Friday, October 27, 2017

Draw 50 Sea Creatures

I love getting to review drawing books, so I was super excited to review a book called "Draw 50: Sea Creatures."

What I love most about this book is that there's a little something for every age. There's some pictures which are simpler to draw, and then others which are much more complex. My daughters and I went through this book together, picking out different things to draw, and it was nice because all of our skills are somewhat different!

Readers learn how to draw narwhals, sharks, clown fish, whales, turtles, clams, kelp, and many other interesting sea creatures! Even though the drawing is somewhat beyond my younger children, we often read books about different animals or sea creatures, and this book is a fun way to soak in what they have been learning!

The book itself is a paperback but it has a fairly sturdy front and back cover, so it holds up very nicely, especially with kids.

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

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Day the Angels Fell by Shawn Smucker

"The Day the Angels Fell" by Shawn Smucker is unlike anything I've read before. I was glued from the very beginning.

It was the summer of storms and strays and strangers. The summer that lightning struck the big oak tree in the front yard. The summer Samuel Chamber's mother died in a tragic accident. As a young boy, Samuel would have done anything to turn back time and have his mother back. What happened next was a series of events which lead him on a search for the tree of life. The one chance he had left to bring his mother back.

His quest to defeat death will entangle him and his best friend Abra in an ancient conflict, forcing Sam to grapple with an unwelcome question.... Could it be possible that death is a gift?
This book could easily become one of the greats among stories such as "The Chronicles of Narnia" series by C.S. Lewis or "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle. It's a beautiful mix of fantasy and real life. I tend to gravitate to Young Adult fiction more than any other book genre, but this might just be my favorite yet that I've read. I must add though, that it is appropriate for adults too and not just young adults. It has such a powerful message. Just as C.S. Lewis' and Madeleine L'Engle's books, I believe God speaks to our hearts in all different ways. Even in a young adult or children's book. "The Day the Angels Fell" will certainly give you some things to think about. This one will remain a favorite on my bookshelf that I will revisit.

I received this book for free from Revel, a division of Baker Publishing Group in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

NIV True Images: The Bible for Teen Girls

I love when I get to review Bibles! Especially if they're for kids or teenagers!

The NIV True Images Bible is beautiful inside and out. It features lots of feminine touches throughout the chapters, with plenty of pink accents. Inside you'll find 12 magazine style quizzes, introductions to each chapter, 52 stories of Biblical women, and the basics of Christianity.

This Bible focuses on true inner beauty and what that might look like for a young lady growing up today. I would love for my daughters to have a Bible like this as they go through their teen years. The devotions were so uplifting and the "In Focus" sections talk about real life problems that teenagers go through.

If you're searching for just the right Bible for your teenage daughter, this one has a lot to offer! I rate it as 5 stars.

I received this Bible for free in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

Draw 50 Outer Space Book Review

What's better than a book that teaches you to draw? A book that teaches you how to draw things from outer space!

In "Draw 50" by Lee J. Ames, Space enthusiasts learn how to draw astronauts, rocket ships, galaxies, meteors and much more! Each drawing has pictures throughout the process so artists can see their drawings begin to come alive. It's aimed at children ages 10 to 13, but can definitely be enjoyed by older artists as well.

I was super excited to get this book in the mail! I've always loved all things outer space related, and especially with the big solar eclipse that just occurred, I thought this book would be a fun activity to work on with my kids. I will say that to draw a lot of these, readers will probably have to have some sort of experience in drawing. Some of the pictures are very detailed and intricate. I am not the best at drawing, but I won't let the difficulty deter me! It's still a very fun and cute book.

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

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black

"Ninth City Burning" by J. Patrick Black is the perfect book for fantasy loving readers! It's kind of a mix of Hunger Games and Ender's Game.

Unlike most books I've read, the chapters in Ninth City Burning alternates between MANY different characters. It's actually pretty impressive once you get to the end of the book and see how the characters are intertwined.

Aliens have invaded earth, and they've brought their own kind of magic with them. The war has been going on for five hundred years. Old cities and civilizations are gone, with only their crumbling buildings remaining. Chapters alternate between Naomi, Torro, Jax, Rae, and multiple other characters. Each with their own unique story and abilities, yet all fighting for the same outcome. To eradicate the alien race.

