Category Archives: Reviews

Small Talk

unnamed1 Small Talk“Out of the Mouths of Babes” is a phrase that goes back to Biblical times where it can be found in Matthew 21:16

“and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?”

As it implies, the pure honesty that sometimes comes out of the minds of children too small to truly know what they are saying can truly be just the thought we need to hear.  I truly believe that it is that wisdom that comes from their ability to hear God speak in a way that we learn to ignore, doubt and even block out as we grow up.  In ‘Small Talk’ Amy Julia Becker shares with us some of the lessons she has learned from the innocent and loving words that sometimes pour out of the hearts and minds of her children.  I truly enjoyed reading her book and I hope and pray that it touches you as well.  There were moments when those words her children spoke to her touched me as well and I am grateful that God put it on her heart to share with us.

About the Book

Every day, one of Amy Julie Becker’s children says something that prompts her to think about life in a new way. “Mom, does Santa love me?” William asks, after his mother explains the meaning of Christmas…In a chat with her dad about the children who died in the Sandy Hook shootings, Penny asks, “Did they go to heaven?” …”You was a jerk, Mommy?” asks Marilee one morning in the car.
These conversations deepen Amy Julia’s relationships with her children, but they also refine her understanding of what she believes and what God is doing in her own life.
In Small Talk, Amy Julia draws from the wisdom and curiosity of those young voices to reflect on beauty and kindness, tragedy and disability, prayer and miracles. As she moves through the basic questions her kids posed when they were very young to the more intellectual questions of later childhood, she invites us to learn from our own day-to-day conversations with the children in our lives.
This eloquent parenting memoir is about the big questions little hearts ask, the thoughts their words provoke, and the laughter and soul-searching their honesty brings—to adult and child alike.

About the Author

unnamed1 Small TalkAmy Julia Becker writes about faith, family, and disability for Parents.com, the New York Times Motherlode blog, TheAtlantic.com, The Huffington Post parents page, Christianity Today, The Christian century, and numerous other publications. Her first book, A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny, was named one of the Top Ten Religion Books of 2011 by Publishers Weekly. Amy Julia lives in western Connecticut with her husband and three children.
unnamed1 Small Talk
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Originally posted 2014-11-26 17:40:49.

Noah: An Illustrated Children’s Book

Noah Noah: An Illustrated Children's BookWhat I Loved About Noah

Noah is a Wordless Picture Book by Mark Ludy.  The pictures are done so well!  There are many I’d love to have as lithographs!  I appllaud Mark Ludy for taking his love for art and his love for God and doing something a little different with it!  I’ve seen ‘picture books’ in the form of graphic novels before but I’d never seen one depicting the story of Noah.  Detail is not spared as you flip through the pages and explore a story we’ve all heard, picture by picture.  Whether it be in the how God told Noah to build the boat, when the flood began or when the animals filled the boat 2 by 2.  Each picture fills the pages with a timeless story which leaves us with so many lessons!

About the Book

A hundred years before the Great Flood, a man named Noah came home talking crazy. God wanted him to build the biggest ship the world had ever seen. The future of humanity depended on it. How would his wife respond? What would the neighbors think? Was it even feasible?
This lavish re-imagining of one of the greatest stories of all time will fascinate children and adults alike. Nuanced and playful, yet meticulous in following the biblical narrative, Mark Ludy’s world-class art digs deeper than the Sunday-school tale of cuddly animals, exploring Noah’s relationship with his family, the natural world, God – and a formidable engineering challenge.
Immerse yourself in this stunning wordless epic. Whatever your age, you’ll never read this story in the same way again.
Bonus: Find Squeakers the mouse on every page!

Noah Noah: An Illustrated Children's BookAbout the Author

Mark Ludy has written or illustrated eight children’s books including The FarmerThe Flower Man, The GrumpWhen I Was  a Boy I DreamedWhen 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
Noah Noah: An Illustrated Children's Book
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Disclosure (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.”

Noah Noah: An Illustrated Children's Book

Originally posted 2014-11-16 08:38:32.

#SavingChristmas Movie Review with #KirkCameron

960X200 #SavingChristmas Movie Review with #KirkCameron

About the movie:

This Christmas, have your family join with Kirk Cameron’s family and dive headfirst into all the joy, dancing, celebration, feasting, imagination, and traditions that glorify the true “reason for the season.” KIRK CAMERON’S SAVING CHRISTMAS is an engaging story that provides a biblical basis for our time-honored traditions and celebrations, and the inspiration to stand strongly against a culture that wants to trivialize and eliminate the faith elements of this holy season. So take in the splendor; take in the majesty; take in the story. Take it all in… and let’s put Christ back in Christmas! KIRK CAMERON’S SAVING CHRISTMAS is in theaters for a limited engagement beginning November 14 for two weeks only!

