Thursday, September 30, 2010

Review: The Peleg Chronicles, Book 1: The Foundling

When I pulled this book from the envelope, our oldest son grabbed the bookmark and book and marveled over the graphics.  He was immediately intrigued. 

Foundlings, the first book of the Peleg Chronicles is by Matthew Christian Harding and published by Zoe and Sozo Publishing.

My book was autographed, which the boys thought was really cool.  You can order yours for $11.95 here.   And book 2, Paladins is also currently available.  The third book in the series will be available around May 2011.  (The author used the term "Lord willing" when discussing the publish date for book 3.) These books are also available through Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com

If you click on either of the graphics in this post you will be taken to the summary of the book from the author/publisher.  But now, I'm going to turn this entry over to our boys to tell you what they thought of Foundlings by Matthew Christian Harding, published by Zoe and Sozo.  They dictated their reviews to me and I wrote them verbatim.

T-Bone, age 12,  says:

It took a while to pick up.  But once it did it was a phenominal book.  My favorite part was Thiery's part.  And I think that the characters should have intertwined.  And I also think that whenever there was the peak of action he switched to another character and that was pretty stressful.  But overall it was a good book.  The action scenes were very elaborate.  I liked how they went to all these different places.  Suzie was very adorable.  And I think Oded was funny because he had the brain of a seven-year-old if not younger but the body of a full-grown man in peak physical condition.  I would recommend it to anyone who liked comedy infused with intense sequences of action. (at this his older brother exclaimed, "It's NOT a comedy!")

Big Mac, age 13, says:

Foundlings was a good book.  I didn't like how long it took for it to pick up.  But once it did pick up, it was something I wanted to keep reading even if we had been reading for four hours.  I just didn't want the book to end.  The action scenes were done very well.  It was one  of those books that gets to me and I'm like, "Why can't everything just work out?!?"  Still a good book though.  Very intense action sequences.  All around four stars out of five.

Mommy says:

I agree that this book took a while to "pick up."  But once it did, the boys and I got very involved.  I would not read this to a child under the age of 12 because it has some serious darkness.  I LOVED the scripture references where the characters just spoke scripture like it was their own words.  The boys would quote along with the characters when they said verses or psalms that they had also memorized.  This book follows a biblical timeline, speaking of Noah, the tower of babel, and Job.  Dragons exist with humans which follows the bible where dinosaurs or dragons existed with man.  Now that we have finished the book, I really want to read book 2.  But I may not have said that until I was about half-way through book 1. 

As always, don't take my word for it concerning this product.  Go here to read the review of my other crewmates.  You'll find LOTS of other opinions :)  And you can always contact the author by emailing him.  His email address is listed on his website as: Matt.Harding@earthlink.net

I received a copy of this book in exchange for this unbiased review.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Give Me Jesus

I wish I could give Jesus in pill-form to all my friends with troubles.  Bad day?  Take this pill and you'll gain perspective.  Friends betray you?  Swallow this and you'll have a best friend like no other.  Marriage crumbling?  Here take this pill.  He's the answer.

It sometimes seems trite to look into the eyes of friends who feel devastated and say, "Jesus will make it all better."  But the truth is Jesus will make it all better.  I'm speaking from experience here. 

I've always been a good student.  I graduated 2nd in my highschool class.  I don't say that to brag, it's important to the story.  My parents wanted me to go to the local community college and live at home.  I wanted to go away to school.  Not far away, but far enough to gain my independance.  You couldn't tell me anything.  I was smart...I was 18...I knew it all.  So, my senior year of highschool I applied for every scholarship for which I was qualified and I got a lot of them.  I got accepted to a school less than an hour away and my dad only had to pay a few hundred dollars for my first year of school.  Scholarships paid for over 75% of my tuition and room and board.

Once on my own, however, I made poor choices.  I chose to "fit in" rather than be a good student.  For me that meant sitting up all night and talking to a friend instead of studying for a test or doing my homework.  It also meant drinking alcohol in excess because others around me were doing that, even on school nights.  By my 5th semester I was on academic probation.  At the end of my 5th semester I had failed out of college.

Yep, in 2 1/2 years I went from 2nd in my class to failing out.  As I was packing up my dorm room, I called my Mom, crying.  I said, "I didn't do it Mom.  I failed out."  And this is where my mother get's the most-amazing-mother-in-the-world award.  She said, "Well, God has a plan."

