This is my Virtual Welcome Mat!
Take your shoes off and stay a while!
My main blog is over here at ilovemy5kids!

I'm a Christ-follower who has a household of 7 - who sometimes writes reviews, all with a Family Friendly perspective.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How about an EASTER giveaway???


Don’t you just love Easter? 
I love Easter for many reasons!  One of them is being with family and preparing a wonderful meal, not to mention it is the holiday that is the reason for my whole being!
In our area, we have a wonderful store…HEB!  (My husband loves going grocery shopping there.  Mainly because ours has a sushi bar.)
This is a deal I’ll probably be snagging for Easter…(I love the Meal Deals)
Easter Meal Deal: Good Thru 3/24-4/6/2010
Buy H-E-B Spiral Sliced Ham, H-E-B Fully Cooked® Brisket, or H-E-B Fully Cooked® Prime Rib Roast, get 8 items free with in-store coupon:
  • H-E-B Tea, assorted varieties
  • Ball Park 2 lb meat franks, 32 oz
  • Fresh Express Premium Garden Salad, 9 - 12 oz., assorted varieties
  • Kraft salad dressing, 8 oz, assorted varieties
  • H-E-B Entertainer or Bite Size Deli Crackers, 4.4 - 9 oz., assorted varieties
  • H-E-B Creamy Creations(R) Churn Style, 56 oz, assorted varieties
  • Kraft Natural Chunk Cheese, 7 - 8 oz regular, or 2% assorted varieties
  • Handi-foil oval or rectangular roaster
How would you like to win a $20.00 gift card from HEB? 
Here’s how…(three entries possible)
  1. Leave a comment telling me why you celebrate or not celebrate Easter? (My answer would be:  We celebrate because Jesus is no longer in the grave but has risen!)
  2. Leave a comment telling me you became a fan and leave a comment on my new Facebook Fan Page saying “I’m entering the HEB Easter contest.”
  3. Leave a comment telling me your favorite Easter memory or a memory that you want for your children to remember.  (Mine would be that we have an Easter tree.)
Open to US residents only.  Giveaway ends on Easter night!  Comments will be closed.  I will email the winner and they will have 48 hours to answer or I will give it to someone else.
If you looking for easy recipes or ideas, try HEB’s website!
Blessings to you!!!  You are loved!!!

What's in the Bible? DVDs plus Giveaway:

This truly Works for Me and my family!!!


My family and I took a trip and along the way we popped this DVD into the player.  Although, my hubs and I couldn’t see it – we heard something wonderful happening in the back seat.


Then our DVD player broke.  So, when we got to our destination we played this again.  Honestly, I was in tears it because it was so good.

Phil Vischer, the creator of Veggie Tales starts off the DVD by telling his testimony about Bob and Larry and how it went bankrupt.  He no longer has anything to do with Bob and Larry.

His humility and transparency caught my attention more than anything.  He totally gave all the glory to the Lord.  This series in my opinion is 100 times better than Veggie Tales.  Even though Veggie Tales brought Bible stories to the minds of children, What’s in the Bible explains why we NEED the Bible and Why we need the Creator of the Bible.
As for the What’s in the Bible, I learned more in this video than in my 28 years of being a Christian and going to Sunday School.  Not that I haven’t been taught – this is just easier to follow than some professor, Berean or Philosopher.

Many of the characters, I recognized their voices from Veggie Tales.  However, this series has a different take than Bob and Larry, it is a multimedia format.  There are puppets, cartoons, and Phil Vischer in person.

It has humor and is something that could be played in Sunday School without wondering if it is going to offend anyone.  I would also recommend this to homeschoolers.  Seriously, it is just so informative.

This DVD series is one that is going to stay in our permanent personal library – it is just that good.
Here are some questions it answers:
  • Who wrote the Bible?
  • What the difference is between the Catholic and Protestant Bible?
  • How long a “Day” is in the seven days of creation?
  • What does salvation and redemption mean?
  • Why there is sin and what can be done about it?

