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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Old Fashioned Novelization and Devotional Review and Prize Pack Giveaway!

If you remember just a few weeks ago, I had a review of the movie Old Fashioned.  Now, it's my privilege to bring you this review of the novelization and an accompanying devotional as well as a giveaway prize pack for ALL THREE!!!

The Novelization:

Turning his back on his reckless lifestyle, former frat boy Clay Walsh has settled down to turn an antique shop in a small Midwestern college town....and to purse lofty and outdated theories on love and romance.  But when Amber Hewson, a free-spirited woman with a gypsy soul, rents the apartment above his shop, Clay can't help being attracted to her spontaneous and passionate embrace of life.  Amber also finds herself surprisingly drawn to Clay, but his ideas about relationships are unusual to say the least, and they bring to light her own deep wounds and fears about love.  They say opposites attract, but can Clay and Amber move beyond their differences and their pasts to attempt an "old fashioned" courtship?
OBM says:  303 pages; Softcover
I enjoyed the book even more than the movie.  It explains a little more what the characters are thinking and feeling, but also, it does away with the distracting flashback scenes and yet still manages to get across the idea that Clay is plagued by his past.  I feel far fewer reservations about allowing my teens to read the book than I do about watching the movie because the imagery from Clay's past isn't presented "in living color" in the book the way a movie has to do it.  I would whole-heartedly recommend the book, and was pleasantly surprised, since it was a novelization of a movie, and not the other way around.

The Devotional:

Contrary to popular opinion, being "old fashioned" doesn't mean you're dull or unromantic.  In fact, a true old fashioned relationship can be more exciting and romantic than anything you've ever experienced!  So what does it mean to do things the old fashioned way?  Sure, it means opening doors, holding out chairs, and taking things slow.  But a true old fashioned romance goes much, much deeper than that.  Inspired by the motion picture Old Fashioned, this book will show you how to reclaim the lost art of romance by introducing you to romantic love as God intended it.  Regardless of your past mistakes, where you've been, what you've done, or where you are now, you can find and create a love that will last a lifetime!  As you work your way through this forty-day journey of inspiring readings and questions for reflection, you'll discover all the unique and amazing benefits of doing things the old fashioned way.  And before you know it, you'll be well on your way to creating a love story for the ages.
OBM says:  222 pages; Softcover
This devotional strikes me as having more appeal and practical use to single people than married couples, and that makes sense since that is the status of the main characters of the movie the devotional is based upon.  But it certainly has great value to the demographic it is geared toward.  This devotional seeks to change your heart in 40 days toward how you view dating and romance and how to define them well in a God honoring way without going to extremes.  It's got great advice that really makes you think,  Each lesson is short, but has a devotional message followed by some type of application- a quiz, journal entry, "Consider This" questions, or "Put it into Practice" exercises.  Any single or unwed couple would be lucky to have this resource.

Both resources can be purchased from CBD or you can enter The Giveaway!!!


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Monday, June 15, 2015

An Update in Quick Takes

I wish I could pick up the phone and update everyone individually, but I'm running around like a mad woman, so quick takes it is!

Where to start?

My husband is currently is Scotland.  He'll be there for 2 weeks.  The highs there are in the low 60s.  The lows are in the 40s.  The high here tomorrow will be 100.  And we're not in FL anymore.  Calgone, take me away!

But wait, I am going away...to Scotland too.  I think.  I have my ticket, and I am meant to fly out Thursday evening.  But my in-laws are watching the kids for a week, and they've spent all morning in the ER with a possible blood clot in my F-I-L's leg.  It sounds like he's about to be discharged, so I hope that means everything is okay because I am meant to be flying out from down there, not to mention the whole four kids needing somewhere to be thing.

Speaking of somewhere to be...my middle two kiddos aren't going to camp this year.  It took about 4 days for my daughter to speak to me after we told her.  We just don't have anywhere to stay.  At least not the 3 of us who wouldn't be at camp.  I mean, we have a house with nothing in it, but I'd have to bring everything we needed for the week including air mattresses, towels, linens, food, utensils, etc.  PLUS have me packed for Scotland PLUS have them packed for a week at Nana and Pop Pop's and then a week at camp...the van just doesn't hold that much, and I just can't do it.  So no seeing all my friends this summer :(.

Speaking of our house...we still own it.  Contract number 5 fell through literally days before closing.

