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Showing posts from March, 2012

In What Special Ways Does God Speak to You?

Have you ever seen those little plastic loaves of bread with an opening on top, filled with colorful strips of cardboard that have a Bible verse on each side? My grandparents, George and Elsie, had one of those on their dining room table for many, many years. Before the ate a meal, 3 times daily, at every single meal, they read a verse (or two!) and prayed over their family. Particularly for those who did not know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

You may be thinking, "Aww, how sweet," and you're right, it is a sweet memory of grandparents (both of whom have gone to be with the Lord). But you'll find it more inspiring when I tell you the size of the family: George and Elsie had 14 children, 75 grandchildren, 88 great-grandchildren, and 12 great-great-grandchildren at the time of my grandfather's death. They prayed long and hard for their descendants, and many times their meal had grown cold well before the praying ceased. Oh yes, they were true intercessors.

Out of all the…

How Does A Homeschool Mom Make Time for Her Spouse?

Well, the easy answer is, of course, to MAKE time! At the same time, the almost impossible answer is to MAKE time...

With five kids, a busy youth ministry, and a house to maintain ~ in addition to homeschooling! ~ the idea of time for my husband can seem like a far-away dream vaguely visible through a heavy fog. But I work to find a way to keep my marriage in it's proper place. If I don't, I'll be sorry later. And I'll probably be sorry today, too.

By planning to make time for my husband each and every week, I find I've already defeated many of the "excuses" and "busy-ness" that crop up to keep me from spending quality time with him. Every Friday night is date night. My husband and I go out and do whatever we enjoy doing together. The kids look forward to Friday because they get to stay up late, watch some Netflix, have a fun dinner, and just hang out. Sometimes they play on the Wii or PS3, maybe they build a theme park on Roller Coaster Tycoon.…

TOS Crew Product Review ~ Action Alert

Action Alert is a safe search engine that intends to help parents deal with the dangers of the Internet as it relates to their children. If you haven't encountered some of the real dangers lurking on the world wide web, consider yourself blessed. If you have come face to face with said dangers, then you understand the value of a product designed to provide optimum Internet safety!

The product works like this:
Simply visit their website at to download your choice of their FREE version (which is a quality safety program) or their Maximum Protection Version for $29.95 (which is fully customizable and offers social network protection and can be used for multiple users).

This safe search engine is easy to use, and the totally free version offers a TON of protection, creating a "kid safe" environment. The company really has a desire to see families protected from the dangers of the Internet, and they put their money where there mouth is by making this ava…

Simple Secrets to a Happy Life by Luci Swindoll

(Book Description)Is it possible to stay full of life, laughter, love, and the Lord through eight decades in this crazy world? Is that even realistic? Yes! There is hope, and Luci Swindoll is living proof.

Simple Secrets to a Happy Life by Luci Swindoll (published by Thomas Nelson)is a book of wisdom and encouragement, broken into 50 easy-to-read chapters. Filled with personal references and handy tips, this book has a personal feel to it that makes reading it seem like chatting with an old friend.

This book is probably great for new believers and for those who love large doses of encouragement packed in short chapters, and it would be a good book to take along and read while in the waiting room at the doctor's office or during a lunch break. I wouldn't say that it's a book full of brand-new ideas or deep spiritual insight, but it's not meant to be. I think it serves it's purpose well and is a great reminder that followers of Christ should keep loving and serving Hi…

I Have Decided that I Love Weeds...

Having neighbors whose yards are 99.999% weeds and Bermuda grass, while desiring a gorgeous carpet of Fescue myself, makes for lots of yard work. This evening was perfect week killing weather, and since I spent a lot of my "free time" last fall killing and reseeding our front and back yards, I was pretty motivated to do some weed removal.

And yes, the weeds were attempting to take over the few bare spots in the back yard. Sigh...let the internal grumbling and complaining begin.

But hold up a minute - the internal grumbling and complaining DIDN'T begin! Instead I found myself thanking God for those pesky weeds. For the time spent outside on a relatively mindless chore which allowed me some extra time to spend in prayer. For the wonderful weather that allowed me to be outside in the first place. And especially for the weeds themselves. Because I can use my time spent outside as the roughest-toughest-weed-killin'-mama-in-the-west as one more way to keep myself diabetes f…

TOS Crew Product Review ~ Progeny Press Study Guides for "The Cay" and "Pride and Prejudice"

For this blog post, I will be reviewing two Study Guides from Progeny Press; one for The Cay (by Theodore Taylor) and the other for Pride and Prejudice (by Jane Austen).

Of the 100 Study Guides available from Progeny Press, I was thrilled to get these two! The Cay is one of my favorite books, and I still remember reading for the first time when I was in grade school. And Pride and Prejudice is a classic piece of literature that my eldest daughter was more than happy to read (for the umpteenth time!)

The Progeny Press Study Guide for The Cay very thorough. Some of the questions posed were challenging, while others were relatively easy. Most of them made my daughters really think before they answered. But probably the most impressive part of this Study Guide is the way it causes the reader to see the story from different points of view.

