Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hillsong United: Empires Album Review & Giveaway #EMPIRES #FLYBY

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links. *additional disclosure at the end of this post*

I just received the latest album from Hillsong United in the mail!  It came two days ago and I've already listened to it a few times.  I know many of you are already fans - and you won't be disappointed in their latest works!

About Hillsong United:
UNITED is committed to writing songs that speak truth, create a unique sound, connect with churches, individuals and ultimately connect people everywhere with God. UNITED serve in church as a part of the wider Hillsong Worship and Creative team when they are home. When on tour, they are accompanied by the whole Hillsong team’s support and prayers that their ministry would arrest hearts and point people to Jesus, impacting individuals, local youth groups and local churches.

Empires' Tracks:
  10. RULE
Social Connection:

Check them out on tour this summer:

My Thoughts:

Empires brings us the best of worship music.  You can not help but be moved while listening.  Beautiful lyrics and vocals combine with modern music to draw us in.  Touch The Sky is already a favorite for sure. I've really enjoyed listening to this album over the past two days.  

One lucky reader will win a copy of Empires! 


"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Meet the Flock #chickens

We've had our girls for about 2 weeks.  I'm guessing they are about 5 weeks old but I can't be sure.  Truth be told Hubby didn't really get a lot of information like that - he focused on the feeding and keeping part!

The Coop is still in the planning stages.  I promise to take lots of pictures when that happens.

In the meantime ...

Meet the Girls (we hope!)

 This girl is very curious.  She always wants to see what is going on and knows there is a world outside her bin. She doesn't run or hid when we visit with them.
 This girl looks like she will become black and white.  We were told her eggs would be easter egg colored (green/blue).  Her feet are very hairy!  She is also very dominant and is a bit of an aggressive chick.  She was the first to figure out how to fly on top of the feeder/waterer.

 This is the last of our bold chicks.  She is supposed to look like the next three but her color has always been different.  She is the fattest of the chicks too!  You can't tell because she is getting ready to fly off the feeder and get out of the bin.  She wants OUT!  

The last three are scrawnier and scaredy cats!  The cower in the corner whenever we go near the bin.  The other 3 pick on these gals often too.  These should be our Rhode Island Reds.  I've been told they are not very friendly and I can already see that.  They are cute when they sleep all together.

So that is our flock.  Hopefully we have all girls in the mix but time will tell!! 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Glamorous Garbage by Barbara Johansen Newman #review & giveaway #WIN

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links. 

Bobbie has a problem.  A problem I know all to well at my house. She has a lot of stuff in her room and no where to put it.  In my house the kids always have trouble parting with belongings.  I think it has to do something with their parents collecting stuff.  This book came at a perfect time as we are having a new baby in the fall and need to downsize everyone's 'collections'.

About the book:

 Bobbie’s room is so full of stuff that she and her best cousin Joanie can barely find a place to play. When her mom gives her two weeks to clear out the clutter, she comes up with the perfect plan: She’ll collect other people’s discards. Then she’ll turn the trash into treasures! But it seems she may need some help to make her dream of a glamorous big-kid room come true. Here’s a funny new take on a classic kid problem—what to do with a messy room. The solution is both clever and ecologically-minded.


Glamorous Garbage Blog

My Thoughts:

This book was adorable.  I read it to my 4 year old and the first thing he noticed was how messy Bobbie's room was.  It gave us the perfect opportunity to talk about purging some of our things to make room for new.  I loved that her Mom gave her a timeline to get it done and as it approached she went to her Mom to ask for help. Sometimes a job like that is super big and needs a little extra parental help.  While this book was really a cute read, it had a great lesson about keeping things organized. We will read this one often over the next few weeks as we start to clear out our things.

 3 lucky winners will win a copy of Glamorous Garbage!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Welcome Chicks! #chickens

My husband wanted to surprise with something big for Mother's Day.  We have always talked about things we would 'someday' want.  His wishlist includes a trip to Australia and a boat to go lake fishing.  Mine includes traveling cross country in and RV and raising chickens.

Well.... we got some chicks!

This post will be picture heavy because they are so adorable!!

 The babies they day they came home.  We knew nothing about them - so into a bin with the food and waterer thingy the store told us to use.  We also have a red heat lamp for them.  Later we found out they should have pine shavings so we bought that after a few days.  There are 6 chicks - "girls" .  We found out that although they guarantee  them to be girls that is unlikely and we will probably end up with a rooster.

