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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Word for 2014

Intentional - it's my word for 2014 because it's how I desire to live in the new year... 

Intentional in my spiritual growth.

Intentional in my marriage.

Intentional in my gift of being a mother.

Intentional in my relationships.

Intentional in our homeschool.

Intentional is defined on as "done with intention or on purpose". So for me to be intentional in these five areas, it would make sense to map out a plan, don't you think?


Intentional in My Spiritual Growth

  • Spend time with God every day in prayer and reading His Word
  • Bible study with my Good Morning Girls group
  • Scripture memorization
  • Read quality books by Christian authors (my reading list for 2014)

Intentional in My Marriage

  • Pray daily for my husband
  • Speak words of encouragement
  • Encourage his spiritual growth
  • Speak his love language
  • Do a marriage-building activity together (marriage devotional, marriage conference, etc.)

Intentional in My Gift of Being a Mother

  • Encourage their personal relationships with Jesus
  • One-on-one quality time
  • Pray daily for them
  • Speak their love language

Intentional in My Relationships

  • Pray for the needs of my family and friends
  • Call family and friends more often
  • Visit family and friends more often

Intentional in My Homeschool

  • Begin every homeschool day in prayer
  • Continue to plan 6 weeks out
  • Offer words of encouragement and praise
  • Scripture memorization for my son

So why do I want to be intentional in the new year? Well, as I get older, I'm realizing more and more the value of making every moment count. The life we have been given on this earth is temporary. Our true home (for those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior) is in Heaven. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow, so we must live each day to the honor and glory of God, with hands intentionally opened and outstretched, in the areas God has placed us in. It's only by His grace working in and through me that I will be able to live intentionally in 2014.

I found the following two verses that give me hope and encouragement as I head into the new year with the desire to be intentional. If you desire to be intentional in the new year too, I hope these verses speak to your heart as well! 

"And let us not grow weary while doing good, 
for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." (Galatians 6:9)

"Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established." (Proverbs 16:3)

Happy New Year's Eve! Thanks for a great 2013!

Walking in His Grace,


So, how about you have a Word for 2014? If so, I'd love to know what it is. Feel free to share it in the comments below and why you chose it.  

Need some inspiration for picking your Word for 2014? Find all you need from others on the Schoolhouse Review Crew who are also sharing their Word for 2014! 

Word for 2014

Weeding Out Wheat {Book Review}

Problems Eating Wheat

As a member of the Bow of Bronze Launch Team, when the opportunity arose a couple of months ago to be on the launch team for WeedingOut Wheat: A Simple, Scientific, Faith-Based Guide, I eagerly accepted the offer because of a desire to finally try and understand what all the fuss is about in going "wheat-free" or "gluten-free". Also because I've quietly suspected for some time now that my son and I both have sensitivities to gluten. I say "quietly" because I've not taken the plunge to totally weed out wheat from my daily life. Honestly, I can't imagine my life without pasta. My husband will be quick to tell you I could eat it every day if I had to. Lately though, I'm not liking so much the way I feel...

When I read through the pages of Weeding Out Wheat: A Simple, Scientific, Faith-Based Guide, there were times as I read the chapters in the section titled, "Wheat Gone Wild" that my jaw literally dropped open as Luke and Trisha Gilkerson, the authors, described the changes that have taken place in wheat production over the years...changes that our bodies simply cannot handle...and the 55 diseases (gasp!) that could be caused by consuming gluten, a protein in wheat. They have written their research findings in such a way that anyone can understand. My eyes have truly been opened!

Breaking Up is Hard to Do!

Now that I'm armed with the truth, I cannot begin to tell you the guilty twinges that course through my mind as I prepare meals that contain wheat for my family. We have some form of it every single day. I have to make changes - HARD changes, but they must be made. I see the effects of wheat, not only in myself, but also in my son. It's going to have to be a gradual weeding out of the wheat in our home. I know it will be good for us. I look forward to the benefits of leading a wheat-free life.

After all, I sure do love my health and the health of my son more than that big plate of pasta!

Recipes for a New Lifestyle

I appreciate so much that Luke and Trisha don't just dump a bunch of research findings in your lap, tell you how they've weeded out wheat, and send you on your merry way. No, you'll find a link just before the Table of Contents where you can sign up to receive a FREE copy of their soon-to-be released cookbook (early 2014) containing their family's favorite wheat-free recipes. I can't wait...I'm going to need all the help I can get!

What About Faith?

Part of the description included in the title is "faith-based guide", but as a Christian I've honestly never put the two together when considering whether or not to lead a wheat-free life. Obviously, some have, and Luke and Trisha do a wonderful job reconciling their concerns in the chapters of the section titled, "Is Wheat-Free Biblical?". The Word of God is a very important part of my life. Even though I have never questioned whether going wheat-free is "Biblical", I appreciated their efforts to include this section to reconcile the concerns others may have.

