Monday, August 31, 2009

Fun Fall Movies from HIT Entertainment and Lionsgate

My kids really enjoy the DVD's from Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment with the crew of characters. The recent DVD we got for review was: Trick or Treat Tales. This DVD stars Barney, Thomas & Friends, Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam, Fifi and the Flowertots and Angelina. This DVD will be released on the shelves tomorrow (September 1). The characters in this DVD are great about giving the message of friendship, togetherness, and adventure.
From the back:
The thrills start with Thomas & Friends in a ghostly adventure. Bob The Builder and Spud put on scary faces to protect a giant pumpkin pie from hungry crows. Barney and Fifi learn that there’s more to a costume than just dressing up. Angelina Ballerina sneaks into a costume ball and Fireman Sam saves a furry friend from a chilling experience. Enjoy the season’s sweetest collection of Trick or Treat Tales!
· Thomas & Friends – “Flour Power!”
· Barney & Friends – “Guess Who?”
· Bob the Builder – “Trix’s Pumpkin Pie”
· Fifi and the Flowertots – “Pirate Primrose”
· Angelina Ballerina – “The Costume Ball”
My kids really enjoy this DVD because it is a mini cartoon from each of these fun, loving crew. This DVD is a great selection and they all promote friends doing things together.
There is also a special feature at the end of the DVD called,“Cat Magic” – a bonus episode of Fireman Sam

Barney's Halloween Party is a fun DVD where Barney and his friends are preparing for a Halloween party at the school. Fun filled with songs like: Pop goes the Weasel, Ichy, Aquishy, Gooey, Ooey, and So many Pumpkins. Barney always has positive messages and displays of working together.
From the back:
It's Halloween and Barney and his friends are decorating the gym for an exciting party at the school. From Indian corn to smiling jack-o-lanterns, they gym is aglow with the colors of fall. Meanwhile, BJ™ and Baby Bop™ are putting the final touches on their costumes as they get ready for a fun-filled night of trick-or-treating. Finally, evening arrives, they party beings and the trick-or-treaters set out to search for goodies. Unfortunately, after a full night of trying, BJ comes up just a bit empty-handed. But when he and Baby Bop return to school, they soon find out that their friends have plenty of goodies and surprises waiting for them. Sometimes, the best treats at Halloween are good friends.

Our family loves Shaun the Sheep, and we could NOT wait to see the new DVD: Shaun the Sheep's Little Sheep of Horrors. This DVD is pretty funny! The barnyard tricks and jokes never end with this funny bone tickler. The baby sheep gets in the house, into some red stuff, and needs to be rescued. Shaun and the other sheep are freaked out from a moving glove, and there are many "pranks" performed in this all new, 6 episode, DVD. Here is a list of the 6 spooky stories: Little Sheep of HOrrors, Abracadabra, Things that go Bump, Heavy Metal Shaun, Troublesome Tractor and Sheepwalking. There are two bonus features, too: Sheep-Shearing Game, and Whack-a-Pig game. I highly recommend this DVD for a good family fun night!

These three movies are now available for purchase from Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment. All three DVD's have a suggested retail price of $14.98 each.

Whistlefritz: Spanish for Beginners: Adentro y Afuera (Inside and Out)

I think it is so great to teach children another language, especially when they are younger. I was recently sent the DVD Whistlefritz to review. I was impressed with the DVD, and my kids were excited about it. I didn't come across any English in this DVD, and yet I was still able to understand what was being said/taught. The main character, Fritz, is a little grey mouse. He hides, and everyone has to find him. I love how the children and the main adult interact with one another. I really like how clear they all pronounce the words. This DVD has a Parent/Teacher translation guide included in the inside for further study. I think the price for the value of this DVD is superb! I think that there is so much Spanish taught inside this video. The songs are great, and my kids and I even danced around with musical instruments.
This DVD is available September 1, 2009 just in time for National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct 15, 2009).
Founded in 2006, Whistlefritz was started by a mom who wanted to teach her own children Spanish. Frustrated by the lack of high-quality Spanish immersion programs, she decided to create her own Spanish DVDs and CDs for children, and so Whistlefritz was born and two award-winning titles, Vamos a Jugar (Let’s Play) and Los Animales (The Animals) were released.
Product Description:
Winner of a Dr. Toy Best Play and Learn Vacation Program award. Winner of a 2009 iParenting Media Award. Winner of a Dove Foundation Family-Approved Seal. Winner of The National Parenting Center's 2009 Seal of Approval.
The latest release in the award-winning Spanish for Beginners series! Ages 2-7!
In this award-winning Spanish DVD, it's non-stop fun as teacher Maria and the Whistlefritz kids search for the mischievous mouse Fritzi. Using live action, animation, puppets, music, and fun, children explore their world -- inside the house and out on the playground -- learning the words for everyday objects along the way.
An ideal introduction to Spanish, and perfect companion to the award-winning Spanish immersion DVDs Los Animales and Vamos a Jugar.

