Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Memoria Press

Memoria Press

My last review is from a company called Memoria Press and it has been an exciting learning exprience. Memoria Press provides Classical education curriculum such as Christian studies, Famous Men studies, Latin as well as others. The customer service for Memoria Press is excellent, they will help you choose the right fit for your child or children. I also recommend their catalog which is like a mini homeschool magazine, wether you are a Classical educator or not the magazine catalog is chock full of wonderful articles.

I requested three of their resources, Prima Latina, Christian Studies I and Famous Men of Rome. I was thankful that I choose these three, although there are many more wonderful curriculum choices through Memoria Press. There are handwriting courses, copybooks, more Famous Men, more Christian studies as well as Latin, French, logic and rhetoric and they also offer an online academy.

Prima Latina Set

I recieved the teacher manual, student text, DVD and audio CD for the Prima Latina course. This course is great for the parent and child who has no Latin background, which was a plus for us. You can also purchase flashcards to go along with the course, I did not recieve these but if it’s like the rest of the materials they are more than likely well worth it. The teacher’s manual has everything that the student text has with the answers and tests with answers, there is also a brief introduction of English grammar and how it compares to Latin grammar. The introduction also includes helps in using the manual and how to teach the Prima Latina. The DVD is high quality and can be played on the computer for easier classroom access or on the T.V. Leigh Lowe personally teaches the lessons and is good at keeping your attention because of the personable approach, this would be good for the visual learner. The CD as well is high quality, there is crispness of sound and would appeal to the learner who understands best when they hear the lesson. The songs and prayers in Latin are included on the CD as well. The Prima Latina is geared for grades K – 3rd, if you’d like just the teacher manual, student book and CD it is $32.95 or if you want that plus the DVDs (of which there is 3) and flashcards that set runs $90.90.

The Famous Men of Rom was quite impressive. Full color pictures, well defined line drawings and pictures of sculptures add to the stories about Famous Men of Rome, like Cincinnatus, Regulus, Marius among others. The stories keep you wanting to read and are engaging. The teacher’s manual comes with everything in the student guide only it has answers. The students guide really focuses on memorizing, dates, people and events. I think this is good for a child starting around 1st grade as long as you don’t force the memorization right away and just kind of go through the stories and orally discuss the questions in the guides. The older student could easily read the text and answer the questions on their own and of course memorizing the pertinent facts. This really makes history comes alive and while I love history, the history in school is dry and boring, where as this really makes it seem more real and exciting which is exactly what homeschoolers enjoy! The text, student guide and teacher guide w/ key sells for $39.95.

Book of Latin Roots for Children

Using the Golden Children’s Bible students embark on a journey (3 years) through Biblical history, although any Bible will work as well. Using the story of Salvation, children are taught about history – True history. This is geared for grades 3rd through 7th, although my 1st/2nd grader enjoyed the lessons we did. In the teacher’s text there is the background and summary which gives more in depth look at the history you will be studying in that lesson. There are 3 ways to reinforce the Bible readings for the lessons, such as facts to know, comphesion questions and activities. There are different activities such as maps, pictures, timlelines, art among others. There are also Bible memorization and review and recitation. This was well written and simple to use and integrate into any curriculum or educator style, so the family wanting to embark on a three year long journey into the Bible will want to check out this study series from Memoria Press. You can purchase Christian Studies I – III series plus the hardbound Golden Children’s Bible for $119.95 or purchase them individually for $38.90 and the Golden Children’s Bible for $17.95.

I thoroughly enjoyed using these products from Memoria Press and I encourage you to go check it out and see if any of these or their other products would enhance your school.

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Uncompromised Christianity by S. Michael Craven

S. Michael Craven has written a gem of a book that should be read by all who profess to be Christians. He realizes that all Christians today are being bombarded on all sides from those who seek to tear down Christianity and those who believe in the One True God.

