Saturday, February 28, 2015

Some Musical Nuggets (YouTube-style) for you

Thought I would share some favorite songs with you all from some of the artists that we have seen this past year... Some we saw more than once, and I'm just sharing a few of them for now (And also including my daughter's Concert Fan Art~ fun stuff!), watch for more one day soon! :)

Hope you enjoy!


This is Youngest's FAVORITE Unspoken Song...
From the Start a Fire Album.
So *not* a typical topic for a 7 year old (martyrs),
but such a good song with a great groove. 

Chris August~
Most Excellent song
for marriages that are struggling~ 
Heard some really neat testimonies
about the impact of this song...
Hopefully this will encourage Friends and Family
who are in need of restoration...


Group 1 Crew (featuring Chris August)~
He Said~ He'll never give you more than you can take
You might bend , but you won't break...

If you would like to purchase their music for your personal library,
you can find it at Amazon, and other music outlets... 



Thursday, February 26, 2015

Heirloom Audio Productions: In Freedom's Cause (TOS Review)

Some people/children hate audio books (I have one of those), and others LOVE audio books (I have one of those too!), but I think almost anyone, regardless of their previous interaction with audio books would enjoy the productions of Heirloom Audio Productions. Their latest offering by G. A. Henty is about William Wallace and Robert the Bruce (you may be familiar with a "Hollywood-ized" version of the story told in the film Braveheart). I received for review their In Freedom's Cause Single Package, which includes a physical CD set, and three downloadable digital components: a study guide, a soundtrack, and a printable copy of the The Prayer of William Wallace.

First, here's a little bit of information about In Freedom's Cause, straight from Heirloom Audio Productions. This should give you an idea of the quality of this production, with some amazing actors that will surely stir your blood as they did mine:  :) 

The telling of the story does not precisely follow the text of the story, much as a movie screenplay doesn't mimic a novel word-for-word, but with only minor detail changes, holding true to the main points of the story. 

The acting, as demonstrated above, and mentioned, is riveting (and personally, I *love* listening to the accents, as does my son). 

Although the recommended age is 6+, because I tend to have rather more "sensitive" children than some, I assigned this to my 14 yo Middlest for independent use, as he not only enjoys audio books, but is an appropriate age for G.A. Henty stories.  

Here is a screen shot of one of the earlier pages in the study guide to show the image-rich quality of the guide. 

The study guide starts with notes on G.A. Henty, William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Following those, the study guide splits the drama into sections as the story changes, and each section comes with three type of questions: 
  • The Listening Well~ or as Charlotte Mason fans might otherwise term it, Narration: what do you remember? 
  • The Thinking Further ~ digs a little deeper, including discussing character and motivations in addition to some more concrete lessons like the map-work illustrated above.
  • The Defining Words~ Vocabulary 
At the end of the study guide there are three Bible studies, a historical note, and a reading list for older students and adults. Personally I would suggest going through or at least introducing the Bible Study themes before listening to the story, so that the themes presented are more at the forefront as you and/or your student/child listen to the story.

Middlest's thoughts~ the audio book was most excellent to listen to~ he appreciated that there were multiple actors, not just one person narrating the entire story. Because of the variety of characters, having different voices made it much easier to follow the story. Middlest was impressed with how he could really hear and feel the emotions of the characters. The only tricky bit was learning to "hear" some of the vocabulary words through the accents. While he wouldn't change a thing about the actors and their accents, he would have liked a written "Script" to follow along with, to make it easier to catch some of the words, or to make it easier to go back and find some of the answers in the study guide. 

If you are interested in, or would like to develop an interest in history and the connection of the over-arching story of God's love and provision for the world, you may like to check out this audio drama. Heirloom Audio Productions also has a webpage Live the Adventure, with resources for In Freedom's Cause, and their other productions Under Drake's Flag, and the upcoming With Lee in Virginia.
Social Media Links for Heirloom Audio Productions In Freedom's Cause:
Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest

You can find information on Heirloom Audio Productions Upcoming release  (Due near Memorial Day) With Lee in Virginia at the following Social Media Outlets:
 FacebookGoogle+, and  Twitter

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
Please click the banner below to visit the TOS Review Crew and see what others had to say. As always, I hope that this review was useful to you as you choose where best to spend your homeschool budget.

Click to read Crew Reviews
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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wordless Wednesday~ Post Blizzard 2015

Wordless Wednesday
Post-Blizzard 2015
Around the House
*side note~ all photos taken straight on, standing up, not messing with perspective...


Linking up at 
5 Minutes for Mom and 
Wordless Wednesday at Life at Rossmont

Gotta-Fly-Out-The-Door, But-Dinner-Isn't-Made-Yet Ricey Chili 1 Pot Meal

Ricey Chili 1 Pot Meal

This isn't a measured recipe because I didn't have time, but it was yummy enough that I had to document it. This turned out thick enough to eat with a fork, so more casserole texture, but kind of chili-ish too. If you make it, and think of a better name, please let me know!

Saute' in Olive Oil
1 onion
2-3 peeled carrots, chopped

After about 5 minutes
create a "well" in the center of the veggies and

Add 1 package ground turkey
Season turkey with
3-5 splashes of Worcestershire Sauce
3-5 shakes of cumin
4-7 shakes of chili powder

mix the seasonings into the turkey in the well, and brown the turkey

Add 1 box of pureed tomato (Or a can if you use those)
1 can of pumpkin
4.5 cups of chicken broth
1 splash of some sort of red wine vinegar (I had raspberry wine vinegar on hand)
1 Tbs of brown sugar

mix this all up, bring to a boil and add 1 cup of Trader Joe's Wild Rice Mix.

