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April 29th, 2011

CD Review: God & Me – God Helps Me

godhelpsmeIntegrity Music has produced a series of fun, topical music CDs for the pre-K crowd under the name God & Me. Featuring a children’s chorus and adult vocalists, these bright, upbeat songs are drawn from scripture surrounding a specific topic. God Helps Me is filled with short age-appropriate songs that lead children into a deeper dependence upon God to help, protect, sustain, enable, and sanctify them. There are also some general faith-building songs that celebrate the guidance of God’s Word and belief in the risen Lord.

Drawn from a variety of musical styles, some of the songs sound jazzy, some are marching songs, others have more of a calypso rhythm, others are lullaby style – this is quite a diverse collection of children’s music. Some of the songs feature children and an adult, others are only children, some are rounds etc. Some of this collection’s songs are upbeat while others are relaxed and contemplative. Some are even goofy!

Just this afternoon my little ones were marching around the living room exclaiming that they could do “All things!” through Christ along with the song “I Can Do All Things”. It is exciting to see this kind of discipleship by music taking place even as they sing and dance. This is a sweet album to have on hand for dancing in the living room time.

CLICK HERE TO BUY NOW AT CHRISTIANBOOK.COM OR AMAZON.COM!

April 29th, 2011

Outdoor Pools – A Rarity Here

In many parts of North America built-in outdoor pools are not an uncommon sight.  Here in Alberta however, outdoor pools are quite rare.  It could have something to do with the fact that the ground is frozen for around six months of the year, making outdoor swimming a rare treat over a few short summer months.  It could be that homeowners don’t want to worry about repairs and maintenance caused by frost heaves.  It could also be cost related; outdoor pools are likely less expensive if you buy them from austin pool companies (more demand = cheaper price) than if you buy them in Alberta.

All that being said, it’s no surprise that Albertans tend to favor hot tubs and inflatable/soft shelled pools for the yard that can be collapsed in the winter.  Hot tubs – you can jump in any time of year (though you can’t actually SWIM in them!)  Inflatable or shoft shelled pools?  Well, at least you can empty them out and stash them away when summer is over.  You still might not get a lot of swimming done though because these still run small.

Really, I’m just going to advise Albertans to head to an indoor pool in a rec center somewhere if they want to really stretch out and swim. They are pretty warm, open year round, maintenance free, and no huge upfront cost.  Leave the dream of the outdoor pool behind – we live in Alberta.

April 29th, 2011

CFBA Tour: An Eye for Glory by Karl Bacon

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing An Eye For Glory Zondervan (February 28, 2011) by Karl Bacon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A word from the author:

I grew up in the small picturesque town of Woodbury, Connecticut. After graduating from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, I returned to Connecticut and found employment in manufacturing. “Just a job” turned into a professional career, much of which was spent working for a Swiss machine tool company. In 2000 I started my own business to provide services to manufacturing clients across the USA. This change also allowed time to develop my writing craft.

From youth I’ve been a serious student of the Civil War. The draft of An Eye for Glory took ten years from conception to completion. Thousands of hours were spent researching every detail through copious reading, Internet research and personal visits to each battlefield so the novel might be as historically accurate and believable as possible. I live in Naugatuck, Connecticut with my wife of thirty-three years, Jackie.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Michael Palmer is a good man, a family man. But honor and duty push him to leave his comfortable life and answer the call from Abraham Lincoln to fight for his country. This ‘citizen soldier’ learns quickly that war is more than the battle on the field. Long marches under extreme conditions, illness, and disillusionment challenge at every turn. Faith seems lost in a blur of smoke and blood…and death.

Michael’s only desire is to kill as many Confederate soldiers as he can so he can go home. He coldly counts off the rebels that fall to his bullets. Until he is brought up short by a dying man holding up his Bible. It’s in the heat of battle at Gettysburg and the solemn aftermath that Michael begins to understand the grave cost of the war upon his soul. Here the journey really begins as he searches for the man he was and the faith he once held so dearly. With the help of his beloved wife, Jesse Ann, he takes the final steps towards redemption and reconciliation.

