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Parenting Beyond the Rules by Connie Albers

Have you ever noticed that there are a ton of parenting books for infants and very few for teenagers? I've always found that a little odd, even more so as I became a parent of a teen because the truth is that it is so much more difficult to navigate the teen relationship than it is the infant one. I'm so thankful that Connie Albers took the time and energy to create this book, Parenting Beyond the Rules.
She does a great job of encouraging and directing parents of teens with this book. Since she's navigated that territory before, it's almost like sitting down with a friend that has been there done that. She encourages and challenges. The overarching theme of this work is to listen and to remember that in just a few short years, these young people that share a roof with us will be on their own and making decisions for themselves. If we just make all the decisions for them through the use and implementation of rules, how does that benefit them in the long run? I should …
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Placemaker by Christie Purifoy

When I first saw the title, Placemaker, I had to look up what the word means. I was pleased to discover that it means exactly what it says, one who makes places for others and themselves.

In Placemaker, Purifoy goes through her homes throughout the years and connects them with not only the trees that grew there but how those trees relate to what God taught her in the midst of that placemaking. She covers a wide range of theological issues with ease through the overarching symbol of trees. But maybe the best part is something she discovers and brings home in the midst of her sadness.

In the chapter "Rainbow Eucalyptus and Roses," she talks about Hawaii and their amazing rainbow eucalyptus trees. She also talks about the loss of her brother in law. Within that trip to Hawaii, she shares a conversation that she has with an old surfer and how she sees that he encounters the world through waves the same as she does through trees and gardens. She shares how each of us has that th…

Scale it down a bit

One of my favorite things to do is rearrange furniture. The hard part is trying to figure out the least amount of moves to get the look I'm going for. And sometimes I just don't know until I see it. I've been struggling with how to arrange our back room.

It's a good size room, plenty of space but it has some jobs that aren't so pretty. Currently, it's a mud room and covered in salt from the snow the last couple of days and we've moved the dog's night quarters into the space so that she doesn't have to fight the stairs every night. It's often covered in shoes oh and my desk in there because I can't figure out any other place I can put it and use it. So yeah, stuff, lots of stuff. And that doesn't even include the things waiting to be donated and the go back out to the garage.

Today I remembered this handy little tool that's in the picture above. It's a scale ruler and it's used to... scale things. Each side is an exact scale …

It's not nailed down, you know.

Sometimes, I think we like to believe that the stuff in our house is nailed down and permanently married to the place we've set it. Well, the food goes there, the table is set over there, the couch has to face that wall. I think we've done the exact opposite. People have commented about our rearranging over the years, taking notice when things are moved and replaced. 
Most recently, I've decided to take on my notions of the cabinets in the kitchen. Y'all may know that I fell in love with a clean countertop a few years back. The look it gives even a simple kitchen like ours is worth the effort to make it happen. Recently, EVERYTHING was put on the countertops. I was trying my best to accommodate the desires of my whole family and we gained a few appliances that are countertop dwellers that are way too big for a cabinet home. That didn't explain why all the other ones had moved out but it's where we found ourselves. 
The problem with have appliances on the count…

Becoming Gertrude by Janice Peterson

Sometimes, you read a book because you're familiar with someone they're connected with. Case in point, Eugene Peterson and Janice Peterson. Having read excerpts from the Message and several other books from Eugene, I was curious as to what Janice would have to share. I'm so glad that I took a peek.

In Becoming Gertrude, Janice Peterson shares not only what we can give in friendship to others but also a reminder of the things that we receive. In today's culture, it's very easy to become disconnected or to believe that reading updates about one another's life on a regular basis means that we are connected. The hardships, struggles, difficulties in friendship are discussed in this small book in a way that encourages the reader to reach out of a place of safety to increase their circle of friendship in real ways.

Right from the beginning, the purpose of the book is clearly stated as friendship and not mentorship. The relationship put forth in this book is not one …

Plan to Enjoy updates

I have had so much time to think lately. And I keep running back around to the question "Is what you're doing taking you where you want to go?" And there were a few things that ended up being no they were not. And some were yes and no. Plan to Enjoy has fallen into that yes and no category. No earning money while sharing about our meals is not taking me where I want to go in my life. So I've stopped charging. Yes, you read that right, you can get a weekly email with meal ideas for free. I love sharing what we're eating or have eaten. So go over to the Plan to Enjoy page and sign yourself up! Within that, I've also turned off the Instagram and Facebook business page for Plan to Enjoy. For the moment, there still is a Facebook group that goes through monthly themes.


I also discovered that there will no longer be a Tyndale Blog Network this year. They're moving towards their reader program. Which for me means, no more access to free books to review. I'm…

Love Week 4 of Sunday Advent Devotional

We made it to the final week of Advent! Hope you've enjoyed this devotional! Let us know in the comments what you're thoughts are.