Saturday, July 28, 2018

Auschwitz Lullaby by Mario Escobar

Disclaimer:  I was given a copy of the book in this review in order to provided my honest opinion.
Some books are truly harder to read than others.  For me that normally occurs when the book breaks my heart.  Now I do want to start off by saying this book is historical fiction.  It is based on a true story though.  It is the story of Helene a mom who loved her family so much that when police, under the order of the SS, came to take her family she went with them.  Helene choose to die with those she loved.  In the book Helene over and over again doesn't all she can to protect the children.   While at the camp Dr. Mengele ask her to organize a school for the Romani children.  She does and provided as much of a safe Haven as possible for the children in her care.

This story is not an easy read.  It broke my heart several times over, BUT  I do think it is a must read.  Before the story even starts the author quotes Elie Wiesel
"The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, it's indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference.  
A.d the opposite of life is not death, but indifference between life and death. "

Auschwitz Lullaby brings to life the story of Helene Hannemann—a woman who sacrificed everything for family and fought furiously for the children she hoped to save.
On an otherwise ordinary morning in 1943, Helene Hannemann is preparing her five children for the day when the German police arrive at her home. Helene’s worst fears come true when the police, under strict orders from the SS, demand that her children and husband, all of Romani heritage, be taken into custody. Though Helene is German and safe from the forces invading her home, she refuses to leave her family—sealing her fate in a way she never could have imagined.
After a terrifying trek across the continent, Helene and her family arrive at Auschwitz and are thrown into the chaos of the camp. Her husband, Johann, is separated from them, but Helene remains fiercely protective of her children and those around her. When the powers-that-be discover that Helene is not only a German but also a trained nurse, she is forced into service at the camp hospital, which is overseen by the notorious Dr. Mengele himself.
Helene is under no illusions in terms of Dr. Mengele’s intentions, but she agrees to cooperate when he asks her to organize a day care and school for the Romani children in the camp. Though physically and emotionally brutalized by the conditions at Auschwitz, Helene musters the strength to protect the children in her care at any cost. Through sheer force of will, Helene provides a haven for the children of Auschwitz—an act of kindness and selflessness so great that it illuminates the darkest night of human history.
Based on a true story, Mario Escobar’s Auschwitz Lullaby demonstrates the power of sacrifice and the strength of human dignity—even when all hope seems lost.

Precious Moments 40th Anniversary

Disclaimer:  I was given products in this post for the purpose of review  I was not paid to write this review.  All opinions are my own
My son Brandon Jr is one of the strongest people I know.  The day he was born he wasn't breathing right, the doctors took him right from the room.  I didn't even have a chance to say hello.  He was placed into a machine and for the first several days of his life he fought to live.  But even as a new born my little guy fought with everything he had.  That strength hasn't waivered once in his life!  My son is strong, brave and kind.  He is that kid that sticks up for others.  And he never gives up!  He isn't a natural athlete, but he spends so much time practicing and getting better.  Every season no matter what sport he plays he is always one of the top 3 on his team.  He works so hard.  At just 10 years old he inspires people around him.  He is never cruel and always has a kind word for those in need.  

When Precious Moments asked me to review a special figurine for their 40th anniversary I had my heart set on the Wizard of Oz set.  I use to watch it all the time as a little girl.  But then I saw it, the "You're the Strongest Person I know" figure.  I instantly thought of my brave son and knew that this was the figure for me!
As always the figure is stunning!  All pieces are individually hand painted, so you know a lot of time and love went into each of them.

Can you believe it though!  I am 31 years old and I remember all my mom's Precious Moments Figurines.  Each had a story and a memory.  For 40 years Precious Moments has been providing us with sweet keepsakes to preserver those moments that mean so much to us

Steven Universe: Heart of the Crystal Gems

Disclaimer:  I was given products in this post for the purpose of review.  I was not paid to write this review, all opinions are my own.
I don't know how many of my readers live near my part of this world.  I live in a small tall right along the east coast of PA.  And for the past week we have been getting hit pretty heavily with rain!  Thankfully my family isn't in the area of Hershey where they had disastrous flooding, but we did get our fair share.  We live right next to a creek and when the water gets high and fast enough it is pretty dangerous.  I have been keeping my boys inside.  Sadly that means a lot of pent up energy.  So I turned our living room into a pretend camp site and we hunkered down for a tv/movie marathon! 
One of the shows we watched was  

Steven Universe: Heart of the Crystal Gems 

Fans everywhere can now take home the most talked-about adventure of the critically-acclaimed Cartoon Network original series when Steven Universe: The Heart of the Crystal Gems arrives on DVD August 14. The series will never be the same after the jaw-dropping revelations of this explosive story arc.

