Hands Full of Blessings! 

Sharing Some of My Blessings With You 

Growing in Faith 

The Waters of Life

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… 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

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...

Confessions of a Former Catholic

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...

Never Lost

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...

Vine Tattoo

Vine Tattoo

I know not everyone has the same opinion of tattoos as I do (and that’s ok), but I want to share my tattoo story. As most of you know, my family and I recently moved to a home right next to the church we have been serving in for almost three years. Prior to this move,...

I Thought It Would Be Easy

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...

Book 2: A Princess Problem with Pride

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...

Abandoned Nest

Abandoned Nest

My family has become bird watchers. Last month the kids were playing in the back yard, and we heard a very distinct bird call. So, the girls and I followed the sound to a beautiful, red cardinal perched on a tree outside our St. Louis home. When my husband and I told...

14 Months Apart

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...

Out of Focus

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...

The Hawk- The Common Enemy

The Hawk- The Common Enemy

While playing outside yesterday, we noticed a hawk in the tree right over head. At first, it was cool to watch, but then it was like, “Oh no, what is it trying to get?” As the day went on, he sat there on the edge of the tree branch high above our heads. But the other...

How Did I Not See It?

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...

Cleaning Out the Closet

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...

Escape Room

Escape Room

 My husband and I had the opportunity to do an Escape Room Challenge for our anniversary. It was super fun! If you have never done one, I would highly recommend it. We will definitely be doing another one soon.   Well during this challenge we were locked in...

Guess Who

Guess Who

Yesterday I had the opportunity to observe a rather comical game of “Guess Who?”   My 7-year-old was trying to play with my 2-year-old. My 7-year-old son actually did a good job of teaching as they played, but his sister…well, she’s still only 2. My daughter...

Control-Top or Hidding the Problem

Control-Top or Hidding the Problem

Confession time! I love my babies! But I do not love what pregnancy has done to my body. I just had baby #6 three months ago… and I reached the biggest I have ever been! Slowly the pounds are coming off, but that means I am now in the awkward in between stage… You...

Asking For What I Need

Asking For What I Need

My kids are big readers. They love their books. It’s not uncommon to walk into their rooms and see them all reading for fun. To say reading is one of the favorite hobbies around my house would be spot on. Even though they love to read on their own (even my 1 year...

Tearing Down the Awning

Tearing Down the Awning

One of my favorite hobbies is crocheting. I enjoy crocheting for many reasons. First, it’s a creative outlet. I have no idea how to read a pattern, but I love finding ideas on Pinterest and seeing if I can recreate it. Second, it helps me feel productive. As a mom of...

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...

Like Arrows

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?!?

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?”...

Running Ahead

Running Ahead

Yesterday my children and I were walking around the block. At random times they would ask if they could run ahead. I tell them sure, but to wait at an obvious marker such as the end of the street. All of them, even my 2-year-old, would run to that spot, sit down in...

It clicked

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...

Chalk Influence

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...

Brave?

Brave?

Today I had not one… not two... but three other moms tell me that I was brave while walking around the zoo and Turtle Park with my six kids. Honestly, I was taken back by this. I’m not brave. This is what we do. We run errands together. We go out together. We have fun...

Potty Training

Potty Training

The decade of diapers is almost behind me… My oldest is 10 and my last child is now 2.  He also seems to think he is ready to potty train. This morning I stood by him and said good job as he peed all over the floor. My oldest smiled at me and said, “I’ll go get...

Behind the Glass

Behind the Glass

As I walked into the kitchen this morning, I noticed the beautiful sunrise peaking through the trees. Then I glanced at the thermometer and looked down at my dog asking to go out. It’s freezing out there. Let’s make this quick. I thought as I bundled up and put the...

Put Jesus Back In Christmas

Put Jesus Back In Christmas

For those of you following me (personally) or my church (First Christian Church Belleville), you know we have been making an effort to #PutJesusbackinChristmas! Each day Happy Hunter and his crew add a name of Jesus to a special tree. We watch a fun video on Facebook,...

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