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Wednesday, 12 January 2011
What Have We Been Reading?
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Family

Well, it's been over a month and I thought I would check in to see how everyone was doing with their reading. I took a break from my traditional history books the kids took a break from school, so some of the books that I mentioned we were reading we still are reading. But, we have also read some interesting books in between, so here goes.

Tim - Do you remember the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics this last year? Well, they featured the different regions of Canada and during the "Prairie" performance, they had a short reading from a book called "Who Has Seen the Wind" by W. O. Mitchell. The short reading was beautiful and is sounded like just the kind of book that I would like to read. After some research I found out that W. O. Mitchell is a famous Canadian author and Who Has Seen the Wind is considered a classic in Canada. Try as I may, however, I could not find that book in any one of the places that I usually buy books from. It seems that "Who Has Seen the Wind" may be a classic in Canada, but the book and it's author aren't well known in the U. S. A. So, I finally ordered it from Amazon.

I was right. The book was right down my alley. I loved it! I won't go into a lot of detail here, because this isn't a book review it's a "what are we reading" post. I will tell you, though, that I would highly recommend the book, but not for everyone. I wouldn't let my kids read it, at least yet. As many "classics" do, it has some language. Not terribly horrible language, but it has it. The book, however, I feel has a pretty good moral to it. I'd love to hear what some Canadians (or others) who have read the book feel about it. Anyone?

Other than that, I'm presently reading Jesus in the Present Tense by Warren Wiersbe for First Wild Card and I love it. Warren Wiersbe is a great author and this is a great book, but I'll save my final say for the end of the month when I post my review.

John Allen - John Allen finished The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare and said that it was the best book that he has ever read. I didn't have to ask him to read it, he picked it up and read it himself. He has read a lot of great books over the past couple of years so for him to make that claim, it must be good.

Now he's finally finishing The Cat of Bubastus by G. A. Henty. It's not that he didn't have the desire to finish it, mind you. It's just that we didn't bring it with us on our travels during Christmas, and other things got in the way. Just tonight he said that he was going to hate for it to end and that it was right up there with The Bronze Bow. Two great books within a couple of months - that's not bad!

Joshua - Joshua is still in his football phase. Maybe I should say his "football craze"! He loves anything football and he loves the Mannings. Peyton, Eli and Archie! He got a Peyton Manning jersey for Christmas, and we even found a great little book called "Family Huddle" written by the Manning brothers and their dad. Joshua loves it. It has a good story, great pictures and even some football plays. Great for your young football fans.

Now it's back to school and, yes, back to Ben Franklin. It's not that he dislikes the book, it's just that it's...well...school! He is doing quite well in school, though, and is enjoying it. So I know he will continue to enjoy the biography of Ben Franklin that we are reading.

Jacob - I have been very blessed to get a couple of books to review from First Wild Card that Jacob has really enjoyed. One, The Dragon and the Turtle Go On Safari, I reviewed yesterday, and the other, God Gave Us the World, I'm going to review tomorrow. The reviews will tell you all about these great books.

Don't bother asking me about Sarah. Who knows what she has been/is reading. She reads all of the time and I can't keep up.

Sorry, no pictures of all of the books this time. Maybe I'll come back and add some later. I've added all of the above mentioned books on my Amazon sidebar, though. If you click on them, it will take you right to the Amazon page for that book. Now, in order to be open, I am an Amazon affiliate, so if you end up buying the book after you click on the link from this page, I will get a percentage of the profit (hey it's an easy way to support a poor struggling missionary family Laughing). Really, no pressure. Please buy the book anywhere if you are really interested in it. I'm only trying to encourage everyone to read!

So, what have you been reading lately? Leave me a comment tell us all about it. Inquiring minds want to know!


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Posted by tink38570 at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Thursday, 13 January 2011 12:13 AM CST
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Tuesday, 11 January 2011
The Dragon and the Turtle Go On Safari - A First Wild Card Book
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Book Reviews

I think I mentioned a month or so ago that I would be reviewing books for First Wild Card Tour. First Wild Card is a Christian organization and their books fit in very nicely with this blog. I'm really excited about this opportunity. It's a lot like the TOS Homeschool Crew, but with books. First Wild Card also does a blip about the authors and the book that I just copy and paste . All I have to do is read the book and give my opinion. And, it's finally time for my first book!

