Sunday, February 26, 2012

Speaking of Talent...

First things first, I have a winner to announce! Heather Abels is the lucky winner of my "His Revolutionary Love" giveaway. Thanks to all of you who entered. My hope is that you will still visit Amazon or your local bookstore and pick it up for the teen girl(s) in your life.

Thank you, Lynn Cowell, for the incredible book. Your ability to create a comfortable, chat like atmostphere through writing is a talent few possess and I'm certain it will draw teens in and change lives for the Kingdom.

And, while we're speaking of written talent and many in the US are watching the Academy Awards celebrate film talent, I have to share this quote with you. I saw it on my pinterest and couldn't help but shout an "Amen."
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me." ~ Erma Bombeck
Isn't it a great throught as we enter the new week?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Transforming a Photo Album into a Memory Verse Book {with Free Scripture Downloads}

Today’s the day. The Scripture Sound Off is here! And, if you haven’t visited yet I sure hope that you will as soon as you get done reading this post. I absolutely LOVE how alive the Word of God is. Each verse will elicit some kind of response in ALL of us and through {comment} conversation we can encourage each other, drawing us all nearer to the heart of God and strengthening our personal faith.

The second part of the Sound Off is the absolutely awesome free printables to accompany each verse. So, I wanted to share with you how we are going to celebrate that opportunity in our home.

My oldest two are six and four. They love crafts so when I told them that we were going to memorize Bible verses together we made a special book to keep their Scripture cards in one place. This will make it easy for them to refer to and, as we add more verses, be a real visual reminder of all that they have learned and accomplished.

Isn’t it cute? They did such a good job!

It is a simple photo album transformed into a memory verse book. Suddenly something meant to look back will help them to look forward and touch their lives for eternity.

We practiced putting their names in today’s verse where it says “darling” and discussed what the word flaw means. You should’ve seen their eyes light up when they imagined God saying to them “You are gorgeous and My hands made you perfect.”

I’d encourage you to make a permanent place (in whatever way works best in your home) for your free printables to go through with your kids – from toddlers to teens. And, enjoy the conversations with them! This small time investment could make a HUGE difference in their lives.

Don’t forget to visit the Scripture Sound Off chat and print your free Scripture cards on MODSquad every fourth Friday.

Now, get on over and join in the {comment} conversation!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Let's Do Bible {Verse} Study Together!

I'm so excited I could burst.

Today on my MODSquad post I announced the Scripture Sound Off. This is going to an opportunity for us to grab a latte, gather around the computer, and do some Bible verse study together. The posts will have a single Scripture verse with a simple "how does this hit you?" question to follow.

Often times in life we are so busy dealing with what is in front of us that we miss the direction and love lavished on us from above. In reading the Bible verses together, we'll recognize our strengths and insecurities and then have an opportuinity to discuss our feelings in the comments section, giving the sense of hanging together in the living room encouraging one another.

That, in and of itself rocks, but then fellow MODSquad writer Melissa R volunteered to make free printables so that you can discuss and memorize the verses with your kids after you've had a chance to digest it in your own life. How great is that?!

The Scripture Sound Off will come your way every fourth Friday. I can't wait to chat and grow in our faith together. Come join in the conversation!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

His Revolutionary Love: A Review & Giveaway

One of the greatest advantages to our Internet savvy society is the ability to connect with people we otherwise wouldn’t have. A few months ago Lynn Cowell, author and speaker for Proverbs 31 ministry, guest wrote for MODSquad. I LOVED what she had to share so when the opportunity came to review and giveaway…yes I said giveaway…her new book “His Revolutionary Love” I jumped.

Lynn’s conversational style makes you feel like you’re at a slumber party together talking about the things that matter most. The words that flow off the page are fun and exciting and relevant and challenging.

So how is this book “new?”

