The Brinkman Adventures {Review}

My kids thoroughly enjoy audio stories. Whether they are audio books or radio dramas, they anxiously await for the stories to begin. So, when I recently was given the opportunity to review a new radio drama, The Brinkman Adventures, I was thrilled (so were they). These stories are exciting and intense. They will at times bring you to tears, and at other times have you on the edge of your seat.dangerous-watersThe Brinkman Adventures are “powerful stories from the lives of real missionaries that come to life through the crazy escapades of the Brinkman family.” Although, the Brinkmans are fictitious, they are based on a real family. Caution should be had while listening with younger children, though. The recommended listening ages are 10 and above unless an adult is present. Some scenes can be a little intense for little ones. All of my children are under 10 and while my 9-year-old didn’t have any concerns, there were moments where the CD was paused and had to be explained to my younger 3.

outofcontrolThe first season has 12 episodes spread out over 4 CDs. What’s really neat is that the CDs have a suggested donation price, but if you can’t afford that, they ask that you donate what you can. They don’t want anything to prevent you from listening to these stories. In addition, 100% of the donations go towards the making of season 2. Isn’t that great!intothewildFeel free to listen online here. You won’t be disappointed and you might wind up with the entire season! If you’d like a chance to win the whole CD set, head on over to Lorrie Flem’s blog, Randy’s Rib, between July 1-6 and enter for your chance to win. The winner will be announced on her blog July 7th and notified via email as well. unitybridgeI can’t say enough about these radio drama’s and the impact they can have on your family! I’m looking forward to more exciting adventures to come!

**I received this product for free through The Gabby Moms program in exchange for my honest review.**

For Men Only – For Women Only {A Gabby Mom Review}

Miscommunication and misunderstandings happen in marriage. God created men and women so different that often it’s hard to figure each other out. My marriage hasn’t been exempt from these struggles. Through our rough patches we’ve devoured many marriage books and have attended many counseling sessions. So, when I sat down to read the books for this month’s review, I expected the same information that I’ve read before. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised!OnlyBooks_3d-300x193

For Men Only by Shaunti & Jeff Feldhahn and For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn were giving to the Gabby Moms to review this month. For those of you who own older versions, they have been revised and updated. The books are small with 10 chapters or less and quite easy to read. Shaunti suggests for the husband and wife to read the book that pertains to them first, take notes in the margins, and then give it to your spouse to read. Now you both have personalized copies!

Let’s talk about For Men Only since I read that one first. What a great read! So often I don’t know why I feel a certain way or how to explain myself, yet Shaunti and Jeff have said it perfectly. They put into words what I can’t and convey it simple enough for my spouse. Some of the items covered are:

  • Why she can’t “just not think about” something that’s bothering her.
  • Why listening to her feelings is so hard for a guy, and a fix-it plan that works.
  • Why her “I do” at the altar will always mean, “do you?” and the answer that rocks her world.
  • …and more!

For Women Only has been a slower read for me because I don’t want to miss any of Shaunti’s wisdom about men. Through reading this, my eyes have been opened to how unintentionally I’ve hurt my husband because of not taking the time to understand him. Some of the items covered in this book are:

  • Why your respect means more to him than your love.
  • How he feels deep inside about his role as provider.
  • What it means for a man to be so visually “wired.”
  • …and more!

Women and men can be understood!

Great news! Lorrie Flem from Eternal Encouragement is hosting a giveaway on her blog, Randy’s Rib, from June 17th – 21st. She will be giving away the NEW DVD study (which includes: a men’s study, women’s study and couples study along with the leader guide) and a copy of For Women Only, and For Men Only books.

Make sure to, also, sign up for the free online magazine at Eternal Encouragement. It will be a blessing and encouragement to you as a wife and mother.

**I received this product for free as part of The Gabby Moms  program through Eternal Encouragement in exchange for my honest review.**

See the Light Art Review – Shipwrecked

My children take joy in art. Whether it’s as simple as crayons and paper or something more elaborate, they delight in being creative. So, how can those of us who are creativity challenged teach art? I have the supplies, but coming up with ways to utilize them doesn’t come easy to me. That’s where See the Light comes in. See the Light is a company that has a “love for the Lord Jesus Christ, a heart for children, and a passion for ministry.” Their artists and musicians teach art instruction in an engaging way while sharing the Gospel.ShipwreckedMy oldest daughter chose the DVD titled Shipwrecked for me to review. This DVD has a Bible story, 3 art lessons, and bonus material including the plan of salvation told in a creative way. I was concerned with the level of difficulty for my younger children, but they all enjoyed watching the lessons.

DSCN0112While everyone smiles for the photo, my 9-year-old is watching intently so as not to miss any detail given in the lesson. DSCN0115After watching the entire DVD, they chose to try the creative letter writing. DSCN0116DSCN0121DSCN0118DSCN0122DSCN0123DSCN0126My 2 and 3-year-old girls created their own artwork and enjoyed watching the show. My 5-year-old, who is very detailed, was a little upset when he felt like he couldn’t keep up. So, his big sister and I helped him and he was able to complete his artwork. My 9-year-old enjoyed everything about the DVD and has been asking if we can get another one. She enjoys art and really liked the different lessons that were taught.

In the end, they all enjoyed the lesson. I agree with See the Light, though, that the art lessons are geared for 6 and up. For me, it was nice having someone teach art in an engaging way to my kids. I look forward to purchasing another lesson in the future.

