Thursday, July 18, 2019

Summer Reading with Zondervan & ZBlogSquad

 We've been reading like crazy this summer to earn lots of rewards at our local library. I was so excited when we received a box of new books from Zondervan. Having books that reflect our faith is so very important to my husband and I. It reinforces what they learn at church and with our family devotion time. My little guys might only see the pictures and want to know the story behind the books but as they grown they start really paying attention to the words and learning the stories by heart. It always does me good when I open a book and my child can tell me who is in the picture.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Book Review & Giveaway: Spiky

 Summer reading is in full swing at the Rup House. We like to make reading our number one priority for all the kids (and me too!) What we like to do is require reading each morning before doing any electronics. Another way we motivate our kids to read is to sign up for all the local reading programs. Our library kicked off their program on Monday and J-man (8) has already earned two rewards. I'm so thankful for these local programs as they really help motivate our kids to get some reading in. Check out your local banks, bookstores, libraries and chuck e cheese for local reading incentive programs.

One of the reasons summer reading is so important is that it is such a big memory from my childhood. Maybe it is because I was a girl - but I looked forward to reading every summer. I still make a huge list of books I want to read each summer the only difference now is that I have a stack to read aloud to the kids and another stack for them. I wish my parents had seen the value in literature and had read aloud to me when I was younger - but the 1980s were a different time.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Summer Reading Programs 2019

 Summer reading is important in our house. Kids need to keep their skill set and reading everyday really helps with that. We have a rule in the Summer. Reading first thing in the morning for a set amount of pages before anything digital or play time.This way they get what is important done and out of the way! 

 I have strong memories of reading during the summer when I was a girl growing up in the 1980s. I would stay up so late trying to finish my book. My mom would take me to the discount book store and I would stock up on Sweet Valley High books (I still have a huge box of those in my attic!) I hope that summer reading instills a love of reading. I hope they will keep the tradition of picking out a huge pile of books to read through each summer. I hope they learn new things and discover new worlds - just like I did.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

National Geographic Kids Almanac 2020 Review & Giveaway! #NatGeoKidsAlmanac

 Reading is so very important to me as a mom. I remember summers being the most special time for me. I would have stacks and stacks of books from the library. My mom would take me to the book store weekly. I had a voracious appetite that could never be satisfied. There were never enough books and never enough time to read.

I would stay up all night reading, sometimes with a flashlight. I don't remember ever getting in trouble for being up after bedtime because I was hooked in a book. As I grew older I sat outside sunning myself always with a novel.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Book Review: The Big Book Of Less & Know Yourself

 We recently packed up our tiny 1000 square foot house and I was amazed at home much stuff we had. We had to make trips to the home improvement store several times to purchase boxes to store it all. Sadly, even with thinning it out there was just so much stuff. From homeschooling, to family photos, baby books and decor. It was a lot. I'm curious how people can live a minimalist lifestyle in this modern world. Just one trip to target makes me think I must have the entire dollar section.

What I realized when all was said and done was all this stuff was heavy. It weighed me down. Emotionally and physically. My home was cluttered and I didn't even know half of what I had. In our new home we have purposed to only add things that bring joy. Not to add to the clutter and not to just spend money. We spend more time outdoors just being and it is so much lighter!

The Big Book of Less: Finding Joy in Living Lighter is a prefect starting point to work on those areas in life that bring you down. To help loosen the heaviness. This book is interactive and has mini activities included ( a tiny fold-out house and even a decluttering book!) 


From Flow, a beautiful, mindful guide to having less stuff. Less stress. Less distraction. Less everything.

In less comes the freedom of letting go. This thoughtful and surprising book shows us how to get there, by paring down not just the jumble of things around us, but the clutter in our heads, too. And to help, interact with special paper goodies, including a one-thought-a-day diary, a foldout tiny house to let you imagine the pleasures of living in a small and cozy space, and art posters that depict a beautiful picture of what it means to do less, not more.

Paper goodies from The Big Book of Less include:
  • 2 journals
  • A dot journal poster
  • 4 art posters
  • 1 foldout tiny house with 20 accessories
  • And even more hidden treasures

Decluttering your life and mind makes room for more—more listening, more focus, more wisdom, more time. More life.

