Monday, November 24, 2014

44 Animals of the Bible #REVIEW

I'm so happy to share our 11th Master Books Moms review.  This book is so special!  In 44 Animals of the Bible, author Nancy Pelander Johnson takes you on a page by page look at 44 animals featured in the bible. 

Each beautifully illustrated animal includes details to help clarify its meaning for children, important cultural information, and connections between the historic world of the Bible and our world today!

God once told Job that animals are important to Him, and that they are a big part of His creation. God watches when the doe gives birth to her fawn. He makes the leopard swift to hunt its prey. He commands eagles to soar. Animals are important to God. He loves them and cares for them, and wants us to do the same. Many of the animals mentioned in the Bible are featured in 44 Animals of the Bible.

My Thoughts:

This is an amazing little book!  I love that their is scripture to back up each animal.  I also love that it is science meets bible as far as the content.  There is scientific information on the animals as well as scripture.  There were animals that I came from well known bible verses such as the Ant and others like the Palmerworm in Amos that I had to look up.

I think this book is a great unit study for kids.  We are told at church that we are not just to read our bible but also to study it.  I love the idea of studying the animals of the bible and this would be a great resource for that!

Another thing I appreciated is that each animal has a illustration (done by Lloyd R. Hight).  This is a great feature because it doesn't leave you hanging and wondering what an animal might look like.  

You can find out additional information by visiting  Also be sure to join the MBM's on Tuesday, November 25th at 7:30 for the Facebook party and a chance to win your own copy of this book! 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Weekly Recap

Only a few days until Thanksgiving!  Wow!  This year has really flown by.  I never even made New Year's Resolutions and here we are almost at that point again.  I'm looking forward to spending some quality time with my family this coming Thursday.  Our church has a special service planned for Tuesday night  and I'm really excited about that.  That is really the whole point of the 'season'  to spend time with God and our loved ones!

now onto the blogging!  There are several giveaways so don't miss out on the chance to win!

Quilts of Love | QUILTED BY CHRISTMAS – Book #REVIEW, Kindle Giveaway & “Merry Quilted” Facebook Party!

Animaniacs Wakko's Wish #WIN


Crew Review Blue Ribbon Awards Winners 

In case you missed this giveaway:


Gift Guide: Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated - The Complete Season 2 #WIN


As They Grow Up:

Adventure Time: Finn the Human & CN's Finn's Top-1... 

Holiday Gift Guide: Zazzle #review & Giveaway!!   

NCircle Holiday DVD Giveaway! Yo Gabba Gabba, & more

Buck Denver asks... Why Do We Call It Christmas? 

Jurlique Holiday Sets! 

 Frozen Sing-Along Edition DVD Giveaway! #WIN

 Holiday Gift Guide: Hickory Farms #WIN

Pascha Organic Chocolate



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Crew Review Blue Ribbon Awards Winners

2014 Blue Ribbon Awards

I wanted to share some of the Blue Ribbon Award winners for this year.  These are the Schoolhouse Review Crew's top pics in various categories.  I also wanted to share a few of our favorites!

Austin (14) -

Micro Business for Teens
Mango Languages
Snake Oil

Xander (12) -

Middlebury Languages
Snake Oil
CTC Math

Lisa (Mom) -

Clued In Kids
Snake Oil 
CTC Math

(I thought I would elaborate on my choices a tad bit!  I chose the top two because of the fun level.  The kids had a blast on those!  CTC Math was chosen because it helps keep things going smoothly and happily in our house at Math time!) 

So those were our tops - but honestly it was hard to choose!  We really liked everything we received - we were tremendously blessed by the vendors and the crew!  Click on the graphic below to see the winners of the Blue Ribbon Awards!

2014 Blue Ribbon Awards

Monday, November 17, 2014

Animaniacs Wakko's Wish #WIN

A Rup Life received a promotional copy for review purposes. This post contains affiliate links. 

I loved the Animaniacs growing up!  Their silly antics always cracked me up!  I still bring up episodes to talk about with the kids.  They have really enjoyed watching them as well.  The newest on dvd is Animaniacs Wakko's Wish.  This is the perfect Animaniacs dvd for the winter holiday season!


Get set for hilarious Animaniacs antics the whole family can enjoy together. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings viewers Steven Spielberg Presents: Animaniacs Wakko’s Wish, the feature length animated adventure available on DVD for the first time. It’s musical, magical mayhem in this wintery tale that includes 15 original songs. This release will be available in stores October 7, 2014 and will retail for $19.97 SRP.

