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{Book Review} Murder Simply Brewed by Vannetta Chapman

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The Book – Murder Simply Brewed

Amber Wright has been managing The Amish Village, a collection of Amish shops, for a very long time and nothing ever really happens there. Then an employee, manager Ethan Grey of A Simple Blend coffee shop, ends up dead and she doesn’t quite believe that is was due to any vandalism.

Amber then hires Hannah Troyer, a young Amish woman, to start managing A Simple Blend, and more unusual things begin to happen around The Village. Amber and Hannah team up to investigate because even the local police think the women are seeing more than is truly there to see.

Mysteries include clues that do not make any sense and Amber and Hannah end up enlisting the help of a neighbor with their investigation. The tides are turning quickly around The Village; will the amateur detectives find themselves at death’s door? Or will they spill the beans and nab the killer before one of them ends up becoming the next victim?

Amber and Hannah must trust each other and overlook their age difference so that they can figure out why things have gone terribly wrong at The Amish Village shops. They will need to learn to rely on each other and God to help them discover the truth, a truth that might have been better left hidden.

My Thoughts

If you know me at all, you know that I am always up for reading a good Amish story. This one takes the cake though! I LOVED the fun mystery and intrigue that this story delivered. There is plenty of Amish characters, traditions, dress, relationships, and more but there is the always engaging Englischer (English) characters that this story does well!

I loved the way that in this story the English and the Amish are working together in The Amish Village. And it was an interesting bond that the author creates with the two main female characters. It was real. I could see myself interacting with these characters, Amber and Hannah, on a daily basis. They are so well written.

Vanessa Chapman does an excellent job in reeling you into the story with a very gripping incident. Not only does she write murder well, she writes detecting and investigating well…amateur super sleuths are on my “to-do-list” so I especially enjoyed the writing of this story.

If you are looking for fun, excitement, a little bit of romance, a healthy dose of relying on God, then grab yourself a copy of this book and dig in. Coffee anyone? There seems to be an opening at the local shop…

I hope you enjoyed this book review and come back soon to see what else I have on my reading list.

In His Grace.

Callie

— This book was NOT a required review. I have one by this author from this series though that I will be reviewing soon. I wanted to read up on the series before I got to that book though. —

 

 

 

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Do Life Big by Jamie Grace for Musical Monday

FUN!

Let us make a habit of jumping into our day with THIS attitude.

Let’s Do Life Big!

Show the world that with Christ anything is possible!

 

 

Lyrics to Do Life Big by Jamie Grace
I gotta slow down,
Stop for a second,
Take a look around,

And I gotta take time,
To hear that little voice inside,

Saying I came to give you life,
So spread your wings and fly,
I’ve got a secret to share,
You are enough to change the atmosphere,

So go and do life big, big
I wanna do life big, big

Break out them blue skies,
I can feel my heart beating inside,
Yeah, it’s like a new day,
Woke up to hear You say,

I came to give you life,
So spread your wings and fly,
Now go and show no fear,
You are enough to change the atmosphere,

So go and do life big, big
I wanna do life big, big

Oh, I wanna love, wanna give every day I live,
I wanna do life big,
I wanna love, serve, and give every chance I get,
I wanna do life big,
Oh, I wanna love, wanna give every day I live,
I wanna do life big,
I wanna love, serve, and give every chance I get,
Oh I wanna do life
I wanna do life big, big

I wanna do life big, big
I wanna do life big, big

I wanna love like You,
I wanna give like You,
Oh, I wanna do life big,
I wanna serve like You,
Lay down my life like You,
I wanna do life big…

I wanna do life…
I wanna do life…
I wanna do life big.
I wanna do life…
I wanna do life…
I wanna do life big.

 

BUY THE ALBUM

Jamie Grace Ready to Fly

 

Go out today and Do Life Big!

In His Grace.

