Review/Giveaway: Old Fashioned books and DVD

Old Fashioned DVD & books giveaway

Wow–what a great giveaway today! The winner will receive the Old Fashioned movie on DVD as well as Old Fashioned, the novel by Rene Gutteridge and The Old Fashioned Way: Reclaiming the Lost Art of Romance by Ginger Kolbaba.

You can read a detailed review of the movie at this post.  But if you don’t click over there, let me just tell you that my husband and 2 teen sons enjoyed this movie.  It’s not prudish and it’s not a “preachy” movie.  It isn’t what I expected, and I bet it will surprise you, too! It’s rated PG-13.

Today’s review is of the 2 books that are both based on the screenplay written by Rik Swartzwelder.

Old Fashioned is a novelization that Rene Gutteridge wrote.  It was very enjoyable to read!  I haven’t read a “romance” novel in decades, and this one was refreshing. I had already watched the movie, so it was fun to see more details filled in with the book. There were some parts of the plot that the movie even left out. (I wonder if they had been filmed, but then cut during the editing stage?) Just like the movie, the book deals with some adult themes, so it’s not appropriate for kids.  Teens need to start thinking about these issues, however. I think it’s important for them to see the 2 main characters and how the bad choices they made in the past still affect them today. But also how God’s grace can wash over a repentant soul and restore it. It’s a beautiful story of redemption!

Old Fashioned is a paper-back book, 303 pages long. It’s published by Tyndale House.

“Turning his back on his reckless lifestyle, former frat boy Clay Walsh has settled down to turn an antique shop in a small Midwestern college town….and to purse lofty and outdated theories on love and romance.  But when Amber Hewson, a free-spirited woman with a gypsy soul, rents the apartment above his shop, Clay can’t help being attracted to her spontaneous and passionate embrace of life.  Amber also finds herself surprisingly drawn to Clay, but his ideas about relationships are unusual to say the least, and they bring to light her own deep wounds and fears about love.  They say opposites attract, but can Clay and Amber move beyond their differences and their pasts to attempt an “old fashioned” courtship?”

The Old Fashioned Way: Reclaiming the Lost Art of Romance by Ginger Kolbaba is a non-fiction book also inspired by Rik Swartzwelder’s story. The book opens with a “Note” from Rik where he explains why he wrote the Old Fashioned screenplay in the first place and how it all started to come together. The book is written in a devotional format, with 40 days of readings. Each “Day” begins with a quote (sometimes from the movie), about 3 pages explaining an aspect of living the “old fashioned” life of purity and following God’s ways, a Bible verse, some questions to answer in a journal, and a prayer.  It would be a wonderful book for teens or older singles to read through to understand more about what God wants for us, why it’s best, and how to actually do it since it is so against the flow of our society today!

The Old Fashioned Way: Reclaiming the Lost Art of Romance is paper-back, 222 pages. It has several appendices that are quite helpful: discussion starters that could be used in a small group and a list of resources for further study.

“Contrary to popular opinion, being “old fashioned” doesn’t mean you’re dull or unromantic.  In fact, a true old fashioned relationship can be more exciting and romantic than anything you’ve ever experienced!  So what does it mean to do things the old fashioned way?  Sure, it means opening doors, holding out chairs, and taking things slow.  But a true old fashioned romance goes much, much deeper than that.  Inspired by the motion picture Old Fashioned, this book will show you how to reclaim the lost art of romance by introducing you to romantic love as God intended it.  Regardless of your past mistakes, where you’ve been, what you’ve done, or where you are now, you can find and create a love that will last a lifetime!  As you work your way through this forty-day journey of inspiring readings and questions for reflection, you’ll discover all the unique and amazing benefits of doing things the old fashioned way.  And before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to creating a love story for the ages.”
S O C I A L • C O R N E R
 
Official Website – http://www.oldfashionedmovie.com
 
 
Twitter: @OldFashionedVow  #OLDFASHIONEDMOVIE
 
 Now the giveaway! One blessed person will win the Old Fashioned DVD, novel, and devotional book. Giveaways are only valid in US & Canada. Enter on the Rafflecopter app below. The winner will be chosen on July 8 and will have 24 hours to respond to my email.
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 products 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. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.” This post contains affiliate links.

Review/ Giveaway: Jesus Calling for Little Ones

Another wonderful children’s book is here for a review and giveaway today  .  This one is Jesus Calling for Little Ones by Sarah Young, illustrated by Antonia Woodward.

It’s a “Jesus Calling” book, which means that it comes from the adult book Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence
(which I have written about here).  These devotions are so special because they are written as if Jesus were speaking directly to you.


I have also reviewed (and love!) Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions For Kids, which has shortened versions of the devotions that are in the adult book.

What’s special about Jesus Calling for Little Ones is that it’s written for toddlers.  There are 13 “devotions” to read to your child.  Each one is on 2 pages, with beautiful illustrations, a 4-5 line saying of words Jesus could be saying to your child, and a verse of Scripture.