A companion "Flow Book" from authors Irene Smit & Astrid Van Der Hulst - Know Yourself: A Book of Questions is a reflective book to ask yourself big truths. I plan to bring this with me to one of my homeschooling mom nights. I think it would be fun for each of us to have a notebook and write down our answers. A few of the questions:

how would you fill your days if you could do anything you wanted to?

do you prefer to work on your own or with others?

are you kind to yourself?


 Part-book, part-game, this collection of 165 insightful questions is a fun, surprising path to deeper self-knowledge.

What do you think about before you fall asleep?

What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever done?

When have you stood up for yourself?

Questions to inspire you to reflect, questions to reveal memories and ideas, questions to tap into your sense of adventure, and questions to point the way to your inner strength. This whimsical illustrated collection presents a wonderfully unexpected way to learn more about yourself, a friend, or a loved one. Best of all, there are no right answers—only the imperative to stay curious, honest, and open.


I loved both of these books because they both are meeting me in a time where I'm open to personal growth and reflection. While they are somewhat project books I think I'm ready to see even more light in my life. 

 This post contains affiliate links. received product, press or compensation to facilitate this review. This post may contain affiliate links, which means that by clicking on an affiliate link I may receive a small amount of money. We only give our honest opinions of products. This post is in accordance with the FTC 10 CFR, Part 255 concerning the use, endorsements or testimonials in advertising. Lisa Rupertus/ A Rup LIfe is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Monday, February 4, 2019

Alongside: Loving Teenagers with the Gospel by Drew Hill

 Being a mom of two teens (and two future teens) this book has been very helpful understanding the challenges that teens face. My hope is that I can use what I learn to reach not only my kids but the youth that we are in contact with for Jesus. Author Drew Hill, shares experiences in a relatable language. That is a rare gift from an author to write in a way that feels like a conversation and Alongside is written that way. There are a few places to fill in blanks because at heart this book is a devotional too. This practical book is a must read for anyone with teens or working with teens.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Disney Junior Playtime with Puppy Dog Pals

 We recently inherited my parents dog - Jackson. We've never owned a dog before but it has been a very rewarding experience for my kids and I. All of the kids love him so much. My youngest just loves dogs and he has been obsessing with the Playtime with Puppy Dog Pals DVD.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Flights of Fancy by Jen Turano - Blog Tour & Giveaway!

Filghts of Fancy FB Banner


 I think Jen Turano has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I read Playing the Part  in 2016 and loved it - Flights of Fancy is equally wonderful. This writer understands women and how they think and feel in situations. She seamlessly weaves in faith without feeling preachy. In Flights of Fancy - Isadora grows across the book as does Ian. I love this because it shows how much they compliment each other as do the other characters in their lives. 

This story had a great plot which included a few twist. I love how it unfolded. I love the humor of the animals and farm and how Izzie fits into the life with ease even though it is a foreign world. This book would be an amazing movie! I kept thinking that the entire time I read it - I could see  the scene where Izzie and Ian meet being perfect and hysterical for the big screen.


About the Book

Flights of Fancy 
Title: Flights of Fancy  
Author: Jen Turano  
Genre: Christian Historical Romance, Gilded Age  
Release date: January 1, 2019  
Publisher: Bethany House

Miss Isadora Delafield may be an heiress, but her life is far from carefree. When her mother begins pressuring her to marry an elderly and uncouth duke, she escapes from the high society world she’s always known and finds herself to be an unlikely candidate for a housekeeper position in rural Pennsylvania. Mr. Ian MacKenzie is known for his savvy business sense and has built his reputation and fortune completely on his own merits. But when his adopted parents are in need of a new housekeeper and Isadora is thrown into his path, he’s unexpectedly charmed by her unconventional manner. Neither Isadora nor Ian expected to find the other so intriguing, but when mysterious incidents on the farm and the truth of Isadora’s secret threaten those they love, they’ll have to set aside everything they thought they wanted for a chance at happy-ever-after.

Click here to order your copy!

