Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Thrive Market - natural & organic products @ a wholesale price.

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You can get everything you need from GMO-free food, snacks, vitamins, supplements, personal care products, cleaning supplies, beauty products, kitchen staples, pantry essentials, baby food and products and much, much more.
Displaying $1kGiveawayv2.jpg
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Disclaimer: I received compensation in exchange for writing this post. Although this post is sponsored, I only recommend products or services I have personally read or used & think my readers may find useful. Thank you for reading GivingNSharing!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Anomaly by Krista McGee

By Krista McGee
ISBN: 978-1401688721
$7.37 (paperback)
$3.99 (kindle)

About the book:
Thalli has 15 minutes and 23 seconds left to live. The toxic gas that will complete her annihilation is invading her bloodstream. But she is not afraid.

Decades before Thalli’s birth, the world ended ina nuclear war. But life went on deep underground, thanks to a handful of scientists known as The Ten. Since then, they have genetically engineered humans to be free from emotions in the hopes that war won’t threaten their lives again. But Thalli was born with the ability to feel emotions and a sense of curiosity she can barely contain. She has survived so far thanks to her ability to hide those differences. But Thalli’s secret is discovered when she is overwhelmed by the emotion in an ancient piece of music.

She is quickly scheduled for annihilation, but her childhood friend, Berk, convinces The Ten to postpone her death & study her instead. While in the scientists’ Pod, Thalli and Berk form a dangerous alliance, one strictly forbidden by the constant surveillance in the pods.

As her life ticks away, she hears rumors of someone called the designer – someone even more powerful than The Ten. What’s more, the parts of her that have always been an anomaly could in fact be part of a much larger plan. And the parts of her that she has always guarded could be the answer she’s been looking for all along.

Thalli must sort out what to believe and who she can trust, before her time runs out…

My thoughts;
Anomaly has a very interesting concept behind the story. The books setting is AFTER Nuclear War has destroyed the world as we know it. 10 scientists saw what was coming and prepared a society deep in the earth and fled as the world ended. During the period before the book starts a new society has formed, babies are created (not in the natural way), formed and are designed with a specific purpose for their pod. Thalli was designed to be her pod’s musician and her job is to support & encourage her podmates as they work. But she is an anomaly – and she is found out.

What I found interesting as I read this book is how the 10 scientists have designed a society that relies on each other and ultimately on the 10 scientists. Within 3 generations the words (and knowledge of) God, His Saving Grace & Purpose, Love, Marriage have all been wiped out and each individual is designed to have NO emotions, feelings, illnesses & nothing can go wrong because if it does they will be destroyed. Eventually Thalli ends up meeting John, the only other naturally created human and he shares the Love of Christ (or the original designer) with her.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book although it wasn’t at all what I expected. The writing is a bit tough to read so I would say it is for TEEN not for Middle Graders unless they have a strong grasp of language and a high reading comprehension. Parents you may want to read it before or with your kids (especially if they are younger) so you can answer questions. Personally I think a list of questions with this book would be great and it would be perfect for book clubs to read together.

Read this article by the author: Faith vs Science? (it’s outstanding) and if you’d like to learn more about the author and what she’s all about…. Be sure to visit Krista McGee’s blog here and friend her on facebook too!

Krista McGee has written 2 other books in this series - learn more by clicking on the book cover....

Luminary-book-cover Revolutionary-Cover

This post is linked up @
1) Inspire Me Monday - HERE
2) The Book Nook - HERE
3) One Mother Hen - HERE
4) Mommy Monday - HERE
5) TGI Saturdays - HERE

Disclaimer: I was offered a copy of the book to read & review. I was not required to have a positive review & was requested to give an honest opinion. Thanks for reading GivingNSharing!

