Friday, November 15, 2019

God's Mail Volume 3 Review

I have a new book to share with you, God's Mail Volume 3 by Ron Hardin from God's Mail.  I received a physical book but it is also available in Kindle format.  Ron is the author of more than 500 poems covering a variety of topics.  Similar to Volumes 1 and 2, this book contains poems that are meant to address the challenges of life for both believers and non-believers.  There is a page of scripture verses to go along with with each of the poems.

 A Bunch of Dust

This book contains 96 poems on numerous topics.  The format is the same for each poem as all of them are made up of a number of rhyming couplets.  There is a page of scripture verses with a photo of a lantern in the background followed by a poem with a photo of hands holding a heart in the background (See example above and below).  The poems are arranged in alphabetical order by title name.  The Scripture verses are from different Bible translations.  I'm personally not really a fan of The Message Bible and The Living Bible as they are more paraphrases of the Word; however, I liked having the scripture references and I can read them in my preferred translation.   I would have liked to see some of the poems break free of the rhyming pattern.  I think my favorite thing about the entire book is the scripture that is included.  The Bible itself has beautiful poetry in it and I would encourage everyone to read it.

 Do It Now

This book is also more of a workbook size using 8.5 x 11 size pages instead of more standard size like 6 inches x 9 inches.  I would actually prefer this in a more compact form as this size seemed bulkier than it needed to be.  I don't mind it being paperback though.  

 Don't Delay

To me this felt a little like reading someone's personal journal in rhyming form.  I also had a hard time connecting and/or agreeing with everything that these poems express.  Take the poem above for example, Don't Delay.  While I agree that I want to keep my word when I promise to pray for others (and this can be an issue as some take that promise far too lightly) I feel like its tone is a bit more about me than God.  I felt this way about several of the poems so this book isn't for everyone.

Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews of God's Mail Volume 3 and see what others have to say.

God's Mail: Volume 3 {God's Mail Reviews}

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Mattie Richardson's Horses in History Series by Author Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books Review

With four girls you bet we have some horse lovers in our home!  A is especially drawn to them and she loves history so she was super excited to read the 4 books in the Mattie Richardson's Horses in History Series from Author Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books.

Notice the horse canvas in the background!

Our Books - they are autographed copies as Mattie signed them (thanks Mattie!).

A reading on the go...

This series includes Appaloosy, Dusty's Trail, Golden Sunrise and Day and Night.  We were also blessed to receive a PDF Enrichment Guide for the Day and Night book.  This book series is geared for ages 8-14; however, children with an interest in history or horses younger or older may really enjoy these books as well.  These books vary in length from just over 60 pages (Dusty's Trail) to over 140 pages (Day and Night).  They can be read as a stand-alone book as each focuses on a different historical period.  All four of these stories are told from the perspective of the horses, which is so fun.  There are a few hand drawn illustrations sprinkled in throughout this series but it doesn't have a lot of pictures.  Let's Dive in!


Illustration from the book

Here's what A said about Appaloosy.  Appaloosy is told from the perspective of Storm, a beautiful Appaloosa stallion, belonging to the Nez Perce Indian Tribe.  He dreams of being a free horse but they give him to a young warrior named White Feather, who is somehow different from the rest of the people (he is kind to Storm).  Storm is sold several times, stolen, and often escapes.  Eventually he finds himself with a young girl named Faith, who is kind and loving and Storm cares for her very much.  Soon he is faced with a choice to go back to Faith or become a free horse as he as always dreamed to be.

Golden Sunrise

Illustration from the book

Here's what A said about Golden Sunrise.  Golden Sunrise is told from the perspective of Cheyenne, who is a golden mare who lives with her owner, Jared.  She and Jared are best friends.  One day Jared is convinced to volunteer as a soldier in the Texas fight for independence.  He and his best friend, Reuben, saddle up and head to San Antonio, Texas where they are stationed to defend the now famous Alamo.  They make more friends but the advancing Mexican army is determined to snuff them out.  This is a really good story but it does have a very sad ending.

Dusty's Trail

Illustration from the book

Here's what A said about Dusty's Trail.  Dusty's Trail is told from the perspective of Dusty who lives on a farm with his owner, Levi.  One night, Levi and Dusty sneak away to help deliver the mail by horse, otherwise known as Pony Mail (Yes, the Pony Express!).  At first, Dusty isn't interested in delivering the mail but soon he finds courage he never knew he had in order to save Levi.

