Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Litfuse Publicity: The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts

About the Book:

A young mother battling cancer invites readers to embrace grace in every season of life.

Kara Tippetts knows the mundane but rich days of mothering four kids, the joy of watching her children grow.and the devastating reality of stage-four cancer.

In The Hardest Peace, she invites readers to see the grace of the everyday in all seasons of life and to live well even when the living is hard. As the thousands of readers of her blog know, Tippetts explores the hardest questions of life with rare beauty and honesty. Most of all, she draws them back to the God who is present, in the ordinary and the suffering, and shapes every life into the best story of all.


You can purchase your own copy at Mundane Faithfulness.


About the Author:

Kara Tippetts and her husband, Jason, have four children and lead a church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Cancer is only part of Kara’s story. Her real fight is to truly live while facing a crushing reality.

You can connect with Kara on Facebook, Twitter and her website.


My Opinion:

I requested The Hardest Peace before I knew anything of Kara Tippetts or the story that hit the news about another sufferer of cancer who is choosing suicide as her out.  When I began reading it I was reading it after reading much news sources and blog posts regarding the controversy – I encourage anyone who is facing a fight with cancer, or has another “hard peace” to read this book – giving up through suicide or other avenues are not the answer to the issue plaguing us.  We all have had that place, and while Kara writes from hers being breast cancer that metastasized into her whole body, she recognizes other people’s hard places may be a failed marriage, another type of illness, a sick child, and other hard places.  Her call is about coming to the place where the only one we can lean on, to count on, is the Lord – no other human can be everything we need because they are human.

With quotes from other authors and Scripture the book has much value, in both sharing Kara’s story as well as giving hope to others who are in a hard place and need that hope.  Through sharing her story, she not only leaves a legacy for her children and her husband, she gives hope to those who read her book – I would have loved to have read this last year as we faced my daughter’s major surgery and my husband’s multiple hospital stays (both of them we’d thought we would lose that year).  If you don’t want to cry in front of people, I highly suggest not reading this in front of others, I had a hard time hiding my tears from my son and husband as I read – and I read it in one day.  The book closes with Kara writing a letter to her children and one to her husband – she even expresses her hope that should he remarry how she desires her children to honor the new woman.  Her husband also writes a letter to her – the letters are by far the hardest part to read in the book, but the entire book is well worth the read.

A special feature of this tour is not only my thoughts on the book but we’re supposed to answer one of the questions that comes with Kara’s book, the end of each chapter features 5 questions to dig into your life and I chose this one:

How does your life look different from what you once expected? Are you okay with the differences? Why or why not? How would you describe the new story you are living?

As a teen I thought I’d be an attorney, a high profile attorney – you know the ones they are all over T.V. and I’d take some pro-bono work to make myself and my firm look good.  Yes, I read a few too many legal thrillers growing up!  Children never entered my mind, maybe I’d marry another attorney or a doctor and we’d travel the world.  Yep.  I didn’t know it then but the Lord had different plans, even when I had left Him in the dust and only wanted what I wanted – He was still working in my life.  I entered the U.S. Navy, after discharge I entered college first in the law enforcement area then switching to social work – I met hubby in my last year, we married, became pregnant, then sadly lost our first baby, one the day I graduated I also found out we were pregnant with who would be our oldest daughter, Hannah – two years later our second daughter followed and two years after her, our son.  I also became a homeschool mom and homemaker.  Quite a far cry from a high profile attorney.  If I think of the life I would be living had I followed my plans I know I’d be missing out on much – my life has been full of blessings – but also full of the hard.  Would I trade it?  No.

If you’d like to read what other bloggers thought please visit the Litfuse Landing Page or the Link-up.



Kara Tippetts‘ brave and touching book, The Hardest Peace is launching with a blogger challenge. Celebrate with Kara by joining the #HardestPeace conversation and share how you are finding grace in the midst of the everyday and in life’s hard moments.

