Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wishing on Willows

Publisher:  WaterBrook Press (March 19, 2013)
Language:  English
ISBN-10:  0307730409
ISBN-13:  978-0307730404

::Book Description::
Robin is a widowed mother to a young son. Before the death of her husband their plans were to open a cafe, but she lost her husband unexpectedly right as life began to grow inside of her. Throwing herself into motherhood and a cafe where she has sunk her heart and soul Robin manages a successful cafe while giving the local charity One Life a place to meet. Helping others through their grief gives Robin a sense of purpose. More than a cafe Willow Tree is a place where people go for friendship, purpose, and help.
When Ian McKay, from McKay Condominiums, shows up to build condominiums right where Willow Tree Cafe stands Robin does everything in her power to keep that from happening. As the owners around her sell to McKay, Robin holds her ground refusing to give up the place that has helped so many, including herself.
The mayor and half the town are for the condominiums and Robin can only do her best to fight against Ian. However on their journey battling against each other they begin to develop feelings for one another. Robin feels like she will betray her late husband just by feeling such memories and does her best to fight against them. But as time goes on will she be able to keep her feelings at bay?

::My Thoughts::
I really loved this book. I felt so badly for Robin at first. She is such an incredibly strong character in the book who manages a cafe, motherhood, and a charity alone. As the book went on I was frustrated with Robin a bit because she was so stubborn, and became very rude at times. However with the hand that was dealt to her it was a bit easier to understand.
Ian I did not like at first. He didn't care what he had to do to acquire the businesses he needed to put the condominiums. He seemed very greedy and self centered. However as the novel carried along he was the most caring and considerate character in the whole novel. It was very hard not to like him. Especially after more was revealed about him. He never quit trying with Robin and started approaching things in a more than fair way. He was by far my favorite character because of his caring and even chivalry. He came to the rescue for Robin on more than one occasion.
This book was a fantastic read. There was drama, intrigue, sadness, happiness, romance, and the book flowed nicely. I didn't get lost at all even though the book does give perspectives from different characters. Amanda is certainly a colorful character in the novel even though she is a minor character. As Robins sister in law she tries very hard to see to Robin's happiness even if she is going through a tough time herself. She gives a bit of tough love in a way which is hard not to admire.
I definitely recommend this book to all who love romance. It definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat anticipating what will happen next, and certainly keeps you on your toes at all times. God's presence is throughout this book and really makes you think about blessings, even disguised ones.

You can find this book in   Print   Nook   Kindle

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

Friday, June 21, 2013

Persecuted The Global Assault on Christians ~ Book Review

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (March 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400204410
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400204410

::From the back of the book::
A woman is caught with a Bible and publicly shot to death. An elderly priest is abducted and never seen again. Three buses full of students and teachers are struck by roadside bombs. These are not casualties of a war. These are Christian believers being persecuted for their faith in the twenty-first century.
   Many Americans do not understand that Christians today are victims in many parts of the world. Even many Western Christians, who worship and pray without fear of violent repercussions, are unaware that so many followers of Christ live under governments and among people who are often openly hostile to their faith. They think martyrdom became a rarity long ago.
   Persecuted refutes these assumptions. This book offers a glimpse at the modern-day life of Christians worldwide, recounting the ongoing attacks that rarely make international headlines.
   As Western Christians pray for the future of Christ's church, it is vital that they understand a large part of the world's Christian believers live in danger. Persecuted gives documented accounts of the persecution of Christians in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and former Soviet nations. It contains vivid stories of men and women who suffer abuse because of their faith in Jesus Christ, and tells of their perseverance and courage. 
   Persecuted is far more than a thorough and moving study of this global pattern of violence--it is a cry for freedom and a call to action.

