Deuteronomy 6:6-7

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Jeremy Riddle - "Furious!"

I love getting the opportunity to preview a new worship CD, because we love music over here at our home. And this month, we had the chance to listen to Jeremy Riddle's latest project, Furious. A great contemporary album, I was actually reminded of Bono when I first listened to it. This would be a CD that will appeal to the younger set for sure, although I did enjoy it too ;) Check out the title track, and You Are Good, 2 of our favorites.

Here's what the publisher had to say...

Vineyard Worship artist and worship leader Jeremy Riddle has announced the release of his new studio album entitled, Furious. The album is set for release on September 20 via NewDay Distribution. Riddle began production on the album nearly a year ago with Dove Award winning producer Ed Cash ( Chris Tomlin, Matthew West, David Crowder Band ) at the helm. Cash's contribution forms the backbone of the album which also features production from Bobby Hartry, a long time Riddle collaborator. The project follows Prepare The Way: Live, an album recorded in front of a live audience in Corpus Christi, Tex., earlier this year from Vineyard.

Riddle describes Furious saying, "It's hard to come up with words that depict the magnitude of Christ's love - the depth and width of it. Furious doesn't work outside of the context of love; we tend to translate the word as angry, but I see it as a super-powerful force; stronger, deeper, broader than our vocabulary can fully describe."

Four years on the road as a touring worship leader eventually took its toll on Jeremy, so in January 2011, the former jr. high youth pastor came on staff as worship community pastor at Bethel Church in Redding, Calif. Working under pastors Brian and Jenn Johnson, Jeremy facilitates worship community of over 200 people within the church.

"My wife (Katie) and I have always had a heart to serve the local church and never wanted to do the full-time travel thing for very long, so it felt like a good time to transition into something different," Jeremy says. "I've developed such an appreciation for thr fruit that has been sowed from my life- personally and artistically- by being part of a local community." Consequently, several of the tracks on Furious are also featured on Be Lifted High, the most recent album from Bethel Church.

"These songs are a reflection of being part of something bigger than just me," Jeremy says. "Through some significant growth in understanding and living out humility from a very independent place, I've shifted into a place where I can't even claim this record is completely inspired by me. There are so many elements of the album that could never have flowed from me had I not been connected to people walking out life with me."

And now, it's that time again to announce a giveaway. If you would like to win a free copy of this CD, keep reading :)

To enter:

1.) Follow me here (required), and leave a comment

2.) Go like the facebook page, come back and leave a comment.

3.) Share this on facebook, come back, and leave a comment.

As always, be sure to leave an email addy so I may contact you if you win. The giveaway will go from today through Thursday, Sept. 29. I will notify the winner on Friday, Sept. 30. Good Luck!

Check these out!




"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more  of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Monday, September 19, 2011

Christian Encounters–George Washington Carver

If you haven’t actually read his biography, I’m fairly certain that you have at least heard of the name George Washington Carver. Am I right?

I’m embarrassed to admit that I was one of those people who knew of this great man, but very little of his life. I was happy to dig into this biography and change that.

You probably already knew that he came up with close to 100 uses for the humble peanut. And maybe you even know about his work with the Tuskegee Institute. But, if you were to stop there, you would be missing out on so much more! His life story is the stuff that epic movies are made of. As I made my way through this book, I was continually amazed and inspired at the tenacity, spirit, and optimistic nature of Carver.

Without giving too much away (because you really should read this for yourself!), let me give you a brief summary, and hopefully whet your appetite for more.

You might have expected that with all of the accomplishments of Carver, that he must have grown up in a privileged setting. Quite the opposite.

George Washington Carver was born into slavery, and very early on, lost his mother. He never knew his father. He was taken into the home of his slaveholders Moses and Susan Carver, eventually taking their last name as well. He was a sickly child, constantly battling respiratory illnesses. As a result, he was unable to participate in the farm work, and he became proficient in those tasks relating to the home and of nature. His fascination with the outdoors led to countless discoveries and developments in the field wherever he found himself, whether at Iowa State, or at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, where he worked closely with Booker T. Washington.

Even as time after time, he lived with racial injustices of the time, he never failed to encourage and inspire those who were fortunate enough to come into contact with him. He was and still is, an example of what a person can accomplish even seemingly with the whole world  against him, all while giving the glory to God.
His view of the bigotry that African Americans faced, was that it would not be solved by complaining about it, but rather proving that it was false.

Carver stands as a remarkable figure in history, and one whose life story  should   never be forgotten, but seen for what it is, a “legacy of hope”.

Finally, please note - I received a free copy of  Christian Encounters - George Washington Carver in exchange for my honest review of it, with no additional compensation.

