Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ivy and Bean - Week 3

Here is Week 3 in our countdown to Ivy and Bean Day!
This week - leave a comment to win Ivy and Bean Break the Fossil Record AND some Ivy and Bean Mini Notes!!!  If you've read Ivy and Bean books before, leave me a comment telling me why you enjoy them.  If you haven't read them - tell me one Ivy and Bean title that looks good!

I will choose a winner on Sunday, September 2.

Last week's winner was Comment 2 - Jasmine Ko - so Jasmine, I need your mailing address!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Back to School Books!

Here is a fabulous post with some back-to-school books!

Over a Steaming Cup of Tea

*I was sent all of these as review copies by the publisher.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ivy and Bean Countdown

There's a new Ivy and Bean Book out SOON!!  And in honor of that - we have fun prizes!!

So leave a comment and tell me your favorite Ivy and Bean title, OR, if you have not read them yet, tell me which you'd like to read!  Winners will receive a copy of Ivy and Bean and the Ghost that Had to Go and some mini notes too!  So comment away - winners will be announced 8/26/2012!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mother of Pearl

I want to encourage you to read this new book by Margaret McSweeney - Mother of Pearl is a book that is full of collective wisdom from women - women that have been there and know life.  It will encourage you to pull through the busy life of a mom and a woman and come out on the other side -strengthened and full of hope.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I am confident you will too!

About the Book:
Like oysters, women often encounter unexpected grit during their everyday lives. In response, God’s love and grace covers this grit and transforms the pain into a precious pearl that leaves a layered, luminous lining within a shell: Mother of Pearl. This brilliant luster is strong, lasting, and purposeful—just like the love, lessons, and legacies left by the special women in our lives. Mother of Pearl celebrates the collective iridescence of motherhood. Margaret McSweeney presents a collection of heartfelt vignettes from authors who communicate the importance of the unique relationships between mothers and their children, between granddaughters and grandmothers and between children and the mother-figures in their lives. These stories tell of the power of faith, prayer, and values, exploring coming of age, the joy of becoming a mother, the importance of motherhood, the ways to heal from a bad relationship with a mother and weathering the death of a special loved one. Poignant and thought-provoking, the stories serve to inspire, encourage, instill hope, and strengthen faith. The proceeds from the sale of Mother of Pearl will be donated to organizations helping struggling women and children. The charities include Wings (Women in Need Growing Stronger) to help fund the Safe House in the Chicago suburbs and to Hands of Hope to help build wells for schoolchildren in Zambia.
About the Author:

Margaret McSweeney is a well-published author often writing online articles for Make It Better (the former North Shore Magazine) and freelance articles for the Daily Herald, the largest suburban Chicago newspaper. In addition, she has authored and compiled several books including A Mother’s Heart Knows; Go Back and Be Happy; Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, Mother of Pearl and Aftermath. With a master’s degree from the University of South Carolina in international business, Margaret became a vice-president in the corporate finance division of a New York City bank and worked there 1986–93. As founder of Pearl Girls, Margaret collaborates with other writers on projects to help fund a safe house for WINGS, an organization that helps women and their children who are victims of domestic violence, and to build wells for schoolchildren in Uganda through Hands of Hope. For the past 10 years she has served on the board of directors and leadership advisory board for WINGS. Margaret lives with her husband and 2 daughters in the Chicago suburbs. www.pearlgirls.info.
To read what others have to say about this book - visit the blog tour - Mother of Pearl.

* I was sent a review copy by the publisher for this blog tour.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My Pop-Up Bible Stories

What a fun little book with a new twist on Bible Stories - a Pop-Up version!!  Juliet David has created My Pop-Up Bible Stories.  This is an adorable book with tender illustrations by Daniel Haworth.  The book will need to be used with care as any pop-up would - and it does only include 5 stories - I'd LOVE to see more!!!  But it is still fun and my girls are enjoying it!  The five stories are a combination of Old and New Testament stories so it gives a fun and simple overview that we can share with our little ones.  This is an author that KNOWS her stuff when it comes to Bible Stories - her list of books she's written is long - enjoy another new one by this "seasoned" author!