::My Thoughts::
This is a very well researched book detailing the persecution of Christians around the world. People often take for granted our religious freedom. The fact that we can publicly go to church, wear crosses, carry our bibles, etc. But things aren't so simple underneath it all. Every day Christians are persecuted because of their love for the Lord. 
This is definitely not a book for the faint of heart, the stories and accounts are true. It takes a journalistic approach on going into details and explaining some of the accounts that have happened to Christians all over the world. 
Living in the USA where our religion is sometimes mocked but generally accepted I admit I have taken for granted our freedom of choice. I hadn't realized some of the things that have went on in the world today in fact, and that do go on every single day. 
But don't let me turn you off of this book, even though the circumstances are devastating I admire the courage and perseverance of the Christians that did suffer because of their abuse. The fact that they kept on and did not give up, and we all know God was with them every step of the way. This is a very moving and inspiring book. One I would recommend every Christian to read, particularly if you are freely able to express your faith in Christ.
There are many facts to find in this book that you will find appalling, but will open your eyes.

This book is available in  Paperback   Kindle   Nook   and more...

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

The Christian Alphabet

  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Love the Dove Publishing (October 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0985792809
  • ISBN-13: 978-0985792800

::From the back of the book::

Teaching Children about Jesus, Prayer, and the Bible

  • Do you know your Christian ABC's?

The Christian Alphabet Book is a unique, visual, and enjoyable way to learn the basics of Christianity. "Love", the dove from above, guides you from A to Z with special Biblical lessons of love for all ages.

  • What is more important than a firm foundation of faith?

Similar to learning to read from knowing the regular ABC's, one will be inspired to know, love, and serve God by learning The Christian Alphabet.

  • Share the Gospel with your Children

Jesus told Peter, in the gospel of John, to "feed my lambs." The Christian Alphabet Book will help all teachers of children feed their little lamps spiritually. Give those you love this book to help spread the Good News about God's everlasting love and life.

The Christian Alphabet Book is more than just a children's book. It is a book that families can cherish together while sharing its timeless messages that give Glory to God.

::My Thoughts::
This is truly a wonderful book for children. Not only does it help teach ABC's but this book teaches about Jesus, the bible, and prayer.
There are questions, exercises, and tips throughout the book to help your child delve deeper into their Christian faith.
This makes a perfect book for parents, caregivers, Church teachers, etc.
Symbols are provided throughout the entire book to help explain what each symbol means should your child ask you, or if you want to explain to them in easier words.

My children 5 and 2 adored this book. They had plenty of questions to ask throughout, it helped brush up on their ABC's, and helped teach them more about Jesus, prayer, and our Christian faith. They loved "Love" the dove who is on every page with a basic lesson or activity for your child to participate in.
Everything is well laid out in this book according to the letters. Such as if your child wants to talk about Heaven just simply go to the H pages. If your child wants to learn about Prayer simply turn to the P pages.
It's wonderful for reference, study, and reading for fun.
The illustrations are colorful and will hold your child's attention with their vivid details. If your children have any questions about any of the illustrations explanations are found in the back of the book so you can easily give them answers to their questions.
I loved how the book was laid out with everything easy to find, you won't find yourself hunting through page after page to find certain references or answers to your child's question. It's something you can read with them or if they are old enough, that they can study on their own. I would recommend it more for children ages 4+, or for children just learning about Christian faith. This is the perfect book for a child learning about Christianity. My two year old didn't have any trouble staying interested in it and was asking a lot of questions regarding the illustrations. My five year old was more able to comprehend what everything meant and took away a lot more meaning, but it was something that we ALL enjoyed nonetheless.

Our book came with a wonderful CD singing the Christian Alphabet which my children took to immediately and wanted to listen to it over and over again. There are other songs such as Jesus Loves Me, Silent Night, and Amazing Grace. Some of our favorites. They can also be found on the website:

This book is available as Hardcover on Amazon as well as
A big plus is if you visit you will find other personalized Christian gifts available!

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

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Father's Day Ideas for Him (And You)

Today I would like to welcome Michelle Pino to Mommy's Musings. She works at one of New York's finest spa's called Skana in Upstate, NY. A topic of conversation around the spa has been Father's Day gift ideas, and with Father's Day fast approaching she is sharing those ideas with us! I know I'm going to use a couple of those ideas myself. The best thing is these aren't just ideas to include dad, but to include mom too!

