Monday, July 25, 2016

The Drawing Lesson {Review}

If you or someone you know has a desire to draw but doesn't have the know-how to get started, then The Drawing Lesson: A Graphic Novel That Teaches You How To Draw by Mark Crilley is the book to invest in. My son's bookshelf is filled with different how-to books. One teaching him how to draw cats, one robots, and another cartoon characters. Although he does enjoy following the step by step instructions, but he usually veers off and ends up making his own creations. This book possesses several unique qualities that makes it stand out. For one, it is written as a story in comic book style. That alone was enough to keep me enticed. I simply could not put this book down. The story follows a young boy and his mentor who teaches him a new drawing technique in each chapter.  Secondly, the author is an amazing artist. I guess it helps for the one teaching you to draw to be good at drawing but this author is more than good, his drawings are captivating and impressive. Lastly, this book does not teach you how to draw specific things rather it teaches you technique. At the end of each chapter the reader is encouraged to draw something using the technique that the young boy was just taught. After my son goes through this book, I'm thinking that I might try it out. I was extremely impressed with every aspect of this book and highly recommend it for young and old alike!

Disclaimer: This review is brought to you by Blogging For Books. 
All opinions stated here are my own.   

Friday, July 22, 2016

I Can Read! Adventure Bible: Great Stories of the Bible {Review}

The I Can Read! Adventure Bible: Great Stories of the Bible has been a big hit in our home. As soon as we received this book in the mail, my kids were excited to read it. That is one of the things I like about the I Can Read! series, the kids are able to read it on their own. 

When I get one of these books, at the right reading level for my kids, I can be confident that as soon as they open to the first page that they will be able to read with ease. Sometimes, with other books, they can get frustrated. They begin the book excited, but by the time they reach page two they give up because there are too many hard words. That is not the case with this series. With these books, the stories are written in a way that has challenging subject matter but uses simple words for children. 

The fact that my eight year old son could pick this book up and read the story of Esther to his sister, with ease, was a real confidence booster for him. This book contains the following stories:

God’s Great Creation
Noah’s Voyage 
Joseph the Dreamer
Moses Leads the People
Ruth and Naomi
Brave Queen Esther 

 The illustrations are entertaining and the stories captivated my children. It is a hardy book that feels like it is going to last for a good long while, even with the beatings that my kids can put on a book! This is the second collection that we've read from this series and hope there will be more to come.

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Book Look. All opinions stated here are my own. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

How To Not Provoke Your Child To Anger

Do you have an angry child? It can become extremely frustrating to know how to deal with them since it usually stirs up so many emotions in the parent, when a child’s anger surfaces.

 Read more at Our Homeschool Forum.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Sheepdogs Book GIVEAWAY- 3 Winners

Enter to win Sheepdogs: Meet Our Nation's Warriors by Stephanie Rogish and 
Lt. Col. Dave Grossman in the Rafflecopter below. 

Read My Review
Last week I shared with you a review of the book SHEEPDOGS: MEET OUR NATION'S WARRIORS introducing to you an important book for you to read to your children. Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, most famous for his military resource book, On Killing, has graciously sent me three more copies of the children's book,  SHEEPDOGS to give away to my readers! 

This is an excellent resource teaching children the difference between sheep, wolves and sheepdogs in our society. Parents don't need to fear raising their children in this dark hour. We don't need to fear the dark but as Col. Grossman shares in a poem in the beginning of this book, those who lurk in the dark need to fear the sheepdogs!    

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Build An Alarm Kit {Review}

 Looking to bring an electronics course to your homeschool? EEME Electronics is an easy to navigate, online course that sends the materials right to your front door. No prior experience needed!

Science is a big deal in our house. Give my kids Legos and they'll come back with a hand-powered lemonade mixer. Send them outside and they will come back with some unidentified bug or plant that they want to search for on the internet.

Their minds are inquisitive and they love working with their hands, which is why they love EEME! EMME is an online curriculum for children ages 7-12 that teaches them the basics of electronics. We have been going through their six project set and have now completed the third one called tentacles.

In this lesson, the children learned about NPN transistors and PNP transistors and buzzers, all while building an alarm system. This project took about an hour and a half to complete.  

