Friday, November 30, 2018

Ellie Claire Interactive Art Journals Review

Ellie Claire Journals

I have some of the most amazing art journals to share with you from Ellie Claire:  Illuminate Your Story, The Illustrated Word and Faith & Lettering.  These journals are each so unique and such fun additions for my creative soul.  These journals offer an interactive way to get creative with your quiet time.  I love that they teach and encourage a breadth of creative expression of faith.  If one style doesn't work for you there are plenty of other options!

Ellie Claire's Faith & Lettering Journal

This beautiful journal is designed to be a safe and comfortable place to try your hand at different handwriting styles and grow in your lettering skills.  This journal walks you through the basics of practicing hand lettering, Bible journaling, and sermon sketch note-taking - awesome right?  Let me show you just one example.

 Here is a page that shows you the verse, asks you to trace it, and then practice it on your own.

The second column shows you my tracing.

 And voila, I'm so happy with how my free hand turned out!

I love that this journal comes with basic instruction, tips and lots of ways to practice.  If you have ever been timid about Bible journaling or wanted to get a bit more creative and found yourself at a loss of where to start this would be an amazing journal for you.  I think it also works for pros too letting you fine tune your skills and possibly learn some new things along the way.

 Ellie Claire's Illuminate Your Story Journal

In this book I learned that the term "illuminated manuscript" was derived from the usage of silver or gold leaf decoration within text, which became illuminated when captured by the light.  Initials, borders, and miniature illustrations comprise most of this style.  This journal encourages you to explore your skill and create images that beautify your writing.  I loved the easy to follow step-by-step instructions for illuminated letters.  Again, let me show you just one example from this journal.

 Step-by-Step instructions for one style of the letter K

 My completed K!

Ellie Claire's The Illustrated Word - An Illuminated Bible Coloring Journal

In this journal 40 illustrations have been recreated as line drawings for you to color.  Included in this gem are full-color illustrations from the Museum of the Bible archives.  I love that this journal has illustrations to color and pages to journal right along side them!  The lined pages are interspersed throughout the journal.

Here is an example of a page I am currently working on.

As you can see all three of these journals have similar features in that they are beautifully bound (just stunning), have lay-flat binding (no interference), have thick paper (no bleeding through pages) and encourage creative faith expression to name a few.  I hope I have highlighted a few of their differences as well so you have a feel for what they each offer.  I would highly recommend these journals and I think they would make unique gifts as well.  Let me know if you have any questions - I'd love to answer them!

Disclosure:  Huge shout out to Ellie Claire for sending me all three of these journals for review in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

NIV Adventure Bible Polar Exploration Edition & Giveaway

I have a pretty cool Bible to share with you today, the NIV Adventure Bible Polar Exploration Edition.  With over 9 million copies sold, the Adventure Bible brand is beloved by Christian schools, churches and families alike.  We own several copies!  Now, this Bible is available in an exciting polar exploration theme - and just in time for winter and the Holidays.  While on this arctic adventure, readers meet all types of people, see all sorts of places, and learn all kinds of facts about the Bible.

I really like the themed pages.

Features of the NIV Adventure Bible Polar Exploration Edition include:
- the same trusted Adventure Bible content in a frosty new theme
- full-color images of polar animals, arctic outposts, and icy landscapes throughout make learning about the Bible engaging
- Life in Bible Times - articles and illustrations describe what life was like in ancient days
- Words to Treasure - Highlights great verses to memorize
- Did You Know? - Interesting facts helpy you understand God's Word and the life of faith
- People in Bible Times - Articles offer close-up looks at amazing people of the Bible
- Live It! - Hands-on activities help you apply biblical truths in your life
- Twenty polar-themed pages focus on topics such as how to know you are a Christian, famous people of the Bible, highlights of the life of Jesus, and how to pray
- Book introductions feature arctic art and important information about each book of the Bible
- Dictionary/concordance for looking up tricky words
- Color map section to help locate places in the Bible
- Complete text of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible
- Thrilling new glacial cover on metallic paper

Some of the above features

I personally love all things animal and two of my kids are studying marine biology this year so the illustrations of sea lions, walruses, and penguins tie right in!  If you are looking for a fun themed Bible for your kid/s this is a great option.

