Friday, September 19, 2014

Prayer of the Week (September 19, 2014)- Ephesians 2:13-15

A couple of years ago I took part in a Bible study where we studied the book of Ephesians.  Once a week I would like to mention the Bible verses which were studied, give my observations and applications.  Finally, I will give you my prayer involving those verses.

Today will be Ephesians 2:13-15 (please the selection in your Bible).


  • Jesus is our peace.
  • We are near because of the blood of Christ.


  • We have the peace so we need to give peace.


Dear Lord,

Thank you for being our peace.  I also thank you for giving your blood so that we may be with you.

I am always grateful.

In Jesus’s name.  Amen

Candle Prayers for Kids by Claire Freedman (book review)

Candle Prayers for Kids

By Claire Freedman

Illustrated by Jo Parry

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Genre- Christian / Children / Prayers

Published by- Candle Books

Copyrighted- 2013

Number of pages- 128

Age Group- Young Children

Description of book- hardback, listed price- $12.99, ISBN 978-1-78128-102-4

This book, Candle Prayers for Kids, by Claire Freedman, is a companion book to the Candle Bible for Kids.  It contains many different types of prayers.

  • Graces
  • Special Days
  • Sad Times
  • Thank You, God
  • Day by Day
  • and more

It also contains many colorful illustrations by Jo Parry.  Perfect for any young child.

About the Author-

Claire Freedman currently lives on the Essex Coast.  She has written a number of children’s books.  She enjoys walking, traveling, and sailing.

About the Illustrator-

Jo Parry lives in Bournemouth, England.  She uses an Apple Mac to illustrate greeting cards, fine art, and children’s books.  She is fulfilling her life-long dreams.

My thoughts-

I thought Candle Prayers for Kids, by Claire Freedman, was so cute when I first looked at it.  I was even more impressed when I sat down and read the prayers.  I think the prayers would be perfect for children under five, but they would easily work for children up to ten.  These prayers can even be changed if they need to be to suit a specific child, because not every child has a father who is gone or has freckles.

We have used some of the prayers at night and I am looking forward to my eight year-old daughter using this book on a daily basis.  She has a hard time saying prayers sometimes and I think that if she used this book and learned a variety of prayers, then it would be easier for her to say prayers of her own. 

I liked the table of contents.  It was helpful when I was trying to find a specific prayer.  I really enjoyed the illustrations.  They were colorful and realistic.  They would catch any child's eye.  The Lord's prayer at the end of the book was well written.  The prayer was written so many children can understand what the prayer is trying to tell them.

I highly recommend this book.  It is excellent.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Candle Prayers for Kids, by Claire Freedman and illustrated by Jo Parry, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Picture of the Week! (September 19, 2014)- Early Morning Sunrise

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It is easy to get up early in the summer, especially when I need to let the dogs out.  This picture will bring back memories for years.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Student Planner from My Student Logbook (Schoolhouse Review Crew review)

We received this for review purposes!

Product Links: My Student Logbook

Vendor Information Link: My Student Logbook

Age Appeal: 2nd grade and up

Format: Dated My Student Logbooks for the current school year (August 1 – July 31) or Dated My Student Logbooks for the calendar year (January 1 – December 31) or Undated My Student Logbooks, PDF or physical copy, there are also different cover choices available

Price: $15 per physical book or $20 per family use license PDF or $10 per single use license PDF

Does your state require you to record what your children do for school or do you and your children like to keep track of what is happening?

The Student Logbook could be just what your family needs.  This system involves writing a checklist of tasks, how much time it should take to complete the task, and then checking it off each day when each task is done.  This checklist can be used week after week for as long as needed or it can be done as often as needed.

In the back of the logbook there is an All About me page, Prays and Goals page, Bible Verses Memorized page, Books Read pages, Events, Projects, Field Trips, Presentations, Activities pages, Test Records pages, and Year Highlights: My Favorite Memories from this Year page.

Our Experience: 

B was very excited when I told him about the chance to be able to review My Student Logbook.  He wanted to be able to make a list of things to do, so he made sure he had gotten them done daily.  B was very excited when we were chosen and when it came in the mail.  It had a wonderful plastic cover, which protected the Freedom cover he had chosen.

When we got the package he opened it right away, started looking at it, and started setting it up.  He tore out the needed page, glued it in, and began to write down his schoolwork and other tasks that he needed to work do daily.  Every day he would look at the list, then check off what he successfully finished.  He also worked on filling out the special sections in the back of the book.

As I saw him work on his logbook I saw that it was something that would benefit C as well.  I plan on having B continue filling his out.  I plan on purchasing one for C.   

