Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Thankful Tuesday 9/18/2018

As I took our dog outside this morning the world seemed so calm and peaceful. As I stepped over all the leaves on the ground it was a reminder that just a few short days ago it didn't feel this way. The sky was stormy, the rain constant and we had no power. Our situation is minor compared to that of so many closer to the coast.  My heart aches for all the damage they have received.  Even just 15 minutes away from me the roads are closed and it's totally flooded. I'm thankful for so many that have come here to help those in need. All those out risking their lives more often than not for people that didn't heed the warnings to stay home. None of us want to sit in the dark, but we have to remember that it's our husbands, brothers and sons that are having to go out in those storms to get our power back on! I'm thankful when a community can reach out and help each other and I only wish that it would happen more often than when there is a disaster.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Review: Too Blessed to be Stressed for Moms by Debora M.Coty

I know most moms like to say they are too blessed to be stressed, but do we really act that way?? I know I like to say that, but then I turn around and stress about so many things. Most of the things I'm stressing about I have no control over anyway! Debora Coty has given us an amazing tool to help work on the stress in our lives and truly act as we speak.  Too Blessed to be Stressed for Moms has a gorgeous cover that just grabs your attention to start.  The flowers seem to jump right off the cover and there is a handy, pink ribbon to keep your place while reading.  The book starts off with a "stress test" for moms.  There are 10 true/false questions to help place you in the yellow alert, orange or red areas for stress.  I fell into the orange alert level.  "Look out-you're at toxic stress levels".  I felt that pretty much summed up my daily life :) 

There are four sections in the book: 

1) Why Didn't Anybody Warn Me?
2) So Where's the Ding-Dang Motherhood Manual?
3) Coloring My Word with the Crayons Papa God Gives Me
4) Mothering is a Lifetime Gig

In each of these sections there are short, but sweet, lessons to help lower the amount of stress in our lives.  Chapter 2 I'm Not Crazy-I'm Crazy-Busy is how I might describe my life! We are given the verse I will strengthen you, surely I will help you from Isaiah 41:10 One thing that stood out to be in this chapter is that the word "should" is a dangerous word. Deborah tells us that it's a stress-filled pressure-packed slave driver. We compare ourselves to others and what they are doing. We then feel we "should" be doing certain things. This often is a use cause of stress in our lives.  In Chapter 12 Chocolate Caulks Relationship Cracks we learn about Forgiveness.  Romans 12:19 says Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do.  "I'll do the judging," says God.  "I'll take care of it." We often feel the need to get revenge on those that do us wrong.  Sometimes it's a struggle with a neighbor or a friend.  We need to learn to be kind to one another, tenderhearted and forgiving.  At the end of each chapter there is a navigating the hood section. There are a few questions that really help to dig deep and study our hearts.  

Motherhood is a challenge no matter what age your children are at the time.  When they are younger we are dealing with taking care of their every needs. As they grow older they don't need us as much and often push us away when they do need us. As they grow and leave our homes we have to learn to parent in an entirely different. Once they leave the home and start families of their own they still need us, but in different ways. We are parents for life, but it doesn't mean it's easy. It's easy to get stressed and not rely on our heavenly father to help us through the tough times.  We need to pray and remain faithful that he's got this and will be by our side always.  

"I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review."

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Review: I'd Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel

The title I'd Rather Be Reading pretty much sums up my entire life! When I was a young child we lived very close to our local library. I remember going quite often and I checked out as many books as I could carry between my hands and my chin. That was my gauge on the number of books that was enough. I could safely carry books without dropping them that way. I remember sitting on the floor of the library and just looking at all the books on the shelves and looking until just the right ones jumped out to me. Even to this day I think how much I'd love to live across from the library. Anne Bogel was fortunate to live that dream of mine. I think there are many people out there that would consider her to be amazingly lucky to have lived right next to the library.  

