December 29, 2017

Adventures in Crochet ~ Endings and New Beginnings

Adventures in Crochet ~ Endings and Beginnings
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Now that it's 100% totally winter, it just feels right to be sitting on the couch surrounded by my favorite yarn as I work on a crochet project! My husband likes to tease me and say it's my "old lady habit", but I just ignore him. I love that I am able to create something that will keep my family warm. 

December 21, 2017

A Simple Prayer

Dear Lord.
Please bring us cold enough weather to kill all the germs and mold that continues to plague my family and the people around us. Yes, I know I am asking for cold weather. Yes, I know that means it needs to stay awhile. So if it's going to be cold, can you please throw in some snow? That will at least make it pretty and fun to play in. Besides, this weekend is a time when people really want it to be white outside. So yeah. Let's start this weekend, okay?


A Mom Who is Sick of Snot and Coughs

December 15, 2017

The Battle Against the Germs: Natural Remedies to Help You Win the War {Fresh From the Cabinet}

The Battle Against the Germs: Natural Remedies to Win the War
Hello hello. Here I am through the fog of vinegar and my other natural cleaning products. I don't know about you, but we are SOOOOOOOO sick of germs and nasties! There have been days recently where I wondered if I could ever totally get the snot out of the house! But even though we get hit a few times, we tend to be up and going again quickly. Today, I am going to share some tricks we have used to keep us able to bounce back when we get knocked down in the battle with the germs during the cold and flu season!

*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical provider. I am simply "Doctor Mom" who does a lot of research to find the best things to help her family stay as healthy as possible. I am simply sharing ideas for what has worked for us time and time again. 

1. Never Underestimate the Power of A Cup of Tea

My family members are MAJOR herbal tea drinkers. I make my own teas with loose leaf herbs (I buy all my loose herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs), but also have a couple of store bought varieties I am never

December 6, 2017

Ten Under $20 Gift Ideas for Children {2017 Gift Guide Series}

Under $20 Gift Ideas for Children
I know that for many of you, it's the time of year when you are grabbing gifts for family and friends--and you are hoping to find great gifts that won't break the bank. Whether it comes to shopping for kids, sometimes the best gifts are the ones you don't have to spend a lot of money on. In fact, I know that with my boys, they would rather get several smaller things than just a single big thing! So today, I'm going to share 10 Ideas for Children's Gifts that are under $20 as part of my Gift Guide Series.

The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links
Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!

*Note: All pricing current as of the date of this post 12/6/2017*

1. Magic Stix 12-pk Washable Markers (retails $9.99)
New from the makers of Kwik Stix comes Magic Stix! Washable markers with a 7 day cap off guarantee! Seriously. These should be musts for the kiddos. We have gone 3 days already with the cap off on purpose--still works! Let's not forget they are also washable and non-toxic! And they come in a handy clear snap case. My son is loving having them for church and I love that even if he decides to get creative on his fingers, I can easily wash it off!

December 2, 2017

Draw Near To Me {Five Minute Friday}

I have missed out on the last few Five Minute Fridays, so I'm going to try to finish the year strong! This week, the word of inspiration is...NEAR.

A lot of words come to mind when I think of the word Near. So many scriptures rush to the brain of how God promises to stay close to us as long as we draw near to Him. But I am also thinking more of my boys. Both of them are growing up so fast--one is 7 and the other is 11 with a birthday not too far away. They are navigating this adventure we call life and I enjoy seeing their personalities grow.

One of my sons is a snuggler. Oh how he LOVES to come near me ALL THE TIME. His day cannot begin until he has "mommy lovin's". And he's so soft and warm fresh out of the covers, that I never complain and could hold onto him forever. We have all sorts of lovely conversations. And throughout the day he loves being by my side to help me, or he simply wants me to watch him and be there in case he needs me.

My oldest son loves his lovin' time, but he's getting to be a big old clumsy puppy dog. He's zipping between the need for me and the need for independence. He loves attention from me and being near me, but can't sit still worth a dime. He comes to me for small sessions. But oh how refreshed his emotions are when I give him that one-on-one time he so desperately NEEDS.

