Sep 02

#hearthiswell #CDCwhistleblower

Sep 01

Favorite Instagram Posts: August

Here are my favorite instagram photos from the month of August:

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one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine

August was a slow month on instagram, but it was filled with lots of time outside: Gardening, apple picking, hiking, train rides, and playing in the yard. We also finished the bunk beds last month, and John deployed.

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Sep 01

Modest Monday: Jade Mackenzie Apparel and GIVEAWAY!

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She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. Proverbs 31:25 

I thoroughly enjoy providing you with modest clothing store options! A few weeks ago, I provided a fairly large list of clothing stores, to include online stores. If you have not read this post, you can do so HERE.

This week I am pleased to introduce you to one of the companies that I shared in my list: Jade Mackenzie!!!!

Jade Mackenzie is a family owned business that is owned and operated by a mother and a wife. When purchases are made from this company, not only are you ensured modest, quality-made clothing, but you are also supporting a small business and the family who owns it. You are helping another Christian sister in Christ to be able to help support her family through her devotion to supply women with modest options. In the book of Proverbs it speaks of the Proverbs 31 wife selling her goods. Lisa-Marie Blenman, the owner of Jade Mackenzie, began this company because of the struggles to find modest clothing. It also didn’t hurt that her teenage goal was to start her own clothing line. Lisa-Marie is doing something that many of us have dreamed of doing – running her own business. However, she is also doing something that she is passionate about, which is designing modest clothing and witnessing to women through the blessings and gifts God has given her. One of the gifts she is blessed with is the ability to combine modesty with fashion! I know I have talked about it here before ladies, dressing modestly can mean many things for many people, but it is also possible to dress fashionably modest.

Friends and subscribers to my blog often tell me they have difficulty finding modest clothing for their daughters, nieces, cousins, granddaughters, or girls in general. Did I mention that Lisa-Marie has 3 daughters of her own? She not only empathizes with the struggle of modest clothing for girls and young women, but she is also taking action. This fall, she is launching a girl’s line!! Check out some of the images below of her modest clothing for girls!!!

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( Look how cute for mom and daughter!)

Jade Mackenzie carries a wide variety of modest clothing choices! Shoppers can choose from y dresses, skirts, and tops. They also carry some accessories!

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Jade Mackenzie also has layering T’s!!! I know from experience having laying T’s is a must for modesty.

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Right now Jade Mackenzie has an amazing offer going on Kickstarter.

You can pledge the money for the items you want to buy from the Pre-Sale items listed for the Fall Kickoff, but will not be charged until September 2nd. In fact, pledging the money now will also save you a lot money on the items you might otherwise purchase later. Lisa-Marie is offering excellent specials for those who order during this time! Also, her fall line is limited in quantity and you won’t want to miss out!!!

The website for Jade Mackenzie is HERE.

Facebook is HERE.

To get to her kickstarted page go HERE.

Now, for even more exciting news!!!! Jade Mackenzie is giving my viewers a chance to win a denim skirt! However, the odds of one of you winning a skirt have just increased. TWO of my lucky readers now have the opportunity to win a denim skirt in this giveaway!! So click the giveaway below and follow the instructions. Now ladies, please remember to follow all the steps. Some of the steps are mandatory and, unfortunately, failure to follow the steps will result in your entry being void. Although not of the steps are mandatory, but completing all the steps gives you more points, which increases your chances of winning.

In Christ,

Laura

The post Modest Monday: Jade Mackenzie Apparel and GIVEAWAY! appeared first on Raising Soldiers 4 Christ.

Aug 31

The Game Changer..

When we have children, we have  plans. They are not even out of the womb and we have plans.God did we have so many plans. To think back, we parents started planning our future and the little human we carried future the minute we found out we had created something wonderful. We had all these hopes and dreams that we wanted for our little ones. Maybe the next President of the United States or that professional sports player. Or maybe just a decent human being that we as parents could be proud of in our old age. All these plans that we put into place when we started having our kids. So what happens when you have something that puts roadblocks in front of your plans. Those little things that life throws at you, just to make things interesting.

I am not going lie or sugar coat things, that when a parent is sitting in a doctor's office hearing news that will forever change not only their lives but the life of their child, that there is a range of emotions that occur. No parent wants to hear that there is something ultimately wrong with their child. Whether it be a disease, a syndrome or a disorder. It doesn't matter how big or how small this "thing" is, its a game changer. You look at this child, this sweet, sweet child and all of us think to ourselves, quietly, Why them? Why does it have to be them? We have our periods of disbelief. That we can't fathom, just what this means. And there are some of us, that refuse to acknowledge what is going on. We see those plans that we hoped and dreamed about flash before us and they are almost like watching a balloon float into the sky. We try to grasp at it, but it is beyond our reach. We are all but lost to our emotions and that sense of dread. Most of us grieve, not for the child, but for what the foreseeable future will hold for them We grieve for the battles they will have to fight, as we know it is a cruel, cruel world out there. These feelings are very common when parents get news about their child, that alters the way they will have to live their lives. Its ok. Its ok to be angry. Its ok to be sad. Its going to be hard, but you will get through this. 

At times, when we get news about our children we want to know everything there is to know about what is affecting them. And we want to know how we can fix it. But for some, it isn't an issue of fixing it, its the way to live with something. Its how to adapt. Work with something rather than against it. Sometimes that means more doctor's appointments, medication or just changing your lifestyle to include every aspect of your child. Beyond the labels, there is still this child that needs to grow and prosper.

The important thing is when you get difficult news that concerns your child, is they are still the same child that you look upon with wonder. They are still the same child that pushes your buttons. They are still that little human, that made you parents in the first place. And without them, you wouldn't know what its like to be selfless or compassionate. They are the ones that teach us how to fight.

 You haven't stopped being their parent or loving them any less. Now instead of playing that one game you know the rules to, you are playing just a different game, with slightly different rules, but the team is still the same.

Aug 31

Red, Green Lellow 2014-08-31 15:00:00

Aug 30

Tiny Swag, FabKids Edition, August

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I’m sneaking in at the last minute with The Munchkin’s August FabKids outfit, but it works out for you, because this weekend only, all new members get 75% off their 1st outfit + free shipping!!! If you haven’t joined, now is an awesome time to do it! That is a crazy good deal on already inexpensive outfits! Click here if you want to sign up.

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It is still sooo hot here, and if The Munchkin wasn’t actually already back in school, I’d find it hard to imagine “back to school time” or fall in general… but, here we are. I’m talking it’s already in the seventies when we wake up, ugh. My inside pictures turned out pretty crappy, so when I woke up this morning and it was sixty-six degrees out, I was pretty excited. After breakfast, I got the boys dressed and we went outside to take some photos. Of course, by the time the photoshoot was done, it was already seventy-five degrees out, so these pieces will have to hang out in the closet for a little longer…

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The Munchkin actually picked this outfit out himself, and he love love loves the top. Even though it’s been in the higher eighties for most of the day, he still insists on wearing it. All day. Ha, the kid likes what he likes. What can I say? After a couple of errands and garage sales this morning, we’ve just been in the house all day so whatever.

I thought these pants were going to be much longer on him (The Munchkin generally grows to the next size in the fall, so I bought the size up from what he wears now…) but they’re not that long. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they fit true to 5Tish and all that, but GAH! My kiddo is getting so big! I’d probably only need to roll these under once, not even a couple times over, which is what I what I was expecting. SO TALL.

Raise your hand if you love FabKids!

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Outfit Details:
Hoodie tee & Cargo pants – c/o FabKids
Yo Gabba Gabba shoes – Vans, thrifted

Heads up: I got this outfit for free in exchange for writing this post, but all opinions and photos are my own. This post also contains affiliate links.