Here is an example of a question from The Cay Study Guide:
"Read 1 Samuel 16:7. What does the Bible say about people's outward appearance? Read …

What's In A Name?

Have you ever considered the depth of the meanings behind the names Joseph gave his sons? In Genesis 41:51-52 we find that Joseph had two sons; the first he names Manasseh, and the second he named Ephraim.

Manasseh literally means "God made me forget all my trouble and my father's household."

Ephraim literally means "God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering."

Wow! Talk about carefully choosing the names for your children!

The entire story of Joesph is fascinating to me. It continually inspires me to emulate Joseph by persevering, working hard, and trusting God completely through thick and thin. Each part of his life story contains a wealth of wisdom and guidance for those who would read it and understand it with the help of the Holy Spirit. And in modeling the life of Joseph, I find myself to actually be following after Jesus. I suppose the real reason I love the Genesis account of Joseph's life is because it points to Jesus from start to finish.


TOS Crew Product Review ~ The Art of Argument (An Introduction to the Informal Fallacies)

The Art of Argument ~ An Introduction to the Informal Fallacies (from Classical Academic Press, written by Aaron Larsen, and Joelle Hodge with Christ Perrin) is the first in a three-part series of logic curriculum that began in 2003. The Art of Argument teaches 28 common logical fallacies, which are simply examples of reasoning gone wrong.

The Art of Argument set I received (free of charge for review purposes, opinions expressed are solely my own) included the Student Book (230 pages), the Teacher's Edition (286 pages), and a DVD with an introduction and 6 lessons.

The curriculum itself is great, but the DVD lessons are the icing on the cake. They bring the topics to life and clarify the purpose of a logic curriculum. The student isn't "alone" as they work to understand the different types of arguments. We used the book first and then viewed the DVD lessons - but that's my personal preference. You could potentially gain more by watching the DVD prior to doing the…

A Homeschool Mom's Devotional (# 2)

2 Corinthians 9:8 - " to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."

The common denominator in this verse from 2 Corinthians is "all". God leaves nothing out here; He gives us no room to think there are aspects of our lives that are to be lived outside of His grace. Beyond that, He promises we will abound in every good work. That includes homeschooling.

What do you struggle with as a homeschooling mother? Keeping up with the laundry? Staying one step ahead of your middle schooler in her science book? Squeezing in a phone call to your aging parents once in a while?

No matter what aspect of the homeschool life you are struggling to juggle, God is able to make all the grace you need abound to you. You will have all that you need, no matter what you're facing, at every moment of every day. No matter what. It's right there in His Word, promised to us in 2 Corinthians 9:8…

Called To Controversy - The Unlikely Story of Moishe Rosen and the Founding of Jews for Jesus by Ruth Rosen

Called to Controversy by Ruth Rosen is the story of Moishe Rosen, his conversion from Judaism to Christianity, and the ministry of Jews for Jesus. Written by his daughter Ruth, this book is a well-done biography of a man whose life is a fascinating and inspiring reminder of God's faithfulness.

I am familiar with the ministry of Jews for Jesus, and have kept up with the ministry for many years. But I learned a tremendous amount by reading this book. Moishe Rosen lived a life that evidenced God's great love for His chosen people, the Jews, and the way his life events unfolded speaks loudly about the Messiah.

A highly recommended read, Called to Controversy is a book I plan to keep on my bookshelf and read again and again.

On my 'Page Turner Scale' of 1 to 5, I am giving this book a 5.

(Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from BookSneeze for review purposes.)

Day 162 done :)

Jan L. Burt

TOS Crew Product Review ~ Creek Edge Press Early Modern History

I am a big fan of independent learning. Any curriculum that spurs a child to find answers to their own questions and guides them to see that they can (and should!) learn things for themselves is going to be high up on my list of favorites. Creek Edge Press is just this kind of educational resource.

The history product I received from Creek Edge Press (free of charge for review purposes; opinions shared are my own) is titled "Early Modern World Task Cards" by Amy K. Hilsman. This set covers Elizabethan England through the Civil War, and is recommended for ages K-8. Included are a softcover book and a set of cards. The book contains a course introduction that explains how the task cards are meant to work. And the book itself is the teacher's manual - although there isn't a lot of lesson planning or formal teaching going on with this terrific history tool, since the aim is for students to become independent learners.

The task cards are printed on heavy duty stock card a…

TOS Crew Product Review ~ K5 Learning

K5 Learning is an online educational website for kindergarten through 5th grade students with a focus on reading, math, and spelling. As a relatively new site(online for about 6 months as of this post), you may not have heard of K5 Learning; hopefully this review will help you learn more about it!

Located at the web address, this program offers a free 14-day trial (no credit card needed), a free assessment to ensure proper placement for each child, a video tour, sample lessons, information for special needs learners and ESL students, and lesson categorized as follows: K5 Reading, K5 Math, K5 Spelling, & K5 Math Facts.

Pricing ranges from $25/month for the first child and $15 per month for each additional child to $99 annually for the first child or $129 annually for additional children.

K5 Learning is a challenging online program and I appreciate that it stretches the student, particularly with the spelling lessons. Many of the lessons are well beyond the typical …