Jesus Calling for Little Ones

One thing I really liked was that there is a specific phrase for each devotion that is in red. If you are reading to a baby or younger toddler who can only handle a few words per page, these are already picked out for you! You’ll read, “I created everything,” “I know everything about you,” and “I am everywhere!”

Jesus Calling for Little Ones

I’m happy to have a copy of this board book to give away. Enter on the Rafflecopter app below. The winner will be chosen on July 8 and will have 24 hours to respond to my email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to write this honest review.

Review/ Giveaway: Noah’s Noisy Zoo: A Fit-Together Shapes Book

  

Today I’m happy to share a Review and Giveaway of Noah’s Noisy Zoo: A Feel-and-Fit Shapes Book,
illustrated by stuart Lynch and published by Tommy Mommy.

Tommy Mommy book: Noah's Noisy Zoo

As you can see from the pictures this is a very cute and colorful board book for babies and toddlers.  The shapes of some of the animals are cut into the page and others protrude out, which is why they call it a fit-together shapes book.  These are fun for babies and toddlers to touch, giving them a more sensory experience with the book.

Tommy Mommy book: Noah's Noisy Zoo

The “story” is of the animals who are coming to Noah’s ark: monkeys, owls, snakes, bears, birds, dogs, lions, and frogs.

The only thing I don’t like about the book is the last page which shows a teeny-weeny ark, which is quite opposite of the true size and helps promote the belief to people today that Noah’s ark wasn’t real.

Tommy Mommy book: Noah's Noisy Zoo

I did enjoy reading this book to my 3-year-old and am happy to have a copy to give away.

Enter on the Rafflecopter app below.  The winner will be chosen on Wednesday, July 8 and will have 24 hours to respond to my email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to write this honest review. This post also contains affiliate links.)

Review: Delightful Planning: A Unit Study Planner for Every Homeschool

One of my favorite bloggers, Marcy Crabtree of BenandMe.com has put together a new ebook called Delightful Planning: A Unit Study Planner for Every HomeschoolIf this book interests you at all, you’ll want to pick it up before the end of day on July, 2015 because it’s 25% off all month!

Delightful Planning is 49 pages long.  I had expected it to only be a planner, full of different worksheets (which is has), but didn’t realize that it’s also an ebook explaining all about Delight-Directed Homeschooling, using unit studies, field trips suggestions, and many other techniques for following the delight-directed style of homeschooling. This first section is 22 pages long!  I have followed many delight-directed ideas in my homeschool, as well as used unit studies quite often–and I still learned a lot!  I gained several new ideas I plan to implement.

The last part of the book contains 20 gorgeous worksheets for helping to plan your next unit study.  Some of these are for mom and some are for the kids.  Click over and download some samples.  And remember, the sale ends on Tuesday.

 

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Review/ Giveaway: “Daddy Loves You So Much!”

Daddy Loves You So Much

What a precious book to review for you today! Daddy Loves You So Much is a padded board book for babies and toddlers.  It’s published by Tommy Nelson and illustrated by Jo Parry.

I think this book is just perfect for Father’s Day!  It reminds me of my husband with his little boys and girls.  Each of the 10 pages features a different father and child animal pair with a 4-line rhyme.  We talk about the Daddy who loves, cares, teaches, and makes laugh.  The book is funny and clever, and I really love the illustrations.

I’m always on the look-out for books that honor fathers and show them involved with and loving their kids. This book does just that!

Purchase it here: Daddy Loves You So Much

Enter the Giveaway on the Rafflecopter app below.  Contest ends on June 1, 2015 and winner has 24 hours to respond to my email.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

(Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this honest review. This post also contains affiliate links.)

Review: Redo Your Room- 50 Bedroom DIYS You Can Do in a Weekend

Redo Your Room

Do you have a teen or tween daughter who is looking for some ideas to tweak her bedroom?  I think you’ll really enjoy this book review today of Redo Your Room- 50 Bedroom DIYS You Can Do in a Weekend.  It’s published by FaithGirlsz by Zonderkidz.  The book is a handy small size, paperback, 127 pages, and in full color!

My daughters and I definitely had fun looking through the different ideas and thinking through which ones they would like to do.

One favorite was called “Pretty Drawer Pulls” and demonstrates how to decoupage with fabric to recreate the look of drawer pulls on a nightstand or dresser.

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Another favorite was “Decorated Desk Lamp.” It shows how to apply some paint and lace to make a simple desk lamp really beautiful.

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And we also loved the “Twinkling Teacup Candles” where you use vintage teacups and add soy candle wax and wick adhesive to create a candle.  They put gold glitter on the top, and the teacup candles are just gorgeous!

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You can see more about the book at Amazon: Redo Your Room: 50 Bedroom DIYs You Can Do in a Weekend (Faithgirlz)

The book is divided into 10 different chapters.

