Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ten Girls from History

Ten Girls From History by Kate Dickinson Sweetser (edited by Amy Puetz) is a 238 page book that tells the stories of 10 of the bravest girls in history.  It is written for ages 10 and up.


These forgotten heroines will encourage girls of today!Prepare to befriend ten of the bravest girls of history! Whether facing a band of Indians with Madeleine; or saving lives at sea with Ida Lewis; or experiencing the battlefields of the Civil War with Clara Barton, you will be inspired by their faith, courage, and devotion.Girls of all ages will enjoy meeting these ten remarkable girls from the past, and parents will appreciate the godly examples found in these pages. Both inspirational and entertaining, this book will bring history alive for your family.

Each chapter dramatizes the life and accomplishments of these ten girls:

Louisa May Alcott: Author of Little Women
Clara Barton: The Angel of the Battlefield
Molly Pitcher: The Brave Gunner of the Battle of Monmouth
Cofachiqui: An Indian Princess
Madeleine De Vercheres: The Heroine of Castle Dangerous
Dorothy Quincy: A Girl of the American Revolution
Ida Lewis: The Heroine of Lime Rock Lighthouse
Elizabeth Van Lew: The Girl who Risked all for the Union
Virginia Reed: Midnight Heroine of the Plains
Clara Morris: The Girl who Won Fame as an Actress

I've been reading this aloud as a "bedtime" story and we're enjoying this book thoroughly.  Though recommended for ages 10 and up, I am reading this to some of the younger children as well. I wouldn't expect anyone younger than 10 to read this on their own though and it might not hold their attention for long.

This book fits in nicely with what we've been doing.  We recently went to Boston, so the story of Dorothy Quincy came alive when we can picture where these things happened.  Ida Lewis is from our state so we enjoyed reading about her.  We've also enjoyed reading about women we've never heard of such as Cofachiqui and Madeleine De Vercheres.  Right now we are in the middle of reading Clara Barton.  I didn't know that much about her and I find her fascinating (and extremely brave!)

The stories are fairly lengthy so it takes us several sittings to get through a story. (If I was just reading them to myself it wouldn't be as long so keep this in mind for older students.)  I think they are a nice length to learn enough about the person so that you really start to get to know them without reading a long biography.

You can Table of Contents and a Sample Chapter and I highly recommend you do. I think you will enjoy this book.  I have the Kindle version which I just love!
Amy Puetz

Ten Girls from History is available as a download for $15.00(available for Kindle, Nook or pdf for viewing on the computer), a hard copy is $25.00 and it is also available as an mp3 audio book for $25.00

She is currently having a Back to School Sale until September 1st.  The entire store is 20% off.  This would be a great time to get any of the titles being reviewed or others.


Visit the STORE AT Amy for all kinds of audio books, books for boys, historical cooking, historical costumes and more! More information about Amy Puetz (pronounced Pitts) can be found here.

See what others are saying about Ten Girls from History and 3 other e-books from Amy Puetz on The Schoolhouse Review Crew blog. The other titles being reviewed are Heroines of the Past Bible Study, Costumes with Character and Uncovering Exciting History.


disclaimer: I received a free e-book copy of Ten Girls from History in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Stick with it Saturday

 It's Stick with it Saturday again.  I finally saw a good loss on the scale at Weight Watchers this week and I'm down a total of 78.8 lbs.  I am so close to 80 now I can taste it.  I just keep continuing on the program and slowly, but surely the weight keeps coming off.  I'm still considering dropping out and just doing it on my own, but I'm not sure.

Last week, I couldn't decide if I should continue running with my Jeff Galloway 5K app set to "improve your time" since I finished the entire training program OR switch to the Jeff Galloway 10Kor Half Marathon app.  At first, I thought I'd just try to improve my 5K time but it involves using a track for speed drills etc. and with school starting up and lots of fall sports it will not be easy to find a time that the track will even be available.  So, I ended up purchasing Jeff Galloway's 10K app.  I've done the first two training runs with it.  I am happy that I found these apps because I really love running with them.