Callie

 

 

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{Blogging for Books Book Review} I’m Happy for You (Sort of…Not Really) by Kay Wills Wyma

I'm Happy for You by Kay Wills Wyma

 

The Book

There are so many ways to handle the comparisons that go on in this modern culture. You can try to ignore it, you can try to stand against the onslaught, or you can be a wise cracking mama just trying to do her best.

Meet Kay Wills Wyma, the woman that wrote down why living in this culture of comparison is just so stinking’ difficult and how we as women can do our utmost to come out the other side fresh and clean instead of covered in sludge and slime. She speaks from her heart about how she is try to find her way and teach her children (and herself) to respond to others with the “I’m Happy for You” phrase. Because there is so much joy lost in today’s comparison culture.

She also speaks about the common “It’s not Fair!” phrase that floats around the house. The point she makes about it is true, the fact that we just don’t want others to be happy because we aren’t. She shows her approach to how to help us and our children come to terms with the equality and inequality of today’s world. And the fact that sometimes, seriously, life isn’t fair but 99% of the time, we will survive.

Kay talks about the ups and downs of having to raise children in this day and age with the advances of technology. This is a critical time for young people and as parents trying to navigate this tech and helping our children learn that their worth is NOT found in how many “likes” they get…this is especially important for adults too, a trap that many fall into without even realizing.

My Thoughts

Throughout the book I am impressed with the truth that Kay speaks on this touchy subject of comparisons. She makes excellent points about the heart of all individuals involved in social media, the church, homeschool groups, school athletics, and so much more.

The world we now live in is extremely “instant gratification” orientated. The reality is that we need to be more focused on the good that we already have instead of what we don’t have. The trails and tribulations that we put ourselves through and others through can be stopped, if we can only remember to Whom we belong and in Whom we have found glory and grace.

Kay does a wonderful job of showing the honestness that goes along with this attitude of trying to be happy for others, yet still struggling with the realness of it all. She is a lovely writer and the bluntness of her writing and the honesty behind her words made me laugh out loud numerous times. Even though this subject is usually one that wants to be avoided, Kay plunges in head first and manages to come out shining on the other end.

I appreciate the way she gently reminds me to try to be the better person even in the midst of the struggle, she makes it okay to admit that THE STRUGGLE is REAL. As long as you are trying to use the “I’m Happy for You” approach, you are winning the war, one battle at a time.

I look forward to reading more from Kay Willis Wyma, she is enjoyable to read and makes me and my life seem much more normal…so thank you Kay for simply keepin’ it real!

Until my next book review…

In His Grace.

Callie


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Blogging For Books book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”

 

 

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Soul on Fire by Third Day for Musical Monday

These words are straight from my mouth to His ear…

Let me run for His heart…to become a soul on fire…YES

 

 

 

Lyrics for Soul on Fire by Third Day
God, I’m running for Your heart
I’m running for Your heart
Till I am a soul on fire
Lord, I’m longing for Your ways
I’m waiting for the day
When I am a soul on fire
Till I am a soul on fire
[x2]

Lord, restore the joy I had
I have wandered, bring me back
In this darkness, lead me through
Until all I see is You

God, I’m running for Your heart
I’m running for Your heart
Till I am a soul on fire
Lord, I’m longing for Your ways
I’m waiting for the day
When I am a soul on fire
Till I am a soul on fire

Lord, let me burn for You again
Let me return to You again
And Lord, let me burn for You again
And let me return to You again

God, I’m running for Your heart
I’m running for Your heart
Till I am a soul on fire
Lord, I’m longing for Your ways
I’m waiting for the day
When I am a soul on fire

God, I’m running for Your heart
I’m running for Your heart
Till I am a soul on fire
I wanna be
Till I am a soul on fire
Till I am a soul on fire

 

BUY THE ALBUM

Third Day - Lead Us Back

 

I hope you are encouraged by the words of this song and that you too yearn to be a Soul on Fire!

In His Grace.

