Posted in Blogging through the Alphabet, Book Review, Product Review

Ellie Claire Art Journals {Review}

Tis the season when all are shopping…stressfully? Maybe peacefully?

Looking for a perfectly lovely gift to give that dear sweet friend…

One that will bless them, and keep blessing them …. ?

You have got to check out these absolutely fabulous art journals 🙂

I received these three gorgeous journals:

Aren’t these SO pretty? And this is just the cover. Once you look inside each one of them – it’s even better!

And each one is uniquely purposed. Full of opportunities to pray and meditate on the Word of God.

I admit that I love art; I do not have that talent however. No matter how I try my drawings or letterings are….Well, it isn’t very pretty.

But my oldest son, being so very artistic and so entrepreneurial too, was excited to see these come in the mail (especially since he is getting ready to launch an Etsy store selling his very own drawings).

These were a great opportunity for him, and for me too, to sit down and enjoy something together (art is relaxing, right? I read recently about the health benefits of artistic practices too so … Yes!)

The very first journal we dig into is The Illustrated Word; An Illuminated Bible Coloring Journal. My oldest daughter loved this one! She loves to color and is just beginning her artistic journey; plus she is rally getting into writing so she thought this was the best of both worlds. Beautiful pages to color; scripture to memorize and then some lined pages to write and write some more. Want to know where all of these images came from? There are footnotes so that if you are like me, you can go from a bit of coloring to hours of reading and research on the Book of Common Prayer, or the Ethiopic Manuscript. I love history and so even if I wasn’t diving into coloring these pages, I really enjoyed learning even more church history from the intriguing and historical images within the pages of this journal. There are approximately forty images for you to color and explore; the paper is thick enough that colors don’t bleed through so you can really enjoy coloring every image. If you are like me, you will look up the original and then try to copy it exactly; my daughter however lives for all things pink and purple and teal so …. Her take on these pieces from ancient manuscripts is quite bright! 🙂

Did you know there is such a thing as professional letterers? I had no idea until I received the Faith & Lettering Journal from Krystal Whitten. This is definitely great for someone who really longs to increase their faith and also develop a love for hand lettering. I think of this as those a journal and also a course of sorts. There pages for us to trace and practice. There are also little tips throughout to encourage us along the way (for me hand lettering is hard!).

My favorite? The Illuminate Your Story Journal. I was really smitten by all the information on these pages. You see this isn’t just a journal for lettering. It is also a history of illuminated lettering. There was so much I just never knew! Learning about the many different styles was quite interesting; it was quite a historical and geographical trip for us too. Ottonian, Insular, Gothic … So many lovely styles to choose from and everyone with an amazing story. I have to admit however, this is so lovely I really have been hesitant to start working in this one. Lord help me to have faith. 😁

You can purchase a copy of anyone or all three of these lovely journals for yourself or for a friend. I am sure he forget blessing no matter their (or your) artistic abilities.
Illuminate Your Story Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Faith & Lettering Journal Amazon | Barnes & Noble
The Illustrated Word The Illustrated Word | Barnes & Noble

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received these journals free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Let’s Talk About…!?!?

Sex! This is awkward.

I am not exactly sure how to begin; what to say. I mean, my husband and I never had “the talk” when we were kids. No one said a word. But as our kids get older – as this world we live in changes – We need to have answers; we need to be able to know and share what God has to say about sexuality. While I wasn’t sure how or where to begin, I certainly was grateful for the two materials that I am going to share with you here. It always amazes me, all that God has to say, when we are willing to hear.






This is a 15 Session Video Curriculum to help guide us into a biblical understanding of issues surrounding sexuality today. It includes a downloadable guide and outlines for each presentation. These are simple, straightforward teachings –  As we progress through each lesson we learn not only why we NEED to talk about sex – we learn about God’s design for our world and our relationships. Searching both Old and New Testaments we see what is written, what was purposed, from the very beginning. Not just for our own understanding but also for the children we are raising.


