The Afters CD: Review and Giveaway

Live On Forever

This past weekend, my husband and I were able to get away….without the children.  Let’s all take a moment of silence.  If you feel like you need to covet me, that is okay too because we are, after all, forgiven LOL

We went 6 hrs away, so we had plenty of time to listen to this music.  My husband and children are the music lovers in my house.  I enjoy it, as well, I just like silence better (remember, I have 7 kids, 4 dogs, 1 cat, 2 pigs, and a slew of chickens, so it is NEVER silent around me).  It was nice to just sit back, no distractions and listen to the music.  It did not disappoint.

I’m tickled to be offering this CD as a giveaway.  I will be drawing a name on September 30, 2016 to one lucky winner!  Just like any of my social media posts.

The Afters – Live on Forever Bio:

It’s easy to assume stories of trial and triumph are just for the Bible or the history books. But miracles still happen, even when adversity hits hardest. Just ask Josh Havens, guitarist and lead vocalist of The Afters. He relates how the band’s latest effort, Live on Forever, began during a season of tragedy.

Just as the band regrouped to record, Havens witnessed the wife of a close friend contract cancer. Drummer Jordan Mohilowski (who produced the new album) had a brief health scare, and a close companion in his church—part of the worship team—was hit and killed by an impaired driver. She was a young woman, Havens says, who had unlimited potential.

But Live on Forever–the band’s fifth with the Fair Trade label-still took shape as a celebration of faithfulness, protection and promise—one that shimmers with strong rhythms, undeniable energy and compelling pop hooks. The album finds Havens in strong, soaring voice as he invites listeners to find shelter and strength in God. “If any theme has emerged, it would be ‘inspiration and motivation,’” Havens says.

Havens himself felt a deep need to hold on after another loss struck: The band’s longtime soundman, Anthony Martinez, saw his newborn daughter die in infancy.

Ask Havens to pick out a song that sums up the spirit of the album, and he chooses “Battles.” “It was the last song we wrote and the fastest we wrote,” he says. “We don’t typically write songs fast; we’ll change lyrics and melodies and craft our songs carefully. But ‘Battles’ poured out, the music and lyrics, in one day. It’s about standing up against fear and knowing God is always with us,” Havens explains. “It’s one of the takeaways we hope people get: ‘Don’t give up to fear.

Havens shares how, half a world away from his home in Phoenix, he caught a small glimpse of heaven’s reassurance. The place: downtown Amsterdam. The occasion: a dinner between shows with band members and spouses—including soundman Martinez and his wife. For their baby daughter, the Martinez couple had chosen an unusual moniker with an unusual spelling: Pieper. Against all odds, it also happened to be exactly how the intimate restaurant they dined at spelled its name. Still, no one was prepared for what happened at the end of the meal. “We were talking about baby Pieper, and as we got up to leave, we noticed that the only thing on the walls—the only thing—was a framed document, an award for hospitality. And the date on the award—the only date in the place—was Pieper’s birthday. Her mother just started bawling.” Havens sums up the reassurance all took home that night: “We thought, ‘This is where God’s angels fly: right in the middle of the loss.’ God gives us little glimpses to show us he’s here.”

“We worked on this record for almost two years and over those two years, it was a real season of loss,” Havens recalls. “But in the end, Live on Forever is about moving us to trust God, to stand up against fear. It’s an ‘ante up’ record, an anthem for people’s lives: ‘God you are with me in all this. I’m not alone.’”

Social Corner:



Google Play:



Get Connected with The Afters:

Official website:

Music Videos:

Battles (Official Lyric Video)

Battles (Heart Of The Song)

Live On Forever (Heart Of The Song)

Live On Forever (Official Music Video)

The Biggest Story DVD & CD: Review and Giveaway


I think my computer had a bit of a psychotic breakdown.  I’ve been working on this post for entirely too long….I think I have most of it.  Geez.  Anywho🙂  We LOVED this book when we received it a few months ago, so I was thrilled to get the opportunity to review the DVD and CD.  My 2 yr old, who rarely sits still, actually sat.  I mean…he like really really sat LOL…I was bumfuzzled at him sitting with his mouth open and his eyes wide, holding his book and watching this on the television.   It stayed true to the book with the same vibrant colors and movements….it also stayed true to the Word, which is more important than the colors (I really liked the animation LOL).

