Thursday, September 26, 2013

Time Travelers History- The Camp Kettle



 We've always enjoyed using My Father's World but last year we needed a curriculum that was easier on our budget.  I searched around and found Guest Hollow which is totally FREE!  We had a wonderful time using the US History curriculum and I was going to use it this year for the second part of US History from the Civil War to the present, until I started reading the Teachers Manual and realized that they use Homeschool In the Wood's Time Traveler's Civil War unit study for a lot of the material.  I decided to just go ahead and utilize the Time Traveler's CD-ROM ($28.95) for all of our Civil War unit.  This is recommended for 3rd-8th grade, I was a little leery because I thought my 8th grader might not enjoy it but I was so wrong!

  I'm so happy that I made this leap because we've been having the best time "traveling" through history.  A couple of things that you will want to know is that it takes quite a bit of teacher prep time but don't let that scare you away, it's really worth it in the long run.  Every single thing that you need for the curriculum is on the CD so you have to print it off.  I purchased a case of plain white copy paper (we've used about 2 reams so far), a pack of white card stock, a pack of colored card stock, and 2 packs of colored copy paper.  I couldn't find any antique looking paper that didn't cost a fortune so I decided it would be fun for us to make our own. 

Making the "antique paper"

The very first day we started working on a Camp Kettle newspaper.  This newspaper is what we needed the antique looking paper that we made ourselves.

1.  First we grabbed about 10 sheets of white card stock and crumpled each sheet up into a ball and then flattened it out again.


2. Next we grabbed 2 cookie sheets that have a lip on them and filled them with water.  In the first sheet we opened some tea bags up and let the water steep for a bit and in the second one we placed coffee grounds.  We weren't sure which would work better the coffee or the tea but we soon found that the coffee gave the paper a darker brown and the tea left little dots on the paper.  We liked the way they looked so we just kept at it.  We soaked each piece of card stock for a couple of minutes in the coffee and then placed it in the tea pan and sprinkled tea leaves on it or vice versa.  It seemed to work fine either way and made each paper look unique.







3. Next we laid all the paper out on waxed paper to dry and grabbed 2 pieces of paper and set them on a baking stone in the oven.  The oven was set on the lowest setting and we let the paper
"dry" this way for about 8-10 minutes per page.




4. Finally I got the iron out and ironed the paper so it would be flat enough to go through our printer.  The Time Travelers CD-ROM has all the masters for the projects.  You just click on it and print! We had 8 pages for our newspaper (4 front and backs) and several times a week the teacher's manual will tell you that your students need to work on their Camp Kettle paper.  This is what it looks like after printing, we were stunned.  It looks fantastic and even better in person then it does in the picture. Oh, I forgot that we decided to burn the edges of the paper to make it look a little rougher but this should ONLY be done with parental supervision.

 Coming soon.... in our Time Traveler series we'll show you have you were able to light the way to freedom in our Underground Railroad section.
Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Own It and Grace Unplugged book reviews

Grace Unplugged Novel

About the book Grace Unplugged:

Grace Trey is an eighteen-year-old singer as passionate about her Christian faith as she is her phenomenal, God-given musical talent. Both traits come from her father, one-hit wonder Johnny Tray who found Jesus after losing his chart success two decades ago.

When Grace encounters her own music break of a lifetime, the sudden dive into the "real world" puts her deeper beliefs to the test. Pop superstardom is just within reach but appears to require some spiritual compromise. Will Grace reject her faith, or will she own it?

Grace Unplugged is based on the motion picture of the same name starring AJ Michalka (Super 8) and Kevin Pollak (A Few Good Men).

Meet the Author:

Melody Carlson

Melody Carlson has written around 200 books for teens, women and children. That's a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a "storyteller." Her books range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops) but most of the inspiration behind her fiction comes right out of real life. Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, TrueColors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She's won a number of awards (including the Rita and Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog. To find out more about Melody Carlson, visit her website at http://www.melodycarlson.com/


My opinion:

As I'm sure you can tell from my previous posts, I'm a huge Grace Unplugged fan.  I love the movie, soundtrack and of course the novel.  The novel follows the movie very closely, sometimes that doesn't happen and you end up disappointed one way or another.  Now, I'm not going to give you all the details because I absolutely hate spoilers, but just know that this book is about a young lady that decided to follow her dreams.  She tries to make her dreams a reality but there's a cost to pay for not following God's plan for your life.  Along her journey Grace finds that her faith will lead her path in a direction that she only dreamed of but with a twist.  Wonderful book for tweens, teens and parents and a great conversation starter.


