Feb 112014

Being a homeschooling mom can be tough. For example, this morning the Bugs didn’t want to do the entirety of her math assignment. She tried convincing me that she only needed to do the front page of her work, or she would be doing two lessons. There was crying, wailing and gnashing of teeth on her part. This afternoon is also her turn to go to Grandma’s house to hang out (on Tuesdays, Grandma comes and takes one of the girls typically out to eat and over to her house to hang out). So, she was told that unless she did all of her assigned work, and stopped carrying on, she would have to call Grandma and tell her that Beans was going to be going to with her today instead so she could stay home and finish her assignments. Her math work was done in record time, no more complaining and it was all done correctly instead of her usual “I was in a hurry” mistakes. Yeah, homeschooling is just like parenting is, it isn’t for wimps, but it is so worth it.

The Ultimate Homeschooling Mommy Encouragement Giveaway!

How would you like to win a prize package full of encouragement just for you? This giveaway is brought to you by the Great Waters Press Launch team for Hal and Melanie Young’s wonderful new book, My Beloved and My Friend! (Created for Home is not affiliated with any of the providers of these prizes). All you have to do is go to the Rafflecopter form (if it isn’t automatically showing up, click the hyperlink for it) and fill it out! Simple as that!

While you are here, what is the best resource that you have found to gain encouragement as a homeschooling mom?

For this giveaway, we have a sweet collection of prizes sure to inspire and rejuvenate Homeschooling Moms!

Molly Green Membership from The Old Schoolhouse
Schoolhouse Expo Ticket from The Old Schoolhouse
2014 Annual Print Edition of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine from The Old Schoolhouse
Your Child’s Profession of Faith from Grace and Truth Books
31 Days in Psalm 37 form Doorposts
Seasons At Home Magazine One Year Subscription from A Joyous Home
Training and Correcting Hearts with Scripture from The Character Corner
Learning to Treasure God’s Word: A study of Psalm 119 from The Character Corner

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Feb 042014

I received the book, Seams Unlikely by Nancy Zieman with Marjorie L. Russell through Glass Road Media for the purposes of this review. All opinions are mine and mine alone, no other compensation was received.

Have you ever had a dream but felt like due to circumstances beyond your control, they were totally unattainable? That no one would care, they would be put off by whatever limitation you had, that it wasn’t worth the effort?

What if you could dream big dreams and live them out?

Nancy Zieman did just that with her life. Born a dairy farmer’s daughter, ending up afflicted with Bell’s Palsy as an infant that never straightened itself out, she went on with her love of sewing and teaching to not only run her own business (Nancy’s Notions) but also as the host of Sewing with Nancy which has been on air on PBS stations for decades.

Seams Unlikely is a look at Nancy’s life, how she didn’t let limitations hold her back and shows how she built Nancy’s Notions from home while balancing her marriage and family. The personal stories and pictures are a great way to get to know the person who is America’s sewing instructor. You can feel the love Nancy has for her family, friends and work through the pages of the book, along with the love her family and friends have for her. She never admits that living her life was easy, nothing was handed to her on a silver platter and freely acknowledges how much work and faith it took to get to where she did over the coarse of her career.

Nancy is an inspiration to not just those who enjoy the art of sewing, but for all of us who may have obstacles standing in the way of our dreams, no matter what they are. If you love sewing, then this book will delight you. If you have a dream you don’t think you will ever achieve, this book will show you that it can happen if you work hard for it.

I personally haven’t used a my sewing machine in a very long time. I enjoyed learning in Home Ec in high school (one of the last generations to take home ec in my high school) and I cut out my wedding dress (my mother-in-law sewed it for me), but I haven’t had much time to sit and actually sew in the last several years. This book makes me want to get my sewing machine out of hibernation and at least make some new curtains and skirts for the girls.

Visit Seams Unlikely for more information about the book and locations on where to purchase it. You can also follow Nancy on FACEBOOK

Feb 042014



I have two very different  children. One who fights me on phonics work. And I mean it can be a knock out, dragged kicking and screaming fight some days. I think part of the issues we have is because I let myself get pressured into trying to teach her how to read when she was still a toddler and wasn’t ready for it. Me pushing her to fast has come back and bitten us in the rear end numerous times. She has herself convinced she can’t read, so if she doesn’t get something right the first time, she gives up.

My other child is very laid back towards reading. She likes things to be fun. At least her version of fun. She loves computer games and movies.


I was very excited to get to try Reading Eggs with both of my children. And they were both super excited to try a fun computer game. Reading Eggs was designed for children ages 3-13.

I had them each take the placement test so they could start where they were ready. I do need to warn you, the youngest didn’t want to take the placement test, so she did purposefully miss enough to get it over with. She was started on a level about 15/20 below where she should have been. She was claimed she was bored taking the test and wanted to go play (she’s 5). She then breezed through many levels of Reading Eggs in one day and is now to where it is starting to be a bit more of a challenge. The eldest started at about where she really is in her phonics journey due to test placement. She didn’t try to get it over with like her sister did.

They both enjoy playing the games on Reading Eggs. It presents new concepts in a fun and playful way, and at the end of each lesson (various activities through each stop on the map) they get a new character to hatch who says a rhyme. They get so excited to see who is being hatched next.

Since we started with our trial of Reading Eggs, I have noticed both girls just reading things in public way more than they used to. In fact, it is more organic with their reading signs, boxes at the grocery store, seeing random things out in public. They just blurt out the words they see and think nothing of their new skill. When asked how they knew what it was they just blurted out, they say amazed, I just read that! They don’t even realize they are reading things, just going ahead and doing it (which is a HUGE thing for my eldest who always even resisted trying to read things because she knew she would fail. She just is doing it now without the pressure she was putting on herself, and the transformation has been wonderful.)

