Sunday, November 9, 2014

High Maintenance Lashes for this Low Maintenance Girl REALLY LOVE make up...a lot...I have gotten into a habit lately of not wearing it daily, but really...this barn needs painting!  Anyway, while this barn needs painting, life is crazy busy and I just haven't made the time for this to be a priority...BUT I cannot LIVE without mascara.  I have been on a quest for just the right know...long, thick (but not spider leggish), make your eyes pop.  Well, nothing ever completely filled the bill...I cannot tell you how many trips out to grab another tube, hoping for a miracle serum of just rightness...

Well...I think I have finally found it!  Moodstruck 3D Fiberlash.  This is the BEST MASCARA EVER!
So I do have to say though...the price tag almost made me choke...I think the most I have ever paid previously was about $15...this is $29...there, I said, before you check out...let me remind you...this is the BEST MASCARA EVER and I WILL be buying it again.  It is MUCH cheaper than those extensions (which are about $100-125 and last UP TO 2 months...this is looking better and better!) and MUCH LESS of a hassle than false eyelashes!

I will show you why in just a second, but first...check it out here and get more info about Younique here.  I know you can read about this everywhere, but these are NOT false lashes, but natural fibers made from green tea leaves.  They are hypoallergenic, safe for contact lens wearers and water resistant.  The product washes off with soap or eye makeup remover.  I would personally recommend an oil free eye makeup remover...but that is just me.  Also, the product recommends beginning with a base coat of regular mascara first, but I have heard mixed things...My Mother in Law said, "Oh, nobody does that.", The website says that you get the best application with a base coat of mascara.  The presenter I worked with, Raquel, says it is optional.  Since I currently have a REALLY BAD tube of mascara, I usually chose  NOT to use a base coat.

Now, I say this is a mascara, but it is really a three step system, using two products.  You apply the Transplanting Gel, then a layer of the Natural Fibers, then another layer of the Transplanting Gel.  Through trial and error, and by asking Raquel questions, I learned that it is a good idea to work one eye at a time, so the gel doesn't dry before applying the fibers.  Be generous with the Transplanting Gel...this helps the fibers stay in place.  I noticed in the beginning that when I was tired, my eyes would get every itchy...after talking with Raquel about this, I tried appling more of the gel and that helped tremendously.  No more issues for me!  One reviewer suggested combing through your lashes with a comb in between steps so that you don't get your lashes all clumped up...I am going to try this IF I can find one in my makeup box...remember, I am a LOW MAINTENANCE GIRL!

So, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then this must be worth three thousand...seeing really IS believing...

Raquel mentioned that your Moodstruck 3D Fiberlash set should last about 3 months and I completely agree with that...once mascara has been opened, it is not good forever, even if you do not use it everyday.  Younique has a variety of other products that are natural based and they do not test on animals. 

You can try Moodstruck 3D Fiberlash for yourself to see if you love it as much as I reviewer said that they were going to set aside $10 a month to ease the purchase into their budget...I love that idea and will probably do it myself.
Please check out what others had to say about Moodstruck 3D Fiberlash here

Friday, October 31, 2014

Wizzy Gizmo: In His Image

Wizzy Gizmo: In His Image
Old Testament Bible Series
Ages: none specified...many ages can benefit from this resource, but I would suggest 3-12
Price: $12.99

Wizzy GIZ-WHAT?!?!  What can possibly come out of something called WIZZY GIZMO?  Can it be legitimate?  "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"  As a Member of the Home and School Mosaics review team, we were generously given a product of our choice and then were able to download some of the others if we chose to do so.  I chose The Wizzy Gizmo Old Testament Bible Series Book Two: In His Image to review because we were just about to start our Worldview series on a similar topic.  I had NO IDEA what was coming!

Before we move on, let me share with you a little more about Wizzy Gizmo...if you are like me, you are probably just scratching your head, perhaps a bit perplexed...from their website:
We are parents, pastors, worship leaders, Sunday School teachers and Homeschoolers who are committed to equipping our children for life, by planting them firmly in God's Word; and we want to help you do the same.  Why? Because we believe that, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."

Learn more about Wizzy Gizmo and the team that is creating these materials.  These links were informative and fun to read.