I loved The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari. Roger the Turtle and Padraig the Dragon are on the adventure of a lifetime - a safari. Complete with camping, strange night time sounds, and wild animals. Only this safari isn't quite what it seems. What's the problem? You'll have to read the book to find out! 

This really is a great book that your kids will love. There is even a great discussion starter to help you talk with your children about being strong and courageous (Deuteronomy 31:6) like Roger and Padraig were. Check below for pricing and other information. This book, along with all of the books in the series can be purchased from www.RandomHouse.com or from any major book retailer. Happy Reading!


It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card authors are:

and the book:

The Dragon and The Turtle Go on Safari

WaterBrook Press (January 11, 2011)

***Special thanks to Staci Carmichael, Marketing and Publicity Coordinator, Doubleday Religion / Waterbrook Multnomah / Divisions of Random House, Inc. for sending me a review copy.***


A former schoolteacher, Donita K. Paul is the best-selling author of the Dragon Keeper series, The Vanishing Sculptor, and Dragons of the Valley.

Visit the author's website.

Evangeline Denmark likes to turn bedtime stories into picture books. She lives in Colorado with her engineer husband, their two noisy boys, her author mom, and Willie, a cattle dog who tries to herd the entire family into one room.

Visit the author's website.


Vincent Nguyen has illustrated numerous children's books and is also a part of the art departments for 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios.

Product Details:

List Price: $11.99
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (January 11, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 030744645X
ISBN-13: 978-0307446459

AND NOW...THE FIRST FOUR PAGES...press the pictures to better view them:

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:05 PM CST
Updated: Thursday, 13 January 2011 7:14 PM CST
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Monday, 10 January 2011
Now this is Cool!
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Compassion International

Okay, this really isn't just for people involved with Compassion International, it's really for everyone. But, since I did some stuff on it for my Compassion kids, I'm featuring it as a Compassion post.

As Compassion International sponsors, we are really encouraged to write to our kids. There really isn't much encouraging needed for me. I love to write to them and the letters that I get back from them are precious. Usually I use Compassion's on line email feature. The email really isn't sent to the kids directly. Most of them don't have computers. Really, many of them don't even have electricity! Anyway, the emails are sent to the countries national office where they are translated and then sent to the Compassion project that the kids attend. Then, whenever the next mail day is at their project, they will get their letter. It still takes a few weeks to go through the entire process, but that beats the two or three months it takes for a snail mail letter to get to them.

If you send a snail mail letter, you send it directly to the Compassion headquarters in Colorado. They will log it in and send it in a big batch to the country headquarters which then translates it, sends it to the project and the child finally gets it. 

The only time I use the snail mail feature is if I want to send them something like a picture, stickers, or something else. I usually try to send a packet of things to my kids about every three months or so. Some dedicated sponsors send out packets once a month! Maybe someday. At this time it is all I can do just to send them out every two or three months. I do email them quite often though - two or three times a month.

I am just now getting a packet together for them. It has some Valentine's Day things in it even though I know it will be way past February 14 when they get it. It doesn't matter to the kids anyway. They don't have a Valentine's Day in their countries, so they won't really care when they get it. I plan on explaining what Valentine's Day is all about in my letter, but also put a Christian spin on it so that they know that they are very much loved by God. Here's one of the things that I'm going to send:







These are actually only a fourth of the page. Each child is going to get 16 small valentines of himself. I'm going to explain that in the United States it is a tradition to give valentines to your friends and family to show that you love and appreciate them. So, they can cut these out and give them away.

The program to do this is free and you can find it at http://www.picnik.com/ . They have a lot of neat things on their website that you can do with pictures. Check it out.

So, why do I do this for my kids? Well, because I want to show a little love to kids that don't see or get much love. Everyone needs to know that they are loved. If you feel led to love a child by sponsoring them check out Compassion International's website. Trust me, the love you will get in return will make it all worth it!


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Posted by tink38570 at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Tuesday, 11 January 2011 12:25 AM CST
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Sunday, 9 January 2011
Positive Action Bible Curriculum
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Homeschool Product Review

Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox Extension 

I love teaching the Bible. I love teaching it to my own children. I love teaching it to the kids that come to Good News Mission. I just love teaching the Bible. That’s why I was so excited to find out that, as a reviewer on the TOS Homeschool Crew, I was going to receive the Positive Action for Christ second grade Bible curriculum, Finding God’s Promises.

