Thursday, April 21, 2016

Wonderfully Made by Danika Cooley

Wonderfully Made: God's Story of Life from Conception to Birth
Written by Danika Cooley
Illustrated by Jeff Anderson
Published by CF4Kids
Price: $9.99
Ages: 5-11

Wonderfully Made: God's Story of Life from Conception to Birth is a beautiful telling of  the wonder of God's creation through the miracle of birth in language that is simple enough for young children to comprehend, but that also gives the more scientific aspects in a way that older hearers will appreciate as well.

Danika's purpose in writing this book:

     "I want children to understand that they're individually and purposefully created by a loving God, and that there is a second birth into the Kingdom of Heaven available to them.  Each child is unique and special, and each is loved dearly not only by their parents, but also by their Father in Heaven.
     I also want a new generation of children to grow up understanding the marvelous truth of what happens in the womb, and when it happens.  I want them to know what Scripture says about life in the womb--both the creation of life and the existence of life.
      Both of those goals were heavy on my heart while writing Wonderfully Made, and I'm overjoyed to see the book available to families around the world."

There are many things we loved about Wonderfully Made:
First, it explained things at an appropriate age level in simple language without talking baby talk or dumbing down the information.  The information presented at each stage is accurate and God honoring.  It is also presented as if a Momma is telling her child their personal story.  So very sweet!

Second, it comes from a Biblical worldview and presents life as sacred.  Danika also includes Scripture verses that address life in the womb and even gives a  presentation of the gospel end of the book.  She shows our need to be born again!  This was my most favorite part!

Also, the markers that Danika uses for growth comparatives are things most young children would be fairly familiar with: head of a pin, head of a nail, plum, lime, ruler.  These are things a child can also look at and think on.  This gave me pause too and I have five children! WOW!

Finally, there are a lot of colorful illustrations that children find so very attractive.  When I read through this with my youngest, it brought about conversation of when he was inside me.  As he just had a birthday, I shared some things about my pregnancy with him.

One thing was a little bit of a challenge for us though.  I think there is an age where children are a little uncomfortable with certain topics and discussing them is a wee bit awkward.  I think my son was a little uncomfortable reading this with me as a result.  He is at the higher age range recommended, and I think it would have been better to start this with him a little I am going to suggest a little younger age range...maybe to about 9 or so.  I think if I had STARTED reading this book to him a little bit younger, it may have been more enjoyable for him.
Danika has also made available a lapbook, posters and Scripture memory verse printables on her website if you are interested. You need to sign up for the membership (FREE!) and then scroll to the BOTTOM of the page to find it...This would be a FABULOUS unit study!  It might be fin to include somethings you have from your child/children's births too!  Ultrasound pictures, copies  of their footprints, any momentos you might have around (or make copies of them if you can.)  Danika has SEVERAL other printables available to her subscriberss as sure to check those out when you are there!
So, now for the important can buy the book here and connect with Danika through her social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google and Instagram.

Danika Cooley is a married mother of four, a grandmother, a blogger, a curriculum developer, and a writer.  She homeschools her two youngest children in Oregon.  Danika's three year Scripture survey for preschool to high schoool Bible Road Trip, is used across the globe.

*I received this book in exchange for a frank and honest review.  All opinions are my own.  Your results and/or opinions may vary.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

101 Ways to Have Fun

101 Ways to Have Fun: Things You Can Do With Friends, Anytime!
From the Editors of FaithGirlz and Girls' Life Magazine
Zonderkidz Publishing
Ages: 11-17
Price: $14.99

 From ZonderKidz Website:
"In today's world,, a girl's free time is precious, but figuring out how to make the most of those spare moments can sometimes be difficult.  Faithgirlz! is here to help, with over one hundred unique ideas, activities, and time maximizers you can do by yourself or with your friends.  From planning the perfect relaxing afternoon to creating quick and awesome DIY masterpieces, and even tips on hosting amazing sleepovers (complete with lip synch battles and the best-ever snacks), 101 Ways to Have Fun has something for every situation and mood.  Whether you have ten minutes or an entire afternoon to fill, finding the ultimate ways to de-stress and kick back with friends has never been easier."

My daughter GRABBED this book the second she saw it in the box.  It has been her "property" ever since!  She loves this book.  I had to ask her for it in order to write about it!  I think that really says everything, but I will give you my mom's two cents just for fun!

