What We're Reading In October 2017

Family Read Aloud:

We are reading, The Family Under The Bridge, written by: Natalie Savage Carlson. This is a great family read aloud, it is about an old man named Armand who lived under a bridge in Paris. He loved his carefree life. Then one day, just before Christmas, a Mother and her three children came into his life. Armand soon found himself caring for the family and sharing his unusual home under the bridge. It didn't take Armand long to realize he had found himself a ready-made-family and one he loved with all his heart.... so much that he realized he needed to find them a better home then under the bridge. 

We are also still enjoying, Kingdom Family Devotional (52 weeks of growing together), that we started last month. 

What I'm Reading:

This month I am reading two books that I have counted down the days until they were released.... The Lifegiving Table (Nurturing faith through feasting, one meal at a time), written by one of my all time favorite authors, Sally Clarkson. "Make your table a delightful, lifegiving space where your family and friends long to be - where they will find rest, renewal, inspiration, and a loving welcome." I am also enjoying my new devotional, The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional. (365 Inspiring Ideas to Reveal, Give, and find God's Love). 

Aidan (11 years old):

He is beginning The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer, written by: Mark Twain. Tom Sawyer is a consummate schemer. Yet his charming and easy going nature keeps him from being in anyone's bad graces for too long. However, when Tom teams up with his friend Huck Finn, their sleepy little town had better watch out. 

Noah (10 years old):

He will be reading, The Adventures Of Robin Hood, by: Roger Lancelyn Green. The classic story of social justice and outrageous cunning. Robin Hood, stands against the cruel power of Prince John. Taking refuge in Sherwood Forest with his band of men, he remains determined to outwit his enemies.

What books will you and your family be enjoying this month? 

The Lifegiving Table ~ Book Review

Book Description:

Make your table a place where your family and friends long to be―where they will find rest, renewal, and a welcome full of love.

Beloved author Sally Clarkson (The Lifegiving Home, Own Your Life, Desperate) believes that meals lovingly served at home―and the time spent gathered together around the table―are a much-needed way to connect more deeply with our families and open our kids’ hearts. Food and faith, mingled in everyday life, become the combination for passing on God’s love to each person who breaks bread with us.

In The Lifegiving Table, Sally shares her own family stories, favorite recipes, and practical ideas to help you get closer to the people you love . . . and grow in faith together.

My Review:

Sally Clarkson has always been one of my favorite authors. The way she expresses herself and her love for her family is breathtaking... this book, The Lifegiving Table extends the great work she started with her previous book. This book shows how the table can be the center of a nurturing home where all family members are welcome with love! 

This is an amazing book. Sally Clarkson truly understands Moms... The Lifegiving Table is full of inspiration to bring the family around the table. Her book is full of Biblical wisdom and encouragement. She offers ideas to show love to all those who enter your home. 

This is a must read for Mothers in all walks of life. You don't want to miss reading, The Lifegiving Table.. it will change your life. 

Draw 50 Outer Space - Book Review

Book Description:

Part of the best-selling Draw 50 series this step-by-step guide to sketching and rendering astronauts, planets, asteroids, comets, spaceships, space stations, and other elements related to outer space exploration is for artists of all levels.

In this new installment of Lee J. Ames's beloved Draw 50 series, readers will find easy-to-follow, step-by-step lessons for outer space drawing. In each lesson, six wordless steps provide everything needed to master drawing all kinds of planets, moons, comets, and meteors, as well as astronauts, rockets, spaceships, and other aspects--both natural and manmade--related to charting the cosmos.

My Review:

My youngest son (age 10) loves to draw. His favorite things to draw are people.. especially astronauts. I was given the opportunity to review this book and I knew it would be the perfect fit for him. This book is easy to understand with step-by-step directions on how to draw many things from outer space... such as rockets, spaceships and much more! This book has easy drawings and more difficult ones for my son. He has truly enjoyed using this book and is already asking for more drawing books.  

The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional ~ Book Review

Book Description:

What would happen if you and your family committed to doing one act of kindness each day for a year?
Our world desperately needs more kindness. Whether it’s on social media, in the news, or between your arguing kids it can seem like conflict and disconnection are everywhere. But imagine how much better life would be if we got intentional about being kind!

This year, embark on a journey to make kindness a part of your life, home, and soul. In The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional, you’ll find Scripture passages and inspirational personal stories about why God calls us to show kindness, what it means to live a life of generosity, and how you can incorporate kindness into your everyday routine (and teach it to your kids) with tons of simple, easy-to-do ideas.

Show your world the kind of love that is possible with daily acts of kindness that will change your heart, inspire your family, and draw you closer to God.

