Bible Reading Challenge Check-In


bible sample wide

Hey Friends! Monday is here and so is the Bible Reading Challenge check-in! After being so excited to have caught up on the reading, I got a day behind this week.

My time was filled with party preparations for the annual Ohio MPS family gathering that my husband and I host each year and I had a hard time adjusting and balancing my time throughout the whole week. This is the 12th year we have hosted this event. The first year we had about 27 people. Last year we had around 180 And this year, my approximate number at this point was 160. This number includes children affected by MPS and their families.

In the picture below, you will see 16 children affected by MPS. Just toconnect the dot s for you, my daughter, Taylor, has MPS and remember that Team Lift Your Voice on American Bible Challenge was playing for the National MPS Society?



I’m hoping to catch up quickly on the Bible Reading Challenge this week. And how is the reading going for you? I’d love to hear from you!

Have a marvelous Monday!



20 Things to Say to Encourage A Sibling

things to say to beat sibling rivalry

Ahhh, there’s nothing like the sweet life of summer. Quiet afternoons, sipping lemonade with my feet propped up…

Not exactly. But one can dream a bit, right?

Seriously though, I am enjoying summer and it’s flying by. I love summer so much that I’m digging my feet into the ground in effort to make it slow down a bit. However, there is one thing that has wearied me this summer. Maybe you’ve heard of it?


Sorry, was that a shout?!

I had to yell so you could hear me over the “Mo-om, he’s doing it again.” “She started it.” Ahem.

Perhaps I exaggerate. Just a tad. But wow, do we ever need to work on words that are flying from one sibling to another! For our family’s house rules, the first one is “Be kind.” So I frequently say to my children, “If you will follow the first rule, then you won’t have to even think of most of the others.”

Today I’m sharing the list of phrases that would be great for brothers and sisters to share with one another. If you’re like us and need a sibling rivalry break, then feel free to use this list of 20 things to say to encourage your sibling.

“But this will only give them something more to argue over.”

Perhaps we’ll make it a competition. Maybe the reward is surprise treats from Mom when she overhears SINCERE praise from one sibling to another. Just an idea. Would love to hear yours!

1. Thanks for helping me.

2. You can do it.

3. Good job!

4. Way to go!

5. That was cool.

6. I’m glad I got to see you accomplish that.

7.  Let’s try again.

8. I’m sorry.

9. No problem.

10. It’s okay.

11. Yes, you did it! I knew you could.

12. May I help you?

13. Wow- that was creative!

14. I’d love to.

15. You did awesome!

16. Sure, let’s go.

17. I appreciate what you did.

18.Want to play _________ together?

19. Let’s do it!

20. I’m thankful for you.

Having encouraging words to use IN PLACE of the words so often used between siblings can be transforming if we take the time to work on it. So I’m off to do that. And a few dozen other things.

HUGE thanks to our reader, Faith, for the awesome suggestion of this list!!

Have a fabulous Friday!


Helping Adopted Children Understand They Are Loved (and book giveaway!)

helping adopted children
Some of you may remember that my sister-in-law and brother-in-law adopted a little guy from China back in the winter. As extended family, my husband, myself and our family began loving on Toby as soon as we met him. Through our smiles and hugs, he could feel the love of his parents and siblings, as well as his extended family, which includes our immediate family.  Toby has an extra physical need because he is deaf. Long before he needed a family, God prepared my sister-in-law, MaryBeth, to be his mama. MaryBeth grew up with a deaf brother and learned sign language fluently; both of these life circumstances were part of God’s future plan for Toby. Teaching Toby how to communicate was at the top of the priority list when he was adopted, but helping him begin to understand that he is loved has been even more important than that.

I’ve not adopted a child, but through being a small part of Toby’s life over the last six months, I’ve seen the strong need for helping adopted children understand they are loved. MaryBeth and David, Toby’s parents, made the decision to love Toby. Oh, they fell in love with Toby, no doubt, but Toby didn’t come into their family by natural methods. They decided to love Toby.

A big part of showing Toby that he is loved is helping him understand that there are differences in each of us. Toby chose signs for the names of each person in our family. The signs sometimes symbolize a strong physical characteristic of that particular person. For example, my daughter, Tarah, has very long hair. Toby’s sign for her includes a long sweep of his hand to mimic her long hair. Toby understanding the differences between each of us was a part of assigning sign names for us.

Toby is still very young; he’s just 4 years old. He has three older siblings, my nieces and nephews, who are crazy about him. But as he grows older, he may question the love of his parents for their natural children versus their love for him. I don’t know- maybe he will grow so confidently and securely in their love that he will never question that.

Either way, I do believe that it is important for all children to know that each of us are unique and that no matter the color of eyes or hair or skin, God loves each of us. As parents, we love our children, no matter their differences.

i love you all the same book giveaway

Donna Keith is a writer who wants all her grandchildren to know just how much how they are loved and cared for. Her sweet book for children, I Love You All the Same, is a tremendous resource to help children understand that no matter their differences, they are loved. No matter the means of becoming their parents, whether natural labor or the labor of adoption, children need to know that they are loved.

I’m so privileged to be giving away a copy of this fabulous book today! This book would be great for the church preschool classes or to give as a gift to families newly adopting. Check out this fabulous book here: I Love You All the Same

Follow the Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway and I’ll see you tomorrow with the next part of the series, Lessons in Hope.

Have a terrific Tuesday!


PS: Check out this awesome video of Toby signing the National Anthem this past weekend!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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