A New Amanda Bennett Download-N-Go Magnificent Moon! Mood:
mischievious Topic: Homeschool Product Review
There are really not enough "M" words to describe this Download-N-Go unit Study by Amanda Bennett, but I'm going to give it a shot.
It is really mind-blowing that I should be reviewing Magnificent Moon. I have been fascinated with the moon and space since I was a youngster. And, to top it off, I had the great pleasure of living in Central Florida for 19 years and could see the space shuttle take off from my home. I loved going to the Kennedy Space Center and I was always fascinated with the space attractions at Disney World. So, reviewing Magnificent Moon is really meaningful to me.
As usual, this Download-N-Go study is really a monumental piece of work. It has everything that all of the previous Download-N-Go studies have plus more. First let me show you the themes for each day:
Day 1: What Exactly Is a Moon?......................................................... 13
Day 2: Getting to Know the Moon.................................................... 31
Day 3: The Story of the Moon............................................................ 52
Day 4: Science Secrets of the Moon................................................. 67
Day 5: Cool Things About the Moon................................................ 83
As I said, there are some really neat things about this unit study. The video's that are included in all of the Download-N-Go studies are some of my son, Joshua's favorite parts. Of course, Ms. Bennett has included a lot of videos in this study as well, and, let me tell you, Magnificent Moon's Moon Movies are marvelous! I still constantly marvel at closeups of the moon, but this study doesn't just concentrate on the moon, it also talks a lot about space exploration and astronauts. There are a lot of great Apollo space project clips that talk about space travel and a lot about the moonwalks that the Apollo flights were known for.
All of the things that make the Download-N-Go studies momentous are here. The lapbook is fantastic! The reading list is great! The "Fun Family Ideas" are wonderful! However, there are two things in this particular unit study that I think make it memorable. Every day there is a study of an astronaut that actually walked on the moon, and, every day there is artwork done by astronaut Alan Bean. He took some of his space and moon memories and included put them on canvas.
Finally, probably the most miraculous thing is the price! You get all of the above for only $7.95. To find out more about this study and to find out how to purchase it, you can click here or on any one of the links above. Amanda Bennett has been reworking her website to include all of her Download-N-Go unit studies as well as her longer four week unit studies and you can find all of them by clicking here. Finally, you can read what the other reviewers of Magnificent Moon had to say by clicking here. And as usual - Happy Home Educating!
As a member of the Download-N-Go review team I was sent a free download of Magnificent Moon to use and review on my blog.
A review of the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids - An Honest Review Mood:
a-ok Topic: Homeschool Product Review
You have heard the saying "honesty is the best policy" haven't you? Well, I am about to make a few very honest statements in this review of the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids and I want you to pay close attention. Here goes.
Honest statement number 1.This is one of those review items that almost as soon as I received the package from Lifeway Christian Stores, it was confiscated by one of my three children. In this case it was my middle child Joshua. The day that I got this very colorful hardback covered book he was off with it and I barely ever saw it again. Oh I would see it occasionally. Like when he would be curled up in a chair looking through the fantastically illustrated pages or when it was placed carefully, like a prized possession, on the end table by his favorite chair. Other than that, he nor the book was to be seen.
Which leads me to honest statement number 2. I was never really able to look through the book until today. I had to physically hunt the book down which I finally found on said end table beside said favorite chair. Before I tell you what I found, though, let me quickly insert:
Honest statement number 3. This could also be one of those "I've got a secret" moments when I reveal a hidden truth about myself. Anyway, when I was young, I loved looking through Bible dictionaries. I don't know what it was, but they just appealed to me. Since my dad was a minister, I didn't have to go far to find one. I recall a rather large one that I would often take off of the shelf and peruse. Unfortunately it was way over my head in many ways. Try as I would to read the descriptions, I would usually have to settle for the black and white pictures and illustrations. Still they fascinated me.
Now for honest statement number 4. My first thought after opening and looking through this book was "how I wish I would have had the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids when I was a kid". I would have soaked it up. The pictures are colorful and the explanations are written on a child's level. I learned some things just in that short time that I never knew before. And I have a degree in Bible from a Bible college! This book has everything that you could think of and is written in a way that is interesting to adults but understandable to a child. And as I mentioned before, the pictures and illustrations are colorful and plentiful. Almost every entry has a photo or chart to go along with it.
I really do love this book and can't wait to use it in the Bible Clubs and Day Camps that we conduct in our ministry. My wife works with ladies that have very little knowledge of the Bible and this would be great for her to use as well.
