Thursday, October 31, 2013

The First Christmas Night review and give-away!

Christmas is upon us! I am excited to share with you a book I recently reviewed~The First Christmas Night by Keith Christopher

I read this to my 2 1/2 year old and five year old. They both like the photos, the story is wrote in a poetic way, which they enjoy listening to. The illustrations are wonderfully done! This is the perfect book to share with your family and read throughout the holiday season and on Christmas day. At the end of the book is the Bible scripture of the real first Christmas, Luke 2:1, 4-16, 20 and Matthew 2:1-2, 9-11. This book definitely portrays the real meaning of Christmas, which is something I want my children to grow up knowing.

I have been blessed to offer one of my readers this book free. If you like to win, please leave a comment before November 9, 2013.


Here is info from the publisher:
About The First Christmas Night 
The First Christmas Night is a beautiful retelling of the birth of Jesus on that joyous night in Bethlehem so long ago. The poem begins with the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem and winds though Christ’s birth, the angels’ appearance to the shepherds, and the visit by the Wise Men.  The simple, yet elegant, verses will appeal to little ones and are accompanied by the rich acrylic illustrations of Laura Jacques.
Twas the very first Christmas when all through the town
not a creature was stirring—there was not a sound.
The moon shining bright in the heavens so high
gave the look of midday to the Bethlehem sky.
The animals were nestled in warm, cozy places
with looks of contentment on each of their faces.
 
About the Author
Keith Christopher is a composer, arranger, orchestrator, and educator, and he has served as editor and producer for several major music publishers. In addition to writing and studio producing, Keith served on the faculty at the Blair School of Music of Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He lives in Hendersonville, Tennessee, with his wife and two children.

About the Illustrator 
At a very early age, Christine Kornacki developed a love for painting and bringing stories to life. After receiving a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford, her dreams of illustrating children's books began to take shape, including illustrating the best-selling The Sparkle Box for Ideal's Children's Books. Christine's recent work also includes illustrating the six-book series for the American Girl historical doll characters Marie-Grace and Cecile.  She spends her days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming cafe in New Haven, Connecticut. 

Who is it for?
Kids ages 4-8 - The rhyming language can help them develop verbal language skills and learn to read
Family story time during the holidays
Children's Ministers and Sunday school teachers
Christmas carolers could set it to a tune!


The First Christmas Night 
Written by: Keith Christopher 
Illustrated by: Christine Kornacki
Publisher: Ideals Books
Hardcover: 32 pages 
$16.99
   *"I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believer will be good for my readers. 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."

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Preschool Halloween Party!!

I took off teaching yoga today to go to Aidan and Abigail's preschool parties! No way this mom wanted to miss it! Seeing them with their teachers and friends is always a treat, plus all the kiddos in their cute costumes!!
Abigail's party was first, followed by Aidan's party where sister joined in when her party was done. 

Here are a few snapshots:
 Ready to party!!

 Playing games

 Making a craft

Snack time!

 Snack time!

 5 Pumpkin Song!

Spiderman and face painting!

Spidergirl with candy corn face paint!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

October is coming to an end!

One of my favorite months of the year is October. I have always loved fall weather! Hot chocolate, cidar, anything pumpkin, sweatshirts, scarfs, color changes in the leaves, cooler weather, and an end to allergy season!! I missed the changing of the seasons when I lived in Texas, which is one of the reasons I love Kentucky, it has the four seasons, minus the long freezing winters of Minnesota which I grew up in. I came across this article and so can relate to it in many ways and perfect for the changing of the seasons..."The beauty of life is in the changing of seasons. Of growing weary of one and savoring the coming of the next, wearing that one thin and welcoming the familiarity of another." - See more at: http://www.itakejoy.com/the-beauty-of-seasons/#sthash.oflisZbK.dpuf

With October comes fall fests and Halloween! The kids have already dressed up in their costumes and have received lots of candy! Let me introduce you to Spiderman and Spider-girl! They both think they have super strength in there costumes. I think they look so cute and coordinate well together, someday hopefully they will look back and see it the same way I do! 

Halloween makes me think of shining our lights, to drive out darkness.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.~Matthew 5:16

Yesterday we enjoyed some time at the park with some very sweet friends! Heather is one of my first friends here in Kentucky, we met through MOPS and we relate to each other in so many ways, she is really a wonderful sweet person!! She has a grateful, encouraging, giving heart and we understand each others crazy silliness!!  My kids love her kids and vice a versa! Her hubby is great guy and a marine! I have not been to MOPS with her in over a year, but we still hang out when we can! Soon her and her sweet family will be moving due to new orders :( But I know we will keep in touch and I have a great excuse to visit the Carolina's now!!

