Friday, February 28, 2014

You’re Going to Be Okay

9780800720629You’re Going to Be Okay – Encouraging Truth Your Heart Needs to Hear, Especially on the Hard Days
Written by Holley Gerth
Published at Revell, a Baker Publishing Group division.

About the book

If your life isn't perfect . . .
If you've ever been disappointed . . .
If you feel stressed or tired . . .

This is for you.

You really are going to be okay. And it truly is possible to live with joy, resilience, and strength no matter what life brings. Yes, there will be hurt and hard times. But God wants to help you find ways to survive, grow stronger, and even thrive--no matter what happens.
With her trademark positive encouragement and probing questions for self-reflection, bestselling author Holley Gerth encourages you to spend less of your life stressing or regretting and more of your life truly living.

My Thoughts

The title itself reminded me something my husband and I used to say often in the early years of our marriage:

Everything is gonna be all right.

We still say it every once in a while as it has become one of our saying when things are tougher.  So the title attracted me to the book along with the fact that I had reviewed her two previous titles with Revell.

Once again Holley Gerth has found a way to help women to dig out the truth in their lives be writing a jewel of a book that will encourage the reader into seeking what is best for her.   Mind you, the author not only lift up the spirit of the reader but she also pushes you to take the time to think about the true words about yourself.   Here’s the thing – most women will eventually start believing the lies that the enemy wants them to hear.  But deep down, as a child of the Living God we don’t need to take these thoughts for reality because they are false.  Thoughts like “You never do anything right.” or “Nobody wants to spend time with you.”

These thoughts are not from God himself.  With the help of the guidance provided in this book, the reader will dig, search, and discover the truth about herself.   Throughout the book the author has included places for you to ponder and write down answers to specific questions like:

What was the situation you were in when you felt insecure?

What were you afraid would happen?

Why would it matter to you if that did happen?

The questions, if you take the time to answer, is the first step toward healing and learning to hear the truth about yourself.  Also included in this book, is a Go Deeper Guide which allow you as an individual or with a group of other women to study each chapter individually and dig deeper on your own journey.  The author is very encouraging through the pages of this book and only seek that everyone have healthy thoughts about themselves.

I think this is a fabulous book for all women in life as we have a tendency of believing the lies about ourselves.   This book will allow you to regret less and live truthfully.

You’re Going to Be Okay is available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, even and



Disclaimer: The book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Asia: It’s People and History

999230_657265911002281_1188635828_nAsia: It’s People and History
Written by Bonnie Rose Hudson
Available at

About the book

Welcome to Asia: Its People and History!  Is the land of Asia a mystery to your kids?  Do they know who lives there?  Do they know how to pray for them?  Asia is home to more than fifty countries and territories and roughly three-fifths of the world’s population.  Could you use some help introducing your family to this vast land?  This sixteen-week course presents a brief picture of six nations.  It is by no means all encompassing.  Its purpose is to introduce your students to the people of Asia, share their stories, and spark curiosity.

I pray that the course does much more than that, however. I pray that through meeting just a few of our brothers and sisters who live in cities and villages with names that are hard to pronounce that your children feel more connected with those who are suffering for their faith in Christ. Through stories and activities, we’ll meet the people of Laos, Bangladesh, Nepal, China, Iran, and Vietnam. We’ll get to know the children of these lands and hear about their experiences. Most of all, we’ll pray for them and their families. Won’t you join us?

Who is Bonnie Rose Hudson?

Bonnie Rose Hudson works with both and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine® as a curriculum creator and editorial assistant. Her heart’s desire is for every child to feel the love of God and know how special they are to Him. She would love for you to stop by and meet the star of her children’s series at Exploring with Jake , look through the 10/40 window of the world and join others in prayer at Looking Out the 10/40 Window, or stop by her author’s blog for fun printables and discover how you can write for the homeschool market.

Our Thoughts

In the midst of the February blues, the Olympics, the running around to get 2nd and 3rd opinion for orthodontic treatment for my oldest son, we sat down numerous time in our living room to learn more about Laos in the pdf version of Asia: Its People and History.    The main reason why I decided to embark on this review team is that I knew it would introduce something different to our kids during what I consider the toughest month of the year when you homeschool and we have friends who are missionaries in a country in Asia – Thailand.  

The countries you will visit with this book are Laos, Bangladesh, Nepal, China, Iran, Vietnam. Each country is divided into 2-4 weeks of study which includes stories, discussion questions, history as well as fun activities.

