Adopt a Child Campaign

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The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oklahoma offer after-school programming to at-risk students for low cost to their families. The mission of the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club is: to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

Check out the Adopt a Child campaign at a location near you, to help impact youth!

Share or give, if you are so inclined!

Lawton

Shawnee

OKCaac

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Oklahoma City Moms Blog

I’ve been writing at Oklahoma City Moms Blog for a little over two years now…and I totally love it!  Writing for them and handling their instagram and pinterest pages means I don’t write as much here.  But that’s OK!

Check out some of the posts I’ve written at OKCMB by clicking here.

 

 

Book Review: Brave Beauty

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Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You is a devotional book by Lynn Cowell of the Proverbs 31 Ministries speaking and writing team. It is designed for girls ages 8 -12 and is broken into 100 “mini chapters” each with Scripture, personal anecdotes and interactive activities (journaling/quizzes) and ending with a “courageous call” or prayer to God. I am currently going through this book with my 9 year old daughter and am loving the evening talks this brings about at bedtime, about her true worth in Jesus, about what is going on with her friends or her own emotions.  She LOVES the activities that include writing or quizzes, as she showed interest in a daily diary a couple months ago on her own. All in all, each mini chapter takes less than 5 minutes to complete. I am thankful for the Brave Beauty book as it has become a nightly bridge between my daughter and her connection with God. The fact that I get to share it, too, is absolute bonus.

Being brave is a great mandate for our girls, am I right? If you’ve got daughters in the tween ages, I definitely recommend this book.

I received an advance copy of Brave Beauty in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed, however, are my own.

 

Book Review: the Awakening of HK Derryberry

awakening

the Awakening of HK Derryberry is an inspirational true story of an unlikely friendship between Jim Bradford, a successful business executive, and an awkward nine year old boy, HK Derryberry, with multiple disabilities. Their chance encounter turned into a lifelong friendship, spanning sixteen years. HK’s positive attitude despite his blindness, cerebral palsy, desertion by his father and meager lifestyle touched Jim as they began spending Saturday afternoons and soon, every weekend together. HK’s unique disposition began to touch even bigger circles as Jim and HK’s unusual friendship became noticed by the community around them. Read this book and you’ll be encouraged by how one blind boy awakened a world of possibilities to those around him, despite his own shortcomings.

This book was provided to me at no cost by the publisher, in exchange for an authentic review of the book.

Harvey & Irma: 4 Ways You Can Help

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I know. You’ve been watching Houston and surrounding areas on the news for over ten days now and STILL are seeing the devastation that Hurricane Harvey has brought into the Texas coast. Within the first few days, Tropical Storm Harvey had already set a major record: the most rainfall ever from a single storm in the continental United States. The resulting floods inundated hundreds of thousands of homes, displaced more than 30,000 people, and prompted more than 17,000 rescues.

You’ve seen the images. You’ve watched the rescues. You’ve reached out to your friends and family anywhere near the area. You’ve imagined what these families need, where they are going, how crowded the shelters are, what your own house would look like if it was flooded like theirs, how you would make sure your family was safe, wondered how families were reunited with their pets, what belongings would you lament over losing if it happened to you…and more.

Now as Hurricane Irma, “the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Atlantic ocean”, heads toward Florida, our country joins together in prayer, unity, and we pull together as friends, despite political and racial tensions. We are one.

As the hurricane force winds hit our coastlines, our American hearts grow larger.

If you are wanting to help in some way (or some way further) here are 4 organizations  that I believe in personally, know the leadership of, have done the homework in, and am confidant that you can donate to or partner with in order to help flood victims effectively:

