Friday, August 1, 2014

Saints and Soldiers: The Void

If you haven't seen the movie Saints and Soldiers it is definitely a must see! I remember watching it a few years ago and being amazed at the dramatic, intense and heroic WWII film.  I just recently saw Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed which tells the action-packed story of three World War II U.S. Army paratroopers, fighting desperately to fulfill their mission against seemingly insurmountable odds.  I have learned a lot this month is my studying about WWII.  Growing up I never realized both sides and how so many didn't want to fight but were forced to fight for the Germans.  That they were good people, forced by their country to fight.  It is amazing to me how God works through people to fulfill his plan on this earth.
Right now you can get the 2 box DVD set of Saints and Soldiers and Airborne Creed here at Deseret Book for only $9.99

Get excited though to see this new movie many are talking about called The Void! Coming up on August 15th, Saints and Soldiers: The Void will be coming to theaters near you {in Utah} Sorry for those that don't live in Utah, but you will have the opportunity to purchase this movie when it come out! Check out here to see if it is playing at a theater near you.

    I get to go see the show on the 5th, so I'll let you know what I think of it!  Here is a little about the movie and a short trailer.

Movie Plot:Germany, May 1945, the twilight of WWII. On a final mission deep in the Harz mountains a U.S. tank crew discovers a platoon of Germans, including three infamous Panzer tanks, preparing to ambush allied supply trucks.
Before the war, Sergeant Jesse Owens, was a product of segregation and racial discrimination. Forced by law to ride in the back of the bus and disenfranchised from the political process. As the Germans bear down on the Americans, Owens fights the Axis powers for a freedom he and his fellow African American soldiers have never felt.
With a deadly game of cat and mouse quickly unfolding, Owens and his predominantly white tank crew find themselves out-gunned and out-manned by the German Panzer tanks. Several in Owens’ crew are reluctant to put their faith in a black tank driver despite their dire circumstances. With tension and fear beginning to manifest Owens knows they must put aside their differences to stop the enemy from their deadly plan. Knowing that a victory over the Nazis means a victory for racial justice, Owens and his men find a way to work together to save hundreds of lives in a desperate battle against the greatest odds they have ever faced.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wicked - The Broadway Musical - I Finally Saw It!

It was about 8 years ago that I totally got into the Broadway Musical Wicked, and I hadn't even seen it.  I heard the music and totally fell in love with it.   I would drive around in my car with my cute little 2 year old girl and we would sing "Popular" and "For Good" like we were part of the show!  She would actually tell me to "STOP SINGING MOMMY" so that she could only hear herself sing!  I loved it.  

In 2006 My family (my siblings and parents) all went to Chicago that summer for my brothers college graduation and got to see it out there. My husband and I wore poor, starving college students and weren't able to go.  Since then I haven't ever been able to figure out a way to see it.  When they started their touring show and came to Salt Lake I thought of going, but it was really expensive and I had nursing babies and such.  My dad was the percussionist for the show, but couldn't get deals for anyone, not even his wife!  

So I waited years! To make a long story short a few months ago my sister told me that her husband got her tickets for her birthday.  I joked and said I wanted to go so bad, she said they had an extra ticket for $75 that I could buy from her, and it was the same weekend that we would be up visiting family for the summer!!  I jumped right on it!!  

And as you can see by my face on my drive over to my sisters I was SO excited!

I went with my sister, her husband and her daughter.  They actually surprised my niece on the drive up thinking that she and I were just going to try to get in the lottery, but expecting to just shop all night because they didn't get in last year.  She was SO excited!! She and I fought over who wanted to see it more!  I won, although she thinks she has wanted to see it longer than I have!  :)

Aren't they cute?  Thanks for taking me on your date night you guys!

Anyway, about the show, it was A.Maz.Ing.  Even though we sat way high up in the back of the balcony, it was still amazing. One day I want to see it up close but those tickets cost and arm, two legs, and a kidney. So that will have to wait until I am a rich women!