This book is COLORFUL!  It has the feeling almost of a magazine without the shiny paper.  There are pictures on almost every page, making it visually exciting to thumb through and very quick to read.  The ideas are broken into nine different categories, which I will look at individually in a sec.
Each activity has What You Need and about how long it will take to complete.  I really LOVE that!  Nothing like thinking a project will take 30 minutes and 4 hours later you're not even half way through.  Some of activities have tips too!

So the categories are:
Just for You: Ways to get a breather in a busy day, all by yourself!  Ideas include Find your Inner Sparkle, Create an Abstract Self Portrait and Become a Flash Fiction Aficionado.
Have a Blast with Your BFF: Things to do with that ONE that knows you better than you know yourself!  Ideas include Weekly Walk 'n' Talk, Shop Vintage, Bury a Bestie Time Capsule.
Friend Zone: What to do with a group of girlies?  Ideas include Dream up a Flash Mob Sing Along, Board Game Marathon, Host a Pop up Blog, and Make a 411 Book.
Mini Makeovers 'brighten up your beauty game" with Perfect Mani, Pedi Perfection, Do Up Your Denim
Super Sleepovers: A night to remember.  Ideas include Book Swap, Cookie Share, Ultimate Lip Sync Battle and Movie Marathon.
Throw the Best Bash: For those moments when you have a reason to celebrate.  Ideas include Style a 1-Minute Centerpiece, Photo Pop-Up Booth, Mystery Bash.
Fun Ways to Make $ Fast: The best things in life might be free, but sometimes, money is awfully useful.  Ideas include Bad Habit Bank, Craft Greeting Cards, Talk Tech and Become a Teacher.
Get Active: Ready, Set, Go ideas include DIY Dance Marathon, Jog a Funsy 5k, and Feel BEA-YOU-TI-FUL!
Get Crafty: Plan a CRAFTernoon with a buddy!  Ideas include Girly Votives, and Paint a Sunset.

While girls MOST OF THE TIME have no troubles figuring out what to do when they are together, this is a fun book that suggests new ideas and might give a fresh breath of air to a special friendship!
We really enjoyed this book!  I think you will like it as well.  My daughter is looking forward to talking with her BFF about the Host a Pop-Up Blog idea...we'll see what happens!

I received this book in exchange for a frank and honest review.  All opinions are my own.  Your results and/or opinions may vary.

Monday, April 4, 2016

A Few of My Favorite Things

A Few of My Favorite Things

When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when life just spins out of control…
Well, these are a few of my favorite things to share with you this month.


Our fridge went out a while back and we worked with our small garage fridge for quite a while; but, we finally bit the bullet and got a new-to-us fridge (like our old one) on Craigslist. It was a bit scary, but PRAISE GOD all is well. (I’m very thankful we have had no issues;it is seriously stressful buying an appliance from Craigslist.) So, because they graciously agreed to deliver it for a small fee (SO WORTH IT) and my hubby was at work, we just slid the other fridge over. When he got home, he was going to take the smaller fridge back out, but I talked him into leaving it. I have to tell you, I LOVE having 2 refrigerators in the house…crazy, I KNOW…but it just makes me happy!

Church/Bible Study

My all time FAVE is BSF, but as it is drawing to an end for this year, I am looking forward to trying something new and keeping an old favorite.  The New is a Journal Doodle Study in John by Kari Denker at Stone Soup for Five .

I have not tried it myself yet, but I have heard wonderful things about it so far!  The Old is this year's Sword Study.  I don't think that this year's study has been revealed yet, but I have REALLY LOVED these.  Last year we studied Ruth!  It was a wonderful study!  What I love about Sword Study is that everyone studies the same thing at the same time, just at their level and it is structured for daily study...similar to BSF, and yet so different too!


We are in a season of EXTREME BUSYNESS and are in the car a lot. That means meals and snacks in the car. That means drinks in the car. That means not everyone has a drink holder and crackers get crushed on the floor. One of the BEST things I have found to remedy this are these three compartment cubby holders.
These have a section that’s perfect for a drink, and then a spot for a sandwich or burger, and another smaller spot for fruit, fries, crackers, etc. Absolutely LOVE these for the car! Oh, and I got mine at the Target One Spot section for $3. Gotta LOVE THAT!


