{review & coupon} Music in Our Homeschool

I’m sure that the last thing on your homeschool mom mind is adding something new to your lesson plan. The holidays are swiftly approaching and we all just want to soak up family time! But those couple of weeks in limbo between Thanksgiving and Christmas can’t just be filled with cookies and playing in the snow, for most of us. With older children, we have to do some school. Bummer, I know. You moms with little ones have it good, don’t forget that! One thing I did a few years ago was what we called Christmas School. Keeping up with the foundational things – math, phonics/English, spelling – but then adding in special courses that made things a bit more fun. When I heard about Music In Our Homeschools, I was hoping they’d have something we could use that everyone would enjoy. And of course they did – Intro to Musicals.


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{review & giveaway} Total Family Makeover

I’ve read a lot of parenting and mothering books. After leading a moms’ book study for 6 or so years – I feel like I have every book on the subject! Sometimes, as a first-generation Christian, it was hard to relate to everything that was written in these books. Maybe it’s just my personality, but I wanted a book that would clearly lay out how to do daily life in a Christian home. Yes, I know the Bible is our instruction book for life. Don’t get me wrong. But I always wanted a clear set of steps for how to turn this faith inside of me into something that filled our home and our children without piling on unrealistic expectations and Momguilt. When I read this, I realized that I had the very book I’d been searching for in my hands:



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{review & giveaway} The Afters: Live On Forever

I love music reviews! And I love sharing great, new music with my readers so let’s get to it —

About the Album

aftersIt’s easy to assume stories of trial and triumph are just for the Bible or the history books. But miracles still happen, even when adversity hits hardest. Just ask Josh Havens, guitarist and lead vocalist of The Afters. He relates how the band’s latest effort, Live on Forever, began during a season of tragedy.

Just as the band regrouped to record, Havens witnessed the wife of a close friend contract cancer. Drummer Jordan Mohilowski (who produced the new album) had a brief health scare, and a close companion in his church—part of the worship team—was hit and killed by an impaired driver. She was a young woman, Havens says, who had unlimited potential.

But Live on Forever–the band’s fifth with the Fair Trade label-still took shape as a celebration of faithfulness, protection and promise—one that shimmers with strong rhythms, undeniable energy and compelling pop hooks. The album finds Havens in strong, soaring voice as he invites listeners to find shelter and strength in God.

“We worked on this record for almost two years and over those two years, it was a real season of loss,” Havens recalls. “But in the end, Live on Forever is about moving us to trust God, to stand up against fear. It’s an ‘ante up’ record, an anthem for people’s lives: ‘God you are with me in all this. I’m not alone.’”

Our Thoughts

I haven’t kept up with The Afters music in recent years, but we have listened to it int he past and I’m so glad that I was able to review this album. Live On Forever has become our soundtrack while driving, with it’s perfect balance of good lyrics that I like and the driving, well-produced sound that my daughters like. The songs are catchy and worth repeating, unlike most pop music out there today. I really like The Afters sound, even though it’s not my usual favorite. It really is something that our whole family enjoys, which pretty much never happens!

The first single off this album is Live On Forever. You can see their official music video hereThe Afters also recorded some info videos, giving us a glimpse into their heart behind the song. But just read some of the lyrics first. They’re so good.

Dark days are gonna go away
They won’t have the final say
These bones were always gonna fade
Cause we were made for another place
The moment of our final breath
When all our fears are put to rest
Every tear will disappear
Heaven is real

So now for the fun part! You can win a copy of The Afters Live On Forever CD! To enter, the usual drill, three ways to earn entries –

  1. 1) Leave a comment. Tell me if you’ve heard The Afters other music and what your favorite song is!
  2. 2) Share on Facebook and leave an additional comment, letting me know.
  3. 3) Retweet or Regram my posts about this giveaway on Twitter and Instagram. No need to comment again for this one.

Giveaway will end on September 14 at 8pm. Winner will be notified by email so please leave a valid address. Now go enter! 

This giveaway has ended. Winner is comment #1 – Katie!


Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): 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 a sample of the product 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, 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.