I only knew the music, but not the story line. Over that last 8 years I had thought about goggling the whole storyline, but decided I wanted to be surprised.  Well, surprised I was!  It was totally not what I expected.  I went thinking it would be so different, and I LOVED it even more.  So I will not tell you the story line for that reason alone!

After the show we got to go backstage (which you can't take any picture of) to see the set, costumes, stage and pit.  It was amazing.  It takes 14, I I remember correctly, semi trucks to haul this show around.  

I was really excited to go this year because it will probably be the last time it is in Salt Lake (so I have heard) and my dads last time playing in it!  He just played his 100th show last week, and plays for another 3 weeks!  This dad of mine is so talented.  He plays 56 percussion instruments during the show.  I can't even play one! So if you go and you hear anything cool in the music, think if my father, because he just made that sound for ya!
If you get a chance to see the show, take it.  It is fantastic!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Little Man Giveaway

Green Scene Mom

These adorable products are designed especially for little boys to encourage imaginative play, inspire healthy eating and simple mealtimes, and cover the basic essentials. Check out Green Scene Mom's favorite products for little rambunctious boys to use and enjoy as they explore the world around them. Moms will also love these companies for encouraging eco-friendly lifestyles through their innovative product designs.

Green Scene Mom - Alex Toys GiveawayAlex Toys' Busy Fire Truck is a new twist to a classic wood toy! Baby will love playing with 8 fun colorful activities on every side of the Busy Fire Truck! Actives include rolling wheels, a curvy bead maze, a mirror, turning picture tiles, a spinning gear, a movable ladder and a discovery wheel. Includes a pop-up feature too. For ages 10+ mos. For more information, visit

Green Scene Mom - Pacific Baby GiveawayPacific Baby thermal bottles keep liquids hot or cold for up to ten hours. These high quality bottles are versatile to use from birth to 5 years old and make feeding and drinking simple during outings and while traveling.

The wide neck offers greater visibility and the inner scale simplifies measuring out formula. The bottle nipples come in three speeds and are naturally shaped. Just add handles and a spout to transform this bottle into a sippy cup for older kids. For more information, visit

Green Scene Mom - pediped Giveawaypediped's adorable shoes are perfect for going on summer adventures! These stylish shoes fit comfortably and ensure healthy foot development. They are available in more than 140 designs for boys and girls.

Exceptional quality, unsurpassed comfort and distinctive styling have made pediped the fastest growing children's footwear brand in the United States. pediped footwear is sold in over 2,500 stores in the United States and 40 countries worldwide. pediped has also received many awards for their innovative footwear designs. For more information, visit

Green Scene Mom - BreathableBaby GiveawayBreathableBaby is a child product safety company dedicated to breathable innovations that address parents' concern for baby's safety inside the crib.

BreathableBaby products include breathable mesh crib liners which are designed to address the risks of suffocation and entanglement, breathable wearable blankets and blankets with moisture wicking mesh fabrics to keep your baby comfortable by reducing overheating, and breathable toys that are safer for baby to snuggle with. For more information, visit

Green Scene Mom - Yummi Pouch GiveawayYummi Pouch makes eco-friendly snack solutions that encourage healthy snacks for active kids. Their reusable food pouches are freezer safe, dishwasher safe, BPA-free, Phthalate-free, and can be filled with healthy blended snacks and easily taken on-the-go, no spoon required.

Yummi Pouch also recently introduced cloth snack and sandwich bags, each lined with a water resistant interior and decorated with colorful prints. They're perfect for crackers, chips, and sandwiches and also make great little storage bags for hair accessories and cosmetics. For more information, visit
Green Scene Mom - Baby Bump Bundle GiveawayBaby Bump Bundle creates care packages for moms-to-be by trimester, newborn babies, and nursing new moms. Baby Bump Bundle also offers high quality products for moms and babies individually, so you can build your own bundle or just buy an item that catches your eye! For more information, visit

Green Scene Mom - oogaa Giveawayoogaa designs and manufactures non-toxic feeding products for baby and young children. Their award-winning divided plate is stackable, soft, durable and easy to clean. It's also dishwasher, microwave, freezer and oven safe. oogaa's tugboat spoon makes mealtime fun! Toot-toot... open wide, here comes the tugboat! For more information, visit