I know I struggle, trying to protect my kids and train them in this screen saturated generation. It’s everywhere – gender confusion, same sex issues, pornography – this world is not what it was meant to be. And we need to know how to protect our children and guide them in their faith. In a time where the world seems to be turned upside down, a resource of this sort is such a blessing because we really do need to know and have an answer.



Another phenomenal resource, also from HARVEST, USA is Alive: Gospel Sexuality for Students. As our children get older, it is important for us to consider where they are getting their information from. Especially regarding sexuality. This is a Biblical perspective, via a ten week “group” to explore and better understand the feelings and identities our youth have. This book is a combination of student and leader guide; this means there are some great scenarios and questions for discussion, or to ponder on your own as you go along.



My oldest son paged through this one because I know this is something he is struggling to understand (even being so young!) but he is hesitant to really have that discussion with mom and dad. So we both appreciate this resource that can help direct conversation and show the relevance of the Bible in our own (his) life. Today. We are told to search the scriptures – each lesson helps us to do just that. Whatever the topic for of study, there are verses for us to search out. To study and meditate upon. We read through them, on our own and sometimes together, and we see for ourselves how sin has distorted so much. We begin to learn what love really is; to understand the responsibility and the power that comes from truth in love.




Even I am learning so much from these resources. HARVEST, USA is one of those organizations that we need to really pray for. And support in every way we can. Their purpose? To take the child by the hand and walk with them, as they learn the way they should go. The Bible tells us that the truth, it shall set us free, but we first much be guided into the wisdom. Is this not why God gives us one another? Some are teachers, some apostles, evangelists and teachers Every one of them given that we may learn and grow in truth.

Posted in Product Review

Hillsong Kids “Can You Believe It” {Review & Giveaway}

My youngest daughter (who is three) loves to sing along to worship songs wherever we are.

But recently she began asking for worship music, with kids singing the songs, “not big people”.

At around the same time I was given, for review purposes, this really fun DVD (I thought it was a CD but this really is even better!) Hillsong Kids “Can You Believe It?” 

We spend a lot of time in the car lately – driving to hockey practices and games; speech/debate group and all kinds of other fun stuff our kids are involved in. So I (we) really appreciate the chance to get our worship on while we are running. It’s great to give them an experience like this; inspiring and growing a heart for worship!


Can You Believe It?


Songs of Truth is so much more than just a bunch of songs to sing though. It is a call to truth-an answer for our faith! This is packed with great songs like: Oceans, Made in Your Image, Who You Say I Am and so many more! Every song with a  promise and truth for our kids to claim! Let our children grow up to be like that tree, planted by the waters, who cannot be shaken.  We must teach them, train them, in the way they should go so that they will have no doubt and stand strong in their love and faith for our mighty God.




You can purchase your DVD here. Encourage your kids to be ready with an answer when they are asked about the hope they have!

Want to win a copy? Comment here with your kiddos favorite worship tune!

Posted in Product Review

Chris Tomlin Holy Roar CD {Review}


Who isn’t familiar with the name Chris Tomlin? I don’t think I have ever been disappointed by his music, in all the years I have been listening.

His newest album is just as impressive and powerful as I expected!



“HOLY ROAR is the freedom, the experience, the wonder of worship. It is seeing the church come together, hands lifted to God, pouring out our praise with an eternal song in our hearts. It’s every voice together, changing the way we worship.” ~Chris Tomlin



There are so many amazing songs on this! My favorite being Goodness, Love and Mercy. My younger son (who is quite how picky when it comes to worship music) absolutely loves Holy Road as well as Resurrection Power. There have been some real challenges our family has been facing as of late. Some bad attitude; some self-centeredness. A lot of bickering and complaning; we really needed some amazing music that would remind us of how important it is for us to be Satisfied. We all needed to be able to answer for ourselves, that question, Is He Worthy? 
One thing that I have always just loved about his music is that there is also so much you can learn from it. There is a deeper understanding you can have. If you listen. When the darkness just isn’t lifting, when we are sure that He isn’t near, He cannot hear…We are reminded that Nobody Loves Me Like You.  When it is harder to see in the darkness, these songs they help us to see that Praise is the Highway. 
Oh How sweet it is, to sing His praises. And to feel the presence and power of God wash over you as you sing, and as you claim the words of every song for yourself.
“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 a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Learning with Lauri {Tryazon}

