27.3.15

The Hobbit The Battle of The Five Armies Blu-ray Giveaway!

The Blu-ray release of The Hobbit The Battle of The Five Armies is here!

The final installment of The Hobbit is here! Warner Bros. is proud to bring you the Blu-Ray release of The Hobbit The Battle of The Five Armies! Mouse over the Interactive map of Middle-Earth and take the quiz to find out if you're Brave like Bilbo!


The Hobbit The Battle of The Five Armies App:
• Are you Brave like Bilbo? Take the quiz to find out if you have the bravery it takes to journey through Middle Earth!
• Mouse over the Interactive Map to learn fun facts about Middle-Earth.
• Watch the official trailer & click the box art to bring the film home today!



From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," the third in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpieceThe Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world.
Special Features on the Blu-Ray combo pack include:

• New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth Part 3
• Recruiting the Five Armies
• Completing Middle-earth: A Six-Part Saga
• Completing Middle-earth: A Seventeen-Year Journey
• The Last Goodbye: Behind the Scenes
• Music Video
• Trailers
#TheHobbit
Own it on Blu-ray NOW
https://www.facebook.com/TheHobbitMovie/app_167888973227524

Disclosure: A copy of this movie is being provided to this blogger for this social media promotion. No other compensation is being provided. This is being disclosed per FTC guidelines.

They are giving a Blu-Ray copy of The Hobbit The Battle of The Five Armies to one lucky reader!

Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Blu-ray The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.
The prize will be sent via FedEx or USPS. No P.O. Boxes please. The assets included within this message were delivered to promote Warner Home Video. I am working with Warner Home Video, or that Warner Home Video supplied these materials.

Book Review: Easter Stories

Easter Stories: Classic Tales for the Holy Season is filled with short stories that will help turn your focus to Jesus Christ. If your family enjoys reading together, consider this book. Many of our favorite authors are contributors. 

I remember watching Ben Hur as a child, but I didn't remember much about it. The excerpt from the book Ben Hur that is shared in Easter Stories is preceded by a brief explanation which grabbed my interest. After reading the short story which placed him in an active role at the time of Jesus Christ's crucifixion, I want to watch the movie again through adult eyes. Other stories are more light-hearted, but almost all of them bring the focus of Easter back to the true meaning "selected for their spiritual value and literary integrity."



About Easter Stories:
From the folks that brought us Their Name is Today, NOAH, and Rasmus and the Vagabond, they have book called Easter Stories that feature a number of authors and stories that I know your children will love!

Easter Stories includes time-honored favorites from world-famous storytellers such as C.S. Lewis, Leo Tolstoy, Selma Lagerlof, Oscar Wilde, Elizabeth Goudge, Maxim Gorky, Ruth Sawyer, Anton Chekhov, and Walter Wangerin – as well as many you’ve never heard before. Illustrated with original woodcuts. 383 pg / multiple authors

Everyone who believes Easter is about more than Easter egg hunts will be grateful for this new anthology of short stories that illumine the true meaning of the season. Selected for their spiritual value and literary quality, these classic tales capture the spirit of Holy Week and Easter in a way that will captivate readers of all ages. Parents and grandparents will find that children love to hear these stories read aloud, year after year.

Find out more 
HERE!
Disclosure:
A copy of this book was provided for the purpose of this review. This is disclosed as per FTC guidelines.
Jennifer




Giveaway! One of you can win a copy of this book!

26.3.15

The Virtual Refrigerator





Welcome to The Virtual Refrigerator.  This wraps up our March theme, and I searched my archives to share a green picture with you. Joseph drew this turtle several years ago.

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 




24.3.15

Movie Review: Confessions of a Prodigal Son

The following is a sponsored movie review.

Confessions of a Prodigal Son produced by Mark Mangrum is a modern twist of the parable from the Bible. My family watched this movie together through an online viewing link.

Parents, preview it and use your own judgement before watching with young children. Had I previewed it before we all watched it together, I probably wouldn't have included my son as it was portrayed as a story progressing, and right and wrong choices weren't always clearly delineated. Circumstances portrayed were also beyond his age experiences and understanding. I don't recommend it for young audiences. 

