Saturday, May 25, 2019

Aladdin 2019

I absolutely loved the new Disney version of Aladdin! I loved that there were no hidden agenda's, homosexuality being the biggest. So many of the new Disney movies are adding in homosexuality in not so subtle nuances. It was a truly family friendly movie! I actually liked it better than the animated version. Of course my 5 daughter's totally disagreed with me on this one. It may has something too do with the fact that I have probably watched the animated version of Aladdin 100's of times over the course of my daughter's, twelve year age gap, of 23 down to 11, lol. 😂 

Friday, May 24, 2019

How Can You Already Be 13!

It seems just like yesterday that I was holding you in my arms for the very 
first time. You have grown into a beautiful, godly young lady. You are a talented dancer.
You have a passion for life. I cannot wait to see what God has in store 
for you in the years to come. 

Your older sisters have gotten you hooked on the sitcom Friends.
What are sisters for, right. 
I love seeing your interests develop and change throughout the years.
I never thought that you would outgrow your Schleich animals,
all 500+ of them, along with every Schleich building and accessory.
Then this past year you decided that you were
too old for them and we packed them away, to someday pass down to your children. 
Your love for books is unending! From Harry Potter, Jane Erye, to historical fiction, mainly WWII Era and Chinese History, you are quite read. 

Happy Birthday Megan! I love you.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Elizabeth Prentiss ~ A Review

My 10-year-old daughter really enjoyed reading Elizabeth Prentiss published by Christian Focus. This pocket paperback book is geared for ages 9-14 years of age and is part of the Trail Blazers series. The book is 144 pages in length.

My 10-year-old said, "The book, 'Elizabeth Prentiss More Love' written by Claire Williams is about a woman named Elizabeth Prentiss. This book shows that even if you are going though a very difficult time it is possible to keep your faith. Her father died from tuberculosis when she was young. God put Elizabeth and her family through many trials. Elizabeth had six children. Sadly, within three months her second and third children died, one as a newborn and the other was four years old. She was a poet and an author. She wrote many books and poems. This book was good and I would recommend it for ages nine and above."

I have read several books about Elizabeth Prentiss. I have always admired her deep faith amidst so much heartache and adversity. I was excited to share such an amazing woman of faith with my daughter.

One of my favorite quotes from Elizabeth Prentiss is,

"Wondrous as it is, how simple is this mystery. 
To love Christ and to know that I love Him...this is all."

On pages 50-52 it recounts the deaths of her two children. Elizabeth truly displayed so much faith and giving over of her children to the Lord upon their deaths. Upon her second child's death she did say, "Good help me, my baby, my baby!" But Elizabeth was able to say that God never makes mistakes. During those very difficult days she wrote,

"One child and two green graves are mine
This is God's gift to me;
A bleeding, fainting, broken heart --
This is my gift to Thee."

At the end of the book is a section entitled Thinking Further Topics. One of the topics is one prayer.  The scripture referenced is Matthew 6:5-13. It has leading questions such as, Do you pray? Have you thought about prayer? Scripture teaches us how to pray. This then leads into a Challenge. Can you spend more time in prayer? It asks several other questions. 

There is also a timeline of Elizabeth Prentiss's life. 

On the timeline it references that in 1869 Elizabeth Prentiss published her autobiography, Stepping Heavenward. I highly recommend this book too. 

On page 74 as she and her children are out picking strawberries, Elizabeth pulls out a notebook and a stub of a pencil, sits down on a bench and pens the final lines to her beautiful hymn, More Love to Thee. 

More love to Thee, oh Christ, more love to Thee!
Hear Thou the prayer I make soon bended knee.
This is my earnest plea
More love, oh Christ, to Thee
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

I would most definitely recommend this book to others. Check out all of the books in the Trail Blazers Series. Also, be sure to check out the other books reviewed by my fellow Crew members by clicking the link below.

To read more reviews click HERE.

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Friday, May 17, 2019

A Dog's Journey

My daughter and I had the privilege of getting to see the pre-screening of A Dog's Journey.

This is definitely a MUST SEE MOVIE!!! If you loved the movie, A Dog's Purpose, this one  
is another great movie! 


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

WorthyKids ~ A Review

Nothing by Natalee Creech is published by WorthyKids, an imprint of Hachette Book Group. This storybook teaches young children that, "Nothing can separate you from God's Love!". The target age is 4-7 years old. The hard cover book is 32 pages in length.

This whole book centers around Romans 8:38-39 which says; "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." What amazing words those are! The book starts out by quoting these verses. I used the NASB and the book used the CEB version. The pictures in the book are colorful and vibrant. Young children will definitely be drawn to the beautiful pictures. The rhyming style that the book is written in will engage young children. From deep sea exploration to outer space soaring your child will be taken on an adventure. 

