Educeri Lesson Subscription Service {Review}

I have mentioned on here a few times that I have been experimenting with some more online options for our homeschool. I guess I had been putting it off for so long that I didn’t realize that there were so many options! One I recently tried is the Educeri Lesson Subscription Service  from Educeri …….  Educeri a division of DataWORKS.

Educeri Lesson Subscription Service Reviews

I am never sure what is going to happen the first time I log onto one of these websites. I was pleasantly surprised that it was so easy to navigate. That makes it so much nicer to get things done faster.
educeri-main-screenYou can see how clean the site is! I was quickly able to use the colored drop down buttons to find what I was looking for. In my case, since all my kids are doing high school work, I just chose the high school grade. When I first logged on, I was mostly just checking to see what they had as it seems like some of these websites are geared more toward elementary grades. I was definitely happy to see that there were 164 results just from hitting the high school button!

I didn’t have anything in particular in mind when I first logged on, so I glanced at the different categories. There were 77 results for math, 16 for science, 53 for english (language arts), six for history, one for spanish, and 11 in the other category which turned out to be a lot of common core stuff. There are other categories, but there wasn’t anything specific for the high school grade in those. They include art, p.e., and music.

One subject I always want to check out is math! Woah!! This category wasn’t filled with fluff! There is some serious math going on!! Here are the first few sections offered.
Now, Ryan has done his math for college already, so I didn’t want to bother him with doing more, ha! So, that left Kyle and Lauren to try it out! The section I chose first was the Solve Quadratic Equations by Completing the Square.
educeri-solve-quadratic-equationsAgain, I am very impressed with the cleanliness of the layout throughout the whole site! It is so easy to know what to do next without searching all over. So, you just click that ‘Teach Lesson’ tab and it takes you to the next screen.
There is always an explanation at the beginning that says what will be learned in the lesson. There is a marker tools drop down menu at the upper right that you can use to draw on the screen, which is such a wonderful tool to have! So you can do your work that way, or just use pen and paper, or whatever you choose.

As you click the mouse, it shows you how to do the problem. I like that it writes it in a red font so that it stands out.
It then builds on this first lesson and it gets harder and harder but it makes sure that they understand how to do the questions which I really like. And that they can see the steps to take with each mouse click. This is exactly what my kids need!

In using the site more and more, I realized that the other subjects work pretty much the same way. We tried the Determine the Meaning of Unknown Words Using Context Clues in the English section also. This suggested it was for grades 11/12, but Lauren did awesome in this one. The boys don’t read near as much as she does, so some of the words they got hung up on…

Overall, I was very impressed with the whole site and the different sections within each subject. I will say the whole site seems to be common core heavy, so keep that in mind. They concentrate mostly on English and Math subjects, but every now and again will get other subjects added. Those are my two main ones, so that works for me! Each lesson has printables, but my printer was acting a little wonky, so I didn’t get to take advantage of that yet. I have the worst luck with printers, lol. The FAQ section is pretty thorough if you have any questions.

If you want to read what others had to say about their time using it, as well as using different grades of subjects, feel free to click the banner below!

Educeri Lesson Subscription Service

Educeri Lesson Subscription Service

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Online Christian Filmmakers Academy {Review}

Each year I am in charge of doing the yearbook portraits as well as putting our homeschool yearbook together. We had recently switched yearbook companies and I wanted to try something new, inserting a QR code that, once scanned, would direct you to a video. After I took each portrait, I would film a quick clip of that child answering a question. I put them all together and put them in a video. I made so many mistakes, but it worked. Because of those mistakes, I was excited to check out Online Christian Filmmakers Academy from Family Gravity Media, a division of Families For Christ Ministries, Inc.

Online Christian Filmmakers Academy {Family Gravity Media}
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I logged on. But right away they just get you started in the course! There is a quick little write up on the instructors on the side of the screen, I liked to read that they were a father and son team. And then you can just start watching the first video which is a video introduction.

Now, if you watch this first movie clip, you may wonder what you do next. I figured out that you scroll down to the bottom of the page and there is a next button. You can also click on the Menu button at the upper left part of the page to get to where you want to go. This is addressed in a later video, but you should know how to get to that video in order to watch it. 😉

This course is broken down into five modules. Christian Filmmakers MenuRight away I liked that they said that they shot with a dSLR which is what I have. I haven’t used the video feature all that often except for the aforementioned yearbook video. The camera module had six lessons. Two were about lenses, one was frame rate, one was ISO and shutter speed and the last was tripods and camera support.

