My Morning Quiet Time Basket


Several month ago I was listening to a great podcast with Pam Barnhill interviewing Jennifer Mackintosh about her Mother’s Morning Basket. While I already had some materials I used for my morning quiet time, the idea of a basket with a variety of materials really appealed to me.

So I put together a Morning Quiet Time Basket of my own.

Hopefully seeing what is included in mine may inspire you to put a basket of your own together. My morning time using materials out of my basket has become my favorite time of day.

Here is what I have in my basket.

*This post may contain affiliate links*

Spiritual Growth

  • My first Bible as a young Christian was the New King James Version of the MacArthur Study Bible. It is still my Bible of choice and holds a very special place in my heart. It is the Bible I read and study daily.
  • My monthly devotional book while I study the book of Philippians is Experiencing God’s Peace. This is the first of Elizabeth George’s studies I have worked through and I plan to add several more to my reading next year. They are very thorough and dip deep into the meaning of Scripture.
  • My Bible copywork notebook is just a plain composition notebook where I copy down sections of the Bible I am currently studying.
  • My index card books: one I use for a prayer journal and one I use for truth cards that go along with my study of Taste for Truth.
  • My Taste for Truth Bible Study book that I use for days when I am struggling with food. I have gone through this Bible study and finished it, but I keep it in there for the times I need a little extra encouragement. Years of dieting has been very destructive on my relationship with food, but this Bible study has helped tremendously.
  • My latest book review for the blog, 31 Proverbs to Light Your Path, also by Liz Curtis Higgs (I love her writing style- it’s like sitting back and listening to a friend tell you a story).
  • My current library book to read, which is The Life Giving Home. I absolutely love this book, and have decided to actually buy it so I can work through it this upcoming year, month by month. I also purchased The Lifegiving Home Experience.

Special Christmas Books

  • My favorite Christmas book, The Women of Christmas. This book always puts me in right frame of mind as the rest of the world experiences Christmas craziness.
  • Last year at Christmas we read Glenn Beck’s Immortal Nicholas, which was fantastic! So this year I am reading through The Christmas Sweater. Glenn Beck never disappoints as a story-teller.
  • My Christmas devotional, The Greatest Gift. No one can dive into deeply spiritual matters like Ann Voskamp. I highly recommend this book if you need a Christmas devotional.


  • My reading journal, which contains my commonplace journal (my favorite quotes from books I have read) and also has my list of books I have read this year.
  • My Book Darts. I can’t live without them. I use this with every book I read so that I can easily come back and copy my favorite quotes in my reading journal.

And that is about all my morning quiet time basket can hold. I love that each morning can be a little bit different depending on what I choose to read or write. The time I spend using materials out of my basket can be anywhere from 15 minutes to about an hour. There are even some evenings when I take my basket out to do some reading. It’s just so flexible and enjoyable.

After the Christmas season, I will rotate in some more educational categories for reading such as history and science. I’m also planning on working my way through The Young Wives’ Guide 2018 Christian Reading Challenge. She has some great book suggestions that will definitely find their way into my basket. It’s amazing to me how much reading I was able to accomplish this year just by making my basket of books a priority.

I highly encourage you all to pull together your favorite materials and create a basket of your very own. And I’d love to hear what you put in it if put together your own morning quiet time basket.


Progeny Press Literature Guides {Schoolhouse Review Crew review}

Progeny Press

Do you use anything for literature analysis is your home? I have always been leery of doing too much with literature since I didn’t want my kids to resist reading because of it. When I was growing up, I never enjoyed book reports, and literature analysis always felt to me like a book report. But when I was offered a chance to review the literature guides for The Door in the Wall and The Courage of Sarah Noble from Progeny PressI thought it would be a great idea to give them a try since I have heard great things about them! The Door in the Wall e-guide retails for $16.99 and is intended for grades 3-5. The Courage of Sarah Noble e-guide retails for $11.99 and is intended for grades K-3.


The Progeny Press guides come in four different levels: lower elementary, upper elementary, middle school, and high school. The guides can be purchased as a study guide on a CD or as an e-guide that is available as an instant download. Both can be printed time and time again for your children. You can also purchase the printed workbook. The great thing about the e-guides is they can be used interactively. So if your child prefers typing to writing, they can fill out the questions that way instead. The guides are intended to take about 8-12 weeks to complete and answer keys are available in the back of every guide.