It’s summer time and while we try to relax and do less “work”during the summer, I still like to have things on hand that are fun and educational. Play is such a powerful tool for our younger children when it comes to learning. We want to make sure they have plenty of opportunity to explore and have fun as they learn. Thanks to Tryazon our family recently was given the opportunity to experience and share some great new materials for little ones. We received an amazing package that made my little ones squeal for joy when the box was opened!



Included in our pack of fun materials for learning with Lauri were the following items:

  1. Tall-Stackers Pegs & Pegboard Set
  2. Action-Stackers Little Builder Set
  3. Objects magnetic set
  4. Actions language cards
  5. Create-A-Scene Magnetic Farm
  6. Shape & Color Sorter
  7. Lauri Crepe Rubber Puzzle

The Lauri products started with the creation of Fit-A-Space in 1961 by a retired school teacher. These items are designed in a Montessori style, great for hands on learning and very affordable. These are durable and the materials used provide all kinds of tactile, sensory input for our kids as they play. These are just what younger kids need to be able to get creative and make great things!


As part of our local homeschool community, this was one thing that I really appreciated being able to share with some of the other parents. All of the materials provided are recommended for ages 2-3; there are puzzles to beginner building, and magnetic fun on the farm as well as counting and pre-reading and writing, these are the kind of toys that encourage creativity and really build one skill upon another. Our children learn and grow in amazing ways when they are given the opportunity to freely play with these sorts of materials. Just look at all the fun experiences our kids can have when they are learning with Lauri.

These are toys that I can see our littler ones enjoying repeatedly. Every time they play something new they create. These were also great for making for the girls dolls. Chairs and cars and a lounge chair or two. I love seeing the imagination in little ones. 😁

We got a fun set of photo action language cards everyone had fun with. this is a great way to practice word recognition and also get some of those wiggles out.

I love how vibrant stays photos are. And the images are easy to recognize so there is no doubt what each picture represents.

The the puzzle was great fun too. We love the bumpy texture of the pieces and the bright colors. Some of the little ones did need help getting these pieces where they belonged but with a little help (and after this was done a few times) it got easier to fit the pieces together. This was a fun thing to do with the little ones, and we even had fun practicing color recognition as we completed it!


Although this one did stump a couple of the little ones we definitely had lots of fun and when they all worked together they were able to get those pieces right where they belong. Although one kiddo determined she said one or two pieces in a different spot. Lol

And and who doesn’t love books in which you can create your own scenes. Since all kids love animals this is a great one for recognizing and identifying different animals and the sounds they make. It was also a great introduction to the farm for some children and an encouragement to many of us Mamas to get our kids to see a local farm. This reminds me of those books where you can choose your own path for older kids. This can even be fun for little ones who love to tell stories.

Some of the kids, mostly the older ones, enjoyed using the phone magnets we received to tell a story or two. With a kite and a seal, a drum and a xylophone.. the possibilities are endless.

The monkey the grapes sitting under a rainbow. Or maybe these are some musically talented creatures. You never know what you can come up with!

We sure had fun with these making up silly stories and songs with a handful of these.

There are just so many ways that these toys can be enjoyed by little ones and even bigger ones. we found but these can easily become a part of regular get-togethers for the newly-created play group for those of us with children who are three and under. these materials will definitely be ones that we use again and again.




Lauri has over 100 other amazingly fun products available. You can shop for some great Learning with Lauri materials HERE.