Green Scene Mom - Buttons Diapers GiveawayButtons Cloth Diapers are quality, affordable, and adorable cloth diapers that are an easy to use two-in-one system. Buttons' one-size diaper covers can snap to fit babies from 9-35 lbs, and are made of 2 layers of soft wipeable PUL with double gussets around the legs. Their snap-in diaper inserts are soft and absorbant, and come in two sizes. For more information, visit

These wonderful companies have allowed us to give away an amazing gift set! One lucky mom will win these great Little Man Summer Essentials for their little guy!

Prize Gift Set - Retail Value $260

BreathableBaby buried treasure sheet, mesh blanket & toy elephant - $45.99
pediped pair of boys shoes - $35
Alex Toys Busy Fire Truck - $43.95
Pacific Baby bottle set - $50
Baby Bundle 3 item gift set - $30
Yummi Pouch Spunky snack bags & mustache dishwasher safe stickers - $15.99
oogaa silicone divided plate & silicone tugboat spoon - $16.99
Buttons Diapers diaper cover, 2 daytime inserts & 1 nighttime doubler - $24.50

Little Man Giveaway
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Monday, July 28, 2014

Dangerously Fun: Keeping Your Kids Safe this Summer - Guest Post by Mary Kremer

I'm excited to have Mary Kremer guest posting for me today!  She has some awesome tips that I knew my readers would greatly benefit from!
Summer can be incredibly fun; however, with kids running wild and a plethora of fun summer activities, it can sometimes be just plain dangerous. To help keep your kids safe, here are some common summer activities and potential hazards you should be prepared for.
Going for a Dip?
Summer is a prime time for swimming. But before you decide to go for a dip, you need to be prepared for an emergency. According to the CDC, drowning is one of the top five causes of unintentional death in the U.S., and one of every five people who drowns is a child. Children ages 1-4 have the highest drowning rates. To help prevent drownings, here are some steps you can take:
  • Put barriers up: If you have a backyard pool and young children, invest in a barrier, like a pool fence, to keep young children away from the water when there’s no adult to supervise.
  • Enroll your children in swim lessons. Lack of ability to swim is a major contributor to drowning. Research has shown that formal lessons can help prevent drowning in the most vulnerable age group, 1-4 year olds.
  • Have a swim buddy: Use the buddy system while you swim to ensure everyone is always accounted for.
  • Wear life jackets! Have your inexperienced or young swimmers wear life jackets when they’re in the water.
  • Always have an adult to supervise. If there are kids in the pool, there should be an adult around who can administer CPR in case of an emergency.
It’s also important to know the signs of drowning and what to do in case it occurs. Although you may picture a drowning child as one screaming for help and flailing his arms, drowning often looks quite different. Here are some signs to look for:
  • Head low, mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back with mouth open
  • Glassy eyes, unable to focus, or closed eyes
  • Hyperventilating or gasping
  • Hair over eyes or face
  • Arm motions as if climbing a ladder
If you see a child exhibiting these behaviors, get him out of the water and perform CPR if needed.
Swimming can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to be prepared and cautious.
Spending Some Time in the Sun?
In very hot weather, our natural cooling systems can shut down, leading to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. This process can occur even more rapidly in a small child. Heat exhaustion manifests in nausea, vomiting, headaches, weakness, increased thirst, clammy skin, and a fever less than 104 degrees. If left untreated, heat exhaustion can turn into heat stroke, which can be deadly.
If your children will be spending a lot of time outdoors this summer, here are some tips to avoid overheating:
  • Choose loose, light clothing.
  • Stay inside during the hottest times of the day.
  • Stay hydrated. A good rule of thumb here is the 8x8 rule. Drink eight, eight ounce fluid cups a day, which is about 1.9 liters. Although the amount every person should drink changes according to your size and amount of exertion, this number is a good one to keep in mind.
  • Always use sunblock of at least SPF 30 before you go out. Reapply every few hours.
  • Don’t overdo it. Don’t plan activities in the heat of the day or when you aren’t prepared for the heat. If you or your kids are tired, or develop any symptoms of heat exhaustion, stop what you’re doing immediately.
If you or your children develop any heat exhaustion symptoms, get out of the heat and into a cool area. Drink plenty of water and loosen clothing. You may want to take a cool shower as well. If the symptoms persist for longer than 30 minutes, call a doctor, as the heat exhaustion may have progressed to heat stroke.
Or Just Hanging Out in the Backyard?
If your kids are just hanging out in the backyard, there are still a few hazards you should be aware of. Number one on that list is the trampoline. According to a study done by the Indiana University school of medicine, there were over a million injuries (including broken bones and fractures) from trampolines from 2002-2011. A million injuries!
The best way to prevent most trampoline injuries is to avoid owning one. However, if you do have a trampoline, here are some tips from Dr. Skedros to keep in mind:
  • Make sure they’re covered. Check your homeowner’s insurance to see if it covers trampoline injuries. You may be surprised to find it doesn’t. Most homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover trampolines. That means if your child or a neighbor’s child is injured on the trampoline, you might be in trouble.
  • Install them at ground level. A trampoline that is flush with the surrounding ground AND has a net around the perimeter is much safer for a child and much less likely to cause a serious injury.
  • Set up some ground rules. Set up some safety measures and enforce them. Only allow one child on the trampoline at a time and strictly enforce this rule. Never allow any other equipment (like bikes or toys) on at any time.
If your child is injured on the trampoline, don’t move them except to stop any bleeding and immobilize the injured area. You may want to apply an ice pack while you call for emergency help.

