Friday, June 29, 2012

Hope Springs-book review and Kindle Fire giveaway

About the Book

Hope Springs is the epitome of small-town life—a place filled with quiet streets where families have been friends for generations, a place where not a lot changes . . . until now.
Janelle Evans hasn’t gone back to Hope Springs for family reunions since losing her husband. But when she arrives for Christmas and learns that her grandmother is gravely ill, she decides to extend the stay. It isn’t long before she runs into her first love, and feelings that have been dormant for more than a decade are reawakened.
Becca Anderson is finally on the trajectory she’s longed for. Having been in the ministry trenches for years, she’s been recruited as the newest speaker of a large Christian women’s conference.

But her husband feels called to become the pastor of his late father’s church in Hope Springs. Will small-town living affect her big ministry dreams?
Stephanie London is married to a doctor in St. Louis and living an ideal life. When her cousin Janelle volunteers to stay in Hope Springs and care for their grandmother, she feels compelled to do the same. It’s a decision that will forever change her.
As these women come together, they soon recognize that healing is needed in their hearts, their families, and their churches that have long been divided along racial lines. God’s plan for them in Hope Springs—and for Hope Springs itself—is bigger than they ever imagined.

Grab your copy of Hope Springs and join the author for an Author Chat Party on July 10th at 8:00 PM EST (that’s 7:00 Central, 6:00 MST, & 5:00 PST)!
During the evening she’ll be sharing the story behind the book, posting discussion questions, testing your trivia skills, and of course, there will be plenty of chatting and fun giveaways – books, gift certificates and – a Kindle Fire!
You will also be getting a sneak peak of her next book too!
RSVP today and then come back on the 10th … and bring your friends!

About the Author

Kim Cash Tate is the author of Cherished, Faithful, Heavenly Places and the memoir More Christian than African-American. A former practicing attorney, she is also the founder of Colored in Christ Ministries. She and her husband have two children.
Find out more about Kim, her other books and read her blog at

My Opinion

I fell in love with Hope Springs and the way that Kim interwinds the three different women's lives in this story is fascinating.  My husband and I have a saying, "Everything happens for a reason."  As I was reading Hope Springs I kept thinking to myself that this book drives our saying home more and more, everything does happen for a reason and God knows exactly what's going on with each and every one of us.  He has His reasons and while many times I do question Him and wonder WHY, I'm finally learning to trust him and know that he has a divine plane for my life and if I will let go and let God then my life will be phenomenal.  I feel that even more after reading about the three women's lives and everything that happens to them like loss, divorce,  dreams, racism, faith and of course love!  This is a fabulous book about lost love and finding it again., you won't want to miss a single word.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, June 22, 2012

Lucy Come Home book review

About the book:
Fifteen-year-old Cindy worked long days beside her migrant worker family in Michigan’s sugar beet fields in the early 1940s — the “war years” — until she met a dashing young man from a traveling carnival, bringing some joy and fun into her hard-scrabble life. But a tragic twist of fate — and a dead field boss– sent the two young people on the run, leaving behind family and everything she’d ever known.
Lucy Tucker, the crotchety old bag lady from the popular Yada Yada House of Hope series, is a veteran of Chicago streets and not about to give up her independence, even as she approaches her 80th birthday.
Until, that is, a young displaced woman with her gentle aging mother and a dog named Dandy seem to need her — unsettling the secretive Lucy, who doesn’t let anyone get too close. But just when it seems her past is catching up with her to bring her in out of the cold… Lucy disappears again. How these two tales intersect and intertwine between past and present gradually shines light into the dark corners of Lucy’s murky past. But… why won’t Lucy come home?

About the authors:
Dave and Neta Jackson are award-winning authors living in the Chicago area where their parallel novels from the Yada Yada House of Hope and Harry Bentley series are set.
As a husband/wife writing team, Dave and Neta Jackson are enthusiastic about books, kids, walking with God, gospel music, and each other! Together they are the authors or coauthors of over 100 books.
Visit for more info.

