Archive for February, 2009

Free Download of Not For Sale

During the month of February, you can download the audio version of Not For Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade and How We Can Fight It for FREE!

I just finished the download, and it worked really well. I’m eager to start listening.

Thanks to Shawnda for posting about this.

I think it would be amazing if hundreds (thousands?) of us downloaded this book and learned more about this incredibly important social justice issue.

So let’s…

  • Post about this offer on our blogs.
  • Tweet it.
  • Post it on Facebook.
  • Email friends.

What would happen? What could happen?

Educating ourselves is the first scary step. Do we really want to know about this? I confess that too often I’ve kept painful issues at arm’s length, knowing that if I let them closer I might actually have to care.

So here I am, throwing off the temptation of apathy and taking the first step. Will you walk with me?

February 19, 2009 at 5:34 am 15 comments

A Requirement-free Giveaway: Make Your Favorite Picture a Poster

postersAbraham here.

If you’ve ever wanted to turn one of your favorite snapshots into art for your wall, you may be interested in the giveaway we’re doing this week for readers of this blog and 22 Words.

On Saturday, Molly and I will do a drawing for one free product up to $100 from Online Poster Printing. (And the shipping will be free, too, if you’re in the US or Canada.)

How to Enter the Drawing

All you need to do to be entered to win is contact us and tell us you want to participate. You can simply say “I wanna win” or “Pick me” or something like that.

How to Enter the Drawing Multiple Times

If you want to increase your chances, here are 5 ways to be entered in the drawing extra times:

1. Subscribe to this blog. (RSS or Email)
2. Subscribe to 22 Words. (RSS or Email)
3. Let people know about the giveaway on Twitter…
4. …or Facebook…
5. …or your own blog.

When you contact us to enter, include that you’ve done any of these 5 things, and we’ll put your name in the hat an extra time for each.

Thanks a lot for reading!

February 17, 2009 at 7:01 am

What I probably won’t be making for Valentine’s Day.

In my delusions of homemaking grandeur, in which I am perfectly organized and endlessly motivated and nothing ever happens to derail me from my perfectly-laid plans, I imagine myself doing all kinds of things.

I have dreams of being a crafty woman. Everything I touch would turn beautiful.

Something about Valentine’s Day is pretty to me. I like the colors, I guess. Soft pinks, shades of red, all offset with some white… so pretty. Yeah, I know it’s a Hallmark holiday, but I like love. Love is good.

I’ve come across some Valentine’s Day projects in the past couple days that have me dreaming… that’s probably where it’ll end, though.

These are the ones that’ve caught my eye particularly:

Skill level: Easy

I think these heart doilies made out of napkins are adorable (via Martha Stewart, the one who inspires many of my delusions):


Skill level: Intermediate

If I were a scrapbooker, another one of my grand delusions, I’d be all over these 3D paper decorations.


Skill level: Are-you-freakin’-kidding-me

All of this is made of cake. All of it. Not much more to say about that, except not gonna happen. Major props to Bakerella on this one.


What are your favorite Valentine’s Day crafts? Nothing’s too remedial to share (trust me, I’m the world’s worst artist). But if you have mad skills you’ve been wanting to show the world, I promise I’ll still like you.

Happy crafting, whatever shape it takes this week!

February 10, 2009 at 8:54 am 31 comments

Get Me to the Church on Time: Tips for Getting out of the House Happily on Sunday Mornings

Abraham and I are now entering into the era of getting multiple kids (and ourselves) to church. We’ve been trying to strategize about how to get there and in our hearts still want to be there.

Our friend Jamsco from The Responsible Puppet, father of seven, shared a post about this topic. He offers some really helpful suggestions that I’d like to implement over at our house, like doing as many breakfast prep steps as possible the night before. Or making the effort to have my clothes picked out the night before, as well as the kids’.

Some of them seem so obvious, but when I’m in the thick of the Sunday morning chaos, I’m not very strategic.

You got any tips? (We need all the help we can get.)

February 8, 2009 at 10:17 am 45 comments

A Less Painful Exercise Solution: Community Ed!

