Wednesday, February 29, 2012

29 Day Organizational Challenge- The Master Bedroom...DONE!

So this month I took on my Master Bedroom. I was so tired of all the clutter that was collecting. When it starts I just continue dumping. No more! My plan was to clean it up. I didn't do any decorating (not my thing), but I really enjoy a clean space. Someday I will add a bit more spice, but for now, it's back to a very easy layout. I even had several unseen places I cleaned. I feel really great. So without further ado, here's the before and after pictures.

Before (above), After (below)

Before (above), After (below)

Before (above), After (below)

Before (above), After (below)


1. What space did you decide to organize and why? I chose this space because it was the messiest room in my home and I cringed everytime I had to go in there.  I like neat and clean areas and this room became a dumping ground.  I let things pile up since the summer.

2.  What steps did you take to ensure you completed the space within the 29 day timeline?
Well, I wish that I had made a better point of writing down my plan, but basically I started by picking up all the stuff off the floor.  Then I cleaned off the flat areas like the dresser tops.  This helped me to think clearly to work on the internal areas.
3.  What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and how did you overcome it?
Just beginning the cleaning was the hardest part for me.  I think that's why I just let this space go. I like to work in HUGE blocks of time, but I have 2 children under 3 years of age and the only time I can get anything done is during the short afternoon nap hours, but I took about 15-30 minutes a day and cleaning up the space made a world of difference to me.

4. What did you do with the “stuff” you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?
I bagged up a lot of stuff and donated to Goodwill and I also took a few things out to the garage.  I didn't want anything extra crowding my space.

5.  Tell me one of your proudest moments during this challenge?
Always the proudest moment for me was taking pictures at the end.  I was amazed at how fresh and inviting everything looks!

6.  Explain any organizing “tools” you used to help you create additional space and to establish some limits and boundaries?
I feel very limited in my resources for organizing stuff, but in my closet I have a plastic box where I put all the miscellaneous pictures and cards that I had stashed under my bed!  I feel like there is a space for everything.  I have a lot of storage areas in my room and believe it or not I store all my recipe books, DVD's and CD's in my upright dresser.

7.  What is ONE piece of advice you’d give to someone else to encourage them on their organizational journey?
My one piece of advice is to work 15-30 minutes a day in one area until it is clean.  I loved taking a whole month to focus on one area and by doing just that I was able to make my bedroom a place I WANT to be now.

I'm hooked up with Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Homemakers Challenge

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Far From Here by Nicole Baart Book Review

Danica Greene learns that love is not constant, but there is hope amidst grief in Far from Here: A Novel by Nicole Baart.  Danica, who fears flying, marries a pilot, Etsell Greene.  Even being worlds apart in their interests, they build a comfortable life together.  As time goes on, they draw farther and farther apart, but are not aware of it.  Etsell takes a flying job in Alaska for 3 weeks and never returns.  Danica also finds out that another person is missing, a woman, who was also flying with Etsell.  This sets Danica in a whirlwind to find her husband and this woman.  Danica's world comes crashing down as she remembers her life with Etsell and also discovers a blinding surprise that she never fathomed.  Still, amidst the spiral of her new existence, Danica is offered a second chance to learn to love.

I was absolutely amazed with Nicole's writing.  It is brilliant!  She captures every scent, feeling and uses vivid descriptions.  I was entranced.  I was instantly drawn to the book because the story was both mysterious and longing.  However, I felt this book had highs and lows in the plot.  When Danica discovers her husband is missing and has not found him and returns home, she goes through a very rough time that turned out to be bit long and tedious.  But Nicole uses two points-of-view in alternating chapters with Danica's thoughts as first person and a third person perspective.  This kept the story going for me.  She also uses several flashbacks that made the story alive.  I would love to read more stories by Nicole!

*This product was provided to me free of charge for purpose of this review. This is my honest opinion of this book and no monetary compensation was received for my opinion.*

Friday, February 24, 2012

Creative Slow Cooker Meals by Cheryl Moeller Book Review

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books.  A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured.  The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between!  Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Harvest House Publishers; Spi edition (February 1, 2012)

***Special thanks to Karri James, Marketing Assistant, Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***


Cheryl Moeller is a seasoned mother and a standup comic. She is also a syndicated columnist with her own blog ( and contributes monthly to several online parent websites. Cheryl has coauthored two books on marriage with her husband and has written for and Marriage Partnership. Cheryl does comedy for parenting classes, MOPS groups, wedding or baby showers, church retreats, women’s conferences, and those in line at the grocery store.

