Archive for Books

Saint Picture Book Club – March 2015 Books Revealed!

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

This month, I found so many great books that I will be sharing them all in my full post. I kid you not we read 7 books for this saint all in a row. And I got a new one later in the week. The saint picture book club for March is:

St. Patrick!

saint patrick book club

We had several good books already and we also bought a few new ones so I had several to pick from. The kids picked one new book and one old one from our stash.

Here are their recommendations:

New to Us- Patrick: Saint of Ireland

This is a beautifully told factual story of saint Patrick. I loved Patrick: Saint of Ireland because it wasn’t s fact-filled textbook, but a beautifully told story. There is a lot of text on the page, but it’s so well presented that littler ones may not notice. It was unanimously voted the best new book in our home. It’s well worth the investment!

Beloved Favorite – St. Patrick’s Day

This is a book that really bridges the gap between secular and religious. St. Patrick’s Day starts out with a short page about the holiday and goes right into the actual story of Saint Patrick. Then it shares how people in the US & Ireland celebrate. It ends with a handful of different legends of St. Patrick.

It wouldn’t be MY first choice, but the kids do like it :). I’ll show you ALL of our St. Patrick’s Day books the week before St. Patrick’s Day. I will also share a full review of a cute Saint Patrick book I received for review.


Also, if you are a fan of corned beef, you HAVE to brine your own corned beef. If you can’t get brisket, a regular roast will work just fine. Be sure to start it by 3/7!

Are you in for this month?

Jen S.

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Beautiful Bedtime Bible Stories & Prayers {Tommy Mommy Review & Giveaway!}

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.


We have a firmly entrenched bedtime routine. You’ve heard of high 5 charts? Ours are more like high 10. Seriously. Pj’s, teeth, hair, bath, stories x2, prayers, water, potty, tuck-in and a song. Just typing all of it makes me tired! Lately we’ve been cutting bedtime short due to time constraints.

words to dream on review giveaway

For normal nights, Words to Dream On is an addition to other stories. On short nights, it’s the ONLY story. To review this book, I decided to skip to the New Testament. Easter is coming and I can only read about creation, Noah & Joseph so many times :). I wish I could buy picture from the book. The pictures are gorgeous!

This hardcover book was written by Diane Stortz and illustrated by Diane Le Feyer. This is a gorgeous book! It feels good and sturdy and has a blue ribbon bookmark. Even the introductory and concluding pages are fully illustrated. And they are no ordinary illustrations. They are bright. And colorful. And detailed & artistic. The kids catch me pausing in reading to study the fabulous artwork.

words to dream on inside 2

The reading is fabulous, too. Each story (there are 52) has a title followed by where the story can be found in the bible. Next comes Words to Dream On, a bible verse relating to the story. Each story is 2-3 pages long and is told in a storybook way. Ms. Stoltz does a masterful job of being faithful to the language of the story and also casual. And she does it without being irreverent or sounding ridiculous.

…He turned and saw the woman who had been healed.

Oh dear! Was Jesus angry with her? The woman bowed in front of Jesus. “I’m the one, sir,” she said…


words to dream on inside

There is a short Bedtime Blessing and a Sleepytime Prayer that works perfectly as a transition from story time to prayer time. Words to Dream On is my favorite bedtime resource that I have reviewed and it will be staying on our tv room table for bedtime for the foreseeable future.

Interested in having this gem in your home? Use the widget below to win a copy!   Please note that a comment is mandatory and you will be disqualified if you do not do this.

Good luck!

Jen S.

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In Freedom’s Cause {Schoolhouse Review Crew}

Winter can get so boring north of the 45th parallel. Last week school was canceled more than once due to windchills of -20! We’ve been mostly stuck indoors for 4 months now with no end in sight. When that happens, it’s nice to have interesting things to listen to while playing. Our latest was a fabulous addition to our history studies, In Freedom’s Cause. This audio drama was created by Heirloom Audio Productions, based on the classic novel by G.A. Henty.


