Thursday, March 28, 2013

Small and Unique Garden Ideas


Source: via Stacey on Pinterest
Definitely some cute ideas for small gardens or ways to somewhat upcycle, which I happen to have for the next few years.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Book Review: The Gospel-Centered Woman

About The Gospel-Center Woman:
Understanding Biblical Womanhood through the Lens of the Gospel
Many Christian books written to women claim to present God's good instructions for their lives. Some expound on the value of marriage and children. Many extol the virtues of the Proverbs 31 wife. A good number teach the value of love, submission, and respect in Christian marriages. Though this book deals with these topics, The Gospel-Centered Woman addresses women from an entirely different perspective. The most important part of the Bible's instructions to women center around the gospel. Jesus' life, death, and resurrection brought about a seismic shift in our understanding of Scripture. After His resurrection, His disciples understood words written thousands of years before with a clarity they never had previously. The good news of Christ illuminates all other Scripture, including instructions to women.
Link to buy the book: ;

Meet Wendy:
Wendy Alsup is a wife, mom, and math teacher. She is the author of "Practical Theology for Women: How Knowing God Makes a Difference in Our Daily Lives" and "By His Wounds You are Healed: How the Message of Ephesians Transforms a Woman's Identity".

Find out more about Wendy at
My Review:
I have got to say that the cover is extremely boring and really did not make me want to pick up this book to read it.  Yes, I judged this book by its cover.  But then, I opened the book and read it.  This book is packed with Scripture.  Almost all of the book is about how we are viewed through the Bible, which was a different direction that I thought this book would have.  Only the last few chapters of this short book are about how we can show or become the women God intended us to be.  I definitely appreciate all of the references and discoveries about us, women, from the Bible, but I did wish there was a little more practical application tips and ideas.  There definitely are other books for that so if you have those and are wanting a strong base for your journey toward Biblical womanhood I definitely recommend this book for you!
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest comments and opinions. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Places (Online) That Save and Make Me Money

I am such a sucker for a good deal! 
I try to remind my husband how much money I save our family and how I am much happier with much less than most women. 
We do have to remind our husbands about what we do contribute when we lack in other areas... ahem... housekeeping.
Sooo over the years I have found several websites that really, really help me save and make money.  I thought I would share and give a little info about each.
To Make Money:
My Points- You use this site as a go-through when shopping online.  So you want to shop online at Gap or Old Navy?  Great!  Go-through My Points and you get 8 points per dollar, plus they show you active coupon codes!  Points are redeemed for gift cards they mail to you or paypal transfers.  You can also print grocery type coupons out from here and get 10 points per redeemed coupon.
You also get 5 points for almost every email they send (about 4 per day).  The emails let you know about special deals, etc. like ink purchases... about 250 points just for a small purchase of ink.
---I have earned 22,357 points in the last few years (3 maybe with that email) that I have had an account.  That is approximately worth $160.  And for what?  Really not much of anything.  
I just started using Swagbucks about 6 months ago and even then I was not using it very regularly.  This is another go-through site.  You can also earn lots and lots of swagbucks by doing surveys and by just searching the internet.  I earn at least 10 every day by just searching.  500 bucks is equal to $5 in gift cards.  You can also print grocery type coupons out from here and get 10 points per redeemed coupon. 
---I have earned $65 in gift cards (that are sent as e-cards for you to print off) in that time.  Now that I work it more, I earn about $15-$20 per month and am working on making that even more. 
This is another go-through site.  That is all that ebates is for, but the nice thing is that you get cash back-sent out quarterly.  I use this site the least often, just because the rewards are often greater from the other two above. 
---I have earned $43.76 in cash (in a couple years time) and just for signing up & making an initial purchase you get a $10 gift card in addition to your cash back.
If I am going to shop online, which is where I find great deals quite often, I go to each of these sites and see where I will get a better deal.  It only takes an extra minute and I never shop without seeing where I will get the better deal. 
When I am about to shop online or even in store, I always, always, always check out: for coupon codes or coupons that I can print out and take with me.  I have saved sooo much money doing this and when you combine it with a site from above you can get some really amazing deals and save lots of money!
Do you have any tips or tricks or sites you use to save tons of money???


