God’s Mail: Volume 3 by Ron Hardin (Review)

We received this product to review!

God's Mail

Are you looking to strengthen your relationship with God? Are you having a difficult time finding devotions that speak to you? Perhaps God’s Mail Volume 3, by Ron Hardin, from God’s Mail, is what you’re looking for.  This book contains over 90 poems and many corresponding Bible verses from different versions (NJKV, TLB, GW, AMP, MSG, and more).

Mr. Hardin has written these poems and selected these Bible verses for both believers and non-believers alike. Many of them are based on his own experiences with being in jail, in a gang, dropping out of school, and the use of drugs. In this third volume he uses those experiences to encourage and strengthen those dealing with more serious subjects such as abortion, suicide, passing of others, but also the troubles that come to us every day.

About Ron Hardin:

Mr. Ron Hardin is currently married and has 4 children and 5 grandchildren. Mr. Hardin and his wife are both ordained ministers.

Our Experience: 

As a believer in God, I’m always interested in trying new devotionals, so I can learn a new perspective about God and share it with others. I was very interested in this devotional, because I hadn’t read one with poems and corresponding Bible verses before. I thought that using different versions of Bible for the verses was nice, because different versions call to people differently. I personally find that some are easier to read and understand, so I really liked that about this devotion.


I really wanted to try journaling while reading this book. I found that it didn’t work for me,  because many of the poems don’t apply to me. For example, I’m not divorced, don’t have substance abuse, or am depressed. Since I wasn’t able to journal, I decided to just mark the pages and verses that moved me. It worked really well. I know I can go back to those pages for inspiration and comfort.

Mama’s Thoughts:

As someone who has written a number of poems and read poems of other authors, I don’t think they all needed to rhyme. It made it harder for me to read them, because they didn’t flow well for me. I did read the poems before the verses, because then the verses impacted me in a more powerful and positive way.

-Some of these poems are very dark, but I think that’s because they are based on his life experiences. He has written these poems and shared these verses, so that he can help those who are currently experiencing the same pain. If you don’t find that some of these problems are relevant to you, move on. When you find the subjects that are relevant at this point in your life, these poems and verses will speak to you. And you’ll grow closer to God.


C’s Thoughts (girl, officially in 8th grade):

C didn’t participate in this review as I feel that most of this book wasn’t written for her at this time of her life.

Recap of pertinent information!

Product Link: God’s Mail Volume 3

Vendor Information Link: God’s Mail

Age Appeal: Adult men and women (older teens might be comforted by these poems as well)

Format: I received a paperback version, but there is also one for the Kindle. There are 221 pages, over 90 poems, and many Bible verses from different Bible versions. There are also endorsements from different people who have been blessed by Mr. Ron Hardins books.

Price and More: Please check the product link for current prices and more information

Please click on the graphic below to learn what the other crew members on the review thought about God’s Mail: Volume 3!


Photo of the Week!- Reflected Sunrise in Front Window

I hope y’all are doing well. I know what you’re going to say. This photo isn’t very good. I know that, but take a look at the colors. That’s the reason why I get to share this poor quality phone camera photo. This is the only way that I could get the true colors of the sunrise. The colors were so brilliant that they just wouldn’t show up when I took the photo normally, I had to use the reflection in our front window. I hope that I’m able to spend a little bit more time experimenting with the different function of the phone camera, so that I can get the best photo possible in the future.

What have you been taking photos of recently?


Book Series: Appaloosy, Dusty’s Trail, Golden Sunrise, and Day and Night, by Mattie Richardson! (Review)

We received this product to review!


Do you have children who love stories about history? Do you have children who are fascinated with horses? Are you looking for family-friendly books to read to your children? Appaloosy, Day and Night, Golden Sunrise, and Dusty’s Trail from the Mattie Richardson’s Horses in History Series, by Author Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books could be exactly what you’re looking for. These four books will take your family on historical adventures across the United States from 1877 Oregon and the Nez Perce to the Civil War to the battle at the Alamo to the Pony Express.

Appaloosy (her first book) is about a horse named Storm who is owned by a Nez Perce brave, White Feather for a time, until there is a war in Idaho. In that war, Storm is taken to live with the white men. He is sold several times and meets new horses along the way. He begins to live on a family farm with a young girl named Faith. Here he is finally happy, he doesn’t want to run with a wild herd any more. However life takes a different turn, when he is stolen by rustlers. He is able to escape, but needs to make an important decision. Will he stay free or go back to Faith? 



