Flat Stanley Came to Visit

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When we lived in Pennsylvania, we were part of the Lock Haven Salvation Army Corps.  One of my favorite activities our family assisted with was the after-school program.  So when I received a request from someone at the corps asking for families who lived out of state to host Flat Stanley.  I immediately said yes.

So last week Flat Stanley came to visit.  He helped us cook dinner.  Here are some photos.

He also attended Youth Group at our church with our youngest two.  He decided to hang out with the pastor.

He also decided to go exploring in a violin belonging to one of the young ladies in the Youth Group.

Then on Thursday, he was supposed to go to Homeschool Band with my husband, middle two children and myself.  However, he felt like it would be better to stay home and relax on my husband and my bed.

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He also took a trip to work with my husband.  However, I am waiting to get all of those pictures.  So stay tuned for additional updates on the adventures of Flat Stanley.

Review of Let the Little Children Come’s Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sampler Pack

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As a Christian family, I feel it is important for our family to share the message of Jesus Christ and of salvation.  So I am always on the lookout for tools to assist with that.  Even though my youngest just turned 15 years old, and our oldest is 21 years old, finding the right words to use can be challenging.  However, I recently discovered a fantastic company that offers products to assist with this dilemma.   Let the Little Children Come provides tools to share the gospel with children, and you can check out a selection of them in their Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sampler Pack.

According to their “About Us” page on their website, Let The Little Children Come, “aims to provide effective child evangelism tools and resources”.  Their products are designed with children in mind.  Being realistic a typical Bible tract designed with adults in mind will not capture the mind and attention of a child.  However, the items contained in this pack are brightly colorful, engaging and captivating.

In the sampler pack our family received for this review, the first thing that caught my eye was the way all of the tools came packaged in a zippered plastic bag.  This ensured that nothing would be lost or misplaced.  A variety of tools and tracts were included.  There are animated tracts, using a striped plastic sheet over the images and slowly sliding it over the pictures in the tract so the images appear to move.  Next, there are “Pop-up tracts” which follow the same principle of pop-up books I remember buying when our children were younger.  I know these books always kept my children’s interest when they were younger.  Finally, there are FlipAbouts which using according to the enclosed information sheet, “use a fascinating folding mechanism.

I love how the company makes detailed instructions and even video demonstrations available on their website at http://www.LetTheLittleChildrenCome.com.  In our sample pack, we received a variety of tools and tracts including silicon bracelets, which my children used to love receiving when they were younger.  For each color in the bracelet, a portion of the gospel message is written on the included sheet.  Steps for being with God are written out in a way a child would be able to understand.  Finally, a prayer the child can say is written out, so all the child needs to do is pray.

The Lost Easter Egg was another tool our family really enjoyed.  This is one of the pop-up tracts.  The colorful looks, pop-up features, and concise message make it enjoyable to read and share.  On the back again the gospel message is spelled out on how to have a relationship with God along with a prayer to say.

I love how the messages in these tools are written to children. In the future, I plan to order some of these items to keep with us as we go about our daily life.  This way, when we come across a child we will be prepared to share the message of God’s love and the salvation we can have by accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior.  If you would like to read more reviews about Let The Little Children Come and the Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sampler Pack, click here or on the graphic below.

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Our Youngest Son Turns Seventeen

Seventeen years ago today, our youngest son was born.  This child has kept us on our toes and brought joy to our life.  In the last month, he has begun playing the alto saxophone in our local homeschool beginner band.  He is also working to learn Japanese with the help of a local friend.  So happy birthday to our youngest son.

31 Days of Scriptures – Day 1

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So October 1st began this years 31 Days project.  However, I am running slightly behind.  So here is my post for day 1.  I will be picking and posting various Scriptures that stand out to me, mean something to me or just speak to my soul.  I will be using the New American Standard Bible for this project.

Today’s Scripture is from John 1:1 and I love the simple message of this verse.

 

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Review of Barbour Publishing’s “Imagine…The Great Flood” by Matt Koceich

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As I have stated before, our family loves books.  So anytime we get the opportunity to review a new book, we take it. We’ve lots of historical fiction over the years but recently we just finished reading a Biblical fiction for kids book called Imagine. . .The Great Flood by Matt Koceich from Barbour Publishing.  This book details the experiences of a young boy named Corey who travels back in time to the days of Noah and the Ark.

This is the first book in a Christian Kids Series by Matt Koceich.  Mr. Koceich is a school teacher who created this series with children ages 8 to 12-years-old in mind.  However, I can say after reading the book myself, I believe almost anyone of any age would enjoy this book.

`This book begins with Corey Max and his mom taking his dog Molly to a park in Texas to avoid the chaos at their house where a moving truck was being loaded with all their belongings.  The family was preparing for a move to Florida.  In the typical fashion of a child, Corey does not want to move and leave everything familiar – even though they are moving for his father’s job. Corey’s mom tries to help Corey understand and recognize God will be with them and will care for them wherever they go.

