Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Winner of Our Brittany Hargest Giveaway...

The Winner of our Brittany Hargest Love All The Way CD giveaway is commentor #7 Lisa Howard Colpo (chosen by Random.org)!

lisacolpo said...
I would love to win this because I have always loved Christian music even growing up I hope I win this I would love this it sounds so nice .

Lisa, I've sent you a message via facebook.  Congratulations to you!  I truly hope that you enjoy your new CD!

Soon I will announce another giveaway, another chance to win!  Thank you to all who participated in this giveaway from Luv'N Lambert Life!!  I look forward to sharing in more fun giveaways in the future.

<3 Dana

Friday, October 28, 2011

November = Epilepsy Awareness


Soo, Dear Friends, I don't know if you noticed but both blogs (yes, I now have two) have been turned PURPLE.  Why you ask?  The answer is SIMPLE.  November is Epilepsy Awareness Month and Epilepsy is a HUGE HUGE part of Luv'N Lambert Life. 

Most of you know that both of my daughters and I suffer from this wonderful disorder.  Now I call it wonderful but anyone living with Epilepsy knows it is anything but wonderful.  That said, I always remember to praise God through every storm, or at least try to, so I tend to look at Epilepsy as a blessing in disguise.  We, as a family, could have been given much worse so I am thankful that God chose to give us something easy enough, for us, to deal with.

This month I am hoping to have a surprise series for Epilepsy, if I manage to finish and have it set up in time.  I will soon post all the info here on the blog and anyone who'd like to join me can feel free to.  For now though, I have a few other priorities that are taking place. 

My very best guy friend is getting married tomorrow and I'm his lucky Best Woman.  I couldn't be prouder to stand beside my friend and his soon-to-be wife, sweet as they are.  I wish them the absolute BEST in life!  They seriously deserve it!

My little Laycie Bug is now on week two of her dreaded medicine change.  She's going through the whining phase now, trying to keep from napping though this new medicine (Depakote) is making her so very tired every day around 2pm.  She's a trooper though and thankfully (PRAISING GOD HERE) she has had no signs of seizure, no breakthroughs, AND best of all her attitude and her appetite do seem to be getting a little bit better by the day.  The real proof that Depakote works for her will come next week after she comes off her Carbitrol on Sunday.  PUHLEEZE PRAY that she continues to do well and that this silly ole disorder doesn't rare it's stubborn head and make my sweet baby suffer.  Thanks yall!

Sunday is the day for choosing a winner for my very first giveaway on Luv'N Lambert Life.  Brittany Hargest's Love All the Way is up for grabs from anyone who'd like to join in.  There is still time - the giveaway ends at 12am Sunday and the winner will be announced later that day.  I wish all of you the best of luck!  But if you don't win, don't worry more giveaways will be announced soon - very soon one AMAZING Christmas movie giveaway will be announced so stay tuned!

Well that's our update for now.  I will be creating more new posts both with the giveaway and the announcement of my special plans for Epilepsy Awareness Month, very soon.  For now though I've got to get some sleep.  I've got a rehearsal tonight and the best friend's wedding tomorrow.  Going to be a busy weekend for me.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend yourselves!

Dana <3

Monday, October 24, 2011

NetGalley Review: Shattered Dreams


I must say it's been a while since I completely fell in LOVE with a book but this one was that good.  I stayed up all night reading it and didn't stop until the last page.  It was absolutely worth it.

Shattered Dreams is a teen fiction novel full of intrigue, mystery and magical charm.  After her grandmother's unexpected passing, Trinity Monsour is sent to her birthplace of New Orleans to live with her father's sister.  Both of Trinity's parents died when she was a baby in an unfortunate accident which no one will talk about.

Trinity is special.  She has the gift of prophecy and unseen sight.  Trinity dreams of things yet to come and those dreams lead to unhappy endings, and often death.  In Shattered Dreams, Trinity must help find her nemesis, Jessica after she dissappears.  Through her dreams, Trinity is able to see Jessica, where she is and if she's alive, even who her tormentor is.  Will she find Jessica before it's too late?  You will have to read Shattered Dreams to find out!

Shattered Dreams is available from Macmillian Publishing for $9.99 in either paperback or eBook format.  It's a book you won't soon forget!

Disclaimer: This book was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion shared in a review.  No money was exchanged and I was not expected to share a positive opinion of this book.

