Weekly Recap – 4/18/2014

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The above picture about sums up my week. I’ve been having a rough last couple weeks but thankfully I see the doctor on Monday. I’m not sure what is making me so exhausted if it is the fibro or something else. But anyway, on top of me not feeling great and needing a nap most afternoons I also had a dr. appointment or physical therapy for myself every day this week and three of the days I had to take a child to the doctor because they all ended up with ear infections except for the oldest. What a week!

This means, of course, that we didn’t get a ton of school done. I did try to get Ben to do a little math and language arts each day. But the good news is we did get to try out a new product with my littles that we got from a giveaway over at Only Passionate Curiosity. We won a month of Mother Goose Time!

I had never heard of them until this giveaway and I am in love!!! Our supplies came in a super cute school bus box and everything is packaged up by day with pretty much everything you need other than coloring supplies, glue, tape, ect. We have done the first day so far and I will definitely be using this in the future. I love that it gets me doing crafts and stuff with the kiddos. Here are some pictures of the turtles they made. They had so much fun. And the CD that came with the kit I think we have listened to it about a million times.






Overall, this week was a tough one but the time I did get to spend engaging with my kids was so worth it. I’ve learned through dealing with chronic pain and fibro that I have to enjoy what I can do and not stress about what I can’t. I am, however, looking forward to getting some answers from the doctor on Monday and perhaps trying something to help with the fibro. But either way, I know that God is in control and none of my current circumstances have caught Him off guard. I’m so thankful that He is over all and has everything planned out. I can rest in that.


Linking up with:


Princess Ever After by Rachel Hauck – Review and Blog Tour

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Princess-Ever-After-High-Res-e1387296385260About the book: A Royal Wedding Book

Regina Beswick was born to be a princess.

But she’s content to be a small-town girl, running a classic auto restoration shop, unaware a secret destiny awaits her. One that will leap from the pages of her grandmother’s hand-painted book of fairytales.

Tanner Burkhardt is the stoic Minister of Culture for the Grand Duchy of Hessenberg. When he is tasked to retrieve the long-lost princess, he must overcome his fear of failure in order to secure his nation’s future—and his own.

Yet lurking in the political shadows is a fierce opponent with sinister plans to abolish the throne forever. Overwhelmed with opposition, Regina must decide if she’s destined to restore old cars or an ancient nation. Together—with a little divine intervention—Regina and Tanner discover the truth of her heritage and the healing power of true love.

Purchase a copy: Princess Ever After (Royal Wedding Series) (aff. link)

RHauck-203Meet the author: Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as RITA nominated The Wedding Dress and RITA nominated Love Starts with Elle, part of the Lowcountry series, the Nashvegas series and the Songbird Novels penned with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Their novel Softly and Tenderly, was one of Booklists 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals. A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, she worked in the corporate software world before planting her backside in an uncomfortable chair to write full time in 2004. Rachel serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship at their annual conference. She is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker. Rachel writes from her two-story tower in an exceedingly more comfy chair. She is a huge Buckeyes football fan.

Learn more about Rachel at: http://rachelhauck.com

The above is from the publisher.

My Thoughts:

I was actually somewhat worried when I started this book as I have been burnt out on romances as of late. However, I did really enjoy this book. It appealed to the princess side of me and also had some other great elements to the story. Rachel is a very talented story teller. I loved that we got to see the trip that Regina took from auto mechanic to princess of a country. And all the politics and intrigue just made the book perfect. I would highly recommend this book!!

Read other bloggers thoughts here.

I received a free copy of this product from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. 

MOM SEEKS GOD Kindle HDX Giveaway & “Moms’ May Day” Facebook Party with @JuliaLRoller

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Mom Seeks God by Julia Roller offers a highly relatable story and useful advice to help new moms grow in their faith as they address life changes with grace, patience, and prayer. As readers discover ten essential faith practices, they’ll learn that motherhood itself is a spiritual discipline and can be God’s most effective technique for forming a more Christ-like life.

Julia is celebrating the book’s release with a fun giveaway and connecting with moms during a live Facebook author chat.


One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle HDX
  • Mom Seeks God by Julia Roller

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 1st. Winner will be announced at “Moms’ May Day” Facebook Party on May 1st. Connect with Julia for an encouraging discussion on spiritual discipline and finding joy in the middle of motherhood. Win prizes, connect with other moms, and be inspired.

So grab your copy of Mom Seeks God and join Julia on the evening of May 1st for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 1st!

Happy Birthday Beverly Cleary!!! + Giveaway

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Beverly Cleary

Today is Beverly Cleary’s 98th birthday!!! She is on of my favorite children’s authors and I love that I can now share her with my own children. My boy loves Ralph S. Mouse and I can’t wait to introduce Ramona to my girl.
Beverly Cleary

Here are 10 facts you may not know about her:

1. She was born on April 12, 1916 (making her 98 today) and is still living.

2. She was born in McMinnville, Oregon!! I had no idea my favorite children’s author was born in my great home state. AWESOME!