Aug 29

The Mommy Guilt is Real

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You know how I wrote that post a little while ago saying how much better The Munchkin was taking this separation from John compared to the last one? Yeah… I think I jinxed myself. The past three nights have been ROUGH you guys. We’ve gone through the routine as described in that aforementioned post, but it wasn’t enough. He would stall. And stall. And stall. Cuddles, water, another story, more hugs, more kisses, cuddles again. I wouldn’t give in to all of these, but I’ll always say yes to more hugs and kisses, and he gets up to two waters. I’d cuddle, but I’m not climbing up onto the top bunk. If he wants cuddles, he can sleep on the bottom bunk. Or go up to the top bunk after cuddles.

It all started one day, when he laid down in bed after dinner. I asked him if he wanted to go to bed, and he said “No, no go to bed!” so I figured he just needed a minute to decompress from the day or something. Nope. He fell asleep. With his underpants on. I was hopeful that he’d stay dry, but before I could even put a diaper on him, I could feel that he was already wet. Since he was clearly exhausted, I let him sleep. (Gross.) I figured he’d wake up soon, I’d wash his bedding, and he’d go to sleep in the top bunk. No big deal. I was wroooong. He slept past normal bedtime, which meant that I’d put The Bean to bed. I thought he might make it through the night. I was sitting on my computer, when I heard his door slam shut. I heard footsteps, and another door slam shut. That’s not a good sound. He doesn’t leave his room and then go back in it. My fears were confirmed as I heard The Bean start screaming. UGH WHY WOULD THE MUNCHKIN GO LOOKING FOR ME IN THE BEAN’S ROOM???? But he did, and I spent the next three hours trying to get the two of them to go back to sleep. I eventually just had to sit on the couch while holding The Bean until he went into a coma. I don’t even remember what I did to get The Munchkin to go to sleep, but I bet it had something to do with him sleeping in my bed.

Today, he was especially needy. He wanted cuddles while we had “quiet time” (aka Kindle time…) during The Bean’s nap. I obliged, and eventually fell asleep with my arms wrapped around him, and my head on his little shoulder. He smushed himself next to me as we watched a movie before bed. He asked for cuddles after bedtime stories, which I declined because of the top bunk issue. He asked for more water. More kisses, more hugs. I gave him those. Still, he refused to go to bed. He went into my bed to go to sleep. I said that was fine, but that I was going downstairs and would be up later. He said “ok” but was standing in the doorway or sitting at the top of the stairs before I knew it. We went back and forth about three times. Finally, I just screamed from the living room. “YOU NEED TO GO TO SLEEP!” He said something, but I couldn’t hear it. Probably that he needed more water, I don’t know. I told him that if he wanted to sleep in my bed, that it was fine, but that I needed to finish up what I was doing and then I would be up later. Except I said it in a super stern, mean mom voice.

What was I doing? Reading and commenting on blogs. Ugh, really self?

My little boy needed me. He needed me all day long. He is obviously struggling with LIFE right now, and I was ignoring his needs. He can’t walk past John’s car without declaring that Daddy is missing. He won’t be this little for long, and it won’t be long before he doesn’t need me for anything. I should cherish these moments and yadda yadda yadda.

At the same time, his stalling at bedtime stresses me out so much. I don’t enjoy bedtime cuddles because I’m stressing out about #GTFTS and all that. Except that cuddle time is not for me, so maybe I should get over myself? Gah, I don’t know. When he finally stopped stalling after my mean mom voice, I felt guilty. I still sat here and finished what I was doing though, AND THEN wrote a blog post about it, so maybe I’m just kind of an asshole.

The bedtime struggle is real. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to hopefully go snuggle my son, who hopefully chose to sleep/wait for me in my bed, and not abandon all hope of love from his mother by sleeping in his own bed…

Aug 29

5 Things I’ve Learned for the Days I Can’t be Supermom

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog than you know that it’s been a rough few months for us. Let me re-phrase that: a rough year. There is so much more that I can’t and don’t put on here, things that just break my heart, and have just made our rough time so much harder.

The past few weeks haven’t been much better. Last weekend we decided to drive an hour away to take my son on a train ride. My son is autistic and is just obsessed with trains. We thought it would be so much fun for him to ride a real train. And it was!

The entire thing was a 6 hour ordeal from start to finish and to be honest all of us, my son and the baby included were exhausted. We were only about 15-20 minutes down the road when our car broke down. I won’t go into the details, but it was the middle of nowhere Georgia, and there happened to be a cop sitting in his car having a break nearby.

My husband went and explained our situation: two special needs kids in the car, no AC, in a town we’ve never heard of far from home, no water, and 100 degrees with humidity. The cop proceeds to tell my husband there is no mechanic in this town and nothing in this town to help us and goes back to reading his newspaper.

Again, I will spare you all the details, but after gathering the children up and walking 1/2 mile down the road, we found a motel that let us sit in the air conditioned lobby until someone from my husband’s work came and got me and the kids. My husband had to wait for the tow truck which ended up costing $90. and then $500. to fix the car. It was a rough weekend.

I spent the next few days in a sort of depression. My husband and I are exhausted from everything. We would love a break, we would love more support, we would love a normal life. I keep thinking, if I am barely keeping it together now, what am I going to do when my husband leaves for his one year for the military.

These thoughts send me into a panic. I have no family here, my two good military friends I had one PCS’d the other is about to PCS, and very few sitters want to deal with my two kids mainly because my daughter is on a tube, not to mention I can barely afford it.

So I have these days where I go back and forth. Some days I feel like I can do it all, I can BE supermom, I CAN do this. Other days, I would rather just sit in my room in the dark and stare at the walls. It’s hard being a special needs mom. It’s hard trying to figure out how to do this all alone and to keep up with it all. It’s hard not having as much family support as I thought I would.

So what do I do on the days I can’t be supermom and do it all? Here are 5 things I’ve learned…

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1. I’ve Learned to Get a Little Done Every Day.
There is no way everything can be done every day. My house is not going to be perfect every day. A load of laundry is most likely not going to be done every day. Sometimes all the dishes might not be washed every day. But that’s okay. I’ve learned to do what I can and worry about the rest tomorrow.

I try to set goals: today I will get done one load of laundry, or today I will just mop the floors, or today I will just work on therapy things with my kids. There is no way I will get all of it done with being at therapy every single day and going to appointments throughout the week and with everything else going on. Get a little done every day and work on it from there.

2. I’ve Learned That I Can’t be Picky About my Weight, What I Wear, and How I Look
If you know me personally, you know that I am very girly. I like to dress up, I like to look pretty, I like to wear girly things. I can’t remember the last time I felt that way. I don’t have time to wear makeup, I don’t have time to really put a lot of time into how I look, and to be honest it’s been a topic I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

I had my daughter back in November and lost only a little bit of the baby weight. She was in the hospital three times for a total of 5 weeks and in those months I gained it all back and more. My clothes don’t fit well, and I don’t have time to work out right now. So I just throw on a t-shirt to cover up my tummy that makes me look like I am still pregnant.

I’m sad that I don’t have more time to be girly. I’m sad that I can’t be one of those moms who gets up early to “have it all together.” But right now I’d rather get what little sleep I can. Right now it’s enough to grab a t-shirt, brush my hair and teeth and run out the door. I just can’t be picky right now.

Does it make me feel bad about myself? Sometimes. But my focus is mostly on my kids and my family. I know that someday when they are older and won’t need as much help and as much therapy that I can work out again. I can start dressing nice again and work on being pretty. But right now, I can’t be picky. I have to get past it and focus on the now. And for now I think I am okay with that.

3. I’ve Learned That Drinking Coffee is Okay.
I know, I know, this one is just silly. I’ve always had a thing where I refused to be addicted to caffeine. I could do things without caffeine-or so I thought. But most days, a mocha frappechino is just the thing to get me through. I’m not addicted to caffeine (yet), but I can’t always run around on empty, exhausted and frustrated. Coffee is okay for some days or even most days, and I’ve learned that it’s a good thing too!