Our family really enjoyed this video, and it will be one that we will be using into our homeschool education. If you are teaching or learning Spanish, I think that this DVD is a great resource!
Whistlefritz’s DVDs and ¡A Bailar! CD are recommended for ages 2-6. DVDs retail for $19.99 each and the CD is $14.99. For more information on Whistlefritz or to order products visit

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Weight of Silence (review)

It happens quietly one August morning. As dawn's shimmering light drenches the humid Iowa air, two families awaken to find their little girls have gone missing in the night.
Seven-year-old Calli Clark is sweet, gentle, a dreamer who suffers from selective mutism brought on by tragedy that pulled her deep into silence as a toddler.
Calli's mother, Antonia, tried to be the best mother she could within the confines of marriage to a mostly absent, often angry husband. Now, though she denies that her husband could be involved in the possible abductions, she fears her decision to stay in her marriage has cost her more than her daughter's voice.
Petra Gregory is Calli's best friend, her soul mate and her voice. But neither Petra nor Calli has been heard from since their disappearance was discovered. Desperate to find his child, Martin Gregory is forced to confront a side of himself he did not know existed beneath his intellectual, professorial demeanor.
Now these families are tied by the question of what happened to their children. And the answer is trapped in the silence of unspoken family secrets.
Very gripping book, and hard to put it down. You will want to keep reading to find out what happend to Calli and Petra. As the stories unravel your eyes will be opened and new twists will be revealed. I recommend this book, and the author will keep you turning the pages.
In her literary debut, Heather Gudenkauf has crafted an affecting novel in The Weight of Silence. Says #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs, "The Weight of Silence is a tense and profoundly emotional story of a parent's worse nightmare, told with compassion and honesty. Heather Gudenkauf skillfully weaves an explosive tale of suspense and ultimately, the healing power of love."
This review was made possible by Mother Talk.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sleepy Bear from Sleepy Wrap

I love the Sleepy Wrap for "wearing" my babies! I have found it to be the most comfortable wrap for me and my babies while I carry them around! Baby wearing is such a great way to not only provide comfort and protection to your babies and children, it is a great way to free up your hands for other tasks. I fully agree that babies are a lot happier when they are close to their parents after birth, so when you carry them in a wrap/sling/pouch, they are way more content. Sleepy Wrap carries one of the best wraps, in my opinion. Their fabric is stretchy, and fits most all body shapes. The colors that they offer for their wraps are multi-colored, so moms and dads can both feel comfortable wearing them. I love that I can wear my babies in the Sleepy Wrap, have a happy/content baby, and "save" my back from pains with the distribution of weight with the wrap. Well, Sleepy Wrap /NAP, Inc. recently introduced The Sleepy Bear, their very first stuffed toy to help promote baby wearing. I love this new little addition, and so do my children:
Madelyn loves the little Sleepy Bear. This adorable, cream-colored and 100% organic-filled bear is so soft and cuddly. The bear is wearing an Organic Khaki Sleepy Wrap and is baby wearing the baby bear. You can get the same Organic Khaki Sleepy Wrap from the Sleepy Wrap website for your baby wearing, too. It is an adorable stuffed animal, and I love that it promotes baby wearing. The Sleepy Bear is the first stuffed toy to promote babywearing! Plus, I love that this bear is safe with material it is made and filled with. I don't have to worry about my youngest getting his hands on a choking hazard while playing with the Sleepy Bear either, because it isn't made with any buttons or snaps. The Sleepy Bear's eyes, nose, and mouth are all stitched on so that my baby's little hands won’t have anything to pull off. That is reassuring!
Madelyn gives lots of kisses and hugs to her new bear. She loves the little baby inside the wrap, too. I wore Madelyn in many pouches/wraps/slings and loved "wearing" her! The Sleepy Wrap is our favorite wrap, especially for a long day at the zoo. She loves being held, cuddled and carried, so she is a big-time promoter of baby wearing, too!
The Sleepy Bear has found a good home here. I highly recommend this adorable and cuddly bear! Our children can see the baby wearing idea, and know that it is a great thing! Plus, they can see that their Sleepy Bear loves to wear it's baby, too!
These adorable, baby wearing, stuffed animals are only available from these retailers for a SRP of $29.95:
Tadpoles & Butterflies
Sherwood Park, Alberta CANADA
1.888.312.6554 S
Supermommy’s Superstore
2411 Ring Road, Suite 105
Elizabethtown, KY
Sweet Infant
1007 S. Country Club Rd.
Lovington, NM
Nurtured Family
8525 Jackrabbit Rd., Suite B
Houston, TX
Heavenly Hold
510 Briarfield Crossing
Marietta, GA
Baby Carriers-n-More
265 W Cimmarron Way
Erda, UT
Attached to Baby
Seattle, WA
Thanks to Parent Reviewers, I was given a Sleepy Bear to review for my article.

