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Welcome to the Blog Blitz for Battle Prayers by Michael Klassen and Thomas Freiling, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

Do the unending obstacles you face make you feel like you’re in a constant spiritual battle? Arm yourself with 100 prayers that will uplift and encourage you during the difficult moments of life.

It can be difficult to find the right words when you’re praying through hard times. In Battle Prayers, find a classic model to lift your prayers to God, not only for yourself, but others.

Each prayer is woven together with Scripture, reminding you that the answers to your struggles can be found in God’s Word and by listening to Him. Battle Prayers:

1. Shows how the power of prayer can lead you to find lasting encouragement

2. Provides inspiration and theological accuracy

3. Offers prayers ideal for helping move the mountains that can sometimes stand in between us and God

Whether a gift or for yourself, this volume of 100 prayers features:

1. Specific Scriptures and cross-references to other prayers in the book for additional encouragement

2. First-person prayers addressed directly to God, ideal for reading aloud during morning, evening, or devotional prayer time

3. A helpful and encouraging Appendix: “The 10 Essential Qualities of an Effective Battle Prayer”

Prayer doesn’t stop with the “Amen,” and is merely the beginning of deeper, daily, more meaningful communication with our Creator. Find peace in stress, healing for broken relationships, and protection for your loved ones in this essential volume of prayers.

PURCHASE LINKS*:Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | ChristianBook | BookBub



My soul yearns, even faints,

for the courts of the LORD; 

my heart and my flesh cry out 

for the living God.

(Ps. 84:2 NIV)

Dearest Jesus, I bring before You what is both a request and a gift.

A request, because it benefits me. A gift, because it pleases You.

My heart’s desire is for more of You. I readily confess that my ceaseless wanderings have proven that, apart from Your presence, I am spiritually bankrupt. Only in You have I found eternal life and truth (John 14:6). Only in You have I found the way to the Father’s heart (John 14:6), and apart from You I have no good thing (Ps. 16:2).

You were the one whom the psalmist longed for:

Whom have I in heaven but you?

And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail,

but God is the strength of my heart and my

portion forever.

(Ps. 73:25–26 NIV)

Jesus, I desire only You because you are the strength of my heart and everything I will ever need— forever. My soul cries out for more of You, because only in You do I find true purpose and meaning. You alone fit perfectly the God- shaped hole I so often try to fill with worldly and selfish pursuits.

So, I echo John the Baptist’s words: May You increase, and I decrease (John 3:30). May You grow in me as I become less. And as I become less, live Your life through me. Only in that kind of life am I truly pleasing in Your sight.

Taken from “Battle Prayers” by Michael Klassen and Thomas Freiling. © 2022 Michael Klassen and Thomas Freiling. Derived from material previously published in Prayers to Move Your Mountains  

(ISBN 9780785286523, © 2000). Used with permission from Thomas Nelson.


(1) winner will receive a print copy of Battle Prayers!

Battle Prayers JustRead Blog Blitz

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight March 23, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on March 30, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Battle Prayers: Blog Blitz

I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

Do you know that I just love book! Especially books that are related to the Bible; stories that help us to see the value, truth and power that is within the Word of God. With kids ranging in age from 6 to 15, it can be a challenge to find stories we can all enjoy. Pursued to Eternity by John Riley is one of those books; about 150 pages, this is a wonderful way to engage our kids and help them to see that God wants relationship with every one of us!

Pursued to Eternity tells the tale of a six-month adventure, two brothers, Dr. Alan Bridges, a younger atheist, and Connor Bridges, biology teacher and older brother also a Christian. This story travels from ancient times to present day exploring dinosaur hunting, an Egyptian diary written in Moses time, and an oil field in Kenya. Through of this we explore the origins of man and the eternal.

Recommended for middle and high schoolers, yet every one of us can find something that will test and increase our faith. For our younger readers they can begin to see what it means to defend our faith, all ages can explore and begin to develop their own answer, when asked, for the hope that they have. throughout the pages of this small book, we are shown how our Creator desires for every one of us to learn of Him and love Him with all of our heart and mind and soul and strength.

