About Me

Van Walton

Fun Facts about Van Walton

My favorite smell: The way the earth smells after it rains.

My favorite sound: The first notes of a grand symphony.

My favorite way to relax: Sitting anywhere outside - on my front porch, on my deck, or by the lake, early in the morning with my first cup of coffee.

My favorite birthday dessert: a Peach cobbler baked by my husband. He’s my fave chef!

I will not eat: Avocado. They turn my stomach into a volcano that never erupts.

Technology I couldn't live without and why: My laptop - it takes me anywhere I want to go.

One thing that makes me smile: My sons' faces!

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My Resources

My book, From the Pound to the Palace, is available for $10
from Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Pound to Palace

My book, Little Halos, is available for $5.99 from Proverbs
31 Ministries.

Little Halos

Proverbs 31 Ministries


Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


is it about kings and cakes, parades and parties? What is the meaning of Mardi Gras and its mas mayehm? A little bit about that later, but for now ...

Welome to the Carnival! 

The Proverbs 31 women are celebrating a couple of days of  give aways.

Today along with celebrating Carnival and Mardi Gras I want to invite you to visit each one of the following sites to enter a drawing for some fun and wonderful give aways. You can go to each one of their sites by clicking their names on my blog roll to the right

Wendy Blight is giving away a copy of the One Year Chronological Bible and her book Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God's Story.

Shari Braendel is givng away 3 beautiful jewelry pieces to begin a spring wardrobe with! One for a Glamour Girl, one for a Movie Star and one for a Rock Star!
Micca Campbell is giving away her book An Untroubled Heart, and a cute clutch purse for those fun summer evenings!

Whitney Capps is giving away a $30 Francesca's Gift card, redeemable at http://www.francescascollections.com/
Melanie Chitwood is giving away One marriage conference call (see her blog for details) and her new book What a Wife Needs from Her Husband.

Lynn Cowell is giving away a prize for mom and a prize for a teen girl in her life – the 3 book series B.A.B.E. series by Andrea Stephens (Beautiful, Accepted, Blessed, Eternally Significant) for the teen and for Mom a $10 gift card to Starbucks along with Lynn’s CD “Building a Bridge to Your Child’s Heart”.

Karen Ehman is giving away a Winter White Basket that includes Skin Milk body wash, a white loofah, Winter White Citrus Bath & Body Works products, white lily linen and room sprays, white hot cocoa, a white mug and white-chocolate macadamia nut cookies. Along with it, a copy of her book on celebrations entitled Homespun Memories for the Heart: More Than 200 Ideas to Make Unforgettable Moments.

Suzie Eller is giving away a webcam!

Zoe Elmore is giving away a journal, a copy of My Heart's Cry by Anne Graham Lotz and a piece of jewelry Zoe style!

Charlene Kidd is giving away a $20.00 Starbucks Gift Card and a copy of Karen Ehman’s book: A Life That Says Welcome, Simple Ways to Open Your Heart and Home to Others.

Tracie Miles is giving away her CD "Overcoming Stress with Extraordinary Faith" and a Soulmates Slipper with Christian Notepad and Pen.

Rachel Olsen is giving away Bread for Life": a hardback copy of The Daily Message: Through the Bible in One Year by Eugene Peterson (which you can read this along with her this year) and the Williams-Sonoma Muffins cookbook.

Wendy Pope Wendy is giving away a copy of her book Out of the Mouths of Babes and her CD Yes, No, and Maybe of a Balanced Life.

Luann Prater & www.EncouragementCafe.com are giving away an Encouragement Cafe mug and t-shirt at both sites!

LeAnn Rice is giving away a copy of her cookbook Sharing Grace: Recipes- Family Traditions-Gift ideas and a Starbucks gift card.

Susanne Scheppmann is giving away her Birds in My Mustard Tree Bible Study with an I-tunes gift card.

Lysa TerKeurst is giviving away a Mom's Book Club gift pack including 4 copies of Lysa's book, Am I Messing Up My Kids? and a 30-minute Q&A conference call with Lysa.

Glynnis Whitwer is giving away her book work@home: A Practical Guide for Woman Who Want to Work from Home and a French Country Wire Silverware Basket.

