Saturday, October 26, 2013

Profiles of Valor

This summer, I wrote an Amazon review for Parenting from the Heart, an ebook written by author Marilyn Boyer of Character Concepts.  We ended up exchanging several emails and I mentioned my hope of teaching a class about the US Constitution for our homeschool co-op this fall.  Mrs. Boyer *very* graciously offered to send two of her books to use and review.  I was so excited!  How fabulous is that?!

Today, I will be talking about Profiles of Valor: Character Studies from the War of Independence, co-written by Grace Tumas.  This is a brand new book released this year.  It's written chronologically beginning with George Washington in 1755 and ending with Alexis de Tocqueville in 1832.  Each biography has been matched to a godly character quality.  Each chapter is similarly presented with a character quality and it's definition, a memory verse, short biography (perhaps better described as an event or several events that bear witness to this quality), followed by several thought-provoking questions that require more than a yes or no answer.

While I was not able to present the class as I had hoped, I was excited to read about our greatest document, and the battles, both spiritual and physical, waged to actualize it, to my own boys at home.  They are a bit younger and I wasn't sure how much of the readings they could follow.  I was pleasantly surprised when discussing US coins, weeks after we read about General Washington's bulletproof coat, and our six-year-old said something like, "Hey!  That's the guy who didn't die when he got shot by Indians."  I actually had to sit back and think to what he was referring! 

I was never very interested in history, but I really enjoy reading Profiles of Valor as a  family and learning about the many patriots, both men and women, who played a role in creating this great nation.  While we did notice a few typos, if you're raising patriots and would like to share the Christian beginnings of the United States of America with them, I recommend this book as well as the many other history products available from Character Concepts.

Monday, February 25, 2013

God Gave Us Easter

See the video preview HERE for the newest addition to the God Gave Us... series of books by Lisa Tawn Bergren.  I've enjoyed each of these books that I've read.  Sweet little polar bear cub has lots of questions for Mama and Papa Bear.  I think you'll enjoy this series also.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lazarus Awakening

You know how one thing leads to another and things get pushed back and put off and eventually you think you should just forget about and you feel guilty about not getting it done? Well, this book review is one of those things. I finished it ages ago. I couldn't let the review slide any longer though, for two reasons. 1) It would be stealing to accept a book for review and never review it and 2) I loved this book! How could I not share it with you?

Lazarus Awakening is the third book in Joanna Weaver's Bethany series. I've wanted to read Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World for a long time. Now I'd love to also read Having a Mary Spirit.

I loved everything about this book. Being a "why?" kind of girl, I enjoyed finding out a bit of Biblical background about culture and society as well as explanations about the original words used and their meanings. For example, two Greek words are translated in English as friend, philos and hetairos. Jesus used philos to describe Lazarus, meaning someone loved and dear. In Matthew 26:50, "And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus and took him" we might wonder why would Jesus refer to Judas as a friend. The Greek word used here was hetairos, more rightly meaning, according to Spiros Zodhiates, means to "establish a... deceptive and misleading friendship."

My husband teases me about all the highlighting I did in this book while reading it. It was just so full of wonderful thoughts. And such a difference from the last book I reviewed.

You can read the first chapter here.

There are wonderful resources and helps in the many appendices in this book, including a ten-week Bible Study. I somehow missed the red banner on the cover of this book with that information, so will be re-reading Lazarus Awakening while actually following the study.

I highly recommend this book. Remember, "good things come to those who wake."

I was provided with a free copy of this book by Waterbrook/Multnomah in exchange for my honest opinion.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Faith Box

I posted about My Faith Box over on my other blog. Check it out!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Lioness Arising

I signed up for Waterbrook/Multanomah's Blogging for Books, where I receive books for free in exchange for a review. This is my second book. BfB has a system whereby books are offered to you for review according to your interests. About the time I decided to choose my second book, there was a glitch online and I was only offered a very small selection in categories that didn't apply to me (think men's and ministry) plus a few women's books. One was Lioness Arising by Lisa Bevere.

