Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Jim Brickman Pure Worship review

I find praise and worship music to be a wonderful soundtrack for my day-to-day life. It's uplifting, and keeps my mind focused on what's important. 

Additionally, as a fan of instrumental piano music, I have loved Jim Brickman's work for many years now. Jim Brickman is a well-known and highly respected pianist and songwriter in today's contemporary music world. He is truly a very gifted musician.

To find a collaboration of both of these factors was fantastic! Courtesy of Family Christian Stores, I recently had the opportunity to review his album Pure Worship. As usual, Mr. Brickman's instrumental piano music was flawless, and the song selection was great.

From the Family Christian Store's listing: Pure Worship is Jim Brickman's fourth album, featuring pop-style instrumentals, star studded vocal collaborations, and beautiful compositions. Jim Brickman has four certified gold albums and amassed 27 Top 40 singles on the adult contemporary charts, including 14 Top 10s. Brickman received top honors with two GRAMMY Award nominations, two SESAC Songwriter of the Year awards, the Canadian Country Music Award and the Dove Award presented by the Gospel Music Association.

Track List
From The Inside Out
Forever Reign
Here I Am To Worship
The Wonderful Cross
How Great Is Our God
Mighty To Save
Shout To The Lord
10,000 Reasons
Cornerstone
Holy Is The Lord
In Christ Alone
Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)

My four year old fondly refers to this CD as "her most favorite lullaby music" which I think means she finds it to be quite soothing.  I've really enjoyed listening to this CD, both at home and in the car. Some of my all time favorite worship songs, such as Mighty to Save, Cornerstone and In Christ Alone are included on this disc and I couldn't be more pleased with the variety of songs. It's a great mix of traditional and contemporary music, and would be appealing to listeners of all ages.

Stay in touch with all Family Christian has to offer by visiting their facebook page, Family Christian.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary product and Appreciation Certificate to facilitate my review. Regardless, all opinions are my own.

Monday, October 20, 2014

What's In the Bible {Coloring Book}

I'm sure many of us are familiar with the Buck Denver Asks What’s in the Bible series. It was created by Phil Vischer, who was first known for the wonderful Veggie Tales series. What's in the Bible is a set of videos that separates the bible into sections. Kids learn about the important messages and stories, some vocabulary and many more things. Each video also includes catchy songs to help keep the kids engaged. I’m always so pleased by what my kids learn by watching What’s in the Bible? videos.

From the What's In the Bible coloring book description:
In Buck Denver Asks What's in the Bible?!, young ones will find 200 reproducible coloring pages, featuring favorite scenes, stories, and characters from the Bible. They will color their way through the Bible, all the way from Genesis to Revelation.

I think this coloring book would be a great resource for every parent, Sunday School teacher and Children's Ministry group. The book is great quality - it's nice paper, not at all thin or transparent. And the pages are reproducible, so you could use them with multiple kiddos or even a whole class. These coloring pages really tie in perfectly with the other What's in the Bible products!

Some of my favorite pages were the scripture verses - I think these would be great for coloring and displaying around your house!

My only caution regarding this book is the intricate detailed nature of the coloring sheets. Obviously, any little kid is capable of scribbling, but I think this book is ideally suited to more skilled color-ers, probably ages 5 and up. The pictures really are quite complex, and a lot of the coloring areas are small. This isn't a complaint, just a factor to consider.

My 11 yr old daughter, who is quite serious about her art, enjoyed the detailed pages.

(As you can see, my youngest opted to use the blank back side of the page instead)

As kids of all ages enjoy being creative and coloring, I highly encourage you to use something as simple as these coloring pages as a learning tool and a great conversation starter about our faith. Talk about the characters! Tell your kids about the stories, or ask them to tell you! Don't be afraid to delve into the details, the whys, and God's redemptive plan for His creations!

Be sure to check out the pages for yourself! You can download free What's in the Bible coloring pages!
Of course, all the What's in the Bible products can be found at your local Family Christian Store or at http://familychristian.com/.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary product and Appreciation Certificate to facilitate my review. Regardless, all opinions are my own.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Loving...National Geographic Books for Kids

Disclaimer: I recently received a box of National Geographic Books for Kids and Adults from National Geographic and MomsMeet Program, May Media Group LLC. As a MomsMeet blogger, I am thrilled to share my opinions about the books, but I was not otherwise compensated for this post. My opinions are my own, and may not reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC.

We are a family of readers. We love to read. I'm so happy and so thankful that my kiddos truly enjoy reading. I really do believe that books are the gateway to a world full of knowledge, imagination, adventures and learning.


