Saturday, December 24, 2016

giveaway winner!!

Sarita Boyette - you won!! Send your address to! I'll ship the book after Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

merry christmas! {giveaway}

I'm going to keep this short and sweet because I only have one functioning hand. Thanks to The Blythe Daniel Agency and Blog About Network I have a copy of Bible Basics to give away!

This board book primer is NOT just for babies. Bennett and Ainsleigh have asked me to read our copy multiple times since we received it. Bible Basics breaks big concepts down, but leaves enough content for rich discussions. The illustrations are beautiful AND the people depicted are not white! I appreciate the opportunity for my kids to see a more accurate portrayal of Biblical characters. I think Bible Basics is an important book for parents and grandparents to have.

To enter to win a copy please leave a comment. (US residents only) That's it! Like I said, keeping it simple. I'll post the winner Friday evening! 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

no, they are not twins

Three weeks ago I fractured a bone in my hand. My RIGHT hand, which is my dominant hand, of course. I'm in a brace for at least three more weeks, but I am slowly learning how to function with one hand. And B has learned how to buckle himself in his car seat and change diapers so good is coming from the frustrating situation.

Yesterday at 3:45 we got a call that we were supposed to be downtown singing papers. We are in the middle of a poor weather stretch - snow & ice -, our bigger bathroom is gutted to the studs, we're hosting Christmas AND we decided to refinance our home loan.

The refinancing process has been long and hard so when I found out the final papers were ready to sign we all hustled out the door and headed downtown. I apologized for my poor left handed signature and we began signing reams of paper. The kids watched the traffic streaming by outside the huge conference room windows as we signed.

The woman helping us commented on how cute they were, complimented their names, and then said, "Are they twins?"

I knew it was coming. I could see her sizing them up as they stood side by side and looked outside. They're about the same height and weight. It's understandable to wonder, but it hurts when it happens.

"Nope, not twins," I responded. "We get that a lot, but they are 5 and 3."

Her eyebrows shot up. "He's 5?! That is a small 5-year-old."

"Yep, we've had some growth issues. Food allergy problems ..."

She quickly said, "I am sure he is really strong though!"

We continued signing papers and then headed home on icy roads.

We get asked if the kids are twins a lot. People often comment on Bennett's size and height. I know he is small. I see it. We are concerned about it. I've been concerned about his weight since he was born. I've been carrying this burden his ENTIRE life. I don't need others commenting on it. And I certainly do not need comments on his size to be something he hears once a week - or more.

We saw a new doctor on Wednesday. It was a very hopeful appointment. She thinks Bennett might grow out of his food allergies. She has medicine we can try to calm his reactivity down so we can introduce more foods. But part of the process is checking the functionality of his body's systems. When the nurse called after the appointment and asked if she could send another lab order to us I asked why we needed it. She said, "It's part of the general failure to thrive work-up."

We might not get a failure to thrive diagnosis. We might not have to see an endocrinologist. He might just be small, end of story. But we have to check off every box and jump through all the hoops so we ensure we don't miss anything.

In the process I would like to protect Bennett from as much of it as possible. We fret about his weight out of earshot. We talk about how kind, fast, strong, quick, compassionate and sweet he is. We focus on his abilities instead of our concerns. I don't want food to be an issue - this might be a pipe dream. And I don't want to answer any more questions about how old he is, or whether or not he is a twin.

He is our Bennett and he is who God made him. Big or small. Short or tall. And no, his sister is NOT his twin.

Friday, December 2, 2016

it's not fair: learning to love the life you didn't choose {book review}

In the middle of reading It's Not Fair I texted my best friends and said: you must read this book. Now. Right now. Drop everything. READ IT.

Okay, it wasn't quite that intense, but I was so encouraged and moved I did suggest they pick up the book soon-ish.

I think we can all relate to this book because life rarely goes as planned. And while these books often tip over into overdone sentimentality (it's fine, love Jesus more, have more faith!!) Melanie Dale throws in enough irreverence to keep it funny and away from the fake happy arena.

Melanie Dale uses her story of infertility and adoption as well as other's struggles to explore how to cope and move forward when life doesn't go according to plan. She uses humor a lot - sometimes a bit too much for me - but she also provides clear Biblical answers on how to move forward and continue living in the face of extreme pain.

I like how Dale included other people's stories, but the overall mix was off for me. In fact, I didn't like how the book was laid out at all. Maybe I would have liked it better in paper format, but the e-book formatting made the book feel a little hectic and jumbled. I did not like having random Facebook and Twitter posts interspersed throughout the book, because they were often right in the middle of a heavy chapter or paragraph.

Despite my issues with the layout I thought It's Not Fair was an excellent book for anyone who is standing in the middle of their life wondering how they got there and how to go forward on a completely different path than the one they expected their life to follow.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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