Life We never expected cover

The Life We Never Expected Book Review

Life We never expected cover

As a parent of a special needs child, I never expected that I would be raising one. I never expected that I would be raising a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder and ADHD. I never thought that any of this would ever happen to me, but it did. I never thought that God ever could think that I could handle a child who had special needs, but He knew that I could! He knew that I could handle it from day 1 and that no matter what curveball was thrown my way, I would take it one day at a time! I was lucky enough to be chosen to review a book called “The Life We Never Expected” by Andrew & Rachel Wilson and that is what they too never expected either!

This book helped me realize that I’m not the only person out there that has a good day and bad day with my child who has ASD. I struggle on a daily basis to know if I am protecting her enough from the evil world out there and to make sure that she is safe from all harms way. There are things that she honestly will never get and never understand and that I will never get others to understand the way she things and responds to things, but to know there are other parents out there that go through this everyday helps me out. The Wilson’s really wrote this book about their children who both have special needs, and both were thrown curveballs while raising them. It’s not an easy task in taking them to different doctors and different specialists and getting teachers and even other parents to understand what you go through, but just to reflect on what they go through helps. This book has helped me in understand that I am not alone in this journey! I am not alone in this thing called Life and no matter how difficult it may seem with some of the things that Olivia may do, or doesn’t understand and may never understand. I just have to trust in God to know that He is right beside me and to know that He is holding my hand each step of the way on this journey!

Andrew and Rachel Wilson are the parents of three children. They attend King’s Church London, where Andrew serves as teaching pastor. Andrew has a MA from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from King’s College London. He is also the author of several books, including If God, Then What? and Incomparable.

You can purchase their book online here if you’d like! I loved this book so much that I plan on reading it again! So much to read and so good too!


Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing a sample of the product in exchange for this review & post. My opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.”

FlipaZoo Review

Do your kids love collecting something? Olivia loves to collect stuffed animals! She has been fascinated with collecting them since she was little and everywhere we travel to or if there is something new, she has to get a new one. Something that was sent to us recently to review was something that Olivia saw on one of the channels she watches and told me that she really wanted a FlipaZoo but I had no idea what they were. Until I received it in the mail, I was clueless…but Olivia was super excited once we received it in the mail! She took it out and got so excited when she saw which one she received!


She has yet to let it go out of her sight and it even came on the camping trip we just took which was funny too because it became a pillow for her too. FlipaZoo is a toy that has 2 sides for everyone to enjoy! It’s a toy that has two different animals in one and Olivia loved how we received the Hippo and Giraffe! She fell in love with it and decided to even keep the names that came with the toy instead of renaming them like she normally does! Yes my child still does that! What a big imagination she has still and I love that about her too! FlipaZoo is located in Walmart’s across the country right now and starting in August they will be available at the following retailers: Target, Toys”R”Us, Kohls, Bed Bath & Beyond, Kmart and more retailers! I love the fact that we have seen them in our local Walmart and Olivia has come to me and asked for the Unicorn one and another few ones which of course we told her to please hold off since Christmas will be here before you know it!


This would be a perfect gift for a child who has a birthday coming up, a student who may be going away to college to help remind them of home or for even Christmas! Even parents may want one or two of them! They are the perfect toy to take with you on car rides as they can be used for pillows too which is what Olivia does in the van and we have since put a small blanket in the back of the van as well to keep her warm in case she gets chilly! This no matter what the occasion may be, is the perfect gift for anyone of any age! The cost of the toy is $19.99 each which I feel is a perfect amount considering that we actually paid a lot more for some of her other stuffed animals! And for double the fun, if you order any FlipaZoo online off the official website, then they will send you a Free “Little Flipzee” for pocket sized fun! Check out their Facebook Page!

You’ll Flip for Them! They’ll Flip for You!


We received a FlipaZoo free in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. All our opinions are 100% our own!