The outrageously zany Yakko, Wakko and their sister Dot star in Steven Spielberg Presents: Animaniacs Wakko’s Wish, the feature-length animated adventure featuring song-filled, joke-stuffed Animaniacs zaniness.

Life is not the same in the little village of Acme Falls. The once-cheerful villagers are being taxed to the extreme by the greedy Baron Von Plotz. To make matters worse, Dot has fallen ill and needs medical attention. Out of options, Wakko wishes upon a star. His wish is granted, but with a catch – he must find the fallen star and touch it for his wish to come true.

Word gets out about the lucky star, and the race is on! Pinky and the Brain, Slappy and Skippy Squirrel, Mindy and Buttons and many more well-known Animaniacs co-stars hit the road to animated pandemonium as they sprint to reach the star first. Join the hilarious hustle and your wildest wish will come true – an abundance of Animaniacs mania!

You can purchase your copy of Animaniacs Wakko's Wish  at your local retailer or online at stores like Amazon.  

One lucky reader will win a copy of Animaniacs Wakko's Wish!  Enter below!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Quilts of Love | QUILTED BY CHRISTMAS – Book #REVIEW, Kindle Giveaway & “Merry Quilted” Facebook Party!

This is my third Quilts of Love book and I have to say they keep getting better!  I love Christmas themed books and Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey was amazing!  This was a adorable story about a couple that reunites after many years.  They have a past they need to work through and they need to trust God and trust in His forgiveness if they can forgive one another.  I loved the characters in this book.  Justin and Taryn were both likeable.  You found yourself routing for them both.  I love when there are two strong awesome characters - it makes reading so pleasurable.  Bailey really knows how to tell a story - she is new to me but I plan on looking at other books she has written because this one was so wonderful!  Last of all the quilt part of the story is weaved in and was the centerpiece of the story.  I loved that, too!

You can purchase your copy of  Quilted by Christmas at your local book retailer or online at stores like Amazon.  

 Additional Information:

Don’t miss the newest Quilts of Love book, Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey. This QOL release is a warm Christmas tale of God's steadfast love.

Enter to win a Kindle HDX, and RSVP for the “Merry Quilted” Quilts of Love Facebook party on December 9th.
One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Two copies of Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey (One for you and one to give away as a gift!)
  • Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll
  • Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven
Enter today by clicking the button below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 16th. Winner will be announced November 17th at the Quilts of Love blog.

Wait! There's more! RSVP for the "Merry Quilted" Quilts of Love Christmas Book Chat Party on December 9th and connect with some of the Quilts of Love authors. Jodie Bailey, Laura V. Hilton, Cindy Loven, Cathy Elliott, and Gina Welborn will be hosting a "merry" evening of book chat, Christmas traditions, prizes, and more!


RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on December 9th!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Weekly Recap

Well... I had posted about some exciting new BUT completely changed my mind about being part of a Multi-Level-Marketing MLM company.  I had signed up with Young Living - but after receiving the kit and not being happy with any of the oils I'm sending the whole thing back.  I will stick with the company I normally buy from (Plant Therapy).  I'm considering it a lesson learned. 

On top of all that sickness has hit our household hard.  It seems like we can't get through a week without someone coming down with something.  I'm frankly over all this sickness for sure.  We are taking vitamins, using essential oils and cleaning like crazy - but well- still catching stuffs. 

This week also marked my last review with the Schoolhouse Review Crew for the year.  I will have one more post coming soon about our favorite products - but after that an official break until the new year.  Not a break from blogging just a break from reviews. 

Now onto the blog part:

IXL - Online Math & Language Arts Practice #review

Purposeful Design #review

Gift Guide: Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated - The Complete Season 2 #WIN

Snake Oil - From Out of the Box Games #review

Where Treetops Glisten #book Review 

My Year on the Schoolhouse Review Crew #review


Kirk Cameron’s: Saving Christmas in Theatres 11/14 #review #win

Disney's Planes Fire & Rescue Now Available! #HolidayGiftGuide 2014

John Rocco’s Blizzard Blog Tour & #REVIEW


Friday, November 14, 2014

My Year on the Schoolhouse Review Crew #review

Team Member

I can not believe how fast this year went by!  I remember applying to join the crew last year.  Uncertain if my little blog would be good enough to be part of the ranks.

I remember getting the email and that thrill of excitement and uncertainty! 

