Friday, February 5, 2016

Inspiring Words Coloring Book Review

What kid doesn't like to color? What parent doesn't like to spend time coloring with them? Then those kids grow up. They exchange coloring books for tablets. Oh, wait, that didn't happen with my daughters! Throughout high school and into college, my oldest daughter was always coloring. Not only her, but her friends, too! This was long before "coloring for adults" became a thing!

I don't know what happened that adults started coloring again, but I'm all for it, and so are my daughters! lol They've never lost the love for it. I'd say that they moved away from children's coloring books, but they really haven't. Thankfully, coloring books for adults has really transformed into a creative outlet with many options.

Right before Christmas, I was given the opportunity to review a new coloring book that would be out after the first of the year. I was actually pretty excited because I was ready to take time to relax and get back into the coloring groove. Then I had to send my daughter a package, and decided she'd probably get through the book much sooner than I would.

I sent her Zondervan's new coloring book called Inspiring Words: 30 Verses From The Bible You Can Color. I grabbed a few photos of uncolored pages, and sent it off to her.

Inspiring Words
ISBN: 9780310757283
Publisher: Zondervan

What I loved about the book to begin with was that with each page, you could meditate on that scripture. You could memorize it, and pray with it. Depending on how long it took to color each page, by the time you were done coloring this entire book, you could potentially have 30 verses committed to memory.

Psalm 119:11 says, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you."

Now Brieanne got a couple of pages done in a quick amount of time so that I could do my review. She did such a great job, and I love how her pages turned out!

Uncolored pages:

Those are just a couple of examples. Now here are a couple examples of finished pages:

This was her process through one of the coloring pages. I love that she sent them to me at various points of her coloring.

If you're looking for a nice way to relax, especially with a coloring book, this is the way to go. No kids necessary. You're welcome to share, but this book is perfect for adults.

When was the last time you colored?

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Isle of Hope by Julie Lessman Book Review

I was so excited that today's writing prompt from Kat is a book review. I'm rather partial to book reviews! I just happen to have a book I just finished! Here are her prompts for this week:

Mama’s Losin’ It

1. List 10 things you love about motherhood
2. A photo journal entry…show us what winter looks like in your town.
3. Book review!
4. Write a blog post inspired by the word: shocked.
5. Take a look at your archives, what were you blogging about in a previous year at this time? What has changed?
6. List 8 solutions for bored children.
7. Write about something funny a sibling said to you.

Isle of Hope
by Julie Lessman
  • ISBN-13: 978-1519377456

I've been a Julie Lessman junkie for years. I even met her back in 2008 when she was with a group of authors at the Mall of America! Totally bragging here. Don't judge the quality or lack thereof, with this photo.

Ok, focus Mimi! Book review.

I'm used to reading Julie's historical fiction. When this book became available right before Christmas, I snatched it up. I was excited to read something modern from her.


She stole his heart. He stole her peace. Can hope steal their pain? At the age of eighteen, Lacey Carmichael was a wild girl bent on fun, promised to Jack O'Bryen, a straight-and-narrow pastor’s kid bent on the seminary. When her father kicks her out of the house, she runs away from Isle of Hope, turning her back on everything she loves. Now, eight years later, she’s back as a woman of faith, hoping to make amends to the father she defied, the boyfriend she deserted, and the best friend she denied. Only the bridges she’s burned are still smoldering, kindled by an adulterous affair by Jack’s pastor father that damaged his son’s faith. But can a turning of tables—and hearts—lead the way back to “hope” for them all?

My Review:

One of the things I love about Julie's writing, is I feel like I know the characters as soon as I start reading. Lacey ends up back home, which is where she has to face the people who have all pretty much turned their backs on her. I immediately felt for her. You know she's going to have to face these people in humility, and it's not going to be pretty.

At one point during my reading, I commented to Julie on Facebook, that I'm used to parents in a book being MY parents ages. This time, I was reading about parents who are MY age. It was such a hard frame of mind to get into. I've become THAT segment. lol What I did enjoy is that I could picture them with better clarity, understanding where they were in life. It's an interesting transition as a reader.

The one character that I struggled with, which was a good thing, was Lacey's dad. He was such a pain in the neck. As we learn more about him, we understand why. I still was very frustrated with him for a good portion of the book.