Monday, March 25, 2013

Pregnancy Update! All Around Wk 21

Oh, week 21, how my heart is so grateful that I am here. 
Every single day, I think, "Well, if something terrible goes wrong with my body and we catch it in time, we are a little bit closer to being able to have a live baby." 
We still have a few more weeks before she could even possibly make it out in this world. 
(knock on wood) I think my body really handles pregnancy wondefully.  Sickness is so much better than so many women have it. 
My issues every pregnancy:
-sharp ligament pains pretty much throughout the whole pregnancy
-my sinuses go insane
-first trimester complete exhaustion where I choose sleep over anything
-first trimester extremely tender breasts where I set up a baracade with my arms 99% of the time
-this pregnancy my tailbone and back have been hurting quite bad
Overall, though, I feel great and love being pregnant (besides the constant worry). 
I am not sure that I will ever feel "out of the danger zone" since we were pretty far out of it last time and we still lost our baby Paisley.
I truly, truly, truly cherish every single movement inside.  It means that she is still here and alive!  And, yes, she is definitely a she! 
Oh, my husband, the girl maker! 
Here are some pics:
17 weeks
 These top 2 are from March 5th (18 weeks).  This girl seriously likes those legs stretched out!!
 This is two weeks later... and Still stretched out!  She really is taking advantage of the room right now.  Soon, there will be none!  I am calling her my little froggy.  :)
 She even had her legs stretched out and crossed at the feet.  (They are not crossed in this pic)

The dr at our 20 week super in-depth ultrasound basically did a complete anatomy lesson.  He listed almost every single organ and said it all looked great!  We are so blessed and so thankful! 

Book Review: Dancing Upon Barren Land

About Dancing Upon Barren Land:
When experiencing infertility, the unexpected happens. Your feelings about yourself and your relationship with others and your belief in God are confused and complicated. Dancing Upon Barren Land - Prayer, Scripture Reflections, and Hope for Infertility is a helpful companion for those dark, lonely days.

*Specific Prayers Topics and Supporting Scripture
*Helpful Truths to Living Life While You Wait
*Supporting Ideas for Family Members or Friends
*Resource Aid for Ministry Leader

Link to buy the book: ;

Meet Lesli:
Lesli is no stranger to infertility. She has experienced all the range of emotions, the prodding of doctors, and the stinging disappointments. Yet through it all she's found significance offering hope and inspiration to the wounded heart of the barren soul. Through her own experience and those shared from others, an online ministry was created Dancing Upon Barren Land ~ Spiritual Nourishment for the Infertility Road. Now she speaks to women around the world through the website and leads locals support groups too, along with providing a resource through this book. Lesli enjoys life. She loves spending time with her husband, Larry, her man of faith and live-in comedian. She loves spending time with her family and friends, and traveling, especially road trips. Most of all, her passion is sharing God's love and teaching the Bible to women, inspiring beleif there's healing for the grief of infertility and sorrow from loss, and there is joy in the journey while we wait.

Find out more about Lesli at
My Review:
This book hits very close to home for me, as I have struggled with infertility.  This book is not written to specifically tell Lesli's story.  I saw it more as a resource book, as it does have prayer topics, Bible verses and tips for family and friends.  I will definitely keep this book as a resource to look back on when I am struggling with our infertility and loss.  I am pregnant and although I am not currently struggling with infertility, because I have in the past (for years), I can relate to this book and I feel I still need the healing help that this book can help bring. 
I recommend this book to everyone who is struggling with infertility or who knows someone who is.  Infertility is such a crazy awful thing that affects so many women, yet those who haven't struggled with it either don't know how to handle it or don't realize how huge of an impact it has on one's life. 
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinions. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Book Review: Love in the Balance

About Love in the Balance:
Handsome Cowboy or Debonair Tycoon.
How's a Girl to Choose?
Molly Lovelace dreams of a life without cares in Lockhart, Texas. She also dreams of handsome wrangler Bailey Garner, her ardent but inconsistent beau. The problem is, with Bailey's poor prospects, she just can't fit the two dreams together.
Then mysterious stranger Edward Pierrepont sweeps into town-and her life-and for the first time Molly wonders if she's met the man who can give her everything. But he won't be in Lockhart long and while it certainly seems like he talks about their glorious future together, she can't quite get Bailey out of her mind.
What's a girl to do with all these decisions when love is in the balance?
Link to buy the book:
Meet Regina:
Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She has worked at The Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She now lives outside Oklahoma City with her husband and four children.
Find out more about Regina at
Regina Jennings is celebrating the release of Love in the Balance with a Kindle Fire Giveaway and a Facebook Author Chat Party on 4/4!