Visit the author's website.


From the celebrated coauthor of The Marriage Miracle comes a new kind of cookbook and a new attitude toward planning meals. With an eye toward the whole menu, not just part of it, columnist Cheryl Moeller teaches cooks to use two crockpots to easily create healthy, homemade dinners.

Don’t worry about your dinner being reduced to a mushy stew. Each of the more than 200 recipes has been taste-tested at Cheryl’s table. Join the Moeller family as you dig into:

  • Harvest-time Halibut Chowder
  • Salmon and Gingered Carrots
  • Mediterranean Rice Pilaf
  • Indian Chicken Curry
  • Apricot-Pistachio Bread
  • Shrimp Creole
  • Rhubarb Crisp

... and many more! Perfect for the frazzled mom who never has enough time in the day, Creative Slow-Cooker Meals gives readers more time around the table with delicious, healthy, frugal, and easy meals!

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99

Spiral-bound: 272 pages

Publisher: Harvest House Publishers; Spi edition (February 1, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0736944915

ISBN-13: 978-0736944915

AND NOW...THE FIFTH CHAPTER (click on pages to enlarge):

Here's my review:
Creative Slow Cooker Meals by Cheryl Moeller is a cookbook that utilizes a two crockpot cooking method.  Cheryl chose two complimentary dishes that form one meal.  (But they would be fine without the other one).  Cheryl is very innovative in her recipes and shares many tips and tricks for using a slow cooker.  Her directions are clear and simple. She includes a huge variety of recipes to try for breakfast, ethnic, bargain meals, party food, vegetarian, and gluten-free.  Cheryl also shares a Bible verse at the beginning of every chapter.

I really liked this spiral bound edition where it can lay flat for easy reading on my kitchen counter.  As with any cookbook, I always test out some recipes.  I was actually disappointed that the results of what I made I would rate as very low to poor.  Part of it was the flavors and/or cooking time did not turn out the food as I expected.  However, I only made four recipes, so that should not judge the entire book.  The best one I made was Brownies in a Mug which was a new technique I used by putting mugs in a water bath in the crockpot.  There are 250 recipes and some call for some unusual ingredients, but if you like to experiment this might be a crockpot book you will want to see.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tropical Traditions ONE Gallon Virgin Coconut Oil Giveaway!!

Tropical Traditions Weekly Sales

What would you do with ONE GALLON of coconut oil???  Oh, my goodness, I love coconut oil.  I have used it in my granola bars, muffins, cookies, and for frying. There are hundreds of recipes on the Tropical Traditions website that use coconut oil.  Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is the signature product of Tropical Traditions. "This high quality premium Virgin Coconut Oil is handcrafted by family producers in the Philippines using traditional methods passed down from previous generations. We were the first ones to export Virgin Coconut Oil from the Philippines to the United States back in 2001." 
Virgin Coconut Oil, Gold Label - 1 gallon

Video: How to use coconut oil- there are hundreds of ways

Links for the hundreds of recipes for how to use coconut oil.

WIN IT: I am having a giveaway for 1 gallon of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil.  ($120 value)!! Open to US & Canada! Giveaway ends Sunday, March 4.
To enter: Be sure to click on all the links before filling out the entry form.  Thanks!

1. (NEW) Make a comment on this post about another Tropical Traditions product you would like to try. (Note- you must then fill out the entry form for your entry to be counted!)
2. Sign up for the Tropical Traditions Newsletter.

Optional, but suggested for more entries!
1. Be a follower on my blog 
2. Subscribe to my blog by email. 
3."Like" The Knowlton Nest on Facebook (link on my blog). 
4. "Like" Tropical Traditions on Facebook
5. Follow Tropical Traditions on Twitter
6. Make a purchase at Tropical Traditions.  (PS. If this is your first purchase you will receive a FREE book on Virgin Coconut Oil.)
7. Post about this giveaway on another site (your blog, facebook, twitter, etc) (1 entry for every site) 


“If you order by clicking on any of my links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.” 

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cooking 101 For Kids Ebook Sale by Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

I absolutely love Lynn's Kitchen Adventures blog. She has such easy recipes that I make almost weekly in my home like baked oatmeal and breakfast fried rice. Her recipes and directions are simple and use everyday ingredients that you already have. Lynn has just created a brand NEW ebook called Cooking 101 For Kids!


