Saturday, March 31, 2012

Brain Challenge Puzzles *Giveaway*

Puzzles are fun! They are awesome for those long road trips when you are going on Summer Vacation! Keep the kids, and you, busy while in the car! Check these out!
The Complete Idiot's Guide To Picture Puzzles Vol. 2 by Alpha Books

About The Book:
A puzzle book that challenges minds of all ages. People love puzzles and games. It's not a recent phenomenon, although lately an intense and growing interest in both Sudoku and Poker has emerged. Now picture puzzles are hot, and who better to put out a fun book of picture puzzles than the Complete Idiot's Guide series? In The Complete Idiot's Guide to Picture Puzzles, Vol. 2 readers will find: •Full-color picture puzzles for all levels and ranges of ability •Pictures appropriate for all ages •Whacky, funny, silly, whimsical, and oddball pictures •An easy-to-use answer key.

About The Author: 
The Editors and Designers of Alpha Books are uniquely suited to the task of producing The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Picture Puzzles, Volume 2. The editors and design group enjoy a close working relationship, enabling them to produce high-quality, full-color books such as The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Perfect Wedding Illustrated, Fifth Edition and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Scrapbook Projects Illustrated. Moreover, the editorial and design groups’ background in game and computer books makes them especially suited to the task of producing this very fun and funny book.

Sudko by Puzzle Baron

About The Book:
Engage your mind with the challenge of hundreds of Sudoku puzzles. From the successful "Puzzle Baron," the creator of the popular puzzlebaron.com game site, Puzzle Baron's Sudoku is the perfect book for the ever growing number of compulsive Sudoku enthusiasts. With a total of 400 Sudoku puzzles - 25 easy, 100 medium, 175 hard, and 100 super hard Sudoku puzzles-this smart, symmetrical, elegant, and thoroughly addicting book will challenge and satisfy your mind.

Logic Puzzles by Puzzle Baron

About The Book:
What could be more logical than a second volume of Puzzle Baron's Logic Puzzles? Puzzle Baron's Logic Puzzles, Vol. 2 provides 200 more grid-based logic puzzles from the popular online puzzle site. For each puzzle, readers are given a background story and a list of text-based clues and then use logic to sift through the clues to arrive at the correct answer to a question. Unlike other logic puzzle books, every puzzle in Puzzle Baron's Logic Puzzles, Vol. 2 includes statistics - such as the average completion time, the record completion time, and the percentage of puzzlers who successfully complete the puzzle - to bring out the competitor in puzzlers and better inform them on how easy or difficult each puzzle is. Features 200 grid-based logic puzzles. Includes puzzle statistics for added excitement. Ideal for kids and adult.

About The Author:
Stephen P. Ryder is the founder and editor of the Puzzle Baron network of websites (PuzzleBaron.com). These sites focus primarily on textual games and puzzles, including acrostics, cryptograms, logic puzzles, drop quotes, Sudoku, patchwords and many more. The Puzzle Baron network has upward of a half a million unique visitors each month, along with an extremely dedicated user-base of more than 50,000 registered players who compete against each other for record scores and times. The Puzzle Baron site Logic-Puzzles.org launched in mid-2008, and though a relatively new site, it is consistently ranked #2 in Google and Bing for anyone searching for the terms "Logic Puzzles" or "Logic Puzzle". The site was featured in PC World (April 12, 2009) as a recommended site for logic puzzles, and currently has more than 10,000 registered members. It offers the largest library of grid-based logic puzzles available anywhere online - currently just over 5,000 - and it has a statistical solving history on every one of the puzzles from the database of just under a million puzzles solved since inception. 

One lucky reader will win all three of these books! Here's how:

1. Follow this blog via GFC, the newsletter, or Networked Blogs. 
4. Promote this giveaway. 

Giveaway ends April 14th. Good luck!