TOS Review: Marshall Publishing Products

Do you love fire trucks?  Are you looking for a great way to teach fire safety and fire prevention in your home?  Have a child who absolutely LOVES learning about fires and the tools used to prevent and put them out?  Then you will LOVE Lots & Lots of Fire Trucks and Firefighters and Lots & Lots of Fire Songs and Safety Tips from Marshall Publishing.

My children were not excited by this review until they realized they had seen the commercials for other products from this company over the past year on television.  That completely changed their opinion and they quickly became willing to watch and enjoy this video.  They learned several adorable fire safety songs, what to do in the case of a fire, and the uses of different types of fire trucks.  They enjoyed looking through the beautiful images in the book Lots & Lots of Fire Trucks and Firefighters.  They learned different tool types, uniform types, and even more about the trucks in this book too. 

This dvd/book set is a wonderful addition to any fire safety lesson, both in homeschooling or in a community setting.  It would be very useful for a co-op lesson too.  It can be purchased online through Marshall Publishing for $29.95.  For more reviews please visit the TOS Review Crew blog.


As an added bonus, I was sent George Washington Carver to review from Marshall Publishing.  This video shares the story of the life of George Washington Carver from his birth to his death.  It is a wonderful video that shows how Mr. Carver changed Southern agriculture, showing poor farmers how to grow peanuts and other vegetables over cotton, as well as allowing their fields a period of rest between years of growing so that the soil did not tire and plants would thrive.  This video provides much more than that though, in showing how a poor orphan went on to change the minds of his people and others who were struggling just to survive.

You can by George Washington Carver through Marshall Publishing for $19.95.  You can find more reviews of this product at the TOS Review Crew blog.



Disclaimer: This video/book set and extra bonus historical dvd was provided to me free for review by Marshall Publishing and the TOS Homeschool Review Crew in exchange for an honest review of the product.

TOS Review: Say Anything Family




Say Anything Family was provided to us by the TOS Crew and North Star Games. This game was a whole lot of fun! We played it on a recent family sleepover weekend with all the kids. They absolutely LOVED it!!

In Say Anything Family, you are asked questions to which the player must answer a question on a provided dry-erase board. Players can either form teams or they can play singly. Once the answers are written down, the players then turn them over for all to see. The next step is placing a cute little Meeple, the trademark character of North Star Games, onto the answer they think it the best.

My kids were very creative in answering this game. We adapted it to fit us by having Mom play the scorekeeper and question asker. The kids were allowed to either write their answers or draw a picture on their card to depict answers that they may not know how to spell yet. All the kids, ages 7-11, had a wonderful time playing this game. The rules state that players play until a certain amount of points are scored but we played until we were out of circle for rounds on the scorecard and the kids never got bored. We look forward to playing this game again on future sleepover weekends.

Say Anything Family is not yet available to purchase but will be available soon. You can keep a watch on it by visiting North Star Games online. You can read other reviews on the TOS Crew website.



Disclaimer: Say Anything Family was provided to me for review by North Star Games and TOS Homeschool Review Crew in exchange for my honest opinion of the product shared in a blog post.

Propeller Review: Brittany Hargest Giveaway

I must admit, when I was asked to review this album by Propeller I had no clue who Brittany Hargest was or of her past association with Jump5, the Christian Pop senstation.  For me, this whole review was about the music, not the musician or her past and I must say that Brittany Hargest has not let me down.  The songs are wonderful.

Love All The Way is a wonderful compilation of songs that really lift your spirits.  The songs are fun and full of energy.  They fit today's teen world in sharing heartbreak and triumph.  This album fits all ages but especially fits those in their teens to early 20's. 

Would I classify this album as a Christian album?  Not completely, it's more Pop than anything but it's definitely one I won't mind letting my daughter listen to on her MP3 player as she hangs out at home.   I recommend Brittany Hargest and her music to family and friends as a wonderful role-model for their daughters to enjoy and learn from.   She is very inspiring and her music is exceptionally enjoyable.

You can purchase Love All The Way through the website store for an autographed CD or on iTunes for immediate download for $7.99.  You can also find additional merchandise online in her website's store.

I am excited to announce that Brittany's album Love All The Way is my very first giveaway at Luv'N Lambert Life.  Thanks to the wonderful generosity of Propeller, I am able to offer this album to one lucky reader.  I hope whoever wins will enjoy Brittany's album as much as I have this week during my review.