Some of these points are probably covered in the above mentioned links, but here are some of the things we LOVE about Wizzy Gizmo: In His Image

The story is wholesome.  There is nothing inappropriate to censor out while reading.  It is funny too...which I will need to see Qwacky's nose blasting incident in Chapter 2 for this.  I just love the sweet feel of this book.

The illustrations are colorful and fun, but are not overwhelming.  The characters are also fun!  Qwacky and Pepe, Wizzy Gizmo, the children...The many different personalities were blended together well.  This would be a great book to use as Bedtime Bible Stories.  Read a chapter each night and leave your children wanting to know each night what happened next and eager to come back the next evening to find out.

Vocabulary words are in bold type within the text of the book and then there is a glossary in the back.  Words like Cacophony, askance and inerrant are sprinkled in the text...which also makes me think...this book does not dumb down the Word to a child's level, but teaches them and allows them to reach for greater understanding...I LOVE THAT!

As you read along, doctrinal issues like Trinity, ex nihilo, and inerrant are brought up within context and explained.  These do not feel forced to meet a certain criteria, but has a "when you walk along the way" (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) feel to them.  This is how I would explain these things to my children as they come up.  Besides being introduced in a natural manner, your children will learn theological truths like: God created everything out of nothing, the Bible is without error and God sustains all things.

There are comprehension questions after the story is done.  This is a valuable resource and reinforces what the Bible says and teaches, not what the story was about.

In the book I received, you get to see many instances of what it means to be made in God's Image while stepping through Genesis chapter 2.  The story leaves you wanting I look forward to seeing many more Wizzy Gizmo books coming down the line. I HIGHLY recommend Wizzy Gizmo!

 I got the chance to review the other items too and one product I would like to share with you is the Fast Track Bible Pack New Testament Card set.  This is a set of 5 x 9 cards that are really a survey of the Bible books.  Right now, only the New Testament cards are available, but the Old Testament cards are in the works.  On each card, you have a Bible book summary, key chapters and verses, theme and doctrines covered.  This is such a FANTASTIC tool in an easy to understand/teach manner.  When I saw a sample, I had to have these.  They are sturdy, colorful and very helpful.  I cannot say enough about these.  At $14.99 for the set, they are an affordable Bible Study Tool.  You can find ways to use these cards for different ages here as well as see an example of the card for yourself.

One last thing to share that I am excited about, Wizzy Gizmo is continuing to produce tools to help us in our Christian parenting.  At some point, these will be a product that you will be able to purchase, but they are works in progress.  52 Bible Verses Every Kid Should Know caught my attention when I was poking around the website.  These are fun devotions that focus on a verse and then give some simple instruction so that it can be applied.  There is a worksheet available to print.  Let me tell you, I will be spending more time in here in days to come.  I love that the verses seem to have themes: Thanksgiving, Confession, Christmas...I look forward to seeing this become finalized.  Justin, from Wizzy Gizmo, says that these will be a baseball card size.   Wizzy Gizmo also has a Weekly Devotional in the works that looks like it will focus on the names and attributes of God.  It is not quite ready yet, but you can subscribe to their newsletter to find out when it will be ready.  Justin said these will be similar in style to the Fast Track Bible Pack cards.   It looks like Wizzy Gizmo is really helping families by providing great Training Resources for Kids to support us as we teach them to walk in the way they should go.
Doesn't that look neat?  Sign up to receive Wizzy Gizmo's newsletter for more information about these cards.

And...for a GIVEAWAY...Receive one copy of either the Fast Track Bible Pack New Testament Cards OR the Audio Drama by leaving a comment about why you think this would be a great resource in your home.  This giveaway will end on November 7, 2014!

See what my Friends at Home and School Mosaics have to say about Wizzy Gizmo

Anybody want some salad dressing ice cream?

Google +

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Taco Soup

Today, I am going to share my adaptation of Lisa Taylor's Taco Soup recipe...Her Grande Cooking technique was used by my homeschool support group every so often as we would gather and prep meals for our families.  It was a fun time of fellowship and many hands making light work.  What I love most about this particular recipe is that it is SO EASY to throw together and get into the freezer.  You cook the meat and pretty much open cans and dump it in a bag.  Some may shudder, but let me tell you...I NEED meals like this to keep my sanity...and it is MANY steps away from the Golden Arches!

