Friday, April 24, 2015

Christy Nockel's New Album #LetItBeJesus Giveaway

For a couple of days now I have been listening to the soon to be released new album by Christy Nockels. "Let It Be Jesus" releases next Tuesday, April 28, 2015. It's one of those albums that you put in your stereo and just let the music invade your home throughout the day. Did I mention that it is a LIVE album. I feel like my home has become my church auditorium. Think about that for a second. Why shouldn't our homes be our constant worship centers. Seriously.

 As far as a favorite song on this album, hmmmm.... I love them ALL but "My Anchor" is absolutely my favorite. Check out this live YouTube video.

For those of you who don't know who Christy Nockel's is...

As a worship leader for many years, she has been an integral part of Passion Conferences from its inception in 1997. She's seen first hand music sweep people into the presence of God in a powerful way. A pastor’s kid, who was born in Fort Worth and raised in Oklahoma, she grew up singing in church. She met her husband, Nathan, in 1993 at the Christian Artists Seminar in Estes Park, Co. They recorded an independent record with fellow worship leader Charlie Hall under the name Sons & Daughters that led to an invitation from Louie Giglio to participate in the first Passion conference in Austin. Christy’s voice gained a national platform when she and Nathan formed the duo Watermark, recording four acclaimed albums before that musical season ended, paving the way for Christy’s solo career. In 2008, the couple moved to Atlanta to become part of Passion City Church where she serves on the worship team with sixstepsrecords labelmates Chris Tomlin and Kristian Stanfill. The following year, Nockels released her acclaimed solo debut, Life Light Up and spent much of the next two years touring with Tomlin and Passion.

You can pre-order your very own copy of the album on iTunes now. One of my blessed readers is going to get their very own copy of Let It Be Jesus. Just fill out the easy Rafflecopter form below! Be sure you follow all of Christy's 

 photo BlogSignature_zpsaaa2dccc.png

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.” Open to U.S. and Canada. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Twenty Years Ago. Twenty Years Later. #OkStandard

Twenty years ago.

I don't know that many of us can recall exactly what we were doing on any other given day 20 years ago. But, if you are an Oklahoman, you remember.

I was in Weatherford, OK. I was in my first semester of my senior year at SWOSU. I had just finished up my eight o'clock class and had a conference with my Grammar professor, yes I had Grammar at one time in my life. The conference was over my senior thesis, Communication in Management. The meeting did not take that long, I'm not sure why. I was back in my dorm room by 9:30, those of us students lucky to have any reception or cable on our TV's were glued to our sets, the students that didn't have TV's were glued to our sets. We were in awe. I don't know the stats, but probably a lot of students missed classes the remainder of the day as news filtered in. We were 70 miles west of the site. For those of us who didn't know someone in the Murrah building, we knew someone, who knew someone, who knew someone. Several of us even had friends who had just graduated and had began their careers in downtown Oklahoma City.

It was a real awakening moment for a college senior, knowing that my life in the "real world" was getting ready to start and that such evil was out there. I still was very protected and naive. I remember driving back home to Wilson from Weatherford on the weekends through El Reno on I-40, knowing that was where Timothy McVeigh was, and seeing the sign "Warning Hitchhikers may be escaped Inmates".

I didn't and couldn't bring myself to visit the Oklahoma City Memorial until 10 years after the tragedy. It wasn't until even last year, 19 years later that I could take my own children.

April 19, 1995. A day we will never forget. A day we as individuals, a. state, a nation were changed forever. It was a day that began as any other for 168 victims of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

The Survivor Tree reflecting beautifully in the Reflecting Pool.
Miss K writing a chalk message in the Children's Area. 

Miss K  and B in front of the 9:01 Gate of Time. The minute before it all happened. The minute before innocence was taken.
The Journal Record Building is now the Oklahoma City National Museum. It was severely damaged in the bombing. 
Twenty Years Later. 

As a parent I want to protect my children from the terrors and tragedies of this world. I can't. I can only guide them and arm them with God's continued promise of life eternal. I can also instill in them the Oklahoma Standard. 

On Easter Sunday, my guys came home from the OKC Thunder game sporting bracelets. These bracelets were marked with the Thunder logo and #OKStandard hashtag and the Oklahoma Standard values of service, honor and kindness. WOW!! I must have been living in a bubble because this was the first I had heard about this. Fans were challenged to join the Oklahoma Standard campaign by committing to one act of service, one act of kindness and one act of honor during the month of April. Individuals, groups and businesses can sign up and learn more at

I love my state. I love this campaign. I love service, kindness and honor!! What great concepts to instill now and for generations to come.

 photo BlogSignature_zpsaaa2dccc.png

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Love Inspired® Mother's Day Giveaway- Six Books!!

