Monday, November 28, 2011

Winner of the Glow Glove Giveaway!

I am so excited to announce the winner of the Glow Crazy Glow Glove! Drum roll, please...

Kelli @ Adventurez in Child Rearing!

I had Kiddo give me a random number and he came up with Kelli's number! I'm so excited for her because with three boys, they will definitely have fun with the Glow Glove!

Thank you to everyone who entered! For those who didn't win, you can purchase your Glow Glove (or any of Glow Crazy's great toys) by heading over to Glow Crazy's website and calling their customer service number. Any of their toys would make awesomely fun Christmas presents!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Relevant '11 Video. Oh, yeah. I'm in it.

All Is Grace from Relevant Conference on Vimeo.



Jendi did a wonderful job!


Grace for the Good Girl, chapters 2 and 3

I'm late writing this. This post was supposed to be last week's post. I stewed and worried about it because I committed to writing every week, and because I'm a good girl, my thoughts immediately went to, "What will they think of me if I don't post?"

Can you relate? Then you need to read this book.

grace for the good girl by emily p. freeman

These two chapters were so hard to get through for me...never before had I read a book that so deeply resonated with me. I could have written these pages. No, I don't mean with the beauty of words and fluidity of thought, but I could have told the same stories. Some almost exactly like Emily does.

One particular passage in chapter two struck me so that I sat in my car, waiting on Kiddo to finish his piano lesson, and wept. I mean sobbed. To understand why I acted in a particular situation the way I did because she wrote my story out as word for word as if she had been in college with me...at once it was painful as well as freeing.

Chapter three, again, sounded like she was retelling my story. In a sense, she was. She was saved as a young girl. My first profession of faith was at age seven. Because we were so young we didn't have any sordid pasts to repent of...our testimonies were a bit bland compared to those who had been saved from drugs or an immoral lifestyle. We were good. So, what happened after salvation?

"And so it was that I continued with my good way of life, giving myself credit for all of my own goodness. There was a sense that Jesus had something to do with it...But I didn't understand the middle-of-a-Tuesday Jesus. I only knew him as a when-I-get-to-heaven Jesus. Salvation was my ticket to heaven and not much else. "At thirteen I rededicated my life to the Lord because I was scared to death that perhaps it didn't take the first time." (Grace for the Good Girl, Revel Publishing, copyright 2011, pp 40-41)

When I was eleven I made my second profession of faith (for those uninitiated ones to the way Southern Baptists talk, that just means I walked the aisle and said I wanted to be saved) for the exact same reason Emily did...I was afraid the first one didn't take. For me, I didn't feel saved. (Side note - It wasn't until I was twenty-eight years old that I finally nailed down my salvation. I can't even tell you if I truly was saved then or when I was seven. I only know I am now.)

She then goes on in this chapter to talk about her high school experiences with boys. Familiarity here, too.

"I didn't realize it at the time, but I was a good girl desperate for male attention." (pg 43)

She isn't sure why that was, but I think I do in my situation. She had an alcoholic father that could have been her reason, but I had an absent father. He came to pick us up every so often, but to this day I don't have a close relationship with Daddy. Oh, I love him dearly, but I don't know him very well.

About the need for male attention, she says,

"We were created with a deep need for love, acceptance, worth, and security. The need is overwhelming and must be satisfied. In the same way some girls wear the mask of promiscuity to grasp for connection and acceptance, good girls can depend on their good reputation to meet their desperate need for love." (pg 43)

Her first boyfriend relationship was "good and healthy on the outside," but "began an unhealthy pattern of looking to men to affirm my identity." (pg 43) I'm not sure when mine began, but I get embarrassed now thinking about the things I did to get the attention of "good" boys. Oh, nothing "bad"...only what would have been acceptable for a good girl. Talking too much, playing with my hair, going out of my way to run into certain guys...ugh...so embarrassing. It's funny, though. I ended up marrying the one man I never chased. God has a way of letting us know we don't have to strive to end up with the best. He's got it all worked out.

