Sunday, January 31, 2016

Ready to Return by Ken Ham (Book Review!)

Ready to Return:

Bringing back the Church’s Lost Generation

By Ken Ham with Jeff Kinley

(I received this book for review purposes.)


Genre- Religion / Christian Education / Christian Life / General

Published by- Master Books

Copyrighted- 2015

Number of pages- 208

Age Group- Adult

Description of Book- paperback, ISBN 978-0-89051-836-6, $13.99

Ready to Return is filled with information on why people are leaving the church and how to bring them back.

Current culture has captivated many of these young people and they have left the church and the beliefs they grew up with.  The blame cannot all be placed on them though, parents and the church have not taught them apologetics, and they too have fallen victim to secular beliefs.

This book has statistics and a clear strategy on what to do to help them.

My thoughts-

I thought this book was interesting and well written.  When I think about the number of people in their twenties at my local church, it isn’t a very large number.  I see more of them returning after they are married and have children.

I know that there were people in different denominations contact for the survey done by America’s Research Group, but I didn’t think there was a fair representation.  They didn’t include the Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, or Jews.  The statistics would have been different if they included those groups.

The chapter I thought was most interesting was chapter 6, “Owning Up- Embracing a Faith of Your Own.”  I thought it was important, because people do need to embrace their own faith.  As a parent, I am making sure that my children will be prepared to defend their faith.  Parents need to take a more active role in their children’s faith, especially those who have children in the public school system.  Those children have a lot more to deal with than those who are homeschooled.  I liked the list of questions on pages 97 and 98 that help foster ownership.

The rest of the book is informational too.  I recommend it to all parents, church leaders, and those who work with those in their twenties.   

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Ready to Return, by Ken Ham with Jeff Kinley, for free through Cross Focused Reviews.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.  All links were current when posted.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Picture of the Week! (January 30, 2016)- Snow Memories

DSCF2897 (Small)

We haven’t had a lot of snow this year, but what we have had has stuck around.  It’s all packed down and hard, not good for snow faces.

We’re supposed to have a four to twelve inch snow storm this coming week.  I think we’ll go to the park to make faces like this after it’s over. 

This picture is from two years ago.

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Peacock Throne by Lisa Karon Richardson (Book Review!)

The Peacock Throne

By Lisa Karon Richardson

(received in exchange for an honest review)


Genre- Fiction / Christian / Historical

Published by- Lion Fiction

Copyrighted- 2015

Number of pages- 336

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN: 978-1-78264-178-0

The Peacock Throne

Two murders.  Lydia Garrett’s guardian and Anthony’s father, the Earl of Danbury died the same night.  Were the murders connected?

Lydia and Anthony learn that the murders were connected to the Indian Peacock Throne, which was taken many years earlier.  Along with the help of Marcus Harting, an agent of His Majesty’s intelligence services, they decide to find the Throne.  Will they be able to find it and restore it to the rightful owners before the French find it?  How will they stay safe with danger around every corner?

About the Author-

Lisa Karon Richardson currently lives with her husband and children in Ohio.  She has written Diamond in the Rough, Vanishing Act, and Curtain Call.

My Thoughts-

When I saw the cover and title of this book, I knew I wanted to read it.  After I read the description of the book, I knew there was going to be a lot of mystery and adventure.  I wasn’t disappointed.  I really enjoyed it.

Lisa Karon Richardson did an excellent job with describing the characters and the scenery.  When Anthony, Lydia, and Marcus were on the island retrieving the Throne Peacock, I could see and feel what they were going through.  I could feel their successes and failures.

I would love to tell you about more of their adventures, but that would spoil the end.  I don’t want to do that.  There is a wonderful note at the back of the book.  It tells about the real Peacock Throne.

I really enjoyed The Peacock Throne.  I recommend it to you.  I’m looking forward to reading more about Anthony, Lydia, and Marcus.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Peacock Throne, by Lisa Karon Richardson, 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.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Picture of the Week! (January 23, 2016)- Lego Design

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My children love to play with Legos.  This is a creation my daughter made.  It is a park and a pool.

I’m so glad for Legos, because they give endless hours of fun.

Friday, January 22, 2016

I Hope You Dance by Beth Moran (Book Review!)

I Hope You Dance

By Beth Moran

(received in exchange for an honest review)


Genre- Fiction / Christian /

Published by- Lion Fiction

Copyrighted- 2015

Number of pages- 378

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN: 978-1-78264-170-4

I Hope You Dance

From the back of the book: “All Ruth had ever wanted to do was marry David Carrington, the boy-next-door….

…she left Southwell, promising never to return.  Fifteen years on Ruth has hit rock bottom.  There is no way out.  Except one…”

About the Author-

Beth Moran currently lives in Nottingham with her three children and husband.  She helps lead a national women’s network.

My Thoughts-

This was a delightful book.  I enjoyed every minute of it.  I hope Beth Moran writes another one soon.