I wrote my trial review and how nervous I was.

Then I was fully accepted and the review opportunities came.

I was tempted to beg for each one but tried to pace myself.  I think I did well because I did 35 crew reviews this year.

We did Math, Bible, Science, writing, foreign language, piano and so much more.

Some were hard!  Hard to fit in, hard to figure out how it would work for us...

Some were easy - reading books or watching DVDs

Some were easy to write and some were a challenge to really describe all that the product was and is.

I'm going to be sharing our favorites in another post - but this post is more of a review of the Crew itself.

The Crew is an amazing opportunity with a wonderful group of women bloggers and fabulous companies.  The leadership - Kate, Debra and Marcy makes this team what it is.  Their leadership trickles down to the group and they make us better.  I feel their prayers over this business.

The reviews are detailed and have a format.  You can't willy - nilly throw something up.  This challenged me and I like how it has grown my writing.

There were deadlines to meet and I'm happy to say I didn't miss a single one!!

I had to be an active blogger to participate - and that means more than just reviews.  I found myself looking forward to sharing thoughts with you outside the reviews and watching this little blog-project grow.

Thank you - my readers- for your comments and dedication reading this year.

It isn't over just a tiny break before more crew reviews will be popping up.  There will still be new information and posting on this blog for sure!

Oh and I will be sticking around with the CREW for another year!  They accepted my application and I'll be blogging with them again next year.  Our leadership has given us a teaser (not much of a teaser either...) they have promised us that next year will be amazing!  I can't wait to see what The Lord has for me and the crew next year!

Review Crew

Where Treetops Glisten #book Review

Do you read holiday themed books during Christmas time?  I love too!  In fact I have a special little Christmas box my parents gave me about ten years ago with some books in it.  Now each year we bring it out when we decorate the trees and I re-read the books.  I know I'm going to be adding this book - Where Treetops Glisten to that treasure! 

Where Treetops Glisten is really three stories in one set in the time of World War II.  It features stories from three different authors: Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman and Sarah Sundin.  Each author writes one story about a character from the Turner family.  All the stories mesh and meld together making it a sweet combination. 


In Cara Putman’s White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements—until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help.

Abigail’s brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theater in Sarah Sundin’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete’s friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he’s no longer the bully she once knew?

In Tricia Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, “Merry” to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that’s precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart.

My Thoughts:

I always love when a book lets you get to know characters.  This book travels us through the lives of one whole family over the course of a few years.  It flows so beautifully even though there are three different writers.  I felt like each character's tale was believable as part of the overall picture in the family.  It is a unique book and one I'm so happy to have read.  Each tale gives you just enough of the picture to pull you through the next story. 

You can purchase your copy of Where Treetops Glisten at your local retailer or online at stores like Amazon.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Snake Oil - From Out of the Box Games #review

Out of the Box Games Review
The Crew year is coming to a close and I have just this one last review to share with you - and it is a good one!  This would make a great Christmas present ... but wait I get ahead of myself!   Out of the Box Games sent us one of their games for review.

What We Received:

 Snake Oil - $19.99

 Recommended Age:  10 and up

Out of the Box Games Review

This is a card game of sorts designed to be played in groups of 3 or more players.  One player becomes the customer and they get a card telling them their 'personality' for the game.  This was things like rock star, cheerleader and cowboy.  You take turns being the customer each round.  The rest of the players are basically salesmen and have to pitch their ideas.  Using the cards they've drawn from the deck they must make up a product and pitch to the customer.  The customer then decides the best pitch/product and that person wins the round.  The person with the most rounds one wins.

How we played:

We've played this game several times.  My boys are 12 and 14.  This was a great game for getting them to think outside the box and really open up.  The first few times I played with them so it was just the three of us.  We had fun getting the feel of the game.  The customer cards really make the game a lot of fun. 

We've also added Daddy to the mix and that really shakes it up.  In fact the more the merrier in this game because you can really get some great 'products' pitched and it usually makes each round end in laughter!

Out of the Box Games Review
Our Thoughts:

We loved this game!  The product cards are tricky enough to make it interesting.  For example you might have to pitch to a cheerleader with the following cards:

  • cloak
  • grass
  • pizza
  • love
  • oven
  • beach

So if I was the salesperson pitching to the cheerleader I would possibly combine love/cloak and say something like:  This Love-Cloak is the perfect accessory for any cheerleader.  Add this to your uniform and the crowd will instantly fall in love with you.  They will cheer you on and you will be the best cheerleader around all because of Love-Cloak.

