Tuesday, May 25, 2010


There's nothing like packing up everything to make you face up to the fact that you just have too much stuff! Last week, in preparation for the upcoming move to Texas, I had the kids reduce their toys by half. Yet, today, as I packed their rooms up into box after box after box, I realized that they still have just too much. I wonder, if I 'lost' this box, would they even notice?

What about my own stuff--the boxes of sheets and towels and extra pillows and blankets. Really? Do I REALLY need all this stuff? Of course, the answer is a resounding NO. And yet, into the boxes goes all the stuff. By this weekend, there may be more than leftovers in the moving sale...we'll see. :-)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

God's Promises for Girls

  Years ago, I discovered my first Bible Promise book.  Full of verses for every need, I used the book to find the perfect verse to claim for my circumstances, to uplift a friend, or even to put in a birthday card.  Having given away several Promise books over the years, I was excited to find God's Promises for Girls by Jack Countryman and Amy Parker.  From the beautiful illustrations to the choice of topics & scriptures, this is a fantastic resource for young girls.  

The cute picture on the cover of the book is a great representation of what the inside holds for little girls.  My daughter, who just turned 8, flipped through the entire book exclaiming over the pictures as she read the verses.  On every page, a beautiful illustration captures the theme of each section, making the book fun even for pre-readers.

Promises for Girls is arranged into sections that reflect a little girl’s heart.  Each section includes three to four well-chosen verses from the International Children’s Bible.  Scriptures are easy to read and to understand for little girls, while still reflecting the traditional verse.  From “God’s Promises When You Live Like His Princess” to “God’s Promises About Being a Good Sister” to “God Wants You to Keep Dancing!” your little Princess will find a verse to encourage and comfort her.  The book’s final section, “God Promises to Save You” includes verses reminding little girls that all they must do is believe in Jesus to be saved. 

One of my favorite parts of the book is the short poem at the beginning of each section.  These four line verses bring the topic closer to home for a little girl—reaching for her heart and explaining the relevance and importance of the verses to her life in a simple, fun way. 

God’s Promises for Little Girls would make a perfect gift for any little girl!

Click here for more information or to read sample chapters.

Disclosure:  I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, May 17, 2010

Seasons of Change

On my way home from a course at GCC tonight, I was listening to Family Life Today with Dennis Rainey.  Rebecca Ingram Powell was a special guest on the show, discussing her book Seasons of Change:  Parenting Your Middle Schooler with Passion and Purpose.  

While the stories shared by the hosts of the show were WAY before my time ;-) Powell's Jr. High story reminds me of some of my Jr. High experiences.  When she was going into 6th grade, Rebecca's family moved to a new city, and we all know how hard that is!  In an effort to fit in with the popular girls, she asked for a certain pair of shoes for Christmas.  Of course, when school started back up again, all the popular girls had new shoes, too, and she was the girl with 'last year's shoes.'

When I was in Jr. High, the girls all had LA Gear shoes and the boys had BKs (British Knights).  I begged and begged for a pair of pink and grey hightop LA Gear shoes.  Those shoes made my feet look HUGE & I ended up absolutely hating them.  BUT those were the shoes I had, so I had to wear them!

Jr. High certainly was rough--it seemed as if everyone was looking at me--and my perception of myself was skewed by my insecurities.  Unfortunately, so many girls (boys, too?) are obsessed with their looks and find their value in external things that really don't matter.  I haven't read Season of Change, but it sounds like Powell gives great advice on helping your middle-school aged children find value in who they are in Christ that could help them navigate those difficult middle-school years.                       

(I don't have a photo of those shoes on my computer, but here I am with my friend Melody in 7th grade.   I couldn't see a thing without my glasses!!!)                                                      

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Summer Begins!

I love this time of year!  Warm days, cool mornings...the smell of spring!  I think, though that watching my garden grow is one of my favorite things in the spring.  Yesterday I noticed that my corn is starting to sprout and there are blossoms on the sweet peas.  One broccoli plant has survived, and I could probably harvest enough spinach for a small salad.  ;-)  This year I'm especially excited that we have peaches on our trees for the first time, though we probably won't be here to harvest them.  One apple, a few pears, and possibly a few apricots are out there, too.  