Using first-hand accounts of the 14th Connecticut Infantry, Karl Bacon has crafted a detailed, genuine and compelling novel on the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Intensely personal and accurate to the times, culture, and tragedy of the Civil War, An Eye for Glory may change you in ways you could have never imagined as well.

If you would like to read the first chapter of An Eye For Glory, go HERE.

Watch book video trailer:

April 29th, 2011

What IS A Cheval Mirror?

Our family isn’t a big mirror family.  We have our bathroom medicine cabinet mirrors; you know – the really tiny ones.  We have a ‘full length mirror’ behind our bedroom door, but it isn’t really full length because we can’t stand far enough away from it to see our entire body.  Those are really are only two mounted mirrors.  We do have a plastic-type children’s mirror and a framed square mirror that aren’t mounted, and a few hand-held mirrors as well that are more of the plastic type (I bought them for the children to play with.)

Wall space is honestly at a premium in our small home and our wall space normally goes to bookshelves!  So when I heard the term Cheval mirror I wasn’t really sure what one was.  After looking it up however I see the benefits of one!  Cheval mirrors aren’t only decorative mirrors, but they also have a very practical use.  You know how you can never really see teh bottom portion of your leg or your feet in a ‘full length’ mirror unless you stand far away?  Well, a cheval mirror pivots so you can angle the mirror to look down at your feet.  They aren’t just for looking pretty, but they do need a bit more floor space than we have to devote to one.  Guess we’ll stick with our behind the door model for now!

April 29th, 2011

Book Review: The Damascus Way (Acts of Faith #3) by Davis Bunn and Janette Oke

damascuswayJulia has always deeply loved her merchant father. Though he rarely spends time with his family and is often traveling for business, she is a devoted daughter and the apple of her father’s eye. She can’t understand why the citizens of Damascus shun her and her mother and when the truth is revealed Julia struggles with bitterness even as she is drawn towards a new and radical faith.

Meanwhile, Abigail (book 2) flees from Jerusalem as persecution increases in intensity while her younger brother Jacob finds himself drawn into a mysterious and dangerous web of intrigue on two disparate fronts. How is God going to connect these believers together in their journeys to serve Him, and what monumental events will they witness along the road to Damascus?

The Damascus Way is the closing installment in the Acts of Faith series – a collaboration between well-known authors Davis Bunn and Janette Oke. Both a rich and satisfying conclusion to this series of biblical fiction, this novel takes readers alongside the lives of first-century Christians who are witnesses of some of the watershed events of the churches early years.

The only ‘off note’ that I found was some odd references to a burning in the breast of some of the characters. Having come from a Mormon background I felt a bit odd reading this and I’m not sure why it was included. I don’t know if either of the authors are LDS, and maybe I’m being oversensitive, but it did strike me as odd and unnecessary.

Like the other books in the series, characters that readers have become acquainted with in past books resurface in this one to play minor supporting roles in the story’s weave. However, it is still possible to read this work as a stand-alone novel. I found for myself that being familiar with the faith stories of Abigail and Alban (from the second and first books respectively) added to the depth and richness of this novel.

It is here that I glimpsed the fullness of the vision that Bunn and Oke have created with this series. Though it moves more slowly than much of the fiction that I read I could more clearly see the webs of community, the closely woven bonds of companionship and love amongst the believers depicted in the pages of these books. That full, rich, emotive writing is truly delightful and makes this book well worth the read.

CLICK HERE TO BUY NOW AT CHRISTIANBOOK.COM OR AMAZON.COM!

April 28th, 2011

Beautiful Nesting Dolls

It is a rare person who can resist playing with an old-fashioned set of nesting dolls.  Truly, no matter what your age from toddler to adult, stacking dolls are just inherently fascinating.  Opening the large doll and working down to the small doll, then nesting the small doll inside the bigger doll, and back up just so appeals to the sorting/organizing parts of our minds in a very esthetically appealing way.

We bought our oldest daughter a set of nesting dolls when she was around 2 or 3, but that was really too small to keep all the pieces together!  The set we bought her was pretty traditional, but it’s exciting to see how nesting dolls are no longer limited to traditional Matryoshka dolls.  There are so many different artistic variations on these dolls that it is so easy to start a lovely collection or to pick a special set to complement any decor.

