Friday, November 29, 2013

My Christmas Wish: a Devotional Prayer Journal for Kids - 50% off!!!

I am very excited to share this wonderful Christmas resource with you today! My sweet friend Heather has created another meaningful opportunity for kids to journal through the Christmas season. My Christmas Wish: a Devotional Prayer Journal for Kids is a excellent combination of Scripture, journal pages, puzzles, recipes, and other fun and purposeful ways to keep Jesus the center of the Christmas season. There are fifteen days of activities to look forward to and to incorporate into your December school days. This is designed for ages 4-12 and is 69 pages. 

Right now you can download My Christmas Wish: a Devotional Prayer Journal for Kids for 50% off!!! The regular price was $7.99, marked down to $2.99 and is now 50% off the sale price for a special Black Friday sale!!! Use code: blackfriday at checkout! Get yours now through December 2, 2013!

Love and blessings! xo

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Classical Composers Thanksgiving Freebie

Classical Composers is offering a wonderful Thanksgiving Freebie right now! This unit includes craft ideas, colouring pages, songs, videos and more. Erica and her son Micah have put together a wonderful unit for us. All we have to do is click.

I am looking forward to starting this today with my children. Check it out HERE!

Love and blessings! xo

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Nativity Story App {Review}

About The Nativity Story:

Where will baby Jesus be born? At the market? At a restaurant? At the inn? Readers of this book app can follow Joseph and Mary on their search for a place to stay in Bethlehem. Along the way they encounter a variety of colourful local people and animals. This is a fun and engaging way to share the original story of Christmas with the young generation and remind them what Christmas is all about.

My experience:
This was such a fun and meaningful review from FlyBy Promotions and Puddle Tap Publishing Ltd.! I have not had the opportunity to review an iPhone app before now and this one is simply beautiful. I don't think I've ever said that about an app before, as they are mostly practical or helpful or just entertaining, but this one is very unique. 

The Nativity Story is retold by Michael Seidelman and illustrated by Ingvard The Terrible. It is the story of Mary and Joseph and the birth of baby Jesus, Saviour of the world. As you can see in the photo to the left, the artwork is a nostalgic, pop-up style, with wood-cut illustrations. The colours are lovely and delightful. 

There are two choices when you open the app. You can read the text yourself or have the narrator read it to you. Both are fun, but I prefer to listen to the soothing, grandfatherly-sounding narrator. There are three language choices: English, French and Spanish. It's interactive in that there are speech balloons to click on. There are doors to knock on, bells to ring, windows to open, people to speak. The reader is truly engaged with the story. There are many characters to get to know and even music to create.

This app is good for ages 2 and up. It is for the iPhone and iPad iOS 6 and up.

After the story, there is an "Explore The Scriptures" section where you can read the actual Biblical text from the book of Luke. I loved that they included this passage. It's so important for our children to be grounded in God's Word, and this is a wonderful reinforcement.

This beautiful work of art is a must-have in my book. My 7 year old has enjoyed The Nativity Story several times. My 11 year old even commented "that is so neat". I have enjoyed it, as well. I cannot recommend it highly enough for a wonderful way to keep Jesus the center of your Christmas holiday and every day!!!

Purchase information:
Download it now for your iPhone ($1.99) or iPad ($3.99).

Love and blessings! xo

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in 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.

Weekly Menu Plan {25 November}

Good morning, Friends! It is crisp and cold here in Northern Virginia this morning. The sunrise was amazing and it looks a little more like winter today. We are packing and organizing and cleaning and praying, praying, praying. We have one lead on a house. It's not an ideal location, but it is a good fit, otherwise, and has many other pluses, so we're asking the Father for confirmation today. Thank you to those of you who have prayed, messaged, encouraged and are continuing to do so during this transition for our family. We are grateful for you.

Here is the plan for this week:

Monday - Leftovers or sandwiches

Tuesday - Grilled cheese, salad

Wednesday - Chicken stir-fry with lots of veggies

Thursday - Thanksgiving dinner with dear friends (I'm still deciding on what I'll contribute to the meal.)

Friday - Shrimp and grits

Saturday - Leftovers

Sunday - Snack-y supper

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have a wonderful celebration. Love and blessings. xo

Linking up: Menu Plan Monday

Friday, November 22, 2013

Packing up - prayers, please!

(Hi friends, this is what I eluded to earlier in the week . . . Thank you, in advance, for your prayers.)

Prayer Support Team,

Our landlord notified us last week that they would like us out of the house by December 15.  This is a bit of a surprise as we were anticipating going month to month after December per previous discussions with them.  We have no good leads yet and are feeling the pressure a bit.