It’s such a delight to find a fictional story that uses bible evidence as its core foundation. These kinds of books not only take us on adventures to places and times that keep us engaged and wanting more but they do so with a solid message that touches our lives and changes how we think about the world.

Pursued to Eternity chronicles the six-month odyssey of two brothers, Dr. Alan Bridges, the younger atheist brother, and Connor Bridges, a biology teacher and older Christian brother. The story takes us on an adventure that spans ancient times to the present as it explores dinosaur hunting, an Egyptian diary written during the time of Moses, and an oil field in Kenya all while exploring man’s origins all the way to his eternal future.

John Riley has also designed a course at, Apologetics: Creative vs. Evolution, a 14-week, video-based course recommended for grades 7 to 12. This is a great addition to this book, the course further shows evidence for Creation and encourages our students to examine the evidence and know for themselves. We are very slowly working through this (there are worksheets to print for each lesson) and as I go through this with my boys, I am excited to learn so much alongside them!

My younger son loves timelines and maps. He is very detail oriented and likes to see things, in order, everything in it’s place. He always appreciates materials that are well organized. As we delved into the first chapter, my son was so glad to see how it was organized in timeline format. Each paragraph covered a period of time starting at about 5 BC and going all the way through to 2020 and Beyond. Each timeframe, has a short and simple summary of that time along with scripture. So much scripture!

This is definitely not your ordinary book; the storytelling within this pages makes you want more and more. Every page has facts, and scriptures shared, complimenting the portion of the story being told. I myself love all the historical and scientific details that are included – the word dinosaur was first used in 1841 by Sir Richard Owen- the complicated design of the human heart. Every page, in my opinion, only helps to confirm the existence of a Creator.

As you read you gain a clearer understanding in regards to the systematic development and propagation of things like: racism, violence, war, abortion, atheism. If you are curious, study out Haldane’s dilemma.

I have to say, I was impressed, my boys were impressed, with how full of excitement and revelation, this small book really was! So many lessons within; every one of them tugging at your heart. moments you hear Him call to you to seek His face, feel after Him.

Every page reminds us that when we “draw near to God, He will also draw near to us.” His love for us is everlasting and His desire is that ALL be saved. But we cannot ignore His commands given within the pages of the Bible – Every word calls us to us to choose obedience, to choose the blessings.

Whose report will you believe? Test all things so that you will know and believe, the report of the Lord for He is good and His love and mercy endures!

Click on the banner below and read reviews from other Crew members to see how they used this and what they thought!

Pursued to Eternity {Review}

Posted in TOS Schoolhouse Crew Review

God’s Mail: Volume 3 {Review}

For some time now God has been speaking to me; reminding me, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death (Rev 12:11). I know these bones have been a bit dry, I know that my fire does not burn as hot as it once did. And I remember that there is power, great power, in testimonies. Faith comes by hearing and our faith grows when we hear the Good News and how it has changed and touched lives. Needless to say, I just knew what I needed was to read God’s Mail Volume 3 from God’s Mail written by Ronald Hardin. This is a collection of poems intended to encourage, instruct and comfort those who are walking with Christ; even those who have not yet come to the knowledge of the faith. These books are available both in print form as well as Kindle. For this review, I received the Kindle edition.

God's Mail Volume 3 Book Cover by Ron Hardin

God’s Mail: Volume 3 addresses some rather deep topics such as suicide, healing from abortion, and a variety of every day struggles we face as believers and unbelievers. It also reminds us throughout the pages of promises God has made to His people. This is, most of all, a book for, “saints and sinners, as well as saints with sinners problems.” I love that because I do believe that I am that saint living with sinners’ problems. I tend to be pretty raw, pretty real, pretty awful at times. Struggling, leaning on God as I fight to press on. If I struggle n this way, surely there are others who are messy, ugly, awful and in need as I am.