I will be drawing a name on September 23, 2016 for a lucky winner to receive the DVD & CD version of this great book (you do not need the book to enjoy the rest, but I encourage you to head over to amazon and find it).

This involves a CD audio book and the animated short film DVD of The Biggest Story, written by Kevin DeYoung and illustrated by Don Clark. This was originally a children’s book targeted for ages 5-12, but is now also available to watch and listen to! Your children will be able to learn the redemptive plan of the Bible starting with creation and coming full circle to end with a new creation. 

The Animated Short Film: Featuring beautifully animated illustrations adapted from the book, The Biggest Story: The Animated Short Film will captivate children and parents alike as they see how all the classic stories in the Bible connect to Scripture’s overarching message about God’s glorious plan to redeem his rebellious people.

The Audio Book: This audio book of The Biggest Story—written and narrated also by the best-selling author Kevin DeYoung—leads kids and parents alike on an exciting journey through the Bible, connecting the dots from the garden of Eden to Christ’s death on the cross to the new heaven and new earth.

Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor of University Reformed Church in East Lansing, MI, husband to Trisha, and father to seven children.


The Animated Short Film:

The Audio Book:





Review & Giveaway: I Love You Just Because




First, let me say, that this book is durable.  I have a two year old and he is TOUGH on books.  The pages are sturdy and easy for his chubby little hands to turn, without the irritation of them getting stuck together.  Also, water (ie water, juice, milk, and pee…keeping it real, peoples) wipes off of it easily without destroying the pages.  I do not, however, leave the liquid on…I wipe it off as soon as I see it.

The colors are appealing and being an adoptive family, I love the different bears in the book.  It shows my kids that no matter their skin color or physicality that they are loved beyond measure.  I have a couple of kids, one with RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) and one with FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) that struggle in the “love” and “belonging” category…so, although they are 15 and 12, respectively, the book still pertains to them and it helps them see and feel the love that can cross any boundaries.

I will be drawing a name, as a winner, to receive this little book, on August 21, 2016.  If you do not win, please check the Amazon link, below, and you can purchase this book for $7.95.  I think all adoptive families and all families with little ones needs a copy of this🙂  Just saying!


Through adorable, cuddly art and fun rhyming text, I Love You Just Because will help little ones understand their parents’ love for them and that it doesn’t have to be earned.  With playful artwork and the same friendly bear family you already know and love from Donna Keith’s first two books – I Love You All the Same and I Love You Even When – the sweet story of this book will touch you and your family and will remind you that family members love each other….just because.



Facebook @DonnaKeithAuthor




Pinterest:  Tommy-Nelson-Books


“Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or serves mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR, Part 255: “Guidelines Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Life We Never Expected: Review and Giveaway


The Life We Never Expected: Filled with personal stories and biblical encouragement, this touching memoir by two parents recounts the highs and lows of raising children with specials needs, ultimately directing readers to the God who promises us peace and joy, even in the midst of trials.

It is no secret that I have special needs kids.  My kids “stuff” is a broad range of childhood depression, to reactive attachment disorder, to fetal alcohol syndrome, to single sided deafness and the list goes on and on.

I will tell you, this book hurt my feelings.  It did not hurt my feelings in a bad way, but a humbling “I never thought of it like that” way.  I sat here, reading, with tears in my eyes because the last couple of days have been HORRIBLE and I’ve thrown up my hands and said “I.  Am.  Done.” I, then, read “this is almost unbearable, and it’s almost worth quitting, but the sun is on its way.  Hang in there, brothers.  The light always breaks.” (page 29)

It has been a really bad time, in our household.  I’ve struggled.  My kid has struggled, which means ALL my kids struggle.  I, literally, was at the end of my rope and ready to just say “I am done” when I read this “This is almost unbearable, and it’s almost worth quitting, but the sun is on its way.  Hang in there, brothers.  The light always breaks.”  (pg. 29).