Why should you read to older kids - and book review helps

Anomaly (Anomaly #1)
I was JUST listening to the KLove Morning Show on the radio and they were talking about how kids aren't as connected with books like they were when I (or the speakers) were as kids. There were GREAT kids series like The Bobsey Twins, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys among many. I believe one of the speakers' names was Lisa and she commented how she couldn't get her son to read & she told him one day to put down the ipad and pick up a book - his answer? I've read them all.
She took him to the goodwill and tried to introduce him to the Hardy Boys series there & she said he wasn't interested. She thinks it's because the cover was old fashioned and it didn't catch his interest.
All I could think was... Are you still reading to him yourself?
Experts say that we should READ to our kids - but how many of my readers continue to read to their kids once their kids start learning how to read? How many of you still pick up a book, have a book in your purse or perhaps always in the car & during a transition period can grab it and say "let's find out what happens in the next chapter"?

Find GREAT Reads for your kids:
For the last 6 years I have reviewed Middle Grade Fiction on 2 blogs. Classic Children's Books & now GivingNSharing. Slowly I am moving my MG reviews over to GivingNSharing but at this time CCB is still live & available to parents to find books for their kids of all ages. You'll find all kinds of GREAT MG books like:
Search & Rescue, Rock Harbor   -     By: Colleen Coble, Robin Caroll Janitors (Janitors, #1) Leviathan

My favorite series in the last few years though is (and you can expect a review SOON on Book 4):
One thing I've noticed is parents think that when their child Is learning to read is that they need to quit reading to their children. NO NO NO! Children NEED to be read to. Take this time to encourage your kids - to BE WITH THEM in the moment. Please DONT use this time to teach biblical or behavior lessons. This is the time to build a LOVE for imagination and mystery! A LOVE for the written word! Read to your kids as long as they will let you. Read to them while they are lying around. Read to them while they are doing homework, while they are doing dishes, while they are crafting. Take this time for "no pressure" relationship building - no preaching or lecturing allowed. Get out the classics and read to them - Louisa May Alcott, Shakespeare, George MacDonald just to name a few...
A series I would recommend for Kids 8 or 9+ is The Quest for Truth series. I'll put a link to the series reviews on CCB so you can see what I mean. You've got a little Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew written by a Christian Youth Pastor. Another a book I'd highly recommend is Between Two Ends by David Ward - AWESOME read aloud book! For Kids 5th grade plus pull out The Hobbit and 8th grade plus read The Lord of the Rings. Consider Maturity Level, focus, books you loved & most of all consider your child's interest. Boys like NON-Fiction - Girls like make believe. Older kids like reality. Remember they are soon to enter the real world and books are helping them form their thought processes, desires & the way they think "real life" works.,  Ask at the library for more suggestions. Steer your kids away from the Dark Genre - they are cheap reads that don't do any Heart or Mind building.
Please Please Please do not stop reading to your kids!!!
"Reading aloud to children helps them develop and improve literacy skills - reading, writing, speaking & listening and since children listen on a higher level than they read, listening to other readers stimulates growth and understanding of vocabulary and language patterns." (by Jim Trelease) (quote from EducationWorld)

Suggested MG Fiction Blogs:
Blogs recommended by GivingNSharing to help you find parent & teacher approved books for your kids: (note: parents are always free to read the book first if you are concerned your kid isn't ready for a certain book - many of these blogs are a TOOL parents can use so you know what they are reading)!

 40 best books for boys ages 8-16 Book Reviews for Parents
Photobucket Kidsreads logo

So tell me - do YOU still read to your kids? Why or Why Not?

This post is linked up @:
1) Inspire Me Monday - HERE
2) Mommy Monday - HERE
3) TGI Saturdays - HERE

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Thrive4Pink & Make a Difference

Thrive4Pink is the symbol of HOPE & Emotion - it's your chance to make a difference not only in your life with High Quality Natural Nutrition - but in the lives of Women and Men with Breast Cancer through a fundraiser designed to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness & Research.

$5 from the purchase of EACH sale of Thrives Limited Edition #Thrive4Pink DFT patches will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation during the month of October - I've already ordered mine & $5 has been donated - it's that easy!!!

You can Learn More & Order right NOW - just click on this link: http://tiinaj1.le-vel.com and you've made a difference today! As always starting an account is FREE and maybe at the most you will receive 2-3 emails a month (if that) so NO Spam and No Pressure. No CC needed until you decide you are ready to order.

