Wife, Mummy, Nurse

30 June 2016

Hidden Agendas

There have been many times in my 30 plus years of life that I have not shown my true colors to people. The two biggest reasons for me are pride and distrust. I don't want people to see who I really am. (I prefer to think myself better than others around me.) When I think I should disclose my sinful thoughts and/or actions, I do not trust the other person. (Either because I know they are a gossip or because they have the same pride that I do and will look down on me.)

In Hidden agendas: Dropping the masks that keep us apart, Steve Brown writes that everyone has an agenda. What is an agenda? "An agenda is what we do to get from where we are to where we want to be." An agendas can be either intentional or unintentional. We wear "masks" to help conceal the reality of what is behind them, but masks often make us feel phony or fake. Steve goes on to write the reasons we need to get rid of these masks. How do we do that? By having a real, true relationship with God. After our relationship with God is real, then we can be truthful with others.

Things I liked about Hidden agendas: The questions and Scripture at the end of each chapter; I like this to help me review the chapter and get the main points the author made. I liked the emphasis on our vertical relationship with God-how God views his sons and daughters.

Some may read this book and think, "Yeah, I can keep on sinning." I do not believe Steve Brown is trying to tell people that it's okay to keep on sinning. He is gracious in showing that we are sinners and the need to peel of our masks; I come from a background where grace was not shown by those who should have been gracious (and they should have known better). As a result, I have been very cautious (sometimes too cautious) about who I should trust. Unfortunately in many Reformed Christian circles, we pride ourselves in thinking we have all the important Biblical doctrines right, that we forget that we too are sinners, and we find ourselves wanting to cast the first stone. As always, it is important to go back to Scripture and see what God says about various matters.

To read more about what others think of Steve Brown's book, click here.

I received a copy of this book for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated in anyway.

22 June 2016

Multnomah

It's been over a month since posting. From mid May through early June, it was BUSY with traveling, sickness, Drew finishing his dissertation, and a family vacation. I finally picked up my knitting needles again and cast on the Multnomah shawl this week. I'm knitting it with Red heart boutique unforgettable yarn in the dragonfly colorway.





I recently checked out these books from the library. (I am NOT pregnant... but my brother and sister-in-law are expecting their FIRST child-a boy!!!!!! I have cried in much happiness MANY times since hearing the news, in March, that Jen was pregnant.)

What's on your needles? What are you reading? Join me over at Ginny's Yarn Along.

21 June 2016

The Moon Over Star

The Moon Over StarThe Moon Over Star by Dianna Hutts Aston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm a huge fan of books that teach history in the form of a story; please do not give dry, boring facts to children. "The moon over star" is an excellent tool to teach younger elementary students about the Apollo 11 mission.

What this book teaches: what year the astronauts landed on the moon, who the astronauts were, approximately how many miles it is to the moon, who John F. Kennedy was and what he predicted about the US sending men to the moon, the spaceship (Eagle) that took mean to the moon, and the newsman (Walter Cronkite) who reported man landing on the moon. Just listing these facts would make for an uninteresting story. The author, Dianna Hutts Aston, weaves a story about Mae and her family, and the different reactions of that she and her gramps had about the space program.

What books do you read about the space program? 
What's your favorite children's fictional history book?
View all my reviews

15 June 2016

Esther: The Belle of Patience #Book #Review

One of my desires is to teach my children to love God and His word and pray for their salvation, Some of the ways we do this is to have regular, family worship; our children see: that God's word is important and should be read & that we regularly pray for them both for their spiritual and physical needs and desires. Another way I do this is by reading story books based on Bible characters.

One book, I recently had the opportunity to read and review was Esther: The Belle of Patience. Esther: The Belle of Patience is one of the books in the series Bible Belles' The Adventures of Rooney Cruz.
Bible Belles' The Adventures of Rooney Cruz is an original children's series that presents real heroes like never before. The series highlights five superhero women of the Bible: Hannah, Esther, Abigail, Ruth, and Deborah.
The Adventures of Rooney Cruz is written by Erin Weidemann. She is an
enthusiastic and goofy mom to two children, one of them with paws... In addition to being the CEO and founder of Bible Belles, Erin hosts the Heroes for Her podcast.
In Esther: The Belle of Patience, Rooney is on the soccer team and often warms the bench. One of the other players on the team, Amanda, is a great player, but she's proud and only cares about herself. Mari is Rooney's personal angel (at this point, red flags were being raised, but I'll write more on that later). At the end of the game, Rooney is about to blurt out her dislike of Amanda to her coach, but the coach ends the post game pep talk. Mari takes Rooney on an adventure to see "Esther in action." The reader is thrown into the scene where the queen refuses to come before the King. Then you see Esther talking to her cousin Mordecai. This book continues to tell an abbreviate story of Esther. I don't want to give everything away, so you'll have to read the book to find how the stituation with Amanda is resolved.

Review

What I liked: Mordecai tells Esther,
Who knows? Maybe this is exactly why you were chosen to be queen. It's the perfect time for you to be here. I think you are the one who is supposed to do this.
It reminds me of Esther 4 v. 12-17 (Though the Bible uses slightly stronger language). The illustrations are bright and colorful. Plus, the author tries to apply women from the Bible to our daughters' lives today. The author also speaks about the importance of prayer:
Remember, Esther prepared for what she had to do. She spent time praying... and she waited patiently for just the right moment. 
Concerns I have: I believe this book tries to be too cutesy. There are a few things that I think are important to understand the story of Esther missing:
  • Vashti's name is not mentioned.
  • Esther had not made known her people because of Mordecai's command (Esther 2 v.10)
  • There's no mention of who Esther's people are.
I dislike that Rooney has a "personal angel". Her "personal angel" seems more like a fairy with mystical, magical powers. In the Bible, angels not cutesy fairies, rather they are feared (see Matthew 1 v. 20, Luke 2 v. 12-13). The Bible also mentions that there are those who "have entertained angels unawares" (Hebrews 13 v. 2). And even when Peter was rescued from prison in Acts 12, he first thought he was seeing a vision, not an angel (v. 9).

