Friday, November 28, 2014

"I Want to be Baptized" Book Review

For those of you who are LDS, I have a fantastic book for you to help prepare your children for baptism: I Want to Be Baptized by Annalisa Hall. This book is excellent in every way possible!

*Thoroughly explains why we need to be baptized.
*Great format. For younger children, you can just read the major points, and for older there is an analogy and explanation for each point.
*Includes scriptural and musical references for each point at the end of the book.
*The illustrations (by Corey Egbert) are beautiful, fun, colorful, and detailed.
*All of the above make it very kid friendly. My 4-year-old loves it!
*Makes a great lesson aid for Family Home Evening or Primary.


Annalisa and Corey have also published The Holy Ghost Is like a Blanket, which I really want to get now! It even comes in a board book for little ones. For more information about or to buy the books, visit

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

"95ers: Time Runners" Movie Review

I am a huge fan of clean filmography. However, many family friendly films can be too family friendly. Sometimes I want something for adults but without adult material. The independent film 95ers: Time Runners delivers just that. It has suspense, action, and deep themes without gore, language, and sexuality.

War rages in the distant future. Millions have died and cities lay in ruins. But the most feared weapons are the time machines. Final victory can only be achieved by manipulating the past…

In our day, FBI agent Sally Biggs is obsessed with investigating unsolved cases involving paranormal activities—especially the bizarre disappearance of her scientist husband. She suspects that the mysteries have something to do with the destabilization of time, since she herself has a strange relationship with time. She has the power to rewind it—to go back a few seconds, whenever she wants, and remake her choices.

But she had no idea that her power was connected to the cataclysmic war in the future, and that she, her husband, and their unborn child would become its most important targets. Assassins with terrifying technologies are hunting her, and her own timeline is unraveling. Her only hope is to follow her husband’s ghost to the awesome truth that ties all the mysteries together—before the ones she loves fade out of reality.

*High-quality, impressive graphics!
*Mild action violence with no gore.
*No language (though there is one use of bastard if that bothers you).
*Unique spin on time travel.
*I love how it connects to Dickens's A Christmas Carol and emphasizes the power of choices.

*I was confused the first half of the movie; I wish it had revealed more in the beginning. Also, although some have praised its use of real scientific theories and terms, I didn't understand any of it, further adding to my confusion.

Visit to watch this cool sci-fi movie today!

Sunday, November 23, 2014


The Halloween season this year was so much fun! I was very happy there were so many things to do. Our first Halloween activity was an impromptu pumpkin-carving night at our church.

Then the Saturday before Halloween we had a fun-filled Halloween day.

We first went to a party at the Great Swamp Conservancy. It was small in size but big in decor and activities. The boys' favorite was playing in the dried-corn box with the trucks.

There were different stuffed animal habitat set-ups--a sea, swamp, farm, jungle, and cave--and some real, small animals outside.

There was also a pinata, reading time, carnival games, crafts, food, facepainting, coloring contest, and more. The boys had lots of fun and didn't want to leave.

Gabe LOVES raisins! It's his "candy."

After nap time we went to a party at the rec center. We were early and there was already a line!

There were carnival games and a haunted house that Caden kept wanting to go through. Upstairs was a talking pumpkin.

Downstairs was pumpkin carving (which we skipped) and a disappointingly small trunk-or-treating. But the participating vehicles were amazingly decked out.

The following Thursday the library had a special reading time that included a scavenger hunt and free fall-themed books. Only one other parent (and the only dad too) dressed up besides me.

I originally wore a red sweater, but changed it to a shirt for Halloween night.

Friday was finally Halloween. Justin was hemming and hawing about taking the boys out, complaining about the cold (it was hardly chilly) and saying they wouldn't be out for more than 20 minutes. This was the first time he was able to go so I wasn't happy with his attitude.

After 45 minutes, they came back to unload so they could get more candy! They left Gabe with me and trick-or-treated for another 45 minutes. Meanwhile, I passed out goodies with my friend. She gave out candy while I handed out bubbles and toys. We gave each kid an option and I was very surprised at how many kids, including some older ones, chose the bubbles and toys over candy! Success! And a couple weeks ago I found tiny containers of Play-Doh on clearance for next year!

Justin's mom sent us his old Ghostbuster's costume, which Caden can't wait to wear next year even though he has no idea who Ghostbusters are. He just wants to use the ghost catcher thingy. I'm thinking of making it into a family themed costume, something we haven't done before!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Christmas in Snow Valley Bookset Review

Two weeks ago I shared with you summaries of the Christmas in Snow Valley romance novellas. Now here is my review of the bookset:

An Unexpected Kiss
*It was just like a Hallmark movie: cheesy, romantic, and unrealistically perfect.

Feels Like Love
*This one had a more realistic situation and a family dynamic I could somewhat relate to. I didn't think the surprise ending fit well with the leading man's personality.

Full Court Devotion
*My favorite! These characters were the most likable and compatible and, as a product of an interracial marriage married to another product of an interracial marriage, I loved the interracial relationship.

The Christmas Eve Kiss & Risking it All for Love
*I didn't care for these stories too much, but I appreciated that they touched on deeper, darker themes.

Blue Christmas
*A perfect ending to the set! It had the right balance of fun and seriousness and had a believable story arc and character change.

Overall Smiles
*Entertaining reads that get you hooked.
*Love how the stories all happen in the same place and time with some of the characters crossing over into the other novellas.
*Clean without being prudish or boring.
*Really gets you in the Christmas spirit--and I'm a Scrooge!

Overall Frowns
*Whoever the publisher's proofreader was needs to be fired! There are not only usage mistakes, but also wrong character names!
*Sometimes too cliche situations and descriptions.

