Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Melted Crayon Pumpkin Activity for Kids

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Melted Crayon Pumpkin Activity for Kids
Image Credit:  Tina Truelove (Abundant Family Living)

Melted Crayon Pumpkin Activity for Kids

We decided to make an old favorite – melted crayon pumpkins!  I love these because they remind me of stained glass.  It is especially pretty when you have several kids who use different colors.  The pumpkins all turn out differently and they look so pretty hanging in a well-lit window.

Melted Crayon Pumpkin Activity for Kids
Image Credit:  Tina Truelove (Abundant Family Living)

Melted Crayon Pumpkin Activity for Kids
Image Credit:  Tina Truelove (Abundant Family Living)
First, we placed wax paper on the table.

Melted Crayon Pumpkin Activity for Kids
Image Credit:  Tina Truelove (Abundant Family Living)
We used a pencil sharpener to grate crayon shavings onto the wax paper.

Melted Crayon Pumpkin Activity for Kids
Image Credit:  Tina Truelove (Abundant-Family-Living)
We used several of our favorite fall colors.

Melted Crayon Pumpkin Activity for Kids
Image Credit:  Tina Truelove (Abundant Family Living)
We arranged a clump of green crayon shavings at the spot where the stem should be.

Melted Crayon Pumpkin Activity for Kids
Image Credit:  Tina Truelove (Abundant Family Living)
 We placed a second sheet of wax  paper on top of our crayon shavings.

Melted Crayon Pumpkin Activity for Kids
Image Credit:  Tina Truelove (Abundant Family Living)
We placed a dish towel on top of the second layer of wax paper.

Melted Crayon Pumpkin Activity for Kids
Image Credit:  Tina Truelove (Abundant Family Living)
We used an iron to press and melt the crayon shavings.

Melted Crayon Pumpkin Activity for Kids
Image Credit:  Tina Truelove (Abundant Family Living)
After lifting the iron, we allowed the melted crayons to cool.  We used a sharpie marker to draw the outline of a pumpkin.

Melted Crayon Pumpkin Activity for Kids
Image Credit:  Tina Truelove (Abundant Family Living)
 Finally, we cut out our melted crayon pumpkin.

 We displayed our melted crayon pumpkin in the window.  The colors are pretty and it looks like stained glass artwork.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Raining Fools by Jackie Castle

Raining Fools by Jackie Castle
Images Used by Permission via Celebrate Lit.
Not many people love a good love story as much as I do.  The one thing I love better than a good love story is a good Christian love story.  Raining Fools by Jackie Castle intertwines two Christian love stories in one sweet tale.

Raining Fools:  The Story

Stephen Gaines and Bekka Winters reunite after years of separation.  They had been high school sweethearts until Bekka’s protective brother, Ethan, put a halt to their relationship.  Ethan and Stephen had been music partners until a twist in their relationship sent them down separate paths.  Now Ethan and his love, Haley, are working hard to build a future together around a warm and cozy small town bed and breakfast business.  In addition to helping Haley build her bed and breakfast business, Ethan is working on opening a recording studio, but he needs Bekka’s and Stephen’s help to get started.

Bekka and Stephen must work together to create the video needed to help Ethan open his studio.  Bekka swears she will never let Stephen back into her life.  Is she capable of keeeping Stephen locked out of her heart?

Stephen comes into town with problems of his own.  His life is complicated by a few real world realities to which many readers are bound to relate.  Can he become the man Bekka deserves?  Can he break the barriers she has set in place to protect her heart?

While Stephen and Bekka work together on the video, they notice Ethan’s peculiar habits that reveal a big secret.  What are Ethan and Haley hiding?

What I Like About the Book

I like that most of the characters in Raining Fools seek God’s plan and direction for their lives.  Young readers will surely be impressed by the example of the young people in this book.

I like that Mrs. Castle weaves real world problems and spiritual battles in her story.

I like that the reader will witness a steadfast faith in some characters and changed lives in others.

I love that the reader will realize that a person’s past holds no stronghold over his or her future when he or she allows the Lord to rule the heart.

About the Author

Raining Fools by Jackie Castle
Jackie Castle, Author of Raining Fools
Jackie Castle looks for the extraordinary in every ordinary day that she experiences. She is the author of The White Road Chronicles a fantasy series, The Sentinel Archives for school-age readers, and newly released Madison Creek Bed & Breakfast romance series. She has also published articles and short stories in numerous magazines. She’s enjoyed many crazy adventures from working as a hairstylist, to her bravest quest: teaching children in daycare and elementary schools. Eventually, she settled down to a somewhat safer pursuit of being a Story-weaver.

Now she lives in her comfortable Texas home where she spins entertaining tales and enjoys relaxing in the evenings with her husband Bob, their children and grandchild.

Her favorite pastime, besides reading, is traipsing through her imaginary worlds in search of another story.

Find out more about her shenanigans over at Jackie Castle’s Story World: There you can also sign up for her monthly newsletter.

Guest Post from Jackie Castle

I’m best known for my fantasy series, The White Road Chronicles, and I love the make-believe world of Alburnium. But as these stories have traveled towards the ending, I’ve decided to venture into a more modern world. I enjoy a good, clean romance as much as anyone else, and I love writing stories about communities where people band together for the greater good.

So, I came up with Madison Creek, a small town on the verge of dying out. But the people there aren’t ready to give up. They decide that if they band together, maybe they can revive their little lakeside town and make it thrive. 

My husband is from Michigan. I’m from California. We met in the middle: Texas. He’s adapted quite well to the south, loving the hot summers, hot food, and well, he simply likes being warm. Though I miss my moderate California, I’ve also grown to love Texas. Whenever we travel up north to visit his family, we lament over to lack of flavorful food and the ability to stay warm. (Even in the summer we’ve had to wear winter coats!!) 