Patriotic Penmanship- Grade 6 (cursive) Review

Latin and Penmanship {Laurelwood Books Review}
We have been working hard on getting Olivia to learn cursive but she has been struggling and we felt that since this coming up year since she will be officially in 6th Grade we will continue to work on cursive with her. We will be working on another cursive program with her over the summer and then we will be doing Patriotic Penmanship-Grade 6 (cursive) written by Mary Ellen Tedrow and offered by Laurelwood Books. We have done one the first lesson just to see how she would like it and so that she can continue to practice when we begin to use the book in the fall!

Latin and Penmanship {Laurelwood Books Review}
I was very pleased when we first received the book in the mail because we received a nice little note along with the order. Also the book was so nicely printed up and was so nicely done inside. I love each lesson that is included in the book as it is not just one page long and it is actually two pages long. It has a quote at the very top, verse from a song or saying by someone. Then it goes into showing your child or children how to draw the letter in either print if that is what your child is working on or cursive. Olivia is working on cursive so that is what she will be working on this coming school year still. Then the child will write each part of the quote or whatever is written in cursive at the top. Each word actually several times on their own line. I like that very much as it pays very good attention to detail unlike several other handwriting or penmanship books we have tried in the past. Some only asked the child to work on the whole sentence at once and while that may be fine for some children but for a child who has sensory issues like Olivia, this book works just perfect for her! She is excited to do this book all year long! Then after doing each word separate, they will write the full quote together! That is perfect for her and is perfect for any child who is just like Olivia! I might even do this book along side with her just to practice on my handwriting skills some since it’s been years since I have done cursive on lines like the book has for years!!!

Another thing that I love about this book is when she is ready to move up to the next grade level we can. Patriotic Penmanship has books starting at Grade 1 and goes up to Grade 9-12. We would be using Grade 7-8 next year which would be Jr. High age group and would be cursive still. This is a good thing because if Olivia was still in Public School she would still not know how to even read cursive!!! They stopped teaching cursive the year that common core came out which happened to be the same year that Olivia started third grade. That’s horrible in my books! But since we decided to Homeschool it was the best decision we could have ever made! We are able to do whatever we want as far as her curriculum goes and we can travel if we chose to! But I’m off topic again…what’s new! So back to Patriotic Penmanship…This book is amazing and we love it so much! I have even suggested it to several of my other homeschool friends to check it out at the local homeschool store as I saw it there the other day while I was there shopping for 13.95 just the same price as they have it online for! You should check out their Facebook Page for some pretty cool things!

I did receive this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Laurelwood Books and as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew!

Crew Disclaimer

Unashamed Book Review & Giveaway

unashamed book cover

Have you ever felt like you have been shamed by others by the way you look or the way you act? I have in past years and its not a good feeling either. It has affected me in the way I think, act and even eat at times and it’s heart breaking to tell you the truth. The one thing that I love about reading books is coming across the books that help me feel like I’m not alone in this game called life! I was very honored to be able to review the book, “Unashamed: Healing Our Brokenness and Finding Freedom from Shame” by Heather Davis Nelson. This book has been a wonderful book to read especially after finding many people who look down on you if you are bigger than most.

Heather Davis Nelson has done a wonderful job in writing this book and it has helped me feel like I’m not alone in the game of Life! I read it as soon as I received the book because I am not taking any classes this summer and this has helped me be able to read books that I haven’t been able to in the past. This book is about how it offers hope to those who are struggling under the burden of shame. Many people shame others because maybe they are trying to get out of others thinking of what they believe or what they look like. It’s sad because even though they may be shaming one person, maybe they are doing this because they were shamed too. This book shines the life-giving light of the gospel on the things that leave us feeling worthless and rejected, directing our attention to the God who promises to forgive and restore us….No Matter What! I have fallen in love with this book and for any of my friends who would love to read this book just let me know and I’d be more than happy to share it with you! Or you can purchase the book here. But just in case you’d like your own copy there is good news because I am giving away another copy to a lucky reader! Just follow along below!

