Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Submerged by Dani Pettrey

This is one of those books that you cannot put down and carry around with you all day long so you can steal moments of delicious reading. It is a mystery and a romance – what a delightful combination.

It all starts with a plane crash in Alaska. Bailey Craig has to return to Yancey, Alaska to settle her aunt’s affairs and with that return comes all the old memories dredged up again. And also things are not as cut and dried as she thought. It turns out that her aunt was murdered and she becomes involved in finding out who the murder is, why they did it and finding them. She has to team up with her High School boyfriend, Cole McKenna, whom she betrayed in High School and bear the stares and gossip of townsfolk with long memories. But she is a new creation in Christ and Cole recognizes that. She just has to reconcile the guilt she feels over the entire matter and survive a dangerous encounter with her aunt’s killer.

Despite all the grisly murders involved, this is a feel good story about relationships, family and redemption. I can’t wait for the next installment! I received this book from Bethany House to review and right on the cover it says “Alaskan Courage Book 1” so I know there is a Book 2 in the works! Please write fast Ms. Pettrey.

Friday, June 15, 2012

IXL Learning


777 Mariners Island Blvd., Suite 600
San Mateo, CA 94404 (USA)
Phone (650) 372-4040

See it here
Family Membership: $9.95 /mo. or $79/year

This is an online site where for a membership fee, your children can log in and do math problems at their level. This is for all age levels, pre-school through High School. If you are on the family plan, each student has their own “button” to push to get to their worksite. This allows the company to keep track of each student’s progress. I have a 1st Grader and a High Schooler who is doing Algebra this year. Each one of them was able to log in independently and work at their level of expertise. The company then sent me e-mails telling me what their progress way, how much time they spent on it and what their success rate was. There are even printable awards and certificates for milestones.

IXL Algebra

Both of my students enjoyed using the site and my High Schooler actually spent a lot more time on the site than I had expected her to. She was struggling with her current chapter in her Algebra text and waiting for some outside help and so I let her spend as much time as she wanted on this website while we were waiting. She had so much fun working through this that I think she really didn’t want to go back to her regular curriculum. I will allow her to continue to supplement her regular curriculum with this. I am not entirely comfortable with this being her exclusive math course but only because this type of course is new to me and I want to get more familiar with it before making any drastic changes. Her pleasure with it is a strong motivator for me to give it some more thought.

I would recommend this subscription service to homeschoolers especially if they are struggling with a certain area of Math. It is always good to try another approach when we hit a “rut.” It has always been my philosophy with each child that you need to find out what works best for them. I always try a variety of different approaches until something clicks and then I stick with it.

And now: Confession time – I, myself, had fun tooling around in this program and testing my own skills. Try it – you’ll like it.

To read what others on the TOS Crew had to say, please click here: TOS CREW

Disclaimer: As part of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I was given an IXL membership free of charge to review. However, I did not receive any compensation. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Creation Illustrated

HTML - Photobucket

1 year (4 issues) - $19.95

Each magazine is approximately 60 pages with lots of beautiful full color photography and interesting articles. There are some ads but not an excessive number. There is a little something for everyone here.

The Spring 2012 issues contains an article on hummingbirds with lots of nice pictures. Next is an article on Yellowstone and another on Bonaventure Island. Following that is an article about Creation Day 6, Part 3. Following is an inspirational article and then an article about “Genesis Cuisine,” which includes recipes for some refreshing natural drinks. Then, my favorite part, a children’s story: “Bunny Surprise.” Next there is a photo contest for youth and then an Instructional Guide that will help you incorporate all this into your lesson plans and some suggested activities.


These are just beautiful magazines. My 1st grader loves the stories and looking at all the pictures and discussing them. My High Schooler just devoured these. She is into all things about animals and nature and loves her science curriculum which is all creation-based. If I am not careful, these magazines will disappear into the abyss of her personal collection never to be seen by me again.

This is a great magazine and a wonderful supplement for our homeschool curriculums and I would highly recommend it to all homeschool families and families with children in public or Christian schools. There is so much here and such good information. Grandparents: what a wonderful gift a subscription would be for your grandchild for their birthday or “just because.”

To read what others on the TOS Crew had to say, please click here: CREW

Disclaimer: As part of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I was given the 4 most recent issues of this magazine free of charge to review. However, I did not receive any compensation. All opinions are my own.

Get a Free Issue as part of a subscription offer OFFER

Saturday, June 9, 2012

No Greater Love by Levi Benkert and Candy Chand

No Greater Love is a book that will change your life. Levi Benkert went from a successful real estate career to great financial loss in the housing mess in 2008. At the time when his life was at a crossroads he made the startling decision to take his wife and small children and move to Ethiopia to help save children who were being murdered by their own families due to tribal superstition. He felt God's leading but had no idea of all the turmoil that was in store. The family ended up adopting one of the babies that was abandoned to die by its family and went through much government red tape and craziness to make that happen. After putting all their blood, sweat and tears into the orphanage they were working with, they were pushed out by the local directors and changes in the country's laws. They have now started a new organization in the country's capital, Addis Ababa, which provides a family atmosphere for orphans and work for widows. They have found themselves to be dramatically changed by their lives in Ethiopia and anyone reading this book will at the very least have their outlook on what is important in life radically changed.

I received this book from Tyndale to review and am very grateful that I did. This book has spoken to something deep within me about life's purpose. I challenge everyone to read this book and have their world view transformed.