My Recommendation

To say that I've walked away from this book with a new perspective is absolutely correct! I've kept the idea of going "wheat-free/gluten-free" tucked away in the back corner of my mind (underneath my LOVE for pasta!), but that's all changed since reading Weeding Out Wheat: A Simple, Scientific, Faith-Based Guide. Yes, breaking up is going to be very hard to do, but I will not miss AT ALL the negative effects (that I have graciously spared you in this review - you're welcome!) that my son and I both have suffered from for far too long. The time for our family to weed out wheat has come. If you've been struggling to decide if going wheat-free is right for you and your family, then you will most definitely want to read Weeding Out Wheat: A Simple, Scientific, Faith-Based Guide. It is available for purchase at Luke and Trisha's website, Intoxicated on Life

Blessings on your journey to weed out wheat, 


Monday, December 30, 2013

Beginning the New Year with a 40 Day Juice Fast {Free Printable}

It's almost time to ring in 2014! When I think of the new year, I think of new beginnings...a time to start with fresh vision as I reflect on where my life has been and my hopes for the road ahead. I can think of no better way to gain a fresh vision for my life than to surrender it completely into the loving hands of my Father in Heaven with a 40 day juice fast.

For the past two years, I've brought in the new year with the Daniel Fast, but when a group of my blogging friends decided to do a juice fast, I decided {after much prayerful consideration} to join the others of the group who are choosing to do a 40 day juice fast. Now please understand that I'm not writing this post or doing this juice fast to draw attention to myself - no, not at all. This journey I'm about to begin is going to take the grace of God moving through me to get me to the end of the 40 days. It will be a time of spiritual growth as I seek the face of God with intentionality and focused purpose. If you've been reading here for a while, hopefully you know by now that I strongly believe in the empowering presence of God - His grace - that enables me to be who He created me to be and to do what He has called me to do. This year's fast is no different. I believe God is calling me to do this - something beyond myself - so that His grace can be magnified in and through me. It's a call to the complete surrender of my will in order to walk in obedience to what I feel to be His call at this particular point of my life.

I'm sharing my heart with you today so that I can ask for your prayers for me and the others who will be taking this journey with me. There are many on my prayer list who I will be interceding for during the 40 day juice fast which begins on January 1, 2014. There are areas of my life that need the touch of the mighty hand of God. I want more of God in 2014...more of Him and less of me...this is my heart's desire.

I have to admit I'm nervous about starting this 40 day juice fast on January 1. My spirit is willing, but I know how weak my flesh is. Realizing this, I have made a 40 Day Juice Fast Scripture & Prayer Journal printable that I'm going to be using to feed my spirit during this 40 day journey with Jesus. It's the main reason I'm writing this post today. I want to share my 40 Day Juice Fast Scripture & Prayer Journal with anyone else who may be on the same journey as I am on at the beginning of the new year. It is my gift to you, and I hope it will be a blessing to you on your 40 day juice fasting journey. Not feeling a call from God to do a 40 day juice fast? That's can still download this printable to use to bring in the new year with a focus on your relationship with God.

Click on this link to get your free copy of my 40 Day Juice Fast Scripture & Prayer Journal
 (This printable is my gift to you. If you choose to share it, please do so by directing others to this blog post where they can download it for their own personal use. Thank you!)

My prayers are with you all! May 2014 be a year filled with all the blessings of walking in the grace of Almighty God!

May God's Grace Abound in You, 


Monday, December 23, 2013

My Reading List for 2014

I love to read, and since we are almost ready to say goodbye to 2013, I thought I would create a reading list for 2014. I did not get to read as many books this year as I had hoped, but then again, I didn't sit down to make a reading list either. The books I did enjoy reading this year include:  

I have blog posts on the book studies I did this year with What Happens When Women Say Yes to God and How to Control Your Emotions So They Don't Control You: A Mom's Guide to Overcoming. I really enjoyed reading these books with other like-minded women - we learned a lot! If you've never been a part of a book study, I highly recommend it. I'm praying about leading a book study of Putting on the Spirit: Ten-Minute Devotions for Busy Moms in the new year, so stay tuned...I'd love to have you join me!

I hope to read more in 2014, so with that goal in mind I thought I'd better come up with a written plan. My goal is to read one book a month.

I enjoy reading books for spiritual growth (my Bible being my main source). I'm always on the lookout for books that fit into this category. Whenever I find a deal in our local Christian bookstore or a freebie for my Kindle or Nook, I always get it! Needless to say, I have lots of titles to choose from on my Kindle and Nook. I also have a bookshelf in our homeschool room that holds the books I have enjoyed as well as the books I've bought with the intention of reading one day. To say it was hard to pick from such a plethora is an understatement! I even requested book recommendations of a pastor friend who enjoys reading as much as I do. I'm so glad I did because I found some great books from his suggestions that I'm looking forward to reading.

So after much thought and consideration, here is my reading list for 2014...

January - A Mind for God by Dr. James Emery White

February - Gideon by Priscilla Shirer

March - A Woman's High Calling by Elizabeth George 

April - The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee

May - The Power of Suffering: Strengthening Your Faith in the Refiner's Fire by John MacArthur

June - Be Committed (Ruth & Esther): Doing God's Will Whatever the Cost by Warren Wiersbe 

July - Women Living Well: Find Your Joy in God, Your Man, Your Kids, and Your Home by Courtney Joseph

August - The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer

September - The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

October - Just Like Jesus by Max Lucado

November -  Knowing God by J.I. Packer

December - God in the Manger by John MacArthur

I didn't realize it would be so hard to make my choices...there are so many wonderful books that I wanted to include! Who knows, maybe I'll be disciplined enough to read more than one book per month. We'll see! I'll keep you updated on what I'm reading each month with a blog post. about you have a reading list for 2014? I'd love to hear if you do, and the titles you have on your list, so please share in the comments!