Monday, August 24, 2009

PIllsbury Cookies (Review & Giveaway)

I love cookies~ and it is getting to be "that time of year again" when cookies are at the top of the baking list. I was given the chance to try out the New Simply... Pillsbury cookies, and I was happy to do so! I have had Pillsbury cookies in the past, and I can attest that they are very tasty! Being a member of MyBlogSpark, I was sent a coupon to get a freepackage of the Simply... Cookies, a cookie jar, and a canvas tote. I am thinking about painting the cookie jar and filling it with cookies to give as a gift to someone this winter. Anyway, the new Simply... Pillsbury cookies are easy to make and they have good ingredients (flour, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla). Not only do they contain good ingredients, they don't have any preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, trans fat or artificial colors/flavors. Pure ingredients and pure YUM! Being a mom of 4, I am thankful for quick and easy treats. The Simply Pillsbury cookies are ready to bake, so you just place them on the baking sheet, bake, and eat! Can't get any easier than that!
There are two flavors to chose from for the Simply cookies: Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter. I love both flavors, so I recommend both!
Here is a coupon for $1.25 off for the new Pillsbury simply... Refrigerated Cookies which can be found through this link: Pillsbury simply...TM Cookie Coupon!
You can enter to win a Pillsbury gift pack! You will get a cookie jar, canvas tote bag, and a coupon for a free Simply...cookie coupon. This contest is open to bloggers and non-bloggers residing in the USA. Simply just leave a comment to enter to win. Contest ends on September 7th, 2009.
**For extra chances you can: blog this contest, add my button to your site, subscribe to my blog, twitter and/or facebook this contest, and/or visit everyday and add another friendly comment. Lots of chances to win! Don't forget to put the extra comments for the "extra" work. Good luck!**

Friday, August 21, 2009

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Extraodinary Teens (Review & 2 giveaways)

Chicken Soup books are always great! I love the personal stories shared within the pages of each book. I got the book: Chicken Soup for the Soul: Extraordinary Teens to review. It was fun reading through the stories of the teens that have risen above and succeeded. Each story shares facts and life amazement's of teens, those who are well known like: Donald Trump, Jr., Brenda Song and Timmy Reyes to those who are less well-known, but their stories are just as inspiring! I was inspired to read about teens who have changed their lives and those around them. One story is about a girl, Chelsea Eubank, who started a Christian Clothing company (Faithful Fish) at age 17. She attends the only 4-year credited Learning Disability college in America, and she is on the Dean's list while managing her company! Her company's goal is to "create a lifestyle clothing company for the faithful that will be a profit center for charities." Not only is she a college going, clothing company manager, she is also a Seventeen magazine online money expert and featured in the book, The Richest Kids in America (Mark Victor Hansen). I think that she has already made an impact on those around her!

I like how the Extraordinary Teens book has each story starting with the success of each teen labeled with Quick Facts. There are also pictures of the teens that share their life stories. At the end of the stories that the teens share, they give some helpful advice or some helpful words of encouragement. Most of the stories are faith-sharing, and reveal a humbleness from the teens as they share their struggles, too. I have really enjoyed this book, and with a son who is nearing the teen years, I am excited to have him read their stories.

LUCKY YOU! You have the opportunity to enter to win Chicken Soup for the Soul: Extraordinary Teens! I have 2 extra copies to giveaway. This contest is open to bloggers and non-bloggers of the United States. Contest is open until September 4th, 2009. To enter, leave a comment about something you find extraodinary about a teen you know.
**For extra chances you can: blog this contest, add my button to your site, subscribe to my blog, twitter and/or facebook this contest, and/or visit everyday and add another friendly comment. Lots of chances to win! Don't forget to put the extra comments for the "extra" work. Good luck!**

Thursday, August 20, 2009

K9 Cuisine! All around, Super!

