Monday, December 31, 2012

Farewell 2012

I can't believe it's already the end of 2012. It seems like this year has just flown by as I look over it. As with every year this year was filled with it's ups and downs. But I am thankful for all the good and here's my top 10 list for 2012 favorites:

  1. Levi turned 1 years old and Lucas turned 5 (yes, I'm rolling these into one as they are equally important)
  2. Lucas started preschool
  3. Me and Josh celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary and 7 years together.
  4. We got our puppy Gizmo.
  5. We moved
  6. Me and hubby each got Ford Taurus's which we have always wanted
  7. We moved
  8. We celebrated the births and birthdays of many loved ones and friends.
  9. I have made a lot of new bloggy friends, and gotten lots of blog opportunities which I am very thankful for.
  10. And most of all I am extremely happy and thankful for family and friends to have them not only in 2012 but in the years to come. :)
So that's just my top 10 faves. I always get nostalgic at the end of the year looking over the memories and seeing how the kids have grown. :) 

I missed Happy Homemaker Monday also, today I know, but due to hubby's crazy work schedule after the holidays we had to make up for grocery shopping and errands earlier. No way do we get out once it starts getting late on New Year's Eve or even New Years. We will be spending our time inside and together. Tomorrow will finally be doing some home re-arranging and playing games together before hubby goes back to work again to start a long work week on Tuesday.
I do urge you to go visit Sandra's Happy Homemaker Monday and visit all the other participants located on her Mister Linky: http://familycorner.blogspot.com/2012/12/happy-homemaker-monday-goodbye-2012.html

So now I will leave you with a Happy New Year. I hope you all have a fun, relaxing, and safe holiday!





Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas! 2012

I can't get over the fact that it is already Christmas Eve! This year has just flown by so fast I can't believe it. But that's how years go. Just when you get ready to look back over the year it's done and gone.

We're spending a quiet evening at home. Luckily we finished our Christmas shopping early, and while I have a few gifts to still wrap there aren't many left.
The one downfall of this Christmas is both the boys have now gotten a cold. They woke up like that yesterday. One thing that's keeping them in good spirits is that yesterday we went and picked up the newest addition to our family.

Meet...
Gizmo 
our 8 week old Havanese puppy


He is a happy little puppy and has already bonded with all of us. He follows the boys around wherever they go, and we can tell they are just going to be the best of friends. He's doing pretty well for only being away from his litter for 24 hours and I'm hoping he continues doing so good. We are all attached to each other already, and the boys were just over the moon when they seen him. It was after all the main thing they asked for this year.

Tomorrow we are having a few family members over, but otherwise we are going to spend a quiet easy Christmas just relaxing, enjoying good food, each other's company, and just being all around happy to spend time together. I will be glad to have the hectic-ness of the holidays out of the way. Christmas is my favorite holiday, but oh my is it a busy time.

Anyway, I have some more food prepping to get done, and we're going to be playing a few more board games. We were going to go look at some Christmas light shows nearby, but it is going to be getting colder and with the boys being sick already I don't think it's a good idea.

I hope you are all having a very good Christmas. Feel free to comment below on how you are spending the holidays. I would love to hear what everyone is doing. :)


Sincerely,
Tori




Thursday, December 20, 2012

M.I.A.

I know I haven't blogged for a little while. We've had crazy schedules here lately with appointments just about everyday! Insane. I'm so glad that Lucas is finally on Christmas break so we can all just relax (aside from the normal daily chores that is)! Running too and fro school admist juggling appointments and running errands isn't always easy since there is a time constraint. LOL



Plus it's snowing outside right now and the temperatures all of a sudden dropped compared to yesterday. The wind is fierce and the temperatures frigid. I'm so glad to be in our cozy little place.



I'll be glad to get back into the groove of blogging. I've missed it but at the end of the day I've just been too tired to do anything. I pretty much fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.



In a few days we go pick up our pup. I will be coming back to post pictures as we are so excited about his arrival. I can't wait to see how much he has changed since we went to pick him out. He's going to be bigger and more furry. haha

Anyway I don't have much more time left on this post. I'm putting the kiddos to bed and we are going to crash early. It's been a long cold day, and tomorrow we have an early Christmas dinner with some family so it's already promising to be busy.

If your an author that has has/will have a book coming out feel free to send me an email. I am always looking for new books and authors to discover, and it would help boost some advertising (free). I will also be taking guest posts, and there have been a few whom has sent me an email wanting to do guests post. I'm very sorry but I have not been able to get back to you just yet, but your not forgotten. I will be answering those this weekend. Some got stuck in the Spam folder and I've been organizing my email so you'll be hearing from me soon.

I will also be back to visiting all your blogs as I've missed hearing what all you've been up to!


Happy Holidays!


Sincerely,
Tori

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Prayers...

I was going to write a blog post updated everyone on my week, but I just can't write it today.
My thoughts are still with the families and victims of the CT school tragedy.
My heart breaks, and because there's nothing else I can do, I can pray.
I am angry that such a thing happened, I'm angry with the monster that did this, I'm angry with the schools for  not having a better policy in place on letting people in, I'm angry at the whole situation, but the anger will do nothing but eat us up inside. The fear will ravage us and we can't live in fear for the rest of our lives.
How easy it would be to stay in our homes and keep our children inside where they are safe and only we are around them. How easy it would be to avoid the malls, stores, schools, movie theaters, etc. How easy it would be to avoid life in general. Problem is that we can't avoid life. Whether we choose to move along with it or not, it's going to carry us along with it whether we choose to go willingly or not.
We can't teach our children that avoiding public places that are such a part of everyday life is an okay way to live because it isn't.
I want to pull my kids out of school, I want to home school them, I want to avoid the malls, theaters, etc. I want to shield them from life, and keep them young forever so I can always take care of them. But life isn't as we want it to be, as much as we want it to be.
So my prayers are with the families that lost their children. In particular the parents and siblings who are the most devastated. Nothing anyone can say will make things better, nothing will make them feel better, and nothing will bring their children or loved ones back. All we can do is pray.
We can pray for the families, friends, all who were directly affected by this tragedy.
We can pray for the families and people around the world who, even though they didn't personally know anything about the victims, school, etc, are just as deeply affected and hurt by this tragedy.
I don't understand the cruelty in this world, I don't understand the monsters that walk amongst us or what makes them think that it's okay to take innocent lives, and it's something we'll never understand. But no matter what God will always be there holding our hand just waiting for us to reach out and take hold tight.
And we can pray...


