Thursday, December 18, 2014

Family Game Night {a review}

I think that a great family activity is a family game night. With so much on television that I really don't want my children watching, it is something I plan on doing more often in the new year. One of the games we will be playing often is Wisdomantics.

Wisdomantics is an interactive Bible trivia game. I know that on the box it says for ages 12 and up BUT my 8 and 10 year old really enjoyed playing and were able to play with no problems.



If you like trivia, want to help your family learn more Bible trivia, or you just want to have fun- this is the game for you! We have had lots of fun playing and I can't wait to play it more. I also think that it would be a good Sunday school resource. We all like to learn more if we are having fun so this is a great option. 

Find out more about the game and order your own by visiting the official website at:


I was given this game in exchange for a review and a giveaway. All opinions are my own. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

"The Patmos Deception"- {a review}


Greece, missing artifacts, kidnapping, and smuggling- all the ingredients for a great mystery! Carey leaves her home in Texas for a job in Greece. Only when she gets there- her job is gone! Away from home, with no job, she is taken in by a local family while waiting to see what she will do. Nick has known Carey their whole lives. While in Paris, he gets job offer and needs help that only she can provide. So he heads to Greece and the "fun" begins. As they get closer to the answers the danger gets more real. Will they come out alive? 

Y'all know that I love a good mystery. And while this one was a little slow to start, it definitely did not disappoint. This was a great storyline! And since it was open-ended, I can't wait for the next one to find out what happened to the characters. 

With Christmas in a couple of weeks- this would be a great gift for the mystery lover on your list. 


**I received a copy of this book in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.**

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Workout for When You Hate to Workout

To be honest- this review was actually due in November. But with a series of events that made it impossible to actually give this product a good shot- I had to wait. (Apparently working out after you fracture your foot is not a great idea.)

I met the CEO and the choreographer for Shazzy Fitness while at Allume. They were so friendly and so full of energy! I was excited when I picked up my DVD for review. I am not the person who actually wants to purposefully work out. I will admit that I am lazy and I would rather sit on the couch and read or sleep later in the mornings that get up and do a workout video. But this one sounded so different.

I started off with a bang. I actually enjoyed these workouts. I picked up the dance video because I know that if I have fun I will come back for more. So it was going well. I was doing these workouts because hey- they are 10 minutes. I gave time for that. They I dropped a couch on my foot and all thoughts of a workout went out the window. And then I got sick. So I just got back to it. And while my foot is still sore, I am enjoying the workouts again.

I would definitely suggest that you watch the tutorials about how to do the moves BEFORE you start the actual workout. It will be much easier when you go to do the workout.

Here are Apollo, Vera, and Leslie to tell you about Shazzy Fitness!


Want to find out more or get a copy of the DVD for yourself? Check out their website at www.shazzyfitness.com!

I think that this would be great for anyone and with the new year around the corner, all those resolutions need some action behind them. Here is a fun way to help.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Children's Christmas Books- {a review and a giveaway}


I have thoroughly enjoyed these three books from Ambassador International Publishing. So I am very excited to be sharing them with you and offering someone the chance to win all three. 
"A Donkey's Little Tale" is the Christmas story told from the perspective of the donkey Mary and Joseph rode to Bethlehem on. With illustrations that kept my 4 year old captivated and a story that kept my 8 year old interested, I am in love with this book. Part of the fun in this book is the last page in which the author talks about her writing process and the illustration process. My boys love to draw and this made it more interesting to them.
 
Marty is a stable mouse in Bethlehem. One night, his mother tells him he will see a miracle. He watches as a couple of travelers come to the stable with the innkeeper and later sees them with their baby boy born that night. Marty is entrusted with an important task. And that task changes his life.
I love the illustrations in this book! I also love the story and my boys enjoyed us reading it together. 
Chesed is an angel who hears of the orders for the angels to tell the world about the birth of Jesus. But he has been left out. He wonders why. Is he meant for a special "mission"?
This book is longer than the other 2. And I have not read it with my boys yet. We are actually reading it together this week. I enjoyed reading it and I have held off reading it with them because it is an awkward read. I am that parent that makes my older children read part of the story when we read a book as a family. But with a struggling "out-loud" reader I am reluctant to do that with this one. It may be one of those books that takes more than one night to read with them.


