Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Come to the Family Table

The goal of Come to the Family Table is simple, create a place where your family can intentionally slow down and pour love into each other and guests.

I really liked the premise of this book. I want our table to be a treasured place. Somewhere we can share our hearts over a good meal and encourage one another.

Ted and Amy Cunningham obviously have a heart for helping families grow closer together and to God. It's obvious that this is something dear to them and that they take great joy in their own family table.

Unfortunately, this book didn't feel cohesive in any way. Only one or two chapters felt like they were on theme with what the authors were trying to convey. The others, while good information, felt like family/marriage topics thrown in there with some distant table mention. One section is all about counseling couples on the brink of divorce- with the conversation levels compared to meal courses. Again, good information but really reaching to fit the book. The authors frequently quote comedians, other authors or people. They were used so frequently that it felt more like they took away from the book than added to it.

There was a whole section of the book about drinking wine. While I don't personally think there is anything wrong with that, I wasn't a fan of the admonishing tone took towards those who chose to abstain.

The authors told a few personal stories, and while most of those were great, at times they felt more like a brag session... Details about friends grandiose homes, expensive custom chicken "chateaus", details about dates to super fancy restaurants and meals by Food Network chefs. I don't want to sound nitpicky and I'm glad that the Lord has blessed them so that they can experience these things-- but the stories felt more isolating than helpful.

The book really did have some good ideas for games and conversation starters for around the table. I don't plan on making any of the recipes but it was a nice personal touch.

Topped off with a plug for Joel Osteen, I just felt like this book fell a bit flat. I really hope my review doesn't sound to negative against the authors, who I am sure are nice people. However, I feel it's important to share my true feelings about each book I read-- or reviewing them would be pretty pointless. If you like the premise of this book like me, I would recommend A Lifegiving Home by Sally Clarkson.  

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

Missional Motherhood *The Bible Study*


A few weeks ago I shared about my review of Gloria Furman's new book Missional Motherhood. Missional Motherhood goes into depth about how motherhood was created by God, for God with his design and purpose. 

Since reading the book quotes and things I have learned have come to mind numerous times. I knew this study would further that journey and benefit me greatly. 

This six-session study is perfect for a small group. I knew after reading through it that it would work great for the Mom's group at my home church. We are going to be diving into it this fall and I am so excited. 

The study contains-

-Group material with guides to questions and discussion within small groups

-Personal study segments to complete between group sessions

-Opportunity for 6 group sessions with 5 weeks of personal study and homework

-Interactive teaching videos that run approximately 15 minutes each week (available in the Missional Motherhood Leader Kit)

You could also did this study independently but a good portion of the questions do relate to the video, which you have to purchase separate.

If you enjoyed Missional Motherhood and are looking to deepen your understanding of what God has for you as a mom, I think this study is a great fit!

I received this study in exchange for my honest review 

Color Code Bible

My son has been carrying this Bible to church with him every Sunday so I haven't around to reviewing it yet! When looking for a Bible for my almost-six-year-old I wanted something simple and practical.
 This Color Code Bible from Thomas Nelson is just that. The additional information that is provided is helpful and easy to understand. At the beginning of the Bible there is a section that answers in plain terms some very important questions about the Bible- What is the Bible? Who wrote the Bible? Why should you read the Bible? Why did God send us the Bible? It also explains the color coding system.

Verses about different subjects are highlighted in different colors-

Gold: God

Navy: Sin, evil,

Red: Jesus

Orange: washed clean from sin, new life

Green: growth in your new life as a Christian and Faith Walk

Blue: Prayer, Praise and Thanksgiving

Purple: Heaven

The text is a pretty bold size for a Bible, making it easy to read for little eyes. The Bible has a sturdy hardcover that should hold up to the abuse a little boy can inflict. This will be a great resource in the future for him and I hope that it will encourage discovery about the foundational truths of the Bible.

I received a copy of the Bible in exchange for my honest review from Thomas Nelson

Friday, August 19, 2016

Family Christian $25 Gift Certificate WINNER

The lucky winner of the gift certificate is---

An email will arrive for you soon! Enjoy your shopping spree!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast by Noah Siegel and Christian Schwarz

My husband loves to anything outdoors. Even if it's just going for a drive in the woods (actually especially driving in the woods). And I... well I enjoy doing outdoor stuff but find myself bored just driving around. I feel like I need to be doing something practical. Mushroom foraging was something that I could get behind. Outdoors finding food. Last fall we did a little mushroom hunting as a family and my husband did a lot of elk scouting under the guise of "mushroom hunting". We were soon up to our elbows in chanterelles and this funky looking cauliflower mushroom.


We really only looked for 2 or 3 types because they were the only ones we were confidant identifying. It became clear that some sort of additional guild would be helpful in identifying all types of mushrooms, edible or not.

Mushroom of the Redwood Coast is not only a great guild for identifying mushrooms but it is also impossible beautiful and fun to flip through.This hefty volume not only helps with identifying but offers many tips and tricks for beginners and more advanced mushroom hunters. Besides a full color picture of each mushroom-- their is an in-depth description of each mushrooms ecology, edibility, toxicity, and look-alike species.

