Tuesday, April 30, 2013

That Summer by Jo Huddleston

That Summer (Book 1 of the Caney Creek Series)

by Jill Richardson

(I received this book for review purposes.)

Genre- Fiction

Publisher- Sword of the Spirit Publishing

Copyrighted- 2012

Number of pages- 220

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- Paperback ($14.99), Kindle ($4.99), ISBN: 978-193921903-9 



In, That Summer, by Jo Huddleston, Jim leaves the Southern Appalachian farm where he has grown up.  He leaves behind an abusive father and a God-fearing mother.

He enjoys living the new live he has made for himself in town.  He begins to stray from God when he meets two beautiful young women.  With one girl, he finds himself captivated and with the other girl, he loses his morality.

What will happen to their relationships?  How will they affect their future and that of others?

About the Author:

Jo Huddleston has written books, articles, and short stories.  She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.




My thoughts: That Summer, by Jo Huddleston, was an interesting story.  There was a lot more to the story than the description on the back.

Jim was certainly a confused person when it came to being strong in God.  He was doing so well, but a pretty girl, Caroline, turned his head.  It was too bad that Caroline came from a rich family and Jim did not.  Class and parents got in the way of what could have been a great relationship between them.

I found that I became frustrated with all of the characters, because of how they left God behind and did not spend time with Him.  It made the story personal for me, because I notice how much better life is when I make time to spend with God.

I really liked the pictures of the old car and the scene of the creek on the front cover.

I usually would not read a book like this, but I really enjoyed it.  I would recommend it to you.

Informational and Purchasing Links:

Follow Jo Huddleston on her Website, Blog, Facebook  and Goodreads.

Purchase on Amazon.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received a free copy of That Summer by Jo Huddleston to review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.  The opinions I have expressed are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.  I am part of The CWA Review Crew. All links were current when posted.

Poison by Jordyn Redwood


by Jordyn Redwood,

Book 2 of the Bloodline Trilogy

(received in exchange for an honest review)


Genre- Fiction / Suspense

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2013

Number of pages- 312

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4212-4

Poison, by Jordyn Redwood, is the second in the Bloodline Trilogy.  Lucent, a being, is still causing trouble for Keelyn Blake and those who were affected by her delusional stepfather and Lucent five years ago.  Lee Watson, FBI, failed to save some of Keelyn’s family when Keelyn’s stepfather went crazy and killed some of his family.  He becomes involved in the new crisis too.

Lucent might just be a real person, not a being, because he has returned and Keelyn’s niece has been kidnapped and Raven (the baby’s mother), her half-sister, is missing.

People who were involved in trying to prevent the killings five years ago have started dying and nobody knows what will happen.

Where is Raven?  Who are the people coming to Keelyn’s house in the middle of the night?

About the Author- Jordyn Redwood currently lives in Colorado with her husband and children.  She has worked in critical care and emergency nursing for nearly twenty years.  She can be contacted at jredwood1@gmail.com.

My thoughts- Poison, by Jordyn Redwood, is the second book in the Bloodline Trilogy.  I have not read the first book in the trilogy, but there was enough back-story that I was able to follow the story and enjoy it.

I usually don’t gain a lot of information when I read the Acknowledgements, but I really enjoyed what Redwood had to say.  She showed me who and what was important for the publication of her book.  I also enjoyed learning about some of resources.

One of the best parts of this book was the great detail in the descriptions of the characters and scenery.  I felt as if I was right there with Keelyn, Lee, Nathan, and Raven.  I wanted to learn more about them and what would happen to them.

The only thing I had problems with was the lack of differentiation between Keelyn’s current life and her flash-backs.

I would recommend Poison to those who like suspense and thrills.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received  Poison by Jordyn Redwood for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Read Aloud Challenge- April 23, 2013

What have you been reading aloud lately?  We have been busy reading books both for school and review.

Our favorite book that we are reading aloud right now is, One Minute Mysteries: 65 More Short Mysteries You Solve with Science!  by Eric Yoder and Natalie Yoder.  Our review will be coming soon, so you will have to be checking back to learn what we really thought.

We are studying Ancient Rome and this week we have reading a picture book by Diane Stanley and illustrated by Peter Vennema, called Cleopatra.  It tells the story of Cleopatra and her life with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.  You can see a sample here.

