Letters from Katie Luther – A Book Review

While I was growing up, I was raised Catholic. After branching out on my own and finding a church that allows me to think for myself, for the most part…as long as it follows the bible, I have come to learn more. One of the things I have learned more about is Reformation Day. Because of this, I was super excited to review Letters from Katie Luther by Shirley Casemier from Reformed Free Publishing Association.

Letter from Katie Luther Book Review

What Is It

Katie Luther, Katherine von Bora Luther, the wife of Martin Luther, is the main character of this book. We follow her through letters that she wrote to her friend Ave (ah-vay). While this is not an actual biography, the story itself had a lot of thought and research put into it to make it as accurate as it could be.

The book itself is a paperback book ($14.95) with just under 100 pages. There are a few random black and white photos spread throughout the book to show you some of the places that are being talked about.

Through the letters, we learn much about the life of Katie and Martin Luther. As a new (ish) learner of Reformation Day, Katie’s letters really helped me to understand more about the background of Martin Luther himself through his wife writing to her friend.

How We Used It

While I had all the intentions of reading this to my children to teach them about Reformation Day, and I still do plan to do this, I have claimed this book as mine for the time being. I can relate to Katie. I was Catholic, I “escaped” from that and had my eyes opened. Not only that, but I could relate to Katie dealing with her husband’s “sickness” or mental health issues. I have been dealing with this on a daily basis.

So, for this review, I have been reading the book myself. I have been laughing and crying with Katie and Ave. While I have been enjoying this book, I can tell that it is also written for older children. That is why I have no issue with reading this aloud to my children.

What We Thought

Oh my! That was my initial thought. This was a book I could not put down once I started reading it. The writing made me feel everything that was being described. I could feel the feelings Katie was going through, even without previous experience. I laughed, I cried, I yearned to know more. Even though I know the ending, I still yearned to know more about the daily life of this family.

This is a book great for any family that wants to learn more about Martin Luther and his family. The struggles they faced and the way they relied on God through it all. Breaking away from the “normal” is not easy, but having faith in the real God to guide you through will give you the strength to go on your path. 

If you are looking for a good read this month, one that will lead up to Reformation Day, you will want to grab your own copy of Letters from Katie Luther.

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Anyone Can Homeschool ~ A Book Review

Anyone Can Homeschool

With the times that we are facing, many parents are now wondering about homeschooling. Along with thinking about homeschooling, comes the doubts and fears, trust me, I had them also! If you are in the middle of trying to figure out what you want to do with your kids this school year, or if you have doubts about homeschooling, you will want to check out this review of Anyone Can Homeschool!

I have been homeschooling for over seven years now. But, every year, I still have doubts. Am I doing enough, am I doing too much? Are my kids missing too much? How can I teach them when I haven’t gone to school to teach children? All of these questions are taken into account with the book Anyone Can Homeschool by Nicki Truesdell. I was given a preview of this book for my review. What I share now is my honest opinion.

Anyone Can Homeschool

What Is It

For my review, I was able to read chapters 1-5, 11, and 13. There are two parts to this book. The first part contains chapters 1-10, the second part contains chapters 11-16. The chapters include topics such as Rethinking School, Home Education on a Budget, Special Needs, Chronic Illness in the Family, Getting Started, and The Struggle is Real. All of the topics cover everything that would hold you back from homeschooling and helping you see how able you really are to homeschool your child.

Nicki takes us through all the myths on why you can’t homeschool and she breaks the brick wall. From the first chapter I read, I was hooked. Reading the preview of the book calmed my fears and reminded me that I was doing the best for my kids. Right away I was taken with the statement “Home education is freedom. It’s freedom to set your calendar, choose the curriculum, begin and end your lessons on your own schedule, and decide what’s working for your child. It is the freedom to change up methods and materials when the need arises. It’s the freedom to be the parent, all the time.”

And that leads me to another point. We are the parent, we raised our kids from birth. It was us that taught them to walk and talk. How are we not able to teach them after that? What changes that all of a sudden we are not able to teach our own children? If we taught them to walk and talk, why can’t we teach them to read and write? This is exactly what Nicki talks about in the first chapter. She proceeds to talk to us, I tell you that she talks to us, because that is what it feels like. I feel like she is sitting down and talking to me as I read her pages.