If you love to cook, it’s fun most of the time. But when you’ve had a long day and you’re tired, boy howdy, it becomes a CHORE! “Mom, what’s for dinner? Mama, I’m hungry! Mommy, can I have something to eat? MOM? MAMA? MOMMY?”
As the room spins, you tell your kids “I can only go so fast! Stay out of the kitchen while I’m cooking. The stove is hot. You kids are in my way. Don’t get under me.”
Oh, yes you do. You remember your mom telling you those things, and admit it. You’ve said them too.
Well you don’t have to tell your kids that anymore. Here’s how…

Teach your kids to cook!

Teaching kids to cook will save them money as well as teach them to eat healthier. In a society of rushing around, teaching your kids to eat healthy while they are young will benefit them over their lifetime. Now isn’t cooking for themselves and staying healthy two of the most important things we moms can teach our children?

Teaching them how to cook is a great way to incorporate some good quality family time, most of us are lacking, into your day to day routine. Have fun with it, kill two birds with one stone and eventually have your kids cook for you!
You can do this with my latest ebook which costs only $2.99 for a limited time . This is less than one of those unhealthy fast food combos.

Teach them about…

  • Measurements
  • Tools and Common Ingredients
  • How to Follow a Recipe
  • How to Make Breakfast
  • Snacks, Appetizers and Side Dishes
  • Desserts and Treats
So when you have educated them on the art of cooking and contributed to their independence, prop your feet up and enjoy ’cause when Mama’s happy everybody’s happy!
Who knows, you just may be the catalyst for the next great Gordon Ramsey or Rachael Ray!

There are over 100 recipes!!  Wow!
Only $2.99

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Everything Beans Book on SALE for ONLY $3! (24 hour sale)

From Kitchen Stewardship:

Do you wish you could improve your family’s nutrition without breaking the bank?

Have you always wanted to use dry beans, but you’re afraid of the complexity of cooking them or just don’t have any good recipes?

  • Why are they healthy?
  • How do I cook with dry beans?
  • How do I cook and store in bulk?
  • What about picky eaters (the bean haters of the world)?
  • How do I avoid gas?
  • How do I get past the texture?
  • And of course, 30 recipes from appetizer to dessert, all spotlighting the most frugal and nourishing food I know: beans.
Beans, beans and more beans!
You’ll find recipes for homemade beans and rice, four styles, refried beans, wraps, Mexican fare, soups, pasta dishes, and even a dessert!

The only thing missing is homemade baked beans, just because I haven’t found a recipe I loved. (I do include links to two choices anyway.)

I worked hard with recipe testers to make sure even the most nervous newlywed, new to the kitchen, could cook with beans with ease. Every recipe also includes frugal tips and substitution ideas so those of you who like to play with you recipes have somewhere to start.

In essence, most dishes have enough extra versions that one could almost say there are 100 beans recipes in these 95 pages!

Beyond recipes, The Everything Beans Book also offers over 20 pages of information to facilitate your new love of beans and make sure you can cook with dry beans without any stress.

My thoughts:
When I first saw this book, I thought this book was strictly about BEANS, but it's way more than that.  There are recipes for wraps, sandwiches, soups, meatless, main dishes, sides, pastas and dessert!  REALLY??

Guess what??
Katie if offering this book for only $3 from midnight Monday (2/20) to midnight Tuesday(2/21)!

Get The Everything Beans Book by Katie Kimball

Six Ways to Keep the "Good" in Your Boy by Dannah Gresh Book Review

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books.  A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured.  The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between!  Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Harvest House Publishers (February 1, 2012)

***Special thanks to Karri James, Marketing Assistant, Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***


Dannah Gresh is a bestselling author, a speaker, and the creator of the Secret Keeper Girl live events. Her books include Six Ways to Keep the “Little” in Your Girl, 8 Great Dates for Moms and Daughters, And the Bride Wore White, and Lies Young Women Believe (coauthored with Nancy Leigh DeMoss). She and her husband have a son and two daughters and live in Pennsylvania.

Visit the author's website.


Bestselling author Dannah Gresh empowers moms of with six proactive ways to raise sons age 8-12 to be honest, confident, and respectful. This encouraging, practical resource shows how the formative years can shape a godly, healthy teen and adult. Includes engaging activity ideas, and Scriptures to pray over sons.

