Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gabby, God's Litlte Angel by Sheila Walsh

Gabby, God’s Little Angel

Sheila Walsh

Thomas Nelson

This is the story of a guardian angel in training by the name of Gabby (she talks a lot). She is given the task of watching over a little girl names Sophie who is a lot like her. I was really excited to read this book to my 5 year old daughter, the intended audience. She loved it. It’s her favorite story.

The illustrations are beautifully executed. They are my favorite part of the book. The sparkles on the cover were captivating for my 5 year old! I liked the concept of showing children that God has angels watching over them, and that He loves them. It’s important to know how He loves us. The little childlike angels are cute and will attract the attention of the kids.

On the other hand, I disliked the use of three different fonts. It was distracting to be looking at so many different font styles. I would stick to two fonts and keep a consistent placement of the illustrated font. For example, I would keep the large font at the beginning, or on one page, but not in between and here and there. It makes it hard to read.

There was also an error regarding riding her horse. On one page she says she is riding it for the first time, but on the next page it shows her riding it backwards the summer before. Most kids won’t notice this discrepancy.

On another note, angels are a venue that God uses to protect us (because of His love), but His love is greater than that. I would like to see children’s books that have more of the gospel.

Overall, I thought this was a book that I could enjoy with my daughter and use it to teach about how God protects us because He loves us.

This book was provided by Thomas Nelson’s book review blogger’s program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my very own. I am disclosing this according to the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

It's Your Kid, Not a Gerbil by Kevin Leman

It’s Your Kid Not a Gerbil

Kevin Leman

Tyndale Books

Do you feel like you don’t ever stop? This new book by Kevin Lehman is a witty and informative book about putting your family first and getting out of the rat race we sometimes find ourselves addicted to. In this book, Leman helps us to see what is important in raising our children….creating family time, putting our children’s true needs into perspective, and more. Also, he addresses some of the myths that we parents bite onto. Myths such as - busy is good? And - my child can do anything. Often, as a mom of a 9,7,&5 year olds, I often feel pressured by other people’s expectations to do everything, to believe those myths, and now I can rest assured that I’m on the right track or can get to it.

At various times, I laughed aloud, amused at Mr. Leman’s writing style. It made it easier to chew on the ideas presented. He addresses each point simply and accurately. At the end of each chapter, he gives brief tips to help his readers put ideas into practice. When necessary, he addresses single parents with tact and care.

This book isn’t just for parents who are on the activity wheel, but it’s truly for all parents who want the best for their families and kids. It’s a book I would recommend to all my friends, gerbils or no, and hope that they will take his advice to heart.

This book was provided by Tyndale as a part of their blogger’s network. . I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my very own. I am disclosing this according to the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Realms Thereunder by Ross Lawhead

The Realms Thereunder

The Ancient Earth Trilogy

By Ross Lawhead.

Thomas Nelson Publishers

Adventure, mystery, mysticism, ancient England and modern England meet in this new novel by Ross Lawhead. This debut story focuses on two characters Daniel Tully and Freya Reynolds who wander into the struggle between evil and good in the underground realms of England which are steeped in magic and adventure. It is counter pointed between Daniel and Freya’s present day adventure and an adventure they had 8 years previously. It also throws in another bit of a storyline that is woven together to create a compelling fantasy story.

I really enjoyed this fantasy book. I read it quickly, as I do most books that I really enjoy. I thought Mr. Lawhead’s descriptive writing was done well. His characters were well rounded and I enjoyed getting to know them. On the down side, although I love books of this genre, I did feel hesitant about some of the mystical ideas that were used, and wouldn’t quite expect it in a book from Thomas Nelson. I also did get lost at one point in the storyline but quickly found my way….a little like the characters I guess. LOL!

Overall, I believe that this book will be a delight to fantasy lovers of all types. I am looking forward to reading the next installation of the trilogy…. And I have to wait a year to read it!

This book was provided by Thomas Nelson’s book review blogger’s program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my very own. I am disclosing this according to the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

It couldn't Just Happen...Knowing the Truth about God's Awesome Creation

It Couldn’t Just Happen… Knowing the Truth about God’s Awesome Creation

By Lawrence O. Richards

Thomas Nelson Publishers

I chose this e-book because I have a nine year old in the public school system, and I wanted to see if it was a book that could help me to show him the truth about creation, evolution and how to understand the thought processes behind those two world views. I also chose it because I enjoy books on the subject.

