August 4, 2014

Book Give-Away: "Interrupted" by Jen Hatmaker

I have been reading Jen Hatmaker's book titled "Interrupted" and it is speaking to me RIGHT WHERE I NEED IT! Wow!


In this book Jen shares such a powerful testimony of the Lord coming in, interrupting her comfortable Christianity [she was a pastor's wife, author, speaker, church-goer, wife, mother, etc., etc.] and giving her a heart for the last, the least, and the poorest of this earth.

I am blessed by Jen's example (and deeply challenged) to continue to throw off religious duty and give love, grace & ministry to the lost.

The entire chapter "Tough Crowd" was like flashes of lightning to my soul! Just check this part out...
"Jesus came to the foulest, filthiest place possible (earth), a place full of ungrateful, self-destructive people who would betray Him far more that they'd love Him (a whole planet of Judases). He broke His body for rich people who would curse Him the second their prosperity was endangered. He poured His blood out for those who would take His Word and use it as a bludgeoning tool. He became the offering for people who would slander His name with ferocity, yet His grace was theirs for the asking until they drew their last breaths, even if all they could offer Him was a lifetime of hatred and one moment of repentance."

I am still praying through this deep and challenging chapter. I can't stop thinking through all that the Lord challenged me with and all He called me to lay down before Him.

The message in this book is definitely fitting with the title - it will INTERRUPT your life and bring a refreshing challenge to your Christianity.

My husband and I have recently opened our home to our neighbors for a bible study. We invited everyone. I was terrified to reach out, and yet the Lord filled me with faith, compassion, and love every step of the way. At the same time as our neighborhood bible study beginning Jen Hatmaker sent me her book to read and review here on my blog. It was NOT an accident that this was one of the banners that she sent me...

God fully knew that this book "Interrupted" would be perfectly placed in my lap right when I needed it!

So, have I given you a desire to read this book?
I am giving one copy of "Interrupted" away! Enter to win...

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Please note: The winner of this give-away will need to provide their name and address.

Blessings!
Janiene

July 18, 2014

Gardening in a Small Spot

Today I am going to share with you how we are able to maximize our small garden plot.

We have a 45" x 240" gardening area...

We make sure our soil has a ton of nutrients. We stir in some organic garden soil each year along with some epsom salt to boost the magnesium levels...

It may not seem like much when you first plant your garden but remember, your plants will grow BIG and they need proper spacing...

We use a drip hose to water our veggies. The rocks help it stay where you want it...

We have a carrot patch that we started from seed. Drip hoses are essential if you are starting your veggies from seed as they help keep the soil moist...

Here is our garden a couple of weeks after we planted everything. The big bush in the foreground is a sunflower that sprung up from last years crop. We let it stay there and put the carrot patch right next to it...

Here is our garden plot today. If you are wondering what I use the ladders for, the one by the tomatoes is supporting my heirloom tomato branches. The heirloom tomato bush grew to an enormous size and I needed to have to climb up something. The ladder on the right was for the cucumbers to climb {click here to see how I used a ladder as a trellis last year} but I decided to bring the vines out onto the wood chips instead. I am so happy that I did that because when a cucumber is growing it now rests on the wood chips and does not discolor or get rotten from resting on moist soil. If you have some extra space next to your cucumbers I would recommend bringing the vines out of the garden like this...

It may look like a crazy jungle but everything just works well together this way! Here is the photo again with notes...

In our small spot we are able to grow enough to give us a bowl of fresh veggies daily. There is even enough to share with our neighbors which we try to do weekly (here is my son helping me prep some veggies and a sunflower for a neighbor)...

No matter the size of your plot, you can start growing fresh veggies. When I first started, I would grow my veggies in containers on our back porch. I have slowly expanded our garden year upon year. Next year I hope to expand my garden to a larger plot that runs along the back side of my house, but I will need to remove some of the soil, stir in some nutrients and compost, and weed it thoroughly. It needs A LOT of work...

So, no matter the size of your plot, I encourage you to start a garden. I guarantee you will be so blessed that you did!

Blessings,
Janiene

July 17, 2014

The County Fair & My Moms Birthday

It has been a family tradition to take my mom to the OC Fair every year for her birthday since as far back as I can remember. Last year we went to the fair and I blogged about it {click here}.

This year we kicked-off our time together by celebrating her birthday with the kids singing (loudly) Happy!! Birthday!!, and with yummy giant donuts, and with homemade cards (isn't my mama beautiful!?!)...

When we got to the fair we were greeted by the most talented and kind clown EVER! She made the kids amazing balloon creations that cost nothing but a smile (which my kids gave to her in abundance, lol)...

This year all of the Bishops (except for Dad) entered something into the fair competitions.

I entered my giant sunflower head and won 1st place for overall size (it was approx 20" in diameter!)...

