Friday, January 28, 2011

The Earth: Its Structure & Its Changes - a Creation Conversations Review

The Earth: Its Structure & Its Changes is a wonderful resource book that will enhance any homeschooler's (or science-loving parent) lessons. Geared for 3rd-6th graders, this book is chock full of information and experiments to enrich the readings.

Each "lesson" is divided into Investigations, which are about 4 pages in length. Included in each Investigation includes a project, readings, and questions to help children "dig a little deeper" in their knowledge of science.

In this series, the following themes are covered (but not limited to): composition of the earth; earthquakes; volcanoes; folding and faulting; mapping a mountain; crystals; minerals; rocks; physical and chemical weathering; caves, sinkholes, and geysers; glaciers.

The projects call for mainly items that you have around your house, except maybe for the rocks' lessons.

Overall, I recommend this book. If you're a homeschooling parent, this would be a great enrichment tool. Also, there are other books similar to this, such as "Forces & Motion," "Matter," and "Energy." If you're a parent of a school student, this also would be a great reinforcement for what's learned in school.

I received The Earth: Its Structure & Its Changes as a complimentary gift in exchange for review from Creation Conversations.

An Amish Love - BookSneeze Review

An Amish Love is a series of three novellas written by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, and Kelly Long. The book is 400 pages in length, only divided into three stories.

The stories' main characters are linked in all of the stories, which is nice. This is a nice book for individuals who love Amish romance.

In the first story, "A Marriage of the Heart," Abigail Kauffman finds herself suddenly married to Joseph Lambert (as a result of a bit of deceit on her part), a man who had recently come back to his Amish faith after spending time in the Englisch world. They struggle to make their marriage into a lasting one as they both battle their own skeletons in the closet.

In "What the Heart Sees," Ellie Chupp is on her own, as a result of a tragic car accident that left her best friend dead and left Ellie blind. When Christopher Miller returns to the Amish community, he's torn with his own anxiety over his fiancee's death in that car accident but finds Ellie intriguing. He admires her drive for independence, and he wants to capture her heart.

In "Healing Hearts," Naaman Lapp has been away from his family for nearly a year, as a result of his desire to be alone. However, Levina, his wife of 31 years, finds it difficult to forgive and forget. When a lawman comes looking for Naaman, his family and the community wonders what exactly Naaman did during the eleven months that he was gone from their community.

I am a member of BookSneeze, a fabulous program through Thomas Nelson. BookSneeze sends members free books to read and keep in exchange for written reviews on a blog and on a major retailer's website (such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble).

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Made to Crave - a Litfuse review

Made to Crave, written by Lysa TerKeurst, hit me in the gut (pun intended). The very things that she talked about in her book left me nodding my head quite a bit. It was almost as if she were writing her book about ME!

In essence, this book is not a how-to for weight loss. You won't find a weight loss program here, so if that's what you're looking for, go somewhere else. What you WILL find here is Lysa's opinion on why many people have problem with being overweight. We're "made to crave" God, not food. Instead of eating to survive, we survive to eat. And that was not God's desire for us--His will for us is that we'd crave him, that we get our deepest desires and our satisfaction from fellowship with Him instead of turning to a candy bar for that "ahhh" moment.

It didn't take me long to relate to this book. I think it was Chapter 2 that the tears began to start, because I could relate to what she was saying. I highly recommend this book to any "Jesus girl" who fights to stay thin (or lose weight). If you're like me and you've tried every diet known to man, you know what you SHOULD eat, try reading this book. Ultimately, your will to do better will be what eventually motivates you to eat healthier, but this may be the catalyst to get you moving that direction. As the book's subtitle says, "Satisfying your deepest desire with God, not food"--that's what this book is about.

Win a brand new KINDLE from Lysa Terkeurst during the Made To Crave KINDLE Giveaway!
To celebrate the release of Made to Crave and the MTC Small Group DVD Study Set, Lysa is giving away a KINDLE prize package worth over $175.00! To enter just click on the image on the right side of my blog! One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle with Wi-Fi & the New E Ink Pearl Screen
  • KINDLE editions of Lysa’s Made to Crave and Becoming More Than A Good Girl
But, wait there is more!

Lysa will be announcing the winner of the Made to Crave KINDLE Giveaway on February 8th during the Made To Crave Party on Facebook!
During the party Lysa will chat with guests, host a trivia contest or two, and give away lots of other fun prizes (copies of Lysa’s other books and, iTunes & Starbucks gift certificates) – including a live Author Chat with Lysa for your small group!
Don’t miss the fun! Lysa is looking forward to learning more about you – so be sure to stop by Lysa's Facebook Author Page on February 8th at 5:00 PM PST (6 PM MST, 7 PM CST, & 8 PM EST).
The giveaway has now ended. About Lysa: Lysa TerKeurst is an author and speaker who helps everyday women live an adventure of faith through following Jesus Christ. As president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Lysa has led thousands to make their walk with God an invigorating journey.

Lysa wrote the book Made to Crave from the perspective of a woman who has never craved a carrot stick in her whole life. Having struggled with her weight her whole adult life, Lysa knows what it feels like to be in the vicious cycle of gaining and losing, but never feeling at peace in her struggle. Everything changed when Lysa decided to have her deepest desire met by God not food. Now, armed with the spiritual motivation she gained in her own journey, she is inspiring others to find lasting victory.

As a nationally known speaker, Lysa has been passionately teaching women God’s truths for years. Lysa’s personal adventures of following God led to appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, The 700 Club, USA Today newspaper, Woman’s Day magazine, and Focus on the Family radio.