There's so much going on in this book, it's really difficult to give a synopsis without giving anything away. I found it to be both interesting and thought provoking, and still vastly different from most books in its genre. It's a long read, at just over five hundred pages long, but it's worth it. I would definitely recommend this one.

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

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

"The Invisible Library" by Genevieve Cogman is a new young adult fantasy series!

The main character, Irene is a professional spy for the Library, a shady organization that collects important books from different time periods. She was born into this job, and has done her share of perilous assignments, but this new assignment is like nothing she's ever done before.

Her supervisor has given her a newer recruit named Kai to help with this mission. They've been charged with the retrieval of a dangerous book. In addition, it's in alternate London, which means it's chaos infested! Enter werewolves, vampires and other mystical creatures. To make matters worse, the book is already missing when they arrive!

Irene finds there is a lot more at stake than what she first imagined.

I was extremely excited to read and review this book! Young adult fantasy is one of my favorite genres of books to read. The story was interesting but it took a bit getting into for me. It took me until about chapter three to fully understand what was going on in the book. So, yes it was good, but I wish the beginning was explained a bit better and the main character was a lot more developed.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion. I rate this book as 3 stars.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Drawn In Bible Study: Ruth by Eugene H. Peterson

The "Drawn In Bible Study: Ruth" by Eugene H. Peterson is the newest way to do your Bible study!

In between the Bible readings and spaces to fill in your answers, you'll find beautiful pictures to color in! I've never seen anything quite like this, and I've owned multiple coloring books and postcards to join the latest craze.

The questions are fairly basic, but bring up excellent discussion points and topics. The author takes readers through Ruth and Naomi's journey, beginning with the loss of their husbands. It goes through Ruth meeting Boaz and God's blessing upon the two women.

One thing I really enjoyed about this book was that it is very easy to understand. It is appropriate for women in all walks of life, and something that so many women can relate to! If you work on a chapter a week, it works out very well. The chapters are not super long, so I just work on a few questions a day.

The only thing I disliked about this book was the way the passages were written out. It didn't specifically say which passage you were reading as you went along. For example, the instructions would say to read verses 8-9 but the passage was labeled as verses 1-12 and didn't label which were 8-9. Of course when doing a Bible study, one expects to use a Bible, so this really isn't a big deal, but I thought it was worth noting.

I have thoroughly enjoyed doing this Bible study and I look forward to doing the other two books as well! I received this book for free from Tyndale book publishers in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

Monday, June 26, 2017

ICB Blessed Garden Bible

The ICB Blessed Garden Bible is an adorable woodland creature themed Bible aimed at 6-10 year old children.

The front cover is made to look like an old fashioned fairy tale book, with a faux lock and lots of scroll symbols. It features an adorable fox, as well as snails, birds, butterflies, hedgehogs, bunnies, raccoons, owls and many other woodland creatures.

There are 24 full color pages with adorable animals and flowers throughout the Bible! These pages show a Bible time line, important verses to remember, places to write down your favorite verses, and answers to common questions children might have. Questions such as "How do I pray?", "How do I forgive?", and "How do I study the Bible?".

The end of the Bible has an index for miracles performed in the Bible, the names of the disciples, and kids from the Bible. There are also 4 pages of Biblical maps located in the last few pages of the Bible.

All in all, I thought this was an adorable Bible! I don't typically buy ICB versions of Bibles but it would be an excellent beginner Bible for a child who has just learned to read. This version makes the Bible very easy to understand for young children. The illustrations were absolutely adorable! They were bright and colorful, with a sort of whimsical design. The front cover itself is bright colored and even has glitter on some of the pictures.

I rate this Bible as 5 stars! I received this Bible for free from Booklook Bloggers in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Kids' Visual Study Bible

Having four kids of my own, I love getting the opportunity to read and review children's books and Bibles!

The Kids' Visual Study Bible NIV contains over 700 colored images! It features fun little tidbits at the beginning of each book, including:

"Who wrote this book?"
"Why was this book written?"
"What do we learn about God in this book?"
"Who are the key people in this book?"
"Where did this happen?"
"What are some of the stories in this book?"

