The High King Lives

Weekend Special: Creative Parenting, Man of Steel, & Virtual Oceans June 30, 2013

In this post: A weekend combo of Virtual Friday, Media Saturday, & My Family Rocks! Sunday. Come visit virtual oceans with me as a mermaid in Second Life. I’ll review the new movie Man of Steel. Also, Lisa Whelchel’s book “Creative Correction” and how it’s helping us.

Hello dear ones! I hope you are well. I know my posts have been few lately. I ask for your prayers. Many of you know that I found out I don’t have Ehlers Danlos (what my Daddy had). I have found out that something I do have, Endometriosis, can actually cause a lot of the symptoms I’m experiencing. The more it grows the worse I feel and mine can’t be lasered out because of where it is.

I don’t like or trust most main stream meds. So I’ve started taking a natural progesterone cream that’s supposed to help shrink things. I can tell it’s doing something because of my fake pregnancy symptoms. It’s worth it to shrink the endo. though. I’m just even more fatigued than usual. I’m just having a hard time putting one foot in front of the other. So please keep me in your prayers and also about the inflammation in my joints (mainly my fingers). That’s been particularly bothersome lately and I hate feeling limited & weak (a pride thing I guess).

Now moving on, below is a pic of my yard in Second Life. My avatar got a new hairdo and clothes. But we will get back to Second Life later. First, I want to share this awesome devotional I’m doing.


Some of you may remember Lisa Whelchel from “The Facts of Life”.  Anywho, she’s now a homeschool mom and housewife. She wrote this great devotional called “Creative Correction”. I’ve been writing a lot about parenting lately. Michael is in a new stage which I’ve found seems to happen at age seven. So it’s not unusual that we are having new challenges with him and because of that our parenting methods have to change with the stage. I am all about heart based parenting. I don’t want my kiddo to look good on the outside but be a mess inside. I want to help him develop character by pointing him to Christ. That’s harder than it seems because I have my own failings and often I feel I am exhibit A of how not to act. I’m often asking for Michael’s forgiveness. If Michael sees anything in my life of value I guess it’ll be that God is merciful to me and that I do have a repentant heart. I am trying.

So I’m on this journey to learn how the Heavenly Father parents and how that translates to human parenting cause obviously I’m not God and I’m not allowed to make some of the parenting choices he makes. The whole “I brought you into this world so I can take you out” thing only applies to God lol. And I’m very thankful that stoning is not permitted under the new covenant. Though the New Covenant story of Ananias and Sapphira brings chills to me.

NemoLilMermaid2013 057

“Creative Correction” is a great resource for this adventure I’m on. Lisa points to God’s word and helps us see how the Heavenly Father parents. She also gives several tools parents can use ranging from scripture to activities and parables. The pictures below show an object lesson from the book.

You need several big stones (or in our case pecans), rice, and a jar.

First, Michael filled the jar with rice and tried to fit the pecans on top. He wasn’t able to fit all of the pecans.

Peter Pan  Tinkerbelle Disney Countdown 002

Then he filled the jar with pecans first and they all fit. He was able to pour most of the rice. The lesson is that when we put the big things first (like spending time with Jesus, school work, and chores), we are able to fit the little things in too (like video games and t.v. etc). But if we put all our time into the little things that don’t matter much we usually don’t have time to finish the important things. Also it’s a message to put God first and how he helps us order our day. This can also be an object lesson for money and spending.

Peter Pan  Tinkerbelle Disney Countdown 003

These object lessons and parables are so much easier than harping on issues over and over again. When Michael is being negative I just say “look for the pony, son“. That comes from the story of the optimist and his brother the pessimist. The pessimist gets toys for his birthday and sits around and complains about having to read instructions and get batteries. The optimist gets horse poo and dances around because he knows with all that poo a pony has to be around somewhere.

Lisa lists several scriptures that I haven’t thought to use before. I can vouch that scripture really works. Slowly but surely I’m seeing how the repentance corner is affecting Michael. He used to say “I can’t change” all the time. Now he’s been saying “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13 KJV). It is a slow process but focusing on the inward man takes time. It’s all about looking at the big picture…not just wanting outward obedience in the moment.    I am learning a lot about how God parents me as well. I find I have some of the same struggles that Michael does but on a deeper level.

Wondering what the repentance corner is? Read this post:

Anywho, if you get a chance I encourage you to check out Lisa’s book. It comes with video sessions as well but I didn’t buy them.

  • Media review for Man of Steel

Man Of Steel Cast 2013

(By Eva Rinaldi  Uploaded by MyCanon (Man Of Steel Cast) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons )

The fellas and I saw “Man of Steel” for Father’s Day. My first impression is “amazing! Stinkin’ awesome!” But the adrenaline rush is gone and now I can give a somewhat decent review.