So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
-Isaiah 41:10



Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
-Deuteronomy 31:6




Saturday, December 15, 2012

Heaven Changes Everything

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 084994841X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849948411


::My Thoughts::

Heaven Changes Everything is the perfect devotional to follow the book Heave Is For Real.
In the novel Todd and Sonia Burpo's 4 year old son Colton had a near death experience and actually took a trip to Heaven. He was able to report things that there was no way for him to know, and he described it all in perfect detail. In Heaven Changes Everything it builds on Colton's experiences.
Each chapter has an excerpt from Heaven is for Real which is then discussed in greater detail and discussing events that have since happened since the publication of Heaven is for Real.
Each chapter holds a thought to reflect on, and a bible verse relating to the chapter/excerpt.

If your a fan of Heaven is for Real then this is the perfect book to compliment that, and makes a wonderful devotional.
This book not only discusses the Burpo family but would be a great help for those going through grieving or simply those that want to live every day as if it is their last. This book as well as Heaven is for Real are each the type of books that make you stop and think, count your blessings, and realize what is truly important in life.
This devotional holds 42 inspirational uplifting readings based on excerpts from the novel we all fell in love with upon reading it. Todd and Sonja both have input in this devotional and get to explain their own personal perspectives on the events that unfolded when their son had his out of body experiences in heaven. This devotional coupled with Heaven is for Real offers trust, faith, hope, and proof of God's existence at all times even through our worst struggles. This is a perfect reminder that God is always with us and our loved ones, and just because we can't see Him doesn't mean He isn't real.


::Taken from the back of the book::

How would you live your life differently today if you knew that no matter what happened, everything would be okay, even wonderful, in the end?

Todd and Sonja Burpo's almost-four-year-old son Colton made an unforgettable trip to heaven and back during the darkest, most-stressed-out days of their lives. Times were tough, money was scarce, and the bills, frustrations, and fears were piled high.

The story of Colton's visit to heaven changed their lives--and the book they wrote about it, Heaven Is for Real, gave new hope to millions of readers.

Now, in more than forty unique inspirational readings based on excerpts from their story, Todd, and for the first time ever Sonja, from her perspective as a mom, share what happened next--in their lives and in millions of others. Through their own experiences, and based on the stories hundreds of readers have shared, they show you how believing heaven is for real helps us survive hardships here on earth, including the death of a loved one or the loss of a child through tragedy, miscarriage, and even abortion.

The daily readings provide a powerful reminder that, beyond the hardships we may face in this life, God's incredible gift of heaven awaits us. Imagine being completely fearless on earth because you know that after this life you're going to heaven, and you know, really know, your're going to love it there. That's the promise heaven holds for us.

"Heaven is God's last word--and believing it's real changes everything."







Disclaimer: I received this book for free through Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Happy Homemaker Monday #25

It has been a really busy last couple of weeks. Phew...
I feel like I'm still catching my breath! Good news is we at least got up on time today. The last few days our schedules have been so out of whack we've been getting to bed late and waking up late. I do love to sleep in, but when there's things to be done it makes me feel like my WHOLE day is off kilter and I find myself struggling with simple day to day things. Plus being out of schedule does not do well for kiddos. I'm glad they'll be able to resume their normal schedules starting today. Maybe it will help calm them? We've been dealing with some serious sibling rivalry. It doesn't even matter if they have the same thing it's still something to squabble over. Last night we were eating popcorn and they had the exact same amount in the same bowls and they still said one bowl was nicer, or one had more than the other, etc.

My computer crashed last week also which explains why I haven't been on much lately. I tried going to the library to do my posts, but I have to take the kids with me and it didn't go well. I didn't even get one word typed before it was time to zoom out of there before we got kicked out! hah! I did get a new one which I love, but it is taking me some time to get used to it. It's a Toshiba and so far I'm really loving it much better than my Dell.
Anyway, I'll go ahead and get to the Happy Homemaker Post. I'm joining up with Sandra this week as it's Monday again. If you want to join in also just go on over and visit: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom, read her post, and add your name/url to Mister Linky if your doing a HHM post.

CREDIT: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom


::The weather in my part of the world::
It's 37 degrees and so far we had rain in the morning and snow flurries just a bit ago.



::Right now I am::
Sitting on the couch typing this post. Sitting near our beautiful tree. It's so gloomy outside the tree is lit up and it feels so cozy in here. I'm getting ready to get dinner on and get the boys fed, bathed, and settled.
Cartoons are playing on TV for the boys as they play blocks on the floor in front of me.



::Thinking::
How much fun this December has been so far. We have been doing the whole Advent calendar with a special activity, treat, story, or surprise for each day leading up until Christmas. Not only that but we've had the elf on the shelf with us this year. Our elf is Jingle. He's actually a type of heirloom. He is mostly stuffed with wire in his arms so they can move and hold stuff. He has jingles on his shoes and hat. My grandmother had him when I was young and he would always sit on her shelf or mantle. He didn't do the mischievous things he does these days back then, but it's nice to have him around. While the boys still have their tantrums they have been behaving better through the day. I only have to remind them that the elf is watching. LOL
Both are going to be a yearly tradition for us from now on.



::On my reading pile::
Description from the back of the book::  From the author of the number one Canadian bestseller The Birth House comes the story of a young girl abandoned to the streets of post-Civil War New York City.
"I am Moth, a girl from the lowest part of Chrystie Street, born to a slum-house mystic and the man who broke her heart."
Set on the streets of Lower Manhattan in 1871, The Virgin Cure is the story of Moth, a girl abandoned by her father and raised by a mother telling fortunes to the city's desperate women. One summer night, twelve-year-old Moth is pulled from her bed and sold as a servant to a finely dressed woman. It is this betrayal suffered at the hands of her own mother that changes her life forever.
Knowing that her mother is so close while she is locked away in servitude, Moth bides her time until she can escape, only to find her old home deserted and her mother gone without a trace. Moth must struggle to survive alone in the murky world of the Bowery, a wild and lawless enclave filled with thieves, beggars, sideshow freaks, and prostitutes. She eventually meets Miss Everett, the proprietress of an "Infant School," a brothel that caters to gentlemen who pay dearly for "willing and clean" companions—desirable young virgins like Moth.
Moth also finds friendship with Dr. Sadie, a female physician struggling against the powerful forces of injustice, who teaches Moth to question and observe the world around her. The doctor hopes to protect Moth from falling prey to a terrible myth known as the "virgin cure"—the tragic belief that deflowering a "fresh maid" can cleanse the blood and heal men afflicted with syphilis—that has destroyed the lives of other Bowery girls.
Ignored by society, unprotected by the law, Moth dreams of independence. But there's a high price to pay for freedom, and no one knows that better than a girl from Chrystie Street.