Each page has a small pop of color. In the yellow portion of each page, it paraphrases what is being read in each chapter. Throughout the pages, readers get to see photos of items specific to that date in time. Photos include pictures of maps, fruit, animals, plants, buildings and much more!

One thing that I thought was really cool, was a graphic of the breakdown of Noah's time in the ark! It's such a fun way for kids to visualize what actually happened, and it lets the story soak in a little deeper!

This Bible is aimed at children between the grades of 3-7, but I think it could potentially be used for younger children as well if the parent were doing the reading. There are many interesting colored photos to look through while listening to the stories. Overall, I found it to be a fun and interesting Bible that will keep a child engaged while reading! I rate this Bible as 5 stars.

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

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Know Who You Are by Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow is back with another amazing book! Tim has written his newest book "Know Who You Are: Live like it Matters" specifically for kids who grow up like he did- Homeschooled!

This book is broken down into 36 weeks worth of lessons, with the goal of reading a short 2-3 page  devotion, and then filling out a couple questions each week. Tim covers a wide variety of subjects, but really encourages readers to be a positive role model and to think about the big picture when making big decisions. 

Ordinarily, I am not a fan of football. It's not my favorite sport, most likely because I just don't understand it.  but I love Tim Tebow! He's a great role model for kids to look up to, and he continues to set the bar high year after year. I love that he shares his downfalls and weaknesses. It just makes him that much more relatable.

This is the second book of his that I have read this year, and I was just amazed by the noteworthy content. I would gladly give this book to my child! It doesn't require a large amount of writing, so if you have a child who doesn't enjoy writing, don't let that deter you! It's spaced very well! I rate this book as 5 stars!

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

Friday, June 9, 2017

Finally Focused by James Greenblatt, MD

Finally! A book on ADHD that caters to a more natural approach!

Dr. James Greenblatt has seen thousands of men, women and children with symptoms of ADHD- hyperactivity, inability to focus, impulsiveness, and sometimes irritability. Instead of just prescribing a medication, this doctor actually listens to his patients, trying to help them find out the root cause of their symptoms.

Through his work, Dr. Greenblatt has found numerous triggers for ADHD, including food allergies, dysbiosis, sleeping difficulties, and nutritional deficiencies. After diagnosing the root cause, he is able to make changes to the individual's diet and sleep habits to help their ADHD! Sometimes he still has to prescribe prescription medication, but the integrative approach tends to minimize the harsher side effects.

I found this book to be a breath of fresh air! So many doctors just want to prescribe medication without looking at other possible treatments. Having one child with ADHD, this book greatly encouraged me! I am going to try some of Dr. Greenblatt's natural approaches before we try a prescription medication.

This book is a fantastic resource for anyone looking for a more natural approach to their health or their child's health. Highly recommend! I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Turquoise Table by Kristin Schell

Kristin Schell knew there was more to life than busy schedules and running from one activity to the next. When she made her previous homeowner a deal that she would continue the summer picnic, she had no idea then what that would entail!

It was just one event over the summer. Not much stress right? Everyone comes out with their families for one fun day in the sun, and then it was over. Everyone goes back home until next year's party.

But after a few years, Kristin realized that she still didn't know all that much about her community. To be honest, she wasn't even sure who lived where! She knew there was something she had to do, but what?

And then the turquoise table happened. She planted it right in her front yard, right out by the road so that anyone walking by could stop and chat. Anyone was welcome. It was a great conversation starter, and even led to some deep and meaningful conversations.

Kristin encourages readers to create their own turqoise table! She used a picnic table but just work with whatever you have!

I really loved this book. Community is so important, and yet so often overlooked! I'm such an introvert at heart, so this would probably seem difficult for me in the beginning, but I think the important thing is to start small and just make yourself available for when others need you.

Another thing I thought was awesome about this book was all the recipes the author included! Recipes that won't take too much time or effort, and will feed people in a hurry! I would definitely recommend this book to others! I rate this book as 5 stars.

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

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Bible Explorer's Guide Review!

I love getting the opportunity to read and review children's books, and this one looked especially exciting! "The Bible Explorer's Guide: 1,000 Amazing Facts and Photos" is a new book published by Zondervan!