Anne has given us a quirky and delightful read about her growth as a reader. Many of the things mentioned in this book were true for me. I remember as a young girl loving The Little House series and then later moving into The Babysitters books. My brother would always give me books for my birthday when he was older and I always figured it would be another "weird" book that he'd pick out (LOL) He always picked out books that I'd never pick out, but I almost always enjoyed reading them. He pushed me as a reader and that's something I'm not often good at doing to myself. I love mysteries, romance and anything about the Amish.  I tend to stick in those same sections of the library, but I'm almost never disappointed when I do :) I can't say that I've read all the classics or even many books that others have read. I don't belong to a book club and may never. I have stacks and stacks of books in my house and many are still unread after sitting here for years. Anne understand and shares in her book that sometimes it's just got to be the right time to read certain books.  We may all vary in the types of books we read, but one thing is sure that we all cherish the books we have. We love to go into the library and just feel the happiness that all the books bring to us. Stop into the bookstore and have to make the sad choices about which books you can afford to buy. Look at our Goodreads lists and see how many thousands of books are on our to-be-read list.  If your looking for a fun book from a fellow book lover then I highly recommend I'd Rather Be Reading

Check out Anne Bogel's social media for additional books she's written.  She authors the blog, Modern Mrs Darcy and has a podcast What Should I Read Next?

**I received a copy of this book free from Baker Books for my honest review." 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Review: The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible & Giveaway

We have been delving into The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible by Doris Wynbeek Rikkers.  What better way to start our day than with one of over 40 stories that share God's presence and power! When I first saw the cover of this book the illustrations by Fernando Juarez jumped right off the page to me. Not only are the stories powerful, but the illustrations match.  We had 29 stories to choose from in the Old Testament and 16 in the New Testament.  

A few of our favorites were The Spirit of God Brings Wisdom and Understanding-Based on the story found in Genesis 40.  This starts out with a verse from Job 32:8 But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty that gives them understanding.  We then read about the story of Joseph and how he interpreted the dreams of the cupbearer and the baker while he was jail.  The next story, God's Spirit Inspires a Leader, is based on Genesis 41. It continues the story of how Joseph interpreted the dreams of the Pharoah.  The verse included here is from Genesis 41:38 So Pharaoh asked them, "Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?" 

In the New Testament we enjoyed A Joy-Filled Father, a story based from Luke 1:57-80 The verse given to us here his: His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied.  Here we learned of Zechariah being told by an angel that his wife, Elizabeth, would have a child. He didn't believe the angel and suddenly couldn't speak. When the baby was born Elizabeth said his name was John. Friends and relatives couldn't believe they were naming him John because there were no other John's in the family. Zechariah wrote that his name was John and immediately regained his voice. 

I think maybe my favorite part of the book is at the end where The Spirit Today is talked about.  Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.  Psalm 51:10-11. Here we learn that the Bible tells us that God's Spirit is everywhere.  From the depths of the ocean floor to the heavens.  This spirit is with us all day and night.  He is out comforter who makes us feel safe.  When God asks us to do things for him we need not be afraid. His spirit is with us and will always be with us.  When we invite Jesus into our hearts his spirit will follow. We then have the ability to do great things for God.  

This book and many others are published by Zonderkids.com They publish wonderful books that we can use to teach our children biblical principals for life.  

I am fortunate enough to be able to offer a giveaway for this wondering book!  

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller/FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Review: The Hope Jar by Wanda E. Brunstetter

I'm not sure I have ever picked up a book written by Wanda E. Brunstetter and not thoroughly enjoyed it! The Hope Jar fell right into that category.  After Sara Murray's mother passes away she learned a secret that shocked her to her core.  Her mother had been born Amish and Sara still had Amish grandparents living. She reached out to them in hopes of learning more about her mother.  Michelle Taylor is struggling in her daily life. Dating someone that is not treating her right and she feels she just needs to get away and start fresh.  Mary Ruth and Willis Lapp hadn't heard from their daughter since she left and didn't know whether she was alive or dead.  When they receive a letter from Sara they struggle to deal with the news that their daughter has passed away, but they are blessed to have a granddaughter. Sara has said she'd like to come see them and so they anxiously wait for her arrival at the bus station on the date planned. As they are looking for Sara Mary Ruth sees someone that she instantly knows is Sara. The color of her hair is the same as their daughters.  When they approach Sara she doesn't know what to say. This couple comes to her as if they are family and welcomes her with open arms. After so much time of not feeling safe she is comforted by the warmth and safety she is just offered so she goes with them. There is only one problem she is not Sara, the granddaughter they think.

