Monday, April 30, 2012

Opal Moon book review

I am fascinated with anything historical in time. Whether it is from the U.S. or another country, I just crave to learn more about the historical way of life, customs, etc. That is one of the reasons I was drawn to this book aside from the mysterious woman on the cover. It promised a great love story, suspense, and the chance to learn of historical customs in China.

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Dorrance Publishing Co (November 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1434912183
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434912183

From the back of the book::

The land of China is under the rule of Emperor K'ang-his. As an upright and efficient leader, he favors his fourth son, Yin-chen, a young man of upstanding character, over his corrupt heir apparent, Yin-jeng, who brings nothing but trouble to the family. The latest is an attempt by Yin-jeng on the life of Opal Moon, a teenage orphan girl whom Yin-chen rescues with the aid of his chamberlain.

Captivated by Opal Moon's beauty, he takes her under his care and presents her as a boy to ensure her safety as his ward. But the pretense cannot suppress their feelings and they eventually give in to their hearts' desires, setting off a course of events they could not have foreseen.

My Thoughts::
This book didn’t turn out to be what I thought it would be. There are a lot of events that disturbed me in this novel, and if you surprise easily I wouldn’t recommend it. One of the most disturbing to me was Prince Yin-jeng’s sexual encounters with young boys. I couldn’t hardly stomach the details in which the events were explained, even though that is how things were done in imperial court back then. All in all I felt it was a very sad novel, and I was very upset by the ending. I felt the book focused on more carnage than anything. Without spoiling the novel I will just say that there was no way I could have at all predicted how things would turn out for our characters so the unpredictability of the novel was what kept me reading. The one thing I did like about this novel is Opal Moon’s will to overcome all obstacles thrown her way. Having been abandoned by her mother at a young age and raised by foster parents serving as their maidservant, she had to learn at a young age to be independent and diligent. This shows through her character and it was easy to admire her at times despite her young age. Even though she succumbed to her passions with Prince Yin-chen eventually, and despite her ardent Christian beliefs she continued to try to do the right thing. The problem arose when there became too many obstacles for her to try and overcome all alone and instead of seeking wiser help she tried to take things into her own hands.
I wouldn’t recommend this book for anyone under the age of eighteen due to sexually graphic/disturbing content. Despite the fact that this novel wasn’t quite what I expected it was very well researched, and very well written. I was hooked in by Opal Moon, and I couldn’t wait to see how things would turn out for her in the end.

All in all I would rate this book: 4/5 stars

 I rated this book 4/5 stars on Goodreads.

This book is available in Paperback, Kindle, or Nook
You can also purchase this book in print or ebook format by CLICKING HERE

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this book for review as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Happy Homemaker Monday #5

Just to give you an update on the previous week: Last week was a really fun week albeit a busy one. Friday we went to my son's school carnival and it was a blast for all of us. We played games, had snowcones, won prizes, etc. They had a few bounce houses among the games which the children really enjoyed and went on several times. The kids were exhausted so I'm glad we ate dinner before we went since they were asleep before we even got home. It was all I could do to get them in their pajamas, teeth brushed, etc. Josh (my husband) and I entered into the school auction where we scored some awesome tickets to some local family fun places nearby. Our local children's museum, an interactive history park, etc. They were taking bids on baskets and tickets that were donated by local businesses. My mom won the bid on my son's class basket, the theme was gardening. The money goes for the children a popcorn/pizza party so it was money well spent all around. I'm thankful that the businesses donated tickets, gift cards, etc so the school could have that.

If you would like to participate in Happy Homemaker Monday feel free to link up your blog using Mr. Linky found at the bottom of this post.

The weather in my part of the world::

On my reading pile::
How We Love Our Kids by: Milan & Kay Yerkovich (to read)
The Fault In Our Stars by: John Green (to read)
The Messenger by: Siri Mitchell
The Bible (always reading)

On my TV this week::
Shark Tank
Undercover Boss
House Hunters
Hart of Dixie

On the menu for this week’s dinner::
Monday- Spaghetti, Garlic Bread / brownies for dessert
Tuesday- Cheeseburger hamburger helper (homemade version), peas, mashed potatoes
Wednesday- Fried Chicken, corn, fried potatoes
Thursday- grocery shopping this day
Friday- see thursday
Saturday- see thursday
Sunday- see thursday

Recipe I tried or want to try soon::
I seen this recipe posted by Cheyene, a fellow VB mom blogger. It looks SO tasty, and it's made using crescent rolls, shredded cheese, mexican-style corn, tomatoes, chili beans, chili sauce, and ground sirloin. I can already assume that this is going to be a big hit with our family. You should definitely check out her blog for some more fantastic recipes and other fun stuff. :)