My Review:

I love this book! Each day you will find a scripture and personal story to help you see why God wants us to show kindness to those around us. At the end of each daily devotional is a "Today's Act Of Kindness" - just a simple task for you to try. The world we are living in today is in desperate need of more kindness... with these easy-to-do ideas you can be on your way to sharing the love of God through generosity in your everyday life.

This is a "One Year" book. You can start any day of the year and continue until the same time the following year. This is the perfect companion for those "on the go"...people with active lives. This devotional provides daily focus essential to your spiritual growth. 


The Christmas Code Booklet ~ Book Review

Book Description:

Grow close to the Lord this Advent season with 25 insightful and meaningful devotions from The Christmas Code by bestselling author O. S. Hawkins. Trace the birth of Jesus from its roots in the Old Testament to the ultimate gift of God: salvation. With a short reading each day leading up to Christmas, this devotional will be the perfect way to keep daily focus on the true meaning of Christmas.
At only $2.99, this booklet is an excellent value and a gift of appreciation and affection for the people in your life. It is a great gift for friends and family, teachers, pastoral staff, Bible study groups, church congregations, and service providers.
Each day includes a passage of Scripture, a devotional thought, a Code Word, and a prayer of reflection.
Royalties from the book are donated to Mission:Dignity, a ministry that helps men and women who have faithfully served God’s people for modest pay retire with well-deserved dignity, independence, and often the ability to continue serving.

My Review:

The Christmas Code Booklet will be a great addition to my Christmas time Bible Study (Advent Season). This devotional book has 25 meaningful devotions with scriptures, a devotional message, a Code Word and a prayer for reflection. The Code Word picks out a specific word and gives a short message as to how it relates to Advent Season. This devotional is the perfect way to keep focus on the true meaning of Christmas. 


Draw 50 Sea Creatures ~ Book Review

Book Description:

Part of the best-selling Draw 50 series this step-by-step guide to drawing various fish, sharks, oysters, bottlenose dolphins, crabs, polar bears, coral, and other ocean life is for artists of all levels.

In this new installment of Lee J. Ames's beloved Draw 50 series, readers will find easy-to-follow, step-by-step visual lessons on sketching and rendering all kinds of sea and ocean-dwelling creatures. Animals and plants from in and near the water featured in the book include clownfish, whale sharks, sea otters, dolphins, turtles and more.

My Review:

My oldest son (age 11) loves to draw. His favorite things to draw are animals.. especially sea creatures. I was given the opportunity to review this book and I knew it would be the perfect fit for him. This book is easy to understand with step-by-step directions on how to draw many ocean creatures... such as jellyfish, sharks, dolphins and more! This book has easy drawings and more difficult ones for my son. He has truly enjoyed using this book and is already asking for more drawing books.  


What We're Reading In September 2017

Family Read Aloud:

Our family has started reading the book, Kingdom Family Devotional (52 weeks of growing together), written by: Tony and Jonathan Evans. This devotional has been a blessing to our family. We enjoy reading and studying God's word together during supper each evening and right before bedtime. Each week covers a different topic, such as: love, respect, obedience, witnessing and more. This book is a wonderful way to build a spiritually strong family... week-by-week, day-by-day. 

We are also reading, Prayers That Changed History... from Christopher Columbus to Helen Keller, how God used 25 people to change the world. This book helps to teach us how prayer is a powerful tool that God has given us. God isn't done with us yet.. he has used many people in the past to change the world and he can use us today. 


What I'm Reading:

I am enjoying two books this month, All Saints, The surprising true story of how refugees from Burma brought life to a dying church. This book has been made into a major motion picture and I can't wait to enjoy it in the future as well. I have also started the Bible study, Becoming A Woman Of Excellence, written by: Cynthia Heald. If you're hungry for God's perspective on success in a society that bombards you with conflicting demands, with this Bible study you will feed on the truth of God's word.... experiencing the joy of becoming God's woman of excellence. 


Aidan (11 years old):

King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table, a Puffin classic. I love for our boys to read classic books, here are a few reasons why... Classics teach virtue. They teach lessons on respect, hard work, obedience and more. Classics expand understanding. Many newer books use easy, everyday language to grab a child's attention.. to relate to today's kids. This language is familiar and comfortable, however, it fails to challenge a child's intellectual ability and raise him to a new level of understanding. There are places for both modern and classic books in our home.. we just prefer to enjoy more classics than others. 

King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table is one of the greatest legends of all time! From the moment Arthur releases the sword in the stone until the tragedy of the last battle, Roger Lancelyn Green, brings the world of Arthur to life. 