Oh yeah, it is good!  All those are answered plus more!  Not to mention, it is on a kid’s level.  (Therefore most adults will understand as well.  Hello – my brain does not compute some days and I need this kind of education just so I will be interested to pursue more knowledge.)
Here is a video clip…
Isn’t that exciting?

Guess what?  I’m giving away two certificates, one for a free copy of each DVD.

Here are the ways to win: (3 entries (separate comments) MAX)

{You must do #1 in order to be qualified or all others will be disqualified.}
1.  Leave a comment telling me what color is your Bible cover.  (If you don’t have a Bible, then just put “transparent”.)
2. I have a new Facebook fan page – if you are a fan, please leave a comment here and there saying you are a fan.
3.  (Extra Entry)  Tell me something about the Bible that has spoken to you.  Do you understand it?  Do you desire to read it?  Have you ever read it?  I want to know if it is important in your life or just a drink coaster. {I’m all about honesty…so no fibs!}

This giveaway will end on April 10th and is open to the United States only.  I will exercise the right to delete an inappropriate comment.

For more information, please go to www.whatsinthebible.com or www.Tyndale.com.

I did receive a complimentary Review copy from Tyndale Publishers and was not compensated for writing a favorable review.

Blessings to you!!!  You are loved!!!

Official Stop On The What's In The Bible Blog Tour

Vol. 1 – Genesis: In the Beginning,   
978-1-4143-3630-5, DVD,    
approx. 60 minutes, $14.99,    

Vol. 2 – Exodus: Let My People Go,    
978-1-4143-3631-2, DVD,    
approx. 60 minutes, $14.99,    
Avail. March 2010 to Christian retailers

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Grub Book…


Rick and Bubba’s Big Honkin’ Book of Grub

by Rick Burgess and Bill “Bubba” Bussey

Retail Price: $16.99
ISBN: 1401604021

This book is written by two radio personalities.  On their radio, they are probably really funny but honestly I just didn’t get most of the humor. 

I love cookbooks.  I could just sit down and read a good cookbook in an afternoon.  This book is not that way.

It is written a large font and that just got on my nerves.  It was hard for me to read.

The recipes that are included in the book look fairly simple to make.  The places that were listed where to eat looked really good and made me hungry.

As for making me grow in my faith, well, it didn’t challenge me.  However, it was not a book that was written to make in grow in faith.

If you are a fan of the radio show, you might like the book and get the humor.  If not, well, you might just want to pass on.

Blessings to you!!!  You are loved!!!

I was given this book by Thomas Nelson for review only.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Scattered Petals

Scattered Petals
by Amanda Cabot
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3325-4
March, 2010 $14.99

Some books, you have to read book one in order to understand the following books but this was not the case in the Texas Dreams series.

Priscilla Morton, the main character, and her parents leave Boston and head to the Texas hill country.  I loved that it was set in Texas, although, I had not heard of many of the towns mentioned.

Immediately, the action starts.  A hold-up, shootings, violence and heroes are all in the first chapter.  This is not a boring book.  Zachary Webster, a man with his own personal battles enters the picture and you see a love story.  But, with every love story comes trials and frustrations - only this one has a little more than normal.

It was a very insightful book dealing with mature issues that many people might have in their personal life – from redemption and grace to just plain forgiveness.  I kept wondering what would happen next and how that would be handled.  I was pleasantly amazed at the ending.

This would be a perfect book for traveling or to read right before bed.  Although, this is a very easy read, I would definitely recommend this book to a mature reader due to some “adult” issues.

Blessings to you!  You are loved!!!

Note:  I was sent complimentary copy for review purposes only.  This review has not been monetarily compensated.  The review was my honest opinion and views and not influenced by the sponsor in any way.

