Friday, April 1, 2016

62 Day Bible and Cleaning Challenge

Join me HERE for the 62 day challenge. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Are You Mary or Martha?

*The following post contains affiliate links.

Having a Martha Home the Mary Way: 
31 Days to a Clean House and a Satisfied Soul. 

Luke 10:38-42 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Martha and Mary
38 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with [a]all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

I have always loved the story of Mary and Martha. There is almost a bit of comedy in Martha tattling on Mary to Jesus, “No fair! I am working and she is doing nothing!!!” And I will admit that I used to be very much like Martha. I would put aside prayer and Bible study because I needed a clean house in order for my brain to rest and for me to function. But what if I could be like both sisters? Maintain a clean orderly home and be able to spend time with God?

This book helps me do both.

The author makes the point that the ultimate goal is not for you to be a perfect homemaker, but to have an inviting home filled with love. And she does it in a very gentle way.

The book contains daily challenges. One challenge is called a “Mary challenge” which is a Bible challenge for the day.

Then there are Martha challenges. An example of these challenges would be to clean and organize your bookshelves. Some of the challenges tell you how you can get your children involved, and some even tell you to go eat a cookie! J

These are all very doable things—things that you can do even if you have small children, homeschool your children, and/or work.

I am going to be doing the challenge along with my friends starting on April 4th. We are going to make it a 62 Day Challenge so that we have extra time.

This book will be a great way to help motivate you to get things done that you have been meaning to do. Watch my blog and Facebook page for more information on The Mary/Martha Challenge.
While it is not essential to get the book in order to join the challenge, I recommend that you do because it is a great book that will encourage you!!!

Find the books in these locations:

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Great Crafts for Boys

*Disclosure: My boys love toys that let them use their imaginations and create new and different things. That is why I accepted the free IDO3D product and I am excited to tell you about it. All opinions are my own. 

Great Crafts for Boys 

 My boys could not wait for the IDO3D to get here! They rushed to the door when the box arrived. The items were easy to get out, so the boys were able to start using the kit right away. The only thing we had to provide was 3 AAA batteries.

The instructions are very easy to understand. Just make sure to also follow these tips: 
  • Make sure your IDO3D spotlight has fresh batteries. (Note: The light may appear to be working, when the batteries are in fact weak.)
  • The spotlight should be held as close to your project as possible (about .5 inches). You can also cure your pieces from the bottom of the plastic tracing sheet by holding your light directly under your artwork. This is helpful for thicker lines and larger areas of ink.
  • The tip of the pen can be adjusted to create thick or thinner lines.
  • Trace small sections of your project pieces and then quickly hit it with the light. You do not need it to fully cure; a couple of seconds will prevent the ink from spreading and allow you to achieve finer detail. Repeat this process until you are finished with your project piece.
  • We have found that alcohol based hand sanitizers help to easily remove any sticky residue left behind by the ink.
  • You can place your plastic tracing sheet in the sun to cure any unwanted ink. (You can also place your art in a windowsill and use to sun to help finish curing your projects.)

The boys each picked a project. My 8 year old wanted to try to make a ball using the enclosed plastic dome shaped item. My 12 year old decided to make a skateboard with a ramp. 

The 8 year old got frustrated trying to make the ball by himself, so he decided to work with his older brother.  My 12 year old was able to make the skateboard and ramp in about two hours. He really likes working on projects on which he gets to build or put things together.

My older son said that he wished the kit came with pens of a bigger variety of colors instead of the 2 red pens, 2 green pens, and 1 yellow pen the kit included. But he also said, "It is so cool that I can make my own toys. I cannot wait to think of my own ideas and create toys from my imagination."

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Girl, We Need to Talk: The Minister's Wife & Her Struggles

           This book was provided to me at no charge, in exchange for an honest review. This review is my honest opinion. 

Girl, We Need to Talk: The Minister's Wife & Her Struggles

"In Girl, We Need to Talk, ten ministers' wives offer words of hope and help, not to mention a shoulder to cry on. Whether it's living in the proverbial fish bowl, being a single mom during worship, or helping your husband build a ministry that lasts, this book offers practical advice for your struggles. More importantly, you will be inspired to mentor the next generation of godly women and go deeper in your relationship with Christ."

I was honored to receive a copy of “Girl, We Need to Talk: The Minister's Wife & Her Struggles” in order to write a review.  This book has great insight from several ministers’ wives who have “been there.”  Reading this book can help you learn from their mistakes as well as their success. It was like having all the ministers’ wives sitting with me, drinking tea and offering guidance.
I did not have the typical problems that most ministers' wives face since we attended our congregation before my husband was hired as the youth minister. But now we are moving to a new work, where my husband will be the pulpit minister. This book could not have come at a better time! It offers such great advice in areas such as making friends, hospitality, supporting your husband, mentoring other women, and so much more. Not only does it offer great advice, but the advice is backed up with scripture.

I was very encouraged after reading this book. I know it will be a great resource to me as we move to our new congregation and for many years thereafter. 

