Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Blogs I Read - 5 Minutes for books (Berenstain Bears' digital book)

I subscribe to the blog 5 Minutes for Books. I enjoy their book reviews.  Today's post was about the Berenstain Bears' Bedtime Battle digital book. The book is an interactive book that can be read on Apple or Android devices.  

After I read their blog post,  I looked it up in the Android Market and downloaded the free book The Berenstain Bears and the Golden Rule (Lite Version).  I will probably buy the other books in the future. You can see all the books at Oceanhouse Media. Jasmine read this book on my phone.  She used all three options.  She chose to have the book read to her and she read it on her own.  You swipe the screen to turn the page.   She used the auto play option, but preferred the first two choices.  She liked turning the pages herself.  The options of "auto play" and "read to me" highlight the words as the story is read.

Monday, August 22, 2011

All Things for My Good

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."  Romans 8:28 (KJV)

If you have been in church at all, this scripture comes up.  We say it.  We memorize it, but do we believe it?   You may have been lied on, been a victim, had great sickness and suffered great disappointment. How can all things work together for good?  I know the "all things" that I do not like draw me closer to God.  I know that the scriptures that I have memorized become real to me when I struggle.  Songs that I know are sung with a determination to keep moving forward.

My dad had Alzheimer's and he was a wanderer.   He was missing at least 3 times.   The first time that he was missing, I remember singing over and over again to myself.   I was calmer than I thought I should have been, but Isaiah 26:3 became real.  God kept me in peace by thinking about Him.  This bad situation worked for my good because God proved Himself on my behalf before my dad was even found.   

There are many situations that will refine us.  Others will be drawn to Christ as we mature in Him.   That is the good!   The "all things" mature me and testify to others about God's greatness.

At Christianbook.com, is a free eBook called The Promise: God Works All Things Together for Your Good by Robert J. Morgan. The author's purpose is to show how this promise from God is true.  I have not read this book yet, but I decided to share it with you since it is free for a limited time.  If you want to buy the book in print then you can buy it from Christianbook.com or Amazon.com.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Smell the Aroma

I can smell the aroma of a Fresh-Brewed Life.   I am reading chapter one of this book by Nicole Johnson.  A coffee drinker can relate to this book right away because she talks about how coffee is not just a drink.  It is a welcome.  It is comfort.  I prefer tea, but I could almost taste the coffee after she was finished discussing the joys of coffee.  Johnson wants us to awaken to joy of a true relationship with God.  She wants us to savor our time with Him just as any true coffee drinker savors a fresh brewed cup of coffee.

I will offer this book in an upcoming giveaway so subscribe to my blog as a feed or by e-mail.  You can also "like" Melissa's Book Nook on Facebook to know when you can enter the giveaway.

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.  Psalms 34:8 KJV

Comfort in His Presence

When I heard that it might storm last night, I knew one of my kids would be knocking on my door in the middle of the night.  It is usually Jasmine and sometimes Jeremiah and never Madie.  I do not think Madie has waken up in the middle of the night since she was a newborn needing to be fed.  

In the middle of the night, thunder roared and the lightening flashed and Jasmine was knocking on my door as I predicted.   She was scared because of the storm and she could not sleep.  Playing music and the night light did not help her fall asleep.  She wanted me or her dad.  My husband and I both took turns keeping watch.   The storm continued and she only felt better when we were present.

Last night reminded me that the storms in my life can be endured when I am in the presence of God and my loved ones.  God does not always make my troubles leave immediately, but He did promise to never leave me alone.   Thank you, Lord!

Isaiah 43:1-3 
But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel: “ Fear not, for I have redeemed you;  I have called you by your name; You are Mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;  And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.  When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. 

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Kids' Educational Websites - sheppardsoftware.com & ixl.com

You might think I make my kids read a lot and I do, but I know they need more.  I like the following websites (www.sheppardsoftware.com and www.ixl.com) for helping me to add to what my kids learn in school.  

This summer, my kids have used the website Sheppard Software to play games to help them with Math, Language Arts and Geography.   If you go to the top of the page, you will see even more subjects than what we used.  The best part is that it is free!

My kids' favorites are Math Fruit Shoot, Math Man and the Parts of Speech Tutorial.
  • Math fruit shoot gives you a math problem and you have to shoot the fruit with the right answer to score.
  • Math Man looks like Pac-Man except you have to eat the dot with a question mark to get the math problem.  Then you have to eat the ghost with the right answer.  Do not eat the ghost with the wrong answer or else you will lose a turn.
  • Parts of Speech tutorial made my kids laugh.  You have to pick a noun, adjective and a verb.  Your choice is animated for you at the end.  For example, you could pick to have an angry cloud sleeping or a sparkly girl flying.   A definition with examples is given each time your child picks their noun, adjective and verb.
I also like IXL website (www.ixl.com).  Children can practice their math skills.  It is for grades pre-K to the 8th grade.   Your child can practice 20 questions for free each day.  If you want more than what is offered for free then you have to pay $9.95 for the month or $79 for the year.   There is also a teachers rate which can be shared with the class or school.    If you or your school is not ready to purchase a membership then I would at least let your children answer 20 questions a day.  It can only help them get better at math.  