A lot of this information is helpful even just for using your camera for taking pictures, which makes sense, since movies are just moving pictures, ha! But it is a good review for people that forget, or don’t use the ideas that they bring up.

At the end of the first module is a quick 25 question quiz. This is the only module with a quiz, but they are working on adding more, along with changing and adding more lessons as well as adding things to the bonus section. I like that they are continually adding things to keep it current and informative.

As you go through the course, you are able to mark that section as complete. This will put a green check mark on that section if you choose to view it from the menu. That comes in handy as when you log back in to continue the course, it doesn’t drop you back in where you left off. If you choose not to mark it as complete, you can then go back and re-watch the video or mark it as complete later.

Just like on YouTube or other video site, you can leave a comment at the bottom of the video. Ken and Zack can then respond to you there, which comes in handy if you have a question. Or you can check out other questions that have been asked.

All of the other modules are very informative. I especially liked the lighting section as I am a natural light photographer, I don’t have much experience working with lighting. I enjoyed the fact that each video is very short but still full of information. I think the longest video was 22 minutes long. Most are under ten minutes.

While the course works out great for someone that wants to do more of a movie type thing, I was just going to do things for the homeschool group that was mostly bits and pieces of our year and put it together. I still learned quite a bit and actually, I think it would be fun to put a little movie together sometime for the fun of it now!

If you are interested, I have a coupon code for you! This coupon code will give $100 off the regular price of $299. Please note that the coupon code is only valid through November 30th, 2016.  The code is: FALLCREW16

If you want to read what others thought before jumping in, feel free to click on the banner below!

Online Christian Filmmakers Academy {Family Gravity Media}

Online Christian Filmmakers Academy {Review}

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Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment Freezer Meal Plan Membership {Review}

You guys…September and October have been so so busy for me. It typically is, and that is one reason why we make our school schedule the way it is. Jeffy is doing a lot of traveling, I have three days of doing yearbook photos, and doing respite for a sweet baby girl. Mix that in with my preference of having a bigger lunch and smaller dinner, we hadn’t been eating the best. So, the timing was perfect when I was able to try out The Freezer Meal Plan Membership from MyFreezEasy. Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy}

Now, I have been a skeptic of freezer meals. I had seen pictures of people spending a full day making all of these freezer meals. The kitchen is completely trashed and they are exhausted but had all of these meals made. I just didn’t have it in me to try something like that.

When I checked out this website and saw that you could have ten meals done in an hour, I was definitely willing to try that out! Because sometimes it takes that long to make just one meal! (Baked chicken I am talking to you!)

I wanted to really test this out so I logged onto the website pretty quickly. I thought it was pretty easy to navigate once I played around for a while, but there are plenty of videos to help you in case you have questions.

As part of the plan, you can choose the five different meals that you want to make that will give you ten meals total. Our house is pretty hard to cook for. It’s a little easier if we don’t factor Lauren into the mix of meal planning, so that is what we normally do. 😛 I am the only one that likes vegetables so I have to look for things that, if they do have vegetables, that they would be easy to pick out or eat around.

I also have to think about how I want to cook things. Sometimes I do want something for the slow-cooker, but other times it is an hour before we want to eat and I need something quicker. Well, with these meals, there is a great mix that you can choose from! Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy}

You can choose from all of these meals shown AND there is a mix and match that you can just choose from a huge list of meals and make the five that you want. I did the mix and match option so that I could pick things that I knew my family would have more of a chance of liking.

I logged into my account and went to the huge list of meals. Then, I  just used the drag and drop feature that moved the five meals that I chose to the side of the screen. I saved those to my computer and opened them when I was ready to go to the grocery store. Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy}

I was pleasantly surprised at how everything was put together. There are 14 pages that put everything in an order that I could understand. The first page is a table of contents that lists my meals and show what else is in the packet. The next few pages are each recipe in detail as well as cooking directions for a single meal and assembly prep for two meals. There are also tips on how to thaw as well as how to make the meal gluten free or dairy free, etc.