With precautions, many common summer injuries can be avoided. The key is to prepare and always make sure there is an adult around in case of emergency. Keep these safety precautions in mind and don’t forget to have fun!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Why We Started Using Dave Ramsey's Financial Program and the Envelope System

We have recently gotten back on the Dave Ramsey bandwagon after my husband lost his job a while a go. I can't even tell you how wonderful it has been!  When he first lost his job we couldn't do envelopes because we only made enough to pay the bills.  

I thought I would re-post an old post about how we got started using the Dave Ramsey program.  As I read through this post we have been going through a lot of the same things again, and following this program was exactly what we needed to do!

I love budgeting and finances. If I ever got a job it would be to be a family finance counselor. I seriously L.O.V.E. everything about figuring out money. It started when I was little and my mom would always balance her checkbook at the table and talk to herself {probably grumbling, because she doesn't love it like I do} while using her awesome big calculator. I just loved it. Now, I am not into investing, I have NO clue about any of that, but when it comes to budgeting, balancing, getting out of debt, and teaching your kids about money, I could talk to you forever about it. {don't worry not today}

The last year has been an up and down for us when it comes to money. We would be doing so good saving and not overspending, keeping to a budget, and then we had some problems with work and finding new jobs and starting school again, and all that fun stuff {insert sarcastic eye roll} We were doing fine paying our bills and everything, but we just weren't saving. In October my husbands parents introduced us to a program called Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey. I was NOT interested because in order to have "financial peace" I thought you had to have a lot of money. Well it turns out you don't!! Really I promise. Read on....
My husband and I are totally changing how we do our money. I thought we were doing just fine, but we were doing a lot of nickel and diming that I didn't realize.  You know you have all done it go to Target to the dollar bin section and leave having spent an extra $20 dollars that you weren't planning on spending....Urgh}

Anyway, We listened to the Dave Ramsey CD's and started his envelope system, which basically means we pay our bills and then divide what ever is left into envelopes in cash. We also got rid of the credit card. {we have one for my husband work}. For instance we have about 10 envelopes such as savings, clothes, food, gas, my scrapbook fund, vehicle maintenance, date night, etc. We take the cash we have left over after we have paid our bills for the month (or for us two weeks) and have percentages to put in each envelope totaling 100%.  If there is $30 dollars in clothes then I either save it or spend it, when it is gone it is gone and we have to wait to buy clothes until there is more money in there. It has been the best thing, because my husband doesn't get frustrated with me when I bring home a new shirt because he doesn't care as long as it was in the envelope! With gas and grocery we already know how much we need each month so we just plan for it so we will have enough!
This is the envelope system I have, but in black, I like the red.....hmmm!

