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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Promise in Pieces by Emily Wierenga

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Promise in Pieces
Abingdon Press (April 15, 2014)
Emily T. Wierenga


A Word from the Author:

I’m Emily, and I’m honored and humbled to meet you, friend.

We’re all stumbling along on this journey and you can approach me about anything okay? I’m an open book, with dog-eared pages and a worn cover.

I’m mama to two boys, ages two and four, and married to a farm-boy-turned-math-teacher. We live in a small Dutch hamlet with three churches, one Co-Op and no stop lights. There are a lot of fields out here, there’s a lot of space and sky for breathing and running and writing.

We foster two boys in addition to our own two, and before I had kids, I took care of my Mum who had brain cancer. She fought back and has recovered, all glory to God, and my pastor-father still holds her hand while they go for daily walks.

I battled anorexia nervosa as a child, and then again as a newly married woman, and I write a lot about body image now and have a passion for women to learn to love themselves.

My husband and I have battled infertility and are currently trying to adopt our third child through the local Alberta government.

I hurt for the church, and believe in it, and pray for it, as I’ve grown up inside its walls and have heard its groanings.

I have a heart for Africa, particularly Uganda, and went there in January on a bloggers’ trip with World Help.

My favorite things to do are read literary novels, play guitar, snowboard, paint with oil and acrylics and hug my babies.

I am the author of two books on eating disorders, a novel releasing this spring, and a memoir coming out this summer.

I hope you’ll connect with me on FB:, or if you prefer, Twitter: @emily_wierenga. I’d love to have a virtual glass of wine, or cup of coffee, with you.

Peace to you friends,

My Thoughts on This Book:
This story was very well written and drew me in from the first chapter. As you get an up close glimpse of the lives of American's during World War II, and seeing it through the eyes of Clara as she takes a journey back in time sharing her story with her family on a road trip to bring a quilt to an exhibit. This quilt given to her by a widow of a man she met and died by her side in war. I couldn't put this book down and I'm sure you won't be able to as well.. One of my favorites in the Quilts of Love series.


After the end of World War II, Clara Kirkpatrick returns from the Women’s Army Corp to deliver a dying soldier’s last wishes: convey his love to his young widow, Mattie, with apologies for the missed life they had planned to share.

Struggling with her own post-war trauma, Clara thinks she’s not prepared to handle the grief of this broken family. Yet upon meeting Mattie, and receiving a baby quilt that will never cuddle the soldier’s baby, Clara vows to honor the sacrifices that family made.

Now a labor and delivery nurse in her rural hometown, Clara wraps each new babe in the gifted quilt and later stitches the child’s name into the cloth. As each new child is welcomed by the quilt, Clara begins to wonder whatever happened to Mattie—and if her own life would ever experience the love of a newborn. Little does she know that she will have the opportunity to re-gift the special quilt—years later and carrying even greater significance than when it was first bestowed.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Promise in Pieces, go HERE.

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given.

CTC Math Online Math Tutor Review

CTC Math Review

I've had the opportunity to receive a 12 month Family Plan of CTC Math  
as a part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.

CTC Math Review

I used this program with my 12 year old son and I also set up an account to try for myself. 

What is CTC Math?

Looking for a program to help your struggling student/child? A great supplement for your current math curriculum, this online math tutor will allow you to work at your own pace, start wherever you like, available to you 24/7 while giving you the opportunity to start and stop the videos, and rewind to hear again until you achieve the goal of that lesson.

While using the program, my son started with the 6th grade math program. Each grade level which is called a COURSE has several parts or STREAMS. Within each part, has TOPICS to go through. Each part has a different amount of topics. Each part contains two tests to find out where they are at academically. A Standard Test and a Comprehensive Test. It isn't mandatory to take the test and you can start on any lesson you'd like in each section.

In each part topic, you will have a video tutorial to watch with a really cool Australian accented gentleman, and then after the video a series of questions that reinforce the lesson taught, ranging around 10-20 total questions. While going through the lesson questions, it lets you know if the answer is correct by showing you a green check mark and if you got it wrong you will see a red X with the correct answer showing below. When you complete the lesson you are brought to a pop up screen that shows you the percentage score for that lesson along with each question w/ answers. 