About the Author

Jen Turano
One of the Funniest Voices in Inspirational Romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today Best-Selling Author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publisher Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. When she’s not writing, she spends her time outside of Denver, CO.

Guest post from Jen

Q & A With Jen Turano

“Flights of Fancy” is the first book in the American Heiress Series. What inspired you to write this series? The inspiration for this entire series started off with a What If? All of my proposals for new series start off that way, and this time it was – What if Consuelo Vanderbilt had balked when her mother insisted she marry the Duke of Marlborough – and then that led to – What if she’d run away until her mother came to her senses? Just like that, an entire series was born – a bit of a different take on American heiresses because in all three books, my heiresses might decide to go a tad…rogue. We start off with Miss Isadora Delafield – who does run off to avoid marriage to a duke, then we get to meet Miss Poppy Garrison, who is an unexpected heiress but who can’t quite seem to get a handle on the expected social decorum of the day, and then the final book revolves around Miss Beatrix Waterbury – who gets banished to Chicago after she annoys her mother one too many times, and once there, well, gets up to a bit of mischief. How do you come up with the names of your characters? I find most of my names as I research the New York Four-Hundred, although I normally take a first name here, a last name there so I’m not stepping on any toes by writing about an actual historical figure – except for some of the main figures in New York society back then, such as Mr. Ward McAllister – who was the social arbiter of the day, or Mrs. William Astor, who was the queen of that society. What I don’t do is simply make up names, no matter how outrageous they may appear. And, no matter how I may love a certain name, if the character decides it doesn’t suit them, that’s it, it’s out and I’m back to the drawing board. How do you picture your character? Do you use Pinterest, magazines, movies? Odd as this may seem, I don’t use pictures for my characters. They start off in my mind as a blurry figure, and then, they develop from there – I like to keep my descriptions of them somewhat vague on the pages so that the reader can imagine them exactly the way they’d like them to be. What are some of your favorite resources for historical research? I’ve been building up a research library over the past few years and now have over 200 books dedicated to the Gilded Age. My favorites are – “A Season of Splendor” by Greg King, “Society as I Have Found It” by Ward McAllister, “The Gilded Age in New York – 1870-1910” by Esther Crain, and “ ‘King Lehr’ and the Gilded Age” by Elizabeth Drexel Lehr. The setting for “Flights of Fancy” is a bit of a departure for you since it’s set in and outside of Pittsburgh. Any reason for that? My mom was born in Pittsburgh, and unfortunately, her father, a prominent attorney back in the day, died when she was only four. I thought it would be cool to set a story in Pittsburgh, which would then allow me to really dive into some research. And get this – while I was doing that research, I found this obscure journal called “Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. In that journal was a bit about my great-grandfather, Fred, his wife, Susie, my grandfather, and his brother and sister, but I’d never heard about this brother, who apparently died quite young. One of the most fabulous research tidbits I’ve uncovered to date. What are you working on now? I’ve just recently turned in the content edits for the second book in this series, “Diamond in the Rough,” and I’ve also turned in a novella about the Harvey Girls that will be coming out in a novella collection in Fall, 2019. With those out of the way, I’m now starting the third and final book in the American Heiress series, Miss Beatrix Waterbury’s story, but I’m having a bit of a struggle with the hero at the moment – he was supposed to be Edward, but he doesn’t want to be an Edward – I think he wants to be Norman – but, time will tell on that one – don’t hold me to the name – it’ll depend on if he changes his mind or not – pesky characters. You seem to enjoy adding animals in many of your stories. Will we find any animals in “Flights of Fancy?” Since Miss Isadora Delafield ends up on a farm, I do believe you will find a few animals, such as an adorable cow by the name of Buttercup, a few goats that seem to have a great liking for laundry, and…there might be some chickens. Thanks for stopping by today, everyone! Always enjoy visiting with all of you – in fact, that’s the best part of my job! All the best, ~ Jen ~

