“You’re Joking Me” ~ a kid joke book by a kid! (review)

**Congrats to Sue D, the GA winner!**

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I had the opportunity to check out a super-fun book that is just the thing you’re looking for, if you need a book to increase laughter and amusement among your kiddos this Christmas! The book is You’re Joking Me: Jokes for Kids by a Kid, by William Daniel. Clean, punny, entertaining–this book will make you smile and will bring mirth and merriment to your families. Keep reading for more about this book and its kid author–PLUS how you can enter to win your own copy & book swag!

About You’re Joking Me

Written by a kid for kids!

What happens when a pony sings?

He gets a little horse.”

Ha! That laugh is from the hilarious collection of more than 450 puns, riddles, one-liners, and knock-knock jokes that are sure to have kids (and their adults) laughing up a storm.

You’re Joking Me: Jokes for Kids by a Kid (Revell, Nov., 2022) by William Daniel, Blythe Daniel’s son, is the perfect stocking stuffer, birthday gift, or a fun book to keep in the car or around the dinner table. Its witty, clean humor that’s age-appropriate humor and doesn’t bring laughter with put-downs or sarcasm.

InYou’re Joking Me, William hopes to model what good humor for kids should look like. He has noticed that dark or inappropriate humor is flooding today’s communities and feels he can bring an alternative to put smiles on people’s faces. William also has a passion for encouraging other kids to start telling puns instead of sharing disrespectful humor at the expense of another person.

Some of his jokes have made it on television interviews, a Newsweek article, and a comedy club where William presented his jokes and met the mayor! You can see some of these below.

Want to hear another joke?

What happens when snowmen get nervous?

They get cold feet.”

About the author, William Daniel

Ready to get to know our joke star?

William Daniel is a middle schooler, a WWII enthusiast, and a competitive gymnast. He builds model airplanes and wants to be a pilot someday. He has an older sister, Maris, and a twin sister, Calyn, and is the younger by four minutes. As you can imagine, he enjoys making people laugh, which he does for family, friends, and at school. William lives in Colorado with his family and dog, Riley.

You can check out his article on Newsweek or see the video below of when Colorado Springs’ KOAA News 5 (NBC affiliate) came for the unboxing of You’re Joking Me and to interview William.

My thoughts about You’re Joking Me

It has been a very, very long time since I was in middle school. But I remember SO clearly thinking then, that joke books were the best thing ever!

Turns out, they still are! William Daniel’s wonderful book breathes life into the joke world with over 450 jokes (be they punny, knock-knock, one-liners, or riddles) with humor, clever insight, and joy.

Did you get a chance to read William’s article on Newsweek? (Just click on the highlighted link.) I love so much of what he says! William believes that this book is the result of seeds that were planted, watered, nurtured years ago, when he began to tell jokes years ago in 2nd grade. (He’s in 7th grade now.) I love that perspective! God really has given all of us–even when we are or were children–gifts and talents that are unique to us and His purposes for us. What a lovely encouragement. And we can see how God planted those seeds in William, and how he, his family, and God nurtured those in him over the years. He worked on his jokes, improved them, and now, here it is: his first book!

By writing a joke book for kids, I am encouraging other children and young people to start telling puns instead of sharing disrespectful humor that might be at the expense of someone else. That kind of humor upsets me; you might even be putting someone who has had a traumatic experience at risk by exposing them to rude comments or jokes about something they have been through. I am very pleased to help those who are getting harassed by others with this kind of humor.

William Daniel, Newsweek Magazine, “My Turn,” October 10, 2022

William’s jokes are clean. Funny. Clever, too! They are jokes that kids will love to read and tell themselves, to others. They are so fun! I recommend this book to you for your kiddos and your family. (You’ve still got time to get copies for Christmas stockings!) But before I tell you where you can get your own copy–and even how you can win one–let me tell you some of my favorites from You’re Joking Me. So fun–I smiled and even laughed. And you will too!

Some of my faves from You’re Joking Me

This is, again, SUCH a fun joke book. Check out the following–the proof is in the pudding!

Q: What is a potato’s favorite game?

A: Two truths and a fry.

Q: What did the pirate say to his doctor when he was asked what hurts?

A: “Eye, Matey.”

Q: What do you say when a bird comes flying at your face?

A: “Duck!”

And last. But definitely not least. My most favorite: fantastic wordplay on one of my most beloved movie tropes!

Q: What did God think when he needed somebody to build an ark?

A: I Noah guy.

You’re Joking Me, William Daniel

Watch William’s interview on Colorado Springs NBC affiliate, KOAA News 5

Enter to win You’re Joking Me plus more!

The BlogAbout Blogger Network has given me a copy of You’re Joking Me: Jokes for Kids by a Kid plus joke magnets from the book!

To enter, just click on the “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter to win in a variety of ways. (You’ll even have a chance to earn extra giveaway entries by commenting with your own joke below!) Giveaway closes on January 2, 2022. US entrants only; must be 18 and older to win. (Kids, get your parents to enter for you!) Best wishes!

Enter here!

Where you can purchase You’re Joking Me

You’re Joking Me is available at lots of booksellers, including the ones listed below!

Amazon

Christianbook

Barnes & Noble

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Precious, Christmas-themed PJs–Holy Pals (a review & giveaway, ends 11/20/22)

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Hello darlings!

I have the most wonderful family, faith-filled pajamas to tell you about–and the fantastic company who makes them, Holy Pals. I received the most precious pair for myself, thanks to Holy Pals and FrontGate Media. And you can also enter to win a pair for yourself, or for one of your family members (either parents or kiddos!) These really might be the most charming faith-based clothing items I’ve ever seen.

