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?

Click to read Crew Reviews

You can follow Apologia through the following social media links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/apologiaworld
Twitter – https://twitter.com/apologiaworld
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/105053356034237782125/posts
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/apologia/

Crew Disclaimer



Protect Your Electronic Devices with Trident Cases! {Schoolhouse Review Crew review}

Trident Case review

If you have any electronic devices in your home, I have something to share with you that I am sure you will love! Wouldn’t it be nice to have a case for your device that was sturdy enough to stand up to just about anything that could happen? That is exactly what the Trident Case was created to do! I was so excited to receive the KRAKEN A.M.S. CASE FOR APPLE IPAD 2/3/4. Trident offers several different cases for all of your devices, but this iPad case retails for $69.95. The Trident cases can be enjoyed and used by children and parents of all ages.

We had a fun time picking out the color for our new Trident case…they come in such a great variety of colors! We took a majority vote (with Moose being the tie-breaker) and decided on green. I love it! The case is wonderfully sturdy and I am so happy to have it.

Not long before our Trident case arrived, our iPad was dropped on the basement floor while a certain little boy was coming to show me the game he was playing. Well, it unfortunately cracked, even though it was already in a case (not a Trident case, though!). Thankfully, the warranty covered a replacement, but we only had 3 days left before the warranty ran out! That was too close! I am so happy that the new iPad will now be protected with a sturdy case that can withstand the abuse given to it in a house full of children. Trust me, these kids put any product they touch through a rigorous durability test.:-)


There are a few things about the Trident case that I love and I think sets them apart as a wonderful choice for a case.

*It has been tested by the military. As the wife of a Marine, I know that the military can be tough on their equipment. If this case makes it through their testing, then it is sure to be a good one! They even offer some military themed cases, just wish there was a Marine Corps one ;-).

*The cases are made in the U.S.A. I am always happy when a company is willing to keep their working crews in the United States. Even if I have to pay a little bit more for something, I am willing to do that to support great companies.

*The cases are super easy to order. The website walks you through exactly which case you want based on the device you have. Nothing is better than a great purchasing experience.

*They are easy to put together. Although I was nervous about taking the case apart (I always worry about breaking things!) my wonderful husband showed me exactly how to pop the case apart and put the iPad in it. I guess I never should have worried about breaking something so sturdy. 

*Even with the case on, the buttons on the iPad are very easy to press. Some cases make it difficult to push buttons once the cover is on, but not with the Trident case! Every part of the iPad is protected, including the buttons, but you can still use them. The audio still sounds wonderful and the camera can still be used easily too!


We love, love, love our new Trident case! I no longer worry about what the kids might do to the iPad. The kids are free to use the iPad now without me hovering over them and worrying about what might happen. Electronic devices like the iPad are not cheap, so I really think it is best to invest in a sturdy case that will protect your investment. I can tell you right now, we will be buying Trident cases from here on out for any electronic devices we own. I trust the company, the cases are sturdy, the colors are wonderful, and the electronic device is still completely functional with the case on. What more could you ask for?!


Want to see what the rest of my Crew members thought about their Trident cases? Just click the link below!

Click to read Crew ReviewsYou can follow Trident Case through the following social media links:
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/tridentcase
Instagram – http://instagram.com/tridentcase#
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/tridentcase
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/+tridentcase
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/tridentcase
Vine – https://vine.co/Trident.Case
YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/TridentCaseCrew Disclaimer




Poppins Book Nook: The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge

This month’s theme for the Poppins Book Nook is “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles”.  We decided to try a new book for this month’s reading, and I immediately had an activity in mind!

{This post may contain affiliate links}

 This cute little picture book,The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge, is a sweet story about a lighthouse that starts to feel not needed. The little red lighthouse has been used for years to keep boats safe from the fog and the dark. One day, the construction of a bridge begins right next to the lighthouse. The lighthouse fears he will no longer be needed since the bridge has a big bright light on it already. In the end, the lighthouse learns that he is still needed to keep boats safe, even with the big bridge right beside him.


For this book, I decided it would be fun to try to create a bridge with food. So I collected some treats that are rare in our home…the kids were very excited! We used marshmallows, jelly beans, Twizzlers, graham crackers, and pretzels to create a bridge and lighthouse of our own. Little did I know how difficult the bridge would be to build!


