Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

"Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps and Timelines" Rose Publishing

     The bestselling Rose Book Of Bible Charts, Maps & Time Lines was the 2007 & 2008 #1 Bible Reference book sold in Christian bookstores! It has more than 180 pages of full-color reproducible Bible charts, maps, and time lines. Includes illustrations of the Tabernacle, Temple, Noahs’ Ark, comparisons of cults, world religions, denominations, Armor of God, Names of God, the Genealogy of Jesus, end-times viewpoints, an overview of each book of the Bible, a timeline showing how we got the Bible, evidence for Jesus’ resurrection, fruit of the spirit, and much more—all can be photocopied! Spiral bound for ease of use, this is a must-have. Book measures 11.25" x 9.5" x 1". Opens flat for ease of use and for photocopying. . There are literally thousands of facts to enrich one’s Bible study, understanding, and teaching.
My Opinion:
     I was so blessed to have received this wonderful book from Rose Publishing to review.  I love to study my Bible and this book comes in so handy as I am being guided by the Holy Spirit, especially the time lines.  The time lines allow me to see at a glance when something occured during Bible History, World history and Middle East history at the same time.  It’s neat to see everything that went on during the same time at different places and getting a little be more knowledge about how the Bible is laid out.
Books of the Bible, and an introduction to the Old Testament gives a break down  of who wrote the book, what it is about, where it is, when, why, a brief outline and a key verse.  These are further broken down into the Law, History, Poetry and Wisdom, Major Prophetsk and Minor Prophets.  The same thing is done for the New Testament such as the Gospels and Acts, Paul’s Letters (Epistles), General Epistles and Revelation.  There are charts to show the translations of the Bible and gives a brief description of each, as well as comparing the different Bibles according to religion of the Hebrew Bible, Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Protestant.
     100 well known people and prayers are also listed, so if you’ve ever wondered about who Silas was you can find a brief description of him.  Archaeology and the Bible is one of my favorites as I love to delve into ancient finds that relate back to my faith and what it used to be like in it’s original form.  Four views of the end times, Pauls journey’s then and now, Noah’s Ark, the Tabernacle, Ark of the Covenant, Solomon’s Temple and Herod’s Temple are all beautifully illustrated in two page spreads along with detailed descriptions of how they were built and what they contained.
     Another neat item to mention is the comparisons of Christianity, Cults and Religions.  At a glance you can see for instance what Mormons key writings are, founder or leader, who they think God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are, how to be Saved, what happens after death and other facts, beliefs or practices.  Many are listed and I won’t give the whole list but some others are Christian Science, Scientology, Wicca, New Age Baha’i World Faith, Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism and many others.  There are also denominational comparison’s.  Denomations are again many but some are the Catholic Church, Lutheran, Methodist, Anabaptist, Adventists and many more.  Along with these are the family tree of denominations which shows the years that each denomination  broke off the Undivided Church, the first break being in 1054 to form the Orthodox and the Catholic churches.
     This book has so much contained in it, I can’t possibly do a blog post on all it’s wonderful merits.  This can be used as you study Biblical history in your home school or for your own personal studies.  While it may seem overwhelming at first taking it in bite sized chunks is the best way to go through it.  It sells for $29.99 which may seem steep at first until you actually have it in your hands – also the pages can be reproduced for your class room, which gives an added benefit so you’d only need one book for a family to all study at the same time.  I  forgot to mention that these are full colored pages, not just black and white images, all the illustrations are beautifully done and I know I was impressed by the pictures as were my husband and children.
     **I was provided a copy of this book by Rose Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
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MamaBuzz Tour: Wonder Hanger

Tour information from Wonder Hanger:

The Wonder Hanger® is an affordable tool that’s great for any Spring Cleaning features. This cascading clothes organizer increases closet space by enabling you to stack clothes vertically.  Each Wonder Hanger holds 5 wood, metal or plastic hangers.  There are 8 hangers to a package – enough to hang 40 garments. The open-mouth design allows you to easily add or remove your jackets, skirts, pants and shirts. Supporting up to 20 pounds, it can hold up to 5 heavy winter jackets.

