Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Book Review: If You Were Me and Lived in...Poland by Carole P. Roman, Illustrated by Kelsea Wierenga

This review is meant for parents, teachers, and other people that work with children to read.

If You Were Me and Lived in...Poland is another informative children's book in the Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World series by Carole P. Roman. The book starts off with a Polish boy and a girl pointing to where Poland is on the globe. They are dressed in clothes that children in Poland might likely be dressed in. The story explains that Polish people are called Polanie, and what that word means. The year the Polish constitution was written and Poland was founded is given also. Other important facts, such as what the capital of Poland is, a background of mermaids in relation to the capital. popular boys and girls names, popular foods, popular vacation spots, how kids like to spend their free time, and a famous astronomer from Poland are also given throughout the story.

This book is a very interesting way for children to learn about Poland! I like how some of the pictures combine photos with drawings, which I think will make the facts presented in this book fun for children. The Pronunciation Guide in the back of the book puts the English words in this book in comparison to their Polish pronunciations in alphabetical order, which I think is a good guide for language review of the words used in this book. I also liked that the format follows the same format of the other books I have read in this series!

My review= 5 out of 5 stars

I received this book free for an honest and unbiased review.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Book Blog Tour: Love Our Vets by Welby O'Brien

Love Our Vets is a great encouragement for people that have loved ones that suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and have been a part of the military. The first part of the book is used for answering questions about the disorder. The second part focuses on the needs of loved ones of people with the disorder, with a touch of humor. The third part focuses on stories that are shared from people with loved ones of people with the disorder, in which they share their ups and downs, and how some of them and their loved ones with the disorder sought help. There is also a group discussion guide in the back of the book that people can follow if they want to use this book in a support group.

I learned more through this book about how triggers from PTSD that people get after they have been through a war experience can affect their daily lives and the lives of their loved ones, and that they are usually completely random. People need to pay attention to their loved one's "anniversaries" that trigger PTSD so they can be better prepared for something that triggers it. I was reminded that people need to be aware that holidays that are happy to a lot of people often cause unhappy triggers in people with PTSD, such as Memorial Day and the 4th of July.

It was amazing for me to learn that a lot of people did not know that their loved ones had the disorder until much after the symptoms presented themselves, although I can see how people can think it was something else. I was a little bit shocked to hear some people describe that living with a person with PTSD is so terrible for them (some reactions are much more aggressive than others), although some of them focused on PTSD being the problem and not their loved ones with the disorder. It was great to hear that people with this disorder should be able to tell their loved ones what it is that they need, and my hope is that will be something their loved ones will be able to give them or at least they will give understanding about why they might need it, even if it's hard for them to offer, or if they are not able to offer it. It is also my hope that more people with PTSD will be able to tell others what they need and that people will offer that to them if they are fair requests.

This is a great resource for loved ones of people with PTSD and I also believe it will be great for people with PTSD themselves to learn more how their PTSD affects others.

My review = 5 out of 5 stars

I received this book free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Purchase a copy here: http://bit.ly/2dfzbVA

About the author:

Welby O'Brien holds a Masters Degree in counseling (Portland State University) and a teaching degree (Biola University). Author of Formerly A Wife, and Good-bye for Now (Wingspread); contributing author, Shepherding Women in Pain (Moody Press), and Chicken Soup for the Soul, Divorce and Recovery. Founder of Love Our Vets support network; wife of veteran with PTSD.

Website | Facebook

Book Blog Tour Landing Page:

Love Our Vets Contest Information  (9/27/16 - 10/17/16)

Love Our Vets Welby O'Brien

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Book / Product Review: Wee Alphas Book of Postcards by Wee Society

This review is meant for parents, teachers, and other people that work with children to read.
This is a book of postcards that contain all the letters of the alphabet. Children will learn the letters of the alphabet through the pictures on the postcards and some words that go with the letters included on the back of some of the postcards. For instance, the letter "A" contains a picture of an angelfish. On the back of the postcard there are words that start with the letter "A" that the children could check off that describe the person they are sending the postcard to. There is a place to write the name of the recipient, a place to write some of their own words (some postcards contain more room than others), a place to write their name at the end of the post card, a place to write the address the card is being sent to, and a place to put a stamp.

Not only can these be use for postcards but they can also be used to help children learn the alphabet at other places like school, home, etc. They would be good to use as flashcards!

My review= 5 out of 5 stars

I received this from Blogging for Books for this review.

More information about Wee Alphas:


About the author:


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Book Review: Guardrails by Alan Briggs

Guardrails is a book to help inspire and encourage people to create and find the right type of discipleship program. It helps people to discern whether they are stuck on "The Spiritual Activity Track" (Busyness Without Transformation) or "The Process to Programs" (Transformation Yielding Activity). It also helps people to try to find and be accountable to other people for discipleship. It describes what makes a good discipleship group/program, such as agreeing to go to all meetings (except during times that can't be helped, like when going out of town). It also encourages leaders to make other leaders in the groups so they won't fall apart if the main leaders have to miss any meetings.  I think I could also see places in the book where there was some one-on-one discipleship experiences discussed.