Show Me Thy Ways {Review}

There are so many things “to do” nowadays. There are sports, music lessons, lessons to be taught…It can be overwhelming when there is just one child, but in our family of four, to engage in all of these activities … It is simply not possible.

For one thing, this momma is very much a homebody – for another – these things all cost money and time. Lots of time.

If we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that since the day of creation, there has always been a way that we are called to walk in.

My oldest son is currently my “rebel without a cause”. He is just in this place where he won’t do it simply because he was told he needs to. I vaguely remember when I was 12 struggling to find my way and to exert myself so others would see that I could do this myself. I understand his desire to be in charge and I want to encourage him to make decisions and boldly walk that path, but I also want him to understand that, as a child of God, there is a way that ins right, which we are meant to walk in. I admit it took me longer than it probably should have to figure out that this stage he is in, its a heart issue. Sure, there are issues with obedience and respect woven in there, but more than anything this is an issue of his heart. And that is something only God can truly work in. So I was ever so grateful to have the chance to review Show Me Thy Ways (textbook/workbook) in which we could all get together, and dig a bit deeper into God’s word and way. While this is meant for grade four learners, all four of our children enjoyed the opportunity to learn together, more about our great God!

I very strongly believe in reading, writing and math. However, the older I get (maybe it’s the older my kids get) I realize how important it truly is for all that we do each day to point them to the Lord. It doesn’t matter so much, all of that other stuff, if we are raising our children without a heart for the Lord. And it can be so easy to get lost in those lists and expectations that so many of us were raised with. Too often I compare what my children are doing, to what other children their age are doing. Not in a good way. My oldest son has even done it a couple of times; he may perceive himself as “stupid” because he isn’t as good with numbers as other kids his age. It is then that I begin to realize we need to work on our foundation. We may never be on the same path as other around us; we will have different struggles than those next door to us. But if we are rooted in the Word of God, we need not worry, 🙂

After reading an amazing book (I will share that another time) that spoke of how so many of our youth are walking away from the faith, I knew that we really needed to focus more on God’s word. I knew that we needed to take some time to really learn not just what the Bible says, but also what it means for us today. I had read a couple of blog posts about some families who use the Bible, nothing else, for home education. I haven’t been that brave myself but find this set of books, I thought, I could give it a try, using our Bible along with the curriculum to really get to know all of these stories and the people in them, more personally. If we see all of these men and women as members of our own family, perhaps that can really encourage us all the more, to hear their stories and learn from them.

My boys thought it was kind of humorous, when we began reading the textbook because it speaks to “discussing questions in class” and my boys, knowing how much I strive to stay away from standard terms like school and classroom, they had so much fun teasing me about it. Once we got past the silliness though we really had to get thinking. Right away. From the very beginning we are reminded that God is a Spirit; His thoughts and ways are so much higher than we could ever imagine. Our minds, our thoughts, are human and thus, we are significantly limited in our ability to understand the things of God without His Spirit. This is not your regular Bible learning material. I think even on the first few [pages, my thinking was challenged, just a bit, as we read.

When we look at the reasons for so many youth leaving the faith, often it comes down to them not being able to truly defend and know, this faith for themselves. How many of the children in our own family cannot truly claim this truth for themselves? It really does matter how we perceive this and what we do with what we know. And so the pages of this book (workbook too) are full of activities and exercises to help our children to go deeper and to see truth “in action” for themselves. As you can see in some of the images I share here, there are so many different ways for our children to learn and explore how true and real the Word of God is.

I love learning with my kids where all of these places are today; where did Abraham walk? What about that wilderness journey? Forty years of wandering where? What a wonderful way to bring the Bible alive for our children so they can see for themselves how real it is. This continues to be a wonderful way to learn and explore so many of those wonderful stories within the Bible. From day one of creation all the way through to the time when David is anointed king; explore and learn, not just the stories, but some of those details that we may overlook but which have powerful meaning for us even today.