My Opinion:
I was ecstatic to receive this book for review because I've read all of the Yada Yada, House of Hope and Harry Bentley series.  I just knew that this would answer so many questions about the homeless lady named Lucy that appears in many of the previous books.  Dave and Neta Jackson didn't let me down, this book was phenomenal!  I was so caught up in reading Lucy's story that I let my laundry pile up until I had Mount Washmore(yes I name my laundry piles), I could not put the book down until I found out if Lucy was reunited with her family.  This book could be read as a stand alone book BUT if you have read all of the previous books you will feel right at home, like you are among friends since most of the characters have been introduced at one time or another in several of the other series.  You won't want to miss Lucy Come Home, it's got a little something for everyone like mystery, history, travel, friendship and of course romance.
My 12 year old daughter Makenzie has started a mission called Punky Monkey Missions and she loves to crochet scarves and hats for the homeless in our town.  She really has a heart to serve others because she also gets donations of gently used clothing from friends and family plus gyms, churches and restaurants that want to clean out their "lost and found" box.  We wash them all and then hand them out to the homeless with a Blessed to Bless Bag.  Each time we do this I always wonder what is their story and why are they homeless.  I know that the Jackson's have just fabricated this story but it makes you realize that many homeless people have heartbreaking stories and not all of them are addicted to drugs or alcohol like you hear about many times.

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Creation Illustrated

Creation Illustrated magazine is a magazine with a fantastic purpose that has breathtaking illustrations.  It has left our jaws dropped open in wonder and our minds looking in unexpected directions. 
 For close to 20 years they've had recipes, photo contests, puzzles and wonderful views of God's creation.  Each magazine has been divided into three distinct parts: Living, Nature and Scripture.  All three sections are beautifully photographed, I loved going through each magazine and watching my children's eyes fill with amazement and wonder.  A lot of questions came up and we googled everything we could find, that wasn't covered in the magazine.

Our Purposeis to share the wonders of God’s creation. By revealing fresh insights of His infinite wisdom, gentle touch, undeniable justice, redeeming love, and flawless design, pure truth shall bring renewed peace. Each part of this publication is offered as a reprieve from the daily rigor’s of life so that all can look to the future with unbridled gratitude and hope.

Creation Illustrated is published every quarter in the USA and the cover price is $4.99.  You can subscribe online for the following::
  • 1 year    $ 19.95
  • 2 Years  $ 37.95
  • 3 Years  $ 53.95
Those who pay now with a credit card will save another $5.00 per year per subscription.  Canadian Residents  add $5.00 for 
postage, those living in other foreign countries add $10.

You can also request your own sample issue of Creation Illustrated before purchasing a subscription. 

Thanks for reading,

Monday, June 18, 2012


IXL is a computer based website that helps your students practice their current math skills and learn new skills in a fun, exciting and sometimes challenging environment online.  Both of my kids love to play video games, computer games, handheld games, board games so I guess you could say they just love to play games. Well, what kid doesn't?  I've noticed that the more games we play the easier it is for them to remember things so we try to make a game out of almost everything but sometimes they get bored with the games that I make up and sometimes I'm in a hurry and can't think up a new game.  That's where IXL came in really handy for our family!  I didn't actually have to come up with any new math games, I'd just let them play for 20 minutes or so a day and I saw dramatic improvement in their math skills plus they were also learning some new skills along the way! I've actually had some problems getting them to stop playing because they are having so much fun.

IXL starts in Pre-K and works all the way up to Algebra.  Geometry, Trigonometry, and other advanced topics are on their way!  IXL is currently being used in more than 150 countries around the world and in the USA the state standards are listed for each state.

IXL would be a great addition to any math curriculum that you are currently using because students practice their skills in many different ways and then are rewarded with virtual awards as they complete each challenge that arises. The virtual awards can also be printed if you would like to.

One of the things that I (the parent/teacher) liked was the Improvement Reports.  These reports track your child's progress and you can also set goals to help keep your student on track.

