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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Grace of God DVD Review

Finding quality family movies is so hard to do these days. We have all made the mistake of sitting down with the family and thinking a movie will be appropriate for all of them. Then, it isn't. I really hate it when that happens. It is frustrating and sad to me so when a movie comes along that I know won't cause any awkward moments I jump on it.

 

Grace of God is a family movie that will get conversations going in your house. Conversations about lying, stealing, faith, prayer, relationships, just to name a few. This movie is a starting point in getting some tough subjects out in the open and gives you a nice family movie to watch together.

About the movie:

Stars:

John Ratzenberger

("Cheers," WALL-E, Toy Story)

Erin Bethea

(Fireproof, Letters to God)

Lorenzo Lamas

("The Bold and the Beautiful," "Falcon Crest")

Genre: Family, Inspirational

Rating: NR

Releases on DVD March 24, 2015


Having lost his faith many years ago, Detective Bill Broadly is called to investigate the disappearance of the local church’s collection plate. As he questions its various church members, rumors swirl as more congregants learn about the theft. When one unexpected church-goer confesses to stealing the funds, the confession resurrects Broadly’s views on God, and helps him see that through faith and belief there really is rebirth and redemption.


Head over here to buy your own copy! http://bit.ly/Walmart_GraceofGod

#GraceofGodMovie @WalMart

"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.

The Adventures of Pajama Girl Review

To say that I can't get enough of this book is an understatement. I love, love, love it! I started reading it to Bug and by page 2 her cousins were crowded around wanting to hear it as well. They hung on every word and picture. And as soon as I was done reading the last word on the last page they asked me to start from the beginning again!

The Adventures of Pajama Girl is an adorably sweet book about two sisters (I love that already being that we have five daughters!) and their adventures together. I don't want to give to much away because it is pretty sweet to experience it with your child.

You should really check this book out, it just might become a favorite!

About the book:

Hardcover; 32 pages

A cute, illustrated story about a girl's imagination and her magical pajamas. In this adventure, Ellie's cupcake pajamas pave the way for she and her Sis to take a journey to a land filled with all kinds of sweet treats. Their journey quickly turns into an adventure to help the Cupcake Queen find the missing sprinkles needed for her coronation ceremony. In searching for the missing sprinkles, Ellie and Sis uncover a life lesson that is important for every child to learn.

About the author:
Sandra Hagee Parker lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband, Ryan, and their daughters, Olivia and Elliana — the original pajama girls. A practicing attorney, Sandy is also a part of the music ministry at Cornerstone Church where she and her husband are leaders.

When not working or writing, Sandy enjoys traveling with her family and mastering the art of making Pancakes à la Pajama Girl with her two girls.

When the consumer buys the book from any store or online and then enters their receipt athttp://pajamagirl.com/downloads.php. They’ll receive 10 more free Pajama Girl Activity Sheets sent to them via email.



OFFICIAL WEBSITE

The Adventures of Pajam Girl sells for $12.54 on Amazon.

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.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Whatever Wanda Review and Giveaway

Whatever Wanda is a charming children's book that teaches a great life lesson. The pictures are beautiful and engaging and the characters are relatable. We just love these books.

Whatever Wanda, is the third title in the Shine Bright Kids series! The Shine Bright Kids series provides children and their families with the tools to teach the importance of making good choices. The series explores such topics as: using good judgment, taking responsibility, having a positive attitude, and demonstrating perseverance.

Wanda is in serious need of an attitude adjustment! She doesn’t want to accompany her family to the Rubber Duck Days Festival, and once there, she won’t participate in any of the events or join in with her friends. Soon Wanda receives some helpful advice and learns that:

“Sometimes you have to believe something will be great before it actually is. Being positive is a choice that makes everything better, not to mention, a whole lot more fun!”

About the author:

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 Shine Bright Kids picture book series. Christy, her husband, and their twins live in Atlanta, Georgia.

About the illustrator:

Paige Billin-Frye lives with her husband in Washington, D.C., where she gardens and grows food in her city yard. She has illustrated numerous children’s books and works in a studio over a neighborhood hardware store. Coincidentally, Paige has amassed a collection of rubber duckies of all sizes across the years.

We have loved the books in this series. Bug raves over them and wants us to read them to her all the time. And she remembers the lessons from them. The Shine Bright Kids Series is a wonderful way to teach your kids lessons and talk about problems they are facing. Sitting down with these books offers a sweet time with your children you both will treasure.

