The story on my iPhone:

I interrupt this sibling lovefest to confess that I asked them to hold hands. But still.

I love these guys–even with fake smiles and scary eyes.

Even when they ring the doorbell and wake me from my Sunday afternoon nap with lots of screaming to tell me that

I won the fake lottery!


Have a happy weekend and live a little. We have very little planned–Just the way I like it.

How about you?

** Maybe I did win the lottery after all.

Preparing Your Hearts & Home for Advent {Family Giveaway}

*Updated with Winners* Congrats to random commenters; Megs, reader JennB (, reader Jennifer (, Ali Workentin, and Andrea. Y’all send me your addresses and I’ll get the books to you!

It may seem too soon to make preparations for Advent “a coming, the arrival.”

But it is coming.

His arrival is imminent.

In an effort to still the fast-pace race of this life, to capture the very essence of Christmas, we must prepare.

Each day leading up to the Christ-child’s birth and Holy Day should be awaited and cherished. What better way to teach our kids about Christmas’ true meaning than this. I have found a precious book to help me do just that. Last year after Christmas, at the Christian bookstore, I found them deeply discounted and bought five extra copies. For you.

Getting Ready For Christmas is a simple children’s book, with colorful pictures. It’s a daily Advent prayer and activity book for the family. It is dated with each day, leading up to Jesus’ birth. There’s a paragraph that tells the story with a scripture to see for yourself, a prayer and a family Advent Activity. At then end of the book, there is the traditional lift-a-flap, one for each day.

It’s simple. It’s perfect.

You can purchase Getting Ready For Christmas for around $7 or  leave a comment if you’d like to win one, and tell me an Advent activity you enjoy with your children.

He is coming. Prepare.

:::We Interrupt This Regularly Scheduled Program:::

*Final Update* Just heard the book as officially been pulled from Amazon!

*ANOTHER UPDATE* Okay, so apparently, all our clicking just crashed the page. Because it’s up and for sale. Let’s not give up. We’ve got their attention.

*UPDATED* Well. 90 seconds after I hit publish, Amazon pulled the book! (I don’t personally claim responsibility-although it is a convincing post! Ha! The power of the Internet, never ceases to amaze me.

I had another post planned for today. But it will have to wait. Ironically, it’s about an awesome family Advent book, complete with activities (I’m giving FIVE away) with Amazon links.

But I learned on Twitter that Amazon, a company I shop from often and link to regularly, is selling a book for pedophiles, an instruction book for people who molest children. When I verified it, I was shocked, disgusted and I knew that we had to do something about it.

I cannot implore you enough to let your voice be heard. Not only is this outrageous, Amazon has the nerve to suggest this is freedom of speech. It’s criminal, in my opinion, not censorship.

Once again, I watched the power of moms with laptops and wifi, LIGHT UP Twitter and get the attention of every news venue in the media. Let’s use social media to make a stand. I know that this might be an inconvenience for some of us. I’ve never made more than $25 a month through Amazon Affiliates, but I do have my new book available for pre-order there, and even some gift card credit. But “If we don’t stand for something, we will fall for anything.”-Alexander Hamilton.

What can we do?

  • Boycott-don’t shop at Amazon
  • Don’t link to their store
  • Email Amazon’s CEO’s  Jeff Bezos
  • Write a letter of complaint: Amazon.Com P.O. Box 81226 Seattle, Wa. 98108-1226.
  • Call this number 1-866-321-8851  reference ASIN#B0049U4CF6
  • Tweet about it using hashtag #Amazonfail
  • Share it on Facebook, join the Boycott Amazon FB page
  • Call local news, report it on Drudge report
  • Write a post about it, link it up here

Oh, and I’ll have my regularly scheduled post up tomorrow, as soon as I find a bookstore to link it to!

P.S. Please don’t buy my book at Amazon. You can also pre-order it at Barnes & Noble, Lifeway Christian StoresCokesbury and Borders

(who will you be using now that Amazon isn’t an option?)

WFMW: Dayspring Affiliate Program

One of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done is write for (in)Courage. This community of women reaches beyond computer screens and into my heart. I have gotten to know the people behind their parent company, Dayspring and I can tell you: they are the real deal.

I’ve watched them worship God in person, lead others in integrity and live a life that honors God.

What more can you ask for in a Christian company?

Okay, I found it. An affiliate program where you can earn money just by sharing their amazing products with others!

I love Dayspring products. (They have no idea I’m writing this post, by the way!) I love the quality, the uniqueness and that each piece and product clearly speaks His name. Because of my involvement with (in)Courage over the past year, I’ve given many products as gifts to friends and family. As a matter of fact: dear family, yes, the Dayspring elf is coming your way this Christmas. PLUS, they will be selling our necklaces to benefit Mercy House in the next few weeks! Okay, enough gushing.


I want to show you some amazing pieces on sale right now:

Send a message this Christmas with this awesome Jesus is the Gift plant pick on sale for only $4.99!

Love this pretty Jesus is the Gift pitcher for $18.74:

And I love this practical, adorable Christmas card holder on sale for $19.99!

Isn’t this gorgeous? Peace on Earth tile set, 25% off for $41.25:

You can use any of the below coupons on the above (or any) sale items or regular-priced for EVEN MORE savings:

Okay, back to the point. I just put my affiliate link (first time I’ve done this) into this post. I think it’s great we can share great product and possibly earn a reward!

New Kitchen Collection from DaySpring

Dayspring works for me!

Esteem Yourself, Raise Hers

I try on clothes before the conference, sucking in tummy, turning to get a side view. “What do you think?” I ask him in a hesitant, unsure tone. He smiles. I let out a grumble and head back to my closet.

