Countdown Fun and Winners Announced

paper chain

It seems like as soon as the Fourth of July rolls around the rest of summer is gone in a flash. So, today I thought I would share an idea that my younger kids absolutely loved – the countdown chain. You can use this for counting down to a vacation, start of school, birthday or any number of occasions.

For our chain, I cut various colors of cardstock (construction paper would also work) on my large paper-cutter to make it go faster. However, if the kids wanted to get involved, allowing them to cut the strips by hand would work just fine.

Now, for the fun part. On each of the strips of paper, we wrote an activity. These could be anything you want. The following are just a sample of what Quintin and Maddy selected:

  • Go for a walk
  • Have a tea party
  • Build a fort
  • Do a puzzle
  • Go to Build-a-Bear

After you have an activity on each of the strips of paper, then begin making a paper chain. You can tape or staple the ends together. Once the chain is constructed, we hung it up on the doorway. The kids not only had a visual for the number of days left, but also eagerly anticipated what that day’s activity would be.

It is a great way to countdown and have fun along the way.

I would love to hear from you today. What is a fun activity or idea you could share? It doesn’t have to be limited to children. I am still young at heart.

photoAnd now to announce the winners of the books.

(Drum Roll…..)

Beverly Brown Johnson
Lori A.

Ladies, if you could please email me your address. Also, if you have a preference on one of the 3 books listed let me know. Otherwise, it will just be a surprise.

Celebrate Freedom


Happy 4th of July!

If you are like me, you have lots to do today. Therefore, I am going to make this short and sweet. The 4th of July holds so many memories for me, both as a child and with my own. But instead of sharing my memories with you today, I would like you to leave a memory in the comment section or a picture on my author page on facebook. Each memory or picture will get you an entry in the give away for FREE books. I will announce the winners on Monday morning, so you have until Sunday at midnight to enter. Don’t miss out! Now, go make some memories.

Are you Anchored?

Vacation 2014 038

I didn’t use to like being on the water. Don’t get me wrong, I loved to swim and be at the beach, but the thought of being in deep water on a boat was not my idea of fun. However, as I have gotten older I have found being out on the water is very soothing.

Last fall, on a family trip to Missouri, we rented a boat for the afternoon. My husband, the avid fisherman, was eager to take the kids fishing. It was a crisp October afternoon. We loaded up and headed for the water. After a few (okay, actually several) pictures of the kids on the boat and fishing, I was content to sit back and take in the warmth of the sun and movement of the boat.

When Mitch found a “good spot”, he suggested that maybe he should set the anchor before the kids started casting. I didn’t think that extra step was necessary. The wind wasn’t blowing that much and we were back in a cove. Well, it wasn’t long before I noticed what he was talking about, the boat was drifting towards the rocks.

Dear friend, you and I are a lot like the fishing boat. Even in seemingly ideal circumstances, we can drift if we are not anchored.

The enemy wants nothing more than to pull us away from God and our beliefs. He is tricky and won’t do it all at once. No, it is very slow and subtle, just like the wind on the lake. It pulls us away unless we are grounded or anchored in Christ.

You and I must make the choice each and every day as to whether to use the anchor or not. Don’t be careless – cling to God. He is our rock. We can count on to hold us firm even when the storm winds blow.

Are you anchored to God or bobbing along on your own? Turn to God for safety and security.

If there is something heavy on your heart today, I would love to pray for you. Simply leave your request in the comment section.

Praise Challenge – Review and Contest

coffee 2

If you stopped by because you read my devotion today over at Encouragement Cafe, WELCOME!   So glad you are here!​​ If you haven’t had an opportunity to read my article on Encouragement Café today, I encourage you to take a few moments and do so.

Finished? Okay, so glad to have you back.

I have a few things to share with you today. First of all, with a writing deadline and the craziness of summer, I have been away from my blog. I am hoping everything is calming down and I will be able to get back into the regular swing of things. To kick this off, what do you say to some FREE books? Yes, I thought you would enjoy that. So, for the next few days every time you leave a comment on my blog, follow me on twitter, or like my author page on facebook; you will be entered into the drawing. I will announce the winners on Monday, July 6th.

praise cover

The next item I would like to share with you is regarding a 30 challenge that I took part in this month. It is based off of Becky Harling’s book, The 30 Day Praise Challenge for Parents.

I know in my own life there are many days and circumstances that arise and the last thing I want to do is praise. However, Becky’s book helped me to see things from a different perspective.

