Thursday, September 29, 2011

Spiritual Warfare for Women by Leighann McCoy

Attacked! We as women often feel like we’re under attack. By our families, by the media, by our children, by our parents, our husband, our “friends”, our fellow church members, our community, our environment, and the list could go on and on. In this Bible study by Leighann McCoy, Spiritual Warfare for Women, the author confronts and illuminates spiritual warfare that we as Christians fall under so often. Many of the things we may count as attacks by our neighbor, or our position in life are actually Satan’s ways to get us down or to sin.

The author reminds us of our position in Christ, as recipients of God’s unchanging love and care for us. She challenges us to identify spiritual attacks and head them off with Scripture and Biblical truth. Each chapter ends with a Scripture reading and time for reflection as well as specific Bible verses to fight these attacks with. There is also encouragement to memorize Scripture.

This book would be a great women’s group Bible study tool. The author does not appear detatched or too good to be true. She lives in the same world we all do and shares examples from her own life which resonate with many of us. I would definitely recommend this book as a Bible study tool.

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House publishers in exchange for my review of it. I was not required to write a positive review.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Homeschool book giveaway! :) fun easy math

This week, on someone I don't know's blog (Homeschool Creations' blog) there is a great fun idea for giving away some of your unused homeschool materials. . .


SO. . .what I have to give away are two Mathstart Level 1 books, Bug Dance (which teaches/uses directions--left, right, etc) and Missing Mittens (which is evens and odds) They're cute books (fun to just read or to use as math fun) and actually are brand new--I had intended to use them with my kids and they got stuck away somewhere to be found when everyone was too old for them! Now--they'll be one of yours to enjoy!

How to enter:
First of all, you need to become a follower of this blog
Next: leave a comment on this post!
I will be picking a winner on October 1 by drawing a name out of a hat or some such thing!
**If for some strange reason that person I choose has not responded within three or four days I'll have to pick a different winner. But I'm SURE that wouldn't happen. . . :)

And the winner is Katie! I'll be emailing you for your address--enjoy the books!! Thanks everyone for entering!

Just a spoonful of sugar. . .

There is a big old tree full of pretty-colored apples, just begging to be picked. However, when you pick one an bite into it, instead of a sweet-tart juicy delight, your lips pucker and you say eeeeeeeew! :) I have no idea what kind of apple tree this is, the apples are full-sized, and the tree looks very old. The picture above is what the flesh looks like--gorgeous, isn't it? This tree is at my husband's workplace and no one enjoys the fruits, so we decided to test them out a little. Well, we made applesauce (with sugar!), jam (with sugar of course!) and even pie (sugar again!) and they were all resounding successes! The applesauce is super-thick (not much juice in those babies!) and I think I'll even use some of it to make fruit leather and apple butter--but the addition of sugar has transformed these apples! Yay! Free fruit for us!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Free music from K-Love radio

Who doesn't love free music? If you keep an eye on K-Love's website, they have a free music download evey few weeks. Right now it's Jamie Grace's "Hold Me"

which is such a fun song :) Enjoy it and keep watch for more!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Limos, Lattes, and My Life on the Fringe by Nancy Rue

Another book review! First of all, I’m not a teenager, not a high-schooler, so I am not the age group this book was written for. BUT—I will say I enjoyed reading it! My daughter has read other books by Nancy Rue written for younger kids (the Lily series) and they are books which are helpful to her for slipping lessons in while she’s entertained by the plot. I can say that this book, geared for older girls, does that same thing.

Tyler Bonning, the main character in this story, is a girl who is out-of-place in a high school where she doesn’t fit in with any particular “group”—and is very aware of it. She struggles to find her place or even a cause, and when she does, she really takes off! Through the book she’s guided and inspired by a magical-type book which in the end turns out to be a Bible which speaks just to her.

The book is a little slow to start, but once it does it’s a great read! I did like it and the values it upheld. I thought the magic book part was a little weird, but it did bring it all around in the end. I would certainly recommend this book for high-school aged girls!

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A RIver to Cross by Yvonne Harris

A River to Cross is a nice, light read, a historical fiction/romance by Yvonne Harris. I enjoyed reading this book, set in Texas in the late 1800’s. The main characters are a woman, Elizabeth, who has come to Texas to help run a newspaper and a tough Texas Ranger. As you can imagine, a love story emerges quickly amidst killing, kidnapping, political unrest, etc. I don’t want to give away pieces of the plot, so I’ll leave it at that.

And I do mean plot. The book is not “just” a love story—there is a definite story line that keeps a reader’s interest, the romance is kind of secondary. I’m not sure how historically correct it is, especially in a few instances, but the story remains entertaining. It is fiction, after all.

I’d recommend this book as an easy, fun read to enjoy!