*This contest has now ended.  Thank you to all who participated!
So here's how this giveaway works:

*For your first entry, please comment and tell me why you'd like to win Brittany Hargest's Love All The Way. 
The following entries are optional but will get you a bonus entry if you complete them:
1) Like Brittany Hargest on Facebook!

2) Like Luv'N Lambert Life on Facebook!
3) Follow Brittany Hargest on Twitter!

4) Follow Luv'N Lambert Life on Twitter (swt_angel_79)!
5) Share this post on Facebook!
6) Share this post on Twitter!

7) Follow us through Google Friend Connect!
8) Follow us by email!

After completing the entries please comment to let me know, otherwise I cannot count the entry!

This giveaway ends at 12:00am eastern time, Sunday, October 30, 2011.  I will announce a winner by Sunday afternoon.  Good luck and best wishes to all of you!

*This contest has now ended. Thank you to all who participated!  Winner was announced in a seperate post.

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."



TOS Review: Wits and Wagers Family



Time for another TOS review: This time we were asked to review for North Star Games.  We were selected to review to very awesome games Wits and Wagers Family and Say Anything Family, which I will tell all about in my next review.  Both were a whole LOT of fun. 

Wits and Wagers Family is the family addition of Wits and Wagers, the original game.   The concept of the game is to answer one of 300 wonderful, family friendly questions with your estimate (always a number).  After you choose your answer, you write it on a provided dry erase card in your team color, then place the answer in the middle of the table.  Players then place either a large or small Meeple, North Star Games icon, on the answer they think is closest to the right answer.  The Meeples can be placed either on their own answer or someone else's and points are received for every right answer.  Then the score is tallied and whoever reaches a specified number of points first is the winner.

We chose to play this game last weekend with all six of the kids while having a sleepover.  They really LOVED it.  We adapted the original rules to fit us: Mom was the scorekeeper and card reader, helping answer questions where possible.  On some of the harder questions, I offered an estimate between two numbers to help ensure all the kids were winners.  The questions were fairly easy but some were a little over the oldest heads still. 

The kids really enjoyed the game.  They requested some created questions instead going along with play, which was also very easy to adapt into the game.  We continued play past the original suggested "winning" number of points and in the end settled that all were winners no matter what the score.  The ages playing the game were 7-11 and except for a couple of questions, all were able to answer in some way correctly.  I foresee this game being requested on the next sleepover and will willingly break it out for all to enjoy!

Wits and Wagers Family is available through North Star Games both online and through multiple retailers.  For more reviews please visit the TOS Crew Blog.



Disclaimer - Wits and Wagers Family was provided free to us from North Star Games and the TOS Homeschool Review Crew in exchange for an honest and thorough review of the product.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

TOS Review: E-mealz.com

E-Mealz.com is an online website that provides users with a full menu to use for every week of the month.  This website provides the user with tons of store options, as well as dietary options to choose from.  Once the user has chosen a store they are provided with a plan to use for that week along with a shopping list to make the menu easy to use.  Simply print, shop and then follow the recipe directions each night of the week.  Then cook and enjoy!



E-Mealz Website

For this review, I chose to use the Walmart Family Meal Plan since we mostly shop there.  Other available stores are Aldi's, Kroger, Publix, Ralph's, and Any Store.  Other options are Low Carb, Gluten Free, Low Fat, Vegetarian, and Portion Control.  You can also choose meal plans for only 2 people.

Meal Plan Options

Once I chose my meal plan, I printed out my menus for two weeks, complete with the shopping list and headed out to Walmart. I purchased my items with ease following the detailed list, though I did spend more than the suggested price provided by E-Mealz but I also bought a few things that we did not have on hand that many people normally keep.  After checking out with the cashier we headed home with all the necessary ingredients for two weeks of meals.

The Walmart Meal Plan that I chose!

My personal shopping list for the Walmart Plan!


Following the meal plan was not hard to do.  I was able to take out the menu sheet each day, which I kept in my weekly notebook so it was readily available, and pull out what I needed for that day's meal then proceed to prepare it quickly and efficiently.  Most of the meals were really enjoyable but not all were hits.  Still it was nice to have something different from our normal meal plan for dinner. 

