Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Favorite Kids' Bibles

After being inspired by one of my really amazing friends Bonnie, and a post she did on what they were reading, I wanted to share a similar one with you.

There have been so many times I've heard parents ask what Bible should I get my kids? Do you know any good ones out there? Yes I do :)

At the moment Ally is 1, Micah is 4, and Abbey is 7. Here are the Bibles that they are enjoying right now.

Ally's favorite:


Not only is this Bible cute, pink, and very colorful, it also has an adorable handle so she can carry it around on her own. This Bible has added so much to Ally's bedtime routine and helps her to enjoy the Bible at her own level, even if that means being able to be chewed on.

Micah's favorite:

This Bible is on the young side for Micah right now but he still loves it. It was a gift when he was born from a family in our old Church, is has crayon on the front page, a huge gash on the back cover, and the spine has come loose. But even after getting him "older" Bibles, he still goes back to this one, old trusty reliable Bible. This one spreads the Bible stories out over several pages and he loves the David and Goliath story.

Abbey's favorite:

This Bible merges the gap between "picture Bibles" and "real Bibles". There's pictures for her to still look at and enjoy but the wording of the stories is in much more detail and so much closer to the actual text. It also has a wider variety of Bible stories in it.

There are so many amazing and great Kids Bibles and devotions out there, these are just a few that we're enjoying right now. What kids' Bibles are your family's favorites?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

2015 Is Going To Be Great

So it's been a bit. But I'm back and I'm excited about it.

There have been some changes around here: both the blog and my own life. You may have noticed a new name: Life In Our Shoes. The name goes back to the phrase/concept "You don't know a person till you've walked a mile in their shoes". I want my blog to be honest and come from my own personal life so it's a glimpse into Life In Our Shoes. The domain (or website thingy) has changed too. The blog is now residing at www.lifeinourshoes.com. Yeah I bough a dot com! So book mark it, change it in your blog feeder, etc

In my personal life I was promoted at work, which has been fantastic. We've made some amazing new friends here in PA. And I have put together some really good goals for 2015 that with some accountability I'm hoping to accomplish. One of those is taking a picture every day and posting it. You can follow along on instagram with #christysin2015.

My word for this year is together. I want to do life together with people. Last year that was my word for our family and this year I want to dive deeper into it in my own life.

So let's do this together! Here's to a great 2015! Cheers!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What Do You Do Next?

If you're joining me today from We Are That Family, welcome! Today I had a wonderful opportunity to share why we should say yes to God even if it means going backwards. So here I would like to share what you do now.

When God calls you to go backwards, what do you do next?

1. Pray- Lots and lots of prayer. Continue to seek God in all things.

2. Find Scripture- For us when we realized God was calling us to step back into college life we held on to this scripture: Psalm 128:1 "Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him." Blessing follows our obedience to Him.

3. Seek council- Find some people you trust to hash out some of the details with. Ask them to pray with you, to help you figure out the next possible step.

4. Trust God- Even if the ducks aren't laid out in front of you, even if you don't see the future before your eyes. God does. He has it all in the palm of His hand. He may reveal only one step at a time, but none of it is a surprise to Him.

5. Jump- There comes a time when you know exactly the next step that needs taken, you have no more words to pray, all you need to do is just jump. God will catch you. 

May God guide you as you follow after Him, even if it means going backwards. It will be scary, but God is in control of it.

Tips for Traveling with Infants

In honor of Veteran's Day I wanted to share from our time as a military family. That season didn't last long, but during it we learned more about sacrifice, family, and service then ever before.

