Showing posts with label Giveaways. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Giveaways. Show all posts

Noah, Noah, What Do You See? (Children's Book Giveaway!)

I have been gathering a lot of classic picture books for the kids over the years, and one of them is "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?"  I find that book to be a little repetitive (I know, I know, that's the point).

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However, Tommy Nelson just came out with a Christian version of that book called "Noah, Noah, What Do You See?"  And I have to say, I like this one so much!  It's written by the same people act wrote "Brown Bear", but this one is focused on Bible stories!

Each page features a major Bible hero and asks them "what they see".  Then a snippet of each Bible story is given.  At the end, all these people are gathered together with Jesus, and Jesus "sees" all these people seeking after Him.

The illustrations in this book are gorgeous, it's a board book (always a plus for me), and the Bible references are given on each page as well so it is easy to look up the full story in the Bible.  The thing I love best about it is how it keeps the spirit of "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" but is so much more meaningful (and a lot more fun to read, in my opinion).  It's definitely a winner around here!

HINT: This would also be a great space-filler for Easter baskets!

And the great news - Tommy Nelson is giving away a copy to one of YOU! You can enter either by commenting here and telling me your favorite children's book, or by entering on Instagram (or both).  I'll announce the winner next week!

(Giveaway open to US residents only.  Ends 4/2 at 11:59 PM.)

Note: I received a copy of this book for free as part of the Tommy Mommy program.  This is my honest opinion.

Caramel Apple Pie Fudge Recipe (And Other Fall Fun)

Try this decadent fudge recipe! Caramel Apple Pie Fudge | Through Clouded Glass

Fall is upon us, my friends!  For our little family, that means squeezing in as much fun as we can in these last couple weeks before we add another little one to our family!  And what is more fun for the fall than eating lots of autumn-flavored goodies?

Today I have for you one fall fudge recipe, one fall children's book, and two giveaways!  Throw in some candles and cool weather, and you have a perfect early fall afternoon!

On Busyness And Bible Time (+ Giveaway!)

Sometimes I get to the end of the day, and I feel like absolutely nothing was accomplished, even though I was literally running myself ragged all day.

I am not sure how it is physically possible to be busy all day and still feel like I didn't do anything.  I think there is a serious lack of rest in many of our lives, and I am no exception.  I just did a Bible study at my church that was all about taking time to rest each day, because often God will work in our lives if we will just take a breather and slow down!  I was definitely convicted, and I'm hoping to share more of my thoughts on rest in future posts.

Another problem with not taking time to slow down is that when I get too caught up in the busy, it is easy to let time with the Lord fall by the wayside - and that is not okay with me.  I want to make sure I am being a good example to my kids, and I also cannot adequately pour into my kids when I am not taking that time to be filled up with His Word.

Giveaway + Why I Will Always Be A Dog Person

When I was four years old, I named our family's first purchased pet.

We already had one dog, but my parents had just decided to get another one.  We got a miniature dachshund, who was with us for years.  He was adorable.  He used to bound through the deep snow in the winters, and he was so short that whenever he landed he would disappear beneath the snow - so you would see him as he jump up and forward, then you wouldn't see him after he landed.

We used to let him sleep on our beds at night, and we would argue sometimes on whose room he would sleep in.  Most of the time my brother would win.  Our little daschund would crawl under the covers and lick your feet until you fell asleep - which in hindsight could have been annoying, but as kids, we loved it.

He was to tolerant of all of our childish schemes, and he was the perfect dress up dog.  We even had a dog wedding with him once, as we dressed up both of our dogs in bride and groom attire and conducted a ceremony.

But back to the naming.  We picked him up when I was pretty little, and mom said we would let dad name him when he came home.  I had an opinion on the matter though, and when dad came home I told him that he could name our new dog.

"But," I said, "we could name him 'Winnie' or somethin'".

You know, after Winnie The Pooh, my favorite cartoon ever.

My dad is such a good sport, and Winnie was his name.

I thought of our little Winnie dog when I read the book "Henry Hodges Needs A Friend".  This is a cute book about how Henry Hodges is lonely, and his parents tell him they are going to get him a pet.  Henry starts imagining about all the possibilities, and he ends up with a sad little dog, who he names "Happy".

This book was so cute and imaginative, and the illustrations were adorable.  I always loved slightly silly plays on things when I was a girl, and this book has many funny ideas of what Henry thinks his pet will be.  I think it makes it really interesting for kids, to spark their little imaginations.  The text also rhymes, and I am a huge fan of rhyming books for kids!  I wouldn't necessarily recommend it if you don't have or want a dog, because Henry and Happy will probably make your kids want one!