Looking around the home::
Dishes are clean and I have a new Relaxation candle burning on the kitchen counter. The smell is heavenly and it has become one of my favorite candles. It kind of reminds me of a spa scent, and it really is relaxing.
Everyone is still sleeping so I am getting ready to start breakfast. That is sure to wake everyone quickly. :)
Books are still laid out on the end table by the couch that we read before bed so those need to be placed back on the boys bookshelves.
There is a basket of laundry waiting to be ironed, folded, and put away.
My calendar is laid out on the table where I am going to make sure to have all of our upcoming appointments, bill due dates, etc updated. I find it so much easier to maintain a schedule, and keep bills paid when there is a family calendar. It keeps everything more orderly.

On my to-do list::
Put some stray books back in their places on the bookshelves
Laundry needs folded and put away
Going to toy around with re-organizing our bedroom.
Need to make brownies so we can have dessert for later.
Work on my kindle fire case

My projects::
Still working on my kindle fire case. I haven't had much opportunity this week to work on it so it has been sitting in my craft basket. I'm hoping to resume it this week, but I need to make a trip to the hobby store and get some more items. I'm so excited and eager to see how it turns out.

From the camera::
A cross that is hanging in my kitchen. I couldn't get any good outside pictures this week so this will have to do. I love this cross, and it hangs on the wall behind our kitchen table. There's a side view, and a front view.

Something fun to share::
I found this while browsing Pinterest. You can see it by CLICKING HERE
This truly is every kid's dream staircase. I know I would have been thrilled
to have seen this anywhere as a child. LOL

Bible Verse/Devotional::
Matthew 6:34  Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Feel free to use Mister Linky below to link up your Happy Homemaker Monday.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Silly Saturdays #1

Welcome to Silly Saturdays! Sharing something that makes you laugh whether it be a video, image, joke, etc. Enjoy!

This is one of my favorite commercials! Their faces are priceless! I can't help but to laugh every time. I am curious to know if they KNEW they were really on a car insurance commercial. Their faces are just so innocent and believable, especially at the end. They seemed totally clueless as to what was going on. So funny...

Link up your blog with Silly Saturdays using Mister Linky below:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday #1

A covered bridge at one of our local parks taken a month ago.

If you want to link up your blog with Wordless Wednesday feel free to use Mister Linky below. :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy Homemaker Monday #4

Happy Homemaker Monday

Another weekend come and gone. I almost can't wait until August gets here because we will be moving into our new apartment. I am truly excited about this because we will have so much more space. It's still unclear whether they will have an opening where we are hoping to move, but we won't know for a couple more months. In other news we are on the hunt for a new church. We have been in our church home for two years, and haven't attended since Christmas. On Christmas day of 2011 my little one started crying. He was then only 9 months old, and another long time church member made this comment:  "Someone needs to shut that kid up". It really devastated me, and I have never in my life heard such a comment from a fellow Christian. We expressed our hurt over this matter, but nobody really seemed to feel remorseful and we never heard one apology. Not that we NEEDED to be apologized to, but it would have been nice in a way. I know we can't avoid all the "mean" people in the world, but I can't feel comfortable in that type of environment. Since then we listen to sermons online, and read our bibles. We have been looking for another church home where we have a warm welcome feeling. Luckily there are many good churches in our area so we are going to be attending some. I have missed the experience greatly.

The weather in my part of the world::

On my reading pile::
Opal Moon by: Kiana Sim (currently reading)
How We Love Our Kids by: Milan & Kay Yerkovich (to read)
The Fault In Our Stars by: John Green (to read)
The Bible (always reading)

If you want to keep updated on what I'm reading, or planning to read visit my Goodreads page. I try to stay as current as possible on my Goodreads profile and update it several times per day. It's a really easy way for me to keep up on what I've read, am reading, or planning to read. I love this site. 

On my TV::
House Hunters
Hart of Dixie
Local News

On the menu for this week’s dinner::
Monday- Pot Roast and cornbread
Tuesday- Homemade cheeseburger hamburger helper, mashed potatoes, broccoli
Wednesday- gravy turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, rolls
Thursday- Pizza
Friday- Chili
Saturday- Spanish Rice, buttered bread
Sunday- sausage, biscuits & gravy and scrambled eggs

Recipe I tried or want to try soon::
I made this for the boys with some of their Trixs yogurt, and they just loved it! It was so easy to make and it is such a healthy treat, especially on those warm days. I didn't put my yogurt in a bag like shown above I just used a spoon to put dollops on the tray which worked just as well, and probably took less time. Although you can choose whichever way you decide to do it. It only took about two hours for my yogurt dollops to freeze before we could enjoy them. I will even be posting some pictures soon of my method.