 Will miss seeing this sweet sista's face! So blessed and thankful to have met her and call her a friend! "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened"~Dr. Seuss





Friday, October 25, 2013

It's Friday Encouragement!!

I may be ordinary but my God is extraordinary and through Him I can do the impossible. This week I have seen several things unfold that have opened my eyes even more to God's patience, trust and goodness! "The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He."Deuteronomy 32:4
"The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He. - See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/God,-Faithfulness-Of#sthash.9Zmws04q.dpuf
He is always working in the every day moments and putting them together to bring goodness in all things! "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

This lady is very inspiring..."What set Corrie apart, and many like her,  is that she learned to place her ordinary self into the arms of One who is extraordinary. Don’t sell your ordinary self short. In Jesus, you can do extraordinary things." http://www.juliesunne.com/dont-sell-ordinary-self-short/



"Beautiful things are really only beautiful when juxtaposed with the ordinary. And plain seasons shine when they follow the painful ones." - See more at: http://www.itakejoy.com/the-beauty-of-seasons/#sthash.Hr0U4mu2.dpuf

"Remember my friends, you are loved. You are created for a unique purpose. You are special." http://www.theencouraginghome.com/2013/10/21/encouragement-today/


As a parent I sometimes worry about my children's future and I need to remember to rest in and trust God. "So “be still and know that [God] is God” (Psalm 46:10). And remember that while our children are ours for a time, their forever future is in God’s hands. Thank you Jesus!" - See more at: http://www.itakejoy.com/our-children-gods-hands-2/#sthash.Tw2GjWgJ.dpuf

Ten Things:




So “be still and know that [God] is God” (Psalm 46:10). And remember that while our children are ours for a time, their forever future is in God’s hands. Thank you Jesus! - See more at: http://www.itakejoy.com/our-children-gods-hands-2/#sthash.Tw2GjWgJ.dpuf

Beautiful things are really only beautiful when juxtaposed with the ordinary. And plain seasons shine when they follow the painful ones. - See more at: http://www.itakejoy.com/the-beauty-of-seasons/#sthash.Hr0U4mu2.dpuf
Beautiful things are really only beautiful when juxtaposed with the ordinary. And plain seasons shine when they follow the painful ones. - See more at: http://www.itakejoy.com/the-beauty-of-seasons/#sthash.Hr0U4mu2.dpuf

Monday, October 21, 2013

King's Faith review and give-away



I recently watched a movie that was inspiring, action based, and faith based! Brendan is trying to let go of the voices and imagines in his head from his past. In addition the story also includes his foster parents and how they are dealing with the loss of their son and about a girl friend who is overcoming some choices she made in her past and finding faith. It is a movie about finding your identity, God's hope and standing firm in your faith. Because anything is possible with God, when we are standing firm in our faith. I definitely recommend King's Faith as a movie to watch with your teenager or for the young adult and above. I had happy tears by the end of the movie for watching all of what Brendan overcame in his life.

I am excited to have the opportunity to give away a free copy of the DVD to one person, all you have to do is leave me a comment? I will randomly draw a name from the comments on Monday, October 28, 2013

About KING'S FAITH 
Eighteen foster homes. Nine arrests. One life-changing moment.
After Brendan King’s life spiraled to rock bottom, the teen found hope in a new relationship with Christ while serving time in a juvenile penitentiary. Recently released from prison, Brendan finds solace in the foster home of a couple struggling with suppressed grief.
As the city-bred teen enrolls at a suburban high school, he finds support from a group of believers. Yet the bonds of his old way of life—and the gang that wants to know where he hid their stash on a long-ago night—are strong. In his darkest moment, Brendan found faith. Now he must decide if it’s worth the price to hold on to it.
KING’S FAITH is produced by DiBella and Faith Street Film Partners LLC, a Rochester, NY-based collective of filmmakers, churches, investors, and supporters.   

