Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gratitude Challenge 2012 Day 29

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Today is day 29 and that means tomorrow is the last day. Who knew that at the start of this challenge that we would be moving the day after the challenge ended. Certainly not us, but God did, this is all part of his ultimate plan.

     Today I am thankful for the weather cooperating all this week and that it is going to be in the 50's this weekend when we are moving all of our stuff into the new house. We have been moving stuff diligently all week to the storage unit and the weather has been chilly at times, but no rain. There is a chance of rain tomorrow but I hope and pray its not a total wash. We pick up the moving truck tomorrow afternoon ,hoping to get it loaded up so Saturday all we have left to load is our beds, tvs and some last minute boxes, then I cam come back and vaccuum and clean while the boys and Dave load up the patio set, bbq and the last of the garage contents. Then we can turn our keys in and get the balance of our money. Close this chapter of our lives and turn the page to a new one.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gratitude Challenge 2012 Day 28

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Today is day 28 and we are busy, busy around here packing up and moving out. I am grateful today for my new home we are moving into and the very large pantry it has in the basement, and also the pantry cupboard in the kitchen. There are also many more cupboards in the kitchen than what we currently have. I am excited to have a much more functional kitchen. It is not my dream kitchen, but it certainly is a step in the right direction.

Gratitude Challenge 2012 Day 27

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Today is day 27, and I can hardly believe this month is over in a few days and that means a few days until the big moving day.

    Today I am thankful for my Mom, she called and said she had dinner all ready for us, and after a day of moving stuff to the storage unit it was a welcome relief. I did not have to worry about making.dinner and all we had to do was pick it up and we popped some garlic bread in the oven. She made Turkey Tettrazinni, and it was so yummy. The kids want me to make it after we move. It is so nice to find a nice meal that everyone enjoys.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Gratitude Challenge 2012 Day 26

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  Today is day 26 and I am grateful for the awesome deal I found on a storage unit that included one day of a box truck rental that we can use for our big day of moving this Saturday. The truck and a full month of storage to get these boxes out of our way for the bargain basement price of only $32.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gratitude Challenge 2012 Day 25

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 Today is day 25 and it is Sunday, the last Sunday in our old house and the last Sunday of this challenge..... We also had our first snow of the season last night(I do not like snow) but it does look beautiful.

     Today I am thankful for pain medication and muscle relaxers, without this lovely pair I am not sure my poor body would survive this move. My kids are 4 years older and much more able to help  but I am also 4 years older and cannot do as much as I used to do without paying dearly for it after I sit down and rest for the night my body screams and stiffness sets in. Next time we move I am going to hire movers you can count on that.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Gratitude Challenge 2012 Day 24

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   Day 24 already, this month is sure flying by...
 Today I am thankful for music, most especially Christmas music as it really helps to bring one into the holiday spirit. I was able to score some new CDs from the Christian book store for only $5 and I was playing them in the car today and it really made my heart happy that it is the Christmas Season.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Gratitude Challenge 2012 Day 23

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 Today is day 23 and we are will be beginning the last week of this challenge tomorrow... This challenge will be ending on our very last day in this house.
  Today I am thankful for the abundance of cardboard boxes we have been given and keep on continuing to get from friends. Today we have had boxes dropped off all day. I am sure by next week I will be thankful to be unpacking them and never seeing another one anytime too soon, but for today keep them coming. We need many more.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Gratitude Challenge 2012 Day 22

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  Today is Thanksgiving, the most Grateful day of the year. This blog challenge has taught me to be thankful everyday of the year. Today I am grateful for Holiday Sales at the store and layaway. Alyx and I went to Kmart this morning and put many much needed items for our new house in layaway along with a few Christmas gifts. I am so excited to move now, I got such great deals I just about squealed with delight.
I am a bargain hunter by nature so when I saw the sale paper today and realized I could put what I wanted and needed in layaway we rushed right over there.
Here is my new Shower curtain, anybody else love the owls, I am addicted to owls.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gratitude Challenge 2012 Day 21

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  Day 21 and tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day....

