Jun 222014
 

Logo for Odyssey Adventure Club

Did you grow up listening to Adventures in Odyssey as a child? I have to admit I did occasionally.
Did you know that it is still going strong and you can now share with your children the fun of Odyssey?

My kids love listening to Odyssey. I mean they absolutely love it and would spend all day doing so if they were allowed (hey, must have time for school and chores in there somewhere, right?) And they were thrilled to find out about the Odyssey Adventure Club from Focus on the Family.

In OAC you can listen to all the Odyssey adventures you desire in the online library, play games and have a lot of fun. You can get your first month for only five dollars!

My kids beg to listen to the stories and so enjoy this. I enjoy having something they can listen to without me worrying about questionable content.

The OAC also has games, web quests, a daily devotional and a ton of fun.

Apr 292014
 

I received the book A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson for the purposes of this review and promotion. All opinions are mine and mine alone, no other compensation was received.

A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson takes you back in time to the days of cattle ranching in Texas and banking in Denver in the late 1800s. After facing a massive loss, Marty Dandridge Olson decides to answer an ad in her paper to become a mail order bride up in Denver. She sees no other way to escape the memories of her ranch and to perhaps move on with her life. So she packs up and takes off for a marriage of convenience to Jake Wythe. Jake has to marry to satisfy his boss as a person high up in Morgan Bank, he isn’t seen as responsible unless he has a wife.

Adventure abounds on the trip to Denver and Jake learns that Marty is more than she seems at first glance. Can Jake’s position at the bank be saved by this marriage, or will his marriage cause him to lose his job? Will Marty fit in with the society she is expected to keep? Will Jake and Marty learn to love each other?

Tracie Peterson weaves a tale of two strangers trying to fit into roles they don’t belong in. You get drawn into the story and find yourself rooting for Jake and Marty to succeed not just together, but that they find where they belong.

Welcome to the campaign launch for Tracie Peterson’s 100th book! A Sensible Arrangement launches Tracie’s new Texas-based series, Lone Star Brides, that’s sure to please. As a special treat, devoted fans will be able to catch a glimpse of several popular characters from previous series.


Tracie is celebrating by giving away an iPad Mini and hosting a LIVE webcast event on 4/29.

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One winner will receive:

  • An iPad Mini
  • A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 29th. Winner will be announced at the A Sensible Arrangement Live Webcast Event on April 29th. Connect with Tracie for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Tracie will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books, fun prizes, and gift certificates throughout the evening.


So grab your copy of A Sensible Arrangement and join Tracie and friends on the evening of April 29th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)


Don’t miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 29th!

Apr 242014
 

I was given an electronic copy of Smart Money Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze for the purposes of this review. All opinions are mine and mine alone, no other compensation was received. This statement is to make sure the FTC is happy. Because if the FTC isn’t happy, they can make a blogger’s life miserable.

Very very rarely do I get totally gung ho over a book. Not like this. However, if you have children, teach children, have grandchildren/neices/nephews/godchildren/are in contact with children on a regular basis, you NEED this book.

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Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze set out to write a book to practically give parents the tools to teach their children how not to be in bondage to money and society’s standards of what our finances should be like. And they sure did succeed.

In Smart Money, Smart Kids, you learn the best age spans for introducing working for money, saving, giving. How money is tied to work, and letting the children learn that money can work for them. They give you ideas on how to teach about savings (which for kids, it is different than for adults with how their minds work) when to introduce giving and tithing to your children and how to set it up practically so they can understand.

You get shown through the teen years and how to broach the concepts of paying for college without student loans, saving for things like a car and even having your teen have their own emergency fund (what parent wants to keep replacing broken cell phones or lost items of your child? Let them have their own fund to do it themselves, they’ll learn responsibility much faster that way, I’m sure).

The over arching theme in this book is contentment and responsibility. As parents it is up to us to teach our children to be content with what they are blessed with. In our family, that is not letting them have the latest and greatest of everything that comes out. We involve them when it comes to service to others and giving things to a local mission. It probably also helps that our girls (Bugs, 7 going on 30 at times and Beans, 6) aren’t exposed to the normal marketing to children their age (we don’t own a television, so no commercials to infiltrate them. Though, I will say, last summer they got to watch way more regular broadcast TV when we were dealing with my mom’s health crisis and subsequent passing and to this day [a full year later] my youngest still can tell you the commercials she saw those weeks on the TV and asks for those items. The marketing worked, that is for sure, and it is very disturbing how well it did).

It is also our responsibility as parents to teach our children to be responsible with whatever blessings they are given. Children learn responsibility step by step as they grow and mature. It isn’t an overnight process. My 7 year old is normally very responsible. She can be trusted to cook on the stove top. She didn’t get there overnight. She was with us as we cooked from a young age, then allowed to help add things to the pot and stir. She can now make better pancakes than I do. I’m not saying we let her go for it totally unsupervised (we don’t) but she is now capable through systematic training to able to do such a task. The same holds true with money. We give them a little to manage and plan with and as they learn to be responsible for a little (for me it is a big thing to let them bring their money to the store and not lose it) they are learning to be responsible for much more in the future.

This book is also good for helping those of us who were not raised with smart money principals to start to deal with our pasts. I was raised in a home where money was always worried over, argued over between my parents, but never discussed with us children. I was ten before I was allowed to spend any of my own money ever and when I did buy my pocket popple from the Base Exchange, I was made to feel guilty because I didn’t *need* the toy and I had *wasted* my money. I deal with extreme guilt spending my own mad money on a regular basis to this day from how I was raised. I want better for my children. I don’t want them to hear my voice in their head when they are an adult telling them that spending their mad money is wasteful, stupid or a bad idea. I don’t want them to live in the bondage I have to break through near constantly in regards to money. Smart Money, Smart Kids is helping me to give my children the legacy I was denied. They will have a legacy of freedom with money unlike I do, and the thought thrills me.