She Reads is giving away two novels, Watch Over Me by Christa Parrish and Screen Play by Chris Coppernoll, and chocolate, courtesy of the authors. They will tell the story of how their writing brought them together - a love story, quite literally, fit for a novel!

RadRevolution Our ministry to teen girls is giving away a copy of Do the Hard Thing along with a RadRev t-shirt!

And I am giving away a copy of my DVD From the Pound to the Palace

All you need to do is leave a comment at the end of my post, if you want to enter to win my DVD. It will make a great Easter basket gift!

Many of you who visit my site, know that it was originally created to reach out to women on the move, those of us whose lives have been defined by moving.

We move because of corporate relocations and transfers.

We move because we are missionaries and the mission field calls.

We move because the military sends families around the globe.

We move because we retire to warmer weather or to be near our children.

My life has been defined by moves- my daddy’s career required that he move and my husband’s did too.

When I was fourteen years old my family moved from South America to New Orleans. Wa hoo!!!!!!!

There is no better place for a teenager to grow up- than New Orleans--- NOT!
Happy me! Unlucky parents.

The first thing I learned about New Orleans was that every year celebrations, preparing for Mardi Gras or Carnival, as it is called in other parts of the world, began almost immediately after Christmas - ending with a four-day weekend  holiday where the entire city met to revel in the streets of the French Quarter and walk among thousands along the parade route on Canal Street.

Although many people believe Fat Tuesday is linked to Ash Wednesday in a deeply spiritual sense, what we may no know is the history behind the parties, parades, and pandemonium called Mardi Gras.

Originally I was going to post about Mardi Gras history, but after re-educating myself decided I would simply send my readers to this link: King Cake

It  is a good read even if you think you know all about today’s celebrations. What you may not know is the deep roots this day and the weeks leading up to it has in Biblical tradition and pagan practices. Combined, the two can surely confuse those who try to link Mardi Gras to Ash Wednesday to Lent and ultimately to the Resurrection of Christ! It’s amazing how we humans manage to twist TRUTH with tradition!

Anyway to celebrate Truth - I am giving away a copy of my DVD for children – a true story of a little dog who wandered into our family’s life and taught us how to follow King Jesus. Your children will love the story, From the Pound to the Palace  read by Renee Swope, popular Proverbs 31 radio host, and her two sons.

If you want to participate in my give away, write a few words describing what you think Carnival or Mardi Gras is all about!



Anonymous said...

Mardi Gras was just celebrated on the college campus where I work, we had wonderful cajun food and a king cake for dessert. There was a baby in my piece of cake and I won a beautiful framed print representing New Orleans/Mardi Gras. I loved the people dressed in Mardi Gras costumes and the t-shirts they gave away not to mention the green, gold and puple mardi gras beads. I have never experienced Mardi Gras in New Orleans but thanks to this event I feel like I have been there! :) Thanks for this give away and may God richly bless you and your family! :)

Janet Jackson

LadyDy said...

I love celebrations.....mardi gras means "fat tuesday".....I've had many fat Tuesdays...LOL

would love to win this for my grand daughters.


sagreen125 said...

celebration before Lent begins.

Anonymous said...

I have never experienced Mardi Gras and to be honest don't know anything about it. My only thoughts are "party" and the not so good stuff you hear on the news.

Thanks for particpating in the giveaway! Have a beautiful day!


Pen to Paper; Spirit to Soul said...

I always heard it was the last hoorah before beginning Lent. Hope I can find some time to read up on it!

Anonymous said...

I heard it was the last big feast before Lent, because people usually give something up for Lent in preparation for Easter.

The DVD would be such a fun gift to give my niece and nephew for Easter. I think they would enjoy it!

MaryG said...

Any good reason to make cake works for me!
Love all the stuff you ladies are giving away!


Anonymous said...

I grew up in MS which is a hop, skip and a jump to New Orleans. I went to Mardi Gras a few times and I must say being in downtown definitely opened my eyes to what really goes on. I do not think God is involved in that party at all. There are some parades that are fun and light hearted, but the actual celebration in downtown and the parades on Bourbon street are far from Christian parties. I think that it is ashame that people have to corrupt fun celebrations by making them perverse and crude!