::On my TV::
cartoons at the moment
Later I'll probably watch the newest episode of Restaurant Stakeout once the kiddos are in bed.
I also have some movies I want to catch up on this week with one being: The Lucky One.



::On the menu for this week::
Monday- Baked potato soup, salad
Tuesday- Marinated baked pork chops, mashed potatoes, macaroni & cheese
Wednesday- Fettuccine chicken Alfredo, garlic bread
Thursday- Tuna casserole
Friday- Grilled steaks, loaded baked potatoes, corn on the cob
Saturday- Irish Stew
Sunday- Mexican Lasagna



::On my to-do list::
I've mostly covered it all besides dinner, and I still have some laundry to put away. Luckily I got it all folded.
I also need to write a letter to one of my best friends. We still try to stay in contact via handwritten letters.



::What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting, or creating::
Nothing really at the moment, although today we made handmade Christmas cards which was really fun for the boys and me. I really need to get to Walmart and pick up some yarn though. I have been yearning to make something. It's been almost a month with no crocheting and I'm going crazy! LOL



::Homemaking tips::
Peroxide has so many uses. Did you know that many doctors use peroxide to clean their offices? You can use peroxide to clean your counters or tables to kill bacteria and leave a fresh scent. You can just pour a little on a dishcloth and wipe.
You can also soak your toothbrushes in peroxide to help kill germs and keep your toothbrushes fresh.
And last but not least is if you have stained coffee mugs or teacups you can add a cap or so of peroxide to your dish load and it will help lift tea and coffee stains away.



::Looking around the house::
The boys are playing blocks on the floor while the Christmas tree glows brightly behind them. I have the blinds open in here, but it's still gloomy despite. It's so frigid outside and at only 37 degrees I'm not sure if I'm ready yet to see how much colder it will get!



::From the camera::
The Christmas Tree at Lucas's preschool. All the kids handmade everything on it (aside from the lights of course)
It's very adorable! Lucas made the gingerbread with the pink hat, he gets to come home right before Christmas break where he'll have a home on our tree next! LOL



::On my Prayer list::
Praying for all those in need this time of year.



::Bible verse/devotional::
Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A special guest post from Mark Victor Hansen

Helping kids break their learning barriers

I know of many kids who have certain learning disabilities that hold them back from the rest of their age group.  But I believe that their inability to cope is not a problem born out of being less smart, it's one that is born out of the problem of miscommunication.  Kids with learning disabilities are simply unable to share their genius with the world.  This is where computers come in.

There are many instances where computers have proved that kids with learning disabilities are silent intellects.  An inarticulate child featured on 60 minutes was able to display his emotions and feelings by using the palm top that he'd been given.  With the single press of a button, he could say things like "I'm hungry", "I'm sad" and "I want to see my brother".

The earliest instance I can remember is of one that happened almost ten years ago.  My kids used to go to Kaiser Elementary School.  The principal then, Mrs. Chris Jurenka, paid someone $150,000 to install a bunch of computers so that every child with a learning disability had a computer to work with.  The change was instantaneous.  Every child, who'd been silent for so long, was suddenly communicating with the computer with complete ease, and through the computer, the kids could communicate with other people too.  The school was one with kids coming from many cultures, so many different languages were spoken.  English was a common subject though and Mrs. Jurenka expanded the computer learning program to teach English.  It was as much a success as the first.  The parents were thrilled that their kids were speaking English perfectly and came down to see the computers and tapes.

Computers can help a child unleash his genius, and today, computers are accessible to everyone, whether you can afford to own one or not.  Almost every public library has a computer section.  U.S.A, Canada and most of Europe have public libraries that provide free access.  This ensures that nothing comes in the way of unleashing the genius of each child.



Friday, December 7, 2012

Pink Taffy Designs WINNER!



I just want to take a quick minute to announce the Pink Taffy Designs winner! And now...without further ado...the winner of the customized hanging Wall letters is...

Missy Marie!

Congratulations and Thank You for entering the giveaway!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Marriage of the Heart by Kelly Long ~ Book Review

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson; November 6, 2012
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1401687563
ISBN-13: 978-1401687564

I don't typically get into novellas. But on the rare chance I will find one that catches my eye. I have nothing personal against them, but I get so invested in the characters, story, etc., and then before I know it the whole thing is over leaving me wanting more.
But because I LOVE all things Amish I decided to give this one a try.
This book is filled with romance, forgiveness, appreciation, deceit, secret adventures, etc.
The first story, A Perfect Secret, follows two lifelong friends and intended's as Rose discovers a secret about Luke that makes her question whether she ever knew him in the first place. Faith is placed in God to come to a conclusion and we are taken on some adventures along the way.
The second story, Christmas Cradles, follows Anna Stolis who goes to help her Aunt by taking over her midwife duties. One baby is even born in a stable just like a very special Christmas past. This story is very uplifting as the characters not only find self-discovery but happiness.
The third story, A Marriage of the Heart, follows two very different Amish characters. When Abigail felt ignored by Joseph she lied about him making inappropriate moves on her. Her lie resulted in a marriage that neither of them wanted. Just as Abigail is looking for a way out Joseph wants in the community so he moves into her home, with her father. Sparks fly between them, and the passion is undeniable although at times they both try to fight it.

I enjoyed all the stories, although I must admit, A Marriage of the Heart was my favorite. It was perhaps due to the fact I felt it was a bit edgier and more exciting than the others. At the end of the book I was wanting more of each story as is typical when I get into a good novella. I would recommend it on the fact that the stories are uplifting, romantic, and faith discovering. Each character grows rapidly in a short amount of time and all for the better. Even though I didn't like a couple of the endings I was pleased with the book all around. Kelly Long does a great job at keeping the reader excited and letting you almost feel the characters emotions.


Available in:   Print   Kindle   Audible Audio Edition   Nook   Audio CD



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

December Launch

Oh my what a crazy week last week was! I'm hoping this week is a bit more tame.



