Archive for April, 2013

Free Kindle book from local author: The Eye of Adoption, by Jody Dyer

Today only, you can get The Eye of Adoption: the true story of my turbulent wait for a baby by Jody Cantrell Dyer. Jody is a local Maryville teacher, and she has written this book to encourage waiting and adoptive families and birth families. She is offering the book free in order to to spread her message of hope and humor through adoption.
If you prefer a paper copy, Jody will be doing a book signing in Maryville at Southland Books on May 11 from 1-3 p.m.
Here’s the official book description, from Amazon:
Author Jody Cantrell Dyer’s candor, wit, humor, and soul color each page of The Eye of Adoption. She directly addresses the sorrows of infertility and the demands of adoption while consistently word-weaving a life rope of assurance and optimism for her readers.A middle-aged wife, mother, and teacher, Dyer “tells it like it is” in hopes that waiting adoptive parents, birthparents, adoptees, and those close to them will find kinship through her story.

1 comment April 15, 2013

Half off at Restaurant Linderhof (Bavarian cuisine)

There’s a great deal available today for a local restaurant I’ve been meaning to try: Restaurant Linderhof, which serves authentic Bavarian cuisine. Go here to get a voucher for $40 to spend at Restaurant Linderhof for just $20. They have an Oktoberfest celebration that I’ve always meant to attend – it sounds amazing! Have any of you eaten here? What has your experience been?

1 comment April 12, 2013

Giveaway: win a ticket to the Junior Service League of Maryville’s Bloomingdeals Spring Rummage Sale Sip N’ See Preview Party

The  Junior Service League of Maryville‘s Bloomingdeals Spring Rummage Sale is Saturday, April 20 from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the National Guard Armory on Highway 321, and admission is free. However, if you want to shop early, you’ll definitely want to attend the Sip N’ Shop event on Friday April 19 from 6 – 8 p.m. Tickets are $15, and you’ll get to shop before anyone else, PLUS your admission includes food, drinks, and music by the fabulous Brad Blackwell! There is also a Silent Auction this year that features amazing baskets and incredible getaways, including a stay at Butterfly Gap Retreat, a 2-hr DJ session for a kids birthday party from Effective Mobile DJ Service, and a night at the Christmas Tree Inn in Pigeon Forge. Here’s the Facebook event if you’d like more information.

This is my first year as a Junior Service League Sustainer, so I won’t be working a setup shift, but I’ll share photos as they become available. I am looking forward to shopping at Bloomingdeals; I have found SO many great deals at this sale in the past two years. Plus, it’s all for a great cause: all proceeds from Bloomingdeals benefit Toys for Blount County, JSL’s program that provides Christmas presents to local children in need.

JSL has given me a pass for one of you to attend the Sip N’ Shop event for FREE! To enter, simply head to Facebook and look for the post with the above photo, and follow the directions listed there. You must enter by Monday April 15 at midnight, and I’ll announce the winner on Facebook on Tuesday morning. Good luck, and happy shopping!

Add comment April 12, 2013

Discount code: save $50 on Biltmore annual passes

I have an annual pass to the Biltmore, and I just received info on a $50 discount on Biltmore passes for my “friends and family.” I figure you all are my friends, so I’m sharing. Here’s the info:

Your friends and family can purchase a Twelve–Month Pass for just $79–that’s $50 off the regular price. All they have to do is call 800–323–6804 or stop by the Reservation & Ticket Center and mention “Biltmore Friend.” Offer good April 1–May 31. Share the good news today!

Add comment April 10, 2013

Review: The Christian Mama’s Guide to the Grade School Years: Everything You Need to Know to Survive (and Love) Sending Your Kid Off into the Big Wide World

I recently had the chance to read The Christian Mama’s Guide to the Grade School Years: Everything You Need to Know to Survive (and Love) Sending Your Kid Off into the Big Wide World, by Erin MacPherson. This nonfiction book was released April 9, 2013 by Thomas Nelson.

About this book (from the back cover):

Prepares moms for the time when their school-aged kids take their first few steps into the world and away from mama’s nest.

Sending a child off to school is a whole lot more than stocking up on school supplies and packing a (somewhat) healthy lunch. This helpful guidebook walks Christian moms through:

  • discovering a long-term vision for the person that Christ has purposed for your child to become
  • instilling a sense of “who I am and where I came from” in your child
  • choosing a school for your kids
  • helping your kids to develop key attributes—courage, kindness, perseverance—that lead to success in school
  • dealing with teachers, sports, and lessons
  • navigating those difficult conversations that will come sooner rather than later
  • a special feature includes sidebars “From the Principal’s Office” with insights from a 35-year elementary school principal and educator

Moms will learn how to cover their children in prayer so that their launch into the world, and away from her control, is done with grace and wisdom—helping them grow into the men and women God intended them to be.

