Monday, April 7, 2014

The Rhyme Bible Review

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Board book: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz; Boardbook Rev edition (February 25, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310730163
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310730163

::Book Description::
Children love the soothing sound of rhyme! And now they can enjoy ten classic Bible stories retold in delightful read-aloud rhyme in The Rhyme Bible Storybook for Toddlers. From the story of creation ("In the beginning God made the light. The light was for day. The dark was for night.") to the resurrection of Jesus ("All his friends were happy then. Jesus was alive agai
n!"), this is the perfect choice for parents who want to introduce their toddlers to the Word of God. Newly updated illustrations and classic stories told in vivid verse make this padded cover board book a sure favorite that will entertain young ones and teach them biblical lessons that last a lifetime

::My Thoughts::
This is a really great introduction to Bible Stories for children. The colorful pictures, easy to turn board pages, and flow of rhyming words really captures a young child's attention. Both my children (ages 3 & 6) were both completely immersed in this book. It was easy for them both to understand, and they enjoyed it. 
Sometimes it can be hard introducing young children to God's word. Often with the majority of children their attention has to be grabbed immediately for them to take anything away from a story. The fact that these are God's Word and more than just story is a huge plus. It's often hard to find something so engaging for young children, but I think this book more than makes up for that. This storybook covers some of the major events in the Bible which I loved seeing. The stories are not so long that they will bore a young child, but only about three pages each story with few words on each page. There is a total of 40 pages, all with colorful illustrations that your child will enjoy. The fact that this is a board book also makes it the perfect book for tiny hands to turn the pages without worry of any ripping or tearing. One of my favorite things about this book is that both my children had many questions to ask about each story. So not only are they learning God's Word, but we are creating discussions about each event that happened! It's very refreshing to find a book all about God like this that we can share with our children, and even better that they can take something away from it! Overall a wonderful storybook, and one I highly recommend.

If you are interested in purchasing this book for your little ones (I think it would make a great Easter gift actually) you can check it out HERE

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

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Miss Brenda & The Loveladies Book Review

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (February 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307732177
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307732170

About the book
This is a memoir written by Brenda Lovelady Spahn. A successful businesswoman who has everything she could ever want and then some she was quite surprised when faced with the threat of possibly spending prison time. Terrified and losing everything quickly she makes a plea to God to help her out of this situation. In her plea she promises God that she will do something to help others in a Christian manner if only He will spare her.
She is quite thrown for a loop when she finds herself creating a system that will help released women inmates get back on the track with life after prison. Not quite prepared for what she is about to face she finds herself quickly wondering what she got herself in to. Many of her friends and even family members strongly disagree with her choice of helping others, but Brenda stubbornly sticks with her decision knowing God has is right by her side in the matter.
She finds herself learning along with the ladies she is helping, and together they all come to deeper understanding of God and His Love. Instead of creating another of many half-way houses Brenda creates a whole way house, and with it builds it to something more than anyone could have imagined.

My Thoughts
I was first drawn to this book because it is a memoir, and I do enjoy learning about others. The fact that it also deals with helping others, and gives an insight into something very few of us know anything about (women's prisons) was an added perk.
While never being faced with any threat of prison time or anything of the sort I admit I learned quite a bit from this book. Like Brenda was at first I guess I always feel like inmates have the choices to make when they get out and should make the right ones. I've always felt like it is almost their own fault if they don't. But I didn't know half of the things that they have to face once being out of prison. If you ask me prisons have a poor set up sending the inmates back to where they came from or only giving them a few weeks in a half-way house which is not enough time to even begin to get their stuff back together. It's not even barely enough time to get a job and a first paycheck! It's just another example of how we should not judge others because unless we have walked in their shoes we know nothing about their struggles.
I was honestly blown away at Brenda, she is such a witty, strong, and honest person. I loved that about her immediately that she isn't like so many other people who just keep to themselves. I know she didn't expect to have much of a hand in her Lovelady House, but she kept her promise to God and fully immersed herself into it. I love that she didn't get swept away by anyone else's negative comments and stood strong with her ladies. Because of her strength and wonderful personality she gave these women trust, hope, and perseverance. I was extremely blown away and it warmed my heart to read this book.
I would definitely recommend this book to really all readers out there, especially Christian readers. It is just another example of God's love, and what we can accomplish with Him by our side. 
Brenda took a rather small organization that serviced only about 30-40 women at a time and built it to something that now services hundreds of women and children alike. 
Brenda applied all of her business intelligence into creating something that surpassed even her own wildest dreams.
This is truly an inspiring story and one I promise you won't soon forget. It's also a quick lesson in remembering never to judge others. You can feel God's hand in this story, and you can feel His love just coming off the pages. A wonderful book indeed!