Looking around the home::
Boys room needs organized (again. lol)
Apple Pie candle is burning giving off a sweet homey scent.
Some books and cds are sitting on the table that needs returned the the library.
Construction is going on outside the building. They are building new balconies and staircases. They finally finished ripping out our storage sheds that were attatched to each unit. Needless to say it has been anything but quiet around here. :)

On my to-do list::
Give the bathroom a good scrub down
Re-organize boys room
Need to get together some gardening tools for a raffle basket they are doing for my son's preschool.

My projects::
Crochet some more dishtowels
Work on my homemade kindle fire case. (I will upload pictures as soon as I finish it, giving that it turns out how I'm hoping it will. I'm going off my own design so there have been a few obstacles, but it's getting there.)
I'm going to be working on homemade piggy banks with the boys. I found the idea on pinterest, and if your interested in participating you can see the image below in something fun to share. 

From the camera::
Haven't been able to take any pictures this week. It's been kinda hectic.

Something fun to share::
I always like to give credit and while I found this pinned on Pinterest it appears that it came from

Bible Verse/Devotional::

Ecclesiastes 3
 1 There is a time for everything, 
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:

 2 a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 6 a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 8 a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.

If you would like to participate in Happy Homemaker Monday, or even to link up your regular blog feel free to enter via Mr. Linky below. You can also check out Sandra's blog at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for more Happy Homemaker Monday's. She usually has a Mr. Linky widget up as well. Hope to see you again soon!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Eyes of Justice Book Review

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595547088
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595547088

From the back of the book::
The Triple Threat Club has solved intense mysteries before . . . but this time it's personal.
Cassidy, Allison, and Nicole fight for justice every day-Cassidy as a crime reporter, Nicole with the FBI, and Allison as a federal prosecutor. Together they're a Triple Threat to be reckoned with.
But never have they faced a case so full of blind alleys-or so painfully close to home.

When a devastating turn of events upsets the balance of the Triple Threat team, they discover an ally in a quirky Private Investigator named Olivia. The women vow not to stop until the case is solved and justice is served.
Yet just when it appears the police have the killer in custody, he somehow strikes again. Not knowing who to trust, the Triple Threat women go undercover for an intricate and deadly cat-and-mouse game where nothing can be taken at face value . . . and nothing will ever be the same.
Success - or survival - isn't assured in this riveting Triple Threat mystery that will leave readers both shocked and satisfied.

My Thoughts::
Lis Wiehl and April Henry have outdone themselves yet again. This novel is everything you would expect from a mystery thriller. This book was stunning, unexpected, unique, emotional, and adrenaline rushing. I love the fact that the characters are so alive, and you are immediately swept up into the story. There are no chapters that drag, and it is constantly on the go with suspense. My attention was pulled in with the first chapter, and I was immersed. I didn’t want to put it down and I found myself staying up until the wee hours just to get as much reading as I could in.
This is a Christian novel and I love the test of faith and words of wisdom contained within. God‘s presence is in almost every chapter, and it is really a great reminder how we are sometimes put to the test in our faith. When times get tough we can’t go running, but we need to stand our grounds, and prevail in our faith. 
There are a few uncomfortable scenes in the novel that may bother some of you. One such is when Ophelia, the PI, that the women hire, braves a trip to a strip club in order to uncover information about a murder. However, this didn’t bother me in the least and actually made the story that much more realistic. Being a thriller dealing in murder it is expected to find yourself thrown into unfortunate scenes and circumstances.
I would have liked to see things turn out differently for the Triple Threat club though. This was both bad and good. In a way it was good because it was totally unexpected, and it made it impossible to guess the outcome of the novel! The Triple Threat women are forced to deal with a murder that is as close as you can get to them. This not only shakes them to the core, but makes them take a closer look at themselves, their life, and their faith. Despite the unfortunate losses in the novel there were also some great causes for celebration. In addition to discovering more about the Triple Threat women whom I’ve grown to love I am now attached the the newest character added which is Ophelia. She is just so unusual and yet so kind at the same time. She is such an enigma that I’m hoping in the next book to find out more about her.
The one thing I didn’t like about this novel is that it really leaves you hanging at the end. Some of the characters don’t pick back up, and I was SO curious to see how they would react to certain circumstances as well as to find out what happened to some of them. I can’t really go into further details about this without possibly spoiling the novel, but despite my minor dislike I would still recommend this novel to any mystery fanatic. I’m sure that Lis Wiehl, and April Henry will resume where they left off in the next novel. (Hopefully as I am left hanging)
If you like mystery thrillers then I would definitely recommend checking into this novel.