Product Details:

List Price: $13.99

Paperback: 208 pages

Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (February 1, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0736945792

ISBN-13: 978-0736945790


Is There a Mouse in
That Cookie Box?

A box of cookies and a dead mouse.

  The combination conjures up one of the proudest memories of mothering my wonderful son, Robby. (If you meet him, you can call him Rob. But I can’t. He’s still my Robby even if he’s the size of a linebacker.) He was a freshman at Grace Prep high school and was just returning from a school-assigned Random Act of Kindness when these two mismatched objects—mouse and cookies—mingled together to create an equally odd mixture of emotions.

  Just hours earlier, armed with nothing more than a few boxes of cookies and several rakes, he and a few friends had set out to do some good. They’d come back a little flustered, but laughing their experience off like four cool 15-year-old boys should.

  “We just got yelled at,” said Robby, wearing the words like a badge of courage.

  “By whom?” I asked.

  “Some crazy woman who thought there must be a mouse in the cookies we were trying to give her,” he answered defensively.

  “What!” I was just a little aggravated, having been the one who had issued the assignment. How could anyone react with anger and suspicion (particularly in our small, friendly town) to a box of cookies and an offer to do yard work? Surely they must have misunderstood. “Tell me what happened. Play-by-play,” I said.

  “Well, we knocked on the lady’s door to give her the cookies and ask permission to rake her leaves,” Robby answered. “When we tried to hand her the cookies she looked afraid and angrily said, ‘Is there a dead mouse in that box?’   ”

  The other boys snickered. I could see that they thought it was funny, but that it also bothered them.

  I was having a hard time believing it.

  “We promised there wasn’t a mouse in there, but she just couldn’t believe we were there to do anything good. So one of the guys said, ‘Look, we just want to show you God’s love in a practical way.’   ”

  This made me smile. It was what they’d been taught. “Transfer the credit of this good act to God,” I’d said in class.

  “What’d she say when you said that?” I asked.

  “She grabbed the cookies, said, ‘Rake if you want to,’ and slammed the door in our faces!” said Robby. “So, we raked.”

  I could tell that the guys were still a bit shaken, and I was a bit angry that they hadn’t been met with the reward of a simple “thank you.”

  A few weeks later, God brought the whole thing full circle with a letter that came in the mail. One of the members of Robby’s group got to read it out loud in chapel. I wish I still had it. It went something like this:

Dear Grace Prep:

Recently some boys from your school came here to deliver cookies to my daughter and me. They also raked our leaves. I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t trust them. I am sorry. (For the record, they were really yummy cookies.)

I think God sent those boys here.

You see, my husband—my daughter’s father—died recently and it has been tough. Just that morning my daughter and I kind of put a test out there for God. We prayed, saying, “If you’re really there and you really see us, show up!”

When he did, we didn’t recognize him right away. But I have no doubt that God sent those high-school boys to remind us that he sees us.

Thank you.

  You could have heard a pin drop in that room of high-school kids when the letter was read. We were all simply struck with the power of goodness.

  But here’s why this wonderful memory not only floods my heart with pride, but also makes me sad: We’ve lost our faith in the goodness of boys and men. And not wholly without reason.

Where Have All the Good Men Gone?

  A title of a recent Wall Street Journal article inquired, “Where Have the Good Men Gone?” A current Amazon bestseller seeks to answer the question, Is There Anything Good About Men? Since the 2004 coining of the word “adultescent,”  1 we’ve had something to call the young adult male who is so busy playing Call of Duty on his PlayStation 4 that he has no real-life call of duty. No honor. No integrity. No goodness. Just a seventh-grade mind-set and responsibility level trapped in the flabby body of an adult who often still lives at home or in a tacky bachelor pad with other adultescents. The phenomenon is what caused Kay S. Hymowitz to pen the book Manning Up, in which she writes,

Not so long ago, average mid-twentysomethings, both male and female, had achieved most of the milestones of adulthood: high school diploma, financial independence, marriage, and children. These days [the males] hang out in a novel sort of limbo, a hybrid state of semi-hormonal adolescence and responsible self-reliance.  2

  High-school English teacher Joe Carmichiel has written a book entitled Permanent Adolescence: Why Boys Don’t Grow Up, because “a large number of today’s teenagers, especially boys, see no reason to accept or pursue adulthood since it is of so little value to the larger culture.”  3 So, with no motivation todo anything, many of these young men remain in a state of wimpy complacency well into their twenties, even thirties.