A couple of my girlfriends asked me to sign up for a Community Education fitness class. I agreed because:

  1. I need to get out of the house more.
  2. I just had two back-to-back pregnancies.
  3. It would be funny to do this with friends.
  4. Morrow’s getting too old to use the “I just had a baby” excuse.

Last night was our first class. Here are some observations about why I like Community Ed. exercise classes:

  1. People were in real clothes. I honestly have 3 pairs of workout shorts, and I’ve had all of them for at least 6 years. I own no stylish workout clothes. I feel like I’m doing pretty good to have a few semi-stylish choices in my regular clothes. But here I didn’t feel the same fashion consciousness that I usually feel at other fitness venues. It was refreshing!
  2. The instructor was really good. And yet, a real-looking woman. At this point in my life I’ve realized that I won’t have the body of a 21-year-old. For pushing 3 kids and pushing 30, I think I’m doing pretty okay. I didn’t feel like I was being judged by a fitness goddess. Again, refreshing!
  3. No gym-class heroes! Instead, there was a chorus of assenting groans every time she called out, “Are you feelin‘ it?” We were all being similarly tormented and there was a camaraderie in it, not competition. I hate when you go to a fitness class and you’re looking around the whole time wondering, “Does anyone else feel like they’re about to die?!?!” The answer is yes.

But next week I’ll put on my ancient workout clothes and we three moms will make another fitness pilgrimage to the nearby high school. If I’m lucky, I’ll get over the muscle soreness by then. We’ll groan our way through the seven weeks of pain together… in community ed.

February 4, 2009 at 2:22 am 15 comments

Thanks God, for watching over a klutz like me.

Anyone who knows me well can tell you that I’m a klutz. I’m not well-known for my nimbleness in comportment. That doesn’t mean I’m not coordinated, though. I’m kind of a mixed bag.

It’s not uncommon (as in every other day or so) for me to spill something really annoying—sugar, a huge pitcher of water or juice, etc. But at the same time I’m pretty coordinated for sports. Weird, huh?

Perfect example of my predicament: I find myself regularly thanking God out loud while I’m preparing supper as he protects me from myself. Probably once a week I slice into one of my fingers, only to be stopped short at the last millisecond by those ever-helpful fingernails he gave me. “Thank you Jesus for fingernails!”

Yesterday I was able to marvel anew over one of the other body parts I take for granted all the time. I was walking out of a building, not paying attention (of course), and all of a sudden there was a major jolt in my gait. I had unknowingly negotiated a step.

BAM! I felt my spine absorb the shock. I swear I felt that reserve adrenaline in my body come up to the front lines.

And instead of collapsing into a crippled pile of bones and muscles, I just kept walking! As I walked the next few steps I thanked God for the intricacy of my spine—all those vertabrae and muscles and disks working together to cushion my klutziness. And the reflexes… even the klutziest among us has them! Incredible.

I don’t know about you, but instances like that remind me of how near God is to me all the time. Even when I’m not thinking about him, walking along cluelessly, he’s gracious to walk beside me and intervene for me—a protector, a guardian.

And more than that, all the time I’m not thinking about it, Jesus is making intercession for me with his Father, pleading that the wicked and clueless and rebellious be reconciled to God through the blood he shed on the cross. All the time saying, “Yeah, I know she doesn’t deserve it. But I love her—klutziness, cluelessness, rebelliousness, and all.”

February 3, 2009 at 9:48 am 14 comments

Did you watch the Super Bowl last night?

Being a native Pennsylvanian, I was excited that there was a western PA team in the game. From as far back as I can remember, the Steelers have been my dad’s football team.

My older sister learned to say “Pittsburgh Steelers Number One!” as early as she could put the words together intelligibly.

So I was happy with the outcome of the game, especially those last 20 minutes. It was a really good game!

But I have to say that I was disappointed with the way in which “my team” won. It seems like every other play someone was throwing a punch or kick, or there was an unnecessary roughness call. That made me sad. I want my team to demonstrate good sportsmanship while they’re winning.

Any observations from the game?

February 2, 2009 at 12:06 pm 24 comments

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