GrowingForChrist

Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

FIRST tour: "The Berenstain Bears and the Gift of Courage" by Jan & Mike Berenstain


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:

 

Jan & Mike Berenstain

 

and the book:

The Berenstain Bears and the Gift of Courage

Zonderkidz (April 9, 2010)

***Special thanks to Krista Ocier of Zondervan for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:


Stan and Jan Berenstain introduced the first Berenstain Bear books in 1962. Mike Berenstain grew up watching his parents work together to write about and draw these lovable bears. Eventually he started drawing and writing about them too. Mike is married to Andrea, and they have three children. They live in Pennsylvania, in an area that looks a lot like Bear Country.

Visit the authors’ website.

Product Details:

List Price: $3.99
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Zonderkidz (April 9, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310712564
ISBN-13: 978-0310712565

PRESS THE BROWSE BUTTON TO VIEW THE FIRST CHAPTER:

My Opinion:

Again this is another addition if you’re a Berenstain Bears fan or just enjoy reading and seeing the illustrations that have made Jan and Mike Berenstain a family name.  Centered around a Scripture theme the book recounts how Sister must be courageous around the bullies in her school and those who aren’t nice to others.  With discussion questions at the end this books allows the child to demonstrate some critical thinking skills (great for a beginner Classical homeschooler) and orally demonstrate their understanding of the story and meaning.  Another wonderful addition to your family’s library if you desire good books centered around God and family.

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A Winner!!!!


We got notice last week that Hannah won a contest she entered at the Camp Club Girls, by sending in a postcard.  This is a neat series of books by Barbour Publishing that has Christian values while girls try to solve ‘mysteries’.  We got her package on August 25th and she was so excited.  It came with a back sack, notebook w/profile cards of the characters, pencils, gum, stickers,  LED key chain light, flip flop erasers, and a bookmark. 

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MamaBuzz Tour: Dryel (stain pen, kit and 3 in 1 spray)


Given that I’ve tried other stain remover pens I was doubtful about the new Dryel brand spot pen – I love being surprised!  This pen when used on stains that had been on the clothes for awhile (not heat set) came out or at least lightened to the point of being able to wear the clothes without embarrassment.  I’ve used it on the children’s and my clothes and it’s now found a place in my purse so I can stain treat when I’m out and about if needed. 

The pen was simple to use – just squeeze and rub – it was gentle on my fabric (mine is usually cotton or cotton blends) and didn’t make any holes or tear at the fabric.  I really appreciated this as we don’t have unlimited funds to replace clothing, so not tearing the fabric and getting stains out of clothes is a bonus in my book, I’ll be able to keep my clothes in commission longer.

As a wearer of feminine clothing (skirts and dresses) I am usually limited to wearing denim or things that can be washed frequently without showing signs of wear and tear.  When I received the 3 in 1 spray from Dryel which is supposed to freshen, release wrinkles and control static.  I really this product – I’m sensitive to what is on my clothes either it can make my skin itch or the smell will give me a migraine, so I was leery of what this would smell like or do to my skin.  I did not start itching when wearing a shirt I sprayed with this nor did the smell overwhelm my senses and give me a migraine (remember though that we are all different).  I used the spray on a new shirt that is supposed to be hand washed because it has sequins on it, this spray allowed me to wear the shirt, use the spray let it dry and wear it again without fear.

In this great review package I was also given the Dryel in-dryer cleaning kit.  I remember having to make sure my clothes I bought or buy weren’t dry clean only (I have been known to throw dry clean clothes in my washer on the hand wash cycle).  It’s hard to find feminine clothing that isn’t hand wash, gentle or dry clean and as I’m trying to get away from all denim skirts or jumpers, the in-dryer cleaning kit comes in handy.

My kit came in the clean breeze scent, which like the 3 in 1 spray wasn’t overpowering and it can be used on all my clothing – not just dry clean.  If you have clothing that you don’t want to have repeated washings or something delicate but no time to hand wash then this kit is for you!  I’ll even be using it on my children’s clothing for those special holiday dresses or boy’s suits.  The start kit I received came with 2 refill cloths, an instant stain remover pen and a reusable fabric protection bag.