Anyone Can Homeschool

What Did I Think of It

I love how it feels like I am sitting down to a cup of coffee with Nicki as I read the pages. She is so honest about what she is sharing. Her words are like that of an old friend. This gave me encouragement just as it will anyone who is thinking of homeschooling and thinking they can not do it.

This book tackles all the questions you may have as you think about homeschooling. It helps to calm the fears of new homeschooling families and quenches the doubt of veteran homeschooling families who have done this and still worry.

If you are thinking about homeschooling and have doubts, you will want this book. If you have been homeschooling and have doubts, you will want this book. This book will help with all doubts that homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers alike have.

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7 Feasts: Finding Christ in the Sacred Celebrations of the Old Testament – A Review

Over the last couple of years, I have begun digging deeper into the bible, and finding good bible studies is sometimes hard. I had the chance to review 7 Feasts: Finding Christ in the Sacred Celebrations of the Old Testament written by Erin Davis. I had the chance to interview her, but today I want to share what I have thought of this study.

What Is It

7 Feasts: Finding Christ in the Sacred Celebrations of the Old Testament is an 8-week Bible study. The book is a paperback book published by Moody Publishers. Each of the 8 weeks starts off with a short introduction to the week followed by 5 days of study.

This is not a study of the Gospels or the well-known books that have been studied in many different ways over the years. The 7 Feasts Bible Study focuses on the 7 sacred celebrations that were given to the Israelites in Leviticus 23. We learn how these feasts/celebrations point to Christ in the future. 

Each day, we have Scripture readings, questions, and teachings. There is plenty of space for notes and answering the questions. There are about 5-10 pages for each day, but there is also a lot of white space for you to fill in with answers and notes.

The teachings are easy to understand but allow for deeper learning. This makes it easy for anyone to understand. If you are new to bible studies, you won’t have an issue understanding. If you have been doing bible studies for a while and want to dig deeper, you can do that also!

What I Thought

This was a mommy item to review. I loved having this option available to me! The binding of this book made it easy to lay open and get my notes in. I loved that I was able to do this on my own, but that there was also an option for group questions at the end of each week.

I loved all the white space in the study. This gave me plenty of space for taking notes. I am a notes girl when I read or learn something new that I don’t want to forget, I have to write it down! 

I was nervous about doing an Old Testament study, I am not going to lie. Before this bible study, I never really thought there was much I could learn for my daily life in the Old Testament. However, Erin tells it like it is in the study introduction. There are 66 books in the Bible if we look at those books as puzzle pieces to knowing God, we need to know all 66 pieces to get a complete picture of God.

Erin makes learning about the feasts in Leviticus easy and able to do. I have connected so much about the Old Testament to the New Testament and into right now. This has been a breath of fresh air and a great study that I am glad to have taken part in.

If you are looking for a good bible study that will connect the puzzle pieces of the bible for you, 7 Feasts: Finding Christ in the Sacred Celebrations of the Old Testament is the study you are looking for!

Quick Answers to Social Issues – A Master Books Review

We are in some troubling times. There are lots of things happening right now across our nation. When given the chance to review Quick Answers to Social Issues from Master Books, I was happy. this gave me a chance to learn more about the social issues that we are facing with a biblical viewpoint.

I was given the digital copy of this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

Quick Answers to Social Issues by Bryan Osborne covers topics such as Life Issues, Equality Issues, Marriage, Sexual & Gender Issues, and Environmental Issues.

Each of these “main issues” are broken down into other issues. Each issue starts off with a little box with Bible References. Since we know that the Bible contains God’s words, this is a great way to check and see what God has to say about each of these issues.

This was an easy to read book. I was able to upload it to my Kindle and read it while on the go…because when am I not on the go? While I love having a physical book in hand, I was very impressed with the quality of this eBook! The color and layout were perfect on my phone. It is a great book!

While I said this was an easy book to read, it is also DEEP! The issues that are brought up in this book are VERY relevant. As a Christian, I knew what I was supposed to know, but this book helps to bring to light the why. It gives me the background, the history of why. It gives me confidence to state what is right and why it is right.

The one chapter that really caught my eye right now was the chapter on Racism. This is BIG right now. We don’t need to go into the why of this, we all know it. But this chapter helps to remind me the one thing I already knew, the one thing I am teaching my kids. We all come from one man, Adam, and one woman, Eve. We are all one blood. I wish I could share this whole chapter with everyone, because this chapter is important.

I have to say, if you are struggling during this time in our history, the one thing you need is this book, just for this one chapter. If you don’t know how to explain everyone as equal to your children, you need this book for this chapter!