I would love to hear of any educational websites that you use with your family.  Let me know.  Thanks.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Marriage...The Long, Road Trip

I have been reading a lot this summer, but it has mostly been children’s books.   I am back to reading Sacred Marriage and I am still in chapter 1.  There is a lot to think about in this chapter.

Sacred Marriage suggests that marriage can become like a Midwest highway with long stretches of flat land.  The scenery does not change too often.  You’re asking “are we there yet”.  It has its moments of sameness that can lead to boredom.    After the thrill of the romance of dating and a beautiful wedding, you have the responsibilities of a home, job and children.   It may seem like you are not getting anywhere and a restlessness can take over.    

Couples make a choice during this time.  They may break up and try to create that excitement again with another partner.   They could stay in the relationship and treat their spouse like the enemy.  Or they could honor their commitment and continue on even when feelings say otherwise.   

I do not feel like doing the laundry, but it needs to be done so I can have clean clothes.  I do not feel like driving the school bus every day, but the kids have to get to school and I like getting a paycheck. J   I see where the author is trying to take me.  My feelings have their place, but they cannot rule.   I’m in my marriage for the long haul so I will read on!

What do you think?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Refurbished Nook Color at eBay

Have you ever wanted a Nook Color?  Here's your chance to buy a refurbished one for $179.99.  It is usually $249.  A top-rated seller who has 99.4% positive feedback is selling it.  I am not the seller...I wish.  My other dream is to be a top-rated seller on eBay.   Enough about me and check this out.  Click the link below.

Barnes & Noble NOOK Color 8GB, Wi-Fi, 7in Touchscreen - eBay (item 200637867345 end time Sep-09-11 07:59:36 PDT)

Are My Words A Gift?

I learn a lot while trying to raise my children.  How do I teach them the right way?  This morning was interesting. Jeremiah thought Jasmine needed to be told how to read because she was not doing it right.  His way of  "helping" was not very nice. It sounded more like a put down because he thinks he reads better than her.  I suggested he should ask her does she want help instead of coming down on her like a sledgehammer.  She was discouraged enough to want to stop reading because of his comments.   How can I help us learn something from this moment?

I was reminded of the scripture, Ephesians 4:29 which says "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers."  I said it more to myself than to them, but they heard and had this expression on their face like I was speaking another language.

Then I remembered that Florence Littauer explained it better for kids in her book,  Silver Boxes.   She said our words should be like a gift.  Who could resist a beautifully, wrapped present?  Even when someone needs correction, it should be presented in the spirit of love.

My kids understand about receiving presents so I think they understood what I was trying to say.  I read Silver Boxes a long time ago so I do not remember all the details.  She wrote stories from her life about how words help and hurt people.   If I read it again any time soon then I will write a book review for you.

Anyway, the point is our words should be used to build up, encourage, restore and show love.  We have been on the receiving end of the opposite and know the pain inflicted by words.  Let's think and pause before speaking so we do not harm others.

"Are my words a gift?"

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New Look by Cutesie Blog Design

My blog has a new look thanks to Leah of Cutesie Blog Design.    Leah was very easy to work with.   I was not sure what I really wanted or how it should look.  I told her what my blog was about and Leah sent me ideas that I really liked.  She was fast with producing a sample and quick to answer e-mails.

At the top of my blog, you will notice a woman with a stack of books in her hands.   She is the size I was about 9 years ago, but the rest of the picture is accurate.  :)  The bookshelf full of books and me with a handful of books is true to life.  In my house there are at least 3 bookshelves full of books.  I am usually moving books from one place to another.

I have 2 bookshelves on the side to let you know what I have read and what I am currently reading.   You can also shop for some of my favorite books at the bottom of my blog.  Stay updated by subscribing to my blog and join in the discussion about what I am reading.  Also you will be the first to know about giveaways.

Subscribe to my blog by pressing either the orange button to get a feed and read in your favorite reader like Google Reader.  Or click the blue button to receive updates by e-mail.

If you ever decide to blog and (I know you have opinions and information that the world needs) then consider making the look of your blog unique.  Contact Leah from Cutesie Blog Design to see how she can help.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Simply His Word & Free eBooks

Today is Monday and for me that means Christianbook usually updates their free ebooks page. Go to this link -> Sample Free eBooks - Christianbook.com. I downloaded the eBook, Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health. I will let you know later about this book. Christianbook also has a CBD reader app. You can download it from the Apple App Store or the Android market. Adobe Digital Editions software is used to read the eBooks on your computer or to transfer to your dedicated book reader.