I recieved products from Wilks PR and Alpha Books in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

YooHoo & Friends

YooHoo & Friends was first introduced to the marketplace by Aurora World Inc. in 2006 as a line of plush animals. The YooHoo & Friends characters feature big eyes, long, fluffy tails and are based on animals (many endangered) from around the world. The YooHoo & Friends 2D animated cartoon series stars rap legend Flavor Flav. YooHoo & Friends live in the virtual world Yootopia - visit them today at www.yoohoofriends.com to play games, raise YooHoo & Friends, and watch previews of the upcoming YooHoo & Friends animation series. Collect all the YooHoo & Friends today! Aurora has sold more than 14 million pieces. New for 2012: a colors of the rainbow assortment, eight new YooHoo & Friends "WannaBes," - including jungle and domestic/barnyard stuffed toys - including a giraffe, elephant, lion, tiger, horse, cow, cat and dog. 

We recieved Lemmee The Lemur. He is cute and cuddly, and Callan just loves him! I think we are going to have collect all the Lemmees, since Callan loves him so much! Check it all out at YooHoo & Friends on Facebook, as well as YooHoo & Friends on Twitter!
 
I received a product from Aurora World, Inc. in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, March 30, 2012

L'Bri Skin Care

L'BRI Pure n Natural markets skin care, nutritional, and beauty products from its offices in Mukwonago, Wisconsin through a national network of several thousand independent sales Consultants. Throughout the world, the gentle butterfly symbolizes the joy of life, the desire for happiness, and the search for beauty. When a butterfly opens and stretches its wings for the first time and then takes flight, its a miraculous moment. That is why L'BRI selected the butterfly as its company symbol.
I recieved the Essentials Set. This Set includes Cleanser, Freshener, and Moisturizer for your skin type, Exfoliating Facial & Body Scrub, Smooth n' Firm Eye Repair Gel, Enzyme Peel, Maxifirm and Time Erase.
Deep Pore Cleanser: A deep cleansing, water-soluble gel enriched with Aloe Vera Barbadensis, Vitamins A, C, E and Natural Botanical Extracts. Removes all traces of make-up, pore clogging oils and environmental pollutants from the skin. Helps control breakouts and blemishes. Deep Pore Freshener: This alcohol free balancing freshener completes the cleansing process and helps protect the skin from bacteria by restoring its normal pH balance. The calming properties of Aloe Vera, Chamomile, Bee Pollen, Horsetail, Balm Mint and Hypericum, stimulates circulation, refines pores and manages breakouts without drying. Oil Free Moisturizer: For oily and combination skin: A light, oil-free lotion that nourishes and regulates excess oil while providing necessary hydration. Will not clog pores; allows skin to breathe. Smooth n' Firm Eye Repair Gel:  For all skin types. This clinically proven formula contains a superior anti-aging tetra peptide which works to dramatically reduce puffy eyes while enhancing skin elasticity and smoothness. Active botanicals work to reduce dark circles and wrinkles, improve microcirculation and strengthen the skin's collagen and elastin while reducing the presence of free radicals. Safe for even the most sensitive of eyes. Exfoliating Face & Body Scrub: For all skin types. A remarkable refining formula that gently lifts tired, dull surface cells and imbedded impurities without scratching the skin. Contains Aloe Vera, Natural Clays, Honey, Ground Almonds, Vitamins A, C, E, Ocean Sea Plants and Essential Oils of Lemongrass, Geranium, Clay Sage, Chamomile and Violet Leaves. Time Erase: For all skin types. With regular use Time Erase will help fade age spots, freckles and the appearance of scars, as it reduces lines around the eye and lip area. Research has shown that AHAs can actually stimulate the production of new collagen and elastin which gives the skin its elasticity and strength. Pure Aloe Vera Jelly: For all skin types. Pure unadulterated Aloe Jelly penetrates quickly to calm and soothe irritated or inflamed skin. Acts as a natural bandage to help the healing of blemished skin. Helps speed the healing of cuts, insect stings, and burns. No medicine cabinet should be without it! Facial Masque: For all skin types. Experience an instant lift. An intensive deep cleansing treatment with soothing Aloe Vera, Natural Botanical Extracts, and Essential Oils, clears away dead flaky cells and dulling debris as it tightens and tones the skin. Skin's smoothness returns and crepiness and enlarged pores are diminished. Excellent for blemished skin and enlarged pores. Rejuvenating Facial Peel: It's all about Enzymes! Right before your eyes, this unique exfoliator made with natural fruit enzymes of green papaya and calming pineapple along with stabilized aloe vera gel work to dissolve dead skin cells without acids as it dramatically improves skin tone, clarity and texture for a healthy, vibrant complexion. Results are immediately visible. Excellent for all skin types including those with rosacea and acne prone skin. All this is one great package that I am blessed to have recieved! I have actively been conscious of those wrinkles sneaking in on me, so now that I have L'Bri, I can battle them back! LOVE this stuff!
L'Bri has an excellent Free Sample Package! Your selection of free L'BRI Pure n’ Natural samples include the cleanser, freshener, and moisturizer contained in a Customized Skin Care Trio, Eye Repair Gel, instant face lift Facial Masque, Exfoliating Face & Body Scrub and Rejuvenating Enzyme Facial Peel. Sample sizes are for a 7 to 10 day supply. For only $6.95 shipping, it is well worth the try.