  1. Shape your Space–helps her plan out her changes, where to put keepsakes, explains about colors, painting tips
  2. Get Organized–declutter, how to store, ideas for desk and closet
  3. Sculpt Your Style–how to make it lovely and happy, where to place things
  4. Smarten Up Your Study Space–8 DIY ideas such as painted wooden desk chair and cute computer cords
  5. Dress Up Your Bedroom–8 DIY ideas such as t-shirt pillow covers and XOXO wall letters
  6. Wake Up Your Walls & Windows–8 DIY ideas such as snapshot photo garland and scarf wall tapestry
  7. Cute Up Your Closet–7 DIY ideas such as outfit inspo magnets and boho closet curtain
  8. Glam Up Your Vanity–7 DIY ideas such as embellished hand mirror and floating chandelier
  9. Everything Else–10 more DIY ideas such as teeny terrariums, braided rug, and envelope photo holder
  10. Make it Yours–cleaning routine, using scents, and ideas for sleepover central

The layout of the book is very modern; teens will really relate to it.  I’m pretty sure every girl ages 11-20 will find at least a few ideas in this book that they’d love to do in their room. Most will only a quick trip to the hardware or craft store and won’t cost too much.  Another plus is that the teen girls should be able to most (if not all) of the work themselves; tweens might need a little help from Mom or Dad.  So, in conclusion, I am very happy with this book and know my 4 girls will bring it out again and again to get some more fun ideas. I might even do some myself!

(Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to write this honest review. The post also contains affiliate links.)

I review for BookLook Bloggers

Review: “S is for Smiling Sunrise” by Vick Wadhwa

Smiling Sunrise Review

I’m happy to review a wonderful children’s book today called S is for Smiling Sunrise by Vick Wadhwa of WordsBright.

I was afraid this would be “just another average kids book.”  But it isn’t, and I really like it!

It’s beautiful and colorful and immediately grabbed my 4-year-old son’s attention.  He looked through it and listened to the CD singing the words of it twice when he first saw it.  Then he said, “I wish there was a DVD of it.”  I think he’d love to see the illustrations with song up on the big screen!

Build Your Bundle 2015 Pre-Sale

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The book is described as “a new take on ABCs.”  It’s “an alphabet book of goodness, beauty, and wonder.”

The well-made hard-back book has 32 pages.  It begins with a gift page to write who it’s “for” and “from,” so this would be a great gift for someone.  I love how 10% of the earnings from the book are given to help disadvantaged children.  It’s recommended for ages 3 and up, but my 2-year-old daughter enjoyed it and learned from it as well.

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Each letter of the alphabet has its own page.  There is a photograph or illustration with a 4-line poem.  The focus of each poem is to inspire and encourage children in creativity or in the wonder of our world.  They are encouraged to be kind by saying “thank you” or by giving gifts to others. They are encouraged express themselves through art.  They are taught about nature–butterflies, the ocean, and leaves.  You can use the book to teach preschoolers their colors, the seasons, names of animals, and health lessons like drinking plenty of water and eating healthy food.

As a believer, I would love to find a Scripture to include with each page in the book as well.  For example, on the G is for Gift page, we could learn “It is better to give than to receive.”  On the F is for Flowers page which talks about looking and pausing, being happy and peaceful, we could learn the verse, “Be still and know that I am God.”

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There are some free resources on the Wordsbright website.  You can get a free mp3 download of the song, which sings every word from the book.  It’s 5:25 long.  I do have a suggestion for the song.  It’s sung with a woman’s voice in the lower octave.  I would recommend it being recorded with a woman singing higher, or even with children’s voices!  That makes it easier for the kids to sing along. The other free resource is a Teacher’s Guide.  It’s in 2 parts: for Preschoolers and for Grades K-3.  There are lots of ideas there for using the book for teaching lots of different concepts.  This is a common way that I teach my preschoolers, so it’s nice to see it written out for moms or teachers who might need some suggestions there.  For example, on the W is for Words page, there are lots of words listed such as sharing, effort, and gratitude.  The Teacher Guide gives some questions to ask the kids like, “Why should we choose our words carefully?” She gives an activity to play a word game with the words.  You can even download the Words poster from the website and display it.

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So, overall, S is for Smiling Sunrise is a very nice addition to our home.  I know my children will enjoy reading it and hearing it read to them over and over.

Follow them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wadhwavick

Wordsbright Review
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Review: “Really Woolly Nighttime Lullabies”

Memoria Press 005
We received a very cute book recently called Really Woolly Nighttime Lullabies
by Bonnie Rickner Jensen and illustrated by Donna Chapman.
It’s a sweet padded board book, just perfect for ages 2-5.  I’ve been reading it to my 2-year-old daughter.

*Encourages child to spend time with God at bedtime and have a peaceful night sleep

*Teaches little ones about God’s many loving attributes, through Bible verses and prayer starters

This book begins with a “Note to Parents” explaining about the importance of lullabies and the best way to help children go to sleep is with “gentle reminders of God’s love and care.”

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Then there are 19 sections, each with a Bible verse, poem, a short prayer, and cute illustration.  I truly enjoyed reading these poems to my child.  They are well-written and full of important truths.