The book ends with some great ending points. The conclusion was second favorite to the chapter on racism for me.

I recommend this book to every Christian and non-Christian. This is book that needs to be in the hands of everyone during this time that we are in.

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Dory Fantasmagory Tiny Tough – A Book Review

Dory Fantasmagory Tiny Tough Book Review

My kids love books. That is no surprise. They love all kinds of books. Recently it was Talk Like a Pirate Day, and we had a lot of fun at our local library going on a hunt for doublins and taking Pirate selfies. It was no surprise they fell in love with Dory Fantasmagory Tiny Tough as soon as we got our hands on it.

Dory Fantasmagory Tiny Tough Book Review

“The fifth adventure in the enormously popular Dory Fantasmagory series takes on the tried-and-true theme of childhood friendships, and turns it on its head, Dory-style.

When her big sister Violet has friend trouble at school, Dory tries to come to her rescue. But Dory’s active imagination takes over, and she is sure that Violet’s lost treasure (a friendship bracelet) has something to do with pirates. In search of the treasure, Dory meets up with a real pirate crew and finds that a pirate’s life is harder than she thought. At sea, Dory longs for her imaginary friend Mary. But Mary has gone off with an exciting new friend of her own and Dory is crushed with jealousy. Just when things can’t get any worse, Dory’s old enemy, Mrs. Gobble Gracker shows up and Dory’s ocean adventure takes a surprising turn.

There’s a ton of treasure in Dory’s fifth adventure as Dory mixes in pirates, pals (real and make-believe), and her own imagination into one wild and wet free-for-all.”

This cute little chapter book is recommended for ages 6-8. Each page has cute little drawings that go with the words on the page. While the cover is a beautiful color picture, the inside is just black and white, which keeps the distractions to a minimum.

Dory Fantasmagory Book Review

Little Miss is 8 now, and just getting into chapter books. She has fallen in love with this book. Now she wants me to get the first 4 in the series for her to read. She loves that the pages are simple to read. The words are not too big or too small for her reading level.

The storyline is a great one for kids of this age. We see how Dory can be picked on by her older siblings when she is the annoying little sister. At the same time, they can see how the family can pull together and have a great time also. I enjoyed sitting down on a lazy Sunday and reading the whole book in one day myself. It was funny, cute, and all over good.

This is a great book for kids that uses imagination and encourages your kids to do the same.

Dory Fantsmagory Tiny Tough Book Review

The Curse of the Werepenguin – A Book Review

Have you heard of a Werepenguin? No? I hadn’t either until we got the chance to read The Curse of the Werepenguin from Penguin Random House. We received an Advanced Reader Copy of the book for our review.

About the Book

All orphan Bolt Wattle has ever wanted was to find his true family. When a mysterious baron in far-off Brugaria sends for Bolt, he wonders if he’s getting closer to finding his long-lost parents. But Baron Chordata appears to be a twelve-year-old boy who wears tuxedos all the time, shouts at everyone, and forbids Bolt from asking questions. Things couldn’t get any worse . . . until midnight, when the Baron bites Bolt and turns him into a half boy, half penguin. Then things really couldn’t get worse– nope, wait, they get a lot worse. With the help and hindrance of a plucky girl who just might be the world’s greatest bandit, a whale cult led by a man whose weapon is a stale loaf of French bread, and a sinister but friendly fortune-teller who can’t stop cackling, Bolt’s on a quest to reverse the curse, return to human form, and stop the Baron from taking over the country of Brugaria with his army of mind-controlled penguins in what might be the weirdest–and funniest–middle-grade novel you’ve ever read.

About the Author

Allan Woodrow is the author of many books including The Pet WarClass DismissedUnschooled, Field Tripped, and now, inspired by Dracula, old werewolf movies, Young Frankenstein, and an odd affection for fish sticks, The Curse of the Werepenguin. When Allan isn’t writing or noshing on breading-coated seafood, he’s often presenting to schools, libraries, and conferences. You can learn more about Allan at allanwoodrow.com.

What We Thought Of It

This was such a fun book to read. It was easy for me to read aloud to the kids. We had a great time laughing at the silly parts. I would caution you that this is about werepenguins, and while it is funny, there are some intense/scary parts that younger kids would not enjoy.