I was sent my copy of the book for free in exchange for an honest review from Flyby Promotions!!

New Van!

Well we did it! We finally broke down and bought a new van! I love it because I can fit a total of 8 people in the van comfortably and when I put Brayden’s car seat in the back I love how I can bring it up closer to me if I need to. Last night we had gone for a long ride and I moved him a little closer to me because he wasn’t feeling very good and he loved still being able to watch the movie that was playing. Even though he screamed all through the movie. I got him a movie for the van and so he didn’t have to watch what the girls wanted to watch anymore. They had to watch paw patrol and more. Haha

There will be no more screaming ofhe’s touching  me or I don’t want to sit next to him. Both girls will have to sit next to him or they will not go anywhere! We can’t wait to go to the zoo soon and on our daily trips this summer! We are very blessed to have this new van! 

LearnBop for Families Review

LearnBop for Families Review
Olivia has since finishing up with school has still enjoyed doing Math and some exercises to keep busy. The one thing that we love about homeschooling is that we can try out different programs that will help Olivia with something that she struggles with. One program that we have been very lucky to enjoy and review is called “LearnBop for Families” by LearnBop. Olivia has signed on a few times and has enjoyed learning and keeping up with her math.

LearnBop for Families Review
LearnBop for Families is a new Online Math Program that families can use for a single student or can be used for up to four children. I love how you can use it for just one child like our family but if we eventually adopt another child I like how we can go ahead and use it with more than one child. This is a wonderful program that we can use while on the road while we travel this summer. LearnBop is an amazing program that we have really enjoyed and we actually received a 12 month prepaid subscription to be able to review this program. The one that we have been working on is 5th grade math still since that is what we are still slowly working on. I am very proud of Olivia for making the struggle less of a hassle with learning math and she is really enjoying learning math.

LearnBop for Families Review
LearnBop for Families is a great program that Olivia has really enjoyed and we will continue to work on for the next year. The one thing that I love about this program is that I can check on Olivia’s progress without having to hover over her right now. I don’t like to hover over Olivia and I trust that she is learning on her own which is very nice! I like how it tells me how long she has been on LearnBop to learn, how many “Bops” she has completed, how many concepts she has mastered and more. I also love how Olivia has her own profile as well. This is so different from what we have done in the past because some of her other programs that we use she uses my profile. This is a difference for her and she said that she likes the freedom that I have given her and that I can trust her that she is learning on her own. In each grade there are about 13 roadmaps that she has to complete to be finished with the unit and I really like this because she is enjoying herself on how she learns.

LearnBop for Families Review
LearnBop is a unique online math program that we have been very lucky to review but even when our membership is over we will be renewing monthly for Olivia because it’s something that we believe has been helping Olivia overcome her fears for how she is with math. LearnBop for Families is good for children who are in grades 3-12th grade. It mimics a One-on-One learning experience for children who do better in learning with a 1-on-1 teacher. Olivia learns this one and is good for her learning experience. You should check out their Facebook Page and Twitter Account!


We did receive a 12 month prepaid Single Learner LearnBop for Families subscription to be able to review as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew! All my opinions are 100% my own!

Crew Disclaimer

Summer is Here!

Now that summer is here…may not be official but we know it’s here because it’s HOT outside! The temps aren’t going down any and the storms are just like they normally are in the summer. Long and terrifying! But with that said, I am happy to say that we are going on a mini vacation even if it’s just for a few days! We are heading up to PA for a few days to visit with some of Jason’s friends and we are excited to do so! Of course I’m excited because I’m going to pick up Jason from the Airport on Sunday evening and I haven’t seen him for 2 months now! This is just what I have wanted! He will be home for our anniversary!


We had tried to make plans to head to Disney for our vacation but since we are going in November and I may not be able to run the race after all is a little heart breaking for me. I know we have Olivia all signed up for the race that Saturday but honestly I’m almost tempted on changing the week we go all together! I’m just not feeling like going since I won’t be able to race. I’m going to check and see if there is any way that I can defer my race to say another race like Princess Half Marathon or another race at Disney. I just am a little sad that I may not be able to take part in the race I have been training for after all. That is different story I’m not willing to get into just yet but it breaks my heart. If we can go in say December that would make it even better in my opinion! But we shall see when we can go after all.


