Friday, February 29, 2008

The Heart of the Matter Meme--Assessment

Today's meme from The Heart of the Matter requests a response to the following quotation:

“The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson.”
~Tom Bodett

This quotation conjures up many thoughts about assessment from my days as a public school English teacher. Assessment, in the form of standardized tests, was a high priority for principals and district office personnel. Although I understand that assessment is a necessary evil in public schools, I continually tried to provide assessment that would meet both state standards and be a means whereby students would learn something as they took the test.

Reflection and evaluation was a big part of my exams. Upon ending the semester, students were not asked mark multiple-choice questions but were assigned essays that caused them to think about the literature they read and their performance on various assignments. For example, here was an assignment for English IV (high-school juniors) that counted for their exam grade:

A Literacy Quilt

Your exam for Fall Term 2 of English IV Honors will consist of a reflection on your growth as a reader and writer in this course.

In The End of Education (Knopf, 1995), Neil Postman states, “Our citizens believe in two contradictory reasons for schooling. One is that schools must teach the young to accept the world as it is, with all the culture’s rules, requirements, constraints, and even prejudices. The other is that the young should be taught to be critical thinkers, so that they become men and women of independent mind, distanced from the conventional wisdom of their own time and with strength and skill enough to change what is wrong.”

Reflecting on this concept, select a minimum of three works you have read in this course (you may use Independent Reading for this course, too) that have led you to value, admire, accept, question, criticize, judge, or reject aspects, elements, or qualities of the world as you see it. Think about how these works have developed you as a writer or thinker.

In addition, look through your writing folder and select a minimum of three compositions you have written for this course that demonstrate different aspects of your growth as a writer. As you will want to show a complete picture of yourself as a writer, you may want to choose three different kinds of writing (essay, ballad, story, etc.).

Research quilt patterns to select one that you would like to create. A good web site that offers explanations and visuals is . You may create your quilt in almost any format you choose. You could simply draw or paint the design in 2-D format, or you could cut out the shapes, punch holes, and string it together. Some of you may even choose to use actual fabric. Add the titles of your works in the shapes of the quilt, and add a symbol, word, or phrase in an adjacent shape to describe how this work has influenced your reading or thinking or how the composition demonstrates your growth as a writer. In an inner section, give a symbol, word, or phrase that describes yourself as a literate person: yourself as a reader and writer.

In addition to the quilt, you should write a composition explaining your quilt and your development as a reader and writer in this course. Refer to my example and composition that is displayed in class, as well as the accompanying rubric.

The rubric included grammar, diction (vocabulary), and style, so all facets of an English course were covered. Most importantly, this project engaged students' critical thinking and evaluation of themselves and their work in the course, something that will foster their lifelong learning far more than an objective test could.

This type of assignment is far beyond my four-year-old right now. I am, however, planning on having her go through her 4K folder and choose her favorite things that she did, least favorite thing, and the thing that she felt she did best on and why. In addition to nurturing the habit of self-evaluation, I think this will also help to cull all the paper!

I believe that many homeschoolers cherish the freedom to create assessments that will foster learning and not simply measure learning. I know that I am looking forward to creating experiences that will cause my children to reflect on themselves as learners.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

What's On Your Desk?

I've been tagged by Katherine over at Cornerstone Classical to show what is on my desk. Gasp! Here is where my pretensions at organization are shown for what they really are!

Our computer desk is in a downstairs bedroom that we are using for an office. On my and Joel's shared desk is our computer, a stack of correspondence combined with some pictures that Joel used in a slideshow he created for my grandfather's birthday, and a stack of Christmas cards and birthday cards (Jan.) for my son because I don't know where to put them. Also on my desk is a DVD case that is probably left over from burning the slide show and a CD that my son probably pulled out of a drawer. My daughter also has a page of paper on our desk that has number 5s on it that she was practicing writing. Also, as I am typing this, she has graced the desk with a picture she has drawn of her and her "bestest friend" swinging that she will give to said friend tomorrow.