This project includes 33, short, online videos. Each video shares a step in completing the final project, an alarm. Only a few minutes long, these videos are jammed packed with new information for the kids about breadboards, transistors and how all the pieces fit together to make a working alarm. 

These kits are geared for children ages 7-12 but my six year old was still able to jump right in and get some electronics experience. My older two boys are beginning to be pros at these kits. By the time kit number three arrived they already had a small knowledge base and knew a little about what to expect. We do these kits as a family, my husband navigates the online part of it to make sure the kids aren't rushing through. We want them to take the time to answer the questions and not skip over them. When it comes to the actual hands-on part of the program though, my kids have been growing in their skills. I love how each project expounds on what they have already learned previously. 

Sometimes I think that the lessons will be way over their heads but they seem to catch on pretty fast. These lessons definitely use the immersion style of teaching. It provides a large amount of information and the child soaks up what they can. This style of learning works well for my kids. It's better than dumbing things down, thinking that they are too young to understand. 

These kits are perfect for homeschooling and would work well in a small, private school setting also! 

Visit EEME for more info and pricing!

 Disclaimer: I received the above product for the purpose of this review. All thoughts expressed here are my own.

Monday, July 18, 2016

A Complete English Curriculum; Reading/Writing/Spelling (Review)

The Logic of English program has become an integral part of my son's education. He is presently working through Foundations Level C and loving it!

It is no secret that I am a fan of the Logic of English Foundations Program. I'm realizing that the reason I like it so much is because it does just that, lays a foundation. When learning to read, there are two main methods you can use. Either sight or phonics. I learned to read by sight so when I first started teaching my oldest son to read I was confused when different phonetic rules were brought into the picture. He learned to read quickly and sped ahead two grade levels immediately so we didn't spend much time on the rules. 

My second son didn't catch on quite as quick. Don't get me wrong, he's a great reader and reads right on par for his age, but he learns differently. Teaching him to read using phonics has increased his reading ability dramatically. He is the type to rush through things and this program causes him to slow down and think about why a word sounds the way it does. 

There are several rules in the English language in regards to how words are spelled. The most memorable for many is "i before e except after c." In this program, the basic spelling rules are included in flashcard form which is a great tool for a child with a short attention span. It causes them to slow down enough to be interested in a physical card rather than something that's just auditory. It also doesn't provide too much information at once allowing the child to gain bite-sized information that they can handle.

I like how with the Logic Of English program, once you buy the supplemental materials, you can use it for several different levels.
The spelling rule flash cards, basic phonogram flash cards, the phonogram game pieces and the whiteboard are all items that I've had throughout all the levels I've used so far.

This program is full of so many games that
my son never gets bored. He never knows what to expect each day and is always looking forward to Foundations. 
Since I homeschool three and have a baby, he loves this one-on-one time with mom. We usually spend between 20-30 minutes, four times a week on Foundations. Some days are teacher intensive where I am teaching him a new concept. Even though I am the one teaching, he is still involved. Whenever a new concept is taught, the child uses the small whiteboard to stay focused and be active in his learning. 

He loves these activities. The card games and activities found in the student workbook always keep him engaged as well. Other days are more student orientated where the student has more independent work, focusing on what he has been learning. This is usually when the writing part of the curriculum kicks in. We have been using the spelling lists provided in this book for the past month. I like how the words correlate with the concepts being taught but they have been a bit difficult for my son. We have been using Foundations for a bit and I've been up in the air about whether or not I want to use the spelling portion of it. I've decided against it. I am confident it will work well for quick learners and other students but it doesn't work for us. Which is a shame because it is laid out nicely in this curriculum. I was greatly impressed with this level. It definitely is more challenging than Level B but still holds the same playfulness as far as learning style. I look forward to continuing with Level D this fall!