In Dusty’s Trail Levi Anderson sees an ad for a job that needs young riders for the Pony Express. He immediately wants to leave the family ranch and ride for them. His Palomino, Dusty, doesn’t think it’s a good idea nor does Levi’s mom. They leave and no matter the dangers (Paiute Indians, bad weather, and wild animals) they bond even more and have some great rides.



In Day and Night Tucker and Shiloh, two young Morgan brothers, are sold separately and could soon face each other in the Civil War. The two horses learn a lot of about the war and it’s effect on everyone during their times in the Union and Confederacy. Will they meet each other on the battle field? Can Shiloh keep Sarah (a young woman fighting as a young man) safe? 


Cheyenne is a Golden Palomino in Golden Sunrise who is ready to help her owner, Jared, fight for Texas’s independence. They travel together to San Antonio where Jared has orders to fight the Mexicans and Santa Anna. At the Alamo they make new friends, but life will soon change for both of them. What will happen to them, James Bowie, Davy Crockett and other now famous fighters? Will Texas become a free state for the United States?


About Mattie Richardson:

Mattie Richardson currently lives in North Dakota where she is a full-time journalist and part-time musician. Appaloosy was written when she was 13 and published when she was 16. She has a passion for writing and shares it with others at schools and different groups.

Our Experience: 

I’ve always thought that it was important to learn about history from living books, because it makes it more realistic and not just a lot of facts and figures. I feel that she knows more about history, because of books like these by Mattie Richardson.
When I showed her these books, she was very interested. I wasn’t sure if it was because they were bought horses or history. She took Appaloosa and read it quickly and enjoyed it. She soon begin reading the other ones too.

Day and Night currently has the Day and Night Enrichment Guide available for purchase, so C and I worked on this book and guide together. We would read the sections of books together as a read-aloud then worked on the guide. We took a week to work on each part. We did:

-Reading Comprehension
-History (more information about what is read about int the book)
-A Soldier’s Life
-Living History Activity (ways to make Civil War history come alive)
-Horses and History
-Creating Your Own Stories
-Biography (different historical figures)
-Further Reading/Advanced Track (reading different parts of Shiloh and/or Battle Cry of Freedom)

Mama’s Thoughts:

-I like how these books were from the horse’s perspective, but still included all important historical details. Each horse was a different breed. There was a Palomino, an Appaloosa, and American Quarter Horse, and a Morgan. There are also other breeds mentioned. The mention of all these different breeds opens up the opportunity to study and learn more about them.

-These books were so well written that I’m not sure which one is my favorite. I felt like I was right there with the horses, feeling what they felt and seeing what they saw. I especially noticed this in the one about the Pony Express. I’ve studied a little bit about it in the past and understand the desires and dangers that the young men and horses would have felt as they raced across the countryside. Please keep in mind what happened at the Alamo, when reading Golden Sunrise. You might want to read this book before your younger children. I would also say the same for Day and Night.

-I liked the extra historical information that was at the end of each book.

-The Day and Night Enrichment Guide is a must to go along with the book. It includes so many different activities. I really liked learning more information about the horses and horsemanship, geography, activities, and biographies. The part that I thought was the best though was the different creative writing assignments. These assignments will help children build their own stories to share with others. 

C’s Thoughts (girl, officially in 8th grade):

Appaloosy is about a horse who is owned by the Nez Perce Indians, but he is captured and sent to live with white men. Then he comes to live with a little girl, but then is captured again. Read the book to find out what happens.

Golden Sunrise is about a golden Palomino mare that fights with her owner at the Alamo for the independence of Texas.

Dusty’s Trail is about a horse and his rider who works for the Pony Express, but then there is trouble with the Paiute Indians. What will happen to Dusty and his rider?

Day and Night is about two young horses who fight in the American Civil War on opposite sides both claiming to fight for freedom.

Appaloosy was my favorite of all four books, because it was the most interesting to me. I think all of the books are well written and interesting though.

I think these books would be good for people of all ages.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Appaloosy7/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/appaloosybooks/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AppaloosyBooks


Recap of pertinent information!

Product Link: Mattie Richardson’s Horses in History Series

Vendor Information Link: Author Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books

Age Appeal: ages 8-14 (Those who especially like horses and history!)

Format: The books we received were paperback from 60 to over 140 pages. The Day and Night Enrichment Guide was a PDF.

Price and More: Please check the product link for current prices and more information

Mama recommends!

Please click on the graphic below to learn what the other crew members on the review thought about this program!


