Book Review: {From A Heart of Stone}

[amazon_link id=”1515177920″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]From A Heart of Stone: Journey to the Heart of the Holy Spirit[/amazon_link]From A Heart of Stone
By, Rachel Godfrey

This is a new type of book review! But one that I’m excited about! This is written by a dear friend of mine. We became friends soon after I graduated nursing schools and was a baby nurse! She took me under her wing and shared much knowledge with me as we worked together in the Emergency Room. I still greatly respect her nursing knowledge and have much yet to learn from her. Continue reading “Book Review: {From A Heart of Stone}”

Book Review:{The Other Side of the Sky}

[amazon_link id=”141691837X” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Other Side of the Sky: A Memoir[/amazon_link]

The Other Side of the Sky

By, Farah Amedi Continue reading “Book Review:{The Other Side of the Sky}”

Book Review: {Holding onto Hope}


Holding onto Hope
By Nancy Guthrie

Books written by human hand and by divine inspiration are of so much comfort to the grieving soul. Often I don’t know what I’m feeling or don’t have the words to describe my inner yearnings or agonies, but someone else who has been there before has found the words. They often have word pictures and visual images that resonate deep within. Continue reading “Book Review: {Holding onto Hope}”

Book Review:{Praying the Bible}

[amazon_link id=”1433547848″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Praying the Bible[/amazon_link]

Praying the Bible
By, Donald Whitney

What a book!!

The Bible transforms life, and this book has transformed my prayer walk. Continue reading “Book Review:{Praying the Bible}”

Book Review: {I Will Carry You}

I Will Carry You

I Will Carry You
By Angie Smith

I originally wrote this post when I was pregnant with Jussi, but it got lost and was never posted.  It has since been found and all written is still very true and has been a book of great comfort to me in both of my losses. Instead of re-writing it I decided to go ahead and post it as is. 

As we have walked through the loss of our beloved little baby boy Avi, many friends and family have come to walk with us through this sorrow and loss. This book is one of the many gifts of love and encouragement that was given to us. As I read this book I was moved and stained the pages with my own tears. Continue reading “Book Review: {I Will Carry You}”

Book Review {Real Life Paleo}

[amazon_link id=”1628600454″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Real Life Paleo: 175 Gluten-Free Recipes, Meal Ideas, and an Easy 3-Phased Approach to Lose Weight & Gain Health[/amazon_link]

This review is A LONG time coming! There has been a lot going on in the lives of our family  and the blog took a back seat. And in the late fall I was given this book to review. I’ve actually used it A LOT, but never had the presence of mind or the ability to write up a review. I really feel bad it took this long, but it’s getting done now! Continue reading “Book Review {Real Life Paleo}”

A Happy Marriage

[amazon_link id=”1439102317″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]A Happy Marriage: A Novel[/amazon_link]

A Happy Marriage
Rafael Yglesias

I’m way, way far behind writing a review of this book! I probably finished it about 1-2 months ago, but life has been a bit crazy and i just haven’t gotten around to it! Continue reading “A Happy Marriage”

2013/2014 Homeschool Year in Review {1st Grade}

We made it through first grade and it was a great year! Tonchi did a great job and it was so much fun to see him grow and learn throughout the year! We worked hard and tried to stay on schedule, but there were some days we skipped school and had catch up days on Saturday or just skipped all together.

We did actually finish all that I felt was really important to complete. We will have some carry over into next year, but I’m really not worried about it. Since I posted what we were planning on doing, I wanted to come back and post what we did and how it worked out for us. So read on and hopefully you will find some of it helpful!

Tonchi: First Grade Curriculum


[amazon_link id=”1621940063″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Engaging God's Word: Hebrews[/amazon_link]

Community Bible Study on Thursdays – We attended every week in which classes were held! With all the snow we had this year a few of the classes were cancelled, but most Thursdays we were there. Both of us learned a lot and grew spiritually and together memorized ___ verses. Now hopefully we will be diligent to review them and not forget them after all the hard work we did!