One "lovely" winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire 
  • A copy of Regina's Sixty Acres and a Bride and Love in the Balance
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 3rd. Winner will be announced at the "Love in the Balance" Author Chat Party on April 4th. Connect with Regina, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be many fun giveaways -- gift certificates, books, and more!

So grab your copy of Love in the Balance and join Regina on the evening of April 4th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 4th!

My Review:
I enjoyed reading this book.  It was an easy read that starts with a great comedic scene in church.  The book is filled with several uncomfortably funny situations and lots of romance.  Of course, there is a choice between two men for the main character's heart.  I really like reading Christian romance novels and this historical romance was a nice read.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a nice Christian romance that is filled with a little comedy. 
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Can you see the future??

I cannot.  I am definitely a dreamer... I could sit and daydream  Really.  I love daydreaming.
But, what I mean is can you visualize and imagine the future? 
I really have a hard time in that area.
Like this baby.  I really don't see the day when I get to take her home... not because we lost a baby, well maybe a little because of that.  Or a lot because of that.  I don't know.  But I can't.
It doesn't just end there.  Or I guess it does end here, with this week or month.  But my lack of seeing the future doesn't end there.
Ever since I had Kassidy, I have always worried about who would get her if Mike and I died.  I really take that decision seriously and feel much relief since we made that decision.  (total random awkward thing about me: I actually ask everyone this question.  Randomly.  At family events.  At baseball stadiums.  At Christmas.  You name the place or event and I'll ask.  It seriously is that weird for me.)
It is just really very almost impossible for me to imagine actually growing old and watching my children grow up.  So badly, do I want to grow old with Mike and watch our grandchildren playing in our yard with our kids by our side, but actually feeling like I will is a totally different thing.
Is it just being young and naive?  Like when I think I actually might be able to run straight into that cement road block and just walk away with a little whip-lash.  Man, I am making myself sound craazzzy!  So I guess not only do I think I can't die from certain things (I am sitting here laughing) but I also don't know if I will get to live much longer. 
Maybe it's not that I won't live much longer.  It is more like I just have no idea what the future holds, which, guess what, I don't.  And I have to be ok with the fact that God does and He really wants the best for me and my future.
Can you see the future?  Do you really feel like you see your future tomorrow the same way you see your future in 5 or 10 years... is it clear?  Are you at all crazy or is it just me?  :) 

Book Review: Intentional Parenting

Book Description

This is about you, not just your child.

Regardless of age, parenting requires a certain amount of uncertainty. But you can be certain that your children look to you to help them discover who they are. And you can only offer that to the degree that YOU know who you are.

Over the years, Sissy Goff, David Thomas, and Melissa Trevathan have helped countless families through their ministry known as Daystar Counseling in Nashville, TN. Due to the unique setup of Daystar, each is frequently counseling not only the child but the parent as well. Having both perspectives provides an opportunity to speak into some of the most common struggles that parents face in today's fast-paced society.

Intentional Parenting is built around 12 chapters that each dispel some of the most common parenting myths and reminds all parents of truths that can empower them to be not only the parents that their children need but that God has called them to be.

The book helps you discover first who you are and then takes that healthy person into a discovery of being more intentional, playful, consistent, merciful, and connected to your children.

Understanding your child. Understanding you.

My Review:
I loved this book.  This book is about changing you, the parent.  It is about understanding how we are growing as we help our children grow.  One of the best "aha" moments for me was reading that... reading that God might just be using parenting in order to grow and develop us as His people.  Parenting is not always (or very often) all that easy.  It comes with so many responsibilities, thoughts and beliefs.  Are we doing the right thing?  Why isn't that working with this child?  What on earth do I do? 
This book doesn't answer all of those questions but it definitely helped me to view parenting in a completely new way and I like the new way.  It is about being a student, learning about our children.  God has made them who He wants them to be and we need to not only accept that, but work with it to help them develop into the best they can be.  I think that this is a book you can read and re-read and learn something new each time. 
Awesome book!  I definitely recommend it to all parents!!
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest comments and opinions.