Including 5 episodes from last week’s linear event (one of which is extended) plus 5 additional episodes, this DVD collection allows viewers to revisit the moments when the Crystal Gems are falling apart over revelations about Rose Quartz and it’s up to Steven to bring the team back together. Steven Universe: The Heart of the Crystal Gems will retail for $14.97 SRP.

Additionally, fans can celebrate the emotional moments of Steven Universe: The Heart of the Crystal Gems through a limited consumer product collection including key chains, t-shirts, wristbands, socks and more, which will be available at retail beginning this month.

  • Cartoon Network Enterprises created eight new t-shirt designs available now exclusively at the Cartoon Network shop.​
  • Bioworld will offer a t-shirt featuring the historic wedding between Ruby and Sapphire, wristbands and multiple sock varieties starting September 2018, all exclusively available at Hot Topic.
  • Monogram will offer a broad assortment of 3D Foam Blind Bag Key Chains later this month including Steven in Tux Form, Pink Diamond, Blue Diamond, Yellow Diamond, Ruby Wedding outfit and Sapphire Wedding outfit, plus Steven and all of the gems.

Finally, two music tracks from select episodes are also available now for download from digital music stores including iTunes, Google Play and Amazon, as well as on all major streaming platforms including Spotify, Tidal, Pandora and others:

  • Ruby Rider from the episode “The Question” featuring voice talent Charlyne Y
  • For Just One Day Lets Only Think About (Love) from the “Reunited” 22-minute special featuring voice talent/cast Zach Callison, Deedee Magno Hall, Michaela Dietz, Tom Scharpling, Shelby Rabara, Uzo Aduba

​Cartoon Network’s Emmy-nominated Steven Universe revolves around Steven, the “little brother” to a team of magical aliens—the Crystal Gems—who defend the planet Earth. Steven is the son of the Crystal Gems’ late leader Rose Quartz and aging aspiring rockstar Mr. Universe. Steven belongs everywhere and nowhere: he has inherited his mother’s Gem and her magical powers, but also his father’s humanity and charm. The show is a slice-of-life action comedy that follows Steven as he attempts to bridge the gap between the sci-fi fantasy world of Gems and the cozy, funny, simple-yet-extraordinarily-complicated world of human beings. Steven Universe is created by Emmy and Annie Award-nominated writer and New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Sugar, and produced by Cartoon Network Studios.


Steven Universe: The Heart of the Crystal Gems DVD episodes:

1.            Now We’re Only Falling Apart
2.            What’s Your Problem?
3.            The Question
4.            Made of Honor
5.            Reunited (22-minute special)
6.            Bismuth (22-minute special)
7.            Mindful Education
8.            Storm in the Room
9.            The Trial
10.          A Single Pale Rose

Friday, July 20, 2018

Room on the Porch Swing by Amy Clipston

disclaimer:  I was given products in this post for the purpose of review.  i was not paid to write this review, all opinions are my own
Room on the Porch Swing by Amy Clipston

When tragedy strikes, can two young Amish people find the hope that lies on the other side?
Laura Riehl is no stranger to heartache. Less than a year after her mother’s death, Laura finds herself burying another loved one: her best friend, Savilla, who has died after a brief and sudden illness. Laura feels heartbroken and alone, but her pain is nothing compared to that of Allen, the husband Savilla has left behind. He now faces a life so different from the one he imagined—plus a baby to care for on his own.

I would give this book 2 out of 5 stars!

I was given a copy of this book for review.
I was a bit let down.  The story started off great, but then almost instantly it just stopped!  It was to slow moving and just really predicable.  The best word I can think of is boring, I just felt like it went on and on.
The reason I gave 2 stars instead of one is the author does have a beautiful way of writing and I could almost picture the scenes she was describing!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Ever Faithful: A 365 Day devotional by David Jeramiah

Disclaimer:  I was given products in this post for the purpose of review.  I was not paid to write this review.