It features full color photos, illustrations, and maps, and showcases people, places objects and buildings in Bible times. With over 1,000 interesting facts, it's sure to keep your little one captivated! It is recommended for ages 8 and up or grades 3rd through 6th.

This book is jam packed with tons of fun information on the Bible! It would work wonderful as an addition to a children's Bible study or homeschool supplement! It would even be excellent as a resource to gather research from for school projects. I would definitely recommend!

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

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Hello Stars by Alena and Wynter Pitts

I love finding wholesome yet adorable books for my daughters to read and that's exactly what I found here with "Hello Stars"written by mother and daughter duo, Alena and Wynter Pitts!

Lena is just your average 10 year old who suddenly gets the opportunity of a lifetime! When her favorite Christian artist runs a contest for a chance to meet her, Lena jumps at the chance and sends in a video entry. Only after she won did she realize that by winning, she would also be starring in a major motion picture! Lena will have to move to Los Angeles for the summer and work everyday. Being a big movie star is hard work. Lena doesn't know if she can do it.

There are so many positive elements in this story that I'm not sure where to begin! Lena's parents are strong, godly role models who pray with their four daughters every day. Her father reads scripture with the family everyday before the girls go to school. Nearly all of the chapters end with Lena writing a note in her journal addressed to the stars, or to God. I was a little confused by the star part until later in the book when it made more sense.

Another reason I loved this book was because of the strong moral values throughout the story. Lena's parents were encouraging throughout Lena's journey to stardom, yet mindful of her responsibilities, making sure Lena took this job seriously. 

This book is aimed at girls between the ages of 8-12 years. My oldest is 10 and has already devoured it since I gave it to her! We are very much looking forward to the second book set to release in September 2017!

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

Saturday, May 6, 2017

I Am No One by Patrick Flanery

"I Am No One" is the newest thriller from award winning author, Patrick Flannery.

Jeremy O'Keefe has returned to his life in New York after spending the last ten years in England as a Professor. A bit lonely at times, he's still getting used to life back home when strange things begin to happen. It appears someone is watching him after he receives strange packages in the mail. Not only that, but he believes someone is following him, and his elderly mother is being harassed on Jeremy's behalf.

Perhaps most troubling to Jeremy, is that if someone really is following him, why do they want him to know about it? Has he unknowingly committed a crime? Is he imagining things or is he truly in danger?

This was a book I had a very difficult time getting into. The story seemed a bit too wordy at times and it just didn't keep my interest like most thrillers I have read. Also, the big reveal at the end was a bit disappointing. I probably would not recommend.

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

Monday, May 1, 2017

Stop, Drop, and Roll by Angela M. Reynolds

This week I had the privilege of reading "Stop, Drop, and Roll: The Essential Oil Guide for Roller-Bottle Blends" by Angela M. Reynolds! This book is especially great for people who are new to essential oils!

In this book, Angela will address many of the questions you might have about Essential oils. She explains what carrier oils are, the different grades of essential oils, how to properly use oils, and how to make your own blends! She lists what supplies you'll need for each project, and great ideas on how to share the oils with others.

This is the kind of book every new essential oil user should have in their hands! A lot of times, we know the oils are good for us, but we just don't know how to use them properly. This book will help with that! It has a ton of valuable information packed inside the short 35 pages.

I rate this book as 5 stars!

The Woman's Study Bible, NKJV

This Bible is seriously the most beautiful book I've had the privilege to review! "The Woman's Study Bible, NKJV: Receiving God's Truth for Balance, Hope and Transformation" features colorful pages and short devotions! Even the headings on the pages are written in a beautifully lovely font!

This Bible has a nice fabric hardcover, and is one of the larger Bibles I have used, although this is partly because it is a large print Bible. I love this about the Bible! Even though I have relatively good eyesight, the larger print is definitely easier to read. It also features a bookmark to keep track of readings, and a place in the first few pages to keep track of special events.

The beginning of each chapter gives information on the title, author, date, background, themes, and outline. Devotions are interspersed throughout the chapters. Also included throughout the chapters are maps, diagrams, timelines, prayers, character sketches, and so much more!

I love love love this Bible! I love things that are beautiful and pleasing to the eye and this definitely hits the mark! I have no complaints whatsoever with this Bible. I rate it as 5 stars.

