Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wordless Wednesday Delbin's 1954 Ford Customline Fixer Upper

We purchased this 1954 Ford Customline for our son Delbin. He is 14 now, so he has two years to fix it up with his father before he gets his license to drive it.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Singer ZigZag Chainstitch Toy Sewing Machine Review... Why I Took This Back to the Store!


We bought my daughter Teela a Singer ZigZag Chainstitch Toy Sewing Machine Model A2207 (the new model for 2014) for Christmas this year. This gift was intended to be an pleasant experience for her to begin to learn to sew. Instead it was an utter disappointment. I guess I should have known since it was a "toy", but I was expecting something a lot better from Singer.

Teela posing with the toy sewing machine she received for Christmas before the headache began.

Problems we had:
  • The machine runs on 4 x 1.5V LR6 "AA" batteries that are not included.
  • On/Off switch is hard to push into position.
  • The machine is very loud while running.
  • The tension is difficult to get right and the tension dial comes off completely if dialed too much.
  • Thread breaks easily while sewing with the machine.
  • There is no bobbin, so no under/bottom threading to lock top threading to fabric.
  • Both the zigzag and chainstitch comes out/unravels too easily.
  • Can only "sew" light fabrics and paper crafts.
  • It is nearly impossible to re-thread or change the needle. You need to unscrew the guard/protective cover every time you need to re-thread the needle or change the needle. This is very time consuming and requires a small screw driver the sewing machine doesn't come with.
  • Spool compartment and storage compartment is hard to open and close.

Things we liked:
  • It has cute alluring designs and packaging.
  • It is lightweight.
  • It has a carrying handle.
  • Safety guard over the needle doesn't let little fingers be sewn.
  • Pressure foot can be lifted up and down with a lever on the back like a real sewing machine.
  • It comes with project materials (2 pieces of fabric that are already sized correctly for the project, 1 ribbon, 1 flower applique, 1 butterfly applique) and instructions to make your own bookmark.
  • It comes with operators manual.
  • The spool compartment holds 3 spools of thread that are included.
  • Has a small storage compartment that holds a measuring tape, needle threader, and plastic needle that also comes with the machine.
  • Foot pedal is sized for little feet.
We were both very frustrated and annoyed with the Singer ZigZag Chainstitch Toy Sewing Machine. We couldn't even finish the bookmark project because the stitches kept coming out. Then the thread came completely out of the needle and I had to try to re-thread it. After trying for about an hour to do so, I gave up. We ended up taking the toy sewing machine back to Walmart and getting our money back. I do not recommend this toy sewing machine to anyone!

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I did not receive any compensation for this post. I purchased this product myself and wanted to post this information to advise my readers of my thoughts about it so that they wouldn't go through the same headache as I did.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wordless Wednesday Christmas Goat

Our new friendly goat to munch down some briars on our farm. He came with the name Uncle Si (Duck Dynasty), but is called Goatee or Hedge by my kids.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Mrs. Cavanuagh's Chocolates Review

This review is sponsored by Mrs. Cavanuagh's through USFG.

I love getting chocolates as a gift, but really, who doesn't? Mrs.Cavanaugh's Famous Chocolates have been a family owned and operated business since 1964 and proudly made in the USA. I received 1 LB (a box of assorted chocolates and 4 different bars) of Mrs.Cavanaugh's Famous Chocolates FREE with FREE shipping to try out and review on my blog. These were all scrumptious! You can tell they package these with love.

The boxed chocolates was their 9oz Most Famous Milk and Dark Chocolates (Mixed Chocolates). They came in a fancy gold and burgundy box. These fine chocolates also came with a sheet that said what each chocolate was if you didn't want to be surprised. The boxed chocolates are to swoon for! They are really the best boxed chocolates I have had! I was so pleased with the quality and variety. This assortment is great for everybody who loves chocolate confectioneries because of its wonderful variety of dark, milk, and white chocolates as well as ones with nuts and other fillings. My favorites in the boxed chocolates were the coconut ones.