Two people in such troubled times of their lives and one couple to offer warmth and safety. As Michelle is assumed to be Sara she goes home with the Lapps and feels she will enjoy the safety and comfort offered for a few days and then move on elsewhere. She doesn't expect to feel such a connection with the family.  As we read through the story and figure out why Sara didn't show up that day we see that Michelle becomes more a part of the Lapp family than she ever imagined.  As Michelle finds the jars of scriptures and prayers she starts to feel more of a connection to the family. She wonders who was so troubled and wrote such heartfelt prayers.

"I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review." 

Remembering 9/11

17 years ago today I remember turning the tv on to get ready to attend Bible Study and hearing the horrific news about what had happened. I cut the tv off because I didn't want Zachary to see any of it.  We headed to Bible Study and I remember he didn't want me to leave him in his classroom. We had been attending for a while and not even the first day did he cry when I left him in his class. I remember sitting in the rocker, 7 months pregnant with Brianna, and rocking him until he was calm. It was as though he knew what was happening and was as unsettled as the rest of us :( I feel such sadness for all those that lost their lives that day and the following days. All those that had the family dynamic changed in a second. So many people changed because of that day. I'm so thankful for everyone that helped during that time to get out the survivors as well as those that didn't survive. It seemed like our nation was brought closer by this tragedy and although I don't want to relive that tragedy I wish our nation could relive the closeness. We are always fighting with each other and it's a sad way to live. I'm thankful for my family and friends and pray today for all those families that were affected by this horrible tragedy.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Review: The Fashion Designer by Nancy Moser

There have always been those in history that have started the new trends and helped move us forward in business.  In The Fashion Designer by Nancy Moser the main character, Annie, is the one setting the trends.  Annie Culver had worked as a pattern maker, but decided to branch out on her own with friends to start their own fashion house.  She is starting a new business as well as a new family.  How could life change much more than that?? Annie has received financial backing to help start the business, but when she realizes the backing is really more for personal gain than the business she has to make a decision. With prayer and support from her husband and friends they move forward in a different direction. Their ultimate goal is for wearable and fashionable dresses for the "average" lady. They ask people they know to be models to show off who they really want their fashions to be worn by in the future.  As they push forward working on designs for the shown the unexpected happens. Annie falls early one morning and they have a scare with the baby. She now has to slow it down and lets others take on more responsibility. Thankfully her mother-in-law joins the team and provides much needed support and help.  Will they be successful? Will their fashion house become known to all the "average" women? You'll have to read The Fashion Designer to get these answers.  For additional books written by Nancy Moser you can follow her social media: 

** "I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review."

Friday, August 24, 2018

Review: Dot to Dot! Philadelphia

It's been a stressful few months and recently I've enjoyed working in the Dot to Dot! Philadelphia book that Timberdoodle sent us and drinking a coffee at the same time! I enjoy puzzles and word search type activities, so I was excited to try out this Dot to Dot book. Recently my youngest and I have been enjoying some great books on some of our men in history and I thought he'd enjoy seeing some of these pictures completed.  David Kalvitis has given us a unique activity book in that we can see pictures emerge that are located in the Parkway Museums District.  There are 23 puzzles in the book that show us institutions and attractions near the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.  This book debuted on September 8, 2017 at the launch of a yearlong celebration for the Parkway's centennial. The Dot to Dot activities are similar and yet different all at the same time! The directions range from stopping each time you see a star and continuing at the next number to doing sets like 1-10, 1-15, 1-61 and 1-355.  My favorite was the continuous following of numbers.  The book starts out with the first activity being 1-156 and working up to numbers 1-1690. Some of the pictures are completed with one page and others two pages.  It is recommended that you use a ruler to complete the activities if you want nice, crisp lines.  Children as young as 8 can enjoy these activities as well as adults. This book currently comes in the Eleventh-Grade Curriculum Kit as well as can be purchased alone.  

Originally I thought my 11 year old son would join me in working through this book, but the amount of small numbers on the page was too much for him. I enjoyed the challenge of having to hunt around to find the numbers. There were a few times where I was stumped and unable to find the number I was looking for at the moment. I would just put the book away and try later or ask my daughter if she could help me (LOL) One thing I realized was that I didn't complete most of the pages in one sitting and then I would get frustrated with remembering what number I had stopped on previously. I realized that by putting a little post it on the page with the number I would start with next time it cut out the frustration that I might have starting again.  

