Monday, April 17, 2017

Ripley's Wacky 123 & ODDphabet *Review

Ripley's First Board Books

Two fun and zany board books geared for ages 3 and up.

Both books feature highly engaging illustrations by Ripley cartoonist John Graziano, who also illustrates the daily Ripley's Believe It or Not! cartoon. Ripley's Believe It or Not! ODDphabet and Wacky 1-2-3 make learning letters and numbers tons of fun! From a painting elephant to singing mice, and everything in between, each quirky character is based on a true Ripley's-verified story.

Jellyfish was her favorite animal in the ODDphabet book. So fun! There are common animals like the E is for elephant, though this elephant paints. Then there are unique animals like B for Blob Fish.

Engaging photo's and rhyming text, this is a fun way to get a variety in an ABC book.

Wacky 123 counts from 1 to 12. Pointing to each object you can practice counting on each page. Counting penguin sweaters, goats in trees, and a frog with 6 legs??? That was an odd one.

Check out these two fun board book on Amazon!

Imprint: Ripley Publishing
Publication date: March 7, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-60991-170-6 ODDphabet
           978-1-60991-181-2 Wacky 1-2-3 
Pages: 26
Price: $6.99 US / $8.95 Canada (each book)
Trim size: 6 x 6 inches

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Welcome to College *Review

Welcome to College: A Christ-Follower’s Guide for the Journey (Kregel, March 2017)

Is there a more frightening question for a graduating high school senior than "What will you do with your life?"
In college, whether they realize it or not, students will answer that question every day with each decision. All of the new friends and new experiences of higher education will shape their future. It's critical that students know how to handle college before they're in the thick of it.
Jonathan Morrow tackles the tough questions that arise during these formative years, including:
-How do you grow spiritually?
-How do you manage your time to both study well and have fun?
-Is all truth relative?
-Are there good reasons to be a Christian?
-As a Christian, how should you view issues like dating and sex?
Each chapter of this new edition has been updated, and the author has included a new chapter on Christianity, homosexuality, and the Bible. Grounded in both his own extensive experience and biblical truth, Morrow's book is full of quick, easy-to-read chapters and excellent advice.
My Thoughts
As a mom with 2 kids in college, and graduating the third from homeschool this year, I wish I would have had this book for the first 2! This is an excellent resource for students heading out into the secular college world. Even Christian schools aren't what some hope that they will be. It is the world, either way. This book gives awesome insight into some topics that you don't really think about until you are in the midst of them. This is a great graduation gift idea!
This is a big book, even if your soon to be college child reads a chapter a week, they can focus on each chapter along with the parent. I read much of the book, and I do find it helpful for the parent to read it as well, just to get the scope of what the college student may be entering into. Especially if the college student is the first in the family to experience college. I wish I had this book when I went to college 25 years ago! It really is an excellent reference and a 'go to' for suggestions on how to deal with college life from a biblical perspective.

About the author:
Jonathan Morrow (DMin, MDiv) is the author of several books including "Questioning the Bible" and he speaks nationally on biblical worldview, apologetics, and culture. He is adjunct professor of apologetics at Biola University and director of cultural engagement at Impact 360 Institute where he teaches high school and college students. Jonathan is passionate about seeing a new generation build a lasting faith.
Find out more about Jonathan at

Morrow pin1

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Monday, April 10, 2017

More Pocket Letters #Snailmail

I had a chance this weekend to make a few more pocket letters. This one was based on tigers for a friend whose favorite animal is tigers.

This one was based on a Print and Pray Shop at Illustrated Faith I Know This Much is True

This one too was built off of a Print and Pray from Illustrated Faith called Everyday Blessings which they no longer have.

So fun to make, and I hope that each of my pen pals that receive them love them as much as I do. I had so much fun making each one!!

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Great Mother's Day Devotionals *Review

Never too early to start thinking about blessing the Moms in your life! Broadstreet Publishing has three new devotionals that would be perfect to help Moms stay in the Word.  Each of these is unique and inspirational.

Dated, 365 day devotional. Jump in right where you are on the date, and no worries if you miss a few. They are not connected and not necessary to feel behind! Mom's don't need that stress for sure. Written by Mom Kendra Smiley, the devotional is easy to fit into your daily schedule. One small page per day, includes a scripture verse, a short word of encouragement or story, and a question. Something extra from the story to get you thinking and applying it to your own life.
Kendra lives on a farm in Il, and uses some of her experiences from that to help share encouragement. She encourages you to be the best mom you can be!

