Thursday, May 17, 2018

Nighty Night and Good Night by Michael W. Smith

Nighty Night and Good Night
by Michael W. Smith & Mike Nawrocki
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 9780310767015

I love bedtime books and when I found out I could review Nighty Night and Good Night by well known Christian artist, Michael W. Smith, and the co-creator of the VeggieTales™ series, Mike Nawrocki, I was thrilled.

Summary:

Nighty Night and Good Night is the first book in a series of bedtime books by multiple Grammy and Dove Award-winning recording artist Michael W. Smith and VeggieTales co-creator Mike Nawrocki. In Nighty Night and Good Night, the stuffed animal band the Nighty Nights are called upon to help their friend Ben try to fall to sleep. This cute and sleepy adventure leads Lamby, Bear, and Sleepy Puppy to discover that a classic lullaby might just do the trick.



My Review:

First, I love hardcover children's books. They last longer and they're the ones I save for only me to read to my children. I also like that the stars and title are a silver foil which makes it shimmer.




Since most children have stuffed animals, it's adorable how little Ben's toys come to life after his mom leaves the room. Since he can't sleep, they try to help him figure out a way to make him tired. Each stuffed animal gives it a go to help Ben to no avail. They finally come up with the idea to sing him a lullaby. The lullaby is actually a song you can hear (and learn) with a link that is included on the book's cover.



It was always so precious to me having night time songs I could sing to my children, and this would easily become a family favorite. Now, I will say that you have to subscribe to Nurturing Steps to actually be able to hear the song. The song is sweet and is classic Michael W. Smith.

This will easily become a family favorite and I could see the children asking for it every night at bedtime. I'll be taking this book with me to Peru. I know a family who just adopted a baby and they'd love having this book to read to their son. The new mom is an American living down there! I can't wait to give it to them.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Weekend Trip To Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

This past weekend my husband took us up to Navron, Pennsylvania. It was my Valentine's Day present from him. He planned our buggy ride and got us a bed & breakfast minus the breakfast. Well, they had a breakfast, we just didn't realize it. Next time!



We headed up to Pennsylvania on Friday and made it to Navron which is part of Lancaster County. Fred made reservations at Churchtown Inn Bed & Breakfast. We didn't stay at the main Inn. They have two cottages and we stayed at the Covered Bridge Cottage at the Poole Forge Estate. It's on 23 acres and used to be the Paymasters and is from the 1700s. They have all the comforts of the 21st century, but as soon as you pull up to the stone cottage, you're transported to the past.


We went to the Windmill Family Restaurant which was just outside of town. Cute on the outside and the food was good. Fred got the spaghetti and meatballs which he seemed to love. I got my typical burger and it was delicious! It was huge so I couldn't eat the entire thing.


In the morning we headed out to Ronks which was where we were going for our very first buggy ride. We used A is for Amish Buggy Rides. They have several options for rides: Amish Paradise Trail, Amish Family Tour, Amish Farm Tour, and Custom Amish Tour. As soon as you get to the location, they have petting zoo. When we were there they had 2 llamas, 2 pigs, 2 goats, and a pony. You can get a tiny handful of food to feed them while you wait. We opted for the Amish Farm Tour. Our buggy wasn't really a buggy, but more of a wagon. I'd say there were about 15 of us in it along with our driver, David. He regaled us with stories about Amish life and cracked a ton of jokes.


I had this view of Amish being staunch, cranky, and standoff-ish with Englischers. He wasn't that way at all. He was absolutely delightful! He brought our wagon to the Lapp family farm. David walked us around the farm where we were able to pet horses & calves and hold chickens! Seriously, I was living the dream. I held baby chicks and a hen! It was wonderful.



After our little tour we hopped into the wagon to head back. The buggy rides share the same spot as the Red Caboose Motel & Restaurant. We've already decided that the next time we go back we're going to stay in one of the cabooses. We took a tour and they were really cool! 6 people could fit inside with 4 bunks and a queen size bed.



We drove back to the Lapp farm to take a look around at all of their goodies. They had everything you could possibly imagine: aprons, snacks, dish towels, furniture, and so much more. One of the reasons Fred brought us up there was because we've been wanting to get new bedroom furniture. Thankfully there was a single bedroom set there and we loved it. We also found some wall cabinets that would be perfect in our living room! Of course I saw a fabulous dining room table and chairs. So many things...