Now for honest statement number 5. I do a lot of reviews on my blog, and I always try to say something good about every item. After all, the company has generously provided items for me to use free of charge. The least I can do is try to say something positive about every product even though that product might not have worked well with our family.
The way that you can tell if I really like an item or not is to look for expressive words like "love". They are always sure signs especially if they are underlined. Also, look for lots of exclamation marks. We are trained to let our words do the talking and not use a lot of exclamation marks, so if you see one in a review that I have written, pay attention to it.
So, honest statement number 6 is - I really love the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids!!! Can I make it any clearer than that?
As I mentioned before, the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids was sent to me by Lifeway Christian Stores. If you click here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above you will get to the page on their website for this great book. I think it is well worth the price of $14.99! (notice the exclamation point) Many other folks on the TOS Homeschool Crew received this same item and you can find what they had to say by clicking here.
Now, finally, honest statement number 7. I always close each of my reviews the same way, but I really do mean it when I say - Happy Home Educating!
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent a free copy of the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids from Lifeway Christian Stores in order to use and review on my blog.
BB Gun Shooting Season Has Started! Mood:
happy Topic: Family
Some of you may not know it, but our family is very involved in shooting sports. In particular competition BB gun shooting. Competition BB guns aren't your run of the mill BB guns that you buy at Wal-Mart ~ they cost $100 or more ~ and, you don't shoot at tin cans, you shoot at competition targets. You may think that shooting BB guns competitively is nothing big, but many of the Olympic shooters began their career by shooting BB guns.
We are very fortunate to have one of the top teams, the Bend of the River Possums just miles from our home. Yes, I said "Possums", but they are nothing to shake a stick at. The team is regularly ranked in the top 20 in the nation and have produced some fine shooters. Just last year one of our shooters was 4th nationally in the sitting position and a few years ago another one of our shooters won a gold medal at the nationals. John Allen has gone to nationals twice and is on par to go again this year as one of the top shooters on the team.
When you shoot competitively you shoot four positions, prone (on your stomach), sitting, kneeling and standing. You also have a test that you take on rules, guns, ammunition and gun safety. You can get up to 100 points for each position and the test, so a perfect score would be 500. As far as I know, no one in the history of BB gun shooting has scored a perfect 500 at nationals. Last year's all around winner won with a 486.
Well, the first practice for the possums was last Saturday. We will be practicing every Saturday from now until the pre-state and state match in April, and then the shooters that are selected to go to nationals will continue shooting practicing until the competition in July in Rogers, Arkansas. Of course, since we homeschool, we are able to go for extra practice during the week. Our goal this year is to practice on Monday and Wednesdays and, of course on Saturdays. This is John Allen's last year of shooting BB's so we are working hard to go out with a bang. Next year he will be moving up to air rifle but Joshua will continue shooting BB's with Jacob joining him in a couple of years. Below are some pictures of our first practice. If you want to know more about Competition BB shooting, click here.
Jesus in the Present Tense - A First Wild Card Blog Tour Book Mood:
a-ok Topic: Book Reviews
I love Warren W. Wiersbe, so when I had the opportunity to review one of his books for First Wild Card blog tours I jumped at the chance. Jesus In the Present Tense: The I AM Statements of Christ is a very easy read, but very thought provoking. Just this afternoon my wife, Sarah, and I were discussing a statement that the author makes in one of the chapters. I would recommend this book to any Christian seeking to know more about the Jesus of yesterday, tomorrow and especially today. Remember, Jesus didn't say "I was" or "I will be", He said "I AM"!
You'll find all of the information you need below regarding the price and how to order this book. 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!
***Special thanks to Karen Davis, Assistant Media Specialist, The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dr. Warren Wiersbe is an internationally known Bible teacher and the former pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago. For ten years he was associated with the Back to the Bible radio broadcast, first as Bible teacher and then as general director. Dr. Wiersbe has written more than 160 books, including the popular “Be” series of Bible commentaries, which has sold more than four million copies. He and his wife, Betty, live in Lincoln, NE.
SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:
As Warren Wiersbe writes, “My past may discourage me and my future may frighten me, but ‘the life I now live’ today can be enriching and encouraging because ‘Christ lives in me.’” In Jesus in the Present Tense, Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe explores the “I AM” statements of God—from His burning bush conversation with Moses, to His powerful reassurances to the Israelites, to Jesus’ startling claim to be the Light of the World. Jesus in the Present Tense offers a fresh exploration of God—the I AM.
