Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Heaven is For Real DVD based Conversation Kit

Heaven is For Real is a little boy's astounding story of his trip to heaven and back.  It has become a #1 New York Times bestseller and this DVD series is a conversation guide for groups and/or families.  There are 5 sessions and all talk about different aspects of heaven.

I have to be honest.  I have been a skeptic of this book all along and I probably shouldn't have even looked into this DVD series.  It is just hard for me to accept the testimony or witness of a 4 year old boy who says he has seen heaven over what the Bible says about heaven.

The interview was pretty basic.  I mean, heaven is colorful.  Seriously?  Are there animals in heaven.  Oh the boy enjoyed playing with the lions.  And everyone was nice in heaven.  Okay no surprises there.   The Dad who is a Pastor also shared in the DVD's and again, no surprising revelation there.

All in all, I don't see that anyone will learn anything new from this study.  No new revelations.  And should that surprise us as God Himself says that nothing shall be added or taken away from His Word.

I got my copy for free from Thomas Nelson Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All opinions belong to me.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Three Cups

As soon as we receive a book in the mail our girls want to immediately sit down and read it.  And this was no exception.  Three Cups is about a five-year-old boy who is given three cups from the family cupboard for his birthday. He then learns how to divide his allowance between three cups; saving, spending, and giving. 

My personal take is that the story is short, sweet, and to the point.  As a Mom I really did expect the storyline to have a little more to it as I thought it ended rather abruptly.  I also thought the pictures in the book appeared rather dull and should have been brightened up somehow.  At any rate, at the end of the book my 3 daughters did want to each have 3 cups of their own.  So the book did achieve it's point. 

I received a complementary copy of Three Cups through the Thomas Nelson Publishing Booksneeze program in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Gabby, God's Little Angel

As soon as we got this book, I and my girls had to sit down and read it right away.  I love Sheilia Walsh and she has authored another wonderful children's book.  The drawings are colorful and very appealing to small children.  The story about a guardian angel was well told for children and very well illustrated.  I was very pleased with this book.  Also, our 4th grade daughter was able to read it by herself.

Sheilia Walsh has written many good books, some of which are:  Gigi, God's Little Princess; Will, God's Mighty Warrior; and The Pink Ballerina.  She has also written some wonderful books for women on many topics that have come from her heart.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers for an advance reading as part of their Booksneeze bloggers program . I was not required to write a positive review and therefore, the book review is 100% my own opinion.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Thunder Dog-True Story!

This is a true story of how Michael Hingson survived 9/11 with his guide dog, Thunder.  This is not only a great narrative of the events that happened to Michael that day but also shares about Michael's life and how he coped with his blindness.  And it includes how Michael came about to getting his guide dog and eventually, Roselle, the dog that saved his life that day in the Twin Towers.

This book will amaze you at what Michael was able to accomplish even while he was a boy despite his blindness.  He shares how his parents supported him and loved him so much that they would not send him to a home for the blind even when they were told when Michael was just weeks old that he was hopelessly and incurably blind.  Instead they treated him as a normal son and again, you will be amazed at what he was able and encouraged to do, not only as a young boy, but later as a college student.

This book should encourage you to try to do what others say you can not do.  It will educate you on the training of guide dogs and how special they are.  It will involve you in the events of 9/11.  But hopefully it will also open your eyes that blind people want to be accepted as normal, just like you and me.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, July 15, 2011

About that list...

I didn't chicken out!!  I went to JBU and worked out this morning.  I somehow managed to get through week 4 day 1 of C25K!!!  Warm-up--no problem...3 min run @ 6 mph--success...90 sec walk @ 3.5 mph--no problem...5 min run started at  6 mph for the first 2 min, but had to slow to 5.5 mph to finish the interval--still a success, I'd say...2.5 min walk @ 3.5 mph--no problem...3 min run @ 6 mph had to slow to 5.5 mph then brisk walk @ 4 mph for the last 90 sec of it...90 sec walk @ 3.5 mph--no problem...last 5 min run @ 6 mph quickly got slowed to 5.5 mph.  Had to slow to 4 mph brisk walk after 90 sec of running for about 90 sec, but then finished the last two min with a 5.5 mph run...Cool down @ 3.5 mph--was ever so thankful I made it through.  This has not been the easiest thing I've ever done, nor the hardest, but I'm glad I'm continuing the program.  Still wondering when I'm going to get that "second wind."  :)

