers, already written out for you that you can either pray with your child, or have your child read and then say their own based on the examples given.    for non-readers can pray out loud and read to them, the words are easy enough and always again they make these so easy to adjust for non-readers and to be able to put into words they can understand.  Our example uses this prayer.

“Dear God, Thank you for your love, thank you for sending Jesus to die on the cross for me. Your love is amazing. Help me to show that love to others whether I know them well or not.
want to be more like you. Amen”  

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I don’t know a child of God (of any age) that would not benefit from God’s help in this devotional. That’s the beauty of this book. So much applies to adults, kids, and even non-readers, (now this is my opinion, so don’t go trying to say, oh I know one, I know one!!!) I am sure there is someone somewhere, who wouldn’t like this book!

questions FormatedField Study – is a question and answer section that begin with why, how when or where. These questions, will push a child to think, use their Bible to look up answers or open a dialogue between a parent/teacher/guardian to open the child’s mind to different opinions based on sound Biblical principles – One of our examples is the following “How can you love someone who doesn’t seem to love you?” That’s just one of 4 in this particular devotional.

Boots formatedWalking to Boulder Bridge– this section is where you child puts what they have learned into everyday life. With activities, community projects, crafts or even family discussion time. I love this part of it. Being a very hands on thinker, learner. This appeals to my inner child so much! I know for me, “doing” teaches me so much more and not just reading from a book. So our example, Show love to one another, gives examples, like cut out a heart, put the initials of people you love. On the other side, write people’s initials that may need some love shown to them, and then keep the heart in your pillowcase so that you can remember it, pull it out and pray for each person that you wrote down, also it helps you remember that God loves everyone equally! – This section, again, also opens up ideas from parents/teachers/guardians, and there are so many other ways to use this, like if you know someone hurting, you could write them a short note, or just “God loves you” with the verse reference and even mail it to them or many other applications that are age proper, and based on your child’s skills, and learning abilities. Whatever works best for your family?

I think my last statement “whatever works best for your family” is one of the reasons I love this book so much. Nothing is just as it is. There are so many variations to how each section can be used and applied to your family and your lifestyle.
The Lessons Part – if the child is a non-reader, the book is written in such a way that most younger kids could understand the life application because of wordings that the writers have used in my opinion, younger children, may not understand, because of concepts of time and distance, however, they can easily be used in their words and their understanding and changed up to have a jumping off point and then the book is not just useful for readers alone.

Prayer

This devotional is  as a follow-up to a VBS, however, there is no way that you need to go to the VBS to understand the book.  I pray that anyone that purchases this little book will love it as much as I have!  I go on vacation soon with my grandchildren, and this will be our daily devotional book.  I am sure around day three of “all the cousins” they will need a great reminder of showing their love to someone and this is just the book for it!   We range from 1-year-old to 18 years old, so they all will be able to put it to use in some way and fashion!  I really cannot say enough good about Devotions Off The Map a 52 Week Devotional Journey;

 

 So much simplicity rolled up into 52 devotions, which will touch your child’s heart for a lifetime!

You can buy this book at a Family Christian Store near you, or online at http://www.familychristian.com/catalog/product/view/id/311787/

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Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog  I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done.  Al thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and OI only recommend products or services I use personally ad believe will be good for my readers  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255:  "Guides Concerning The Use Of Endorsements and 
Testimonials in Advertising"

A Christmas Gift For Rose and a GIVEAWAY!!!

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Through adversity, Rose finds love.

Rose finds Family

Rose finds Rose.

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When an Amish woman learns the truth about her heritage, her life shattered. She had already lost the love of her life when he went off to war.

Amish men just didn’t do that. Rose couldn’t get past the point that he was at war, regardless of whether he was on the front-line or a medic. Her reasons for turning her back on Jonathan end up being her heritage. Rose tries to deal with her identity and the loss of the life she always thought had.

When faced with adversity Rose learns that family is more than the people you are born too. She also learns that family is more than blood.

Rose learns life lessons

In those lessons Rose finds adversity, Rose finds friendship, Rose finds true family and Rose…

Finds Rose.

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What a sweet story this is of community, faith, love, family and living God’s command of love your neighbor!

The faith that Rose finds in herself, her family and Jonathan, the love of her life, are all renewed with the spirit of Christmas.

The Christmas gift she finds is herself.

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My thoughts

I loved how the story intertwined among the War and lets you know how hard it was for people to live during that time. Really gut wrenching honest. A young woman questions her entire existence and you cannot help but start “cheering for the home team” Rose’s emotions are all over the place in this book and when I read it the first time, (when it first came out) I was in love with this book and the feelings of family and home, and community.

The next time I read it, I couldn’t connect with the book. Then I realized that it was my own doing because of my issues in my family. This is a book that makes you think and think hard about your family

It makes you want to have that ideal family life!!! Does that life ever really exist? For the young woman in this book, you find that it —  read the book to find out what Rose does and how she handles her emotions and feelings and how she comes to terms with her life during this time!!!”

Go here for the giveaway –  A Christmas Gift For Rose

 

 

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God’s Answered Prayer Manifested Right Before Your Eyes

I just want to say thank you so much to everyone who was praying for us this week, and let me tell you about how God worked in our lives this week and how HE manifested his miracles in our lives!!!!

I had a screw in my foot that I had NO clue about and then also stepped on a hair clip that I was trying to get out of the package, dropped it, tripped and stepped on it. very fluke, it went through my shoe, as did the screw, and the screw I didn’t know about, so I had no clue about how long it had been there, I found it when I went to wash my tennis shoes. We went in wound care app. Dr’s appt on Wednesday and they explained to me and then told me to expect possible surgery because the screw had hit the bone, and I was placed in the hospital on major IV antibiotics..

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Okay, back to the prayer warriors, on Thursday, they told me that there was a no surgery expected, but 6 weeks of Long Term Care on IV Antibiotics,to the tune of 700$ for supplies and medications…
We prayed, others prayed, we knew we couldn’t afford the 700$, I KNEW I couldn’t go 6 weeks Long Term Care, because of my dog, and because of my claustrophobia, etc, and I just cried and prayed all day, because it just could not happen God knew my fears, He KNOWS my fears
The next morning, they came in and said, just 2 weeks of IV antibiotics at LT Residential Care (I said Thank you God) God was answering Prayers, left and right,,,I know he was answering prayers!!! So I sent out another prayer message and messaged my friends on FB, and after many prayers between my husband and I on Friday, we wake up on Saturday to Dr K coming in on saying you can go home, with NO IV antibiotics, this has all been Staff Responsive and as far as I’m concerned you can do this with just Bactrim,, Nothing IV! It’s all good!!!

No IV’s, NO Long Term Residential Care, , it’s just me, my pills, and home health care.

Did I say nothing.  Oh how much I was blessing God and saying thank you and the cost of this 5.15$   Yes that’s right (out of pocket)    I am sure there is more, but that’s the other of pocket costs.    I am just so in awe of all of those of you who prayed, and who were praying 

two people I must mention because they don’t know me.. they don’t know me from Adam.  But they prayed for me faithfully, every single day  Tricia Goyer and Kendra GIllilan…….  I just cannot thank you ladies enough

To Main Street Baptist Church as alway, you are my rock and my home.  I thank you so much for all the prayers, the love and all the tests, emails, calls and love you all send!

To all my friends!  Amber, Celeste, Heather, Theresa, Mitzi,   God bless you all.  you all are the bomb and I love you so much

To my family!!, oh my goodness, I can’t even do this without you!!!  thank you so much

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