Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Guardian Duke-a book review and giveaway

The Guardian Duke is award-winning novelist Jamie Carie’s most exciting story yet, a uniquely arranged Regency-era romantic adventure where hero and heroine know each other through written letters but have yet to meet.

Gabriel, the Duke of St. Easton, is ordered by the King to take guardianship over Lady Alexandria Featherstone whose parents are presumed dead after failing to return from a high profile treasure hunt. But Alexandria ignores this royal reassignment, believing her parents are still alive and duly following clues that may lead to their whereabouts. Gabriel, pressured by what are actually the King’s ulterior motives, pursues her across windswept England and the rolling green hills of Ireland but is always one step behind.

When they do meet, the search for earthly treasure will pale in comparison to what God has planned for both of them.

I saw a QR code on the back of the book so I scanned it with my iPhone and this trailer is what popped up!  I hope you are as surprised as I was, every book needs a trailer in my own opinion.

My Opinion

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.  It was an interesting book but it had several slow chapters at the beginning and I had to force myself to keep reading, to be honest if I hadn't seen the great trailer I may not have finished it.  Once I got about half way through the book it got very exciting and I was able to stay engrossed in the action.  I loved Carie's historical facts, descriptive words and all of the passion and adventure that was in The Guardian Duke and I love that she ties it in with a plan that God has for the main characters.  I'm looking forward to The Forgotten Castle series now that I've read The Guardian Duke which ends in a cliffhanger, I can't wait to read her next book The Forgiven Duke and which is coming out this summer!

If you would like to win a copy of The Guardian Duke please fill out the Rafflecopter form!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sweeter Than Birdsong

Music offers Kate sweet refuge from her troubles . . . but real freedom is sweeter.

In Westerville, Ohio, 1855, Kate Winter’s dreams are almost within reach. As the first woman to graduate from Otterbein College, she’ll be guaranteed her deepest wish: escape from the dark secret haunting her family. But with her mother determined to marry her off to a wealthy man, Kate must face reality. She has to run. Now. And she has the perfect plan. Join the upcoming musical performance—and use it to mask her flight.

Ben Hanby, Otterbein College’s musical genius, sees Kate Winter as an enigmatic creature, notable for her beauty, yet painfully shy. Then he hears her sing—and the glory of her voice moves him as never before. He determines to cast her in his musical and uncover the mystery that is Kate. Still, he must keep his own secret to himself. Not even this intriguing woman can know that his passionate faith is driving him to aid fugitives on the Underground Railroad.

A terrifying accident brings Kate and Ben together, but threatens to shatter both their secrets and their dreams. Kate can no longer deny the need to find her courage—and her voice—if she is to sing a new song for their future.

In this second in the award-winning Saddler's Legacy series, Rosslyn Elliott has written a stirring novel of hope and faith inspired by real historical people and events. With Ben Hanby, a genius composer, Kate Winter, one of the first female college graduates in America, and John Parker, an ex-slave who risked his life time and again to help fugitive slaves, Sweeter than Birdsong is full of real heroes to inspire us. "I hope readers will find a renewed sense of strength in their own lives," says Elliott, "knowing that change is possible, and our efforts matter. I want them to remember these unique, brave people in history who left us a shining example of what it means to live out one's beliefs with passion and commitment."

My Opinion

This is the 2nd book in A Saddler's Legacy series the first one is Fairer Than Morning and I give both books 4 out of 5 stars.  I love that this book is loosely based on the Hanby family, and was delighted to find this out at the end of the book.  While reading the book I didn't realize that it was based on this famous historical family.  I didn't know very much about the underground railroad but enjoyed learning about it and this has sparked an interest in me to study and learn more about what happened during that perilous time in U.S. history, of course I know a lot about the Civil War but I've been digging in deeper and have found some much interesting history about the Underground Railroad and the abolitionist movement thanks to Rosslyn Elliott for opening my eyes. 

To read an excerpt from the book click here

So to celebrate the music in all of us, Rosslyn and Thomas Nelson are hosting this "sweet giveaway".

One fortunate winner will receive:

  • A Brand new iPod Nano (Winner's choice of color!)
  • Fairer than Morning by Rosslyn Elliott
  • Sweeter than Birdsong by Rosslyn Elliott
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on February 28th. Winner will be announced at Sweeter than Birdsong Author Chat Facebook Party on 2/28. Rosslyn will be chatting with guests, sharing a sneak peek of the next book in the series, hosting a trivia contest, and more! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, season 1 of DowntownAbbey, and a book club prize pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club AND a LIVE Author Chat for your group with Rosslyn.)

