Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Zookeeper's Wife & $25 Fandango Giveaway

This seems like an extremely timely post as our family just visited the zoo!  I wanted to share with you a preview of The Zookeeper's Wife starring Jessica Chastain and Daniel Bruhl, it looks so good!  It will be released 3/31.  It is based on a true story of Antonina and Jan Zabinski, a Christian couple and zookeepers in Warsaw, Poland.  When the Germans invaded and World War II began, Antonia and Jan refuse to stand-by in the face of so much suffering and persecution.  They join the resistance, and use the zoo as a hiding place and refuge to save hundreds of Jews from the Nazis - risking their own lives in the process.

I'm so inspired by Antonina and the courage she had during a very difficult time in history.  It got me thinking about women in my life that inspire me when challenged with tough life issues.

 My Mom with newborn Baby G

I am so thankful for my Mom.  I must admit that I took her for granted during most of my childhood but I am extremely thankful for all the sacrifices that she and my father made for us growing up.  She worked hard, long hours at an exhausting job (as did my father) to help provide and care for me and my siblings.  I know that we were challenging and tough at times but hopefully my parents think their sacrifice was worth it.  This inspires me with my own kids.  Sure there are challenging days, but I am inspired to be the best for them that I can - be all that I can be!

Check out the trailer below for The Zookeeper's Wife and don't forget to enter the $25 Fandango e-gift card giveaway as well.

And now for the giveaway!  One of you will win a $25 Fandango Gift Card.  Just enter below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  I received my own $25 Fandango gift card in exchange for this post.  All opinions are 100% my own. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Fun Family Day at Cameron Zoo

I have had the privilege of teaching a preschool class in our weekly homeschool co-op this past year.  We have been working through the Before Five In A Row (BFIAR) curriculum and it has been so much fun!  I was struck last month in class when we were talking about animals and E said that she had never been to a zoo.  I thought about it and realized that she probably doesn't have any zoo memories and that would apply to F as well.  It's been a long time since we had the opportunity to have a family day together so I was so delighted that over the weekend we were able to go to Cameron Zoo in Waco.  We had such a great time and E and F were thrilled to see all the animals up close.

B with G (ready for his first zoo trip)

The orangutans were eating when we arrived to visit them.  You can see the male above eating a strawberry.

Here E is near the female who is munching on her veggies.

This baby orangutan is only a few months old!

 F posing with the Komodo dragon.

A showing F the elephants.  

D looking at the elephants

Looking at the rhinos


Photo Opp of the Kids

The tiger

B took this photo of the tiger, I love it!

Giraffe fun

There were three giraffes in this enclosure.

F as a butterfly

David snapped this fun photo of the kids.

D sliding down a slide near the otters.

F after a full day of fun.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Happy Pi Day 2017

Today is Pi Day, 3.14!  My family had a fun day celebrating with all different kinds of pies.  Enjoy!  And I hope you weren't too irrational today :).

Our Pi pancakes

Our Pi inspired lunch.  P and B pie sandsiches, fresh fruit, go-gurt and fruit pizza pie.

The kids picked different fruits to have.

 A bigger picture of our fruit pie!

Our Pi inspired dinner consisted of chicken pot pies

 Homemade Cherry Pie

And a chocolate pie!!!

Laura Story's Open Hands Album Review & Giveaway

I have a new CD album to tell you about, Open Hands by Laura Story.  I was already familiar with Laura for her smash hits "Mighty to Save" and "Blessings".  She also has penned hit songs for other renowned artists including Chris Tomlin's "Indescribable".  If you know those worship songs, they are pretty amazing so I was super excited to receive Laura's new album, Open Hands.

This album is just as amazing as I expected!!  The songs are uplifting and inspiring and just beautiful.  Laura has a truly gifted voice and this album is beautiful to listen to.  The very first song on the album, "Death Was Arrested" is my absolute favorite.  In fact, I love it so much I wanted to share the lyrics below - so touching.  I highly, highly recommend this album.