KING’S FAITH is a compelling story 
which features solid acting and a good storyline.”  
The Dove Foundation

KING’S FAITH is a very redemptive, uplifting movie
extolling the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” 
MOVIEGUIDE®


KING’S FAITH stars Emmy Award winning actress Lynn Whitfield (The Women of Brewster Place, Madea’s Family Reunion), Crawford Wilson (Judging AmyZoey 101), Kayla Compton (Entourage), and James McDaniel (Malcolm XNYPD Blue).
KING’S FAITH features the themes of courage, forgiveness and overcoming your past highlighted with the important message of youth in foster care. The film prompts audiences to consider many of the questions they struggle with today: How can I stand firm in my faith when life’s challenges put me to the test?   Where do I turn when I feel paralyzed by loss and grief?  Can I find true forgiveness from my wrong choices?
Release Date: October 22, 2013
Run Time: 108 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13           
Suggested Retail Price: $14.99
Special Features: A 10-minute behind-the-scenes feature, commentary, discussion guide, Bible study clips affiliated with the LIVE IT OUT Bible Study


Watch the trailer/Visit the official website www.kingsfaith.com
 
  *"I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believer will be good for my readers. 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."

Three things I learned from Living and Active

Yay, I completed the challenge!! I usually don't normally do things like this but I enjoyed it and was successful, plus I learned a few things from the challenge.

Three things I loved about the challenge http://peak313.com/featured/2nd-living-and-active-final-checkpoint/

1. Accountability partner, I really enjoyed having someone to check in with for encouragement and to keep me focused. We all need accountability partners and this made me realize the importance of having one and I am not talking about for fitness necessarily but for me in my walk in faith. One of the reasons God placed it on my heart to have prayer partners for our moms group.

2. Memorizing verses as part of my fitness, you can exercise and do it to glorify God!

3. Fitness for me is about being healthy and that is what Peak 313 promotes. She provides helpful tips and exercise to help you and they can easily be done at home!

I recommend you check her blog out http://peak313.com/ 
Put your identity in Christ (Galatians 2:20). God loves you and designed us each beautifully (Psalm 139:13-16)!!!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Encouragement

Last Friday I missed posting and sharing encouragement, but for good reason, we were spending family time together. Something that is important to me and one of my first priorities is my husband and my children, though there are days I may fail at this because I get wrapped up into something or seem like I have a 100 to do's, but I am getting better at putting people first over things. Learning just how precious time is, because I see my children growing up before my eyes.
 “You are the creator of their childhoods. You are the influencer of their dreams, and tastes and fears. You are the emcee of all reality, the one to introduce your children to the true personality of their maker, as imaged by your life more than your words. The choices you now make have lives riding on them. ALWAYS.” – ND Wilson, Death by Living

Here are some blogs/articles that I feel are worth sharing and provide lots of encouragement, especially for moms.


TIME! "How do we use it? Misuse it?  Many of us spend so much time complaining we don't have enough of it, but how often are we grateful for what we actually have?  It is a gift we receive every day...a fresh allotment.  But how will we spend it?  And what values shape how we use it?  As we reflect, may there be space to consider how and where we spend our precious seconds of this gift." - See more at: http://www.findingheaventoday.com/2013/10/the-true-timekeeper-reflections-on-time.html#sthash.6dXyXssy.dpuf

Are you an imperfect mom? I am!!   http://inspiredtoaction.com/2013/09/a-monday-pep-talk-for-imperfect-moms/

Great message for moms with one of my favorite Psalms. "Young mom – use these tender days to watch over your little ones. Learn the dynamics of spiritual warfare by protecting them and get to know your God while in the quiet place on the backside of the world." - See more at: http://www.itakejoy.com/these-few-sheep/#sthash.BqfB5w0Y.dpuf

This blogger posted two blogs recently that are must reads for all moms. 
"I see more and more clearly that this world is not my home, this is my training camp. It is here that God will use the simple and ordinary tasks in my life to scrape some of the sinful muck off of my character so that the character of Jesus can shine more brightly in me. In this sense these mundane responsibilities are sacred and sanctifying works for which I need to be thankful." http://jenthorn.com/blog/2013/9/30/laundry
 I have wrote about this before "do the right next thing" http://jenthorn.com/blog/2013/10/7/on-days-like-these

I have seen too many moms get wrapped up in the comparison game and moms judging one another. We are reading No More Perfect Moms in our Moms Connect group and Jill Savage the author came up with a pledge for moms to Stop The Mommy Wars http://www.heartsathome.org/index.php/knock-home
"Good moms learn to embrace the okay and doing so releases us from nasty mom guilt and actually makes us better mothers." http://wearethatfamily.com/2013/10/moms-okay-is-good-enough/