And, I know you'll find it hard to believe (haha), but God DID have a plan.  I was completely devastated.  What kind of future did I have without a college degree?  I just didn't see how anything good could come from this disaster.  I took a job in retail which quickly turned into a career in the corporate world of retail.  While in that corporate position, one of my friends came to me one day and said, "I've met the guy for you."  To make a long story short.  I married that guy 8 months after meeting him.  Our 18th anniversary is next month.  I don't know how God would have gotten me to the Big Dog had I gotten my teaching degree.  I'm sure He would have figured it out.  But I could see God's hand in my life after failing college.  He brought me right where I needed to be to meet the man He had made for me.

To that crying 20-year-old in her dorm room I would say, "Here, honey, take this pill.  Just follow Him.  He'll fix it."

Last Summer I wrote to you about my husband tearing his achilles tendon.  When I left my giant hulk of a husband connected to tubes and monitors in medical intensive care because of two blood clots that passed THROUGH his heart, I cried like I've never cried before.  But this time I didn't need a Jesus-pill.  I cried out to my Comforter like I never had before.  I felt His closeness to me.  We SAW His plan for our lives as the days played out over the few months of Big Dog's illness.  He was an ever-present help in times of trouble (ps 46:1) for us.  And as we look back we can totally see God in everything that happened.

But you say, "You don't know what I've done Lori Lynn.   There isn't a pill big enough."  Jesus is big enough!  He is!  Oh, find Him in your troubles.  And then keep Him for your calm times.  He's good for all the times.

So, how do you find Him?  How do you get Him to fix your problems?  Well, you start with prayer.  It doesn't have to be on your knees.  You don't even have to close your eyes.  Just get somewhere where you won't be destracted and tell Him what you've done.  Don't hold back.  He can take it.  Lay it all out before Him.  Seek His forgiveness.  Then ask Him what to do next.  Wait.  He'll answer you.  Be quiet before Him after you've poured it all out.  Just wait.  But then, and here's the big part...you have to keep the conversation going.  You keep talking to Him, all the time about everything.  That's what He wants.  He wants to be your best friend and your closest confidant.  He wants to be on your mind and in your heart all the time.  Just that constant contact with Him will bring you peace like you haven't known in a long time.

Just like an asprin finds the pain and relieves it, Jesus will find your pain.  Take Him.  Take all of Him.  He's the only true relief.

Friday, September 24, 2010

KDO

Each year my BFF and I plan a fall trip to the metropolis of Enola, PA for KDO.  What is KDO you ask?  It's KNITTER'S DAY OUT!   There's a big vendor hall and classes to take.  We take two classes each year.  There's a yummy lunch and lots of fun with people who have similar interests to ours.  We have a group of girls who all attend together but we don't necessarily attend the same classes.  My BFF and I always attend the same classes.


One other feature of this event is the hat contest.  With your admittance fee to KDO you are asked to bring one hat to donate to charity. (Caps for Kids)  If you like, you can enter into a hat contest.  The first year I entered, I won!  Ever since then we've had a friendly competition over this contest.  Last year, none of us won.  But my girlfriend and I won the raffle and split $100 to spend in the shopping area!


This year, I had an idea for my hat but just didn't get it made.  I stayed up too late last night and have done nothing this morning so that I could get my hat finished.  I have to tell you, it looks pretty close to the vision I had in my head.  Praise God!  Here are the pictures of it.  I'll let you know if I win.  If you don't hear from me...I didn't win.



It's supposed to look like an upside down terracotta pot with the flowers spilling out the bottom.  Oh and ps, my husband laughingly calls KDO a cult!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce

"I'm talking about how to stay in one piece.  Try to get hold of the things that are important, the good and true things about your life.  Up there is some kind of lovely.  And maybe you need to have something in your heart, you know, something even more lovely.  To hlep you find your way home.  Otherwise maybe you could be beguiled."  p. 236 Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce published by Walden Media

I received a copy of the book Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce from Walden Media to review on this blog.  Truthfully, I received a copy of this book MONTHS ago, maybe even a year ago.  But I put off reading it.  I was afraid.  I was afraid I would be sad.  I hate to read things that make me sad.  Life is sad enough.  I don't want my entertainment to be sad as well. 

Cosmic is not sad.  It's a really sweet book about a boy named Liam.  His biggest problem is also his biggest blessing.  He's very tall and physically mature looking for his age, which is 12 years old.  He's a very bright boy and is easily mistaken for an adult on many occassions.  In Cosmic, he is mistaken for a grown-up in a major way!  But you have to read this book to find out about that major way.

Ironically, I could identify with Liam, the 12 year old boy, as he was mistaken for a dad.  He was trying to be fatherly at 12 when he should have been worrying about his next video game.  And, actually, he did a great job of being fatherly.  I often find myself thinking, "I'm a mother?  How did that happen?"  In my mind I feel the same as I did at 12.  Can our boys tell?  Yes, I could identify with Liam.