Today, Lysa and her ministry team at Proverbs 31 Ministries encourage more than 375,000 women through their daily online devotional. In addition, she co-hosts a 1-minute inspirational radio program aired on more than 1,200 stations around the world. Plus, she touches hearts through their monthly magazine, P31 Woman. Lysa’s blog averages over 70,000 avid readers per month. She is the award-winning author of 14 books, including her newest releases, Made to Crave and Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl. Other noteworthy books include What Happens When Woman Say Yes to God, What Happens When Women Walk in Faith, Capture His Heart, and Capture Her Heart. Visit Lysa's website for more info and to visit her blog!

I received Made to Crave as a complimentary gift in exchange for review from Litfuse Publicity Group

Sir Rowan and the Camerian Conquest - a Waterbrook Multnomah Review

Before I even start my review, let me just say it.... WOW! Ok, with that out of my system, let's begin. :P

Sir Rowan and the Camerian Conquest, written by Chuck Black, is a YA fantasy book. It's published by Waterbrook Multnomah, a Christian publishing company. The novel is 182 pages in length, with discussion questions and answers following. Also in the back is a scoresheet of a song entitled The Final Call written by Emily Elizabeth Black, Chuck's talented daughter. (Also if you go to the series' website, Arrethtrae, you will find a CD of music written and performed by Emily that you can buy! You can also hear a demonstration of music.)

This is the second book that I've read in this series (Sir Rowan is the sixth book in the Knights of Arrethtrae series), and I just have to say that this series is, just simply put, excellent. (If you want to read a review I wrote on Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor, click *here*.) I hold a love of fantasy, and this book definitely feeds that love. My young boys (11 and 6) love fantasy as well, and even though this story is a bit "old" for my youngest son, he could definitely appreciate it as a read-along. Even though this book is considered YA, I believe that all ages can appreciate it.

The main character of this book is a guy named Rowan. Both of his parents died, and as a result he was an urchin. A stable boy with the desire to sword fight, but a boy nonetheless with no sword. However, when a knight named Sir Aldwyn came to have his horse cared for, Rowan made a plea to hold the knight's sword. Watching the young man wield his sword, Sir Aldwyn asked him if he'd like to join him in training. Rowan wholeheartedly agreed, and was trained to be a Knight of the Prince.

Rowan quickly proved to be an excellent swordsman and rose in the ranks of sword competitors to become champion. However, the fame and fortune that he received did not do him well, but instead blinded him to his real purpose in life. After being captured and held for ransom for nearly a year, he was finally left to die by his captors when they gave up on ever receiving ransom. A woman happened along, found him, and brought him back to her home to nurse him back to health. After Rowan has had a few months to recover, he joins the Resolutes, a large group of knights and other individuals whose desire is to win back their land. However, when Rowan meets an unexpected man, his life is forever changed.

I won't spoil the ending for you, so go out and grab it! I highly recommend this book. It's enjoyable and will leave you on the edge of your seat.

I received Sir Rowan and the Camerian Conquest as a complimentary gift in exchange for review from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cover Girl 50th Anniversary! (A BZZAGENT CAMPAIGN)

Cover Girl is celebrating its 50th Anniversary, and with that comes a bunch of giveaways!

Go to their Facebook page, hit the Like button, and then join the program! Here's a list of what you could win:

Win a Celebrity COVERGIRL Experience
  • Enter now for a chance to dance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show!
  • Plus, throughout the year, you'll have the chance to win special prizes with Taylor, Queen or Drew.
Get Free Products
  • Every month we're giving away 1,000 free products. To kick things off, we're giving the first 1,000 COVERGIRLs that register a chance to win a FREE LashBlast Volume Mascara!
Make a Difference We're donating $1 to Make-A-Wish Foundation® for the first 50,000 COVERGIRLs who join!*

Edit 6/8/11:
I received an email from BzzAgent that I didn't give them any credit in my original blog entry. My apologies. :) This is a BzzAgent campaign. My opinions are my own.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fasting: The Ancient Practices - a BookSneeze Review

Fasting: The Ancient Practices is written by Scot McKnight and Phyllis Tickle. At 185 pages, this book is pretty easy to read.

This book encompasses many questions that many believers deal with. Is the body evil and keep us from God or can it be used in pursuit of God's blessing? McKnight firmly presses that fasting should not be used to manipulate God, nor should it be used solely to get a result. Instead, fasting is a response to a grief, sin, etc.

Also included in this book are scriptural accounts of fasting and accounts of individuals throughout the centuries who've had lots of experience with fasting. McKnight makes suggestions for how to fast appropriately (and healthily). He discourages the casual faster, and sets straight the pitfalls of fasting like cheating and manipulating and those looking for merit.

The idea of fasting is a response to a sacred moment or a yearning for God's presence in one's life.

As someone already familiar with fasting, I found this an informative reference book. One unfamiliar with fasting would greatly benefit from such a book as this.

I am a member of BookSneeze, a fabulous program through Thomas Nelson. BookSneeze sends members free books to read and keep in exchange for written reviews on a blog and on a major retailer's website (such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble).

Passport to the World - a Creation Conversations review

Passport to the World is a book on culture and language written by Craig Froman. The book is an excellent resource for homeschooling families or for any family, for that matter. Each country (one listed for each letter of the alphabet) includes a description of their population size, literacy percentage, number of internet users, their spot on the map, fun facts about the country, and how to pronounce "goodbye", "hello", "peace", and "thank you" in each specific language. Inside the book is a "passport" for children to put stickers in after they've read about each country listed inside the book. It's a full-color book that kids will thoroughly enjoy. The book also begins with a story about how languages began--from the story of Babel.

My children and I thoroughly have enjoyed this book. They've read it from cover to cover twice now, and I'm sure that it will remain on our shelf for years to come. I highly recommend this one!

I received Passport to the World as a complimentary gift in exchange for review from Creation Conversations.

When you see this image, it represents books that I highly recommend!