I really enjoyed watching Lacey's process of reconciliation with the people she had known and loved before she ran away.

As always, there's passion and romance, but it's done in such a way that we know the characters desire to honor the Lord. I'm always thankful how Julie never takes it too far. She makes her characters very human. She also makes sure to keep faith the main reason for her stories. Forgiveness is something we all need to extend. Healing comes from giving and receiving forgiveness. Jack's mom is probably my favorite character in the whole book. She loves on everyone, even when she's struggling herself.

Isle of Hope should make its way onto your bookshelf sooner than later!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Going Home To Mom

I'm hanging out doing Kat's Writer's Workshop tonight. Sure, it's a bit late in the day, but why not.

Her writing prompts today are:

The Prompts:
1. Share the last five items you pinned, choose one and let it inspire a blog post.
2. Talk about something you learned this month.
3. List 7 things you would rather do than clean your bathroom.
4. Write a blog post inspired by the word: frosty.
5. Write about what you miss most about living at home with your parents.
6. Write about what you love most about not living at home with your parents.

Mama’s Losin’ It

I moved out when I was 18 yrs old, and never looked back. I became a mom of four kids. I had my own home finally. I was settled. And then life happened. I decided to move to Virginia with my boys to live with my mom. To be honest, I'd been on my own for 25 years. The last time mom and I lived together, let's just say it wasn't a very good situation. I had a lot of trepidation about us both being under the same roof again.

Mom and I had a strained relationship for numerous reasons. Now we both had our own families and we were going to be sharing a home, her home. The first week was stressful, transition always is, but after living with her for 8 months two years ago, I'd totally do it all over again, and SO would my boys!

Now that I've tasted the sweet life of living with my mom, let me tell you why.

1. Mom and dad have a HUGE house with every comfort you can imagine! They have awesome furniture, the temperature is always perfect, there are enough floors for us all to be spread out, and there's never a lack of food.

2. Mom has a housekeeper who comes in every other week! We just sorta maintain.

3. Dad has every kind of electronic you can imagine, and he can fix any of them. He's got a fabulous, large, flat screen tv that we all love watching tv and movies on. Dad loves to wow us with gadgets. He loves when he updates his tablet or mom's Kindle. Hey, there's a smartwatch? Dad's got one on order.

4. Let's go out to dinner. Mom and dad are love going out to eat, and they always bring everyone along. I can't tell you how many times we ate out when we lived with them. They wanted to love on my boys, and they really liked eating at Glory Days, so we went there on a regular basis.

5. Need something, you've got it. It was incredibly different living with my mom this time. When I was younger, we couldn't afford to shop at Kmart, and back then it was waaay worse than now. Now, my mom would come home with my boys, and their hair would be cut, and wearing an entirely new outfit. For my mom, I was so glad she was in such a different place financially than she was when I was living with her.

My boys are constantly asking to go to grandma & grandpa's. They know it's good living when we're over there. I'm thankful that our lives have all changed so much, that if we ever needed to go live with my parents again, we would rush there with excitement instead of apprehension. They're only a couple hours away, and we get back as often as we can.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Ice Castles In Eden Prairie, Minnesota

Sometimes you get the coolest opportunities, when you're least expecting it. Then it turns out you can't go, but your daughter can!! Last week, I was innocently working, and glanced at my Inbox. There was an super fun event that I was invited to called Ice Castles, but I wasn't able to go. When I found out my girl could go, we were both so stoked!

There's a company based in Utah called...Ice Castles. It is the craziest, coolest thing. They sent us tickets so she could go with friends! Since neither of us had ever been, we had no idea what was in store for her. She said it was Ah-Mazing!

Before we get to that, here's some tidbits about Ice Castles:

  • You can find them in Midway, UT, Eden Prairie, MN, Lincoln, NH, and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Each Ice Castles weighs about 25,000,000 pounds!
  • They grow at least 10,000 icicles every day and place them throughout the ice castles
The Eden Prairie location will be open Jan 23rd – March 5th. The only day they're closed is Tuesday. From what I saw online, it's cheaper to get your tickets online than as a standby.

One of the things Brieanne kept saying was how beautiful it was. The colors kept changing, and the music totally set the mood. Not surprising that she was super excited to see the characters from Frozen. Yes, music from the movie was playing. =) The Frozen sisters are there on the weekends only, and their appearances are subject to weather changes.