I enjoyed this book and am now handing it off to our boys for their bedtime reading.  Our oldest has taken to reading aloud to our youngest before bed each night.  I think they will find Cosmic to be just the thing for their evening adventures.  But for now, I want to leave you with one last quote:

"Maybe everyone's got their own special gravity that lets you go far away, really far away sometimes, but which always brings you back in the end.  Because here's the thing.  Gravity is variable."

p. 308

Cosmic

by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Published by Walden Media

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Review: Salem Ridge Press

Several weeks ago I received a physical book and two e-books in order to tell you about the publishing company Salem Ridge Press.

I received a physical copy of "Out of the Mouth of the Lion or the Church at the Catacombs".  This book retails at Salem Ridge Press for $14.95 in softcover.  Hardcover is $24.95

I received an e-book copy of  "The Martyr's Victory"  This book retails at Salem Ridge Press for $14.95 in softcover.  Hardcover is $24.95

And I received an e-book version of "Yussuf the Guide"  This book sells for $16.95 in softcover and $26.95 in hardcover at the Salem Ridge website.

These books are appropriate for those over 12 years of age.  I read Out of the Mouth of the Lion for myself and there were parts that are definitely not appropriate for a child younger than 12.  I definitely want our 12 and 13 year old boys to learn of the faith-challenges undergone by those who came before us.  And Out of the Mouth of the Lion does just that.  Also, these books are a little difficult to read language-wise, so I would not go with a child younger than 12.  I read "Yussuf the Guide" outloud to the boys and I sometimes stumbled over the language.  But for those 12 and up, these are great character building books.

Since what I received was a sampling of books to show me what Salem Ridge Press was all about I would say that they produce quality products.  The books are challenging and deal with men and women of character.  The Emma Leslie series definitely points to Christ.  These books are from a different generation so at times the language can be a bit difficult but, for myself, I found them enjoyable to read.  A young teen may find them challenging, but I definitely think an older teen would be able to read without much trouble.

Go here to see an alphabetical listing of all the books Salem Ridge Press has to offer.

For more information on Salem Ridge Press or the books I've reviewed here, you can contact this vendor here.  Or you may want to check out the other reviews of my fellow crewmates at the Homeschool Crew blog here.

I received a physical book and two e-books from Salem Ridge Press free of charge in exchange for this fair and honest review.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Quotable Quote

"Then thank God thou wert taught to love Him while thou wert young, for thou knowest not now hard it is to give up cherished sins and evil cutoms when thou hast lived half thy life in the practice of them.  I tell thee they are as hard to break as ropes of vine withes, and bind thee just as tightly.  Only the breath of the Lord God Almighty can destroy them at first, and that only can keep thee from being bound again, for they are always trying to creep over thee."

page 120-121

Out of the Mouth of the Lion or, The Church in the Catacombs

by Emma Leslie

distributed by

Salem Ridge Press

Monday, September 13, 2010

OK, I'm still clearing out the closets and book shelves, so hopefully you'll be interested in something I have to offer!  Here's the last list for a while:

Young Minds Numbers and Counting DVD from MathTutorDVD.com  $6

Pre-Algebra Tutor: Volume 1 DVD $12

What Am I? a collection of short stories, All About Reading Level 2 Vol. 1 (this is a beginning reader that's really charming)  $10

Beehive Reader 1, another really charming beginning reader $6

Four Seasons of Faith illustrated books with CD.  I have the 2009 books: You Can't Come In, Seventy-Times Seven, Braving the Storm, and Race with Midnight - $20

The Big Book of Music Games $10

National Gallery of Art Activity Book $5

Jim Arnosky's Nature Notebooks:  I have 1 bug hunter and three (3) bird watcher.  These are really neat guided nature journals with waterproof covers. $1 each

Christian Liberty Nature Reader, books 1, 2, 4, and 5 - $10 for all four, or $3 each.

Keeping a nature Journal, $8

Ned Smith's Wildlife Sketchbook, $5

Learning Through Art (The Guggenheim Museum Collection) $5

The Young Artist's Handbook $5

Creation or Evolution A Home-Study Curriculum by Mike Snavely $8

The Prairie Primer & My Little House Crafts Book, I'd like to sell these together for $25, but I'll sell them separately if you ask.

Jean Fritz Books:  And Then What Happened, Paul Revere? Where was Patrick Henry on the 29th of May? Will You Sign Here, John Hancock? Why Don't You Get a Horse Sam Adams? Can't You Make Them Behave, King George?  I'll sell all five for $10 or individually for $3 each.