Disclaimer: I am a consultant with Le-Vel and am sharing this opportunity with my readers. I actually use this product and only share products that I already like and believe in and think my readers may have an interest in as well. Thanks for reading GivingNSharing.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Koala Crate - get $10 OFF your order!

Hey guys - I love Koala Crate! I just ordered another crate for Gianna & Madison to play with next week. Madison is off school and hopefully it will save me from a few hours of arguing and whining. =D The last time we got one we got to watercolor and play with paste & the kids loved it!

Would you like $10 off your FIRST Activity Crate from Koala Crate? 
They are giving my readers $10 off! Click the picture below to learn more!

Shared at:


Disclaimer: I ordered a box of goodies from Kiwi Crate and was given a code to share with my readers and was offered $10 for each reader who orders to put toward future orders. You can do this too - just order from the link above and you'll be given a code to share with your friends!!! =D

Homeschool Resource.....


I just learned about a great new homeschool resource that is available for Pre-Order as of TODAY. 

Christmas Around the World - PreOrder Here
by Katie Horner
180 pages
$15.99 (until 10/12/15) and $17.99 (starting 10/13/15)

Features of this Unit Study are:
1) Suitable for kids K-Grade 6, possibly late preschool ages if you tweak it a bit.
2) Geography Based - a great opportunity to discuss your kids' heritage and learn about how their ancestors once celebrated the Christmas Holidays in their country.
3) Countries included are Australia, the Bahamas, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, England, Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Middle East, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Tailand & the US. 
4) 60 pages of printables, internet links & a suggested reading list included.
5) Ideas, materials, and other resources for math, reading, writing, science, history, geography, language, music & art for all ages are included. Coloring sheets for PreK so they don't feel left out. 
6) Families & Personal Classrooms have permission to reproduce the activity sheets.
7) Based on Facts: Information was gathered from online & offline sources & presented from a biblical worldview. The author is a trained teacher, curriculum author & current homeschool mom.

Per the website:
With 180 pages, this ultimate guide to Chritmas is your one-stop 
curriculum for the holidays. Pre-order by 10/12 and get our "Kids
Travel 2015" Printable Calendar ($7.99) as a FREE Bonus!
Launch is October 13th & your items will be shipped!!

Linked @
   Thursday Favorite Things Button

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I'll receive a small commission and loads of hugs and kudos from the powers that be as well as a copy of the book to review and use with my littles this Christmas. Regardless of this, I only share information and products that I think my readers will enjoy and use. Thanks for reading GivingNSharing.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Tot School Fall Sensory Activities

We are now heading into October (yay!) and Gianna is getting so big. She is loving Tot School and I have been trying to incorporate more sensory activities like Pumpkin Playdough, hunting for acorns & colorful leaves and this fun sensory box.

Materials I used:
  • Various plant picks with leaves, pumpkins, scarecrows, etc from the fabric store (Joanne's has a nice selection)
  • We used last months oatmeal but you could use corn, hay, acorns, birdseed, etc
  • leaf shaped serving trays from Dollar Tree
I began by purchasing 6 fall picks from the floral section at Joanne Fabrics. 
Having 2 girls meant having to get 2 of everything. Pumpkins (these could
also be used for graduating size activities), Scarecrows, Flowers (Mums in 
this case). There were lots of leaves on all of them.

I pulled off all the pumpkins, leaves & flowers. The Scarecrows stayed 
on the pick as I didn't have any wire cutters. I just watched Gianna to
make sure she wasn't poking someone's eyes out or trying to chew on them.

I found these neat leaf shaped trays at Dollar Tree for $1 and they are the 
PERFECT size for a high chair tray. They don't hold much I don't quite trust 
her on the floor not to be carrying it all over the place but still for a 
toddler they are a nice size.

Throw in a little bowl and a spoon or two and she is happy 
for a good 1/2 hour to hour at a time (sometimes longer)!