I commited to using the E-Mealz website for planning for two weeks and enjoyed it though I wasn't thrilled with the final cost of using it for those two weeks (cost of grocery items).  I have my own style of planning that really works best for us and took me quite some time to figure out.  But I have been able to save the available E-Mealz menu plans for the past few weeks and I plan to use them to create menus that do work for our family in the future.  Some of the recipes were really simple and good so we will definitely be adding those into our own family recipes.

I believe that E-Mealz would be perfect for families who are extremely busy or who work daily.  A homeschooling parent who is having a hard time staying on top of meals would also enjoy using this planner.  The meals are quick and easy to make.  The plans are thorough requiring almost no prep for the planner using them.  You simply print and go shop, then come home and cook.  Easy peasy.

You can purchase a 3 month subscription to E-Mealz.com for $15 through their website.  At the time of subscription you can choose the plan that works best for you.  You may switch this menu once during your 3 month subscription to try out a different plan with a different list of recipes.  Recipes change weekly and a full list of ingredients are always available with your purchased PDF of meals.  This website also works on iPad.

For more reviews of E-Mealz.com you can visit the TOS Review Crew blog



Disclaimer - The TOS Review Crew and E-Mealz.com provided Luv'N Lambert Life with a 3 month subscription to E-Mealz.com in exchange for my honest opinion of this program. 

TOS Review: Always IceCream


Always IceCream is an exclusively all girls website that concentrates on learning through online educational activity.  Targeted at girls ages 7-12, this site promises tons of fun from dressing your avatar to raising pets and much more.  This website is sure to be a hit with every little girl.


There is nothing to download, you play straight from the website, just like any other online game. The site stores your child's information and requires a credit card only for privacy protection for the child playing - a credit card generally means an adult is providing the account for the child. Children can befriend other users or invite friends using a provided security code that can be shared so they can easily be found. This allows the child to safely socialize with others in a controlled environment. For those who are worried about their child's safety in socializing with others online, there is an available option to turn off this type of interaction.


Always IceCream provides tons of games in different subjects: basic and advanced Math, Geography, Language Arts, Science, Typing, and more.  Each time a child plays they earn ice cream scoops which can then be used to purchase pets, household items for their homes in MiniWorld, and many other things.  Parents are given 2000 extra scoops a month per account to give to their girls as rewards for cleaning up, helping out, being kind or simply being a great daughter.

Mini World


Games

A membership to Always IceCream can be purchased for a fairly low price through the website.  There is an option to play free and the site stores the child's basic play but not their name, pets or home.  A monthly subscription runs $.99 for the first month and $4.99 afterward.  A two month subscription can be purchased for $9.98.  An annual can be purchased for $29.99 or a lifetime subscription is available for $99.99.  As a member, your child can send an email to friends to provide them with one free month of play.

Girls are thrilled to be playing together online!

I must say this has been our favorite review product this far.  My son does feel a bit left out since the website is for girls only but he has helped his little sister play a few games, as well as raise a few pets since we started using the site.  My daughters favorite part of the website is purchasing Eggs in Pet World and hatching them to see what cute little pet she gets.  She also enjoys decorating her house in Mini World.  She is daily increasing her spelling and reading skills by playing on this website which has also been a huge blessing for us.  Last weekend, when we had the Twins visit, she shared the website with them and they also had a ton of fun creating their own Mini World and characters to play with on the free version of the website.  Even my youngest daughter enjoys playing along with her big sister and can't wait until she's big enough to play on her own!

Emma's Pets in Pet World!

Available videos to view for fun!  All educational!

Emma's shopping with her scoops.


Always IceCream is available online only for a reasonable price.  It's sure to be a hit in your home just as it has been in ours.  Check it out at www.always-icecream.com today!!  You can view other reviews of this website over at the TOS Review Crew blog!





Disclaimer - This product was provided to me free for review by Always IceCream and TOS Homeschool Crew.  We were given a full membership for lifetime in exchange for our personal opinion in a review of this website. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Epilepsy Update


Next month is Epilepsy Awareness month, but every month I battle my own awareness of this disorder. For those of us who live daily with Epilepsy, we know that the awareness it exists never goes away. Seizures appear with no warning on the days when we least expect it. It does not judge or discriminate. It attacks unexpectedly, even the littlest of us.

My youngest daughter had a neurology check-up earlier this week. Her doctor said she is doing very well. Her seizures have been controlled for the last year with only mild setbacks. Her speech and vocabulary have increased by giant leaps. She is thriving at age 3.

