Posts Filed Under Reviews


by bosssanders on July 6, 2015 with 3 comments

These are my FAVORITE resources!  I enjoy many books (MANY), but these are the ones I recommend everyone stocking their shelves with!


52 Fantastic Dates For You And Your Mate by Claudia and David Arp – EXCELLENT book, filled with fun date ideas (many of them can be frugal AND expensive, depending on how you choose to embellish.)


The Legacy Path by Brian Haynes – Create a spiritual legacy path for your children.  Great book with SO many easy-to-implement tips AND it’s easy to read!  This is one of those change-your-life books!

Raising A Modern-Day Princess by Pam Farrel and Doreen Hanna – perfect for parents of girls ages 8-15 (also great to begin reading early!)

Child of Wonder: Nurturing Creative and Naturally Curious Children by Ginger Carlson – You have kids?  Great, you need this book.

Words of Wisdom for Moms by Ginger Plowman – A GREAT flip-book of helpful discipline scripture and techniques

Reaching The Heart Of Your Child (Audio CD) by Ginger Plowman


Life Lines by Dave Meyer (Joyce Meyer’s husband) – Great book if you’re looking for some short devotionals to carry you through your day.  Not too preachy, not super in depth.  Short and sweet and lovely!

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan – If you ever doubt or wonder how much God truly loves you (I mean, truly…), check this one out.  It’s written so its reader doesn’t need a doctorate in theology or english to understand it and enjoy it.

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream by David Platt – Super good.  A must read.  –Especially if your name is Joel Osteen.  By the way, prepare to be a little uncomfortable as you read this book…but, it’s worth it!

Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of  a Woman’s Soul by John and Stasi Eldredge – You’ll learn more about yourself than you ever knew in this one.

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp – It’s all about thanksgiving and finding contentment into everyday life.  She doesn’t speak from a perspective of someone who has all of the riches, but of someone easily related to… someone who has had their share of heartache.  And even still, she’s found the secret we’ve all been searching for…

Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend – Teaches you how to create HEALTHY boundaries (and what those specifically look like) in your life.  Whether it’s your gossiping aunt Mable or creepy cousin Beck or manipulative in-law, this book tells you how to create boundaries.  GOOD STUFF.

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February Mash-Up

by bosssanders on February 19, 2015 with no comments

So, I’ve been reading…

My husband read this book in highschool for a class and insisted that I read it.  I’m not sure how I missed this in school, but I’m glad I was able to read it now!  It’s definitely a good book.  AND… Lois Lowry has books that go with this one…so, we are excited to read those together.  HOORAY!  We are nerds, this I know.

I’m still working on my dear husband to try to get him to read 1985.  By the way, if you’ve not read that one, you should add it to your list, too.  It’s a GREAT read…and a little eerie at how some of the things have gotten pretty close to what was written so long ago!

In Other News

We were part of this mess with

For Valentine’s Day, my sweet husband ordered THIS beautiful bouquet:

Isn’t it pretty?  He spent so much time picking it out.
On Valentine’s day, he paced back and forth to the front door.  They promised to deliver by 7pm and everything seemed well and good.  There had been no communication to say otherwise from OR from a local florist and the money had been taken from his account and the order confirmation said it was due for delivery on time.

Here is what we received:


That’s right.  Nothing.  We figured there MUST have been a mix-up.  Maybe someone wrote down the wrong address or maybe they were lost.  So, we called the company.  After waiting on hold for over an hour, we finally connected with a man named Harold.  (I have good reason to believe that was NOT his actual name, but whatevs.)

“Harold” said that there would be no flowers…ever.  That the local florist had been swamped and refused the order.  He said that they did all they could and the system had notes saying they contacted us and left messages.  We confirmed the number and email they had on file was correct… because there was no such call (missed or otherwise) in our call logs or any missed voice mails or emails.  It was a cop-out on their part.  And, instead of not taking the money for goods they couldn’t deliver… they took the money and didn’t bother to ACTUALLY contact us OR immediately refund the money.  They just kept it.