The lesson at the end was such a cute one too, about how God knows what we need when we are lonely or sad - and how our friends need us when they are lonely or sad too!  This book will probably go on our favorites shelf.

If you are a cat person, you may not understand (I kid - sort of), but dogs, can be such comforting little friends to have as a child.  Dogs love you no matter how bad of a mood you are in, and there have been many times when I was upset or crying about something, and one of my dogs would crawl up into my lap and snuggle, or lick my face in an attempt to make me feel better.  They love you even when your ugly side shows, when life is messy.  Sometimes you just need that little example of unconditional love and loyalty.  I'll always be a dog person, and it all started with a short little dog I named Winnie.

Did you have a dog when you were a kid?  Will you get your kids a pet?

And if you are a cat person, here's your chance to make your case.  Comment below!


Tommy Nelson has also offered to give one of my readers a copy of "Henry Hodges Needs A Friend" - and I'm going to try something a little different and host the giveaway on Instagram!  So if you don't already follow me on Instagram, you are missing out!

To enter the giveaway, stop by my Instagram and check it out!

The giveaway will end on March 31, 2015 at 12:00 PM EST!

Note: I received a copy of "Henry Hodges Needs A Friend" from Tommy Nelson in exchange for a review.  This is my honest opinion.

Duck Commander Ramblings And GIVEAWAY!

First off, I just want to say thank you to everyone for all your congratulations on our fourth baby!  I have been looking forward so much to this week, because I think you all are such a fun group of people to share our happy news with!  Thank you for your sweet words and excitement for us, they add even more to our joy about our new little one!

I am going to be working on a bump picture catch-up post to share with you all next week, but for the end of this week I wanted to share a new kid's devotional that we received!  First off, can I hear from the Duck Commander fans?

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(Wyatt thought it was so cool that he got to hold the book for this picture - it was cute!)

I admit, I was a little late to join the Duck Dynasty boat a few years ago.  I didn't know what everyone was talking about, but from what I gathered it was an eccentric, duck-hunting family in the south that could be amusing.  I wasn't sure what all the hype was about.

Once I started watching though, I loved it right away!  Sure, the Robertsons can be eccentric (how many people do you actually know who eat frog legs?), but what I loved most about them is their love for Jesus that shines through everything they do.  I also grew up in hunting family - we didn't hunt ducks, but we hunted many types of big game, so I can relate to the hunting culture.

We have even watched the show with the kids, and I love that I don't have to worry about anything inappropriate or scary happening with little eyes watching.  It really is a family show!  Though A&E's commercials are another story…

I've read a couple books by members of the Robertson Clan, but I was pretty excited when I saw that Korie Robertson has come out with a devotional book for kids!  Each devotion has a cute story from the Robertson family archives, with a Bible verse and lesson attached to it.  The illustrations are also fun, with cartoons of the Robertsons dispersed throughout the book (particularly Willie).

Duck commander devotional

This is Wyatt's new favorite book to "read".  He has been grabbing it after I put him to bed, and when I ask what he is doing he says "I'm just reading' for a little bit."  I think he likes the illustrations, and even though it is difficult to get him to sit still and listen to anything, these lessons are simple and easy for me to summarize.  I think they will stick in his little mind.  (Even though he gets stuck on some of the stories - like the one about Willie having to clean the "yucky" bathrooms at camp.  He kept wanting to see the picture of what was yucky, and I had to remind him that we were talking about God giving us work to do.  He is such a boy.)

We have only read a few devotionals so far, but I have loved the ones we have read!  I think this will be such a great devotional to grow with the kids, especially the boys, and it will be fun to watch the TV show together more as an adjunct so Wyatt can remember some of the "characters".

Tommy Nelson has offered to give one of my readers a copy of this devotion for free!  Enter to win below!

Note: I received a copy of this book for free from Tommy Nelson in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.

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Growing up I was never bullied by anyone, per se.  The worst experience I had with other kids was a time when I felt like I was being made fun of by some kids in my class.  The next week, I tried on a million different outfits and ended up crying in the bathroom to my mom because I was sure that no matter what I wore, the kids would make fun of me.

She let me stay home that day, but the next time I went I was laughed at for something again. I went home and cried in bed that night while my mom tried to console me.  My brother came in, and I remember my mom pointing to me and saying "See what those kids are doing to your sister?  You don't ever laugh at anyone or make them feel like this, do you understand?"  And I think he did.

