Monday, March 31, 2014

Teaching The Value of Life To Little Ones, And a Perfect Book For Spring

I had the awesome opportunity because of a successful book launch for the ABC's of Freezer Cooking  to attend the Allume Blogging Conference in South Carolina.  I had an amazing time.  

I was able to meet some fabulous bloggers, get connected with some wonderful charities and learn about some awesome books being released by Christian publishers.

It was when I was speaking with a representative from B&H publishing that I learned the story of Angie Smith, the author of "Audrey Bunny."  I immediately started crying and the rep offered to send me a free copy to review on my blog, and one to give away too. Apparently the representative assumed if I cried simply from the back story and synopsis of Audrey Bunny, I'd probably review it favorably.  She was right. 

What makes this book so special: I was initially drawn to this book because of the artwork by Breezy Brookshire, whose blog I've followed on and off for awhile.  Her illustrations remind me of my mother's for one, but they absolutely capture the joy of children in a tender realistic way.

In the book there is a little bunny with a mark over it's heart.  The bunny waits in the toy store, afraid it will spend it's whole life at the bottom of the stuffed animal barrel because of it's imperfection, until a little girl falls in love with the sweet bunny.

The bunny attempts to hide the mark from the little girl whenever they play, only to later discover it was because of the imperfection she chose him.

My children loved the story the story from the first time I read it to them.  In fact my daughter has a bunny that's holding a carrot over it's heart (like the bunny in the book who was always trying to hide it's mark behind something) she's named Audrey that immediately became a favorite toy after reading the book.

What's truly wonderful about the book though is the fact it opens the door to discuss how God made us all, and knit us together in our mother's womb.  In fact there is a discussion section in the back of the book as well.

Why I started crying when talking to the B&H representative:  The story is incredibly sweet yes, but that's not why I started crying at Allume.  I started crying because the whole reason why Angie Smith wrote Audrey Bunny was because she had lost a baby to a horrible heart defect.

While pregnant she was told her child wouldn't survive long after birth.  Rather than terminating the pregnancy she carried her baby.  She felt her baby move in her body, she grew to love her baby, she and her family celebrated the life of her child even though it was terribly brief.

She loved her daughter Audrey because of her heart defect, not in spite of it.  Having dealt with 3 miscarriages, this is why I started crying in front of a complete stranger.  

You can enter the giveaway below, or buy the book on Amazon.

The Giveaway:  I have one hard copy of the book, and for fun I'll also send a sweet little stuffed bunny (one I bought myself) with it.

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

It's Almost Time To Tap Your Trees!

So it looks like warmer weather *might* be on it's way.  While much of the nation is gearing up for an ice storm, Michigan might actually have temperatures above freezing next week.

Say what?  How does that happen?

I feel bad for all of you who will be digging out of your driveways, believe me I do.  But let's just say I've dug out of our driveway enough times this winter thankyouverymuch.

The whether is getting just a little warmer, which means it's about to be perfect for tapping maple trees!

Once the whether in your area stays over freezing in the day, but drops below freezing at night the sap starts flowing, and you can start tapping.

So if you're interested in tapping Maple Trees, be sure to check out my other posts, and sign up for the newsletter to get your free eBook.

How To Tap Your Trees (It's easier than you think and it doesn't cost a lot of money)
How To Turn Sap Into Syrup
How To Can Maple Syrup

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Friday, January 31, 2014

Do You Need Help With Daily Devotions?

I have a free devotional book for those of you who are (or become) subscribers to my newsletter.

If you've been looking for a quick timeless devotional take a minute and subscribe.

If you've already signed up here or at just enter in your the e-mail you used (you won't get double) and it will send you straight to the download page.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A New Place For the Homeschool Mom

Okay so here's the deal.  For those of you who don't know me, I am a moderately funny, former educator, turned blogger, author and stay at home homeschooling mom of 3 wonderful kids.

I also have big dreams.  And I don't mean kind of big dreams like sing the national anthem at a Tigers Game (although I'd totally love to do that), I mean knock your socks off only God himself can fulfill them kind of dreams. One of these dreams just so happens to be writing a novel with my husband.  This is "the" book.  The one that wormed its way into our brains and won't let go.  It's the book I'll actually be sending to agents.