Father's Day Ideas for Him (And You)

Father's Day is a great time to celebrate dad. Many popular Father's Day ideas include fishing, cooking out, picnics, days at the park, or ballpark. These ideas are great and sure to bring a smile to dad's appreciative face, but after so many Father's Days, they get a little tired out. No matter what you choose to do for this special day, dad will probably have a better time if mom is involved. The following are some ideas for both mom and dad to celebrate Father's Day.

Try That New Restaurant

There's a highly reviewed, swanky, new restaurant in town that you can't convince hubby to take you to. Maybe it's because he doesn't want to pay the exorbitant amounts or maybe he's a bit too forgetful to make the required month-in-advance reservations. No matter what his excuse is, now is your chance to try it out. Make reservations ahead of time and surprise him with an all-expenses-paid gourmet meal for two.

Get Fit Together

The winter can be a tough time for both men and women. No bathing suits, football-food season, big bulky clothes all make it very easy to forget about those ripped abs or teeny bikini that you wanted this summer. Father's Day is the perfect time of year to kick off your summer hard body. Sign yourself up for a dual gym membership or a 6-week Shred Program. You'll be the hottest wife with the hottest husband on the beach this year. (Bonus: Many gyms offer a discount if purchasing more than one class or membership).

Vacation for a Day

Many resorts offer day passes so you are able to get a vacation for an affordable price without much time commitment. While your husband is winning the big bucks on the poker tables you can be enjoying yourself by the pool or at the spa. Many modern resorts will cater to couple's individualized needs. Break up your day with activities you both love to do and meet back up in the evening for a romantic dinner.

Father-Son, Mommy-Self Time

Purchasing go-kart or batting cage tickets for your hubby and son is a great way to also purchase yourself some alone time. While they are out of the house, you can get some much-needed me-time. The activities don't have to last the whole day, so you are able to send them out for fun and also have time for family fun.

When you choose what you are going to do for Father's Day, make sure it is all about dad having fun.  It's easy to get carried away with yourself during activities that are fun for everyone, just be sure that dad is having the greatest time possible on his day.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Fast Max

Phew, what a crazy week. School got out in our area on Tuesday so we spent the day celebrating. We went to Burger King per our new kindergartner's request, and then we went to the local fair which happened to be in town. We had a great family day albeit extremely hectic.
Suddenly me and the kids started coming down with a sore throat and just felt like crud. Luckily the kids went to bed easy with no fuss, so I was able to lay down while I hoped for the best the following day.
No go though, when I woke up I couldn't talk at all. I had the usual: cough, sore throat, itchy watery eyes, and even ran a bit of a fever. I took Dayquil but it just wasn't helping me at all. To make matters a bit more hectic I was babysitting so it was like a day in the circus. Imagine watching 3 kids ages 5 and under while you can't talk other than a few hoarse notes here and there. And two of them were sick with mostly the same symptoms so it was filled with children's mucinex, allergy medicine, and tylenol per pediatrician's orders. They were grumpy. LOL
The children's mucinex works well for my kids so I was curious as to some of their adult products.
I did finally get the chance to do some research later Wednesday and find this:
It had good reviews and I really needed something. I felt like my chest was going to explode at any moment from coughing, and I just wanted to breathe through my nose. Hubby bought some and I was able to take it right before bed. Thursday when I woke up my cough had broken up more and my voice was almost all the way back.
Luckily today I am feeling a ton better and I'm more than ready to get back into our daily routines.
The kids are feeling much better also which means less grumpiness. And we are all going insane being indoors right as school lets out. So I have some family plans to make next week and awesome one so we can finally start enjoying the summer. Maybe it will help ease some of that sibling rivalry that's been going around here the past couple of days. Let me tell you it's not been pretty. They have even taken to fighting over the exact same things.
Anyway I have some great reviews I've been waiting to publish on here coming your way this week.
And I have some pictures I'll share from some of our adventures from this past week.
Right now I better go and start preparing dinner. Time waits for no one.
I wish you all a great evening, and happy weekend.

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