Thursday, September 1, 2011

How To Have a H.E.A.R.T. For Your Kids - Apologia - TOS Review

How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids
Rachael Carman, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-935495-41-3

205 pages
Geared to parents of all ages
Published by Apologia Press
A division of Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc.
1106 Meridian Plaza, Suite 220/340
Anderson, IN 46016

It's that time again--TOS Homeschool Crew product reviews for 2011-2012 are in full swing. 

The first review I have the privilege of doing this year is for the Apologia book How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. For Your Kids by Rachael Carman. 

Let me start by saying this is a great book!  Rachael shares a lot of scripture and insight in the pages of this small but encouraging book.  Within the 205 pages this book you'll find an introduction, 5 chapters explaining the meaning of H.E.A.R.T. and an encouraging epilogue.  Some of the great stuff you'll find includes:

Introduction:  The Heart of the Matter  - This brief introduction gives the reader the meaning of the acronym H.E.A.R.T. and explains the author's entrance into the world of homeschooling.  
Chapter 1: H - Have a Heart for the Things of God - This chapter describes how to reach the hearts of your kids by having a heart for the things of God while showing examples of seeking, desiring, worshipping, and obeying God as parents.  This chapter is a great reminder that our kids see everything we do and learn from it.
Chapter 2: E - Enrich Your Marriage - This is a great chapter about how to enrich our marriages so that when our kids watch us they learn trust, sacrifice, loyalty, teamwork, forgiveness and more.  Our children can also learn things like perseverance, joy, diligence, kindness and more from watching how we relate to each other as a couple.  Having fun again, wives honoring their husbands through respect, trust, love and support, prayer and study together, and service to our spouse are a few of the key suggestions noted here.
Chapter 3: A - Accept Your Kids - In this chapter readers are asked to consider whether our children are accidents or blessings.  You'll probably read this and be left wondering if your child was born as an answer to prayer for something more than a normal life.  A cure for a dreaded disease, a missionary to share the gospel, something you don't even imagine yet.  This chapter reminds us that our kids are gifts for us put here for God's use.  Acceptance versus permissiveness is also discussed here.
Chapter 4: R - Release Them to God - This chapter is a reminder that "God has graciously loaned them (our kids) to you and me at this time and for His glory".  The author discusses the liberating aspect of this realization and encourages readers to trust God and train children with a strong emphasis on their relationship with God.  Developing a vision for God's plans for our kids and guarding that vision are also discussed.
Chapter 5: T - Teach Them the Truth - The last chapter of this book tackles the "most important thing to teach your children".  The reader, as a parent, is encouraged to make teaching kids the truth, the knowledge and understanding of God, first priority.  Six facts about the truth of God's Word are presented, and we are encouraged to "live out loud" what we read in this truth. 
Epilogue: Heartfelt Encouragement - Encouraging scripture verses and a discussion of "running with perseverance the race marked out for us" finish out this thoughtful book.

What I Thought:
I really enjoyed this book.  I think this would be a great read for all parents.  Rachael offers so much to think about with regard to our marriages, our lives as parents and what our children learn from us.  I like that she encourages us to think of our children as gifts from God for His purpose.  The ideas shared here would be great to read over and over again just to stay on track as a family.  Starting from an entry into homeschooling, without a heart for her children, and finishing with a challenge to reclaim our God-assigned place in raising our kids, Rachel describes the whole circle of her H.E.A.R.T. change with honesty and a healthy dose of related scripture.  Thumbs up to Rachel and Apologia for this wonderful book!

To see a sample chapter of How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids click here

To visit the order page on the Apologia site to get your own copy of this great book click here
To see more TOS Crew reviews of How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids click here


Disclaimer:  As a member of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew I recently received a free copy of  How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids to read in order to present an honest review on my blog.  I am not obliged to present a positive review.  All comments and opinions regarding the product are my own.  I have not and will not receive further compensation for this review.

Friday, August 26, 2011

And The Grace Card Goes To ...