In March I introduced you to Love Inspired® Suspense books. These are good wholesome inspirational books that only take about 3-4 hours to read. Now, just in time for Mother's Day, I get to introduce you to another one of their lines and even give away the SIX titles that are ONLY on sale April 21-May 28. The Love Inspired product line is a series of 6 books that are released every month and only have a shelf-life of one month. 

Love Inspired® books offer wholesome, faith- based entertainment for women that nourishes the soul as it affirms the values of devotion, hope and love. Books are available online and in-store. They are in paperback, large print or in ebook versions. You can even set up an ebook subscription if you wish! Nice. 

Love Inspired® readers believe hearts can heal. Love Inspired® stores show that faith, forgiveness and hope have the power to lift spirits and change lives- always.

Until August 31, 2015 the following $1.00 coupon is being offered by the publisher at a retail store where Love Inspired® books are sold. You can download at this link. Or email me if you need me to send it to you. 

 Now. Who wants a Mother's Day gift to receive or give away?

Shhhh....don't tell my mother in law that I am reading them before I pass them on to her. Oh wait she reads my blog!

 photo BlogSignature_zpsaaa2dccc.png

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Giveaway only open for U.S. and Canada.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Main Event Celebrates its 20th Location with 20 Days of Prizes #Tulsa20 #EatBowlPlay

Main Event Entertainment, the fastest-growing bowling-anchored entertainment center in America, is celebrating its 20th location opening right here in Tulsa at the end of April with a social media contest and chance for Main Event fans EVERYWHERE to win free fun.

Here is the new location's address: 
7830 South Santa Fe Ave. West
Tulsa, OK 74132

Here is how to enter:
  • Contest begins April 2, 2015 and lasts for 20 days. 
  • To enter for a chance to win, follow Main Event @MainEvent on Twitter and @MainEventEntertainment on Instagram. 
  • Retweet or regram Main Event’s posts or post unique content of your own using the hashtags #EatBowlPlay, #Tulsa20.

This is what you can win:
  • In total, 400 prizes will be given away during the contest period. Prizes range from free video game play, rounds of bowling, free laser tag and free food from its full-service restaurant and bar.
  • One lucky grand prize winner will receive an “Eat.Bowl.Play.” party for 20 at the Main Event of their choice.
I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to having another venue for family fun in our area. You can also find more information on Main Event's Facebook page. 

Be sure to let me know or invite me if you win!

 photo BlogSignature_zpsaaa2dccc.png

This post is sponsored by Main Event Entertainment.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Bee Story by Miss K

Today's informative post is brought to you by none other than Miss K. I found these in her backpack this morning. I love the combination of science, writing, and art. I admire her developing thought process, the paragraph usage and her overall enthusiasm for these three subjects.  It still pains me that she doesn't spell every word correctly, but I am reminded by her 2nd grade teacher that at this age she still spells as she sounds out.

Bees by Kaybrie
(spelling errors corrected by Mom)

   A Queen bee is the boss. She lays eggs. She lays over 1000 eggs. She is very lazy. I wish she was more like a Queen.  
  The similarities  are of course they are both bees. The Queen bee and the worker bee can both fly. And both have the same body parts such as the head, abdomen, and thorax.  
  Now to the worker bee. It is pretty small. They do a lot of work for the Queen bee. And they care for the babies. 

Did you learn anything?

 photo BlogSignature_zpsaaa2dccc.png

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Jesus Sees Us Doll & Book Review

It's no secret Miss K and I love dolls. We have quite a collection of Raggedy Ann's, Gerber, Cabbage Patch Kids, Barbie's and American Girl Dolls- some as old as 31 years. When I was asked to review the Jesus Sees Us Doll, I jumped at the opportunity. Where has this doll been all my my children's life? How great would it be to carry around "Jesus" instead of a favorite blanky, teddy bear or other doll?

"Jesus Sees Us was created by two mothers of preschool-ages children looking for an engaging and relatable way to introduce Jesus and their Faith to their children!

By the time a child turns three years old, he or she already has the capability to relate to Jesus. Children can understand that, like them, Jesus was a baby with parents who loved Him. They can understand that Jesus grew up to be a man who loved everyone and taught people to do the same. Children become excited and inquisitive when they can master these facts, ultimately making them more open to deeper conversations and ideas about faith.

