Time For Tots {Giveaway} & Awesome Deal

UPDATE:  The randomly selected winners are Nidya (125), Trena (173) and Christine (177). Congratulations!

I just registered my tot for Kindergarten.


How did we get here? She’s reading short words, can write her entire name and has perfected her sassy look.

We are soaking up her days before she’s in school full time and her appetite for learning grows daily. So, when friends over at Time for Tots asked if they could help me help my daughter, give my readers an awesome deal and benefit Mercy House–I said YES!

My oldest played hooky a couple of weeks ago-she needed a mental health day (shhh!) and she “played school” with my youngest. She had no idea she was learning. I loved watching them work together for hours!


Summer Kit Includes:

Summer Themed Prewriting Strips
Flower Playdough Mat with Playdough
Bumblebee Dice Game
“Plant the Seeds” Color Matching with Mold
Flower Alphabet Matching
Sticker Matching Grid Game
Targeted Skills:
Color Identification
Letter Identification
Number Identification
Fine Motor Skills
Visual Discrimination

It’s perfect for summer learning, long days, homeschool, trips, etc. (I’m taking ours on our trip to Africa!)

Today, I’m giving away THREE kits on this post. Leave a comment to be entered.

This kit is available to purchase right here (until supplies last). It’s regularly $25 (plus $5 shipping).

You can purchase it for only $15 (plus $5 shipping) and 25% of every sale benefits Mercy House!

Visit Time for Tots and check out their other resources. You can also follow them on Facebook.

Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post, I did receive a kit in exchange for my review

97 Reasons You Might Be a Mom


You might be a mom . . .


1.     If having your wisdom teeth removed is like a vacation! –Tara

If streaking children no longer phase you. –Andi

3.     If you’ve ever wiped a snotty nose with your shirt! – Hope Yates

4.     If you don’t cringe at the thought of drinking after a toddler. Bleh.  –Mariah

5.     If you look for the parking spot closest to the cart return rather than closest to the front door. – Sandi

6.     If you realize you just watch a episode of Curious George all by yourself.

7.     If you wake up in your child’s bed and honestly don’t remember how you got there
– nebuchudnessar

8.     If you find yourself talking back to a kids cartoon… when the kids have been in bed for an hour already.

-Beth Lewis

9.     If you contemplate taking a shower or doing your hair, knowing you don’t have time for both!

- Linsay

10.   If you make silly faces into your van’s window while pumping gas.
-Melissa S.

11.   If you’ve ever felt guilty for doing something just for yourself!

12.   If you shamelessly carry a potty seat around in a plastic bag, sometimes shoved in your purse too. –Bee

13.   If you’ve ever had to remove sippy cups, a diaper, a pull-up, treats from your purse before a night out with the girls.

14.   If you look forward to them getting a cold (they’ll actually let you mother them (again!)
- Kim/Doodles

15.   If you’ve ever had a stream of pee hit your hair as you’re changing your baby boys’ diaper.
- Michelle Gullikson

16.   If you’ve ever yelled, “Stop hitting your sister with the monkey!”
- Lyndsey Resnick

17.   If you’ve ever said “Take the toilet seat off your head!” – I’ve said it…to two different children and two different times!
- Andrea

18.   If you have a cheerio stuck to your bottom from the kitchen chair at breakfast, stickers on your shirt and peanut butter and  jelly in your hair from lunch time you didn’t realize you wiped in your hair instead of on a paper towel.  – Melissa Porter

19.   If you speak of yourself in the third person, making reference to “mommy” throughout the day. -Sarah

20.  If you have fed all your kids supper, including 2 refills of drinks for one kid and 3 refills of noodles for another one, wiped up six spills off the floor and changed one dirty diaper, all before having a single bite to eat yourself! -Jennyroo

21.   If you’ve said, “What are you eating off the floor?” Then realized it wasn’t a choking hazard and said “Oh, okay.” –Jesica

22.   If you ride with your knees hitting the dashboard because the infant carrier takes up space in the car! – Melody Benschoter

