Saturday, September 14, 2019

Review: Something Needs to Change by:David Platt

 Something Needs to Change: A Call to Make Your Life Count in a World of Urgent Need
 **Disclosure**This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

About the Book:
 While leading a team on a week-long trek of the Himalayas, bestselling author and pastor David Platt was stunned by the human needs he encountered, an experience so dramatic that it "changed the trajectory of my life." Meeting a man who'd lost his eye from a simple infection and seeing the faces of girls stolen from their families and trafficked in the cities, along with other unforgettable encounters, opened his eyes to the people behind the statistics and compelled him to wrestle with his assumptions about faith. In Something Needs to Change, Platt invites readers to come along on both the adventure of the trek, as well as the adventure of seeking answers to tough questions like, "Where is God in the middle of suffering?" "What makes my religion any better than someone else's religion?" and "What do I believe about eternal suffering?" Platt has crafted an irresistible message about what it means to give your life for the gospel--to finally stop talking about faith and truly start living it.

My Review:
 To be "on fire" for Christ takes on new meaning in the book entitled Something Needs to Change. The author takes his own experiences and the things that he has seen and feels that we need to change the world one sin or misfortune at a time. He also deals with some pretty tough thoughts and questions that are not so easily answered or fixed.

 At this place in the game we can no longer compromise truth and our beliefs for popularity and being comfortable. We need to move with a vigor and purpose like never before. God needs to be spread out and spread further than He ever has been. And you don't have to be a missionary to accomplish this.

 You can start in our own family, your family church or in your community. We can start small starting a food drive for the homeless or maybe just volunteering at your church in different outreach opportunities.

 That is what is so great about God! He offers us many chances and situations to advance His kingdom.

Review: Jesus In Me by:Anne Graham Lotz

 Jesus in Me: Experiencing the Constant Companionship of the Holy Spirit
 **Disclosure**This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

About the Book:
The internationally recognized Bible teacher and daughter of Billy Graham unpacks key biblical truths wrapped in personal insights to reveal how the presence of the Holy Spirit shapes the daily life of a Jesus follower.

In Jesus in Me, Anne Graham Lotz draws on her rich biblical knowledge as well as her personal story--including her recent cancer diagnosis--to help us understand that the Holy Spirit is not a magic genie, a flame of fire, or a vague feeling. He is a Person who prays for us, guides us in our relationships and decisions, comforts us in pain, and stays by our side at all times. In this seminal teaching, she explores seven key aspects of the Holy Spirit that will revolutionize how you understand and relate to this vital third Person in the Trinity.

As Anne writes, "One of my deepest, richest joys has been discovering by experience who the Holy Spirit is in every step of my life's journey. Each name that He has been given--Helper, Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor, Counselor, Strengthener, and Standby--reveals another aspect of His beautiful character and has provoked in me a deep love for the One who is my constant Companion...Jesus in me."

Discover how to better love and rely on the person of the Holy Spirit--and embrace how much He loves you.

My Review:
 The Holy Spirit is a foundational part to Christianity and one that may be overlooked a lot. He is very important to our sanity and clarity while living upon this earth. He guides us daily in every aspect of life--we need Him just as much as God or Jesus.

 The author takes us through this teaching showing us every aspect and every goal of the Holy Spirit in our lives. She does in hopes that we become acquainted with the One that can show us life more closely and intimately. Following Jesus requires that we have the extended relationship He offers us through the Holy Spirit.

 The Holy Spirit can affords us many opportunities as a Christian. That relationship with Him will grow us into a Christ follower much more completely than just reading your Bible and praying. Those are also important aspects of the Christian walk but this part of the Trinity is a very important one, as well.

 This is a fantastic guide book in learning so much more about the third person of the Trinity.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Choosing the Best Homeschool Curriculum for Your Best Year Yet!

 Image result for school clipart
Choosing the home school curriculum for the school year isn't an easy task. I'm a veteran home school mom and have home schooled my children for 13 years. Based on that alone I should know "my stuff". But even I have issues each year. I am currently finishing up with my oldest son who will graduate this May. I am also working with my middle son that is in 10th grade and will graduate May 2021. Then there is my little caboose that is currently in 4th grade. I am also a very tired mom that has a small list of health issues that effects our daily schooling life. This year my health really started to show signs of the fact that I can't do everything like I have done in previous years. So, with that being said this mama had to shake things up a bit for my little fourth grader.