To purchase the book Grace Unplugged or to get more info click on any of the following links:

Amazon

Grace Unplugged Movie

Facebook

Twitter


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Own It: Discover Your Faith in God
 
About the book Own It:
 
It's time to stop borrowing or faking your faith . . . own it!

The feature film Grace Unplugged tells the story of Grace Trey, an eighteen year-old small town pastor's daughter who is also a phenomenal singer. But when she abruptly leaves home and finds instant Hollywood fame, the faith and relationships she grew up with are put to the test.

As seen in the movie, Own It challenges readers by asking what it means to really "own" your faith rather than just automatically or blindly following in the footsteps of friends or parents. Bestselling authors Michael and Hayley DiMarco will help you navigate what to do when faith meets real world challenges.

Renting, borrowing, or faking your faith is a waste of time. Own It is all about the supernatural reality that when you take hold of your faith, it's really God's love that takes hold of you. 
 
 
Meet the authors:
 
Image of Hayley DiMarco
Hayley DiMarco is the best-selling author of more than thirty books, including Dateable, Marriable, Mean Girls, The Woman of Mystery, and Cupidity. She spent the early part of her career working for a little shoe company called Nike in Portland, Oregon and Thomas Nelson Publishers in Nashville, Tennessee.
In 2002 Hayley left Nelson and founded Hungry Planet, a company intensely focused on feeding the world's appetite for truth by producing books and new media, taking on issues of faith and life with a distinctly modern voice. Shortly after founding Hungry Planet, Hayley successfully completed a nationwide executive search for someone to run the company so she could focus on writing. She describes her husband, Michael, as her most successful business acquisition!

Image of Michael DiMarco

Michael DiMarco is a bestselling and award-winning Christian author, and publisher and creative director at Hungry Planet. Michael has authored or co-authored a number of books including "God Guy", "Devotions for the God Guy", "Die Young", "Over It", "The Brave", "Almost Sex", "Unstuff", "Cupidity", "B4UD8" (Before You Date), and the "God Guy Bible" among others. He is married to an even more bestselling author, Hayley DiMarco, and father to their daughter.
A packager and content provider, Hungry Planet partners with publishers to produce books concepts that connect with teens and adults that live life with a multi-tasking mindset.
Hungry Planet's first book "Dateable: are you? are they?" hit shelves in Fall 2003. In the short span since, Hungry Planet has published almost 40 titles and has sold over 1.2 million books. In addition, over 22 titles have appeared on CBA Bestseller lists. Seven Hungry Planet titles have named as finalists for the ECPA Christian Book Award for Youth, with "Sexy Girls" winning the award in 2007 and B4UD8 winning in 2010.
On average, Hungry Planet publishes between 2-3 books every year; books known for their cutting edge interior design and award winning book covers.
Hungry Planet - "Feeding the World's Appetite for Truth" - http://www.hungryplanet.net
Twitter - @dimarco
 
My Opinion:
 

The movie Grace Unplugged comes out in theaters on Oct 4th, 2013 and while you're enjoying the movie be sure to keep an eye out for this book called Own It.  It's featured in the movie and then was actually made into a real book.  Own It becomes part of Grace's journey and helps her find her true calling for her musical gifts.  In my life Own It has helped me realize that sometimes I just walk through the motions and don't really have the faith in God that I should have.  It was a real eye opener for it and has helped me grow by leaps and bounds in my walk with the Lord. It's a wonderful book for a baby Christian or for someone that feels their walk with God might be stale or tired.
 
If you want to know more about the movie Grace Unplugged click here to read my review!


For more info click on any of the following links:
 
 
Thanks for reading,
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Bash and the Pirate Pig-a juvenile fiction book review

 
 
Discover the book:

 


Written for boys 8 to 14, Bash and the Pirate Pig is the story of a cranky city kid named Raymond “Beamer” Boxby who must spend summer vacation at his younger cousin Bash Hinglehobb’s farm.
Beamer prefers air conditioning and video games.
He can’t see what good can come of this so-called country fun that includes riding cows, river rafting with a pig, or playing with skunks.
But hang tight, Beamer, because Bash’s zany adventures with his "Fishin' and Farmin' book" (The Bible) just might lead to the coolest Discovery of all.