Even though being laughed at was pretty traumatizing to my 9-year-old self, I can't even imagine what it must be like for kids who are maliciously bullied.  I find it so disturbing that bullying seems to be such an increasing problem today, and it makes me scared for my own kids.

That's why I really appreciated the book "You Can't Sit With Us" by Nancy Rue.  This story is about a girl named Ginger, who is manipulated and bullied by a girl in her class named Kylie.  The story line shows how bullying can affect kids, but it also shows ways to fight against bullying and help your kids resist it.  I think this would have been a book I would have loved when I was younger!

The one thing I wasn't crazy about in this book had to do with a lesson Ginger learns about God not causing bad things to happen to her.  I think the author was trying to address the "if God is good, why do bad things happen?" question, but I think her wording made it sound as if God is not in control of everything - and we know that He is.  God is sovereign, and He works everything out for the good of those that love Him (Romans 8:28).  I didn't really like the way the author explained that issue, though it is a tough one to tackle.  I feel like this is one topic that should be discussed in further depth with your kids, for clarification.  I wasn't satisfied with how the book left it.

Overall, I think this book is one that middle-grade readers would enjoy, and I think there are a lot of great conversation starters in these pages.  I would recommend parents reading this book with their kids, so the issues it addresses can be discussed between parent and child.  To me, starting conversations is the real value in this book.

If you would like a chance to win a copy of this book for your child, you can enter by filling out the Rafflecopter form below!  Prize is provided by Tommy Nelson, and this giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only.

Gift Ideas For Little Boys

I thought I would share Wyatt's Christmas gift list today.  I don't know about you guys, but I have a terrible time picking out gifts for the kids.  I think part of the struggle is just trying to find boy and girl gifts that are similar (because Wyatt and Gwen always want what the other one has).  Thankfully, I think I have finished all my Christmas shopping, so I don't have to worry about it anymore this month!  Now just to get everything wrapped.  Anyway, these are the things I got Wyatt.


Tricycle - We were in Goodwill a couple months ago, and Wyatt went straight for a little tricycle, climbed on, and started trying to work the peddles.  I was surprised, because we don't have a tricycle yet, and I didn't think he knew how to work one!  Gwen was dying to get down and try it out too.  I ended up getting Wyatt a cute little Roadmaster trike for $3 at the thrift store!  I have no qualms about getting pre-owned gifts this year.

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Remote Control Car - Technically, the car is recommended for kids over 8 years old, but I know Wyatt is going to love it.  We took the kids to Toys-R-Us to scout things out a couple months ago, and he went straight for the cars.  I think he is going to be so surprised to have a car that he can control by himself.

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(We got a car similar to this one.)

Dump Truck Toy - Derek couldn't help himself, and he bought the kids some toys several months ago.  Unfortunately Wyatt caught a glimpse of his "present", and he has been constantly talking about it ever since.  One thing I find so delightful about little boys in general is their obsession with anything mechanical.  Even when Wyatt was a baby, if we gave him something with wheels, he was fascinated, and the trend has held.  At least we know he'll like it, right?  We've been able to keep the other gifts a secret.

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Construction Character Books - I was excited to see that Tommy Nelson has come out with a "Building God's Kingdom" series, with construction vehicle characters, who learn about good character while doing their construction duties.  These books are so cute, and I love books that also teach a lesson.

In "Tipper Tells A Lie", Tipper learns the consequences of not telling the truth - and what I liked about this story was that the lie that Tipper tells is what someone might consider a "small" lie - it wasn't told to hurt anyone or hide a wrong, but it still had consequences.  I want my kids to know that there are no "small" lies, that every lie is wrong and can have consequences, and I thought the book got that point across really well.

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In "Diggit Saves The Day", Diggit starts out with letting his to-do list get in the way of helping others, and he realizes that his attitude was unkind.  I felt convicted reading this book myself - who hasn't been tempted to treat the to-do's as more important than people?  The message of this book was good, and it was probably my favorite because the story was so cute.

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I have been going back and forth on whether to give Wyatt these books now, or wait until Christmas, because these would make a great Christmas gift!  I know he is going to be so excited to read these books, whenever I give them to him - they are just his style.  And bonus - they are board books!  Pages still get ripped around here, so I love board books.  If you have a little boy who also likes mechanical things, check these books out!

And finally, for the stocking . . .

Nativity Rubber Duck Set - I don't know why, but both my kids are obsessed with rubber ducks.  We probably have 6-8 of them already, but some of them are getting . . . slimy?  There is water trapped inside some of them that I can't get out.  I have been sneakily throwing some of the old ducks out when the kids aren't looking, and now I can replace them with this cute little set!