Here are Dave Ramsey's Seven tips for Financial Peace
1) $1,000 emergency fund - We put this in the bank after it is saved.
2) Pay of all debt with the debt snowball - Once you have paid of your highest interest debt, roll the money over to your other debts so you are paying more and it will be payed off faster.
3) 3-6 months of expenses in savings - This comes out as a bill, We have a certain percentage that we put in there each month before we take cash out.  
4) Invest 15% of income for retirement - We are working on doing this!
6) Pay off your home early
7) Build wealth and give

We are almost done with #2 and working on #3. We started the system in November and got #1 done really quick and quite honestly I don't know how. Dave talks about giving 10% of your income to a charity. The church we belong to encourages it and I think that because we did pay a tithing that we were blessed to be able to fulfill our plan. #2 is almost done. We payed off our van, payed off a business loan and my husband bought a truck with CASH!!! {it's not that nice...ya know $1,000 dollars doesn't get me that dream 2011 King Ranch Ford F 250, but hey we're almost out of debt.} Now we are just using the debt snow ball to pay off our school loans which may take a while! Some of you might think this is way to personal to share, but I am not writing it to brag, just to show you that it is possible and that you can do it also. Do what is best for you. We were glad we found this. It has SAVED us so much, and I didn't think we even needed to be saved. ;) When I go buy things I always think, do I want to spend this money right now or should I save it for something else. Having a budget, being almost out of debt, and knowing where our money is going makes us feel WAY less stressed about money, less worried about our future, and really excited about saving.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Benotripia: Keys to the Dream World by McKenzie Wagner

When I heard that this author is only 13 years old, I was amazed.   She actually had her first book published when she was 7!   I also have a little 10 year old book lover / writer in my house, so I was so excited to get this book and show it to my daughter.  She is hooked!  I asked her to write the review for us today!
Keys to the Dream World blog tour
This is Mckenzie's first book series.  Her final book in the series just came out July 9th.  The series is called Benotripia and starts with The Rescue, followed by The Stones of Horsh, and then this one called Keys to the Dream World.  

You can read more about her on her website or follow her on her Facebook page!

Book Description
Roseabelle, Jessicana, and Astro are back! Roseabelle and her friends have retrieved the Stones of Horsh, but now the only way to save themselves is to destroy the Darvonians’ power source, hidden deep within a dark island. Return to the magical land of Benotripia in this thrilling conclusion to Roseabelle’s adventures!

I really enjoyed this book.  It has unique characters and I like the way it was written. It is imaginative and interesting, and makes you want to read more.  It had a way cool story.  I think that if you are looking for an adventurous series, this is the one for you.  Anyone from age seven to adult would enjoy this book!  I really liked the part when they escape from the Darvonians after rescuing a very important prisoner.  I think it is really inspiring that the authors age doesn't stop her from making these books!
About the Author 
Mckenzie Wagner is 13 years old and has adored reading since she was four. Her love of books inspired her to write a book of her own, and she completed the first book of The Magic Wall series, “The Magic Meadow and the Golden Locket,” at age seven and the second book, “The Blue Lagoon and the Magic Coin,” shortly thereafter. With her new series, Benotripia, she has now expanded her writing to appeal to kids of all ages. She wishes to obtain an English degree and continue her path as an author. She currently resides in Utah with her mom, dad, and brother, Ty.

