3.3.15

Book Review: Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe


Do you think you have a guardian angel? The Bible tells of angels that will encamp around us and deliver us. 

"All night
All day
Angels watchin' 
over me"

On my bookshelf are two thin hardback children's books that I purchased over 20 years ago, also written by Max Lucado. Tell Me The Story and Tell Me The Secrets were unlike any other fiction book I'd read before. Truths were shared in the fiction stories beautifully illustrated by Ron Dicianni. Several of those stories also feature angels watching over and even fighting for us. The images are powerful.

This is a fiction story like the first writings by him that made me interested in reading more and more by Max Lucado. It features angels in unexpected situations and using surprisingly modern techniques to reach the characters. Though this "what if" girl gives a lot of leeway for situations that might could happen, the ones in this book are a bit far fetched even for me. Despite that, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the story. 


Mostly because of the angels in the story, this book reminds me of Frank Peretti's books that I read long ago that explained unseen spiritual battles happening around us. No matter what you believe about angels, this book will give you a different perspective. Parts seemed quite far-fetched, yet other parts seemed completely realistic. The characters were easy to understand, and I found myself wanting things to work out for the main character, Chelsea Chambers. Chelsea inherited The Higher Grounds Cafe from her mom, but she also inherits unexpected obligations that can accompany a family business.

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.
Jennifer



Book Review: Esther Royal Beauty

Esther: Royal Beauty (Dangerous Beauty Series #1)

For the past few months, my daughters and my mom have all been studying the book of Esther in their Sunday school classes. Somehow my husband and I ended up in a class with a different lesson plan, but I've loved seeing my girls studying with my mom from a book that I love. Esther is inspiring to me. She isn't a perfect example for us to live up to, rather a girl faced with choices that ultimately lead to saved lives. Isn't that, in fact, just what we should be striving for after all? The question I ask myself from that story is what if I was put here for such a time as this. 

Angela Hunt's newest release: Esther: Royal Beauty (Dangerous Beauty Series #1) is the first book in her Dangerous Beauty series. (Bathsheba and Delilah are planned next.) Hunt is an award winning author. This book looks at Esther in a different way than I have read about her before. It is a fiction book based on facts. The story is shared from a first person point of view, first as a young girl dreaming of being a queen, then as the queen who plays such an important role in saving so many Jewish lives. Another character (Harbonah the eunuch) enters the first person narrative for later chapters in the book. It isn't a Bible study, but a novel, and as such is a different approach to presenting truths from God's Word.

My daughter started reading it this week and shared these thoughts:
"I like the story line. I definitely do not think this book should be read as if it were based on the Bible, though. Of all Esther's characteristics described in the story, I don't remember most, if any, being described in the true story. But it is kind of neat to imagine what someone could have been thinking. If I were writing this novel, from reading the first few pages, it would seem like a point about our spiritual beauty being more important, rather than physical beauty, should be made, or maybe the heroine of the story would realize that that is more important."


Disclosure: The book shared above was provided for this review. Family Christian will provide certificate to winner. Affiliate links are included in this post. This is disclosed as per FTC guidelines. 
Jennifer


Click below to enter a giveaway for a copy of this book, provided by Family Christian: 

2.3.15

Protection to Depend On

Do you or someone you know experience bladder leakage? @Depend has started a movement just for you! #dropyourpants #underwareness Do you have any tips or advice for others experiencing bladder leakage? Did you know there are more people with bladder leakage in their 20’s than their 80’s!? Sixty five million people experience bladder leakage!

Depend offers dependable help and they want to decrease the stigma associated with their product that is necessary for so many people with their #Underwareness campaign. Click on the link for a free sample.
Over 65 million Americans experience bladder leakage. To help support them and bring the condition and Depend Underwear out of hiding, Depend has created a new social movement and charitable cause called Underwareness to help to break down the stigma of incontinence and the protection available with Depend Underwear.