Tiffany said...

My 3-year-old daughter would LOVE this!

Joyful said...

Carnival: Family, Fun, Parades, Food, Crafts, Music


Eagles Wings said...

oh my I would love to win your gift...I have four boys under 6 and they love stories.
God Bless...

O'Nealya Gronstal said...

My next door neighbor in Memphis was from LA so my husband and I learned alot about Mardi Gras....Lent is a time of fasting, Mardi Gras is the party to indulge before 40 days of denying yourself. Hmmm....kind of like saying, Lord, I will confess and repent of ______ tomorrow but today I am going to _______ to my hearts desire!
I like the P31 Carnival celebration much better!!!! Let's celebrate Jesus!

Anonymous said...

I always thought Mardi Gras was connected to Lent. I didn't grow up practicing Lent, so I can't say for sure. But after reading your comments, maybe I should look into it. But Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday is a reason to party and have king cake to eat...that's all I really know.
But I do think my son will love the DVD...he loves anything about dogs. Thanks for the give away!!Have a great day!

Rebecca said...

I don't know much about mardi gras, but I know how to celebrate: with family and friends!


Cheryl said...

I know that to some, Mardi Gras is just a fun reason to get together and make some wonderful traditional foods...like king cake! But for many, it unfortunately becomes a sinful time of excess.
Hope to win your dvd!

BRANDY said...

I LOVE COOKING AND EATING..LOL.. so any reason to do both is great with me!! :)) heheheh!! THX and God Bless u!!

R said...

a definate celebration!
never been part of mardi gras or would really want too.....
thanks for the opportunity to win, thanks for all you do!
Renea h

Marissa said...

Thanks for the great giveaway!

Marissa said...

Thanks for the great giveaway!

Olivia said...

I have always thought it was supposed to be a time to celebrate (excessively so!) before Lent, but am going to go check out the link you left to see what it is all about!

November Rain said...

I've never had the chance to participate in Mardi Gras, but my in-laws go to Lafayette, LA every year. They love to dress up & enter the costume contests. They also love watching the parades.

My 4-year-old would love your DVD!
Thank you!

ShaRhonda said...

What a wonderful story and you are right a wonderful Easter basket gift! sharhondacrow@cox.ent

Heather V said...

revelry, partying. I had no idea until recently that mardi gras and lent/ash wednesday were tied together.

Linda said...

Just found your site today...I've never been to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, but would like to go there one day. I would like to win to bless my Grandkids on Easter. Thanks!

Heart2Heart said...


I would love to win your giveaway and think your blog site is simply beautiful and divinely inspired by God.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

GirlNumber5 said...

Thanks for the give away! Mardi Gras has never interested me very much.

God Bless

Anonymous said...

I actually didn't realize that people link Mardi Gras to Lent. I though it was just a pagan holiday where everyone partied hard.

Blessed Mom

Tasha said...

I would love to win this DVD. Glad to have found your blog.


seesawfaith said...

I so wanted to look up the information before posting because, sadly, I really always like to be right. :(

So I didn't. I think Mardi Gras is a huge party for people to get all their crazy on before they have to settle into the deep spiritual meanings of this spring-time holiday. I'm not saying I agree with it, it just has always seemed that way.

Thanks for participating!

Have a great week!

Moranda Clark said...

I took French class in high school and we always had a Mardi Gras party. I have also thought of it as the last hoorah before lent. This year, I have a close friend who is in New Orleans for Mardi Gras with a ministry called YWAM. He has told me some of the amazing stories about how people off the streets are asking about Jesus. People are being saved at Mardi Gras this year!

Amy Herr said...

I honestly never celebrated it.

Me said...

I honestly didn't know much about Mardi Gras until I read your blog and the website you posted today!

Julesmcg said...

I always thought of Mardi Gras as the big party before Lent in New Orleans. Don't know much about it.
But I am always game for a celebration and this is a fun one! Thanks!

Phyllis said...

Mardi Gras marks the last glutenous celebration before Lent - a time of sacrifice.

Denise said...

Would love to have this!

larkfam said...

