Thursday, July 7, 2016

Summer Nature Study

We've had some really beautiful days here and the girls have had lots of opportunities to get outside and enjoy the critters in our yard.  We haven't been outside early enough to catch turtles as often (they hide when it's hot) but we are seeing other little friends like butterflies, crawdads and LOTS of lightening bugs!

Somebody's been nibbling on this mushroom! 

We went to the park and the girls enjoyed catching and releasing several crawdads! 


Kayley found this interesting nest laying on the ground one morning...  We couldn't figure out if it was a bird or squirrel nest...There wasn't anything in it to give us any clues.

Lightening Bugs!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend - Decoration Day

We enjoyed our usual tradition of decoration day by taking a bag of flowers and flags out to Union Cemetery.  It's pretty forgotten, sitting in the middle of a farmers field.  The girls get a kick out of driving through the tall grasses to reach the cemetery.  We always find it undecorated when we get there, but by the time we leave, most headstones are covered with flowers and the lone Civil War soldier has a flag...  We LOVE doing this and each year we buy more and more flowers and leave graves decorated at many other places.  

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Silver Dollar City - Memorial Day Weekend

What a great weekend we had over Memorial Day when all my family came to visit!  We headed out to Silver Dollar City and spent a great day riding rides and just goofing off!

Kayley discovered that she was too big to ride these swings this year...  Bummer!  He let her ride anyway and told her to keep her feet up!  That was probably her last ride...  Maggie is nearly too tall too!

When you gotta go... 

Troublemaker, Malcontent, Lollygagger!
Silver Dollar City is a lot of fun.  
It was a little warm but not too bad.  
We had a great time! 

The Life We Never Expected {#FlyBy Giveaway!}

Andrew and Rachel Wilson know what it means to live a life they never expected.  As the parents of two children with special needs, their story mingles deep pain with deep joy in unexpected places.  With raw honesty, they share about the challenges they face on a daily basis -- all the while teaching what it means to weep, worship, wait, and hope in the Lord.  Offering encouragement rooted in God's Word, this book will help you cling to Jesus and fight for joy when faced with a life you never expected.   (excerpt from the back cover of the books)

Andrew and Rachel have 2 children.  Both with autism.  When I read the sample on Amazon, I knew I HAD to read this book and jumped at the chance to review this book from #FlyBy!  Andrew and Rachel Wilson drew me in from the very first chapter.  I marveled at these parents who were living a life of joy against unsurmountable odds.  How did they stay so focused on the positive?  While I don't have children with special needs there are days where I still cannot stay did they do this?

Their book, The Life We Never Expected takes you through 5 cycles of weeping, worshipping, waiting, witnessing and breathing.  Each cycle shares a personal story (many of which are, in hindsight, very funny, others are very humbling), how they found joy in Christ, how they shared their joy and stories with others, and how they, on some days, just barely got through it.  Their faith is so strong throughout the book and they lean heavily on the Lord and rely just as much on their family and friends.

I would really recommend this book to anyone.  If you have a child with special needs, this book can hopefully help you to find joy in your circumstances and realize you are not alone.  I read this to get a better understanding of what families who have children with special needs go through on a daily basis.  It was eye opening...and exhausting.  Everything from a lack of sleep and eye-contact to dealing with the state on education plans, medical issues, and more.

If you are interested in reading the sample, find the excerpt of the first chapter of The Life We Never Expected on Amazon!  #lifeweneverexpected

You can also enter to win a copy right here on Swinging On Small Hinges!  Use the Giveaway Tools below to enter, contest closes on Monday, July 11th at 11:59pm.  Good luck!

"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.”
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