I decided to print off the guides for each of my children. Our computer is not always reliable and can run slow, so I figured this would be the best way to make sure the guides get done. We already own the books for the guides we are using, but most of the study guides are for award winning books that can be found in most public libraries.

For my oldest son, I chose the guide for The Door in the Wall. This guide is intended for the upper elementary level. I love how the guides break the readings and activities into easily managed chunks. For Caspian, it worked out best to do a few days of reading, and then work on the study guide for the next few days. His guide came with great information about the book to help him understand the background. There were a few pre-reading activities, and then we jumped right into the guide. Each section is full of meaningful questions that can’t be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”. Some of the questions are directly about the story, but others really made him think beyond the story line of the book. There are wonderful exercises to broaden his vocabulary.


One of my favorite parts of the guide is the Scripture references. I love how they use the story to connect to God’s word. There was obviously a lot of thought that was put into each and every question. We have had some wonderful discussions not only about the book, but also about how the answers can be applied to our lives. I just love the “dig deeper” section of the questions! I also love that the guide ends with wonderful suggestions of similar books and even some videos. If you have sparked an interest in a subject with these guides, you have an easy resource to guide you to more great things.


My daughter, Aurora, was given the guide for The Courage of Sarah Noble to use. This guide is for the lower elementary group. Even though Aurora already read this book last year, she was very excited and eager to read it again! Her guide included many things similar to Caspian’s, but just at a different level. She had vocabulary work along with some great questions, which again, included ties to Scripture. Then end of her book included some fun extras. There is a section of recipes, crafts, art, games, and even a crossword puzzle. The end of her guide also included other books by the author, and books related to the same time period as The Courage of Sarah Noble.


These guides were a great first start for my kids in literature analysis. There is just enough work to help them learn, but not enough to overwhelm them. The authors of the guides suggest doing about one page per day, and for us that was a reasonable pace. I didn’t want to overwhelm them with too many questions, and this was perfect. I would think doing one or two of these guides per year would be a perfect balance of free reading and literature analysis. I know my kids would get quickly overwhelmed if we did one of these guides for every book, but a couple per year would be great.

If you need a way to check comprehension and analysis skills in your readers, I would recommend the Progeny Press guides. They are so easy for the parents. No putting together activities or coming up with your own questions. It has all been done for you with the Progeny Press guides. Now to decide which guides we will choose next! 😉

Click the link below to see what my other Crew members thought of Progeny Press.

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Apologia Education Ministries: What on Earth Can I Do? {Schoolhouse Review Crew review}


Do you teach a Biblical worldview along with your regular Bible studies?  If this is something you would like to add to your studies, Apologia Educational Ministries has just what you need! They have just released the fourth book in their “What We Believe” series of worldview training. For this review I received the What on Earth Can I Do? (hardback book), the What On Earth Can I Do Notebooking Journal, the What on Earth Can I Do, Junior Notebooking Journal, and the What on Earth Can I Do? Coloring Book. The hardback book retails for $39 and can be used with children in grades 1-6. Both the Notebooking Journal and the Junior Notebooking Journal retail for $24. The coloring book is perfect for your younger children to keep their hands busy while they listen, and it retails for $8


Although this is the fourth book in the What We Believe series from Apologia, this is our first experience with them. I have heard of them many times before, but have never really looked into it. That was a mistake, because these books are wonderful! They are all meant to show your children how the words and actions of God are woven into our lives and into history. The main book includes 8 lessons, but these lessons can take weeks to get through. The suggest time for each lesson is about two weeks, but we have found working at our own pace instead of working within that time frame, has worked very well. The stories in the book are easy to read and easy for the kids to follow. There are wonderful pictures to go along with the stories too.


There are some fantastic journals to go along with the main book for your children to use. Caspian used the notebooking journal, Aurora used the junior notebooking journal, and the coloring book was for Moose. I love how these notebooks can bring the whole family together as they work to study the same topics. The notebooking journal is filled with comprehension and analysis questions, as well as crossword puzzles, word finds, and other pages to copy Scripture and take notes. The journal notebooking journal includes crosswords, coloring pages extra activities and book suggestions, and includes places to write prayers, copy Scriptures, and record praises.Both journals come with lesson plans at the beginning to instruct you on which activity to do in connection with your reading in the main book. The coloring book has several beautiful pictures to color for each lesson.


