Sweet Tiny Blessings

Month: July 2016

Leading your Child to Christ + Giveaway

The most important teaching in my child’s life, is the lesson of God’s love and the gift of salvation.  Though I try to show this through my actions, I don’t always have the right words. Tommy Nelson has provided me and my children with a beautiful new book, called I Believe In Jesus – Leading Your Child to Christ, in exchange for sharing with you my thoughts and opinions.

Leading your Child to Christ

What is “Leading Your Child To Christ” all about?

The author, John MacArthur, creates a timeless story of salvation – from creation to eternity – in words that children can understand.  They learn how much God loves them, what it means to be saved, and how they can express their faith in Jesus.  You will find beautiful illustrations, accompanied by Bible verses on each page.

About the Author

John MacArthur is a father and grandfather who believes that Christians’ greatest responsibility is to share Christ with their families.  he and his wife, Patricia, have four married children and fifteen grandchildren.  John is also a best selling author, the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, the president of The Master’s College and Seminary, and the featured teacher of the Grace to You media ministry.

About the Illustrator

Dominique Mertens spent his childhood in the beautiful Belgian countryside, and today he is known for displaying the boldness of nature in his art.  He studied illustration at the Saint-Luc Institute in Brussels, and he has been receiving special honors for his work since 2000, including the Annual Bologna Fair awards and a grant from the French Community of Belgium to publish his book Corentin and the Dragonfly.

In the book, I Believe in Jesus – Leading your Child to Christ, your child will learn that they can trust God, He loves them, He forgives them and He wants them to live forever in His wonderful heaven.  It is a reminder to keep trusting God our whole lives.

You can purchase the same book my children received for $14.99 at Thomas Nelson. This book is the perfect gift for parents, grandparents, Sunday school teachers, and Bible teachers to share with the children they love.  Tommy Nelson is giving you a chance to win a copy of I Believe in Jesus – Leading your Child to Christ.  Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter.
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What’s Your Summer Snapshots?

I can’t believe how quickly this summer is flying by. My daughter will be entering kindergarten in less than a month. And despite the anxiety I had about her growing up, we are both so excited for this new adventure. She was accepted into a great arts and communications school that I know she will thrive in. But before we jump into the school year, we’ve been enjoying our laid back, summer break.  Check out out summer snapshots.

It is super hot in the summertime, here in Florida. So pool time has been a recurring event most days. Friends have opened up their homes and pools to allow us to swim. And we’ve been enjoying company on a weekly basis. All this excitement really tuckers our little guy out. Sometimes, he just can’t make it to the crib. So the couch for nap times has happened more than once.

Summer Snapshot
Catching Z’s on the couch

This summer has also been a time for me to get back into shape. After my c-section two years ago, I had excruciating nerve pain.  I gained a lot of weight because I couldn’t exercise. By joining the local YMCA, using My Fitness Pal app and the Walk It Off Now Challenge, I am so close to my goal weight.

Big C loves pay day.  She has done well with her chore chart to earn her commission.  Her bank consists of three sections, give, save and spend.  I think she has close to $30 in savings.  It’s been fun for her to take her spend money with her shopping.  And she recently donated $17 dollars to Instride with her give money.  She is proud of the special t-shirt she received.

Summer Snapshots
She has a big heart

Spending my days at the beach was one of my favorite pass times growing up.  We live about a half hour away from the closest beach, but packing up all that gear and then rinsing everyone and everything off afterwards, is such a daunting task to me.  But Big C’s summer request was beach time.  So we did it!  I felt like it was a successful trip until we had to make the long walk back to the car.  Both kids were whining and crying the whole way.  I’m glad we did it though.  And I think it will get much easier as the kids get a little older.

Summer Snapshots
Beach Bound
Summer Snapshots
Sun kissed

Birthday parties are big in the month of July.  We’ve done plenty of partying.  We enjoy loving on our family and friends and spoiling them any way we can.  Big C would celebrate a birthday everyday if she could.  Play time and cake, who could blame her?

Summer Snapshots
Cupcake cheeks

Another summer in the books.  I would love to hear all about your summer snapshots.  Did you take any fun trips or vacations?  Or did you stay put, like us, and make your memories close to home?

Finding Financial Peace + Giveaway

Finding Financial Peace

I was scared and frustrated.  I think we both were.  We were living a pretty good life from the outside, but financially we had no idea what we were doing.  I shared with you in the past that we were living paycheck to paycheck with quite a bit of debt underneath us, close to $30,000. We were considered “normal” with our student loans, credit card debt, cars and boat, medical bills and without a savings.  We wanted a change, but just didn’t know how. Finding financial peace is what we were searching for.

By the grace of God we found an answer.  We found a way to break free from the chains and make a future for our family.  We were so thankful to find a Financial Peace University class right inside our home church. I want to share our financial journey with you in the hopes that you will find financial peace, too.

