Wednesday, January 11, 2017

SchoolhouseTeachers.com {REVIEW}

High-quality, Self-paced, Online Homeschool Resources {SchoolhouseTeachers.com}
If you have been thinking about signing up for a Yearly Membership at SchoolhouseTeachers.com, now is the PERFECT time to do so! With over 300 courses now being offered, and new added regularly, there is truly something for everyone! You will find online streaming courses, printable worksheets, and even menu plans and daily planners! SchoolhouseTeachers.com has something for everyone, preschool to adult! 
For this review, we were graciously given a 1 year membership. 
We have had a Yearly Membership for three years now, and find so much use from it! For this review, I decided to explore the 6th grade offerings. Here is a screen shot to show you some of what is offered under this grade level tab. 

That's a lot! 

First I started with Geography and Every Day Explorers. I didn't pay much attention to the description, but I was pleasantly surprised to find this course spends 1 month per state to let you and your family "explore" the state! How cool is that?! We started with Georgia on day one. Here is a screen shot to show you how neat this is! 


It's all planned out for you too, so you don't have to worry about how to pace the program, or anything. Super convenient. 

I have noticed one fantastic change on SchoolhouseTeachers.com. In my first review of the site, I noted how I really didn't like have to go to the course description page and click click clicking my way around to get to the guts of the course. Well...Now you can just fast track right to the guts part! I love that, and find I use it much more now as a result. It's really great. 


See there? You just click on "Lessons" and BAM! You're there! 

One of my personal favorite parts is the Drive Thru History videos they have! 


These not only teach Mr. B, but they are entertaining and fun to watch. We both enjoy watching and learning from these videos. 

And yet another section I have found particularly useful centers around Family Nutrition. We (M and I) are trying to get healthier in order to lead by better example. This course is truly beneficial for the whole family. It helps to show you what you are eating, and why you should really watch what you put into your body as food. 


Like always, the lessons are planned out nicely for you. 


Overall, I love the changes that have been taking place over at SchoolhouseTeachers.com, and after 3 years I still find this one of my most useful resources. It covers such a wide range of topics and subjects that I have yet been unable to find something great. If this looks like something you would love, and I'm super confident you WILL love it, then go NOW and sign up! If you go now, you will lock in your price! Prices are expected to increase in about a week or so, sooooo HURRY! Right now you can get in on the Christmas Sale still, and get a FULL YEAR for only $90! That's just $90 for EVERYTHING You'd need to homeschool your family from pre-K to graduation! They have also discounted their monthly plans! 





Schoolhouse Teachers Half Price Discount
We really do love SchoolhouseTeachers.com, and plan to continue to use it year after year! 
My FIRST SchoolhouseTeachers.com Review

My SECOND SchoolhouseTeachers.com Review
So once again, does SchoolhouseTeachers.com Pass my 4 Ingredient Test?

1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?

YES!  Everything is archived and at your own pace. You can navigate as you need! 

2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees?

It is one of the best deals out there! 

3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long?

With over 300 offerings, there's enough variety for sure. It's not boring, and the lessons are quick. 


4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.

How can it not? There's a variety of different methods, courses, age ranges, etc. 

I'm only one of several who have reviewed this site. So please, click the banner below to be whisked away to The Homeschool Review Crew to see what the others have to say! 


High-quality, Self-paced, Online Homeschool Resources {SchoolhouseTeachers.com}
*Post may contain affiliate links*
Crew Disclaimer

Saturday, January 7, 2017

OT at home? Depends on what you consider a toy!



Some parents buy their kids fake plastic tools. I get mine real (just smaller) and let him use them for OT at home. ;) He's been boring a hole through a wooden block for an hour now, using a screw driver and a hammer. GREAT for hand eye coordination, proprioceptive and sensory in general, fine motor, etc. The hammer is just a 4oz hammer, but it works!

You see, my son is using fine motor skills to grip the screw driver, he needs proprioceptive skills for hand eye coordination and to judge how much pressure and force he needs. The best ways to develop these are by doing. Plus, there's the added auditory sensory stuff that he has a problem with that he must overcome,and of course he has to exercise patience, too. He's wearing gloves and safety goggles, so we have tactile and facial covered.This is a huge WIN WIN.

