Review and Giveaway: The Promise (DVD)

promise-coverTHE PROMISE: BIRTH OF THE MESSIAH, THE ANIMATED MUSICAL
^ link to review
Glorious Films
45 minutes
Website | FB | Twitter | Amazon | YouTube

We’re trying out a different way to do our giveaways, and keeping all review products, etc. on our review site. Let us know if you have any questions.

Head over to our REVIEW BLOG to read what the girls thought about The Promise, and see how you can win your own copy of the DVD!

One lucky reader will receive a copy of the The Promise DVD. Giveaway ends Wednesday, December 11th. (Giveaway open to US residents ONLY. If you have been a winner of one of our giveaways in the last 30 days, you are not eligible for this giveaway.)

– Joyce

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Review: The Nativity Story

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 11.53.35 AMTHE NATIVITY STORY
^ link to review
$3.99 (iPad)
$1.99 (iPhone)
App | YouTube

About The Nativity Story
Where will baby Jesus be born? At the market? At a restaurant? At the inn? Readers of this book app can follow Joseph and Mary on their search for a place to stay in Bethlehem. Along the way they encounter a variety of colourful local people and animals. This is a fun and engaging way to share the original story of Christmas with the young generation and remind them what Christmas is all about.

Primary Audience: Kids age 2-10

Why Kids Love This App

  •  By tapping and swiping, kids can help Joseph and Mary find a place to stay.
  • Knock on doors..Pull on the rope…Ring the bell…Open windows…Make people talk…
  • Create music! Help a band of angels play their instruments.

 Why Parents & Grandparents Love This App

  • Nostalgia. It feels like a classic pop-up book, bringing back memories for parents and grandparents.
  • Optional Narration: Listen to old-timey narrator tell the story, or read story yourself.
  • Extra Feature: Explore the original Bible text that tells the Nativity Story.

How is This Christmas App Different?

  • Interactive – We use the touch technology and animation to engage the reader in the story in an enchanting and educational way.
  • Original – The app is designed like a vintage popup book and includes unique features such as interacting with a band of angels and playing instruments like trumpet and harp.

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Click HERE to find out why people love this app and how it’s different.
Click HERE to find out why we love this app!

Do you have a favorite Nativity book? What app do your kiddos like?

– Joyce

Review and Giveaway: 1 Girl Nation

This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to our winner, Kendra!

image1 GIRL NATION
^ link to review
Released August 20, 2013
Website | FB | Twitter | YouTube

About 1 Girl Nation
Landing in the space where One Direction meets TobyMac, 1 Girl Nation is an exciting blend of upbeat pop music, with lyrics that are totally focused on living life for God, even while you’re young. 1GN, as they’ve already been dubbed, stars Carmen, Kayli, Kelsey, Lauryn Taylor and Lindsey, five girls with a passion for telling their fans about Christ through their music. Their first single, “While We’re Young,” can be heard on radio stations across the country and their self-titled debut album is available now!

Primary Audience: preteens, teens, and young adults (as well as parents, too!)

Below is their first music video for their song While We’re Young. If you click over to YouTube, there are more fun videos and covers they have done. The one that I stumbled upon a few months ago before 1 Girl Nation released, is their cover of Every Good Thing by The Afters.

GIVEAWAY time!!
One lucky reader will receive a copy of the 1 Girl Nation CD. Giveaway ends Thursday, December 5th at 4PM. (Giveaway open to US and Canadian residents. If you have been a winner of one of our giveaways in the last 30 days, you are not eligible for this giveaway.)

To enter, leave a comment telling about the last song you heard, or anything related to music…or just tell me that you are a teeny-bopper like me…or say ‘Howdy!’ Thanks!

For an extra entry, leave a comment on the girls’ review of 1 GIRL NATION.

I was trying to upload a clip of the girls singing While We’re Young, but I have not been feeling well enough to do that this week. :/ I’ll update if I can get a vid of them singing and dancing. :p

– Joyce

Review and Giveaway: The First Christmas Night

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the products mentioned below for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

first christmasThe First Christmas Night
^ link to review
Written by: Keith Christopher
Illustrated by: Christine Kornacki
Publisher: Ideals Books
Hardcover: 32 pages
Ideals Books FB | Website

About The First Christmas Night
The First Christmas Night is a beautiful retelling of the birth of Jesus on that joyous night in Bethlehem so long ago. The poem begins with the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem and winds though Christ’s birth, the angels’ appearance to the shepherds, and the visit by the Wise Men. The simple, yet elegant, verses will appeal to little ones and are accompanied by the rich acrylic illustrations of Christine Kornacki.