The man who builds them was at a meal so we decided to go out to eat lunch. Apparently smorgasbords are the "thing" in Lancaster County. Nothing like 8 soups to choose from, a good dose of homemade breads, and a buffet of salad options. We filled up and headed back just in time to speak to the gentleman who does the furniture. Let's just say we're excited about the possibilities!

Thankful for our handy dandy packet the sweet folks at the Inn created for visitors, we found some delicious places to stop on our way back. To say we bought our weight in baked goods is putting it mildly. One little shop was alongside the road (these are dotted everywhere) and I got my first sampling of chicken pot pie - which is crustless and more like soup, chocolates, and homemade triple berry jelly. On the map was Sadie's Bake Shop. It wasn't far from our cottage. We got some fresh donuts and I picked out a half lemon pie. It was interesting because it had a cake type topping with a small layer of lemon cream. So delicious!



After we got back to the cottage, we chilled out for a little bit and then headed to Shady Maple. This was a smorgasbord that Fred's dad recommended and was also in our packet. Now, I will say that I didn't want to stay because the place is gargantuan from the outside and so was the line! Fred read the website and it showed not to be intimidated by the line. We were probably in line for 15-20 min before we were seated. The food was incredible. The fried shrimp I could've gone back for hour after hour. They had an older gentleman playing the accordion walking around and stopping at a variety of tables. They have an enormous store downstairs that had everything under the sun. As you walk out of the restaurant section there's a little bakery with pie prices better than you'll find anywhere! I'm still regretting not coming home with the chocolate cream pie. BUT, here's where we totally scored...as we were window shopping downstairs, we heard an announcement that any of the baked goods on the table were half off. I pretty much dragged Fred back upstairs and we came home with 2 loves of specialty bread for under $4!!


Sunday morning we woke up leisurely to check out at the Inn. I took a few pictures of the little street they're on. Actually, across the street is an Episcopal church that the Inn owner mentioned President Washington attended in the 1700s. Pretty cool.


We took off and headed to a church one of Fred's college friends attends. It's a huge church and their coffee bar/bakery was incredible. The drive home was pretty great. We took back roads and stopped at a terrific little antique shop. Sadly, their computers were down and we'd spent our cash back in Lancaster. I think Fred & I need to do more trips and one being where we visit all of the antique shops we can find. Those and bakeries! Trust me, I'm still recovering from all of the baked goods!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Prone To Wander Smartphone Review & Giveaway

A year ago I was fed up with my nearly 4 yr old phone and since my dad was getting an upgrade, he gave me his two year old Samsung S6 Edge. Now, I'm the kind of gal who likes to have her phone completely encased in case anything happens to it. With an Edge, they don't make cases that completely encase it. So, I modified one for a regular Edge. I could only deal with that for so long.


I finally took the case off and I've been caseless for about 2 months. Two very long and scary months. Then the expected happened. I've dropped it a few times, but this time the back cracked. UGH! I haven't told my dad yet, either. I've never cracked a phone in all the years I've had one. Of course a week later I received a beautiful set of three Prone To Wander LA phone cases for review!


My phone cases have always been rather...dull. The previous one was blah white. The one for my 4 yr old phone that my son now has sported my favorite football team. Who knows before that. None of my cases have been feminine. None of them were inspirational or faith based which is where these come into play!


Have you ever seen so many amazing options of an item you're looking for and find it's nearly impossible to pick which one you want? lol That's what it was like when saw my 3 set options. I finally just said, "send me whichever ones because I love them all!" Checking out the beautiful Prone To Wander LA phone cases was, well, heavenly.




I've actually been using the Blessed cover since the day they came. I kept forgetting and forgetting to ask my husband to take pictures for me with his phone because, well, I can't use my phone to take pictures of my phone. HA! We finally got to go out of town for vacation where I got him to snap some pics for me.


The website has more than just phone cases. They also have items for the home. They have pillow covers, canvas banners, letter boards, and prints. Their phone cases are made for most iPhone and Samsung models. I don' know how much longer I'll have my dad's old phone before I finally decide to upgrade, but when I do, I'll be grabbing one of these covers for it.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to enter the GIVEAWAY to get a cover for your phone!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

A Refuge Assured By Jocelyn Green

A Refuge Assured
by Jocelyn Green
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764219078

As you know, I'm a lover of historical fiction. I really enjoyed author Jocelyn Green's first book The Mark of the King a year ago. When I saw A Refuge Assured come up for review, I jumped at the chance.

