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October 12th, 2011

Book Review: The Story of Noah’s Ark: Storybook and Wall Clings by Lori C. Froeb, Illustrated by Luana Rinaldo

Everyone loves retellings of Noah’s Ark, and we (ahem) own many of them ourselves.  That being said, when The Story of Noah’s Ark: Storybook and Wall Clings hit our house, pandemonium broke out!  There were big stickers inside of this book!  Big bright stickers!  That mom wouldn’t mind if we put on the walls!  My three-year-old was all over the book, then my five-year-old, and dare I say it…my eight-year old fastidiously rearranging and tidying the scene that was growing on the front of our refridgerator.

Now, we don’t have a lot of empty wall space (bookshelves, you know?) but we were all very happy that the reposition-able wall clings (20 clings in all) work just dandy on our fridge (you can use them on the wall if you have room!)  There is a big ark, a rainbow, and cute, colorful animals both singly (if they are large), and in pairs (if they are small).  The missing single animals are shown on board the ship – don’t worry, there are two of each!

The illustrations are big, bold, and vibrant and work very well for my three-year-old both in the book itself and on the clings.  The book is a very simple, straight forward retelling of the flood and of Noah’s heroic rescue of the animals.  I was a bit sad that only Noah and his wife are included as the human occupants of the ark (no Ham, Shem, or Japeth) and the animals are only in pairs, none in sevens (still looking for a simple retelling that includes this), but Noah’s wife does get a really cute role in this book.


Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review.  There are affiliate links in this post – thanks for your support!

October 10th, 2011

We Use Tarps!

Our family seems to go through quite a few tarps. I think that is directly related to the fact that we live on a small farm. We use tarps to cover our hay with, tarps to drag animals around on, tarps to cover random piles of building supplies.  Covering our generator so it doesn’t get water in the fuel tank when its running outside, building the children teepees in the yard (we have one of those up right now!)

There are quite a few jobs that require a tarp around our place.  Even if you live in the city though, there are lots of uses for tarps.

I’m thankful for tarps (today IS Thanksgiving, right?) They are so much handier than animal hides!

October 10th, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

To my Canadian readers – Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a big turkey dinner in the city yesterday and stayed overnight at my grandparents.  We just got home this afternoon :).

To my US readers – Happy Columbus Day!  You’ll have to wait for the big T! :)

October 9th, 2011

Copywriters Have Flexible Jobs

I really enjoy writing, so I’ve been considering more ways that I can make money by writing in my ‘spare’ time.  Well, does any mom of four really have spare time?  (haha!)  Well, even if I don’t truly have any spare time, writing is something that isn’t TOO difficult to do with children around.  You can write in snitches and snatches (though of course, I always long for chunks of uninterrupted time to write in.

It’s fairly well known that copywriters who work as freelancers (for themselves) have the advantage of having a very flexible schedule – which is something I absolutely need as a busy mom.  Most of my blogging and website building takes place in the late evening hours, from around 10 p.m. – 12 a.m. when my children are sleeping.  Even if I have to take my nursing baby with me to the laptop, it’s still much quieter than when my little ones are running all around.  And when you’re writing it just doesn’t really matter what time you do your work, as long as you get it done on schedule.

One of the main reasons why copywriting seems like an easier way to make money from writing skills than the traditional approach (trying to pen the great American novel) is that you write about a product, a service, a brand – something already established.  It doesn’t require character development, convoluted plots, etc. and the projects are oh, so much shorter than what you’d need to pen to reach the length of a standard novel (not to mention that you may not be able to sell your finished work).

Even though it’s easy to think of an advantage of freelancing, it does require that you drum up your own clients and business, which can be a distinct disadvantage if you aren’t prepared to market your own services in what can be a competitive marketplace.

October 8th, 2011

Book Review: The Realms Thereunder (The Ancient Earth Trilogy #1) by Ross Lawhead

The back-cover description for The Realms Thereunder is not a very clear depiction of what this debut novel is all about.  I can see why it struggled to encapsulate the essence of this story though, it is truly here, there and everywhere, with adventures into different worlds, flashbacks to the past, illusions, deception, underground travels, and even more than that.

When Daniel and Freya were schoolchildren in England they went inexplicably missing for a month or so.  What they encountered during that time was passed off as hallucination – encounters with creatures of darkness and a hidden world under the earth.  This story of their shared past unfolds alongside the story of their lives as adults, some eight-years-later, as they are drawn inexorably back into the conflict between good and evil.

I’m a fan of Christian fantasy novels (as long as they don’t contain ‘good’ magic-doers), but at this point in the series it’s a bit unclear how God comes into the swirling morass that Ross Lawhead has penned in this novel.  There is also a wizard…of sorts.  There isn’t really enough detail given for me to draw a firm conclusion on this fellow yet.

Actually, I’m not sure where I come down on this novel, it is more of a very extended prologue that only serves to draw our characters into the action, while revealing their past involvement.  It is an interesting premise – intertwining many legends of Great Britain’s past with bits of Celtic mythology thrown in as well.  I appreciate that many mythological figures are clearly pointed out as forces of darkness and not idolized, or made good in any way, as I was wondering how the author was going to include them.