In Uncompromised Faith: Overcoming our Culturalized Christianity the reader embarks on a journey as to why Christians are selling out and no longer living their faith. The fact of materialism, consumerism and modernism makes it harder and harder to live like Jesus. We want what we want and we want it now – who cares who gets hurt. This in turn creates more problems that we as a society have to deal with.

It is painful to see the Christ’s church touting so much of the world’s beliefs and living them. Divorce is rampant even among Christians, homosexuality is accepted and becoming the norm, abortion is legalized, other religions are slowly infiltrating into our churches and of course, there is no gender differences, co-habitation and premarital sex are okay. This is what the world wants everyone to believe. The church is buying into it because we don’t know how to stand up against it or how to refute it. Of course there is also the risk of persecution, of which our Brothers and Sisters in other cultures and times have suffered because of their uncompromised faith in Christ.

Mr. Craven gets to the heart of the matter by discussing with well documented research, quotes from both the Christian side and the opposing side, he makes it understood why Christians need to stand up and say no more compromising! The plague of worldliness and new age philosophies are tearing Christ’s churches down and are misleading those inside them. The end of the book gives ideas on what we do to help with fixing these problems both within the churches and also in our daily lives. It isn’t just about saying we’re Christian, it’s about letting others see Jesus in us through our lives, our speech, our interactions – it’s about doing!

This was a heavy read, which isn’t a bad thing, it took time to mull over what S. Michael Craven was writing about in Uncompromised Faith. That is what is needed though, not some mealy mouth anecdote but meaty resources that will revive our churches and will have God present in them and in our lives!

**I am a blog book reviewer and in turn I recieve a copy of the book I choose to review. I am in no way paid, employed of financially reimbursed through NavPress. My opinions are my own.

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The Noticer by Andy Andrews

I must say I was a bit put off at first to read this newly released book by Andy Andrews titled The Noticer especially since three words sum it as a fictional, allegorical and inspirational but based on a true story. I am not much of one for allegories, but I was so happy that I read this.
The story really did touch my heart and made me think. The story was extremely well written and flowed beautifully. I could picture the character, Jones, carrying his well worn suitcase along the California side walks and board walks trying to help those in need.
While it was a quick read, it isn’t quick to get it out of your head. I think on it at different times of the day and hope that I too will make a difference in life of someone because of this book. Getting to know Jones’ simple way of life really makes on put things in their live into perspective, wether you are working too hard, not working enough, skipping out on your family. We all need a Jones in our life, someone who notices us and helps us when the going gets tough and I think this book will do wonders to help us notice each other more.
Mr. Andrews does a wonderful in weaving together this story and while one may wonder what parts are true, that isn’t the point. The point is NOTICING. Notice those who have helped you and in turn try to help others and make ammends when you can. Mr. Andrews also has a project called The Noticer Project which wants us to take the time to notice the 5 most influential people in our lives NOW, not at a funeral, a birth, death, graduation or wedding, but now. It goes along with the book to notice others.
Also you can check out several videos on YouTube about the book: Why Am I the Wayward, Why Am I the Lover Lost, Why Am I the Worrier, Why Am I the Lustful Youth, Why Am I the Workaholic, Why Am I the Useless. These are some great videos and a little “perspective” on each of these. Watch them for a little more information on the book and then go buy it and read it and make sure to savor it and then when you are done go to The Noticer Project and notice your 5 most influential people in your life.
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A Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today…

Outside my window… it is sunny, the wind is blowing and it’s not too hot today.  Very nice!

I am thinking… how I enjoy hearing the sounds that occur when the wind blows through the trees

From the learning rooms… getting ready for our first ever end of the year assessment

I am thankful for… the ability to make healthy, sustaining meals for my family

From the kitchen… I am either going to make a chicken meal or grilled cheese with tomato bisque soup for dinner. Thinking also if I want some fresh veggies soon I really need to get the garden out.

I am wearing… a brown jumper, pink t shirt and my brown crocs.

I am reading… Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver and Uncompromised Faith my S. Michael Craven

I am hoping… to get my garden put out.