Keven was going through training in a different state from me and our daughter Abbey, who was a baby at the time. Abbey and I were fortunate to have several opportunities to travel to see him. But traveling with an infant by yourself is hard work. So today I want to share some tips with you on airplane travel with infants:

1. For checked luggage remember to keep it under 50 lbs.
2. You're allowed 1 carry on and 1 personal item (purse or diaper bag) on the plane. Your baby is allowed 1 item also (this could be stroller).
3. Keep things simple and accessible. Put together a diaper changing kit in a zip lock bag (diapers, wipes, cream, blanket or mat, change of clothes) and keep that in a pocket to pull out quick.
4. For feeding keep all items at reach. For nursing have cover up visible so you can pull it our. For bottles, purchase ready made travel bottles and keep nipples in a zip lock bag. Also bring extra snacks in a snack container or zip lock bag for ease.
5. Condense items for on the plane as much as possible so you know where everything is to be able to grab quickly.

Going through security:
1. Keep your travel documents in an easy and accessible place. This would include: photo id, plane tickets, passport and for your baby either a birth certificate or social security card.
2. Keep liquids under  3 oz and in a small zip lock baggie. Have this baggie on top so you can pull it out quickly to put on the belt.
3. If your baby is bottle fed, purchase ready made travel bottles so you don't have to worry about water. Pull them out with your liquids.
4. You may hold your baby while going through security. Any carriers, strollers, or car seats must be put on the belt. You will also need to remove any jackets, your shoes (flip flops or slip-ons are easiest), blankets, binkie clips, etc. Keep your hand on your bin while walking through the line, to drop the binkie or cuddly toy in last minute.
5. Dress accordingly. Have baby in a sleeper for comfort and ease. For yourself keep it comfortable and pack an extra outfit in your carry on just in case.

On an airplane:
1. If you are nursing try to have a window seat for extra privacy. Purchase a water before getting on the plane in case you need something to drink before the cart comes around.
2. Use a binky, bottle, or nurse at takeoff and landing to help with ears getting blocked.
3. Have toys and snacks in reach to grab. Bringing a new toy can help.
4. Have an empty sippy cup or bottle on hand to transfer drinks. They usually don't come with lids or straws.
5. Remember to enjoy time with your child, whatever it looks like and to not take other people's opinions personally.

Hope this upcoming travel season is fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Help I'm a Words of Affirmation Person

Help, my love language is words of affirmation!!!! For most people positive words isn't their number one go to in life, especially if it's a 4 letter word. Not that long ago I took a personality test through my employer and it actually said that I enjoyed positive humor. Yes, positive humor. On the contrary one of my co-workers' said they enjoyed negative humor, which immediately made it clear why we never laughed at the same time.

But when you are on the positive side of things and have to be reinforced through words, how do you cope? Well....don't be friends with anyone who's sarcastic (ok, that was really sarcasm :) )

One way I personally cope is by finding ways to infuse the people in my life with positive words. And by giving my kids chances to practice using positive words on each other. For instance we have created a really awesome birthday/special holiday tradition.

Each birthday as we gather for dinner, we take turns going around the table and sharing our favorite thing or favorite memory of the birthday boy/girl. We do the same thing on Father's Day/Mother's Day or on an extremely important day for someone. Honestly now it's become something that my kids not only expect but look forward to (especially when it's their turn).

Another way is to use the art of writing to bless those around me, especially my kids. When we moved I was going through some of my old boxes and stumbled upon all kinds of notes from people: postcards from different vacations, birthday cards, notes from friends passed during class, and little pieces of paper my parents left me on the counter. And rereading through them brought back so many memories. I've tried to carry down the same thing to my kids and now I see them taping those notes up in their room or stashing them away in a drawer. The written note is still something to be cherished!

Lastly I cope by sending the text message I wish I'd received. If a friend of mine has an appointment I try to send a prayer text, not a oh hey praying for you but an actual prayer typed out. Or if someone has told me about a specific situation I try to follow up and remember. A text may not be the most personal way to interact but it does show someone you were thinking of them and connects you to them for a moment.

So how do you show love through words of affirmation to others?  

Friday, October 17, 2014

When "family" publishes a book

Just the other night I was reading Micah his devotional book before bed. His devotion for that night was about how when you believe in God your family is extended to include everyone who believes in God. So today I want to share a "family member's" great exciting news. (yeah that's my tie-in to my 31 days of family series).

