ICHE convention this weekend

This weekend is the convention for the Illinois Christian Home Educators in Naperville.

In honor of this upcoming event they are having a giveaway on their blog:

You can win one of Stacy McDonald’s books (both of which I have read and thoroughly enjoyed!) by leaving a comment there. The contest is only open for a couple days, so be sure to enter there for your chance to win and peruse the rest of their site for the details about the convention as well.

Review and Giveaway Ring the Bell

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Ring the Bell:

Ring The Bell shares the story of a slick, big city sports agent Rob Decker who seems to have it all. But on his latest mission to sign a high school baseball superstar, Rob becomes stranded in a small town where the simplicity of life—and the faith of the people—stand in stark contrast to his own fast-paced, win-at-all-costs mindset. Torn between these two worlds, will Rob have the courage to let faith transform his life? This heartwarming story of redemption is sure to entertain and inspire the whole family.

Ring the Bell is available on DVD for only $19.99

I know I have shared many times how much we appreciate being able to pop in a move that the whole family can watch without needing to fast-forward, cover ears or eyes, or wonder if something will go over their head or not. It’s not worth trying to enjoy a movie that is sub-standard morally. Ring the Bell delivers significant life lessons without any gore or inappropriate scenes or language. Everyone can watch this together.

We may have had a little soft spot for some of the main characters in this movie as their home was a type of group home for foster kids. Since we worked as dorm parents in a residential school for boys for nine years, personal memories flooded in as we watched the boys they worked with. We could easily relate to the challenges and victories that come in that line of “work.”They also speak a bit about mission work, another passion of mine, and I appreciated the clear presentation of the Gospel message more than once in the film.

As much as we loved aspects of this movie and some genuinely funny scenes peppered in here and there to break up the seriousness of the plot, there were some places that seemed to drag a bit. Some of the conversation seemed to go a little too long, even if they did have great points to make. There was also a fair bit of music that took up film time with segments of the singers actually singing. I enjoy good music and especially a good concert, but watching a concert as part of a movie seemed to slow the drama down too much. The music is great — Casting Crowns among others — but, I would have enjoyed it more as meaningful background music rather than the focal point of the shot.

Aside from the slow sections, this film has a great lesson, and the powerful tradition of the ringing of the bell every time . . . well, I don’t want to ruin that for you. See for yourself why that bell ringing is so important. It made me consider what we could do to have a similar tradition in our circle or home.

Now for the fun part, one of you can win your own copy of this heartwarming story to enjoy with your own family.  Just leave a comment below, and you are entered to win. For additional entries share about this giveaway elsewhere (blog, facebook, twitter, etc.) and come comment again letting me know where you shared. I’ll draw a winner on Tuesday May 14 in the evening.

Works for Me Wednesday — and everyday!

This great little meme inspired me long before Pinterest came on the scene.

Before virtual bulletin boards, loads of amazing ideas enter the cyber world each week and inspired moms and families to find solutions to everyday problems.

The catchy name, Works for Me Wednesday rolled right off my tongue and became the place to be when it went live late each Tuesday night.

Now, they have compiled hundreds of the most amazing tips into one bursting at the seams e-book that is organized, consolidated and packed with links to last a lifetime — inspiring, time saving, maybe even life saving, tips.

The book includes sections for homeschooling, pets, meals, crafts, frugality, laundry, marriage, organization, travel, decor, and a total of 24 categories, with a total of 807 tips.

Each section begins with an adorable picture and an inspiring quote and is peppered with interviews with bloggers that made this book possible. The book comes in a PDF format which makes it oh so easy to flip through. Obviously, a book like this you want to be able to find what you need in a hurry. You won’t read it cover to cover (although it probably wouldn’t hurt you!) so the tips are arranged for easy finding.

E-book is the best format for this type of tool, because each tip is hotlinked to the site it came from that gives you the full description of the tip and how it worked for the person who entered it. Also, you get the benefit of any comments added onto the post as well. I am a big WFMW fan and to have the best of the best at my fingertips has brought me a treasure.

This great new resource is now available for purchase as well for just $8 Right now you can get a dollar off so it is only $7! Just use discount code  SAVE1

Head over to their page to buy your own stress-saving copy.

To find out more about the book:

Contest: Check out the contest on the website that continues through the month of April for a gift card for house cleaning ($150 value). Please submit your own tip to enter.
Twitter: @works4mebook

A portion of the proceeds also goes to help the Mercy House:

Mercy House is a non-profit ministry that empowers a maternity home in Kenya, Africa. The
home offers a safe refuge for pregnant girls living in extreme poverty. This organization began
and is supported almost entirely through social media avenues.

As a contributer and reviewer of this book I have been given a copy to enjoy and a copy to give away. One of you will get to enjoy this ebook for free! Please leave a comment at the end of this post with your contact info and you are entered to win your own pile of tips. You may earn additional entries by following the above links and following them on twitter and/or facebook. Just make sure you come back and leave another comment telling me you did so.I will choose a winner next Friday night, April 20th.

And, don’t forget to enter their contest for a free house cleaning!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. These come to you free of charge, but enable me to earn a little commission if purchases are made through them. Just a simple way that you can help support the work I do here without paying a dime for it. 🙂

Review and Giveaway — Jeremy Riddle

Need a lift? September has been a grueling month in our household.

Soccer in full swing, co-op and classes finding their place on the schedule, and evenings full more than empty for this fall season. I find myself dragging a bit as the days fill up.

My faith in Christ is a huge part of why I homeschool, and it needs to be a priority in my personal life if it is going to keep spilling over into the kids as well and strengthening our home.  Music is an easy way for me to stay energized and making my life one of worship. The refrain running through my head now is, “Your love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me.” That’s the constancy that I need to be reminded of in this crazy season. And, it’s what I want my kids to see in my each day. Love poured out on them.

Do you need this reminder, too? Jeremy Riddle’s new CD is the perfect fit to offer encouragement. Pop it in the CD player in the car when you are glad you are finally in the car, even if it is 15 minutes late. Play it in the background when you are cleaning that school room that always seems like a disaster by 9:00 am no matter how clean it started. The words are contagious and will breathe new life into your day.

I would definitely encourage you to purchase this great CD, but one reader has the opportunity to win a copy of this CD! Just leave your name with an email address that I can reach you at in the comments and I will draw a winner at the end of the day on Sunday. I look forward to getting this great new release into one of your hands!

Check out more about this great CD here:

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.”