After about 15 minutes of “Harold” being VERY repetitive and telling me that 1) It wasn’t their fault and 2) there was nothing he could do and 3) repeating my name 5,000 times… I asked for a supervisor.  Multiple times.  I was put on hold for a total of 2 hours and 40-something minutes.  The line was disconnected 3 times.

While on hold, we used twitter and facebook, and while SAID they would get back with us to help us via social media…they did nothing but make it LOOK like they were handling the situation.

We chose to file a report with the Better Business Bureau.

After 2 hours and 40–something minutes, we finally reached  a woman who had blaring noise in the background and could not speak or understand English very well.  We were then forwarded to a manager.  This manager did promise to give us our money back.  She did not offer anything else.  We told her that we were very disappointed in the dismal customer service and quite frankly, it didn’t seem they wanted our future business.  Or, anyone that we knew.  She seemed to think giving our money back was a favor to us, and so we explained that technically, she didn’t have to process a refund, that the credit card company would side with us and that accepting payment and not delivering goods was considered theft.  Fraud.  We explained that we expected more from customer service from a brand we had spent money with in the past, and that as small business owners, we would NEVER treat customers the way they treated us.  We told her what would be expected as the LEAST to gain back trust after such an incidence.

Finally, after what seemed like a LONG conversation (keep in mind I’d been on the phone for almost 3 hours)…she told us that our money would be refunded, we’d get a “make up” bouquet similar to what we ordered, AND a $20 gift certificate.

I wasn’t thrilled, but it was better than nothing, so I said okay and we disconnected.

Several days later, a woman from the “VIP team” called regarding our BBB complaint.  For the first time, I spoke to someone who actually apologized for THEIR mistake.  She also listened and did NOT interrupt…not even once.  I repeatedly let her know that I know this wasn’t HER fault, but that we were very disappointed in 1800flowers.  I explained that the customer service we had encountered thus far had been horrible and that we weren’t sure we’d ever be ordering again…because the truth is this…

We have ordered flowers through them for Birthdays and Congratulatory events.  But, we’ve also ordered flowers to comfort others who have lost children and family members.  It’s one thing to mess up a Valentine’s order… but, it’s another to mess up something so special as a bouquet of flowers that says what words can’t, “I’m so sorry for your loss.  We are here with you.  We remember.  We will walk this with you.”  If you think I’m disappointed and annoyed by this mess up, then wait until you mess THAT up.  There are no re-dos.  We can’t always be where our family and friends are.  So, we send something that we hope can convey the message for us.

We explained that we weren’t sure we could trust them, now.  While we believe in extending GRACE…because EVERYONE messes up at some point.  WE also believe in being able to admit when you are wrong, apologizing, and making things RIGHT…especially when you own a business.   And, their customer support team had a hard time doing that.  WE don’t have 3 hours and several days to “fix” things every time we need flowers or a gift sent.  I’m not being PAID for that time spent.

For the first time, someone from the 1800flowers team agreed with me and seemed genuinely apologetic.  She wasn’t just trying to get me off the phone with a check by my name…she was actually listening.

She agreed that from what I described and what she saw in the system, it had gotten ridiculous.  But, it makes me a little sad because I’ve heard from so many people who experienced what we had and they never got up to “upper level” customer service.  Their money was refunded and there was no real apology or anything else.

After explaining that we would probably never use a $20 gift certificate with a company that so grossly disappointed us…because nothing on their site is $20 and there is NO WAY we’d be spending our own money so soon, she bumped the $20 to $60 so that we could try them again…on their dime.  You see, THAT is how you earn back trust.

She let me know that their “make up” bouquet was on the way.  My husband ordered this (with a balloon) originally

They were unable to replace it because they needed to ship from their facilities…
So, they said they’d send something similar in value and color.
They chose this…

I’m not a fan of all-mauve, BUT it was a nice gesture, nonetheless.  And, they were trying, right?  That matters.  So, I was pretty pleased and was interested in seeing how they handled this order and the next order.

