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Showing posts from May, 2015

On to 2nd Grad

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That is the big smile on Selah's last day of first grade!  It proved to be a wonderful year with a fantastic teacher!   We absolutely love our school and teachers and feel blessed to be a part of it! 
This year you: -Lost 4 more teeth! -learned to braid and do your own hair -read really really well and LOVE IT -joined girl scouts and enjoy it -took a track class and can't get enough of running, you are super fast and love it!   -got taller -started to write your own books -enjoy helping with cooking -very healthy this year -participated in the jump for heart 

Right after getting off the bus- Officially a 2nd grader!
Dear 2nd Grader,
I love you to pieces and I hope you hear it out of my mouth daily... multiple times a day for that matter!   Every day you grow up more and more and I have to learn let you blossom and grow and enjoy life.  You truly shine- you shine bright for God where ever you go.   You recently just started to read and write your own devo's and is awesome.  I am in awe o…

Family Service at Riverside Church

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I love when we do family service!    Our values really do showcase we value our kids and we value them to be in service with us! 
This particular day my husband (pastor) had several kids in the front with their Bibles.. the were not distracting they were a part of the discussion!
Our kids need to see what all goes on during adult service and we as parents have a task to continue to teach them the ways!  

Bavarian Inn Lodge and Restaurant

The Bavarian Inn Lodge, nestled along the Cass River in one of Michigan's top tourist destinations - Frankenmuth - is one of the state's largest Indoor Water Park Hotels. The Lodge has 360 European-themed guest rooms, including whirlpool and family suites, an adult-only pool, two gift shops, two lounges and two restaurants -- all under one roof. The Lodge's expansive 35,000 square feet Family Fun Center houses two dramatic waterslides, three pools and two whirlpools, over 150 video and redemption games, a two-story children's play village and Willy's Kingdom indoor mini-golf course. Guests can also enjoy live, year-round, nightly entertainment and test their own musical skills during weekend family karaoke shows. In 29 years of business, the Bavarian Inn Lodge has been an important destination for travelers, evidenced by the 1.25 million room-nights that have been booked there since its opening, along with its top rating on TripAdvisor.


$35 off at the Bavarian Inn L…

Happy Memorial Day

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It is always a special treat for me to listen to my husband speak, but even more when it is a public event.  Last year he spoke at the elementary school for the Memorial Day service and this year he spoke at the lighting ceremony for our new freedom rock.  The rock is painted beautifully and the town rallied well to get the funds for this to happen.   Everyone worked together and now we have another thing for visitors to come and see.  


One of our friends also shared.   I love how he challenged us to dig up a story of a military person who lost their life protecting our freedoms.   It was a powerful message and I will never forget his words! 

Saying Goodbye is hard...

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When friends move away it is hard to say goodbye!   We will miss our friends and our Kid's church made sure to send them with prayer and love!   We are praying you make new friends quickly and find a nice church family!   WE will miss you Melissa, Jaida, and Victoria!

Book Review- "Believe Storybook- Think, Act, Be Like Jesus

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Presented by bestselling author and pastor Randy Frazee, the Believe Storybook shows children how they can think, act, and be more like Jesus. With 60 old and new testament stories from the Bible that showcase the themes, combined with captivating and dramatic illustrations by Steve Adams, children and adults alike will be inspired to become more like their savior and the person they were meant to be. The Believe Storybook is part of the national church-wide program led by bestselling author Randy Frazee that shows children how they can think, act, and be more like Jesus.
My Review: This Bible is turning into one of my new favorite kids bibles.  I never knew it was a large Bible but I think it is fantastic!   I love how each chapter hits old and then relates it to the new testament and all of it leading to Jesus as a gospel approach!   The chapters are a bit longer compared to others kids Bibles but this Bible keeps the attention of my 4 and 7 year old nicely.   Each chapter includes a q…

Simple Ways to Keep Your Kids Healthy This Summer

Kids don’t have much understanding of what it means to be healthy. They eat what they like, play games and don’t worry about counting calories and watching their consumption of sugar and saturated fat. Sure, increasing numbers of children are becoming more ‘body conscious’ as a result of negative media stereotypes, but for the most part, children are not plagued by weight concerns in the same way adults are. As a parent, it is your job to protect your children from harm. You have a responsibility to ensure they eat regularly, stay clean and healthy, and don’t sit in their rooms playing video games 24/7. Eating healthy food and taking regular exercise is important for kids, too. Obesity is becoming a huge problem amongst children, in part fuelled by consumption of junk food, so anything parents can do to prevent their child from eating the wrong things is vital. Prepare Home Cooked FoodIt isn’t easy finding the time to cook delicious home cooked meals when you have to work, clean the hou…