The Jesus Sees Us doll is an integral part of fostering your child’s initial introduction to Jesus. Even though we talk to our children about Jesus or take them to Sunday services, they are not always able to understand the importance of the Christian message. Jesus Sees Us is a tool that makes Jesus, His teachings, and the concept of faith both relatable and positive to young children by introducing Him as the loving and forgiving presence in our lives. The doll becomes the tangible connection to the stories and lessons in the book. He is the touchable source of comfort that a child can relate to. The Jesus Sees Us doll has a soft body and a warm, welcoming face. His arms and hands are open, inviting your child to hold him, engage with him, and pray with him. The Jesus Sees Us doll allows your child to “play out” the valuable and timeless lessons of the Bible."

Obviously, I got to add not only a new doll to my collection, but a new doll and book to use with my precious friends during the day. I absolutely love the life lessons that the book teaches and have already used them several times with Miss K in dealing with issues with peers and manners. So as for being appropriate from ages 2-6+ for the doll, the book is working for even my 8 year old. I'm even thinking of ways to incorporate it in my large group time at church with my 2nd graders. 

Just in time for Easter, you can get your very own Jesus Sees Us Doll at Amazon

 photo BlogSignature_zpsaaa2dccc.png

Disclosure: I received this item as a promotional item courtesy of  FlyPropeller. This is not a sponsored post. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Post updated 4/1/15 to remove Amazon code. Price at Amazon reflects discount. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

My Letter to the Editor Regarding Education Legislation #oklaed

Today I wrote the following letter to my local newspaper for it's Letters to the Editor column. I don't know if it will be published, and if it is, if it will receive an answer from one of our local legislatures. Word on the street is that one legislator from my city made the comment that private schools are better because those parents are engaged and know what is going on. WHAT? As parents of students in the public school system we must change the perception that parents are unhappy with the schools or are not engaged. I am an engaged parent. My children, all students, teachers, and our schools need our voices to be heard.

My letter:

High stakes testing must go!  Our Oklahoma testing system must be re-evaluated and the tests given reduced. I support SB 708 which eliminates any test that is not federally mandated. This bill passed the Senate on 3/9/15.

As a mother of two children in the Broken Arrow Public School system it saddens me when my children tell me that their school year is over after Spring Break. It is over due to testing. My best learning times were after Spring Break. My teachers became creative with their "outdoor" learning experiences. So many things can be taught in Reading, Writing, Science, History and Math when you get out of the testing environment and into the world to apply those subjects.

Why is Oklahoma spending $17 million on state and federally mandated tests? Is it okay that our kids are being used as lab rats to "test" their equipment and test questions. Thankfully our new state superintendent put an end to a few field tests this year.

Is it okay that our third graders have had a growing anxiety since the time they hit the halls of their first grade classroom? An anxiety from a pass or fail test that could potentially make them retake their third grade year? My second grader is not only worried about her future but her teachers' as well. She feels the pressure because of constant assessments to prepare for these high stakes tests. Assessments and testing that take away the valuable time she needs to be learning!

My eighth grader recently completed his 8th grade writing test. It wasn't for HIS grade. He had to write from the perspective of a Cattle Hand. Yes testing companies, all Okies are cowboys so this should be an easy writing assignment. In less than a month he will be faced with another test, this one will determine whether or not he is eligible to get his drivers permit. Because driving requires you to read words like, but not limited to: STOP, SLOW, CONSTRUCTION AHEAD, and MPH.  Weren’t many of these words taught while looking at street signs during the chauffeuring to activities?

Let our Oklahoma students be kids. Let their minds be free to explore possibilities outside the classroom. Let our teachers prepare them for the bright futures that each one have ahead of them. Let's not damper their spirits with continued tests that take away valuable instruction time. Put the resources spent on these tests into our schools vs a data file. ​​

ShaRhonda Crow, Broken Arrow
​Graduate of an Oklahoma Public School, Graduate of an Oklahoma State College, Mother of two children currently in the Oklahoma Public School System, PTA member, and Voter​

What you can do:

  1. Be informed. I get most of my information from the Oklahoma PTA, you can follow them on Facebook. The bills are hard to understand sometimes. There are parents/advocates out there that dissect these bills and explain them to us.
  2. Email/Call/Tweet your Legislatures. Don't know who they are? Click here
  3. Get involved. How involved are you in your child's education? I never in a million years thought I would have to be an advocate. Even if you never send a letter, your local schools need YOU! 
Maybe Diogenes isn't specifically referring to our "state" when he made the above quote, but I believe he is definitely talking about the stability of our country and others being based on the education and experiences that is passed to future generations. Isn't our state a part of a great country? Doesn't the future depend on future generations?