I like how fun they think Reading Eggs is. I also like how after we got through the very simple assessment, and after I sat with them for a few lessons to make sure they understood what to do, I can walk off and make a cup of tea or work on another subject with the child not on the computer. It has helped me to balance my time between the girls and their very different educational needs. And I will also admit, having them do some school work online has also allowed me to get the housework done a bit better through the day (dusting in the living room, quickly cleaning the toilet) as I do not have to sit there coaching them through the whole process. It has given me some time for other tasks (even taking a shower, which us homeschool moms know can be quite a treat to get during the day) while not ignoring their education. I’m not advocating leaving them to their devices on this, but it doesn’t take as much supervision to use this program after they get acclimated so you can get a few other things done, yet still being available to help. It is fostering their independence which is a big thing, especially for our youngest.

I love how it emails me with a child report after a child gets through certain markers in the program so I know where each child is in their learning without having to go digging around in the program itself.

Reading Eggs Read to Cure Challenge Badge

Right now, Reading Eggs is partnering with the National Children’s Cancer Society for a Read to a Cure. Each person who signs up for a free trial of Reading Eggs (a 5 week trial) will have a dollar donated to the NCCS. The trial is risk-free and you don’t need a payment method for it either, so you have nothing to lose if you want to try it. Children can also earn prizes during the Read to a Cure event. Check it out!  (new customers only for the trial)

You can find Reading Eggs on their:






and their BLOG

To see what others had to say about their experience with Reading Eggs, check out the REVIEWS at Home and School Mosaics!

Feb 032014

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

DVD cover of Unstoppable


Have you ever questioned why there is so much pain and suffering in the world? Felt like giving up your faith in God when it seems that He hasn’t come through for you and answered your prayers the way in which you wanted them to be answered?

I think most of us have been in the place where we question over the tragedies we face and the suffering we are witness to and go through ourselves. In Unstoppable, Kirk Cameron takes a look at how merciful and sovereign God really is and shows how through Creation and the Fall of Man, and really the entirety of the the Old Testament how God used the worst circumstances ever to draw people unto Himself.

The approach is pretty novel in this DVD. In it, we are shown through a documentary style and dramas how God has taken the worst events in the history of creation and used them for His greater plan and to point people to Him, and how He did it years after the fact. He also wove in the story of Matthew, a child who died from cancer, and how despite the prayers for God to heal him, God decided to call him home, and how the life of one person can affect the lives of many, and while Matthew’s death seems absolutely horrifying to us now, that there was a plan that God will use to His glory.

I really like the concept of presenting theology in an easy to understand way for the average person. The interweaving of documentary style presentation along with drama was a novel concept for me. I wasn’t too fond of the amount of black and white used for the duration of the film, and the first half, while very well done, felt like it took a while to get to the point and was  a bit choppy feeling, in my opinion. That said, that is a matter of preference, and I truly think this is a great film to introduce what is a very complex theological issue to people who are not so inclined to think about theology, those new in the faith, those going through a horrific trial in their lives and those searching for God.

If you wish to win a copy of Unstoppable, please take a moment and use the Rafflecopter form at the bottom of the post. I’m sorry, the Rafflecopter was being wonky, so leave a comment on the bottom of this post if you want to win, a comment will be selected on Monday, February 10 to win. If you’ve won a copy of Unstoppable on another blog, you are not qualified to win at this time. Please, also if you have won off this blog in the past year, please let others have a chance to win. Giveaway ends on Friday February 7, 2014. The winner will be emailed by Created for Home and will have 48 hours to send in their mailing address so I can get it forwarded to Propellor so they can send out the prize. Winners from the US and Canada only due to shipping restrictions.


Inspired by the death of Cameron’s close friend who succumbed to cancer at the age of 15, Kirk Cameron takes viewers on an inspiring and hope-filled visual journey to better understand the biggest doubt-raising question in faith: “Where is God in the midst of tragedy and suffering?”

Going back to the beginning—literally—Kirk investigates the origins of good and evil and how they impact our lives … and our eternities. UNSTOPPABLE will prompt audiences to consider the role that pain and suffering has in our lives, as they affirm their personal views on faith, and encourage conversation starters about God, suffering, and hope.

In theaters for only two weeknights (Sept 24th and Oct 3th, 2013), UNSTOPPABLE: A Live Event with Kirk Cameron sold a staggering 260,000 tickets and reached a theatrical gross of over $3.2 million dollars. In just two nights this independent project sent a loud message – audiences want thought-provoking and meaningful entertainment.

Kirk Cameron is best known for his memorable role as “Mike Seaver,” a cultural icon of the 80’s, with his mullet hairstyle, cool glasses, and wisecracking comebacks. More recently he enjoyed much success with the No. 1 grossing inspirational film of 2008, Fireproof, and his recent documentary, Monumental. Kirk and his wife, Chelsea, were on-screen sweethearts during their Growing Pains years and are the founders of Camp Firefly, where terminally and seriously ill children and their families are provided an all-expense paid retreat (www.CampFirefly.com). Together, Kirk and Chelsea live in California with their six children.


About Provident Films:

Provident Films, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, produces, markets, and distributes faith-based films. The company is part of Nashville-based Provident Music Group, which has been one of the world’s leading Christian entertainment companies for more than three decades.  Films from the company have included Courageous, October Baby, Fireproof, and Facing the Giants. More info is available at ProvidentFilms.org.

Again, to win your copy, leave a comment on the end of this post just telling me you wish to win…A winner will be chosen on Monday February 10, 2014. Again, my apologies for the inability to use the previous methods of entry.

Congratulations Nick! An email has been sent to the address you provided, I hope you enjoy this film!