Our nesting doll set had around five dolls in total, but there are some elaborate sets that have up to ten dolls!  I’d love to play with one of those!  These dolls are really a folk art that is almost timeless, they are just hard to resist opening and investigating no matter your age.


April 28th, 2011

Book Review: Christopher Columbus: Navigated by God by Jesseca Randall, Illustrated by Margaret Febus

christophercolumbusI was drawn to Jesseca Randall’s Christopher Columbus: Navigated by God due to the fact that the author set out to explore Columbus’ navigational exploits through the lens of a Christian worldview. Rather than presenting ‘just the facts’ Randall has delved into primary source documents of Columbus’ own writings to uncover his spiritual reasons for seeking new lands.

This is a fascinating approach, and this novelization of Columbus’ life and journeys is quite interesting to read. Written for young readers it moves along at a brisk pace and is accessible and easy to read. However, there are some noticeable gaps in the storyline that left me scratching my head.

I’m not sure if it is due to the author’s pacing or due to her wanting to avoid the more controversial aspects of Columbus’ life, but his second son just pops into the picture suddenly, disappears from the story along with his first son while Columbus is voyaging, and then they both reappear near the end. I’m sure that young readers will want to know more about these children than this story provides since they themselves are children!

I feel that children could be let in on more of the story of Columbus’ children, even though one of Columbus’ sons was illegitimate. Skipping over these important people in his life seems to have taken a lot of the authenticity from the story. Columbus was a man after all – as prone to sin as any of us. We all have cause to rejoice in the redemption and mercy that God has provided through His Son.

I really enjoy the living-history approach that Randall has taken, it makes Columbus so much more tangible when his story is presented as just that, the story of a life used in the hands of God as opposed to a collection of dates and facts.

CLICK HERE TO BUY NOW AT AMAZON.COM!

April 27th, 2011

FIRST Tour: In Grandma’s Attic.. Series by Arleta Richardson

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

My Thoughts: My children really, really enjoy these stories!  They often ask me for more, more, after I’ve read one, always a good sign!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:
Arleta Richardson

and the book:

In Grandma’s Attic
AND
More Stories from Grandma’s Attic

David C. Cook (April 1, 2011)

***Special thanks to Karen Davis, Assistant Media Specialist, The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Arleta Richardson grew up in a Chicago hotel under her grandmother’s care. As they sat overlooking the shores of Lake Michigan, her grandmother shared memories of her childhood on a Michigan farm. These treasured family stories became the basis for the Grandma’s Attic Series.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:


Remember when you were a child, when the entire world was new, and the smallest object a thing of wonder? Arleta Richardson remembered: the funny wearable wire contraption hidden in the dusty attic, the century-old schoolchild’s slate that belonged to Grandma, an ancient trunk filled with quilt pieces—each with its own special story—and the button basket, a miracle of mysteries. But best of all she remembered her remarkable grandmother who made magic of all she touched, bringing the past alive as only a born storyteller could.

So step inside the attic of Richardson’s grandmother. These stories will keep you laughing while teaching you valuable lessons. These marvelous tales faithfully recalled for the delight of young and old alike are a touchstone to another day when life was simpler, perhaps richer, and when the treasures of family life and love were passed from generation to generation by a child’s questions and the legends that followed enlarged our faith. These timeless stories were originally released in 1974 and then revised in 1999. They are being re-released with new artwork that will appeal to a new generation of girls.

Product Details:

In Grandma’s Attic:

List Price: $6.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook (April 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0781403790
ISBN-13: 978-0781403795

More Stories from Grandma’s Attic:

List Price: $6.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook; 3 edition (April 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780781403801
ISBN-13: 978-0781403801
ASIN: 0781403804

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

In Grandma’s Attic – Chapter 1

Pride Goes Before a Fall

“Grandma, what is this?”

Grandma looked up from her work. “Good lands, child, where did you find that?”

“In the attic,” I replied. “What is it, Grandma?”

Grandma chuckled and answered, “That’s a hoop. The kind that ladies wore under their skirts when I was a little girl.”

“Did you ever wear one, Grandma?” I asked.