Book Review- " Princess Joy’s Sticker and Activity Book"

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Sticker books girls will love! The Princess Parables come to life through age-appropriate puzzles, activity pages, and 50 colorful and reusable stickers in the friendly and funPrincess Joy’s Sticker and Activity Book featuring Joy, her four princess sisters, and their friends. Join Joy and her sisters in some creative and interactive fun with 16 pages of stickers and activities that are sure to please, featuring her father the king and her special animal friend Rosebud the Puppy. About the contributors:
Jeanna Stolle Young is a Daughter of the King that lives in Southern California with her dashing husband, Bruce, her two sweet princesses, Danika and Emmalynn and two daring princes, Christian and Kenton.  God gave her the vision for this series that has caused her faith to grow through watching Him work.  These are her first published children’s books. Jacqueline Johnson was born into royal heritage and is a grandmother to three little princesses, Catherine, Alexandra Grace and Megan Joy …

Gift and Award Bible Review

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Early readers will love the NIrV Gift & Award Bible. And church leaders, friends, parents, and grandparents will love giving it, knowing it will be used often by hearts eager to grow a big faith in God. The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) is an accurate translation of the entire Bible that is adapted with care from the New International Version (NIV) and created especially for early readers. Features include: • Presentation page • Dictionary • Complete text of the NIrV—the NIV for kids! • “Three Ways to Read the Bible” – Explains how to read the Bible by story, subject, or person • “About the Bible” – Describes how the Bible was written and how it came to us • “Life in Bible Times” – Describes what life was like when Jesus was on earth • “The ABCs of Salvation” – Helps explain the way of salvation
My Review: This bible is NIRV translation so it is an easier one for kids to read and understand taking out the thou's and stuff that makes it hard for kids to follow along and read.…

Pizza Tour #1- Brix- "Get Sauced" Review

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My family took me to Brix for Mother's Day!   I have been wanting to try a few different pizza joints in the Quad Cities so we went to Moline, Illinois and tried Brix first.  
We did order the cheese bread for an appetizer and I was pleasantly surprised with the huge tomato and spinach on each piece.  The appetizer might have been my favorite part of the meal. My kids of course took the best part of and ate just the bread... so I had a few extra bites of the                                                    cheese, spinach, and tomato!   Brix has a tagline of "get sauced" and it was very clear after my first bite that there was a lot of sauce.   I first tried the Tuscan pizza and the flavor of the sauce was very similar to a spinach and artichoke dip.   They were right there was plenty of sauce on it, but the sauce was a bit to over powering for my taste buds.   I liked the thin crust pizza as each pizza had a nice crunch but yet a good buttery flavor.  
The second pizza w…

Bridge to Brownies

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My 1st grader is almost a 2nd grader and she just went from a Daisy to a Brownie in Girl Scouts.  

Selah, You have grown so much this last year.   You are reading non stop... even after bedtime!   You love school, you love to sing,  you love reading and writing!   You are also very gifted in running!   Girl Scouts has been a fun time and I am excited for next year!  You have awesome friends and I look forward to getting to know them more!  You have tons of friends and enjoy everyone... in fact the first book you wrote was about stopping bullying!   I was very proud of your work... I will always be proud of you!   I LOVE YOU SO MUCH SWEET GIRL!  


Gardenfire Review

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Gardenfire is a site worth looking at for any gifts you might need to purchase or a splurge on yourself.  They have so many fun items in their online store including clothes, wall art, mugs, backpacks, and hats.  I was so thrilled to be able to review several items from Gardenfire! 
What Is Gardenfire? Most people hear the name and say something along the lines of "that sounds cool, but what does it mean?" Gardenfire is my story, written on the backs of over 1 million shirts distributed to over 20 countries all over the world. My name is Jayme Brandt. I was born in Buffalo, New York and lived in Riverside at 50 Heward Ave. Today I live and operate Gardenfire in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Gardenfire is a brand that was founded in 2007 as a way for me to express myself, share my faith and pay my bills. Trust me, it is hard to do any one of those things. Try doing all of them with the same outlet. I chose the name Gardenfire as a word illustration of where I was on my walk with …

The Top 5 Gifts for Christian Moms

When you have a mother who walks with the Lord daily, any day deserves a special thanks. However, when it’s time to shop for a special gift, there are just some gifts that she will cherish forever. Whether you are starting early for Christmas as some people do to spread their spending out, or for her birthday or some other memorable day, finding a Christian gift might pose a bit of a challenge. Here are the top five gifts for Christian moms to help you along the way. 1) Bible CasesPerhaps the most wonderful gift you can give a Christian mom is a Bible case. Every week she takes her Bible to church and Sunday school and wouldn’t it be nice to see her with a personalized Bible case in fabric that no other mother has? Bible cases are not only decorative but functional as well for keeping notes, pens, keys and other items with her at church, so keep this one at the top of your list! 2) Daily Prayer JournalMothers who live by their faith also stay close to the Lord in prayer. Throughout the …