 

Whatever Wanda was an interesting read in our house. The word 'whatever' is not allowed when used like Wanda does, so it was interesting to see Bug listen to the story and repeat over and over, "That is not a nice word!" It gave us a chance to explain why we don't say it and talk about what else she could have said instead. It also showed the attitude behind that word and made it real to her instead of us trying to describe it to her. We love the Shine Bright Kids Series!

You can find the other titles of the Shine Bright Kids series HERE Whatever Wanda sells for $14.99.

***To win your own copy of Whatever Wanda leave a comment and tell me if you have a taboo word in your home.***

 

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 a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Texas K-9 Unit Series Books 1-3 Review and Give Away!

I love reading. I read all kinds of books. My favorite are the kind I can recommend to my daughters. There are plenty of books out there that I would blush to tell people about; but, thankfully these books are NOT those kind.

The Texas K-9 books are great reads. When I picked up the first book I was instantly drawn in. Sometimes it takes me a few pages or chapters to really care about characters but with the first book I was hooked by the end of the first page.

Plus, there are dogs in the story. I mean, come on, who doesn't love reading about dogs? Right?!

Then there is the romance. As women we all love to read a good romance novel and this series delivers. They deliver good romance that I would allow my 17 yo to read. I can't say that about too many romance novels.

If you want to check them out, head over to Amazon and buy the set for $11.99!

Here is a little more about the books and the authors

Texas K-9 Unit Series Books 1-3: Tracking JusticeDetection MissionGuard Duty (Available at Amazon)

Love Inspired Suspense authors Shirlee McCoy, Margaret Daley and Sharon Dunn will get your pulse racing with tales of Texas cops and their loyal K-9 dogs tracking down a crime ring. Enjoy three action-packed Texas K-9 Unit romantic suspense novels in one box set! When a boy goes missing from his bedroom, a police detective must assure a desperate single mother that he and his trusty bloodhound will find her son. A woman with amnesia has to rely on an officer and his border collie to stay alive when she can't remember who tried to kill her. An FBI agent is called in to protect a single mother when the rookie K-9 officer witnesses a murder and becomes the killer's target.

About the authors:

Shirlee McCoy

Shirlee McCoy has always loved making up stories. As a child she daydreamed elaborate tales in which she was the heroine — gutsy, strong and invincible. Though she soon grew out of her superhero fantasies, her love for storytelling never diminished. Shirlee knew early that she wanted to write inspirational fiction and began writing her first novel when she was a teenager. Still, it wasn't until her third son was born that she truly began pursuing her dream of being published. Three years later she sold her first book. Now a busy mother of four, Shirlee is a homeschool mom by day and an inspirational author by night. She and her husband and children live in Maryland and share their home with a dog and a guinea pig.

Margaret Daley

Margaret has been writing for over 35 years. She started writing in the late 1970s because she wanted to see if she could put a whole story down on paper. That book is still in the drawer and will never see the light of day. But she was able to finish a book, which was her goal. She loved teaching and working with students with special needs, and recently retired from teaching to write full-time. When she isn't working, she loves to read, travel, and go to lunch and a movie with a friend. She and her husband, Mike, to whom she has been married for over 40 years live in Tulsa. Besides teaching and writing, she is also a mother of one. Her son, Shaun, is married with four daughters.

Sharon Dunn

Sharon Dunn first fell in love with mystery and suspense about the time she read Nancy Drew mysteries in the fifth grade. Her first book in the Ruby Taylor mysteries Romance Rustlers and Thunderbird Thieves was a finalist for the Romantic Times Inspirational Book of the Year. The second book in that series Sassy Cinderella and the Valiant Vigilante was voted Book of the Year by American Christian Fiction Writers. Her hobbies include reading, working out, hiking, trying to find things around the house and making pets out of the dust bunnies under the furniture. Before she started writing, she used to sew. Now she just collects fabric and patterns and fantasizes about projects. After nearly twenty seven years of marriage, Sharon lost her beloved husband in 2014. She lives with her three nearly grown children, two cats and a nervous border collie named Bart.

Check out the Facebook Page!

***I also have a book to GIVE AWAY!! Leave a comment and tell me your favorite dog breed to be entered. I will draw a winner Monday March 23rd. Be sure to leave an email address so I can contact you! The drawing is for the book "Protection Detail."