Now onto yesterday's list...the Wal-Mart trip was a success.  The kids were pretty good in spite of the fact that Drew and Melanie did not have a nap and it was indeed nap time!  I even managed to stay within budget! :)  Dentist appointments were successful as far as behavior.  It was Melanie's first time, and she acted like a pro! Even the hygienist was impressed. :)  Unfortunately Anne has 4 cavities that have to be taken care of, and Naomi has two.  Naomi has weak enamel on her permanent molars, and it looks like she's going to get a couple of crowns out of the deal.  Andy took care of dinner--leftovers, hot dogs, and mac-n-cheese--since I had WW (1/2 lb loss).  After the kids were in bed Andy and I did watch the Harry Potter movie.  Well, I should say I watched the movie.  Andy fell asleep during it.  I'm excited about watching Part 2 tonight!

As for the rest of the's my new list for today (don't worry I won't bore you with a list everyday, but it is my blog. :))
1.  Occasions--still need to get a bday gift for SIL.
2.  Load of laundry--the gift that keeps on giving no matter the holiday.
3.  Master suite--will start somewhere, even if just a corner!!
4.  Curriculum mapping--I'm not pressing my luck.  Maybe I'll just look at it. :)
5.  Nap!!!!  I'm going on very little sleep, but managing.  Definitely planning to nap while the little ones are doing the same.  The dog might have to go in her kennel and everyone go down for a nap. :)

Once again thankful for God's mercy!!  "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.  They shall run and not grow weary.  They shall walk and not faint."  

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ramblings...nothing more. :)

There are always about a million things going on in my head at once.  I know most women can relate.  I wish that, like Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series, I could just use a magic want, point it to my temple, withdraw the thoughts and then store them in little bottles so I can just take them out one by one and deal with them.  Today's list form...
1.  Need to run to Wal-Mart to grocery shop--with 4 kids--ugh!  Unfortunately my list isn't quite complete, but going anyway.
2.  SIL's bday today.  Think I'll stop by Occassions in Siloam before Wal-Mart.  I haven't been there in a while, and they have great gift ideas.
3.  All 3 girls have dentist appts. today.  This will be Melanie's first time, and I'm praying that she doesn't act like Naomi did on her first appt.
4.  Drew and Mel will not get an actual naptime due to dentist appts.  How much fun are they going to be this evening? They might surprise me.
5.  Need to tackle cleaning up our Master suite.  It has become the catch all room since we finished the house.  I desperately need to go through EVERYTHING!!
6.  We desperately need organizaton--bookshelves, diplay cabinets, picture frames, etc.  But the money tree hasn't started sprouting, yet. :)  Maybe someday it will.
7.  I need to get my Pre-Algebra class mapped for the coming school year.  It seems like such a daunting task so I'm procrastinating like my life depends on it. :(
8.  Andy and I are going to watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:  Part 1 tonight in preparation for our date night tomorrow night!!
9.  Then of course, what's for dinner tonight?
10.  Just got a phone call from the dentist office--now to work out sitter arrangements for that.

The hits just keep on playing.  It's never ending.  Somehow God entrusted women with the ability to handle all of these things.  I'm easily overwhelmed, but I rely on a faithful God to carry me through it all.  I pray that I will accomplish all that He would have me to today, and to do it well.  I'm ever thankful for His mercy, which is new every morning!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Book Review: "Daddy Dates"

The book, "Daddy Dates," by motivational leader Greg Wright gave great insight on how dads can establish a better relationship with their daughter(s). I chose this book because we have 3 girls, and I'm sure my husband empathizes with the author of this book. Greg Wright has 4 girls and even their family pet is a female. We have 3 girls, and both pets are females as well. Anyway...

