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Sunday, September 29, 2013
Psalm 91 has always been a well known chapter of the Bible. For most Christians we have read the chapter, but have we really delved into the truth of the scripture? In Psalm 91 for Mother's, we gain that opportunity. This book walks through Psalm 91 in a new and unique way which captures the hearts of mother's everywhere.
This book teaches us how to rely on God's promises. We find practical ways to allow God to have control over our children. I know from experience how hard it can be when we realize we are not in control of our children. We have to acknowledge God's promises and trust that he knows what he is doing and learn to call on him for protection of our loved ones.
I loved how each chapter starts with the verse it will cover, and then is chalk full of vital information. The true stories to me were my favorite parts because it was a way to grasp the verse in real life situations. We saw how God pulled people through struggles that only he could provide an out for. We saw mom's trusting completely in him to make it through each day.
At the end of the book, there is a section for those mom's reading who might need help knowing how to be saved, and how to go about doing that. There also is a great section where there is a Psalm 91 covenant. You write in your name and it makes the chapter personal. I feel like this is so important especially during a time when you can't seem to find your way and have trouble feeling the truth. It is a purposeful look at Psalm 91 where you find yourself with complete attention on God.
I think every mom should read this book. No matter how much we love our kids, it's amazing to find someone who loves them even more than we do!
You can find the book on amazon.com.
Connect with the author at www.peggyjoyceruth.org
Disclosure: I received a free print copy of the book in order to do my review. My reviews are always my honest opinion and may differ from yours.
10 Great Dates by Peter and Heather Larson & David and Claudia Arp, is a book created to make connecting spiritually to your spouse a priority. Everyone's life is busier than ever now and sometimes time with your spouse gets put on the back burner when going against work, kids, church,and activities. In 10 Great Dates, you are given some practical ideas to help you refocus time with your spouse.
There are 10 chapters each with it's on specific topic on which to focus your date time on. The chapters included are:
- Date 1: Connecting Faith and Love
- Date 2: Appreciating Your Differences
- Date 3: Experiencing God Together
- Date 4: Getting Into the Word
- Date 5: Loving Your Closest Neighbor
- Date 6: Talking Together With God
- Date 7: Building Your Marriage on a Strong Foundation
- Date 8: Facing The Storms of Life Together
- Date 9: Guarding Your Hearts Under God's Canopy
- Date 10: Making Your Marriage a Lighthouse
First you are asked to sign a commitment with your spouse to honor them with this special time. Then you have details of what to do each date night. You start by reading a chapter with verses and real life stories regarding the subject, Then you each have cards to fill out which will be used on the actual date.
For the date, it tells you places to go, and tips for your time together. Then you are given things to do after the date together including Bible reading and discussion.
For me, this book makes it very clear cut on how to connect your marriage and relationships with God in a very practical way. Often times couples wish they could have this kind of relationship or dating life, but they aren't sure where to start, or think it might appear awkward. With this book you don't have to worry about it. Everything about your night is set up to allow for a fun time while focusing on the serious aspects of married life.
I think this would be a great book to have as a newly married couple. It's something I wish we had when we first started out. I find it would be easier to start on the right path then have to start over. Of course it is entirely useful for couples wishing to get to that place later in married life also.
I would highly recommend this book for any married couple, or soon to be married, who desires to put Christ in the center of their marriage. I know for me, I'll be sharing it with wedding gifts from now on.
Disclosure: I received a free print copy of the book in order to do my review. My reviews are always my honest opinions and may differ from others. I received this book as part of Bethany House reviewer program.
We love pasta. This opportunity to review and sample different types of pasta was a perfect fit. Looking at all the creative pasta options was a lot of fun! I received a box full of different pasta types to try. As you can see in the picture, there were a lot of wonderful and creative choices.
I also received brochures for their complete line of pasta and one for fundraising, which looks like a great opportunity to try!
We decided to try the Cheesy Pasta first. We received the Down on the Farm variety and it was fun looking for the animals. It would be great for little kids learning about animals on the farm. Turn eating into a lesson! (says the homeschool mom)
The basic idea is the same as any mac and cheese box, but the taste is better, and when you add the fun for the kids, makes it a special treat.