My Thoughts:

I find myself very blessed to having had the privilege to preview this film.  This film is not just another typical meaning of Christmas film.  It teaches us so much more.  We’ve all heard the story right?  About Jesus’ birth.  We know that one, hopefully by heart.  In my opinion, this film takes the symbolism of the various traditions we have and it shows how they celebrate our Heavenly Father.

Saving Christmas does an amazing job of showing how one could have a distaste for Christmas traditions, however rather than taking the typical stance and making the person who feels that way a villain, the character is embraced.  Through love and understanding, Cameron presents a truth that I will admit that in all my years I managed to not know about the traditions of Christmas.

The film has inspired me to research the Biblical roots of our so-called secular traditions.  I won’t tell you which ones, or how where to find them in the Bible because I don’t think I could ever share that in writing with the effect that is brought through the film.  I encourage you to see the film, I truly feel like it will leave you feeling filled with not only love for our Savior, but also a new understanding and gratefulness of Christmas traditions.

The Prize

A SIGNED Saving Christmas movie poster (by Kirk Cameron), the soundtrack to the film, and a car air freshener (they smell like Christmas trees)
960X200 #SavingChristmas Movie Review with #KirkCameron960X200 #SavingChristmas Movie Review with #KirkCameron
960X200 #SavingChristmas Movie Review with #KirkCameron
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Originally posted 2014-11-12 23:05:53.

Veil of Tears

veil Veil of Tears A couple of years ago I was given a glimpse into some things that I couldn’t stand. I began learning about some of the terrible things that are still happening to women around the world today. Like sex slavery, forced prostitution, and so many more horrible things. I realized that without the knowledge of what was going on, there was no way I could make a difference. I don’t know that I will ever feel like I make a huge difference, but I do know that I feel better when I am able to at least do something. To begin that journey, one must begin to obtain knowledge about the subject!

From Gospel For Asia

Imagine facing hatred, abandonment, or even death simply because of your gender.

The award-winning documentary, “Veil of Tears,” tells the untold story of millions of women in South Asia who are abused for no other reason than they are women. However, despite centuries of oppression, women once in their shoes are reaching in and bringing everlasting hope.

Meet True Survivors

These are women who have withstood a lifetime of adversity. Take a journey where few dare to venture, through the eyes of these women, and others, who unveil their personal stories of oppression, rejection, tragedy and even triumph. Get a glimpse of the resilience of the human spirit and the hope that has changed the lives of millions like these and is helping change millions more.

veil Veil of Tears

Narrated by Grammy-Nominated Recording Artist Natalie Grant, this film was shot on-location across stunning South Asia in some of the most remote tribal villages in the world today. This is a journey where few have gone and few can imagine.

 Entry-Form

veil Veil of Tears

Originally posted 2014-10-12 20:50:49.

Half Time with @Applegate

Lunchtime-1024x768 Half Time with @Applegate

Apple Gate Half Time

If you haven’t tried AppleGate’s products, you are seriously missing out!  I can assure you that the flavor can not be matched.  I wish I knew the words to convince you!

These days it seems like there are hormones and additives in everything. As parents, we worry about what all of these things are doing to our children. It seems like more and more we are trying to stay away from all of them in order to keep our babies healthy. This is one of the many reasons we love Applegate products! As commercials use to say, this is why Mom’s love them.
Let’s face it, hormone and additive free is great but if the flavor is off then it’s pointless. Nobody wants to eat nasty stuff! Fortunately for all of us, these are delicious! I’m impressed to say that I’ve yet to try an Applegate product that has been lacking in flavor. You’ll need to buy extras so that the kids can have a healthy lunch and you can have one of your own!
Thanks to the wonderful people at Applegate, one lucky reader is going to get to try the fabulous Half Time lunches! With three types of meat and the most amazing yogurt you’ll ever try, you won’t be sorry! Plus, they’ll send you a product coupon for when you run out!

Lunchtime-1024x768 Half Time with @Applegate

Originally posted 2014-10-10 20:41:55.