This book is available in:   Print   Kindle   Nook

The Website for The Lovelady House > CLICK HERE

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

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday 03/17/2014

Another week come and gone. I never get over how fast time flies.
Happy Saint Patrick's Day to all of you out there by the way! :)
I am dragging by this morning. I have been super busy these last couple of months and I think my body is finally rebelling against me. Me and hubby both got the stomach flu this last Tuesday and it had us both down for the count for a few days. It was sure rough going. Luckily the kids only got a touch of it when they had it and it didn't affect them nearly as bad. That was a huge relief. Needless to say that mixed with everything else going on has me drained!
Guess it's time to start Happy Homemaker Monday though, if you would like to join in with us feel free. Just head on over to Sandra's blog at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom and add your Happy Homemaker Monday post (no other direct links) to her Mister Linky :) 

Photo Credit: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

As I look outside my window
It's a gloomy, chilly day. Everytime I think Spring has finally arrived I wake up to the next day being cold and gloomy again. Still I am enjoying the longer days. It seems like the days are longer which I'm okay with actually as time needs to slow down a bit. 

Right now I am
Sitting at the kitchen table waiting on our lunch casserole to come out of the oven.

Thinking and pondering
About some financial issues going on at the moment, and about our business we are trying to get launched. Me and hubby have finally taken the plunge to start our own small business. It's a seasonal business and last year we toyed with it a bit and it did so well that we are going to make it a yearly thing. There's a lot going into it though, and much more than we anticipated. It's caused us to be busy busy busy.

On my bedside table
My bible
Bible Promises book

On my TV this week
To Catch A Contractor
Chef Ramsey (can't even think of the show that's how tired I am lol)
Long Island Medium

Listening to
Right now nothing at all but the sound of my fingers hitting the keypad. I need to wake my little one up soon for lunch.

On the menu for this week
Monday- Irish Stew and Ciabatta Cheesey Bread
Tuesday- Lasagna & Freshly Baked Buttered Bread
Wednesday- Shrimp Scampi w/Linguini, Salad, Breadsticks
Thursday- Hot Dogs, Tater Tots, & Mac and Cheese
Friday- Chili & Cornbread
Saturday- Grilled Chicken, Fresh Steamed Green Beans, Rice Pilaf
Sunday- Pot Roast & Rolls

On my to-do list
Organizing the kids bedrooms
Cleaning up the playroom
Vacuuming floors
Sweeping and mopping kitchen and bathroom floors
Contact a few people regarding our business

Happening this week
Monday- nothing thank goodness
Tuesday- Playgroup for my youngest in the AM, Karate for my oldest in the PM, School Function after karate
Wednesday- tons of phone calls regarding our business and various events
Thursday- Karate for my oldest in the PM, go to the bank
Friday- errands and bills to go pay, taking the kids to the circus after school

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting, or creating
Sewing the kiddos some new throw blankets. :)

My simple pleasure
Drinking iced tea or lemonade on my balcony when the weather permits. It's so relaxing and usually we have a few birds come up and perch and visit for a couple of minutes.

Lesson learned this past week
Sometimes you have to just ignore things and move on. Not everyone is respectful of others and while it's sad, it's something we deal with almost on a daily basis. Maybe they have something going on in their own lives that make them bitter or unhappy or feel the need to be rude to others but all you can do is pray for them and remember their unhappiness is not your fault. Just keep focused on God, yourself, and your family.

Looking around the house
My youngest is napping in the living room and has almost every stuffed toy he has in there with him. haha It's quite the sight, but needs picking up once he wakes up so I can get the house back to some normalcy. There's still an abandoned card game on the coffee table in the living room from where the kids and I played Go Fish last night before bed. Some straightening up here and there.

From the camera
Forgive me, I have a new camera and I haven't charged it. I have got to be the world's worst picture taker. LOL
I will do my best to get some pictures in this week to share with everyone on Monday.