As you can see it is all about playing on the 'customers' personality. You can use strategy to figure out what your customer is most likely to go for. For example my one son loves pizza - he would have chosen anyone product that included pizza.  While my other son liked staying true to character so he would have to be convinced that the product was right for the buyer. 

We laughed so hard while playing this game.  The things we made up to pitch were sometimes just silly sometimes and amazing inventions.  I loved watching the kids think about what to pitch. They had to use their imagination when the card were tough.  My one son was a really good customer - he did accents and voices to be in character. 

My big kids both agreed that this was an awesome game.  They want to play everyday - so that is a great endorsement - coming from a teen and a pre-teen!

Click to read Crew Reviews

Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Gift Guide: Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated - The Complete Season 2 #WIN

I have a great DVD to share with you!  Also there is a giveaway so make sure to stick around to the end of this post and enter!  Who doesn't love Shaggy and Scooby-Doo?  I know I loved them as a kid and my children now enjoy their antics too!

About Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated The Complete Season Two:

Those meddling kids and their lovable dog are back! In Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated The Complete Season Two, Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo continue to solve mysteries in the spooky town of Crystal Cove.  Viewers will get wrapped up in 26 captivating episodes featured on this four-disc set.

The Mystery Inc. crew is on the run again in this spooky second season of the hit Cartoon Network series! Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Daphne, Fred and Velma are off on more outlandish adventures as the super-sleuths race to outwit everything from creepy clowns, to aliens, to an evil entity determined to destroy the world! The darkest secrets of their hometown of Crystal Cove, the “Most Hauntedest Place on Earth” are about to come to light, but will finally solving this mystery mean the end for Scooby-Doo and the Gang? Fans will want to bring this frighteningly fun collection home so the whole family can find out!

Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated The Complete Season Two Featured Episodes:

1. The Night the Clown Cried
14. The Heart of Evil
2. House of the Nightmare Witch
15. Theater of the Doomed
3. The Night the Clown Cried II: Tears of Doom!
16. Aliens Among Us
4. Web of the Dreamweaver!
17. The Horrible Herd
5. The Hodag of Horror
18. Dance of the Undead
6. Art of Darkness
19. The Devouring
7. The Gathering Gloom
20. Stand and Deliver
8. The Night on Haunted Mountain
21. The Man in the Mirror
9. Grim Judgment
22. Nightmare in Red
10. Night Terrors
23. Dark Night of the Hunters
11. The Midnight Zone
24. Gates of Gloom
12. Scarebear
25. Through the Curtain
13. Wrath of the Krampus
26. Come Undone

One lucky reader will win a copy of  Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated - The Complete Season 2!  This DVD is available at your local retailer.

Purposeful Design #review

Purposeful Design Review
I was recently sent a fascinating book from Purposeful Design for review.  This book can be read to your child or used more like a curriculum.  It covers God's plan and design during the first seven days - which Christians refer to as Creation.

What I received:

Purposeful Design: Understanding the Creation by Jay Schabacker  - $18.95

This is a hardback book that features 94 pages and is appropriate for all ages.  

Purposeful Design Review
Book Chapters:

Chapter 1: The First Day - Creation of the Heavens and the Earth
Chapter 2: The Second Day - Creation of the Atmosphere and Water
Chapter 3:  The Third Day - Creation of the Dry Land and Vegetation
Chapter 4: The Fourth Day - Creation of the Sun, Moon, and Stars
Chapter 5:  The Fifth Day - Creation of the Birds and Fish
Chapter 6:  Creation Day Six - Creation of the Land Creatures and Humans
Chapter 7:  The Seventh Day

How we used this book:

This book could be used in several ways.  It could be used for Bible or Science.  I also like the idea of using it as a unit study for the first 7 days of creation.  For us we used it as a supplement.  Basically I just sat down with my middle son and read some of the chapters to him occasionally my oldest would overhear something and join us.

The way it is written it is easy to just take it in with short readings.  The book includes lots of facts that we all found to be pretty awesome.  For example in chapter four the Sun is discussed in reference to Stone Henge.  We all thought it was interesting to see how the sun is an important factor to how the stones are laid out.  On the next page there is a paragraph about the 9/11 memorial in NYC.  I did not know that it was constructed with a section allowing the sun on a certain day (9/11) to shine through.