(Provided By Kimberly Clark)

Depend will donate $1, up to $3 million, over the next three years to charities that advance the research, education and awareness of bladder leakage for: Every pant drop, photo and video shared. Using #Underwareness and #DropYourPants; and every personal video made about what Underwareness means to you that is uploaded to YouTube and tagged #Underwareness and #DropYourPants 

• Depend is not just for old people! Depend is for all ages and bladder leakage is a common condition.
• Depend is thin and comfortable to wear, it is not a big, bulky diaper! 
• You shouldn’t be afraid to wear Depend! Millions of people experience bladder leakage and it’s ok to reach for a thin, comfortable option. You no longer need to think that Depend garments are for people with a condition that is ‘way worse than mine.’


About Depend
"Depend provides a variety of discreet products that help people regain their freedom and get their lives back, including: 

Depend Real Fit for Men and Silhouette for Women briefs: Look, fit and feel like real underwear and feature a cloth-like fabric for a sleek, ultra-smooth fit. 

Depend Underwear with Fit-Flex protection: Features more Lycra stands for a smooth and comfortable close-to-the-body fit.


For Women:
- Depend® Silhouette® Briefs for Women
- Depend® for Women Underwear with FIT-FLEX™ Protection

For Men:
- Depend® Real Fit® Briefs for Men
- Depend® for Men Underwear With FIT-FLEX™ Protection"

  • Claim your free samples today by visiting the Depend landing page and clicking on the "Get a Sample" button located at the top right-hand side of the screen. Then, select which sample you would like to receive and wait for them to arrive.

  • Disclosure: Today’s post is sponsored by Depend for their #dropyourpants for #underwareness campaign. This is disclosed per FTC guidelines. 
Jennifer

28.2.15

Scripture & A Snapshot


Two weeks ago I shared a picture of the first buds we saw on the blueberry bushes. It is still incredibly cold here, but there are signs of spring around the farm already. The one I'm most anticipating watching as it continues to develop is our wisteria. Seven years ago my husband built an arbor in our front yard. I ordered wisteria plants and planted them beside each of the eight support posts. Every year we have watched it, hoping it would bloom. This year for the very first time, there are tiny buds on the wisteria on the arbor! I know it isn't the clearest picture of the buds. I took it at dusk and the flash kept reflecting off of it. Look a little deeper in the picture. There are hundreds of buds! They are on every branch! I hope it does bloom this year. 

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3

     Thank you for joining Scripture & A Snapshot.  Leave a comment with a verse that God has placed on your heart this week, or leave a link to your own post sharing a Scripture and a Snapshot. Take time to visit  some of the other links, too. If you would like to join our group Pinterest board for Scripture & A Snapshot, simply follow the board then let me know your Pinterest name or email used there so that I can add you to it.
Jennifer

Scripture and Snapshot




27.2.15

Roman Roads Media Giveaway!

Last year we were privileged to review Old Western Culture history curriculum by Roman Roads Media. They recently shared about their newly released Romans series.

They are busy filming and producing the 3rd year (Christendom) and are in the process of publishing the remaining units of year 2 (The Romans) over the next few months.


Read about their 2015 Great Books Challenge for Parents.
The first unit is The Aeneid, and I get to share it with one of you!


Disclaimer: This giveaway is shared and provided entirely by Romans Road Media. No compensation has been provided to this blogger for this giveaway. One winner (chosen at random) will receive 1 full set of The Aeneid ($62 value). This giveaway begins on 2/28/15 and runs for two weeks.
Jennifer
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Audio Theater Review: In Freedom's Cause

The following CDs were provided by Heirloom Audio Productions for the purpose of this TOS Schoolhouse Crew review.  



We received In Freedom's Cause Single Package which includes the CD set as well as downloadable components. 


Almost as soon as we started listening to In Freedom's Cause, I heard excitement in my son's voice. "Mamma, Ned and Gerald are in this one!" He had asked while we were waiting on the package to arrive in the mail, and I had (incorrectly) told him they probably would not be as it was a different story. We first met the young heroes woven into Under Drake's Flag the first audio theatre dramatization by Heirloom Audio ProductionsTo my son's delight, Ned and Gerald are indeed in this story, too,  but circumstances make it seem as if they are completely new characters. You might also be surprised how many of the British cast members you already know from other productions. 

