Alone Yet Not Alone Book review and Giveaway

in , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Thursday, August 29, 2013
Material Disclosure: As a member of FlyBy Promotions, I received a free copy of this book to facilitate my review and to host a giveaway.  All opinions expressed our 100% my own. 

Reviewing children’s or young adult books can be a hit or miss endeavor, because sometimes a book you think will hold your child’s interest doesn’t. This was not the case with Alone yet Not Alone. I will go into more detail about that in my review, but first let me tell you about the book and movie coming in September. There’s a giveaway too at the bottom.

About Alone yet Not Alone:

Settled in the Blue Mountains of Pennsylvania, deep within America's new frontier, the Leininger family celebrates the blessings of a beautiful homestead and bountiful harvest. That is, until tragedy strikes with the beginning of the French and Indian War and the devastating raid known as the Penn's Creek Massacre. 

The lives of this simple, God-fearing family are forever altered when Barbara and Regina, two young sisters, are carried away by the Delaware tribe. Driven by their faith in God and the powerful bonds of family, Barbara and Regina hold firmly to the belief that they are never alone, even in their darkest hour, and that they will be reunited again. 

Rich in historical details, Alone Yet Not Alone is an inspirational, true story of a family caught in the cross fire of the French and Indian War. 

About The Author: 

Tracy Leininger Craven loves history and retelling real-life stories in her historical fiction books. She also loves spending her free time in the great outdoors with her husband David and their four children.

My Review:

I have to admit, I was a little concerned about how in depth the author might go in details of the French and Indian war. Be warned, there are parts of this book that deal with the ugliness of this part of our American history. 
While there are parts in this book that tell of the terrible ordeals this family endured, Mrs. Craven wrote about them in a way that wasn’t graphic or over the top.

I enjoyed this books flow and story line. It drew me in from the first chapter. The Leininger family are a close-knit Christian family that was very relatable even though the lived so long ago.

My ten year old daughter devoured this book! She absolutely loved it and asked to stay up a little longer because she was at a really good part. She had this book read in record time, which speaks volume's to the authors gifted pen. 

We highly recommend this book for your tween reader 10 or over because of the subject matter. This is an inspiring book, full of faith and family love, which in my humble opinion, our world needs more of.

And Alone Yet not Alone Movie will be released in theaters September 27, 2013. 

 Starring: Kelly Greyson, Natalie Racoosin, Clay Walker, Jenn Gotzon, Joanie Stewart, Ozzie Torres, Tony Wade.

Families will love this film based on a true story!  Awarded 5 Doves from the Dove Foundation! 

You can connect with Alone Yet not Alone on their website, Facebook and Twitter or watch the movie trailer on You Tube.

 As always, I hope you found this review helpful. 

About the giveaway:

Enter to win a copy of Alone Yet not Alone for your little reader. Open to United States residents 18 or older. No purchase is necessary. All terms and conditions can be read on the Rafflecopter form below. My WAHM Plan is not responsible for shipment of prize.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: As a member of FlyBy Promotions, I received a free copy of this book to facilitate my review and to host a giveaway .  All opinions expressed our 100% my own. 

Rage Against Mini- Skanks

in , , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Monday, August 26, 2013

Can I wear makeup? Lots of other girls do? My answer: No!

Can I dye my hair? So and so has highlights? My answer: No!

Then can I Kool-Aid the bottom? Everybody does. My answer: maybe.

Can I get contacts? My answer: Not yet.

Can I wear high heels? My answer: Really? Seriously?

I’m not raising you to be some mini-skank I say. Using the terminology she will understand. Afterall, she heard it first at school. 

 Skank - Derogatory term for a (usually younger) female, implying trashiness or tackiness, lower-class status, poor hygiene, flakiness, and a scrawny, pockmarked sort of ugliness. May also imply promiscuity, but not necessarily. Can apply to any race, but most commonly used to describe white trash. Source Urban dictionary.


*Sigh*. Some of you may think I’m referencing snippets of conversation with my 14 year old daughter, but no. Sadly, these are all exchanges between my 10 year old daughter and me.

Yes, 10! Okay, 10 and half if you really want to get technical, but please see my point: She is not a teen yet and I won’t let you have her immoral society!  I will rage against you with all my might! You aren’t getting her when she’s a teen either!