I received 4 bars: Milk Chocolate Mindy Mint, Milk Chocolate Caramel, Dark Chocolate Roasted Almond, and White Chocolate Almond Coconut. These were very crunchy and chewy. I don't care for white chocolate too much, but I liked it with the coconut and almonds. My favorite out of the bars, though, was the dark chocolate one. I love dark chocolate the best and wish this one was the coconut one instead of the white chocolate.

My readers receive Buy 1 lb Get 1 lb FREE of Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates use promo code: usfamily2014 http://www.mrscavanaughs.com/

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received this complimentary chocolate as part of my participation in The US Family Guide Blogging program. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. No other compensation was received.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Betty Crocker Holiday Baking Review and Giveaway #GetYourBettyOn

This review and giveaway is sponsored by Betty Crocker.


I love to bake, especially during the holiday season. I, however; don't like being stuck in the kitchen all day cooking, baking and cleaning when I could be spending time with my family. This is why I enjoy spending time in the kitchen with my kids and the extra help is much appreciated.

Besides my kids, Betty Crocker™ is also giving me a hand with all of my holiday baking needs. They sent me a lovely gift basket filled with wonderful items to help me Get My Betty On. They also are providing me with another gift basket to give away, so keep reading to get your chance at entering.

Get Your Betty On and start baking something with your kids this holiday season to make some memories, help them develop their skills, and create a love of cooking/baking together. Betty Crocker has pulled together a helpful online Kid's Christmas Cookie Corner featuring their Top 10 cookies for kids and short, inspirational/how-to videos on each. They also have a whole cooking/baking section to help get your kids in the kitchen and excited to help.

Jaedan mixing up some ingredients in the kitchen.

My kids have lots of fun in the kitchen as you can tell. They love to help with cooking, baking, and the preparation of food. I feel this is an essential thing to learn and keep building upon so that they can eventually make healthy meals and desserts all on their own for themselves and their own families when they are older. This is a skill that will follow them over to when they are older and have a place of their own.

Teela licking the batter bowl clean.

My favorite thing to bake with my kids are cookies. Even though baking/cooking with kids can become messy it is also fun and rewarding. When kids cook or bake in the kitchen they learn valuable skills like how to: read and follow directions, measure and count ingredients, be creative, have time management, and problem solve. They also gain visual perceptual and spatial perceptual skills (pouring, fitting cookies on a tray, sprinkling, flouring, etc.), and lots of coordination skills (washing, mixing, kneading, sieving, rolling, shaping, mashing, tearing, squashing, spreading, cutting, etc.).

Teela helping in my mom's kitchen.

Connect with Betty Crocker™ on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube (use #GetYourBettyOn to show how you are celebrating and enjoying making goodies this holiday season).

Betty Crocker Holiday Baking gift basket contents.


The Betty Crocker Holiday Baking gift basket includes:

  • Kitchen tablet stand: This is a sturdy red plastic stand for using with your tablet computers. It makes it easy to take your tablet into the kitchen with you if you have a recipe to look at while you are cooking or baking. Since it is made of plastic it is easily cleaned if any ingredients get on it. It has nonskid rubber feet that helps it not slide or tip on your counter-top. You can also easily recharge your device on the dock slot because it has a hole where your chord goes through to the back.
  • Betty Crocker™ Mixing Spoon: This is a sturdy red plastic mixing spoon with the nostalgic Betty Crocker logo on it.
  • Betty Crocker™ Oven Mitt: This is a very nice red oven mitt with the Betty Crocker logo on it. It has some grippers on it to help hold onto your hot pots and pans better and a loop to hang it.
  • “Get Your Betty On” Apron: This is a very attractive red apron that reads “Get Your Betty On” and has the Betty Crocker logo on the front of it.
  • Gingerbread Cookie Cutter: This Wilton cookie cutter is a metal gingerbread man and is the perfect size for yummy cookies made by little hands.
  • Betty Crocker™ Sugar Cookie Mix: This sugar cookie mix is great for cutout sugar cookies. 17.5 oz bag makes 36 two inch cookies in about 20 minutes. Just add one stick of real butter and one egg. Collect box tops off of the packaging for your school.
  • Betty Crocker™ Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix: This mix makes delicious moist chocolate chip cookies. 17.5 oz bag makes 36 two inch cookies in about 20 minutes. Just add one stick of real butter and one egg. Collect box tops off of the packaging for your school.
  • Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy Vanilla Frosting: I am not much of a frosting fan, but this frosting is pretty good. If you love vanilla frosting this is yummy. You can use this 16 oz tub of frosting for 13x9 inch cake 8-inch or 9-inch 2-layer cake or 24-32 cupcakes. Collect box tops off of the packaging for your school.
  • Betty Crocker™ Holiday Recipe Booklet 2014 – feat. The Top 10 Cookie Decorating Ideas of 2014: This little booklet cookbook has some very cute recipes to get your holiday baking started.