Wednesday, I received this arrangement:

YESTERDAY… and the flowers were half dead.  They went immediately to water, didn’t set on my doorstep (got them right from the UPS drivers’ hands).  See the front flower…totally wilted.  The roses were drooping with petals falling off and brown already on the edges.  Not only were they half-dead, they were not anywhere CLOSE to being the same value.  My husband spent over $80 for flowers and a balloon.  There was no balloon.  He ordered a large bouquet… the one consistent in value is the exact one you see above this photograph.

I called the new VIP number, and again, this lady was VERY nice.  She apologized and wanted to try again.  She said this sometimes happens, but they want to replace it.  Instead of flowers this time, I chose a plant, hoping it would be able to fare a little better.

I should receive it Friday.

I’ll be updating.

Here’s where I’m at so far…

-’s main customer service line is worthless.
- I will only call the VIP desk from now on.
- If they can outdo themselves on the next 2 arrangements, I’d be willing to give them another shot… but probably never again on a major holiday.

- I would really like to see a grand gesture on 1800’s part to make right where they failed for the hundreds of other customers the way they finally have tried with me.  I’d like to see them initiate this and reach out to those people and not offer them the bare minimum.  They shouldn’t have to BEG to be treated well.  I’d also love to see better customer service, over all.  Nobody should have to wait almost 3 hours on the phone or DAYS for a response on a missing order.  I’d love to see their customer service staffed with people who speaks WELL and LISTENS even better.  –People who are interested in taking care of their customers.  As business owners, we need to understand that our customers MAKE US.  If we fail them, we fail our business.  Without customers, we can have the best products or services…and still have to close our doors.


Raising Kingdom Kids by Tony Evans – A Review

by bosssanders on October 2, 2014 with 2 comments

When we have children, it’s easy to get caught up in the checklist of all of the things we “ought” to do.  We can feel overwhelmed by the barrage of academic, recreational, and spiritual activities flying at us that we miss the MOST important thing – raising Kingdom Kids.  We begin to rely on Awana and Sunday School and teachers and pastors to develop our children’s spirituality, and forget that raising children who love Jesus isn’t based on any PROGRAM (while those are good in their own ways).  And, before we know it, we feel like we are trekking aimlessly through uncharted territory, not sure if we’re even on the right track…or, how to get to where we want to be.

Raising Kingdom Kids by Tony Evans is a book that serves as a map to help you realize where it is you want to be and how to get there – a map to raising Kingdom Kids, if you will.

This book is great if you want to

  • Create an atmosphere where your kids can maintain their identity in Jesus Christ despite the culture around them.
  • Be confident as you discover your worth as a parent, based on God’s Word and not on your kid’s actions.
  • Experience the freedom of influencing your children rather than the futility of trying to control them.
  • Gain new strength as you view the daily duties of parenting from a kingdom perspective.
  • Trade reactive parenting for intentional parenting and marvel at the difference.

This book is NOT another checklist of things you need to sign your children up for.  It’s not a guilt trip in parenting.  In his book, Dr. Tony Evans breaks down some practical steps to raising Kingdom Kids and is broken down into 4 basic parts:

Part 1 – Establishing A Kingdom Mindset – which helps you understand your worth and WHY this is important.  It helps re-align the focus so we can see clearly.

Part 2 – Cultivating A Kingdom Atmosphere – This part is where he breaks down the “how-to.”  It’s not a new check-list to overwhelm you, instead it’s how to implement this Kingdom Atmosphere into your daily life and routine that you already have.

Part 3 – Instilling Kingdom Virtues – or, how to teach your children to be people of wisdom, integrity, purity, etc.

Extras – a note to single parents, scripture index, and more…

Overall, I’d absolutely recommend this book to ANY parent or grandparent!

Note:  A copy of this book was sent to me by Tyndale Publishers for review.  This review is an honest portrayal of thoughts and ideas that are my own.  This review, like all my reviews, reflects my honest opinion.

filed under Reviews

Today, January 28, 2014

by bosssanders on January 28, 2014 with no comments

Outside my window…
Global warming was all the rage for the past decade…and now people are yammering about global cooling.  I think both are natural and it goes back and forth… but, in the meantime… it’s TOO cold outside thankyouverymuch.

I am thinking…
It’s perfectly fine to want something better, to be better.  It becomes not okay when we begin to use and hurt people to get there.  Sometimes, we hurt more than we help…even when we had good intentions.

