Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Schoolhouse Review: Home School Adventure Co.'s Philosophy Adventure #hsreviews

Home School Adventure Co.
You know those times when the perfect curriculum just lands in your lap?  It's exciting when it all comes together at just the right time.  GOD truly does know EXACTLY what we need and EXACTLY when we need it.  We've been reviewing Philosophy Adventure--Pre-Socratics by Home School Adventure Co.  and it couldn't have come at a better time for us.  A comprehensive study of philosophy designed to help students cultivate a Biblical worldview, Philosophy Adventure is written for 6th - 12th graders and has been perfect for my 7th and 9th graders.

We recently encountered one of those "oh, you're a homeschooler" moments when my 12-year-old acted, well, 12.  Have you ever had one of those moments?  You know, one of those times when words aren't spelled correctly or sentences aren't punctuated just so -- and it becomes a big homeschool deal.  I am well aware of the areas in which my children need to improve -- and we are working on those areas diligently.   Most importantly though, I am concerned for their hearts.   Philosophy Adventure offers the opportunity to work on writing skillfully, thinking critically, and speaking articulately all wrapped up in my favorite subject -- history -- while exploring the heart and delving into the philosophies we embrace and how they shape our world.

Believe me, I want my children to have great writing and speaking skills.  Even more, though, I want them to discern the TRUTH that is GOD and I want them to KNOW when lies are being spoken.  Philosophy Adventure helps us focus on truth and understand lies.  We have recently studied through World War I and World War II and we've spent time reading together the lies that Mussolini and Hitler spread and the chaos that resulted.  Unfortunately, much of what we are reading with dismay is making us shake our heads at the troubles of THIS day.  I've always heard that history repeats itself.  I want my children to be able to stand strong in a time of trouble.  Philosophy Adventure is helping them to see clearly as we read and study together.  Although high schoolers can easily do this on their own, it has been beneficial for us to work through the lessons together as we explore historical figures contextually.

Philosophy Adventure
Philosophy Adventure

The Philosophy Adventure curriculum consists of an Adventure Reader (131 pages), Student Workbook (143 pages), and Teacher's Resources (110 pages) which include quizzes, maps, timelines, memory cards and easy-to follow and understand instructions.  You can purchase physical hold-in-your-hand products OR digital downloads.  There are eight lessons that each introduce a pre-Socratic philosopher.  Included in each of these lessons are writing prompts and exercises, discussions to cultivate thinking skills, historical lessons on the time period in which each philosopher lived and studied, and truth revealed through Scripture.   We have been using the digital downloads ($39.95 for EVERYTHING) and this is what that looks like for us:

I downloaded all of the files to my iPad.  We use it to read the lessons aloud in daily increments. Included in each lesson are Vocabulary words, Memory Cards and Philosopher Pages, timeline pieces, maps, and quizzes.  There is SO much to do and so much to learn.  We enjoy hands-on activities and there are plenty packed within Philosophy Adventure.  For example, I chose to print out the Memory Cards for daily game time.  We have completed the first two lessons and have studied Thales, The Father of Western Philosophy, and Pythagoras, The First Philosopher.

After reading through the lesson portions from the Adventure Reader, we play games with the Memory Cards and work on completing the Philosopher Pages found in the Teacher's Resources.  (My kids make up games to see who knows most about our philosophers.)  The Student Workbook offers further study as students label maps, record facts, and get to really know the philosopher. Digging deeper, students explore and unleash their creativity through writing assignments that encourage them to incorporate their five senses as they answer the questions What do you see?, What do you smell?, What do you hear?, What temperature do you encounter?, and How does it taste?.  

Remember I said that Philosophy Adventure has been PERFECT for us?  It is always wonderful when history and philosophy merge into the real world for us.  Just this last week as we prepared for our Easter celebration, we were delighted to learn that Pythagoras lived during the time that JESUS was leading the followers of The Way and he heard the reports of those who had first-hand knowledge that JESUS rose from the dead.  Now THAT's the kind of thing I want firmly planted in the hearts of my children.  How about you? 

I hold degrees in Political Science and the philosophers studied in Philosophy Adventure are not  new to me.  They are the backbone of courses taught in colleges today.  I like being able to give my children "the whole story" so that they CAN answer anyone who asks for a reason for the hope that is in them with gentleness and respect.

I know that those "homeschool" moments will come again.  I also know that the world will push you around if you let it.  One of my goals for our homeschool environment is that my children will graduate high school and know what they believe, why they believe it, and be able to speak eloquently in defense of those beliefs.  Philosophy Adventure is a wonderful place to start.  