This book is raw.  It is painful to read.  It is also full of hope and wisdom.  I have hope.  I not only lean on Romans 4:18, 20-21 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.”  I have these great words that I can utilize on those hard hard HARD days “the weapons of the true battle include silence, prayer, thought, clinging onto a recently read Scripture passage with my fingernails, singing through gritted teeth, reading a prewritten prayer out loud, reaching for Jesus through the mist of confusion or unanswered prayer, stilling myself in his presence, and remembering that he is good and faithful and kind.” (pg. 43)

I could go on and on about this book….I have read it while my daughter, who has RAD, is raging all around me.  It has given me perspectives that I have not ever thought of and I appreciate that.  I will be drawing a name for this book on July 16, 2016.  Just like any of my social media posts to be entered.  I wish I had all the money in the world to send this book to all my friends who have kids with struggles….eye opening.


What do you do when hard or painful circumstances turn your world upside down, resulting in a life you never expected? Andrew and Rachel Wilson grappled with this question after both of their children were diagnosed with regressive autism.  Refreshingly honest, this book explores the highs and lows of raising children with specials needs, reflecting on the broader question of how to cope with suffering of all kinds. Sharing personal stories from their lives and encouragement rooted in the truth of God’s Word, Andrew and Rachel highlight lessons they’ve learned related to fighting for joy and thriving in the midst of trials—ultimately pointing readers to Christ, the One who promises to make all things new.


Link to purchase this book on Amazon.



Unashamed Book Review and Giveaway



One of my favorite songs is by Kari Jobe and it called “Holy Spirit”.  There is one phrase that brings me to my knees, no matter how many times I have heard it.  That phrase is “I’ve tasted and seen of the sweetest of loves Where my heart becomes free and my shame is undone.”  It humbles me to know that no matter how bad I am, what has been allowed in my life, or what I allow to penetrate my soul, that my shame is forever undone, as a child of the King.

This books title intrigued me and had me thinking on those lyrics to that song.  It is about freedom in Christ and how He can use your brokenness to bring His Name honor and glory.  It is hard.  It is SO hard to see all those negatives or to hear all those negatives and not let yourself be wallowing in that shame.  We are free, as believers in Christ….this book is a good beginning to complete healing of those past shames and to help you find joy in the freedom that Christ offers.

If you would like to be entered to win this great book, please like any of my social media links.  I will be drawing a name on July 7, 2016.  Good luck.

Live free.  Be free. Your shame is undone. If you do not win a copy of this book, I encourage you to go to amazon (link below) or your local Christian bookstore to purchase this.  It is one that you will want to read over and over, as well as, give to others who are living with those shackles on their feet!

About the book:

Unashamed: Healing Our Brokenness and Finding Freedom from Shame offers hope to those struggling under the burden of shame. This book shines the life-giving light of the gospel on the things that leave us feeling worthless and rejected, directing our attention to the God who promises to forgive and restore us—no matter what.

About the author:

Heather Davis Nelson (MA, Westminster Theological Seminary) is a writer, counselor, and speaker. Heather writes regularly at and has been a featured writer at the Gospel Coalition, as well as a contributing author to the Journal of Biblical Counseling. She and her husband are parents to twin daughters and live in southeastern Virginia. 

Social Corner:
Where readers can buy book:


Mother & Son: The Respect Effort


I am currently doing Emerson Eggerichs’ book Love and Respect with our ladies group at church.  This book….my husband read it first and said that it was spot on and that I needed to read it.  Well, I have 7 kids….so my reading time consists mainly of Dr. Seuss.  When the opportunity came up to read it, at church, I took it.  I have thoroughly enjoyed it and there have been a lot of “aha” moments.

Enter this giveaway…when I saw the author’s name, I thought “hmmmm, I know that name” and when I read further down it was talking about respecting your son so they grow up knowing what Biblical respect is.  I have 4 sons ranging in age from 15-2 and I can honestly say that respecting them has never entered my mind.  I always talk to them about respecting me, their dad, adults, etc but for *me* to respect my son, my child was foreign. I can say that it is foreign no more!  What an eye opener for me.  My prayer is that I can utilize these tools and learn how to effectively respect my boys…I also want to pass this knowledge onto all my children so that they can utilize these same tools for when they have boys.

To enter to win, simply “like” this post or any of my social media posts and I will draw a name on June 4, 2016.  Good luck.

