Monday, December 31, 2018

The Cow Said Neigh!: A Farm Story - Children's Book Review and Giveaway


Book Overview:

*Ages 4-8

The Cow Said Neigh! is the story of some peculiar farm animals who wish they were like other animals on the farm. The cow wants to run free like a horse, the sheep wants a snout like a pig, the dog wants to be inside like the cat. Soon the entire farm is in chaos!

With silly farm animal sounds, clever rhymes, and adorable art, The Cow Said Neigh! will have kids of all ages laughing out loud as they celebrate the unique strengths in each of us.

My Review:

Now raising their four-year-old daughter, Indiana, alone, after his wife Joey’s passing, Rory Feek has authored a memoir and other books.  The Cow Said Neigh! is his latest.  So far I've been impressed with all of Rory's books.

The Cow Said Neigh! is a hardcover book with the story told in rhythmic form.  It illustrates farm animals who make the sounds of the animals they come across, rather than what sound they should be making.  A dog says meow, a pig says ruff, and a horse says quack.  The farmer becomes intrigued and checks out the situation, only to find himself making animal noises!

This is an amusing quick read for young readers, and the illustrations are darling.


Win It!

One person will win The Cow Said Neigh!: A Farm Story children's book.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

I received book for review from Tommy Nelson.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Chilly Da Vinci - Children's Book Review


Age Range: 4 - 8 years
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: NorthSouth Books (December 4, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0735842833

Book Overview:

While others do “penguin” things, Chilly da Vinci—self-declared inventor penguin, builds machines that don’t work…yet!

When Chilly's latest invention, the Good Bird crashes into the penguins' home iceberg, it separates a chunk of ice and sends the penguins drifting out to sea. Can Chilly invent a machine to get them home before a hungry orca nibbles the ice away?

The book includes an author’s note about the Leonardo da Vinci and the inventor's early failures.


My Review:

A hardcover book with main color schemes of brown and blue, Chilly Da Vinci tells of a penguin who is stranded on an iceberg with his mates.  Chilly creates different inventions to get off the iceberg but they fail.  The penguin is taunted by others, especially another penguin named Vinny.  Chilly doesn't give up and, in the end, is able to bring everyone to safety.

The main message of the story is that you shouldn't give up and to keep trying at things until you find out what works.  I personally liked the silly implications that Chilly comes up with, and his mental notes to remember.  For instance, I got a kick out of Chilly using the word "chick-sit" rather than "babysit".  This book has lots of humor and an overall message of perseverance.  

I received book for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

A Christmas Night with ROOTS

me and John

One year ago this month my Small Group started working with the ROOTS (Reaching Out for Opportunities To Serve) Team at our church.  The program pairs volunteers up with the special needs population and has them come together for activities.  I've worked with ROOTS a handful of times now and it's been very rewarding.

Della was so happy to see Santa and tell what she wanted.

A couple weeks ago me and Jason worked with ROOTS once again to decorate 30 boxes and stuff them with food.  (A couple days later, the church took the filled boxes to needy families and handed them out.)

The first thing everyone did was stuff our faces with pizza and cookies.  Then each volunteer helped their Star Buddies decorate boxes with wrapping paper and stickers.  I don't do very well in the crafty department but we ended up making a couple boxes that were nice enough.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus taking a break to eat some pizza

Once a box was wrapped and decorated, we filled them with food.  Stuffing, gravy mix, cranberries, potatoes, green beans, brownie mix, and a turkey was put into each box.

some of the decorated boxes

Santa and Mrs. Claus even made an appearance.  No one was excluded from sitting on Santa's lap and telling what they wanted.  The night ended with Christmas songs and dancing.

The boxes may not have been Pinterest worthy, but they sure had a lot of heart and soul in them.

singing Christmas songs

Just a week prior to that, me and a friend worked with ROOTS at the local park.  It was Christmas Caroling night and the people of ROOTS are part of a bell choir called Unique Harmony.  A couple people weren't able to show up so me and Rhonda were impromptu substitutes.  Mind you, I'm not musically inclined.  

Luckily, the director led the bell choir by using flash cards.  Once a certain color was shown, it was that person's turn to ring the bell.  I made it out without messing up the music!

I'm excited for the next time we can get together and work together.