Check it all out at L'Bri on Facebook, as well as L'Bri on Twitter.
 
I received products from L'Bri in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Foto Fun Friday - Cats





Thursday, March 29, 2012

Need You Now

Need You Now by Beth Wiseman 

About The Book: 
When big-city life threatens the safety of one of their children, Brad and Darlene Henderson move with their three teenagers from Houston to the tiny town of Round Top, Texas. Adjusting to small-town life is difficult for the kids, especially fifteen-year-old Grace who is coping in a dangerous way. Married life hasn't always been bliss, but their strong faith has carried Brad and Darlene through the difficult times. When Darlene takes a job outside the home for the first time in their marriage, the domestic tension rises. While working with special needs children at her new job, the widowed father of one of the students starts paying more attention to Darlene than is appropriate. Problem is, she feels like someone is listening to her for the first time in a long time. If Darlene ever needed God . . . it's now. 

My Thoughts: 
This book is full of a little bit of everything! But what really gets to you is the suspense. You turn each page rapidly, just dying to know what happens next. I can relate to Darlene, the mama in the story, really well. The author really rounded out her character well. Besides the mother in this story, I think you are also heavily drawn to the middle child, Grace, who deals with her issues in a dangerous way. A very good read! Great beach read for the Summer coming!

About The Author: 
Beth is a Carol Award Winner, Inspirational Readers Choice Winner, INSPY Winner, and the best-selling author of the Daughters of the Promise series and the Land of Canaan series. All of her books have held spots on the ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association) bestseller list and the CBA (Christian Book Association) bestseller list. She grew up in Houston, Texas and now resides in a small town west of Houston with a population of around 300. She lives with her husband, two dogs, two cats, two pot bellied pigs, two chickens and a pygmy goat. Her two grown sons also live in Texas. Beth has been writing in some capacity for most of her life. She's a former award-winning journalist with eleven honors, including 'First Place News Writing' for The Texas Press Association. However, writing love stories with a spiritual message is where her heart is. When Beth isn't writing (which is seldom these days) she enjoys traveling, cooking, fishing, reading, or just settling in for a good movie. Her best times are spent with family and friends! 

 Buy or pre-order this book at Need You Now on Amazon. Releases April 10th!
 
I received a complimentary review copy of this book from The B &; B Media Group. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Lady Day - CEB Bible *Giveaway*

Once cannot help noticing the proximity of the quarter days to significant solar events. The winter solstice, the spring equinox (Lady Day), the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox. However, the relationship is not precise because the quarter days are on fixed dates, 4 or 5 days after the more precise solar event. It's as though our ancient ancestors waited a few days to be sure, and then celebrated the solstice or equinox with a quarter day.