My dog, Lena (half Pug, half Japanese Chin) loves to play. She is a very smart dog, and knows her toys by name. Seriously, we tell her to go get _(name of pet)_ and she will go find it. It is quite comical, and she really enjoys playing with her toys.
Lena got a new toy to try out from K9 Cuisine. This toy is a 22 inch plush caterpillar. This caterpillar is very big, even longer/bigger than Lena! The plush toy is very colorful and has two noise-makers on each end: duck call and squeaker. The caterpillar jingles and has ropes for legs. I think this toy is made very well, and I don't plan any "surgeries" in my future. (I have had to operate/sew up Lena's toys in the past due to injury from extended playtime).
We have named Lena's new toy Pillar, and she loves it! She loves chasing after it as we throw it down the steps to the family room. She runs down there, and carries her Pillar back up stairs. I am surprised that she can carry this big toy, and can manage to somewhat keep it away from us.
Lena is very happy with her new toy, and we applaud K9 Cuisine for having such a super toy for dogs! Lena will get many, MANY hours of playtime with her new pal.
We also received dog food for our dog to review. I can't rave enough about K9 Cuisine's dog food! Lena eats the food as if it tasted like candy. She anxiously waits by her dish each day to get more. What I love most about K9 Cuisine's premium dog food is that it is made with natural foods, and not fillers or chemicals. K9 Cuisine cares about what our pets eat, and I appreciate that my dog gets the best with their products! It is a special bonus that Lena loves their food, too. She leads me to believe she is starving...because she eats the food so quickly.
I got a K9 scoop for the dog food, and that was a fun surprise, too! No more using Lena's dish, or my hands to feed her. Included in my order was a sample of the Legacy Dog food, and Lena loved that treat, too!
I also ordered the Lavender - Deodorizing Spritz and the Lavender and Mint Buddy Wash Pet Shampoo. The shampoo was wonderful~cleaned Lena very well and smelled great, too! The ingredients in the shampoo were easy to read: harsh chemicals in that either! I felt like the shampoo was good enough for me to use (if I want to). I tried the Deodorizing Spritz on Lena, and she wasn't too fond of it. I think she felt a little threatened by it, or like she was in trouble for something. I think the spritz smells great, though, and I use it on her bed pillow.
K9 Cuisine offers many products for Dogs and Cats! You can find grooming products, food for cats and dogs, toys, supplements, travel supplies, stain/odor control and more! Check it out!
Thanks to Family Review Network, I was able to be apart of the review for K9 Cuisine! I am a big-time fan of their products and I HIGHLY recommend them to you!! Thank you K9 Cuisine for caring so much for our pets to offer only the best for them!
For the month of August ONLY~~
K9 Cuisine and Nature’s Instinct are giving away one free bag of Nature’s Instinct Organic dog food, if you use the code Instinct-e-0709…What a great deal~ YOUR DOG WILL LOVE YOU MORE!!

My kids!!! I love 'em SO much!!

I wanted to share some random photos that I took about a month ago... I think they are so cute~ of coarse they are of my four kids...THE CUTEST kids in the world!

Cole~ he is so happy and good-natured! He is currently crawling (and fast), and pulling himself up on things. He is pretty proud of himself. He "grew out" of the Amby Baby hammock and he is almost out-grown from the swing (sniff, sniff). He has officially graduated out of the bassinet, and is now in the crib (when not in our bed). He is eating baby cereal, and we grind up a lot of food with our Food Mill, too. We aren't too concerned with giving him lots of variety with his foods. He started clapping about a month ago, but now he can make the clapping sounds~ TOO CUTE! He also can go from crawling, laying on his stomach, to sitting up. It is so amazing how fast he is going these days! Cole just turned 7 months old. My baby is getting so big!
Caleb loves to dress up in the super hero ninja outfit. He is so funny, and keeps us laughing. He loves to draw people ~himself~ with crayons and chalk. He loves to play outside, and ride his bike. We really should take off those training wheels and let him go. He is my "ping-pong" ball, as I call him, because he is always on the go and loves to be doing something. He loves to learn new things, and can't wait for home school to start. He will be a pre-schooler this year. Caleb just finished Soccer with Community Ed. He really enjoyed the sport, and learned some great aspects/skills for the game. He is a sports nut, and we are going to let him try different ones to see which ones he likes best. It is good for him to put some energy into his sporting likes.
Future Fire fighter? If he has anything to say about it, Yes...he will! He wants to be like Dad!
So excited and full of expression!
Want a cowboy hat on? Ummm...not so much!
How about Dr. Seuss? This one is so cute on you!

