10/31/2014

Truth, Dare, Double Dare Devotional ~ Review and Giveaway

































Do you remember getting your first devotional as a child? I do. I remember when I received it and remember thinking that I could not wait to sit down and have my God and I time. It seems that over the years it has become more difficult to find devotionals for tween girls. I am happy to introduce you to this tween devotional that I reviewed for Family Christian. You can find this devotional on their website for $14.99. It is geared for girls ages 8-12.

About Truth, Dare, Double Dare:

This devotional is for girls ages 8 to 12 and is over 400 pages. Although the devotional is non-dated, it does list the days of the week at the top of the page. Each Monday through Friday devotional is laid out with the following:

  • Bible reading: tells what passage to read
  • Truth: a little story that goes along with the reading
  • Dare: these are different each day. Things such as Go to church, Pray, and Stay close to God.
  • Double Dare: questions that help your daughter think, memorizing and copying scripture
  • Promise to repeat: same question every day ~ How did it go? What did you learn?
The weekend devotionals are set up different each weekend. There may be stories with little games, Bible reading with a story, focusing on a certain passage, or talking about heroes of the Bible. 

















I have a nine year old daughter who I have had trouble finding an age appropriate devotional for. I like that this devotional has short stories that are applied to everyday life through the Bible readings. I'm also happy to see a few lines on each page for my daughter to write down her thoughts on that days devotional. I think this devotional will help my daughter in her walk with God as she studies her Bible each day.

Now for the giveaway. Enter using the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win this great devotional. US only.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received  Truth, Dare, Double Dare: another year of dynamic devotions for girls for free from Family Christian in exchange for an honest review.

10/28/2014

Jim Hodges Productions ~ Review

In Freedom's Cause Review

After doing another review earlier this year on a story based on a G. A. Henty book, my kids were interested to learn more about G. A. Henty and his books. We were able to review In Freedom’s Cause from Jim Hodges Productions.

Jim Hodges Productions offers the unabridged version of Henty’s books that allows those listening to be able to follow along in the book.  In Freedom’s Cause: The Story of William Wallace and Robert the Brice is a story that is set in the 1300’s in Scotland and England. This story tells about these two Scottish men and tells of the battles they faced.

In Freedom’s Cause is approximately 11 hours and 30 minutes of listening. There are twenty seven chapters, each lasting around 30 minutes. I received the Mp3 CD which is available for $25.00. We also received the accompanying PDF study guide which is available for $12.00. In Freedom’s Cause is appropriate for children ages 10 and up. *Note: The audio files will play on any computer CD drive, DVD player or MP3 compatible CD player. They will not play on a standard CD player.* In Freedom’s Cause is also available as a digital download for $18.00. Listen to a free chapter.

How we used In Freedom’s Cause:
My boys, ages 12 and 11, and I listened to a chapter at a time. We then looked at the study guide and tried to answer as many of the questions as we could. We also looked up several of the vocabulary words that accompany each of the chapters. We also did at least one of the activities for each of the chapters. Examples of some of the activities are making a thatched home, researching a Venn diagram, and drawing pictures. I did not print out the study guide, because it is over 60 pages. I just read the questions from the computer. We did not listen to a chapter a day as that would have been too much for my boys. I tried to space it out to listen to at least three chapters a week. In all we spent about an hour each time with listening and working on the study guide.

What we thought:
My boys like learning about historical things and also like listening to radio dramas. I wasn’t sure how they would like listening to a book, but it turned out great. I was actually able to find a free online version of the book, so we could read along while listening. My boys said they would rather just listen than try to read and listen. I enjoyed reading along as I listened. My boys said that they liked listening to the book, but they would rather not have to do the study guide. I have never listened to an audio book before. I enjoyed listening. It was a great way to learn some historical facts. I thought the study guide was a good tool to have on hand to see how much my boys were comprehending from the book. Overall, it was a good experience for us and we will look into other titles in the future.



10/27/2014

Menu Plan Monday

Thanksgiving

My menu for this week (in no particular order):

~Roast beef
~Fajitas (chicken)
~Spaghetti
~Chicken soup
~Lentil burritos

We'll also have leftovers.

Check out more menus over at I'm An Organizing Junkie.

10/24/2014

Warriors of Honor ~ Review

Warriors of Honor Review

I love the Civil War time period. I love studying it and learning as much as I can about it. When I was a senior in college, I was able to write my final paper for my Bachelor’s degree on the Civil War. When Warriors of Honor (DVD) was offered as a review, I was happy to be picked to review it. Warriors of Honor is produced by New Liberty Videos.