I am partnering with Dave Ramsey, to give one of my readers, a chance to win a Financial Peace University Membership Kit valued at $369. In exchange, we’ll be receiving Rachel Cruze’s new book, Love Your Life, Not Theirs. But before we get to what’s in the kit, let me share with you where our family is now.

Our Financial Peace Update

Dave Ramsey’s class consists of the 7 Baby Steps.  The first step is to save a $1000 emergency fund.  We had a little extra cash, but if we didn’t set a thousand aside, we would have blown through it quickly.  This step has saved us a couple of times.  We are currently on step 2, which is the debt snowball.  This consists of putting all debts in order from smallest to largest, pay the minimal payment on all of them, except for the smallest.  Put extra money into the smallest until it’s paid off. Then, use that payment money towards the next lowest debt and keep paying them off.

Will it Work for Me?

The one remark I always receive when explaining step 1 and 2 is, “but we don’t have the extra money to create an emergency fund or put towards debt.”  We thought the same thing. So here is what we did.  First, we created a budget.  Every month (usually more often), we sit down and figure out where we want our money to go first.  We know we need to pay bills, pay for gas and eat.  Sometimes we need school clothes or go to the dentist, so we add those types of necessities in each month, as well.  Then we add in the fun category. Everyone thinks you can’t have fun on a budget, but it’s not true.

After we created our budget for the first time, we realized we had more money left over then we thought and we were living way beyond our means.  The next thing we I did was prepare for a garage sale.  I went through everything in the house and received donations from family and friends.  With over a month of planning and local advertising, I made almost $500 at my garage sale!

With the $500, I negotiated with the collections company AND paid off our lowest debt.  This helped us get our debt snowball rolling.  Being a stay-at-home mom, it felt great to be able to contribute financially.  Since October, our family has paid off close to $10,000 including a collections bill, student loan, hospital bills and a car.  And for the first time in our lives, we are tithing with an open heart.

Our Financial Peace University class has been one of the biggest blessings for our family. Not only have we learned how to get out of debt (and stay out), we’ve learn other lessons, too.  These include how to pay for cash for our car (never lease), when to rent and when to buy, the 15 year mortgage plan, what insurance we need (and what we don’t need), Roth RIA’s, 401k’s, college for our kids without student loans and so much more.

Giveaway

Finding Financial Peace

Dave Ramsey wants to bless one of my readers with a Financial Peace University Membership Kit.  With this kit, you’ll receive everything you need for your local class to finding financial peace, including:

  • Online Access to all Nine Lessons
  • Member Workbook
  • Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money
  • Envelope System
  • Budget Forms Folder
  • Progress Poster
  • And resources to help you along your journey

Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  Don’t forget to stay connected with Dave Ramsey on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube for financial tips, resources and discounts.

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Independence Day with Applegate + Giveaway

I spent most of my childhood and young adult life on the beach.  Our family reunions, birthdays, Independence Day and after school shenanigans always seemed to revolve around the sun, sand and ocean.  We created some fun memories and great traditions that will last a lifetime.  Now that I am married and have kids of my own, our family has created our own traditions.

We don’t live as close to the beach anymore as I did when I was growing up.  But some of the same things we did on the beach, we now do in our own backyard.  We love having our family and friends over for BBQ’s, swim parties and making new memories.  And that’s what we did this 4th of July.

For July 4th, Applegate sent our family everything we needed for a great, delicious and healthy BBQ to enjoy, in exchange for sharing our experience with you, my readers.  Check out what was included in our kit and what you have a chance to win:

Independence Day Applegate Giveaway

  • Applegate natural beef hot dogs made with 100% grass beef
  • Sir Kensington’s Ketchup and Mustard
  • Vermont Bread Company natural buns
  • Applegate Cooler Bag
  • Applegate Tote Bag
  • Applegate Frisbee
  • Applegate Stainless Steel water bottle (adults)
  • Applegate Stainless Steel water bottle (kids)

Big C was so thrilled to receive her big box of goodies from Applegate.  You can just see the excitement in her face when she received a frisbee.

Independence Day Applegate Giveaway

Applegate is our number one choice for hot dogs because they only contain four ingredients, 100% grass-fed beef, water, salt and spices.  That’s it!  No artificial ingredients, synthetic nitrates, or antibiotics.  And they are so delicious.

Giveaway Time

Now, Applegate wants you to get on the grass with your family and kids, host a hot dog cookout and a frisbee toss.  Or maybe you want to have your friends over for a BBQ Bash.  Whatever you decide, here’s a chance for you to win your own Applegate “Get Out On Grass” Kit.  Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter and don’t forget to follow Applegate on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

a Rafflecopter giveaway