 
Meet the author and illustrator:
 
Burton Cole is a Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist with thirty years of experience and more than fifty humor writing awards to his credit. He grew up on a farm in northeast Ohio and attended a small town church with a slew of cousins and buddies. That same
boyhood inspires his colorful stories today.

Tom Bancroft
has more than twenty years of experience in the animation and illustration industry and worked with Disney on films including Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Aladdin. Other clients have included DC Comics and Big Idea Productions. He lives with his family in Nashville, Tennessee.
 
 
My opinion:
 
Boy book alert!  We've had a hard time finding books that my 12 year old son enjoys reading, but not with this book.  It hit the marks that he's looking for, action, adventure, things that make him laugh, funny cover that captured his attention.  Now, it's turn for what mommy liked, I loved the great hardback cover too, the silly antics that they do, but on a deeper level Bash  speaks of his faith in God and Beamer ends up finding something he didn't know he was searching for and sees some spiritual growth along the way.  Fun read that's recommended for ages 8-12.  I specifically thinks boys will enjoy this fun adventure. 
 
More info:
 Bash and the Pirate Pig (210 pages, hardcover) costs $12.99 from B&H Kids and is recommended for readers ages 8 to 14.  A second book in the series, Bash and the Chicken Coop Caper, is scheduled for 2014. The first chapter of the Chicken Coop Caper can be found at the very end of this book.
 
Click on any of the following links to learn more:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Giveaway:
 
Please leave a comment telling me what your favorite childhood book was.
 
1 entry per person
 
18 or older
 
USA only please
 
 
 
Thanks for reading,
 
 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Grace Unplugged Soundtrack and Book review

 
 
About the soundtrack:
 
The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack for Grace Unplugged releases August 27 and features the new radio single 'All I've Ever Needed' from AJ Michalka (formerly of Aly & AJ). Based on the story of a teenage girl ready to walk away from her Christian faith and music to pursue her dream of pop stardom, this soundtrack features songs by Christian music's most popular artists including TobyMac, Chris Tomlin, Colton Dixon and Jamie Grace. The album is also highlighted by an all new recording of 'Desert Song' from AJ Michalka.
Can be purchased on Amazon 
Mp3 download $9.49
LabelSparrow
Catalog number001884502
Discs1
Release DateAug 27, 2013
Mono/StereoStereo
Recording Time42 minutes
Additional InfoOriginal Soundtrack
Track Listing
 
1. All I've Ever Needed (AJ Michalka)
2. Desert Song (AJ Michalka)
3. You Never Let Go [feat. James Denton (AJ Michalka)
4. Misunderstood (AJ Michalka)
5. Holding On (Jamie Grace)
6. Our God (Chris Tomlin)
7. Steal My Show (TobyMac)
8. In And Out Of Time (Colton Dixon)
9. The Void (Nine Lashes)
10. The Space Between Us (Shawn McDonald)
11. Welcome To Daylight (Luminate)
12. Amazing Grace (Instrumental) (Josh Wilson)
 
 
My Opinion:
 
Great CD with some wonderful artists Jamie Grace, AJ Michalka, and one of my favorites Toby Mac!  This CD is very contemporary for faith based listeners but I think anyone that likes pop music would enjoy it too. My tween and teen both enjoy it and I even caught them dancing around to some of the songs.  Since I've already seen the movie I know that this track compliments the movie well.  This is a must have soundtrack for my drives into Tulsa 3 times per week.  It just lifts my spirits and makes me smile.  If you'd like to read my review of the Grace Unplugged movie just click on the link.


About the book:

Grace Trey is an eighteen-year-old singer as passionate about her Christian faith as she is her phenomenal, God-given musical talent. Both traits come from her father, one-hit wonder Johnny Tray who found Jesus after losing his chart success two decades ago.

When Grace encounters her own music break of a lifetime, the sudden dive into the "real world" puts her deeper beliefs to the test. Pop superstardom is just within reach but appears to require some spiritual compromise. Will Grace reject her faith, or will she own it?

Grace Unplugged is based on the motion picture of the same name starring AJ Michalka (Super 8) and Kevin Pollak (A Few Good Men).