 Even her 14 year old sister does not have this kind of peer pressure! She’s a freshman in high school and she and her friends show way less skin than the majority of elementary school girls my daughter has to swim with. These are some seriously shark infested waters and while my dear daughter knows I’m going say no to stuff, she still feels compelled to ask. She doesn't want to be a mini- skank anymore than I want her to, so why the questions?

One word: Recess. 

Do you know what the topic of conversation is at a 5th grade recess? You would be shocked!  The populars and even the want to be populars are taking things up a notch. Hang on Moms of little daughters, you are about to get schooled.

Did you know it’s “weird” if you don’t already shave or wax your legs? Did you know that wearing a padded bra makes you "sexy" and "regular" girls who are maturing at a normal rate, like my daughter aren't "sexy"? 
 Did you know that watching R rated movies and T.V. with or without parental supervision is normal? And woe is the child who has no idea what the  other girls are talking about because they'll hear, "um, like, you're weird." Don't even get me started on books. 

Did you know that it is abnormal to come from a full on functioning family? One that has a Mom and a Dad at home every blooming night?
 Did you know that your daughters and sons for that matter are supposed to have already been dating, or at the very least have a crush on somebody?

 Now you do. All this according to the girls doing their best to be mini-skanks and drag all the good girls down with them at the ripe old age of ten. Lord help me.  

What is wrong with this world? They are kids! Just kids! Parents, please wake up.  Don’t help them aspire to be mini- skanks. Don’t teach them that gossip and name calling and being “sexy” is all that life is about. Don't condone mean girl behavior just so they can be popular, or run with the populars, or the want to be populars!

I know it is unpopular for me to even bring this up but isn't it about time somebody does?

I compromise when and where I can so that I don’t make my daughters a social outcast. I try not to see the shorty shorts and multiple bra and cami straps hanging out everywhere when I go to school to volunteer or have lunch with my 10 year old. 
 I make sure I compliment my daughters choices AND her friends choice of attire when I can. A “cute” outfit compliment can go a long way.

I try not to pre-judge the parents of those girls who are clearly breaking dress code. I try not to be upset that I am one of the few reading the flippin’ dress code!

 I try not to be a prude… but some of the parents around here or maybe everywhere, are too tired or non- caring to put their foot down and say no. Or, maybe they see the over sexualization of our kids as okay, or at the very least, no big deal.  Geez, maybe I am a prude. 

 I remember to be thankful for the parents and girls at our schools swimming upstream with my daughter and me.

At the end of the day, it simply isn’t my job to teach or preach or raise the world. Only my daughters.  My beautiful, sweet, fun daughters who have morals and values and thankfully have found birds of a feather to flock with.

I thumb my nose at you mini- skanks of the world, you can’t have them and here’s a newsflash they really don’t want to be like you, they just want you to shut up on the playground or in the halls and leave everybody alone.  

End Rage.

So, how’s your Monday?

I participated in this campaign for One2One Network. I received a free copy of the CD to facilitate my review.  All opinions stated are my own.

When One2One Network sent out the invitation to review the latest CD from Court Yard Hounds, I jumped at the chance.  We've been fans of Emily and Martie's wonderful harmonizing and artistic playing  since the first Dixie Chicks single went mainstream. 
Personally, I am thrilled that all 3 ex- Dixie Chicks are still friends and still recording music! 

About Court Yard Hounds:

Courtesy: One2One Network
After a few years away from the lime light and the Dixie Chicks, the two sisters (Emily Robison and Martie Maguire) were ready to get back into the studio with the creation of Court Yard Hounds, named after the novel within Game of Thrones creator David Benioff’s novel City of Thieves. The process proved exhilarating and fulfilling and was welcomed with much critical and fan praise, securing the girls a spot in the Top 10 of the Billboard Charts for their debut. To them a follow-up album was a clear next step, affirming the Court Yard Hounds as a band, not just a side project.
The Court Yard Hounds’ new album is a clear statement of who the girls are as artists, defining their sound as a band, with soaring songs that are personal, yet familiar and widely relatable.”

About Amelita:

Courtesy: One2One Network
Containing 11 new tracks, Robison and Maguire to a different approach with Amelita than their debut album in 2010. This album contains a new perspective, which is due in part to time passed since Robison's divorce. I’ve been freed of all of those time-heals-everything kind of things,” says Robison. “Now, I’ve opened up to other ideas and ways of looking at life and the world. I think it’s not only a more hopeful album, but it’s more… well fun.