About Holy Pals

So. I LOVE this company. Their mission is this:

  • Give children the opportunity to draw near to Christ, and to help parents teach their children about their faith.
  • To shine a light on child-focused charities in need of support, raising awareness of their worthy causes and supporting them alongside our customers.

Every pajama sale supports the Littlest Lamb Orphanage, a privately funded orphanage in Egypt. They have built a home for orphaned and at-risk children who have lost parents to death, imprisonment, or abandonment. The Littlest Lamb provides these children with everything they need to thrive – shelter, food, clothing, education and most importantly A FAMILY that loves them. 

George, Jen, Nazareth, and Nile (pictured in the adorable family photos above) want people to know that Jesus is the reason for the season–and the pajama prints sweetly present that focus. Holy Pals has created this clothing to do just that. As they say, “Keeping Jesus the reason for the season in fun matching family Christmas pajamas focused on the true story of Christmas!”

We pray that Jesus is born inside the hearts of all who wear these pajamas. And that they may witness to their family and friends His amazing love.

George, Jen, Nazareth and Nile from Holy Pals

The Holy Pals pajamas:

  • are made from 100% soft and cozy cotton
  • the knit cotton is both very soft and comfortably stretchy
  • are consciously sourced and produced in India
  • are snug-fitting for women and children and loose-fitting for men
  • have a small label stitched on the right arm of each pair of Holy Pals pajamas, with the verse reference of the print
  • are available not only in Christmas prints, but also in prints featuring Easter, Palm Sunday, Esther, Noah, David & Goliath, Jonah, Adam & Even, and more

The Christmas patterns are pictured below, in clockwise starting from top left: Christmas Classic, Starry Night, Joy to the World, and Away in a Manger.

My Holy Pals pajamas experience

I received a pair of Holy Pals pajamas in Christmas Classic, the top left pattern above. I chose the men’s pajamas in size L for myself. I love the women’s pajamas pictured above, but I have had numerous abdominal surgeries over the years and felt that a looser fit might be better for me. I am so happy with my choice!

I wear, most of the time, a women’s M (sizes 8-10), and I am just over 5’7″ tall. But since the men’s pajama bottoms have a drawstring closure (with light elastic) on the waistband, I knew that even if the bottoms were a bit big, I’d be able to pull the drawstring closer and have them fit well. And, while the pajamas were large on me before I washed them, they did shrink just enough to create a perfect fit.

When I launder my own clothes, I *always* wash them in cold water, and I usually hang my shirts and pants to dry after wrinkle-releasing them by running them in the dryer for about 10 minutes. (This is because, over a lifetime of experience, I’ve had sleeves and leg lengths in my clothing end up too short, if I didn’t.) I followed that pattern after turning the pajamas inside out (as recommended) to wash. After the wrinkle release, I hung both the top and the pants to dry.

When I tried them on the next day, there had been a slight shrinkage, which is not surprising since the knit fabric is 100% cotton. But that really just helped them to size perfectly for my frame, in both length, width, and circumference. The quality fabric looked as rich and lovely after the washing as it did before.

Also, since I’m a woman and these are men’s pajamas, I wanted to mention the fly. There is a button halfway between the top and the bottom of the fly, so they felt modest and didn’t have an open gap. I didn’t think of that to begin with, but I appreciated it when I wore them!

…and my final impressions

First, the comfort. Interestingly, I noticed that ALL my pajamas and nightgowns (both winter and summer) are 100% cotton, and the Holy Pals pjs fit right into that preference. I gravitate towards cotton for sleepwear because it’s just so comfortable and doesn’t get too hot. The Holy Pals cotton is smooth, stretches in all directions, and is wonderfully comfortable on the skin. The fit was great as well. The men’s top fit loosely but really nicely, and the bottoms were so comfortable; cozy, but not too tight or constraining anywhere. I guess I felt a bit like Goldilocks–everything was “just right!”

Second, the look. The printed fabric is SO darling. The cartoon drawings of the Christmas Classic design have a plethora of Nativity personages (Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the Three Kings, an angel, and even animals–a camel, a donkey, and a sheep!). Baby Jesus even has an ichthus fish on his swaddling clothes! It is joyful and just so pleasing on the eyes and to the spirit. Really, each one of the designs is wonderful and will provide tons of opportunities to talk with children about Jesus and our spiritual heritage as believers. And, they’ll provide the most adorable family Christmas jammie pics!

Third, the craftsmanship. I have a high appreciation for exceptional seams and tailoring work (just ask me about my mom’s hand-sewn creations!). So, when I see beautiful craftsmanship in clothing, I just value it all the more. The seams, buttonholes, hems, and plackets are superbly sewn. (The men’s pj’s white shirt placket even has the Christmas Classic fabric facing out!) The pajamas are just incredibly well-made and should last for many years to come.

“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ ”

Matthew 19:14, The Holy Bible

Fourth, the company. I just love their vision for providing a quality product for families that will provide comfort, great fit, and beautiful moments for spiritual training. I so appreciate their donations to the orphanage in Egypt. How wonderful that their products can go to little ones whom Jesus describes as precious and loved.

Where you can purchase Holy Pals pajamas for your family–and even get a discount!

Holy Pals is making it possible for you to purchase these darling pajamas for your family–and they’re providing you with a 10% discount as well!

You can get this discount by using this link:

Holy Pals MELANIE10 discount

Or by applying this code when you purchase: MELANIE10 at the Holy Pals website.

And, enter to win your own pair!

