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Friday, December 5, 2014

Let's Talk Devotionals.... (Jesus Daily Review and Giveaway!)


My friends at Hachette Book Group have given me a copy of this book 
with the hope that I would provide a review on my blog.  
They have also supplied an extra copy for a friend AND a book/t-shirt prize pack
 for a giveaway on my blog.  My thoughts about this book are my own and 
are not influenced by the actions of Jesus Daily, the author, or Hachette Book Group.


A good devotional can keep you in the Word on a daily basis.  Strong in faith.  Consistent.

Or...does it?

Well...it depends.

What if you miss a day?  Or a week?  Do you jump back in or get discouraged?  Or worse, do you end up ditching it all in defeat?

Yeah.


What if you had a devotional that made you "do" something?  How about an interactive devotional that calls you to action every day.  Nothing heavy-just a little social media connection that brings your daily devotion to life.  Something productive while you play around on Facebook and Twitter.

Cool idea, right?

Aaron Tabor, MD, the creator of Jesus Daily, the most popular page on Facebook with 27 + million followers, has done just that!  

Jesus Daily--365 Interactive Devotions  is now available for purchase at these retailers:  Walmart, Barnes and Noble, and ChristianBook.com.  

From the introduction:

Jesus Daily--365 Interactive Devotions is a brand new hardcover devotional that will not only get you started reading and reflecting about Jesus, but also helps you connect with others.  Dr. Tabor insists that you will be blessed in more ways than you can imagine, even in the midst of life's inevitable storms.
A sample page:




Hachette Book Group has invited me to participate in a public devotion round-up, celebrating the 12 days of Christmas.  I chose December 5th.





My verse for today is Luke 1:38

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

This devotion talks about Mary's willingness to accept God's will for her life, even though the future was surely about to get complicated.  Even though she didn't understand what was about to happen, she accepted it.  Her deepest desire was to do His will.  

The devotion ends asking two questions:  What is your deepest desire?  and Can you say yes to God no matter what he asks of you?

Tough stuff.  Can I??  

Of course, I want to say yes....

My daily interaction is to head over to JesusDaily.com and pray for someone to be obedient to God's direction as they pray that same prayer for me.  

Awesome!  Obviously, I need someone praying that prayer for me.  

You know what?

I think I can do this.  After all, I am a huge fan of social media.  I have great connections and friends (yes...FRIENDS!) due to Facebook, Twitter, and the blogging world.  I am excited to connect on a new level...a Jesus level.  So excited, in fact, that I'm giving away not one, but TWO copies of this great little devotional---one to a local friend and the other, the official prize pack with t-shirt, to one of my blog readers!

A couple of rules:  18 years old or older, US residents only

To enter to win the prize pack:  Leave a comment  (It's that simple!)

Local friends:  Leave "Local-Pick ME" in the comments here or on my Facebook post about this contest, or email me.  

I will choose the winners using Random.org on Monday night, December 8, 2014.


Good luck!










Tuesday, November 4, 2014

An Event for Families Affected by Autism...





Just an fyi...



A Facebook Autism Educational Event is coming!

This Thursday, November 6th at 9:00 pm EST.

Valerie Miles MD, Susanne Edson RN and Sharon Farrar 
will be part of our educational evening on Facebook 
discussing Autism and Whole Food Based Nutrition.



For a personal invitation, 'friend' me on Facebook 
and I will send you an invite to this Facebook event.








Friday, August 1, 2014

Front Porch Makeover




I noticed some time ago that my front porch area was looking a little plain, dingy even.  Our house is about to hit the 10 year mark and has never been spruced up.  We've been here 7 1/2 years and the original, cookie-cutter neighborhood colors were getting washed out.

Boring.

I kept putting a makeover on the back burner for a couple of reasons.  One...babies everywhere, and two...color indecision.

Then, one day, about a month ago, I saw a photo of a blogging/homeschool friend's front porch, complete with a bright, sunny yellow front door.  I was wowed!

It looked so....happy. 

I could imagine my online friend (even though we've never met in person) walking up to her front porch and smiling at that yellow door.

And that's when I decided to do something to jazz up my front porch.

To make it a happy place.

My house has a bit of a cottage feel and I wanted to play on that.

Who can resist a cute little cottage, right?

Of course, I completely forgot to take a before picture, but I found a couple of older pictures in my files. Like I said, no changes since it was built in September 2004.

Before:


 These photos are  a few years old.  The shutters and chairs had faded a lot.





And.....AFTER:








I love it SO MUCH!!!!  
It makes me happy.  :)  
It looks so....cottage-like.  

I found an old wooden chair in the attic and painted it white.  I brought out my old piano bench and added some pillows I made from a vinyl table cloth, along with a wire basket I painted lime green.  The basket holds gardening tools and gloves.  (Because the garden always needs work!)  I'm also seriously thinking about adding some of that gray porch paint to the porch itself...


