In the Morning

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3 


For The Temple Review

For The Temple is the newest audio dramatization from Heirloom Audio based on the book by G.A. Henty with the same title. For this review of For The Temple, we received the set of two CDs as well as a download link to the fifty-one page corresponding study guide. 

This story is unlike many of Henty’s stories that tell of wars in more recent years. Instead it is set just a few decades after the time when Jesus walked the earth. Many of the characters are familiar names and correlating experiences from the pages of the New Testament. The study guide repeatedly connects scripture to the tale told in the audio dramatization. Beginning in the year AD 67, the story tells of battles during New Testament times through AD 70.

What are your favorite history books? The Bible is our ultimate book of truth, and I loved hearing this story bringing that time period to life as we listened. This story tied in perfectly with our current Sunday morning Bible study at church which also mentioned the historian Josephus. 

Elieazor, Simeon, Titus... even Jesus is mentioned. And not from the Bible, but from the history book covering the same period, Josephus plays a big role in this story. 

One of my most memorable teachers was in fifth grade at a small Christian school. Actually it was a combination of fourth and fifth grades for me, but that’s a story for another time. That teacher taught us the Bible and taught Bible based history in a way that made me love learning. I strive to be a teacher like her. I remember first hearing from her of the evil Nero and his atrocities against God’s people. 

Henty’s story, retold in this dramatization, tells of that same time period, even including the evil Nero, but shared through the viewpoint of a young Jewish boy determined to fight to defend the temple. He ultimately learns how the role of the temple changed with Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. 

The study guide provided so many extra ways to incorporate lessons from this story into our homeschool. I recently realized that I needed to resume my focus on spelling with my son. He used a dictionary as recommended for the Defining Words sections. Words such as stalwart, diplomacy, fortitude, and proficient were a few of the positive ones. Listening Well gives questions that can be read before listening to each chapter. Thinking Further offers, logic, mapping, Bible study, discussion topics, and much more. Some maps and pictures are included, too. 

My son said it had a good plot— protecting the temple then making friends with the enemy, and learning about the other temple. He also thought all of the voices sounded even more realistic than before. 

My daughter appreciated that there were fewer fighting scenes than some of the other Heirloom Audio dramatizations that we have listened to as a family. 

I discovered that while I have enjoyed listening to these stories on road trips in the past, I was able to more fully attend to the details while sitting in our living room and listening. 

“There are always more adventures to be had.” We are looking forward to many more.

Find Heirloom Audio online on Facebook, Twitter, and as @HeirloomAudioOfficial on Instagram. 

Read more For The Temple reviews from others on the TOS Homeschool Review Crew here: 
For The Temple {Heirloom Audio Reviews}
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Set your heart on things above, not on things here on earth. Colossians 3:2


Healthy Start

When she was a very little girl, her favorite show was Zoom. It was a kids show by kids shown on PBS. She discovered a favorite snack demonstrated on Zoom, long before we watched cooking shows together. She made it just like they did only omitting raisins. The last time I remember her watching it was in the afternoons after kindergarten. 

Spread peanut butter on a tortilla. Add a layer of chopped onions. Fold or roll. 

This morning, ready for her first day of college, the breakfast she chose to make for herself was that same childhood favorite. 


Send Me

Next summer, my daughter will be joining a dear friend on a mission trip. I’ve loved hearing my friend share about her adoptions of three children from Ukraine as well as her continued ways of ministering to Ukrainians. She invited Heather to join her for a sewing camp. They have set up a business with some of the girls.  Heather bought me a bag that they made for Christmas and I love using it; I’m also reminded to pray for them each time I hold it. 

In preparation for this, Heather is partnering with Grace & Cotton in a T-shirt campaign. With input from Heather, they designed a shirt featuring Isaiah 6:8. Heather shared about it here

Click here to order: Grace & Cotton
They are only available through January 31st. 


So Happy Together

My oldest daughter is getting ready to start college next week, and we joined her for a family day/orientation today. Her little sister is already showing her the routine on the campus she learned to love after completing her own first semester there. I’m glad they were able to schedule one class together even though their plans are distinctly different.  




She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25


Let Your Light Shine

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Merry Christmas

The house is quiet. I love the early morning calm, but even more so before Christmas with the lights softly twinkling on the tree. Later today we’ll all be busy cooking, chopping and stacking firewood, packing, and enjoying all being here together. It’s almost Christmas. My heart is full.



The following is a review of Beloved from Zondervan and Propeller Consulting, LLC.  

Beloved— 365 Devotions for Young Women is a lovely hard bound full color devotional. An entire year of daily devotions  written especially for young women. 

Last year a friend invited my daughters and I to a one day ladies conference. It was called reflections and one of the things we reflected on what his name is God calls us. We were each hand it a small slip of paper and instructed to write down our roles and the way we saw our self. Later we were given another paper which contains one of those precious name bestowed on us but our loving Savior. The word on my paper was beloved. Oh how I needed that promise. To know my savior loves me is a truth I cherish. I’m so thankful that my daughters know that love, too. 

Inspire young women to be all they can be

Young women receive so many negative messages in today’s society. Counteract that with Beloved, a topical 365-day devotional that will inspire them with positive role models from Scripture. Each day features an easy-to-read, relevant devotion paired with a scripture verse about a biblical girl or woman, such as Ruth, Esther, Mary, or Abigail. Every page speaks to the pressures and changes girls face, giving them real-world applications to find God in their hearts and in their lives. 

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.


