Children’s Bible Hour, Seasons of Faith Series

Perfect for bedtime reading!

Perfect for bedtime reading!

Summary & Rating: 5.  Children’s Bible Hour (CBH) Ministries are wonderfully, unabashedly evangelical. They have been around for years, producing radio shows and devotionals for children. We love their set of Seasons of Faith illustrated books with audio CD. These stories are based upon CBH popular radio scripts. I like the solid biblical teaching of the books. Each book addresses a different “season” of faith, and children can see how to live out their faith in real life situations.


I liked the books. I found the illustrations colorful and the stories well written. I appreciate the clear way that difficult questions about faith are handled.

I laughed at the true test—Em really loves to read these. She will choose to read them at bedtime with Daddy and also will sit and listen to the audio version–over and over again. Her favorite one? Braving The Storm. I find this interesting, as she has just gone through a tough time with feeling poorly and finding out about the epilepsy.

  • Spring: This is the time when people experience new life in Christ. Faith develops and Christians begin to share the Salvation message with others. [Race with Midnight-good choice for horse lovers]
  • Summer: This is the time when faith grows under God’s love and care. Fruit is witnessed and triumphs are gained through applying His Word and striving to be the best we can be in Christ. [You Can't Come In]
  • Autumn: This is the time of struggle, temptation, peer pressure, and mistakes. Even though it might seem like nothing good can come from this time, God has promised that He will be there. He will teach us how to forgive and then grown in grace. [Seventy Times Seven]
  • Winter: This is the time when life is most difficult. Deep struggles, mourning, trying to make it through difficult times, or the death of a loved one can pull us away from God. He teaches us to lean on Him for comfort and peace. [Braving the Storm]

If you are looking for some books that answer questions about God and being Christian for your kids, these are perfect.

Each softcover book retails for $10. When you use the code FREESHIPAPR15 between March 17 and April 15, 2010, you can receive free standard shipping with the purchase of the 4 book set. There are also free study questions available for parents and teachers.

Children’s Bible Hour also has children’s radio programs and devotionals available–even in podcast form! I believe some are free. Go here to see.

To see what my TOS crewmates have to say, click here!

The Seasons of Faith Books were provided to me for my review and I have given my unbiased opinion.

Making Work at Home Work

March 23, 2010

I know some of my readers are extra Work at Home Moms. I say extra because just being a Mom is a job:) But for those who are doing something to bring in additional income on top of that, I think these ideas may be very useful.

So, I have partnered up with Making Work at Home Work as a blogger. Let me know if you like these ideas!

Find the Right Coach

By Mary M. Byers

In my last post I talked about working with a coach. This time, we’ll address how to find the right coach for you. I suggest the following:

Ask friends and colleagues if they can recommend anyone to you. Listen to conversations. If you hear someone mention that they work with a coach, ask if they’d be willing to share the name and contact information. Referrals are by far the best way to find a coach.

Identify specifically what you need help with.
Do you need help increasing your income? Decreasing your expenses? Someone to brainstorm marketing ideas with? Or, do you have plenty of ideas but lack the follow through to do them? In this latter case, you’ll want someone who can use a little tough love to hold you accountable for getting things done. The more specific you are regarding where you need help, the more likely you’ll be to find a coach that’s a good fit for you.

Search online.
Do a search for coaches online. You’ll find plenty! Pick a few sites to go to, read about each coach and his or her philosophy, and watch the videos. You’ll get a sense of who you might feel comfortable working with. Narrow the list to these possibilities.

Request a complimentary introductory session. This is THE most important step. I “met” by phone with several coaches before finding mine. One coach spent the whole conversation talking about herself. Another spent the entire time saying, “If you decide to work with me, then…” And a third was not at all focused during our conversation, which led me to believe our coaching sessions would be the same way–frustrating for me.

Make the decision. Know that your coaching relationship won’t last forever. This makes it easier to decide who you will work with. Pick the coach you are most interested in. Then, ask if you can sign up for a limited number of sessions (a minimum of three). You’ll have a good sense of how the relationship is working after several sessions.