They are super cute and they make this little peeping sound constantly.  They were a bit skittish at first but we handle them every day to help with that.  They will be in the house for a few months!! (MONTHS!!!)  So that will get interesting as they get bigger!

Our 2nd Week:

Four are supposed to be Rhode Island Reds, the other two we are not sure about (the ones in the last picture). 

I'll keep you posted on how this all goes over the weeks.  They are growing fast!  We will have to build a coop outside soon.  I don't believe we will get eggs until the fall but it is a fun family project.  The kids all seem to enjoy having a pet ... or six.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Motivate Your Child Action Plan Book #review #heartparenting

A Rup Life received a copy of this book to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links. 

A few months back I reviewed Motivate Your Child by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.  We talked a lot about Heart Parenting and it is a fantastic book!  This week I am sharing with you the second book in the series Motivate Your Child Action Plan

About the book:
This is a step-by-step guide to see change in your children.  It can be a stand alone product or used along with Turansky and Miller's other books - like Motivate Your Child.


  1. Change in Forty Days
  2. Where Do You Want To Go?
  3. The Map to Get There
  4. Working Together
  5. A Place for Firmness
  6. Visioning Moves You Forward
  7. Teaching Shows the Way
  8. Spiritual Energy Provides Strength
  9. Coaching Sets the Attitude
  10. Building Motivation from Within
  11. Growing Together
  12. Good Theology Makes it Work

This book is different than the last book because it is having you work through the process of seeing change in your children.  It has a workbook feel but it doesn't require a ton of writing on the part of the parent - like some workbooks can.  I like that part - a lot!  In fact it is just a few questions littered through out the book to get you to stop and think or reflect on the interactions with your child. 

One of the first things we learn is that parents can't change a child's heart.  It has to be God and the child that do the changing!  What we can change is ourselves but not someone else - that doesn't mean we can't help them along it just means it has to be a heart change for the child.  This book is going to have you look at how you parent and have you tweak your approach for your child's need - you both will have a heart change in the end. 

It also opens with telling you to pray for your child and the changes you would like to see.  I think this is a HUGE key to success with this program.  See it is not only the child's heart that needs work - it is the parents too!

I loved all the examples shared in this book. Many times there were situations shared that I could relate to as a parent. Then the authors would share ways to work on that situation.  Sometimes it would be completely different than I'd have approached the situation - which caused me to think more about how we handle things in our home.

A lot of the methods were practical things, however I think over time we have lost parenting skills as new ideas and technology have crept into our lives. Our parents didn't pass this knowledge to us like it had happened with previous generations. This book will not fix any situation over night, but if you progress through I do believe you will see heart change.

I've mentioned several times that the parents will have heart change as well.  I want to elaborate on that a little further. This book isn't going to have you throw all your ideas out the window and  follow strict regimen. It is a softer more subtle method.  You will take baby steps during the process. Taking time to get to know your child better and appreciate their strengths while helping them with their weaknesses.  You'll learn how their conscience works and how you can encourage them in this area.

I recently had the opportunity to hear both Dr. Turansky and Mrs. Miller speak at a homeschool conference.  You could tell over the course of the hour that they truly have a heart for the children and parents they have worked with.  They have shared their hearts in this book and it comes across on the pages.
Visit to order your copy today.  For the month of May you can get your book for only $29.99 which is  a 25% off savings! 

For a limited time use the coupon code in the graphic below to save more!

Exploring Ephesus from #REVIEW

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links. *Additional disclosure below*

We were recently sent a video from  for review.  The title they sent us was Exploring Ephesus: City of Apostles on DVD. In our family we love learning more about our world and how it relates to our bible so we were all pretty intrigued by this title and to see what we would learn from it.  On our movie night we all gathered around as a family - Mom, Dad, and our three boys (14, 12, 4) to watch. The littlest guy did pretty good with it - he is learning to sit more and even asked us to pause the movie for a bathroom break! I'm sure all the snacks set out help keep him motivated to sit with us and watch.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I Can Read: Reading With Chuck E. Cheese #WIN

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links.

Did you know in the May and June on Tuesdays - at Chuck E. Cheese locations they are having a story time?  A staff member and Chuck E.  will sit down with the kids and read a story to them!  We went today it it was super cute!

 photo 60E4BA78-DD32-44F3-ACC1-80CF007305C3_zpsx01leapo.jpg

Monday, May 18, 2015

Spring into Science DVD Review & Giveaway with NCircle

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links. 