You can use it to group complete outfits or similar items, organize by color or season, and hang handbags or belts.   It retails for $9.99 and can be purchased at major retail chains including Walmart, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond and CVS and online at

My Opinion:

As a family of 5 and in a house that is 675 square feet we have to maximize all the space we can, so I was thrilled when I could try out the Wonder Hanger.  I was a bit reluctant since usually the things we have seen and bought from TV ads usually turn out to not work so well but with the Wonder Hanger I must say I was pleased with this product.  I used them to hang on the end of my daughter’s bunk beds instead of in a closet and it worked well and now instead of clothing hanging all over the end there is actually room to see the whole bottom bunk bed.  Don’t get me wrong we do have closets but do to some circumstances I prefer not to use the closets to actually store our clothing.

I think these would also work well if you’re like me and have lots of tote bags (what homeschool mom doesn’t own stock in a tote bag company?).  Simply by slipping them over the hanger and then into the grooves  it would be easy to organize your tote bags or purses as well.  Since I was given an 8 pack I’ll be trying this idea out soon.  Wonder Hanger sells for $9.99 plus postage and handling and you can buy one get free if you pay the extra P&H.  Well worth the price to have some extra space, what to do with all that extra space you might ask?  You could always add more bookshelves!

**This is a Mama Buzz review. The product was provided by Wonder Hanger for this review

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I am often asked what I use for our curriculum – as are other homeschool moms – it may also be because I do curriculum reviews and people wonder if I actually use the curriculum I am given to review.  Yes, I do use the curriculum I receive – however sometimes I don’t continue with it after the review because it wasn’t a good fit but I needed an idea of how it’s used for the review.  Okay, now that that is out of the way……

I’ve been working on getting our paperwork in order for the upcoming year.  I have to submit a letter of intent – this does NOT ask for permission to home school, it tells the school that I WILL be homeschooling.  I must also submit test scores or an assessment that is done by any Ohio certified teacher for previous years (this year is just Hannah but next year will be both Hannah and Bethanne).  Next is the notification form which lists our address, our names and who is being home schooled and their date of births as well as our agreement to teach certain subjects and provide 900 educational hours.  I then have to add a brief outline, merely stating what will be covered in each subject so for History and Geography it looks like this:

  • Geography/Map Skills
  • American History
  • U.S. and Ohio History
  • Government
  • Other cultures

Then I include a list of text books, again for History/Geography it would look like this (this is not an inclusive list):

  • Mystery of History Volume I
  • Star-Spangled book and Workbook
  • county parks and recreation programs
  • Portraits of American Girlhood
  • various books, movies, music on famous people, places and other countries from the local library.

This year with having to notify for two children things are a bit more lengthy and I’m going to do my best to combine some of the subjects with both my 1st and 3rd grader and try to include my soon-to-be 4 year old in some Kindergarten stuff.  So for my curriculum this year I have it listed below, things that aren’t actual curriculum like parks and recreation or 4H I’m leaving out and listing just the intended books.  We are not held strictly to this so if mid-year something isn’t working I can change it without notifying anyone.

Bible and Character Studies (obviously this is not a required subject but since I am a Christian homeschooler I choose to include it)

Language Arts:

  • Alphabet Island Phonics
  • Five in A Row Volumes 1, 2, and 3
  • Beyond Five In A Row Volume 2
  • Before Five In A Row
  • McGuffey’s Eclectic Primer
  • McGuffey’s Third Eclectic Primer
  • McGuffey’s Eclectic Spelling Book

History and Geography

  • Portraits of American Girlhood
  • Mystery of History Volume I
  • Star-Spangled Book and Workbook
  • Beyond Five In A Row Volumes 1, 2, and 3
  • Beyond Five In A Row Volume 2
  • TruthQuest History (Ancient Egypt)
  • The Prairie Primer
  • A Child’s Geography: Explore the Holy Land Volume 2


  • Saxon Math I
  • Saxon Math 3
  • Times Tales

Science and Health

  • Exploring Creation with Astronomy
  • Exploring Creation with Botany
  • Beyond Five In A Row Volume 2
  • Five In A Row Volumes 1, 2, and 3
  • Beautiful Girlhood
  • Lessons in Responsiblity for Girls

Physical Education

  • This is covered by non-curriculum things like physical Wii games, 4H, AWANA sports, ballet classes, etc.