This book is so wonderfully written. It is done with both Dave and Rachel taking parts and in such a wonderful conversational tone that it is nearly like you are sitting in a room with them having a nice chat. The tone is so encouraging throughout the whole book that it makes such a tough and complex topic seem so much easier to handle.

So please, do yourself a favor and go buy this book as soon as you can fit it into your budget. You won’t regret the decision. It will help make teaching your children about the proper place of money in our lives so much easier. It isn’t a quick fix or a simple solution, but it will set you on the right path to have adult children someday who know how to handle money and not let their money handle them.

You can purchase the book from Dave Ramsey’s Online Store, Amazon (not an affiliate link and none of my links are affiliate links thanks to my state’s stance on earning commission from the internet and taxes) or your other favorite store where you purchase books. If you are able to make it, you can visit with Dave and Rachel on the BOOK TOUR (why can’t anything be close enough to SW MO for us to go? I’m trying not to be jealous of those of you who can attend a stop on the book tour. Hubbs and I got to see Dave and Rachel in Tulsa last October for the launch of the Legacy Journey. It was terrific)

Mar 312014
 

I was provided a copy of God’s Amazing World from Ideals Publishing through FlyBy Promotions as a part of this review. All opinions are mine and mine alone, no other compensation was received. A copy was also provided for the giveaway.

Book cover for God's Amazing World

I love a good picture book. Yes, even at my age. So do my girls (7 and 6). I was thrilled when we received God’s Amazing World by Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Melanie Florian. This book is beautifully written to explain through nature the days of Creation and the illustrations are bright, cheerful and just lovely.

You follow Gracie as she teaches Bo about the start of the world all from their back yard in an afternoon of nature study and exploration. The children are excited to see the order that God made the world they know and to see all the different things He created. They run from piece of creation to piece of creation excitedly discovering the life that comes next. After finding everything in the six days of creation work, they are exhausted and have to rest in the back yard.

My girls love this book. They look at the pictures and can tell you what was created when. I love this book just as much as they do. It stays to the Biblical narrative in the order of creation, and makes nature study so accessible to young children in their own back yards, with no special instruments needed. I would so use this to introduce not just Bible, but also science into their world. This book is an excellent choice for a preschool unit study on creation on through early elementary and for use in a child’s Sunday School class.

Visit the official WEBSITE: and visit Ideals on FACEBOOK

About God’s Amazing World!

Gracie and her cousin Bo explore the seven days of Creation, all without leaving the backyard! As Gracie tells the story of how God made the world, she and Bo find evidence of each day’s work right there around them. When they get to Day 2, the day God created the
sky, they take a moment to cloud watch. Day 3 leads them to play in the water, and on Day 6, they imitate the cows and pigs and lions God made.

This sweet, clever picture book by Eileen Spinelli overflows with enthusiasm for God’s Creation, and children will catch the excitement and will begin to view their own surroundings as a tour of God’s lovely world. Parents can use this beautiful book to introduce
children to the concept of God’s work in the world and to encourage appreciation, understanding, and stewardship of the world around us.

Written by Eileen Spinelli
Illustrated by Mélanie Florian
Available now!
Hardcover with jacket, 10 x 10, 32 pages
ages 4 to 8

Author Bio
Eileen Spinelli is the author of numerous children’s books, including Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch; The Best Story, and Two to Cuddle. Eileen lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Illustrator Bio
Mélanie Florian is an illustrator with dual lifelong passions for storytelling and helping children discover the world. Both passions guide her work today creating vibrant, whimsical illustrations. Mélanie enjoys her inspiring surroundings as she works in the French town of Annecy, in the midst of mountains and a beautiful lake.

To win a copy for yourself, leave a comment below telling me how you like to teach your child/ren about Creation. Giveaway open to residents of the U.S or Canada. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Contest closes on Friday April 7, 2014 at 11:00 p.m.

#ShareAMoment

Mar 112014
 

In accordance with the FTC, I was given a copy of Balanced by Tricia Goyer for review as part of her launch team. All opinions are mine and mine alone, no other compensation was received.

I am a stay at home mom. My days are spent homeschooling the girls, keeping up the house and wondering how in the world it is the end of the day already and it seems I have gotten nothing accomplished. I have dreams of several big projects that have been swimming in my head for several years now. This blog being one of them. Yet, it seems that when I sit and work on my dreams, the house falls apart, the girls need something right that minute, and the doubts come creeping in that maybe my dreams really don’t matter. Then things seem to settle down in our lives (can we say the last year and a half has been super chaotic at times?) and I make plans to start working on my dreams and another surprise comes down the pike at full speed.

Tricia Goyer wrote Balanced to show that it is possible to live out the dreams that God has placed in your life while being a mom (and homeschooling), a wife, volunteer and living the life we are called to. She makes no bones about it being easy, but lays out the foundations for us women who work at home in any capacity to show us that with the proper attitude and priority we can get more done. This book is centered on faith and being grounded in God and how everything else stems from there.

Be encouraged, you can work from home successfully as a super busy wife and mother. It isn’t some elusive dream that is unattainable until you finally drop your last child off at college. My girls are 7 and 6 now, they are in the super hands-on stage of homeschooling for me, I have a house to take care of, meals to cook, groceries to buy, and in October a new baby to add to the mix. I know the journey towards the fulfillment of the dreams God has given me will never be easy. It will always be easier to just put it off until later. But later never comes. Balanced has given me the hope that even though life keeps happening, there is still time for dreams I have in my heart.

Grab yourself a copy of this book if you are wondering how in the world you can get anything done with your life. You will be so glad you did. This book blessed me beyond words and it will do the same for you.