I have a great set of DVDs from NCircle Entertainment  to share with you today, I'll also be giving away a set to one lucky reader at the end of this post!  This set is all about Science!  My kids love learning about how their world works and this set was perfect for enhancing that learning.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Weekly Recap

I haven't done a weekly recap in a long, long time but I think I'm going to get back to this weekly feature.  It is a nice way to recap my week and share what has happened on the blog.

Today when you read this I'll be at day 2 of a homeschool conference.  I love this time of year and the chance to get away even if it is only for one night!  I'm sure I will share about the conference next week.


S is for Smiling Sunrise Book Review #abclearning

2nd Box with Door To Door Organics 

 Counting Crows by Kathi Appelt #review

 PBS KIDS Dinosaur Train: Explore Outdoors


Friday, May 15, 2015

PBS KIDS Dinosaur Train: Explore Outdoors

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links. 

I have an adorable DVD to share with you today!   The popular PBS KIDS' television show Dinosaur Train has released it's latest title Explore Outdoors!  This DVD features 8 adventurous episodes sure to excite your preschooler!


Buddy and his family and friends love heading into the great prehistoric outdoors for fun and adventure! In Explore Outdoors, Buddy and his siblings Tiny, Shiny, and Don, plant sycamore trees with their grandparents and learn how clouds are formed from Mr. Conductor. They find unique birds to study and sketch on the Dinosaur Train and discover the beauty of stalactites and stalagmites that have formed deep inside a cave. The Pteranodon family is always ready to explore new places and learn new things!


  • Tiny's Fishing Friend
  • Butterflies
  • Best-Ever Babysitter
  • Plant a Tree
  • Birdwatching
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Fun
  • One Big Frog 
  • Caving with Vlad

Special Features Included:
  • Interactive Games
  • Coloring Pages

We had such a blast with Explore Outdoors.  My preschooler just loved watching the adorable dinos on tv.  Our favorite episode was the Butterflies.  This is probably because we had just raised some caterpillars to butterflies and released them. We learned all about how they use camouflage in the environment to keep them safe.  It was the perfect lesson for a 4 year old!  Each episode features learning in a fun way - that is one thing as a mom that I really appreciate from Dinosaur Train. 

You can purchase your copy of Explore Outdoors at your local retailer or online at stores like Amazon.  Be sure to visit PBS Kids for more Dinosaur Train fun!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Counting Crows by Kathi Appelt #review #giveaway

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links.

What is black and white and red all over?  Kathi Appelt's new book Counting Crows!  We've been reading this book with our 4 year old the past couple weeks and it is a pure delight.  The book counts up and down through the numbers while rhyming a delightful story about a flock of crows.  What makes this book visually stunning is the illustrator Rob Dunlavey's use of limited color.  Most of the pages are in black and white - except our friends the crows!  They wear the cutest red and white striped shirts and occasional red/white polka-dotted scarfs!


One, two, three, crows in a tree, bedecked in red scarves and hungry as can be. So they fly out of their nest with snacking in mind, and snack they do. Snack one, snack two, snack three—all the way to a dozen! But before they have time to complain about bellyaches, they have a bigger problem: a cat has been eyeing them…as potential snacks! Can these well-fed crows become well-FLED crows? Read and find out in this counting book from Newbery Finalist and two-time National Book Award Nominee Kathi Appelt, with spot-on illustrations from Rob Dunlavey. It’s the cat’s meow!

Be sure to visit author Kathi Appelt's site to learn more about this book.  Also I have a fun activity sheets you can print here. 

We loved this adorable book and I think you will too!  You can purchase your copy at your local bookstore or online at stores like Amazon!  

One lucky reader will win a copy of Counting Crows by Kathi Appelt! 


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

2nd Box with Door To Door Organics

A Rup Life did not receive product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links. 

I told you last week I'm totally hooked on this new delivery service - and that still holds true this week!  I switched down to a smaller box which will suit my family needs a little better (some weeks I might upsize just depends on what I'm needing).  I found that I like the option of adding additional items I need to the box - like organic chicken or 2 pounds of strawberries.  

This is what I got this week: 

 I added the strawberries, bars, organic mixed greens and lollipops.  Not sure if you can see but there are two kinds of tomatoes, honeydew, broccoli, bananas, cucumber,  and onion.

 A close up of apples, bananas and cucumber.

Some of the extras I added!

I was so impressed with how this box was packed.  Those two chocolate bars I ordered were in a separate envelope with an ice pack.  The 80 degree weather wouldn't have bothered them one bit!

Additional Information:

About Door To Door Organics:

This is a subscription delivery service.  You pick your box size and choose between weekly or bi-weekly delivery.  You also can choose between Monday or Friday drop off.  (All of this can be modified at any time - provided you do it before you order is locked in.)