4. I’ve Learned That Sometimes I Just Have to Take a Step Back.
Since my daughter was born, I’ve learned that I have to take a step back from some things. I have had to take a step back from playdates and hanging out with friends and I had to resign from working in the nursery at church. Now, after all the hospital visits and everything we’ve been through the past few months, we haven’t even been back to church in awhile.

I know there are a lot of people who don’t understand this or support this, but there is a lot that they don’t understand. It’s so hard getting out the door to church every time the door is open. It’s hard leaving your kids in nursery or sunday school when you are not sure they are going to be understood or if they will know what to do if my daughter’s feeding tube alarm goes off. It’s hard when you’ve been hurt multiple times and hard when you are not quite sure where you and God stand right now.

So sometimes you just have to take a step back. Sometimes you have to step back and see where you are. You have to see what God wants and where He wants you. Sometimes what you thought was best, might not always be what’s best.

5. I’ve Learned That Tomorrow WILL be Better.
I’ve learned that no matter how awful and exhausting a day can get, that tomorrow will always be better. There are days where it’s all I can do to fall into bed and hope and pray for a better day. And you know what? It usually is. So on the days where you can’t take another step, where you just can’t be “supermom” anymore, there’s always, always tomorrow!

The post 5 Things I’ve Learned for the Days I Can’t be Supermom appeared first on Singing through the Rain.

Aug 29

Red, Green Lellow 2014-08-29 10:53:00


Aug 29

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Aug 29

Adventures in Odyssey Products We Love

Adventures in Odyssey

When my husband and I had children, our world was opened up to new television shows, movies, books and toys. Despite being involved in youth ministries throughout my life, I wasn’t familiar with Adventures in Odyssey. In fact, I never heard about Adventures in Odyssey. The old saying goes, “It’s better late than never;” however, my only regret about this wonderful company is that it took me so long to realize their existence. In my opinion, I believe all Christian parents need to have in these resources in their library. You all may have read my post that I did HERE ,HERE and HERE about being careful what we read, watch, and listen to. It is important that we guide our children in making good choices, especially in the entertainment choices.

We have several different Adventures in Odyssey resources at our house – books, CD’s, and DVD’s. I have never found anything I didn’t like about them! The stories that are told on these resources help children relate the story to the Bible and vice versa. The stories help to draw children closer to the Word of God.

Adventures in Odyssey has been around for over 20 years! It is a Family Radio Drama which you can listen to HERE each week.  They also have CD’s of the drama for home use! I will be sharing some of them later in this post, but you can see a list HERE.  They are a wonderful tool to have on long car rides. We have travelled across country a few times due to the military and we always take our Adventures in Odyssey CD’s when we do! My children also enjoy listening to the CD’s as a bedtime routine occasionally. We play the CD in their room as they are falling asleep. Not only are they hearing a wonderful story, they are learning about God as they drift off to sleep!

If you want to read more about Adventures in Odyssey then click HERE. I also found a wonderful resource when I was preparing for this review! For those who are Odyssey lovers like we are, there is a website called OdysseyScoop!!! Check it out! It has listings of shows according to years going all the way back to 1987!

You can go to the following link and click to see a whole list of Adventures in Odyssey CDs:

Adventures in Odyssey CDs

This is one of their most recent CDs that came out on May:

A new CD will become available in October! You can pre-order it NOW at the link below!!! As an added bonus, if you pre-order it now, you will save $8.13 off the list price!!!

Adventures in Odyssey also has books!!! I can honestly tell you that we have read all the ones that I will be listing. My kids and I just adore these books!

 

  • Imagination Station- Join cousins Patrick and Beth as they travel to various lands and time in this 14 volume Imagination   Station book set.
  • Voyage with the Vikings #1 – Mr. Whittaker sends cousins Patrick and Beth to Greenland circa 1000.
  • Attack at the Arena #2 – A mysterious letter leads the cousins to fifth-century Rome.
  • Peril in the Palace #3 – The Imagination Station adventures continue as cousins Patrick and Beth are kidnapped by Mongol warriors.
  • Revenge of the Red Knight #4 – Patrick and Beth find themselves as guests in a beautiful castle in 15th-century England.
  • Showdown with the Shepherd #5 – Cousins Patrick and Beth go to the Holy Land in the tenth century BC.
  • Problems in Plymouth #6 – Patrick and Beth’s next adventure leads them to Plymouth Plantation in 1621.
  • Secret of the Prince’s Tomb #7 – The cousins land in Egypt, where they befriend two children who are second cousins: a boy named Gilead and a girl named Sherah.
  • Battle for Cannibal Island #8 – It’s 1852 and cousins Patrick and Beth sail to Fiji on the HMS Calliope.
  • Escape to the Hiding Place #9 – Patrick and Beth arrive in World War II Holland in the farm country.
  • Challenge on the Hill of Fire #10 – Kidnapped by Celtic Druids in 433, Patrick and Beth are headed to certain death when followers of a former Irish Slave save them.
  • Hunt for the Devil’s Dragon #11 – If you’re brave, follow cousins Beth and Patrick to Libya in the 13th century.
  • Danger on a Silent Night #12 – Join cousins Patrick and Beth as they travel in the Imagination Station to see the first Christmas.
  • The Redcoats are Coming #13 – Patrick and Beth as they assist the revolutionaries by waking up the sleeping citizens of 1775 Concord.
  • Captured on the High Seas #14 – Join Patrick and Beth in a seafaring adventure set in 1781.

Book 15 is available for pre-order, too!!!

Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions:

Surefire recipes to nourish your children’s faith. You make sure your children get the proper food they need to grow physically. But are you providing a healthy spiritual diet to grow their hearts for God and others? Now you can give them both with these family devotions for mealtime dished up by John Avery Whittaker, Adventures in Odyssey’s friendly mentor.

Pass the fun around the table with 90 five-course devotional menus. Each one includes:

  • Mealtime Prayer— a fresh way to bless your food
  • Appetizer—a fun question or activity
  • Main Course—an object lesson or thought to chew on
  • Table Talk—questions to spark interesting discussions
  • Vitamins and Minerals—a creative way to thank God for your time together or a reminder that God provides all we need

These devotions can be gobbled up at any meal in any place. Start your children’s day with a bowl of cereal and a story that teaches biblical truth. Or keep a copy of Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions in your car to use during picnics or fast-food stops. At holidays, use one of the special-occasion devotions or create your own memorable meals by using one of the fun theme devotions. Whenever your family gathers for a meal, look to Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions to help nurture a thriving faith in your children.

Many families are on the go so much that it’s hard to get everyone around the dinner table long enough to share a meal, let alone hold a meaningful conversation. Parents looking for help with conversation starters and ways to build strong relationships with their children will want to incorporate this devotional into their family’s routine.

Adventures in Odyssey delivers readings in this second volume of Whit’s End Mealtime Moments designed to grab a family’s interest and get them interacting in lively, often hilarious, conversation. Dealing with both unusual and everyday topics in a creative and fun way, this devotional helps parents engage their children in meaningful conversation and pass on a spiritual heritage to their families

Other Devotion Books:

Written by the Adventures in Odyssey team, 90 Devotions for Kids provides fun, Bible-based devotions for families and will encourage children to spend time learning more about God. There are no better mentors than Whit and the folks from Odyssey to partner with parents as they teach their children about God’s Word and make the truths of the Bible accessible to their kids.

Adventure in Odyssey’s 90 Devotions for Kids includes thirteen weeks of devotions. Sidebars from Odyssey favorites Wooton, Whit, Connie, and Eugene provide friendly suggestions for life applications. Each week has an individual theme and will include an overview to introduce the theme, seven devotions that reference AIO dramas, and an activity, puzzle, or game to reinforce the core biblical truths taught during the week. Parents will find the tools they need to help start children on a path toward regular time alone with God, and families will be encouraged to spend time together as they share the daily readings

The second in a series of four “90 Devotions” books from the writers of Adventures in Odyssey, these devotionals provide a fun way to teach children about God’s Word and make the truths of the Bible accessible at a young age.