You can enter to win a pair of pjs from Holy Pals! To enter, just click on the link below. That will take you to the Blessed Freebies giveaway hosting page, where you can enter to win. Just follow the directions on the website.

Enter to win a pair of Holy Pals pjs!

Where to find Holy Pals online

Holy Pals website

Holy Pals Facebook

Holy Pals Instagram

Thanks for letting me share Holy Pals with you. I so recommend their lovely pajamas–and their company as well. Check them out, and don’t forget to use the purchase link above to get 10% off!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I received these pajamas from Holy Pals. All opinions expressed here are my own honest ones.

“Saved by Grace” ~ a Pure Flix Original Film (& you can win!)

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Pure Flix Original Film’s latest contribution is a moving series called Saved By Grace. I received a screener copy of this new series to watch, and I’m excited to share my opinions with you. Plus, you can enter to win a Pure Flix streaming service membership!

About Saved By Grace

Here’s what Pure Flix says: “…watch the new Pure Flix Original series “Saved by Grace” that starts streaming November 6. New episodes drop every Sunday! Here’s the synopsis: There are no chance meetings or coincidences in life. Angels are amongst us and God has sent them on a mission to intercede on behalf of whispered prayers. Every encounter presents a new opportunity to change your approach to life.

This fun, faith- and love-filled series deals with real-life issues humans face every day. Angels Grace and Jeremiah get to be God’s answers to His children’s answered prayers–in ways that not only make a difference but will encourage and bless viewers.

From Cameron Arnett, who plays the angel Jeremiah: “Angels are still relevant today – they walk amongst us and are here to serve us and to bring about God’s intent in our daily lives.”

And from Jennifer Taylor, who plays the eponymous angel Grace: “All the situations highlight current problems, but at the core, they are heart issues we’ve been dealing with since the fall, and I hope viewers realize they aren’t alone in those struggles.”

New episodes air on Pure Flix every Sunday, just in time for family viewing as the work week begins.

Watch the Saved By Grace trailer here:

My thoughts

Oh my heart!

Don’t we all need to be reminded on the regular that our Father God loves and adores us–and is working for our good? I know that I do! Really, just watching the news most days is enough to put us into spirals of fear and worry. And if it’s not current events doing their best to freak us out, it’s the challenges we face daily as employees, friends, parents, spouses, sisters, or moms. (Or dads.) Life is rough more often than we’d like.

And yet.

Pure Flix’s newest Original, Saved By Grace, is a wonderful reminder not only that God sees His children in the midst of all their troubles, but also that His ear is ever poised to hear their cries for help, and their prayers. In Saved By Grace, God sends angels Grace and Jeremiah to help those who’ve asked for His provision, His help, His intervention. The series’ moments range from humorous, to heart-wrenching, to moving. And not least of all, the moments encourage us and can even help to build our faith.

I just delighted in the warmth and kindness that the angels, and even the show itself, are determined to extend to those that they help and even us on the other side of the screen, as the viewers. I was reminded and reassured about God’s love for me and for everyone, really; that His presence and His answers are just a breath away. And maybe they’ll even come in the form of angels!

Do watch this show. Start with episode 1. And settle in for a fun, loving, and encouraging show, peopled by wonderful actors who make the characters (and their experiences) seem very real. What a blessing!

Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!

Hebrews 13:2, The Bible (NLT)

Meet stars Jennifer Taylor & Cameron Arnett in this interview with Momentum’s Jean Thomason

The wonderful Jean Thomason from Momentum Influencer Network had a wonderful opportunity to interview the stars of the Saved By Grace series, Cameron Arnett and Jennifer Taylor, who play the angels (Grace and Jeremiah).

This is the most beautiful and encouraging interview! It will remind you of God’s huge love for you, and His constant work in our lives. It is SUCH a neat interview.

How to subscribe to Pure Flix…

You can subscribe to Pure Flix, where you’ll be able to stream thousands of family-engaging films, video series, cartoons, and classic tv shows. You can check out Saved By Grace and also subscribe by clicking the button below. Subscriptions are very reasonably priced, and you can subscribe for a month or for an entire year!

You can also try out Pure Flix absolutely free of charge for a week’s trial. You’ll see a button to check that out when you click the link below.

Pure Flix & Saved By Grace

And, how to enter to win your own subscription!

Simply click on the link below that says, “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on 11/18/22. One winner will be selected to win. US entries only; open to ages 18 and older. Limited only to those who have NOT won a Pure Flix subscription in the last 6 months. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Last, here’s a wonderful Pure Flix blog post related to this new show…

“How to Ask God for Forgiveness,” on the Pure Flix blog, talks about forgiveness as one of the key themes in the first two Saved By Grace episodes. Do you ever wonder how to forgive? Sometimes it’s easy, and sometimes it’s hard; but it’s definitely something God asks us to do. Of course He set the most phenomenal example of forgiveness ever, in letting His own son Jesus die on the cross to pay the price for our sins.

Just click on the highlighted link to learn more about how we can ask God to forgive us–and more about how we can forgive others.

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure:

Many thanks to Pure Flix for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.

“It’s Christmas Again” fun family film–coming soon!

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There is a wonderful Christmas film that I just heard about from Momentum Influencer Network that you’re going to want to keep an eye out for! It’s Christmas Again from Fathom Events will release in theaters on November 29, 2022. It might just be your new family fave Christmas movie!

About It’s Christmas Again

From the filmmakers:

“Jake Young (Lawson Touliatos) wants nothing more than to spend his Christmas vacation with his girlfriend, Abbey Walker (Leela Owen). So when Abbey volunteers for her church’s Christmas play, Jake is ready to skip Christmas this year until an unexpected turn of events lands him in a field outside Bethlehem on the night Jesus was born. While on his journey with the shepherds to find the promised Messiah, Jake discovers the true meaning of Christmas. Coming this Christmas season, IT’S CHRISTMAS AGAIN is a modern-day musical the whole family will love!”

