Day 1 of Seeds 12 Days of Christmas

12daysRemember how I just blogged about Seeds Family Worship? Well, today is the first day of the Seeds 12 days of Christmas! I will be sharing links these next few days for the Advent season. There will be great ideas for Advent that will connect your family to Jesus through God’s Word, as well as special videos and performances.

20% OFF
Also, during these 12 days (November 25 – December 10), you can use the promotion code GIVESEEDS2013 to get a 20% discount off regularly priced merchandise. What a great deal! Click here to visit Seeds Family Worship (Remember to check my name so I receive credit for your purchase. It is under “Additional Questions” below your payment method.)

Audio Advent Tips (3:49)
Today, Jessica Morlan of Seeds shares how her family started celebrating Advent:

Video from Jason Houser
Jason (worship leader and founder of Seeds) kicks things off with a message for families:

Facebook Party Tomorrow night – Nov 26 at 6PM PST
There will be a Seeds Facebook Party at The Better Mom Facebook Page tomorrow. There will be prizes and a chance to chat with the Seeds team.

Make sure to visit Seeds Family Worship on the web:
Website | Store | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Vimeo

Review and Giveaway: 1 Girl Nation

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

^ 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.

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: 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.)

Screen Shot 2013-08-15 at 1.45.48 PM Screen Shot 2013-08-15 at 1.58.04 PM
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

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.

Field Trip: San Francisco Symphony Concert for Kids

This was the second year Melody attended the Concert for Kids event at the San Francisco Symphony. It’s a great way for kids to get exposure to classical music, different instruments, and something people would usually pay $100 or more to see. These concerts are only $5 and geared towards kids (each concert is less than 45 minutes long)! The children’s concert (grades K-3) was sold out this year, so we attended the youth concert (grades 4-9). Melody invited Joyce’s brother, Eric, as a guest to come along this year. It was pouring rain when we arrived in San Francisco for the concert.

Double Bass

Our Lower Level Box Seats

Melody’s view of stage left

Checking out an app on Kow-Fu’s iPhone (I think it was Draw Something)

Getting ready for the concert

The brass section (they were hilarious in bringing out different colored brass toward the end of the concert)

The concertmaster playing “A” for everyone else to tune to

Maestro Donato Cabrera

Conducting the first piece

Talking to the audience

Invited a composer to come and share about how he came up with his piece (complete with explanation about instrumentation and dynamics). The composer also narrated.

Composer with the symphony

The SF Symphony with Flute Soloist, Annie Wu from the San Francisco Youth Orchestra

Melody clapping during one of the songs in demonstrating rhythm

Maestro departing after the concert was over

We went to Brenda’s French Soul Food for lunch afterwards. Last year, we didn’t get to go because of the long line and big group we went with.

Cup of Chicken, Sausage & Okra Gumbo


Hush Puppies with Chipotle Remoulade


Flight of the Beignets (Crawfish, Granny Smith Apple, Chocolate, and Plain as shown below from top to bottom)


Eric’s Pulled Pork Sandwich with French Fries


Melody’s HUGE Buttermilk Pancakes with Seasonal Fruit and also eating her Granny Smith Apple Beignet


Melody pointing to where we were on the BART System Map

Patiently waiting for our BART train to take us home

– Norm

Sites We Love: WorshipMusic


This site is a comprehensive place to find the latest and greatest…..well….find worship music in general.  The best thing about this site is Worship Music Radio.  Every week, Worship Music Radio streams an entire album for you to listen to online.  It might be the latest worship CD you’ve wanted to hear before or around the time it’s released…or an oldie you want to listen to over and over again.

Check out more Sites We Love!