Based on the book of Matthew, the 90 devotions in this volume will help start children on a path toward regular time alone with God, as well as provide a sound biblical resource for parents to use as they interact with their kids and spend time together as a family, reading and learning scripture-based truths.

Discover, Imagine, Grow!
Join Whit, Connie, Eugene, Wooton, and your other friends from the exciting world of Odyssey and DISCOVER tried-and-true biblical truths— like salvation, prayer, and forgiveness, and many others—that form the core values of Christianity.

Through historical stories, modern biography, Bible adventures, and key scenes from Adventures in Odyssey radio dramas, you’ll IMAGINE what it’s like to be a hero of the faith.

As you read each inspiring entry alone or with your family, you’ll be informed and challenged to GROW in your walk with God. Each devotion features a relevant Bible verse.

Special Features for Each Theme
Creative Daily Challenge ideas to keep kids thinking about each lesson long after they’ve finished reading it
Fun activities to involve the whole family in biblical learning and accountability
Lessons drawn from favorite Adventures in Odyssey audio dramas
Theme puzzles to reinforce the spiritual lessons in thought-provoking ways
Whit and Wisdom—Friend and mentor John Avery Whittaker explains important Bible truths in easy-to-understand language
Connie’s Corner—Connie relates spiritual applications to her own life
Loquacious Learning with Eugene—Odyssey’s favorite intellectual shares important cultural and biblical facts
Wandering with Wooton—Musings from the wacky postman on all things licorice and godly.

Kids learn to apply God’s Word to their everyday lives — through prayer, Bible facts, stories and Scripture using the NKJV text. The Adventures in Odyssey characters make each devotion fun and applicable to a child’s life. A perfect companion to the Adventures in Odyssey Bible.

Other Odyssey books we like:

Mark Prescott’s not your typical 10-year-old kid. He has a best friend whose a girl, a mind that has to have answers, and a need to have things the way they used to be. Before it’s all over, he learns priceless lessons about friendship, living with change, and the gift of forgiveness.

Fans of the long-running audio series Adventures in Odyssey can hardly remember a time when there wasn’t a Connie or a Eugene—or an Imagination Station. But there was. Now step back in time as these exciting novels whisk you away to the days before the popular radio show.

Standing up for what you believe isn’t easy, as the kids in Odyssey discover in these four engaging stories. In Point of No Return, Jimmy Barclay finds that doing the right thing can cost him everything he thinks is most precious. In Dark Passage, Jack Davis and Matt Booker ignore a keep-out sign on the Imagination Station. Suddenly, they’re in pre–Civil War America, where slave traders capture Matt. The story continues in Freedom Run as Matt escapes from the slave traders and is joined by Jack for a thrilling Underground Railroad adventure. In The Stranger’s Message, Mr. Whittaker and the kids at Whit’s End meet a stranger in need and ask themselves, “What would Jesus do?”

Author Paul McCusker has written over 200 episodes of Adventures in Odyssey and been involved from the early days of the show. Set in a time before the radio show, these stories often reference the beginnings of inventions like the Imagination Station, familiar characters like the Barclays coming to town, and other AIO references that fans will enjoy.

Odyssey is a town filled with wonder, surprises, and even a hint of danger—as Mark Prescott, Jack Davis, and their friends learn in these four stories:

  1. Mark learns a new perspective about the people around him in Lights out at Camp What-a-Nut.
  2. The King’s Quest is an Imagination Station adventure where Mark experiences how God is at work in our world.
  3. Jack Davis gets tangled up in a dangerous web of intrigue in Danger Lies Ahead.
  4. Patti’s future becomes a difficult lesson in truth and consequences in A Carnival of Secrets.

For the ULTIMATE Adventures in Odyssey Fan check out the 25th Anniversary guide!

For more than 20 years, Adventures in Odyssey has delighted kids (and kids at heart!) with exciting stories and character-building truths. Now you can be part of the real adventure with this updated, behind-the scenes guide to people, places, and faces of the world’s #1 family audio drama.

Get backstage details on the making of your favorite episodes, books, and videos; hundreds of photos, including an eight-page color photo gallery, and trivia for over 700 episodes, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to draw the characters. It’s an exclusive guide that no fan can do without!

Did I mention that Adventures in Odyssey had DVDs too? Well check out this amazing link!!!
Adventures in Odyssey DVDs

Here are a couple of clips for you to enjoy about Adventures in Odyssey:

It has been an honor to be a part of the Adventures in Odyssey Club promotion team. I hope you enjoyed this list and it helps you find more faith-based entertainment for your kids!

In Christ,
Laura

The post Adventures in Odyssey Products We Love appeared first on Raising Soldiers 4 Christ.

Aug 29

What We’re Currently up To: Week 41

The past couple of weeks, we’ve been…

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I’ve been needing to get out of the house and do something fun! Between The Munchkin’s therapy schedule, and The Bean’s nap time, I pretty much spend all day, every day in the house. It’s maddening sometimes. Every so often, I feel like I’m going to pop and need to get out of the house. I’ll go thrifting or something, but I need some social outings too. Somebody hook me up with a babysitter, STAT! My FRG had a meeting a couple of days ago, and I actually attended it. I’ve been ignoring them for a while, just because life was busy enough as it was. It was held at a park, so the boys got to play while I hung out with other ladies whose husbands are in John’s unit. It was very nice, and I’m looking forward to being an active volunteer again. We’re making apple pies or something on Monday…assuming I can find a sitter, that is.

Missing John, obviously, but also the grandmas and grandpa. I’m sure the boys wish everyone could be around all the time, and I’m sure everyone feels the same. Living so far away from our families can be really hard some times.

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Reading a daily sheet that The Munchkin brings home from school every day. It’s really cute, and it’s the first time he’s ever been able to “tell me” what he did at school that day. The sheet has a bunch of different pictures depicting things he could have done that day, and the teacher circles the ones that he did. There is also an area for how he was feeling, and if he had a special job that day. She also writes down what he ate at lunch and snack, but since he can’t read, he can’t tell me about that. BUT it’s still cool, because we sit down, and he says “I had fun at school. I had fun playing blocks, and I had fun playing playground, and I did lights on/off! I was HAPPY!” and that is seriously just the best thing. You have no idea.

Hoping that I can schedule all appointments on afternoons from here on out. The Munchkin leaves for school just before lunch, and doesn’t have school on Fridays, so I’m free from 12:30 on. The Munchkin needs a physical for school, and I feel like The Bean has a well…toddler? checkup coming up, and I’m due for a “well-woman” checkup, I might have an hearing aid appointment soon, and seriously if I can’t make these appointments for the afternoon, I don’t know what I’m going to do. OH CRAP WAIT. I’d have to keep The Bean up from his nap to attend any afternoon appointments. UGH. I guess The Bean will just have to suck it up. We don’t have appointments that often anyway… The Munchkin and I aren’t due back at the dentist until next year.

(Dentist side note: Good looking teeth for The Munchkin and myself and zero cavities! The Munchkin did great at his second appointment, and was only a little wiggly. My mom asked if we went to a special dentist who had experience dealing with special needs kids, and NOPE! These people don’t even know about his diagnosis. Go little man, go!)

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Playing outside whenever we can. We took a couple of trips to Manhattan so the boys could play in the splash park and playground out there, but mostly we’ve been playing in our own yard, or with the boys next door. There were a few days where it was too hot to go outside, and a couple that were rainy, but for the most part, the weather has been pretty nice!

When we are stuck inside though, sword fights are a pretty popular choice. The Bean is so funny: He swings his sword about three times, and then falls down, even if he wasn’t it. It’s like he thinks those are the rules. Tonight they were on fire though; both coming at me. I don’t know how people who had to fight with swords for real did it! I totally lost all my limbs and died a million deaths.