Ok that's it for this purge!  I hope you find something you'd like to own!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

For Sale

I am in a purging mode.  I just want to live with less.  I told the Big Dog, "Don't stand still for too long or you might go in the donation pile!"

So I am cleaning off my bookshelves.  Maybe you could benefit from my mood?  Here is the book list.  All books are $6 plus shipping, but if you'd like to make an offer, I'd be glad to consider it!  I'm going to link these books to websites if I can find them so you can see more information from a dealer about the book.  Just post a comment with your email address and I'll get back to you on a first come-first served basis.

The Greenleaf guide to Famous Men of Greece

The Greenleaf Guide to Old Testament History

The Ultimate Lapbook Handbook

Dinah Zike's Big Book of Projects

Dinah Zike's Big Book of Books and Activities

Who Should We Then Read?

Honey for a Child's Heart (mine is not the newest addition as in the link)

Books Children Love (A Guide to the Best of Children's Literature)

For the Children's Sake (foundation of education for Home and School)

Family Fun Boredom Busters (365 Games, Crafts & Activities for Every Day of the Year)

There will be more!  Please take advantage of my purge!

Quotable Quote

"Nay, but when the names of Jupiter and Apollo are forgotten, that of Christ will be a power greater than any the world has yet seen," answered Flavia; "for He will reign from the rising to the setting sun, and all the world will trust in Him as their Saviour God."

page 76

Out of the Mouth of the Lion or, The Church in the Catacombs

by Emma Leslie

distributed by

Salem Ridge Press

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Quotable Quote

I believe He is the Saviour who came to redeem me from my sins and the power of evil.  It is this that makes me love these people, and long to join with them; for I want to know more of this Saviour's love, and I want to prove that I love Him by forsaking all false gods and serving Him alone.

page 36

Out of the Mouth of the Lion or, The Church in the Catacombs

by Emma Leslie

distributed by

Salem Ridge Press

Friday, September 10, 2010

Quotable Quote

It would be a man's happiest lot to depart from mankind without having had a taste of lying, and hypocrisy, and luxury, and pride.

page 14

Out of the Mouth of the Lion or, The Church in the Catacombs

by Emma Leslie

distributed by

Salem Ridge Press

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Math Tutor Dvd

Last month I got the chance to work with two DVDs form MathTutorDvd.Com:

I was pretty excited to receive the Pre-Algebra DVD because T-bone is doing Pre-Algebra this year.  As I hauled out the old textbooks he groaned.  He's great at math, but HATES the text book and ALL the problems EVERY day. (imagine a 12-year-old doing VERY dramatic things with his eyes and face as he says the words in caps.)

I used the pre-algebra DVD by putting T-bone in front of the TV with a notebook.  He watched one chapter a day and worked along with the instructor.  For a pre-algebra DVD I found the subjects to be a little below his level.  T-bone doesn't really need any review so, doing the number definitions (real numbers, prime numbers, etc...) and reviewing the number line were beneath his level.  Here is a list of chapters on the Pre-Algebra 1 DVD:

Disk 1
Sect 1 - Real Numbers
Sect 2 - The Number Line
Sect 3 - Greater Than, Less Than, Equal To
Sect 4 - Absolute Value and Adding Integers
Sect 5 - Subtracting Integers

Disk 2
Sect 6 - Multiplying Integers
Sect 7 - Dividing Integers
Sect 8 - Powers and Exponents
Sect 9 - Order of Operations

Also, if I were wishing, I would like to have worksheets that went along with the DVDs.  You can buy a worksheet CD from MathTutorDVD.com but no worksheets come with the DVDs you purchase.  So, this cannot be used as a curriculum, or even partial curriculum.  So you have to use another resource to get the practice every math student needs.

These videos are very dry, but they get the job done.  You can view samples of the videos on the MathTutorDVD.com website.  Please do that to see how the material is given to the student.

The Pre-Algebra DVD contains 9 lessons/chapters on 2 DVDs with a total runtime of 5 hours.  The TI-84 DVD contains 3 DVDs and runs for 8 hours total.  MathTutorDVD.com has a TON of other products, including a new on-line membership where you view all the videos you want!  You can see the list of DVDs along the left side of the website.  Although the two DVDs I received are Jr. High and High School products, there are DVDs for every age covering math and some science as well!

Contact information for MathTutorDVD.com can be found here.  And our Crew review can be found on the blog.

I received two complimentary DVDs from MathTutorDVD.com in order to complete this unbiased review

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Boy Who Changed the World

I got a note in my mailbox that there was a package for me.  I love getting packages.  It feels like Christmas morning.  So I headed to the post office to find a really big box.  Inside was a large children's picture book called "The Boy Who Changed the World" by Andy Andrews.  A few minutes ago I published a review of the book "The Butterfly Effect" by the same author.  This is the children's version of that book.