Not the level you are looking for? Check out my other reviews:

Logic of English Essentials

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Logic of English. All thoughts expressed here are my own. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Berenstain Bears Caring and Sharing Treasury {Review}

The Berenstain Bears Caring and Sharing Treasury is a wonderful collection of five beloved Berenstain Bears stories all in one, large, hardcover book. It includes the following stories:

-        Jobs Around Town
-        Get Involved
-        Love Their Neighbors
-        The Biggest Brag 
-        Gossip Gang

Each book in this treasury begins by sharing a Bible verse that is relevant to the story. What I like about this collection is that there are stories that would be a draw to young boys such as Jobs Around Town and Get Involved. The ones that my daughter was excited about were The Biggest Brag and the Gossip Gang, because it featured mostly girl bears in the stories. The other story, Love Their Neighbors, was my favorite and is sure to be a hit with any child. It is basically a modern day version of the story of The Good Samaritan from the Bible. I'll never forget the moment when my daughter put the two and two together and realized the connection. From that point on she was all ears and listened intently! I loved the Christian content in these stories. God was referenced to several times and different Bible verses were loosely quoted for the purpose of teaching the young bears a lesson. This is a wonderful series for the young reader who isn't quite ready for chapter books. Overall, I enjoyed these stories and look forward to more!

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Book Look. All opinions stated here are my own.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Backyard Wildcrafting

Take a step outside into your backyard and you might be surprised with what you’ll find. Once you started homeschooling, I’ll bet you began looking at your yard with entirely different lenses. No longer do you simply see clouds in the sky, now you see cumulus or read more at Our Homeschool Forum.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Why Mommy Carries A Gun {Review}

I am excited to introduce the soon to be released book, Why Mommy Carries A Gun by Stephanie Rogish and Lt. Col. Dave Grossman.

"There are sheep in the world. They are gentle creatures who could never harm anyone on purpose. There are wolves. They do not care about others and they can and will harm the sheep. Then there are the Sheepdogs. These brave creatures will protect others from the wolf."

Why Mommy Carries A Gun follows the Shepherd family. Dad is away on a business trip and mom is home with young Max. A knock is heard at the door and mom answers, gun in hand. All is well and everyone is safe but since Max saw mom carrying her gun, this provided an opportunity for mom to share why she carries with her son.  

"Most moms would lay down their lives for their babies. But a
Sheepdog mom has the tools and the training to defend her pups."

When dad returns, Max is taught several lessons concerning gun laws and safety. He spends time with friends and they talk about whether or not they should play with toy guns. The book shares with children about the rights that every American has to buy, use and carry guns. Kids are also taught what to do when they find a gun and reminded never to touch a firearm without adult supervision. 

The second half of the book shares information about famous American heroes who were gunfighters. A page is dedicated to each of the following men and women:

Minute Men
Davy Crockett
Harriet Tubman
Wyatt Earp
Annie Oakley
Sgt. Alvin York
Audie Murphy
Eleanor Roosevelt
Chris Kyle

At the end of the book there is a workbook style page entitled, Who is your Hero? Here your child can write about and place a picture of their favorite hero. 

My children's favorite aspect of this book was looking for the hidden Bible references. Throughout the illustrations, there are nine Bible verses hidden within. My 8 year old and 6 year old loved looking for these! I am excited to see this book hit the shelves. It will be an excellent resource for families all across this nation and holds such an important and powerful message for young readers! 

Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of the above product for the purpose of this review. 
All thoughts expressed here are my own.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Sheepdogs: Meet Our Nation's Warriors (Review)

 Sheepdogs: Meet Our Nation's Warriors by Stephanie Rogish and Lt. Col. Dave Grossman provide children with a clear understanding of who the good guys really are in our nation.

Children are often drawn to the character that they relate to the most. Whether it be in a film, novel, play, or video game. They find who they can relate to and cling to them. Why do you think that the most popular series that have hit the shelves the past couple of decades are filled with either wizards, witches, vampires or flat out darkness. Children fear their dark side. They don't understand it and they are confused. They often don't know how to deal with it. They think that it is simply, "who they are," or that they were "born that way." In their minds, they believe there is nothing they can do to change it. 