If we did this again, I would definitely make up a batch of thick icing, like the kind you use with gingerbread houses. We still had a great time and learned about how difficult bridge construction can really be!


After we finished building the bridge, I let the kids decide what they wanted to build and gave them some time to create. They love it and had a lot of fun! Caspian created an airplane.


Aurora made a smiley face garden.


Moose made a jail (the side-effect of being the son of a police officer!).


They even created some people to go with their creations.


So even though our bridge may not have turned out as magnificent as I had hoped, we still had a lot of fun and the kids were very creative! They spent hours at the table fixing things and creating new things. There is just something so cool about creating something and then being able to eat it. Have you ever played with your food and created something with it? If you haven’t, I highly recommend trying. I can pretty much guarantee your kids will love it!

Now I invite you to click on the links below and see what fun activities everyone else has done with this month’s theme. Happy reading!

Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Faith and Good Works ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual MayhemPreschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~  Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Water on the Floor ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom’s Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids

Be sure to stay connected with the Poppins Book Nook and follow along with the fun!
Poppins Book Nook
Clip Art by Melon Headz


















Audio Drama at Its Best with “The Brinkman Adventures” {a review for the Schoolhouse Review Crew}

Brinkman Adventures

Does your family listen to audio books? We love them in our home, but we have really never tried audio drama before. We recently received an absolutely wonderful audio drama collection called the The Brinkman Adventures. The CDs we reviewed included The Brinkman Adventures Season 2: Episodes 13-24. Each season’s collection includes hours of audio entertainment for your entire family. They were created with families in mind and are perfect to listen to together, whether that is in the car, at home, or wherever you choose to listen to them. The Brinkman Adventures are available either on CDs or as mp3 files. The CDs retail for $25 (with free shipping too!), and the mp3 files are $17.

Brinkman Adventures Review

The Brinkman Adventures is a series of audio episodes based on the lives of real missionaries. They do change the names of people and certain places for the sake of privacy and safety, but the events have actually happened. The Season 2 episodes involves the Brinkman family trying to get down to Mexico for a missions trip. There are many times they wonder if they will ever get down to Mexico. Like so many other things in life, there are obstacles in the way. But, the family sticks together as they seek the Lord’s will, and in the end, everything works out for God’s glory.

These days it seems difficult to find sources that encourage our children to spread the Gospel in a meaningful way, but that is exactly what the Brinkman Adventures does. Throughout their travels, the Brinkman family is faced with many difficult decisions and circumstances. But what do they choose to do? They immediately take their needs and questions to the Lord in prayer. This is such a refreshing thing for families to hear! So many times we try to outsmart God’s plans, but it the end, it is only when we surrender to His plans that we can be truly successful in life.

We have a family full of kids that get car sick. 😦 So anything I can do to distract them in the car is good. Listening to the Brinkman Adventures did the trick for us. I have never had a car trip where everyone was so quiet! We have done audio books in the car before, and usually the younger boys talk right through it. But not with the Brinkman Adventures! Between episodes, they were full of questions about the “hows” and “whys” of the episodes. And I can’t tell you how many times I was asked to clarify if the events in these episodes really happened. These type of events are so different from our daily lives around here that they continually needed my assurance that things like this do actually happen. The Brinkman Adventures captured their attention like nothing else they have ever heard!

My 10 year-old was especially interested in the Brinkman Adventures. He can be the one that is hard to please because if he doesn’t like something, there isn’t much I can do to convince him to give it a try. The first time we listened to an episode, we were all in the family room. The boys were being boys (wrestling on the couch) and I didn’t think they heard much. But I was wrong. A couple of days later, we took the CDs on a car trip. As soon as I put the first one in I assumed we would need to start over at the beginning. But Caspian had heard everything and told me exactly what had happened!

I now have very fond memories of this special bonding time with Caspian. Just listening to the Brinkman Adventures sparked so many questions in him and we had some great discussions. These talks will always remind me of the Brinkman Adventures and I am incredibly thankful for the quality time they gave me with my son at a time in his life where he seems to grow up more every day. I can see from the questions he asked that he is no longer a little boy but is beginning the transition into being a man and is curious about things like missionary work. What an awesome thing to see! I can guarantee you Caspian will be receiving more of these CDs for his birthday! 😉

Would I recommend the Brinkman Adventures? Without a doubt, I would recommend these wonderful CDs. They made our hour and a half car trip feel like 20 minutes. There are very few products like this that can truly entertain the whole family, and this is one of them. Regardless of your children’s ages, they can all enjoy listening to these audio dramas. The producers do a great job of letting you know if there is anything that may be intense for young children, so you don’t have to worry about them saying things that are too much for the youngest members of your family. We are now life-long fans of the Brinkman Adventures!