We all know that children are notorious for asking QUESTIONS! One of the most important 
questions that we as parents need to be able to answer for them is, "Can anything separate
me from God's Love?" 

I love how the book gives everyday examples that young children can relate to. Storms
are often very scary for young children. God is bigger than even the scariest storm.

God is more powerful and more strong than anything. 
His love is deep and long. 

The back cover shows a girl on a goat atop a tiny mountain peak. 
The story again emphasizes that no matter the circumstance, God's Love

These are just my personal thoughts about the book. While the book was endearing and cute the verses the book are based off of are taken out of context. The book teaches Universalism, meaning that it says that ALL are saved and nothing can separate you from God's love, which is not true. We are all separated from Christ until we acknowledges that we are sinners deserving of death and that apart from Christ's death on the cross there is no forgiveness of sin or salvation. I would have loved if the book would have briefly included what separates us from Christ and then gone into all of the wonderful ways of how nothing can separate us from God's love. 

With that said, I think that this book can still be a great way to engage with your young children about God. For me I would add in a further discussion as I mentioned above. It is never too early to teach the gospel of Christ to young children. 

To read more reviews click HERE.

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Friday, May 10, 2019

The Critical Thinking Co. ~ A Review

Over the past weeks my 7th grade daughter has been working her way through Vocabulary Virtuoso PSAT-SAT Book 1 from The Critical Thinking Co.. This workbook is for grades 8-12+. There is a Book 1 and a Book 2 for the PSAT-SAT. The workbook is 204 pages in length.

The following concepts are learned:

  • Idioms
  • Euphemisms
  • Puns
  • Aphorisms
  • Jargon
  • Allusions
  • Irony
  • Theme
Rhetorical ~ The Art of Persuasion in Speech and Writing Using the Extended Simile to Write a Poem.

  • The Renaissance
  • Renaissance Artists 
There are a total of 20 Vocabulary Lists. Each lesson contains 9 words. The word is given in bold print, followed by its pronunciation, then other word forms, and finally part of speech. The definition is given and a sample sentence is given.

Six activities follow for the student to complete in order to help them use each vocabulary word in context. Each vocabulary list contains a story in which the student has to insert the correct vocabulary words (missing words) within the context of the story. Other activities include:
  • fill in the blank
  • unscramble
  • choose the best word, idiom, or phrase that defines
  • complete the sentence 
The Story Challenge changes from week to week. One week it may have the student just fill in list words that would be missing from a story if you would be reading it. Another week the student may be asked to find a list word based on an idiom in context such as, "Yesterday, I asked Kara if she needed some help finishing her science research paper, and she acknowledged  my offer to help by thanking me and tighten answered, 'I have so much else to do, that I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.' said Piper."

My 7th grade daughter had no difficulty working through this workbook. She of course got things wrong but overall she did very well.

The answer key is in the back of the book for quick grading. After every 4 lessons there is a review over the four previous lessons. The reviews consist of a crossword puzzle, complete the sentence, and from a list of fictional book titles the students are to write the best word that might be used in each book.

Overall, I really thought that this workbook was good. It tackled many difficult word such as:
  • egalitarian 
  • euphonious 
  • inchoate
  • quiescent
  • obsequious
  • quixotic
  • succinct
Like I always tell my children, there is no better way to improve your vocabulary than to immerse yourself through reading great literature. The Critical Thinking Co. does a great job coming alongside  students to help prepare them to take the PSAT and SAT. Even if your child is not studying for one of these tests this book is a great way for your child to increase their vocabulary knowledge. 

Be sure to check out all of the amazing material that The Critical Thinking Co. has to offer. By clicking the link below you will be able to read about many more products that fellow crew members reviewed. 

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To read more reviews click HERE.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Pathway to Liberty ~ A Review

Over the past weeks my daughter has been working through Pathway to Liberty History CurriculumWorld History, Level 3 from Pathway Liberty Homeschool Curriculum. Pathway to Liberty offers a complete curriculum which contains four years of coursework. The curriculum is uniquely designed so that the teacher is able to teach multiple grade levels at the same time. Each level come with Teacher guides and Student Workbooks. Weekly lesson plans, assignments, and step-by-step instructions will guide your student along the way. Your child will be taught from a Biblical Worldview. The curriculum covers K-12th grade. Each year covers 26 weeks of coursework.

What drew me to this curriculum is that it is literature based. I am not a fan of textbook based history curriculum. For the 19 years that I have been homeschooling I have always been drawn to literature based learning. Pathway to Liberty is definitely a curriculum that will immerse your child into history. Throughout their years of schooling they will cycle through the four years of history, each time developing a deeper understand of history whether it be studying the ancient Egyptians or Hitler and the Holocaust. They will enjoy great books such as Benjamin Franklin by Ingri & Edgar Parin d'Aulaire in Level One, to The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank in Levels Two and Three, to amazing stories of missionaries in books such as, Eric Liddell, Something Greater Than Gold by Janet & Geoff Benge in Levels Three and Four, to The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck in Levels Three and Four. These are just a few of the amazing books that your children will read. You cannot get stuff like this in a history textbook.