Positives: Super Man has great character. He makes a hard choice in the end that has some long time fans disappointed but I feel he had no choice. I won’t spoil it for you.  Clark Kent’s adoptive parents are very loving and his Dad makes a great sacrifice for his son. There’s also this wonderful message about how to deal with bullying and being a bigger man. There is nothing sexual in the movie unless you count a guy making inappropriate remarks to a waitress (which Super Man defends the lady). Super Man isn’t perfect and has weaknesses so he is not godlike (something that I worried about).  Lois Lane and Clark Kent both make hard decisions and side with their morals over their fears and pressure from others. So when it comes down to it, Super Man puts all the other super heroes to shame when it comes to integrity and goodness. I would much rather my son emulate Super Man than Iron Man or Spider Man.

On that note, if you’re one of my readers then you know I believe media can be used as a teaching tool. I believe parents should talk to their kids about what they watch and listen to. We can shape the messages they receive subconsciously from media. So though I think Super Man is a better hero I want my son to ultimately try to be Christ-like. So we did have a talk about how Jesus is real and He is like the biggest super hero because He is God and He is perfect. Michael and I talked about the differences between Super Man and Jesus.

Negatives: The action scenes are super intense and in my opinion too intense for most kids (especially littles). My son is probably too used to action scenes (from Avengers and Lord of the Rings etc). So it didn’t bother him at all. When he was younger we used to watch the old Star Trek series as a family. Man of Steel was one big adrenaline rush and from the previews/commercials to the action scenes it was all about testosterone. LOL It’s definitely a man’s movie though obviously women can enjoy it as well. The villain is very dark and doesn’t care if he wipes out the human race. So there is violence and lots of it. Also there are probably a couple of curse words sprinkled here and there. I honestly can’t remember any of them but you can check out and read a detailed review.

In conclusion, Man of Steel is a great movie but I’d keep the littles home until they are mature enough to handle the intensity and the thematic elements (like genocide). Upper elementary and middle schoolers should be fine and I’d recommend this movie above the other action movies this Summer.

  • Mermaid exploration in the virtual ocean of Second Life

backyard So I decided to become a mermaid and show you some great underwater worlds in Second Life. It was extremely difficult to find a modest mermaid outfit. The one I’m (my avatar lol) wearing actually doesn’t have a tail. It just has pants so I used a different tail. The sand skirt and the scaly top is very modest. So the combo works for a modest mermaid. Now I can’t guarantee that these sims will always be family friendly and that everyone will dress modest. Heck…even The Little Mermaid isn’t modest. But for the most part I ran into few merpeople and the ocean bed was pretty secluded.

Here’s my hat with little baby mermaids and sea shells. I’ve got a scaly tattoo on my face. Most little girls like to pretend to be mermaids in the pool and this grown up little girl is no different ;).

mermaid top

You can see the great seahorse necklace if you click on the pic below.


  • Cave Rua Water Gardens

Visit Rua (160, 202, 11)

This is a small place to swim but there’s a good bit of plant life and some interesting statues.

mer hat

Cave Rua Water Gardens

Cave Rua3

Cave Rua 2

  • Safe Water Foundation: Mermaids of Phantasien

Visit Mermaids of Phantasien (122, 126, 3)

Now this is a great place to swim but you will probably run into more merpeople here. That can be a good thing if you’re looking to reach out to others but if you’re trying to avoid seeing immodest dress and role play that involves Greek/Roman mythology then it’s best to proceed with caution. There is a calendar with a list of events so you can choose the best time to explore.

Safe Waters Foundation

The Safe Water Foundation supports merpeople and underwater life in Second Life. I’m not sure what they are safe from though….virtual pirates? The Phantasien area has a neat underwater play area. There’s lots to explore here.

Safe Water Mermaids of Phantasien

Like ruins and shipwrecks…


Here’s a nifty castle that someone lives in. You have to message them to get a tour. It has an octopus garden by it.

Octopus Garden

The colors and the realistic sea life are just breath taking.

crossing place

Bernie’s Hideaway is a cute underwater club. You can sit at the table and talk with merfriends…or in my case, fish.

Bernie's Hideaway

You can dance in the big blue. The dances are made especially for mermaids and were very fun. You may wonder how virtual dancing can be fun…well it’s never been hard for me to put myself in a character’s place….whether I’m reading a book, watching a movie, acting in a play, playing video games, or exploring virtual worlds. You should ask my Hubby how seriously I take Nancy Drew games. I MUST solve the mystery! Role players won’t find it hard to pretend.

Dance 3

I love this pic. I just want to start singing Disney’s The Little Mermaid. “Up where they walk…up where they run…” Yes Mom, I still pretend to be Ariel.

Dance 5

Part of your world!!!!!!!!!!