 With Dr. David Jeremiah, experience how a clearer understanding of God’s nature and love for you can impact your faith. Ever Faithful,a 365-day devotional, invites you into an intimate, daily relationship with the God who knows you, loves you, and has a plan for your life. Countless believers look at their faith as a choice they made once, but Dr. David Jeremiah, founder of Turning Point Ministries, understands that your faith is not static—it is a living, breathing relationship with God! Ever Faithful brings you to the daily choice of turning toward the Lord to respond to His invitation of intimacy and love. Each day includes a Scripture, a short devotional from Dr. David Jeremiah, and an insightful question to help you reflect on God’s love and care throughout the day. The deluxe, padded Leathersoft hardcover format with a ribbon marker makes a beautiful package and a wonderful gift. Today is the perfect time to start growing closer to the Lord. Why wait? Spend the next year with the Lord, who is Ever Faithful.
I love that Jeremiah's devotions are relatable! I can actually apply them to my everyday life. They are beautifully written and really promote an intimate relationship with God. Scripture supports each Devotion as does Biblical truth It is the perfect way to start each morning. I feel this would be a great devotional for most ages.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Arms of Mercy By Ruth Reid

I was given a free copy of this book for the purpose of review.  I was not paid to write this review
My boys are on vacation with my dad for the next 3 days!  Now I do love my kids, but I am excited to have some free time to read.  Okay let me rephrase that I read when they are home too, but I am excited to have some free uninterrupted reading time!  
First on my list is Arms of Mercy
A true treat for anyone who enjoys the Amish Romance books!  There is so much depth not only to the characters, but also to the story line!  For most of the story I was on the edge of my seat cheering for a happy ending.  Sometimes I had to cringe for all the tragedy that seemed to follow poor Catherine around, but she was strong through it all.  Now this is book two in the series, but you can read it on its own.  Though I do want to suggest you read the others, this author has a beautiful way of telling a story!
So we start off with Catherine waiting for her bu of five years to propose.  She is waiting for him to show and of course he is late, which is normal.  Shortly after he arrives Catherine's ex shows up!  Catherine tires of waiting on he bo to ask her to marry him so she askes him!  He agrees, but she can tell he doesn't want to.  So Catherine jumps at the chance to go stay with her cousin for a bit in Florida.  What she doesn't realize is her ex plans to follow her in hopes of talking to her.
So now what will she do?  Stay with her current relationship or give the love of her life a second chance!  You def. need to read this book to see all the twists and turns!

Big Hero 6 – The Series: Back in Action now available on DVD

I was given products in this post for the purpose of review.  I was not paid to write this review.
My little Quinn and I have a movie club.  Every night before bed the 2 of us watch at least 20 minutes of a tv show or movie.  Depending what time we get to bed maybe more.  A few months ago my hubby started to watch movies with us, he couldn't wait for his turn to pick one.  I laughed a little inside, because he didn't realize that him "picking" was really going to be Quinn picking.  My hubby's turn came up and Quinn laid 3 movies in front of him, my hubby told Quinn he didn't want to watch any of them.  Then Quinn explained to him that these 3 movies wouldn't make him afraid to sleep in his own room.  So he picked Mulan, Quinn shook his head and said wrong...  Bewildered, my hubby looked at me.  I just laughed it off.  So next he picked Stitch the movie.  Quinn nicely told him I don't think so.  Finally  my hubby asked Quinn if he wanted to watch the Lion King * only movie left I might add.  Quinn got a huge smile and said sure dad if that is what you want to watch!  At this point my hubby looked angry, confused and a little defeated.  So of course I LOST it laughing.  In went the Lion King half way through Quinn got up pushed stopped and told us that was it for tonight.  Now my hubby who isn't use to watchin movies with Quinn could not believe we just stopped half way though and planned to watch the rest the next day.  He told Quinn this, and in reply Quinn asked him " Do you want me to be tired for school tomorrow dad?  Do you want me to fail my spelling test?  I need sleep dad!"  Unsure how to handle this very logical answer my hubby agreed to watch the rest the next day....  That was the last time he joined us for movie club lol.

I do still enjoy watching movies/tv with my little control freak though.  Which is why I am super excited for us to watch Big Hero 6 - The series!