The Hardest Peace, Kara Tippetts

Share your stories of everyday grace in the midst of life’s difficulties and enter to win a #HardestPeace prize pack:

  • A book club pack (10 copies of The Hardest Peace for you and your small group!)
  • A handcrafted candle
  • Journal
  • Custom Etsy The Hardest Peace print and coffee mug

To enter to win, simply blog about your #HardestPeace story and then submit the link to your post via the link-up (or see link in the Rafflecopter below). Plus stop by others’ stories to leave encouragement and offer prayers as we all travel the journey of life together and discover that the hardest peace is often the most fulfilling peace.

Then follow Kara online (via the Rafflcopter) for additional entries into the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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BookLook Review: The NKJV Study Bible (Full-Color Edition) published by Thomas Nelson

About the Bible:

The NKJV Study Bible, the most comprehensive study Bible available, now in a full-color edition with added features! The acclaimed NKJV Study Bible is the most complete study system for all who desire accurate study in God’s Word. The Second Edition includes more features to make it the best all-purpose study Bible. Using the trusted New King James Version, The NKJV Study Bible has “the mind of a scholar and the heart of a pastor.” Nelson’s skilled team of scholars has produced the system to reach for when study in God’s Word is the goal.

Features include:

NEW attractive full-color page design
NEW stunning Bible-land photos and graphics
NEW in-text maps and charts
Full cross-references with textual notes
Word studies and indexes
Bible Times and Culture Notes
Book introductions, outlines, and timelines
Reader-friendly notes and articles ideal for extended study
Deluxe NKJV Concordance including proper names

You can purchase a copy at Thomas Nelson.  Regular price $49.99 but if you pre-order the sale price is $39.99

My Opinion:

I’ve wanted a full color study Bible for some time but with a hefty price tag it just isn’t in our budget so when I had the chance to review this one through the BookLook review program I knew this would be my chance and I wasn’t disappointed.  This is a study Bible, so isn’t one I’d carry with me to church on Sundays as it’s large and heavy, of course you can if you want but for me it serves me better by having it home to use to study.  The beautiful images of places the Bible talks about makes the whole experience lovely and come to life from the pages and make the history of what you’re studying seem more real than if it was just a black and white photo or no photo at all.  The book introductions and outline make it easy to understand the overall gist of what the book is about and the author, date written, historical setting, purpose as well as Christ in the Scriptures, and the timeline tells what is going on in certain years such as in the Book of Joel in 835 B.C. Joash becomes king of Judah.

This Bible is one that will be great to have alongside personal Bible study allowing one to really dig into the Scriptures more with the footnotes, cultural notes and in text maps and charts.  The full color page spreads make studying the Bible interesting while the study features make it so it’s easy for both the trained clergy and the regular Christian who just wants to know more about the Word of their Lord and Savior.  I used it after I finished a book recently that used the story of Ezra to more fully understand who the man was and what happened surrounding his life and times.  This NKJV Study Bible really helped me delve even more into that historical fiction book and made it a bit easier to understand why the events that happened did happen, even if I didn’t agree with it at first (who can know God’s ultimate plan especially with a human heart and eyes).  This is definitely going to get a lot of use in this house as it makes studying the Scriptures really come to life and in easy to understand ways.

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Litfuse Publicity: The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford

About the book:

Scotland, 1860.

Reverend Alexander Ferguson, naive and newly-ordained, takes up his new parish, a poor, isolated patch on the Hebridean island of Harris. His time on the island will irrevocably change the course of his life, but the white house on the edge of the dunes keeps its silence long after Alexander departs. It will be more than a century before the Sea House reluctantly gives up its secrets. Ruth and Michael buy the grand but dilapidated building and begin to turn it into a home for the family they hope to have. Their dreams are marred by a shocking discovery. The tiny bones of a baby are buried beneath the house; the child’s fragile legs are fused together — a mermaid child. Who buried the bones? And why? Ruth needs to solve the mystery of her new home — but the answers to her questions may lie in her own past.

Based on a real nineteenth-century letter to The Times in which a Scottish clergyman claimed to have seen a mermaid, The Sea House is an epic, sweeping tale of loss and love, hope and redemption, and how we heal ourselves with the stories we tell.

You can purchase a copy on Amazon.

About the Author:

Elisabeth Gifford grew up in a vicarage in the industrial Midlands. She studied French literature and world religions at Leeds University. She is the author of The House of Hope: A Story of God’s Love and Provision for the Abandoned Orphans of China and has written articles for The Times and the Independent and has a Diploma in Creative Writing from Oxford OUDCE and an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway College. She is married with three children. They live in Kingston on Thames but spend as much time as possible in the Hebrides.