Anywho, I’m done ;P. So I hope to have more underwater worlds to show you next time and I’ve found more educational places to visit. I only get on Second Life a couple of times a month. I hope no one’s shocked. I don’t spend all my time in the virtual world. I have school to teach and a house to clean… a bunch of crazy animals to take care of (I mean the cat and such…not Chris and Michael he he he 😛 jk honey….testing to see if you actually read my blog lol.)

So maybe I’ll get the time to do massive exploration one day. 

I hope the reviews etc have helped or entertained. God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

PS: I love getting sweet comments. It means so much to me. If you have resources that you want to share or just want to say hi and chat…please drop me a comment. 🙂


Media Saturday: “That’s When I Talk to God” & “The Deadly Device” February 2, 2013

Hello beloved! I hope you’re  weekend is beautiful :). I have two  things to review today. First,  a book called “That’s When I Talk to God”  and the newest Nancy  Drew PC game  “The Deadly Device “. Remember email subscribers to go to my actual blog to see the videos.

#1 That’s When I  Talk to God

Time Machine 50's60's2013 076

I  loved this book about a mother teaching  her daughter to pray. The Mommy  tells the little girl that she  can talk to God anytime not just bedtime  and mealtime. The little  girl discovers all the ways she can talk to  God and all the places/circumstances.  I really think the book helped  Michael because the night after  we read it he prayed and told God that  he hoped God had a good  day. Made my heart leap :).  Here is a great  trailer:

#2  The Deadly Device

Time Machine 50's60's2013 077

I  enjoyed this  Nancy Drew game more than I thought I would. It was  actually neat  to learn about Tesla and electricity.  There were some  really  hard puzzles. There’s even Binary code in this game. Chris had to  help me. I’m so glad he’s a computer dude. Go hubby!  This game  was not  easy and I had to go to the forums at Her Interactive  for help. The  game wasn’t really scary like most of the ND games.  I don’t recommend it  for kids younger than middle school because  it IS a murder mystery. But  there is no cursing and nothing remotely  sexual. Kids and adults alike  will learn some science. If your  kids are learning about electricity  then this may be something  fun to add to their curriculum. I love that  Nancy Drew games teach  while you play. These games are great brain food.

Here’s  the trailer:

God bless & remember  the High King lives! ~Amber Dover


Media Saturday: Wishful Thinking by Alexandra Bullen November 3, 2012

Hello friends! Today I’m reviewing the book Wishful Thinking by Alexandra Bullen. I read a lot of YA fiction because it is a part of the genre I write.  There are some books that make me want to bash my head in. Seriously, the same plot and the same love triangle over and over in each series. I can’t stand it. It makes me so angry that I want to write. Which I guess is a good thing. Yes, bad fiction makes me want to write something better. I sure hope I can. I don’t want any head bashing done on my behalf ;).

Wishful Thinking is a rare gem in YA. It was so refreshing to have a heroine that learns contentment and shows herself to be selfless. In the end it’s not all about her desires and it’s not all about romance. This book is about learning to accept who you are and helping others. Anywho, you have no idea what I’m talking about. So here’s the Amazon summary.

“If you could wish for a different life, would you? What if that life changed everything you thought was real?

Adopted as a baby, Hazel Hayes has always been alone. She’s never belonged anywhere–and has always yearned to know the truth about where she comes from. So when she receives three stunning, enchanted dresses–each with the power to grant one wish–Hazel wishes to know her mother. Transported to a time and place she couldn’t have imagined, Hazel finds herself living an alternate life–a life with the mother she never knew.

Over the course of one amazing, miraculous summer, Hazel finds her home, falls in love, and forms an unexpected friendship. But will her search to uncover her past forever alter her future?

In the heart-pounding, luminous sequel to WISH, Alexandra Bullen asks the question: If you could wish for a new life . . . would you?” ~Amazon Description

So…..wish granting dresses, an alternate life, and a big choice. I love it! I read all 242 pages in an evening. I couldn’t put it down. I’d rate this book PG for sure. It’s a great teen/ preteen read. It does deal with teen pregnancy and adoption but in a very tactful way. It’s truly a sweet story. If you check it out, please let me know what you think :).

God bless and remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover


Media Saturday: Piratey books, movies, & music for Pirate themed party March 31, 2012

Welcome my friends to Media Saturday. Next Saturday is my son’s pirate birthday party. I may get a chance to review The Hunger Games movie but I may not. So I’m going to go ahead and post these piratey ideas 😉

Wow, this has been a busy week and the next may be just as busy. Not only are we gearing up for Passover & Easter but also Michael’s 6th birthday pirate style. I am a homeschooling mommy and I always try to tie in holidays and such with our school…..Easter crafts and such….Pirate books. Also, I had to have piratey music for the party. Here’s what I found.

