Intentional Marriage | A 31 Day Devotional | The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle

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One of the coolest perks about being an affiliate for the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is getting my hands on some of the book included early! Over the next few days I will be sharing some of my favorite ebooks and programs that are apart of the amazing bundle! Intentional Marriage: the art of loving your husband  {a 31 day devotional} is one of the fabulous books in the “Marriage” section of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle!

 

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In the introduction Crystal says “the biggest threat to marriages in our modern world is neglect. When we stop trying, we start drifting apart.” I have to wholeheartedly agree, once you’ve been married for any length of time it starts becoming comfortable you get caught up in the busyness of life you start only thinking about yourself and sadly we often become thoughtless.Over the last 14 years my husband and I have strived to not allow the busyness of life to take control and pettiness of personal bad habits (in both my husband and myself) but the thing is life is busy and it’s easy to sink into that. Because it is so easy to get consumed by life you have to make every day intentional before you find yourself right in the middle of marriage in crisis. My husband and I have watched countless marriages fall apart because of more than just drifting apart but because they just stopped caring, they stopped being intentional in their marriages in their lives together. They had reached crisis and stopped wanting to be together. I think that it’s a sad reality that this is so very common in this current  world that were part of, but it is and we have to be proactive!

Let’s talk about intentional marriage | 31 day devotional! Crystal Brothers did an awesome job putting this together!!

There are 31 different topics covered in the devotional, including:

  • Cooking your husbands favorite food
  • Five things you love about your husband
  • Date night
  • Be his support
  • Speak only what is helpful assure him of your devotion
  • and more

Each day is put together in such a way that is very easily to accomplish a matter how busy you are. There are four parts to each day

For example Day 15 is “Thank God for him”

  1. A Bible verse Philippians 1:3  “I think my God in all my remembrance of you,”
  2. 2-4 paragraphs discussing what it means to “Thank God for him” What does this mean? How do we do it? Practical tip on how to accomplish said task.
  3. A daily challenge, for this particular day the challenge is “give thanks for your husband every time you think of him having an attitude of things will change your actions towards him”
  4. Finally there is a section of “Daily Challenge” reflection that Crystal has provided on each page. There are number of lines to write some reflection about “today’s challenge” for example you can answer questions like: did today’s challenge go today did it go better-than-expected? did today’s challenge go worse than expected? depending on each days particular challenge you will have different question to reflect on and respond to. If you are like me you will end up doing this section at the end of the day.

I really like the way this devotional is put together! There’s not too much, there’s not too little, it’s absolutely perfect! No matter how much time you have or don’t have, you can do this Devo! I found that no matter how many activities we have each day or how many things I have to do I always have the time I need to read each day, do the days challenge or prepare for it, and spend time praying for my husband. It has to be intentional so I recommend doing it first thing in the morning depending on your situation it might before work, before the kids get up, or like me when the kids are having breakfast. Set a time and stick to it {as best you can}

Besides the fact that this is just an altogether wonderful devotional I love what’s at the end of the book…awesome resources like:

  • 101 ways to bless your husband
  • 101+ free/cheap date night ideas
  • 101+ conversation starters

I like to add to each day the time to pray and write out a prayer for your husband. We are all different, were all going through different things, each of our husbands are going through different things. I would highly suggest taking the time to really pray for your husband!  Pray the things that he’s going through both big and small, any issues that you are having with each other, family, friends {ect.} and lastly, that God will help you be the wife that he has created you to be for your husband.

I hope you grab up the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle and enjoy the Intentional Marriage Devotional as much as I did! As a reminder this bundle is a one time offer, once it’s gone, it’s gone!!!! There’s only 5 days left!

Keep an eye out tomorrow for more of My Favorite ebooks from the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle!

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Available Now | April 23 – April 28


Getting back into the swing of things…

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If you are like me then January is the “getting back on track” month after the Christmas season! I go through this every year. Sometimes it can be hard to re-implement the school day after it has been weeks of…well no school! Here are a few tips that have worked for me!

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Resume Regular Scheduled Programming:
Are you like me and have a homeschool day schedule that works great for you? I have worked very hard to create a day that will keep my kids eager and engaged! For our home it is very important to resume our regular day as soon as January begins! I have found in past years if I drift from the schedule Elias is used to it just adds more stress and drama!

A Lighter Load:
After resuming our schedule I do make a few changes for the first week or two in January.

For the first week I cut each subject in half, this works great! (example: instead of the regular 2 chapters in History we’ll do one. We will have 2 worksheets in Explode the Code rather than 4) Elias doesn’t feel overwhelmed and it helps revive routine!

I focus on non electronic subjects. I steer away from the iPad and computer for that first week! If your kids are anything like mine Christmas break involved more than their fair share of video games!