The last stack on my desk has pages that I've printed out from Adventures at Allen Academy for a Scripture Memory System that I've been setting up today with Emily Anne's help. On top of these pages is the book A-Z of smocking, and crowning this stack is my NIV Bible. The only other thing on the desk right now is a stapler that I brought from upstairs because the stapler from the desk drawer is not working (You would think that I would be able to unstuck a stapler, but I am in no way mechanical.).

I think I need to order some of these pretties to organize some of this clutter.

Oh, I forgot something. Dust. Lots and lots of dust.

Now, let's see what's on these ladies' desks:

Thirstin' for the Word Thursday

"If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink." (John 7:37b)

Feeling a bit parched? Searching to quench that thirst with an iced tea or Diet Coke? Dive into the Word for real refreshment!

I try to be diligent in my Bible reading and am often rewarded by God's speaking to my heart through particular scriptures. I pause and sometimes even write them down. The reflection usually ends there, however. This year, I would like to pursue the verses that God lays on my heart by pondering how He wants me to apply these verses in my life.

Here is what spoke to me this week:

"Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them." (Deuteronomy 4:9)

How easy is it to forget what God has done in our lives? Too often I find myself caught up in the problems and irritations of the moment without remembering God's faithfulness to me in the past. When I think of how he has watched over me, protected my health and my heart, selected the right circumstances for me to make the kinds of friends He wished for me, led me to a Godly husband, and blessed me with healthy children, I should have perfect confidence in His plans for me. I just don't always remember His faithfulness.

I should share with Emily Anne and Will the times that I can recall that God was looking out for me and get them in the habit of looking for those times in their own lives so that they will be prepared to pass this important habit on to my future grandchildren.

I have had the idea to create a scrapbook recording instances of God at work in our family's lives. Has anyone else done something like this? I've seen Lisa Whelchel's This Is My Story and have been asked to lead it at church a year from now. Has anyone had experience with it? Faith scrapbooking seems like a good and fun way to fulfill Deuteronomy 4:9.

So, what verses have spoken to you this week? Post those verses on your own blog, along with how you see that God wants you to apply them in your life. Then, provide your link below so that we can drink from one another's wells of scripture.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ten-Minute Tuesday

Faithful Chick's verses today are ones that hit a little too close to home for many of us:

All who make idols are nothing and the things they treasure are worthless. Those who speak up for them are blind; they are ignorant, to their own shame. Who shapes a god and casts an idol, which can profit him nothing? He and his kind will be put to shame…. (Isaiah 44:9-11)

I know that I am guilty of casting idols. It is so easy to let something, that in moderation wouldn't be a problem, become higher on my priority list than God. My children, who were entrusted to me by God, many times take up more of my thought life than God Himself does. I spend too much time thinking about how to decorate my home than how to decorate my life with those things that would please Him.

When the Israelites cast their own idol, the golden calf, God was angry enough to destroy them. Moses, however, asked God to spare them, and He agreed. Moses then got rid of the idol : "And he took the calf they had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it." (Exodus 32:20). Whew! God surely doesn't want me to do this to those things in my life that I've made idols, but surely He doesn't want me to keep them as idols, either.

The first part of the famous Shema contains, I think, the antidote to making idols: "Hear, O Israel: The Lord Our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). If we love God with all our heart, there won't be room for other people or things to take the place of Him in our hearts.
This solution sounds good, but it's easier said than done. Just how do we love God with all our hearts? He is so awesome, so good, so merciful, that the more we know about Him, the more we'll love Him. We must immerse ourselves in the Word to learn more about God and His faithfulness. We must reflect on our lives to see how God has interceded for us when we didn't even realize it. We must surround ourselves with others' stories of how God has worked in their lives. We should play praise music to remind us of God's greatness.
You do not have to worry about my singing on American Idol any time soon, but I'd like to be able to belt out the lyrics to an old song by the Teddy Bears. I think you're safe, though, just featuring the lyrics on my blog: "To know, know, know [H]im is to love, love, love Him . . . and I do."

90 Years Young

Our family celebrated a great event this weekend: my grandfather's 90th birthday! It was a surprise party, and he truly was surprised as he walked in to the restaurant and saw 80 friends waiting to honor him on such an occasion. As I've reflected on this experience, what amazes me is the number of friends he has at such an age!

