Showing posts from August, 2014

Your Core by Callie Grant (children's book review)

I have done reviews over this Graham Blanchard series before, but I was really excited about "Your Core" by Callie Grant. This little board book is a perfect starting place to explain souls to your children.  Graham Blanchard Inc., a Christian publishing company based in Austin, Texas, is on a mission to encourage and equip parents to effectively teach their kids about God, even at a very young age. They are the only company specializing in board books that help parents share faith with their children from infancy. image via the Graham Blanchard website The simple text and vibrant illustrations share that we all have something inside of us, like balls and the earth have a core. How our core is something God knows about us and made for "Him to fill." This isn't a deep theological exploration of our souls but just a beginning to help us teach our children that we are made for more. We are made for eternity with a lasting soul. Your Core is an Absorb book

A Perfect Pet for Peyton by Rick Osborne & Gary Chapman (children's book review)

A long time ago, I read "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. I learned my love language is (or was, at least) Words of Affirmation and my then-boyfriend's (now husband's) is Physical Touch. It's perfect that our boys are so sweet to their mama and they love to wrestle with their daddy. I've waited a good long while to learn my children's love languages and " A Perfect Pet for Peyton " by Rick Osborne and Gary Chapman is a great opportunity to learn more about their love languages. image via Amazon The book was a little wordy for us; we don't usually read such long picture books, but we took it a few pages at a time and I'm certainly glad we did. It was a great little story about a set of twins having a birthday party at Mr. Chapman's Perfect Pet Emporium. I sure wish there was such a place filled with awesome animals and adventures for kids (I can't imagine the cost of that though! Do I sound like a parent enough?).

first day of school 2014

 I, for one, was ready for the first day of school. Not that I didn't enjoy summer. Not that I don't enjoy my children. I love them steadfastly and fiercely, but we were all ready for school to start. Now, my family has prayed every year about how to handle school - homeschool, online school, public school. And each year we believe that this has been the answer. Who knows if we're right or wrong but we feel like our school can be part of our mission field - there are staff members and classmates who need to know the love of Christ, too. Anyway, we were especially excited about our teachers this year. We didn't know the teachers going in to last year, but they turned out to be fabulous. We have the advantage of going to the same church as both of our teachers this year, so that's great! We've been blessed to have Christian teachers every year (so far) - how many people in America can say that today?! Squirt's teacher is a friend of mine's mothe

Dolphin Tale 2: Brave Souls by Cozi Zuehlsdorff (exclusive music video)

Check out the new music video on Fandago of Cozi Zuehlsdorff's new song "Brave Souls" from the soon-to-be released Dolphin Tale 2. It's a pretty beautiful song and I love the movie clips embedded in it. I am excited to see this movie (although we need to see the first Dolphin's Tale!!) and my boys think it will be good, too.

Twirl by Patsy Clairmont (book review)

I've heard Patsy Clairmont a few times as a speaker at Women of Faith. She is a petite thing of a woman with such a great laugh and a big ol' funny bone. I enjoyed listening to her so much, I decided to read her book, "Twirl." image via BookLook Going along with my theme of rest lately, the back copy print says "Is life making you so dizzy that you'r forgetting what's most important?" I can't say I have forgotten (except in certain moments on certain days) but it's dizzying. You always think that life is busy and it'll slow down but I have yet to see that. And so what do we do? Do we continue on without a bit of rest? I think Clairmont's book has helped point me (and can help you) in a few directions of finding rest within our busy lives. The book is set up in small chunks that don't need to be read in any certain order, which I like. The chapters don't really have much in common except trying to find something that God

Star Wars

It started about a year ago when I watched the original (albeit newly remastered - hey, it was on a garage sale) Star Wars trilogy with my boys. They could have cared less except it was tv. The past year has mostly been about superheroes. And I know the difference between the Marvel and DC Universes. I do. And most of my friends think I'm a little crazy (unless we're playing Jeopardy and it's a superhero question - bring it on!). But my friend Erin gets it. Hilarious as I was getting on here to write about how much my children love Star Wars, I click on the blogs I follow and see Erin has written about this very thing . So my kids didn't really care about Star Wars even when we had a Star Wars themed birthday party for them. And then the library kicked in and we started to read books about them. My husband likes to say that if we have 30 books checked out from the library, 25 of them are Star Wars. I'm talking Level 1-4, craft books, movies, pop up books, boa