Here are the measurements for one meal's adapted by me for my family's preferences.

1.5 lbs ground beef, cooked with onion and garlic.
3 cups tomato puree- we do not care for tomato chunks in our soup
1 c tomato sauce
1 15 oz can refried beans- slightly thickens the soup and we LOVE refried beans
2 cups salsa- we have a produce stand that sells a pico style salsa that is DELCIOUS...but Costco's Organic salsa is also very careful though, sometimes it has a bite.
1 can pinto beans
1 can chili beans- not chili
1 can kidney beans
3 c water
1 pkg. taco seasoning

After the beef is cooked, dump everything in the bag.  I use empty #10 cans to set my bags in to help with finishing this recipe.  That is one of the best things I learned from our freezer meal sessions.  Sometimes I stir everything up in a LARGE pot first to break up the refried beans and just measure into the bags, but most of the time I just dump it into the bags. I HIGHLY recommend using 2 gallon bags for this OR making a double batch and dividing it between three bags.
You can use Rotel or diced green chiles in this if you like, we prefer it without.

To cook: Thaw and pour contents of the bag into the crock pot...cook on low 6 ish hours or heat in a pan until hot.  Serve with cilantro, sour cream, cheese and corn chips.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Love Letters from God

Love Letters from God
Written by Glenys Nellist
Illustrated by Sophie Allsopp
Zondervan Publishing
Ages 4-8
Price: $16.99

I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions are my own.
From the website: Love Letters from God, written by Glenys Nellist and illustrated by Sophie Allsopp, is a whimsical collection of eighteen iconic Bible stories that include little love letters from God written especially for the reader.

Love Letters from God is a Bible Story book, with beautiful illustrations for children ages 4-8.  Retelling some of our favorite Bible Stories, one thing that makes this book unique is a lift the flap letter that you can personalize for your child (Or children) that gives an application that is at the child's level.  Children love to get letters, and it is fun to lift the flap and read the letter at the end of the story.  My son was a bit old for this book, as he is reading the Bible on his own...but he still enjoyed looking through the pages and lifting the flaps.
I think this book would be best used to read one story/letter per session, whether you do it daily, weekly or as you think of it.  It is too much to take in all at once and it would be sad to rush through it just to get to the end.  There is a lot to see in the illustrations and much to talk about in the story and letter.  There are some good lessons in, for Joseph: God will never leave you...or David and Goliath:Do not be afraid of the giant things in your life.

One thing that I did not care for were the little extras the author added in to fill in details or make the story more interesting to read.   For instance, In the first story, the author refers to the day as one magical morning...well, that sounds pretty harmless, but are we unintentionally taking away from the majesty and power of our God by saying that?  Was it magic or did God speak everything into existence.   In The Lions Who Lost Their Lunch, the author seems to give the lions a voice in this retelling of the story.  They knew Daniel was coming, they were looking forward to eating him, he smelled good, the lions almost laughed out loud...It seems to just make the word a bit ridiculous.  In the Very Smelly Belly, Jonah prays while holding his nose and when he gets vomited out onto dry land, it says he did "several flying somersaults".   I could go on, and these are little things, but  I do not think we need to dumb down the Word of God and God's Word does not need embellished. You might want to look through this book and see if those things bother you or not before you purchase it.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Jonah and the Great Big Fish

Jonah and the Great Big Fish
Written by: Rhonda Gowler Greene
Illustrated by: Margaret Spengler
Zondervan Publishing

I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions are my own.

From the Website: “God told Jonah to obey, said, ‘Go to Nineveh this day.’ But, stubborn Jonah fled instead. Didn’t do just what God said.” Jonah’s disobedience landed him inside a big fish! And there he had time to think and pray. Children will feel the waves and hear the splash as Jonah sinks “down and down and down” into the belly of the fish. This story serves as an excellent reminder of how important it is to listen to God.

Written in the sing song rhythm of poetry that children LOVE and remember, this book encourages children to listen and do the things God wants us to do.  With beautiful illustrations and text that you will be quoting after you read it a couple of times.
The book ends about half way through where the Bible book of Jonah gives the full account, with Jonah waving to the big fish and then going to Nineveh.