  1. The Salvation Army – As a new employee of this organization, I can tell you that I was thrilled to learn that the Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. That’s amazing. If you designate your gift to Hurricane Harvey, 100% of your gift will be used in support of that event. The Salvation Army’s slogan of “Doing the Most Good” is put into action by providing food and drinks to survivors, cleaning supplies and other essential commodities, direct financial aid to those affected, and supporting disaster relief workers serving in the area. Several of my co-workers are currently deployed in disaster areas to serve the communities. (And they just sent Florida Salvation Army units home in order to prepare for what’s coming their way, with prayers). You can click on the Salvation Army link above to check out ways to donate OR text STORM to 51555.salvation-army-help
  2. The In This Together T-shirt designed by Ink to the People (with support from City Moms Blog Network) is specifically being sold to raise funds for the Texas Diaper Bank.  One of the biggest needs for families with young children are diapers, since these are not provided as part of disaster relief.  The Texas Diaper Bank provides emergency diaper kits for families that are being displaced due to Hurricane Harvey. All funds raised will go towards Texas Diaper Bank.  If you want to wear your support, too, this is a great way to go.in this together
  3. Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief is also on the ground in Houston, serving in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Baptist Disaster Relief served over 10,000 meals in just two days, offers a shower station, and has crews assessing and cleaning damages. I’ve seen this crew hard at work and they have my utmost respect. Also, all the money given through the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma’s Disaster Relief goes toward work in either the current disaster or preparation for future disaster response.Baptist disaster relief
  4. #WeLoveHou is a movement started by Houston Northwest Church. While their building was also flooded and is being assessed for repairs, they are mobilizing large numbers of volunteers to work in the neighborhoods affected, as well as collecting supplies and donations and giving them to families in the community around them. It’s actually a pretty amazing operation they are putting on and you can be involved in several ways. Their pastor was a college friend of mine and he is the real deal, y’all. Check out their website for more information. P.S. Their #WeLoveHou shirts are also available for purchase, with proceeds going toward hurricane victims. #winwinwe love hou.png

As America hurts, America also knows:

We are in this together.

How will YOU help?

 

 

Review: Kids Visual NIV Study Bible

NIV Study Bible

What a fun way for kids to get easily engaged in the Bible!

The first thing I noticed (and loved) was how each book of the Bible started with an intro page, giving readers information on who wrote the book, why it was written, where it happened, what some of the stories are in that book, and more. So handy.

NIV study bible page copy

The second feature that I noticed (and yes, loved) were the wide yellow margins where a reader could make notes AND specific verses were often highlighted and more information regarding that verse was given in this area.

NIV study bible margin copy

The NIV Kids’ Visual Study Bible is that…VISUAL and those visual elements (charts, pictures, graphics, family trees, etc) are sprinkled throughout and definitely add interest in the material you are reading. I have the hardback copy and it’s very sturdy.

I will be recommending this Bible to everyone I know, for children ages 8 and up.

And I am even enjoying it as an adult!

This Bible was provided to me, free of charge, from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review of the product.

iFly: We FLEW!

In my 20’s, sky-diving was definitely on my bucket list. I even researched it, found a local company, and tried to get a group to go. But…it didn’t happen. And then that window passed as marriage and motherhood became my greatest adventure (and I aged a little.) Somewhere along the way, I found myself feeling way more panicked than excited when I thought of sky-diving or other activities involving great height.

So when the opportunity was presented for contributors of Oklahoma City Moms Blog to experience iFly, an indoor sky-diving facility, I got super excited. If I could experience the thrill of sky-diving in an indoor wind tunnel, that was more my style. AND our flight was scheduled for the week of Trinity’s birthday, so the fact that I got to invite her was even more amazing. (Thanks for the “cool mom” points, guys!)

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After completing the check-in process, we toured the impressive facility (think amazing date nights, epic birthday parties, family fun or out-of-the-box team building.) Next, we had the thrill of watching another group fly. Then it was almost our turn!

We met our instructor, went through an orientation, and suited up. After walking into the tunnel and getting seated and sealed in, the wind began blowing and, one by one, we walked up to the door with arms raised and then leaned into the wind, like a trust fall. Our instructor helped us find the right position and just like that…we flew!

It’s kind of hard to tell, what with the wind velocity and all, but I had the biggest smile on my face the entire time.

iFly MiFly T

And Trinity loved it, too. My little adventurer was wide-eyed and all grins.

Each flight was about a minute long, although it felt a lot longer than that. We had two flights each. During our second flight, the instructor actually did a tandem move with us, holding onto our suit and taking us to the top of the tunnel, spinning in circles the whole way. OMG, I can’t stop smiling just thinking about it as I write this. What a thrill.

iFly “is the experiential entertainment company that created modern indoor skydiving…we make the dream a flight a reality by giving our customers ‘wings’ in a safe and reliable environment.”

And they delivered.

Whether sky-diving is on your bucket list or outside of your comfort zone, I can effortlessly give iFly two giant thumbs up.

iFly…We FLEW!