Prayer List
Family and friends

Bible verse/devotional
Ecclesiastes 3:13 
And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday 03/10/2014

Good morning all! :) Happy to see everyone this morning! We made it past day one of Daylight Savings Time! lol    Every time we have to change our clocks forward an hour I usually have a lot of trouble with it, but surprisingly I did quite well yesterday. It was a smooth easy adjustment. We ended up going to bed an hour sooner (even though we didn't want to), and so waking up wasn't as hard knowing otherwise we would have lost an hour of sleep. And yesterday sped by extremely quickly. Today though I feel everything is back to normal and I do admit I like it staying daylight longer. The sunset seems to stick around longer too which is also beautiful. Anyway I'm going to get started on the Happy Homemaker Monday post now. If you want to join in head on over to Sandra's blog at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom and link up with us all :)

Image Credit: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

As I look outside my window
It's a tad gloomy right now, but we aren't expecting rain so it's just cloudy. Hopefully the sun will show it's full beautiful self today. We are expected to get into the low 60s today which is awesome! But I did hear that there could be more snow on the way! No matter how often spring tries emerge, winter is always trying to push it back down. So I'll enjoy the nice weather while we have it.

Right now I am
Sitting at the kitchen table. I just finished a bowl of cereal. I've always been kind of a big kid when it comes to cereal and still enjoy the occasional bowl of fruit loops, pops, or cinnamon toast crunch. Usually now though I follow with a hot cup of coffee or tea. LOL

Thinking and pondering
About how grateful to God I am for all my blessings in my children and family. Truly they are the best blessings. The other day I had a private conversation with God. I had some stuff sitting heavily on my shoulders and I hadn't realized how long I had been carrying that weight around. I prayed and spoke to God and then I received good news and realized it was God that granted it. I am so thankful and I had been feeling so lost. I broke down in happy tears and thanked Him so much and I could feel all the weight just lift right away. It was amazing truly.

On my bedside table
All The Sweet Tomorrows by: Bertrice Small (it's in the Skye O'Malley series and a fantastic historical book filled with tons of adventure) 
My Bible 

On my TV tonight
I'll just put a few shows that I'll be watching this week. Usually we are never sure how our TV time will go. It all depends on the day.
This week:
  • Bones
  • Lizard Lick with the hubby
  • Mysteries at the Museum
  • Ramsey's Kitchen
  • Undercover Boss
  • Extreme Couponers
  • Extreme Cheapskates
  • House Hunters
  • Impractical Jokers

Listening to
My son watching Power Rangers in the living room. He loves that show. :)

On the menu for this week
Monday- Cheesey Meatless Spaghetti, Buttered Garlic Bread
Tuesday- Chili Cheese Dogs, Sweet Potato Fries
Wednesday- Salisbury Steaks, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Baby Carrots
Thursday- Pot Roast, Rolls
Friday- Southern Fried Chicken, Mac & Cheese, Green Beans
Saturday- Potato Bacon Soup, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Sunday- Chicken & Noodles, Mashed Potatoes, Corn on the Cob, Rolls

On my to do list
  • Laundry
  • Mopping kitchen and bathrooms
  • Vacuuming rest of the house
  • Ironing
  • Clipping Coupons and making shopping lists

Happening this week
Kids have karate
Coupon shopping (something new I've really gotten in to)

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting, or creating
Actually I'm creating a coupon folder. I got into couponing after watching Extreme Couponers on TLC but I know that I have no need to be that extreme. However our first coupon shopping trip was last week and thanks to coupons we scored some fantastic deals and saved quite an amount of money. I was so excited about it, we had some new unexpected bills pop up we are trying to get paid off and every bit saved helps us right now. My two growing boys are like garbage disposals when it comes to food despite their young age. They have quite the appetite and still stay skinny as rails. LOL What I wouldn't give for that. But this week with coupons we ended up getting all we wanted PLUS more and even got to stock up on a few items and STILL managed to stay under budget! But it was really unorganized and took forever in the store because all my coupons kept getting mixed up so we were constantly having to stop and go through them time and again. So I'm getting them organized.

My simple pleasure
Listening to my children's laughter and seeing their sweet smiles. It warms my heart and just fills me with joy.

Lesson learned the past week
Something I'm constantly learning and shouldn't even forget: Always TRUST in God and have unwavering FAITH in Him because with Him nothing is impossible.

Looking around the house
The kids were playing in the living room before school and it looks like a bomb hit it. As soon as I'm done with this post I'm cleaning it all up and putting it back to rights. LOL
My youngest is playing cars and watching Power Rangers.
Other than that all is quiet and clean.

From the camera
Nothing this week, I know I said I would and now I have a camera so there really is no excuse other than I got caught up in everything else and didn't get any pictures taken.

