The Berenstain Bears Bless Our Pets (Living Lights christian series) by Mike Berenstain

The Berenstain Bears Bless Our Pets (Berenstain Bears/Living Lights) by Mike Berenstain

We received this book yesterday and my 6 year old was thrilled to get another new Berenstain Bears book! “Bless Our Pets” was just released last week. My son is just starting to recognize words and groups of words so he enjoys looking at the pictures and book before I read it to him. He especially loved that he had a word search in the back of the book.

I honestly didn’t know what this book was about- I assumed it was about being grateful for our pets. It was actually about the Bear family taking their pets to the local church for them to receive a special blessing from God and the pastor.

I did not like the “heavenly intervention” part of the book and I don’t agree with having a ceremony for pets, although I do believe they are gifts from God and can be a part of our family. This is probably my least favorite Living Lights book. I wouldn’t have gotten this book if I had known what it was about because I had to tell my son after reading it that its not something our church does.

I received a copy of this book complimentary for blog and social media review. All opinions are my own.

About the Book:
In the newest Berenstain Bear Living Lights title, The Berenstain Bears Bless Our Pets, Brother, Sister, and Honey Bear love their pets Little Lady, Gracie, Swish, and Cutsie … they are just like part of the Bear family. So when Preacher Brown holds a special Blessing of the Pets service on Sunday, the Bear family joins in. But what starts as a peaceful gathering of Bear Country neighbors and their animal friends on the lawn of the Chapel—including dogs, cats, rats, goats, and even a snake or two—ends up needing a little heavenly intervention.

Purchase a copy here:

About the Author
Stan and Jan Berenstain introduced the first Berenstain Bears books in 1962. Mike Berenstain grew up watching his parents work together to write about and draw these lovable bears. Eventually he started drawing and writing about them too. Though Stan died in 2005 and Jan in 2012, Mike continues to create the delightful Bear adventures from his studio in Pennsylvania, in an area that looks much like the sunny dirt road deep in Bear Country.

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“Love, Jane” by Ranee S. Clark *book review and giveaway*

“Love, Jane” is a cute, romantic story that follows Jane and Sean’s love story. Although this book is a specific Christian LDS book, I feel that most readers will enjoy the story.

Jane has been wanting for years to serve a mission for her church and submits her mission papers when she feels its the right time. Even after trying not to get serious, after months of dating Sean they both realize they love each other and want to get married. Jane has a hard time expressing her feelings to others and dealing with situations head on, so unfortunately over the years she has had bad relationships and experiences because she doesn’t speak up. She ends up waiting to tell Sean about her mission papers and leave date only weeks before she leaves, which obviously affects their relationship in a negative way. However, Jane feels very strongly about serving her mission in Alaska and asks Sean to wait for her and he agrees.

Most of the book follows Jane’s experiences while on her 18 month mission trip and their emails back and forth. With only a couple months before coming home Jane stops getting emails from her boyfriend and assumes the worst- that he’s met someone else and he won’t be waiting for her.

I liked reading about Jane’s experiences while on her mission and trying to connect with her teaching companion while teaching others about God. I also liked reading about Sean’s life and how close he was to his family and students at his high school teaching job.

I felt like the whole story was leading up to Jane and Sean’s reunion, only to be disappointed that it was crammed into two chapters at the end of the book which felt very rushed. It did not leave me a very good impression of Sean and his wavering emotions and feelings back-and-forth between the two women he needed to choose from.

This was a quick romantic read which I did enjoy but was left feeling disappointed at the end.

I received a copy of this book complimentary for blog and social media review. All opinions are my own.

About the Book
Jane Reeves and Sean O’Callaghan seem to be a match made in heaven—but the timing is all wrong. Jane has her heart set on serving a mission, and she can’t delay telling Sean the news any longer: not only has she quietly submitted her mission papers, but she’s also leaving in a month . . . for Alaska. Shocked and devastated, Sean struggles to come to terms with Jane’s decision. Unable to deny the depth of their feelings for one another, Sean makes a promise to wait for her. Life unfolds for both Jane and Sean, with communications limited to weekly e-mails. But with just a few months left in Jane’s mission, Sean’s messages stop. When she receives the dreaded “Dear Jane” breakup, along with the news that she has been replaced by Sean’s former flame, Jane knows the future she envisioned now belongs to another woman. But upon her return home, Jane quickly realizes some things are worth fighting for—perhaps most of all, a shot at true love.

You can purchase a copy here:

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Tightropes and Teeter-Totters: Finding Balance in the Ups and Downs of Life by Lisa Pennington *review*



Tightropes and Teeter-Totters: Finding Balance in the Ups and Downs of Life

The author starts off by describing the old teeter totters on the playgrounds (I loved them!) and how falling is a part of life and that life is about balance. “Falling, getting up, trying again, over and over, is how we learn.”

Balance is NOT about perfection, control, comfort, or the exact formula (because one specific thing doesn’t work for everyone). Balance is our intentional reaction to something and looking at areas in our lives that aren’t working and making specific actions to change them.

The author goes on to give suggestions and examples on how to balance motherhood, marriage, friends, money, moods, etc. She uses the word BALANCE as an acronym to help her remember the steps when trying to balance and cope with a particular situation.

Begin
Assess
Learn
Account
Notify
Change
Endure

She then goes thru each chapter using this method to “find balance” to each situation mentioned in the book, along with posting mini homework assignments at the end of teach chapter. I liked that the author used personal experiences and humor to share insights and practical suggestions through out the entire book.

