Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women {Review}

Some of my favorite Biblical things that we use in our house are made especially for teen girls or young women. We recently received Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women from Zondervan.
BelovedI would definitely suggest this for teens and older. And really, I am thoroughly enjoying reading it myself!

I have skimmed through a lot of the book to see the content included and there is so much covered. Many different women are mentioned, which, if you are just reading the Bible from beginning to end, you may not realize how many women are mentioned in it. I like that this points out different women throughout the Bible. 60 of them in fact!

The book itself is small in size, but is pretty thick. It is hard cover, so very sturdy. There is a devotion on each page.

One of the things I appreciate about the way it is set up is that it starts with Day 1. So, you can jump right in and not worry about skipping a day and trying to catch up.

Since there are 365 days, you will still cover a year, but it isn’t necessary to feel stressed if you aren’t able to do each day in the year. You may want to wait and start on January 1st, but isn’t nice that you don’t have to.

Each page lists the day number at the top, then the Bible verse, and then a commentary about the Bible verse. There is also some lines at the bottom that you can use for journaling or making notes, which is super nice! Although for people like me that write with large letters, it’s not a ton of room, but I can see writing words that stuck out to me.
BelovedWhat we did was start drawing something from the days reading. Day 3 for example was Proverbs 31:10. “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” I think that will also help with understanding the verse, commentary, and the story that it is written along with.

Every day may not have something as easy to draw as a ruby, but it may be an emotion or just a word. We do a lot of art each day and it just ties in with our homeschool, so it just is something we look forward to doing.
The devotions start out pretty mild, but they get more involved the further along the book you go. I wanted to check it out first before Lauren started to read it.

It definitely covers some things that us moms have felt or different relationships and situations we have been in. Friendships, husbands, children… It also goes into trials that you may be going through. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies, which is what a good devotional should be, in my opinion!

Since it does cover so many things, I can see reading this book more than once. Keeping it for years and even if you don’t read one every day, there will be something that will be relevant for you every time you read.

The book itself is pink with flowers, but it isn’t too girly, if you know what I mean. It is beautiful, in my opinion. It’s a glossy cover and the flowers and the beloved word are metallic. It would be a wonderful gift if you were looking for something like this!

I am looking forward to reading this and I know Lauren is too. It has a ribbon page marker so that we can keep track of the page we are on, which is nice.

If you want to read what others thought about their Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women, feel free to click the banner below! I always like seeing what other people do with books like these!
Zondervan-Beloved-365-Devotions-for-Young-Women-ReviewsBeloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women

 

 

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Ellie Claire Art Journals {Review}

A few years ago, I noticed a huge show of people doing the Bible art journaling. I thought it was so beautiful! While I admired it so much, I realized that it was all overwhelming and I didn’t know how to start something like that! In that time, I have noticed that it has kind of morphed into its own little thing and there isn’t just one correct way to do it! Ahhh, much less stressful! I was happy to get these Ellie Claire Art Journals to help me along the way!
Ellie Claire Art JournalsAll of these books are different, but really, they complement each other by teaching you different aspects of journaling! I will go through each one and point out different features of them.
Ellie Claire Art Journals
The Illustrated Word – An Illuminated Bible Coloring Journal.

Just as medieval monks brought Scripture to life through intricate handwritten and illustrated manuscripts hundreds of years ago, you can now create your own keepsake to be treasured for years to come. Forty illustrations have been recreated as line drawings to color. Full-color illustrations from the archives of the Museum of the Bible make this journal a true masterpiece.

Ellie Claire Art Journals

This journal is unique… There are a lot of pages included, with plenty of room to write on all of the pages.

Every other page spread looks like this one. A coloring page on the right and then a small cut out print of it on the left side. It gives you ideas on how you can color it from the original. It also mentions what illustration it is from. This particular one is from The Church of England Book of Common Prayer, 1662.

The variety throughout the book is such that you will definitely find something that will have you wanting to get out your markers. There are pages with animals, people, plants, designs..

On the spreads that don’t have this set up, there is just one small image on one corner and it is usually the full scale color image from the coloring page, or something to do with it. I love how it all ties in together!

This book is just a very easy casual coloring type book that you can journal in!

Ellie Claire Art Journals
Illuminate Your Story – Journal.

Illuminated letters once adorned the pages of books and Bibles giving them rich color and gliding that made the text come alive. Today, illuminated letters are enjoying a renaissance, encouraging beautiful illustration in planners, journals, and personal art.