My Review:

I was so excited to see Amelita in my mailbox! I really liked the style of the CD jacket. I think it tells you a lot about the artists and the songs you are about to listen to. This jacket said “feminine” and “serious” to me. The songs proved me right.

I listened to this CD first with my youngest daughter, who is a big Dixie Chicks fan borrowing my CD’s all the time. So I watched for her reaction before sharing my own. With the very first song, Sunshine I could tell she liked what she heard, as did I.  At the end, we smiled and said “I like it” at the exact same time. Court Yard Hounds was off to a good start.

The title track Amelita is a catchy song and I found myself humming the next day. Some of the tracks weren’t my particular style (Rock All Night) for one. Still, I found the CD has a good, natural flow to it, very easy to listen too.
Emily has a strong, pure way of singing that is only enhanced by Martie’s harmony. And I must applaud Martie for taking the lead on A Guy Like You and Gets you down! You shined!

I thoroughly enjoyed Amelita as did both my daughters. My youngest even asked to borrow it for her sleepover Saturday night, so watch out Emily and Martie ~ you are making some tween fans!

 I do recommend this CD for anybody who likes good harmonizing on songs with a country-pop vibe.

You can learn more about The Court Yard Hounds by liking the on Facebook  You can also purchase their CD on Amazon. (Note: this is not my affiliate link).

I hope you found this review helpful. So, tell me, what’s your favorite harmonizing duo?


I participated in this campaign for One2One Network. I received a free copy of the CD to facilitate my review. All opinions stated are my own.

Happy Friday Eve one and all. I had planned to work on a CD review this morning, but when I logged on to the blog, I received a special surprise. I’d been nominated for a blogger award by RJ over at Dad's Pixels.   With only the Liebster Award under my belt, I am jazzed to receive the Wonderful Team Membership Readership award. Bit of a mouthful, isn't it?  

So as the rules of this Award states, I must do the following:

1. The nominee of The Wonderful Team Member Readership Award shall display the logo on his/her blog.
2. The Nominee shall nominate 14 readers they appreciate over a period of 7 days, all at once or little by little; linking to their blogs; and telling them about it at their blogs.
3. The nominee shall name his/her Wonderful Team Member Readership Award nominees on a post during 7 days.

So I changed my plans this morning and started looking at my comments. Who were my top readers? 
To me, this award isn't about who commented most often (although, I'm thankful for each one) it's about the readers who really READ my posts and shared their viewpoints. 

 A few of my readers aren’t bloggers so I can’t share this award with them, but I thank them for reading and commenting!

Here are my nominees. Each have a unique writing style and are true blogging friends. Please visit them.  I am happy to share this award with them. 

  1. Donna Perugini - Childrens Author
  2. Buzz 4 Mommies
  3. From Heart 2 Soul
  4. Kitchen Table 4
  5. Cali Julz
  6. Mom Knows Best
  7. Christy's Cozy Corners
  8. Six Feet Under Blog
  9. Bullocks Buzz
  10. Blogging Babies and the Bayou
  11. Four hens and a Rooster
  12. The Eclectic Element
  13. Zucchini Summer
  14. Close to home

Welcome to the End of Summer Giveaway Event!

Sponsored By: Tip Hero

Hello Dear Readers! I've teamed up with Tip Hero and some other wonderful bloggers to bring you a giveaway to help ease the end of summer blues! My daughters are almost through their first full week of school, so if you are lucky enough to have a few more summer days ~ Enjoy them! 

There are some great opportunities to score deals at the end of the summer. One lucky winner will win a $100 Walmart gift card to potentially use while shopping those end of the season sales.

This giveaway begins on August 15th and will run until August 29th at 11:59pm US Eastern time. It will be open to residents of the US only, 18+. Use the PromoSimple form below to enter, and make sure that you take advantage of the many entries you can gain. Also, be sure to come back daily for more chances to win. Best of luck!
$100 Walmart Gift Card

Disclosure: My WAHM Plan  is not responsible for prize distribution. If you have any questions or concerns, please send an email to All entries are optional, but if the winner task is a task that you did not complete, a second winner will be chosen. Winners will be notified via email. If a winner does not respond within 48 hours of the time when the email is sent, another winner will be chosen.

Wordless Wednesday- Fungus Among Us

in , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Wednesday, August 14, 2013

At first we noticed these small Mushrooms under our trees.

Then we got a few of these big Mushrooms in our front and back yard.

Now the big Mushrooms have turned into a pretty good size Fairy Ring.

