Sadie Robertson Rolls Into Town

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DaySpring and Champion for Kids to donate more than 100,000 folders to students

July 7, 2015 Sadie Robertson, star of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” and ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” visited two area Walmart stores on Tuesday, July 7th to highlight her new line of school supplies from DaySpring Cards and to kick off Champions or Kids’ latest SIMPLE Service project.
Fans stood in line early to have photo and autograph opportunities with Sadie. Robertson is well known for her engaging smile and dimples, but there is more to the 17-year old charmer than that. Sadie is a high school athlete and motivational speaker. She spends her summers on mission trips as well as working at a Christian youth camp spreading her message to peers about being confident in who you are and learning to “live original.”
Sadie also embodies the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of the Robertson family and has carried her philosophy into multiple business ventures. She collaborated with Sherri Hill on her own “daddy approved” prom dress line, Live Original and even walked in Hill’s show for New York Fashion Week in 2013.
Sadie’s new book, Live Original: How the Duck Commander Teen Keeps it Real and Stays True to Her Values is now available at retailers nationwide. It is no wonder people stand in line to see this inspirational beauty.
Robertson who has authored the book, “Live Original” says, “When DaySpring came to us and asked if they could put some of what I wrote in my book on school supplies and folders that would be seen by millions of kids, I got excited.” If that wasn’t exciting enough, Champions for Kids stepped in, “Now Champions for Kids is helping get extra folders to families who maybe can’t afford all their school supplies, so that just makes it even better,” said Robertson.
“We’re thrilled to help Champions for Kids, and to partner with Sadie to distribute positive messages to as many kids as possible,” added Jim Hauskey, DaySpring’s vice president of strategic marketing. “DaySpring is about giving people just the right ways to express their faith. These school supplies at Walmart give kids practical tools for school that also help them share and inspire.”
Check out the back-to-school section at each Walmart location for Robertson’s new line of academic composition books, spirals, and folders. Her positive, faith-driven messages on the school supplies have trendy colors, plus fun polka dots, stripes, and hearts and include scripture verses on the outside and inside covers. These designs are to inspire teens and tweens to “Live Original.” The line is available nationwide in 1,900 Walmart stores.
During store visits, Robertson will also announce DaySpring’s donation of more than 100,000 high-quality academic folders for schools and youth-based organizations throughout the country to distributed at the beginning of school in August. In fact, DaySpring and Champions for Kids will be sending out full pallets of folders to school districts in 10 different states.
SIMPLE Service, is a Champions for Kids program that mobilizes local communities to gather and donate resources for children in need. Since 2004, Champions for Kids has served more than 5.6 million children across all 50 states through in-store donation campaigns, service projects and community events.
“This generous donation from DaySpring means that many thousands of children will become more prepared to begin their school year,” said Adelaide Schaeffer, president and CEO of Champion for Kids. “We hope it will inspire others to volunteer and give in their own communities so that kids everywhere can have the resources they need to thrive.”
The donation of school supplies is part of DaySpring’s longstanding commitment to community involvement and cause-related giving. Over the past 25 years, DaySpring has donated millions of greeting cards to American Rehabilitation Ministries for their prison ministry. The company has also developed card lines where portions of sales go to causes, including Compassion International.
It’s great to see teens like Sadie Robertson use their influence to partner with DaySpring and the nonprofit group Champions for Kids to inspire other teens and tweens to give to those less fortunate.
Operation First Day of School will take place on Saturday, August 8, from 10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This event will provide school supplies for students who qualify for free and reduced lunch. Supplies will be given out at the Waxahachie Ninth Grade Academy, located at 275 Indian Drive in Waxahachie. If you are interested in helping with the event, please contact Candace Ahlfinger or Jenny Bridges at 972-923-4631. Supplies may be brought to the WISD Administration Building or to Walmart. Volunteer forms are available at http://www.wisd.org Financial donations may be brought to the WISD Administration Building or mailed to 411 N. Gibson St., Waxahachie, TX 75165.
by Tabatha Moran Chovanetz

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Theatre 3 Presents ‘The Kountry Girls’

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Theatre 3 has a new homegrown folk musical that has come to town and will be featured on the Norma Young Arena Stage through July 19, 2015. Showtimes are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. and Friday or Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Matinees are select Wednesdays at 2 p.m., select Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

Theatre 3 is located at 2800 Routh Street, Set #168. in Dallas, Texas.

Tickets start at $10 and are on sale by phone 214.871.3300 option 1, online at theatre3dallas.com or in person at the Theatre 3 box office.