It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here. I hung up some Christmas lights today around the windows. Just because you live in an apartment doesn't mean you can't decorate right?
I also hung/set up some other Christmas decorations here and there. I have much more to do, but it's feeling really nice. This is my favorite month, and Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. I love the snow, the music, the movies, the family time, the joy, I am thankful for the birth of Jesus who saved us all, it's just a wonderful time of year. While we don't have snow yet in Indiana everyone around already have the decorations up and everyone just seems more cheerful all around.

Yesterday we launched our Advent calendar. The kids are really loving the activities for each day, and I think it's going to become a yearly tradition. I did a hand-made calendar this year and for each day I have fun activities planned. Yesterday we wrote letters to Santa, today we're making Christmas Cards, tomorrow we are making snowflakes to hang around the house, then we are reading the story of the birth of Jesus, etc. There are many good ideas for making your own advent calendar on Pinterest, and to be honest it's a lot better to make one (I think anyway) than buy one. Mine only cost me $2. I'll try to post pictures of it for tomorrow's Happy Homemaker Monday post. I'll be joining Sandra again from Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. :)
BUT...if I don't happen to get the pic of it posted tomorrow I will get it posted this week so you guys can see what it looks like. Tomorrow is just promising to be a VERY busy day for us around here. I'm struggling to make it through my to-do list today so I'll have less to do tomorrow and it's a bit overwhelming. Still once it's all done and completed the feeling of accomplishment will be worth it. I would rather be overwhelmed today with chores than tomorrow when we have school, doctor's appointments, etc on top of it all. Just thinking about it is exhausting me. haha

I did have a recent scare the other night and suddenly started having chest pains. It was unlike anything I'd ever felt. I'd been having sharp stabbing pains off and on for the last week, but pegged it down to stress. I mean let's face it, as much as we love the holidays they do come with their fair share of stress. My right arm went numb, chest felt like daggers were repeatedly offending me, I couldn't breathe, couldn't move, etc. Considering I was alone with the boys it was even more terrifying. Even when sitting I couldn't shake it. As soon as hubby got home we had my mom sit with the boys while I went to get checked. I have pleurisy. They doctors could give me no reason why I would have such a thing so I have to follow up with my family doctor. They prescribed some hospital strength ibuprofen to help with the inflammation and thankfully it's non-drowsy.

ANYWAY, I have some reviews coming up. One I'm hoping to get posted at least later on today, given I can get through my to-do list. Anyway guess I better get back to it. Sorry for the such short post.

Sincerely,
Tori

Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy Homemaker Monday #24

It was a lovely 4 days off. I'm kind of bummed that it's school time though because that means back to the old hectic daily grind. haha
I slept on my shoulder weird last night because now it is hurting so badly. Bad thing is I can't find my old fashioned hot water bottle that I usually use for such pains and come to think of it I haven't seen it since our old apartment so I'm kind of wondering if it didn't get thrown in a get rid of box. It looks like this in case you've seen it:
LOL. But now on to Happy Homemaker Monday. I'm linking up with Diary of a Stay at Home Mom today which just happens to be one of my favorite blogs AND the one who hosts Happy Homemaker Mondays. So go on and check her blog out as well: http://familycorner.blogspot.com/




::The weather in my part of the world::
Sunny but chilly. 44 degrees here in good old Indiana. We're actually looking at some pretty mild temps this week even getting as high as 58 degrees by the end of the week. It's so unusual for Indiana though because normally we're covered in snow around this time of year or it's bitter and windy. But hey, can't complain.



::Right now I am::
Sipping on some caramel truffle coffee. I got it on a whim at the grocery store yesterday. It was a little bag on sale for a dollar so I figured why not try it. I LOVE it!



::Thinking::
About our new little fur baby. We get to go get him on December 23rd! I'm so excited and the kids are going to be over the moon. They know we are getting a dog and they are continuously asking about him so I think they are at the point where they want to see it to believe it. haha. We already paid the deposit for him, but as he is only 4 weeks old right now we have to wait until he is 8 weeks and able to leave his fur mommy. We do have almost all his supplies so everything will be ready when we bring him home. We met his fur mommy and she is just a darling, and he is so energetic himself and loving! He is coming from a home where they have taken the utmost care of the litter and puppies so we are very thankful to find them. Here's his picture:
Gizmo Mars
(Havanese puppy- 4 weeks old)



::On my reading pile::
Heaven Changes Everything (a devotional from the authors of Heaven Is For Real) by: Todd & Sonja Burpo
I still want to choose a book on the Kindle to read in addition to this, I just haven't chosen one yet. When there are so many good books at your fingertips it's a hard choice!
I also just finished reading A Marriage of The Heart by Kelly Long - review upcoming



::On my TV::
Wednesday I of course will be watching Nashville. I love that show! I missed last week's episode and for some reason my computer doesn't want to play it so I keep waiting for Comcast to put it On Demand for us all to enjoy, but so far no go. :(
Other than that I'll probably be re-watching past seasons of 7th Heaven that I checked out at the library. Can't get enough of that TV show.



::On the menu for this week::
Monday- homemade cheeseburger macaroni, garlic bread, corn, fried potatoes
Tuesday- beef pasta, mashed potatoes, peas, homemade rolls
Wednesday- tuna casserole
Thursday- will be grocery shopping
Friday- 
Saturday-
Sunday-



::On my to do list::
Sweeping floors
Vacuuming floors
Mopping kitchen and bathroom
Return books and movies to the library
Working on advent calendar (it's almost done)
Dishes
Laundry



::What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting, or creating::
I'm currently working on an advent calendar for the boys. This will be our first year doing an advent calendar, and we kind of decided upon it at the last minute.