Membership benefits include:

  • Complete coverage of math curriculum from Pre-K to algebra.
    Your kids won’t miss a thing!
  • Unlimited questions in over 2,000 skills.
  • Fun and colorful practice formats.
  • Questions that adapt to your child’s ability, increasing in difficulty as they improve.
  • Immediate feedback and question-specific explanations to solidify understanding of each concept.
  • Audio for all Pre-K through first-grade skills.
  • Weekly e-mail updates on your child’s progress.
  • Informative, detailed reports pointing out successes and trouble spots.
  • Awards and certificates for you and your children to print out as they
    reach important milestones.

A family plan includes up to 3 children and you can choose from a $9.95 monthly or $79.00 yearly plan. Additional children can be added to the account for an additional $2.00 per month or $20.00 per year. Special pricing is also available for schools.

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Story Builder iPhone app

The Story Builder App for iPhone is a learning application from the Mobile Education Store. It is available from iTunes for download for only $5.99. It was the winner of the Best reading app of 2011 by the Huffington Post.

Story Builder is designed to help children accomplish the following goals: 1) Improve paragraph formation; 2) Improve integration of ideas; and 3) Improve higher level abstractions by inference.  Extensive use of audio clips promotes improved auditory processing for special needs children with autism spectrum disorders or sensory processing disorders.  Story Builder offers a rich and fun environment for improving the ability to create a narrative

  • Record feature allows students to record narrative in their own voice
  • 3 levels of play
  • Simple and intuitive interface to record narrative
  • Recorded answers are stitched together to create complete narrative
  • 50 distinct story lines to create narratives from
  • Over 500 audio clips of questions to guide narrative
  • Optional question text and answer introduction reinforcement
I downloaded the app several weeks ago and I've been letting both of my children play around with it.  My 10 year old son, Kylan really seems to like it a lot but my 11 year old daughter only likes to play it every so often.  Kylan's favorite feature is that you look at a picture and then just record or narrate a story. Answering the questions has really helped to spark his creativity and he's getting better and better at making complete sentences and that in turn helps his stories to make more sense.  I like the fact that he can email his stories to family members or friends, he loves this too.  He probably loves that feature a little too much, I think the grandparents might be a little tired of hearing his silly stories.  This is a great app that helps get your creative juices flowing and would be helpful in creative writing and grammar and would be a great addition to any homeschool family with younger children, I'd say ages 12 and under. 

Thanks for reading,

Friday, June 08, 2012

Looking for a real job

I know everyone probably thinks we get paid to blog and we do but it's not much.  It might buy you dinner once or twice a month and as a bonus I do review a lot of products that are free but they won't pay the bills.  I love blogging and reviewing, homeschooling my kids and taking care of my family from home.  It's all come to an abrupt end for a season....I have to get a real job!  Kevin (my husband) was coming home from work a couple of weeks ago and a teenage boy pulled out in front of him and Kevin T-boned him going at least 40 MPH (the teen was ticketed for failure to yield).  Kevin was taken by ambulance to the hospital because his shoulder, neck and back were hurting so much he couldn't stand up.  The MRI's show that he tore a muscle in his lower back, separated his shoulder and has a bulging disk in C4 and 5.  This all adds up to the fact that he can't work until at least October, remember he is a UPS driver and has to be able to lift and carry 150 lbs before returning to his job.  We just found out that yes he does in fact have loss of time benefits and they pay him a whopping 1/4 of his normal weekly pay so in an effort to save our family from bankruptcy and starvation I'm looking for job.  I haven't been in the job world for 12 years, Makenzie came home in November 2000 and that was it for me.  My job since then has been mommy, cook, housekeeper, blogger, teacher, taxi driver... you know the basic Domestic Engineer.  Oh how I wish we got paid for all of that work!  Please keep me in your prayers as I enter  this phase, if you happen to know of a stay at home job that really pays and isn't a scam please leave me a comment!

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Warner Bros. Journey 2 DVD Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for reading, 

The Flirtation Experiment-book review and giveaway

About the authors:  Lisa Jacobson  is an author, a podcaster, and the founder of, an online community of Christian women aut...