I am thankful…
41.  For communication.  Real truth, spoken with love.
42.  True friendships.  The kind that make you smile and have your back.
43.  That my oldest daughter has some amazing little people in her life that she calls friends (and I happen to really like, too!)
44.  That I’m a grown up…
45.  For unfrozen unbusted pipes… I’ve seen so many people dealing with crazy stuff during this weather…
46.  For a warm home and a soft bed.
47.  For the funny things that my kids say…like AJ’s new phrase, “Poopty tooty” – I have no idea exactly what it means but he says it and his face plus voice just makes it hysterical.
48.  For yummy coffee and a “vat of brownies”
49.  For friends who bring goodies when weeks seem to not let up
50.  For listening ears and wise advice

In the kitchen…

Sourdough bread….rising….
And, chicken pot pie for supper…

I am reading…


On the back cover of The Simplified Guide: Paul’s Letters to the Churches by David Hazelton:

“Paul’s letters were written for “all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:2).  He wrote to regular Christians, like you and me, about the daily challenges we confront in our walk with Christ.  Paul is very clear – the Gospel message of salvation is simple, straightforward, and available to all who come in faith.”

My favorite thing about this book is that Hazelton takes Paul’s letters and breaks them down into categories like: sexual purity, daily ups and downs, how we act, our relationships, etc.  He goes through and lays out what the teachings of Paul has for us WITH scripture notated (which is important!).  I really appreciate that it’s written in a no-nonsense-pick-up-and-go way and the topics don’t have to be read in order.

This book is perfect for folks who can’t dedicate a couple of hours in one sitting to thoroughly meditate on scripture (or just feel overwhelmed at thinking about it) and could use a super easy way to get started at looking at what Paul’s letters and teachings say about [insert topic here].

You can find it … HERE.

We/I am learning…

*I* am learning about using yoga to help with back pain using these videos:

In Arthritis Rx, Stephanie Culen leads three levels of workouts based on yoga and Pilates designed by Vijay Vad, MD.  The beginners level helps with flexibility, the intermediate level helps build strength, and the advanced level improves endurance.  While I may be considered “young” still, it’s been a helpful set to learn some stretches for problem areas where my stress tends to “collect” and cause issues.

Then, there’s the Yoga to the Rescue series… MY FAVORITE!  I had been to the doctor and complained about a lower back pain that I could NOT get rid of.  Peppermint oil, lots of ibuprofen, stretching, resting, cold packs, warm packs, massage…NOTHING.  It was enough pain that anything beyond lying down hurt…which, with 4 little kids was NOT an issue.  I popped this dvd in and within moments… I had relief!  With a few simple stretches and an exercise to help move my hips to their correct alignment, the pain subsided and has STAYED gone.  Now, I do the stretches as I think of them (the hip alignment is unnoticeable to others so you can even do it in line at the grocery!) and they’ve helped a ton!

Stress tends to collect in my body in my neck and shoulders, as well and there is also a neck and shoulders dvd in this series that is great!  I know SO many people with hurting backs, necks and shoulders due to all sorts of things (stress, playing with our kiddos, computer use, discs, etc) and this dvd set is incredibly brilliant.  Just make sure you order BOTH the back and neck/shoulders dvds!

Around the house…

Remember back when I posted that one of my next projects was to do a photo collage in my living room?  Well… it’s finished.  I’m pretty happy with it, I do believe…

A favorite quote…

One of my favorite things…

These ink pens for the many notes I take:

filed under A Grand Adventure, Reviews

Go Science! (Ben Roy)

by bosssanders on October 8, 2013 with no comments

Science is, hands-down, one my family and my favorite subjects.  Learning about why and how things work has always inspired creativity and awe inside of me and it’s the very thing I hope to instill in my children.  While many people would argue that they can disprove a Creator with science, I have always found that science simply draws me nearer to Him.

In Ben Roy’s Go Science DVD series, he not only teaches science basics, but he also points it all back to God in every lesson.  He brings his charm, knowledge, and fun in each DVD lesson, providing for a fun and encouraging learning environment.


