Thursday, December 31, 2015

Books I Read {2015}

 For Review:
1. Empire of Sin by Gary Krist
2. From This Day Forward by Craig and Amy Groeschel
3. The 13th Gift by Joann Huist Smith
4. For the Right Reasons by Sean Lowe
5. I Choose you Today by Debbie DeArmond
6. The Monster Who Ate My Socks by A.J. Cosmo
7. Becoming a Spiritually Healthy Family by Michelle Anthony
8. Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado
9. How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck
10. Bella's Gift by Rick and Karen Santorum with Elizabeth Santorum
11. A Fifty-Year Silence by Miranda Richmond Mouillot
12. How Many Times Do I have to Tell you by Rachael Carman
13. Blessings for the Morning by Susie Larson
14. Trisha's Table by Trisha Yearwood
15. Fear & Faith by Trillia J. Newbell
16. Savor by Shauna Niequist
17. The Rainbow Egg by Linda K. Hendricks
18. Cookie Love by Mindy Segal with Kate Leahy
19. The Berenstain Bears God Bless Our Country by Mike Berenstain
20. Amish Promises by Leslie Gould
21. The Mother & Child Project compiled by Hope Through Healing Hands
22. Positive Discipline The First Three Years by Jane Nelson, Cheryl Erwin, and Roslyn Ann Duffy
23. If He Had Not Come by David Nicholson
24. Love Arrives in Pieces by Betsy St. Amant
25. Beyond Believing by D.D. Marx
26. Her Sister's Shoes by Ashley Farley
27. Kika The Upside Down Girl by Jessica Tudos
28. The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly by Matt McCarthy
29. The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief, and Manipulation by Melissa Rivers
30. Reservations for Two by Hillary Manton Lodge
31. The Wood's Edge by Lori Benton
32. Letters from my Father's Murderer by Laurie A Coombs
33. Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Beth K. Vogt
34. Heart Dancing by Kathryn Eriksen
35. Asia's New Wings by Clifton and Michelle Cottom
36. God Made All of Me by Justin and Lindsey Holcombe
37. Jesus Calling for Little Ones by Sarah Young
38. Called for Life by Kent & Amber Brantly
39. For The Love by Jen Hatmaker
40. Gather Around the Amish Table by Lucy Leid
41. Let's Talk About the Lord's Prayer by Catherine DeVries
42. The Splendor of Ordinary Days by Jeff High (didn't write a review due to extenuating circumstances)
43. Say & Pray Bible: First Words, Stories, and Prayers by Diane Stortz
44. The Photograph by Beverly Lewis
45. The Time Garden by Daria Song
46. Goodnight, Manger by Laura Sassi
47. Dear Mary by Sarah Jakes
48. Seven Women by Eric Metaxas
49. Rare Bird by Anna Whiston-Donaldson
50. Stop and Smell Your Children by Leah Spina
51. Forgiven by Terri Roberts
52. The Five Times I met Myself by James L Rubar
53. Death on Hold by Burton Folsom and Anita Folsom
54. The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck


For me:
1. Home is Where My People Are by Sophie Hudson
2. Raising Kids Who Turn out Right by Tim Kimmel
3. The Love Dare by Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick
4. The Act of Marriage by Tim & Beverly LaHaye
5. Sheet Music by Kevin Leman

59 total!!!


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Death On Hold by Burton and Anita Folsom {A Book Review}


Death On Hold: A Prison's Desperate Prayer and the Unlikely Family Who Became God's Answer
by Burton and Anita Folsom was such an awe-inspring book. 

The book which is mostly the first-hand story of Mitch Rutledge begins when Mitch was young and follows the things he went through including selling drugs, doing drugs, assisting in prostitution and eventually killing a man. It follows Mitch to jail where he is convicted and placed on death row. 

In prison, Mitch changes his life and accepts Christ. Through this, he learns to read (at 21+ years old) among many other accomplishments. Time magazine wrote an article that included his story and the writer essentially said that Mitch was worthless and we should all just "forget him." 

Several people across the United States read this article and began to write to Mitch. Through these letters, he learned to write and correspond with them and they became his family. 

This family helped Mitch to become a role model for other prisoners, helped him to further turn his life around and just loved him like Jesus asks us all to do. 

I loved this story because while it was inspiring to see others love Mitch and him love them, it was not unrealistic about the fact that Mitch is in prison for a very real and horrible crime. His life is far from perfect and he deals with the struggles of prison every day despite having accepted Christ after the fact. 

I think this is a great book for anyone who enjoys reading biographies. 