Nathaniel has been really enjoying his summers. He is really getting into the "social years" with his friends. I think he has spent more time hanging out with his friends then he has at home. That is OK. I know that those friendships are so important! Nathaniel really enjoys being outside catching frogs, toads, salamanders, name it. He has always enjoyed the outside creatures that God has made. He has a pet Salamander~ "Sally" that he has had in an aquarium for 4 years. Nathaniel also enjoys his Pokemon cards, game boy, and his other video games. We also really enjoy our family game nights. Mostly it is Nathaniel, Terry and I playing the games after the little ones go to sleep. this is great one on one time that we get with Nathaniel. I will be homeschooling Nathaniel again this year, and we are looking forward to a good year, and the may Lord be with us! :)
Need a court jester? Caleb fits the position excellently!
I love this photo of Madelyn and Caleb.
She is all girl, through and through! She can run in heels! She loves her dress up clothes and shoes! Thanks to my friend, Anna, she has put many hours into this basket of fun! Madelyn is 2 1/2 and she is such a sweet little girl. She is so loving and sweet. Her love language is very much : Touch. She loves being held, cuddled, hugged, kissed, and she is our nightly co-sleeper. She is getting the last of her baby teeth (finally) and she is growing everyday. She is very petite but she holds her place in this family. She loves playing with Caleb, and doing art projects. She is my little organizer (I think). When she is playing with her toys or dolls, she lines them up all in a row. I always know if she was playing with something...especially crayons or blocks. Madelyn just finished gymnastics. She loved it so much! I think she was meant to do gymnastics. Funny story: We were finishing up the class one night, and I asked the instructor if she could do the splits and show Maddie. (Obviously I can't do them...LOL). Anyway, the instructor was showing her and started to go down to the mat. So, Madelyn copies her, but instead Madelyn goes all the way down into a Chinese Splits! We couldn't believe it! She is a peanut, flexible, and spunky. She is my princess~

North! Or Be Eaten: book review & giveaway

Readers thrilled to the phantasmagorical adventures in On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, Book One of the Wingfeather Saga. Now in Book Two: North! or Be Eaten, Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby, mom Nia, ex-pirate grandfather Podo, Peet the Sock Man, and trusty dog Nugget flee north to rebel headquarters.
Their escape brings readers to the very brink of Fingap Falls, over the Stony Mountains, and across the Ice Prairies, while villains galore try to stop the Igibys permanently. Fearsome toothy cows and horned hounds return, along with new dangers: a mad man running a fork factory, a den of rockroaches, and majestic talking sea dragons.
Andrew Peterson’s lovable characters create what says made Book One “one of the best fantasy novels in a very long time,” and Book Two contains even more thrills, exploring “themes universal in nature, ranging from the classic good versus evil, to the importance of family, and burdens of responsibility.”
Author Bio:
Andrew Peterson is the author of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness and The Ballad of Matthew’s Begats. He’s also the critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter and recording artist of ten albums, including Resurrection Letters II. He and his wife, Jamie, live with their two sons and one daughter in The Warren near Nashville, Tennessee. Visit Andrew’s websites: and
See for your options to purchase this adventurous book online!
I have one extra copy to giveaway! This contest is open to bloggers and non-bloggers of the United States. Please just leave a comment telling me why you want to win this book. Contest is open until August 28, 2009. Feel free to do the "extra credits" for additional entries. Good Luck!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Congratulations to the winners of these contests! Thanks to all the wonderful, and generous sponsors for providing the giveaways to my readers! Thank you to all who visit my site, and enter for the chance(s) to win the contests. Please feel free to e-mail me if you see your name listed as a winner. I will contact all those who win, and you will have 3 days to claim your prize, otherwise I can choose a new winner.

Hasbro introduces SpongeBob (review and GIVEAWAY) 2 winners: Mary (Operation), Kristie (Connect 4)

Blue Like Play Dough (Review & Giveaway) : mom2gabnnat

The *NEW* Trix Swirls & Creative Kid gift basket (plus 2 giveaways) : crossinmama, Candie

Harry Potter CLUE game giveaway (2 winners) : cstironkat, JeansandTs

Chicken Soup for the Soul: "Tough Times, Tough People" (2 giveaways) : Luvdaylilies, SunnyView

Congratulations! Thanks to all who do all the extra credits for the contests, too! I want to let you all know that I appreciate you for reading and participating in my blog!

Don't forget to sign up for the Santa Cruz Organic and R.W. Knudsen (Review and 3 HUGE giveaways)! This contest ends tomorrow (August 20th at midnight).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rock of Ages: Broadway Musical CD

