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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Giveaway ~ Mother & Son: The Respect Effect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs #MotherandSon #FlyBy

"As a mother, it is never too early and never too late to apply this message of respect.  A boy is never too young and never too old."  Anna Eggerichs

I have been out of town, so I've not been able to get too far into  Mother & Son: The Respect Effect. I'm only a few chapters in, but I'm really learning a lot. I recognized that I see my son more through the love grid than the respect grid. That needs to change!  Since he is the only child at home, now that my daughter is married and on her own, this is something I'm excited to learn more about to apply to my relationship with David. This book will be such a blessing for our family.

From the book cover: 

It's true:  sons and daughters equally need love and respect.  But research has shown that the felt need during stress and conflict differs among males and females.  Males filter their world more through the respect grid.  If you are a mother with a son, this book is for you!

Just as Emerson Eggerichs, PhD, transformed millions of marital relationships with a biblical understanding of love and respect, he now turns these principles to one of the most important relationships of all: one between a mother and her son.  Mother & Son shows how to use Respect-Talk and presents the testimonies of mothers who have tried it.  Emerson provides a game plan so you not only see the man in the boy, but also recognize his innate desires for conquest, hierarchy, authority, insight, relationship, and sexuality.

This book is about a mother going beyond her love and applying respect to the heart of her son.

It is easy to relate to the need of all of us to feel a mother's love, but is that the same thing as our need for respect?  Based on the insight that a mother's love is important, but respect is the key to her son's heart, this book will teach what every mom needs to know, what every son needs to hear.

We all realize that little girls need their daddies' love, but no one is promoting the truth that little boys (and adult ones) need their moms' respect.  No wonder mothers feel left in the dark on this topic.  What makes this issue all the more urgent is that moms are coaching fathers to love their daughters, but no one has coached moms on specific ways to show respect to their sons, at least not in a way that is applicable and fully explained!  Even for young boys, the Respect Effect is nothing short of astounding when applied properly.

I have one copy of this fantastic book to give away!  It's easy to enter through the rafflecopter widget below.  Good luck! 

Friday, May 27, 2016

World’s First DC SUPER FRIENDS Themed Area Debuts at Six Flags Over Georgia

New Attractions for the Entire Family Open to Kick-Off Summer Vacation Season The Super Heroes and Super-Villains – BATMAN, SUPERMAN, WONDER WOMAN, THE JOKER and HARLEY QUINN reign supreme, as the world’s first DC SUPER FRIENDS themed area debuts at Six Flags Over Georgia. The five thrilling new rides and attractions at The Thrill Capital of the South are designed for the entire family to experience together. “We are excited to unveil this thrilling new section just in time for the start of the summer vacation season,” said Six Flags Atlanta Properties Park President Dale Kaetzel. “This area, combined with the addition of Bugs Bunny Boomtown earlier this year, solidifies Six Flags Over Georgia as the perfect destination for family fun.”

The all-new DC SUPER FRIENDS area features five exciting rides and attractions, including:

SUPERMAN Tower of Power, releasing the dare devil in thrill-seekers of all ages to take on this 65-foot tall bouncing thrill ride

The BATCOPTERS, an opportunity to help save Gotham City by flying high in the sky  

WONDER WOMAN Flight School, where pilots can earn their wings by flying their own jet

HARLEY QUINN Games, filled with villainous games to test your skills against the best in the family

THE JOKER Funhouse Coaster, the supreme family thrill ride named after the ultimate Super-Villain features 900 feet of track & speeds along at 30 miles per hour.

Six Flags Over Georgia is also announcing the opening of Hurricane Harbor for its third season. The massive water park features acres of water thrills, including the award-winning Tsunami Surge water slide with a 45-foot zero gravity wave wall. Hurricane Harbor is free with park admission. The park is open daily through August 7.

David and I got to attend the opening of the DC Super Friends at Six Flags over Georgia yesterday and we brought my sister and her daughter along for the fun.  The new DC Super Friends area is located across from the Monster Plantation and it's a lot of fun! Here are some pics of our fun day at Six Flags! The new rides are great, and there is even an arcade with lots of games and air conditioning - it makes a nice break from the heat! (of course, I forgot to take any pics of the arcade, even though we were hanging out in there for a while)  Don't forget you can click on any picture to see a larger copy.