     Today I am grateful for all that we have accomplished in packing to move so far, we have finished the living room, which included both curio cabinets full of Cherished Teddies, Snow Globes and assorted knick knacks. The Kitchen is done except for our essentials and food. The bathroom has been done except the medicine cabinet. The hall closets are both cleaned out except for towels and coats. The boys are working on their room and we will hopefully be all packed up by Monday. I have also made all of the calls to transfer the  utilities and have our dish installed at the new house next Saturday the 1st of December. We are hoping to get the keys early. Keeping our fingers crossed. Today I went shopping with my Mom for some new things for the new house, We finally graduated to non plastic dishes LOL. We got 3 sets of Corelle dishes and some new dish towels, and wash cloths and  new placemats for the kitchen, our new theme is Coffee Cafe' It is really cute. I also found a great deal on an 8 qt Crock Pot. Kohls had them on sale plus my Mom had a 20% off so I got it for $28 what a Steal. We still need to get some new silverware, I do not know where our silverware disappears to all the time, and some new glasses and a rug for the kitchen.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gratitude Challenge 2012 Day 20

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  Today is day 20 and I am grateful today for our "new" used car that is much cheaper than our car we recently turned in. I am grateful to be saving lots of money between moving to a new house that is better and cheaper than the one we are currently in. I am grateful to have a dependable car that is half the payment as my old one. It is nice to have my own wheels again. The brand new 2013 Kia Soul that I rented for the last couple weeks was fun, but definitely not practical for our family, although I was sad to turn it in today, I love having a mini van again and that I can call it mine. So for now to save some money so we can work towards owning our dream home in a year and a half, we are driving a 2001 Oldsmobile Silhouette. It is not brand new but it serves its purpose and looks nice too, and it has lots of bells and whistles.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Gratitude Challenge 2012 Day 19

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  Today is day 19 and only a few days left until Thanksgiving, today I am thankful for quite a bit, I am first off grateful that the signing of the papers on our new home was taken care of today and I can rest a little easier tonight knowing we have secured a new home. I am thankful for friends that step up to help in our time of need, a friend for picking up, driving and dropping my kids off back at home for a field trip today for our co-op. Another friend who just plain lends a listening ear and is a great sounding board for my screams and meltdowns. A third friend who dropped off many boxes for us to be able to start packing. Others who have offered to help us move and offered trucks and trailers. I am so grateful for all of these great folks we are blessed to call friends. I am blessed even when I feel distressed. GOD is GOOD

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Gratitude Challenge 2012 Day 18

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   Today I am grateful for a ton I just do not know where to start. I am following up on my post yesterday about unexpected opportunities. Well today I am changing that to unexpected Blessings. We were offered cash for our keys to our house yesterday from our land contract holder, with the kicker that we needed to be out by the 5th of December. We have wanted to move out of our current house for quite sometime now as it just was not working for our family in many ways. With the economy I was fearful we would get stuck here and never be able to leave. This opportunity offered us a fresh start in a rental property and then we know when Nick graduates we will be free to move out to the country which is our ultimate goal. I cannot tell you what a panic I was in yesterday wondering how this was all going to work out. God is so good and after many phone calls and countless internet searches today we found a house and are signing papers tomorrow and are getting our keys to our new home on December 1st. This is still in our same neighborhood, so nothing much changes as far as Nick getting to School, Dave getting to work or the boys friends. I am so relieved. Thanks to my prayer warriors for getting me through the last 36 hours I could not have done it without all of you.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Gratitude Challenge 2012 Day 17

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  Today I am grateful for unexpected opportunities. I cannot fully explain right now, but I know that God has it all in his hands and it is part of HIS PLAN. I will be sharing soon though.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Gratitude Challenge 2012 Day 16

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        Today is day 16 and TGIF...
I am grateful today for "What's Cooking?" at the church we used to attend. My best friend Gyda teaches a cooking class of sorts once a month on a Thursday night, for $5 (for us I do double so it is $10. All we have to do is show up, bring a pan, a knife and a cutting board and a container to carry our completed meal home in. The food itself is included in the cost. We leave with a completed meal and a recipe and the next night all I have to do it pop it in the oven or like today in the crockpot, all the prep work is done for me. Last night's recipe was sweet and sour chicken. All I have to do it cook some rice and pop the meal part in the crockpot this morning and we get to smell sweet goodness all day today. Now there is something to be grateful for a no fuss meal.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Gratitude Challenge 2012 Day 15 Half Way there

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 Today is day 15 of the Gratitude Challenge, we are at the half way mark and it is hard to believe November is already half over. Where did this month disappear too.

