Thursday, July 10, 2014

Raising a Princess by John Croyle

When I received an email asking if I would be interested in reviewing "Raising a Princess:  8 Essential Virtues to Teach Your Daughter" by former University of Alabama defensive back John Croyle and it was written to teach 8 essential virtues to teach your daughter I immediately jumped at the chance.  I mean, come on, we are HUGE Alabama Crimson Tide football fans and we have two daughters (ages 10 & 13) so this book had to be a perfect fit!  
About the Book:
The Bible’s frequently referenced chapter of Proverbs 31 defines godly womanhood. In Raising a Princess, greatly respected child advocate John Croyle asks, "How do you equip a daughter to become the kind of woman who is described in Proverbs 31?" 

After all, a woman like that doesn't appear out of nowhere. Somebody taught her to rise before dawn to provide for her household. Somebody gave her the moral compass to reach out her hand to the needy. Somebody taught her the business principles that made it possible for her to consider a field and buy it. Perhaps most importantly, somebody gave her a sufficiently strong sense of self that made it possible for her to go out and make a huge impact on the world around her.

Raising a Princess begins with the end in mind. The end is the Proverbs 31 woman; Croyle keeps her squarely in view as he looks at what parenting techniques help the reader to raise a princess who will someday be a queen. 

My Thoughts:
Croyle's use of the acronym P.R.I.N.C.E.S.S. (yeah, you'll have to read the book to learn what each letter represents) makes it easy to remember 8 virtues he believes are essential in teaching our daughters to be "princesses" for Christ.  Some of the things he discusses in this book we had already considered with our daughters but he presented some new ideas and things to think about too.  Most of his ideas are not new they just have an approach to them that applies to today's modern world.  One of my favorite thoughts from his book is that there is so much more to parenting than just being a good parent to our own children but we have to be teaching them these virtues so they in turn will be able to raise their own kids up with these same virtues.  He also clearly reminds us to not create our own agendas for our children.  God didn't make them little cookie-cutters of ourselves or what we "hoped and dreamed" our child would be.  He made them unique, special, gifted in their own individual ways and with their own interest and learning methods.  I love the quote "As parents, we are in a unique position of being our daughter's dream-maker or dream-taker!"  

This book is not just for girls.  If you are a parent of a son, you should still read this book!  Our sons (we have a 9 yr old son too) need to know what virtues to look for in the girls the want to date and eventually marry one day.  Just like our daughters, we need to be teaching our sons these virtues so they in turn can one day teach their own children these same virtues.  It's a beautiful cycle when done properly but it begins with us teaching our children!  

About the Author - John Croyle:
John Croyle rose to recognition as an All-American defensive end at the University of Alabama during head coach Paul "Bear" Bryant's legendary tenure. Faced with the decision to play professional football or to start a home for abused and neglected children, John established Big Oak Boys' Ranch in 1974. 

Today the outreach has grown to three branches with the addition of a girls ranch and a Christian school. John, his wife Tee, and the Big Oak organization have raised more than 1,800 kids to date.

Disclaimer:  I was given this book for review purposes only from Shelton Interactive.  No monetary compensation was received.  The opinions expressed here reflect my own personal thoughts and opinions.  Your thoughts and feelings may vary from mine.  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Armed With Truth #GIVEAWAY

I grew up in a Christian home and my parents often taught us to memorize scripture verses.  Many of those verses I learned as a child, still stick with me to this very day.  Now that I am married, my husband and I have the same desire for our put God's Word to memory!  While there are songs, catch phrases, riddles, simple memorization techniques, etc. to help us teach scripture to our children we were recently introduced to a fun and very easy way to help our children learn scripture.  

Armed with Truth is a company that realizes that when Jesus faced opposition, He answered the problem and lies with scripture and that we ought to do the same.  Understanding that even though there were a vast number of ways to memorize scripture, it can still be very tough and challenging, they designed an easier way for you to memorize scripture by taking advantage of the micro moments in life.  When you're in line at the store, riding an elevator/subway, waiting at a stop light, taking a shower, etc. you can now be using those moments to put scripture to memory through temporary tattoos of scripture verses.  
Armed With Truth offers many different packs of scripture tattoos. Each collection contains 10 scripture verses centered around one theme.  They have packs for missions, being more Christ like, forgiveness, living intentionally, being fearless and much more.  They also offer Designer Series packs which incorporate premium tattoo designs into tattoos that depict Biblical truths.  So, if you are looking for more of a "tattoo" art you could wear the Designer Series tattoos.  You can even create Custom Designed tattoos (50 tattoo minimum purchase with custom design).  They offer over 100 verses in all to help you put scripture to heart and be more equipped to answer life's tough challenges with the Word of God.  
(tattoo on the top of my foot) 