The plan for this week is just to stay on track with my program.  I do have to go to a dinner at a Chinese restaurant this week.  I haven't figured out what I'll order to stay on track. I also plan to run every other day (weather permitting) and get a minimum of 10,000 steps on my pedometer every day...except Sunday.  I don't worry if I don't get all of my steps in on Sunday though I do try.

Link up your own diet/exercise post over at Sam's Noggin.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers

Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers by Douglas Bond tells the story of two teens who, while on vacation in England are befriended by an elderly English gentleman called Mr. Pipes.  Through this relationship they learn about famous British hymn writers and the value of traditional worship and praise.  This 242 page book, authored by Douglas Bond and published by Christian Liberty Press is one in a four book series about hymns.


I started out reading this aloud to the family.  The older kids weren't interested and the younger kids kept asking, "How much longer are you going to read?" Unfortunately, neither are a good sign.  However, I decided to press on and read it myself so I could share my thoughts.  Honestly, I originally felt the same way as the kids.  I think because there is a lot of descriptive language used and I just don't care for that and the story is a bit contrived and predictable.  However, the more I read the more I enjoyed it and ended up reading the end of the book to the kids too.  I can't say I've ever done that before.  We'll have to finish the middle at some point.   

Table of Contents
My favorite chapters were on John Newton and John Bunyan.

I struggled a lot with the pdf version of this book.  I don't like reading off of the computer so I put it on my Kindle (regular keyboard kind) and had a hard time with the size of the font.  I did finally figure out that I could get the font a little bigger by turning the text on the Kindle to the sideways view but then you only get half a page so the illustrations are chopped in half and I have to hit the turn the page button twice as often.  This would probably work great for someone with an iPad or Kindle Fire where it is easier to read pdf's.  (Or for a younger person that isn't on the verge of needing bifocals!) So, if this sounds like something your family might enjoy, you might want to consider a physical copy.

I love the pencil illustrations in the book.  They look great on the Kindle too.  I do like how the gospel is woven into the story as well.  The biographies of the hymn writers are woven into the story.  As the kids go on various adventures, Mr. Pipes tells them the stories of the hymn writers . 


You can view a sample for yourself to see if it's something you might enjoy.  I think this book is a different way to learn about hymns and those that wrote them. One of the things I love about this book is that at the end of each chapter several hymns written by the featured writer, complete with music are included.  Since I have the pdf version these would be easy to print and sing with the family.

hymn sample
Download the pdf version of Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers for $8.79 or order a hard copy for $9.89. The other titles in this series include: Mr. Pipes and Psalms and Hymns of the Reformation , Mr. Pipes Comes to America, and The Accidental Voyage:Discovering Hymns of the Early Centuries. A complete set is also available.

Christian Liberty Press has been publishing homeschool materials for over 25 years.  They publish a full range of curriculum.  Check them out if you haven't already.  We've used many of their books over the years.
disclaimer: I received a free pdf copy of Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

30% Off Coupon Ending Soon

I recently reviewed Hear Builder Following Directions by Super Duper Publications.  They offered a 30 % off coupon for 3 products and they expire in just a few days so I thought I'd bring it to your attention.  This is a significant discount for these products.  You can read all of the reviews here (mine is linked above).

Jeepers Peepers

Coupon Code: BLGJP30

Save 30% Expires 8/31/12

HearBuilder Following Directions Home Edition

Coupon Code: BLGFD30

Save 30% Expires 8/31/12

HearBuilder Auditory Memory Home Edition

Coupon Code: BLGAM30

Save 30% Expires 8/31/12

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist

Every time a review item from Apologia comes up I get very excited.  Everything I have used from them has been excellent and this is no exception.  Several weeks ago I was sent a copy of the book I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist and the corresponding curriculum workbook.  They did not disappoint.


The book, written by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek has 445 pages. The workbook is a spiral bound 279 page companion to the book written by Frank Turek and Chuck Winter. They are written for high school students, but I think this is also a perfect study for adults and particularly for parents.