Be willing to do the work. When you enter a coaching relationship, you’re making a commitment to help your coach help you. And you’re making a commitment to doing homework between sessions as well as to do the heavy thinking required to help take your business to the next level. Coaches see lots of people who are willing to pay for help, but fewer who are willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work. Your work with a coach only pays off if you’re invested and willing to sweat along with your coach.

Good luck!

Mary Byers is the author of Making Work at Home Work: Successfully Growing a Business and a Family Under One Roof. You can learn more about making work at home work by subscribing to Mary’s free blog at Interested in more articles like this? Join the blog ring here.


This is the first time I have read one of Liz Curtis Higgs historical romances. What a treat it was! I fell in love with the Kerr family as I traveled through Scottish history and the Scriptures.

Higgs obviously did quite a bit of research for the framework for this retelling of the Old Testament story of Ruth and Naomi. The novel, set in 18th Century Scotland, followed the Kerr family (pronounced care, with a roll to the “r”), Prince Charlie and the Jacobites as well as the social life of Scotland. I was fascinated by descriptions of Edinburgh, the dress and behavior…even the meals of the time period.

I felt that I was transported back through time—and isn’t that what a delightful book can do? The character development was wonderful. I am a “skimmer” but in this book, I had to pay attention to all the characters. I found myself staying up late and wishing for a particular ending. The novel really delves into history and forgiveness and loyalty. Loved it!

A mother who cannot face her future.
A daughter who cannot escape her past.

Lady Elisabeth Kerr is a keeper of secrets. A Highlander by birth and a Lowlander by marriage, she honors the auld ways, even as doubts and fears stir deep within her.
Her husband, Lord Donald, has secrets of his own, well hidden from the household, yet whispered among the town gossips.
His mother, the dowager Lady Marjory, hides gold beneath her floor and guilt inside her heart. Though her two abiding passions are maintaining her place in society and coddling her grown sons, Marjory’s many regrets, buried in Greyfriars Churchyard, continue to plague her.
One by one the Kerr family secrets begin to surface, even as bonny Prince Charlie and his rebel army ride into Edinburgh in September 1745, intent on capturing the crown.
A timeless story of love and betrayal, loss and redemption, flickering against the vivid backdrop of eighteenth-century Scotland, Here Burns My Candle illumines the dark side of human nature, even as hope, the brightest of tapers, lights the way home.

LIZ CURTIS HIGGS is the author of twenty-seven books with three million copies in print, including: her best-selling historical novels, Thorn in My Heart, Fair Is the Rose, Christy Award-winner Whence Came a Prince, and Grace in Thine Eyes, a Christy Award finalist; My Heart’s in the Lowlands: Ten Days in Bonny Scotland, an armchair travel guide to Galloway; and her contemporary novels, Mixed Signals, a Rita Award finalist, and Bookends, a Christy Award finalist. Visit the author’s extensive website at

You can purchase Here Burns My Candle online, here.

I also have one copy to give away! To enter to win a copy, Please tell me your favorite historical time period. Winner chosen 3/29.

For additional entries (please leave a comment for each method of entry):

Thanks to WaterBrook Multnomah who provided this book for my review.

The Schoolhouse Expo

Don’t forget to go sign up for the Schoolhouse EXPO! Since posting about this last week, I have registered and downloaded a ton of free gifts (in the form of e-books–and not crummy ones–really great whole unit studies and other stuff).

After setting up my registration and looking through the speakers and getting the free gifts, I am even more certain that this is a valuable event. I cannot wait to hear some of the speakers. And another good thing is that you can download and save any talks you miss–and watch them at your leisure.

Do check this out! The Schoolhouse Expo, is a 3-day, online conference, presented by The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine and The Old Schoolhouse® Speakers Bureau.

Great Speakers, physical door prizes, great interaction, and PowerPoint presentations you don’t want to miss.

Save $5 when you Pre-register for only $19.99 through March 31. PLUS, you’ll receive over $300 in free gifts when you register. Get the details and preregister here:

The Schoolhouse Expo

image002Guest Post by Nicholas Quinn

Do Hard Things launched a movement that would change a generation.  Now comes Alex and Brett Harris’ second book Start Here.

This book is about how to do hard things right where you are.

When I first got the book I started reading and, I started getting thoughts of what HARD THINGS I could do. At first they were large scale ideas but as I got closer to the middle of the book I was thinking what could I do in town?

