Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Out of the Ashes {Review}


In Book #2 of the Heart of Alaska series, young Katherine finds herself traveling across the country with her aging grandmother, off on an adventure to Alaska.  But though she travels for weeks, she finds she can't escape the memory of her abusive husband and his untimely death.  Haunted by his verbal and physical abuse, Katherine struggles to stand on her own feet, while still allowing others into her life.

Half a world away, Jean-Michel and his sister, Collette, struggle with burying their beloved father.  Jean-Michel, scarred by the horrors of war, must carry on and find a way to help his self-centered sister mature into a young woman.  While, adventurous Collette desires to shed her self-absorbed nature, but how?  

Due to Grandmother's match making skills, Jean-Michel and Katherine ultimately come face to face in the wilds of Alaska.  Yet, both are haunted by disturbing pasts and struggle to connect.  Can their put their memories to rest?  Or will their scars come between them?

Peterson and Woodhouse carry on their Heart of Alaska series with this gentle yet complex love story.  I loved the fact that Jean-Michel and Katherine had a shared history, but had gone through their own heartaches and struggles separately.  This made their characters rich and true to life.  Their individual pasts made for several storylines within the book which I enjoyed following.  Besides Jean-Michel and Katherine, several other characters each had their own compelling storylines that kept the plot of the book moving along.

Written as book two in the series, Out of the Ashes focuses on a new couple and the pains they must overcome in order to fall in love.  However, key characters from book one are retained and still play a prominent role.  While this book could be read as a stand alone without that background, the secondary stories is much richer having read the first book.  I can't imagine jumping into this book not knowing who Cassidy, Thomas, Ms. Johnson, and others are.

All in all, I enjoyed the book.  I didn't find it as compelling as book one, but sometimes that happens with a sequel.  Out of the Ashes was still quite enjoyable and I would highly recommend it... after you read In the Shadow of Denali.

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for review.  All opinions are my own.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Gospel Centered Mom {Review}


In today's world, there is overwhelming pressure on kids.  Get good grades, be good at sports, be popular, serve, and do it all with grace and manners.  And with that perspective comes unbelievable amounts of pressure on parents as well.  If your child is earning B's, hire a tutor.  Not playing in the travel league?  Get a private coach.  Not enough friends, throw big parties.  And what if you're not doing enough to ensure your children follow the Lord when they leave your home?

While all of this is good and well, they are just kids.  They're growing and maturing.  They're going to mess up.  We're going to mess up.  None of us are perfect.  How do we come to grips with the fact that we just aren't enough as parents?  How do we live the perception of always coming up short?

Brooke McGlothlin tackles this idea of being enough in her new book, Gospel Centered Mom.  She asserts that we aren't enough, that we were never meant to be enough.  That the only one who is enough for our kids is the one who gave them to us.  She encourages her readers that gospel centered parenting is more about leaning on Jesus than developing the picture perfect family life.  And that by rearranging our perspective of parenting, we're actually doing more for our kids than trying to live in a Pinterest perfect world.

My favorite chapter of this book revolved around the idea of fighting for, rather than against your children.  I have one of those "hard to handle boys" as McGlothlin would call him.  Constantly pushing boundaries and living life on his own terms.  How I approach him in our day to day interactions makes a great difference in our day goes.  Learning to fight for him without alienating him has been a challenge.  This was by far the most valuable chapter of the book as it gave me some very actionable steps in our struggle: Tell God He Can Have You, Learn When to Keep your Mouth Shut, Get inn the Habit of Prayer, Embrace the Power of the Mommy Time-Out, Prepare Ahead of Time, Be Stronger, Love Harder, Be a Student of your Child, Think Outside the Box, and Refuse to Give Up.  This was by far the most applicable chapter to my current situation.

On one hand, this book really spoke to me in that this parenting thing is really more about me than it is about my kids.  I really have so little to offer these kids in my finite experience and knowledge.  I can give them so little in comparison to to what they deserve.  And really that's McGlothlin's point.  We will never be enough for our kids.  On the other hand, I struggled with this book because it felt like there was so little hope.  In McGlothlin's focus on our inadequacy, the Lord's provision seemed to fizzle in comparison.  This book was so heavy on the not enough side, our hope in the Lord seemed to get lost.  I liked the book, but felt it could use some balance.  While I think this would make a good read for most parents, I would warn that you need a healthy dose of joy and perspective as well.  Ultimately, our hope, in all things, is in the Lord.

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Monterey Bay Aquarium-- A Homeschooler's Review



*Click on post to see video!

This past weekend, we were lucky enough to be a part of Monterey Bay Aquarium's Homeschool Program.  A delightful field trip to be sure.  Check out our experience!

Monterey Bay Aquarium Homeschool Program:
http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/education/home-school-program

Join The Creative2xmom Family on their journey of being a family of 5! 💑16yrs led to 👱12 yrs, 👧10 yrs, and 👱 6 yrs.

C O N N E C T
subscribe at http://www.youtube.com/creative2xmom
read at http://www.creative2xmom.blogspot.com
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FTC DISCLOSURE: This video is not sponsored.

Music Attribution:

Gisele Revisited by South London HiFi

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Homeschool Curriculum Review: Writing



 Teaching writing to your children can be a challenge.  At least it is in our house.  :-)  But over the last year or so, I've a few resources that have made that challenge just a little easier.  Below you'll find some of our favorite resources for teaching writing across subjects as well as a fun journal to take the pressure off and just get your kids writing.  Hope they help!

Resources in the video:

*Biography Outline: https://betterlesson.com/lesson/resource/2539310/biography-report-outline-worksheet-pdf

*Famous Scientist Research Paper: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Famous-Scientist-Research-Paper-633315

*Who Was... Journal: http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/sku/012478

Additional Resources for Writing:

*Living History Project: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Living-History-Museum-Project-Research-Project-Speech-2229058

*My Holiday Traditions Printable: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/My-Holiday-Traditions-Freebie-2219648

This open collaboration is being hosted by April from The Simple Rugged Path:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7HVorQE8LgvYfw8_zPiDAQ

Feel free to join in at any time!

Homeschool Curriculum Review Playlist
https://goo.gl/hgwcqj

Join The Creative2xmom Family on their journey of being a family of 5! 💑16yrs led to 👱12 yrs, 👧10 yrs, and 👱 6 yrs.

C O N N E C T
subscribe at http://www.youtube.com/creative2xmom
read at http://www.creative2xmom.blogspot.com
like me on http://www.facebook.com/creative2xmom
follow me on http://twitter.com/creative2xmom

FTC DISCLOSURE: This video is not sponsored.




Monday, February 5, 2018

12 First and Second Grade Read Alouds

We are a family of readers.  And I learned early on that read aloud time was going to quickly become engrained in our family culture.  It started out as nursery rhymes when the kids were toddlers.  Then it became picture books before bed.  What started as a fun way to cuddle in the evenings turned into a rich time of bonding and learning.  It grew organically from the time they were young, but it's never too late to start reading to your kids.  Pick a book that looks of interest to both of you and just go for it.  In that strain of thought, here are 12 books with a fun story and the right length to keep your first grader and second graders interested from cover to cover.  Enjoy!


The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate


Stuart Little by E. B. White


A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond


Homer Price by Robert Mccluskey


Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner


The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling


White Fang by Jack London


The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum


Charlotte's Web by E.B. White


Matilda by Roald Dahl


Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty MacDonald


Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

What are some of your favorite read aloud for first and second grade?



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