We are the same you know.
We need God in similar ways.
Some of us are like my youngest son. Content to dwell in His presence all day long. To never leave His side. Asking Him to constantly let us give it a try--but only if He stays near. But you know most of us--probably the vast majority of us--are more like my oldest. We come near when we feel like we need Him the most. Maybe we are too busy with our lives for any LONG periods of time with God. We are sure we can't slow down long enough to encourage that relationship. But then we remember how much we do need Him, and we drop everything to draw near to Him. And our souls become refreshed. And we can tackle the world again.

I guess the balance is finding a way to do both. Seeking Him first thing every morning. Knowing we can count on Him to help us with anything and everything. Yet boldly going forward with our souls refreshed to tackle whatever this world has for us.

Yep. This is what I am thinking as I ponder the word...

November 25, 2017

Thankful Wreaths and Turkey Lurkey Cupcakes~ A Thanksgiving 2017 Recap

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Hello all! I hope you had a simply marvelous Thanksgiving! We had a low key one this week with my parents and brother. We are having the BIG one with my husband's family, when they all arrive next week. It's going to be a madhouse! LOL. I promised that I would share a few things that we did to make our Thanksgiving week fun.

On Monday, we began reading about Thanksgiving and how it came about. We read a few Thanksgiving books to give background about the topic--I did this mostly for my youngest. My oldest is very knowledgeable about it after

November 17, 2017

Our Favorite THANKSGIVING Books and Activities

Thanksgiving Books and Activities
The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!

It's that time of year! When if you are a homeschooler or maybe have preschoolers and/or toddlers at home, you might be considering planning out things to do next week for Thanksgiving! Maybe you have eyeballed some crafts on Pinterest. Or are trying to collect some great books to read. In order to help fuel your ideas, here are some things that I try to work in to our Thanksgiving week studies each year!

Thanksgiving Books

Okay, let's not beat around the bush. Finding books is probably like the EASIEST thing to do. Nearly every library already has them up on display for you--but there are SOOOOOOOOOOO many! How do you know what ones to get? Well I always go with our "tradition" ones, and then like to add in a few new ones each year. Some of them are factual but most of them are just fun! Here is a short list of my favorites, as well as the ones that I grabbed for our reading basket this year--they are mix of older and younger reader books!

November 10, 2017

Adventures in Crochet ~ Project: Easy Ripple Afghan

Adventures in Crochet~ Project: Easy Ripple Afghan
I mentioned in my previous Adventures in Crochet post that I had purchased yarn to start working on some easy throw afghans for my sons. I also had said I might start them whenever I got tired of working on my crochet top. Well it happened. I needed a change. LOL. Besides, I couldn't wait to start using that fabulous box of yarn that arrived!

I looked at TONS of afghan patterns but the ones that kept bringing me back were the striped

November 8, 2017

Thinking Like an Engineer~ For the STEM loving children in your family! {Curriculum Review}

Thinking Like An Engineer {A review}
We have noticed for awhile that our oldest son demonstrates strengths in engineering skills. He loves to design new LEGO creations and carefully plans and constructs them—far beyond any pamphlet included in a kit. His drawings have always been remarkably detailed and proportionate to real life. He’s most content designing or making something. When I was given the chance to review Innovators Tribe Thinking Like an Engineer self paced course I jumped on it. I hoped that it would be just the thing my son would thrive in doing, and open his mind into considering a degree in engineering in the future.

About Innovators Tribe

Innovators Tribe was created to provide parents and teachers the curriculum they needed to intentionally help revive innovation, creativity,

November 7, 2017

Thin Stix Creativity Pack ~ One of Our Family's Favorite Products {a review}

We have been fans of The Pencil Grip, Inc. products since our very first experience with KwikStix back in 2016. We have LOVED seeing the brand add new products to their line, and were very excited when they released ThinStix earlier this year. Our one wish was that they would turn all the KwikStix colors into Thin Stix. Needless to say I was thrilled to learn that the company had done just that and we were given a chance to review the Thin Stix Creativity Pack—all twenty-four beautiful colors!