::Homemaking tips::
Keeping a calendar/to-do book can be so helpful to a homemaker. We are busy enough as it is with constant to do lists running through our heads. So I keep a little calendar book. It helps me stay on schedule, remember important dates/events, etc. What has worked best for me are the calendar books with a view of the month followed by the days/weeks. They are inexpensive and there are all kinds to choose from so whether you want a big planner or a small one there is one out there for you. Here's an example of one:
just an example


::Looking around the house::
The boys are watching Clifford the Big Red Dog, it's a bit hectic with toys strewn around right now as they've been playing all morning. It's almost time to leave and take Lucas to school (he goes to the afternoon preschool class). My library bag is hanging from the kitchen chair so I won't forget it, as getting the kids out the door can get kind of crazy sometimes. LOL



::From the camera::
our little Gizmo
sorry for the dim picture, I didn't want to use flash on the camera just in case it should startle him



::On my prayer list::
In Indianapolis there was a gas explosion that killed 2 and damaged many homes. Most of the homes cannot be rebuilt and have to be torn down. Residents were only allowed one hour to get in there and get their belongings. This happened right before Thanksgiving. I can't imagine the fear, devastation, etc. But what is amazing is all these neighbors banded together and have supported each other through this horrible time. I applaud all the heroes that helped one another, have donated supplies to the displaced families, etc. 
Here's a picture of the destruction:
http://www.fox59.com/news/wxin-citizens-energy-responds-to-reports-of-high-gas-usage-in-south-side-home-explosion-20121121,0,342861.column



::Bible verse/devotional::
Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (NIV)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Songs That Make Us Sing Saturday #5

Oh goodness we are trying to recuperate from Black Friday. It was insane! LOL. Now we didn't do the normal thing and get out super early because...well...we have kids 5 and under so that wouldn't work. BUT we went out on Thanksgiving night with the kids in their jammies to wait on some deals (which we surprisingly got everything we wanted and was out within 30 minutes) and then came home. We got back out today after breakfast and got a few extras at Menard's we had on the list. I'm pretty pleased. We got pretty much all the kids toy gifts covered and all we have left to get them are clothes. We got a few toys for fun, but other than that we tried to stick with the creative/learning toys. Anyway it was so stressful going with the kids. We were trying to shove all the toys and stuff in the bottom of the cart and if they seen toys we told them we were helping Santa with a few things this year since his elves were so busy and those toys are for other kids. They seemed to go along with it which totally surprised me, but if it isn't broke don't fix it right? I felt a little bad for fibbing to the kids but I didn't want to ruin their surprises. They were completely excited about the idea of being Santa's little helpers and thank goodness it didn't turn out to be an issue. We didn't have anyone to keep them so what could we do? LOL

We had a good Thanksgiving though and got to spend time with family and each other. I love the holidays, family time, excitement, and of course the yummy food! :)

Anyway I will quit babbling and post this weekend's song. A friend of mine posted this to my facebook and I thought it was hilarious so I'm sharing with all you parents out there. haha



If you want to participate in Songs That Make Us Sing Saturdays just join in by adding your link to the Mr. Linky on the following sites:

&


You should just go ahead and give them a follow too while their there because their blogs are something you will want to come back and read regularly. Plus participating is so easy. Just post one of your favorite songs/videos, any genre, (clean of course since there could be kiddos around the corner, or at least in my household. LOL)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday is Cook'n!

Remember the blog post I did awhile back on the Cook'n software? If not you can go back and read about it HERE.
It's a great software program that helps organize your recipes, helps simplify meal planning, print a family cookbook, adjust ingredient sizes, etc.
Problem is that it's normally $80 which is a bit pricey. BUT! Good news is as a Black Friday special they are offering Cook'n for 75% off! That's only $20!
They have never offered such a discount and probably never will again, but this software simplifies searching for recipes on the web and adjusting them to your families needs. It's a breeze to work and all your recipes are kept how you want them to be.
So for this Black Friday you can visit www.dvo.com and get Cook'n for 75% off!

Cook'n makes meal planning a breeze and adjusts serving sizes and ingredient amounts for you in an instant! It really does make cooking simple.


Sincerely,
Tori

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to take some time out today to tell all of you::


And leave you with a little quote::

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
-Melody Beattie


Sincerely,
Tori

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Nutcracker Music Game Review & Giveaway






Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker The Music Game is such a fun learning tool for children. It helps kids recognize different musical instruments and piece what instruments are played during songs. It's a game filled with puzzles, riddles, trivia, and so much more.
Like all children, my 5 year old son loves music. When I had the opportunity to review this product I jumped at the chance and couldn't wait to show it to him. When we received it for download he immediately fell in love with it. It was hard to pry him away actually!
You start out in a room filled with choices, you can play a variety of games (such as the orchestra game), trivia, riddles, puzzles, etc. My son loved the puzzles especially and I couldn't believe my eyes when he started recognizing the instruments that were playing!
The object is to earn nine golden keys while having fun and learning. It teaches the difference between sounds, instruments, and helps increase their memory. All the while having fun, and they won't even realize how much they are learning during the whole process!
My son was so proud of himself, and it honestly has given him a whole new appreciation for classical music.
Here's a little video on how the game works::


Not only does it teach our children to love and appreciate music as well as the instruments, but it is so fun and engaging! It also challenges children without them even realizing it! Look at the colorful pictures in the video above, it's so fun and vivid! I think this is a great tool to have around the house for your children to sharpen their music skills, and could also be useful in a classroom setting. It could be a great help to any of you out there who are going the homeschooling route as it can sometimes be hard to implement music in a home school setting. This game can really help fill that void.
Children learn best through interactive fun activities and this game has all of that. The appreciation and knowledge they come away with is just amazing. It can be played by your child alone, or with a parent as you both challenge yourselves in the music department. There is much to be enjoyed from this game, and I highly recommend it for any music lovers out there.
In today's world its more important than ever to teach our children about the classics, and to appreciate the instruments that make up the sound of music. This is a game that can easily be navigated by children, and even includes a helpful little claxon that appears time and again to tell your children what to do. Some of the features in the game you will need to help younger children with who cannot yet read, but there are other features they can enjoy where the talking claxon tells them step by step what they need to do.
It's a game kids can play over and over again while still being challenged. We can't get enough of it at our house, and play it several times a week. The Nutcracker is a classic, and I'm glad it is now put into a form that our children can enjoy and learn from all at once.

This game has also won many awards which makes it even better in my book. It has won the Parent's Choice Gold Award, NAPPA Gold Award, Parenting Seal of Approval and others. The one downfall is it isn't JUST yet available for MAC, but all good things take time of course. It's definitely a unique game, and I can't rave about it enough!
Here's what some others had to say about it::  

"What is so impressive about this CD-ROM is how much fun kids had while really putting their musical ears to the test." - The National Parenting Center

"A decidedly unique software game with enormous education value...Kids will enjoy playing again and again." - Discovery School

"The best software I've seen to date or stimulating the musical imagination... Sophisticated in its design and content, Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker offers exciting adventures in musical listening and problem solving that are both irresistible and educational." Dr. Larry Scripp, Ed.D, Chair of Music-in-Education and the Research Center for Learning through Music, New England Conservatory

"It's a splendid blend of fun and learning, sensory stimulation and rational thinking, Old World atmosphere and new technology marvels." - Houston Chronicle

  But maybe you could find out for yourself? How about a giveaway??? I knew you would be excited, and just in time for the holidays at that! Entries are easy via the rafflecopter form below and winner will be chosen by random. Good luck to you all and I hope your children enjoy it as much as mine did!