23.   If you now realize CARS should be made with CARSEATS in mind (obviously not the other way around).”  -Jen

24.   If you are happy when you are able to get in a shower before your husband gets home from work. –Amanda Thompson

25.   If you have ever fallen into the toilet because you have 2 boys that never put the lid down! –Shana Anderson

26.   If the words, “Stop eating cat food!” fly out of your mouth more than once a day. –Kristen M.


28.   If you’ve yelled, “No swordfighting by the stove while I’m cooking dinner!” (inflatable swords, not real ones!)

- Teish

29.   If you can make a song out of anything to keep a cranky kid from losing it while waiting.

30.   If you hide in the pantry to eat a doughnut!

-Marie Anderson

31.   If you honestly can’t remember the last day you showered– or changed your outfit. (NEW mom!)–Jen G.

32.   If your van smells like animal crackers.
 -Kelly G.

33.   If you can’t remember a full night’s sleep.

34.    If your purse carries more toys and crayons than makeup and pens.

35.    If you’ve willingly used your sleeve as your kiddo’s tissue.  -Jen

36.    If you feel like everyone is staring at you-then realize you left the house with a burp cloth still on your shoulder! -Amy

37.    If you plan to camp out in the parking lot on your child’s first day of kindergarten–all day. -Lizzy

38.    If you only have 4 fingernails painted and the other 6 are bare because someone woke up from their nap too soon. 

39.    If you make the same kid-pleasing meals over and over when you’d rather experiment with new gourmet recipes. -Lynn

40.    If you hand your child an iPhone without thinking twice.

41.    If your kids cover their ears when you wake them up with silly songs. -Kiki

42.    If you’ve cried yourself to sleep after comforting your crying child, knowing you couldn’t take their pain away, all you could do was pray for their peace.


43.    If you have put a fallen pacifier in your own mouth to clean it before giving it back to a screaming baby. –Sarah Rogers

44.    If you realize half way through the grocery store that you forgot to snap your nursing tank. Oops.
- SarahJ

45.    If you can recite the entire movie Cars by heart.

46.    If you purposely carry crayons in your purse… –Betty

47.    If your car has smashed goldfish and cheerios all over it. –Jennifer D

48.    If you grab the garbage can for yourself as you rush into your puking child’s room because you’re THAT sympathetic! -Jessi

49.    If when you change the sheets on your bed you end up playing the parachute game.

50.    If you love the smell of babies breath. -Laura

51.    If you have ever picked a nose that was not your own. –Jen

52.    If you choose to throw away an outfit because your precious had diarrhea while away from home rather than take it home and TRY to clean it.
- Jerry Tippett

53.    If you cut up the meat into tiny bite size pieces on the plate of your dinner companion (not a child). -Anita

54.    If you never seem to have “adult” bandaids and walk around with some character wrapped around your finger. -Kelly

55.    If you’ve ever tasted something to find out what it was doing somewhere where it shouldn’t be! –Amber D.

56.    If you’re so tired that you can’t remember if you took a shower yesterday… and when you take one today, you forget to wash the shampoo out of your hair before getting out and getting dressed. Rose Atwater

57.    If your kids can yell and you can tune them out.
 -Julie R

58.    If you find almost as many pocket-sized treasures (Legos, rocks, cars) as you do clothes in your dryer! –Christina O

59.    If you regularly choose sleep over eating throughout the day.” (new mom of a newborn!)
 -Jen U.

60.    If you let your sons “tinkle” outside when trying to potty train.

61.    If you send your kids to school, counting the minutes until they return!

62.    If you spend a few extra minutes in the bathroom just because you need a break. –Kristin

63.    If you washed a diaper in the washing machine (MORE THAN ONE TIME) and found what a joy it is to clean that gel ball mess up. –Jennifer K

64.    If you realize you’re singing along to children’s songs when you’re in the car alone!

65.    If you are still pulling hot wheels out of the couch cracks. – Sharilyn

66.    If you find toys under the covers in your bed! –Lisa

67.    If you put his candy wrapper in your purse without a second thought – and he’s 40 years old! –Linda Brendle

68.    If you can’t help but picture the cartoon characters voiced when you see and hear them in another movie or show. -Jammie

69.    If you have given up showers in place of baseball hats, yoga pants just to squeeze more minutes into your busy day! -Tara