About Thin Stix Creativity Pack

Thin Stix Creativity Pack is the newest in the Kwik Stix family from The Pencil Grip, Inc. Thin Stix Creativity Pack consists of the twenty-four colors of the Kwik Stix line, in the newest thinner size of the Thin Stix. Now your child can find the size of stick they need—whether thick or thin!

The Thin Stixs Creativity Pack ($19.99) consists of:
12 Classic colors
6 Neon colors
6 Metallix colors

These are the same colors offered in the original Kwik Stix line too!

What makes the Kwik Stix unique?
They are tempera paint in a stick—drying in 90 seconds! They are non-toxic and washable, as well as being nut, egg, and gluten free. No water or paint brushes are needed—simply uncap, twist, and paint. The paint works on wood, paper, cardboard, poster board…even pumpkins! Using these sticks means that much of the dreaded painting mess has been eliminated!

Our Thoughts on This Product

As soon as I told my boys we had gotten the full line of Thin Stix they gave a yell of happiness and asked to get them out right away! Over the course of the review we have used them for regular free paint time, book report illustrations, and even map work. The thinner size of the tubes and paint sticks makes them much handier for more detailed work.

My son wanted to use them to do his mapwork—and because I knew it would be dry in 90 seconds and they were as “clean” as using markers, I didn’t mind at all!

Because of our reviews, we now own a COMPLETE set of the Kwik Stix AND a complete set of Thin Stix—with a bonus smaller classic color set. I am thrilled to have all of these and we regularly pull them down for our creations. My boys have now requested that The Pencil Grip, Inc takes it the next step—making the Thin Stix as thin as a color crayon! We can only hope for that wish! LOL

I whole heartedly recommend the entire line of Kwik Stix by The Pencil Grip, Inc. Especially if your child adores painting, and you don’t adore the mess. We have used these all regularly and still have not run them dry, though I know it will happen sooner or later. Our favorite line is definitely the Metallix. I just love the shimmer they leave on the paper!

Size comparison between the Kwik Stix and Thin Stix
The Pencil Grip, Inc. is happy that Kwik Stix has been picked up with several retailers, including online retailers like BJ's, so make sure you keep your eyes open for a chance to snag some Kwik Stix for your whole family to try!

Want To Know More About The Pencil Grip, Inc?

Over the last several weeks, we have been enjoying our review of Thin Stix Creativity Pack from The Pencil Grip, Inc. You have seen how we used them, but there are so many other uses! I encourage you to visit some of my fellow crew members to learn more!
Thin Stix Creativity Pack {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}

November 3, 2017

Adventures in Crochet...revisiting a hobby

Adventures in Crochet
When I was a little girl, my paternal grandma taught me how to do my first crochet chain stitch. I don't remember her teaching me more than that...maybe she did. As I got older, I have admired the way that friends could turn a skein of yarn into a gorgeous sweater or scarf. Others created handmade toys and stuffed animals. Every now and then I decided to pick back up my crochet hook and give it another go. So I would learn another stitch and another pattern. Then I would get busy and away would go the yarn and the needles. Fortunately, it was always like riding a bike. As soon as I pulled it out, I would remember everything I had learned.

November 1, 2017

Strengthen Reading Skills with The Magic Stories! {Product Review}

Strengthen Reading Skills with The Magic Stories {A Review}
We recently were given The Magic Stories to review with my youngest son (age 7). These stories were created to be a supplemental reading program to build confidence in reading and develop strong comprehension and writing skills. Although they are geared for a 2nd/3rd grade reading level, they are good for any child in the elementary years who would benefit from beautifully written stories with coordinating creative writing and comprehension exercises. Because this is just the type of supplemental reading program I desired for our classroom, I reviewed this product with high hopes!