We really are enjoying our time with this; exploring and pondering the type of music Jubal would have played if we was alive today (with a little guitar player, a drummer and a piano player in the making this can be quite fun!). Recognize and consider such simple truths, like how it never rained before the flood of Noah. Explore the value of being patient with God; trusting in His timing and the path that He has, unique to each one of us. For my older son I do love how this has made him think about the Word of God on a different level. There is something beautiful that comes from learning the Word of God – seek first His kingdom – and singing it, writing it, exploring it even more!

“Paul, Apostle of Christ” {FlyBy Promotion}

I think Paul might be my favorite of all of the apostles!


His story is such a powerful testimony – I mean, what an amazing conversion.


So even though I am not a fan of Hollywood I am curious to see how this new one turns out.


In PAUL, APOSTLE OF CHRIST , Luke risks his life to visit Paul, while he is being held captive in a Roman prison under Nero’s rule. Together, they struggle against a determined emperor and the frailties of the human spirit in order to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ and spread their message to the world.




So much of the New Testament is made up of Paul’s writings to the churches throughout the world. What would we do without the instruction and guidance he offers us within these pages? There are so many things that inspire me when I think of Paul. His determination in all things to “think myself happy.”  There is so much we can, and should learn from his writings. Certainly it would be wise for us to study to show ourselves approved so that we can too can say,  we have fought the good fight and endured to the end.



This film has been rated PG-13 for some violent content and disturbing images

Run time is 1:47 min

Showing In Theaters Nationwide Week Before Easter Friday, March 23, 2018.


Get Your Tickets Here






Illuminated Bible (A Review)

I love my Bible! 

I also admit I am very much a KJV kind of girl.

With the limited time I have for reading and study (four kids makes it more challenging right?) I try to be wise in how I spend my time.

Yet I admit, I have a bit of an addiction to pretty books. And when I saw The ESV Illuminated Bible- it is just amazing, beautiful, regal….

I had to check it out more for myself.
It is truly a masterpiece. Beauty on every page!

Some of the amazing features of this one are:

  • 9-point, Lexicon
  • Black letter text
  • 2-color printing
  • 64 full-page, custom book opener illustrations
  • 50 full-page verse illustrations
  • 250+ hand-lettered margin verses
  • 100+ other illustrations throughout
  • Illustrated by Dana Tanamachi, whose work has been featured by Google, The Wall Street Journal, Random House, USPS, and Target
  • Thick, cream-colored paper
  • Wide margins
  • Single-column, paragraph format
  • Smyth-sewn binding
  • Packaging: Permanent Slipcase




Is this not truly a work of art? I absolutely love spending time in the Word of God – I find nothing to be more beautiful, powerful or precious than His word. This Bible – while I admit I do wish it was in King James Version – it is such a joy to spend time in. It is quite an inspiration too to my oldest son who loves the Word and loves all things artsy … Since he has dabbled a bit in journalling and hand lettering, this was something he really got inspired by!



For anyone who is in need of a Bible, or looking for a special gift for a loved one, this may be just what you are looking for. Personally I do not think I could ever mark it up because the pages are just so lovely. The soft paper, creamy coloring, the lovely illustrations throughout. This is one of those Bibles that I am happy to have as an addition to my little library. I don’t know that this would take the place of my Geneva Bible when it comes to study, but I certainly will enjoy reading this now and again with my children. And my oldest son (probably my little ones too as they get bigger) will take joy in the idea and process of Bible art journalling themselves.

Ironically the concept of illuminated manuscripts is also a rather historical thing (going back to medieval times); the word “manuscript” from the Latin words manus (hand) and scriptus (writing) literally means “written by hand.” And the word “illuminated,” from the Latin illuminare, means “lighted up.” For a book to truly be illuminated, it had to be decorated with gold. (typically applied to the pages in thin sheets called gold leaf). These were made continually until around 1450, when Johannes Gutenberg invented the movable type, printing press, making mass production of books possible. Is that amazing or what? I love when there is a lesson like this within something like this!