About the Author
Keith Christopher is a composer, arranger, orchestrator, and educator, and he has served as editor and producer for several major music publishers. In addition to writing and studio producing, Keith served on the faculty at the Blair School of Music of Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He lives in Hendersonville, Tennessee, with his wife and two children.
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About the Illustrator
At a very early age, Christine Kornacki developed a love for painting and bringing stories to life. After receiving a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford, her dreams of illustrating children’s books began to take shape, including illustrating the best-selling The Sparkle Box for Ideal’s Children’s Books. Christine’s recent work also includes illustrating the six-book series for the American Girl historical doll characters Marie-Grace and Cecile. She spends her days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming cafe in New Haven, Connecticut.
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Who is it for?

  • Kids ages 4-8 – The rhyming language can help them develop verbal language skills and learn to read
  • Family story time during the holidays
  • Children’s Ministers and Sunday school teachers
  • Christmas carolers could set it to a tune!

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GIVEAWAY time!!
One lucky reader will receive a copy of The First Christmas Night. Giveaway ends Wednesday, November 20 at 11PM. (Giveaway open to US and Canadian residents. If you have been a winner of one of our giveaways in the last 30 days, you are not eligible for this giveaway.)

To enter, leave a comment telling about the last book you read or let us know if you a favorite Christmas tradition, or your thoughts on the Christmas story…or say ‘Howdy!’ Thanks!

For extra entries, you can leave one comment on any post on our blog ONCE A DAY ONLY until the end of the giveaway, or leave a comment on the Melody and Emily’s reviews of THE FIRST CHRISTMAS NIGHT.

– Joyce

Giveaway: Christmas Countdown Planner

Giveaway is now closed. The winner of Christmas Countdown Planner is Kayla Rice!

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of the Christmas Countdown Planner to review, but all opinions are my own.

So, when it comes to the holidays, I never have a plan of attack…at all. Every year I head into the holidays thinking I will get it together, but then the last-minute holidays cards are flying and decorations are exploding from their boxes. We’re supposed to have stockings? Did I send a thank you card to so-and-so? It is just a whirlwind of a season. I really want to enjoy the real reason for the season, but also enjoy some of the fun traditions. We are starting to get into the groove of what the Christmas season means for our family, but I am so so thrilled to have a tool that will help me to keep everything straight this year!

Enter the Christmas Countdown Planner by Jill Craft aka The Sassy Slow Cooker.

What is the Christmas Countdown Planner?
It is a PDF download of 52 pages of lists and section dividers for the 2013 AND 2014 holiday season. In this 2 year Christmas Countdown Planner you will find:

  • 2013-2014 Calendar Pages for the months of November and December
  • Notebook Cover, Dividers, and Spine Covers
  • Budget Planner
  • Inventory List
  • Homemade Gift List
  • Stocking Stuffer List
  • Advent and Tradition Ideas
  • Christmas Card List
  • Master Gift List
  • Individual Gift List
  • Cleaning List
  • Menu Plan
  • Recipe Section

Jill shares some great tips as she explains the different parts of her planner. She has a tip about filling out the budget form in pencil (simple but genius!) and keeping all your receipts in a pencil pouch so that if you are in need of a exchange/return, the receipt is readily available (again, simple but just need a little nudge in the right direction). I LOVE how she decides who to send Christmas cards to. It’s the same method I use to decide too. 😉 During the holidays, most people feel like they need to take part in every single tradition and to visit with everyone they know, but Jill doesn’t do that. “Relax, you can start doing this next year.” She is also a “sucker for traditions,” like me. I am finally realizing that I can’t follow every single fun tradition that comes along, and we will have to pick and choose what works for our family. I’m glad there is a Devotions section divider because I am loving doing the fun Advent activities with the kiddos, which we never really did growing up…not just celebrating Jesus’ birth, but everything leading up to His birth-day.

Giveaway Time!!
You can win a Christmas Countdown Planner for yourself…and for a friend! To enter, leave a comment telling us what you do to prepare for the holidays, when you start preparing, or what your favorite holiday tradition is…or say ‘Howdy!’ Thanks!

Giveaway ends Saturday, November 2nd at 11:30pm. For extra entries, you can leave one comment on any post on our blog ONCE A DAY ONLY until the end of the giveaway.

If you would rather get your own copy as soon as possible and get planning, you can click on the following link to get your own copy of the CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN PLANNER.

Review and Giveaway: Audrey Bunny

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the products mentioned below for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

audreybunnyAudrey Bunny
^ link to review
Written by: Angie Smith
Illustrated by: Breezy Brookshire
Published by: B&H Publishing
Picture book
B&H Publishing | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube | Pinterest

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Sweet sisters! One of Emily’s favorite parts is reading about the illustrator, Breezy Brookshire, because she has a sister named Emily. 🙂20131014_205052 20131014_210115

This book came at the perfect time. We were having a women’s retreat at our church, and I got to have some quiet ‘me and God’ time. It was wonderful to reflect and hear Him speak. The passage that we were to read over was Psalm 139, which is part of what this book is about!!
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I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. – Psalm 139:14

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About Audrey Bunny
From best-selling women’s author Angie Smith (I Will Carry You, Mended) comes this sweet children’s book about a stuffed animal named Audrey Bunny who fears her imperfections make her unworthy of a little girl’s love. She’ll learn the truth soon enough, and young readers will learn that everyone is special and wonderfully made by God.