Up to four garments can be added to the bag at one time – these can be jeans, sweaters, shirts or the dry cleanables, delicates and hand washables.  Depending on the type of fabric/garment will depend on how long you need to steam it in your dryer.  I’m glad to have been able to try this and now you can too, for free!  Beginning in late August at Walmart stores you’ll be able to try the Dryel starter and refill kits free due to a rebate, check local store for the offer.  If you’d like to enter to win you can enter at MamaBuzz or find other reviewers offering a giveaway!

**I received a Dryer kit, 3 in 1 spray and stain pen from Dryel in exchange for this review.  No other compensation was given.

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First week of school


I’ve decided to do a 4 day school week.  Why?  Well to be honest by Friday I want a break from teaching and just enjoy my children, it’s not that I don’t enjoy them while I’m teaching them but it’s nice to just enjoy each other without having to do math problems or science experiments.  We begin between 9 and 10 a.m and go until about 2 to 3 p.m. with a break for lunch so we do school for between 4 to 5 hours.  There will be times I’ll cram something in on Thursday that would be on Friday but that is okay.  This also leaves open Friday’s for our field trips, interest/co-op group or just family trips.

One activity Hannah and Bethanne had to do for Mystery of History Vol. 1 was to take playdough and create a person or an animal to see how hard it is, which also demonstrates how great God is since He was able to create everything with just the spoken word!  Even Christian joined but we didn’t get a picture of his.

Bethanne (‘created’ Eve):

Hannah (‘created’ snake and a person):

 

I’ll also be working on getting our timeline up so we can begin adding our figures to it.  I think the children will really enjoy that!  While at the Dollar Tree to pick up poster board for our time line and the lapbooking class Hannah will be doing at interest group I had an epiphany!  Since I’m needing something for Christian – I found a few educational ‘toys’ like stringing beads, a number foam puzzle with Disney’s Cars, a metal pan with some magnetic numbers to use with the magnetic letters I already have.  I added the stringing beads to a storage tub (plastic shoe box) and he had a ball and was so excited that it was all his!  He seems to understand it’s only to be out when his sisters are doing school.  I plan on adding one or two new things a week along with some coloring pages or worksheets that I print off.  Here he is with his tub:

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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 authors are:

 

Dan and Ali Morrow

 

and the book:

That’s Where God Is

David C. Cook; New edition (August 1, 2010)

***Special thanks to Audra Jennings, Senior Media Specialist, The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:


Dan and Ali Morrow are parents of two wonderful daughters. When they’re not writing children’s books, they like to go on adventures around their Colorado home.

Visit the authors’ website.

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 36 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (August 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1434764346
ISBN-13: 978-1434764348

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER (Click on the pictures to see them larger):



 

My Opinion:

This is such a cute book, beautiful illustrations throughout really make the book even all that more resourceful.  A young boy searching for God, he begins to recognize where we can see God – even in our hearts when we pray and ask Him to live in us.  Filled with Scripture to drive home each point parents who want to have their children live in the Word will find this book especially nice.  A beautiful hard covered book, this would make a wonderful gift for the child or grandchild (since the Grandpa is the one who sends him on his search) as a keepsake to make memories together.

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First day of school – August 23, 2010


Well August 23rd was our first official day of school.  There were a few kinks and I’m still mulling over ideas to keep Christian occupied and from roaming all over the house.  I’ll post more later but here are the pictures I was able to grab before starting (I plan to take many more LOL)

Hannah, 8 1/2 years, 3rd grade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bethanne, almost 6, 1st grade but working on some 3rd grade w/Hannah

Christian, 4 years, pre-school (after I get the girls situated)

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"Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom from the Simple Life" by Suzanne Woods Fisher


From the release for the blog tour:

Simplify your life with Amish wisdom

Through firsthand research and personal relationships, Suzanne Woods Fisher has collected more than 200 proverbs that uncover the rich heritage, folklore, faith, values, history, and essence of the Plain People. These proverbs serve as teaching tools and maxims for practical living–but they’re not just for the Amish. They’re for anyone who seeks God’s wisdom and truth for everyday circumstances.

Ranging from the simple to the profound, from the serious to the humorous, these sayings will stick with you through life’s joys and sorrows. With beautiful full-color photos throughout, Amish Proverbs is the perfect gift for any occasion.

About Suzanne Woods Fisher:

Suzanne is a wife and mom, raiser of puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind, and an author of Christian books, both non-fiction and fiction.

