Book Review – More Than Just Making It

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I was really thrilled to be a part of the launch team for Erin Odom’s book – “More Than Just Making It”. This is one of those books I picked up and had a hard time putting back down.  This is a down-to-earth, heart-warming book that examines realistically finances, public assistance and more.

I love Erin Odom’s conversational style in the book.  I felt like I was sitting with her in one of her homes while having a real conversation.  This book touched my heart as well as provided inspiration and memories of what our lives where like when our children were younger.

And while I planned on writing today about this book.  I felt like I needed to talk more about my own #kissesfromJesus as a result of being part of this launch team.  About a year and a half ago, we moved from Pennsylvania to Texas thanks to the United States military.  We have no real family to speak of in the state.  So when Hurricane Harvey decided to come calling, we were in a dilemma about where to evacuate to for the storm.

Initially, we planned on hunkering down in our home.  But when the storm was upgraded to making landfall as a Category 3 “or higher”, I knew we needed to find somewhere to evacuate to for safety.  Somehow the topic of the storm came up on the book launch Facebook page.  A generous lady offered to open her home to our family in the event we needed to evacuate.  I filed the information away for future consideration.  Once we found out we were under a mandatory evacuation order, I sent a message to this amazing lady and asked if she was serious about allowing our family to evacuate to her home.  She quickly replied that we were more than welcome to come.  So that evening, I had our four children and my mother who all live with my husband and I pack in preparations to leave.

Another giant blessing was when we found out her husband was lactose-intolerant like our oldest son.  On Friday morning as Hurricane Harvey was preparing to making landfall in Texas, our family took to the highways to go to Dallas.  We were blessed with reasonable traffic and reasonably good weather for our travels.

Once in Dallas we were welcomed like honored guests.  Truly our family was blessed to meet Dominique and her husband.  She cooked amazing meals and had wonderful touches that made us feel incredibly welcomed.  We received #KissesfromJesus with this act of kindness.

So if you are looking for a new book to read, I recommend this book.  Trust me, if you read it, you will be blessed.

Review of YWAM’s Christian Heroes Then and Now : Betty Greene – Wings to Serve

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I love adding  Christian biographies to our studies so I was excited to review Christian Heroes- Betty Greene, one of the books from YWAM Publishing.  YWAM Publishing quickly became one of my favorite sources for quality books when we began homeschooling eleven years ago.  Over the years, we have collected quite a few of the books, so it was wonderful to find one that was new to our family.  Since we have a fourteen-year-old daughter, and her father spent some time in the Air Force, I felt Betty Greene would be a perfect match for our family.

I absolutely love books and every one that I have picked up from YWAM Publishing have blessed our family.  Betty Greene proved to be another success.  For this review, I decided to simply read the book myself and then have my daughter read the book by herself.  Although she has not finished the book at the time of this review, she definitely plans on reading it all.

Betty Greene tells the story of a young woman who discovered a passion for flying along with a passion for Jesus Christ.  She lived in Lake Washington, and with her parents’ support became a World War II WASP pilot.  Through her service during World War II, she met some men who eventually founded the Mission Aviation Fellowship.  The goal of this ministry was to provide aircraft support to those serving in the mission fields.  I loved reading about Betty Greene’s encounters with other individuals whose stories can be found in the Christian Heros series.


I loved reading about Betty Greene’s adventures while flying and how her faith never wavered or faltered.  She appeared to have an amazing ability to remain calm under some unbelievable circumstances, including a crash and flying in horrible conditions like an extraordinary sand squall known as a harmattan.  She exemplified the life of Jesus Christ in everything she did and said.  Her heart belonged to Jesus Christ and to her mission of flying.  Throughout her life, she demonstrated the heart of a Christian.

 


When I talked with my daughter about the book, she was probably about a third of the way through it. She thought the book was fun and interesting so far.  She liked the fact that Betty Greene and her twin brother had different interests from the other. She found it interesting that Betty Greene decided to take up flying.


One of the best parts of the YWAM Publishing titles is that many of them come with the option to also purchase a study guide to use along with the book.  The study guides can be found at this link.  These study guides offer additional resources to go along with the book.  The study guides offer key Bible verses, chapter questions, student explorations, community links, related themes to explore along with appendices that include books and resources to use, answers to chapter questions, and social studies reproducibles.  These guides include ideas involving history, geography, essays, creative writing, reading comprehension, drama, and art.  Using these guides along with the list of books and resources, a homeschooling parent could easily create an incredible unit study involving this book.

 

 

We decided to focus on the key Bible verses and work towards memorizing them during the review period.  Some of the key verses for this book include Mark 9:23b and Proverbs 18:15.  I also had our daughter orally answer some of the discussion questions. from the chapters as she completed them in the book.  Upon completion of the book, I plan on having her create a project involving a visual display, creative or essay assignment along with mapwork, and other relevant content.

I find the Christian Heros: Then & Now series to be a worthwhile investment.  These are books that the whole family can enjoy reading.  Another feature I love is that many of the titles are available as audiobooks, which is perfect for families taking long distant trips.  I know our family will be listening to Betty Greene and other titles from YWAM Publishing the next time we travel.

If you want to read more reviews about Betty Greene or other titles from YWAM Publishing, click here or on the image below.