  • WIN IT
    Prize: Betty Crocker Holiday Baking Gift Basket

    I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received products for free to facilitate my review and an opportunity to giveaway products for free to a lucky reader. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review and giveaway.

    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    Wordless Wednesday Abandoned Nest

    Abandoned nest made of straw and mud that my son Delbin found on the ground near this fence post on our corral.

    Delbin placed this nest up on the post to keep it safe and out of harms way.

    SchoolhouseTeachers.com Review

    SchoolhouseTeachers.com Review


    For those of you who are new to my blog, I would like to tell you a tiny bit about my children and my homeschooling methods. I have two older boys. Delbin is 14 and Jaedan is 12. I also have two girls. Teela is 6 and Zari is 4. I am a huge fan of hands-on learning, Charlotte Mason, unit studies, Classical, Waldorf, and Montessori. We are kind of a geeky family with a huge love of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). We also love reading, history, art, and music. We love nature, the great outdoors, and to go on educational/fun field trips together. I homeschool with an eclectic flair. I take my homeschooling methods and curriculum from many sources. I am now a new member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew this year. I am meeting some wonderful new people that homeschool as well. I am grateful to be on the team. As part of the perks of being a member, I get the opportunity to test out and share with you some great homeschool products, curricula and websites.

    The first review is of an online school of sorts called SchoolhouseTeachers.com. I was given a Yearly Membership so I have some time to explore it a bit. I have had only 2 weeks to delve into it so far. So for now, I would love to go over the basics about it, what my family and I like about it thus far, and why you definitely should be checking it out for yourself.

    I have poked about in the SchoolhouseTeachers.com website now that my family has a subscription and basically have come to the conclusion that I can only skim the surface for this review because of the vastness of what they are offering. The SchoolhouseTeachers.com website has literally over 100 courses! This online learning is wonderful because once you start the membership you have all their Christian homeschool curriculum right at your fingertips. You don't have to search the whole of online to track down wholesome classes for your homeschooler.

    Once I got my subscription and logged in I could see that the website is fairly easy to navigate. This internet-based homeschool is organized and arranged by: teachers, age group (Pre-K/Elem, Middle/High School, Family/For Parents), and dailies. They also have a section for resources and course offerings. The courses range from core classes to electives and go from preschool to high school age...although I saw a few I would love to try myself. I believe that there is something for all ages and grades, really. Some of the classes are only a few weeks long, but others can take a lot longer. Many of the lessons are printable, downloadable, and have elements in them, like videos, that interact with your learner.

    Like I mentioned above my family loves hands-on learning, so we decided to try some Science Experiments from Jason Lindsey of Hooked On Science that are in the lessons section of the SchoolhouseTeachers.com website. We could have picked others from the archives, but we had all the ingredients for the two listed in December, so we picked those to try. We did the Orange Flash one and the Pinecone Hygrometer one. There we learned why oranges are flammable and how to predict the weather with pinecones. It was really fun and we learned some neat science.

    Pinecone Hygrometer science experiment

    Jaedan and Delbin demonstrating the "Orange Flash".

