Showing posts from September, 2016

Unlikely Champion and "Queen of Katwe" movie trailer

Disney has a new film coming out called "Queen of Katwe." It's based on the true story of Robert Katende and Phiona Mutesi from Uganda. Phiona grew up in the slums of Katwe, Uganda and she came upon Katende and a group of children playing chess in a church building (not the type of church building we imagine here; think makeshift). Katende starts to teach her and guide her, building her confidence, not only in chess but in herself. She finds herself competing in local chess matches and then winning international competitions. Their story proves that champions can come from the most unlikely of places. "Queen of Katwe" opens Friday, September 30 nationwide! As I've said before, I love underdog stories. A girl from the slums of Africa winning international chess tournaments and eventually having her story become a feature Disney film - that's good stuff to me. I believe God allows underdog stories because that's what all stories truly are. We ar

"The Wedding Shop" by Rachel Hauck (book review)

Do you ever just need a book that isn't so deep? I read a lot of deep books, sometimes I just need to fluff book. I don't mean that in a mean way but in a way that I need to plot a storyline instead of theology and facts. "The Wedding Shop" by Rachel Hauck proved to be something entirely different but just what I needed. I will start by saying that this book is not fluff. It is an intricately woven story between past and present, between life prior to Christ and redemption. I love books that weave between many characters. "The Wedding Shop" goes back-and-forth between Cora Scott, a wedding shop owner in the early 1930s, and Haley Morgan in modern-day times who is just returned home to Heart's Bend, Tennessee after leaving the military and a toxic relationship, and  the death of her best friend. Haley dreams of opening the wedding shop that was closed long before her time, just as she and her friend had pinky promised in their childhood. I love how H

Me: A Compendium by the Wee Society (book review)

My middle son always complains that I always get books for myself and never for them. He doesn't know that I am usually on the lookout for books for them, but the opportunity for adult books comes up more frequently than child books. image via Blogging for Books I love this sweet, sensitive boy! I was thrilled when I had the opportunity to get him "Me: A Compendium" by the Wee Society. I had to look up what a compendium was –   a collection of concise but detailed information about a particular subject, especially in a book or other publication . To me it just seemed like a fill-in journal. I knew my son would love it! (but I have not watched it) LOL He started to fill it out immediately. I thought he would color it more and add more color but he insisted on using this new pen that he had gotten his school. He did a wonderful job of filling everything out. He only asked for help a few times on spelling. You probably should've asked a few more times

"A Different Beautiful" by Courtney Westlake (book review)

I have really gotten into the app Instagram. I like to share my photos, see my friends photos, and even browse through photos and videos of people I don't know. One photo that really caught my eye was one of a lady named Courtney Westlake. It caught my eye so much that I went to her Instagram homepage and started scrolling through her pictures and videos. Come to find out Courtney has a daughter, Brenna, who is adorable. She is probably one of the most joyful looking kiddos I have seen! Brenna and Courtney both have just lovely smiles and pretty features.  And reading more about them, I found that Courtney had written a book about her journey in "discovering and celebrating Beauty in places you never expected". The book, "A Different Beautiful" by Courtney Westlake is about her journey being the mother of Brenda who has harlequin ichthyosis. This is a skin condition in which her parents passed on a mutated gene causing an air in her genetic code. "This m

"This Road We Traveled" by Jane Kirkpatrick (book review)

"This Road We Traveled" by James Kirkpatrick surprised me by being a book of historical fiction. When I picked it up and chose that I did not realize that it was based upon a real person. I really enjoy when a book surprises me-especially with history. The book follows Tabitha Brown, an older woman who refuses to be left behind in Missouri when her children decide to travel out to Oregon. And by travel I mean in wagons with a wagon train, headed west. That used to be a great dream of mine.  my stack of newly finished books And then I began to read books about traveling west and realized how very, very difficult the time traveling in a wagon was. I believe it was especially hard on women, having to do the cooking without what was then modern conveniences and doing laundry in various places and keeping children occupied that time. I personally would have no idea how to cook over a fire except to make Smores and if everybody wants to eat chocolate marshmallow graham cr

Can I really know Jesus? (101 questions and answers about Jesus, salvation, and prayer) by Carolyn Larsen

I am always on the lookout for books that can strengthen the faith of my children. What I've often found is that through strengthening their faith, mine is as well. "Can I Really Jnow Jesus?" by Carolyn Larsen is one of those books that is easily read but is full of the right material. image via me; I love how clearly the gospel is presented Too often and I find that children's books are not deep enough to take our children from drinking spiritual milk to eating spiritual meet. I think that this is a book that bridges that gap. It is split into three parts: questions and answers about Jesus, questions and answers about salvation, and questions and answers about prayer. I like this book is factual and when it can use history to cement the Bible, it does. One question is "how can we know Jesus really existed?" and the book says, "the Bible, of course, tells us that Jesus existed as a human on earth." Then it goes on to tell about a Jewish

Hope Prevails: insights from a doctor's personal journey through depression by Dr. Michelle Bengtson (book review)

Depression is not something people talk about much. I have a few friends who have been kind enough to open up about their journeys through depression and an author I admire does, too. In "Hope Prevails" by Dr. Michelle Bengtson, Dr. Bengtson talks about how she has been on this journey many times with her patients. She's prescribed many different successful courses of treatment, but when she found herself in the throes of depression, those same things didn't work for her. I love how encouraging this is to have a doctor say, I've been there. I don't think there is anything more powerful in humanity than realizing someone actually gets what you're going through or feeling because they have been there, too. I have some of my strongest friendships because those women get me. This was a difficult book for me to get into, possibly because of the downer subject that depression is. The writing is good and I think Dr. Bengtson speaks from her heart. I loved the

Hillsong giveaway winner!