Happy Monday! This is the first “full” day of school for my daughters. The new school year usually runs smoothly here at Casa Kinsman (feel free to chat with my long about March to see if I’m eating those words), and while I do miss my girls today, I am glad summer has ended and we are getting back to a regular routine.

But, I know some of you Moms have a few days (or weeks) left before school begins and along with the hot August days, your kiddos may be dancing on your nerves right about now. It’s okay, you are among friends you can admit it and nod at the screen… kids dance on nerves, it’s what they do. 

That’s why I’ve chosen The Odd life of Timothy Green as my first movie review. 

About The Odd Life of Timothy Green:

Courtesy: Disney Films
Released: August 15, 2012

“Disney brings enchantment home with The Odd Life of Timothy Green, an inspiring, magical story for the whole family starring Jennifer Garner.
Cindy (Garner) and Jim Green are a happily married couple who can't wait to start a family but can only dream about what their child would be like. When young Timothy shows up on their doorstep one stormy night, Cindy and Jim - and their small town of Stanleyville - learn that sometimes the unexpected can bring some of life's greatest gifts.
 From Academy Award® -nominated director/writer Peter Hedges (About A Boy, Best Adapted Screenplay, 2002; Dan In Real Life; What's Eating Gilbert Grape) - and complete with engaging bonus features - it's a heartwarming celebration of family as only Disney can deliver.” 

Director: Peter Hedges

Jennifer Garner
Joel Edgerton
CJ Adams
Ron Livingston
Dianne Wiest
Odeya Rush
Rosemarie DeWitt
Lin-Manuel Miranda
M. Emmet Walsh
Lois Smith
David Morse and Common

My Review:

 Recently we chose this movie as our Friday family movie night and were not disappointed. What we as parents liked were the gentle reminders that being parents is a gift. Having kids is a gift. Trust me; this is the movie to watch as a family if you are short on patience with your kids right now.

What the kids liked was Timothy’s unflappable personality. He just didn’t let things bother him, even when things didn’t go well.

Yes, this is a sappy, feel good movie and yes Jennifer Gardner (Cindy) and Joel Edgerton (Jim) have zero on screen chemistry and may have been a bit miss-cast. However, these fine actors superbly portray their rather dull, childless life and later, their total lack of parental experience.

Timothy (C.J. Adams) shows up like a breath of fresh air and the movie awakens with him. Watching him interact with his parents and extended family and then the towns-folk is joyful in his innocence.
Timothy touches everyone he meets; sort of shining the light on those parts of ourselves we think we have well hidden.

You may even notice some of the characters from the movie bear a striking resemblance to family and friends within your own community. Jim’s Dad didn’t have a good relationship with his son so when he shows up there is concern and tension. Cindy’s sister, Miss Perfect Mom, PTO leader, Soccer Mom (you know the kind) was played so perfectly by RoseMarie DeWitt that I swear I have met her somewhere! Then there’s the angst filled teen, mid-drift baring girl who befriends Timothy, much to the dismay of Cindy.

This truly is a heartwarming family movie that may have you hugging your kids and your spouse just a little tighter after watching.

To learn more about The Odd Life of Timothy Green, you can watch the movie trailer or visit Disney.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my first movie review. Stay tuned for our thoughts on Percy Jackson and the sea of Monsters!

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post and is in no way associated with Disney. I just wanted to share our family night movie experiences. All opinions are 100 % my own and may differ from yours.

Material Disclosure: Sneaky Pete’s sent me 5 free products to facilitate my review and provided products for my giveaway.  No compensation was provided and all opinions are 100 my own. 

Before Sneaky Pete’s contacted me to consider doing a product review I had never heard of them. I was intrigued by the idea of drinking an Oat beverage that’s good for you. I figured this product may be a good option for school mornings when my daughters don’t feel like eating much. I could add a piece of toast to this drink and feel pretty good about their meal.

The timing was perfect for us to try them, as today was the first day of school for them.  Be sure to enter the giveaway below, but first, let me introduce you to Sneaky Pete’s.

About Sneaky Pete’s: 

Courtesy: Sneaky Pete's

Sneaky Pete's Oat Beverage, developed from a 100 year old family recipe is all natural, vegan and such an excellent source of fiber. Sneaky Pete's does not contain any artificial colors/additives and is a great alternative to high calorie juices or sports drinks. It's available in 5 flavors: Apple, Mango, Raspberry, Peach and Grape- all with only 40 calories each! 
You can learn more about Sneaky Pete's many health benefits by visiting their website and liking them on Facebook

My Review:

We couldn't wait to give these a try!