The movie revolves around a college boy who decides he no longer wants to be accountable to his parents but still feels entitled to his college fund. Following the Biblical parable of the prodigal son, he wastes his inheritance and his life until he finally returns home broken. Unlike the Biblical account, this version has a modern setting and there is no brother as he is welcomed back home by his parents. There are also friends he turns to throughout the movie, and their influence and support wavers from completely wrong to surprisingly helpful.

My girls are both in high school, and discussions of college have become more and more frequent. When discussing this film with me, my oldest daughter shared how the college professor's words didn't always seem to reflect the same beliefs, that he seemed to be trying to get the students to realize something, but what that something was remained unclear. 

The kids quickly recognized Kevin Sorbo, the actor who plays the father in this film is the atheist professor in God's Not Dead. The father in the movie is a preacher, but God is rarely a part of the movie other than making fun of another student on campus who led Bible studies.

Not necessarily a movie with moral lessons, it did portray a redemptive story. Though raised in church, the main character seemed to make it to college without a clear understanding of right and wrong choices. Consequences for the his actions, while significant in context, almost make it seem like it is okay to go out and do whatever he wants, then in the end there is forgiveness. The drinking and partying which led to the main character no longer being in control of his own future seemed to first be presented as desirable until he had to face the consequences. 

Movie Trailer:


The music is catchy and also shares words of encouragement. "Come to the place where grace and mercy shines." The producer shared that the film was made to encourage people to restore relationships.  

What the film did for us was provide topics for further discussion. The student leading the Bible study who was ridiculed for that compared with the dancer who stood firm, both were apparently believers, yet only one was someone that the other students wanted to get to know better. My daughter appreciated that the female lead was portrayed not just as a Christian, but that her decisions were clearly based on what she believed. 

Disclosure: A preview of this movie was provided for the purpose of this review. This is a sponsored post. This is disclosed per FTC guidelines. 
Jennifer

23.3.15

Book Review: Mothering From Scratch

This book was provided by Family Christian for the purpose of this review. 

Mothering from Scratch is a book of encouragement for mothers. Co-authored by Melinda Means and Kathy Helgemo who blog at Motheringfromscratch.com, they subtitle it Finding the Best Parenting Style for You and Your Family. Would you like your own copy? Family Christian is giving away a certificate for $10 which you can apply to this or anything else in their store. Details below.

When I cook, I rarely follow recipes exactly as they are written. These authors compare mothering to cooking, and share how we may use different recipes but still end up with delicious food.


 Mothering From Scratch

Practical advice is highlighted throughout the book as "Lovin Spoonfuls." For example, if you find yourself tied to the computer, unplug it and stop using it for the day when the battery runs out.  Questions at the end of each chapter "Stirrin' Your Thoughts" provide practical insight. "Lets Get Cookin'" suggests ideas for setting goals.


Topics addressed in these pages range from self-care to mentors, God given gifts, and priorities. This book is filled with examples and based on Scripture.

If you need practical advice from moms who know you might just tailor it to fit your own needs, look for this well written book. 



Browse Family Christian's Assortment of Christian books, bibles, gifts, and more. When you shop, you give: 100% of profits are donated to Christian charities!


Disclaimer: As a Family Christian blogger, I had the opportunity to post about these specific titles in exchange for a gift certificate.  Purchases made through the links above could make me eligible for an additional gift certificate, in addition to the affiliate income. 
Jennifer
GIVEAWAY

Family Christian is sharing a $10 appreciation certificate with one of you! It is open to US/CAN. Winner will be chosen on 3/30/15 and have 24 hours to respond to email notification of winning or a new winner will be chosen.
Giveaway below! 

Homeschool to Home Business

Visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog. I shared a guest post about how our family incorporates hands on lessons with our Cuts By Laser business.
Jennifer

21.3.15

Scripture And A Snapshot


"Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!" Psalm 90:17 
     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. Thanks for sharing.