Here is another great book, Mother & Son: The Respect Effort, from a great author, Dr. Emerson Eggrichs up for review! Respect goes a long way in our world. A mother who shows respect to her son, no matter his age, has set him up for a fulfilling lifetime experience. Since males view love and respect interchangeably, showing him respect is as vital as showing him love.

About the Book:

A new book from W Publishing Group/HarperCollins asks you to consider the all–important mother/son relationship in a new way: respect, as in the mother should respect the son.

Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, author of Love and Respect – a landmark book that transformed millions of marital relationships – is launching his latest book, Mother & Son: The Respect Effect.

In Mother & Son, Dr. Eggerichs proposes that while showing love is important to a son, showing him respect is key to his heart, and what will transform the mother/son relationship. Of course, to a lot of people, that will sound backwards – shouldn’t it start with the son respecting the mother??

Since the importance of the mother/son relationship crosses all age/race/religion barriers, this is a topic applicable to all – regardless if they agree or disagree with Dr. Eggerichs’ method.

Social Corner:

Link to Share: Love and Respect

Wise Guys Review and Giveaway

WiseGuys book-and-logo3-500x637

This would be an awesome Father’s Day gift!

One thing that I have (or am rather) teaching my boys (15, 12, 9) is that the role of a man is to Lead, Provide, and Protect.  This book is filled with life stories that can help any man learn the appropriate ways to handle life in a Godly fashion.  This world is full of indecisive people and people who are afraid to let their God light show….I believe it says in a children’s song to NOT hide your light under a bushel.  Let it shine.  I hope this book helps some of the men in your lives to LET THEIR LIGHT SHINE for God.  I will draw a name on June 3, 2015 for one lucky person to win this book and to gift it to the man in her life.

Men are to be the leaders in our families and many are but some get weighed down with that expectation.  This book will help you to understand God’s plan for men better and in turn would make a great book to pass onto the guys in your life!  Our sons will be fathers and husbands some day.  How can we help them along in becoming the men God intended them to be?
“I’ve always defined true ministry as the process of walking through something with God and then being vulnerable enough to turn around and walk someone else through, too. Kent’s infectious passion to develop Christ-like men is evident in his writing and you will be both challenged and inspired by this collection of characteristic profiles of men who have gone before to show the way. Bravo, Kent. You are walking us through.” Mark Hancock, award-winning writer and Chief Executive Officer of Trail Life USA

For guys, more than ever, it’s a confusing world. Your GPS doesn’t offer any maps
showing how to get to the point of wisdom — and who likes asking for directions

But there are ways to get that guidance you need. The answers may be all around
you, in the form of guys you already know. Wise guys. More experienced guys.
Better-traveled guys. Could there be ways to tap into their invaluable knowledge
without enduring dull lectures or taking pages of notes?

Kent Evans has surrounded himself with these wise guys. They have shown him all
the back roads on the way to wisdom. With a great deal of humor and an endless
supply of stories, he wants to show you how to gather life-enriching truth from the
guys in your own circle.


KENT EVANS is the board chairman and co-founder of Manhood Journey, a ministry
that helps fathers and mentors build the next generation of godly men.  Kent has
personally experienced how the guidance of godly men can change the course of a
life.  Today he is blessed with a solid 20-year marriage, four wonderful sons and a
fulfilling life – largely because of what he’s learned from other men.  He lives in
Louisville, Kentucky, and can be found on Twitter @manhoodjourney.


Official Website – :