The folk musical ‘Kountry Girls’ is by Ken Murchison, Andy Clendenen and Sonny Franks. This world premiere production is directed by Kerry Cole. It is a heartwarming tale of loves lost and found.

The stage is transformed to Mama’s Kountry Cafe where musicians play traditional folk, bluegrass and country tunes. Each actor is fluent in at least one musical instrument. The story unfolds through musical dialogue.

Playwright Sonny Franks says the essence of the musical boils down to “the adventures of a single mom raising two teenage girls in a small town in Texas.”

This folk musical is for folks of all ages. Kountry Girls will tempt you from the moment you take a seat. Don’t be surprised if someone takes your order for some homemade apple pie! Truly, they are inviting you in for a new slice of life. Tap your toe, sing along and watch as the story of Katy and her daughters, May and Dee Dee unveils an entertaining musical experience.

by Tabatha Moran Chovanetz

A Great Guide for Mom’s of Teen & Tweens

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What an encouragement to parents who have tween or teen girls.  My daughter is eleven and we went thru each of the “ten truths” together discussing each one.   This book makes it easy to do that.  There are discussion questions at the end of each chapter to help guide you along.  And Kari Kampakis is right on when it comes to the ten truths that she has chosen to tackle.   I also love that she addresses up front in the intro that though it is “fun to be a girl,” it is also “how hard it is to be a girl.”  Another aspect of the book that I like is that she offers simple helps and solutions if one of the truths is hard to comprehend.  It is very helpful to have some simple steps to follow and Kari provides those along with scriptures throughout.  It is refreshing to hear repeatedly how much God loves us, created us in his image and that we can find peace and security in him.  I would recommend this book for any mother of a young girl.  You will not regret reading this book aloud and discussing it together.  “The 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know” is a great tool to bring you closer together, to help your daughter through the day to day struggles that you may not realize she is having had you not read this together.

Cavalia Odysseo

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The Equestrian event of the year has landed in Frisco, Texas. The show began January 24, 2015 and runs through February 22, 2015 and it is nothing short of Magical.
Cavalia marries the equestrian arts, stage arts and high-tech theatrical effects at never before seen levels. Odysseo features 63 horses and 47 artists. The show comes from the imagination of Normand Latourelle, one of the Cirque du Soleil co-founders. Odysseo boasts quite the list of superlatives: the world’s largest touring big top, the biggest stage, the most beautiful visual effects, and the greatest number of horses at liberty.
This is not your ordinary Big Top. The White Big Top itself stands 125-feet tall and spans over 47,000 square feet with enough seating capacity for 2000 people, air-conditioning and heat are available. Under the White Big Top are the stage, the backstage areas, the bleachers, a lobby, and gift shop and food stands.
The actual stage is approximately 17,500 square feet, larger than a hockey rink. The stage is made of 6,000 tons of stones, dirt and sand. The give life to the show, Cavalia’s stage has two hills that are three stories tall. The stone, dirt and sand are sculpted to create the vast space of freedom where humans and horses come to play.
The visual world created for Odysseo requires 19 projectors and 200 moving lights. It is a three dimensional experience as a state-of-the-art video screen, the size of three IMAX theatres, projects images that transport the viewer to a world of dreams.
As soon as the curtain was drawn the audience finds themselves being serenaded in an enchanted forest. You are immediately taken away from any stress of the day. It is a feast for the eyes as you experience rolling clouds, sunsets and a soulful journey that will lead you from the African savannah to Nordic glaciers, from the Sahara to Easter Island.
There are 47 artists representing 11 countries in Odysseo. You will witness acrobats, horseback riders, aerialists, dancers, musicians and singers. By the third song, the audience is toe tapping, clapping and smiling along with the lively and enthusiastic troupe of African acrobats. All of the music featured in Odysseo is performed live.

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The Odysseo carousel is a highlight of the show. The full size merry-go-round is housed above the stage and is lowered for a stunning moment while acrobats and dancers elegantly twirled around effortlessly.
The horsemanship in the show is second to none. You will be entertained with impressive stunts unlike anything you have witnessed live on stage. At one point, the horsemen of Cavalia perform riding tricks, including a horse running at full gallop while his rider transitions completely underneath the horse and pulls himself back up in the saddle on the other side. The horses are truly not the only ones with muscle in the show.
At times the horses onstage are too numerous to count. You will be amazed by the liberty that these horses have and you will appreciate the commands they follow from their trainers.
In another memorable moment, viewers of the show are treated to angelic aerialists in a four-person silk act that has them twirling through the air with the aide of the horses and their male cast members.
The entire show is absolutely breath-taking all the way to the finale. The finale will leave you mesmerized. An underground water system is built to flood 80,000 gallons of water onto the stage. With a gorgeous waterfall projected in the background, a single rider comes out on her horse to frolic and dance in the water. She is soon joined by other riders and artists and what you are left with are the traces of their splashes and memories to last a lifetime.