My grandfather truly has the gift of hospitality. No, he doesn't host teas or get-togethers at his home (although he loves it when people, especially family, visit), but his hospitality is more on the road. He has been blessed with health and energy, and he faithfully visits less fortunate people in nursing homes, the hospital, and at their homes. He also has a ministry where he delivers tapes of the Sunday service of their church to shut-ins. In addition, he stays active in various organizations, especially the Shriners and their fundraisers for helping sick children, especially burn victims, who need financial help to receive the medical care they need.

I am so blessed as I see my grandfather live out the following verse: "Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality." (Romans 12:13 NIV).

Thank you for being a role model for your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, Papa! Happy Birthday!

Papa blowing out the candles on his huge birthday cake

Sibling picture (Papa is second from the left)

Papa and his progeny (Notice the one boy!)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thirstin' for the Word Thursday

"If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink." (John 7:37b)

Feeling a bit parched? Searching to quench that thirst with an iced tea or Diet Coke? Dive into the Word for real refreshment!

I try to be diligent in my Bible reading and am often rewarded by God's speaking to my heart through particular scriptures. I pause and sometimes even write them down. The reflection usually ends there, however. This year, I would like to pursue the verses that God lays on my heart by pondering how He wants me to apply these verses in my life.

Here is what spoke to me this week:

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (James 4:7-10)

One of my all-time favorite verses is verse 8 of this passage: Draw near to God, and He will draw near to You. Most of the time, though, I read this verse in isolation. All of the strong verbs in this passage caught my attention this week.

  • Submit to God. Yielding my own desires and agenda is such a hard thing, and it has taken me years to understand that this submission is not a one-time thing, but something that must be done daily. What a difference it makes when I do submit my day to God!
  • Resist temptation. Temptation will happen. Sometimes it's hard for me to remember that stumbling across temptation isn't a sin. It's the entertaining the temptation that it is the sin. To help me resist the enemy and his snares, I try to remember I Corinthians 10:13.
  • Come near to God. When I take the time to read His Word, communicate with Him through prayer, and seek Him, I feel His presence. God is always waiting for me, but I have to demonstrate that I accept His invitation.
  • Wash my hands and purify my heart. When I have this relationship with God, it should remind me of His holiness and my sin. It is so easy for me to fall into worldiness, but I must constantly strive to become more Christ-like by becoming aware of my sin (which happens as I develop a relationship with Him) and repenting of (turning away from) it.
  • Grieve for my sin. God doesn't want me constantly to be moping about. However, He doesn't want me caught up in worldly frivolity, either. Sin grieves God. If it saddens Him, I should also mourn the hurt that I cause him by sinning. I should consider Jesus's crucifixion and His taking the weight of my sins on Him so that I would not be eternally separated from the Father. Then I should rejoice that I am forgiven and that God is merciful!
  • Humble myself. The world tells me that I should be striving to be the best and have the most. However, God's Word tells me the exact opposite. If I am supposed to humble myself before men, how much more should I humble myself before God? When I humble myself, I can be assured that God will lift me up!

So, what verses have spoken to you this week? Post those verses on your own blog, along with how you see that God wants you to apply them in your life. Then, provide your link below so that we can drink from one another's wells of scripture.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

10 Minute Tuesday

Every Tuesday, Faithful Chick hosts a blog carnival where she posts scripture and her response to it. She then gives us 10 minutes to meditate on what we've read and post our own response on our blogs. Here is today's scripture:
Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.
- 2 Corinthians 3:1-5
The first part of this verse hearkens back to my first days staying at home after spending nine years in the classroom. After all that time building up a curriculum vita and credentials by earning degrees, conducting workshops for other teachers, serving on panels, and the like, I found it very hard to adjust to life without tangible examples proving my worth. After much prayer, counseling, and immersion in the Word, I've learned to find my worth in Christ and as a daughter of the King.
The rest of this scripture seems more relevant to me now in this season of my life. I realize that the "letters from Christ" that I am writing are my children. What an awesome responsibility to etch on their hearts lessons from God. What kind of example am I setting for them? How can I be a good role model of Christ-likeness for them? I realize that the answer to this question, like the answer to my struggle when I first transitioned to being at home, is through God. Only by submitting myself to Him can I have true competence in writing letters, that, yes, may have some smudges and ink blots, but whose theme is God's love and grace.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Where Do You Homeschool?