Walking in His Grace, 


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Science in the Beginning Review

Science is a subject in our homeschool that I find challenging. Most science textbooks are very dry and wordy. Add to that the expensive lab supplies that you have to purchase in order to do the experiments, and you've got a very unhappy moma who is trying her best to teach science in her homeschool.

I was so happy to have the opportunity to review Science in the Beginning by Dr. Jay Wile in our homeschool. This is the first book in his new elementary science series. I've heard many good things about his high school science books, so I was really looking forward to getting our copy of Science in the Beginning. The day our book arrived I immediately began looking through the pages and was very pleased with what I saw.

What's Included in Science in the Beginning?

There are a total of 90 lessons in this science book. There are 15 lessons for each day of Creation found in Genesis. Three of those lessons are optional "challenge" lessons. Dr. Wile gives two options for scheduling the lessons so that you can either do one lesson every other day allowing you to cover all the lessons in a typical 180 academic year, or you can do two lessons a week which is a great option if your children aren't necessarily begging to do science every other day.

There are experiments included for every lesson that do not require expensive equipment. Many of the required items are things you will most likely already have in your home. A convenient list is included in the introduction of all the items needed for the experiments. Items used in the challenge lessons are listed in red. This is very helpful for those who choose not to do the challenge lessons. Long-term experiments are not a surprise the day of the lesson because Dr. Wile places a note in a yellow box at the end of the previous day's lesson informing you the next lesson's experiment will take some time to complete.

There is a lesson review included at the end of every lesson which is divided according to the ages of your children. Younger students, older students, and oldest students each will have their own review that will not overwhelm, but will be a nice ending to their lesson. This is perfect for those who are homeschooling multiple-aged children.

The Helps and Hints booklet is an additional resource for the parent that contains the answers to the review questions, tests, and test answers. It is included with your purchase of Science in the Beginning.

You can find downloads for the table of contents, a text sample, a lab supply list by lesson, a consolidated lab supply list and the scope and sequence on Berean Builders if you want to take a look for yourself before you decide to buy. You can order Science in the Beginning from Berean Builders for only $39!

Our Experience with Science in the Beginning

We have been using Science in the Beginning for about two months now in our homeschool. We have completed Lessons 1-12 that focus on the first Day of Creation (Light). I'm choosing not to use the challenge lessons simply because of my son's special needs. I love how well-written these lessons are! Dr. Wile writes as though he is sitting there with you carrying on a conversation. He explains science in a way that my son and I can understand. I've really enjoyed learning alongside my son things that I had either forgotten or never even learned (in public school) since Dr. Wile writes from a creation standpoint. The experiments have given us hands-on application of what was taught in the lesson, and were easy to do with the step-by-step directions given by Dr. Wile. Best of all, my son actually wants to do science with Science in the Beginning! It's been a great addition to our homeschool!

I love that there is a Question/Answer service available to use if help is needed. If I get stuck or confused about something, I can go to to ask my question. Registration to this website is free, and all previously answered questions are there for you to search as well.  

To find out more about Science in the Beginning and the other titles in this elementary series from Dr. Jay Wile himself, you can go to his blog. I'm already looking forward to using the rest of his science books that will be coming out in this series!

Happy Homeschooling,


*Disclaimer: I was given copy of Science in the Beginning in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, December 13, 2013 Yearly Membership Option Review

I am super excited to share this review with you today as part of the TOS Review Crew! I received a free yearly membership option to in exchange for my honest review. Trust me when I say you'll want to grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea, get in a quiet room alone (as hard as that is for us moms to do!), and spend a few minutes here with me as I tell you about my experience so far with my yearly membership option at
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What's Included with the Yearly Membership Option?

The yearly membership option to includes online access to daily, weekly, and monthly lessons for over 50 courses which include core subjects as well as electives for your Pre-K through High School homeschool students, access to teachers if you have questions about any of the classes or content, a free online record-keeping system, monthly reading lists, checklists to track the courses you are using with your kids, special needs units, family nutrition lessons, downloads and links needed to complete the lessons, and so much more! You can go to to find out more about what's included in the yearly membership option. You'll also find a site tour on their website which I highly recommend viewing.

Just look at all these extras that are included with the yearly membership option!
  • TOS Family Discount Codes (special savings from an amazing line-up of homeschool companies)
  • Monthly Bonus E-books to add to your homeschool library (monthly e-book bundles; a total of 149 titles)
  • Schoolhouse Expo Video Recordings (listen in the comfort of your home at a time that is convenient for you)
  • Schoolhouse Planners (5 different planners to choose from: regular, special learners, primary, middle and high school)
  • The Old Schoolhouse Magazine subscription (and back issues you may have missed)

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What's the Cost?

A yearly membership option for is only $139 which includes access to Pre-K through High School content. In my opinion, this is an awesome deal considering all of the quality content, downloads and links for lessons, and teacher access I will have at my fingertips on a daily basis for a whole year. Don't forget about all the extras that come with the yearly membership option as well.