About New Liberty Videos:
Brian Barkley has been in the motion picture industry for over 40 years. He has worked on several television series before becoming a Christian. After receiving Christ, he became involved in producing Christian movies and still does today.

About Warriors of Honor:
Warriors of Honor follows the lives of two men from the Civil War time period, Thomas (Stonewall) Jackson and Robert E. Lee. This video  is in documentary form. The video takes you through some of the major battles of the Civil War and, at the same time, gives you insight to the lives of these two men from the South.

This documentary DVD is geared for the general audience. It is available for $19.95. The approximate run time is 80 minutes with three bonus segments.

This documentary offers the viewer many actual photos of Jackson and Lee. There are also several photos of the actual battlefield as well as re-enactments.  See some screen shots below:

warriors         jackson
reeanctment

There are so many facts given in this documentary, but the main focus is on Jackson and Lee and their love for God. Some of the battles discussed in the video are Manassas, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. It also tells the stories of both Jackson’s and Lee’s deaths.

How We Used Warriors of Honor:
I watched this documentary first by myself to see if my children would be interested. My boys, who also love history, did want to watch this and I let them. After watching the video, my boys and I discussed what we watched. I asked them questions about the two men to see what they comprehended. We discussed how God worked in and through their lives.

What we thought about Warriors of Honor:
I enjoyed watching this documentary and learning more about these two men than what I already knew. Even though I am a Civil War buff, there were some things I didn’t know about Jackson and Lee that I learned from the documentary. My boys enjoyed watching and learning about these two great men. We have a Civil War re-enactment coming up in our state that we are planning to attend. I think this documentary helped my boys to realize how many people were affected during the war. They can’t wait to see the re-enactment. I also loved how well this documentary showed the lives of both of these men in a positive light. It was a nice change to watch a documentary that puts God as the focus. This documentary will definitely be re-watched when the Civil War time period comes up in our history curriculum.



10/22/2014

Z is for Zoo

It's been two years since we have been to the zoo, but I wanted to take the time and finish up my blogging through the alphabet with the zoo. If you are a homeschooler in North Carolina, you can visit the NC Zoo for free each school year.

The NC Zoo is huge. There is a lot of walking. When we visited, we arrived around noon and had seen almost everything when we left at 4:30. We want to go back in the spring and take a whole day there, because they have added some new stuff since we have been there.

Here are a few pictures of our visit:



10/19/2014

The Current DVD ~ Review

*This post may contain affiliate links*
The Current
Have you ever been camping as a child? I have and I loved going camping. My family and I stayed at various campgrounds while I was growing up. I would have loved for my family to own or be caretakers of a campground. I've only been camping once as an adult, but to see the excitement on my children's faces was priceless. They loved it just as much as I did when I was a child. When I saw that the movie, The Current, was based on a family taking care of a campground, I was hoping to be picked for the review.

I received a copy of The Current DVD from Family Christian for this review. I am always looking for good wholesome movies for my family to watch. I am thankful that there are those in the movie industry who are still making wholesome Christian movies for families.

About The Current:

When thirteen year old Jake is uprooted from his life in Chicago when his parents decide that city life is getting too violent, he comes across a friendship that will change his life. They buy a campground in rural Minnesota to raise their children in a better environment. At the campground, a rebellious young Jake meets Peter the boy across the river. The two form a fast friendship that God uses to transform Jake's life in ways that Jake never could have imagined.

This film is geared for ages 12 and up and is available for $19.99 at Family Christian.

My Review:

When I first started the film, I thought it was going to be boring and predictable because it started out kind of slow. I was wrong. This film is not boring at all. Some scenes are predictable, but there are some that I did not know what was going to happen next. One of the scenes caught me off guard, because I was not expecting it all. I liked that the gospel was presented throughout the film. I was encouraged that this film focused on the spiritual and normal life of a 13 year old boy. This film has both happy and sad scenes. Since this film was recommended for ages 12+, I did screen it first. After watching it, I decided that my three older children (12, 11, 9) could handle the scenes. Overall, I would give this film 4 out 5 stars. It is a great family movie, especially if you have teen boys.

Check out the trailer:




I received a complimentary copy of this DVD from Family Christian, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review.

10/15/2014

Y is for Being A Yes Mom

A while back, I was listening to the Ultimate Radio Homeschool Network one night. I don't remember the events surrounding why I was listening or who was speaking. I only remember the topic - being a yes mom.