Here is an example: The title is Discover.  The verse is “God takes care of us richly. He gives us everything to enjoy.” 1 Timothy 6:17  The poem talks about imagining doing different things such as going to discover a far-off place or playing drums and cymbals. And the prayer thanks God for imagination and creation for there’s so much to be thankful for and discover!

You can see  Really Woolly Nighttime Lullabies for yourself in this Flipbook

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(I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tommy Nelson.  This post contains affiliate links.)

Book Review: “The Daniel Plan” by Warren, Amen, and Hyman

The Daniel Plan reviewThe Daniel Plan review

I just finished reading The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life by Warren, Amen, and Hyman.  I can tell you that there haven’t been too many books I’ve read that have actually changed my life, but this one did!

I was intrigued by it because someone close to me had recommended it when she was going through cancer treatment.  I saw how she changed her eating habits and was inspired by it. But I couldn’t seem to get to the point where I could make those changes myself.

So I started reading The Daniel Plan.  I learned that it isn’t using willpower to change how you eat, but there are 5 parts to the plan.

In order to get healthy, you need to change and grow in 5 essential areas: Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus, and Friends.

  1. Faith— Growing in your spiritual life is the most important component.  If we understand that it is God who created our bodies and created us for a purpose, we are much more likely to focus on making the changes He wants us to make.
  2. Food— I learned so much about food in this chapter, what are the best foods to eat, what I shouldn’t eat, and why.
  3. Fitness— Not only do you learn why fitness is important and how it helps your body, you learn all kinds of ways to add fitness into your daily activities.  There are even lots of exercises with pictures to help you to do them at home.
  4. Focus— It is our brain that is often the saboteur to our getting healthy.  We need to recognize the destructive thoughts and take them captive in order to get our brains to help and not hurt us.
  5. Friends— If we have an accountability group, we are far more likely to be successful in these life-changing habits of getting healthy.

 

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Where God guides, he provides.  What he calls you to do, he equips you to do.  He doesn’t need your strength and willpower, but he does need your commitment.”

“God designed us to experience joy. In fact, we crave it and search for it. Unfortunately, when stress builds up, joy escapes us, and we wind up overeating, overworking, overstressing, overdoing, and even over-sitting.”

“Even the setbacks on your journey can help you move forward. If you pay attention and track your progress, a bad day gives you good data.”

The Daniel Plan gives a very well laid-out plan for a 10-Day Detox.  It includes a shopping list, a daily menu of 3 meals and 2 snacks for 10 days, and recipes for each meal and snack.  I decided there was no reason not to do it.  At the end of the detox, here is what happened: I learned that I really could go without sugar, gluten, dairy, or any additives/preservatives for 10 days!  The food was fun and filling, so I wasn’t missing anything. I lost about five pounds.  I learned that I don’t have a problem with gluten or dairy.  I learned that you really do stop craving sugar if you stop eating i! I learned that there is sugar in all kinds of things I didn’t expect when I started reading labels–like the chicken at Chick-Fil-A, salad dressings, ketchup, etc.  And I learned how to buy and cook all kinds of new foods and recipes!

I connected with a Facebook group where we encourage each other in our new focus on a healthy lifestyle.  This helped me make it through 21 days of a no-sugar challenge!  And now we’re doing 21 days of regular exercising.

The last part of the The Daniel Plan book gives you a plan for 40 days to make the healthy lifestyle a habit.  They have a specific exercise plan and food plan to follow.  I have been lax about the food for the last couple of weeks (although I have still been exercising), so I need to do this 40 day plan and get the habits fully set!

 

I love the recipes in The Daniel Plan, and I also purchased The Daniel Plan Cookbook: Healthy Eating for Life, which is only $4.99 on Kindle version right now!

(Remember, you don’t need a Kindle to read a Kindle book.  Just read it on your computer or download an app to read on any e-reader, smartphone, iPad, etc.)

I’ve now lost 10 pounds and am so happy with my new healthier lifestyle!

(Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of The Daniel Plan from BookLook Bloggers in order to write this honest review. This post contains affiliate links.)

Review: Samantha Sanderson On the Scene

I have finished the second book in the Samantha Sanderson series, called Samantha Sanderson On the Scene. These are books written for tween girls by Robin Caroll and published by Zondervan in 2014. It’s a paperback book 264 pages long.

Synopsis:

Sam Sanderson is a junior high student who is a cheerleader and works on the school newspaper.  Her dream is to become an investigative reporter like her mom, who travels often. Sam’s father is a police officer, and Sam is an only child. In this story one of Sam’s friends is being bullied.  Sam decides to do a series on bullying for the school to get the subject out there and to help catch the bully who is hurting her friend. There is also a theme of divorce throughout the story as Sam interacts with several kids whose parents have divorced or are considering it.  Sam even fears at one point that her own parents might divorce.  But her parents are strong believers and demonstrate how to work through differences and conflict.

