Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

8th Birthday!

Hannah had a very long and happy weekend with her baptism on Sunday and then her 8th birthday on Monday.  I cannot believe how big she has gotten and how much she has grown.  She has grown so much in her faith and in Christ, she is a big helper around the house and with her siblings and is progressing well in her studies, currently working at and above grade level depending on the subject.  We went a little overboard with her presents this year, but they were ones that we’d know wouldn’t be thrown aside in a week and would be enjoyed.  My husband and I have decided from here on out that any gifts from us will be ones that will be used, enjoyed and not tossed aside even if they cost somewhat more and aren’t numerous.  She recieved a Nintendo DSlite, case and game – all in pink LOL.  In case no one noticed from this post and the last one her favorite colors and pink and purple.

I was going to make her molten chocolate cupcakes but she saw this cake at Sam’s and we let her pick it out.  I did the writing LOL I don’t claim to be a cake decorator.

Blowing out her candles:


The card, Bethanne wrote her name and Christian ‘signed’ it too.

Opening her presents – the BIG one LOL

I would like to say that her 8th birthday was just like her 1st in that the amount of snow we recieved in incredible – I’ll be posting pictures of that later.  At least we didn’t have a party planned this year or it would have to have been cancelled like her 1st birthday.  Grandpa was still able to come over, her other Grandparents will come over later this week.

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On Sunday, February 14, 2010 a new Saint was being rejoiced over by the Angels in Heaven!  My oldest daughter Hannah prayed her own sinner’s prayer and asked Jesus to forgive her and live in her heart two weeks before her actual baptism!!!  She choose 2-14-10 to be baptized and was baptized at the church we’ve been attending for about 2 years (some off and on, we’ve been getting more regular), Liberty Baptist Temple.  Here are pictures from the baptism, we had friends – the Newell’s and Jones’, family – my husband’s parents and my mom present for the baptism as well as other church family.  Just as Hannah was about to go into the baptismal she turned around and looked at me and said ‘ear plugs’ I had forgotten to put her ear plugs in!  so I scrambled to get them and put them in **sigh**

Hannah and I:

Pastor Kermit, Hannah and I:

Bethanne and friend (I have no idea where Christian was, except at the end I thought he was going to jump in.)

Hannah before going under, she was allowed to say something and she said "I just want to thank Jesus for coming to live in my heart."

Hannah coming up, my husband said she had a smile as she came up.

All the way up 🙂

After: if the water looks green, it is.  apparently there is a high sulphur content and when the water settles overnight and warms up it turns a greenish color but it was clean 🙂


My mom, Hannah and I:

Opening presents.  We gave her a small gold cross necklace that my husband gave me but I couldn’t wear, my inlaws gave her a small silver cross necklace, my mom gave her a beautiful puple NKJV Bible and another lady gave her a purple journal (it wasn’t planned LOL) and pen.

Christian being silly with a meatball during the celebratory potluck afterwards:


Hannah with the present from the church: teddy bear, balloon, beautiful rose shaped suckers.

My heart is so happy that Hannah made this decision and she is becoming a Godly young woman who I know will continue to grow and love her Lord and Saviour!


Fancy Nancy Tea Party

The girls and a friend of their’s went to a library’s Fancy Nancy Tea Party.  They made a butterfly place mat (I’ll post  some pictures after I laminate it) decorated a flower pot and then got to decorate a cookie and had apple juice and apple slices.  This was on Saturday the 13th.

Group shot of my two girls and the others that were there.  We had no idea who the other girls were.

Bethanne playing pin the crown on the princess.  Yes, she has her ponytail on the side and hi-top tennis shoes (that match nothing)  can you say, Like totally?

My girl’s and their friend before they got to decoratin their cookies.

Sorry I guess I took more of Bethanne since the room was small it was easier to take pictures of her.  More of Hannah in the next post!