Each poem within the pages of this book is followed by scripture. Quite a few scriptures, which relate to the topic of the preceding poem. For those who love to write the scriptures, this can be a great way to get those words in your heart and mind each day. Read the poem, write the words. Pray and meditate on them. There are a variety of translations used, so be aware in case you tend to prefer one over others. I admit I am a pretty staunch believer in KJV. I can appreciate poetic writing, flowery descriptive sing-song as well – there is a place for all things. The verses and versions here did fit in well with the poems so it flowed nicely.

Some of the titles for these poems really made me chuckle – Blessing Pirates – Reminding us to guard the gift God has given us. For there are those who come to steal and kill and destroy. We must be ready, we must be alert.

Commitments Door is a reminder of our all to lay down our lives for Him; to trust HIm and put Him first in ALL things. How true it is, when walking through that door, we must be prepared to face – fiery darts, persecution, separation – it is not a walk for the faint of heart. It will be lonely. It will be hard. But Jesus will be with us and will bless us with joy and peace like nothing else.

While some made me giggle, others made me weep – Dead Homie memories of old friends, foolish choices and dangerous ways. Yet we can be free. Jesus made me free, cleansed from all my past – I don’t feel clean – sometimes I feel guilty, anger – so many still stuck – whether pride or blindness – they will not come. They will continue to live until their way brings them death. Some already gone – There is such a power when we believe. Such a change when we give it all to the Lord.

I have been in a season of anguish, darkness – people I thought were friends, watching them self destruct – Feelings getting in the way of sensible behavior. So many friends (family too) that make choices that make me want to (honestly) slap them silly. I forget, I wish – I cannot save you, I cannot change you. I cannot convince you. As we grow we become more stable, more faithful and we receive more than simply “scraps from the Master’s table.” Obedience and persistence can bring us to a place where we can receive those Deeper Blessings.

These poems are short, they are simple to read. I often found myself enjoying one while waiting in a line at the store, in between watching kids skate, or just when I really needed a little pick me up. There has always been something comforting and peaceful about poetry. The flow, you can hear it sing in your ears as you read. It’s like a friend whispering just what you need to hear, just when you need to hear it. Reminders, “pray much for others; plead for God’s mercy upon them, give thanks for ALL He will do for them.” It’s not about me. It’s not about you. It is all about Jesus and when we know, and believe, really believe, we will be free and we will worship and we will serve Him forever.

You can click on the image below to read the thoughts of other Crew members who received this book.

Show Me Thy Ways {Review}

There are so many things “to do” nowadays. There are sports, music lessons, lessons to be taught…It can be overwhelming when there is just one child, but in our family of four, to engage in all of these activities … It is simply not possible.

For one thing, this momma is very much a homebody – for another – these things all cost money and time. Lots of time.

If we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that since the day of creation, there has always been a way that we are called to walk in.

My oldest son is currently my “rebel without a cause”. He is just in this place where he won’t do it simply because he was told he needs to. I vaguely remember when I was 12 struggling to find my way and to exert myself so others would see that I could do this myself. I understand his desire to be in charge and I want to encourage him to make decisions and boldly walk that path, but I also want him to understand that, as a child of God, there is a way that ins right, which we are meant to walk in. I admit it took me longer than it probably should have to figure out that this stage he is in, its a heart issue. Sure, there are issues with obedience and respect woven in there, but more than anything this is an issue of his heart. And that is something only God can truly work in. So I was ever so grateful to have the chance to review Show Me Thy Ways (textbook/workbook) in which we could all get together, and dig a bit deeper into God’s word and way. While this is meant for grade four learners, all four of our children enjoyed the opportunity to learn together, more about our great God!