Remember Plumb’s hit “God Shaped Hole?” That song describes the read. At the core of each of us is a desire to be longed for and God’s revolutionary love not only fulfills that but inspires an outflow in our life that will bring us inner peace and cause the rest of the world to take notice. Teen girls will be changed from the inside out in their relationship with their parents, friends, and, of course, boys.

One of my favorite lines in the book said this

“Seeking involves learning about who he is, what he is like, and then being intentional about becoming like him.”

Too often the voices and pace of this world drown out the still small voice of our Lord. And, in those early teen years when bodies are changing, romantic feelings develop, and a sense of personal identity is forming that can be particularly dangerous. But, inside the pages of this book is Scripture after Scripture bringing God’s love and dreams for a young girl’s life to the forefront.

This is where the rubber meets the road, friends! How does our relationship with our dad impact how we perceive God? What does a good friend look like? How do I be a good friend? How do I identify a Godly guy? If I’m going to talk the talk how do I walk the walk? What does God really see in me?

As real life issues are discussed teen reflections are shared and then Lynn really helps readers examine their own heart and motives with activities sprinkled throughout the chapters. I adored the prayers, memory verses, questions to answer, reflection boxes, and notes to write to Jesus. It transforms the book from a passive read to an interactive experience, inviting readers to put the “stuff” of life aside and focus in on the heart of God.

Lynn effectively makes girls feel like they are being talked with rather than talked at. Your daughter will walk away with a new confidence. She will know how radically loved she is and, as her trust in the Lord grows, she will want nothing more than His best in every relationship she has.

Pretty great, right?!

And now Lynn is going to let me give one away! If you are in the continental US, you can be entered simply by leaving a comment and your email address. You can get additional entries by 1) officially following my blog 2) subscribing to Lynn’s blog 3) tweeting about the giveaway 4) sharing this post on Facebook. That means each person could have up to five entries. If you choose any of the additional entry opportunities please be sure to leave a comment and email for each of them separately. I will use to pick a winner at NOON on Feb 26 so the lucky winner can hear the heart of their Ultimate Lover during this month that celebrates love.

Thank you, Lynn, for the great book!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Accessorizing Girls is So Much Fun

Moms of Girls, listen up! We all know that accessorizing our girls is tons of fun. And, I've discovered a designer that is like a diamond in the rough.


Krista Hofkamp (Love Bug Baby Boutique) makes all types of fun accessories from hair things, to legwarmers, to shoes, to tutus, and so on for babies to adults. Since we received more of her items when Hannah won the model contest, her products have become a fav in our household.

And here's the best part. In addition to supporting a mama and small business, she is all about making cuteness affordable for your family.

For instance, this weekend she ran a legwarmer sale and I got this adorable pair for free because I was the first commenter

and this for $1!

Plus, she does frequent auctions. So, I got this adorable satin elastic hairband for a mere $2

I love them because they are not only adorable but they are comfortable for the girls.

We also go one for $4 (it's impossible to get enough pink in our house)

and...brace yourself... this one from the Valentine Sale for $5.

The Valentine Sale is not done so I should probably wrap this up so you can get over to her Facebook page and find some sweetness for your little princesses, but not before I just point out this

and this

Ya. I'll wrap it up. I'd like her page so that you don't miss out on the upcoming auctions. I mean this great are hard to come by and the fun factor...Through. The. Roof!

PS- If you see the girls keep your lips zipped. Valentines gifts...Done :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Which Kills More Germs: Hand Sanitizer or Soap?

This is the question Grace chose to ask for her science fair.

Yes, those are colored on painted nails. What can I say, I'm raising girls. :)

Since it is so relevant to keeping us healthy, lots of people have been interested in her results so I thought I'd share what our little scientist studied incase you want to replicate it in your own academic setting.

To do the project we ordered petri dishes with pre-poured agar off Amazon. One dish was opened to air for 10 seconds and immediately closed. This was the control. For the second dish, Grace rubbed her hand through her hair for 30 seconds and washed with SoftSoap hand soap for 30 seconds. Then she placed her hands directly onto the agar for 30 seconds. For the third dish she repeated the same process only she washed her hands for 60 seconds. The fourth and fifth dishes repeated the same process with GermX hand sanitizer. And, the final dish was 30 seconds of rubbing her hand throug her hair and no hand washing at all.

