Thursday, July 30, 2015

bedtime devotions with jesus {giveaway}

Bedtime Devotions With Jesus

Guess what? Tommy Nelson has a new devotional book! The cover of Bedtime Devotions With Jesus is just adorable, isn't it? There's a lot of devotional books out there so I'll highlight the things I love about this one and what sets it apart from the others.

  • Each devotion was written by a different person from churches all over the U.S. I love how this creates variety.
  • Each devotional has a Scripture, a devotion, a prayer, and a simple one liner at the end to ponder.
  • The graphics are very appealing to 4-6 year olds.
  • I always love a good hardcover, especially with cute bears on them!
Check out the online flipbook to see what I mean!

As with any devotional book, it's a perfect time for parents and kids to sit down together to be in God's Word, learning and growing. How beautiful to think on God's promises right before bed!


I have one copy of Bedtime Devotions With Jesus up for giveaway courtesy of Tommy Nelson! Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends August 6th at 11:59 PM CST. Enter through Rafflecopter below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a free copy of Bedtime Devotions With Jesus from Tommy Nelson in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

noah's noisy zoo {giveaway}

Noah's Noisy Zoo

It's another cute board book giveaway! Noah's Noisy Zoo is sure to be a hit with the babe in your arms. The text is simple, but the beautiful, vibrant pictures of animals are sure to be good eye candy for your sweet tot. The owls are my favorite. I mean, just take a look. You'll see what I mean.

I love the fit together cut-outs that will intrigue young ones to touch and feel the shapes. A sensory experience for sure!


I have one copy of Noah's Noisy Zoo up for giveaway courtesy of Tommy Nelson! Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends July 30th at 11:59 PM CST. Enter through Rafflecopter below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a free copy of Noah's Noisy Zoo from Tommy Nelson in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

jesus calling for little ones {giveaway}

jesus calling for little ones

I own the adult version of Jesus Calling as well as the children's devotional, so I was super excited when Thomas Nelson also released a Jesus Calling for Little Ones! It could be my obsession with super cute board books, but I think it goes beyond that. This little book for 0-4 year olds is a smaller, simpler version of the beloved Jesus Calling books that have challenged and encouraged me and my kids over the years.

This sweet little book is a perfect way to instill Biblical truths in our young ones starting from a young age. From talking about being created in His image to the closeness of God's presence to thankfulness, this book is packed with so much! It's a must for your children's library! Check out the flipbook to see what I mean!


I have one copy of Jesus Calling for Little Ones up for giveaway courtesy of Tommy Nelson! Giveaway is open to U.S. addresses only and ends Thursday, July 23rd at 11:59 PM CST.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a free copy of Jesus Calling for Little Ones from Tommy Nelson in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

independence day celebrations

happy 4th

We had a great, relaxed time on Saturday celebrating American Independence Day in South Africa! We started with some patriotic pancakes, cooked by moi, designed by Emma G. A bring and bbq in the late afternoon provided an assortment of cuisine the complimented our desserts, berries on skewers and fruit tart made with homemade lemon curd!

Card playing was part of the entertainment while waiting for the meat to finish. Other entertainment included some Hell's Fury fireworks. You take what you can get when fireworks aren't in season. Sparklers were enjoyed by every age. We ended the evening with a game of Capture the Flag, organized by my very own Emma Grace. Our team won, not that I'm competitive or anything.

star pancakes


fruit tart


cards women

cards men

hell's fury


sparkler magic

lighting a sparkler

If you celebrated, I hope your fourth was as festive as ours!

Friday, July 3, 2015

happy 4th!

happy 4th!

The 4th of July brings so many happy memories to my heart. It's one of those holidays that I feel the need to celebrate no matter what country I'm in. My American friends, as you begin your festive gatherings tomorrow, we'll have already enjoyed our barbecue and fireworks show. That's right. Fireworks are a must. You can read more about why my American roots go deep at times over at Petit Elefant. I hope you all have wonderful Independence Day celebrations!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

appreciate the differences


Differences are everywhere. It's what makes us beautiful and unique. It's also what can be difficult. Join me over at Tommy Nelson as I share three ways we can teach our kids to appreciate the differences in all of God's creation!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

scary close {giveaway}

scary close

I just finished reading Donald Miller's newest book, Scary Close. He takes a very up close and personal look at relationships and intimacy. He's raw and real about his own life, his own mistakes and learnings that have led him to believe true intimacy is scary. Why? Because it takes a vulnerability to be the true you and let yourself really connect with others. It takes "dropping the act" to be known. That can be scary, but like the tagline on says, "When you're good at relationships, you're good at life." Relationships are worth it.

