Saturday, November 3, 2018

The Cow Said Neigh!

The Cow Said Neigh!
A Farm Story
By: Rory Feek
Illustrated By: Bruno Robert

Book Overview:

From New York Times bestseller Rory Feek, one half of the singing duo Joey+Rory, comes The Cow Said Neigh!, a fun and humorous tale of farm animals who wish they were like the other animals . . . which leads to a farm-full of confusion! This delightful book will be a family favorite for years to come.
The Cow Said Neigh! is the story of some peculiar farm animals who wish they were like other animals on the farm. The cow wants to run free like a horse, the sheep wants a snout like a pig, the dog wants to be inside like the cat. Soon the entire farm is in chaos!
With silly farm animal sounds, clever rhymes, and adorable art, The Cow Said Neigh! will have kids of all ages laughing out loud as they celebrate the unique strengths in each of us.
This delightful board book is sure to be read time and time again.

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading this book to my niece.  She enjoyed looking at the bright pictures and touching the boardback pages of this story.  The Cow Said Neigh! is a lighthearted funny story for a toddler learning about farm animals.  The farm animals making other noises was silly to the toddler I shared the story with.  I enjoyed reading this book.  If you want to dig for a deeper meaning - you could stretch it and say that we are each made with a unique voice.  Sometimes it is good to just have a lighthearted funny story to listen to or read.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review through the booklookbloggers program, but my thoughts are my own.




Monday, October 22, 2018

not again...


Today started like any other day.  
It ended a bit different....but not really
Its a familiar different...
but one that you never really want much knowledge of.

12:25 this afternoon I picked my sister up to go car shopping.  She is in the market for her first new car, and I have been known to get some good car deals...so good that the guy who sold me my car 3 years ago, remembered me! Not sure that was a good thing for my sister....

12:27 this afternoon her phone rang - her husband at the other end - we had just left him at the house... 'dads having a seizure'......we turned the car around and went back home.  I thought to myself, I guess its good that I was late to pick her up, so that we were not far away.  He tried the magnet for my dads VNS and it didn't stop it.....his entire body continued to shake....he was looking up and to the right...called rescue...waited....seemed like he quit shaking a little so we started singing, 'you are my sunshine'....he started singing in between seizures...getting him out the door proved challenging and the paramedics probably didn't like me telling them how to do their job - I'm just a worried daughter and hopefully they didn't take it personally. Thank God for emergency rescue personnel, EMT's and paramedics. 


Then came the hurdle of getting him stable enough to be transported to Mayo...that isn't the closest hospital to our house but it is the one who has seen him and treated him since November of 2015 when he had his stroke. Felt like time stood still while we waited to hear where they would take him.  Most of the time I find myself wishing time would slow down...but in that moment I just wanted them to get on their way and get him to the hospital. He was cleared for transport to Mayo.  Thank God for enough stabilizing that he could be transported to Mayo Hospital.


We left and as we approached the end of the street we saw the ambulance come up behind us.  I have always been one to yield to emergency services, thinking I would want somebody to do that if my loved one was being transported....and then before our very eyes as we sat at the intersection we watched the ambulance make it through safely while everybody stopped.  It sucks knowing that somebody you love is in that ambulance.  I cringe every time I hear a siren.  If an ambulance has been anywhere near our street I have to check the number.  72 is the one that always comes for dad.  Thank God for drivers who pull over when an ambulance is approaching.


We made it to the hospital before the ambulance did.  Noticed Mayo Emergency Room is undergoing some construction.  That is new since dads last seizure episode. I wonder what they are doing, are they expanding?  If only the walls of this place could talk...I think of the stories held within these rooms....how we have known quite a few of the rooms in the ER department and most of the rooms on the 5th floor. Seemed to take a while for anybody to go back and see him...minutes felt like hours as we eagerly waited to see him....because that is how we humans are wired - we need to see ....Thank God for the Mayo ER staff who took care of my dad.

At the end of the day...mom and dad are spending the night at a non profit academic medical center focused on integrated clinical practice, education and research.....in other words, Mayo Clinic.  We all stand a bit shaken but no worse for our wear. We are still standing.  In some ways I suppose trials make us stronger, odd thing is how weak they leave us feeling in the moment. But then I wonder is it weakness we feel or a sense of powerlessness?  To see somebody you love in a state that you can do nothing about?  Yeah, maybe thats it - maybe its not weakness we feel but a humble reminder of the fact that we are not in control, some things we must endure are beyond our ability to fix or change...  We have hope for this trial, that all will end well... because we have endured similar tests in the past.  So I guess that is something to be grateful for. I find myself feeling a great deal of anger and asking why, though I know my feeble mind is not capable of comprehending the 'whys' to what we have to endure this side of eternity.  Funny how even though I know my mind can't comprehend the why, I still want to know why...as if knowing why would make anything better?  I know God is a big God and He can handle my anger, I just have a hard time comprehending how this can be used for good. I'm grateful my dad is still here and that God isn't finished with him, I just don't understand why good people must endure such difficult paths in life. It's hard to trust God through all this, but I know we must. I know His plan is a good plan (even when it doesn't feel good) , that He can see the bigger picture (when all we can see is whats happening right now), that this pain has purpose in each of our lives... but when these difficult days strike it sure is hard to keep all that in mind.... To my family - a song of encouragement - Trust In You....

"Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9

Friday, October 5, 2018

Cozy, Snowy Cuddles

Cozy, Snowy Cuddles 
Touch and Feel
Illustrated By: Fransesca Pesci

Book Overview:

Winter is an exciting fun time of year for little ones, and Cozy, Snowy Cuddles Touch and Feel will help children thank God for all His wonderful wintry gifts. The soft art, touch-and-feel elements, and sweet message will appeal to the cuddliest little ones, making this the perfect holiday gift!
Little polar bear spreads joy and cheer to all the winter animals. He shares his thankful spirit with all he meets and leaves smiles and cuddles behind him. Cozy, Snowy Cuddles Touch and Feel is a great way to enjoy all the coziest aspects of winter with your little one—and thank God for the beauty and fun of winter.

My Thoughts:

This bright, inviting story is perfect for little hands.  The message of love and snuggling on cold winter days is on each page.  I enjoyed reading this book to my 3 month old niece and she seemed to enjoy looking at the contrasting colors on each page. Great book that can grow with your little one.  It can be read to them when they can't yet interact with the touch and feel part and then as they get a little older they can enjoy the full purpose of the book.  Even my boys enjoyed reading this book to their little cousin.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review through the BookLook Bloggers program, but my opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

God Always Keeps His Promises

God Always Keeps His Promises
Unshakeable Hope for Kids
Written By: Max Lucado

Book Overview:

Share God’s faithfulness and love with your child through Max Lucado’s new children’s book, God Always Keeps His Promises. Based on the promises of God, children will see that God is completely trustworthy to keep His promises. Just like He did in Bible times. Just like He does for them today.
Since the beginning of time, God has kept His promises. Through the stories of Adam and Eve, Abraham, Joseph, Peter, Paul, and many more, children will learn about the character and nature of God and His unending love for His people. Offer children the chance to learn about the promises God made to His followers in the Bible, and the knowledge that they still get to experience these promises today. Each chapter features a promise from God accompanied by a story example from the Bible and an application for children today.
Max Lucado, beloved pastor and bestselling author, is a revered authority on biblical teaching. Yet his gentle, loving approach makes it possible for even the youngest children to understand God’s tenderness toward them.
Through beautiful illustrations and compelling stories, Max will guide your family through God’s unfailing goodness and faithfulness through the promises He made, and how He kept those promises in Bible times and how He still keeps them today.
My Thoughts:
I enjoyed reading through this book. I have always been a fan of Max Lucado.  The book is divided into chapters.  Each chapter is a few pages.  The illustrations are just enough without being too much.  Each chapter includes a key concept, scripture reference and bible story.  The chapter ends with a promise to God and a short prayer as well as more scripture references that are applicable to the chapter.  This book provides some powerful reminders and I feel that I was reminded of God's character and how much He cares for me as I shared this book with my children.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review through the booklookbloggers program, my opinions are my own.


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Little Book of Thanks

Precious Moments Little Book of Thanks
Jean Fischer

Book Overview:


It happens every autumn. As soon as the leaves begin to turn bright, beautiful colors, the year sprints ahead on fast-forward! Take a few moments out of the hustle and bustle of the season to sink into a cozy chair with your little one and thank God for everything He’s given us with Precious Moments® Little Book of Thanks.
In the sweet, enduring art style of Precious Moments, this timeless book will help your children recognize all the wonderful things God has given them! Read along, and you will remember to enjoy the simple things, like singing silly songs, jumping in a pile of leaves, and watching the seasons change. The short, rhyming verses in this classic Precious Moments book don’t take much time to read at all, and they will create memories that last forever.
Precious Moments Little Book of Thanks offers you the chance to be thankful for all that you have and for the ones with whom you get to share every precious moment.

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading this little board book.  I have always loved the Precious Moments line. This book is filled with short little prayers, scripture verses and poems.  The pictures are bright and inviting.  The messages are of hope, peace, encouragement, joy and good cheer. The main message is of thanks and all the things we have to be grateful for.  I enjoyed reading this book to my niece. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from BookLookBloggers, however, my opinion is my own. 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

God's Blessing Day by Day

God's Blessing Day by Day
Devotional for Kids

Overview:

God’s Blessing Day by Day is a trustworthy devotional compiled by renowned pastors and church leaders. Edited by Johnny Hunt, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, this devotional is the perfect way to introduce your children and grandchildren to a legacy of faith.
One of the greatest gifts - and greatest challenges - of raising children is introducing them to the ways of God. As parents and grandparents, we want to impart our faith to the children we love so dearly, and it can feel more difficult than ever in the fast-moving, instant-access culture in which we find ourselves.
God’s Blessing Day by Day,compiled by Johnny Hunt and more than 50 pastors and church leaders, is the perfect way to build faith through gratitude.
This easy-to-understand, child-friendly devotional is the perfect way to engage your family. Each devotion is written on topics children care about and includes great prayers and takeaways that will spark conversation as the timeless Word of God instructs and inspires your children.
Impart a deeper connection with the Lord in your children, help them establish healthy habits of devotion and prayer, and equip them with the tools they need to grow their faith.
My Thoughts:
I enjoyed reading through this devotional and look forward to sharing it with my sweet little niece.  The layout was fun and inviting to small children.  Bright pictures accompany every devotional.  It is separated by week and then days within the week.  Every devotional starts with a bible verse, followed by an age appropriate application of the verse and then concluded with a one sentence recap or main point of the devotional, a promise from God for the child to remember. The devotionals are written by pastors and church leaders.  At the end of every devotional is the pastor or church leader who contributed that specific devotional.  Sometimes as adults I think it is easy to get caught up in the day to day demands of life that we forget or overlook the simplicity and complexity of studying God's words.  Reading through this devotional, read the bible verses, I felt like at the end of a busy day, sometimes this is all my mind could take in but it was good. I think even as an adult reading this book to a child, you will also learn and grow.  It would also be good to be used in a Sunday school setting. I would recommend this book to others.  It would make a nice gift.  I know I will be purchasing a few copies for some upcoming birthdays.  
I received this book in exchange for an honest review through the booklookbloggers program....but my opinion of this book is my own!

Monday, July 9, 2018

The Way of Abundance

The Way of Abundance
Written by: Ann Voskamp

Book Overview:

What do you do when you wake up and feel like you're not enough for your life? Or when you look out the kitchen window as dusk falls and wonder how do you live when life keeps breaking your heart?
As Ann Voskamp writes, “great grief isn't meant to fit inside your body. It's why your heart breaks.” And each of us holds enough brokenness to overflow—to be given as the greatest story of our lives.
In sixty vulnerably soulful stories, The Way of Abundance moves from self-weary brokenness to Christ-focused givenness. Drawing from the critically acclaimed, New York Times bestseller The Broken Way and Ann's online essays, this devotional dares us to embrace brokenness as a gift that moves us to givenness as a way to draw closer to the heart of God. Christ Himself broke like bread, giving Himself to us so we might have a lifelong communion with Him. Could it be that our brokenness is also a gift to the world?
This gentle but exquisitely profound book does nothing less than take you on an intimate journey of the soul.
As Ann writes, "The wound in His side proves that Jesus is always on the side of the suffering, the wounded, the busted, the broken." Discover how surrendering in unexpected ways is the first step toward receiving what you long for. Discover the good news that your beauty is not in your strength but in your fragility. Discover why your healing shines radiant through your wounds—and how only in brokenness will you ever be whole—and find the way to the abundance you were meant for.

My Thoughts:

This is a 60 day devotional, that could easily be done a few times over. I feel like you would gain something different every time you read it.  I read through the entire devotional because I was hooked.  I then went back and read it slowly, allowing myself time to more thoroughly digest the content and wisdom for each day.  Some days hit me harder than others.  I experienced joy and sorrow, tears and laughter while reading through this devotional.  Having recently read The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp, I felt that I better understood where she was coming from for some of the devotionals as I recognized parts of it seem to correlate with the other book. The questions provided great conversation starters for my husband and I. Some of the questions were harder to answer, just because they were tough questions, the kind that cause you to search your soul and really define what you believe. I would recommend this book.  The devotionals aren't too short and they aren't too long.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review through the BookLookBloggers program, but my thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

UNSHAKEABLE

UNSHAKEABLE 
By: Christine Caine

Book Overview:

God is bigger than your current story. Bigger than fear or shame or that voice in your head that whispers that you are not enough, too broken, or too flawed. Join Him in a closer relationship—one rooted in truth and Unshakeable. In this daily devotional Christine Caine encourages you to find confidence to live as the person God created you to be.
Everything in our world that can be shaken will be shaken. And yet, the Bible assures us it doesn’t matter what happens politically, morally, socially, or economically in the world around us if we have Christ in us—if we have the kingdom of God within us—because His kingdom is Unshakeable.
In this daily devotional, bestselling author, speaker and activist Christine Caine will take you on a year-long journey of building your faith in our Unshakeable God. Through inspiring personal stories and powerful scriptures, she will equip you to live boldly and courageously, fully trusting our faithful God. She will inspire you how to activate living your life on mission. Unstoppable. Undaunted. Unashamed. Unshakable.
My Thoughts:

 I have really enjoyed this devotional.  I ended up reading some of the days a few times over.  This would make a great gift of encouragement to somebody going through a rough patch.  It was very encouraging and uplifting.  Some days the truth hurt a little more than other days. It was genuine and real and some days were a bit raw.  The devotions all concluded with a prayer.  The devotions provided great food for thought. I would recommend this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review through booklookbloggers but my opinion is my own.