This book was written in an easy-to-read format sparing the reader from big words that therapists and psychologists or other doctors/professionals would use. There is a wealth of practical advice provided within the pages of the book. Wright is very open and honest about the details of the dates he took his daughters on and their reactions.

My prayer is that both my husband and I have great relationships with our daughters. We want them to be able to talk to us about anything!! “Daddy Dates” has wonderful ideas on how we can do that, of course, it begins with us.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Family Trip to St. Louis!!

This summer our family took a trip to St. Louis. Andy and I had been debating on where to go for a family vacation this year, but had not decided for sure. Then he was asked to go to a conference in St. Louis on a Tuesday. So we decided to make it a long weekend by leaving the Saturday before...thus our trip to St. Louis. And we all had a blast!!!! We wore ourselves and friends out!! I've been recuperating today, and trying to get laundry done. :)

My BFF from college, Emily Jenkins and her family live in St. Louis, and they took us out on the town on Sunday. We started off at the St. Louis Zoo. It has been said that taking a picture with Phil the gorilla is a tradition so we did. Emily and I both have 4 kids--3 girls and a boy. Needless to say our little monkeys were right at home. :)

Emily and I had our pics taken, too. I'm sure Drew is wondering what on earth we are doing. :) You never can be sure when Emily and I get together. We had fun talking about other vacations our families should do together. Or...just leave the kids with the dads and she and I could get away. Hee hee! :)

On Monday we went to Six Flags. It had been stormy during the night before and most of the morning, but it turned out to be a great day to go. The crowds were super low, and Andy and the kids didn't have to worry about long waits for the roller coasters. Naomi wanted to ride the Ferris Wheel in the worst way. So here's one half of the family on one side of our caged ride...

...and here's the other half! Yes, I sucked it up and rode the darn thing. I have a HUGE problem with heights!!! You can also tell it was a no make-up kind of day for me as well. Not my finest pic, but oh well. :)

We were exhausted on our way home, but it was sooooo worth it. The kids loved it!!!

Now, I would love to say that I will keep updating my blog, but I'm making no such promises. :) I have more pics I would like to post, though, so I guess we'll see. Till then...
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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Couples Who Pray by Squire Rushnell and Louise DuArt

This was a well-written book about the power of prayer, especially when couples join together in prayer. Just when you thought the most intimate act between a couple, you are told quickly in the book that that is not the case. The most intimate act between a couple can and should be prayer. The book is divided into three sections, each one building on the other. The first section dives into the benefits of praying couples. Testimonials from celebrities as well as regular people are plentiful. The 40 day challenge is the second section, with factors during the forty days being the third section. The book also provides a couple of appendixis with extra information.

I really liked this book. It was very easy to read, and I loved the plethora of testimonials sprinkled throughout the book. I'm also a recipe kind of girl. If you give me a recipe I will follow it to the letter. If you just throw ingredients at me you will not receive anything edible in return. This book provides a recipe for couples to follow if they want to add prayer to their lives. I think my favorite section was section 3 because there was a lot more practical information there letting you know what you could expect during and after the 40 days. I would love to add that my husband and I took the 40 day challenge and now we pray every single day, but I would be lying. I hope that one day we can get there. We did pray once together, and it lasted longer than 5 minutes. We didn't lock our door so it lasted till our 1 year old son came bouncing in. :) I think I need to challenge myself to do the 40 day challenge--even if it is by myself--and pray for God to give my husband the desire to make it a priority as well. As is the case with most families we are extremely busy--both spouses with full-time jobs, raising 4 kids, responsibilities in our own church, etc. The list could go on and on. If there is anytime that we need to be praying together it's now! I believe both my husband and I have the desire to have closer relationships with our heavenly Father and with each other. Often the hardest step is getting started.

My recommendation would be to go out and get this book. Even if just one person has the desire to make prayer a higher priority I believe it could have huge effects. That's what I'm praying for my marriage. I pray that I will be able to update this post at a later time and sing the praises of how God has done miraculous things in our married life. He has already blessed us with so much already!