 The boxes are set up and include all organic fruits, vegetables or a mix of both - depending on your choice.  You have the option to swap out a few things each week and they give you a list of substitutes to pick from.

Now onto the savings!  By Clicking here you can sign up and get $10 off your first box! (You will have to hit apply to use the coupon on the screen) 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

S is for Smiling Sunrise Book Review #abclearning

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links. *Additional disclosure at the end of the post*

I have a sweet abc-learning book from  WordsBright to share with you today.  S is for Smiling Sunrise  by Vick Wadhwa is a hard bound, colorful book that goes through each letter of the alphabet with pictures.  On each page there is a letter, picture and a little rhyme to go with the two. The rhymes are upbeat and encouraging - perfect for our little ones!

My four year old has really come to love reading books daily with me.  This wasn't the case a little over the year ago but we worked on it and his love has really blossomed. I showed him S is for Smiling Sunrise and he was super excited to read the book with me.  Each page had pictures we could talk about which really added to the engagement of the story.  At 4, Jace knows all his ABCs but he still likes showing off his knowledge of them and seeing them in his school time so this book was still a perfect fit for him. 

We have read through this book a few times and listened to the mp3 song (a free download on the site).  After we read it the first time my little guy opened the book to the first letter -  A is for Artwork and asked if we could do that.  Naturally, I said yes and so we pulled out the art supplies and easel and he set to work. That is the beauty of this book, it leads to a lot of possible activities - like A is for Artwork or P is for Park and Playground. I had hoped that would be the case - and it was pretty neat to see that Jace came up with the same idea!

I loved this book and I loved how  we easy it was to use as a launching ground to do other activities.  Yes we read the book but it can be and was so much more for us!  The pictures were cute and author Vick Wadhwa did a great job coming up with a few sentences for each letter/picture.  I didn't have the time to use this book for memorizing but it would be great for that!  We all know that little kids have the most amazing ability to memorize poetry and these short sentiments would be perfect! This was really a fun review for us and something we will continue to use in the future. 

Be sure to visit WordsBright - they offer a free MP3 download song, a parents and a teachers guide.  In addition to that is a downloadable poster for the W is for Words page.  You can also see a peek of the inside of the book!

Click on the image below to see what the other Crew Reviewer's are saying about S is for Smiling Sunrise!

Wordsbright Review

Crew Disclaimer

Friday, May 8, 2015

My Personal Experience with Door To Door Organics - Plus $10 off your order!

A Rup Life did not receive product to facilitate this post. This post  contains affiliate links. 

I have been trying my best to buy organic when possible for our home.  It is hard though!  Two of the most popular stores to get that kind of produce and meat are at least 25 minutes away - when traffic is good.  My local grocery doesn't carry anything organic and the next closest (10 minutes away) has a limited selection.

What's a girl to do? 

Enter in Door To Door Organics.  I had toyed with trying this company out for sometime.  I'm intrigued by the idea that food can come right to my doorstep.  This will save me time because I can go to the local store for staples (mostly target because I can get organic spaghetti and sauce there plus milk and eggs!)

So I took the plunge this week!  On Monday my delivery came.  I picked the medium sized box ($45.99) and it came in two boxes.  I also added organic chicken thighs and 2 pounds of strawberries.

This box sure was joy delivered!


I added the chicken and strawberries
About Door To Door Organics:

This is a subscription delivery service.  You pick your box size and choose between weekly or bi-weekly delivery.  You also can choose between Monday or Friday drop off.  (All of this can be modified at any time - provided you do it before you order is locked in.)

 The boxes are set up and include all organic fruits, vegetables or a mix of both - depending on your choice.  You have the option to swap out a few things each week and they give you a list of substitutes to pick from.

What I received in my $45.99 mixed box:

7 bananas
1 avocado
1 bunch of red radishes
1 mango
1 cucumber
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 honeydew melon
1 lb carrots
3 roma tomatoes
1 grapefruit
2 bosc pears
3 zucchini
4 gala apples
1 green leaf lettuce

My Thoughts:

I was extremely happy with the quality of the produce.  The bananas, mango, avocado, and melon did not come ripe which was nice because we had some time to eat all the different things.  I probably won't want lettuce again because that was a little wilted and I prefer a spring mix variety. Some of you may want to know if the food is local.  Some is - they try to do that when possible.  This week they offered local mushrooms (which I subbed out because we don't eat them.)  The food was a mix of USA products and other countries too - which may bother some of you - but I'm happy for the most part with that as long as it is organic.