Photo of the Week!- A Most Awesome Fall Frost

Is everyone having a nice fall? We’ve been having a pretty nice one. I would have liked a better fall in terms of the weather. It wasn’t a proper fall, because the temperatures have either been above average or below by around 20 degrees. We did have some nice frost on our car, so I thought I would share it with you. I like how the different angles show different colors and crystals. Do you have any fun photos to share?


The Right Combination, by Barbie & Richard Armenta (Book Review)

(received in exchange for an honest review)


Have you been through a divorce and are unsure about how to move forward into a new relationship? Would you like to learn skills and Bible verses to help you move forward?

Divorce is the last thing a couple desires. The Right Combination: Finding Love and Life After Divorce helps men and women (mostly focusing on), who have been through one, to heal with the help of God and move forward into a new and stronger marriage with God at the center.

Along with the shared stories of the authors, Barbie and Richard Armenta, the chapters include “Finding Your Right Combination” (sums up the chapter), Bible verses, and questions that help you think about the future.

Please go here to find an excerpt.

About the Authors-

Barbie & Richard Armenta currently live in Texas. Mr. Armenta is a mentor in prison ministry, speaker, and writer. Mrs. Armenta is the founder of the Brave Gathering and a freedom coach. You can learn more about them at rightcombination.net.

My thoughts-

– I liked that the book was easy to read and understand, but very thought provoking and postive. I couldn’t put The Right Combination down. I wanted to learn more about their lives and how time and God helped build their strong marriage.

– I think that this book is great not just for those who have been divorced, but for those who have left long-term relationships. As someone who is married to a divorcé, I think this book would have helped us smoothly become a strong blended family as the Armentas have.

I highly recommend this book to those who desire a stronger marriage and relationship with God.

Genre- Nonfiction / Religion / Christian Living / Love & Marriage
Published by- Kregel Publications
Copyrighted- 2019
Number of pages- 176
Age Group- Adult (Mostly for women who have been divorced.)
Description of book- paperback, listed price- $15.99, ISBN 978-8254-4568-2

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received a FREE copy of this product through Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.  All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Photo of the Week!- Wood Pile Insect Damage Part 2

Has everything been going well for you? I’ve been doing pretty well. It’s just that time of year when it’s harder for me to find interesting photography ideas. I decided to share this photo with you. What kind of insect do you think makes all of these holes in the wood? I’m not sure, that’s why I’m asking. Have a great day!


Summer’s Promise, by Barbara Cameron (Book Review)

(received in exchange for an honest review)


In the Amish community of Paradise, Pennsylvania, the Englisch and Amish worlds come together. Summer Carson has lived there her entire life and interacted with them when her father took her along, when he needed to visit the farms for his job. Her father has since passed away, and now she is working at the local extension office where she still interacts with them. She has spent enough time with them that she can speak and dream in Pennsylvania Deitsch. While she is checking Abram Yoder’s field, he becomes her friend. She realizes that she is attracted to him. As they spend more time together, he realizes that he is attracted to her. This puts them in a very difficult situation as they could never be more than friends. Or can they? Could Summer leave her life and job? Could Abram risk shunning to leave his Amish life? What will they do? How will the Amish community and his family react when they spend more and more time together?

About the Author-

Barbara Cameron currently lives in Florida. She enjoys writing about the Amish and their values and lifestyle. She has written more that 40 fiction and nonfiction books and three televised movies. She is the first winner of the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award.

My thoughts-

– After the first chapter I was drawn into Summer’s story of her life near the Amish community in Paradise. It was so engaging that I had to keep reading until I finished the book. I thought it was great that she was choosing to have the same career her father did, and that she was able to continue to be close to the Amish community through having a job that was similar to her father’s. It must have been hard for her to continue in his field after he succumbed to cancer. I really thought that her mother’s story was very interesting, because of the Lyme’s disease. It was interesting to learn that it could be hard to detect. It would have been nice if Barbara Cameron had added websites and other information about the disease, so that readers could know where to go to learn more.

– Since this is the 3rd book in the series, I wasn’t sure if I needed to read the other books in the series first, Seeds of Hope and Buried Secrets. I decided to check the first two out of the library, but I was only able to check them out after I read this one. (Someone else was enjoying them!). I learned that there were some secondary characters whose lives were explained in detail in the other books. Barbara Cameron did an excellent job of adding the necessary details in this book, so it wasn’t necessary to read the other two. She is such a good storyteller that it is a good and fun idea to read the other books in the series.

– I always appreciate any extras that an author adds to the book. This one had a very helpful Amish glossary, recipes for Amish Chow Chow and cakes made with zucchini, discussion questions that would be great for a book club, and the first chapter of the first book in the series.