AIMS - Primarily Magnets

I Hear and I Forget. I See and I Remember. I Do and I Understand.
This old Chinese proverb is found at the very beginning of Primarily Magnets, a hands on book that teaches science and math activities. I find that proverb to be true in my life, and in the lives of my children. We all seem to understand and retain information better when we jump in and get our hands dirty ;) So, when we received this resource, I had high hopes that this would be a good fit for our family.

What you'll find inside:
Lots of great activities and experiments that will teach most everything that pertain to magnets. The first few lessons  taught us why magnets attract and repel each other, what they were used for in past times, and what will and will not "stick" to magnets. 

The activities get even better as you make your way through the book. We were pleasantly surprised to find that even art was incorporated! We took a little box and placed a sheet of paper in it, along with several blobs of paint, and a paper clip somewhere in the middle of the box. Then, using a ring magnet attached to a ruler, we held it under the box and were able to move the paper clip around through the paint, making pretty designs.

Another favorite  was Willy the Worm. Chenille stems were our little worms, and the object was to get him through his tunnel and back home, while learning that we could make our magnets go in a variety of directions and zigzags. We made copies of the reproducible sheets that look like a worm tunnel, and taped it to a table. Then, using a magnet, as in the lesson I described above, we made Willy tunnel all over. Lots of fun!

There are plenty of other activities to engage your K-2 student. As you work toward the end of the book, there is a review book to make, as a summary of what has been learned. There is also a final assessment for the students.

I should also mention that included with Primarily Magnets is a handy dandy little Cd Rom.

We really had fun with this book. It was a good fit with my science lovin' family. And, I think it would be safe to say that most every family with the younger aged students will enjoy it as well. While I'm sure there are some exceptions, most kids that I have come in contact with love anything hands on. I highly recommend that you try this one out!

AIMS Educational Foundation
Primarily Magnets
Ages: Grades K- 2
Price: $18.95

Don't forget to check out other reviews and homeschool resources at TOS Homeschool Homepage

Finally, I received a free copy of AIMS Primarily Magnets in exchange for my honest review of it, with no additional compensation.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Help us wipe out the surplus in the TOS warehouse and get a great deal!

$25 will get you a box filled with goodies from our overflowing shelves . . .

• SEVEN different TOS back issues ($69.30 value)

• Homeschooling with Heart tote bag ($24.95 value)

• Surprise bonus gift(s)—visit to learn how to receive up to 4 bonus gifts

• Free Shipping ($10.50 value)

• $104.75+ worth of products and what it takes to mail them for ONLY $25

These would make great Christmas gifts, get several for friends and family! They arrive already packaged up, how convenient! Hurry, this offer only only goes until September 20, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

THEO - Teaching Children God's Word

Hey there! Have you heard? There's a great new animated series out that teaches kids of all ages all about God and the Christian faith. And....I got a sneak peek at it!!

Meet wise old Theo, a grandfatherly sort, who welcomes us into his cozy little cottage and teaches us the foundations of the Bible. An assortment of woodland creatures, including 2 little mice named Belfry and Luther provide plenty of fun and silliness.

But don't let the fact that this is an animated resource stop you grown-ups from sitting down and watching as well. There is some impressive theology going on in these little clips. I'm thinking specifically of the first one we watched which depicted a lovely and powerful, portrait of the classic bridge illustration.

These shows are not full length feature films, rather, they are short ( think under 10 minutes ) videos that would be great to enhance a bible lesson, whether in a Sunday school setting, homeschool, etc..

Our family loved what we saw, and we'll be adding these to our personal collection for sure. The animation was just beautiful, with a nice blend of serious teaching and lighthearted humor.
Read on to see what the publisher had to say...

About Theo:

The animation series of Theo guides children and adults through a careful study of systematic theology. Theo discusses doctrines about sin, God's character, the Bible, salvation and godly living with easy to understand illustrations that make children want to learn more about the Christian faith.
Theo Presents recognizes a universal fact: children and adults alike love cartoons. Theo captures the attention of young minds with liberal amounts of humor and high quality animation to present the Gospel of the Christian faith through the teachings of Theo and with the use of his two object lessons, Belfry and Luther.
Theo Presents is designed to serve as a multi-media resource tool that will help men, women and children fulfill the Great Commission of Christ, to go into all the world and make disciples and to teach those disciples God's Word. The multi-media outlets include a DVD series, curriculum, books and iPhone/iPad app. Each of these facets are designed to work with one another or individually.
Theo was created to reach kids of all ages. The lessons and teachings of Theo can be used for Sunday school lessons, Christian school curriculum, missions, evangelism and homeschooling.