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And I had a couple ideas that we may use for his birthday instead of Christmas.

Clubhouse Jr. Magazine Subscription - I love that Focus On The Family still puts out Clubhouse magazine for kids, and I think Wyatt is getting to the age where he might appreciate Clubhouse Jr.

Craft Supplies/Craft Kit -Wyatt is so into crafts right now - it is so cute.  I know he would love more craft supplies!

All you moms of toddler boys out there, any other gift ideas?


If you are still needing some Christmas gifts for your kids, you have come to the right place!  Tommy Nelson has offered to give one of my readers copies of "Tipper Tells A Lie" and "Digger Saves The Day"!  These books really were perfect for little boys.

Fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter!

This giveaway is only open to U.S. Residents.

Note: I received copies of "Tipper Tells A Lie" and "Diggit Saves The Day" for free in exchange for a review.  This is my honest opinion.  

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Popcorn

In the late fall of 2008 I was a newlywed, and as the holidays approached I was determined to find some new recipes to try for Christmas - recipes that could be "mine" and would become a tradition for our then family of two.   That was when I found a caramel fudge recipe that has become the bane of my fudge-making existence.

The first time I made it, it was a success.  It was the perfect texture, the perfect taste, and we loved it!  I was excited that I found such  cool recipe.

Every time I have attempted to make it since then, it has been a colossal failure.  It usually ends up being a plate of sticky goo that never sets.  I have made it so many times, and I cannot for the life of me figure out what I am doing wrong!  I don't even want to know how much sugar, milk, and corn syrup I have wasted trying to replicate that first plate of caramel-y goodness.


However, I think I have finally figured out a way to use my plates of sticky goo!  The other day I was in the mood for some caramel popcorn, the kind that is a little more chewy, less crunchy.  After a little experiment, I stumbled upon a yummy concoction!

This recipe for Pumpkin Pie Spice Popcorn uses that caramel fudge recipe with some adjustments.  And despite my caramel fudge always turning out spectacularly wrong, this popcorn turned out great!

Pumpkin Pie Spice Popcorn

1 bag of popcorn, popped (either plain or buttered is fine)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 whole milk
1/8 cup (ie. 1/2 stick) margarine, melted
1 tbsp. light corn syrup

For the pumpkin spice mixture:

1/4 cup sugar 
1/4 brown sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1.  Pop the bag of popcorn in a microwave, then pour into a greased bowl or dish.  Set aside.

2. Mix together the ingredients for the pumpkin spice mixture.  Set aside.

2. Brown 1/2 cup of the sugar in a saucepan.  (If you don't know how to brown sugar - just let it sit on the heat until it melts.  Make sure it doesn't burn.)

3. Slowly add in the milk.  The sugar will sizzle and harden into a lump ( I haven't figured out a way to avoid this). Don't freak out.  Just keep stirring while the caramel cooks to encourage it to dissolve.

4.  Add the margarine, 1 cup of the sugar, and corn syrup.  Heat over medium high heat until mixture gets to soft ball stage.  (The soft ball stage is when you put a little of the mixture into cold water, and it solidifies to the point where you could form a soft ball with it if you wanted to.)

5.  Remove from heat and beat mixture until cool.  Add three tablespoons of the pumpkin spice mixture to the caramel mixture and mix well.

6.  Pour caramel mixture over the popcorn and mix to coat the popcorn.  Sprinkle the remaining pumpkin spice mixture over the popcorn.


And that is it!  This popcorn has a great, fall-ish taste to it.  It would be perfect to much on while reading a book to your kiddos.  Or you could bring the popcorn along as a snack for some of your favorite fall activities (corn maze, anyone?).

What are some of your favorite fall snacks?


Speaking of fall activities, I am also on the Tommy Nelson blog today talking about some ways to use fall fun to talk to your kiddos about the Lord.  I'd love for you to stop over there and say "hi"!  I'm also happy to say that Tommy Nelson is giving one of you a copy of "It Will Be Okay" by Lysa Terkeurst, which I reviewed earlier this month - it's an adorable kids' book, and perfect for fall.  Enter below!

Supporting Adoption (Even If You Don't Adopt)

When I was 18, I spent a summer as a counselor at a local Christian camp.  I could probably write a whole different post with stories of that experience, but there is one conversation I remember vividly.

