Monday, March 31, 2014

Must Have Marvin *A Book Review* + Giveaway

About Must-Have Marvin!
"The second title in the Shine Bright Kids series, Must-Have Marvin! teaches children that people are more important than things. Marvin loves new things—he especially loves finding the latest, greatest, most awesome new things! Soon Marvin finds himself focusing on a new robot that he wants, to the exclusion of his friends. He lets them down when they need his help and nearly loses their friendship. Through a chat with a wise neighbor and a second chance to help, Marvin learns the important life lesson that people are more important than things."

Written by Christy Ziglar
Illustrated by Luanne Marten
Hardcover with jacket, 32 pages
ages 4 to 8 


About Shine Bright Kids:
Choose Right. Shine Bright.
"The Shine Bright Kids series provides children and their families with a framework to teach the importance of making good choices. The principles that will be explored include: using good judgment, taking responsibility, having a positive attitude, and demonstrating perseverance."

My kiddos range in ages 4-10, and they really enjoyed this story. They had me read it 3 times in a row. It has the children looking for a star on each page. The choices that Marvin makes determines how the star will look. This created great discussions for my children and I. I liked that Marvin had to use his own money to purchase what he wanted. My youngest is still learning that she can't always have what she wants. Especially when she has spent all of her money. The even greater lesson in this book is that "stuff" can't make you happy. Family and friendships are more important.



Author Bio
Christy Ziglar, financial planner, mother of twins and niece of legendary motivator and the world’s original optimist, Zig Ziglar, is bringing the same timeless wisdom and ageless advice to an entirely new, younger audience through her new Shine Bright Kids picture book series.

Illustrator Bio
Thanks to her first-grade teacher, who recognized her superior skills in drawing a robin, Luanne Marten  has been drawing, painting, and sketching ever since. She is a great experimenter and has a fresh, whimsical approach that brings her characters to life.

GIVEAWAY TIME
You can enter to win your own copy of this book!

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification

Friday, March 14, 2014

God's Not Dead: Movie Review


This movie is sooooo good! Just imagine, what would you do if your teacher or anyone else in your life told you to denounce God, or say He doesn't even exist? Would you stand up to them? Would you give in and go with the crowd? 

I just love how Mr. Wheaton presented his case on the reality of our God, who is very much alive.

Man, that professor annoyed me....at first. I was really rooting for Mr. Wheaton to put him in his place. Ok, I had a love/hate thing going on with a few of the characters. There were quite a few surprises in the story line. Talk about some tear jerker moments! You need to have your tissues readily available. 

I don't want to say too much because you really do HAVE to see it!

Kudos to the writers of this film and the actors/actresses. Can I just say that it is such a time to rejoice when a person gives their life to Jesus! We can know for a fact that God is NOT dead. It's your choice as to whether you want to accept Him or not. As a young girl, I really thought God hated me because of all my losses. What did I do that was so bad? Why am I living in Hell on earth? All questions I'd ask myself at the age of 10. To find out that Jesus loves me and died for me...what a life changing experience. God was with me when I went through those things. He gave me a life I never could have dreamed up! He brought people into my life so that I could be the mother and wife He wants me to be. God 's not dead...He's ALIVE!

This movie hits theaters March 21st! Make sure you have a chance to see it.

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I received a link to review this movie from Fly By Promotions. The review above is my opinion of the movie.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Marriage You'vs Always Wanted "Book Review" + Giveaway

About the Book:
"You can picture the perfect marriage in your mind, but re-creating it in reality doesn't come easy. Trusted counselor and relationship expert Dr. Gary Chapman reasons that the most sought-after ingredient in any marriage is true oneness. In The Marriage You've Always Wanted, he presents expert wisdom and common sense methods to establishing that true unity on emotional and practical levels. Discover the wit and insight that makes his worldwide presentations and marriage conferences so popular. Are you trying to change your spouse? Do you know what it means to really love someone? Do you feel ignored or even alone in your effort to improve your marriage? Dr. Chapman has answers and action steps on topics from expressing your emotions to managing your money, all in a format that will have you and your spouse talking and learning with every page."