"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."

 

 

 

 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Homeschool Planet Review

In talking with several homeschooling moms lately I have discovered more than one thing in common with them. A lot of us hate to keep grades. Some of the ladies I talked with don't until high school and a very few didn't at all. They know what their kids are doing, what they know, and how well they know it; why assign grades?

Well, my nature is such that I need grades to fill in the forms. I like forms filled in and blanks to not be empty. Plus, it makes me feel better seeing all those forms filled in!

 

Unfortunately, it is rather difficult to find an online planner that is easy to use and has all the features you want. Homeschool Planet just might be the thing you are looking for.

 


Homeschool Planet includes:

*A Calendar View that lets you see anybody's or everybody's calendars at once

*A Planner View with a simple list of everything you need to do and when

*Automatic Rescheduling -- A class time changes? You miss a few days to illness or vacation? No problem! Homeschool Planet automatically reschedules all the affected classes and assignments.

*Separate logins for kids to view their assignments and check them off when completed.

*Daily Digest emails to everyone in your family with their own schedule, assignments, and chores for the day

*Email and text message reminders to help everyone stay on schedule (Some limits apply.)

*Lesson plans with assigments, web links, notes, and more

*Easy attendance tracking, grading and transcript creation

*To Do lists for everyone in your family

*Shopping lists (one each for Target, Safeway, etc.) that you can text to your spouse or have sent to your smartphone when on the go

*Widgets you can use to do research, send text messages, and more. These are really cool!

*Mobile Version -- Ability to view and edit (with some limitations) your calendar on SmartPhones and tablets

*Calendar sharing -- View the contents of your spouse's Google Calendar inside Homeschool Planet, and vice versa! This also works with Apple iCal and other online calendars.

*Lesson Copying -- Copy any lesson for use at a later time by another student.


 

http://youtu.be/XXOVwaDUMqg

 

Homeschool Classifieds is offfering a FREE 30 day trial! Head over Here and check it out. You DO need to be a member of Homeschool Classifieds but membership is FREE as well!

 

Now for what I thought of Homeschool Planet. I like it. It is fairly easy to use and doesn't have a ginormous learning curve like a few other programs out there. There are many scheduling options, re-scheduling, chores, appointments, multiple students, etc. to choose from. It is a pretty exhaustive list of options. Almost too many? I'm not sure. It would take a while to use this program to its fullest I think. Homeschool Planet would be your one-stop shopping for scheduling school and your life.

 

You can sign up to get Daily and Weekly Digests of the upcoming events. It can goes to email and I had it sent to my kids as well. It can be printed out for them to use as a guide for getting the work done. I thought that was pretty cool!

I am going to show you some pictures from my tablet of how things look and some of the options.


The picture above is pretty self-explanatory, really. You are creating an event! It is straightforward.

You choose what to add or Copy an Existing Class-that one is HUGE people!


Rescheduling assignments because life gets in the way can be a pain but Homeschool Planet makes is doable.

Display options for how your planner will look. I like options!

Calendar or Planner view, I can never stay on just one. Homeschool Planet offers both!
 

 

What I didn't like about Homeschool Planet was the mobile version. I am a gal that likes the desktop version of just about everything I see. I just do. It is a personal preference and I know that. Homeschool Planet does not offer a desktop version on a tablet at this point. There are options for the desktop not available on tablets and the set up looks different than the desktop version. Now, my husband will tell you that most people don't care about such things but I do and so I mention it. Just in case you care about that little thing as well! ****The Widgets are pretty cool on the desktop version-don't neglect checking those out!****

I wouldn't let that be a deterrant if you like what you see. Try it out!

 

If you want to order a subscription after your FREE Trial, it is $65 for 1 year. You can head over Here to sign up!

Find them here:

 

Head over to Home & School Mosaics and see what everyone else thought of Homeschool Planet.

 

 

 

Monday, January 5, 2015

It started out...

***WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS WAY TOO MUCH TMI. THIS IS YOUR FAIR WARNING.***

 

 

We had our last Christmas celebration on New Year's Day with my family. We met at my sisters' family's ranch. Did that make any sense?! We spent the day playing games, eating great food, and visiting.

 

The weather looked like it was going to be ugly as it rained and sleeted on us as we drove out there but cleared up quickly. It was cold but beautiful. The kids had a great time playing with cousins and Maggie, our dog, was just about perfect.