As a Designer with Origami Owl, a distributor with Young Living, the church secretary, Homeschool teacher, wife and momma, I have two tools that I use together to TRY to keep me all together.  The first is the Cozi App on my phone...My friend Chloe talks about this all the time and she loves it...the part I really like is that you can set it up to email the schedule out to every week, my husband gets the 411 of what is going on in our home...IF I happen to remember to enter it!
I do have to say though, I am a pen and paper gal and I just like the satisfaction of crossing things off, making lists, making lists for my lists...etc.  I am so old school this way.  So, Chloe, (yes, I really love her!  She also introduced me to the Journal Doodle study) also introduced me to Bullet Journaling.  There are many aspects I LOVE about this, one being the index, so you can find things you want to remember, but the thing I love most is that it is paper!  Many take this way over the top and they are lovely works of art, but mine is not!


So I promise NOT to talk about My Home School Grades or The Ultimate Homeschool Planner again. My favorite thing for school right now has to be something my 4th grader is using. He is behind in math and we have been over and over the concepts. So FINALLY, I broke down and purchased the kit for Math from Bob Jones’ Press Distance Learning.  This is actually our second year using it!  He just struggled quite a bit with some beginning concepts, that we decided to try this.  So the entire math kit plus DVDs with a teacher teaching the lesson arrived at my doorstep. SO WORTH EVERY PENNY. Do not be afraid to go back and keep doing work that is below where they SHOULD BE. My boy is FINALLY GETTING IT and we are working through it quickly which is a HUGE BLESSING! We are also speeding up the video a little to cut down the time. Since he is older, he does not need as much time and just about everything is repeated a few times. Sanity saver right there. The price is high, around $300, but I like to think of it as an investment in my child’s success…we won’t always need it, but right now we do.
A new thing that I am so excited about for next year is Erica's  Classic Literature Volume 1.  This looks like a lot of fun and I can 't wait to dive in next year!  This particular volume covers family favorites such as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Mr. Popper's Penguins, Little House in the Big Woods, Treasure Island, Stuart Little and more!  It is certainly hard to choose just one volume, so we will probably go back and get another one for the following year.


Bahn Mi (pronounced Bun Mee) has got to be my number one favorite new Food. A mix of light crispy bread with savory and sour and hot. These Vietnamese sandwiches are a delight. If you can get one in your neck of the woods, let me encourage you to try one…And NOW you know how to say it!  If not, they are pretty easy to make at home too!  We got this book ( I am not an affiliate!) and love the grilled lemongrass pork version on page 84 of the book.  We buy rolls that are a good substitute and use grated carrot to make the daikon carrot pickle.  A little bit of work, but so worth it!
Kitchen Basics Broth – Best store bought broth ever. If you have ever opened up a container of the brand everyone knows well and then a container of Kitchen Basics, you can totally see the difference. Homemade is ALWAYS best, but this is a very close second!


As a distributor/member with Young Living, I love being able to have some wonderful natural items to use for our everyday needs. My favorite here is Thieves Oil. This is a heavy hitting essential oil that I believe has contributed to us being free of most of the junk that has been going around. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Thieves Oil! There are many Thieves Oil products to love too – like Lozenges, hand sanitizer, toothpaste, concentrated cleaner, and mouthwash.
Another favorite just so very close behind is Ningxia Red.  This is a power super blend that I use to enhance wellness.  Everyone loves the taste and lines up for shots of it in the morning. 
My favorite things often change with the wind, but this is my list for today! Keep pressing on and looking up and giving thanks always!
Originally Posted at Home and School Mosaics

That's NOT Hay in My Hair

That's NOT Hay in My Hair
Written by: Juliette Turner
Published by ZonderKidz
Price: $ 8.99
Ages: 12-16 ish

From Zonderkidz Website:
"New York City life had crammed sidewalks, gasoline-filled puddles, and angry taxi drivers, but Juliette enjoyed the towering sky-scrapers, the half block walk to school, and the restaurant smells wafting into her bedroom.  She had never cared for a horse, let alone a long-horn, when her mother announced their imminent move to a 300 acre ranch in Texas, where they would be caring for three horses, five dogs, twenty-five longhorns and a cat...all by themselves.
Juliette couldn't help feeling excited, even though she'd have to climb a hill to get a bar of cell-phone service.  Soon she was running from bats and snakes, rescuing a calf from a twenty-foot ditch, medicating ponies, and having adventures so crazy it's hard to believe they're for real--but it all happened exactly how it's written.
 Get ready for side-splitting laughs, heart-wrenching tears, and surprising life lesson learned down on the farm and shared by fourteen-year-old Juliette Turner.
That's NOT Hay in My Hair is a fun book, probably MOST appreciated by teenaged girls.  In places, very funny; other places, tears FREELY flow, always showing the chaos associated with work on a ranch.