Visit the Six Flags website for more information.  (There are some awesome deals on Six Flags dining passes right now, too!)

Disclaimer: We were hosted at Six Flags Over Georgia for the day in order to experience the new DC Super Friends area.  No other compensation was received and all opinions shared here are my own!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Giveaway: ESV Family Devotional Bible

Hi y'all!

I have a fantastic Family Devotional Bible to share with y'all today! I absolutely love this Bible/Devotional.  It's the ESV (English Standard Version) hardcover, and it is a great way to bring your family together for Bible Study and Devotional time.

David & I have only had time to do a few of these together, but so far, we both agree they are wonderful.  Lovely full-color illustrations accompany key Bible stories (there are 130 total). The complete ESV text is interspersed with engaging illustrations and gospel-centered readings. Each reading is placed within the Bible text where it is found.  A few of the stories you'll find - "Jacob's Dream, Moses and the Plagues, Ruth and her Redeemer, God's Promise to King David,  Daniel in the Lion's Den, The Last Supper,  The Conversion of Saul, and The Amazing Vision that Jesus Gave to John.

The stories are simplified so that children of all ages will be able to understand them.  Each reading also includes discussion questions, plus a key verse.   Reading this together can help your family develop the habit of reading the Bible and applying its truth to all of your life!  It's such a great way to connect with your family in a meaningful way.

I really like the full-color maps at the back of this Bible, and the easy index of devotionals makes it easy to find each one. There is also a ribbon bookmark that helps us keep track of where we are in the Bible.   This will be a wonderful addition to our bookcase!

It is the perfect Devotional for David & I to use this summer while he is out of school.  I am really looking forward to working our way through this ESV Family Devotional Bible!  You can get your own copy from Amazon.

So happy that I have one copy to give away to one of you!   Enter through the Rafflecopter widget below:

Monday, May 16, 2016

Giveaway & Review: The League & The Lantern

Do you have a tough time finding books for your kids that are age appropriate and entertaining?  I know I do. It's hard to find something your middle school/young adult reader will like that Mom will, too!  So when I was given the chance to let my son read The League and the Lantern by Brian Wells, for a review and giveaway, I was thrilled to say yes!

We just got the book late last week, but David has jumped right into it - reading a little each night before bed.  He says these characters are fun and relateable. The adventures they find keep him reading - he wants to find out what happens next! I am glad this is a book that is appropriate for his age so I don't have to worry about the content.  Something that can't be said about many books meant for readers his age.  This series is targeted for readers 9 - 14.  I usually read his books first to be sure they are good for him, but I'm ok with him reading this one first!

Here is the synopsis: It all starts when a dangerous organization invades Jake Herndon’s seventh-grade sleepover. He escapes along with two new classmates, Lucy and TJ, only to face a 48-hour fight for survival on the streets of Chicago. The kids unravel a mystery dating back to the Civil War, and an incredible secret about Jake’s family. Along the way they learn unexpected lessons about courage, family and friendship.

A little about the author of The League and the Lantern - Brian Wells is a concerned father who couldn't find quality entertainment for his kids.  As a producer of 15 movies, he has worked for the major networks, and this is his book debut.  He shares "As my wife and I tried to find great, engaging entertainment options for our kids, we realized that other parents and teachers shared our struggle. We couldn't find stories and series for our children that were both flat-out awesome entertainment and reinforced the kind of character we wanted to build into our kids.  Our thought became 'What if we created an adventure series that was first a fast-pacced roller coaster adventure with great characters and humor and also wove in thems such as family, friendship and compassion?' "

The book is already receiving accolades from organizations such as The Association of Christian Schools International, Parents Television Council, Focus on the Family, American Family Association, Great Homeschool Conventions and others!

Author Brian Wells 
The League and the Lantern is the first in a new adventure series that your kids will want to read! It's written for middle school readers. As a mom who homeschools,  I love the educational aspects the author included - there are 140 key middle school vocabulary words used throughout the story. and historical sites are used as settings for the book.  The vocabulary words are the top 140 words needed for success - they are seamlessly woven into the story.  This helps our kids stay sharp for school during summer/winter breaks - but they just think they are reading a great story!