Day and Night

Illustration from the book

Here's what A said about Day and Night.  Day and Night is told from the perspective of Tucker and Shiloh who are young horse brothers that are separated at the beginning of the book.  Each chapter alternates perspectives back and forth between them.  They are very different from each other even though they are brothers.  They find themselves in the middle of the American Civil War.  Tucker ends up with the US Army and Shiloh ends up with a young confederate girl who disguises herself as a soldier.  The brothers find themselves on opposite sides of the war.  You find yourself wondering - Will they make it out of the war?  Will they see each other again?

And here's what B said about Day and Night.  Day and Night is from two young horses' perspective, they are brothers called Shiloh and Tucker.  The chapters rotate from each horse so that you can understand what each one is experiencing.  They get separated and have to cope with their new lives.  Tucker, a deep brown stallion, gets sold in the US Army and works with a young soldier named Ben.  Shiloh, a speckled gray stallion, gets stolen by a young girl named Sarah, who is fiercely devoted to the Confederate Army.  Each one faces the hardships of fighting in the Civil War but both of them think that their cause is greater.  They remember their old lives and think of each other often wondering if they will ever meet again.

Our Enrichment Guide

As I mentioned earlier, we were blessed to receive a PDF Enrichment Guide for the Day and Night book.  This Enrichment Guide is pretty fantastic.  It is divided into 8 parts and is such an amazing resource.  It includes reading comprehension questions, vocabulary, history information, living history, horses in history, geography, biographies, creating your own stories, further reading ideas and more!  I really like the crafts, games, and activities within the living history portion.  We have not completed this guide but the girls and I are definitely going to start exploring it soon now that they have both read Day and Night.

Author Mattie Richardson

Mattie Richardson has published five books and specializes in historical fiction and is most well-known for her horses telling the stories!  I love that she became an author at just 13.  B is thinking she might want to be an author and she is currently 13 so that's super fun to think about.  When she is not writing, Mattie enjoys playing the fiddle and guitar, riding and training horses, studying American history and spending time with her family.

A and B are both avid readers so now that A has finished this entire series, B is now reading it.  She is already onto her second book.  I'm looking forward to hearing her thoughts about the entire series as well.  These books are really fun, especially for those that love horses and history.  They are really enjoyable reads.

Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews of Mattie Richardson's Horses in History Series and see what others have to say.

Book Set: Appaloosy, Dusty's Trail, Golden Sunrise & Day and Night {Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books Reviews}

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Monday, November 11, 2019

Timberdoodle's Plus-Plus Mini Maker Tube - Turkey Review

I have another really fun Timberdoodle product to share with you, the Plus-Plus Mini Maker Tube - Turkey!  While this is especially fun to have this month with Thanksgiving quickly approaching, it's also fun year round as you can build the turkey and so much more.

This tube contains 70 plastic pieces in a reusable container and includes step-by-step instructions on how to build a turkey.  There is a disclaimer that Plus-Plus color mixes are not always exact and counts of each color may vary from tube to tube.  Our container actually had 75 pieces, score!  And there are 11 orange pieces needed for the turkey and we had 10.  This really wasn't an issue, you will just see that one of our orange feathers is one piece short, no biggie - but I did want to mention it.

 Everything included

 Above you can see a bit of the step-by-step instructions.

Plus-Plus mini pieces all have the same, identical shape.  They have a slightly "rubbery" texture and the pieces slide together smoothly with very little pressure while also coming apart without much effort.  The trick is that they stay together when locked!  You can build in any direction so your creations can be flat or 3D like our turkey.

Plus-Plus Mini Pieces

These pieces come in an array of colors.  This set includes brown, red, orange yellow and blue.

The different colors in this set.  One side of each piece has the words Plus Plus on it, while the other side does not.

B made this flat heart!

You can follow the easy directions to create a turkey with this set and also use the pieces to build your own creations.  I really love that you can combine these pieces with other Plus-plus Mini sets to create a plethora of bigger things.  We don't currently have other sets but they are now on my wishlist!  I like that my kids are encouraged to plan and think about what colors to use in their designs as they figure out what structure to make.  Plus-Plus Mini pieces are great for hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.  There are literally endless possibilities when it comes to these pieces and kids will have hours of creative construction.

Here you can see D building a turkey.

D's assembled turkey!

 A also wanted to build her own turkey, this one is hers.

 Isn't he cute?

 Here you have a good view of the turkey's neck.

 And here is the backside of our turkey, you can really see his feathers.