Callie

 

 

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{Product Review} CTC Math for Online Learning for Students

MamasCoffeeShop-CTCMath-Collage

With so many different programs for teaching math out there, it is always wonderful to find one that truly helps your child. When we were offered to review the 12 Month Family Plan from CTC Math we were so excited!

I have so many different levels of learning going on here at the house, that it is beneficial to find a company that can cater to all of those needs. Having school take place in one program is an excellent way to record keep as well as check up on everyones progress at the same time.

The Program

CTC Math is an online computer program and the only requirement is to have a working computer with internet access. This program is also accessible via tablets and iPads.

As with each online program there is the subscription choice, payment, and then the account setup. This was a fairly simply process that did not take me much time. The program that we reviewed allowed our family to set up to 10 children accounts. A HUGE benefit for us, since we have 3 children in separate grades.

Here is the levels of learning that we had access to:

  • Kindergarten
  • 1st Grade
  • 2nd Grade
  • 3rd Grade
  • 4th Grade
  • 5th Grade
  • 6th Grade
  • BASIC math and Pre-Algebra
  • Elementary Measurement
  • Elementary Geometry
  • Algebra 1
  • Pre-Calculus
  • Calculus
  • Algebra 2
  • Geometry
  • Trigonometry

MamasCoffeeShop-CTCMath-GradeLevels

Each grade level has numerous internal levels to choose from as well, which is labeled STREAM. Then from the STREAM you can choose your TOPIC.

The Stream is the break down of the grade level and what should be learned during that grade period. From the Stream you access the Topic, which is the work. Once you have picked your topic to work in, then you are given a break down of individual lessons to increase the knowledge base.

MamasCoffeeShop-CTCMath-Screenshop

This program allows for the best of 3 to be recorded for the record keeping. A popular feature here at our house!

The beauty of this math program is that in the beginning of MOST of the lessons, there is a video that will cover the information that will be required to know in the lesson. There are tips, tricks, and through explanations given. These are all delivered in the most ear pleasing Australian accent (yes, I know…but it is entirely pleasing to listen to!).

MamasCoffeeShop-CTCMath-LessonVideo

MamasCoffeeShop-CTCMath-Numbers

 

There is an Awards page that the student can keep up with their achievements – this is a nice touch that allows the student to peek at their previous awards, it is so easy to access from any point of the student program.

MamasCoffeeShop-CTCMath-Awards

There is also a neat feature that will allow the student to print out their worksheet so that you can keep it on hand (if you would like). It has the subject, the problems,  the answers (correct or incorrect), the date, and the final grade listed on the worksheet. Quite handy and helpful!

MamasCoffeeShop-CTCMath-Worksheet

The most fun for any student is the drills (at least it is this way at my house!). Speed Skills drills are easy to access and to complete.

MamasCoffeeShop-CTCMath-SpeedSkills

CTC Math is NOT aligned to follow the Common Core standards of the educational system, for those of you that try to keep track of this information.

How This Program Worked for Us

There is without a doubt a huge YAY! from us here. Ana used this program the most and she said more than once, “I think the videos are really helpful. He makes the problems easier to understand.” And she is her mother’s daughter, she also thought the video teacher’s voice was easy to listen to!

She was diligent in her work as she used this online math program and she never once gave me any issues when I reminded her that she needed to work on her math. The step by step process was easy enough for her to do this all by herself, and with very little mama interaction was needed.

This program is super easy to work through and understand. She picked up quickly how to navigate the online setup. We have used (and still use) other online math programs but by far, this is Ana’s favorite one!

One of my favorite things that I appreciated with this program is the ability to print out the completed worksheets. As well as the weekly email reports I would receive with my students progress. Easy to monitor the work being completed as well as seeing the items that need more work.

Overall, this is a math program that any child could benefit from. There was little resistance from all parties involved when it came time to work on math!

See how this worked for other Review Crew members:

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Connect with CTC Math on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CTCMath

 

I hope you enjoyed this review and come back soon to see what else we are working on!

In His Grace.

Callie

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