There are great moral lessons too - including family, friendship, mercy and compassion.  So while my son thinks he is just reading an exciting adventure story, he's really getting a little history, vocabulary and more.  I couldn't be happier about this new book series!

If you purchase your book from the official website, they will give a copy to a child in need, too - how awesome is that?  There is also a section on the website with bonus material - some for kids and some for parents - including a vocabulary guide.

David is already looking forward to the next book in the series - I hope it comes out soon because he is surely hooked!

Now you can enter for a chance to win a copy of this book in my giveaway!

 All you have to do is enter via the rafflecopter widget below.  You MUST complete the mandatory entry and leave a comment in order for your other entries to be valid.  Good luck!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

My first chalk paint project!

Hi y'all!  It has been forever and a day since I've had time to get crafty around the house!  I'm finally getting back to working on things around here.  I've started painting the hallway, and the kitchen will be next. Then David's room will get a major overhaul.  Oh, and I have an AWESOME product to share with you - I will use it to replace my faux painted kitchen counters early in June.  But for now I want to show you my first chalk paint makeover!

It's a tiny little table that we got as a hand-me-down from family.  Our foyer is very small, so the table is a perfect fit for the little area right next to the front door.   I always have several candles on it, because you will almost always find candles lit in my house!  Right now there is also a set of mini prim houses I got all together in a bag at Goodwill for 99 cents.  One of my favorite thrift finds!  The table came to us with a few stains and water marks on the top, but the candles and mini houses kind of covered them up.

But, the table was the same color as the floors and that was starting to drive me crazy. The walls are brown, the floors are brown, the get the point! I'm trying to brighten things up here.  The current wall color - Sherwin Williams Library Pewter - used to be so cozy to me.  Now, it's cave-like and depressing! So we definitely need some color in this house.

David and I were at Countryside Antiques in Hoschton last month and I saw a display with this chalk paint, the soft wax and the brushes.  I figured it was a good time to makeover my table, so we bought them all.  I got the small (8 oz) container of paint because I've heard it doesn't take much chalk paint to complete projects. (Turns out this is true - I barely made a dent in this container after finishing the table.)

I know I am late getting on the chalk paint bandwagon.  I'd heard it was expensive.  I'd heard the wax was expensive and a lot of work.  But I also heard that it was so easy to work with - there was no prep work! Just clean the item and paint.  No sanding, no priming, no stripping the stain or paint already on your furniture. My sweet sister-in-law, Lia had used chalk paint with beautiful results and gave me her tips on using it, too.   So.....

When I got home, I brought the table upstairs, and cleaned it from top to bottom with soapy water and let it dry. And I took the before picture, too!  Using the new paint brush, I applied a light layer of the chalk paint.  (the color I used is Toile)   After it dried for about 30 minutes,  I added a second coat.   Next, I lightly distressed it in a few places with a sanding block I got at Dollar Tree.

I let it dry for a few minutes before I began the final step of waxing.  I got a little wax on the round wax brush, and pushed it onto the table and into all of its nooks and crannies -  top, legs, and sides included.  Then I just buffed it with a dry rag and voila - all done! I waxed, then buffed a small area before moving on to the next area. It took a while, but it was so worth the time I put into this project! I absolutely adore my "new" table!! It's like a little bit of the beach in my foyer - the light aqua color reminds me of Florida and the ocean.

I was pretty nervous to try my hand at chalk paint, but found that it is actually one of the easiest paints I've ever used, and the wax was simple to apply, too.  The finish on my table is soft and pretty. You don't see the brush marks, just a velvety look that is really lovely.  I can't wait to use these products again!

Next up, I will be making over a paper towel holder for D's bathroom. Paper towels are easier than a hand towel in a kiddo's bathroom! It is a dark, ugly wooden one from Goodwill.  I'm thinking of using Faux Real Mineral Paint in Bianca, a beige color, for it.  I want to use the dark wax on it, too. Stay tuned - I can't wait to see how it turns out!

I am including links to similar products on amazon if you are itching to get started on your own chalk paint projects! (affiliate links)  I especially love the bundle of three waxes - I spent $10 on just one color for mine - this is a much better deal and you get three colors!  They don't carry the same brand of chalk paint but this one in the Biloxi Shores color is very similar to the Toile color I used for my table.