I gave this book five stars on Goodreads
Also check out my review on Amazon.

Diclaimer: I was provided this book for free through Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for my unbiased review. Opinions expressed are mine alone.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Scary Movie

Thanks for the post from Sylvester Campbell

Oh my goodness! I just accidently watched the scariest movie ever on Lifetime. I didn’t realize it was going to get so intense and scary, and before I knew it, I was scared out of my wits. I literally walked all around the house and turned all the lights on in every room. I also double checked that ourSECURITYCHOICE alarm was set and on, and double checked all the doors to make sure they were locked. I hate when I am scared! All of a sudden, I start imagining all kinds of crazy things that could happen, no matter how unlikely. I didn’t know the movie was going to get so scary, or I never would have watched it. It was just so suspenseful, which drives me crazy. It was about this man who was stalking these girls, and oh my gosh, it was just so realistic. Monster movies don’t scare me; it’s the one’s that actually could happen in real life that get to me. I am never going to be able to get to sleep tonight.

Happy Homemaker Monday #3

Happy Homemaker Monday #3

I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend. :) Ours was spent mainly indoors due to rainy weather although we did get out for some of our errands and chores on Friday. It has been a good weekend all aside from my poor Josh having severe tooth pain. He has needed to get a wisdom tooth pulled for quite some time, but he has been putting it off. It's finally caught up with him, though, and has resulted in some severe pain especially of a night. He hasn't been able to get much sleep, and laying down seems to make it worse so he's been sleeping propped up with tons of pillows. This week he will be setting up an appointment to get that taken care of.

The weather in my part of the world::

On my reading pile::
Eyes of Justice by: Lis Wiehl
Opal Moon by: Kiana Sim
How We Love Our Kids by: Milan Yerkovich
The Fault in Our Stars by: John Green
You can find more of books I'm reading, progress, and books I've read on my Goodreads site.

On my TV::
House Hunters
Hart of Dixie

Not to mention I have been soaking up as much on the Titanic as possible! There have been tons of documentary's on TV lately. I have always been fascinated by the Titanic, and now I finally have more answers. With the technology and resources we have these days so much more is made clear, and a lot of questions I have had over the years have finally been answered. I still feel sad for all the passengers that had to die due to the titanic, and yet there were a total 700 who DID survive. That is quite a number considering how bad the devastation actually was. Yesterday I watched Titanic at 100 Mystery Solved on the History channel. It was really exciting, and they answer SO many questions about the Titanic, passengers, etc. I really feel more in tune with the Titanic now, and more importantly some of the passengers. I'm glad to have a lot of my questions answered and to find out so much more about passengers, artifacts, structure of the ship, etc.

Recipe I tried or want to try soon::
I made cornbread casserole one time right after me and Josh first got married. I wasn't the best cook then and still had a lot to learn so needless to say it didn't turn out that great. It actually turned out so bad that you would've thought I served dough with corn. hah! It's definetely something that we like to look back on now with a laugh, but now I'm determined to try it again. This time around it will be much better. :)


Looking around the home::
Candle is burning on the kitchen table filling the house with a warm cinnamon apple scent.
Breakfast dishes need doing.
Wind chimes are chiming outside on the front porch, and I just feel so comforted by that sound.
The boys are playing dinosaurs on the living room floor, and we are getting ready to color together during our creativity time.
Laundry needs folded and put away.
I have the supplies laid out to make some cupcakes which will make a nice dessert surprise for later.

On my to-do list::
Usual daily household chores
Re-organize some of the boys toys in their room
Go through more of my books, and get rid of some more of the ones I know I will probably never read again. I went from two full bookshelves to just one, and I would like to declutter a bit more. As much as I LOVE to read it's pointless to keep books I'm probably not going to read again just for the sake of filling a bookshelf. Besides there are others out there who probably would like to read them which is why I always donate them to our local bookstore.

My projects::
Crocheting more dishcloths this week.
Making a kindle case for my kindle fire.
Homemade bookmarks.

From the camera::
More from one of our local parks

Something fun to share::
I have the tendency to be challenged when it comes hanging pictures. Seriously I will think I have it just where I need it, and when I drive the nail in the wall it's off. I hate to pencil mark on the walls to place a picture so when I stumbled upon this on pinterset I knew I HAD to try it. It really did make things so much easier for me! I have now used this trick a few times, and it never has steered me wrong yet, and the toothpaste easily just wipes right off.

