Monday, May 21, 2018

It's a Jungle in Here

It's a Jungle in Here
Written and Illustrated by Kristie Wilde 

Another book in the Joyful Creation Series, this book follows suit and fits right in.  It is adorable in illustration, beautiful realistic images that are endearing and familiar.  The story leads the reader through the idea that God loves variety and talks about various different jungle creatures and the unique properties of those depicted, from size to color to camouflage.  Each page is simple in text and awash with illustration, drawing children in.  There is so much to look at on each page that the reader spends much longer than text requires.  

I loved the story for its content and simplicity as well as the beautiful images filling each page.  There was so much for me to talk about with my nature loving children.  We especially appreciated the index at the back with the name and picture of animals depicted in the story as well as a bit of information about them.  Also included are Bible verses supporting the creation story in relation to the animals.  

We enjoyed another of the Joyful Creation books and were glad to have the chance to review this one as well.  I recommend it for its fun and conversation opportunities as well as its beauty and simplicity.

You can find a copy of this book here

* I was provided a free copy of this book through the Book Crash program in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Star DVD Promotion

Each time a movie with Christian values and a Godly theme succeed in the big world of theater going movie consumers, I rejoice that the word of God is getting out there and maintain hope for the big world so riddled with pain and trouble.  Today, I rejoice in the success and new release of the movie "The Star" which was in theaters around Christmas.
 If you haven't seen "The Star" yet, you are missing out on a super cute re-telling of the Christmas story from a new and unique point of view.  My family had the opportunity to see it on Christmas Eve and enjoyed it thoroughly.  It is appropriate for even the littlest of children, with a rating of PG for some thematic elements,  but entertaining and engaging for the big ones and adults too!  A full length feature (86 minutes) with big name voice actors, such as Tracy Morgan, Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Patricia Heaton and more, this film offers a whole lot of humor and a fresh perspective brings life the journey of Mary and Joseph and the birth of Christ in a brand new way.

Through the eyes of Bo, a spirited young donkey who finds plenty of ways to get into mischief with his friends, the Christmas story unfolds.  Along Bo's journey from stubborn will to a realization of the bigger picture, viewers see the story unfolding through the eyes of animals who take on funny characteristics and do silly things that keep children giggling.  Familiar and new songs run through the story and add content to the story. 

My children have been asking since viewing the move in theater when we can buy a copy so we can watch it again, so I am very excited about the release of the movie and am set to buy my copy this week!

The Facebook page has so much more information.  A live guided Bible Study is available simply by clicking on the post (link).  This takes you to messenger, where, when you give access, it opens up a chat box where you are given prompts to interact and receive video lessons over a few weeks.  This Bible Study is engaging and interactive, fun and a neat way to participate.

Additionally, there is tons of fun to be found on "The Star" disc/digital file itself.  At the website below, you will find information and promotional goodies like sneak peeks, release information, crafts and recipes, coloring and activity sheets, music and more.  You will also find details on the video bonus features, which includes sing along videos from Mariah Carey, Fifth Harmony, Kelsea Ballerini, A Great Big World and Kirk Franklin.  Additionally, there is a  "Faith All Year Round Children's Sermon" with Devon Franklin, which discusses the themes of the film and how to keep that spirit alive all year round.  Also among the bonus features is a recipe, a craft and a chance to meet the All-Star cast.