The main book does give you a suggested lesson plan, but I found it was best to read a chunk each day and not force our way through anything. There are so many great stories in this book and I didn’t want my kids to miss any of it! I will admit, when these books first arrived, I wondered how well my children would listen to the stories. But I completely underestimated both my children and the authors. These stories are written in such a conversational way that it is easy for them to follow along. They have taken so much from the stories we have already read, and we aren’t even half way through the book yet! The greatest sign of curriculum success for me is when my children bring up something they have learned when we aren’t even doing school work. This has happened several times with the What on Earth Can I Do book.


I really feel like teaching a Biblical worldview is so important for our children. Sometimes the Bible can seem so separated from our daily lives and our families are constantly bombarded with unbiblical things. It is so beneficial for children to hear and see that the works of God are woven into each moment of today and in history. From a Bunker hole in World War I to the Biblical days of Joseph and Potiphar, God has always been there, and he always will be there!


I love the view of God’s sovereign hand this book has brought into our home. The kids are seeing how important their relationship with God is, even outside of our home. Seeing how wonderful these books are makes me ready to try the others in the series. It has sparked some great discussions and has proven to teach some very powerful stories in a way that I could never have done on my own. If you have used the other books in this series, I am sure you will love this one just as much. And if you have never used the Apologia What We Believe series, it is one that I would highly recommend. I am truly grateful for the blessing these books have been to our family!

Click the link below to see what the other Crew members thought about What on Earth Can I Do?

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Golden Prairie Press: American History {a review for the Schoolhouse Review Crew}

Golden Prairie Press

I feel like I have been searching for years for a decent American History program that the kids love and that I will love to teach. Amy Puetz of Golden Prairie Press has put together one of the best American History curriculum I have ever had the pleasure of using! Digital Heroes & Heroines of the Past: American History Curriculum is so well put together and has a little bit for every different type of learning style. While this curriculum is intended for grades 1-6, it can be used with older children too. This program retails for $98.99 and can be purchased as a digital or physical book (though the physical book comes in black and white, while the digital book is in color).

Golden Prairie Press Review

 The main text of this curriculum is called Heroes and Heroines of the Past and is divided into two eBooks. Each contains 15 weeks of lessons. The rest of the extras are separate. The additional materials download includes printable timelines, videos, full size pictures of the artwork, and coloring pages. There is a separate eBook that includes the historical skits. There are also two separate audio downloads that include listening to history and singing some history.


 From the moment I began reading through this curriculum to prepare it for my children, I knew it would be a hit! There are so many fun extras and the mix of activities is perfect. Each lesson begins with a reading from the Heroes and Heroines main text. Most lessons have a shorter, condensed version to use with your younger students (mainly 1st and 2nd graders). This is typically one page long. Then there is a longer more detailed version to use with your older students. Some days the reading is combined and both age groups read the same, but I love this option. I love having the ability to teach a wider age range of students, but still have them learn at their own level. There are enough lessons in this program to get through American History in one year if you do one lesson per day, five days per week.


The end of the lesson includes all of the extras. There are typically some quick comprehension questions, just to make sure your students actually picked up the important points of the story. There are also writing prompts if you wish to extend the lesson to include some language arts. The lessons include some type of geography study too. This last page is also the page where you find the added activities. Some days that includes studying art work (there is a full color copy of each art work on the additional materials download). Other days you may be doing a play, listening to music, creating something, cooking, listening to history, or working on a timeline. There are Bible verses to memorize and extra readings you can do if you want your read alouds to coincide with your history studies. I’m telling you, there is a little bit of everything in this curriculum!


There is also a package of literature you can purchase for your older students to read independently. A few of the books are public domain, but if you purchase the books through Golden Prairie Press, you will be purchasing books that have already been edited for things like racial slurs and outdated words. There is also a coloring book you can purchase for your younger learners. They can color along while they listen to the history stories read. This really is a great multi-level curriculum that is family friendly and a lot of fun!