God doesn’t want us to ignore the past, but the past should be a rudder to guide us and not an anchor to hold us back. Nor does He want us to neglect planning for the future, so long as we say, “If it is the Lord’s will” (James 4:13-17). The better we understand our Lord’s I AM statements, and by faith apply them, the more our strength will equal our days (Deut. 33:25), and we will “run and not grow weary [and]…walk and not be faint” (Isa. 40:31). We will abide in Christ and bear fruit for His glory today—now.
List Price: $14.99 Paperback: 208 pages Publisher: David C. Cook (January 1, 2011) Language: English ISBN-10: 0781404878 ISBN-13: 978-0781404877
AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:
Moses Asks a Question
Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
When Helen Keller was nineteen months old, she contracted an illness that left her blind and deaf for life. It was not until she was ten years old that she began to have meaningful communication with those around her. It occurred when her gifted teacher Anne Sullivan taught her to say “water” as Anne spelled “water” on the palm of her hand. From that pivotal experience, Helen Keller entered the wonderful world of words and names, and it transformed her life. Once Helen was accustomed to this new system of communication with others, her parents arranged for her to receive religious instruction from the eminent Boston clergyman Phillips Brooks. One day during her lesson, Helen said these remarkable words to Brooks: “I knew about God before you told me, only I didn’t know His name.”1
The Greek philosophers wrestled with the problem of knowing and naming God. “But the father and maker of all this universe is past finding out,” Plato wrote in his Timaeus dialogue, “and if we found him, to tell of him to all men would be impossible.” He said that God was “a geometrician,” and Aristotle called God “The Prime Mover.” No wonder the apostle Paul found an altar in Athens dedicated to “The Unknown God” (see Acts 17:22–23). The Greek philosophers of his day were “without hope and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12). But thinkers in recent centuries haven’t fared much better. The German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Hegel called God “the Absolute,” and Herbert Spencer named Him “the Unknowable.” Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychiatry, wrote in chapter 4 of his book Totem and Taboo (1913), “The personalized God is psychologically nothing other than a magnified father.” God is a father figure but not a personal heavenly Father. British biologist Julian Huxley wrote in chapter 3 of his book Religion without Revelation (1957), “Operationally, God is beginning to resemble not a ruler but the last fading smile of a cosmic Cheshire cat.” The fantasies described in Alice in Wonderland were more real to Huxley than was God Almighty!
But God wants us to know Him, because knowing God is the most important thing in life!
To begin with, knowing God personally is the only way we sinners can be saved. Jesus said, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). After healing a blind beggar, Jesus later searched for him and found him in the temple, and the following conversation took place: “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” asked Jesus. The man said, “Who is he, sir? Tell me so that I may believe in him.”
Jesus replied, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you” (John 9:35–38). The man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he fell on his knees before Jesus. Not only was the beggar given physical sight, but his spiritual eyes were also opened (Eph. 1:18) and he received eternal life. His first response was to worship Jesus publicly where everybody could see him.
This introduces a second reason why we must know who God is and what His name is: We were created to worship and glorify Him. After all, only little joy or encouragement can come from worshiping an “unknown God.” We were created in God’s image that we might have fellowship with Him now and “enjoy Him forever,” as the catechism says. Millions of people attend religious services faithfully each week and participate in the prescribed liturgy, but not all of them enjoy personal fellowship with God. Unlike that beggar, they have never submitted to Jesus and said, “Lord, I believe.” To them, God is a distant stranger, not a loving Father. Their religious lives are a routine, not a living reality.
But there is a third reason for knowing God. Because we possess eternal life and practice biblical worship, we can experience the blessing of a transformed life. After describing the folly of idol worship, the psalmist added, “Those who make them [idols] will be like them, and so will all who trust in them” (see Ps. 115:1–8). We become like the gods that we worship! Worshiping a god we don’t know is the equivalent of worshiping an idol, and we can have idols in our minds and imaginations as well as on our shelves.
Our heavenly Father’s loving purpose for His children is that they might be “conformed to the image of his Son” (Rom. 8:29). “And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man [Adam], so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man [Jesus]” (1 Cor. 15:49). However, we should not wait until we see Jesus for this transformation to begin, because God’s Holy Spirit can start changing us today. As we pray, meditate on the Word of God, experience suffering and joy, and as we witness, worship, fellowship with God’s people, and serve the Lord with our spiritual gifts, the Spirit quietly works within us and transforms us to become more like our Lord Jesus Christ.
The conclusion is obvious: The better we know the Lord, the more we will love Him, and the more we love Him, the more we will worship and obey Him. As a result, we will become more like Him and experience what the apostle Peter called growing “in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). Paul took an incident out of the life of Moses (Ex. 34:29–35) and described it this way: “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18). Moses didn’t realize that his face was radiant, but others saw it! He was being transformed.
