Saturday, July 25, 2009

Chex Mix Bars - Giveaway closed

I was given two boxes of Chex Mix Bars in Turtle flavor, creamy caramel, chocolate, pretzels, chex pieces and peanuts to make one indulgent snack. This was sponsored by MyBlogSpark and the best part is yet to come....keep reading!

Each bar has less than 150 calories and contains 8 grams of whole grains (recommended daily serving is 48 grams). They are a filling to snack and I was able to enjoy them without running my blood sugar up - so that's a good thing for diabetics. I won't say that's true for all diabetics though but for me these were a good snack option. They are also void of any artificial sweetners, another plus since I get sick from artificial sweetners.

I want to share the yummy snack with my readers so MyBlogSpark is going to send three of my great readers two of their own boxes! That's right, three people who read my blog will recieve two of their own boxes to share or hoard (LOL) with their family and friends. So how do you get a chance to win?

In order to enter, answer the following question:

"How do you unwind after a long day?" It doesn't have to be food related - just tell me how do you relax? For me it's reading a good book.

Make sure to leave me your email so I can contact you for your mailing address if you win so MyBlogSpark can mail your boxes to you! U.S. residents only and remember to answer the question and leave me an email or some way to contact you if you win!

Contest ends at noon EST on July 31st.

Friday, July 24, 2009

First Things First by Kurt and Brenda Warner w/ Jennifer Schuchmann

First Things First written by Kurt and Brenda Warner with Jennifer Schuchmann is much more than a biography or autobiography about a famous wanting to seek more fame for themselves. The book is published by Tyndale and can be purchased through the Tyndale Publishing site.

I will admit it I am not a football and I am usually the one you'll find complaining because I believe they make too much money for what they do, considering there are people who work hard everyday and struggle to survive everyday. I had never heard of the Warner's (I can hear some big gasps), but I am sorry I hadn't heard of them and not because of his pro-football player status, but because of all they have done with all that money. Finding out that Brenda was a single mom and divorced at age 25, living on welfare and working to put herself through nursing school and provide for her children, surprised me. Kurt is a family man and one that you don't normally hear about playing pro-ball.

The book is down to earth and one where you can see that the entire family truly strives to live for Christ. The ministries that they have set up are worked with their hands - they don't just throw money at it, they actually get dirty. For Thanksgiving the family serves the homeless and downtrodden by serving them, even their youngest help in some way. In St. Louis they buy caskets for children who pass away because the Warner's believe that parents shouldn't have to buy a casket for a dead child. Okay so they do have a nanny (it doesn't seem like she lives in), a cleaning lady (the children still have to do chores and pick up after themselves - one rule is if the cleaning lady can't see their oldest daughter's floor she isn't to clean that room!). Really though they are normal people who want to avoid the appearance of evil and do right by God.

The other thing that really hit home is the fact that their son who was dropped as a baby and as a result is handicapped. It's amazing how she fought for her son, when the doctor's were ready to give up and she still continues to fight for him with Kurt by her side. I guess this affected me because having worked in the field and my husband working in it as well, we see families who toss aside or abuse the handicapped family members and it's heart wrenching to watch. They have a ministry for that too as well as joining efforts with other foundations they enable families to take a week vacation to Disney World in Florida.

The book talks about their rules for the family which makes their family run smoothly. Communication is very important but then again with nine people in the house, communication is important. When out to eat the children have to be able to tell the color of the waitress' or waiters' eyes, this enables the children to look into someones eyes and show respect for an often thankless job. The rules help to make the children get along and learn how to deal with the real world along with making a house functional and peaceful.

First Things First also talks some about Brenda's past and her first marriage and what happened to her son before she met Kurt. They do discuss their sex life, which too me was a bit too personal and I could have lived without knowing about it. The book is great though, it goes into the struggle of people asking for autographs during their family time, discussing purity with their daughter, and other happenings in a family. Overall, a very well written book that shows how one family struggling with fame also adds in being a regular family and living for Christ.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dinosaur Pak and Stak

My children have been really into dinosaurs of late, especially my
children and we teach them about dinosaurs from the Creationist, young earth view. So when I saw the Dinosaur: Pak and Stak put out by Master Books, a division of New Leaf Press, I was very excited! When the box arrived with the Pak and Stak in it my children were excited too.

