Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. Cyril Connolly (1903 - 1974)
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Monday, December 15, 2014

The Box Of Love - Blessing Children All Over The World - #GivingTuesday

It's not really called The Box of Love, but what else can you call the shoebox that we get to fill with goodies for children of all ages, from all over the world?

It's the Operation Christmas Child Program from Samaritan's Purse. Our church gets involved every year and we as members get to fill up boxes for children all over the globe!

It's amazing! And I'm so glad the kids and I get to be apart of this adventure. I really hope as they grow up, they remember and really care about others, and understand why we must always give our blessings away.

I have two children, who are seven and nine years old. We pack each shoebox according to their age and gender. It's easier this way because they get to choose what they think a child their age would love to own and play with.
We can pack just two boxes or however many we can afford.

My children and I have been incredibly blessed and have been shown so much kindness that it is a blessing to share with others!

The kids and I shop together, pack the boxes together and then drop them off at our church.

Do you know what Operation Christmas Child is? Have you packed a box before?

What is Operation Christmas Child you ask?

Operation Christmas Child, the world's largest Christmas project, brings joy and hope to needy children around the world through gift-filled shoe boxes and the Good News of God's love. Since 1993, more than 100 million shoe box gifts have been delivered to children in more than 130 countries.


How to Pack a Shoebox

  1. SHOEBOX

    Use an empty cardboard or plastic shoebox (average size). You can wrap the box, lid separately, but wrapping is not required.
  2. BOY OR GIRL

    Decide whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. Download and print the appropriate boy/girl label. Mark the correct age category and tape the label to the top of your box.
  3. FILL WITH GIFTS

    Fill the box with a variety of gifts that will bring delight to a child (see Gift Suggestions below).
  4. INCLUDE $7 DONATION PER BOX

    Help cover shipping and other costs related to delivering your shoeboxes to children overseas by donating $7 for each gift you prepare. You can give online to discover the destination of your box. Or, you can write a check to Samaritan’s Purse (note “OCC” on the memo line) and place it in an envelope on top of the items inside your shoebox. If you are preparing multiple gifts, please make one combined donation. Note: Follow Your Box is only available through online giving.

  5. PRAY

    Ask God to use your gifts to show His love to the child who will receive your shoebox.
  6. DROP OFF

    Place a rubber band around each closed shoebox and bring it to the drop-off location nearest you during National Collection Week, November 17–24, 2014. Visit our Drop-off Locations page to find the closest collection site. Or, call 1-800-353-5949.

You don't have to do it all alone. Make it a fun outing with other families, or with your kids.

They even have suggestions on what to put inside the boxes!
  • TOYS: Include items that children will immediately embrace such as dolls, toy cars, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, balls, toys that light up and make noise (with extra batteries), etc.
  • SCHOOL SUPPLIES: pens, pencils and sharpeners, crayons, markers, notebooks, paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
  • NON-LIQUID HYGIENE ITEMS: toothbrushes, bar soap, combs, washcloths, etc.

  • ACCESSORIES: t-shirts, socks, hats, sunglasses, hair clips, jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries), etc.
  • A PERSONAL NOTE: You may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. If you include your name and address, the child may be able to write back.
  • DO NOT INCLUDE: Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.

Do you know what Operation Christmas Child is? Have you packed a box before?


I love that our church are so out there on the mission field, both locally and overseas. It's a great way for our children to grow up caring for others in the world.

Do you share in any charity programs locally or internationally? 



Colette is a busy mom of 2 kids focusing solely on being a mom. She hails from the Caribbean and now balances the full life of being a SAHM and dabbling in odd jobs to help around the home. She enjoys sharing her memories, hopes, food, travel, entertainment, and product experiences on her blog. Please read my disclosure 
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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Learn Deeper - #Win The NIV First-Century Study Bible!

I am doing maybe two or three bible studies and when I learned about the study bibles, to help with the explaining of things much deeper, I was soooo excited. I have one on my wish list.

I know this bible will bless someone! It's a great tool to own in your walk with Christ! Come #Win The NIV First-Century Study Bible!


Available at Zondervan

Not long ago, a close friend and I were talking about Bible interpretation, and how nice it would be to know what certain things meant, during the time frame they were written. Shortly thereafter, I received an e-mail asking if I would like to know more about the NIV First-Century Study Bible. Perfect timing, and a perfect solution!!

