Friday, July 29, 2011

Free things to do this summer with the kids

During the summer, I am on the lookout for fun things to do with my kiddoes.  And if it is free, then all the better!  Here is a short list of some of the things that I have run across so far this summer.

1. - Kids get 2 free games per day.  You do have to pay for shoe rental, unless of course you own your own bowling shoes.

2. Regal Cinemas - Many theaters offer free kid movies during the summer.  It is usually on weekday mornings.  Regal is $1.00, but some theaters are free.

3.  Library programs - Most offer some sort of reading incentive programs and several free classes/programs for children and adults.

4. State Museums - Our state museum accepts donations, but actual admission is free. 

5. Amusement Park Season Passes - Our passes paid for themselves in 2 visits, so any visits after that are free. 

6. Museum and Zoo annual passes - Last year we bought a zoo annual pass.  It paid for itself in 2 visits.  Same thing with a local children's museum that we now have passes too.  It paid for itself in 2 visits, and it includes free admission to several workshops every month.  Don't forget, with a lot of these annual passes you will get free or at least discounted admission to other locations through a reciprocal program.

7. National Parks - -  Lots of the national parks have free admission.  What a great way to learn history, by walking where it actually happened.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

...from the Mouth of Babes by Kimberly Williams - A Review

Title:  ...from the Mouth of Babes (Stories about life, children, faith, and this world we live in.)

Author:  Kimberly Williams

Price:  $14.95

To order:

Brief Introduction:  (from the website)
Just what does the abundant life look like? Flip through these pages and you will get a glimpse into the abundant life of this pastor’s wife and homeschooling mother of three, who lives with her family in South Mississippi. Written by Kimberly Williams, From the Mouth of Babes is a compilation of short stories about life, children, faith, and this world we live in. Learn how to have a clean kitchen, see life through the eyes of a child, look at marriage in a new light, take a serious look at the church and this modern culture, and discover some new traditions. Grab a cup of coffee and kick up your feet. Get ready to laugh, be prepared to be challenged, and pull out your Bible as you are pointed to the Word of God. 
About the Author:  (from the website)
Kimberly Williams is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mother, author, and most importantly a disciple of Jesus Christ. Living in south Mississippi with her husband and three precious children, her career is her family. With the loving support and encouragement from her hus-band and the amazing grace of God, she has been homeschooling for ten years. Each year brings new experiences, creates wonderful memories, and brings her family closer together. The Williams family realizes that homeschooling is much more than ABC’s and 123’s. It is about discipleship. Kimberly has contributed to various homeschooling magazines including Home School Enrichment and Homeschooling Today. Her passion for writing has one purpose, to point others to Jesus Christ. She is the author of Living Out the Word, a series of expository ladies Bible studies through the books of the Bible. In addition to writing, Kimberly also enjoys speaking to women and encouraging them in their daily walk with the Lord. She points them to God’s Word and challenges them to be a true help meet to their husbands and loving mothers to their children. In her spare time, Kimberly loves to read classic literature, play the piano, and write songs and poetry. She would love to hear from you on her blog at 
My thoughts:
I feel as if I have made a new friend.  Mrs. Williams, a pastor's wife and homeschooling mother, is a wise and caring Christian.  She loves God, family, and country.  Reading her book felt like spending time with a friend.  She spoke on topics dear to my heart.  Areas I have struggled with in my personal life.  Topics that I sometimes feel very few people care about anymore.  The more I read, the more I learned, the more I was convicted of, the more I felt that I am not alone.  Everyone needs a friend like Mrs. Williams.  May God reward her greatly for this book and bless her precious family.

The section on family shows how important hers is to her.  She reminds us how important it is to love and honor our husbands.  She points out that we should never disrespect our spouse to others.  This is a definite pet peeve of mine.  It breaks my heart when I hear someone put their husband down, as if he is some sort of moron.  She reminds us to love and train our children.  This is the parent's job.  It is not up to the Church, Sunday School, or school.  It is our job.  The author takes everyday events and uses them to bring out Biblical lessons.  She likes to take a story and turn it into a lesson for her children.  Children relate very well to this kind of training.

The sections on faith and the Church are hard hitting.  She tries to point us in the right direction, to Christ, our Savior.  People get so distracted with petty things, so caught up in the day-to-day.  Mrs. Williams reminds us how important it is to put God first.  Pray for your husband, pray for your children, pray for your Church, pray for our country.  Read the Bible, God's Holy Word.  Be careful what you feel your mind with.  Remember, "Garbage in, garbage out."  Try hard not to fill your family's minds with garbage.  

The part on "this world we live in" is so very needed and not topics that everyone is willing to mention.  Right is right and wrong is wrong.  And no matter how many times someone tells you that something wrong is right . . . it is still wrong.  Know God's Word and be able to discern right from wrong.

The last section on Holidays and Special Occasions is great for moms who really want to make their time with their family count; moms who want to create traditions and make memories and train their children to put others first.  It takes time to make memories.  I don't buy the saying, "It isn't about the quantity; it is about the quality."  Nope, don't believe a word of it.  It is definitely about the quantity.  You can't make very many memories in a matter of minutes.  It takes TIME.

I highly recommend this book for Christian moms, who want to serve God, love and honor their husbands, and love and train their children.  

Thank you so much to Kimberly Williams for writing this book and also for sending me a copy so that I might read and review it.  God bless.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lilies in Moonlight - A Review

Lilies in Moonlight - A Novel by Allison Pittman

This novel is a Christian historical romance novel.  It is set during the time of flappers and prohibition, such an interesting time period.  Things were changing so rapidly; people were too.  Sometimes good changes; sometimes bad ones.

Lilly is the main female character.  She carries many emotional scars and a lot of extra "baggage" from her past.  By outward appearances, she is modern and hip and "one of those kind of girls".  But in her heart, she longs to be forgiven and loved.  

Cullen is the main male character.  His scars are emotional and physical.  Physical, due to mustard gas from the war.  Emotional, due to past mistakes and tragedies and now the mental state of his mother, which has everyone near her walking on eggshells. 

Lilly doesn't know where the next rent check will come from.  Cullen can hand out dollar bills, like it was penny candy.  When their worlds collide, no one involved will ever be the same.

This story was wonderful.  It held me captive from beginning to end.  I wanted to read more and more.  I haven't read too much fiction lately that has had that effect on me.  So this was like a breath of fresh air.

One of my favorite quotes from the book:
"The point is, what matters is the moment.  How precious, precious time is.  The past had to happen, and we cannot stop the future.  Why, then, should we live with a spirit of fear and regret?"

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.