[Verse 1]
Alone in my sorrow and dead in my sin
Lost without hope with no place to begin
Your love made a way to let mercy come in
When death was arrested and my life began

[Verse 2]
Ash was redeemed only beauty remains
My orphan heart, was given a name
My mourning grew quiet, my feet rose to dance
When death was arrested and my life began

[Chorus 1]
Oh Your grace, so free
Washes over me
You have made me new
Now life begins with You

[Verse 3]
Released from my chains I'm a prisoner no more
My shame was a ransom He faithfully bore
He cancelled my debt and He called me His friend
When death was arrested and my life began

[Chorus 2]
Oh Your grace, so free
Washes over me
You have made me new
Now life begins with You

It's Your endless love
Pouring down on us
You have made us new
Now life begins with You
Ohh with You

[Verse 4]
Our Saviour displayed on a criminal's cross
Darkness rejoiced as though Heaven had lost
But then Jesus arose with our freedom in hand
That's when death was arrested and my life began, ohhh!

[Chorus 2]
Oh Your grace, so free
Washes over me
You have made me new
Now life begins with You

Ohh, it's Your endless love
Pouring down on us
You have made us new
Now life begins with You

Oh we're free, free
Forever we're free
Come join the song
Of all the redeemed ...

Yes we're free, free
Forever amen
When death was arrested and my life began

We're free, free
Forever we're free
Come join the song
Of all the redeemed ...

Yes we're free, free
Forever amen
When death was arrested and my life began
When death was arrested and my life, began ...

In addition to being an artist, mom and author, Laura Story is a worship leader and is gifted at teaching the truth of God to others.  You can purchase your own copy of Laura Story's Open Hands album or enter below to win one.

Check out Laura's Open Hands Lyric video below.

Ready to win your own copy of Open Hands?  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 Open Hands in exchange for this review and post.  Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller/FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Groovebook - Turn Your Photos Into A Book

 My First Groovebook

I have become a little obsessed with Shark Tank.  I have never seen a live episode but I watch snippets here and there on YouTube.  I find the show fascinating and I love to see what inventions people come up with.  I was so intrigued with one, Groovebook, that I downloaded it as soon as I upgraded my phone and had the ability to support current Apps!

 Inside my Groovebook

Another view

 And another

Here is the basic concept of Groovebook.  You most likely already take lots of photos on your phone - definitely me.  After downloading the App, select your favorite photos and upload them into a Groovebook.  Books can have as many as 100 photos.  You can duplicate photos as you wish so if I want 5 of the same photo, no problem.  I was able to get my first Groovebook free to try it out.

Above you can see that the photos are perforated.

You can see that I have torn some photos out of my book.

The perforated pages make it easy to share your favorite photos with others.  I purposely ordered pictured for the kids to use in their Smash Books and Groovebook is perfect for that.  I wouldn't say the quality is the highest I have ever seen but it was decent and the book was a perfect way to have photos delivered to my door.  It would make a cute brag book or theme book if you chose pictures to do that.

This App helps you turn you phone photos into a book for $2.99/month.  You get a new book delivered each month.  If you would like to try it out like I did you can use the code CUMMINS870 to get your own free Groovebook (If you use my code I too will get another free book - so thanks!).  And be sure to let me know what you think.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Happy Birthday David - Surfing Party

David's Surfboard cake

David turned 39 this week and we were finally able to celebrate him today!!  He had a surfing themed party and we had a fun day relaxing around the house.  Some family and a few friends were able to join us which made the day even more special.  I made the cake this go around and I think it came out nicely.  I used G's Baby Mum-Mums to make surfboards (they are the perfect size) and then I crushed graham crackers to make the sand (way better than using brown sugar in my opinion).  We already had a sea shell candy mold so A and B made sea shell candy to make it look more "beachy".

David loves Tex Mex so we had taquitos, queso, guacamole and chips.

Fresh Fruit

Extra sea shells from our candy molds.

Sun Chips

And of course, cake and ice cream!

Cake with 39 lit candles

 David and F

 Blowing out the candles...

 He did it!

David received so many fun gifts including cards, gift cards, a journal, flying alligators, magnet puzzle, grow capsules, rocket launchers, mints, a mini airplane, a checkers set, a robot coloring book and crayons, a yo-yo-set, Millennium Falcon jellies, surfing lessons and a Razor RipSurf.  We spent the day playing with many of his presents.  Hope you have a great week!