Each bag of pasta comes with recipes to try. Some you can make into pasta salad, and other unique recipes. We had one that came with a recipe for Pepperoni Pizza Pasta. Having a teenage son, that was a must! You add pizza sauce and shredded cheese and pepperoni. We didn't have any pepperoni, so ours was more like cheese pizza. I was amazed that it actually did taste like pizza. It was a great addition and I know we will be making it often!
Our other favorite one so far is the Spinach Basil Garlic Angel Hair. The pasta starts out looking like little birds nests. When it's finished, you add sauce to the middle of your nest. It worked great.
This is how they came out. The nests really do stay formed as nests for the most part. It is very tasty pasta.
Overall I think the Pasta Shoppe has an amazing product. There are so many different varieties, there is something for everyone. Some of my favorite categories are the ones for each season, animals, and sports. You have to check it out! Something for everyone.There are so many more I want to try, including different chili's and soups. Great taste, great choices, and great prices! The Pasta Shoppe has it all!
You can find and connect with the Pasta Shoppe on their website provided above, and also on their social media:
Disclosure: I recieved a box of free samples of pasta in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and received no other compensation. My opinions are my own and may differ from others.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
I was given a unique opportunity to join with about 60 other bloggers to tour the site of Give Kids the World, and learn all about the amazing program they have there. Give Kids the World Village is a great charity that offers a chance for families with a child who has a life-threatening disease a week away. They work with Make -a-wish, and bring families in from all over the world. The families get a week at one of the homes, and complementary tickets to the local theme parks including Walt Disney World and Sea World
The GKTW Village has 70 acres of property which contain over 100 homes at this point where families stay. They are still growing and building more homes for the ongoing need of places to share with these families. Along with the homes, which are set up like duplexes, there are a variety of buildings with specific goals. There is so much to do at the Village, that even families who choose not to go to the theme parks can have a full day of entertainment right on property.
The Gingerbread House is where the families come and they can eat meals each day. The food is thanks to Perkins restaurant. There are volunteers from all over Central Florida who come in and help serve meals and talk with families about their experiences and see what the kids are excited about doing. My son volunteers with his youth group every 3 months and loves being a part of it.
One of my favorite buildings was the ice cream shop. They offer ice cream all day..and yes, the kids LOVE to have ice cream for breakfast. Just another way of living in the moment and not letting the stress of illness, hospitals and doctors be the focus for the week. Just looking at the amazing design of each building shows how important the kids are to GKTW.
Another favorite place for me was the life size candy land playground. I mean, who doesn't love the game Candyland? What a great concept for a children's playground. Since it was raining, I wasn't able to get out and take pictures of the actual park, but the entrance shows the style and thrill the kids must feel upon entering!
One of the more heart wrenching parts of the night was learning about the stars which cover the ceilings in the Castle of Miracles. Each time a new child visits the Village, they are given a golden star to write their name on. Then they are put up on the ceiling as a way for the child to always remember their week, and a way for the family to always remember their child. The picture is just a very small sample of the numerous stars that fill the "sky" in the Castle. What an amazing thing for the families. They even have a web cam view and website on which the families can "visit" their stars when they go home. Although it was sad to realize how many kids have to deal with life-threatening diseases, it was such an encouragement to see how many people Give Kids the World affects.
They offer Holiday days at GKTW every week. We were there on a Thursday which means it was Christmas in the Village. I have to admit, it put me in the Christmas mood! All the kids get a gift each day of the week, and this day was a Santa hat. There were Christmas Decorations up all over and a parade and party in the evening.
I loved the Santa, but also the life sized popcorn(not up for Christmas, but a great every day addition). The characters in the picture on the right are part of the Christmas celebration party. Lots of dancing,games and fun!
I was part of a small group that had the opportunity to check out one of the villas (the homes where families stay). They are wonderfully set up, decorated and have everything the family needs. When they arrive, the children are met with gifts welcoming them. The gifts are wonderful, from stuffed animals to books and other great things which will be great reminders of the week.
Disclosure: I was a part of a blogging bash created to share about Give Kids the World and bring knowledge to people for support. I did not receive any compensation for my review.
Tangerine Morning is Book 2 in the Serenity Cove Series by Rita Garcia, here we find Jezzica at odds with God. Her husband was killed just a few years prior, and she is still dealing with the struggle of moving on. When a new detective comes to town she immediately has mixed feelings. She has a distrust of police because of their lack of being able to find her husband's killers.