This gives your student a way to see what they did and if they are incorrect, the correct answer is visible to see where they went wrong to fix in the future. Each lesson allows you to go over the questions again and again for further reinforcing of the lesson and will average out all lessons together to give you a percentage total.

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Here above you can see the screen for the Basic Math and Pre-Algebra Course of Study. After my son took the Comprehensive Test in the 6th grade math course, we found that he already has mastered all that was asked of him in that level so we moved him up to the next level. Since you can start and stop anywhere in the program, I found this a wonderful tool for my son because we found the 6th grade level in this program was something he has already mastered and was able to move on to the next level without having to purchase anything else.

As you can also see above, this level contains four parts.

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You can see above, the first part is clicked and this is what you see in that section titled Topic under Part 1. Here is 12 lessons for your student to master. As you work through each lesson the white rectangle will fill up with the percentage the student received in each lesson. If you work on one lesson more than once it will average the students score. Once you make it to the bottom of this lesson, completing all 12 lessons the child earns an award. My son worked towards earning the Silver Award keeping his grades above 90%. He hasn't yet earned the award so we are unsure what it will produce once he reaches it so we are excited to find out soon. My son is working at his own pace through the lessons and some lessons he has gone back over again to get a better understanding of the concept being taught.

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Here is another sample of Part 2 of the Basic Math and Pre-Algebra Course of Study. This section has 16 topics to master. As my son worked through the lessons in the course, he came to me and expressed how the videos were easy to understand and gave him a new perspective on some of the formulas used in algebra making it easier for him to grasp and understand. He also mentioned that using this alongside his current math curriculum, he's able to make more sense of his daily lessons.

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 One section outside the grade levels is SPEED SKILLS. I found this section a great value to use. There is four levels to choose from. Level 1 is what you see above. It contains Addition and Subtraction. You click on the section you'd like to master. You have a fixed amount of time to answer as many questions as possible pertaining to that subject. Addition or Subtraction. Then you will be given a score which is how many right answers you were able to get before the time ran out. You can see above that 50 and 45 were the top scores at the time of my post. You can play over and over showing you the best score. I noticed a little competitive streak in my son as he worked through the addition and subtraction drills over and over to beat his previous score, even if it was just by one.

Level 2 gives you harder adding and subtracting as well as multiplying.
Levels 3 and 4 get harder in problems with larger numbers to work with and are for higher grade levels.

CTC Math contains over 1400 video tutorials which range from 3-9 minutes in length. Following each lesson includes interactive questions with an option to print out for hands on worksheets. The summary at the end of each lesson is printable for those who would like to keep a record of your child's progress. Each week, CTC Math sends an email containing all your child has worked on throughout the previous week, giving you a breakdown of how often they were on the website and what lessons they worked on.

As a parent/teacher, you have access to the parent section of the website as part of your membership. This allows you to check on your child's progress anytime of the day/week. The lessons are short, easy to comprehend and absorb, which is nice for those who don't like to sit for long periods of time. Since math is not my strong subject this is a great addition to the curriculum we are using and look forward to gleaning more knowledge through this program.

The cost of the 12 month family plan that I received is $297.00 for 2 + students for 12 months. You can check out other plans that are available on the CTC Math website. With your membership, you get unlimited access to all lessons and all grade levels from Kindergarten to Trigonometry.

If you are looking for more information about CTC Math, you can check out other crew members reviews of this product in the banner below. Just click it and it will take you to a list of others that have had the opportunity to view this product in their homes.

Click to read Crew Reviews

Check out CTC Math at the following website:

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Monday, April 21, 2014

The Wise Woman-Literary Analysis Review

Home School Adventure Co.
  I've had the opportunity to receive a downloadable copy of 
 'The Wise Woman'-Literary Analysis Journal Questions 
from Home School Adventure Co. to review as a part of the Homeschool Review Crew.
The Wise Woman Literary Analysis  Journal

What is The Wise Woman?

The design on the story is to teach critical thinking. Titled The Wise Woman, based on the main character. The Wise Woman is called to a palace where the residence enjoy little contentment, always seeking more fulfillment in their own lives. The princess, an overindulged and pampered child to the extent that her behavior is unbearable finds herself being swept away from her home with the Wise Woman. A woman she insists is trying to eat her because she doesn't know anything that resembles kindness or compassion. The Wise Woman confronts the issues the princess is dealing with by taking her away from the palace and puts her in situations to teach discipline, grace and truth.