At one point, Rooney prayed for Esther. I'm sorry, but Esther is dead. What happened with Esther, happened long before Christ was born, after Nebuchadnezzer king of Babylon carried the captives of Jerusalem (Esther 2 v. 6). 

It was suggested that you need to "let God speak with you." If the author means read the Bible, I am 100% behind that. But if she means that God still communicates privately to individuals, red flags are raised.

I'm going to hold off on introducing this book to my daughter until she has a firmer ground on what the Bible teaches and the story of Esther. If you would like to win a copy for yourself, enter below on the Rafflecopter form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

12 June 2016

NeilMed Naspira Nasal-Oral Aspirator #Review

I received this product for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own. Sponsored by Moms Meet. This post contains affiliate links.

Three weeks ago, my children and I had HORRIBLE colds. There were times, at least one of us was up coughing or sniffling all night long. My son, Justin, is not yet able to blow his nose. He would sniff or just let the snot drain from his nasal cavity, then (if mama was not quick enough), he'd take his tongue and wipe the snot from under his nose.

Thankfully, I had a NeilMed Naspira nasal-oral aspirator to help me keep the snot situation under control. The NeilMed Naspira nasal-oral aspirator comes with many features. My four favorite are:

Its 2-in-1 Design. You get to choose how you use it. Even though it has a filter, some people may be disgusted about using their mouth to suction a baby. Have no fear, you can disconnect the bulb from the tubing and close the green end to the NasaBulb. Or you can choose to use it as a nasal oral aspirator. If you choose the nasal oral route, there is a filter that prevents mucus or liquid from entering your mouth, plus it is a one-way valve that prevents air from your mouth going into your baby's nose!


Easy to pull apart. When you decide to use a bulb on your child, you do not want to waste more time with a difficult piece of equipment.

Transparent. There have been images circulating online when parents have cut an opaque bulb they received from the hospital and found mold growing on it. Yuck! There's NO guessing about whether or not the bulb or tubing has mold growth, since you can see everything.

Sterilizable. The NeilMed Naspira comes with instructions for either boiling and microwave disinfection.

Great news! You can enter to win a NeilMed Naspira nasal-oral aspirator for yourself.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What is your favorite feature of this product?

07 June 2016

Summer Reading Programs

Kindergarten is mostly over for my daughter. (We're just doing some catch up work from lessons I meant to do in May, but because of travelling and sickness, they did not happen.)  I have signed her up to participate in various summer reading programs. I decided to share a brief list of summer reading programs that I have compiled:

Your Local Library

At our local library, just for signing my children get to pick two prizes. After they complete so many squares on their "game board", they pick a free book and are entered to win various prizes.

Requirements

Read six Christian books of your child's choosing and have her explain the faith message from each book in her Reading Adventures Diary. Bring her completed diary to a Family Christian store between June 3 and August 25, 2016. Choose a FREE book from Family Christian's list. If you don't live near a store, send your child's completed forms, mailing address, and free book choice to customerservice@familychristian.com. 

Summer Reading Triathlon
Requirements

Print and fill out the summer reading triathlon reading journal. Bring the completed journal to your local Barnes & Noble store between May 17 and September 6, 2016. Choose a FREE book from Barnes & Noble's selection on the reading journal list at the store.

Summer Reading Road Trip

Students log the amount of minutes they read and earn rewards for reading.

Have you signed up your child/children for a summer reading program?

23 May 2016

Through the Shadows #Book #Review

I recently discovered Karen Barnett and her book Through the Shadows. Through the Shadows is the third book in The Golden Gate Chronicles series (the first two Beyond the Ashes and Out of the Ruins).

In Through the Shadows, Elizabeth King hears of Donaldina Cameron's work to help Chinese girls escape brothels in Chinatown, San Francisco. Elizabeth, trying to escape her past and hoping that God will forgive her sins, volunteers to be a teacher to Chinese girls in the mission home where Donaldina works. Charles McKinley works for his Uncle Silas's law firm and is given the assignment of taking over the King estate; Charles also volunteers his time at the mission home in San Francisco.

Review/Thoughts: Once I started this book, I could not put it down. I started reading it on April 17 and finished it April 20. (I read it the day before and days after Drew's defense. So, I'm not sure if I needed an escape from the rest of the world at that point.) I did not read the first two books in The Golden Gate Chronicles before Through the Shadows, but I was still able to follow the story without any problem.

There were things I could identify with Elizabeth-wanting to do things for the wrong reasons, in hopes of redeeming myself. One of my favorite lines in the book is found on page 248:
Child, if you think you're to work off your sin, you've missed the point of the gospel. The new life comes free of charge. Nothing you do could ever earn you God's love.
This book ended like a typical Christian romance novel: The bad guys are defeated. Girl and boy marry. Sin is completely overlooked and forgiven. While it would be nice if this were to happen in real life, it often doesn't. Sin is still here. People do not forgive as they should. So, I found the ending slightly unrealistic, especially since the sin was so publicly announced.

If you want to get a copy of the book for yourself, buy it here or enter to win a copy for yourself. (Giveaway ends June 6, 2016.)



I was sent a copy of Through the Shadows for the purpose of review.
All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated in any way.
This post contains affiliate links.