I truly love this twist on the travel back in time theme. Can you imagine, though–traveling back in time and getting to see the baby Jesus, just born? Or meeting Mary and Joseph, or getting to hear the shepherds’ story of the heavenly host meeting them (and their sheep) in the fields?

It’s such a wonderful idea. I can’t wait!

Here’s how you can buy tickets for this one-night-only-event

It’s Christmas Again will only be in theaters for one night: November 29, 2002. You can purchase tickets and learn more about this film event by visiting the movie website, linked below:

It’s Christmas Again website

Watch the trailer here!

I’ve always enjoyed Fathom Events and their wonderful films. I can’t wait to see It’s Christmas Again. Just in time for preparing our hearts for the 2022 Christmas season.

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I received this trailer and film information from Momentum Influencer Network. All opinions included here are my own.

“Nothing Is Impossible” film from Pure Flix ~ & giveaway! (ends 10/17/22)

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Hi everyone! Just in time for the weekend, I have another fab film from Pure Flix to tell you about–plus a giveaway! Nothing Is Impossible is just the film for you if you love sports films about the underdog–those including faith as well. (And fun. Because some of these actors are ALWAYS fun.) Keep reading about the film, where you can see it, and a giveaway for you to enter!

About Nothing Is Impossible

Scott Beck is living a life of quiet desperation.

Once an All-American with hopes to join the NBA, he’s now a janitor for the very high school the younger Scott played basketball for. His car is dying. He can barely pay the rent. A stray dog is digging holes in his yard. The AC in the high school chemistry room keeps going out. His answers to others’ questions follow this pattern: “I don’t know…” or “I don’t know why…” He trudges from place to place, quietly, with little life in him at all.

Oh, and he also lost the girl.

But then! The Knoxville pro basketball team, The Silver Knights, decides to have open try-outs. Could this be Scott’s second chance…finally, after twenty years? Could there possibly be a place in Scott’s future for excellence, competence, faith, or even a dream?

A stellar cast supports a story that everyone will recognize themselves in…in one character or another. You’ll get to see:

  • David A.R. White as Scott Beck (“Love on the Rock,” “God’s Not Dead,” “Revelation Road”)
  • Nadia Bjorlin, Ryan Aikens (“Days of Our Lives”)
  • Harry Lennix, Coach Russell Banks (“The Blacklist,” “Justice League,” “Transformers,” “Batman v. Superman”)
  • Steven Bauer, Archie Touraine (“Love on the Rock,” “Better Call Saul”)
  • Robert Amaya, Nick Carter (“An Unlikely Angel,” “The Farmer and the Belle,” “God’s Compass,” “War Room,” “Mom’s Night Out”)
  • Mark Christopher Lawrence, Pastor Lawrence (“Family Camp”)
  • Stella Parton, Ruby (singer and songwriter, younger sister of Dolly Parton)
  • And even former NBA player Marcus Haislip
  • and more

“’If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.

The Bible, New International Version, Mark 9:23

My thoughts about Nothing Is Impossible

Okay! I admit, I was totally predisposed to like Nothing Is Impossible. My family adores sports movies, especially Cinderella stories where the underdog gets to The Big Dance, the final games, the series.

But I didn’t know I would LOVE it.

Scott Beck had “it” all–and lost it. What do we do when we lose all our hopes and dreams…or maybe just the biggest ones? For some of us, it’s the trudge that Scott does every day and every night. He’s given up. There’s no joy, no excitement, no attempts to move to the next goal. Just get up. Get to work (if your car will start). Do the work. Say “hi” to your best friend. Go home. Go to bed. Repeat.

But FINALLY, after years of that life, a tiny hope sparks in Scott’s chest. And it slowly grows like a flame, touching all his relationships (even with the dog, and especially with the woman he lost years ago). What happens if all of that seems to turn to ash, again? Will Scott let it all go again…or will he make a different choice?

Scott, you’ve always had your life. You’re just not doing anything with it.

“Nothing Is Impossible,” Nick Carter (Robert Amaya)

Scott’s best friend and the school basketball coach, Nick, has some fantastic words for the FCA group he leads at the school. I won’t give you any spoilers, but here’s what I will say. Do we think, as we walk the Christian life, that we’re going to be given the perfect life, with no pain or suffering? That we’ll walk into the CEO, the head pastor, the NFL quarterback job swiftly and easily? And what happens when and if suffering interrupts us–or we don’t achieve that dream? What will we do? Scott has a choice. But we ALSO have a choice. Every day. God tells us He will be there, that He will ALWAYS be beside us; in fact, we can see that over and over in the Bible (Deut. 31:6-8, Hebrews 13:8). What about this one, one of my favorites?

The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.

The Bible, New International Version. Zephaniah 3:17

THAT God is with us. HE is mighty to save. He loves us and even sings over us!

We can choose to step out in pursuit of that dream–even if its fulfillment doesn’t look what we imagined. God is with us. His plan for us is never over even if we felt as though we were finished or stuck. He has a way. And He can transform us, our lives, everything.

So. No spoilers. But I LOVED Nothing Is Impossible. Don’t miss your chance to see this fantastic and honest Cinderella story!

I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?

The Bible, New International Version, Jeremiah 32:27

Watch the Nothing Is Impossible trailer here

Plus, here’s the Momentum’s Jean Thomason interviewing David A.R. White, the film’s star!

