Sweet Tiny Blessings

Parenting

Parenting 14 Gospel Principles + Giveaway

I wrote this post on behalf of Flyby Promotions in exchange for the book, Parenting 14 Gospel Principles.  All opinions are my own.

Have you ever felt the pressure from family members, friends or even complete strangers as to how to raise your children the “right” way?  Everyone has their opinion, right?  (I’ve been known to give unsolicited advice in the past).  It’s so easy to forget what our ultimate purpose for parenting is.  Let us not forget that there is no perfect formula that works for every family. Every one of us is unique and so are our children and families.  I once read a blog post on Proverbs 31, that reminded me that I was not meant to raise a good, rule following child.  My purpose was to raise a God following adult.  The book, Parenting – 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family expands on exactly that – raising God following adults.

Parenting

Paul Tripp, the author of Parenting, gives us a big picture view of what God’s plan for us is as parents.  He outlines 14 foundational principles from the gospel, giving us more than a to-do list on how to raise our children.  But rather how God’s rescuing grace shapes our hearts into how we parent.

My Thoughts On Parenting

This book has been a huge blessing for me in this season of life (raising a toddler and an independent kindergartner).  It’s helped me to change my reactions with my children and to view parenting in a different light.  Am I trying to gain temporary control over my children or am I helping them to be what God wants them to be?  It’s also helped me to brush off other’s negative comments on the way I raise my kids and has reminded me that only God’s judgements matter.  I’m not a perfect parent by any means.  No one is except our heavenly Father.

Parenting

Purchase and Giveaway

You can purchase the same book I received for $16.30 on Amazon.  Flyby Promotions is giving you a chance to win a copy of Parenting – 12 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family.  Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  This giveaway is open to US residents only.  You are not eligible to win if you have received a prize from FlyBy in the past 30 days.
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We are Surviving Kindergarten

A month ago, I had felt completely prepared and excited.  I had no idea my emotions would flip flop so quickly.  All of a sudden, I didn’t know what to expect or how to let go.  Yup, my daughter, my first born, let go of my hand and stepped right into kindergarten.  I wasn’t sure I could walk out that door or leave her behind in such a big and new environment.  The emotions I was feeling hit hard and quick.  Surviving kindergarten is a little more then I presumed.

Surviving Kindergarten

But we did it!  We survived the first day (and half week) of kindergarten.  Big C loves kindergarten more then weekends.  What?!  Who is this child?  I hope her passion for learning never ends.  My prayer is that she excels and never struggles in learning, but catching on to knew concepts comes easily.

The first half week of kindergarten wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies, though.  Well, maybe the butterflies part is true.  Because we both had them in our tummies.  We are still getting used to the new schedule, traffic and procedures.  As Big C waits for mommy to pick her up after school, her nerves get the best of her.  So we’ll try something different this week and see how it goes.

I can’t even describe how proud I am of my daughter.  Her teacher has told me that she’s a pleasure to have in class, a great listener and wonderful role model for the kids around her.  I cried tears of happiness when I read those words.  I hope she keeps it up, because at this rate, she is definitely surviving kindergarten.

Surviving Kindergarten

Surprisingly, her energy level is still sky high by the time she gets home.  I thought for sure she would curl up on the couch and rest or fall asleep once she walked in the door.  Nope, she is more like the energizer bunny.  Thankfully, she crashes at bedtime and is ready to conquer a new day in the morning.

Did your children (and you) survive the first of Kindergarten?

Win Free Waffles for a Year

This post is sponsored by Van’s.  All opinions are my own.

Can you believe school is right around the corner?  Big C starts her first day of kindergarten next week.  I’m a little anxious about our new routine.  We’ll have to wake up much earlier, eat breakfast a little quicker and take a longer ride to school.  But eating a quick breakfast, doesn’t mean it can’t be healthy.  Our family loves Van’s waffles and the many different ways we can eat them.

To celebrate all moms and make our lives so much easier, Van’s is hosting a Back-to-School giveaway for a year’s worth of free waffles (52 coupons) and three signed cookbooks from celebrity nutritionist and best-selling author Joy Bauer.

Mom’s Survey

Van’s offers quick, wholesome options like whole grain and protein waffles that are so delicious, you’ll feel great about serving them to your children.  And your kids will love them. When Van’s conducted a survey of 1000 moms, wholesome breakfasts was very important:

  • 58 percent said they rush through their morning hair and makeup routines
  • Nearly 40 percent admit to wearing pajamas to drive their kids to school
  • 17 percent apply makeup in the car
  • Almost 70 percent of moms said they feel better about themselves when they serve a hot breakfast, and they count protein, whole grains and kid-friendliness as the lead factors for making good choices for their families.

Van’s waffles comes in a variety of different options to fit the needs of all eaters, from kid-favorite minis (with 27 grams of whole grains per serving) to Van’s Gluten-Free waffles (free of gluten, dairy and egg) and Van’s 8 Whole Grain waffles (with 7 grams of fiber).

Win Free Waffles

Van’s Waffles are available at grocery stores, mass merchandisers and natural food retailers nationwide.  To find Van’s Waffles at a store near you, you can visit Van’s Store Locator.