What I Love About

Oh my goodness, this could take a while! But I know how busy you are, so I'll try not to keep you too long. {smile} One of the great benefits of the yearly subscription option for is that you will have access to grades Pre-K through High School. If you are homeschooling multiple children this yearly membership will be a tremendous savings for your family because you will have all of the core subjects and electives you will need to homeschool all of your children! They provide all of the downloads and links needed to complete the lessons - truly making my job as a homeschooling mom a little bit easier. I also love that all the lessons are archived at so that there are always plenty of quality lessons to choose from in addition to the current month's lessons. So if what has been planned for the current month isn't something you or your child want to use in your homeschool, then you can go into the archived lessons to find something different to use instead. What I love most about is the fact that I have access to the Pre-K/Elementary section as well as the Middle/High School section. This is a tremendous benefit to me because my son has special needs so it takes him longer to catch on in certain subjects. For example, although my son is in the 7th grade, he is on a lower level in math so I have to take that into consideration when planning his math lessons. With the option to go up and down grade levels on the website, I can meet his particular needs in the subject of math. That makes me very happy!

How We Used 

In order to give you an idea of how we used our yearly membership option for, I went through all of the core subjects and electives and picked a couple of lesson choices for us to use in our homeschool. Since we are in the Christmas season, I chose one lesson that reflected the season that I knew my son and I both would enjoy. Here is what we did during our first week using our yearly membership option for

Lapbook for The Gift of the Magi 

Everything that I needed for this lesson was found on the website under the Lapbook heading in the Middle/High School section. I printed off the story from my computer so that Caleb and I could cuddle up together on our cozy reading chair. I had some green and purple card stock that I used to print the mini-books on. I also printed off the instructions for each mini-book. With all the necessary components printed, I grabbed our scissors, glue stick, and stapler and we headed off into our schoolroom. We took our place on our cozy reading chair and Caleb listened intently and followed along as I read The Gift of the Magi. The ending of the story really surprised Caleb, but the moral of putting others before yourself was not missed by him either. Once we finished the story, we headed to the desk to work on the mini-books for the lapbook.

The first mini-book Caleb worked on was for vocabulary words from the story. I downloaded and printed the vocabulary list that was provided. Caleb doesn't like to write because his hands tire after writing for long periods of time, but these mini-books were enjoyable for him because they didn't take that long for him to complete.

Caleb was very proud of how his first mini-book turned out for this lapbook project. Don't you love his pose here holding his completed vocabulary words mini-book!

Once this mini-book was finished, we moved on to the next one in The Gift of the Magi lapbook, which was listing the character traits of Jim and Della who are the main characters of the story. The directions that were provided told us to go back through the story to find clues to their character traits. As we found them, I wrote the character traits for Jim and Della on the whiteboard. Then I had Caleb copy the character traits to the mini-book I had printed off from

There were a total of six mini-books that Caleb made throughout the week to go into his lapbook for The Gift of the Magi. Caleb learned some great new vocabulary words from the story, he persevered through the writing that was involved, and created a beautiful lapbook that he was so proud of (and this moma was proud too)! We both enjoyed this wonderful Christmas story reminding us of the importance of putting others before ourselves.

Science: Paper Plate Optical Illusion Experiment

Jason Lindsey aka "Mr. Science" with Hooked on Science brings the weekly science experiment lessons on This was an amazing experiment that used a paper plate to explain how the optic nerves in our eyes send signals to our brain, which then interprets what we see. Included in the downloadable PDF instruction file for this science experiment were science safety precautions, ingredients list, and instructions for completing the science experiment. I printed off the instructions and read aloud the science safety precautions, Caleb gathered the items needed for the experiment, and we followed the instructions that were given for the paper plate optical illusion experiment. This was a fun experiment that both Caleb and I enjoyed! After we completed the experiment, we watched "Mr. Science" explain the optical illusion in a YouTube video link posted on the Science lesson page at

Schoolhouse Planners

Remember the 5 different Schoolhouse Planners I mentioned as one of the great extras that come with the yearly membership option? Well, I chose to download the Special Learners planner to use since my sweet Caleb fits into that category. I love everything that is included in this lovely planner: articles written by mothers of special learners, calendars, planning pages, homeschool individualized IEP, medical and therapy forms, weekly food and behavior diaries, household organizational charts, and my most favorite - task analysis cards to help teach life skills. I am really going to enjoy using this planner that was so well thought out!

My Opinion of the Yearly Membership Option for

I could not be more satisfied with my experience with the yearly membership option for! I am totally amazed by the high quality content available for Pre-K through High School homeschoolers, by the wonderful team of teachers who provide the lessons, all of the downloads and links, and the affordable price of $139 for the yearly membership option. I absolutely LOVE, and I'm so thankful to have the affordable yearly membership option that I can use for our homeschool! My son has really enjoyed the lessons I picked for him. The variety of choices available will ensure that he never complains of being "bored" again in our homeschool. has been a blessing to us, and we will definitely enjoy having the yearly membership option! 

Don't miss out on this amazing and affordable option for your homeschool! The yearly membership option is only $139. Visit today and see for yourself. I think you'll be just as amazed as I was!