Don’t miss this! I always love Jean’s moments with the stars of the films we share with you. But I loved this one so much, as it speaks to the struggles we ALL have in our lives–and then, how we are going to view God in the process. Wonderful.

How to subscribe to Pure Flix, where you can see Nothing Is Impossible

You can sign up for a free 7-day trial on Pure Flix. Pure Flix is the home of thousands of movies and tv series, all of which are faith- and family-friendly. Of course, Nothing Is Impossible is one of them! But you can also find Going Home, Live+Local, Legacy Peak, VeggieTales, Miracles from Heaven, the God’s Not Dead collection (where you’ll see David A.R. White again!), Akeelah and the Bee, The Chosen series, and so much more. Everything that you’d want to be able to watch safely with your own children, that will bless you, encourage you, and build up your faith.

You can sign up for a free trial here: Sign Up for a Free Pure Flix trial

Here’s the Nothing Is Impossible page on the Pure Flix website

How to enter to win a Pure Flix subscription!

You can enter to win a 3-month streaming subscription to Pure Flix!

To enter, just click on the pink link below that says, “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes 10/17/22. One winner will be selected to win. This is limited to US winners only, and only to those who have NOT won a Pure Flix subscription in the last 6 months. Best wishes!

Enter here!

A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.

Jesus, The Bible, The Message. John 10:10

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: Many thanks to Pure Flix for providing a sample of this product. Opinions are 100% my own.

A new children’s book filled with love: “Mama, Sing My Song” by Amanda Seibert (a review)

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I received the most precious new picture book from Tommy Nelson Publishers: Mama, Sing My Song, by Amanda Seibert. I enjoyed it so much–it’s full of creative touches that made this book a delight for both reading and reading aloud. Here’s more about what you’ll find in Mama, Sing My Song, plus my thoughts on the book!

About Mama, Sing My Song

Mama, Sing My Song is a sweet, faith- and love-filled song to children: about how precious and special they are to both God and their parents. Bunnies, sloths, giraffes, foxes, bears, and cats (both baby animals and their moms) are shown together in play, snuggles, and quiet activity as the gentle rhyme of the printed prose (which is also a song) meanders along the pages. The animals and their varied habitats are colorfully illustrated in ways that will draw little eyes to explore and enjoy.

Endpapers include spaces for personalization, where parents can write verses, prayers, and special thoughts about their children, to their children.

Although the book is written for ages 4-8, I believe that children both younger and older than that will be both delighted and encouraged by Mama, Sing My Song.

My thoughts about Mama, Sing My Song

What if you had a book AND a song which tells your children how enormously valued they are in God’s eyes–and in your eyes as well?

Mama, Sing My Song is that book. And, that song! (There is a QR code inside the book’s cover which will provide a free download for you of the musical version of the words of the book.) I love this thought from the author of Mama, Sing My Song:

“There are three things I have become quite sure of:” says Seibert, “every child is uniquely made in the image of God; the words we speak have great power, and song is one of the most memorable, meaningful ways to touch a life. When you combine those three things, something truly magical happens.”

Amanda Seibert

From my own very first moments of motherhood, I wanted to speak life over and into the heart of my child. I loved having music, books, and Scripture to help me accomplish this goal. What a wonderful gift Mama, Sing My Song is for both parents and children–and what a way to begin to teach children that they are precious in both their parents’ AND God’s eyes!

The world actively tells us that we are not enough. That we are judged for whatever. That we’re always being compared to others who are more (fill in the blank). How vital it is for us to communicate the opposite to our children: that they are created carefully and lovingly in God’s image. That His presence is always with them. That they are unique and dearly loved. That they are enough.

I was absolutely captivated by the beautiful words of Mama, Sing My Song. I loved the darling animals and the wonderful use of color, which is just as expressive as the prose, and perfectly calibrated to the different habitats and activities of the animals. For example, the wild and vivid fuchsia, blues, and greens in the sloths’ rain forest . Or deep blues and purples, along with a bright yellow moon in the dogs’ field at night. Or, the daytime’s yellow and green daisy field for the mom cat and kitten. Each illustration expresses the peace and love between the parent animals and their babies. So perfect alongside the song’s words!

If you have little ones in your family, this is just the book I’d recommend. It is both lovely and lyrical, even as it’s filled with powerful truths. Mama, Sing My Song will speak those truths into their lives, and lovingly define for little ones that they really are precious and dearly loved.

About the author, Amanda Seibert

Amanda Seibert is the founder and “original mama” of Mama Sing My Song, a company that has created personalized songs and lullabies for thousands of kids all over the world. She believes that every child is uniquely created and loved by God, that words hold great power, and that song is one of the most beautiful,memorable ways to touch a life. She attended Moody Bible Institute, spent three years serving at a children’s home in India, and now lives in Indianapolis with her husband and three children, where they try to fill their home with songs, dance, and laughter each day.

About the illustrator, Sally Garland

Sally Garland grew up in a small town in the Highlands of Scotland and studied illustration at Edinburgh College of Art before moving to Glasgow. Sally has loved drawing since she was young and grew up with an assortment of pets, including goldfish, budgies, hamsters, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, a pony, and, of course, rabbits. Each of these little personalities still influences her illustrations today.