Quiet Times for Busy Moms is broken down into 52 weekly studies. Choose a day of the week and this can be your devotion that day. Refresh it on a day later in the week. Each week begins with a scripture verse, many focused on children, or being a parent.
There is then a short story to go along with the scripture verse. The author Vicki Kuyper includes a written prayer you can read or recite. Finally there is a "Tip  to try" to have you take what you have learned and apply it to your life.

Release expectations, embrace imperfection, and connect to God's superpower. We don't have to be a Super Mom when we serve a Super God! This book has 14 chapters, and not designed with the daily, or weekly devotion. It would still work well for a devotional on how to ignite with God's superpower. Four steps include
Give up on measuring up
Get connected
Charge Up
Ignite with God's Superpower

Author Maggie Combs had three little boys in three years, and desires for discouraged moms to be freed from the prevalent expectations of society.
With her own personal stories, and humor, Maggie helps you realize that God really is the one to rely on.

All three of these books are available at Broadstreet Publishing.

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Found Psalm 23 by Sally Lloyd-Jones *Review

From the creators of the Jesus Storybook Bible is a board book Found based on Psalm 23 for toddlers! It is absolutely gorgeous and inspirational for my little one. Psalm 23 is full of such promise and I love being able to share it with my toddler at her level. She can learn what shepherd does through the gorgeous illustrations by Jago (one of my favorites).

The cover itself depicts the love the shepherd has for that little sheep. I love how I can give the analogy then to my daughter about Jesus being the shepherd and we are the sheep. How he loves us each so  much, he will find us if we get lost.

The book is very simply written.
He feeds me.
He guides me.
I won't be afraid. Because my shepherd knows where I am

It takes the entire Psalm 23 and breaks it down into easy to understand sentences.

One of my very favorite board books ever!! My daughter wanted to make sure there were plenty of pictures!!

Be sure to stop by Zondervan and pick up a copy for this Easter!

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Creating a Masterpiece Art Program *Review

Creating a Masterpiece

Creating a Masterpiece offers a Monthly Plan to an array of online, fine arts lessons for all ages. Sharon Hofer is an energetic, inspiring artist, and she walks you through the fine art projects step by step. The program is divided into grouping for beginners through a level 5 art. You get complete access to all of the lessons, making it versatile for each of your homeschool students regardless of any art experience.

Creating a Masterpiece
The beginner level is short and simple. The art project can be done in about an hour, and is perfect for kids to get started creating real art work. This isn't an arts and craft program, but an art program. The results will be work the kids will be excited to display.
We chose to begin at the beginner level as we are typically arts and crafts type of homeschoolers and haven't focused a whole lot on art.

Even at the beginner level you are introduced to art medium that you don't typically use like India Ink, Oil Pastels, Charcoal, and Gouache. The only one we had on hand was watercolor so we went ahead and bought the oil pastels as well. The lessons each tell you in the title what medium you will be using, as well as the beginning of the video tells you every supply that you will need.

Our first lesson in Oil Pastel was a Winter Cabin. Both my 12 year old daughter and I tackled this one. We only had water color paper, so we made due with what we had on hand. I would like to try it again with the correct paper as it will blend the pastels much better.

She taught us perspective, and how to do the foreground and background. Combining different colors for effect, as well as how to draw tree limbs simply, were other things we learned on this project.

The next ones the kids did was African Sunset with water colors. These are water colors that come in a tube, not those ones you dip in the yellow container with a paint brush.
Here our watercolor paper worked wonderfully.

The projects beyond the beginner level are three-seven lessons each. We did not go beyond the beginner lessons, but will be trying some of the level 1 later this spring. I think we would probably do several lessons in one day, and surely get the project done in one week.

There are several ways to choose the art project you want to do. You can do them in any order. There is a chart on the main page with what type of art medium you use, so you can go by what you already have on hand, or what you would like to learn.

You can also go by level. Thirdly there is a photo of each art piece so you could go seasonally or with a theme if you chose. So many ways to organize it, there are so many you can do!!

Here are a couple of photos for examples of the higher level projects.

Creating a Masterpiece

Creating a Masterpiece

Try a free sample project.

Be sure to check them out on Facebook! Creating a Masterpiece

Want to see more examples of the fun fine art projects? Click on the banner below.

Creating Beautiful Art at Home {Creating A Masterpiece Reviews}

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Pocket Letters

I haven't been writing much, instead I have been crafting and sharing letters with pen pals! Yep, pen pals of good ole fashioned snail mail! I have loved having a new group of people to encourage in the Lord, and to share prayer needs with. Along with that group comes some great ideas of what to add to snail mail, and some awesome crafts. I may have spent way too much time on pinterest lately!

So here are just a few photos of some of my pocket letters. They have been incredibly fun to design and craft and I have sent them all out to pen pals.

The next ones I will try to use my real camera for since it seems the phone camera isn't doing them justice!

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