Friday, October 31, 2014

Their Name Is Today - Reclaiming Childhood in a Hostile World




The title couldn't be more perfect for this book in this day and age. In today's world it is violent, unpredictable, and can be damaging for our children. One of the main problems is how parents handle their children in this world. Rather than teach many parents are just letting their children go. Children, teens, etc., are just allowed to do as they please with little or no regard from their parents. There is hardly any guidance or structure anymore. Sadly, love, seems also to be absent. It's a heart-breaking thought and yet a true reality.
What parents don't realize is now more than ever our children need our love, strength, teaching, and guidance. This world we live in is not an easy one, and rather than ignore it we need to recognize and overcome.
Life can get so hectic that we often realize what the most precious and important things are in life. Our ultimate treasures, our children. Our children need our time, attention, love, and respect. They are little people and they want what we all want with love and respect.
This book is something that any parent, grandparent, family member, teacher, etc., should read at least once. It includes countless wonderful advice on raising, loving, and respecting our children. From limiting TV time to dealing with difficult children this is a handy tool to read over and over again.
I highly recommend it, and even if you don't agree with some of the advice/answers in this book you will still be glad you read it. I believe there's something for everyone within these pages.




::From the back of the book::
There’s hope for childhood. Despite a perfect storm of hostile forces that are robbing children of a healthy childhood, courageous parents and teachers who know what’s best for children are turning the tide. Johann Christoph Arnold, whose books on education, parenting, and relationships have helped more than a million readers through life’s challenges, draws on the stories and voices of parents and educators on the ground, and a wealth of personal experience. He surveys the drastic changes in the lives of children, but also the groundswell of grassroots advocacy and action that he believes will lead to the triumph of common sense and time-tested wisdom. Arnold takes on technology, standardized testing, overstimulation, academic pressure, marketing to children, over-diagnosis and much more, calling on everyone who loves children to combat these threats to childhood and find creative ways to help children flourish. Every parent, teacher, and childcare provider has the power to make a difference, by giving children time to play, access to nature, and personal attention, and most of all, by defending their right to remain children.




::Product Details::

  • Paperback: 189 pages
  • Publisher: Plough Publishing House (September 22, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874866308
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874866308



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    ::Purchase this book::

    Kindle     Paperback     Nook

     




    ::About the author::
    People have come to expect sound advice from Johann Christoph Arnold, an award-winning author with over 1.3 million copies of his books in print in more than 20 languages.

    A noted speaker and writer on marriage, parenting, and end-of-life issues, Arnold is a senior pastor of the Bruderhof, a movement of Christian communities. With his wife, Verena, he has counseled thousands of individuals and families over the last forty years. His books include Their Name Is Today, Why Forgive?, Rich in Years, Seeking Peace, Cries from the Heart, Be Not Afraid, and Why Children Matter.

    Arnold's message has been shaped by encounters with great peacemakers such as Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, C├ęsar Chavez, and John Paul II. Together with paralyzed police officer Steven McDonald, Arnold started the Breaking the Cycle program, working with students at hundreds of public high schools to promote reconciliation through forgiveness. This work has also brought him to conflict zones from Northern Ireland to Rwanda to the Middle East. Closer to home, he serves as chaplain for the local sheriff's department.

    Born in Britain in 1940 to German refugees, Arnold spent his boyhood years in South America, where his parents found asylum during the war; he immigrated to the United States in 1955. He and his wife have eight children, 44 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. They live in upstate New York.

    To learn more visit www.plough.com



     

    Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Handlebar Publishing in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

    A Robertson Family Christmas





    I am a huge fan of the Robertsons and Duck Dynasty. It isn't just because of their popularity, that actually has nothing to do with it. I love their faith, their love as a family together, and their laid back ways. There's just something about them all that is truly genuine, and you don't find that often at all. They aren't afraid to speak of their faith, to stand up for it, and no matter what they always unite as a family. Those are traits that should be present in every family, but just isn't the case in this day and age. So it's nice to find others out there like that.

    So I was very excited to get the chance to read A Robertson Family Christmas. This is such a unique and original novella. One that I got swept up in instantly. This book is about a teenage boy named Hunter, who is extremely withdrawn and depressed with the way his life is going. His parents are divorced, his dad and brother spend all their time together, and his mom is constantly working leaving him often times alone. When he finds out he has won a contest to spend Christmas with the Robertsons, when he didn't even enter a contest, he was angry. He wanted nothing more than to spend Christmas with his dad and brother, but was too stubborn to say so. So off he goes on the plane and soon finds himself in the loving zany house of the Robertsons. He tries to hide with his headphones on but the family gives him little chance of that. As he starts to really get to know them he still feels left out in the world, but finds that he also feels as if something is missing from his life. Taking part in everything from hunting trips, to cooking with Miss Kay, Hunter seems to realize a few lessons about life, love, and even faith...

