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Mysteries, polka dots, California Rolls, TJ Maxx, cozy blankets, rainy days and getting the first spoonful of peanut butter out of the jar make me smile. Spiders, rude people, cold fingers and toes, baby leashes, people that don't wrap their packages before going to the Post Office, poison ivy and Math (pretty much all of it) make me want to scream. My perfect day would be spent with my wonderful husband and sweet girls- watching movies in our jammies! Of course, having the movie theater to ourselves would be great, too. Please pass the popcorn and M&M's.:) I am saved by the grace of God. He is my constant companion and hears my every prayer. What a blessing! I'd love to hear from you! Lori at toosillysisters@cox.net

Thursday, April 23, 2015

God, Me and Sweet Iced Tea- The Perfect Way to Begin Your Day!

My Thoughts:

Rose Chandler Johnson has done a lovely job of joining sweet sentiments and personal insight that help her readers experience tender and thoughtful moments with God. Each devotional can be completed in 5-10 minutes but can easily be extended with journaling ideas, Bible reading prompts, personal reflection and prayer. I enjoyed the personal stories that the author shared and the way that she ended each entry with a prayer focus and encouragement. It's a bit like sharing a glass of sweet tea while chatting with a dear friend! God, Me and Sweet Iced Tea is the perfect way to begin or end your day- with the Lord.

About the book:
God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, July 2013)

In the South, nothing is more refreshing than a glass of sweet iced tea. Nothing, that is, except experiencing God in those small, everyday moments.

God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea is a deeply personal collection of spiritual treasures designed to help readers experience new mercies each morning. Seasoned with insight and grace, this tender devotional points to the divine presence of God in everyday moments. God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea will help readers develop a daily habit of turning to God in those quiet moments of reflection.

Purchase a copy: http://amzn.to/1Do6Hzd

About the author:

Rose Chandler Johnson's
 devotions, poems, and articles have appeared in numerous Christian publications. She enjoys writing for her popular blog, Write Moments with God, and engaging with her readers. Rose is from a tiny Georgia town, and has lived near Augusta, Georgia, for the last twenty-eight years. For the last twenty years, Rose has been a French and English teacher. She's also worked as a counselor, librarian, and ESOL teacher. Rose enjoys baking, gardening, and spending time with her six children and their families.

Find Rose online: website

*I was given this book by Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know- A Must Read for Moms and Teen Daughters!

10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know is an easy to read book filled with real life stories, advice, and loving reassurance to help guide your tween/teen daughter's choices as well as guard her heart. I read it with my daughters (ages 12 and 17) and my only regret was that I couldn't have read it when I was their age. (Big sigh) It could have saved me from a lot of heartache and misguided choices.

The 10 Ultimate Truths are spot on and the author, Kari Kampakis, beautifully details them with a focus on the Lord and realistic, engaging stories that every girl can relate to.

Truth #10- KINDNESS is more important than POPULARITY. (Dreaded cliques. Remember the movie Mean Girls?)
Truth #9- You were born to fly. (Be yourself. Smile.)
Truth #8- Todays's choices set the stage for your reputation. "Do not be deceived: 'Bad company ruins good morals.'" 1 Corinthians 15:33
Truth #7- Chasing boys doesn't make you cool. It makes you a nuisance. (Enough said)
Truth #6- You weren't made to worship yourself. (Joy: Jesus, Others, Yourself)
Truth #5- People peak at different times in life. Trust God's plan for you. "And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation." Romans 5:4
Truth #4- Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Otherwise you'll never stick to your guns. (Peer pressure!)
Truth #3- Boys are visual creatures. The clothing choices you make affect the way they see you. (Body image and modesty.)
Truth #2- Pretty girls are a dime a dozen. Outer beauty attracts attention, but inner beauty is what holds it. (The beauty of loving the blessings God has given you.)
Truth #1- the source of all peace and happiness lives inside you. Learn to listen to the whispers of God over the megaphone of public opinion. (Reminds me so much of the movie "A Walk to Remember". What God wants from us is obedience.)

I really enjoyed this book because it was real, encouraging, and written by a lady that remembers how it feels to be young. It's not easy! So many temptations and the world's view is very different than God's view. Please read this book with your tween/teen daughter. It will be a blessing to you both and a rich time of reflection, dreams and discussion.

