Faith Under Fire Review & Giveaway *CLOSED*

Tom Hatcher is a fireman who has faced the loss of his wife to cancer and is now facing cancer with his 6 year old daughter. He’s fighting fires, both in his job and in his life. Out of complete frustration and feeling like God is absent in his life, he attacks at pastor a finds himself in a jail cell. That very same pastor helps him to face his grief and find faith even when things seem darkest.

If you enjoy Christian based movies with an encouraging message, here’s another one to add to your watch list. Faith Under Fire is a drama movie just released on DVD that offers hope while also showcasing an honest representation of the struggle we face to have faith when we are suffering.

You might even recognize a few faces including Dean Cain who played Superman and Kevin Sorbo from Hercules and God’s Not Dead!

This movie is perfect for anyone needing to find hope, especially during such a rough year we have all face. This movie has received the Dove Seal of Approval for ages 12+ and is already available digitally and on DVD. You can purchase your own copy at Amazon and other retailers.

I have also been given the opportunity to giveaway a digital copy of this movie for one of my readers! Just comment below and tell me something joyful or positive you have experienced in 2020. This giveaway will close on December 23, 2020.

 

Disclosure: Many thanks to Universal Pictures Home Entertainment for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Momentum Influencers in the last 30 days, from the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Baby Boo is Here!

Surprise! Obviously I haven’t really posted much about this baby, it’s been a crazy, stressful, whirlwind year… I’m sure you know that! I haven’t felt much like blogging lately, so I just decided I would share about Baby Boo’s birth when I was ready. And yes, we changed his nickname! Baby Bean is now Baby Boo, why? Because this sweet boy arrived on Halloween at 38 weeks, 6 days gestation (my earliest baby yet)! How fun is that?!

So this entire pregnancy was easy compared to my previous ones, physically anyways. However, with the pandemic and all the restrictions for my appointments, it was so stressful and not at all what I would have wanted during “normal” times. I was also diagnosed with gestational hypertension and gestational diabetes this pregnancy… don’t even get me started on that drama. Aside from the two midwives that I love to see, I wasn’t 100% happy with my care at the office I go to for pregnancies in NC.

Anyways, there had been a lot of back and forth between random OB’s who reviewed the NST’s and blood pressure readings at my last few appointments and the midwives who know me and my history. One would say I needed to be induced ASAP, another would say it was all fine. It was crazy. Thankfully, at my very last appointment on October 30th, one of my midwives was able to convince the OB to give my body more time to do it’s thing and we tentatively scheduled an induction for the next week. In the meantime, she stripped my membranes that afternoon and said she hoped she didn’t see me next week, ha! I’m so grateful to her and my other midwife. Both have known me since the birth of Boogie 10 years ago, they know that I know my body and would never do anything to harm myself or my baby. I’m so glad they trusted me and that I trusted my body… because less than 24 hours later Boo was here!

After having my membranes stripped I cramped all evening/night and woke up debating whether or not this was turning into anything. I struggled to sleep all night, I wasn’t necessarily having contractions yet… but when you know, you know! So I woke up that Saturday morning and quietly hopped in the shower, J had not slept well at all the night before and was supposed to go into work early that morning to fill in for one of his staff. However I had to convince him that was a bad idea, he was so exhausted and I didn’t like him driving after no sleep… and I just knew I would have to call him home anyways! When the shower didn’t slow anything down and I started feeling like they were turning into contractions, I woke J up and told him we needed to get everyone up and get the house ready so we would be ready.

And my husband. He looks me dead in the eye and says, “Are you SURE these are real contractions?” Yes. Yes, my husband really asked me that. Now, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, I was fine through these contractions… I don’t typically start showing pain until about halfway through and then I’m in for it when transition hits! So we all got up, made the kids breakfast, got the house cleaned up… and then we had to load up and go pick up some groceries so my MIL would have food to feed the rest of the kids while we were away. You know you’re a mom of many when you’re totally chill going to Walmart to grocery shop while having contractions, ha!

Around 11:30 I told J we needed to go. We loaded up and met my MIL closer to her house – J’s car was there, so we let her drive the van with the kids back home and we took the car and headed to the hospital. I wanted to eat lunch first, but unfortunately I couldn’t decide what I wanted (I was a little nauseous too) and my contractions were picking up. I told J again, we need to just go… it’s time.

We arrived at the hospital a little after noon, I asked J to call Janelle (the kids’ godmother and who usually comes to the births… thanks to Covid-19 that couldn’t happen this time) and ask her to pray over us before going in. She prayed for us and we headed in, stopping a few times to breathe through contractions. Once we were checked in they checked my cervix (4cm) and got us ready to head to the labor and delivery room. The nurses who were covering me were the best I’ve EVER had. This was the first time a labor nurse actually took the time to read over my birth plan, talk it over with me (between contractions) and verbalize all the things they would ensure would happen. Once we got to the room they gave me an IV, which I didn’t want, but agreed to… and thankfully I did, because I ended up needing it.