Noah (10 years old):

A beloved classic, Bambi: A Life in the Woods. Bambi learns that the woods hold danger - and things he doesn't understand. Bambi becomes scared that Man will hurt him and the ones he loves. But Man can't keep Bambi from growing into the Prince Of The Forest. 

We will also be enjoying the movie, Bambi after Noah reads the book. 

Thomas Nelson, The King James Study Bible - Review

Book Description:

Standing apart from all other KJV study Bibles on the market, the King James Study Bible, Full Color Edition is the only Bible featuring extensive commentary, doctrinal notes, archaeological insights, and time-tested study aids developed exclusively for the King James Version. Now available with stunning full-color designs, Holy Land images, classic works of art, charts, and maps, the King James Study Bible, Full Color Edition guides you through the vivid beauty and authority of God’s Word as you grow in your biblical knowledge.
For over a quarter of a century, Thomas Nelson has earned the trust of millions with the best-selling King James Study Bible, offering the standard of conservative KJV scholarship. Our tradition and commitment to KJV study continues with the release of the King James Study Bible, Full Color Edition.
Features include:
  • Beautiful full-color throughout
  • Easy-to-read 10-pt type large print
  • 5,700 authoritative and study notes
  • Center-column references with translation notes
  • Hundreds of color maps and charts
  • Over 100 archaeological notes
  • Over 100 personality profiles
  • Over 200 notes on Christian doctrines
  • Easy-to-navigate topical indexes
  • Book introductions and outlines
  • Word-study concordance
  • Time-honored KJV Bible text

My Review:

This is a beautiful Bible! It would be a great gift for someone special in your life or for yourself to enjoy. This is a wonderful KJV study Bible. It helps you with understanding scriptures in the Bible and how scriptures work together. This is a great addition to anyone's Bible study plan. Also, the full color throughout the Bible is an added bonus. 

All Saints - Book Review

Book Description:

Newly ordained, Michael Spurlock's first assignment is to pastor All Saints, a struggling church with twenty-five devoted members and a mortgage well beyond its means. The best option may be to close the church rather than watch it wither any further. But when All Saints hesitantly risks welcoming a community of Karen refugees from Burma--former farmers scrambling for a fresh start in America--Michael feels they may be called to an improbable new mission.

Michael must choose between closing the church and selling the property--or listening to a still, small voice challenging the people of All Saints to risk it all and provide much-needed hope to their new community. Together, they risk everything to plant seeds for a future that might just save them all.

Discover the true story that inspired the film while also diving deeper into the background of the Karen people, the church, and how a community of believers rally to reach out to those in need, yet receive far more than they dared imagine.

Book Review:

This is an inspiring true story of Reverend Michael Spurlock and the All Saints Episcopal Church in Smyrna, Georgia. The church had went down to only a few attendance.... it was also in financial difficulties. The church was in danger of closing it's doors, but God had other plans! A group of over 70 refugees arrived in Smyrna. A few of the refugees came to All Saints church asking to plant crops on the church property. The refugees farmed the land and helped with the church's funds. They also became part of All Saints Episcopal Church. 

This is a powerful story that shows how prayer and hard work can help in times of need. God is a loving God who has many blessings in store all of us.... This book will help you to feel his presence and power. 


Classroom Friendly Supplies - Pencil Sharpener Review

First of all... look how cute this pencil sharpener is from Classroom Friendly Supplies! I love it! It makes a great addition to our homeschool supplies!

Our family was given the opportunity to review "The sharpener that all the teachers are talking about!". I am so happy we were. As a homeschool family we are always on the lookout for ways to make our school day flow more smoothly. If you have ever taught a child you would know that they break their pencil lead a ton throughout the school day. Before using this pencil sharpener we had an automatic one that we would use. We would have to pull it out, plug it in, use it... then put it back up. I know that might not seem like a burden to some but when your child breaks his pencil lead three or four times everyday... it can become very stressful to deal with. UNTIL NOW!

Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener was created by an elementary school teacher who started selling these amazing sharpeners after seeing how well they worked in their own classroom. Now to tell you what I love about the sharpener.... it's lightweight.. which is great when my boys both want to move it from one desk to the other. It's also easy to attach to a desk without leaving a place when removed. What I truly love about this sharpener is the way it holds the pencils in place while you are using it. If you look at the pictures I posted of the sharpener you will see those two black square pieces on the top of it. You push those together and the teeth open up inside the sharpener for you to put your pencil in. When you let go it holds your pencil in place so you can just sharpen. Also, the little tray that catches all the pencil shavings is easy to open and unload. Plus... the sharpener works wonderfully... always a perfect sharpen! 

My two sons (ages 11 and 10) both love using this pencil sharpener and I love that it's easy for them to use!