I find that gardening reminds me of the miracle of life.  That one tiny seed can become a plant that provides nourishing food amazes me.   And it is a reminder that the tiniest seed can blossom in a person's life, too.  Whether a kind word or a smile, we can make a true difference in another person's life.  And as that seed blossoms, that person will also produce fruit that can nourish and bless many others. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My First Contest!

In honor of my baby girl's birthday (can't believe she's going to be 8!), I am giving away a free copy of License to Play.  To enter to win--reply to this post with your favorite verse or inspirational quote, "like" worryfreemom.com on FB and post your verse/quote there, or post your verse/quote on Twitter with the tag #worryfreemom. 

Megan will draw a winner tomorrow before bedtime.  I know--short notice.  But that means better odds for you!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wonders Never Cease by Tim Downs

Wonders Never Cease, written by Tim Downs, is an interesting glimpse into human nature.  The antagonist, Kemp McAvoy, concocts a daring scheme to impersonate an angel in an effort to capitalize on a movie star’s tragic car accident.  Using his medical knowledge, he brings Olivia Hayden in and out of consciousness, delivering his message to her and demanding she share it with the world.

Despite her knowledge of his selfish nature, Kemp’s girlfriend, Natalie, clings to their relationship in an effort to create a normal life for her daughter after a devastating divorce.  As Kemp’s lack of character continues to reveal itself, Natalie is forced to make hard choices about her life and her relationships.

In the midst of it all, Natalie’s six year old daughter, Leah, begins seeing angels, and the people in her life are forced to question their own beliefs about angels and about God.

Wonders Never Cease is a cute story, a quick read, and a thought-provoking study in human nature and God’s intervention in humanity.  I wouldn’t necessarily call this a Christian book—the main characters are living together outside of marriage and one of the ‘good guys’ makes some less than desirable choices—but it does inspire the reader to think about his/her beliefs about God and life.

If you want to start reading now, you can download sample chapters here.
For more information, visit Thomas Nelson.
Disclosure:  I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Knott's Berry Farm

I love turning business trips into mini-vacations!  Over the last 2 years, we have enjoyed several trips to CA.  Whether to run a booth at an event or take a seminar, Ryan & I have brought the kids along and made it a point to make time for fun with the family.  Our kids love the beach, so rain or shine, we spend time at the ocean. This last trip to CA was pretty chilly, but the kids wanted to play in the water!

Since we're moving a bit farther from CA and we're not sure how often we'll be back, we wanted to make this a trip to remember.  Our first thought was Disney, but when we saw the $72 per KID price tag, we decided to try Knott's Berry Farm instead.  At just $19.99 per child and $31.99 for Ryan & I (special online pricing), it was a steal!
We love Camp Snoopy for the kids (although Megan was too tall for a few rides this time--she's getting so big!).  Unlike Disneyland, we actually had space to breathe and I wasn't worried about losing a child in the crowds.  The rides are all small, with NO LINES!, so they are perfect for our little ones. 

Tristan and Josyan rode the airplanes twice (while Megan went on Montezuman's Revenge with Ryan).  The kids loved the race cars, and the monster trucks... The fun part is that most of the rides are also parent friendly, so if you have really little ones, you can ride with them!
And for the more adventurous types, of course there are the roller coasters.  Megan was tall enough for almost all of them, and Ryan finally found someone to ride the scary rides with!  The kids all had a taste of adventure with Ryan on the one coaster Tristan & Josyan could ride on...
...and I took the kiddos on my favorite--the Log Ride.  It's mostly a mild trip through the 'old mines', with a little thrill at the end.  We didn't get too wet, but on a hot day, that's the ride to go on!
For lunch, the boys and I split a foot long hotdog, some fries, and a "famous Knott's Berry Punch" for $15.00.  Steep price for one, but not too bad for three of us.  (Ryan and Megan couldn't eat because of all the roller coasters!)  We got the kids giant lollipops for souvenirs ($2 each), and spent less than 1/2 as much as we would have just to get in to Disney on the whole day. 

The last time we were at Knott's, Megan made a Princess craft and mined for gold--there were a lot of things to do that weren't rides and didn't cost much.  That makes the trip even more special.  We didn't get a chance to get any of the famous chicken this time, but last time we enjoyed a wonderful pancake breakfast.  Another great reason to choose Knott's!  I didn't intend to review the park, seriously, but I LOVE it--for the prices, the focus on the little ones, the lack of crowds, and the fun things to do. 

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