Armed With Truth temporary tattoos are generally designed to last 3-4 days (however, they can last longer depending upon your hygiene habits).  The challenge is for you to get the scripture put to memory before the temporary tattoo wears off.  When you receive the tattoo package, you will notice the tattoos read backwards.  However, once you apply the tattoo to your skin it will read correctly.  You can wear them on your arms, hands, shoulder, legs, feet, and basically anywhere you want as long as it is somewhere you can read it often so you can put it to memory while you wear it!  The instructions clearly state to let it dry well after applying.  We found this to be very true as the first few tattoos we put on we didn't give them enough drying time and they wore off pretty quickly. However, when we let them dry for a good while, the tattoos lasted for several days.  I applied one to the top of my foot and even with wearing flip-flops (that rubbed across the tattoo) it lasted 6 days before it started coming off!  So make sure when you apply these tattoos that you give them plenty of time to dry.  
Armed With Truth is designed for both children and adults.  With the great variety of tattoo designs, you can find scripture tattoos to fit the needs of both children and adults.  Should you apply a scripture tattoo and need to remove it early, they will come off with rubbing alcohol and we also discovered that lemon essential oil will easily remove them too.  We plan to purchase some of these to use with our Student Ministry at church.  What better gift to give the kids than something that will help them put God's Word to memory and be a tool they can use throughout their entire lives!  You may be wondering....does it work?  Do they learn the verses?  Well, our 3 kids (ages 9, 10 & 13) each put a different scripture tattoo on and within 3 days they all 3 had their verses memorized by heart!  

Armed With Truth is also a very reasonably priced product as well. Their packs range from $4.99 to $9.95 and include FREE shipping with any order!   These would be great Christmas gifts, stocking stuffers, birthday presents, nice to include in a card you mail to someone, perfect for "prize boxes", great to give to children and youth ministries, etc.  Best of all, Armed With Truth has offered one of my readers their very own pack of Armed With Truth temporary tattoos!  To enter to win, simply fill out the form below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer:  I was given the above mentioned product for review purposes only.  No monetary compensation was received.  The opinions expressed here are strictly my own and reflect my own personal results and opinions.  Your results and thoughts may vary from mine.  Armed With Truth is providing the prize for this giveaway and is responsible for all prize fulfillment.  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

When the Heart Calls ~ A Telling Silence DVD

For the past several years, we have enjoyed "Family Movie Nights" together once a week.  It is a time the kids always look forward to and it's a time my husband and I enjoy because we gather on the couches with the kids, make popcorn, and watch a good movie together.  Recently we watched a great DVD by Janette Oke called "When the Heart Calls:  A Telling Silence".  
About this film:
When Calls the Heart “A Telling Silence” is produced and directed by Michael Landon Jr. and inspired by the best-selling books by Janette Oke.   A feature length film made from episodes of the When Calls the Heart television series, When Calls the Heart “A Telling Silence” tells the story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young high society teacher fighting to make a difference in a prairie town in a part of the Western Frontier known as Coal Valley.   Almost immediately, she can tell that something is wrong.     The church was burned to the ground a month after a local mining accident and the only man left to investigate the crime is the Canadian Mountie, Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing).  Meanwhile, the head of the mine is scheming to control the town, including the pastor who seems to be losing his faith along with his church.   The stakes are raised when a young girl goes missing and the town must come together to find her. 

Our Thoughts:
We have been blessed to see the previous DVD's in this series and so we were very excited to have more of the continuation of this story.  We have not read the book series (I know, we probably should) but the DVD's are great even without never having read the books.  As a parent, I love how family-friendly this series is.  There is no inappropriate content and no language and the storyline is one that teaches a sense of community, loyalty and most of all, friendship.  Our son also loves the Mountie and all of the adventures he has too.  This great DVD is produced by Word Entertainment.  