I always wonder when we start a curriculum what my kids will take away from the readings. I have been reading the selections for the older students, even though my daughter is technically in 2nd grade. They have done a great job listening and taking away the main points of the lesson. They are learning new things and really enjoying this. I love that the readings aren’t dumbed down, but neither are they filled with words the kids don’t understand. The author made sure to include stories about famous women too, which is unfortunately left out of many older history books. So I am learning some new things about these heroines that I didn’t even know before!


My daughter was unbelievably excited when I told her there were skits to do with history. She loves acting and this was perfect for her. My son wasn’t thrilled at first. But once we started the play, you could tell he was really getting into it. I tried to not let onto the fact that I saw him enjoying it, but he did. 😉 We have studied more wonderful works of art through this curriculum than we have in a long time. I never realized how many artists depicted the early American history times.

The projects we have done with this curriculum have been great. No project has been too complicated and they have all been wonderful at tying together what we are learning in the history text. There are few things more frustrating to me than getting a book full of activities that include ingredients or materials I don’t keep at home. But we have been able to do everything so far with no problems.


Since my husband has a military background, American History is a very important subject in our home. I was so glad when this curriculum came up for review…it looked promising from the beginning and I was not disappointed! I feel it does such a great job of blending traditional history with an element of fun that will hold any child’s attention. My kids are learning so much about American History and for that I am very grateful to Amy Puetz, the wonderful author. I no longer feel the need to search for that “perfect” American History curriculum. I am confident we have found that with Heroes and Heroines of the Past. If you have been searching for a great American History curriculum, check it out. We really love it!

Click the link below to see what other Crew members thought about this wonderful American History curriculum!

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101 Color and Sing Bible Stories {a Tyndale review}

One of the most important things I want to teach my children is to love the Bible. This new Children’s Bible, 101 Color & Sing Bible Stories {affiliate link}, is such a wonderful tool to use for that very thing. When you purchase this book, you will also receive 2 discs that include a coloring page and song for every story. There are 101 stories covering some of the most important events in the Bible. Each story is 2 pages. One page includes a picture of what the coloring page looks like, a fun fact, the read-a-long (which gives the Scripture that the story is based on), the sing-a-long song lyrics, and the exact location on the disc where you will find the coloring page and song. The opposite page includes a full color picture of the story. The pictures in the book are bright and colorful.


We are having a great time using this story Bible. My kids are catching on to the songs (which we play regularly) and they love the coloring pages. I love that they have a page to color as I read. It really seems to helps them connect to the story. Although the age range is meant to be about ages 3-6, my 8-year-old loves these stories and loves to join in on the coloring fun (maybe that is because two of her favorite things in life are singing and coloring!). If you are looking for a fun way to introduce Bible stories to your little ones, I would highly recommend this book. We love it!


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Bible Verses to Teach Children to Show Love {with a FREE printable}

Bible Verses to Teach Children to Show LoveI have been noticing a very disturbing trend lately. Everyone feels the need to judge everyone else. People are so quick to pass judgment on someone else before they even stop to take a second thought. So many feeling are hurt, people are driven away from churches, and the love of God is never seen. This is not the way I want my children to be raised.

We are surrounded by judgment, at home, in stores, even in churches. Teaching my children to share the Truth in a way that is not judgmental is going to be a challenge. We are going to have to go straight to the source and use some Bible verses that will help me teach my children to share the love of Christ and not jump to judging others. I have put together a collection of the Bible verses we will use in our memory work to help teach this.

*All Bible verses are from the English Standard Version Bible*

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven…” Luke 6:37

“Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:17

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” John 13:34

“There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?” James 4:12

“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” 1 John 3:16

“For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’.” Galatians 5:14

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love goes not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also much forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:12-15

I pray that learning these verses will help my children remember that judgment is not the way to point others to Christ. Before anyone can be expected to follow His laws, they must first experience His love. I encourage you to find ways to show the love of Christ this week.

Want to print off these verses to use with your children (or even just for yourself)? Just click on the link below and print out a copy of your own!

Bible Verses Showing Love

Easter Fun for Christian Families from Egglo Entertainment {A Review for the Schoolhouse Review Crew}

Egglo review

How do you celebrate Easter in your home? We do our best to keep our Easter celebrating focused on the glorious Resurrection of our Savior. Because of this, we have never done much with Easter eggs since I always associated them with the Easter bunny. This year we are trying something new. A wonderful Christian company, Egglo Entertainment, has created some wonderful Christian products to allow our children to celebrate Easter in a fun way, without losing the true message of Easter.