So now to the fun. Ambassador International did not only send me copies of these three books in exchange for my review- they also have three copies to send to one of you! So to win- I want you to do one of 2 things. You can leave a blog comment telling me what your favorite Christmas books are OR you can go to my Facebook page and "like" me there. I will pick one winner this Friday, December 12 and notify them on Saturday. Good luck!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Gifts on a Budget- A Mommy List Post

Every year, we say we are going to save all year for Christmas. And every year we don't do it. So when we start Christmas shopping we set a budget a stick to it (mostly). Especially when I wasn't working. It works. And even if we do actually manage to save next year we will still set a budget. So here is the best tips I have found and what works for my family.

1. Our kids get 3 gifts from Santa. That's it. We give them clothes that they need but Santa brings 3 gifts. It has been our biggest budget saver. No more matching amounts of money or making sure everyone has the same amount of big gifts. 3 gifts- no more and no less.
2. Shop sales and use coupons. - This was big last year and this year. Last year we didn't have teacher gifts for school since I homeschooled but we did have Bible class teachers. I scored some amazing deals at Allume and got teacher gifts for $.25. This year I went to Hobby Lobby after Thanksgiving and bought rolls of wrapping paper for less than $2.00 and used a coupon for tape. So their teachers are getting wrapping paper and tape for Christmas. It is a useful gift that I would love to get myself.
3. BUY EARLY! Face it- if your kid wants it and you can get it over the summer, get it. The price is either less than what you are going to pay or even if it's the same- you aren't stressed over it. And if you are one of those who can go right after Christmas and stock up on stuff for the next year- DO IT!
4. Being on a budget does not mean that you have to be cheap or less meaningful with a gift. Do you have a family member that needs some help with their Christmas decorations or watching their kids so they can do their Christmas shopping? What a great gift that would be! And what did it cost you- time, not money.
5. If you can make homemade gifts then make them. I love homemade gifts but don't have the time to do them myself or I would.
6. If you can wait on clothes or shoes until after Christmas, I would. As a matter of fact we are this year. The boys and I will go shopping the weekend after Christmas for their clothes and shoes. Take advantage of those after Christmas sales.

These are just some things that work for us. They may not work for your family but you never know.


The Mommy List from KaysePratt.com

Monday, November 24, 2014

Christmas Books for Kids- A Mommy List Post

I am so excited to be joining my dear friend Kayse in a new link up on Mondays called The Mommy List. Kayse and I both love lists and so since we did, she figured that a lot of you did too. So she is starting a link up where Moms can make lists of our favorite things or advise based on weekly topics. This week we are going to introduce you to our favorite Kid's Christmas Books.


I love Christmas! The reason behind the season, the decorations, the lights, and the books. So we have a whole lot of books around the house for our kids. A couple of my favorites have been my favorites since I was a child and I still enjoy reading them with my boys. So without further ado here goes.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

I am really excited to be pulling these back out next weekend and start reading them again this year. We are also adding a few more books to our library this year but I will share more on that later.

What are your favorite children's Christmas books?


The Mommy List from KaysePratt.com

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

When Community is Your God Sized Dream

Two years ago I opened an email with an application in it. The application was to join Holley Gerth's
God Sized Dream team. I don't even remember what I wrote at that point. I'm sure it was some lofty
dream about writing a book or having a huge blog with millions of followers. (I was a little niave back
then.) But what I do know is that my God sized dream is not anything like what I would have thought
back then (because you know, two years ago is such a long time).

I realize now that I wasn't looking for fame or big paychecks from a book or a blog- I was searching for community. When I opened the email a few weeks later telling me that Holley had seen something in my application that made her want me on that book launch team, I could never have imagined where it would have taken me. I don't even blog that often anymore. Instead I sit and bask in the friendships and the family that were given to me through a God sized dream that wasn't really even for me. I know, how could it have been a God sized dream if it really wasn't for you?

Want to read more? I am guest posting over at God Sized Dreams today. Head over and check it out.