 Things are a lot easier for me this year based on the fact that I have two high schoolers that are actively trying to get all their high school credits in, as quickly as possible. So their curriculum I will discuss in a later post. But when it comes to math this year for my little one; I decided to go with an online based math program. CTC Math was going to have to take the place of mom this year because I just simply couldn't devote large amounts of time teaching math to my little one. So we do standard textbook/workbook school, mainly. I usually read my History and Science aloud to my younger elementary aged children and we discuss orally what is being learned. Their math and language arts is usually done by them with mom supervising.

 My little guy is already reading, which just took off the later part of his third grade year. I was afraid that he wasn't going to get it, but thankfully he did right before we ended the school year. We decided to go with:

 Easy Grammar Plus Workbook   -     By: Wanda Phillips
Language/English: Easy Grammar Grade 4

Image result for ctcmath
Math: CTC Math

Abeka Understanding God's World, Fourth Edition   -
Science: Understanding God's World

A Child's Story of America, Second Edition, Grade 4   -     By: Michael McHugh
History: A Child's Story of America
Image result for bible clipart
Bible: We attend church and count this towards our Bible study. But we have been known to do family devotionals, daily. We also, sometimes do personal devotionals where I read to my son or he reads to me.

 Our home school method isn't very involved because my children are eager to begin their day doing their own thing. So we spend the day on chores, instrument practice, playing, and we watch a lot of documentaries. We have always had an eclectic home school. I try to mix and match things together for my babies. If I see something that will interest my youngest we will try it and see where it leads. I usually am a die hard on my core subjects though, especially English and Math.

 So this will be our school year. We only school Monday-Thursday. We begin in mid July and stop somewhere around Easter, and take off for a few months. That is the schedule that works for our family. I hope my thoughts and ideas were of some use to you as you begin choosing your curriculum for the upcoming school year.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Review: Dear Grandchild, This is Me by:Waterbrook

 Dear Grandchild, This Is Me
**Disclosure**This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

About the Book:
Preserving a family legacy can feel like a daunting task, but this new keepsake journal makes it easy for grandparents to capture memories, wisdom, and stories in one beautiful package.

Being a grandparent is an incredibly rewarding experience. Dear Grandchild, This Is Me--designed for any grandmother or grandfather to complete--will allow grandparents to collect these priceless memories in one heartfelt keepsake.

Special Features:
* Built-in envelopes to stash special, private letters for specific occasions in your grandchild's future.
* A sheet of adhesive photo corners to adhere photographs and special memories throughout.
* Off-the-record questions to prompt fun stories.
* A family tree to track your ancestry.
* Space to share your favorite recipes, or those passed through the generations.
* A world map to showcase your travels.

Within these pages you'll find a place to answer questions that speak to a grandchild of any age from the simple questions about favorite things to deeper questions about childhood memories, identity, and faith. This book will be a tangible way to keep a loved one close at all times.

My Review:
 Did you ever want to know everything possible about your family, but never quite got around to it? Or maybe they passed on before you had the chance to gain all you could from a lifetime well spent? I never knew my dads parents. They knew about me and my grandfather spend time with me before he passed, but he died before I was able to know him. My mothers parents lived to see me grow up but, sadly I feel we ran out of time. I had a lot of questions and still do that will never be answered.

 I feel the sting of that, every day. So when I seen this book, I just knew I had to get it and review and try it for myself. Not that I had an amazing life, but I want my grandchildren to know me a little better. So this product seems to fit the bill.

 Upon opening the book it looks like an ordinary bound book but as you look through the pages you start to see a pattern for your grandbabies to follow that makes it a little different. The book starts from the beginning of your life and gives you space to write what you want to convey. From where you were born to what color your eyes were when you were born. It even asks about my parents and my heritage.

 There is a place for photos, throughout the book. The book then goes on to highlight what you did after high school, defining moments in your life, and the starts of wedded bliss. Not only does this book cover your own family history and legacy it goes on to ask about current even during your life. so it really covers, a lot. There are also envelopes pasted in the book for mementos.

 This book will help me out tons to create something tangible for my grandchildren to hold on to. This is a great gift for Grandparents Day which is in early September and right around the corner.

 A great gift idea!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Review: Yours Truly, Thomas by:Rachel Fordham

 Yours Truly, Thomas
**Disclosure**This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

About the Book:
For three years, Penny Ercanbeck has been opening other people's mail. Dead ends are a reality for clerks at the Dead Letter Office. Still she dreams of something more--a bit of intrigue, a taste of romance, or at least a touch less loneliness. When a letter from a brokenhearted man to his one true love falls into her hands, Penny seizes this chance to do something heroic. It becomes her mission to place this lost letter into the hands of its intended recipient.

Thomas left his former life with no intention of ending up in Azure Springs, Iowa. He certainly didn't expect a happy ending after what he had done. All he wanted to do was run and never look back. In a moment of desperation, he began to write, never really expecting a reply.

