Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Don't Forget......

To enter the My Blog Planner Giveaway. The giveaway ends tomorrow, so you have one more day to up your chances of winning. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Happy Birthday to........

My dear friend Eden Strang:)

Amazing singer, ballerina, friend, encourager, and sister in Christ. I love you SO music and I wish you all the best in your coming year as you seek to make Christ preeminent in your life. You are SO special to me, and I thank God for the many years of sweet friendship we have had, and look forward to forever and into eternity ahead of us. 

"Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8

Lots of love, 

And to all my followers, please take a moment to wish Eden a very happy birthday by commenting on her blog Eden's Evaluations

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Exciting Review and Giveaway!

Introducing the My Blog Planner
Review and Giveaway. 

I'm very excited to announce my second review and giveaway on this blog. This time the giveaway will be for another one of the Home Educating Family Assscoiation's products, that I think is going to be very exciting for whoever wins it.

"Whether you're a seasoned blogger or brand new to the blogging world, you'll want My Blog Plan to help you stay motivated and on track. Packed full of insider tips and practical articles from experts, My Blog Plan will help you focus on your personal goals, stay on schedule, and provide inspiration to bring your blogging to another level. With the same distinctive look you're used to from our entire line of Well Planned Day Planners, a special bonus of 6 months is included for an 18-month planner—runs from July 2014-December 2015." 

Starting off with the review.  

What I liked about the planner! 

1. The Style. I love the flowers and colorful prints on each page.

2. The tips from fellow bloggers for each month. Very practical and encouraging tips to easily apply.


3. The my blog goals section. This would be very helpful for planning out the blog year. 

4. The product reviews and giveaways section. Such a great way to keep your plans organized!

5. The daily to do's pages. I love how they are so neatly organized and provide plenty of space.

6. The monthly evaluations. What a great way to measure blog progress, and statistics.

7. The end of the year blog evaluation. I really like the questions that help you put your blog in perspective. 

The only thing I didn't particulary like about the planner was that the advice to bloggers was written for Wordpress users. I'm sure the ideas could be easily adapted for blogger.com users, and this would be also be a blessing for many people's blogs who use Wordpress.

Now for my rating. I give the planner a great rating of usable, practical, efficient, convenient, and organized. I wish I had a planner to use myself. I love the concept of keeping your blog planned and organized. I would highly recccomend that you check out the My Blog Planner and purchase one for your blog. You won't be disappointed, and I think you'll find it an easy to use resource that will make your blog planning very simple. 

And for those of you that might be interested in learning more about blog planning, be sure to check out this free 12 week course from HEUDA on how to work your blog. 

I would like to thank Jenny Herman & Heather Nieman of the Home Educating Family Association for graciously providing the planner for me to review and giveaway, and for their kind help with my questions. Thank you!

* What a great surprise and blessing! I just found out that the Blog Planner I reviewed is mine to keep, and the winner will receive a new Blog Planner directly from HEUDA. I'm SO excited!*

And now for the giveaway:) please enter and pass this on to your friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears." Psalm 34:1-4

Friday, July 11, 2014

Ocean Conference 2014

In the last week of June we enjoyed going to the OCEAN Network homeschool conference. It was a great time to spend with friends and family, and hear some encouraging speakers as well. 

I began the day with hot tea, after a four mile run with Evan that morning. We were up at 5:30 even though we went to bed after midnight:) it was a great way to start the day, and I really enjoyed it! 

During one of our many trips through the vendor hall, I stopped by a musical instruments booth with Bethany S., and she played some beautiful music on one of their violins. 

We all had a fun time fellowshipping and volunteering for the conference. It was great to see lots of Bible Bee friends who I haven't seen for a while as well. 

And some of us even got free coffee and sandwiches for helping out:) 

It was great to spend lots of time talking, and enjoying each others company. We even had time to look at pictures from the past, and remember how immature we used to be:) (and in some cases still are:) 

As we left the conference Bethany S. and Evan got to take these hilarious pictures. 

It was actually a billboard in the parking garage, but I think it's hilarious how realistic it looks. 

After getting some sleep, and doing a five mile run, we returned to the conference, and enjoyed another full day of fellowship. My Mother and I got to hear a good message from the Jacobson family in the morning, on the "Power of a Family." Then we headed to the vendor hall, and enjoyed some browsing of materials, and talking with people. It felt kind of strange to not be helping out with a booth this year, like I have in past, but I enjoyed seeing the different materials, and meeting a blog follower for the first time:) 

Then the afternoon got pretty busy with volunteering responsibilities. Bethany got to help in the recording room. 

Gracie S. got to help hold babys for busy mothers. 

And I got to help with the Cd sales from the conference. It was hard to figure out the credit card machine at first, and it took some patience on the customers part, but soon we were able to serve lots of customers with ease. I really enjoyed being able to help out. 

