Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts

December 6, 2013

The Promise: Birth of the Messiah {DVD Animated Musical Review & GIVEAWAY!}

Do you love musicals...and Jesus?

Well, then, I've got something sweet to share with you.

I was recently asked to review a children's animated musical called The Promise: Birth of the Messiah. This beautifully made DVD is a faithful rendition of the birth of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke.



This movie (made by Glorious Films) is 45 minutes long. I love how closely it follows the gospel, sharing the story of the Virgin Mary, the news she hears from Gabriel of how she will become the mother of the Savior, Jesus. Each of the songs sung by characters like Mary, Joseph, her parents, the shepherd boys, the angels and many others are songs of Scripture taken right from the bible.

Each scene of The Promise served to reinforce the stories my boys and I have been reading and studying this season. I was delighted when one of them would glance over my way, while watching this move, with a knowing smile each time they recognized specific verses being sung by one of the characters.

This movie even caused me to consider some things I hadn't truly considered much before...such as how Joseph felt, initially, when his betrothed became pregnant. I've read about it many times in the bible, but seeing it acted out so simply in this sweet animation, somehow made me consider more carefully, his reaction along with Mary's.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie is the one where Mary sings her song of praise to the Lord. It's beautiful. If you haven't read these verses, Luke 1:46-55  in a while, go read them and try singing them in your own way as your own song of praise to the Lord. It will surely bless your heart.

Here is the movie trailer so you can see how beautifully made this movie really is. 


And great news!! Glorious Films has graciously offered one of my readers a free copy of The Promise: Birth of the Messiah. So, please go ahead and enter here. I'll announce the lucky winner on Friday, Dec. 13th. And if you'd like to like to get this movie now, you can get it on Amazon here and if you also win? Well, this movie would make an excellent Christmas gift!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in teh hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

July 26, 2013

A Family Bible Study Devotional {Review & GIVEAWAY} :: Learning to Speak Life: Fruit of the Spirit

Have you been trying to find a way to incorporate family Bible time in your home? 

Raising our children in a world where teaching our young how to be independent and self-reliant means that we as parents need to be all the more intentional in sharing our faith with the generation following us. They need to know that we can't do this life alone. We weren't created to. God wants our children to know who He is, How much He loves them and how to follow hard after Him all the days of their lives.

Making Jesus famous to our children is the most important part of our parenting them. It's also our biggest privilege. So when God calls us to show our young blessings how to obey His commandments. especially His first commandment, loving God with all our heart, soul and might, we shouldn't take that lightly.

"Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Deuteronomy 6:7

**Affiliate Links Included.

So when my very good friend, Carlie Kercheval and her husband, Michael,  sent me a copy of a book they wrote together, called Learning to Speak Life™: Fruit of the Spirit to review, I was beyond excited. So, excited, in fact, that I was more than happy and honored to write an endorsement they included in their book. It's that good.

Learning to Speak Life™: Fruit of the Spirit is a real breath of fresh air…something truly God-inspired for families desiring to seek God together in their everyday lives. As a wife and mother of four kids, I know how being intentional with the precious time we have together is so very important. With humility and obedience, Michael and Carlie have poured their hearts and souls into creating a Truth-filled Family Bible Study that will build our faith in God, our relationship with Jesus and the family relationships we have with one another. Each lesson is packed with simple and fun multi-sensory ways we can learn, apply and be filled with the fruit of the Holy Spirit with our children each day. Learning to Speak Life™ in our homes is a journey definitely worth taking.

With four boys, ages 3, 5, 7 and 9, it hasn't been easy finding ONE resource we can use in our family devotional time together...until now. We love how easy this devotional/bible study is to use and have been AMAZED at the conversations surrounding our time in the Word together. We've been spending one week on each fruit and it's been a perfect fit as it's geared toward children, ages 3-12.