You can purchase your own copy of NIV Adventure Bible Polar Exploration here.  Be sure to enter the giveaway below for your chance to win one!  There is also a book of devotions in this theme as well.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winner and opinions are 100% mine and not influenced by monetary compensations.  I did receive a copy of this Bible in exchange for this review and post.  Giveaway open to continental U.S. residents only (no Canadian winners this time).  Also, only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotion in the last 30 days on this same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Creed II Releases November 21

I love sports movies!  Really, I do.  I think my husband and I have seen almost every baseball movie out there for starters.  In Field of Dreams, when Ray Kinsella hears a voice whispering, "If you build it, he will come" he believes that he should build a baseball field on his corn field.  The voice continues to whisper things to Ray throughout the movie but it all comes together for him at the end of the film and without giving it away, I can tell you it most definitely has to do with family!

Happy almost Thanksgiving!  As you prepare to travel (like us) or if you are staying home this year, I hope that you are able to surround yourself with family and loved ones and celebrate together.  It's appropriate that Creed II releases this week as it is a testament to the resiliency of the human spirit and the power of family.

Synopsis of Creed II:  Life has become a balancing act for Adonis Creed.  Between personal obligations and training for his next big fight, he is up against the challenge of his life.  Facing an opponent with ties to his family's past only intensifies his impending battle in the ring.  Rocky Balboa is there by his side through it all and, together, Rocky and Adonis will confront their shared legacy, question what's worth fighting for, and discover that nothing's more important than family.  Creed II is about going back to basics to rediscover what made you a champion in the first place, and remembering that, no matter where you go, you can't escape your history.  The film releases in theaters this Wednesday, November 21.

Check out the Creed II Trailer below.

Disclosure:  Thanks so much to Grace Hill Media for selecting me to participate in this campaign.  By sharing this information with you I will receive a $40 amazon gift card!  All opinions are my own.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Theater Play Success

Our homeschool CoOp is officially on break until next year.  C was involved in a theater class and they had their performance last Friday - A Mother Goose Comedy.  C played Little Boy Blue and Humpty Dumpty.  Unfortunately, I had to miss the performance and stay home with F as he was under the weather but David was able to go with the other kids and they said it was so much fun.  One of the other parents recorded it so I'm hopeful that I will get to watch the recording.

C as Little Boy Blue

 C as Humpty Dumpty

 Humpty's Big Fall

The Cast - I didn't take this photo but I love it.  Kudos to the parent who took it!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Hillsong Kids DVD Review & Giveaway

I have a fun DVD to share with you today, Hillsong Kids DVD, "Can You Believe It? - Songs of Truth".

"Can You Believe It - Songs of Truth" is both a question and a challenge...a statement of gratitude to a loving God and an invitation to explore the very foundations of faith.  It is the 7th release from Hillsong Kids.  It contains both old and new worship songs.  Classic songs like "My Best Friend", "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)", and "What A Beautiful Name" join brand new declarations of faith such as "As the World Shakes" and "Heaven Is Our Home".  I love the heart behind Hillsong Kids and this collection contains fun and vibrant songs that help children around the world engage in biblical truths about God's love and grace for them and others.  My kids are really enjoying it.

More About Hillsong:  Hillsong believes that teaching children to love God and others takes place in both the home and in the church.  For this reason, they seek to partner with parents (the greatest teachers of all) and with church pastors and leaders, equipping them with great resources.  Through fun experiences, meaningful music and ministry that encourages kids to participate, Hillsong Kids presents Jesus Christ and His Church in a relevant way, creating moments which children will never forget.

Check out the lyric video for My Best Friend below to get a better feel for this DVD and don't forget to enter to win your own copy as well.

You can purchase this DVD here!