Jason with two Star Buddies

Final Winners for 2018

Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash

A few of my giveaways have ended and the winners have been randomly drawn.

The winner of the Joann GC and magazine subscription giveaway is #8, Amy.

The winner of the Googly Eyes game giveaway is #62, molly pitcher.

The winner of the Cozy, Snowy Cuddles children's book giveaway is #19, Stacy.

The winner of the Mastermind game giveaway is #10, Laura.

The winner of the Mrs. Renfro's giveaway is #10, jerseygirl137.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered.  Keep checking back for new giveaways.  There's no limit to how many you can enter or how many you can win.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Family Christmas 2018

Shelby and George
George was a little dramatic with his enthusiasm!

Christmas 2018 is in the books.  This one filled my heart with lots of joy and happiness.  For the first time in a long time, all six of my kids were together under one roof.  That in itself it quite the accomplishment.

Allyson, Shelby, Juliann, Emma, Logan, Adam

In addition to the kids, our house was full with me and my husband, my mother-in-law, my son-in-law, and one of my granddaughters.  Jason's mom brought over supper.  We had ham, rolls, chocolate chip cookies, au gratin potatoes, green beans, and fudge.

gift from Shelby and George

I could've done without any of the gifts and still been happy that we were making family memories.  But, hey, the gifts aren't bad either.  I received a case of makeup, bed sheets, comforter and pillow cases, hooded robe, wooden home decor, Ferrero Rocher chocolates, Columbia fleece jacket, and other odds and ends.

Emma with her gifts

Every year I have good intentions of getting only 5 or 6 presents for each kid.  Never ends up that way.  It ends up being around the 15+ mark.  In my defense, I purchase products on sale throughout the year.  As an inside joke, each kid also got a roll of paper towels. 
Allyson's wine gift

I'm blessed beyond measure.
How was your Christmas?

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 153

Photo by Grant Whitty on Unsplash

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and goes into the New Year with renewed optimism and faith in the power of almighty God.

I believe in a God that hears prayers and answers them. I've witnessed the miraculous gift of answered prayer. And, I want to pray for you. I've started weekly Power of Prayer post every Thursday. We are now on week 153.  If you are needing prayer in an area of your life, please leave a comment and I'll commit to pray for your need or request. You can be as general or as specific as you like. Whether it be for healing, salvation, finances, emotions, or another area of life, I'd like to lift it up in prayer.

But the Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him.
–Daniel 9:9

Friday, December 21, 2018

Christmas Spirit at The Crossing



The church I attend has been in full swing for the Christmas season.  I love how it's so beautifully decorated.


They even set up a Christmas backdrop with photo props.  My nieces, Gia and Zoe, had lots of fun with that.


And for an exciting announcement:  It's been confirmed that my husband will be officially ordained as a pastor on February 10th!  A celebration and ordination will take place that night.  He's worked hard at it and we look forward to where it will take us.


Rummikub - Game Review and Giveaway


Most of us have played a card or board game that involves grouping colors or getting sets of numbers in a run.  I've played plenty, but didn't know about the classic game Rummikub until I received it for review.  Created by Pressman Toy, Rummikub is one of the world’s best-selling and most-played games.  After having played a few games myself, I can see why.  

Rummikub is designed for 2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up.
Game contents include:
106 durable tiles
4 tile racks
Complete Instructions


The object of the game is to be the first player to play all the tiles from your rack by forming them into sets.  There are two kinds of sets: A group is a set of either three or four tiles of the same number in different colors.  A run is a set of three or more consecutive numbers all in the same color.  Players start out with 14 tiles on their rack and try to create the sets with what they have or by playing tiles they've drawn from the pool of remaining tiles.  There are two Joker tiles that can be used as a "wild" number.  Once a player has cleared their rack and called "Rummikub" the other players add up the value of the tiles they are holding on their racks as a negative figure and the winner of the game receives a positive score equal to the total of all the other players' points.  The player who has won the most games in all rounds combined is declared the winner.


The instruction sheet for the game gives detailed examples on possible game plays.  Rummikub combines luck and strategy.  Players need to use their thinking caps to determine which sets will score them the most points, without being stuck with those points in the end.  I've played Rummikub several times with my teen kids and we've had a ton of fun with it!