Mama’s Thoughts:

  • I really like this student planner.  It means that either B or I can write down everything that B needs to do for school and how much time it should take him.  It gives him the chance to take control of when he does his work.  All I need to do is require that it be done by the end of the day.  The fact that the schedule can be changed  when we need it to be or not at all is great too.
  • I think this is the perfect lesson planner for homeschoolers, because each child can have their own book.  When they have their own book they can take control of their lives and lead an organized future.  It can work perfectly for a keepsake for the future or to show the state what has been done for the year.
  • The extras at the back of the book were an added bonus.  B had a lot of fun filling out the All About Me section.  I learned more about him when I read it.  He was super excited about making a list of books he had read.
  • I liked having the instructions in the front of the book.  They were very clear and B knew exactly how to set it up.
  • While this product is good for elementary school age children, I think it is perfect for people in high school.  It would be a great way to keep track of everything that was done during the school year.  According to the instructions it can also be used to help create transcripts.

B’s Thoughts (boy, age 10, officially in fifth grade):   

I think this would be fun if it was an app.  I liked the “All About Me” page.  I liked the space where you could put down your favorite holiday.  I liked that I could list the books I read.  I liked the Year Highlights.  I thought it was super cool that you could do the whole year on one checklist.

I think this would be good for kids my age and older.

C’s Thoughts (girl, age 8, officially in third grade):

C did not participate in this review.

Dad’s Thoughts:

The Student Planner provides a needed means to recording your student’s courses, the time spent on each course, and any necessary comments that pertain to those courses.

The design of the planner was made with the intention of keeping costs down for the homeschooling family. I think however, that instead of tearing out sheets, folding them over and then taping it to the back of a weekly chart the design could have been made more efficient by printing the Course List, the Comments section, and the Daily Schedule (by the week) in landscape so as to get all three on one page. This does mean that the courses would be re-written every week and that exercise could be used as part of a writing course. The main benefit is that you have all the documentation on one sheet.

I’m glad that the My Student Logbook was created to assist students and teachers track their homeschool lesson plans. It’s definitely worth looking at.

Mama highly recommends!

Social Media Links:

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You Tube --

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Organize Your Life with The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner (Schoolhouse Review Crew review)

We received this for review purposes!

Product Links: The 7 Minute Life™ Daily Planner

Vendor Information Link: The 7 Minute Life

Age Appeal: adult

Format: This is a 7.3" by 8.5" physical planner with 270 pages for ninety days. 

Price: $24.95

Did you know that the average adult has an attention span of only seven minutes?  That is what The 7 Minute Life and The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner is based upon.  Using seven minutes to prioritize, organize, and simplify your life.

This 7.3” by 8.5” planner is contains many ways to help you prioritize, organize, and simplify.

You will:

  • Prioritize your top ten values
  • Discover your purpose
  • Establish 90 day goals (for work and home)
  • List all of the unfinished tasks you have (for work and home)
  • List things that are cluttering you mentally
  • List home repairs needing to be completed
  • List people you need to stay connected with
  • List annual projects and tasks
  • And most importantly the daily report with, 5 before 11, “7 Minute Life” Connections, daily expenses, etc.

There is even more in this 270 page planner.

This twelve minute Video explain how The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner works.

Our Experience: 

I was excited when I learned about this daily planner, because I thought it would help me become more organized and reach my life goals.  I felt very blessed when I was chosen.

When it arrived in the mail, I sat right down and started reading and studying it.  I thought it was really nice that there were ten pages of instructions and ideas to help me fill out the important parts of my planner.  Allyson Lewis (the person who developed the planner) has filmed sixteen videos that are available at The 7 Minute Life website, which had some information that was not in the book.  I thought it was nice having the option to either read the instructions or watch the videos.

I spent a few days reading the instructions filling out the goals, unfinished tasks, lists of connections, and learning what my purpose is.  It was easy for me to select what values were important to me, but I was not sure what my purpose was or how to develop it.  I finally decided that currently my purpose in life deals with my family.  My children and their education (since we homeschool) and my husband is currently a large part of my purpose in life.  My gifts and talents are to be focused on them until they are grown.  It helped me realize that I need to cut back on some things that I have been doing on the internet.

I had fun with the daily progress reports.  I tried to do my best to always complete my 5 before 11, unfinished tasks, and connecting with my “7 Minute Life” Connections.  The daily progress reports helped me decide what was important and needed to get done.

I plan on continuing this program.  I really want to be successful with my life as a wife, mom, and reviewer and I think the The 7 Minute Life™ Daily Planner will help and guide me to success.     