God commands us to know Him and worship Him because He wants to give us the joyful privilege of serving and glorifying Him. Commanding us to worship isn’t God’s way of going on a heavenly ego trip, because we can supply God with nothing. “If I were hungry,” says the Lord, “I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it” (Ps. 50:12). He commands worship because we need to worship Him! To humble ourselves before Him, to show reverence and gratitude, and to praise Him in the Spirit are essential to balanced growth in a normal Christian life. Heaven is a place of worship (Rev. 4—5), and we ought to begin to worship Him correctly right now. But unless we are growing in our knowledge of God and in our experience of His incredible grace, our worship and service will amount to very little.
Salvation, worship, personal transformation and loving service are all part of living in the present tense and depending on our Lord and Savior. “And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3).
Moses spent forty years in Egypt “being educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians” (Acts 7:22). Then he fled for his life to Midian, where he spent the next forty years serving as a shepherd. Imagine a brilliant PhD earning a living by taking care of dumb animals! But the Lord had to humble Moses before He could exalt him and make him the deliverer of Israel. Like the church today, the nation of Israel was only a flock of sheep (Ps. 77:20; 78:52; Acts 20:28), and what the nation needed was a loving shepherd who followed the Lord and cared for His people. The Lord spent eighty years preparing Moses for forty years of faithful service. God isn’t in a hurry.
The call of Moses started with the curiosity of Moses. He saw a bush that was burning but not burning up, and he paused to investigate. “Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect,” said British essayist Samuel Johnson, and Moses certainly qualified. He saw something he couldn’t explain and discovered that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was dwelling in that burning bush (Deut. 33:16). The Lord God had come to visit him.
What did that remarkable burning bush signify to Moses, and what does it signify to us? For one thing, it revealed the holiness of God; because throughout Scripture, fire is associated with the dynamic holy character of the Lord. Isaiah called God “the consuming fire” and the “everlasting burning” (Isa. 33:14; see also Heb. 12:29). Note that Moses saw this burning bush on Mount Horeb, which is Mount Sinai (Ex. 3:1); and when God gave Moses the law on Sinai, the mountain burned with fire (Ex. 24:15–18; Acts 7:30–34). How should we respond to the holy character of God? By humbling ourselves and obeying what He commands. (See Isa. 6.) Theodore Epp wrote, “Moses was soon to discover that the essential qualifications for serving God are unshod feet and a hidden face.”2 How different a description from that of “celebrities” today, who wear expensive clothes and make sure their names and faces are kept before their adoring public. God wasn’t impressed with Moses’ Egyptian learning, for “the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight” (1 Cor. 3:19). God’s command to us is, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time” (1 Peter 5:6). When the prodigal son repented and came to his father, the father put shoes on his feet (Luke 15:22); but spiritually speaking, when believers humbly surrender to the Lord, they must remove their sandals and become bondservants of Jesus Christ.
The burning bush also reveals the grace of God, for the Lord had come down to announce the good news of Israel’s salvation. He knew Moses’ name and spoke to him personally (Ex. 3:4; John 10:3). He assured Moses that He saw the misery of the Jewish people in Egypt and heard their cries of pain and their prayers for help. “I am concerned about their suffering,” He said. “So I have come down to rescue them” (Ex. 3:7–8). The Lord remembered and honored His covenant promises with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the time had come to deliver His people.
It was by grace that God chose Moses to be His servant. The Lord wasn’t disturbed by Moses’ past failures in Egypt, including the fact that even his own people had rejected his leadership (Ex. 2:11–15). Moses was now an old man who had been away from Egypt for forty years, but this didn’t hinder God from using him effectively. The Lord knows how to use the weak, foolish, and despised things of the world to humiliate the wise and the strong and ultimately to defeat the mighty (1 Cor. 1:26–31). God would receive great glory as Moses magnified His name in Egypt.
If Moses was going to accomplish anything in Egypt, he needed to know the name of the Lord, because the Israelites would surely ask, “Who gave you the authority to tell us and Pharaoh what to do?” God’s reply to Moses’ question was, “I AM WHO I AM.” Moses told the Israelites, “I AM has sent me to you” (Ex. 3:14). The name I AM comes from the Hebrew word YHWH. To pronounce this holy name, the Jews used the vowels from the name Adonai (Lord) and turned YHWH into Yahweh (LORD in our English translations). The name conveys the concept of absolute being, the One who is and whose dynamic presence works on our behalf. It conveys the meanings of “I am who and what I am, and I do not change. I am here with you and for you.”