Win It!

One person will win a Rummikub game.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

I received product for review from Pressman Toy.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Precious Moments Winter Blowout Sale: Up to 90% Off

“Music Is What Friendship Sounds Like” Figurine
Original Price: $45.99
Special Price: $23.00

For a limited time, Precious Moments is offering deep discounts on some of their most precious items, including figurines, home decor, snow globes, and more.

Winter Blowout Sale
Get up to 90% Off select figurines and gifts at PreciousMoments.com
No code required.
Sale ends 1/4/19.


“Provence Santa” Limited Edition Resin Sculpture
Original Price: $40.99
Special Price: $4.10

This post contains affiliate links.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Seven More December Winners

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

A few of my giveaways have ended and the winners have been randomly drawn.

The winner of the Dove Dry Shampoo giveaway is #16, JJAY100.

The winner of The Glimmers Save Christmas children's book giveaway is #33, msrodeobrat.

The winner of the Stuff Happens card game giveaway is #3, jakiesmom.

The winner of the Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors book giveaway is #17, James Coyne.

The winner of the My Christmas ABCs children's book giveaway is #1, aperry.

The winner of the Baby Magic skin products giveaway is #29, Mary Somerville.

The winner of the What's That Smell? game giveaway is #17, Renee Rousseau.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered.  Be sure to check out and enter the active giveaways going on, listed at the top left hand side of my blog.  There's no limit to how many you can enter or how many you can win.

Colgate Essentials Toothpaste with Charcoal - Review


I don't know if it's a new thing or not, but this year it seems a lot of people have been using "activated charcoal" beauty products.  You can get them in masks, toothpaste, shampoo, pills and more.  With no added chemicals, charcoal toothpaste is a natural teeth whitener with antibacterial properties. It can help to brighten teeth by removing plaque and the stains caused by smoking and drinking tea, coffee and red wine.  It can also give you a fresher feeling by removing the bacteria that causes bad breath.

Just as with other parts of our body, we only have one set of teeth.  Once they're gone, they're gone.  That's why it's important to have proper dental hygiene and use oral care products that are effective in protecting teeth.  Colgate is an oral hygiene brand that is frequently used in our household. I trust the brand and its products have been used in our daily routines because we know our teeth and gums come out at their best.

New from Colgate is Colgate Essentials Toothpaste with Charcoal.  This trending toothpaste has micro polishers to remove stains and impurities for whiter teeth that might be a little dull from wine, coffee and holiday treats.  The toothpaste is grayish in color but has a cool mint flavor.  An included toothbrush is infused with charcoal and has tapered bristles, providing a deep and gentle cleaning along the gumline.  

I've been using the Colgate Essentials Toothpaste with Charcoal for some time now. My teeth aren't so white that I'd be cast for a commercial but I've noticed that they are whiter than when I first started using the toothpaste and toothbrush.  Colgate toothpaste, mouthwash, and toothbrushes have proven to be effective for me.

I received product for review from Colgate.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Robin McGraw Revelation: 25% Off Sale


Robin McGraw Revelation’s Luxury Skincare Collection features daily and nightly regimens. Products are free of harmful sulfates, mineral oil, parabens, and chemicals. All products are also formulated without animal testing.

In addition to featuring effective formulations, the luxury line boasts beautiful packaging and inspiring names that are not only a reflection of the products, but are a nod to women embracing the beauty and fun of aging and living their lives freely, with passion and purpose. A motivational quote from Robin, hidden under the lid of each package, serves as reminder to women to feel empowered and to always live each day with a smile.

From now until December 25th, receive a savings of 25% off skincare and beauty products at Robin McGraw Revelation when you use code RMR25 at checkout.

This post contains an affiliate link.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

MakeupDrop Hybrid - Beauty Blender Review

It wasn't until March of this year that I learned the importance of a beauty blender.  Before, I would just use my hands to apply foundation.  I discovered that a beauty blender provides better coverage and more even application.

From the creators of the MakeupDrop comes the next generation of flawless application for skincare, foundation, blush, highlighter and concealer. The MakeupDrop™ Hybrid is a super soft, serenity colored applicator that features two uniquely distinct parts: the Silicone Drop, which acts as a clean and waste-free surface for initial makeup application, and the Super Soft Sponge which helps blend and achieve an airbrushed glow.