As much as I love to read, I know there is nothing like the Word of God without commentary. Just let God give his own commentary. The KJV Bible Promise Book (Christianbook Stock No: WW81059) by Barbour Publishing is simply the scriptures grouped by subject. If you look up Contentment, you will find:
- "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Hebrews 13:5
- "But godliness with contentment is great gain." 1 Timothy 6:6

It is $1.99 at Christianbook, but 0.99 if you buy 10 or more. If you buy more then you are prepared to bless someone else with a great gift. You will also find either the same or similar books at Amazon.com, Half.com or eBay.com. Prices will definitely vary because those websites have sellers offering used and new books.

Have a great day!

    I Love Christian Fiction Sweepstakes

    Go to I Love Christian Fiction Sweepstakes and answer a survey by Thomas Nelson. Thomas Nelson publishes Bibles, Christian books, videos, software and audio. The survey was not too long. The first 2,000 to answer will receive a free e-Book and you will be entered in a $10,000 sweepstakes.


    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    Today's Library Tour - 8/4/11

    When I went to the library today, I only intended to return 2 books and pay a small fine.  Why did I come out of the library with 28 books?  Only 1 book was for me.  I dropped something off to my husband at his job and went to the library near his job. 

    The kids run in and start picking up books so my quick trip turned into something longer.  It was okay.  Jasmine decided on a book she could read to her sister, Madie.  Jeremiah picked up a book to help Madie with her ABCs.  Then the twins picked books that they liked.  When we checked out, the librarian reminded me that I had a book on hold at another library near my house so I went there to just pick up 1 book.  The kids wanted to get more books and use the computers so I stayed longer again than I intended.   I should not complain.  Didn't I want the kids to like reading? 

    We have not read any of the books yet, but the kids already have their favorites.  Jasmine's favorite pick is A God's Little Princess Treasury (Gigi, God's Little Princess).  She saw a Gigi DVD and was excited to find a book about her.   Jeremiah likes Little Bill and was happy to find a book about him.

    I want my kids to enjoy reading so my longer than expected trip to the library was worth it.


    Wednesday, August 3, 2011

    Love Your Neighbor for Kids...and Me

    I read Love Your Neighbor (Just Like Jesus Said Series) to my kids today.  The whole story is a rhyme about a boy who does not like his neighbor, Tim.  He broke his bike and scared his cat.  Everybody should agree that Tim is a pain except for Grandma.  She reminds him to "love your neighbor as you love yourself."

    The little boy says he can love anyone else except for Tim.  The little boy's imagination runs wild.  He could live with and be neighborly to a polar bear, elephants and any other animal you could think of except Tim.   By the end of the book, his way of thinking changes and he makes a friend.

    My kids gave this book a "thumbs up".  Today was rough between the twins.  Fighting between the two started early this morning. I had to remind them to love each other even when they disagree.  "Don't touch me"..."Get out of my room"...."Stop correcting me" are a few of the phrases shouted back and forth between the two.   After reading this book, things improved for about an hour and then the fight was back on.  Tomorrow I hope they are the best of friends again.

    I have had a few "Tims" in my life.  I have felt that there is no way I could love that person, but reading a children's book reminds who I represent and what He expects.

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    How I Read Nook Books without a Nook

    I do not have a Nook, but that does not stop me from enjoying Nook books.  I created an account at Barnes and Nobles website (www.barnesandnoble.com) so I could purchase Nook books or take advantage of their free Nook book offers.  I have a Nook library that goes anywhere. 

    I downloaded the Nook for PC app to my laptop and the Android Nook app for my phone.   I prefer reading the books on my phone.  I can tap or swipe to turn pages.  If I do get a Nook book reader then my library is ready. 

    Monday, August 1, 2011

    Free eBooks at Christianbook.com

    Hi All,

    Today is Monday and what I like about Mondays is that Christianbook.com usually updates their free eBooks page with different books.   I cannot guarantee Monday will always be an update to their free eBook page, but I have noticed the pattern.  Books are changed on different days of the week, but I noticed most of the changes occur on Monday.

    Do not worry if you do not have a book reader.   Christianbook.com saves your eBooks to a library and you can read the books using their book reader online.   You can read your books from your PC using Adobe Digital Editions.  That software is free.  Christianbook.com provided the link so I could download Adobe Digital Editions.

    You can read instructions on how to transfer your eBook to your book reader.  I use a Sony book reader and I am able to transfer books from Adobe Digital Editions to my reader.   The MAC, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android phones, nook and Kobo are also supported devices.

    Do not just stop at the free stuff on Christianbook.com.  Search their site and you will find Bibles, VBS supplies, Homeschool resources, music, DVDs and more.

    Click the link below to go directly to Christianbook.com's free eBook page.

    If the link does not work the go to http://www.christianboook.com/, click eBooks at the top of the page.  Then click "Try Free eBooks" on the right side of the page.

    Click the link below to go to a video describing eBooks at Christianbook.com.

    Please note: I did not receive any money from Christianbook.com for promoting their website.  I use it regularly and thought this information would be helpful.