Towards the end are shopping lists. The first one is a complete list by recipe. If you just wanted to make one of the meals one time, that is an option that you can shop for. You can then also use the recipe page and the cooking directions for a single meal. The next section is a shopping list by store category. Now this is what I’m talking about since this is how I usually make my shopping lists! There are two different sets, one that includes the suggested sides, and one that doesn’t. My family doesn’t do veggies like I mentioned, but they also don’t do salads and such, so I didn’t shop for the sides unless it was something that I knew they would eat, like pasta.

The last two sections are where the magic happens. The first page includes the Meal Assembly Instructions that suggests what you can do all at once if you were going to assemble all the meals at the same time. The other page is Assembly by recipe and that is if you wanted to just assemble one recipe at a time.

Personally, I liked doing it all at the same time, that way everything got done at once and I wouldn’t feel like it was dragging.

So, everything was going on when I did my meal prep days… We had lost our upstairs AC..then our water died and then Hurricane Matthew came along. I didn’t get as many pictures as I wanted, but I will walk you through them. 🙂

One of our meals was Swedish Meatballs. In this batch of meals this is the one that was the most involved. But basically you mix all the meat together and form meatballs and just put them in the disposable pan.


I finished one and it is labeled but you can’t really see it. There are printable labels on the website, but my printer was wonky and I couldn’t get it to work properly, but I highly suggest them as it would have been so much nicer to have that instead of just sharpie marker!


Here are all the meals that I made that day! The one paper suggested that the prep should only take 30-35 minutes and it was pretty close! My hands got too cold making the meatballs so I had to pause quite a bit to warm them up again, lol. But there are ten meals here!!


And here is the finished product, albeit a messy version…ha! It was quite tasty! I didn’t know how these frozen meals would taste at all, but I was pleasantly surprised…


We also made another meal, I think this is a pest0 chicken bake dish. This was good too!


So, that was my five September meals. I also recently did my October meals.. Here is a before picture of that…
freezeasy-3Now, I don’t have an after picture of this…because I am missing a meal. On the shopping list it had 8lb pork roast. So….I got an 8lb pork roast, lol. I think it wanted me to get four two pound roasts.. Oops. So, I cut the roast up that I got enough for one of the pork meals and had to throw the rest away. But I did make the rest of the meals during Hurricane Matthew because I didn’t want the meat to go bad and I had high hopes that the power wouldn’t go out in the meantime! We were fine, thankfully!

But we have tried four out of five of the September meals so far and everyone has loved them! I am so excited! Knowing that we have so many meals in the freezer and all I have to do is throw them in the oven just makes me so happy. And it doesn’t take long at all to put the meals together! My October one took a while longer because of the issue mentioned above as well as I had to brown the ground beef and cook some pasta, I didn’t have to cook anything in the September meals. I think it just depends on what dishes you choose each month.

But I would definitely suggest this to anyone who is looking to simplify their meal times! If you want to check out what others made and see even more choices, feel free to click on the banner below! 🙂 Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy} Freezer Meal Plan Membership

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Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers {Review}

My kids all have a different relationship with writing and all that it entails. Ryan has been thrown into it with his college classes, Kyle prefers more to write cartoons, while Lauren has started a few novels. When I was asked to review Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers by Everyday Education, LLC I was wondering how the best way to use it would be! I was excited to check it out!

Beautiful Handwriting, Literature and Poetry {Everyday Education, LLC}
I was sent a PDF file, but you have the choice of getting it as a print or e-book! In my opinion, it would be better to have this printed as there is so much information and it would be nice to be able to flip through it. Although if you are used to reading things on a computer or other device, you may appreciate the e-book!

Beautiful Handwriting, Literature and Poetry {Everyday Education, LLC}

Now, this isn’t a curriculum as much as it is a handbook. There are other things that you can order from the same company that would be more of a curriculum. This handbook is over 400 pages of information! The first 23 pages show a very detailed table of contents. There is an introduction to the handbook as well as an introduction to essays and arguments. This handbook is broken down into two sections. The first section gives instructions and samples for making the arguments and also just writing the essay. The second part goes more into the words, punctuation, and their usage in your essay.

This was great timing as Ryan is taking a public speaking class in college and that involves writing different essays! I would say that he was able to use this handbook the most the last few weeks because of that. He hasn’t had an argumentative speech due yet, but he knows it is coming…and we were able to use the information on his other essays that were assigned!