  Along with this state of immaturity that many boys will embrace as they grow older is a culturally acceptable pressure for boys to be bad—both complacent and void of character. By the time a boy is finished with high school, he is likely to have three crucial areas of character ripped right out of him:

  1. Over 50 percent of young men will have become sexually active in a casual-sex culture where they’re likely to have an average of 9.7 sexual partners before they graduate from college.  4 (There goes his purity.)
  2. Most of them will be exposed to porn as a tween or early teen, with the median age of first exposure being about 11. This catapults many of them into a world of double-mindedness where they are one boy at home and in public—and another entirely in their private world. (There goes his integrity.)
  3. Many will have succumbed to an emasculated version of manhood that strips them of their drive to be leaders and protectors who do good. (There goes his honor.)

  Our boys need to be taught to grow up.

  And to be good.

While Six Ways to Keep the “Little” in Your Girl    cried
out for us to band together against the culture’s pressure for our little girls to grow up too fast, this book pleads with you to join us in raising sons who are prepared to embrace the responsibility of growing up.

  It’s been our goal to create a character base for our son to be a man of integrity, honor, and purity. Bob and I want him to be good. Fortunately, our life work led me into the depths of research, and I learned that we had to start building a foundation for our son to rise to the call of manhood…when he was still just our “good boy”! Raising a son to reflect your value system when he is a man is—in part—a matter of introducing those values to him in an age-appropriate manner when he is a tween. Social science offers us statistical lines of footprints showing how a boy will turn out based on what he is exposed to and when. Sadly, our boys have got a tough battle ahead. It’s been a long time since they’ve seen anything but “adultescent” or “bad” examples of manhood dominating our culture.

Why Are Boys “Bad”?

  Robert Coles, a pioneer in the field of moral intelligence, brings clarity to the definition badness when he writes,

Bad boys display a “heightened destructive self-absorption, in all its melancholy stages.” In essence, we go bad when “we lose sight of our obligation to others.”  5

  Badness is not simply the loss of innocence, purity, integrity, and honor, but also the loss of vision to see the needs of others and to act on them. It’s a complacent, self-absorbed lifestyle that is void of character.

  I think we have a bad-boy mentality in our culture for two primary reasons.

The first reason boys become bad is that the feminist movement has told us they are bad. Michael Gurian, author of The Wonder of Boys, though seeming to embrace the feminist movement as a whole, points out a few devastating myths it introduced to convince our boys that they are “bad.” Here are two that resonate with me:

Myth Number One: “that masculinity is responsible for the world’s ills and femininity is the world’s salvation.”  6

Myth Number Two: “males destroy, females create; males stand in the way of positive spiritual/social values; males are inherently violent.”  7

  While a deeper study of the feminist movement would betray an agenda to introduce these fallacies, we don’t have to get that academic to see how much we are influenced to believe these myths in our politically correct culture.

  Just consider how prevalently they are portrayed in the media. Television alone reinforces them. Two and a Half Men, “the biggest hit comedy of the past decade” according to the New York Times, features a hedonist formerly played by Charlie Sheen. After eight seasons, the show was stalled when Sheen went into rehab for drug use. He was then fired for making disparaging remarks about the show’s producers. On and off screen he was self-absorbed and void of character. Other shows display the contrast of the valuable female to the valueless male. Reruns of The Simpsons portray Lisa as bright and beautiful and Bart as out of shape and selfish. Co-ed television commercials often portray the guy as a doofus and the girl as smart. It’s funny. It really is. But how much of it can we expose ourselves to before we believe it? And that takes me to my next concern.

The second reason boys are “bad” is that they have become what has been expected of them, just like any individual tends to fulfill what has been prophesied about them. Of course, they’ve had help from their parents (or lack thereof), their culture (and its emasculation), their economy (and its consumeristic “me” mentality), and their churches (who haven’t done much to stand against the feminist untruths). But today’s men as a whole have pretty much rolled over and taken it.