Mimi decided instead of camp that she wanted to try out for the homeschool competitive volleyball team.  It cost $50 to TRY OUT.  Seriously.  At the first day of tryouts, it was obvious to me that she was a little out of her league because most of these girls had played on last year's team and they were good, where as Mimi had only done a volleyball class at our co-op in the spring.  But I have to give her credit, she stuck in there.  She did her very best.  She didn't make the competitive team, but did make the development team that is groomed for the competitive team.  She has a meet and greet for that right before we head out of town to drive them to their grandparents because, well, why not?

I love having friends I can just send emergency book suggestion texts to.  Thanks Aunt Fanny ;)  Sadly, neither library system had ebooks available that I hadn't read from your suggestions, but given that I have like a gazillion free books on my Kindle right now, I eventually just caved in and committed to reading a few of those.

Oh, and I had a kid graduate.  It was actually kind of awesome because this wonderful woman in our homeschool group was in charge of the event, and it was very low key, and one of the grads rod ea hobby horse down the aisle, and one twirled a basketball on his finger, and one putted a golf ball, and Scott danced Gangnam style and fit in perfectly.  They prayed over the graduates by name and had the whole room pray over them-it was awesome!





What else, what else...Mimi may be doing Algebra and English all summer long...

Mimi's been on the yearbook committee for our homeschool group.  Having a yearbook will be a new thing for us.  Can't wait to see it.  She designed the cover.

I teaching a portraiture class at our co-op in the fall.  You can stop laughing now, I'm co-teaching it really, and you KNOW my "co" part won't be much in the way of art instruction!

My kids took their first standardized test recently, but we don't have the results back yet...it should be...interesting.

Sari will be tested in July when we get back.

My poor garden is going to get beat out by this heat I think.  We've had 2 dinners' worth of beans and a handful of blueberries..oh, and 6 pea pods.  I'm not sure what will survive 2 weeks of my not being here.

Sari is finally not attached at the hip, and has spent the night at a friend's house a few times!!!

I think that's it.  Please pray we make it to FL safe and on time, that my F-I-L is fine, that my i-laws can survive the kids (they are really worried about being worn out by 4 kids), and that all my flights work out without a hitch- I have a 46 minutes layover  to make a connecting flight.

OBM



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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Old Fashioned- DVD Review


A romantic-drama, OLD FASHIONED centers on Clay Walsh, a former frat boy who gives up his reckless carousing and now runs an antique shop in a small Midwestern college town. There, he has become notorious for his lofty and outdated theories on love and romance as well as for his devout belief in God. When Amber Hewson, a free-spirited young woman with a restless soul, drifts into the area and rents the apartment above his shop, she finds herself surprisingly drawn to his strong faith and noble ideas, which are new and intriguing to her. And Clay, though he tries to fight and deny it, simply cannot resist being attracted to her spontaneous and passionate embrace of life. Ultimately, Clay must step out from behind his relational theories and Amber must overcome her own fears and deep wounds as the two of them, together, attempt the impossible: an "old-fashioned" and God-honoring courtship in contemporary America. 

OBM says: When Old Fashioned came out in Theaters earlier this year, it created quite a stir among many of my friends.  I was excited about it too, especially after seeing the trailors.  Although I wasn't able to see it when it was released, I was thrilled to be able to review the DVD.  It did not disappoint.  In fact, my husband, who gets up early and typically goes to sleep equally early, began the movie in his typical, "I'm going to fall asleep" position, but soon was drawn in, and ended up staying awake and watching the whole thing with me.  
          Clay Walsh's backstory is mostly told via flashbacks, which are initially disconcerting, although you get used to them after the first few.  Basically, his college days saw him as the producer of "Girls Gone Wild" type videos. Then Clay found Jesus, and He changed his life.  Now, Clay is committed to courtship and old-fashioned ideals, which his new renter and many of the town folk just don't understand.  But opposites attract, and Clay and Amber must figure out a way to move forward within the parameters of his convictions.  Along the way, they both must learn to forgive each other and themselves, and to let go of their past.
I'd recommend Old Fashioned, although it is PG-13, so this is definitely one for adults or mature teens only.   You can buy it beginning June 16th directly from PureFlix via CBD.   Stay tuned though, because at the end of the month, I'm going to have a review of the novelization of the movie AND the corresponding devotional, and at that time, I'll have a giveaway for ALL THREE!!!


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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Pirate's Code: The Adventures of Mickey Matson Review and Giveaway

It's a movie review and giveaway, and who doesn't love a family friendly movie for the summer?  