    I love hearing about some of the Robertson's family traditions. And this book is definitely filled with tons of humor strung throughout to keep you laughing. I found myself laughing out loud just picturing some of the parts in the story they were so funny.

    The love of family and faith is also very strong in this book. I love that there was such a presence of this, but what else would you expect when talking about the Robertsons? The story went together so very well together and blended fiction with non-fiction perfectly creating a wonderful story that ages teens and up can enjoy.

    It's a short sweet book, and took me no time at all to read. At the same time it's also not a book I will soon forget! Miss Kay definitely has a knack for writing. Even though Hunter is a fictional character it would be easy to see this as a real teen going through the troubles he did. I felt often annoyed by Hunter's character. Even though he has been dealt a hard life in the story what with his parents divorce and loneliness he is very rude to people. But of course he's a teen so that's what is to be expected, and adds more reality to the story. The end of the story is so humbling and I wanted to read more very badly. I wish it continued! I can't say more about the ending without giving too much away, but I will definitely recommend you give this book a try! You won't be disappointed, especially if your a Robertson fan like my family is.



    ::From the back of the book::

    Based on real Robertson family Christmas traditions, this novella gives readers a window into the heartwarming and sometimes-zany moments shared by America's favorite Duck Commanders.

    Hunter Clarke wanted one thing for Christmas: to spend it with his dad and his brother. He misses being included in any guy trips since his parents divorced and he went to live with his mom. So he’s less than happy when his mother tells him that he won a contest to spend Christmas in West Monroe, Louisiana, with a family named the Robertsons. For some reason, they’re supposed to be a big deal. How did he win a contest he didn’t enter? Besides, he’s never heard of them and sure doesn’t want to spend Christmas in a swamp with a bunch of strangers.

    Korie Robertson is excited to open her heart and home to Hunter and show him what the Christmas season looks like for the Robertson family. And like it or not, Hunter experiences it firsthand. From duck-hunting disasters with the bearded guys, to learning to cook with Miss Kay, Hunter quickly discovers what it’s like to live with this boisterous, yet loving family. Putting on his headphones and ignoring them is not an option. Before long, Hunter begins to let his guard down. But with Christmas and the end of his trip fast approaching, will it be too little, too late? Or will Hunter be open to the greatest gift of all?



     

    ::Product Details::

     
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (October 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414398204
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414398204

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    ::Also available in::

    Kindle      Nook      Hardcover



     

    Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

    Saturday, October 25, 2014

    Heaven Touching Earth - True Stories of Angels, Miracles, and Heavenly Encounters

     


    This isn't your ordinary book. This is a book filled with TRUE stories of angels, miracles, and heavenly encounters. Each chapter has a testimony by a different person going into detail about their personal experiences of this sort.

    This is a wonderful book for those of you who, like me, like to read about encounters as such. These types of encounters cannot be explained away, and are heart-warming. Even when you don't see things happening in your life doesn't mean they aren't. And these types of books are further proof that whether you know it or not God is always at work. He works in mysterious ways.

    I enjoyed this book immensely. Each story pulled me in, and at times I just couldn't believe what I was reading. Of course I am a believer in God, miracles, and angels. But this book can even be for those of you who are just interested in the supernatural, or if you just want to reassure yourself of God's presence.

    Reading stories like this always strengthens my faith and belief. It gives us hope, and it warms our hearts. I highly recommend you give it a try. You won't be disappointed. There are all kinds of different testimonies to keep you hooked, and be prepared to feel a ton of emotions. Some of these testimonies even brought tears to my eyes, and of course held me on the edge of my seat.



    ::From the back of the book::
    God Is Closer Than You Might Think

    A thin curtain separates the physical world from the unseen spiritual realm. And sometimes God pulls it back to give us a glimpse of the other side. In Heaven Touching Earth, ordinary people share more than forty all-new stories of miracles, healing, divine provision and protection, and encounters with angels and demons.

    These true, uplifting stories will remind you that even when you don't see obvious evidence of God at work in your life or get quick answers to prayer, there is a loving Father who protects and provides and is always working on your behalf in the invisible realm.

    Whether you're simply curious about the supernatural world or longing for a fresh experience of God's presence, these inspiring stories will touch your heart and strengthen your faith in the God of miracles.



     

    ::About the author::
    James Stuart Bell is a Christian publishing veteran and the owner of Whitestone Communications, a literary development agency. He is the editor of many story collections, including the Cup of Comfort, Life Savors, and God Encounters series, and the coauthor of numerous books in the Complete Idiot's Guide series. He and his family live in West Chicago, Illinois.