So grab your copy of Sweeter than Birdsong and join Rosslyn and friends on the evening of the 28th for an evening of fun.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter
Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 28th!

Thank you litfuse for giving me a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Beeyoutiful-Healthy Living for the Real World

As most of my faithful friends and family know, my daughter Makenzie is 11 years old.  She's adopted from South Korea and is such a sweet, sweet girl.  We have been so blessed to have her in our lives and thank  God for her every single day.  My poor little sweet girl has horrible, rough, scaly hands!  They feel worse than leather and almost like crocodile skin...big BOO from this mama.  I want her to have soft, little girl hands and not hands that crack and bleed all the time.  Guess what???  I was asked to review a couple of different products from BeeYouTiful one was an orange lip balm that works great on dry lips and has some wonderful, natural ingredients like shea butter, grape seed oil, bees wax and essential oils. For only $3.00 it's well worth it to keep your lips soft and supple.  At they carry all types of different natural products for your health, mind and body.  They believe that everyone is responsible for their own health and have found many different types of "tools" to help you.

But the big kicker for me was the Ow-Ease.  It's designed to help ease your pain away which it did BUT we also found out that it's also helped to heal up Makenzie's dry, cracked hands! YAY!!! She doesn't have to suffer the pain of bleeding, cracked skin anymore and I don't have to spend a lot of money trying to find a cure.  At $15.00 per tube this is well within my budget, I believe we've probably already spent $200 just trying to find a solution for her skin problems.

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Apologia: Who am I?

I don't know if you are like me but when I hear the word Apologia I automatically think of science curriculum.  I found out that Apologia offers the homeschooler many different curriculums, not just science.  They have geography, writing curriculum and even a worldview study.   So, when I had the opportunity to review Who am I? I wasn't really sure what to expect. This text is designed for ages 6-14 year olds and covers the topic of healthy self image based on biblical truths.  My 11 year old daughter, Makenzie and I have been pleasantly surprised, we are really enjoying this special time together reading and studying.  She loves the notebooking journal which contains lesson plans, writing prompts, puzzles and has already started filling it up! 

We are really enjoying our mommy/daughter time exploring Who Am I?  We received the text book ($39), the note booking journal ($24), a copy of the book on a MP3 CD ($19) was also included and the entire book is read by Marissa Leinart. This makes it nice for auditory learners as well as allowing for more independent study. Please note that the CD only plays on a MP3 compatible device or on a computer. We also received the coloring book ($8), I feel this is for younger children that might be sitting in and learning with an older child but it can be used as part of the curriculum if you choose to utilize it.

This is book 2 in a 3 book series.  Book 1 is Who is God?  and Book 3 is Who Is  My Neighbor?  and it covers biblical servant-hoodThey have plans for book 4 to come out sometime this year and it will be What on Earth Can I Do?  and it will cover biblical stewardship.

If you would like to see what other members of the TOS homeschool crew have to say about Who Am I click here.
Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Mighty Macs DVD giveaway

In 1971, Cathy Rush is a woman ahead of her time and she's about to embark on an adventure for the ages. A new area is dawning in the country and in college athletics, where a national champion will be crowned for the very first time in women's basketball.  In the lead up to this historical event major universities are preparing their game plan to win the first title.  Meanwhile a tiny all women's Catholic college in Philadelphia has another goal in mind: find a coach before the season begins.  This is the story of Cathy Rush and Immaculate College when these combine you won't believe what will happen is this inspiring true story!  So stop, sit back with a cup of coffee and enjoy the trailer for The Mighty Macs.

If this wholesome, family movie interests you then please fill out the Rafflecopter form below and enter to win a copy of The Mighty Macs dvd, it was just released on DVD today!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Coming soon...our Asian Market Adventure

I don't have time to blog about our adventure to a couple of different Asian Markets in the Tulsa area but I will soon.  You won't want to miss all the interesting things we saw!

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

Every year our homeschool coop has a fun Valentine's Day party.  This year the committee went all out for it!

Every year there are some very creative Valentine Mailboxes!  I LOVED the soccer stadium with gummy bear fans, that's some major creativity!!!  The monster box seems to be a huge hit this year, I've seen a bunch of them.  The monkey one was adorable and the volcano was a great idea.

The kids receive some fun and creative Valentine's this year!  Not so sure about the OSU one but we love Miss Abby anyway. (We are OU fans and she know it, little stinker loves to tease us.  We love to tease her family also.)