    Here is a short video of my kids doing the Orange Flash. Because there was fire involved I was close by to douse the flame if something happened, but my boys were very professional and they did very well with it. I was the one shooting and narrating the video. Sorry about the low quality, I am a bit new to doing videos so bear with me. I hope you enjoy it...
    video



    The dailies are short lessons that you can do daily with your children. There are a lot of different schoolhouse dailies to choose from. We found games, history, copy-work, art, science, spelling, grammar, writing, etc. while we were looking through this section. My girls did an ABC With ME: History lesson in the dailies section. This has a history lesson for every letter of the alphabet. We learned about Abraham Lincoln for A and they colored a printed picture of him from the lesson. The lesson linked to other pages that had pictures and descriptions of places and other things that had some significance to Honest Abe. All my children liked seeing these places in photographs and learning about them. It would have been neat to see them in person, but this was the next best thing.

    Daily: ABC With Me: History

    Zari wanted to do something on her own online and since she is preschool age we quickly found something fun in the Resource section of the site. We picked through and found the EZ Storybooks from EZTales. These are interactive stories that are put to animation and narration. A lot of these stories underline the words as they are said and she can click the words again with the mouse to hear them repeat. This is great for early readers that are just starting out like my Zari. What is also very nice about it is that she gets practice clicking the mouse and using the computer as well.

    EZ Storybooks on SchoolhouseTeachers.com

    WHAT WE WOULD LOVE TO DO NEXT:
    There are a lot of other lessons and dailies that I would love to try out over the span of the year with my kids. These all interest us to some degree. Take a look and see some of the lessons we would love to do next.

    In Electives:
    A lot of electives look like fun. I would love to do the Beginning Sewing: Historical Costumes classes with my kids because we all love to cosplay and learning how to sew some neat costumes would be fun. Since we live on a farm and are just starting to learn the ropes the Homesteading classes would be of interest to me and my family. Nature/Outdoor studies sound right up our ally too since we all love being outside.  I would love my boys to take the Whole Foods Cooking class because they need to have some practice in cooking more and since they love to cook I think they would really enjoy the lessons.

    In  Foreign Language:
    My boys have both had an interest in learning Spanish so I am pleased to see a Spanish course in this section. My husband brought home a Spanish program to learn once, but it was a disappointment because of the over use of the word beer and many references to drinking. I know this will definitely not be a problem for the lessons on SchoolhouseTeachers.com because of how they are family oriented and Christian based. I would also love to encourage my boys to take the Hands-on Hebrew courses along with me.

    In Music/Voice:
    Once I get a new full size violin I would love to brush up on my technique because it has been a while since I played. I also would love to check out the guitar lessons since I have a guitar and have been wanting to learn to play it.

    In Reading Writing, & Spelling:
    The Literature Kits look wonderful! They start the course focusing on The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and have hands on activities, recipes, history, geography, Bible, language arts, science, etc. in an all encompassing course. In the Dailies section we want to try the Ditch the Desk lessons. These are hands on and have a little bit of everything: reading, writing, arithmetic, science, and more to broaden our connection with the world. Pre-K Activities: Read and Play would be so much fun for Zari and I to do together. It is also listed in the Dailies section and has a list of stories to read to your preschooler along with activities games, and printouts to do with them that go with the story.

    There are so many pockets on the SchoolhouseTeachers.com that I have not even gotten a chance to unearth yet in the two weeks I have had it so far. I definitely haven't mentioned everything. I am going to love exploring more and expanding both mine and my children's learning. I know I can count on SchoolhouseTeachers.com to have wholesome Christian based lessons which save me time, resources, and money.

    Watch the video and see more about SchoolhouseTeachers.com:



    SO WHAT DOES THIS COST?
    Normally SchoolhouseTeachers.com is $12.95 per month for a monthly membership or $139 per year.

    Right now through Christmas Day (at 11:59pm ET) SchoolhouseTeachers.com is having a sale!! Save 40% off the regular price! This is only $7.77 per month!! Or save up to $74 on their regular price by choosing a yearly membership for ONLY $64.26 per year! Don't delay because this sale won't be around for long. Just click the image below to save now!

    SchoolhouseTeachers.com Review

    Follow Them:
    Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SchoolhouseTeachers/
    Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/tosmag/schoolhouseteacherscom/

    SchoolhouseTeachers.com Review

    Crew Disclaimer

    Thursday, December 4, 2014

    50% Off Melissa & Doug Toys on Amazon.com Today Only!