Ruth is like many of us.  The trials of life have caught up with her with the death of her partner.  She moves home with her daughter, but she is determined to make it work.  She does succeed with hard work and help from her family and friends.  We all need to remember to do the same.  It would be a good resolution for this year.

I liked Ruth's girls group.  My favorite people in the group were Ana Louisa and Lois.  Ana Louisa had so much personality and Lois was a steady friend.  They were friends that I would like to have.

If you liked Making Marion you will like this one too.  Even if you haven't read it, make sure you read this one.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received I Hope You Dance, by Beth Moran, 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.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Picture of the Week! (January 16, 2016)- Funny Dog

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I just had to take some photos of Sue on Christmas.  After we opened our gifts, she decided that the tree skirt was going to be her new bed.  I thought it was really funny.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Philippians by Sue Edwards (Book Review!)

Philippians: Discovering Joy Through Relationship

(Discover Together Bible Study)

by Sue Edwards

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Philippians by Sue Edward


Genre- Nonfiction / Christian / Bible Study

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2015

Number of pages- 77

Age Group- Adult (women)

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $13.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4399-2

Philippians is the latest Bible study in the Discover Together Bible Study series from Sue Edwards.  This Bible study has eight lessons that should be taken at your own pace.  Each lessons contains questions to answer, Digging Deeper sections, and QR codes for videos on the internet.  You can also access the videos on the computer via the website,

About the Author-

Sue Edwards currently is in ministry in Dallas and at Dallas Theological Seminary.  She has been married for over forty years and has two daughters and five grandchildren.  She has also coauthored books with other people.

My thoughts-

I participated in one of Sue Edwards Bible Studies, 1 Peter, several years ago.  I really enjoyed it, and I was excited to do this one.

I thought the questions were thought provoking.  The Digging Deeper sections were some of my favorite parts.  They always gave me more to think about. 

I like doing Bible studies that involve an entire book, because I am able to learn more than I would if I studied individual verses.  I like the extra verses that are also added in.  These studies also help me to think more about what I’ve read and I begin to explore other parts of the Bible to find out more.  I also talk about the topics I’ve been studying.  Bible studies are a great way to get people talking about God and the Bible.

I enjoyed watching the videos, but I wish the text was in the book.  I don’t have anything that can read the QR codes, and it can be a hassle to take the time to turn on the computer and make sure it is running when I get to the video section of the lesson.

I recommend this book and this series to women, because that is who it was written for, but I think men could learn a lot too.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Philippians, by Sue Edwards, 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.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Thousand Shall Fall by Andrea Boeshaar (Book Review!)

A Thousand Shall Fall

(Book 1 of Shenandoah Valley Saga)

by Andrea Boeshaar

(received in exchange for an honest review)

 A Thousand Shall Fall


Genre- Fiction / Christian / Romance

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2015

Number of pages- 287

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4381-7

Historical fiction with some romance describes A Thousand Shall Fail, by Andrea Boeshaar. 

Carrie Ann Bell's sister has runaway and she needs to find her.  It's 1864 in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley and the War has come to the valley. 

Carrie disguises herself and a Union soldier and is soon found out by Colonel Payton Collier of the Union Calvary.  He arrests her, but keeps her safe by sending her to his aunt.  She has a secret, which could harm those she loves and has come to love.  What is she going to do?

About the Author-

Andrea Boeshaar has written thirty published works.  She is a cofounder of American Christian Fiction Writers.  Her website is

My thoughts-

I was excited to see the Author's Note at the beginning at the beginning of the book.  I always enjoy knowing about the history behind the book and learn more information about it.  And I enjoy learning about it at the beginning of the book, not at the end.

The Civil War has been a time period that has interested me in the past, so I was excited when I was given the chance to read and review this book.  I wasn't disappointed when I was done reading.  Andrea Boeshaar did a wonderful job of incorporating descriptions of the time period and area.

Carrie was authentic.  I could imagine her as a next-door neighbor or friend.  All of the characters were developed as well as she was.

I had forgotten how Virginia had such a mixture of Union and Confederate supporters.  I wonder if everyone would have gotten along in a social setting, like a dance.  I was surprised how well Aunt Ruth got along with Lavinia and Frances.  It was nice how Eli, even though he was a confederate, stayed friends with Payton and Aunt Ruth.

I would recommend this book.  I'm looking forward to the next book in the series, Too Deep for Woods.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received A Thousand Shall Fall, by Andrea Boeshaar, 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. (Schoolhouse Review Crew Review!)

We received this for review purposes!


Product Links: Yearly Membership

Vendor Information Link:

Age Appeal: Preschool to High School and Parents

Format: Online subscription service

Price: $139/year is an online service with more than 200 different classes.  There are classes in Art, Bible, Drama and Speech, Electives, Foreign Languages, History, Geography, and Social Studies, Language Arts, Math, Music, Nutrition, Health, and Fitness, Preschool, and Science.  There is also a special section for parents, which includes help for homeschooling and homeschool planners.