  It’s probably a good idea for me, Bob, to step in here. I’m a guy. If anyone’s going to throw us under the bus, it should be me. It has always befuddled me that the prettiest, nicest girls are always attracted to the bad boys. From the jock who bullies everyone at school to the kid in a leather jacket who doles out drugs after school, nice girls often go after the bad boys. In the Twilight series, bad boy Edward Cullen makes good girl Bella Swan swoon. In real life, the stars live out the scenario. Kevin Federline was the top bad boy of the tabloids when he nabbed the most famous girl on the planet at the height of her career, Britney Spears. Katy Perry, former Christian music artist gone sexual tease, pledged herself to bad boy Russell Brand.

  I think that the constant drip of these scenarios into our spirits makes us want to be bad boys. Let’s be real: A guy desires a beautiful girl, and while the ones in the headlines might not be all that chaste, they’re often portrayed as the good girl taken by the bad boy. And guess what? Guys want nice girls. So, we begin to believe that maybe we’re supposed to be bad.

  And if we’re not, we’re boring.

  Come on. The media glorifies the bad boys—from Grease’s Danny Zuko to Pirates of the Caribbean’s Captain Jack Sparrow—not the plain-vanilla good guys. I didn’t watch this show, but Dannah says Gilmore Girls played to this big time when Rory fell for beautiful boy Dean until bad boy Jess came to town. The bad boy is so often the one the girl wants and celebrates.

  Conversely, there aren’t a lot of movies being made about Billy Graham, the kid who called 9-1-1 and delivered his mom’s baby, or the apostle Paul. These are true heroes…but they’re good. And good is boring, according to movie producers. Since no one rises up to celebrate the good, most guys—though innately built to be conquerors—roll over and become boring.

  In some twisted place in our minds, we’d much rather be bad than boring because that’s how you get the girl. But many of us are afraid of being the real bad boy. So we just get complacent. We roll over and stay in some limbo—a state of in-between. Not really bad. Not really good. Or so we think.

  In reality, this complacency is the absolute root of badness.

The Tree

  Complacency was at the root of the first bad move among men. (Yes—the bad move of all time.) Adam had the most complacent moment of all when he stood at the foot of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It was Eve who wore the pants in the first family during this catastrophic moment. She took the lead and reached for the fruit of the Tree. Adam just got all quiet, passive and…well, boring. The Scriptures don’t note that he was deceived, tempted, or lied to like Eve. Just that he went along with it.

  Some theologians believe that there was something in the way that Eve was crafted which made her more vulnerable to deception. (Just consider how often we women are prone to think things like “I’m fat!” Haven’t seen too many guys obsessing over that thought. Or maybe you’ve been prone to believe the lie “No one really likes me.” Men don’t struggle with that as often or as easily. Women are just prone to believing lies.) However, many believe that Satan approached Eve because he was attempting to throw over the created order by getting her to take leadership over her husband. And Adam seemed to passively accept this evil situation to gratify his flesh. Sounds a bit too much like many men of today.

  Complacency led to the first sin. (Perhaps, had Adam chosen to speak truth to Eve, he could have led her away from that horrible original sin.) His failure to lead changed the course of history. We believe that the same kind of complacency that showed itself at the foot of the Tree still leads men to badness.

Goodness vs. Badness

  While a bad boy’s greatest desire is to live according to his desires, a good boy, according to Robert Coles, has an outward focus:

Good…boys…have learned to take seriously the very notion, the desirability of goodness—living up to the Golden Rule.  8

  The Greek word for goodness (used in our take-to-heart verse, Romans 12:21) appears in the New Testament in three forms, all of which are rooted in the Hebrew word tod, which means “usefulness” or “beneficialness.” Are we bringing up boys who understand their call of duty to be useful contributors to society, to be beneficial to others?

  Goodness is the quality that makes us put others ahead of ourselves. It’s the moral compass that keeps the world safe, happy, and working. It’s the drive that makes us want to function in families rather than isolation. It’s the internal road sign that takes us away from our own desires and toward the destiny of meeting the needs of others. Without it, we are “bad.” That’s probably why all of us—male and female—are called to goodness.

Do not be overcome by evil,
but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:21

God is good

The ultimate reason we must raise our boys to be good is that it reflects the character of God. His goodness is a bedrock truth of Scripture and is inseparable from his nature. If we are to be a picture of him, we must possess goodness. He is good not only in a general sense, but he is good to us and forus. This element of his character expresses his selflessness and desire to exist on behalf of others. When people are good, they act toward and for others, as opposed to losing sight of others as their own needs and desires consume them.