You can learn more about Elisabeth at her website and on Facebook.

My Opinion:

It took me awhile to read this book because it wasn’t a feel good fiction book but dealt with much more of the human spirit so it took me a bit to get going with the book.  I have read The House of Hope by the same author but The Sea House is her debut fictional novel and it definitely is a great read – although I will say up front this is not a specifically Christian novel and there is one cuss words used twice – keep in mind the author lives in England and words that are bad here are not necessarily bad there and vice versa and England is a bit more liberal in what the churches believe.  I’ve never head of Selkies or Seal People although I have heard of mermaids and the tales of old have intrigued me and that is the main reason I wanted to read this book and share it with my readers – it’s also not something that is on my usual genre of books so I’ve branched out a bit.

Overall, I really enjoyed it – but I felt such compassion for Ruth, who is dealing with much from her childhood especially as she realizes she and her husband are expecting their first child.  She searches for some meaning – why would her mother leave her in such a horrible way, who is her dad and maybe the world would be better off without her too?  As I said it’s not a Christian novel, so Ruth isn’t searching for the answers in the Bible, through prayer or at church – she is looking at what she understands about evolution (this was actually the most frustrating part for me to read especially the 1800’s pastor who believes in Darwin’s theory of evolution) and who can help her now.  As I read this with my Christian worldview I know she’s looking in all the wrong places, but I won’t give away the whole story.

If you want to delve into a secular fiction novel, with characters that truly struggle and you don’t mind that struggle seeming real within the pages of the book, then this is a great read.  However, don’t expect to pick it up and read it in one day, I don’t see with the depth involved in this book how it could be – but maybe someone can surprise me and do it!  I really enjoyed the twists that come towards the end, but again, I won’t give away the whole story or the ending but just know the ending was a complete surprise to me, even when I thought I had figured the whole thing out – and that to me was a wonderful way to end the book.

If you’d like to read what other bloggers thought about this book please visit the Litfuse Landing Page.

Don’t miss The Sea House, a stunning fiction debut from the UK. Set in a house on the windswept coast of the Outer Hebrides, Elisabeth Gifford‘s haunting tale effortlessly bridges a gap of more than a century. Adeptly interweaving two tales involving residents of the titular house, Gifford sets up an absorbing mystery revolving around local lore and myths about mermaids, selkies, and sealmen. Stretching seamlessly back and forth through time, layers upon layers of secrets are slowly and effectively peeled away in this evocative debut (Booklist).

Celebrate with Elisabeth by entering her Kindle giveaway!

E.Gifford, The Sea House Giveaway

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 19th. Winner will be announced October 20th at Elisabeth’s Blog.


Watch the trailer:


Litfuse Publicity: Keepers of the Covenant (The Restoration Chronicles Book 2) by Lynn Austin

About the book:

In one life-changing moment, the lives of the Jewish exiles in Babylon are thrown into confusion and despair when a decree arrives from the king’s palace in Susa. It calls for the annihilation of every Jewish man, woman, and child throughout the empire on the thirteenth day of Adar, in less than one year. Ezra, a quiet Jewish scholar and teacher, is suddenly called upon to lead the community as they seek God for a reason for this catastrophe. When a second decree arrives, authorizing them to fight back, Ezra is thrust into the role of military leader as they defend themselves against their enemies.

When the battles come to an end, Ezra’s brother Jude is dead and Ezra is required by the Law he so diligently studies to marry Jude’s widow, Devorah, and provide an heir. Fatherhood changes Ezra, and he asks God to make a way for him and the other exiles to leave Babylon for good and return to Jerusalem. His prayers are answered and the exiles move to Judea to revitalize worship at the temple—but the fight to keep God’s Law is never easy. As more and more of his community are tempted, a new battle emerges . . . this one for the survival of God’s covenant and the souls of His chosen faithful.

You may purchase a copy at Lynn Austin’s website.