Last week we started reading, Moccasin Trail by Eloise Jarvis McGraw.  It is about a young man, Jim Keith, who has lived as Crow Indian and is now a trapper.  He learns that his sister and younger brothers are on their way west.  He decides to meet with them and help them. 

Another book we will be reading this week, is City, by David Macaulay.  We are really looking forward to learning more about Roman architecture. 

What are you reading aloud this week?

You can learn about what others are reading at Footprints in the Butter.  

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Schedule Changes in the House

In the past couple of weeks we have moved our school hours from the morning to the afternoon.  We decided to do that, so the children have time to play in the morning, to be better relaxed for school.  We also changed math programs for one of them.  School time is now happy time!

Changing school time to the afternoons, means that I now have to complete my computer work and chores in the afternoon.  I have been having problems adjusting, so I have decided to make a schedule.  I just hope that I can stick with it.

Here is my new morning schedule:

  • 6:00-7:00 spend time with God and my husband
  • 7:00-9:00 Devotions with the children, breakfast, then whatever the children would like to together
  • 9:00-10:00 Daily Chores (my husband took time out of his busy day to make a chore chart for us to follow, so I need to follow it)
  • 10:00-11:00 Computer work
  • 11:00-12:00 This is the time that the children and I will work on extra activities, like art and the major organizing project we have been working on.

This looks like an easy schedule to follow.  I just hope it works.  In a couple of weeks I will share with you how well it is working.  Until then…

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sacagawea by Karla Akins from Knowledge Quest (Schoolhouse Crew Review)

We received Sacagawea by Karla Akins for review purposes.

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Sacagawea (Brave Explorers Every Child Should Know) Complete PDF e-book

Vendor Contact Information: Knowledge Quest

Age Appeal: 10 and up

Format: Kindle e-book

Price: $4.97

 photo SacagaweaBook_zps004a015c.jpg

Sacagawea is an interactive historical novel.  It was released in four episodes- Stolen, Passage, Survival, and Equal.  They are now all together in Sacagawea.

This book is an account of Sacagawea from when she was stolen by the Hidatsa, to the end of her time with the Corps of Discovery.  As the reader delves into Sacagawea’s life, more can be learned by clicking on the highlighted text which goes to websites describing more.  Some of the subjects are prairie dogs, blue grouse, and currents.

Excerpt from Sacagawea.

Our Experience:

We have been studying Sacagawea and the Corps of Discovery this year for school, so I was excited to have the chance to read this book to B and C.  Since we had it on the Kindle, we could read it in the house or outside.  We decided to read it outside, because the weather was perfect.  We read for 30 minutes each time and it was so much fun reading the time flew by.  B and C also enjoyed going to the links for the different websites in the story.  We all enjoyed reading and learning more about Sacagawea. 

I Liked:
  • Karla Akins put a lot of effort into writing this book.  There were great descriptions and she included sections from Lewis’s journal.
  • The children had fun checking out the links while we were reading the story.
  • I liked the inclusion of the Shoshone Indian history, especially Coyote.
  • As I was reading, I felt like I was there with the Corps of Discovery.


  • I would have like a list of sources.

What B (boy, age nine, officially in third grade) Likes and Dislikes: It is a good book.  You learn a lot.  You learn things that you don’t learn in other books, like how sick they were, especially Sacagawea.  I also like that the author’s opinion about Sacagawea was included.

I think this book is good for kids my age.

What C (girl, age seven, officially in first grade) Liked and Disliked: I liked Sacagawea, because she helped to find food for the Corps of Discovery.  I liked Seaman, because he was a nice dog.  It would be good for kids my age.                            

Dad’s Call: Not available for this review.

Mamma would definitely recommend Sacagawea (Brave Explorers Every Child Should Know) by Karla Akins!


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wordless Wednesday- April 17, 2013


Will it ever stop raining?

Leadership Garden Legacy (Schoolhouse Review Crew)

We received Leadership Garden Legacy for review purposes.