I loved the '80's and still do! I was excited to review the new Rock of Ages CD from New Line Records. This CD is a compilation of the Original Broadway Cast Recording of five-time Tony Award nominated "ROCK OF AGES." For those of you not in the know, Rock of Ages is the new Broadway musical starring American Idol finalist Constantine Maroulis. Set in 1987 in a legendary Sunset Strip rock club, a small-town girl meets a big-city dreamer and they fall in love to the greatest metal songs of the 80's. The musical is an arena-rock love story told through the mind-blowing, face-melting hits of Journey, Bon Jovi, Styx, Reo Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Foreigner, Twisted Sister, Poison, Asia, Whitesnake and more.I totally loved the '80s and the music back then. The songs are sung by the cast. The CD has the storyline, the characters/singers lines (singing and talking) and some parts of the songs are revamped to fit the storyline of the musical. I loved the songs from the '80's (the original songs by the original artists) and it was a bit hard to get into the musical version. I think that the cast did a great job with the songs, but I am just used to what I know. I would like to see the musical, though, and see how the cast puts this together. Who knew you could take '80's rock & ballet music and turn it into a play? Thanks to One2One Network, I was able to review this new CD and share it with you!
Here is the song list:
Just Like Paradise / Nothin' But A Good Time/Sister Christian/We Built This City / Too Much Time On My Hands/I Wanna Rock/We're Not Gonna Take It/Heaven/More Than Words / To Be With You/Waiting For A Girl Like You/Wanted Dead Or Alive/I Want To Know What Love Is/Cum On Feel The Noize / We're Not Gonna Take It (Reprise)Harden My Heart / Shadows Of The Night/Here I Go Again/The Final Countdown/Any Way You Want It / I Wanna Rock (Reprise)High Enough/I Hate Myself For Loving You / Heat Of The Moment/Hit Me With Your Best Shot/Can't Fight This Feeling/Every Rose Has Its Thorn/Oh Sherrie/The Search Is Over/Don't Stop Believin'
To see a video of the making of the soundtrack click here. You can order a copy for yourself from for only $12.99!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Great books to check out! (The Friends We Keep & 40 minute Bible Studies)

The Friends We Keep
During a particularly painful time in her life, Sarah Zacharias Davis learned how delightful–and wounding–women can be in friendship. She saw how some friendships end badly, others die slow deaths, and how a chance acquaintance can become that enduring friend you need.The Friends We Keep is Sarah’s thoughtful account of her own story and the stories of other women about navigating friendship. Her revealing discoveries tackle the questions every woman asks:• Why do we long so for women friends? • Do we need friends like we need air or food or water?• What causes cattiness, competition, and co-dependency in too many friendships?• Why do some friendships last forever and others only a season?• How do I foster friendship?• When is it time to let a friend go, and how do I do so?With heartfelt, intelligent writing, Sarah explores these questions and more with personal stories, cultural references and history, faith, and grace. In the process, she delivers wisdom for navigating the challenges, mysteries, and delights of friendship: why we need friendships with other women, what it means to be safe in relationship, and how to embrace what a friend has to offer, whether meager or generous.

Summary for 40 Minute Bible Studies
The 40 Minute Bible Study series from beloved Bible teacher Kay Arthur and the teaching staff of Precept Ministries tackles important issues in brief, easy-to-grasp lessons you can use personally or for small-group discussion. Each book in the series includes six 40-minute studies designed to draw you into God’s Word through basic inductive Bible study. There are 16 titles in the series, with topics ranging from fasting and forgiveness to prayer and worship. With no homework required, everyone in the group can work through the lesson together at the same time. Let these respected Bible teachers lead you in a study that will transform your thinking—and your life.

Titles Include:
•The Essentials of Effective Prayer •Being a Disciple: Counting the Cost
•Building a Marriage That Really Works •Discovering What the Future Holds
•Forgiveness: Breaking the Power of the Past •Having a Real Relationship with God
•How Do You Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk? •Living a Life of Real Worship
•How to Make Choices You Won’t Regret •Living Victoriously in Difficult Times
•Money & Possessions: The Quest for Contentment •Rising to the Call of Leadership
•How Do You Know God’s Your Father? •Key Principles of Biblical Fasting
•A Man’s Strategy for Conquering Temptation •What Does the Bible Say About Sex?

Author Bios:
Sarah Zacharias Davis is a senior advancement officer at Pepperdine University, having joined the university after working as vice president of marketing and development for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and in strategic marketing for CNN. The daughter of best-selling writer Ravi Zacharias, Davis is the author of the critically-acclaimed Confessions from an Honest Wife and Transparent: Getting Honest About Who We are and Who We Want to Be. She graduated from Covenant College with a degree in education and lives in Los Angeles, California.

Kay Arthur, executive vice president and co founder of Precept Ministries International has worked with her teaching staff to create the powerful 40-Minute Bible Studies series. Kay is known around the world as a Bible teacher, author, conference speaker, and host of national radio and television programs.

You can learn more about or purchase these books at

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime Seasoning Blend

I love cooking and baking, especially when I can try something new. I was given the opportunity to try something new, and add a bit of spice to my meals, and I was delightfully impressed. Being a member of Mom Central's test panel, I was sent a bottle of the new Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime seasoning blend. I am a fan of Mrs. Dash anyway, but I had yet to try the new Fiesta Lime. I made some chicken breasts, and I topped each one with the Fiesta Lime. We grilled the chicken breasts, and they tasted great! I loved the taste of the all-natural spices that were blended into my chicken.
Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime seasoning blend combines all-natural spices like sweet chili pepper, allspice, cayenne pepper, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg and ginger but then adds some orange zest and lime juice to create an all-in one Mexican seasoning. Mrs. Dash has no salt or MSG, which lets me add this seasoning without worry of jeopardizing our health. I am excited to grab the Fiesta Lime seasoning blend from Mrs. Dash and add it to salads, other meats, and pasta dishes in the future. The possibilities are endless, and the tastes are super!
I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Mrs. Dash and received a sample to facilitate my candid review.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

MN Lynx game WNBA(Womans National Basketball Association)

I had never been to a Women's basketball game before, especially a NBA Women's game. I had the opportunity to attend a WNBA game through OnetoOne Network. Our team for Minnesota is the MN Lynx, for Women. My family and I went to the game on July 28th, 2009. The Lynx were playing against the Los Angeles Sparks.