Congratulations to the winner of The Grace Card DVD, Annette!  You'll be receiving an e-mail to verify your address.  Thank you to all who entered.  Blessings!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I'm So Thankful ...

I'm so thankful for the sun and the wonderful blue sky.
I'm so thankful that I'm married to a wonderful guy (23 years tomorrow!)
I'm so thankful for my kiddos since they really make me smile.
I'm so thankful for my friends who are willing to go the extra mile.
I'm thankful for so many things, some big, some small.
I'm thankful that my Father has provided them all.

Thinking today how I've been blessed in so many ways.  Praying for you for blessings today!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It's Another Giveaway - The Grace Card DVD Review & Giveaway

The Grace Card DVD - A Review & Giveaway!

Recently I was given an opportunity to receive a DVD of "The Grace Card", which is in
stores as of today, to watch and review.  I am so glad I accepted the invitation.

This is a very moving story about loss, justice, forgiveness, and most of all grace. 

The DVD is just over 1 1/2 hours long, full of wonderful music and good actors and packed full of a lot of conversation starters.  The movie is rated PG13, and I would say that's about right.  I would not want my youngest to watch it, but my 14 year old would gain a lot of perspective on things by watching this one.  The story is about families and friendship, racism and justice, personal forgiveness and redemption and the healing that grace can bring.

When two policemen, Mac and "the Preacher", are put together as partners they learn a lot about themselves and each other.  At the beginning of the story Mac is struggling with a loss in the family and "the Preacher" is the last person he wants to spend time with while on the job.  As the story progresses, "the Preacher", a pastor/policeman, figures out what grace really means to him and those around him.  Mac learns forgiveness and the blessing of undeserved grace.  Both men also bring those lessons home to their families in an unexpected twist of the story.  This inspirational film will be a great way to teach those ideas to my teenager.

There are some intense moments, some predictable moments and some tear-jerker moments in this great story.  If you haven't seen it, you really should watch this family movie.  One way you could do that follows below. (wink, wink)

I received a copy to review and get to give another copy to one lucky winner.  I'm not ready to give up my copy any time soon!   However, if you are interested in winning a copy of the DVD it's really easy to do...

There are 3 ways to enter this drawing.

First, leave me a comment about your favorite family movie--leave your email so I can contact you if you win.

Second, for another entry like this post on Facebook and leave a separate comment here.

Third, like The Grace Card page on Facebook and leave me a separate comment here.

Winner will be randomly drawn on Friday, August 19th at 8 a.m.  Ok, let's try that again, extending this one out to Friday, August 26th. 

Click here for The Grace Card website for more information or stop by the movie Facebook page here .

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thankful Thursday - August 11, 2011

Today I'm thankful for good friends.  They can pick you up, lift you in prayer, and just be a sounding board when you need it.  They are hard to do without, even if they do bug you at times.  To all my friends today --

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mostly Trivia Monday - Wow, Swans!

Was tickled to see this on the way home yesterday--what a treat.  Since I don't know a lot about swans I thought I'd share what I found while checking up on these beautiful birds.  Did you know a male is a cob, a female is a pen, and young are called cygnets?

Never having seen cygnets so close before prompted this picture.  They had no interest in leaving and showed no fear.  We just parked next to them to watch them and take the picture. 

  • In bygone years swan feathers were prized for the best quill pens. 
  • Swans can live over 24 years.
  • Trumpeter swans, like the picture above, are assumed to mate for life.
  • Swans are the largest of North American waterfowl.
  • A clutch (group of swan eggs) size is 1 to 9 eggs. 
  • Swans are creamy white colored as adults.
  • These beautiful birds live in a lake/pond habitat and dine on aquatic vegetation, grasses and grains.  Their nests are found on the ground.
If you're interested in finding more information about these gorgeous birds visit The Trumpeter Swan Society website at or The Cornell Lab of Ornithology--All About Birds website at

At one time these wonders were almost extinct, but they are fairly common now.  Hope to see more of these along our travels.


Some Great Links

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