I really loved this book, but wish it would have told the whole story and while I understand making young children's books must have a fine line in which parts you choose to tell, I think waving goodbye to the fish was a bit much.

NIV Teen Study Bible

NIV Teen Study Bible
Zondervan Publishing
Ages 12-15

I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions are my own.

From the Website:
As an on-the-go teen, you’re moving fast. God is moving faster! The Teen Study Bible will help you keep in step with all he has done, is doing, and will do in the world---and in your life. This bestselling Bible will help you discover the eternal truths of God’s Word and apply them to the issues you face today.

Features include:

We Believe: Upacks the Apostle's Creed to reveal the biblical foundation of faith

Panorama: Keeps the big picture of each book of the Bible in view

4 full-color pages

Key Indexes: Help with in-depth Bible Study

To the Point: Reveals what the Bible says about pressing issues

Dear Jordan: Offers Biblical Advice for Teens

Instant Access: Tells what God says to you personally

Q & A: Tests your knowledge of Bible Trivia

Bible Promises: Highlights Bible verses worth remembering

Book Introductions: Provides an overview for each book of the Bible

8 page, full color map section

Complete text of the New International Version of the Bible

We received a paperback version of this Bible for review purposes.  The look of this Bible would be nice for boys or girls about ages 10-13 or so.  I think that older teens would prefer a study Bible, but this might be a great segue from a children's Bible to a study Bible.  The font is a nice size and the extra features are fun to read, but I think mostly a little light for older students.

The one area you might want to consider with this Bible is the Dear Jordan portion.  Some of these topics are pretty heavy, rape, incest, abortion, Aids, alcoholic parents, cyber sex...just check into that and see if you think these are appropriate for your family.  There is a list of the back under the title Teen Life Index and you can get a feel for how this would work in your home.

The Preview sections give a basic rundown of what is happening in the book, with some key things pointed out.  I think these sections are nice so you have a little background into what you are studying.

In our home, our older boy was not interested in this and my younger boy was too young for the topics covered in the Dear Jordan sections.  My daughter liked the look of the Bible, but I don't want these topics brought up to her either right now.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Berenstain Bears Keep The Faith

The Berenstain Bears Keep The Faith
Mike Berenstain
Zonderkidz Publishing

I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions are my own.

From the website:
Brother and Sister love science. But when their friend Ferdy Factual shares his questions about God creating the universe, the cubs are confused. A trip to see Preacher Brown helps them understand the meaning of faith.

I grew up LOVING the Berenstain Bears.  Originally created by Stan and Jan Berenstain, I would read the books and watch the cartoons of the bears often.  I was excited to introduce the much loved Berenstain Bears to my children, especially with such a great topic as faith.  This book is written by Mike Berenstain, son of Stan and Jan.

In the beginning of the book, you see Brother and Sister's Friend Ferdy, who loves science share that he doesn't believe in God, because he believes in science, ..."in things you can see and test and prove."  The cubs were confused and talked with their parents over dinner.  During the conversation, the question of what is faith comes up.  Mama and Papa do not answer the question, but plan to take the cubs to Preacher Brown to get an explanation, because Preacher Brown "knows all about faith."  I understand that discussing topics that are hard for adults at time to grasp is difficult, but I really would have liked to see the cubs parents talk with them about what faith is.

The next day, the family goes to see the preacher.  The preacher refers the children to the story of Daniel in the Lion's Den.  The implication is that the Lion's didn't eat Daniel because he had faith that God would save him.  Then he says, "That's what faith in God is all about- trusting in His love."  

At the end of the book, the bears head towards home.  Storm clouds are gathering and Sister started to be afraid.  She remembered Daniel's faith and that helped her feel braver.

I know this is a children's book...but it seems to send the message that if we have faith, nothing bad will ever happen to us.  I don't think it really addressed the issue of what is faith either.  The Bible says   " Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1)
I guess I would have liked to have seen that addressed and then taken back to the comment from Ferdy that he believes "in things you can see and test and prove", rather than taken off in a tangent that was not even an issue.  I feel like the answer just muddied things up more.