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, January 10
Among the Reads, January 10
Through the Fire, January 10
Blogging With Carol, January 11
Back Porch Reads, January 12
KarenSueHadley, January 12
Godly Book Reviews, January 12
Daysong Refections, January 12
Livin Lit, January 13
The Becca Files, January 13
Texas Book-aholic, January 13
Rebekah’s Quill, January 14
All-of-a-kind Mom, January 15
Stories By Gina, January 15
Splashes of Joy, January 16
Mary Hake, January 17
Maureen’s Musings, January 17
Bibliophile Reviews, January 17
Baker Kella, January 18
Simple Harvest Reads, January 18 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Robin is Bookish, January 19
Carpe Diem, January 19
Life with the Tribe, January 20
amandainpa, January 21
Pause for Tales, January 22
Live Love Read, January 23
A Rup Life, January 23
Bigreadersite, January 23



To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a grand prize of a trunk filled with all of Jen’s full-length novels released to date!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

 received product, press or compensation to facilitate this review. This post may contain affiliate links, which means that by clicking on an affiliate link I may receive a small amount of money. We only give our honest opinions of products. This post is in accordance with the FTC 10 CFR, Part 255 concerning the use, endorsements or testimonials in advertising. Lisa Rupertus/ A Rup LIfe is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Forget-Me-Not Funeral Favor and Where I've Been...

 So... I've been pretty much absent for 2 full months. On November 5 -my littlest 3rd birthday - my husband and I spent the night in the hospital saying goodbye to my Mom. While she was sick for a long time but this still felt sudden. Then the next 11 days we spent with my dad helping him and then saying goodbye to him as he too passed away. This was even more unexpected. The weeks, and months that followed have been a whirlwind and to be honest my site was not a priority as I'm settling affairs and clinging to my family. Thankfully I have the most amazing support system with my husband who has been so amazing - I truly love him even more today than yesterday. My kids (especially the older ones) were awesome and so helpful! My brothers are so supportive and would do anything! God has given me some of the best people during this difficult time!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Blog Tour & Review - In The Shadow Of Croft Towers!

There is nothing more that I love than cuddling up to a good book on a cold December day. With the past two months I've had this was just what I needed to do to escape for a little while. In The Shadow Of Croft Towers was the perfect escape book. The story starts wildly with a grand adventurous scene and lots of questions. The whole book keeps you guessing. The characters are developed well and you find yourself routing for the main character Sybil Delafield. I love how the author kept to the time setting and the characters were pretty prim and proper. There was romance, mystery and friendship in this book. Characters grew over the course as well which is always wonderful to see in a book. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I will be looking at more stories from author Abigail Wilson as she is a wonderful writer.

About the Book

Book: In the Shadow of Croft Towers  
Author: Abigail Wilson  
Genre: Historical fiction, romantic suspense  
Release Date: January 15, 2019

From debut author Abigail Wilson comes a mysterious Regency tale of secrets and spies, love and treachery. Orphaned Sybil Delafield jumps at the opportunity for a position at the mysterious Croft Towers. She believes she was hired to act as companion to a dying woman, but a highway robbery and a hostile welcome from the Chalcroft family cause her to wonder if she was actually hired to help someone spy for France. An unsolved murder adds intrigue to this already secretive family, and Sybil recognizes Mrs. Chalcroft’s handsome grandson as one of the infamous highwaymen who robbed her. Sybil must determine if this man’s charming smile and earnest eyes speak the truth or if he is simply using her like others in the house. Everyone seems to have something to hide, and Sybil must decide who to trust while also coming to terms with the truth about her own past.

Friday, December 21, 2018

A Better December

 The busyness of Christmas is enough to make anyone say "Bah-Humbug." There are just so many things that have to be done because of tradition and just the timing of the celebration. Of course the real focus should be on Christ and His birthday but I know, I often lose that focus while trying to get the perfect present or all those cookie trays for the neighbors done. A Better Christmas by Steven Estes is a short devotional book about remembering and focusing on the things that matter this holiday season. I loved the simple reminders mixed with short stories and scripture. This is just the thing I needed to read this holiday season.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Christmas Book Giveaway with Abrams Appleseed!