In myths described in the Mabinogion Welsh folk tales, Lady Day celebrates the union between the spring Virgin Goddess and the young solar God.

Luke 35-38
"The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come over you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the one who is to be born will be holy. He will be called God’s Son. 36 Look, even in her old age, your relative Elizabeth has conceived a son. This woman who was labeled ‘unable to conceive’ is now six months pregnant. 37 Nothing is impossible for God.” 38 Then Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be with me just as you have said.” Then the angel left her."

One reader will win a CEB Bible. Here's how:

1. Follow this blog via GFC, the newsletter, or Networked Blogs.
4. Promote this giveaway.

Giveaway ends April 5th. Good luck!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sammy Knows It All

Sammy Knows It All by Dave Custance 

About The Book: 
"David Custance’s memoir not only tells the unbelievable journey of his sister’s resilience toward adversity, but it acts as a reminder of how precious life truly is. Told with warmth and humor, Sammy Knows It All lays bare the strength found in love, family and most of all hope. Wendy’s life is far from over, but what we can gleam from her now is the understanding that no matter how unfair the world may seem, we must keep on singing! This book is a marvelously powerful and inspirational read." - Tony Foster "Dave Custance in person is the kind of man who stands back in a crowd and watches. Little did I know that this trait would turn into a great story about one of the loves in his life, his sister Wendy. Dave has the ability to surprise without drawing attention to the superfluous, delight and enlighten the reader with the amazing story of Wendy; laughing and living her life out loud. Dave's writing style feels much like an old friend, who you may not know much about, is answering the query 'Tell me me about inspiration.' Pull up a chair, and sit down with Dave and his incredible story of family, love, adversity, adventure and growing up with Wendy." - Kim Simpson 

My Thoughts: 
This is such a loving tribute to a sister from her brother! You can really tell how much Dave loves his sister, Wendy. This short and simple memoir is a good read. You feel like you're on the front porch swing, and Dave has just sat down to tell you a story. It is an easy-going read, and very heartwarming.

About The Author: 
Dave Custance is a native of Steilacoom, Washington (sort of) and currently resides in San Pedro, California with his FiancĂ© Kris. If it’s between 6:00 and 8:00am, you’ll probably find him and his VW bus wherever the waves are breaking. If it’s after 8:00 am he’ll be somewhere in Southern California, Arizona or Hawaii making his rounds as a sales rep for a few lines of kitchen cabinetry. If it’s after 8:00 pm he’s probably reading a book or writing one. He’s called “Sunny-D” by some, because it’s been said that he walks on the sunny side of the street. Dave welcomes any questions or comments you have. If you would like to contact Dave, you can visit Sammy Knows It All, or you can email him at dave@sammyknowsitall.com
 
I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Lightening Book Promotions and the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

US Military Regulations iPhone App *Giveaway* 3 Winners

Lt. Josh Patterson is a Field Artillery Specialist for the US Army’s Special Projects division and the man behind this app. Lt. Patterson’s job requires frequent use of the regulations handbook, and he realized that he could finish his projects much faster if there was an easier way to access those regulations. With smart phones soon to become standard issue, he turned to the App Incubator to see his idea through.

All Handbooks in one
Military Regulations are a crucial component to the job of every soldier. The US Military Regulations iPhone app condenses the regulations handbooks of every US Military branch into a single comprehensive mobile library.

Each digital handbook delivers virtually everything you’ll find in the standard printed version, and gives you instant access to many documents, articles, publications, forms and field manuals you'd need.

Fast and Efficient Access
Forget the hassle of sifting through your bulky regulations handbook. The US Military Regulations app conforms seamlessly to your job duties by offering multiple ways to save and shortcut information. You can browse through the archives alphabetically, or use the search tool to find it instantly. You can even share any content through email.

Features
• On-the-go access to the regulations handbooks of all US Military branches
• Handbook content is intuitively organized into archives
• Bookmark any page for short and mid-term reference
• Add any page to your Favorites for frequent or long-term reference
• Track your research with the History section
• Your first in-app handbook is included with purchase of the app
• Download additional handbooks via in-app purchase

We are proud to call US Military Regulations a Shiny MEDL Object.