*I was sent this book to review by the publisher - Kregel Books - as part of a blog tour.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Extra Yarn

Mac Barnett has written a children's book that is "THE BEST" according to my 6 and 8 year old girls!  Extra Yarn is such a fun picture book - the story of Annabelle and her ball of yarn that just never stops!  She knits for herself, her family, her friends, her pets, other animals and then just keeps knitting for trees, houses, and even trucks!!  It isn't until the Archduke comes to find the secret to the yarn that we, as readers, get to see what is truly inside that secret yarn box!  SO fun - and Jon Klassen's illustrations are MAGNIFICENT - check out his use of limited color - I just LOVE it!!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Tales of the Not Forgotten

As a parent, one thing we strive to do is keep our children mission-minded.  That is not easy in this world we live in - but we sure try!  We forget how fortunate we are - we get focused on our own lives and our problems and we forget about the rest of the world.  So I was thrilled to be a part of a blog tour that focused on Beth Guckenberger's Tales of the Not Forgotten.  This is a wonderful book/DVD that challenges our young teens to look beyond themselves and see kids their own age - following God.  I can not even say enough good about this book, leader's guide, and DVD!  I see this being so powerful in our homes but also in our churches - for use in youth groups or middle age programming.  Do not miss this wonderful tool!
Visit the blog tour HERE.
Here is what others have said:
"Throughout Scripture we see that God's heart is for the orphans. He is in constant pursuit of them and has placed a special call on the church to care for the orphan. The church is waking to this truth at a very intense level these days and God is using Beth as a means to call the church to action on behalf of the orphan. Beth speaks clearly, powerfully, and with a passion that comes from living among and serving orphans in distress. Beth is able to deeply engage her audience in understanding the reality of life as an orphan and how the orphaned heart is affected when abandoned or abused. In a compelling way, Beth moves the openhearted person from just caring about the orphan to becoming a person who will care for the orphan. She presents the clear and emotive reality of life as an orphan in such a manner that people rise up to take action for these precious ones." - Steve Biondo, SVP, Family Christian Stores, President, The James Fund
"Our NASCAR community had the opportunity to hear Beth speak in our chapel at the racetrack. She captured the hearts of our community and has made a lasting impression in lives. Her heart for the orphan is evident and contagious." - Lonnie Clouse (Motor Racing Outreach), Lead Chaplain, NASCAR Nationwide Series

Beth Guckenberger and her husband, Todd, are the founders of Back2Back Ministries (based in Cincinnati, OH) which communicates a lifestyle of service by sharing the love of Christ and serving God through service to others. Back2Back Ministries connects willing workers to open hearts through international and local ministry opportunities. Their ministry is currently caring and providing for orphan children and needy people in Mexico, Nigeria, India and most recently, Haiti.

Beth travels and speaks regularly at women's and missions conferences, as well as youth gatherings and church services. Her topics include orphan care, missions, parenting, marriage/intimacy, and faith. Her story-telling style captures audiences, and she draws from her field experience as a missionary and parent for illustrations to biblical concepts. In addition to her latest release, Tales of the Not Forgotten (Standard Publishing 2012), Beth has written Relentless Hope (Standard, 2011) and Reckless Faith (Zondervan, 2008).

The Guckenberger family lives and serves in Monterrey, Mexico where they have hosted thousands of guests on their ministry campus. Between biological, foster, and adopted additions to their family, Beth and Todd are raising nine children. Learn how you can join Beth in ministry at www.bethguckenberger.com or www.back2backministries.org.

More from the publisher:

Follow these real-life stories as they take you on a journey to faraway lands and unknown faces. Travel through their challenges and see the hand of the great Storyweaver writing endings you’d never imagine! Joel dares to ask for what he can’t have. Seraphina sacrifices what she can’t afford to give. Ibrahim looks for an answer buried out of reach. Christiana, saved by a mission, searches for her own. These are the tales of the ones the world doesn’t see . . . the tales of the not forgotten. In this collection of four real-life stories written for preteens, a compelling storyteller paints a picture of God’s dynamic movement in four foreign cultures, inspiring children to trust that God is weaving a story in their lives as well.

This resource will shrink the macro picture down to approachable, individual stories of real children and teach about fundamental survival issues. The stories address some of the challenging questions that kids have and weave God's promises to orphans into each one. The Tales of the Not Forgotten Leader’s Guide is a 6-session kids' missions resource (sold separately) that walks adults through an easy-to-follow guide for making the abstract real and for designing an action plan to help others. Preteens will be challenged to answer the questions: How do I pray? What can I give? Where can I go? Who will I serve?

*I was sent a copy for review purposes by the publisher.

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