I had thought I was done with being a counselor for the summer, since I had to prepare for starting hygiene college in a few weeks, but I had this feeling that I should go back just one more week.  I ended up being a co-counselor with a girl named Lindsey - and it was a good thing I went back that week, because Lindsey came down with an awful sickness and spent most of the week in bed, so I was able to take over counselor duties for our girls.  On the last night of the week, Lindsey was feeling better.  As the girls slept in our teepee (we all slept in teepees - it is a really cool camp), Lindsey and I stayed up late talking.  In the darkness, Lindsey asked me "If you could do one thing before you die, what would it be?"

And without really thinking about it or knowing what I would say, the words just came out.  I whispered back, "I would like to adopt a child."  Through those weeks of spending so much time with these girls, I realized I could indeed love a child who was not biologically mine.

Ever since then I have had an internal passion for adoption - but it is hard to put it into words most times, because it is clear that our family is not being called to adopt a child.  At least not right now.

However, over the years I have realized that even though we are not in a place where we can adopt a child ourselves, that doesn't mean that I can't still support adoption.  The truth is that if you believe in Jesus, you are called to care for orphans.  That may look differently for different families, but we are all supposed to do it.

There are a few ways to support adoption even when you don't adopt a child yourself, and I listed a few ideas below.

1. Be excited for those who are adopting.  You have to realize that this is a big deal for families that choose to follow God's call by adopting a child.  This is a brand-new member of their family that is being added!  It's just as big a deal as if they announced they were pregnant.  People often spend more time wondering why they are adopting, or thinking "I could never do that", than being excited about their friend's new child.  That is a pity.  I think a little excitement can go a long way in encouraging the hearts of those who are adopting.  If you want to go all out, consider throwing them a baby/new child shower!

2.  Donate money or hold a fundraiser for a friend who is adopting.  Obviously donating directly is a huge blessing to friends who might be adopting!  Adoption is extremely expensive, and helping financially is a really practical way to get involved.  If you are comfortable, ask your friend if you can contribute to their adoption fund.  There are also many ways to hold a fundraiser if you are organized enough to do it.  I have had friends who did some "spring cleaning" and held a garage sale, then donated all the money they earned to their friend's adoption.  Online auctions for donated items, or giveaways where donations earn entries are also good options.

3. Pray for those you know who are adopting.  Pray that the process would go smoothly, for financial provision, that their wait would be short, and that the Lord would prepare them and their child for the moment they are matched.  Then pray for final legal details to go through without a hitch!

4. Find an organization to support.  If you don't know anyone personally who is adopting, you can still support adoption by finding an organization that supports adoption and supporting them.  I am a Focus On The Family fan, so I would point you there first.  I know you can call 1-800-A-FAMILY and ask to specifically donate to help children in foster care find a permanent family - you can even become a regular donor for that specific cause if you would like!  Or find an adoption agency near you and see if there is a way you can donate or help.

As Christians, adoption should be important to us, because God adopted us as His sons and daughters!  Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins, and as a result we are called His children.  He is a Father to the fatherless - adoption is the heart of our Heavenly Father, and it should be in our hearts too.  I so admire those who follow God's example and adopt those children who are in desperate need of a family - what a beautiful picture of what God has done for us.

I hope you find a way to support adoption, and that these ideas help! If any of you have any more ideas or resources, I'd love it if you would share below!

Note: If you would like to help a wonderful family with their adoption, please check out this amazing giveaway on Natalie's blog, She Builds Her Home!  Some of you may remember Natalie from her last blog, Extraordinary Love.  I started reading Natalie's blog several years ago, and I am so excited and proud of her and her family for answering the Lord's call to "care for orphans . . . in their distress" (James 1:27).  So for a chance to donate to place a child with this wonderful family, and for a chance to win some great prizes, check out her giveaway here!

An Old Fashioned Soda Fountain (Giveaway)

I have always kind of wished I lived in the 1940's or '50's. Everything just seemed so wholesome back then.  And one thing I wish still existed today - soda fountains!  Whenever I watch old TV shows, and a soda fountain is involved, it just looks so fun.  Like a place to socialize with everyone in town while drinking delicious concoctions.

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(This isn't one of the float recipes in the book - I just had to use what I had on hand, but I used the techniques in the book to make it!  Isn't is pretty?)

When I saw a book called "The Soda Fountain"  (by Gia Giasullo and Peter Freeman) up for review, I knew I had to request it!  Maybe I could recreate some of these old-time drinks in my own home!

This book was really interesting, and included a lot more information than I thought it did.  It starts with several chapters on the history of seltzer and soda fountains, which were actually really fascinating.