Win Free Waffles for a Year

Van’s is giving you the opportunity to win a year’s worth of free waffles (52 coupons) and three signed cookbooks from celebrity nutritionalist and best-selling offer Joy Bauer – “Slim & Scrumptious,” “From Junk Food to Joy Food” and “Food Cures.” (Approx. $275 value)

This giveaway was facilitated by Van’s Foods.  I was not compensated for this post but did receive free product samples.  All opinions are my own.

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Insecurities

She looked in the mirror and tears filled her eyes.  Then she begged me to allow her to stay home. She didn’t want anyone to see her like this.  This was the first time, even an ounce of insecurities, had ever taken over her little, five year old body.  Though I thought she looked precious with the new gap in her smile, losing her big, front tooth was quite traumatic for her self-esteem.

For weeks now, she has been so excited that her third tooth was loose.  She couldn’t wait for the tooth fairy to visit.  So I wasn’t expecting her to be so distraught when it finally popped out.  As the tears welled up in her beautiful, brown eyes, my heart strings were being pulled.

I promised her no one would make fun of her.  I told her that her friends would be excited for her or think it was cool to have lost her tooth.  And losing teeth happens to everyone.  She finally came around and let me take that first precious memory of her.  Big C, you are bold and beautiful from the inside, out!

Insecurities

In less than two weeks, she will enter into kindergarten, in a whole new world for her (and me).  Though each night I pray for her to feel, be and give love, I know she may experience times of rejection and heartache far out of my control.  My heart strings will be pulled harder and I’ll be down on my knees so much more.

But Big C, I pray that you will always know that mommy is here for you.  Whenever you feel nervous, scared or insecurities pop up, I will listen and encourage.  When you have doubts or struggles, l will be here to hold and hug you.  I pray that you will never be distracted by what the world is trying to offer you, but always know that God’s offering is secure and everlasting.

 

 

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?

Tough Mommy Days

Oh mamas!  I’m right in the middle of raising a 2.  And it’s been exhausting to say the least. Without his magnesium oil, Little M will sometimes wake up as early as 4am.  Goodness, this makes for a long day of tantrums, messes, snack requests and bedtime stall tactics.  I don’t remember the two year old stage being so challenging with Big C. With Little M, there have been some tough mommy days.

Can You Relate to My Tough Mommy Days?

I’ll be right in the middle of making breakfast, when Little M begins asking for his first snack. He hasn’t even finished breakfast yet and he wants a snack.  He is constantly eating. (What am I going to do when he is a teenager?) Once he decides he is done with a meal, boom, his plate and all his leftovers are on the floor.  Ugh! Before I’m finished cleaning up his food mess, I hear a cry from big sis, whose hair is being pulled by Little M.  Or they are fighting over a toy before I can finish folding the laundry.  And once I finally get him down for a nap, I find crayon all over the walls and hardwood floor. This stage is trying.

I Know I’m Blessed

When I am so exhausted, that I don’t think I can take much more, God reminds me how blessed I am.  This is a season, though trying, it will pass.  And when they say the days are long and the years are short, they (whoever they are) aren’t lying.  This photo popped up on my Timehop App this morning.

Tough Mommy Days

The photo on the left reminds me of how far he has come.  I GET to be a mommy.  I GET to love, nurture, snuggle, teach and provide for this little guy.  I GET to watch him grow, learn and discover.  Thank you, God, for strengthening him, so I GET to be a mommy to this precious stinker.

How do you survive your tough mommy days?

Anchored Press Planner + Giveaway

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure . . . Hebrews 6:19 NIV.  These were the words I read as I opened up my Anchored Press Devotional Planner to review. What a beautiful, daily reminder for me to have at my fingertips each day.  Because our lives are filled with tasks and to-do lists, Anchored Press, gave me the opportunity to share with you and remind us to be still with God.

Anchored Press Planner

How Anchored Press was Found

As moms, we are constantly putting others first and forgetting or putting our needs on the back burner.  Over the years, Deana turned her daily planner into a place where she kept her schedule, devotional, prayer journal, meal plan, goals and memories.  Through prayer, she realized God was opening a door for her.  And that’s when the Anchored Press Planner came to life.  The planner became a way for women to stay organized and anchored in God’s Word.

Details and Features

When I opened my planner, I realized that Deana did not miss a beat when it comes to organization.  It’s a great tool to keep my schedule organized, time to spend with God, dinner planning, prayer requests and a place to pour out my soul.  She even thought about the important details when making the planner, including recycled paper, friendly soy based ink, a hard cover easy to keep clean and a strong wire binding.

Anchored Press Planner

2017 Planner

The 2017 Anchored Press Planners will be released in late August, which will include an expanded product line.  The new line will include two formats, more color options and a separate prayer journal.  One of the planners has fifty-two devotionals, one for each week, written by inspiring women of God, including Christine Caine and Jenni Catron.  The current 2016 planners are 40% off, which is an amazing deal, since there is still seven months left of the year.

Anchored Press is giving you the opportunity to win a 2017 planner of your own.  Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  This giveaway closes on June 30th. Good luck!

Enter your email for a chance to win 1 of 10 Anchored Press 2017 Planners!

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