- Great for homeschooling or as supplemental learning.
- Hands-on activities can be easily integrated in.
- Each “Volume” is comprised of many lessons, and each individual lesson is short and to the point.
- Lessons point back to our Creator.
- Lessons are fun and easily capture children’s attention.
- Great for a large range of ages (4-12!)

- The only “negative” I can think of is the price – $79.95 on the Go Science site, BUT then I found it HERE for only 47.95 (for a set of 6!  That’s less than $8 each!)!!

It isn’t very often that you can find products that do a great job of explaining science concepts, are entertaining, AND point back to our Creator.  So, here you go!

What are you waiting for?  Go HERE and get yours today at this amazing LOW price!  (You can try them individually, too!)

*I received this set from the company for review purposes.  However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are completely and honestly mine!


GIVEAWAY!!! – Wise Words For Moms and Reaching The Heart Of Your Child

by bosssanders on September 26, 2013 with 22 comments

I am SUPER excited about this giveaway!!

As most of you know, Wise Words For Moms and Reaching The Heart Of Your Child are two of my favorite resources (see HERE and HERE).

WELL, Ginger has graciously agreed to do a giveaway for these on!  How fun!!

For those of you not familiar with these great resources, let me catch you up:

Wise Words for Moms (and dads!) by Ginger Plowman.  I really really like her teaching on parenting and disciplining kids.  Her flip-book is GREAT for a quick-glance on how to get to the heart of issues.  She lists out different topics (whining, disobeying, etc) and then gives heart-probing questions, scripture to explore with your kiddos on why it’s something we don’t do and then examples to help build them back up.  It’s easy to treat the surface issue, but this is great for tackling the heart issue by using motivation rather than fear of punishment.

In her audio cd set, Reaching The Heart Of Your Child, Ginger Plowman takes the Wise Words For Moms booklet and really breaks it down.  She gives GREAT insight on how to effectively teach your children from the core, not just teaching them not to (insert thing here).  For example, she teaches us how to teach our kids about KINDNESS or RESPECT… not just “don’t hit,” “don’t kick,” don’t throw a marshmallow at Lucy’s head,” etc.  If we simply focus on the outward behaviors, our very creative children will consistently come up with new ones.  However, if we arm them with deep lessons and scripture, they will eventually be able to catch themselves in the act and be able to stop themselves AND take these lessons into adulthood.  Ginger takes time to explain WHY we must speak to our kids’ hearts instead of simply using physical consequences (time-outs/ins, taking toys away, swats) alone.

Ready For The Details?

This giveaway is for one gift set of a Wise Words For Mom flip book and Reaching The Heart Of Your Child CD set.

Deadline: October 3, 2013 NOON CST

Open to all US Residents, Age 18+

How to enter:

1.  Leave a comment on this post.
2.  For a second entry, you may “like” bosssanders on Facebook (go here) and then comment back, letting me know you did so.
3.  For a THIRD entry, copy and paste this onto your personal FB wall (and come back here with the link to your FB page)!:  “Check out for an awesome parenting giveaway!  I hope I win!…s-for-moms-and  ”


—– GIVEAWAY ENDED!  Congratulations Charlene Bish!—-


For Today, Tuesday, September 24, 2013

by bosssanders on September 24, 2013 with no comments

Outside my window…

Fall is here!

I am thinking…

Adoption, in all of it’s BEAUTY… has hard stuff, too.  I mean, that’s how we got here in the first place, right?  Unimaginable loss.  Broken hearts.  So much pain.  It’s so easy to focus on the beautiful side; it’s the side we want to soak up.  I’ve been thinking lately about our little boy and the HURT.  Physically, emotionally, spiritually…all of it.  I can’t imagine watching people who traveled with your parents coming back… but not with your parents.  And you wait.  Day in and day out.  I wonder if he thinks we left him, too.  And, my heart hurts for him.  I feel so inadequate, like I’m facing this huge giant.  How on earth can I heal these deep wounds of this precious little boy? I think to myself.