The authors are actually a brother and sister who started their own old-fashioned soda fountain in New York, and they have worked to resurrect a lot of these old drinks.  The book tells the story of how they got started in the soda business, and it's really inspiring - it makes me want to go out and start a soda fountain (or at least find one where I can buy a float).

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The rest of the book is recipes for everything from homemade sodas (so far we have tried the homemade blueberry and strawberry soda recipes - they were so good), to floats, to sundaes, milkshakes, and ice cream toppings.  They even have a chapter on egg creams, which I had never heard of, but it's kind of like an Italian soda.  I definitely want to try an egg cream next.

Derek and I have been having a lot of fun with this book, and I am determined to try several of the soda and sundae recipes when he is home for the next few months.  It will be like having our own soda fountain right here at home!  

If you have ever wished that you could visit a real soda fountain, definitely check out this book!  These are real recipes that the Brooklyn Farmacy uses every day, and it is so generous of the authors to share their "secrets" with us.

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And here is a big bonus for you - Blogging For Books accidentally sent me a second copy, and told me I could keep it.  So . . . I have one to give away to one of you!  Enter below for a chance to win!

Note: I received this book for free from Blogging For Books in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.

The Lord's Prayer Board Book Review/Giveaway

One of the first sections of Scripture that I learned growing up was the Lord's Prayer (I'm sure it's the same for a lot of you).  It's definitely a section that I want my kids to learn from a young age too.  The verses that you learn young tend to stick with you.  I think I can still remember most of the verses I learned before the age of ten, so any time I can insert some Bible verses into an activity for my kids, I want to do it!

I was excited to have the opportunity to receive "The Lord's Prayer", a book from Tommy Nelson!  This text to this book is just the Lord's Prayer from Matthew 6, but each phrase is accompanied by beautiful illustrations.  It's also a board book (always a good thing with young kids), and it has a handle to make it easy for little hands to carry it around.

The illustrations are so fun to look at, and they show kids doing a variety of activities together - there is so much detail, and it makes it interesting to look at.  My kids love looking at the illustrations and pointing out the activities and objects they recognize.

This is one book I am happy to read to my children every day, because they will learn scripture in the process!  It is amazing how much kids retain information in books, and I love that God's word can be presented to them in such a fun way.

To preview the book, you can click here!

Note: I received this book from Tommy Nelson for free in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.

Tommy Nelson is providing a copy of this book for one of my readers!  Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Gallery Wall Musings And Canvas Giveaway!

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I mentioned a few weeks ago that I am attempting to redecorate my living room.  I haven't changed much since we got married, except for adding new coffee tables.  So far I have re-done the coffee table arrangement, added new curtains, and my new project is working on a gallery wall.

I have been searching for things to add to my gallery wall arrangement, and I knew I wanted to include some pictures of our family - so I was so excited when I was contacted by Canvas Champ!  They asked if I would like to review a canvas, and I jumped at the chance.

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I decided to print one of our wedding pictures, and I love the way it turned out.  It printed perfectly.  I was also impressed with how sturdy the canvas was - it is wrapped tightly, and it has some heavy-duty hardware to make for easy hanging on the wall.  I also checked out the Canvas Champ website, and the prices were amazing!  Way less expensive than any other canvas websites that I have come across, and I thought the quality was really great for the price!

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I think it is going to look great with the other things I have so far - I have a lantern, some scientific drawing prints (you have to see them to know what I mean - trust me, they're cool), and a chalkboard.  I'm thinking I want to add some sort of script art, and maybe a mirror. Eventually I will post an update and show you all the finished wall!  I just have to figure out how I want to put it all together.  Who knows, maybe I'll get another picture printed on canvas to add to it!

Canvas Champ was also kind enough to offer an 8x12 inch canvas to one of my readers!  You can enter to win below!

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Hermie And Friends DVD

We don't watch  ton of children's TV around here.  If I let Wyatt and Gwen watch anything on TV, I put in a pre-approved movie for them, referable one that teaches biblical lessons.

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Tommy Nelson gave me the opportunity to receive a Hermie and Friends DVD, and I thought it would be a great addition to our collection!  We received the I Will Trust God set, which included two Hermie and Friends episodes.

In the first episode, God tells Hermie (a green caterpillar) to build a boat.  He doesn't tell him why he just wants Hermie to trust Him.  Hermie obeys and builds the boat, and saves himself and all his bug friends from the upcoming flood!  It was a cute bug-version of a Noah and the ark story.

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The second episode is about Freddie the Flea.  Freddie realizes how talented all the other bugs in the garden are, and he starts to feel like he can't do anything special.  He has to trust that God has made him for a reason and has a plan for him.  