Three lucky readers will win a promo code for this app! Here how to enter:

1. Follow this blog via GFC, the newsletter, or Networked Blogs.
2. "Like" Apple on Facebook.
4. Promote this giveaway.

Giveaway ends April 11th. Good luck!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Summer Fashions Event

We're having a Summer Fashions Event on this blog for the entire month of May AND June!!! We will be featuring really great items to include: Summer clothing for men, women, and children, shoes, sandals, beachwear, beach towels, cosmetics, hair care for summer, etc. It's going to be fantastic! If any sponsors want to get involved, email me callansparents@yahoo.com. Also if anyone wants to team up and do this event on your blog, let me know! Wanna write a guest post for this event? We can do that too! Contact me! This is going to be a really great. Stay tuned!!!
 

Family devotions for Easter? There's an app for that!

EasterHunt is an interactive family devotional app for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. EasterHunt is designed to help parents lead their children to the Gospel by using simple games and devotionals. EasterHunt works by allowing the child to play a game where he or she must find and then open an egg to receive a "treasure". The treasure that pops out of the egg is a children's illustration that gives a visual theme for the devotional for that day. Then you, the parent, can take over and guide your child's heart by reading the devotional as your child listens. Our hope is that parents will use this app to take time to connect with their children in a fun, but meaningful way this Easter.

EasterHunt is designed to be used as a tool to engage your children in the story of Easter, but the key is that you, the parent are always in control. All the games are designed so a four year old can play them, and yet the games are engaging enough to be played over and over again, even by older kids. The games are all designed to be played well within the attention span of a toddler, which enables you to teach your children about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ using the devotional as a launching point. By the way, the devotional text is short, and to the point. The devotional is written in narrative style to capture the attention of young children, which enables you, the parent, to stay in control of the Gospel discussion with your family.

There's a very special treat for those that complete EasterHunt to the last level- they get to visit the empty tomb on Resurrection Day! Enter into a 3D model of the empty tomb on your iPad or iPhone / iPod Touch and talk with the angels who will tell you that "He is not here, for He is risen!"

He is risen indeed!

Purchase EasterHunt at:

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Break

We are going on Spring Break this week, so posts might be few and far between. I will try to get some stuff set up, but if I don't make it, don't give up on me! I'll be here full force when I get back! Happy Spring Everyone!

A Perfect Pet For Peyton *Giveaway*

A Perfect Pet For Peyton by Gary Chapman

About The Book:
This wonderfully imaginative children’s hardcover book by bestselling authors Gary Chapman and Rick Osborne, featuring four-color illustrations (with hidden details!) by Wilson Williams, Jr., will help children learn the importance of love. Based on Gary’s highly successful The 5 Love Languages, A Perfect Pet for Peyton tells an entertaining and playful story of five children who each, with the help of Mr. Chapman and the unique pets at his special emporium, discover their own personal love language. Children and parents alike will experience firsthand the power of the love languages as they cuddle up and spend precious time together reading this book over and over again. FREE interactive APP with in-book experience COMING SOON to the App Store. Enter your email below or click here to be notified when the app goes live!

My Thoughts:
I really really enjoyed this book, and loved reading it with Callan. It took us a few nights, since it is too long for him at 4 years old. But he was interested in it, and remembered it from the previous night every night we read a little. The illustrations are amazing. And I so love that the book is interactive too. Hidden pictures, and a quiz at the end, and numerous spots to pause in the story for natural conversation with your child. This is an excellent book!!

