Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Diary of a JackWagon by Tim Hawkins with John Driver

My husband and I have been fans of Tim Hawkins for quite some time. He first introduced me to Tim's comedy when we were dating, and at first I thought Tim was a little weird, but truth be told, I loved what he had to say. Since then, my husband and I have been to two concerts to see Tim perform, and our daughters have watched numerous video clips of his. We love Tim because he is a wholesome yet hilarious comedian. There's nothing raunchy here, and his jokes are good clean fun. Our family thoroughly enjoys a little comedy sketch from Tim Hawkins.

Now as for the book, there were a few references to some bits of his we have seen live or on his dvds, but a majority of the book was a new sketch of his that we had not heard before. I don't think the old sketches are necessarily a bad thing considering this is Tim's first book. He references a lot of his songs he has written. If you are not familiar with his songs, you need to go look them up on youtube right now. Seriously, I'll wait....

Tim shares the infamous yoga pants song that my 3 year old so affectionately sings throughout shopping trips. He also shares lyrics to the Homeschool family which is a parody of the song "The Adam's Family."

I found myself laughing out loud to much of this book. Tim shares his life with his readers. Life as a homeschooling dad, his struggles of living with a wife he will never deserve, and most importantly, his relationship with Jesus Christ. Tim makes no jokes about who he lives for, and I respect him so much for that. This is a book I will come back to time and time again for a good laugh. I rate this book as 5 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Usborne Write Your Own Adventure Stories

Today I wanted to share with all of you one of my brand new Usborne books that I just got in the mail! I've been super excited about this book ever since I first heard about it, so of course I couldn't wait to write a review!

The Write Your Own Adventure Stories book is a interactive writing book that teaches children how to write a great story! It will teach your budding writer how to plan a story, create a character, show-not tell (meaning describe to the reader what is going to happen next), and start talking which gives kids a great introduction to dialogue and making their characters talk.

Next up is the Story Writing section which will give your child 14 writing prompts where they will have to figure out what happens next. These range from being a castaway on an island to an alien landing on earth. Also included are some great adjectives to get your little one thinking like a writer!

This book also includes some excellent story writing tools such as showing how to create a good title and how to create the perfect heroes and villains.

If you have a child who loves to write, then this is the perfect book for them! You could easily use this as a fun activity for school, or even just an extracurricular activity. I think that this book shows children that writing can be fun and it's not just something you have to learn for school, but it's something you will always use.

It includes bright and colorful pictures and the book itself is on rings so you can easily turn the pages and write without having the book close on you. I will be giving this book to my almost 9 year old but I think children from 8 up to 13 or 14 will enjoy this book!


If you would like to purchase a copy, please visit my Usborne book site: https://l4508.myubam.com/p/5019/write-your-own-adventure-stories-ir
                                                                                                                                                             

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Til We Meet Again by Ray and Betty Whipps

"Til We Meet Again: A Memoir of Love and War" by Ray & Betty Whipps with Craig Borlase is the story of how Ray Whipps came to meet his future wife after fighting in World War II. Their love story is truly a story for the ages as Ray explains the circumstances that led to him ending up in the Army after he had always dreamed of flying in the Air Force.

Ray Whipps was a diligent soldier under the leadership of General Patton in the trenches of Normandy, Paris and Belgium. It wasn't until he had a horrible injury in the Hurtgen Forest that he ended up in a Cherbourg hospital where he met his future wife, Betty. The first thing Ray noticed about Betty was her beauty, but that wasn't all that was beautiful about her. She had a love for God that Ray hadn't seen in so long from anyone else fighting in the war. Her devotion to God is what drew himself to her. He loved her. He knew that much, but he knew that he would never be able to marry her or even pursue a relationship with her until he became an officer.

So Ray made a plan that he was going to become an officer to marry the woman of his dreams. It was at this time that Ray became a Prisoner of War and was missing for quite some time. The worst part of his capture was that the German soldiers confiscated his Bible that he had been reading everyday. He still knew some of the Bible from memory so he held those verses close to his heart until he was able to read a Bible again.

