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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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/

Link up with Family Christian at the following links!

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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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Grandparents Change

I have had the privilege of caring for 4 of my grandchildren this week since Thursday morning, and we have been in VBS this week so we have had a LOT of time together.  I asked for this pleasure, I begged for it, (because I had been sick) and my son was (rightly so) scared of leaving the kids with me, and me getting sicker..,.  I LOVE my children with all my heart.  They are the most amazing children in the world.  They have the most amazing children in the world.  My SWEET beautiful, talented, gifted, brilliant, smart, helpful, mischievous, (did I say amazing) grandchildren.

Knowing that I was 100% responsible for their well-being for this period of a time, and with their parents so far away, terrified me in a way, I was never terrified as a parent.  I was confident as a parent, I was strict, I was over strict (with one) and too lazy with the other, and just down right, flat-out wrong

I found myself, very “un”confident, very second guessing, very “guilty” about every word, every action, every reaction, and every choice that was made.  Was it right, was it wrong, did I screw them up forever, did I do something special that they would always remember, or could they just have fun…  (they didn’t 100% of the time) and ya know what… That was OKAY.

I don’t have to make everything perfect for my grandchildren all the time, I don’t have to be “on” 100% of the time, 100% of everything being, going, doing, planning, playing, talking and or that Disneyland grandparent (without the benefit of Disneyland)

i CAN BE OFF AND IT’S GOING TO BE OKAY.  I can apologize and let them realize that I am not perfect (trust me, they knew it anyway, but I was clueless) and that life sometimes with grandparents will be NOT fun and games, and NOT about doing something “fun” or “planned” or whatever…..

It will be rules, and it will be discipline and it could be hard… But it can still be fun…  and that’s okay….

I hurt each one of them’s feelings in some way this weekend, somehow.  I made them obey (oh my gosh) and they even had to help at home, and  shocker, I know, they even back talked (Brian and Amilia, please don’t freak out, because that’s NORMAL for children to do, and while it’s not necessarily the norm for parents) it’s okay as their grandparent to let it happen.  Because that’s how they stand up for themselves, become independent, have a voice…sometimes, it’s okay for them to be wrong, and it be okay… (with me) I need to remember that they aren’t little adults, they are KIDS, with KID feelings, KID emotions and KID hearts. (even the teenagers)   (Just please know these kids aren’t disobedient) they are KIDS!!!)  It may seem like they are being just unruly and whatever else, but please know that it is JUST the opposite!!

Those hearts, so big, so amazing, and they LOVE their grandparents (all of them, we discussed YOU ALL this weekend) and that all of their grandparents are super grandparents.

I get to be in their lives more than most and for us, it is a routine, Church, Library days, every week something fun (at least once) and they are part of a routine with me, and they are AMAZING!!!   They have learned to give my insulin shots (I can do it, they choose too) they help with my oxygen and my wheelchair and, oh my gosh, there is NOT enough words that I can say to say to them, thank you…. for being so amazing.

You 4 kids have helped me so much this weekend, not just “physically” but emotionally and spiritually and in ways, that you may never know.

I have realized, exactly HOW HARD it is for your parents and realize that they are incredible, awesome parents,  (even when I think they are too strict)  Because sometimes strict is what is necessary to teach.

I cannot express my love for these 4 kids (and the rest of them) in words.  There are no words.

But know, that you have taught Memaw so much in such a short little time, that I pray, and I am praying hard that each day with you from here on out will be incredibly different.  Not necessarily different in things we do, but different in expectations of your behaviors.

I expect you to back talk, I expect you to “have wiggles” and suck the water bottle in ’till it scrunches, and to fight with your brothers and sisters, and argue with me, because

that’s what kids do… 

doesn’t make it right, but it makes it okay…

and discipline (the right way) isn’t a bad thing, trusting you that your choices and your actions are okay…..  And knowing that because you have a life with God, you are going to still make bad choices, but that you already know when you have done something wrong.  You KNOW, because you have that conviction of God’s heart.

I have also learned that way too much, is WAY too much…. Down time, is a good thing… Just sitting around reading a book and not being “on” is okay… (well, I knew it was anyway) but the “entertainment factor” is changing.   I do NOT have to entertain you 100% of the time that I am with you…. YOU can entertain me, with your strength and your wisdom, and your choices (because you all make awesome choices most of the time) and your just being who you are.