A wonderful amazing writer, Rachel Haas (R.L. Haas) is publishing her first book, Portals of Water to Wine. Every time I've read a snippet or teaser of this upcoming book I just fall more in love with it.

Book Description :: 

"My skin prickled. For a split second, everything around me hummed. I played the word back in my head, slowly, syllable by syllable: Alonthiel"

Naya knows she has heard the name before, but where? A dream, perhaps. The word itself aches of ancient origins, magical and sacred. And it's better than Naya could have dreamed. She finds it all: magic, strength, and more answers about her lost mother, just hours from the home she's lived in her whole life.

And the man, the one with alluring green eyes, the same man she's been drawing in her sketch book for weeks. He's real. And magnificent.

Better still is the realization that she isn't an outsider in Alonthiel. Naya belongs.

When a dark force threatens to raze Naya's paradise, she must harness her newfound fire --  or watch Alonthiel fall.

Today starts her pre-orders!!!! And for all of you amazing readers of mine she has gifted us with an excerpt of her book.

The war had waged for nineteen years. Alonthiel had been overrun with the Fledgling Armies, the children of Ash and Iron. They were the sons and daughters born once to Alonthiel, now so twisted and dark that their former Fae heritage was barely a drop flowing through their veins.There had been a treaty, but it had been broken…somehow…no one could even remember the reason anymore.  They had come in the night, with their feathered manes and glowing eyes the color of boiling blood and their fingernails set with iron. They had no need for swords, save the ones that grew from the ends of their hands. They were a deadly force, led into battle by their captain Flail, the son of the Fledgling King.            The sounds of children laughing had been replaced with widow’s wailing. The smashing and splashing of men’s glasses and bar-house celebrations had turned into the sound of metal on metal, metal on flesh.            The music was gone.            King Aboras had been crowned for only six days, a rushed ceremony without much pomp or fanfare. He was the fourth King since the war had begun. There was no separation of monarch from common man in the eye of the sword. He crouched in his tent, eyes fixed on the maps splayed on the table in front of him but there was no focus or direction there.            He knew that this would be the last night. His armies were exhausted, running on little sleep and handfuls of food they gathered from the nearby woods. The supplies were sapped, and their powers were dwindling down to sparks. This was the end.            And so, in the darkness of the night with only the stars to provide light, Aboras gathered his people together, every last one that still lived. They circled around their king, loyal to the end. He could not lie to them. He told them of the losses, of the depletion of stores and the draining of magic. The end was coming; they should gather their families and run to the mountains, over the river that the Fledglings could not, would not, cross.            No one moved. Not one child tried to run, not one husband left his family. They all stood. None would leave their king. 

If you have enjoyed what she has written here as much as I did (I seriously love her writings and can't wait for the book to come out) you can pre-order it here. You can also learn more about Portals on it's facebook page. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Happy 4th Birthday Micah!!!!

Today my little boy turns 4!!!!  I can't believe he's 4 already. These last 4 years went so fast.

 Micah you were such a love as a baby. You came out fists a flying and full of life. That first year you gave me so many scares. But you proved to me over and over again that God has to have such an amazing plan on your life because the enemy just kept trying to take you out. You fought and persevered through everything you faced, even at such a young age.

 Micah, you are one of the most amazing brothers that I know. You have always made both of your sisters laugh, and smile. You look up to Abbey and you take care of Ally, all with natural ease.

 Buddy, you are so amazing and special. God has gifted you in so many ways. You make me laugh every single day and I am beyond thankful for the joy you bring to me and everyone around you. God knew how much I needed you in my life and you are one of the 4 biggest gifts He ever gave me.

May this birthday be fantastic Micah and may you always know that you are loved, cherished, and we are so proud of you. Happy Birthday my Micah James, I love you.

Love, Mommy

This is day 9 of my 31 days of family series.