Do you have a favorite Psalm? I love how Scripture is woven into these stories. Psalm 23 is the prayer of William Wallace. The downloadable poster includes these verses in a historical version. 

A friend recently shared a picture of a speedometer with a piece of paper taped over the range higher than 60mph and NO! written on it in bold wide marker. "Got teenage drivers?" it asked (excuse that grammar.) I have two teenagers with permits which means I rarely drive. They are both cautious, but I'm still observant as they chauffeur me and their siblings back and forth to errands and activities. When my husband drives, I might choose to read a book, but that isn't an option when my girls drive. Audio books, though, are perfectly suited to our needs.

In Freedom's Cause produced by Bill Heid is the second dramatization by Heirloom Audio Production. G.A. Henty's stories promote positive characteristics while teaching history. The elements in the story include action and adventure, and ultimately good overcomes evil. In the Bible you can read of the Sword of the Spirit and the Sword of Truth. In this story, Ned's father's sword is as important as any of the characters. There is no doubt that God is guiding these characters. 

Just like the first production, access is also provided to a large downloadable PDF study guide which includes questions, vocabulary, bibliography, and a Bible study guide. A recommended reading list for parents is also include, and they even provided an e-book.



The downloadable study guide (we easily accessed it through iBooks) enhanced the story with additional information. We learned that Scotland's heroes William Wallace and Robert Bruce were even considered legends like King Author. They were, however, real historical characters of the Scottish War of Independence, and the records of their bravery are true. The 800 year old history lesson is filled with truths that still apply to us today.

We were excited to learn that Heirloom Audio Productions is currently recording their third Henty audio drama! With Lee in Virginia is set to be released around Memorial Day.

Follow them online: 
Jennifer 

In Freedom's Cause Review

26.2.15

The Virtual Refrigerator




Welcome to The Virtual Refrigerator. We have two challenges for February: Valentines and birds, but any art related post is welcome to link with us here and on our group Pinterest board. 

We are cleaning out shelves and I pulled out all of our Artistic Pursuits books. Joseph looked through his drawing book and tried two new techniques in these pictures.




Our weekly blog hop is co-hosted by Every Bed of RosesHomeschool Coffee Break, and a Glimpse of our Life. Link up your art tutorials or projects that your children have been working on. Then pin the same to our virtual fridge by joining our group pinterest board, just ask any of us to add you. Join us at the blogs of any of the four bloggers who are hosting the Virtual Refrigerator. Link up, visit others who join us, try something new, then come back and share that, too. We want to see your child's masterpiece on our #VirtualFridge 
Jennifer





Click these links to visit the co-hosts' blogs.   
 Every Bed of Roses 

24.2.15

Poetry in Poppins Book Nook

Affiliate links may be included in this post. 


The theme for this month's Poppin's Book Nook is Poetry.  

My mom has read to and taught my kids poetry in years past, but it has been somewhat ignored this school year, so this was a good excuse to add a little rhyming fun to our lessons. 

We have laughed together reading from Shel Silverstein's book Where the Sidewalk Ends and even read a few of the poems out loud to friends. 


Apparently this book was around during my own childhood, but I didn't discover Shel Silverstein until after I was grown.

These poems are silly, sometimes nonsensical, and fun to read. 

The poem with the same name as the book shares of a place that children know... 
Others include silly tales of crocodiles, snowmen, and even rules for marriage (including sewing holey socks.)

This wraps up the 2014-2015 Poppins Book Nook series and our last post with the group. Click here to see other posts shared over the past year. 

Visit the other Poppins Book Nook bloggers and read their kids' responses:

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God's Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual MayhemPreschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies Kathy's Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~  My Bright Firefly ~ A Mommy's Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~  The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A "Peace" of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am  ~ Simple Living Mama
Jennifer

21.2.15

Scripture & A Snapshot



But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:14-17 

     The girls and I are going to a conference this weekend, studying God's Word and worshiping with friends.  I've set this to auto-post and will visit your blogs later. I hope your weekend is filled with evidences of His great love surrounding you.