I very strongly believe in reading, writing and math. However, the older I get (maybe it’s the older my kids get) I realize how important it truly is for all that we do each day to point them to the Lord. It doesn’t matter so much, all of that other stuff, if we are raising our children without a heart for the Lord. And it can be so easy to get lost in those lists and expectations that so many of us were raised with. Too often I compare what my children are doing, to what other children their age are doing. Not in a good way. My oldest son has even done it a couple of times; he may perceive himself as “stupid” because he isn’t as good with numbers as other kids his age. It is then that I begin to realize we need to work on our foundation. We may never be on the same path as other around us; we will have different struggles than those next door to us. But if we are rooted in the Word of God, we need not worry, 🙂

After reading an amazing book (I will share that another time) that spoke of how so many of our youth are walking away from the faith, I knew that we really needed to focus more on God’s word. I knew that we needed to take some time to really learn not just what the Bible says, but also what it means for us today. I had read a couple of blog posts about some families who use the Bible, nothing else, for home education. I haven’t been that brave myself but find this set of books, I thought, I could give it a try, using our Bible along with the curriculum to really get to know all of these stories and the people in them, more personally. If we see all of these men and women as members of our own family, perhaps that can really encourage us all the more, to hear their stories and learn from them.

My boys thought it was kind of humorous, when we began reading the textbook because it speaks to “discussing questions in class” and my boys, knowing how much I strive to stay away from standard terms like school and classroom, they had so much fun teasing me about it. Once we got past the silliness though we really had to get thinking. Right away. From the very beginning we are reminded that God is a Spirit; His thoughts and ways are so much higher than we could ever imagine. Our minds, our thoughts, are human and thus, we are significantly limited in our ability to understand the things of God without His Spirit. This is not your regular Bible learning material. I think even on the first few [pages, my thinking was challenged, just a bit, as we read.

When we look at the reasons for so many youth leaving the faith, often it comes down to them not being able to truly defend and know, this faith for themselves. How many of the children in our own family cannot truly claim this truth for themselves? It really does matter how we perceive this and what we do with what we know. And so the pages of this book (workbook too) are full of activities and exercises to help our children to go deeper and to see truth “in action” for themselves. As you can see in some of the images I share here, there are so many different ways for our children to learn and explore how true and real the Word of God is.

I love learning with my kids where all of these places are today; where did Abraham walk? What about that wilderness journey? Forty years of wandering where? What a wonderful way to bring the Bible alive for our children so they can see for themselves how real it is. This continues to be a wonderful way to learn and explore so many of those wonderful stories within the Bible. From day one of creation all the way through to the time when David is anointed king; explore and learn, not just the stories, but some of those details that we may overlook but which have powerful meaning for us even today.

We really are enjoying our time with this; exploring and pondering the type of music Jubal would have played if we was alive today (with a little guitar player, a drummer and a piano player in the making this can be quite fun!). Recognize and consider such simple truths, like how it never rained before the flood of Noah. Explore the value of being patient with God; trusting in His timing and the path that He has, unique to each one of us. For my older son I do love how this has made him think about the Word of God on a different level. There is something beautiful that comes from learning the Word of God – seek first His kingdom – and singing it, writing it, exploring it even more!

Illuminated Bible (A Review)

I love my Bible! 

I also admit I am very much a KJV kind of girl.

With the limited time I have for reading and study (four kids makes it more challenging right?) I try to be wise in how I spend my time.

Yet I admit, I have a bit of an addiction to pretty books. And when I saw The ESV Illuminated Bible- it is just amazing, beautiful, regal….

I had to check it out more for myself.
It is truly a masterpiece. Beauty on every page!

Some of the amazing features of this one are:

  • 9-point, Lexicon
  • Black letter text
  • 2-color printing
  • 64 full-page, custom book opener illustrations
  • 50 full-page verse illustrations
  • 250+ hand-lettered margin verses
  • 100+ other illustrations throughout
  • Illustrated by Dana Tanamachi, whose work has been featured by Google, The Wall Street Journal, Random House, USPS, and Target
  • Thick, cream-colored paper
  • Wide margins
  • Single-column, paragraph format
  • Smyth-sewn binding
  • Packaging: Permanent Slipcase




Is this not truly a work of art? I absolutely love spending time in the Word of God – I find nothing to be more beautiful, powerful or precious than His word. This Bible – while I admit I do wish it was in King James Version – it is such a joy to spend time in. It is quite an inspiration too to my oldest son who loves the Word and loves all things artsy … Since he has dabbled a bit in journalling and hand lettering, this was something he really got inspired by!