Simple Way to Love your City

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Our small little town in Iowa sure still gets busy especially the first Friday of every month.   On these first Friday events the business's give great deals on items.   Our church is trying to bless people with a fun free Smores bar!  It only takes about 3-5 minutes for a person to make a one but it allows for a few minutes to talk and find something you might have in common or be able to share your testimony!   I watched our young adults do this for about an hour and it was fun to see the different topics that were discussed.   There was even one guy who was so happy to meet someone else who is from Wisconsin! 


Think about your town and how you can serve and love your town.  

Happy Mother's Day!!

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Happy Mother's Day
First, let me honor and reminisce about my mom.   Many of you know my mom passed away in 2002 so every mother's day brings some great memories but also a soft and sad heart that wishes my mom was still here to make memories with me and my family!  Deep down in my heart I know my mom truly would be proud of me and I wish I could honor her and let her know that its because of her love for me.   She sacrificed so much for me and never really got to go do a whole lot of what she wanted but she did teach me to worship a GREAT GOD, so my promise to my mom is to always live my life pursuing my daddy God to honor her example! So I picked out these beautiful succulents from ProFlowers as a gift to myself but also as a way to remind me of my mom.   They are sitting on my table and I will enjoy them and think of new memories often of my mom.   

The next mom I want to honor is my mother in law.  She raised the love of my life and she did a fantastic job.  She is a lady wh…

Mother's Day for Me!

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I am going to admit that I love getting gifts... mail, cards, homemade, any type of gift makes me feel the love and appreciation.  
My daughter came home from school on Friday and couldn't wait until Sunday to give my presents to me.   She presented me with a flower card that had and bookmark, flower, and a information sheet on of course me!  I love reading the words that young kids write about family and my daughter's words sure made me smile... I am a good present giver!  :)
My son also made me this super cute card with the sun!   He made it at church and he was so proud and excited to give it to me.   I love that my kids enjoy being givers instead of always receivers.  I felt the love from both!  

SonGear Review and Giveaway

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Get ready to win one of these beautiful SonGear bracelets. (enter at the bottom of the post)  



The Start of SonGear: God has many ways in which He directs our lives. For me, I had just resigned from my job as an IT professional with no clear "next step" other than my God was tugging my heart to do more for His Kingdom. After stepping out of the corporate world (aka Freedom LOL), I was in desperate need for some R and R and decided to take my 2 year old twin boys on a trip to see their grandparents in Tennessee. After a good three weeks without conference calls, emails nor the "daily grind", we returned home. It was during the ride home that, for the first time, I felt God starting to define my "next step". It was the concept of a Christian Lifestyle company that would provide products that enabled Christians to easily share their faith, and ultimately bring them together through the new world of Social Networking. The foundation of this idea was formed aro…

Let's Dress Up and Go OUT!

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We were invited to this surprise birthday party that required formal attire!   I have not dressed so fancy in what seems like ages so this was exciting and fun and makes me want to randomly plan more dates that "require" formal attire!  ;)  

Our two church interns were also on this fun adventure with us!   We went from the surprise party to, a spoken word event, to TGIFriday's! 
Group shot!!!  Yes, I am the short one! 

He is all mine... and yes he did learn to tie a normal tie into a bow tie because my man can learn anything from a Youtube video.  

They might only be friends but I hope they will be friends forever... and with us to.  I love and appreciate all these two do at our church and I don't think they hear it enough!  I LOVE THEM!! 



Book Review: "Redo Your Room"

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Whether you’re looking for an all-out room redo or a few new tricks to brighten up your space, Faithgirlz! has tons easy how-tos and quick DIYs that'll morph your room into a true expression of y-o-u. Give your walls a burst of color (even without a bucket of paint!)  and turn your fave pics and keepsakes into inspiring art. These floor-to-ceiling secrets help nix those piles of clothes decorating your space in favor of awesome add-ons, like mini murals and a magical ribbon chandelier (psst: we won't tell anyone it took you a half hour to whip up).
Redo Your Room is packed with cute and crafty ways to add pop to your domain. You'll learn how to make even the tiniest spaces into pretty places to sleep 'n' study, and clever ways to keep it all looking adorable. And the best part? You can make over your bedroom without going broke.
My Review: I am one of those people who get bored so they rearrange a room or pick out a new shower curtain, paint a wall, or convince the hu…