Table of Contents

Foreward by David Limbaugh
Preface: How Much Faith Do You Need to Believe this Book?
Introduction: Finding the Box Top to the Puzzle of Life

1. Can We Handle the Truth?
2. Why Should Anyone Believe Anything at All?
3. In the Beginning There Was a Great SURGE
4. Diving Design
5. The First Life: Natural Law or Divine Awe?
6. New Life Forms
7. Mother Teresa vs. Hitler
8. Miracles: Signs of God or Gullibility?
9. Do We Have Early Testimony about Jesus?
10. Do We have Eyewitness Testimony about Jesus?
11. The Top 10 Reasons We Know the New Testament Writers Told the Truth
12. Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?
13. Who is Jesus: God? or Just a Great Moral Teacher?
14. What Did Jesus Teach about the Bible?
15. Conclusion: The Judge, the Servant King, and the Box Top
Appendix 1: If God, Why Evil?
Appendix 2: Isn't that Just Your Interpretation?
Appendix 3: Why the Jesus Seminar Doesn't Speak for Jesus
General Index
Scripture Index
Here you can see the workbook open.  Notice there is ample space for writing answers.

While this book is not what I would call light reading, it is written in an easy to understand and enjoyable format.  I like the personal stories that are interjected.  When you include the workbook this is an in-depth apologetics course designed to teach you and your students how to "always be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in you."  You will find questions, activities, vocabulary and supplemental reading material which includes lots of biographical sketches of men mentioned in the book.

Each chapter should take 2-3 weeks to complete, making it possible to complete this course in less than 9 months. So, easily within the school year even if you start a few weeks into it.

The beginning pages of a chapter in the workbook.  The workbook is not
just text but also includes black and white pictures and diagrams.

Every lesson begins with a reading assignment in the book, the key topics the student is expected to learn, key terms (vocabulary) and a road map that shows which of the twelve points that prove Christianity is true is being covered in the chapter.  There is a HOOK which will remind you what was read in the textbook (not a substitute for buying the book in case you are wondering), the BOOK which takes you deeper into the issues covered in the chapter and includes comprehension questions, LOOK which has research assignments and other suggested activities for the student to search it out for himself and TOOK which is the summary of the material learned within the chapter.

Tests are included but not in the book, however, you are given a password in the workbook that will allow you to download them from the website free.  You will also find the workbook answer key and test answer key in the same place.

Every major worldview fits into one of these three categories.

These are the twelve points mentioned above:

1. Truth about reality is knowable.
2. The opposite of true is false.
3. It is true that the theistic God exists. This is evidenced by the:
     a. Beginning of the universe (Cosmological Argument)
     b. Design of the universe (Teleological Argument/Anthropic Principle)
     c. Design of life (Teleological Argument)
     d. Moral Law (Moral Argument)
4. If God exists, then miracles are possible.
5. Miracles can be used to confirm a message from God (i.e., as acts of God to confirm a word from God).
6. The New Testament is historically reliable. This is evidenced by:
     a. Early testimony
     b. Eyewitness testimony
     c. Uninvented (authentic) testimony
     d. Eyewitnesses who were not deceived
7. The New Testament says Jesus claimed to be God.
8. Jesus’ claim to be God was miraculously confirmed by:
     a. His fulfillment of many prophecies about himself;
     b. His sinless life and miraculous deeds;
     c. His prediction and accomplishment of his resurrection.
9. Therefore, Jesus is God.
10. Whatever Jesus (who is God) teaches is true.
11. Jesus taught that the Bible is the Word of God.
12. Therefore, it is true that the Bible is the Word of God (and anything opposed to it is false).

I think this is a course that every Christian should take the time to go through.  If you homeschool, you will definitely want to add this to your high school student's list of must have classes.  If you don't homeschool, you still may want your high school student to read this book and complete the workbook.  While you could just read the book, the workbook adds a whole level of understanding that you wouldn't get just from reading alone. (You do need the book to complete the workbook.)

You can read a sample chapter and view workbook sample pages.

You can purchase I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist for $16.00.  The consumable workbook is $33.00. Answers could be kept in a notebook so that more than one student could use the book, but copies cannot be made. Ideally each student would have their own workbook.