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MamaBuzz Review: Auto-B-Good In the Land of Odds Season 1 Vol. 3

Product/Book Name:  In the Land of Odds, DVD

Ages:  3-10

Price:  $7.99

Put out by:  Rising Star Studios

Links:  Auto-B-Good YouTube Video

Auto-B-Good Home Page 
Auto-B-Good Facebook page
Auto-B-Good Twitter page

My Opinion: 

The Auto-B-Good series is a neat way to present character traits to young children, and with cars as the characters it’s a fun way to reach out to them in something most children enjoy playing with.  My girls also enjoy this even with the cars – there are girl car characters.  In this DVD for Season 1 Volume 3 we get to see Johnny, Izzi, EJ, Cali and other friends in three episodes that teach them lessons they’ll need for life – there are two bonus episodes as well.

The Land of Odds segment children will show children that being dependable isn’t boring, Growing Responsible is about responsibility, and Sunny Side Up is about goodwill.  The two bonus episodes are lessons on consideration and obedience.  Character traits are all things that Christian children need to learn both as they grow and carry into adult hood – what better way than to give them wholesome viewing that can bring home those values in a way they understand. 

The DVD runs 50 minutes and is not rated but it does have the Dove award, which means it is appropriate for the entire family.  The colors and the animation are so well done that one would think that they were watching a made for theatre movie – it kept my children’s attention the entire time.  As well if you wanted to focus on one character trait a day or one a week this could easily be a way to introduce or wrap a study on the particular character traits shown in this DVD.  I would recommend this as something for families who want something other than the secular, feel good to self movies that are bombarding our children today.

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Download N Go series: Whale Tales

Most children are fascinated by creatures of the deep, and the bigger ones provide most of the fascination.  In the new series, Download N Go series from The Old Schoolhouse, the newest is title "Whale Tales" – giving the parent teacher the tools they need to learn about this giant creature, the whale.  The children will learn what it eats, sounds it makes, where it lives and even what the Bible has to say about whales and the famous Jonah and his whale.  Included in this study is of course the study, activities and another great lapbook to create the memories and aide in recalling information.

There are awesome videos in this study, ones that you won’t want to miss out on watching or letting your children watch.  Feel free to view them first to make sure the content is right for your family, although Amanda Bennett and The Old Schoolhouse strive to make sure all internet links are internet friendly, the internet does change daily and they can’t assume responsiblity for anything that gets removed or changed in content.  I will say I have never found anything objectionable though in this series when it comes to the internet links.

This study is a complete week of learning activities for grades K-4th which means all your children can work together.  Even preschoolers can sit near and watch the videos and if they are an older preschooler maybe you could take diction and allow them to make their own memorable whate lapbook.  A great way to include the whole family in a learning experience that can be a wonderful learning experience so that everyone feels included.  Most of the suggested books can be found at your local library or purchased, it’s up to each individual family and if something can’t be found with each day you can choose which book gets read. 

This lapbook is wonderfully done, colorful and full of learning opportunities for each child.  Again, like I said above this could be easily adapted for even an older preschool student if the parent teacher is open to taking diction from the child.  With daily vocabulary words, different types of whales like the humpback, bowhead and other whales, studying what mammals are, oceans and other learning acitivities this lapbook will provide a meaningful learning experience.  So what are you waiting for get ready to take a ‘dive’ and learn about some of God’s awesome ocean creatures!

If you’d like to purchase it:

**I was provided a copy of this ebook in exchange for my honest review.  To see my full disclosure policy click on my disclosure link on the right side bar.

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FIRST tour: "So Long Insecurity: You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us" by Beth Moore

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:

Beth Moore

and the book:

So Long Insecurity: You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (February 2, 2010)

***Special thanks to Vicky Lynch of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for sending me a review copy.***


Over the past decade, Beth Moore has become an internationally known and respected Bible teacher, teaching over 250,000 women annually in Living Proof Live Conferences and regularly sharing God’s Word with an interdenominational community at her church in Houston; teaching the Bible on the nationally syndicated Life Today with James Robison; and through her best-selling books and Living Proof radio program.

Visit the author’s website.