I am creating… a few pillows, a pair of shorts for Christian this Wednesday and maybe finish a dress or two for Bethanne (since they were for Hannah but she has outgrown that size I was making)

I am praying… that the NP calls with good news of Bethanne’s lab work

Around the house… straightening up my bedroom, enjoying the breeze coming through the open doors, doing laundry, dishes and eventually making dinner.

One of my favorite things… the breeze coming in through open doors

A few plans for the rest of the week… tonight is our 4H meeting, Tuesday is Hannah’s last day of having to miss ballet, Wednesday getting together with a friend who will me sew and AWANA, Thursday is Bethanne’s ballet class, Friday nothing – we’ll see about getting the garden in then.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

Okay I can’t share a picture with you today because all my pictures on my computer were lost when my computer crashed Saturday night 😦  If anyone knows how to restore them please let me know.

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My TOS Crew review Favorites

Well I only have one more review due, which I will be getting written up in the next day or two and after that I will be done with the TOS Crew.  It has been a fun ride and one that I will miss.  I have learned a lot, seen what definitely will and will not work for our family and also been exposed to curricula and other items that I may not have had the chance to try out.  I have been truly blessed by this experience and am grateful to have been choosen for the maiden voyage.  Without further ado my favorites:

1st place:

Homeschooling w/ Heart Tote bag  (I hardly go anywhere without it!) 

Memoria Press (review to come)

Apologia’s Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day


 Homeschool in the Woods – New Testament lapbook

 Five In A Row – BeforeFIAR

 Artistic Pursuits Grades K-3

2nd Place:

Alphabet Alley Magnetic Play Set

 Alphabet Alley Games

 Molly’s Money Saving Digest

 One 2 Believe Nativity Set 

One 2 Believe Noah’s Ark play set

 Spears Art Studio

 Schoolside Press – Little Man in the Map

3rd Place:

 Critical Thinking Company

 Knowledge Quest – Homeschooling ABC’s

 Trigger Memory System

Math Mammoth

 Media Angels


 Hannah’s favorites:

Schleich, Before FIAR, Kinderbach, Time for Learning (a BIG hit), Noah’s Ark, Nativity Play Set, Trigger Memory System, Rime to Read, Spears Art Studio, Core Learning, Artistic Pursuits, Homeschool in the Woods, Apologia

Bethanne’s favorites:

Nativity Play set, Noah’s play set, Schleich, Apologia, Core Learning, Time for Learning

Christian’s favorites:

Nativity play set, Noah’s play set, Schleich, Apologia 

So these were our favorites, while all didn’t make it to our top 3 we enjoyed trying them out and getting to see if they would work for our family.  I especially enjoyed the TOS products even though I didn’t link to them in my favorites but you can see my reviews listed on the right side bar complete with links.  I think this has been a great year and very productive.  It made me aware of the time we took to do school and I look forward to continuing to implement some of what we recieved this year into our school year next year.

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This week's menu

I am planning this weeks menu and hoping to do better than the last time and stay a little healthier, less red meat, veggies, low sodium, etc.  So here is what my menu looks like so far and I will go to the store tomorrow.

French Dip roast w/ veggie and homemade sourdough bread

Stove Top One Dish Chicken Skillet w/ veggie

 Crisp-and-Creamy Baked Chicken w/ veggie

 Whole Roast Chicken in the Crock Pot w/ stuffing and a veggie

 Walnut Chicken Picatta w/ rice and veggie

Grilled cheese sandwiches w/garlic pesto and tomato bisque soup

Of course this doesn’t include lunches and breakfast or the fact that we have our last official co-op meeting on Friday. 

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Blog Tour: Learning to Live Financially Free

Here is another great blog tour through Kathy Carlton Willis Communications for the book Learning to Live Financially Free by Marybeth and Curt Whalen.  Again there is a drawing but the information for that is at the bottom of the post, so keep reading and then leave a comment – if I get 10 comments I will draw one name to go into another drawing to win a gift basket!