This whole journey the past almost 3 years has been one step of faith at a time, and I am very proud of our whole family but do confess we are a bit weary.

We are very grateful for your continued friendship and interceding for us.  Keep it up!


Bob Royce
Intercessors for America
Mobilization Coordinator
PO Box 915
Purcellville, VA 20134
540-317-2097 Direct

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

I want to keep up with blogging and some normal parts of life, 
so I'm trying to remember to take photos of my outfits. 

Here are two from the last week . . .

Coral top - Kohl's
Sweater - Old Navy
Jeans - Old Navy
Flats - Kohl's
Earrings - TJ Maxx

Sweater - Old Navy
Jeans - Old Navy
Boots - Steve Madden (similar)
Earrings and bracelet - Charming Charlie

I hope you're having a great week! I'm linking up with The Pleated Poppy.

Love and blessings. xo

Monday, November 18, 2013

Weekly Menu Plan {18 November}

All of the sudden, we have much going on, which I hope to share soon. We are trusting our Heavenly Father and know He is in control and able. We are praising and thanking Him, in advance, and look forward to giving an amazing testimony that gives Him all the glory very soon. We would appreciate prayer, my friends.

Here is the menu plan:

Monday - Ribs, baked beans, potato salad

Tuesday - Lasagna, salad, French bread

Wednesday - Leftovers

Thursday - Black bean soup, tortilla chips

Friday - Taco salad

Saturday - Beef stew, cornbread

Sunday - Snack-y supper

Blessings and love. xo

Linking up: Menu Plan Monday

Friday, November 15, 2013

At Home in Dogwood Mudhole - Volume 1 Nothing That Eats {Review}

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For my last review of 2013 with the TOS Review Crew, I was given a paperback copy of At Home In Dogwood Mudhole: Volume One Nothing That Eats by Franklin Sanders. I honestly didn't know what to expect from this book except it was about a family who moved to the country to pursue an agrarian lifestyle. I love reading other peoples stories. People are fascinating. Their stories are interesting, entertaining, encouraging, endearing, and sometimes downright funny. This book can be described by all those words and more. This is the first of the three volume series. The next two books are Volume Two: Best Thing We Ever Did and Volume Three: The Sage of Dogwood Mudhole (not yet released)You can find sample chapters from Volumes 1 and 2 HERE.

From the Website:
When Y2K looms and modern life fails to satisfy, Franklin Sanders and wife Susan go from nuclear family to multigenerational farm. Despite Susan’s admonition that they acquire nothing that eats, they gain dogs, chickens, horses, cows, pigs, ducks and sheep. Their children move back in and bring their spouses, filling Dogwood Mudhole with grandchildren. It’s no Green Acres, but through sheer persistence and good humor, they learn to farm. At Home in Dogwood Mudhole, a three-volume collection of letters, provides a running account of an attempt to live an authentic life, as Franklin writes every month for seventeen years a personal letter to his The Moneychanger newsletter readers.

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My thoughts:
I read other people's stories because I find them engaging and absorbing and this was no exception. At first I was a little thrown off (not in a bad way) by the format. I knew it was a story about the Sanders family, Southern through and through, and how they moved to the country before Y2K (everyone remembers what Y2K was, right?). I had expected more of a memoir type of book, but this is not like that at all. The book was compiled from Mr. Sanders' newsletters, which were written between June 1995 and September 2002. So instead of fluid chapters, you have small snippets of Mr. Sanders life, written as it was happening, which I found enjoyable. I can pick it up for a few minutes or a few hours at a time. (I'm not quite to the end, as it is 379 pages, and life has been busy.) 

I also read other people's stories to learn something new. Each of us has a unique experience and journey and I guarantee I can learn something every time I read about or have a conversation with someone. I may not agree with every opinion they have, but I can learn something of value. This time was no exception. Not only did I learn that there is an actual place in Tennessee called Dogwood Mudhole, but I also learned a new vocabulary word or two, one of those being "uxorious" which means "excessively attached to or dependent on one's wife". Mr. Sanders described himself with this word and I think it is a beautiful thing for a man devoted to his wife to use such a term. I even learned a new Christmas song, one that Mr. Sanders mentions in his chapter, "A Cure for Bellyache." 

Here it is. Have you heard it before?

Other enjoyable aspects of Mr. Sanders' writing are his inclusion of his faith, specific Scriptures, his devotion and love of his family, as well as recommended restaurants, inns, museums, and family-run businesses that he has personally visited all over the South. Think Southern Living magazine meets Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives!