    This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog!

    Today only, save 50% on select Melissa & Doug toys. It's their Gold Box Deal of the Day.

    This one-day offer is valid on December 4th, 2014, or while supplies last. Discount is already included in the current Amazon.com price. Applies only to purchases made from Amazon.com and does not apply to products purchased from third-party merchants on the Amazon.com website.

    Go here to get Christmas for your little ones early: Melissa & Doug Sale!


    DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I did not receive any compensation for doing this post; however, this post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog!

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

    Thursday, November 27, 2014

    Karina Dresses Black Friday Sale

    Karina Dresses provided this information to me to share with you. This is a sponsored affiliate post. This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase.

    Black Friday is upon us once again! Avoid the crowds this year, and shop online with Karina Dresses instead! Their website is fully stocked with countless styles and prints to choose from. Grab a timeless solid or polka dot dress from the Karina Classics Collection or a limited-edition print from their Fall 2014 Collection. Don't see anything you like there? Then, head over to the Clearance Section where you will you will find some fabulous dresses for even more fabulous prices! From 11/28 to 12/1, you can take 40% off of the the entire Karina Dresses web store with the code BLACKFRIDAY at checkout. Happy shopping, ladies!
    Karina Dresses was founded in 2007, based upon fashion industry veteran, Karina Cousineau's, vision of creating dresses for every woman. She knew there was a real need for a fashion line that makes every body (and everybody) feel and look great no matter what shape or size. A line that made every woman feel like a Frockstar™. Handmade in New York from limited edition fabrics, Karina Dresses creates a custom collection that is both classic and fashion-forward. Through a deep dialogue with retailers and direct clients, Karina takes a “slow fashion” approach, patiently nurturing dresses with artisanal attention to fit, fabric and construction.


    DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Karina Dresses provided this information to me to share with you. The links in this post are affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog!

    Thursday, November 20, 2014

    Melissa & Doug’s Terrific 25 Giveaway

    This is a promotion for Melissa & Doug. I might win a prize for posting.

    Melissa & Doug will be doing another round of DAILY GIVEAWAYS on the Melissa & Doug Facebook page and on Twitter, featuring some of the best new toys for the upcoming holiday season. Every day for 25 days, they’ll be giving away one item from their Terrific 25 Gifts list! That’s another Terrific Twenty toy to a new fan EVERY DAY! Enter here!

    DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: For my participation in this Melissa & Doug Promotion I will be entered to win one of THREE BIG prizes from Melissa & Doug! One winner will receive $200 in their choice of Melissa & Doug toys. One winner will win $100 in their choice of Melissa & Doug toys. One winner will win $75 in their choice of Melissa & Doug toys. Thanks to Melissa & Doug for providing me this promotion information and entering me to win. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for posting this promo.

    Wednesday, November 19, 2014

    Wordless Wednesday Taking the Bunny for a Walk...er Hop



    What's In The Bible Series: Why Do We Call It Christmas? DVD Review & Giveaway

    What's In The Bible Series: Buck Denver asks...Why Do We Call It Christmas? DVD
    This review and giveaway is sponsored by Propeller Consulting, LLC. This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog!

    Phil Vischer, the creator of Veggie Tales has come out with yet another awesome DVD as part of his great series "What's In the Bible?"! This series is a little bit different than the Veggie Tales series in that instead of animated anthropomorphic vegetables telling about the gospel we have Muppet like puppets and animated cartoons to illustrate and tell about the Bible. This series makes it fun and easy to learn facts about the Bible that we might have not already known. All of the What's In the Bible? episodes use humor, creative storytelling, and fun songs to create an entertaining and informative learning experience. These episodes would be a great homeschooling tool to use with Bible study. We love these and always learn something new from them.

    Zari with the What's In The Bible Series: Why Do We Call It Christmas? DVD

    We received a free copy of the DVD Buck Denver asks... Why Do We Call It Christmas to watch and review. This DVD answers some of the most perplexing Christmas questions: Why do we call it Christmas?, Why do we chop down trees and drag them into our homes on Christmas?, Why do we hang stockings?, Who is Santa Claus and why is this large jolly man celebrated during Christmas?, What is Hanukkah/Chanukah?, and What does Emmanuel mean and who is he?. It also answers the biggest question of all, What does all this have to do with Jesus' birthday?!

