God Gave us Two by Lisa Tawn Bergren (Children’s book)

We are expecting our 2nd child in a few months and I have been looking for books for our 2 1/2 year-old son that are about life with a new baby and being an older sibling.  Our son has enjoyed books that focus on being a big brother so I was looking forward to introducing God Gave Us Two by Lisa Tawn Bergren (art by Laura J. Bryant) into the mix.

The main characters are polar bears and the mother is expecting a baby.  The illustrations are colorful and interesting.  The polar bear cub asks several questions about what life with the new baby will be like including topics such as crying, gender of the baby, and what activities they will do together.  The author incorporates God into conversations several times by explaining to the polar bear cub that God gave them the polar bear cub and the new baby (“God gave us two”).

My son takes things very literally and is at an age where he can’t understand the similarities between a soon-to-be big sister and a soon-to-be big brother.  The polar bear cub is female and the book talks about being a big sister to the new baby.  The polar bear cub stays with her Grandparents when her mother goes into labor and we meet the new baby at the of the book.  The mother actually gave birth to twins so God Gave Us Two really should be titled God Gave Us Three.  The twins were a surprise to the characters in the book and it was a twist that I did not like (because I wasn’t prepared for it due to the title).  I would recommend this book for an older child that may not take everything quite so literally like my 2 1/2 year old son tends to do or a girl who will have twin siblings.  I believe reading my son a book about a soon-to-be big sister and having two babies would only confuse him since we talk a lot about his coming baby brother and how he will be a big brother.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review


Recap of Women of Faith 2011

What a weekend!  I have been to Women of Faith on two different occasions but this is the first real getaway with my family (mom, aunt, sister, and cousin).  We had so much fun in Kansas City!  I was excited to see some new faces on the lineup (as well as some old favorites) and I wasn’t disappointed.

There are several speakers that share throughout the weekend.  They all have different backgrounds, stories, and messages.  There really is something for everyone.  Women of Faith speaks into the hearts of women of all ages in all stages of life!  God is using Women of Faith to encourage, instruct, and love on women everywhere.  I encourage you to look for an event coming up near you and bring a friend or two or three…. 🙂  You will laugh and you will worship and you will probably cry a little too…  You will walk away encouraged! http://www.womenoffaith.com/events/

Some highlights from the talented speakers:

Patsy Clairmont: Sometimes God allows us to be in places of darkness to illuminate Him.  The enemy wants us to feel alone.  Our issues are common.  God has designegd us with a will that is stronger than our emotions!  We don’t have to be victims of our emotions.  We can act differently than we feel.   Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath.  Change doesn’t always come packaged in the way we anticipate.

Andy Andrews: Live intentionally.  What you put into your mind and heart matter.  We can’t filter it.  Choose wisely.  God feeds the birds but he doesn’t put the worms in the nest.  Get up, get out, and do.  Smile when you talk.  Share God’s love before you even open your mouth.  Everything you do matters.  Everything you don’t do matters.

Lisa Whelchel: Share your heart with others.  There is a difference between being transparent and being vulnerable.  Be a good friend.  Be a good listener.

Brenda Warner: Our circumstances do not determine who we are, God does.  I choose to have faith.  I choose God.  I will worship God no matter what.  We are the head and not the tail.  We are above and not below.  We will find favor with man and God.  we were created in the image of God to do good things and love people.

Sandi Patty: We must pick up God’s word every single day and believe it.  Do not operate as though the world’s lies are true.  We are enough for God and God is enough for us.

The Women of Faith worship team is awesome.  We also heard pretty songs from Sandi Patty and Amy Grant!

Cookie Monster Cupcakes


*Favorite cupcake mix

*Favorite frosting

*COOKIES (prefer chewy Chips Ahoy cut in half)

*food coloring (paste works best)

*mentos for eyes

*chocolate chips for eyes


1. Make your favorite cupcakes and frosting and cool.

2. Mix the blue food coloring paste until you are happy with the color

3. Frost your cupcakes and decorate as desired!


The crumbs around his mouth are easy and really add a lot to the overall look.  Make sure you make one of the eyes crazy so it looks more like Cookie Monster!  We tilted them up a bit so they kind of stuck out.  Regfrigerate until a few hours before serving.