 I know I've said it a bunch here on the blog but I love giving and receiving books for gifts. Books open the world and take you to new places. They help you to learn and grow. We spend a lot of time reading in December - in fact during break that is the only school we do. Reading helps kids become better writers, too! Did you know that? Abrams Appleseed sent us three new holiday books to add to our collection and share with you! Be sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post too!

Friday, December 7, 2018

Prepare Him Room by Marty Machowski

 I've always been intrigued by celebration Advent. In my church (Independent Baptist) we really don't celebrate this advent season. I was very excited to read Prepare Him Room because it is a family devotional that walks you through the advent season and centers on celebrating the birth of Jesus. This book is well written and gives activities, scripture and more to make the devotional come alive for families with all ages.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Zondervan Christmas Book Giveaway!

I personally love to read but my kids don't always share my enthusiasm. However during Christmas I've found that I can create a magical experience by introducing special holiday books. I actually keep them all together and I add new books each year. One year I wrapped 24 books up and put them under the tree and it was so much fun to open each book and read each day. (I think this was their favorite way to present the books - this year I'm a little behind but I would like to do the 12 days leading up to Christmas this way.) Another year we did mandatory bedtime stories with the whole family on our bed, I miss those days! With the bigger kids they don't join in but the littles still love hanging out on my bed and sharing a story. I read about an Icelandic tradition that everyone gets new books on Christmas eve and candy. Then they spend the night in bed reading and snacking. THIS is my Christmas night tradition. I like to spend the day in PJS and read my new books Santa brought. 

What are your book traditions?

Wednesday, December 5, 2018


 Every year my Dad would say he was the Grinch. He had a stuffed Grinch he put out at Christmas time and several themed tshirts that he wore on Christmas. The truth is he wasn't the least bit Grinchy at all. He loved Christmas and getting together with family. Him and my Mom decorated their house with no less than five christmas trees each year. It was their season. Yet, still my dad loved the songs from the movie and Mr. Grinch's sinister smile. He watched the movie every year and it is a part of my memory of him. Losing Dad only a few weeks ago just makes the movie more special to me. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Tilbury House Publishers - Holiday Book Giveaway!

 I have a wonderful giveaway consisting of three children's books from Tilbury House Publishers! I have to say I was blown away by these books! Mother Earth's Lullaby: A Song for Endangered Animals is a stunning bedtime story. Because the animals are endangered we are seeing a different variety than most animal books I've read to the kids before. Plus this book helps to explain what is going on. Our children are the next advocates for our world and I believe exposing them to big ideas like endangered animals will help them grow to be changers of the world.

In If da Vinci Painted a Dinosaur has been a fun addition to our day because we study different artist through classical education. I love the extra exposure and unique, fun way this book approaches it. We have been obsessed with sea creatures since my littles discovered Octonauts. Don't Mess With Me: The Strange Lives of Venomous Sea Creatures (How Nature Works) is a great look at the interesting creatures under the ocean. 

Look Great This Holiday! Tips & Tricks!

The holidays usually mean parties and gatherings. I love the fabrics of this time of year. Velvets, cashmere, warm sweaters, and boots all make for wonderful looks. Most everyone I know decorates their house for hosting and I love to dress the occasion. I love picking out my children's dress clothes for church and parties. This year everyone has something red to wear. It is one of my favorite colors and it looks good on everyone. 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Lost Christmas Memories Blog Tour with Giveaway!

I am a big fan of the Love Inspired books in general and I have taken a real liking to the Suspense series. The "who done it" aspect of the story adds another level to the stories that keep my interests. These books are short - Lost Christmas Memories by Dana Mentink- is only 219 pages long. I like that length because it is a fairly quick read for me. This story had a lot of layers of characters as it was part of the Gold Country Cowboys Series. What is nice is that you can read any one of those books as an independent read or you can read the whole series. This is the second book I've read from Mentink and I love how she develops characters. Overall the main characters Tracy and Keegan were enjoyable to read about and I really liked this book. They mystery part kept me guessing until the very end which is a very rare thing for me! Set in Christmas time makes this time of year a perfect time to read this book.