Fine Arts

  • ARTistic Pursuits Book One
  • ARTistic Pursuits Book Two
  • Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers
  • Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists

First Aid, Safety and Fire Prevention

  • Lessons in Responsiblity for Girls

For the most part I utilize lots of freebies such as for free curriculum ideas as well are resources from the libraries or internet.  I do list these on my outline that I send to the Superintendent but I haven’t included them on this list.  I also make use of pamplets from the county fair that are available from the Police department on a variety of safety issues.

As you can see I’m very eclectic in my approach – even going so far as to add Latin in sometime during the next school year, but again I didn’t list it because I’m not sure and I didn’t list it on the stuff going to the school office.  I could not do a ‘box’ curriculum, I need the flexibility that I have in being eclectic.  We do lots of notebooking and lapbooking (although we didn’t do as much this year as we have in the past) and I need that flexibility.  We also just started workboxing for our oldest and when I remember to fill the boxes it goes well – I hope to do better next school year.

Feel free to post any questions that you may have regarding how I school and I’ll do my best to answer them.


FIRST tour: Miracle Girls #4: Love Will Keep Us Together by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card authors are:

and the book:

Miracle Girls #4: Love Will Keep Us Together: A Miracle Girls Novel

FaithWords (April 30, 2010)

***Special thanks to Miriam Parker of Hachette Book Group for sending me a review copy.***


Anne Dayton graduated from Princeton and has her MA in Literature from New York University. She lives in New York City. May Vanderbilt graduated from Baylor University and has an MA in Fiction from Johns Hopkins. She lives in San Francisco. Together, they are the authors of the Miracle Girls books, Emily Ever After, Consider Lily, and The Book of Jane.

Visit the authors’ AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

The whole world has gone maroon. The bricks are maroon, the dress code is maroon, and even our peppy tour guide’s hair is dyed a deep maroon. –

“Hi, I’m Kiki, and I’m a real student here.” She grins from ear to ear as she walks backward across the giant lawn. “Welcome to the home of the Harvard Crimson.”

Pardon me. The whole world has gone crimson . The parents and prospective students around me press forward, following after our tour guide, but I slowly edge toward the back, hoping the rest of my family doesn’t notice.

The Great McGee Family College Tour is finally winding down, and not a moment too soon. We started off last week at Duke, then drove up to see Johns Hopkins, Penn, Princeton, Columbia, and Yale. This morning we got up early to do MIT, and if I can survive a little longer, we’ll check Harvard off the list and only have Cornell to go. Dad and I talked Mom out of Dartmouth. Way too much snow.

I thought it would be fun to tour colleges, but I didn’t realize everybody was going to ask me the same question again and again: “What do you want to do with your life, Riley?” Or sometimes they stick to, “What’s your passion, Riley?” And I haven’t figured out how to answer them. Somehow, “I have no earthly idea” doesn’t seem to be what they’re looking for.

“We are now entering the famous Harvard Yard.” The group falls silent, almost reverent, and Kiki stops on the other side of the crimson-bricked archway and waits while we file through. As she recaps the history of the university, which involves a bunch of dead white guys—just like every other school, Mom spies me slouching low at the back of the crowd.

“Isn’t this beautiful?” She takes a deep breath and closes her eyes. “I could really see you being happy here, Riley.” I nod because it’s easier than trying to explain. “Did you know the Latin word veritas on the seal”—she holds out a brochure for me—“means truth?” She flips the brochure open and starts paging through photos of students sitting under autumn trees.