#1 Pirate books

“Pirate Bob” by Kathryn Lasky

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

Bob is an interesting pirate. He loves the adventure of sailing the seas but he longs for a true friend. This book shows the life of a pirate well, the ups and the downs 🙂

“How I became a Pirate” by Melinda Long

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

Jeremy thinks he knows everything about being a pirate. When a crew takes him aboard, Jeremy is ready to live with the pirates forever. He doesn’t have to use table manners or eat spinach. It’s great…until he realizes pirates don’t tell bed time stories or tuck you in. They can’t even play soccer. And when a big storm comes no one holds Jeremy and tells him he’ll be ok. In the end Jeremy would rather be a normal boy.

#2 Piratey movies

I’m not going to go in depth but these are great family movies with Pirates 🙂

Veggie Tales: The Pirate’s Who Don’t Do Anything (has a great lesson to teach & several funny moments)

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

Muppet Treasure Island (the muppets spin on the classic)

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

Peter Pan (I love this version.)

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

#3 Piratey music

This is the playlist for the party:

1. He’s a Pirate (from Pirate’s of the Caribbean soundtrack)

2. We live on the Seas (from The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking soundtrack)

3.  Under the Sea (from The Little Mermaid)

4. The Ballad of  Jonah (Gilligan’s Island Theme) ~from Veggie Tales

5.  The Life of a Pirate by Joe Thompson

6.  Yo Ho Hero (Veggie Tales)

7. The Pirate Song (Ray Stevens)

8. Yo, Ho! A Pirate’s Life For Me! (Disney’s greatest volume 3)

9.  Part of Your World  (The Little Mermaid)

10. The Pirate’s who don’t do anything (Veggie Tales)

11. A Pirate’s Life (The Jud Conlon Chorus)

12. There’s a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea (Veggie Tales)

Well, I hope you have an inspiring weekend 🙂 God bless and remember The High King Lives!~Amber Dover


A Late Media Saturday: Dolphin Tale, The rest of The Hunger Games trilogy, & The Mistmantle Chronicles March 25, 2012

Hello friends :). I haven’t felt well but I’m trying to catch up on posts the best I can.  Today I’ll be reviewing the movie “Dolphin Tale”, the rest of The Hunger Games trilogy (Catching Fire and Mockingjay), and The Mistmantle Chronicles (a book series for kids). Warning: there may be a few spoilers.

#1 Dolphin Tale

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

Usually, I don’t watch animal movies. I loved them as a kid but you can only watch the Free Willy plot played out in different movies (as different animals) so many times. It just bores me. But my son has really wanted to watch “Dolphin Tale”. I can’t resist that sweet face. At first, I was busy crafting & painting a spring welcome mat but soon I found myself sucked in.

The story follows Winter, a special Dolphin that loses her tail but still learns how to swim and survive. The movie is based on a true story and I loved it. But I was disappointed to find that most of it was fiction including the children in the movie. Winter is real though & it’s true she has no tail.

Anywho, in the movie this little boy Sawyer has a hard time with life. He’s in summer school and his cousin just left for Iraq. The kid’s dad left him 5 yrs before and he lives with his single and working mom. Sawyer is rather depressing until…..he finds Winter tangled in a net on the beach.

Sawyer begins visiting Winter at the marine hospital. At first Winter doesn’t have the will to live but we find out that her and Sawyer have a bond. Sawyer is able to help Winter to keep living. Soon the dolphin learns to swim without a tail by moving her body like a snake. The problem is that her spine was never built for those type of movements. If she isn’t able to swim the right way then she will die.

Sawyer’s cousin is injured in Iraq. While at the VA hospital, Sawyer meets a man who makes prosthetic limbs for soldiers. Sawyer is able to convince the man to make a prosthetic tale for Winter. This is not an easy task considering how slippery dolphins are. At first, Winter rejects the tale and later we find out it’s because of the sock they put on first. It irritated her skin. They are able to come up with a gel like sock that doesn’t irritate. Winter is finally able to swim the right way.

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

There’s alot of drama in this film….a hurricane, financial stress etc… Most of it is fictional but Winter is real and she does wear a prosthetic tale. The material created for her new tale is actually being used for humans now. There is a touching part in the movie where a little girl with one leg travels over 8 hours to visit Winter and she says “Mommy, she’s just like me!”. I about cried, honestly. It IS true that people with missing limbs come from all over to visit Winter and to get in the pool with her. Winter really is an inspiration. You can watch Winter on web cam at:

#2 Catching Fire & MockingJay (The Hunger Games Trilogy book 2&3)

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

I actually finished this series not long after reviewing the first book, The Hunger Games. I’m just now getting around to reviewing them. If you missed my first review here it is:

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

Just a quick recap. You can read the rest on my other post. The Hunger Games trilogy centers around a teenage girl named Katniss Everdeen. Katniss lives in Panem, a dystopian society that used to be the United States (which was destroyed by natural disaster possibly nuclear war?). Panem is made up of 12 districts and is ruled by The Capitol. The Capitol is like Rome and Hollywood meshed together. The people in the Capitol are like leeches. They live off of the hard work of the poor & starving people in the other districts. It is a dictatorship ran by President Snow. Once there was 13 districts but we’re told the 13th was wiped off because they rebelled against the capitol.