Sheepdogs: Meet Our Nation's Warriors will be one of the most important books that you share with your child. The authors share the difference between three types of people in the world. Sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. I appreciate how the authors make the distinction between the actual animals and the people that they represent. A wolf is born a wolf and can do nothing to change it. People have a choice. They can choose whether or not to be a wolf or they can choose to be a sheepdog and protect rather than harm the sheep. This is a powerful concept for children. For the boy who has a fascination with guns. For the child drawn to war stories. So often, as parents, we tend to suppress a young boy's need to feel these things to prepare them for war and for battle. We think we are protecting them because we don't want them to be a wolf. Rather, we need to provide them with the tools to be a sheepdog, a protector of the sheep.

When people visit my home the first question I usually get asked is, "where is your TV?" It's funny, because it's been so long that we've lived without one that I forget how abnormal it is to not have one. Yes, we are strict when it comes to entertainment but we are super lenient in other areas. We encourage our children to learn to shoot at a young age. They know how to use a bow and arrow. They have been taught, at a young age, important rules such as "never point your weapon at something you don't intend to shoot." And we allow them to practice these skills. I refuse to be fearful that my children will grow up to be wolves. If they are taught in the ways of the Lord at a young age then I believe when they grow old they will not depart for them. 

I love the verse that Col. Grossman quotes, Psalm 144:1, "Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle." We need to let children know that it is the Lord that put in them a desire to fight and protect. This book mentions that there is a point when someone realizes that they can use what is in them to be a sheepdog and that it is okay, and it is powerful. That turning point is what so many children need.

This book will open your child's eyes to the fact that they can be protectors of the sheep. They don't have to be wolves and they don't have to be simple sheep either. 

I was surprised, that as soon as I finished reading it to the kids and put it away my six year old daughter said with all seriousness, "I really liked that book."

Not only is this a children's book, but a resource book that every parent should have on hand. Col. Grossman's, On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs is included in the book as well as other resourceful information. Pick up a copy today.

Order Now for $15.00 
and receive FREE SHIPPING

Stay tuned later this week for my review of, 
Why Mommy Carries A Gun, by the same authors!

Have You Read My Review of 
Col. Grossman's The Bulletproof Mind DVD Series?

Disclaimer: I was provided with the above resource in exchange for my honest opinion. 
All thoughts expressed here are my own.

Franklin County Agricultural Fair 2015 (Review)

It's almost that time of year again! The Franklin County, VA Agricultural Fair is scheduled this year for September 14-17, 2016.

Last year we were able to attend the 2015 Franklin County Agricultural Fair and had a wonderful experience spending time with family and friends. The fair recently reopened in 2014 after a 40 year break. We were a part of the fair that year as vendors but this year we came just for fun, with our newborn, and let the older kids have the time of their lives. Below is their favorite ride that they could not get enough of! 

It's a shame that the fair was rained out on the weekend and I am thankful that we were able to go on an evening that the weather decided to cooperate. The biggest hit among many of the youth I noticed was the ball toss where you could win a LIVE BABY IGUANA. It was similar to winning a goldfish but for some reason seemed much harder. I watched a group of college kids try to win one, to no avail!

Speaking of winning, on the night that we attended there was a small critter show. People brought in their rabbits and other small animals for show. My kids are excited to enter their bunnies this coming year. In 2014 we submitted canned goods and flowers. My son actually won a blue ribbon for some flowers we grew from seed. My boys love these type of competitions. 

Last year, my daughter's favorite rides were in the kiddie section, especailly the merry-go-round! I have a feeling that this year she will be bold enough for some of the more thrilling rides that her brothers enjoy.

 One of the big draws, both years that we attended was the BMX bike show. The tricksters did an amazing job entertaining young and old alike. My daughter and my sons all tried to get in and see every show that they performed!

Stay tuned for more information on this year's fair!

The date is set for September 14-17, 2016. Be sure to follow the fair on Facebook for updates! 

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Franklin County Agricultural Fair. All opinions expressed here are my own. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Punderdome Card Game {Review}

The Punderdome Card Game is certain to be a hit at your next party. When I got this game I wasn't sure if it would be over my kid's heads. It was. This game is geared for children ages 12+ and I see why. This game takes brain power, but don't worry, not too much! The best part of this game is, you don't begin with a blank slate. You receive two theme ideas to work with to make up a pun. For example, you might receive the cards CANDY and SLEEPING. Whoever makes up the most corny pun, using these words, wins the round! 