The adventures continue for tech genius Hiro Hamada and his healthcare companion, the lovable, inflatable Baymax! Picking up right before the end of the film, Hiro thinks Baymax is lost forever, until he finds the chip Tadashi designed to create Baymax. Hiro immediately gets to work rebuilding Baymax, but Hiro’s overconfidence and impatience get him into trouble. The stakes are raised for Hiro, Baymax and their friends – adrenaline junkie Go Go, control freak Wasabi, chem whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred – as they fight to protect San Fransokyo as the legendary superhero team Big Hero 6.

6 Bonus Shorts 
                                                -Baymax and Hiro
                                                -Baymax and Wasabi
                                                -Baymax and Go Go
                                                -Baymax and Fred
                                                -Baymax and Honey Lemon
                                                -Baymax and Mochi

Hershey Park

I was given tickets in exchange for this post.  I was not paid to write this post

Every summer for as long as I can remember my family has gone to Hershey Park.  My mom even has a video of us riding the river canyon ride when I was about 11!  That ride is now gone, but the memory remains.  The reason I love Hershey so much is because it has something for all ages.  I love it just as much at 31 as I did when I was a kid.  Plus there is so many rides that I don't even think it would be possible to ride them all in one day.  And not only do they have a huge regular park, but there is also a BIG water park area too!  So big that I spent most of my day there on Monday.  At 98 degrees I wasn't wondering to far from the water area lol.
There is also games to play, an aquatheater.  An arcade and even a zoo!  You really could make an entire day out of the park!

So every year our day starts by measuring just how tall we got

Not only do the kids get excited to see which rides they will be big enough for this year, but I also like that every year I get a photo keepsake.  My mom still has mine from when I was a kiddo!

A really nice thing about Hershey Park is there is signs every where.  I think it would be almost impossible to get lost.  And there is also a lot of bathrooms.  With 2 little boys that is a must!  Another great thing is all the shade areas.  When my boys are on rides I tend to just watch.  It is nice to have an area to stand where I'm not baking in the sun.  And speaking of kids rides there is so many to choose from!  My oldest is at that odd stage, to big for the real little rides, but not quite ready for the coasters.  I love that Hershey Park has rides perfect for that between age.

If you have kids I'm sure you that they need to play games right away!  And of course they win so you are left dragging around their prize all day!
At this point I was all but dying from the heat so we headed to the waterpark.  Hershey has very affordable lockers that I can put my stuff in.  I like that I got two wrist bands, that way in case I lost mine my hubby had his.
The water park is beyond epic!  There is a wave pool, a lazy river, several slides and even a water coaster!

We spent 4 hours in the waterpark and still didn't get to go on everything!  

If you are looking for a great place to vacation this summer you def. want to check out Hershey Park!  And if you don't live in pa like I do they have an awesome hotel and spa!  You can make an entire weekend out of it.

To learn more please see my link below:

Sunday, July 1, 2018

EvgieNev Wall Decals

I will be compensated for this post with a free wall decal
My boys are getting to that age where cartoons aren't really that cool any more.  Now don't get me wrong they still have a couple that they love.  They just don't want them all over their room!  So I had to pull down the Paw Patrol and Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles decals.  They wanted something more grown up they told me!

So online I went searching and I found EvgieNev Wall Decals.  Now so does offer stuff for really young kids.  But I just fell in love with her adult/older kids items

Some info to add to the posts/email:
EvgieNev Wall Decals are creating Large Wall Decals sets with bright illustrations and very educational content, so this is not just pictures on the wall but very attractive cute characters carefully crafted by their talent team. They usually create dynamic images, not static pictures, where something is happening, very adventurous and fun-like and they are collecting ideas for their illustrations from books, history and nature. It may sound funny but if you look through the shop it is really mind-blowing collection of designs starting from Cowboys and Aliens, all the Jungle and Safari sets, Teddy Bears, Cat Scuba Divers, Space Walking Monkeys, Polar Themes, Indigenous Camps, South America, Fairy Themes, Noah Ark and yet, this is just a fraction

All the items are handmade so you know a lot of time and love goes into them.  They are made of vinyl stickers, making them durable!  Plus they are easy to apply and easy to remove.  And she will even do a custom order if you want!
Oh and if you shop right now you can save 15% using my special coupon good until the end of July 
 15OFF for 15% off any order