One section that we enjoyed in this section was The Importance of Defining a Focus. It gives a general topic and then shows the process of breaking it down into something more specific.

handbook for writersAir pollution on it’s own is definitely a large topic! I like how it shows the different thought processes to finally get to the final subject of Acid rain in BC: effects on trout in the Cowichan River. Definitely more specific which will make for a better, and in my opinion easier to write, essay.

The second section in the handbook was very informative! There are a lot of things that you just learn in school that you just do. But you may not know why you do it! This section came in helpful for all of the kids.. Ok, who am I kidding, we all found something helpful in this section!

As Lauren enjoys writing the most, she was happy to read this section. One thing that stumped my kids in their writing was question marks as a part of a quotation. Inside or outside the quotation marks! It’s one of those things that you feel like you should know but tend to second guess!

handbook for writers

I love that it explains why you do the question mark the way you do when it comes to quotations. It really  helps the way it is explained. It just doesn’t say that this is the way it is done and leave it at that.

Even though this is geared toward high school and into college years, I think this whole handbook is very helpful for a lot of ages! Lauren just recently turned 13 and found it useful and Ryan taking college courses found it useful. Not to mention the sections that I found useful as well! I highly recommend it for anyone that is going to be writing in any capacity even as just a reminder!

If you want to read what others had to say about this handbook as well as Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting and Working it Out: Poetry Analysis with George Herbert, feel free to click on the banner below!

Beautiful Handwriting, Literature and Poetry {Everyday Education, LLC}

Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers {Review}

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Carole P. Roman {Review}

When we started homeschooling about six years ago I never knew how much I enjoyed history. It was always so boring in school! Mix that with my love of reading and these books that I am going to mention are definitely a winner! They are the If You Were Me and Lived in…series brought to you by Carole P. Roman and

Carole P. Roman

The author, Carole P. Roman started writing on a dare from one of her sons and ever since has won all sorts of awards for a variety of books. The children’s books have been quite popular though and I am personally glad that she wrote them! ha!

I read four of these books during school over the last few weeks. I am actually looking at getting a couple more when we study those time periods in our next school year.

The first book we read was If You Were Me and Lived in…Colonial America (An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 4) This was perfect since we were reading a lot about that time period.

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and}

This story is 53 pages long and also has a section in the back that showed some people who influenced the colonies on the entire eastern seaboard. There is also a glossary that includes pronunciations which is nice. There are some pronunciations throughout the book, but there are quite a few extra in this section.

The book itself is very easy to read. We read aloud and it flowed smoothly. A lot of the time it is a few sentences on one side of the page and then a drawing on the other side. The illustrations are very cute for this book.

In this book you are a young boy and it tells the story of your travels from England to the New World. It talks about building houses and then that becoming a plantation. It talks about meeting a native boy from the Wampanoag tribe and how he traded corn and gave planting advice. It mentions what the clothes were like, a little bit about schooling options and what people did for fun.

The book really talked a lot about what life was like during that time period, but in a way that kids would understand. It isn’t written in a babyish way either, my kids are all teens and they loved it! I read it old school style showing them the pictures on each page as I went, lol.

The next book we read was If You Were Me and Lived in…the Middle Ages (An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 6) as we were doing that in school as well.

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and}

This story was quite a bit longer than the previous one. It is about 76 pages and the text on each page is longer as well. The illustrator is different as you can tell just from the book cover image. It has a softer feel to illustrations.

In this book you are a newly turned teen girl. It mentions how your father is already talking about your wedding! It talks about the differences between your family and the rest of the village. I think in this book we were most fascinated with learning about the barber-surgeon. They did operations, pulled out teeth and also haircuts! Crazy! ha!

At the end of this book it showed some famous people from the middle ages and talked a little bit about them. Ryan was learning about a couple of them in his college history class so he was happy to tell me more about them. There is a glossary in this book as well.

The next book is If You Were Me and Lived in…Ancient China: The Han Dynasty. You were a boy in this book. And this book had the same illustrator as the previous one I mentioned.

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and}

Even though we aren’t studying this at the moment, we have studied it recently.. So when the book started mentioning the Silk Road we already knew what it was and could not our heads in recognition.

Also like the previous book, you were better off than other people as your father was a doctor. I like how it talked about the house differences as we really didn’t touch on that in our studies. It mentioned how your house was like everyone else’s in your city, in a courtyard. But the poor had many small houses around a courtyard.