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Cavalia Odysseo is a show of dreams and fantasies that pushes the limits of live entertainment. It is a must see if you are in town! The show last approximately two hours. Ticket prices are from $29.50-$149.50 plus applicable taxes and fees. The “Rendez-Vous” package offers the best seats in the house, exquisite buffet-dining before the show, open bar, desserts during intermission and an exclusive visit of the stables after the show. This VIP experience takes place in a tent alongside the White Big Top and this package price ranges between $129.50 to $229.50 plus applicable taxes and fees.

Some other interesting/fun facts:
There are 63 horses in the show, 11 breeds from 7 different countries, all male- stallions and geldings. The average age is ten, the oldest horse is sixteen, the youngest horse is four.
It takes 80 Cavalia’s Odysseo employees to set up and tear down the show.
Moving the show from city to city requires at least 100 vehicles.
The side walls of the White Big Top are assembled with 166 poles.
There are 350 costumes and 100 pairs of shoes and boots in the show.
An artist may have no more than 30 seconds to do a quick costume change between numbers.
To create the costumes, it took a team of 13 dressmakers, one property master, one designer and one shoemaker working in the Cavalia studios.
The technical grid for the show weighs 70 tons.
68 saddles are used during the show (trick riding, cosack riding, dressage, English and roman riding)
There are 8 shower stalls in the stables to prepare the horses for the show.
On an annual basis, the horses consume 18,000 bales of hay, 37, 400 pounds of grain and 1800 pounds of carrots.

by: Tabatha Moran Chovanetz

Dare U 2 Open This Book: Draw It, Write It, Dare 2 Live It

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Dare U 2 Open This Book:  Draw It, Write It, Dare 2 Live It

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Your tween will find this devotional book interesting, unlike other devotionals, this one is hands-on. There are scriptures followed by illustrations and activities that your child can doodle, design, answer questions/quizzes, puzzles, and fill-in-the-blanks.

I would say this book is targeted for ages 6-14. I gave a copy of this book to my nephew who loves art and he was immediately immersed in it. The nice thing is, your child is learning something about Jesus while having fun. It is a unique book that provides biblical truths. Every parent wants an engaging book that not only challenges their child to be creative but to learn while having fun…. it’s a win-win for parents/children.

This is a 90-day devotional book that will help your child grow spiritually. “Dare U 2 Open This Book: Draw It, Write It, Dare 2 Live It” is a devotional unlike any other on the shelf. I think anyone who purchases this book will not be disappointed.

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge and was not required to give a positive review. The opinions given are mine and mine alone.

A Revealing Read!

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A Revealing Read!

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The last book of the Bible, Revelation, has never been the easiest book to understand.  Have you always wanted a better understanding of this complex book?  This is a must read.  Tim LaHaye and Timothy Parker partner together to make this book of the Bible easier to comprehend.

‘The Book of Revelation Made Clear,’ covers all twenty-two chapters of the book of Revelation.  Each section beginning with a short quiz just to see what you know or don’t know.  Then the questions are followed by the scriptures with exactly what is said in the Bible and then a detailed “what is meant” explanation to help you better understand the scripture.  Finally at the end of each explanation the answers to the quiz are revealed.  Never before have I ran across a book that helped to make the book of Revelation so easy to understand.

A book explaining the sometimes difficult to understand scriptures is a necessity for any Bible scholar.  The authors work hard to offer insight and the quizzes really help you retain what you read/learn.  I found it best to read it in sections (quiz by quiz) and slowly digest the information laid out before me.  Not only was it thought provoking, but it seem to stick with me when I would bite it off in small chunks and chew on it slowly.

This will be a great addition to your library, a tool that will help you help others, and an overall great source of reference for many years to come.  I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn more about the Bible.

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book free of charge from booklook and was not required to give a positive opinion.  The thoughts and words expressed are mine and mine alone.

How to Live Life to the Fullest…..