I review for BookLook Bloggers

**I received this book in exchange for my review.**

The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck {A Book Review}

Last year, I read several of Rachel Hauck's books and I loved them. When I saw that she had a new book, The Wedding Chapel, coming out, I couldn't wait to read it! 

As expected, this book did not disappoint. Just like nearly all of Hauck's books that I have read in the past, I could hardly put this book down. 

The Wedding Chapel starts with the story of Taylor Branson who is a budding photographer trying to make a name for her self in New York City. She is newly married to a guy she knew in high school in Heart's Bend, TN. Their marriage is work and she is trying hard to stay afloat. 

The other story is in Heart's Bend with a Wedding Chapel that was built especially for someone but never used. Taylor gets an assignment in Heart's Bend to photograph said wedding chapel. 

That's where the story twists and turns. Lives are intertwined and it's so cool to see how Hauck brings many different characters and storylines togethers in the end. 

I really enjoyed the different characters' stories and the contrast between New York City and Heart's Bend, Tennessee.

Hauck ranks up there with Karen Kingsbury for me and I love her contemporary Christian fiction. 

_______________________________________

Is sixty years too long to wait for love? Two stories of romance, one in 1949 and one in the modern day, meet in Rachel Hauck's The Wedding Chapel. When Taylor Branson takes an assignment in Heart’s Bend, the job does more than send her back to her hometown, but into a world of family secrets buried beneath the sands of time. When Taylor’s journey intersects with Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook's, they rediscover the heartbeat of their dreams and that the love they long to hold is right in front of them. And worth every waiting moment.

Join Rachel in celebrating the release of The Wedding Chapel by entering to win a copy and a $100 cash card—perfect for finishing up your Christmas gift shopping!

wedding chapel - 400



One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of The Wedding Chapel
  • A $100 cash card
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 31st. The winner will be announced January 4th on Rachel's blog.

wedding chapel - enter banner

**I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.**


Guess What?!?!

In 2016, a new baby there will be!
Girl Baby or Boy Baby?
We will have to wait and see!

Either way, Mason will be a big brother
And all together, we will welcome Baby Morgan #2. 

If it's a boy, he'll be Micah or Maxwell or Maddox. 
If it's a girl, she'll be Madeline Marie.
We don't care either way, 
we're just praying for healthy. 

Early June will come very soon 
And we are just over the moon!

Celebrate with us because new babies are the best!


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Videos {November & December}

Well, I didn't post any videos back in November so I've just combined November and December. 
I didn't remember to caption each of these when I uploaded so it's just a hodge-podge. 

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Catching crickets...
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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

{Early} Christmas 2015

Like I mentioned in my last post, we celebrated Christmas early. A few weeks ago, Matt's dad asked if we wanted to come for Christmas. It was too late for Matt to take off of work which limited a trip to December 25-27. I was already scheduled to work those days so Matt and Mason are heading down for a visit in Montgomery while I stay behind and work.

That being said, we didn't want to miss Christmas together so we just moved it up a week. :)

Mason was ready for a Silent Night on our Christmas Eve!

Matt and I were wearing our Christmas PJs, too! 



That next morning, we read a Children's version of Luke 2, prayed, and got ready for the day. 


We opened presents all together. This cracked Matt and I up because despite there only being a few presents, it took us 45 minutes to open them all. It was fun! 

Mason's favorite gift was his little table top kitchen. 

Mason got two hats and he thought Dad needed one, too. :)


We do gifts as a want, a need, a wear, and a read as so many others do these days. We also do stocking stuffers and we add a gift of "something to do together". This may be a day trip, a movie, a game, etc. This year, we plan to take a day trip sometime in the new year. 

Here's a highlight of our gifts:
Matt: a new pair of tennis shoes, a variety pack of Crazy Cup K-cups, iTunes gift card, and a new book. He also got some socks including a pair that matches with Mason and some candy. 
Leslie: candles, hand soaps, "L" mug, a mason jar cup, a book I wanted, a gift card for a the Pioneer woman butter dish and some fun stocking stuffers.
Mason: a small table top kitchen (that I got on super clearance earlier this year-$12!!), 24 piece puzzles, markers/crayons, a few small sets of blocks for him to grow into, and some books including the next Little Blue Truck book. 

It was a fun time opening gifts and we each got some fun things. 

For breakfast, we enjoyed some delicious Cinnamon Roll Casserole...the perfect dish for Christmas morning. 


After opening the presents, Mason LOVED playing with the paper!! 








Between breakfast and lunch, we snuggled up with A Charlie Brown Christmas. 