About Word Entertainment:
A leader in the music industry for over 60 years, Word Entertainment, a Warner/Curb company, is a unique, comprehensive entertainment company comprised of multi-faceted artist service departments including publishing, merchandising, booking, and online initiatives. Word Entertainment represents some of the top names and brands in music, including Meredith Andrews, Chris August, BarlowGirl, Francesca Battistelli, Big Daddy Weave, Jason Castro, Patrick Ryan Clark, Everfound, for KING & COUNTRY, Group 1 Crew, Love & The Outcome, Dara Maclean, Point Of Grace and Sidewalk Prophets and is home to 25 Entertainment, Word Distribution (representing Curb Records and Big Idea/VeggieTales among others), Word Print, Word Films, Word Music Publishing and Word Label Group’s Word Records, Word Worship and Fervent Records.

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of the above mentioned DVD from Edify Media, Inc.  No monetary compensation was received.  The opinions expressed here are my own and reflect my own personal views and opinions.  Your results may vary from mine.  

Monday, June 23, 2014

Life Update

As most of you know, we graduated at the end of May from our 2 year missionary training program with To Every Tribe.  In case you missed it, you can read all about graduation here.  While we had fully intended to move directly into the foreign mission field and begin working there, the Lord had other plans for our family.  Ultimately, we want to be in HIS will and be serving where HE wants to so we are very, very excited for the path the Lord has given us to continue His mission and continue working in ministry right here in the lower Rio Grande Valley!  
On May 28, David was officially called as the new Student Minister at First Baptist Church of Los Fresnos here in Texas!  He will be responsible for Kindergarten - College Age students and we are super excited that the Lord has given us the opportunity to continue serving here in the Rio Grande Valley.  While his official start date isn't until August 1st, we are very busy this summer planning and preparing.  We just finished a week of Vacation Bible School (see more below) and will be going to Camp Zephyr with 42 of the 6th - 12th grade youth kids next week and then taking nineteen 3rd - 5th graders to Camp Zephyr in mid-July!  We would love for you to keep us in prayers as we prepare for this new role, as our family "settles" in Los Fresnos and makes this home and for the Lord to move mightily in the Rio Grande Valley as we work to reach students and their families with the gospel message of Jesus Christ!  

I also am going to be blogging regularly again (since we will be staying in the States) so you can begin checking back for new content, more giveaways and lots of fun as I get back into blogging regularly!  In closing, I wanted to leave you with a quote I recently read that had a huge impact on me:  

Saturday, June 21, 2014

#TheLegoMovie GIVEAWAY & Blog App

About The Lego Movie

The LEGO® Movie, the first-ever, full-length theatrical LEGO® adventure, directed by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller is an original 3D computer animated story that follows Emmet, an ordinary, rules-following, perfectly average LEGO minifigure who is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world. He is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant, a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared.
Chris Pratt (Moneyball) stars as the voice of Emmet. Will Ferrell (The Campaign) stars as the voice of his primary adversary, President Business, an erudite, anal-retentive CEO who has a hard time balancing world domination with micro-managing his own life; while Liam Neeson (Taken) voices the president's powerful henchman, known as Bad Cop, who will stop at nothing to catch Emmet.
Starring as Emmet's fellow travelers are Oscar® winner Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby), as Vitruvius, an old mystic; Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games, Emmy nominee for 30 Rock), as tough-as-nails Lucy, who mistakes Emmet for the savior of the world and guides him on his quest; Will Arnett (Emmy nominee, 30 Rock), as the mysterious Batman, a LEGO minifigure with whom Lucy shares a history; Nick Offerman (NBC's Parks and Recreation) as a craggy, swaggering pirate, obsessed with revenge on President Business; and Alison Brie (Community) as a sweet, loveable member of the team, with a powerful secret.
Our family really enjoyed The Lego Movie and all of our kids are huge Lego brick fans too.  This instant family classic, The Lego Movie, arrives on BluRay on June 17th.  Thanks to the Everything is Awesome Blog App you can create a 6 mini second Lego GIF video and your creative video will be posted to YouTube for everyone to enjoy!  You can check out the YouTube channel to see all the great videos that are being uploaded too.  Best of all, I have a copy of The Lego Movie on BluRay to giveaway to one of my lucky readers!  Simply enter on the form below:

Disclaimer:  Warner Bros. Home Entertainment supplied the prize for this giveaway and will be responsible for providing said prize in a timely manner.  No monetary compensation was received. Each household is only eligible to win The Lego Movie Blu-Ray via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Spartan Race #GIVEAWAY

I have to admit, I am not a runner but I would love to be able to run in 5K's, obstacle races, half-marathons, etc.  I was born with bilateral club feet and after numerous casts, corrective brace shoes, and surgeries my feet are just not strong enough to run long distances on.  I truly admire those of you who do run whether for exercise or competitively.  I am super excited to get to share about the Spartan Race with you though!  