Then, today, as I’m reading to the girls about a little girl named Sarah Whitcher, God speaks to me through the story.  This couple loses their little girl in the wilderness (back in the pioneer days when there were no dog teams and helicopters and phones and amber alerts).  And, the father keeps saying: The Lord is with us.  I smile, pushing back tears, because I know this message is just as much for me.  He is with us.

It’s not up to me to heal my sweet boy.  In fact, I AM inadequate… But, HE is not!

God won’t give me what HE can’t handle!

I am thankful…

14.  For cool beginnings of fall.
15.  For a momma who listens to my heart and scoops me up with encouragement.
16.  For words of encouragement from friends who have “been there, done that,” reminding me that God is still sovereign and even this doesn’t surprise Him.
17.  For insight into my little boy’s life.

In the Kitchen…

Chicken Pot Pie with homemade crust and all!  YUM!

I am creating…

I am going…
To a meeting…

I am reading…

I just finished Little House on the Freeway by Dr. Tim Kimmel (buy it here).  If you find yourself BUSY BUSY BUSY and SO STRESSED… this is the book for you.  In his book, Dr. Kimmel helps hurried families find the peace they are looking for with some very real and specific advice.  It’s so easy to wish for the days when things were slow and unhurried, and while we can’t blast back in time, we CAN create homes and lives that are peaceful and productive –YES, EVEN TODAY!  We don’t even have to move to an island or give up all technology!  (Hooray for that!)  We have incorporated many of his thoughts and lessons into our lives and enjoy the time we are able to spend with our family and friends and the peace that brings.  Great book!

I am listening…

I am hoping…
To hear good news regarding our little boy’s paperwork soon…still hoping…

I am looking forward to…

My house being organized and finally putting some finishing touches in the rooms!  And, our boy being home!  COME ON ALREADY!

We/I am learning…
This week, the girls will be learning about George Washington!  Our oldest daughter is learning to add larger numbers (2 digits, no carrying) and about King David’s household.  Our younger daughter is practicing counting 14-20 and is learning the same science and history as our eldest.  Our little guy is learning NOT to climb to the top bunk.  :)

Around the house…
I’m considering ideas for our living room (above our couch)…for a photo collage

A favorite quote…

One of my favorite things…

A necklace that my friend, Shannon, gave me for my birthday with “Proverbs 3:5-6 ” carved into the back.  Such a great reminder!


For Today, Friday, September 20, 2013

by bosssanders on September 20, 2013 with 3 comments

Outside my window…

Wind-chimes tinkle in the rain.

I am thinking…

(So, so true… and hard!)

I am thankful…

1.  A God who loves us so much – more than we can ever imagine.
2.  He loves us so much, He gave up His ONLY Son, to be beaten and killed on a cross for a bunch of people who could never deserve it or appreciate.  I can’t imagine giving up one of my kids like that.  And yet, He did it for me… for you.
3.  That I can go to my God to pray anytime, anywhere.  I don’t have to wait for the yearly sacrifice in the temple.  No pigeons, no goats.  Just me and God.
4.  For my husband, he’s my very own “David” (man after God’s own heart).  So thankful for the ways he’s grown and continues to search out God.
5.  My kids – they are amazing.  All 4 of them.  They make me laugh and smile and man… I have awesome kids!
6.  My family and friends.  From my parents to my in-laws to my aunts/uncles/cousins and friends (family who chose us)… They are a part of our net.  They catch us when we fall and encourage us.  They shout with joy with us in triumphs and battles won.  These people are amazing.
7.  My church and church family (which includes all of my brothers and sisters in Christ)…
8.  My home and all of our “necessities.”  Not everyone has running water out of several faucets, toilets, hoses, washer, etc.  Not everyone has clean water.  Not everyone has warm/cool place to sleep.  Or electricity.  Or food.  We say they’re “necessities”… but really, they’re ALL luxuries.
9.  My past.  My hurts.  They’ve shaped us.  Made us more humble, more understanding, more grace-filled, more merciful, more loving, more honest, more caring… They’ve brought us to where the only place to look was UP… to Him…
10.  For the pitter-patter of little feet, running through the house.
11.  Little crazy-haired babes sneaking into bed with us for cuddles.
12.  For little not-quite-two-year-old boys who say “Yes ma’am” with no prompting.
13.  Tea-time with peppermint tea and chocolate chip cookies with my girls before naptime.