3. She has sold over 91 million copies of her books worldwide.

4. She has received recognition from the Library of Congress as a “Living Legend.”

5. She is an only child, perhaps another reason I connect with her.

6. She first worked as a librarian in Yakima, Washington.

7. It was working as a children’s librarian that got her interested in writing as children lamented the fact there weren’t many books that were written about children like them.

8. Her first novel Henry Huggins is set on a street in Portland, Oregon that she only lived a few blocks from growing up.

9. Many of the characters in Henry Huggins were based on her own friends growing up.

10. She has written to autobiographies, which I must get my hands on right away!


In honor of her birthday I am giving away a boxed set of The Complete Ramona Collection!!! This giveaway is open to anywhere The Book Depository ships for free (virtually worldwide).

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Enter to Win a Kindle Fire HDX!!!

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Enter to win 1 of 2 great prizes. Winner’s choice of a Kindle Fire HDX or $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 Paypal Cash!

The first prize is available via the rafflecopter below. The 2nd is available only to bloggers who post about this giveaway. You can find info on how to enter the 2nd giveaway in the rafflecopter.

Kindle Fire April

Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7″ Kindle Fire HDX (US Only – $229 Value)


Or $229 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)


Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)



Giveaway Sponsors:
I Am A Reader
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Sign up to sponsor the next Kindle Giveaway here:



Giveaway Details

1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7″ HDX (US Only – $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International).

There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire HDX 7″, $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash.

Ends 4/30/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Star Chronicles: A Bible-Based Study of the Stars – Review of Homeschool Astronomy Star Study and Giveaway!

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Affiliatehomeschool astronomy


Star Chronicles: A Bible-Based Study of the Stars by Dawnita Fogleman is a unit study on the constellations and Bible prophecy.  When I did this study with my own children it was out of a desire to get to the bottom of the Stars.  …no, that doesn’t sound right…  I wanted to get to the truth.  I started with Dr. E.W. Bullinger’s book “The Witness of the Stars.”  To tell you the truth, while the book fascinated me, I thought a lot of it seemed a bit far-fetched.  So, the study began and in order to excuse the time spent, I involved the children and counted it as school!  We literally scrap-booked our way through the stars. If you have read Bullinger’s book, you may find little here that truly coincides.  I used his basic format for the partners he places with each main constellation in his book.  I list only the stars I found confirmation for in wikipedia.  Sometimes I did have to dig through some mythologies and zodiac rubbish in order to get the information that seemed relevant for the purpose of this book.  Some Bible references are merely what the star names or star-picture reminded me of.    I’ve tried to make this engaging and fun, rather than overly scientific or theological.  What this book is NOT:  It is NOT a book of zodiac, astrology, or horoscopes.  You will find NOTHING of the kind in these page.  There are references to myths and legends and they are clearly stated as such for historical purposes only.

1622879_674120545983484_541826322_nAUTHOR BIO:

Dawnita Fogleman is a fifth generation Oklahoma Panhandle Pioneer. She and her husband, Paul, have six amazing children. They have homeschooled from the start and now have two graduated and starting their own businesses. With the family business and their little farm every day is a surprise. Dawnita blogs about life on the “funny farm” at FoglemanForerunner.com.


My Thoughts:

If your kids are anything like mine they are fascinated with space and anything to do with it. I have actually always been fascinated with the sky so I think that my have something to do with their fascination. Actually, my husband is even more obsessed and knows so much about it all. The other day my middle son, who is 3, actually thanked the Lord for space ships, aliens, and the earth. :) That should give you a clue of how obsessed we are.

I was so excited when given the opportunity to review this. There are studies out there on the stars but so often they are not Biblical based and that is not what I want to be teaching my kids. Having a unit study that is focused on relating the starts to Biblical prophecy is so awesome! The book also contains many star charts which in and of themselves are worth the pdf.

However, as I started to read it I began to wonder about if this could all truly relate. My husband as made me more and more skeptical the more I know him. I actually ended up stopping doing this with my kids and am working on reading through it myself. I truly do find it fascinating but I would like to read it and absorb it more myself before teaching it to my kids. I think this could be a great way to study the stars and see the correlation that my be there between the names of the constellations and Biblical prophecy. I could see a high schooler taking it on the way I am right now and really figuring out what they think and looking into may different books.