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The book ‘Thrive Digging Deep, Reaching Out’ is by Mark Hall, lead singer for Casting Crowns. I received the Student Edition and read it with my kids, ages 11 and 16. I love the way he begins the book, talking about people who are merely surviving day to day. So many times I hear people wishing their lives away, saying “I can’t wait until…..” Hall reminds us that we are to do more than survive day to day, we are to Thrive. From that chapter on he takes us through part 1 of the book, entitled, “Digging Deeper.” We have to live out our life understanding God’s plan for us. Hall reminds us to have a new mindset, and that study our Bible is simply ‘hanging out with God,” and how to be mighty men and women of God. As he opens to the second half of the book entitled, “Reaching out,” we are reminded to share Jesus with others and to use our own testimony of God’s grace to strengthen others. I love the gentle reminder that we are all ambassadors for Christ and that we are to love sinners with the truth in order to share the gospel. At the very end of the book he issues a “Thrive Challenge” to us that will help us to grow in Christ and in our relationships with others. By the end of the book, you will focus on thriving and not just surviving. This book is a great read for pre-teen and up. I enjoyed reading it with my kids. I would highly recommend this book. Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge and was not required to give a positive review. These opinions are mine and mine alone.

A Great Read for Believers and Non-Believers

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A great read for any teen but especially for those with doubt. The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel is an easy read, it is smaller than his original version yet leaves no room for doubt in the end. The award-winning journalist was once an atheist until his wife became a Christian, it was then that he had to search for answers on his own. This book makes it easy to understand where facts about Jesus Christ are presented in a clear and concise manner. The book will strengthen your own faith as well as help you share your faith with others…even for a well seasoned Christian. The student edition also benefits from contributor Jane Vogel who has been involved in youth ministry for over twenty years. Chock-full of vital information, I would highly recommend this book for any age believer or non-believer.

Wisdom from cover to cover!

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Wisdom from cover to cover!

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This book is an in-depth look at the life of Solomon. The book’s title, ‘The Solomon Seduction: What You Can Learn from the Wisest Fool in the Bible’ says a lot. Solomon was considered the wisest man in the Bible and yet he still fell for Satan’s lies, he still messed up, he still was deceived by Satan, and he ultimately made bad decisions. If a wise man can be fooled, then who are we to not be tempted, seduced or deceived?

Mark Atterberry wittingly tells us the stories of Solomon and includes many stories of his own. Atterberry’s chapters offer up practical ways that we can avoid going down the same path that Solomon did.

The book has ten chapters that are defined as “wake up calls.” Reading through each chapter it is easy to see the pitfalls that are out there and even easier to experience you own “wake up call,” which is what Atterberry hopes. And even though the book feels like it is written for men, (because it is written from a man’s viewpoint) it is still widely recommended for women. Coming from a lady’s standpoint, the advice still applies! Each chapter is ether an eye opener or a friendly reminder to things that may seem innocent but are not.

I would consider this book inspirational. I would certainly consider it for a Bible study. It is very timely for men and women today.
Since I was reading it for a review, I decided to read a great bit of it with my teen for summer reading. It evoked many conversations that he hopefully will retain and be able to draw from later in life. Thank you for the book Mark Atterberry, for the wit with which you write and the memories my son and I have from reading it.

Don’t miss out on the wisdom you can gain from this book. It may save you a lot of heart ache.

Disclaimer: I reviewed this book for booklook and was not required to give a positive review. The review is my opinion and my opinion alone.

Great Life Advice for all Ages

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In the book ‘Smart Money Smart Kids,’ Dave Ramsey, a familiar name to financial freedom, teams with his daughter Rachel Cruze.
This is their first collaboration and I doubt it will be their last.

We get the financial advice from Dave Ramsey that we may expect but through Rachel Cruze we gain insight to know what it was like growing up in the Ramsey family. It wasn’t always easy.

The book is laid out with two clear voices speaking. Each author clearly identifies themselves before writing and each give their own perspective.

I especially love that right from the beginning they begin to talk about work ethic; it seems the younger generation loses sight of what the phrase ‘work ethic’ even means. Shame on us adults that have let them get away with it. Dave Ramsey has a no-nonsense approach to entitlement.

The book teaches saving, spending, giving, budgeting and planning. I was familiar with the “envelope method” the book speaks about, it is easy enough for children to understand having an envelope for “giving” and an envelope for “spending.” They can see firsthand how much is in each envelope, and they can be intentional about it.

I cannot say enough about the wealth of knowledge you can learn from reading this book and what a gift to pass that down to your children.

It would be nice if businesses/colleges offered courses teaching these financial strategies. If you or your children have not been exposed to Cruze and Ramsey’s methods, I highly recommend this book. It would also make a perfect graduation present as well.
Extremely easy to understand and practical advice for all ages.

Disclaimer: I was given this book to read and review. I was not required to leave a positive review. The thoughts presented are mine and mine alone.