I have so enjoyed lurking today and getting a glimpse into so many school spaces. It has really given me inspiration and has gotten me excited all over again about the beginning of our homeschool journey. I decided to take the plunge and share photos of what will be our homeschool space and hopefully benefit from your ideas and advice!

In our new home, we are blessed with a large room with lots of windows, lots of drawers, and lots of bookshelves and cabinets. This room is currently the playroom and will extend to being the school room next fall. We hunker down in the bean bag chairs for our read-alouds now. I think that the drawers and shelves and cabinets will be really helpful with all the curricula and manipulatives and books and supplies we will collect. However, I can already tell that we'll need to start troubleshooting.

For one thing, the bookshelves are not adjustable and are a little too short for notebooks. Other than laying notebooks on their sides, do any of you have any suggestions for storing notebooks?

Within the drawers and cabinets, I can tell that we will need additional storage solutions like bins and baskets. Do any of you have some favorite storage solutions you'd like to share?

The windows are great for letting in light, but they don't leave much wall space for displaying materials (posters, whiteboards, bulletin boards, artwork)? Any suggestions? I have a couple of framed Mary Engelbreit posters from my old classroom that I have my heart set on including in the schoolroom, but would like room for instructional materials, too!

We will add the schoolroom a table and four chairs of my husband's from bachelor days. The top is laminate and easy to clean.

This is our space, and I would appreciate any advice on setting it up for homeschooling. I promise to repay by sharing once we are in the groove ourselves!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Thirstin' for the Word Thursday

"If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink." (John 7:37b)

Feeling a bit parched? Searching to quench that thirst with an iced tea or Diet Coke? Dive into the Word for real refreshment!

I try to be diligent in my Bible reading and am often rewarded by God's speaking to my heart through particular scriptures. I pause and sometimes even write them down. The reflection usually ends there, however. This year, I would like to pursue the verses that God lays on my heart by pondering how He wants me to apply these verses in my life.

Here is what spoke to me this week:

The past few weeks have been tough for me. We have all been sick, and on top of the fatigue that comes with trying to take care of little ones when you're sick yourself, I feel that the enemy has me in his sights. There have been no huge temptations, but there has been frustration, irritation, discouragement, and weakness.

The only time I ventured out all week was to a local homeschooling association's Mom's Night Out. I still didn't feel good, and the fact that I wasn't yet well was underscored by a terrible coughing fit in the middle of the presentation! I know, though, that the Lord guided me to attend that night, if for no other reason than hearing this verse.

A Christian homeschooling mother who was almost finished with her journey of teaching five children through high school spoke on the topic of burnout. Her presentation was filled with scripture, but this verse was the one that stood out for me.

"He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young." (Isaiah 40:11)

In the midst of my discouragement, being led to this verse was balm to my spirit. It also provided direction to my heart and head.

  • Tending my flock is my responsibility. It is up to me to lead them to the pastures where they will find sweet grass to eat and clean water to drink. This metaphor applies to good nutrition, learning, and Biblical training.
  • Physical affection is important. My children have been climbing and clinging to me all week this week. As tiring as that gets, it is important for them to feel safe and comforted. Also, although discipline certainly has its place, when my children are out of sorts, sometimes gathering them up in my arms and giving them a hug does wonders.
  • I am being led, too. Just as I am leading my flock, God is always guiding me. I am never alone in mothering my children.
  • Gently is the way to lead. When I am not at my best, I am too often harsh with my children. I must remember to be gentle, even when I don't feel like it. Also, if things are frantic, it must not be God who is leading me. When I am frazzled, I need to check and see what I am following and make sure to focus in on the Good Shepherd's staff.

So, what verses have spoken to you this week? Post those verses on your own blog, along with how you see that God wants you to apply them in your life. Then, provide your link below so that we can drink from one another's wells of scripture.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

How Do You Do Women's Ministry?