For anyone who is in need of a Bible, or looking for a special gift for a loved one, this may be just what you are looking for. Personally I do not think I could ever mark it up because the pages are just so lovely. The soft paper, creamy coloring, the lovely illustrations throughout. This is one of those Bibles that I am happy to have as an addition to my little library. I don’t know that this would take the place of my Geneva Bible when it comes to study, but I certainly will enjoy reading this now and again with my children. And my oldest son (probably my little ones too as they get bigger) will take joy in the idea and process of Bible art journalling themselves.

Ironically the concept of illuminated manuscripts is also a rather historical thing (going back to medieval times); the word “manuscript” from the Latin words manus (hand) and scriptus (writing) literally means “written by hand.” And the word “illuminated,” from the Latin illuminare, means “lighted up.” For a book to truly be illuminated, it had to be decorated with gold. (typically applied to the pages in thin sheets called gold leaf). These were made continually until around 1450, when Johannes Gutenberg invented the movable type, printing press, making mass production of books possible. Is that amazing or what? I love when there is a lesson like this within something like this!




This truly is gorgeous! The detail throughout this book, you could spend hours enjoying and studying. There is also plenty of room for anyone who desires to do so to add their very own art. I don’t know that I could possibly make even a tiny mark in this Bible myself. It is just so perfect, so lovely – but if you are one of those truly creative types, I am sure you will be inspired and enjoy adding your own personal touch to this one.


Get Your Copy on Amazon

Learn more about the ESV Illuminated Bible at

Patterns of Evidence ~ Exodus { Review & Giveaway}

One of the things we have been talking about lately, a lot, in our family, is how there can be so many out there who just don’t believe what the Bible says. Certainly there is an amazing amount of evidence showing those stories within its pages to be true. That said I was so very excited about the opportunity to review, with my family, Patterns of Evidence: Exodus.





This is an award winning documentary by Timothy Mahoney exploring one question: Did the Exodus event actually occur? This film follows his team as hey search for evidence to prove that this actually happened! There is also included, a special DVD that goes behind the scenes – some neat information about the people involved, behind the music and lots more.



With so much debate over the credibility of the Bible; in a time when it seems that there are more and more people questions the validity of our God and our faith, we need to have all the information if we hope to give an answer to those who are lost out there. This video is a wonderful resource that includes not just a telling of the story of the Exodus but also scientific information from the investigation and while showing a pattern of evidence. This evidence was the result of his twelve year journey around the world searching for answers. Truth matters. We need to know for ourselves what we believe and why.




Getting Social

*Buy Link with special discount code MK1 for $3 off:

Watch movie trailers and see more details at:

Hashtags: #PatternsOfEvidence #FlyBy


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Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.


 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. The winner is subject to eligibility verification.”


Caught or Taught?

There are many times that we have students in our home who come to study through international exchange programs. This year is no different. We have a sweet young lady from France who recently arrived. She is soft spoken, gentle, curious about all these new things she is being introduced to. Church, food, children, home learning….It is all so new and exciting for her! (and us too truth be told)



Today, to celebrate two of our children’s birthdays we headed to Green Bay; it was a day of riding amusement park rides, eating pizza and cotton candy and visiting with grandparents and great grandparents. Since we see them so seldom it is always a treat for the children to get to spend a day with them. Card games and cribbage and so much to talk about!


One of those things is Jesus. The great grandparents are not familiar with the joy of the Lord; they know nothing of this great life changing faith.  Nor do our exchange students most of the time. Often there are some awkward moments (mostly with my mother in law) who unfortunately (?) sees every encounter with others as an opportunity to tell them what they must do to be saved. While some may admire the way she “preaches to all” I fear it catches very few.