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Pictures: The boys in the bottom bunk | The Munchkin at the dentist |  Playing in the backyard
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Aug 28

Military Life’s Moments

I am excited to tell you about one of my sponsors, Ruth who is a  greeting card designer for military families! She is a wife of a retired Naval Officer and founded MilitaryLifesMoments.com.

Military Life's Moments

What’s really special is her shop. She makes personalized military greeting cards that you can buy for almost any occasion. They are characterized by cute little bears that wear different hats for each branch of the military.

Not only does her website carry greeting cards, but there are also stickers, posters, home decor, glassware, and more that you can get and buy for family, friends, or your deployed service member!

Here are a few of my favorite items from her shop:

military greeting card

military greeting card

military calendar

military bib

Items like these would make perfect gifts and are also perfect to put in military care packages and more!

In purchasing these items you would be supporting a retired military family who cares about other military families. You can find out more on her site, but she has tips for care packages, deployments, and more! Here is what she says about wanting to help:

There are so many aspects to military life for both the military member and their family. My goal is to provide ways for both to show their pride, appreciation and all sorts of emotions that are a part of military life.

You can find Ruth and Life’s Military Moments on:

About Ruth:

RuthBeing a happily married military wife for 21 years, we have moved 11 times living in five states and Germany. We have a teenager and a nine year old living at home with us. We also have three dogs who think they are human. It seems everyone under our roof is full of personality and secure enough to share it!

The post Military Life’s Moments appeared first on Singing through the Rain.

Aug 28

Holy Ghost Movie Review

Holy Ghost

I was recently asked to review Holy Ghost, a film directed by Darren Wilson.

Can the Holy Spirit direct a Movie? In this fast-paced documentary from the director of the popular films Finger of GodFurious Love, and Father of Lights, Darren Wilson sets out to make a movie that is completely led by the Holy Spirit. No plan, no script, no safety net — just go wherever he feels the Spirit is leading and discovering the adventure God has for him. Whether it’s the riches of Monte Carlo, a heavy metal concert, or the oldest city in world, the result is a film that not only challenges and excites, but also reveals a God who is far more alive and active than you ever imagined. The movie features big names such as Lenny Kravitz, Brain “Head” Welch, Bill Johnson, Michael W. Smith, Todd White, Meredith Andrews, DeVon Franklin, William P. Young, Phil Vischer, and many more! 
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge,and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
I was excited with the opportunity to review this movie. I finished homeschool for the day and my oldest and I gathered in the living room to watch the movie. Normally, my oldest loves to “help” me with my reviews. Today, him and I both struggled. There were, however, some things I enjoyed in this film. I should probably start with those. :)
I really liked the heart of the film. I believe those who were behind the production truly have a heart for Jesus and share an eagerness to spread the gospel. The background in the film was beautiful. The interviews of some big names in the Christian community were outstanding. I think Michael W. Smith said it best, “Not to be offended by anybody ever again.” We, as Christians, should never be ashamed of who we are and feel a compassion and yearning to share the love of Christ. The last words heard as the film ended were, “God is good. God is love. With Him all things are possible.” That is the truth! God is simply amazing and without Him, we are limited.
There were a few things that I didn’t agree with in this film. I do not believe that a person can “get” the Holy Ghost until they are saved. In different scenes, this film made it seem that all you had to do was to lay hands on someone, pray, and them “get” the Holy Ghost. Several times in the film it was after the person “got the Holy Ghost” that the pastors would then ask if they had received Christ as their savior.  In one part of the film they were in a school setting and he was talking to a group of people. He said that if they received Christ that “all of their troubles” would go away and “they would be healed” of anything that was bothering them.  In the Bible, Job did not have all his troubles taken away. Although God blessed Job for his faithfulness, God allowed Job’s faith to be tested multiple times. The book of James speaks of trials.  Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds (James 1:2). There are times that God does take our troubles away, but sometimes God allows us to go through those trials in order to draw us closer to Him. I think saying things like this to a group of people who have not accepted Christ is one reason people may rush to God only to flee again. They are set up in a fictional fairytale that if they accept Christ as their Savior then all will be well immediately. That isn’t reality. Unfortunately, as born again believers, we continue to struggle with the sins in our life. Everyday we are tempted with these sins. Insinuating to these people in this film that once they “get the Holy Ghost” that all their trials and tribulations will cease to exist; saying things like this to these people who have not accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior bothered me. I mentioned earlier that my oldest was watching with me and even he pointed out Biblical inaccuracies in the film. So for our family this film was not a hit.  
I am going to give this film a 2/5 for Biblical inaccuracies.
If you want to check out the film for yourself you can at the following websites:  Check out the official website here: http://holyghost.wpfilm.com Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/holyghostmovie and On September 6th, Wanderlust Productions will host the FREE worldwide premiere of the film at this site HolyGhostMovie.com
Here is the movie trailer:

In Christ,

Laura

*** I received a copy of this movie in exchange for my review from Propeller Consulting. My thoughts and opinions are mine alone***

The post Holy Ghost Movie Review appeared first on Raising Soldiers 4 Christ.

Aug 28

Red, Green Lellow 2014-08-28 11:09:00




Aug 27

Red, Green Lellow 2014-08-27 17:20:00


Aug 26

CDC Whistleblower

Aug 26

Rock Solid- Living With Autism: The Third Year



  I knew I should have started writing Eli's annual-autism-diagnoses-reflection(phew! that was a long word:) before school started. Unfortunately, Eli was diagnosed in August, and August always seems to be one of the harder months for him, and for a good reason- No school, no real schedule/routine(I try the best that I can, but it's SUMMA!⛄️) and then, school starts and Eli has to learn how to be a student all over again....... 

So, here I am, exhausted and emotionally drained trying to reflect on what has actually been an AWEtism year for Eli! Yes, there has been ups and downs. Yes, there has been struggles trying to communicate with the school. Yes! There are days when I just want to throw in the towel and fly away to Never-Neverland and never come back!(Yes, this is late at night when Eli is obviously asleep and looks like an angel in disguise:

But isn't that life? What does the wife say in the movie, Parenthood with Steve Martin after the grandma talks about riding on a roller coaster? She would much rather get on the ride than be a bystander(something along those lines????) Well, that's how it is with autism. It's "One, wild, and crazy ride!" and I would much rather get on, than get off.

I can honestly for the first time in three years, sit here and write to you and tell you that if Eli didn't have autism, he wouldn't be Eli. Even if I could cure it, I don't know if I would? (Yes, of course, I would cure the behaviors that make life debilitating at times) but the odd little behaviors? The way he thinks? No way! They are who he is. 

I know what I just said goes completely against the grain of 'some' in the autism community- We fight and fight for not "labeling" our kinder, and they aren't "autistic"- they HAVE autism... Blah blah blah. But the fact of the matter is, when you go to look up the word, 'autism' there's going to be a picture of Eli there..... And when you look up the word, 'autism mom' you bet your bottom dollar MY picture will be there! It is what it is- we have to "label" things to organize things and to understand them. It doesn't mean they're stuck in that box(are you kidding me? Do your kids toys EVER stay in the box they're suppose to stay in?). I want to CELEBRATE Eli's differences, not make them 'confidential'.

I guess what I'm trying to say, or what I've learned the most this year from Eli, is that he really is unlimited. For the past three years I've prepared myself for the worst- I'm sorry to say, but I limited my expectations. When you recieve an autism diagnoses you have to change your whole way of thinking- This isn't exactly what you signed up for. I guess I'm a slow learner and it has taken me this long to truly understand that if there's a will, there is a way. It may not look the way you envisioned, they may have to learn in a different way and make accommodations, but they CAN do it!
 
I know it's going to be hard to convince others that he is capable, but I'm ready for this ride! I'm excited(and I will look back at this post when I'm not so excited.) No worries, I'm prepared to get kicked off a few thousand times-Been there.Done that.
 
LET'S RIDE!
 