I was given a copy of this book for free as part of Bethany House Publisher’s blogger review program. I was not required to write a positive review.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Wrapped in Rain by Charles Martin

Wow, what a book! I started off a little bored and dreading such a long book, but after a few chapters I began enjoying it and actually stayed up way past my normal bedtime in order to finish it.

A quick summary. . .the story follows two brothers, both of who were terribly abused in their childhood by their father, yet survived through the love of their nanny/maid/substitute mama. One brother succeeded amazingly in life, the other succumbed to a psychological illness. Add to this a childhood sweetheart who is running from an abusive husband, and a little child. . .this story is full of strong characters. Their lives come together as they attempt to find family.

As I said previously, at the beginning of the book (the first several chapters!) there was SO much kind of superfluous detail and information that I couldn’t catch the story line and began to lose interest. I had committed to reading the book, so I plowed through. Boy am I glad I did, as the story began to come together. There was a Christian theme throughout the book, along with a forgiveness theme. All in all, it was a very enjoyable read. I’d definitely recommend the book! And don’t give up, it’ll get better as you persevere!

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson publishers in exchange for my honest review; I was not required to write a positive review.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Another fashion re-cycle!

Another clothing re-cycle!! These Vermont winters get pretty cold, and we keep our house temp quite low. . .so my kids are always in need of WARM clothing! I got this purple coat in a barter with a friend, and I was challenged to make good use of it! So here's what we ended up with--a nice warm, cute jumper for my daughter! (Oh, the zipper was re-purposed too--from an old wool jumper!) Thanks Bev!

Before: Photobucket

And after: PhotobucketPhotobucket

Now I just have to find a use for the sleeves. . .

:)I'm so happy that my children don't mind wearing my wacky fashion designs :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Interesting angle on SAT test taking and prep

SAT & College Preparation Course for the Christian Student is a book I just received from Master Books for the purpose of this review. I do not yet have high school aged children, yet I was curious to take a look at it from a homeschooling perspective. I found this book to be a very thorough and long-term course for preparing to take the SAT. It lays out a schedule for using the book in 9th, 10th, and 11th grades, on a 3-year schedule. There are alternate schedules for use if only using for two or one years as well.

The daily lessons include a devotion, vocabulary exercises, reading, problem solving, math problems, essay questions, critical thinking. . .done on a daily basis to introduce material, but more importantly to get the student used to working with these kinds of problems and thinking along these lines.

This book was so different than what I have seen before as far as SAT-prep books go. It is a longer-term, much less intense preparation, and the devotion and devotional journal sections seem to focus the student on the Lord, and serve as a reminder of His part in all of this. The book also includes such helpful things as test-taking strategies, what to do the actual day of the test, book list, and much more. I will certainly be keeping this book for when my children enter high school.
I’m not honestly sure how “academically” prepared this book will help a student become, but I do see how going through it would calm his/her spirit regarding taking the actual test. I would certainly recommend this book. It will be a helpful addition to our homeschool life, and it is definitely a great resource for students in traditional school as well!

I received a free copy of this book from Master Books publisher in exchange for my honest review of it. I was not required to write a positive review.

Easy gift idea!

Here's an easy gift idea (or easy decorating idea!) If you live near a lake or river it makes it even easier I suppose--for finding stones at least! We had lots of fun looking.

For our name wall hanging we just found a piece of driftwood that was pretty flat (easy after all the flooding this year!) and rocks which would spell out our last name, and glued them on with wood glue, added hooks and a ribbon, and hung it on the wall!

We've made these for a wedding gift, and will be making more for Christmas gifts as well!

The Hour That Matters Most by Les and Leslie Parrott with Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna

Mealtime--we all know that it’s an important thing for families, but how many of us deliberately take advantage of this time together to grow as a family? In the book The Hour that Matters Most the authors seek to stress the importance of using mealtime as a time to spend together with family, focusing your attention on each of the members of the family, and the family unit as a whole. With a scattering of statistics and recipes the authors take the reader through many compelling reasons to sit down together as a family and share a meal.

When I began this book, reading through the introductory matter, I was afraid that it was to be one large advertisement for the “Dream Dinners” business which two of the authors had founded. Although they did mention the business several times, as I read through the book, I did not feel that advertisement was its purpose. I enjoyed this book; I have to say that first of all, it was a little like “preaching to the choir” as I was pretty convinced already of the importance of eating together/conversing together at the dinner table. There were personal stories as well as general statistics relating to mealtimes together. There were chapters about how to talk to your families, your children specifically, so that you will have a lifetime of open communication. Chapters on using these dinner times to instill/deepen values, manners, etc. And lots of recipes! Some delicious-sounding recipes, and even color photos of the finished products!

I would certainly recommend this book. It’s an easy-to-read book with a message. I did find it a little confusing having four authors, each contributing sections—it was a little difficult for me to figure out which author was sharing (when it was personal illustrations)—but that didn’t detract from the message of the book. I do believe that more people need to slow down, deliberately make time for mealtime shared with family.

I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale publishers for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.