Product Details:

List Price: $24.99
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (February 2, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1414334729
ISBN-13: 978-1414334721


Mad Enough to Change

I’m seriously ticked. And I need to do something about it. Some people eat when they’re about to rupture with emotion. Others throw up. Or jog. Or go to bed. Some have a holy fit. Others stuff it and try to forget it. I can do all those things in sequential order, but I still don’t find relief.

When my soul is inflating until my skin feels like a balloon about to pop, I write. Never longhand, if I can help it. The more emotion I feel, the more I appreciate banging on the keys of a computer. I type by faith and not by sight. My keyboard can attest to the fact that I am a passionate person with an obsession for words: most of the vowels are worn off. The word ticked really should have more vowels. Maybe what I am is peeved. That’s a good one. How about irrationally irritated to oblivion? Let that one wear the vowels off a keyboard.

The thing is, I’m not even sure exactly who I’m ticked at. I’m hoping to find that out as I hack away at these chapters. One thing is for certain. Once I figure it out, I probably won’t keep it to myself. After all, you know how the saying goes: hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. And I’m feeling scorned.

But not just for myself. I’m feeling ticked for the whole mess of us born with a pair of X chromosomes. My whole ministry life is lived out in the blessed chaos of a female cornucopia. I’ve been looking at our gender through the lens of Scripture for twenty-five solid years, and I have pondered over us, taken up for us, laid into us, deliberated over us, prayed about us, lost sleep because of us, cried for us, laughed my head off at us, and gotten offended for us—and by us—more times than I can count. And after a quarter of a century surrounded by girls ranging all the way from kindergarteners to those resting on pale pink liners inside caskets, I’ve come to this loving conclusion: we need help. I need help. Something more than what we’re getting.

The woman I passed a few days ago on the freeway who was bawling her eyes out at the steering wheel of her Nissan needs help. The girl lying about her age in order to get a job in a topless bar needs help. The divorcée who has loathed herself into fifty extra pounds needs help. For crying out loud, that female rock star I’ve disdained for years needs help. When I read something demeaning her ex said about her recently—something I know would cut any female to the quick—I jumped to her defense like a jackal on a field mouse and seriously wondered how I could contact her agent and offer to mentor her in Bible study.

Several days ago I sat in a tearoom across the table from a gorgeous woman I love dearly. She has been married for three months, and they did all the right things leading up to that sacred ceremony, heightening the anticipation considerably. After an hour or so of musing over marriage, she said to me, “Last weekend he seemed disinterested in me. I’ll be honest with you. It kind of shook me up. I wanted to ask him, ‘So, are you over me now? That quick? That’s it?’”

I’m pretty certain her husband will perk back up, but what a tragedy that she feels like she possesses the shelf life of a video game.

I flashed back to another recent communication with a magazine-cover-beautiful thirty-year-old woman who mentioned—almost in passing—that she has to dress up in costumes in order for her husband to want to make love to her. I’m not knocking her pink-feathered heels, but I wonder if she is paying too much for them. I’m just sad that she can’t feel desirable as herself.

Then yesterday I learned that a darling fifteen-year-old I keep in touch with slept with her boyfriend in a last-ditch effort to hold on to him. He broke up with her anyway. Then he told. It’s all over her high school now.

I’ve got a loved one going through her third divorce. She wants to find a good man in the worst way, and goodness knows they’re out there. The problem is, she keeps marrying the same kind of man.

I’m so ticked.

If these examples were exceptions to the rule, I wouldn’t bother writing, but you and I both know better than that. I hear echoes of fear and desperation from women day in and day out—even if they’re doing their best to muffle the sound with their Coach bags. Oh, who am I kidding? I hear reverberations from my own heart more times than I want to admit. I keep trying to stifle it, but it won’t shut up. Something’s wrong with us for us to value ourselves so little. Our culture has thrown us under the bus. We have a fissure down the spine of our souls and, boy, does it need fixing.

This morning while I was getting ready for church, my cell phone nearly vibrated off the bathroom counter with six incoming texts from a single friend who was having a crisis of heart. I answered her with what little I had to give, even as I grappled with my own issues. I decided that what I needed was a good sermon to keep me from crying off my eyeliner, so I flipped on the television to a terrific local preacher. Lo and behold, the sermon was about what a woman needs from a man.