When I think of Mardi Gras, I think of people partying and doing whatever they want to because they will be forgiven tomorrow when they try to live holy until Eater.

ndharris11 said...

I live right outside of St. Louis, MO and Mardi Gras is a HUGE celebration here each year! Love to see all of the costumes.
Would love to win the DVD

Leigh said...

I was married to a true cajun and he told me it was the big blow out before Lent. I assumed he was right since he had grown up there. Now will have to go by the website and check it out. Thanks for playing in the carnival. We get our own party!

Anonymous said...

I think it is just about celebrating life, or anything in life you want to celebrate!!


Amy said...

I was always taught that Mardi Gras was a final celebration before the fasting of Lent begins. I must admit, though, that I'm from Amish Country, PA, and I much prefer that version - the Amish make 'fastnachts,' a type of simple doughnut, and just pig out for a day! :-) My kids and I made our fastnachts this morning.

Kayla O'Hern said...

I was born in Metairie, Louisiana, and grew up in LaPlace. Mardi Gras was definitely a part of my childhood - king cakes, parades! I even made my first from-scratch king cake this year to celebrate...yum yum! Now that I live in rural Mississippi, there aren't as many opportunities to share in the festivities, but my husband and I try to do what we can to make the memories for our 1 year old daughter. This weekend we're having our own Mardi Gras (a little late, I know) parade - decorated strollers, wagons, and all! Should be fun!

Anonymous said...

I remember going to one Mardi Gras parade when I was a child and getting a lot of bead necklaces. I have also had King Cake at my workplace a few times and enjoyed the tradition and fun. Thanks for the give away!

Jenni / Jennifer Saake a.k.a. InfertilityMom said...

I don't know much about Mardi Gras but my husband has a co-worker from New Orleans so we are learning more.

Victoria said...

My cousins grew up there and would send boxes of necklaces to me to entice me to come at Mardi Gras.My cousins would attend the balls. I never went. The king cake is served from the time of Jan 6th which is in remembrance of the wise men finding the baby Jesus, hence the baby in the King Cake. Mardi Gras has been celebrated for along time and unfortunately has lost the meaning. Thank you for sharing this. We read the true roots of Valentine on Sunday. This was a good study... Thank you! from the Blessed mom of 12 http://www.gumbopages.com/carnival-faq.html#king-cake

lisasmith said...

our family usually spends a weekend in Galveston, Tx enjoying the mardi gras festivities there. the parades are great fun for the children with pets and beads and stuffed animals. My sons's birthday is Feb. 14 and he thinks the parades are for his birthday! what cool parents we are to arrange that every year!!

The Fifth Street Mama said...

Ok the only thing I know about Mardi Gras is the beads :)

Wani said...

All I really know about it is beads and parties.

Anonymous said...

We just finished Mardi Gras in Galveston Texas. For myself and my children, it is all about the beads and spending time together. We moved to Galveston 6 months prior to hurricane Ike, for ministry purposes. I help run a soup kitchen for the many homeless, and now those affected by hurricane Ike. We love Mardi Gras here, and I would not spend it anywhere else.
Kimberly Walton

California Mimi said...

Puppies and Grandchildren go hand-in-hand. They would love this DVD. Thank you and God bless you and your ministry.

ca_blond said...

I have never been to Mardi Gras, but I have heard that is a very unique experience. I have always understood it as a celebration before Lent begins. I am looking forward to reading the information on the link that was provided.

Tammy said...

Day before Lent - now that's something to think about and prepare ourselves for our King.


Jodi said...

Mardi Gras is the celebration held before the Lenten season begins and ends the day before Ash Wednesday.

I would love to win this DVD for my boys, and also to share with "my" Awana kids at a movie night!

Joy said...

I love having celebrations! Having children you have many things to celebrate!! :)

Samantha said...

I myself do not participate in Mardi Gras, however I was thrilled to learn about the Mardi Paws parade in Mandeville, LA this weekend! That's one parade you might just find me at!

shutterhappyhope said...