About The Author:
Married more than 45 years to Karolyn, Dr. Gary Chapman is just the man to turn to for help on improving or healing our most important relationships. His own life experiences, plus over thirty-five years of pastoring and marriage counseling, led him to publish his first book in the Love Language series, The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. Millions of readers credit this continual New York Times bestseller with saving their marriages by showing them simple and practical ways to communicate their love to their partner. Since the success of his first book, Dr. Chapman has expanded his Five Love Languages series to specifically reach out to teens, singles, men, and children (co-authored with Dr. Ross Campbell). He is the author of numerous other books published by Moody Publishers/Northfield Publishing, including The World's Easiest Guide to Family Relationships, Anger, The Family You've Always Wanted, The Marriage You've Always Wanted, Desperate Marriages, God Speaks Your Love Language, Parenting Your Adult Child, and Hope for the Separated. He co-authored The Five Languages of Apology with Dr. Jennifer Thomas. Chapman speaks to thousands of couples nationwide through his weekend marriage conferences. He hosts a nationally syndicated radio program, Love Language Minute, and a Saturday morning program, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, that air on more than 100 stations. Dr. Chapman also serves as senior associate pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Dr. Chapman holds BA and MA degrees in anthropology from Wheaton College and Wake Forest University, respectively, MRE and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has completed postgraduate work at the University of North Carolina and Duke University. Dr. Chapman and his wife have two adult children and two grandchildren, and currently live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

One reader will win a copy of this book! Here's how:

1. Follow this blog via GFC, the newsletter, or Networked Blogs.
4. Promote this giveaway.

Giveaway ends April 9th. Good luck!

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.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Best Kids Activities for Families Traveling in Spain

Spain is one of the most family-friendly countries in Europe. The Spanish include their kids in everything from street festivals and religious celebrations to family events and late-night dinner parties. It’s perfectly normal to see young children late at night eating with parents in a bodega or hanging out at an outdoor bar. This may seem odd for the first-time visitor to Spain but it’s common, particularly in summertime and for good reason. Remember that in summertime the kids are off from school and sleep for much of the day. For the very young and the very old, the Siesta rule is obligatory. Plus, as the evenings are longer and cooler, it’s actually more pleasant for the kids to be able to be out and about at a late hour.

If you’re traveling to Spain with young kids, this makes life much easier. For example, it’s not necessary to worry about going to restaurants where your kids might not be welcome. With the exception of upmarket hotels, the kids will pretty much be welcome everywhere. But it’s still essential to keep them occupied during the day and different parts of Spain have different activities available for children.

With few exceptions, most kids love the beach so the coastal areas of Spain are going to offer lots to do. Let’s start with the Costa del Sol. This coastline has a great mix of zoos, water parks and adventure centers that are perfect for entertaining your little rascals. Spend the day at the Fuengirola Bioparc, which is a zoo with an ecological focus. The animals are in pens but not caged so the kids get to see them in more natural environment. It’s open till 1:00 am and has a play park next to the restaurant, which means the kids can play while mum and dad have a bite to eat.
Further west in Estepona is Selwo Aventura, an adventure park, which is also a zoo except here the animals roam free. There are safari jeeps to cart family from one side of the park to the other, monkeys, camel rides, and an Indiana Jones style trek through the bush. The kids will be wiped after this day out.

Back up the coast is Parque Acuatico in Mijas. This is a water park with lots of slides and paddling pools. The slides are quite small as are the pools so this park is more suited to children under 10. It’s also possible to buy tickets online, which saves you 10% on the price and ensures you skip any queues.

Further north is the Costa Blanca where there are lots of great resorts and miles of white sandy beaches around the city of Valencia. Just as on the Costa del Sol, there are zoos, water parks and activity parks for kids. There’s a Bioparc here but also an aquarium called Oceangrafic that is the largest in Europe and second largest in the world. It’s located in the City of Arts and Science (Ciudad de las Artes y Las Ciencias) and is home to dozens of amazing species from the ocean. There are a variety of tours available including an overnight sleep over with the sharks. In fact the City of Arts and Science has lots to offer for all the family. An IMAX cinema, high-tech science museum and a planetarium that has lots of shows including a trip to space for the kids. La Rovella, located in the riverbed of the Turia is targeted towards younger kids. Here they can do various workshops such as face painting and balloon making. The dried riverbed is also a great nature walk with playgrounds located at different points.