Each chapter focuses on one fruit of the spirit and includes the following: 
  • A Scripture to read and discuss. You can encourage older children to memorize it.
  • A section called What is...? For example, What is Love? Then a definition is given according to the bible and provides lots of room for questions and discussion. 
  • The third section is called Confessions. I love this section because it's where we begin to learn HOW to speak life together. Each day during that week's lesson, and according to the fruit being studied, it is the goal to get everyone to speak out loud five confessions. For example, "I declare that no matter what I face today, I will walk in Love."
  • Copywork, to help plant the seeds of God's Love in their hearts. 
  • Role Playing to help your family act out and reinforce what each fruit of the spirit looks like when done the way God intended. We all LOVE this part! And for parents, what a great tool for inspiring our children to make good choices. 
  • Silly Sayings: oh yes, my boys LOVE this fun section too. They're encouraged to say each saying as fast as they can. 
  • Each chapter also includes a Story to help everyone get a better understanding of what the fruit looks like in our day-to-day lives when we obey God. 
  • In every chapter Family Discussion Time is included which revolves around a set of questions used to help promote, like I said before, AMAZING conversations about the fruit of the spirit. 
  • Family Projects are a part of each chapter. What a great way to put fruit in action as a family unit. 
  • There is a section dedicated to Prayer regarding each fruit. Even our youngest is a very active part of this. 
  • Digging Deeper is a beautiful addition to each chapter for families desiring to go a little deeper with more Scripture references, resources and ideas to further family growth. 
  
GIVEAWAY
Michael and Carlie are graciously giving away ONE FREE COPY of their book, Learning to Speak Life™: Fruit of the Spirit, to one of my lovely readers. Is it going to be YOU? There are a few ways to enter this GIVEAWAY. And I'm going to make it SUPER EASY to enter. Here's how:



IMPORTANT
For each "Like" and "Follow" you'll earn one entry to win this book. Please leave me ONE COMMENT here letting me know who you LIKED and FOLLOWED and I'll be sure to enter your name into the drawing for the appropriate number of entries. This giveaway ends on August 5, 2013. I'll draw the winner on August 6. That's it. Easy Peasy.

Now, if you just can't wait to get your own copy of the book, you can certainly purchase
Learning to Speak Life™: Fruit of the Spirit right now by clicking on this link.


Linking up with the Hip Homeschool Moms.

October 24, 2012

Hope for the Weary Mom {book review & a giveway}

Moms, I want to share something with you. Something I think many of us know well...a feeling, a posture, an exhaustion, even a jadedness that we may not want to admit. It's called weariness. Do you know it? Are you familiar with these feelings? If you are and you're looking for some light in the darkness...a ray of HOPE to fill your heart...please keep reading.

I am a mom to four very active and adventurous boys who break my heart and fill me with joy all at the same time, every single day. I am weary. And this mom's heart is in need of God's tenderness and loving care...the kind that only He can give when no one else understands what I need.

This care that I need and long for isn't new. It's not something I suddenly felt this morning or last year. I've always felt it. But, the kind of care I need changed the day I found out I was pregnant with my first born son and then again the second I held him for the very first time. As I breathed him in, a scent that only comes straight from the arms of Heaven, I knew right then that parenting this little one would require so much more than I could give him. My walk with God changed that day.

And with each new son God blessed my husband and I with, came more heart change, new vulnerabilities and a deeper need for more of Him. As the years pass and I am continually brought back to places of vulnerability, I am reminded by God of how much I need to be in those places so I will rely on His strength where I am weak and weary.

Earlier this year, I was so thankful to read a little ebook that addressed my weary heart condition. I loved it so much, I hosted a week long series for other moms hoping they, too, would be blessed by this book. What a hope-filled week that was. Hope for the Weary Mom: Where God Meets You in Your Mess, by authors Brooke McGlothlin and Stacey Thacker now has an expanded edition that just released this week. The original version of this book was incredible. But, the new version? The one that has more chapters, even more depth, more stories of struggle, suffering, perseverance, grace and hope? Well, it's AMAZING!


I've had the privilege and blessing of being a part of the launch team for this new and expanded book: Hope for the Weary Mom. I've read the book. And I'm reading it again because in all of it's raw truth and honesty about the condition of a mother's heart when she is weary....there is HOPE. I need this. We all do. This book doesn't just "touch" on a few areas that make a mama tired. No, these authors speak about circumstances and matters of the heart that I find myself nodding in complete and utter agreement about. I've said outloud, "YES, someone else gets it!" more than a few times when reading what these sweet moms have to say about the real things of motherhood.

This book has helped me see more clearly, pray more deeply and know more intimately the Truth of who our God is. Our loving Father loves us with a love so deep, we can't fathom it. He wants us to know and experience the kind of Hope that Brooke and Stacey offer to all of us in their newly expanded book, Hope for the Weary Mom.

Friends, I pray you go out and get this book today. Here is the Kindle version.   Or you can get a paperback book to hold in your hands.

