Monday, January 30, 2012

I Love Your Presence, Live from Phoenix-review and GIVEAWAY!



Our family loves music and I love to play christian music that feeds my soul and my children's soul.   There is so much music out there and I'm not saying it doesn't have a great beat but what are the words that we are letting our children hear?  With this album you don't have to worry at all, the words are fantastic and the music is beautiful.  Would you like to win a chance to download this album for free?  If so fill out the Rafflecopter form below!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Heart of Gold-book review


Retail price $15.99
Can be purchased at most christian bookstores
 and online at Amazon



Book Description
Against Shannon's wishes, love stakes its claim in her heart. Will she discover treasure or treachery?
When Shannon Adair accompanies her minister father to the western gold rush town of Grand Coeur, she's certain she'll never be happy away from her beloved Virginia, even though the South is still gripped in civil war.
Wells Fargo driver Matthew Dubois isn't sure the lovely Shannon belongs in Idaho Territory either, but he is a desperate man. His widowed sister is dying and leaving her young son, Todd, in his care. Matthew wants to return to driving coach for the express company soon—so he'll have to find a wife to look after the boy when he's away.
Shannon is determined not to lose her heart to a man who is neither a Southerner nor a gentleman. But love stakes its claim. Now, will her heart survive learning the truth behind the courtship?

Heart of Gold swept me up in a fantastic story that involves the mine fields of Idaho, a Southern bell, the Civil War, death and love all woven together perfectly.  I just couldn't read this book quick enough to take it all in and it only took me 2 days to read the entire book.  I love historical fiction and romance and this was perfect because it was also a christian book.  I give it 4 out of 5 stars because it is just a tad bit slow in the beginning but definitely picks up!  Shannon's attitude in the beginning of the book was horrid especially for a young, christian woman but I enjoyed watching her mature in her walk with the Lord through the book and at the end she had changed her heart and life, very satisfying read!


Thanks for reading,
 
I review for BookSneeze®

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Green Monster Smoothie

Have you ever had a Green Monster Smoothie?  I hadn't either until just about 2-3 weeks ago and when I found them I was a little apprehensive to try them, they are in fact bright green!  I don't want to drink something that looks like grass, do you?  After the first sip I was hooked, I drink them every single morning for breakfast and see myself doing this for the rest of my life.


  
Why? Why would I want to even bother drinking a Green Monster Smoothie?  So many reasons come to mind. For me it's about the energy that I feel returning to my life because my body isn't exhausted all of the time.  I'm a busy lady and I was just feeling drained all of the time.  Over the past couple of years I've been really sick, and sick all of the time.  I'm sure it's because I wasn't doing a lot of things that our bodies require for us to function properly like resting, fueling my body with proper nutrition, exercising and taking time for myself.  This year I decided to change some of these things.  We are cutting back on the kids activities, I'm going to take some time for myself.  I am embarrassed to say it but I haven't actually scrap booked in almost 2 years and that is one of my hobbies and something that I enjoy and can unwind and get creative. 

 Now, on to the green smoothies....I was reading Iowa Girl Eats and on January 4th, 2012 she posted her "Top Secret Diet Weapon".  I was intrigued and kept reading and decided to go ahead and give it a try.  I went to Aldi and bought all of the ingredients and then waited until the next morning to try it.  As soon as I tasted the Green Monster Smoothie it was love at first taste!  I had finally found a way for me to get a bunch of greens in and not having to sit and eat mounds of salads all day long!  The Green Monster Smoothie is literally changing my life! I have so much more energy, my skin is glowing, hair and nails are amazing and I just FEEL so much better!  I've been reading everything I can about Green Monster Smoothies and watching YouTube videos, checking out books at the library.  It might be a touch too much but when you find something that works for you, I say, "Go for it!"  Since drinking the smoothies I've tried many different combinations and haven't found one that I don't like.  

Here's Iowa Girl's recipe and it's the original one that I started with


Green Monster Spinach Smoothie

Serves 1
Ingredients:
1 frozen sliced banana
1 Tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 cup 0% Vanilla Chobani Greek yogurt
1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze (or other kind of milk)
4 cups baby spinach (or more, or less)
Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Nutritional stats:

350 calories, 10g fiber, 21g protein


If you are wondering why they are called Green Monster Smoothies, it's because of all of the greens that are in them.  I've mainly used spinach so far but there are many, many other kinds of greens that you can include in your smoothie.  Each kind of green will taster differently and will have different benefits.  
Here are a couple of different websites that talk about the Green Monster Movement.  