Deep sigh.

Actually, it was a great message if anyone had a mind to do what he was recommending, but knowing human nature and feeling uncharacteristically cynical, I could feel my frustration mounting. The preacher had done his homework. He offered half a dozen Scripture-based PowerPoint slides with state-of-the-art graphics describing what men should do for women. “Women want to be told that they are captivating. That they’re beautiful. Desirable.”

I won’t deny that. What woman wouldn’t thrive under that kind of steady affirmation?

But here’s my question: What if no one tells us that? Can we still find a way to be okay? Or what if he says it because he’s supposed to, but to be honest, he’s not feeling it? Are we hopeless? What if a man is not captivated by us? What if he doesn’t think we’re particularly beautiful? Or, understandably, maybe just not every day? Are we only secure on his “on” days? What if he loves us but is not quite as captivated by us as he used to be? What if his computer is full of images of what he finds attractive, and we’re light-years from it? What if we’re seventy-five, and every ounce of desirability is long behind us? Can we still feel adequate in our media-driven society?

Adapted from So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore. Copyright © 2010 by Beth Moore. Used with permission from Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.

My Opinion:


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FIRST tour: Celtic Treasure by Liz Babbs

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:

Liz Babbs

and the book:

Celtic Treasure

Lion UK; 1 edition (September 1, 2009)

***Special thanks to Cat Hoort of Kregel Publications for sending me a review copy.***


Liz Babbs is an award-winning author, performer, broadcaster and retreat leader. She has written many books on the subject of spirituality, including The Celtic Heart, The Pilgrim Heart and Into God’s Presence.

Visit the author’s website.
Visit the book’s website.

Product Details:

List Price: $9.95
Hardcover: 80 pages
Publisher: Lion UK; 1 edition (September 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0745953557
ISBN-13: 978-0745953557



My Opinion:


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MamaBuzz Tour: Knowledge Quest V. 1: Ancient World

 Knowledge Quest: Map Trek 1 or 2

Price: $14.95 for each.

Put out by: Knowledge Quest

If you’re looking for a quality product full of maps as well as lesson plans then look no further than Knowledge Quest!  This is a 89 page book full of outline and atlas maps of world history, with places such as Mesopotamia, The Exodus, Early Greece, 12 Tribes of Israel, Ancient Egypt, and many, many more.  There are 34 pages of full color teacher answer maps, student outline maps, 4 grid maps and 2 black grid maps of different sizes.  These maps are very detailed and can be used in a variety of ways and even used indpendently by the student, these would also work well for workboxing.

The lessons plans are great and go from grades 1 up through high school (12th grade) with general ideas laid out in lesson plan form for each grade group the parent teacher can easily decide what will work for their child.  Of course, this can be used for a large family with multiple grade levels learning together and can provide a rich learning experience using ancient historical maps to study.  Wether you’re studying ancient history or you want to learn more about Biblical history these maps will help in your studies.  Instructions on how to use these maps and glossary of terms are also included in this great ebook through Knowledge Quest Maps.

For instance lesson plans for grades 1st-4th for Ancient World (landforms) the students would look at the water/oceans, how they are connected and label them.  After that the students will label the seven continents and color the landforms. This can be spread out over the week or however works best for the family’s school schedule.  Also suggested is making a salt dough map, which is something all grade levels can participate in allowing families to come together for this activity.  This fun hands-on project will aid in retention and also provide a fun time for older and younger siblings to come together and share what they have learned.  My oldest could also easily do some of the work listed for grades 5 and up with some guidance for me, but as always it’s good for the parent teacher to evaluate what their student’s abilities are.  

**This is a Mama Buzz review. The product was provided by: Knowledge Quest for this review."


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MamaBuzz Review: "Love Your Heart" by Tim McGraw and Tom Douglas


Love Your Heart by Tim McGraw and Tom Douglas

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Ages: 4 – 10
Price: Hardcover $16.99

To see a flip version of the book, visit here.