But if you really want to tire the kids out and give them a skill that they can bring home with them, head to Tarifa. Tarifa is renowned for its winds, which are the reason it’s become the third most popular wind and kite-surfing spot in the world. There are lots of schools teaching learners of all ages. Teenage kids are usually the most difficult to entertain on holiday so Tarifa is a great spot for them. They can be on the beach all day learning how to wind or kitesurf, paddle board or dive. As Tarifa is located on the Strait of Gibraltar, which is home to diverse marine life including whales, dolphins and sharks, it’s also possible to get a boat out into the Strait for a spot of whale watching.

If all this isn’t enough and you plan to be in Andalucia during the summer season, find out when the Feria hits town. The Feria is a summer festival, which travels across Andalucia throughout the summer. It begins in April in Seville and ends in the town of San Pedro in October.
It’s a wild affair with fair rides, games, bumper cars and depending on which town you’re in, also horse riding and Flamenco. It’s a wholly Spanish event so it’s a great way to get a taste of real Spain and entertain all the family at the same time.

Reading with, Not to, Your Child

Reading a book to your child is a great way to help your child learn. Sometimes, though, simply reading the words on the page may not be stimulating enough. Some of the time your child might be perfectly content to sit and listen; on other days, he may not be able to keep one foot still! Do not fret. Your child can get his learning and keep his energy at a high level, too! The trick is to read with your child. Start with the old standby - reading. Once the story has begun to unfold, ask your child some questions before moving onto the next page. Use questions that will encourage interaction. For example:
* Point to some of the pictures on the page and see if your child can describe what the illustrations show. Is the main character revealed on the first page? Can you tell where the story takes place? Is it daytime or nighttime as the story begins? Do you think it will be the same at the end of the story? (And no peeking ahead is allowed!)
* Have your child try to reason how a picture on the page relates to the story. For example, you could ask, "Why does the candle droop?" Could it be that it is because it has been burning for a long time?
* Identify specific words used in the story as a teachable moment. Are some words written in a different way from the rest of the words? Are some bigger? Smaller? In a different color? Ask your child to guess why. Have your child say the special words in the story in the way he thinks the author intended for them to be read. Talk about how the words could be said differently to express a different emotion.
 Are you getting a sense for how easy reading interactively can be? By reading in this way, your child is part of the reading time, too! Enjoy watching your child's excitement as he/she figures out the answers to your questions and comes up with unique ways to add to or change the story. Encourage your child to ask questions of you too. Prompt your child to come up with the questions for you by announcing, "on the next page, it is Daddy's turn to answer YOUR questions." The possibilities are endless for ways that you can read interactively with your child.

If it isn't naptime or bedtime, have your child act out part of the story, or make up a song or dance to retell the story to you after you have finished.

If your child has a lot of stuffed animals and they are the same type as in the story, let the teddy bear dance around or climb up the pillows and let the dog bark, etc.

Try to come up with new ways every time you read a book.

Happy reading!

Thomas Weck is the author/creator of the *Lima Bear Stories. Originally made-up bedtime stories he told his four children, the Lima Bear tales resurfaced when Weck's son Peter had children. Peter remembered the stories and wanted to have his father write them down so that he could share them with his children. Father and son took it one step further and created Lima Bear Press to produce the stories as books that children everywhere can enjoy. The first three titles in this award-winning series were released in 2011: The Megasaurus, How Back-Back Got His Name, and The Cave Monster. The books are not only fun and funny with great illustrations, they also have an underlying message such as such as tolerance, honesty, courage, etc. Additionally, each book has an Extend the Learning and an Activity section at the end where children can become active participants in the story experience. More books in the series will be released in 2012. Learn more at LimaBearPress.com.

This post was provided by KSB Promotions.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Four Tips To Improve Your Listening Skills

“Are you listening to me?” Has someone ever asked you that question? Or maybe that thought pierced your heart and mind, as you felt the sting of someone else ignoring or rejecting you?