Zach is determined to reach her. He wants to be friends and wants to help her uncover the truth. Along the way the feelings on both sides increases. The question is, will Jezzica allow herself to move on and trust another man. Can she take that step to moving beyond the feeling of being unfaithful to her husband?
Jezzica's sister, Catylen, has her own struggles that we learn about. The difference is that she is trusting God. She has the relationship with God where she knows the love regardless of circumstances. When Jezzica watches how her sister deals with her own personal agony, will that allow Jezzica to find a way back to God?
I really enjoyed this book. I feel it did a great job of teaching about putting our trust in God regardless of what we might be going through. Each character had his or her own difficulties they had to deal with, and gave a lot of variety in situations. I feel this was a smart way to provide the knowledge that everyone has different struggles, and God can help you through any situation.
This book would be great for young adult along with women in general who love a good story. It also would be a good way to help someone in need, maybe someone who doesn't fully have God in their hearts and is in need of that.
You can find the book for yourself HERE
Rita Garcia lives in California with her husband. They have 4 children and 7 grandchildren. You can find out more about her at http://www.ritagarcia.com/
Disclosure: I received a free ebook copy of this book to review. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not compensated in any other way. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations. I am a part of CWA review crew
Monday, September 23, 2013
CasePics is a family run business offering new and creative ways to dress up your IPhone case. By allowing you to choose the picture you want on your case, it gives not only individuals a way to show off a hobby or their family, but also businesses a way to advertise. When ordering your case, their website is easy to follow and works great. There are no hard steps to figure out. It's easy to manage. Each phone image is put onto a white metal plate with high quality heat transfer inks. The picture appears in a very clear and shiny picture. I was amazed how well it looked. From what I experienced, the customer service is courteous and friendly. The product arrived in a quick manner and in good condition. The only thing I would say is I wish it had come with more padding. I would hate to think there was any chance of scratching the picture.
My son is the one who has the IPhone, and he is thrilled with it. He picked the picture for his phone. He loves the Rockin Rollercoaster at Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios. He thought it would be a great way to show his favorite ride to everyone. He said that it was tight getting it on to his phone, but after it's on the tight fit is perfect. He said it was great because unlike some cases, all the buttons on the phone are accessible with no plastic covering them with "fake"buttons.
I am very happy with www.CasePics.com and will definitely use them in the future for any new cases we might get. The company works will all IPhone Cases 5/4S/4, IPad 2 and 3 mini cases, and Samsung galaxy S3 cases.
Disclosure: 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.
Sunday, September 22, 2013
I was excited to have the opportunity to read and review this book. Just from the basic information I had about it, I knew it would make an interesting story.
Abby is doing tutoring for her college class, and is spending the summer helping Pat by teaching her daughter Merrideth in order to get her caught up for the next year. Abby is determined this will be an easy task, but is in for a surprise when she meets Merrideth.
Merrideth is 11 years old and has retreated into herself due to her parents divorce and her mom's lack of interest and time. Pat always seems to have a work related situation which takes her away from her daughter even when she is really needed. When Abby arrives, Merrideth tries her best to make the situation as difficult as it can be. She has no desire to do studies. She prefers TV, computer and eating.
One day while looking out the window they see a boy on the train tracks and a train coming quickly. They rush out to get him, and from then on the summer takes an interesting turn. Although it isn't the end of Merrideth's stubbornness, she does begin to listen to Abby and they begin to form a friendship.
Weird things are going on at the house. When they explore the attic in search of some excitement, they find a map of the town the way it was 100 years ago. They find themselves walking and talking to someone who knows some of the history. When Merrideth finds a beautiful homes site on her computer, they discover the house they are in. Upon further looking, it appears that somehow the screen is a way to look into the past. Abby and Merrideth call it "time-surfing".
They find themselves in Charlotte's life in the year 1854. Of course Charlotte can't see them, but they can see through her eyes and feel her joy and pain. They follow her life, sometimes in fast forward, and learn that she lived in Merrideth's current home, and that Abraham Lincoln had stayed in the home.
They see the ups and down's of history through Charlotte's eyes. They learn about the underground railroad and circumstances that led to that point.