Purchase Links - Amazon / Barnes and Noble 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Diamond Rings are Deadly Things - A Wedding Planner Mystery by Rachelle Christensen

Shadow Mountain Publishing and Rachelle J. Christensen are excited to for Rachelle's new wedding planner mystery series, DIAMOND RINGS ARE DEADLY THINGS.  A couple months ago I got to do a cover reveal for this book and as of July 8th this book has hit the shelves!  I was excited to get to review this book. Here is some info about the book
Author: Rachelle J. Christensen
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Published: July 8th, 2014
Paperback: 320 pages
FTC FYI: Received a paperback copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Book Description
Adrielle Pyper knows how to plan a wedding, and she is especially good at pleasing bridezillas. But when her biggest client and best friend is murdered just three days before the wedding, Adris world falls apart. She moves to the resort town of Sun Valley, Idaho, and starts from scratch. Thanks to Adris impeccable taste and unique style, she lands two celebrity clients, and her business seems headed for success--that is, until someone vandalizes the specialty wedding dresses she imported from overseas. The race is to uncover a secret hidden within the yards of satin and lace before Adri becomes the next victim. With a delightful blend of mystery, toe-curling kisses, humor, and spine-tingling thrills. Diamond Rings are Deadly Things is a romantic suspense novel that will keep you turning pages long into the night.

My Review
This book was great! I love a good book that is a quick fun read.  I enjoyed the characters, mystery, humor and all.  It was very well written and a great read!  The romance isn't too much but just enough. I really enjoyed that she coordinates a real blog that she has set up to go with the book.  It's called Mashed Potatoes and Crafts.  It gives great ideas for the crafts and recipes that she shares in the beginning of each chapter.  The mystery leaves you wondering clear until the end!  I give this book two thumbs up and totally recommend it for a great summer read! This is the first book in her Wedding Planner Mystery series.  I am excited to read more! 

Christensen, Rachelle
About the Author 
Rachelle J. Christensen was born and raised in a small farming town in Idaho not far from the setting of her mystery Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things. She graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in psychology. She enjoys singing and songwriting, playing the piano, running, motivational speaking and of course reading. Rachelle has an amazing husband, five cute kids, three cats and five chickens.

Purchase Links - Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Deseret Book

Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer School at Our House - Summer Fit Learning Books

As far as Summer School goes we don't do a ton of school in the summer.  We do a Family School lesson twice a week, and then I have them work on something, such as math or grammar, once a day, unless we have a busy day then we bag it all and enjoy our summer days with friends and family.  We have had a busy summer, sometimes we have been a little bored, but we make due and create fun!  We are out of town this week with family and are having a blast!

A couple of years ago I saw these fun Summer Fit learning books.  The main reason I like these books is they have such great lesson in them to help the kids have a "Fit Brain, Fit Body, Fit Values" over the summer. They have your regular math and grammar and stuff like that, but they also have wonderful stories in them teaching great morals and values.  They also have, at the end of each lesson, a Fit Body section that has to do with exercise and getting outside!  They are divided up into 10 sections, for the 10 weeks of summer
Here is how the website explains how to use the book.
The first seven sections review the materials taught in the grade the child is leaving, while the final three sections preview the year ahead.  Each section begins with an overview of the upcoming week, as well as an incentive calendar to keep your child engaged. The weekly sections are each comprised of 10 pages of activities. While the pace is ultimately up to you and your child, the workbook is designed for the student to spend 20-30 minutes a day to complete two pages. Each week, your child’s basic academic skills are reinforced, along with character building, social skills, and healthy habits. The workbooks also promote physical fitness through exercise and play.
My daughter got to review the 5-6 Summer fit book and is enjoying it! Check out their website for some great tips, quotes fun!  found hereLike Summer Fit Learning on Facebook or Follow them on Twitter.  also check out their YouTube video found Here!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Freshly Picked Moccasins – Review & Giveaway

Have you seen these adorable Freshly Picked Moccasins?
I remember seeming them on Shark Tank in January and was so impressed by Susan's Story.  What a true entrepreneur.  

These adorable moccasins are made of suede or leather for babies or toddlers. They have a ton of awesome colors and are not just cute but well made and practical.  They have an elastic hidden band around the opening that make them super easy to slide their foot right into and also makes it so they won't fall off while they are wearing them.  

They were adorably packaged which is always a plus! They came in the cutest little white muslin drawstring bag that had the Freshly Print Logo on it with an FP pin!

I got the cutest camo pair for my little 3 year old.  He absolutely loves them and wears them EVERYWHERE!  They have held up very well, and when they get dirty they wipe off really well!
I was so excited when they offered to let me review and do a giveaway on these cutest Mocs!  I know one of my lucky readers is going to love these for their sweet baby.  