Our church is looking to revitalize our women's ministry. Currently we have several women's circles, a few women's Bible studies, a bereavement meal committee, and one big annual fundraiser for missions. However, we'd really like to work on connecting with one another more and with really emphasizing spiritual growth.

Would you please share how your church does women's ministry? If you yourself are involved in the leadership of the women's ministry, I'd love to hear from you, too.

  • Are there any great resources on women's ministry that you would recommend?
  • Does your church have a formal or informal mentoring ministry (Titus 2)? If so, how did it come about?
  • What great retreats or special events has your church done for women?
  • How does your church address child care during women's events?
  • How are women's events promoted and publicized?

Thanks for sharing!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

10 Minute Tuesday

Every Tuesday, Faithful Chick lists a scripture passage and asks for our responses to it. Here are today's verses and my response.

Do not withhold your mercy from me, O LORD; may your love and your truth always protect me. For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me. Be pleased, O LORD, to save me; O LORD, come quickly to help me. May all who seek to take my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace. May those who say to me, "Aha! Aha!" be appalled at their own shame. But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation always say, "The LORD be exalted!"Yet I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; O my God, do not delay.
- Psalm 40:11-17
Lately, I've been discouraged in my spiritual walk. It seems that whichever way I turn, I choose to sin. When the choice is between being exasperated or being patient with my son, I choose to be exasperated. When the choice is between uttering a kind or a cutting word, I choose the cutting word. When the choice is between being self-sacrificing or self-indulgent, I choose indulgence. Reading this passage, I could really identify with the fact that David's sins seemed to him to be more than the hairs of his head.
I can console myself that I am probably not sinning more than I was last year or five years or ten years ago. I am probably listening more closely to the Holy Spirit's convicting me of my sin. The fact that I am aware of my sins points toward my growing spiritual maturity. Oh, but how far I have to go! I think I need to keep Hebrews 12:1 in mind this week.
How do I keep persevering when I have so far to go in my quest to become more Christ-like? I ask God to "come quickly to help me." I cannot strive alone to become good. I can do so only through the help of His Spirit. I love the word "needy" in this scripture passage. It sums up what I am in relation to God. I can not do it on my own, but He is willing to help me. It is this knowledge that makes us "rejoice and be glad in You."
Visit here to see more responses to today's scripture.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the Lenten season. During Lent I will be participating in a 40-day devotional experience called EAT, sponsored by Trumpet and Torch. The gist of EAT is that instead of filling our bellies with food at mealtime, that we fill our hearts and minds with the bread of God's Word. Here is a quote from the website:

The heart of this website is a daily devotional experience entitled EAT, designed as a practical tool to guide believers through a 40-day period of feasting on the Word of God.
Three times a day--breakfast, lunch, and dinner--the believer will dine with the Lord, developing a desire for Him above anything else, including food. Throughout Scripture, the Lord used mealtime as an opportunity for teaching and training in righteousness. As the Israelites hungered and thirsted in the desert, He revealed Himself as Sustainer; as the disciples sat and ate with Him in the upper room, He revealed Himself as Savior. . . . .

For the humble, repentant, and wholehearted believer, the Lord can accomplish a lifetime of transformational work in just 40 days. It is the prayer and hope of this ministry, that as each believer dines upon the Word of God--seasoned with prayerful communication and heartfelt repentance--the Lord will purify them, prepare them, and provide an army of faithful and holy warriors fully equipped to set the world on fire for Christ and to fulfill His Great Commission.

I will be taking part in a partial fast, but the website points out that if you do not feel called to fast from food, you could fast from other distractions keeping you from seeking God wholeheartedly, such as television.

There is a beautiful introductory slide show on the website's home page, and the site offers a wealth of information on fasting. Once you register, you will be able to access The Temple portion of the web site, which offers the 3 devotionals for each day, as well as a place to journal your experiences. If you know of friends who do not have Internet access, the devotions are also available in PDF format. You can also view the testimony of my sister, Kathryn Wells, on the site.

I wish you a blessed Lenten season and hope to see you at the Lord's table!