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Review for Lamplighter Publishing’s The Secret Bridge

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I was so excited to receive my copy of  The Secret Bridge from Lamplighter Publishing and begin reading this one myself.  When we first began our homeschooling journey over 10 years ago, Lamplighter Publishing was one of the first companies I developed an extreme fondness for at our first homeschooling convention.  Their books look like they belong on the most beautiful bookcase shelves one can find.  So when I received my copy of The Secret Bridge, I immediately allotted time for me to read the book first.  I must say this book definitely does not disappoint.

The cover is a beautiful shade of blueish-green leather with rich embossing on the cover.  The gold background framing the cover is stunning.  The paper has a rich and luxurious feel.  It is a book definitely meant for display rather than one to be hidden away. Lamplighter Publishing aims to develop “Christlike character one story at a time, and this book definitely fulfills that aim.

The story opens with descriptions and observations of the male protagonist in the story.  Godfrey Bullingham who is on a ship observing the female protagonist Bridget Channing, who is traveling alone.  Immediately, I was drawn into the world of these two characters.  The descriptions and details made me feel as though I was actually present in the story.

Bridget Channing finds herself penniless and alone and determined to make it on her own. Godfrey Bullingham feels the need to care for Bridget.  Bridget has a determined and practical nature that will not let her accept the kindness of strangers.  But Godfrey perseveres and convinces Bridget to marry him.  Because Godfrey must go away, he tucks Bridget away with some kind strangers to her, who live near Godfrey’s parents.  He tells her to win the affections of his family and once he returns they will tell them of their marriage.  Secrets help to complicate what otherwise might have been a simple life.


This book contains twists and turns that keep the book interesting.  Some I wished to be the case, and others came as somewhat as a prize.  The one thing this book, like every other Lamplighter Publishing book I have read, include a robust and unmistakable Christian message.  In this case, Bridget learns about God and Jesus Christ and comes to lean on Him.  She eventually develops a genuine and meaningful relationship with God and Jesus Christ.  Because I do not wish to give the plot away further and spoil the book, I will leave the story line there.  I will say the chapters are reasonable in length.  I found nothing objectionable in the story or plot.  It was an easy and enjoyable book to read.

My second son who is 18-years-old also read the book.  It did not take him an unusually long time to read it either.   As he read the book, he frequently commented about how he was enjoying the book.  He found the plot twist and turns enjoyable as well.

In the future, I will have my 16-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter read this book as well.  It would also make an excellent book for reading aloud.  My one wish is for Lamplighter Publishing to eventually make this book one of their audio dramas.  It would definitely be fantastic to listen to while traveling.  I highly recommend this book.

If you wish to read more reviews on The Secret Bridge by Lamplighter Publishing, either click here or on the graphic below.

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Things are Picking Up

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So for the last several weeks, we have slowly been getting back into the school routine.  As part of a review we are working on, our four children along with my husband and myself have been working on learning the Greek alphabet so we can begin using First Form Greek.  I look forward to sharing our experiences with you all.

Also, we are reading a book, working on a computer website design program, a CLEP test preparation website and a writing program.  I look forward to sharing these reviews in the coming weeks and months.

Of course, the normal subjects of math, science, history, Bible, and Language Arts are being completed as well.

So what is going on in your world?  I would love to hear from you.

 

Preparing for a Move

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We are in the process of preparing for a cross-country move, so school has been suspended.  We are using this time to purge, clean and otherwise prepare for our move.  It is always fun getting ready for a move, okay maybe I am exaggerating slightly or even a bunch.  I think it can become tedious at times.  It is no fun going through all the last minute preparations and purging that is necessary to move.  In our case, we are blessed to have packers and movers come in to deal with some of the tedious stuff.  But then we are left with the task of cleaning and making sure the house we are leaving meets the landlord’s standards.

Some landlords spell out very specifically their requirements in the lease.  One of our landlords required us to have the carpets professionally cleaned.  Other landlords have been much more vague, which makes it a lot harder to satisfy them.  It is no fun having to guess at what expectations the landlords might have.  Nor is it fun to be out part of a deposit because we did not know what requirements the landlords had.  So we try to be proactive and work towards meeting expectations.

Since the military is moving us, we are limited on the amount of weight we can move.  As a result when we go to try to find a new home to rent, we are planning on loading a lot of boxes into our twelve passenger van and leave them in Texas.  Of course, these boxes will primarily contain books since books weigh the most.  Then when the packers come we will not have those books to worry about.  In the meantime, I am trying to get rid of as many books as I can that I know we will not use again.

So what is going on in your world?  I would love to hear from you.

 

Books, Books and Books – Oh Which Ones to Depart With

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Our family is now in our tenth year of homeschooling.  Plus, I freely admit I am a bookaholic.  I love books of all shapes and sizes.  But when you are a military family and the military is moving you, weight becomes an incredible part of deciding to keep or get rid of things.  This includes our books.  Since we know we are slotted for new orders to Texas, this means we have to start the purging process.  It will be tedious and time consuming and most of it will rest solely on my shoulders.  I will ultimately be the one to decide what we want to keep and what we want to get release.  I know we will probably be able to send most of to good homes.  Others I am sure will go off to a local homeschool group’s library.  This gives me some small sense of satisfaction.

So for the next few months scaling down our books and other household items will be the priority.  Then once we have actually moved, the fun will be finding a church, friends and homeschool activities as well as a dance studio.

So what is going on in your world.