Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Conversations in the Car #3 That Song

You know the song... the one that hits you in the deepest parts of your soul... every time you hear it! One of the songs that really speaks to me is Better than a Hallelujah sung by Amy Grant. She heard this song and it touched her so deeply that she had to record it. I found her podcast explaining her feelings when she heard it.

 Anyway here is a Youtube video of the song:

There IS a point to me sharing this. I think children have a much more deeper understanding of spiritual things than we give them credit for. I had this conversation with my 9 year old daughter when she heard this song.

M: Momma?
Me: Yes?
M: Why are those things better than a Hallelujah? (She knows that in our faith, Hallelujah is the highest form of praise/worship when we speak to God)
Me: Well it means when we are sad and we cry out to God to help us, He likes that
M: OHHHHH! So you mean when I'm mad or sad I can ask God to help me be happy again!
Me: Exactly sweetie, that makes God happy because He knows that we know that He can fix anything that is wrong.
M: I really like this song!
Me: Me too!

Love & Blessings!

Book Review: Seventh Heaven

I hope I don't bore you with my book reviews but reading is a big part of who I am!  I've always loved reading and I'm so glad my daughter picked this up too!  I'm always interested in your thoughts if you read the book I'm reviewing!

7th Heaven (Women's Murder Club, #7) 7th Heaven by James Patterson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
From Goodreads: A terrible fire in a wealthy suburban home leaves a married couple dead and Detective Lindsay Boxer and her partner Rich Conklin searching for clues. And after California's golden boy, Michael Campion has been missing for a month, there finally seems to be a lead in his case--a very devastating lead.

As fire after fire consume couples in wealthy, comfortable homes, Lindsay and the Murder Club must race to find the arsonists responsible and get to the bottom of Michael Campion's disappearance. But suddenly the fires are raging too close to home.

Frightened for her life and torn between two men, Lindsay must find a way to solve the most daunting dilemmas she's ever faced--at work and at home.

My review: I'm really loving this series, each book is better than the last! At this point, I feel like I'm a part of the Women's Murder Club and Lindsay, Claire, Cindy and Yuki are my best friends!

What I like most is how there's usually several story lines, in the books in this series.   In this case Lindsay and Joe, Claire and the baby, Yuki and Jason, Pidge and Hawk, Rich and Lindsay and Kelly.  So many stories, yet they all tie together seamlessly! I have to admit, I fell for some of the twists they put in there, especially at the ending.  I thought I was wrong in what I supspected!! But it ended up being what I suspected all along.  I feel sorry for the relatives though, not knowing! I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

View all my reviews >>

This is a book from my personal collection that I won in a giveaway.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Love & Blessings!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Book Review: The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To hear someone talk about the day they died is a little freaky! However, the author did such a great job of building the main character, it was completely believable! Then as she followed her family members through their lives, the one she would never have, it was interesting to see how she still managed to indirectly interact with them. Her father's pain, her sister's rebellion, her brother's hatred of his mother, the mother "finding" herself, the grandmother and her eccentricity. It all tied together and made sense.

When I read books like this, believability is a big factor for me. I found this book to be believable about what it would be like to look down from Heaven on your loved ones. It's sort of like the rich man who wanted Lazarus to warn his brothers.  I think the story was told in such a way that made you want to reach out and hug each member of the remaining family.  I think what was also important was the evolving (or dissolving) of the relationships between not only the family member, but the friends as well.

Overall, I thought this book had a well developed plot, had great characterizations and the ending was perfect (and it's not often I say that!).

This book is from my personal collection.  I received no compensation for writing this review.  The opinions expressed are my own.

Love and Blessings!

View all my reviews >>

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Giveaway Reminder

Just a reminder I'm giving away Sugar Free Ring Pops here.  There are no entries so you have a great chance of winning!

Love and Blessings!


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Five Fun Family Vacation Activities Your Kids Will Love

In an earlier post, I talked about 10 ways to save money on Vacation.  Now in this request,  Twittermoms is asking us to talk about vacation activiteis .  My family loves to travel.  In fact, I think my kids are a bit travel spoiled! LOL!  But with the economic times the way they are, we've had to make some changes like bring breakfast from home, or eating sandwiches in the room rather than buying lunch out.  Although it's difficult, my kids (and me!) have adjusted!  This means we are still able to take the vacations we love!  I'm going to list our favorites in reverse order:

5.  My kids love to go camping with Dad (unless it's an air conditioned cabin, Mom sits this one out!!).  My hubby takes the kids fishing and they eat what they catch.  They go crabbing as well.  They love to tell ghost stories and sleep in leaky tents! LOL!  But they important thing is they are building lots of great memories. 

4. We combine our vacations with my son's travelling for his AAU basketball team.  It's like we have a vacation every weekend!! This past weekend we were in the Baltimore Inner Harbor.  Me and my daughter took in the Baltimore Aquarium, while my son and the team took in an Orioles baseball game.  We had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe which has great atmosphere but mediocre food! LOL!