Another thing we commented on was that people in northern China ate millet. That is what we use now to train our guineas. We had a little chuckle at that and of course imagined them eating it in its raw form like how we use it. Ack!

The rest of the book talked about school, music, festivals, and just daily life. It is about 65 pages long and has quite a bit of text. Important people of China and a glossary finish up the end of the book.

The last book is If You Were Me and Lived in… Elizabethan England (An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 3). You were a girl in this book and it had a new illustrator. I think this illustrator really did a good job on depicting the time that this book was meant for. A lot of darker colors but more detail.

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and}

The only time we have really talked about England is reading Charles Dickens stories. So, this was all pretty new for us in school. They were grossed out at how dirty it was. I mean, we have all of our birds and goats and all…but that sounds pleasant compared to what they were saying in the book. Ew..

We also read how houses in the country had roofs made of thatch..but that while it looked nice, a lot of stuff lived in the thatch. Even cats! So when it rained sometimes cats and dogs fell through the thatch! They think that is where the saying “it’s raining cats and dogs” came from. 😀

This book had you as being in the middle of the rich and poor, so it was a little different than the other books. It was nice having a different viewpoint. It was interesting to read that nobody drank water. Interesting because our water wasn’t working for a couple days and that’s all we wanted! ha!

This book was on the shorter end at about 40 pages. Again it had a section of important people and a glossary to finish it.

I am very pleasantly happy about these books! At first I thought they would be a touch young for my kids, and some may say they are, but we learned a lot… We also appreciated that they were written in a way that was easy to understand and it didn’t just spew out facts. It put you in the spot of the person in the story.

I will definitely be looking into some of the other titles! If you want to read about what titles others wrote about, feel free to click on the link below!

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and}

Carole P. Roman {Review}

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What I read in September

Hooray!! It’s officially October, which means it is officially fall in my eyes! 😀 More leaves are falling…the weather is finally out of the 80’s…I got my boots ready. haha! I read a bit more than I thought I did, so I am don’t know what happened. Some of them were for school, so that explains part of them. So, let’s get on with it! Here is what I read in September!


Island of Lost Girls by Jennifer McMahon – While parked at a gas station, Rhonda sees something so incongruously surreal that at first she hardly recognizes it as a crime in progress. She watches, unmoving, as someone dressed in a rabbit costume kidnaps a young girl. Devastated over having done nothing, Rhonda joins the investigation. But the closer she comes to identifying the abductor, the nearer she gets to the troubling truth about another missing child: her best friend, Lizzy, who vanished years before.

What I thought: Well, it was definitely a book that had you guessing a little bit.. I was a little confused at some parts and some characters had me saying ‘huh’ a few times. But I enjoyed reading it for the entertainment of it..


The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder – On the empty winter prairie, gray clouds to the northwest meant only one thing: a blizzard was seconds away. The first blizzard came in October. It snowed almost without stopping until April. The temperature dropped to forty below. Snow reached the roof-tops. And no trains could get through with food and coal. The townspeople began to starve. The Ingalls family barely lived through that winter. And Almanzo Wilder knew he would have to risk his life to save the town.

What I thought: I am so glad that I am having to read this for our schooling…because I never read them when I was younger. It’s my favorite thing about homeschooling! But I thought this was a great book, well really, I love all of her books it seems!


Great Expectations by Charles Dickens – In what may be Dickens’s best novel, humble, orphaned Pip is apprenticed to the dirty work of the forge but dares to dream of becoming a gentleman — and one day, under sudden and enigmatic circumstances, he finds himself in possession of “great expectations.” In this gripping tale of crime and guilt, revenge and reward, the compelling characters include Magwitch, the fearful and fearsome convict; Estella, whose beauty is excelled only by her haughtiness; and the embittered Miss Havisham, an eccentric jilted bride.

What I thought: What to say about this book… I felt like it would never end. I know I am supposed to love it. But I was reading it aloud to the kids and it was just so hard…lol. We started the book in May and it just kept dragging. I did enjoy the story, but it was just long. I am sure I would have appreciated it more if I had just read it for me…


The Pray-ers Troubles by Mark S Mirza – Learning Prayer thru the FUN of a Novel
3 Prayer Heroes, in
3 Historic Eras, on
2 Continents, with
1 Nine Foot Tall Angel, and
A host of demons

What I thought: I wrote a full review on the blog the other day if you wanted to check it out. 🙂


The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena – How well do you know the couple next door? Or your husband? Or even—yourself?  