Written by the 18 year old daughter of Janine Turner, and based on her life, I love that this book might encourage young people to try their hand at writing a story.  You do not see that often.
The story seems to mostly be centered around "crisis" situations on the ranch and the horses, with Maggie at the center.  Chapters jump around a bit and I felt like it was hard to see what the point of the story was.  As an adult though, maybe I am being too critical of a book written for teens.

I have to say, I did not love the had a sort of spirit-y feeling to it that.  Other than that, I thought it was a fun book to read.

I received this book in exchange for a frank and honest review.  All opinions are my own.  Your results and/or opinions may vary.

Wonderfully Made Giveaway

Hello Everyone!  Happy Monday!!!  I hope you are all enjoying this spring day.  We have a bit of the crud going around in our house, so we are on the couch doing our thing.

I want to introduce you to Danika Cooley.  She is the author of the new book "Wonderfully Made: God's Story of Life from Conception to Birth" that will officially launch on April 19th (although you may have already seen it!).

Danika was familiar to me before I heard about this book for many of the wonderful resources she has on her blog. I think I was originally introduced through The Bible Road Trip.  If you are a subscriber, you have access to many printables...INCLUDING these AMAZING resources for her new book Wonderfully Made

Wonderfully Made posters
Scripture Memory Card sets, ESV and KJV
I Am Wonderfully Made Lapbook

I received our copy of the book the other day (RIGHT before we got sick) and I was looking through it today with our little man.  We had some fun skimming through the pages!  I LOVE some of his responses to what he saw!  I can see some wonderful discussions in our future!  I will be writing a review in detail, but this is such a lovely book showing the wonder of the formation of a human life.

The good news is...There is a GIVEAWAY!!!!


To celebrate the release of Wonderfully Made: God's Story of Life from Conception to Birth by Danika Cooley, I am hosting a wonderful giveaway with the rest of the launch team. The giveaway includes a hardcover copy of the book, along with several other books and products your family is sure to enjoy. The total value of the giveaway is nearly $600!

Wonderfully Made Giveaway

Here is what you could win:

Wonderfully Made: God’s Story of Life from Conception to Birth by Danika Cooley – hardcover $9.99 value

Wonderfully made is an excellent book that introduces a young child to the wonder of God's creation - the wonder and miracle of birth. From conception in the womb through the nine months within the mother's womb Danika Cooley takes us on a journey of discovery... the discovery of life.

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." Psalm 139:13

Touch of Life First Trimester Fetal Models $89.95 value

Sculpted from real-life photos, these four fetal models representing weeks 7, 8, 9, and 10 after conception have a personality of their own, and the life-like feel of the skin brings home the humanity of the preborn baby in its first trimester of life. Accurately portrayed thanks to medical descriptions and photos, these little samples of life are a great educational tool for helping to understand the wonder of the early stages of human development.

Bible Road Trip Year One Curriculum (includes Lower and Upper Grammar Notebooking Journals $60 value

The Bible Road Trip Year One Curriculum is a 463-page digital PDF download of the full Bible Road Trip Year One curriculum for all five levels, preschool through high school. The Bible Road Trip Year One Curriculum includes the Parent / Teacher Guide and 32 weeks of curriculum schedules for all grades.

$100 Amazon Gift Card $100 value

Enjoy shopping with a gift of $100 + an adorable bookmark.

Big Bible Science: Experiment and Explore God’s World by Erin Lee Green (Ages 5-11) $12.99 value

Big Bible Science helps children and those who teach them to explore God's World and God's Word through real live science experiments. There are twenty-one different units taking students through scientific concepts such as Gravity, Friction, Animal Classification and the Nervous System.

My 1st Books and More by Carine MacKenzie and Philip Ross (ages 4-7) $15.99 value   

Who is God? What does he do? Can I know Jesus? Why did he die? Children always have questions about God. They want to know what it means to be a Christian and who Jesus is. My 1st Books and More gives a year's worth and more of bible readings, devotions and memory verses.

Living Water in the Desert: True Stories of God at Work in Iran by Rebecca Davis  $8.99 value

One man was overcome by the missionary's kindness. Another was stopped by a vision of men in blue.  One became sick and tired of his own religion. Another saw a man named Jesus in a dream, coming to him on a donkey.  A girl found a strange book on the floor of the library and visited a secret prayer meeting. All of them eventually came to Jesus Christ for His full and free salvation, becoming missionaries to their own people. Seventeen chapters tell true stories of the Living Water pouring out on the country of Iran, even up to the present day.