3.  Sometimes we like to stay local.  We are fortunate to live about 15 minutes from our local Six Flags.  Once a year we will hit the Safari and the park.  It's funny because this is something my kids talk about more than the bigger trips we take!  At the safari, it's wide open and you drive through.  You get close-ups of animals in their "natural" habitat.  Last year the giraffes came right up to the car!  It was so cool!!! My daughter talks about this more than the amusement park.

2.  One thing that we like to do when we are in an area is take in a local carnival.  A few times when we were out of town, we came upon a carnival and stopped.  Now this is not usually inexpensive but it is usually lots of fun.  We have had so many laughs playing the games and riding the rides.  We love when the carnival comes to our town too.

1.  Our favorite destination will alway be our visits to the "Mouse".  This is the one hubby sits out but me and the children never have enough of it.  My son is 16 and still enjoys going.  Two years ago he was able to go twice in one year.  In addition to doing the amusement parks, we try to find some offsite activities as well.  Sometimes we'll take in a movie or just wander around a downtown area or a smaller park.  Last time for the first time we stayed offsite.  It was really a lot nice than I expected!  Overall though, no matter where we go, no one does it quites as well as the Disney Parks!

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the Williamsburg Tourism and TwitterMoms blogging program for a chance to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate click here. "

Whatever you do, enjoy some great family time this year!!

Love and Blessings!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

If you shop at Children's Place

You may want to take a look at this recall that was just posted:

Denim Shorts

The Snap can fall off and become a choking hazard!

Love and Blessings!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I don't normally do this...

But I want to share with you about Ebates. Ebates is a shopping portal that gives you cash back for making purchases through them. I've been a member for some time and I go through peaks and valleys with shopping online. But when I do I go through Ebates. I tried the other portals but Ebates seems to have more of the stores that I like.

Ebates has a promotion going on right now where I could win an IPAD or $500 if I get 50 referrals. I would LOVE to have either so if you think this is something that would interest you, I would appreciate you signing up through my link! It's free and you get $5 in your account after your first purchase (plus whatever money you earned for shopping).

If you are already a member, share this with your friends, so they can join and you could win the IPAD or some other cool prizes. I really think it's worth it!

Check it out, and let me know what you think!

Love and blessings!

CLOSED! Sugar Free Ring Pop Review & Giveaway

Winner is mami2jcn! Congrats!!

Hello everyone,

I'm finally doing a giveaway! Yaay!

We were contacted and asked review the new  Sugar Free Ring Pops and do a review. I said YUM!  Actually I said, Sure, but can I try them first! LOL!

My daughter was at school when the Ring Pops arrived so I volunteered forced myself to try the candy first.  I tried the Blue Raspberry and it was actually pretty good!  I have always loved Ring Pops but the sticky sweetness would always make me gag.  The Sugar Free Ring Pop has a different taste but it was good.

Now I have Mommy taste buds, so I had to have the expert on Ring Pops test it.  So I handed it to her when she got home from school.  I just said here, have a Ring Pop.  Of course she was wondering why I was giving her candy since I usually limit it!  Then she read the package, OH I CAN HAVE THIS BECAUSE IT'S SUGAR FREE!  BUSTED!!  She chose the Strawberry one and guess what?  She LOVED it!!!  Yaay! Score one for Mom!!

The people at American Pop Digital had this to say about the Sugar Free Ring Pop:

Parents can now feel even better about giving Ring Pop to their kids because Sugar Free Ring Pop won’t cause cavities, has no fat, and has only 30 calories per great-tasting, long-lasting pop! Sugar Free Ring Pop is the perfect treat and comes in Blue Raspberry, Watermelon, Strawberry!

Look for Sugar Free Ring Pop at Wal-Mart stores nationwide. 

The almost perfect candy if you ask me!! 

So now, I have something for your!  American Pop Digital sent me the Sugar Free Ring Pops to try but they also sent me a pack to give away to you!  How about that!   I just have two simple rules!

1.  Leave a comment here to tell me which of the three flavors you think you would like best:

Blue Raspberrty (YUM!)

2.  Tell your friends so they can come enter too!

The giveaway will end on May 23, 2010 and I will pick a random winner on May 24th!

As mentioned above, I was sent one package of Sugar Free Ring Pops to try so I could provide an honest review.

Love and Blessings,

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

He's a Star!

I don't know if I mentioned this here but my sixteen year old son B attends a performing arts program at one of our district High Schools. B is a sophomore in the program and one of the activities he participates in is Chorus. The Chorus is made up of FPAC students (his program) and students from the mainstream who want to participate.

