Sunday, November 16, 2014

Small Talk by Amy Julie Becker {Book Review & Giveaway!}

After reading this book, the first word that comes to mind- precious. 

Amy Becker captivates the essence of what many parents long to never forgot- simple words from their children. Those simple conversations dear to our hearts. Especially, when you realize having children are God's gift to change you. Gods gift to draw you closer to Him. 

She is not writing a book on "how to" parent, but it definitely helped me to take time to listen to my little toddlers. As Jesus said, "for is such is the kingdom of heaven." They are little joys and how much we can delight with them in their child like faith. 

Julie is a mother of three, one with down syndrome. I am very excited to pass along my book to dear friend whom as experienced such a blessing.

You can hear her heart regarding Small Talk in the video below. OR read excerpts/purchase Small Talk from Zondervan.

Again, worth the read! I get to offer you a FREE copy!! :D Too, it would be a great gift for a new parent or us "seasoned" with little ones.

Giveaway will end on December 1st, please spread the word! Enter below :D

About the book: Softcover / 230 pages
Every day, one of Amy Julie Becker’s children says something that prompts her to think about life in a new way. “Mom, does Santa love me?” William asks, after his mother explains the meaning of Christmas…In a chat with her dad about the children who died in the Sandy Hook shootings, Penny asks, “Did they go to heaven?” …”You was a jerk, Mommy?” asks Marilee one morning in the car.
These conversations deepen Amy Julia’s relationships with her children, but they also refine her understanding of what she believes and what God is doing in her own life.

In Small Talk, Amy Julia draws from the wisdom and curiosity of those young voices to reflect on beauty and kindness, tragedy and disability, prayer and miracles. As she moves through the basic questions her kids posed when they were very young to the more intellectual questions of later childhood, she invites us to learn from our own day-to-day conversations with the children in our lives.
This eloquent parenting memoir is about the big questions little hearts ask, the thoughts their words provoke, and the laughter and soul-searching their honesty brings—to adult and child alike.

About the author:
Amy Julia Becker writes about faith, family, and disability for, the New York Times Motherlode blog,, The Huffington Post parents page, Christianity Today, The Christian century, and numerous other publications. Her first book, A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny, was named one of the Top Ten Religion Books of 2011 by Publishers Weekly. Amy Julia lives in western Connecticut with her husband and three children.
Official Website:
Book Trailer:
Amy’s Website:
Follow her on Twitter here!
Check out her Facebook page here!

Winner has 48 hours to respond before new winner will be chosen.
"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: 'Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonial in Advertising.'"

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas {Movie Review & Giveaway!!}

"Join me, and my family, and together let’s put Christ back into Christmas. We’ll dive head first into all of the joy, the dancing, the celebration, the feasting, the imagination and traditions that glorify the true reason for the season.” - Kirk Cameron

About the movie:
This Christmas, have your family join with Kirk Cameron’s family and dive headfirst into all the joy, dancing, celebration, feasting, imagination, and traditions that glorify the true “reason for the season.” KIRK CAMERON’S SAVING CHRISTMAS is an engaging story that provides a biblical basis for our time-honored traditions and celebrations, and the inspiration to stand strongly against a culture that wants to trivialize and eliminate the faith elements of this holy season. So take in the splendor; take in the majesty; take in the story. Take it all in… and let’s put Christ back in Christmas! KIRK CAMERON’S SAVING CHRISTMAS is in theaters for a limited engagement beginning November 14 for two weeks only!

Check out the official Facebook page:
Official website:

Our Thoughts and Review:
My family and I had the privilege of pre release viewing of Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas this past weekend. Completely fun to watch a pre release movie~ Thank you Provident Films!

Why I can't say I loved the film, I can say I loved that it was about Jesus. 

If you already love Christmas traditions (or did at one time) like setting up the Nativity, lighting Christmas the tree, lots of presents, family get togethers, or taking pictures with Santa; this movie is for you and your family! A healthy reminder not to become a Christmas Humbug. An especially good movie if you desire to rejoice in the birth of Jesus at Christmas, but find yourself frustrated by the materialism of the season.

My kids even had a few good laughs and learned more how "Jesus should be celebrated in Christmas".

Kirk speaks out how Jesus is intertwined when celebrating Christmas in regards to the Nativity, Christmas Tree, presents and even Santa Claus. 