I really enjoyed reading the e-book. In fact, it is the first e-book that I have read. I wish it had been on an e-reader but it was nice to read on my pc as well. This book is geared towards the 9-12 year old age group. The writing wasn’t too simple, and the words and ideas were communicated clearly for the audience intended.

This book is not a science textbook teaching facts to memorize and regurgitate. It is a book with an apologetic bent that presents ideas/theories from evolution, then presents why it couldn‘t just happen. There are facts presented and thinking exercises to help you ponder the material. I really liked that it explained to me a few scientific ideas that I had wondered about but never knew the definition. For example…. Red shift and how it is used to estimate the distance of stars.

I also liked how the author brought in scripture, but not overwhelmingly so. It was appropriate for the material and discussion. I liked the photos, and would have loved to have seen more of them. I would recommend this book to parents who want to present creation as opposed to evolution to their children in public school, and I think homeschoolers as well can benefit from seeing both ideas and an effective presentation of truth. I also appreciate the apologetic on the inerrancy of scriptures at the end.

I look forward to having my 9 year old read it and eventually my 7 and 5 years olds when they are at that reading level.

This book was provided by Thomas Nelson’s book review blogger’s program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my very own. I am disclosing this according to the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Has God Spoken by Hank Hanegraaff

Has God Spoken? Proof of the Bible’s Divine Inspiration

Hank Hanegraaff

Thomas Nelson Publishers

When I ordered this book I was excited to read it! I love apologetics and love reading apologetics books. I had never heard of Mr. Hanegraaff previous to reading this book, hence I had never heard his radio show. So I didn’t know what to expect.

So what exactly is his book about? Mr. Hanegraaff creates a structurally sound framework for defending the Bible in regards to its divine inspiration. His use of acronyms, while a bit overwhelming at first, is a manageable way to remember the material presented. So what is the material and is it sufficient? Although I will not give away all of his acronyms and info. I will present his overall acronym of MAPS…. Manuscript COPIES (another acronym), Archaeologists SPADE, Prophetic STARS, & Scriptural LIGHTS. Within each section, he gives valid arguable support for the inspiration of the scriptures. It is not exhaustive, which I would not expect, but sufficient. It is enough to create a solid foundation on which to extend your learning about scripture and its inerrancy.

Now in regards to Mr. Hanegraaf’s style…Since I was unaware of his writing style and eschatological beliefs previous to this read, I didn’t go into reading it with any preconceived notions. So let me address these briefly. My main problem with the book is that he tends to use a lot of big words, that although his radio audience and professionals (for want of a better word) would understand. These words or labels can have a multitude of meaning for those who are not versed in them from his perspective. I would like for him to at least have defined them for his readers in order to create a level playing ground of understanding if not agreement. If you are going to use the word fundamentalist, make sure that readers who are unfamiliar have your definition. This would be considerate of those who may be picking up the book but are not familiar with the politics.

Some of Mr. Hanegraaff’s eschatological beliefs come through and whether or not you believe the same as he does in regards to certain Biblical concepts, I think you can appreciate his delivery of the tools for analyzing scripture. Whether or not you agree with his use of the tools, the tools presented are efficient and effective for learning about the inerrancy of scripture and the process of discovering it.

This book was provided by Thomas Nelson’s book review blogger’s program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my very own. I am disclosing this according to the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Praying Mantis

Well the days of summer are drawing towards school....  School begins on Tuesday so with the nice weather we have, I forced the kids to go outside and play in the sprinkler that took all summer for me to buy.  They found something very exciting out there in the yard... yup you guess it... a praying mantis.  Now, they aren't my favorite bug by far, but they are an interesting one. I couldn't help but pull out my camera and give it a shot!  So I'm posting some photos of the bug for you all to see. 