Prayer list
Friends and family who all have some things going on in their lives right now. 
Our family as we are just starting to begin to have to get used to my hubby's new hectic work schedule. It doesn't include any days off except one a week which will be hard on all of us. He works far away and his commute is lengthy so that doesn't help matters at all either.

Bible Verse/Devotional
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Monday, February 24, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday - 02/24/2014

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. As usual ours passed in a bit of a blur, but it was a productive weekend so I can't complain.
If you would like to participate in Happy Homemaker Monday head on over to Diary of a Stay at Home Mom, and link up! :)

Image Credit: Sandra @ Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

~As I look out my window~
All the snow is melted now except for a few random patches here and there. It's pretty chilly outside so I'm glad to be inside for the time being. The sun is shining though and I'm so excited for Spring! It's so close now! :)

~Right now I am~
Sitting on my couch writing this post while my little one naps.

~Thinking and pondering~
About all that is ahead this week. My youngest has a birthday on Saturday. He will be 3 and it is so bittersweet. I'm so excited and happy but I'm also nostalgic as well. It seems like just yesterday both my loves were tiny little babies smiling up at me as I cradled them in my arms. Now they are both busy boys that are whirlwinds and are all over the place. LOL I love them so much, and I am so proud of each of them at the young men they are becoming. I just wish I could stop the clock for a bit.

~On my bedside table~
I just finished this book:
It was an incredible read, and I honestly learned a lot from reading it. I'll be writing a review on it and posting it this week as well.
Now I'm contemplating what to read next. I have tons of books on my Kindle but I'm craving an actual book to read again. LOL I love ebooks to a point but sometimes there's nothing like holding the weight of a book in your hands, turning the pages, smelling the lovely book scent. :)

~On my TV tonight~
I haven't been watching a whole lot on TV lately. Mostly when I get the chance to watch TV I catch up on unseen episodes of Bones, shows on TLC, or I end up watching shows with the hubby. LOL

~Listening to~
Bones playing on the TV. I'm watching and listening to it as I type this up. Missed episode. :)

~On the menu this week~
Monday- Beef Stroganoff, mashed potatoes, peas
Tuesday- Fried Breaded Chicken, green beans, rice
Wednesday- Spaghetti & Garlic Bread
Thursday- Chili Cheese Dogs & Fries
Friday- Seafood Gumbo & Cornbread
Saturday- Pizza Hut (birthday boys choice)
Sunday- shopping day

~On my to do list~
Vacuum floors
Re-arrange kids rooms
Go to the library

~Happening this week~
Karate practices
shopping for the little ones birthday
Going through storage units and purging things

~What I am creating, sewing, knitting, or crocheting~
Nothing at this time. I actually just finished mending some of my husbands work uniforms. He always comes home with snags and holes in them that are needing repaired and I was behind on them. 

~My Simple Pleasure~
Snuggling with my babies on the couch while we watch cartoons or movies. :)

~Looking around the house~
Gizmo is laying on the floor next to my feet sleeping all curled up. My little one is napping in his room. Lunch dishes are needing washed in the kitchen, and I need to put the crayons and coloring books up they are on the TV stand from this morning.

~From the camera~
Nothing this week. Although I did just get a new camera (YAY!) and so there will be photos to come. :)

~Prayer list~
A couple very close friends of ours who just got approved for buying their first home! After many obstacles on some other properties they finally found one that turned out to be everything they wanted and more! I'm so happy for them. They have been searching for well over a year now, and it has been hit and miss. So the fact they got the house of their dreams is just amazing. So now with it comes all the paperwork, moving process, homeowners insurance, and all those goodies. LOL So they are in my prayers as they tackle all of what is left.
All of my friends and family members. 

~Bible verse, Devotional~
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11, NIV

Friday, February 21, 2014

Discoveries in Bible Prophecy *Book Review*

  • Series: Bible Prophecy Revealed
  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Great Plains Press (December 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615863973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615863979
::The Back of the Book::