Thursday, February 15, 2018

Frogglez Swim Goggles

Ever since I saw the child of a friend of mine wearing Frogglez, I knew I had to get my hands on them for my kids!  
 Frogglez, for those who are unfamiliar, are about the best thing since sliced bread for the swimming pool.  Think goggles only without the flimsy stretchy band that breaks or pulls out of the loops or rips hair out.  Think wetsuit meets goggles.  And man are these things cute and cool!
 Available in a variety of colors, I opted for pink because, lets face it, I'm surrounded by princesses who demand nothing but.  The Frogglez come with a set of goggles and a stretchy headband, all connected.  They are easily switched out for any goggles owned in the house by simply releasing the Velcro tab and feeding it through the attachment loop, putting that loop into your own goggles and then re-attaching the Velcro tab.  Super simple!
 What's even better is that they go on easily!  No more fighting a wet child flopping and squealing like a fish out of water as you try to wrestle the goggles on - not too tight, not too loose, 18 times in a row until they are perfect.  Frogglez can easily adjust with the Velcro bands on the sides.  The headband slips over the child's head with ease and wraps the top and the back, eliminating all of that sliding around those silly elastic bands do. 
 Now the kid can swim and dive and jump and fight water ninjas without having to ask Mom over and over to fix them.  They seal pretty well too.  While I've not had the opportunity to actually put mine in the water, since it's below freezing here, I have to go with dry results for now, but they feel snug and cup around the eyes well.  No gaps or cheap plastic that is mis-formed.
 I love also that I can use these with multiple children.  I put them on my three year old and then switched them to my 8 year old and had no trouble at all!  None of the kids complained, in fact they were eager to continue to wear them around the house like superheroes, and were quite disappointed when they were repossessed by Mom.
I will absolutely be buying several more pairs of these, because let's face it, one pair for 4 kids is not going to cut it!  I can't wait for summer so we can really test these things out, but I am very optimistic bases on what my hands and eyes have seen and held and from the reports of my friend, that these will be my new favorite pool accessory for the kids!

You can check these things out at

* Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for my honest and un-biased review.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Furbliss Multi-functional Grooming Brush

With a dog, two cats and a rabbit living in my house, there is plenty of fur to be groomed around here.  We own several different types of sturdy brushes with handles and teeth, but none that are soft and flexible, which would sometimes be more convenient.  Enter the Furbliss Multi-functional Grooming Brush

This brush is made from 100% silicone that is very soft and flexible.  It can bend, twist and flex with ease. As a multi-functional brush, it serves many purposes:
- Brushing and deshedding
- Massaging and soothing
- Bathing (wet or dry)
The back of the brush can be used to help loosen fur as well as remove loose furn from clothes and furniture.  Many grooves in the center of the brush act as shampoo reservoir cells for use when bathing.
The yellow brush is designed for medium to large breeds.  It is a good size to fit in your hand and is comfortable to hold and use.
The de-shedding teeth are triangular shaped with rounded tips and are spaced closely together for more teeth contact.
The back of the brush has many different grooves and raised edges to help with scrubbing and massaging.  It also is a low profile, so it works nicely for wiping along furniture to help grab the loose fur.
Unfortunately, right now the shedding level in my house is low, but I anticipate this being a really handy tool in a month or so when the animals all start to ditch that winter coat.  However, in just a few short passes, it did grab loose fur off of my cat, and this was with very little effort on my part.  The silicone acts like a fur magnet, almost like it attracts the fur through static or something.  
I look forward to really putting this to work when the fur starts to fly, literally!

You can find this product here:

Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for my honest and un-biased review.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Family Honor Plate

I love traditions and fun things that keep my kids involved in what is going on with the family.  We try to celebrate a lot of things together, the big holidays and the small personal victories too.  When I got the chance to try out the Family Honor Plate and Let's Talk cards, I couldn't say yes fast enough!
 The Family Honor Plate comes in a kit with everything you need to personalize it and make it your very own.  It is very well packaged and easy to get to.
 Within in the kit, you will find the plate, paints, nice pain brushes (not the cheapy ones with bristles that fall off or handles that give slivers), a paint tray with spots to mix colors and a plate stand.
 The plate is a nice, heavy, finished piece that should stand up to regular wear and tear. On it is printed "Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control"
The idea behind the Family Honor Plate is to honor a member of the family when they have displayed one of the attributes in their daily life.  This can be used for every day or on more special, larger event occasions, the choice is completely up to the family.  Imagine little Susie steps out of her comfort zone and helps a new student at school, or little Johnny has a great report card after lots of hard work...  Maybe Dad earns a promotion or Mom remembers to be patient on a very trying day...  There are so many ways to use this plate!  The fun thing is that anyone can decide who should get to use it, not just Dad or Mom.  

 Available separately but to compliment the plate are the Let's Talk Table Thyme cards.
 On a convenient flip pad, there are more than enough to fill a year with a new question each day.  These are questions that invite each member to contribute thoughts and ideas and spur conversation.  Even the little ones can do this!
 On a sturdy cardboard stand, this set holds up nice and is easy to use.
The included paint is designed to be baked, hardening and setting up after a 30 minute bake time.  With 8 colors: red, white, black, blue, orange, yellow, purple, green, there is enough color to make any picture or design you wish, and enough white to mix colors and make your own.  We were sad to find that, in our box, though the paint cups were well sealed (and easy to open, thank you!) the red was completely solid and that the blue, purple and yellow were chunky and on their way to becoming solid as well.  We were able to limp them along with a little water, but they did not apply smoothly or offer us much.  Big bummer there!