Kenzie after the party

Kylan and Trix after the party

Thanks for reading,

Monday, February 13, 2012


This was taken from the ALEKS website.

Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn't know in a course. ALEKS then instructs the student on the topics she is most ready to learn. As a student works through a course, ALEKS periodically reassesses the student to ensure that topics learned are also retained. ALEKS courses are very complete in their topic coverage and ALEKS avoids multiple-choice questions. A student who shows a high level of mastery of an ALEKS course will be successful in the actual course she is taking.
ALEKS also provides the advantages of one-on-one instruction, 24/7, from virtually any Web-based computer for a fraction of the cost of a human tutor.

So far both of my kids really seem to like ALEKS, no arguments when it's time for math.  They actually work ahead on it because they thinks it's fun to finish out their pie chart.

I love the fact that each of my children has a program specifically tailored for their math needs.  This ensures that each of them is learning what they need to learn and that I haven't accidentally missed something in their math education.

ALEKS even offers some fun games that help keep them interested while they are learning.

You can even print worksheets out.  I print out the worksheets and have them do these while we are in the car driving to dance or to a field trip. All of the rest of their work is done on the computer, which means we don't have any workbooks to keep track of or any DVD's to misplace.
Once your child masters a topic they are automatically moved on to a new topic.  Each topic builds on the previous topic and before you know it your 6th grader is doing 8th grade math. Neither of us even realized it until I was looking through our master account and saw an 8th grade level next to my daughter's info.  It made me happy to know she's enjoying math and getting a lot out of it and she's happy because she can boast a little about her fabulous math skills.  The Master account keeps track of your child's progress, you can create quizzes for them, review their attendance report, and change the grade level of their work. 

My Opinion

I recommend this program it really seems to work!  I do think it can be a little dry at times but you can help by adding fun games and hands on manipulatives.   Subscriptions are available for $19.95 a month, $99.95 for 6 months of access, or $179.95 for 12 months.  For families with more than one child, discount pricing is available.

If you would like to see what members of the TOS crew have to say about ALEKS click here.

Thanks for reading, 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cooper and Me and the Military-review and giveaway

Cooper and Me and the Military is another delightful book in the Cooper and Me series of books, this one is obviously about the military.  I love the way it page flows and rhymes, careful thought was put into each page and all of the beautiful illustrations.  My kids are a little older but they still love to read each new Cooper and Me book that comes out and they are already wondering what the next one will be.  This book would be great for any child that has a family member in the military, there is even a fill in the blank letter in the back of the book that is addressed to Service Men and Women and and email address where you can send messages to our troops!  I love that!  My brother was in the Navy, and I know it was really hard on him and I'm sure it was lonely.  It's nice to know that other people take the time and energy to thank our service men and women. I continually pray for them and thank them anytime I see someone that has or is serving our country!
 Cooper and Me and the Military can be purchased online for $12.99 by clicking here.

Here is a brief synopsis of the book taken directly from their website.

Meet Trooper, Cooper’s best friend, and learn how he was adopted by Gracie and Joe and their parents, who both serve in the military. Find out how this family stays close despite being separated.

A must-read during patriotic holidays and for anyone with friends and family in the military, this book helps children know, that even when loved ones aren’t with us, they still love us and think about us. This book, along with all the other books in the Cooper and Me series, includes these interactive features:
• A Special Memory Creation
• Life Lesson
• Connections
• Learning Together

Would you like a chance to win a copy of this adorable book?  If so enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Sister treats me like a baby

Written by my friend Teodoro Martin
I am so sick of my older sister treating me like a baby. I am old enough to make my own decisions and I am old enough to even make my own mistakes. I feel like she is always double checking me and always sticking her head where it doesn’t belong. I know she loves me and is only trying to help, but enough is enough. I finally found a place of my own and picked what I thought to be the best texaselectricityproviders just energy. I know it is not a big deal and not even a big decision, but my sister was doing research to make sure I picked the right one. Again, I know it is not a big deal, but it is the principal of the entire thing. I need to make my own decisions and I need to learn from my own mistakes. If she is always watching my every move, then I am never going to be able to do that. She is my sister and I love her, but she is not my mom and she needs to accept that.

Math Rider

Math Rider is a math facts game that teaches your children to master addition, subtraction, multiplication and division for numbers 1-12 while they are having fun!  This game is for ages 6-12 and was designed by a software architect for his own children.

To play the game you start a "quest" and the story line is given so the children know what's going on.  You then ride your horse on your quest and along the way jump over obstacles which are math problems.  If you happen to miss one the horse stops and the correct answer is given.  Your horse starts back up and you continue with your "quest".  You can adjust the speed and problems according to your child's ability.