Oh, She Glows is a healthy, vegan recipe blog, she has wonderful smoothie recipes and started the whole Green Monster Movement craze!

The Chic Life is a blog written by Diana a whole food enthusiast, Zumba instructor and recipe developer (among many other things)

Amy at Sing for your Supper shows that green monsters don't always turn out green!

Dr Oz- I'm sure you've all heard of him!


Victoria Boutenko's Green Smoothie Blog answers all your questions about green smoothies and has a ton of recipes!


I've been playing around with a bunch of different flavor combinations, we love strawberries, bananas, spinach and pineapples with water, orange juice and a little yogurt or coconut oil.  This is our favorite so far and the kids actually LOVE it!  We also like to include blueberries but that will turn your drink from a green smoothie to a brownish smoothie, still tastes great though!

Your really can NOT taste the spinach, believe me when I tell you that it's so creamy it almost tastes like a dessert drink.  It's not something I thought I would ever LOVE, but I do.  I also love the fact that if you get tired of the taste just change up your fruit and veggies.  I made one the other day and added a cucumber to it, yes you could taste a subtle hint of cucumber but not at all like I expected.  I love to add peanut butter to mine also for a little extra protein plus I enjoy the taste.  You can add milk, soy, almond butter, yogurt, protein powder, vega powder, coconut milk, coconut oil and the list goes on and on.  The more you research it the more you will find out about green smoothies and their amazing health benefits.

My top 9 reasons for drinking green monster smoothies


1 – Natural Weight Loss
2 – Increased Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables (Particularly Greens)
3 – Easier Digestibility and Nutrient Assimilation
4 – Antioxidants
5 – Mental Clarity and Focus
6 – Increased Energy
7 – Clearer Skin
8 – Reduce Cravings
 9– Increased Fiber Intake




I also wanted to add that I don't have a special blender just a regular one.  I know that many people buy the Vitamix especially for smoothies but right now it's not in my budget so I just blend on high for a couple of minutes until it's smooth and creamy!


FYI: There's an app for that!  Yes, there's even an app for Green Smoothies and it's only $1.99!


Thanks for reading,
 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

October Baby-Every Life is Beautiful-movie screening

This movie is amazing, it's about something that isn't ever talked about an abortion survivor.  I had NEVER heard of an abortion survivor before, I just figured if you had an abortion it was successful.  This is the story of Hannah and the heartfelt story of her search for the truth and everything that entails.

I don't think I would take my children to see this movie since it deals with some difficult issues like abortion, adoption, search for a birthmom.  My children are both adopted and when they get a little older I would love to share this movie with them but since they are only 10 and 11 I feel it's a little to mature for their sweet spirits to absorb and understand.  This would be a great movie for teen, college students and adults.  All I have to say is bring a box of kleenex with you, it's a tear-jerker!!!

"You saw me before I was born." Psalm 139:16 (NLT)
As the curtain rises, Hannah hesitantly steps onto the stage for her theatrical debut in college. Yet before she can utter her first lines, Hannah—unscripted—collapses in front of the stunned audience.
After countless medical tests, all signs point to one underlying factor: Hannah's difficult birth. This revelation is nothing compared to what she then learns from her parents: she was actually adopted … after a failed abortion attempt.
Bewildered, angered, and confused, Hannah turns for support to Jason, her oldest friend. Encouraged by his adventurous spirit, Hannah joins his group of friends on a Spring Break road trip, embarking on a journey to discover her hidden past … and find hope for her unknown future.
In the midst of her incredible journey, Hannah finds that life can be so much more than what you have planned.