About the creator: MICHAEL JOENS

Mike Joens has produced and directed scores of animated commercials for toy companies such as Milton Bradley, Hasbro, Kenner, McDonald's and Playskool. In addition to commercial work, he produced and directed the animation segments for the award-winning video series "McGee and Me", as well as the animated "Adventures in Odyssey" for Focus on the Family. After a waiting period of over 30 years, God opened the doors to Joens for the production of "Theo Presents." At last, the dream of a cartoonist, called to teach the Word has come true. It is Mike's hope that God will use Theo to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to children and adults in every country of the world!

Okay, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "It's time to give away a FREE copy of this great little DVD." Nope. The publisher has told me there are TWO FREE COPIES to give away!!! WOO HOO!!!

Now for your part. You can enter a few different ways.

1.) MANDATORY. Follow me here and leave a comment telling me you did.

2.) Go to the facebook page and "like" it, and then come back and leave a comment telling me you did.

3.) Share this giveaway on facebook and leave a comment telling me you did.

Good Luck! This giveaway will go until THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22. A winner will be selected and notified on FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23.


Visit their website and check them out on Amazon!

Free app (iPhone and iPad):

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ginny Owens - "Get In, I'm Driving!"

This week, I've been listening to the latest CD from contemporary Christian artist Ginny Owens, "Get In, I'm Driving!", and I have to say, it's good! A blend of funky, jazzy, and even a little moody at times, this CD just feels like Autumn. This is one of those albums that make me want to grab a hot cup of tea, a good book, and curl up in a comfy chair and unwind. And if the day is overcast, all the better! I love Before You Fly, and Better That Way. You have to check this one out!

And now, a few words from the publisher...

A three time Dove Award winner, including the Gospel Music Association's 2000 New Artist of the Year recipient, and multiple ASCAP Award winner, Ginny Owens has sold nearly one million albums. A top performer on the Christian radio charts with hits like "If You Want Me To", "Free", and "I Wanna Be Moved", among others, Owens' music has impacted mainstream audiences at Lilith Fair, the Sundance Film Festival, and the White House. Her music has received widespread film and television placement, including songs on the popular WB series "Roswell", and "Felicity". Owens was featured on national television, including NBC's "Today", and "CNN", for her contribution to help rebuild New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

Born and raised in Jackson, Miss., Owens was discovering melodies on the piano almost before she could complete a sentence. Songs began to emerge from her fingers as the vision began to leave her eyes, and by the age of three, a degenerative eye condition left Owens completely blind. Despite her physical challenge, Owens pursued a music career. Songs provide a window into a world Owens can't see, and an outlet for her to express her thoughts and dreams. Owens' unique musical style and inspirational lyrics continue to appeal to Christian and mainstream audiences alike.

In 2005, Owens launched The Fingerprint Initiative, a hands on, non-profit organization designed to "bring hope to the world, one project, and one touch, at a time." The organization has partnered with, and raised money for groups such as Compassion International, International Justice Mission, and Habitat for Humanity.

Now then, how about a giveaway? Those are always super fun :) Beginning today, and through  Tuesday, September 20, you may enter to win a FREE copy of this CD. I will notify the winner on Wednesday, September 21.

You have a couple of different ways to enter.

1.) Go to Ginny Owens facebook page and like the page, then come back here and leave me a comment telling me that you did.

2.) Follow me here and leave a comment letting me know that you did.

3.) Share this giveaway on facebook and leave me a comment telling me that you did.

***And, as always, please leave your email addy so I can let you know if you are the winner. ***


 You can check out more info about Ginny Owens here...




"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Friday, September 9, 2011


Okay, so we're already moving into mid-September (almost anyway). How is your curriculum working for your children? Are you pleased with your program?

I find that it takes me several weeks to get into that "school groove". You know what I mean, don't you? There's a bit of an adjustment in working with any new materials, books, programs, etc., and seeing what works, and what needs a little tweaking.

So far, we've all been pleased with our educational choices, and the new material. One of the new programs that we've been using over the past month is an online program called BigIQkids.

What is it?

BigIQkids teaches children aged K and on up, Spelling, Vocabulary, Math, and U.S. Geography in a fun online interactive program. A versatile resource, it may be used as a teaching tool by itself, or as an enrichment to your current curriculum. Fully customizable ( not sure if that is actually a word, but humor me, will you? ;)), this is a program that you can use with your both your young enthusiastic student who flies through these subjects with ease, as well as your struggling learner who needs a slower pace, and perhaps a little more time to review.

How does it work?

Word searches, spelling bees, interactive maps, and a huge selection of games await your child. Take advantage of the pre loaded lessons and quizzes, or add your own to compliment your current studies.
BigIQkids is meant to be used daily, with each lesson taking about 10-15 minutes to complete. As an added incentive, with each lesson, game coins are earned and may be used to play a game when their work has been completed - my daughters' favorite part, to be sure!

Interactive "tutors" are part of the lessons, and provide the introduction, instructions, and corrections as needed.