Amazon – : Unlocking-Hidden-


Twitter – @manhoodjourney




The ESV FAMILY DEVOTIONAL BIBLE is a hardbound colorful Bible.  It retells 130 key stories from the Bible with full color illustrations for each story, as well as placed within the Bible text where it is found.  The stories are simplified and easy for children of all ages to understand.
The ESV Family Devotional Bible is designed to help families read and apply God’s Word together. This full-color edition features the complete ESV text interspersed with engaging illustrations and gospel-centered devotions related to key Bible stories—guiding families through the entirety of God’s Word over the course of a year. Each devotion also includes discussion questions and suggestions for additional reading, helping families develop a habit of reading the Bible together and applying its truth to all of life.
I am the first to admit that I have a problem.  I may need therapy for this problem, but alas, I enjoy my problem.  I love Bibles.  I love all kinds of Bibles.  They make me incredibly happy.  I like to hold them and break the bind on them.  I love to smell them and carry them around.  I love children’s Bibles, devotional Bibles, all versions, all manners.  Now, you might think I have lost my mind and that I have one whole room dedicated to an abundance of Bibles….you would be wrong.  I simply have a shelf and a half🙂  In my defense, when we have people over or when I hear of a friend or young person that does not have a Bible..I’m quick to go and pick out the one that I think would fit them the best.  So, my Bibles have a high turnover rate🙂
This Bible smells divine!  It is packed with beautiful pictures and stories that even my special needs kids get and understand.  Oh, this is seriously exciting!  My kids range in age from 2-20 and though the older kids like to look through it and see it all, my younger ones are the ones that benefit the most out of it…oh and my 15 yr old daughter with reactive attachment disorder…it helps her grasp some key concepts as well.  I will be drawing a random name on May 20, 2016.  Please like this post on any of my social media accounts (twitter, facebook, pinterest, google+).
Your kids will thank you!


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Twitter – https:/

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Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

The League and the Lantern


Author: Brian Wells

A concerned dad who couldn’t find quality entertainment for his kids. He has worked and produced 15 TV movies for the major networks, and this is his book debut.


The League and the Lantern is the first book in a new adventure series for middle-school readers. It all starts when a dangerous organization invades Jake Herndon’s seventh-grade sleepover. He escapes along with two new classmates, Lucy and TJ, only to face a 48-hour fight for survival on the streets of Chicago.

The kids unravel a mystery dating back to the Civil War, and an incredible secret about Jake’s family. Along the way they learn unexpected lessons about courage, family and friendship.

Talking Points:

• Inspires reading – Adventure series your kids will want to read.

• Educational Value – 140 key vocabulary words hidden throughout the story, historic sites are part of the setting.

• Moral Value – Lessons in family, friendship, mercy and compassion. Lead characters are friends who are different races.

• Help Kids – Operates on a buy one – give one campaign to get books into the hands of kids who cannot afford their own copies.

Social Corner:

The official website will have the books available for purchase for your readers:


This book is being reviewed by my 15 yr old son, Boo.  He says that this book was an easy read, for him (I will also have my 11 yr old son read it as well and possibly my 9 yr old son, we shall see).  He got through the book fairly quickly and the book disappeared into his room where he has hidden it from the other boys.  His favorite part of the book is near the end (I will not ruin it for my readers) of the book.  He stated that there were no negative parts of this book.  If he (Brian Wells) makes another book, he is anxious to read that one, as well🙂  It is fun to introduce children to the wonders of books…just to see where their minds and imaginations can take them.

You can “like” this post or any of my other social media posts to be entered to win this great book (facebook, pinterest, twitter, google+).  I will be drawing a name on May 18, 2016.


Here are the winner guidelines for you to use in 2016:

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”


None Like Him: Review and Giveaway!


NONE LIKE HIM:  10 WAYS GOD IS DIFFERENT FROM US (and why that’s a good thing)

Author:  Jill Wilkin

Paperback: 163 pages


God is self-existent, self-sufficient, eternal, immutable, omnipresent, omniscient,

omnipotent, sovereign, infinite, and incomprehensible.

We’re not.

And that’s a good thing.

Our limitations are by design. We were never meant to be God. But at the root of every sin is our rebellious desire to possess attributes that belong to God alone. Calling us to embrace our limits as a means of glorifying God’s limitless power, Jen Wilkin invites us to celebrate the freedom that comes when we rest in letting God be God.


The chapters are easy to read, but they took a bit more time then usual for me.  There is a lot to absorb in each chapter and at the end, there are verses for meditation, questions for reflection and then a pray.  This is a “meaty” type of book and those are the books that I enjoy the most but they also take up a lot of my brain power🙂  This is a great book to add to your library.

Please like either here, on facebook (thebarefoothomeschooler), pinterest (thebarefoothomeschooler AC), twitter (BarefootHSer) to be entered to win.  A winner will be drawn on May 13th!




Live Event on April 18:

We would encourage any bloggers in the Chicagoland area to mention this free

speaking event on April 18 if your open to plugging something early: Link

Amazon link for purchase


Here are the winner guidelines for you to use in 2016:

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”