   Today I am thankful for my youngest son's creativity. He is forever asking me for the strangest art supplies. Yet he always has a vision of what the finished project will look like. Yesterday he asked for 2 sheets of foam core board and wooden discs. I can only imagine, but cannot wait to see his latest masterpiece. Delight- Directed Art in our homeschool that is for sure. Love it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gratitude Challenge 2012 Day 14

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   Today is Day 14...
Today I am grateful for Alyx my handyman, I do not know what I would do without his help around the house, he fixes just about anything that needs fixing and he is busy today putting up our Christmas lights, he is so excited to put up all of our new decorations that he just cannot wait and try as I might I just could not begrudge him his enjoyment. Even though it is way too early for decorating for Christmas. In the past my rule has always been no earlier than the day after Thanksgiving. I caved this year realizing there are not too many more years that he will be around to do all of the decorating. Let him enjoy it while he is young.  I will add a photo later on tonight.

Growing Up Wild Schoolhouse Review 2012

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           My son Alyx who just turned 14 this Summer has shown an increasing interest in doing mission work, and not someday but soon. Most likely a Summer mission trip with the youth from Church. I was given the opportunity to review Growing Up Wild, a set of DVDs that chronicle the life of the Wild family who are full time missionaries in Indonesia. I was excited to be chosen as I thought this would be an excellent way to study missionary life and help Alyx get a better feel for what it is truly like to do be  a missionary. The DVDs are geared for ages 5-12 but I figured Alyx and Taylor would both benefit from viewing them.

            We received 2 of the DVD's, Volume 1 and Volume 4, each DVD comes with 3 episodes, approximately 15 minutes in length for each making viewing time just under an hour for the entire DVD. You do not just get the DVD though, including in each is an accompanying CD that has PDF files that contain activities that go hand in hand with each episode.  The DVDs bring you into the lives of The Wilds (Mike and Libby, Morgan, Hudson, Kian, and Asher) are missionaries in Indonesia (Papua), to the Wano people. My boys were excited that they could learn about other boys being missionaries, easier I guess for them to relate to verses girls. I think girls however would gain as much as my boys did, I just think it is easier for my boys to relate to other boys.

       Volume 1 taught us what the Wild boys called home, what their house consisted of and how they lived in it. My boys favorite part of the first DVD was going on a supply hunt, to gather needed items. We were all surprised to learn that the Wild family uses Solar Energy to help power their home. We were also delighted to see they also used this alternative energy to access running water for their home. My boys are all about being eco friendly so this aspect was particularly interesting to them.

     Volume 4 took a different turn as we followed the Wild boys on their adventures of interacting with wild life in Indonesia. As we settled in we then learned about the Wano Culture and lastly about how Missionaries, Icebergs and the body of Christ are alike. My boys favorite aspect of this DVD was the wildlife of course, there is something to be said about boys and animals, insects, and reptiles. Me I would rather see them through plate glass at the zoo. If you asked my kids they would tell you I am "such a girl", and my answer to that is "Why yes, yes I am, thank you for reminding me."

     The journey for the Wild family does not stop where we left off, there are 5 DVDs in the collection so that leaves 9 more stories to be told. My kids are hoping the rest of these end up under our Christmas Tree this coming Christmas. The DVDs sell for $18.99 each or take advantage of a 15% savings and purchase the whole collection for $80.99. My kids have watched these more times than I can count  so it is definitely something your kids would enjoy over and over again, and with the added benefit of the activities on the CD you can incorporate this into your homeschool curriculum by using one episode a week. Then diving deeper with the additional activities. This would also be a beneficial resource for Sunday School, Youth Groups, homeschool co-op, kids Bible Study, and youth missions groups, as well as any other Youth activities you may think would benefit from this resource.

    In closing I think that these DVDs gave my boys, as well as our whole family a much better understanding of what it is like to be a missionary. It has left my son with a deeper yearning to do mission work. He is excited to help do God's work with foreign people, many of which do not have the freedom to worship God. I believe God is leading my son's heart to do mission work and although it is sometimes scary to me, I feel that after watching these DVDs and learning about the Wild family I am more at peace with it.

    Be sure to visit the Growing Up Wild website and learn more about the Wild boys by reading their blog. You can also watch video clips from the DVDs to get a better feel of how the material is presented. After watching the video clips you can read more about the Wild family and gain a deeper understanding about their family. Then when you are finished I am sure you will be heading over to their online store to purchase the entire collection of Growing Up Wild.

   As always click on the banner below and see what the rest of the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about Growing Up Wild. We are winding down our reviews for this year this week, but be sure to check back often as we have Blog Hops and Cruises as well as Crew member Spotlights to keep you entertained until we return with more reivews of top homeschooling resources in January. Enjoy your Christmas Season and I will see you next year in 2013 with more reviews as I cruise along on my second year with the Schoolhouse Review Crew.