I'm going to end this post here because the rest of chapter three needs its own post. I think it's something we as good girls struggle with a lot, so I want to focus on it later. Maybe next week, maybe sooner.

If you have realized you are a "good girl," I hope you buy this book. If you do purchase the book from clicking the picture at the top of the post, I receive a small percentage in commission, but that's not the only way to get it. Even if you check it out from your library, PLEASE read it.

Be a recovering good girl like me.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Got Boys Who Love Sci-Fi?

The Glow Glove giveaway is still ongoing, and right now you have an AWESOME chance to win this cool toy. My son LOVES it.This toy would be amazing to any child (I'm thinking particularly boys simply because I have one) who loves science, spy gear, light sabers, dogs, cats, horses, etc, etc. Okay, the last three I just made up. My point is that it's a great toy for kids who lean more toward sci-fi. I mean, it DOES make Kiddo feel like he has the force:
video

It would be a fab gift to open up on Christmas morning. Of course, I hope you don't need your bathroom the rest of the day. In our house, our hall bathroom is the only room in the house with no window, therefore is the only room that can get pitch black during the day. And seeing as how this thing works by glow-in-the-dark technology, you kind of need pitch black.

Make sure you go here to enter the giveaway. There are several chances to win, and the more you do, the better your chance to win!

This post is not the giveaway post, so if you comment here you won't be entered! Now go forth and enter!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Grace for the Good Girl Winner!

ACK! It's Wednesday and I haven't told you who won Grace for the Good Girl OR written my post on chapter two! This stresses me out because I'm a good girl!

I'll get to chapter two eventually, but right now I need to tell you the winner of the book.

And the winner is.... April!

Thank you to those who entered. You can purchase Emily's book at Dayspring (and if you follow that link and make a purchase I make a bit off of it. Only full disclosure here, people. HA!) or Amazon.

If you're a recovering good girl, I highly recommend you buy it!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Glow Crazy Glow Glove and Giveaway!

Several weeks ago I was contacted by Glow Crazy to review a new product they were unrolling just in time for Christmas. Since it seemed like a "cool enough" product for an 11-year old boy, I told them I'd love to.

It was a good call.
The Glow Glove is a new product that uses the same technology as their previously released Glow Wand and all the products that go with it. In a nutshell, it uses light to draw on glow-in-the-dark canvases. Here is what Glow Crazy has to say about the Glow Glove:"The Glow Glove is Glow Crazy’s flashiest toy yet! The Glow Glove has cool lights on each finger to make glowin’ the dark more fun than ever! The wall clings included, made from our super glow material, will stick to the wall without damaging it and will give kids an awesome canvas to design on. The glove's unique design will fit right or left hands, and the 4 settings mean there is no end to the cool glow-designs you can make!"

After opening the package and pulling out the instructions,We put the two included Glow Canvases on the wall side by side (removable and reusable) and Kiddo strapped the Glow Glove on. Here's a picture (badly lit) of just one of the canvases before turning out the bathroom light (hey, it was daytime and that's the only room with no window. Don't judge).Then went to town on them!And of course we had to make a video:
video

Is that not COOL? I mean, anything that makes Kiddo feel like he has "the force" has GOT to be at the top of his "this is too cool" list. He told me he wants all their products now! Just now as he was coming to give me a hug goodnight he saw me writing this and said, "I want the Distance Doodler!" and proceeded to explain how far away he could be from the Glow Canvas and draw. He's hooked.

The Glow Glove is $19.99 and can be ordered directly by contacting Glow Crazy's customer service department (phone number and email can both be found at the bottom of Glow Crazy's website)

Not only do they have these "glowin' the dark" products, they also offer free stencils on their Facebook page. These stencils can be used with the Glow Canvases and wands and are so cute! They offer a line of Christian stencils including the praying hands, cross, loaf of bread, Noah's ark, and even Jonah and the whale! Not all of these products are available yet, so if you like their page you can get updates on when they will introduce each new set. Right now, however, you can get holiday themed stencils like a pumpkin and turkey. Just "like" their page and it will tell you how to get them.