By watching history before their eyes and experiencing it, Abby is able to teach Merrideth some important truths. She teaches her about God's love and how God has a plan for everyone. He can make good out of any situation. Merrideth learns that God loves her and has a purpose for her life.
This was an amazing story. There are some history truth's to learn and it provides a unique way to show God's purpose and love for people. I enjoyed how the story was put together. I had a hard time pulling myself away! I read the entire story in 2 days. If I didn't have other things to do, I probably would have read it in one sitting! I loved the relationship between Abby and Merrideth. You can really see the friendship that grows and how Merrideth finds a way to trust Abby and rely on her the way she wishes she could rely on her mom. I think this was an important aspect of the story.
I can't wait to read Deborah Heal's other books. They are on my to read list for sure!
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.
Saturday, September 21, 2013
The Secret Keeper is Book 4 in the Home to Hickory Hollow series. Although it's Book 4, you can read it independently of the other books. I have read the entire series from the beginning and recommend them all.
Jenny is an Englisher, but in her heart she has always seen herself as Plain. She has never felt like she belonged in her world and thanks to an Amish friend, finds herself being mentored in her "proving period" by Rebecca and Samuel Lapp. Although things are more difficult then they appeared at first, Jenny is determined to fit in and prove she has what it takes to become a baptized member of the Amish church. People in the community have a variety of thoughts of this worldly person wanting to join the Amish church, especially at the same time many of the youth are seeking to leave the community.
As Jenny strives to learn the correct ways to conduct herself and learn how to be a true Amishwoman, she also finds herself struggling with her interest in Andrew. Jenny is not supposed to court until she is a member of the church, but she finds herself drawing closer to him and his trust in her.
When a secret threatens to destroy her chances of finishing her proving time, she decides she will never be Amish and leaves to go home. What she finds is that although she is back in the English world, her heart is with the Amish.
What I love about this story is that it brings in a theme that is common to people no matter where they are or who they are. The struggle to find where you fit in. Following your heart may not be the accepted choice or the most popular, but how important it is to follow your heart and God's leading.
The families and individual characters in the story draw you in. They feel like family. If you have read any of the Heritage of Lancaster County books, you will love hearing more about Katie Lapp and her journey outside the Amish faith, and learn about the struggles and changes occuring in that family.
I love reading Amish fiction. Although the lifestyle is strict and difficult, the idea of living simple without all the stress of "keeping up" with everyone makes reading about it very enjoyable.
Beverly Lewis never disappoints with her books. I highly recommend finding this book fast! You can find it HERE.
Disclosure: I received a print copy of the book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.
Friday, September 13, 2013
Stranded is Book 3 in the Alaskan Courage series. I had not previously read either Book 1 or 2, so I wondered if I would be missing key details or would feel I was coming in at the middle of situations. While I'm sure starting at the series beginning is the most common choice, and normally how I like to do things, I don't however feel like it affected my enjoyment of this book or the ability to understand what was going on. I will however definitely be going back and reading the other books!
In this adventure, we find Darcy on board a cruise ship as an adventure journalist but in fact she is really on board with a undercover reporting job to help her friend Abby with a case. Although Darcy left the undercover life 3 years prior, she would do anything to help Abby. Darcy uses her knowledge and cover job to gain access to areas and questioning that she otherwise couldn't do.
When Abby goes missing, things begin to become dangerous quickly. Nobody seems to be able to give any information, and nobody seems at all concerned. When Darcy realizes her adventure will have her working closely with an old friend, Gabe, she is determined to stay professional and not let on her real feelings.
Gabe knows her true story. He has never been encouraging about Darcy doing undercover work because of the time she gave to it, and the danger she allowed herself to get in the middle of.
Will they now be able to work together to find out the truth of what happened to Abby? They need to for the sake of the situation. The people they learn are involved and the seriousness of the disappearances will lead them into the unknown. Will the danger of the situation draw Gabe to the eternal love of Christ which Darcy desperately desires for him?
This book had me on the edge of my seat the entire time! I had a hard time putting it down. I love books which take you on a suspenseful journey without the risk of actually being afraid to go to sleep:)
The storyline was thought-provoking, and very well written. The characters were described so well they were easy to picture as real people. They each had a deep history which made them relatable.