Mama’s Thoughts:

  • Since I do not work outside the house I had a difficult time deciding what was work and what was home when it came to unfinished tasks and goals.  I decided that my blog, reviews, and homeschooling was work and everything else was home.  Once I decided that out, it was much easier to fill out the pages.
  • I thought some of the lines were close together and it was hard to write in them.  I had to find a pen that had a fine point.
  • I loved that it was a spiral notebook and laid flat.  It was nice to have it laying out on the desk, so I knew what I needed to do during the day.
  • I started off my 5 before 11 with simple tasks like taking care of the dogs, Bible study, and fixing fence.  I found that when we had to do chores at seven then go chase cows and fix fence, I had a very difficult time finishing the 5 tasks if they took a long time.  I had to make sure it was something I could easily do.  That is one of the reasons why I added fixing fence to my list.
  • It was initially hard for me to discover my purpose in life, but then I realized that I could have my purpose change.  I can always a major focus, like pastoring, but who it focuses on could change.  Right now my focus is on my children and husband, but after my children grow up, I can focus on others.
  • I know that there is the monthly progress report, but I would have benefited from a weekly progress report, because then I could see if I on track with my plans.  Sometimes I have need all the extra help I can get.

B’s Thoughts (boy, age 10, officially in fifth grade):   

Since this was for adults, B did not take part in this review.

C’s Thoughts (girl, age 8, officially in third grade):

Since this was for adults, C did not take part in this review.

Dad’s Thoughts:

Dad was not available.   

Mama highly recommends!

Social Media Links:

Facebook –
Twitter -
Pinterest -
Google+ -
You Tube - (There are a lot of good videos)

Crew Disclaimer

Monday, September 8, 2014

Review of Heirloom Audio Productions’ Under Drake’s Flag by G.A. Henty (Schoolhouse Crew Review)

We received this for review purposes!

Product Links: Under Drake's Flag

Vendor Information Link: Heirloom Audio Productions

Age Appeal: six through adult

Format: two CD set with physical study guide and a more complete downloadable PDF study guide available through the internet for free

Price: $29.95 for the physical copy ($20 for an audio download)

Under Drake’s Flag was recorded in London, England, for Heirloom Audio Productions.  This recording was recorded in a movie-quality audio theater and features different actors such as Brian Blessed, Hugo Docking, and Andrew Williams.

Ned Hawkshaw has been asked to sail with Francis Drake.  He meets another young man, Gerald.  Ned and Gerald sail on the Atlantic Ocean with Drake, who is a privateer under Queen Elizabeth I.  He teaches them Biblical morals and values while they are together.  Ned and Gerald are become separated from Drake, but they show his morals and values while they are with the Africans and the Spanish they meet. 


Our Experience: 

I was really excited when we were selected for this review.  I personally like audio dramas and I have been interested in reading or listening to G. A. Henty’s books.  I was a little concerned though, because we tried listening to an audio drama three years ago and neither B nor C enjoyed listening to it.  I do not even think we finished it.

I was met with some negativity from the beginning, but we managed to listen to the first disk and part of the second disk.  We had to stop when the fighting between the Africans and the Spanish became to much for the children.

I waited a few weeks and decided to try listening to the story with the children again.  They were still reluctant, but they were a little bit more excited this time.  This time we listened to it on the computer outside instead of in the pickup driving down the road.  They were more receptive to the story and eagerly answered the questions from the study guide.

I thought this was an excellent audio drama, but it was not for B and C, because they were more sensitive to the live action.

Mama’s Thoughts:

  • I thought the music was wonderful and I enjoyed having every character in the story being portrayed by a person.  B and C do better with one person doing the talking I have learned.
  • Both the study guide included with the disks and the downloadable PDF were very complete.  A family could really use Under Drake’s Flag for both a history lesson and a Bible study.  I liked that there were three different section, “Listening Well”, “Thinking Further”, and “Defining Words.”  It helped B, C, and myself understand what we listened to and think about why they did what they did.  There was also a section dedicated to Bible study.
  • The Charlotte Mason Method of living books works perfectly with Under Drake’s Flag.  While we did not learn a lot about Drake himself, we did learn about what life was like during the late 1500’s. 
  • B and C did not like the violence and drama, so if you have young children you may want to listen to the story first.  It might scare them.

B’s Thoughts (boy, age 10, officially in fifth grade):   

I did not really like Under Drake’s Flag.  I did not like the drama involved. 

I did like the music and the voices.  I thought there was good acting.  I did like that Donna Anna and Ned got married at the end of the story.

I wish there had been answers to the study guide, other than that I liked the study guide.   

I do not think this would be good for children who are six to ten years-old.

C’s Thoughts (girl, age 8, officially in third grade):

It would not be good for kids who are six years-old.  The audio drama was not my thing.

I only liked the beginning and the end, because those times were happy.  There was not any killing or anything like that.

Dad’s Thoughts:

Dad was not available.   

Mama recommends!   

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Picture of the Week! (September 8, 2014)- Toys

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The children have fun playing with the toys I played with when I was little.