Many of you may have read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. He has done it again with another wonderfully written book for the married couple. The Marriage You've Always Wanted is a pretty quick read, but it's best to take your time and answer the questions after each chapter. I would recommend that the husband and wife read this book together also. 
Am I a football fan? Not really, but it makes my hubby happy. I support him supporting his teams. I do get some good BBQ out of it :).
I personally got some great information from this book. There's a great chapter on communication entitled "Listen to Me!" He talks about our different communication personalities. Now the question is, are you the "babbling brook" or the "Dead Sea?" I think my hubby and I have a pretty great marriage, but after reading this book I do see where we can become even closer and more open with each other. This book can really benefit any and every marriage. 

This book is available on Amazon.com for a great price.

Visit the official website
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There is also a small group curriculum available!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  DR. GARY CHAPMAN
As anyone who has attended one of his marriage conferences knows, Dr. Gary Chapman’s expertise in marriage begins with the success and failures he and his wife Karolyn have experienced in their marriage for more than 45 years. He is just the man to turn to for help on improving or healing our most important relationships. His own life experiences, plus over thirty-five years of pastoring and marriage counseling, led him to publish his first book in the Love Language series, The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. Many of the millions of readers credit this continual New York Times bestseller with saving their marriages by showing them simple and practical ways to communicate love.

Since the success of his first book, Dr. Chapman has expanded his Five Love Languages series with special editions that reach out specifically to singles, men, and parents of teens and young children. He is the author of numerous other books published by Moody Publishers/Northfield Publishing, including Anger, The Family You’ve Always Wanted, The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted, Desperate Marriages, God Speaks Your Love Language, How to Really Love Your Adult Child, and Hope for the Separated. With Dr. Jennifer Thomas, he co-authored The Five Languages of Apology.

Dr. Chapman speaks to thousands of couples nationwide through his weekend marriage conferences. He hosts a nationally syndicated radio program, A Love Language Minute, and a Saturday morning program, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, both airing on more than 400 stations. Dr. Chapman and his wife have two grown children and currently live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he serves as senior associate pastor at Calvary Baptist Church.

Dr. Chapman holds BA and MA degrees in anthropology from Wheaton College and Wake Forest University, respectively, MRE and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has completed postgraduate work at the University of North Carolina and Duke University.

Now you have a chance to win this fabulous book just in time for Valentine's Day!



"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

GIVEAWAY TIME

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ergonomic Pen + Giveaway

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.


I feel like I am constantly writing! It does cause pain as well. I used to think I had arthritis, but my doctor assured me I'm too young for that. In to my life comes this ergonomic pen




I have a callous on one of my fingers where the writing utensil always has rested. I've probably been holding my pen and pencil wrong my whole life! Why didn't anyone tell me? Once in awhile I think I grip my pen too tight as well. My hands get sore so much I have to put down the pen and shake my hands around, loosen my phalanges. Since I've been using this comfy pen, I haven't noticed that pain at all.

I gave one to a friend of mine and she shared some things I didn't even think of. She's one to roll her writing utensil back and forth between her hands. She said that the UGLEE Pen was a perfect little massage for her hands. She said the grip took care of all the little pressure points in her fingers and palms.

I think this is the perfect pen for anyone who spends a lot of time writing. All my administrative friends...here you go!

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GIVEAWAY TIME

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Just Keep Chewing, Just Keep Chewing + Giveaway


My children just love creating and making things. They jumped at the chance to make their own chewing chewing gum!

We pulled out all the ingredients and went over what each one was. Each child had their job assigned to them.


Melt the gum base.


Warm the corn syrup and mix with melted gum base.


Make a mountain out of the powdered sugar.


Mix and knead and roll like bread dough.





Mix in the flavor


It's a messy job, but someone had to do it!


We made a big cherry gum and a little peppermint gum.

Glee Gum has amazing "Make Your Own" kits that are fun for the kids and quite educational!
Like Glee Gum on Facebook
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Disclosure: Thank you Glee Gum for this kit that we were able to review. All opinions are our own.
You now have a chance to win your own kit!
GIVEAWAY TIME

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Promise *A Movie Review*

My family and I were so happy to finally take some time out of our busy schedules to sit down and watch The Promise: The Birth of the Messiah. Glorious Films did an amazing job creating this animated musical.



My children and I just love the theater and musicals, and we found this movie very entertaining. My 10 yr old son said that he really liked the music. I LOVED that the words to the songs are words from the Book. They were singing scripture...what a great way for kids to memorize the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ. They really bring this Bible story to life.

The Promise was very high quality animation. Up to par with any of the other Hollywood animation studios for sure.