The science and applications in this book really make this a gem.  We have really enjoyed taking it all in slowly and then going back and re-reading.  I said above it is for all ages but I think it could be started at a young age and revisited many times through the years.  On the website is a great little Purposeful Design Young Explorer's Club that would be great for younger students.  While we didn't use it because my kids are in Junior high and above - I thought it look like some awesome material. 

Knowing the story behind creation is so very important as believers.  We don't realize how much of an influence the world has on us until we take the time to really study out our world and how our Heavenly Father designed it.  Everything in our would has a purpose and a plan from our Maker.  This book is a valuable tool in teaching and  creation to our children.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.  - Genesis 1:1-5 KJV

Click to read Crew Reviews

Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

IXL - Online Math & Language Arts Practice #review

Christmas Book Review

We have been using IXL in our homeschool for the past few weeks.  This is a program that helps kids practice in math and language arts areas.  This is an online program that offers courses from Pre-K to 12 grade (currently language arts is only offered to 8th).

What we received:

We received an online subscription to:

IXL Math

IXL Language Arts

Starting Prices  for 1 student/1 subject: 

Monthly - $9.95


Yearly - $79

For both subjects an annual subscription would be $129

How we used the product:

My oldest student has been struggling in Math for quite some time.  It is the pre-algebra that has him bogged down.  I wanted to be part of this crew review especially for him - so that he would have the extra opportunity to practice.  So, he has been using his tablet (which is really more of a tablet/personal computer - it has a full keyboard) to access the site and work for about 10 minutes 3 times a week. Having him work a little bit each day helps keep him motivated to do the work and it not to become boring or overwhelming. He is slowly showing some improvement since starting the program - I believe this is because of the extra practice in his weak areas.

My middle son dropped his current language arts program for grammar and has been using IXL at our main computer during this review time.  He is only required by me to do about 10 minutes at a time but the reports tend to show a lot more time online working.  He tends to work for longer periods because he likes computer work and IXL is a fun way to do grammar for him.

I had hoped to use it more for Pre-K for my littlest but unfortunately it didn't work on my tablet and he is better with a touchscreen than a traditional mouse.  I'm slowly introducing him to the mouse but he gets crazy and clicks all over. I have a feeling once he gets a hang of the mouse he will be wanting more IXL time because he likes to have computer time like the big kids. 

Overall Thoughts:

I liked this program for math.  I think it is really a nice extra practice for my oldest.  I'm excited to incorporate more with my little guy when he is just a little more mature (he just turned 4 but he is a young 4).  I am happy that my oldest doesn't mind the extra practice and will work willingly.  That is saying a lot for a 9th grader.  This program has higher maths too - so it will serve us well each year because it will grow with my student.  I like to think of it all as a online tutor for math!

I loved how this program sent me email reports.  That was such a plus!  From the email you can print a certificate for your child - I've been printing them for their portfolio file just to have a record of the work they are doing. IXL also sends a weekly recap that shows how your kids are doing overall and lets you see if they actually logged in and did any work.  (Helpful with teens who say they did their work but maybe didn't really complete anything.

Overall we found this to be a really neat addition to our homeschool day.  We will continue to keep IXL in the line up weekly for our school.

Click to read Crew Reviews

Crew Disclaimer

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Weekly Recap

The time is flying by!  This weekend my husband and I celebrated our 15th Wedding Anniversary!  It really doesn't seem like it is been that long.  We have been tremendously blessed through the years.  I'm so thankful to have a husband that loves God and children that love Him too! 

As for blogging - I'll be honest it was a slower week for me.  I have lots of exciting things starting next week though!  I will be starting another series soon plus I have my last two Crew reviews of the year coming this week.  On top of that look out for a few holiday gift guides popping up this months for book and movie ideas!  Christmas will be here before we know it! 

Now onto the blogging!

If He Had Not Come #bookreview


Up to something...NEW


Snowman's Story by Will Hillenbrand ~ Book Review, Giveaway and Blog Tour! #win

Snowman's Story by Will Hillenbrand ~ Book Review, Giveaway and Blog Tour! #win


Their Name Is Today: Reclaiming Childhood in a Hostile World by Johann Christoph Arnold #review #win

Juice Beauty STEM CELLULAR CC Cream #review


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Up to something...NEW

Just a little teaser Thursday here at A Rup Life!  

I took the plunge recently...

and decided to try something new.

I signed up with a company.

I haven't done a demonstrator-type business since before my littlest was born but really felt led that this was the one to do.

I spent a long time praying.  