What I liked:

The main theme is great.  Bullies are cruel and should be stopped.  I liked how we learn about it from the perspective of the victim, the friend, the parent, the police, and the school staff.  The more knowledge we all have, maybe some bullying will be stopped.  I also like how the book is written from a Christian perspective.

What I didn’t like:

There was a common thread throughout the book that there was a horrible fear from Sam’s friend Makayla that her mother might homeschool her.  This was described as almost a fate worse than the bullying!  As a homeschool mom of a homeschooled middle school-aged daughter who read the book, this was very disheartening to me!  I’m shocked that the author included this subject so often in the book (about 6 times), and can only conclude that she is trying to persuade people away from homeschooling, just as much as she wants to inform them about the dangers of bullying.  It was so bad that as much as I enjoyed most of the other aspects of the book, I won’t be recommending this one and we won’t be reading anymore of the series (unless, of course, Robin Carroll chooses to apologize and to write about the many positive aspects of homeschooling in a future Samantha Sanderson book.)

(Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in order to write this honest review.  This post also contains affiliate links.)

Review: Weird and Wonderful Creations

 

Here’s a fun book for ages 4-8: Weird and Wonderful Creations published by Zonderkidz.  It’s a full-color hardback book with 123 pages.  It’s actually 4 books in 1!  The four books are: Spiders, Snakes, Bees, and Bats; Big Bugs, Little Bugs; Sea Creatures; Poisonous, Smelly, and Amazing Plants.  As you can probably tell from the titles, this is a book that would appeal to boys!

Each page has a wonderful photograph of the animal or plant that is being discussed on it.  The photos are definitely the best part of the book.  The words (sentences) are written on an easier reading level.  Some young children will be able to read the book independently.  The parent or teacher reading it will learn a ton of facts about each animal or plant!

There was one thing that I found a bit frustrating, though.  Sometimes a page would tell about something, but then the picture wouldn’t relate to it.  For example, on the page which tells us that baby mantises are called nymphs, it would be nice to have a picture of some nymphs–maybe side by side with an adult mantis.

I learned quite a lot from this book!  Did you know that fireflies once were used in China to light up lanterns? My favorite section was about the ocean animals, where we learn about jellyfish, sea horses, whales, and sea turtles.  In Spider, Snakes, Bees, and Bats, we learn about those four animals in general.  In Big Bugs, Little Bugs we learn about butterflies, goliath beetles, and praying mantises, and lightning bugs.  In Poisonous, Smelly, and Amazing Plants we read about a mushroom called the fly agaric, the corpse plant, the Venus flytrap, and redwood and sequoia trees.

There is an index in the back so you can easily find the animal or plant you’re looking for. And I loved that we learn that God is the amazing creator of all these creatures!

 

(I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in order to write this honest review.  This post also contains affiliate links.)

Book Review/ Giveaway: “Rescue- Raising Teens in a Drowning Culture”

I now have a teenager, and next year I will have 2! It won’t be long, in fact, until I’ll have 5 teenagers all at once!
So, when I was offered the opportunity to review Candy Gibb’s book Rescue: Raising Teens in a Drowning Culture, I felt like I could use a refresher course on what to expect from the teen years, as well as what the new issues are that I’ll be facing.

Rescue is a very helpful book for learning about parenting teenagers.  The author Candy gives much wisdom herself.  She is the mother of three children, but she is also the Executive Director of a major Crisis Pregnancy Center in Amarillo, TX called CareNet Pregnancy Center. She has an amazing story of redemption, the video of which can be found here.  She deals with tough teen issues daily, so it was so good for me to read her advice on how to approach these tough topics.

But the book doesn’t just have words of advice from Candy.  She has assembled a group of recently graduated teens –mostly college students– into a group she calls the Lifeguards.  In each chapter she has each of them share from their own experiences.  Wow- what an eye-opener.  I’ve already been feeling lately that things truly are different for my kids that they were for me, and that there is a generation gap between us that I wish weren’t there.  I know reading Rescue is going to help me with that.

Here are the chapters you’ll find in Rescue:

1- Your Family

2- Faith/Identity

3- Teens, Sex, and Society

4- Technology

5- My Teen is Struggling with Homosexuality

6- Pro-Life & Pro-Choice

7- Communication

8- Mentoring

9- Preparing Teens for College & Beyond

10- Building an Ark

 

The format of the book includes “Commentaries from Candy,” “Let’s Ask the Lifeguards,” “Treading Tips” (practical nuggets of wisdom that sumarize the lessons), and “Life Preservers” (relevant and encouraging Scripture).

You will find that Rescue is written from a biblical perspective.  She encourages us to have our teens in church. But it is so much more practical and real that that.

 

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

“Teaching your teen to find value and identity in the Lord is more critical than teaching them to eat healthy and helping them get into the university of their choice.  Remind your teenager of the Lord’s calling on their life.”