No doubt we are commanded to go and teach and preach boldly the message of the Gospel. Yet I ponder as I listened to her today telling our student and “unsaved” family about how they just dress and what they must do . .. Are we teaching or are we catching, for Jesus?


There is a difference. We are called to be fishers of men, We are called to teach. Certainly there are many out there who have a need. The question is, do they see this need? We can preach to every person we meet, every day, every place but if they do not see for themselves, this need for Christ…


Humility. It is humility that draws other to see a difference and to desire what we have. Certainly I do believe that we are to dress in a way that is pleasing to the Lord; I believe that there is a way to be saved and I have no doubt that we must be obedient to the commands of our Lord.



But what does it profit, to tell someone who does not even know Him, how they must be saved? We cannot preach modesty, spiritual gifts, salvation or any other, to those who do not yet desire the milk of the Word.



I jokingly said to someone that the difference between catching someone and teaching someone is that, when you catch them, they aren’t completely willing. Perhaps they sit and listen for a time; maybe they agree with some of what you say, but they are not seeking. They may be pacifying – seeking to keep peace – they do not feel invited though so much as they perhaps feel trapped.



Teaching on the other hand, is something that happens when someone is pursuing a curiosity. Those we meet, as we learn of them and they learn of us, we are teaching. They are teaching. We learn and share, gently, together. We show the humility of Jesus. It is our work to encourage and inspire them; just as he served so ought we to serve. In humility.


Perhaps there are times we believe we are being humble; we ought to be cautious though. Why are we speaking? Is it out of pride because we feel we know more? Do we speak in a way that makes our faith sound tiresome? I consider the times I have engaged in conversation about the things I do, the ways I do them … Was I glorifying Him or me?




Can we stop and consider if we are being gentle and patient. Let us not be as the Pharisees – telling others all that we do and seeking glory from man – let us rather show grace. To them and to one another. We all have so much to learn. As I read and study more and more about the meekness and humility of Christ, I am sure, that there is so much more I must learn. I have no doubt we must pray more and more for humility and for meekness, of Christ, within ourselves.



And so this is my prayer. I do not want to catch them. I want to walk with them. I do not want to be in a hurry. I do not want to be bothered by all that they “need” to know and to do. I want to know them, as He knows them. Learning of them as they learn of Him. Walking by faith in patience and in love. One step at a time. ❤



Learn with the Heroes, Heroines of Ancient History

We love history1 I say that a thousand times on this blog don’t I? As a home educator I always want to ensure my kiddos (from smallest to biggest) are excited about learning. After all my goal here isn’t to be able to check off what they know or don’t know; I am not concerned with them being able to score on an exam or anything like that. I am focused more, on their ability to learn and think for themselves. So I was happy, ecstatic and giddy, to have the chance to review  Heroes, Heroines, and Tales of Ancient History by Golden Prairie Press








We were so very blessed to receive a full set of materials for this course which included:


  • Tales of Ancient History Vol. 1 & 2
  • Ancient History Skits Volume 2
  • Sing Some Ancient History (CD)
  • Listen to Some Ancient History (CD)
  • Additional History Materials CD





These are available as physical books and CDs however we received the Digital Edition, which consisted of pdf downloads and MP3’s.  The downloads are in full color, very eye catching and engaging.  See for yourself at Golden Prairie Press.  This course is recommended for grades 1-6 (we used this with my three who are 10, 6 and 4). And can I say they really LOVED this one?  🙂
I am big on maps and timelines when it comes to learning! Especially for my younger kids I do believe these two materials make a huge difference in how they learn. To be able to see something in relation to yourself — It really does make a difference. It brings history to life for them. I also have to say the audio is a HUGE asset to this program; with so many strange names of people and places, its nice for our kids to be able to hear the names of them all instead of trying to struggle through pronouncing them or just ignoring them to “get by” completely.
Another thing that is really great about this program is the, while there is reading to do, there are so many amazing projects for our kids to learn through as we go along. I think there is more learning done in these projects than anything else (at least for my boys!). There is a book that is full of skits for our kids to enjoy acting out; these cover stories like Pandora’s Box and Ulysses, Cyrus and his Grandfather and some other great legends! These are lots of fun and great practice in reading as everyone who is able can choose a part to act out. My oldest prefers being the narrator and my two little ones, while they are not yet independent readers, do love to act out as much as they can of the story while I read the various parts (or my oldest son with me).