I received this Bible for free in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Lucky Few by Heather Avis

Imagine struggling with infertility for years, watching friends and family grow their families, while your own belly is empty. Motherhood was the one thing Heather Avis really wanted in life. Finally, when the doctors confirmed what she'd been dreading, Heather and her husband, Josh took the leap and decided on adoption!

They had so many hopes and dreams for their future child, and of course wanted him or her to be healthy. So when they got the phone call that there was a child with down syndrome in need of a home, they were hesitant to say yes. It was then that Josh and Heather brought it to God, and asked Him what His will was. What if the harder road is the one that will lead to God's blessing? What if God wants us to do the hard things so we can grow closer to Him?

I cannot say enough amazing things about this book! It really is a life changer, especially if God has given you a desire to adopt. Although none of my kids have down syndrome or any other severe developmental delays, I found that I could relate to Heather on many different levels! I know the agony of sitting in waiting rooms and not so patiently waiting for doctor's calls for a diagnosis for my child.

I would definitely recommend this book to all mommas! I think Heather and I could be good friends!

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

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Everything You Always Wanted to Know about God (but were too afraid to ask) by Eric Metaxas

I have always heard great things about Eric Metaxas' books so I was eager add this one to my "To be read" pile!

This book is basically a book of questions and answers. It features questions on the existence of God, Science versus God, God's views on morality and purity, women and God's plan for women, and so much more! Most of the answers are formed as somewhat of a corny joke. It was really interesting and good, but you would have to appreciate that type of humor to enjoy the book.

The questions are also somewhat basic in nature, meaning that they're great for brand new Christians or perhaps even teenagers or young adults. It features 240 pages with extensive questions on all different subjects about God.

I found this book to be very interesting and could see it potentially benefiting a wide range of readers. I plan to pass along my copy to someone who has a lot of questions about God and Christianity. I rate this book as 5 stars.

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

Thank You, God, for Grandma by Amy Parker

This week I was able to read and review this adorable book called "Thank You, God, for Grandma" by Amy Parker and illustrated by Rosalinda Kightley!

At 20 pages long, with a few sentences on each page, it's the perfect size book for 2-5 year olds! Even my 8 month old enjoyed looking at all of the colorful pictures!

The book goes through many of the different things that Grandma's typically do with their grandchildren: Baking, singing, dressing up, and many other fun activities! The beginning and ending of the book reiterates how we should be thankful to God for our Grandparents. The pages are fairly sturdy, with rhyming text on each page.

Upon receiving this book in the mail, my children promptly brought the book to their grandma to show her! They were so excited to read through it and they love looking at all of the pictures. It truly is an adorable book. I would definitely recommend it to parents of toddlers and preschoolers!

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

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Seven-Mile Miracle by Steven Furtick

In the latest book by Steven Furtick, he encourages readers on a journey to study the last words spoken by Jesus and what implications they have on our lives now.

There are "7 Mile Markers" which define Jesus' last sentences. Those 7 are:

1. Forgiveness
2. Salvation
3. Relationship
4. Abandonment
5. Distress
6. Triumph
7. Reunion

The author had some amazing points and subjects to think about. Things that will really make you take a closer look at the God we serve. One of those coming from just the first mile marker. Jesus' words here were a plea to God to forgive these people because they don't know what they're doing (paraphrased). At this point, Jesus had been ridiculed, harassed, abandoned by friends, betrayed, beaten and tortured, and so much more. I seriously doubt my first inclination would have been forgiveness. But it's what Jesus was thinking. What an amazing testament to how loving and forgiving our Creator is!

You will love the way that Steven Furtick writes! He uses a lot of stories and analogies from present day and from Biblical times. The book itself is not very long but it packs a punch. You will get a lot out of "Seven-Mile Miracle!"I would recommend reading it in preparing our hearts and minds for Easter! I rate this book as 5 stars.

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

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Angels in the Bible Review!

"Angels in the Bible for Little Ones" by Allia Zobel Nolan is an adorable 32 page board book perfect for preschoolers, toddlers and babies!

It includes stories about Abraham and Sarah, Elijah, Daniel in the Lion's Den, Mary (Jesus' mother), Joseph and Mary, and Jesus. Each story is approximately 4 pages long, with an average of 2-3 sentences on each page. I found this to be the perfect amount to hold my five year old's attention! My 2.5 year old was also very interested, but she was not able to sit still as long.