Here are some of the other puzzles that I completed. I think often times as adults we don't think of doing activities like this as a stress reliever, but I found I really enjoyed working in this book. I'll be honest that I didn't use a ruler once because I was doing this book for fun and having to use a ruler made it somehow seem more like work (LOL) I was so pleased with how clear the pictures were.  

The last few pages have a key to the puzzles. I really liked that because I was able to explain to my youngest what each puzzle was that I had completed.  I think one of Issac's favorite's that I did was pg. 7.  It's a T. Rex for the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.  The back cover is pretty cool because it shows a subway map with all the pages of the book and where they are located.  

The Dot-to-Dot Philadelphia book has really been fun to play around with these last few weeks.  I've enjoyed the various difficulties offered as well as the pictures.  

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Thankful Tuesday 8/14/2018

So thankful for our son and all that he has accomplished in his young life. He's got a mentality that he'll try things that others might not think he should do at his young age. I've enjoyed watching him grow into such a fine young man. It's hard to imagine that in a few short months he might not live anywhere near us, but for now I'm enjoying all the time we had with him this past week!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Review: No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope

Raising Real Men
Life seems so much more complicated these days than when I was younger. The amount of technology that surrounds us makes a parent really have to work hard to do their job.  When our babies are first born it doesn't seem like it could be harder than taking care of them 24/7. As they grow up there are always new issues that arise that may not seem harder, but are still hard to deal with.  Children go through different seasons as they grow and we have to learn how to adapt our parenting skills as they change.  Great Waters Press has produced a great product that I'm finding helpful as I maneuver these tween years.  No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope is a full of information to help during this stage.  I personally feel that the "tween" stage is one of the harder stages. My kids have struggled in this area because they aren't young children yet, but are quite teenagers. They felt at times they were treated as "babies" as my oldest said, but yet he wasn't mature enough to be treated as a teenager. Thankfully Hal & Melanie Young have given us a product to help guide us through these years!
No Longer Little by Hal and Melanie Young
I think many of us parents have wondered what alien took over our child's body as they were going through the tween stages.  One minute they are sweet and loving and the next are crying and running to their room because they were asked to sweep the floor. They are going through huge hormonal changes during this time period and are struggling to find themselves.  More than ever this is the time to focus on communication, show our love for our children and show them the right way to do things. Every parent wants to raise their child to be a solid member of the community that can take care of themselves.  One thing that really jumped out at me was that we as parents have to continually control our own emotions.  It doesn't help us to get emotional when they are already in the middle of their own emotional meltdown.  I also realized that what I often though of was disobedience was all part of the distraction and being absentminded that occurs during these years. It makes moms feel better to realize that they aren't the only one dealing with these issues! In chapter 3 we learn that neurologists say during these years that parts of the brain actually unravel!! There actually is a temporary loss of functions as the neurons are transforming into their adult configurations. Seems like such an amazing process and it truly does validate their behavior.  There is so much discussed in this book, but it's such an easy read.  I was captivated throughout the entire book. The examples that Hal and Melanie give I have seen in my own home.  The fact that they give real life examples that they have dealt with helps the reader feel so much more comfortable that they aren't alone in dealing with these changes.  Hal & Melanie have a chapter for pretty much anything you might be dealing with currently.

1.  Getting Bigger: Hormones and Body Changes
2.  The Rollercoaster: Emotional Upheaval
3.  Brains Turn To Mush: Why School Goes Awry
4.  Many A Conflict, Many A Doubt: Spiritual Questioning
5.  The Awakening: Sexuality and Virtue
6.  Social Struggles: Overcoming Awkwardness
7.  Media, Gaming, and Discernment: More Than Amusement
8.  Conflict At Home: Family Relationships
9.  Transitioning: Youth in the Bible
10.  Celebrating Growth: Coming of Age Ceremonies
11.  Producers, Not Consumers: Work and Stewardship
12.  The Next Big Thing: High School and Beyond

I have struggled over the years about what to do with my children at what ages.  I want them to have a happy childhood and not grow up too soon, but yet I want them to be responsible and capable young adults. I often think about the times of long ago when children were running households at 14. That's not necessarily what I would want for my child, but yet somehow we went from them being more capable at a younger age to being less capable.  Hal & Melanie talk about this transitioning and how they celebrate the coming of age for their children.  I really enjoyed reading about this process because I hadn't really thought of celebrating this coming of age before.  Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality is another book that Great Waters Press has written. This book is geared toward the 12-20 year old children in your lives.  This is the next book that is on my wish list to read! 