Every year The Capitol hosts the hunger games to remind the people what happens to rebels. The hunger games are evil. One male and one female between the ages of 12 and 18 are chosen (& forced) to compete in the hunger games (tributes). They are all dropped in an arena and made to fight to the death. They can’t refuse either because the game makers can control the arena environment & push people to do things. The person left standing wins food for her district and gets a nice house in town etc. The sick thing is that the capitol people are so desensitized that they enjoy watching the games. The tributes are forced to train and to dress up for tv appearances & celebrations (like celebrities) before the games. The winner is treated like a super star. The people in the districts are forced to watch their children kill each other. They hate the capitol but are afraid to rebel. The capitol has eyes everywhere.

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

Katniss’ younger sister Prim is chosen for the hunger games but Katniss volunteers to take her place. She is sent with a boy named Pita, to compete in the hunger games. Okay that was a long recap…oops. Anywho, Pita & Katniss end up helping each other in the first book and they are they are the ones that survive the game. The game maker decides to allow both children to live when the kids act like they’re going to eat poisonous berries (commit suicide) rather than kill each other. The whole time Pita & Katniss pretend to be in love so they will gain the sympathy and help of the capitol people.

In Catching Fire, Pita & Katniss return home as heroes. But they are forever scarred from the games. Both Pita & Katniss have bad PTSD. What’s bad is that they are expected to tour the districts where the other kids were killed and to also train the next years tributes for the next hunger games. But don’t think for a second that Pita & Katniss slaughtered people. No, they actually did their best to beat the Capitol at their game & to show mercy & compassion to the other tributes. They only killed to protect themselves etc. Most of the tributes died at the hands of others or from the hostile environment (poisonous insects etc).

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

Well, President Snow believes Katniss’ act with the berries was rebellious and has caused people to revolt. Some of the districts have already begun to revolt against the Capitol and some believe District 13 still exists but has moved underground. President Snow visits Katniss and threatens her and her family.

Every quarter the Capitol has a quarter Quell which is another Hunger Games but with a a cruel twist. Twenty Five years ago the quarter quell involved doubling the tributes. This year it’s obvious the Capitol is getting back at Katniss & the people for rebelling.  One male & female tribute winner will be sent from each district to fight in the hunger games. Usually tribute winners are exempt from the hunger games & live in the lap of luxury. Most of the winners are old and their mind and bodies are destroyed from addictions (to deal with PTSD). It would be like sending a Vietnam Vet with severe PTSD back into war….bad idea. Katniss is the only female winner in her district. Her and Pita are going back into the games.

The second and third books were hard for me. I couldn’t put them down because the authoress is such a talented writer and I had to know how they ended. But I felt scarred after reading them. I don’t care what anyone says…these books do NOT glorify war & voyeurism. If anything they make you HATE war & you’ll look at reality tv shows in a negative light.

I’m not going to give too much more away. There are alot of surprising twists and the books do have a good ending. But it’s hard to enjoy the good ending because the people are so scarred by war. These books are told from first person pov and you get to go inside Katniss’ mind. Her mind is a scary place that is twisted by war. She heals some but it’s clear “War is Hell”.  In the third book Katniss becomes the face of the revolution.

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

Whether she’s the Capitol’s puppet or she’s helping the rebels….one things clear…Katniss is always a game piece. People use her and you get the feeling that soldiers may feel like players in a game that can be easily discarded. I totally get that. My hubby is a disabled vet. He went to Iraq twice. It was a hard time for our family and though he doesn’t have severe PTSD…he has enough ptsd that it has created challenges for our family. We’ve been married 7 and a half years but we are still dealing with issues from those deployments. I am thankful for our VA benefits but there are times it seems the military just chewed and spit out my hubby. For those of you who have never dealt with a crummy military hospital or receiving pay way too late to get the bills paid in time, then I’m happy for you. It’s good you have good experiences but my family has seen the other side I guess. Still, the military pays better than the civilian world….only problem is ptsd, shoulder injuries, relationship issues, missing your child’s firsts etc…. We wouldn’t go back if we could.