About the Book

Book: Lost Christmas Memories  
Author: Dana Mentink  
Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense/Christmas  
Release Date: November 1, 2018  

A witness with amnesia Can she trust this Gold Country Cowboy with her life? Tracy Wilson witnessed a murder—but after a head injury, she can’t remember what she saw. Now someone plans to silence her for good, and only cowboy Keegan Thorn believes her. With a killer after her at Christmas, Tracy is running out of time to remember…and falling dangerously hard for the cowboy who could break her heart.
Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over thirty five titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House. Dana was thrilled to be a semi-finalist in the Jeanne Robertson Comedy With Class Competition. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the nutty terrier, a chubby box turtle and a feisty parakeet. You can connect with Dana via her website at

Guest Post from Dana

Writing this book was bittersweet for me. It was lovely to finally be able to tell youngest Thorn brother Keegan’s story, but I sure am sorry to say goodbye to this series! It was such fun to write about these four kinsmen and the family bonds that held them together through all manner of murder and mayhem! Here at Mentink Manor, we have recently sent a bear cub away to college for the first time. It feels like I have lost a limb now that my Boo Boo is gone! Fortunately, we will enjoy having her home for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Though it won’t be a cozy country Christmas like it is for Keegan (we live in a city of 80,000 here in Northern, CA) we will be thrilled to have all our family home to celebrate together (Mama Bear, Papa Bear, two cubs, a naughty terrier, and a senior citizen box turtle!) I hope you enjoy this last installment in the Gold Country Cowboy series. I am sending along our best wishes for a blessed holiday season, from our Mentink household to yours!

Blog Stops

Blog Stops

Christian Bookaholic, November 22
Among the Reads, November 22
Inklings and Notions, November 23
Blogging With Carol, November 23
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 24
Moments, November 25
Simple Harvest Reads, November 25
Genesis 5020, November 26
SusanLovesBooks, November 26
Remembrancy, November 26
Kat’s Corner Books, November 27
Pause for Tales, November 27
Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 27
Quiet quilter, November 28
Book by Book, November 29
A Rup Life, November 29
Older & Smarter?, November 30
Have A Wonderful Day, November 30
Cafinated Reads, November 30
KarenSueHadley, December 1
Lighthouse Academy, December 1
Daysong Reflections, December 1
Bibliophile Reviews, December 2
Bigreadersite, December 3
Texas Book-aholic, December 4
Carpe Diem, December 4
Godly Book Reviews, December 5


To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away a grand prize of a copy of Lost Christmas Memories, a $50 Amazon gift card and this cute reading charms necklace!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. received product, press or compensation to facilitate this review. This post may contain affiliate links, which means that by clicking on an affiliate link I may receive a small amount of money. We only give our honest opinions of products. This post is in accordance with the FTC 10 CFR, Part 255 concerning the use, endorsements or testimonials in advertising. Lisa Rupertus/ A Rup LIfe is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Friday, November 23, 2018

National Geographic Kids Weird But True! Mega Prize Pack Review and Giveaway!!

I have an amazing giveaway today!  National Geographic Kids Weird But True! Book Mega Prize Pack - this includes thirteen of the coolest fact containing books! Books 1-10 each contain 350 outrageous facts. Facts like:

"More People Have Been To The Moon Than To The Bottom Of The Ocean." -Weird But True Book 5

"The Scientific Study Of Passing Gas Is Called Flatology. " - Weird But True Book 5

"A Group Of Blue Jays Is Called A Party." - Weird But True Book 2

"A Snowflake Can Take Up To Two Hours To Fall From A Cloud To The Ground" - Weird But True Book 2

Monday, November 19, 2018

Adagio Advent Tea Calendar Review & Giveaway!

 Christmas is so close! It is almost time to decorate and very much time to start shopping! One tradition my kids have done for years is to pick out a chocolate advent calendar. They love counting down the days to main holiday. When I saw that Adagio had an Advent Tea Calendar I was so excited! Finally a grown-up version. This also comes at a perfect time as it is cold here in NJ. Last week we had an unexpected snow! I can't remember the last time we've had snow before Thanksgiving. I love sitting in the mornings and drinking a hot cup of tea while I read my bible. I love opening a new surprise each day and trying something new. This really is adult fun!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

THE KITCHEN MARRIAGE - Review & Giveaway!