Suggested puns for these two words are 
- How do you say goodnight? Sweet dreams!
- If you're tired, maybe you need an espresso or a hot toffee?

Play against each other or break up into teams. The host of the party begins by filling the provided, MYSTERY ENVELOPES with slips of paper stating an individual prize they are willing to part with. Don't fret, you don't need to head out to Bed, Bath and Beyond and buy door prizes if you don't want to. The host or hostess can have as much fun with this as they want! The host can write "a scented candle" in one envelope and "a used solo cup" in another. Seriously, the prize could be a whammy! That's what makes this game so fun, the players have no clue what they are playing for! You play ten rounds per prize. Whoever wins the most of the ten rounds receives whatever is in one of the mystery envelopes!

This game is a perfect gift for that board game lover in your life or simply buy it to keep on hand for your next dinner party, your friends will thank you!

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Blogging For Books. All opinions stated here are my own.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Bulletproof Mind DVD Series w/ Col. Dave Grossman {Review}

Be prepared for a powerful, life-changing experience when you watch Lt. Col. Dave Grossman's 5-disc DVD series, The Bulletproof Mind. For a limited time only you can order this set for only $97 (retail $297).

It's no secret that mass killings, right here in America, are on the rise. While driving through town, it seems that flags are constantly at half mast, a continual reminder to pray for the families of these heartbreaking tragedies. The most recent incidents that immediately come to my mind are Texas, Florida, and California. Did you forget about California? It has been a little over six months since this terrible event. 

Photo Credit:

Look at these faces. A loving father of six, a hardworking, kind, mom who was married to her High School sweetheart. We see a brother who was the youngest of thirteen siblings and a daughter who brought her family nothing but joy. On December 2, 2015 each one of these precious lives were taken by the hand of terrorists. Six months later have we forgotten what has happened? Terrorists are in our country, trying to kill us. How are we handling this? How are we reacting when tragedy hits? Are these events moving us to action, to fear or placing us in denial?

Now that I have four children of my own, the thought of protecting them has been on the forefront of my mind. To prepare, I began watching  the  The Bulletproof Mind, in DVD form, with Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. I had no idea what I was in for. Col. Grossman, is widely known for his book, On Killing, which is required reading for those in the Marines. Between the time that I watched these videos and now, more mass killings occurred. One of which was yet another terrorist attack. In response to these events, I am confident that we do not need to make stricter laws concerning gun control but rather we need to see more responsible armed citizens. 

Col. Grossman has a message that I believe all Americans need to hear and take to heart. He was an Army Ranger and taught Psychology at West Point. He also helped aid in counseling after the Columbine massacre in Littleton, Colorodo as well as many other tragic events. My eyes were opened through his powerful, informative and heartfelt message.  

This five DVD set has changed the way I think about certain realities that we are facing. For example, what are all the headlines saying concerning the recent murder of the police officers? They are calling the killer a shooter. I appreciate how Col. Grossman makes it clear that shooters, in and of themselves, are not the enemy. Murderers are. Killers are. Sociopaths are. The word shooter should be reserved for the responsible gun owners in our country who go to the range or hunt during deer season. There is nothing wrong with shooting, the problem is when the weapons get into the wrong hands.

Photo Credit:

Col. Grossman points out that everywhere you go, there are safety precautions in case of a potential fire but there are rarely proactive measures taken in case of a potential massacre. Looking at the statistics, when you send your children to school, they are more likely to face a possible killer than a fire. 

The Bulletproof Mind Consists of Five DVDs:

1- The Threat To Our Children

2- The Answer: The 5 D's

3- It's Worse Than It Looks

4- Sheepdogs! Mental Prep For Combat

5- After The Smoke Clears

Since this is a family-friendly blog, I do need to share with you that there is course language in these videos. I do not recommend watching with your children or in a church setting.

The Bulletproof Mind from Travis Wears on Vimeo.

The training that you can receive as a parent in these videos is powerful. Even though I am not used to the harsh language I still fully stand behind Col. Grossman's message and the heart of what he wants to share with you, the American citizen. 