Whitney , you are the winner of the Hillsong movie vouchers and CD! I will contact you with more information. Disclaimer: I've spoken with Whitney about her winnings! Yay! The winner was chosen by my son who I asked to pick a number between 1-4 and he said "3." Simple.

I Wish He Had Come With Instructions: The Woman's Guide to a Man's Brain by Mike Bechtle (book review)

I am 10 years into marriage and 9 years into being a boy mom. Yet, some days, I am still drawing a blank on exactly how to handle these boys. Just this last weekend, I remember saying "Seriously? What is wrong with you guys?" Sometimes it's just frustrating (c'mon, boy moms, you understand, right?)! I pretty much jump at a chance to better understand my husband and boys. "I Wish He Had Come with Instructions: The Women's Guide into a Man's Brain" by Mike Bechtle is just such a book. I have dog-eared this book! image via Revell I really appreciated the look into what a man thinks and wants. For instance, "Men want a partner, not another mom...Men want you to understand their need to connect with other men, and they don't want you to be jealous of other women. Almost all of the men I talked to said the former was a genuine need, and the latter was completely unfounded...Women have more of an impact on men than they realize...Women often

Gratitude: a prayer and praise coloring journal (book review)

Adult coloring books are all the rage right now and I love this! I loved coloring as a girl all the way into college. I also love to thank God for my blessings, to practice gratitude, to count my blessings one by one. "Gratitude: a prayer and praise coloring journal" seemed to be a perfect way to blend the two. I started at the beginning (seen above) with an entry titled "friends." I know how blessed I am with my wonderful friends. The right page above is a list of my closest friends but by no means a full list. I love that I can see these girls once a year or several times a week and they love me the same. I'm learning to trust that they truly are my girls, truly are for me, and they've never given me any other reason to believe so but I'm learning I don't trust as easily as I seem to. It was a good practice for me to color and ruminate on and thank God for these wonderful women in my life. "Gratitude" has wonderful pictures to colo

Hillsong Movie ticket voucher and CD giveaway!!

This Friday, September 16th, is the opening date for Hillsong - Let Hope Rise (the movie). I just looked it up and it is playing on Friday in Topeka and is coming soon in Auburn, NE for you local folks. I think that's awesome because, looking at the other films in the theaters right now, we could use some hope.  screenshot of Topeka's movie theater website (the big one) screenshot of Auburn, NE movie theater website Here's a clip from the film featuring United's Taya Smith talking about the meaning of worship.  And in case you want a closer look at the movie, here is a trailer:  GIVEAWAY: I have two (2) movie money electronic vouchers and one (1) Hillsong movie soundtrack to giveaway to one (1) lucky winner!! HOW TO ENTER:   Mandatory: Tell me your favorite Hillsong United song ( Oceans is my favorite). Please LEAVE AN EMAIL ADDRESS in your comment also so I can contact you. If you don't, I may not be able to contact you to let y

Mother and Son book giveaway WINNER

Jessica Miller , you are the winner of my Mother and Son book giveaway. I'll have to make a trip soon to visit you and bring you the book! Anyone else who wants can buy your own copy here or borrow mine. Disclaimer: I use to generate a winner's number.

Greater jersey winner

The only valid entrant for my Greater jersey giveaway is my sister, Alyson. I'll get the jerseys to you, sis. :) Disclaimer: the importance of an email when entering my giveaways is a must! I can't get in touch with you when you leave a comment without an email address. Sorry to the other entrant in this giveaway.

Vive Health - Balance Disc review

I have had a bulging disc in my back since April and that stinks. It hurts every day - mostly in my lower back and hip. I haven't been able to run since May. I walk almost every day but it's hard; today I didn't think I'd make it back home. Please don't take this as whining; I really have been accepting this, even when it's hard. I've also been proactive with my health. I've done chiropractic work, PT, exercise, stretching, and I have an appointment for a cortisone shot. And, when I had a shot to try a balance disc from Vive Health, I took it. At the time, I thought it would be to do core exercises but exercise of any kind irritates my back even more so that was out. I wasn't sure I'd be able to do a review but then I started to use the disc to sit on and stand on. image via Vive Health I sit on the disc every day. I sat on it while we traveled to my sister's wedding. I sat on it while we prepped for the wedding. I sat on it at the we

Bat Dad: a parody by Blake Wilson (book review)

If you are unfamiliar with Bat Dad, I think you should take a gander at YouTube. We started watching Blake Wilson's Bat Dad videos. They are funny and light-hearted, but I will warn you that some of the snippets are inappropriate (him telling his son that tables are for glasses not a**es and one I just watched with him saying, "that's what she said."). I try to watch before my kids and we really don't watch many anymore because my sons repeat everything they hear. One has a filter, one does not and I just don't want them to repeat inappropriate things. image via Blogging for Books I was cautious reading the new "Bat Dad: a parody" book by Blake Wilson. And it proved in good faith. I had to go through the book and cross out three curse words with Sharpie. The book itself is made up of images from his videos compiled with captions (some from the videos, others not). My sons really enjoy the book - my eldest actually just took it to read it. They