Angie Smith is the wife of Todd Smith (lead singer of Dove Award winning group Selah), best-selling author of Mended, I Will Carry You, and What Women Fear, and one of the most popular speakers and blog writers in the country. She holds a Master’s degree in Developmental Psychology from Vanderbilt University and lives with her husband and daughters in Nashville, TN.

GIVEAWAY time!!
One lucky reader will receive a copy of Audrey Bunny. Giveaway ends Sunday, October 20th at 11:30pm. (This happens to be my sister’s birthday, so you can wish her a happy birthday for an extra entry. 😉 hehe)

To enter, leave a comment telling about the last book you read, or if you had a favorite stuffed animal when you were a child, or if your kiddo has a favorite stuff animal, or anything related to being wonderfully and fearfully made…or say ‘Howdy!’ Thanks!

For extra entries, you can leave one comment on any post on our blog ONCE A DAY ONLY until the end of the giveaway, or leave a comment on our review of AUDREY BUNNY.

Review and Giveaway: Rufus and Ryan Go to Church!

Giveaway is now closed. The winner of the Ring the Bell DVD is Merry!

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the products mentioned below for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

rufusryanRufus and Ryan Go to Church!
^ link to review
Written by: Kathleen Long Bostrom
Illustrated by: Rebecca Thornburgh
Published by: Ideals Books
Board book
$7.99
Website | Facebook

About the Rufus and Ryan series
Rufus and Ryan is a new series of books for preschoolers, featuring Ryan, an energetic little boy, and his stuff monkey Rufus. Basic Christian and church concepts serve as the foundation of the series, with an additional focus on character traits and development. The text is presented in young Ryan’s voice as he teaches Rufus about the concepts he is learning himself. Each story is about 150 words, using age-appropriate vocabulary and themes.

About the Author
Kathleen Long Bostrom is a published children’s author in both the Christian and trade markets. She has a Master’s in Christian Education and a Doctorate of Ministry in Preaching, and she has worked in children’s ministry for many years. Kathy and her husband, Greg, have three grown children and live in Illinois.

About the Illustrator
Rebecca Thornburgh began illustrating children’s books full-time in 1996 and today has almost 100 books to her name. Rebecca’s vibrant watercolors have been showcased in previous Ideals titles, including the new edition of The Story of Christmas. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two daughters.

GIVEAWAY time!!
One lucky reader will receive a copy of Rufus and Ryan Go to Church! Giveaway ends Thursday, October 10th at 11:30pm.

To enter, leave a comment telling about the last book you read, or your favorite part about going to church, or anything related to faith…or say ‘Howdy!’ Thanks!

Bonus: FlyBy Promotions has shared a Top Ten Tips for Introducing Your Child to Worship.

For extra entries, you can leave one comment on any post on our blog ONCE A DAY ONLY until the end of the giveaway, or leave a comment on our review of RUFUS AND RYAN GO TO CHURCH.

Review and Giveaway: Grace Unplugged and Own It

Giveaway is now closed. The winner of Grace Unplugged and Own It is Kayla Rice!

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the products mentioned below for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Have I got a treat for you! The winner of this giveaway (details at the bottom of post) gets two books: Grace Unplugged and Own It. If the title Grace Unplugged sounds familiar, it probably is. This book is a novelization of the movie script. (There are performances by Chris Tomlin and Jamie Grace. Starring AJ Michalka (of AJ & Aly) and James Denton.)

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Grace Unplugged <– link to our review
Written by Melody Carlson
Website | Facebook | Twitter | B&H Facebook | B&H Twitter

Own It: Discover Your Faith in God <– link to our review
Written by Hayley and Michael DiMarco

About Grace Unplugged the Novel
Grace Trey is an 18 year old singer as passionate about her Christian faith as she is her phenomenal, God-given musical talent. Both traits come from her father, one hit wonder Johnny Trey who found Jesus after losing his chart success two decades ago. When Grace encounters her own music break of a lifetime, the sudden dive into the “real world” puts her deeper beliefs to the test. Pop superstardom is just within reach but appears to require some spiritual compromise. Will Grace reject her faith, or will she own it?

About Melody Carlson
Melody Carlson has sold more than five million books. A professional writer for twenty years, she recently received the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Melody has two grown sons and lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest.

