Archive for November, 2011
I’d been looking for a toy light of some kind for my three year old daughter that was built to last. Something that didn’t play high pitched music or repeat annoying phrases, and one that wouldn’t eat batteries for breakfast. I have found everything I’ve been looking for and more in the Campfire Kids Lantern by Insect Lore.
My daughter has been playing with this lantern non-stop since I placed it into her possession. I love when I can hand off a toy to my excited and impatient little one right away thanks to the included batteries. I didn’t have to wrestle this one out of the box either. It was attached with just a few twist ties.
This spiffy little lantern is great for imaginative play! My daughter has pretended to go camping, to explore deep dark caves, and she’s been using it as a night light. This is great for little ones that might have fears of the dark! Sometimes our daughter stays up later at night and we don’t mind as long as she stays in her room and keeps a dimmer light on. This lantern is perfect as it gives off enough light for her to read a book or play with other toys. It’s also been helpful as well to venture through the hallway to the bathroom at night.
Some of the fun features that the Campfire Kids Lantern is that it plays real night time nature sounds. Children can hear howling wolves, croaking frogs, chirping crickets and more. You can flip the switch the other way and turn these sounds off or you can keep them on. I found this pretty neat since we live in the city and rarely does my daughter hear these sorta sounds. Only issue is that it would have been nice to have a volume control switch or button. Another neat effect is that the lantern itself has a woods scene of trees, a moose, the moon, and owl which project on a nearby surface!
Overall this is a great product and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for something of the kind. You can purchase the Campfire Kids Lantern at Amazon.com for $10.00 (regular $20.00) and it’s eligible for free super saving shipping! And if you are interested, this company also has other fun camping themed toys!
When our troops are called to serve, their families must rise to meet the challenges of service as well. To thank them, Cheerios® and the USO have partnered in a postcard campaign that spreads Cheer directly to these honorable military families and supports USO programs. I’m excited that through My Blog Spark that I’m able to spread the news about this great campaign!
- Now through November, 2011 at your local grocer, specially-marked boxes of Cheerios cereal will feature Cheer postcards on the front of the box. Consumers can simply cut out the postcard from the Cheerios logo, write a message of thanks on the back, add a stamp and mail the pre-addressed card to the USO. The USO will deliver the Cheer card to military families across the country.
- For each postcard received through November 2012, Cheerios will make a $1 donation to the USO to help fund programs that support military families.
- To kick off the campaign, Cheerios has already donated $150,000 to the USO and will donate up to an additional $100,000 based upon the number of postcards received from specially marked boxes through the end of November.
Cheerios and My Blog Spark is giving one of my readers a chance to win the following prize pack which includes:
- 1 Cheerios cereal bowl
- 1 Cheerios cereal spoon
- 1 cereal dispenser
- 1 “Cheer” box of Cheerios
This is a great prize pack! I received all the items mentioned as a thank you for posting and spreading the word! I think it’s a great reminder that anytime I now reach for my Cheerios cereal or bowl that I get a prompt to share some cheer to military families (like my oldest sister, her husband, and children) being reminded on how much this company is giving back. How are you you supporting our military families this year? Let me know below for a chance to win this wonderful prize pack!
“Disclosure: Cheerios cereal, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.”
Set in the tumultuous world during Jesus’ earthly life, here is a timeless story of suffering, longing, and healing. Conflicts arise between a young woman’s devotion to God and the demon that holds her captive; between her attempts to free herself and the judgment and condemnation of others; between the rabbi named Jesus and the legalistic religious leaders; between the daily reality of Roman oppression and the Jewish hopes of a Deliverer-Messiah.
A vivid imagining of the account in Luke 13:10-17, where Jesus calls the bent-over woman to himself.
“I was fascinated.” ~ Eva Marie Everson for CrossWalk.com
“I thoroughly enjoyed Face to Face.” ~ Richard Wendley, screen writer/actor
“WOW! What a great book. I absolutely loved it… I know the next time I read about this miracle in the Gospels, I will think of this woman through the eyes of Lawton’s novel… Thanks to Cladach Publishing for publishing such outstanding Christian literature!” ~ Shirley Silver
Link to Chapter One: http://cladach.com/Face-to-Face-Excerpt.html
Catherine: It certainly was affirming and satisfying to think someone would want to print and read something I wrote (It was a little poem about Jesus being my Friend, and a Sunday school teacher encouraged me to send it in). But the desire to write was there already and it grew into a sense of a calling.
