Thursday, April 28, 2016

Devonian: GREEMU Review ~ TOS Crew

Greemu Devonian Review
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Several weeks ago I received a great product from Devonian to review called GREEMU. GREEMU happens to be a vegan alternative to emu oil and has so many uses in your everyday life. Because there are a lot of people that would prefer to use a plant substitute to Emu Oil if one is possible, GREEMU makes that possible.
Greemu Devonian Review 
Devonian is a company that is dedicated to replacing animal products with ingredients found in plants. It is their goal to use science to create great alternatives or replacements for what we would normally derive from animals.
What is it?
GREEMU can be used just like Emu Oil because although it is a perfect blend of plant oils and butters, it looks and feels just like it!!!  GREEMU ingredients include: Macadamia Seed Oil, Palm Oil Certified Organic, Shea Butter, Sunflower Seed Oil, and Rice Bran Oil.
Each ingredient is specifically chosen and is blended together to make a wonderful and very versatile product.

What I received:

I received a 4 oz. bottle of GREEMU to use however I would choose.

How I used the product:

GREEMU has so many uses! Since I am new to GREEMU and Emu Oil, I was unsure where to I started by using it as a moisturizer. With the weather starting to change and flip flops coming back on the scene, I decided to begin by using it on the soles of my feet and legs. I started to see the difference it was making, so I thought I would do a little more research and try other uses.

Next, I started using it after my showers as a moisturizer on my arms, face, neck, and legs. I could definitely tell a difference in my skin. GREEMU has been proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. I personally felt like my skin was more healthy.

Lastly, I used it as a split-end mender. After washing my hair, I took a tiny bit in my palm and
worked it into my hair. I found that it reduced split ends and my hair was shiny and manageable! We all love that, don't we?!

Safety Warning: GREEMU is for external use only and is not for people allergic to plant oils.

My bottom line:

This product was great! I found that the versatility of it made GREEMU a product that is good to have around.

Years ago when the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" came out the main character's dad believed that spraying Windex on any ailment would make it better. I have chuckled about that for years and even joked about it telling people, after they injured themselves, to spray Windex on it......(OKAY....maybe you guys didn't see the movie.....or didn't think it was funny!!!) Although we all know that Windex fixes nothing but dirty windows....I have to say that GREEMU is the real deal. The product has so many uses, and you will want to purchase your own bottle and give it a try.

Where to purchase:

You are always able to make a purchase at Devonian or Koru Naturals. Make sure to order your bottle today.

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Greemu Devonian Review

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

YWAM Publishing: Heroes of History-Abraham Lincoln Review ~ TOS Crew

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Christian Heroes {YWAM Publishing Review}For this review we received Heroes of History: Abraham Lincoln: A New birth of Freedom by Janet & Geoff Benge - which is a physical book.  We also received a downloadable version of the  Abraham Lincoln Unit Study Curriculum Guide .  The paperback book is 224 pages of wonderful historical biography! Do you have any historical biography lovers in your house? I have a house full of true historical biography lovers in my house and that is why I am so glad to have found the Heroes of History series!
As a homeschool parent, I have tried to do my best at pointing my children towards true examples of heroes to my children. I have found it so refreshing, especially in today's society, to find quality literature that shows the true character of figures we have only seen in history books. YWAM Publishing is a company that provides a true example of Christian Classic Educational material.
The Downloadable Unit Study Curriculum Guide includes the following areas of study:

  • Student Exploration
  • Social Studies
  • Community Link
  • Related Themes to Explore
  • Biography of Related Resources
  •  A section for additional projects
How we used this product:

My daughter is an eighth grader and is winding down in the school year....eeek!  I can hardly believe that my baby is getting ready to head into high school! As lovers of early American history, we were so excited to review this product. She was able to read through the book rather quickly and worked through the comprehension questions for each chapter. She really enjoyed learning interesting little tidbits about Abraham Lincoln.