Today I have a fun book to share with you. I've always loved a mail-order-bride story and this one comes with a nice twist with the women being originally from France! I like that the main character Zoe decides to take a risk with her future and travel to Montana. Her independence makes her a likable character. There are some twist and turns through the book which also makes for an interesting read.

About the Book

Book: The Kitchen Marriage  
Author: Gina Welborn & Beccan Whitham  
Publisher: Kensington Publishers  
Genre: Inspirational romance/Historical America set in the old west  
Release Date: September 25, 2018  

A bright future awaits the women of courage and faith who boldly chase their dreams across the wide-open Montana Territory, prepared to embrace adventure and forge their own destinies . . .

When French immigrant Zoe de Fleur is forced out of her position as household cook for a high society New Yorker, the pretty and talented chef seizes an unexpected chance to head west for a new beginning. She pursues what she thinks is a prestigious job in the frontier’s “finest kitchen,” but instead finds herself in a matchmaker’s agency . . . Isaak Gunderson is one of Helena, Montana’s most eligible bachelors, but he’s too focused on running for mayor and his family’s business to think about a wife and family. His twin brother, Jakob, is supposed to be too busy as well, yet sends for a mail-order bride anyway. Isaak doesn’t want to fuel an ongoing rivalry with his twin, but this tempting newcomer can’t be ignored. If only she’d come to Helena a different way and loving her wasn’t a betrayal . . .

Click here to purchase your copy!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Celebrate National STEM day with Itty Bitty Buggy!

 Today, November 8th is National STEM day. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math . I'm sure you've heard about the buzz word STEM within your child's education. It is a growing idea to focus on these areas because of advanced careers and how computers have exploded kids are being exposed to technology earlier and excelling. Microduino sent us their Itty Bitty Buggy STEM kit to test out. 

My eight year old had a blast playing with Itty Bitty Buggy. This is a great starter kit because the app has many projects that you can build (it shows you piece by piece.) We had even more fun when I just gave my son the pieces and little him build. This kit was very user friendly and skys the limit with your imagination! 

The kit comes with everything you need to get started, the only thing you have to do is download the app on a smart phone. I have an iphone so this was no problem. Everything linked up and we were successful with our first project. This was a big deal to me because I'm not very tech savvy. 

 Product Details:

 ·         Hardware based on mCookie series: No need for messy wiring, Microduino’s mCookie series makes electronics easily connectable with magnetic stackable modules
·         Endless design possibilities: Compatible with more than 50 Microduino modules and sensors, as well as LEGO® pieces
·         Four modes of play: Intelligent line-tracing, musical color recognition, and other tasks can be performed in Ranger, Cruiser, Voice Control, and Musician mode using the free app for Android and iOs devices
·         Three coding languages: More exciting opportunities for skilled users to practice programming skills using Scratch, Python, and Arduino
·         More projects to come: Expansion kits will launch later this year with cool features such as artificial intelligence (AI) application that can be added to the core hardware platform

 Visit Microduino to learn more! 

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Duck and Hippos Give Thanks! Book Review & Giveaway!

 I love pulling out special books to learn about the holidays we celebrate. I'm slowly gathering quite a collection for each of the major holidays and Thanksgiving is one of my favorites. This year we added Duck and Hippo Give Thanks. This is a sweet book about friendship and how each person likes to celebrate. Hippo wants a traditional feast while his friends like their own dishes - if you have ever hosted Thanksgiving you know that this is exactly what happens. In our house I make two kinds of bread because my husband likes one kind of rolls and I like another! For years his father made two kinds of stuffing to please our group. Learning to compromise and enjoy the reason for the fellowship is the lesson here. It comes with some laughter along the journey. I love the added use of onomatopoeia across the pages as an added lesson (hey, we are homeschoolers!) This is a great addition to our home library!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Book Review: Thanksgiving Graces

My husband loves Christmas. He starts with the music in September and shortly after is watching all his favorite movies. I get it Christmas is wonderful it brings a light to the cold weather. That is his favorite but my favorite time of year is Fall.