Anyone have plans to watch the movie? Anyone local want to go together? The movie releases on Friday, October 4th!! Here’s the trailer:

About Own It, Discover Your Faith in God
Own It mirrors the film by asking what it means to really “own” your personal faith rather than just automatically following in the footsteps of parents, friends, or other influencers. Best-selling authors Hayley and Michael DiMarco help readers understand what to do when faith meets real world challenges. Without solid beliefs, poor choices are likely to follow. You must take the time to really know who you are, who you are becoming, and who God made you to be. It’s your personal faith . . . own it!About Hayley and Michael DiMarco
Hayley DiMarco is the best-selling author of more than thirty books including Dateable, Marriable, Mean Girls, and The Woman of Mystery. She has been a featured speaker at Women of Faith, Precept National Women’s Conference, and MOPS Intl. among others and has consulted on the creation and enhancement of some of the largest stadium events for teens and young women in North America.

Michael DiMarco is a skillled communicator and teacher who has authored more than a dozen bestselling books including the 2010 Christian Book of the Year for Youth, B4UD8 (Before You Date). He and his wife, author Hayley DiMarco, have one daughter and live in Nashville, Tennessee.

There seem to be a theme in the lessons God is teaching me lately. GraceGraceGrace
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GIVEAWAY time!!
One lucky reader will receive a copy of Grace Unplugged and a copy of Own It. Giveaway ends Thursday, October 3rd at 2:30pm.

To enter, leave a comment telling about the last book you read, or a worship song that you like, or anything related to faith…or say ‘Howdy!’ Thanks!

For extra entries, you can leave one comment on any post on our blog ONCE A DAY ONLY until the end of the giveaway, or leave a comment on our review of GRACE UNPLUGGED and/or OWN IT.

P.S. Women of Faith has a free song download on their website.

Review and Giveaway: Praying God’s Word for Your Life

Giveaway is now closed. The winner of Praying God’s Word for Your Life is Deanna!

Praying-Gods-Word-for-Your-LifePraying God’s Word for Your Life
Written by Kathi Lipp
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Last year we got to hear Kathi Lipp speak at our MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. She shared about The Husband Project. (If you like projects, you’ll love Kathi!! There’s also The Me Project, The Getting Yourself Organized Project, The Marriage Project…) We had her back this year to talk about Connecting With Your Kids. (Also a great book!!!) Of course, I had to snatch up a copy of each of the new books that she has.

And I remembered to document my encounter with her this time, because that’s what bloggers do, right? :p

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I love Kathi! She is hilarious and real. She’ll tell it like it is. 🙂 Read my review of PRAYING GOD’S WORD FOR YOUR LIFE on our review blog (for an extra entry to win your own copy). I’m not telling you all her books are good because she gave me a free copy of this book give to you either. I actually personally own a copy of every single one of her books!

GIVEAWAY time!!
One lucky reader will receive a copy of Praying God’s Word for Your Life. Giveaway ends Thursday, July 25 at 1:24pm. Emily chose that ending time. :p

To enter, leave a comment telling about the last book you read, or if you have ever met an author before, or anything related to prayer…or say ‘Howdy!’ Thanks!

For extra entries, you can leave one comment on any post on our blog ONCE A DAY ONLY until the end of the giveaway, or leave a comment on our review of Praying God’s Word for Your Life.

– Joyce

Review and Giveaway: Ring the Bell

Giveaway is now closed. The winner of the Ring the Bell DVD is Helen!

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the products mentioned below for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

ringthebellRing the Bell (<–link to review)
{giveaway details below}
Arc Entertainment
Released April 9, 2013
Website | Trailer | Facebook

About Ring the Bell:
Ring The Bell shares the story of a slick, big city sports agent Rob Decker who seems to have it all. But on his latest mission to sign a high school baseball superstar, Rob becomes stranded in a small town where the simplicity of life—and the faith of the people—stand in stark contrast to his own fast-paced, win-at-all-costs mindset. Torn between these two worlds, will Rob have the courage to let faith transform his life? This heartwarming story of redemption is sure to entertain and inspire the whole family.

Ring The Bell features a host of well-known Christian music artists, such as Mark Hall along with his band Casting Crowns, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Matthew West, all who play a role in this inspirational drama. Several former and current Major League Baseball all-stars are also featured in the film: ESPN analysts John Kruk and Rick Sutcliffe (a former Cy Young Award winner), along with Ben Zobrist.

GIVEAWAY time!!
One lucky reader will receive a copy of Ring the Bell. Giveaway ends Monday, May 27th at 7:17pm.

To enter, leave a comment telling about the last DVD you watched, or your thoughts on baseball, or who your favorite ball team is…or just tell us about anything related to the topic of this post…or say ‘Howdy!’ Thanks!

For extra entries, you can leave one comment on any post on our blog once a day only until the end of the giveaway, or leave a comment on our review of RING THE BELL.

– Joyce