There were different caverns you could go into, and one even had fire performers! They're at the MN location Fridays & Saturdays. Fire and ice, you can't go wrong with that combo!

As they entered, they were met by a tour guide who explained how the ice castles were made and answered all of our questions. They said they have been growing the icicles for 3-4 weeks. Once they plant an icicle, they run water off it and it continues growing. The ice is so strong that one of the guides was walking over us on the ice!

It's really cool because they keep the sky visible from inside the castle. It makes it really magical at night! Do you have a star gazer in your family, or do you love it yourself? January 28 & Feb 24 they have Winter Star Watch Parties with Mike Lynch from WCCO! Bring your lawn chair, and get to know the constellations!

Don't worry if you get hungry or thirsty while you're there. They've got you covered with coffee, cappuccino, apple cider, cake pops, cookies, and more! How cute are the treats they got?

Did I mention, they even have slides?

Have you ever been to an Ice Castle? Be sure to visit if there's one near you! And don't forget to dress for the weather!

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Shock of Night Book Review

I decided to start a book club at church because I love reading. I absolutely LOVED our Bound Together book club back in Minnesota. Wanting to get to know more ladies, I figured starting a book club would be a great way to go. Because I started the book club, Bethany House now sends me a book to share with my group. I read this newest book in 4 days, and can't wait to share it with them.

The Shock of Night
The Darkwater Saga (Book 1)
by Patrick W. Carr

  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (November 3, 2015)
  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764213465

When I first started reading this book, I was really confused, and didn't understand what I was reading. Of course my first thought was, "this doesn't bode well." I'm a trooper, take one for the team, so I kept on keeping on!

I think through the first chapter I was still trying to figure out what was going on. There were a lot of words I didn't recognize, because it's a new world to me. I should've read the prequel By Divine Right. You don't have to, but it probably would've helped with the prologue and the first chapter.

We're introduced to Willet Dura. Who the heck is this guy? Is he a good guy? Is he a bad guy who seems like a good guy? There are things that make the water a bit murky on him. You want to like the guy, but there's this niggling in the back of your mind. I think that's exactly what the author wants the reader to feel.

Now, going into this book, I know it's supposed to deal with PTSD, and from what little I know of it, it's interesting to read from Willet's experience. He'd gone into the Darkwater Forest, but he can't remember anything about his time there or how he got out. I'd imagine men and women who have gone into combat who have locked away the painful memories so they can deal with the here and now.

Something happens at the beginning of the book, that Willet spends the entire book trying to figure out. I love the characters we meet along the way. There are actually so many, I don't want to go on too much about each of them. Gael, the woman to whom he's betrothed, is a young woman with spunk, and deep devotion to Willet. One of the men he turns to for wisdom is Custos. Just everything about this character makes me love him: his wisdom, his intelligence, his way of understanding what Willet needs, and his sense of humor. Yo, Patrick, can we get a novel just about him?

Can I say my favorite character in this book is Bolt? Trust me. Read this book, and you'll understand why. He's got a saying for everything. The role he ends up playing in Willet's life makes me wish I had my very own Bolt! I kept waiting for us to learn that he was an angel of the Lord. Of course, Willet is the main character, and you can't help but like him. He's fiercely devoted to his king. He protects the "least" of Bunard, and really cares more about others than he does for himself.

I think by chapter 15 I started feeling that urge to turn to the end of the book just to take a peek at the ending. For the rest of the book, 42 more stinking chapters, I had to force myself not to look. I was so intense into the story, I just needed a glimpse. I didn't do it! So proud of myself. haha

There's danger and intrigue through every chapter. Always rooting for the good guys to win, but the author shows us, that not all of the good guys make it through every time. We also see how sin is so infectious. All it needs is to take root, for us to listen to that whisper, for the sin to overtake us if we let it. And if we feed it...just really nothing good comes from that. The other part of that darkness is, Satan can lie in wait, for that time when he wants to use it against us as well as others (even those we love), and then helps unleash it all.

This is a fantastic book for those of you who love Christian fantasy fiction. I don't know that I'd say this is a good book for younger kids. It's a dark story, and there are a couple of very intense scenes that children might find overwhelming. I'd recommend this book for teens and adults!

Oh, and did I mention what I don't like about this novel? Having to wait for the 2nd one!

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.