For those that just can't wait to get a pair you can purchase the moccasins on their website.  They also have a Size Guidewhich I totally recommend printing it and measuring their foot.  It is VERY true to the size on the paper if you want exact fit.  My 3 year old got a size 6 and they go up to size 10 so they will fit even older toddlers!

The Giveaway will end at 12:00 PM on the 26th so hurry and enter!!

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* Shipping is only free for US residents. International winners will be subject to shipping charges. You can still enter the giveaway but keep that in mind :-)
** To be eligible for this giveaway, you cannot have won a pair of Freshly Picked moccasins within the last 60 days

Friday, July 11, 2014

Surviving Hitler - The Unlikely True Story of an SS Soldier and a Jewish Woman

I don't know where I was when we talked about World War II in history class.  Maybe I just tuned it out. I remember getting a little pit in my stomach every time I heard the name Hitler.  I remember studying it a little, but maybe I was in denial that anything could ever have happened that was so horrible.  I did read, The Diary of Anne Frank and heard about Hitler and some of the horrible things that went on during that time, but I kind of avoided reading, or learning more about it.  It was something I couldn't even fathom happening.  When I had the opportunity to review this book, Surviving Hitler, for Deseret Book I decided to participate.  I don't read a lot of non-fiction (which I should), but after seeing the title I realized it would be good for to read and learn more about this time period.  

Description of the book from Deseret Book...
Surviving Hitler is a true story written by O. Hakan Palm, the son of Gustav and Agnes who the story is written about.  It is actually told in their own words in journal form going back and forth between the two of them.  
Gustav Palm kept his secret for more than forty years. He’d been a young man when Hitler invaded his native Norway. After being forced to guard a Nazi prison camp, however, Gustav took his only option for escape: he volunteered for the Waffen-SS to fight at the front.
Agnes Erdös grew up in privilege and prosperity as a child in Hungary. She and her parents were practicing Roman Catholics, but they were ethnic Jews, and after the Nazis invaded her country, Agnes and her parents were sent to the death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Miraculously, both Agnes and Gustav survived. And after the war, they found each other.
Told in their own words, Surviving Hitler is the story of two indomitable spirits who built on their life-altering experiences to overcome the past, help each other heal, and embrace a common faith in God that led them to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 
Growing up hearing about Hitler and the horrible things that he did, and hearing about all the people who worked for him made me thing everyone that worked for Hitler was just as bad as him.  I was wrong.  Gustav had been convinced to join the socialist party and told that he could be a Police Officer, thinking he would be a traffic police, he took the opportunity to make better money than being a farmer.  He was completely manipulated and found himself instead feeling as a "prisoner guarding prisoners" as he found himself a guard at a Nazi prison camp.  He did get out of that because he hated it and was able to become an SS Solider and fight on the front lines.  It hit me that so many members of Hitlers army did not want to do what they did, but they were forced to do it.  They felt like prisoners themselves.  

The stories about Agnes and surviving Auscchwitz and all the horrible things she went through was very touching and eye-opening.  It was amazing how much she saw the hand of God working in her life.  She was meant to survive.  Before they got to the concentration camp her father gave her a blessing, a blessing that prepared her for the rest of her life.  Words that helped her get through all that she went though knowing that she WOULD make it!

Their amazing story encompasses true faith, forgiveness, and unconditional love.  Near the end it talks about how they met and found the Church of Jesus  Christ of Latter-day Saints.  

This book is amazing, inspirational and wonderful!  It is very well written and tasteful.  The way they formatted it in journal entries makes it a quick read that you don't want to put down..  Full of emotion I read through this book and learned so much.  It really put my life in perspective and helped me feel more grateful for my own life.  I am so blessed and my life, compared to Agnes and Gustav's lives, is easy.  I recommend this book to High-school age and older.  It is an amazing read and you will not regret spending time reading it!

I received this ARC copy from Deseret Book in return for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way for this review. These are my own thoughts on the book.


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