For lunch, we had this delicious spread and it was sooooo good! This is our favorite thing to do for Christmas lunch. Not much cooking and so yummy. 


That evening, we headed to Grandmom and Granddad's because they invited us over for dinner. We visited them in our PJs! 



Granddad turned on Lawrence Welk and Mason was mesmerized. 

After leaving, we drove through a neighborhood to look at lights and then came home for sleep. (We went to look at more lights the next night.)

It was a FUN Christmas day and just what we wanted.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Morgan's Movements {Early/Mid December}

Let's keep getting caught up. What have these CrAzY Morgans been up to this month!?!?

We got home from Louisiana and we had such a great time but we were pooped! Mason rested pretty well once we arrived back home. :)

Our present gift from Uncle Jay and Donna Faye was a Cool Daddy. We don't fry much but when we do, we wanted something to make it easier. This gadget does the trick! Matt made some homemade french fries for us. :)


Before we left, I forgot to finally get rid of this big box so we kept it a little bit longer and enjoyed some  more coloring with it. :)


Mason used it as a fort again, too.

We continued with our Christmas-book-a-day tradition and opened up a few to get caught up. Mason LOVES opening a book each day. 

The next morning, Mason was a bit under the weather so we spent most of the day at home and we got to make our gingerbread house. Side note: this consisted of Mason eating a great deal of decorations...haha!














(gangsta) Mason enjoyed some music time with Dad. 

Monday morning brought a little guy who hadn't slept well, hadn't eaten much and just wasn't himself. We headed on a quick trip to Target while we waited to see the doc. The diagnosis was hand, foot, mouth which left us quarantined for nearly a week.

Thankfully, Mason was in good spirits. We played with lots of toys that day.

We broke out for a bit that afternoon, too, to get some ice cream. The doctor said to give him as much as he wanted since it would feel good on his mouth blisters. 




The next day, I made a HUGE batch of these candy bag cookies for my MOPS steering team Christmas gathering. YUM! 

Day 2 of quarantine meant lots of coloring with our new markers. :)

And playing with Darth Spud. 

The next morning, I woke up sick. I caught a cold at some point so we snuggled ALL DAY! 




Thursday, I felt a tiny bit better but neither of us were well enough to leave the house so we made trash instead. It comforted us, for sure! 

Mason was well enough to jump and play in his crib. I liked that because he was contained. :)


We watched another Christmas movie and snuggled some more. Praise the Lord that this guy wanted to snuggle because I had zero energy from my cold. 


I found an old set of keys and cleaned them up for Mason. He opened every door that he could with them.

That evening, I had to work (couldn't get out of it) and my guys snuggled up at home.

Saturday morning meant more work for me. Thankfully I was feeling better and so was Mason. Matt and Mason had a KK date for Day of the Dozens.



That night was our buddy, Anna's, birthday party and I was so glad Mason was well. He had such a fun time! 
















Matt and I had a date night at home that evening and Mason helped us decide what to order for our take-out. :)

Sunday afternoon, we went to a house warming party and then we brought Mason to The Rasnakes. He spent the night and Matt and I headed out to his work Christmas party. :)


Monday morning, I picked up my best guy and we hung out at home.

Puzzle time is the best time!

Monday night was a terrible night of sleep which is SO out of character for this guy. He was inconsolable for most of the morning and about 9:00, he asked me to get in bed with him. He fussed off and on...

And then this happened...at 9:15!

Look at those eyelashes!!!!




He woke up happy and ready for the rest of the day!

That afternoon, we hosted a cookie decorating playdate with a few friends. It was fun and sugar filled! 




The next morning, Wednesday, Mason woke up snotty and Matt offered to stay home with him since I had a MOPS meeting. They did dishes and played. I'm so grateful for that man of mine! 


GiGi sent us a care package and it included these mini snow globes. Mason was quite pleased with them! 

Coolest kid I know! 

Mason and I had a dinner date one night and he was well-behaved and a good eater. Win-Win!


The next morning, Matt headed to work and Mason and I were silly kids! 

It was raining so we weren't going outside but that doesn't mean that Mason doesn't need his boots!

Friday morning, Mason was fussing about pouting about me putting away his puzzle so I told him he could put it away. Instead, he decided he wanted to show me that he could do the entire puzzle by himself! I was so impressed! 


Our buddy, Anna, and her Mom stopped by for a visit to drop something off and the kids played for a minute.

Matt took Mason to CiCi's for dinner because he had a free buffet. Mason LOVED it as always!


That night was our Christmas Eve (we celebrated early.) and I'll share in the next post about the first part of our Christmas fun. 


Stay tuned!