Until Next Time Friends,

Be sure to check out what others on the TOS Review Crew had to say about

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Putting on the Spirit: Ten-Minute Devotions for Busy Moms ~ Review

I have had the honor of being on the launch team for a wonderful devotional for all of us Supermom wanna-be's. The e-book devotional is Putting on the Spirit: Ten-Minute Devotions for Busy Moms by Katie Hornor and it is now available for Kindle on Amazon in English and Spanish! You can get your copy (English only) for FREE today (Tuesday, December 10, 2013) only. After today, it will be .99 cents December 11-13. The regular price of $4.99 is still a great deal for this 28-day devotional on the Fruit of the Spirit. Once you have your e-book, be sure to get your FREE workbook that is available as a download on Katie's blog, Paradise Praises. Want to know more about the woman behind Putting on the Spirit: Ten-Minute Devotions for Busy Moms? Then be sure to read my author interview post to find out more about Katie Hornor.

28-Day Journey

Get ready to be led on an amazing journey through Galatians 5:22-23 with Katie lovingly leading the way! Take a look at what our daily focus will be during our 28-day journey through Putting on the Spirit: Ten-Minute Devotions for Busy Moms:
  • Days 1-3: Putting on Love 
  • Days 4-6: Putting on Joy 
  • Days 7-9: Putting on Peace 
  • Days 10-12: Putting on Longsuffering 
  • Days 13-14: Putting on Gentleness 
  • Days 15-17: Putting on Goodness
  • Days 18-22: Putting on Faith
  • Days 23-25: Putting on Meekness
  • Days 26-27: Putting on Temperance
  • Day 28: The Whole Fruit

I love how Katie takes her time sharing about the fruit, which allows us to plant the truths of Galatians 5:22-23 deep within our hearts so that we can grow and develop the Fruit of the Spirit within our own personal lives.  

Laying Aside My Supermom Cape

Katie does a terrific job showing us how we can lay aside our Supermom know, trying to do everything in our own that we can clothe ourselves with the Fruit of the Spirit. She takes us through the fruit found in Galatians 5:22-23 in just 10 minutes a day. You'll notice as you go through the devotional and workbook study that no one piece of fruit is discussed without mentioning another fruit in conjunction. If you are like me, as you take this journey with Katie, there will be many beautiful, new discoveries made about the Fruit of the Spirit. I love how she uses the analogy of an orange to make her point so clear on the last day. Our Christian life is built on the whole Fruit of the Spirit, and with God's help, we can clothe ourselves with His characteristics as we put on the Fruit of the Spirit instead of trying to do everything in our own strength. It's truly been a new revelation to me that I don't have to master one fruit before moving on to the next - they are all parts of a whole! I don't think God is finished planting this truth deep within my heart. I feel like He is leading me to do a book study of Putting on the Spirit: Ten-Minute Devotions for Busy Moms in the new year. Stay tuned friends, and be sure to get your FREE copy of this amazing devotional e-book today and the workbook download, so you'll be ready to join me in the book study next year!

Learning to Put on the Spirit,


Monday, December 9, 2013

Advent: The Candle of Hope

A Little R & R

Today I'm guest posting for Rosilind Jukic from A Little R & R. I hope you'll join me there today as I talk about the Hope we have as Christians. While you are there, please take a moment to look around. Rosilind created A Little R & R as a place for encouragement where women can gather and journey together as we embrace our God-given roles - knowing that we are who God has created us to be. She truly shares my heart about the grace of God. I blog about that same grace here at Grace-Filled-Moments - the grace that empowers me to be who God has created me to be and to do what He has called me to do. Walking in the power of God's grace is one of the many hopes we have as daughters of the King. Please join me now at A Little R & R as I share more about the Hope we have during this Advent season.

May God's Grace Abound in You,

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Time4Learning: Online Educational Program

*Disclaimer: As a member of Time4Learning, I have been asked to review their online education program and share my experiences. While I was compensated, this review was not written or edited by Time4Learning and my opinion is entirely my own. Write your own curriculum review or learn how to use their curriculum for homeschool, after school study or summer learning.
Are you looking for an online educational program that has it all? Well, today your search ends! I'd like to share with you today my experience with a one month trial of Time4Learning in this review.

Introducing Time4Learning
Time4Learning is an online educational program that provides everything you need whether your goal is to homeschool your child, provide after-school study time (instead of an expensive tutor), or keep your student's skills sharpened throughout the summer. This online educational program truly has it all for Preschool through 12th grade!

What's Included with Time4Learning?
  • Math, Language Arts, Phonics, Reading, Science, Social Studies for Preschool through 8th grade
  • High School courses include English (1, 2, 3, and 4), Math (Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus), Science (Biology, Earth/Space Science, Physical Science, Chemistry, Physics) and Social Studies (US History 1, World History, US Government/Civics, US History 2, Geography)
  • A parent forum so you can connect with other parents who are using Time4Learning
  • An activity scheduler to help you plan
  • Detailed lesson plans to view and use
  • Activities, quizzes, and tests
  • Progress reports to stay up-to-date on how your child is doing
  • Student records
  • Games that are a fun way to learn
  • Odyssey Writer word processing component used within Language Arts for student writing
  • Spelling words list for K-8th grade
  • Science supply list for 3rd-6th grade 
  • And much more!