     

    ::Purchase this book::

    Paperback       Kindle     Nook

     



    ::Product Details::
     
    Paperback: 256 pages
    Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (September 16, 2014)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 0764211862
    ISBN-13: 978-0764211867

     

     


    Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

    Saturday, October 18, 2014

    Draw-A-Saurus - Don't Let Your Drawing Skills Fossilize



    ::My Review::
    Like most kids, boys and girls alike, my kiddos are really into dinosaurs. And they both happen to be into drawing as well. So I knew when I seen this book I had to have it for them! I wasn't disappointed, and they were sure thrilled as well with it. This book has easy to follow instructions on drawing dinosaurs, and even some fun facts throughout.
    The colors are vivid and captivating, and my kids were absorbed. I have to admit even I was captivated by this book and couldn't put it down at first. My favorite thing is the detailed step-by-step advice this book gives. It doesn't just thrust you in there scrambling to draw what you see on the pages, but guides you along.
    It's also very humorous. This is unlike ordinary drawing books we have come across, this drawing book makes it a FUN experience, and one your kids will love!



    ::About the book::
    This in-depth yet accessible dinosaur drawing guide combines humor, creativity, and the latest dino research to show artists young and old how to breathe life into drawings of their prehistoric favorites.

    Prehistoric Pencil Power!
    Even though they lived some 65 million years ago, dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptiles continue to rule today. From movies to comics and cartoons, these ancient, giant beasts are everywhere you turn. Of course, who wants to just read about or watch these dinos when you can learn how to use pencils, pens, markers, and more to draw your very own?

    Cartoonist James Silvani combines easy-to-follow art exercises with the latest, greatest dino-facts to help you create fun and cool dinosaur doodles all by yourself. With lessons on old favorites like T-rex and stegosaurus, as well as lesser-known (but still awesome) creatures like the massive argentinosaurus, Draw-a-Saurus has everything the dinosaur fan could ever ask for (outside of their very own pet dino!).



    ::Product Details::
    • Paperback: 160 pages
    • Publisher: Watson-Guptill (September 9, 2014)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0385345801
    • ISBN-13: 978-0385345804

    ::Also available in::



    Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for free as a Blogging for Books member in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

    Sunday, September 28, 2014

    Jonah and the Great Big Fish



    ::Book Description::
    "God told Jonah to obey, said, 'Go to Nineveh this day.' But, stubborn Jonah fled instead. Didn’t do just what God said." Jonah’s disobedience landed him inside a big fish! And there he had time to think and pray. Children will feel the waves and hear the splash as Jonah sinks “down and down and down” into the belly of the fish. This story serves as an excellent reminder of how important it is to listen to God.


    ::My Review::
    This is a well-known bible story, but unlike the traditional version this book puts this story in rhyme form.
    This book does not deviate from the original retelling, but rather makes it easier for children to understand. Rather than just tell a story of Jonah getting swallowed by a whale it tells how he came to be in that situation, and how he gets out of that situation.
    The pictures are all very wonderfully illustrated and vivid which makes it that much more fun and engaging for children of all ages. While this book is meant for younger children I think all kids of elementary grades would have fun reading this book. It is even a spectacular book for beginning readers due to the rhyming form it's in. It is easy to remember, and understand. Not to mention fun while telling the story in it's exactness.
    I would have liked the story to continue a bit, but overall this gets the important point of always obeying God across as it needs to be.
    It's not often you find a book like this that can be so simple yet stick so close to an actual Bible Story. But this one does just that, plus adds a wonderful visual experience to keep children engaged and focused. I highly recommend this. My kids are 7 and 3, and both greatly enjoyed this book very much.





    ::Product Details:: 
    • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
    • Hardcover: 32 pages
    • Publisher: Zonderkidz (July 29, 2014)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0310732190
    • ISBN-13: 978-0310732198



    Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

    Monday, September 15, 2014

    Happy Homemaker Monday - 09/15/2014

    Well, it's Monday again. They always come way to fast, and I never quite adjust to how fast the weekends fly by. lol
    I hope everyone is having a good Monday. Mine started out rocky, but is going okay for now. Hopefully it continues.
    I know I'm getting started on this a bit late, but my whole morning has been a bit behind and I have been battling an annoying headache today.
    If you would like to join in Happy Homemaker Monday please click the link in the caption under the photo below and join in from Sandra's page. :)

    Image Credit: Sandra @ Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
    If you would like to join in with HHM just click the above link. :)



    ::Breakfast time - what is on the plate this morning::
    I had a glass of milk and some toast with cream cheese. 