In this follow up to Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Treasure, Mickey Matson is at it again; this time pitted against the evil Admiral Ironsides and his gang of pirates who are intent on destroying civilization.  Their new invention, the Tesla Coil, is a weapon of mass destruction that will send an electromagnetic pulse throughout the world, destroying every electronic device in existence.  With the help of a secret organization, Mickey and his best friend Sully embark on a mission to stop the pirates from taking over a submarine and stealing the last part needed to complete their devastating weapon.  If Admiral Ironsides succeeds in his plan, civilization will be sent back to the Stone Age.  It's a race against time, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance.  

OBM says:  This was my family and  I's first introduction to Mickey Matson, as we did not review or see the first movie.  It's easy enough to just "jump in" to the action though and understand that Mickey must have done something pretty impressive in his first adventure, but has spent a frustrating amount of time just cooling his heels waiting for the "S.O.P." to need him again.  At the beginning of this movie, the S.O.P fonally brings him and his best friend Sully in to their secret training facility to begin their training, when lo and behold, the world needs saving!  Are Mickey, Sully, and the other young trainees up to the task?  Can they defeat the pirates, subdue the evil Admiral Ironsides, and save the world (or at least technology)?  You'll just have to watch the movie yourself to see.  Pirate's Code: The Adventures of Mickey Matson has won the Dove seal of approval for all ages, and features Christopher Lloyd as Mickey's grandfather.



To purchase a copy of Pirate's Code: The Adventures of Mickey Matson, you can buy directly from PureFlix via CBD.

To win a copy for yourself, just enter the giveaway below (U.S. and Canada only, please).


a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Monday, June 1, 2015

FREE Discovery Education Streaming from HSBC

Do you love the Homeschool Buyers Co-op as much as I do? I love that they give us as homeschoolers the group buying power that large school districts have, and can negotiate some pretty amazing deals on our behalf.


Well, right now, they have a deal for homeschoolers that I'm really excited to share.  Beginning June 1st, and continuing all summer long (through August 31st), you can have a FREE subscription to Discover Education Streaming Plus.  This retails at $375 for a year, so getting it free for the summer is amazing.

Here's a little bit of what Discovery Education Streaming Plus has to offer:

Bring Your Homeschool Lessons to Life
It's easy to see why homeschoolers rave about Discovery Education Streaming Plus. It's probably the most extensive and feature-rich educational video streaming service in the world.
It's much like having the entire DVD selection of your local public library available to you from the convenience of your home, 24/7/365.
But it's not just a collection of videos that you can watch from beginning to end. This library has been organized into useable video clips, organized and categorized, close-captioned, and supplemented with lesson plans, teaching guides, interactive simulations, images, audio resources, and other resources and materials that you can incorporate into virtually every aspect of your homeschool curriculum.
Discovery Education Streaming Plus features:
  • Thousands of full-length videos from scores of producers, segmented into tens of thousands of content-specific clips tied directly to state and national standards.
  • Supplemental resources such as Assignment Builder, Quiz Center, Writing Prompt Generator, lesson plans, and more
  • Fast and accurate search functionality and dynamic navigation menus
  • The ability to customize and personalize lessons to different subjects, grades, and learning styles
  • Comprehensive K-12 curriculum coverage in six core subject areas.
  • Thousands of images
  • Membership in the Discovery Educator Network (DEN)
  • Interactive self-paced training
  • Exclusive Discovery programming such as Frozen PlanetHuman PlanetLIFEInto the UniverseMythbusters, and Curiosity
  • Video series from trusted content providers such as BBC Worldwide, CBS News, Channel 4, Discovery Studios, Scholastic, TV Ontario, and Westin Woods
  • Hundreds of games, skill builders, and body atlas interactives
  • Thousands of self-paced math tutorials spanning concepts from basic addition to calculus
  • Thousands of audio files including podcasts, classic literature audiobooks, children's literature audiobooks from Scholastic, and numerous supplemental study aids for auditory learners
Sound amazing to you too?  Just click the link below to sign up.
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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker Review


I'm excited to be part of a book tour for this wonderful book!  The Choosing is the debut novel of Rachelle Dekker, daughter of Ted Dekker.  Before I go to much further with my own thoughts, let me give you the "official" blurb for The Choosing:

Like all citizens since the Ruining, Carrington Hale knows the importance of this day. But she never expected the moment she’d spent a lifetime preparing for—her Choosing ceremony—to end in disaster. Ripped from her family, she’ll spend her days serving as a Lint, the lowest level of society. She knows it’s her duty to follow the true way of the Authority.