When Penny's undertaking leads her to the intriguing man who touched her soul with his words, everything grows more complicated. She wants to find the rightful owner of the letter and yet she finds herself caring--perhaps too much--for the one who wrote it.

My Review:
 For women during wars of long ago, I'm sure there were many times they felt helpless. So in an effort to feel like they were helping our troops and our country, they would seek to good somewhere whether it was a job helping in the war effort or organizing something to benefit the troops in some way.

 For Penny Ercanbeck, it was working at the dead letter office.  A dead letter office (DLO) by definition is a facility within a postal system where undeliverable mail is processed. Mail is considered to be undeliverable when the address is invalid so it cannot be delivered to addressee, and there is no return address so it cannot be returned to the sender.

 So Penny, decides after receiving Thomas Connor's letter at her job she felt it her mission to make sure his letters are received by his one true love. But soon, Penny is in over her head when her feelings of just a friendly gesture turn into something more for the author of the letters.

 A great love story no matter how you cut it.

Review: The Very Best Hands-On Kinda Dangerous Family Devotions by:Shoemaker

 The Very Best, Hands-On, Kinda Dangerous Family Devotions: 52 Activities Your Kids Will Never Forget
**Disclosure**This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

About the Book:
As parents hoping to raise godly children, we may understand the importance of regular family devotions. However, we may find it difficult to get our kids (or even ourselves) fully engaged. But what if devotions looked less like sitting in the living room listening to someone read and trying to pry answers out of reluctant kids and more like, say, electrocuting a pickle? Or converting a leaf blower into a toilet paper launcher? Or lighting toothpaste on fire?

These hands-on, kinda dangerous, totally unforgettable object lessons (along with nearly fifty others) are not only more fun than other family devotions--they actually deliver the spiritual impact you desire for your kids. They'll even get dads and any too-cool-for-this-stuff teens jazzed about a weekly family devotional time.

So put away the flannelgraph, get out the safety goggles, and start bringing the truths of Scripture to vivid life in your household. Just remember to change out of your Sunday clothes first.

My Review:
 We have done family devotions for a number of years. Its harder now that our children are getting older and moving in different directions. Our family is about to lose one due to our oldest enlisting in the Air Force. Our next oldest is about to graduate high school so we have a lot going on too much for devotion time anymore. That hurts this old mama's heart. I liked doing it right before bed during family prayer time so I could get their focus right before they close their eyes for the night.

 A lot goes into the planning for our family on what a devotional should include. I didn't always pick kid friendly or family friendly types of devotionals. I picked relevant type devotionals. It had to relate to my family in some way whether it was as a group or individually. We are very hands on or activity driven this devotional is more like that. But, you dont have to do the activities to invest in your family's Christian walk so understanding that before getting started, in my opinion is very important.

 They are 52 different devo's to dig in to. The lessons are only a few pages long and they consist of a theme, things you'll need, advance prep, running the activity, teaching the lesson, and summing it up. If some of the subject matter is questionable there will be a not about it from the author. It is a meaty resource and activity driven families would probably really enjoy it.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Review: Amish Friends Gatherings Cookbook by:Wanda Brunstetter

 Wanda E. Brunstetter's Amish Friends Gatherings Cookbook: Over 200 Recipes for Carry-In Favorites with Tips for Making the Most of the Occasion

 **Disclosure**This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

About the Book:
New Compilation of the Recipes that Bring the Amish Together

Brand new, from New York Times bestselling author of Amish fiction, Wanda E. Brunstetter, is a collection of over 200 recipes that are great for taking along and sharing where people meet to worship, work, and play. Included are tips for traveling with and serving food as well as personal stories of how gatherings are at the heart of the Amish community. The well-organized book boasts contributions from Amish and Mennonites from across the United States. Categories include Beverages, Snacks, Breads and Rolls, Salads, Side Dishes, Main Dishes, Desserts, and Feeding a Crowd. Encased in a lay-flat binding and presented in full color, home cooks from all backgrounds will want to add this cookbook to their collection. Wanda E. Brunstetter’s Amish Friends Gatherings Cookbook is sure to become a treasured resource.

My Review: 
 I absolutely love the Amish. I feel that they can teach us many things about God, family, and life. Their cooking seems to be top notch so I enjoy a lot of their simple cooking styles, as well. As always, Wanda's cookbook doesn't disappoint. With this one there are over 50 contributors contributing recipes from their families and friends. I think my most favorite recipes in the book is the feeding a crowd section. In this section these recipes are large enough for weddings, funerals or really any big get together where a large crowd will be present.

 This cookbook will make a fantastic addition to my cookbook library and it is a great gift too!