Check out their social media sites:

 Facebook-Raising Real Men

Facebook-Hal & Melanie


Love, Honor, and Virtue  AND No Longer Little {Great Waters Press Reviews}

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Review: Home School in the Woods Time Travelers American History-The Civil War

Home School in the Woods
Home School in the Woods has fast become one of my favorite companies to shop.  They have a huge selection of items and I can find pretty much anything I want or need for history.We have been fortunate to be able to review their products several times.  We had a great time with review #1 as well as review #2 . Our youngest has gotten into that stage where he's fascinated by war. He doesn't understand what war truly means to those in it, but he's fascinated by the history of our country.  We chose to work in the Time Travelers U.S. History Studies section.  They had great options for us to chose from, but ultimately Issac wanted to learn more about Time Travelers: The Civil War.  I'm not the most techie person out there and had some type of glitch when trying to download the product. I reached out to customer service and they were AMAZING.  I hadn't had this issue previously and they hadn't either, but they worked with me until I was able to download the product.  Great customer service means a ton to me and this company is right up there at the top! Once I got my product downloaded I proceeded to one of my favorite parts: the printing of everything we needed :) I do highly recommend you make sure you have fresh ink and plenty of paper. I normally have regular printer paper, white cardstock and colored cardstock on hand. This time most of our house is packed for a move and all I had was regular printer paper. That being said we still were able to make due. I made a mistake while starting out by printing the teacher's pages for the timeline. That being said it turned out to be a wonderful mistake for us. Issac doesn't really enjoy cutting smaller things out because he still struggles with fine motor skills. I went ahead and put the "answer key" together and we used that as our timeline. I had him color or circle the events from each lesson and we were still able to see how everything fell into place time wise.  One thing I really like is having a schedule or at least a place to jump off from. I like that Home School in the Woods gives me that jumping off place. I prefer holding items in my hand while reading, so I always print the lessons off and then we keep them in the notebook when done. Here's an example from lesson 5 of the options we had.

Issac really enjoys the hands on activities that Home School in the Woods provides. We typically don't do the newspaper portion that is included. That would work better for my older daughter, but the writing is a bit hard for Issac.  There are so many other activities though that we are never bored.  We worked on maps of the underground railroad, a lantern to light our way, women of the civil war and badges which was one of Issac's favorites. I even found this time that he enjoys having me read the lesson pages without even doing the activites.  We also checked out several books from the library to go along with the activities.  There are so many different options that it's hard to chose just one.  

The newest item they are excited to share is Project Passport: Ancient Rome (CD version coming in fall 2018).  The complete Project Passport Bundle (all 5 world history studies) (CD version coming in fall 2018) is available as well.  The crew reviewed so many different items, so if there is a particular item your looking to check out someone probably reviewed it. As always Home School in the Woods is active on social media.  Follow them on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest.  

Hands-on-History, Project Passport, À La Carte Timelines and Time Travelers {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Review: Northwest Treasures

Northwest Treasures
There is something mysterious and magical about dinosaurs in the eyes of children.  Their size alone is enough to lure children into learning more about these creatures.  Northwest Treasures was founded to share a information and a love of geology.  A good foundation in geology is needed to better understand anthropology, biology, earth science and paleontology.  This foundation will lead to a better understanding of the Bible and what God has said. There are several  Online Courses currently available.  We were able to view two of the courses.  The first being Taking the Mystery Out of Geology and the second being Dinosaurs and the Bible.  
Take the Mystery out of Geology Online Course
Taking the Mystery Out of Geology is a 20 minute course in which Patrick Nurre shares his love of geology.  There are 13 terms that will help students to better understand geology:
2- History
9-Rock Cycle
10-Rock Types
11-Tectonics & Orogeny
12-Geologic Time Scale (Deep Time)
13-Fossilization (petrification)
I think we all enjoy picking up a pretty rock and looking at it, but most of us don't know anything about these rocks that we find. This class gives a little more information on how to know what rocks we are finding.  For those that have a love of Geology this may just be a refresher course, but for those of us that don't know much it's a great starter course.  For additional information check out the Video provided.  This class is geared for 5th grade and up and currently can be purchased for $5.00.  You will have a 3 month subscription after purchase.  