One thing that really got my attention in this book was the part that described "The Cycle of Religious Enslavement", which shows a diagram about how when we are forced to try harder it puts us in a cycle that eventually causes us to give up and have other negative feelings. I am a person that likes to be guided step by step so when I am rushed through a process without even going through step one I get very frustrated. I think I have been held back because of some people trying to push me too hard spiritually.

One thing I really have struggled with in congregations is being an onlooker/outsider on the sidelines when people are off participating in classes, going on field trips and congregational trips, and participating in potlucks. A lot of it happened during a time in my life I could barely afford to buy anything extra (like even a pencil for myself or anybody else). I think God brought me through that time because I went through a period of time when I got caught up in a "Spiritual Activity Track" with a congregation in the past also (when there were people getting left out because they couldn't afford the classes, activities, and field trips). So, it's important to me to want to be at a congregation that includes everybody as much as they can: the poor, the middle class, and the rich alike, and that has been very hard for me to find.

I really liked most of the ideas in this book. If I am ever going to go through discipleship I hope to go through the kind that Jesus (Yeshua) would have put his disciples through in the ancient days, or the kind that his disciples put others through. I believe this book brings congregations not involved or not very involved in discipleship much closer to that model.

My review= 5 out of 5 stars

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

DVD Review: When Calls the Heart : Season 1

When Calls the Heart : Season 1 the Episodes is based on the When Calls the Heart book series by Janette Oke. Elizabeth Thatcher is new to Coal Valley, a coal mining town that thrives on hope. A lot of women have become widows in the town, due to an explosion in the mining profession of their husbands. Elizabeth is at odds with Jack Thornton, but with every step they take they come to like each other better.

Elizabeth and Jack are the main characters and most of the people in the town seem to love and respect them. I haven't been able to predict what will happen in each episode, the turn of events has often been unexpected. The episodes seem to weave together a lot of hope and encouragement, as life happens to the people of Coal Valley.

I have fallen in love with this series, and look forward to watching season 2 episodes in the near future I hope! It is really hard to find many TV series that are good for my mind to take in so I am thrilled to come across this series. I am glad that Michael Landon's son continued the legacy of his father in bringing forth a great television series based on this book series by Janette Oak!

My review= 5 out of 5 stars

I received this DVD series free for posting some special promotions from Fishflix.com on my blog. I was not required to write a review.

This DVD series is available through Fishflix.com here: https://www.fishflix.com/christian-movies-when-calls-the-heart-complete-season-1-the-episodes-dvd.html


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Speciality / Study Bible Review: NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible

This NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible contains many features. It allows readers to immerse themselves in the culture, everyday life, literature, and geography of the people to whom the Bible was originally written through articles, study notes, charts, maps, timelines, etc.

The beginning pages include: Presented To page, Title Page, Quick Start Guide, Table of Contents, Author Introduction, Acknowledgements, About the Authors Page,  Abbreviations (General, and Old and New Testament Bible book abbreviations), Preface, Hebrew to English Translation Chart, Ancient Texts, and Old Testament Chronology.

Sections between the Old and New Testament: Description of the time between both of the testaments, time between Malachi to Christ, Key New Testament Terms, and New Testament Chronology.

Ending pages include: Table of Weights and Measures, Index of Articles in Canonical Order, Index of Articles in Alphabetical Order, Concordance, Index to Maps (with codes listed), and colored maps (each map is numbered and includes letters and numbers to locate rivers, mountains, towns, etc from the Index to Maps listed).

The books of the Bible are divided up in sections of: 1) The Torah, 2) Narrative Literature, 3) Wisdom of Hymnic Literature, 4) Oracles of the Prophets, 5) The Gospels and Acts, 6) The Letters and Revelation.

While reading through the Biblical books of Nehemiah and Ephesians in this Bible, I liked how I could learn about ancient cultural history during Biblical times. Even though the word LORD is used throughout this NIV version, information was included about God's name (that was replaced by LORD) in some of the articles and study notes (which I liked).  I also liked that the study notes are included at the bottom of the pages and are close to the Scriptures that they explain and that the study notes in the New Testament Scriptures that I read included many thoughts related to different Hebrews of the times, and how the Scriptures applied to them. I noticed that most Bible books in this Speciality / Study Bible have an introduction which includes date and author, literary setting, and key concepts, although I noticed that at least one Bible book didn't have the introduction included (the book of Nehemiah).

I love how this Specialty/Study Bible focuses on the ancient times of the Biblical days and who it was written to during those times! It is filled with so much information that will continue to expand my mind each time I read something new. I will also try to allow the information to absorb deeper if I end up reading some of information more than once!

My review= 5 out of 5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a hardcover version of this Specialty Bible free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Monday, August 29, 2016

We're Missing You Gene Wilder!

People are already missing having Gene Wilder around.

He was/is the only author I have ever felt comfortable asking a question to during a book talk. He told me what his favorite memory was during the "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" film. I think he smiled at everybody that came to get a book signed.

I almost asked him to sing for us that night but thought it might embarrass him. I wonder if he would've though.