That said, when I was given the opportunity by Moms Meet Blogger to do a review on National Geographic Kids Books, my answer was an immediate yes!
We have been National Geographic fans and have subscribed to their magazines for many many years. My oldest daughter has had a subscription to their kids magazine and eagerly awaits each new issue. Our whole family likes the beautiful pictures and the interesting knowledge they share. We expected great things from the box of books, and we were not disappointed.
Just in case you're new to National Geographic:
“National Geographic is one of the world’s premier scientific, education, and research organizations. For more than 125 years, the National Geographic team has been dedicated to exploring and documenting the world. Their message reaches more than 450 million people worldwide, each month through several media outlets. The company has funded more than 10,000 conservation, exploration, and scientific expeditions in support of their mission ‘to inspire people to care about the planet.’ As part of this mission, National Geographic also offers nonfiction books for both adults and kids to help educate and inspire. National Geographic is the leading kids nonfiction publisher, and each of their books is packed with photos, facts, and fun, offering the perfect balance of ‘edu-tainment’ for kids and parents. If you’re looking to get your kids excited about learning, National Geographic books are a great place to start.”

It can often be hard to make nonfiction, factual information appealing to kids. As a teacher and a mom of three, I know that all too well. National Geographic did a wonderful job with these books. Honestly, these books are gorgeous. 

There are full color illustrations, pictures, and photographs in every book, and they are very appealing to kids. My kids have been engrossed in the books since they arrived. Reading aloud, sharing fun facts about animals, and curling up for quiet moments on the couch. My oldest, Kaylee, loves all the odd facts. It's so fun to listen to her exclaim over the weird things she's reading. My middle child, Isabelle, loves the cute, cuddly animal pictures. It's heartwarming to listen to her aww and coo over the photos. And my youngest, Lilah, well...she looks flipping the pages. Ha!


But seriously - the information packed into these pages! You won't believe the things your kids will learn. I'm loving it! I would highly recommend these books to all families with kids. I have no doubt your children will love National Geographic as much as mine do!



Just so you know (because Christmas is rapidly approaching!) National Geographic Books are available wherever books are sold, including national book chains, online retailers, independent bookstores, discount wholesale clubs, toy stores, specialty retailers, and more.
Additionally, National Geographic is offering a 30% discount on books purchased through this link until December 31, 2013. Order by Dec 6, 2013 for delivery before Christmas!

You can connect with National Geographic on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Autumn cinnamon bread

Each summer, though I love the sunshine and hot days, I always find myself longing for fall. I miss the cool air, the gorgeous leaves, and the cozyness the season brings.

And every fall, as soon as the weather turns chilly, I always find myself wanting baked goods, pumpkin anything, and lots of sweet spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Mmm...

I'm going make the assumption that you're a little bit like me. For those fellow pumpkin lovers, I shared a ridiculously easy pumpkin cookie recipe awhile ago, and still have more pumpkin recipes to share.

Today, though, I have the perfect fall treat. An autumn apple cinnamon bread. (no yeast needed!)
We are approaching prime apple season, and this bread is a great way to bake with your favorite variety.

For the bread, you'll need:
-- 2 apples, diced into small pieces.
-- 1½ cups whole wheat OR all-purpose flour
-- 1 teaspoon baking soda
-- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
-- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
-- 1 teaspoon salt
-- 2 eggs
-- 1 cup granulated sugar
-- ¼ cup applesauce
-- ¼ cup canola oil
-- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract

For the cinnamon layer and topping, you'll need:
-- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
-- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
-- 2 tablespoons cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease (or spray with nonstick cooking spray) an 8×4-inch loaf pan.

2. Begin by chopping your apples into small pieces. Or do large pieces. Whatever you want in your bread.

 3. In a medium sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

4. In a larger bowl, beat the eggs on medium speed for about 30 seconds.
Add in the oil, applesauce and vanilla and mix until combined.
Then, add the sugar and mix well.

5. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the flour mixture and blend until the flour is just barely combined. Stir in the apples.

6. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon, noted at the beginning.

7. Pour half of the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar topping over the batter.

8. Pour in and smooth out the rest of the batter in the loaf pan, and sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar on top.

9.  Bake for 60 minutes, or until the loaf is golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.



And finally, as I am a FIRM BELIEVER in the deliciousness of butter, you need to know that this is best served warm, with butter. No need to eat it straight out of the oven though; 13 seconds in the microwave is perfect!

What's your favorite fall flavor??

Monday, December 31, 2012

Announcing...

Forgive me for my late introduction. We've been quite busy, you see.


On a hot sunny Tuesday in August, we welcomed sweet little Lilah to our family.


In the following months, we've been adjusting to our new life with three girls. And it turns out what they say is true - a baby and a toddler will keep you busy! Add a 9 year old to that - and whew!


I'm still figuring out how to get it all done. But in the meantime, we're still having fun!

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