 In her cottage in the far away woods, the princess encounters wolves along their journey as her stubborn pride separates her from the Wise Woman. They end at the cottage while the Wise Woman gives the princess opportunities to change her behavior using kind words and discipline. Learning kindness seems to be in each chapter that we've read thus far. Examples throughout the writing on how the Wise Woman treats the princess even though she doesn't deserve such kindness.

The Wise Woman leaves the princess for days in her cottage while giving her descriptive details on what she should accomplish in the woman's absence. The princess' attitude is questioned as she experiences different situations outside of the cottage that frightens her. What happens when the Wise Woman returns and the list is not completed?  You can learn more by reading this wonderful book.

 When we received this e-book, I decided it best to read out loud to my entire family. This was one of the suggestions on how to use the material and found it a great fit for our family. All three of my children sat on the sofa (ages 12, 15 and 19) and I read each chapter to them once a week for six weeks. After each chapter, we discussed in detail the questions each chapter had. We were able to get through the first six chapters. The book includes a total of 14 chapters. We plan on continuing our weekly reading time and discussing the questions after each chapter until we complete the story. Chapter questions ranging from around 20 +.

Some question examples include:

"Instead of receiving loving discipline and guidance, Rosamond (the princess) is left unrestricted and thoroughly indulged. What is the result? Chapter 1

"Why do you suppose the princess does not understand kindness" Chapter 2

"What observation does MacDonald (The author) make about human nature when the princess first evaluates and responds to the interior of the cottage?" Chapter 3

A great story to help teach our children character traits, discipline, kindness and compassion. This story captivated all of my children, One adult girl and two teenage boys. I also really enjoyed reading the story and can't wait to find out how it ends..

The Wise Woman is for ages 9 +. Designed to be read aloud to ages 9-11 with 12+ can easily read independently.

You can purchase this title along with others at Home School Adventure Co. The cost of The Wise Woman is $28.95 for a spiral bound print edition and $14.95 for a down loadable edition.

Order before May 15, 2014 and use the code below, you can save 10% off your purchase of their down loadable editions.

Home School Adventure Co.

If you are looking for more information about Home School Adventure Co., you can check out other crew members reviews of this product in the banner below. Just click it and it will take you to a list of others that have had the opportunity to view this product in their homes.

Click to read Crew Reviews

Check out Home School Adventure Co at the following links: 

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Random Five on Friday- April 18th

The Pebble Pond 

 Joining in with The Pebble Pond and her weekly meme "Random 5 on Friday" Five random things in my life right now:

1. Just purchased a ticket to go see the Women of Faith conference four hours away. Booked a hotel, hubby wants me to get a rental car and enjoy four days by myself. The conference is two days. Friday the 25th and Saturday the 26th and then I'll spend the 27th doing who knows what (haven't figured it out, probably shopping, wink wink) and then head home on the 28th. I'm so looking forward to seeing what God has in store for me through this conference. I attended one two years ago in Spokane WA. and loved it. I also haven't been alone without kids doing something I want to do in MANY years. I only remember one other time that I was able to go somewhere without children and that was a women's retreat in our church when we lived in WA. A good 10 + yrs ago. 

2. Getting all my homeschool reviews all up to date this week so I can enjoy my four day weekend..

3. I'm officially half way through reading the Bible in 90 Days as of last night. This is the second time reading it through cover to cover but this time I'm gleaning so much more than I ever did the first time. I'm also reading it alongside my great friend and we meet once a week to discuss what we've read. I'm also highlighting passages as I go through each day's reading and because of these two things, I'm learning so much.

4. We are officially on Spring Break this week. With Spring Break comes Spring Cleaning. Deep cleaning that is. I've finished my bedroom, organized my closet and now working on my office and bathroom while the boys are deep cleaning their bedrooms and their shared bathroom.

5. Once spring cleaning is done, I want to tackle the last of my recipe binders, and then start working on taping the rest of the walls in the laundry room to prepare it for wallpapering, and then tape up the walls in the three bathrooms to wallpaper in there as well. I'm ready to work on the next section of our remodel and that's getting the walls done. Once wallpapered, I'll paint them and add crown molding, and new floor molding as well as new door molding. Eventually we will be replacing all the doors in our house. One step at a time..

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