I put my pointer finger over my lips, then point at Kiki. Mom nods and jogs back to my brother, Michael, who has Asperger’s syndrome, or high-functioning autism. Mom and Dad have done a ton of work to help him with his social skills, but he’s still prone to legendary meltdowns. After the scene he caused at MIT this morning, she’s been watching him like a hawk.

“This really seems like a good one.” Dad comes up behind me in a sneak attack. I glance across the group and see Michael pulling on Mom’s hand, trying to get over to a statue of a seated man. “These kids seem like your kind of people.”

Dad and I look around the yard at the students hauling mattresses and carrying plastic crates stuffed with junk. A group lounges on the steps of one of the historic buildings, drinking from eco-friendly metal thermoses.

I shrug and pull my short hair into a pathetic ponytail. Not my best look, but it’s sweltering today.

“Do you like it better than Princeton?”

I try to avoid his stare, but he follows my eyes until I give in and focus on him. In the weak afternoon sunlight, I notice that the gray patches at his temples are spreading through his warm brown hair, like two silver streaks down his head.

“I don’t know. Princeton was fine.” Princeton is Ana’s thing, her dream. All I could think about the entire time I was there was, How did she choose this school? How did she know it was for her? Is there a feeling you get? Is it like how I knew about Tom?

Kiki climbs a few steps up to an old brick building and claps excitedly. “Massachusetts Hall is special for two reasons.” She beams at our group and holds up one finger. “First, it’s the oldest building on campus, dating back to 1720.” Everyone in our group oohs, and Mom whispers something to another mother. “And”—Kiki makes eye contact with the prospective students in her pack—“it’s a freshman dorm! Let’s go take a look, shall we?”

We walk in a tight-knit pack up the stairs and down the third-floor hallway. Loud music pours from the rooms, the beats clashing. Finally we stop at a dorm room with two neatly made beds and two tidy desks with crimson folders emblazoned with the Harvard seal. I realize there’s nothing real about this room or this choreographed moment, like almost every moment of every college tour we’ve taken. How am I supposed to get a feel for the campus with these phony experiences?

As Kiki begins explaining dorm security, I slip out of the room and try to collect my thoughts. This is merely a minor case of butterflies, nothing more. I’m sure everybody gets them when touring colleges. I’ll call Ana, and she’ll talk me through this.

I rummage through my purse, searching under all the brochures and school spirit junk until my fingers find my phone’s smooth edges.

Wait, I can’t call Ana. She loved every second of her college tour. When she came back from the East Coast a few weeks ago, she couldn’t stop talking about Princeton’s amazing science labs. Plus, she already knows beyond a shadow of a doubt she wants to be a neonatal surgeon. She had open-heart surgery as a baby and has always felt called to follow the path of the doctors who saved her life.

Zoe would totally get it. I scroll through my contacts, all the way down to Z .

But maybe it isn’t fair to call Zo. Her parents are doing a little better, but money is still tight. She didn’t get to go on a college tour this summer, and I’m not really sure there’s any money put aside for her education. I’d be a jerk to call and complain.

I scroll back up to Christine. She’s headed to New York next year to become a painter. All she’s ever wanted is to get out of Half Moon Bay. We’ve always understood each other in that way.

But as I’m pressing the button for her name, I remember that today is Tyler’s birthday and she was going to surprise him with a scavenger hunt through town.

That leaves one person. I find his name and quickly punch the button. “Pick up, pick up,” I chant quietly. A voice in my head reminds me I shouldn’t be calling my ex-boyfriend, the only guy I ever loved, the one who went off to college and left me behind, but I try to quiet it. All these months I’ve been strong and not e-mailed him, not called him, but I don’t have anyone else right now.

“Hey there.” Tom’s deep voice is a little scratchy, like he just woke up, and it sends a shiver down my spine. The guys at Marina Vista still sound like chipmunks. “How… What’s up?” he asks.