The Hungry Girl Diet by Lisa Lillien (book review)

I was really interested in The Hungry Girl's new book, " The Hungry Girl Diet " until I read through it. I realized that I would not be able to make this diet work for me. It's only a 4-week jump start plan, not a long-term plan (which is good because diets are not sustainable in my opinion). However, there are so many of the recipes that I wouldn't be able to make, mostly due to the lack of ingredients. I live in a smaller town and our grocery store is great, but it still doesn't have some of these ingredients or if it does, my budget won't allow for those things. image via the Hungry Girl website I have a hard time accepting that we have to spend an arm and a leg to afford to eat healthy. And so I will continue to stick to my own diet of watching proportions and moderation. I think that I will use some of "The Hungry Girl Diet" recipes when I can adapt them to my real life. I will also continue to follow Lillien on her website . Discla

10 year reunion

How is it that a decade can pass so quickly? I'm fairly certain it was just yesterday that I was walking down the aisle with a maroon cap and gown, handing my mom a carnation, saying good-bye to my high school friends, never thinking it'd be 10 years until I saw some of them. And yet in the blink of an eye here it is, 1 marriage, 2 kids, 1 degree, several half marathons, jobs, and moves and 10 years later.  So this past weekend, my class had a reunion. Several went golfing in the morning, but we don't golf so I opted to take a short run with my best high school friend, Mandy. I'm so glad I did. It was 10 years of experiences pushed into 35 minutes, but so great. So great to learn that the rumors I'd heard about her were true but had brought her to a broken place where Jesus filled her heart. I cannot tell you the answered prayer that is! To hear about her husband, her step-kids, her job, her heart. Later after family pictures and family lunch, it was time to hea


Summer is generally seen as a time of rest, but I feel like I've gotten very little rest on a day-to-day basis this summer. I think having the kids home and up from 7am (or before) until 8-9-10+pm with hardly any break during the day (no regular naps here!) has been taxing on me (and Moose from the sudden bouts of tears over any little thing these days). As the kids continue to butt heads and I find myself on the losing end of sleep, God has really shown me the importance of rest. Rest. Does that word make you crave it or fight against it? Rest is so important to us and I think we try to stay away from it and act like we don't need it. Sleep is for the weak! Wrong! God, the Almighty Maker of Heaven and Earth, our constant companion and protector, rested. He rested. My friend Stacey wrote a few weeks ago about "Sabbath daily" - oh how I needed to hear that. I am reading "Twirl" by Patsy Clairmont & there's a whole chapter on rest in there. A

rest more

And I say, "Oh that I had wings like a dove!    I would fly away and be at rest; yes, I would wander far away;   I would lodge in the wilderness; I would hurry to find shelter   from the raging wind and tempest." Psalm 55:6-8 We can't stay in the wilderness forever but sometimes desolate places are where we find God. Where we can get away and hear Him. Get away and listen for Him. Desolate places don't have to be foreign or exotic, just get out of your box and go somewhere to find Him.  Your porch or yard, the park or ballfield, the picnic table or gazebo, the field or pond. Then look around. See Him. His creation. Shush. Listen. Sit.  Be.


Becky D , you are the winner for the Noah Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack. Fair warning to watch this as an entertainment movie, not historically or biblically accurate. :) Disclaimer: You have 48 hours to email me your mailing address or I'll have to pick another winner. 

SONG GIVEAWAY: You Got Me - Gavin DeGraw (new music preview from Dolphin Tale 2)

Dolphin Tale 2 is coming out soon to theaters, but here is a featurette music video from Gavin DeGraw called "You Got Me." I thought it was a sweet song so here I am sharing. Aren't I nice?! According to my younger son, sharing is respectful to God!! From the mouths of babes. You can also win a free download of this song by telling me what your favorite song is (before you listened to this one). That's how you enter! Leave a comment with a valid email address. Disclaimer: Void where prohibited. Must be 18 and older to enter. Contest will end Friday, August 15, 2014 at 11:59pm. Winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to email back to confirm their prize.