If you are new to the program, the best place to look is the New Members Hub.  After you look there it is a good idea to go to the Quick Links section, so you can see a listing of all the classes.

Here is a link to an introduction video.

Our Experience: 

We have used in the past and have really enjoyed it.  This time we enjoyed it even more because of all the new classes and the yearly membership.

The children enjoy the math and language arts programs that they have been using this year, so I decided that we would concentrate our searches in:

  • Bible Study
  • Science
  • Foreign Languages
  • Electives
  • History
  • and a little bit in Music

For Bible Study we studied Apologetics: Creation vs. Evolution, What’s in the Bible, and Foundations for Kids.  Each of these areas had questions to go along with the videos.  Usually when we finished watching the videos I would have the children orally answer the questions.  B and C could easily answer the questions, so I know they were learning a lot.

For science the children learned about earthworms and woodpeckers.  I personally learned a lot about the woodpecker the Mexicans call El Carpentero.  I didn’t know that woodpeckers gather acorns and place them in holes in trees.

C started Spanish in Foreign Languages.  I liked how she was learning how to say Bible verses in Spanish.  B enjoys French, so I’m sure he’s going to start that class soon.

We took a look at several classes under the Electives.  B decided he wanted to work on photography.  He has been using my DSLR to take some great pictures based on what he has been studying.

We haven’t learned about missionaries in the past couple of years, so we watched videos and answered questions in the Lighting the Way course.  They enjoyed learning about Amy Carmichael, Gladys Aylward, and Samuel Morris.

There are so many opportunities to learn with and Rightnow Media (some of the videos are located on their site), that I’m not sure where we’ll go next.  There are some core subjects I would like to continue, like history and Bible study.  I really want the children to say in what they want to do.  I want them to be able to work on what delights them.  I feel that if I do that they will be able to contribute more to society.  

Mama’s Thoughts:

  • This is a wonderful online resource that your children can use, and you don’t need to worry about what they’re looking at.
  • There are a lot of PDF documents that could be printed off.  If you don’t have a lot of paper or ink, your children can verbally answer the questions or read the text on the computer or tablet.  That is what we have been doing.
  • One thing I would like to change is that ability to enlarge the embeded Vimeo videos.  Since I couldn’t make the videos fill the screen, we had to crowd around the computer.  It wasn’t a major problem, just an inconvenience.
  • The selection of different classes is amazing.  When choosing the different classes, I prefer to look at the Quick Links page, because all of the classes are listed by subject matter.  I discovered even more courses, because I hadn’t seen them when I looked at them by subject.  When I looked at the courses by subject, they were divided under tabs into Pre-K and K, Elementary, Middle School, High School, and Parents and Family. 
  • B and C were both eager to explore and learn what subjects were available to them.  They each had classes they really wanted to try.  B is taking photography in 4-H, so he wanted to begin and continue to explore the photography course.  C started and wanted to continue the classes on Spanish and guitar. 

B’s Thoughts (boy, age 12, officially in sixth grade):   

I really liked the photography on I liked doing the activities.  I plan on continuing this course.

I liked learning about the missionaries and the course, What’s in the Bible.  I thought some parts of What’s in the Bible were funny.

I would like it if the videos could be enlarged.


C’s Thoughts (girl, age 10, officially in fourth grade):

  • I liked the Bible videos from Rightnow Media.  I really liked the Foundations for Kids videos with Theo, Belfry, and Luther.  Some of the characters in the videos from What’s in the Bible were funny.
  • I enjoyed the Lighting the Way course, because I like stories about missionaries.
  • I had fun trying to learn how to play the guitar with the lessons.  My fingers didn’t cooperate though.  I want to continue to learn the guitar.
  • I enjoyed doing the Spanish lessons.  I plan on continuing them.
  • The Daily Math was fun, because I like to do math.
  • I really like


Dad’s Thoughts:

The first thing that caught my attention was how clean and organized the School House Teachers website is.  It's easy to read and navigate.  The drop down menus are concise and get you to the information you are looking for.

The second thing I liked is that each section has its own faq. You don't have to look through every faq for the entire site just to find your question and answer.  The answers are clear and easily understandable.  When the The Old Schoolhouse Magazine designed this website they put a lot of effort in the development stage to cover everything.

You'll get more value provided by then they will get from the modest membership fees.  Participating in the affiliate program is a great way to offset the low membership costs or just to add some extra cash flow.

The classes offered are varied and cover grades pre-k to high school.  And there are more resources available for high school and some college.

There are many homeschooling websites available but is the leader of pack and the best place to be.

Mama highly recommends!

Social Media Links!

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Picture of the Week! (January 7, 2016)- Snow!


Snow!  We finally have it.  I’m ready for it to go away.

Today the forecast is for rain.  It might wash some of the snow away.  On Sunday and into early next week the temps will hover around 0.  Brrr.

I hope you have a warm and cozy week.