“A lack of identity is prevalent due in part to the influence of  social media. . .  Often times, when someone posts a selfie, it’s to get a response. . .  ‘Do you think I’m beaufiful?’ or ‘How would you rate me?’ ”

“Prepare your teens for the ridicule they will likely face from their peers if they choose to remain sexually pure.  Help them develop ways to deal with it.”

 

Rescue: Raising Teens in a Drowning Culture is completely filled with practical advice such as this.  I’m so happy to have a copy of the book to give away!

Giveaway:

Update:  The winner is AmySD!

 

(Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Rescue in order to write this honest review.  I also received one to give away.   This post contains affiliate links.)

Review of “Purposeful Design: Understanding the Creation”

Purposeful Design Review
 

 

Purposeful Design: Understanding the Creation by author Jay Schabacker is a new book we have been reading in our home lately, and I’m happy to review it for you today.  You can see more about it at the Purposeful Design website.

There are several ways to describe this beautiful book:

  • It’s a great Coffee Table book, for guests to pick up and leaf through.
  • It’s an informative and enjoyable book for reading aloud to your kids about our God’s awesome creation.  (My 9-year-old daughter especially enjoyed me reading it to her.)
  • It’s a book that can be used by junior high or high school students who are studying science.

Purposeful Design Review

The book is usable with all ages, is a sturdy hardback book of 91 pages, and costs $18.95.  You can purchase it here.

 

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One of the best parts of the book is that it’s full of beautiful pictures!  There is lots of Scripture sprinkled through as well.

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The format of the book is that there are 7 chapters–one for each day of creation.  Then the author goes into detail about some of the things that were created on that day.

For each chapter here is what you’ll read about:

Day 1:  God created the heavens and the earth, the planets continuing their orbit defies the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

Day 2: God created the atmosphere and water, how the rain cycle works.

Day 3: God created the dry land and vegetation, why apples are so healthy for us, ways in which plants are useful.

Day 4: God created the sun, moon, and stars; how the suns rays and earth’s tilt give us our seasons, why sunrise and sunsets change from day to day; using this information to build Stonehenge and the Ground Zero Memorial; the benefits of our moon; ocean tides; how leatherback turtles take advantage of the tides; stars and celestial navigation.

Day 5:  God created the birds and fish, how birds and fish benefit us, birds’ instincts, salmon, how fish swim, why ice floats, funny-looking animals in the ocean.

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Day 6: God created land animals and people, domestic animals such as camels and cows, amazing uniqueness of humans, our amazing bodies (including the appendix), cells, brain.

Day 7: God rested and taught us to rest, too.

The only thing negative I have to say about the book is that some of the photographs are not high quality (are somewhat blurry), as you might see in the photo below.

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Overall, I am very happy with Purposeful Design and am glad to have it in our home now.  Some parts are very detailed, which can be great for older kids and adults to learn some amazing things you never knew before!

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Also included to use with the book is the Young Explorer’s Club curriculum, and it’s free!  You get student pages that are fill-in-the-blank, and a teacher’s guide with all the answers.  Here are a couple of pages from the Young Explorer’s Club:

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Another child just wanted to draw the days of creation as I was reading about them:

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Visit Jay Schabacker, the author, on social media!

Blog: www.Jayschabacker.blogspot.com

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/pages/Jay-Schabacker

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/Jayschabacker

LinkedIn: Jayschab

 

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Review: “The Legend of St. Nicholas”


Today’s review is of a Christmas book you might want to get this Christmas: The Legend of St. Nicholas: A Story of Christmas Giving by Dandi Daley Mackall, illustrated by Richard Cowdrey.

In this modern-day story, Nick is a young boy who is going Christmas shopping with his dad.  He’s not real excited about getting something for others; in fact he’s hoping there is money left over so he can get something for himself.  As he is wandering around the store, he hears someone say his name.  It’s a mall Santa who is telling the story of a boy named Nick.  This is the same Nick who would grow up to be St. Nicholas.

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Nick’s parents loved God and taught him to do so as well.  They were also wealthy.  When they died, Nick was still young.  He realized that God had a plan for him–to give his money away to those in need.  He did that secretly, including to some girls who needed the money for their dowries, and he threw the money in through their chimney!

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I enjoyed reading The Legend of St. Nicholas.  The story was cute–how the modern day Nick learns about the 4th Century Nick and decides that he wants to be like him and be generous as well!  I also loved the illustrations.  The book is filled with beautiful paintings by Richard Cowdrey, and it was fun to see the snowy owl which appeared on many of the pages!

 

(Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to give this honest review.  This post also contains affiliate links.)

 

 

 

Review: If He Had Not Come by David Nicholson

Christmas Book Review
Are you looking for a new Christmas book to read to your kids this year?  I’ve found one for you!  Today I am reviewing If He Had Not Come by David Nicholson.

This story is best for ages 6 and up and is a beautiful physical hardback book in full color.

David Nicholson has reintroduced the story which is a classic Christmas story by Nan F. Weeks.  It is illustrated by Charles Jaskiewicz.