8 years in love

 8 years ago today, this kid and this kid decided to say yes. Yes to love. Yes to commitment. Yes to God. They didn't know the trials and struggles that awaited them. The job losses, the sleepless nights of parenting, the arguments over stupid things forgotten, the times of sickness and health, of running 10 miles together in horrible heat and humidity. They only knew the feel of butterflies, the soft kisses, the sweet nothings, the small palm held in the big palm. They only knew their dreams.  They didn't know those dreams would be dashed for better ones of God's planning. If they'd known then what they knew now, would it be worth it?  The hard times? The tears? The fights (and yelling)? Would he have asked? Would she have said yes? Would they have said 'I do'? I sure hope so. Had they not, they would have missed out on so much. God's blessi

Celery Night Fever (Veggie Tales movie review)

Since I'm an adult and don't have the perspective of a child, I thought I'd let my boys tell you what they liked about the movie. image via Amazon Squirt said: Bruce Onion having to be forgiven. Moose said: My favorite part was being forgiven. Celery Night Fever is about a band, the Groovy Brothers, who were at the top of their game and due to selfishness and unforgiveness broke up. Lanny (Larry the Cucumber) had a granddaughter, Laura (the Carrot), who wanted to save Celery Park, where they used to perform, from Bruce Onion (voiced by Terry Crews). So she got her grandpa to put the band back together. This Veggie Tales production is about forgiveness. As much as I love the message, I think it was lacking in the biblical perspective I love about Veggie Tales. God wasn't mentioned until the very end of the show and there was no Bible story in this one. I know Veggie Tales has gone more toward moral stories than biblical stories, but I miss Esther and David a

The Berenstain Bears God Shows the Way by Stan and Jan Berenstain with Mike Berenstain (book review)

I love the Berenstain Bears, even more since I read Jan and Stan's biography. However, I've loved learning about Weekends at Grandma's, Bullying, the In-Crowd, Trick-or-Treating, the New Baby, and all of the beloved Berenstain Bears books since I was a little kid. Now I'm passing on that love to my children. The only thing better than passing down classics is passing down new classics with God in mind. The Berenstain Bears have always been moral books but I love the new Living Lights series that quotes Scripture and teaches moral lessons with a biblical worldview. I love hearing Mama Bear speak God's Words and the kids learning that God is the creator. image via Amazon " God Shows the Way " is a 3-in-1 book that has these titles: "Faith Gets Us Through," "Do Not Fear, God is Near," and "Piggy Bank Blessings." In "Faith Gets Us Through," the Cub Scouts and Papa go through Spooky Cave. Luckily, they've br

InScribed Collection (book review)

For months I have been chewing away at the books for this review. The InScribed Collection are Bible studies that help to draw us closer to the Lord through prayer, self-controlled choices, understanding the Lord (or being OK not understanding everything), and the discipline of Bible study. I started with "Leaving Ordinary" by Donna Gaines about "encounter[ing] God through extraordinary prayer." I honestly read this so long ago I don't remember much other than it didn't leave that big of an impact on me. Gaines used the tabernacle to parallel prayer in our lives. There were some interesting points but it just did not speak to me much. Heather Zempel's "Amazed and Confused" was next in line. During this study Zempel brought us through hard places, when we don't understand what God is doing or saying. The thing that really struck me from this study was coming to understand that nowhere in the Bible does it say that God is nice. God is

Noah the movie (review & GIVEAWAY)

I have posted about Noah (starring Russel Crowe) and then stopped when it got really controversial. Then I was asked to review the movie and host a giveaway. Well, all this controversy got me curious and I asked Big A about whether I should watch it. He said yes, for entertainment. So I just want to preface this review by saying this movie is purely entertainment and very very very very very loosely based upon biblical and historical accuracy (very very loose). Noah has an interpretive spirit to it that made me talk a lot during the whole movie (what? How did that...? That didn't....), probably to Big A's dismay (just kidding, he's used to me talking during movies). There are things I like about this movie (the cast!) and things I definitely disagree with. Disclaimer: spoilers ahead. I do not like how God is portrayed as unfeeling, uncommunicative (silent), unmerciful. When the Fallen Angels/The Watchers want to help man after the fall, God said no so they went against