[amazon_link id=”1608260038″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Alpha: Single-Digit Addition and Subtraction Instruction Manual[/amazon_link]

Math U See: Alpha – I am still in love with this curriculum! I just love the way Mr Steve Demme teaches concepts instead of just memorizing facts. Tonchi has really done well with it and completed the entire book. He has even done division and multiplication based on the concepts he has learned.


[amazon_link id=”160499178X” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Amazon Exclusive Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read Kindergarten Complete with BONU[/amazon_link]

We read through all of the Hooked on Phonics easy readers set 1 and 2. We also read some other easy readers that were handed down to us and then started on some of the Cat in the Hat books. Go Dog Go is still one of his favorites! I think we are getting over the hump and he is starting to pick up simple things to read on his own.

[amazon_link id=”0838814603″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Explode the Code 1[/amazon_link]
Explode the Code: Tonchi completed book 1 this year and it was easy for him, but re-enforced reading skills and also helped him realize he can read and he is able to spell. It was very empowering and encouraging to him.

[amazon_link id=”B00FDX1YCW” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, 1986 Fireside Edition, ISBN 0671631985[/amazon_link]
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons – We didn’t use it at all and I don’t think we will use it for the other kids. I have another book that I think will be more effective. So I will probably look to sell this one in the coming year.


[amazon_link id=”1933339004″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child: Volume 1: Ancient Times: From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor, Revised Edition[/amazon_link][amazon_link id=”1933339055″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Story of the World, Activity Book 1: Ancient Times - From the Earliest Nomad to the Last Roman Emperor[/amazon_link]

Story of the World: Book 1: Ancient Times Civilizations – We LOVED this! We didn’t come near to completing all of the activities or extra reading, but it isn’t designed to be completed, just used as a resource. There were LOTS of fun activities and hands on learning ideas to go with each lesson and we had so much fun with them. We also enjoyed reading each chapter, which were only a few pages and perfect for short attention spans. There are 40 chapters and we only made it to chapter 25, so we will just start next school year where we left off.

[amazon_link id=”1932012613″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day -- Young Explorers Series (Young Explorer (Apologia Educational Ministries))[/amazon_link][amazon_link id=”1935495607″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Zoology 1 Junior Notebooking Journal: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day (Young Explorer Series)[/amazon_link]

Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Zoology 1 – We completed this book as well and we also used the Junior Notebooking journal. I really liked the lesson planning and all the extra ideas of projects and experiments to do. I think this book would be better for a 2nd or 3rd grader as it had a lot of terminology over his head and A LOT of information… however, the exposure was good and I didn’t stress memorizing all the info. I hope to use it to continue learning more about insects and birds this summer as we see them in their habitat while we are out and about!


[amazon_link id=”0963930710″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Draw Write Now, Book 1: On the Farm-Kids and Critters-Storybook Characters (Draw-Write-Now)[/amazon_link]

Draw.Write.Now: Book 1: I do really like this book a lot. Tonchi used it a lot at the beginning of the year, but hasn’t done too much with it since. I hope to do a better job of having it scheduled out instead of just for fun. I like how it helped him learn to do simple drawings and also encouraged hime to write about what he drew.

[amazon_link id=”B004R3AAIS” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Write About Me Student and Teacher[/amazon_link][amazon_link id=”B004R38QQG” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Write About My World Student and Teacher[/amazon_link]

Write About Me/Write about My World – I still have this and am going to keep it but we didn’t use it at all. Since Tonchi was just learning to read this wasn’t a good fit for him. We will start working more on writing next year.


[amazon_link id=”B005P3LOCU” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Handwriting Without Tears My Printing Book - Grade 1[/amazon_link]

Handwriting without Tears for 1st grade – We completed this books as well. It didn’t take us long to complete. I really like the way each letter is taught with a way to remember how to write each one. He did well with it and I think it helped him remember how to write each letter with conformity. The only thing I didn’t like about it, was the fact that each page only had one line of practice. I’m sure that has a lot to do with the “no tears” part of the title of this book, but we needed more room to practice. We still need practice!!!


We didn’t do anything with this really. I found some free online piano videos and we did one of them. He really liked it and still frequently plays what he learned, so maybe he is interested. I definitely want to keep music fun and enjoyable and not a chore, although I do feel it is important. I hope to do more with this in 2nd grade.