It's always good to think outside the box. It may not be the latest, greatest electronic gadget that all the kids are raving about, but this is a gift my son truly enjoys. AND it doesn't as a great therapy tool that we can use over and over and over. And, if I get a few home improvement projects out of it then even better! HAHA! 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Snow Surivial


Yes folks, it's that time of year again. That time when you realize too late that you are out of milk, bread, and eggs...and of course it's the night before a snow storm hits. This happened to us last night. I realized suddenly that Mr. B was out of food. He's quite picky, and has a limited number of items he will eat. He was down to oatmeal and a few smiley face potatoes. He had pepperoni, too. But he can't eat that kind of stuff late at night, or in large quantities due to other health needs. So I emailed M a rather long store list that included, among a bunch of other things, milk, bread, and toilet paper. He had just gotten off work, and I sprang the email on him. Poor guy. I hadn't thought about it being rush hour after work just before a snow storm. I guess you could say, it wasn't on my radar! (See what I did there?!) So um...yeah. He was battling the Big Blue Box Store the eve before the snow. 


I am usually much more "disaster ready" than this. I always keep tons of toilet paper on hand. Because, lets face it, few things could be worse than diarrhea with no toilet paper, and no way to get it. Amiright?! I am. So yeah, paranoia at play. I also usually have an extra 3 days of his meds, and a week's worth of food for him. But with flu and norovirus season upon us, I've stayed in the house. Ain't nobody got time for that! So yes, I am always prepared....except this time haha. 

How do you prepare? What do you do? 

I have certain things I always keep on hand, both at home and in the car. With out of state dr's visits all the time, and autism on the home front, we HAVE to stay prepared. 

1.) I always make sure he has his foods. With autism and gut issues, foods are a delicate topic. I always make sure he has what he needs, including somethings in case of power outage. I also always take an insulated bag with healthy treats and snacks in the car, just in case. Nothing like meds wearing off in the middle of a traffic jam and in the inevitable "I'M STARVING!" Chips, crackers, dried fruit, apples, dry cereal and the like are common. I also keep water! That is SUPER important to remember! WATER!

2.) MEDS! Meds are important. I ALWAYS make sure we have at least 3 days dose, and a week preferably. It's hard when insurance will only allow a refill a day or two in advance, and snow is coming. But we do our best. He has a couple of different options, so we are blessed that way. 

3.) Activities. Yes, playing in the snow is fun. But it's also cold, wet, and leads to colds. And you can't very well play in the snow if you are stuck on the highway in it! For home, I make sure we have a lot of hands on activity kits, books, and DVDs in case the cable goes out. Board games and candles are perfect for power outages. In the car, he has books, activity books, and electronic games that occupy him when we are stuck. 


4.) STAY WARM! We are looking into whole house generators, but right now the cost is prohibiting me from getting one. I NEED one since power outages are a huge trigger for his autism...but alas, I've not been able to afford it. (Any Generac people want a product review? I'll write up the BEST review ever for a Generac! Just saying....) But yes, warmth is so needed given his immune system. We have a kerosene heater that uses K1...and as much as it terrifies me given his sensory issues, and impulse issues, we have to stay warm and use it when the power goes out. I also have lots of blankets, warm PJs, and we keep things like handwarmers on hand that can be stuffed into clothing for warmth. In the car, I keep a coat for him all the time, and blankets. 

5.) Keep the car fueled up. If you are stuck on the highway during snow, that's bad. If you are stuck on the highway, 50 miles from home with 1/4 tank of gas...that's worse. I always fill up before leaving, and when we get to 1/2 tank I fill up again. If I'm not even down to 1/2 tank, I always fill up before getting on the freeway since the one we take has limited stops for gas, and I don't want to be stuck in the middle and run out. 