    ::Looking around the house::
    My little one is watching Blue's Clue's getting ready for his afternoon nap. The kitchen needs tidying up, my counters look horrid right now. People have placed papers and stuff just wherever on them. The living room needs vacuumed and a quick pick up. Bedrooms need vacuumed. Laundry needs ironed and put away. Daily cleaning of bathrooms needs done. (I have two boys so cleaning the bathrooms every day is a necessity in our household lol)


    ::On today's to do list::
    Iron, fold, and put away clothes. No washing today thankfully.
    Cleaning - kitchen, living room, bedrooms and bathrooms.
    Cooking - dinner is all that's left to cook for now, lunch and breakfast is already done.


    ::Currently reading::
    nothing at the moment


    ::On the TV today::
    I honestly cannot think of anything that is on today. I haven't had a whole lot of time lately to catch up on any of my missed or favorite shows and I haven't really missed it all that much. I may just watch the nightly news, and that's it today. Unless of course my husband has a show that comes on and I forgot about. Then I'll watch that with him.


    ::The weather outside is::
    67 degrees. It's sunny but not too hot. There's a bit of a breeze going, and it's a beautiful day really. I'm getting ready to pop open all my windows and let that fresh air and sunshine go through the house. I love this time of year when it's not too hot, not too cold, and the fresh air is just comforting.


    ::On the menu this week::
    Hubby's hours have been cut at his work so our budget isn't very friendly, and won't be for awhile. We will have what we need but I won't have a lot of extra to work with and you may see some repeats of some meals from a week prior or so for awhile.

    Monday- Spaghetti and garlic bread
    Tuesday- Cheeseburger Macaroni, mashed potatoes, corn
    Wednesday- Baked chicken, rice, broccoli
    Thursday- shopping day
    Friday- see above
    Saturday-
    Sunday-


    ::If I have a few minutes to myself, I will::
    Read and visit some blogs


    ::New recipe I tried, or want to try this week::
    I would like to try a new chicken casserole recipe. Lately I am all about casserole dishes, and crock-pot meals. I have been extremely tired lately so maybe that is why. LOL Stuff that is easy, cheap, but yummy.


    ::One of my simple pleasures::
    Watching house hunters, and love it or list it. I like seeing people search for new homes, seeing what they are like after they have put their personal touches on things. I also like seeing old houses fixed up into something new and beautiful.


    ::Favorite photo from the camera::
    Nothing this week


    ::Visiting with Blog friends (blog you want to share, blog post that caught your eye)::
    No blog visiting this week other than Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. I just haven't had much time to really stop and chat sadly. Hopefully I can do so this week though. :)


    ::Praying for::
    Finances, friends, family, ourselves.


    ::Bible Verse, Devotional that is resonating with me at the moment::



    Saturday, September 13, 2014

    Quick Update...

    Well, it's been awhile since a regular post update. I just needed to take a bit of a break from the blog. Sometimes I get a little frazzled trying to keep up with everything, and when I get to that stress point it's just good to "un-plug" for awhile. 
    I will try to be back here regularly because I have missed blogging, joining in on group posts/blog hops, etc.
    Here's some info on what's been going on lately:


    The hubby and I wrapped up our summer business at the end of July. We sell novelty items at festivals and parades. It's a lot of fun, but also very much hectic. It's more of a hobby really although the extra income is nice to do. It's something we have done the last couple of years.





    The kids are back in school for the year. It's been a crazy time getting them both adjusted, especially my youngest who has started for the first time ever. There have been some ups and downs, and we have been considering homeschooling. However, our minds have not been made up officially yet. The kids love school, seeing their friends, etc. While I would love to have them home all the time I have to worry that I'm taking away their daily social experiences. I know I can teach them just as good if not better than the public school system, the socialization part is very important, and there are a few things they get to do at school they would not get to do at home. Still it works the other way too so a pro and con list is in the making, and it's being discussed but no decision has been made yet.





    We are gearing up for fall in our little neck of the woods. I am thrilled because fall is one of my favorite seasons. I love the changing of leaves, the crisp cool air, fall festivities and holidays, etc. It's a lovely time. Especially since usually in our part of the world summer's are scorching and winters are frigid. Fall is a nice in-between most of the time. 
    Plus I honestly love decorating for fall.





    I have a surprising bit of news to share, although I'm not ready to just yet. Waiting for the right time so stay tuned on that! :)





    I am still doing book and product reviews. I plan to continue with those, but I don't want my blog to be ALL about those. I do hope to introduce some fun giveaways here soon though, and hope to be able to get the time to come back and at least update weekly on our lives around here.



    I hope you all have been doing great! I've so missed personal blogging, and I look forward to be back to it! :) Don't be shy to drop a comment or two. I would love to connect with some of you, and if you have a blog of your own leave the blog address in the comments and I will gladly follow back! Let's show some blog love here! ;) lol

    Well that's all for right now, the household is waking up. (They all actually slept in today, go figure this is the day I would get up early when I have the chance to sleep in lol).


    Goodbye for now...until next time. :)


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