Heirloom Audio Productions

Heirloom Audio Productions produces quality modern audio dramas reminiscent of old school radio programs but with the quality acting and audio you would expect from a modern creation. They produce adventure dramas based on the historical novels of G.A. Henty. Last year, they released Under Drakes Flag and this year I was lucky to receive a copy of In Freedom’s Cause, the story of Sir William Wallace and the fight for Scotland’s freedom. For the purposes of this review, our family received the In Freedom’s Cause Single Package consisting of the Physical CD, a digital study guide, an MP3 download of the soundtrack and a PDF of the prayer of William Wallace.   They were also super generous and gave us some additional items included in the 4pack.

How We Used In Freedoms Cause

Our first run through of In Freedom’s Cause, was an audio adventure while we were cleaning or playing during lazy winter afternoons and weekends. The audio drama is approximately 2.5 hours long and we listened to it for about 20-30 minutes at a stretch and talked about what we heard and explained the confusing parts. It’s a rather grown up story for my 7 year old who is a bit more visual and so there was a lot to explain, but she really enjoyed it, as did my husband & I. My 4 year old has a tendency to be quickly irritated by loud or intense things, but she did a good job with In Freedoms Cause.

Being a war/adventure story, it was really fun to listen to when dad was home to offer his explanation and viewpoint of the Scots fight for freedom. We also listened to the soundtrack occasionally. The digital study guide was broken out by track (37 of them). Even though there were things she didn’t quite understand, my oldest (7) did still get a lot from it though.  We have been reading Fifty Famous Stories Retold and right in the middle of listening to the CD’s, we read the stories of Sir William Wallace & Robert the Bruce. She recognized it instantly. We are on our second listen through :).

If you really wanted to go deep and use this for in-depth history studies, you can listen to each track (about 3-5 minutes) and then pause it to use the discussion questions. In addition, each section includes critical thinking questions for older students as well as vocabulary words. The books themselves are also available very inexpensively for the Kindle if you wanted to include that in a full study of the topic. The intended age for In Freedom’s Cause is ages 6 and up.

They are releasing two new productions in 2015, the first of which will be With Lee in Virginia.

Our Thoughts

Overall, we really liked In Freedom’s Cause. As a mom who is not fond of (any) preparation, this audio drama was a great addition to our studies. Since I am mostly concentrating on exposure & familiarity at this stage, I’m not worried about her absorbing every detail. When she is in the Logic stage, I plan on listening again as a supplement to European history and using the study guide for her to get more of the details and think a little more about it.

My older daughter enjoyed having another audio story to listen to. She had to adjust to understanding the accent because the actors did such a fabulous job. She is very people-centric and listening to stories about people was right up her alley. She asked for it several times, which is high praise, indeed!

Read more about what other crew members thought of In Freedom’s Cause.

Jen S.


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3 Ways to Incorporate Poetry into Your Home {with a Tommy Mommy Review & Giveaway!}

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Tommy Mommy. The giveaway is not connected with or endorsed by Poppins Book Nook or Enchanted Homeschooling Mom. A copy of the book was received from the publisher. This post contains affiliate links; thank you for your support.


As I was trying to pick out a book and activity for my last month as a Poppins Book Nook hostess, it dawned on me that one of my Tommy Mommy Books for this month was a book of poetry.

poetry with giveaway

Lucado Treasury of Bedtime Prayers


I hemmed & hawed about this book when it came up for review because the title is, well, kind of misleading. But when I flipped through the sample, it looked like a book of poetry. We love poetry and have been incorporating this lovely book into our morning reading time.


The Lucado Treasury of Bedtime Prayers is a large format (8.5 x 11 inches) padded hardcover. Suitable for gift giving, the binding is sewn, not glued and includes a ribbon for marking your page. I love ribbon bookmarks!


Inside, the treasury includes poems and prayers from contemporary poets (including the authors), classic poets, traditional prayers and the bible. The pages are light and easy to read with illustrations on most pages. The poems are divided into 10 sections including praise, family & friends, mealtime, thanksgiving and more.

Would you like one for yourself? Scroll to the bottom for the giveaway widget.

Need some tips to make sure you will actually use it? Read on!

