Thursday, March 23, 2017

Without Warning by Joel C. Rosenberg Book Review 

As he prepares to deliver the State of the Union address, the president of the United States is convinced the Islamic State is on the run, about to be crushed by American forces once and for all. But New York Times foreign correspondent J. B. Collins tells the president he’s dead wrong. With the Middle East on fire, the Israeli prime minister dead, and Amman in ruins, Collins fears a catastrophic attack inside the American homeland is imminent. He argues that only an all-out manhunt to capture or kill Abu Kahlif—the leader of ISIS—can stop the attack and save American lives. But will the president listen and take decisive action before it’s too late?

My Thoughts:
At this point I can’t think of one book from Joel C. Rosenberg that I haven’t liked. They are all page turners, full of suspense, and keep me on the edge of my seat. All the events are believable and kind of eerie if you think about it too much. This is no light reading at 248 pages.
The characters are very realistic that you can’t help but, to like or even dislike them. It’s like an emotional rollercoaster with the good and bad guys. 
Joel’s faith weaves in and out throughout the page of his books.  I don’t like to give out spoilers but, one thing I can say is that the ending was amazing and I didn’t see it coming.
 If you have never read any of Joel C. Rosenberg’s books then you are missing out on some wonderful books.

I received a free copy of this product from Tyndale House Pulbishers in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this information accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Blogging Through the Alphabet-Letter J

A Net In Time Schooling

Letter J is for Joy
One thing I have noticed over my years of homeschooling is that moms seem to lose the joy of homeschooling. Everything starts out good and then discontentment sets in and robs the joy of homeschooling our precious kids. You are not alone as we all lose the joy of homeschooling from time to time.

We think our best is not good enough. We compare our children to other homeschool children. Their kids are doing so much better in certain areas and can name all the presidents, quote the constitution, do amazing crafts, and are grades ahead of my kid! Then you wonder what you are doing wrong. Oh wait their house is always clean and they do outside activities. Joy zapper don’t you think. We are our own worst enemy when it comes to homeschooling our children. We are also our own worst joy zapper.

Just because that may be what works for that family doesn’t mean it is what we should be doing. We always seem to notice our own weakness, but what about our strengths? Whether you realize it or not we have strengths and skills that other family may or may not have. 

The biggest joy zapper is discontentment and we need to appreciate what are kids are doing. Most homeschool moms are doing the best they can. Stop looking at others who homeschool or the homeschool blog that looks like they have the perfect curriculum, kids,  and the perfect homeschool. You are going to get zapped of your joy if you do.

True, it’s not easy to have joy if we are sick, days behind in school, the laundry is piled up, and dinner isn’t on the table when your husband comes home.  Let’s not forget that the kids are constantly fighting.

However, focusing on the things we do have, and realizing that we all have those days or even weeks is okay. Trust me I have weeks. I live with an autistic child with behavioral issues. Sometimes it seems to never end. 

Maybe you need to look at your goals or curriculum if your kids are really behind in some areas. Are we expecting them to do more than they can, or maybe they are bored. I found that out with my son when he was in third grade with language arts. I thought he was really behind and not getting it. He was flying through it at the speed of light and not doing so well.

 My friend suggested I give him a Pass Test at home. I did it reluctantly because; I was at the end of my rope. Boy was I surprised. He was several grades ahead in that particular subject in several areas and other areas he needed to review some topics. He was bored and it was too easy for him. When I asked him about it he told me, “It was boring and I already knew it so I just guessed the answers so it would be done with.” My thinking was that if he already knew it he would have not got so many answers wrong every time we did language arts. That didn’t seem very logical to me. For him it was logical. Now, he is challenged in language arts and let’s face it language arts is not his favorite subject. I just needed to adjust my curriculum.

Having a child with learning disabilities is a big challenge. Just about every curriculum I have to adjust for her. Now, that she is 14 I see her strengths and weaknesses academically and I build on the strengths and go slow and steady in her weakness. 

Lastly, God is our strength in all things. Even in homeschooling. Some days I find that I need to step back and spend some time with God. I need an adjustment myself and I'm blaming the kids and the curriculum. In reality I am the problem. MY heart needs a checkup. I pray daily for God to give me joy and to direct our homeschool.  I need God to help me to guide my children spiritually and academically. I want my kids academically to do better than I did. I want to also be realistic with their abilities. 

I make sure I wake up early before the kids get up to read and pray. I sure can tell the difference when I don’t get my time with God. Yes, I’m tired getting up early. Actually, I’m always tired if you want to know the truth. 

Remember don’t compare your kids progress to others it will just zap your joy. It’s okay to take a day off to refresh yourself. We homeschool moms have a 24/7 hour job that we can’t just leave at work and take care of it tomorrow. Our kids are worth it and I believe most of us homeschool because we want to invest into our kid’s hearts and academics. 

Don’t let discontentment creep in an be a joy zapper. When our joy is zapped it zaps the joy out of our kids too.

Other bloggers have joined in Blogging through the Alphabet.  Annette and Amanda are hosting this on their blogs. Stop by and see what they are blogging about with the letter J


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Thank You, God. for Grandpa by Amy Parker Book Review

Thank You, God, for Grandpas,For Pops and Papas too,For Granddads, Gramps, and Grandpappies— They’re great, grand gifts from You!

No matter what you call him, there is nothing like the love between a grandpa and his grandchild! With whimsical rhymes and charming illustrations, Thank You, God, for Grandpa encourages little ones to treasure God’s special gift of grandfathers.

Grandpas and their grandchildren alike will love this heartwarming story that celebrates their sweet relationship.

Amy Parker’s children’s books have sold more than 800,000 copies, including two Christian Retailing’s Best award-winning books and the bestselling A Night Night Prayer. She lives outside Nashville with her husband and two children.