I have literally taught every age level from pre-kindergarten, to elementary school, to middle school, to high school, to college, and even senior citizens professionally.

I'm no longer teaching professionally and I've started the journey of homeschooling with my own children and there are times when I'm bursting with ideas and other times when I'm overwhelmed.

Long Story Short Lessons From Ivy is getting a little face lift.

 Before it was mostly my ramblings of motherhood and every day life.  Moving forward I'd love to create a community for other homeschool moms like me, and plenty of encouragement.  Oh and a truck load of free Printables ;)

Here's the deal, this blog post is just to let you know what's going on.  I'm not re-launching the website for a few months yet, maybe as many as 6.  For the moment I'll simply be sharing posts and printables I hope will be a blessing to other homeschool moms.

So if that's you, take a minute and subscribe if you haven't already.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

A Psalm for the Depressed and Grieving

I started out today wanting to make a blog post and an info-graphic of Psalm 42 verse one which reads "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God."

I found a picture of a beautiful stag and I started researching fun factoids about deer to include in today's devotion.  I wasn't sure who wrote the Psalm so I started researching that as well.  Come to find out the only real information we know about who wrote this Psalm of the Bible was that it was written by someone who was struggling with depression.  The direction of my post completely changed.

I've received a handful of e-mails over the past week from women struggling from depression and my heart beaks for them.  What breaks my heart even more is that these women have been told to "snap out of it" by family and friends.

Sadly, grief is not something you can snap out of.  Clinical depression is not something you can snap out of.  As I read this Psalm, I can almost feel the writer telling himself to "snap out of it."  He knows in his mind that God is his rock (vs. 9) but he still continues mourning.

This Psalm doesn't have a step by step cure for those with heavy hearts, but in it we can see a person whose depression was used for the Glory of God.  We can see that despite, great pain and heart-ache, this Psalmist still chose to Praise God.

Praising God when we ache is never easy, but sometimes that's all we can truly do.

"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God" Psalm 42:11

 I encourage you to read the whole chapter today.  What passages of scripture have blessed you in times of sadness.

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Slow Cooking Tips

I made this image with slow cooker (crockpot) tips for my pinterest page but figured I share it here too.

For those of you who can't see the image. Here are the tips.


Add these at the End
-Dairy Products
-Tender Vegetables
What are your best slow cooker tips?

Foods on the bottom cook faster

If you don't want something simmering in the juices, cook it in a foil packet. 

1 Hour on High = 2 Hours On Low

If your sauce is too thick remove the lid and turn the crockpot to high for the last 1/2 hour of cooking.

What Are Your Best Slow Cooker Tips?

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Pin My Post Friday

Last Week I started a Pinterest Board for Christian bloggers/authors.  It's so we can get a little more exposure to a larger audience for our own work but so that we can also share blog posts/books that have blessed us by others.

If you've never been a part of a group board, this will be the perfect one to get you started.  The only "rule" is whatever you pin must be by a Christian writer.

How To Join:
1) You must follow me @
2) Leave a request in the comments with your pinterest user name.
3) I'll add you some time this weekend and then you can start pinning to your hearts content.  Easy Peasy!

Now it's time to link up your most popular posts so we can all pin them! Feel free to link up your PINTEREST PAGES too, just include Pinterest page in the title of the post : ) 

I hate picking favorites so.............
I will do my best to pin each of your posts this week as a thank you!

Here are the rules:

1) Share this post somehow, take two seconds to pin it, or use one of the buttons below to share on facebook, twitter, or whatever.  Or you can always just link back on your blog.  Bonus points if I get a place on your sidebar : )

2) Visit at least 3 posts and Pin them!

3) As a thank you to me for hosting the link-up (it does cost just a little money) Promise to give me your first born  sign up for FREE e-mail updates using the form at the bottom of the post so you can get your Free eBooks, and so you don't forget about the party next week.
*Note since this party is still growing I run the link-ups for several weeks that way everyone's posts get more exposure.  Just be sure to visit the posts towards the bottom too!*


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