I’ll have to read more of the series before I cast my final vote either way, so you’ll have to check back with me then!  I can tell you that it certainly keeps your interest piqued with al the twists and turns.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book for free.


October 7th, 2011

Aging Dogs – Mobility Issues

This post brought to you by Hills Pet Nutrition. All opinions are 100% mine.

We own a BIG white dog – he’s an Akbash/Pyrenees cross named Baron, and because he’s a giant breed, his life expectancy isn’t as long as that of smaller dogs.  Because of this, I imagine that it will only be another two or three years before he starts to slow down and get creaky on us.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition actually develops dog food that is especially formulated for dogs with mobility issues.  If you register on their website you  will receive $30 in Hill’s Healthy Mobility Coupons to buy food for your canine companion, and you’ll ALSO be entered to win free dog food for a year – there will be 30 winners!  When your dog needs a specialized diet the costs of food can tend to add up, so winning food for a year can be a huge help!  I have been connecting with all my favorite brands on Facebook, so you might also want to find Hill’s Pet Nutrition on Facebook.

Baron is a very active dog – his lifestyle requires him to be on the go much of the night – running around barking at coyotes and guarding the boundaries of our farm.  I certainly hope that he’ll remain active for many years to come, but as he ages, I’m glad that there are sources we can turn to to optimize his enjoyment of life for as long as possible.

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October 6th, 2011

Writing Resumes, Is It Hard?

Honestly, I can’t really remember when or where I learned How to Write a Resume. It must have been either in high school, or in the private vocational college that I attended to learn secretarial skills. I do know that many, many people are intimidated by resume writing though.  And, having been part of the hiring process for several positions in one of my jobs, I can tell you – not everyone does it well.

That’s why there is always a pretty steady trade for resume writers, people just have a hard time doing it.  Before you hire this job out though, you might want to check out this online Resume Builder. It might save you a bit of money if you need to have one done.

October 6th, 2011

Book Review: Nobody’s Child (The Pandora Files) by Austin Boyd

Faced with her father’s mounting medical bills, a heavy debt load on their struggling farm, and a list of familial woes, Laura Ann McGehee makes a decision that she feels will save the family farm, despite its questionable morality.  Desperate to bear the child she and her husband never had, single mother Sophia McQuistion arranges a pregnancy that is beyond her physical capabilities.  Together these two women have mothered a child, but whose is he truly?

Modern reproductive technology has brought with it a host of ethical and moral concerns that even the church has been hard pressed to deal with.  The rapid spread of such technologies has brought to surface many challenging questions that even Christians rarely ask themselves before plunging head-first into the quest for a child – no matter the cost (both moral and financial).

In Zondervan’s new series The Pandora Files, author Austin Boyd seeks to explore some of the issues raised by new life-related technologies.  In the first novel Nobody’s Child, Boyd explores the issues of egg donation, artificial insemination, and of carrying a child to term made up of the life-giving genetic contributions of two separate people – neither one the mother carrying the child.  It may seem bizarre but it is an all too real fact of modern life in our culture.

This is a richly textured story filled to bursting with the details of life in rural Appalachia.  It gets off to a slow start, but slowly and surely draws readers into the weft and warp of its fabric.  The story can be a bit more wordy than needed at times (too many similes and metaphors) – it almost seems to be striving to be literary fiction, but doesn’t quite make it.

Around halfway through the story I did become personally engaged with the characters and was brought to tears at times.  This is very much a story of the women, the choices they make, and how it affects their lives.  There are also some interesting details about the medical procedures used and potential legal ramifications that are not commonly known.  This is a series that has been needed for some time in my opinion.


October 3rd, 2011

Are Watches Going Out of Style?

Some people are relying primarily upon their mobile devices to help them know the time.  After all, if you have a sophisticated digital device on your person that always displays the time – why not?

Still, watches are almost a part of our dress code.  They are an outward sign of punctuality, and at times – formality depending upon the style of watch you wear.  Watches have long been a status symbol – the finest quality watches in any case – so I don’t know that they will ever truly leave us.

My husband wears a watch – but it’s unusual – it’s a pocket watch.  It is almost a part of his identity though – pocket watches are more traditional and harken back to an earlier time.  My husband is very much the sort of man who longs for a simpler, earlier world, and it fits in his pocket without worrying about breakage in his rough outdoors life – a smart phone?  Umm, not really something you take with you to chop firewood and milk the cow.

I think it also reminds him of his grandfather who was the most positive influence on his life as a boy, he has many fond memories of this man.  In any case – I can’t see him giving up his watch any time soon!  If you’re looking for an automatic watches, this website has very respected brands, and speedy, free two-day shipping.

October 3rd, 2011

Free/Sale Apps for Homeschooling

I have been working on a new page at our new Apps for Homeschooling website resource, and i wanted to do a quick shout out about it.

If you are looking for free apps for homeschooling, or want to make sure you don’t want to miss any great app sales, please drop by every few days!  I hope to update this page regularly with limied time free app offers, limited time sales, and I’ll also work on putting together a series of resource pages of FREE apps that you can use broken into subject categories.

I hope you find this new resource helpful!


Jennifer. Follower of Yeshua. Wife of one man. Homeschooling mother of 5.