Ready for a giveaway?  One of you will win your own Hillsong Kids DVD!  Just enter below and good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winner and opinions are 100% mine and not influenced by monetary compensations.  I did receive a copy of this DVD in exchange for this review and post.  Giveaway open to continental U.S. residents only (no Canadian winners this time).  Also, only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotion in the last 30 days on this same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Chris Tomlin Holy Roar CD Review

Chris Tomlin's new CD, Holy Roar

I have a great new CD to tell you about, Holy Roar by Chris Tomlin.  I have loved Chris Tomlin's music for years and I remember back when he used to live in Austin!  He has an amazing voice and I love his songwriting - he is so gifted.  Not surprisingly, he has sold more than 8 million albums, 11.3 million digital tracks with 16 #1 singles - that is impressive!

The concept behind Chris's new album is freedom, experience, and the wonder of worship.  It is seeing the church come together, hands lifted to God, pouring out our praise with an eternal song in our hearts.  It's every voice together, changing the way we worship.  What a beautiful picture and concept for a worship album.  Check out the short video below to hear more on this.

This album has 12 songs:  Holy Roar, Nobody Loves Me Like You, Resurrection Power, Goodness Love and Mercy, Satisfied, Impact, Praise Him Forever, Is He Worthy?, Forever Young, I Stand In Awe, Praise Is The Highway, and How Sweet It Is.  And they are all good.  No, really.  A, D and I just took a trip to Dallas and we had the privilege of listening to this album both on the way there and on the way home.  We all enjoyed it a lot.  A thinks her favorite song on the album is Holy Roar.  I love that she downloaded it to her iPod right away.  Thanks Chris Tomlin for pouring your heart into another incredible worship CD.

See Chris's Official Lyric Video for Holy Roar below.  It gives you a great feel for this album.

Holy Roar is available for purchase here.

Disclosure:  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing a copy of this CD in exchange for this review and post.  Opinions are 100% my own.

Monday, November 5, 2018

E's Bike Party

E's Bike Cake

Yesterday, we finally had E's bike party.  Another family tradition of ours.  To get a bike party you have to be able to start your bike, stop your bike, and ride your bike without training wheels and without assistance.  The weather was great and we went to a local park to ride bikes, eat cake and celebrate E's milestone.  Love this girl!

E with her cake

 A and E celebrating at the park.

Friday, November 2, 2018

All About Reading Pre-Reading Review

I have an amazing Reading Program to share with you today.  As part of the Timberdoodle Blog Team this year I was sent the All About Reading Deluxe Kit, Pre-reading level to review with Mr. F.  He is 4.5 years old now, he will be 5 in January and he loves this program!  Every day he looks forward to working on his school and it has been such a joy to see him really think through his letters, sounds, and make words.

This particular set is designed for young learners in preschool through kindergarten.  The All About Reading Pre-reading builds a solid foundation by teaching five key skills:  print awareness, phonological awareness, letter knowledge, listening comprehension, and motivation to read.  Learning is set up to feel like play and I think that's why F is having such a great time with it.  In fact, it has become a habit for Mr. G to join us during Mr. F's school time - he loves listening it as well.

So, what's included included in this deluxe kit?  A teacher's manual, student packet, The Zigzag book, The Lizard Lou book, lesson divider cards with activity box, Letter Sounds A to A app, reading tote bag, Ziggy Zebra puppet and animal stickers.  {Note:  If you are teaching more than one student at a time or plan to reuse this program for additional children, you can order additional activity books or photocopy each page per family use copyright.  You can also find the consumable progress chart and certificate of achievement as free downloads as well.}

The program is great in how much is figured out for you.  There is some set up required so let me walk you through it.  The PreReading picture cards are perforated for easy separation.  The lesson number for each picture card can be found in the lower right hand corner of the card.  After you separate all the cards, place them behind the corresponding yellow dividers in your reading activity box.  I would recommend storing these cards out of reach until lesson times as I have had to reorganize it multiple times from the boys dumping out the cards.  They 💖 them.  This is how the tote bag comes into play.  You can store all your items inside the tote until they are needed.  Woohoo.