Available March 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Distant Melody

A Distant Melody








A Distant Melody
Wings of Glory-Book 1 
by Sarah Sundin
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3421-3
$14.99; March 2010

This is a classic love story between two Americans during World War II.  Well, maybe not the classic.  Allie (the girl) is in another relationship with a man who she doesn’t love and he doesn’t love her.  In her parent’s eyes, he is the perfect mate for her, not to mention the perfect “one” to take over the family business. 

On a trip to a friend’s wedding, Allie meets Lt. Walter Novak.  A friendship blossoms and they part ways.  However, they begin a correspondence that will change both of their lives forever. 

This book drew me in from the start.  I fell in love with the characters and just enjoyed reading it.  It is a historical fiction piece, which made me really think of how it was for the people in World War II era.  I was amazed of the knowledge of history, that the author truly put in the book.  She also made it so easy to picture in my mind the events that were taking place.  It just made me want to learn more about the people of this time and what they had to go through. 

The cover of the book is gorgeous.  It just made me want to go back in time.

This would be a perfect book to take to the beach or just read right before bedtime. 

“Available March 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Note:  I was sent complimentary copy for review purposes only.  This review has not been monetarily compensated.  The review was my honest opinion and views and not influenced by the sponsor in any way.

the clouds roll away by Sibella Giorello

Retail Price: $14.99
ISBN: 1595545344

This fiction piece is about a woman named Raleigh Harmon.  She is a FBI agent who is investigating a celebrity’s “hate” crime.  As in many mysteries, there are twists and turns a person would not expect.
Her faith and not “luck” is what comes into play many times.

Sometimes I read for pleasure, sometimes I finish a book for the sake of just finishing what I started.  I was rather disappointed that Thomas Nelson published this book.  Although, there were no curse words, they were implied.  I lost a lot of respect and wanted to quit reading, numerous times.  There was also a lot of brutality and violence.  This book was no way meant for the tender-hearted.

The story of the book had a lot of history background.  In fact, if I could have gotten over the curse words and shocking images from a Christian publisher – I think I would have liked the book.

Did the book inspire me?  In one word, no.  This book did not provoke my faith or encourage me in any way.  I wish I had seen more encouragement.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Beaded Hope – Book review


ISBN:  978-1-4143-3212-3
List Price: $12.99
Release Date:  March 2010

There are some books that are life changing and there are some books that just waste paper.  Thankfully, this book is one of those that doesn’t waste any trees.

On a mission trip to South Africa, four ladies have a major life change.  Each lady has their own personal struggles that become lost due to other ladies testimonies and challenges.  They don’t just find answers - they find a way to save lives, by who would have guessed, selling beadwork.

This book encouraged me to works.  I was moved with emotion and a desire to help others.  It was written in a way, that just made you want to go to South Africa and experience the same things.

Would a recommend this book?  A thousand times yes! 

Blessings to you!  You are loved!!!

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.  I was not compensated for a “Good” Review. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Vote for me...please.

Okay, I've entered this contest. To win I need some help. All you have to do is hit the image below.

I'd really appreciate it! If I win $1000.00 - I'm going to give half the money to Beaded Hope. It is an organization that I have just fell in love with. It is to help ladies in South Africa to feed their families. With $14.00 you can feed two people.

So...please vote!

Vote For ilovemy5kids

Saturday, March 6, 2010

77 ways to save MONEY

This is a re-post – but I thought it might be worth your time and well money.
My hubby and I spoke on finances at our local MOPs’ group. (Mothers of Preschoolers) He is a wiz on setting up finances i.e. budgets, creating a plan and other nerdy stuff. I’m the one who likes to spend but with thrift in mind. We work well together, most of the time (don't ask about putting Christmas lights on the tree). I decided to come up with 77 ways to save or at least spend less. Most of these ideas, came from years of browsing the net or just word of mouth.
77 ways - WOW! Why 77? Well, 7 is my fave number. God used this number over and over in scripture, 7 days of creation, 7 days in a week, and so on...so then 77 ways to $pend $$$ was perfect, so to speak. This is in no particular order. Neither I nor this site are responsible for others changing their policy, price changing or other’s site’s content.