    I thought the presentation was super cute in this DVD. Buck Denver, the intrepid newsman, starts out with asking some of these questions to two of his friends and then they tell him he needs to host a Christmas party so they can answer his questions. He sends off invitations and the educational adventure begins.



    My children know the story of Jesus' birth very well. We love to read and act out the story in Luke 2 of his birth for Christmas. Before we watched this DVD my kids had no idea how any of the other Christmas traditions had to do with Christ's birth.

    We enjoyed this DVD very much. It was very cute and very informative. We loved learning some of the history behind Christmas and why some of the holiday traditions are what the are today. We also loved learning how and why these traditions actually have a tremendous amount to do with Jesus' birth. My kids were somewhat surprised that what they thought were secular traditions actually had a lot of spiritual and religious basis. It is great to know that all these traditions point back to Christ somehow.

    Besides the 60 minute main feature on the DVD there are bonuses to partake in as well. On the DVD it has funny outtakes, sing-a-longs, and a poem that Buck recites. Inside of the DVD it comes with a note from Phil, Focus on the Family "What did you learn?": parent to child question and answer sheet, & a coloring page. It also tells you where to go online to download more coloring pages and printables, get a free advent calendar in December, and subscribe to a free Christian magazine. Some of the fun printables and downloadables on the website go perfectly with what was covered on the DVD.

    Get Connected with What’s in The Bible: Official Website, Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pintrest

    BUY IT


    WIN IT
    Prize: What's In The Bible Series: Why Do We Call It Christmas? DVD

    I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

    Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

    This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog!

    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    Noah A Wordless Picture Book by Mark Ludy Review & Giveaway

    This review and giveaway is sponsored by Propeller Consulting, LLC. This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog!

    Noah A Wordless Picture Book by Mark Ludy is an impressive illustrative retelling of the biblical story of Noah's Arc without words. Well technically it has the words, "Methuselah welcomes his grandson, Noah...", on the first page, but then there is pretty much silence. You can see so much expression in the peoples' faces on each page. The artist literally paints epic pictures of how he thinks Noah and the people around him acted, felt, and lived. It really does make Noah and his ark seem more tangible. Although this work is Mark Ludy's own interpretation of the biblical story, he goes about the retelling in pictures fairly accurately.




    This amazing illustrated work was funded a while back by Kickstarter. Mark Ludy is a fabulous artist and illustrator! I commend him in getting this project successfully funded.


    I have some mixed feelings about Noah A Wordless Picture Book by Mark Ludy. The pictures are absolutely gorgeous. They remind me of a hardcover graphic novel/comic book with no words.  Some of them; however, are for the more mature audience. Ludy, himself, said that if he left the bad stuff out of the story it would be a disservice to all...I am not sure I agree, but everyone has their own opinions. There are pictures in this book that are of the darker more grim scenes of the flood (like people drowning, being swept away by the waters). This is certainly not a "Sunday school version" that smooths out all the bad stuff or completely ignores it in the retelling. Although the age range is 2-18 on Amazon for this book, I really feel that the younger set might not be ready for the graphic and intense nature of some of these pictures. Depending on your own standards, you might want to screen some of these. Also, I am not sure what to make of the dinosaurs on some pages. My church doesn't really take a stance on creationism or intelligent design verses evolution in relationship to dinosaurs and how old the Earth really is. All I do know is that we don't have all the answers...there really is no way of knowing everything, unless you are THE omnipotent God.



    So, I would say it is probably best to use your own best judgement and wisdom with this book. If you do narrate the pictures for your children do not stray from the actual Bible version of the story, especially if you are rusty on the story, and be ready to answer questions that might come up. The new 2014 Noah movie is far from an accurate biblical account, so please don't base your narration off of it.


    Also, as a fun little bonus, you can try to find Squeakers the mouse on every page of this book. It is harder than it looks and I am still looking for that illusive little rodent on some of the pages! My older kids were trying to help me to no avail.