Family Game Night with Tabletop #ShuffleBoard

shuffleboard-1024x480 Family Game Night with Tabletop #ShuffleBoardShuffleboard is a game that can be played tabletop or on surfaces literally the size of a deck.  While the origins are not known for certain, we do know that the game goes back at least 500 years in Europe.  Prior to receiving this tabletop version, I had only seen shuffle boards roughly the size of a pool table.  In the US, these range from 9 to 22 feet.  The object of the game is to slide your weight against your opponents weight to get the most points without falling off the board.  As one can imagine, originally the game was played on a long table.  Oh, the days of creativity!  If you are interested, there are a ton of articles about the history of Shuffleboard!  It’s fascinating to me!  😀

One thing I love about Carrom’s Tabletop Shuffleboard is that it is made in the USA.  Seems like these days we get most things from other countries, which is fine except that our own economy suffers for it.  Made in the good ole state of Michigan, Carrom makes some fine Quality Family Games!  As their logo promises, the Shuffle Board does seem to be made to last.  Assuming we manage to keep up with the pieces, I believe this will be a game that we play for many many years.  I do wish there was something built in to keep them from getting separated, but I suppose that’s where my craftiness comes in!

If you are looking for something to keep you or the kids busy, this Shuffle Board is a perfect way to do that.  I love the versatility of who could play it.  Since it isn’t incredibly difficult, it can be played by kids, the competitive aspect it brings out in trying to get just the right move will also entertain young adults on up.  In a slight rebellion against my position in life, I could also see this being a good drinking game.  I will admit that I say that with some serious shame.  LOL.  Guess those things get stuff in there and stick it out!  LOL

To get yours and learn about their other awesome products, check out Carrom’s website, facebook and youtube page.

 

Originally posted 2014-09-15 09:57:46.

Milo’s Kitchen & Mobile Treat Truck

Milos.Kitchen-1024x782 Milo's Kitchen & Mobile Treat TruckSo let’s face it: we all love treats, young and old, animal or human.  A treat every now and then just makes us a little happier.  With 2 older Chihuahuas (ages 12 and 13) and a great dane with allergies, I’m a little picky about what treats I will provide for them.  It’s impossible to have a treat that one can’t eat, as the one who isn’t supposed to have them always manages to get them regardless of my intentions.  Sometimes I think they scheme.  Actually, I’m always convinced they scheme.   

Milos.Kitchen-1024x782 Milo's Kitchen & Mobile Treat TruckI had the opportunity to let my furbabies try Milo’s Kitchen home style treats.  They tried Chicken and Steak Grillers and Grilled Burger Bites.  While they enjoyed each without bias and came back begging for more, I tried to find the differences.  They each look like people food, just miniature versions.  I thought they were cute.  However, each treat smelled the exact same.  Odd how that works out huh?  Each package has a different ingredient list, so I don’t quite understand how that happened.  Regardless, they were well received and enjoyed.  I especially love that

From the Company

Milo’s Kitchen® Treats:

  • ·Our dogs deserve only the best. That means treats made in the U.S.A. with real chicken or beef as the #1 ingredient, and no artificial flavors and colors
  • Milo’s Kitchen® Home-style Dog Treats believes dogs deserve treats made with the same quality of ingredients and care that you want for your food. That’s why we made a treat truck just for dogs!
  • Each recipe is carefully prepared to bring out all the flavors your dog loves. Milo’s Kitchen makes a unique line of mouthwatering varieties for your dog including: Chicken Meatballs, Beef Sausage Slices with Rice, Steak Grillers Recipe, Chicken Grillers Recipe, Grilled Burger Bites, and Chicken Jerky Recipe.
  • They are Made in the USA. 

Milo’s Kitchen Treat Truck:

·         The Milo’s Kitchen Treat Truck will be coming to your area so plan a special date with your dog and join us:

o   August 29th– Bentonville, AR, Hobbs State Park

o   August 30th – Bentonville, AR, Bentonville Bark Park

o   August 31st – Bentonville, AR, Murphy Memorial Dog Park

*Dog parks are subject to change due to weather and foot traffic

Click here to find a Treat Truck near you!

Milos.Kitchen-1024x782 Milo's Kitchen & Mobile Treat TruckMilo’s kitchen provided treats and a $25 gift card for both me and a winner.  As well as the information listed above.  This did not influence my opinion in any way.  Thanks & Enjoy!

 

Originally posted 2014-08-22 01:35:10.

