Saturday, June 16, 2018

Hersheypark Birthday Fun

My baby, my youngest child turned 15 on June 2nd. I don't even know how that's possible. To say time flies is putting it mildly. I mean, we're almost halfway through 2018!!! I've been so busy lately with work, having my daughter's wedding on my mind, and life in general, planning something for his birthday kept getting pushed off. I finally reached out to Hersheypark to see if we could work together and thankfully (and graciously) agreed! That means this post is sponsored by them.

Speaking of last minute, I also told my hubby it would be awesome if his dad could come with us. He made a phone call to see if Pap could come, and with a few arrangements he agreed! I went online and got him a ticket. Let's talk tickets really quick. Through June 30 if you purchase your tickets you get the kids price. What I like about buying tickets online is that the ticket is valid all summer!

We grabbed Pap since he's not too far from Hershey, PA, and got up to the park around noon. Next time we're staying up there because we always get a late start thanks to me. I'm the person who wants to be at the amusement park when the gates open until they close! I think they're meant to be enjoyed and soaked in as much as possible.

Since we were heading up to Hersheypark for my son's birthday, I wanted the kids to be able to take in as many of the rides and enjoy the waterpark as much as possible. Instead of doing my usual planning of our rides, I let it all play out and the boys chose where to go. Pap and I did a lot of people watching and I took lots of pictures of the rides. I love that this park has something for everyone. He and I went on the Tea Cups and Carrousel. The guys started their rides in The Hallow with the Comet and Skyrush rollercoasters. Fred didn't go to the Super Dooper Looper with the boys, but came to find Pap and I who had been getting drinks, an ice cream cone, and a King Size Shake!

From there we headed to the Boardwalk & Water Rides. We ran across the Hersheypark Band as we walked to the rides. Wow were they fun to watch! They have two new rides this year: Breakers EdgeSM Water Coaster and WhitecapSM Racer. There's so much to do there, and thankfully it's included in your park admission! Pap & I grabbed a couple of low chairs to do some people watching. You can't really watch the Coaster ride, but the Racer is great to wait at the bottom to see who comes out first. Before getting on the Racer, be sure to grab your wrist bracelets. That's how they can keep track of your speed down the ride. Jacob's friend, Aaron, ended up in 2nd place for the day! While the boys and Pap relaxed for a bit, Fred and I went around the Intercoastal Waterway. It was so relaxing.

In case you have little kids, there are a TON of rides for the wee ones. To start you can go to the Bayside Pier with water no deeper than 18". The East Coast Waterworks is a super fun place for the kids to find adventure. Sandcastle Cove is a wonderful place to explore and play in water. Lastly the Shoreline Sprayground is a great place to get wet with sprays, fountains, and jets.

The boys had changed while Fred & I were going around the Waterway so while I changed, the two older boys did the Sidewinder and then the Storm Runner. Those are two rides that would have me losing my cookies. hahahaha

After those two rides, we were all hungry for dinner so we headed to Hersheypark Place. We chose that location because they will celebrate birthdays if you let them know about it, which Pap did! Man am I good at training the men in my life! So, at the end of the meal, they brought my youngest a sundae and sang to him. What a fantastic way to spend your 15th birthday!

With dinner over, the boys headed to a few more rides and Pap insisted Fred & I get our portraits done by an artist. Fred went first and I went shopping! Listen, I needed to find a way to spend my time. Besides, it started raining, and I wanted to be dry for my portrait. I got my Doodle a t-shirt for him to remember his day and then went to the S. Claus & Co. Gift Shop. Every year when we go to an amusement park I purchase an ornament for Christmas. This year's won't include Fred or me because the most "characters" I could find on an ornament was 8 and we'd 9 since we have the privilege of adding my future son-in-law this year. I went with a 7 character one and just put all of the kids' names on them.

I went back to get my portrait done, and the boys were heading back from their rides. The gal who did it was incredible and really captured both of us. The boys never had the chance to get on the Great Bear roller coaster. Even though the rain had stopped they didn't start the ride again. The boys were bummed, but they had such an incredible day, they didn't complain.

I'm already dreaming of when we can go back. I can't wait and we have a lot of summer birthdays! I think any excuse would work: birthday, anniversary, it's summer, it's a warm day, it's Tues (or whatever day you want to insert), etc. I hope you have the chance to get up there this summer and have as much fun as we did.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Wounded Shadow By Patrick W. Carr

The Wounded Shadow
by Patrick W. Carr
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764213489

When I saw book 3 of The Darkwater Saga available for review from Bethany House, I didn't even think about it. I requested it! I'd been waiting for almost a year and a half for the next book. What I didn't realize? It was the last book in the series. Cue the silent sobbing!


The Final Battle over the Darkwater Has Begun. Will Anything Be Able to Stop the Evil Sweeping across the North?