 I mentioned other creations, C built a box.

Plus-Plus sets originate from Denmark and are available in two sizes - the Plus-Plus Big (safer for younger children ages 1 and older) and the Plus-Plus Mini (which are suited for children ages 5 and older).  Timberdoodle has both Plus-Plus Big sets as well as other Plus-Plus Mini sets.

 Here is a 150 piece set of the Plus-Plus Big.

And this 1200 piece set of the Plus-Plus Minis looks awesome.

This Plus-Plus Mini Maker Tube - Turkey is extremely affordable and would make a unique gift for that hard to find child and would also be perfect to slip into a stocking this Holiday season!  You're welcome.

Disclosure:  Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger.  Timberdoodle sent my family the Plus-Plus Mini Maker Tube - Turkey in exchange for our honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Your Amazing Name - Personalized Adventure for Every Name by CrossTimber Review

Amazing Names by CrossTimber

If you know David and I then you know that for all seven of our children we did not find out their gender before birth.  We also did not really have names picked out for them.  For each one, we went to the hospital, and after birth spent time with them and prayed over them.  We asked God to give us a word or phrase to help us name them and that's how they all got their names.  Of course, once we had A and B we thought it would be fun to stick to the alphabet pattern as well and it happened to work out!  All that to say we don't take names lightly.

I was super excited for the opportunity to review Your Amazing Name - Personalized Adventures for EVERY name! from CrossTimber - Name Meaning Gifts.  I think the hardest decision was to choose which child we were going to made a video for, all of them would be great.  David and I ended up choosing F.  We were given instructions on how to fill out the necessary form online.  In the form, we included personal information for F (which I'm not going to share here), we uploaded a recent photo of him, uploaded a recent piece of artwork from him and David and I were able to write a paragraph and blessing for him about his name.  This is important because at the end of the video the characters read this personal letter from us to F.

Here is a photo of the artwork F completed.  I had him color a picture of arrows as his middle name means arrow maker.

And here is a fairly recent photo of him.

After a few weeks, we received a digital personalized video for F!  It can take 3 to 10 business days to receive your order and rush service is available if needed.  David and I watched the 28 minute video first before showing it to F and the other kids and we were really impressed!  I was surprised by how much F's artwork was included in the video.  It comes in near the beginning of the video and is fairly integral throughout -  - it flies through the air, is rolled into a rocket, launches into space, is used as a parachute and more.  I really like the quality of the animations, the variety of characters who are fun and engaging, and even their unique and distinct voices.  Some of the characters are below.  Your child's name is the central theme of this adventure and I love that the characters explore what God thinks of names and that various scriptures are shown throughout their journey.  This is definitely a faith based product.

Ben (short for Benjamin) the Pencil

 Shine the Star

 Mr. Owl

Rescued the Sheep

F was super excited when we showed him his video.  He had lots of questions and couldn't stop grinning throughout the story.  The other kids really enjoyed it as well.  F's name was spoken over 20 times and shown onscreen in lots of fun and unique ways.  F especially liked "his" room in the beginning of the video.

 We showed F his video on our big screen television.

F's artwork flying through the air at the beginning of the video.

Personalized room - You can see the blocks say We 💗 Flint and the green pillow says Flint Fletcher.

Here is F watching the beginning of his video.

 F's artwork as a rocket!

Here he is in the middle.  I love that D is smiling too!

 He is still grinning at the end.

In the film, your child will see a scroll of the history of their name.

Remember the paragraph that David and I submitted?  It is read at the end of the video, so fun!

I also received a fun file of activity sheets - maze in F's name, namesign, color search, books of the Bible word search, and handwriting sheets with F's name.

Check out this super fun Namesign for F to use on a desk or in his room.

 And this search and find name color sheet is also pretty great.

A colored this sheet for F and I love how it turned out.

This is definitely a very unique and super fun product.  I think it has been such a special treat for F and it turned out even better than I had hoped.  We will enjoy it for a long time.  I highly recommend this company and their personalized products!

Check out the video below to really get a feel for this animated, personalized adventure with your child's artwork, name and more.

Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews of Your Amazing Name by CrossTimber and see what others have to say.  And keep reading for a fun giveaway!

Your Amazing Name - Personalized Adventures for EVERY name! {CrossTimber - Name Meaning Gifts Reviews}

You can engage with CrossTimber on social media @:

Interested in winning an Amazing Name video or DVD?  Enter the giveaway below and good luck!

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