And guess what! If you missed your opportunity to get this book for free earlier in the week...Brooke and Stacey are graciously letting me give away ONE FREE PDF COPY to one of you sweet moms! To enter for your chance to win, leave me a comment below along with your email address. If you're already one my faithful followers, THANK YOU! Let me know you are already following for a second chance to win and if you aren't, I'd love it if you'd join my circle here by subscribing to this blog and/or our Facebook page. I'll announce the winner on Monday, October 29th.

...and if you're a boy mom, like myself, join me for the blog series I hosted especially for you based on the original little ebook Brooke and Stacey wrote last year!

~A Blog Series~
 7 Days of Hope for the Weary {Boy} Mom
{from the original ebook: Hope for the Weary Mom. Hosted earlier this year.}

If you're still reading this, I hope and pray you'll grab something warm to drink and stay a while. This is the blog series I hosted here earlier this year: 7 Days of Hope and is based on the ebook, Hope for the Weary Mom: Where God Meets You in Your Mess, by authors Brooke McGlothlin and Stacey Thacker. I can't wait for all of you brave boy moms to join with me in setting our eyes on the One who created us, who sees where we are, knows the longings of our hearts and our deepest desires to be the moms He created us to be for the sons He so lovingly blessed us with.

7 Days of Hope for the Weary BOY Mom...on it's way...
7 Days of Hope....preparing our hearts
7 Days of Hope: Welcome!
Day 1: When the Gentle Words Won't Come
Day 2: When you Don't Measure Up
Day 3: Beer and Cigarettes?
Day 4: Why you Can't Live at the Spa
Guest Post: Response to Day 1
It's all about YOU!
Day 5: When you Just Want to Give Up 
Day 6: Sometimes it Takes an Altar
Day 7: "When Life Hurts Too Much"

Linking up with: 
Hip Homeschool Moms

(I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Affiliate links included.) 
 

August 21, 2012

25 Real Life Homeschooling Stories {eBook Release: You Can Do It Too!}

I have some really exciting news! A new friend of mine, Lorilee Lippincott of Loving Simple Living is releasing a brand new book called You Can Do It Too! : 25 homeschool families share their stories. And our story is included in this amazing book as one of the 25!!! I met Lorilee online last month and instantly felt a connection with her as she is a Christian wife and homeschooling mom who loves to live a simplified life. Her blog is filled with all kinds of wonderful ideas for living a life that honors God by focusing more on relationships and less on stuff.

So, let me tell you a bit about her new book...Lorilee has compiled real life homeschooling stories, interview style, from 25 different families who have answered the call to homeschool their kids. This book is filled with encouragement, inspiration, truth and honesty about what homeschooling looks like on a daily basis for each of these families. It's the kind of book I wish I had been able to read when we first started our homeschooling journey and it's the kind of book I am thankful to read now to know that I am not alone on this path.

I am beyond thrilled, honored and blessed to get to share our story with others in this way. I am also hopeful that this book will encourage someone who is either thinking about homeschooling, just beginning or is even several years into their own journey and just needing to relate with others who are traveling the same road. I have to say that as I read each one of the real life stories in this book, my heart is uplifted and I feel like I'm breathing fresh air.

Book Details: Right now the book is available as an eBook in PDF and Kindle versions. It launches on August 23rd, and can be purchased for only $9.99. Click here to purchase You Can Do It Too! (or on the image below). What a great way to begin your school year, right?! This 253 page eBook is a must read for anyone thinking about homeschooling, just starting out on their journey or any parent needing a dose of encouragement.


And for those of you dying to know who is featured in this book, here is a list of the 25 homeschooling families (plus one more as an added bonus!):
  1. Kristen: The Frugal Girl 
  2. Lee Binz: The HomeScholar
  3. Nancy: Nancy Sathre-Vogel
  4. Natalie: Visionary Womanhood blog
  5. Carlie: So You Call Yourself A Homeschooler?
  6. Lorilee: Loving Simple Living
  7. Liz: The Hesitant Housewife
  8. Jill: tinyandsmall.wordpress.com
  9. Stephanie: Keeper of the Home
  10. Heidi: Mt. Hope Chronicles
  11. Heather: OMSH
  12. Wendy: Homeschooling Blessings & Hip Homeschool Moms
  13. Teri: TommyMom
  14. Tabitha: www.MeetPenny.com
  15. Bambi: In the Nursery of the Nation.Lilla Rose hair accessories.
  16. Marcy: Ben & Me
  17. Carisa: 1+1+1=1
  18. Joy: FiveJs.com
  19. Megan: House of the Rising Sons
  20. Toni: TheHappyHousewife.com & SavvyBlogging.net
  21. Mandi: Life Your Way
  22. Danielle: Organizational Hysteria
  23. Kerry: How To Homeschool My Child
  24. Nicole: By Word of Mouth Musings
  25. Kelly: Generation Cedar
  26. Leo: Zen Habits & mnmlist.com