In the Kitchen…

KY Derby Pie…
Chocolate chip cookies…
And plans for chili (with noodles) for supper.

I am creating…
Pillow-covers.  I was trying the “tied” no-sew pillow covers, but turns out the fabric I bought is a little too thick.  So, looks like I’ll be using my not-yet-used-serger (from many birthdays ago… back before I hit my sewing dry-spell… somewhere around the time my hubby left for Iraq and I was pregnant and caring for 2 littles.  It’s not like I’ve been busy or anything!)

Also, a recipe e-book.  Stay tuned!

I am going…
Absolutely nowhere today.  And I love it.  Yay for rest today!

I am reading…

Wise Words for Moms (and dads!) by Ginger Plowman.  I really really like her teaching on parenting and disciplining kids.  Her flip-book (only $3.99!) is GREAT for a quick-glance on how to get to the heart of issues.  She lists out different topics (whining, disobeying, etc) and then gives heart-probing questions, scripture to explore with your kiddos on why it’s something we don’t do and then examples to help build them back up.  It’s easy to treat the surface issue, but this is great for tackling the heart issue!  Plus, in the throes of parenting, when you have supper burning, one baby crying on your hip and two in the middle of a throw-down… it’s easy, consistent, go-to advice and keeps you from simply screaming STOP!  EVERYONE’S IN TIMEOUT!  ME FIRST!  I’m adding it to my Favorite Resources List… every parent/grandparent needs one!

I’ve just started this one, but am super excited to read more!  (buy it here)

I am listening…

In her audio cd set, Reaching The Heart Of Your Child, Ginger Plowman takes the Wise Words For Moms booklet and really breaks it down.  She gives GREAT insight on how to effectively teach your children from the core, not just teaching them not to (insert thing here).  For example, she teaches us how to teach our kids about KINDNESS or RESPECT… not just “don’t hit,” “don’t kick,” don’t throw a marshmallow at Lucy’s head,” etc.  If we simply focus on the outward behaviors, our very creative children will consistently come up with new ones.  However, if we arm them with deep lessons and scripture, they will eventually be able to catch themselves in the act and be able to stop themselves AND take these lessons into adulthood.  Ginger takes time to explain WHY we must speak to our kids’ hearts instead of simply telling them no, swat, and go.  Another FAVORITE RESOURCE!!

This CD by IHOP is GREAT.  It’s one of those that we crank up during difficult times to turn our weeping into dancing!  Click here to listen

I am hoping…
To hear good news regarding our little boy’s paperwork soon…

I am looking forward to…
the weekend!  And being able to spend it with hubby, our kids, and family and friends!

We/I am learning…
The kids just completed their FIRST QUARTER in school!  They both received ALL A’s!  Woohoo!  We are so excited for them!
Currently, they are learning about early pioneers and manners.  Big sister is specifically learning on grouping and adding larger numbers and working within tens and ones places.  She is also learning about King David and King Solomon and practicing being courageous.   Little sister is learning about creation and beginning to count our way towards 100 (we are to 14, now) and beginning grouping.  Little brother seems like he’s wanting to potty train.  Mommy, on the other hand, not so much.

Around the house…
We’ve been in this house for around a year, give or take.  Now that we know it pretty well and have mostly figured out what we need each room to be/do… we’re ready to take a more pro-active stance on decorating.  I’m a cautious decorator when it comes to my own home.  I don’t like junk.  I don’t like lots of excess.  And, because of the size of the space we live in, I’m all about multi-functional (yet cost-effective) items.  Harder to come by.  (Feel free to throw in ideas.)

First up…  Our living room.

The first order of business is I need two sets of shelving or small bookcases of some sort that can hold our homeschool materials that we are actively using at a given time.  But, I want to be able to keep it organized and PRETTY… but oh-so-functional.  The space between the couches isn’t a lot, so I need something awesome.  I’m not sure about how I want to pull this one off.

Also, I’m re-covering the ugly pillows that came with the couch.  U-G-L-Y.