6.) Think safety. Keep an emergency kit in your car at all times, not just in the winter. I frequently drive 3-6 hours one way for his appts. That's a LOT of distance covered. I keep blankets, water, food, jumper cables, basic tools, spare tire (check the air in those!) medical/1st aid kits all in the car. I also have extra oil. windshield washer fluid, and stuff to clean the windshield. Once I was out and a semi in front of me blew an oil line. It sprayed oil all over my windshield! Fortunately, I was near a service station so I was able to go in and grab a bottle of Dawn dish detergent and use that mixed with their windshield stuff to clear my windows. Another lady wasn't as fortunate and had 0 money on her. I shared the love of my Dawn, and helped her, which leads me to my next prep...

7.) HAVE CASH ON HAND! I can't say that enough. Debit cards and checks have their place, but I've only had 1 instance where cash wasn't accepted, and it was a 6th floor hotel vending machine. Have cash on hand in the event a storm causes stores or gas stations to not be able to accept cards. Same for restaurants. It's good to keep cash in different place, too, if you are going out and about. your purse, locked in your glove box, your shoe...whatever. Just don't keep it all in one place for obvious reasons. Keep enough so that you can get gas, grab a bite to eat, and get help. Even better if you can cover that plus the cost of a new tire if needed. 

8.) Keep cell phones charged, and have extra back up "pocket juice" style chargers charged too. That way you can maintain contact, get assistance and help, and weather reports if needed. 

9.) Know where everyone is, and keep your shoes near by. In the event of a tornado, put your shoes ON. That way you aren't trying to walk through debris barefoot. Know where everyone is, even in the house, so that if the power goes out you can find them in the dark. Have a plan in place for such events. 

10.) GLOW STICKS ARE AWESOME! They really go a long way into providing needed light. They are cheap. And, they are easy to use. I keep several around my bed post, and we have them in our "go bag." It's great to use one on a string as a necklace for each kid so that you can find them, just make sure they "breakaway" easy so that the child doesn't hang themselves on accident. Exercise EXTREME caution anytime your kid has anything around their neck! 


These are just a few things we do to stay prepared. Each family will have their own unique set of needs, so it's best to create a preparedness plan for yourself, keeping in mind these tips and tricks! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Coconut oil to the rescue!

Have you ever done something incredibly stupid and thought, "WHY????!?" Well, I did that the other day. I have a black lambskin coat that I have had for about 15 years. I paid over $200 for this coat when it was about 50% off. Needless to say, I love this coat dearly. Without really thinking, I put it in the washer and washed it! WHY DID I DO THAT?!  I thought it was ruined. I never dried, but it was rough, it was just...ruined.


I have scoured the internet trying to determine was leather conditioners or oils I could buy to restore it. and something hit me tonight. I took my jar of coconut oil to it, and WAALAH! (How do you spell that even?!) It's good as new! It softened the leather, smoothed it, and it feels and looks FANTASTIC! So there you have. Coconut oil really does help everything!

Zonderkidz REVIEW

The Beginner's Bible {Zonderkidz}
Can you believe it is already 2017? Can you believe this is my first review of the new year?? Wow! But what better way to start the year off right than with a review of The Beginner's Bible, brought you by the good folks of Zonderkidz?! Zonderkidz offers a whole host of  Christian goodies for kids, and The Beginner's Bible is no exception. 
The Beginner's Bible is a very color, durable hardback book for kids that teach them wonderful Bible stories. I hesitate to call this an actual Bible, since to me a Bible is less "story book" like, but for young kids it is a great introduction to the real thing.  This is not a tiny little book. It weighs around 2 pounds, and includes over 500 pages. 
The Beginner's Bible {Zonderkidz}
My thoughts:

This is a good "Bible stories" or "Bible education" book, but I do not like calling it a Bible, due to my own personal beliefs. It does not include everything the Bible includes, among other things, so due to that I do not wish to refer to it as a Bible. With that said, it is a very nice Biblical story book that includes many of the stories from the Bible, all arranged in the same order as they are found in the Bible, and separated by old and new testament divisions. So it is a good learning tool to teach younger children what stories happened in the old verses the new, and to teach the over all stories. I would not hand this off to my child and claim it to be a Bible, since it is not the same at all. But as a nice read aloud, bedtime stories, or reading material for an early reader I find this to be acceptable and lovely. 
The Beginner's Bible {Zonderkidz}
My son is much older than the recommended ages for this book, but I knew it would make for a very nice gift for my cousin's 6 young children once we were finished with our review. They are just now beginning their church journey, so I was hopeful they would appreciate an addition to their children's library with this wonderful collection of Bible stories. I was right, they all love it! 
The colors are vibrant and bold, and really go a long way with grabbing, and maintaining, the fleeting attention of a young child. The pictures are whimsical in nature, but very detailed. The images are cartoon like in nature, and very similar to what you'd find in other child based artwork. 
The Beginner's Bible {Zonderkidz}
The cover is a nice, durable hardback that, as I found out, is decently resistant to spills if you dry it up quickly. That's what I get for placing this on the kitchen counter right by an open glass of water the first day! HAHA! The pages aren't flimsy, but are thicker. This makes for easier turning, and kids can turn the pages without the added risk of easy tears like you'd find in your Bible with the more delicate paper.

Overall: 

Overall, I think this would be a great addition to any child's library. This would be a perfect birthday gift, or even a baby shower/new baby gift! The stories, what I have read so far, are accurate and written in a way that kids will be drawn in and can easily understand them. The illustrations are bold and whimsical, and the book is, as of now, quite durable. The images are cartoon like in nature, so Noah's Ark is presented in that "bathtub" style art and the characters are less than realistic looking. BUT that's what I would imagine for a young children's book. The Picture of Jonah swimming away from the whale makes me chuckle every time because his beard looks like a star fish! It includes more than the regular stories of Noah's Ark, The Creation, or Jonah that we are all familiar with, so that's fantastic, but it does not include ALL of the teachings in the Bible. So keep that in mind. I hesitate to call this a Bible, due to that, but for the intended purpose it works well.  The stories are good, and I think it would make for a really nice book to read to your kids early on, and then one for them to read later when they begin reading. The intended ages of 4-8 seem to be on par, but I could definitely see younger kids enjoying this being read to them, as well. 
The Beginner's Bible {Zonderkidz}
The Beginner's Bible {Zonderkidz}
I would recommend this as a nice Children's Bible story book. 
Please check out the rest of The Homeschool Review Crew and see what others have to say about The Beginner's Bible by Zonderkidz! 
The Beginner's Bible {Zonderkidz}
The Beginner's Bible {Zonderkidz}
Crew Disclaimer

Monday, January 2, 2017

FREE Martin Luther King, JR Notebooking Pages!

What better way to study Marting Luther King, JR and his contribution to society than with FREE notebooking pages from Notebookingpages.com?!

These Martin Luther King, JR Notebooking Pages are sure to be a hit with your homeschool!






Free Martin Luther King, Jr. Notebooking Pages from NotebookingPages.com.


Don't forget to sign up for your lifetime membership while you are there! That way you will have access to ALL of the wonderful notebooking pages offered there! We love our membership!


**This post may contain affiliate links.**

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Save BIG on SchoolhouseTeachers.com!



Friends, now is DEFINITELY the time to check out SchoolhouseTeachers.com if you haven't already! I you sign up now, you will receive a yearly membership for only $90.00 for the LIFE of your membership! That's a savings of $89.00!!!!! So go check it out now! 


Can't do $90 today? That's ok! They have big time savings on monthly plans, as well! With over 300 courses now available, there's truly something for everyone! 





**Post may contain affiliate links. This does not cost you anything.**

HAPPY NEW YEARS!

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Holiday Hibernation....ahhhhh



Do you know what I LOVE to do during the Holidays? I Love to cozy up with my favorite blanket, and a pile of pillows, and watch cheesy holiday movies and indulge in some yummy snacks!

 I LOVE Hallmark movies! I am pretty sure I've seen 90% of the Holiday movies they show, and I've even DVR'ed some of my favorites to watch  later! Oh how I'm going to miss them until next year once they are gone in a few days! Sigh....