This Bible makes it easier to understand what you're reading, and it allows for a deeper understanding of what things meant, in context, at the time they were written.

I love the photographs throughout the NIV First-Century Study Bible.
It is incredible to see the culture, scenery, & customs come to life through pictures.

There are photographs in the NIV First-Century Study Bible that help the reader 'see' the culture, scenery, customs, etc. that they are also reading about. It really helps bring the stories to life, and makes for pleasant reading.

Because it is a study Bible, there are excellent references to help you find things,
like this table that shows where to locate the parables of Jesus.

Since it is a study Bible, you will find all kinds of helpful inserts throughout. There are many examples, and the one I used above shows a table of the Parables of Jesus. It is a helpful, fast way to locate them, all conveniently listed for you in one place.

The NIV First-Century Study Bible has maps!

There are also maps. They provide you with a nice reference point and a great visual. 

Words you  might not understand are explained.
One example can be seen in the Table of Weights and Measures shown here.

Words that you might not understand, such as those used to describe weights and measures, are explained in convenient tables that are easy to read, and understand.

The Concordance is one of many helpful features.

And of course, there are many thoughtfully designed features to help you get the most out of what you are reading (like the Concordance pictured above).


The General Editor is Kent Dobson

Here is what experts are saying in response to the NIV First-Century Study Bible:

“The NIV First-Century Study Bible is the most exhilarating and deeply moving work of accessible Biblical commentary and presentation that I have seen in years. Carefully constructed and beautifully presented, The First Century adds a depth and a rootedness to our Christian heritage that will both comfort and enliven the believing heart. I, for one, cannot even begin to express my gratitude for this body of work.”

-Phyllis Tickle, founding editor of the Religion Department of Publishers Weekly
“The NIV First-Century Study Bible is one of the finest publications available today. It deserves a Gold Medallion award for its academic excellence, practical application and beautiful presentation. Kent Dobson makes the biblical world come alive to today’s readers. He helps connect the New Testament to its Jewish roots in the Hebrew Scriptures, examines ancient interpretations and challenges his readers to dig deeper into the Word of God for themselves. Don’t miss this beautiful, helpful and insightful Study Bible. It will make the biblical world of the first-century speak to your heart in the twenty-first century.”

-Dr. Ed Hindson 
Dean & Distinguished Professor of Religion
School of Religion, Liberty University

The new NIV First Century Study Bible from Zondervan allows you to explore scripture through the eyes of a first-century disciple. It includes full-color photographs and illustrations, ancient life depictions, Greek and Hebrew word studies, Jewish and Christian interpretations, and current cultural background details, all which reveal that the Bible is a living book. Learn more at http://www.zondervan.com/more/top-bibles/niv-first-century-study-bibles

One lucky winner is going to get one to call their own. There is no guarantee it will arrive by Christmas, but the giveaway ends at midnight (EST) on 12/18 (so there is a possibility it might!). I'll run the Rafflecopter to randomly select the winner, as soon as the giveaway ends, and notify the winner by e-mail right away. If you are hoping to get it for gift giving, be sure to check your e-mail if you entered, the faster I get your info., the faster I can forward it to the sponsor. :)

Of course, you could purchase this too. It would make a lovely gift for the holiday. US entrants only. Good luck to all who enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Colette is a busy mom of 2 kids focusing solely on being a mom. She hails from the Caribbean and now balances the full life of being a SAHM and dabbling in odd jobs to help around the home. She enjoys sharing her memories, hopes, food, travel, entertainment, and product experiences on her blog. Please read my disclosure 
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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Gift Your Pet A Neater Feeder #Giveaway

My male cat wants his own bowl. He is such a fighter. He tends to bully kitty girl for her food. 

Do you have separate food bowls for your pets? 

Come take your chance in the Gift Your Pet A Neater Feeder #Giveaway event!

neater logo
Sponsored by:
Hosted by:
Co-hosted by:
One lucky winner will win
a
(size/color winner's choice)
US Only
December 9 12:01am to December 23 11:59pm
All entries are optional
The winning entry will be verified.
Giveaway form loads below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway A disclaimer: Non of the participating bloggers is responsible for the prize. Prize will be fulfilled by Neater Feeder. This giveaway is not related to any social media page.