I'm super excited.

My kids are excited!

I'm hoping to spend some blog time sharing with you all what I learn about this company and how it helps my family.

Look for an unboxing post coming soon describing what company I decided to work with!!! 

Monday, November 3, 2014

If He Had Not Come #bookreview

Christmas Book Review
Can you believe it is November already?  Christmas is just around the corner.  With that in mind I have a wonderful book for review to share with you all.  If He Had Not Come is the classic Christmas story by Nan F. Weeks and has be reintroduced by David Nicholson.  (Illustrations by Charles Jaskiewicz)


This book follows young Bobby on Christmas Eve.  His father reads to him from the bible and then he goes off to bed pondering the verse.  

The verse:

If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. - John 15:22

Bobby wakes up the next day - which should be Christmas morning to find a world where Jesus never came.  Each page he realizes the impact of how our world would be significantly different in without Jesus.

This hard-back book is intended for children ages 6 and up and cost $18.95

How we used this book:

Of course for this review I just read the book to my 3 children.  We then had a discussion about how much of a change our world would be. We opened our bible and read the above verse to get a clear meaning behind the premise of the story.  The verse talks about what the world would have been like if Jesus had not come.  It also says that they would not know they were sinners or have a covering for their sin (Jesus' blood.)  Very deep stuff!  I honestly had never really took time to ponder this verse and now it has been on my heart since reading it.  (Don't you love how God's word continues to work in our hearts!)

 This book paints the picture of what our world would be without Jesus, pretty well.  It is dark, uncaring and without out compassion.  Basically no love! That is the truth too because John 3:16 tells us:


For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. - John 3:16

 If Jesus hadn't come then God would have fullfilled that verse and showed us His love for us!

 In the future I think I will read this book to the kids on Christmas Eve each year (starting this year!!)  I think it will be a wonderful edition to the 24 days of books advent calender I'm planning on doing for my littlest this year!  (I'm going to wrap up 24 books and open one each day - some new, some we've read!)  I think this book has secured it's spot at number 24!  


My Thoughts:

I really loved this book.  It brought tears to my eyes as I read it.  I guess I have never really thought about that verse before and this book brings it to life in a very visual and modern way for us the readers.  I think that having a book like this is a great way to share a bible truth with children in a way that will build a lasting memory.  We want our kids to be tender to God's word and having a large toolbox of books and activities is a great way to show them and keep things new and exciting.  I plan on buying a copy for two families with littles for a Christmas gift this year - I'm that impressed! 



Click to read Crew Reviews

Crew Disclaimer

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Weekly Recap

Just a quick Recap - very late this week!  We celebrated my littlest's 4th birthday on Saturday and I was crazy busy with all that!  It was Lego theme and I'm too big of a fan of pinterest! Ha!

Mysteries of the Dead Sea Scrolls by New Liberty Videos #REVIEW

THE PROMISE ~ book #review & Kindle HDX Giveaway from @BethWiseman!

The Daughter of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky #review 

Clued In Kids - Treasure Hunt #review 

Bugs: Big & Small God Made Them All #masterbooks #review

A-Z #abcblogging Recap

The Brickmaker's Bride Book #Review, Kindle HDX Giveaway and Facebook Author Party with Judith Miller!

BECOMING BEA By @LeslieJeanGould - Book #review, Kindle Giveaway and Facebook Party!


Monster Splash at Sahara Sams on October 30th!

Monster Splash at Sahara Sams on October 30th!  

Noah - A Wordless Picture Book by Mark Ludy

A Lifelong Love by Gary Thomas ~ Book Review & Giveaway






BECOMING BEA By @LeslieJeanGould - Book #review, Kindle Giveaway and Facebook Party!

I recently was sent Becoming Bea by Leslie Gould for review.  I literally devoured this book!  I read it in 2 days and at 348 pages that is saying something.  I shed a few tears while reading this sweet story.  I loved Bea and Ben and honestly all the characters.  I'm going to have to go ahead and get the first 3 books in this series because I want more in this little world.

The book is set in Lancaster, Pa within the Amish community.  The main focus is on Bea who is a young single girl.  She loves God and is open to His molding - which is something I found wonderful in this book.  At times I felt that slight sting of conviction along with the character!  Who would have thought a romance novel could do that!!  While there was a lot of focus on the daily life of Beatrice and her taking care of the Miller Family - it didn't get old at all.  I liked reading about their daily life and the socialization that came with daily meals and chores. 

