Hands Full of Blessings! 

Sharing Some of My Blessings With You.

Recent Post

 

What if…

Warning: This post does have spoilers for the Disney+ series What If. As I started watching the Disney+ series What If… I had very mixed feelings. The stories I knew but were slightly altered were just alright. It seemed like a reach of a television show. Then episode...

The Waters of Life

My kids love to play in the water. Swimming pools, lakes, creeks, small rivers, and especially the ocean. I can remember being a kid and playing in my grandparents’ creek. It was shallow and there were a ton of crawl dads. It was a good time, but really, we just...

Addicted to Sugar… again

 Addicted to SUGAR!!! It happened… again… for like the 7 time in the last 10 years… I had to reset my diet. That scale kept going up giving me results I did not desire despite my efforts to be more active, workout, and run. So once again… I started a clean diet…...

Assembly Required

Has anyone ever given your child an awesome gift… but then when you looked at the box you saw, “Batteries not included…” or even worse… “Assembly required”?!? The kids are super excited about their new gift that is not quite ready to be used.  Mom and dad need to...

Christian Parallels in Disney’s Descendants

So, with being stuck at home during COVID, my kids and I have had plenty of time to enjoy Disney Plus. Recently we watched The Descendants movies. As we were watching the last one, my oldest looked at me and said, “Mom, this would make a good blog.” Really? How so?...

Confessions of a Former Catholic

My name is Renee Joiner. I am a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom of six, teacher, seminary student, and children’s book author. Most people may know this, I was raised Catholic. Yes, I know, I am clearly no longer a practicing Catholic as one of the first titles...

It is Worth It!

Sometimes I wonder if chasing this dream of being an established Christian Children’s Book author is worth it. The insane amount of rejection, critiques, and let downs can really wear on someone… especially one who just realized she tends to run to the well of...

Never Lost

Yesterday was a workday at the old house in Saint Louis. (For those of you who do not know, my family and I just moved across the river to Belleville, IL.) My husband left about 10 minutes before me. So, when I pulled out of the drive and saw the gas lights, I had to...

Like Arrows

When I started the review section of my blog, I never really intended on doing anything outside of Christian children’s book… but last night I watched a movie on Amazon Prime that I think would benefit parents (young and old alike) to watch- Like Arrows. Movie Title:...

Spoiled?!?

“Lunchtime!” I called and all my kids came running down the steps. “What’s for lunch?” “Awww Lunchmeat sandwiches… again!” “I wanted peanut butter and jelly.” “I wanted ham salad.” “Can I have bologna?” “Can we at least have chips instead of pretzels and crackers?”...

More on the Blog

God is Faithful!

I’m getting published!!! I’m so excited to share this news. However, it doesn’t seem right to share this news without sharing how AMAZING our God is! So, let me tell you the whole story! The Call In April of 2017, I felt this stir in my heart to write a book. It...

Book Update!!!

Coming soon! Book 1- Daughters of The King: A Princess Problem with Envy Release date: February 25, 2020 You can pre-order on Amazon now! https://www.amazon.com/dp/1951620003 Please tell all your friends who have daughters in the age range of 2-8! Also, please leave...

It’s Launch Day!!!!

Today is the day! Daughters of The King: A Princess Problem with Envy is now available for purchase through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also order through the publisher, Grackle Publishing. Please help me spread the word about this book, the series, but most...

A Dream Come True

This moment… this moment, right here, is something I have been dreaming about for almost three years. But let me tell you a secret… 3 ½ years ago, it wasn’t even on my bucket list. This is 100% a dream God put on my heart, and He gave me the super-human strength to...

Book 2: A Princess Problem with Pride

Book 2 is on the way!!!! But before I tell you anymore. You HAVE to hear how God brought it all together. Book #1 was released… literally right before the United States went on lock down for COVID-19. Bye bye book signings. Goodbye read-alouds. All my thoughts on...

Love Song from China

Every morning at 5 am, I wake up to teach kids in China online. I love my job! I really do! It honestly amazes me the relationships you can build with kids across the world using a pre-planned 25-minute lesson. That’s not the point of this post, though. Yesterday...