This book helped me conceive and plan an idea to help my town.  And it also helped me to understand when I do a hard thing I shouldn’t take the credit that I should give it to God.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to help their town or neighborhood.  Maybe your park is dirty and you want to help clean it up, but you don’t know where to start this book will help you plan and carry out your plan.

The “Official” Word:

At the age of eighteen, Alex and Brett Harris wrote Do Hard Things—and launched a movement that would change a generation. Young people around the world were ready to be inspired, ready to move beyond complacency, ready to rebel against society’s low expectations.

Now the highly anticipated companion book, Start Here, answers the questions Alex and Brett have received from thousands of teens on their worldwide conference tour and popular online community: How do I get started? What hard things does God want me to do? How do I keep from getting discouraged or burned out? What is the best way to inspire others?

Filled with stories and insights from Alex, Brett, and other real-life rebelutionaries, Start Here is a powerful and practical guide for young people who are ready to take the next step and blast past apathy. Let the rebelution continue.

Alex and Brett Harris are the coauthors of the best-selling book Do Hard Things, which they wrote at age eighteen. Today the twins speak regularly to audiences of thousands on The Rebelution Tour, maintain a hugely popular online presence through their blog,, and have been featured on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and in the New York Times. Raised in Portland, Oregon, the brothers currently attend Patrick Henry College in Virginia.

You can purchase the book online at the Random House website.

Thank you to WaterBrook Multnomah for providing this book for my review.


FYI–I saw that Tyndale is having a contest going on through March. Just wanted to pass the information along!

The New Living Translation Break Through to Clarity Bible Contest and Giveaway

Visit and click on the tab that says “Sweepstakes”

Fill out a simple form, take a quick Bible clarity survey, invite your friends to join and you’ll be entered to win one of our exciting prizes.

With each fan number milestone a new prize will be given away.

Grand Prize

Apple iPad 64G and a Life Application Study Bible
Awarded when the NLT Fan Page hits the fifth milestone
Retail Value: $829.00

2nd Prize

32G iPod Touch and a Life Application Study Bible
Awarded when the NLT Fan Page hits the fourth milestone
Retail Value: $300.00

3rd Prize

Kindle DX and a Life Application Study Bible
Awarded when the NLT Fan Page hits the third milestone
Retail Value: $489.00

4th Prize

Apple iPad 16G and a Life Application Study Bible
Awarded when the New Living Translation Fan Page hits the second milestone
Retail Value: $499.00

5th Prize

Apple iPad 32G and a Life Application Study Bible
Awarded when the NLT Fan Page hits the first milestone
Retail Value: $599.00

Prize Eligibility–Only persons residing in United States who are at least 18 years of age can enter.

Sweepstakes Starts

March 17, 2010 @ 10:24 am (PDT)

Sweepstakes Ends

April 30, 2010 @ 10:24 am (PDT)

Wait, there’s more!

Visit for a chance to win a trip for two to Hawaii!

Here’s the details:

Choose one of six passages of Scripture from the New Living Translation and consider:
How do these verses encourage you to know God better?
What is God teaching you in this passage?
How does this passage apply to your life?

Submit your answer and you’ll be entered to win.

Just for signing up: Everybody Wins! Win a Free .mp3 download from the NLT’s new Red Letters Project. It’s the dynamic, new presentation of the sung and narrated words of the Gospel of Matthew. You win the download just for entering! Or choose to download the NLT Philippians Bible Study, complete with the Book of Philippians in the NLT.

Every day, one person will win the best-selling Life Application Study Bible!

The grand prize: One person will win a fantastic trip for two to the crystal clear waters of the Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore in beautiful Hawaii.

Homeschool In The Woods

Summary & Rating: 5. Most definitely a 5 for a rating. Homeschool In The Woods produces some magnificent resources. My download sounded innocent enough—Maps. Then, when I actually opened up the files, I was overwhelmed—I had over 300 maps, notebooking pages, State  and Country fact sheets, and brochures…my head was spinning with map project ideas! I received the combo-pak of gorgeous hand-illustrated Black and white maps to review.