Being a middle school book, it is recommended for ages 8+. There are 352 pages. These pages are broken down into four parts and 49 chapters. The chapters are short and easy to complete, which makes reading it that much easier! There are a few cute cartoon-like drawings in the book (which is the Advanced Reader Copy, so this may have changed for the final printing).

If your kids love a fun yet weird book, this is the one you will want to grab! It just became available for sale today! Grab your copy right here:

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**I have been compensated for this post by receiving a free product. All opinions are my own no matter what and I have not been influenced in any way.**

Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors – A Book Review

I am always busy it seems like. I have so much going on with the kids and my husband’s health. Some days I just feel like I am not doing enough to raise my kids in the way that God wanted me to. I feel like I am messing them up more than preparing them for a future. Jami Amerine must have read my mind when she wrote Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors: How Less Than Perfect Parents Can Raise (Kind of) Great Kids.

What Is It

This is a 200-page paperback book with 17 chapters. There are two parts to this book, Part 1: Relent and Reprieve and Part 2: Reward and Receive. Between these two parts and the chapters, you will read about the biggest parenting lie we often believe, why we need to seek the Bible and the wisdom of spiritual giant, why we can’t make our kids love Jesus, how to rest in our identity as daughters of a perfect Father, and so much more.

Each chapter starts with a page with a quote on it. I really enjoyed this page and spent some time just sitting and pondering on this quote. The chapters are nicely written and on topic, and the pages are clean and uncluttered.

What I Thought Of It

I loved reading this book. It was like sitting down and talking with a friend. I was able to read this while raising my own kids. I could pick it up and set it down without feeling like I had to start over. I was also able to read this while spending time on the treadmill. It was not hard to read and get information out of while still being busy with those kids I am trying to raise.

I am thrilled to have had the chance to journey with Jami Amerine. To laugh with her and to cry with her. I really did feel like a friend was helping me through the tough times I have had to go through. And knowing that someone else has done the same while still moving forward, even on sticky floors, has helped me to slow down and think of my house as sacred ground.

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Beloved – A Devotional for Young Women (A Homeschool Crew Review)

Raising kids can be hard. Making sure they are learning all they are supposed to learn, from school, to chores, and of course their faith. Little Miss in my oldest girl, and when I got the chance to review Beloved: 365 Devotions For Young Women from Zondervan, I jumped at the chance!

What Is It

Beloved is a hard covered book with 370 heavier pages. The simple flower design on the cover goes throughout the book adding something to the pages without being too crowded. There is one devotion page for each day of the year. It is undated, so you can start your year whenever you want to.

This devotional is aimed at girls ages 13-18 years old. All of the devotions are based on different women and girls from the Bible. Through this devotional, we see that the Bible is not just a book for and about the guys. We have our eyes opened to the everyday and extraordinary women.

How Did We Use It

Little Miss is a few years younger than the recommended age for this devotional, but I knew this was something that she would still enjoy, so I decided that this was something we would do together. Little did I know, I would gain just as much as her as we read through each day.

Each day started with a short Bible verse. Each of these verses are about different women of the Bible. They do not jump around like other devotionals that I have read, rather, they go together from one day to the next, telling the story of the woman.

Following up after the Bible verse is the devotional that goes with that verse. This devotional will take a lesson from the Bible verse to teach us. On Day 36 the verse was Genesis 19:25-26, the devotional takes the disobedience of Lot’s wife and shows us that curiosity can lead to disobedience. This was the perfect starting point for a great conversation with Little Miss about curiosity and sinning.

And it wasn’t just that day that leads to conversation. Each day we sat down, we ended in conversation about how we can learn from this devotional. While the stories are old, they still ring true in what we face today as young women following Jesus.

What Did We Think

Both Little Miss and I fell in love with this devotional. This was exactly what we were looking for as a way to grow stronger in our faith together. This was not too old or too young for her. Reading it with me, she was able to understand and learn from it. I can see this being a devotional that she will use over and over again, always learning something new each time she reads it.

The pages are thicker, which means they will not likely tear from constant use. There is a space at the bottom of each page for notes, which I am leaving for when she can take her own, and there is even an attached ribbon bookmark, which makes her feel extra special when she uses it.

We both loved that the devotions were short, but they were deep. There was a lot of learning that we both got out of it. Where I would see something for me as a wife and mother, she would pick out something for her as a daughter and sister. This is a book full of lessons, and for now, a lot of bonding time between the two of us. I can not wait until Little Miss is ready to take this on her own and dig even deeper into her life as a young woman of God.