My 3 year old is trying on my shoes and my 10 year old is looking in the mirror, checking our her side view.

I struggle to esteem myself. I don’t think I’m ugly, but sometimes when I see myself in a photograph, I’m surprised that I look pretty.

But raising daughters is teaching me that if I esteem myself, my girls will too.

Look at these alarming facts:

92% of teen girls would like to change something about the way they look, with body weight ranking the highest.

75% of teenage girls felt ‘depressed, guilty and shameful’ after spending just three minutes leafing through a fashion magazine.

70% of girls ages 15 to 17 avoid normal daily activities such as attending school, going to the doctor, or even giving their opinion “due to feeling badly about one’s looks.”

61% of all women and 69 % of girls (15 to 17) feel that their mother has had a positive influence on their feelings about themselves and their beauty.

Nearly 1/4 would consider undergoing plastic surgery.

Only 2% of women describe themselves as “beautiful”

Not only do women agree that happiness is the primary element making a woman beautiful, but they strongly agree that they themselves feel most beautiful when they are happy and fulfilled in their lives (86%). Women want younger generations of girls and women to inherit this broader concept of beauty, with 82% strongly agreeing that, “If I had a daughter, I would want her to feel beautiful, even if she was not physically attractive.”

While only 19% of teenage girls are “overweight,” 67% think they “need to lose weight” (UK Teen Body Image Survey, January 2004)

National Association for Self-Esteem:
90% of eating disorders are found in girls

Tipping The Scales Of Justice:
A majority of 5-year-olds would rather lose an arm than be fat.

Girls Scouts:
On one hand girls are told to be happy the way they are, and on the other hand, they are given the message that being “overweight” is unhealthy and unattractive.

The more physically active girls are, the greater their self-esteem and the more satisfied they are with their weight, regardless of how much they weigh.

Yet 40% of girls ages 11-17 say they do not play sports because they do not feel skilled or competent and 23% do not think their bodies look good.

Girls’ view physical and emotional health as closely connected. For example, more than 1/3 of girls ages 11–17 reported eating more when they are “stressed out” and overweight girls are more than twice as likely as girls who are not overweight to report eating more in times of stress.

More than 60% of teenage girls skip breakfast at least once a week and nearly 20% skip it every day.

A mother’s weight, body image, attitude, and health habits are strong indicators of whether her daughter is overweight, satisfied with her body, and physically active. Girls look to their mothers for advice on healthy living. A daughter’s dissatisfaction with her weight is greater if her mother is also dissatisfied with her own weight, in spite of how much a daughter actually weighs.

(Statistics by Dove Campaign for Real Beauty (Unilever) “Beyond Stereotypes: Rebuilding the Foundation of Beauty Beliefs”) as found on Respect RX

Our daughters are watching us, taking their cues. We want to raise beautiful, healthy, happy, strong girls.

The next time you see your daughter standing at her closet door, fixing her hair for fifth time, lean in and whisper, “YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.”

Then say it to yourself.

Believe it. And she will too.

It’s Time to Confess {Giveaway}

I have no idea why I was asked to be a toilet paper spokesperson. It’s not like I have a plethora of photos or anything.


But I do have some confessions:

  • Once in the sixth grade, at a roller skating birthday party, I rolled right into a bathroom stall and right out and was halfway to the rink before I realized a roll of toilet paper was wound tighter than a new girdle around my skate. I NEVER SKATED AGAIN (only I did, but I have a flare for the dramatic).
  • When my first two were really little, once I hid in the bathroom stall at WalMart until it had cleared out because my kids loudly said SUCH EMBARRASSING THINGS. ‘Nough said.
  • My favorite Seinfeld of all times is the “Can you spare a square?” one. Makes me laugh every time. Turns out (according to research, women are much more likely to share toilet paper than men. Figures.
  • A plumber may or may have not come to our home to tell us (and charge us!) that you can’t flush ENTIRE rolls down the potty. Not one person confessed to this soggy crime.

YOUR Turn…one lucky confession will win A YEAR’S SUPPLY of QUILTED NORTHERN TOILET PAPER and a $50 Visa gift card!!

To be entered. to this ridiculously practical giveaway, here’s how you can earn entries:

Please leave an extra comment for each that you do!

The winner will be announced next Monday.

This post is brought to you by Quilted Northern Soft and Strong®. Please join the conversation at or on Twitter each week @QuiltedNorthern for opportunities to win free Quilted Northern Soft and Strong® and help make the taboo talkable. Author proceeds from this campaign will be used for the work of The Mercy House.

Africa, Again

My twin sister’s family runs a ministry called Into the Streets of Ethiopia, providing much needed  formula to orphanages in poverty-torn Ethiopia.

She is on a flight to Ethiopia right now. My mom is going with her, embarking on her first trip to the land that stole my heart. I wish I was with them. But we decided it wasn’t best since we are saving money to return to Kenya for Mercy House work. Sometimes you get to go, sometimes you get to support those who are going. Both are hard. Both are good.

They will visit orphanages and the maternity home that will be training Maureen. I am sending a few things over with them, including a stylish outfit for our Maureen, lipgloss and red fingernail polish. Would you pray for them? I know this trip will be life-changing.


A few weeks ago, I teased you with BIG news regarding Mercy House and our Love Mercy jewelry. I’m so excited to tell you………….










Just in time for Christmas!

We’ve been working around the clock to make some exceptionally beautiful, high-quality pieces. I hope you’ll shop mercy in mid-November when they become available!

[Until then, if you want to order, please email me or convo at the Etsy store for custom orders]


So excited to be giving away this LOVE MERCY gallery-wrapped canvas art here. Ends on Monday, so hurry!