I love when we get to try products as a family. Since Sneaky Pete’s comes in 12 oz. bottles, it was easy for all of us to get a good taste of each of the 5 available: Raspberry, Mango, Apple, Peach and Grape.

We chose Peach first and overall gave it high marks.  My daughters think it tastes yummy, like Peach Oatmeal, but in a good way. My husband and I agreed. It really does taste like you are drinking peaches and oatmeal. We would but this flavor again.

 Next came Mango which can best be described in one word: YUMMY!  We want more of this flavor.

The following day we gave Apple at try: We loved it too! It tastes like Apple Cider. So good and apple-y!  We would buy this flavor again as well.

 So, far so good.  And with the exception of a little bit of an aftertaste, we didn’t have any complaints.

That is until the next day we tried Raspberry. Oh how my oldest daughter had been looking forward to Raspberry day. Sadly all four of us thought Raspberry was terrible! Even though it wasn’t too sweet, which was good, (some of these flavors run on the sweet side) we just could not drink Raspberry. It tasted like lipstick. I dumped it all out and hoped for a better result with Grape.

Grape didn’t let us down! It tastes like Grape Kool-Aid both daughters said.  The kids really liked this one and the hubby and I enjoyed it too. 

*We highly recommend 4 out of the 5 flavors Sneaky Pete’s has to offer.* Who knows, you may even like Raspberry!

The Giveaway:

Enter to win a case of Sneaky Pete's in mixed flavors!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Open to legal residents of US who are 18 years or older. Full terms available on Rafflecopter form below. My WAHM Plan is not responsible for shipping of prize.

I hope you found this review helpful and will consider adding a Sneaky Pete’s beverage to your meals.

Disclosure: Sneaky Pete’s sent me 5 free products to facilitate my review and provided products for my giveaway.  No compensation was provided and all opinions are 100 my own. Thank you Sneaky Pete's for your generosity. 

WW- Her favorite hiding place

in , , by Linda A Kinsman, Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Well, there you are Dottie!

Smelling Fresh with Purex Giveaway

in , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Monday, August 05, 2013
Purex provided me with a sample of Purex Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets in exchange for a product review. However, all opinions expressed here are my own. Purex also provided 4 coupons for a free product for me to give my readers.

We used to use dryer sheets exclusively a few years ago so I was happy to try out Purex Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets in Mountain Breeze scent as part of the Purex Insider blogger team.

Courtesy: Purex

About  Purex Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets:

New, Improved formula with 3X the fragrance helps you add freshness and softness throughout your household. Reduce Static Cling. Repel pet hair and lint. You can learn more about the Purex brand by visiting their website here or on Facebook.

My Review:
Purex really did amp up the scent in these dryer sheets! This is by far the best smelling box I've received in the mail.  

My freebie box from Purex

They smell really good, making me smile every time I walk into my laundry room. 
But, I noticed that each dryer sheet feels full of product, like it was soaked in fabric softener and dried, which made me wonder if it would leave a residue on my dryer and clothes. 

 After using 3 dryer sheets on loads of varying drying temperature needs, I concluded that yes, these dryer sheets were leaving a bit of a residue which I didn’t care for.  I first noticed this change by the difficulty I was having removing the lint from my lint filter.

 Also, my sensitive skin family members started itching! That’s no fun, so I stopped using this product in my dryer ASAP. I can’t use these dryer sheets in my laundry, but if you don’t have sensitive skin issues then you may like them. 

 I have lots of other uses for these wonderful smelling dryer sheets like:

  • Putting one at the bottom of my garbage cans.
  • Tucking one in closets, especially where shoes are stored.
  • Putting one under the back seat of my car.
  • Adding one to the bottom of laundry hampers.

Enter to win a freebie:

Two  lucky readers will be chosen to receive 2 coupons for one free box of Purex Fabric Softener Sheets. Coupon good until 12/31/2014. Coupons will be mailed out by My WAHM Plan. Please enter by using the Rafflecopter link below. Giveaway open to United States residents 18+ years or older. For all giveaway terms please read terms provided on the Rafflecopter form. 

Disclosure: Purex provided me with a sample of Purex Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets in exchange for a product review. However, all opinions expressed here are my own. Purex also provided 4 coupons for a free product for me to give my readers. Thank you Purex!