So what do you know about Laos?   Well, I sure didn’t know much about that country so the kids and I embarked on a journey to discover more about it.  The first week, we learned about how Jesus came to Laos and how it impacted a specific village in one of the areas.   It was a moving story about how it is illegal to own a Bible in that country and how Jesus provided for a specific need for the main character.   The following week, you learn more about Laos itself and discover its history.   During the reading of that week, we got introduced at a map of the part of Asia where Laos is located.   Well, it turns out that it is one of the northern border of Thailand (the other one being Myanmar where our friends are the closest as they live near Chiang Mai).  Realizing that Laos was so close to Thailand was interesting.  The first part of that week, was a mini history lessons and the second part of the chapter was providing more information on what life as a Christian is in Laos.  At the end of the chapter, you are directed toward two downloadable free book from Kids of Courage in which you can learn more about the people of Laos: Bold Believers of the Hmong People and Bold Believers Among the Khmu of Southeast Asia.  There is also a crossword activity included for the kids to do.

During the third week, we read another story about a family of believers who were rejected by the villagers because of their faith.   The family was split in two because a brother at stayed in fear of standing up on his faith.  Though circumstances will reunite them in the end.  Reading this story, helped the kids and I realize the struggles that believers in many countries have to face on a daily basis.  Sometimes I think that we have it easy in North America and that it would be a great way to gleaned the true believers from the flaky ones if you see what I mean…  Again discussion questions are following this chapter in order to allow you and your kids to talk about what you have read.   Finally, this past week, we learned more about who lived in Laos by discover two of the hundred people groups that can be found there.   We also read some stories of Christians living in two provinces of Laos – Laos contains sixteen provinces.   And then at the end of that week, there is a printable puzzle that you can do with the kids.IMG_0385

During the weeks were we read and learned more about Laos, my daughter who is six years old and is a Sparkie at Awana was working on her Wing Runner Frequent Flyer Extra Credit Cards.  She had recently completed the Book Review verses and was finishing up the TakeOff section when she entered in the Passport section of the book.   This specific section introduce the importance of sharing the Gospel in other countries and how you need a passport to travel.  Anyhow, each pages of this book contains activities in the back of them – like coloring, find the image by following numbers and so on.   Well, she came to me one day last week all excited because at the back on the first thing she had to do in the Passport section there was a map of Asia and she learned fun facts about the country of Laos – People who live in Laos speak Lao and People eat a lot of rice in Laos.   She was trilled to show me the map and pointing at the country of Laos which was marked as well.  She decided that she would color the country just because we have learned more about it.     She was so proud to have Laos mentioned in her Awana book that it was simple priceless to see her excitement.  All I can say is thank you Bonnie for writing about Laos in this book.

My only disappointment is that there isn’t more countries of Asia included in this book.  But it’s a great introduction of Asia, the people living there and the history linked to the countries.   I would also have included some recipes in order to make the experience of visiting a country via this book more interesting and introduce the kids to different flavors from Asia.   On the other hand, I guess you could expand the exploration of a country on your own if you want to do that.

Needless to say, the kids are already looking forward to explore Bangladesh the next few weeks.   February being what it is I think this book is a great way to do something different while we wait for spring to come.   We enjoyed learning more about Laos and look forward to learn more about the other countries in this book in the weeks to come.

To make the study even more interesting, the author has put together a variety of bonus content linked to the countries found in the book.  You can find them on her website at Asia It’s People and History Bonus Content.


Two of my readers can get the DDF copy of the book

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Asia: It’s People and History is available on  The Schoolhouse Store, SmashWords as well as and



Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Pointing Fingers

pointingfingersPointing Fingers
From Hasbro Canada

About the game

Who's done what? You'll find out in the hilarious game of Pointing Fingers! You'll also find out how well you know your family and friends in this fast-paced question-and-answer game. Each person reads a question from one of the cards, then everyone else writes down how often they've done it on their Truth Meters. Then you point out who you think has done it the most with your funny Foam Finger! If you're right, you score. Don't miss out on the big laughs and hilarious discoveries of the Pointing Fingers game!
Pointing Fingers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

Game includes 6 Foam Fingers, 6 Truth Meters, 100 cards and instructions.  For 3 to 6 players.

My Thoughts

I didn’t know what to expect about this game…. The title itself kind of throw me off as we usually have the wrong impression when you point at someone right?   Well this game use  and extra wide finger in order to point at another player but it’s only to identify the one who does something the most.

Let me explain to you how the game works.  First you select a card and one person read a question out loud.   There are three different questions on the card so you need to pick one and that’s the one that people will answer.   For example, one card will say

Have you ever….pointingfingers2

--> Talked your way out of trouble?