Where you can purchase Mama, Sing My Song…and more

Amanda Seibert has some wonderful things available to parents and to purchasers on the book’s website! There, you’ll find:

  • a free downloadable activity packet
  • Purchase links for Mama, Sing My Song from booksellers like Amazon, Books-a-Million, Barnes & Noble, Target, Book Shop, Christian Book, and Walmart
  • 10 wonderful (and sometimes humorous) tips on how you can help foster families in your community (just check under “Foster” in the website’s header)
  • You also have an option to order a Book & Stuffy Bundle, which gives you Mama, Sing My Song plus an adorable stuffed animal from the book: a bunny, fox, polar bear, brown bear, cat, sloth, or giraffe. (I freely admit I’m always a sucker for a stuffy. These all look so huggable!)

Here’s a direct link to the book’s site:

Mama, Sing My Song

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I received a copy of Mama, Sing My Song from Tommy Nelson Publishers. All opinions expressed here are my own honest ones.

Pure Flix Original Film starring Lucas Black: “Legacy Peak” plus giveaway! (ends 10/4/22)

#sponsor #partner

Pure Flix has produced another fantastic Original Film: Legacy Peak! You will love this if you want a family adventure film that is beautifully honest about the struggles we face in life and family–and in what we bring to the table in relationships. Keep reading for more about this wonderful film, plus enter to win a 3-month subscription to Pure Flix streaming service!

About Legacy Peak

Jason wants nothing more than to have Noelle’s kids like him. But when a perfectly planned trip to a mountain cabin falls apart, the ensuing adventure could tear them apart or bring them closer than they ever imagined. Together they’ll discover how to trust again and what it means to be a family.

Legacy Peak is a thrilling adventure that the whole family can enjoy.

My impressions of Legacy Peak

I KNEW that I knew Lucas Black from somewhere when I saw the exciting trailer for Legacy Peak and I heard his accent. He had co-starred in a police procedural show that I’d seen a few episodes of. I never forgot his fantastic character OR his authentic Southern accent! He brought a refreshing quality to a show that contained difficult material (crime). And he interacted beautifully with his costars.

Not surprisingly, Lucas is just fantastic in this film. His character is ready to pop the question to his darling girlfriend, single mom of two kids Noelle. He doesn’t really understand much about kids, but he is totally a planner, and he thinks he’s got the perfect plan to win them over before he proposes to their mom. He will fly them (and all the snacks he can carry) to Noelle’s dad’s cabin in the mountains, where they’re all planning to spend Christmas. The only thing is–he can’t plan everything. When the unexpected happens, his plan suddenly doesn’t apply. So THEN what will Jason do?

The actors who play the kids are also wonderful. Sam, the older sister, is NOT INTERESTED in going on this trip–or getting to know Jason. Her character arc is fascinating. She’s very solicitous of her younger brother Ben, who really likes his mom’s boyfriend but is a bit tired of being seen as the kid who can’t do anything. The grandfather is also wonderful. All the actors are more than competent and a pleasure to watch. (Noelle is also great; she just doesn’t get a lot of screen time.) And the mountain landscape; well, it’s almost a character in itself. It’s breathtaking visually–and also, perhaps, figuratively.

I don’t want to give you a lot of spoilers. I will simply say that the movie’s core message is an exceptional one, and its story is beautifully told. Legacy Peak has something to say to everyone; and what it said to me touched my heart, embraced me, and reminded me of something I’ll never forget–something that each and every one of us needs to hear. Don’t miss Legacy Peak, premiering September 22, 2022 on Pure Flix!

My recommendations:

If you:

  • love films that your entire family can enjoy together
  • want to see a family beat the odds against a wild and unfamiliar setting
  • desire to be a parent who reaches out to God for help in your own challenges
  • enjoy watching adventure or survival-type tv shows
  • want to be encouraged at the ways God can use everything to work together for good for His beloved children

…then you will LOVE Legacy Peak, just as I did! (And if you watched the Pure Flix series Vindication, you might see another familiar face in this movie!)

Watch the trailer here:

More about Pure Flix–and you can even enjoy a free 7-day trial!

Pure Flix is a one-stop shop for faith and family-friendly movies and shows that you can confidently stream in your home with the entire family. With new premium and exclusive original entertainment choices every week, Pure Flix streaming service has the largest variety of high-quality, curated, positive, encouraging, wholesome movies, series and kids’ content in one service. Pure Flix is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment, alongside AFFIRM Films.

On Pure Flix, you’ll be able to watch incredible shows that I’ve told you about earlier this year, like Going Home, Live+Local, Vindication, the God’s Not Dead movies, Miracles of Heaven (with Jennifer Garner), and so much more.

You can enjoy a free 7-day trial of Pure Flix as well! Just click on Pure Flix for more information and to start your free trial. Paid plans start at $7.99 per month, or as little as $5.84 per month if you choose the yearly plan ($69.99 per year).

And…you can enter to win a Pure Flix subscription!

You can enter to win a 3-month subscription to Pure Flix today!

To enter, simply click on the pink link below that says, “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter to win in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on October 4, 2022. One winner will be selected to win. US entrants only, and winner selection is limited to those who have NOT won a Pure Flix subscription in the last 6 months. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Find these inspirational articles on Pure Flix as well!

I love not only all the wonderful faith & family films/shows on Pure Flix. But did you know that they also have some wonderful articles to uplift your faith? Check these out!

Battle Fear and Worry with these 10 Bible Verses for Anxiety

10 Bible Verses to Build Perseverance of Faith

How to Embrace Our Identity as a Child of God

More about Legacy Peak

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure:

Many thanks to Pure Flix for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.

Brand-new film from the Kendrick Brothers & a $10 Amazon GC giveaway: “LIFEMARK” (giveaway ends 9/18/22)

#sponsored #partner

Hello everyone! Executive producers the Kendrick Brothers have a brand-new film opening in theaters Friday, September 9, 2022! I received an advanced screening link for their new movie LIFEMARK, co-executive produced by Kirk Cameron as well. Keep reading for more info plus where you can get tickets in your own area!