While traditional beauty sponges soak up tons of extra product, the Hybrid—like all MakeupDrop™ products—minimizes product wasted by using the least amount of makeup possible. The silicone pad is naturally anti-bacterial and can stop the transfer of germs that can cause breakouts and irritation. The super soft- non-latex sponge is easy to clean. Simply use soap and water and let dry overnight.


I received product for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 152

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

I believe in a God that hears prayers and answers them. I've witnessed the miraculous gift of answered prayer. And, I want to pray for you. I've started weekly Power of Prayer post every Thursday. We are now on week 152.  If you are needing prayer in an area of your life, please leave a comment and I'll commit to pray for your need or request. You can be as general or as specific as you like. Whether it be for healing, salvation, finances, emotions, or another area of life, I'd like to lift it up in prayer.

Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.
–Matthew 3:8

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Wordful Wednesday - Holiday Spirit

easy felt craft project I put together

This is the first year in three that I've been in the holiday spirit.  The Grinch got his heart back! 

The first year I was busy taking care of my ill mother, the second year she passed away, and last year I was still grieving.  

covered the canvas prints in wrapping paper and attached little bows

This year, I'm back in the holiday spirit.  I'm not one of those people who go all-out or create Christmas themes but I did manage to decorate a little around the house.

Christmas card holder

I even went so far as to send out a few Christmas cards.  So far, I've only received three.  I wish people were still interested in sending and receiving cards.

Ten stockings waiting to be opened by the six kids, two granddaughters, husband and son-in-law

Got the Christmas clothes from my head to my toes.


My Christmas tree is actually quite ugly.  It's a fake that needs a lot of improvement.  But, with a little ingenuity, I think it turned out quite all right.  I have several ornaments that I've collected throughout the years and most of them have special meaning.  I'm also big on personalized ornaments.

The only holiday candy I've made is coated pretzels.

How about you?  Are you in the Christmas spirit?
What kind of ornaments do you have on your tree?
What candies and cookies have you made for the holidays?

Stuff the Stockings with Welch's Christmas Fruit Snacks - Review

My kids, all teens and above, usually come straight to the pantry after school.  They're on the prowl for a snack, and I keep a variety on hand.  The same goes for when my nieces and nephews come over.  They know that aunt Terra's house is a place for delicious treats. 

From time to time I purchase Welch's Fruit Snacks.  They're convenient pre-packaged snacks that can be taken right out of the box and eaten immediately.   They are fat-free, gluten-free, and preservative free.

New for the holidays are Welch's Christmas Fruit Snacks.   They are perfect stocking stuffers this holiday season.  Welch's Fruit Snacks are packed with delicious flavor and soft texture. The fruit snacks themselves are the Mixed Fruit variety.  The 28-count and 5-count Welch’s® Fruit Snacks Christmas-themed boxes feature custom pieces in seasonal shapes including an ornament, Christmas tree, snowman, Santa Claus and a snowflake. These festive fruit snacks are the perfect snack for parties or to gift in any stocking this season!
I received products for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Another Birthday in the Books

Good thing I got a hat for my birthday!  Covered up the bed head.

I have to give it to my 41st year.  It treated me pretty well.  Fingers crossed my 42nd treats me the same or better. 

December 13th was my actual birthday, but my husband had a small surprise get-together at my home last Sunday.  I'm not against surprise parties but it's inevitable that Jason plans them when I'm wearing bed clothes and haven't combed my hair, let alone apply deodorant. 

Christmas leggings

Let's see...I got two pair of leggings, a Power Quick Pot (the As Seen on TV version of an Instapot), Christmas hat, pom beanie, and Dove Truffles.  My son also gifted me with a gift card towards a stay at Stoney Creek Inn (Already stayed! I'll post about that later).

Have any good Instapot recipes for me to try?


German Chocolate Cake

Jason showered me with gifts throughout the week.  He got me two bouquets of flowers, a DQ ice cream cake, and Ferrero Rocher chocolates.

Adam came in to my work on the night of my birthday, bringing German Chocolate Cake and vanilla ice cream.


I know birthdays aren't all about the gifts so I would've been fine without.  But I don't mind being spoiled on my big day. :)