While I personally did not care for the direction the story took the question of "What is Faith", my children enjoyed the story and we were able to talk it through more deeply, which is probably the best part of the whole thing!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Three Things Thursday

Three Things Thursday

So, school is coming towards us much faster than I would like...friends are grabbing out their planners and curriculum, placing orders, creating daily lessons and so much more. I feel like I am in a might be called denial!  I have been thinking about school this year and praying a little.  I feel like the Lord is leading us a particular direction and I am excited about that, but still needed to sit down and develop our action/battle plan. I thought I would share three of the Scriptures that are on my heart as I am praying about what our year is going to look like and casting vision for each of us.  I have shared this with my husband, but we have not yet had an opportunity to talk about it.

1. Nehemiah 4:6, 19-20 (emphasis is the focus of my prayer)

So we built the wall and the whole wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.
I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, "The work is great and extensive, and we are separated on the wall far from one another.  At whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there.  Our God will fight for us."

(now, I KNOW that this is completely out of context, but the words help me form my vision for what I believe the Lord is calling us to... Schooling children is a great and extensive work.  My children are separated by several years, at some places we need to come together and work and I am asking the Lord to help us complete it and give all of us a mind to work.)

2. Proverbs 1:1-7

The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:
To know wisdom and instruction,
To discern the sayings of understanding
To receive instruction in wise behavior,
Righteousness, justice and equity;
To give prudence to the naive,
To the youth knowledge and discretion,
A wise man will hear and increase in learning,
And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,
To understand a proverb and a figure,
The words of the wise and their riddles.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

3. Deuteronomy 6:4-9

 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

I love that the planner I am using this year is helping me step through this process...beginning with asking for wisdom from the Lord and then prayerfully proceeding from there.  If you are in the market for a new planner, can I recommend Debra Bell's Ultimate Homeschool Planner.  I really LOVE this planner and the focus on the Lord and documenting His faithfulness to us as we walk along the way.

And THAT is my Three Things post for this week!  Do you have three things you want to share?  #linkup, #3ThingsThursday

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Three Things Thursday

So, I don't NORMALLY do these things, but my friend Heidi had a 3 Things post that made me giggle...books on her nightstand...So I thought I would post on facebook a picture of the books on my table...because I ALWAYS have a stack going all the time...I wasn't planning on blogging this, but it has been a L O N G time since I have blogged about anything I thought I would go ahead and do it afterall... #3ThingsThursday

So, number one:  The books on my nightstand...I actually had to tidy up my nightstand to get this picture...the book on the bottom cannot be seen well because of the dark spine, but a biography on George Washington...some of these books I have been working on for a LONG TIME...others, just breezing through...a couple...just got set aside...but I always have a stack that I am always reading at one time.

Number two and three are a bit combined...we have a friend from Illinois visiting and this is what is seen quite a bit at my house!  LOVE IT!

I am so thankful for the friends my children have!

So, If you want to join in on the can #linkup too!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Writing with Sharon Watson

Writing with Sharon Watson
The Power in Your Hands
Student Book: $39.98
Teacher's Guide: $14.98
Grades: 9-12

You know that song, "I've Got the Power" ?  Well that is going through my head right now (and most likely yours too!) as I am thinking about this tool for writing.  Writing has been the ONE THING that I have had quite a few issues teaching our children (well...and Math...oh yeah...and Science...).   Where do you start?  How do you teach it? How do you evaluate if it is good or not...and on and on.  Well, we have a new tool in out toolbox.  Writing with Sharon Watson.  I have only worked with "The Power in Your Hands", but already, I can tell...I WILL be buying the other two sets.

From the website: With The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School, they’ll learn what they need to know for high school and will be prepared for college writing. First, they’ll write five different persuasive essays, including an SAT essay. Next, they’ll navigate a comparison-and-contrast essay, a biography, a literary analysis, a research paper with MLA documentation, and much, much more. In addition, students will master description and narration essays.