We went on vacation a few years ago to Lexington, Kentucky and took a tour of the Mary Todd Lincoln house. I believe that helped her be even more interested in this study. During the tour we learned some facts about Abraham Lincoln that she found in the book as she read. I love it when that happens!!

My bottom line:

This is not my first YWAM Publishing product and I am quite confident that this won't be my last. Last fall we had the opportunity to review Heroes of History:Orville Wright, and most recently we had the distinct privilege to review Heroes of History:Abraham Lincoln. I have to say that we have absolutely loved this study. I think what we found to be the most wonderful part of this book is the fact that it isn't just a list of facts and dates to remember, but you truly get to know the person you are studying.  That is why I am so glad that there are so many to choose from. Check out all the books in the Heroes of History series, you will be so glad that you did. Click here to see all the books in the series.

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Christian Heroes {YWAM Publishing Review}

What Have You Attained

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I was reading through Philippians this morning and a short little verse just jumped right out at me! Have you ever had that happen to you?
Philippians 3:16 says..."only let us live up to what we have already attained." I don't even know how many times I have read this verse and never really heard it's message...but YES! Let us live up to what we have already attained!!!!

You matter what your past is, when you are forgiven you become a son/daughter of the Most High should live up to that! The past is gone and you are now a brand new live up to that! You are an heir with Jesus live up to that! Your sins are gone and your name is in the Book of live up to that! You have an eternal mission to win souls for live up to that!

Why do we let other people tell us differently? We walk around with a defeated attitude, awkwardly keeping our distance from our heavenly Father, making all our own decisions and trying to take care of everything under our own strength.  STOP IT!!

Our Father delights in us. He longs to spend time with we need to live up to that. He loves you! He loves me! And according to Philippians 3:16 we are told to live up to live up to what we have already attained.  You see, we have already attained eternal life in heaven, and it is up to us to live up to it!

So shout it from the rooftops and proclaim the greatness of our God! Make sure that you always live up to what you have already attained through the precious blood of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

When Life Gets Hard

I have to say I am having a proud mom moment.  I love this...written by my oldest.

YHWH (Yahweh) is one of the sweetest names of God. He has so many, but this one is so special to my heart. I don't know about you, but the fact that God, the creator of all the universe, was so generous and loving that He has a name like this is amazing. This name in particular, according to Hebrew scholars,  are actually sounds of breathing.  He loves us so much that there is His name, when we are so desperate and broken in the bottom of the pit, we can just breath His name to reach out. We can breath His name when we can't speak. When we are sobbing and hurting, gasping for air, we can breath His name and He is there. God loves us so much that He created a way for us to reach out when we are lost in our own chaos and the mess we made of our lives. How amazing!

Written by: Bethany Yingst

Monday, April 18, 2016

Apologia Educational Ministries: Writers in Residence Review ~ TOS Crew

Apologia: Writers in Residence Review
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My daughter struggled when it came to writing, which was one of the reasons I had decided to homeschool. With that being the case, I was so excited to try this new writing program, Writers in Residence from Apologia Educational Ministries.
Writers in Residence is a language arts program that is focused on writing, and takes the guesswork out of teaching your children this very important skill. As your child works through this program they will learn parts of speech, punctuation, sentence structure and capitalization usage all while completing creative writing assignments.
From the preface of the Student Text and Workbook the passion that went into this program is evident. Author Debra Bell makes it clear in this statement, "My goal is to give each young writer confidence, purpose, and a sense of calling. Now more than ever, we must be able to  express ourselves compellingly in writing if we hope to be heard or to make a difference in our culture...I do not view writing or language arts as confined to a school setting. I believe language is an amazing grace from God and a gift to steward and revel in." I couldn't say it better myself! That alone caused me to fall in love with this program!
What I received:

Apologia: Writers in Residence Review
I received both the Student Text and Workbook, as well as the Answer Key for Volume 1 (Apprentice). With the Student Text and Workbook being together in one book, I found that the large spiral binding was perfect for this all inclusive book.