Illuminate Your Story features easy-to-follow instructions, inspiring quotes, and practice space to help you create amazing letters, flourishes, and more. Whether you draw in your jornal, Bible, or elsewhere, this how-to guide will help you develop gorgeous images that add beauty to your story.

Ellie Claire Art Journals
This book fascinated me right from the first page. There was a nice introduction that explained about illuminated manuscript and over the next few pages it goes over the different styles of letters. Then there is a section called The Process about the lettering and another page on the supplies you need to create your own and how to use the journal.

The rest of the book is so full of details! I am hoping that I can give it justice by my explanations!

Each letter gets two full spreads of how to’s on how to make that letter. There is also a spread with journaling pages and at the top of one page is a quote that starts with that letter! In between are also some spreads on how to do certain designs. There are animals, but most of them are just different design features.

I will say that some of the letters that fall later in the alphabet only have one spread, etc,. That makes sense as they just aren’t used as often as the other letters.

But wait, there’s more! 🙂 The details on the back of the book are great too! There is a ribbon page marker to keep your spot, an elastic to keep the book closed, AND an elastic pen holder on the spine!

Like I said, this one is just full of all the small details…
Ellie Claire Art Journals
Faith & Lettering journal.

Reignite your devotional time, imprint Scripture on your heart, and dig deep into the Word of God through the art of lettering. Expert tips will help you pursue a deeper faith by expressing your God-given creativity.

Ellie Claire Art Journals
This book has a more modern feel to it than the last one. The colors and layout just make a happy book.

The first page has a presented to page that you can fill in. There are a couple pages of introduction that also include a how to use, which if there is one in anything I am doing, I always make sure to read it.

Also included are a lot of different pages in this book that help in your lettering. There are pages just like the one above with different Bible verses. They are all different, and with different colors, but all of them use these bright colors. They are so pretty!

Of course there are journaling pages too, as you can see in the picture.. Then, throughout the book are some practice pages. They have the lettered Bible verse and then another one that is fainter for you to trace. A few more sections for you to do it on your own are also on the page.

Another thing that is interspersed through the book are pro tips. It could be flourishes or banners, or whatever.. But there is a tip and then plenty of room for you to practice the mentioned item.

The colors in this book are so pretty and happy! This book also has an elastic on the spine to keep a pen.

All three of these books are so helpful and unique! But like I mentioned, they all kind of work together with different things taught! They all will lay flat when you set them down so that you don’t have to hold them open and the pages are thicker to help with bleeding from pens. The price is good as well, just being a few dollars range from each other.

Depending on what you are looking for when it comes to learning journaling, you could get any one of these, or get all three! Make sure to check out the website for Ellie Claire Art Journals too!

I was provided these journals to review and these are all my opinions. In fact, I don’t think I could pick a favorite!

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Dang airline status…

airline
So, I thought that we were done traveling for the year. But then I get an email from the airline. If I just spend a couple hundred more dollars and get a few more flight segments in before the end of the year, I can bump up to Gold. Dang airline status…

Now we have to go on a few more trips, because I would rather fly somewhere than buy miles. I mean, it’s more fun, right?

I am thinking they will mostly just be overnight trips since Jeffy has to go to New York once a month anyway.

There really isn’t anything I need to see there until they are decorated for Christmas, so I think that they will be somewhat relaxing trips, minus the holiday travel that is always busier than usual.

I am looking forward to when they are done remodeling the airport. We go to Laguardia and it has been ages already and I know that there is still a ton left to do.

Are you traveling for the holidays or before the end of the year?

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What I read in October

Welll, I haven’t read much at all lately. We had a lot of travel days and one of the books I had with me just wasn’t a good plane book, if you know what I mean.. Here is what I read in October. Hopefully you read more than I did, lol.
What I read in OctoberMessy Beautiful Friendship by Christine Hoover – Women long for deep and lasting friendships but often find them challenging to make. The private angst they feel regarding friendship often translates into their own insecurity and isolation. Christine Hoover offers women a fresh, biblical vision for friendship that allows for the messiness of our lives and the realities of our schedules. She shows women
– what’s holding them back from developing satisfying friendships
– how to make and deepen friendships
– how to overcome insecurity, self-imposed isolation, and past hurts
– how to embrace the people God has already placed in their lives as potential friends
– and how to revel in the beauty and joy of everyday friendship
With stories of real friendships and guidance drawn from Scripture, Hoover encourages women to intentionally and purposefully invest in one of the most rewarding relationships God has given us.