The angels are depicted much like most books describe them. They are wearing long, white gowns with sparkling translucent wings.

The stories were written very well, which made it extremely easy for my children to understand and follow along. I love how durable the book was! The front and back covers are thickly padded, and the pages are super durable board pages. It's also the perfect size for tiny hands to carry around!

I thought this book was adorable. I'm sure it will remain a favorite in our house for years to come! I rate this book as 5 stars.

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

Friday, February 24, 2017

I Can Be Kind by Amie Carlson

"I Can Be Kind: My first manners book" by Amie Carlson is a fun lift-the-flap book for toddlers and preschoolers to learn kindness and manners!

It features actual examples of how children can learn to share and show kindness. It also includes Bible verses from the NLT Bible on
 almost every page.

The pictures were adorable and eye-catching and there were just the right amount of words on each page. I would say it's aimed at children between the ages of 2 and 5, but older children could benefit from it as well.

My only complaint is the quality of the book itself. Although it is a lift-the-flap book, the pages are not "board" material as you might expect. They are actually just very thin pages. Unfortunately after handling the book for just a few minutes, my 4 year old and 2 year old managed to rip one of the pages and flaps. I loved the colorful photos and the lessons, but I would be wary purchasing if you have a young child who might accidentally tear a page. I rate this book as 4 stars.

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

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Spectacle of Glory by Joni Eareckson Tada

Joni has faced a lifetime of hardships throughout her adult years. From being resigned to a wheelchair, to finding out she has breast cancer, Joni has dealt with so much heartache. But as readers will find out after reading "A Spectacle of Glory: God's Light Shining Through Me Every Day", she doesn't let her circumstances define her. Joni wants others to see Jesus through her and her actions.

This devotional contains 365 short daily devotions. They are each dated and include a key Bible verse, prayer, and a short message.

Many of the devotions have to do with suffering, hardships, and heartache but they are very uplifting! God created us to live for Him each and everyday. To enjoy Him, display Him, and demonstrate His presence. We need to be able to live out our faith in good and bad circumstances.

I honestly did not know much about Joni Eareckson Tada before reading this book, but I was greatly encouraged after reading her story and the beautiful words she has written here! Her writing really makes you think and take a hard look at how you are living your life. There is nothing going on in your life that God can't handle. If we just gave all our worries and problems to God, we would be amazed at what he would do! One of the devotions really stuck out to me:

"Here's an understatement: Battling stage III breast cancer is no fun. One day when my husband, Ken was driving me home from chemotherapy, we discussed how sufferings are "splash-overs of hell" -gritty, gut-wrenching reminders of the horrors Christ rescued us from. As Ken pulled into our driveway, we then wondered, "What are splash-overs of heaven? Are they easy, bright times when everything's going right?" After a long silence, Ken looked at me and with wet eyes whispered, "No, Joni. It's when we see Jesus in our splash-over of hell."

I would definitely recommend this book to others, whether they're dealing with hardships, or feeling completely at peace. I rate it as 5 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> 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 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, February 17, 2017

Drop-dead Easy Knits

If you're looking for those knitting projects that you can just work on while on the go, then I'd highly recommend "Drop-dead Easy Knits" by Gale Zucker, Mary Lou Egan, and Kirsten Kapur." Their book is perfect for the novice or expert knitter!

Each project lists the difficulty level, materials needed, sizes of project, and stitches used. What I think is awesome about these patterns is that they are distinguished by how much you have to pay attention to complete it. For instance, many of the patterns are created specifically for the knitter to be able to just pick it up, knit for 5 minutes if need be, and to be able to pick up where you left off.

Other patterns require more concentration but are still very user friendly.

Patterns include shawls, socks, cowls, arm warmers, sweaters and much more! All in all, this book includes some amazingly beautiful patterns. I would definitely recommend to all my fellow knitters! I rate this book as 5 stars.

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

Friday, January 20, 2017

Batgirl at Super Hero High by Lisa Yee Audio Book

It's not too often I get to review an audio book, so my girls and I were very excited to receive this one!