Click the link below to see what the rest of the Crew thought about Brinkman Adventures!Click to read Crew Reviews

You can connect with the Brinkman Adventures through the following social media link:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brinkman-Adventures/152895116079

Crew Disclaimer

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!


Blog disclosure



Charlotte to the Rescue!


This long winter has been a little rough on us…especially me. Between blogging, homeschooling, and all of the other day-to-day activities involved in keeping up a house and raising children, I have grown weary.

Last week I was at a point where I was ready to shut down. I went back and forth about whether or not to continue blogging. I just needed a break. So I had some decisions to make. Thankfully, I have some very sweet blogging friends that helped me come up with a plan. Just because I have a blog doesn’t mean I “need” to post 4 or more times a week. So here is my plan. No more than 1 review a week (which I hope to have down to 2 per month by summer) and 1 good post per week. I have set limits on social media time too, which has helped tremendously! And now to the important part…the children.

One of the reasons I worried about continuing blogging was I didn’t want my kids to ever feel like I was choosing the computer instead of time with them. I don’t want their childhood memories to be of me typing on the computer, especially when it is something I don’t “have” to do. And how can I tell them to stay away from electronics when I am on them?! I am so thankful to have recently discovered the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education. It has been a breath of fresh air to what was a stale homeschool life.

Thanks to various Charlotte Mason books, I have discovered so much about education and how kids really learn. Here are some new aspects of our day that are direct results of what I am learning.

*The kids are spending as much time outside as possible. We have a beautiful picnic table we are using whenever we can. We are enjoying all types of weather and I am seeing a creative side to my kids that I haven’t seen in a long time. I no longer have to guide them as much in what to play. They are showing much more independence and are doing the things kids should be doing…climbing trees, getting muddy, watching birds, and soaking in some sunshine.

*We are focusing on reading good books. Next school year (which will probably start in July) we are going to be using Ambleside Online in addition to KONOS. Friday will be our fun day with KONOS and I will choose topics based on what the kids are learning through Ambleside. I want my kids to become life-long learners that aren’t afraid to learn something new and soak up as much knowledge as they can through good books.

*We are going to spend a decent amount of time focusing on character issues using Laying Down the Rails as a guide. This is something I have let slide way too much around here. Too often I compare my kids to the rest of the world and think they are doing just fine. But I need to stop grading on the curve. I need to set standards and expect them to be met. I want my kids to thrive in life, and not just survive.

*I am spending much more of my free time reading. Charlotte Mason has a lot to say! Every time I read about her philosophy I learn something new. I only wish I would have read her books years ago! I always though Charlotte Mason was just a light and easy way to educate…boy was I wrong!

So if you were wondering why it has been so quiet around here lately, now you know! I am busy working on plans for the kids for next year and trying to get my blogging life set straight. We are also doing our best to enjoy the beautiful weather that we have missed so much for the past several months. Things are looking up around here! Hope things are going well for you all too!



Hearts for Home Blog Hop 4/03/14



Welcome to the New Hearts for Home Blog Hop! We have a bit of a new look, a few new co-hosts, and a new website hosting the blog hop. If you need to find some encouragement, ideas, recipes, printables, or anything else family related, I invite you check out some of our great posts!

Here is the most popular post from last week:

Peanut Butter Bread


Here are a few of my favorites that I think you would enjoy too:

Knot Tying Class

Time Management Tips for Self-Education

Colorful Play Crafts and Activities

If you were one of the blogs featured feel free to grab the “I Was Featured” button below to put on your blog!

Hearts for Home Blog Hop
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Now are you ready to share your posts?

Use the form below to enter your links.

Posts can be about anything that shows your heart is for your home: homeschooling, homemaking, parenting, marriage, faith, family, crafts, etc. Please just kindly link back to this blog or display our Hearts for Home button in your post or on your sidebar.

Hearts for Home Blog Hop
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Now it is time to link up your post below and then go check out what everyone else is up to this week!