Grandma laughed. “Indeed I did,” she said. “In fact, I wore that very one.”

Here, I decided, must be a story. I pulled up the footstool and prepared to listen. Grandma looked at the old hoop fondly.

“I only wore it once,” she began. “But I kept it to remind me how painful pride can be.”

I was about eight years old when that hoop came into my life. For months I had been begging Ma to let me have a hoopskirt like the big girls wore. Of course that was out of the question. What would a little girl, not even out of calicoes, be doing with a hoopskirt? Nevertheless, I could envision myself walking haughtily to school with the hoopskirt and all the girls watching enviously as I took my seat in the front of the room.

This dream was shared by my best friend and seatmate, Sarah Jane. Together we spent many hours picturing ourselves as fashionable young ladies in ruffles and petticoats. But try as we would, we could not come up with a single plan for getting a hoopskirt of our very own.

Finally, one day in early spring, Sarah Jane met me at the school grounds with exciting news. An older cousin had come to their house to visit, and she had two old hoops that she didn’t want any longer. Sarah Jane and I could have them to play with, she said. Play with, indeed! Little did that cousin know that we didn’t want to play with them. Here was the answer to our dreams. All day, under cover of our books, Sarah Jane and I planned how we would wear those hoops to church on Sunday.

There was a small problem: How would I get that hoop into the house without Ma knowing about it? And how could either of us get out of the house with them on without anyone seeing us? It was finally decided that I would stop by Sarah Jane’s house on Sunday morning. We would have some excuse for walking to church, and after her family had left, we would put on our hoops and prepare to make a grand entrance at the church.

“Be sure to wear your fullest skirt,” Sarah Jane reminded me. “And be here early. They’re all sure to look at us this Sunday!”

If we had only known how true that would be! But of course, we were happily unaware of the disaster that lay ahead.

Sunday morning came at last, and I astonished my family by the speed with which I finished my chores and was ready to leave for church.

“I’m going with Sarah Jane this morning,” I announced, and set out quickly before anyone could protest.

All went according to plan. Sarah Jane’s family went on in the buggy, cautioning us to hurry and not be late for service. We did have a bit of trouble fastening the hoops around our waists and getting our skirts pulled down to cover them. But when we were finally ready, we agreed that there could not be two finer-looking young ladies in the county than us.

Quickly we set out for church, our hoopskirts swinging as we walked. Everyone had gone in when we arrived, so we were assured the grand entry we desired. Proudly, with small noses tipped up, we sauntered to the front of the church and took our seats.

Alas! No one had ever told us the hazards of sitting down in a hoopskirt without careful practice! The gasps we heard were not of admiration as we had anticipated—far from it! For when we sat down, those dreadful hoops flew straight up in the air! Our skirts covered our faces, and the startled minister was treated to the sight of two pairs of white pantalets and flying petticoats.

Sarah Jane and I were too startled to know how to disentangle ourselves, but our mothers were not. Ma quickly snatched me from the seat and marched me out the door.

The trip home was a silent one. My dread grew with each step. What terrible punishment would I receive at the hands of an embarrassed and upset parent? Although I didn’t dare look at her, I knew she was upset because she was shaking. It was to be many years before I learned that Ma was shaking from laughter, and not from anger!

Nevertheless, punishment was in order. My Sunday afternoon was spent with the big Bible and Pa’s concordance. My task was to copy each verse I could find that had to do with being proud. That day I was a sorry little girl who learned a lesson about pride going before a fall.

“And you were never proud again, Grandma?” I asked after she finished the story.

Grandma thought soberly for a moment. “Yes,” she replied. “I was proud again. Many times. It was not until I was a young lady and the Lord saved me that I had the pride taken from my heart. But many times when I am tempted to be proud, I remember that horrid hoopskirt and decide that a proud heart is an abomination to the Lord!”

***************************************

More Stories From Grandma’s Attic

Chapter 1

The Nuisance in Ma’s Kitchen

When Grandma called from the backyard, I knew I was in for it. She was using her would-you-look-at-this voice, which usually meant I was responsible for something.

“What, Grandma?” I asked once I reached the spot where she was hanging up the washing.