Apparently, Lisa Bevere is a Christian author. A successful one. I'd never heard of her. No big deal, I've never heard of lots of Christian authors. I was intrigued though. Becoming a lioness would take me far out of my comfort zone, but I could use some shaking up. The jacket cover said this about Mrs. Bevere: "Passionate. EDGY. Relatable. POWERFUL. Funny." Funny. I like funny. So I began to read. In the five (out of 11) chapters I managed to choke down before I finally gave up, I did not glimpse this woman's humor. OK, it isn't a humorous topic. This is serious business, becoming a lioness for God. The entire first two chapters, all I read was "me, me, me, my, my, my, I, I, I". I forced myself to keep reading. I honestly wanted this book to get better. Finally, in chapter three, a nugget, a glorious wake-me-up nugget. Two pages later... Wait. Seriously? More of nothing. The chapter ended with a few pages more of "good stuff".

I don't have a lot of free reading time. I was wasting it all. I was so sick of her references to the reader as "lovely ones". That's something a dear friend of mine might say, but only because she is kooky like that. No one says that to strangers. I also didn't care for her use of The Message for most Biblical verses. Why would lionesses need a paraphrase? Give me the meat of a real Bible. Thankyouverymuch! On page 71, Mrs. Bevere mentions Christians being forced to denounce the Lord or be put to death. She references the Inquisition. Really? You can't think of any more current time/place where this same thing is going on? There are Christians martyred around the world all the time. Today.

In chapter 5, something comes up about her discomfort speaking in front of men though she is a lioness before women. My immediate thought (though this may be an unpopular stance) is that women have no business ministering to grown men. I don't believe it's Biblical. I'm not saying men can't listen to and even glean interesting insight from a woman's point of view. I am saying a man's pastor and main source of Biblical truth should come from men. Just moments later, Mrs. Bevere tells of a woman who felt the same way and shock! once she read her Bible, she came around to see just how wrong this belief is.

I read a few lines and concepts that I felt a take home message, like "...let's find our feet, turn around and run hard after God" and "God's love was supposed to be a banquet, not a burden" (referencing Matthew 23:4) but honestly, there's a little too much Lisa Bevere and not enough God. I cannot recommend this book. I see by the four pages at the beginning of the book, though, that plenty of others are happy to do that.

Want to read Chapter 1 for yourself? Here.

I was provided with a free copy of this book by Waterbrook/Multnomah in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Dragon and the Turtle

The Dragon and the Turtle is a cute little story of two new friends, a dragon and a turtle, natch! A little lost turtle is "shipwrecked" and his hungry new dragon friend helps him find his home. Using all of their senses, Padraig the dragon helps Roger the turtle find his home. What does Roger's house smell like? Why, it smells like chocolate chip snappers! Not sure what that smells like? Use the recipe in the back of the book to make a batch of your own pirate-y treats.

I absolutely adored the whimsical illustrations by Vincent Nguyen. They are so sweet. The story by Donita K Paul and Evangeline Denmark could be quite effective as a tool for use with children who need help learning how to make and be a friend. Introductions and hand shaking are woven seamlessly into the story as well as more subtle points, such as helping a friend in need rather than thinking only of ourselves.

Two pages in the back provide parents with helpful hints to facilitate a discussion with their children about Biblical friendship. For more fun with Padraig and Roger, visit their website here.

The boys and I all really enjoyed this book.

***I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.***

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Easy Lunchboxes

Easy Lunchboxes

What I loved about it.
I am always, always, always trying to make Friday School (co-op) lunches with a mismatched hodgepodge of various plasticware. If I find all the lids, nothing fits right in the lunch boxes or bags. I end up using two lunch bags or packing some things separately in the backpacks or even my purse. I was so excited to get the package on Thursday. That meant I could have a tidy lunch packed for the three of us.
  • I was able to pack each boy's lunch in their own container.
  • They had a clean place at the table for their food (no more reminding them over and over to put their sandwich in the bucket or on a napkin).
  • These are nice when you have no table, just place the container on your lap. (We did this in the car with the littles in their carseats.)
  • Take to a restaurant, divide your meal in half right away. No need for take out packaging.
  • Watching what you eat? Instant portion control.
  • Each lid has a different color, making it easy to personalize contents, and later, get the right container to the family member it belongs to.
Since three containers is the max this bag holds, I added my sandwich in with Xav's. The container is plenty deep to do that. That way, I still had plenty of room on top for three drinks and fruit and crackers for myself.

Things to consider.
  • The strap is short and not adjustable.
  • Only three containers fit in one bag.
  • I recommend one bag for every two people unless everyone needs a bag. That way you can fit two containers and extras (beverages, whole apples, etc.) in one bag.

* These opinions are my own. I was given no compensation for my review. I purchased my EasyLunchbox at a discount through I plan to review that experience another time.