What I thought: Some of this book had me nodding right along, like, yes…this is me! And then I got lost in the shuffle.. But all in all I think it was a good book!
What I read in October
Room by Emma Donoghue – To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world. . . . It’s where he was born, it’s where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it’s the prison where she has been held for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But with Jack’s curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer.

Room is a tale at once shocking, riveting, exhilarating–a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child.

What I thought – I loved this book! I kind of guessed about how certain things would go, but it was still nicely done! I am kind of wondering how the movie was, as I have not seen it. It was the book that I finished quicker than the other one this month as it was fiction and I tend to read those faster. I enjoyed it!

That’s it…that’s all I read for the whole month! Let me know if you read anything that you loved!

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Balancing Diapers and Deadlines {Review}

I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time getting things done by my deadlines. Well, they almost always get done on time, but I always wait until the last minute. It’s my own fault too! I was interested in checking out Balancing Diapers and Deadlines by Lisa Tanner Writing .

1-Balancing-Diapers-Deadlines-course
I don’t have any kids in diapers, and it’s been ages since they HAVE been in diapers, but I think this course applies anyway!

Now my kids have jobs and are looking at college options all while we are still homeschooling.

I have obligations that all have deadlines and doing the home stuff too, you know, like most moms out there!
Balancing Diapers - Course
As you log on, you can see a very easy to navigate menu. It is pretty self explanatory, just click on the first Unit and go from there!

Each unit has an introduction and then some lessons. These lessons are all different. Some give you things to think about, some give you ideas to implement, but they all go towards the same goal.

As you go through each section you can then mark it complete. That way you know where you left off. Or what I did in a couple spots was NOT mark it complete so that I could go back to that section again.

Balancing Diapers - Decisions

So far, this is the Unit that speaks to me the most!

I have the WORST time making decisions. What do I want for lunch? I don’t know. It’s the story of my life.

This unit reminds me of that meme that went around a while back, about the mind being like a computer with too many tabs open and the music playing, etc.

How many of us feel like that often? I know I do!

A lot of the suggestions mentioned in this section are so very good! Of course, some don’t really apply to me, and that’s ok, they may apply to you! It is just due to my kids ages mostly. So, if your kids are younger, this will be perfect!

I still like how she narrows down different ideas for your time. It’s just so simple. But to see it written down, with a plan, that makes it so much easier for me!

Like right now, I have quite a few things due. But you know what? I am also on a little vacation type thing. I want to go out and explore and see places that I have been wanting to see again for a long time…

But I also have these obligations and deadlines. And also the plus of fast internet, I mean, hello…definitely need to take advantage of that!

So the last few days have been like a game of tug of war. Yesterday I didn’t get much done because of jet lag and I pulled something in my shoulder area so I was just sore. But things must still get done!

Anyway! Another section that I need help with is chores. I have a great system down for the kids. It works out so well! When they do them….teens. But I wish I had this in place years ago!

She gives you ideas on chores around the house, laundry, all the good stuff. I am pretty proud of the system I have set up for the kids, but um…I kind of need a system for me! She mentions what she does and I am excited to figure this all out when I get home again!

We do get chores done, and it is usually pretty even for Jeffy and I, but some of the things sneak up on us. Mostly it is the chores that only need doing once a month. It would be nice to have something made up that would organize what we need to do daily, monthly, etc.

I am going to get on that asap!
Balancing Diapers - Meals
Another area that I want help in is for meals. Lately we have been having the same things every week. I love these things, but they are getting old. This past week we threw in two meals that we haven’t had in a while and it definitely made a difference!

I would like to look more into meal planning, and I think this section will be great for me. I haven’t had a chance to look at it thoroughly as I think I need to be home with all of my recipes and such around me.

But you can bet next week when I am back home, I will be sitting down and going through this Unit carefully!

There is so much that people can get out of this course. Even if all of it doesn’t apply to you, there is definitely help here! I mean, I don’t have a business and I don’t have kids in diapers. But I have already gotten so much information and the way it is written out just makes sense to me!

If you want to read what others thought of their time with Balancing Diapers and Deadlines feel free to click on the banner below!

Balancing Diapers and Deadlines

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Last trip of the year – California

We are off on another trip tomorrow! This one is tricky. We are doing a quick trip up to New York and then we are off to California!
California
You know how long it has been since we have seen palm trees?

I am looking forward to being done in NYC and going on to San Diego. There is just more room, is’t more relaxing, and we are excited to see the changes since the last time we were there!

We were trying to figure out when the last time we were there was and we just can’t do it! We used to go all the time, back when we were first married and then even when the kids were little. It was just a 5-6 hour drive which isn’t all that bad.