“Would you look at this?” she asked. “I just went into the kitchen for more clothespins and came back out to find this.”

I looked where she was pointing. One of my kittens had crawled into the clothes basket and lay sound asleep on a clean sheet.

“If you’re going to have kittens around the house, you’ll have to keep an eye on them. Otherwise leave them in the barn where they belong. It’s hard enough to wash sheets once without doing them over again.”

Grandma headed toward the house with the soiled sheet, and I took the kitten back to the barn. But I didn’t agree that it belonged there. I would much rather have had the whole family of kittens in the house with me. Later I mentioned this to Grandma.

“I know,” she said. “I felt the same way when I was your age. If it had been up to me, I would have moved every animal on the place into the house every time it rained or snowed.”

“Didn’t your folks let any pets in the house?” I asked.

“Most of our animals weren’t pets,” Grandma admitted. “But there were a few times when they were allowed in. If an animal needed special care, it stayed in the kitchen. I really enjoyed those times, especially if it was one I could help with.”

“Tell me about one,” I said, encouraging her to tell me another story about her childhood.

“I remember one cold spring,” she began, “when Pa came in from the barn carrying a tiny goat.”

“I’m not sure we can save this one.” Pa held the baby goat up for us to see. “The nanny had twins last night, and she’ll only let one come near her. I’m afraid this one’s almost gone.”

Ma agreed and hurried to find an old blanket and a box for a bed. She opened the oven door, put the box on it, and gently took the little goat and laid it on the blanket. It didn’t move at all. It just lay there, barely breathing.

“Oh, Ma,” I said. “Do you think it will live? Shouldn’t we give it something to eat?”

“It’s too weak to eat right now,” Ma replied. “Let it rest and get warm. Then we’ll try to feed it.”

Fortunately it was Saturday, and I didn’t have to go to school. I sat on the floor next to the oven and watched the goat. Sometimes it seemed as though it had stopped breathing, and I would call Ma to look.

“It’s still alive,” she assured me. “It just isn’t strong enough to move yet. You wait there and watch if you want to, but don’t call me again unless it opens its eyes.”

When Pa and my brothers came in for dinner, Reuben stopped and looked down at the tiny animal. “Doesn’t look like much, does it?”

I burst into tears. “It does so!” I howled. “It looks just fine! Ma says it’s going to open its eyes. Don’t discourage it!”

Reuben backed off in surprise, and Pa came over to comfort me. “Now, Reuben wasn’t trying to harm that goat. He just meant that it doesn’t … look like a whole lot.”

I started to cry again, and Ma tried to soothe me. “Crying isn’t going to help that goat one bit,” she said. “When it gets stronger, it will want something to eat. I’ll put some milk on to heat while we have dinner.”

I couldn’t leave my post long enough to go to the table, so Ma let me hold my plate in my lap. I ate dinner watching the goat. Suddenly it quivered and opened its mouth. “It’s moving, Ma!” I shouted. “You’d better bring the milk!”

Ma soaked a rag in the milk, and I held it while the little goat sucked it greedily. By the time it had fallen asleep again, I was convinced that it would be just fine.

And it was! By evening the little goat was standing on its wobbly legs and began to baa loudly for more to eat. “Pa, maybe you’d better bring its box into my room,” I suggested at bedtime.

“Whatever for?” Pa asked. “It will keep warm right here by the stove. We’ll look after it during the night. Don’t worry.”

“And we aren’t bringing your bed out here,” Ma added, anticipating my next suggestion. “You’ll have enough to do, watching that goat during the day.”

Of course Ma was right. As the goat got stronger, he began to look for things to do. At first he was content to grab anything within reach and pull it. Dish towels, apron strings, and tablecloth corners all fascinated him. I kept busy trying to move things out of his way.

From the beginning the little goat took a special liking to Ma, but she was not flattered. “I can’t move six inches in this kitchen without stumbling over that animal,” she sputtered. “He can be sound asleep in his box one minute and sitting on my feet the next. I don’t know how much longer I can tolerate him in here.”

As it turned out, it wasn’t much longer. The next Monday, Ma prepared to do the washing in the washtub Pa had placed on two chairs near the woodpile. Ma always soaked the clothes in cold water first, then transferred them to the boiler on the stove.