     We were blessed this week to find a new violin teacher for my oldest daughter. I am excited about her starting lessons again. 
Jennifer

Scripture and Snapshot




20.3.15

Time Saving Tips for Easter Dinner

The following post is sponsored by HoneyBaked Ham. 

Do you plan a huge meal for Easter Dinner? Holidays are a big deal in our family. We typically plan a huge dinner and invite family and friends over, alternating between our house and my parent's house. This year, we are celebrating Easter with a little less stress. Are you in charge of the preparation and planning for your family? I'm thankful that my mom and I share this responsibility. Easter is early this year – on Sunday, April 5. And HoneyBaked makes it easy to start planning now.



#HoneyBakedEaster

These tips can help save time and make the occasion less stressful: 
  • Host the meal at someone else's house. This may seem a little unusual, but hear me out. Growing up, I remember traveling to see grandparents for most holidays, and those are some of my favorite holiday memories. Now, my mom and I alternate cooking and hosting family meals. By bringing the meal to her house, we split the responsibilities.
  • Save preparation time by making side dish and dessert selections as well as ham, turkey, or both from a stand-alone HoneyBaked Ham Store. I've enjoyed HoneyBaked Ham for years. My brother-in-law brought one last Easter. HoneyBaked offers a variety of easy and delicious Easter meal solutions. Until I actually stepped into their store, I wasn't aware of the variety of selections they offered. You can get a sneak peek online, but take the time to visit the store ahead of time and you might also be surprised that you can find almost everything you need there. (Selections vary by location.) HoneyBaked offers premium products that are convenient and simple-to-serve.
  • Reconsider holiday decorations. Do you put away themed decorations from St. Patrick's Day just in time to pull out bunnies at Easter? Save the bunnies and hats for the magic show. Your family is going to be just as happy around the table together without the themed decor.

#HoneyBakedEasterRelax and enjoy the Easter holiday with your family. Make the most of the time that you do have together. Serving ham for Easter is a special tradition. Serve the best tasting, quality ham your family will enjoy – HoneyBaked Ham.


#HoneyBakedEaster

We enjoyed the #HoneyBakedEaster Mini Ham spiral sliced Bone-In Ham and smoked Turkey Breast (they also offer it roasted.) When we picked up the ham and turkey, we were told "don't heat just eat." That made it so easy to just unpack onto a platter and serve it. 


#HoneyBakedEaster

We added a salad (quick to just wash a bagged mix), veggies that we cooked in the slow cooker while we were at church, and already cooked rolls, and the only thing that took much time to prepare were the deviled eggs which my daughter is expected to make for every holiday meal.



#HoneyBakedEaster

My girls and I love cheesecake, and we discovered a new favorite when we learned that HoneyBaked Ham stores also have desserts. Baking cheesecake takes hours, but the cheesecake we purchased from HoneyBaked tastes better than any cheesecake I've ever made. 

#HoneyBakedEaster

Don't miss this exclusive, limited-time offer as you plan for your Easter meal: coupon for
  • $5 off any purchase of $50 or moreOffer valid 3.14.15 – 4.4.15. Must present coupon at time of purchase to receive offer. May not be combined with any other offer. One coupon per person at participating retail store locations. While supplies last. 

  • "Since 1957, HoneyBaked has been known for the most flavorful, moist and tender Ham you’ll find anywhere, finished with its signature sweet, crunchy glaze. Each HoneyBaked Ham is slow-smoked for more than twenty hours for unparalleled tenderness. Finally, each Ham is hand-glazed in each store for an incredible taste that’s second to none. Spiral-sliced and ready to serve, it’s as easy as it is delicious and gluten free."

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by HoneyBaked Ham. This is disclosed as per FTC guidelines. 
Jennifer

19.3.15

The Virtual Refrigerator



Welcome to The Virtual Refrigerator. Our challenge for March is St. Patrick's Day or green artbut any art related post is welcome to link with us here and on our group Pinterest board. 