  1. Use cash not credit. (It actually hurts physically to spend cash.) Not to mention you won't be spending finance charges, late charges, and other fees.
  2. Coupon but beware; it can be time consuming. Food manufacturer coupons are hard to use in our area because we are limited on one particular store, which doesn't double, triple, or stack coupons. However, some other stores do stack, i.e. Walgreen’s, CVS, and Target and sometimes even Kmart. (Basically, that means when a product is on sale, you can use a manufacturer coupon and store coupon together.) Check with your own store to see their policy. This sometimes is not worth the trouble for the time issue. My time means a lot and I don't like spending all day sorting coupons. However, when I see a really good deal i.e. diapers, I'm there!
  3. If you do coupon - there are gobs of coupon sites. They will do the work for you. They will tell you when the best time to use each coupon and at what store. Google it! I got 124,000,000 sites. Also, I have some of my fave sites linked in my side bar.
  4. Price shop when buying in bulk. Buying in bulk does not necessarily mean you are saving money. Check it out!
  5. Look for your product online. http://www.pricepinx.com/ They will actually tell you when a price drops.
  6. A lot of stores now price match or offer a 10% back if you find a price lower than what is offered, even within 30 days of purchasing. Sears, Lowes, Home Depot, to name a few.
  7. Don’t gamble - put your money in a jar. It usually earns the same interest. (0%)
  8. Don’t give into whining from your kids or hubby at the check-out line. We don’t give allowances just because they are our kids. We give commissions. Each child has 5 chores that they are responsible for each day. We keep an easy to read chart on the refrigerator so they can mark off each chore. At the end of the week, Daddy pays them for each job that they did. Does it work? The kids now have more money than Mommy does.
  9. Make your own coffee and other fast food items. Make going to Star-bucks or McDonald’s a luxury. A white chocolate mocha grande costs $4.28. If I bought just one a week, that comes to $222.56 a year. One cheeseburger happy meal is $2.98. For one kid, once a week the total is $154.96, a year. For two kids, once a week, the total is $309.92, a year. For five kids, once a week, the total is $774.80, a year. Ouch!!!
  10. Make a budget for gifts and stick to it! I like to make it a game. I shop sales all year round and make it $5.00 a gift or less. (I do spend more on my hubby and my own children.) This is secret so don’t tell my friends or family. Besides, spending more time searching for the gift actually makes it more thoughtful. Target has HUGE clearances all year long. I have found many items $20.00 marked down to $3.00 or so. Even a $5.00 gift card to McD’s is thoughtful.
  11. Shop http://www.etsy.com/ - homemade gifts. Bargain here!
  12. Create a gift closet or a gift box. Keep a list in your purse who you need to buy for and what you have bought. It sure makes December so much less stressful.
  13. Prepare a weekly menu. This has been the biggest saver for us. www.orgjunkie.com has a blog party every Monday for ideas.
  14. If you like to eat out and want to save the cash check out http://www.topsecretrecipes.com/ or www.copycat.com.
  15. Start planning your Black Friday sales in August/September. It pays to be prepared. Check out this link Bargain Shopper Lady.
  16. WAIT WAIT WAIT for at least 24 hours on huge purchases I.e. furniture…
  17. Take a person with you who is budget conscience when shopping.
  18. Use group discounts. Just invite my family when you go to the zoo, aquarium, or even a semi-pro basketball game to get a large group discount.
  19. Lay off the gas when driving. Tickets are expensive!
  20. Keep your car in tune. Find someone who is a professional but doesn’t charge like a shop. Book time is a killer!
  21. Buy used if possible and if it is worth it. My time is very valuable - it’s sometimes worth it to buy brand new.
  22. Ask for the discount! If it has a grease stain on it - you have to spend time to get it out. (Target is good about this especially on home goods.)
  23. When on vacation visit the Convention and visitor bureau or Chamber of Commerce. They have a lot of coupons there!
  24. September is the month at a lot of vacation places go ½ off. It’s the month after summer (busy season) and before fall (busy season). Cruises from Sandals resorts sometimes go ½ off because of hurricane season - so make sure you get the traveler’s insurance.
  25. Drink water instead of cola when you go out eat. (We’ve developed a soft drink day - Sunday’s only.)
  26. Coupon codes for free shipping - just Google it!
  27. Don’t stop at the grocery store just to buy bread. Use crackers or tortillas instead. These bi-weekly stops are expensive and a time waster.
  28. 2 words - Spray Paint! Cheaper than buying new!
  29. Sonic has a happy hour 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. ½ off all drinks including slushes.