70.    If you’ve claimed you bought the Oreos/Hostess cupcakes/swiss cake rolls “for the children. –Sarah at 32Flavors

71.    If a baby peeing through onto your clothes doesn’t bother you at all. -Deanna

72.    If you’ve ever caught yourself saying “No, there is nothing in the bathroom you can lick.” – Stephanie S

73.    If when your husband surprises you with a romantic night away and all you think is ‘I can sleep ALL night and sleep IN in the morning’….which is NOT what he had in mind.  – Michelle H

74.    If you’ve pulled out a train from your purse instead of lipgloss. 
 -Molly Nelson

75.    If when going to the bathroom is an event… mom, kiddos and dog! Don’t want to leave anyone out! –Natalie

76.    If you start talking ‘baby’ talk to your friends.
 – Abby Pedersen

77.    If you ever prayed for poop…..and then did a happy dance and praised God when it came. – Anna Waldmann

78.    If you’ve ever taken a baby into the bathroom with you! – Sundae

79.    If you have ever let you kids think you were “sick” so you could take a nap! – Lorie D

80.   If you have stopped caring that you went 24 hours without a shower while wearing a puke-stained t-shirt. –Kristen

81.    If  any child at the park calls “mom” and you look. – Carly Gonzales

82.    If you read “we are THAT family” and can usually relate. -Jessica

83.    If you have taken a shower while singing silly songs to a kid in a bouncy seat in the bathroom. Whatever it takes!  -Amy Jo

84.    If you consider it a privilege to bathe or go to the bathroom alone. –Miranda

85.    If you’ve read Good Night Moon a zillion times and can quote it. -Becky

86.    If you have a secret stash of “mommy only” chocolate! –Amy

87.    If you’ve ever said don’t do THAT, you could rupture your eye!  – Elva Jeanne Syvertson

88.    If you’ve frantically cleaned pee out of the booth at carino’s … more than once. –Tara

89.    If you carry baby wipes and boogie wipes in your purse.

90.    If you have stayed in one position in spite of leg cramps, just so you won’t wake the child sleeping on you. – Brenda Torres

91.     If your purse doubles as a diaper bag. -Jessie

92.     If you dread daylight saving time and the week that follows! -Emily

93.     If the sweetest words ever spoken after your child says mommy for the millionth time, you yell “WHAT” and she replies ” I love you” –Sharlie

94.     If you would never think of ringing a doorbell or calling between the hours of one and three in the afternoon. -Emily C

95.     If you walk out the door with everyone’s hair done but your hair in the rearview mirror is still a matted mess. – Racquel

96.     If you try to read this list out loud and you’re laughing so hard that you are crying and nearly fall out of your chair. -Andrea

97.     If you’ve gone from happy to sad to angry to frustrated to elated to disgusted to enraged all within a span of 30 seconds or so and all while in the middle of the grocery isle. I’m so glad I’m not a mom; I couldn’t do it… Kudos to all of you.

Happy (almost) Mother’s Day, y’all.

Thanks to all the moms who left these comments on a giveaway post a few weeks back. They are worth their weight in gold!

A $15 [FREEBIE] Gift for My Readers

I’m excited to share this awesome freebie with y’all.

I love photos. I love photo gifts (to keep) and (to give). I have fallen in love with Paper Coterie. They have such unique photo product ideas and I’m always sharing deals on my Facebook page for this fun company.

Just look at my fancy spiral notepad. I’m a serious list-maker and this notebook is very important to me. I’m lost without it!

I also created this amazing memory box for keepsakes from our trips to Africa!

As a part of their new affiliate program, Paper Coterie is offering ALL MY READERS a $15 credit to make something special (to keep) or (to give)! Perfect for Mother’s Day!

Use code: GIFTFAVES  This expires May 14, 2012

Disclosure: this is my affiliate link. If you’re a blogger, you should become an affiliate too!

{Mother’s Day} Blessing Opportunity

*Updated* Everything has been spoken for. Thanks so much for loving mercy with us!

If you need sizes again, please check the chart below, but nearly ALL of these items have been spoken for. Thank you!!