Technically the breakup a few months ago was mutual—technically. I want to talk to him, but it’s just as friends. He’s already gone through the whole college application process, so he’ll help me get my head on straight.

“I hate Harvard.” A woman glares at me as she passes down the hall. I lower my voice. “Well, I don’t hate Harvard—that’s not it. My parents love it, and the teachers all love it. Actually, everybody loves it except me.”

“What are you talking about?” He yawns loudly.

“I’m on my college tour, standing in the hallowed halls of Harvard right now. Well, a dorm hallway anyway.” Two girls pass me, talking loudly. “They want me to go here, but it doesn’t feel right.”

“So don’t apply. You’re not like everybody else.”

I bite my lip. It’s such a Tom thing to say and exactly what I need to hear. After months of not talking, he still knows how to make me feel better. Tom always put the Miracle Girls on edge, but they never got to see this side of him, the big heart hidden inside his chiseled chest.

The noisy tour group pours out of the dorm room, and Kiki ushers them toward the exit at the end of the hall, pointing at some posters on the wall. Mom spots me on the phone and motions for me to rejoin the group.

“It’s funny that you called,” Tom says. “I actually wanted to tell you something.”

The tour group files into the stairwell. Dad lingers for a moment, frowning, and then goes with them.

“I’m transferring to UCSF and moving back to San Francisco.”

“What?” I press my finger to my ear, trying to block out the noise in the hall. That can’t be right. I’ve just gotten used to him being in Santa Barbara, which isn’t that far, but far enough for him to feel really and truly gone from my life.

“Santa Barbara wasn’t working out, and now I can live at home and save some cash.”

My heart begins to pound.

“I miss my old friends, you know—crazy blond girls who call me out of the blue and stuff. I miss… talking.”

My pulse drums loudly in my ears.

Mom peeks her head back in the door and widens her eyes at me. “You’re missing everything!”

“I—” I wave at Mom. “I’ve got to run, but I’ll call you later.” I snap the phone shut before he can respond and chuck it back into my purse. He’s coming back? I lean my head against the wall to keep it from spinning.

“Riley!” Mom plants her hands on her hips.

“Coming.” I jog over to her lingering in the stairwell. I file in at the back of the group and wind down the few flights of stairs with Mom hot on my heels. I can’t think about Tom now. I’ll deal with that later, once I’m back home and I’ve had time to wrap my mind around the fact that he isn’t gone, that his voice almost sounded like it used to before we drifted apart.

We re-enter the Harvard Yard, the sun stinging my eyes, and Kiki yammers on and on about the different types of architecture, pointing out stuff like Doric columns and neoclassical facades.

It’s not that Harvard isn’t beautiful. The campus is historic and hallowed and dripping in ivy, and there’s no question that it’s one of the best colleges in the country. If I went here, I’d get a great education, have opportunities I’d never get anywhere else, and meet all kinds of new, fascinating friends….

My mind flashes to Half Moon Bay, the faces of the Miracle Girls.

I can’t believe that in a year this is going to be my life. This could be my freshman dorm, but looking out over this crowded lawn, I can’t picture it. I try to imagine myself lounging in the courtyard, heading to fascinating lectures, eating in the dining hall, but my brain refuses. The only life I can imagine is at Marina Vista, hanging out with the girls, being close when Michael needs me.

Mom grins at me as Kiki explains how the meal plans work.

They think I want to go to Harvard, but I don’t. They think I’m excited about this, but I’m scared out of my mind. They think they know the real Riley McGee, but even I haven’t met her. They think I have it all figured out, but I’m totally lost.

So much for veritas .

Copyright © 2010 by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt

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Friendship for Grown-Ups: What I Missed and Learned Along the Way by Lisa Whelchel

From the Book Sneeze website:

Former Facts of Life star Lisa Whelchel shares her experiences of growing up without true friends and how she learned to find and develop them as an adult through God’s grace.