She practiced counting and assessing data all at once when she began gathering her results. At 24 hours, 48 hours, and 72 hours she counted the colonies and, obviously, the one with the least germ growth represented the best at killing off germs.

Her results were astounding. Hand sanitizer was FAR MORE effective at every point of data collection. In fact, the 60 second hand sanitizer only had 13 colonies.

This is no soap of any kind (168 colonies).
Wash your hands people!

She was so excited to set up her board (we found the fun foam hands at Hobby Lobby) and explain her results to the many that walked through. In true mother form, I got all teary eyed watching her. I'm going to have to work on that if we are going to do this for years to come. :)

Approximately 1/3 of her student body participated in the science fair, which I thought was an awesome testament to the wonderful teachers and administration that get kids and their parents so fired up about learning that they do optional projects and hang out at school on a Friday night. The kids' creativity was incredible.

As the judges came around, they listened to the children explain their project and gave them a ribbon.

Grace has been carrying it everywhere. She even showed it to her dance teacher yesterday. :)

Overall, this was an easy, interesting science project that I'd highly recommend for science fairs, early elementary ed teachers, or homeschool parents. It really drove home a point that we parents are constantly trying to make. Now Grace wants to wash her hands (because she's seen what is on her hands if she doesn't) and the new challenge is getting her to still use soap. Something about hand sanitizer only after going to the bathroom just seems wrong. So she's doing both. :)

Did your child do a science project? I'd love to hear about it. And, if any involved food/cooking I'd REALLY love to hear about it. That's what she initially hoped to find and we struck out!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mexican Dip

It's been a while since I've shared a recipe in this space and after some awesome Superbowl food I thought it was about time!

When in a pinch for time a wanting to make something easy and yummy, this is the dip for you.

Here we go!

You Will Need:
16oz cream cheese
1 can corn (drained)
1 small can black olives (sliced)
1 package spicy ranch dip
20 jalapeno slices
1 small red bell pepper

Blend together the ingredients with a hand mixer and stick it in the fridge for a little cooling time.

I'd suggest using some "hardy" dipping chips so they don't break when you dip. We used scoop corn chips.

If you don't like spicy food use less jalapeno slices but make sure to use some to get the appropriate flavor.


Friday, February 3, 2012

You're Gonna Want to Bookmark This!

Check. It. Out. Our newest book Who's In Your Social Network has it's own website and I have to gush about it because I know you're gonna want to bookmark this!

This website will be a key to staying "in the know" on current teen culture as it relates to media, relationships, and sexuality. The community formed will inspire, encourage, and educate you. Teens, you will hear the voices of your peers and get helpful advice. Parents & youth workers, you will see & hear in a very real way what your teens are facing so that you can have healthier, more comfortable conversations with the people you love.

If you haven’t picked up the book yet, please order here and it will be on your doorstep before you know it. The words from your peers will promote more discussion in this space.

So here’s what you can be watching for on the WIYSN site

1) On the blog – The blog will be updated frequently with current discussion topics that apply to this book as well as Nobody Told Me (our first book on relationships that is another must have on your nightstand). In addition to our words, you can expect to see YOUR words. Any good questions and powerful stories written in to us with permission to be used could show up here. We want to hear from you so please write us!

2) Videos – Personal videos as well as powerful videos from external sites worth a watch will be added often. Sit back and enjoy them.

3) The Store – As you're reading the books, enjoying the blogs, and watching videos you might come across a need for more information. The store will have all that you need to guard your body and heart for the future.

The long and short of it? Bookmark, pin, or whatever it is that you do to get back to frequently visited sites and make sure that you check in OFTEN because it’s going to be fun and interactive and awesome. And, if there is anything you want to see us write about please be sure to ask because we will respond.
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