The kings and queens of the northern continent lay siege to the Darkwater Forest, frantic to contain its evil. But rumors of gold and aurium have lured deserters and the reckless into its shadow, creating a growing army that can see in the dark and fight like the gifted. Desperate after the death and dissolution of their greatest ally, Willet and the rest of the Vigil seek the truth of what lies at the heart of the evil they face. They delve the mind of an ancient enemy and find an answer far worse and more unimaginable than they had feared. 

But while they seek to understand their past and peril, danger stalks the cities of the north striking at the rulers of the kingdoms. As Willet and the rest of the Vigil search for answers, the Vigil is scattered with an ever-growing darkness around them. They must discover a path to keep their land safe or risk losing the world.

My Review:

I know that Christian fantasy is different than what I normally read, but I actually grew up reading secular fantasy novels. Now, unlike the first two books where I was confused the first couple of chapters, I dove into The Wounded Shadow and didn't want to put the book down.

As with any great adventure, our heroes are sent in different directions trying to find ways to stop the evil coming from the Darkwater Forest. As each group is traveling, I found myself loving their apprentices as much as they unexpectedly do. If it were acceptable, my review would say, "Oh my gosh, and then they did 'this' and it was so cool" "and they did 'this' and it was incredible" "then I got to 'this' part and wow" because I was so deeply involved in the story as I was reading.

I don't know why but the north continent came alive this time more than with the other books. Actually, I want to go back and re-read the first 3 books (incl the prequel) because I feel like I'd have such a better understanding of what is going on. I've also told my 15 yr old son to hurry up and finish the series he's currently reading so he can read the Darkwater Saga and we can talk about it.

There's not a character who stuck out to me more than the rest for who I liked the best. I loved Gael, Willet's love and protector. She's so fierce! And I still think Bolt rates pretty high up there for me. His sarcasm and exasperation with Willet never ceases to amuse me. Of the urchins, I think Rory is the one who's storyline I enjoyed the most. Honestly, I loved everyone, including Toria Deel.

Have you ever read a book or a series and you enjoyed getting to know the world, country, or town so much that you wanted more, then you'll know what I mean when I say that's how I feel about the world Patrick Carr has created. Ok, so the series is over, please bring us back there so we can enjoy other adventures!!! I also have some questions for the author. Maybe he could skip ahead a couple of generations and we can get to know the urchins all grown up and children of people we know. While I'm sad to leave this series behind, I'm going to start The Staff and the Sword series next! Thank goodness I have A Cast of Stones already.

About the Author:

Patrick W. Carr is the author of the acclaimed fantasy series The Staff and the Sword. A Cast of Stones won the 2014 Carol Award for Speculative Fiction and the 2014 Clive Staples Award. A Cast of Stones and The Hero's Lot were both finalists for 2014 Christy Awards. He teaches high school math and makes his home in Nashville, Tennessee, with his incredible wife, Mary, and their four sons. Learn more at

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Disney's Peter Pan 65th Anniversary - Blu-Ray & DVD

Does your family love Disney movies as much as mine? You can't be a classic like Peter Pan! I'm trying to wrap my brain around how it can be having it's 65th Anniversary! It seemed brand new when I was a child. I loved it as a child and was thrilled to share it with my kids as they were growing up. When I was given the opportunity to get a copy of the movie to enjoy again with the Anniversary Edition, I couldn't pass it up.

Of course, after visiting Disney World nearly a year ago, I fell in love with Tinkerbell all over again! She might not be a princess, but she's a fierce little fairy, and that's the way I like her. That makes me all the more excited to watch this movie again. It's been a number of years since we've seen it.

Now that I think about it, I'll have to talk with the neighbors because they love doing neighborhood movie nights and this would be perfect! Their kids are a completely different generation than my kids so I'm guessing this would be a new movie to most of them. First, you can't go wrong with classic Disney movies, and second, we're talking Peter Pan so no matter your age (or your child's age) you'll love it!

Bonus Features:
New Signature Collection Bonus

  • Stories from Walt’s Office: Walt & Flight – “Think of the happiest things, it’s the same as having wings”. One thing you’ll notice inside Walt Disney’s office are all of the models and pictures of airplanes. Walt loved planes and was an aficionado of flying. As a continuation of the “Stories from Walt’s Office” series, we’ll soar into the world of one of Walt’s favorite pastimes and look at the history behind the company airplane he used to scout Central Florida looking for the perfect place to build his second theme park. 
  • A “Darling” Conversation with Wendy & John: Kathryn Beaumont and Paul Collins – Join Disney Legend Kathryn Beaumont (the voice of Wendy) and Paul Collins (the voice of John) as they reunite for the first time in many years to reminisce and discuss their experiences working on Peter Pan, meeting Walt Disney and learning to fly … literally. 
  • You Can Fly” – A new “Oke” rendition and graphic look of the classic Disney song, “You Can Fly,” with fun lyrics on screen and lots of your favorite “Peter Pan” characters.
  • “Never Smile at a Crocodile” – A new “Oke” rendition and graphic look of the deleted song, “Never Smile at a Crocodile”, with fun lyrics on screen and highlighting the relationship between Captain Hook and Tick- Tock the Crocodile.