  Also for the followers of Mommy's Musings you can buy the game with a 40% discount by clicking HERE

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

90 Days Thru the Bible ~Book Review~

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Tyndale Momentum (August 15, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 141435309X
ISBN-13: 978-1414353098

::My thoughts::
90 Days Thru the Bible is a wonderful reading tool for those looking to better understand God's word. It starts with Genesis and takes you all the way through Revelations. It is a wonderful study guide if you are wanting a deeper understand of the Bible in a short amount of time. Even while this book doesn't FULLY explore the bible it gives you the major principles and reflect on how every one is beneficial to God's story.
Not only is it easy to understand but it breaks down each chapter of the bible and creates an easy to understand devotional with questions for reflection at the end.
It is broken down with The Old Testament being Day 1, Genesis 1-3 Day 2, Genesis 4-11 Day 3, etc.
The Bible is the best book out there if you ask me, but it is also a very complex book for even the most genius of those who read it. We excel at some points in the bible, but can completely miss some of the major events without even realizing it.
This book will help with exactly that and give you a better appreciation of God's word, as well as His journey.
I think it would be best used as a reading tool as you read along with your bible. After exploring chapters in the Bible itself you can read each devotional in this book to delve deeper and gather a better understanding and appreciation of God's word.
Especially useful if you want to understand the Bible in more depth, but just don't have the time to make church classes, etc. It's a very insightful, informative study tool that all Christians would benefit from having, and gives a clearer understanding with those who want one.
What I especially loved about this book is the transformation it can make on your own life and understanding of God. It is encouraging, nourishing, and uplifting to say the least. It's soul-fulfilling.


::From the back of the book::
Embark on a 90-Day journey to understand the heart of God's story like never before.

You may believe the Bible's overall message, but have you truly grasped the whole story? We know God's message of love is so simple that even a child may embrace it, and His epic story is complex enough to mystify even the most curious intellect. We want to understand the Scriptures more deeply, to fully share in the Great Story that God has been telling throughout the ages, though perhaps we aren't sure where to start.

In 90 Days Thru the Bible, acclaimed writer Chris Tiegreen and Walk Thru the Bible guide you through the various sections of Scripture, meditating on how each story and theme, like the pieces of a puzzle, beautifully contributes to God's masterpiece of love, faith, and salvation. You'll come to understand the true heart of God-and the awe-inspiring story He's telling in your own life- in an incredible new way.


This book is available in  ~ Softcover ~  Kindle ~  Nook ~  eBook ~

You can also read some EXCERPTS HERE

See my review on Goodreads and Amazon


Disclaimer: I was provided this book for free through Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Thanksgiving Eve

Thanksgiving Eve! Today is going to be a hectic day for sure and I can already tell I'm going to fall in bed exhausted by the end of it.
I have last minute preparations for shopping to do (yes I forgot a few things on the list, nothing major thankfully), normal cleaning, and Thanksgiving preparedness. Hubby is at work today which means I'll be going it alone. Thankfully he's off for 4 days straight starting tomorrow so it will be nice to have him home.
There is so much to do though! I'm getting tired just thinking about it!

I'm hoping that tomorrow goes smoothly. Me and the boys have been fighting a very annoying cold. Lucas had it first and had a fever over the weekend. He was fever free right in time for school this past Monday, but a runny nose, scratchy throat, etc, still lingered. Then Levi woke up with a fever yesterday morning and still had one last night. Low and behold yesterday I started feeling the body aches, my nose clogged, and my throat started getting scratchy. Today thanks to this new Afrin I'm trying for free via BzzAgent my nose is unclogged, but my throat is still a bit scratchy. I am praying it goes away by tomorrow because I want to enjoy the good food and family time!

I also have more reviews coming up, and if you haven't been on here lately I just launched the Howard B. Wigglebottom book giveaway so it's not too late to enter! Just in time for the holidays too so it could make a great gift! I for one can personally attest that my 5 year old LOVES Howard B. Wigglebottom. We have several of the books and we read them over and over again. He has learned so much from them it's just amazing how it reaches children.

This weekend we get to go pick out our new little fur baby. I'm excited about it. We don't get to bring him home of course since the litter isn't yet ready to leave their mom, but we will have him right in time for Christmas. The boys are going to be so excited and there isn't a day that goes by they don't talk about a dog so I can't wait to see their little faces light up with joy.

Anyway, I better get off here and get the breakfast dishes cleaned. It's almost time to take Lucas to school and I have LOTS of cleaning to do today. This weekend I will also be working on an advent calendar. I have been getting tons of ideas from Pinterest. The only thing I have left to do is go buy the Elf on the Shelf. Can't forget that! After all Christmas always flies right up on us after Thanksgiving.

How are you spending Thanksgiving? Do you celebrate with an early meal or a later one? What is your traditional Holiday Dish? Ours is ham.

Sincerely,
Tori

Monday, November 19, 2012

Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Sportsmanship review/giveaway

Howard B. Wigglebottom has become a fast favorite in our household. As you know I have two sons (Lucas 5 & Levi 1 1/2). They both get so excited over Howard B. Wigglebottom, but my 5 year old can definitely identify with Howard and always takes away meaningful life lessons.

Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Hardcover: 32 pages
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0982616562
ISBN-13: 978-0982616567

In Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Sportsmanship, Howard has a hard time losing in any game he plays. He goes so far as to cheat and hurt his friends in the process of winning. Howard will do whatever it takes to win a game so he will continue being the best. During a soccer game Howard monopolizes the ball and trips other players. When the coach calls him out on it Howard becomes very rude and upset with the coach, causing him to be thrown out of the game and sat on the bench. Howard is furious and begins to think how unfair this is, but suddenly a father stands up and starts yelling at the referee. Howard can't believe how this father is making himself look to others and hopes he doesn't look like that. The father gets escorted out, and Howard is left with the thoughts of his actions. Howard becomes ashamed of his behavior. He realizes that winning isn't everything and he has been unfair. He apologizes to his coach and asks for another chance to play during the soccer game. During the game Howard has the chance to score the winning goal, but sees another team mate wide open who could also make the shot. He has a tough decision...should he shoot and score the goal or give the other team mate an opportunity to win? He kicks the ball over and they lose, but Howard is so happy that he played fair he doesn't care. He realizes there's much more to life than winning, and covets his second place trophy over his first places ones all combined. He even shakes hands with the winning team, and praises all his team mates on their hard work.