Mother’s Day has taken on a whole new meaning for me in the past few years. I can’t help but think about the countless moms all over the world. The ones who long for their kids to not only survive, but thrive. We can all relate to that. Our family will be traveling to Kenya again this summer. We will be staying with our 8 girls and 8 babies (3 more due very soon)! The staff and girls have become our extended family in so many ways and we can’t wait to dig deeper in community with them. We will also be doing some staff development and vocational training. We want to bring our staff members and our young moms and babies a special gift. While all their needs are met, new clothes and shoes are a luxury and we want to bless them. We are also in the process of creating a baby stimulation room, so we are collecting small, developmental toys. Many of you support Mercy House already- and we thank you. We wanted to offer you an opportunity to be a part of this blessing. We’d like to give each girl, baby and staff member: a clothing item and a new pair of shoes. There are 54 opportunities!

-Toys-we are looking for SMALL developmental toys (space is limited)-All baby shoes, can be size 3 –first walking shoes -Clothing: shirts OR dresses (space is limited) -Shoes: sandals are fine for girls, women, tennis shoes for men -Items in NEW or LIKE NEW condition are appreciated. -You can choose more than one if you’d like.

Name Clothing Size Shoe size
 Cindy 1. ladies medium 2.  girls size 4
Lucy 3. ladies medium 4. ladies size 6
Sarah 5. ladies medium 6. ladies size 51/2
Quinter 7. ladies small 8. ladies size 7
Charity 9. ladies medium 10. ladies size 8
 Elizabeth 11. ladies large 12. ladies size 6
 Violet 13. ladies medium 14. girls size 4
 Edith 15. ladies small 16. ladies size 6
 Debra (skills teacher) 17. ladies small 18. ladies size 5
 Jotham (day guard) 19. men’s small 20. Mens size 8
 Zacheaus (night guard) 21. men’s  medium 22. Mens size 8
Annette (housemother) 23. ladies x-large 24. ladies size 7
 Maurice (driver) 25. men’s medium 26.. Mens size 9
 Austine (relief guard) 27. men’s small 28. boys size 6
 Maureen (director) 29. Girls size 12/14 30. ladies size 6
 Nicholas (Cindy’s baby) 31. 6-12 month 32. First walking shoes
 Lucy’s  unborn baby 33. 3  months unisex 34. First walking shoes
 Myles (Cindy’s baby) 25. 6-12 months 36. First walking shoes
 Precious (Quinter’s baby girl) 37. 12 months 38. First walking shoes, size 2
 Travis (Charity’s baby) 39. 12 months 40. First walking shoes
 Elizabeth’s unborn baby 41. 3 months, unisex 42. First walking shoes
 Violet’s unborn baby 43. 3 months, unisex 44. First walking shoes
 Hawi (Edith’s baby girl) 45. 3 months 46. First walking shoes
47. Developmental Toy 48. Developmental Toy
49. Developmental Toy 50. Developmental Toy
51, Developmental Toy 52. Developmental Toy
53. Developmental Toy 54. Developmental Toy



If you’d like to participate, please  leave a comment with the name/number you’d like to purchase. Unavailable numbers will be placed in bold. There are 54 opportunities!! Mail a wrapped package with CORRESPONDING NAME/NUMBER below on the outside of the package. Please do not send gift boxes or gift bags. The Mercy House  8000 Research Forest Dr Ste. 115-110  Spring, TX 77382

Thank you for loving mercy with us!

WFMW: Dayspring Mother’s Day Deals

Dayspring has some amazing deals for Mother’s Day right now!

I’m so glad I’m a mother.


Mother’s Day Special- 30% off 12 of the most popular items!

Coupon code for this sale is: MD30off

This code cannot be combined with any other coupon codes. This special sale ends Monday, May 14th. My post contains Dayspring affiliate link, all opinions are mine. Dear Mom and mother in law, please don’t read this post.

Dayspring goodies always work for me!

Rules to Live By {Giveaway}

UPDATE:  Emily (comment 194) has been randomly selected as the winner of this giveaway.

I’m a big rule follower. I like to color inside the lines.

Lately though, I’ve been trying to break my own rules and be more flexible.

And guess what? My house is a little messier, my laundry pile is a bit bigger, my to do list longer, but my life is more peaceful.

2+2 doesn’t always equal 4.

I stink at math. But I’m always reminded that time with the beautiful people in my life is really what life is all about.

That’s why I absolutely love RULES like this: (Plus, who doesn’t love subway art?)

I think when I focus on making these rules a priority, I remember life isn’t about things at all.