Who you are, is, my SWEET beautiful, talented, gifted, brilliant, smart, helpful, mischievous, (did I say amazing) grandchildren, this also goes for the rest that weren’t with me this weekend.  I think you all are so awesome and all the above too…

Just know that there are gonna be some changes.   You may not like some of the changes coming up, but just know that the changes in me are gonna be there.  Because you all deserve the best.

 

2 Timothy 1:13-14  “What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.  Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”

 

God has blessed me with these amazing grandchildren, and I am so honored to be their grandparent…   I pray that he can give me the strength, and the wisdom to do what is right by these amazing children.  (a couple that aren’t children, but teenagers)  They DESERVE the most amazing life ever!!!!  Don’t even think that there will be more things  more things happening and more “going”  (it will probably be less) and that there will be more discipline, just different discipline.  No more of the thinking you have to be perfect all the time, but more of the knowing that you will be kids and going to be some things happen that well, you probably need to be disciplined for.  But know now that the discipline, probably will not like any discipline you have ever received before.  I’ve tried, but I know I am very inconsistent, and I will promise you that God will bless our relationship 100% more than he has already has and because of that, things will change…

Yes you must have manners, yes you have to not hit your brothers and sisters, and yes, you even have to clean up after yourself, that doesn’t change.

You do get to have fun, you do get to know that when you mess us, that it’s going to be okay.  You do need to know that no matter what you do, I am never going to stop loving you.

No matter what you say, I will NEVER stop loving you.

I didn’t think it was possible to love you any more than I already have, but I do.

Thank you for this wakeup call….

Memaw needed it.

Thank you again, Brian and Amilia for being the BEST parents for these children.  I am so proud that you are the parents of my grandchildren and honored that you trust me enough.  I pray that you will see the change also, NOT in the kids, because they are and have done exactly what they should have done, being kids and learning about life.

They are awesome, and you both have done an incredible job raising them.

Isaiah 46:4  “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

What a promise.  HE will rescue me.  I am so ready to be rescued!  Oh yes, God, please rescue me, please take me to a place that only you can.  I NEED to be rescued from myself.  From that grandparent that sees everything as “if you show them fun, they will love you” to the grandparent that if you show them love, they already love you… I don’t have to show them fun, I have to show them respect.  and love.  That’s IT, with those two things, then the rest will come.

God please give me the love, the understanding and thank you for the blessing to be the best grandparent I can for these children, because they deserve the very best.  I thank you every day for them and for the gift of their beautiful lives!  Thank you so much for gifting me with their parents also.

Here are some pictures from our week.  I didn’t get many, but here’s couple!

Five Minute Friday – Bloom

Bloom

1. the flower of a plant.
2 flowers collectively: the bloom of the cherry tree.
3. state of having the buds opened: The gardens are all in bloom.
4. a flourishing, healthy condition; the time or period of greatest beauty, artistry, etc.: the bloom of youth; the bloom of Romanticism.
5. a glow or flush on the cheek indicative of youth and health: a serious illness that destroyed her bloom.

Bloom

 

I have always heard, “Bloom where you’re planted” or something like that.  In other words, do what you need to do, right where you are, with what you have, and let God take control.

For me, that is very hard.  I am a control freak.  I want to be in control of every single aspect of my life, my homes life and what is happening around me

Imagine my surprise when God gifted me with a, a couple of broken legs when I was two and several surgeries after that till I was an adult, a husband with leukemia, a son with asthma, couple of serious illnesses, a very ADHD child and a sister that completed a suicide.

Just a few life interruptions that have been blessings in the long run, if I stop and look at them long enough (*except my sister’s suicide)

It’s all been in how I looked at them, and if I let God “Bloom me where I was planted.

I have had to change MY ways of thinking and realize that no matter what, God is in control, of every single, minute detail.  Not the ones I want to give him, but EVERY single detail.