But until then, I have my Holiday Hibernation Essentials Checklist, brought to you by the good people of Casper.com makers of the latex memory foam mattress in a box, right here so you can enjoy the last few days of Christmas in Hibernation Style! So check them out, and check out this check list, then cozy up for a relaxing day full of movies, snacks, and comfort! Ahhhhh!!!!!!




What could be better than a seriously comfy mattress piled high with soft, fluffy pillows while snuggled in your favorite holiday PJs? Well snacks like hot chocolate (or my favorite Cappuccino thanks to my brand new Keurig!) chips, veggies with ranch dip, cheese cubes, and of course my Hallmark Christmas Movies! That's really all I wanted for Christmas. Just some ME TIME where I could relax and veg out all I wanted! And I must say, it was fantastic!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Goodbye 2016

2016....wow. It's really hard to believe we are at the end of another year. This year has flown by. And really, given all that has happened this year, that's probably a good thing.

Even Mr. B said it didn't seem like it should be Christmas already, and he was right. Maybe it was because we were delayed getting our decorations out and up. Maybe it was the weather. Maybe it was all of the loss we have experienced this year. Whatever it is, I'm truly hopeful that 2017 will be a brighter year for us all.

2016 wasn't all bad. M was blessed with a new job, and we didn't have to experience the same type of layoff situation so many around us have had to endure. The lawsuit finally came to an end, and that is a ton of stress and anxiety off of my shoulders. My step dad discovered he can walk again, so long as they numb a particular nerve in his neck. And we got into some great doctors for Mr. B.

On the flip side, I'm still dealing with the sudden loss of so many friends and family. My dear cousin Michael was more like a brother to me than a cousin. We were only 3 months apart in age, and we grew up together. Just before Christmas I signed on to Facebook to find out a dear friend who had helped me so much just a month ago had died suddenly the night before. He was only 38, and left behind a wife and 5 children. I can't even imagine the heartache they are facing this Holiday Season.

I'm not even going to touch the election. That'd take more time than I have right now. Sigh...

2017 is shaping up to be another busy one with reviews and appointments. That's a good thing, I think. I can't wait to see what's in store, and I pray for blessings. I know on the review front, there are some dandies headed your way, so please stay tuned for all of those!

Until then....so long 2016. I truly hope 2017 is a better year for all of us.


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Michèle Phoenix’s ‘Of Stillness and Storm’ Bookworm On-the-Go Prize Pack

A tale of troubled love and honorable intentions gone awry—don't miss Michèle Phoenix's new intimate and bold release, Of Stillness and Storm. It took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream—reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. When a friend from Lauren’s past enters her life again, the tension of coping with the present while reengaging with the past might be too much. Will it be the family's undoing?

Take Michèle's new book with you on your winter vacation and enter to win her Bookworm On-the-Go Prize Pack (because you can't take a stack of books with you when you travel).

of-stillness-and-storm-400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on December 31. The winner will be announced January 3 on Michèle's blog.

of-stillness-and-storm-enterbanner

My Thoughts: 

I LOVED IT! I was hooked from the start. The cover would make you think it is like a mystery'ish book, but it's  not. It's a drama filled book that is no holds barred. The author doesn't hold back in the least. The imagery and writing is raw, gritty, and nailbite inducing. I really enjoyed this, and felt myself frequently thinking and reflecting upon my own life. Well done. Very well done.

**I received a copy of this free in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.**

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Taking some family time....

The blog will be a bit quite for a few days as I'm taking some much needed family time.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Tanika Fitzgerald’s ‘Miscarried Joy’ Prize Pack Giveaway

Are you in a season of waiting—waiting for an answer from God, waiting for a change? Be encouraged by Tanika Fitzgerald's new book, Miscarried Joy. Tanika transparently shares her deeply personal and disappointing experiences of losing her babies due to miscarriage. There were times when she felt God was the cause of her pain. Miscarried Joy has something for anyone who needs help pushing through incredible pain to conquer discouragement, walk in faith and birth their purpose. God’s delay in your life could be a set up for your greatest calling to be fulfilled.