God beautifully orchestrated his life time and time again, and saved Ray from so much heartache during those months he was fighting. Numerous times, God spared Ray's life when everyone else in his platoon perished. Sometimes there was no other explanation except that God had protected him.

In between Ray's story, Betty's letters are integrated every few chapters. The letters begin as her letters to her parents at the beginning of the war describing her life as a nurse in France, and they end with her letters to her future husband, Ray. I absolutely loved their love story! It was truly heartbreaking to read through the things that Ray had to endure in the war. I have so much respect for the military, but to be honest, I had no idea of the things that the troops have had to go through. I will now make it a goal to pray more specifically for our servicemen.

I would highly recommend this book! Ray and Betty's story is timeless and truly an inspiration. What a beautiful couple inside and out.

I received this book for free from Tyndale in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

 

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Usborne Book of Science Activities Volume One

The Usborne Book of Science Activities: Volume One is a book that my two older girls absolutely love to have on hand! It's filled with 30 different Science experiments that can be done by a variety of ages. There's some experiments I would specifically use for my three year old, such as testing shapes in a bowl of water or bouncing light off of a mirror.

And then there's experiments made specifically for older children such as building a model water wheel or creating a magnet. I think this book has an interesting variety for the price. On my Usborne book shop you can get it for $13.99, and there's plenty of experiments to keep your little ones busy for the entire school year.

There's also a follow up book to this one called Volume Two if you end up having little Scientists who love to explore and experiment. All in all, I ended up loving this book of experiments. The cartoon pictures were fun and interesting to look at and the instructions were detailed appropriately for children to understand. This book definitely helped my children enjoy Science! I would highly recommend it.

To purchase a copy of this book please visit my Usborne book shop:  https://l4508.myubam.com/p/967/science-activities-v-1-cv

Thursday, July 23, 2015

World of Animals Book Review

Today I wanted to review and share about my very first Usborne book! We actually initially purchased this book to use as a homeschooling resource but we ended up using it for so much more! This 100+ page book covers a multitude of animals from the poisonous frogs of Central America, to the Butcher Birds of Europe, to the Anglerfish of the deepest sea!

The pictures are bright and colorful and there are live action shots of the animals in their natural habitats. The book also takes a little time to explain what the climate is like in each of these animal's habitats and how they protect themselves from potential prey.

Another awesome concept of this book is the Internet links! For each animal group there is a link to a website that will help your child learn more about that animal! I think that's a great asset to have especially with homeschooling. We want our children to be able to look up things in a book, but we also want them to be able to easily find what they're looking for on the internet. This book offers the best of both worlds.

Another thing I really love is that this book is very adaptable to children of a vast array of ages! My oldest can easily read through this entire book, but my 3 year old may not be able to sit still for everything so we just read bits and pieces to her, and she still learns so much. I would recommend this book to children ages 3 on up to middle school age!

To purchase a copy of this book, please visit: https://l4508.myubam.com/p/754/world-of-animals-il

Monday, July 20, 2015

Contest Winner for Thriving in Babylon book giveaway!


Thank you to everyone who entered my "Thriving in Babylon" Book Giveaway! The winner of this giveaway is Heather W. C.! Please send me your address via lovinmommahood@gmail,com or through private message on Loving Mommahood facebook page! Keep checking back for more giveaways in the near future! :)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Fold by Peter Clines

"The Fold" by Peter Clines is a page-turning Sci-fi thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seats til the very end! Mike Erikson is just a normal small town guy working as a high school teacher...at least that's what everyone thinks. He doesn't normally show other people his gifts, but that's about to change now that his old friend, Reggie has introduced him to a project he's been working on. 

It's called the Albuquerque Door. A team of DARPA Scientists have discovered a way to teleport test subjects thousands of feet at a time. Test subjects go in one side, disappear, and come out the other side. And it seems to be working like a charm...or is it? As of late, something with the research team seems to be a little off. There is a growing sense of unease and some of the test subjects are having strange side effects. 