Next, I really wanted to put a photo collage behind our couch… but, I haven’t found any ideas so far that don’t look crazy cluttered or just… ugly.  I love the idea of using different elements to make it look really neat.

Then, I have a few more ideas for a couple of other small touches.  Oh, and the mantle… needs some fall decorations…  All in my head, but not really TOP priority compared to getting our boy home.

A favorite quote…

One of my favorite things…

We are collecting tea cups!


For Today September 15, 2013

by bosssanders on September 15, 2013 with no comments

Outside my window the air is beginning to crisp for fall.  I love each season change and all of the sweet memories that come with.  I love the chunky sweaters of fall, pumpkin and apple spiced foods and drinks wafting through the air, bonfires with ash floating high as they aspire to be like the bright stars in the night sky.

I am reading The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield

Rosaria Butterfield was a respected advisor and english professor…she was also a lesbian.  It’s her story of how she came to know Christ.  I have so much enjoyed her honesty and realness as she walks her readers through the brokenness and the triumphs.  So often, it feels like homosexuality and Christianity are worlds that can only collide.  We get so busy taking up signs and making demands, that we fail to listen (both sides).  We fail to hear.  And, in doing so, we wage a war that cannot be won.  Jesus didn’t call us to strike sinners down (because we might as well start with ourselves!).  Jesus called us to LOVE them and develop relationships with them and SHOW them them Him.  Rosaria Butterfield fought hard against Christianity – it stood against everything she believed in – until one day, her world came crashing down.  She tells about a sweet Christian couple who simply wanted to get to know her, but in the process showed her Christ – not with signs or pointing fingers, but with love.

Mrs. Butterfield has some amazing insights.  While she doesn’t claim that homosexuality is “right,” she also points out that it’s not the “root” sin (p.30).  (See Ezekial 16:48-50)
I have highlighted my copy with notes that I can apply to my own life and will forever take with me her wisdom on loving others.

Click HERE to go to her site.

I am listening to



by bosssanders on September 12, 2013 with 121 comments

Have you ever wondered what you could do with all of your spaghetti and peanut butter jars?

Or, had you wondered what kind of safe drinking cup you could take with you on the go that was as safe on your pocket book as it was on your body and the earth?

I have found the perfect fit…literally!!

Meet EcoJarz!

EcoJarz has made two types of lids for your drinks… silicone or stainless steel in both regular or large-mouth sizes (meaning it should fit most of your jars!).  These lids are super special: they don’t contain bpa, phthalates, or leach chemicals!!  Not only are they safe for YOU, but they are great for the environment and your pocket-book by allowing you to re-use all of your peanut butter, jam, and spaghetti jars!

Handy, right?

The lids are perfect for drinking your smoothies, tea, water, etc on the go as they keep your drink from splashing out.

And, for those of us who LOVE smoothies, they’ve created stainless steel smoothie straws (as well as regular straws for thinner drinks).

The VERY BEST PART is that  EcoJarz sent me extras to share!!

Are you ready for a GIVEAWAY?

We are giving away TWO sets (so, there will be TWO winners) of :

-TWO large mouth stainless lids
- ONE smoothie straw
-ONE regular straw
-One straw cleaner


To enter, simply leave a comment.

For an extra entry, share THIS link and the following on your facebook account (be sure to come back here and let me know you did this so I can count it for you!):  “Check out this great giveaway over at!  It made my day!”   (NOTE: Be sure to copy the message AND share the link to this post or it won’t count!)

For a third entry, make sure you “like” on facebook!  (Again, come back and let me know in comments that you did this!)

For a FOURTH entry, you can like EcoJarz on facebook (HERE)!  (And, let me know you did so in the comments)


*Disclaimer:  The company sent me products for review.  As always, all opinions are solely and honestly MINE.



joseph gersch

Thursday, 19 September, 2013 at 2:30  |

what a brilliant idea for use of a jar


Amanda Peek

Sunday, 15 September, 2013 at 17:00  |

Okay, I did all four steps(feel free to double check me ;) )

I think this would be super neat!

WINNERS… Please check your email and get back to me by Monday evening!  Thank you!!

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