Over the course of the last month, I have learned to look at the positive in each of my children instead of the faults or difficulties. God made each child a certain way for His purpose and His plan. Not only that, but He entrusted them to us as parents. It was not by accident. I learned a lot about not only my children, but also myself.

Each day, Becky provides a scripture and a brief message, followed by the praise songs for the day. (Side note – these are all listed on her website). The day ends with a guided prayer, meant to be a jumping off point for you, and a journal exercise. These precious minutes devoted to this challenge will not only change how you react to your children, but also your outlook on the world in general.

Whether you have children or not, I would highly recommend you pick up one of Becky Harling’s books and start your own 30 day praise challenge.

Your Turn: In the comments, I would like to know one thing you are praising God for today.

Summer Fun Ideas

summer fun

June brings sunny days and kids out of school. This is a time many moms wonder how they can avoid the dreaded phrase, “I’m bored!” I have put together a few ideas that my kids love. Feel free to take these ideas and cater it to your own family or yourself. I would love to hear your creative ideas for conquering boredom.

    Summer Fun Ideas    
Make soap crayons Go bike riding Make a card for someone Jump rope Make s’mores
Watch a video Scavenger hunt  Ice Cream Night Play HORSE Silly string war Have a funathlon
Cool off and read a book together Make your own game  Try a new snack today Play dress-up  Play with dominoes Build a fort
Bring the beach home Water balloon fun      Play with clay Enjoy a puzzle Build an obstacle course  

Empire’s End – Book Review


 shows exceptional skills as a writer as she weaves the reader into the lives of this family. Mining clues sprinkled throughout Paul’s writings, Jerry B. Jenkins weaves a thoroughly believable take filled with high drama at every turn. This inventive, page-turning novel is steeped in bravado and bloodshed, conflict and deep devotion, romance and political maneuvering. The result is a can’t-put-it-down thrilled crafted to satisfy any curious observer’s longings to meet a flesh-and-blood man whose mission and message ultimately triggered the end of the great Roman Empire.She creates such a welcome environment that you can jump into the series at any point, although you will quickly want to start from 

Jerry Jenkins is such a masterful storyteller that I jumped at the chance to read and review his latest work. He shows exceptional skills as a writer as he weaves the reader into the life of Paul. This is a fictionalized story of Paul, but it is based on scripture. I love how he expounds upon the gaps in the story of Paul in plausible ways. The reader is allowed to get an up-close look at this dynamic character as Paul leaps off the pages of the Bible and into this book.

I would recommend Empire’s End. Open the book and let the adventure begin.

For those of you that missed out on my guest post yesterday. I encourage you to hop over to Emilie’s blog and enter to win a copy of my book, Get REAL.

A Love Like Ours – Book Review


Former Marine Jake Porter has far deeper scars than the one that marks his face. He struggles with symptoms of PTSD, lives a solitary life, and avoids relationships.

     When Lyndie James, Jake’s childhood best friend, lands back in Holley, Texas, Jake cautiously hires her to exercise his Thoroughbreds. Lyndie is tender-hearted, fiercely determined, and afraid of nothing, just like she was as a child. Jake pairs her with Silver Leaf, a horse full of promise but lacking in results, hoping she can solve the mystery of the stallion’s reluctance to run.

     Though Jake and Lyndie have grown into very different adults, the bond that existed during their childhood still ties them together. Against Jake’s will, Lyndie’s sparkling, optimistic personality begins to tear down the walls he’s built around his heart. A glimmer of the hope he’d thought he’d lost returns, but fears and regrets still plague him. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?

A Love Like Ours is the third book in the Porter Family novels. Becky Wade shows exceptional skills as a writer as she weaves the reader into the lives of this family. She creates such a welcome environment that you can jump into the series at any point, although you will quickly want to start from square one and not miss a minute of this endearing family.

I also love how Becky incorporates faith throughout the story with her dynamic characters. I would highly recommend A Love Like Ours, as well as, the rest of the Porter Family novels. Invite this family into your library and they will quickly find a place in your heart.

Fun Friday


So many things to share with you, but I will keep that until next week. Right now, my focus is on my oldest, Taylor. It is hard to believe that little bundle of joy came into my life almost 18 years ago and is graduating from the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics and Humanities this weekend. I graduated in the third class from the Academy. Taylor has the distinction of being the first legacy student (child of an alumni). I couldn’t be prouder. She is such an amazing, young woman. I know that God has big plans in store for her life. She will be double majoring at Cedarville University in the fall in Chemistry and Biology. Watch out research world!

In honor of my daughter and all the other graduates, I would like to leave you with this video.


 In the comment section, I would love to hear how you are living life big.