Monday, October 31, 2011

Book Review; Three Cups

Three CupsThree Cups by Tony Townsley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a simple story parents can use to teach children the basics of managing money.  The illustrations are sweet and may help younger children understand the book better, though the story is simple enough for school age children. The authors include a short guide for parents at the end with 10 simple steps to begin using this method with one's children. This method includes not only the basic ideas of saving, spending and giving, but briefly introduces banking principles as the boy in the story takes his savings cup to the bank. Though my daughter is not quite old enough for an allowance. I will definitely be keeping this idea in mind for future use!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review.

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Book review: Going Deep

Going Deep: Becoming A Person of InfluenceGoing Deep: Becoming A Person of Influence by Gordon MacDonald

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this book quite a bit. It describes an example of a process by which churches can help to cultivate "deep" people, future leaders in the church and community.  The neat thing is the way the author presents it, as a story, a fictionalized account of one church's journey through the process. It was so easy to read while still presenting valuable information and ideas. I think this book has great value to both individuals and church groups. When reading it solo, one can follow along on the journey and pick up on themes and ways to deepen one's faith. It is not focused towards the individual though, rather I think its main audience is meant to be church leaders who might wish to implement a similar process in their own church. I love the idea of such discipleship and think it would be amazing if more churches attempted such a focused plan!

I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher for review.

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Saturday Projects

So I've been told I am nesting since my c-section is scheduled for one week from today- Monday! To me, it feels like a mad scramble to get my to-do list finished... is that nesting?!  Anyway, this weekend I have been working on my Monkeyshiners stock (coming slooooowly along...) and also checked off a before baby project and a birthday gift!  

I used this easy peasy tutorial from Indietutes for the backpack.  

Sized for approximately a 2 year old, and no zips or anything to frustrate a little kiddo! Just that handy dandy little flap thing!
Now, the designer/author says you don't need any closure, and perhaps her fabric was sturdier than mine... mine sagged when i put my camera inside and the flap stayed open then, so i think the recipient's mama will be adding a snap or velcro and i'll be adding the same the next time.  

It is tiny, but I think its the perfect size for a little toddler and loved her suggestion about having toddler help carry his toys/sippy/diapers!  A few less things in the diaper bag is always a bonus, right?

I also was able to get the baby's carseat canopy done- I've never had one of these for either of my kids, so I'm excited to see how it compares to the old throw-the-blanket-over-the-canopy trick!
Sorry, the pictures are aweful- late at night, trying to be quiet and sneaky in the bathroom! Thus the bathrobe, potty stool, and unfinished floor...
I used this tutorial (also easy peasy!) from Sew Dang Cute. It has a nice little surprise... mine blends in a lot, can you see it?

 Peekaboo!  Cute little window to peek at the baby through or give him some fresh air!  The canopy is held on by those velcro straps, so its easily taken off to clean. 
And you can just toss it up and over the bar to get baby in and out! 

Lots of other things on my list for this week... we'll see what else I get done! These are both easy so projects if you are looking for something to get started (or get back into) sewing! Or if you sew a lot and want a quickie project (the backpack took about an hour and half!  and I'd guess the canopy was similar).

And yes, sewing your own would save you loads of money... Carseat canopies on run anyway from $25 to &70! (Check them out here if that doesn't freak you out and you want to support a WAHM!) You can make your own for about 2 yards of fabric ($10 bucks if you aren't picky about designers!) My outside fabric is home decor that was on clearance from and the inside is $4.44 a yard from Wally world! And that backpack is the perfect gift for a little toddler and mine didn't cost me anything! I had some leftover fabric at home- You could pick up enough fabric for less than $5 though- Joann's and Wally's have options for even less if you check their sales and remnants! So if you are as cheap frugal as I, you really should think about picking up a new hobby...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Book Reviews!

Gabby, God's Little Angel by Sheila Walsh is one of several books I recieved recently for review. It is a cute story for children about a little angel always having her own little accidents who is assigned to be the guardian angel for a little girl with similar tendencies! Its such a cute way for kids to learn about angels and how much God loves us.  My almost-three-year-old enjoyed it and I think older children would too, as some pages had more text on them than most storybooks.  I'm sure we'll be reading it multiple times! The illustrations are adorable and help younger readers understand new vocab and what's happening (i.e. harp). I liked that it included a bit of scripture too. Great little book, would highly recommend for young readers!

I recieved a copy of this book for review from the publisher.

Another book I recently finished is Waiting for Dawn by Susan May Warren. Waiting for DawnWaiting for Dawn by Susan May Warren

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I have to say I was a little disappointed in this book. First of all, I was expecting a book, not a short story or novella- it was only about 40 pages, and has no conclusion whatsoever with regards to the relationships with the characters as it is a prequel to a series.  I don't think that this would really make me interested in reading the series as there really wasn't much depth to the story at all.  Jim Micah is taken prisoner with his fellow soldiers and their spyplane though I which should be exciting but was actually kind of blah... the entire time he pines over good friend Lacey who began dating his best friend when he introduced them, and moans about how he should have told her he loves her etc.  Meanwhile she is doing the same for him and launches a rescue mission (expressly forbid by the military superior) with her boyfriend. On top of that, she and boyfriend fall back into each others arms despite the fact that he did not communicate with her more than 3 times (I think it was) in an entire year.  Why would she not have dumped him early and why oh why would she believe him and fall for him AGAIN?  ugh.  Perhaps worth it if you have read others in the series and enjoyed them, or know you'll read the entire series (or at least the first full book) though it didn't make me anxious to do so as it seemed very unrealistic.

I recieved a copy of this book from the publisher for review.

I also recieved Thank You God for Blessing Me by Max Lucado. This is a sweet little story, perfectly appropriate for any child who can sit and follow through a book!  Through the prayer of Little Hermie, it presents a model to teach children how to pray being thankful for what God has given us! I like that it focuses on God's blessings for us: food, shelter, friends and family etc (as opposed to asking for things we want or need).  It is simple and the illustrations are sweet. A perfect before bed book to help bring your child's thoughts to Christ and His many blessings for us!

I recieved a copy of this book from the publisher through Booksneeze.
Finally, I recieved The Life Application Study Bible Devotional. This volume focuses on the life of Jesus with six devotionals for each week around a theme, such as the birth of Christ, His growing up, etc.  I have been using it daily, so I obviously haven't been through the entire thing, but so far, I really am enjoying it.  I like that the focus throughout the week stays the same and the authors add great bits of information in their devotional piece.  The scripture references are short and included in the book, along with the devotional, a focus for prayer, and some questions and thoughts for reflection.  It's easy to pick up and read at some point in the day as you don't need a huge chunk of time to complete the reading so I think it is a keeper, both for someone who's gotten out of the habit of daily devotions, or as a supplement for one who reads and studies daily (or anyone in between!).  I'm excited to see what other new wisdom I can take from the life of Christ through the author's reflections as well as my own!

I recieved a copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers for review.