    This book would be great for the Creationist or possibly someone who loves biblical illustration or art. I recommend it for older kids. I think that it would also be great in some church circles.

    About the author:









    Mark Ludy has written or illustrated eight children’s books including The Farmer, The Flower Man, The Grump,When I Was a Boy I Dreamed, When I Was a Girl I Dreamed, and Jujo the Youngest Tribesman. When he’s not immersed in his sketchbooks, you’ll find him in schools promoting art and literacy. He lives in Colorado with his wife, daughter, and two sons.

    Mark’s website: http://www.markludy.com  
    Official NOAH websitehttp://www.plough.com/en/ebooks/n/noah
     
    BUY IT:


    WIN IT
    Prize: 
    Noah A Wordless Picture Book by Mark Ludy

    I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

    Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

    This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog!

    Monday, November 17, 2014

    Sam's Christmas Wish by George D. Durrant, Illustrated by Dan Burr Book Review

    We received this product free from Shadow Mountain to facilitate this review and participate in the blog tour. This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog!

    Since loosing his job a few week before Christmas, Sam Edwards isn't looking forward to Christmas. He also isn't looking for charity from anyone for him or his family. Christmas brings a mysterious surprise left anonymously at his home, without any tracks to follow. Sam's heart changes when seeing his family's reaction to the gifts and kindness of this unknown someone. With the spirit of Christmas renewed in him, he makes the wish to have the opportunity himself to do something good anonymously for another. Only when he is old and sickly does he get the chance to have his wish fulfilled and granted. Read this book to find out how.

    Sam's Christmas Wish is a wonderful book with gorgeous illustrations that helps get the Christmas spirit of love, gratitude, service and sacrifice flowing through us. I love this beautiful book. This book is a tearjerker. I couldn't help but tear up while reading it. Such a great miracle and blessing Sam became because of the remembrance of one act of service that opened up his heart to others. I love the heartwarming story and message it tells of the reality of the: joy of service, true giving, and the miracle of love. I would recommend this book to anyone needing some more Christmas spirit in your home. This book is so inspiring and begs the question to ask ourselves, “What gift will I give in secret this Christmas?”.
     
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    DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received products for free to facilitate my review. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review. This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog! 

    Saturday, November 15, 2014

    Disney Frozen Hairstyles Inspired by Anna and Elsa Book Review

    We received this product free to facilitate this review. This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog!

    The Disney Frozen Hairstyles Inspired by Anna and Elsa book is great for anyone who loves the movie Frozen and wants to take the experience one step further. This book has 28 fabulous hairstyles to create.

    Disney Frozen Hairstyles is split into four sections: Braidschool, Twists & Braids, Updos & Buns, and Waves & Ponytails. The Braidschool section goes through the basic braids that one needs to be familiar with first before moving onto the more advanced hairstyles. There are a variety of hairstyles in this book that are wonderful for active girls as well as for special occasions such as parties, proms, and weddings.


    Excerpted with permission of the publisher, Edda USA, from Disney Frozen Hairstyles: Inspired by Anna and Elsa. Copyright (c) 2014 Disney Enterprises, Inc. Rights reserved. This book is available at all bookstores and online booksellers.

    It has full color photos and step-by-step instructions to help you along the way. I love the gorgeous photographs of the young girls with the beautiful hairstyles. These real life photos show you exactly what it should look like on a real girl. Every hairstyle is accompanied with a full color photo for every step and one for the end result. This makes the book very easy to follow along.


    Excerpted with permission of the publisher, Edda USA, from Disney Frozen Hairstyles: Inspired by Anna and Elsa. Copyright (c) 2014 Disney Enterprises, Inc. Rights reserved. This book is available at all bookstores and online booksellers.

    My girls, Zari and Teela were excited when they saw the book. They love it when I take the time to make them look fancy. My mother had made them each a Frozen cape to go with their new hairdo as well. I did Zari's hair with the "Anna's Braids" instructions and for Teela's I did a more advanced "Elsa's Icy Braid". I am not the best braider in the world, because I don't have much practice really, but I think the DIY instructions and photos helped me tremendously. The hairstyles made Zari and Teela both look enchanting and very princess-like. They had a blast getting all pretty and dressed up for my photos. It will be a lot of fun to try the other hairstyles and experiment to also make our own with this inspired book.