Gould is a fantastic writer and she gives us the right details.  She shares just enough of the character's thoughts and feelings and it makes you want to read more to know what will happen next.  I honestly would love a second book in Bea's voice!  She is a fascinating character.  Strong, independent and a tiny bit sassy!  She learns to balance her will with God's will for her life.  I found her 'old soul' ways to make for a enjoyable character for sure!

Be sure to pick up your copy of Becoming Bea at your local retailer or online at a store like Amazon!


Additional information:

Leslie Gould is back with the latest book, Becoming Bea, in her Shakespeare-inspired series, The Courtships of Lancaster County. Don't miss the other books in the series, Courting Cate (retelling of The Taming of the Shrew), Adoring Addie (inspired by Romeo and Juliet), and Minding Molly (inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream).

Leslie is celebrating the series with a Kindle giveaway and a Facebook party on November 11th.
One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • One copy each of the entire The Courtships of Lancaster County series: Courting CateAdoring Addie, Minding Molly, and Becoming Bea.
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 11/11. Winner will be announced at Leslie's 11/11 Becoming Bea Facebook author chat party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Leslie and Amish fiction fans, as well as for a chance to win some great prizes!

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 11th!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Brickmaker's Bride Book #Review, Kindle HDX Giveaway and Facebook Author Party with Judith Miller!

I've been loving sharing all of these wonderful books with you all.  I'm an avid reader and it is nice to have a chance to share my passion with you, the readers!  The Brickmaker's Bride by Judith Miller is the latest book I've read and I'm excited to tell you all about it!

This book follows young Laura as she is changing her whole life.  Her mother is selling her late father's business and trying to marry her off to the most eligible bachelor.  Enter Ewan an immigrant trying to make a new life for his family. Together they work on business slowly the build a relationship.  I love how Miller really shares the character's and their thoughts and doesn't spend a large focus on the setting and clothing.  She gives us just enough of the details and much more meat for the story this way.  This was a sweet romance book and the Christian aspect was woven in nicely.

The Brickmaker's Bride is availabe to purchase at your local book retailers and online at stores like Amazon.  

Book Teaser:

Yearning for a fresh start, Ewan McKay travels with his aunt and uncle from northern Scotland to West Virginia, promising to trade his skills in the clay business for financial assistance from his uncle Hugh. Hugh purchases a brickmaking operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, but it's Ewan who gets the business up and running again. Ewan seeks help from Laura, the former owner's daughter, and he feels a connection with her, but she's being courted by another man---a lawyer with far more social clout and money than Ewan. Besides, Ewan has resolved he'll focus on making the brickmaking operation enough of a success that he can become a partner in the business and be able to afford to bring his sisters over from Scotland.
But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan's hard work may come to naught. As his plans begin to crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. She and her mother may have a way to save the brickworks, and in turn Ewan may have another shot at winning Laura's heart.
Judith is celebrating with a Kindle HDX giveaway and  a "Refined by Love" Facebook author event on November 4th.

 One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle HDX
  • The Brickmaker's Bride by Judith Miller
Enter today by clicking the button below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 4th. Winner will be announced at the Refined by Love Facebook Author Event. Connect with Judith for a fascinating evening centered around her new Civil War-era series. She'll be hosting a book club discussion, giving away prizes, answering your questions, offering an exclusive peek at the next book in the Refined by Love series, and much more!

So grab your copy of The Brickmaker's Bride and join Judith and friends on the evening of November 4th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 4th!

A-Z #abcblogging Recap

Picking a topic and blogging A-Z for 26 weeks was hard!  I felt like it was what God was leading me to do so I went with it.  I think in the future I'll just stick with random post for each letter - most like Z will always be zoo related too!  It is just so hard to come up with stuff!

I wanted to have one post with a link to all 26 post so that is what this is! 


Available #abcblogging 

Be a Blessing #abcblogging

C is for Church #abcblogging

He is my Defence #abcblogging

E is for Ecclesiastes #abcblogging

Friendship #abcblogging

G is for Grief #abcblogging

H is for Hello - Using Our Cell Phones for God! #abcblogging

Is It I? #abcblogging

J is for JESUS! #abcblogging

Kicking Out Negativity! #abcblogging

Living Like Him #abcblogging

M is for Modesty #abcblogging

Nourishment #abcblogging

O is for Optimism #abcblogging

Proverbs 31 #abcblogging

Q is for Quality #abcblogging

Rest #abcblogging

S is for School #abcblogging

Testimony #abcblogging

Unity #abcblogging

V is for the Virtuous Woman #abcblogging

W is for Willingly #abcblogging

X is for X-Mas #abcblogging

Y is You for #abcblogging

Z is for Zacchaeus #abcblogging









Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bugs: Big & Small God Made Them All #masterbooks #review

Masterbooks makes some of the coolest books around.  This months is one of my personal favorites!  It might be because I'm a boymom but I think that the book is pretty amazing.  Bugs: Big & Small God Made Them All by Will Zinke takes us on a buggy journey!