There are 60 other reviewers who had the chance to use this with their daughters, click the picture below to see what they thought of it!

 

Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women {Zondervan Review}
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One Blood for Kids by Ken Ham – A Review

This is a review post. I received this item in exchange for my honest review. Below you will find just that, my honest review.

My primary goal when raising kids is to raise them to see everyone as a child of God. This can be hard to explain in today’s political correctness that seems to be everywhere. Ken Ham and Master Books has helped me with this with One Blood for Kids: What the Bible Says About Race.

For this review, I received the digital download of One Blood for Kids. I was able to send this over to my Kindle account and access it on our iPads for the full-color experience (which I recommend!)

My copy had 64 color pages that talk to us about the 7 Spiritual “Races” of the Bible. When I say, color, I mean color! The pages are beautifully full of color and pictures that take what we are reading and allow us to see it as well!

This book talks about the young earth, and how the fossils that we find are from Noah’s Flood. This makes sense to our family, and even more sense when described in the way that Ken Ham described it.

There is no right or wrong way to read this book. We chose to read this book during our Bible Study time at the beginning of our homeschool day. I loved the little “Set the Tone” sections on the pages. I used those as our starting and stopping points of reading each day. Some days we would read more pages, other days it would be less.

On the days we read more, it was more of the storytelling side of it. The days when we had less to read, these pages were packed with a lot more information.

The main point throughout this book was that there was one race, the human race. This was further broken down to the 7 Spiritual Races of Created, Fallen, Rescued, Divided, Saved, Lost, and Lamb’s Race. We learn about each of these as we go through the book.

We have learned so much through reading this book, mom and dad included! The kids had a question that if we all came from Adam and Eve, how could we be different colors? That was explained in a significant way that everyone understood. It also helped us understand why, in our family, some kids have different colored hair and a slightly darker skin tone than the other.

My kids come running when I say that it is time to read One Blood for Kids. They are excited to learn more about the human race and how we are all related to each other. This is a great book that takes the politics out of the equation and only shows the history of the Bible as to where we all came from.

If you are like me and want to teach your kids that everyone is a child of God, no matter their skin color, One Blood for Kids is the book you will want to have in your hands!

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New York City – By the Way ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

I am going to admit something to you, I have a slight addiction. That addiction is to great books! Whenever we pass by a bookstore, my kids know that we will be spending quite some time there. Last year we had a chance to review a By the Way book, and we loved it. When we found out that there was a new book, New York City from, By the Way, we were excited to check it out!

What Is It

New York City – By the Way is a hardcover book that is filled with beautiful color pictures and cartoons. Each page is a heavyweight page and stands up to kids flipping through them (I know this because I brought it to Bible study one night and a dozen kids were busy reading it when they finished their work.)

There are 48 pages full of information in this book. We follow Alex and Lexi with their youth group as they travel to New York City and learn about the history of New York City and even about the animals!

How We Used It

This is one of those books that you can hand to kids and not worry about what they will read. That is what we did at first. The kids tore it away from me when I opened the package and went off to look at it! The first thing they did was to take a look at finding the hidden images throughout the book.

After finding the images, it was time to read. There is a lot of information in this book. This is not a sit-down and read it all the way through in one sitting with a three-year-old book! Instead, this is a start at the beginning and read for a bit. In fact, after reading the first page, the kids wanted to jump to different parts that they found interesting while looking for the hidden images.

Ray Ray is in love with New York City. He does want to visit there one day, so he is the one who took the book to read the whole thing through. He came back to me with tidbits of information that he had learned. “Mom, did you know there are 175 zip codes for one city! We only have one for our whole city!” “I loved how they talked about 9/11, but I wanted more about this.”

What We Thought Of It

This book has been a hit in our house! The kids love looking through the pages and looking at the pictures. I really enjoyed the way the information is presented, in a story format. This made it easy for the kids to gain an interest in different topics. As they were searching for the hidden pictures, they found topics they wanted to learn more about. This was a great way to build their interest!

I also loved the way that the story shows God in everything. Not only did we learn bits of information about New York City, but we also learned about God and Jesus throughout!

After reading this book with the kids, we all long for a visit to New York City to see some of the sights that piqued our interest while reading this book!

Three other books were included in this review. They are Ireland, Indiana, and Alaska. Check out the reviews right here:

By the Way Book Series: New York City, Ireland, Indiana & Alaska {By the Way Reviews}
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