Thanks for reading,
 

Monday, January 23, 2012

We Choose Virtues-TOS reivew



  • Attentive

  • Content

  • Diligent

  • Forgiving

  • Gentle

  • Helpful

  • Honest

  • Kind

  • Obedient

  • Patient

  • Perseverant

  • Self-Controlled





  • If I've just described your children then you probably won't need to use this product BUT for the rest of us We Choose Virtues can be a life saver or at least a sanity saver.  Here's a synopsis of



    How it Works


    We Choose Virtues is not unit study that you use once and then move on from. It is actually a character development tool that you use  every day, every year. You introduce the Virtues, then demonstrate them, memorize the catchphrases, then learn the antonyms, then capture teachable moments when they are being used…or aren’t. You will be amazed how fast you will all learn to obey (not just learn what obedience is, but actually learn to obey!)…and 11 other Virtues too! There are 13 Parenting Cards, one card is the Butterfly and Caterpillar Card. It teaches that everyone was born able to change.
    • PARENTS and GRANDPARENTS, we encourage you to introduce one Virtue every day, preferably at the very beginning of each day. Next, assign a Virtue in Focus to each member of the family and start choosing and using Virtue! You will be amazed at the changes you will see as you encourage the right attitudes and actions and correct the wrong ones! You will want to reinforce the Virtues over and over every day no matter where you are. Eventually they will be a part of your family’s life style as you thoroughly demonstrate, memorize and apply each one.
    • TEACHERS, you are free to start with any Virtue you choose. Your school might have a character education system in place and one of these Virtues will most likely reinforce what ever character quality you are already working on. We encourage you to introduce one Virtue every week, preferably at the very beginning of each day for the first twelve weeks of school. This does not need to take a long time. 10 minutes is enough. You will be reinforcing the same Virtues over and over the entire year, so you will have plenty of time to thoroughly demonstrate, memorize and apply each one.
    We received a packet of the virtue clues and they have helped my son's attitude so much.  They have actually helped him to change his life, he remembers all the little quotes and the people that go with those quotes (just a fun part of the whole program).   We would study a virtue each week and make sure we knew all about that virtue for the week, it even helped me remember to talk in a soft voice and not yell!  Even though my kids are 10 and 11 the program is for younger children but I think they enjoyed using We Choose Virtues, we will continue with the weekly virtue, it was good for the whole family.  I hung the Virtues poster in our kitchen so we can all remember to follow each and every virtue.  Makenzie and Kylan have also made it into a game by trying to outdo each other and outdo mom and dad by remembering their virtues, they even help each other out by saying, "I don't think you are using your Attentive virtue, go read it quickly"
    The virtue clues are $5.99 right now.

    They also offer many other products like
     The Kids Book of Virtues coloring book

    and a family character assessment to help you figure out which character qualities you might need to work on.

     Overall, I give this program 2 thumbs up because it really did seem to help my kids remember the character quality we were working and they thought it was fun, I loved the fact that it was color co-ordinated and easy to use.










    Thanks for reading,
     

    Sunday, January 22, 2012

    Bittersweet Surrender-book review


    Paperback: 320 pages



    Publisher: Thomas Nelson (July 2008)


    Language: English

    ISBN-10: 1595541969

    ISBN-13: 978-1595541963
     
    By Diann Hunt
     
    Can be found at most christian bookstores and online at stores like Amazon
    Available in paperback or e-book

    Book Description



    Carly Westlake is living the dream. She spends her days at a spa (okay, so she owns the place), she's dating a hunk, and she's surrounded by chocolate—milk chocolate, her favorite—that she uses for the chocolate facials that made her spa famous.

    But when long buried secrets threaten Carley's business and her friendship with business-partner Tom, she fights like crazy to keep the dream—and the illusions—afloat.

    It takes a miracle of grace to get Carley to finally make that bittersweet surrender to love and real life.

    My opinion

    I really enjoyed this book and give it 4 out of 5 stars, it's light reading for pure enjoyment.  Doesn't take a lot of thought to read it and is easy to follow all of the characters.  It's well written and I love that it's based at a Chocolate Spa, this was fun to read about.  The main character is lovable and seems like she could be one of my BFF's in real life.  It covers gambling addiction, breast cancer, divorce and several other real problems that people deal with on a daily basis and isn't overly preachy or predictable.  I would recommend it to anyone that's look for some light reading.





    I review for BookSneeze®



    Thanks for reading,
     

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012

    A Mile In His Shoes-movie review and giveaway

    From the directors of “Angels in the Outfield”, this is another baseball themed movie but with a completely different story.  Mickey, a young man who has a form of autism called Asperger’s Syndrome, is discovered and recruited by a minor league baseball coach from Ohio.  The movie is about how being on the team affects Mickey as well as how Mickey affects the coach and team.  It’s a very inspirational film and just happens to be base on a true story.  There is so many new movies out each week and most of them are not things I really want my kids to watch so I'm always happy when I find a movie that we can watch on Family Movie Night and not worry about all the foul language and inappropriate behavior that most movies have in them.   Check out the trailer…

    When a chance meeting occurs with the baseball manager of the semi-pro team the River Rats, from Clayton, Ohio, Mickey gets a chance to pitch for the team and to prove to his father he can do more than live hidden away on the family farm, taking care of his pig Oscar.