 Product: U.N.I.Q.U.E. KIDS: Growing My Leadership Garden and U.N.I.Q.U.E.: Growing the Leader Within

Vendor Contact Information: Leadership Garden Legacy

Age Appeal: 8 to 12 for the children’s version and Adult for the other version

Format: Paperback books, audio and PDF downloads

Price: The U.N.I.Q.U.E. Kids book costs $18.95 (ISBN: 978-0-9786798-5-9), U.N.I.Q.U.E Kids Activity Guide and Journal PDF download costs $8.95, and the MP3 audio download is $8.95.  The U.N.I.Q.U.E. Growing the Leader Within paperback costs $18.95 (ISBN: 978-097867980-4), the Leadership Garden Guidebook also costs $18.95 (ISBN: 978-09786798-4-2), and the MP3 audio download is $14.95.

Debra Solver has created Leadership Garden Legacy to help everyone grow the leader in themselves. 

Hugh is a frightened and lost young sheep who comes to the Leadership farm.  While he is here he will take a tour with Annabelle, a boarder collie.  He will go to different fields and visit with the animals who live there to learn the U.N.I.Q.U.E. (Understanding, Inventive, Quality, Unstoppable, Expression) Lessons which help him grow his leadership garden.

This story is included in both the children’s edition and the adult one.  The adult version also includes Solver’s own personal stories.  There are also MP3 audios of both books.  The adult version has a paperback guidebook available and the children’s has a downloadable activity guide and journal. 

Excerpt from U.N.I.Q.U.E. Kids: Growing My Leadership Garden

Excerpt from U.N.I.Q.U.E.: Growing My Leadership Garden


Our Experience:

Leadership and good leadership qualities have always been important to me, because I was in 4-H for many years in leadership positions.  I was excited when we were picked to review the U.N.I.Q.U.E. Leadership program.  I want my children to be able to have and show good leadership skills no matter where they are. 

B was so excited when the program came in the mail that we had to open the package and he started reading the book right away.  He read some of the book by himself, then I told him that we had the MP3 audio download.  I wanted C to have a chance too, so we began listening to the story, as they followed along.  I followed along in the adult version.  C was a little skeptical at first, but soon we were all enjoying the program. 

I had downloaded and printed a journal for each of the children.  I had also downloaded and printed the activity guide, so we were ready to do the activities when we were done with the chapter.  I would work on the adult version and the children would work on the children’s version.  We had lots of fun. 

We are currently working on finalizing our purpose and aim.  That is taking a bit of time to get the wording right.  We have finished listening to the story.  And we can’t wait to finish our activities!

I Liked:

  • We had lots of fun reading the book and working on the activities.
  • The children would say, “I want to do Hugh!”
  • I learned a lot about myself and so did the children.  We learned that our balance wheels were not at balanced as we thought they were.
  • I would like to do the U.N.I.Q.U.E. Kids program each year with my children to see how they grow and change.
  • I liked the Leader Balance Wheel Inventory for the adults.  It was easier to fill out than the children’s.
  • We liked the program so much we would like to read a book two with Hugh and how he implements his purpose and aim and what he does with Annabelle.
  • I am planning on putting the MP3 audio onto a player, so we can listen to the story many different times.

I Disliked:

  • I thought the story with Hugh worked better for children than for adults. 

What B (boy, age nine, officially in third grade) Likes and Dislikes: I really liked this book, although it could use a book two.  In this book you learn to be a good leader.  In it you learn how to plant leadership seeds.  I think this book is good for kids my age.

What C (girl, age seven, officially in first grade) Liked and Disliked: I liked the illustrations.  I think that they should make another book about the Leadership Garden.  I liked the story.  I think it would be good for kids my age.


Dad’s Call: I found Debra J. Slover’s, U.N.I.Q.U.E. Growing the Leader Within, book to be interesting.  I liked the exercises that help to show how you act and react in different situations.

Debra’s personal stories help to illuminate the ideas of the book.  One thing that could have been done better would be to tell the story of Hugh from start to finish then go back and analyze and add the personal stories.  The way the book is currently written it was like going from stoplight to stoplight.  It was hard to gain any momentum driving.

Overall you will find U.N.I.Q.U.E. helpful and insightful.

Mamma would definitely recommend the Leadership Garden Legacy products!

Special Offer:

Leadership Garden Legacy is offering a “Spring Special Discount” of 20% on all their Empowerment Tools.  Their Tool Kit Bundles are already discounted.