My eldest son entered his veggies into the kids competition and won blue ribbons on all of his entries. We are already in discussions about what we will be growing next year! He wants me to plant some blueberry bushes, which I am totally down for! My husband wants me to plant corn - yikes! Seems hard to grow??? I want to stick with what I am comfortable with but I know I won't grow as a farmer (urban farmer that is) unless I am challenged :)

Top left: carrots, top right: largest cucumber, bottom left: heirloom tomatoes, bottom right: cherry tomatoes...

My 5 yr old entered his lego biplane masterpiece and he won a blue ribbon. He was so very excited but he also commented on how amazing all the other entries were. He especially liked the one that had the Hulk and other superheros on it...

My 3yr old daughter got in on the competition fun by creating a butterfly using recycled materials. She helped me cut out the wings (an old pizza box), she painted and decorated the wings, she laced the wings, then she filled the bottle with shredded purple Easter basket paper and glued a head, eyes, and antennas onto the butterfly. She got a blue ribbon or her entry...

We stopped by the farm stand and saw the biggest lemon EVER!! Just look at it...

We decorated doggie treat bags for Grandma's dogs...

The kids stopped to get their feet massaged...

We got to see the All-American Alaskan Pig races and it was a total crack up! Just look at those piggies...

Out of all the amazing food options my son chose roasted corn on the cob. Such a great choice. I love him!...

We ended our day at the splash pad. My kids look forward to this fountain every year! I think they played in the fountain for over an hour...

The perfect way to recharge my batteries after a long day at the fair was to make a delicious iced double shot of espresso! I made my mom a double shot for her drive home and when I handed it to her she asked for 2 more shots to top off the glass. She is my espresso-drinking hero! I love your love for coffee mom!

We had an awesome time celebrating my moms birthday at the OC Fair!! Perfect day :)

Blessings,
Janiene

July 10, 2014

Adventuring

What a FUN summer this has been so far! We have been adventuring through our days and we are sure having a grand Summer!

Remember our Summer To-Do List?
We have marked off some of our activities!!...

I think the most amazing thing for me is to see my kids looking at each day as a blank canvas, and asking me "what adventure will we go on today?" The adventures can be as big as going to the beach or as small as enjoying an ice cream together. It doesn't really matter what we are doing so long as we are together and "adventuring", as we call it :)

Here are some of our adventures, starting with the beginning of summer!!

Celebrated National Donut Day at Krispie Kreme...

My friend Nancy taught me to style my hair and for the first time in my life I purchased a diffuser and curling iron. I am in my 30's and never knew I had curly hair!!!!?? I'm a late bloomer :)

My boys had a blast making dirt volcanoes in our backyard (vinegar & baking soda eruptions). I saw this idea on Pinterest somewhere but now I can't find it. If this was your original idea, please comment below and I will link to your post.

These cuties were SO EXCITED to ride the new Camp Snoopy rides at Knotts Berry Farm. The Linus Launcher was by far their favorite...

Had the blessed opportunity to take my sweet friend Cindy out for her birthday along with some of her close friends...

Had a fabulous father's day with my Dad!

There have been many, MANY, water gun fights and water play dates already this summer...

My GINORMOUS sunflower when it reached it's peak and started to bloom...

I get to be the mommy of this little peanut and not a day passes that I am not thankful for that blessing...

I had the honor of teaching about the gifts of the Holy Spirit at a women's conference in the end of June. When I was done teaching I looked over and saw a few of the ladies using their gifts to minister to a young girl who was going on the mission field this summer. I was so edified and stirred up by these ladies...

Fun in the sun and sand with our favorite beach lover Anna!

The boys started the 4th of July with running in a kids fun-run with their friends! They had a total blast...

Watching the fireworks show with their daddy...

Fun with fireworks on the 4th! I love this shot of my sweet boy...

Adventuring through a local park. I love them...

We cut down our giant sunflower head and took it to the county fair today. I saw some of the other entries and they were big too! It will be a close contest! :)

This morning I found these on my nightstand...

My boys created lego renditions of their favorite adventures from this week and left them for me as a thank you. I mean come on? How awesome is that? I love them. I wonder what adventures we will go on tomorrow???

Blessings,
Janiene

June 11, 2014

Summertime!!

As we ease into Summer I am needing life to be fun & busy, but as unscheduled & easy-going as possible. At least for the month of June. June has been and continues to be SO BUSY for me! So, in light of my need to be unscheduled and still give my kiddos a fun summer, I made this Summer to-do list...


We will be completing the various activities as they come up and as we feel like it :)

Ahh, I feel much better knowing summer fun is doable, one spontaneous activity at a time.

I think we'll use a cute summer-themed sticker to cover up the words of the activities we complete. I'll keep you posted on that, lol.

Blessings,
Janiene

PS...
Can you find the error in the image above? It is glaring to me, but I cannot fix it unless I recreate the entire image again. Oh well! It is staying this way... ;)