Guess I will have to wait and see what happens at a few of the doctor appointments I have to go to. I will have to see if they give me permission to run it or even walk it. Not sure if they will or not at this point. But let’s all have a good rest of the week! Off to go grab my registration out of my van because I have to go get a temporary tag or registration just to be able to go ahead and get the car fixed! yay!

Give Me Liberty E-Guide Review

Does your child like to read? Are you doing a box curriculum or putting a curriculum together this year? This coming up school year we have decided to do away with the box curriculum and to do a completely different curriculum and we are going to be doing lots of study guides this year. I was super excited when we were given the opportunity to review Give Me Liberty E-Guide by Progeny Press. We have been wanting to read this book “Give Me Liberty” this coming up school year and decided to read it before hand instead.

Literature Study Guides from a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press Review}
This book is so good to read and understand history. This is something that Olivia has enjoyed reading on her own but also to do the E-Guide for the book as well. We have never done one before like this one and it was pretty fun to do as well. We decided to go to the local library to get the book “Give Me Liberty” so that we could go ahead and do the study guide. We do plan on rereading this book this school year and redoing the E-guide as well so we have added the book to our list to purchase for our home library. This book was so well written and it really made Olivia think more into history than she has thought of before. This E-Guide is good for children who are in grades 6-8 and since Olivia is advance in her reading this was something that I felt that she could easily read this year. The study guide is well written by Carol Clark who was a school teacher before and I really felt like this study guide was written with the children in mind.

One thing that I loved about the study guide is that it gave a little information about the author of “Give Me Liberty” and gave a little background information on the book and history. This is something that really wanted me to allow Olivia to read this book again in the school year because it was something that we will cover again in her history this coming school year. I also love how Carol Clark has added some prereading items in the E-Guide as well which is something that I haven’t seen in any other study guides that goes along with other books before. This was something that really brought me to enjoy this e-guide more. We do plan on visiting Williamsburg, Virginia this coming school year so this is again another perfect book to read just before we go there. I would love to take Olivia to Colonial Williamsburg and to Jamestown to learn more about what is there and the history that happened there. This book goes just along with the history of it. Olivia told me that when we read the book again she wants to allow her American Girl Doll Felicity to read along with us since she was based off of the Williamsburg Era as well.


The E-Guide itself is well written and I love how it includes vocabulary in the lessons as well. We read the book quickly this past time but the next time we read it we will be taking our time more and working on all of the lessons in the E-Guide. I love how each part is separate and it is easy to follow along with the guide. Olivia says she is looking forward to reading it again and doing the guide more. We even plan on having Olivia do all of the questions as well instead of just inserting the vocabulary in the appropriate spaces. This is something that will help Olivia learn more about what she is reading. Another thing that I love about this E-Guide is that it incorporates the Bible into it and Bible Verses. This is something that I have been wanting to find in a study guide and this is one that I can feel comfortable in doing with Olivia. Plus the fact that we can do an activity along side with the guide makes it even more fun for Olivia to do. I love the book “Give Me Liberty” and this E-Guide is no different! This is well written! You should definitely check out their Facebook page and Twitter page as well just to keep up with the updates they have! I love this Study Guide and actually plan on getting more Study Guides from Progeny Press this school year! Olivia loves how they are written! They have several more guides for all different grade levels which is something that I love as a parent!


We were able to review Give Me Liberty E-Guide as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew for free! All our opinions are 100% my own!