God Report

As you may have noticed, I have not been posting nearly as often as I have in the past. Our family is going through some big changes in which all the credit goes to God! Let me back up a few years… to right before my husband took a job as a pastor. Previously he...

Book Update!!!

Coming soon! Book 1- Daughters of The King: A Princess Problem with Envy Release date: February 25, 2020 You can pre-order on Amazon now! https://www.amazon.com/dp/1951620003 Please tell all your friends who have daughters in the age range of 2-8! Also, please leave...

Always a Princess

Growing up I was (and still am) the biggest Tom-Boy. I can seriously count the number of times I have painted my nails. You will NOT find me wearing a dress or skirt (unless I am at a formal occasion that calls for it.) And heels? - You can just forget about that~...

Intentional

A few days ago, my husband called for me to come to the computer. He opened up a video from 2010 of our oldest as a baby. The adorable little baby (that looked strikingly similar to our current baby) rolled back and forth on a jungle floor mat happily playing by...

The Christmas Puzzle

As I was making dinner, my three-year-old wanted some help with a puzzle. Now, this is a new puzzle of the Baby Jesus. (We are very blessed with people in our lives who help point our children to Jesus during a protentional very secular holiday.) Anyways, she was...

“You Have Your Hands Full!”

A couple years ago, I was walking into Target with my (then) four kids. I had one kid in the cart, and the other 3 riding along the sides of it. As I started heading into the store, a random man made eye contact with me. … Great… Here we go again… another conversation...

Diet and Exercise

Diet and exercise. I’ve started this blog many times, but I have never been able to actually complete it. I realize now, that is because it will never be complete. This is a rollercoaster of a journey. If someone would have told me when I was 17, my biggest struggle...

Coffee and Jesus

This morning I made my coffee, I smiled at my coffee mug that was given to me this Christmas. “All I need today is a little bit of Coffee & a whole lot of Jesus.” So true. But is it backwards? I mean really. I’m a mom of six. I teach kids in China online starting...

Identity

I just recently watched The Incredibles with my children. We love this movie. It never gets old. If you haven’t seen this movie, you should. It is about a family of Supers trying to get along in a world where they have to try to pretend to be something they are not...

Jesus Loves the Little Children Book Review

Title: Jesus Loves the Little Children; A Chosen Story Author: Dallas and Amanda Jenkins Illustrator: Kristen Hendricks Summary: Abigail talks a lot. A LOT. So when she meets Jesus for the first time, she talks about him to every kid she can find. Together the...

The Pumpkin Patch Parable Review

Title: The Pumpkin Patch Parable Author: Liz Curtis Higgs Illustrator: Nancy Munger Disclaimer: I LOVE LIZ CURTIS HIGGS! Moms, if you have not read her Bad Girls of the Bible series, you should… totally not the point of this post though… Summary: Bestselling author...

Three Gifts for Abigail Review

Title: Three Gifts for Abigail Author: Allison Romero Illustrator: Gloria Elliott Summary: Excited to spend a special day with family, Abigail hurries downstairs where she finds a surprise waiting for her on the living room table. As she uncovers each of the three...

Jesus Storybook Bible

Title: Jesus Story Book Bible Author: Sally Lloyd-Jones Illustrator: Jago Summary: For over a decade, The Jesus Storybook Bible has been introducing children to God’s wonderful story, and the Savior at the center of that story. Trusted and treasured for over a decade,...

Veggie Tales Comic Book Reviews

Book: Veggie Tales Super Comic Volume 3 (contains the stories of Rack, Shack, and Benny, MacLarry and the Stinky Cheese Battle, and Larry Boy and the Rude Beet.) Author: Rack, Shack, and Benny is adapted from the movie created by Big Idea, adapted by Aaron Linn....

If Jesus Lived Inside My Heart

Title: If Jesus Lived Inside My Heart Author: Jill Roman Lord Illustrator: Amy Wummer Publisher: Worthy Kids Summary: A new size for this sweet and brightly colored board book that explores the presence of Jesus in our lives. If Jesus lived inside our hearts, would it...

The Princess Parables Book Review

Title: Princess Grace and the Little Lost Kitten (The Princess Parables) Authors: Jeanna Young, Jacqueline Kinney Johnson Illustrator: Omar Aranda Summary: In Princess Grace and the Little Lost Kitten, Princess Grace promises her father she will care for the...