This post contains affiliate links. Using them doesn’t change what you pay, but it helps support this site. Thanks so much! (Disclosure Policy stated at the bottom of this page)

Linked up with:  Women Living Well & The Better Mom

July 14, 2012

Homeschool PE & Basketball with Family Time Fitness

Our 6 year old son, C, has shown some real interest recently in wanting to learn how to play basketball. So, when I had the opportunity to review a Basketball Module created by Family Time Fitness, I was so excited and so was he. Our whole review can be found at the Hip Homeschool Moms website. 

And psst...there's an awesome giveaway going on. This week TWO lucky families will be given a Fitness4Homeschool Platinum Package from Family Time Fitness – valued at $137 each! This comprehensive package for homeschoolers includes:
• Core 1 Physical Education Program
• Core 2 Physical Education Program (available in January 2013)
• All the K-5 Workbooks
• Fundamentals of Basketball Sports Module
• . . . plus a one-year subscription to Home Educating Family Magazine

So hurry, head over to Hip Homeschool Moms, read our review and enter to win this great curriculum.  Giveaway ends July 21st.

March 26, 2012

A Bible Study That Makes Jesus Famous To Your Kids...and a giveaway!


Earlier last week, I wrote about how frustrated I've been each year after Easter when I feel as though we didn't spend enough time focusing on what Jesus did for us on the cross and his resurrection. Over time, I've come to realize that celebrating Easter is something we can and should do all year long. Of course, focusing on Him at Easter time is wonderful, but it doesn't ever have to end there.

That is why I was so thankful for the opportunity to review Resurrection by Grapevine Studies. I've had my eye on their curriculum for quite some time and just knew that their approach to bible study for kids and mission was something we deeply value for our family.

Grapevine Studies Mission Statement
Our mission at Grapevine Studies is to provide believers with the tools they need to know God's Word and disciple others.
With our teaching method and Bible studies, parents and teachers can effectively disciple their children and students so that they are equipped to reach the world with the truth of the Gospel.
We fell in love with the way that Grapevine teaches biblical truths. You're not just reading stories to your kids and asking them questions. You actually get to really be a part of the stories in an amazing way here. You and your children will draw stick figures (pictures) as you read and learn these miraculous and amazing truths. Grapevine calls this stick figuring through the bible. I call it brilliant!

This particular study is exactly what we needed to help us celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


This is what is included in the Resurrection study: 
The study begins in the Upper Room in Jerusalem. Your kids will learn about the people and events that took place in the final hours of Jesus' life. These lessons will help them understand how Jesus paid for all of our sins with his life and then you can rejoice with your kids as you read and learn about his resurrection. This particular study has two different options. You can purchase the book for ages 5-7 or buy the one for multiple ages, 7 and up. We received both editions and decided very quickly that using the second option would work best for our crew. This was easily adapted for three of our boys, ages 4, 6 and 8. You can view a sample lesson here.

       Lessons include: 
  • The Last Supper
  • The Six Trials of Jesus
  • The Crucifixion
  • Jesus' Death and Burial 
  • The Resurrection 
  • The Ascension
The multi-level teacher's manual is filled with lesson notes, timelines, stick figure drawings, a map, lesson goals & key points, memory verses, and review questions and answers. The price for this is so very reasonable at $8.95 for the ebook or $10.95 for the 3 ring punched book.

The student book includes lesson pages, timelines, a map, memory verses and reviews. Again, the ebook version is $8.95 and the 3 ring punched book is $10.95. All very worth it.

In addition to the teacher and the student books, you will need a Bible, dry erase white board or large paper, colored pencils, crayons or markers and colored dry erase pens. We included several different bibles in our lessons. We used my NIV Application Study Bible and included the kids' bibles as well...The Jesus Storybook Bible and The Action Bible.

This is how we did the our Grapevine Resurrection Bible Study:
There are 11 lessons in all with this study. Because our boys are young and attention spans are fairly short, we divided the lessons up so that we would complete all of the lessons in 4 weeks. We just did a little bit each day first thing in the morning, which was perfect.