MrsAOK, A Work In ProgressInspire Me Monday  photo meanderingmondaybadge1014200x200_zps679d2e71.png My Pinterventures   Thursday Favorite Things Button God’s Growing Garden “Inspire

6 Ways to Make Your Bathroom Safer - a painful lesson to learn!

This morning I slammed my shoulder and head into the side of the tub after slipping while trying to straighten the shower mat just enough that the water could drain better. But it wasn't to be - my feet flew up and my body felt the pull of gravity and slammed into the tub. I wasn't knocked unconscious but was stunned for a few seconds and luckily I didn't break any bones but I can tell you I was a little scared that I had done something to myself and that no one could get in to help me and I had no way to contact anyone.

So here is a quick safety lesson for the bathroom:
Statistic: In 2008 (the earliest date for which statistics are available), an estimated 234,000 nonfatal bathroom injuries occurred in the U.S. among people 15 and older, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

1) Floors: 
Be careful! Any part of the floor in the bathroom can become very wet & slippery making it very easy to fall. Be sure to wipe up any spills and secure loose rugs with double-faced tape, tacks or slip-resistant backings.

2) Showers/Tubs:
Getting in and out of the shower or tub is a common time for falls in the bathroom:
  • Use nonslip mats in the shower/tub. Suction cup mats I think are safer personally but you do need to keep the suction cups clean and free of soap, slime and scum or the cups don't stay tight and your mat will slide around. According to ColoradoTubRepair.com these kinds of mats cause damage to the finish of your tub so eventually you will need to get it refinished but to me that is a small thing compared to falling and getting hurt or killed! Eldercare.org suggests securing bath mats with non-slip, double-sided rug tape (I never thought of this - is it for the tub or floor?)
  • Consider grab barsshower seats especially for the elderly, those who are unsteady on their feet, anyone who gets dizzy, if you're afraid of falling, etc... Seats with holes allow the water to drain making the surface less slippery & suction cups on the chair/bench bases provide stability. 
  • Any tips on how to avoid hitting toes and legs on the side of the tub? As mobility worsens I find that I hit/break/jam my toes more - and it hurts! I'm hoping the chair will help.
3) Lighting:
Make sure there is adequate lighting in your bathroom day & night. Use illuminated switches, reflective tape or paint - especially if you are visually impaired and shower without glasses/contacts. 

4) The Elderly:
Consider using grab bars, shower seats especially for your elders. 79% of the elderly population accidents in the home are in the bathroom - Personally I'm in my mid 40's and after today I may seriously consider both. 540,000 slip-fall injuries, requiring hospital care, occur in North America each year.” 

5) Shower: 
Consider a handheld or adjustable shower head especially if you are seated in the shower. Set the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees to prevent burns. 

Lastly, if you are single, have mobility or an illness that may cause you to struggle with steadiness, dizziness, nausea, pain or fall a lot I strongly suggest having a friend with a key to your home that can come if you need them. I happen to run a daycare in my home and I think I am going to give a key to one of them just in case something like this ever happens again. I had no clue how I was going to get help if I couldn't get up.

Websites with more info:
1) Asha.org:  Preventing Falls
2) Eldercare.org: Preventing Falls at Home pdf  (#4)
3) 2008 statistic is from Healthmonitor.com: 10 top tips for bathroom safety

No Disclaimer needed - just a quick safety lesson & tip sheet for myself!

MrsAOK, A Work In Progress Inspire Me Monday  photo meanderingmondaybadge1014200x200_zps679d2e71.png  My Pinterventures    God’s Growing Garden “Inspire

Thursday, September 24, 2015

October Happenings! Omaha, NE

Omaha has a number of fun October events coming up. Many are FREE or Low Cost and open to the public. Typically as a Christian daycare provider I don't do much with Halloween but we do many fall activities around pumpkins and leaves and the kids really enjoy the Bellevue Berry Farm so we try to go every year during the day when it isn't very busy.

1) Hands On Habitat @ Fontenelle Forest for kids 3-5. http://bit.ly/1NXJXxA
HOH is a special educational, hands-on class for preschool kids & parents. It's FREE when you use this special code: Parent Savvy for FREE admission. Registration is required & these events fill up fast.. Themes: October 16 - Reptiles Galore, November 20th - Turkey Time, December 18th - Bunny Fun.