My download included two sections:

  • Olde World Style Modern and Ancient Maps: World Maps: This section has tons of maps in Ancient and Modern styles, so you can use them in many different ways. This section includes over 40 World notebooking pages
  • Olde World Style Modern and Historical Maps: United States Maps: This section includes several versions of maps for each state, and maps pertaining to American History. Also, there are fact sheets for each state.
Hand-drawn illustrated maps

In our homeschool, I am always looking for just the right atlas and map to suit a particular lesson or project. Having these maps from Homeschool In The Woods really gives me some freedom–the children and I have what we need, and better yet, we can create our own fact sheets and notebooking pages to go along with other lessons. I think many of my lessons will become a little more “unit” like, as we begin adding more geography to our regular literature or history lessons using the maps.

There are countless ways to use these maps. One of my crewmembers, Tristan at Our Busy Homeschool mentioned using the outline maps as bases for salt dough maps for young kids. What a great idea!

Sheri at  What’s In The Box used these maps, the workbox idea and some other supplies to create a geography center for her homeschool. You can see her Geography Center in progress, here.

You can view more information and samples of the maps, here. Or, go here for samples and to see some freebies!

The downloads are priced at $18.95 each, and the CD version is $19.95 each. They also have a Combo-Pak (both sets together) priced at $28.95 for the download and $29.95 for the CD set.

Do check out Homeschool In The Woods for some excellent history resources.

To see what my TOS crewmates have to say, click here!

A Combo-Pak map download was provided to me for the purpose of my review. I have expressed my unbiased opinion on this product.

Artistic Pursuits

March 17, 2010

Artistic Pursuits

Summary and Rating 5:  I am really surprised by how much my ninth grader is enjoying this high school art curriculum. I have to say neither of us are gifted as far as drawing or painting–some in our family are, so we know the difference! While we do both enjoy art history and looking at works by Masters and playing around with photoshop…things like that, we avoid drawing. Luckily for my son, this curriculum has him viewing art in a new way and truly attempting to learn to draw!

When I first began reviewing this curriculum, I spoke with the author, Brenda Ellis. I explained that my son had some writing disabilities and that I was very reticent to add an art class, because I was worried it would frustrate him.

artistic pursuitsbookAfter some discussion, she sent us the Senior High Book One, Elements of Art and Composition. As the title implies, this book focuses on the elements of art—Space, line, texture….and also on composition—understanding balance and rhythm, perspective and proportion. The supplies necessary using this particular book are minimal, mainly paper, pencil and charcoal.

Why is this art curriculum working for a ninth grade boy who had little interest in drawing? I have no idea! However, I am thrilled and I suspect what grabs Nick is the format of the course—the lessons are structured to be used by homeschoolers and at this level, he can do this totally independently.

In our home, this has led to him making a time to sit and look over the lessons and then slowly draw, using his newfound knowledge. Each lesson has given him some impetus to go forward, with no pressure from Mom.

Somehow, having some more “head” knowledge about “Art” itself, the techniques, has made him more sure of himself and that shows up in his drawings. He is drawing!

I said I was amazed already, right??  Truly, as I said earlier, we have several people in our family who are considered artists. My Mother even got a degree in art. I however, just could not draw a dog—(and my son agreed I could write this) and my son could not either. I figured, really, that was that. Now, with this instruction, he has drawn several sketches that look like the items.

Wow. Artistic Pursuits had a Bigger Vision for my son as a student than I did. Lesson Learned!!

Wow. Artistic Pursuits had a Bigger Vision for my son as a student than I did. Lesson Learned!!

So I am left quite pleased and impressed with what good teaching can enable someone to do.

And, as we are only in the beginning portions of the course, I am excited to see more progress.

The books can be used again and again, so your 42.95 can go pretty far! While I have only used the high school book, it sounds like the others follow a very similar format. I am planning on getting the grades K-3, and introduction to the Visual Arts book for my youngest daughter.

See the Artistic Pursuits website for more in-depth information about how the courses are scheduled, a listing of all the courses available, explanations of how the lessons are set up at each level and sample lessons. (Poke around and you will find a ton of information on each book). Oh–and look for them at many of the upcoming Homeschool Conventions!

To see what my TOS crewmates have to say, click here!

The Senior High Book One, The Elements of Art and Composition, was provided to me for the purpose of my review. I have expressed my unbiased opinion on this product.