About the author:

Bestselling author Lynn Austin has sold more than one million copies of her books worldwide. She is an eight-time Christy Award winner for her historical novels, as well as a popular speaker at retreats and conventions. Lynn and her husband have raised three children and live near Chicago.

You can find out more about Lynn and her books by visiting her on her website and on Facebook.



My Opinion:

I’ve read other of Lynn Austin’s books and all capture my attention right away, you can read my review of Return to Me, the first Restoration Chronicles book to see what I thought of the beginning of this series.  This book starts as the ruling from the King says that all Jews can be murdered on the 13th day of Adar, men, women, children, infants – all can be killed and their belongings plundered because of evil Haman.  I think most of us know what comes next Esther enters the King’s harem, becomes Queen and saves all her people from extinction – the Jews will be allowed to defend themselves against those intent on killing them.  I was not at all familiar with the book of Ezra in the Bible but this follows his story and had me looking up details in my Bible because I couldn’t help thinking, “really, that happened”.

I guess the part that was the hardest to wrap my mind around was Ezra’s ruling that all Jewish men had to divorce their pagan wives and cast out the children from those unions.  It was seen as sullying the Jewish heritage since the women were still worshiping their pagan gods and goddesses and were not keeping a good Jewish home.  Part of me thought that two wrongs don’t make a right but I know that the times and culture were different and that God was tired of the Jews not listening to His Laws and that was the reason for their long exile as it was.  I’m so glad that Lynn kept to the Bible for the facts of the story, only adding some dialogue where it was needed or throwing in an extra character like Reuben and his Edomite wife, Amina – I didn’t see them mentioned in Scripture but who knows there are many unnamed persons in the Bible so it could have happened.

There were some slow moments in the book, but if you keep at it the whole book really picks up especially once another Jewish remnant returns to Jerusalem to re-establish the Jewish culture there.  Overall, this book was enjoyable and what I appreciated is that it made me want to delve into Scripture that I wasn’t aware of and see what really happened and how it all leads to Christ’s legacy being fulfilled and leading up to His birth to be the Messiah.  I must say if you’d like a book based on Biblical truth, historical fact with a little fiction thrown in to fill in the pieces that aren’t covered in Scripture but that could have happened.


If you’d like to see what other bloggers thought of this book please visit the Litfuse Landing Page.

Lynn Austin is back with the next book in The Restoration Chronicles series, Keepers of the Covenant. Austin weaves together the struggles and stories of both Jews and Gentiles, creating a tapestry of faith and doubt, love and loss. Here, the Old Testament comes to life, demonstrating the everlasting hope displayed in God’s unwavering love for His people.

Lynn is celebrating with a Kindle HDX giveaway and a live author chat webcast on October 21st.


One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle HDX
  • Keepers of the Covenant by Lynn Austin

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 21st. Winner will be announced at the Keepers of the Covenant LIVE webcast event on October 21st. Connect with Lynn for a fascinating evening centered around God’s unwavering love for His people. She’ll be hosting a Biblical fiction book club discussion, giving away prizes, answering your questions, offering an exclusive peek at the next book in The Restoration Chronicles, and much more!

So grab your copy of Keepers of the Covenant and join Lynn and friends on the evening of October 21st for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)


Don’t miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 21st!

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Having a Bear Cub


When my son became old enough to join the Cub Scouts, we agonized over the decision – given the ruling that came out regarding youth who are in an alternate lifestyle joining up.  We tossed it around.  We discussed Alert Cadets but ruled it out as my husband couldn’t not possibly to the multiple mile long runs required of both dads and sons, nor did we want a military, regimented group at his young age.  We held out for Trail Life, but so far none are close enough to make it economically feasible to travel once a week to a meeting plus the other activities.  We talked it over, we prayed, we talked with our son – and after also talking with some of the powers in charge and being assured they were not changing who they’d admit, we decided to take the plunge.  We’ve made it clear should he do any camping where my husband and I are not present he is not to go anywhere with boys from other Packs.


Lining up to get their bear neckerchiefs. (my son forgot his belt)


His Den leader rolling his neckerchief.


Tying the neckerchief on.


The important Cub Scout handshake.


Isn’t he handsome?