What is the Cost of Time4Learning?
You will be amazed at the low price considering all that you get with Time4Learning! It is very affordable at only $19.95 per month for the first child and $14.95 for each additional child enrolled in the Pre-K through 8th grade curriculum. For the high school student, the price is only $30 per month for 4 courses.

My Review of Time4Learning
Time4Learning was an excellent supplement in our homeschool. My son really enjoyed the change of pace that Time4Learning allowed us. I was amazed with all that is included with Time4Learning and that it is so affordable. Here are some of my thoughts I jotted down of our experience as we incorporated Time4Learning into our current homeschool curriculum.

  • Looking around on the site trying to familiarize myself with it. Very impressed with everything that is included.
  • Did about an hour's worth of homeschool today on Time4Learning. Caleb enjoyed the funny characters in the Language Arts Extension. He’s excited about The Black Stallion work we did in the Language Arts section today. I will be adding this book to our reading so we can enjoy it along with the activities on this site. 
  • We took a trip to the library today to check out The Black Stallion. We will use the activities listed for this book in our book study. 
  • We worked in the Math module today on addition with regrouping. I found this to be very helpful as a review of what Caleb has already learned in math. Time4Learning fits in perfectly with our math curriculum. I did have a little trouble on the flashcards because at first I couldn’t find the “flip card” tab to click because there wasn’t a scroll bar to the right of the page. I finally figured out that I simply needed to press the down arrow key on my computer. Ha! 
  • Worked again in Math today with addition w/regrouping. It’s very exciting for me to see Caleb do so well in this lesson after all of his hard work in learning his addition problems. We also worked in Language Arts. Caleb picked An American Safari to work on today. He’s getting good at maneuvering around on the site. I’m also enjoying this site. 
  • I love how Time4Learning allows us to go up a grade level and down a grade level of our current level. This is helpful because if Caleb cannot do the work on the level we are signed up for, then I can easily switch to the lower level to allow him to learn up to the needed level. Same applies if he can do the work, we can go on to the next level. I also like that I can see a work report of the daily work Caleb has completed in his portfolio. 
  • We worked in Social Studies today. It was exciting to see topics that we have already covered in our history curriculum. I’m thrilled that I can use Time4Learning along with our history curriculum!
Time4Learning could easily be used as a full curriculum for any homeschooler.  My son and I both have been happy with our experience using Time4Learning as a supplement to our current curriculum. One thing I would suggest is offering a summer month rate option for those who do not homeschool, but would like to use Time4Learning during the summer month's to help keep their child's skills sharp.

Have you tried Time4Learning yet? If not, you can check out their demos on the Time4Learning website.

Until Next Time,


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Devotions from the Torah Review & Giveaway!

If you are looking for a series of devotional books that will take you on a beautiful journey through the Torah, then Devotions from Genesis and Devotions from Exodus Part One are what you want! These two devotionals are a part of the wonderful Devotions from the Torah series by Nicole Halbrooks Vaughn, and are available now on Amazon. I have been so blessed to add these two devotionals to my personal library for spiritual growth! I will definitely be on the lookout for the third devotional in this series, Devotions from Exodus Part Two, that is currently in the works.


Introduction to Devotions from Genesis

Devotions from Genesis
See for yourself how Genesis, the book of beginnings, is not just ancient history and that the Word of God is still alive and timeless. Nicole Vaughn’s Devotions from Genesis will take you on a journey from the garden of Eden to the courts of Pharaoh in Egypt, allowing you to see your own hurts, struggles, and joys through the lives of patriarchs from Adam to Joseph. You will gain insight into your heart and more importantly, insight into the very heart of God. One day at a time, you will be reminded that you are not alone with these Devotions from Genesis.

Devotions from Genesis is divided into three sections following the Introduction:
  1. Genesis 1–11: Discovering the Character of God and Man through the Creation, the Fall, and the Flood
  2. Genesis 12–36: Discovering Faith and Obedience through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
  3. Genesis 37–50: Discovering the Comings of Christ and Trust in the Midst of Trial through the Life of Joseph
Amazon Price: Paperback $12.59 and Kindle $8.95


Introduction to Devotions from Exodus Part One 

Devotions from Exodus Part One
Devotions From Exodus Part One will take you from the bondage of the children of Israel to their freedom. The children of Israel were set free from their bondage in Egypt, and they had to learn how to live in this new freedom. As you study through these first twenty chapters of Exodus, you will see that after God delivered the children of Israel out of Egypt, he still had to get Egypt out of them. Our deliverance in Christ is no different. God delivers us from the world, but he still has to get the world out of us. We, like the Israelites, are learning to live in this freedom.