From the time our kids were little we have focused Christmas being "a day" we celebrate Jesus' birthday, even making a birthday cake. 
We have not taken the Santa route. Personally I felt I would be lying to my kids. Lydia was always terrified of the men dressed as Santa in Walmart! lol. Literally though (poor baby girl), we had to avoid the man in the red suite ringing a bell.
We also chose to give our kids only three gifts because that is how many Jesus was given. We may not even have a tree this year just because of space.

Christmas will look different for every family. I wish this was more of a topic within the movie. 
Too, what about the poor and broken? or giving to the needy?  

While I think it is important to celebrate Jesus, I just could not relate to the festivities as Kirk desired his audience too. 

It is important to respect those Believers whom celebrate Christmas in this way though--- and for this I give the movie credit. 

Not all Christians who chose to have a Christmas Tree or teach their children about Santa are serving pagans gods.

One of the books he recommended reading (via tele conference with bloggers!) was There Really is a Santa Claus - History of Saint Nicholas & Christmas Holiday Traditions

Here is the movie trailer! :)

Saving Christmas is a wonderful defense of Christmas traditions and is quite educational. Candy and I also enjoyed some good laughs. I pray that God will use it to His glory.” - Kirk Cameron

Saving Christmas releases this FRIDAY for a limited time!!!  Find a showing in your town here.

I also have a Saving Christmas Giveaway Loot which includes:

  • A SIGNED Saving Christmas movie poster (by Kirk Cameron), 
  • The soundtrack to the film (including Building 429, Steven Curtis Chapman, Matt Maher and more) 
  • A car air freshener (they smell like Christmas trees!)
Giveaway will end in ONE WEEK!

Jesus is the Reason for the Season ;)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The day after Halloween 2014

The girls are at a birthday party.
Dad is on a date with the littles.
The boys are watching Star Wars.
Baby is sleeping.
And I am going to get cozy on my bed with my bible.
I will take a "quiet house" with the sounds of light sabers and the dishwasher.

Can you hear the line from Pride and Prejudice? "God, has been good to us Mr. Bennet."
.. indeed He has.

I love the fall.
I love that it actually is chilly this year. I low 50 degrees ;)

I love knowing I am imperfect, yet God is perfect.
We don't have everything, but we have Jesus.
Have a blessed beautiful fall weekend friends.

Last week from our first bonfire of the season..
(bonfires at the buckouts)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Miss Lydia "In Dreams" from LOTR on Piano~

This is a special post going out to the Koch family.
Elijah wanted to record Lydia playing this song and send it to you!
We miss you Kookies!

And a special thanks to Janessa Thom whom instructed Lydia at a young age.
She still is challenging and teaching herself! :-)

Without further a do...

The Hardest Peace {Book Review & Giveaway!}

Even by the first pages a felt I knew Kara. She opens her heart through personal testimony and it quieted my heart. It made me appreciate my home, my children, my marriage and the breath God has given me everyday. 

Recently I lost my own father to cancer. I can barely type those very words without tears swelling up and grief paining me. 
And yet I praise God for my sisters life- She went though treatment 10 years ago and is still going strong!
You just don't know how or when your life will end. 
Unfortunately we tend to resist suffering, but it is all part of God's design. There is a richness of life birthed in pain.
True surrender is not seeking constant comfort, but presenting our life as a living sacrafice holy and pleasing to God.

Kara writing is real and captivating. 
Kara is cancer is still on going and taking over her body. Even when writing this book, she was unsure if she would be alive when it was published.
If you know someone who has suffered through cancer or you yourself are suffering through illness,
Whether or not you are a mom with children or without,
Even if you are single and serving the Lord,
Or even if you do not consider yourself a Christian,
Her book is worth reading. 

In her own words " I often fail, I’m often found in weakness and brokenness, but through it all I am met- always met in love. This is not simply my story and journey with cancer. It is a book written to appeal to us all as we meet the bitter edges of life on this side of eternity. In the brokenness of our unmet expectations of life, will we look for Jesus and His abundant love? Or will we tumble into bitterness and anger that leave us utterly self focused and disappointed by the hard in our story each of us are asked to receive."

Kara recently wrote a blog on A Holy Experience to a young woman scheduling her death by assisted suicide in Oregon. You can read it here. 
Please take the time.. visit her Kara blog- Mundane Faithfulness too.
Pray for her. Pray for her family.
Please don't avoid this book because it deals with cancer or death. 
Please don't avoid it because you are hurting over a loved ones death. 
You will be blessed. 