Her relatives on my mother’s side are Old Order German Baptist Brethren, also known as Dunkards. That’s where her interest in Anabaptist traditions began. Suzanne’s grandfather was born into a family of 13 children, started his career as a teacher in a one-room school house in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and ended it as one of the very first publishers of Christianity Today. “We called him “Deardad” even though he was a very stern fellow. Still, Deardad’s life inspired me to write.”

After college, Suzanne was a freelance writer for magazines and became a contributing editor to Christian Parenting Today. Her work has been featured in Today’s Christian Woman, Marriage Partnership, Worldwide Challenge, among others. She took the plunge into books a few years ago and now she’s hooked.

Suzanne is also the host of her own radio show, Amish Wisdom, every Thursday at 4:00 PM Central. Go here to find out more.

My Opinion:

This is such a beautiful book, with it’s hard cover and the breath taking beauty of the Amish countryside and Amish people enjoying life, this is one you won’t want to miss.  I like how it’s divided into sections like money and others so you can find just the right Amish proverb for the moment.  There are several I’m thinking of printing off and laminating to hang around the house.  This book is great whether you respect the Amish and their life, a Christian just looking for a glimpse into a simple life or just to read and relax to.

**I was provided a copy of this book from Amy at LitFuse Publicity in exchange for posting the blog tour information and my thoughts.  No other compensation was given.

I have one copy to give a reader – it’s open to all U.S. residents.  Just leave me a comment.  Yep it’s that simple!  Leave me a way to contact you and on September 6th at noon EST I’ll draw a winner.  So leave me a comment – it can be why you think the Amish are the best thing since store bought butter or just to say hi – just make sure you live in the U.S. and that I have a way to contact you!

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Canning…..pickles


I’m a bit late in getting this post up but I made 12 pints of kosher dill pickles.  Half were slices and the other half were spears, so both my children and husband could enjoy the kind they liked.  Some of the cucumbers were from my garden and others were from the store, next year I’ll be planting more cucumbers so we’ll get more off the vine.  So anyway here are the last two jars before they broke into them…..

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FIRST tour: "The Devil in Pew Number Seven" by Rebecca Alonzo


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:

 

Rebecca Alonzo

 

and the book:

The Devil in Pew Number Seven

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

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Rebecca Nichols Alonzo

Becky Alonzo never felt safe as a child. Although she lived next door to the church her father pastored, the devil lived across the street. This tormented man terrorized her family with rifle shots and ten bombings. When these violent acts didn’t scare them away, he went even further. During dinner one evening, seven-year-old Becky and her younger brother watched as their parents were gunned down. Today Becky speaks about betrayal and the power of forgiveness. She is a graduate of Missouri State University and has been involved in ministry, including a church plant, youth outreach, and missions, for thirteen years. She and her husband, along with their two children, live in Franklin, Tennessee.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (July 2, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1414326599
ISBN-13: 978-1414326597

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Walking, Crawling, Dead or Alive

I ran.

My bare feet pounding the pavement were burning from the sunbaked asphalt. Each contact between flesh and blacktop provoked bursts of pain as if I were stepping on broken glass. The deserted country road, stretching into the horizon, felt as if it were conspiring against me. No matter how hard I pushed myself, the safe place I was desperate to reach eluded me.

Still, I ran.

Had a thousand angry hornets been in pursuit, I couldn’t have run any faster. Daddy’s instructions had been simple: I had to be a big girl, run down the street as fast as my legs could carry me, and get help. There was nothing complicated about his request. Except for the fact that I’d have to abandon my hiding place under the kitchen table and risk being seen by the armed madman who had barricaded himself with two hostages in my bedroom down the hall. I knew, however, that ignoring Daddy’s plea was out of the question.

And so I ran.

Even though Daddy struggled to appear brave, the anguish in his eyes spoke volumes. Splotches of blood stained his shirt just below his right shoulder. The inky redness was as real as the fear gnawing at the edges of my heart. I wanted to be a big girl for the sake of my daddy. I really did. But the fear and chaos now clouding the air squeezed my lungs until my breathing burned within my chest.

My best intentions to get help were neutralized, at least at first. I remained hunkered down, unable to move, surrounded by the wooden legs of six kitchen chairs. I had no illusions that a flimsy 6 x 4 foot table would keep me safe, yet I was reluctant to leave what little protection it afforded me.