Here's my review:

Six Ways to Keep the "Good" in Your Boy: Guiding Your Son from His Tweens to His Teens by Dannah Gresh is a book for mothers and father who want to guide their tween son (ages 8-12) through to his teens with a solid biblical foundation.  Dannah and her husband Bob address many topics that are essential for young boys to be taught before they enter the turbulent teen years.  Some of these are lighthearted like getting your boy outside and other are more difficult, but very important like discussing pornography and s*x.  There is no better time to talk about these subjects than during the tween years before they need them!  This book also gives lots of ideas for single moms, websites, other books, a space for journaling and a specific prayer to pray on that subject. 

I found this book to be very eye opening and informative with lots of practical ways to help parents approach their tween son.  I have a son who will be a tween in 5 years and I feel so much more equipped to guide him through these years.  I appreciate the biblical focus and the numerous examples.  This is a great book for both moms and dads who want helpful and practical information and how to communicate effectively with their tween son.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Mighty Macs DVD Review and Giveaway

Carla Gugino stars as Cathy Rush, the head coach for the first all women's basketball champions, in this inspiring and exciting true story.  Cathy Rush is  a newly married woman who is hired to coach basketball at an all girls Catholic school in 1971.  She is spunky, creative, daring and passionate.  She is also ahead of her time.  No one, especially her husband, believes she has any potential with her group of misfit girls who become all star athletes.  She tries unconventional practice moves and promotes team unity and spirit.  When the team wins Nationals in 1972, Cathy's hope becomes reality.

I loved this movie!  I like to see stories that show transformation not only of the main character, but also others as well.  No one believed in Cathy at the beginning, but by the end everyone was on her side.  Her strength and  determination made her a natural achiever.  And after watching the bonus features for how the film was made, I was pleased to see that there are cameo appearances of Ed Rush (her husband), members of the original team (some of the nuns) and Cathy Rush herself!  This is truly a fun and family friendly film for sports lovers and anyone else (that's me!).


Production Synopsis: It's 1971. Cathy Rush is a woman ahead of her time ... and she's about to embark on an adventure for the ages. A new era is dawning in the country and in collegiate athletics, where a national champion will be crowned for the first time in women's basketball.

In the lead up to this historical season, major universities are preparing their game plans to win that first title. Meanwhile a tiny all-women's Catholic college in Philadelphia has a more modest goal: find a coach before the season begins. Providentially, Cathy Rush is about to find Immaculata College.

Recently married, Cathy is dealing with the aftermath of a truncated playing career. While cultural norms would have her staying at home, she's willing to do the hard work necessary to help her new team reach their goals—or perhaps she's just trying to achieve her unfulfilled dreams through them.

From the beginning, her challenges are as imposing as the big-school teams Immaculata will face on the court. Cathy learns there is no gymnasium on campus, she receives little support from the school's Mother Superior, and the school is in dire financial straits. To top it off, she may not even have enough players to field a team!

While it appears the Macs don't have a prayer, all hope is not lost. With the help of Sister Sunday—a spunky assistant coach—and the support of a booster club of elderly nuns, Coach Rush creates a new game plan that just might bring the team—and the school—together.

Will this pioneer buck cultural norms and spur her rag-tag team to unexpected heights? Or will her hard-driving ways create a wedge between the coach and everyone around her? One thing's for certain: there's never been anyone like Cathy Rush at Immaculata!

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. 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.”

Win it:  I am having a giveaway for this DVD.  Open to US and giveaway ends Sunday, February 26.

To enter: Be sure to click on all the links before filling out the entry form.

1.(NEW)  Make a comment about my review in the comments below (you must then fill out the entry form for your entry to be counted!)
2. Be a follower on my blog
3. Subscribe to my blog by email (link on blog)
4."Like" The Knowlton Nest on Facebook (link on my blog). 
5. "Like" The Mighty Macs on Facebook
6. Watch the trailer
7. Post about this giveaway on another site (your blog, facebook, twitter, etc) (1 entry for every site- see share buttons below) 

DON'T FORGET- fill out the entry form after making a comment!  Comments only count if you have filled out the entry form.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Indemnity by Paula Wiseman Book Review