Colette is a busy mom of 2 kids focusing solely on being a mom. She hails from the Caribbean and now balances the full life of being a SAHM and dabbling in odd jobs to help around the home. She enjoys sharing her memories, hopes, food, travel, entertainment, and product experiences on her blog. Please read my disclosure 
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Sunday, December 7, 2014

O Come Emmanuel I'm Holding Nothing Back From You - #MusicalChristmas

So last week was 70s and up. Very very warm , hot and beautiful!
This week? cold and colder still!
This LA weather is just doing the constant pancake flipping!

But it's to be expected.

Our December theme today is a FREEBIE! Share whatever song you like. Next week, you can share Christmas songs.

Aloha!




Behind this curtain there is a heart that's hurting.
It's been taking a beating. It's starting to fall apart.
And I feel like such an easy target. Dodging bullets, I'm exhausted.
How can every moment be this hard?
I'm holding nothing back from you.
Doesn't really matter what I lose.

Got a heart that's open. I'm broken and I want you to know.
Jesus, I don't want anything coming in between you and me.
Jesus, it doesn't matter what I have to go through.
I'm holding nothing back, nothing back from you.
I've got a list that goes on and on.

It's overflowing with memories of everything that I've been doing wrong
And I'll be the first to say, I've chased after so many foolish things looking for a
way to kill the pain.
Oh, I'm holding nothing back from you.
Doesn't really matter what I lose.

Got a heart that's open. I'm broken and I want you to know.
Jesus, I don't want anything coming in between you and me.
Jesus, it doesn't matter what I have to go through.
I'm holding nothing back, nothing back from you.
I try to do the right things.
Why am I struggling day to day with these same old things?
Whatever's taking your place, I'm getting out of the way.
I'm getting out of the way.
Jesus, I don't want anything coming in between...
Jesus, I'll do what I gotta do.

I'm holding nothing back, back from you.
Jesus, I don't want anything coming in between you and me.
Jesus, it doesn't matter what I have to go through.
I'm holding nothing back, nothing back from you.




Welcome to today's music.  I hope Monday find you with a smile and music to begin your week with light steps. 
I'm always coming to visit everyone on the linky so don't worry if I'm a bit late! 

CONGRATULATIONS to this week's spotlight dancer!
Don't forget to visit the spotlight dancer in the #1 spot. Soon it might be your turn. 
Spotlight Dancers
Thank you for visiting and I'll visit you soon! 

Hosts: 
Colette @JamericanSpice
Marie @XmasDolly
And welcoming our New Co-host Becca! Yay!

Honorary Co-host: Thank you Becca and Welcome Danielle - Royalegacy

Steps:
1. Visit YouTube (or other) and get your music for the theme of the week
2. Grab our "Monday's Music Moves Me" button (above) 
3. Add your post to the linky - follow the hosts and grab our buttons. Leave a note so we can follow you back
4. Visit each other and leave a comment or whatever you want to do to let them know you were there. See if they have the same music style as you. Enjoy the music! 


Aloha

Colette is a busy mom of 2 kids focusing solely on being a mom. She hails from the Caribbean and now balances the full life of being a SAHM and dabbling in odd jobs to help around the home. She enjoys sharing her memories, hopes, food, travel, entertainment, and product experiences on her blog. Please read my disclosure 
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Saturday, December 6, 2014

My Life As A 6th Grade Super Hero #1 + Swag Bag And Books

I have to really think on which super-hero I'd like to be. It would have something to do with feeding people, making sure they can find ways to have the food they need.

It is not a good thing when hunger come a knocking.

What Super-hero would you want to be?

Share with me and come enter the My Life As A 6th Grade Super Hero #1 + Swag Bag And Books event!

SuperZerobanner
7523296My Life as a 6th Grade Super Zero #1 You’d think being a superhero would be cool. And you’re right. It would be cool, especially since the entire world is filled with plain old regular people. Superheroes and supervillains are kind of hard to find, but not as hard as some people like to think. So, anything would be better than being just a normal, everyday 6th grader, right? Wrong. The only thing worse than being an average kid would be what I am, and that is a hero with a totally useless, mega wonky, super power. I’m a dud—a zero. That’s me, Theo Perkins, a 6th grade super-freaking-zero.