Bible Verse/Devotional::
Colossians 3:12-13 
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

If you want to link up your blog you can do so by using Mr. Linky below. For more Happy Homemaker Monday's you can also check out Sandra's blog over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. She also has a Mr. Linky, and has a lot of fun and interesting things to share.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Birthday Chronicle Review

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Recently I had to opportunity to review the Birthday Chronicle from Because I Tried It. Above is just an example product image to show you what yours will look like.
I couldn’t wait to get this for my oldest son’s scrapbook, and I plan on purchasing one for my youngest son’s scrapbook as well. It’s a really fun piece of paper you can print yourself, with stories from the year of your birth. It’s something I believe my son will re-read as he grows through the years.

Description of product::   A personalized (8 ½ x 11) newspaper style front page. Since it is sent to you via email in PDF format it will print on regular paper so you can print it out yourself. Simple leave your printer settings to normal, and it will print on standard sized paper. You can get your own birthday chronicle if your birthday is between January 1, 1900 - December 31, 2011. The Chronicle includes an optional personalized headline, and a greeting from the “then” president greeting your birth. There is a news around the world section, Top Music Hits section, celebrity births, and other popular stories from the year of your birth. In most of the story headlines the recipients name is inserted here and there with little details. It’s definitely a conversation starter.

My Thoughts::    I absolutely love this, and it is such fun for all ages. It would be wonderful as an addition to your child’s scrapbook, baby book, or even a unique gift that you could frame and present to a loved one. It’s definitely something original, and much more meaningful than a store-bought card or the likes. Not to mention it is definitely affordable with prices starting at only $2.00 and shipping within 48 hours! With each emailed product bought 100% of the proceeds go to helping children in need. Service is definitely speedy as I received my Birthday Chronicle the same day I had filled out the form! I was very impressed indeed.

Aside from The Birthday Chronicle Because I Tried It offers other personalized gifts such as: Anniversary Almanac, My Handprint Keepsake, Poems, Tooth Fairy Letter, Santa Claus Letter, Amazing Numerology, among others. Many of their products come on stationary as well as via email.

For more information and to browse their products you can check out the website at:

Visit them on:    Facebook             Twitter
                        Pinterest               Google+

Subscribe to the Because I Tried It newsletter

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

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Homemaker #2

Happy Homemaker Monday #2

Sorry this is so late in the day! I feel terrible, but hopefully since it is before midnight it still counts. ;) We had some things come up today that needed immediate attention, and weren't home for long. I wanted to squeeze this in though, and please feel free to still link up below as others may still want to see your Happy Homemaker Monday even if it is later in the week.

The weather::
The weather lately has been so up and down. It will be sunny and warm one day and cloudy and chilly the next. We have some colder temperatures coming up so I may have to keep out our winter coats just a bit longer. Here's a peek at our weather forecast for this week-

On my reading pile::
The Fault in Our Stars by: John Green
How We Love Our Kids by: Milan Yerkovich
Eyes of Justice by: Lis Wiehl
Opal Moon by: Kiana Sim

On my TV::
House Hunters
re-runs of Cupcake Wars
re-runs of Kitchen Nightmares

On the menu for this week's dinner::
Monday- fried chicken, mashed potatoes, boiled baby carrots
Tuesday- chicken noodle soup, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes and rolls
Wednesday- sausage stew (smoked sausage, carrots, potatoes, green beans), and crescent rolls
Thursday- Spaghetti / dessert- homemade chocolate marshmallow brownies
Friday- Salisbury Steaks, macaroni & cheese shells, peas
Saturday- Pizza (grocery shopping day)

On my to-do list::
Cleaning out closets
Going through winter/summer clothes
Purging more toys the children have outgrown
Take some old print books of mine to a local bookstore to trade in for new ones.
Usual daily household chores.

My projects::
Crocheting a dishcloth
Sewing some torn buttons off some of our shirts since all they need to be fixed are new buttons
Making a new personalized potty chart with my 4 year old
Turning some old baby lotion bottles into "cell phone charger holders" (see below on something fun to share)

The kiddos::
Lucas has been doing wonderfully with speech lately and has truly began to recognize letters and numbers. He knows the whole alphabet, but now can tell me any letter he sees and even read 3 lettered words such as cat, dog, etc. He can count from 1-20 or backwards from 10-0.
Levi ended up getting an ear infection and has been on antibiotics, but he is doing much better now. He is stumbling all over the place while he tries to control his walking. He gets so excited he sometimes gets a bit ahead of himself. He is learning many words such as dog, drink, bath, etc. :)

From the camera::

Looking off the bridge onto the river at one of our local park trails. Beautiful.
I can't wait to re-take this picture when all the trees and flowers have fully
blossomed again. :)

Something fun to share::

Found this on pinterest at this url:
There's a website at the bottom right hand corner also that says
What a great way to use those empty lotion bottles and repurpose them to make your life easier
and with less clutter!