We just started another review for ARTistic Pursuits. The pictures I am sharing today are a sneak peak. Come back soon to read that complete review. 
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 




18.3.15

Pattern Explorer: A Schoolhouse Crew Review




Even before this review, we were very familiar with The Critical Thinking Co. as our family has used many of their resources through the years. This was the first time for us to try Pattern Explorer. Designed for grades 5-7, I used this level 1 Pattern Explorer workbook with my 5th grade son. It is not a stand-alone math curriculum, rather a resource to further develop mathematical reasoning skills through problem solving. Instead of a separate teacher's manual, hints and solutions are provided at the end of this book. 


Presentation can make so much difference in acceptance of something. My introduction of this to my son was "Would you like to try Ninja Math?" While it did grab his attention, actually working through it didn't become a requested addition to his school routine. 

Ninja math was just one of the sections. Activities also rotated through pattern predictor, equality explorer, sequence sleuth, and number finder. Each of the five sections provided unique mathematical reasoning challenges, and the level of difficulty increases as the student progresses through the lessons. For that reason, we worked through the book in order. Each lesson was 1-2 pages and took from 10-45 minutes to complete. 

Sequence Sleuth required figuring out complex sequences. Though Math Ninja was the most anticipated section initially because of the name, Sequence Sleuth was actually his favorite section to tackle. At one point, he spoke out "I see." The point when my son actually figured out what was expected was clear as he worked through the pages. 

 



As engaging as "ninja math" may sound, this was not all fun and games for my 10 year old son. We worked through these challenging problems together, both out loud and with him writing. Most of the time the ones that were clocks or charts or patterns were written, and the ones that could be worked just by thinking through were discussed but not worked out in the workbook. These problems required more than his typical approach to math. They required a higher level of problem solving. Yes, some problems were erased a few times until he figured them out. Adding fractions, finding missing numbers, and algebraic type problems with hearts or circles instead of typical A-B-C components were just some of the challenges included. The Equality Explorer problems used a scale graphic. From the known variables problems had to be applied to a second set to calculate the unknown value balancing the scale.

Though not my son's favorite, I do plan to continue working through the problems in this book with him until he completes the book. I like that it is making him look at problems in a different way and think things through.

My 9th grader also looked through the Pattern Explorer workbook. At first she said it was a little confusing, but once she figured out how to solve the problems she answered them quickly. 

I clearly see the benefit of using this workbook, and I recommend it especially to others in the pre-algebra stage. I think kids who enjoy problem solving types of puzzles will enjoy this. I think I would have enjoyed this book as a child.

Others on the Schoolhouse Crew reviewed this or these other products:

ABC SongGame
MathAnalogiesBeg
MathAnalogies1
MathAnalogies2
Editor inChief1
Editor inChief2
World History

Critical Thinking Company Review
Jennifer

14.3.15

Scripture and a Snapshot

Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.  Hebrews 13:8

     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. Thanks for sharing.

     We took a family bike ride tonight, and I noticed how much more the pear blossoms had opened. I love seeing the blossoms after all of the rain we have had. Are you seeing signs of spring yet where you live? 
Jennifer

Scripture and Snapshot




11.3.15

The Virtual Refrigerator



Welcome to The Virtual Refrigerator. Our challenge for March is St. Patrick's Day or green artbut any art related post is welcome to link with us here and on our group Pinterest board. 

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 




9.3.15

American Girl Sale at zulily - Save up to 30%!


**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Attention American Girl fans! zulily.com has American Girl dolls, clothes and accessories on sale today, up to 30% off! American Girl items always go fast at zulily, check out the sale now >> American Girl Sale - Up to 30% Off



American Girl Light Skin, Layered Caramel Hair, Blue Eye 18'' Doll & Outfit Set
$153.00
$104.99


American Girl School Stripe Dress - Girls
$44.00
$39.99


American Girl Starry Doll Holder
$24.00
$20.99

About American Girl - Centered on celebrating girls and all that they can be, American Girl® is all about products that spark the imagination and teach the importance of friends and family. Made to educate, entertain and inspire, this indispensable book collection features fun crafts, brain-building exercises and problem-solving strategies that will stick with a girl every step of the way.
Jennifer