We are often teased by his family for how we put two syllables into words such as fire, dead and y’all. (Yes, he’s been in Texas long enough now to have developed a bit of a twang). I don’t know how many times we’ve talked about moving up north to open a BBQ joint so there’d be somewhere good to eat. Except, we both hate the cold and I’m sure I’d never survive a Michigan winter. I spent two weeks up there once in December, and swore I’d never do that again. I mean, 4 feet of snow in one night? Good Lord have mercy! 

Basically, that’s how I came up with Haley Madison, the blond Texas gal who inherited her grandpop’s farmland in Madison Creek, Michigan. Her life has been one big mess after another and she’s determined to take this opportunity to set things right. She’s lived on ranches for over half her life and loves to cook a lot of food for folks. (My family was always big on cooking lots of food at holiday gatherings, so it just seems natural.) 

Haley ends up meeting Ethan Winters, who she calls the handsome Yankee that plays a violin. The first book, Snow Belle is about how they meet. The second book, Raining Fools, continues Ethan and Haley’s story in the background. But in Raining Fools, you’ll meet Ethan’s sister Bekka and his best friend, Stephen Gaines who have a history with each other that neither cares to remember, except those old feelings they had for each other refuse to go away. Bekka, though strong in her faith, is uncertain about what God wants her to do with her life. Stephen, a playboy with a troubled past, appreciates his friend’s strong faith, but believes God doesn’t care about the ‘little people.’ At least, not until a series of mishaps has him taking a second look at the Winters’ beliefs.      

What I hope people take away from my story beside an entertaining tale, is that God loves them. That they belong to a kingdom that’s bigger than themselves. That we are stronger together than apart. These are themes that readers can find in my stories. 
I have several more ideas for novels and novellas that will continue Haley and Ethan’s story while we meet various people who visit the B&B when they come to Madison Creek hoping to start a new life. My hope is that readers will come to enjoy visiting this quirky little town as much as I do when I write the stories. Texas might have its spicy food and natural ruggedness, but I do love Michigan’s wild beauty and kindhearted folks. I just love it more in the summertime.
Blog Stops

November 3: Quiet Quilter

November 4: Bibliophile Reviews 

November 5: Daysong Reflections

November 6: Proud to be an autism mom

November 7: Reviewing Novels Online

November 8: Janet Pecorella

November 8: The Power of Words (Spotlight)

November 9: Moments Dipped in Ink

November 10: A Greater Yes

November 11: Blogging With Carol

November 12: inklings and notions

November 13: Carpe Diem

November 14: Abundant Family Living

November 15: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner 

November 16: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations


Amazon Gift Card
In honor of her tour, Jackie is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card! Click the link below to enter; be sure to comment on this post to claim your nine bonus entries for this giveaway!

You’ll find Raining Fools by Jackie Castle here.

Raining Fools by Jackie Castle
Images Used with Permission via Celebrate Lit.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

God’s Plan is Revealed by His Voice (from Discerning the Voice of God, Week 5)

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God’s Plan is Revealed by His Voice
Image Credit:  Matheus Ferrero - Public Domain Image - via Freely Photos
In our 5th week  of our Bible Study, Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer, we discussed how God’s voice reveals God’s plan.  We learned that God’s voice is purposeful, invitational, timely, challenging, and interconnected.

The following is my summary of our study in week 5.

God's Plan is Revealed by His Voice

Day 1:  God’s Voice is Purposeful in Revealing God’s Plan

God had a plan for our lives before we were born.  His plan is always best.  We have to decide whether to seek out God’s plan or proceed to follow our own agendas.  While seeking out God’s plan, we must know that God’s voice, His Word, will never ever contradict His character.

Day 2:  God’s Voice is Invitational in Revealing God’s Plan

God wants us to join Him as His plans are revealed to us.
When you see evidence that God is moving, take it as your cue to jump on board and join Him.  The Holy Spirit reveals God’s plan to us as He orchestrates the circumstances of our lives.  When our spiritual eyes are open to see His divine activity on earth, He has allowed us to see them as a way to personally invite us to participate with Him. – Priscilla Shirer
Day 3:  God’s Voice is Timely in Revealing God’s Plan

As I progressed through this part of the study, I remembered the story of David.  I was reminded as we went through Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed (by Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, and Kay Arthur) that it was 22 years between the time David was appointed to be king over Israel and the time he actually became king.

God’s timing is perfect.  His voice is timely.  God reveals His purposes and His plans in His perfect time.

His timing is not just about me or you.  God’s perfect timing involves His purpose and plan for everyone involved.  His timing is perfect for the development and progression of our own ministries and also those connected to us.

Day 4:  God’s Voice is Challenging in Revealing God’s Plan

God’s plan is not always easy.  He wants us to see what He can do when we admit we can’t do it on our own.  Sometimes God calls us to do things we don’t think we can do.  I’m reminded of the phrase, “God doesn’t call the qualified.  He qualifies the called.”  I don’t know who originally said it, but it is true.  God does not call us based on our own earthly abilities.  He calls us.  Then, He equips us to do what He has called us to do.
His Word causes me to step away from the comfort zone of my natural abilities and into the realm of His supernatural possibilities. – Priscilla Shirer 
 Day 5:  God’s Voice is Interconnected in Revealing God’s Plan

Christian brothers and sisters need one another.  We need to encourage one another and build one another up.
God can and will speak to me and direct me to His will using members of the church. – Priscilla Shirer

Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
his has been a short summary of our Bible study for week 5 of Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer.  I encourage you to get your own personal copy and go through the Bible study on your own or in a small group.

You'll find all my posts about this Bible study series here.

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