  30. When you fly - sometimes it is cheaper to drive a little to a neighboring airport than to the larger airport. (Cincinnati is usually more expensive than Dayton, Ohio which is 1 hour and 30 minutes away. The same is usually true for Houston Hobby and Houston Intercontinental.)
  31. Go meatless a couple of nights a week. An old Southern fave, beans and cornbread. Yum! Yum!
  32. Combine breakfast and lunch on the weekends ~ BRUNCH!
  33. New cars depreciate 70 percent in the 1st 4 years on average. Look at www.autotrader.com.
  34. Leasing a car is usually not worth the money!!! $300. A month = no car at the end. Just add up the figure and weigh it against a reliable used car. It is worth saving the money and buying used.
  35. Shop auto insurance among other insurance policies every six months to a year.
  36. Texas is deregulated - shop electricity rates! This saved us a bundle! Check your state.
  37. Take advantage of kids eat free nights or Family nights. Luby’s, Carino’s, IHOP, and Denney’s.
  38. Get on a ZERO based Budget! www.daveramsey.com
  39. Make sure your home insulated well. Investing a little saves a lot!
  40. Replace A/C filters timely - makes the air conditioner run less.
  41. Clean A/C coils at least once a year, again it makes it run less!
  42. Vacuum refrigerator coils once a year.
  43. Get on a birthday rewards list. www.freebirthdaytreats.com Signs you up for free meals!
  44. Toys-R-Us has a neat birthday program. Geoffrey always calls my kids on their birthday and sings them a song. Plus, they get a birthday card and coupon.
  45. Burger King, Sonic, and Whataburger also have kid’s birthday clubs.
  46. Vocalpoint is a neat site that you give your opinion and they send great coupons and free products.
  47. If you do sign up for offers online, it is wise to open a separate email account or at least a disposable account. Many places like to send spam and this is just a way to avoid it in your personal email.
  48. Stamps are $.42 plus the envelope - this could save a lot in a year’s time if you use Billpay or pay bills online.
  49. This may be over the top but make your own laundry detergent. My friend has done this and it is easy plus a big money saver!
  50. This may be way over the top but make your own hand soap. I’m doing this soon.
  51. Make your own curtains or mistreatments. Nester has so many simple decorating ideas on here! I love making my home a refuge and pretty, she gives the info on how to do it!
  52. Make sure you have enough house insurance. Home values increase and sometimes we forget about the insurance. (Happened to my parent’s rent house that burned down.)
  53. Sometimes multi-lining insurance is cheaper and sometimes not.
  54. Get your credit report! You can get a free one from each of the 3 BIG ones! Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
  55. Go to www.myrateplan.com, it helps you compare cell phones and rates.
  56. Look for bundle packages. (Ask for a deal - if I buy 2 will you give me ½ off?)
  57. Save that $1000. for that emergency fund. Then you will have money when the car needs that part that only exists when your car breaks down.
  58. If you never fly, why do you have that frequent flier card that you are paying high interest on?
  59. In some instances generics are wonderful, i.e. medicines. My pharmacy also delivers to my door for free! I don't have to stand in line with other sick people.
  60. Money saving mom has 100 ways to save $100.
  61. Check out www.bankrate.com, it looks for financing and checks bank rates.
  62. Go to www.gazelle.com, it buys old gadgets (cells, ipods, etc…).
  63. Patience - the sales will come! Those who wait will get a deal!
  64. Educate yourself - read a how-to book. We have learned how to tile, grout, roof, and much more just by asking tons of questions.
  65. Don’t be overwhelmed with money. It’s only paper. People are going to live forever - one way or another. Teach your children that they are more important than paper. However, also teach them to save, to spend and to give!
  66. Use coffee filters for snack time instead of paper plates.
  67. Use www.dillyeo.com. They have a deal a day for great gift ideas.
  68. Use your ceiling fans. They produce wind that blows on you to make you feel cooler so you don’t have to turn down the a/c.
  69. Get plant clippings from friends. You could do your whole yard from clippings. Contact a Master Gardener - they usually always share.
  70. Buy smaller plants and wait for them to grow instead of mature ones.
  71. Check out http://slickdeals.net/. Major sales!
  72. Check out http://www.dealcatcher.com/. More major sales and deals!
  73. Check out http://www.gottadeal.com/. Even more major sales and deals!
  74. Michaels has an unbelievable selection of cards and stationary usually marked down to $.50. They also have an entire room of close-outs.
  75. Hobby Lobby sends out a coupon every week.
  76. Save your receipts from Target - if the product goes a lower price then they will give you your money back. Other stores do this as well. Just gotta ask!
  77. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you. Luke 6:38
If you have more, please let me know.  I'm always looking for a great deal!
Blessings to you!!!   You are loved!!!