Also on their Facebook page is a link to Glow Crazy's Activity Center. Just look on the left hand side of the page and click "Play Online!" where your kids (or you!) can draw to their heart's content.

And now for the giveaway! One Butterfly Genes reader will win a Glow Glove from Glow Crazy! All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment letting me know how and where you'd use the Glow Glove.

Note: Please make sure you leave an email address where I can contact you should you win. The initial winner of my last giveaway didn't leave me any way of contacting her so I had to choose another.

For extra entries that are not mandatory, just leave a SEPARATE comment for EACH one of these that you complete:

Like Glow Crazy on Facebook

Follow Glow Crazy on Twitter

Follow Butterfly Genes on Twitter

Subscribe to Butterfly Genes blog (click the link to take you to my subscribe page, or join by Friend Connect on the lower right hand side of the page - if you already subscribe, thank you! Just let me know in your comment.)

That's FIVE chances to cross a name off your Christmas list! Any child will be happy to receive this, if my Kiddo's reaction is any indication. This will make a WONDERFUL Christmas present for any child age 3 and older.

The giveaway will last until November 25, 11:59 P.M. I will

Disclosure: I was contacted by Glow Crazy and offered a free Glow Glove in exchange for a fair review. The opinion stated here is mine (well, and my son's) and was not in any way influenced by Glow Crazy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Fall Wreath Repost

I originally published this post on November 24, 2008...a little late to be doing a fall project post. But I'm on the ball (sort of) this year! I hope you are having as spectacular a year of fall color as we are this year. We just so happened to have a similar display in 2008, too. So here you go!

Okay, so I'm a little late on the bandwagon. And these pictures are not the best in the world. But hey, at least I tried.

Here's a little project that you can have done in about an hour, depending on how many leaves you can catch before they all blow away. Now, this is best done with pressed leaves, but if you're only going to leave it up until after your Thanksgiving guests leave, flat leaves will be fine. It's a Fall/Harvest/Thanksgiving Wreath. About time, don'tcha think?

I was inspired by this picture:

It's in Better Homes and Gardens November issue (2008). I immediately made plans to hunt down some leaves. It wasn't that hard, since this year we've had a particularly spectacular color display for some reason. I heard or read somewhere that if you get a cold spell and then a warm spell (what we call Indian Summer, maybe?), you will get some really great colors. Well, that happened and we got 'em. So I was really excited about grabbing up some great colors.

My kiddo and I headed out to find some in our neighbors' yards since our poor oak tree is not the kind that changes to beautiful red...the leaves just turn dead and fall off. However, for the first time in the 12 years we've been here, our leaves did turn a shade of yellow, which made me very happy since I could use some of my very own leaves in my wreath.

Then I was just hit with a fever...finding all kinds of leaves in all different colors. There was no telling when or where I'd yank the van over to the side of the road (no easy task, I tell you) and hop out to grab a particularly striking leaf. I even crossed traffic to stretch out over a ditch to get a color I hadn't been able to find yet.

Then, when I had enough leaves to make my own forest, I took two really heavy books...

(I like the classics the best...they seem the heaviest) and put the leaves in between the pages and left them like that for a couple of days. Like I said, if you do this now, you can just find some flat leaves for this next step.

Then, take a plate, platter, or whatever you have a plate hanger big enough for, and begin hot gluing the leaves around the platter. I got a $1.25 platter from Old Time Pottery just for this project, but when I'm done, I can just peel all the leaves and glue off and use it for what it was intended for.

Note: make sure you put your plate hanger on your platter before you start gluing. You will end up ripping favorite leaves if you don't. Not that I have any experience in that area. None whatsoever. Nope. Not me.