People are capable of almost anything. . . 
Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all—a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.

Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco  soon discover that the other is keeping secrets, secrets they’ve kept for years.

What follows is the nerve-racking unraveling of a family—a chilling tale of  deception, duplicity, and unfaithfulness that will keep you breathless until the final shocking twist.

What I thought: WHAT in the world did I read?!?! lol This book had me reading so fast at parts.. I couldn’t wait to hear what happened.. and then the ending!?! What in the world! lol I enjoyed this book..even if it wasn’t totally believable, it was just written to keep me interested…


The Wright Brothers by Russell Freedman – The first powered, sustained, and controlled airplane flight, and the men behind it. A Newbery honor Book.

What I thought: I was quite fascinated by this book! I learned a lot about the Wright Brothers than I hadn’t known before. Seems fitting since we are in NC and all. There was a lot of information for sure and in the back of the book are locations that you can visit that were mentioned in the book or have turned into museums…


One for the Murphys by Lunda Mullaly Hunt – Twelve-year-old Carley Connors can take a lot. Growing up in Las Vegas with her fun-loving mother, she’s learned to be tough. But she never expected a betrayal that would land her in a foster care. When she’s placed with the Murphys, a lively family with three boys, she’s blindsided. Do happy families really exist? Carley knows she could never belong in their world, so she keeps her distance.

It’s easy to stay suspicious of Daniel, the brother who is almost her age and is resentful she’s there. But Mrs. Murphy makes her feel heard and seen for the first time, and the two younger boys seem determinded to work their way into her heart. Before she knows it, Carley is protected the boys from a neighbourhood bullly and even teaching Daniel how to play basketball. Then just when she’s feeling like she could truly be one of the Murphys, news from her mother shakes her world.

What I thought: This book was recommended to me and I loved it! It was such a great story and well written! Some of it wasn’t believable to me, especially since I know the little that I do about the foster care system, but the main character was totally great…


Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse – Amsterdam, 1943. Hanneke spends her days finding and delivering sought-after black market goods to paying customers, nights hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents, and every waking moment mourning her boyfriend, who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the German army invaded. Her illegal work keeps her family afloat, and Hanneke also likes to think of it as a small act of rebellion against the Nazis.

On a routine delivery, a client asks Hanneke for help. Expecting to hear that Mrs. Janssen wants meat or kerosene, Hanneke is shocked by the older woman’s frantic plea to find a person: a Jewish teenager Mrs. Janssen had been hiding, who has vanished without a trace from a secret room. Hanneke initially wants nothing to do with such a dangerous task but is ultimately drawn into a web of mysteries and stunning revelations—where the only way out is through.

Beautifully written, intricately plotted, and meticulously researched, Girl in the Blue Coat is an extraordinary, unforgettable story of bravery, grief, and love in impossible times.

What I thought – I totally enjoyed this book. I have been fascinated with historical fiction lately. This fit the bill for me! I hadn’t read any book like this one about that time period and it was interesting, the main character was written quite well. I would definitely recommend this book.


Life of Pi by Yann Martel – Pi narrates shipwreck on a life raft with 450-pound bengal tiger Richard Parker in Pacific Ocean. Storms wash away supplies. Island proves dangerous. Finally in Mexico, landed castaway is a puzzle.

What I thought: I loved it, of course.. I find it hard to write about books that are well known and include having a movie about them. But I was happy to have read the book finally! Definitely made me think of the movie differently, what I remembered of it since it had been years! ha!

Ok, that’s what I read in September! I always love suggestions on books to read and it makes me smile when they are at the library! 😉 What have you read lately???

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Baby, Baby! {Review and Giveaway}

I just can’t get enough of these little board books!! This next one is called Baby, Baby!

What I remember about books when my kids were little is that they LOVED books that had people in them, but even more, books that had babies in them! And this book does!

Along with all the babies throughout, there is a little poem that makes up the book. It is really cute and shows the babies doing the activities mentioned in the poem. This has such a flowing rhyme that it will be easy to memorize and babies will look forward to their favorite parts and anticipate them coming.

Towards the end there is a mirror page so that the baby can see themselves and with it is the question ‘Who does God love?’ along with the Bible verse Jeremiah 31:3b, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” What a great combination!