 photo BlogSignature_zpsaaa2dccc.png

Friday, March 6, 2015

Texas K-9 Series eBook Review & Giveaway

We have had a few snow days this week in Oklahoma. Sorry, no pics this year. Seriously, that just tells you how OVER winter I am. In fact, out of the past two weeks we have had three snow days, three doctor visits, one child who missed three days of school being sick and three dance lessons! I also downloaded THREE books to read. Love Inspired Suspenses about lawmen who solve tough cases with the help of their canine partners.

Cook. Eat. Read. Repeat. Do you feel me?

Texas K-9 Unit Series Books 1-3: Tracking Justice\Detection Mission\Guard Duty (Available at Amazon)

About the books: 
"Love Inspired Suspense authors Shirlee McCoy, Margaret Daley and Sharon Dunn will get your pulse racing with tales of Texas cops and their loyal K-9 dogs tracking down a crime ring. Enjoy three action-packed Texas K-9 Unit romantic suspense novels in one box set! When a boy goes missing from his bedroom, a police detective must assure a desperate single mother that he and his trusty bloodhound will find her son. A woman with amnesia has to rely on an officer and his border collie to stay alive when she can't remember who tried to kill her. An FBI agent is called in to protect a single mother when the rookie K-9 officer witnesses a murder and becomes the killer's target."

When was the last time you read a good wholesome book? One of my blessed readers is getting their very own copy of Book 1 in the new Capitol K-9 Unit miniseries, PROTECTION DETAIL by Shirlee McCoy (author of Book 1 in the Texas K-9 series). It released March 3rd.

About "Protection Detail": 
After a prominent senator's son is murdered, Capitol K-9 Unit captain Gavin McCord wants answers. The senator was a mentor to Gavin, and he'll stop at nothing to bring the killer to justice. With his team of elite K-9 cops and his loyal dog, Glory, at his side, Gavin discovers that a child at Cassie Danvers's nearby foster home may have witnessed the murder. He's drawn to the determined and beautiful woman, but she doesn't want him interviewing her traumatized charges. Yet trusting Gavin is the only way to stay one step ahead of the deadly gunman when Cassie becomes a target.

Be sure to check out the Facebook Page, I noticed that a few of my readers are already fans of this page!

 photo BlogSignature_zpsaaa2dccc.png

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Open to U.S. and Canada only. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Miss K's Volleyball KISS Story

I love reading what my children write, and sometimes even share their writings on my blog. After all this is a blog about living, laughing, LEARNING, and loving from our nest. As my second grader prepares to become a third grader, I am seeing more and more writing prompts come home with her. Miss K is my creative one, she would rather be making something than doing what has to be done. Anyone else have a child like that? Or on another note does anyone else have a child that is a mirror image of themselves? She is definitely my mirror.

I can only imagine what she was thinking when her teacher gave the class a Hershey's Kiss and told them to carefully peel off the wrapper. Told them that the Kiss that was being given was going to turn into something....

A Volleyball. It turned into a volleyball because I love volleyball. I am not in it yet but I get about a foot away from my closet and throw the ball and it bounces away from me and so the game is against the closet. My brothers girlfriend plays volleyball and she plays for the Tigers and my brother's school. And the ball always came toward me and my family. I tried to hit the ball but couldn't. I really love volleyball. I love it. I LOOOOOOOVVVVEE itttttttttttt.

Any guesses on which sport Miss K just signed up to play?

 photo BlogSignature_zpsaaa2dccc.png

P.S. I am really hoping I got every O, V, E and T accounted for in the rewrite of that story. She told me that her teacher said every line had to be filled up. Oh my.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Versona: Grand Opening

I was invited to be a guest at the February 26, 2015 grand opening of the Versona located in the Tulsa Hills Shopping Center. After the week I have had, I was in the need of some therapy, and personal retail therapy was calling my name.

From the moment you walk into this store you are in awe. It is so big. Everything is SO organized. Organized by colors. If you want a Cool Mint clothing item, the table behind it has a variety of mint colored accessories from earrings to purses to match. If you are Santa Fe inspired, there is a turquoise or rustic accessory to go with it. There wasn't an inch of this store that Miss K and I didn't explore. I believe she touched every single accessory. (She even told me that the restroom was nice, yes that is important to kids and Moma's. I would sure hate to leave my much desired merchandise behind due to a potty break.)