Changing Seasons

He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; Daniel 2:21

Our fall colors have been prettier at home recently than I ever remember before. Yesterday I stopped on one of our bumpy country roads to take this picture. Are the colors outside as pretty where you are? This morning, while searching for verses about seasons, this seemed fitting as our country is mourning the loss of our 41st President. After reading that summary of his presidency, this verse was a strong reminder to me— God is greater than any man in power.


Guitar Lessons at Home

The following is a review of lessons from Guitar 360 Method (affiliate link) with the TOS Homeschool Review Crew.  

Krisz Simonfalvi is the experienced teacher and owner of Guitar 360 Method. He has been teaching my son Joseph guitar in a new way through online video lessons accessed by streaming. It has worked well for Joseph as he can work at his own pace even pausing and rewinding lessons to focus on specific steps. It’s enjoyable to watch him enjoy learning. 

We received access to the Semester One Bundle which includes the Absolute Beginner Course and two bonus songs as well as the Semester One Course. Our entire family can watch these guitar lessons. We pulled up the lessons on the iPhone while my son watched and played along at home. I love listening to him play, and it was great to see him trying new things each time he worked on these lessons. I can’t wait to hear him play the song he’s been practicing to share at church. 

We are a musicial family. I can not play an instrument, but all of our children do. Lessons can be expensive, but our investment in our children’s musical talents has absolutely been worth it. We have tried music school, lessons with musicians, so many different ways through the years; both of our daughters have even taught violin and piano students of their own in our house. I have researched the correlation between playing an instrument and focusing on school lessons. I’m a firm believer that music lessons are worth it. 

Joseph took a few screenshots for me during one of his recent online guitar lessons. He explained the setup to me. Each lesson includes a goal, demonstration, practice, and sometimes even quizzes. The plan is clear and understandable. His sister Emily is currently pursuing a music education degree. On our commute to college and our homeschool group one morning I listened to them discuss Solfege which is addressed in the Guitar 360 Semester I lessons. 

The Semester One course was the perfect starting point for Joseph who has played a little through the years but has never had formal lessons. It covers basic chord shapes in the first lesson. He was able to sit with his guitar and follow along following recommendations as he watched the video lessons. They are marked complete progressively, but students can go back and review new techniques or view any lesson. The Absolute Beginner course is just what you would expect from the name. Brand new guitar students (guitar for Christmas?) can start at the very beginning. 

Guitar 360 is offering a 20% off coupon to all of my readers! You will receive the discount at checkout when you enter the HOMESCHOOL20 coupon code. The regular price is $149. With the coupon code, these lessons are $119.20. 

If you enjoy giving experiences as gifts, a gift of guitar lessons from Guitar 360 method just might bless you, too when the student plays a song for you. 

Visit Guitar 360 Method on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and be sure to tell them hi from Jennifer at A Glimpse of Our Life. 
Guitar Lessons with Krisz Simonfalvi {Guitar 360 Method Reviews}
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Paint Your Own Starry Night

The following is a review of Master Kitz The Starry Night from Kidzaw.com with the TOS Homeschool Review Crew.  

My son and oldest daughter did these paintings together using the contents of Kidzaw’s The Starry Night kit.

For this review, we received their Van Gogh kit through Amazon. The kit arrived in a reusable tote box with a built in handle. It included complete instructions and supplies to make two paintings. Paper plates, paper towels, and water for cleaning up were the only mandatory required extras. Additional paint was a personal preference, and if they choose to do more, they will also need more paper. 

Pictured above, my son carefully  
applied his low-tack 
"Mesmerizing Stars" stickers 
to his paper before 
beginning to paint. 

Our Van Gogh inspired Master Kitz The Starry Night Kit included instructions and a bit of art history as well as the storage box with magnetic closure, blue, white, and black acrylic paints, chalk pastels (our box had white, blue, yellow, and marigold colors, original Van Gogh roller specially designed to replicate Van Gogh’s active stroke, Starry Night stencil, standard paint roller, two pieces of deluxe art paper, and one low tack “Mesmerizing Stars” sticker sheet with six star stickers. The acrylic and oil pastels are all labeled “child friendly.”

The non-consumable parts of the kit and the handy “tool box” have already been added to Grandmommie’s art loft to use with future projects. 

My daughter enjoyed using the 
patterned Van Gogh paint roller, 
pictured above.

With my return to work, our homeschool has changed yet again. My son does more of his schoolwork outside with my husband when they are both home. My daughter called this a messy painting activity. Thankfully my husband agreed that the kids could paint in his shop. He said they could get paint on his workbench instead of in our house. 

There were six star stickers included. My daughter pointed out that the number of steps required before removing stickers makes it difficult for two paintings to be completed simultaneously. She and her brother solved this by using 3 stars each. Additional stars can be painted on top of the picture, too, with different depth. This would have been a great point to incorporate an astronomy lesson. 

The main components including the stencil (pictured above in use) and the paint rollers and stencils can be used) over and over; paint and pastels would need to be replenished. 

My daughter added additional layers of color to her painting with a set of twelve pastels that she already had. My son found the supplies provided in the kit to be sufficient. 

Adding yellow to the stars was my son's next step.

My daughter's completed painting

I love how my kids were able to open this kit and complete this project together from start to finish in one evening. That they did it in my husband's workshop under our own starry night sky just added to the cool factor. What neat family time this provided as they laughed and created together. They had fun working side by side and ended up with two masterpieces which reflected their own styles as well as that of the inspiring artist. The kit provided us with meaningful fun, and my kids really enjoyed using it. 

Visit Kidzaw on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to tell them hi from Jennifer at A Glimpse of Our Life. 

Master Kitz The Starry Night {Kidzaw.com Reviews}
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