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6

I found Happy Homemaker Monday's from Sandra over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. Her blog is fantastic and she just seems to be a really spectacular woman. If you have a blog and would like to join in on Happy Homemaker Monday's just add your name to the linky here, on Sandra's blog, or both. :)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Glad Tidings Book Review

  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: Prescott Publishing (December 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982626983
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982626986

Book Description:: 
One man. One woman. Twelve children. Twenty-five years. Share the love, relive the adventure, as faithfully chronicled in the enjoyable, enlightening, and extraordinarily entertaining Flanders Family Christmas letters.
These refreshingly candid Christmas letters have been resonating with readers for twenty-five years. Now available for the first time in a single volume, together with collected quotes, favorite traditions, family recipes, and other assorted lists and ideas, Glad Tidings has something for everyone.

My Thoughts::
Even though Christmas is done and past I was still very interested in this book. Even though the letter’s are written around Christmas time it is a yearly update from the Flanders family which makes this a good book to read all year long.

This is really more of a biography of the Flander’s family, and while I did enjoy the book I felt lost at times because the book skips around from first person to third person and so forth. Mainly this happens in the beginning of the book before the family started the tradition of their yearly family letters. It created some confusion while I was reading it and made me wonder if there was a second Doug or Jennifer I was reading about. But I stuck with the book, and I am glad I did as it got better.
Despite that downfall this book really was enjoyable, and through the Flanders family letters you will feel as if you know them yourself. It was almost as if you were there watching them go from being newlyweds and young parents to grandparents with a large family. I loved that the book held back nothing and went into full details about all aspect of their lives. I could literally feel the love the family had for one another, and it was really refreshing. As they were catching other family members up with their lives for each year I love how they seemed to put their all into the letters and with it their own personalities showed and I felt as if I was reading a letter from a fellow family member or friend. Jennifer is a Christian woman, and the fact that this book has a sense of God in it is really uplifting.
More than just a book of letters this book has all kinds of hidden surprises for any reader to enjoy such as recipes, carols, quotes, bible verses, etc., scattered throughout. I thought this a touch of brilliance as it really sets the book apart from others. You will almost feel as if you are part of the Flanders family yourself! You will find yourself laughing along with this book, and just purely enjoying it. I recommend it wholeheartedly to just about anyone, but in particular it’s a great book for families.

I think a yearly letter to touch base with family is a wonderful idea, and hopefully this will become an institution in most households. In the world of social networking it has become more than easy to stay in touch with each other, but it’s always good to get mail and connect in other more simple ways. How fantastic that the Flanders family started this over 25 years ago! It’s also a great way to bind together all your families memories for future generations to enjoy which is what we are all doing now with the Flanders. I must admit I even hope for a sequel to this book for more letters. How awesome would that be?

To purchase this book CLICK HERE
See my star rating of this book on Goodreads by CLICKING HERE

Disclosure of Material: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Life Promises for Couples Book Review

Hardcover:: 216 pages

Publisher:: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (12/30/2011)

Language:: English

ISBN-10:: 1414363915
ISBN-13:: 978- 1414363912

Book Description::
Everybody wants a strong, loving, God-centered marriage. In Life Promises for CouplesNew York Times bestselling relationship expert Dr. Gary Chapman provides trusted words of wisdom designed to encourage and inspire couples, alongside key Bible verses that illuminate God’s plan for marriage and for nurturing healthy, happy relationships. Whether you are a young couple just starting out or you’ve just celebrated your 50th wedding anniversary, your marriage is sure to benefit from the timeless wisdom contained in this beautifully designed two-color gift book.

