My Summer Reads

This is really embarrassing.  I've been wanting to blog on a daily basis... I even have it all "thought out" in my head... things I want to share, pictures I want to post, recipes I've been loving to pass on, random thoughts (like these...), and much more!  But I've been pulled in too many directions and quite frankly, I would rather sit and read a book.

I can't believe that Summer is almost here.  But I'm excited to welcome a season that I associate with vacations, good weather, days at the park, bike rides, lazy times with friends, good movies, and GOOD BOOKS.  I'm looking forward to putting together a list of some good books I've been wanting to read.  And here are some that are on the Helen's List of Reads:

Do YOU have any suggestions for a good read this Summer?  I am welcoming any suggestions.  Leave me a comment!  Also, if you've read of the ones I listed above, let me know. 

Please vote!!!

PLEASE VOTE for my EtsyKids Design Challenge entry

I AM # 29!!!

Couponing Update

I'm officially in need of help!

Seriously, I am having fun figuring out ways to save on my grocery bills!  I would've never imagined how this whole "couponing" deal would pay off at the end of each month.  HOWEVER, it translates to this...

I've added yet another "task" to my daily routine... ORGANIZING!  These ladies say that the key to couponing is ORGANIZATION.  I've been in the process of organizing my coupons by categories inside a 3-ring binder, but I feel so overwhelmed just thinking about it.  I have some coupons already in the binder... but I still have a ridiculous amount of cut coupons in my little "accordion-like" coupon organizer (not pictured), uncut pages & pages of new coupons, AND the coupons I grabbed from my new "coupon swap" group.  Wonderful, right?  HELP!  What do I do?

I guess I'll continue to live "one day at a time"...

I'll be sure to share the final product (aka organized binder). 

By the way, I got these ladies to host a Coupon Workshop at my church on Saturday, June 19th @ 9:30am!!!  Come if you're in the area!!!!!  You won't regret it!

The week in review

What a week! 

Last week we drove to Indiana to see Joel's family.  It was a short visit.  Joshua got to see and ride on Papa's REAL tractor!  He LOVES tractors!! 

(Joshua and Papa)

And here are some cute shots of Joshua and his cousins...

Grandma, Papa, and all the kids...

Then this past Monday, my mother and sister flew in.  My mom is still in town, but my sis had to fly back to San Francisco on Thursday.  She and her husband will be moving to England at the end of this month.  It was a bitter sweet time with her.  "We'll miss you!" 

I can't believe Joshua will be turning ONE next month!  He is a true blessing!

My First Wish List... Last minute Mother's Day gifts FOR ME!!

I need to confess that I have been "drooling" over some of these Etsy shops...  SO MANY pretty and yummy things!  So I decided to put together a Wish List for myself... in honor of my first Mother's Day! 

I want them ALL! 

From Left to Right (Top to Bottom):

Feel free to support these wonderful Etsy Shops by clicking on their shop or item links. 
I truly enjoy each one of them!  So fun!  I might do more of these lists in the future!  What about you?  What's on YOUR wish list??

Giveaway winner

According to generator, the winner is...

#21 - SUE from MYSAVIOR!

Congratulations, Sue!

And a BIG THANK YOU to all of you who participated! 
This was very special for me, and I'm hoping it was a blessing to you as well. 
More giveaways to come...

Some thoughts...

If you're looking for my current GIVEAWAY, scroll down or click here

Last night I stayed up late(r) after watching 20/20's episode, "Mother's Little Helper".  The show featured moms that drink to get through the day.  These were mothers with young children, who saw nap time as "happy hour".  I was especially intrigued by how these women did not look the typical "drunk" on the street, at the bar, or parties.  These were once-career professionals, suburban & urban women.  The show went through what their typical day would look like, and eventually their decision to go toa 30-day Detox facility in Palm Beach, Florida. 

Being a chemical dependence counselor, I was fascinated by the topic.  I work with young people struggling to find hope for their addictions weekly.  But being a mother myself, I was sad and angry by these women's habits.  I remember drinking when I was in college.  I remember drinking post-college.  And I remember drinking WITH friends who are now parents as well.  It made me wonder... how many of them are still drinking AND parenting?  How many of my old friends are choosing to endanger their children by driving their children/babies after an afternoon at the park or a family gathering... or a party?  I haven't had a drink since the day I met my husband.  And the desire isn't even there (praise the Lord).  But my heart still aches for the children I saw on the show last night... and for the children of old friends who still choose to keep their habit. 

And then I think of our current lives now.  Are we people who might look at women (and men) and judge their drinking/drugging habit, but forsake the call to look into our own lives?  What am I spending my time and energy on?  Lord help me!  Lord help us to dig deep into our own habits... TV, the internet, shopping, hobbies, beauty, too much of anything? 

As I ponder at what my role as a mother, wife, friend, counselor, and neighbor is, I continue to trust that God has a specific task for me.  Lately I've been thinking A LOT about what brings me PASSION.  Is it counseling?  Is it crafting?  Is it parenting?  Is it sharing with other women?  Is it mentoring young women?  Could I bring all of those things together? 

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."  Ephesians 3:17b-19