Bible Bravery for Brave Little Girls {Tommy Mommy Review & Giveaway}


I am so excited to share two of the newest resources for girls from Thomas Nelson and its not just because I love pink ;). My first book to share this week is Brave Girls Bible Stories. This is a beautiful hardcover book with quality pages that will withstand frequent use. Good thing, too! My 4 year old claimed it as hers and reads it & talks about it constantly.

To bring each story to life, the book has 5 real girl guides (click link to read about them all!). Each has a distinct personality all her own. There is Hope, a down to earth farm girl, Glory, a girly girl whose parents just divorced, Honor, a brainy animal lover, Gracie, a girl who didn’t grow up with a faith background who found an awesome youth group & now sings at church, and Faith, a homeschooled girl who’s a bit of a perfectionist.

brave Girls bible stories - inside - review

The bible stories are all centered around a brave girl in the bible and each one is led by one of the guides. The header tells you where to find the story in your Bible and a bible verse related to the story (not necessarily from that book in the bible). The brave girl guide draws a parallel between a real life situation and the girl in the bible story to follow. Once the story is done, the guide returns to share more insights about the story and life. There is a short prayer at the end to ask God to make you more like whoever.

brave girls bible stories review inside

Brave Girls Bible Stories is aimed at girls ages 4-8. Sometimes, I think the guide commentary for the story is a little older than that age group, but kids are growing up quicker these days. I try to keep my littles, little. Nothing concerning, but I just had to explain some things, like beauty pageants.

Overall, this is an awesome book. My youngest adored it! My 6 year old would come while I read it aloud but didn’t read it on her own. I think the illustrations are gorgeous and learning about all the brave girls in the bible led to lots of talks on different ways to be brave. My youngest has even tried to BE more brave so yay! If you have young girls, I would totally recommend this book for them.

Interested in winning a copy of Brave Girls Bible Stories for a little girl YOU know?   Use the widget below to enter.  Please note that a comment answering the question is MANDATORY!


Good luck!

Jen S.

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3 Date Ideas for Busy Parents – October 2014: Fall Fun {Serve Your Spouse Saturday #32}

Date Ideas for Busy Parents - fall fun

I feel like I’ve been living in a cave for the last few months!  Between the vacation, recovery from said vacation, and the fact that my meds were off, dating has NOT been on my radar.  It’s a shame cause hubby rocks and there are some awesome fun fall things to do together!   With that being said, the date ideas for busy parents theme for October is Fall Fun.

For Free

Sort on cash?  Go for a hike or a bike ride and admire the fall colors!   There are still some fairly nice days, even here in the frozen tundra :).   You could pack some apples or donuts and a thermos of warm spiced cider before you come home.

For Cheap

If hiking isn’t your style and you have some spare change, try a u-pick apple orchard.   Often they will have apples to try.  You could even buy a small bag to take home and make an apple pie.

Another frugal idea is a corn maze.  We have several options in our area and while the kids hated it, I would love to wander through and sneak a few kisses ;).

Our local radio station has a daily discount and we got hayrides, cider & apples for 1/2 off.  I found tickets for the haunted lighthouse and corn mazes, too.  If you can’t find a local site like that, try Groupon!

For Fun

If have the budget for it & a sitter, fall is an awesome time for a getaway.  Some hotels may charge more during color tour, but I bet it will still be less than summer rates, so book an overnight trip.

Find an awesome place to view the changing colors and spend the night. Go out for a hardy seasonal meal, enjoy some beer or spiced cider, and sit in front of a warm fireplace.  If you can find a room with a fireplace AND a jacuzzi, it won’t matter if you missed the leaves or not ;).


I think fall might be my favorite season and I always have more to do than I can fit into the 6 weeks of fall we get.

What are your favorite fall date ideas?

Jen S.


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3 Fall Cleaning Tasks You’ve Put Off Too Long



The weather has started to turn cold already and while I’m still hoping for an Indian Summer, I’m not counting on it. Now that we are back from our vacation, we are in full on winter preparation mode. Here are 3 fall cleaning tasks that you may have put off too long.