Ragamuffin DVD

ragamuffin Ragamuffin DVD Ragamuffin by definition is:  a ragged often disreputable person; especially :  a poorly clothed often dirty child.  Funny how, in reality, that word describes all of us.  Ragamuffin is based on the life of Rich Mullins, a true story, about his life and struggles as a musician, a human and especially as a Christian.
From personal experience, I can say that sometimes from the outside it looks like Christians have no struggles.  It’s so easy to look in the ‘window’ and see Christians marching on, making it through the tough times seemingly as if nothing bad is happening.  From the outside, it appears as if they don’t struggle much at all.  Then, when one becomes a Christian, it’s almost like we expect things to be suddenly perfect.  For God to fix everything for us.  Throughout time, we learn that reality is we are all surviving our trials with peace only by giving our turbulence to God.  It’s a tough lesson to learn, I’m praying one day I’m decent at it.
I love that the movie shows the struggles.  Tells things from an honest perspective.  This is something we need more of: straightforward honesty.
Where to Buy
Please point your readers to this URL for purchase of the DVD:
Also, consider encouraging your readers to buy one DVD for themselves and give one away to a Ragamuffin in their lives.

About the Film:
RAGAMUFFIN is based on the life of Rich Mullins, a musical prodigy who rose to Christian music fame and fortune only to walk away and live on a Navajo reservation. An artistic genius, raised on a tree farm in Indiana by a callous father, Rich wrestled all of his life with the brokenness and crippling insecurity born of his childhood. A lover of Jesus and a rebel in the church, Rich refused to let his struggles with his own darkness tear him away from a God he was determined to love. As he struggled with success in Nashville and depression in Wichita, Rich desired most of all to live a life of honest and reckless faith amidst a culture of religion and conformity.

About Rich Mullins:
Singer and songwriter Richard Wayne “Rich” Mullins was best known for his worship song “Awesome God” which has been embraced as modern classics by many Christians. His music has been covered by many artists, including Caedmon’s Call, Amy Grant, Jars of Clay, Michael W. Smith, Third Day, John Tesh, and Hillsong United. Mullins’ musical career formally began with Zion Ministries in the late 1970s, where he wrote music and performed with a band called Zion.  Mullins first solo hit, “Awesome God,” appeared on his third album and brought his music to a wider audience. Rich Mullins was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Gospel Music Association (GMA) on April 29, 2014.
ragamuffin Ragamuffin DVD

Originally posted 2014-07-08 20:20:43.

DVD Giveaway: A Telling Silence

010956 DVD Giveaway: A Telling Silence I never quite expect a third movie to be as touching as the first, yet When Calls the Heart: A Telling Science managed to reach out and pull heart strings as well as its predecessors.  Each of the When Calls the Heart movies have somehow been able to reach deep within and I look forward to seeing what Michael Landon, JR does next.  They manage to tell this very touching story without anything inappropriate and without being predictable.  A movie that has you wanting to yell at the characters on the screen is, in my book, always a winner.

“A TERRIFIC SERIES FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY”

 

-Dove Foundation

 

 

“absolutely beautiful and very entertaining”

-Movie Guide

 

When Calls The Heart

“A Telling Silence”

 

AVAILABLE NOW

 

From the Television Series inspired by the writings of Janette Oke

 

Nashville, Tennessee- When Calls the Heart “A Telling Silence” is produced and directed by Michael Landon Jr. and inspired by the best-selling books by Janette Oke.   A feature length film made from episodes of the When Calls the Heart television series, When Calls the Heart “A Telling Silence” tells the story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young high society teacher fighting to make a difference in a prairie town in a part of the Western Frontier known as Coal Valley.   Almost immediately, she can tell that something is wrong.     The church was burned to the ground a month after a local mining accident and the only man left to investigate the crime is the Canadian Mountie, Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing).  Meanwhile, the head of the mine is scheming to control the town, including the pastor who seems to be losing his faith along with his church.   The stakes are raised when a young girl goes missing and the town must come together to find her.  Distributed by Word Entertainment, When Calls the Heart “A Telling Silence” will be available to purchase in Christian Retail April 22nd, 2014.

Synopsis–  Feeling sorry for 8-year-old mute Rosaleen Sullivan, teacher Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), reaches out to the little girl as they share lunch. But when Elizabeth is called away and then returns, Rosaleen is missing! Meanwhile, constable Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) discovers evidence that Cat Montgomery may have been involved in a suspicious church fire. Could the two cases be related?

Michael Landon Jr. – Director:  Michael Landon Jr., son of the late television legend Michael Landon, has been in the film business for over 25 years.  With two of the highest rated films in the history of the Hallmark channel, and several top ten releases targeted to the Christian market, Michael has become known for creating heartfelt, inspiring films that connect to the family.  He has developed and/or produced, directed, and written screenplays for Fox, CBS, NBC, Disney, Sony, Lifetime, and others.