Second Note: Make sure you have as much junk on your craft table as possible so that you barely have room for your glue gun, much less a whole platter:Recognize that bird, anyone?

Ahem...back to the project at hand...Start at the center (which you choose, by the way) and start gluing leaves up either side of the plate, layering as you go. Make sure you save your favorites for last ones you glue on, or they'll get covered up. Here's a couple of badly shot closeups of me with horrible fingernails gluing on top of an oak leaf for one of my favorite maple leaves:
and keep on going until you have enough to cover the outside rim of the platter. Then take your favorite of all favorite leaves and place it in the very center of where you started:Then, if you want it a little more frou-frou, hot glue a ribbon on the back under the plate rack until you get your desired look. Now, I have to leave a disclaimer here about this next picture. My husband, being the hunter that he is, took the camera to deer camp with him to make sure he had some way to document the massive 12-point he was sure to get. Hasn't happened yet, but he's still got the camera. That being said, I had to resort to my next fastest mode of photography...my cell phone. Sigh...please forgive the quality, but you get the idea...
And make sure when you hang it wherever you are going to hang it to have an $.80 clearance garland with the tag still on it underneath the wreath. That just screams HARVEST to me, doesn't it you?

Now, I have to confess that I do have pictures that are better quality than this in my external hard drive, but when I saw them I realized I reeeeeeeeally needed to paint my front door. So you will not get to see either the wreath in HD or my sadly painted door. I know you were just dying to, weren't you?

Anyway, it's really an easy, sweet project that I will repeat next year. And hang it on my freshly painted front door.

Okay, my sweet man just went out in the very c-c-c-old air and retrieved my camera for me just so I could take a couple of pictures. I love him. Anyway, here's a little better picture, albeit still with the "Minnie Pearl" garland (thanks Brandi, that made me LOL!).

And just for kicks, here's a turkey.

Monday, November 7, 2011

I'm a Good Girl

grace for the good girl by emily p. freeman

As soon as I started reading Grace for the Good Girl, I knew this book was for me. I didn't know, however, how close to home it would hit. Within the first chapter and a half, I had already sobbed my way through several pages. Seeing my early childhood, youth, and young adult years in black and white was startling.

I have been a good girl ever since I can remember. It started with Momma. Because I loved her so much, I never, ever, ever wanted to disappoint her. So, when I thought I understood salvation, I made a profession of faith. But because my salvation was based (subconsciously) on how good a girl I was, I constantly doubted whether I was really saved or not. I always felt like there was something more I had to do to be saved. That Jesus wouldn't like me if I hadn't said exactly the right words when I prayed to accept Him. From the time I was seven years old until I was twenty-eight, I doubted my salvation. It was only then that I nailed down my salvation and have known ever since then that it's not about being good enough...that it's about the grace that God freely gives through Jesus His Son.

Emily explains how my mind was working in the first chapter, "Are You a Good Girl in Hiding?"

"For a long time, I believed I was searching for God and thought I had found him, this God who is order and control, distant and passive. I knew he so loved the world, but I didn't know his love for me...While I thought I was searching for him, he graciously, miraculously, and intentionally found me." (Grace For the Good Girl, by Emily P. Freeman, pg 22, Copyright 2011, Revell Publishing, emphasis mine)

Does this sound like you? Do you think you're the only one that grace looks over and says, "Nope, not good enough, this one." Then I think you would benefit from this book.

I look forward to the coming chapters and will be joining in with Christina at Momma Day By Day and other good girls as we learn how to become recovering good girls.

Because I believe this book will be life-changing for so many women, I'm giving an autographed copy away. Sweet Emily signed both my copy (that was sweetly given to me by my bff Kat) and a copy they gave away at the conference.You don't have to jump through hoops to enter. Just leave me a comment saying you're a good girl and would benefit from this book. That's it. I mean, I'd be grateful if you liked my Facebook page. I'd also love it if you bought a tassel, followed me on Twitter, and subscribed to my blog. But you don't have to to enter this giveaway. hee hee.