Conquer discouragement with the help of Miscarried Joy and enter to win Tanika's Hope Fulfilled Prize Pack.

miscarried-joy-400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on December 18. The winner will be announced December 19 on the Miscarried Joy blog.

miscarried-joy-enterbanner


My Thoughts: 
This can be a trigger for those who are still undergoing emotional healing after miscarriage. I have suffered miscarriages, and found a great sense of hope and help in these pages. I really can't put into words the emotions I have had reading this, but I can say I felt better afterwards. I know this is a short review, but really....that's all I can say. Just...read it. 

**I received this in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.**

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Pursuing Gold REVIEW


 

About the book: 

Pursuing Gold (Elk Lake, October 2016)
With his father dead and his business partner incapacitated, Peter Chandler inherits the leadership of a bank in economic crisis.
With only a newly-minted college degree and little experience, Peter joins his partner's daughter, Mary Beth Roper, in a struggle to keep C&R Bank afloat while the Civil War rages around Chattanooga. Political pressure for unsecured loans of gold to the government stirs up trouble as tempers and prices rise. Their problems multiply when Mary Beth discovers counterfeit money with Peter's forged signature. Can they find the forger before the bank fails? The two friends must pursue gold on behalf of their business, as they learn to pursue their heavenly Father to find hope and peace.


Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2gCb1pb
About the author:


Cynthia L Simmons and her husband, Ray, have five children and reside in Atlanta. She has taught for over thirty years as a homeschool mother and Bible teacher. She's a columnist for Leading Hearts Magazine and she directs Atlanta Christian Writing Conference. Cyndi has a heart for encouraging women in today's crazy, upside-down world. She loves history and peppers her speaking and teaching with fascinating vignettes from the past. Her first book, Struggles and Triumphs, was nominated for 2008 Georgia Author of the Year. She co-founded Homeschool Answers and hosts Heart of the Matter Radio.



My Thoughts: 

 It's Christian based, but not overly churchy. There's a nice balance of suspenseful mystery and sweet romance, but there is an overabundance of dialogue. I enjoy a lot of descriptive imagery, etc. and less on the wordy back and forth conversations. I nice balance is good for me, and I felt this was a bit heavy on the conversation side. I am not a fan of the cover. I know...I  know...can't judge a book by the cover, but this one is not one I'd look at and say "WOW, I want to read that!" The daughter as the caregiver for her dying father was an emotional trigger for me, as I cared for my own dad as he was dying. I wish the pace was better, and I think it could have been with less conversation and more description. The overall plot is a nice one, for sure. 

**I received this free in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own.**

Scripture Doodle REVIEW



Are you looking for a fun devotional? Love to color? Well then you are in for a treat! Scripture Doodle combines coloring book fun with a 6 week devotional that you are going to love! 

About the books: 

 by April Knight  
Coloring Devotionals
David C. Cook

With inspiring exercises and prompts, this unique interactive guide introduces readers to a creative connection between Bible study, artistic expression, and worship.
Often, in the busyness of life, Christians forget that God created them to enjoy creativity. With guided instruction and completed examples, this beautiful book invites readers to draw closer to God through their own art.
More than a coloring book, ScriptureDoodle is a combination of Bible study, creative expression, and artistic community with artwork shared online at #scripturedoodle. Exploring topics such as being generous, finding rest, and facing grief, ScriptureDoodle gives the heart the creative space it needs. This book stimulates the reader's imagination and helps integrate God's Word into everyday life.

ScriptureDoodle God's Promises refreshes believers who are feeling burned out or stuck in a rut in their relationship with God. Each of the creative worship prompts in this interactive guide includes biblical encouragement and ideas for worship through art. Artist April Knight includes creative lettering tips, color ideas, and completed examples to inspire readers to respond to promises in Scripture related to trust, faith, and the power of God's Word in all circumstances.