I highly recommend this book to those who like Amish romance.

Genre- Fiction / Amish & Mennonite
Published by- Gilead Publishing
Copyrighted- 2019
Number of pages- 272
Age Group- Adult
Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-1-68370-059-3

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received a FREE copy of this product through Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.  All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Photo of the Week!- Wicked Thunderstorm and Rain on the Windshield

Good day, y’all. I hope you’re having a wonderful week! I’ve been fascinated for a number of years with clouds, rain, snow, and other kinds of weather. This photo was taken a few weeks ago when I was waiting to pick one of my children up from school. I was reading a book under a street lamp while it was pouring. I really liked the way the rain was going down the windshield and how it was reflected on my book. I took a number of photos that I plan on sharing for the next couple of weeks.

Are you fascinated by the weather? Do you like taking photos of it? Feel free to share my post and comment. Have a great week!!


Learn to Play Chess with Fun Family Chess from Brain Blox (Review)

We received this product to review!

Fun Family Chess

Some of my family members enjoy playing standard chess and some don’t. That’s why I thought Fun Family Chess from Brain Blox would work for us. We would learn how to play chess in a way that focused on the moves of the individual pieces and less on strategy. The well-built box includes 2 Reference cards, a colorful instructional chess book, 1 Chess Cube, 32 wooden chess pieces, 2 soft pouches, and a folding wooden chess board.


Our Experience: 

B really enjoys playing chess, but C never has. I thought that she would enjoy playing with this version, because the chess cube would dictate the moves. Only time would tell what they would think. B was quite excited when the game arrived in the mail and wanted to play right away. We looked at the instruction book and watched the videos that are available on the website.  As an experienced player he wanted to play the standard way at first, but it wasn’t hard to convince him to play with the Reference cards and Chess Cube. Personally I was hoping the Chess Cube would help me win, it didn’t. I still lost. The two of us had an enjoyable time playing together, but together we decided that the standard version would be best for us in the future, with Castling and other strategies, putting the king into a check or stalemate, and choosing our own strategies and pieces to move. The Chess Cube wouldn’t be used. (He did like the wooden board and pieces along with the pouches to hold them.)


I decided to play with C the next day. We set the board up and set to playing. She wanted the white pieces and so went first. It was a fun time as we took turns rolling the Chess Cube and moving our rooks, bishops, queens, kings, knights, and pawns according to what was rolled on the Chess Cube and according to the directions on the Reference cards. If we rolled the star we were able to move the piece of our choice!   It seemed to take a long time, but we stuck with it. She won! We’ve played multiple times and I’ve yet to win. I’ve decided that perhaps chess is not the game for me. Perhaps I need to learn and remember some of the good strategies that will help me win, like En Passant and Castling in Standard Chess.


Mama’s Thoughts:

-I like this version of chess and think that it would be great for younger children. I like being able to use the Chess Cube and the Reference cards. It took some of the guess work out of deciding which specific piece to use. It was frustrating sometimes, because we weren’t able to pick the piece that we wanted to move. We could probably make a hybrid version between this one and the standard version. We could use the Chess Cube, but change it during the game if we wanted to.


-I appreciated the quality of wooden board and pieces. The board showed where the pieces go and has strong metal clips to keep it closed. The individual chess pieces are solid, well painted, and have felt bottoms (to keep the chess board from being scratched).


C’s Thoughts (girl, officially in 8th grade):

I personally do not like chess, but for those who like chess or want to learn how to play, Fun Family Chess would great for them. I think that the Chess Cube is a good idea for people who have problems playing chess.


Here are some things I like about this Fun Family Chess.

1. I think the chess board is really cool and practical because it won’t get warped or anything like that, since it’s made out of wood.

2. The reference cards that are included with this are handy and cool.


Here is something I did not like about this product.

1. Using the chess cube can be annoying sometimes, because you can’t always move the piece you want.

I think this product would be good for people of all ages who like or want to learn to play chess.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mybrainblox
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brainblox
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpUttakNtthj_haX8LwRlwA


Recap of pertinent information!

Product Link: Fun Family Chess

Vendor Information Link: Brain Blox

Age Appeal: ages 5-105

Format: The box includes 2 Reference cards, colorful instructional chess book, 1 Chess Cube, 32 wooden chess pieces, 2 soft pouches, and a folding wooden chess board.

Price: Please check the product link for current prices.

Mama recommends!

Please click on the graphic below to learn what the other crew members on the review thought about this program!