My Verdict:

I loved this book! I wasn’t sure I would, because I have a terrible habit of judging a book by its cover, and this cover looks a little clip-arty. However, MacPherson is a delightful writer and I found this book to be very helpful for me as a mom whose daughter who just started elementary school this year. MacPherson, a former staff writer for Nickelodeon, is now a blog writer, and her style is very informal –  with a lot of dashes (and parentheses) – but it flows well and is easy to read. Her advice is practical and applicable for moms of grade-schoolers (including homeschoolers). I agree with the author that it’s important to approach your parenting with a plan for what “success” will look like, and this book is a helpful tool for parents who have the goal of raising Godly, kind children.  I highly recommend this book!

If you’d like to check out The Christian Mama’s Guide to the Grade School Years it is currently on sale for $9.99 for the Kindle version right now, which is 38% off. (Regularly $15.99.) If you prefer a hard copy it’s currently on sale for $11.38. Remember, Amazon’s prices can change at any time.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”

Add comment April 10, 2013

Rummage sale at Beech Grove Baptist April 13

Beech Grove Baptist in Louisville is having a rummage sale this Saturday April 13 from 7:30 a.m. – noon. All proceeds will benefit missions projects. For more info, visit the Beech Grove website.

Add comment April 9, 2013

Review and Kindle sale: Finding God in the Dark, by Ted Kluck and Ronnie Martin

I recently had the chance to read Finding God in the Dark, by Ted Kluck and Ronnie Martin. This nonfiction book was published on March 15 by Bethany House.

About this book (from the back cover):

“God has not forgotten about you.

That’s hard to remember in the face of disillusionment or heartache. Unbelief and doubt are buried deep within us, especially when we question God’s goodness in the face of loss and abandonment. Ted Kluck’s world was turned upside down after experiencing a failed adoption, where he found himself propelled into a year of doubt and disillusionment. Ronnie Martin struggled with the kind of identity and idolatry issues that come with being a well-known recording artist, before the unexpected death of his father allowed those sins to be brought to the surface of his heart. It is in the midst of these and other everyday stories that we learn how God reveals His boundless grace to every one of us.

Whether you’ve lost someone you loved, suffered career failure, or simply been let down by a fellow Christian, it’s natural to wonder whether God has forgotten about you. You’re not alone. But as a believer, you can trust that overcoming individual challenges will prepare you for a greater purpose. Kluck and Martin’s raw revelations about their mistakes and disappointments will help you on your own journey to finding God when you’re standing in the dark.”

Final Verdict:

I was a big fan of another book co-authored by Ted Kluck, Why We Love the Church, and that’s the reason I first picked up this book. In Finding God in the Dark, the chapters switch back and forth between authors, and you’re bound to like one better than the other: Kluck is going for a more “real,” edgy style, while Martin is milder and more pleasant. Each man details his personal struggles and times in his life when he felt far away from God. For Kluck, these struggles included infertility, a failed adoption, and a book deal that fell through; Martin discusses his struggle to succeed in Christian music which ended in his being dropped from his music label. I found both men to be very honest, but not always pleasant. Kluck, in particular, makes a what seemed like too big of a deal about not getting a book deal with a famous Christian figure in college football (whose identity he does not directly reveal, but he gives enough clues that you can guess it easily.) There’s a fine line between being honest about your struggles and whining. I think this book will be a good read for most people who have struggled with general work and family issues. The authors cite fantastic sections of scripture that will really prove to be helpful. However, for anyone who has dealt with a truly devastating tragedy, it might seem like the authors make too big of a deal about their milder struggles.

If you’d like to check out Finding God in the Dark it is currently on sale for $8.99 for the Kindle version right now. (Regularly $12.99.) If you prefer a hard copy it’s currently on sale for $11.51. Remember, Amazon’s prices can change at any time.

The featured product for this review was provided to me at no cost by Bethany House. All opinions expressed are my own. If you’d like to sign up to receive review copies from Bethany House, visit

Add comment April 9, 2013

Blount County Library Book Sale starts Thursday April 18

Just a head’s up that the Blount County Library’s quarterly fundraising book sale starts Thursday April 18 for Friends of the Library members, and then continues Friday and Saturday for the public. If you’re not a FOL member, you can join at the door, and they’ve been giving out coupons for a free coffee at the Bookmark Cafe to new members, so that’s fun!
If you’re getting there at noon on Thursday the 18th, just know that there will be a line. (And I will be in it :))

Add comment April 6, 2013

Free shampoo + $1.25 overage at CVS this week!

There’s an easy-to-do shampoo deal at CVS this week. Get Clear shampoo for men or women for FREE, plus, get the $1.25 coupon from Ibotta and upload your receipt and you’ve made money!

Here’s how:

Head to CVS and scan your Extra Care card at the Magic Coupon Machine. Everyone will receive a coupon for $4.99 off Clear Shampoo (choose men’s or women’s.) This shampoo is on sale this week for $4.99 which makes it free! (I had to pay $0.50 in tax.)

Now, open the Ibotta app on your smartphone. If you don’t have it yet, get it here. You’ll see two Clear Shampoo coupons, one for men’s shampoo and one for women’s. Do the necessary actions to add this coupon to your Ibotta account. Then, upload your CVS receipt, and you’ll receive $1.25 from Ibotta. Once you get to $5, you can withdraw the money directly to your Paypal account!

Add comment April 2, 2013

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