Not many people can say they lived their most crucial developmental years on the sound stage of a wildly popular TV show. But that’s exactly what happened in Lisa Whelchel’s life. As a child, she learned to guard her heart so tightly to avoid true hurt that she found herself unable to form lasting friendships as an adult.

Friendship for Grown-Ups details her experiences of learning to come out of her shell, to trust, risk, and become vulnerable by God’s grace and find meaningful friendships. Readers encounter her captivating story and refreshing perspective on life’s most precious gift—and they find practical tips for their own friendships along the way.

My Opinion:

I’ve read one of Lisa’s books before and so with this new one I just had to request it, because while I have friends and am a friend, I know I can always improve in that area. She built up walls to protect herself and I have done that as well – however she has been working at overcoming those walls so that she can be more transparent with her friends.

With this book I didn’t feel lectured at, like some self help books do, I felt as if I was having a chat with a friend while having a cup of coffee, legs curled up under me and sitting on a couch. With both practical and Scriptural basis for how she went about healing this book is a must have for those who have erected walls, for those who don’t know that they have or for those who are friends with ‘walls’. Many resources are included in this book to help make you a friend or a better friend, depending on what end of the spectrum you fall on.

I like the fact that there are questions for discussion or reflection, if you wanted to turn this into a woman’s study then this would be perfect or if you need to privately reflect – it’ll work for that as well. Lisa Whelchel also gives some steps for developing and growing friendships – things that are practical (she’s knows moms are busy, she has three and homeschooled them!) and easy for a mom to do. One way she even suggests is Facebook – for some reason it’s easy to be transparent on Facebook. The other one that really sticks out is keeping cards (assorted occasion and blank) to be mailed out as needed or thought of.

This wonderful book should be a resource for every woman who wants to be a friend or become a better friend. A quick read, this is perfect for moms to read that don’t have a lot of time between raising children, caring for husband and house and educating at home. I felt so good after I read this book and want to go through it again just to glean more and go through the discussion questions.

**I received a copy of this book through Book Sneeze (Thomas Nelson Publishers) in exchange for my honest review.

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FIRST tour: Power PraiseMoves DVD by Laurette Willis

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:

Laurette Willis

and the book:

Power PraiseMoves™ DVD

December 1, 2009

***Special thanks to David P. Bartlett – Print & Internet Publicist – Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***


Laurette Willis, the founder of PraiseMoves®, is a Women’s Fitness Specialist and certified personal trainer, as well as a popular keynote speaker and an award-winning actor and playwright. She has produced the videos PraiseMoves™ and 20-Minute PraiseMoves™ and written BASIC Steps to Godly Fitness.

Visit the author’s website.

Product Details:

List Price: $16.99
Actors: Laurette Willis
Directors: Josh Atkinson
Format: NTSC
Region: All Regions
Number of discs: 1
Studio: CT Videography
DVD Release Date: December 1, 2009
Run Time: 120 minutes
ASIN: 0736928456


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"What Your Son Isn’t Telling You" by Michael Ross and Susie Shellenberger

From the back of the book:

Your son struggles with the constant pressure to prove himself – in the the classroom, on the playing field, and especially among his friends. And while he may put up a tough exterior, deep inside he hungers for family support and connection. You long to be there for him, but chances are he’s put up a formidable wall of silence, leaving you wondering how to break through.

In What Your Son Isn’t Telling You, teen experts Michael Ross and Susie Shellenberger offer a rare glimpse into the secret lives of teen boys – behind-the-scenes footage you might miss in the day-to-day life of your son – accompanied by practical advice on how to provide the support and connection you son desperately needs.