What My Kids Think

Makenzie my 11 year old is in 6th grade and she really likes the program and flew through it with ease but she already knows her facts and so this was a simple review for her.

Kylan my 10 year old is in 4th grade and he liked it too but thought it was challenging and is still working on completing his first quest.  *He has special needs and likes to take new things slowly and he still has problems with his multiplication facts but I'm seeing improvement since using Math Rider*

Math Rider is normally $49.95 but is on sale for $37 and you can even have a free 7 day trial to see if this is the right program for you and your child.

If you would like to see what other TOS crew mates have to say about Math Rider click here.

Thanks for reading, 

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Heaven is for Real for Kids-book review

By Todd & Sonja Burpo
Published by Thomas Nelson

This book can be purchase at christian bookstores 
online and of course at Amazon

Heaven is for real, and you are going to like it!
Colton Burpo came back from his trip to heaven with a very important message: Jesus really, really loves children. In effort to reach even more families with this eternally significant story, this runaway bestseller is now told from Colton—kid to kids! Children will receive the same comfort and assurance that so many adults have received from the trade book.
Beautifully illustrated, under Colton's direction, this book is uniquely written from a child for a child. Colton tells of his experiences in first person and comments on things that will be important to kids. A letter to parents is included to guide them in talking to their children about heaven. Scripture along with Q&A section with answers from the Bible are also included in the book.

My Opinion

I loved it and give it 5 out of 5 stars!  I had already read Heaven is for Real in just one day and thought it was an amazing book.  My 11 year old daughter had read it also and loved it and I really wanted my 10 year old to read it but he's very sensitive and has some special needs so I didn't think that one would be ideal book for him but this Kids version is PERFECT!  He was amazed and awed by what happened to Colton on his journey to heaven and back.  Kylan had a lot of questions about heaven, some were answered in this book and some were not.

This is the perfect book for children, it's thoughtfully written with a child in mind and has beautiful illustrations that children love and even has a guide in the back to help stimulate conversation between you and your child.  The main message behind this book is that Jesus really, really LOVES children.  I feel it would be great for very young children up to 10 or 11 year olds and when they are old enough they will probably want to move on and read Heaven is for Real.  This would even make a wonderful gift for expecting parents and will be cherished and loved by all that read about Colton Burpo and his AMAZING experience with life and death and HEAVEN!

I review for BookSneeze®
Thanks for reading,

Monday, February 06, 2012


When we received the See-N-Spell booklet in the mail I was thinking, "Really? This tiny booklet isn't going to be able to help my kids with their spelling" but it has been an invaluable tool for both of my kids.  No, it doesn't take the place of a typical spelling curriculum but yes it does help them learn to spell common words.  They have been working on reports the past couple of weeks and this little tool has saved them some time because when they don't know how to spell a word I always say, "Look it up in the dictionary" and now I have them look it up in the See-N-Spell booklet first and 9 times out of 10 it's in the booklet, which saves them time!  It's very reasonably priced at $9.99 and comes with a free See-N-Read tool!

We also received a See-N-Read tool and it's pure genius for a child that gets distracted or often skips lines or gets lost on a page.  My 10 year old son would get to distracted by all of the other words on the page that he couldn't focus on what he was reading.  This tool has helped his comprehension and he's reading books much quicker now.  As you can see in the picture below, only the current line in the book shows and the rest is shaded over.  This little tool is a super price of only $2.99 by itself or other pricing is available for different document sizes or for use on a PC.

To see what other crew members thought of these products click here.

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Purex Ultra Packs

The other day I received another product from Purex to review, it's called Purex Triple Action Ultra Pack. 

 This one was so unique that I did a double take thinking it might be for the dishwasher.  I'm sure most of you have either seen or used those packets for the dishwasher that have all the soap in them, you pop them in and go.  No measuring, no waste from overfilling, it's super easy....WELL, Purex now makes those packs for laundry soap!  Brilliant I tell you! Now my kiddos can just throw one in the washer when they are loading it (I'm teaching them both to do laundry).  We've had some issues with too much or too little soap in the past but with these packets you don't have to worry about that, it's all pre-measured for you.  NOTE: if you have a front loader like I do then put pack into drum before loading clothes,  do NOT put pack into the drawer that you normally put soap in....just ask me how I know.

Enter with Rafflecopter to win a coupon for a FREE pack!


My husband and I were supposed to go see OVERCOMER on opening night with some friends from church but my Father in Law was put in the h...