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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sense and Sensibility

The classic Sense and Sensibility (Insight Editions) by Jane Austen is, well a classic. But the new Insight Edition with all the little extras takes it to a new level for a new generation.

The extra tidbits of information on every page cover historical and cultural information of the time period,facts about Austen’s life, themes of faith, and my favorite, comments on the books characters and plot.It’s these (and more) little facts that make reading so satisfying. They really give the reader a depth into the time, characters and the authors point of view of all of it.

Also included are discussion questions that will make this book perfect for my homeschooled high school student. I plan on buying the
Pride and Prejudice Insight Edition.

This book was provided to me free from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

Revolve 2010 Review

Revolve 2010 (Biblezines) This is a colorful and interesting concept. The New Testament in the accessible form of a “teen magazine.” Short vignettes covering a variety of topics that are of interest to teen girls.Some of the topics include, make-up, fashion, boys, music and movie stars.

While the little snippets are a fun read, there isn’t a lot of “meat” offered here. I wouldn’t even say a lot of “milk” either. I would hope that by the time a girl is a teen that she would be ready to handle some more in depth study on the topics. I mean hey the Word of God is right there contained in the magazine, let’s use it. I did really like the character study that looked like a Facebook page. I may use this idea in our homeschool Bible study.

My oldest daughter (14) likes the graphics and the short articles but like me would like to see fun Bible quizzes, study guides, character studies, and how to personalize the Word of God daily in her life.

This has great potential to be a wonderful tool if it included more substantial Bible application.

Thank you Thomas Nelson for providing this book for review. Visit. http://booksneeze.com to join Thomas Nelson as a book reviewer.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Planning for next year!

I received Bella’s curriculum for next year this past week.
It is Sonlight Basic 2 (World History), 2000 edition. I’m pleased.

There are several reasons why I bought one so old. First it was less expensive, the older editions of the Instructors Guide (IG) where cheaper to begin with, I don’t know why they have nearly doubled in price since I used it, 6 years ago. Are they any better? Contain more information? I’ve not a clue, so if I can get it cheaper that fine with me.

The second reason I wanted an older version is that I already have many of the books for the older edition. Sonlight has changed the books with the IG, so again I would have to buy more books if I went with the newer IG. It’s all about being a good steward, being thankful with what I’ve got.

I didn’t get Sonlight Science nor the Language Arts. I don’t like the LA, and even though I LOVE Usborne books (I sell them, mostly to myself) I didn’t want to pay for a IG. I like my Science to sort of go with our History.

So I sat down last night and wrote what the history topic was for each week-
Wk1-5 Egypt
Wk 6-13 Greece
Wk 14-18 Rome
Wk 19-24 Dark Ages- Middle Ages
Wk 25-30 Reformation/Explorers
Wk 31-36 America/Industial Revolution/Westward Movement/WWI

So our Science will be the following topics
Wk 1-5 Deserts
Wk 6-13 Human Body
Wk 14-18 Geology
Wk 19-24 Plants
Wk 25-30 Oceans( Bella was given the choice of space or oceans)
Wk 31-36 Insects

I love Rod and Staff Spelling, so will stick with it. I’m still thinking about what to do for Grammar. Wondering if I should go with something premade like Rod and Staff, or teach it myself with literature/Bible verses and something like Grammar By The Book.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Finding Inner Peace During Troubled Times

Finding Inner Peace During Troubled Times: Living in the Presence of God through Prayer and Meditation by William Moss, is a very short booklet that reminds the reader that Jesus has promised us peace, but it is our part to accept that peace that God offers. It is a quick read, with lots of room for notes as you study the Bible on your own. One might want to use this booklet as a stepping stone for a personal Bible study on peace. Mr Moss is very sincere and genuine in his writing.

This is a good message for believers, but there is the missing part that one must have already accepted Jesus sacrifice on the cross for our sins to have access to the true peace that passes all understanding.

I did enjoy it and it was a good tool to use to focus on the peace that God has promised.

Thank you B&B Media Group for this review copy.
For an author interview contact B&B Media at 1-800-927-0517 Ext. 104 106, or 109

I have one copy to give away in a random drawing. Just leave a comment and you will be entered.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Snow is a rare thing here in Texas. Flurries started around 9am. It didn't take long for the snow to thicken up. It's been snowing nonstop since 9:30ish. It has been hard to keep the girls on task for school, but they knew that tomorrow was scheduled as a free day, so they worked well today. They are all outside playing right now. The last "big" snow we had was on Olivia's 6th birthday. She turns 12 tomorrow!

I am thankful I have a cozy, snug home. I'm thankful for hot chocolate, chili, and a husband that went to the store for milk.

Monday, February 8, 2010

lesson plans

Bella's 2nd grade week 16 schedule

Bella has enjoyed Sonlight much more than the other girls did. I am very pleased that I was able to find the IG ( instructors guide) for next year.
It is "Basic 2" A one year intro to World History, 2000 edition. Which is just what I was wanting. I don't have all the books but I have many for this "Basic" and many from "Basic 1" ( 2003) so I will modify the plans to work for us.
Again Bella will be reading many of the "read alouds" as "readers" since she is way beyond Owl at Home and Fire Cat.

Not sure if we will stick with Learning Language Arts Through Literature. I'll be working on getting some sort of flow to science using Usborne books. I've heard many wonderful things about the Apologia Elementary Science, so that is a possibility. Another option would be to use the science topics from Learning Adventures Vol. 1, since they would "go along" with the history.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

February Beginnings

It has been grey and gloomy here this past week. Lots of cold rain. Not a whole lot to report.

Last weeks menu:
Roast Chicken
Chicken Chowder
Italian Beef Sandwiches
Sweet and Sour Chicken

Next Week menu:
Pork Chops
Chicken something
Hamburger something
Another chicken something
Steak on Friday for Olivia's birthday. She will be 12! Hard to believe how fast my babies grow.

My brother started Chemo and Radiation tx this week. Thanks for any prayers on his behalf.

Starting to think about next school year. We will be starting a new curriculum called Far Above Rubies. Both Emilie and Olivia will be doing it. Bella is really flourishing using a modified Sonlight schedule this year, so I plan on doing something similar next year. Which reminds me that I need to post her weekly schedule, but that is on the other computer so I'll get to it later this weekend.

My Illinois family heard me state that I'd rather have my feet cut off then exercise. It's true, I hate cardio, but I do like weight/strength training. I found a book called the Cardio Free Diet and have started the workout routines. I really like it. I've not gotten crazy about counting calories or points. I think this is something I can stick with, I really like it. It doesn't take forever to do, only about 20 minutes, 3-4 times a week.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Rediscovering God in America

I received a free copy of Rediscovering God in America: Reflections on the Role of Faith in Our Nation's History by Newt Gingrich, from Thomas Nelson as a book reviewer.

Like it or not our nation was founded on Biblical principals that are etched in the very monuments of our nation. After taking the tour of our national monuments through this book there can be no denying that yes, our founders knew Who it was that gave each man their freedoms and “unalienable rights.”

I found this book very educational and fascinating. I doubt many people realize just how many of our great founders and leaders over the years relied on, and thanked God. My copy did not have any colored pictures but I know the newest edition does have colored photos which really makes the book come to life for the reader.

We will be using this book in our homeschool to reinforce that even if current political correctness says we are no longer a Christian nation, we can stand firm knowing that this country and our founders held a different, higher standard.