I was in my room when I heard her shouting, “Now you put that down! Come back here!”

I ran to the kitchen door and watched as the goat circled the table with one of Pa’s shirts in his mouth. Ma was right behind him, but he managed to stay a few feet ahead of her.

“Step on the shirt, Ma!” I shouted as I ran into the room. “Then he’ll have to stop!”

I started around the table the other way, hoping to head him off. But the goat seemed to realize that he was outnumbered, for he suddenly turned and ran toward the chairs that held the washtub.

“Oh, no!” Ma cried. “Not that way!”

But it was too late! Tub, water, and clothes splashed to the floor. The goat danced stiff-legged through the soggy mess with a surprised look on his face.

“That’s enough!” Ma said. “I’ve had all I need of that goat. Take him out and tie him in the yard, Mabel. Then bring me the mop, please.”

I knew better than to say anything, but I was worried about what would happen to the goat. If he couldn’t come back in the kitchen, where would he sleep?

Pa had the answer to that. “He’ll go to the barn tonight.”

“But, Pa,” I protested, “he’s too little to sleep in the barn. Besides, he’ll think we don’t like him anymore!”

“He’ll think right,” Ma said. “He’s a menace, and he’s not staying in my kitchen another day.”

“But I like him,” I replied. “I feel sorry for him out there alone. If he has to sleep in the barn, let me go out and sleep with him!”

My two brothers looked at me in amazement.

“You?” Roy exclaimed. “You won’t even walk past the barn after dark, let alone go in!”

Everyone knew he was right. I had never been very brave about going outside after dark. But I was more concerned about the little goat than I was about myself.

“I don’t care,” I said stubbornly. “He’ll be scared out there, and he’s littler than I am.”

Ma didn’t say anything, probably because she thought I’d change my mind before dark. But I didn’t. When Pa started for the barn that evening, I was ready to go with him. Ma saw that I was determined, so she brought me a blanket.

“You’d better wrap up in this,” she said. “The hay is warm, but it’s pretty scratchy.”

I took the blanket and followed Pa and the goat out to the barn. The more I thought about the long, dark night, the less it seemed like a good idea, but I wasn’t going to give in or admit that I was afraid.

Pa found a good place for me to sleep. “This is nice and soft and out of the draft. You’ll be fine here.”

I rolled up in the blanket, hugging the goat close to me as I watched Pa check the animals. The light from the lantern cast long, scary shadows through the barn, and I thought about asking Pa if he would stay with me. I knew better, though, and all too soon he was ready to leave.

“Good night, Mabel. Sleep well,” he said as he closed the barn door behind him. I doubted that I would sleep at all. If it hadn’t been for the goat and my brothers who would laugh at me, I would have returned to the house at once. Instead I closed my eyes tightly and began to say my prayers. In a few moments the barn door opened, and Reuben’s voice called to me.

“Mabel,” he said, “it’s just me.” He came over to where I lay, and I saw that he had a blanket under his arm. “I thought I’d sleep out here tonight too. I haven’t slept in the barn for a long time. You don’t mind, do you?”

“Oh, no. That’s fine.” I turned over and fell asleep at once.

When I awoke in the morning, the goat and Reuben were both gone. Soon I found the goat curled up by his mother.

“Will you be sleeping in the barn again tonight?” Ma asked me at breakfast.

“No, I don’t think so,” I said. “I’ll take care of the goat during the day, but I guess his mother can watch him at night.”

Grandma laughed at the memory. “After I grew up, I told Reuben how grateful I was that he came out to stay with me. I wonder how my family ever put up with all my foolishness.”

Grandma went back into the house, and I wandered out to the barn to see the little kittens. I decided I wouldn’t be brave enough to spend the night there even if I had a big brother to keep me company!

April 21st, 2011

50% Off Sale at Knowledge Box Central!

Knowledge Box Central is having a HUGE sale and offering 50% off ALL of their Ebooks through April 30th.