Example of a page of picture cards

Activity Box with Lesson Cards

F posing with his letter posters.

I chose to laminate our AAR letter posters (upper case and lower case) and hang them on the wall of our school room.  They can be seen easily and they are a great visual for Mr. F when working through this program.  There are a few nontraditional selections.  For example, the capital U has a picture of a penguin with an umbrella.  This might seem off; however, when you read the capital U story in The Zigzag Zebra book, it is about a penguin who uses an umbrella.  The program ties in nicely together that way!

You will need to download the Letter Sounds A to Z app in the app store if you plan on using it.  This is what it looks like.  You can download the app to your computer, tablet or phone.  This will be used in later lessons.

And this is the app when it's open.

This app is very simple.  When you touch each letter, the app gives you the correct pronunciation for that letter.  Your child can listen to the most common sound for each letter.  F likes this.

The Teacher's Manual will walk you through all the lessons.  It is laid out really well.  It's simple design is easy to follow.  Lessons 1-26 are on the capital letters A-Z.  Lessons 27-52 are on the lowercase letters a-z.  And lessons 53-78 are on the sounds of the letters.  In lessons 1-26, you will use The Zigzag Zebra book, The ABC Craft Sheets for those lessons, the Ziggy the Zebra puppet, the activity cards associated with these lessons, and various craft supplies and books.  Most of the craft supplies are fairly simple and I already had them on hand!  I listed various books because a large part of this curriculum is daily reading.  They suggest 20 minutes a day.  We have a vast homeschool library and a nearby library so we read a variety of books and topics.  Lessons 27-52 is similar except you will use the Lizard Lou book instead of The Zigzag Zebra book and the activity cards associated with these lessons.  In lessons 53-78 you will use both books - The Zigzag Zebra and Lizard Lou as well as the Letter Sounds A to Z app.

Here F worked through the first Lesson on the letter A.

And here you can see some of our letter B fun.

Working on rhyming with activity cards.

Playing Get Out of the Wagon by removing the card that does not rhyme with the other two.

Mr. F having fun with dinosaur stickers during his time with the letter D.

F really likes the stories.

The teacher's manual has a page of ideas that you can use to have more fun with the alphabet.  These are suggestions.  You can do as many as you want or use them to come up with other ideas that work for your student and family.

Elephant friends helping out with the letter E and F's peanuts.

 Here is an example of the instructions for the letter pages, this one is for the letter F.  Each one is unique.

Above you see Mr. F making the fish for the pond with his thumbprints.

 Now coloring...

His masterpiece!

Some of our daily reading!

More Fun With Letters

I often found manipulatives around the house that tied into the letter that we were learning.

F loved turning the octopus over and feeling the tentacles.  This really gave him a great visual when he went to make tentacles using an eraser tip and paint.

Learning about syllables with the activity cards

There is a great progress chart and stickers that you can use after each lesson to document your child's progress.  F loved this.  It may be simple but it is important for him to get his sticker!

All About Reading is a multisensory, mastery-based curriculum.  You can really tailor it to your student and your schedule.  You can spend a day on a lesson or a week, it is really flexible.  The built in review systems really help solidify student learning.  This program is also available in numerous levels:  Pre-Reading, Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4.

We have not finished this program but we are close to halfway there and it has been such a blessing for Mr. F.  He really enjoys it and I love the flexibility and ease of use.  I would highly recommend this curriculum.  If you have any questions about this program, please feel free to ask.  I'm happy to help!

The All About Reading PreReading Level is an outstanding component of Timberdoodle's PreK curriculum kit.  Trying to decide if your child is ready for All About Reading Prelevel?  Check out All About Reading PreReading on the Timberdoodle site and look for the Readiness Checklist.

Disclosure:  Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger.  Timberdoodle sent my family All About Reading Deluxe Kit, Pre-Reading level in exchange for our honest review.  All opinions are my own.