My Opinion:

I’m usually not one to enjoy reading parenting books because I prefer to let God guide me and use His Holy Word to tell me how to parent but this was different. I have one son, and even when I was pregnant I had no idea what to do with a boy – I had to girls before him and they were easy. Needless to say having a boy has been completely different than my two girls – I love him but it’s whole new territory when it comes to raising a boy. My son is going to be 4 soon and so I have a couple years before we hit the times the authors talk about in this book but it was good to see some things I need to be on the lookout for – some things were uncomfortable to read about such as thinking about my son thinking about s**. The authors are honest though however I do disagree that every boy has to and must think about the above act – as Christian parents we should teach our boys to avert their gaze when an inappropriately dressed girl or woman comes near them, not only for their own protection but for the girls modesty even if she doesn’t act like she has any.

I did enjoy this book, even though I said like above some things were uncomfortable they did need to be said. However, I think for the most part this book is geared toward boys who are in the public and private school sectors and must deal with this from the point of view that their peers do not have the same teachings at home. I’m not saying boys who are home schooled are perfect, they have their own set of temptations, but it seems as if most of the boys who wrote to the authors about issues like homosexuality, dating, fighting/bullying, etc are mostly those things that boys are exposed to who are not home schooled. Like I said though I still have a few years before knowing this first hand – I’m going on my observation of my brothers and friends who have older boys.

Overall, this book did touch on ideas that are pertinent for today’s boys in the society they are growing up in – even innocently surfing the net can be a minefield of scantily clad women who can fill our son’s mind with sinful thoughts. This book would be a great resource in getting help for issues, however I must say the Bible is still what you need to turn to as a Christian parent, but this book is filled with Scripture and as such can be used as a reliable source book for information that isn’t readily available elsewhere.

** I was provided a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. For full disclosure policy see tab above.

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The Wierbse Bible Study Series: 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon by Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe

488 Wiersbe BS series (Tim, Titus, Phil) coverFinding good small group material can be tricky.  Some studies look slick on the outside but lack the kind of depth that can help the group move from a social gathering to a place of spiritual intimacy.  Other studies focus so heavily on information and detail that relational connection is an afterthought.  More than ever there is a need for a balanced study guide that combines community building with in-depth Bible knowledge.  Thankfully, both of these priorities can be made clear to your group with the help of one of the most influential, in-depth, and relational Bible scholars in modern history.


A man who has given his life to a deep examination of the Word of God, Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe is an internationally known Bible teacher, former pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago, and the author of more than 150 books.  For over thirty years, millions have come to rely on the timeless wisdom of Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe’s “Be” Commentary series.  Dr. Wiersbe’s commentary and insights on Scripture have helped readers understand and apply God’s Word with the goal of life transformation.  Dubbed by many as the “pastor’s pastor,” Dr. Wiersbe skillfully weaves Scripture with historical explanations and thought-provoking questions, communicating the Word in such a way that the masses grasp its relevance for today. 

The Wiersbe Bible Study Series will incorporate material from Warren’s popular series of expositional commentaries (known as the “Be Books”) into a small group Bible study format, consisting of a Bible book introduction, tips for small group study, self-introspective questions, and practical application.  The studies will be Bible book specific and follow along with certain topics respective of how they are presented in the “Be Books.” The studies will not overshadow the actual commentary but instead give the reader just enough of a sampling of Wiersbe’s enduring wisdom that he will want to go out and read the rest of what Wiersbe has written.

My Opinion:

I like the fact that these are short studies that don’t take hours a day to complete, when you’re a home schooling mom you simply don’t have time to do hours of homework to complete a study.  However, the questions will probe what you’ve learned in the reading of Scripture and give you a deeper understanding of the books of the Bible covered here. 

The begining of the book gives a brief help on how to use this study including tips for small group use.  I would say this would be great for studies done by adults at a Wednesday service (not saying it has to be only on Wednesdays, that’s just when our church has it’s mid-week service) or even for an adult Sunday School class since it’d be done weekly.  Again the time frame is up to the leader, if your doing it by yourself then it could be done one lesson per week or it could be stretched out for a busy ladies group to one lesson a month.  The possibilities are endless with using this study.

**I was given a copy of this book by Audra at B&B Media Group, Inc. in exchange for my posting and an honest review.  For full disclosure policy see right side bar.