Each morning I gathered the boys to pray for God's wisdom and understanding as we studied His Word together. We received the ebook version so I just made sure I had each pages printed out ahead of time for my 6 and 8 year old. Although our 4 year old didn't do the stick figuring portion of the lessons, he very intently listened as we read from the bible and participated in our discussion questions.



Our boys love using clip boards, so we used these with our worksheets. I read stories and key verses out of my NIV bible. Then as I paraphrased the story a bit as I drew the stick figures on our white board. Of course, because I do enjoy drawing, I added to the pictures a bit. But that's part of what I loved about this study. The pictures are all included in the teacher's manual, so you don't need to worry about what or how to draw something. 

bible study, kid's bible study, children's bible study, resurrection, bible lesson, kid's bible lesson, Easter bible lesson, stick figuring, Grapevine Studies giveaway, Jesus, kid's,


Then after I drew my pictures, my boys would draw their own stick figure pictures. I loved seeing their interpretations and creativity. Each of the boys would describe their pictures and then we'd move on to the discussion questions.



The colored pencils are meant to enhance the study to help the kids remember and easily identify the characters. For example, Jesus is always colored in purple. My boys didn't pay too much attention to the colors, but I imagine that as they get older, they will. That's what's great about this multi-level approach. You can tailor each lesson for your kids very easily. They can use markers, crayons, pencils....whatever works for them. Some days, our 4 year old colored on plain white paper while we read from the bible. His sweet stick figure drawings were adorable. Other days he drew on the white board and once he even built  the Upper Room complete with the table for twelve plus One with Legos! See why I love Grapevine so much?


I also loved the visual aspect of this study. Because of this, we are excited to do other studies put out by Grapevine. (Check them out. There are many!) Many kids tend to be visual learners anyway, plus this keeps them actively involved and engaged so they pay attention and really enjoy the lessons.Our son, C, who has a severe hearing loss LOVED this study., where other bible curricula has left him feeling bored and detached.


The way each worksheet is laid out in box-style is also very helpful as it includes information about each part of each lesson. Each box was big enough for them to draw their pictures, yet gave them some boundaries to work with as well.

With regard to the teacher's manual, I was easily able to use my iPad to bring up my ebook so that I didn't have to print out the whole thing. Loved this! A couple times I had to bring it up on my laptop because a certain someone was using our iPad, but it worked all the same. (I'm just in love with our iPad and how useful it is for educational purposes.)

There isn't a single thing we did not love about Grapevine's Resurrection Study. Did I mention that there is literally no prep work? Once you have your supplies gathered, you're ready to begin. After doing this study, I was struck with how easily a family could begin this study at any time of the year. Easter is a great time to dive into these lessons, but it really is all about the sacrifice that Jesus made for all of us and the love He has for us. That shouldn't be confined to just one time of the year that we can celebrate all that Jesus did for us. We can and should celebrate Him everyday of the year.

This is the kind of bible study that really is priceless in how well it captures the minds and hearts of children. For us, it has been an answer to prayer. We're looking forward to our next Grapevine study soon.

If you're interested in purchasing any of the Grapevine studies, they are having a 20% off sale until April 15th. If you decide to take advantage of this, don't forget to use the Coupon Code: Rez12 to receive your discount.

But, there's a giveaway too!!!!
If you would like to win your own copy of the Beginner or Multi-Level Resurrection Teacher/Student set. You can choose either the ebook form or have a physical copy mailed to you.


To enter, leave a comment here and tell me which age level and format you would prefer to receive should you win. (mandatory entry)


Additional entries:
RSS and email readers, please visit my blog to enter.
Contest ends April 3rd. Winner will be notified April 4th.

Linking up with:

February 24, 2012

Our Superhero Review featured on Homeschool Share Blog


Last summer our boys and I were thrilled to receive a Kindergarten Kit on Superheroes to review from Homeschool Share. Of course, nearly every day around our house is a superhero kind of day in some way. Our boys LOVE all things superheroes.



So, when I saw that our review was featured on the Homeschool Share Blog (which I love)...I got really excited.  

This gives me another opportunity to brag a little about a great educational resource. It really is one of those unit studies that is all inclusive with regard to teaching Kindergarten skills, but can easily be adapted for younger and older kids. We did and they loved it. Did I mention it's FREE?

Because it held their interest so easily, it provided a lot of opportunity for pretend play, creative games and especially heart level conversations about God and real superheroes. You can read my full review of this Superhero K Kit HERE and find it featured on the Homeschool Share Blog HERE. 

 
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