About the book:

(North Carolina) – The fear and reality of tough economic times, foreclosures, bailouts, bankruptcies and falling stocks strike fear in the hearts of many Americans today. With investors, newscasters and bankers giving advice, who can you trust? Marybeth and Curt Whalen share their financial successes and failures in their new book, Learning to Live Financially Free: Hard-Earned Wisdom for Saving Your Marriage & Your Money. If a family parenting six children can get out of debt and live financially free, anyone can. The Whalens readily admit they made their share of mistakes the first ten years of marriage. Becoming more disciplined and intentional in spending and saving helped them learn valuable lessons for better financial stewardship–lessons you’ll want to learn too.


Learning to Live Financially Free not only focuses on building a stronger financial understanding in the home, but also encourages couples to communicate, thus building better, stronger marriages. The Whalens clearly comprehend the need for careful money management and commitment in marriage. Money-strapped families will find peace of mind as they begin the process of becoming financially responsible and debt-free.


About the Authors:

Marybeth Whalen is a speaker and contributing writer for Proverbs 31 Ministries. The author of For the Write Reason, Marybeth has also written for Parent Life, Money Matters newsletter, The Old Schoolhouse, Hearts at Home magazine, and Homeschooling Today. She contributes regularly to the daily online devotions of Proverbs 31 Ministries.


Curt Whalen is a trained financial counselor through Crown Financial Concepts. He has years of experience helping couples establish budgets, solve financial problems, and learn to communicate more effectively. He has written articles for TEACH Magazine and Money Matters Newsletter and has contributed to books by authors Lysa TerKeurst and Melanie Chitwood.

Are You A Financially Focused Couple?
Instructions: Give yourself 1 point for every "yes" answer, 0 points for every "no."

1.Do you have regular budget meetings?
2.Do you communicate about daily expenses?
3.Do you discuss large purchases before they’re made?
4.Does each spouse have an equal vote about money decisions?
5.Have you planned for your future through life insurance and a will?
6.Do you agree about tithing and giving?
7.Can you both list out your debts, including the amounts and monthly payment for each account?
8.Do you have a plan that was written together for paying off debt and saving money?
9.Do you encourage each other to save money?
10.Have you discussed the spending habits and attitudes about money that you carried into the marriage?

Tally up your score and use the guide to the right to see what category you fall into.

0-2 points: Don’t get discouraged. There’s nowhere to go from here except up! 
3-5 points: You are taking steps towards being a financially focused couple.. Keep working together and you will get there.
6-8 points: You are almost 100% financially focused. Keep up the good work and get intentional about those trouble spots.
9-10 points: You are a financially focused couple and could show us all a thing or two! Consider sharing your wisdom with other couples who are struggling in today’s uncertain times.


Now for the giveaway information:  if I get 10 comments I will draw one name to go into the grand prize drawing for a set of books.  Make sure to leave a comment with an email so that I can contact you if you are the grand prize winner through Kathy Carlton Willis Communications.  What is in the prize giveaway:

1 copy of the book
1 copy of Financial Peace Revisited by Dave Ramsey
1 subscription to P31 Woman Magazine
1 copy of God’s Purpose For Every Woman (collection of the best devotions from Proverbs 31 Ministries)
1 cd of Marybeth’s message "Becoming A Woman of Influence"
1 Dove Chocolate bar (because everything is better with chocolate!)


Lampstand Press/Tapestry of Grace

I had the chance to review Tapestry of Grace (TOG) with the TOS Crew and we were allowed to choose our Unit and Year along with a go-along for the corresponding unit we choose.  We were given the digital edition (DE).  There is a reason for them doing that and you can read about it  here.   I can understand them going digital but I am old fashioned and prefer a printed book in my hands versus spending hours reading from a computer screen.

While it is supposed to be cheaper than the printed version of TOG I didn’t see much in the way of savings, especially for a digital product, which I must say cannot be re-sold at used curriculum sales.  So if it doesn’t work for your family you are out the money completely and no way to get the money back.   Of course it’s also better for the earth as there is no paper or printing so there is nothing to throw away or create waste, unless of course you print it out for yourself.