We’ve jumped in with both feet – after his 1st Den meeting on a Thursday he attended his first popcorn Show and Sell that Saturday and became the top seller!  Today is his 3rd show and sell.  He’s almost completed his Bobcat trail and has earned two achievements and he’s only been a Cub Scout for a month.  He gets along well with the other boys and has fun being around the boys – which is great because at home he’s mainly around his sisters and I until Dad gets home at night and weekends.  I can’t wait to see what he accomplishes in Cub Scouts and through his Boy Scout years.


(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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BookLook Review: NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women edited by Lysa TerKeurst

About the Bible:

You spilled coffee on your shirt before walking out the door. Ran late to your appointment. Snapped at your children, then regretted it all day. And spent an hour at the grocery store with no dinner on the table to show for your efforts. A typical day has come and gone. Life is full of obligations, emotions, and relationships. Some are life-giving, yet sometimes the weight and responsibility of everyday life is heavy to bear. As wives, mothers, friends, and daughters, we need to know we’re not alone. We long for someone who understands—someone to help us find perspective. When our days are long, and our nights are restless, it’s easy to think we should be able to handle things on our own. Or that no one struggles like we do. And that’s when we need a friend … to encourage us, to understand us, and help us become the woman God wants us to be. You’ll find that friend on the pages of the NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women. Filled with insightful daily devotions written by Lysa TerKeurst and the women at Proverbs 31 Ministries, the devotions in this Bible will meet you right where you are, in the good days and in the hard days, in the car pool line or the doctor’s office. With God’s truth as the foundation, this Bible will help you maintain a peace-filled place of balance in spite of your life’s hectic pace. Features: The beauty and clarity of the New International Version (NIV) Bible, 366 daily devotions from the women at Proverbs 31 Ministries inspire you to live authentically as a woman of God, Author biographies, and a helpful subject Index.

You can purchase a copy at Zondervan.

About the Editor:

Lysa TerKeurst is a New York Times bestselling author and national speaker who helps everyday women live an adventure of faith. She is the author of 15 books and the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, where she and her team encourage over 500,000 women worldwide through their daily online devotional. Her remarkable life story has captured audiences across America, including appearances on Oprah and Good Morning America. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and five children.

My Opinion:

I have this same Bible in a hard cover format but it is bulky and not really one that fits in my night stand drawer for easy reading in bed, so when I had the chance to review the compact version is beautiful blue duo-tone genuine leather I jumped on it.  My favorite color is blue and most Bibles for women usually are pink or the majority of pink – so finding a women’s devotional Bible in blue was awesome!  Each daily devotion is alongside the Scripture that it is derived from, so reading both the devotional and the Scripture reference will aid in both an understanding of the devotion as well as a way to look at God’s Word and how it still relates to us.  Each devotional also gives other verses to explore that relate to it as well as what page the next devotion will appear on, so no flipping around to find the next one.

There is also a topical index so if you want to work on anger, or if you need to figure a way out of your busyness, depression, going through trials, even quilting are just a few of the many topics you’ll encounter.  The author index is great if you have a favorite female speaker or leader and you want to read what her specific devotionals say it’s easy to find what she’s written.  The Bible is the easy to read NIV version and I use this Bible when I just need a good way to get into what the Lord is saying, I think my only complaint is that in the Psalms, Selah is only noted in the foot notes instead of within the text, this is supposed to aid in readability but as one who is used to reading Selah it’s sort of hard to get used to.  That said, there is not an exact interpretation of Selah but from what I’ve read on the use of the word, as my children have asked in the past, it’s meant to be a pause or reflection – so as we read the Psalms and come upon Selah the Psalmist is telling us to pause, to reflect on those words.


As in most compact versions, the print is quite tiny – so if you’re like me and have a hard time with small print get out your eyeglasses or a magnifying glass.  Okay, it’s not that tiny – but it is tiny enough that my glasses do improve my reading experience, but that goes for just about any book I read these days.  The beautiful blue silk ribbon will help you in keeping your place and definitely adds even more the the feminine feel of the Bible – that goes along with the light floral design in the corner of the devotional pages.  This is a beautiful Bible, and would make a great gift for a lady in your life, especially if she likes blue.  The top part of the cover is a smooth light blue while the bottom part is an embossed darker blue (I’m sorry, I can’t remember the exact colors as they were listed on the package).  The beauty of the outside of this Bible adds to the beauty of what is between the covers, God’s Holy Word that He gave to us and it’s one I’m happy to be able to put in my nightstand or in my purse.