At the beginning of the Student Text/Workbook you will find a section that describes how to use the book. These pages walk you through the way that the Units are broken down and what to expect in each section.

In the Welcome section Debra briefly introduces herself and tells the students the importance of gaining writing skills. Then Spotlights several Christian writers that will be referenced in the Writers in Residence Program. You will also find pages describing the six traits in the writing model, an introduction to the writing process, potential schedules, and so much more!

How We Used the Product:

My daughter dove right into the program and really enjoyed the way that this product was laid out. The first unit was entitled, "When I was Young (I Remember)" and I found it a lot of fun to see the things that she remembered! Each unit is broken up into different modules. Although she was learning new things, I could see that she was having a great time! That alone is a huge blessing to this homeschool mom.

Then she was asked to research her name. I could see her wheels turning as she dug into the information regarding the history of her name and what it means. I grew up in the era of Schoolhouse Rock and so I don't feel bad at all quoting them when I say, "It's great to learn, 'cause knowledge is power!"

My Bottom Line:

I loved this program. I found it to be a complete and comprehensive language arts program, and I love the emphasis put on writing. I was just talking with some friends today about the importance of raising well-rounded children. I believe that is just as important in their educational life as it is in their emotional, physical and spiritual life. Writers in Residence will help you get your child there if you give it a chance!

Good luck and happy writing!

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 Apologia: Writers in Residence Review

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Homeschool Copywork Review ~ TOS Crew

Homeschool Copywork Review

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My family received a Lifetime Membership to Homeschool Copywork which gave us access to a wide variety of e-books for copywork , handwriting practice, and notebooking pages such as the Claude Monet Copywork, Quotes from Jane Austen Copywork, Artist Study e-book., and so much more.
I have to be honest here, this is the first time that any of my kids have ever used any sort of copywork. With them both being in older grades, I thought that they would have no use for copywork. I have always looked at it simply as handwriting practice, but I couldn't have been more wrong. Homeschool Copywork  is about more than just handwriting. On top of writing practice you will see your students improve in other areas as well, like: spelling, punctuation, vocabulary, and reading comprehension, and so much more.
 When I logged in I realized that there were so many options to choose from. I wasn't sure exactly where to start......since I wanted my daughter to memorize 1 Corinthians 13 I decided that this particular ebook would be a great place to begin. With us never using copywork in the past, I found that she was pretty hesitant about giving it a try, however; she jumped right in and found it to be fun and  surprisingly relaxing.
 For $45.00 you can enjoy the  Lifetime Membership for yourself! With the Lifetime Membership you are able to enjoy any of the wonderful products and all of the extra bonus features for as long as Homeschool Copywork exists. When you create your account you will find that all the copywork is split up into the following age groups: Early Elementary Copywork, Upper Elementary Copywork, and Junior High - High School Copywork. So no matter what age your child is, you will be able to find something to suit your unique homeschooling needs.
 Copywork is new to us, but I found it to have unexpected benefits that I didn't account for. Writing out 1 Corinthians 13 not only helped my daughter to memorize it in record time, but also gave her the added benefit of spelling and punctuation practice that added to her grammatical skills as a whole. There were also pictures on each page that she could spend time coloring, which was a great way to relax and regroup before heading into her next subject for the day! 
 The huge variety of choices help to make this product versatile and perfect for any homeschool! I have no doubt that no matter the age or stage you find yourself in, you will be able to find plenty on this site to utilize for yourself.
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Thank you for reading! It is my hope that you enjoy Homeschool Copywork  as much as we did! 

Homeschool Copywork Review

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 Review ~ TOS Crew

Exclusive High School Diploma Review
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My second born daughter will be the first one of my children to be homeschooled through High School, and I cannot wait to present my daughter with her personalized Exclusive High School Diploma from I found myself getting increasingly more nervous as the school year continued knowing that she is going to be done sooner than I was okay with!! ha ha  No, not really, I am embracing the fact that she is nearing the end of her high school career, but as a mom...that leaves me only one left!  Eeeek!