Meet the Author:

Melody Carlson

Melody Carlson has written around 200 books for teens, women and children. That's a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a "storyteller." Her books range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops) but most of the inspiration behind her fiction comes right out of real life. Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, TrueColors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She's won a number of awards (including the Rita and Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog. To find out more about Melody Carlson, visit her website at http://www.melodycarlson.com/


My opinion:

As I'm sure you can tell from my previous posts, I'm a huge Grace Unplugged fan.  I love the movie, soundtrack and of course the novel.  The novel follows the movie very closely, sometimes that doesn't happen and you end up disappointed one way or another.  Now, I'm not going to give you all the details because I absolutely hate spoilers, but just know that this book is about a young lady that decided to follow her dreams.  She tries to make her dreams a reality but there's a cost to pay for not following God's plan for your life.  Along her journey Grace finds that her faith will lead her path in a direction that she only dreamed of but with a twist.  Wonderful book for tweens, teens and parents and a great conversation starter.

 
Thanks for reading,
 
 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Double book review

About the book:
 
 
According to Cottrell, God's goodness is predictable. His mercy is dependable. His ability to work in every moment of every reader's life, leading them to him, is unfailing. But even in those moments, even the most devout are distracted by great distress, failing to see or acknowledge God's presence and provision. Cottrell reminds readers that God is the hope, strength and deliverance we desperately need. In every circumstance, especially those moments when we least expect it, God's voice can be heard and his presence discerned. He Knows Your Name is a beautiful, 2-color book sure to be treasured.
 
List Price: $14.99
 
Meet the Author:
 
 
 
 
        

Travis Cottrell

Dove Award-winning artist Travis Cottrell has been worship leader for Beth Moore and her wildly successful Living Proof Live! conferences for 15 years. Travis has been on LifeWay’s Top 10 Artists list for the past five year; Alive Forever has sold more than 150,000 units. He has 15,000 Twitter followers and approximately 11,000 Facebook friends. Cottrell lives in Jackson, Tennessee with his wife, Angela, and their 3 children.

My Opinion:
 
This book is a short ten chapters but is a true treasure that I know you'll fall in love with it, just like I did.  The past year and a half have been a huge struggle for our family.  We sold our house out of necessity, moved 3 times, almost all of our stuff is still in storage, my brother in law has been fighting cancer and my husband has been in horrible pain due to a car accident.  Through it all I somehow tried to stay strong for my family but I forgot to lean on the Lord.  Why did I do that?  I got caught up in the everyday problems that we call life.  This book was like a breath of fresh air for me.  I took a step back and remember that yes, He does know my name.  He knows the trials and temptations that I face on a daily basis and he still loves me despite all of my faults and weakness.  He has called me by name to follow Him and I feel better just resting in that peaceful thought.  He has a plan for my family, that burden doesn't need to rest on my shoulders anymore.  After reading this I placed all of my cares upon Him and had to re-read the book again because I had read it so fast the first time.   
 
Now, onto the second book which was just as good for my spiritual walk with the Lord as this one was.
 
 
 
About the book:
 
 
A touching gift book that helps readers understand the power and beauty of prayer and how it can transform our hearts, so that we can be a catalyst for transformation in others. Many of us seek to be blessed more than we seek to bless others. It’s our heart aligned with the heart of God that brings blessing, because He is by nature extravagantly generous and loves giving gifts. No matter where readers are on their journey with God, they will be motivated and inspired to open their hearts and discover the abundant joy and peace that can be theirs through the power of a simple prayer of blessing.
 
List Price: $14.99
 
Meet the Author:
 
 
Michael W Smith
 
In addition to winning several Grammy and Dove awards, Michael W. Smith has recorded more than 22 albums and had numerous hit songs in the Christian market and on mainstream radio. He is also involved in relief work, at home and around the world, and is the founder of Rocketown, an outreach to teenagers in a 38,000 square-foot facility in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. He has written several best-selling books including Old Enough to Know and Friends Are Friends Forever. He and his wife, Debbie, have 5 children and live in Nashville.
 
My Opinion:
 
Not only do I love Michael W Smith's music but now I'm also a fan of his writing.  This book is a simple book about the power of prayer.  It can transform your life if you just open up and let prayer in.  I loved with Smith had to say, it's actually a great refresher for what I was taught as a child that was just learning to pray.  This would also make a wonderful gift for a new Christian or even someone that has been strong and steadfast in their faith for a long time.
 