This unique blend of Bible study and creative expression provides the opportunity to connect with God as Creator in a new, life-changing way.
 Meet the Author
 April Knight is a worship artist based in Asheville, North Carolina. Knight's work includes live worship painting and leading ScriptureDoodle workshops online and at conferences and retreats around the country and internationally. Her family of four is her greatest joy, along with serving alongside her husband at their local church.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The pages are sturdy, and I found I had no issues with using colored pencils or gel pens (my preferred coloring methods. The author also includes some tips in the front of the book for coloring. The pages are beautifully illustrated and the devotionals are great. This is a really lovely set! 

http://litfusegroup.com/author/aknight


**I received this in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own or those of my family.**

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

FREE Holiday Christmas Cupcake Topper PRINTABLE!

Cupcakes are one of my FAVORITE treats! And I love cute toppers for them! Here's a neat little printable I designed just for my subscribers! Just join my subscriber list so that you can have this super cute and fun cupcake topper, too! This is great for Christmas gatherings!

This is best if you print on heavy card stock!














Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Sometimes

Sometimes....

I just want to get out of the house, hang out with friends, maybe go to a museum.

Sometimes....

Mr. B just wants to stay home, watch TV, and do some fun, hands on science things.

Sometimes....

Our days for wanting these things fall on the same days. Like now. Sigh...

I guess it's a good day to dig for martian rocks, build a scale model of the rover, Curiosity, and just chill at home. Though, I really did want to go to the museum. But that's our life. Sometimes, we both want different things at the same time, and it's ok to give in. I could have pulled the mom card. I could have forced him to go. And for what reason? Because I just wanted to? You know what? I'm perfectly content just sitting here at home, too. No harm done at all. All too often I see parents just force their kids because they can. I'm told I'll spoil him, or ruin him, by not putting my foot down at times like this. But am I really? Or am I showing him that I can respect his wishes at times, and teach him to respect mine, too?

A Royal Christmas Wedding REVIEW!

a-royal-christmas-wedding-correct-dates
To purchase your copy, click here.

About the book


Click to purchase
Click to purchase

Genre: Christian Romance/Christmas
Release Date: October 18, 2016
Book Format: Paperback & Ebook
Avery Truitt aches for true love—the kind she once shared with Prince Colin. Can she dare to hope for happily ever after, or is a fairy-tale ending beyond reach?
College volleyball star Avery Truitt has not seen her former flame, Prince Colin of Brighton Kingdom, since he suddenly pushed her away five years ago. But now, the sadness of losing her father and the joy of her sister Susanna’s pregnancy have brought Avery back to Brighton just in time for Cathedral City’s enchanting Christmas season.
Avery knows she can’t avoid seeing Colin—now the Kingdom’s most eligible bachelor—whether or not her heart is ready to relive the pain. But seeing him again might bring her the closure she needs after all this time.
When Colin finds himself at the center of a centuries-old Brighton tradition, he must decide whether to follow the path laid out before him or follow his heart to the only woman for whom he would ring the Pembroke Chapel Bell.
Can Colin convince Avery to meet him at the chapel on Christmas morning—as tradition dictates—or will Avery run back to her St. Simons home and pursue a coaching career as planned?
In the fourth installment of the Royal Wedding Series, New York Times bestselling novelist, Rachel Hauck, weaves a charming story of holiday romance as two broken hearts seek the love they once knew.

About the Author

rachel-hauck-hr-1Rachel Hauck is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling, and award-winning author.
A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel worked in the corporate software world before planting her backside in an uncomfortable chair to write full-time in 2004.
She 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 lives in central Florida with her husband and pets, and writes from her two-story tower in an exceedingly more comfy chair. She is a huge Buckeyes football fan.
 My thoughts:
Oh how I wish I had the first 3 books! This is a good standalone, but I liked it so much, it'd be nice to have read the others. If you like cheesy Christmas Rom-com movies, then you'll likely enjoy this book. Avery has enough to deal with when she decides to go back to Brighton. Colin is the Kingdom's most eligible bachelor, but he's not interested in anyone....except Avery, and she's having none of that. Colin is the one person Avery really doesn't want to see, but Avery is the one person Colin really wants to see. See the issue here?! Rachel Hauck does a magnificent job at relaying the inner turmoil of the characters, and writing the characters in such as way that they come alive on the pages. This is a really good, easy and light, must read for the Holiday Season! 