You can purchase The Hardest Peace here.

Please enter the giveaway below and PLEASE spread the word. 
Giveaway will end in one week from blog post date.

Kara’s Blog:
Follow her on Instagram:
Follow her on Twitter:

About the book:
Kara Tippetts knows the ordinary days of mothering four kids, the joy of watching her children grow…and the devastating reality of stage-IV cancer.

In The Hardest Peace, Kara invites readers to see the grace of the everyday in all seasons of life and to live well even when the living is hard. This book is an invitation to join her in moving away from fear and control and toward peace and grace. Just as the thousands of people who read her blog know, Tippetts explores the hardest questions of life with rare beauty and honesty. Most of all, she draws them back to the God who is present, in the ordinary and the suffering, and shapes every life into the best story of all.

About Kara:
Kara Tippetts and her husband, Jason, have four children and are planting a church in Colorado Springs, CO. Cancer is only part of Kara’s story. Her real fight is to truly live while facing a crushing reality. She blogs faithfully at

In Christ.. supporting a dear sister in the Lord,

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Huggies® Snug & Dry Diapers and Huggies Natural Care® Wipes @ Your Local Target!!

First, many thanks Mom Central for Huggies and Target opportunity-

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central for Huggies and Target. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

For many big families, saving money is a MUST. Yes, I did try the cloth diapers. I still have them, but due to not having a clothes line and the humidity of North Carolina the "up keep" on cleaning was not worth it.

I still have two kiddos in diapers, thus we change many diapers per day! A few months ago we were purchasing the generic brand diapers for day and night time diapers for bed was too much brain work. Generic brands left us with more changes- more often.

Our "go to" brand: Huggies® Snug & Dry Diapers. 
Two boxes.
Two sizes and done for the month.
Seriously, no squishy mess and no leaking for up to 12 hours.

Which is awesome because Sean and I often found ourselves looking at our 2 year old in the morning, "Uh.. is he still in his night time diaper????" Whoops!

This week the girls and I took a little shopping trip to Target and bought Huggies® Snug & Dry Diapers size 3 and Huggies Natural Care® Wipes.  By the pictures you can tell Priscilla loved her shopping experience! ;)

I wish our Target was closer. It is at least a 30 minute drive so we don't go too often. YET...
Moms, have you seen has a new subscription program??? Check it out here.  I have not tried it yet, but you can schedule automatic diaper delivery to your home with free shipping! Hello!? It is on my do to list! One less thing I have to remember to purchase among the hundreds of items I buy for our large family.

Huggies® Snug & Dry Diapers diapers are soft, slim fitting, and with Priscilla crawling around like never before- they stay in place. Moisture stays away from the skin and she has not had one diaper rash.

Through 13 years of babies and toddlers the only wipes I use are Huggies Natural Care® Wipes.
No, I am not saying this just because I received samples. I love their wipes!!!

(My secret- Because they are so thick, (for small messes) I will use only half a wipe!! I know, I said it, yes I rip them in half. lol. I have tried many other brands and they just don't do the trick. No poo is getting through these wipes either!)

I know this may sound silly, but their tubs really hold up too. They even come in different designs. Lydia was so excited because at my last baby shower I finally got a new refill tub. I had my for two years!

Loved these cute Clutch 'n' Clean cases when we were at Target. My girls felt I was branching out in style ;)

Of course Huggies Natural Care® Wipes are handy for all kinds of messes and very convenient!! What mom doesn't deal with muddy hands, greasy peanut butter faces??? Today- it was baby prunes all over the face! Even if you don't have babies around the house, Huggies Wipes are great for even quick table/ bathroom cleanups, cleaning those hard to reach spots in the car or even dusting around the home.

Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus Diapers and Huggies Natural Care® Wipes
You can also follow Huggies on Twitter @Huggies and
join the millions who LIKE them on Facebook! 

Keeping it real,

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What School is now for us and Why-

enjoying the warm fall weather

Well, if you've perused around our know we have been all over the map with schooling.

I have blogged about finding the right homeschool schedule,  homeschool lapbooks, our transition to public school, half day middle school, and after almost 10 years of homeschool... (i think) we might have found our groove. Knowing high school is right around the corner, we are always in for change.