 
 
For more info click on any of the following links:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thanks for reading,



 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Camping at Greenleaf State Park



Last weekend my family and I loaded up our pop-up camper, grabbed the dog and headed to Greenleaf State Park, OK.  We'd never been before and arrived just at dusk, nobody was at the Welcome Center when we stopped in.  That was ok we headed on down into the park and looked for a good spot to set up camp.  I had called earlier in the day and was told that they don't take reservations, it's first come first served for the camping spots.  Cabins MUST be reserved though.  The kind woman that I had spoken with earlier told me that the Cypress Row campground is by the lake, Gobbler Ridge is by putt putt and Deer Run is near the playground.  Of course with our crew we wanted to be by the lake!  We drove right to spot 20, hopped out and started setting up camp.  After a couple of minutes the Ranger drove by and asked if everything was ok, collected our fees ($20 per night) and told us the Welcome office would be open in the morning and we could pick up a schedule of events.
So we got our PJ's on played some games, ate some snacks and went to bed.

WARNING: Picture overload!

When we woke up this is what greeted us as we stepped outside our camper!  WE had definitely chosen a perfect spot the previous night.  We could see the sun rising and glistening on the lake, it was breathtaking. 
 

Saturday was a free day, we didn't have any plans except to hang out as a family.  We played putt putt (the course is a little run down so they didn't charge us to play), played several games of Washers, went on a hike, sat around and visited and then went swimming.
Trix was such a good boy on our trip, he's a trooper.

 That night we grilled hot dogs and hamburgers and of course made S'mores. Kenzie put a different spin on it and used 2 cookies to make hers.
 
 



 
 When it was dark we set up glow in the dark bowling.  We saved 10 water bottles and filled them 1/2 way with water then dropped glow stick in and set them up.  We used a ball that was too light so next time I think we'll take a basketball.  That was a lot of fun trying to knock over the "pins".


On Sunday we got up and hung out around camp just visiting and talking as a family.
 
We walked down to one of the docks.
 
 Checked out the marina
and we rented the kids a paddle boat for 1 hour. Only $10 an hour for either a paddle boat, canoe, or a kayak.



More info about Greenleaf State Park

At the time we were camping the prices were current but please be aware that they are subject to change.

Tent sites $10 per night
RV sites with electric and water $20 per night
RV sites with electric, water and sewer hookups $23 per night
Premium sites additional $5

Please call 918-487-5196 for cabin pricing or any additional questions


Greenleaf is a family friendly park tucked away in the hills of eastern Oklahoma and is just outside of the tiny town Braggs, OK.  The scenery was breathtaking in the very warm summer months and I imagine it would be gorgeous in the fall and spring...not so sure about winter.

The park offers 14 cabins with bathrooms, kitchens, and include heat and air.  We also saw that they offer "Cabin on the Lake", which is a handicapped accessible cabin that even has its own dock and is very private. 

As you can tell from seeing out dog Trix, pets are welcome at the park as long as they are on a leash.

Thinks you might want to know:

If you run out of something the marina offers a tiny store with a wide variety of items for sale.

Firewood can be purchased at the marina or the welcome center but you are also welcome to pick up any dead wood on the property.

The swimming beach is horrible, we actually drove to Tenkiller Lake to go swimming.  It's about a 15-20 min. drive from Greenleaf.

There was a children's fishing pond for ages 16 and under.

The swimming pool looks great and has a slide but is open Memorial Day-Labor Day so it was closed the weekend we were there.

I saw several sand volleyball courts and several basketball courts.

There was a nature center that was being re-done at the time we were there.

A building was available for reunions or large get togethers.

One the schedule of events for the weekend we were there they were offering a wagon ride, Snake time to learn about the native snakes, learn to make balloon animals, and a class to make your own birdfeeder.  I know they offer many different activities throughout the year so just check with the park to see what's going on.

There are some really great tent camping spots right down by the lake.

The bathrooms are normal camping bathrooms, be sure to bring your own toilet paper (just in case) and your own soap. We were happy that the bathrooms were cleaned several times while we camped.

The showers were different, we had never seen showers that charge you for use. I noted the price was .50 for 3 minutes.  So use your time wisely ;)




The area was so beautiful, we saw this tree.  Does anyone know what it is?  It reminds me of the banyan trees that we saw when we were in Hawaii.


 
 
Thanks for reading,


P.S.  Several people have commented about Kylan, yes he's ok but he's going through a stage and doesn't want his picture taken that often.  If you happen to see a rare pic of him please enjoy it!