Three Ways to Incorporate Poetry into Your Day

I love poetry, but introducing it to my kids was not exactly easy. Once I hooked them with fun poetry like Shel Silverstein & Jack Prelutsky, it was easy to incorporate more “grown up” poetry. Here are 3 ways you can incorporate poetry into your home whether you homeschool or not.


Tuesday Poetry Tea

All over the web are people who have a tea time every Tuesday where everyone takes time to sit together, have tea & sweets and share poetry. My daughters LOVE teas. Taking the time to sit together with fancy cups, drinking fancy drinks (we typically drink water) and sweets would be enough to make even a non-poetry lover sit & listen.


Tuesday’s don’t work for us because I work that day, but you could pick an afternoon a month or perhaps take advantage of a school holiday.

Family Time

Because we homeschool, we have circle time in the mornings where we say our morning prayers and read devotions, bible stories, etc. We have been reading this book during this time.

You could also read poetry at bedtime in place of stories occasionally. Sometimes our girls even request poetry in place of bedtime prayers!

Is there another time where your family is a captive audience? Regular road trips? Car line? Commute into the city?

Poetry Games

My kids are too young to write well, but that shouldn’t stop them from creating their own poetry. Teachers Pay Teachers offers a DIY magnetic poetry kit or Amazon has several magnetic poetry kits. Have a contest for shortest poem, funniest poem or most mundane haiku.

Lucado Treasury of Bedtime Prayers Giveaway


Poppins Book Nook

I won’t be participating in the Poppins Book Nook as a co-host next year but hope to contribute occasionally. Interested in more poetry books & ideas for your home? Check out these lovely ladies add your post to the linky below!

Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015  Clip Art by Melon Headz

Check out more Poppins Book Nook posts by these lovely bloggers: Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool 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 ~ My Bright Firefly ~A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~Where Imagination Grows ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ 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  ~ Simple Living Mama

Be sure to follow Enchanted Homeschooling Mom for more book related posts & even lapbook pages to go with each months theme!

Do you have a favorite activity related for poetry?


Jen S.

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The Crimson Cord {Book Review}

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links; thank you for your support.


In our homeschool history, we are pretty firmly entrenched in ancient history. History dork that I am, I have always loved historical fiction, but I been loving biblical fiction because I am learning enough to be able to connect the dots. Am I the only one who loves that?

Anyway, when the opportunity to review The Crimson Cord came out, I decided it sounded good enough to take one of the few spots I was willing to dedicate to fiction this year. I was NOT disappointed. The newest book by Jill Eileen Smith is the first in the Daughters of the Promised Land series. The main character? Rahab. The harlot. One of only 5 women listed in the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1).

It was a fascinating story. Part I of the book sets the stage of Rahab’s life and how she became a harlot. Her husband turned to drink and gambling after their marriage. Knowing how beautiful his wife was, his debts caused him to offer her to the highest bidder(s), including the Prince. Since she couldn’t bear him a son, she was good for little else. Despite her difficult life, she was kind to others and cared for her family throughout the story.

In the second part, Smith tells the story of Rahab’s redemption. She offered sanctuary to the Jews scouting out Jericho and was promised that everyone in her home would be safe. Given that everyone and everything in her life had failed her, she has nothing more to lose. Her family is saved and she lives with the Jews. Not only does God redeem her, giving her love & marriage, but he also restored her honor and provides her a child.

Because The Crimson Cord is based on a bible story, I don’t think there are any “spoilers.” But Jill Eileen Smith did a beautiful job of creating a picture of a woman, discarded and broken, then redeemed to be part of God’s lineage. None of the women mentioned in his genealogy were perfect women and I think they were mentioned because he wanted everyone to know they were valuable, loved and able to be used by God for good.   If you are a fan of biblical fiction or any historical fiction, this is a fabulous book!

This book coupled with a few stories I have heard over the last month, have really given me a heart for women who have little choice between death or selling themselves. My measly little health issues are NOTHING compared to the struggles & crosses that others bear. One of the ways that I try to help is to support Fair Trade Friday, Mercy House, and other similar organizations.

What organizations do support to help women & children in need of help? Do you support in hands-on ways or just money and/or prayer?

Jen S.

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