Devotions from Exodus Part One is divided into four sections following the Introduction:
  1. Moses Meets the I Am (Exodus 1-6)
  2. The Plagues (Exodus 7-15:21)
  3. Entering the Wilderness (Exodus 15:22-19)
  4. The Giving of the Law (Exodus 20:1-26) 
Amazon Price: Paperback $12.59 and Kindle $8.49

My Review of Devotions from Genesis

I received a copy of both books in this devotional series and chose to use Devotions in Genesis first - after all it is the book of beginnings! There are no specific dates to this devotional so feel free to take your time on your journey. Linger in God's Word as you discover Him more deeply through your study of the book of Genesis. Let the truth of the Scriptures sink deep into your heart as Nicole opens your eyes in ways you've never experienced before in this book of beginnings. I would suggest getting a special notebook to go along with Devotions in Genesis so you can write down your thoughts as the Holy Spirit whispers to your heart. Believe me, He will.

Each day I began my devotional time with prayer and asked God to open my eyes to things I had never seen before in Genesis. Next I read the chapter of Genesis that the daily devotional topic was based on. Nicole takes one verse and explains it so that the reader can understand and then she applies it to us today - I was amazed by how wonderfully Nicole weaved the two together! The daily devotional is ended with a heartfelt prayer from Nicole. And believe me, by the time you are done with the daily devotional it becomes your heartfelt prayer too!

There is no way for me to fully explain my personal experience with Devotions from Genesis. You truly have to experience it for yourself. I hope that what I have been able to share with you today will encourage you to get your copy of both of these beautifully written devotionals that are available now on Amazon.

But wait friends...

I have 3 PDF copies of  
Devotions from Genesis and Devotions from Exodus Part One
 as a special giveaway to 3 winners!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to Nicole for making this special giveaway possible! I am so excited to be able to offer this to 3 lucky winners! These two wonderful devotionals will be a blessing to your spiritual life as they have been to mine!

Growing in Christ Together,

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Christmas Traditions

I love having Christmas traditions with my family! Today I'll be sharing some of my family's favorite Christmas traditions that we have enjoyed over the years and new ones that we are adding this year. I hope you will enjoy a peek into our life and find a Christmas tradition here that you would like to start this year with your family.

Messer Family Christmas Traditions
  • Christmas Eve Pajamas - Every year I go shopping for Christmas themed pajamas for me and my daughter. Last year I tried including my son, but he didn't seem that interested (just like his This year I'll also be buying for my sweet son-in-law, Jonathan! Maybe he will want to join in on the fun of opening up pajamas on Christmas!
  • Happy Birthday Jesus Cake - Now this is a Messer family Christmas tradition that everyone enjoys! Every night on Christmas Eve we bake a cake to celebrate Jesus' birthday. Then on Christmas morning, we all sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and eat birthday cake for breakfast. Super mom points every time!
  • Word of the Year Christmas Ornament - This is a Christmas tradition we began last December. We searched for a Christmas ornament to hang on our tree that described how we experienced God throughout the year. The ornament we chose last year had Peace on it because God had given us His perfect peace last year during our son's health issues and diagnosis'. We will be choosing a new ornament tomorrow that describes how we have experienced God as a family this year and hang it on our Christmas tree. It's a perfect opportunity to discuss how God's hand has been on our family throughout the year as we decorate our Christmas tree!
  • Grandma Matthews' Chocolate Meringue Pie - My dear, sweet Grandma Matthews always made the most delicious chocolate meringue pies. I miss her so much, and in remembrance of my Grandma Matthews, I make a Chocolate Meringue Pie as part of our Christmas meal.
  • Christmas Movie Nights - My family loves Christmas movies! We just watched our first one tonight, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. We will watch a Christmas movie every night leading up to Christmas. Some of our favorites are Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Elf, The Santa Clause movies, The Muppet Christmas Carol, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Christmas with the Kranks, Arthur Christmas, and The Polar Express. This year I want to add The Nativity Story to our Christmas movie list.
  • Baking Christmas Cookies - This is a fun time in our kitchen! We usually make sugar cookies and then add red and green sprinkles. Yum!
  • Family Photo w/Chrismon Tree - Our church puts up a beautiful Chrismon tree every year in the sanctuary. We always take a family photo in front of the Chrismon tree. It's special to go back and look at how my kids have grown and changed over the years. My daughter got married this year; and we are thrilled that her husband will be joining us in our family photo in front of the Chrismon tree!   

New Christmas Traditions
I am very excited about our three new Christmas traditions we are adding this year!  
  • Advent Journey - Tomorrow we begin our Advent journey using Celebrate Jesus Light of the World: An Advent Journey for Families {affiliate link}. This is a beautiful ebook that provides an amazing assortment of ideas and a daily schedule to use in our home for our Advent journey. Yesterday we went to our local Christian bookstore and bought our Advent wreath and candles. 
  • Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt - We will hop in my mini van with hot chocolate and popcorn with Christmas music playing on the radio as we search for the items on our Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt list. There are a lot of lists you can find if you do a search online. Just pick your favorite list and print it off to take with you. I can't wait to do this!
  • Christmas Outreach Project - Yesterday we began this new tradition by serving for an hour at our church's Stuff the Bus Christmas outreach to collect toys for needy children. We had a wonderful time!
Here I am with my husband and son volunteering at Stuff the Bus Christmas Outreach

Well, I hope you enjoyed a look into our Christmas traditions! Do you have any family Christmas traditions? I would love to hear about them, so please leave me a comment below.