Hermie and Friends was created by Max Lucado, and he comes on between episodes and pulls the lessons out of the stories in cute conversations with Hermie.

I thought these stories were really cute, and I loved that the lessons were stated so clearly.  The kids really seemed to like the videos too.  Gwen giggled and bounced up and down at all the exciting parts, and Wyatt was enthralled through the whole thing.  I'd definitely recommend these videos - great movies to entertain young kids and point them back to God!

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Tommy Nelson is also offering one of my readers their own Hermie and Friends DVD!  Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win!

Note: I received this DVD for free from Tommy Nelson in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.

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Daniel and Noah Books (+Giveaway)

A couple months ago the kids and I got a couple of "My Story" books - My Story: David and My Story: Joseph.  We just got a couple more!  My Story: Noah, and My Story: Daniel.

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The stories are told accurately as far as I can tell, except for at the end of the Noah book when they said a rainbow is a sign that God will never destroy the earth again.  Genesis actually says that God will never destroy the earth with water again, and we are told that heaven and earth will pass away (Luke 21:33, 2 Peter 3:10) and God will create a new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:1).  That might just be me being nitpicky, but sometimes I wish these books were a bit more precise in details like this.

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(Get a sneak peek at the My Story: Noah book here!)

That said, these books are fun!  The illustrations are bright and quirky, and different things in the book are labeled, which I just find cute and humorous.  The stories are written as if Daniel and Noah are telling them themselves - though simplified for young kids.

I also like the books because they include a "sticker journal" in the back and a couple pages worth of stickers!  I'm trying to keep Wyatt from realizing this until he's a little older and can have more funs with putting the stickers on the right pages, but it adds another element of fun to the books.

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(Get a sneak peek at the My Story: Daniel book here!)

The kids like the bright illustrations, and I like that they have some fun books about biblical characters.  I'll sneak Bible stories in wherever I can!

If you would like a chance to win a copy of these books for your kiddos, enter the giveaway below!

Note: I received these books for free from Tommy Nelson in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.

Little Book Of Bedtime - Review and Giveaway!

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Our bedtime routine is one of my favorite times of the day - not for the reason you think!  Sure, I like having that couple hours of quiet time with Derek at night, but the process of putting the kiddos to bed is so sweet.  They are usually snuggly and giggly and so much fun.

Every night we read the kids a Bible story before we put them to bed, and if we have time we read them another book as well.  i was excited to see that Tommy Nelson was offering "Precious Moments Little Book Of Bedtime".  I love precious moments, and I thought this would be a perfect wind-down book before bed!

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I was very pleased when I got the book in the mail and looked through it.  Each page includes a beautiful Precious Moments illustration, a poem, and either a Bible verse or a quote.  I like that the format is such that you can read as much or as little of the book as you want at a time.  The entire book isn't terribly long either - I sat down and read the whole thing to Wyatt and Gwen before bed one night, and they enjoyed it.

I love that there are poems in this book - I remember so many poems from my childhood, and I love having good ones to read to my kids as well.  

And bonus - this is a board book!  Which is a good thing because Gwen especially loved it, and she could carry it around and look through it without ruining the pages.

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Tommy Nelson is kind enough to offer a copy of this book to one of you as well!  Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: I received this book for free from Tommy Nelson in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.

I {Heart} Fall (And My Readers) Giveaway!

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It's been a long time since I did a just-because giveaway!  I've done a few sponsored giveaways on here in the last few months, but there's just something fun about giveaways where the blogger picks out the stuff themselves,  I think.

So in honor of my announcement of Baby #3 this week, I thought I'd host a I-Like-You-Guys-And-I-Want-To-Give-One-Of-You-A-Present-That-I-Bought-With-My-Own-Money giveaway!  Because I truly do love you guys and appreciate all of you who read this little 'ole blog, and you deserve a hand-picked giveaway every now and then.

Let's examine the prizes further, shall we?

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1.  A pretty floral infinity scarf.  I love all the floral patterns out this year!  So feminine and pretty, and perfect for fall.

2. Caramel Apple Spice Blend from Aspen Mulling Spices.  You guys.  I should probably write a whole post about how much I love this stuff.  This is basically a spice/sugar mix that you can put in cider, tea, on ice cream, pretty much anywhere you want.  I love it in my drinks especially.  I mixed a couple spoonfuls of this with apple cider and a splash of orange juice, heated it up, and wholla!  Caramel apple cider.  It's pretty much my favorite.  I think you'll like it.