Her medicine, Carbitrol SR, is still making her cranky after taking it. Her appetite has decreased. Her ADHD and OCD is off the charts. All are common side-effects of her medication and I hate seeing my baby suffer from these things.

With this check-up, I gave our neuro a choice to give us something right away if she had a suggestion to try or to take 6 months to find us something else to try to give my daughter back her full life without side-effects. I've lived with this disorder, raised a daughter with this disorder and now I'm raising another daughter with it too. I know the risks involved in changing medications and the risks involved in not taking medication. I was shocked surprised that the neuro was more than willing to switch the baby's medicine right away and I was estatic thrilled that she was in agreement.

So today, my little bug started a new medication: Depakote.  This medicine will hopefully control her seizures and help her ADHD and mood issues.  I am praying that it works without any complication, that it gives me my precious girl without the crankiness the other medicines have caused, without the sleepiness and without suddenly stopping controling the seizures as the other medicines have been known to do. 

Medicating Epilepsy is like tossing dice.  You never know what the outcome will be.  It's a bet, a gamble, a try.  There is no sure "cure", no right thing to do.  Being the parent of a child with this disorder is awful.  Knowing there is nothing you can personally do to cure this or to help your child through this, is the worst feeling I know.  It is a heavy cross to bear but at the same time it IS bearable. 

I am blessed and I love all three of the beautiful children I have carried with all of my heart.  I do my very best by them.  I pray daily for their happiness and well-being, for this disorder to go away.  God chose us to carry this and God has blessed us daily in this.  I know we are lucky for this not to be worse than it is and I am thankful we are so blessed.

<3

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October Update

Today is my big sister's birthday. Happy Birthday, Sissy! I hope that it's a great one.

This has been an extremely busy week for us.

Sunday - we went to visit my best friend from Kindergarten. She gave us a beautiful cat named Muffin who is currently living in my Mom's house. She's sweet as can be and a beautiful gray color. In a few weeks, I hope to be able to get her little siblings and bring them home too.

Monday - a rainy day for us so we did nothing except curl up around home and snuggle all day.

Tuesday - Grocery shopping and a date with Dad. I really put shopping off until the last minute. I ended up with 3 carts and almost $300 in groceries. I hope that lasts us at least 3 weeks! Date night with Dad was a special event. Josh and I were invited to Myrtle Beach's Taste of the Town by his cousin and we had a great time! The food was amazing! We brought the littles home a TON of fun goodies to eat. It was really great just to get away for the night.

Wednesday - That's today! We're just lounging around the house, relaxing before the rest of our busy week continues.

Thursday - A trip to MUSC in Charleston. Laycie has a neurology checkup. Time to adjust her medication so that she doesn't have any breakthroughs and check her levels.

Friday - Sleepover with the Twins and Justain. They are sure to have a ton of fun as they always do!

Saturday - Rodeo night! The kids are really excited about the rodeo. It's a yearly favorite of ours. Can hardly wait for Saturday to get here!

So that's our week in review. This week's schooling is laid back lessons in Life and Socialization and sometimes that's the best education a child can have.

<3

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Timberdoodle Review: Raising Real Men

Yes, this is my already dog-eared copy. ;o)

Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys
Hal and Melanie Young
Great Waters Press
Softcover $15.00

When I found out Timberdoodle was asking for reviewers for this book I was very excited.  It has been on my list of books to read for quite some time and what better opportunity to do it than for review!  Melanie Young has been a dear friend of mine for a few years now.  She and her family have been an inspiration for me on our journey homeschooling.  I have enjoyed sharing our trials and triumphs of life and homeschooling during the time I have been blessed to know her.

The book Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys has also been a blessing.  It has given me much needed insight to raising my own two boys - my son and my stepson, both of which are complete opposites with one thing in common: one day they will be Real Men.

Hal and Melanie give so much wonderful advice in this book, all with a Christian base, providing loving support and sharing their personal insights on boys.  I was encouraged to see my sons in the Light of God's glory, to view His purpose in their quirky ways and sometimes overly exuberant joys of life.  Hal and Melanie give tips on each stage of a boys life on how to raise them to be strong, joyfilled Christian men, just as God intended. 

Reading this book has only increased my love of the family who wrote it by helping me to realize that I am not alone in my endevours to raise caring, strong men.  The authors and I use many of the same methods to create the strength and love our boys need from books and charts from Doorposts to many of the same caring, correcting manuerisms in day to day life.  Their patient love and guidance truly shows through in the words of this well-written and inspiring book.