“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services 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 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Gratitude Challenge 2012 Day 13

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 Goodness today has gotten away from, I almost forgot to post my Gratitude Challenge for Day 13....
SO here it is...
  Today I am grateful for being a blogger, my blog has brought me countless blessings and today was no exception. Upon my doorstep was a care package from Activision and Target from the Activision Family Game Summit. I was so blown away by its contents it brought me to tears. I pretty much have Taylor's Entire Christmas taken care of with this single box. Chock full of video games for X-box 360 and Nintendo 3DS. He does not have a DS as of right now but I will try my hardest to make one happen since he now has 5 games to go with it. Holy COW! I also got a Target gift card I can use for stocking stuffers from their Dollar Spot and an adorable stuffed Angry Bird and some other small trinkets and a cute ESRB keychain just for me. Thank You so much for making this Momma have some burden taken off her shoulders as Christmas was looking very lean until today. God truly does provide when we least expect it. I am waiting on some pitches that I sent out a couple days ago that will hopefully come through so that I can worry a little less with the bigger boys. We do focus on the true meaning of Christmas but it is nice to have presents under the tree nonetheless.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Gratitude Challenge 2012 Day 12

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   Today is day 12 and I am grateful for the days I do not have anything to do outside the house, it is rainy and nasty outside today and it just happens to be one of those days I can stay home all day.
  These days are few and far between, so when I actually get one I enjoy and savor it to the fullest extent. Kiddos and I are staying in our jammies as long as possibly today. Having a homecooked lunch. It is a blessed day indeed.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Gratitude Challenge 2012 Day 11

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   Today is day 11 of this challenge and I have to say I am pretty proud of myself that I have not missed a day so far, hope that does not jinx me.

   Today I am grateful for our freedom, thank you to all of those that have served or are serving in our armed forces to protect that freedom some of us take for granted. My grandfathers both served in the service and now my cousin who is in the Marines is on his third tour overseas and my nephew who graduated in May from West Point is in training preparing to leave for the War. I also have second cousins one in the Air Force and one in the Navy. So I think we are covered one in every branch. I am thankful for their continued safety, knowing so many families are not that lucky. I pray for their continued safety. Thank you to all the Veterans, we owe you so much.

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Gratitude Challenge 2012 Day 10

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    Today I am grateful for our bowling league, it is through the church we started to go to when we first moved here and although we do not go to the church anymore, we are still friends with many people who do. Our bowling league was something we got involved in when we first found the church and is how I met my best friend Gyda. We only have 4 teams of 4 but it is fun and full of fellowship and healthy competition. It serves as a great date night out for my hubby and I. No matter how stressful of a week I have I always can count on the folks at bowling to help me have fun and forget my worries. Some nights I even bowl good LOL. My average is only 92 but last night I bowled a 123, 117 and 107. I even got my first Turkey. Which saved me in the second game as I only had a 43 in the 7th frame but with that Turkey I managed to pull a 117 in the end. We all encourage each other and it is just a great night out.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Melissa and Doug Giveaway! Rattle Rumble Toddler Push Toy $69.99 Value

Pin It Now!                     I wrote about the Melissa and Doug Terrific Twenty List and their facebook giveaway a couple days ago.... You can read about it on my blog post here.  Well at the end of my post I promised a great giveaway and I am her to fulfill that promise.

    One of the things I love about Melissa and Doug toys are that they are built to last and remind me of the toys from my childhood. Sturdy wood and fun with no electricity needed just your imagination.
  The giveaway I have for you today is no different. If you have a little one on your Christmas list this is a must have.

Rattle Rumble Toddler Push Toy

1+ YEAR(S)


Item # : 3077

Price: $69.99

Rattle Rumble Toddler Push Toy

  Melissa and  Doug have outdone themselves with this one! Made of sturdy construction of wood and screws with clear tubes with plastic shapes to roll and tumble around as your favorite toddler walks behind it holding the handle. I know my kids used a similar toy to learn to walk and enjoyed pushing it around the house constantly.
You can buy a Rattle Rumble Toddler Push Toy on the Melissa and Doug website for $69.99
or you can win one here by using the rafflecopter entry form. Giveaway ends at  Midnight on the 16th of November.
You can also follow the linky for a chance to win one of the other Terrific Twenty Toys as many of my fellow Schoolhouse Review Crewmates are holding giveaways as well.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  Disclaimer, I was not paid for this advertisement or giveaway. I was simply sent the above item in exchange for my time and honest opinions and also granted the opportunity to giveaway the same item to you my readers.