My Thoughts::
I had the chance to review this book, and I could not wait until it arrived. The cover, title, and author grabbed my attention almost immediately. I had heard great things about Gary Chapman and how he has helped a lot of marriages through his books.
This book was not only a joy to read, but it was a super easy read. It goes at a leisurely pace and at the same time I wanted to read on and on. You could read just a page a day, or more if you choose. It’s a great book for one to read alone or with your spouse.
The layout is so simple and to the point with one side being devotions and one side being scriptures relating to the devotion, or marriage in general.
The scriptures and passages from the bible were one of my favorite touches since it’s nice to touch base spiritually.
This book covers a multitude of topics from intimacy, communication, serving one another, forgiveness, being a better spouse, etc.
It also goes into detail about the five love languages which I found enlightening. Each of us speak a different love language and we don’t always realize this. Which is why women are often wondering why their husbands don’t understand them, and why men wonder why their wives don’t understand them. It’s inevitably up to us to learn our spouse’s love language and learn to speak it also. This will help make each other happy and make our marriage happier. By reading the book together most of the time with my husband I have learned that my husband communicates with physical touch and I communicate with quality time.
It’s a book that is enjoyable for both men and women alike, and perfect for any couple.
The book is in no way overbearing and instead of feeling like your being lectured about your marriage you will feel more like you are learning valuable tips.
The design of the book isn’t so small that it’s hard to hold, but it fits perfectly in one hand. It will fit easily into a purse, glove box, etc. I carry mine around in my purse and because the sections are so short and to the point I find it easy to read in a waiting room, doctor’s office, etc. There’s also a handy little ribbon attached that creates the perfect bookmark on the go. The cover and pages are very smooth and glossy which also creates a nice touch. Not the mention how appealing the cover is.

About the Author::
Gary Chapman
Dr. Gary Chapman is the author of the best-selling The Five Love Languages (more than 6 million copies sold) and numerous other marriage and family books. He is the director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc.; an internationally known speaker; and the host of A Love Language Minute, a syndicated radio program heard on more than 200 stations across North America. He and his wife, Karolyn, live in North Carolina.

If your interested in this book it's available in Print form or Kindle form
You can also visit Gary Chapman's website by CLICKING HERE
Or you can follow Gary Chapman on Twitter and/or Facebook

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale House. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Flushy, Trashy, Sinky Review & Giveaway

I had a really great opportunity to review products for Natural House, which makes natural household cleaning products. They make products that are phosphate/APE-free, eco-friendly, non-toxic and biodegradable. Their products have a probiotic feature which not only cleans at first spray but will continue cleaning for a week! It is completely safe for children, pets, anyone to be around. Here’s some of the products I tried, what they do, and what I thought of them::

Flushy:: Just place a tablet in your toilet bowl and watch it foam. The smell is instantaneous and you can smell the odor difference as soon as the foaming begins. After letting it foam you simply take your toilet brush and scrub your toilet bowl like normal. Flushy’s foaming action and probiotics will not only clear away that nasty toilet bowl odor, but will cut through stains, hard water rings, rust streaks, etc. It‘s safe for septic tanks and will break down waste. After it has foamed and turned your toilet water a blue color you just flush it down and then it starts working clearing out your pipes.
The fact that this is natural, non-toxic, and harmless is a huge bonus for us. I have two small children and let’s just say we have had our toilet incidents from them sticking their hands in or throwing toys in there. I can finally feel at ease knowing that I have not only found a toilet bowl cleaner that cleans well and is safe, but also something that only requires treatment once a week.

Trashy:: Just spray Trashy into your garbage can, let it sit for a minute, and wipe it clean. You can also just spray it in your trash can as a deodorizer, but either way Trashy will make all the difference. Trashy will make wiping away those stuck on nasty stains a breeze, and the trash can odor that often clings to our trash cans no matter what will disappear. You can use it in any indoor or outdoor garbage can, as well as diaper pails, etc. It naturally digest odors at their source. I loved the fresh botanical scent it leaves behind and with two small boys and a messy husband this came as quite the blessing to me. Particularly when it comes to my bathroom trash can, and our diaper pail.

Sinky:: I was most blown away by this product in particular. I have been having the most awful time with my drains lately. They just do not seem to want to go down including my garbage disposal. It has become such a pain that me and my husband joked about buying a “sink plunger”. I popped a tablet on the sink side and the garbage disposal side, followed the directions on the back of the bag and watched Sinky immediately make the difference. I noticed was the garbage disposal and sink drain had taken on an unpleasant smell and that was immediately eradicated after popping a sinky in each side. It immediately created a botanical scent that was pleasing. Then the next morning when I went to wash our breakfast dishes I had no problems at all with the drains going down. Plus no more odor! Sinky breaks down all that pesky food waste, grease, and grime and prevents clogs and slow drains. And I only have to drop a tablet in the drain once a week! Convenient and easy.