Exclusive High School Diploma Review
Exclusive High School Diploma
Standard High School Diploma (HONORS)

Never having done this before, I wasn't sure what to expect when I logged onto the site. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the site walks you through each step so you don't miss a thing! You won't get that "lost" feeling that you may have experienced on other sites, and for that I was so grateful. Do you know what I mean? made the ordering process super easy, and there are so many wonderful options that you can add to your child's diploma! I found myself smiling as I was picking  out just the right diploma for my daughter. I would call that a win!  Ha ha ha! I kept it all a secret from her, so imagining her face when she saw it for the first time was a bright spot for me!
I ordered the standard diploma with the gold foil seal on the bottom that says, "Excellence in Home Education." There are other options that you can choose from that may suit your personal preference better. I loved the fact that I can add the "HONORS" option on the bottom, my daughter has worked so hard to receive an honors diploma.

There are also several choices when it comes to the cover. You get to choose the color, the style, the wording...etc. and all of it is so very exciting. Get your student involved in the process as well. How fun for them to be able to help pick out their own diploma!! They will probably never forget that memory. has so many quality graduation products for you and your graduate. No matter what type of graduation items you may be looking for, you will be able to find it on their site. Although I didn't purchase any graduation announcements, they have quite an extensive set of choices. They send me a sample of one of the invites. I found it to be not only beautiful, but of a wonderful quality as well.
When it comes down to how I feel about this product, it is easy to see that I loved absolutely everything that I received from . The ease of ordering and the quality of the products I received really made me want to order more! Have fun checking out the site for yourself.

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Exclusive High School Diploma Review

Monday, April 11, 2016

Homeschooling with Confidence

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I don’t know about you, but I have found confidence to be a rather fickle creature; especially when it comes to homeschooling. Although I knew that pulling my kids out of “Brick and Mortar” five years ago and schooling them at home was something that I needed to do, the things that people would say to me as a homeschooling parent really started to shake my confidence. Have you met those people? With one look, or one comment they can cause you to question your decision. I know that I have gone from confident to wishy washy or even fearful in a matter of seconds.

To be confident in any decision means that we are fully convicted that we have made the right decision, and that we are determined to walk it out without regrets. That isn’t always an easy place to get to with decisions. I find that especially true when it comes to decisions that impact my child’s life for the long-term. My mind can definitely torment me about them if I allow it. Since this is a very real struggle for me, I wanted to write this article for those of you that have had the same struggle.

Let’s talk through some common myths in an effort to see clearly the truth about them.

Myth 1 – “Your kids will be socially awkward if you homeschool.”
Truth: Okay, let me just start by saying that my kids were not always homeschooled. I have been to classrooms and/or events at a “Brick and Mortar” and I have met some pretty socially awkward kids right in the midst of the public school system. What logic alone tells me is this; all kids are unique and require different levels of interaction for them to be comfortable in social situations. If you are concerned about your child’s interaction level with other kids their own age then you can enroll them in sports, join a homeschool co-op, make friends with the neighbors, go to library clubs, get involved in your local church, or join the YMCA…the list could go on and on. You get to choose! I love that part! You can choose exactly who, how, and what your children get involved in.

Myth 2 – “I am not a teacher, so my child won’t be able to learn.”
Truth: I have to say that if you are thinking this right now, stop it! When we first hold our children in our arms; the full weight of parenthood begins to sink in on us, that is the moment we become their teacher. From the time that their little eyes can focus on us, we smile at them until they reciprocate. From that point forward we teach them everything, absolutely everything. I understand that academics is different than teaching your children how to walk…but you don’t have to do it on your own. There are spectacular curriculum companies that help you know exactly what to say as you teach your kids. In fact there are classes on video, or you can register your children in virtual classrooms. What I’m saying is you have options, a lot of them!