Every child has an issue when it comes to winning or losing. Losing is a tough childhood lesson to learn, and something a lot of children deal with. All children love the feeling of winning and they start to think winning is everything. Often times this can lead to being a "sore loser" without them even realizing it, and before they realize it they are acting out if they lose or even cheating to win.
Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Sportsmanship teaches fair play and the value of good sportsmanship. I think this is a book that all children can learn from, and the colorful fun illustrations help keep children engaged page after page.
My son was riveted. Often he does okay with playing games, but like all children he wants to win. He can sometimes be upset or get a little down when he doesn't win at something. This book really helped show him that it doesn't matter whether you win or lose, but whether you're having fun playing the game. There's more to winning such as friendship, teamwork, and having fun. He has carried this lesson on over to his own friends and it has created a more positive play experience for everyone. Now he is more focused on the fun of the game rather than winning or losing and is happy whatever the outcome.
At the end of the book there are helpful tips, and lessons that parents and teachers can put into play.

The We Do Listen Foundation is a group of writers, artists, designers, educators, therapists, parents, caregivers and teachers who share a vision of a kinder world with more harmony and peace. They are devoted to help children listen, learn, and communicate in an effective way while feeling good about themselves.
There are ten picture books in their award winning, educator endorsed series that tackle important life lessons for 3-8 year olds. They cover listening, bullying, sportsmanship, anger management, feeling good about themselves, moderation, truth, divorce, peer pressure, belonging, generosity, attention, etc. You can check out the animated versions of the books on their website: http://www.wedolisten.orgJust click on the animated books, lessons/posters and songs signs.

You can win your own Howard B. Wigglebottom book for your child by just following the instructions on the rafflecopter below. It's very easy to enter with optional extra chances to win. Just visit the We Do Listen website and browse around to find which Howard B. Wigglebottom book you would like.
Howard B. Wigglebottom hardcover books retail for $15 in the U.S. and Canada. On their website they are now on sale for $6 US or $50 for a set of 10! This comes at an exceptionally good time since Christmas is right around the corner!  HBW Ebooks are now available on Apple for only $1.99.

~For more Howard B. Wigglebottom~
~Visit their website~
~Find them on Facebook~
~Follow them on Twitter~

If you win feel free to write your thoughts and your children's response to the Howard B. Wigglebottom book and come back and link your review/thoughts!



a Rafflecopter giveaway



Disclaimer: I was provided a free copy of this book by the author/organization in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are mine alone and the giveaway is brought to you by the author and the We Do Listen Foundation.

Friday, November 16, 2012

A sippy that actually works!

This is going to be a personal post of mine. I didn't receive any free products, was not compensated in any way, nothing like that. But this post is of my own doing. All opinions expressed are my own as is this post.

First let me start by saying that I have been super frustrated lately by sippy cups in general. Lucas is 5 and Levi is 1 1/2 years. During the whole 5 years of me having kiddos I have NEVER found a sippy that doesn't leak. And we still try time and again. I have tried almost all the major brands and they work great at first and then low and behold I am greeted with puddles on the floor in various parts of my house. My husband was so frustrated with it that he just kind of gave up. We were both tired of wasting our money on sippy cups that promised to be spill/leak free only to find our kids beds soaked, their clothes, or puddles on the floor. Hubby even likes to joke that we would be better off just giving them a cup with no lid as good as most of the sippy's we buy work. Wouldn't be much of a difference I must admit.

Then Levi lost his sippy cup. We had an especially hectic trip out of town to the children's museum and somewhere it got lost. So we stopped at Walmart to pick him one up. I was stopping at a relatives house on the way home so I had the chance to wash it, but didn't want to wait until we got all the way home before he had a drink.
I didn't want to spend another eight dollars or more on a pack of sippy's that was going to start leaking in a few days time and I noticed the Gerber's Graduates Fun Grips. There were 2 in a pack for only five dollars and some change.
These were about the only sippy's we hadn't tried yet so I figured since they were definitely affordable we would go ahead and give them a try. Why not?
I was SO pleased! So far we have had then for a little over two weeks and they work wonderfully! My son has even thrown them and there's been no leaks so far! Instead of a rubber valve there is a plastic one which doesn't wear out after washes. Plus the hourglass shape makes it really easy for little hands to hold. It's easy to wash as well, and very easy to drink out of. They come in various colors and are for 12 months plus.
Plus the lid seals tightly and the hard spout is so perfect for teething, chewing babies. They can't just squeeze the spout and cause liquid to flow out. They are made in the USA and they are BPA free. The brighter colors make them fun, and if they get lost they are easy to find.
I was blown away by the excellence at such an affordable cost, and the reason I am sharing this with you all is because sippy cups are a parents worst nightmare. I'm sure all of you have suffered from random puddles on the floor, a soaked shirt/onesie, finding wet in your baby/toddlers bed from a leaking sippy, etc. And so far so good for these! I have always loved Gerber baby food and the onesies, but I never thought about trying the sippy cups. I guess to be honest I figured the more expensive ones that promised no leaks would be better since they were so high. But money has nothing to do with it. These sippy's have blown the others out of the water! Just goes to show that such a trusted brand needs to be looked at further and I wish I had tried these sippy cups beforehand. I probably would have saved a LOT more money and a lot more time scrubbing floors and carpets. LOL.



I would highly recommend them, and I plan on coming back after a few months of use to update on how they are still holding up. After all every child has to have a sippy cup and it's up to us parents to stick together. I'm always trying to scour websites, blogs, reviews, etc to find out others response on products because I'm simply tired of throwing my money down the drain.