Just as a disclosure, Revell Publishing made free copies available to any one who attended the Relevant Conference, and Emily signed them because she's just sweet like that. I didn't have to promise to do a giveaway; I didn't have to promise to do a review. I just want to give this book away. All the opinions given are mine.

I will close this giveaway next Monday, November 14th, at 11:59 p.m. and will announce the winner in next week's Good Girl post.

I'm so looking forward to this journey. And I'm also so grateful to Christina who organized all us recovering good girls to join forces! Grab a copy and join us!

Disclosure: If you click on the "Grace for the Good Girl" picture and purchase a copy, I get a small percentage of the sale.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I have a story

I'm not a world traveler like Lisa-Jo or Joy.

I don't write books like Ann, or Emily, or Serena.

I don't write music like Alle.I don't take pictures like Darcy.

But I need these women. I need the other women in this blogging community, too. Amy Lynn Andrews shared in one of the breakout sessions at Relevant that we need each other in community. Worry about someone else's blog does not allow me to do anything with what God has given ME. She encouraged us to fight through the comparison issues that threaten us fulfilling the Great Commission through our blogs. We all have the same story to tell in thousands of versions...what Christ has done in our lives.
I have a story to tell. One that is my very own, that no one else shares. And someone needs to hear me share my story the only way I can share it.This is why I blog. Do I wish I had thousands of followers and get to go on mission trips to blog about and get to be a "cool kid" at a blogger's conference? Well, honestly...sometimes, yes.But whose fame do I really, deep down, want to write about? Whose agenda do I want to promote? Why am I writing at all if it's not to gain fame and followers?

Jesus. It's all about Him.

Even when I write silly posts and talk gibberish (because I do love writing to make people laugh), I always want to make sure I'm pointing others to Christ and not away from Him.I was asked so many times at Relevant "What's your blog about?" and most of the time I hem-hawed around and said it was just about my life and nothing specific (meaning nothing special). But the more time I spent listening to the women God placed around me I learned that I DO have something special. I have a voice of my own that no one else has.Emily shared in another of the breakout sessions to not write for an audience. Write for one girl. If my story (or, as it normally is with me and my wordy self...stories) speaks to one girl, then I've met my goal.So...from here on out, my goal is to be more authentic, more transparent. Not to write to please people (I'm a good girl, after all), but to write to please HIM.

I can't wait for the journey to begin. Come with me?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Relevator '11

Y'all didn't know I'm famous, did you? Well, actually a group of 9 of us (and a half if you want to count the baby) are famous. We even had the fire department at our beck and call. That's right. And when I say famous I mean relatively. Or Relevant...ly. Where was I?

Okay, seriously, Wednesday night as a couple of groups of us were done with our downstairs stuff we were chatting at the elevator, not paying attention to the sign that said "Please limit to 6 people" or something like that.

So...NINE (and a half including the baby) of us crammed into the elevator, hit the buttons for our floors, climbed up to floor 5 (mine and Aurie's floor), and stopped. Nothing happened. No door opened. No more movement. Nothing.

We. Were. Stuck. On an elevator.

For a while, it was okay. Some might say fun, even (some might not). We took pictures and laughed. Teri Lynne called to tell the hotel we were stuck. They sent someone supposedly to get us out, but to no avail.Then it started to get hot. Stifling, actually, with no air circulating. After thirty minutes Jamerrill called back, told them there was a baby on board and wanted to know the status (he was SO precious and couldn't have been a better stuck-on-an-elevator baby). They kept reminding us that the sign said no more than 6 people were supposed to have gotten on ("Yeah, yeah, we got it! But that doesn't help us now!" was the general consensus of the nine), and they told Jamerrill that at that time no one was there working on the situation...that they had to wait on a supervisor and no one could do anything until that person got there.