Celly B & the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day

(with apologies to Judith Viorst)
Today I woke up with a toddler size 7 foot in the small of my back and now there's an ache in my back and when I got out of bed this morning, the dog had chewed up my slippers and they were all cold and wet and I didn't have time to wash my hair and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

At breakfast, Emily Anne didn't want oatmeal, didn't want cereal, didn't want cheese toast, and Will wanted a waffle and wanted to help put it in the toaster and squeeze syrup on it but then didn't eat it.

I think I'll go get a massage.

When I finally had a minute, I tried to log onto Lysa's blog to find out who won the She Speaks contest but Emily Anne needed help getting dressed and when I sat down at the computer again, Will was climbing on the counters and after I got him down I got an error message and had to restart the computer and when I finally made it to the post, it wasn't my name listed as the winner, it was Karla's. **

I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

I sat down to give Will some Mommy time and he said, "I want Pay-Doh down." Who needs Play-Doh? I opened up a couple of containers for him and helped him squeeze the Play-Doh out of the little doohickey that makes it look like hair but he didn't want my help but he did want every single container of Play-Doh opened and I got Play-Doh all under my fingernails, not to mention all the miniscule pieces on the floor.

I think I'll go get a manicure.

At lunch Emily Anne yelled that the dog was licking the dirty dishes in the sink and when I turned my back to shoo the dog away, someone knocked the pot off the counter and broke the handle and I yelled very loudly and my husband said that with all the Bible reading and praying I was doing that it seemed like I should be demonstrating more fruits of the Spirit.

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Will said his ears hurt and was whiny and wanted to sit in my lap all afternoon and I forgot to take the dog out and she looked right at me and peed on the floor. Emily Anne took a nap, and I should know that when she takes a nap she's sick, and, sure enough, when she woke up, she was burning up with fever. They probably both have ear infections for the umpteenth time this winter and we will have to spend tomorrow morning in the doctor's office.

I think I'll go get a new do.

For dinner I was going to make salmon. I don't particularly like salmon and the kids don't like salmon, but Joel does, so I was looking for a recipe online since I don't have any idea what to do with a salmon fillet and while I was searching, Will turned over the tub o' toys in the playroom and used it as a stepladder to climb up and empty all the shelves in the playroom and guess who didn't get home until the salmon was cold?

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Will went to sleep before he even got a bath and I had to try to change him into his pajamas without waking him up but I did and he cried and when I got him back to sleep, Emily Anne wanted me to sleep with her because she felt so bad, and I wound up with her knee in the small of back just like Will's foot was this morning.

I think I'll go get a pedicure.

When I finally got a chance for my quiet time and opened up my daily reading plan, I saw that I was in Leviticus and I think Leviticus is really kind of boring and I was so tired that I was afraid I would fall asleep while reading the Bible.

It had been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

My God says that some days are like that (James 1:2-4), but that He will always be with me (Matthew 28:20).

Even at the spa.

**Now I must admit, that I was a little disappointed that I didn't win the scholarship to the She Speaks conference; who woudn't want to go? I am, however, truly happy for Karla. She has a wonderful, touching ministry, and I am so excited that she will attend.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

I Can't Believe I Won!

This is my first time participating in the Bloggy Carnival Giveaway Sponsored by Shannon of Rocks in My Dryer. I can not believe that I won such an awesome prize! Here is a picture of what I won!

Isn't that gorgeous? It was handmade by GiBee, whose blog is Kisses of Sunshine. GiBee gave away six--count 'em, six--pieces of her beautiful handmade jewelry. What makes this prize even more special is that as she made each piece, drew the winners, and notified them, she prayed over the recipients! How awesome. I feel truly blessed to have won such a special prize from a special person.

This giveaway has prompted GiBee to open a store of her jewelry, GiBee Designs. In addition to the piece above, she has lovely mother's jewelry, remembrance jewelry, and many other pieces. Hop over to her store and check them out!

Thank you, Shannon, for hosting the giveaway; I can hardly wait for the next one! GiBee, thank you, for a special prize!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway Winner

Thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaway. The randomly selected winner was Tiffany from Snapshots of Life! Tiffany, I've left a comment for you on your blog.