Consider these four ways to improve your listening skills.

*Resolve to be quick to listen. Many times, people who come to us for help, just need for us to listen. James 1:19 offers this advice, "Understand this…You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry." (NLT).
*Decide to be available. Jesus gives us an example of a wise counselor who made Himself available to listen. “The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught.” (Matt. 6:30).
*Desire a discerning heart. Not only does Jesus listen, He discerned the needs of others. When His disciples came to Him after their ministry tour, Jesus observes their need for solitude and rest: “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” (ibid.).
*Choose to be quiet. Jesus also taught His disciples the importance of being quiet. In Matthew 11:15, Jesus asks his disciples, "Are you listening to me? Really listening?" (MSG)

At times our failure to listen before responding can provoke a negative, emotional response from our loved ones or friends, who may need our help. In fact, Proverbs 18:13 warns us, "Answering before listening is both stupid and rude." (MSG).

What can we offer others with our response, after we listen to their needs?
*Grace, not criticism or judgment. Romans 2:4 reminds us, "Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?" (NLT)
*Companionship. We must encourage others to be dependent upon Jesus, not co-dependent upon us. Jesus promised His followers, "I'll be with you....day after day after day, right up to the end of this age." (Matt. 28:20 MSG).

So, the next time someone comes to you for help, I hope you ask yourself this question first: “Are you listening…Really listening?” (Matt. 11:15)

Karen Jordan is best known for telling the stories that matter most. She has multiple writing credits and trains other writers as well. Contact her for speaking events, writing assignments, and interviews at kj@karenjordan.net or visit www.karenjordan.net.

This post was provided by KCW Communications.

Spring Has Sprung

Eden Clubs and Events - Community Clubs, Events and Workshops from EdenFantasys
Now that Spring is officially here, it is time to start relaxing and take time for yourself! I know that I for one need to relax and get rid of the last of my cabin fever. I've been so busy and tense these last few months that I deserve a massage! And Hubby is willing to give me one! He loves the Bwarm Massage Candle, because it is so easy for him to use, no complicated lotions or oils.
The Bwarm is a scented massage candle that smells great, yet isn’t overpowering. It comes in rose, fig leaf, and amber amore. The modern flexible holder allows the warm wax to easily be poured onto the skin. It massages in very nicely and leaves a light scent and your skin feeling amazing.

I love to go for walks, especially when it is nice out. Trees are budding, birds are chirping, it is nice. But after chapped lips from winter, I need a lip balm that can carry over into the Spring and Summer as well. So I like to use Organic Lip Balm.
To keep your lips looking and feeling healthy, this lip balm was created 95% organic, 100% natural, petrolatum & paraben free, just like you. Packed with antioxidant-rich vitamin E, soothing Shea butter and jojoba oil, eos keeps lips moist, soft and sensationally smooth. *Long-lasting moisture *Shea butter & vitamin E *Smooths on clear *Gluten-free *Paraben-free *Petrolatum-free *Phthalate-free *Not tested on animals. It come in Vanilla or Mint. I love both!

Sometimes, instead of a walk, I just might want to go sit in the park and read a book! Most times I like a good romance or mystery, but other times I like to learn something new! So I will read a book like Crazy Little Thing.
There are plenty of books that offer advice about how to find or keep love in your life. But what can we learn from those who've gone to the extremes of love and desire? Liz Langley answers that question in Crazy Little Thing, a light-hearted look at the science of why we long for love. She deciphers how the burbling, boiling soup of endorphins, hormones and neurotransmitters that spill from our brain make us do things, in the name of love, that would otherwise be viewed as insane. From the greatest breakup story ever told to the psychologists and scientists who can explain our bad behavior, Langley reveals the control our chemicals have over us in this hilarious, confounding and too-strange-to-be-anything-but-true look at love.

You can find all these great products, and more, at Eden Fantasys!

Home Chef Must-Haves

  Disclaimer: 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. R...