    Teela with "Elsa's Icy Braid".

    The Disney Frozen Hairstyles Inspired by Anna and Elsa book would be a great holiday gift for anyone that loves the Frozen movie. Fans of the royal sisters will delight in this book while learning to create these fantastic Frozen looks.


    Zari with "Anna's Braids".

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    DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received products for free to facilitate my review. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review. This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog!

    Friday, November 14, 2014

    LifeStraw Go Filtered Water Bottle Review and Giveaway

    This review and giveaway is sponsored by Vestergaard through Coyne PR. This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog!

    LifeStraw Go in Packaging

    Water, we all need it to survive. It is said we can live without food for about 3 weeks, but water is a different story. Water makes up about 60% of the adult human body. It is essential to keep our bodies functioning. The estimate of how long a person could live without water seems to be a week (less in hotter conditions), but this is a generous estimate...three to four days is more likely. The dangers of dehydration are very real and could cause death in severe cases. Whether you are exploring the nearby nature trail or camping in the mountains, having access to clean drinking water is always a priority.

    The LifeStraw Go by Vestergaard is a filtered water bottle that uses an advanced hollow fiber membrane technology to convert micro-biologically contaminated water into safe drinking water. The Lifestraw filters and removes 99.9999% of bacteria (E. coli, Salmonella, etc.) and 99.9% of protozoa (Giardia, Cryptosporidium, etc.), and some viruses. It will filter a total of 1,000 liters / 264 gallons to 0.2 microns over the filter's lifetime capacity. When the filter has reached its lifetime capacity it will stop taking in water. Since the water filter is detachable, you can simply purchase a replacement filter when the filter has reached capacity. The bottle can be reused indefinitely, saving waste from disposable plastic water bottles.


    LifeStraw Go is durable, convenient, lightweight, safe and portable. It requires no: electricity, pumping, batteries, iodine, or chemicals to use. This filtered water bottle meets US EPA drinking water standards and is made of BPA free Tritan plastic. It has a handy carabiner to hook it to a backpack or belt loop so you always have it ready and accessible. LifeStraw Go holds 23 ounces of water and doesn't leak.

    The LifeStraw Go is great to take with you different places where you might not have access to clean drinking water. Take the LifeStraw Go with you and rest assured that you will have clean drinking water on-the-go. It is ideal for:
    • hiking
    • biking
    • camping
    • travel
    • boating
    • fishing
    • running
    • trekking
    • survival
    • gift giving

    The LifeStraw Go filtered water bottle is so easy-to-use. Just fill container with dirty or unfiltered water. Stop at any lake, river, pond, stream, or even a puddle to fill up the bottle. You can even drink directly from the LifeStraw by placing the end directly in the water. After filling screw on the lid and sip filtered water through the mouthpiece and straw. After each drinking session, unscrew the lid and blow through the LifeStraw to expel dirty water. The food-grade silicone mouthpiece is flexible which prevents it from chipping or cracking, and is also removable for easy cleaning.



    I will be taking the LifeStraw Go filtered water bottle with me hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, camping, canoeing, kayaking, etc. Everywhere I go the water will taste amazing with LifeStraw Go and I don't have to worry about the water making me sick. It will be so wonderful to have a water bottle I can always rely on to have clean good tasting water any where I go.

    LifeStraw Go is wonderful for trips overseas and cross country. This water bottle is also great for storing in a bug out bag or emergency preparedness kit. It makes a great stocking stuffer for anyone young, old, or in between.

    LifeStraw Go and I.
    Not only does LifeStraw Go provide clean drinking water to the user, but LifeStraw's 'Follow the Liters' campaign provides one school child in Africa with safe drinking water for an entire school year with the purchase of any LifeStraw water filter!

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    Prize:  LifeStraw Go


    I am trying out Rafflecopter on my blog. Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for it below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received this product for free to facilitate this review and the opportunity to give away one for free. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review. This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my blog!