Egglo Review

For this review I was given the following products, which retail for the price listed after each item:

*Glow in the Dark Egglo Eggs ($11.99)

*The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure ($12.99)

*The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure (book audio download) ($2.99)

*Egglo Treasures Scripture Scrolls ($4.29)

*The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure Program Guide ($14.99).

Other products offered can be found on Egglo Entertainment’s shop page. Although this product is intended for ages 4-13, it can easily be adapted to other ages. My 3 year-old had a great time with this… we just had to adjust some things along the way.

If you plan to use this with just your family, you could  just use the Glow in the Dark Egglo Eggs and the The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure. You could use your own activities tied to the book and create different things to do with the eggs. One of our activities was a Scripture scramble. I cut up pieces of a Bible verse and hid them in the eggs. Then as the kids found the eggs they had to unscramble the words and put the verse together. They had a lot of fun doing this and have asked repeatedly to do it again!


I have yet to find a child that doesn’t become immediately excited when they find out something glows in the dark. There is no exception to that with these eggs. The kids patiently (or not so patiently) waited for the glow in the dark Easter egg hunt. Unfortunately, the day we chose to do this was a cloudy and dreary day, meaning no sun to charge the eggs. 😦 But I did find a good solution to this problem. I used an indoor plant light to charge the eggs. It worked perfectly! The kids were so happy we didn’t have to put the egg hunt off for another day! I am not sure how long these stay charged since we did the egg hunt almost immediately after they charged in a room that was very dark. I would probably suggest charging them pretty close to the time you plan to use them.

The kids also loved the Scripture scrolls from Egglo Entertainment. The company has created cute little mini scrolls that fit perfectly into the eggs. Each scroll has one Scripture verse (or Scripture summary) written on it. All of the Scriptures refer to Jesus being the Light. Part of our Easter egg hunt involved gathering together afterwards and reading though these Scriptures together. The little boys obviously needed help with this part, but it provided a great opportunity to discuss the true meaning of the different Bible passages.


The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure is a book that you and your children are going to love. The story takes you through an Easter egg hunt led by three children, Hardy, Anastasia, and Pascal, along with their dog, Zeke. Their hunt for glow-in-the-dark Easter eggs takes them all over the world as they discover the true meaning of Easter. Each egg they find is filled with a couple of Scripture scrolls that lead them to their next adventure. It was great having the audiobook to go along with the book so I could follow along with the kids as the story was read.


There are also many other products that can be purchased from Egglo Entertainment. If you decide you want to use these eggs in a more structured way or with a bigger group of people I highly recommend you purchase the Program Guide. This guide is filled with ideas of how to use the eggs. Some of these include snack ideas, craft ideas, activity ideas, discussion ideas, along with a full section of printables that include invitations, decorations, coloring pages, posters, and more!

Egglo Review

My kids have enjoyed every activity we have done with the Egglo products. It has really sparked their anticipation for Easter to come so we can do many more egg hunts! We have had some great discussions about both Easter and our daily lives as Christians, all sparked by these eggs. We talked about how Jesus is the light in a very dark world and how we can find Him when we search for Him…even in the midst of this darkness. We also discussed how we can be this light in the darkness for others. We can offer them a real-life example of the hope we have in Christ, and share with them how we can have hope.


But like these eggs, we need to be “charged by the light” so that we can glow with the light of Jesus. What did this mean to my kids? They needed to fill themselves with the light of Jesus by reading their Bibles, memorizing Scripture, praying, and sharing fellowship with other believers. These type of talks fill me with so much hope for the future! They are priceless, and I am so grateful for companies like Egglo that strive to create those opportunities for us to have with children. My kids are happy too since now they can can have more Easter egg hunts. I am happy because I know I am not sacrificing fun or the Truth.

Would I recommend Egglo products? Yes I would! I think they make such a fun way of sharing the Gospel is a manner that is fun for the kids. These would be perfect for a church party, or even a family gathering for Easter. I love products that can be used creatively in different ways, and these fit that bill. If you are looking for a fun and new way to help celebrate Easter, check out Egglo Entertainment‘s website and see if it just may be something to purchase for your family.

You can check out what my Crew mates thought of the Egglo products by clicking on the link below.

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