 
 
The First Year:
 
The Second Year:

Aug 25

Dusty Blog, Again. Deployed Soldier’s Spouse, Again.

Hey guys. Well, that day finally came. John deployed. *sigh* He arrived safety in Kuwait this morning, and was pleasantly surprised to find that his half of the room (shared) was bigger than his whole room (not shared) in Afghanistan. His roomie also got him a bike, which will be helpful as he has to travel a mile or so to work. It’s the little things in life, isn’t it?

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The boys are taking this separation much, MUCH better than the one they went through when John went to NTC. (Well, The Munchkin is, I guess. The Bean was ok for NTC too; he’s still little.) We did a lot more prepping for this deployment; talking about “Remember when Daddy went to California for a while, and we all missed him, but then he came home and we were so happy to see him?” at least once a day starting maybe three days out from when he was supposed to leave. Although it didn’t really seem like The Munchkin remembered, I like to think he did. John would mention it every once in a while before then, but we didn’t really push it until a few days before we had to drop John off. We talked about how Daddy had to leave again, and my mother in law started reading the boys our “Over There” book, which talks about daddies being away (Over there.) and missing them, and is a really good resource to reassure the kids that their dad is ok, doing important work, and that he misses them very much.

The day before he had to leave, John gave the boys “Daddy Dolls” with his picture in them. They’re dolls that we got from ACS that have a picture pocket for the soldier’s face on the head. The boys love their dolls. They think they’re hilarious, and I think the dolls really help. The boys always smile super wide smiles when I make the doll give them kisses goodnight, and they’re always snuggling them when I leave their rooms.

We had to drop John off at 2am (Ugh, whyyyy?) on Saturday, and I toyed with having a friend come watch the boys so that we didn’t have to wake them. I ultimately decided that they should see their Daddy off. When the time came, I woke them up, got them into the van, and made sure they had their blankey and their Daddy Doll. They were actually really good, and not grumpy or fussy, or whiny, or anything else I was sure they would be. We even had to hang out in the parking lot while John did work stuff before all the soldiers got on the bus to go to the airport. John would pop in and out throughout the wait, which was nice, but it eventually was time for him to go, which suuuucked. It was sad, but not as awful as I was expecting it to be. I think all of the other dates being pushed back tapped out my emotions pool. He was supposed to deploy three times I think before this, but he never got put on any of the flights. Emotionally prepping yourself for that many deployments, only to not have them happen is rough! Don’t get me wrong; I’m so so so happy we got the extra time with John, but all of the feels so often, you know? Exhausting.

Funny side note: The Munchkin thought driving at night was so cool, and said “It’s like we’re flying through space!” That whole thing. He said that whole thing! That’s actually kind of a big deal. That’s a six word sentence for someone who has a current IEP goal of “Will… spontaneously produce three to four word utterances for a variety of functions.” Awesome!

Anyway, like I said earlier in the post, The Munchkin has been doing much better with the separation. I think it may have also helped that both sets of grandparents (Well, my parents and my mother in law if we’re getting technical…) visited us here and left, and he saw that nothing happened to them when they left. They can still Skype and what-not. He’ll ask about them, just like he’ll ask about John, and I always give him a reason why they left. My parents left because it was Aunt Sami’s turn to play with them (lol) and my mother in law left because she needed to hang out with Grandpa and feed all of her cats, haha. Daddy is away because he has important work to do over there. (I’m sticking with the script in the book for that one.)

I was really worried about bedtime, because that was the worst part of the NTC separation, but it’s been pretty easy! This is our routine:

  • Diapers & PJs
  • Normal bedtime story
  • “Over There” story
  • iPhone video John recorded in an airport (The Munchkin talks back to it and it is SO CUTE! He’s so happy to see it every day)
  • Mommy/brother hugs & kisses
  • Daddy Doll kisses and snuggles
  • Minimal, normal stalling tactics (Water, cuddles, etc.)
  • SLEEP!

So you know what? I think we’re going to be ok. John deployed late because of his surgery, so he should only be gone about seven months. Not too bad!

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I fully did not intend to make this post even the slightest bit of an advertisement for Operation Give a Hug (the organization that provides the Daddy Dolls) but they’ve helped my boys so much, and I know they do the same for a lot of other kids in the same situation. I mean, yeah, I did get it for free, but so does everyone else. That’s the point. If you have any money left over from doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, (too soon?) please think about giving them what you can.

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Aug 25

Modest Monday: Modesty and Skin Care

Skin Care4

Although I have never kept it a secret, maybe only a few of you know that I am a licensed cosmetologist. I worked hard for my license and I still put it to use after all these years. While earning my diploma from Beauty School, I also took a couple extra classes, specifically the nail and skin care classes. The importance of skin care was something that was instilled at a young age.  When I was 12 years old, my mom took me to have a full make-over and learn about skin care.  I quickly learned not only the importance of skin care, but also how to properly apply make-up.  Needless to say, I was ecstatic when these classes became available while attending beauty school.

You may be thinking to yourself, “This is not important to me because I don’t wear make-up.” However, I encourage you to continue reading. I will talk about make-up, but this post concerns skin care, which is important to all of us.

Why should I worry about skin care, especially if I do not wear make-up?

Most who do not have a skin care routine in place simply do not realize how important it is to take care of their skin. Every year the skin care industry makes billions of dollars helping ladies and even men take care of their skin.  When you take care of your skin, you will look younger but did you also know that taking care of your skin can actually benefit your health? The skin is a major organ that protects your body from infections and other outside forces that could hurt you internally. Ladies, your skin cannot be replaced. So we should be doing everything we can to take care of it. Jesus told us that our body is a temple. A temple of God received the highest degree of attention and maintenance. Treating our bodies as a temple should be no different, including our skin. I say this because the majority of us immediately relate treating our body as a temple with the amount of food we eat or exercise we do. The majority of us do not relate our outward appearance to our skin, to include our face.

Unfortunately, men and women do not put forth an effort to take good care of their skin. They fail to use sunscreen, exceed the use of tanning beds, and even fail to properly cleanse their pores. All of this all contributes to excess damage on our skin. When the skin is burned, it peels and it becomes very itchy.  Sadly, over time excess exposure to the sun can even cause cancer. Also, women who are 39 and over have a higher rate of developing melanoma than any other skin cancer—including breast cancer!

What people see when they look at you is your skin. When you begin to take better care of your skin, it has a whole body effect. You begin to notice right away how much better you feel. If you worry about your overall health, I would suggest starting a good skin care routine.

Okay, so I need to be using good skin care. Where do I start?

Skin Care-MK-Timewise

I personally love Mary Kay skin care. The company has been around since 1960 and is America’s Number 1 brand of skin care!!! Mary Kay spends a lot of time developing the science of skin care! As an added bonus, when purchasing skin products from Mary Kay, you’re supporting a small business usually operated by a fellow mom.

It is natural for our skin to age over time.  Usually the aging process begins in our 20′s. As the skin ages, the renewal process becomes much slower. You could have oily skin as a teen, but during your 20’s it may not be as oily or no longer oily.  It is important to match your skin care products with your skin type. No matter how good a skin care product is, if it doesn’t match up with your skin type, it will not work correctly.

Women of all ages are concerned about the visible signs of aging, which include fine lines and wrinkles and the loss of skin firmness and elasticity. Baby boomers want to fight the signs of aging while younger women want to delay them. The TimeWise® Miracle Set – the premium collection of age-fighting products – works to help counteract these processes by:

*              Removing dead skin cells.

*              Reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

*              Keeping the skin moist.

*              Energizing the skin’s appearance.

*              Replenishing the skin.

At Mary Kay, we believe there are five essential steps for good skin care: cleanse, exfoliate, freshen, moisturize and protect. Mary Kay offers the TimeWise® Miracle Set, one of the only complete daily age-fighting skin care systems that can be customized to your skin type. The product included in the TimeWise® Miracle Set are designed to work together to help maximize the age-fighting benefits … and continued use provides the best results for your skin. Here’s how:

*              Gentle cleansing beads in TimeWise® 3-In-1 Cleanser and TimeWise® 3-In-1 Cleansing Bar remove dead skin cells through exfoliation.