--> Sleepwalked?

--> Been chased by a wild animal?

Whichever question you have selected, the players will select their truth meter and picks how often they’ve done it.

Then, everyone put their green finger and have to point to who does it the most.   You score points if you are right.

As you can see it’s a simple game that could easily be used at a party, as a ice breaker or during a youth event.    And sometimes you can have surprises in the way your friends and/or family might answer some of these questions.   Hilarious moments are expected and be aware that the truth will come out whether you like it or not.

This kind of game would be definitively more fun with a bunch of people.  I would say that six people would make the game more interesting.   I would also recommend this game for get-together with family on special holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year.   

Pointing Fingers is available at your favourite game store, even and


Disclaimer: Thanks to Hasbro Canada for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes . I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Underground to Canada

PG01d_Underground_D1.inddUnderground to Canada
Written by Barbara Smucker
Published at Penguin Books

About the book

Taken away from her mother by a ruthless slave trader, all Julilly has left is the dream of freedom. Every day that she spends huddled in the slave trader’s wagon travelling south or working on the brutal new plantation, she thinks about the land where it is possible to be free, a land she and her friend Liza may reach someday. So when workers from the Underground Railroad offer to help the two girls escape, they are ready. But the slave catchers and their dogs will soon be after them…

Our Thoughts

I will admit that I knew about the Underground Railroad but I never really realized that the place where former slaves were trying to escape to was Canada – not until I read this book.   I was born and raised in Quebec and the Underground Railroad was not part of the history of that province.    And as far as I can remember it was never really mentioned in the history of Canada lessons either.   But I married a Franco-Ontarian and we live in Ontario.   When I started to homeschool, I stumbled here and there on mentioned of Underground Railroad but somehow I thought it was about slaves trying to reach the northern states of the US.

Imagine my surprise when I read this marvelous novel who introduced me to the adventure of leaving the plantation where a slave was to escape north toward freedom.   As I read this book, I was hooked and my oldest son also read it in an incredible short period of time.  Both of us enjoyed learning more about the process of the Underground Railroad and discovering how much time it took to reach a destination.

Reading this book was an eye opener on something that was part of Canada’s history as well as the USA.    We learned quite a bit about the Underground Railroad.  The book also contains information on the author, a list of the main people involved in the Underground Railroad, things to do and things to think about.   It also contains a glossary as well as a bibliography for those of you who would like to read more on the subject.

Underground to Canada is available at your favourite bookstore, even and


Disclaimer: Thanks to Penguins Book Canada for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Kicking the boredom of winter with DK Ultimate Stickers Books


Let’s admit it…  With the cold weather we have experienced since December we do feel as though winter is dragging here.  You might have experience cabin fever from your kids for quite some time too.  DK Canada has a special offer for you right now.   The Sticker Book Boutique will give you one sticker book free when you purchase two of them.   I think it is a marvelous time to stock up on fun books for your kids for the new special event or the next cold temperatures.    The Buy2 Get 1 Free Sticker Book Boutique is there only for a few weeks so be quick to order some now.

For the purpose of this blog post, DK Canada has sent me a few of their books for my kids.   We have received the Superman Ultimate Sticker Book, the Batman Ultimate Sticker Book, the Spider-Man Ultimate Sticker Book, the Smithsonian Animals, The Children’s Bible, as well as the brand new Lego Movie Sticker Book.


This morning – for Valentine Day – we let the three youngest select the one they wanted to work on.    Jasmine was the first to select hers and she quickly picked up the new Lego Movie one.  Jérémy selected the Superman while Dominic chose the Batman one.   Yes I do have comics fans though both boy were a bit disappointed that they little sister selected the Lego Movie book.


Needless to say, it didn’t take long for them to jump in sticker mode and search for the ones to complete their books…


Each books contain some information on the theme presented – like Batman, Spider-Man, Animals… – and will entertain your kids for a bit.    Two of the titles I have received could be more used as part of your homeschool – with one allowing them to discover the Bible via a new angle and the other one allowing them to explore the world of Animals.   The Smithsonian Animals book is particularly interesting as they will discover animal families, build a shark or a chameleon, play some games, learn more about the life cycles of different animals, and much more.   Each of the books we have received contains more than 600+ stickers.  

Some stickers book are more geared for girls while other would grab the interest of boys.  However, other ones are neutral when it comes to the gender.  With numerous titles available at DK Canada, you can be sure that you will find something interesting for your kids…  Be quick to order some fun sticker books for your kids on the Sticker Book Boutique at DK Canada.


Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for sending me the above mentioned title for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Banff boots from Boutique Amimoc

Facebook is a great way of discover contest.  During the Christmas season, there were a lot of contests flying on this social media site.   I participated at many of them.  I won a few things too in the last two months.

Last year, I even won a gift certificate at Linen Chest which allowed me to get the T-Fal Actifry Family size.  Yes – it pays to participate to contests sometimes.

BanffBoots AmimocSo today, here I am to present you the latest prize I have won – the Banff boots from Boutique Amimoc.   Boutique Amimoc has opened its doors in July 2012 in Quebec City.  More specifically, it is located in the Petit-Champlain quarter which is very accessible to tourists.   It is a relatively new boutique which Quebecers doesn’t know much yet.   The idea for the contest was to get the brand know.  They initially hoped for 400 likes on facebook when they launched the contest back in December.    At the time of this blog post, they have reached 10, 842 likes.   The power of social media has exceeded their dreams in way.  Due the high participation of sharing the image and the numerous likes that Boutique Amimoc has received, they have decided to give away four pair of boots – two in December and two in January.

The contest was held until the end of January.   I participated back in December never thinking twice about it when I checked my messages on facebook on February 1st.    I realized that there was one message in the “Other” folder.   I checked and it was a message informing me that I had won a pair of boots.  Seriously?   WoW!  I was one of the two last winners…

Currently, they do not have an online store but you can see their products on their facebook page and order via the manager’s email – Lucie at   They are working on having an online site available later in 2014.

The company who makes the boots and mocassins, Auclair & Martineau, exist since 1956.  Through the years, they have developed an expertise in order to provide the best product for the winters in the province of Quebec.    The mocassins are still made by hand according to the traditions from the First Nations.

So I could pick any color offered for my prize.   In a way, I was glad that there was only three colors to choose from because more than that I would have been overwhelmed…  *grin*  Seriously, though I debated for a full day before sending the color I wanted. 

Here are the options offered:

imageBanff Brun  Jaune 200.$ image

Black and White scream classic to me.   To think of it I don’t think I ever had winter boots of that color.   It would be nice for a more formal outing with my husband like a date.   Besides, like a friend of mine said classic would last a long time as the color will still be there in a few years.  Even my mother-in-love said that the black one would be more practical.

Brown and yellow – again brown is classic but the touch of yellow is a but funky.   I always had brown boots as an adult.  Though I find these beautiful, I am not picking this color because I recently purchased a pair of tan Chloe boots from Baffin  So seeing that I have some brownish colored boots, this particular color wasn’t speaking to me.

There is also the Wine and Kiwi color which speak to me in a way of saying you can be different.   My only hesitation for this color would be will I still like them in two years from now?   That’s a tricky question…   Though on another note, they would definitively be different than what I am used to wear and more colorful too.    I really like the reddish color on them but not too keen about the kiwi part of them.  If it would have been sand then I wouldn’t have hesitated one minute and selected that one.   But deep down there was hesitation in me.   I was unsure of this color…

In the end, I choose the black ones because I wanted them to last long.   However, I was curious to see what my daughter would have picked.   Turns out that she picked the black ones too without one hint of hesitation when she saw the image with the three boots on it.

Concerning the size of the boots.   I was told that the sizes are pretty good and correspond to the regular size your would wear on other footwear.   Since I was wearing size 10 in running shoes and boots, I ordered the same size for these.

I was told that it could take 10 days for the delivery.  I was okay with the delay.  After all, why should I complain when I won the boots right?   Yesterday, I got the confirmation of the shipment and today… the door bell rang.    A package had arrived.  It was the boots… and they are a perfect fit too!


I find it interesting that there is a zipper on the side of the boot.   This is definitively something new for me as all the boots I had in the past never had a zipper.  The zipper is located on the side facing the interior of the legs.


And here is a close up of the side and interior of the boots. The leather has been specially treated to be waterproof.   Apparently it is highly resistant to salt stain (which I didn’t had the opportunity to test yet!).  The leather is fully breathable which allows the transpiration to evaporate if necessary.  The lining is made of genuine wool and will keep your feet warm during the cool weather.   


As I am writing this, I have inserted my feet in the boots and wear them in the house.   It might be silly for some but it allows me to experience the comfort of the boots in my feet.   The insole can be removed from the bottom of the boot and is shape in such a way that your feet will sit in it perfectly well.  I find that the boot snug closely to my ankle and bottom part of my legs as well.   It’s good in a way because you have less chances to have snow sneaking on you and trying to come in your boots.