Bring back to a boil, then simmer covered for 35 minutes~ move off the heat and let sit for at least another 10 minutes to make sure your rice is cooked, then feel free to keep it warm on the stovetop until you're ready to eat.

A crusty bread and steamed broccoli or green beans would be a nice accompaniment to this dish.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Astrid Lindgren's Rasmus and the Vagabond (Propeller Promotions Book Review/Giveaway)

I don't know about you, but having been a bookworm from a very early age, I remember spending many days reading about Pippi Longstocking (And I remember when my father brought home Pippi in the South Seas from the book club order at the Junior High where he taught~ what joy! More adventures! I was delighted when I was asked to review a book that I had never seen, also written by Astrid Lindgren.

Rasmus and the Vagabond has just been republished by Plough publishing, and tells the story of a young orphan (Rasmus) who runs away from his orphanage, and falls in with a vagabond, one "Paradise Oscar" by name. They encounter a variety of adventures while in search of a family who would want to keep Rasmus for their very own.

My 17 year old did a pre-read for me (having devoured the Pippi books in her younger years), and said she could tell just by the tone that Rasmus was written by the same author as Pippi. The story has a few tense moment that may make younger readers (or listeners) throw their hands over their eyes or ears, just like they do for similar moments in movies and videos (at least my 7 year old did when I read the book aloud to him... not sure what he was blocking out when he covered his eyes, but I understood what he was aiming for), but by and large, it is a return to simpler, more innocent times, and is a reasonably gentle read for the tween years, or read-aloud for the 6-9 crowd.

I love it when books that were published in the 40's and 50's are republished for another generation to enjoy, particularly in an era when libraries are clearing their shelves of all these wonderful wholesome, sweet old stories. Rasmus and the Vagabond definitely falls into this category, and now that I know that Astrid Lindgren is the author of so many more titles, you can bet that I'll be hunting them down to add to reading lists for my 7 year old over the next few years. You can learn more about Astrid Lindgren and read the official blurb on the book on Plough Publishing's webpage.

Now, here's one of the things that gives me great joy! I get to give a copy of "Rasmus and the Vagabond" to one of my readers. Hurrah! (please wait for the Rafflecopter to load)
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Nourished (FlyBy Promotion Book Review/Giveaway)

My last book review was all about motivating your child. Now I've got a book that is all about motivating mom! Nourished: A Search for Health, Happiness, and a Full Night's Sleep  written by the mother/daughter team Becky Johnson and Rachel Randolph.
First a little blurb to introduce you to the authors...

     Becky Johnson is the author, coauthor, or collaborator of more than forty books. She’s a natural storyteller who has inspired and entertained audiences for years. Most recently she co-authored We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook alone with a blog by the same name with her daughter, Rachel Randolph. She and her husband, Greg, live in Denver, Colorado. Website/blog:
     Rachel Randolph writes and speaks with humor and honesty about parenting a toddler, young married life, and her mostly plant-based cooking adventures. Rachel is married to Jared, a high school football and baseball coach. They live near Dallas, Texas with their son, Jackson. Nourished is her second book.

Now, on to the book. "Nourished" is written in a conversational in tone, as if you were sitting down with a nice cuppa with a couple of friends. Becky and Rachel are very different personalities, but just like the rest of us, they have/had to deal with many of the same pressures and issues that face many women in today's society including cluttered surroundings, crowded schedules, negative body image, feeling like a spiritual slacker, and more.

The book is split into 5 parts:

Nourished 911 
The "Under-nourished" Woman (Body/soul/spirit)
Nourish or Perish
Nourishing Habits That Stay

Nourished Spaces and Routines
Nourishing Nests
Nourishing Plates and Welcoming Spaces
Nourishing Schedules and Balanced Rhythms

Nourished Bodies, Nourished Selves
Nourishing Self-Acceptance
Nourishing Menus and Happy Memories
Nourishing Movement

Nourished Relationships
Nourishing Friendships
Nourishing Ways to Parent and Grandparent
Nourishing Mariiages

Nourished Spirits
Nourishing Thoughts That Tend and Mend Us
Nourishing the Brain in Pain
The Nourishing Voice of God

Epilogue: Your Own Nourishing Path

Now I have to admit that I haven't finished reading the entire book yet (I'm a little over half-way through~ I've had a lot more snow shoveling time vs reading time than I expected, and it doesn't look like that's changing any time soon!), but so far I can say that it *is* a nourishing read~ it feeds the spirit and the mind with good thoughts ~ I feel it exemplifies Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—think on these things.
When I have time to read a little bit here and there I come away feeling refreshed and encouraged, and generally with a smile on my face put there by one of Becky or Rachel's stories.

Here's a little snippet creating a word picture of two different personality types (Or rather the extremes~ there are an endless variation of types contained within,  and hopefully we can all learn to achieve a balance there):

The Rider and the Elephant
"The Rider is the planner, the logical part of us that researches, makes lists, and follows steps into change. The Elephant is that big, emotive part of ourselves that has to be reached and motivated to make a change, even a small one. An Elephant without a Rider is all feeling and impulse, lumbering and stampeding with heartfelt, unbridled, and directionless emotion.... The Rider without the Elephant, on the other hand, is like a woman standing on a path in the jungle, a well-thumbed guidebook in hand - but without the gumption needed to move off center and actually go somewhere."

One of my favorite truths is crystalized in many parts of this book:
Perspective can change almost everything.

If you are feeling the need for nourishment and encouragement from some ladies who have Been There/Done That~ acknowledgement that you are not alone in many of the struggles you face (be they first world problems or not), you may want to pick up a copy of Nourished: A Search for Health, Happiness, and a Full Night's Sleep.  Or you can enter my giveaway for a copy (Please wait for the Rafflecopter to load) to keep for yourself or give as a gift to a friend.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.



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