Alexander Creative has some awesome art for your walls!

I love this one for a boy’s room.

They sent me the  family subway rules poster and they are giving one away on my blog today to a lucky reader.

Everyone else, shop here!

Tell me what you’d love to hang on your walls from Alexander Creative and that will be your entry.

This giveaway ends on Thursday.

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Look for the Beauty

My sweet son begs to play tackle football and I can’t give in and instead let him negotiate his first bike ride to school alone. My mothering heart aches in tangled pride and fear. I follow secretly behind him in my minivan.

Sometimes I don’t know how to say yes or let my kids grow up.

I bribe my five-year-old to stay in bed one more night and step over tantrums before church on Sunday morning and I wonder who’s really in control.

Sometimes I can’t breathe because this mothering thing is so hard.

I wake up with a list full of plans and ideas and instead spend the day trying to solve a crisis. I am overwhelmed daily with inadequacy for this calling.

Sometimes I want to run away because I don’t know how to live this thing out.

Some days are hard: There are relationship challenges, misunderstandings, the money is tight, the house is broken, the kids fight, the dog pukes, chronic neck pain, the pressure to keep it all spinning builds…

I collapse into bed and second-guess my day, wondering if I was good at anything.

My life isn’t always beautiful.

As a matter of fact, there are parts of it that are just downright ugly.

The fear, the doubt, the second-guessing, the duct tape holding my dryer together.

But it’s in the tough places, that He teaches me.

If life was always pretty and perfect, I wouldn’t know how to search for the beauty. 

I wouldn’t understand that caterpillars need time in the ugly cocoon so they can transform into a butterfly.

I wouldn’t know that it’s only through irritation and pain that oysters form priceless pearls.

I wouldn’t appreciate that unbelievable pressure and heat produce sparkling diamonds.

Beauty is everywhere, but it’s appreciated even more in the hard places.

I have prayed for courage to rise up in my sweet son. I see it in the tilt of his chin as he buckles his helmet and leaves me waving in the driveway. I see beauty.

My oldest child comes to me late at night, so tall and mature, I hold my breath. “Will you lay with me?” she whispers and we talk deep into the night. Her little sister, following in her shadow. I see beauty.

Over Skype on a particularly hard day, Maureen and I say the words we are both feeling. This is hard. I want to quit. The very next day, we are a part of bringing a strong son into the world. We say it and mean it: I love this job. I wouldn’t want to do anything else.

An unexpected check in the mail, a cupcake on your doorstep, a friend who helps, a massage, a husband who loves–all beauty.

When the going gets tough, the tough look for the beauty. I’m learning this lesson in the hard places.

Beauty is often wedged between the hard and uncomfortable, adjacent to the difficult.

But when you find it, you’ll know exactly what to do with it.

How to Find Beauty in the Hard Places:

  • Rehearse His promises: Life is going to be hard, but take courage, He has overcome the world. John 16:33
  • Run to Him– He is our refuge- a very present help in the time of trouble. It may be hard, but we are never alone. Ps. 46:1
  • Rely on Him– Cast your cares (big and small) on Him, He cares about every detail. I Peter 5:7
  • Remember He’s got this– all things work together for good for those who love Him. Rom. 8:28

The Mother Letters

It’s a love story that captivated the blogging world.

A young father wanted to bless his wife, mother to his sons, with a gift that money couldn’t buy.

He initiated a movement called The Mother Letter Project. He asked mothers from around the globe to send his sweet wife a letter of encouragement.

Words poured in-countless letters offering humor, humility and hope. I remember typing out my letter, heart pounding in my ears. Searching for words to encourage someone in my own shoes.

I love love letters. And this story? It wrecks me. What a gift! These letters have been curated into an epic Ebook that will leave you breathless and thankful to be called mother.

This Ebook is for you. I’m proud to share it with you. And I’m honored that a portion from every sale supports our young moms at Mercy House!

Share it with a mom today. On sale $6.99. Click the book to purchase:

I look back on my first years of mothering, and I wish I knew then what I know now, “everything is going to be okay, the house will survive, you will survive, just love them well.

In celebration of mom, yourself, your sisters, your own mom, share the glory and the mess of every day life.

*Affiliate link in this post