I am quite pleased with the prize I have received from Boutique Amimoc.   I think the boots will be perfect from when I go out with my husband on a date.   Many thanks to Boutique Amimoc to have decided to give extra pair of boots!

The Banff boots are made made in Québec City.  They are waterproof and wool lined.  They can handle -30 Celcius temperature.  Their price is 200$ each plus taxes.    If you want to order a pair of Banff boots from Boutique Amimoc, don’t hesitate to contact Lucie at  She is very helpful and nice to deal with.   

Disclaimer: Thanks to Boutique Amimoc for sending me the above mentioned product. I won the pair of boots from a contest held on facebook and was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

No Cape Required: A Devotional

NoCapteRequiredNo Cape Required: A Devotional – 52 Ways to Unleash Your Inner Hero
Written by Kristen Parrish
Published at Thomas Nelson

About the book

What do Katniss Everdeen, Spider-Man, and Huckleberry Finn have in common? They’re heroes—and you can be just like them.

As children, we dream of throwing on a cape and changing the world. Then we grow up, we learn to see the flaws in our movie stars and athletes, and we accept that true heroism is not possible in the real world. You continue to dream, though. Isn’t that why you still love watching heroes on the big screen? It’s more than just wish fulfillment. You resonate with Superman’s justice and Dorothy’s courage because you have those same qualities within yourself.

In these pages, Kristen Parrish looks at the qualities of fifty-two heroes, and then shows how you can acquire every one of those qualities. No gamma rays or radioactive spider bites are needed. You can unleash your inner hero through prayer and practical action.

Men and women, boys and girls alike, will find role models within these pages. While others watch and dream on the sidelines, you can step out in faith, learning from heroic examples and praying for God’s help to make you who you were meant to be.

The Holy Spirit enables us to do great things. Find out how. No cape required.

My Thoughts

I will be honest with your dear reader.  The first time I saw this title offered I somewhat rolled my eyes.   I thought that it would be cheesy.  But then I read the description and my curiosity was picked.  You see we are comic books fans in this household and I knew that my kids would enjoy going through these devotionals with me during our homeschool.   So the book was requested and I waited patiently for it to arrive.

When the book finally came home, I quickly read a few devotional to get a feel for the book and from what I have read I seriously think that the book has potential.   The first one I read was about Friendship – Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk from Star Trek.   I thought it was very interesting that coincidently we were watching the Star Trek movies with the oldest boys in order to introduce them to the Star Trek Universe.   Anyhow, the devotion starts with a scripture and goes on how friendship is portrayed between the Vulcan and the Human.  Part of the explanation also brings back the final moments of Spock has he is separated from his friend.  Then the author reminds us that friendship is a gift from God and encourages us to nurture our friends in life.   A prayer is also included at the end of the devotion as well as some suggestions in the Take Action section.  I also read a few more and all devotions have the same pattern even though they are based on different heroes in the culture.

Through the book you will touch subjects like justice, friendship, hope in others, mentoring, charity, hope, repentance, quiet service, kindness, tender care, protectiveness, growth, loyalty, truthfulness, faith in others, compassion, independence, integrity, fearlessness, coolness under pressure, wisdom, intrepidness, honor, determination, encouragement, courage, bearing burdens, rising to the occasion, mastery, patience, bravery, eagerness, gallantry, putting others before yourself, teachability, forgiveness, honesty, optimism, responsibility, relentlessness, resourcefulness, duty, community, faith in God, love, overcoming, self-sacrifice, strong will, leadership, and thankfulness.  Each and every single one of these devotions are linked to a hero/heroine from comics, movies, books and much more.   You will encounter Storm from the X-Men, Judah Ben-Hur from the more Ben-Hur. Don Quizote, Spider-Man, Morpheus and Trinity from The Matrix, Indiana Jones, Huckleberry Finn, and many more that I won’t list here.   Each time a new hero is presented, you also get the reference where he/she can be found.   This could spark the interest of the reader in a way.

The more I read some of these devotionals, the more an idea has sprouted in my mind.   I am thinking I shall start doing a devotional each week with the kids and challenge them and myself with one of the Take Action steps offered in the book.    That way we could all grow together in becoming more like Christ during the next 52 weeks.  The book doesn’t have to be started at the beginning of the year to be enjoyed.   Being one devotions a week, I think it is a perfect way to incorporate fun devotions in our homeschool.

No Cape Required will challenge you to always step out of your comfort zone and teach you how to become a servant at heart – a true hero in the faith.

No Cape Required is available for purchase at your favourite bookstore, even and




Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Nelson for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes . I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.