Note: Although clean compared to other romance novels, it is still PG, with sexual references, mostly for background info; a brief, non-graphic attempted rape scene; and one story using damn. So if you are more conservative (along the lines of the Duggar family), then this bookset is not for you.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gabe's First Haircut

Last Friday Gabriel got his very first haircut! It wasn't planned. Although I cut Caden's hair when it was about the same length as Gabe's, Caden was a couple months older, so I was content letting Gabe go longer with the curls. I thought perhaps once spring came we would cut it. But it was always a mess and getting in his eyes and in my mouth (while co-sleeping). So when Justin decided to get a haircut that morning during a special deal, we thought, why not get Gabe's done too?

Caden had his done at a kid-friendly salon with all the stops, yet he sobbed both times he went there. I wasn't expecting much better from Gabe, especially since this was a regular salon. The hairdresser used to run a day care, so she was prepared with Sesame Street videos on her phone. She also saved some of his hair for us.

Gabe made confused faces and moved his head a lot, but did not cry or even whimper or fight me when I had to hold him still sometimes. He was very cooperative and easy. It was a night and day experience compared to Caden's first time (which you can read about here)!

Gabe looks more grown up and more like his brother. His hair isn't curly anymore, but I know it will grow back. (The funny thing is it was the opposite with Caden; his curls got tighter after being cut.)

 I love my little handsome boy!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Baby Sleep Jokes

Raise your hand if you're a sleep-deprived parent like me! I have two terrible sleepers, and I nursed and co-slept with both, so I found these funny:

And for you non-co-sleepers or parents of multiple kids:

I think the previous cartoon mom agrees with this one:

Hope you get some sleep tonight!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Christmas in Snow Valley Clean Romance Bookset

Christmas in Snow Valley is only $.99 until November 8th.

Snow Valley, Montana, is a small community with the tradition of doing Christmas big. Festivities begin with tree lighting in the town square the day after Thanksgiving and continue until the culminating romantic Christmas Ball. From the Polar Express to a Winter Carnival, there’s something for every wonder-filled  child—and every couple who’s in love—or about to be.

An Unexpected Kiss by Cindy Roland Anderson
Lucy Phillips doesn’t want to spend her Christmas vacation dodging her ex-boyfriend, so when he turns up at the airport to give her a ride home, Lucy panics and asks a complete stranger to kiss her. Although the kiss is incredible, Lucy never expects to see the guy again. Is it bad luck or destiny when Lucy comes down with a sore throat and the new doctor in Snow Valley is none other than the guy she kissed at the airport?

Feels Like Love by Jeanette Lewis
Christmas in Snow Valley is the perfect way for April Winston to introduce her city slicker fiancĂ©, Scott Mecham, to life on a farm. If only Wade Hadley, hometown boy and high school sweetheart, will cooperate! But Wade has no intention of letting April go without a fight. This Christmas, Wade is determined to overcome their painful past and show April that she already has what she’s been seeking all along.

Full Court Devotion by Cami Checketts
Kazlyn is too busy with her schooling and future plans to enjoy life, let alone fall in love with a man who has heartbreak written all over him. Tyrese Hamilton, a college basketball star and major heartthrob, is intrigued when Kazlyn doesn't pursue him or even seem interested. Ty's career is in jeopardy, and he needs a miracle and Kazlyn to save him.

The Christmas Eve Kiss by Taylor Hart
When Molly O’Hare gets a prediction that she will kiss her true love on Christmas Eve, she thinks it’s utterly ridiculous. But when she gets teamed up with Kevin Snow, aka her ex-boyfriend, to decorate a Christmas tree, things start to change. Too bad getting over the past is hard and seeing him kiss another girl is even harder. Now Molly is left with a choice—run away from home and heartbreak or let Christmas work out a miracle all of its own.

Risking it all for Love by Award-Winning author, Kimberley Montpetit
Ever since her high school boyfriend's death from a car accident three years earlier, Jessica Mason and her hometown of Snow Valley, Montana, with all its awful memories, have not been compatible. Running away to New Orleans on a ballet scholarship, Jessica cringes when she thinks about confronting Pastor John and the community church--she doesn't want to talk about God, not after He took Michael, the boy she was going to marry ever since third grade.

In the local scene of funky New Orleans, Jessica seeks out Madame LaBlanc, hoping Michael will absolve her of her guilt the night of the car accident in a seance, but the spirit world is silent and she fears the grief will drown her.

Finally succumbing to family pressure, Jessica reluctantly returns for Christmas - and the little town of Snow Valley does Christmas big. When she visits Michael’s grave in the church yard, Jessica is shocked to meet handsome James Douglas, Pastor John’s nephew, who’s studying for the ministry. No, she is not going to be attracted to someone who wants to be a preacher! Definitely not compatible! But James Douglas is unlike any minister-in-training she's ever met. James can not only dish back Jessica’s finely tuned sarcasm but understands grief all too well, turning Jessica’s world upside down.

Can Jessica forgive herself for that terrible, fateful night? Can she take another risk on love?

Blue Christmas by Lucy McConnell
As head of Snow Valley hospital's fundraising effort, Paisley Hackett barely has time to organize the craft show, cookie decorating party, and the annual Christmas Ball. What she doesn't have time for is falling in love with Clay Jett, the incredibly handsome bass player who sweeps into town. She's been burned by a tourist romance before and, with everything going on, Paisley will have to work overtime to protect her heart from Clay and his swoon-worthy ballads.

Click any link at the top to buy your copy of Christmas in Snow Valley today while the price is low!
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