2) Bellevue Berry Farm & Pumpkin Patch http://bellevueberryfarm.com/
Location: located in Papillion, Nebraska between Cornhusker Hwy and Hwy 370 on S 48th St. BBF is a much smaller venue for kids and ideal for the younger crowd. They do have large dogs so if you think your child will have trouble with them you may consider not going there as they do roam throughout the farm. There is a haunted forest that the hayrack ride goes through and it can be scary for little kids so either hide their eyes - or don't do the hayrack ride. The figures move, scream and some of them their eyes light up. I believe that a small pumpkin is included in the cost of entry which is $8 per person. They allow you to bring a picnic basket and your own food & drinks and there is a playground for the kids that includes a zipline and a small shed that I believe has a slide (?). I haven't been in it but the kids love it. Bounce Houses, barrel slides, animals and more.

3) Pumpkin Patch Party, Kroc Center, 10/31, 3-5 pm.
Costumes are welcome, please leave SCARY costumes at home. We have gone the last 2 years after school and the kids have really enjoyed the games & activities and a pizza dinner is included to anyone in the building. Activities include a corn cob bowling, pin the nose on the pumpkin, the Creepy-Crawl and Much More. Located at 2825 Y Street, Omaha, NE

4) TRICK OR TREAT WITH THE ANIMALS OF GIFFORD FARM, OCT 17, 2015, 11:00-3:00 -  (11:00 A.M.)
Join us down on the farm on Saturday, October 17th from 11-3PM for a day of safe and fun trick or treating! Enjoy fun farm games, songs, and a hayride as you trick or treat each of our barns and pens. Please come in costume! Admission is $5 per trick or treater, and there is no charge for the accompanying adults. (Military discount with ID-$1.00 off). Lunch concessions and picnic tables are available.

Activities at The Children's Museum in October:
1) Yoga with Youngins', Children's Museum, Wednesday 
9:15 - 10 am, September 16, 23 & 30 and October 7, 14, 21 & 28.  

This is not an event I will take Gianna to due to the cost but I thought some of you might be interested. If you have a Children's Museum pass it would be a fun way to wear off some energy, try something new & then stay and play for a little while. 

Grab your youngin and meet us on the mat for a peaceful and calming yoga session at Omaha Children’s Museum. A certified children’s yoga instructor will join us at OCM to teach yoga to children (and their special adult) in a fun, relaxed and positive atmosphere that allows each child and adult to find peace and harmony within themselves. 

This class is FREE, but requires registration online as space is very limited. Museum admission not included with class. Click on date above to register. 

Free to all Members and Non-Members. Museum admission is not included. Limited Availability for each session. Ages 6 weeks - 18 months. One adult per child is required. Must bring personal yoga mats. Mats are not provided.  Class is FREE but does require registration. More info @ http://bit.ly/1Fk0yZF

2) Cobweb Castle - the NOT So Scary FUN Haunted House!
October 1 - 31, during regular museum hours 
It’s the months of spooks, spells, tricks and treats! Kids can explore the castle, play in the Neon Nook, conquer the Noodle Forest, venture through the new graveyard and dance with our very own witch, Broomhilda, during the Villain’s Sing-Along. FREE with regular museum admission or membership. 

3) Healthy Trick or Treat Nights
Thursdays, October 22 & 29, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. 
Can’t wait for Halloween? These are the perfect nights to try out the costumes before the big night and enjoy a safe and healthy trick-or-treating experience! These nights offer healthy treats for kids to collect at various stations around the museum, a spooky science show, Darth Vader dance party and more!  FREE with regular museum admission or membership. 

4) Halloween
Saturday, October 31, during museum hours
Enjoy the museum on this spooky day with lots of not-too-scary fun! Enjoy spooky science shows, make a pumpkin picture, explore a mystery box and more! FREE with regular museum admission or membership. 

Fall Newsletter: http://www.ocm.org/Post/sections/366/Files/Connect%20Fall%202015.pdf

Stay Tuned!
I will update this page if I learn of other activities in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area. There are several other activities that I do with Gianna and the other kids when they aren't in school. If people find this helpful I will post an Activity post each month.

October heading is a free image from http://www.teacherfiles.com/clip_art_autumn.htm