But as Carrington begins this nightmare, rumors of rebellion rattle her beliefs. Though the whispers contradict everything she’s been told, they resonate deep within.

Then Carrington is offered an unprecedented chance at the life she’s always dreamed of, yet she can’t shake the feeling that it may be an illusion. With a killer targeting Lints and corruption threatening the highest levels of the Authority, Carrington must uncover the truth before it destroys her. 


About the author:

 The oldest daughter of New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker, Rachelle Dekker was inspired early on to discover truth through storytelling. She graduated with a degree in communications and spent several years in marketing and corporate recruiting before making the transition to write full time. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Daniel, and their diva cat Blair. Visit her online at www.rachelledekker.com

OBM says:  Initially, I was a little concerned that this might just be a "Christianization" of the very popular current dystopian secular story concepts that have been so successful lately.  But I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.  The dystopian world Carrington live in is one of a faith made up of rules and not relationship.  Those rule keep the populace in line to a fault.  Anyone who disagrees is carted off to prison or worse, publicly executed.  Carrington's dreams are shattered when she finds herself not chosen as a wife and therefore cast aside as "lint" to forever serve the drudgery-type needs of the city with no prospect of ever marrying or escaping her lot in life.  She finds kindness in several encounters with one city guard, a position normal characterized by coolness toward the general population and unflinching loyalty to those in authority.  He, like Carrington, has had his fate chosen for him due to a stutter that makes him not prime marriage material.  The plot thickens as both realize this "utopia" is really far less enchanting than they ever imagined and that that disenchantment has nothing to do with their lack of position and everything to do with the beginning seeds of real faith being sown through an underground movement that recognizes the real Truth is out there waiting for everyone to make their own.
I loved The Choosing.  I read it in two days, and then quickly passed it on to my teen son.  I'm glad it's part of a series and that Carrington's story continues.  My only disappointment is how long I will have to wait for the next book in the series, as I believe it won't be out until 2016!

Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for giving me a copy of this book and allowing me to review it!

If you want to keep up to date on Rachelle Dekker, here are all her social media links:
-          Twitter: @RachelleDekker
-          Facebook: facebook.com/RachelleDekkerAuthor
       -       Instagram: @rachelle_dekker



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Friday, May 8, 2015

Plumb's Exhale CD Review and Giveaway



About PLUMB:
Tiffany Arbuckle Lee, better-known by her stage name Plumb, is a songwriter, recording artist, performer and author. Plumb has sold more than 500,000 albums and over two million singles worldwide, co-penned songs for numerous other artists, including Michelle Branch, Mandisa, Mandy Moore, Jaci Velasquez, and Natalie Grant, and had music placed in many films and television shows.Originally signed as a Christian Contemporary Music (CCM) recording artist in 1997, Plumb is now known as well as or better in alternative rock, electronic dance music, and for the use of her music in film and television than she is in the CCM market.


About the album:
EXHALE, the seventh studio album from acclaimed multi-genre singer, songwriter and author PLUMB, expresses a new focus and vision. After the runaway success of NEED YOU NOW (the album, title track and book), which coincided with her own moving story of brokenness and ultimately healing, Exhale brims with worshipful songs of gratitude and hope.

The defining concept of EXHALE was born from a sermon at Plumb’s home church, wherein her pastor Pete Wilson expressed the notion that the Church doesn’t exist for itself. Rather, believers come to church to breathe in grace and truth, be changed, and then go out and “exhale” that hope into their surrounding community.

“That idea of exhaling hope hit me right away and I couldn’t get to the Notes section on my phone fast enough. I started writing the chorus of Exhale right then and there,” explains Plumb. “I have been made new by the ultimate hope, and I want to share and exhale that hope in every way I can.” 
OBM says:  I don't know that I've ever reviewed a CD on my blog!  I LOVE Christian music, and we have certainly listened to Plumb's music on Christian radio, but this was my first time in forever actually listening through a whole album by just one artist.  I enjoyed the different "feeling" the different songs had.  "Sleep Will Be Sweet" especially spoke to me.  That and the song "Restored."  But they were all wonderful.  I'm thrilled to be able to offer a copy to one of YOU, my readers, to win.
If you don't win the copy below, you can buy Exhale on iTunes.   And you can follow Plumb on Twitter or follow Plumb on Facebook or follow Plumb on Instagram.


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