I highly recommend Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpeners to homeschool families, schools, churches... or just at home for your own personal use. You will be glad you have it! 

Be sure to check out all the colors of pencil sharpeners you can get from Classroom Friendly Supplies! 


What We're Reading In August 2017

Family Read Aloud:

We will finish up, Boyhood and Beyond, that we started last month. We will also be reading, Lincoln - A Photobiography, written by: Russell Freedman and The Lincoln Memorial, written by: Mary Firestone. Both of these books go along with our Civics lessons for the month.


What I'm Reading:

I will be continuing my Bible study, Lazarus Awakening, that I started in July. I will also be enjoying, You Can Do This by: Tricia Lott Williford. I was given this book for a review and I can't wait to begin reading it. "It's time to agree with God about who he says you are.." The author, Tricia, shares stories and strategies to help inspire woman to develop the confidence to stand firm in the face of the blows, losses and disappointments in life. 

Aidan (11 years old):

For August.. we went with Aidan's book choice. He will be reading, The Bronze Bow, written by: Elizabeth George Speare. This summer we were looking for new books to add to his school list and he came across this one. The Bronze Bow is about a boy named Daniel. He witnesses his father's crucifixion by Roman soldiers. Daniel yearns for vengeance..... In a nearby Capernaum, Jesus of Nazareth is teaching a different lesson. How will Daniel's story unfold....   

Noah (10 years old):

This month is Noah's book choice! He will be reading, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid - Double Down and Diary Of A Wimpy Kid - Cabin Fever... he's been wanting to read these two books to be caught up with the Diary Of A Wimpy Kid collection. 

What will you be reading this month? 

The Essential Guide To Prayer - Book Review

Book Description:

Life-Changing Teaching on Prayer from One of the Topic's Leading Authors
Based on years of ministry and experience, international prayer leader and bestselling author Dutch Sheets presents a real-world, hands-on foundation for prayer. With wisdom and practical insight, he helps you develop the core of an effective prayer life: a stronger, lasting relationship with God as Father and friend. He also shows you how to:
· make prayer a vital part of your life
· pray alone and in groups
· persist in prayer until you see God's answers
· become a powerful intercessor for those you love
· and more!

He even includes questions at the end of each chapter to help you immediately implement what you're learning.

My Review:

A prayer life with God is the best thing you can give yourself. You must submit yourself to the Lord to find the blessings He has for you. This book helps you find your motivation for prayer by the power of love. 

This is a good read and will help you on building the relationship you desire with God 

You Know You're A Mom... - Book Review

Book Description:

For every woman who has posted 800 pictures of her baby on Instagram.
One day that little plus sign appears on the stick, and you realize your life is about to change forever—you’re going to be a mom! Whether you’re still in the days of 2am feedings and loads of dirty diapers, or you’ve made it to that bittersweet moment of their college graduation, this book will make you laugh out loud with its insightful and funny observations about motherhood.  From the days when you read every parenting book ever written—while your husband plays golf—to the hours you spent polishing up your adult child’s resume, parenting is a roller coaster. Harry H. Harrison Jr. makes it just a little easier with his trademark humor and truisms as you learn that your job as a mom is the most important one you’ll ever have.

My Review:

This book is adorable!!! It will make you laugh and shed a tear (of joy, of course). This sweet book takes you through the different steps of Motherhood... from having that new precious baby boy or girl... to making homemade chicken soup for your twenty-one year old when he or she is feeling sick. 

This book is a must read for all Mothers. You Know You're A Mom takes you on a motherhood journey (remembering the past and embracing the future). This would be a great gift book for the Mothers in your life.  

Perspective In Action - Book Review

Book Description:
Using a fun and accessible graphic novel format, Perspective in Action features 33 easy-to-follow demonstrations to teach artists the major discoveries in perspective. 

Perspective is a fundamental element in the development of art and for understanding spatial relationships, but it is an underserved topic in the world of art instruction. Author and artist David Chelsea takes readers through the major perspective-related developments in history, teaching them how to re-create these same experiments by leading artists in all fields (including drawing, painting, and sculpture). Covering a wide-range of mediums (pen and ink, paint, chalk, digital art, woodwork, and more), Perspective in Action gives readers a more hands-on approach to perspective, as opposed to the usual theoretical presentations found in other books.

My Review:
I think David Chelsea did a great job at bringing this topic (perspective) to life. This is a complicated process and the author has done a great job at helping the reader to learn and understand. Through interesting pictures, teaching the basics and moving on to perspective it helps to understand the process. Perspective is a great tool for artists and this book would be a great source of information to anyone interested in learning more abut this tool.