Dinosaurs and the Bible Online Course
The other class that we watched was the 6 part Dinosaurs and the Bible.  We have all heard about dinosaur findings, but do we really know much about them.  Do we really know how they lived or died?  In this class your student will have access to the following: 
  • How We Got Our Modern View of Dinosaurs
  • The Classification of Dinosaurs
  • The Great Dinosaur Rush
  • The Extinction of Dinosaurs
  • Dinosaurs and the Ice Age
  • Fossils, Age and Soft Tissue
  • Worksheets and answers 
  • Comprehensive exam and answers

This class is geared towards 5th grade and up. Your student could use just the videos or if you prefer the worksheets and exam as well. My son is going into the 6th grade and has some developmental delays. I found that the worksheets were too hard for him. If I used the worksheets to discuss with him he could answer most of the questions. Some of them were just looking for more information that he could produce. The amount of space to write the answers wasn't enough for him as well. That being said he loved the videos and is still talking about the information that he learned in them.  I think with any program it is up to the parent to adjust if needed and we were able to do that with the worksheets without changing the integrity of the program.  For a little more info on this program check out the video. This class is currently on sale through March 31st for $19.99. The regular price is $39.99.  

Northwest Treasures offers quite a selection.  They offer a wide variety of Educational kits and curricula.  They also have a great kit for the younger kids to start their study of geology.  Geology for "Little Eyes" (PreK-3rd) is a great way to get the younger kids involved.  

For more information check out their Facebook or Pinterest pages. The crew had several different items to chose from, so I highly recommend checking out what others thought of the different programs.   

Online Geology Classes{Northwest Treasures Reviews}

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Review: Bible Study Guide For All Ages

Bible Study Guide for All Ages
Over the years we have used many programs for our Bible time. Some we liked and some we didn't, but the thing I noticed about most was that there didn't seem to be a continuous building in the program. I think most had the plan to do so, but it didn't feel that way to me. Issac also enjoys more interactive work, so when I read about the Bible Study Guide For All Ages it seemed a good fit for Issac.  I chose the Intermediate (3rd & 4th grade) for Issac to try as well as the  Wall Maps and Timeline set.  The Intermediate set is suggested for 3rd & 4th grade, but after comparing the amount of writing to that in the Advanced set I felt it was a better fit for Issac.  I think I was most excited for Issac to see the Wall Maps and Timeline Set because he greatly prefers more interactive work. Thankfully we had a wall with enough space to put up the maps and timeline because it does take up a fairly large area on the wall.  I have to say it was pretty exciting opening up the box with all the goodies in it! We received the following: 

** Intermediate Student Pages
** Intermediate Teacher Key
** Bible Book Summary Cards
** Wall Maps & Timeline
** Label Set

Bible Study Guide for All Ages
Bible Study Guide for All Ages
Bible Study Guide for All Ages
The first day I spent pretty much going over the materials that we received in the mail and reading the website again about how the program works.  I also scouted out the best place to put the maps and timeline. I wanted them to be easily accessible and they are pretty large, so I needed a good spot.  The maps are 38"s*25"s, 19"s*25"s and 19"s*25"s.  The Time Line is 76"s*25"s.  I was able to take a wall in the living room and put the time line up and the maps underneath.  There are certain labels that need to be put on the timeline before the first lesson, so I went ahead and put those on. We are currently in the process of packing up our house for a move, so all I had was tape to put the labels on with it.  It's recommended that you use a reusable adhesive putty, but I just couldn't find mine. I then looked through some of the information in the teacher's guide as well as skimmed the instructions for the Bible Book Summary Cards.  
Issac seemed pretty excited to try out the new program. I think it helped to have the large time line and maps on the wall :) When you have maps and a timeline that large you can't help but see them multiple times a day. I found that even in the first few days he was looking at them trying to figure out what was what. That's always a positive sign for me when I catch him looking at items without me telling him too! :) 

