Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer "Bucket" List

Apparently having a summer to-do (aka 'bucket') list is all the rage this year..and of course I had to join in!

Thanks to some clever graphics from The Crafting Chicks and some great preschool/toddler summer ideas from Sweet and Lovely Crafts, Reagan and I now have a custom to-do list of our own. Can't wait! 3-4 activities in each bag every day will ensure lots of Mommy and Reagan fun time! (Can I just admit here and now that I am NOT a play mom and I feel sooooo guilty about that all the time, but I just don't PLAY with my child..and yes, I do feel like crap about it all.the.time--I hope this helps!!!)

By the way, if you want to see my own "bucket" list, check it out here!

And now---the photos!

Up close shot of one of the bags--it contains several activities for the day (activities printed on cardstock) and some days it'll include a treat too--stickers, lip gloss rings, etc.

All the bags hung up on cute summer ribbon!

And I couldn't resist a photo of Reagan before her first day of camp!

**By the way, in case you're wondering, I did organize the slips of paper into labeled envelopes so I could find them easily to stuff in the bags every day--I have "food treats", "crafts to make", "general play", and "places to go".

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Spring for Susannah

Booklist says, "Inspired by [folk] lyrics, Richmond arrives on the inspirational fiction scene with a moving debut novel. Readers will be filled with hope that Susannah will learn the true meaning of love. Highly recommended where inspiring, romantic historical fiction is in demand."

Hundreds of miles from home, Susannah faces an uncertain future as a mail-order bride on the untamed Dakota prairie.

When her parents die suddenly, and no suitors call, Susannah resigns herself to the only option available: becoming a mail-order bride. Agreeing to marry her pastor's brother, Jesse, Susannah leaves the only home she's ever known for the untamed frontier of the Dakota Territory .

Her new husband is more loving and patient with her than she believes she deserves. Still, there is also a wildness to him that mirrors the wilderness surrounding them. And Susannah finds herself constantly on edge. But Jesse's confidence in her-and his faith in God's perfect plan-slowly begin to chip away at the wall she hides behind.

When she miscarries in the brutal Dakota winter, Susannah's fledgling faith in herself and in God begins to crumble. Still, Jesse's love is unwavering. Just when it seems like winter will never end, Susannah finally sees the first tentative evidence of spring. And with it, the realization that more than the landscape has changed.

She looks to the future with a renewed heart. Yet in her wildest dreams, she couldn't predict all that awaits her.

About Catherine:

Catherine Richmond was focused on her career as an occupational therapist till a special song planted a story idea in her mind. That idea would ultimately become Spring for Susannah, her first novel. She is also a founder and moderator of Nebraska Novelist critique group and lives in Nebraska with her husband.

For more about Catherine, please visit www.catherinerichmond.com.

To buy the book, please click here.

To celebrate her debut novel, Catherine and her publisher, Thomas Nelson, have teamed up to give away a Spring For Susannah Prize Package worth over $150!

One grand prize winner will receive:
* A brand new Latest Generation KINDLE with Wi-Fi and Pearl Screen
* Spring for Susannah by Catherine Richmond (for KINDLE)

To enter just CLICK HERE and then tell your friends! But hurry, giveaway ends on June 27th. Winner will be announced on Tuesday, June 28th at 5 PM (6PM MST, 7PM CST, & 8PM EST) during Catherine's Spring for Susannah Book Club Party on Facebook! Catherine is rustling up some fun for the party - she'll be chatting about the story behind her novel, hosting a book club chat, testing your mail-order bride trivia skills, and giving away some GREAT prizes! Don't miss the fun and tell your friends!

Blog tour schedule.

My review:
Such a sweet book! I absolutely loved witnessing the changes in Susannah as she grew more in Christ and her marriage. Definitely a must-read for anyone who loves Christian romances and tales of the old west. One note however: as this is Catherine Richmond's first book, I found the husband's role and dialogue at the beginning just a little bit difficult to really get into. However, by the end, everything was perfectly flowing together! Great book!

Disclosure: I was given a copy of Spring for Susannah to review. Please note that all opinions included herein are mine and do not reflect the views of any other person or company.

Friday, June 10, 2011

About Branded:

The church spends $1.5 million for every one new follower of Jesus. Apple sells 26 iPads every minute. What is it that makes Apple so exciting and Jesus so boring? What is it that compels someone to bring their iPod everywhere and their Bible nowhere? In a word: marketing. Jesus is a life-changing product with lousy salespeople-people who are intimidated and embarrassed by the word "evangelism" and who show more enthusiasm for their gadgets than their God.