(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Book Crash Review: Raegan and RJ in Space; Colonizing the Galaxy for Christ by Richard Collins

About the Book:

This is a 48 page graphic novel set in the year 2025, and tells the story of the first Christians to colonize Alpha Centauri! In this graphic novel we meet all the families, get introduced to Hope Tennessee and the Christian Space Program, see the CSS Faith launch, see Raegan and RJ save the Earth from an incoming asteroid and receive medals for bravery from the President, see all the kids have a race with the emergency escape speeders, see the families establish the colony of ‘New Hope’, and finally celebrate the first Christmas in a new star system.  Cover art and illustrations by Mr. Robert Stimpson.  This graphic novel is a 2014 book award winner!

You can purchase a copy of the book at Raegan and RJ in Space.

My Opinion:

In my house we enjoy graphic novels so when I had the chance to recieve a copy of Raegan and RJ in Space; Colonizing the Galaxy for Christ I knew I wanted to take a look at if for myself.  I must say that I loved that this was a Christian graphic novel, there aren’t many of those out and so this fills a niche that is needed for today’s youth.  The illustrations are well done as is the plot and dialog between characters.  That said some of the way things were done had me chuckling because they just weren’t believable such as sending school aged children to do missions in space when there are other adults on the shuttle.  Seeing that the story is set in the year 2025, just eleven years from now, it seems far fetched to think that a shuttle will be taking a group of Christians to settle a new planet 6 months away from earth, not to mention I don’t believe in Aliens in space so who would be getting the Gospel message.

Overall, I think this is a great concept but I think some children, including my 12 1/2 year old would find it cheesy (she hasn’t had a chance to read it in full yet).  The children are all very polite – no one calls each other names, back talks parents and no one questions the teacher.  Everyone is quick to praise and give the Lord the credit, which is great.  I just think there needs to be more fleshed out, such as why are children sent on missions?  Why is the group traveling to space when there isn’t anyone out there to share the Gospel with?  While I like the idea of this graphic novel, I would like to see a bit more substance given to it, it’s short at just 48 pages and I know graphic novels aren’t supposed to be the size of a tome but it seemed as if there was something lacking as I read it.

 (c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Tyndale Review: The Imagination Station #14; Captured on the High Seas by Marianne Hering and Nancy I. Sanders

About the Book:

British warships battle with American privateers in this high sea adventure. Cousins Patrick and Beth have landed on the Royal Louis in the middle of the Revolutionary War. Cannonballs fly and swords slash. They’re captured! Now they face even more dangers. Will their new friend James Forten be sold by the British into the West Indies slave trade? Or will they all be sentenced to the overcrowded prison ship floating near shore where scores of prisoners die from filth and disease? Patrick and Beth help plan a daring escape as they witness firsthand the deeds of brave heroes who fought to make America the land of the free.

You can purchase a copy at Tyndale.




My Opinion:

I’ve shared about the Imagination Station books before and now I get to share the newest book, Captured on the High Seas which is book #14 and while I found it quite easy to get into this book it does pick up where book #13 leaves off, The Redcoats are Coming (I need to get that one!).  Patrick and Beth are stranded on an American ship during the Revolutionary War because the Imagination Station is broken and instead of taking them back to Whit’s End, they end up on the ship – it’s okay until they encounter a British ship.  I won’t give away too many details but it was quite a fun read, even for this mom.  Patrick and Beth must get away and they also want to help James, the African American lest he be sold to the West Indies as a slave when he refuses to become a traitor.


Geared towards ages 7 and up and with a grade level of 2.3 it’s a fun read and it can easily be read in one sitting – I think it took me two hours with breaks.  What I really appreciated about the book is the tie in of real events such as why the British did not blow up the privateer  Royal Louis and that there really was a James Forten, this is a fascinating man and I encourage you to do some research on him.  I can see how I could easily use this to make a unit study and research more in depth persons rarely learned about and also about the ships used during the American Revolution.  After finishing the book there is a secret word puzzle that you can input into the Imagination Station website to get a prize, there are also extra book extras.  A great way to make learning history fun and engaging especially for a younger child who may not be ready for a full on history lesson.