{review & giveaway} A Beauty Refined

Tracie Peterson is my favorite author so when this review opportunity came up, I jumped at it! Her books are the perfect blend of interesting characters, detailed story lines, and a hint of mystery and romance. In A Beauty Refined, I love that Phoebe has a clear and defining moment where she realizes she needs to follow Jesus. I also really loved that Ian encourages other characters (I don’t want to give away anything!) to seek pastoral counsel before they make a rash decision. As a warning to anyone that is sensitive to it, there is some violence in this book. Phoebe’s father is an abuser, and that comes up as a part of the story. I thought it was well-written and not overly dramatized. I also thought that the way the people around Phoebe handled her abuse was typical of the time period. The redemption at the end of this book is just beautiful. I also enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the beautiful clothes Phoebe wore as well as the scenes in town – you can just picture her walking down the sidewalk of this little town, sticking out in her formal attire.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anyone that likes historical fiction. Tracie Peterson does not disappoint! Want to read more opinions about this book? Head to the Litfuse page!

More about the book and the giveaway:

Little does Phoebe know that her father’s plans—for the sapphires and his daughter—are not what they seem. If you love historical fiction, romance, and adventure, don’t miss Tracie Peterson’s A Beauty Refined. When Phoebe meets Ian, everything changes. Yet the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes that her family story is based on a lie—a lie she has no knowledge of. And Ian believes he knows the only path that will lead her to freedom.

Join Tracie in celebrating the release of A Beauty Refined by entering to win her Precious Gems giveaway (details below) and by attending her author chat party on August 9!

beauty refined - 400

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 8/9. The winner will be announced at A Beauty Refined Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Tracie and fellow fans of historical fiction, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

beauty refined - enterbanner

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 9th!

{review} If My Husband Would Change, I’d Be Happy: And Other Myths Wives Believe

About the book:

unnamed (1)If My Husband Would Change, I’d Be Happy: And Other Myths Wives Believe (Harvest House, August 2015)

Like most brides on their wedding day, you no doubt were filled with love for your husband and the hope of a happy life together.

But perhaps today, as the realities of life together have settled in, those happy expectations are going unfulfilled. And it’s tempting to think, “If only my husband would change, I’d be happy.”

That myth is but one of many that Rhonda Stoppe dispels in her easy-to-read exploration of what it takes to experience a truly happy marriage. In the process, she addresses such important topics as

-understanding your husband’s need for your unconditional respect
-rekindling the love that drew you to your husband in the first place
-refusing to believe the lie that you’d be happier married to someone else
-learning to be content in the midst of financial struggles

-thinking about sex from a biblical worldview

If you desire to rekindle the love and hope you felt on your wedding day, this book will go a long way toward making that dream come true.

Contains discussion questions and personal reflections at the end of each chapter.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2a9Izc6

About the author:
Rhonda Stoppe is the No Regrets Woman. She is an author and speaker dedicated to helping women live life with no regrets. With more than 20 years’ experience as a mom, mentor, and pastor’s wife, Rhonda’s wisdom and experience helps women discover significance in God and His specific purpose for their lives, connect biblical principles to everyday decisions, develop a loving marriage that others dream about, and influence the next generation by raising children with integrity.
My Thoughts:
– The author does an excellent job of reminding women that they need to first love God with all their heart. Then that love can help them to love their husbands even more.
– The author encourages women to speak good things over their husbands and to honor them.
– There is a good amount of Scripture throughout the book.
– I did feel that the author was a bit crass at times, almost like she was trying to appeal to a younger audience but really missed the mark.
– Overall, I did not enjoy this book. I felt that there was no balance to her words. Yes, I agree that women should not rely on their husbands to make them happy (to use the main example). But I also feel that a wife cannot be her husband’s main source of hope and confidence. A husband needs to first rely on the Lord to give him hope, confidence, and a sense of self-worth by knowing who he is in Christ. I don’t think that a wife’s main responsibility is to build up her husband’s ego. Marriage is a team effort and I feel that the author missed the mark on helping women find that balance. I think a young woman could really find herself weighed down by the directives found in this book. I would not recommend it.
To read other reviewers opinions of this book, head over here.
{I received this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and a good review was not guaranteed.}