Now that we live on the East Coast, we never thought we would be back on the opposite coast any time soon.

There are so many things that we want to see, but almost more importantly, so many places we want to eat!

In-N-Out, Rubios, real Mexican food… Gah…just thinking about it all makes me realize I am going to gain ten pounds…hahaha!

Well, I better get packing. It’s going to be interesting because of the two different climates. It’s also going to be chilly when we get back home. I am definitely going to bring a jacket, but hopefully just a squishy one that can be shoved in my carry-on or something..

Wish me luck! 🙂

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Hurricane Michael

So, it seems like Michael wanted to outdo Florence! And he definitely succeeded at our house! Did you get anything from Hurricane Michael?
Hurricane Michael
The silly thing is, I was watching the path since before it was anything really.. I saw that it kept saying it was going to swing over NC.. But we didn’t prepare anything at all.

I guess we thought that it would be so weak by the time that it got to us. We had no idea!

There was definitely a lot more rain with Florence, we had another flooding type situation going like we did at the beginning of August.

But the wind this time around. We lost this huge tree in the picture and that knocked down another huge tree. Then there were a lot of smaller trees as casualties as well.

It’s hard to see it in the picture as it was still raining and blowing like crazy. I guess it was probably not a good idea for me to be out there taking pictures since things were falling still, good sized branches and such.

Thankfully we didn’t lose power or have any trees land on anything important. We had friends that were without power for almost a week, and some lived in our own city. Not sure why we were spared!

I see one more thing forming in the Atlantic, and I am hoping that it doesn’t turn into much. Then, the season should be over shortly after that.

These hurricanes seem to be getting stronger every year that we have been here!

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Heirloom Audio St. Bartholomew’s Eve {Review}

Heirloom Audio has done it again! You guys know how much of a fan I am of their audio dramas! The latest one is called St. Bartholomew’s Eve.
St. Bartholomew's EveNow, I will admit, I really didn’t know much about this period of time going into it…therefore, the kids didn’t either! But I think that made it even more exciting!

But because we didn’t know much about it all before hand, it made listening to it a little confusing.

We ended up listening to it twice!

The first time around we did chapter by chapter, a new one each day, which is what we usually do with Heirloom Audio products.

I think that helped and hindered us on knowing what was going on. First of all, the accents were really strong this time for us. Second, there are a lot of characters right away in the story. And third, the not knowing the background of the story that I already mentioned.

I think that this particular drama would have benefited greatly from the study guides that they used to put out as an add on with purchase! I miss those!

But what we decided to do, was finish going through each chapter one by one like we were. We started to research more about that time period, and then we understood more of the story, the characters, and what was going on in each scene!

It is quite a sad story we figure out, even moreso than the drama portrays. Tens of thousands of Huguenots all across France were killed.

This is acted out in this audio book, so keep that in mind. There are a couple parts that have a little of this violence. The suggested age for this is 6-16+, but I would listen to it first for yourself if you have some of the younger ones. You will then be able to know what they would be comfortable with.

Anyway, after we listened to it once through, chapter by chapter, and then did the research about all that went on and the circumstances around it all, we listened to it again.

This time we listened to it in two sittings. One cd at a time. That was the best thing to do! It definitely helped us remember who the characters were and what was going on.

The little stories within the stories are great. There are characters that are thrown in here and there and then surprise you with another appearance at the end in a more lighter, happier time.

This story mentions  a couple different virtues, but I love that they also threw humbleness in there. It was just quick, but I think being humble is so important!
Heirloom-Audio-ProductionsI appreciate these audio theater stories so much! They put so much life into stories that make it so much more real. You can always read about it like we did to understand more, but to hear it with such lifelike emotion and sounds, it makes such a difference!

If you are new to Heirloom Audio, it isn’t just an audio book being read. This is basically like going to the theater to watch a movie, but with a blindfold. They put so much work into the sounds and the effects of everything. The actors put their all into their characters as well!

I love listening to the very end where they list the credits of these. One actor can play a few different characters and sometimes we are caught by surprise by which ones they had played!

While I wasn’t sure if we were going to like St. Bartholomew’s Eve, it has definitely turned into one of our favorites! I am so glad that we were able to really learn about this like we did as it really hasn’t been mentioned much in our history books!

If you want to read what others had to say about their time with Heirloom Audio and St. Bartholomew’s Eve, feel free to click the banner below!
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Heirloom Audio St. Bartholomew’s Eve

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Another fun trip!