As my kids and I have worked through this one, together, we have really appreciated having the option of both 1st/2nd grade and 4-6th grade readings. I think this encourages all of my kids too because while my littles aren’t quite readers yet, they are very inquisitive and do love some of the activities and details given in the higher level reading. But they are also able to et an understanding of the material at their own level. This is simply priceless if you ask me. There is so much potential in this program for all ages and as my oldest gets more independent in his studies there is just so much that we (should I say he?) could do on his own even?

There was even a coloring book which my kids really enjoyed (my oldest used the images within them as guides since he prefers to draw and sketch his own stuff). There were lots of fun pictures as well as space for the kids to write. I referred to this part as a short version of note booking since I would have my kids color (or draw) the image we were using that day and then write a bit about it. Sometimes it was a simple statement from my daughter (who is 4) that “birds are pretty” and other times it would be scientific facts or details my kids learned about whatever they were doing.  It was a great and fun way to engage all three of them in a bit of specific study. Sometimes it was history, like an Egyptian head dress, other times it was a camel or a chariot. It’s only a few pages, but it was lot of fun for us regardless!
This program has about 30 weeks within it; we go a bit slower around here ourselves but suffice to say, there are 5 lessons within each week. Beginning with the Creation of the World and ending with a study of Saint Patrick. This is so full of beautiful images on every page. My kids are very visual (aren’t most kids) so its such a blessing to see some of these things we are reading about. It really gives an appreciation for so much of history too! And each lesson ends with questions, writing topics, a memory verse to learn and often a project to make. In one lesson we made pyramids out of  playdoh, in another we made Chinese hats. There were goodies to bake and music to make; there were geography games and skits. So many ways for our kids to learn all of this amazing history and have fun doing it!


Parenting is hard work! I wish it came with a manual (It does – the Bible of course); I may be speaking for myself when I say this but I truly feel like I am constantly struggling to do more and be more for my children. Since I have four, all with very different needs and personalities too, I often feel torn – spread too thin maybe? – trying to be what each one of them needs me to be. Every day. Needless to say when I saw an email about the opportunity to review Dr. Todd Cartmell’s new book; 8 Simple Tools for Raising Great Kids, I was just so excited because I have felt more and more lately, the need to sharpen my skills when it comes to raising my kids. I mean they are great already but I just know we can do so much more!




I am the first person to admit that my interactions with my kids are not always what is best. I can be short with them; at times I do not show as such control and patience as I ought to. We have been studying the Book of James this year and since we began, I often hear in my ear, a soft and silent whisper, “let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” and I know that this is something I need to be much more mindful of. I need to intentionally be slower to speak, slower to wrath and quicker to hear.  I will say this is not riddled with scripture; there are bits of Biblical wisdom within, but this is not a scripturally filled read. Just so you know.




I have to say I was so very pleased at how short and simple the chapters are in this book!  Because honestly, I only have moments to read here and there as of late. Tis a season of small ones and busy ones….They keep me moving. SO this was refreshing to see — a book written for those of us who are in the trenches and have little moments here and there to feed our mind and soul!


There are 8 tools and they are broken down within five chapters; at the end of each chapter there is a summary tip and some things to ponder. Homework? I have always enjoyed opportunities to reflect and go deeper 🙂


One example of a listening tip that I am regularly mulling over right now is this: “How does viewing all of your kids thoughts and feelings as diamonds impact your desire to listen and connect with them?”



Some of the tips are simple; all are powerful in their own way. There are listening tips, correcting tips, encouraging tips, talking tips – Every one of them leaves you with a bit different of a perspective on how we connect with our kids. And every one provides an additional tool for our parenting toolbox.