 My children were very excited to get started on the plate!  We decided for ours we would let each member do their own section.  As my children are younger, one just 10 months old, this will surely become a treasure as they grow in addition to the fun it will add as we use it to honor one another.
 My older three worked very diligently, each perfecting her masterpiece.
 Dad, Mom and baby added their parts and then it was time to bake.  The baking process was super easy!  Just put the plate in a cold oven, turn it on to 350 and set a timer for 30 minutes once the oven reaches temperature.  After the timer goes off, turn the oven off and let the plate cool with the oven.  That's it!  And it's now ready to eat on.

We opted not to paint on the center of the plate, as suggested, to avoid having paint get scraped off with use.  The children were very pleased with the end result and Dad and Mom agree it turned out pretty cute! 
We have already put it to use, honoring our oldest daughter for her kindness to a new child at church, helping to bring the child to her class and befriend her for the whole day so she would not be lonely.  What fun to give her the special plate!  She had fun being the special person and the other children were chatting about how they might be able to get the plate too.

Here are some videos to walk you through the Family Honor Plate:

You can find out more about the developer, Michelle, here

You can find and purchase the plate here

* I received this product for free for the purposes of review.  My opinions are not influenced by the free gift nor required to be positive, but are from my actual experience.  

#HonorPlate #FlyBy

Thursday, October 26, 2017

God's Great Love for You

God's Great Love for You
by  Rick Warren
Illustrated by Chris Saunders

We love books in our home.  We especially appreciate when a children's book helps to convey and reinforce our teachings in regards to faith.  Enter Rick Warren's new children's book - a book that fits perfectly into this category for us. 

Very simply written, with a short sentence for each full set of pages, the pictures make up the majority of this book.  Two pages wide to give a huge picture to go with each sentence.  The artwork is beautiful and quite enticing, even for adults.  I especially loved the pages with the whales in the ocean, the perspective is amazing.

Easy enough for a beginning reader to read, yet full of depth in it's truth, this story simply talks of how great God's love is.  A young girl is pictures in the illustrations, and it walks through how God's love is big and there day and night, forever.  My children have enjoyed exploring the pictures as well as reading and having the story read to them.  It has given us content to discuss as well.  While on the simpler side of a children's story with very little text, it still speaks volumes and reaches children right where they are.  We have enjoyed this book.

You can find out more here

#RickWarren #FlyBy

I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for my honest and un-biased review, thanks to FlyBy promotions.  

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Patterns of Evidence: Exodous

Patterns of Evidence: Exodus
Director: Timothy Mahoney

It is human to want the evidence, either for or against a cause in which one chooses to believe.  While Christianity is based on faith, the belief without the sight, it can be exciting to have a piece of history prove the Bible is true.

In this project filmed and directed by Timothy Mahoney, released in January 2015, he sets out to find the evidence of the great Biblical Exodus.  Through interviews with many experts, archaeologists, scholars and more, Mahoney places the evidence he finds out for the viewers to sort on their own.  He presents evidence for and against the Exodus, citing archeology digs, confusion over timeline, questions of location and more.  The entire documentary is presented in a non-conclusive way so as to allow the viewer to decide for themselves whether the evidence points toward or away from Biblical proof of this event in history.

I was interested to see this film based on the historical research and the offer of genuine proof of a core Biblical event.  My husband, a history and Bible study fan, was also curious and wanted to see the film.  Unfortunately, we were both bored.  We made ourselves sit for the first hour and promised to come back to it later.  It was truly filled with research and documentation and proof of depth, but it was also dry and hard to remain engaged in.

I wanted to find myself enthralled, but instead I was droopy eyed.  Perhaps for a true history enthusiast or someone into documentaries, this might be for them.  However, I found myself lost and as a result my interest was lost.  I found the bounces from evidence against to evidence for and then back again dizzying and hard to follow.

I will leave my rating mid-line.  The work put into the piece was thorough, but the delivery was just not for me.

You can watch a trailer here
You can buy the film here.  If you enter code MK1, you will received $3 off the regular $19.95 price.

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”)