Spartan Race is on a mission to get you active, healthy, excited about change, and return to our ancient roots where running through woods, getting dirty, and facing adversity was part of everyday life. Our events are all about challenging today’s perception of normal.  
Our events challenge the familiar, today’s perception of normal living and getting you out of your comfort zone! At Spartan Race, we do this everyday and it shapes everything we do. 
Having experienced many different racing events, we wanted to make adventure racing more accessible to everyone, but do not be fooled by the word ‘accessible’, as our events have a challenge for everyone’s needs. 
Spartan Race now introduces a level for everyone beginning with the entry level Spartan Sprint, intermediate level Super Spartan, the advanced Spartan Beast, and the ‘99.9% need not apply’ extreme level Death Race.  Whatever your level, Spartan Race will test your strength, stamina, and sense of humor.

The Spartan Race has been voted the #1 obstacle race by Outside Magazine and focuses on building a healthy and active community of adults and children.  Every Spartan Race has a Junior and Varsity Spartan Kids race to allow children to share in the thrill of an obstacle race.  You can learn more about Spartan Races on their Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, pages and watch race videos on YouTube !
Spartan Race has graciously offered to give one of my readers their very own race code good for one FREE Spartan Race!  This code will work for one time for any open heat (non-confirmed start time) in any 2014 Spartan Race in the continental U.S.  To enter, simply fill out the form below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer:  The prize for this giveaway is sponsored by Spartan Race.  No monetary compensation was received for this blog post.  The opinions expressed here are my own and reflect my own personal thoughts and opinions. Your results may vary from mine.  

Monday, June 16, 2014

Schlitterbahn's Mom's Ice Chest Challenge #BahnCooler

When we moved to South Texas 2 years ago, one of the huge "perks" was that we were just 22 miles from South Padre Island, TX!  Having grown up in North Alabama, the ocean was always a full day's drive from our house and we only got to go to the ocean once or twice a year.  A huge attraction at South Padre Island is Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Resort.  

Schlitterbahn has something for everyone!  From mild to wild, on South Padre Island, Schlitterbahn beach features relaxing rivers to tidal wave rivers, 4 uphill water coasters, swim-up bars, plenty of kids areas, a 5-story interactive sand castle, the world famous Boogie-Bahn inland surfing ride, and new for 2014 - Cenote, Texas' first underground water slide.  

Schlitterbahn is also the one waterpark where families are allowed to bring in their own ice chest and food (no alcohol or glass allowed).  Providing a delicious and nutritious meal while your family is enjoying fun in the waterpark does not have to be a hassle.  There are lots of amazing ice-chest worthy recipes and and today I am going to share a couple of them with you as part of Schlitterbahn's Mom's Ice Chest Challenge.  
All of our kids and my husband love chicken salad on a croissant.  If we were headed to Schlitterbahn, I would whip up this recipe for Quick Chicken Salad and throw in a bag of croissants with it.  We would eat kettle-cooked chips with it and drink homemade lemonade to cool us off and refresh us.  Of course, no meal is complete without a dessert!  
This is a simple and easy dessert that you can use a ready-made pie crust which will allow it to easily be stored in your ice chest.  Best of all, after a hot day of fun in the sun, it is always nice and refreshing to help beat the heat with a delicious slice of cold pie.  

The beauty of Schlitterbahn waterparks is that you can not only bring in an ice chest (which saves your family money, you can pack something that every person will eat and it saves you time by not having to wait in the food lines) but you also get to enjoy FREE parking! So now is the time to beat the summer heat, have some family fun together, and enjoy a delicious ice chest meal at the park too when you visit Schlitterbahn!

Disclaimer:  This blog post is sponsored by and I am receiving a 4 pack of tickets to Schlitterbahn South Texas for this review.  No monetary compensation was received.  The opinions expressed here are my own and your results may vary from mine.