Myth 3 – “Homeschooled kids don’t do real schoolwork.”
Truth: I find this particular myth slightly offensive as a homeschool parent. Homeschooling is a valid and wonderful method of education. Homeschool companies continue to produce wonderful curriculum that challenges children and pushes them forward in learning instead of holding them back with the slowest person in the classroom. When you homeschool you can take advantage of the flexibility that is available to you. My husband travels fairly often for work, and that means we are able to go with him and still do school. So whether we end up in Missouri or Washington D.C. school goes with us! When trips like that come up we can take advantage of the location and change things up a bit to whatever may be in that area. Rest assured that homeschool kids are working hard, sometimes harder than those receiving a “traditional” education.

Myth 4 – “A college won’t accept a Homeschooler”
Truth: For those of you that are like me and are schooling your kids into and through High School, know that colleges are happy to have homeschool students apply to their college for many reasons. This website really put my mind at ease about homeschooling through graduation from High School.

There are also ways for your child to receive dual credit as they go through their high school courses that help them earn college credit. In the state I live in, you are able to start taking dual credit classes as early as your freshman year.

Myth 5 – “There aren’t many people that Homeschool.”
Truth: That couldn’t be further from the truth. Every year there are more people homeschooling their kids than ever before. There are so many benefits to educating at home, and there are more people realizing that.
The National Center for Education Statistics says that about 3% of school age kids were homeschooled in 2011-2012, and that number continues to grow.

If you are trying to decide whether or not to homeschool your child, let me say that the benefits are great. I love homeschooling, and love the difference in my girls since making this change. If you are homeschooling, but struggle at times with the crazy looks, or things people say I hope this article is encouraging to you.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Get to Know God Better

This was my devotion today.
God created us so that we could have a relationship with Him, and yet we can find ourselves too busy to spend time talking with Him at all!
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did! Sometimes we all need a little perspective shift!

Devotion from: Happiness Habits on YouVersion Devotional

"You were made to live in relationship with God, and if you think you can be joyful without getting to know him better, you’re just fooling yourself. Happiness is found in getting to know God a little bit better every day.

Paul discovered that. He says in Philippians 3:10, “For my determined purpose is that I may ... progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly” (AMP).

There is a difference in knowing about someone and knowing someone. I know more about Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian than I want to, but I don’t really know them. I know my wife and I know my kids because I spend time with them. I have a relationship with them.

Paul became “deeply and intimately acquainted” with God because he had a relationship with him and took the time to get to know him.

You don’t get to know God by accident. It’s a “determined purpose.” It’s something you have to do something about. You have to invest your time in it.

But, we get too busy, and busyness destroys relationships. It destroys your relationship with your family, and it destroys your relationship with God.

To get to know Jesus, you’ve got to spend time with him. If you want to spend time with him, you’ve got to make time for him. Just set aside 10 or 15 minutes of focused time with God in the morning, and make sure you and your mind are not busy. Just be still, and it will make all the difference in the world."


I've noticed that we Americans tend to whitewash sin in our lives. We explain it or rationalize it away but; sin is blatant mutiny against God. There is no other way to look at it. Either sin must die in our life....or God. The choice is ours.
Isaiah 53:3-6
"He was despised and rejected - a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was sin so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on Him the sins of us all."

We should always remember the price that Jesus paid for us, and not take it lightly!

Please read this guest blog from my friend Bob Brown. He posted this about Good Friday. I know you will enjoy it.