Barbara Gordon has always been a smart introverted teenager, staying in the shadows working in the tech department. When Supergirl sees her talent and recruits her to Super Hero High, Barbara will get a chance to really let Batgirl shine!

I loved the story line of this book! I think it's amazing that the main character, Batgirl, is essentially just a normal girl. She's intelligent, hard-working, and perhaps most importantly, she doesn't even have any super powers. Everything she does is based on her talents.

Another thing that is interesting to me is that even though she's a superhero, she deals with many of the same issues as average girls, such as peer pressure and fitting in. I can confidently let my girls listen to this story and not have to worry about any negative influence. I know we'll definitely enjoy listening to these stories together!

My only complaint is the narration by Mae Whitman. I felt that in some ways, it fell a little flat and could have used a little more emotion. However, I don't feel as if this has affected the story in a negative way. I rate this audio book as 5 stars.

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

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst

I was pretty excited when I saw this book was available for review! I love Lysa Terkeurst's books, and I was definitely eager to read this one! With a name like "Uninvited," it tends to draw you in.

Lysa begins with sharing about her childhood. A father who abandoned her, and countless times of rejection. She just wanted to feel safe. Instead of feeling down and rejected, what if we could look past other people's actions and moving forward in God's truth about us? What if we could stop falling apart and blaming our offenders, and instead process our hurt in a positive God honoring way?

I can honestly say this book was not what I expected. While I felt that there was a great message in her words, I didn't feel as if I could totally relate to many of the examples used. Many of them had to do with hurts from years past, such as a broken heart or a dysfunctional upbringing. But the message was still fantastic and I feel that it could minister to a great many people. It just depends on what your past issues have been. I rate this book as 4 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> 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 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, January 9, 2017

Pray A to Z by Amelia Rhodes

"Pray A to Z: A Practical Guide to Pray for Your Community" by Amelia Rhodes is just what it's name implies. What would happen if we told people we'd pray for them and then actually did it? Purposefully, intentionally, thoughtfully, lovingly prayed for them?

A lot of times we want to pray but just don't know what to say. Amelia Rhodes has changed the way I think about prayer. What if we prayed for people by topic, going through the entire alphabet?

What I think is fantastic about this idea is that you can customize each list. Your list might not necessarily be the same as mine based on what is going on in your life and in your friends lives. You can definitely read through this book and use it in your own daily prayers. I would highly recommend reading through it even if you end up making your own list.

I thoroughly enjoyed the way the author broke up each letter of the alphabet. Each letter includes 5 topics. The first three topics of each letter are prayers of petition and the last two are for prayers of praise and acknowledgement of God.

I'm a big fan of books on prayer. Prayer is a vital part of our walk with Jesus and sometimes when we're struggling, we just don't know what to pray. I love the concept that Amelia Rhodes has created here. This would be a fun book to go through as a Bible study or Sunday School Class that is focusing on prayer. It's the perfect size to take with you everywhere you go!

I rate this book as 5 stars. I received this book for free from Litfuse in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Classic German Baking by Luisa Weiss

"Classic German Baking" by Luisa Weiss is a beautifully illustrated baking cookbook which features over 250 pages of traditional and tasty dessert recipes!

It includes recipes of Cookies, Cakes, Yeasted Cakes, Tortes & Strudels, Savories, Breads & Rolls, Christmas Favorites and Basics. Each recipe includes the English name and the German name, which I thought was fascinating considering I'm of German lineage! It was fun to learn a little about German culture and baking.

For example, in most of Europe, Vanilla extract is unheard of. Instead they use an ingredient called Vanilla Sugar or Vanillezucker. Most German baking recipes will call for Vanilla Sugar instead of the extract, so this book does include an easy recipe to create your own!

This recipe book has a little something for everyone. If you're feeling especially ambitious, you can make your own dough and bake Swabian Potato-Cheese Flat Bread or Kartoffel-kase Dinnede as it's called in Germany. Or you can try something more simple such as Blitzkuchen or Almond-Sugar Cookies.

I loved the pictures of Europe and the recipes although I was slightly disappointed that the book didn't include more pictures of the recipes. The back index also includes pronunciation of all German words as well as a directory of websites to purchase different foods from. I rate this cookbook as 4 stars only because I wish it had more pictures of the scrumptious delights.

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