(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Happy 10th Birthday!

My 2nd born, my 2nd daughter was born on this day 10 years ago, of course it was almost the 30th – if it weren’t for me getting an epidural to relieve the back labor and let me rest for some it, she would have been born tomorrow.  I can’t believe that she is 10.  She is in the double digits and only 3 years away from being 13!  Yikes!  When people tell you the time flies – it does, it doesn’t feel like 10 years ago, it feels like a moment since I pushed her into the world – my first VBAC – and held her, fed her, cuddled her.  Thankfully, she still likes to cuddle, although she doesn’t fit in my arms as easily as she used to.

Here she is with Great Grandpa Hays. I wish she had been older so she could have gotten to know this man who had a pivotal role in my growing up.

My girls, back when they were both still light blonde.

Just cuteness!

She was so happy with her gingerbread house she decorated in co-op one year.

First year of ‘official’ school with Five In A Row and Madeline.

And now she’s a 5th grader!

She is my girly-girl, she loves pink, princesses, dancing and she loves God.  I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for her over the  next 10 years .  Happy birthday to my sweet beautiful daughter.  I love you!

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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BookLook Review: Faithgirlz! Big Book of Quizzes from the editors of Faithgirlz!

About the Book:

Welcome to the world of, well, you! The Faithgirlz! Big Book of Quizzes offers more than twenty quizzes delve into school, friends, faith, family, guys, and questions “All-About-You.” Take the quizzes on your own or with friends. Some funny, some thought-provoking, every quiz ends with wide range of answers to help girls think about themselves, get advice on tons of topics, and learn little “who knew?” facts about how they really think and feel – done in a fun format every girl loves. Girls will love circling questions, asking BFFs for best answers, and LOLing at those “that’s SO me” moments. And, yet, each has a takeaway message that makes the Big Book of Quizzes a super entertaining, relevant, and interactive read for girls ages eight to twelve.

You can purchase your own copy at Zondervan.

My Opinion:

When I was growing up I read certain teen mags that I won’t let my 12 and 10 year old daughters touch let alone read and they had those fun multiple choice quizzes, I said fun not appropriate.  Unfortunately there aren’t Christian magazines out there with quizzes like those in them so when I saw the FaithGirlz! Big Book of Quizzes up for review I knew my girls would enjoy doing the quizzes with each other, by themselves and with friends.  There are four chapters in this book and they are titled:

  1. All About You
  2. School Stitches and Stuff
  3. Besties, Boys and Other Bafflers
  4. Faith and Family

Each chapter has between six and eight multiple choice quizzes for your daughters to work through and the results at the end simply require them to count how many A’s, B’s, C’s and D’s they got and then the one with the most is the girls’ results.  I didn’t think the school section would have much in the way for my girls since they are homeschooled but the quiz on your secret learning style is great for however the girl is being schooled.  The one thing my daughter’s and I did not like were the quizzes about boys such as, “are you totally crush crazy?”, “are you ready to date?” and “who’s your perfect guy”, since my girls aren’t exposed to peers who are boy crazy and we chose to let God lead the way as to who is going to be their perfect guy (or not, maybe He’ll lead them to be single and serve Him) these quizzes weren’t that pertinent to us.  I also don’t think that girls should be focusing on this type of thing, instead they should focus on their relationships with their family, community, God and friends (not necessarily in that order).

There wasn’t much of a spiritual aspect either, which I was sort of surprised by – since it is a FaithGirlz! publication I was expecting some Scripture or Scriptural connection to what the girls learn about themselves or their friends from the quizzes.  Unless I missed it there were no Bible verses or Scriptural connections at all, especially where it was most important – with the guy issue and the Faith section.  Even though there is the chapter on Faith and Family I found this to be a book that whether the girl is Christian, Muslim or no religious affiliation could pick this up and relate it to her life and her beliefs.  Overall, it’s a fun book and provides a fun look into the lives of my girls and their friends but if I had to recommend it based on Biblical worldview or being overwhelming Christian I could not recommend it – it’s simply a book with fun quizzes.

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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