You can purchase the book here or here.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Preparing for a Tornado

Tornado season is winding down for now in my part of the world. Severe weather will crank up again in the fall. Don't be unprepared for a tornado. Check out my article on and start preparing today. 

If you or your family live in Southwest Arkansas follow my weather Facebook page, Storm'NOrren.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Learn With Play - A New Book to Encourage Family Memories

Learn With Play: 150 Activities for Year-Round Fun & Learning

I continue to be amazed at all the wonderful memories we can make with our children through play.
*This post contains affiliate links.

This great new book provides hours of ideas to use so you can play and make wonderful memories with your child.

Take a peek inside the book.

I am so excited to be able to bring you this book filled with over 100 fun, hands on activities for kids from birth to kindergarten. It has been tested by kids so you can be assured these activities are fun and they work. 

The book is divided into various categories:

General Play/ Arts & Crafts Activities
 Early Childhood Education
 Life Skills

It has been written by over 90 of the greatest bloggers from The Kid Blogger Network and I am honored to be one of the authors!

You can buy the eBook which is available for a special launch discounted price of  $9.95 for July 7-14 only!
The printed book is available on Amazon for $29.95.
The Kindle edition is available on Amazon for US$14.95

It would make a great gift for baby showers, birthdays, preschool teachers, and moms. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Magic Springs and a Magical Birthday!

*FTC- My family enjoyed the day at Magic Springs and I was financially compensated for this post. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience. 

Magic Springs and a Magical Birthday!

As part of our normal family traditions the birthday boy gets to pick a place he would like to go for his birthday. Remembering his 6th birthday when we went to Magic Springs , our soon to be 12 year old decided he wanted to go back for his 12th birthday!

When we arrived at Magic Springs we got the ultimate in VIP experience, a cabana!!! Our cabana had a table and chairs inside and a table, chairs, and umbrella outside overlooking the wave pool. The cabana included a safe and a cooler. We also had a ceiling fan to keep us cool. But the part I could not believe…. A TV with Dish Network! We stayed at the cabana for a little while before embarking on the park because it was such a neat experience. J

We left the comfort of our amazing cabana to check out all the cool rides. It was at this point I found out my younger son was a daredevil! The lady at Diamond Mine Coaster, said that he was tall enough to ride on his own and he suddenly did not want us near him. So I let him ride by himself.  Every ride he exclaimed “was the best ride ever!!” and “I don’t want to get off.” I kept having to calm him down to tell him that he should try other rides so he could compare them all. 

The boys had a blast on the first round of rides. We also checked out some of the fun games they had in the park. The cool thing about the games we played is that you always win at least a small prize.

Next it was time for lunch, so we headed back to our cabana. We were greeted with someone ready to take our lunch order. Since it was a birthday lunch, we let the birthday boy choose the food. He chose food from the pizza place, Pizza DiLagoThe food was delivered to us while we lounged in our nice cool cabana and watched TV.

I don’t know what my husband was thinking when he ordered the 29 inch pizza! It was bigger than the table! But it sure did taste good. They told us that it was handmade with fresh ingredients. It would rival any pizza place outside the park.

Since this was a birthday trip, I brought along candles for the birthday boy’s bread sticks. I did not light them because I am sure that would have been frowned upon.

This was about the time my younger son asked, “Can we live here?”

After lunch we ran into some friends. That turned out to be one of the highlights of the day. We had fun visiting with them. We also figured out a great partnership idea. Since they like to ride the “scary” rides and my husband and I do not, we watched their children and they rode with ours. It was perfect, since their children were too small for the big rides, and we were just plain chicken.

I am thankful for friends who will ride upside down roller coasters. This was the cherry on top for the birthday boy. He had never ridden anything like this before and The Gauntlet  was the main thing he talked about on the way home.

I am so glad that we got to spend a great 12th birthday with my son making family memories. According to him, “This was the best birthday ever!”

Thoughts while at Magic Springs

1.     If you enjoy riding rides without going to the water park you will still have enough to keep you busy all day. Most of the people stay at the water park. A great benefit was we had virtually no wait for any of the “non- water park rides.”

2.     If you do enjoy the water park and you live anywhere near Hot Springs, then it might be worth it to get a season pass.  There are three separate water parks located inside Magic Springs. There is no way you could do it all in one day.

3.     The cabanas are great! I was thinking how wonderful it would have been to have one the first time we brought the boys to Magic Springs. At that time my younger son was two and he still needed naps. I could have taken him back to the cabana to drift off to sleep under the cool ceiling fan and watching Dora the Explorer. My older son and husband could have continued their adventure without interruption.

4.     Also the cabanas would be great for a nursing moms. It would give you a nice place to relax and a quiet place where the baby would not be distracted. A bonus is they bring you complimentary bottles of water to drink.

5.     To avoid crowds, go at the beginning of the week and at the beginning of the summer. I spoke with Aaron, who is the marketing assistant. He said it gets really crowded beginning in the middle of July and going into August before school starts back. 

How long has it been since you visited Magic Springs? 
What is your favorite memory?