*              A patented† complex in TimeWise® 3-In-1 Cleanser and TimeWise® Age-Fighting Moisturizer helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by enhancing the skin’s natural renewal process.

*              A humectant blend in TimeWise® Age-Fighting Moisturizer keeps the skin moist.

*              Botanicals in TimeWise® Day Solution Sunscreen SPF 35 help energize the skin’s appearance, while UVA and UVB sunscreens help protect the skin from sun damage.

*              Peptides in TimeWise® Night Solution help to smooth and firm the skin.

Microdermabrasion has long been a secret weapon for beautiful skin. It is an extra exfoliation process that effectively removes the dead skin cells that naturally build up on the skin and cause a dull appearance – and it is currently the fourth most popular* non-surgical procedure in the U.S. The TimeWise® Microdermabrasion Set offers a cost-effective way to see and feel immediate benefits at home.

The innovative two-step set was developed for anyone with fine lines and visible pores or dry, flaky skin who wants to see healthier, younger-looking skin – immediately. The set contains the same microfine crystals used by dermatologists.

The TimeWise® Microdermabrasion Set separates itself from the competition by including an important second step that many brands don’t offer – Step 2: Replenish, a rich serum that contains vitamins, antioxidants and anti-irritants. It protects the soft, smooth skin revealed by Step 1: Refine.

Best of all, the TimeWise® Microdermabrasion Set was designed to work together with the other TimeWise® skin care products. After one week of use:

*              85 percent of users saw an improvement in their skin texture.

*              73 percent saw a reduction in the appearance of fine lines.

*              71 percent saw pores that looked smaller with this quick, two-step procedure.

May Kay’s skin care is divided in 2 categories.

Normal to Dry skin-care types will be using the company’s line of creamy cleansers and moisturizers. Normal to Dry skin will not be excessively oily, may be a little dry and should not have too many blemishes.

Oily and Combination skin types will be using the clear-gel cleansers and oil-free moisturizers. Oily and Combination skin will appear oily all over or in the T-zone and have blackheads or blemishes around the nose and chin.

Skin Care-Clear Proof

There are also a couple different skin care regimes that are important – Day Time and Night Time.

It is important in getting the most out of Mary Kay’s amazing skin care to apply it in the correct order and method…it’s as different as day and night!

Daytime skin-care application requires: Cleanser, Day Solution, Moisturizer and supplements.

Nighttime application includes: Cleanser, Night Solution, Moisturizer and supplements.

I hope this helps to shed briefly some light on the importance of skin care. I will be sharing more posts about this for our ModestMonday’s along the way! If you have any questions about Mary Kay, please let me know how I can help you! You can order from my Mary Kay store HERE if you are interested. If you are interested in learning more about my beliefs in the Make-Up vs No Make-Up debate, check out my post HERE.

So what did I wear? This is my outfit for church last week. Hard to believe white will be out very soon!

Skin Care-6

Skin Care-7

Skin Care-8

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Skin Care-12

Skin Care-9

Flexi Clip for my hair: Lilla Rose

White Sweater: Dress Barn about 3 years ago. It is a tad big on me but that is ok :)

Dress: eShakti….I LOVE the vintage look of this dress with the peter pan collar. Love how comfortable it is. It is also lined!

Shoes: Zulily! Aren’t they cute?

In Christ,

Laura

The post Modest Monday: Modesty and Skin Care appeared first on Raising Soldiers 4 Christ.

Aug 24

Letter

Aug 23

Brotherly Love

Ever since Jake got his autism diagnosis, at the age of two and a half, we had always hoped that he would eventually be able to interact with his siblings and friends.  All we've seen along the way however, is parallel play, where kids play next to one another, but not together as in taking turns.  The parallel play is more common of younger children's behavior.  It's also a very prominent autistic behavior, where children are more comfortable playing on their own - not having to take part in a dialogue, or go out of their comfort zone.

Every once in a while, I would ask his teachers whether or not he's been interacting with his peers.  The answer has usually been that he's still parallel playing next to other kids.  I was of course thankful that he at least doesn't go off on his own in a corner and isolate himself completely.  Inside, there was always a part of me that hurt after hearing the term parallel play.  The parallel play continued over the months and through the precious early childhood years.  I subconsciously must have tried to not attach an emotion to that feeling of not yet-ness.  Over time,  it turned into an understanding that he's just not ready for it yet.  I had just lowered my expectation and became eventually completely okay with it.  I had accepted it and I felt that it was going to be okay no matter what because I love him. 

During his ABA therapy sessions I had requested our therapist to reserve some time to have Jake have some social time and play with his siblings, presenting a natural situation that would enable him to learn how to interact with other children.  His interactions would then be highly reinforced by praise, high fives, tickles and his preferred activities, if he had typical play-like of taking turns and interactions with his siblings.  He didn't seem to have much interaction with Max, but was slightly more interactive with Miriam.  Over the months and the couple of years that we had incorporated this into his therapy, not much had changed and not much progress was made.  He typically had a difficult time tolerating this part of the therapy.  It made sense, since interacting with others is not natural to kids living with autism.  Any new thing taught in therapy had to be tolerated and repeated for so long until it was eventually not so new anymore.

Last week, during our long ten hour road trip home from an autism family summer camp, something wonderful happened.  Our youngest, Max, was so bored that he started tickling and demanding attention from Jake.  Jake didn't actually mind it and played along with Max for a very long time.  Other than some DVDs that we had on and off throughout the trip, this was the main activity for the boys.  This was the very first time that we had ever seen the boys playing together, and we were delighted to be witnessing this very special first.  I had hoped that it would be the start of many many more such situations of the boys playing together.  Typically, the twins would play together and Jake would do his own thing.  This week, during several evenings, Max would instigate rough housing and tickling with Jake and they would bounce on the yoga ball together and giggle; simply, music to my ears. 

It is interesting that once we accept everything about autism and special needs and we are fully okay with where our child is in his or her journey, that the unexpected can happen.  Sometimes, when we are so anxious, and we're working so hard to make it to every single therapy session, present the right kind of situations for our child for proper special needs learning to take place, set up hopeful play dates, and try to be the best possible parents that we can be, that there is almost too much pressure placed on our child, as well as ourselves.  After all, we are learning the ropes as we go half of the time.  We are not well rested most of the time, and we are juggle a ton of things simultaneously.  What I'm trying to say here, is not to give up hope.  Don't feel defeated when a situation doesn't turn out like we planned or hoped.  Our children bloom and blossom at their individual pace.  Certain things, like the brotherly bonding that I had shared here, will happen in due time; it happened in a very natural non pressured way, when we had least anticipated it.  Here's a shout out of encouragement to anyone who's facing these type of scenarios and challenges.  Hang in there, and keep putting your loving heart out there.  Even if our kids don't seem to respond to it now, in an obvious way, they know that we love them deeply.  For them, that is the most important type of connection and learning.  As we plant our seeds in our family garden now, who knows the potential of what is still yet to bloom?




Aug 22

Dolphin Tale 2 {Homeschool Movie Day}

Dolphin Tale 2

I want to introduce you to our sponsor this month.  HomeschoolMovieDeals and tell you what they are offering. First, let me remind you of  the movie Dolphin Tale. Dolphin Tale is a movie about a real live Dolphin named Winter. Winter washed onto the shores in Florida and had to have its tale amputated. Winter taught himself to swim despite not having his tail to assist him.