The only advice I have on these is just make sure you push the plastic valve in all the way. It will stay put once it's in there, but you do need to push it in tightly. Otherwise you will be led to believe these leak when really it's just the valve isn't in there tight enough. That happened to me and I was getting frustrated because I thought it was the sippy, but really it was just that I didn't have the valve pushed in all the way. Ooops! Once you push the valve in tightly it WILL stay, my son even threw his sippy from his booster on the floor and the valve didn't budge at all. When you want to take the valve back out to clean it just twist it and pull. It's really easy to do, and I'm just pleased all around. I highly recommend these sippy cups, but if you want to see how it's still holding up for us in a few months time I will be doing another post to update. :)

Thank you for visiting! By the way I posted a comment on Gerber's facebook wall and got such an incredible response on comments. I found out some fantastic information through Gerber and other parent's comments which you might find helpful such as:


  • If you register through the START HEALTHY, STAY HEALTHY Resource Center you can get informative booklets with nutrition and feeding advice, product information, as well as special offers through baby's first years. Just click this link: http://bit.ly/cG89Wy
  • You can also find Gerber coupons on the target website and other websites. Just print them out and use them! Simple and easy.
  • If you have any stories about sippy nightmares, good experiences with Gerber, or anything you would like to share I would love to hear your comments. Just leave them below. Thanks!



Sincerely,
Tori

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Be Still My Soul book review

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Multnomah Books (October 2, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1601424213
ISBN-13: 978-1601424211

Description::
Although Lonnie Sawyer has a less than perfect life, she clings to her faith with all her might. Her family poor with an abusive father and a pushover of a mother, but Lonnie is unchanged in her faith and good nature.
Used to disappearing into herself and distancing herself from her family and others as much as possible Lonnie is completely chaste so when she is walked home by Gideon one night and he steals a forced kiss Lonnie decides to tell no one. After all Gideon may be handsome, but he's one man that mothers and fathers warn their daughters about.
Problem is that Lonnie's father saw the kiss and to save her reputation forces her into a marriage with Gideon. The two do not love each other and frustrated by the situation Gideon takes things out on Lonnie by making her move from the only home she's ever known imperfect or not. Gideon wants to start over and despite their marriage refuses to give Lonnie any claim on his life.
Lonely, sad, and confused Lonnie tries her best despite the circumstances, but it's up to Gideon to accept God and give up his past. But Lonnie doesn't know if anything will help him love her, or himself.

My Thoughts::
I loved this book! Even though some of the characters were especially frustrating at times (especially Gideon) I didn't want to put it down. The author does a wonderful job of drawing you in immediately to see it all unfold before your very eyes. Once I got into reading the novel it was hard to put down. The beginning is a bit rocky as the story unfolds. There are a few gaps with things left unsaid to really explain some of the incidents. One being is a less than wanted kiss Gideon forces upon Lonnie that sets in motion each of their destinies. It's hard to tell if the two characters were attracted to each other before or if Gideon is just a crazy man that goes around forcing kisses on all pretty women. But nonetheless the events that occur almost immediately early in the novel will definitely have you hooked.
What I loved most about this novel is the fact that despite the shotgun wedding forced upon them Gideon and Lonnie grow together before your eyes. Of course they don't realize they are growing, but as the reader you will see the changes and it is heartwarming (and frustrating) at times.
Watching their love grow for one another, and their love of God along with it is more than heart-warming. You can't help but love sweet innocent Lonnie any more than you can help but to want to just shake the living daylights out of Gideon. The other characters in the novel are interesting in their own personal ways as well which makes this book a good read and one you won't soon forget. An added bonus is there is going to be a sequel!


This book is available in:   Print   Kindle   Nook   eBook


Want more? Listen to this PODCAST about Be Still My Soul by Joanne Bischof


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

Monday, November 12, 2012

Our Southern Breeze book review

Paperback: 326 pages
Publisher: Third Chapter Press (December 14, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0983012962
ISBN-13: 978-0983012962

In this beautifully written memoir by Daphene Jones we learn all about her triumphs, down moments, heart aches, trials and tribulations, etc. It is definitely a bare all book and you will find yourself feeling almost every emotion imaginable when reading this book. It tells all about how her fraternal twin Deborah Hall affected her life, and how she was led to God.
I was riveted by this book. It was written so well, and I just didn't want to put it down. I love how Daphene tells all about her depression, her life as a twin, failed marriages, up and down career, etc. And the fact that through all her trials and tribulations she never gave up on her family, her twin, her older sister, or herself.
It was so encouraging, and even though I found myself so mad during many parts of the story at many of the people mentioned you can see unfold right in front of you how God changed bad situations to good later in life.
Daphene and Deborah are true proofs of what forgiveness and love is all about, no matter how long it took each of them to uncover that fact themselves. The fact that each of them endured what they did throughout their lives together and separate and was still able to love their family, stand by them, and care for them is just something amazing. After experiencing all kinds of abuse that is just unimaginable by a troubled father they rose above it, forgave and still respected their father in many ways.
Daphene seemed like she was always kind of the black sheep. Having an older sister that liked neither one of the twins and having a twin who clearly rooted herself in another world leaving Daphene behind, Daphene was left to find her own way. In doing so she made some bad decisions, experienced tearful depression, but still the twins were brought back together later in life by God. By being brought back together they were each able to strengthen not only themselves, but their personal relationship with God. And the transformation and events that occur in Daphene's life as a result is just so uplifting. It's definitely a book you want to read and I highly recommend it!

Here is a bit of a description taken from the back of the book::
As the fraternal twin of Deborah (Short) Hall (from Same Kind of Different as Me), I knew her like no one else could. And the inspiring story I share in Our Southern Breeze is like no other story that could be told: From growing up forever in transition as our family moved from one Texas oil camp to another, to cheating in school to try to win the approval of my parents...from facing all kinds of abuse of a troubled father as a child, to the disappointment of a failed marriage as an adult...from the deep pit of depression to suicide attempts, my life was a series of bad situations, poor choices, and worse consequences. My sister saw this, and after years of estrangement, held out a hand for me to hold...once again. It was at the Anaheim Vineyard conference in 1990 that God, through the words of a man, promised to send a southern breeze over Deborah and me. Neither of us could have ever imagined what that would look like and how many people would eventually be touched by it.

This book is an honest proof to everyone that no matter what hardships you experience in life, no matter how many obstacles present themselves right in your path, and no matter how bitter or depressed you may become; God can work in mysterious ways. He will never forget about you and even when you think He has, He is just waiting right there for you to accept Him in your heart.

To learn more about this book and the author visit this website: http://oursouthernbreeze.com/

This book is available in:  Print   Kindle   Nook



Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a member of BookCrash in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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