If you are not already familiar with Apologia you should take the time to visit their website and see all they have to offer from science curriculum to parenting and more.


See what others on the crew are saying about I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist on the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.


Disclaimer:I received a free copy of I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist book and workbook in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Stick with it Saturday

 It's Stick with it Saturday again.  I've still been going to Weight Watchers and I've been wearing my pedometer and I've been running with my Jeff Galloway 5K app. I actually only have 1 run left on the app.  I should be finishing it today, but it's pouring rain so I'll just wait until the weather improves. It's an 8 week app. At 7 weeks you finish the the 5K training.  The 8th week is a maintenance week.  I am not sure where to go from here.  I can either buy the Jeff Galloway 10K app or the Half Marathon app or I can just start over with the 5K app using the "improve your time" feature which really makes the app almost brand new again.

I've lost 77.2 lbs which is down .6 from last week.  I'm still feeling frustrated at losing so slowly.  I know that it is the "right" way etc. I just feel frustrated.  At WW they say you can expect to lose .5 to 2 lbs a week.  Why do I have to be the one to lose less than a lb a week??  I have been contemplating not going to WW anymore.  While I do love it, it is very expensive and with school starting again I'm not sure how I'm going to fit the meetings in.  It's something I am trying to figure out.  I don't really feel that I need the weekly accountability honestly. Not sure what I'm going to do. I think I'm already paid up until the beginning of October so I guess I can see how it works the next few weeks and then make my decision.

Link up your own diet/exercise post over at Sam's Noggin.

Best Summer Ever!

I know I haven't been posting much lately and that is because we have been having a great summer doing lots of wonderful things.  I barely have time to write my curriculum reviews let alone share other things.  I am going to try to be better though.

At the beginning of the summer, I posted our summer bucket list and we've been crossing things off left and right.  I thought I'd share a few pictures of what we've been up to.

We saw a double rainbow:

double rainbow

We visited our oldest daughter in upstate NY on the 4th of July:



We went to New York City twice.  The first time, Rob took the older kids and the second time he and I went alone.

Grand Central Station
Grand Central Station

One of the new towers in the background
Behind Rob is the site where the new towers are being built.
 It was a little emotional to be right there.

on the ferry
On the ferry from Liberty Island to Ellis Island.  It was a very hot day.
I am so thankful to have seen the Statue of Liberty in person.  It is massive.

On Ellis Island
Ellis Island
I was disappointed to see how small the New Year's ball that drops is.  You can barely see it in the photo.
Times Square

Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center
The m & m store

Central Park
Central Park

We visited our State House:

RI State House



Emma and Jenna in front of the Pass & Stow bell
Emma and Jenna in front of the Pass and Stow bell.
Rode elevators at the mall:

The real highlight of the day was riding the escalators at the Providence Place mall.

We visited The Mystic Seaport:

I'm thankful we don't have to wash our clothes this way.

Ryan trying to figure out how he is going to beat me at checkers.  (He did by the way and I don't let kids win.)


We went to the beach a few times (so far):


We went for a week long vacation in New Hampshire:


Ellie and Cinderella
Ellie and Cinderella

On the Snow Queen at Storyland

Emma and Connor



Kaitlyn Gouvin tubing
swimming and tubing on the Saco

We went to Boston on the train and walked the Freedom Trail:

Quincy Market
Quincy Market


Boston Massacre site
site of the Boston Massacre

Paul Revere's house
Paul Revere's house
The Old North Church (one if by land, two if by sea)
The Old North Church

Make Way for Ducklings sculptures
Make Way for Ducklings sculpture in Boston Common

We took the kids to Watch Hill to ride the carousel and took a walk to the lighthouse:






Many of these places I had never been to before. It was my first time visiting our state house, New York city and on the Freedom Trail. It's been a full summer and we still have a few things up our sleeve before the summer is over!  We've also done a bunch of other fun stuff but I don't have all of the pictures to upload and I think this post is long enough anyway. 
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