And from now until May 15, you can order and SAVE MONEY.  Use the special promo Code (CREW-10) for 10% off of any downloadable order:

Home School Adventure Co.

Home School Adventure Co. makes it easy to stay connected through Social Media platforms.  You can find out more about them in the following places:


This one is definitely a keeper.  I look forward to studying through it for quite some time.

Crew Disclaimer

I was given the opportunity to review the Philosophy Adventure by Home School Adventure Co.  as a member of the Schoolhouse ReviewCrew.   You can check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the Schoolhouse ReviewCrew thought of this and other products as well (or just click on the banner below.)

Click to read Crew Reviews
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Southwest Chicken with Black Beans and Rice

It's no secret how much I love to cook with my crockpot.  On busy days, I find it to be the best little kitchen helper around.  On cold days, I find it to be a comfortable warmth.   During the summer, I find it to be the easiest way to serve my family without heating up the kitchen.  It really is the perfect appliance.

Using only things I have on-hand, I've just created a "new" recipe and it's cooking slowly as I mark other things off of my list today.  I can't wait to eat it later.

Southwest Chicken with Black Beans and Rice

1/2 cups broth -- I added 1 teaspoon of Poultry Seasoning and 2 teaspoons of L.B. Jamison's Ham Flavored Soup Base to boiling water.  Chicken or Veggie Broth would have been fine, too.
2 teaspoons Cumin
2 teaspoons Oregano
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can water
1 cup rice
1 1/2 cups black beans (best to use canned black beans, drained -- or else everything turns purple)
Chicken breasts

After spraying my crockpot with non-stick spray, I mixed the broth, seasonings, tomatoes, garlic, and water all together in the base.  I stirred in rice and beans.  Put frozen chicken breasts on top.  Cook on low for 5 - 6 hours.  Shred chicken in rice.  Serve with a green salad and side of corn.

That's my invention of the week.  I hope you enjoy as much as we do.

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I'm linking up with my friend Lisa at Home to 4 Kiddos.  Hop on over and try a new recipe today.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Impact the World with Great Leadership: Review and Giveaway #Impact

IMPACT: Great Leadership Changes Everything

Think about those whom you consider to be leaders.  What are some of the character traits that come to mind?  What makes them different than those who simply follow?  Who are they at their core?  Can you identify those leaders around you that are good at what they do?  How about the ones that are not good at what they do?  How does great leadership impact your life?  Your family's life?

Think about all the places you find yourself involved in family, in church, in school, in homeschool groups, in Scouts, in civic organizations, and even on the sidelines as a soccer mom, baseball mom, dance mom, robotics mom, or football mom.  We are all leaders of some kind.  We lead at home, at church, at work, at school.  We can be good leaders, or we can be poor leaders, but we ARE leaders.  We are either building people up or tearing them down. 

 In his book, Impact:  Great Leadership Changes Everything, Dr. Tim Erwin discusses how to go from being a good leader to a GREAT leader.  Through his hands-on assessments, he lays out a plan to help you reach your full potential in all areas of leadership in your life.  Through the pages of his book, you'll examine the elements that support or undermine your effectiveness, and learn processes to develop leadership competencies and characteristics.  This has been quite helpful for me as I work to be a better wife, a better mom, a better friend, and a better minister.  I am reminded in Chapter 14 Who's Watching Your Back? to guard my marriage and my family, to seek accountability, to use Social Media wisely, and to utilize the pause button when faced with making important decisions.  

An organizational psychologist and management consultant, Dr. Irwin has worked with thousands of leaders in well-known global companies for more than 25 years.  He knows that most leaders work for recognition and advancement and they want more challenge and responsibility.  He has also found it to be true that most of us want to make a positive difference through our work and to have our lives count for something more than simply making a living. We want to make an impact -- at home, at work, at church, in life.

I know that is true for me.  My heart's desire is to leave a lasting legacy of hope for those that I come in contact with and to help people realize that every day has the potential to be the best day of their lives.  I want my life to be a life filled with JESUS and my prayer is that HE will be seen through me.  I want my children to be effective leaders as well, and I pray that we are preparing them for this through our homeschool environment.  

This is a book on leadership, but it's really more about the IMPACT we have on those around us.  The goal of the book is to teach you how to measure and enhance your potential for living a life of impact.  Through chapter evaluations that help you Go Deeper into your core beliefs and offer insight into how you think and behave, this 201-page book will help you realize your full potential and learn to make a positive IMPACT with your life as you work on leaving a true legacy of hope.  There's even an online assessment you can take which I highly recommend.  It took me about 10 minutes to answer the 45 questions presented and the immediate feedback report has helped me to set some goals in improving my leadership style.  I am actively working on ways to strengthen my core values through the simple action plan provided and I am committing to change.  Continual evaluation is a good thing for each of us as we seek to improve.  