Anywho, I’ve yet to see The Hunger Games movie. Part of me doesn’t want to see it because the books really hurt my heart. But curiosity will probably get the best of me and I’ll give you guys another review. There are mixed reviews about the movie. Some say it is too violent and glorifies child sacrifice. I agree that young children shouldn’t read or watch these. I’m not sure about older children. I’d say read them first then decide if your kids should read them. I do NOT believe it glorifies war & death. I haven’t seen the movie but if it’s anything like the first book it’s clear the Hunger Games are evil & voyeurism is bad. The author is trying to teach us a lesson about the evils of war & how society can become desensitized by violence. I do know that the movie had to have scenes cut out and changed for the rating. I think blood was digitally taken off swords etc. There are some beautiful scenes in the first book where Katniss shows she will not throw away her humanity & she will preserve the sanctity of life. Alot of it has to do with Rue, a 12 yr old girl tribute that Katniss befriends.

I’m rather conservative but I’ll admit that some conservative reviews can be extremely biased (as can Liberal I’m sure). Read the books for yourselves before judging their purpose. Like I said in my last review, these books remind me of The Giver. There is a moral to be learned. Alot of people are critical of kids reading “The Giver”. I read it in school as a kid and yes it dealt with some hard issues: like euthanasia and socialism etc. It also deals with a dystopian society. But I am SO glad I was “exposed” to it as a child. I came away from that book with a respect for human life and appreciation for individualism and creativity. Yeah, I am not a socialist. If anything I follow the rule of a King, Jesus Christ.

#3 The Mistmantle Chronicles by M.I. McAllister

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

The last review is usually the shortest lol. I have not read the whole series but I read books one through four I think? Okay, usually I hate squirrels…..I really do. They scare me and I’m afraid of being attacked. Squirrels are evil. This David Crowder video shows how I see squirrels:

The Mistmantle Chronicles starts with “Urchin of the Riding Stars”. These books feature talking squirrels and I LOVED them! Now you know they have to be good for ME to like squirrels. I’m including the Amazon reviews. I don’t completely agree with them. I thought the first couple books kept me intrigued and their were some interesting plot twists. There’s a good ending and alot of emphasis on faith (An Anglican wrote this). The book doesn’t reinvent the wheel but who does reinvent the wheel? Seriously, this kind of fantasy has been done over and over…surprises are rare in any book of this kind. These books are kid friendly (middle school and up) and they teach morals. I give the first couple 5 stars. I haven’t read the rest of the series…after 3 or 4 books I have a hard time staying with a series. I just get bored. Anywho, if your kid likes Narnia they will like these. It’s a good alternative to Harry Potter etc. Enjoy the reviews: Review

A young squirrel determines his true destiny in this Redwall read-alike by British author M.I. McAllister. A foundling discovered on the rocky shore of Mistmantle Island, Urchin has been raised by the peaceful order of rodents and otters that live and work on the magical isle. Now almost grown, the young squirrel wants nothing more than to serve as page to one of the dashing Captains that make up King Brushen’s personal guard. He gets his chance when Captain Crispin appoints Urchin his “right-paw squirrel.” But on Urchin’s very first morning in the Tower, the King’s only son is found murdered and Crispin is accused of the crime! Urchin can only look on helplessly while his mentor is banished from court. Meanwhile, power hungry Captain Husk and Lady Aspen continue to fill the devastated royal couple’s ears with treachery, and their cups with sleeping draughts. Urchin is desperate to prove Crispin’s innocence, but who will believe an orphan of questionable origins? Born under a sky of shooting stars, Urchin is destined to do great deeds, perhaps even save all of Mistmantle. But first, he must believe… Entertaining but predictable, this simply told medieval fable brings nothing new to the growing body of children’s animal fantasies. However, it will serve as a steppingstone for those young readers not quite ready for the detailed descriptions and hearty brogues of Brian Jacques’s ever popular and endlessly replicating Redwall series.–Jennifer Hubert

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7–Urchin the squirrel believes he is destined for greatness. Dropped from the sky by a gull onto the island of Mistmantle, he is rescued by Crispin, captain to hedgehog King Brushen. He becomes Crispin’s page and is quickly embroiled in the murder of the King’s young son. When Crispin is framed for the crime and banished, Urchin remains on Mistmantle, working for another captain, Padra the otter. Eyewitness to a power struggle for the throne, he helps fight against cruel new laws and reveals the true murderer. This story will appeal to fans of Brian Jacques’s Redwall series (Philomel) as well as to readers who enjoy court intrigue and battle scenes with tons of tails and fur. While the action contains too many coincidences to be believed (someone is always perfectly placed to overhear just the thing needed for the next chapter), the characters are memorable and likable, and the writing is smooth and evenly paced. Urchin rises above other animal stories with flashes of humor as well as weighty issues like murder and cruelty to the weak. Although the plot devices and characterization are fairly stereotypical, the book is worth purchasing, especially given the popularity of this genre. Young readers will be pleased to see this new series hit the shelves.–Caitlin Augusta, The Darien Library, CT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Well, God bless and remember The High King Lives! ~Amber Dover