Each lesson starts with the "Remember It" section. This is basically a review section and by reviewing at the start of each lesson it's really setting up a firm foundation for learning.  The next session is the "Memory Workout" section.  This area is for teaching general Bible information such as the 12 Sons, Books of the Bible, etc.  This section also goes hand-in-hand with the Bible Book Summary Cards. Those teach basic content and themes in the Bible as well.  The "Guess What" section teaches definitions and historical information that helps the student better understand. After doing these sections the student flips to the back side of the lesson where they move on to the "Discover the Bible" section. Here is where the student delves into the Bible.  The student can read to themselves or the parent/teacher can read the Bible text. I chose to read the Bible aloud to Issac, so that we could both be involved in the lesson.  As the Bible is read there are activities to further that learning. One of my favorite parts of the program is the timeline.  To me being able to post those labels on the timeline helps me to further understand what I'm learning. Issac is the same way, so we both found that part of the learning to be extra fun.  The timeline and map activities are alternated in the program, so that your child is getting to do both without feeling like they are doing too much in one lesson. If you don't have the large wall timeline/maps that we have there is information on the inside of the student guide about free time lines you can print to use.  A fun little section called "Get Active" has been added that gives the student a little different activity each time. And last, but certainly not least is the "Apply It" section. Without learning how to apply the knowledge it doesn't do much for our kids.  The students reread the verses and learn how to apply them to their daily lives. There is so much information packed into each lesson, but it's not overwhelming.  I dare say it seems the perfect setup for learning!

We have spent quite a bit of time in Genesis with this review! My youngest needs LOTS of review and the Bible Book Summary Cards that are used in this program are great for him. There is information about Genesis and then review questions that can be gone over daily. This is the type of review that truly is helpful for Issac! Here is a neat little video that gives more information on these cards. These cards come in three different sizes, but I have found that the small size for us is perfect! I'm amazed at what I'm learning just from reading these cards.  

The range of questions and activities in the lessons has really been a good fit for Issac. He struggles with writing even at his age, but by choosing the Intermediate (3rd & 4th grade) he's still learning so much and doesn't feel stressed when doing the lessons. To me the grade level isn't as important as him enjoying doing the lessons and learning. Learning what the Bible says is truly the biggest gift we can give our kids!

This book is so great.  It's a nice, sturdy notebook that has all the labels 3 hole punched and organized by lessons. 

Here is a page of labels that shows them listed by lesson and are easy to cut. 

This is one of the "keys" that are included in the book. Shows where all labels should be for this particular map.  

One of our first lessons was completed while spending the day at our new house working. Issac took a piece of wood and made a desk for himself to work on his lesson.  

I have really enjoyed working in the Intermediate (3rd & 4th grade) lessons of the Bible Study Guide For All Ages with Issac over these last few weeks. I feel that we are both learning together and I always enjoy those times. He's remembering things that I wasn't sure he would and is really enjoying the large maps and timeline. If I had one complaint about this program it would be that our papers fell apart and I had to staple them back together again. Issac can be super hard on papers and we often have to tape, staple or hole punch things to keep them together. There are a total of four units and 416 lessons with this program! Having them divided up by Beginner (3-K)Primary (1st & 2nd grade)Intermediate (3rd & 4th grade) and Advanced (5th & 6th grade) gives families lots of options.  This program isn't strictly for families.  It's a wonderful tool for churches and youth groups. They have a great FAQ section to help make your decisions easier.  The crew reviewed lots of different lessons this time. Some have previously used this program at church or in their home and wanted to continue where they stopped. Some are using it with just one child, like I did, and others are using it with multiple students on multiple levels. Head over and read what everyone thought.  

Bible Study Guide For All Ages {Reviews}
You can also read and learn more about the Bible Study Guide For All Ages on their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.  

Thankful Tuesday 9/18/2018

As I took our dog outside this morning the world seemed so calm and peaceful. As I stepped over all the leaves on the ground it was a remind...