Being a yes mom means saying yes to that messy art project the kids have been wanting to do.

Being a yes mom means saying yes more than saying no.

Being yes a mom means doing something for your kids instead of for yourself.

Instead of telling your kids no today, say yes and do something different.


10/13/2014

Plan To Be Flexible ~ Review

I was recently given the opportunity to review the book, Plan To Be Flexible: Designing A Homeschool Rhythm and Curriculum Plan that Works for Your Family by Alicia Kazsuk.

Alicia Kazsuk is the founder of Vibrant Homeschooling and is a regular, homeschool mom of four children. She is a blogger, author, and speaker. She founded Vibrant Homeschooling and wrote Plan To Be Flexible to help other homeschool moms.

About the book:

Plan To Be Flexible gives you ideas and stories that allow you to examine your homeschool. In this book, you will analyze what is and is not working in your homeschool, develop a plan, discover the secret to homeschool sanity, and learn how to homeschool with freedom. Plan To Be Flexible is available in print or kindle format.

My review:

When I first started reading the book, I felt like Alicia was in my living room talking to me as a friend. This book is a very easy read and has so much information. I especially liked the action plans at the end of each chapter. I have been homeschooling for nine years and can still use all the help I can get. I think each year I try something new to keep my sanity and keep from burning out, but nothing works or I don't stick with my plan.

Alicia wrote about things I had not even thought of before. For example, take your children out on a special one on one date and ask them what they thought about the curriculum they used the past year. Write down their thoughts. Listen to them.  What works for one of your children may not work for another. I have learned that children are not a one size fits all. I have had to take a look at the curriculum I chose for my oldest as some of it did not work for my daughter. I had to find what worked best for her. She still has a melt down every now and then, but she is a lot happier with the curriculum I chose (from Schoolhouse Crew reviews) for her.

I also love that she wrote about not being a slave to a schedule. One year I did try to schedule my homeschool day (start at 8 AM, math at 8:30 AM, grammar at 9:15 AM, etc). It did not work at all. I threw the schedule out and now we just go with the flow. Some days we get done before lunch and some days it is after lunch. I don't worry about being on schedule anymore.

She also mention to sit down and set up a master school calendar. Determine what your state requires, write (type) in any holidays you want to take off from school, vacation days, any special museum days that you already know about, and any extra-curricular activities. I did try to set up a master calendar this year. I wanted to school for 6 weeks, take 1 week off. Life happens and I have not been able to stick to that plan. Having been interrupted by in-laws in the hospital, the chapter about "When Life Interrupts Your 'Perfect' Rythym" was something I needed to read. We had to do some of the things suggested. School on the road or skip lessons for the day. We also were able to take a field trip in the city where my mother-in-law is in the hospital. Life happens, but you can still homeschool.

Alicia also talks about learning environments and homeschooling with joy and freedom.

As I mentioned before, each chapter is followed by an action plan to get you thinking about your homeschool. There is also an appendix in the book with several assessment questions, resources for supplemental curriculum, and additional helpful resources.

I just highlighted a few of my favorite chapters. I loved reading this book. It has given me so many new ideas and tips to try out. I highly recommend this book to any homeschool mom, no matter if they are a veteran or just starting out.

Check out Vibrant Homeschooling and subscribe to the email list for some great freebies.

Now for the giveaway. Enter by using the Rafflecopter below. The contest is open to residents in the USA only. Thanks.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review.

10/08/2014

eXcited

It was difficult to come up with an 'x' post for my blogging through the alphabet. I decided to make a list of things I am eXcited about.

Why am I eXcited?

~ I have almost made it through the alphabet for the first time! I did this once before, but quit somewhere around letter g.

~ My oldest daughter's birthday is next Saturday (October 18)

~I have applied to a local community college to start taking classes in nursing. After graduating high school, I did go to college and started my major in nursing, but changed it after two years. I feel the Lord is leading me back to nursing and want to have a career to fall on as my children are getting older.

~I am excited that I had the chance to be on the Schoolhouse Crew review for the past two years. I am now taking a break with them, but will continue blogging. You'll just get stories of college classes (if I'm accepted for the winter semester). :)

Those are just a few things I am eXcited about. Anything coming up that you are excited about?

10/01/2014

W Is For Wordless Wednesday






















My 3 yr old daughter loves horses. Here she is on the carousel at Pullen Park.

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