I am generally a big fan of Science fiction books, so naturally I was excited about this one. Peter Clines is known for his Sci-fi thrillers, and his best seller "14". I would say that "The Fold" lived up to my expectations. There is just the right amount of mystery, suspense, and humor. I had a hard time actually putting the book down because I just had to know what happened next. 

With that said, there were parts of this book that were just WEIRD. For example, Mike Erikson, the main character of this novel is a borderline genius. The author describes the way he retains knowledge as ants going back and forth between his brain. This analogy is used throughout the entire book and is referenced many times. I got to the 4th chapter before I fully understood what he meant by that. Most of the other oddities of this book are along those lines. I suppose every writer has their quirks right?

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It was unlike anything I had read in quite awhile. The ideas and writing were new and fresh, and thoroughly interesting. I would recommend The Fold to anyone who likes Sci-fi type books. I rate this book as 4 stars.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Picture Perfect Love by Melissa McClone

"Picture Perfect Love" by Melissa McClone is an adorable novella sure to tug on reader's heartstrings! If you are not familiar with a novella, it's basically a short story instead of a longer book. I was able to read through this story in about an hour. It's really kind of a cool thing if you don't have time to read a long book but still enjoy reading!

Jenna Harrison owns her own photography business called Picture Perfect Photography, but her own love life is anything but perfect after getting jilted at the alter two years before. Still struggling with her past breakup and incredible debt, Jenna finds it difficult to trust again, especially when her prior fiance knocks on her door asking for a favor.

I really enjoyed this wedding novella! Considering I love all things wedding, this book was right up my alley. I would have liked to have seen where the author might have taken this story had it been a full size novel! The author has a lovely writing style that is very easy to read and understand, and I was hooked from the very first chapter. I found myself loving the main character immediately and feeling her grief as she opened the door to find her ex-fiance. I loved how the author brought the characters to life with emotion and characteristics! I'm hoping that perhaps there will be a sequel to this book? :)

I have actually not read any other books by Melissa McClone but now I am eager to do so! I rate this book as 5 stars.

I received this book for free from Litfuse in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Thriving in Babylon by Larry Osborne

In "Thriving in Babylon: Why hope, humility, and wisdom matter in a godless culture," Larry Osborne dives head first into the story of Daniel, and how life for him in Babylon was probably not so different than our lives here now. Babylon was a godless society with so many fears, discouragement and spiritual warfare abounding. Larry reiterates that even though Daniel lived thousands of years ago, his story can still teach us so much today. So many people feel that God has forgotten us. The world is a sinful place. But it's entirely possible to live in a godless world, and still have a personal intimate relationship with our Creator.

The first half of this book focuses mainly on Daniel's life and the second half focuses on an in-depth look on hope, humility and wisdom.

This book is definitely one that made me think. The author presents many good discussions that parallel our world today and Daniel's world so long ago. It's really thought provoking. Another thing I really enjoyed about this book was the author's writing style. He knows his theology but yet he explains it in terms that everyone can understand. I think this would be an excellent book to use for a small group Bible study or even a Sunday School group.

I received two copies of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion. I will be giving away one copy of this book to one lucky winner! Contest begins July 15, 2015 and ends July 20, 2015. Open to U.S. residents only.


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Unashamed by Jessie Minassian

This week I was able to review "Unashamed: Overcoming the sins no girl wants to talk about" by Jessie Minassian. Jessie digs deep into the issues that many girls face on a daily basis but are too afraid or ashamed to talk about.

The first thing this book includes is a note to the parents which explains who the author is what her goal is in writing this book. The subjects range from eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, to sexual addictions and much more. For each subject, Jessie has written out a description of what each sin is and what God's take is on those sins. The chapters end with a discussion guide that would be perfect for a small group Bible study, and an example of a real life young woman who has struggled with those very same things mentioned.