All that being said, I don’t feel comfortable giving this a glowing review as I haven’t truly gotten my head around it yet. However, I do think that it is a great one to look into on your own as an adult and then see what you want to do with it from there. I would also suggest going to the landing page for this book on Dawnita Fogleman’s site and reading my fellow launch team members reviews as I bet some of them aren’t as conflicted about it all as I am. You can also go to her site and read the first chapter which may help you determine whether this is for you or not.

There are two ways to purchase this book! Check them out below.



As part of the launch team we get to giveaway one pdf copy of the book! Make sure to enter the via the rafflecopter below.


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The Sinners’ Garden by William Sirls – Review and Blog Tour

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TheSinnersGarden-mech-e1381518754699About the book: In the small Lake Erie township of Benning, someone is at work cultivating a supernatural garden . . .

Andy Kemp’s young life has been as ravaged as his scarred face. Disfigured by an abusive father, the teenager hides behind his books and an impenetrable wall of cynicism and anger.

As Andy’s mother struggles to reconnect with him, his Uncle Rip returns transformed from a stint in prison and wants to be a mentor to the reclusive boy, doing everything he can to help end Andy’s pain. When Andy begins hearing strange music through his iPod and making near-prophetic announcements, Rip is convinced that what Andy is hearing is the voice of God.

Elsewhere, police officer Heather Gerisch responds to a late-night breaking and entering in one of the poorest homes in town. She soon realizes that the masked prowler has left thousands of dollars in gift cards from a local grocery store.
As the bizarre break-ins continue and Heather pursues the elusive “Summer Santa,” Andy and Rip discover an enormous and well-kept garden of wildflowers that seems to have grown overnight at an abandoned steel mill.

Soon, they realize who the gardener is, and a spree of miracles transfigures this small town from a place of hopelessness into a place of healing and beauty.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/s9RuK

WSirls-191Meet the author: Over the course of his life, William Sirls has experienced both great highs and tremendous lows—some born of chance, some born of choice. Life lessons involving faith, grace, and forgiveness are evident in his writing. The Sinners’ Garden is his second novel. His first novel, The Reason, was published in 2012. William makes his home in southern Michigan.

Learn more about William at: http://WilliamSirls.com



The above is from the publisher.

My Thoughts:

To be completely honest I was a bit worried about this book. I was afraid that God talking through an iPod and creating gardens out of thin air would be portrayed as common place things that happen and that there would be an over emphasis on hyper emotionalism and the prophetic. However, I did not feel this to be the case. The book felt as though it was just using these things to make a point, not that they are expected in real life. The story was very griping and left me crying at the end, which isn’t easy to do for me. I don’t cry often at books, so you know it’s well written if I do. The ending totally took me by surprise. And in addition to the working of God in the lives of the main characters to bring healing you also have a mystery added in and some love interests but nothing to sappy, as you would expect it not to be since it is written by a man. I really did enjoy this book and would highly recommend it.

See other bloggers thoughts here.

I received a free copy of this product from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Enter to win a Kindle HDX from @TLHigley in THE QUEEN’S HANDMAID giveaway!

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Tracy L. Higley is celebrating the release of The Queen’s Handmaid with a fun giveaway.

Retailers + Resources gave it this glowing review: “Rich in historic detail, Higley’s vivid writing brings to life the plots and intrigues that swirled through the ancient world as alliances were built and broken on the calculated schemes of power-mad monarchs.” 

  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Queen’s Handmaid by Tracy L. Higley

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 19th. Winner will be announced April 21st on Tracy’s blog.

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Tracy’s blog on April 21st to see if you won.

Win a Kindle HDX from @BillyCoffey in “The Devil Walks in Mattingly” Giveaway!

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Billy Coffey is celebrating his new book, The Devil Walks in Mattingly, with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway.


One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Devil Walks in Mattingly by Billy Coffey

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 5th. Winner will be announced April  7th on Billy’s blog. Watch Billy give the backstory of the book here.


Don’t miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Billy’s blog on April 7th to see if you won.

ABCs to Describe God

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Today in my Bible Study it challenged us to journal names and characteristics of God, one for each letter of the alphabet. I thought I’d share my list with all of you. It’s a great exercise to do and I would encourage you to do it as well. If you do leave me a comment with a link to your blog post our your list of words. I’d love to read it.

A- Almighty

B- Benevolent

C- Compassionate

D- Daddy

E- Eternal

F- Forgiving

G- Glorious

H- Holy

I- Incomprehensible

J- Joy

K- Kind

L- Loving

M- Marvelous

N- Never changes

O- Omnipotent

P- Passionate

Q- Quiet (meaning that he speaks that way to us sometimes and we must be quiet to listen)

R- Righteous

S- Savior

T- Tenacious

U- Ultimate

V- Victorious

W- Watchful

X- Xtremely Abounding in Loving Kindness (yeah you try to find an x word lol)

Y- Yaweh

Z- Zealous

Psalm 42:11 – “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God”