About The Magic Stories

From Allsaid & Dunn, LLC, publishers of The Reading Game and authors of the Wordly Wise series, comes The Magic Stories! This supplemental reading program consists of six

October 25, 2017


The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links
Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!
Last year, I was blessed to review I say I was blessed, because it was a gift that I didn't know I needed! You can read all about our experience with this membership in my review post: The Homeschool Product I Didn't Know I Needed {Product Review} Since then, I use regularly used this website to add various things to our regular curriculum. Some of my favorite things to use are the copywork pages, the stationary pages, the nature study pages, and this year we are making heavy use of the fine arts listening pages for our study on Music appreciation. Having primary line pages as well as standard lines makes it ideal for us--a set for each boy on one download! It's so handy to have the website to seek pages to match rabbit trails we might take--like our extra study of the Erie Canal and Mammoth Caves! My youngest enjoys the spelling pages and making little mini-books for his reading reports.

No matter what the subject or topic--they've got a page for it!

Another aspect I love--my membership will last FOREVER! There aren't many sites out there where you pay ONE FEE and it grants you access to the site forever--without renewals! But does just that!

One fee gives you access to the entire site--over 2000 different pages--forever!

And they keep adding new pages all the time! There is material to use for K-12! If you have several children, this means you get to use it throughout their schooling--no matter their age--and don't have to worry about renewal fees. If you forget you even have a subscription--no problem! When you remember, it's there waiting for you!

And RIGHT NOW is the PERFECT time to snag your LIFETIME subscription--because today starts the FIRST EVER FALL LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP SALE!

Notebooking Pages Membership Sale
For the next THREE DAYS ONLY, you can snag a lifetime membership to this fantastic site for $25 off! What does that mean $$ wise? Usually, a membership is $97 (still reasonable for a LIFETIME membership) but NOW you can get the same membership for just...$72!! 

Not only do you get access to the ENTIRE WEBSITE FOREVER, but you also receive their 2 special bonuses ... 6 months free notebooking web-app AND over $100 in homeschool bonuses!

It's a fabulous deal--and I one that I hope you will take advantage of!

But remember--THREE DAYS ONLY!

To make it even easier there are TWO WAYS TO PAY!

#1 Simply go ahead and pay your $72 in one payment
#2 Break it into three smaller payments over a couple months starting with $10 at checkout (then $31 and $31 a month later)

BOTH METHODS GRANT YOU FULL MEMBERSHIP--so don't think you won't get as much by picking the payment plan!

I really really hope you will consider adding this wonderful resource to your homeschool--I have used it more than I ever thought I would!

Get signed up before it's too late!

Have a fabulous Wednesday!

October 18, 2017

Give or Get--your choice! {Biblical Wisdom for Wednesday}

I don't have a lot of time to blog today, so I thought I would simply go for another installment of Biblical Wisdom for Wednesday. Today I was thinking about the word GIVE. It's a short word. A verb. It's a transitive verb. Meaning it requires a direct object to be complete. If someone says "give", the next response is.."give what?" Give is an action that requires people to sacrifice. 

What? A sacrifice? 

Strengthen Reading Skills with Reading Eggs {Product Review}

Reading Eggs~ a review (and free 4 week trial!)
If you have a child and have ever mentioned that your child struggles in reading, or that you would love a website to help boost reading skills, I'm sure that someone has mentioned Reading Eggs to you! This online learning resource is ranked high in the list of "must-have" reading programs--I had done the free trial when my youngest son was 6, but was curious to explore it more thoroughly. Over the past few weeks I have been able to review the full Reading Eggs website to see all the things they offer!

About Reading Eggs

Reading Eggs is an online reading resource designed to boost your child's skills in reading and reading comprehension. With the online reading games and activities, reading will be a FUN

October 14, 2017

Adventures in Handlettering, Part 2

Adventures In Handlettering, Part 2
The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links
Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!

A month or so ago I shared how I've been enjoying exploring the world of handlettering. It's been fun exploring ways to create my own handwritten fonts and using them to write a quote, word, or scripture. I especially like it when I'm listening to a sermon and a statement or a scripture jumps out at me. Now instead of trying to find it later in my notes, I can simply turn it into word art right therein my notebook! It's great to thumb back through to see what has caught my attention from different studies or speakers.