DIY Onesie Appliques

So I’m trying to get my crafty self on but I don’t want to delve into something above my head or beyond my capabilities.  I ran across a onesie applique tutorial online and decided to give it a whirl.  I definitely used it as a guide but made some changes on my own so I’m going to give you my own instructions!





Materials needed:

-iron, ironing board



-machine washable iron-on adhesive, sewable if you plan to add stitching (I used HeatnBond LITE from Walmart)

-fabric (some crafty friends came to my aid with scraps they had for my first few trials and then I discovered fabric quarters at Jo-Ann Fabric which are about $1.99)


1. Decide on a shape for your applique.  I used my handy Cricut to cut the shapes (Give a Hoot & Playtime cartridges) but there are a lot of free shapes online or you really could just draw your own!  I use cardstock so the paper is thicker and not flimsy to trace.

2. Select your fabric and shirt/onesie and wash it w/o fabric softeners (I like to wash on gentle cycle so the fabric doesn’t fray as much.)

3. Iron your fabric and shirt/onesie and then iron it again and again and again…

4. Cut your adhesive and fabric into a workable size.  HeatnBond comes folded up so there are obvious rectangle shaped folds that I just cut out.  Follow the directions on your adhesive.  If you use HeatnBond you will then preheat your iron to med/hot but I prefer hot with no steam.  Place your adhesive on the back of your fabric (the paper liner should face up).

5.Place and hold your iron on the paper liner for a few seconds until bonded.  Cool

6. Trace your shape onto the paper liner and cut it out.  Peel off the paper liner.

7. Place your shape, adhesive side down, where you want it to adhere on the shirt/onesie.  Place and hold your iron on the shape for several seconds until bonded.

8. Once cool you can then use embroidery floss and an embroidery needle to create a stitch around the shape.  I’m a big fan of this step but I have trouble creating an even stitch (you could totally use a sewing machine, I just don’t have one) so I skip it for now.  I did feel comfortable adding a button to the bird’s eye as you can see above.  Just make sure you really secure anything you are adding to your design and make sure it is machine washable.  I recommend washing these inside out after they are made.

My December baby…

We decided it was time to make our family of 3 a little bit bigger.  Apparently, we are super fertile and I conceived within the month.  We were surprised but so excited!  I created a Shutterfly photo book and the last picture was a baby announcement photo.  We surprised our immediate families by having them look through the book and figure it out themselves.  After an ultrasound the due date was set to December 26th and everything looked great around 7 ½ weeks.  We went in four weeks later for what should have been the 11 ½ week appointment but the Dr. couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat so we had an ultrasound done right away.  The baby had died around 9 ½ weeks and my body just wasn’t reacting.  We were heartbroken. I looked at the calendar and realize the baby died around the same day that my Beloved Grandmother also left this world.  That made it harder but I also had the image of my Grandma loving on my unborn baby in Heaven with Jesus and teaching him or her some of her little sayings like, “I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.”  That was comforting but made me miss my Grandma even more.

We knew of other close friends that had gone through miscarriages but just didn’t expect this happen to us.  We were praying for this baby before he or she was even conceived.  Everything seemed perfect.  I had a D&C done the next day.  Walking around with a dead baby inside of you is a very awful feeling.  Walking around with an empty womb when there should be a baby growing inside of you can be even worse.

They say the instance of miscarriage is around 50% with many miscarriages happening so early the mother doesn’t even know she conceived.  Some of my very best friends have experienced the heartbreak of miscarriage.  Some friends have had “natural” miscarriages, some “missed” miscarriages like me in which a D&C was required, and some have even had ectopic pregnancies.  I’ve seen their heartaches and walked through some of the grief with them.  They did the same for me.

It’s hard to explain what I felt after this happened.  I was shocked, dismayed, sad, angry, disillusioned, and at peace in a very short time frame.  One minute I wanted to try to conceive again as soon as possible and after a few weeks I realized my body needed time to heal and so did my heart.

I talked to my friends that had gone through miscarriage a bit and that helped because they knew exactly what I was feeling.  I leaned on my family.  I cried with my Mom.  I allowed myself to be sad but I didn’t stay there.  I knew that God was in control and his plan was much better than mine.  I trusted in Him even when I was hurting.  “For I know the plans I have for you, “ declares the Lord, “ plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

I just rested in God’s love and peace.  I placed my hope in Him, again.  I’m still sad about my December baby but I’m not broken.  God took care of me.  I want to encourage others to reach out and find healing if they have experienced miscarriage and have a hard time dealing with the emotions that inevitably parade through our hearts.  Sometimes it takes longer to heal and some of us need a little extra support.  That’s ok.  We’re all in this together.  You don’t have to grieve alone.