While at the park, a storm comes up quickly with lightning, thunder, and rain.  Molly had rushed into the woods, so Corey has to go after her.  While running after his dog, he trips over the log and finds his surroundings changing to new ones he did not recognize.  Unexpectedly he encounters a lion.  He begs for God to show him mercy.  The story then chronicles Corey’s encounter with Noah and the Ark, Noah’s sons and getting the animals onto the Ark while dealing with individuals who try to interfere with their plans.  The Great Flood is chronicled in a way which made me feel as though I was actually there.

I read this book and then had our 14-year-old daughter read it as well.  When I asked her for her opinion of this book, she had definite opinions.  She felt the beginning of the book was excellent.  However, she felt like the ending was rushed.  She thought it was a good book to read.  She stated she would have liked to see more details about the motivation of the antagonist.  Overall though she thought it would be a good book just to read for fun.

I felt the author did a great job with pulling the reader into the story.  I felt like I was actually in the story.  I could feel Corey’s pain and frustration over the move to Florida, which he had no control over.  I also felt the love and compassion of his mother.  I felt Corey’s amazement when he realized he had traveled back in time.  I enjoyed reading the details about Noah’s sons gathering the animals and preparing them to get them on the ark.  At the same time, I felt Corey’s fear as he encountered the unknown enemies and faced danger.  I won’t spoil the story for you, but I will say that Corey returns safely to his own time and finds the move to Florida better than he expected.

This is the first book in the Imagine series, and I personally can not wait to read more.  If you want to read more reviews on “Imagine…The Great Flood” by Matt Koceich, click here or on the graphic below.

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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 Apologia Educational Ministries’ Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set

 

 

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Ever since our family began homeschooling about eleven years ago, science. has been a course I have looked to Apologia Educational Ministries for our textbooks, notebooking ideas and more.  Looking for a homeschool marine biology course? I suggest Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set from Apologia Educational Ministries.  Ever since I met my husband twenty-six years ago, he has expressed an interest in Marine Biology.  At several points, he even considered pursuing it as a career.  So when I saw the opportunity come up to review this course, I immediately called my husband to see if he would be interested in reviewing it.  He answered with a resounding yes.

For this review, we received the hardback textbook with over 500 pages, the student notebooking journal, the tests, the solutions, and tests manual as well as the Marine Biology 2nd Edition Audio CD read by Marissa Leinhart. This course is meant to be done after completing a traditional Biology course as well as Algebra I.

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Apologia Educational Ministries offers a range of products and services including science courses for elementary school through high school, resources for writing or reading or literature as well as ones designed for parents.  I love the variety and the quality of the products offered.

As I previously stated, my husband was the one to use the materials.  However, I did listen to the audio cd with him.  So here is his review of the textbook and notebooking journal.  At this time, he is not planning on using the tests since this is strictly for his own knowledge and interest.  We do plan on having our daughter, currently, a freshman in high school, do this course.

At first glance at the text book, I saw that it contained a lot of illustrations. That’s important because it captures the attention of the reader. As I endeavored into the text, I noticed that there are also a lot of bold lettering to identify key words and phrases. At the end of every segment, there are questions posted so that it would quiz the reader on what was read. This is all good so that the reader can learn as he or she reads the subject. Labs are also inserted in places that correspond to the information that has been read. This is good because it is a hands-on way to remember certain information. At the end of each module, there are also questions that are posed in a different manner than how the questions are stated in the material itself. This would enhance one’s mind to think of different ways of approaching information and help to remember important facts.

 

The student notebook is exceptionally great in the fact that it follows the text book on every question and Lab. There is also a reading plan to follow which makes it easy to develop a plan of action for the student. Grading tips are also given to help the instructor. What is extremely helpful are tools recommended to use to take notes, a place to answer questions from the text, fill in the blank questions, and recording Lab data.

 

The Solutions and Tests come in a separate softcover book.  This solutions manual includes helpful information to use before beginning the course including grading and course administration.  The solutions for the study guide are included as well as the answers for the summary of each module.  There are also blank copies of the tests (which can also be found in the separate test booklet) as well as the solutions for the tests themselves.  These are laid out in a manner that makes it easy to find when looking for something.

My husband, who reviewed this product, highly recommends the setup of the text and student notebook. He truly is excited about it and is looking forward to continuing the course.

The Marine Biology 2nd Edition Audio CD is meant to only be used on computers and does not play on regular CD players.  So this could be a disadvantage for those who prefer to listen to audio on a regular CD player.  At first, I downloaded the files to my computer and tried to play them for my husband and myself.  However, doing it that way meant I had to click on each individual file.  Later, I decided to download the files to my computer and then upload them to my iTunes account.  Once I did that, it was easier to manage the files.  Also, by doing it this way, we can hook my tablet or phone to the audio system and listen while driving.  We both thought Marissa Leinhart did an excellent job reading the textbook.  My husband was pleased he could listen while looking at the textbook to follow along.  I strongly recommend getting the audio version along with the set.

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Once again, we really recommend the Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set from Apologia Educational Ministries.  If you want to read other reviews of this product, click here or on the image below.

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