Our youngest is starting PreK and our eldest is an 8th grader. We live in a small home and I have two shelves with homeschool supplies- If you don't count our huge bookshelf of library books and books we own. I have a chalk board I seldom use, which currently has had Elizabeth sketched chicken coop designs for the past week. (Oh, thats right I don't have any more chalk...hmm.)

Oh, yes. I forgot to say- they are "all homeschooled". It kind of goes with the territory "are they all yours?" voice.  We are at peace and happy with our decision. Last year Jason went to school for a few months and the girls almost completed the year, but we brought them home when Priscilla was born. We found that an "all year round" schedule works best for our family (starting the first week of July) Making sure all the kids are ALL up by 7:00-7:15 as made all the difference in the world. No more sleeping in! Note: Mo and Dess always get Mom and Dad up by 6:30 anyways.

relationships :)
I have never scheduled out my year with curriculum. I have tried, but failed. It doesn't jive with me, but this year I actually marked teaching/learning days. This past Monday we went back to school after a three week break. Thank you Lord! I love taking breaks yet getting back to the grind is always needed (for both the kids and I).

As far as curriculum? I sometimes find used workbooks for the "Littles" (Dess and Mo) but don't ever buy a whole lot. Math is my big splurge. Wise wisdom from my big sis: "If you are going to spend money on any curriculum do it on math." I have stuck to that policy for years. We use Math U See. I only have to purchase a new complete set each year for the level Elijah is on and workbooks for the other kids. All the others reuse the dvds and teaching supplies. has been a use success in our home. My biggest resource- GOOGLE. Search any grade/workbook/ subject and add the word "pdf". Buy some printing paper and print what your child will actually learn. How many times as homeschool parents we have bought workbooks and only did the first 20 pages? No guilt sitting on your shelf this way!

(I should say because of our break.. we didn't make it back to the Library and we had over $55 in late fees. em em.. had to shrug that one off)

Which bring me to my next thought: Why waste your money? IF you can teach your child to delight in reading even picture books, there is endless Curriculum at public libraries!!! Sean sections their reading materials off by days with short writing assignments. Living books, books that read like a story or keep your attention are most important. Many time the kids read the books before they are assigned. The librarian politely let us know at the end of the checkout, "just so you know...that makes 65 books checked out tonight." Wonderful! :D lol

the girls ambition one day:making rosewater
My other investments: A LAMINATOR!!! Why in the world did I not purchase one years ago? The Lord propably knew I would have donated it in one of my moving purges. Great for chore charts or educational posters.

Being honest as possible one of our home school days includes--- (but is not without fighting, playtimes, an episode of Curious George, poopie diapers, potty training accidents, kitchen baking messes.. and all sorts of drama):

  •  Family bible/prayer time in the morning. We read either a devotional or Proverbs/Psalm according to the date. Please don't picture us sitting perfect. The little ones are always being loud, fighting or making a mess in the other room. Too, there is usually at least one child in a "grumpy" mood. Somedays it feels like "wow, God really blessed that time" others it is work for even my heart to be there. BUT we always press through. :)
  • Morning Routine/ Chores; this can be lengthy process due to the attitude and motivation of the child.
  • Writing a Bible Verse from our morning reading.
  • Math and Grammar worksheets
  • Reading 
  • History with mom (just started this recently again. so far so good)
  • Khan computer time.
  • Friday is not a full school day. The kids share/present to the rest of the family what they have been learning or studying. This was a huge blessing this year. It has shown me yes, your kids are learning! and given them the opportunity to have voice without interruption.
I do not use a cute "inbox". I've tried! They never were utilized it and many other items always floated in during cleaning. I did however learn about "homework folders" from public schools. They were a way for teachers to share with parent notes and school work they completed/ or needed to finish. The process adapted very nicely. Work "to do" goes on one side of the folder. Finished corrected work on the other. Each child has a different color which helps me find them easier. I made one for Hadassah this time around-- she felt like such a big girl.  ;)
directions from a klutz library book
Well, I could go on and on. I am always learning. Growing. Email me if you have any questions buckout6atgmaildotcom. Sometimes it helps to know another mom that has struggled for years and still figuring it out!
new fall break tradition- the Pitt County Fair
yes, the first time they all wore the same color of shirts and now
I understand how helpful it can be!
"hey mom, get a picture!" lol

Blessings Friends,


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