It has been 7 years since the affair. Chuck and Bobbi Molinsky have re-established trust in their marriage.  They now have a 5 year old daughter and two grown sons.  Nothing could shatter their lives until they find out that Tracy Ravenna (the woman with whom Chuck had an affair) has arrived back in town with her 6 year old son who resembles one of Chuck and Bobbi's sons.  Bobbi is furious and Chuck is determined to find out if Jackson is his son and if so, why is Tracy back?  He learns some startling information about her childhood and comes to realize that Tracy is running away and is running out of time.  Bobbi resigns herself to being a step mom to the son of her husband's affair, but also realizes that Tracy needs God's grace and love especially from her.  And in the middle of it all is 6 year old Jackson who embraces life and a new family along with God's love in hopes that he can save his mom. Indemnity: Book Two: Covenant of Trust Series by Paula Wiseman is a story of secrets revealed, continued trust, forgiveness and acceptance as well as heartache.

As I read this Covenant of Trust series, I sympathize most with Bobbi.  She struggles a lot with trust and forgiveness towards her husband.  And she surely doesn't want to extend grace to Tracy, but her strength of character and deep relationship with God pulls her through these tough situations.  I'm very impressed with how real Paula makes her characters with raw emotions and true feelings.  She also shares an honest picture of a family  as they hurdle through the ups and downs of life and they always cling to God.  I highly recommend that you check out this powerful series by Paula Wiseman. 

See my REVIEW of Contingecy (Book 1 of Covenant of Trust Series)
Also, Precedent is that last book in the series. I'm sure it's not to be missed!

*This product was provided to me free of charge for purpose of this review. This is my honest opinion of this book and no monetary compensation was received for my opinion.*

Book Two: Indemnity released in April 2011 and built on the success and popularity of Contingency. It also became a #1 Hot New Release at Amazon. Read an excerpt . Visit the Indemnity site.

Visit Paula's website.
Learn more about Contingency .
Learn more about Indemnity.
You can also visit Paula on Facebook.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Straight to the Heart of Romans by Phil Moore Book Review

Phil Moore wrote Straight to the Heart as a contemporary commentary. Straight to the Heart of Romans is a book with 60 Bite-Sized Insights into this fascinating book of the Bible.  Phil explores Romans through the eyes of history and he threads his theme- There's a New King in Town- throughout each chapter.  Phil digs deep into the significance of very difficult passages and the lessons Paul was trying to teach us.  He breaks it down to help the reader understand God's Word with a fresh perspective.  His writing is lively and interesting.

I found this book added so much more background to the book of Romans that I never knew.  I really liked how he shared many historical events and also compared passages of Romans to modern day examples that helped me understand the meaning better.  I was very impressed with the thorough, yet very engaging commentary that will help me as I go back to study Romans more in depth.  I would be anxious to read the other books in this series (Genesis, Moses, Matthew, Acts, 1&2 Corinthians and Revelation).

*This product was provided to me free of charge by Kregel Publications for purpose of this review. This is my honest opinion of this book and no monetary compensation was received for my opinion.*

Extra Bonus:
Beginning February 22 and continuing through Easter Sunday, Kregel Publications will be tweeting links to Straight to the Heart of Romans. The entire book will be posted as short, five to ten minute, daily readings. Encourage your readers to check out this fresh, and free, engagement with the Bible. Find it by following Kregel Publications or #Straight2Heart on Twitter.

Valentine Story!

The year I got engaged I wrote a very cute love story to my husband using candy hearts.  It's now 8 years later and I wrote another story and this time included the kids in it.  It's something special and I hope my husband likes it.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Here's the story: (CAPITALS are the candy heart words)
It's 8 years later...
I am still CRAZY 4U.  When you said MARRY ME.  I said YES.  You will always be my ONE & ONLY.  One day you came to me.  "Let's have kids."  I said YES DEAR but JUST ONE.   On Thanksgiving day MY BOY was born.  TOO COOL!  Then a few years later you "Let's try for JUST ONE more."  I said AWESOME, I'M SURE.  A few days before Mother's Day MY GIRL was born.  Oh, what a SWEET PEA.  I can't believe how God has blessed us.  From that FIRST KISS to now, I am URS 4EVER.

This is my favorite new love song- Lucky by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat

Here's God's Valentine to you!

For God so loVed the world
       That He gAve
             His onLy
                      That whoever
         Believes In Him
              Shall Not perish,
        But have Eternal life. (John 3:16)