Within these vivid, full-color pages children will discover God's purpose for creating insects, and the corruption caused by sin. They will also see the world's largest insects, insects designed with camouflage, the most beautiful insects, the weirdest insects, and more!
With their alluring beauty, incredible design features, and limitless variety, bugs are a living testament to an all-wise, wonderful Creator. What you will see page-after-page are these creatures doing just what they were designed to do, and doing it well. God is amazing!
  • Why did God create such pesky insects?
  • In what way are bugs signposts to God's brilliant creativity?
  • What types of butterflies are bigger than some birds?

My Thoughts:

This book is filled with information.  One of my favorite parts is all the beautiful pictures.  Your not just reading your seeing!  We study the following creepers:

Amazing Creepy Crawlers
Jumbo Giants
Weird & Wonderful
Bugs in Camo!
Bizarre and Beautiful

The book also includes a section with bugs and their bible references:

and a Words to know section as well as flash cards!

Beetles, butterflies, cockroaches - they are included!  This book is just a really neat edition to our library!

Bugs: Big & Small God Made Them All retails for $14.99 and is available to purchase at your local retailers as well as online at and amazon.  

Clued In Kids - Treasure Hunt #review

Clued In KidsReview

Finding fun activities for the kiddos is always a challenge when they are home all the time (this could apply to winter/summer breaks too.)  My kids want to be busy and I want them off the electronics so I value a family friendly activity that serves both purposes. Clued in Kids is a treasure hunt that you do at home. 

What we received for review:

Christmas Treasure Hunt In A Greeting Card - $9.95 ( a physical product you receive in the mail)


Thanksgiving Treasure Hunt - $5.99 ( a 8 page PDF)

Age Range:  This product is recommended for ages 4 and up!

How we used the products:

We received two products and both of them were holiday themed.  I figured since they were Thanksgiving and Christmas this was the perfect time of year to have some holiday fun!  We of course had to go in order and start with Thanksgiving.

Clued In KidsReview

Thanksgiving Hunt:

 To set up first I had to print the PDF.  I choose to print it in color even though typically I print everything in black and white because the pages had beautiful colors and I wanted the kids to enjoy that part.  The hunt took maybe 5 minutes to set up.  You cut out the clues and then hide each one.  Then you hand the first one to the kids to run off and find them.

My kid's ages are just about 4, 12 and 14.  I knew that all the kids would have fun but I was even surprised at how much the bigger kids enjoyed this!  They helped our little guy rush about the house after they solved the clues and told him where to look.  He was excited to be included and be able to find them.  For our 'treasure' at the end I had a special lunch planned - which was a hit.

Clued In KidsReview
 Christmas Hunt:

For this hunt we had to improvise a little bit.  I did not have a stocking hung or a Christmas tree.  However my kids are bright and I knew that they would be able to think of alternatives to these things.  For the Stockings we used the sock drawer.  For the tree I drew a Christmas tree on our white board - then taped the treasure behind the tree.  (This was funny because they didn't get where it was right away and had to search for it.)

Our Thoughts:

We had a blast with this review!  Both products were easy to implement and a lot of fun to do!  My big kids even asked to see what other hunts there were so we can do another one in Winter.  With them being on the older side I think that is a real testimony to how much fun they had.  I liked how easy it was for the parents.  Each card had the location to hide it on the card.  It took literally no time to set up and took them a good 30 minutes to complete.  *IF*  Clued In Kids wanted to make a longer or extended hunt I think my kids would be over the moon for that!

I think the Christmas Hunt in a Christmas card is a great gift idea!  What a fun idea for Grand-mom or an Aunt to send to a kid!  I know my kids love mail so I could see this as a great little thing to send!

Just wanted to let you know if you sign-up for Clued In Kids' newsletter you will receive a free hunt to try!  (via email PDF) 

Click to read Crew Reviews

Crew Disclaimer