So, Jamerrill did what any of us moms would have done in the same position. She called 911. We tweeted to Alle (mine and Aurie's other roommate) to come tell us if we were between floors or if we were at a floor. She ran around trying to find us and finally we were able to hear her sweet voice outside the door. However, there was nothing she could do except give us moral support!

After waiting for over an hour, the doors suddenly flew open and we burst out of that tin can like Dr. Pepper out of a shaken 2-liter. I felt like I could actually drink the air it felt so good. As we sat recovering from our ordeal on the 5th floor landing, the stairwell door opened and a fireman came in, asked us if we were okay, and went back down to do some more investigating. Whatever the problem was, it got fixed, and yes, I did get back on the elevator. But not with that many people. How ironic is it that the sign we should have seen is in between the firemen in this picture...I'm smiling big looking at this: How tiny is that sign! And NO WHERE else in the hotel is this sign...a definite problem in our opinion. Oh, well...lesson learned.

Here are the videos we took while trapped. Pretty good, considering we were suffering from lack of oxygen. Here's Jendi's version (a fun 3 1/2 minutes):
I really was delirious...I had been up since 4:30 that morning and it was LATE.

Here's mine (a mere 30 seconds):
video
Since there was a Smilebooth set up the first night of the conference, we HAD to have our picture made together.Hmmm...that lack of oxygen may have gone to our heads... ; )

Front, left to right: Jendi, Liam (now known as the Relevator baby), Jamerrill, Stacy, Jessica
Back, left to right: Me, Aurie, Donna, Kristi, Teri Lynne

So there you have it. #Relevator11 ...the coolest hashtag around.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Relevant '11 - Hershey!

Since the Relevant Conference didn't start until Thursday evening, those of us who had gotten there early didn't have anything to do until late afternoon. Aurie had driven over so we (meaning me, Aurie, Michelle, Kristi, Kristi's mom, and Christina) hopped in her car and headed to the chocolate capital of the world. Okay, maybe not, but it has to be one of the biggest chocolate attractions ever. Hershey!LinkSince we really didn't have the time or money to do anything but the free tour, we just decided on that. It was enough, in my opinion. Very educational!

After walking through hallways with a timeline of how Milton Hershey started the business and town, how chocolate is harvested, etc, we headed down to the cart ride that would take us on the automated tour. We are waiting for our turn on the carts. Moving floors, moving carts, I'm surprised I didn't perform one of my classic falling down numbers!
Our tour guide. I don't remember his name. Kiddo would have said he was cheese-whiz. Get it? A cow? Cheese? Okay, technically he's a bull but work with me, people. Anyway, he was followed by these bovine beauties singing the most obnoxious song that's STILL stuck in my head..."♪♫ Hershey's Milk Chock-lit... ♫♪" (and how cool is it that I just figured out how to make musical notes???)From this point it got really interesting. The tour went from getting the cacao from tropical regions, through processing it into edible chocolate, to packaging. I wish I had a video of it all because it really was interesting.The famous kisses in production.

I had to take this picture, since this is my guys' favorite thing Hershey makes. They couldn't live without it. I think chocolate milk runs in their veins. One of these days they're going to turn into this guy...At least he's friendly.

After the tour we had a nice little guy hand us some cookies 'n cream white chocolate drops that were heavenly. It was worth it just for that chocolate!

Then we went shopping. We mostly stayed in the merchandise area, but look at all of this chocolate...As wonderful as it looked and smelled (oh, and it did smell divine in that place!), we knew we could get the same stuff at the store much cheaper. Heh.

I did get Kiddo a little something from the merchandise side, but he doesn't know it yet, so shhhhhh....

Now that I've told you about our days before the conference, I'll end the week with what happened to a group of us the night before. We were the talk of the weekend. Even got our own Twitter hashtag. You won't want to miss that!