     Thank you for joining Scripture & A Snapshot.  Leave a comment with a verse that God has placed on your heart this week, or leave a link to your own post sharing a Scripture and a Snapshot. Take time to visit  some of the other links, too. If you would like to join our group Pinterest board for Scripture & A Snapshot, simply follow the board then let me know your Pinterest name or email used there so that I can add you to it.
Jennifer

Scripture and Snapshot




20.2.15

Cuts By Laser

Over the past few months, I've featured several products from our Cuts By Laser shop. Thanks to tips from some incredibly helpful blog friends, we just opened a new storefront online! Visit our shop here: http://cutsbylaser.storenvy.com and let me know what you think.

Some of the things that don't end up in our web store are customized orders. We are able to create wooden etched gifts with your logo or custom design.



Our current project is a felt map puzzle of the country. Have you seen the graphics illustrating the size of Alaska in relation to other states?

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Unlike our wooden map puzzle with Alaska smaller and placed with Hawaii under the rest of the country, our felt puzzle features pieces shaped like each shape and with properly proportioned sizes compared to other states. It was interesting comparing the sizes. Using this ratio, Alaska is bigger than my hand, yet Delaware and Rhode Island are each smaller than a dime. Each state is cut individually, compare Alaska with Louisiana:



These don't include a frame, instead can be arranged on a flannel board or as a floor puzzle. Alaska can be placed in its proper position in the northwest corner of our country, and Hawaii can be positioned further to the left than a typical frame allows. Encourage your child's geography efforts while they play. Cuts By Laser is also on Facebook.
Jennifer

19.2.15

The Virtual Refrigerator



Welcome to The Virtual Refrigerator. We have two challenges for February: Valentines and birds. but any art related post is welcome to link with us here and on our group Pinterest board. 

The last day of The Great American Backyard Bird Count was cold and rainy here, so we didn't add to the official count. Maybe we'll have some bird art for you next week. Instead, I have one more Valentine to share. My mom and I went to a nearby painting class last month, and I gave my completed painting to my husband.


We used acrylics on canvas, and I enjoyed layering the colors. The teacher had us dry our canvases with hair dryers between layers when they weren't supposed to blend, like before we drew the trees and branches and again before adding the flowers. I also enjoyed seeing the vast differences in each of our final paintings though we all received the same instructions. The kids didn't join us for this class, but they have already made plans for another afternoon of painting with Grandmommie. 


Our weekly blog hop is co-hosted by Every Bed of RosesHomeschool Coffee Break, and a Glimpse of our Life. Link up your art tutorials or projects that your children have been working on. Then pin the same to our virtual fridge by joining our group pinterest board, just ask any of us to add you. Join us at the blogs of any of the four bloggers who are hosting the Virtual Refrigerator. Link up, visit others who join us, try something new, then come back and share that, too.

Last week I shared a little about the fridge where some of our masterpieces are displayed. 
Jennifer






Click these links to visit the co-hosts' blogs.   
 Every Bed of Roses 

17.2.15

FREE e-guides from Craftsy!

Affiliate links are included in this post.
Craftsy
What is an eGuide?
An eGuide is a free guide that users can download to their computer in PDF format, or view in a web browser. In addition to all of the useful information these contain about your followers’ favorite hobbies, many of these include a class discount offer within the eGuide.
Free Photography eGuide from Craftsy!
#ad - Hone your photography skills this year by learning about exposure for better photos. Download this Craftsy eGuide now while it’s free! 

Photography
eGuide: Understanding Exposure for Better Photos Now: Beginner Photography Tutorials
Cake Decorating
eGuide: Not-So-Basic Buttercream Decorating Ideas
Food & Cooking
eGuide: Delicious Doughnut Recipes You Can Make at Home
Paper Crafts
eGuide: 6+ Stash-Busting Paper Craft Projects
Drawing
eGuide: Drawing the Human Face: A Primer
Painting
eGuide: Beginner's Guide to the World of Watercolor
Gardening
eGuide: Success With Container Gardening
Woodworking
eGuide: Woodturning Basics for Beginners
Disclaimer: Affiliate links are embedded into this post. I will earn a small percentage of sales and credit for new Craftsy accounts created.
Jennifer
Craftsy Fine Art