About the Author



Dr. Todd Cartmell is a popular speaker and child psychologist who received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary. His books include Project Dad (Spring 2011); Respectful Kids; Keep the Siblings, Lose the Rivalry; and The Parent Survival Guide. Dr. Cartmell conducts entertaining parenting workshops around the country and maintains a full-time clinical practice in Wheaton, Illinois. You can link to his website, with Q&A, a parenting blog, and workshop information, at





If you are looking for some tools for the trade yourself, consider taking the time to read this one! In fact right now if you use the code GREATKIDS16 you can get this book for 50% off. (valid from April 15th to May 15th for my readers only)  Just go to Moody Publishers to order and make sure to enter that code! 🙂  And for a limited time if you purchase the book you will also have access to the Hearts at Home “Essential Workshop Collection for Parents” for free. Just fill out the form on the 8 Simple Tools Website once your book has been purchased.




Not sure the book is for you? I beg to differ, but, to ease your mind, there are free assessments available on their website too. One to evaluate the effectiveness of your parenting methods is and show what your strengths are too. These are definitely things that are good to know. Let’s face it, if we want to raise really great kids, we have to be willing to go that extra mile.  Its definitely worth it!



Official Website –
Facebook –
Hashtags – #8SimpleTools #FlyBy
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Don’t Go Away Mad!

I blame my kids. For having to be independent thinkers. For having desires that are not exactly like mine and personalities that are so opposite my own. But that’s just an excuse. Far too often, I yell and get angry. I go away SO mad. Frustrated with them, frustrated with myself. Feeling like I failed yet again to show them grace; to train them up in a way that the Lord would approve of.


I didn’t grow up in a faith based home. I was raised by my mom (I saw my dad now and then) and for the most part it was “you and me against the world” she would say. (I love that song by the way!) Anyway my mother was not exactly controlled either; she had quite a temper on her too.  Must be the good German blood in our veins? Of course that’s another excuse.


I think of a verses my kids have been learning in the Book of James: “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”


Oh man! I think, I a quit to wrath, quick to speak and slow to hear….I have this all mixed up!





Whatever the case may be I was SO excited when Alicia agreed for me to review this course — Can words even express how thrilled I was? I mean I have struggled with this all my life. And I see it now and then in my oldest son too. As we study together and read and pray over the Word it is clear that God does not want us to be angry. Sure there is a righteous anger but is that really the anger we are expressing mommas? I wish I could say mine was righteous anger but sadly, its usually anything but righteous.
So how do we control this? How do we turn ourselves around and become a momma that isn’t so angry?


The “7 Days To A Less Angry Mom” online video course from Alicia at Your Vibrant Family is a great place to start as we learn about anger while also studying the Word of God. Because He has a lot to say about anger and if we want to live as His own, we sure need to know how to live out.



This course consists of 7 short and simple videos which encourage us to learn more about anger, explore our own reasons for the anger we show and she also offers lots of great encouragement and inspiration.  Alicia provides some great printable worksheets for each day, for taking notes and to review and reflect on as you complete each day’s assignment (yes there is homework!). But be encouraged; these are all good things that are only going to help you better understand and grow momma.


You also will have access to a private Facebook group (talk about helpful for accountability!).


As we go through each lesson Alicia shares the Word of God (what is more powerful than that) and speaks hope into our lives in a way that is much like sitting with that precious friend of yours for coffee. No judgement, nothing but a love and desire to see other moms succeed and grow in Christ.



Did I mention the videos are less than 20-minutes each?

That is PERFECT for my busy homeschool home! Yours too I bet 😛


And this is so worth the time mommas! In seven days,  just seven, you can prepare yourself to really get to the root of your anger and better manage it, for a more peaceful home!





Right now, that is during the “launch week” of this brand new course, Alicia is offering a BONUS course video on helping your kids deal with anger. What a wonderful thing! She is also offering $10 off the cost of this course. But that’s only through April 11th!

Learn more about 7 Days to a Less Angry Mom!