I watch several Instagram accounts for ideas, as well as save a lot in my two handlettering boards on Pinterest. I decided I needed to get some better pens, so I splurged on THIS BRUSH TIP SET BY TOMBOW, THIS GELLY ROLL SET FOR WHITE HIGHLIGHTING BY SAKURA and THIS FINE LINE SET OF MICRON PENS FROM SAKURA. They have made a big difference in my hand lettering creations. I highly recommend adding them to your own collection if you do bible journalling or handlettering as well!

Here are some of the handlettering creations I've done over the last few weeks...
It's plain and simple. just testing different letter styles

When I am overcome by worry or complaining---ask this question

Playing around with banners and vines

This one is my favorite of the batch!

My whimsical selection to try new lettering

You can find these and all the rest of my creations I've done on my INSTGRAM account! :) I think they are fun to make, and give me an easy outlet for my crafty side! I have had requests to turn some of them into notecards to sell--we will see if I venture into that or not!

Have a simply marvelous day!

October 10, 2017

Explore Riveting Tales of Adventures with Brinkman Adventures Audiodrama {Product Review}

Brinkman Adventures Season 4 -a review
Audio adventures are always enjoyed by our family. Back in 2014 we had a chance to review the Brinkman Adventures Season 2 and had mixed thoughts on it. We lately have been reviewing the Brinkman Adventures Season 4. Join me in discovering if our thoughts on these Christian audiodramas changed!

About Brinkman Adventures

Brinkman Adventures is an audiodrama series that follows a family of missionaries on their journey's around the world. The family homeschool their many children (8+!) and the oldest daughters blog about their escapades. All of their journeys and many of the people they meet are based on real life experiences by

October 9, 2017

Take the Stress out of Math with CTCMath {Curriculum Review}

CTCMath Online Math Curriculum Review
A few years ago, we were first introduced to CTCMath and it changed my oldest son's view and attitude on math to the positive. We reviewed it again allowing my youngest to have a go at it. It wasn't a good fit at that time, so we just kept using it for my oldest. This year, we had another chance to review this program and I was curious to see if my youngest would enjoy it more this time and I looked forward to exploring the next grade level for my oldest son. Over the last few weeks we have been reviewing CTCMath's Family Membership with my boys and I have been enjoying seeing them progress through this program! (There is a FREE TRIAL you can try out! Expires Nov. 15, 2017)

About CTCMath

CTCMath is an online program designed to be used like an online math tutor. The program allows the student to work at their own pace, to stop and rewind the teacher during a lesson until they get what is being taught, access their work at any time of the day, get caught up or even jump ahead. Each of the video tutorials is audio and visual with easy to follow explanations and animation. The videos can even be accessed on some mobile devices!

October 7, 2017

What Will My Story Be? {Five Minute Friday}

What will my story be? {5 Minute Friday}
I am currently away in Lake Junaluska, NC worshipping with about 600 brothers and sisters in Christ as we celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles this year. It's been an amazing few days thus far--and I've been thinking a lot about the topics that have been covered by the speakers. Interestingly enough, I believe that they tie in with this week's theme of STORY for Five Minute Friday...


A Tale
An adventure of some sort. Be it through a romance. A trial. A quest. Or even just the adventure of life.
Stories move us. Stories encourage us. Stories teach us.
Some of the most inspirational stories can be found in the pages of God's Holy Word--the Bible. There are oh so many tales to be discovered. And they teach so many lessons. Faith like Abraham. Patience and Meekness of Moses. Courage of Joshua. The boldness of David. The persistence of Hannah. The cowardness of Jonah. The stubborness of Balaam. The passion of Paul. The Strength of Christ.

All these stories are there for our benefit. I know I learn much from them. The psalms of David can lift me up. His life story and his ups and downs bring me comfort in his humanity.

What about my story?
What kind of legacy will I leave for those who follow behind?
Will my life's tale encourage someone? Will it build them up?

This is when the chorus lyrics from a song pop into my head. They are very profound and something I need to be thinking about every day...