I found Scary Close to be an enjoyable read packed with punches that caused me to stop and ponder. There's some incredible truths with a depth that can easily be missed if you don't pause and process. There were two main parts of the book that I found challenging as I examine my own life. The first was the chapter on the five kinds of manipulators. Ouch. He was spot on with describing them. It was when he mentioned that we're guilty of all of them at some point and that we need to work to keep them in check, that I realized I needed to be in tune to my words and actions. Manipulation destroys relationships, and I don't want to be the cause of destruction at any time.

The other thing that impacted me was when Don talked about his friend, Bob, and how, in the height of Don's relational difficulties, Bob told him that he was good at relationships. That's not how Don felt, but Bob was speaking to the potential, and you know what it made Don do? Rise up, and be good at relationships. I want to be someone that speaks to the potential in others.

After reading this book, I feel challenged to let myself be "scary close" to others. True intimacy is a blessing that should never be taken for granted. Even though it's vulnerable, it's worth it.

Two thumbs up, Don Miller. Thanks for your vulnerability as you revealed the deep parts of your heart and let us in on your learnings. Go read it, guys. Seriously.


Good news! I have one copy of Scary Close up for giveaway courtesy of Thomas Nelson! Giveaway is open to U.S. addresses only and ends Thursday, July 2nd at 11:59 PM CST. Enter through Rafflecopter below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit to download a free soundtrack! There's some awesome artists on there!

Disclosure: I received a free copy of Scary Close from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

curry and babies



Thai Green Curry

Joshua was conceived 14 years ago next month in a little bamboo hut in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. TMI? Sorry, guys. That's probably way too much information for a Wednesday. However, if you want to read all about the adventure and the food that turned my stomach for NINE years, then head on over to Petit Elefant. There's even a curry recipe over there!

Monday, June 22, 2015

outdoor pallet coffee table {diy}

outdoor pallet table

Some of you got wind of my pallet project(s) on Instagram. It's slow going, but I've had the table done for a couple of weeks now, and I think it's high time I showed you! It's super simple, y'all, and as you've probably gotten used to, I have no photos of the process. I really tried. I even brought my camera out, but I get so carried away that I forget to pause and shoot.

This, however, is the most simplest of things to make. Really, it is. I've never made furniture except the occasional IKEA piece. I do believe if I can do it, anyone can.

Supply List

  • 2 pallets - any size, it just depends how big you want your table to be
  • hammer or crowbar
  • drill & screws
  • 4 wheels
  • primer & paint OR varnish to seal the wood
  • paint brushes


1. Using a crowbar or hammer, start by taking all the top pieces of wood planks off of the piece that is going to serve as the top piece to your table. You can leave the two ends. You will also need to take off about every other plank from your second pallet. This step is totally optional, but I didn't want such huge gaps in between my planks of wood. This is, by far, the hardest, most time consuming step.

2. After you get your wood planks off, arrange them on the top piece, trying to make it as flush as possible. Mine still had a little gap after I added about four planks of wood.

3. After you get the planks arranged, drill them into the pallet. You've already made your top piece!

4. On the bottom side of your second piece, screw a wheel into each corner. This is also optional, but I wanted wheels to make it easier to move around and sweep the verandah.


5. After your wheels are screwed in, flip that second piece over and put the first piece on top of it. My pallets were so heavy that there was no need to screw the pieces together. VoilĂ ! Your table is finished!

6. Finish your table by sealing the wood. I chose to prime mine with wood primer and then paint it white, because that's what I had on hand.

outdoor pallet table

I'm making plans to start making the outdoor couch and chairs, so stay tuned for more amateur furniture making coming up soon!

Friday, June 19, 2015

gymnastics competition

gold medal

Last Friday Emma Grace had her Level 1 gymnastics competition. I've always loved watching the Winter Olympic gymnastics competitions on TV. While this was on a much smaller scale, the mats were all a buzz with activity...floor exercise, uneven bars, parallel bars, was great!


My kids were started a new school this year. It was hard. They, fortunately, made friends quickly, but the homework load and the adjustment was almost too much for Emma Grace. The first two months she begged me twice a week to let her quit gymnastics. I told her no, that we weren't going to make any decisions like that for at least six months. She was adjusting, and I recognized that, but it was agonizing. Physically making your child go to something because you know it's probably the best for them is not an easy task.


I'm glad I didn't relent, though, because she's in an entirely different place now. She loves going to practice. She did so well at competition that she came home with a gold medal! I'm so proud of her for sticking it out when it was hard. I hope she's learned an important lesson about perseverance!

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