About LIFEMARK

David’s comfortable world is turned upside down when his birth mother unexpectedly reaches out to him, longing to meet the 18-year-old son she’s only held once. With the encouragement of his adoptive parents, David embarks on a journey of discovery that leads to a staggering truth from his past. From executive producers Kirk Cameron and the Kendrick Brothers—creators of War Room and Fireproof—comes LIFEMARK, inspired by an incredible true story that celebrates the gift of life.

Watch the trailer for LIFEMARK here!

Joy. Adventure. Fear. Family. Adoption. Told in a beautiful and moving film.

My thoughts about this film

I am a little embarrassed to admit this to you.

I overlooked the tiny print below the film’s title with a VERY KEY PIECE of information. Do you see it? “Inspired by a true story.”

So you might imagine how I felt at the end of the movie when there is a fantastic series of photos showing the cast members with the real humans they portrayed! “Shocked” as well as “delighted” express my reaction pretty well. (If you watch the interview Jean Thomason does below with two of the film’s cast members you’ll get to hear more of that amazing story.)

I’ve noticed that the films that I love the most draw me to love the characters and to care about their journey. You fall in love with them as characters and you want a happy or fulfilling ending for them. And LIFEMARK did that for me. Honestly, by the time that David met his birth mom, I was totally engaged in his story. He had fantastic parents–his adoptive mom and dad–but there was still a piece of his journey that he didn’t know. And of course, some trepidation about meeting his birth parents. (Fortunately, David’s best friend Nate, and his antics, help to relieve some of that tension.)

I also adored both sets of parents; the adoptive ones (Rebecca Rogers Nelson and Kirk Cameron) and the birth parents (Dawn Long and her new “husband,” Alex Kendrick). I felt moved quite a few times at just the huge amount of love expressed in the film. But the real crying set in when the birth mom, Melissa, meets David. (In fact I am tearing up even thinking about that again!) Melissa’s utter vulnerability as she meets the son she’d given up so long ago; and her willingness to tell *all* the parts of her story, are just remarkable.

LIFEMARK is a story that touches on so many parts of the human condition. Love. Loss. Teen pregnancy. Human will and human choice. What can a young woman do when she discovers a pregnancy; and she’s not even out of high school yet? This is an incredibly timely movie, given the true events that are happening in the public arena even now. But as you can imagine from the synopsis of this film, the story of adoption is the one that is told here–and the one that Melissa has chosen. But it also tells about her journey to get to that choice. And it’s a remarkable one.

LIFEMARK invites us into the life of a son given up for adoption; the husband and wife who adopted him; and the young mom who held him briefly, then released him to the ones who would raise him. This is a wonderful film, and one that is going to make you feel a lot of emotions as you go along for the ride. It is a *good* ride, though; and one you’ll be very glad you’ve taken.

Purchase movie tickets here–plus more

You can purchase tickets to see LIFEMARK in theaters in your own area! Just click below on the Purchase link. That will take you to the film’s website. You can also find more info there on the cast, the film, and additional resources like a Bible study, a book, and the original documentary!

Purchase tickets here

Jean Thomason’s interview with LIFEMARK costars Dawn Long and Rebecca Rogers Nelson

Jean Thomason from Momentum Influencer Network is a marvelous interviewer–and here, she speaks with the women who play David’s adoptive and biological moms in LIFEMARK.

Enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card!

In celebrating the premiere of LIFEMARK, I’ve been given the opportunity to give away a $10 Amazon gift card to one FINCHNWREN reader! To enter, just click on the pink “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on 9/18/22. One winner will be selected. Best wishes!

Enter here!

And last but not least…

If you’d like to hear more about the true story LIFEMARK is based on, head back to the movie’s website and watch the documentary video called “I Lived on Parker Avenue.” (It’s under Resources, fyi.)

With hugs! –Wren

Disclosure:

Many thanks to WTA Media for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.

Beautiful new movie, especially for parents: “An Unlikely Angel” from Pure Flix (plus giveaway! ends 9/9/22)

#sponsor #partner

If you’re a FINCHNWREN blog reader, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been talking about wholesome faith & family streaming service Pure Flix lately–and sharing about their Pure Flix Original films and series. I have another one to tell you about today, plus a giveaway for a Pure Flix subscription! Momentum Influencer Network and Pure Flix provided the new An Unlikely Angel to stream (premieres August 26, 2022). Honestly, I am still catching my breath over this one–IMO the best Pure Flix Original yet!

About An Unlikely Angel

Janie is a workaholic who is falling apart at the thought of becoming a first-time mom. She whispers a small prayer for help and it’s answered in a very unlikely way when an angel intervenes and fast forwards her life. Will her second chance change how she approaches life?  Janie is lucky enough to be given a second chance, but will she change before it’s too late?

With a fantastic cast including Jillian Murphy, Robert Amaya, Aaron Mees, and the delightful child actor DeLyla de Castor (and also Sam J. Jones as Janie’s dad), An Unlikely Angel is a beautifully-told story of new mom/project designer/workaholic Janie, whose short prayer invites an angel sent straight from God to help her. This help comes in a way that sends her 6 years down the line after the birth of her daughter, shows her what life could end up as, then gives her a choice. What kind of life would Janie embrace…if?

Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
    but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

New International Version Bible, Proverbs 19:21

My thoughts about this film

Can you remember the last time you laughed AND cried as you watched a movie that warmed and encouraged your heart?