The Boy Who Changed the World is full of history and great story.  It follows a chain of events and people that saved billions of people from starvation.  But it's not a dry-text.  The illustrations are beautiful and colorful.  And the story will inspire a child to remember that every action they take impacts others.  It's a very thought provoking book.



"The Boy who Changed the World" by Andy Andrews is available for around $12 at various book distributors.  It would make a great and inspiring Christmas gift for the 8-12 year old child on your list.  I was glad to have an opportunity to read it to our guys and will pass it on to a book-loving child to be encouraged.

I received a complimentary copy of The Boy Who Changed the World from Thomas-Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze reviewers program in order to complete this unbiased review.

The Butterfly Effect

We were getting a late start with lessons for the morning.  I asked T-Bone to run down and get the mail before we started.  He did and I had a new book to review from "Book Sneeze."  So, I told them to get their lessons boxes and get ready for copywork when I opened the book.  It was "The Butterfly Effect" by Andy Andrews.  It is a gift-type book that felt really good in my hands.  As the boys were beginning their lessons, I began to read to myself.  A few minutes later we abandoned lessons and headed to the sofa.  I read the entire book to them.  It was fabulous, bringing me to tears more than once. 

As I said before "The Butterfly Effect" is a gift book.  It can be read in under an hour.  It has a nice heavy feel in your hands and the 109-pages are thick and glossy.  The suggested retail is $14.99 but you can find it for around $10 at various sites on-line. 

This would be an excellent book to buy for a graduate, newly married couple, or birthday gift to someone coming of age.  I really think it can inspire just about anybody.  I will be keeping my eye out for copies to give to friends and relatives in the future.  It's message is truly inspiring.  I think anyone could benefit from reading this book.  I really loved it and can't wait for my husband to get home from work so that I can make him read it!  Check it out if you get a chance.

I received a copy of The Butterfly Effect by Andy Andrews from BookSneeze (Thomas Nelson) in order to complete this unbiased review.

Not JUST a Homeschool Planner

I think I've told you before.  I love planners.  My favorite planner is definitely E-Book: The 2010 Schoolhouse PlannerI wrote an article here about how I used the planner pages to plan our homeschool year.  It was fantastic...not the article, but the planning.

But even though the name of the product is the "Schoolhouse" Planner.  It is so much more than a homeschool planner.  This week I started working on a planner for our home and my homemaking.  And, of course, I found all the pages I needed and then some in E-Book: The 2010 Schoolhouse Planner.

I printed an emergency contacts page for the front of the binder.  This time instead of handwriting everything, I sat at the computer and typed in our emergency info.  Then, I actually re-saved the planner document on the computer with all that information on that page.  So if something ever happens to my printed page, I can just re-print without having to re-enter everything.  And I'm really pleased with how neat and clean it looks.



Since I'm not the world's greatest house cleaner, I printed the Monthly Homekeeping Reminder list for my binder.  It's very useful.  And I added one or two of my own items that I want to remember to do as well!

And there are LOTS of other useful forms that will be added as I develop this homemaking binder.  I love the Daily To-Do List page.  There are home-improvement pages where you can develop each project individually.  And menu planning pages.  I could go on and on.

Finally, it's true-confession time.  I had a major explosion over Ketchup last week.  I went to make a recipe, after having driven to town once already that day for groceries, to find no ketchup in the house.  No one had bothered to tell me when they used the last of the ketchup.  So, I exploded.  Not good...not good at all.  My Schoolhouse Planner came to the rescue!  I found this grocery list.  Printed it.  And put it on the refrigerator.  Now, if we run out, everyone has a place to go to write it down.  What I love about this particular grocery list is that it has 16 boxes all labelled with different grocery store areas.  When I went grocery shopping on Saturday, I took it off the refrigerator and went to the store with a pre-sorted list!  Awesome.

So, here is yet another testimonial to this fabulous planner.  I haven't bought other planners, so I can't say for sure that this is the only planner that is so workable.  But The Schoolhouse Planner is REALLY workable.  You can type into the forms.  You can save the forms in the same file you downloaded. (You don't have to do a "save as.")  Many of the really useful forms have different formats so you can choose the one that works best for you and your family.  And there are a plethora of forms.  That's right a plethora.  Not just homeschooling forms but homemaking and home organizing forms.  This is really-truly a great product.

I did not pay for the copy of The Schoolhouse Planner that I am currently using.  But I am giving you my honest opinion of this product.  And I'm not being paid for this endorsement.