Your child also gets to create their own personal avatar, which was another highlight for my girls. They add the hairstyles, clothes, accessories, etc.. Fun!

Free vs. Premium

There are both free and premium accounts availablewith BigIQkids. When you choose the premium version, your child's progress is recorded, with regular reports emailed to you. A nice feature of this program is that your child only moves forward when complete mastery is achieved within a subject, so you never have to worry if the pace is too fast - or too slow for that matter.
You'll also notice that the premium version has little to no ads displayed - should that be an issue for you.

Our thoughts

Overall, my daughters loved this program. They love most everything that relates to the computer anyway, and if there is also the promise of a game involved, sign them up!
They liked the Spelling and Vocabulary programs well enough, especially the Spelling Bee. Another part of the Vocabulary that *I* like is that along with each word that is introduced, is also the synonym and antonym for that word, and then it is also used in a sentence.

The favorite subject for the girls by far, is U.S. Geography. They love working with the interactive map, which online tutor "Jake" helps with. They get to choose a state to learn about, take a quiz, and then click and drag to match the states with their corresponding capitols.

Now, no program is perfect in every way, and there were a couple of things that were a challenge for me.
As much as my girls enjoyed the U.S. Geography section, the interactive map proved to be difficult as far as the clicking and dragging aspects are concerned. We repeatedly had problems when the girls would have to click on a capitol and drag it to the correct state. They would get it to the right state, but there is a very specific spot on the state where it must be clicked on, or it is counted wrong. Consequently, several answers were counted wrong every time, which frustrated the girls - and me - because I watched them move it to the correct spot. I would then receive a progress report that expressed the need for improvement in the subject, while I knew they had indeed mastered the material.

That issue aside, my kids ask to do BigIQkids every day, and that speaks volumes to me. So, whether you need a little something to enrich and challenge your little learner, or if you just need  a little extra tutoring, I would encourage you to check out BigIQkids and see what it can add to your homeschool studies.

***I received a free premium subscription to BigIQkids in exchange for my honest review of it, with no additional compensation.

Ages: K and up
Price: Spelling and Vocabulary is free. Premium Spelling available for $7.99 a month, or $39.99 a month ($3.33 a month)
Premium Math available for $9.99 a  month, or $49.99 a year ($4.17 a month)
Premium U.S. States program $39.99 a year

Go visit TOS Homeschool Crew homepage to see what other reviewers had to say :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Griddly Games - Nature Nuts

Calling all nature lovers!!! Do you know someone who loves, loves, loves to learn all about plants, animals, and the earth? Are you constantly faced with a barrage of nature trivia? Would you be interested in putting some of that knowledge to good use, and have a great time while you're at it?
Well, you came to the right blog! Read on...

May I present a neat little game to you called Wise Alec Nature Nuts. This month, my family had the chance to play and review this winner of the  Dr. Toy 100 Best Children's Products award. I'll give you our thoughts a little further down, but first, let me tell you more about the game.

Proclaiming on the box to be Nature Trivia with a Nutty Twist, this little travel game contains four color coded sets of nature fact-filled cards, and a die. YOU, will need to have paper and a pen or pencil to keep score.

Your objective? This is the best part! BECOME THE WISE ALEC! Sounds fun, right?

First, you need to decide how many points you want to play up to, or set a time limit instead. Figure out who will go first.
Roll the die, and see what color it lands on. If you land on the colors red, yellow, or green, choose a card with the corresponding  color. Each set of colored cards has questions under the subjects, Plants, Animals, or Earth.
But if you land on:

BLUE - You get to pick the subject you want.

ORANGE - The player to your right gets to choose the subject.

PURPLE - Pick up a Wise Alec card. If you get this card, you may be asked to do an exercise, say a tongue twister, and other crazy things.

You can adjust this game to suit a variety of ages too. Each card has 2 separate questions, 1 is a little more challenging and worth 7 points, and the other is  easier and worth 3 points.

Play until you come to the end of your point goal or time limit.

On a side note, if you happen to own the original Wise Alec game, you'll find that you can also use the Nature Nuts cards to expand the game. Fun, fun, fun :)

Now for our thoughts on Nature Nuts...

LOVE IT! The girls were sad when we finally had to end the game. I really like the easy to follow instructions and the compact size of the game. You can take this one anywhere, and it's easy to store.
Nature Nuts is geared towards kids 8 and up, but I found it simple to tweak and make it playable for my almost 6 year old and 7 year old. And, actually they knew a lot of the 3 point questions anyway. We'll be playing this one a lot!
You might want to try it too :)

***Note*** I received a free copy of the game Wise Alec Nature Nuts in exchange for my honest review of it, with no additional compensation.

Nature Nuts
Ages: 8 and up
Price: $14.99
633-5960 No. 6 Road
Richmond, BC V6V 1Z1