Lights in a Dark Place: True Stories of God at Work in Colombia by Rebecca Davis (ages 7-12)  $8.99 value

Colombia has been known as a land of violence, but God is at work! Even though the Colombian people have reacted with violence to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, God has delivered people from burning houses . . . God has healed ones who cursed . . . God has given people dreams and visions . . . God has rescued kidnapers . . . God has conquered demons of darkness. Read fourteen true stories of the Light of the World shining in the land of Colombia, South America.

Jungle Doctor’s Monkey Tales by Paul White $8.99 value

The wisdom of monkeys is proverbially small. They never could remember not to get too near to the hind feet of zebra, nor to throw coconuts at Chewi the leopard, nor to look into the eyes of snakes. Luckily for his little nephews, Uncle Nyani, the only survivor of a family of seven, is always near at hand to tell them how they can live to be as old as he is!

Jungle Doctor’s Tug-of-War by Paul White (ages 5-11) $8.99 value 

Even by monkey standards, young Toto is pretty dim! Those baddies of the jungle, Crunch the Crocodile, Mbisi the Hyena, Slinki the Jackal, Vibi the Vulture and Gnark the crow look as though they are going to have an easy time finishing him off. However, Toto soon finds himself in the middle of a tug-of-war, for his real friends, Elephant, Giraffe, Parrot and Hornbill are determined to rescue him from the clutches of the jungle underworld.

The Bible’s Big Story: Salvation History for Kids by James M. Hamilton Jr. $4.99 

With easily remembered rhymes and Bible verses take your child through the span of Salvation History from Creation to the Fall, the Flood to the Exodus, the Exile to the Crucifixion and beyond... James M. Hamilton writes about real history, God's Salvation History, and our future.

Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership $97

1000s of topical pages, themes, and designs . . . Perfect for any subject or study A to Z!

Art Study ♦ Copywork ♦ Character Study ♦ Famous Men & Women ♦ Geography (state/country studies, continental, world maps) ♦ History of the Ancient World, Medieval, Renaissance, Reformation, and Modern Times ♦ Music Study ♦ Nature Study ♦ Science ♦ Timelines ♦ and more!

Mom's Toolbelt Lifetime Membership $24.95

A customizable home management planner for every area of your life that craves order.

Hal and Melanie Young: Mom & Dad Special: Raising Real Men (book + audiobook) plus a free registration to both Boot Camp 9-12 AND Boyhood Boot Camp. $101 value

If this is God’s chosen gift to us, then why does it seem so hard? How can we prepare these boys to serve God when we can barely make it through the day? Isn’t there a better way? The answer is yes.

When You Lie Down: Lullabies and Scripture Songs CD $12.97 value

These twelve songs remind us that true rest, comfort and hope come from God alone. This music is an awesome way to experience God’s Word with your baby, kids and family. You will discover that this album will be a powerful addition to use in your personal time with God.

Seeds Onesie- Psalm 139:13-14  $14.97 value

Seeds Family Worship Onesie featuring Psalm 139:13-14 on the front with a small Seeds logo on the back.

Cultivating Responsibility: Parenting Wisdom for Ages 9-12 by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN $14.99 value

The later elementary age years are among the greatest times to build responsibility in children. Heart transformation takes place when parents use other tools than behavior modification.

Elementary Foundations: Parenting Wisdom for Ages 5-8by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN $14.99 value

Many new things happen during the ages of 5-8. Children start school, develop significant friendships, learn to think abstractly instead of just concretely, and have a greater ability to draw close to God. Parenting during this stage produces a number of challenges and opportunities so you'll want to be prepared.

To enter the giveaway, use the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway open to residents of the U.S. and Canada, age 18 and older. Giveaway will end on Wednesday, April 20 at 11:59pm EST. Winner will be announced at the Wonderfully Made Facebook Release Party (winner does not have to be present to win, but we hope you'll be there!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You're Invited!

Join us for the Wonderfully Made Facebook Release Party on Thursday, April 21. We'll have even more giveaways and freebies, too! The party begins at 9pm EST, and you can RSVP on the event page

Please RSVP!

Wonderfully Made Facebook Release Party, Thursday, April 21, 9pm EST