I really enjoyed reading If He Had Not Come.  My first thought was that it reminded me of the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life!” Remember what happens there?  George is faced with a new reality of what life would be like if he hadn’t lived.  Well, in this story we see some evidence of how our world would be different if Jesus hadn’t lived.  It’s powerful to read about the differences!

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A young boy is the main character and is excited about Christmas the next day.  Before bed he reads the Bible with his dad and they read John 15:22 where Jesus says, “If I had not come. . . ”  He goes to bed thinking about that.  When he wakes up he goes downstairs and doesn’t see his parents anywhere.  But there are other things missing as well: the Chrismas tree and presents and decorations!  He goes outside and finds that the factory down the street is running that day. When he asks the foreman why they are open on Christmas day, he says he’s never heard of Christmas and doesn’t know what the boy is talking about.  He goes from place to place trying to figure out what is going on, and no one seems to know anything about Christmas.  He runs to his church, but it’s not there.  He runs to the Children’s Home to watch the kids open Christmas presents, but it’s not there either!  There is just a sign in each place that says, “If I Had Not Come.”

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He then sees a sick old man and tells him he’ll run to the hospital to get him some help, but the hospital isn’t there.  And the homeless shelter doesn’t exist either.  Signs that say “If I Had Not Come” are everywhere.  Finally, the boy runs home and goes up to bed.  Soon he wakes up and realizes it had all been a dream, but a very powerful one!  Christianity  has made an enormous impact in our world and in our society.  Christians who care about others have built hospitals and homeless shelters and children’s homes.  They have spread the love of Christ all around, and if He had not come, our world would be vastly different today.

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After the lovely story with fine illustrations, there are several pages that a parent or teacher can go over with their children.  The discussion questions were quite interesting and I enjoyed doing these with my kids.  There is also a page that explains how to share the gospel and how to accept Jesus as one’s Savior.

David Nicholson took a wonderful old story and put it in a great package to share with kids.  I’m sure you’ll like this book just like I did!

The price is Casebound Hardcover for $18.95 and E-Book for $3.99.

Visit the If He Had Not Come Facebook page!

 

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Review: The Berenstain Bears Blessed are the Peacemakers

Here’s another great Berenstain Bears book written by son Mike Berenstain called Blessed are the Peacemakers.

This story is based on the verse from Matthew 5:9 where Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

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The cubs are at school and we find that there are several groups who are always bickering with each other.  They’re trouble-makers and tease and bully.  Everyone joins in for the all-school play, though.  And it’s pretty ironic that the lead girl and boy (for Romeo and Grizzliet) are from rival “gangs.”  Problems continued to happen until they were actually on stage, and a fight breaks out in front of the audience!  Even the parents got involved.  It’s Squire Grizzly and Preacher Brown who became the peacemakers and helped everyone realized what they were doing was wrong.

The final page has “Activites and Questions from Brother and Sister Bear”

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There are 3 questions to talk about with your child and 2 activities to get out and do.  These help to add to the teaching of the book.

 

(Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Blessed are the Peacemakers in order to write this honest review. This post also contains affiliate links.)

Review “Samantha Sanderson at the Movies” by Robin Caroll

I enjoy getting books that would be good for my tween daughter (who just turned 11) to read.  She loves to read and she loved reading the Samantha Sanderson books.  When we received them I didn’t have time to read them yet; my daughter read them in a matter of days!

The first book in the Faithgirlz! Series for Tweens by Robin Caroll is Samantha Sanderson At the Movies.  We are introduced to Sam who is a 7th grader in public school and her best friend Makayla.  The scenes go from school, fun places (movie theater, football game), church, and Sam’s home.  Sam has a great desire to be an investigative reporter like her mother.  Sam’s father is a police detective.  The story starts out at the movie theater when Sam helps to discover that a bomb has been planted there.

The entire story is that Sam is reporting on the crime at her school’s new blog site.  She continually has to make decisions about what would be appropriate to print, and she often makes bad decisions, such as all but accusing certain people of committing the crime when there was no proof.  She justifies what she does by saying that that’s what a reporter does.  At the end of the story she learns that she didn’t do it very well.  Her mom and dad talk to her about writing things that are kind–not just true.  And listening to her father’s wishes and keeping his trust, instead of just writing what she wants to because she’ll get more comments.

The story was very well-written.  Nothing about the writing bothered me (which seems to be common in lots of books these days).  I loved the ways living out the Christian life was seemlessly woven into the story.  Sam talks to her youth director at church and gets advice on witnessing to her friend at school who isn’t a Christian.  She prays with her dad and talks with her mom about God.

The only negative thing I have is that there was so much more time that Sam spent justifying writing what she wanted than there was of her admitting she was wrong and listening to her parents explain the best way.  I fear that maybe my daughter didn’t quite catch all of it.

Overall, I recommend Samantha Sanderson At the Movies as a book that would be great for a Christian tween girl to read.  Now, I’m off to read Samantha Sanderson On the Scene!

 

(I received a complimentary copy of Samantha Sanderson At the Movies in order to write this honest review.  This post also contains affiliate links.)