1. Furnace Tune Up

Have you EVER done one? If you haven’t, I would schedule one before the furnace guy’s schedule fills up. Why? Think of it like going to the dentist. It’s better to get a filling done before it gets so big that you are prepared to get pliers & pull the tooth out yourself (or pay emergency heating rates). They will check for corrosion, gas leaks, to be sure you fan motor is working properly and more. When you call to schedule, ask for a list. And the $30 Groupon check is NOT going to be the same as the $200 check.

2. Vacuum Ductwork

Have you ever vacuumed out the heat ducts? Me neither. But I have 3 kids. So join me in giving them a good vacuum this fall. I hate to dust, so if I vacuum out the ducts, I can reduce the dust, at least in theory. You hate dusting, too? Replace your furnace filter monthly. It will help your furnace run more efficiently, too.

3. Windows & Screens

Maybe you are more on top of things than I am and clean your windows regularly, but chances are its been a good long while since they’ve had a good deep cleaning. Are the inside sills clean? How about the screens? Have you washed those lately? Now that there is no more pollen flying, it would be a great time to get the windows & screens cleaned to let what little winter light there is, in! Since you won’t be opening windows in sub zero temps the sills will be clean for long enough to feel good :). While there, check for drafts and fix any you come across.


Fall Cleaning List


Feeling ready to take on more seasonal cleaning?  You can download the complete list by clicking the image above.  If you are short on time, visit my post at Homemaker’s Challenge — Quick & Easy Fall Cleaning Tasks.

Jen S.

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Merging Fitness & Technology {Me…Elsewhere!}

Over at Catholic last month, I talked about 4 ways I’ve used technology to help with my fitness goals.


I’ve been meaning to get back to an exercise routine all summer. Now that I’m not outside all day with nice weather, I need to be extra diligent about it. On Labor Day weekend we went to visit my family and were sent home with a Wii & an EA Active 2 that my dad had won from work. I’m excited to start using it now that we are back from our vacation. My question for you is:

How do you use technology for exercise?

Go to to read all about the 4 ways I Merge Exercise & Technology and share yours!


Jen S.

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Deceived {Book Review}

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links; thanks for your support!

I read a LOT of books.  Sometimes for fun and sometimes for review.  Either way, I like to read suspense novels and Christian romance when I read fiction.   One of my absolute favorite suspense novelists is Irene Hannon.   If you’ve been reading a while, you’ve seen reviews of some of her other books — Fatal Judgement, Deadly Pursuit and Vanished.   I just finished reading her newest book in the Private Justice series, Deceived.

Oh. My. Goodness.  What a KILLER book, pardon the pun.   This is the third book in the Private Justice series and while I read the first one, I haven’t read the second and don’t feel like I missed anything.  While it shares characters, it’s totally an independent book.  Deceived is the story of a woman who loses both her husband and 4-year old son in a fishing accident.  She goes through her grief and moves to St. Louis.  A small boy catches her ear when she hears him use a phrase her son used to use in a crowded mall…poppysicle.  She looks up at him and yells her sons name.   She swore she saw some sort of recognition and her doubts about the “accident” make her crazy.

She visits a PI who cautiously agrees to take the case.  She hopes that it’s her son since his body was never found but is prepared to accept the dead end she assumes the PI will get to.  Except that he doesn’t.  Over the course of investigating the case, sparks fly.  And things get tense as a series of events lead them closer to discovering the truth.

What a good read!  I should have had this review up by the 8th, but for some reason I thought I had until yesterday.  I was torn between blasting through the book because I had a short deadline (some family stuff last week put me behind) and savoring it.  I chose to savor it and didn’t get it finished in time.   It was awesome.

I will admit, there were some things that would almost NEVER happen in real life unless it was an honest to God Miracle (capital M intended).  But it IS fiction, right, so who cares.  She did a fabulous job of weaving the story and tying the different elements and story lines together.  The motivation was masterfully unraveled and was totally enjoyable.  I liked the characters and really want to check out the middle one, which I missed.

If you like suspense novels, but can’t take normal mainstream fiction due to the level of gore and detail, you will LOVE Deceived or any novel by Irene Hannon.  She does a fabulous job of making suspense have umph without gore.  If you are looking for a new book to read, you should really check it out!


Jen S.

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