$10.00 piano bench I found at a thrift store.  It had been painted a putty color.
 I washed over it with barn red.  Love it!

Pretty metal butterfly wind chime I found at Dollar General for five bucks.
Cute, right??
















This frog was old, dirty terracotta.  I had fun painting him.
 Now he stands out instead of blending in.
This little bunny had faded to shades of gray.
I spruced her up with bright colors.

I picked up the sticker on the door in the paint section at Walmart.
It says, Bless this Home with Love and Laughter.


The paint I used on the shutters is Glidden porch and floor paint in dark gray.  The door color was originally Glidden 'Teal Lake'.  However, it was REALLY bright, too bright.  I added some navy blue to tone it down.


Now, every time I walk up the front walk....


I smile.








Friday, July 25, 2014

Fabulous Friday Twin Update...


An impromptu  photo shoot at dusk on the front lawn...














....turns out some pretty spectacular pictures of a pair 
of not-even-similar-in-the-least-little-bit twin brothers.





Adorable almost 11 month old boys!!




Saturday, June 14, 2014

Awesome Dads...




A couple of real men, hard-working providers, and great fathers.



My husband...

 








And my Daddy...
(January 1938-July 1999)





















Miss him so, so much.  Every day...





Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Summer Break!!!

(Official disclosure--see below for details!)

K5 Learning has an online reading and math program for kindergarten to grade 5 students.  I've been given a 6 week free trial to test and write a review of their program.  If you are a blogger, you may want to check out their  open invitation to write an online learning review of their program. - See more at: http://www.k5learning.com/review-k5#sthash.lGQt2bHt.dpuf


Ahhhhhhh!!!  Summer break...

Eli's year-end picnic!


Oh, how we LOVE our summer break!  These guys are so, so happy right now, and so is their mama!

For the past 3 years, we've been blessed with a trip to Disney (thanks to Make A Wish), and two consecutive trips to the beach, all to kick start our summer breaks.  While the beach is not on our to-do list this year (unfortunately and with heavy sighs and some kicking and screaming on my part), we do have some amazing plans for our summer.

One of those plans is K5Learning.  Now, we all know that my little one is not thinking too highly of any type of educational endeavor.  However, as his mama, I have to do what I can to help him maintain those skills he has worked so hard to achieve.  

Right??

Well, just as I was contemplating ESY via our school system, K5Learning offered me a free trial for the summer!  Perfect!

So...

K5 Learning has an online reading and math program for kindergarten to grade 5 students.  I've been given a 6 week free trial to test and write a review of their program.  If you are a blogger, you may want to check out their  open invitation to write an online learning review of their program. - See more at: http://www.k5learning.com/review-k5#sthash.lGQt2bHt.dpuf

I look forward to sharing how this works out for us, for children on the Autism spectrum.



Happy Summer~



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wordless Wednesday--First Grade Awards!




Purple cap and certificate for learning 200 sight words.




VERY proud of his purple cap!


The Nerds Award for 'intelligence and hard work in all areas'.








Take that, Autism....















Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Words...


Words.  We see them, say them, sing them, think them, read them, write them.  Words are everywhere.

Words are...

...life.

Wordle: Autism
  

I read a blog post today written by a dear, on-line friend of mine.  In this post, Jill talks about how we take our words, and our ability to speak, for granted.  As the mother of girls with few words, she wrote a piece that touched my soul.

Speak up!

Use your words.

Talk to me.

How many times have I begged my son to reveal his inner thoughts?

Hundreds.

Even though he has Autism, his head is filled with words, I just know it.

Even though he is choosy with his spoken words, I know that he has a million thoughts and ideas swirling around in his head; I can often see it on his face.  Some of his words are mischievous and funny; expressions reveal his heart.  He is an amazingly brilliant, funny, and artistic boy.

And someday, someday...

...his words will fill the air with all that he sees and feels and thinks and dreams.


I need to stop worrying and stop talking (over-talking, which I am SO guilty of doing!) long enough to facilitate his transition.


As April ends and takes another "Autism Awareness Month" into history, I want to share with everyone a few of the current statistics:



An estimated 1 out of 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls

are diagnosed with autism in the United States.



Did you know ...
  • Autism now affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys
  • Autism prevalence figures are growing
  • Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
  • Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average
  • Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism
  • There is no medical detection or cure for autism



The following "red flags" may indicate your child is at risk for an autism spectrum disorder. If your child exhibits any of the following, please don’t delay in asking your pediatrician or family doctor for an evaluation:
  • No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
  • No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by nine months
  • No babbling by 12 months
  • No back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months
  • No words by 16 months
  • No meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating) by 24 months
  • Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age
(Information shared via Autism Speaks at www.autismspeaks.org.)

To read more about specific symptoms, go to Autism Speaks/Symptoms.

You can read our family's Autism story here.




Don't take your words for granted!



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