Sign up for the Emails / Get on Amazon

When not writing, Peggy Martinez can be found spending time at home with her husband, her teen son, and four little girls. She loves reading, writing, soap making, aromatherapy, gangster movies, prepping for the zombie apocalypse, and downing insane amounts of Twizzlers and Kazoozles. As if being a wife and homeschooling mom of five doesn't keep her busy enough, Peggy is a full time Author who has six published books, including The Time Warper Series, State of Decay, Sweet Contradiction, and Unnatural Occurrence. The 6th Grade Super Zero series is Peggy's first Middle Grade book series, but she's pretty sure it won't be her last! http://www.peggy-martinez.com/
Peggy Martinez is giving 3 swag filled totes with a signed paperback (3 winners - US only) Fill out the form below to Enter
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Colette is a busy mom of 2 kids focusing solely on being a mom. She hails from the Caribbean and now balances the full life of being a SAHM and dabbling in odd jobs to help around the home. She enjoys sharing her memories, hopes, food, travel, entertainment, and product experiences on her blog. Please read my disclosure 
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Friday, December 5, 2014

Invest In Pet Pampering For The Holidays - #BlogPaws

I usually include something for my pets in the gift guide. It's a small one, but I know that I prefer to add only products that I use and have experience with.

Now the pet pampering, how do you pamper your pets?  Do you purchase gifts for your pets, take them to the pet spa? How do you do it?

Share with me and also take a look see at the survey we did about holidays and pets and shopping.

How much would you spend on your pets?


BlogPaws Holiday Pet Blogger Influence and Christmas Gift Spending


Will you be adopting a pet this holiday? Or fostering? Or do you have a surprise for your pets?

Happy Christmas season to you!



Colette is a busy mom of 2 kids focusing solely on being a mom. She hails from the Caribbean and now balances the full life of being a SAHM and dabbling in odd jobs to help around the home. She enjoys sharing her memories, hopes, food, travel, entertainment, and product experiences on her blog. Please read my disclosure 
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Lines That Rhyme + $25 Paypal Cash #Giveaway

It's all Christmassy right now...or getting there.
How about some books and money to make your season all smiley? :)

Come read this new book and put your name in the hat for the Lines That Rhyme + $25 Paypal Cash #Giveaway  Event!



I have children, and so I enjoy reading children books. I bet this book would be so interesting to read, with my children guessing the end answers! 

Author Mark Tepper is a busy man who works for Winthrop Hospital in New York and for the United States Postal Service. In his spare time he writes children's stories.

Lines That Rhyme is his first published work. This story is a collection of rhymes where children try to guess the answer of the rhyme by clues given throughout the book. Children use acquired knowledge to guess the answer before looking at the corresponding picture on the back of the page.
His book is written in both English and Spanish editions.



To introduce himself and the book to the general public, Mark Tepper is giving away to one lucky winner $25 Paypal and a signed copy of his book in paperback. Enter in the Rafflecopter below for your chance. Make sure to read all the rules in disclosure and good luck!

Disclosure:
This giveaway has been arranged by Away We Go Media on behalf of Mark Tepper who is responsible for this giveaway. JamericanSpice was asked to promote this giveaway and was  not compensated for this post.

This giveaway is open to US only. The giveaway will run from December 5, 2014 at 12 Midnight MST through December 20, 2014 at Midnight MST. There will be one winner and will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter.com. This giveaway is in no way endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media outlet.

NOTE: The first entry on the Rafflecopter is mandatory. You must enter your full name, address, and email in order to be eligible for this giveaway. However, this sole entry does not constitute a win for you as you must enter at least one other entry. If you do not follow this rule you will be automatically disqualified. All entries will be verified. Your information will not be sold to any third party and only viewed and used by Away We Go Media for the purpose of the winners chosen.

Thank you for entering!





Colette is a busy mom of 2 kids focusing solely on being a mom. She hails from the Caribbean and now balances the full life of being a SAHM and dabbling in odd jobs to help around the home. She enjoys sharing her memories, hopes, food, travel, entertainment, and product experiences on her blog. Please read my disclosure 
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