In your biblical novel, “Face to Face,” you fictionalize a story about a woman who is miraculously healed by Jesus. She is mentioned in the Bible only once, in Luke 13:10-17. With so little known about her, how did you develop her character and make her so believable?
Catherine: That woman, who was healed by Jesus on the Sabbath, gripped my heart and imagination. She was unnamed in the story, so I named her Joakima, which means “One whom God has lifted up spiritually.” She was bent over double for 18 years and “could in no way lift herself,” which indicates that she had tried. I began to imagine what “cures” she might have used. Each has a parallel today, whether it’s conventional wisdom and “old wives’ tales,” self-righteous religion, new-age spiritualism, or humanistic self-improvement methods. I considered the context of the scriptures and researched the historical period and life in those days. A good story needs conflict, and there’s plenty in this account – between the woman and the spirit that crippled her, between Jesus and the leaders of the synagogue, between the people and the burdensome Sabbath laws, and between walking by faith versus walking by sight. I began to imagine Joakima in a colorful setting interacting with other vibrant characters until the story took on a life of its own. I was interested to see how my character would survive and finally thrive in the challenges of that setting.
One gets the sense that there may be experiences in your own life that parallel those of your character, Joakima. Is this perception accurate?
Catherine: The story formed in my mind while I was going through a period of inner healing. I read the book of Luke, and this woman who was so wretched and yet so tenaciously persevering, triggered my imagination as well as my faith. Jesus told the woman she was released and he said that Satan had kept her bound. This part is very personal. I have known people who are bound by various things 51; memories, addictions, sins, wrong thinking, bitterness, and even evil spirits. And I’ve seen people set free. I wondered what sort of spirit had taken hold of this woman, how Satan could keep a religious person of faith bound, and what might have caused that spirit to enter into her body and life. Luke also tells us that Jesus called her a “daughter of Abraham” which means she had faith. I wondered, how does such a person have such faith?
Now a question to help readers know you better. If you had three free tickets to go to any three places in the world, where would you go, and why?
Catherine: First I’d go to Israel to research my next novel! Next I’d go to Scotland and the Hebrides, where a mighty revival happened the year I was born. Third I’d go to Rome again, where there is a strong sense of the biblical world and the modern world intersecting.
Since music has played such an important role in your life: What music CDs happen to be in your player right now?
Catherine: I just put in a CD of Loreena McKennitt singing Christmas songs, and a Russian pianist playing Rachmaninoff concertos.
If you could spend a week with any historical person of the past ten centuries, who would that be?
Catherine: I might like to spend a week with Joan of Arc, though it might be dangerous. A simple peasant girl believed so strongly that God had spoken to her that she was able to convince leaders of her country and army to let her lead them to victory, out of a dark and troubled period. And talk about conflicts! Her faith and obedience led to her martyrdom. Amazing.
What writing projects are you working on now?
Catherine: Besides writing occasional poetry and other short pieces, I have started two other novels. As I was writing Face to Face, the character of Benjamin grew so strong and appealing, he almost took over the story. I would like to give him a chance to shine. I’d like to take Joakima and Ben to Jerusalem again, perhaps to be present during Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was outpoured, to be part of the early believers who were persecuted and dispersed. I’d like to see Joakima return to her childhood home of Dura-Europas. And like every good story, it would include lots of conflict and a little romance.
Where on the Internet can we find you?
Catherine: At my Cladach author page: http://cladach.com/Lawton.html ,
at my Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Catherine-Lawton/e/B001K8YLA6 ,
and Cladach Publishing’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cladach-Publishing-wwwcladachcom/10150101184295035
Anything else you’d like readers to know about you?
Catherine: Here are some things about me: I’ve played the piano for years. Currently, I accompany a gospel quartet. My husband and I enjoy beekeeping in our backyard. I own Cladach Publishing, a small royalty press; and I spend lots of time editing and promoting other authors and their books. Writing and publishing is quite an adventure. And hearing from readers is like frosting on the cake!
Purchasing Info: Trade Paperback 192 pgs $12.97. Available through most stores and online retailers. You can purchase it now at: Amazon.com. Just-released: Amazon Kindle Version http://amzn.com/B006CUDMLQ or buy from the publisher on sale this week for $9.74 at http://cladach.com/Face-to-Face.html