**I received this product for free through The Gabby Moms program in exchange for my honest review.**

 

 

Catching Up and Moving Forward

DSCN0161Can you believe it’s already May? Where has the time gone! This year seems to be passing by so quickly that I really wish it would slow down. I feel like I’m trying to just catch up so I won’t miss out on anything. Yet, even though I’m behind in some areas, more time with my sweet children is a gift!

My blog has taken a back seat as I’ve been spending time with my family in the evenings and finishing up our school year during the day. I’m fine with that. In the beginning, I almost felt guilty, but I knew when I had the time, I could begin anew.

Scheduling has been tough, too, as I’ve been trying to figure out the best fit for our family. Now, I realize that the best time to get it in place will be over the summer when there are less time constraints. We thrive on a flexible schedule and I’m determined to finalize one before the school year begins again.

During this season in my life, be patient with me. I will be blogging and I will get on a schedule. Once our school year comes to an end, I hope to be able to share with you more of my life’s stories. I know my extended family will appreciate an updated blog a little more often with maybe a few photos of my lovely kiddos. So, as I get caught up, enjoy the warmer days and the prospect of summer being just around the corner!

 

Healing Hearts with Helping Hands

Grief happens to all of us and our experiences are all different. Even though I have had many losses in my lifetime, I still feel unprepared with how to respond when a friend loses a loved one. My biggest struggle has been what to say and how to avoid saying the wrong thing. With my personality, I avoid saying anything at all which isn’t comforting.HealingHearts

So, how do you respond when someone close to you has lost a loved one? This month’s Gabby Mom’s review is Lorrie Flem’s kindle book “Healing Hearts with Helping Hands.” Lorrie tells of her experiences with grief and walks you through how to respond (and how not to respond). Here are a few topics covered in her book:

  •   What to say
  •  What not to say
  •  The words to use in a card
  •  What meals to bring
  •  What meals not to bring
  •  How to act
  •  How not to act
  •  and when to do it!

Losing a loved one is a traumatic time in a person’s life. The tips given won’t take away the pain, but they will lessen it by showing you care. In addition, Included in the back of the book are a few of Lorrie’s favorite recipes she uses for care meals.

If you struggle with how to respond to someone who is grieving, this is a great resource. Currently, it’s available for $2.99 at Amazon.com, but MAY 1 – 3 it will be offered for $.99. If you don’t have a kindle, go here to find out how to view this book from your computer. Also, check out this month’s free e-magazine from Eternal Encouragement by subscribing here.

**I received this product for free as part of The Gabby Moms  program through Eternal Encouragement in exchange for my honest review.**

Beautiful Words – Letter Writing to your Children

Last year, I came across a few blogs that shared letters written from mothers to their children. Sweet recounts of days gone by and dreams for their future. I knew this was something I wanted to begin with my children. Not knowing where to start, though, I became discouraged and put off setting my pen to paper.

beautifulwordscoverRecently, I read Beautiful Words by Lorrie Flem and Wanda Gibert. Although the inscription on the front says “Letters of love from Mothers to Daughters”, I think it could be used for the whole family. This little treasure is filled with a collection of letters written from parents to their daughters. I was so blessed to read such personal, sweet words and am encouraged to begin my own letters. In addition to their letters, they share tips on how to start, possible topics to discuss, and how to present the letter to your child.

Beautiful Words is a great resource that can motivate you to begin letter writing to your children. It can be purchased separately or as part of the Mother Daughter Relationships bundle from Eternal Encouragement. With the age of technology and the lost art of writing, grab a pen and don’t let your thoughts get away.

Over the past two months, 3 out of 4 of my children have had birthdays. My children’s ages are now 9, 5, 3 1/2, & 2 years old. As time slips by, I’m hoping to capture some of my thoughts and dreams for them in letters that they will cherish.

**I received this product for free as part of The Gabby Moms program through Eternal Encouragement in exchange for my honest review.**

Creating Contentment Seminar {A Gabby Mom’s Review}

Let’s be real, contentment is a struggle. We are bombarded, daily, with “stuff” everywhere we turn. Aisles are filled with whatever you want, whenever you want it and if it’s not in your local store you can purchase it online. Credit cards aid us in the ability to purchase even those items we normally wouldn’t be able to afford. Debt is the highest it’s ever been and yet we remain discontent. Money and “stuff” are just a few things that can lead us to discontentment. Our circumstances are another huge area that lead us to being unhappy. Yet, if discontentment is allowed to grow, it can lead us down the path of despair and ultimately destruction.

So, how can we overcome this dissatisfaction and move towards the happiness we long for? Paul sums it up in Philippians 4:10-13: 10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (emphasis added)

Only God can bring us true contentment! Lately, He must be trying to move me towards a deeper contentment in my life. Not only did my pastor preach on contentment, but this month’s Gabby Mom’s Review is Lorrie’s Flem’s Creating Contentment Seminar. Honestly, it is a struggle, but I’m ready to move past that unhappy, dissatisfied feeling and move on to the rest and peace I can only find in Him.

In her seminar, Lorrie lovingly points to scripture and shares 14 ways to move towards contentment. It was refreshing listening as she shared from her experiences and struggles! Creating Contentment has been recorded and is available for purchase at her website, Eternal Encouragement. Also, her new seminar, True Womanhood is Not For Wimpy Women, will be available March 1, 2013.Creating ContentmentRemember, when life gets turned upside down, look up! He is our only hope and He alone will give us the joy and contentment we need.

**I received this product for free as part of The Gabby Moms  program through Eternal Encouragement in exchange for my honest review.**