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FIRST tour: "A Stranger’s Wish" (An Amish Farm Trilogy) by Gayle Roper

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:

Gayle Roper

and the book:

A Stranger’s Wish (The Amish Farm Trilogy)

Harvest House Publishers; Original edition (February 1, 2010)

***Special thanks to David P. Bartlett – Print & Internet Publicist – Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***


Gayle Roper is the award-winning author of more than forty books and has been a Christy finalist three times. Gayle enjoys speaking at women’s events across the nation and loves sharing the powerful truths of Scripture with humor and practicality. She lives with her husband in southeastern Pennsylvania where Gayle enjoys reading, gardening, and her family.

Visit the author’s website.

Product Details:

List Price: $10.99
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers; Original edition (February 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736925864
ISBN-13: 978-0736925860

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:'s%20wish&pg=PP1&output=embed

My Opinion:

I was a bit perplexed by the size of this book and thinking the plot couldn’t possibly be developed enough or the characters would have enough depth – once again I was very happy. This short book had it all – a great plot line and well developed characters that you felt yourself getting to know. Things didn’t feel rushed as I read this, however since I do have first hand knowledge of Amish life some of the explanatory items did slightly bore me. For the reader that is new or knows nothing about the Amish the explanations are a big help in reading the book.

This book made me long for another trip to Amish country where I live for another stay, longer than 3 days though this time! While media tend to sensationalize the Amish and their lifestyle, they still have their share of problems and decisions that need to be made. Amish life is hard and this book also shows that part, it doesn’t show the Amish life as being honky-dory – the characters all have some sort of problem that has to be dealt with but face it with faith.

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FIRST tour: "The Secret Holocaust Diaries: the Untold Story of Nonna Bannister" by Nonna Bannister

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:

Nonna Bannister

and the book:

The Secret Holocaust Diaries: The Untold Story of Nonna Bannister

Tyndale House Publishers (March 4, 2010)

***Special thanks to Vicky Lynch of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for sending me a review copy.***


Nonna Bannister was a young girl when World War II broke into her happy life. She went from an idyllic early-twentieth-century Russian childhood, full of love and comforts, to the life of a prisoner working in labor camps—though she was not a Jew—eventually bereft of her entire family. But she survived the war armed with the faith in God her grandmother taught her and a readiness to start a new life. She immigrated to America, married, and started a family, keeping her past secret from everyone. Though she had carried from Germany the scraps of a diary and various photographs and other memorabilia, she kept it all hidden and would only take it out, years later, to translate and expand her writings. After decades of marriage, Nonna finally shared her secret with her husband . . . and now he is sharing it with the world. Nonna died on August 15, 2004.

Visit the author’s website.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers (March 4, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1414325479
ISBN-13: 978-1414325477


My Opinion:

When we think of the Holocaust we think mainly of the Jews who were murdered because of their Faith – but rarely do we realize that many others were also murdered by an evil man. These included those who were handicapped, Russians, Poles and many others and it was only because of who they were or where they lived. Along the lines of Anne Frank, Nonna Bannister kept a diary, actually several diaries through out the War and she kept them hidden, even from her husband.

Atrocities abound and Nonna doesn’t try to make it seem better than it was. In reading this book – her diaries – you’ll feel the pain of the women as they watch a Nazi kill an infant and the heart ache when Nonna realizes she will never see her mom again this side of Heaven (or any of her other family). Nonna requested that her diary not be published until her death, which occured in 2004, she kept her life secret from everyone. You will cry, especially upon reading the words written by one of her son’s and her husband.

For those who would deny that the Holocaust happened, there is proof, read this book. I can’t for the life of me imagine why some want to deny, as it’s been said before when we forget the past we’ll be doomed to repeat it. Pictures that Nonna was able to keep hidden as well as copies of papers from that time will substantiate her claim as well as help the reader realize this was a human person who suffered and fortunately survived to one day tell her tale so we can’t forget!

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