At the end of the conference, we young people enjoyed taking a long walk around the convention center. We had lots of fun talking and laughing and taking group pictures, and photoboming:) I think just about every picture we took had an attempted and sometimes successful photobomb! It was hilarious:) 

After the long walk, we gathered with the remaining families at Red Robin for dinner. There was a bit of a wait before we were seated, so we took the opportunity to take some photos:) 

Soon a photo of Evan and I became a group shot:) 

And the my red sunglasses got passed around:) I think Judah looked the cutest in them. 

But Eden and Sarah were a close second:) 

It was great to finally meet Faith H. for the first time, and get to know her a bit:) 

After we sat down for dinner and ordered our food we had fun talking and taking lots of pictures. 
I really like this photo I got of Bethany:) 

And then this one turned out to be a very interesting shot. I call it a framed hand photobomb:) 

Amber S. got some great photos of the evening. 

Like this one of Evan and I. I think our expressions are classic:) 

And this one of Eden and Sarah:) I think they look like sisters. 

They even tried to eat the same frenchfry:) 

We had some great conversations, and lots of laughs. 

Took lots and lots of photos....

And really enjoyed being in each others company for the evening. 

The food was great too:)

These are the kind of moments you wish never ended. What a great time we had together. 

Praise God for great friends and and family that encourage me to keep my focus on Christ, and use every moment for His glory! 

All in all the Ocean Conference this year was a great time of fellowship, and encouragement. We all enjoyed being able to volunteer and spend time together. God is so good to give us such times of joy. 

"I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him." Eccl 3:14

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Guess What.....

I've been nominated for the Liebster Award by freind, and actress Stacey Bradshaw from There and Back Again. I've really appreciated following Satcey's blog and seeing how she is using her skills as an actress to encourage and motivate others to glorify God. I can't wait to see the movies she's in, when they get produced:) Thank you Satcey for nominating me! 

The Liebster Award exists to help bloggers get to know each other and spread the word about your blog and the blogs you love!

Here are the Liebster Award rules:

Acknowledge the blog that nominated you. 
Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger created. 
List 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers that deserve some recognition. 
Write 11 questions for them to answer. 
Notify them that they have been nominated. 

Here's the questions Satcey asked me to answer. 

1. What is a ministry that you are really passionate about? 

A ministry I'm really passionate about is the National Bible Bee. Since 2010 I have been blessed to participate, and be encouraged by the Bible Bee's desire to strengthen family relationships, and help us to refocus upon Christ by consistent study, and memorization of the Bible. It was through the National Bible Bee's discipleship program that I realized my need for salvation. God was gracious to grant me His mercy as I studied the book of Colossians. Every year since then I have been blessed to encourage the contestants of the Bible Bee, and to participate in the life changing impacts it has made in the lives of families, and young people across America. 

2. Random childhood memory? 

A random childhood memory I have is from 1999 when I won my first competition at a fair showing my pet sheep. It was a competition to dress up yourself and your sheep in wool. I dressed up in a plaid dress, with a prarie bonnet, and made a matching prarie bonnet for my sheep with holes for her ears to come out so the hat would stay on. I was very nervous about the competition, but I ended up getting a Blue ribbon in the end so it made for a good memory. 

3. Favorite animal? 

My favorite animal is a Bernedoodle dog. It's a cross between a poodle and a Bernese mountain dog. It's black, white, and brown, with curly hair. 

4. Favorite ice cream flavor?

Coffee of course:) actually Irish Mocha to be specific:) 

5. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I love Oregon. I've lived in Oregon my entire life, and I love the beautiful scenery and all my friends and family that live here. But I guess if I had to choose a place o move it would be Franklin,Tennessee because I love the climate, and small country town atmosphere. Plus there's some great Musicians in that town:) 

6. Have you traveled abroad? If so, where?

No! Unless Canada counts:) 

7. What is your favorite historical era?

Biblical history probably especially New Testament era. 

8. Do you have a favorite author of classic fiction?

Charles Dickens, but I've never actually read one of his books:)

9. Do you have a favorite author of contemporary fiction?

I'm not a fiction reader at all, but I guess of the authors I know of Janeette Oke would be my favorite, because I like w "When Calls the Heart"....although I've never actually read one of her books. I've only seen movies of her books, and I like them. 

10. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up (and how does that compare to what you're doing now that you ARE grown up)?

I wanted to be a secretary, a dry cleaner, singer, pianist, and doctor. And right now I'm doing the secretary and dry cleaner part for our family, I've taken singing lessons, but I'd like to perfect my skills so I can sing more, I know how to play the piano, but would like to improve my knowledge of chord progressions, and the doctor part.....well, that has yet to happen. But I hope to start making progress towards changing that in the near future:) 

11. What motivates you?

The mercy of God, and how there are SO many possible problems that could happen every day that don't. Each moment is a gift, and when I look at life that way, I'm motivated by the grace of God to move forward to make a difference for His kingdom. 

I nominate.......