It was an exciting game! The Lynx had a bit of a rough start to their game, but they soon "got their game on." It was fun seeing all the fun moves and fancy passes the girls did with the ball.
During the first quarter, Joe Schwei (team contact) came with goody bags for our kids! My kids loved their care packages! Inside the bag was a t-shirt, water bottle, personal photo of one of the Lynx gals, bookmark, poster, headband, and a bandanna. It was a generous gift for my kids, and they loved the treasures. Now we can "advertise" for the Lynx.
A few times during the "time-outs, or half-time" there were opportunities for participation from the crowds. The Lynx had basketball shoot-offs: one that included a trip to New York, and one that won other prizes. During half-time, the mascot: Prawl, did a toss up with t-shirts to those who could catch them. It is fun how the team and the mascot engage the fans.

The Minnesota Lynx team is a great group of women! It was fun to watch those gals in action! They are hard working, and aggressive on the court. I really thought that they sported great team work and sportsmanship.
We had great seats for the game, too! We sat in the second section up from the floor level. We had a great view, and could really enjoy the game. Madelyn loved the mascot the best. She really wanted to hug him and say hi, but he wasn't close enough to him. The game ended with the Sparks barely beating the Lynx. It was a very close game in the end, and I am glad we were able to attend this fun game! Thank you OnetoOne network and the MN Lynx for letting us help with this blogging opportunity.

If you would like to attend a WNBA game, you can click (This LINK) to receive discounted tickets.

Barney: Sharing is Caring

Barney is a fun loving dinosaur and he always has a positive message to give kids in his stories. I recently reviewed the new release from Lionsgate and HIT entertainment (released August 11, 2009) called: Sharing is Caring.
Barney and his friends participate in a toy drive by donating their old toys. Displaying the generosity and value of giving, Barney and his friends learn the value of helping others. The singing and dancing is so engaging with small children, and often times my kids will be singing right along with Barney & Friends. In this DVD, Selena Gomez (as Gianna) and Demi Lovato (as Angela) give special performances. My kids always enjoy the Barney episodes, and it is a show that I know my kids can hear about good virtues, manners, and making friends.
Bonus features include: BJ's batting cage counting game, and the world's greatest toy matching game.
Barney displays sharing, caring, imagining, dancing and learning on television, online and through live events, home entertainment and publishing. The Emmy award-winning series, Barney & Friends changed the face of children's programming when it first launched and continues to be one of the top-rated preschool shows today, airing on PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS Sprout.
Available now from stores near you, and online: Lionsgate and Amazon for a SRP $14.98.
This review was provided from Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment. They have provided me with a free product to review and information to share with my readers. I was given the product for my personal opinion and option to share with my readers. I was not compensated for my time or written review.

The Hope of Refuge (review & giveaway)

I could not wait until my new book from Cindy Woodsmall came in the mail for review! I love the style and storyline that Cindy writes in her books about the Amish communities. The Hope of Refuge is a great story, and I highly recommend it to you!
The story is about Cara Moore and her struggle to find her past~ becoming her safe refuge. Cara's mother passed away when she was young, and her father "dumped" her off at a train station. Cara was sent to foster care, and the only thing she has to guide her to some roots is her journal. Cara is a single mother of a daughter named Lori, and she needs to protect her at all costs. Cara has a stalker and she is always on the run with her daughter in fear of her daughter being taken away. Trying to recover her memory of her past, Cara and Lori leave New York City toward an Amish community. She wants a fresh start for her and her daughter, but what she uncovers is a trail of secrets, destruction and the shunning from those in Dry Lake. Only one man, Ephraim Mast, dares to fulfill the command he believes that he received from God–“Be me to her”– despite how it threatens his way of life. Completely opposite of the hard, untrusting Cara, Ephraim’s sister Deborah also finds her dreams crumbling when the man she has pledged to build a life with begins withdrawing from Deborah and his community, including his mother, Ada Stoltzfus. Can the run-down house that Ada envisions transforming unite them toward a common purpose–or push Mahlon away forever? While Ephraim is trying to do what he believes is right, will he be shunned and lose everything–including the guarded single mother who simply longs for a better life?
I was so drawn in by the story and the characters of this book, it was so hard to put it down!
You can find this book at

Author Bio:
Cindy Woodsmall is the author of When the Heart Cries, When the Morning Comes, and The New York Times Best-Seller When the Soul Mends. Her ability to authentically capture the heart of her characters comes from her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families. A mother of three sons and two daughters-in-law, Cindy lives in Georgia with her husband of thirty-one years.