I used my Canon l series 70-200 mm lens at 200 mm on aperture priority.
This is not a macro clens but the size of the PM made it easy to get close with.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo

Book Review:

Heaven is For Real

Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent

Heaven is for Real is the account of a child’s 3 minute visit to heaven during surgery for appendicitis, and the circumstances leading up to and afterwards. I have to admit that I came to this story with skepticism, and left it with a sense of enjoyment mixed with questions. This book is an easy read and can be read within a couple of hours or days depending on your reading style. The doubts I entered with concerning certain details weren’t converted, but other things were fun to read. As a Christian, I wanted to make sure I looked at this story fairly and tried to come from a scriptural perspective…. Are the things backed up scripturally? Are Colton’s remarks realistically portrayed from his viewpoint and age appropriate within reason?

I think Todd’s writing is good, and the story progresses nicely in most aspects but it is not a meaty book - it’s more like candy. It gives you some sweet pictures of Heaven but no real depth that some might look for, which I wouldn’t expect from a 3.5 year old’s perspective/story.

In retrospect, I believe the Burpo’s have recorded Colton’s testimony accurately. Now is Colton’s testimony accurate? I’m left with doubts on a few items that I believe are not directly supported scripturally nor contradicted scripturally. I’m left with a doubt about why Colton answered some of the questions or made remarks that appeared to show a lack of enthusiasm or excitement that I would hope to hear from someone (child or adult ) who visited heaven. On the other hand, I believe the overall message is encouraging. But for anyone reading this, you need to remember that scripture is the final authority and that faith should not be built upon this story….this story should encourage you to check out the Bible, to study it and learn who Jesus is, get to know Him and learn what eternity has in store for those who love God.….

Overall, I would recommend this to Christians who know God’s Word. I don’t know that I would use it as an evangelism tool, because even though there are scriptures in the book, they are sparse and specific to an experience. I believe the Bible is the best evangelism tool…. God’s Word to us directly.

I checked this book from my local library.  Thank you O'Neill Public Library.

PS As I study more of God's Word, the less I believe there is any accuracy in this book and do not recommend it as more than a work of fiction, and for those whose knowledge of the Word is new, they should avoid the false teachings in this book.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Family Session!

Well, last night I had a great family and child session. So I thought that I would share some portraits online!

Please note that I do not put names in order to protect my clients privacy!

Book Reviews!

Books! Books!  Books!  Up until I met Brian, I had my nose in a book and my head in a cloud.... then marriage and children and a photography business took more of my reading time, which in turn slowed down dramatically.  On the other hand, what I have been reading has been more significant and educational...apologetics, and books that will enable my learning.  I have never abandoned fiction though.... So...I have now signed up to be a blogger reviewer for (I believe they are Thomas Nelson Publishers) and Tyndale.  I am really excited.  Zoe, my last little one, will be starting kindergarten, and so I'm going to have extra time to read, and improve my photography/photoshop skills...with the possibility of keeping a cleaner house... although I won't count on that! 
     I have requested a book from each... the first is "Has God Spoken" by Hank Hanegraaf.  I look forward to how he presents his proof for the divine inspiration of the Bible...Will it be easy to read or will I have to wade through it?  We'll see!
     From Tyndale, I have requested "It's Your Kid, Not a Gerbil" by Kevin Lehman.  I'm excited about this one.  I heard Dr. Lehman speaking about this on Focus on the Family and it really piqued my interest.  I know so many families who are running from activity to activity...competing in everything or competing with everyone...keeping up with the Jones' - that I think this book will be a breathe of fresh air...Will it?  We'll see.
    I know that The book "Has God Spoken" will come first. So look for my review on that one.  BookSneeze sends their books at the time of request. But Tyndale waits until there are a particular number requested to send theirs out. So we'll be waiting...although since this book is just released I suspect it won't be a LONG wait!    These two books will be my first, but I hope not my last.  I guess time will tell! See ya later!

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Hi Friends, it's been crazy here the past few weeks so I've gotten behind.  One of the things I'm going to do is try to share some book reviews if I qualify for BookSneeze!  I love reading as well as my photography, designs and weaving.... so I'm adding more to my plate here....
In the meantime, here is a post of my fave shot from my last sr session... this is Mikayla...

Our session went great and the lighting and temps were awesome.  It doesn't hurt to have a great model to work with!  Thank you Mikayla!