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love?
Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace
Who blessed Your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy
Not well-traveled, not well-read
Not well-to-do or well-bred
Just want to hear instead
Well done, good and faithful one
("Legacy", Nichole Nordeman)

I hope you have a wonderful weekend surrounded by family and friends! If you have a blog, I encourage you to join in our weekly Five Minute Friday posts!

October 3, 2017

One Page a Day: Double Digit Math Problem Workbook {Product Review}

One Page a Day: Double Digit Math Problem Workbook {a review}
While our family isn't really a worksheets homeschooling family, we do like to use them now and then for supplemental work. My youngest son ADORES math, and is always willing to do more math--therefore, I was hopeful that the One Page a Day: Double Digit Math Problem Workbook from Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks would be a good match for our family and looked forward to our review of this product.

About Channie's Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks

Channie's Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks was first created as a way to help the owner teach her own son. He was struggling learning handwriting and nothing

October 2, 2017

Revisiting Super Teacher Worksheets: One Stop Destination for Educational Printables {Product Review}

Two years ago I was introduced to Super Teacher Worksheets. Throughout the course of that year I regularly visited the website to supplement our schooling. I was sad when my subscription expired. Needless to say, when we were given another chance to review Super Teacher Worksheets with their Individual Membership, I rejoiced at having access to such a great site, and looked forward to seeing the new items that I was sure had been added.

About Super Teacher Worksheets

Super Teacher Worksheets is a website devoted to offering quality classroom printable resources all in one place. For one low price, a teacher can

September 30, 2017

Adventures in Meal Planning...A Reflection on the Experiment

Adventures in Meal Planning ~ A Reflection
So here we are. It's the end of the month and that means and end to my 30 day Adventure in Meal Planning. I have been sharing a week by week evaluation, but what is my final take on the experiment?

September 27, 2017

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls...A New Christian Fiction Series for Kids {Book Review}

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls from WorthyKids/Ideals {Book Review}
I am always on the lookout for quality books that aren't filled with smut. This is especially true when it comes to book selections for my boys. So much of the children's literature available--especially for chapter books--is filled to the brim with smut and political agendas. And that's not coming into our house! Thankfully there ARE other options out there. Over the last few weeks, we have had the pleasure of reviewing the first two books in a new children's chapter book series from WorthyKids/Ideals called The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls. I am happy to say that I have found a series that meets my approval for quality AND entertaining chapter books!

About The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls Book Series

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls book series is published by WorthyKids/Ideals of Worthy Publishing Group. This book series is geared for ages 6-9 and is biblical fiction. The series revolves

September 26, 2017

Go West with Captain Bayley's Heir from Heirloom Audio Productions {Product Review}

There is one review product that we always look forward too--the audiodramas from Heirloom Audio Productions! We already were blessed to be able to review In the Reign of Terror earlier this year, but we've been blessed with yet another story to share--this time it's Captain Bayley's Heir, another in the line of Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty!

About Captain Bayley's Heir

In this story from the grand storyteller G.A. Henty, you will journey from the shores of London to the wild wild west during the time of the California Gold rush. You will get to learn the mystery of Captain Bayley's Heir, as well as follow the story of young Frank who, after falsely being accused of theft at his prep school, escapes to America--sure that everyone he loves has turned their back on him. You will get to follow his

September 23, 2017

Adventures in Meal Planning ~ Week 3

Adventures in Meal Planning~ Week 3
Here we are at the third week in my adventures in meal planning this month. As I mentioned last week, this has actually been a surprisingly easy thing to add to my daily routine!

So let's get into how this week played out! dinner at my inlaws house as usual!

Monday ...I tried a new lemony chicken pasta recipe I had been saving. I absolutely loved how fresh and light it was---but other than the chicken itself, the boys gave it a big fat no. Which left me with a massive pile of noodles to eat....LOL

Tuesday...I took the noodles from the day before and the piece of chicken I had left and we went to my mom's house. We combined my chicken with hers, and then dumped my noodles into a pot of marinara sauce. *poof* upcycled dinner! The boys HAPPILY ate THIS dinner. We served it with green beans and bread.

