Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Grave Robber Book Review & $25 Family Christian Gift Card Giveaway

I have another book to tell you about, The Grave Robber: How Jesus Can Make Your Impossible Possible by Mark Batterson.  Yes, this book is about the grave robber himself, Jesus.  Batterson walks us through seven miracles or signs spotlighted in the Gospel of John, each revealing a dimension of Jesus' power.  You will recount Jesus turning water into wine all the way to raising Lazarus from the dead, He really is incredible.

Batterson tell us, "Don't seek miracles.  Seek Jesus.  And if you seek Jesus, miracles will find you."  I love this!  After all, Jesus is the source of every miracle.  Simple words with profound meaning.  I often become distracted in my Christian walk and it usually doesn't take long before I realize that I am ignoring the cornerstone of my faith.  How can I walk the path God sets before me if I am ignoring the maker of my path?  Seek Jesus.

Batterson doesn't just focus on miracles of the past but rather invites you to join Jesus in the present.  Miracles happen TODAY all around us both big and small.  Batterson helps open your eyes to it all.  He has a knack for drawing you in and showing you how miracles of the past are inspiring and relevant now.  This book is encouraging and life-giving.

Ready for an exciting giveaway?  One of you will win a $25 Family Christian gift card!  Open to US/Canadian residents only.  Enter below and good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure:  As part of the Family Christian Blogger program I was given a copy of The Grave Robber to facilitate my review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Thanks to Family Christian for sponsoring the $25 gift card as well.

Alphie the Squid Game Review

I want to tell you about a fun, new mobile game, Alphie the Squid.  Alphie is an adorable little squid that has adventures and as he eats he grows along the way until finally he is a giant squid.

The Beginning of the Game

Alphie following behind his Mom.

In the beginning of the game, Alphie is in the ocean with his Mom.  Alphie's Mom is chased off by a great white shark and Alphie starts his journey to find her.  Don't worry, Alphie ends up finding her and reconnecting with her at the end of the game!

 Here they are hugging!

This game is fun, educational and my kids love it.  My kids have really enjoyed figuring out which creatures Alphie could eat and which creatures to stay away from.  They also found it fascinating that once Alphie was a giant squid, he could eat some of the creatures that preyed on him when he was small.  I really like the Gallery.  After you have discovered creatures you can go into the gallery and learn more about them.  You can see below my kids need to discover one more creature, they have found 42/43.

 About Flashlight Fish

About Moon Jelly

Alphie the Squid was featured as New and Noteworthy in 36 countries and now with the latest content update to the game, it has just been featured on the App Store as "Best New Game Update" in 110 countries!

Another cool thing to note is that Crystal Entertainment, the publisher behind this game, has teamed with The Monterey Bay Aquarium.  For every download of the game from the App Store, $1 of proceeds will go to supporting the Aquarium's nonprofit Children's Education fund.

Want to find out more?  You can visit Alphie on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.  And you can get the App on itunes or amazon.

Watch the trailer below!

Disclosure: Thanks so much to Sverve and Crystal Entertainment for selecting me to participate in this campaign.  Compensation was provided.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Boxcar Children Movie Review & Giveaway

I have an amazing movie to share with you, The Boxcar Children!  This has been a book in our homeschool library for years so my kids, especially the older ones, are familiar with the story.  If you are not familiar with the story, four children whose parents recently passed away find themselves alone and on the road.  They fear that their grandfather is cruel and wouldn't want them because he has never visited them when their parents were alive.  They find an abandoned boxcar tucked away in the woods and work hard to make it their home.  The children are polite, creative, thoughtful and it is wonderful to see how much they care for each other.  I love the reconciliation in the story with the children's grandfather.  This movie is full of teachable moments and a great addition to our movie library!  My kids adore it and ask to watch it often.

The kids and their friends at the park.

The kids were playing with their friends at the park.  They began to pick up glass all around the park and clean it in a small puddle of water they found.  When I asked them what they were doing they told me that they were making the glass beautiful like the Boxcar children did with their dishes.  My kids were able to see something beautiful from something most people would just pass by and in the end we were able to help clean up our local park and make it safer, a win-win!

Read more about this film and cast below.  Order your own copy here and be sure the enter the giveaway!

About the Film
Four orphaned and homeless siblings happen upon an abandoned boxcar, which with a little creativity and hard work, they gradually furnish with all the comforts of home.  Fearful that they will be sent to live with the reputedly cruel grandfather they have never met, the children keep their new home a secret - until a serious illness forces them to reveal themselves in order to save young Violet.

About the Cast
Featuring an all-star cast of voice actors, including Academy Award Nominee Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now), J.K. Simmons (Spiderman), Zach Gordon (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), Joey King (Fargo), Mackenzie Foy (Twilight series), and Jadon Sand (LEGO: The Movie), this is the very first full-length animated feature adaptation of Gertrude Chandler Warner's best-selling classic!