I received a copy of this book complimentary for blog and social media review. All opinions are my own

About the Book
Lisa Pennington knows how to get up after losing her balance, even with a full house, a not-so-full bank account, and never enough energy. In her latest book, she offers readers:

Strategies for finding balance in marriage, motherhood, and bad moods

Playful yet biblically based tips for turning hard days around

Inspiration for shaping obstacles into opportunities

Ways to respond to irritations with gratitude

Enthusiastic encouragement for living out God’s purpose.

For every woman who wonders if her satisfaction in life will ever match her dreams, Pennington has real-life answers full of hope and humor.

About the Author
Lisa Pennington is a homeschooling mom of nine who shares her life—one laundry load at a time—on her blog, The Pennington Point. She is a sought-after speaker at conferences and women’s groups and is the author of Mama Needs a Do-Over. Lisa and her family live near San Antonio.

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40 day Countdown to Foot Levelers 2017 Blue Ridge Marathon #BRM26pt2 #RunBlueRidge #10k

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Join me for the 8th annual America’s Toughest Road Marathon on April 22, 2017! Did you know that Roanoke, VA, is one of the few running races allowed on the Blue Ridge Parkway in the country (America’s most visited National Park)?

The Blue Ridge Marathon has THE MOST elevation change of any road race in the United States. This is how it gets it’s “toughest” road marathon status.

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You don’t have to run a marathon though to participate! They are offering FOUR distances for this race: 10k, half, full, & double. I will be running the 10k. New to this year is also the RELAY!!

For this post I want to highlight the FOOT LEVELERS BLUE RIDGE MARATHON specifics.

EVENT DETAILS:

DATE: April 22nd, 2017
LOCATION: Course Start at Elmwood Park in downtown Roanoke, VA
START TIME: 7:35AM
PACKET PICK-UP: Friday, April 21st from 3:00pm-8:00pm & Saturday, April 22nd from 5:30am-7:00am

MARATHON COURSE DESCRIPTION & MAPS:

Full Marathon is limited to 750 runners
Total Elevation Gain/Loss=7,430 ft
7.5 hour cut-off time AND a 6 hour cut-off time at mile 22.
If runners do not maintain a 16:20 min/mile pace then course marshals reserve the right to pull you from the course for your safety.
USATF Full Marathon Course Map
Interactive Course Map
Full Marathon Race App Map
Course Hydration provided by SKRATCH LABS
Walkers are permitted and encouraged
The Blue Ridge Marathon course is not for the faint of heart. The course begins and ends in downtown Roanoke. In between, runners will enter the Blue Ridge Parkway, where they will make three significant climbs and descents.

The course begins easily with one mile of rolling hills, before taking its first turn upward as runners begin the 2-mile climb up Mill Mountain. At the top of the day’s initial climb, the race enters the Blue Ridge Parkway, where there are several lengthy and challenging hills over the next two-plus miles. Then runners will encounter the most beautiful but challenging portion of the course – the climb up Roanoke Mountain.

Roanoke Mountain ascends approximately 780 feet in two miles with multiple switchbacks. Runners will see magnificent views of the region’s mountains and valleys as they pass the numerous overlooks, and will be rewarded with the best view at the top. The steep decent on the back of Roanoke Mountain is equally beautiful and difficult as the gradient forces runners to keep their speed in check.

After 4 miles of climbing and descending, the course returns to the Blue Ridge Parkway where runners will re-trace their steps toward Mill Mountain. Participants will then ascend Mill Mountain (the part not covered on the first pass) to the famous Mill Mountain Star, overlooking the beautiful Roanoke Valley and — much of the course still to be run!

From the Star, runners will encounter another major 2-mile decent down Prospect Avenue – also known as the “old road” to Mill Mountain. Back on the valley floor the final 10 miles is rolling with several challenging hills. Don’t let mile 18 and 24 sneak up on you!

The Valley section of the course briefly skirts the Roanoke River before turning into the historic and scenic area known as South Roanoke, famous for its beautiful homes. Be aware of a long climb on Avenham and Peakwood Avenues as you turn into the neighborhood. You will crest the hill right at 20 miles.

The terrain flattens out for the next 3 miles as you make your way through Old Southwest, along the Roanoke River Greenway, and through Wasena before heading downtown to the finish line at Elmwood Park.

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Make sure to Use my code: BRMFRIENDS to save 15% any of the four race distances (10k, half, full, & double) and there is no expiration date!

You can REGISTER HERE:
http://www.blueridgemarathon.com/

Stay tuned for the 30 day countdown and specifics about the half marathon! and be sure to check out my Instagram page for all my training pictures!

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Foot Levelers 2017 Blue Ridge Marathon, Half Marathon & 10k PROMO CODE #BRM26pt2 #RunBlueRidge

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Join me for the 8th annual America’s Toughest Road Marathon on April 22, 2017! Did you know that Roanoke, VA, is one of the few running races allowed on the Blue Ridge Parkway in the country (America’s most visited National Park)?

The Blue Ridge Marathon has THE MOST elevation change of any road race in the United States. This is how it gets it’s “toughest” road marathon status.

artm-seal2014-1

You don’t have to run a marathon though to participate! They are offering FOUR distances for this race: 10k, half, full, & double. I will be running the 10k. New to this year is also the RELAY!!

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There are SO many things to share about this exciting race so be checking back here on my blog and social media sites for more details about the races and my training.

Make sure to Use my code: BRMFRIENDS to save 15% any of the four race distances (10k, half, full, & double) and there is no expiration date!

You can REGISTER HERE:
http://www.blueridgemarathon.com/

Did you know all proceeds of the Blue Ridge Marathon go toward their main beneficiaries the Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway or other local charitable organizations?

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