25 May, 2017

Life Update + Coming Soon on the Blog!

Hey everyone, I hope things are well with all who read this. The first 5 months of this year have had me pretty busy. I've had the flu, 3 pretty bad falls, anxiety/panic attacks & multiple tests done, now I'm just waiting for the results & then 3 more tests/procedures to go through. Not EVERYTHING has been bad though. We are moving soon, &  I've been selling my crochet chibis like hot cakes & I'm partnering up with an amazing company(more on that at a later date).

June doesn't look like it will be slowing down anytime soon, we've got a road trip to Ms(meh), family to visit(yay!), more outdoor family time & I will start planning for the 2017-2018 school year(yes, in June). I will be homeschooling all three of our girls...so I will have my hands full. Thankfully my oldest can do most of her work on her own & only needs help with a few subjects.

I'm most concerned with homeschooling my daughter that has high functioning autism...there are good days and then there are bad days. She will def keep me on my toes with school. I think we will have to make learning more hands-on & fun, which means not sitting at the table for long periods of time.

I think we will do more outdoor learning activities. Of course, we will have a few weekend trips where we visit museums and those sorts of things.

I will share more about the new partnership soon!

23 May, 2017

Mandisa | Out Of The Dark

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Mandisa wrote her song “Overcomer” in 2013 to encourage her close friend Kisha, who was battling breast cancer. Mandisa really believed and prayed that God was going to heal her, but when Kisha went to be with Jesus in 2014, Mandisa’s foundation was shaken in a way she never expected. She fell into a deep pit of depression for close to 3 years, shutting out her friends, family and the rest of the world. Mandisa believes if she had kept going down that road she was on, she would not be here today… but God stepped in and lifted her out of that pit by using her close friends to communicate their love for her and God’s love for her. This album is Mandisa’s way of letting her fans into her story – it’s called 'Out Of The Dark' because that is exactly where God lifted her out of! 

You can watch her talk openly about this on Good Morning America last week here: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/mandisa-opens-overcoming-depression-47020463

Story Behind The Album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Df27myDpm1c
Acoustic Video for "Unfinished”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQFpXcvFI0A

*My Review*
I have always been a fan of Mandisa, but her newest CD "Out Of The Dark" may just be her best one yet. I loved blasting this CD from my car while driving, & while in the house.

After listening to this CD, I am reminded that we all have our moments when we are down and in a place that we think we will never see a way out. "Out of the Dark" reminds us that Jesus is ALWAYS there and He will NEVER leave us, nor forsake us. 

I love all of the songs on this CD, but I think my fav one is "Bleed the Same"

22 May, 2017

The Good Book offers a user-friendly guide to the Bible's biggest ideas.

I received a copy of this book free to review. I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.

A chapter from the Bible accompanies each chapter of the book, which helps readers understand the context and content of the Scripture passages in a way that can open the whole Bible.
Designed as a forty-day journey through forty key chapters of the Bible,  The Good Book will appeal to those who already love and read the Bible regularly as well as to those who are just beginning their Christian journey.
The Good Book:
-is a great evangelism tool for explaining the major themes of Scripture to those who want to know more about God, Jesus, and the core beliefs of Christianity;
-gives new believers an overview of the Bible and lays a framework to help them understand Scripture passages;
-helps longtime Christians rediscover the basic themes of Scripture and experience these truths in a new way; and
-encourages Scriptural literacy as it pushes readers to read both one chapter of the book and one chapter of the Bible each day for forty days.
The Good Book is great for individuals, and it can also be used by small groups in an eight-week church-wide program or a forty-week journey that focuses on one Bible chapter each week. 

The Good Book will help people understand and live by the transformative truths of the Bible.

*My Review*
"The Good Book" by Deron Spoo will take you on a journey through 40 essential themes in the Bible. Spoo highlights key verses to give new Christians a basic understanding of the Christian values, but even the most mature Christians will find appreciation for the principles. 

Some people think that the Bible is a "one and done" type of book, but it's not..each time you open your Bible, or study a certain scripture you will find something new.

Deron Spoo is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Over the past 16 years, Spoo has guided the church as it transitions from being simply a downtown church to a regional church committed to urban ministry. Church members describe him as "down to earth" and "authentic." His television devotionals, "First Things First," reach 100,000 people each week. Spoo is a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Paula, have three children.
Find out more about Deron at http://www.readthegoodbook.com.

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19 May, 2017

Water Works Waterpark in Denton, Tx.

I received free passes for myself and my family in exchange for my honest opinion. I am not required to post a positive review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

*We have been to water works for the past three years and have LOVED it. It's so much fun & I can't wait to go back again this year!*

Water Works Park has everything you need to make this an awesome summer! We offer exciting Aquatic Explorer Camps, kayaking camps, and swim lessons for kids on summer vacation. Enjoy four giant outdoor water slides, two toddler water slides, one giant indoor water slide, a beautiful lazy river, a children's play pool, sand volleyball court, new concessions, and more. 

My readers receive $2 off Water Works Park admission. 

17 May, 2017

{{Book Review}} The Apache Wars | The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started the Longest War in American History

I received a copy of this book free to review. I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.