This book was provided to me for review by Timberdoodle Co
Stop by and join Timberdoodle on Facebook!  You can find great parenting help at Timberdoodle too!

Disclaimer: I was asked to review this book as a member of Timberdoodle 's Blogger Review Team.  I was giving a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion of this book and was not compensated in any other way.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Timberdoodle Review: Wondermaps


Recently, I was asked to review WonderMaps from Bright Ideas Press for Timberdoodle Co.  I literally JUMPED at the chance to review this item.  WonderMaps is one of the BEST accessories any homeschooling family can have. 

This what my screen looks like when I start Wondermaps.


WonderMaps is just that: wonderful maps included in one quick download or on a convenient disk for use with any history program available.  With WonderMaps, the user can pick the features they want displayed and then print off the needed maps to use as necessary.  Maps of Ancient lands to today's modern landscape are available for the user to print.  Outline, political, topographical, and even reference maps are included in either black and white or color, including names of specific elements as the user sees fit to create. 

A map showing all the customizable choices in action. 

 A map showing only the borders and names of the countries.
Your basic blackline map.

 This is a page from the software showing
choices of maps for this section of history.

My own personal map printout in my classroom notebook.


WonderMaps includes 60+ state maps, 60+ country maps, 125 historical maps and includes 25 biblical maps.  There are also complete map sets created for use with Mystery of History Vols 1-3 and All American History Vols 1-2. 



I am personally using this wonderful resource with Tapestry of Grace and Mystery of History for our Ancient History lessons this year.  These maps have been a wonderful introduction for us.  They were extremely simple to create and print out.  I love that I can add as many features as I feel necessary and remove as much as I need to too!  Starting out with history, I try to keep maps simple so as not to overwhelm my children and reprint more detailed maps as we expand on that topic.  With WonderMaps I can easily print out just what I need. 

To learn more about WonderMaps and see it for yourself you can watch this short little video created by Bright Ideas Press explaining how to use this software.


Visit Timberdoodle today to purchase WonderMaps or see their amazing line of homeschool products.   Be sure to order a free copy of their catalog to shop from the comfort of home.  Stop by and "like" Timberdoodle on Facebook too!



Disclaimer: This product was provided to me free by Timberdoodle Reviewer Blog Team.  I was asked to give my honest opinion of this product in exchange for use of the product in my home.  No money was exchanged during this review.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Blending Family - God Created This Too


See this photo?  This is what a blended family looks like.  The children in this photo consist of my son, both my daughters, Josh's son and his ex-wife's twin daughters.   Do you know what I see when I look at it? 

Simply, our family.

To Josh and I there is no difference in any child in this photo or any other child who walks through the door of our home and into our hearts.  They are children, sent here from God in order for us each to love.  We could not imagine not having one of these blessings as part of our life.  We are disappointed when they aren't able to be together for events we have.  We are hurt when they are left out. 

Yes, it's true that God did not intend for parent's to not be there for their kids, for families to not accept every child he blesses them with, but it happens.  As I stated in my last post, God himself created this idea of the step-family when He blessed Joseph as the earthly Father to His own son.  He asked Joseph to love this child, Jesus, who was not of Joseph's blood but was an important part of his heart.  Joseph did not fail in his task of providing for Mary or her child, Jesus.  He raised him as he was his own right along with their other children, exactly as God planned, intended and provided for him to.

As parent's it is our job to provide the best we can for the children God brings into our lives.  This includes Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren as well as those not even related to our families.  We must always remember that God has a reason for bringing a child into our lives, into our hearts and that for His glory it is our job to do the best for each of them in order to ensure His greater plan is recognized.  If we turn these children away out of spite, anger or even selfishness then we are not doing the work of the Lord, but instead only for ourselves.  In turn we do not glorify God or the greater plan that His love provides.

There are people in this world who can happily and peacefully live with that choice.  I, personally, cannot.  I cannot turn my back on any child He has brought to me.  I am thankful He himself has taught me how to blend my family and love these children as He once asked Joseph to do of His Son.  I hope in this post that someone else is able to realize this same thing and do the same for the children in their lives.  May God bless each of us in this very imperfect world and allow us to provide the absolute best for His children everyday.

<3

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