I was allowed to get in the tub to labor, J said I was only in there for about 20 minutes, but it felt much longer. My contractions really picked up and I started pushing…. unfortunately my nurse picked up on that, and at this hospital they don’t like mama’s giving birth in the tubs. So I got out and moved to the bed on my hands and knees. The OB checked me again and I can’t remember how dilated she said I was honestly. I want to say 7-8cm. At this point I’m pushing with each contraction, my body knows exactly what to do and I could tell my water was about to break. Once it did, I only pushed three times and he was out! I was so weak and shaky from all that work and from not eating that I couldn’t steady myself to pick him up… so of course I was also crying because I couldn’t get him!

He was beautiful… honestly couldn’t tell you who he looks like because he looks so different, yet still similar, to his siblings. He was 7lbs 9oz, 20.5″ long, born at 1:43pm on October 31st. So about an hour after we arrived at the hospital, he was born.

**Now, before you read on, here is your trigger alert. I had some complications afterwards, if you’re uncomfortable with birth trauma, than I suggest skipping down to the next picture.

Some of these details are fuzzy, but after he was here and I delivered the placenta, my OB realized that there was still some membrane stuck to my cervix. So she had to use a tool to scrape my cervix several times to get that membrane to come loose. That was incredibly painful, but I knew it had to be done. After that we snuggled with Boo and then my nurses realized that I was bleeding a lot more than I should be. My uterus wasn’t shrinking down like expected and I was soaking through my postpartum pads and onto the bed. They continued to massage my uterus, but could feel clots, very large clots. This is when things got scary. My OB calmly explained to me what was happening and that she would have to manually remove them. I, of course, am starting to freak out internally. She said she could take me to the OR and give me a spinal or give me a drug called fentanyl that would take some of the edge off the pain (in hindsight… it didn’t, at all). After all that work to get Boo here naturally, with the knowledge that going natural meant less healing time and me being on my feet a little quicker, I did not want to go the route of a spinal. So I endured the pain.

I won’t go into detail about this, it was really traumatizing for me. The OB had to physically remove the clots from my uterus with her hand, and I’ve honestly never felt more pain in my life. I would birth more babies over and over again before I ever want to feel that kind of pain again. It took two tries to get all the large clots out, a shot of oxytocin in my IV, another shot in my leg (that I can’t remember what it was called, but it was to help my uterus contract). This entire time, my husband was on the other side of the room with our son (and I can’t imagine how scary this was for him), and I had no one but my nurses to comfort me. They were truly amazing honestly, but a stranger is not the same as a loved one to comfort you. After all that, they kept the oxytocin going in my right arm and had to give me a second IV in my left arm to give me a blood transfusion. I ended up losing over 2 liters of blood. I felt pretty woozy and weak for the rest of the day because of that.

It took longer for my milk to come in because of the blood loss, so unfortunately we had to stay an additional day to get Boo’s glucose levels up and to make sure he was getting everything he needed before going home. Typically for me, my milk comes in within 24 hours, but this time it took over 48 hours for it to fully come in.

 

We are almost 3 weeks out now, I can’t believe Boo will be 3 weeks tomorrow! The first week home was rough, thankfully J was here to help me, but I was still weak and tired out really easily after just a shower or walking from room to room. The second week was a little better but I still didn’t feel 100%. This week has been much better, I do find myself tiring out by the afternoon and my body obviously gives me signs that it’s time to chill out. I’m just so grateful that he’s here, that he’s healthy and I’m okay too. Boogie, Bubby, Bird and Bear are all so in love with Boo, they all want to hold him all the time, touch his head, kiss his cheeks… sometimes they over do it, but I’m just happy that they all love him so much!

I hope to post more updates about Boo later on, for now I’ll probably continue my blogging hiatus while we get back into some kind of routine as a new family of seven! Until then… welcome to the world Baby Boo, we love you so much!

Beyond the Stick Figure Review – Home School Review Crew

Disclaimer: I received a FREE subscription for this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

My 7 year old, Bubby, is becoming quite the budding artist. After discovering some fun YouTube channels for how to draw some of his favorite characters I was very interested in finding him some art lessons that would teach him lots of different techniques and styles of art. I had a hard time finding something to fit the bill and our budget however. When the Homeschool Review Crew gave me the opportunity to try out Beyond the Stick Figure Complete Drawing Course PLUS 3 Bonus Courses I was ecstatic! Beyond the Stick Figure offers this wonderful course full of a variety of lessons – the overall price is less than $400 (a little daunting), but she also offers a payment plan and you get to use this course FOREVER! Not to mention that with all this course includes, it’s a value of almost $1500!

Below I have included some screen shots to show you what the dashboard and class pages look like.  This first image shows you what the site looks like when you first sign into your account. You’ll see your courses at the very bottom of the page.

On this screenshot, you’ll see the screen that appears after clicking on the course. Each course has separate sections with multiple lessons. As you can see, Bubby is in the first Drawing Part 1 section. You can expand each section to see the different lessons as well. You cannot preview lessons without first going through and clicking “complete” on each lesson. I wanted to look through everything, however my son is very particular about how he likes to do things and it bothered him to see lessons “completed” when he hadn’t done so yet.