These ten simple truths can build one big change in your daughter's life.
When Kari Kampakis wrote a blog post in July 2013 titled "10 Truths Young Girls Should Know," the post went viral and was shared more than 65,000 times on Facebook. Obviously her message strikes a chord with moms and dads across the country. This nonfiction book for teen girls expands on these ten truths and can reach the hearts of both moms and daughters.
Teen girls deal daily with cliques, bullying, rejection, and social media nightmares. Kari Kampakis wants girls to know that they don't have to compromise their integrity and future to find love, acceptance, and security. Her ten truths include:
  • Kindness is more important than popularity.
  • People peak at different times of life. Trust God's plan for you.
  • Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Otherwise, you'll never stick to your guns.
  • Today's choices set the stage for your reputation.
  • You were born to fly.
Fans of Kari's blog and newspaper column will not want to miss her first book. Filled with practical advice, loving support, and insightful discussion questions, 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know is a timely and approachable list of guidelines that will help young girls navigate a broken world and become the young women God made them to be.
About the Author
Kari Kampakis is a newspaper columnist, blogger, and former children’s photographer from Birmingham, Alabama. Her writing has been featured on HuffPost Parents and reflects her passion for family and God. A graduate of the University of Alabama, Kari holds an MBA and public relations degree. She and her husband, Harry, live in blessed chaos with their four daughters and a dog named Lola.

*I was given this book by BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado- Encore!!

My Thoughts:

Coffee, Angels and the God Blog. Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe is a treasure! I'll admit that when I first heard of this book it sounded a bit... hokey. I wasn't interested and didn't sign up to review it. But as time passed and I read the raving reviews, I was intrigued. Luckily, another opportunity presented itself and I didn't waste a second! My daughters (12 and 17) and I all vouch for the charm of this story. We read it together in the car over a few weeks and they each asked me to not read without them present! They didn't want to miss a page- and neither did I. :)

Chelsea Chambers is our leading lady. Recently separated from her NFL star husband (he cheated on her) and anxious to begin a new life with her 2 children. A charming coffee shop has been in her family since her grandmother opened it many years ago and it's now all hers. Sounds lovely, but chain coffee shops abound, Chelsea is low on money, her children need her and her one employee ditches her after her grand reopening is way beyond grand. Business is looking pretty bleak...

Then, out of nowhere, appears the clumsy, eager, endearing, oddly dressed Manny. He's not what he appears to be and we all fell in love with him immediately! (Mr. Lucado- Please consider making this book the first in a series. We'd love to see Manny again!) He's just what Chelsea needs- a friend to lift her spirits, a hard worker, and a talented barista. Now if he could just figure out how to walk through the swinging doors...

Business really begins to boom when a router is installed that directs all customers to a blog. A very special blog that allows everyone to ask one question. It appears that God himself answers the questions- whether they are in English, Spanish, Chinese, etc. Is it real? The answers are compelling and seem legitimate...

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe is utterly delightful. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it with my daughters. It made us laugh! And it made me cry, too. We do have a few questions, though. Will Manny every get to see the last movie in the Star Wars trilogy? Is  Mr. Darling really allergic to raspberries? Will Bo remarry? Did Chelsea really like riding the roller coasters? Needless to say, we'd love to read a sequel. :)

What if you could ask God anything? What would you ask? And how would he answer?
Chelsea Chambers is on her own. After a public split from her NFL superstar husband, Chelsea takes a bold step out of the limelight and behind the counter of the Higher Grounds Café, an old-fashioned coffee shop in dire need of reinvention. But when her courage, expert planning, and out-of-this-world cupcakes fail to pay the bills, this newly single mom finds herself desperate for help. Better yet, a miracle.
Then a curious stranger lands at Chelsea's door, and with him, an even curiouser string of events. Soon, customers are flocking to the Higher Grounds Café, and not just for the cupcakes and cappuccino. They've come for the internet connection to the divine. Now the café has become the go-to place for people in search of answers to life's biggest questions.
When a catastrophe strikes and her ex comes calling, Chelsea begins to wonder if the whole universe is conspiring against her quest to make it on her own. After a shocking discovery opens her eyes to the unseen world around her, Chelsea finds the courage to ask, and heaven answers in a most unexpected way.
About the Author
More than 120 million readers have found comfort in the writings of Max Lucado. He ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and a sweet but misbehaving mutt, Andy.
*I was given a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You? by Rachael Carman

My Thoughts:

Rachael Carman is refreshingly real and speaks from the heart in her book, How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You? The message is delivered along with personal stories to illustrate that she struggles as a parent at times, just like the rest of us. At first glance, I thought the focus was on children but I soon discovered that it was for adults! How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You? is God talking to parents. Yes, indeed! We are God's children, are we not?

Chapter titles like "Slow down!", "I'm Not Talking to Them, I'm Talking to You" and "Let's Go for a Walk" are short but richly written. They made me see my relationship with my children in a whole new way. It made me think about how I talk to my children and what I expect from them. Since reading this book, I've renewed my words with love and my patience has increased. It was just what I needed to recharge my parental battery!  I highly recommend this book!

Rachael Carman impressed me with her book, How to Have a HEART for Your Kids and How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You? affected me the same way. I love how she thinks and her love for the Lord is evident throughout her writing. Thank you for sharing your heart, Rachael Carman!