Here’s a little video that will explain a bit more about the products in general. It’s actually a really fun video, and even my kids were intrigued by it. So if you have some rowdy ones contending for your attention right now pull them up and let them watch also.

We all want to go green. Since I have two young boys who get into just about everything I am trying to go completely green in my household. The problem is finding green products that work. I’m glad I don’t have to guess about these products. I was blown away in general by these Natural House Products. Usually I am highly skeptical when it comes to cleaners, but through Natural House I really learned a lot. Like did you know that other cleaners only keep things clean for a few seconds and as soon as you remove your rag and stop wiping germs immediately settle and reinfects the surface? With Natural House their probiotic action cleaners continuously clean the area even when you aren’t. It has saved me a tremendous amount of time, and as all you mother’s out there know our time is very valuable. Plus the names of the products are not only fun, but very self explanatory.

If you want to purchase Natural House Products you can do so directly from their WEBSITE by clicking the link below::


You can purchase them on Amazon, which is especially nice if you are an amazon prime member as you will receive free shipping, by clicking the link below::

You can find Natural House on Facebook and Twitter

If you liked what you read and seen on here and are interested in giving Natural House Products a try they are giving the readers of Mommy's Musings the chance to win your very own 30 day supply of Flushy, Trashy, or Sinky! 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Happy Homemaker Monday #1

Happy Homemaker Monday

One of my favorite mom bloggers, Sandra at Diary of a Stay At Home Mom, has been doing a Happy Homemaker Monday for quite some time now, and recently I've noticed others partaking in the ritual. It's becoming somewhat of an explosion with so many mom bloggers participating so I've decided to as well. If you want to partake you can enter your link on Mister Linky's form below and on Sandra's page at Diary of a Stay At Home Mom. If you haven't checked out Diary of a Stay at Home Mom I urge you to head on over. It's a wonderful blog.
So without further ado I shall get started on my Happy Homemaker Monday::

::The weather::
Our temps have been up and down lately. It has really been messing with our allergies. Still I can't complain as it hasn't been bitterly cold and the sun has been shining. Here's a peek at our weather for the week:

::On my reading pile::
Catching Fire by: Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games book 2) on my Kindle Fire
Life Promises for Couples by: Gary Chapman in print

::On my TV::
House Hunters
Probably will watch a show with the hubby later, and squeeze in the news before bed.

::On the menu for this week::
Monday- Sliced turkey, mashed potatoes w/gravy, corn / dessert=applesauce
Tuesday- hashbrown hamburger helper, scrambled eggs, biscuits / dessert=bananas w/strawberry sauce
Wednesday- breaded fried seasoned chicken, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese / dessert=funfetti cupcakes
Thursday- grocery shopping so I'm unclear as of right now what the rest of the week will hold.
Friday- see Thurs
Saturday- see Thurs
Sunday- see Thurs

::On my to do list::
Usual everyday chores
Organizing my kitchen cabinets
Give the bathroom a good scrubbing
Work on my Spring Cleaning list

::What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting, or creating::
I'm going to be crocheting a dishcloth I have been sort of putting off.

::Looking around the house::
Just got done talking to hubby on the phone during his last break, he works long hours out of town so it's nice to be able to talk to him on the phone throughout the day. The boys are playing dinosaurs. My youngest isn't feeling too well due to allergies so I will probably put him down for a nap soon. Getting ready to finish up what's left of my daily chores, and then start dinner. My windchimes on the porch are tangled so those will need my attention as well.

::From the camera::
one of my favorite covered bridges at our local park

::Something fun to share::
Peep Smores makes a fun festive Easter treat. I found this on pinterest HERE

::On my Prayer List::
My boys to be in good health, these changing temperatures have been trying our immune systems, and my oldest son has to get some tests done at our local children's hospital for hydroniphrosus.
My mom who hasn't been in the best of health. She is currently on vacation so I pray for her to have a safe wonderful time, and hopefully she will come back rested and feeling great.
My dad had a recent career change so I am hoping it's everything he wants it to be.
My best friend who has been going through a tough time. I love her to pieces, and I pray for her happiness and strength. I know that she will be strong no matter what she does, and her hardships will not break her wonderful spirit. Aside from my mom she is a bit of a role model to me in a lot of ways. I really admire her.
My husband's job status, things are kind of touch and go where he works and although he was assured his job is completely safe they will be laying off a lot of other workers so I'm keeping them and their families in my prayers.
My family, and I's relationship status with God and that we hold fast and tight. In a world that is filled with hardships it can be easy to sometimes lose our way, so we have to be determined and hold on.

::Bible verse, Devotional::
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (NIV)

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