The Dinosaur: Pak and Stak comes in a handy carry case with colorful images of dinosaurs like T-Rex and the triceratops as well as vegetation and even a baby hatching out of an egg. It is wonderfully sturdy and has stood up to hours of play and wear and even traveling in the van on trips. There is a braided carry handle that makes it easy to carry when it's being transported. The box fastens close with the use of hidden magnets, making it very secure and less likely that the items inside will fall out.

So what's inside? Five wonderful books about five different dinosaurs; tyrannosaurus rex, pteranodon, triceratops, the Biblical leviathan, and stegosaurus. The books are board books and are well made. Each book gives information about each dinosaur such as where the skeletons were found, how much they weighed or where they lived when they lived. In the case of the leviathan, the Scripture is given where it can be found in the Bible. There is also five stacking blocks that serve as a puzzle, the solution to the puzzles are on the back of the books. The blocks are full colored and a wonderful addition to learning more and driving home facts about what the children learned in the books.

At the end of one of the books the dinosaurs are pictured with Adam and Eve, which is great to see since God created all animals at one time - meaning He didn't wait for the dinosaurs to become extinct before creating humans or other animals. They all were created by Him and lived at the same time. So this is a great addition to a bookshelf for a young earth Creation family who values Biblical truth when it comes to our earth, it will be enjoyed for years to come.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Dinosaurs Stars of the Show by Amie Zordel

Dinosaurs Stars of the Show by Amie Zordel and illustrated by Joanna Borrero is a wonderful addition to any family's library that believe in Biblical Creationism and not 'millions and millions' of years ago. Mrs. Zordel is a wife and mom of three daughters, who was inspired to write this book after her 7-year-old daughter's exposure to evolution while watching children's programming. She wanted to provide a way for families to give Biblical answers to questions that children ask.

The beautifully illustrated, 8 X 10, hardcover book begins with a little girl watching a show, innocently enough, about dinosaurs and then comes the scientist who starts talking about how dinosaurs are millions of years old and they formed out of nothing without a plan. The little is girl is stunned and starts out to find out for herself about the truth behind the dinosaurs.

The little girl pulls out her Bible and begins to read about the Creation of our earth, by our Heavenly Father. My children all enjoyed this book, with the rhyming of the words it really keeps their attention as well as driving home what we believe about Biblical Creationism. Also since it involves dinosaurs this does appeal to almost all children, all three of mine are enjoying learning more about dinosaurs although they tire of hearing millions of years. I really recommend that if you want to surround your children with Biblical examples and they enjoy dinosaurs this is a good place to start. It debunks the evolution based theories in a easy to understand, child like manner.

This is an excellent book, one that can be treasured for years to come. I found myself wrapped up in the story as well and enjoying the pictures. Another good idea would be to request your local library to purchase a copy or two, so families can all have access to the Truth about evolution. So please check out Dinosaurs Stars of the Show put out by Master Books a division of New Leaf Press.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Postpartum Survival Guide by Paul Meier, M.D., Todd Clements, M.D., Lynne Johnson, R.N.

I received The Postpartum Guide to Depression through Tyndale House Publishing blogger review program. Written by Dr. Paul Meier, Dr. Todd Clements and registered nurse Lynne Johnson, all three who work at the Meier Clinic, a Christian based treatment center for psychiatric disorders, including postpartum depression and psychosis.

I enjoy reading books that center around birth and pregnancy and since I also worked at a mental health facility this book piqued my interest, especially since it was Christian based. I liked the fact that many Scriptures were given in reference points in regards to certain aspects of healing from depression. There were several first hand accounts from women who have suffered from postpartum depression and psychosis, which brought the issues home, so to speak.

It did seem as if the authors were all for prescribing medications though instead of actively praying and seeking God's healing. There was some talk of nutrition and supplements (two were mentioned to the point it felt like an infomercial for awhile - they are personally endorsed by Dr. Paul Meier) being used to help bring healing, but for the most part it seemed as if medications were highly recommended. There were a few instances where they agreed that an intensive day treatment and no medication but this also meant the women was away from her children until the evening. I know that depression is a problem with serotonin levels and there are times that medication is called for, but not in all instances. I myself am living proof of that. Also not everyone can afford the vitamins that are recommended to be used.

Two other things that bothered me was the fact that while citing Scriptures we see that the authors don't see that it is a Biblical mandate for women to be at home, going so far to say that men can be wonderful caretakers (this is true) and that sometimes it is financially better for the woman to work while the dad stays home. Saying that the Bible doesn't have near the rules from God that we put upon ourselves. If this is true that we can decide that part of the Bible isn't true, then the rest of it must be lying as well - this isn't what God tells us in His Word. Also home birth, natural labor and no inductions was put down in a case study, these are valid options just as inducing, hospital birth and epidurals are (he does say this, although with the caveat that complications are more likely to arise in a home birth, I have not read of this proof and have read that the opposite is true). I also felt like the authors made it sound like those who choose to breastfeed past 6 to 8 months are foolish in their decision, maybe this is because all three of my children have nursed passed a year.