PS: I am so excited about where my book is going. I’ve got the outline done for the first two books and there’s alot of action & character building. I’ve picked back up with my writing and at this rate I may finish the first book by summer. I can’t wait to share the world of Emeth with you. Oh if only the ideas would jump from my mind and onto the book by themselves…


Media Saturday: The Help & The Hunger Games February 25, 2012

Hello hello friends and welcome to Media Saturday. I am very excited about today’s post. Today I’m reviewing the movie “The Help” and the first book in a trilogy called “The Hunger Games”. The latter has a movie coming out in March that is based on it.

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

#1 The Help

February is Black History month. I am a homeschooling mommy and me and lil man have been learning about the Civil Rights Movement this week. We’ve been talking about Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. etc. I wanted to find a good movie to show how things may have been during the Civil Rights movement. So we watched “The Help”. It wasn’t the best choice for a child to see simply because it’s sprinkled with curse words. So now my son has a whole list of words he can never repeat. But if you’re an adult or you happen to have a DVD player that bleeps out language then this is a must see movie. I haven’t read the book & I hear there’s alot of criticism over it. I’ve only seen the movie so I’m sticking to my first opinion of it.

Moving on, The Help is about African American ladies working as maids for Caucasian families in Mississippi at the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. A young woman journalist asks the ladies to tell her their stories….what it’s like to be the help. The ladies are brave enough to share their stories despite persecution & racism. A big issue that kicks off the movie is that one of the Caucasian ladies “Hilly” won’t allow her maid “Minnie” to use the same restroom as her family just because Minnie’s black. This “mean girl” Hilly goes as far as writing an initiative so all African American maids must have separate bathrooms. What’s also sick about this is that these white women rely on the maids to raise their children yet they treat the maids like they have cooties. Something else that made me mad was how “Hilly” claimed to be a Christian and even led a benefit to feed starving children in Africa…yet she treated her maid like crap. I know this movie is fictional but something about it just reminds me how stupid racism is in general…..any prejudice for that matter.

Racism and prejudice doesn’t come in one size. The Civil Rights Movement isn’t just about black and white getting along……it’s about everyone being treated equal………male…female….poor………..Jew…Gentile…..fat…skinny etc etc…….It’s about treating everyone with respect and love. You may not approve of people’s actions but you can still treat them with decency. As hard as it is…loving your enemy also means loving those who are prejudice…..loving the pharisees…..the pompous. This is only possible with Jesus’ help and by realizing we are all in the same boat. The sin of prejudice (hate) is just as sinful as murder and gluttony just as bad as stealing. How? Why? Because to God (the one who made the rules & set the standards) sin is sin…’s all equally disgusting in his sight.  So we really are all in the same boat……the Bible is clear that all nations come from one blood. We can all trace our bloodline back to Adam and Eve and because of their sin we are ALL born with sin. It is only by the Grace of Jesus Christ we can be saved from Hell & a life of slavery to sin.

Anywho, this subject always gets me on my soap box lol. Moving on…..the movie showed the evils of racism and I think my son learned a valuable lesson (despite the words). Black History Month has really brought up some good conversations on treating people with love and respect… matter their color, sex, history, or status. I do not recommend “The Help” for children because of the cursing. There is a good family movie that deals with Civil Rights and it’s called “Perfect Harmony”. I recommend that for children and also The Magic Treehouse series has a book on Abraham Lincoln we’ve  just started. Also there is a beautiful children’s book called “Moses” that is based on the life of Harriet Tubman. It has lovely illustrations. I’ll have some Civil Right’s crafts to post Monday.

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

#2 The Hunger Games

There’s been alot of buzz lately about “The Hunger Games”. I heard about it when watching the previews for the movie coming out in March. I was intrigued so I decided to read the book. The Hunger Games is the first book in a trilogy by Suzanne Collins. This book has mild violence so I do not recommend it for young children. The story takes place in Panem, what used to be North America. War and natural disasters have crushed what once was and now Panem has risen from the ashes. Panem is ruled by The Capitol and contains 12 districts. Districts are split up into jobs and it seems race as well. For instance, district 12 is mainly known for coal mining. The Capitol is like a dictatorship where the rich rule the poor. The Capitol is like ancient Rome dressed up as modern day Hollywood. There are so many parallels between roman gladiators and Hollywood celebrities. It’s brilliant.