And let me tell you...this is just the TIP of the iceberg!  What this doesn't say is that she walks  you through BABY STEP BY BABY STEP through how to write.  She begins with short assignments to get the students applying the lessons they are learning, without the ESSAY looming large over them and the pressure of writing something serious while they are learning.  I LOVED this aspect.  Throughout the Before You Write chapters,for example, the student keeps revisiting the question of , "Should Teens Have Credit Cards?" until at the end, they have written an essay giving three points with their opinion on that question.
Some of the lessons covered in The Power in Your Hands are:

          SAT Essay

          Position Paper
A Devotional
 Newspaper Writing
Literary Analysis
Personal Testimony
There are over 100 daily lessons to work through in this writing program...and here is the best part...It is written in a conversational tone, so  your student could work through this on their own.  Don't check out completely though...they will need some feedback on their writing to improve. This is designed to be a two year program, but there are tips on extending it to three. I really cannot say enough good is a sample for you to get a feel for the program.

The Teacher's guide has a LOT of tools to guide you through "teaching" this class.  The guide begins with about 60 pages of content for your grading toolbox.  Things like How to earn an A, B, C, D or F, Proofreading Marks, Practical Helps for Reluctant or Unskilled Writers, pages that cover the Student's toolbox and so much more.
One of my favorite parts of the Teacher's Guide are the 14 minute Power Surges.  The 14 Minute Power Surges help students get those juices flowing and just write.  These are categorized by month and give 4 suggestions for each week for each are just a few to whet your whistle: You are in a job interview.  Describe yourself to the interviewer.  Define a beautiful person. Tell any portion of the Christmas story without using the letter t.  What's the most important thing you know? Write the five minute script for a children's TV show segment that teaches them to wash their hands.Write a sermon on peace. Theorize why reality shows are so popular.  These are really fun topics and can be a writing curriculum on it's own.  They are intended to be used daily for four days, without any corrections and then one is selected by the students to complete.  These are NOT supposed to be used when you are working through the student book.  I LOVED doing these.  We worked through a few of these.  It was hard for my children to write for 14 minutes at first, but as they progressed a little more through them, it became easier. Teacher's Guide Sample

The back portion of the Teacher's Guide has answers for the student guide.

I began using The Power in Your Hands with both my 16 year old son and my 12 year old daughter.  I quickly found out that it was beyond my daughter's abilities at this time.  I think this is DEFINITELY a high school program. I plan on getting Jump In for her to work through in the fall.  I think that will be a good fit for her! Jump In Student Sample

Well, to sum up, we REALLY LOVED The Power in Your Hands.  I thought it was well written.  I appreciate that it is mostly for the student to work through alone.  Although we have not gone too far into the book yet, I have already seen some positive progress in my son's writing.  I look forward into digging in this fall.  
If you have a student who LOVES writing fiction, then Writing Fiction might be a great fit for you! Student Fiction Sample

Check out what others have to say about Writing with Sharon Watson

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Zonderkidz Let's Go Explore Series

I received these books as a member of Zonderkidz ZBlogSquad in exchange for my review.  All opinions are my own, no other compensation has been received.

Zonderkidz Let's Go Explore:
$6.99 each

All four of these books have similar features and I have linked them individually above.  For review purposes, I will focus on the Jerusalem book.

Let's Go Explore...what child does not LOVE to hear those words.  These books are filled, and I mean JAM PACKED filled with wonderful pictures, maps, drawings and information about such Biblical and historically significant places that most of us will never get to visit. Let me take you on a guided tour of Jerusalem.

As you open the book, you come to a map...showing where in the world Jerusalem is and a map of the city.  I have looked at MANY maps of this Holy City, but THIS is a wonderful map for all.  Nice and large with famous sites clearly marked.  The next 12 pages or so take you site by site through all the things you would want to see if in Jerusalem.  This is not the same as being there, for sure, but certainly a nice substitute. As you walk through the book, site by site, you get just a snippet of information.  Just enough for little ones, but that spark interest.  I love how there are comments that children might be able to relate to...such as, "Disneyland is a little bigger than present-day Jerusalem" and sharing about a stone that weighs "roughly the same as 12 humpback whales".  While it might be difficult to grasp the full immensity of that size, I think most children will understand, WOW, that is BIG!