They have lots of Lapbooks, Copywork Notebooks, Notebooking Pages, and more.  They also have Lapbooks that go along with Apologia and Jeannie Fulbright’s curriculum.  Other topics that they have lapbooks for include U.S. Government, Ancient Egypt, Greece, & Rome, Colonial America, Hurricanes, Automobiles, State Study (use with any state), Country Study (use with any country), American Girls, Modesty, and many more.

This is a great time to check them out while you can save 50% on Ebooks!

Here is the code to enter at checkout:  Lapbooks50

April 21st, 2011

CD Review and Giveaway: I Will Praise You – Rebecca St. James

iwillpraiseyouCONTEST CLOSED!

We have a winner!  Congratulations to Erin C.!  Erin won with her entry for putting the Quiverfullfamily.com button her blog!  I’ve emailed you Erin, please respond within 72 hours with your mailing address so I can get this great worship CD heading your way!

Some CDs take a while to come to love.  I Will Praise You isn’t one of those.  Since its arrival in our home last night our family has been singing along, dancing, and praising our Creator.  This is our first Rebecca St. James CD (the first she has recorded after our conversion actually, so it’s understandable why it is our first encounter with her music), and we haven’t been disappointed.

This is truly an open-and-go worship CD.  There’s no time needed to get acclimated to the music, it is upbeat, has memorable lyrics, and is filled with emotion.  Whenever I put it on I instantly have a living room full of praising and dancing little girls.  The opening track is going to be a huge hit – “I Will Praise You” is not only infectious, but its sole purpose is to offer worship to God.

Musically diverse, there are definitely pop, dance, techno influences felt in the music.  One of my favorite tracks “Shine Your Glory Down” actually reminds me a bit of Depeche Mode’s work in the early ‘90s.  And I like it.  A lot.  It is really, very hard to stop yourself from dancing to these songs – particularly the first three – hands held high in the air as your heart is lifted in worship.

Beyond the instantly likeable worship tunes there are also more introspective, lyrical pieces such as “You Still Amaze Me” (with some faint symphonic elements – love them).   Even these slower paced songs are still very strong – the music is powerful, and the lyrics are highly visual and emotive.  Even songs I thought I wouldn’t enjoy based on their openings, such as “Almighty God”, won me over with their achingly beautiful chorus and harmonies.

An element that brings an additional layer of depth to richness to most of the songs is a choral singing with deliciously intertwined melodies as groups of singers raise their voices in song to the Lord towards the end of each of the songs.  This rich, full song adds an element to the worship that is impossible to achieve with a single singer.

After seeing St. James on screen and reading her written work it has been a delight to get to know her in the medium she is best known for.  These are the kinds of songs that become fast friends within the first or second listening.  I’ll be coming back to these often.

CLICK HERE TO BUY NOW AT CHRISTIANBOOK.COM OR AMAZON.COM!

CONTEST DETAILS:

I have 1 copy of the I Will Praise You CD to give away to one blessed winner in the US or Canada!   To enter, let me know if you are familiar with Rebecca St. James’ work!

For additional entries:

1. Subscribe to this blog for updates – see the left hand sidebar. Leave an additional comment letting me know you’ve subscribed (or if you already subscribe).

2. Write a post on your blog promoting and linking to this contest. Leave an additional comment with a link to your post.

3. Add the Quiverfull Family button (see the code box in the right hand sidebar under BUTTON UP!) to your blog’s sidebar, or let me know if you already have the button displayed. Leave an additional comment with a link to your post.

4. Digg, Stumble, Tweet, Facebook or otherwise share this post on a social networking site. Leave an additional comment indicating how you shared this post.

5. Follow me on Twitter or let me know if you are an existing follower.

Each additional step taken counts for 1 additional entry. A total of 6 entries are available if you complete all of these steps. Please leave a separate comment for each entry!

The contest will close at 12 a.m. MST on Monday, May 2nd, 2011. One (1) winner will be randomly drawn for this CD on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011 and notified by email. Please fill your email address in the comment form when you are completing your comment so that I can contact you. The winners must respond with a mailing address within 72 hours of my email, or a new winner will be chosen. This contest is open to those living in the US and Canada!

Welcome!

Jennifer. Follower of Yeshua. Wife of one man. Homeschooling mother of 5.