Like Arrows

When I started the review section of my blog, I never really intended on doing anything outside of Christian children’s book… but last night I watched a movie on Amazon Prime that I think would benefit parents (young and old alike) to watch- Like Arrows. Movie Title:...

Children Arise Review

Book: Children Arise Author: Jenny Johnson Illustrator: Jessie Blasdel Summary: Children Arise is a book empowering children to become all God created them to be by teaching them how to partner with Holy Spirit! Children Arise is a sweet storybook that teaches little...

Good Good Father Book Review

Title: Good Good Father Authors: Chris Tomlin and Pat Barrett Illustrator: Lorna Hussey Publisher: Tommy Nelson Summary: Grammy Award-winning music artist, Chris Tomlin, and Pat Barrett (Housefires) team up to tell the story of a little bear named Tucker whose life is...

Christian Parallels Post

Humpty Dumpty

Up next on Christian Parallels in Nursery Rhymes is Humpty Dumpty. Now before we begin, let’s all say the nursery rhyme together… Ok, maybe not… that’s the teacher in me coming out… But here is the rhyme for those of you who were on board and still reading. Humpty...

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Goldilocks and the Three Bears The next story on the blog is Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Everyone knows the story of the curious little girl taking a walk in the woods when she comes upon a house… When no one answers the door, Goldilocks walks straight in. On the...

A Poison Ivy Wreath

This week we have seen the beautiful colors of fall in St. Louis! As my kids were playing outside, they kept showing me the colorful leaves that they would find. So, I decided we should make an autumn wreath for our front door. Oh, they had a blast finding all the...

Identity

I just recently watched The Incredibles with my children. We love this movie. It never gets old. If you haven’t seen this movie, you should. It is about a family of Supers trying to get along in a world where they have to try to pretend to be something they are not...

Three Blind Mice

Today on the blog is Three Blind Mice. I already know what you’re thinking- Renee, why? Well, rest assured, I thought the exact same thing. Why was this placed on my heart? Then I read the Nursery Rhyme. Three blind mice. Three blind mice.See how they run. See how...

Christian Parallels in a Non-Christian Movie? (Mulan)

Can you find Christian Parallels in Non-Christian movies? Not just a non-Christian movie, but one that is set in a non-Christian community? I want to take a minute to connect the dots on my thoughts pertaining to the Christian Parallel posts. Originally the idea came...

Finding Purpose Through the Race

My five year old daughter just asked me to read to her a "Cars" book. As I read the book and reminisced about the movie,  I knew the next movie on the blog should be “Cars.” I remember watching this movie years ago… Like before kids. But I didn’t realize we had never...

Into the Unknown

You know your son has three older sisters when he is happily belting out the words, “Let it Go…” or “Into the UNKOWN!” Picture it with me: My three girls and their 2-year-old brother riding in the back seats of my van. They all have their hands outstretched, perfect...

Signing Away Your Freedom

This image right here... Ariel is signing away her freedom for a chance at romantic love. She was the daughter of the King.  The King had the power to grant her request. Yet, she made a deal with Sea Witch.  In Ariel’s defense, she was hurt. She had this...

The Hope in Cinderella

Up next on the blog is Cinderella! Now, Cinderella is a classic written on the hearts of every young girl. The chances are most ladies have probably seen this movie in at least three different versions. But it never gets old. For the purposes of this blog, my kids and...

Time for Fireflies

It was the first week of summer. The boys were attending a day camp at church.  I thought it was a good idea, since being down 2 kids, to schedule a bunch of errands and doctor’s appointments for the week. So, my girls and I had a busy week of running which...

Thoughts for My Daughter

While cleaning out the basement, I came across an old photo of my siblings and me. (I was like five-years-old.) I awed over it. Then my oldest came over and looked at it. “Mom, that looks like my sister!” He exclaimed. I’ve always thought my daughter slightly...

Chalk Influence

Yesterday I gave my kids some sidewalk chalk and told them to go play. They covered the driveway in drawings and scribbles. They had a blast. (Best $1 ever spent). However, when they came inside tiny chalk footprints lined the foyer, chalk handprint on doors and...

