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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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Creative Freewriting Adventure *Review

Home School Adventure Company

Home School Adventure Co. has a variety of products that take you on a great journey, including Creative Freewriting Adventure  and the companion Creative Freewriting Adventure Coloring Book Edition 

Creative Freewriting Adenture
Creative Freewriting Adventure Coloring Book Edition

Typically when I mention writing to my kids, they duck and cover. We have been using writing prompts daily for them to get at least 15 minutes of writing in per day, without my grading and picking it a part. Just an opportunity to get their minds sharpened along with their pencils.
History is another topic that they tend to avoid, and because of that we don't get as much in our school day as I would like.
Creative Freewriting Adventure takes both of these elements, the writing and the history and sandwiches them together in a way that my kids enjoyed!

There are 10 exercises, or lessons. The first 4 are historical figures from Ancient Greece. We are told their unique story and characteristics.
Thales is a scientist who predicted a solar eclipse, way back 2500 years ago. We read about him and the possible story that while he was star gazing he tripped and fell into a well. Here is where our history lesson stops, and our freestyle writing begins.
We are given the set up for the story, a bit of background on Thales falling into the well. We are out getting a drink because we are thirsty. I love how it sets up the story for us by giving us a historically accurate person, and then making it weave into writing our own story.

Each assignment flows like the photo above. First giving us a page of history to read, and believe me it is the fun parts of history, not the boring things! The author sets up our journey and then assigns us several things to write about. Setting up the scene, and any background information. Determining if we are with anyone and what we may have for dialogue. Then she taps into our senses and encourages us to write about what we see, hear, smell, and feel.
I would give the kids their assignment and they would moan and groan as they get ready to write. Set the timer for 15 minutes, and guess what.. they keep going! Each and every time they decide to keep writing as they have found a story within that they want to write. They wrote much more with Creative Freewriting Adventure then they ever did with just the writing prompts I find.
I really wanted to utilize this for more formal writing, to maybe spruce them up and grade them and have them turn them into a 'paper'. I held back though as I know that isn't the desire of this writing assignment.

I didn't print out anything. We just read it from the computer. There is a page you can print out to write your story on if you chose to. There is also a great Coloring book that I printed out some of the pictures for my 9 year old to color so he could participate. He isn't a writer yet, so for him just thinking about the story and talking it through with me was just as much fun.

The 5th through 8th assignment are based on literature called The Wise Woman by George MacDonald. You don't have to read it to participate in the writing. She gives you the background information you need.

The 9th assignment is based on work by CS Lewis and focuses on Eternity. The final assignment is about being at Jesus birth.

I thought it was great how their was such a variety in the writing assignments, but each had some history or literature to go along with it.
The only problem I had is there are only 10 of them. We started off doing just 2 a week because we didn't want to get through them too fast. I would love if there was a way to continue with this series and add more exciting people to write about.

Visit Home School Adventure Co. on these social media sites

Twitter:  @HomeSchoolAdven

Click on the banner below to see what my crew mates thought of this and some other products from Home School Adventure Co.

Resources with a Biblical Worldview{Home School Adventure Co. Reviews}

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

By the Way Book Series Smoky Mountains *Review

Nature Books With A Biblical Worldview {By the Way Book Series Reviews}
As we are considering the Smoky Mountains for a vacation this year, By the Way Book Series book, Smoky Mountains ~ Here We Come! was a great place to start to get the kids excited about some of the things we may see. Only a few hours away from us, it seems the perfect destination place with lots to visit and learn. 
This is a hard cover book in a series of 6 books, with 4 more due out soon. The others in the series currently are;
Florida's Treasure

These books are geared for ages 5-12. My 15 year old even found it interesting to look through as did my 2 year old looking at the pictures. It was a little over her head for reading.

Nature Books With A Biblical Worldview {By the Way Book Series Reviews}

Key difference in this series is that is it told from a Biblical World View! "Discovering Biblical Truth in Everyday Life" is the subtitle of the series. The goal is to explore the world around you through the eyes of faith. The series Title came from Deuteronomy 6:7 to talk about the Lord with our future generations in our homes, when we arise, and as we walk 'by the way'.

This book is a combination of actual photographs, and cartoon illustrations. We join Lexi and Alex, the brother sister team as they visit their Uncle Ted who is a forest ranger. Who better to show us the Great Smoky Mountains than a ranger!

The book reads like a storybook as Lexi and Alex go about their adventures including seeing skunks, flowers, butterflies, bobcats, trees, and more specific to the land. In subsets on the page are actual photos and facts about the different things they are seeing in the story.

There is a variety of scripture through out the book as well. I love how the author takes the opportunity to share scripture that goes along with what they are finding in the story. When the kids were looking at the Fraser trees, she quotes Jeremiah 17:7-8 "For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters".

Not only is the book full of information on all that you will find growing and living in the Smoky Mountains, it also takes the time to share the history of the people who first lived there, the Cherokee Indians.

The town of Cataloochee was abandoned when the federal government bought up the town to make the Great Smoky Mountain park. I had never heard of this and you can be sure its on my ' to visit' list for when we go.
Cades Cove was a town I had read about previously and it was neat to see photos in the book. The Cove once had 671 people living there.

By the Way Book Smoky Mountains is 50 pages long. We chose to break it up over a couple of days, as it is too much for a single read. There is a lot of information packed into the pages of this book.

Be sure to check out the front page of the book where you can see the animals and objects you are trying to locate on the page, be a sleuth!

Find By the Way Book Series on Facebook and see what my crew mates thought of this and the others in the series by clicking on the photo below.

Nature Books With A Biblical Worldview {By the Way Book Series Reviews}

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