What I am really excited about though are two children's books that share one of the most powerful points in his videos, the concept of the sheepdog. Col. Grossman has collaborated with Stephanie Rogish to write Sheepdogs: Meet Our Nations Warriors and Why Does Mommy Carry A Gun? stay tuned later this week as I share these important resources with you!

Disclaimer: I received the product mentioned in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Outdoor Summer Fun Activities For Kids

The fireworks have stopped and Independence day celebrations have ceased, but that doesn't mean that our kids have! Keeping your kids outdoors often, will help burn energy, boost creativity and keep them healthy, as they absorb some Vitamin D! Here are 15 ideas to keep your little ones loving the outdoors!

- Search For Animal Tracks

- Identify Mushrooms (observe only!)

- Build A Lean-To

- Set Up a Water Obstacle Course

- Organize a Bicycle Wash

- Backyard Fireman's Hose 

- Set Up A Water Slide

- Chalk It Up!

- Homemade Bubbles

- Creative Rock Painting

- Outdoor Twister Board

- Ice Block Treasure Hunt 

- Nature Paintbrushes

- Water Balloon Fight

- Backyard Parkour Activities

Don't be stressed out this summer and don't feel like you have to spend a fortune. Plan several activities before the summer comes to a close. They'll love it!  There are plenty of free or inexpensive activities you and your family will enjoy. The summer will be over before you know it, treasure this time with your kids while you can. 

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Rainbow Resource Center. All thoughts expressed here are my own.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook {Review}

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook by Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison is a companion book to the original Trim Healthy Mama plan. I've been seeing Trim Healthy Mama all over the internet; blogs, Twitter, Pinterest, everywhere! At first I thought, "oh no, not another diet plan!" So I didn't hop on the band wagon. Then I started looking at some of the reviews and noticed that many people were singing its praises. I decided to give the cookbook a try, but not the diet though. 

I was pleasantly surprised. This cookbook is now well used, well worn and is often a go-to cookbook for our family. The recipes are right up our alley and healthy too! Now, I will add, that the diet consists of not using white sugar or white flour, which I totally understand that the two are devoid of all nutritional value but I still wasn't going to purchase their sugar and flour blends for their recipes. I just used what I had on hand and even though I might not get the figure that many women who use their diet are going for, I am fine with that!

The sisters who wrote this cookbook are not newbies when it comes to being in the spotlight. Their mother is famous for the Above Rubies Magazine and women retreats for those of the quiverfull mentality. I actually receive the magazine and have much respect for their mother. I love that both women showcase their large families in the cookbook with one even carrying a newborn. It's a sweet and gentle reminder of the true importance of cooking good meals for your family. Pearl and Serene were also members of the 90's Christian band, Considering Lily, so again, this is not the first time they have been in the public eye. 

One of my favorite aspects of the cookbook is that venison is mentioned as a beef substitute. I never see that ingredient in normal cookbooks and even though I will substitute for beef often with venisom, I appreciated seeing it in the cookbook! We have tried and loved many recipes in this book. A new staple in our home is now their cheeseburger pie, my family loves it and requests it often!

I highly recommend this book if you are cooking for a large family and want to start down a healthy route, there are plenty of amazing recipes that your whole family will enjoy!

Disclaimer: This book is brought to you by Blogging For Books. All opinions stated here are my own.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Starter Bible {Review}

The Starter Bible is a thick, board book with a convenient purple handle so little ones can tote it around easily. The cover is inviting with bright, bold colors and images. The beautiful illustrations fill this book from cover to cover, engaging young readers. There is so much happening on each page that your child won't be able to keep their eyes of the colorful pictures while you read these timeless, biblical stories to them. Beginning with, "God Made The World," to "Jesus Is Alive Again,"this book takes your child through parts of the Old Testament and New Testament alike. Of the twenty stories presented in this book, my favorite imagery is in the account of Jonah. The illustrations are simply beautiful! There are two pages dedicated to each story.

If you are looking for a nice, decent sized board book style Bible for a little one, then I highly recommend the Starter Bible! 

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Book Look. All opinions stated here are my own.