Honestly I don't know if I would have been so gracefully as this mom was in handling a situation where another woman judge and spoke to her daughter. Thankful for other christian moms who share these stories, so I can hopefully learn from and respond Christ-like because in the end that is how we show the love of Christ, by being graceful and living in a way that shows light and not darkness. Great lesson here.... http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/give-what-you-need/
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38 
“Whatever happens conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27

"Christ is the source of living water, a spring that never runs dry. He is my manna, the Bread of Life. My heart is tired of tasteless fast food, the world’s unfulfilled promises, and always seeking what is new and better. I want true refreshment and lasting peace. I want not just more of Christ in my life, I want all of Christ. How about you? How much of Jesus do you want?" http://toshowthemjesus.com/2013/10/07/how-much-of-jesus-do-i-want/ 

A must read interview from Billy Graham's grandson Tullian Tchividjian. I finished reading his book recently, wrote about it and highly recommend it.  http://jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com/2013/10/02/tullian-tchividjian/

Quote to live by:

Young mom – use these tender days to watch over your little ones. Learn the dynamics of spiritual warfare by protecting them and get to know your God while in the quiet place on the backside of the world.
Psalm 23
- See more at: http://www.itakejoy.com/these-few-sheep/#sthash.BqfB5w0Y.dpuf

How do we use it? Misuse it?  Many of us spend so much time complaining we don't have enough of it, but how often are we grateful for what we actually have?  It is a gift we receive every day...a fresh allotment.  But how will we spend it?  And what values shape how we use it?  As we reflect, may there be space to consider how and where we spend our precious seconds of this gift. - See more at: http://www.findingheaventoday.com/2013/10/the-true-timekeeper-reflections-on-time.html#sthash.6dXyXssy.dpuf
How do we use it? Misuse it?  Many of us spend so much time complaining we don't have enough of it, but how often are we grateful for what we actually have?  It is a gift we receive every day...a fresh allotment.  But how will we spend it?  And what values shape how we use it?  As we reflect, may there be space to consider how and where we spend our precious seconds of this gift. - See more at: http://www.findingheaventoday.com/2013/10/the-true-timekeeper-reflections-on-time.html#sthash.6dXyXssy.dpuf

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Can't Wait Willow review and give-away!!

My daughter and I recently read Can't Wait Williow by Christy Ziglar. Awesome book with a few great lessons we all can learn from. This book is helpful for my daughter to see that we need to be patient, that not all good things are good things and that there is something better for us if we make the right choice and wait. It also teaches about feelings and patience, which is sometimes one of my weaknesses. The book is beautifully illustrated and an enjoyable book to sit down and read over and over again.
Quotes from the book, that I love:
"Sometimes you need to say no. It can be better to wait. Save yes for the super amazing, and end up with the truly great!" Christy Ziglar
"Sometimes you've got to say 'no' to the good, so you can say 'yes' to the best." Zig Ziglar


I have the opportunity to give away a free copy of this book to one person, all you have to do is leave me a comment? I will randomly draw a name from the comments on Monday, October 28, 2013

About the Author:  
Christy Ziglar, financial planner, mother of twins and niece of legendary motivator and the world’s original optimist, Zig Ziglar, is bringing the same timeless wisdom and ageless advice to an entirely new, younger audience through her new Shine Bright Kids picture book series.
Christy is available for Q&A, author interviews, Skype calls, etc.!

The first book in the series:  Can't-Wait Willow!
Willow is so excited that the Over-the-Top Circus has finally come to town! The only problem is, that when left to her own devices, she can’t say “no” to some good things. On the way to the show, she is distracted by enticing treats and fun that she just can’t turn down. Willow arrives late and is sad to find that, not only has she has run out of time, but money, and she won’t be able to enjoy the pink cotton candy she’s been dreaming of. Willow is given valuable advice and a second chance and is ultimately taught the lesson that sometimes in life you have to say “no” to good things to end up with something great!

About Shine Bright Kids:
The Shine Bright Kids series provides children and their families with a relevant framework to help instill solid values and teach the importance of making good choices. The series teaches principles including: using good judgment, taking responsibility, self-control, having a positive attitude, and demonstrating perseverance.  Check out their website at www.ShineBrightKids.com for free reward charts, activities and other parenting resources.

Find Can't-Wait Willow! at Barnes & Noble and other fine retailers, as well as http://www.idealsbooks.com
      Pinterest:  https://www.Pinterest.com/ShineBrightKids
      Twitterhttps://twitter.com/shinebrightco
      Sign up for newsletterhttp://shinebrightkids.com/contact
  
 
*"I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believer will be good for my readers. 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."