I asked my kids what their favorite part of the movie was, and they all said "When Baby Jesus was born!" My 6 year old told me that she didn't like when Mary's mom didn't believe her. That made for a great conversation for my daughter and I. I'm sure we will all have that moment or moments in life when God is directing us down a certain path or telling us to do something, and there will be people who'll be negative or think we're crazy. We still have to trust God in everything.

I had a few favorite parts myself. The love story between Mary and Joseph was so beautiful! The story of Elizabeth and Zechariah was another favorite. They are characters that we can relate to. Elizabeth and Zechariah remind me of some of my family members. When the angels appeared before the shepherds...aaahhh! I loved that part too! This is such a great movie to remind us the reason for the season. 

I would recommend this movie to every family to watch anytime of the year. I like that it's biblical and not
Christmas-sy per say. This would be a great stocking stuffer, or a gift to open on Christmas Eve to watch before Christmas.

You can purchase this wonderful movie on Amazon.com.

Find out more:
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Thank you Glorious Films and Propeller for allowing us to review this movie




Saturday, November 2, 2013

MomCon 2013


I'm not sure how many of you are mothers of preschoolers, but if you have a MOPS group in your area, I highly recommend you participating! I just returned from MomCon in Kansas City, MO and oh what a blessed time we had! Every year MOPS hosts a convention that lasts about 3 days. They have wonderful authors, amazing speakers, and an anointed worship service! Nothing on earth compares to 4,000 voices singing praises to His name.

What is MOPS you ask? If you haven't guessed yet it stands for Mothers of Preschoolers, but you don't have to have a preschooler to partake. You can participate from conception thru Kinder. Some areas even have a Momsnext group for school age kiddos. It's a great way to get some much needed adult conversation with other moms while someone is watching your babies in Moppets. It's also a great way to create friendships that are life lasting. I have met some of my bestest friends at MOPS. You can find prayer warriors, encouragers, supporters, and so much more within a group of moms.

Now I want to brag about the convention! I went with 3 other ladies from our steering team. Last year I went as a steer team member, but it was so great to go as just a mom. I was able to relax and not feel like I HAD to get all this information to take back with me. I still got a lot of great info though ;). I didn't feel guilty when if I  missed a workshop because they filled up. Last year I felt a little guilty when I skipped a workshop to go shopping in the Marketplace. So glad I didn't need to worry about that this year!

The authors/speakers...gifted women of God who brought us laughter and tears. It's great to know that we are not in this motherhood journey alone. Even those who appear to "have it all" go through the same struggles as the rest of us.

Some pointers that go with this year's theme shared with us:
*There is beauty in the broken
*God uses the and loves the broken
*I need to find God's beauty in my broken

I'm just going to do some name dropping here so you know how awesome MomCon is...


Alexandra Kuykendall
"The Artist's Daughter"
Beth Moore
So many books and bible studies
Elisa Morgan
Many books including "The Beauty of Broken


Jen Hatmaker
Many books including newest book "7"
Kathi Lipp
Author of many books
Lysa Terkeurst
Many books including "Unglued"
They all had amazing things to share with us! Jen Hatmaker was my favorite this year though. She was just so real! She spoke about our kids having spiritual nannies in this day and age. She also spoke about not always taking care of everything for our kids. No, I'm not talking about the necessities for life. "Our kids will never make it as His disciple if we cushion everything for our kids. Our job is not to shield kids from everything hard, but to parent them with love and guidance. We should not pull our kids completely out of the world into our own "Christian" universe.We need to parent diligently not fearfully. If we are so concerned with raising safe and happy kids, then who will raise the disciples?" 

She did throw in some scripture as well about what Jesus' disciples went through back then. There is a process in becoming a disciple of Christ: sacrifice, loss, struggle, courage, danger, failure, risk...is that not when we grow the most? Our kids need to experience these things as well. I don't want to be the reason my children choose safety over courage. "Scared moms raise scared kids and brave moms raise brave kids." The real question is, do I believe and trust that God is caring for my kids?

We need to be imitating Christ as well. "We have to guide with our lives and not just our lips." If we aren't living it then we have no hope in leading it. We must remember that we are not just mothers, but also disciples.

Sorry if my writing seems scattered. I was going through my notes and I'm sure I forgot to write down some things, but the basics are all there. Her talk made an impression on me. I met her, bought a book, and now look forward to making some positive changes within my family unit.


I highly encourage every mother to go to at least one MOPS Convention. It will change your life if you let it.