Anywho, the story is told from the first person by Katniss Everdeen. Katniss is a 16 yr old girl who takes care of her mother and little sister. Many people are starving in District 12 where Katniss lives but Katniss illegally sneaks under the fence into the forbidden woods to hunt and fish (along with her male friend Gale). Once a year a male and a female is selected from each district to compete in the hunger games. They are dropped in a hostile environment and forced to fight til the death. This is the Capitol’s way of reminding the people not to rebel against them. When a person turns twelve their name is put in for the Hunger games. Katniss’ little sister is chosen to fight but Katniss volunteers to go in her place.

I don’t want to give too much away because you really ought to read it for yourself. There’s alot of action in this book and it deals with several morality issues. Everyone in the Capitol has Roman names but they dress like Hollywood stars. The contestants are also treated like celebrities although all of Panem has to watch them kill each other. This book made me think about “reality tv” and how America is very similar to the Romans watching the gladiators…..We are so desensitized.

This kind of reminds me of “The Giver” and “Utopia”. It just has that feel ya know? Like subconsciously you’re going to learn some major lessons on morality and treating every person as a human being not an object. You’re also going to see what war does to people. At first, I had issues with it being completely in first person POV but after a few pages I was quickly hooked. The story is solid and intriguing. I’m getting excited about the movie and when I get a chance I’ll read the other two books.

Anywho, folks have you seen The Help or read The Hunger Games? If so what are your opinions. Please leave me some comments 🙂

God bless and remember The High King Lives! ~Amber Dover


Media Saturday: Hugo, Leeland, and Francine Rivers January 21, 2012

Welcome friends! Today is Media Saturday. I bring you three reviews (movie, music, and books).  So pull up a chair and join me! Just so you know, all of my opinions will be filtered through my Biblical world view.  Moving on….

Review #1: Hugo (the movie)

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

IMDb gives this synopsis: “Set in 1930s Paris, an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton. ”

Hugo was breath-taking! I felt like I had seen my first REAL movie. It didn’t have gun fire and silly bodily humor. This movie showed intelligence. My f ive year old actually sat through the whole thing and enjoyed it!  We have a saying around our house that too much tv & video games will melt our brains. Well folks, THIS  movie gave us an education. We learned some cinematic history and now my son, Michael,  knows what an automaton is.  Plus, he thinks it’d be really kewl to live in a train station. I’m just glad he still wants Mommy and Daddy to come along too. So if you get a chance I really hope you can see Hugo on the big screen. The colors just pop in this movie. It really is a work of art.

PS: I’ve yet to read the book but I’m definitely interested.

Review #2 Leeland (the band)

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

Leeland is a Christian rock band from Baytown, TX. Their lead singer is Leeland Mooring, hence the name. The have four great albums out. I fell in love with this band’s music from the get go. Their first album Sound of Melodies just had a Celtic feel you rarely find in this genre (atleast in my experience).  When it comes to their faith this band is honest and I like that.  They are a Christian band that’s not afraid to actually say “Jesus” in their music….imagine that.

I was recently blessed by Leeland’s song “Follow You” with Brandon Heath (another awesome artist). The music video shows them on a missions trip. You can just feel the compassion. This band is the real deal. There’s no doubt their love for Christ is genuine.

Here’s a line from “Follow You”

You lived among the least of these
The weary and the weak
And it would be a tragedy for me to turn away.

Their new album “The Great Awakening” has some awesome tunes that’ll make you ponder what’s important in life and will also draw you to worship. My favorites from the album are “I Wonder” and “While We Sing”.

So if you want to hear real talent that glorifies Jesus, give Leeland a try 🙂

Review #3 Francine Rivers (The Author)

(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)

Francine Rivers has been an author since the 80’s.  She is most known for her book “Redeeming Love”, a western retelling of the Biblical story of Hosea. My favorite series “The Mark of the Lion”, has sold over half a million copies. Francine’s novel “The Last Sin Eater” is now a movie. Mrs. Rivers has so many amazing books. I could recommend them all. She is by far my favorite author (besides God) and her fiction really teaches lessons we all need to know.

I love how her books are so real. She doesn’t hide from the big issues. Her books deal with things like abortion, prostitution, and homosexuality. Mrs. Rivers takes you to the very heart of her characters. You’d think they really existed. I especially love the rich history The Mark of the Lion series is based upon. This series takes you to Rome, Jerusalem, and Germania. It tells of Jerusalem’s fall, gladiators, and the beginnings of Christianity. It also touches on subjects like slavery and how small sins grow into a big problem.

Mrs. Rivers also has some lovely series on women in the lineage of Jesus. These books make you think of what it would really be like to be Mary or Ruth. Anywho, if you get a chance hop on over to your library and pick up a Francine River’s book. Then leave me a comment with your opinions and also your opinions of Leeland and Hugo if you will 🙂

Well have an inspiring weekend! God bless and remember The High King Lives!

~Amber Dover