Bible Review: NKJV Study Bible

I’ve had my current Bible since I was a freshman in high school…that was nearly 2 decades ago. But, like an old, trusty, reliable friend, I just couldn’t bear to replace it. The handwritten notes and underlined verses reminded me of special moments in my life, and helped to carry me through the difficult times.

But, lately, I have been considering getting a new, fresh Bible to write all new notes and look at passages from the perspective of this stage of life. Plus, the book of Micah fell out…

I couldn’t resist checking out this NKJV Study Bible from Thomas Nelson. First of all, the cover colors on this Bible are beautiful. The teal and dark blue on the imitation leather cover are one of my favorite color combinations (and my 8 year old daughter even asked me to buy a copy of this Bible for her because she loves the colors so much.) There are a lot of really great features in this Bible to help you study and get a deeper understanding of the Word.

Some of the information I ran across include: a chart showing the types of Jewish calendars as compared with our calendar, five pages of Strongs words (word studies from the original Hebrew and Greek), as well as many maps, timelines, charts, articles, and tons of commentary on each page.

The only thing I wish this Bible had was red letters for when Jesus spoke. That was the only thing I didn’t love.

As a whole, though, this Bible offers a lot of information that can help both the new believer and the seasoned believer to have a better understanding of God’s Word. I loved all the information it packed in, and I look forward to this Bible being one that I can use for many more years to come.

*I received a review copy of this Bible from Thomas Nelson Publishers and Book Look Bloggers. I was not required to write a review, positive or negative All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Making a Screen Time Fast Work for Your Family


A couple weeks ago, I had posted about our family’s journey to eliminating screen time. We are now two months without screen time, and the change in Junior’s attitude and speech quality has been nothing short of exceptional. We just returned from a road trip in which we spent 24 hours in the car over 4 days, and the kids did not use any electronic games or toys. Junior played with Play-Doh for four hours. Four hours. A couple months ago, I wouldn’t have thought he were capable of 4 minutes on any one activity. Ask Junior if he wants the iPad now, and he says  “no, it’s bad for my brain.” He is SO much more regulated and able to cope with life better. The several times I have turned a show on since we completed the fast has ended in a major meltdown within a couple of hours.

Several people have mentioned that they would like to try the screen time elimination, but don’t know where to start, because the thought of removing screen time from their child’s world is overwhelming. Here are some tips on making the transition a little easier:

1. I highly recommend the book, “Reset Your Child’s Brain: A Four-Week Plan to End Meltdowns, Raise Grades, and Boost Social Skills by Reversing the Effects of Electronic Screen-Time” as it gives all the reasons behind the why and how of screen time influence on children’s brains and it also outlines the entire screen time fast.

2. For the first few days, I suggest coming up with activities to keep the kids out of the house. The first few days are the hardest part of the withdrawal period, and if kids are out being active, they won’t be as tempted to ask for a show or the iPad. Go to the playground, take the kids bowling, go for a hike…just make sure you have a few days of being out of the house for the most part.

3. Have fun activities scheduled for a while. For the most part, I’m not a fan of scheduling out activities, but for the first week of the fast (after a couple days of being out of the house), it helps to have some activities scheduled. I had several craft projects set up, as well as some science experiments, board game time, and recipes to make together.

My Favorite Screen Free Games and Toys

Believe it or not, there are more ways to entertain kids out there than just video games, iPads, and movies. Here are some of my kid’s favorite things to do:

  • Legos
    • If your kids prefer less open-ended activities, there are many “Lego Building Challenge” ideas on Pinterest.
  • Wooden Blocks
  • Magnetic Blocks
    • These magnetic blocks are one of my all-time favorite toys. The kids learn a lot about 3-D shapes, can build impressive structures, and Junior even sticks them to his cochlear implant magnets :)
  • Art Supplies
    • Keeping a good stock of paper, paints, crayons, markers, watercolors, stickers, glitter glue, and scissors make for hours of creative fun.
  • Car Races
    • Even my 8 year old daughter loves building Hot Wheels tracks!
  • Outdoor Toys
    • Inexpensive things like sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and little shovels are outdoor staples to have on hand.
    • Sandboxes, ride-ons, and water tables also keep kids having fun outside.