 

It really couldn't have been a better day!

 

We did have to drive home that night and got home around 11ish. Not too bad, really. The next day, Steven and I, were heading to a hotel for a get away. Woohoo! We left early and ate a late lunch then went to the movies. We saw Interstellar and actually really enjoyed it. It reminded me of the sci-fi I read in high school. We had some pretty good conversation afterward.

 

We went back to our hotel and were pretty much ole foggies! He did have my wedding ring fixed and re-proposed to me. It was very sweet and the ring is so nice back on my hand.

 

The next morning we checked out of the hotel and went for breakfast.

 

Time out here. Everything was pretty great until this point. Okay, back to story.

 

We were eating breakfast-I won't tell you what I had because the thought makes me feel sick-and I started not feeling right. The food stopped going down and I had to stop. We went for coffee at Panera, a treat for us, and headed home. (yeah, we are those people that just really love being with our kids!)

 

By the time we got home the fireworks had started. I'm not talking the pretty 4th of July ones here folks. I mean the grumbly, painful kind that have you cryin' for your momma.

 

You get the picture?

 

I tried to mind over matter the whole throwing up thing and won for a few hours. Until I.just.couldn't.stop.mt.vesuvius.erupting.from.my.body.

 

Have you seen those movies where the person throws their heads back and a firehose of vomit is shooting from their mouths? That was me. It was not pretty.

 

In fact it was hideous.

 

It made me regret pretty much everything I had done in the last few days. The coffee I only had a few sips of? Yup, there it was. So not tastey the second time around.

 

It was bad, people.

 

I thought when the eruption was over that I was okay. I felt better after the shakes were gone and got comfy on my bed. I was doing pretty well until the shakes started. The sweating came on so suddenly that I panicked and almost hyperventilated. I started begging God to keep me from throwing up.

 

No, seriously I did.

 

He did not grant me that request.

 

Mt. St. Helens made an appearance this time. I thought I was going to break a blood vessel. It was violent. I kept myself from crying, because that just makes the goo down the back of your throat worse, but just barely. I begged God some more and made STeven get me some anti-nausea medicine. the taste of that medicine was almost too much too bear but I kept it down.

 

For about two hours.

 

And it seriously happened again. I am not even joking. This time I almost passed out. No lie. I couldn't catch my breath. This time it might have been a tsunami, I don't know because I kind of checked out. I remember standing there over the porcelain throne thinking of all the things I had eaten and done in the last few days wondering why on earth I would do that and promising myself never to do it again. Ever.

 

It was a surreal moment in my life I wish never to repeat.

 

Only it wasn't to be. I repeated the natural disaster that was my bodily function that night and cried out to God. Only Bethany heard me and came running! It was so violent that she thought I was pounding on the wall for help.

 

Yeah, that happened. It ain't pretty but it's my life.

 

I assured her that I was indeed alright and ushered her back to her bed. I crawled into my bed, barely making it into the cocoon of blankets. I proceeded to spend the next two hours begging God to make it go away.

 

He still did not answer me. Well, not exactly. Or not in the way I wanted. There were 'other' issues that popped up and caused some distress. I won't regale you with those details...you're welcome.

 

Let's just say it was not safe to be around me for a while. That is all on that subject.

 

I spent all day Saturday and Sunday in bed or the bathroom. There I said it. You knew it was happening anyway, I just needed to get it out in the open. ;-) By Monday, this morning, I was as weak as a kitten and hungrier than a lion. But alas, I could not eat.

 

Did you hear that? I had my bowels excavated by some poisoned food, lost more than 3 pounds, and suffered embarrassing bodily functions and I can't refill my body. I tried a saltine. Rebellion. 7up stayed down only if it was ice cold.

 

I finally remembered my mom's homemade bread and asked for a slice. Bingo! It stayed down and didn't cause me to question my life. I had never loved my mother so much in my life as I did at that point. I ate three more pieces of this heaven on Sunday with some of her homemade peach jam. Strange, but it worked.

 

Monday it was more of the same. Jam and bread...sounds like a song in there somewhere.

 

But, tonight? Tonight I ate a piece of pizza. A very small piece with very little toppings but a piece none the less. And I kind of wish I hadn't. It is staying down and not causing too much of a ruckus but it doesn't feel the best.

 

As long as it stays down I'm good.

 

We will have to reschedule our Family Carnival Night to another night and pray this never happens again.