This truly is gorgeous! The detail throughout this book, you could spend hours enjoying and studying. There is also plenty of room for anyone who desires to do so to add their very own art. I don’t know that I could possibly make even a tiny mark in this Bible myself. It is just so perfect, so lovely – but if you are one of those truly creative types, I am sure you will be inspired and enjoy adding your own personal touch to this one.


Get Your Copy on Amazon

Learn more about the ESV Illuminated Bible at

The Action Storybook Bible” {Review}

My boys love comic books. They can sit and read them for hours on end and while I really do strive to encourage my kids to read, I really try to encourage them to not read so much “twaddle”.  I do believe that we can read for fun and entertainment, while also learning  and growing, My oldest son has his own Bible that he enjoys studying but my younger son is in a place where the storybook Bibles are too childish for him but the regular Bible is a bit overwhelming.



The Action Storybook Bible was a fun opportunity for him to enjoy a different kind of Bible. 
I admit I get wary of various versions and forms; its hard to tell what is accurate and what isn’t. And while I want to encourage my children to study and read for themselves, I also do not believe in dumbing things down for them. After all the truth of God is for every one of us. And Jesus says, let the little children come. 🙂
My son really loved the illustrations; what boy doesn’t enjoy a comic book form of any story?
The images are exciting, packed with action, so very colorful !
We love to read together; I think its lots of fun to see and hear how things affect him as he reads. Certain details that he finds interesting; events that happened that are just unbelievable – With God nothing is impossible – there were so many moments as he read that got him talking ad talking and talking …
God is so good! And this is a way for younger children (boys especially) to follow along with the story from the very beginning. Each chapter retells a story, sometimes more than one and is followed by a page that identifies an aspect of God’s character, an example of God at work, an shows by example how we are to apply the story we just read to our lives, then closing with a prayer.
This is a wonderful and simple way to encourage our children to read the Bible for themselves. To explore and learn of the Old and his wonderful plan for every one of us. It is always so fun to see my children excited about the Word of God.  As a family that finds this to be something of the utmost importance, anytime I find a resource that draws my children closer to Jesus, I have to share about it.
I have to say I was quite impressed with the resources within this one; often I am disappointed with the simplicity and lack of detail and depth in children’s Bible’s but this one was one that even I enjoyed. Especially as my son learned and came to a greater understanding of so much.

Who Doesn’t Need A Car ?

(this is a sponsored post)


When we found out we were expecting with our last child, it was such an exciting moment. Also a realization that – we have a large family.

That means we need something to drive that fits all of us. (We often host exchange students as well so, add one or two more!)

This is something that my husband does – splendidly.
I am so very blessed that he takes the lead in this and, every time, brings home an amazing vehicle that is safe, and fun and so comfortable too!


One resource that I do not think we could do without, whenever we are searching for a new vehicle, is




There is so much to learn as we go about seeking to purchase a new vehicle for our families. Is it safe?


Are you looking for an SUV? Not sure what you are looking for? Compare them side by side.



Truth be told there is so much out there to learn; unless you are one of those folks who know all there is to know about how cars work and what to look for (and what so many different things mean) is a where you want to be.  They are a leader online in educating shoppers and owners in all things related to ownership.



They are also one of the largest automotive platforms, connecting consumers with local dealers across the country anytime, anywhere. Through trusted expert content, on-the-lot mobile app features, millions of new and used vehicle listings, a comprehensive set of research tools and the largest database of consumer reviews in the industry, helps shoppers buy, sell and service their vehicles.



What could be better than having one place where you can do it all?  Sell, trade, buy.


What do you need? Get a service estimate. Or see how to do it yourself.


When you are unsure of what you need or what you ought to do, visit Maintenance 101. All the answers (maybe not all of them) in one handy place.


See a trend here? This site has it all. In one place. Why make things more complicated than they need to be?


Mommas, do you know that this week is Car Seat Safety Week? Make sure your little ones are safe; these car seats are anything but easy and there is help for you here!