Electronic Free School Room:
This is VERY important for my family! It is too easy for preschoolers and a grade schooler to get distracted! We have a separate homeschool room in our house so it is easy for us to leave the iPad, cell phones, iPods, DS, ect upstairs! If you do not have a separate school room I would highly recommend an “electronics basket” large enough to keep all your family’s distracting electronics in! Then put the basket in your room…out of site out of mind!

I do have designated game times in our school day! DS time is only about 45 minutes in the whole school day (broken in to short game times) Obviously game time something that you have to decide for your family!

Limit Activities:
Limiting our outside the home activities is curtail for us in January! Our kids have been going going going since Thanksgiving and it is time for a slow down! In January we have two things outside the home…Homelink and AWANA!

Family Time:
Lastly, I think that ending the school day with family fun hour is so important! It doesn’t matter the game the location…just that you are doing it as a family! (example: today there is snow…a whole lot of snow…there a lot of fun out there just waiting for the end of the day!)

Please feel free to download my Homeschool Planner! I have gotten great feedback! It has really helped other moms on track!!

Review – GIANI Granite



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 Since we moved in to our home in 2006 we have made many changes and upgrades to make our house a home for our family. However, one thing has remained the same…the hideous pepto pink counter tops in our kitchen, thank you 1987 for that special gift!

We have always talked about changing them, but a “counter top” budget is just not a priority when you have little kids. My sister got new granite counter tops a few years ago and she got a killer deal…$450 for her huge kitchen, but still $450? No way! We looked around the Home Depot at all there different options, but to be honest we didn’t want to deal with the hassle of removing are set in sink and the glue. They also offer counter top paint…but it is flat, and comes in a number of very light muted colors, which is just not us!

A few months back I was visiting a wonderful friends blog Homemade Mom! She was doing a review on something I had never heard of “Giani Granite“. I went to their website, for first look I was so excited! Giani Granite is EXCATLY what I had been searching for and the price was right!!!

For $49.50 you can buy Giani Granite Paint for Counter tops! One kit will cover approximately 35 square feet of countertop space. For our Kitchen we need 2 kits. When I first opened the package, I was a little uncertain that the small cans would be enough to cover my counter tops, but the directions assured me that it would be more than enough. There are and number of different kits/colors that you can purchase. I decided on the Chocolate Brown. That kit came with:

-12 Oz. of IronCoreTM Primer-Base Coat

– 6 Oz. of Brown Feldspar Mineral
– 6 Oz. of Inca Gold Mineral
– 6 Oz. of Chocolate Brown Mineral
– 16 Oz. of Automotive Polyurethane Topcoat
– 6″ GIANITM roller arm and two roller pads
– 4″ GIANITM granite paint sponge
– 2″ Foam Brush
– Black Practice Poster Board
– ‘Paint-by-Number’ DVD for beginners
– Illustrated Instructions

BEFORE and AFTER…I just couldn’t wait until the end of the review!!!

BEFORE…
and

AFTER…

Do you see the AMAZING difference??? I was totally shocked when I looked at the before and after photos!!!

Tile Removal!
The Giani Granite Package arrived via UPS on a Wednesday. We started our “Kitchen Revamp” that night. I decided if I was going to have a beautiful new counter top, I need and new back splash…not the matching pink. Wednesday night we knocked out all the pink tile.
 This ended up taking a longer that expected so we didn’t primer (Step One) until Thursday. The next morning Friday I sponged on the Brown Feldspar Mineral, Inca Gold Mineral and Chocolate Brown Mineral.
Black Primer!
I was very surprised at how truly easy it was, and how beautiful it looked. Late Friday night I finished up the counter top with the Clear Top Coat! Saturday night I placed all the tile and grouted Sunday Morning. The kitchen was COMPLETELY different! I was concerned about how easy or hard for that matter it would be with the kids under toe. I was able to do everything while the kids were in bed or napping! Giani Granite is perfect if you have a busy family!

Watch a Giani Granite video

Giani Granite boosts 100% Satisfaction Guarantee! I am here to say that My husband and I are 100% Satisfied!

two colors!

Now with the brown! Beautiful!

How About a few more photos…I love my “NEW” kitchen!!!!

You might be thinking “It’s paint, not actual rock or granite, so how strong could it really be?” Well I have the answer!

How Durable is GIANI?
The GIANI polymers are automotive grade resins that are used in the manufacture of car bumpers, so your countertop is extremely durable. Like most new water-based resin technologies, the cure time for GIANI is approximately two weeks to achieve its full hardness. So even though you may use your counters in forty-eight hours, don’t aggressively scrub on them for two weeks.

1) Can it be scratched?