::My Thoughts::
I always enjoy reading books on Bible Prophecy. So many people can form so many ideas, find clues, facts, etc. It's hard to let one book go by without reading it. As I knew I would be, I was particularly fascinated by this book. This book is completely different than much of the other books on Bible Prophecy I have read. One of the most interesting points the author makes in this book is his belief that not all Christians are Raptured at the same time. All of the author's viewpoints and findings are incredible and will shake your previous way of Christian thought. It's hard for some of us to take on another form of thought when we have been brought up to think a certain way. Especially when we hear it from parents, peers, elders, churches, etc. But this book will definitely have you contemplating everything you have learned. Not that anything you learned was bad, and it's not that I 100% agree with this author. However, I will be the first to admit that reading this book has shaken the ground for which I have always held beliefs on certain things concerning Bible Prophecy, and the Tribulation.
One thing I do know no matter how many books I have read is that nobody will ever know when "The End" of the earth will come. As Bible states nobody knows the day or hour. Guesses will continue to come forth, but above all we must pay attention to the world around us and just be prepared. That's all we can really do.
I love that this book is more than just making assumptions. Instead the author analyzes and explains all of his theories and beliefs. I don't want to spoil it for all you readers out there but there is one concerning the Statue of Liberty that will really get you thinking! I was honestly blown away!
Many have trouble seeing America's play in Bible Prophecy but it is there in the Bible. I will definitely be sharing this book with my friends and loved ones. My husband is already reading it!
I believe this would make a fantastic study book so readers can discuss it with others. It would make a great book for a study group or Christian book club.

If you are interested in purchasing this book it is available in   Print   Kindle   Nook

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book through the BookCrash program in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Running Lean by Diana L. Sharples

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (August 10, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310734975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310734970

I really love how this book deals with present day issues involving teens, especially teen girls. This is a rough read but a good one and one I would recommend to reader teens and adults.
Stacey is a bright, talented girl who battled weight trouble in her past. She has so many inner demons due to some traumatizing moments in her young childhood, and she can't seem to shake them. Because of this she isn't comfortable in her own skin, and while others see her as pretty she just sees fat. Her friend Zoe is on a diet and continuously encourages Stacey on her dieting journey. However, Stacey takes things to far with her dieting and begins purging food. She becomes clever in her ways of hiding food and making it seem like she is eating when she isn't, and nobody is none the wiser in her presence. She wears baggy clothes to hide her weight so nobody needs question her. In love with her boyfriend Calvin she fears losing him most of all, but can't get her thoughts and actions straight enough to make all well between them. 

Calvin is a teen boy who helps his father work their farm. Recently losing his older brother he has his own demons to battle in the sense of emotion and loss. Hardly wanting to deal with life's harsh realities his dirtbike and girlfriend Stacey are his only moments of release and happiness. His dirtbike is ancient and begins to have problem after problem. If that isn't enough of a worry for Calvin his girlfriend Stacey begins to act unlike herself. He notices a few signs where she doesn't eat and he begins to worry about the amount of weight she is losing. When she starts passing out and he figures out some of her secrets of hiding or getting rid of food it's like a punch in the stomach. He urges her to see a doctor and stop the madness but she shrugs him off. He just can't bear to lose another person he loves in his life so he struggles with what should be done to save Stacey.

My favorite thing about this book is that the author hits a major issue head on. Anorexia, bulimia, eating disorders, etc., is something a lot of teens these days are going through. Media tends to portray "beautiful" as super skinny. We see it everywhere: magazines, commercials, movies, fashion, etc. In reality few realize that everyone is beautiful and nobody was created to be the same, but due to everything our impressionable teens are seeing it's hard for them to realize that they are all beautiful in their own way. Teens do not understand the dangers of eating disorders and generally become good at hiding them from loved ones. Not only does this book show some of the beginning signs of anorexia and health risks, but it shows that if someone you love needs help you have to just be there and get them help. Often teens with these disorders do not see them as a disorder and they do not see anything wrong with their train of thought. I love that this book does not sugarcoat anything of the teen lifestyle but keeps things at a clean level without getting too graphic. I felt this is a novel very real and down to earth. The author does a fabulous job of writing so you find yourself lost in the story, and characters.
I love the balance between these two main characters. Stacey is passionate and outgoing while Calvin is more reserved and laid back. The characters are so different but mesh so well, and reading that was wonderful.
I was hoping to read more about some of the other characters in the book. I felt left hanging when it came to Stacey's sister Renee, as well as with Calvin's friends Tyler and Flannery. I would have liked just a little bit more when it came to them, but maybe they will end up with their own stories, who knows?
I love the faith in this book. No matter how hard things get and no matter how often a lot of these characters want to give up they pray and let God lead them. It's a great way to show teens that God can always overcome any obstacle, and with God they can overcome anything.

This book is available in   Print   Kindle   Nook

Here's a book trailer:

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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