I always love reviewing Bible curriculum because each company has their own way of doing things and their own way of setting things up. As a Bible teacher I love to take the best things from different curriculum to improve my teaching. There are many companies where I have not enjoyed using their material, and there are several companies that I have thought were great, but the kids weren’t as enthusiastic about them. This company was a winner.  Joshua and I both really enjoyed using it.

Positive Action’s Bible curriculum actually goes from K-5 all the way to 6th grade. What I really like about their curriculum is that it is very age appropriate – activities focus on developing a child not only Biblically, but also academically. For example, one lesson’s Developmental Activities included “Comparing Jesus to a sacrificial lamb” and also “Matching phrases to complete sentences”. Another great aspect of the curriculum is that each lesson focuses on a character trait. And the focus isn’t just head knowledge, but action as well. It’s nice that a student knows how to act, but encouraging that action and guiding that student in that action is another thing. Finding God’s Promises does that.

I also enjoyed the fact that the easy to use teacher’s guide includes everything that you need all laid out in a very simple way. Each one of the 34 lessons begins with a list of new Bible Vocabulary words for that lesson, the “Target Truths” that the lesson attempts to get across to the student, the “Teaching Strategy” section, which is basically the overview of the lesson, and then launches right into the lesson. Each lesson includes the scripture for that lesson, ideas to help you explain the lesson along with discussion suggestions, and a character trait section complete with a story and activities. Each lesson also included suggested songs and memory verses.

But, as much as I enjoy the extra “perks” of a Bible curriculum like the ones mentioned above, what’s really important is the Bible content. Positive Actions does not disappoint in that area either. The content is excellent while the activities in the full color student workbook are very well done, kept Joshua’s interest and really reinforced what was taught in the lesson. The character trait stories also stayed true to the goal of the lesson and were Biblically sound. One word of advice, though. Although I found the lessons in this series to be Biblically, it is always good to check the Doctrinal Statement of any company that you are buying Bible curriculum from to make sure that they are compatible with what you believe.

As mentioned before, each year in this series is divided into 34 weeks with an extra review week if you desire. It has lesson plans for a 5-Day Week, a 4-Day Week or a 3-Day Week. It needs to be understood, though, that this curriculum was originally written to be used in a Christian school classroom setting. Homeschoolers tend to be able to do things faster because of the smaller group, sometimes one on one ratio. I found that if Joshua and I could complete some days in 15 minutes or less depending on how much we discussed the activity. I’m sure there are some homeschool families that could probably complete a whole lesson in setting depending on the attention span of their children, how in depth they would like to go with their family, and how much time they spend on the verse and songs.  Still, all in all, it is an excellent curriculum and very well done.

Each year’s teacher’s manual is available in hard copy form for $33.95 or on a CD for $19.95. The student manuals are $12.95 each or $10.95 when you purchase five or more. Positive Action also sells Hymn and Chorus CD’s which include all of the music used that year for $9.95. If you would like to purchase any of the materials or find out more about this company just click here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. Many of the other TOS Homeschool Crew folks reviewed different levels of this series and you can find out what they have to say by clicking here. Happy homeschooling!

As a Member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent a free copy of Positive Action’s 2nd Grade Bible Curriculum (Teacher and Student Manual) in order to try out and review on my blog.

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:18 AM CST
Updated: Sunday, 9 January 2011 11:28 AM CST
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Saturday, 8 January 2011
How do Japanese Multiply? You have got to see this!
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Homeschool Helps

I was actually ready to write and post my review this evening when my internet went down for some reason. I wrote it in my word processor program, but wasn't able to put all of the bell's and whistle's in it like links and pictures. Now the 'net is back up again, but, once again, I'm just to tired to do it tonight. I'll get it up right after church tomorrow. It's really after midnight as I'm posting this, but I'm going to cheat and put up yesterday's date Surprised because, after all, I'm trying to post every day and I would have posted my review if our internet hadn't have been down.

Instead of my review, though, I'm posting this really cool video of how the Japanese multiply. John Allen and I tried this last night and it is really easy and it works! Check it out!


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Posted by tink38570 at 12:01 AM CST
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