The mystery surrounding Abby's disappearance was not expected and very exciting. There was also a great message surrounding the effects of her situation. The ending was thrilling and kept you wondering what really occurred, and who was really involved, right till the very end.
I highly recommend this amazing story of adventure, love and sacrifice. You can find it for yourself at amazon.com I'd love to know what you think!
Disclosure: I received a free print copy of the book from Bethany house in exchange for an honest review.
Saturday, September 7, 2013
NIGHT OF JOY!
I had the great privilege of attending the 2013 Night of Joy at Walt Disney World. It was my first time to experience it, and I'm so glad I did.
We went with friends early to the park hoping to get some rides in before the shows. What we didn't count on was that the skies opened up and by the time we went from the car to the monorail, we were soaked! I take it back, my friend and I were soaked...the kids all ran when it started to sprinkle, and managed to get there almost completely dry! The things we do for our kids!
So, in the midst of pouring rain we had a great time hanging out, getting limited rides in due to the storms closing most of them. But no matter the weather, we were having a great time!
The night proved to be a wonderful experience of fun with friends, and a night full of worship!
It was impossible to see everyone due to the shows being on 3 stages, but we had great picks.
We saw Steven Curtis Chapman, Michael W. Smith, Audio Adrenaline, MercyMe, Skillet and For King and Country.
What was nice, was seeing everyone singing from all the groups. We caught ourselves showing our age when we heard Steven C. Chapman and Michael W. Smith and realized we were still in high school and college when some of the songs they played came out, and now the kids knew the songs. It's hard to pick favorite groups, they were all wonderful! I know from my son his favorites were Skillet and MercyMe.
Because of all the rain, and the MANY umbrellas in the way, I wasn't able to take many pictures. Here is a picture of Skillet. This was the youths favorite group by far. By staying farther back, we actually had a better view.
Here are a couple youtube videos of favorite songs of the night! Enjoy!
Night of Joy is a great night to just let go and worship Christ. It's a safe place for the youth to enjoy some wonderful music, bond with friends and ride some favorite rides. Although we came home soaked, tired and sore, it's a night of memories not to be forgotten! If you ever have the chance to make it to one of the nights, I highly recommend it. It is worth every penny of the admission fee!
Disclosure: Videos directly from www.youtube.com. You can find music from all the groups there.
I did not receive any compensation for this review. My review is just an honest review to share from my experience.
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Enter to #Win the Summer Saltz: I'm So Hollywood - Premier Package! $27.90 valueWhat a great book and package! This would make a special Christmas gift for someone! Be sure to share this giveaway with your friends and family and check out your chance to pick up this book and other fun merchandise related to the story at a great discount! Read the FULL REVIEW by Rebecca at Love2EncourageYou. Every little girl I've met seems to adore the concept of getting dressed up in fancy clothes and having their chance to make a grand entrance in front of an audience to show off their "cool" new look. The main character in the book Summer Saltz: I'm So Hollywood by author, Connie Sewell, will remind you of that little girl in all of us who so desperately wants to have their moment in the spotlight - but in Summer's case, a series of events makes her dream come crashing down. The book's entire theme and story is so easy to relate to as life happens to all of us. It's not only a fun and meaningful message for little girls, but is great for most parents to relate to who have had to comfort a child after their special day or big event turns into a disaster. When it comes to children's books, may it never be said that a book is boring - and this book certainly is NOT! With all its charms and personality shining through the pages, Summer Saltz: I'm So Hollywood even manages to include one key element that I always look for in a good children's story - and that's humor. There is a sweet pinch of humor spread throughout the book, but I gotta say...there is one particular page in this book that when my daughter and I read it, she just burst out into hysterical laughter! She had the most infectious giggle from then on whenever she re-read the book. Definitely a winner in my opinion. :) Special Limited Time Discount! If you click on this banner ad below, you can purchase Summer Saltz: I'm So Hollywood books, combo packs or even t-shirts at 25% Off for a Limited Time! Everything in their store is on sale 25% Off!
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Giveaway disclosure: Open to USA residents only. You must be 18 years of age or older to participate. All entries will be verified so please make sure you are completing them before clicking on the green enter button. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Love2EncourageYou and the other bloggers sharing about this giveaway are not responsible for sponsor prize fulfillment. Lost Island of Book Reviews did not receive compensation for this post except for a free link on the giveaway form.