The Shouting Stones
Luke 19:28-40

There are some very interesting details in this story. It's important to read the Scriptures carefully or else we might miss something--or lots of things. We don't want to paint with too broad a brush. In a similar way, it's important that we are careful with our Christian faith--lest it fall into the hands of vicious wolves in sheep's clothing. You see it's easy to claim to be a Christian but it's another thing, altogether, to BE a Christian. What does Paul tell us?: "Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light."
Being a Christian, involves the journey of faith. It starts with repentance and a decision to follow Christ--to sell all that we have in order to follow continues as we pay close attention to the details of what it means to be Christian and seek to live into being more and more faithful and true followers of the One Who rode into Jerusalem so long ago......went to the Cross for our sins......and rose again in order that we too, might have life--now and forever.
So, let's look at some of the details of our Scripture passage. One of the things that stands out to me is what Jesus decided to ride into Jerusalem on. I mean, why in the world would Jesus intentionally ride into town on a donkey......a silly looking donkey of all things? Don't you think it would be kind of embarrassing? I mean Jesus' entire life and ministry had been leading up to this point.
Jesus is entering Jerusalem--which, for the Jews, is the point of contact between heaven and earth. His disciples are proclaiming Him King of the Jews--and thus, King of Jerusalem--King of Israel--King of heaven and earth!!! They are introducing Him to the world. This is a BIG deal. This is a HUGE moment in history. If you were Jesus, what would you decide to ride on or in as you enter the city that sits at the center of all of Judaism, is home to the Temple, is the capital city and the focal point of your nation's cultural identity? What would you decide to ride on or in as you are being introduced to the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people who are in Jerusalem for the Passover? What would you decide to ride on or in as you are being declared King and Messiah? Wouldn't almost anybody be most concerned with the people who are watching? Wouldn't you want to make the best impression possible? Wouldn't you get your hair cut or permed......wouldn't you get your nails done, your eyebrows waxed? Wouldn't you wear the most expensive suit or dress possible? And, again, what would you use for transportation?
Would you come in on a tank? A royal stallion? Would you have a motorcade and be flanked by secret service agents? I mean, think of the nerve it would take to come in riding on an animal that is primarily owned and used by poor people. Folks used donkeys for pumping water and milling grain......not for ticker-tape parades! They are not elegant or beautiful animals in any sense. They are beasts of burden. They are not intimidating nor are they impressive. It's just not the way things are done. It's not impressive. It's not becoming of the office. It's not ego-boosting. It doesn't fit. And yet this is what Jesus did--the King of the world--God become flesh.
As Jesus rode the young pack animal into the crowded and bustling city of Jerusalem some 2,000 years ago, His "whole throng" of disciples began rejoicing. "They praised God" with loud voices. They were causing quite the scene. And so, "some of the Pharisees from the crowd said to Jesus, 'Teacher, scold your disciples! Tell them to stop!" But there was no stopping them. Instead, Jesus answered: "I tell you, if they were silent, the stones would shout."
Now isn't that something? All of creation was paying attention that day. They were paying attention, because the One Who created it all had come to redeem the whole world--rocks, stones, hills, trees, animals, and especially people from the power of sin, death and decay!!!
Jesus had come to declare that the curse would soon be lifted. And it would be lifted by the Only One Who could lift it--the Sovereign God of Creation!!! He would take all the sin, all the weight of the world's pain, misery, hell and death upon Himself--and allow it to rip His mortal body to shreds on a Cross. That's how evil--evil is. It rips everything to shreds. But that's how great God's love is--it allows itself to be torn in order to save that which it created and called "good."

Many times I have been asked : "One thing I don't understand about Good Friday is why it is called 'good.' What is good about it? It's the day Jesus was killed on a Cross. It should be called Bad Friday!" But it is called Good Friday, because it shows us just how GOOD God is.
It is what gives us hope. It is what gives us meaning. It is what saves us, and makes life worth living!!! The love of God is so much stronger than the most horrible evil. It is so much greater than all sin, death and the devil combined. And it can save, even, a wretch like me!!! And that, is very, very, very good!!!

So as look forward to Resurrection Sunday let us continue to declare our praise. Blessings on the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heavens. Rejoice!!! The Master has come to save us!!!"
Will you rejoice as well?