    This movie really hit home for me because my son was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome several years ago, I could see Kylan in this movie.  Although Kylan doesn't play baseball he has that constant dedication to perfecting whatever he happens to be interested in at the time.  He will practice over and over and over until he's perfect!

    The House on the Corner-book review

    The House On the Corner
    Published:
    10/17/2011
    Format:
    E-Book (available as PDF, ePub, and Mobi files) What's This
    Pages:
    112
    ISBN:
    978-1-44970-199-4
    Print Type:
    B/W
    I'm really don't know what to say about this book because it  has no meaning at all, it was just a bunch of very random thoughts scattered through out the whole book.  I would not recommend this book.  I only give it 1 star and that's being very generous.   There's really no plot, not to mention it's hard to keep up with all of the random people that just keep showing up every now and then and then suddenly it just ends and you are left feeling bewildered by what you just read.  Don't waste your time on this one.  I've tried and tried to come up with something nice to say about it but I just can't find anything.





     I was given this book for free by Book Sneeze in exchange
     for an honest review!


















    Thanks for reading,
     
    I review for BookSneeze®

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    Resolutions

    I usually make a couple of New Years Resolutions for myself but my husband Kevin and I normally sit down and make out our family goals for the following year.  They usually involve our family health, finances, travel goals for the year and last but certainly not least our spiritual goals for the year.  This year was no exception, we set some goals for the year.

    Many are private family goals but here are a few that I thought I'd share with my readers.

    1. Make sure the family stays healthy.  Last year we were sick so often it was HORRIBLE, we just kept passing it around and then would start all over again.  One way we are taking action is by making sure the whole family drinks Emergen-C every morning when we wake up.  

    Pink Lemonade is my all time favorite, the kids like strawberry and Kevin likes  tangerine or super orange.


    We are cutting back on all drinks except for water!  We always have a water drinking contest to see who can drink the most water. It really gets the kids motivated.




    2. Get more exercise-  so this one is not aimed at Kevin or Kenzie, they both get a lot of exercise and are in fantastic shape.  Kylan and I are not in good shape so we are on a mission to fix that. 
    One way we are doing that is walking, we started running with the Couch to 5K, and today we started Zumba.
    I have the C25K app on my iPhone and it's wonderful

    Zumba was a lot of fun even though I felt like I had two left feet.  Everyone has told me to just keep trying and before long I will get the hang of it, I'm not really sure if my hips can do all those motions but it IS a lot of fun and 1 hour had gone by before I even knew it.  I was so sweaty too, it must be a pretty good workout!


    3. Spend more quality family time.  One way we have incorporated that is family game night, we have had so much fun playing games as a family.  Laughing and just having a blast bonding with our children.  We also plan on going camping more this year.  Last year we only got to go one time with the Bush family to Robber's Cave but we had a great time.
    Camping at Robbers Cave
    Also, one way to spend more time with extended family was by giving the gift of time.  I know it may sound cheesy but that's exactly what we did for several people for Christmas.  Special activities almost like a "date" with the Wedemeyer family so we can spend time with them doing something fun.

    4. Spend more time with friends-this is a hard one!  We are so busy, our friends are so busy and life just moves on and doesn't stop and before you know it, it's been 1 year and you haven't seen your friend.  Yes, I'm so sad to say that this does and has happened to us! This year we are going to be more diligent to set aside time to spend with our friends, they matter to us and I want them to know they matter!

    I have a couple of personal resolutions this year too. 

    1. Get back into scrapbooking, I really miss it and just haven't made the time to scrapbook in 2 years!

    2. Run a 5K and a 1/2 marathon (I need my readers to hold me accountable for this one please)!

    Do you have any New Year Resolutions?  Goals for the year or do you just fly by the seat of your pants?


    Thanks for reading, 

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

    Beyond Molasses Creek-book review

    Beyond Molasses Creek


    Trade Paper
    This book has not been released yet but will be released to the public on January 31st, 2012
    This book can be purchased at most christian bookstores
     as well as online and at this Amazon link
     and is available for your Kindle by clicking here.