A few of my favourite Franklin Sanders quotes:
Now a tradition is not a rut. A rut is doing the same things year after year because you don't have enough imagination to do anything new. A tradition is something you do once and discover a joy so deep that you do it again, Christmas after Christmas, to keep on savoring it and make it last. p.23
... but motherhood gives us a unique example of Christian service. By submitting to motherhood completely, a woman is completed. She faces the terrors of death itself in childbirth, and afterward demands so great they seem utterly impossible, but God gives her grace upon grace as she needs it. The greater her burdens, the greater his grace, and the greater her completion. p.110
You can drive across the South, indeed, across America, and you'll hardly be able to tell Charleston from Dallas unless you venture far, far off the expressway. The malls and shopping centers and subdivisions are all identical. It may be success, but it sure is boring. p.162
If you enjoy Southern, real-life stories, I recommend this book for your next reading selection.

Volume One: Nothing That Eats: $22.95-paperback, $16.95-Kindle/Pub/PDF
Volume Two: Best Thing We Ever Did: $22.95-paperback, $16.95-Kindle/Pub/PDF

To read more Review Crew opinions of this book, click the banner below.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

French Essentials {Review}

French Essentials LOGO photo frenchessentiallogo_zps55e20538.jpg

I was so happy to have the opportunity to review French Essentials with the TOS Review Crew team recently. I specifically wanted this program for Emma, who studied French in Canada for a number of years but has put it aside for the last two or three years. I received one full access online program, which is everything that French Essentials offers (a retail value of $149.95). There are four modules, so far, with Module 5 on the way. Additional modules will eventually be added, with 10 all together. Completing modules 1-10 would be the equivalent of 2 years of high school French.

From the website:
French Essentials is a complete, downloadable French curriculum with online features that include culture, fun exercises, lesson tests and more. 

Designed by experienced French teachers specifically for home learners, it is clear and easy to use and does not require previous knowledge of French. The well designed lessons teach French in an easy to follow, gradual, step-by-step method with video and audio instruction that allows students to interact with the language in a fun and engaging way. 

Our experience:
Emma has been studying the lessons and is including her 8 year old sister, who also wants to learn French. They have been going a little more slowly for Ava, since she is new to the language and Emma wants her to have a solid foundation. The PDF files are great because they have the sound files embedded right into them and this makes the lessons easy to use. There is a combination of downloadable files and online lessons. They start with reading through the lesson, which includes listening to the audio, then to video, where they are given the opportunity to watch, listen, speak/repeat. Then they are able to practice writing the words and phrases they are learning by utilizing the worksheet pages. The combination of the methods used in French Essentials target the four language acquisition skills and work well for all learning styles. 

Here is the first screen you see once you log in to the program:

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Here is what it looks like when you need to choose your Module:
French Essentials Online Module Area photo frenchessentials2_zps530122b6.jpg
Here is an example of M. Legentil asking "Ça va?" (How are you?):

One area of the lessons contains a Savais-tu! section which means "French culture". This is such a neat bonus to the lessons!
French Essentials culture area photo frenchessentials4_zpsa088c965.jpg

We had a little trouble with downloading part of the files at the beginning, but once we worked the kinks out, there have been no problems since. Emma is enjoying this program and is happy to be hearing and speaking French once again. Ava is learning, although Emma and I both agree that it is a little advanced for her. We are taking it slower with her and letting Emma move on ahead at a faster pace. Emma is not just learning French to check off a box on her high school requirements list. She truly appreciates the value of learning and knowing another language. She is aware that learning the French language will be a wonderful asset to have wherever God takes her in this world. I have been impressed that the girls can easily use this program and are learning together, while on different levels. I appreciate that it was written by French teachers and speakers who are also parents (and who happen to live in Quebec City - one of my favourite cities in North America!). We would highly recommend this program to anyone wishing to add the beautiful French language to their home education studies. 

Modules One through Five (6-10 will be added later), $69.95 each
Full 1-Year access, includes all modules, $149.95 (over 57% savings)

You can have your student take the online placement test to see exactly where they should begin.

Click HERE to view Sample Lessons.

Connect with French Essentials via:

Click on the banner below to read what other TOS Review Crew families thought about French Essentials.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013


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(Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mexico and 7 year old Luke {Ministry update}

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your support and prayers as Ben and I traveled to Cuauhtémoc, Mexico, recently.  The 12 hour day of repentance and prayer was powerful.  The fact that so many area pastors and churches came together to pray and cry out for their community is being called an historic event, as it had never happened prior to that day.  Many said that the Lord’s Presence was so tangible that no one was restless or physically hungry or thirsty the whole day.  It was remarkable, and we are eager to see what comes next for Cuauhtémoc.  We heard several stories of hit-men entangled in the violent culture of smuggling arms, drug trafficking and family feuds who have been changed by the power and love of Jesus Christ. 