Enemies of the Heart, Andy Stanley


Andy Stanley states that there are 4 primary enemies of the heart that, if go unchecked, can completely ruin our lives.  He says that guilt, anger, greed, and jealousy are often the root of our relational problems and that we tend to blame our feelings and actions on others or simply ignore the problems.

He introduces each emotion and then dives in with plenty of real life examples of the seriousness of allowing these emotions to control us.  He then gives us the life application tips, scriptures, and even a plan to break free from these emotions.  The questions he asks throughout the book really dig deep into your heart and force you to acknowledge your short-comings.  There are discussion questions at the back of the book which aid the individual reader as well as a small group.

With God’s help we can conquer our emotions.  We don’t have to live as slaves to how we feel.  It is so important to check your heart and ask God to reveal sin.  Andy spends a little time talking about how the home environment affects children.  As a parent, I am encouraged to change my bad habits and rid myself of an ugly heart not just because it is the right thing to do.  I want to live freely in Christ so my children have a better opportunity to model Christ’s love and behavior and regularly check the conditions of their hearts.  This book will help you do just that.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Waterbrook Multnomah book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Be Glad

I have been studying Revelation with my friend Sara this summer.  Thanks to Beth Moore, many Bible Scholars, and God’s revelation we have learned so much!  Revelation is full of daunting events and strange word pictures but overall, in general, we “get” it.

Yesterday, during our lesson Beth Moore taught on the wedding supper of the Lamb and the raucous praise that will occur when Babylon falls.  We are told in Revelation 19:7 to “..rejoice and be glad and give him glory!”  The only other time we have this term “rejoice and be glad” in the New Testament is found in Matthew 5:12.  This is found in the Beatitudes and the people are told to “Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”    Now Revelation has quite a bit to say about the blood of the persecuted saints but that isn’t where I am going today…

The Greek word for “glad” is agalliao (ag-al-lee-ah’-o) and means from again (much) – to exult, rejoice exceedingly, be exceedingly glad.  We are told to hallomai (hal’-lom-ahee), to leap!  We so often say things like “I’m so glad….I made it on time, the sermon/lecture is over, we don’t  have to wait for a table….”  This is not the same type of glad mentioned here!  Are we spinning and leaping in delight for the Lord?  Are we praising him with exuberance?

My husband, son, and niece came home from the Downtown Farmer’s Market after Sara and I were finished with our study yesterday.  They had picked out a beautiful flower to give me and guess what kind of flower it was -a  GLAD!  Enjoy and be reminded to serve our AWESOME GOD with true gladness!

There goes the diaper…

My almost-2-year-old son (Grayson) has been undressing himself periodically around the house.  The problem is that he is also taking his diaper off!  He somehow gets my attention (whether this is purposeful or not I am not certain) and then it’s a mad dash to catch him and get his diaper back on.  He thinks this is hilarious and I admit it is kind of hard not to smile at his mischievous antics but who wants to clean up toddler pee/waste all around the house?!  The other day while he was watching his daily television program, Sesame Street, I took the opportunity to be productive and folded clothes in my bedroom.  When I came back a few minutes later he was sitting in an empty 3×2 clear plastic bin, where his blocks are stored, completely naked watching tv.  Tell me this phase will end soon!

Women of Faith 2011 Kansas City, MO Preview

I am thrilled to announce that I have been selected to be a Book Sneeze blogger for the Women of Faith conference in Kansas City, MO on November 4th and 5th, 2011.   I will be tweeting live from the event and will follow up with another blog post after the weekend is over.  I have been to a few Women of Faith events and there is just nothing else like it.  It is a time for reflection, tears, and laughter.  The speaker/entertainment line-up for this event includes Patsy Clairmont, Marilyn Meberg, Lisa Whelchel, Sandi Patty, Brenda Warner, Mandisa, Amy Grant, Deborah Joy, and Andy Andrews!

For more information on the line-up and registration go to:


Women of Faith events are refreshing and encouraging.  It is a very special worship experience.  I hope to see you there!