The mirror in this book is so much better than the mirror books that my kids had. You know the ones, they are kinda wavy and make your face distorted and you just didn’t really want to look in that mirror? hahah! This one is awesome! It is definitely clear and very easy to see a reflections!

It is such a cute book and has a good message as well. The thick page make it somewhat safe for little babies to play with and then later on help them to learn how to turn the pages themselves too. I have always been partial to board books with my kids when they were little as they are just so cute.

Diane Stortz is an author, editor, mother, and grandmother. Her professional achievements include creating Sunday school curriculum and working as an acquiring editor and editorial director at Standard Publishing. Diane has published more than a dozen books, including two titles for women, but her heart belongs to children’s books. Diane says that more than anything else, she hopes to make God’s wonders known to the next generation.

Baby, Baby! is only $7.99 on Amazon which I think is great, but I am also giving one away below! It is very easy to enter to win your own copy! If you don’t have a baby, think about friends that may have just had a baby, what a cute gift this would be! 🙂

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

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The Cat of Bubastes {Review}

I have mentioned Heirloom Audio Productions in the past, and with good reason! We all love them! I have listened to Beric The Briton as well as The Dragon and the Raven and both were fantastic! I had never before been able to get into audio book type things, but that changed once we were introduced to Heirloom Audio Productions. This go around we were able to listen to The Cat of Bubastes.

Heirloom Audio Productions ~Cat of Bubastes
Right away in the first two clips we were hooked! The characters are so well done! Oh, speaking of which, I was excited that the man who voiced C-3PO in Star Wars did one of the voices in The Cat of Bubastes. But the actors put so much into their parts that you can really imagine what is going on throughout the story! I think that is the reason I couldn’t get behind most audio stories as most are just someone reading the story; but these are like you are watching a movie with your eyes closed, if that makes sense, lol.

In the story of The Cat of Bubastes, you are taken to Egypt. Two characters, Amuba and Jethro are both taken captive in Thebes. Now, I never know how much to say as I don’t want to give anything away..hmm. After being captured, Amuba and Jethro befriend the family of the priest. Amuba and the priest’s son get in a little trouble and end up having to be on the run..

On their adventure they meet up with a couple people that introduce them to Christianity. That seems to be a common thing in these stories, but I love that! After being introduced to the Egyptian gods earlier in the story and then Christianity a little while later, it was nice to hear the different ways the story went about that. There’s just not much I can say without telling too much, but it is worth checking out, I promise!! lol

One of our favorite parts of these audio stories is the study guide that comes with it. Each one has been different in the ones that we have used so far! All three that we have done have the same sections, but it is the extra section that is different.

Cat of Bubasted Study Guide 1

The Listening Well section has a couple questions that you would be able to answer if you were paying attention to the story. Pretty easy, but sometimes it is a question that stumps you! It really has you pay attention next time! 😉


The Thinking Further section has questions that really make you think, usually a lot of opinion based questions and usually they tie in with Bible verses as well. I like that these lead into discussions quite often and you can talk about why or why not, that sort of thing.


There is also a section of words that you need to come up with definitions for. A lot of these words my kids new but every now and again they were stumped! It is always good to go over them, even if they say that they know them! They may think they know them but they might mean something different!


This is an extra section in the study guide and it is on quite a few of the pages. The Expand Your Learning section has some information about something interesting in a little box. And when we have one of these to listen to, we really drag them out and do extra things throughout the story. We have done some drawings, made some food… This time we did some extra things with hieroglyphics and we also did a lot with dung beetles from the section that I sampled above. My daughter likes bugs and so she always likes to learn more about them. There was a recipe this time, but I just didn’t think the kids would want to try it, so we skipped it this time. But there are so many other things that you could work on in this section! That’s why it takes us a while to go through these!

Also included in the bonus section is the mp3 of the story, which helps us as for some reason my computer does weird things to the cd’s sometimes. There is also the mp3 to the soundtrack! I love the music! An e-book is included and it has graphics…I wish I could get into reading books online, but my kids are ok with it, so it is nice to have that. Some other things included are a printable cast poster, an inspirational verse poster, and a behind the scenes video. I highly recommend watching that, as I find it quite interesting to see how they put these together as well as how animated the actors get…

If you want to check out what other people had to say about the Cat of Bubastes, feel free to click the banner below! Now, I can’t guarantee they don’t have spoilers, so keep that in mind, lol.