If you've used chalk paint, share your favorite project in the comments below, or a link - I'd love to check them out!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

2016 Summer Movies Schedules - reduced ticket prices! #Atlanta #summer #kids

It is just about time to start planning summer fun for the kiddos, and try to stay on a budget, too! We like the summer movies offered by several theaters - admission is cheap and they usually have deals on snacks, too.  It's nice to hang out in an air-conditioned theater for a few hours during hot summer days!

Here's what I found so far:

Regal Cinemas Summer Movie Express offers $1 movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  The same movies play both days.   Movies start at 10 am.

At our closest location (Hamilton Mill) this is the movie schedule (which starts June 7):

Week 1
The Lego Movie

Week 2
The Iron Giant: Signature Edition

Week 3
The Smurfs 2

Week 4
Despicable Me 2

Week 5
The Peanuts Movie

Week 6
Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Road Chip
Curious George

Week 7
The Book of Life
Hotel Transylvania 2

Week 8
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
Shaun The Sheep

Week 9
The Croods
Dr. Suess' The Lorax

Check the website (linked above) for your local theater's schedule, as it may vary!

Cinemark's Summer Movie Clubhouse offers you the chance to prepay for 10 movies for $5, or pay $1 per movie at the box office.  Click here for the schedule and information for the Fayetteville, GA location.  Check their website for other locations and schedules!

Carmike Cinemas does not have their Summer Series listed as of today.  You can check their site to find out when they will offer free or reduced movies!

The AMC Theaters website does not have their Summer schedule available yet, either.  You can check their website for updates.

You can also keep an eye on Movie Tavern and Studio Movie Grill for any Summer specials - as of now, none are listed yet.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Travel - Our fun trip to West Volusia County, Florida! #WestVolusiaFL #VisitWestVolusia #LoveFL

It's been several weeks since we got home, but I'm still dreaming of all the beautiful places we saw on our trip.

One highlight was the amazing Florida Cheese Festival in historic downtown DeLand.  This was the first annual Florida Cheese Festival, so keep an eye on the calendar  and on the website to see when next year's will be. It's so worth the drive from N. Georgia to spend a weekend there!

Click on picture to see larger version!

Just imagine: Cheese, beer, cheese, wine, cheese, cheese, music, Florida!  The delicious cheese samples were from all around the world: Switzerland, Germany, England, Spain, Italy, and Norway, to name a few of the countries represented.  All of our samples were served with crackers.  My favorites included the classic sharp cheddar pimento cheese, emmentaler cut swiss, brie and creamy havarti.  YUM!  

We did have a little rain and wind at the beginning, but it soon cleared up and we were able to visit each of the tents that lined the street.  Each tent represented a country and offered their samples.  We bought some chocolate dipped strawberries from a scout troop that had a tent there. They had a wine garden, bar truck and beer available, too. And even live music.  Plus, you are just a few steps away from many restaurants and shops in downtown DeLand, so you can really make a day of it! Just keep your festival wristband on and you can come back to the festival after you eat and shop downtown!

We went to nearby Daytona Beach after we enjoyed the Festival for a while.  It's a short drive away. Then we drove north on A1A to look at some of the pretty little beach towns.  I love that area! The surf was really high that day; they had the red warning flags out, so no swimming.  We just walked on the beach and took lots of pictures!

One thing we didn't have time to do during our visit was the Persimmon Hollow Quest in downtown DeLand.  It sounds like so much fun, and we'll make sure to do this on our next trip.  You follow a series of clues through downtown DeLand.  There are also GPS coordinates given if you'd rather do this as a geocache search.   The clues are fun to decipher, but also educational! For example, did you know that DeLand was originally called Persimmon Hollow because of all the persimmon trees that were there?  This treasure hunt will be fun for the entire family!

Also on my list for our next visit: The Museum of Art - DeLand, the Stetson Mansion and the DeBary Hall Historic Site.  Those are all part of the River of Lakes Heritage Corridor in West Volusia County.  There are plenty of other museums and historical sites, plus parks, trails and the Lyonia Environmental Center and Preserve. So much to do in West Volusia county!

Ready to go to pack your bags and head to West Volusia to check out all the parks, springs and fun things to do?  Start by ordering your free copy of their Visitor's Guide.   Then visit the West Volusia Tourism Bureau site for much more information about planning your visit!