We just had some crazy travel! This one was another fun trip!
another fun trip
This trip was squished in between two other trips, so it was pretty hectic!

Jeffy’s family flew in from Arizona and we rented a cabin-y type place for all of us. It worked out well as there was also a guest house that the two grandmas stayed in and almost everyone else had their own room. Kyle didn’t like the bed he had so he slept on the couch, and then Lauren and Emily shared a bed.

The place had it’s quirks but it was definitely something that added to the memories of the trip.

We got there on the 3rd, but his family wasn’t planning on getting there until after midnight as they had a late flight and then a little bit of a drive.

Emily’s birthday happened to be on the 4th, so we filled up as many balloons as the two helium tanks allowed and went to work. It was fun! It made it a bit more festive for them to walk in I think.

We had a bunch of fun playing some games, we went to the Biltmore for the Chihuly exhibit and we also did our favorite bike ride at the Virginia Creeper trail.

I was hoping for a bit more in the fall color department, but you can’t win them all! Maybe next year!!

I don’t have more pictures to share as I am writing this between stops, maybe I will add more at a later date!

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CashCrunch Careers {Review}

All three of my kids really don’t know exactly what they want to be when they grow up. I mean, they have ideas….but… I am sure you know how that is. We were excited to try out the CashCrunch Careers survey from CashCrunch Games.

CashCrunchCareers
A couple years ago Ryan did a free career test online with his homeschool co-op group. Nothing really clicked for him 100%, but then again, it was a couple years ago.

I wanted to try CashCrunch Careers with all three kids to see the different results for all of them.
CashCrunchQuestions
The questionnaire is set up like any of the personality tests online pretty much. Just click the one that is more like you. A lot of them are similar but just using different words that help the results be more accurate.

The kids all did them at different times, but it worked out that they did them in age order, so I will mention Ryan first.
CashCrunch Results - Ryan2
CashCrunch Results Ryan3I like that it goes through and mentions the attributes as well as the motivators and de-motivators. Sometimes you many not even think that you feel about something so strongly until it is pointed out to you.

The Career Attributes section totally describes Ryan. Anyone that knows him would more than likely agree. I can totally see him in the other results section.

Now, I will list both of those sections for Kyle.

CashCrunch Results - Kyle
CashCrunch Results - Kyle2
This describes Kyle as well, although there was a couple surprises that I didn’t even think about, but totally make sense..

Here are the same sections for Lauren.
CashCrunch Results - Lauren2
CashCrunch Results - Lauren3
CashCrunch Results - Lauren4Again, these definitely describe Lauren!

All three of the kids are very calm and adaptable. They have a lot of similar results, but some definite different ones as well!

Now, you might be wondering what jobs they were matched up with since they were similar yet different in the above results. Here they are, with Ryan at the top, Kyle in the middle, and Lauren on the bottom.
CashCrunch Results - Ryan
CashCrunch Results - Kyle3
CashCrunch Results - LaurenIt is interesting that their results were similar yet different, just like they are. Almost all of them are management positions, which doesn’t fit any of them at all.

The website mentions that most people will get results that are similar like this. As you are looking at the list, you can then click on each job and it will bring you to another menu.
CashCrunch Agriculture
CashCrunch Agriculture4
So, in clicking on the Farmers & Ranchers section, one of the few that weren’t a manager position, you can see the tabs at the top. Under the Course tab, it lists the general duties, activities and then it shows how it matched up with the quiz you took.
CashCrunch Agriculture2
On the Colleges tab, it has a list of colleges that you could look into that involve this particular job.
CashCrunch Agriculture3
The video tab includes a video that shows more of what the job is, and different things about it.

You can see that you can click on any career on the list at the left, and it will take you to the same sort of page that you can then click through.

The site is very easy to navigate, which is always a plus in my opinion!

I do like seeing a lot of the different results, but I do wish that the listing for careers would be more in depth. None of my kids are interested in a manager position, but as you click through the different jobs, there are definitely some that they would be interested in.

And on another note, I didn’t realize that a funeral director would be such a popular job career on here…goodness..

All in all, I do like this program, I just wish the results were more finely tuned instead of mostly the manager type jobs that were listed. Immediately my kids just said that they weren’t interested in anything because they saw the word manager in the title.

I appreciate all the information that was gathered and listed into one place, the college lists and such. That is so helpful to have, especially if one of the jobs was interesting to you, you could just click on the list of schools and go from there…

It definitely gets you thinking!

If you want to read what others thought of their time with CashCrunch Careers, feel free to click the banner below!
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CashCrunch Careers

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