My Thoughts:

This is the first book in this series of books that I have read. Oh my, this is an adorable book.

This is a board book with around 20 pages. It’s a perfect size for little hands to page through the pictures. The illustrations are done by Rosalinda Knightly. The pages are colorful and so much to discover on each page within the pictures. The illustrations will capture the imagination looking at all the details. There are varies animals and plants throughout the book.

The story is about two young gorillas going to spend the day with grandpa. Grandpa starts out giving them both big hugs. Grandpa teaches them all kinds of things. Granpa’s know how to do everything-right! He takes them fishing tells them stories when he was growing up, plays softball, spoils them with sweets, and even knows how to catch fireflies. The best and most important thing Grandpa does is teaches them how to pray and teaches the grandkids about Jesus.

What a sweet book that I would recommend.

I received a free copy of this product from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this information accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Creating a Masterpiece Homeschool Review Crew

For several years at our homeschool convention  Creating a Masterpiece  has been a vendor at our local convention. I have definitely looked at it several times. Art is just one of those subjects that I shy away from even though we all love art. I was really excited when Creating a Masterpiece came up for a review. I received the Monthly Plan for 6 months to all the levels.

 This is an extraordinary online art program that teaches art step by step. I don’t have to worry about my lack of ability teaching art. I have no excuse as I don't have to teach it myself and I can participate in creating my own masterpieces. I even have a lot of art supplies on hand.

All I need to do is have access to the internet. All the lessons are taught for you. There is a variety of projects and mediums for everyone. Creating a Masterpiece recommends that you use higher quality materials  for the projects. There is a link provided to an art supplier for the individual materials needed to complete the project. 

There are lessons for all age’s children and even children as young as 4 and 5 can create some amazing art masterpieces with this program. All of the lessons are taught by a master artist Sharon Hofer. She does a wonderful job introducing new mediums and even shares some of her techniques with her students. Currently, they have over 144 projects throughout all the levels and more are being added.

There are several levels available. Most of the Levels are broken up in smaller segments from 3 to 7 videos. The average lessons vary in time depending on project or even the child. Sharon recommends you not to rush to get the best results. The first 4 levels will average in time to 45 minutes to 1 ½ to complete a project. While the other levels can be a little more time wise. Most projects can be completed in a week or less.

I would recommend that you read the tips that are provided for each lesson prior to each lesson. Plan ahead in advance so you can order all the materials prior to starting a lesson. I planned for a few weeks in advance. I checked my supplies and ordered a few items I was low on or didn’t have. I was ready to go when we started the project. Plan to get messy especially for younger children with certain mediums. 

Beginners Level: 
The lessons are shorter. Sharon goes over some basic foundational art techniques. There is a plethora of art media introduced from watercolors, oil pastels, gouache, charcoal, an ink. The lessons are broken down in several lessons for beginners and younger children. 

Level 1:
In the art gallery online there are some amazing projects done with kids as young as 4 in this level. I guess I have no excuse being able to do art myself. The foundations of soft pastels, pencil drawings, silk dying, acrylic painting, earthenware sculpture, and colored pencils are covered.  

Level 2:
This level is for a student who has some art instruction. It will go over some of the mediums taught in the other levels and incorporate new mediums into the program. Some of the new instruction in this level will teach block printing, basic glass mosaic, stippling in ink, acrylics, sculptures, and soft pastels.  

Level 3:
More advanced skill levels with glass mosaic, three dimensional acrylic painting, silk painting. This will build upon previous learned techniques in more advanced masterpieces.  

Level 4:
Color theory is taught at a more advanced level. Watercolor pencils, learning to work with copper, oil pastels, a new way of working with silk dyes.

Level 5:
This level is intended for students looking to fine tune your artistic ability. One of drawing concepts works on the fine details of distinguish some differnences in the gender and age of a person’s face while sketching it. Carving with foam and making it look like wood. More ink, watercolor techniques are taught. A new medium with Conte’ Crayons is taught. Lessons are broken up in smaller portions with an average up to 1 ½.

Art in History:
This is the newest addition to Creating a Masterpiece. This is a hands-on-approach to learning about the life of artist and the era that they lived in. You will create your own masterpiece of the era in history. More projects will be added in this level. The projects will vary in skill level. Some students 6-9 will be able to complete some of the projects. Older students will be able to do all the projects.

How Did I Use Creating a Masterpiece in My Homeschool?

I have to say that this is an amazing art instruction program. I have enjoyed doing these projects myself with both of my kids. My daughter had difficulties with some of the projects due to her disabilities and her arthritis has been attacking her hands and wrist recently. She did what she could and enjoyed getting her hands dirty.

We have done most of our projects in the Beginning Level, Level 1, Level 2, and one in Level 3. This has been so much fun and all of us have learned so much with art and have explored mediums that we haven’t used a lot. 

Little Man created this using one of his photos he took for photography.

My son liked to go outside of the projects and add his own touch to the projects. One project was in the Beginners Level- Lessons in Watercolor: African Sunset. He liked the blowing in the straw effect to make the trees. He had a photo that he had taken in photography of a sunset with trees looking like a silhouette. He copied his photo to make the project. I was impressed with how it came out. Now, I just need to convince him to work with pastels again. He had someone when he was much younger use pastels on his face. Let's just say it didn't come out easily. It was an extreme art masterpiece that left his face stained for awhile. I think he would really enjoy working with pastels. I plan on doing a project myself with it and maybe he will decide that he likes pastels again.

I plan on continue using this in our homeschool and next time at the convention I won’t shy away from it to add to my homeschool budget. This is really worth it. It’s a top notch online art program.

Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew have been reviewing this. Stop by and see what masterpieces they have created.
Social Media Links:


#hsreviews #artinstruction #homeschoolart #onlineartprogram


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