Summary:

Fleeing One Revolution to the Aftermath of Another, She Seeks and Dreams of Peace
Lacemaker Vivienne Rivard never imagined her craft could threaten her life. Yet in revolutionary France, it is a death sentence when the nobility, and those associated with them, are forced to the guillotine. Vivienne flees to Philadelphia, but danger lurks in the French Quarter, as revolutionary sympathizers begin to suspect a young boy left in her care might be the Dauphin. Can the French settlement Asylum offer permanent refuge?

Militiaman Liam Delaney proudly served in the American Revolution, but now that the new government has imposed an oppressive tax that impacts his family, he barely recognizes the democracy he fought for. He wants only to cultivate his hard-won farm near Asylum, but he soon finds himself drawn into the escalating tension of the Whiskey Rebellion. When he meets a beautiful young Frenchwoman recently arrived from Paris, they are drawn together in surprising ways to fight for the peace and safety for which they long.

My Review:

I haven't read many books that are set or based in France. My hope was that A Refuge Assured would be similar to The Mark of the King. While it's begins in France and the characters make their way to the United States, that's where the similarities end. This time refugee, Vivienne Rivard ends up in Pennsylvania instead of the south.

Vivienne is able to escape France during it's tumultuous revolution. She ends up completely alone and penniless. All she has to help her get started with her new life is the lace she was able to smuggle out of France. Vivienne takes a job at a boarding house by learning how to bake. One of the women who has a room next to her also has a little boy, and it turns out he may be the next king of France!

As people begin to think Henri could be the hidden king, Vivienne ends up taking care of him and seeking refuge in the small town of Asylum. Before escaping there, she had taken a new job that introduced her to Liam. He wants to live a simple life on his farm, but everything seems to be conspiring against him to not allow that to happen. Liam helps Vivienne and Henri get to Asylum, but things don't go quite as planned.

While I liked the story, some parts didn't work for me. First the author goes back and forth with using Vivienne and Vienne, sometimes 2-3 times on the same page. It took me a little bit to figure out it was the same person. The start and stops with the chapters were kind of rough for me. It seems like very different writing from the first book.

About the Author:

Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning and bestselling author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including The Mark of the KingWedded to War, and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. Her books have garnered starred reviews from Booklist and Publishers Weekly, and have been honored with the Christy Award, the gold medal from the Military Writers Society of America, and the Golden Scroll Award from the Advanced Writers & Speakers Association. She graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, with a B.A. in English, concentration in writing. Jocelyn lives with her husband, Rob, and two children in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Visit her at www.jocelyngreen.com.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Dating Project Movie & Giveaway



Talking to my kids about dating was always a priority for me as a mom once my kids hit middle school. My girls have been out of school for about 9 & 7 yrs! Hard to believe. My sons are now at that age and things have even changed since my girls were in schools. The Dating Project sounds like it will be a great movie for us to see together since the dating landscape has changed for this generation.

I have no idea what challenges my older son will face that are different than my daughters. I'm guessing mostly the fact that social media will play a bigger role for him and his brother. My youngest son is in his first year of high school and dating isn't on his radar. He's got other priorities as did all of my other kids. Literally, thank God!


About the Movie:
Half of America is single. The way people seek and find love has radically changed. The hook-up, texting and social media culture have profoundly altered the dating landscape. Traditional dating has become “outdated,” yet men and women still seek meaningful relationships. People are frustrated in love, but does anyone really know how to connect in today’s virtual world? 


THE DATING PROJECT is a new non-fiction film from executive producer Steve McEveety (The Passion of the Christ, Braveheart), produced by Paulist Productions, Mpower Pictures and Family Theater Productions that follows five single people ages 18-40 as they navigate beyond the hookup culture to traditional dating. Professor Kerry Cronin from Boston College is featured throughout as she teaches ad encourages her students to return to traditional dating. There is no script. There are no actors. These are real people trying to find love and happiness in an age of swiping left or right.

For Tickets & More Info, visit: TheDatingProjectMovie.com

This movie is ONLY in theaters April 17, 2018.



You have the opportunity to win 2 tickets to the movie! Be sure to enter TODAY and follow the social channels to keep up with everything going on with the movie.

Website: https://www.thedatingprojectmovie.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheDatingProjectMovie/ 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dating_project/ 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dating_project 
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMp5QeouxPmI4Ja9YgIQUwg

 
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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.