In this last screenshot you’ll find one of the lessons from Drawing Part 1 – it’s a small video screen (I would love to see an option to make this full screen at some point) with buttons to move onto the last lesson or continue to the next lesson.

We’ve taken the lessons very slow, Bubby likes to do each lesson a few times to perfect his technique. He’s very particular in how he does things, so while we’ve utilized the lessons multiple times per week, we’ve only reached Lesson 9. I’m however very impressed with how much he has enjoyed learning some new things and getting the opportunity to utilize some “fancy markers” as he likes to call them. Right now he is learning some simple drawing techniques – drawing circles, bubbles, lines and coloring them in in various ways. He’s excited to get to the other subjects later on in the series.

This program includes: Three Drawing sections, three Watercolor sections, three Acrylic sections, and three 3D Design sections. I’m so impressed with her instructional videos, how each lesson is simply laid out and easy for my child to understand. His sisters are excited about taking on some lessons soon as well, they’re just waiting on their own personal art supplies to arrive in the mail!

If you’ve been looking for some art lessons to incorporate into your homeschool curriculum, or if you’re a parent with a child very interested in art… I highly recommend checking this program out! Beyond the Stick Figure is a phenomenal resource for everyone! And I just want to give a personal shout out to Sally, the woman behind this awesome curriculum. I am so thankful for all the work you have put into your site and creating such an amazing resource for our family. I love watching my son doing something he loves and being able to learn so much more than I could ever teach him about art. It’s a gift.

Don’t forget to check out our link up on the Homeschool Review Crew blog to see what others thought of Beyond the Stick Figure Complete Drawing Course PLUS 3 Bonus Courses!

 

Beyond the Stick Figure Complete Drawing Course {Beyond the Stick Figure Art School}

We Have Exciting News!

Yes… it’s true! We are expecting Baby #5, lovingly referred to as Baby Bean from here on out on Mustard Seed Adventures! J is working on a video to share the kids’ reactions. I’m happy to say, everyone is now excited (you’ll notice a little apprehension from Bubby when the video is published). Bean is due in November of this year and we are anxiously anticipating finding out the gender in a few weeks!

How far along? 14 weeks

Total weight gain/loss: Honestly have no idea…


Maternity clothes? Yes, mainly maternity jeans/shorts. I can still wear most of my tops and dresses, but I have bought some for in a few weeks when they won’t fit anymore!

Stretch marks? Same old ones I’ve had since Boogie!

Sleep: Actually been sleeping very well, this is new for me since all of our older children were younger during my other pregnancies. Our youngest, Bear, is 3 and a pretty decent sleeper!

Best moment this week: Bear is really into asking about the baby and smooching the baby. He wants to change it’s diapers and share his Jeeps with him/her!

Movement: None yet, still a little early for that, but hopefully soon!

Food cravings: Berries, oranges, tacos and ice cold water.

Gender: Don’t know yet!

Labor signs: None.

Belly button in or out? In

Wedding rings on or off? On, they fit perfectly as of right now. 

What I miss: Not feeling sick… the nausea with this one is kicking my butt. 

What am I looking forward too: Snuggling a sweet baby… it’s been too long!

Weekly Wisdom: Breathe. Things are crazy right now, life is different and normal has gone out the window… but one thing that remains steadfast is our Father. Rely and lean on Him!

Milestones: Baby Bean is the size of a pear and can now taste the food I eat… think he/she will like tacos someday?!

Everyday Education Review – Homeschool Review Crew

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

When I was invited to review Everyday Education‘s handwriting curriculum, Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting  , I was intrigued. This program was created to help your young children learn to read and write through a simple program, to help improve an older child’s reading and handwriting, or to even aid adults in improving their handwriting. It’s incredibly versatile and you can use it to suit your needs, whatever that may be.

I had initially planned to utilize this with my 7 year old, his handwriting is decent but he doesn’t have a lot of confidence in his reading. He was not at all interested though, he’s not a fan of writing so I decided to try this out with my 5 year old. She loves practicing writing and she’s starting to sound out simple words.

With her, since she’s still young, I wanted to take things slow. So instead of doing one page a day for 3-5 days, I chose to focus on one page, print multiple copies and we reviewed that page for 3 days each week. I incorporated it with our current language arts curriculum and it was a nice mesh with what we were already doing.

Janice, from Everyday Education, has done a beautiful job in creating a curriculum that could be used with most anyone. I love how versatile it is and that I can utilize it with our homeschool curriculum as needed. I’m excited to start incorporating it even more to help all of my children improve their handwriting, maybe even my own!

You can learn more about Everyday Education by clicking any image in this post, each will redirect you to the Everyday Education website, you’ll find so many great resources as well as the Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting book.

Don’t forget to check out our link up over on the Homeschool Review Crew blog – lots of wonderful posts with varying opinions and uses for this awesome handwriting and phonics curriculum!

 

Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting ebook {Everyday Education, LLC Reviews}

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