 (from the 12 hour repentance and prayer time in Mexico)

Last week I spoke in Williamsport, Maryland, for the second time, about transforming revival.  I shared the story that I have shared with you before, about the young children in Indonesia who wake up at 4am to cry out to the Lord and worship Him.  I received this last Monday morning from the pastor's family about their 7 year old son, Luke (it was written to the family members who are away at college):

Good Morning Everyone,

I wish you all could be around to see some very cute, amazing, and touching activities going on here.  So I thought I would write and maybe capture a bit of it for you.
Since Dad has been preaching for awhile now about transformation and revival, he brought in Bob Royce again this past Sunday to preach for him since He was away in Lynchburg.  He spoke on the Book of Acts and had lots of stories of his own about God moving.  One story was where God moved children at a very young age (4 - 6) to wake up early and pray spurring on revival.  He was very encouraging to all of us each time he spoke, once in August and last Sunday.  At the end of his talk, he opened up a time where he asked the congregation to share what we thought God was doing here.  There was a lot of unity, everyone seemed to be sharing similar stories of confession and God waking them up early to pray.

Luke and I left almost right away to come home early to prepare for lunch for we were having          the Royce family over.  They have 5 children. 

As I was in the kitchen, Luke went, got Daniel's Bible, sat in the chair in the living room and began to read Genesis 1.  He would call me and ask for help in sounding out a word every once in a while. He sat there for about 15 minutes reading, then he told me he was going to stay in the service from now on.  I said, " that is good because next week you will be 8 years old - no more children's church for you."  

We had a very nice afternoon with the Royces and their kids.  That evening, Dad wanted to have a "technology" fast so we all sat in the family room talking and laughing.  Luke said, "lets read the Bible in Acts," so Dad read a chapter.  Luke wants to read and be together every night now.

That night Luke made a date with Elizabeth to get up early and have devotions with her.  They sat together on the love seat, he reading Daniel’s Bible and she reading hers.  He asked me if he could have his own Bible, not a children’s Bible. So Dad and I took him out for his birthday lunch and stopped by the Christian Bookstore and he picked out his Bible.  He wanted one with a ribbon and a soft cover.  He came home and started reading it right away.  I saw him outside walking around with his Bible and every once in a while he would put both hands up, then he sat in the grass and read.

That evening, he told me he now needed an alarm clock so he could get up early to have his devotions.  I found one and we together set his alarm for 7:30.  I told him he needed to go to bed early if he was going to get up early.  He decided to go to bed at 9:00 and kept an eye on the clock all evening.  He was promptly in his bed at 9.

We all got up at 6:30 and we were having our devotions when Luke came down at 7:30.  He was so excited.  He yelled, "IT WORKED", I sat right up.  He sat between Dad and I reading his Bible.  At some point, he realized that we had all been up since 6:30 so he set his alarm for 6:30 and was waiting for us this morning.  He was the first to get up.
You should have seen Luke sitting on the sofa concentrating on reading his Bible.  I couldn't stop smiling.  When he was done, he said, "Mom, I'm going to make myself an omelette, you might want to come and spot me."  We ended up making some for everyone and we all ate breakfast together.  Dad says, "let's do this every morning."

Luke told me this morning that now he wants to play on the worship team.  Bethany is teaching him the piano while I write this.   About a week before all this, Luke came in from outside and said he went on a prayer walk.

Looking forward to what God has for all of us.  I know we will all see and experience Him when we are in heaven...I want to experience His power on earth.  May His Kingdom come and His Will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  

On behalf of the Royce family, I want to say thank you for supporting us as we spread the message of awakening and revival in America and beyond.

To join our support team, click on Field Staff Support at IFA Royce Team.


Bob Royce
Intercessors for America
Mobilization Coordinator
PO Box 915
Purcellville, VA 20134
540-317-2097 Direct

Weekly Menu Plan {11 November}

How are you commemorating this Veteran's and Remembrance Day? 

I am so grateful to all the men and women who have served and are serving in our military, as well as for their families and the profound sacrifices they make for us. May God bless you all in a special way! We honour you today and thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Here's my menu plan (written in pencil, of course):

Monday - Italian roast, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad (I didn't end up making this last week)

Tuesday - Leftovers

Wednesday - Taco Salad

Thursday - Potato Soup

Friday - Rigatoni with Chicken, Goat Cheese and Rosemary (Bob and Ben missed this the first time I made it and it was a big hit with everyone.)

Saturday - Leftovers

Sunday - Snack-y supper

What's on your menu plan for this week? Need ideas? I am linking up with Laura at Org Junkie where you can find so much menu inspiration. Hop on over for some new ideas!

Love and blessings. xo