Impact: Great Leadership Changes Everything is not a book that you read and relegate to your bookshelf.  It's a book that you read, re-read, and read again.  It's the kind of book that will change your life -- and the lives of those around you.  I plan to continue reading it for myself and to use it with my children as they prepare for college and work.

About the author:
Dr. Tim Irwin, the author of the New York Times best-selling book Impact: Great Leadership Changes Everything, has been a confidante to thousands of global leaders. He is a favorite guest of Hugh Hewitt and is being featured on a number of Christian radio programs. Irwin sees one central issue anytime a leader “derails”—he believes they have a defect in their “core”, which Irwin says goes beyond the overused term “character”. His new book, Impact, addresses this and gives actionable ways leaders can protect themselves, and better serve their organizations—especially crucial for those of us who serve in ministry and are walking a Christian walk.

Stay Connected and make a great IMPACT
Twitter: https://twitter.com/drtimirwin  #Impact

I have the opportunity to giveaway one copy of  Impact: Great Leadership Changes Everything to one of you, my friends. If you would like to own a copy of this book for yourself as you strive to make a positive impact on the world around you simply leave me a comment below sharing your favorite leadership tip with me.  (For extra chances to win, please like this page on FB and/or follow my blog through GFC or Linky Followers.  Leave a separate comment that you did those for additional entries into the giveaway.)  I'll be choosing one winner on Friday, May 2, 2014. 

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

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Amazing Spiderman 2 Discussion Guide -- Review & Giveaway #Spiderman

We are definitely Spidey fans at my house.  We enjoy action-packed films, villains who get their due, and good guy heroes that come out ahead.  We love Marvel Comics Superheroes the best -- actually my Senior says they are the only ones that count.  We've read the comic books, watched the television shows, and seen the movie.  My Princess even dressed as Spider-Man for the handicapped prom she helped host last weekend.  

With The Amazing Spider-Man 2™ movie about to hit theatres in May, we are excitedly making plans to attend together and I am thrilled to be able to share a must-have, family-friendly resource with you.  The Family Discussion Guide will get your kids talking in a way that will make you proud as it incorporates movie trivia, Scripture, and questions to make you think.

We're using the Discussion Guide each day to delve a bit into the true character of Spider-Man.  We've always known that Spider-Man's most important battle has been within himself:  the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man are tough.  But in The Amazing Spider-Man 2™, Peter Parker finds that a greater conflict lies ahead and his greatest battle begins.  Using the Discussion Guide, we've been able to explore the topics of self-esteem, GOD-given talents and abilities, positive responses in times of trouble, and loving others.  We've spent time reading Scripture together, discussing positives and negatives as seen in movie characters and in ourselves, and praying that GOD would open our eyes to those hurting people around us who we can pray for and help.

Family Discussion Guide
The discussion guide for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a great resource for families to discuss a range of important themes that include the relationship between personal choices and destiny, living a life that counts, sacrificing yourself in service to others, and the nature of power. Each discussion opens with Scripture, is followed by a brief description from the movie, and ends with 2- 3 discussion questions.  This guide will help parents start (or continue) conversations with their children that will inspire them to think outside themselves and challenge them to live lives that matter -- lives with JESUS as the center.  The conversations that will result from using this guide will reveal that even the most explosive summer blockbuster can leave lasting, positive impacts on its young viewers. And that's a major win in my book.

Don't you wish more movies offered Family Discussion Guides to help you really dig deeper into your hearts as you look deeper into the movie characters and plot?  I sure do.  It makes it easier to teach discernment if you can discuss issues from a Biblical worldview.  We've thoroughly enjoyed discussing together and I think your family will enjoy diving into the conversation as well.  I'd love to share a copy of the 5-page Family Discussion Guide with you. If you would be interested in your own copy, leave me a comment with your email address and I'll be happy to send you the PDF file.  

In this day and age, we have to be extremely careful in what movies choose to allow our families to watch.  The influence of the world can be a dangerous thing.  Here's what Movieguide® has to say about The Amazing Spider-Man 2™:   Movieguide® gave an award to the first Amazing Spider-man by director Marc Webb, and the second looks quite good as well. Though we haven’t seen the entire film, the clips show a theme of standing up for what is right even in danger, even though no man is eternal, not even Spider-man.