Winner of $20. HEB Gift Card

Congrats to Veronica who said “I love HEB.”

I hope you enjoy your HEB Gift Card!

Blessings to you!!!  You are LOVED!!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

We have a winner for the Poster…

Jessica (gabbys_mom) wins the Poster from Online Poster Printing!
Blessings to you!!!  You are loved!!!

A week of Pampers Diapers and a Liz Lange Designer Clutch Giveaway plus Review

I received a pack of Pampers all-new Cruisers with Dry Max a couple of weeks ago.  They have Sesame Street designs on the front and back.   They also have Velcro-type tabs to fasten the diaper closed (I’m so thankful I never had to use safety pins unlike my parents).  The colors were more of a Prince color than a Princess color.  The diapers have a super soft feel to them, which has always been an important issue to me.  Softness means less friction which makes a happier baby.  Happier babies mean happier Mommies!
Since my baby is now potty-trained and I didn’t want to put a diaper on him, I performed my own “wetness” test.  I figured since bottles were at least 8 oz ~ I poured 1 cup of water in the middle of the diaper.  It did get heavy but it stayed dried.
Want to try it yourself?
HERE’S YOUR CHANCE to win a redeemable coupon for a free week’s supply of the all-new Pampers’ Cruisers with Dry Max AND a Liz Lange designer diaper clutch.   Clutch with Cruisers
  • Just leave a comment telling me that you want to win!  You don’t have to have a blog to do this.  Just make sure you leave your email address so I can contact you!  (Please make sure you leave some way to contact you or you forfeit your prize.)
For extra entries….
  • Follow www.ilovemy5kids-reviews.blogspot.com on a reader, in Google friend connect, or by email.  (Leave another comment saying you did.)
  • Follow me on Twitter, @loving5kids and Tweet:   Win a week’s worth of diapers plus clutch #loving5kids  http://bit.ly/aB1Yj7 (Leave another comment with the permalink.)
This ends on March 14, 2010! Open to US only!
Blessings to you!!!  You are loved!!!

This Works for ME!
Note:  I was sent a pack of diapers for review purposes only.  This review has not been monetarily compensated.  The review was my honest opinion and views and not influenced by the sponsor in any way.