Not ever participating in Mardi Gras or knowing much about it my perception is based mostly on the footage on TV & the "culture" of New Orleans...to me I've always just perceived it to be a reason for a whole state (and nation) to party. With lots of beads, naked women, and alcohol. =) Sad, but true "definition". =)

I'd love to win the book because of my love for dogs (I have two Chihuahuas) and I'm about to be an Aunt for the first time. I would love to present this to my nephew!

lisa said...

thanks for the awesome giveaways you are all doing. I only know of Mardi Gras what I have seen on tv..it looks like a ton of fun...lisadavis008@aol.com

Anonymous said...

This is fun!

KELLY said...

I need this DVD with 9 grandchildren!!

Jimison Family said...

This French celebration may have actually started in Rome (with the celebration of a Roman "god" Lupercus) or Greece. Christians brought the celebration as a pre-lent with them to New Orleans. Some believe that Mardi Gras came to America in 1699 with the French explorer, Sieur d'Iberville. The whole season is called Carnival. I guess back then they wanted to celebrate "circus" style as much as possible before giving up something for Lent. Mardi Gras has certainly changed over the years and it's too bad that things get too "wild" now with the name. It's great to celebrate - let's celebrate daily all that God provides us - in a pleasing way. :)

Anonymous said...

The "truth" behind Mardi Gras...I'm am a "true" Southern Belle, born and raised in New Orleans...and Mardi Gras, like any other celebration, is what you make it. The "truth" is that we should celebrate our Savior regardless. It's unfortunate that all "natives" are seemingly sterotyped by the aforementioned celebration. That saddens me. Nevertheless, "Father forgive them, for they know not..." Another "truth" is that Carnival/Mardi Gras actually originated in Mobile, Alabama, in the US. A final "truth", because my Father is the King, that makes me a Princess and I've already kissed the F.R.O.G. - Fully Relying On God - for EVERYthing, even WINning this give away. :)

~Princess Nadia

Tracie said...

I don't know the history behind Mardi Gras but I will be reading up on it during my computer time tomorrow. What I do know about it comes from what I've seen/heard on the news.

I would love to win this DVD for our 4 children.

mommyof2 said...

I will be honest and tell you that I do not know a lot about the history of Mardi Gras. One of sisters traveled to New Orleans on business around that time and apparently was quite something, very much one big party, and not everything that was done/said was all that great but it was fun to see . That's about all I know :)

However, I do know that I think your DVD for children would be perfect for my two little guys. Thanks for having the giveaway.


Sally Ferguson said...

The King Cake link gave a lot of info. I've never had a good impression of Mardi Gras, so it was an interesting read. The cake sounds delicious!

Kim said...

I was always under the impression that Mardi Gras was a not so nice "party." Will have to read up on it.

Created for this... said...

Don't always hear great things about either event but I think it is great that Haiti's Carnival was replaced this year but 3 days of prayer!

mommyof2sons said...

I would love to win the DVD!!

Shondra said...

Party? Mardi Gras is only what I have ever seen or heard about...not always a flattering picture.

Shondra said...

Mardi Gras appears to be a wild celebration accordin to what you see and hear in the news.

Julie said...

I've never experienced Mardi Gras New Orleans style. I've always thought that the celebration of Mardi Gras (or Fat Tuesday) is when everyone prepares for the season of Lent by using all of the food items that should not be eaten during lent, including flour eggs and milk, by making pancakes and other delicious dishes!!! (and then eating it all up until they feel fat...)

My kids were excited today because we celebrated Fat Tuesday! Hubby made a huge pancake dinner and we all wore our colorful beads. The kids had a ball! Thanks for the giveaway.

Myra said...

I've never been to Mardi Gras, but it might be fun to see one day. I love celebrations! I would also love to win the DVD for my grandson. I think he would enjoy it.

valerie in TX said...

I have to confess that I don't know anything about Mardi Gras, but have always had a negative connotation of it in my mind. I love the green, gold, and purple, though, and used to have a great ski jacket with those colors! :)

Anonymous said...

Mardi Gras is French for 'Fat Tuesday'. It began on or after Epiphany and ended before Ash Wednesday... referring to the night before when richer, fattier foods were eaten before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season.

I would so appreciate the DVD to be watched and used as a tool for my sons. They always seen to enjoy the "visual" side of things. Thank you for the opportunity!