Eden of Eden's Evaluations
Shiloh of Reforming Farmgirl
Jordan of Jordan Strang Music
Stepheny of Life's Adventures
Alyssa of Wilson Quiver
Kathryn of Rich Meaningful Adventuresome Living
Four Bowes Sisters of Four Sisters Favorite Foods
Perry of Perry Elizabeth
Rachel of Jewels of Jesus

Here's your questions to answer! 

1. What's your favorite book of the Bible and why? 
2. What person has made the most impact on your life so far? 
3. What do you hope to do for a living? 
4. What is the quaility you most admire in your best friend? 
5. What do you look forward to most in the future? 
6. If life was to end right now, how would your family remember you? 
7. What do you do each day to make a difference for the future? 
8. What's your favorite sport and why? 
9. How many Bible verses have you memorized? 
10. What do you hope to accomplish before you die?
11. When was the last time you prayed? 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day!

A very happy 4th of July to all of my blog readers:) 

I'm so grateful for God's blessings on our country, and for His mercy in protecting us in the midst f so many dangers. May we never forget God's mercy when we look at our success! 

I am SO grateful for my two brothers Ian and Erin, who have given many years to make sure our country stays safe, and protected from predators. Thank you for your faithful sacrifice!

And to all of us who are citizens of this great country, may we never forget the great responsibility we have to protect and maintain the freedom that our forefathers fought so hard to attain. May we take up the cause of our Nation before The Lord daily and may we never cease to stand up for truth and righteousness in our families, our communities, and across our land. May we be the first to humble ourselves before God, and plead for restoration, and may the future of our country be great because we know that we trust in a great and powerful God who can do abundantly above all that we can ask or think. And for those of us who have almost given up hope on our country, may we fight with strength and valor, as our forefathers did, and know that this freedom we have will not last unless we choose to protect it everyday! 

"If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually." 2 Chronicles 7:12-16

"And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." Genesis 12:2-3 

Happy Birthday Evan:)

Happy Birthday to the best brother I could ever wish for. Thank you for being my friend, encourager, example, protector, and exhorter in the ways of righteousness. I'm SO grateful to God for His mercy in giving you to me, and for you being my brother, and friend for so many years. May God richly bless you and protect you, and cause your life to continue to make a difference for His kingdom!

"And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in." Isaiah 58:11-12

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Happy Belated Father's Day!

Happy Belated Father's Day! 

I'm so thankful for my faithful Father, and for the many years of tremendous sacrifices he has made for his family. I've learned a lot from him over the years, and I'm so grateful for his leadership, and love for me. Thank you Dad! 

"And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in." Isaiah 58:11-12 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Gratitude Challenge Conclusion!

How did you do in your gratefulness challenge? I know I got off for about 2 weeks and I'm just now getting back on schedule with the daily blog posts. I've told myself I'm not going to attempt to write daily blog posts anymore unless I get them all scheduled and written before I post them.

 But how about you? Have you learned anything from this gratefulness challenge? Have the daily (while, not exactly daily;) posts encouraged you at all? If so, Please leave me a comment and tell me how you've been impacted from this series. I'd like to do more encouraging posts on this blog, but only if you're being encouraged as a result.

So please leave me a note and tell me what you think about this series!  This blog wouldn't be here without your support and encouragement! Thank you SO much for taking the time to read my posts! May God richly bless you all as you press on in gratitude! Keep looking up to Christ!

"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Monday, June 16, 2014

Day 30~ Pressing on in Gratitude!

Scripture Reading: Galatians 5:16–24

As you launch out on a new lifestyle of gratitude, use today to set some goals for what you want God to accomplish in your heart, being specific about the ways you intend to practice ongoing thankfulness. For example, if you want to become more deliberate about writing thank-you notes, how many would you like send in a typical week or month? What Scriptures do you plan to memorize and meditate on in relation to thankfulness? Whom will you ask to hold you accountable for specific areas where you need to grow in the grace of gratitude?
Whatever mechanics it requires to get it up and running will soon fall away to the freedom of pursuing it with passion. Are you ready to experience the life-changing power of Christian gratitude? Then let the Lord help you decide what your next steps should be.
Write a simple prayer, expressing to the Lord your desire to develop a radically grateful lifestyle. Thank Him for His supernatural grace that will enable you to “abound in thanksgiving.” 

Life Application:

As I look back on this journey of gratitude I can see how much God has used this challenge to work in my heart and to help me to see areas where I have been ungrateful. I can't say that I've learned what it means to be grateful for everything, but I can say I've learned what it means to be grateful for a few things, and that will hopefully spread on to the rest of my life, and heart. I don't ever want to be satisfied with an areal view of who Christ is and what He has done for me. I want a up close and personal view of God that forces me to be grateful for everything He has done. I want to press on in gratitude until I can't press on any more. I want my life to be so overflowing with gratitude for God that everyone around me can see that the life I live, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me, and gave Himself for me. Let's take up this challenge together, and press on to know what it truly means to have a heart of gratefulness!

"Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth." Hosea 6:1-3