3.  Two, count 'em, two sets of boot socks.  Thank you Target.

4. Three votive candles from Yankee Candle.  I love Yankee candle - nothing else really compares.  These are some nice fall scents: Autumn Leaves, Mountain Lodge, and Treehouse Memories, to make your house all cozy.

5. A $5 Starbucks giftcard.  Pumpkin Spice Latte on me!

6. $20 Target gift card.  For whatever you want!


Now that we've established the prizes, let's review a couple things shall we?

I'm going to use a Rafflecopter form again for this giveaway, but I want to explain a couple entries.  

1. First of all, you MUST follow my blog publicly through either GFC or Bloglovin' to win.  Please include the name you follow with, because if I can't find you I may have to remove your entries.

2.  I'm giving extra giveaway entries for all of you who complete the reader survey I posted a few weeks ago!  However, I have to be able to match up your e-mail with an address you gave when you filled out the form, so be sure to include your e-mail at the end of the survey!  Otherwise I can't count it.  

If you already filled out the survey once and forgot to leave an e-mail: (1) Don't re-fill out the questions, just leave me a comment in the box at the end of the survey and then put your e-mail in the last box.  A thoughtful comment/question/suggestion is always appreciated!

3. In case you missed it in my post yesterday, I did indeed hide clues revealing that I was pregnant the week before I announced it!  The clues are in these three posts.  

Look at the text carefully.  You'll know when you find it!  I'm giving major extra entries for those of you who can find my hidden pregnancy announcement!


Okay, let the giveaway begin!  This giveaway will be open until October 19, 2012 at 12:00 AM.   

I am leaving it open to International readers, so Canada and UK (and any other country-of-residence) readers, enter away!  

God Bless You And Good Night - Review and Giveaway

I have to say, I'm enjoying being a part of the Tommy Mommy program with Thomas Nelson!  Free children's resources are always fun.  One of the books that Thomas Nelson sent me this month is called "God Bless You and Good Night" by Hannah C. Hall.

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This book is really cute!  It's a perfect bedtime book.  The words all rhyme, and each page is sweetly illustrated with cute little animals.  The illustrations are really nicely done, and it's fun to tell kids what each of the animals is doing as part of the bedtime routine.

It takes kids through all the steps of a bedtime routine, including snack, bath time, pajamas, reading a story, bedtime hugs, bedtime prayer, lullaby, I-love-you's, and tucking in.  Which is pretty much the exact routine we do with our kiddos, so I loved it!  

I think it's perfect to wind kids down, especially if you have a similar routine, because you can tell them "See, we did all that - now it's time for bed!"  It works well.

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Thomas Nelson is kind enough to provide a copy of "God Bless You and Good Night" to one of my readers!  Enter using the Rafflecopter form below!  I'm making it super easy this time and the main entry is just to fill out my reader survey, which you can find here.

Unfortunately the giveaway is only open to US residents, but even if you don't live here, please still go fill out the survey!  I want to hear from you too!

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.

Shabby Apple Giveaway!

I am so excited to announce that Shabby Apple has contacted me for a giveaway!

And if you don't know what Shabby Apple is - where have you been?  I'll explain anyway.  Shabby Apple is an online clothing store that specializes in retro-style and vintage dresses!  I also love it, because all their clothes are modest and so stylish.

They have a ton of beautiful dresses.  I was also surprised looking around their site though, because I never realized it but they don't just sell dresses and skirts - they also sell tops, swimwear, and shoes and accessories.

You guys, you want to hear something sad? I've entered pretty much every Shabby Apple giveaway that has occurred in this corner of the blogosphere.  I've followed a bunch of blogs, Twitter accounts, and checked to make sure I've liked Shabby Apple's Facebook a million times in my attempts.  And I have yet to win. *sigh*

Since I've entered so many giveaways, I've had plenty of time to pick out the dresses I like best.  These are a few of my favorites from their website:

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The Bon Voyage dress. I've been pining for this one for a long time.

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The Desert Modern maxi dress, and the Cleopatra maxi dress - very similar, can't decide which one I like better.

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The Dining Car dress.  I think this one is so elegant-looking.

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The Inca Trail dress, which I like because I think it would be a great casual dress.

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And the Ballerina dress, which I like because it also happens to be maternity-friendly.  This one is on sale right now, so if you like it you should go snap it up.

Okay, have you seen enough?  Yeah, they have really cute dresses.  I'm already jealous of whoever wins.

So what's up for grabs?  A $50 Shabby Apple gift card!  Enter below! The first two entries are mandatory, so be sure to complete both of those or the rest of your entries won't count.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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