To receive your discount, enter the discount code: TOS-SS20D upon checkout. The discount code will expire on May 31, 2013.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Angelguard by Ian Acheson (Review)

Angelguard: Not All the Spirits are Good

by Ian Acheson,

Book 1 of The Chronicles of the Angelguard series

(received in exchange for an honest review)



Genre- Christian / Supernatural

Published by- Lion Fiction

Copyrighted- 2013

Number of pages- 384

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-1-78264-002-8





Jack Haines becomes involved with others who were affected by bomb blasts in London and Los Angeles.  His wife and two of their children were killed in the bomb blast in Sydney.  Now Jack, Thiery (from London), and Loren (from Los Angeles) must save the G8 nations at their summit meeting from a corrupt businessman.  Helping them will be the angels.  Against them are the demons.

Who will win?  Will the people praying for them give the angels strength to win?

Excerpt from Angelguard.

About the Author- 19_Ian Acheson_22.05.12_by rasha photography

Ian Acheson lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and two sons.  He is a professional strategy consultant.  Acheson enjoys reading and has been writing and telling stories for many years.

Ways to contact Acheson:

Website: http://ianacheson.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/achesonian

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ianachesonauthor

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6483090.Ian_Acheson

Book Trailer : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lB7S-GXotNE

My thoughts- I would not typically check-out a super-natural book such as, Angelguard, from the library.  I selected it for review, so I wanted to give it my best.

I really enjoyed reading it.  There was good dialogue between the demons and the angels.  It was also good between the humans.  I also thought the detail of the action was great.  One problem with all of the detail was the length.  At 380 pages, it seemed to drag in places.  I had to remember though, that the detail helped to make Ian Achenson’s book a powerful read.  I liked it better than Frank Peretti’s books, because of the detail and how the demons and angels could interact with the humans’ subconscious.

I highly recommend this book to everyone.  I am eagerly awaiting book two, Wrestling with Shadows.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received  Angelguard: Not All the Spirits are Good  by Ian Acheson for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Hilda the Briton by Emma Leslie- Book from Salem Ridge Press (Schoolhouse Crew Review)

We received Hilda the Briton for review purposes

Salem Ridge Press Logo photo salemridgelogo_zpsf36e1a99.gif

 Product: Hilda the Briton

Vendor Contact Information: Salem Ridge Press

Age Appeal: 8 to Adult

Format: Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-934671-37-5), 145 pages, copyrighted 2010

Price: $12.95

Emma Leslie, author of Hilda the Briton or, The Golden Age: The Story of a Roman Slave Girl, lived from 1837-1909 and was a Victorian children’s author.  She wrote more than 100 books.

In Hilda the Briton, Emma Leslie introduces us to Hilda and Bran.  They have have been taken from Britain by the Romans to be sold as slaves.  Hilda and Bran are taken to a wealthy Roman home, where Bran becomes filled with hate and Hilda adjusts to her new life.

Hilda hears stories of the Roman god, Saturn, and anxiously waits for him to rule the world in a Golden Age.  The slaves will then be free.  Another slave takes her to hear Apostle Paul, a prisoner, speak about God.  This God loves everyone, including slaves.

Will Hilda follow God?  Will Bran?  What will happen when the rest of the household learns about this new God? 

Excerpt from Hilda the Briton by Emma Leslie.


Our Experience:

Ancient Roman History is one of the subjects we are studying in school this year, so I was really excited to review, Hilda the Briton or, The Golden Age: The Story of a Roman Slave Girl by Emma Leslie.  We put our schedule for Roman History on hold.  We spent that time reading the book.  We read a chapter a day, so it took us eight school days to finish the book.  Each day before we began reading, we would discuss what we had read the day before.

I Liked:

  • We have been studying a lot about Apostle Paul in our Bible lessons, so it was great to have him as a character.
  • How much children can make a positive difference.
  • How Hilda the Briton focused on love.
  • The definitions of some of the more difficult words at the bottom of the page. 

I Disliked:

  •  Nothing

What B (boy, age nine, officially in third grade) Likes and Dislikes: I really liked Hilda the Briton.  It is a good book for you to read by yourself and out-loud!  I like that it had Paul in it (I like Paul) .  I think this is good for kids my age.  I also think this is good for kids, not my age. The End

What C (girl, age seven, officially in first grade) Liked and Disliked: I enjoyed the illustrations and the whole book.  I liked the book, because it has Paul in it.  I have been studying him in my Bible lessons.  It is good for kids my age.