    Here's a brief synopsis of the book.

    Three lives are bound by a single book . . . and the cleansing waters of Molasses Creek.
    Having traveled to the ends of the earth as a flight attendant, Ally Green has finally returned to the Lowcountry to bury her father as well as the past. But Vesey Washington is still living across the creek, and theirs is a complicated relationship--he was once her best friend . . . and also part of the reason she's stayed away so long. When Ally discovers a message her father left behind asking her to quit running, it seems her past isn't through with her yet.
    As Ally's wandering spirit wrestles with a deep longing to flee again, a young woman on the other side of the world escapes her life of slavery in the rock quarries of Nepal. A mysterious sketchbook leads Sunila Kunari to believe there's more to her story than she's ever been told, and she's determined to follow the truth wherever it leads her.
     A deep current intertwines the lives of these three souls, and a destiny of freedom, faith, and friendship awaits them all on the banks of Molasses Creek.  

    This book really spoke to me, it deals with racism, child labor, kidnapping and finding peace, love and happiness.  It really was a roller coaster ride of emotions while reading Beyond Molasses Creek.   I have to give this book 5 stars for opening up the eyes of the readers to many different circumstances and views around the world, very eye opening.   I have two children that we adopted from South Korea and I had all of these thoughts floating around like what if my child was kidnapped how would I feel?  What if my child was kidnapped and had been sold to us unknowingly on the black market (they weren't we used a reputable adoption agency)?  What would my children's lives be like if they still lived in Korea?  I felt for Ally as she struggled with the pain of losing her one and only true love as well as her baby. 
     I've never been to Nepal but I am aware of the caste system but never realized the impact it had on a person's entire thoughts, beliefs and way they view themselves as well as others.  I can't imagine going through life thinking you are an "untouchable" all due to the caste system.  I'm going to find some more books on this subject and do a little more research.  My Aunt and Uncle are missionaries to India so I'm going to talk to them at great length about this system, see what I can find out and if there is anything I can do to help.

    I review for BookSneeze®

    I was given a free e-book in exchange for an honest review by Booksneeze.


    Thanks for reading,
     

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    Zeezok and Ben-Hur


    Do you like to incorporate some creativity into your homeschooling?  Break it up with movies, movie guides and a little bit of fun?  If so then Zeezok would be perfect for you, since 1993 they have been serving the homeschool community with quality literature and educational book and just recently with  Z-Guides to an array of different movies.  

    We just happen to be studying ancient Rome this year and so I thought the movie Ben-Hur would go perfectly with our studies.  It did!  My kids remembered so much more then I would have thought they did.  Things like the laurel leaf crown, Tiberius, the Colosseum, chariot racing and gladiators popped up and my kids were able to tell me a lot of information.  With the Z-Guide they give you a lot of activities, questions, comprehension studies and other interesting ways to study the movie that you choose.  I loved the fact that I could just print it out at home and didn't have to wait on a book to arrive in the mail, and I could pick and choose which pages to print.  They offer the Z-Guide for elementary and another one for high school so you get to choose the level that would fit your child's needs.


    Here is what each guide contains:

    Each guide starts out with a topic overview. This overview provides the student with more information regarding the specific time period in which the movie is based. Next is a movie synopsis. The synopsis will assist the student in understanding what is going on in the movie and how relationships, situations, and events all relate together.
    Each guide includes the historical setting, research skills, writing skills, hands-on activity, a worldview study, critical thinking skills, and family discussion questions.  There is also a section called The Filmaker’s Art activity that helps the student recognize the tools being used to influence the viewer.

    The Z-guides sell for only $12.99 and are well worth the price, I have 2 children and both of them used the same guide.  This would be very enjoyable for unit studies!
    The only thing I found that I didn't really like was that the word puzzle for Ben-Hur wasn't correct and my son looked for almost and hour before I checked it for him and realized the mistake (it could easily be fixed by the company).

    I wish I would have known about the Z-Guide last year when we watched the 10 Commandments when we were studying Egypt, it would have been a perfect addition to our studies.  You can bet I will be checking each year to see what they have to complement our studies, it was a fun experience for all of us.






    Thanks for reading, 

    Patterns of Evidence Exodus giveaway and review

    About the author/filmmaker/producer Tim Mahoney founded Mahoney Media Group, Inc. (MMG) in 1989. MMG focused its business on televi...