This post is a part of Inspired Holiday Traditions blog hop from the Inspired Bloggers Network. Click on the link provided to read more posts on inspired holiday traditions from some of my favorite bloggers. While there, be sure to add your own link for your family's holiday traditions!

Here's a few posts I have enjoyed from the Inspired Holiday Traditions blog hop...check them out!

  • Katie, at Paradise Praises is sharing about Christmas Eve Gifts
  • Linda, at Apron Strings & Other Things is sharing about her Family Traditions
  • Virginia, at Georgetown, MN is sharing her recipe for her family's Jesus' Birthday Cake! I can't wait to try that recipe for my family this Christmas morning!
Making Traditions,

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Celebrate Jesus Light of the World: An Advent Journey for Families Review and Giveaway!

Are you looking for an Advent guide for your family to begin using this Sunday for your journey into Advent? Look no further, friends, for I have the most wonderful resource to share with you today that is brought to us by Amy Blevins. Amy is a military wife and homeschooling moma of six children who blogs from California. You can find Amy at her websites, Bow of Bronze and Homeschool Encouragement. She has other wonderful resources that she has written in addition to what I am sharing about today, so please be sure to stop by either of her websites for more details about all she has to offer to homeschooling families. Now, let's take a look at this beautiful resource for celebrating Jesus this Advent season that is perfect for any family!

{This post contains affiliate links.}
Celebrate Jesus Light of the World: An Advent Journey for Families is an 81-page ebook that has everything you'll need to begin your Advent journey. Amy and her family have used all the ideas in this ebook at some point over the past 10 years as they have sought new ways of celebrating Jesus during Advent. As new ideas are thought of and used, they are added to this wonderful resource. I was given a copy of this beautiful ebook to review and I'm excited to share it with you today. My family will begin using the wonderful ideas inside this ebook tomorrow. This is first time we are taking an Advent journey with so much meaning as this one has tucked inside its pages. I'm really excited about starting this tradition in my home!

What's Included?
  • Instructions for beginning the Advent journey
  • Scriptures
  • Crafts and activities
  • Treats that are simple to make
  • Simple Christmas tradition suggestions you can add into your celebration of Advent
  • A master list that tells you exactly what you need on the date you need it
  • Daily Schedule
  • Family Christmas Recipes
  • Christmas copywork pages (24 pages total; available in KJV or ESV)

Daily Schedule
  • Scripture reading
  • Bible study preparation for mom and older teens
  • At the table together (Lighting of the candle, prayer, scripture reading and song)
  • Activity  (simple craft or easy recipe)

Amy has thought of everything and has been gracious enough to include it all - right down to her Family Christmas Recipes (a couple of the recipes are gluten-free)! Also included are some blank recipe cards to fill in with your own family's favorite Christmas recipes. See, I told you she thought of everything! What I really love about Celebrate Jesus Light of the World: An Advent Journey for Families is that it is not overwhelming at all, yet very meaningful as we place our focus on the anticipated return of Jesus while celebrating His birth.

My family and I are looking forward to using Celebrate Jesus Light of the World: An Advent Journey for Families beginning this Sunday, December 1. You can begin your own Advent journey as well using this lovely guide. Get your ebook today for only $4.99.

Do you and your family celebrate Advent? Please leave me a comment below if you are planning to use Amy's ebook this year. My first comment will receive a FREE copy of Celebrate Jesus so be sure to leave your email address where you want the ebook sent!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

In Loving Memory of My Daddy

"And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died." 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

Today I'm filled with thoughts of my dear Daddy who went home to be with the Lord this time last year. He finished his race here in this temporary world and entered into sweet rest for eternity with our Heavenly Father on November 26, 2012. Not a day has gone by during this past year that I have not had thoughts of my Daddy. I am so thankful for all the memories I have of him that I can hold on to until I see him again! Knowing that he is no longer suffering and that there will be a glorious reunion in Heaven gives me comfort.

Daddy with the cake I made him on his 67th birthday.
My brothers and sisters and I were blessed to have such a wonderful Daddy. He was the first man I ever loved, the first hero I ever believed in, the first man I ever slow danced with (stepping on his feet which was considered okay for a little girl), and the list could go on and on. His deep voice still echoes in my mind calling me by the nickname he had given to me, Puddin. Daddy gave all his children nicknames. I hold mine dear to my heart because he made it specially for me.

I'm so thankful for the time I had with my Daddy. We were all by his side the moment he took his last breath in that hospital bed last November 26. My twin sister and I were standing right in front of him, his eyes locked on us, and these were the last words I was able to speak to him..."Daddy, it's okay, mount up on those eagle wings and fly to Jesus. You'll run and not grow weary, you'll walk and not faint." No sooner had I gotten the words out of my mouth then my dear, sweet Daddy took his last breath in this temporary world and took his first breath in Heaven. Typing these words brings tears that are flowing down my face as I think back to that day. Losing my Daddy was difficult, but I have the blessed hope of seeing him again in Heaven because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that gives eternal life for all who trust in Him.

Thanks for stopping by to let me share thoughts of my Daddy with you. If you're mourning the loss of a loved one during the holidays, then I invite you to leave me a comment so that I can pray for you. May God give you His grace to make it through the days ahead and His comfort during this time as only He can.

Remembering Daddy,
Laurie (aka Puddin)