Yes, just like granite and Formica -its not recommended for cutting or chopping. The difference – is – if ever necessary – you can renew GIANI quickly and easily.

2) Will it stain?

It can if strong contaminates are allowed to set for a long period.

3) How long will it last?

As long as any conventional countertop.

4) Will it show fingerprints?

No, unlike mined granite, GIANI will not fingerprint because the clear resin surrounds the minerals.

5) Is it heat resistant?

Yes, GIANI is heat resistant up to 250F. As with Formica – it is not designed for pots or pans directly from ovens or ranges.


6) Can it be used outside?
Yes, GIANI is an automotive grade resin so it performs well outside. Note, GIANI is not designed for surfaces that will be submerged in water.

 If you need a counter top change, weather it be in you kitchen, laundry room, or a bathroom, and you don’t want to break the bank…You NEED Giani Granite! You will LOVE it, I Guarantee it!

You can head over to the GIANI Granite website to buy a kit of your own!

This Giveaway is now Closed! I hope you enjoyed the Review!

Wanna win a kit? GIANI Granite is offering one kit to a ALSNS reader!


If you’ve never entered a ALSNS giveaway, or need a re-fresher, visit the ALSNS Giveaway Guidlines

Mandatory Entry:


Follow ALSNS via GFC AND Like Giani Granite on Facebook


Extra Entries:


**The Giani Granite Giveaway will run from May 13, 2011 until May 17, 2011 at 6pm pst! It is open to US residents only. The winner will be announced May 17th by 9pm pst. Winner will be selected using Random.org**

Good Luck!!

The Gabby Mom’s – January Mission: True Treasures

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THE GABBY MOMS

We Gab * We Giggle * We Glitter

Are you familiar with Lorrie Flem and TEACH Magazine (now called Eternal Encouragement)? If you are homeschooling you will want to!! A few years ago a wonderful friend shared Lorrie with me and I have been hooked ever since.  This year I have been given the opportunity to be part of her new The Gabby Moms, I’m so thrilled to be apart of this amazing group of women! My “mission” this January is to share a new book she’s published will all my friends.

True Treasures is an amazing collection of the best of the best articles from the last ten years of TEACH Magazine on topics relating to homemaking, moms, marriage and parenting.

“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge it’s rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Proverbs 24: 3-4

True Treasures is divided into 6 sections, each one full of inspiring ideas, wisdom from the hearts of women, and encouragement to help you be a better wife, mother, and homemaker.

• Jewels That Make the Heart Sparkle
• Marriages Made of Solid Gold
• Parenting Pearls: Practical and Priceless
• Homemaking That Dazzles Like Diamonds
• Homeschooling Nuggets of Wisdom
• Godly Living That Glitters

Weather you have 5 minutes or two hours, you can benefit from the wonderful encouragement that True Treasures has to offer: such as devotional thoughts, practical tips, encouragement, and inspiration on every page. Every time I picked up the book I was drawn to the marriage and parenting sections. It was wonderful to read and know that their are other Mom’s and Wives going through the same things as I am going through!

While reading in the section Parenting Pearls: Practical and Priceless, I found my self laughing out loud (I will be adding the whining chair from page 57) In Addition I was also really convicted. This caused me to step back and look at my parenting thus far.

As a child, I had a dream. My true hearts desire was to become a Wife to a wonderful man…who I was sure would be Jordan from New Kids on the Block! In addition I wanted have Children and stay at home with them and homeschooling them, just like my mother stayed home and homeschooled me. I didn’t know what the Lord had planned for me, but I knew that that was who I was going to be, a wonderful wife, the best mother, and a great teacher.

Fast forward 20+ years…

Earlier this month my oldest son turned 6. He is a wonderful little boy. Now, he’s 6. With this ‘new’ big boy age there have been a lot new things, losing more teeth, eating more…and…More attitude. Suddenly he is 16, I don’t know what has happened, have I done something wrong? He started complaining about everything, bickering with his younger siblings, and testing every single boundary about 6 months ago.  Bedtime became an unglued mess. I feel like I am losing my patience, I hate yelling but I do, I dislike the kind of Mommy I fear I am becoming.

While seeking the Lord things have become very clear. The Lord has showed me that I have been spending so much time trying to ‘Change’ my 6 year old that I have lost sight of the fact that I need to be the one to change. How can I raise a Christian man, when I am totally unglued? Which became abundantly apparent when I over heard my Children playing together. It was like a ton of bricks on my shoulders, Elias was acting like me. My Heart sunk, ‘is this really who I have become?’ I thought to my self. After spending some much needed time with the Lord, I found my boy and had a much needed talk. I apologized to my precious little boy. How was he supposed to meet these expectation set before him when I wasn’t doing my job and guiding him? Actions truly do speak louder than words don’t them?