Follow them on Facebook and Twitter - you will find out all the latest news there.  And mark your calendar and join the West Volusia Tourism Bureau at 9 pm on May 31 for a Twitter party!

It's such a great place to get outdoors and explore Florida.  And it's affordable, too! A vacation to DeLand, Deltona or DeBary won't break the bank, but it will provide fantastic memories and beautiful places for your family to enjoy.

Our thanks again to the West Volusia Tourism Bureau for hosting us on our fantastic 3 night/4 day trip last month.  We had such an amazing time exploring a beautiful part of Florida!  All opinions about the trip here on my blog are my own.  

Monday, May 2, 2016

Travel - DeLeon Springs State Park #VisitWestVolusia #WestVolusiaFL #5DaysofFun #LoveFL

I have another fun and beautiful place to share with you from our recent trip to West Volusia county, Florida ~ DeLeon Springs State Park. The park is in DeLeon Springs, Florida - about a 25 minute drive from where we stayed in DeBary.

The West Volusia Tourism Bureau hosted us for breakfast at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill Restaurant inside the park. I've heard about this restaurant and we were excited to get to try it! It's very unique, as you will read....

She advised us to get there right at 8 am when the park opened, to head straight to the restaurant to get our name on the list!  We were surprised to see lots of cars ahead of us at 7:45!  We waited in line and got inside the park right after 8.  We were lucky to not have any wait in the restaurant. We were quickly seated in a booth next to a window covered with a screen to let the breeze in.  Perfect spot for a nice breakfast!

Our sweet waitress Jessica explained the process.  Each table has an electric griddle, and you cook your own pancakes on it.  She brought us two pitchers of batter, and our drinks.  We also ordered bacon and pecans (the pecans were an add in for the pancakes) and sprayed the griddle to get it ready. She also brought us a shaker of cinnamon to try on our pecan pancakes. (yum!)

Then we poured the batters on and began cooking our pancakes.   These pancakes aren't exactly like the ones you make at home. They are Early American-style pancakes, with a lumpier batter than what you may be used to.  One batter was made with unbleached white flour, the other a mixture of five stone-ground flours.  Both were delicious!  You have a spatula and cooking oil spray, so you cook them, flip them, put them on plates, then spray the griddle and start all over again. It was fun!

The prices are very affordable - pancakes are $4.95 per person.  (Gluten-free option available for $5.95)   They are served with raw honey, syrup and unsulphured molasses.  You can choose add-ins, like bananas, pecans, blueberries, peanut butter or chocolate chips, for $1.95 each.  Add bacon, sausage, ham or eggs for $2.95.  They cook your bacon or other meats in the kitchen.  You cook your own eggs on the griddle.  Breakfast is available until 4 every day and there is a menu with salads, sandwiches and other items.   We all enjoyed this unique breakfast in such a pretty setting!

Outside you will find some of the equipment from the old sugar mill, which was used to crush sugar cane in the 1830's, then rebuilt around 1900.  You can still see a chimney from the original mill.  We checked out the spring, which is rumored to be Ponce DeLeon's famous fountain of youth. There is evidence that as far back as 6000 years ago, Native Americans came here to fish and gather plants.

There is a small hill in the middle of the park, topped with a house, that is what remains of the shell and earth mound left by generations of Native Americans here.  The spring produces 19 million gallons of water per day, and is 72 degrees year round.   You can swim, rent canoes, paddleboats and kayaks, and even fish if you have a Florida fishing license! They also have a riverboat tour.  The park is just gorgeous - so green and pretty!

There are picnic tables, grills, and a playground.  You can walk the hiking trail or the paved nature trail.  There is even a butterfly garden!  The trees provide lots of shade.

One of the coolest things they offer is that kids can become a junior park ranger by completing activities in the activity book available at the park.  We were headed to the Florida Cheese Festival in DeLand, FL right after breakfast so we didn't have time to do any of these other activities.  They are on my list for next time we're down that way! David wanted to swim there so badly and I hated telling him no! But we sure enjoyed our time at the Cheese Festival. That will be in my next post, so stay tuned...

DeLeon Springs State Park is located at 601 Ponce DeLeon Blvd, DeLeon Springs, FL 32130

I paid the park entrance fee, but our breakfast was provided by the West Volusia Tourism Bureau  Thank you Dena - it was wonderful!