September 19, 2017

Let's Go Geography: A World Geography Course for Elementary Grades {Curriculum Review}

I have always enjoyed studying geography and it is one of the classes I really enjoy teaching in our homeschool. There are many different programs out there for teaching geography, but most focus on just generic things relating to continents, oceans, rivers, and reading maps without a deeper look into the countries and cultures within the continents. This is especially true for the early elementary grades. We recently had the opportunity to review a world geography course with online and offline components called Let's Go Geography. Would this course teach geography more in the style I desire? Join me today as I share our review of this elementary geography course to find out more of what Let's Go Geography is all about!

About Let's Go Geography

Let's Go Geography is a program designed to teach geography to the younger ages by exploring the world continent by continent, country by country. Using videos and hands on activities to teach a lesson over books as the primary resource makes the program more appealing to the young learners and ideal for the age K-4th grade the program is geared for. There are nearly 30 countries taught withing a 36 week school year in weekly lessons. Each lesson is about an hour per week--perfect for the bite sized learning activities elementary kids enjoy the most.

September 18, 2017

Love Bears All Things by Beth Wiseman {Book Review}

I have been exploring more Amish fiction than I have ever before, thanks to the many books coming into my hands through different review programs like The Fiction Guild. One of the books that I recently read was Love Bears All Things by Beth Wiseman. I started it knowing that it was the 2nd book in a series, and I hoped that not reading book 1 first would mess me up.

The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!

About the Book

Love Bears All Things is the second book in the Amish Secrets Novels by Beth Wiseman. This novel continues the life of Charlotte Dolinsky introduced in book one, My Brother's Keeper. This book takes place several months after the conclusion of book one. There are four primary characters in this book: Charlotte Dolinsky, Jacob King, Daniel Byler, and Annie Byler. Charlotte is a 28 year old English woman who just got dumped by her boyfriend. Still trying to process the rejection and grow in her fledgling faith, she suddenly gets a phone call from her Amish friend Hannah King that Hannah's brother Jacob has run away from home in Lancaster, PA. Charlotte promises to do what she can to help Hannah--but is still shocked when Jacob shows up on her doorstep in Houston. He's decided to explore what it means to be English even though it means living his fiance Annie Byler behind in despair. But he doesn't realize that Charlotte's life has fallen apart and is getting evicted from her home--yet she does her best to encourage him to come home. She finally decides she needs a new start herself, and heads up to Lancaster to try to sell the house her recently departed brother left her. Jacob doesn't come with her though--which puts animosity between Charlotte and Jacob's fiance Annie who is SURE Charlotte was encouraging him to stay. 

The book's plot has a main focus on Charlotte and how she deals with her past and feeling of brokeness--while trying to decide what she's going to do with her life. Ironically, she finds friendship in Daniel Byler, Annie's older brother. But he's Amish and she isn't, so she knows it won't work between them romantically no matter how wonderful it would be. Together she and Daniel work to help Jacob and Annie get back together, all the while she tries to understand the power of redemption and learn what it means to have God as your Father who won't let you down. 

My Thoughts on the Book

I think that certain aspects of Love Bears All Things would have been easier to understand had I read book one in the series. So much was referenced to Charlotte's previous time in Lancaster County, that I had to just piece together the information. Was it 100% necessary to read the first book? No, I don't believe so. I think this book gives the reader enough to understand. 

I think the book does a good job of showing how we are all imperfect in our lives, no matter what we think. The emotional ups and downs of Charlotte are very familiar I'm sure to those in similar situations of abuse, rejection, and trauma. I think the author handled it very well.

The book covers out of wedlock pregnancy, drug addictions, depression, and more--not something you think you would find in any old Amish story. The author keeps her characters real and I appreciate that. There isn't a red ribbon to tie everything up into happily ever after when it is done either. 

Love Bears All Things earns 4★
All in all, I think this book was interesting and it does make me want to go back and read book number one now. I would probably pick up book #3 Home All Along to see what happens next in this story.

by Beth Wiseman