What would life look like if we stopped mass-marketing Jesus and started marketing our faith like Nike and Apple market their products--sharing relationally, from person to person? Using examples from these and other successful companies, author Tim Sinclair challenges Christians to throw out their casual attitudes toward faith and sign on for a marketing campaign for the Savior.

Written with the wit and wisdom of an experienced marketer, Branded peels away the feelings of fear and encourages readers how to share their faith in ways that are honest, authentic, and, most importantly, effective.

Click here to buy the book.

About the author, Tim Sinclair:

Tim Sinclair is a radio personality on one of the top Christian morning shows in the country, Mornings with Tim and Pam. For over a decade, he has been helping radio stations and various other businesses creatively and effectively market themselves. His award-winning productions have been heard on more than 2,000 radio stations worldwide and recent clients include McDonald's, Word Records, Moody Press, and the country's most-listened to Christian nonprofit radio station KSBJ/Houston. Tim has written for CCM Magazine and the Huntsville Times. For more about Tim, please visit his website, http://www.tim-sinclair.com.

Check out other reviews of this book by clicking here!

And finally! My Review....

Branded was an interesting wake-up call regarding the Christian portrayal and marketing of Jesus. An interesting read that left me with more questions than answers--but perhaps that was the point. I was left with the realization that I'm quick to condemn but not quick to meet people at the place they are. I profess to be a Christian, but I truly have not answered the Great Commission that Jesus set in place for us.

I believe the book was good for a slap in the face wake up call to Christians--however, I think the author could have done a better job of giving us some cold hard examples of what to do, how to make that leap from the Christian we are to the way Jesus won over the lost. Less examples of Starbucks and Apple, and more examples of 'here is how you show compassion, understanding and love to those who support gay marriage, without compromising your values'. Interesting book. Definitely worth a read but be prepared to be left on another search for a book that really gives you some ways to "market" Jesus.

Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of Branded to review on my blog. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but were not influenced by the company or the free product provided.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Read the inspiring story of Esther, one of our faith's great heroines, in an entirely new way-with all the political intrigue and tension you remember, but imagined and re-told as a passionate and tender love story between a young man and woman. Misunderstood by many, King Xerxes was a powerful but lonely man. Esther's beauty caught the eye of the young king, but it was her spirit that captured his heart.

About the author: Joan Wolf was born in New York City but has lived most of her adult life with her husband in Connecticut , where she raised two children and countless numbers of assorted animals. Joan is the author of numerous historical novels including The Road to Avalon which Publishers Weekly lauded as “historical fiction at its finest." For more about Joan and her other books, please visit www.joanwolf.com Purchase A Relucatant Queen by clicking here.

To celebrate Joan Wolf’s debut Christian Fiction title, A Reluctant Queen, Joan and her publisher, Thomas Nelson, have teamed up to give away A Reluctant Queen prize package worth over $150!

One grand prize winner will receive:
* A brand new Latest Generation KINDLE with Wi-Fi and Pearl Screen
* A Reluctant Queen by Joan Wolf (for KINDLE)

To enter, CLICK HERE. But, hurry, the contest ends on June 20th. Winner will be announced on June 21st during Joan’s A Reluctant Queen Book Club Party on Facebook (details below)! Hope to see you there – bring your friends!

Join the fun on June 21st!
Joan will be wrapping up the blog tour and Kindle giveaway promotion during her A Reluctant Queen FACEBOOK party on her FB author page. During the party she'll announce the winner of the Kindle, host a book chat discussion, test your trivia skills (Is Esther's story in A Reluctant Queen fact or fiction?), and more. Don't miss this chance to meet the author and make some new friends!

Check out other reviews of A Reluctant Queen here!

And FINALLY....my review!!!

I absolutely loved this book! Yes, the author took plenty of liberties with the Biblical account of Esther, but this is a fiction rendering of the story and I really believe she did a great job! It definitely opened my eyes to how hard it must have been for Esther to become Queen, the courage it took to follow God and allow Him to direct her life completely, when all she really wanted to do was run home. It was endearing to see love develop between Esther and the King; and it made me hope that they really did discover love together. It would seem that way from the Biblical account, but Joan Wolf did a great job of bringing the "love story" to life for us, without lessening the biggest point of the story of Esther..that God uses everyday people to do extraordinary things! Beautifully written with vivid portrayals of both Esther and King Ahasuerus--I can't wait to read more from this author!!

Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of A Reluctant Queen to review on my blog. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but were not influenced by the company or the free product provided.
Related Posts with Thumbnails