Heirloom Audio Productions ~Cat of Bubastes

The Cat of Bubastes

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Happy Fall!

You guys, I am so excited!! Today starts the best three months of the year! Happy Fall! I am glad that my December birthday still falls in the fall season although most of the time it feels more like winter, but still…

In case you don’t know, in our homeschool we do school from January to October and we take the fall off. I am looking forward to that this year more than I have in a long time! Jeffy is traveling a lot this fall, unfortunately, but I am hoping that some of the things the kids and I are going to do will be ok.  At least he doesn’t travel in December!


It won’t be long before our area will look like this. Bike rides take on a different feeling. Just being outside is pure happiness. The crisp air, the beauty…ahhh..

I haven’t quite come up with an end date for our school, but I think it is going to be a little later than it has been because we took a bit of time off in the summer when my niece came to visit. So, I know we have about 3 weeks left of Civics which is our biggest subject at the moment, as far as time goes. Once that is done, I imagine the rest will go quickly.

Kyle and Lauren are finishing up their science as well. It is Apologia, so I know that can drag out for a while, but I will see what we can finish and in how long..

We are also reading a lot of books all at the same time! We are almost done with Life of Pi that we are reading for our co-op, we are reading a book club book, we are reading Swiss Family Robinson with our school, we just finished a book about the Wright Brothers…and we are going to start another book in a few days. That’s a lot of books to read at the same time and keep the stories straight..ha!

But it is a typical end of the school year for us, we are always ending at odd times and finishing some things before others. I do have to fit in the end of year testing that we do, which nobody really looks forward to. At least they do great on them!

So, do you like fall as much as I do? Or do you prefer another season better? I am just so thankful that we live in a place that has a true fall. I am sincerely giddy. 🙂 Happy Fall!

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The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles {Review}

If you don’t know by now, I love to read. So far this year I have read 64 books according to my Goodreads account! So I am always excited to read new books! I will also include this book in my list of what books I have read this month in a couple weeks. This book that I read is The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles by Mark S Mirza from CTM Publishing Atlanta.

The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles
This book intrigued me from the description so I was definitely interested as I started reading. It is focused on the lives of three different characters in three different time periods.

The first is Thales, a nephew of Epaphras in the book, and takes place in the first century over a period of three months. Next is Brother Alexander Rich and takes place in the nineteenth century over three days. Last is Dale and takes place in the current era and lasts four months.

Frequently I have a hard time with character switches and this wasn’t an exception. The author also brings in the viewpoints of angels and demons as well, so it was a little much for they way I typically like to read.

Once I figured out that there were so many characters and viewpoints, I was able to take more time and enjoy the stories. Each chapter is titled with the era that is mentioned in the chapter, so that definitely helped in getting my mind ready to read from that era.

Each character is a prayer warrior. I felt so…not sure guilty is the word, but just bad that I don’t pray the way that they do. I definitely learned a lot about prayer in this book. Interestingly, the characters all have a copy of a prayer journal that guides them in their prayers and keeps them on track as to how to pray. The Wesley family prayers book is real, and the authors copy dates back to 1790! That is pretty cool!

I mentioned the angles and demons that were throughout the story. I liked the visual imagery that the author used to portray these. I was pretty disgusted in reading about the demons and I had thoughts of awe in reading about the angels. That was nicely done. It was a little confusing when the demon names aren’t capitalized, but the author addresses that in the beginning of the book.

The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles
There is a lot of information before and after the story as well, that I highly recommend reading. The pronunciation guide will definitely come in handy! There are some explanations as to why the author wrote what he did, which should definitely be read as this is not a true story, but fiction.

The book has a lot of footnotes of Bible verses to help you in case you wanted to read the verses that inspired the writing of the author throughout the story. There are a lot, like I said, so you may or may not read them all, but they are there if you would like to read them!

I enjoyed this book and the characters. The way the ending was done makes me want to read the next book to read more about them. And yes, there is a next book! 😉 Overall I enjoyed the book..I did have to get through quite a bit of typos and grammatical errors, but the story was good. The author did mention that the book has become autobiographical to some extent, which is interesting, but I am thinking a few people could see themselves in the story.

If you want to read what others thought of the book, feel free to click the banner below! 🙂

The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles

The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles {Review}

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