Last night was the Spring Chorus concert and boy were they GREAT!  They performed about 16 songs but it wasn't a long concert (admit it, you know how school concerts can be!!).  I loved the song choices and I was dancing in my seat the whole time!  What I didn't know is that my son had a little surprise for me!!  The Men's Ensemble sang "Kiss Him Goodbye" and my son had a SOLO!!!  Well OK, it wasn't really a solo... ok, not a solo at all.  But he did get to sing "Yeah" and "C'mon NOW!" during the song!  And he was DANCING TOO!!!  I tell you, look for his name in lights one day! This is the only video I can find and you can't see him because the chorus director is in front of him. But enjoy anyway (and listen for my son towards the end!)

Love and Blessings!

My Top 10 Affordable Vacation Ideas

Summer is approaching and it's time for fun getaways!! Twitter Moms challenged us to share some Affordable vacation ideas with YOU our readers. You can see the Twitter Mom post here.

I love to travel and so does my family.  Money is a bit tight this year so here are some ways we are saving.

1.  My son plays traveling basketball.  A great way for us to save money is to make the tournament destination our vacation spot.  We get a group rate on rooms so we save there.  We pack a cooler with goodies so we also save on eating out!

2. Many times we will drive to our destination rather than flying. This extends our vacation time by a few days and we get to see new places. It's less costlier than flying and we can bring our own food and snacks.

3. My kids love to go camping. For an inexpensive "vacation," hubby will take them and camp out at our local campgrounds. They love sleeping in a tent and cooking over an outdoor fire or grill.

4. Instead of buying a new vacation wardrobe, repurpose what you have and/or hit the consignment stores. There are great bargains out there and it leaves you more money to spend on your trip.

5. Save your gift cards!! Places like Target give you gift cards for shopping special deals in their store. You can use these gift cards to shop or buy souvenirs once you get to your destination. Target and Walmart in tourist destinations carry many of the same souvenirs you will find in the amusement parks or other tourist locations. They are much less expensive and what kid would not love getting a gift card to buy souvenirs!!

6. Save money for you vacation by using coupons. You can make a deal to put any money saved into a "vacation account," and when you get enough saved you can start planning. Involve the whole family in looking for other ways to save as well.

7. Visit friends or family. Since I've been on the Internet, I've met people from all over the country. I also have relatives all over the country. What better way to connect then to spend your vacation with them! I love visiting my brothers and their families and I don't get to see them often. I also get free rooms! LOL!

8. Watch for discounts to the places you want to visit. We like to go to Disney World so I receive a newsletter called Mousesavers to help me find the cheapest rooms, tickets and airfare.

9. Visit local attractions. In the Garden State we are right next to NYC. There is so much to see between our state and NY. We plan to find discounted rooms and spend the night in the city, go see a show and do some window shopping. By going in the off-season because we are so close, we can save hundreds on rooms and Broadway shows.

10. Last but certainly not least, if you really cannot afford to travel, make your home a vacation spot! Ask the kids where they dream of going and convert a room of your house into a mock up of that place. We can't go to Disney this year but we have enough stuff to make our own Disney right here at home. It encourages creativity and imaginations too!

I hope my ideas are helpful to you!!

Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post while participating in the Toyota Sienna and TwitterMoms blogging program for a chance to get a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here


Affordable Vacation Ideas
Toyota Sienna

Love and Blessings!

Monday, May 10, 2010

BLOG TOUR: Indivisible by Kristen Heitzmann

Indivisible: A Novel Indivisible: A Novel by Kristen Heitzmann

About This Book

An inseparable bond.
An insatiable force.

Battling his own personal demons, Police Chief Jonah Westfall knows the dark side of life and has committed himself to eradicating it. When a pair of raccoons are found mutilated in Redford, Colorado, Jonah investigates the gruesome act, knowing the strange event could escalate and destroy the tranquility of his small mountain town. With a rising drug threat and never-ending conflict with Tia Manning, a formidable childhood friend with whom he has more than a passing history, Jonah fights for answers—and his fragile sobriety.

But he can’t penetrate every wound or secret—especially one fueled by a love and guilt teetering on madness.

From best-selling author Kristen Heitzmann comes a spellbinding tale of severed connections and the consequences of life lived alone.

You can read the first chapter here

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed this book.  There was just enough intrigue, just enough mystery to keep you guessing, just enough romance, and certainly just enough about Christian living (without sounding preachy).  I loved how the author described the characters in such a way that you knew them.  I love how she dramatized the relationships weaving God into the everyday living.  It's hard to describe everything I loved about this book.  The struggles the characters in this book face are real.  Alcoholism, selfishness, anger, unforgiveness.  The author did a wonderful job of sharing their situations but also sharing how they relied on God to bring them through.  This book definitely goes on my HIGHLY RECOMMEND list!

View all my reviews >>

Thank you to Waterbrook Multnomah for sending me this book for the purpose of review.  The opinions expressed are completely mine!

Love and Blessings!