Throughout each chapter, Jessie has a strong emphasis on the Bible and how readers can apply those verses to their own lives. She also talks about forgiveness and how to forgive yourself and others.

I think this is an excellent book for girls age 14+. I would probably recommend reading through the book first yourself as a parent before giving the book to your child just so you are aware what types of things they will be reading about. However, I am a strong advocate of speaking to our kids about these types of things, because if we don't, someone else will and may just give them the wrong idea on it. I rate this book as 4 stars.

I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Anything by Jennie Allen

There are not too many books that speak to me so deeply as this one. I received this book for free in ebook format, but I will most likely be purchasing a real paper bound copy because I just loved it so much.

What if you told God you would do anything and He took you up on it? Jennie Allen takes readers on a journey of her life. From her childhood, to her teen years, and now to life as a mother of small children. She always believed in God...always knew she was saved, but she knew something was missing. She knew that there were parts of herself she was holding back from God and she knew that by holding those things back, she could not experience the full grace of God.

Too often we want to keep God in our little box. We know what He is capable of but sometimes we fail to fully trust Him with our problems. Jennie shows readers that it isn't always easy....and it's something she still struggles with everyday, but she's learning how to hand it all over to God one day at a time.

I loved this book so much. Jennie's style of writing is easy to read, and I felt like I could truly relate to her in a lot of ways. She seems like she is an incredibly down to earth woman, and I could easily see myself chatting with her over a cup of tea. She's unbelievably transparent about her shortcomings in her life. I felt that this was a refreshing change from most books I have read on this subject. Jennie doesn't portray herself as a perfect person, but rather an imperfect person who trusts a perfect God.

Another aspect of this book that I honestly liked was that Jennie knew her Bible passages. It seemed like the basis of her book was not just the story of her life, but that she wanted people to know God the way that she does. She's very clear with what Jesus has done for us by dying on the cross, and I appreciated just how transparent she was. I rate this book as 5 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Review of Believe Storybook

If you frequent my blog, you know that I LOVE reviewing children's books. This Bible storybook completely exceeded my expectations! I absolutely love it. "Believe Storybook: Think, Act, Be Like Jesus" is written by Randy Frazee with Laurie Lazzaro Knowlton and illustrated by Steve James.

If you are unfamiliar with Randy Frazee's books, "Believe" is part of the national church-wide program led by Randy Frazee himself. His Believe books show children and adults alike how they can think, act and be like Jesus.

The estimated age range for this storybook is 4-8 years, but my 3 year old loved listening to the stories, and my 1 year old even enjoyed flipping through the pages looking at the colorful illustrations. I would say this book could be enjoyed from 1 year up to 8 years.

The Believe Storybook includes 60 Old and New Testament stories from the Bible beginning with The Creation and ending with Jesus and His disciples. Each story has a theme such as Worship, Hope, Faithfulness or Compassion. Chapters begin with a "THINK" section with a key question, such as "Who is God?" It's followed by an explanation that includes multiple questions and is easy for children to understand.

The next section includes an Old Testament Bible passage that is broken down into words that a child would understand. Next is "The Jump to Jesus" which explains how all of this relates to Jesus even though He wouldn't be born for many more years. It includes a Bible passage from the New Testament that is also easy for children to understand.

The last section of each chapter is called "The Jesus Answer." In the first chapter, the author asks readers if they could spot the three different persons of God in that Story, meaning God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It goes on to explain each person of God and what They do.

I have no complaints on this Bible Storybook. It goes a lot more in depth than most Bibles for children this age. Randy Frazee has taken the time to explore the heart of a child and really has a gift for ministering to children. I liked the fact that the illustrations were not cartoon-ish, but were made to look like actual people. Each chapter was the perfect length for a preschooler or elementary school age child. I plan to use this book as a devotional for my three year old. After reading through the Believe Storybook, I am eager to read the other Believe books and Bibles!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”