Now for the giveaway:  I have the opportunity to share one AMAZING SPIDERMAN 2 Prize Pack (t-shirt, paper mask and phone case backstrap protector as pictured) with one of my readers.  If you are a Spider-Man fan, then I know you'll want to sign up for a chance to win this Giveaway.    When our Prize Pack arrived, everyone loved it and started laying claim to the goodies. For your chance to win, simply leave a comment and share your favorite thing about Spider-Man for your first entry. Share your favorite Bible verse for a second entry.  (For additional chances to win, please like this page on FB and/or follow my blog through GFC or Linky Followers. Leave a separate comment for each of those that you choose to do for additional entries into the giveaway.) I'll be choosing one winner on Friday, April 25.  That's my Spider-girl's birthday so we would love to celebrate with you.  

Official website for the moviewww.theamazingspiderman.com/   

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

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bible Drill Success

All 19 NHBC Bible Drillers made it all the way to State Bible Drill this year.  That means they've passed Church Drill, Associational Drill, AND qualified for State Drill. Several even went a step further to the 6-second Drill and have qualified for the Selection Tournament.  I am so proud of the hard work they've put into learning GOD's Word and hiding it deep in their hearts.

I'm also incredibly happy for the two girls that completed their NINTH year of Drill. They are the first in our church history to commit to all nine years of Bible Drill. What an accomplishment and testimony of perseverance to know they saw the value in Bible Drill and made it a priority from 4th grade to 12th grade.

I am blessed beyond measure to have the privilege of working with these kids each week.   Here are a few pictures from the year:

The Gang's All Here

Associational Bible Drill -- a room full of blue

Awards Time at State Bible Drill

my Boy Scout

my Princess

my Senior

9-year Bible Driller Award -- a nice (and HEAVY) study Bible

6-Second Drill

Awesome Children's Drillers and friends

Too much downtime?  The many selfie faces of my Boy Scout

Love these kids

Serious Faces -- Let's Do This

Is this Good Cop, Good Cop?

Official Timekeeper

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Scrambled Comfort

I miss Guatemala. My heart aches to return.

One of my favorite foodie blogs shared a recipe for Migas a week or so ago.  I recently read the book Kisses from Katie.  Those two things have absolutely nothing in common, but their coming so close together to one another has fueled my desire to return to Guatemala.   Katie cooks simple meals that nourish the children she serves.  Migas reminds me of a simple meal that nourished my stomach when I was sent to serve.

Every page of Kisses from Katie calls to my soul.  As I read the thoughts of a girl I'll probably never meet, I am reminded of that small village that beckons to me in Guatemala.  Katie Davis listened to GOD's call and traveled to Africa.  I heard GOD's call clearest in an enclosed churchyard/school/orphanage/food kitchen that still sits waiting for someone to come and run it.

The recipe for Migas is very similar to one of my favorite breakfast dishes in Guatemala.  Every morning before we ventured out, we were served an egg dish that was simply scrambled comfort.  Eggs cooked with fresh onions, tomatoes, and peppers with black beans on the side and fresh fruit and "cookies" were a great way to start each day of ministry.

And so I determined it was time to bring some Guatemala to Mississippi.  Of course, we don't have all the fresh ingredients that were readily available in the market there, but close (and easy) is good.  Right?  

Scrambled Comfort

Here's my version of Guatemalan Eggs -- pure Scrambled Comfort:

2 Tablespoons Butter, melted
Onion, chopped -- I had 1/2 of an onion in the refrigerator so that's exactly what I needed.  :)
Eggs -- I used a dozen because there were four of us eating.  They came fresh from my friend Jennifer's farm, but any eggs will do.
Can of Rotel Tomatoes w/Green Chilies
Shredded Cheddar Cheese -- I just dumped in two handfuls.  Cheese is good for anything, right?
Salt & Pepper to taste

Saute onions in melted butter.  Whisk eggs together with Rotel tomatoes.  Add cheese (if you like).  Add egg mixture to sauteed onions and scramble.

I didn't have black beans or corn tortillas, so we cooked bacon and biscuits instead.  That's the Mississippi for you.  It wasn't quite Guatemalan fare, but it was close.

My MainMost said the eggs were just as good as the ones we had in Guatemala. The only thing missing was that green sauce.  (And I'm still not sure what all was in it -- just that we liked it.  Maybe next time I'll try to re-create that one.)

Enjoy . . .

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I'm linking up with my friend Lisa at Home to 4 Kiddos.  Hop on over and try a new recipe today.

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Scripture & a Snapshot: Praising Together

Watching the sunset with my love.  It was a beautiful ending to a beautiful day.  Praise GOD from whom all blessings flow.

I'm joining with my friend Jennifer over at a glimpse of our life -- I love when GOD speaks through HIS WORD straight to my heart.  Don't you?

Scripture and Snapshot

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