In the future I will alternate the box sizes depending on what I'm looking for.  I also plan on buying additional fruit that isn't offered that week - such as the strawberries - since my family loves them.

Overall I'm very pleased and this is a great option for someone that doesn't have the time to travel to several stores to get all of the organic produce they need. 

Now onto the savings!  By Clicking here you can sign up and get $10 off your first box! (You will have to hit apply to use the coupon on the screen)  

Plumb Exhale CD Giveaway! #WIN #EXHALE

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post.

Plumb is one of the most popular contemporary Christian artist today. Not a day goes by where I don't hear her wonderful song Lord, I'm Ready Now - when turning on the christian radio station. Her soulful voice and relate-able lyrics draw you in. 

Rhythm of Math: Teaching Mathematics with Body Music

A Rup Life received press to facilitate this post.

 Rhythm of Math: Teaching Mathematics with Body Music, a groundbreaking, kinesthetic approach to teaching math to grades 3-5 using an easy-to-learn rhythm technique, will be released on June 15th.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Romance #REVIEW

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links. *Additional disclosure at the end of the post* 

 I recently was sent The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Romance by Heidi St. John to review from Real Life Press. Maybe you have heard St. John speak at a homeschooling conference, read one of her books or used one of her curriculums (from Real Life Press).  If not let me share a little bit about her.  Heidi St. John has been married to her husband Jay since 1989, together they have 7 children.  She has been homeschooling for many years and is a well known homeschooling speaker at conferences.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Motivate Your Child Action Plan Giveaway! #WIN

A Rup Life received product to facilitate this post. This post may contain affiliate links.

 I'm so excited to share this giveaway for the Motivate Your Child Action Plan book.  This is a companion book to the Motivate Your Child book that most of you already have!  Coming soon will be a Facebook party (details below including RSVP) and my review of this new book.  Parenting from the Heart is changing families and I'm so thrilled to share another tool for your parenting toolbox with you all! 

Motivate Your Child Action Plan Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Motivate Your Child Action Plan, we are joining other members of the Launch Team in a wonderful giveaway filled with an iPod Touch, $50 iTunes Gift Card and several biblical parenting products! A value of nearly $350! Here's what you could win: 

Apple iPod touch 16GB Black/Silver  ($195 value)  

  • In the Box - iPod Touch, Apple EarPods, Lightning to USB cable, QuickStart guide
  • Brilliant 4 Retina display with Multi-Touch IPS technology
  • Front-Facing FaceTime camera with 1.2MP photos & 720p HD video recording.  
  • iOS 6 features - Siri, Apple Designed Maps, Integrated Facebook, Shared Photo Streams, Passbook & more

iTunes Gift Card ($50 value)

 Because you'll need apps and music for that iPod Touch!

The Christian Parenting Handbook and Companion Guide ($56.95 value) 

The Christian Parenting Handbook contains nuggets of parenting wisdom condensed into 50 short chapters, each one biblical, practical, and relevant for parents of children ages 2-18. Learn appropriate ways to correct, instruct, and set limits. Glean wisdom for dealing with emotions, conflict, and developing closeness in your family… and much more. These 50 strategies provide you with hands-on tools for parenting children of any age.  The Companion Guide is a workbook of 50 lessons along with 50 audio tips to take you through The Christian Parenting Handbook step by step. Each lesson contains advice from Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller in a 5 minute audio tip and then offers teaching, an assignment, a Bible verse, and a prayer to help you apply each idea or strategy in your family. The tips are available to you as MP3 downloads and access to them comes in the workbook.

Family Time Activities Book Bundle ($45 value)

Your kids will have fun learning about God's Word and how it applies to their lives. Science experiments, art activities, and games are all designed to reinforce spiritual truth. Each lesson is clear and simple, yet profound even for parents! You'll teach kids how exciting it is to learn about God and his ways. Your kids will love these books, but more importantly you'll build spiritual memories of Family Time in your home. Titles in this giveaway include:  Seeing Is Believing  Playing for Keeps  Running the Race Enter the Giveaway using the Rafflecopter below! This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY to those 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited by law. a Rafflecopter giveaway Join us for the Action Plan Facebook Party on Wednesday, May 20 at 9:00PM ET. There will be even more prizes and giveaways there and the authors of Action Plan will be present to answer your questions! The winner of this giveaway will be announced at the Facebook party!

RSVP here for the Party! 

Action Plan Facebook Party