Oh, Black & White. How I love thee. Obviously Miss K does also. 

I will be returning for this dress! Only $34.99.

Verona prides itself in being, "An exclusive women's boutique offering apparel and accessories at exceptional prices every day!" It's prices range from $7.99-$54.99. Sizes 2-14 and XS-XL. Here are a few things that we tried on/bought. 

Marsha, the store manager even took a grand opening selfie with me. The entire staff is so nice. Especially Gabriel, the gentleman who greeted us at the door. Be sure to follow Versona on all their social media sites. Facebook, TwitterInstagram, the Tulsa Hills store even has its very own Instagram

If you are out and about this weekend, be sure to stop by the newest store in Tulsa Hills- Versona! Near Michael's, 7522 South Olympia Avenue. Be sure to tell them I sent you!

And if you are looking for a Versona in a city located close to you, click here.

 photo BlogSignature_zpsaaa2dccc.png

*I was sent a VIP gift card and an exclusive invitation to attend the grand opening. This post is 100% my own opinion. And of course I spent more than the gift card.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Valentine Let Your Light Shine Printable Card

One of my favorite sayings to my kids is "let your light shine". As a Christian this phrase serves as a reminder daily to us to let our words and actions be just like Christ's were. To also be a reflection that Christ is in our heart, and when our light shines brightly for other they will see and want to also know the love of Jesus.

Valentine's Day is all about the LOVE, right? Married couples, engaged couples, dating couples, etc...But what about the little kids who aren't "in love yet"? I find that it is so hard to find classmate Valentine cards that are just simply for FRIENDS. Do your kids ever go through those generic packs and say I can't give that to Jane because she may think I like her? Or that one is too girly for Sam. I often think that our children grow up way to fast with all this boyfriend/girlfriend, kissy kissy, dating, gift exchanging stuff. Why rush it? Let them be kids.

Miss K will be taking these to her friends at school this Valentine's Day.

I created them in PicMonkey, then I punched holes in the ends. I purchased glow bracelets at Michaels for $1- 12 in a package (price before my coupon). Here is the finished Valentine. 2nd graders love the glow bracelets. 

I made a blank one for my readers to use also. Feel free to download at this link

And now to move on to the 14 year old...What? Carnations for sale at his school for $1. What ever happened to candy grams? 

 photo BlogSignature_zpsaaa2dccc.png

Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

*This post contains affiliate links

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Miss K turns 8!

Miss K turned 8 on Saturday. I have an EIGHT year old daughter. Once again we hosted a Birthday Party on a Budget. Total spent on party- $55!

I made the invitation in PicMonkey. Had them printed at Wal-Mart as 4x6 prints and invited 9 friends.

I picked up canvases and acrylic paints from Michaels and ordered paint trays, brushes and aprons from Amazon. I then used masking tape and taped off each girl's first letter of their name. Letters like "R" and "S" are hard y'all!

The girls painted over their taped off initial. They painted their way. Girls are creative that way.

The birthday girl hard at work. 

The final masterpieces! So adorable!

For the "birthday cake", I made cake balls. 81 cake balls to be exacts. Only 79 ended up getting decorated, and 45 ended up on the cake plates for the girls to eat. I served Miss K's favorite Cherry Limeade in Mason jars and Cheddar Cheese Bugles.

Each guest got their picture taken with the birthday girl. I really should have thought and had a better background other than the garage door. I will print these pictures out and send as the thank you card. 

 My sweet little sassy, artsy dancer is EIGHT YEARS OLD! Yes, we butt heads- like mad, but each day it is like looking into a mirror of myself at that age. I often wonder aloud about where she gets her independence, about where she gets her energy, her constant need to be doing something. I find more often than not that her need to do something involves creativity, either through a craft or through dance. I mean really, what 8 year old asks for duct tape and rubber bands for her birthday? She truly is my mini-me. She reciprocates everything I do, yet still embraces her own individuality. She is growing into a beautiful young lady, and I thank God each day that He chose me to be her mother.

 photo BlogSignature_zpsaaa2dccc.png

P.S. Do you see the chalkboard easel in the first picture? My friend Glenna gave it to us. A huge shout of thank you goes out to her for that party decoration and toy. Also, what I didn't mention in the post was my trip to urgent care the morning of Miss K's party. My boy took over the heavy lifting and clean up of this party. I could never have pulled it off without him. My kids are AWESOME!

*This post contains affiliate links