The name Yahweh (Jehovah, LORD) was known in the time of Seth (Gen. 4:26), Abraham (14:22; 15:1), Isaac (25:21–22), and Jacob (28:13; 49:18). However, the fullness of its meaning had not yet been revealed. The Law of Moses warned the Jews, “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name” (Ex. 20:7; see also Deut. 28:58). Their fear of divine judgment caused the Jewish people to avoid using the holy name Yahweh and to substitute Adonai (Lord) instead.
In nine places in the Old Testament, the Lord “filled out” or “completed” the name I AM to reveal more fully His divine nature and His gracious ministry to His people.
• Yahweh-Jireh: The LORD will provide or see to it (Gen. 22:14)
• Yahweh-Rophe: The LORD who heals (Ex. 15:26)
• Yahweh-Nissi: The LORD our banner (Ex. 17:15)
• Yahweh-M’Kaddesh: The LORD who sanctifies (Lev. 20:8)
• Yahweh-Shalom: The LORD our peace (Judg. 6:24)
• Yahweh-Rohi: The LORD my shepherd (Ps. 23:1)
• Yahweh-Sabaoth: The LORD of hosts (Ps. 46:7)
• Yahweh-Tsidkenu: The LORD our righteousness (Jer. 23:6)
• Yahweh-Shammah: The LORD is there (Ezek. 48:35)
Of course, all of these names refer to our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Because He is Yahweh-Jireh, He can supply all our needs and we need not worry (Matt. 6:25–34; Phil. 4:19). As Yahweh-Rophe, He is able to heal us; and as Yahweh-Nissi, He will help us fight our battles and defeat our enemies. We belong to Yahweh-M’Kaddesh because He has set us apart for Himself (1 Cor. 6:11); and Yahweh-Shalom gives us peace in the midst of the storms of life (Isa. 26:3; Phil. 4:9). All the promises of God find their fulfillment in Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 1:20). Yahweh-Rohi takes us to Psalm 23 and John 10, encouraging us to follow the Shepherd. The armies of heaven and earth are under the command of Yahweh-Sabaoth, and we need not panic (Josh. 5:13–15; Rev. 19:11–21). Because we have trusted Yahweh-Tsidkenu, we have His very righteousness put to our account (2 Cor. 5:21), and our sins and iniquities are remembered no more (Heb. 10:17). Jesus is Yahweh-Shammah, “God with us” (Matt. 1:23), and He will be with us always, even to the very end of the age (Matt. 28:20). “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” is still His guarantee (Heb. 13:5). In His incarnation, Jesus came down to earth, not as a burning bush but as “a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground” (Isa. 53:1–2; see also Phil. 2:5–11). He became a human, a man, for us (John 1:14); He became obedient unto death for us and became sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus became a curse for us and on the cross bore the curse of the law for us who have broken God’s law (Gal. 3:13–14). And one day “we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2)!
What is God’s name? His name is I AM—and that is also the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord!
Fruit Leather - So Easy a Caveman...err...I mean...a Kid Can Do It! Mood:
a-ok Topic: Family
And now, the answer to last night's question. What do you get when you add applesauce, unsweetened koolaid and sugar? Fruit Leather! Well, you have to dehydrate it first. Here's the deal.
My friend, Brenda, left a comment after yesterday's post saying she knew the answer and, since she was the one who gave me the recipe, then I'm pretty sure she's correct. So, here's the official Brenda Emmett fruit leather recipe:
32 oz of applesauce
one packet of unsweetened koolaid mix
one quarter of a cup of sugar (adjust to your taste)
Mix all ingredients together and pour onto dehydrator trays covered with plastic wrap. We were out of plastic wrap so I cut up a couple of gallon freezer bags and placed them on my trays and they worked perfectly. You can set your dehydrator at any temperature, but if you put it on high keep an eye on it. I put ours on low and leave it running all night long. In the morning we have delicious fruit leather. It's really so easy that our 10 year old, Joshua, could almost do it by himself. Here's proof!
Pour 32oz of applesauce in a bowl!
Pour in one packet of unsweetened Koolaid ~ this time we chose lemon lime.
Pour in about one quarter cup of sugar ~ a little more or a little less depending on your taste.
Pour onto dehydrator trays covered with plastic wrap, spread evenly and dehydrate.
Here's Joshua with some grape fruit leather that we fixed a couple of days ago. We have also fixed orange. We'll make a batch and store it in plastic sandwich bags to be munched on for a healthy snack.
There you have it. Our fruit leather recipe. Thanks Brenda! If you don't have a dehydrator, you can put it on a cookie sheet, place it in your oven on low with the door cracked open a bit. Try it! I'll bet you'll like it!