After browsing through the places to go, you have the sights to see section.  Here you will see the Upper Room, The Garden of Gethsemane, the Garden Tomb, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and so much more.  As we continue on through the book, we get a feel for the culture within the city and the people who live there.  Did you know that 1/3 of all the people who move to Jerusalem are from the United States?  I sure didn't!  Besides getting a feel for who lives in Jerusalem now, you will learn a little bit about some people you need to know.
Our final stop in this books lets us take a peek at some curiosities.  The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Ark of the Covenant, Holy Relics (nails, crown of thorns, Shroud of Turin)and animals in the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo.  Fun things to look at over and over again.
I think it would have been fun to have a couple of recipes to try at home included in the book, but as it it VERY easy to find some online, it is not something that is missed much.
While I have only detailed ONE book, all of the books are similar in layout, equally jam packed with information and amazing pictures and just as interesting as this one.  As you are reading through the book, Scripture is sprinkled throughout the pages as relevant.  I LOVED THIS!  You may have been able to tell, but I HIGHLY recommend these books. We had a great time reading through these and the children looked through the pictures several times already.  I think you will enjoy them too!

Zondervan NIV Sequin Bible

Zondervan provided me with a free copy of this book for reviewing purposed.  All opinions are my own.  No other compensation was received.
NIV Sequin Bible

From Zondervan's Website:
What girl doesn’t like a little sparkle and shine? With a trendy design embellished with sequins and sparkle, the Sequin Bible helps you express your style wherever you go---home, church, school, and everywhere in between! 

        Features include: 
Bestselling New International Version (NIV) 
Words of Christ in red 
Handy size less than one inch thick

This is a beautiful Bible.  All sparkly and shiny.  The cover says it is a flex cover and looks like a stiffened fabric with glitter all over it.  I know it is hard to see in the pictures, but it does sparkle.  I imagine that the glitter will wear off over time, but it is a bling girl's Bible.  There is also a sequin flower on the cover that really makes this Bible stand out.  It really is beautiful.  Both my daughter and I LOVE the look of this Bible.

Inside, this is DEFINITELY a younger person's Bible...smaller print, no notes, no maps...Just the word.  There is definitely a time and a place for that, but I really enjoy the little extras, so I may be a little unduly biased there.  The words of Jesus are in red, which some people do enjoy...I don't have an opinion on that one way or the other.  I am also used to a larger Bible, so it is hard to turn 5 pages and to have passed by 6 books of the Bible...I am exaggerating a bit, but you know what I mean...a smaller Bible is just harder for me to work worth...personal preference.

The gift box the Bible came in makes it the perfect Bible to give as a gift.  It says on the box that it lays flat...I was not able to get this Bible to lay flat.  I did not like that at all.

The Sequin Bible is not for me, but it would be PERFECT for a young who loves some bling, maybe between a younger Bible and a study Bible.  It would make a beautiful gift.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Young Women of Faith Bible, NIV

Zondervan provided me with a free copy of this book for reviewing purposes.  All opinions are my own.  No other compensation was received.

The Young Woman of Faith Bible is perfect for the young lady that is not quite a woman, but definitely NOT a little girl.  She is growing in God's Word and has a style all her own.  I was excited to get this, my daughter was a bit hesitant.  She thought it might be too pink.  When it arrived, she was happy with the initial look of it and was eager to flip through it and get to using it.

Inside, there are many cool features that make this a perfect Bible for young ladies.  You can see many of those features here, but I would like to highlight a couple that I thought we particularly sweet!

First, if you have the Women of Faith Bible, the weekly studies and some of the side notes in the Young Women of Faith Bible are linked with this Bible.  This gives the opportunity of Mother and Daughter Studying the Word together.  This could be such a sweet time together and sounds AMAZING!  I wish I would have known that before receiving this would have been fun to open up the Word with my beautiful girl.

Next, I LOVE the journal prompts in this read a passage of Scripture and then it asks you to do something, like based on Ezekiel 10, draw a picture of what you think a cherub looks like or from Luke 17, a prompt asking your daughter to make a list of people she feels God is asking her to thank and making cards for them.  This teaches our girls to read and apply what they have read in the Scripture, making them Do-ers of the Word!  My girl thought these we fun!

The last thing I will talk about are the side notes.  These explain some passages and define terms and also connect dots between things that happened in the Old Testament to things that happen in the new.  I found these notes to be helpful.