Cindy was recently covered on ABC Nightline! Check it is so interesting!

I have one extra copy to giveaway! This contest is open to bloggers and non-bloggers of the United States. Please just leave a comment telling me why you want to win this book. Contest is open until August 21, 2009. Feel free to do the "extra credits" for additional entries. Good Luck!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Wendy's Boneless Chicken Wings

We were running errands today, and I went by a Wendy's and realized that I had yet to try the new boneless Chicken Wings! I thought they sounded great, especially since I was hungry. So, I went through the drive-thru and ordered the Honey BBQ flavored Chicken Wings. I was surprised at how many I got in the container! I didn't count how many, but I think there was about 8 chicken pieces. They reminded me of chicken nuggets, but they tasted better. I really thought the BBQ was tasty! Two of my sons wanted to try them out, too, and they loved them! So, I know what to get them on our next trip to Wendy's!Wendy’s has three flavors to chose from for the boneless chicken wings: Honey BBQ, Bold Buffalo, and Sweet & Spicy Asian Chicken. I am not a big spice eater, so I chose not to try the other two. I know my husband will want to try the Bold Buffalo and the Sweet & Spicy Asian, though. Wendy's offers hearty salads, frosty malts and chicken sandwiches for a summer meal, too. Wendy’s new boneless chicken wings are made with 100% whole chicken breast. They have the delicious taste of boneless wings you get in a sit-down restaurant, and, paired with a side salad, offer a great fast food alternative for us Moms!I recommend trying the new Wendy's Boneless Chicken Wings. Our family sure enjoyed them, and I am sure we will have them again.
I wrote this review while participating in a blog and giveaway campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Wendy’s and received a sample to facilitate my candid review. In addition, Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

MN Zoo (June 2009)

We were able to go to the MN zoo in June~ I know, late posting, huh? Anyway, I just wanted to share the photos from our day. We were very sad that Nathaniel couldn't join us, but he was with his dad at the time. We had a great time at the zoo, and we even visited a "farm."
Here is a picture of (most) of our family. Terry, me, Caleb, Madelyn and Cole.
Terry, Caleb and Madelyn are enjoying the monkey showing off!

Yes, there is a tight rope walker up there...and it is a monkey!
Pink Flamingos. You only see those at the Zoo in Minnesota,
Caleb playing "Peek-A-Boo." He had a great time playing in the rocks.
Madelyn was a bit excited about the whole Zoo day. She had a blast!
I love the monkeys! I think they are so entertaining!
Caleb and Madelyn got a close-up view with the bear. Caleb was very unsure of it when I first walked up with them to get a better view.

Then the bear looked right at Caleb. I am thinking he thought it was better that the bear was on the other side of the glass!
Terry and I~ so happy and in love! WOW~ we have been married 5 years this month!
I love the wild cat kingdom! Here is a Cheetah enjoying the laziness of the day.
I had to zoom the lens to capture this picture of the Tiger so far away. He is beautiful!
Cole! He is such a happy baby! He had a great day looking at the animals. He did so good, too!
Caleb had fun surprising Cole and making him giggle. It was so precious.
I love our new stroller! It is great having a stroller to fit all three kiddos on it. Plus, Caleb and Madelyn can get off and on so easily.
Terry and I love watching the Prairie Dogs. They are so comical, and entertaining~ not to mention adorable! :)

Giraffes are such an amazing animal! I am fascinated by them all the time. There are some Zebras in this photo, too.

Ostrich strutting by...
Here are some camels all hanging out together.
Here is the "farm" at the MN Zoo. We had a great time walking around in here. It made Terry and I feel like we should be living on a farm. Caleb and Madelyn so much loved and enjoyed the animals. Maybe we will just have to move to a large lot of land someday...get some animals, and work around the farm idea. :)

Baby goats are so cute! The kids sure enjoyed these "kids."
Madelyn was hugging any animal that got close enough for her to hold onto. It was so cute!
Caleb was trying to hug this little goat, too.

More hugging...
So much love. Madelyn is our BIG-Time animal lover. Anytime she sees an animal, she comments on how cute it is, and just hugs it (animal-willing).
It was a great day at the MN Zoo. We highly recommend going to visit a Zoo. Our kids enjoy looking at all the animals, and learning about them. We hope to get to the Zoo a few more times before the snow starts falling, too.