Review: 2 Adventure Bible “I Can Read” books

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It’s always fun to receive some new “I Can Read” books for the beginning readers in my home.  Here are two unique ones I’d like to review for you today: God’s Great Creation and Moses Leads the People.

The Bible Stories come from The Adventure Bible–a very popular Bible for kids.  These small paperback books are 32 pages long and are written for Level 2, which is described as “High-interest stories for developing readers”.  They are $3.99 each.

The illustrations are by David Miles and are very fun and colorful!  The last page of each book has a memory verse, description of Bible people to know, and “Words to Treasure” (an explanation about something described in the story).

God’s Great Creation is a retelling of the creation story–the six days of creation and what God created each day, his creation of Adam and Eve, and their disobedience and being sent out of the garden.  But at the end, we are told “God was planning how to help his people.”
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Moses Leads the People tells us about the wonderful man of God Moses who lead God’s people out of slavery in Egypt.  We see him talking to Pharoah, learn about the plagues, and see the Red Sea part and God saving His people.

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I’m so glad to have these books that my younger kids can read to themselves and learn about the Bible at the same time.

 

(Disclosure: I received these books complimentary in exchange for this honest review. This post also contains affiliate links.)

Review of 3 New Veggie Tales Books

We have 3 great new Veggie Tales books in our home that I’d like to share with you today.

First is Yuletide Ice Cube Fair by Karen Poth.  The Veggie Tales characters are all getting ready for Christmas!  They ice skate and then hear the bell calling them over to the annual ice cube carving contest.  Everyone works hard creating their incredible carvings to display what Christmas means to them.  The finalists are a shopping mall, angels singing, the peas winning the prize, and a Christmas feast.  But the winner is Junior who carved a tiny stable with a little baby and a shepherd kneeling down.  That displayed what Christmas truly is about!  You’ll also find two Scriptures from Luke 2 in this paperback book of 20 pages.  The book is best for ages 4-8.

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The next two books are Level 1 “I Can Read” books.  These are always a hit in my home where I have beginning readers.  The titles are Sheerluck Holmes and The Case of the Missing Friend and The Mess Detectives and the Case of the Lost Temper, both by Karen Poth.

 

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In Sheerluck Holmes and The Case of the Missing Friend Sheer luck Holmes and Bobby Watson have to solve the mystery of what happened to their friend who disappeared from the pizza place. They find a note he left that said he was leaving because his feelings had been hurt. The ones who hurt his feelings confess, find Sniffy, and ask for forgiveness.

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In The Mess Detectives and the Case of the Lost Temper Bob and Larry and trying to solve the mystery of the Masked Door Slammer. But the story is really about bob who is really in a bad mood. He gets madder and madder as the sort goes on, and finally he loses his temper. Larry explains that Bob is being just like the Masked Door Slammer by losing his temper. Bob realizes that he is right and chooses not to “let his anger run wild” anymore.

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(Disclosure: I received complimentary copies of these books in order to write these honest reviews.  This post also contains affiliate links.)

 

Review/ Giveway: “It Will Be Okay” by Lysa TerKeurst

It Will Be Okay review

I’m happy to be reviewing a book from one of my favorite authors today: Lysa TerKeurst. But this time it’s for a children’s book!

It Will be Okay: Trusting God Through Fear and Change (Little Seed & Little Fox)
 
is a beautiful hardback book for
ages 4-8.  I absolutely adore the illustrations by Natalia Moore–so precious!

It Will Be Okay by Lysa TerKeurst

*Great purchase for parents or grandparents who want to encourage their children to deal with fear and change

*Children will learn that God has good plans for them

*Helps kids know that God will be with them through every stop as they grow

The book has a pretty page for filling in if giving as a gift.  The next page is a letter from Lysa to the parent about why she wrote the book.  She knew she needed to help her kids find a way to face their fears and trust in God, even when she isn’t around to remind them.  Next is a page with 10 Scriptures to Memorize with Your Kids.  There are some really great scriptures listed here.  I think my favorite is Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

The story is 28 pages long and tells about a little seed who is safe in the Farmer’s shed.  A fox comes in and befriends him.  They are quite happy keeping each other company until the day the farmer plants the seed.  The seed is very fearful, but the Farmer reassures it that He can be trusted.  The fox finally finds the seed and also encourages it.  Then, as you can guess, in the spring the seed grows.  It eventually grows into a wonderful tree.  The fox and the seed/tree continue to encourage each other and to trust in the Farmer.

You can see the inside the book here:  Flipbook

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And now for the GIVEAWAY: 
If you would like to win a copy of It Will be Okay: Trusting God Through Fear and Change (Little Seed & Little Fox), please enter through the Rafflecopter app below.  The winner will be chosen on 10/14/14 and will have 24 hours to respond to my email.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

(Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of It Will be Okay: Trusting God Through Fear and Change (Little Seed & Little Fox) in order to write this honest review. This post also contains affiliate links.)

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