I do believe that this book can be helpful when the good is taken and the bad discarded, like anything else that is read. The fact that it has Scripture makes it a better book than one from a purely secular viewpoint on depression. I also know that I don't have a medical degree but I do have some background in mental health and social service, my opinion can not be taken as medical advice, but I would read this book with caution and discuss it with your Christian doctor or midwife and get their opinion.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

WisdomKids: Psalm 1 - Be Like A Tree (Sharon Crooks)

WisdomKids: Psalm 1 - Be Like A Tree written by Sharon Crooks which is a wonderful unit study and Bible copywork together. Sharon makes it clear this is not meant to replace regular Bible study but instead is to complement it. There are 34 pages, filled with copywork, coloring pages, question and answers, word study and certificate of completion.
By the end of doing this unit study children will have learned Psalm 1 and be able to recite it and also know what it means. Children can memorize all the Scripture they want but if they don't understand the what and why behind it then they can't effectively use it in their life. Sharon Crooks puts an end to this, by utilizing a fun way for children to memorize and learn about a section of the Scripture passage each week and building on it, it makes memorizing and understanding easy.
The Scripture is taken from the International Children's Bible but once they learn this version of the Scripture, the NKJV is included at the end so that the child can learn another version of the Scripture. I like the fact that the Bible used is a simpler, easier to understand version for the children and as they grow in Biblical truths and understanding of Scripture they can move on to the more difficult (but beautiful) language of the KJV.
The listed ages for this are 5 through 13. I know my soon to be 5 year old would not be ready for the copywork portion but would enjoy the coloring pages while the coloring would be somewhat simple for my 7 year old but the copywork would be just right for her. My two year old has a couple years. You would have to use your best judgement as to what works for each child, thankfully CurrClick offers you a full sized mini preview so you can see what is included in this great Bible Unit Study by Sharon Crooks.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

A Promise for Breanna by Al Lacy

As part of the Waterbrook fiction grab bag I was given the book, A Promise for Breanna by Al Lacy - another author that I have never read before. The book is part of the Angel of Mercy series but does not need to be read in order to understand what is going on, I was able to pick up what was going on with the other books. Waterbrook wants to make affordable summer reading and for a full length, historical novel the price of $6.99 (U.S.) is a bargain!

We are introduced to certified medical nurse, Breanna Baylor, who has been left heartbroken by her fiancee who married another after he decided Breanna got religion. Her trust in men has been all but destroyed, she sends away her true love, John Stranger - a legendary hero. Breanna puts all of herself into her work as a nurse traveling to frontier towns and even a wagon train. She doesn't let wether a man or woman, American Indian or white man, determine whether she will give treatment. She genuinely cares for the people she treats and loves her job and the reader can tell from reading the book this is true. Four years later her ex-fiancee, Frank Miller, is back on the scene. Things do not go well after being accused of murder and he threatens Breanna. Breanna, relying on her faith, prays to God and rests in His peace.

What an exciting book this way, I was hooked from the first page and couldn't put it down until the last - although if it had kept going I wouldn't have cared. I liked the fact that it was a romance but didn't have the romance fillers that a reader would usually see in other books. Although this book is not classified as a romance, Breanna does think of John Stranger and I think there were a couple kiss scenes but it really didn't make an impression on me since it wasn't on every single page! I enjoyed not having to sift through a bunch of details that weren't pertinent to the story.
The historical details were well laid out and for that I am thankful. Mr. Lacy even goes so far as to give a little history lesson at the begining of the book so that the reader doesn't get lost. I will admit I got a little lost when he references vehicles when talking about wagons - I am not used to wagons being called vehicles because my modern mind thinks of automobiles when vehicle is used. Quite a bit of detail is given to certain medical issues, such as a c-section that is done, there was a lot of historical facts given that could have been left out without detriment to the book but, I can see that some people may not understand the medical procedures and so this may help them understand the story better. I liked the fact that the Biblical Scriptures are given for cleanliness and hygiene which most don't know about, so maybe this book will cause someone to dig deeper into Scripture.
I recommend this book for some great, inexpensive summer reading!