I'm excited to have this as a resource to share with the kids as well. I know that it will be helpful to use during our nature study hikes. It really is fascinating to look at all the vast amount of mushrooms that grow in this region. If you are looking to learn more about mushrooms this would be a great place to start!

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

$25 Giveaway to Family Christian!

It's a rare thing that someone offers you $25 to spend. But, that's exactly what happened to me recently! I was given a $25 gift certificate to spend anyway I choose at Family Christian. As an added bonus, I get to share a $25 gift certificate with you too!

I spent quite a bit of time browsing through all my options. It was a challenge to narrow down what I wanted specifically because there was so much fun stuff and a number of great promotions going on.

If you have been on the fence about ordering a journaling Bible, now is a great time. Family Christian is offering many styles for 30% off.

Lots of styles are on sale, but you can pick up the ESV Journaling Bible (different cover) that I reviewed here and the Beautiful Word Bible that I reviewed here. To aid in you Bible journaling everything from Illustrated Faith is on sale as well at 10% off. There are stickers, paint, tape and more. So many cute things, I love these little bow clips. I ordered there  Bookbound Journal and I cannot wait to fill it up.

Another great promotion they have going right now is their Buy 1 Get 1 50% Off. Included are all books, music, movies and more, just look for the sunflower! There were so many things you could choose from in this promotion, from Melissa & Doug Crayons to tumblers for a summer drink!

I was really satisfied with the quality of my purchase and my experience. From the time I placed my order to it showing up on my doorstep was only a week, which is pretty quick shipping in my opinion. My adorable travel mug was packaged well and arrived unblemished.

It felt truly indulgent to shop for myself, and I'm excited to give you the chance as well! For your chance to win simply visit Family Christian and then hop back over here and share with me in the comments what you would buy with $25 and provide your email so I can notify the winner. The winner will be selected at random on August 19th!  Closed

Additional Disclosure

Giveaways are open to residents of the continental U.S. and Canada only and must by 18 or older.

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, 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.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman

Sometimes I think I pick up motherhood books just so hoping somebody will tell me how to do this. Not that I really like being told what to do, or that I think some formula will work, because I know that it wont. But maybe the author has some new idea or truth I hadn't heard before. Missional Motherhood doesn't have any new truths in it, but a lot of really, really old truths. This book is solidly rooted in the Word of God.

Gloria Furman's newest book takes a close look at how motherhood was created by God for God with a design and purpose. She spends the first half of the book giving a summary of the Old-Testament. I promise that in the scope of the book this totally makes sense. I really enjoyed reading this actually. It was engagingly written and I thought it really set the stage for the second half of the book.

This book keeps our eyes on the cross and examines what motherhood should look like in light of that. It is so much more than just a book about mom stuff. It's not, how do I keep my kids from bickering- it's how do I nurture life in the face of death?

You don't have to be a traditional mother to enjoy this book either. This is a great read for any lady, or even a man who wants to understand the significance of motherhood.

So, in the end I did find somebody to tell me how to do all this, and like always the answer can be found in the Bible. Gloria did a great job outlining God's simple but challenging purpose for mom's.

I received this book in exchange for my review from Crossway

Monday, August 1, 2016

When Calls the Heart Season 3 Special Gift

A few months ago I got review a great DVD that I got from FishFlix. I really enjoyed their service and was impressed with what they had to offer- so it just seemed natural to share about their newest promotion. They carry a ton of great Christian movies all in one place.

I remember watching When Calls the Heart for the first time. I was surprised by how sweet and clean it was. It reminded me of something that might have aired when I was growing up. I am constantly disheartened by the trend in TV to be more obscene, sexual and just all around morally bankrupt. While When Calls the Heart is not my general TV fare, it is a refreshing change from what else is out there. It's nice to have a show that I feel okay about recommending to a few of the teenage girls in my life, too.

If you're a fan, or interested in becoming one, now is definitely the time to pick up the series! If you pre-order When Calls the Heart Season 3 DVD Set (out October 11) you get season 1 for free. A great way to add to your collection, and if you already have season one, consider giving it away as a gift. More about this special release-
About Season Three Box Set

We’re really excited about the When Calls the Heart Season 3 boxed set because it provides some truly unique bonuses for committed fans of the show (#Hearties.)

As with the When Calls the Heart Season 1 and Season 2 Collector’s editions, this 10 DVD set contains both the film versions and the TV episode versions of When Calls the Heart Season 3. You can watch the series as 10 hour-long episodes or 5 feature films. As in previous years, fans will enjoy finding small differences between the film versions and the individual episodes.

The really exciting elements of the Season 3 collectors’ edition are the three bonus Discs. Disc 8 features the typical bonus material one would expect from a project like this – behind the scenes footage, interviews, etc. Disc 9 is a special product devoted to the fans that have made When Calls the Heart such a grassroots success - featuring footage from the #Hearties gathering in Vancouver in January of 2016. The 10th disc is a When Calls the Heart trivia game that devoted fans are sure to love.