[amazon_link id=”1608293017″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Rosetta Stone Homeschool Spanish (Latin America) Level 1-5 Set including Audio Companion[/amazon_link]

Rosetta Stone – I didn’t purchase it and we didn’t do anything. Another subject I hope to pick up with in this coming year, but I’m not sure what I’m going to do. We don’t do much “screen time” as I don’t want the kids in front of the TV/computer/ipad, etc, but I know they also really enjoy it, so I want to use it to my advantage. I think a computer program for spanish may work well and they may be motivated to use it since they will be allowed to use the computer. I just have to figure out what I’m going to do!

Extracurriculars: I also planned in a field trip once a month and we also went to the library once a month to get new fun books to read and also to pick up some books that went with our history lessons. We also had a homeschool playgroup that met once a month and usually had something to do with a celebration that would occur during that month, like a Valentines Day party. All the kids really enjoyed these!

I tried to make time for people and relationships instead of hunkering down to all books and work. I think I did an OK job. We accomplished what I felt was necessary and we also had fun doing it. So there you have it! What we’ve done in the last year and how it worked for us!

I’d love to know what you’ve done and what you thought about it!


God Can’t Sleep

[amazon_link id=”1434700577″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]God Can't Sleep: Waiting for Daylight On Life's Dark Nights[/amazon_link]

God Can’t Sleep
By Palmer Chinchen, PD

This book was very different than I expected. I thought it was going to be about God and suffering and how God doesn’t sleep when we go through trials. And while it was about that it took a different path than I expected. Continue reading “God Can’t Sleep”

Womanly Dominion [more than a gentle and quiet spirit]

[amazon_link id=”1879737604″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Womanly Dominion: More Than A Gentle and Quiet Spirit[/amazon_link]

Womanly Dominion [more than a gentle and quiet spirit]
Mark Chanski

I’ve had this book on my reading list for the last few years and I finally got around to reading it… at least part of it. I remember reading it back when I was in college and did it with a group of girlfriends. I remember it being a great book, but this time I really didn’t get much out of it.

I pressed through the first 100 pages and then decided I didn’t want to spend any more time finishing the last 140 pages. It wasn’t bad, but I just wasn’t getting much out of it. I think it really spoke to me at the time I originally read it and it had much that I needed to hear. I also think maybe the fact that I was reading it with friends and we were sharing together ways we were affected by the book may have added to my admiration of it.

As is my rule I did read the first 100 and just couldn’t finish it. I try not to make a rash decision about books and like to give them the benefit of the doubt… for at least the first 100 pages! If I’m not convinced at that point, then it’s just time to put it down and move on.

I don’t want to slam this book or say it was terrible, because I know it was meaningful to me at one time. It’s just that now, at my point in life it wasn’t speaking to me. So, as I write that I didn’t enjoy it and didn’t get a lot out of it, I also want to say that maybe it just wasn’t for me in my season of life. This book may be exactly what another young woman needs to hear!

The theme of the book is basically about taking dominion of every area of our lives as women for God’ glory and within His design. This can be quite a controversial topic depending on how you were brought up, what church you are in or within what circles you run! This book definitely spoke many good, true and biblically correct words for today!

I think this is one of my favorite quotes from the portion I read, found on page 29:

“We must aggressively subdue and not passively loiter. Every week of our lives, we are to reflect our Heavenly Father. Six days we labor to subdue the earth, and on the seventh day we rest, basking in the satisfaction of a job well done, restfully praising the Lord for the work He’s enabled our hands to do. The completed projects act as gratifying and comfortable footstools for our feet. We’re able to say, “That week of work was good, very good.” (Genesis 1:31)”

What an encouragement to work hard for God’s glory and there is so much truth in finding satisfaction in hard work accomplished! I know many of us can get downtrodden and discouraged as we serve our families day in and day out. But what joy and encouragement this can bring, to know that what we do and how we serve doesn’t go unnoticed by God. He finds great delight in our hard work and may it bring Him glory.

This encourages me to go out each morning and subdue the day. Work hard and delight in a job well done for His glory!