An Unlikely Angel might just be the film to do that for you, especially if you’re a mom. (Or if you’re a fan of the classic Checker cab.)

The newest Pure Flix Original film, An Unlikely Angel, affected me profoundly even as it charmed and entertained me. I find so much in it to recommend. The actors are exceptional, the story pacing is even and clear, and the results and consequences of Janie’s choice make total sense. While the movie evoked a lot of emotions in me, the story is told gently and kindly: what *could* a woman who’d missed six years of her life (and her daughter’s life) actually be experiencing?

But back to those emotions. I’ve gotta tell you I shed a LOT of tears as I watched this movie! (Not until about the three-quarters mark; til my heart was wound up in the characters.) Janie’s kind dad. Her vulnerability to him and to God as she asks for help in an overwhelming situation; where, she seems to have no talent or skill. Gabe’s truthfulness and kindness. The unexpected things life threw at Janie. Her precious daughter. Janie’s story reminds me a little bit of the story of Hagar from the Bible, in Genesis 16 and 21. Hagar feels (and is) alone; forsaken; in need of help and so truly knowing that she herself can’t provide the help she needs so desperately. And God speaks to her and sends help!

We may not get that second chance or do-over that Janie is offered. But we have a good God whose plans are good and whose ear is bent toward even the whispered prayers of His dear children. Actually, He’s so attentive to us that before we even call on Him, He answers us. (Isaiah 65:14) I will take a movie that reminds of of that, any time!

Join Pure Flix and watch An Unlikely Angel. You will be encouraged; you will smile; and you will hug your kiddos. (Just keep that box of Kleenex handy. And maybe a wastebasket.)

Watch the trailer here!

How you can enjoy Pure Flix–and subscribe today

Pure Flix is a one-stop shop for faith and family-friendly movies and shows where you can confidently stream in your home with the entire family. With new premium and exclusive original entertainment choices every week, Pure Flix streaming service has the largest variety of high-quality, curated, positive, encouraging, wholesome movies, series and kids’ content in one service. Pure Flix is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment, alongside AFFIRM Films.

Your Home for Wholesome Faith & Family Streaming

Pure Family. Pure Fun. Pure Faith.

You can subscribe (monthly or yearly) with plans varying from $5.84-$7.99 per month. With these, you’ll receive access to thousands of series and films that will bless, encourage, strengthen, and edify your family. New content is added weekly that’s perfect for every individual or family, of all ages!

You can even enjoy Pure Flix for 7 days free! Just click on Pure Flix trial for more info and to sign up.

Enter to win a Pure Flix subscription!

There are SO MANY positive and lovely movies and series that you and your family can watch together on Pure Flix. I’m so happy to be able to share Pure Flix with you–and to give away one 3-month subscription to Pure Flix streaming service!

To enter to win, just click on the pink link below that says “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form where you’ll be able to enter to win in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on 9/9/22. One winner will be selected to win. If you have won a Pure Flix subscription in the past six months, you are ineligible to win this giveaway.

Enter here!

Meet star Robert Amaya in this fun interview with Jean Thomason!

Robert Amaya has been one of our family faves since we saw him for the first time in the movie Courageous, then in subsequent films like Moms’ Night Out, War Room, and Family Camp. He is just as genuine, fun and funny in real life, as you can see in this interview with the marvelous Jean Thomason from Momentum Influencer Network.

And some encouraging words for parents from Pure Flix

In addition to providing access to fantastic faith & family films, Pure Flix also has some encouraging and lovely words to inspire you. Here are some of them; just click on the links for free access!

Back to the Basics: Activities & Ways to Simplify Life

15 Bible Verses to Encourage Mothers on Mother’s Day and Beyond

5 Powerful Quotes from Women in the Bible

5 Tips for Learning How to Pray Without Ceasing

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure:

Many thanks to Pure Flix for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.

Win parenting/homeschool books (plus a prayer box!) in the Old School Giveaway Hop! (ends 8/30/22)

Hi everyone!

We’re closing in on September–but for the next 16 days you can enter to win amazing prizes from lots of bloggers in the Old School Giveaway Hop, hosted by MamatheFox! Keep reading for more info on how you can enter all the giveaways.

How to visit the Old School Giveaway Hop page to enter

Over 25 blogs are joining together for the Old School Giveaway Hop, with a huge variety of prizes you can enter to win! To visit the giveaway hop’s main page (where you can find links to all the participating blog’s giveaways), just click on the blue InLinkz button below (the one with the frog on it). That will take you right to the giveaway hop page. Happy entering!

The FINCHNWREN blog’s giveaway

For the Old School Giveaway Hop, the FINCHNWREN blog is giving away these items:

  • Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes…in You and Your Kids! Scott Turansky’s and Joanne Miller’s book (softcover) offers a unique viewpoint on parenting kids when everyone’s attitude needs a major adjustment (from bickering, meanness, whining and more). The key word? Honor. Full of family activities, processes to teach kiddos, and Biblical solutions as well as discussion topics.
  • Homeschool Family Fitness: The Complete Physical Education Curriculum Guide. Authored by Dr. Bruce Whitney and designed for grades K-12, this guide contains 40 weeks’ worth of lesson plans, sports and games rules, and tips on strength, endurance, flexibility, and aerobic fitness. (softcover)
  • Prayer box metal tin, containing a tiny pencil and a flowered pad for writing prayer requests. Lovely & encouraging!

Enter the FINCHNWREN giveaway here

To enter to win the 2 books and the prayer box, just click on the pink link below that says “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form, where you’ll be able to enter to win in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on 8/31/22. One winner will be selected to win the 3 items listed above. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure:

MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.