Bloom where you’re planted, in spite of broken legs, and hurt joints and many surgeries, keep going, keep playing basketball, keep playing tennis, and keep on running… Bloom

Bloom where you’re planted in spite of a husband that had leukemia.  Greet each day as a new day, and make friends with the families on the floor, ask how they are doing, what do they need, what can I do, do you need to talk.   Bloom

Bloom where you son is in the hospital with asthma/pneumonia at such a young age, treat the nurses to pizza at night, ask them about their life, ask caregivers about their lives, do they need anything, can I help take some of the load off of you because I am here and won’t be leaving….Bloom

Bloom in a school where my son was having a very huge difficult time. He spends more time in the principal’s office than he does in class…. Bloom…. Bloom because you KNOW he is a good young man and he has been labeled bad, and if someone would just take the chance to know him, love him, challenge him, and get to the real young man that he was,

Bloom when your sister is so mentally challenged that she wants to kill people, that she sees demons, that she finally is so unsatisfied with her life, and thinks there is absolutely no going back, she takes her life.  In doing so, you know she is at peace for the first time in many years, however, you also know that your parents have lost two children early and for them, it is the worst day of their life, and for you, still you know she is at peace, but the pain hurts.  Physically she is gone.  Emotionally she is healed.,

 Bloom :), blessings…. Bloom where you are planted, right where you are, with what you have.

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Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday


this is from Lisa-Jo Baker’s Blog that explains FMF)
So, here’s the skinny: every Friday for going on four years now hundreds of people have joined a kind of writing flash mob over here.
We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that I post here at 1 minute past midnight EST ever Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the #FMFParty (It stands for Five Minute Friday Party).
No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.
Unscripted. Unedited. Real.
It started because I’d been thinking about writing and how often our perfectionism gets in the way of our words. And I figured, why not take 5 minutes and see what comes out: not a perfect post, not a profound post, just five minutes of focused writing.
So now on Fridays a group of people who love to throw caution to the wind and just write without worrying if it’s just right gather to share what five minutes buys them. Just five minutes.
Your words. This shared feast. It’s easy to join in, just:
Check what the prompt is on my Lisa Jo Baker’s Blog.
Write a post in only five minutes on that topic on your blog.
{And if you don’t have a blog, no worries! Just leave your writing as a comment on my post} Link over to Lisa’s blog and invite friends to join in. Select the permalink to your post {so not your blog url http://www.lisajobaker.com but your post url
http://www.lisajobaker.com/2012/07/five-minute-friday-2/ } Using the blue linky tool at the bottom of Lisa’ Five Minute Friday post enter your link. It will also walk you through selecting which photo you want to show up in the linky. Your post will show up in our Five Minute Friday linky. Be sure and encourage the person who linked up before you!
Our most important requirement for participation: There’s really only one absolute, no ifs, ands or buts about it
Five Minute Friday rule: you must visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community

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Confessions of A Prodigal Son

The movie –  Confessions of a Prodigal Son was just a dream when I first heard about it about 2 or 3 years ago

Nathan Clarkson shared at a Mom Heart Conference in Dallas, TX with the people in attendance about his goal of getting this movie, from idea to theater, that tells the modern story of the Prodigal Son.

Nathan wrote this movie, and worked with this movie from the beginning and is asking for help to get 250,000 people to be interested in this movie, just like they did with Soul Surfer and God’s Not Dead that Kevin Sorbo, was in.  Kevin Sorbo, from God is not Dead–is the father of the prodigal son 

Well, here is the FIRST OFFICIAL trailer for the movie!  

 

It just came out today and has been so successful in getting people interested in it, YouTube couldn’t handle all the traffic!!!  That has since been fixed and the trailer is showing and you need to go check it out!

We MUST keep movies like Confessions of a Prodigal Son, God’s Not Dead and Soul Surfer in theaters, however, we have to let Hollywood know that you want these movies.  Go check out the trailer here

 

 

Then please go like the Facebook page of Confessions of a Prodigal Son and share it where ever you can, whether it be in a Blog, FB, Twitter, Instagram, Path, LinkedIn, Google +; whatever floats your boat!  Just SHARE!!!!

 

 

More Links

http://www.confessionsofaprodigalson.com/

http://www.itakejoy.com/#sthash.rzkVcd3Q.dpuf

http://nathanjclarkson.wordpress.com/

http://nathanjclarkson.com

http://nathanjohnclarkson.com

https://www.facebook.com/ConfessionsOfAProdigalSon

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nathan-Clarkson/234656049945107

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