Gratitude Challenge 2012 Day 9

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      As I finish up my last 2 reviews from this past year on the Schoolhouse Review Crew I am thankful of all that we have been blessed with as a result of my being chosen as a Member in August of 2011. I am also grateful that we were asked back for 2013. So while this is the last of the TOS reviews as of next Wednesday be sure to be on the lookout for more reviews of fantastic curriculum in January. Thank You TOS and Thank You God with all of the homeschool blessings that have been bestowed upon my family as a result of my being a crew member. Here is to another year of blessings and friendship Schoolhouse Review Crew, as we set sail on the voyage of 2013....

Too Wise to be Mistaken, Too Good to be Unkind Schoolhouse Review Crew 2012

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       Being the parent of 2 children on the Autism spectrum, we have traveled a long bumpy road since the boys were very young. Getting an Autism Diagnosis back in 2001 was not as easy as it is now, and we knew not a soul who had or knew anyone that was Autistic. I plunged into researching all of these labels that they were putting on my son, who at the time was 3 years old. PDD, SID, ADHD, ODD, OCD the list goes on and on. Finally after seeing a Psychologist, then a Psychiatrist we were referred to a Pediatric Neurologist. That is when we began to get real answers. Scared and feeling alone I started checking out books from the library. There was one thing I noticed though, none of them were written from a Christian viewpoint. Then we were saddened to learn that not only our middle son but our baby who is just 15 months younger also had a form of Autism. Should we not in our time of need reach towards God and ask for his help and guidance. I had not time to question I just had to learn how to help my sons. Over the years we have struggled and succeeded and finally listened to our God and chose the path of Homeschooling and changing our path of how to help our sons, and teach them that GOD is the center of our lives no matter who we are or what challenges we face.
     I was given the opportunity to review Too Wise to be Mistake, Too Good to be Unkind, by Grace & Truth Books,a family business with husband and wife team Dennis and Naomi Gundersen and their 4 boys who are also an intricate part of the business.
Too Wise to Be Mistaken, Too Good to Be Unkind
Written by: Cathy Steere
Publisher: Grace & Truth Books
Price: $9.75

              Cathy Steere, the author of this thought provoking book, knows where parents like myself and my husband have been in the trenches of an Autism Diagnosis. Struggling with confusion and not knowing where to turn, except they knew they needed to trust in the Lord.  Many of her son's issues mimicked those of each of my sons. Each of my boys have similar symptoms but also unique ones independent of each other, but similar to those of Cathy's son.
  Up until our choice to homeschool we lived in a fog, going through the motions each day just to survive. We  then happened upon a church that many people we met homeschooled. It certainly had my thought wheels turning, but if I cannot handle my son a few hours a day how would I handle being his teacher too. After all I looked forward to the relief public school brought me each week day. How did I ever become one of those Moms that was happy to usher her kids out the door. I decided I needed to give it all up to God, and I started to pray, Please God show me a sign that this is the path our family is to take.

    Soon the path God was laying before us started to unfold and I took that leap of Faith and started our homeschool adventure. Much to my surprise things improved immediately, and I figured out that the school was most of my children's problem, not myself like the school had tried to make it out to be.  We immediately began to teach fervently the Word of God to our boys on a daily basis and teach them that they need God to get through their life, disabilities and all, much like the author of this book and her husband and son Drew. We noticed a continuing change in our sons, and now 4 years later we are watching them turn into mighty Godly men. Becoming Social, yes more social being homeschooled than we ever thought possible in public school. Now do not get me wrong things are far from perfect, but our issues are few and far between and when we do come across a problem we have taught the boys to turn to God for the answers to their problems.

   I am about half way through the book, but I read a bit each night and it brings me great comfort as we continue this journey God has laid before us. It helps to know that we are not alone in this homeschooling adventure with Autism Spectrum children. That God has bigger plans than any of us can even begin to comprehend. That our special kids are wise beyond our measure and under God's divine supervision, they are capable of much more than we give them credit for, but God game their special "gifts" as part of his ultimate plan.

   If you are a parent of special needs child or even children, and are thinking of homeschooling or already do and just do not know where to turn next. First and foremost give it all up to GOD. Next buy Too Wise to be Mistaken, Too Good to be Unkind it will help you travel this road you have been pointed towards and give you comfort that you are not alone.

     Be sure to click on the banner below and check out all of the Grace and Truth Books reviews that the crew was given the privilege of reviewing.


“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services 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 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”