The second book in Tim McGraw’s My Little Girl series is a heartwarming story of a little girl’s selfless act of kindness.
Tim McGraw and songwriter Tom Douglas once again join forces to write another book about the precocious Katie and her dad. Katie has many talents, but she wonders which one will win her school’s talent show. With the help of Dad and her faithful dog Palio, and after several amusing mishaps, Katie finally chooses one talent that includes Palio. But at the talent show, she decides to drop out of the contest to help her friend, showing kindness is the best talent of all. Katie’s proud dad reassures her that she did the best thing and that while he loves many things about her, he loves her heart most of all.

Tim McGraw is: dad of three daughters, husband to Faith Hill, Country music superstar, Grammy Winner, American Music Award Winner, People’s Choice Winner, highest grossing tour in history (with wife, Faith Hill), and has sold more than 35 million albums. Yet, beneath all the accolades beats the heart of a dad who immensely loves his family.

Tom Douglas is a singer-songwriter who graduated from Oglethorpe University and received an MBA from Georgia State University. He is the writer of hits “Little Rock” by Collin Raye, “The Gift” by Jim Brickman, “Love’s the Only House” by Martina McBride, and “Grown Men Don’t Cry” by Tim McGraw. He and his wife have three children.

Disclosure: Mama Buzz and reviewers received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.


My Opinion:

My oldest said "I really like this book."  This is a beautifully illustrated books for fathers and daughters to celebrate their unique bond.  The hard copy comes with a dust jacket which will make it a wonderful item to be treasured by daughters in their memories of young girlhood.  The same illustration that graces the dust jacket is also on the actual cover unlike some that have a blank cover.

I think this book is worth the price when it comes to memories of childhood and making this one of them.  There is a to and from area in the front of the book so that dad can personalize it to his little girl(s) and give it as a gift for a birthday or other significant event or holiday. 

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I’ve been doing it without knowing what it was but with the actual system you actually do more than what I’ve done.  Currently I’m using the expandable file folders, which is nice but doesn’t hold much more than papers and with the workbox system I’d actually be putting all the supples that would be needed for that subject.  To see more about workboxing, visit Sue Patrick’s Workbox System.  I have been told that tweaking is supposed to be a no-no but I am a tweaker – I tweak almost every curriculum I use, even math.


If I do workboxing for each child, right now I have three (that could change though Lord willing) I’d need 18 boxes for just the three I have now.  We have people, one dog and soon to be guinea pig in 675 square feet, there is no way I can have 18 shoe boxes in my house, unless I wanted to get rid of the kitchen table, a couch or the stove LOL so I cleared off a shelf on my book case and will be investing in some magazine file organizer things which will be for my oldest.  I’m hoping to get at least 6 on the shelf, so 6 less than the recommended 12 but that will give us a good idea if workboxing will work for us.


Why workboxing?  Freedom.  I am only half joking – workboxing will free up the time I spend with teaching Hannah so I can work with Bethanne and Christian.  Right now, Hannah is pretty independent doing grammar, geography and cursive on her own and I do science, math and art with her.  By using the workbox system I can put all the supplies and her art lesson in a box, she can pull out the art book read what needs read and do the art lesson.  I’ll still need to help with math but with science she can do the reading and her lapnoting on her own.  This will save me time and while she is working on her I’ll be working with Bethanne and Christian.


What about finished work?  I’m no expert and I’m waiting on the  Sue Patrick’s Workbox System User Guide I ordered last week to arrive.  From what I gather from other workboxer’s blogs there is a schedule and when that box’s contents are completed they remove the schedule thingy and move it to another area (okay I know that sounds confusing!) so they (and I) can see what has been done.  Once all the work has completed I’ll go through and do grading and put the next day’s assignments in the ‘boxes’.


As I learn more and as we get our system going I’ll post pictures and updates.  Hannah is very excited as am I.  I think it will make school more fun and provide Hannah with a sense of accomplishment as she finishes each ‘box’ throughout the day. 


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