Guest Post from Rachel Hauck

I don’t think we can ever get enough of royals or Christmas, do you? The two just seem to go together.

The Bible tells us eternity is written on our hearts. (Ecc. 3:11) I wonder if it’s also written on our hearts to be princesses in a grand, beautiful, perfect kingdom.

That being said, welcome to The Royal Christmas Wedding blog tour. My deepest thanks to all the bloggers, reviewers, and readers for hosting and visiting this tour. I’m excited to share this story with you all.

The hero and heroine, Prince Colin and Avery Truitt, first met in Once Upon A Prince at King Nathaniel’s coronation.

I hadn’t planned to write a spinoff story with the two of them. In fact, I didn’t even know Prince Colin existed until Avery walked into the abbey for the coronation and glanced across the sanctuary into his eyes.

Here’s his introduction:
Lean, aristocratic with an outdoorsman ruddiness, he nearly made Susanna swoon when he winked at Avery.

I liked Colin immediately. So did Avery. As well as a lot of you.

When my publisher asked me to write their story, it would be two years before the book would release. Plenty of time, right?

But “time crunch” is the name of the game with most writers. Between life, rewrites, edits, and promotional activity, we often find ourselves hurrying toward a deadline. Well, at least I do.
In the fall of 2015 I was writing The Wedding Shop and A Royal Christmas Wedding at the same time.

I’d also dealt with a physical issue that left me shaky. Could I write two books in five months? Did I want to even make the attempt?
If I said no, publication dates would be pushed out, causing a year delay on A Royal Christmas Wedding. And I knew that was something I did not want to do.

Publishing is a long game. Books are contracted and due 12 to 18, even 24 months, before release dates. Time must be carved out for rewrites and editing, marketing and promotion. Review copies go out at least five months in advance.

So I agreed to write both books. I told my editor, “Diamonds come from pressure.”

Coming up with Avery and Prince Colin’s story wasn’t as easy as I’d planned. Since they met in Once Upon A Prince as teenagers, I struggled with how to advance their age and relationship, and how to present them as the book opened.

Where had their relationship gone “between the books?”

When I came up with the idea of the Pembroke Chapel bell, the story magic began to happen. One of the things I love in the royal wedding books is the fairytale aspect. Looking for something out of the ordinary.

Even though my writing time was tight, writing Avery and Colin’s story was a joy. Once again I wish I could visit Brighton, eat a puff, and royal watch for the Strattons!

I hope you found a few sweet spots in the story, all wrapped in Christmas holiday cheer, and enjoyed your time with me in Brighton Kingdom.

Merry Christmas!

Blog Stops

December 8: New Horizon Reviews
December 8: inklings and notions
December 9: Redeemed Hope Dweller
December 9: Book by Book
December 10: Blossoms and Blessings
December 10: Pause for Tales
December 11: Quiet Quilter
December 11: Ashley’s Bookshelf
December 12: Bibliophile Reviews
December 12: Lights in a Dark World
December 12: Splashes of Joy
December 13: Moments Dipped in Ink
December 13: Neverending Stories
December 14: The Power of Words
December 14: Counting Pinecones
December 14: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
December 15: Genesis 5020
December 15: CTF Devourer
December 16: Lighthouse Academy
December 16: Christian Bookaholic
December 17: Smiling Book Reviews
December 17: God is Love
December 17: Simple Life, really?!
December 18: A Holland Reads
December 18: The Scribbler
December 18: Faith * Love * Books
December 19: By The Book
December 19: Karen Sue Hadley
December 19: Southern Chelle
December 20: Faithfully Bookish
December 21: ASC Book Reviews

Giveaway

a-royal-christmas-gp
To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card plus a copy of A Royal Christmas Wedding and a copy of The Wedding Shop. Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post to earn 9 extra entries in the giveaway! https://promosimple.com/ps/aaeb

**I received this free from CelebrateLit in exchange for my honest opinion."