How Did I Not See It?

At lunch yesterday, I was getting my kids glasses of water. Of course, I couldn’t find any of the baby’s sippy cups… all three of them… couldn’t find one of them. So I asked my kid. “Oh I think he took it outside.” Me- looking outside… NOTHING. “I think he took it in...

Accepting Advice

The only thing worse than being sick on Christmas, is your kids being sick the days following. My husband came down with an awful sickness the week before Christmas. He explained it as feeling like death. Well, then I also came down with the same sickness. His...

It clicked

As most of you know, I have three daughters. These girls are creative, fun, and energetic… but I cannot say that tidy is an adjective I would use to describe them. Yesterday I walked by their room and noticed how nice and clean it looked, so naturally I complimented...

Check the Box

It’s time for Summer Reading Club at the library!!! YES!!! My kids love reading! As I have written before, it’s not unusual to find my children in their rooms reading books for fun. It’s like the favorite past-time around my house. If they’re not reading story books,...

Out of Focus

My new camera takes amazing photos. When I see natural beauty, I can’t help but to pull out the camera and take a photo. However, I am used to just using my phone. Pull it out and shoot. The pictures are usually pretty good, but in compassion to the ones I can...

Cleaning Out the Closet

So, I’m not exactly a perfectionist. I’m the kind of girl who will purposely hang something up crooked so that I don’t have to worry about it looking level. My husband…Not that way at all. He’s the type of person who will bring out the level and pencils while...

Just Like Dad

Every morning I wake my kids up, we eat breakfast, and then I remind them of their morning tasks. “Get dressed, brush your teeth, brush your hair, read your Bibles…” Wednesday morning as I was reading one of my younger kids her Bible, my boys came running to me. “Mom...

Clean Up First

A couple nights ago I was preparing dinner as my children played outside. My husband came in and said, “FYI, the kids are covered in mud.” “Like, they need to wash their hands, covered? Or like they need to shower, covered?” “Covered!” `Great,’ I thought as I pulled...

Mary, Did You Know?

  Maybe it’s because I have a newborn so close to Christmas, but for the last couple of days “Mary, Did You Know” has really been resonating with me. Mary, did you know That your baby boy will one day walk on water? Mary, did you know That your baby boy will save...

I Thought It Would Be Easy

After moving to a new house with an excellent place to ride bikes, skateboards, and scooters, my oldest bought himself a pair of rollerblades. The Amazon package arrived while my husband and I were out on a date-day. We knew it was coming so I was not totally...

Wait! I’m Still Preparing Lunch

I was making my kids peanut butter sandwiches while the girls played at the table on Friday. I was taking my time, since I knew the boys still needed to wrap up their schoolwork. I had six pieces of bread laid out with a peanut butter spread over them… and out of...

Grumbling

Here’s how my day went yesterday:  “Good morning, mom. What’s for breakfast?” “Oatmeal,” I responded. “Instant-pot or packets?” “Instant-pot.” “AHHH Man! I don’t like Instant-pot oatmeal.” “It’s literally exactly the same as the packets. Only I cook them in the...

Leaving a Review

I NEED your help! I am quite literally, “just a nobody, trying to tell everybody, all about Somebody, who saved my soul.” (In case you didn’t catch the reference- it’s Casting Crown’s song "Nobody.") The most common reason this Book Project was rejected from...

The Perfect Gift

According to Gary Chapman, there are five love languages:                1: Words of Affirmation                2: Acts of...

14 Months Apart

This morning I had to finished up some baking before church. So, after breakfast I just sent my kids upstairs to get ready by themselves. As I went upstairs to check on them, my seven-year-old was dressed so fashionably cute that she looked like a teenage. My...

Fixated

(This piece was a guest post on my friend Jenny's blog, "The Life of a Christian Wife." To see the full article, please click on the link at the bottom.)  Last night was a "bath and shower night" for my younger kids. I told my 3-year-old to go get her towel. She ran...

Part of the Story

My boys have gone a kick where they enjoy making books. They draw sequential pictures to their stories and occasionally add some words. Then they will assemble their books with a three-hole punch and three pieces of yarn. Earlier today my son was sharing one of his...