Even if you’re overwhelmed with the thought of starting a screentime fast, I promise it will be worth it. I didn’t know how I was going to do it–after all, I needed the break and I thought that the iPad was the only thing that would calm Junior down in a meltdown (which were happening multiple times a day). Now that the screens are gone, the meltdowns have ceased as well and I realized that the devices I thought were helping the problem were actually making it worse.

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Cookbook Review: Big Bad Breakfast

I love cookbooks. All cookbooks. Especially cookbooks with bacon on the cover. So, I was excited to check out John Currence’s cookbook Big, Bad Breakfast based on his Mississippi restaurant of the same name.

I opened the cookbook to the introduction (a logical place to start), and was shocked to see a 4-letter word starting with F just a few sentences into it. Okay, I thought, this is strange, but I can Sharpie it out so my kids can still read it (they love my cookbooks). A couple pages later, another couple of 4-letter words. (Mind you, we aren’t even to the recipes yet.) Next page…really? Another curse word?

Finally, once I made it through that, I came upon the recipes. The recipes are quite intriguing and do look good. Things like Sourdough starter to make your own sourdough English muffins, Banana Pecan Coffee Cake, and Monkey Bread make up the first chapter. But in almost every recipe introduction, there is more swearing. More cursing in each chapter introduction as well. The Breakfast Quesadillas and Summer Vegetable Quiche were tainted by all the bad words that introduced each recipe.

The recipes do look quite tasty (albeit time consuming…hello homemade sausage). I love the ideas for homemade pop-tarts, homemade granola, and the variety of pancakes and waffle recipes. The pictures are also very appetizing.

But, I just can’t get past all the swearing. I don’t even understand why it would be in a cookbook. It doesn’t make the food taste better. My children love looking through my cookbooks, but this is one that we probably won’t use.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and Blogging for Books. I was not required to write a review, positive or negative. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.


Book Review: The Wish

I have read most of the recent Beverly Lewis novels, and I can always count on good writing, likeable characters, and an easy read. The Wish is the newest book by Beverly Lewis, and introduces us to Leona Speicher and Gloria Gingerich; Amish girls in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Leona and Gloria are inseparable–as close as sisters. But one day, Gloria and her family packed up and moved back to their previous home state of Arkansas. Gloria cuts off communications, and Leona is confused and hurt.  She knows only that Gloria’s father has been expelled from their Amish congregation but doesn’t know why.

Fast forward a few years, and Leona is engaged to Tom, the deacon’s son. He knows more about the Gingerich family than he leads on, and is concerned when Gloria contacts Leona and requests that she come visit her and her family is Arkansas. Gloria and her family have left the Amish faith, and are living “fancy”, and Tom is worried about Leona (especially since Leona and Gloria’s brother were interested in each other), but allows her to go anyway.

What will Leona learn on her visit? How will it change her view of her best friend? Leona’s wish of rekindling her friendship with Gloria may have consequences.

The Wish was your typical Beverly Lewis novel. It was slow paced–a bit more slow paced than some of her previous novels–but a good easy and calming read.

*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a review, either positive or negative. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Book Review: The Low Pressure Guide to Parenting Your Preschooler

The Low-Pressure Guide to Parenting Your Preschooler  -     By: Tim Sanford<br />

I enjoy reading parenting books, because everyone seems to have a different perspective and you can always glean something new. Tim Sanford’s new book, The Low Pressure Guide to Parenting Your Preschooler really got my attention, because every parent wants to take some of the stress off!

This book has a very interesting perspective, and it really did help me feel better about the job I’m doing as a parent. Toddlers and preschoolers are stubborn little people, and Tim Sanford helped me to realize that my children have free will, and their decisions often don’t reflect how I’m doing as mom. Our job is not to make them turn out right–it’s to validate and nurture. We can influence our children and we need to consistently instill the truth and God’s Word in them, but we can’t control what they ultimately decide to do.

These revelations really took the stress off of me, and I appreciated it. My job is to validate my children by making them feel loved and wanted, and to nurture them emotionally, mentally, and spiritually while providing for their physical needs with food and shelter. My job isn’t to make them turn out right. I pray for them, I validate and nurture, but by trying to control things I have no control over, I create more stress in parenting than I need to.

I really liked the perspective in this book, and I will keep the wisdom with me for many years, as it applies to all ages and not just preschoolers.

*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a review; positive or negative. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.