 

 Brian Bird- Writer/Producer : Brian Bird is co-founder with partner Michael Landon, Jr., of Believe Pictures, a film and television production company.  He was co-executive producer and writer on the successful television series, Touched by an Angel.  Adding to Brian’s success, he had also written and produced episodes of Evening Shade, Step by Step and The Family Man.  Most recently, Bird wrote and produced Gametime, a two-hour television pilot for NBC, The Shunning, inspired by the novel by best-selling author Beverly Lewis, for the Hallmark Channel, and Not Easily Broken, adapted from the novel by T.D. Jakes and released theatrically by Sony/TriStar.

010956 DVD Giveaway: A Telling Silence Click to Enlarge

Originally posted 2014-07-03 10:57:37.

PainMaster: Pain Relief on the Spot

microtherapy.jpg-250x300 PainMaster: Pain Relief on the SpotWhen I was a kid, I played with my two older cousins.  They were boys and they were tough.  They treated me like I was a weak little girl, so I was on a mission to prove them wrong.  Thus began my beginnings of being super rough on my body.  I’ve done some crazy things, walked half a mile on a fractured ankle, climbed up the sides of cliffs with my lead rope, been thrown from and dragged by horses, and so much more.  I was constantly hurting myself.  Tough girl, see, I was tough.

Now I’m grown and realize that perhaps I wasn’t so tough after all. I have hip, back, wrist, ankle and knee pain.  Good times.  Of course, I’m only 30 right now so they don’t hurt constantly yet but when they get aggravated, they make me pay.  I don’t take anything for the pain, as I know it is only going to get worse.  I’d prefer to kill my kidneys and liver when I’m too old to care about keeping them.  At the moment, I deal.  Honestly, I can handle it until it makes me mad, then it becomes unbearable.  The pain that makes me mad is the pain that either keeps me awake at night or stops me from doing what I want to do.  My wrist, for example, recently kept me from typing or doing any crafts.  Of course it’s my right wrist and I am right handed because that’s what happens when you think your body is tougher than it is!

Before I was contacted about a review, I had seen the Painmaster on various websites.  I was in the middle of severe wrist pain, which of course hinders everything I do, and I had kept it in a wrap for weeks with no improvement.  It was actually to the point that I was beginning to take aspirin for it every now and then.  That may not be much to you, but I do all I can not to take medicine of any kind.  If it’s not medically necessary, I am not in favor of taking it.

I will admit I was skeptical.  It’s an extremely small device, I wondered how efficient it would actually be.  I saw no negative effects and the pain was getting rough so I decided to give it a shot, even though it doesn’t specifically say it’s for use on your wrist.  I figured the premise was the same regardless of where the injured part was.  Besides, I had nothing to lose!  So, I put on my wrist the Painmaster per the directions and wore it for about 4 days.  It wasn’t long until the pain had been minimized and was almost gone.  Granted, my injuries go pretty deep so it will never be completely gone but the amount of pain that was left was negligible.  I barely notice it.

The PainMaster uses Micro Current Therapy to provide relief in one spot.  It is re-useable for up to 250 hours.  The only downside that I find is that it only comes with one set of patches.  With only one set, they have already started to be less sticky.  Of course, that could be due to the fact that I had it on my wrist where it is curved.  Perhaps it wouldn’t be the case if I had it on a flat surface like my back.  Regardless, the lasting power of the sticky stuff on the patches isn’t all that great.  I have a feeling the battery will far outlast the patch, which of course will make it useless.  Another thing I disliked was that it took at least 24 hours or more before I noticed a difference.  However, one can’t argue that after that period the pain was a lot milder.  All in all, I think the PainMaster is a great product.  It definitely made a difference on my wrist!

microtherapy.jpg-250x300 PainMaster: Pain Relief on the Spot
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From The Company

Micro Current Therapy, commonly referred to as MENs (Micro current Electrical Neuromuscular Stimulation), begins with small, pulsating currents of electricity. These currents are finely tuned to the level of the normal electrical exchanges which take place at the body’s cellular level. Being biologically compatible with the body these micro currents can penetrate the cell to bring pain relief.

You won’t feel any physical sensations when you use the Micro Therapy Pro™ unit. You will know that the Micro Therapy Pro™ is working when the red indicator light on the patch is lit which tells you that the microcurrent is flowing through the affected tissue from one patch to the other.

Inflamed cells resist the body’s natural electrical current, reducing the supply of blood, oxygen and vital nutrients to the cell. The Micro Therapy Pro™ microcurrent technology penetrates inflamed cells bringing direct pain relief.

microtherapy.jpg-250x300 PainMaster: Pain Relief on the Spot

Originally posted 2014-06-16 09:15:19.