Ready for a giveaway?  One of you will win your very own DVD of The Boxcar Children.  Just enter below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
  Disclosure:  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive my own copy of The Boxcar Children in exchange for this review and post.  Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.  US/Canada only please.

Odyssey Adventure Club iPad Mini Giveaway!


Where did summer go, seriously?  The end of summer is in sight, and OAC is giving away an iPad Mini back-to-school bundle!  It might seem like summer just began for your kids, so if they need some added motivation to get their homework done, remind them they can jump on the Odyssey Adventure Club after their papers are written and their math problems are solved.

As members, your kids can also listen to Album 58 before the album is released to the public! Sign up today for just $5!

Here's what part one is about (which you can listen to for free HERE):
It’s a time of surprises as Wooton becomes the celebrity guest at Comic-Connellsville and Whit finds himself in conflict over the upcoming “Let’s Get Together Festival” in Odyssey. Plus, hear an interview with writer-director Paul McCusker about the entire 14-part series.
Album 58 was inspired by Focus on the Family’s The Family Project, a 12-session small group experience that explores the theological, philosophical, and cultural underpinnings of the traditional family, and combines that information with inspiring stories and practical tools to help 21st-century families thrive.  Plus, here's a sneak peek of a new episode called "The Lone Lawman"!

LoneLawman_Final 2
Jason, Whit, Red and the gang rustle up herds of fun while performing a new Kids’ Radio show set in the Old West. “The Lone Lawman” features a confused boy getting mixed up with a shifty band of bank robbers.  Can a hero on horseback set things right? See just how wild the West can get in this action-packed send-up of old-time radio dramas.

NOW . . . on to the iPad Mini back-to-school bundle. One grand prize winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
Hurry, the giveaway ends on August 27th. All winners will be announced August 28th on the widget on this page.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit this page again on the 28th to see if you won! (You'll see the winner's name in the widget.)

Disclosure:  Thanks so much to Litfuse and Adventures in Odyssey for choosing me to be an Odyssey Club Blogger allowing me unlimited access to Adventures in Odyssey.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Christmas Story Book Review

It is not uncommon for people to think about Christmas in July but what about August?  Honestly, Christmas is something that I think about pretty regularly throughout the year and I love that my kids enjoy Christmas books no matter the month.  I have a Christmas book to tell you about today, The Christmas Story by Anita Ganeri.  I really love the watercolor illustrations, they are beautiful (kudos to Rachael Phillips). 

 I love this page with the angels.

 D looking over the pictures.

 E listening to the story.

This story is geared for children ages 3-5 but I think the age range is even broader than that.  It is a fairly thin book and short story.  Each page is accompanied by a rich watercolor illustration.  My children love looking at the illustrations while I read them the story.  The book opens with the angel telling Mary what is to come and ends with Mary, Joseph and Jesus leaving Egypt and heading home to Nazareth.  This is a great addition to our Christmas story collection.  This book also has a few extras in the back: a recipe for Christmas Biscuits (cookies), the music and words to "Away in a Manger", and a blurb about Christmas in general and angels.

Read more about this book and author below.

About this book
The birth of Jesus is recounted in The Christmas Story, a richly illustrated book with bonus activities geared for children ages 3-5.  Children will follow Mary and Joseph as they receive blessings from angels, travel to Bethlehem for the birth, are visited by wise men, escape from a cruel leader who wishes them harm and finally return safely to Nazareth.  Simple words make the story perfect for reading aloud.  The book also includes additional information about the Christmas holiday, the words and music to "Away in a Manger" and a recipe for cookies.

About the author and illustrator
Anita Ganeri is the author of more than300 books for children, including Alive, The Body Box, DK First Encyclopedia, Eruption and I Wonder Why the Sea is Salty.  Rachael Phillips is an author and illustrator of children's books.

Disclosure:  Thanks so much to Trafalgar Square Publishing for providing me with my own copy of The Christmas Story to facilitate my review.  All opinions expressed are my own. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Dolphin Tale 2 Gavin DeGraw Featurette

I have a fun featurette to share with you!  It is the Dolphin Tale 2 Gavin DeGraw Featurette.  Check it out below and enjoy!  My family is so excited about this upcoming movie.

Disclosure:  As part of the Dolphin Tale 2 Blogger Crew I am able to share fun opportunities and information about the film with you.  Stay tuned for more soon!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Chick-fil-A Color Crafters Blog App

Chick-fil-A just launched a nation-wide Color Crafters Blog App.  This app has fun downloadable family activities in conjunction with their Color Crafters Kid's Meal prizes!  Ready to get creative?  Enjoy the app below!

Disclosure: As a member of the Chick-fil-A Mom panel I am one of the first to share this blog app with you.  Thanks Chick-fil-A!