Here is a great video that briefly describes how Pathway to Liberty works. 

Here is a great breakdown of the 4 levels in the Pathway to Liberty Curriculum:

Level 1 (K5-3rd Grade)
  • Level 1 is designed for the early elementary years. Students learn history through age-appropriate core books and literature studies. Principles are taught in a concrete, simplified manner. The character of individuals is emphasized. Copy work and simple writing exercises can be adjusted to student's writing ability. 
Level 2 (4th-6th Grade)
  • Level 2 is designed for upper elementary who are able to read and write fluently. Principles are expanded and application is encouraged. Students write 1-2 paragraphs a weekly and begin to learn research skills. Some of the reading assignments coordinate with Level 3, however the reasoning, writing and literature are age-appropriate. 
Level 3 (7th-9th)
  • Level 3 is designed for middle school students. It requires more in-depth reasoning and logic and the application of principles. Students write 2-5 paragraphs weekly and apply research skills too reports. 
Level 4 (10-12 Grade)
  • With Level 4, student's gain rhetorical mastery of their lessons. Their worldview is solidified and they are able to articulate their lessons. It is for advanced level High school students. Most textbooks are college level reading. Credits include History-1, Bible-1/2-1, History and Literature reading are on an adult level. Writing assignments are designed to prepare students for a collegiate or professional environment. 
There are four years in the history cycle:
  • Year 1: Universal History
  • Year 2: The Middle Ages
  • Year 3: US History
  • Year 4: World History
My 7th grade daughter worked through the beginning weeks of Level 3 of World History. Being an avid reader and very used to the literature based style of learning she easily incorporated Pathway to Liberty into her current academic studies. We already had many of the books required for many of the levels which was wonderful! World History begins with the foundations of "What is History?" and covers the basic foundations before moving on.

The course covers (each of these have multiple subtopics):
  1. Foundations
  2. Welcome 20th Century
  3. The World at War
  4. Around the World
  5. Presidents
The core books used in the Level 3 World History are:
  • Bible
  • Noah Webster 1828 Dictionary
  • The Chain of Liberty
  • The Chain of Liberty Study Guide
  • The Age of Extremes
  • War, Peace, & All That Jazz
  • All the People

The books highly recommended for further reading are:
  • The War of the Worlds
  • The Grapes of Wrath
  • Diary of Anne Frank
  • Eric Liddell: Something Greater Than Gold
  • The Hiding Place
  • Jerusalem or Death
  • Eyes on the Prize
Each week has a Weekly Overview. All four levels have the same scripture verses, principle, and leading idea for the week. The week is broken down into four lessons. All levels are listed on the Weekly Overview page. A typical week would look like this.

For Week 6 the student in Level 3 reads Chapters 8-11 and 14-15 in War, Peace, & All That Jazz in Lessons 1-3 along with answering study guide questions. Lesson 4 the student watches a YouTube video entitled The Century, Boom to Bust 1920-1929 along with a study guide. The student also has a weekly writing assignment and is given 4 options to choose from to write on. In the History Expanding section (enrichment) students are asked to read two more chapter in War, Peace, & All That Jazz and begin reading Eric Liddell: Something Greater Than Gold. The Vocabulary words for the week are morality, normalcy, metamorphosis, and hedonist.

The Chain of Liberty by Jayme Maccullough is a wonderful complement to the curriculum. The book has 13 chapters and like the title states asks the question, Do men have a right to think for themselves? In Chapter 9 we see how the Reformation brought about huge change by great men such as Martin Luther, John Wycliffe, and John Calvin. In Chapter 10 we see how the first colonists came to America to have freedom of religion and liberty. Chapter 5 talks about how "Genesis is the first and, in my opinion, the most significant document of liberty." 

Pathway to Liberty is easy to follow and both teacher and student friendly. Check out the website for more information on all that this curriculum has to offer. Scope and sequences are available to give you an overview of what is covered in each year. I would highly recommend this curriculum to others.

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Monday, May 6, 2019

Banana Strawberry Muffins

1 1/2 cups King Arthur gluten free flour
1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill finely ground tapioca flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons non-aluminum baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
3 very ripe bananas mashed
1/2 cup organic sour cream
2 free range eggs
1/3 cup organic coconut oil
Fold in enough chopped organic fresh strawberries to your liking, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup. 

Mix dry ingredients first. Then add in wet ingredients. Fold in strawberries last. 
I divided into sprayed, ceramic muffin plates. 
Bake in 350 degree oven until done. My oven took about 20 minutes. 

Confetti Eggs