Crew Disclaimer

“The Glass Castle” by Trisha White Priebe and Jerry B Jenkins Review

The Glass Castle {Shiloh Run Press Review}
Does your child like to read? Olivia loves to read and as soon as we received the book, Olivia dove right into it. We were lucky enough to review The Glass Castle by Trisha White Priebe and Jerry B. Jenkins from Shiloh Run Press. One thing that Olivia loves is all kinds of books, but especially books that have adventure in them and everything that she can use her imagination for. This book was like no other and she devoured the book in less than 2 days after we got the book!

The Glass Castle {Shiloh Run Press Review}
“The Glass Castle: Thirteen Book 1” is an amazing book that Olivia just couldn’t put down. She said that the book reminded her of numerous books she had read, but this book kept her intrigued the whole time. I heard laughing coming from her room or from the other room as she was reading it and she said the book was really cool as she claims it to be. I had asked Olivia what the book reminded her of and she said it was kind of like Alice in Wonderland and a good mystery book. She said that if the game clue had been written into being a book, this is what the book would be about. Olivia says that her favorite characters in the book happened to be Kate and Avery. She said that Avery was kind of like the ring leader of the friends and was the one who everyone would go to just to see if it was ok to do something. This she said also reminded her of her of one of her cousins and this really seemed to play a part in how Olivia portrayed the whole book.


Olivia said that she wish she could have found out about this book long before we found it to review because she could have read it over and over again in which she has already. I love my daughter who loves to read books. Olivia read this book and told me that she felt like she was a part of the book as well which for Olivia has a big meaning for her to do this. She loved the whole story line of how the King wanted someone to be able to take over the throne when he was not well enough or even alive to take care of the kingdom. This was one thing that Olivia loved about the book because she often told me while reading the book that she really wanted to be a princess instead of just Olivia. I told her to keep using her imagination and to think that she too was within the book as well. That she did. For 3 days she walked around the house asking for me to call her Princess Olivia. Yeah, she went that far but it was all worth it for me.


The book is well written by Trisha White Priebe and Jerry B Jenkins. Trisha White Priebe is a mother, wife and more. Jerry B Jenkins is a well known author and he has written this book along side of Trisha. This book is a good book for those who have middle school aged children and who are always looking for an adventure. This book will not disappoint the children that’s for sure. This is something that I plan on picking up and reading this summer while at the beach but for now, Olivia has claimed the book as hers and for mommy to stay away from it. I did receive the book from Shiloh Run Press to be able to review for free as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew! Please check out their Facebook and Twitter accounts as they have more amazing things up there! Olivia told me that this coming up school year she wants to do a book report on the book, so it looks like this book has been a huge hit in our family! She doesn’t even want to share it with her friends and family! She’s keeping this book all to herself!

Crew Disclaimer


Phil Wickham “Children of God” CD Review


Do you enjoy listening to new Christian music? I sure do and I enjoy getting new CD’s in the mail to review! One of my favorite Christian singers would be Phil Wickham who has an amazing voice and his songs are just amazing and I love them. I have listened to his other songs but the songs on his new album, “Children of God,” have made me think that this is a great album! It actually hasn’t left my CD player in the 4Runner which is big considering normally I am always changing CD’s in the car!

A few of my favorite songs off of this new album would be Doxology/Amen, My All in All and Your Love Awakens Me. All of these songs have a wonderful meaning to them and when I am feeling low and down, I can turn these on and feel much better! The other songs on this album are all amazing and no matter what I can highly suggest this album for anyone who loves to listen to Christian tunes.


  1. Doxology/Amen
  2. Better Than Life
  3. Your Love Awakens Me
  4. The Secret Place
  5. Wide Awake
  6. My All in All
  7. Starmaker (High Above the Earth)
  8. Children of God
  9. Stand in Awe
  10. Body Mind & Soul
  11. As It Is In Heaven
  12. Spirit of God

This whole album is just amazing and wonderful to listen to and this is one that I actually have on my Spotify to listen to as well when I’m not in my car! You can get it now through iTunes, Amazon and even yes on Spotify! Check out the video below for his song “Your Love Awakens Me.”

I did receive a copy of this CD for free from Flyby Promotions in exchange for an honest review!

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