While Seeking the Lord, I asked to him to show me where I need to change and boy did he! Spending more time with Jesus was a big lesson I had to learn. I’ll be honest, life gets hectic with kids crying, yelling, asking for this, asking for that. Unfortunately, it’s me who gets lost, my relationship with Jesus gets put on hold. And, for what? So I can lose my patience? I know that is NOT what God wants. 

Jesus is working me and doing some really amazing things. I prayed for the Lord to change me. Before, I was praying like this “Lord, what have I done, why have things be so hard, please help things get better. Amen.” While reading in Philippians something stuck out at me. ‘am I praying for the right things?’

Philippians 4:6 tells us: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Over the past few months my prayers have become more like this ” Lord, please help me train my children in a way that is pleasing to you, guide me to be the Mother you want me to be. Please, Lord help me also become the wife that you created me to be…”

Proverbs 2:6 reads: “For the LORD gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”

My life is never too hectic to spend time with my heavenly Father. I have a fire inside me for the Lord that I have not had in quite sometime and it feels WONDERFUL! I have been so surprised that the amount of patience I have acquired through the Lord.  Like today for instance, standing in the middle of my Living Room, I look around and think to myself, ‘it looks like I run an in home daycare with 30 kids.’ I’m not mad or upset; I just laugh and thank God for the wonderful gift of getting to spend everyday with my wonderful Children. The sit down on the floor and play too!

Proverbs 24:3-4 “By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures.”

Living everyday with joy and happiness has left my children living everyday with joy and happiness. Being a mommy is more that just talking at your children, being a mother is guiding your children in more than just word but by actions! My son sees me spending time with the Lord everyday, because of this he spends his own time with Lord, praying for friends and family! He recently was drawing and so excited to show me what he had drawn. “It me mommy, and that is Jesus living in my heart!” With tears in my eyes and warmth in my heart I gave my little guy a squeeze!

Psalm 118:24 “The LORD has done it this very day;
let us rejoice today and be glad. “

Read Excerpts from True Treasures HERE!

At the end of the Parenting section there is a page entitled ‘Bible verses to Pray for your children’ (page 53) No matter how many times I opened the book, with out fail I found my self on that page, reading the verses over and over. These verses are what encouraged and pushed me into this ‘art’ project!

Elias age 6
Simon age 16 months
Gabbi age 16 months

I made a these photos of my children and added a bible verse to each. These photos will be displayed over our bed in our master bedroom. A bright reminder that these three little people are a wonderful gift, given from the Most High.

“But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children” Psalm 103:17

Oh my goodness!! I almost forgot to mention ‘Yippee it’s STILL Free!’ (page 85)

Yippee it’s STILL Free is one of the longest running columns from TEACH. In the beginning it contained addresses and phone numbers of companies with free Homemaking and Homeschooling help. Now with the amazing technology we have at our fingertips it is chock full of fantastic websites full of Freebies!!

I completely love gardenofprasie.comthemathworksheetsite.com & letteroftheweek.com they have tons of great printables that my son loves! Our family LOVES pandora.com I think we probably have 10 stations we have created for every changing mood!! There are honestly so many sites listed that I have only visit 2/3 of them!!

True Treasures is a wonderful resource for everyone, weather you be brand new mom to the most seasoned homemaker such as my Mom who was encouraged by the word in the book and wished she had it when all nine of us where still at home. Then there’s me! I have been married for nearly 10 years, a mama for 6 (to my 6 year old son and my 16 month old boy/girl twins), and homeschooling since birth…but structured for 4, and I found encouragement on every page. Truly this is a resource I’ll turn to for inspiration again and again…I already have!

Every Mama, Wife and Teacher needs encouragement and to know that someone truly understands! You can always find the best with True Treasures, Eternal Encouragement magazine, and at http://www.homemakingwithteach.com/.

Click HERE to order your very own copy of True Treasures! The regular price is $19.99, however, if you order before May 31st 2011 you can get $4.00 off by entering the code GabbyMom at checkout. (Only 1 use per customer and per order.)

Please check out all the other great resources available at http://www.homemakingwithteach.com/ including the wonderful magazine where all the articles from True Treasures came from, Eternal Encouragement (formerly TEACH) You can download a FREE SAMPLE ISSUE to see why it is truly a blessing for all women today!

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“Our impact on the next generation may
be far greater than we realize. Don’t discount
your work today. You never know what your long-term
yield will be. Keep on keeping on. Love, Lorrie”
(Letters from Lorrie’s Laundry Room, Spring 2003)


**I received True Treasures for honest review from TEACH (Eternal Encouragement) Magazine as a part of The Gabby Moms blogging program. All opinions expressed are solely my own.**

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Mama Britni