It was very easy to download the DE to my computer.  If you purchase the DE you will have it for life, so another bonus – if a printed copy got ruined you would have to purchase another copy but not so with the DE.  The instructions were detailed that it took just a couple clicks and it was downloaded and the people at Lampstand are very helpful in answering any questions you may have about downloading the TOG to your computer.

I choose the lapbook go-along for our Year 1 Unit 1 and we really enjoyed doing it.  The lapbook instructions tells you how to do a lapbook without file folders, which we still used the folders because it’s easier and more sturdy but it does make a big lapbook.  We’ve learned a lot about the building of pyramids, making a mummy (I had no idea how much work actually goes into the perservation techniques used!) among other areas of study including the Jewish culture.

Overall, I can definitely see the way this would work if one has a large family or has a couple children doing different grade levels.  For me, it took too much preparation for just my oldest to actually make the TOG work for us at this point in time.  I can see though the benefits if all three of my children were in ‘school’ and I wanted us to all be somewhat on the same page as for what we are studying.  I wouldn’t recommend this for a family with only one child though as the cost involved as well as the time for preparing the lessons would get overwhelming.  For a larger family though who plans to continue cycling through it through graduation it would definitely pay off in the end.  This is also geared for the Classical homeschooler – so for those who are more laid back, eclectic , like us – it gives lots of structure.

You must also add a math curriculum and a phonics program for the begining reader – so this is an added factor into wether to purchase.  I like the fact that the curriculum was written by a homeschooling mom and one can tell a lot of work went into it.  You can view a sample of the study at the website if you’d like to see what all is involved including the booklists.  I would suggest that those who are considering purchasing this curriculum really delve into the sample first and make sure it works for their family and teaching style.

Overall, the curriculum is wonderful and I see many wonderful uses for it especially for the family with several children to school.  The fact that it is digital makes it nice that you can never loose it, even if your computer crashes!  There is also the environmental factor of not having paper and toner going into the trash.  Using TOG will bring hours of educational experiences, with hands on projects, field trips, reading and will provide a good Biblical background into Biblical history.

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Easter Picture

Here are my 3 beautiful blessings on Easter Sunday.  The new outfits and shoes are gifts from Grandma Cindy, my mom.

Here are our Resurrection Rolls we made Saturday night.  Christian even participated this year, we had a good time.

I have some other pictures I will post later of our egg hunt but I need to go fold some laundry!

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The Simple Woman's Daybook

I am completing my Simple Woman’s Daybook entry.

 For Today…

Outside my window… cloudy, with lots of rain

I am thinking… I want my children to grow up knowing, loving and serving the Lord

From the learning rooms… nothing,  Hannah is still recovering from her surgery although I am getting her assessment binder for our assessment on May 8th

I am thankful for… food to keep us healthy and a roof over our heads

From the kitchen… homemade pancakes, jello (for Hannah), mac and cheese, creamy pork casserole and bread dough

I am wearing… a brown jumper, pink shirt and my light blue Crocs

I am reading… A Time to Live by Jerry Eicher, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver and Uncompromised Faith by S. Michael Craven

Joanne writes like a caring sister in her latest book, Misplacing God! It is like sitting right in front of her and she is so interested in how you are spending your time…asking and with side words of pleading at times, "Are you "being" with your Lord?

I am hoping… I will get the table cleaned off before DH comes home to surprise him!

I am creating… a quilt in my head

I am praying… for God to provide a way to cover my student loans that are coming due in August.

Around the house… cleaning, doors open for the fresh air, laundry, dishes

One of my favorite things… is my shelf with my Amish dolls DH bought me in Holmes County and my tart warmer

A few plans for the rest of the week… work on DD’s friends bday presents, AWANA and ballet for Bethanne, reading, reviews, cleaning.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

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