Legacy/Classic Bonus
  • DisneyView
  • Sing-along Version of the film: Sing along with your favorite songs from the movie.
  • Growing Up with Nine Old Men – “Peter Pan is both a story of living with a child’s sense of openness to the world and an acknowledgement that the path to adulthood most often leads away from those qualities. A parallel of sorts to that duality can be found in Walt Disney and his core group of animators, the Nine Old Men, in their lives and in their work. Our short film will look at who they were and the parts they played in one of the most remarkable team of artists that ever worked together.
  • Deleted Song: “The Pirate’s Song” – Original demo recording of the song played over concept art.
  • Deleted Song: “Never Smile at a Crocodile” – With music played over static concept art of the crocodile from Pater Pan.
  • Deleted Song: “The Boatswain Song” – With music played over static concept art of Captain Hook and his crew.
  • Deleted Scene: “The Journey Home” – A proposed alternate ending where Peter asks the Lost Boys to return home with Wendy and the other children.
  • Deleted Scene: “Alternate Arrival” – A deleted scene where Wendy and the children are initially attacked by the Lost Boys because Tinker Bell tells them that Wendy is holding Peter captive. We also see in this version of the story that Nana the dog travels to Never Land with Wendy and the children.
  • Disney Song Select – Simply play the clip from the movie with subtitles underneath it.
    • “The Second Star to the Right
    • “You Can Fly”
    • “A Pirate’s Life”
    • “Following the Leader”
    • “Your Mother and Mine”
  • Audio Commentary Hosted by Roy Disney – Audio commentary hosted by Roy Disney, but carried on by several other people.

  • Music and More
    • ”Never Land”: The Lost Song – A bonus piece that sets up the backstory of where this lost song was found and how Richard Sherman recomposed it.
    • Music Video: “Never Land” – Music Performed by Paige O’Hara – A music video of the song “Never Land”
    • Music Video: “The Second Star to the Right” – Music Performed by T-Squad – A music video of the song “The Second Star to the Right” performed by T-Squad.
  • Backstage Disney
    • You Can Fly: The Making of ‘Peter Pan – A making-of video of the 1953 Disney classic, “Peter Pan.”
    • In Walt’s Words: “Why I Made ‘Peter Pan’” – Based upon an article written by Walt Disney retold as a dramatic recreation.
    • Tinker Bell: A Fairy’s Tale – An introspective video on the creation, history and personality of the one and only “Tink.”
    • The Peter Pan That Almost Was – Hosted by Ron Clements and John Musker, we take a look at the storyboards and early concepts of a version of the “Peter Pan” film that never saw the light of day.
    • The “Peter Pan” Story – An original featurette for the film created in 1952.
In time for movie night, be sure you print all of the activity pages for your kids to enjoy! What a great way to kick off summer. Here is a sample of what you'll find. How can you resist?

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Study Bible For Women - Christian Standard Bible Review & Giveaway

The Study Bible For Women
Christian Standard Bible
Publisher: Holman Bible Publishers
ISBN: 9781433644207

If you've been around my blog at all you know I love Bibles! I enjoy being able to read different versions to help me understand the Word better. Study Bibles are probably my favorite kind of bible. The helps, notes, and references are so beneficial to the deepening of my look into Scripture. Thanks to FrontGate Media for the opportunity to review The Study Bible For Women.

I appreciated Dorothy Kelley Patterson's explanation for "How to Study the Bible". This past year I wanted to take a hermeneutics class with my Bible study class, but never made the time. The explanation will help me get a better idea of how to break down what I'm learning.

As a woman, I'm always hoping to learn from women who have wisdom and insight to help me apply Scripture to my life. It's wonderful how Biblical Womanhood is expressed throughout scripture. The sections throughout the The Study Bible For Women make for a good time of reflection and small studies when I don't have a lot of time to spend in the Word.

Speaking of the Word, there's also a "Word Study" that biblical definitions of words throughout Scripture. We also get snippets of Doctrine throughout the Book. The Character Profiles are also insightful to different people throughout the chapters, some of whom you might not think very long about.

There are so many great pieces to this Bible, and what stands out the most is how beautiful and artistic it is. It certainly has a feminine touch. Starting with the cover flap, the floral design and colors follow throughout. Also, I don't know if you're anything like me, but when your pastor tells you to flip from one piece of Scripture, but don't lose your place, to go to another part of Scripture, I always think "Oh man, I'm going to lose my place." Thankfully, this Bible has 2 bookmarks! And yes, I use them.