In that space of indecision, I wondered how I might open the storm door without drawing attention to myself. One squeak from those crusty hinges was sure to announce my departure plans. Closing the door without a bang against the frame was equally important. The stealth of a burglar was needed, only I wasn’t the bad guy.

Making no more sound than a leaf falling from a tree, I inched my way out from under the table. I stood and then scanned the room, left to right. I felt watched, although I had no way of knowing for sure whether or not hostile eyes were studying my movements. I inhaled the distinct yet unfamiliar smell of sulfur lingering in the air, a calling card left behind from the repeated blasts of a gun.

I willed myself to move.

My bare feet padded across the linoleum floor.

I was our family’s lifeline, our only connection to the outside world. While I hadn’t asked to be put in that position, I knew Daddy was depending on me. More than that, Daddy needed me to be strong. To act. To do what he was powerless to do. I could see that my daddy, a strong ex–Navy man, was incapable of the simplest movement. The man whom I loved more than life itself, whose massive arms daily swept me off my feet while swallowing me with an unmatched tenderness, couldn’t raise an arm to shoo a fly.

To see him so helpless frightened me.

Yes, Daddy was depending on me.

Conflicted at the sight of such vulnerability, I didn’t want to look at my daddy. Yet my love for him galvanized my resolve. I reached for the storm-door handle. Slow and steady, as if disarming a bomb, and allowing myself quick glances backward to monitor the threat level of a sudden ambush, I opened the storm door and stepped outside. With equal care, I nestled the metal door against its frame.

I had to run.

I shot out from under the carport, down the driveway, and turned right where concrete and asphalt met. The unthinkable events of the last five minutes replayed themselves like an endless-loop video in my mind. My eyes stung, painted with hot tears at the memory. Regardless of their age, no one should have to witness what I had just experienced in that house—let alone a seven-year-old girl. The fresh images of what had transpired moments ago mocked me with the fact that my worst fears had just come true.

I had to keep running.

Although I couldn’t see any activity through the curtains framing my bedroom window, that didn’t mean the gunman wasn’t keeping a sharp eye on the street. I hesitated, but only for a moment more. What might happen gave way to what had happened. I had to get help. Now, almost frantic to reach my destination, I redoubled my efforts.

I ran on.

To get help for Momma and Daddy. To escape the gunman. To get away from all the threatening letters, the sniper gunshots, the menacing midnight phone calls, the home invasions—and the devil who seemed to be behind so many of them.

But I’m getting ahead of the story.

 My Opinion:

When one thinks of Pastors we feel that they are someone who people wouldn’t take issue with let alone terrorize their family, but that isn’t always the case.  When Pastors preach the Gospel and preach against the evils that Jesus took a stand against we’d expect some to take issue with that – we are in a fallen world, however what if the issue is one of power and control and nothing to do with God or His Word?

In The Devil in Pew Number Seven we are taken into a family as the dad begins to preach and revitalize a church that has been under the strong holds of a man who practically owns the little village.  From bombings, strange calls to murder – the family is held in a prison of fear for years, culminating in the loss of their wife/mom and eventually the mental breakdown of their dad – the years of torment took their toll.  A story of fear, forgiveness and the work of God this is a must read for anyone who wants to know what it can be like for some pastors and their families.

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FIRST tour: "The Berenstain Bears and A Job Well Done" by Jan and Mike Berenstain


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 authors are:

 

Jan & Mike Berenstain

 

and the book:

The Berenstain Bears and A Job Well Done

Zonderkidz (April 9, 2010)

***Special thanks to Krista Ocier of Zondervan for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:


Stan and Jan Berenstain introduced the first Berenstain Bear books in 1962. Mike Berenstain grew up watching his parents work together to write about and draw these lovable bears. Eventually he started drawing and writing about them too. Mike is married to Andrea, and they have three children. They live in Pennsylvania, in an area that looks a lot like Bear Country.

Visit the authors’ website.

Product Details:

List Price: $3.99
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Zonderkidz (April 9, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310712548
ISBN-13: 978-0310712541

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

My Opinion:

Reading this book brings back memories of my child hood, I remember being read the Berenstain Bears books before bed or during the day in the summer, it brings a warm feeling to remember those days.  Thankfully my children enjoy them and the fact that they drive home wholesome values.  While there isn’t an out right mention of God or Christ in the books there is a Bible verse on the copy right page which pertains to the book theme, but the theme is one that does drive home Christian values.

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