The Young Women of Faith Bible is an NIV Bible, which I appreciate for my children for two reasons.  First, it is the version used by Bible Study Fellowship, which we attend, and that makes completing lessons a little easier for my children.  Second, it is a version that is easy to read and understand, using language and terms children are pretty familiar with. If you are looking for a Bible that is a little more grown up for your tween girl, I highly recommend that you look at the Young Women of Faith Bible from Zondervan.

The Jesus Bible, NIV

Zondervan provided me with a free copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

Discover Jesus in Every Book of the that totally piqued my interest.  The more I study the Bible, the more I see Him in every book, but I wanted my children to see Him too.  As soon as I received this, I started flipping through the pages to see what it said.  I was not disappointed with this Bible.  I am not going to go in detail about every feature of this Bible, but you can read what the publisher has to say about it here .

The main things I want to focus on are the Devotions and Hints of the Savior/Jesus Revealed portions, as I feel like these are unique features of a children's Bible.

First, the Devotions...This Bible has 365 devotions scattered throughout the text of the Bible.  There is an index/check off sheet in the back of the Bible so that your child can pick and choose or just go straight down the list and keep track of what they have done or where they are in the list.  I love how easy it is to keep track of this and gives you many options for using the devotions depending on what your family currently does.  You can do them daily, on select days or just here and there.  We go to Bible Study Fellowship from September through May, so we plan to use these in the summer, to keep up a daily study habit.  I would recommend using pencil on list in the back though so that you don't end up with a BIG mess of checks after a couple of years!  They might be ready for a new Bible by then though.\

My favorite part of this Bible is the Hints of the Savior/Jesus Revealed portions.  Throughout the text, there are small boxes that say Hints of the Savior (Old Testament) or Jesus Revealed (New Testament) and something to look at and refer to...let me give you a couple of examples of what I mean.

Hints of the Savior: Exodus 3:14 Jesus would be the great I AM.  Turn to John 8:58 to see the fulfillment.   When you go to read John 8:58, you see Jesus Revealed: John 8:58 Jesus is the great I AM.   This was prophesied in Exodus 3:14.

Hints of the Savior:Zechariah 11:12-13 Jesus would be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver.  Turn to Matthew 26:15 to see the fulfillment.
In Matthew 26:15 Jesus Revealed: Jesus was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver.  This was prophesied in Zechariah 11:12-13.

I love that it matches up the prophecy with the fulfillment and really gets our children seeing that the entire Bible is all about Jesus and it is all relevant and profitable for us today.   Just in case you are wondering, there is a master list of these pairings in the back as well, so they are easy to find and reference.

While I  personally prefer the NAS version of the Bible, I like the NIV for my children for a couple of reasons.  First it is the version they use in Bible Study Fellowship, so it is easy for my children to complete their lessons.  Second, it is easy for them to read and understand.

  Each book of the Bible has an introduction that gives some basic information that is helpful to know as you read, such as who wrote the book, what do we learn about God in this book, and who are the key people in this book.  I really liked these pages as well as it give a basic survey of what you will see as you read through the Word.

The book itself is a good size and feels solid.  I don't think the binding will be falling off any time soon.  There are fantastic maps and few color inserts that are interesting to read. Again, there are many more things I could share, but it is all outlined well by the publisher.  This is an excellent Bible for children.  It is suggested for ages 9-12, but I think younger children would like it as well...maybe from 7 and up.  I think that the print size is good for confident readers, but it might be a little small for beginning readers.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

He is Risen...

He is Risen Indeed!

May you have a blessed Resurrection day because of what Christ has done for us!


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sufficiency of Scripture

Therefore when he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him; if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately.  Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered, Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later.”  Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times.

John 13:31-38

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sufficiency of Scripture

When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me.”  The disciples began looking at one another, at a loss to know of which one He was speaking. There was reclining on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples,whom Jesus loved.  So Simon Peter gestured to him, and said to him, “Tell us who it is of whom He is speaking.”  He,leaning back thus on Jesus’ bosom, said to Him, “Lord, who is it?”  Jesus then answered, “That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.” So when He had dipped the morsel, He took and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.  After the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Therefore Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” Now no one of those reclining at the table knew for what purpose He had said this to him.  For some were supposing, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus was saying to him, “Buy the things we have need of for the feast”; or else, that he should give something to the poor.  So after receiving the morsel he went out immediately; and it was night.

John 13:21-30