About the book:

How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You? (Apologia Educational Ministries, September 2014)

You've probably said these things to your kids, but have you listened to what you're saying?

"I remember the day you were born."

"Turn down the music!"

"This is going to hurt me more than it's going to hurt you."

"Hold my hand."

Your heavenly Father wants to tell you many of these same things. Rachael Carman knows how noisy it can be when you're raising children---she has seven! But this lovely devotional book will help you to hear God's still, small voice amid the chaos of carpools, cut fingers, and carpet crawlers. You'll learn how to recognize God's instructions for you, even as you seek to follow His example as a parent.
Purchase a copy: http://amzn.to/1FcMvCl

About the author:

Rachael Carman
 is an author and speaker for Apologia Educational Ministries. The wife of Davis and the mother of seven children, Rachael challenges parents to live by reckless, obedient faith. As a direct reflection of her heart's desire to encourage, inspire, and celebrate motherhood, Rachael also leads Real Refreshment Retreats, weekend events that energize and invigorate homeschooling mothers with meaningful worship and speakers plus practical encouragement for the homeschool journey.

Find Rachael online: websiteTwitterFacebook

*I was given a copy of this book by Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Old Fashioned by Rene Gutteridge- REAL romance!

We need more books like Old Fashioned. Yes, I admit I like passionate, love at first sight stories but they're just too... easy. What most likely happens next is heartache, anger and sadness. Living in the movies is not real life. Boy and girl meet, boy kisses girl, boy sleeps with girl and boy breaks girls heart is real life. Or vice versa. As a young girl I wanted to live in the movies. The romance, the music, the boyfriend, the passion. Thankfully God has blessed me with a happily ever after, but the road to get there did have it's share of bumps.

Old Fashioned is romantically refreshing. It's not your typical romance (hurrah!) because it takes a path long forgotten. Taking time to get to know your girlfriend/boyfriend, planning for a future, waiting for after the wedding, and chivalry are all there. Clay Walsh, the main character, has high standards and values yet he's paid a high price to gain them. He has skeletons in his closet and a great sadness in his heart, yet God takes something bad and turns it into good. Amber Hewson couldn't be more different than Clay! She's had her share of trials yet happy go lucky is her middle name! Clay never saw her coming- or he would have run the other way. ;) Watching their relationship evolve is delightful. Their flirtatious banter is wonderful! In the pages of this book you'll find comedy, sadness, temptation, caring and yes, REAL romance.

Old Fashioned is like no book I've ever read before. Read it. Share it with your teenager. Show them that the songs on the radio, the movies they see, the typical storylines that are everywhere are not the way to find love. They are the way to a broken heart. Pursue the path less taken and God will guide you.

*I was given a copy of Old Fashioned by Tyndale in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.*

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Wishing Season- Denise Hunter has us swooning again!

The Wishing Season, by Denise Hunter, is the newest release in the Chapel Springs series- one of my favorites! Each story is based on one of the members of the close-knit McKinley family. The books can be read in any order as they stand alone but have delightful reoccurring characters. The story focused on PJ McKinley and her dreams to own a bed and breakfast and open a restaurant. I was charmed by her from the beginning when she's awakened late at night by a noise at her front door. I'll never look at a ceramic planter the same way again! Cole Evans literally enters her life out of nowhere- a handsome young man with big dreams of his own. Having been through the foster care system, Cole wants to open a home for foster kids transitioning to life on their own. The element that brings them together is a gorgeous old home that is being given away to the most worthy applicant. Competition, flirtation, drama, broken hearts, tragedy, comedy and romance ensue!

I loved the relationship between Cole Evans and PJ McKinley. They're one of my favorite couples- ever! Both driven by their dreams and to prove themselves they grow together and discover that God has even greater plans for them. I highly recommend this book. Perfect for Valentine's Day!

*I was given a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.*

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Andi Under Pressure by Amanda Flower

Andi Under Pressure, written by Amanda Flower, is the second book in a mystery series for young readers. The story begins with Andi Boggs, a bright 12 year old, attending a science camp with her friend Colin Carter.  Strange things have been happening at the camp and Andi is determined to discover what is going on. I enjoyed the fact that Andi is a strong, likable young lady whose able to constantly rise to the occasion.  She and her older sister, Bethany, recently lost their parents in a tragic accident yet Andi manages to maintain a positive attitude in her life.  I liked the friendship she had with Colin Carter and his sweet Pug, Jackson. I also found the cast of characters intriguing with lots of secrets waiting to be answered. Ava Gomez makes a compelling "villain" with a huge chip on her shoulder! The story is intelligent, engaging, and fast paced.  I'm hoping my 12 year old falls in love with the Andi Boggs series!

*I was given a copy of this book by BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.*