Amazon says:

Inspired by a true story, Dolphin Tale is about courage, ingenuity, and never giving up. Sawyer (Nathan Gamble) is a young boy who’s struggling with school and doesn’t have many friends other than his cousin Kyle (Austin Stowell). When Kyle, a star swimmer, joins the army to earn money for college and is called to active duty, it looks like Sawyer is destined to spend his summer alone tinkering in the garage and attending summer school. Sawyer stumbles upon a dolphin that’s been severely injured, becomes fascinated by dolphins, and is suddenly intellectually engaged like never before. In spite of his shyness, he forms a friendship with marine rescue doctor Clay (Harry Connick Jr.) and his daughter Hazel (Cozi Zuehlsdorff) and, more importantly, a special and very powerful bond with the rescued dolphin, who’s dubbed Winter. As the newly formed team struggles to save Winter’s life and ensure her continued safety, financial concerns, an accident that leaves Kyle crippled for life, and a hurricane all seem to join forces against them. In the end, it is Sawyer’s determination, coupled with a little bit of luck and a lot of ingenuity from an army doctor (Morgan Freeman) who specializes in prosthetics, that helps make each member of the team, including Kyle and Winter, whole again. The talented cast does a great job of creating completely believable characters, but Gamble, Zuehlsdorff, Connick, Freeman, Stowell, and of course Winter, who plays herself, all deserve special mention. While the story of an injured animal rescued and rehabilitated has certainly been told before, this film is emotionally powerful and will absolutely captivate children and adults alike. 

My youngest son loves fish and all things that belong in water. All of my kids love animals, so Dolphin Tale is a great film for us. We were all inspired by the story.

So now I have the chance to promote Dolphin Tale 2 for HomeschoolMovieClub!  The sequel to the heartwarming and inspirational movie Dolphin Tale! In theaters September 19, 2014.

Dolphin Tale 2 is another true story inspired by the life of Winter, a dolphin who was badly injured and needed a prosthetic tail to survive. In DT2, Winter gets a co-star named Hope! Hope is a baby dolphin who was rescued by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in 2010, five years and one day after Winter was rescued.

The same all-star cast returns for DT2, including Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman, and Kris Kristofferson. Winter and Hope will play themselves in the movie, too! Homeschool movie day is September 12th, and you won’t want to miss it!! Here are some facts:

WHAT MAKES A GOOD ‘HOMESCHOOL DAY’ MOVIE?

A good ‘Homeschool Day’ movie will be family friendly, deliver positive messages, and provides some intrinsic educational value. We may let you know about a lot of different movies on our website, but a ‘Homeschool Day’ movie has something special about it that we think our homeschool community will particularly enjoy, appreciate, and want to support.

WHY GO AS A GROUP?

Because it’s fun! Taking a field trip with like-minded people who can celebrate the perks of homeschooling together can be enriching. And how many other people can go to a matinée on a school day! :)

Also, it makes a statement to have the homeschool community unite and let Hollywood know we have a voice. We can be a valuable force in the entertainment industry if we collectively let them know (with our ticket buying) what types of movies we want more of.

HOW DO I JOIN THE ‘HOMESCHOOL DAY’ EVENT?

First, register with ‘Homeschool Movie Club’ (free) so that we can provide you with any coupons, discounts, or perks that the studios or movie chains may offer to us.

Then, after you have registered, you may go to our ‘curriculum’ page and download free curriculum that corresponds to the movie. It is a great way to get the most educational mileage out of the experience!

Lastly, go to your local movie theater on the date that is designated ‘Homeschool Day’ and be a part of a larger movement of homeschoolers. Some movies may have fun contests attached and items of clothes to wear to the event so you can ‘spot’ other homeschoolers.

HOW DO I PUT A FIELD TRIP TOGETHER FOR MY GROUP?

If you want to put a field trip together, first register with ‘Homeschool Movie Club’ on the website (free) and then contact usby email and let us know you are interested in setting up a field trip so that we can give you additional resources, freebies, possible group rates, and other perks when they are available. Each movie may have different coupons and prizes and we want you to be the first to know about it. You will also be entered for the chance to see an early screening if a movie comes to your area.

WHAT IS OUR PHILOSOPHY ON MOVIES AND MEDIA?

We believe every family must be in charge of deciding what is best for their family to see and experience. We try to deliver as many tools for families to make an informed decision. We also believe media can be a tool to foster discussions, emphasize a point and enhance what we are learning in our studies.

We will always do our very best to screen movies and let you know ahead of time if there is anything that may be of concern. We also encourage use of existing websites like “Plugged In”, where you will get a detailed review and account of language, attitudes, world views, etc. We are sensitive to the conservative nature of the homeschooling community and realize that just because something is rated G and coined a ‘family friendly movie’ does not necessarily make it a good match for your family.

ABOUT DOLPHIN TALE:

We chose Dolphin Tale because it is a perfect match for homeschool families and because of the inspiring true life story of Winter the dolphin. The story’s characters are filled with integrity, and there are extraordinary lessons and educational value. As an amazing bonus, the film has a character that is homeschooled not only in the movie, but in real life as well!!! It truly has all the qualities we look for in a ‘Homeschool Day’ movie!

Make sure you register atHomeschoolMovieClub.com so that you will be the first to know about our upcoming freebies, contests, movie discounts, and more exciting news about our first ‘Homeschool Day’!

Check out the trailer for Dolphin Tale 2 below.

I hope you will join HomeschoolMovie Club and also join us on September 12th for Homeschool Movie Day!!!

In Christ,

Laura

 

***This post is sponsored by HomeschoolMovieClub. I was compensated for this review. I do not promote any product though on this page that my family personally would not support. Sponsored posts help maintain this site.***

The post Dolphin Tale 2 {Homeschool Movie Day} appeared first on Raising Soldiers 4 Christ.

Aug 22

Photos From Afghanistan



Aug 21

The Jealous Parent…

I will be the first one to admit that from time to time I get jealous about things. I am, after all only human. I know that there are certain things that are beyond my control when it comes to the life that I live. This is a natural feeling. We all get jealous over the things that could be, the things we want or the person we all want to be. Anyone who sits there and says they don't get jealous, is lying to themselves.

For a lot of us parents, our jealousy is harboured through our children. Mainly because they have been pushed to their limits, whether it be through sports, academics or even lifestyle. But for some of us who have children that aren't quite part of that world, our jealousy is a bit different. It isn't a competition for us to see who's child is better at what sport or who got all the scholarships.  For us, its those moments when we have gotten to the point of no return with our children, when the stimming or the perservations are so bad, that we have that guilty, that very guilty thought of how we wish it could be different.  To have that one day where we don't have the world staring at us or telling us off.  To have that one school year where it isn't such an uphill battle with your child's educators. Or even to have that one thing, whether it be sports, a club or an activity, that your child is accepted into, disorders and diseases put aside. That guilty little thought does not make us bad parents. It makes us human. It shows that we want better for our children.

I think a lot of us special needs parents often look at things like dance, sports or band, as something we longingly wish our children were a part of. In a way we are sort of jealous of the fact that most children can do stuff like that and not have worry about their stimming or inability to relate socially with their peers. And for us parents, its hard to watch. We get that tinge of jealousy. As we want our children to have something like that. Now don't get me wrong, I know there are groups out there, that accept special needs children into their organizations, but they are very few.

The simple little things in life also strike a chord with us. Date nights, a dinner out (without the stares) or even getting the four things we need from Target. We don't mean to be jealous, but it would be nice if we could get out and do those things with the peace of mind that someone we trust is looking after our kids. Finding a decent babysitter that understands what it takes to look after special needs children are slim. Most of us are begging relatives or family friends who understand to come out to look after our children. There are some nights that we wouldn't kill just to not have to worry.

I write this and I want people to know that its not a personal kind of jealousy. Its more of a "Gee, that would nice.. " kind. Most of parents are happy to see things go according to plan. We love to see children succeed. And in the end we do count our blessings. We cherish our children. So please don't be upset with a special  needs parent who might be a little envious of your good fortune. I guess just be a little understanding that we struggle. Sometimes days at a time or hours in the day. And maybe after talking about the good things in your life, ask the special needs parent if there is anything you can do to help.




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