Dad’s Call: I enjoyed Hilda the Briton.  It was refreshing to read about how the teachings of Jesus were so openly discussed without fear of repercussions or punishments.  The story was a positive message about responsibility. whether you were a slave or a master.  I also liked the definitions at the bottom of the pages of difficult words, unknown phrases, or unknown celebrations to help the young reader better comprehend the story.  While Hilda the Briton by Emma Leslie was written for children, I believe that adults will enjoy it as well. 

Mamma would definitely recommend, Hilda the Briton, by Emma Leslie.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Read Aloud Challenge- April 9, 2013

We have been reading a lot of picture books about the Oregon Trail.  We have read most of the books in our library system, so our Oregon Trail learning time is almost over.

This past week we have been reading:

Journey of a Pioneer by Patricia J Murphy

Welcome to the U.S.A. Iowa and Welcome to the U.S.A. Nevada by Ann Heinrichs and illustrated by Matt Kania

B has been listening to Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White.

We have been reading The Complete Sacagawea Saga from Knowledge Quest.  Review coming soon!

Have a good read aloud week!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Don’t Forget to Pack the Kids by Jill Richardson (Review)

Don’t Forget to Pack the Kids: Short Term Missions for Your Whole Family by Jill Richardson

(I received this book for review purposes.)

Genre- Nonfiction / Family

Publisher- BeachGlass Communications

Copyrighted- 2012

Number of pages- 136

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- Paperback ($8.00), Kindle ($3.99), ISBN: 978-0615581187 


Do you want to take your young children on a mission trip and aren’t sure how to do it?  Don’t Forget to Pack the Kids by Jill Richardson show steps on how to become ready to take your family on a mission trip.

You will learn:

  • Personal stories from Jill Richardson.
  • What to expect on your trip.
  • Answers to many of your questions.
  • How and where to ask for mission trip funds.

About the Author:

Jill Richardson lives with her husband and three daughters.  She is a professional speaker and has a BA in English and Education and an MDiv in theology. 






My thoughts: When I saw the title of this book, Don’t Forget to Pack the Kids, and read the description, I knew this book could bless our family. 

I have occasionally thought that our family should participate in some form of missionary work.  I wasn’t sure what we could do.  I now think that going on a short mission trip would be perfect.

Jill Richardson’s inclusion of her family’s personal thoughts helped to make the book come alive.  I enjoyed learning about her daughters and their viewpoints.  I also liked the “spiritual gift inventory” in the back of the book, that can help a person determine his/her own spiritual strengths.  It helped me and I think it would be really helpful for my children to know what their gifts are, too.

One of the most important things I learned was that we need to make sure we are prepared emotionally and culturally for the mission trip.  We also need to have an open mind and heart. 

One thing I think this book needed in the appendix was a list of the resources mentioned throughout the book.

I highly recommend this book!  I’m looking forward to making plans to take the children on a mission trip.

Informational and Purchasing Links:

Follow Jill on her Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or on Youtube.

Purchase Link: Amazon

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received a free copy of Don’t Forget to Pack the Kids by Jill Richardson to review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.  The opinions I have expressed are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.  I am part of The CWA Review Crew. All links were current when posted.

Read Aloud Challenge- April 2, 2013

Wow, this year is going by so quickly.  Here are more of the books that we have been having fun reading.

Patrick : patron saint of Ireland by Tomie De Paola.

Texas facts and symbols by Emily McAuliffe.

Kate and Pippin: An Unlikely Love Story by Martin Springett and photographs by Isobel Springett- About a Great Dane and a fawn.

The Oregon Trail: Yesterday and Today by William E. Hill- We discussed the illustrations.

Your Life as a Pioneer on the Oregon Trail by Jessica Gunderson and illustrated by Rachel Dougherty- Pretty good.

Roughing It on the Oregon Trail by Diane Stanley and illustrated by Holly Berry part of the Jump Back in Time with the Time-Traveling with Twins series- A very good picture book.

B and C listed to volume 41 of The Boxcar Children Collection on CD, again.

We went to the library this past Saturday.  When we got home B read, Coyote's Christmas by S. D. Nelson and Super Babies' dream adventure by Christine Ricci to C.

We are almost done reading Hilda the Briton by Emma Leslie.  Our review is coming later this week!

We are continuing our study of insects in Christian Liberty Nature Reader Book 3.  This week we are reading about beetles.

I’m looking forward to sharing our reading list with you next week.