Product Description:

CSB Study Bible for Women will equip you to reach deep into God’s Word. As the most comprehensive study Bible ever prepared for women and by women, the most powerful aspect of this Bible are the threads of specialized study thoughtfully woven throughout pointing you to God’s larger story and allowing the Holy Spirit to write His revealed truths on your heart. In the CSB Study Bible for Women, you'll join a host of other women, all academically trained in the original languages of the Bible and passionate about God’s Word, for an intimately deep dive into Scripture that will equip you to unlock the riches and majesty of His Word, and ignite a passion to mentor others in your life to do the same.
Features include:
  • Smyth-sewn binding
  • Two-column text
  • 8-point type
  • Extensive commentary notes
  • Word studies
  • Answers to hard questions
  • Doctrinal notes
  • Biblical womanhood articles
  • Character profiles
  • “Written on My Heart” applications
  • Extensive book introductions
  • Presentation page
  • In-text maps, charts & timelines, Concordance, Full-color maps, and more.
The CSB Study Bible for Women features the highly readable, highly reliable text of the Christian Standard Bible® (CSB). The CSB stays as literal as possible to the Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity, making it easier to engage with Scripture’s life-transforming message and to share it with others.

Be sure to enter the giveaway. 7 winners will be selected on 6/15/18:

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Splash Into Summer Giveaway Event

In just a few weeks summer will be here and to celebrate we're having a fabulous event! Can you believe it, it is already June! What better way to celebrate the start of Summer then entering to win some awesome prizes! This event was organized by This Mamas Life, The More The Merrier, Woven By Words and Anderson's Angels.

Disclaimer: ONE entrant will be selected by the Giveaway Tools to win the Splash Into Summer Giveaway. This giveaway is open for entry worldwide. You must be 18 or older to enter. Giveaway will run from 06/05/18 at 12:01 a.m. EST thru 06/26/18 at 11:59 p.m. EST. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. The winner will be chosen June 26, 2018. The winner will have 24 hours to respond to notification email to claim their prize or a new winner will be selected.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Soft Surroundings - Grand Opening The Mall In Columbia

Last week I had the opportunity to visit Soft Surroundings at The Mall in Columbia. They were opening their new store, and it's one of the first stores to have a second entrance to their Beauty & Well-Being. I'm one of the lucky people who also has a store in Annapolis as well! This wasn't a sponsored event, but we did receive a fun gift bag as part of the event.

My mom introduced me to Soft Surroundings several years ago. For my birthday she gave me a beautiful cardigan (see below) that is my go-to! Thankfully they have a Tall selection, and with my long legs, the cardigan fits perfectly.

When you first walk into the store, you get a very feminine, classy feel. You just want to walk around and find every possible way to pamper yourself. From head to toe, you can find ways to luxuriate!
When I walked into the Soft Surroundings store, my first thought was of relaxation, ease, and functionality. In my mind's eye I saw those women who make casual beauty look effortless. You know who I'm talking about, right? They look great head to toe, and you want to figure out how to get the look they have. That's what I imagine when I'm in this store. Effortless beauty is within our grasp. The President and Founder, Robin Sheldon created Soft Surroundings because she knew as women we are always going, going, going and doing so much for others that we needed a way to be good to ourselves. Can I just say, "Thank you, Ms. Sheldon, because I need a place where I can feel feminine and like I'm doing something to take care of me!"

What I didn't realize was they had full skin care & beauty lines, bedding, and even furniture. They had a little of everything inside the store. Their furniture is so elegant and dreamy. The bed was so beautiful I wanted to cuddle into all of the pillows and comforter. I loved seeing that they have silk pillow cases. Guess who's going to fight sleep wrinkles with a new pillow case? This lady!


The ladies who work at the store were fantastic! They were incredibly helpful and knew me by name because they kept putting items to try on in the dressing room. It felt fun to step out of my "shade" comfort zone and try on colors and prints that I would normally steer clear of.  Seriously, Soft Surroundings is a great place to play dress up - the adult version.


After trying on dresses, blouses, shorts, and sleeveless toppers, I visited the Beauty & Well-Being products. One of the girls was very excited to try out the new products with me. The ladies had some great ideas that I was open to. They wanted to try a couple of different products on the skin discoloration I have on my neck. She put some different eye makeup on, but what I liked the most was the eyebrow coloring she did. It was exactly what I'd been looking for. She put my information onto a sheet and thankfully they keep it in their records so I don't have to remember the exact name of everything she tried.

I had a wonderful night, and can't wait to do more shopping! I now have two stores to choose from in the area. I've already convinced my hubby we need to go back asap. Thank goodness my birthday is just around the corner.

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