In the tradition of Empire of the Summer Moon, a stunningly vivid historical account of the manhunt for Geronimo and the 25-year Apache struggle for their homeland

They called him Mickey Free. His kidnapping started the longest war in American history, and both sides--the Apaches and the white invaders—blamed him for it. A mixed-blood warrior who moved uneasily between the worlds of the Apaches and the American soldiers, he was never trusted by either but desperately needed by both. He was the only man Geronimo ever feared. He played a pivotal role in this long war for the desert Southwest from its beginning in 1861 until its end in 1890 with his pursuit of the renegade scout, Apache Kid.

In this sprawling, monumental work, Paul Hutton unfolds over two decades of the last war for the West through the eyes of the men and women who lived it. This is Mickey Free's story, but also the story of his contemporaries: the great Apache leaders Mangas Coloradas, Cochise, and Victorio; the soldiers Kit Carson, O. O. Howard, George Crook, and Nelson Miles; the scouts and frontiersmen Al Sieber, Tom Horn, Tom Jeffords, and Texas John Slaughter; the great White Mountain scout Alchesay and the Apache female warrior Lozen; the fierce Apache warrior Geronimo; and the Apache Kid. These lives shaped the violent history of the deserts and mountains of the Southwestern borderlands--a bleak and unforgiving world where a people would make a final, bloody stand against an American war machine bent on their destruction.

*My Review*
This book is amazing. I've never been one for reading anything about history(esp when I was younger), but this book really peaked my interest. I absolutely loved reading this book & learning new things about Native Americans. There is a TON of detail in this book and I can't wait for my children to read this book as well. This will be a great learning experience for them since we homeschool.

This will be a book that is kept around for a long time and passed on for other family members to read and maybe learn something new as well. 

13 May, 2017

The Joy of Letting Go: Releasing Your Teen into Real Life in the Big World

I received a copy of this book free to review. I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.

With readings of encouragement and inspirational quotes, this devotional helps parents prepare their hearts for their children's independence, whether their kids are just starting kindergarten or graduating from college.

Parents let go of their children every day, even in ways they don't realize. The 52 devotional readings within shine a light on all the times readers have loosened their grip on their children and encourages them to continue to let go in life-giving ways. Written by a parenting and education expert, The Joy of Letting Go will comfort and inspire parents in all seasons of parenting.

*My Review*
My oldest will be 14 in a few months & I have been struggling with the fact that she is growing up. I know she will be going to college, moving out, getting married etc all too soon. Vicki Caruana's book "The Joy Of Letting Go" has 52 devotions to help you get ready for your teens to grow up and move on.

This book is full of helpful tips & advice. I think all parents of teen/preteens should read this book so that they too can learn to let go when the time comes.

About the author:
Dr. Vicki Caruana is the author of 20 books and the blog Apples & Chalkdust-named after her bestselling book that has touched the lives of a million educators around the world. Caruana is one of four parenting experts on "Starting Points," Focus on the Family's parenting DVD series. Formerly a public school teacher and a homeschooling mom, Vicki is now an assistant professor of education at Mount Saint Mary College in New York. She lives with her station wagon loving husband, Chip, in Newburgh, New York and has two grown sons in Colorado Springs.
Find out more about Vicki at http://vickicaruana.blogspot.com.
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07 May, 2017

Hope grows when seeds are planted-even in the muddy middle of life.

I received a copy of this book free to review. I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.

Josiah Chamberlain's life's work revolves around repairing other people's marriages. When his own is threatened by his wife's unexplained distance, and then threatened further when she's unexpectedly plunged into an unending fog, Josiah finds his expertise, quick wit and clever quips are no match for a relationship that is clearly broken.
Feeling betrayed, confused, and ill-equipped for a crisis this crippling, he reexamines everything he knows about the fragility of hope and the strength of his faith and love. Love seems to have failed him. Will what's left of his faith fail him, too? Or will it be the one thing that holds him together and sears through the impenetrable wall that separates them?

*My Review*
Cynthia Ruchti has become a favorite author of mine. I have read just about all of her books(if not all) & I have never been disappointed. "Fragile Hope" is an amazing book. I stayed up waaaaay too late reading it because I couldn't put it down& I may have cried a lot while reading this book. This is a book I will read over again.

About the author:

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in hope through her novels, novellas, nonfiction books, articles and devotionals, drawing from 33 years of on-air radio ministry. Ruchti has written more than 20 award-winning novels, novellas, nonfiction books and devotionals. Her books have received numerous awards and nominations, including the RT Reviewers' Choice, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year nominations, two Selah Awards, Christian Retailing's BEST, was an ACFW Carol Award finalist and a Christy finalist, among other honors. Her latest release is the novel A Fragile Hope.
One of Ruchti's greatest joys is helping other writers grow in their craft. To that end, she has served as worship and devotions staff and faculty for the Write-to-Publish conference and teaches at other writers' conferences across the country and internationally as opportunities arise. She also serves as the professional relations liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers.
Ruchti speaks frequently for women's groups and serves on her church's worship team. She and her husband live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.
Find out more about Cynthia at http://www.cynthiaruchti.com.
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