Archive for April, 2011


Friday’s Fave Five #104

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Living to tell The Story sponsors Friday’s Fave Five Meme.  An opportunity for me to pause and note 5 Favorite moments of my week or to give thanks for 5 wonders or blessings or


  1. I met a woman my age that spent nearly half of her life with her husband and then he poisoned her with arsenic.  I’m grateful my husband loves me and shows me that he does, every day.
  2. This woman has more damage to and illness in her body than any person should ever have to deal with in a lifetime.  She has had more doctor’s visits in the past week than I have had in the past 25 years (excluding prenatal visits.)  I am so aware of and thankful for my present good health and strength, and the hope of good health in my future.
  3. She is unable to metabolize gluten.  She can not eat wheat, rye, barley or oats.  Think about what you had for breakfast or lunch and what you plan for dinner.  Unless you are Celiac, you would be shocked at the grocery items on your shelves that contain wheat!  Basically, I can eat anything I want and the only thing it might do to me is make me a little rounder.  =)
  4. Lonely and often alone.  She has been robbed of contact with her children.  I am blessed beyond measure to have a loving relationship with each of my children. We talk to each other, share confidences and pray togetherWe share laughter and tears; encouraging one another in disappointment and rejoicing in life’s blessings.
  5. This woman does not hate her husband.  She practices forgiveness toward those that have wronged her.  She leaves justice in the hands of God and continues to hope that He will heal her, restore her and redeem the time and the life that has been taken from her.  Because of her; because God allowed our paths to cross –  there is no veil over my eyes, and I clearly see the “remarkable” in the life He has given me.


John 14:27, Jesus Christ said  ~  “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

We must acknowledge God, The Most High, and all He has given us.  May our lips praise Him and our lives reflect His great love – a love that never fails.


Sweet blessings,


*Photos and text are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

Thank you…

Categories : Family
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10 Strawberries!

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I was born in the city, but while I was still in elementary school, just the thought of me in the local middle school had my mother moving our family to the country.  My birth certificate may say city, but my heart is pure country.

We got most of our vegetables from our own garden and often raised our own beef.  I know for a fact that we were poor, but I didn’t know it then.  I don’t ever remember being hungry.  We were well fed and well loved.

I should clarify though, that my mother’s version of well fed and mine are… different.

For instance, Ma didn’t like broccoli; so, we didn’t grow it and we didn’t eat it.  I seem to recall that we tried brussel sprouts one year – one time and not again.  Did you know, that based on research, if a food is served/eaten 10 times in a row – not just once – a child is more likely to develop a taste for it?  For dinner we ate a lot of home canned green beans, potatoes, tomatoes and corn, single or combo, beside a meat entree, with bread & butter as a filler.  Ma was a good cook.  The general thought was to make sure we had a decent start to our day, for school, and that we did not go to bed hungry.  I honestly don’t think she gave much consideration to balance, variety, color or even what our bodies might actually need to grow.

I, on the other hand, really like broccoli, and so do most of my children.  I remember reading a book by Raymond and Dorothy Moore, more than 15 years ago, that taught me, and therefore my family, that the largest meal of the day should be breakfast, followed by a medium lunch and a light dinner, giving everything plenty of time to digest over night.  My older children still remember getting up r.e.a.l.l.y. early, every day,  to eat a humongous breakfast, that took me hours to prepare.  Since we didn’t maintain it all of these years, my younger children have only heard stories, and occasionally seen hints of what I actually think is the best way to eat.  Over the years, I have researched and read many books looking for the best for my family.  Especially since my mother died nearly eight years ago from colon cancer.  I’ve learned much, consistently implemented some and passed on everything I could to my children, hoping they’ll do even better for theirs.  Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

I have not found anything like  Growing Healthy Homes – Nutrition 101:  Choose Life!

448 pages, 6 units of study divided into 4 chapters each and thoroughly covering anatomy & physiology, nutritional health and home economics.

  1. The Brain and Nervous System
  2. Digestion and Elimination
  3. Respiration and Olfactory
  4. Muscular and Skeletal Systems
  5. Cardiovascular and Immune Systems
  6. Endocrine System and Emotions


This is a Biblically based curriculum that explains the systems of our God-created bodies and the foods that are needed to assist them in their jobs.  The fact is:  our body is affected by what we eat. The authors remind us of a verse from III John, chapter 2, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”  It is their desire “to honor God by creating and distributing products that educate and empower His children to establish healthy, Christ-centered homes.”  Apart from creating and distributing products, their mission clearly mirrors mine for my family.

The amount of information that has been compiled in this book is unbelievable!  It can easily be used for the entire family, youngest child to adult; including high school credit.  There are activities, science projects, art projects, vocabulary, fun facts and at least 75 recipes.  Additional book suggestions, resources and discussion questions are listed at the end of each chapter and you’ll find 100 pages of charts, checklists and more.  The authors, homeschool mother Debra Raybern, N.D., M.H., C.N.C., I.C.A.; homeschool mother and researcher Sera Johnson, B.MU; mother and writer/editor Laura Hopkins, B.S.; and mother, grandmother and former Home Economics teacher Karen Hopkins, B.S., are gracious, wise and encouraging.


Click on the veggie picture to view a pdf Sample of Nutrition 101

The over-size, hard-bound, vibrantly colored book is beautiful!  (Yes, I love books, but, seriously, this one makes me feel rich just holding it in my hands.  And it takes both hands to hold it because it is big!)  It is $99.95.  There is a CD-Rom available for $79.95, but my favorite option is also the best value, the combo of both for $129.95.  I like having the book in my hands, and the flexibility to print the recipes and activities, with ease, from the download.  And… I get to offer you, my reader, a 15 % discount when you use coupon code TOScrew11 at checkout.

Growing Healthy Homes has other products you may be interested in:

Gentle Babies:  Essential Oils and Natural Remedies

Is There a Dr. Mom in Your House

The Raw Food Feast:  7 Days Through the Rainbow


Click Growing Healthy Homes logo, below, to follow their facebook page


Address –

P.O. Box 3154

Bartlesville, OK  74006

Telephone –


903.466.1564 (E. Texas)

832.298.1242 (S. Texas)


Growing  Healthy Homes – Nutrition 101:  Choosing Life! earns a 10 out of 10 Strawberries from our family.  We received the download and we have not completed it, yet.  Instead of printing and putting it into a large, cumbersome notebook, I am printing one unit at a time and putting each in a small, titled notebook.  I like it! and I have no doubt we will use it for years.


As always, you can find additional reviews, by my crew members, when you click on the TOS banner below.



This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.




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A Little Help from My Friends

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Okay, I’ll admit it – homeschooling my children can be absolutely exhausting.  There can be so much prep work:  per grade level, per subject, per student, besides teaching, grading and testing.  Don’t get me wrong – I love schooling my children at home, I’m just acknowledging the consumption of time and energy it often devours.  Which is why I have an appreciation for products and publications that help me cut a few corners and save a bunch of time.  Time that I much rather use on field trips and picnics, beach volleyball (P.E.) and the zoo.

Science Weekly is one such publication.  Published 15 times per year, twice per month (following an average school year) –  September, October, November, January, February, March and April, and once in December.  Science Weekly is an Earth Science, Life Science, Physical Science, or Technology supplement to your science curriculum.  It encompasses and enhances your child’s skills in science, math, reading and writing.



The publication we received for review is 17″ X 11″, printed on both sides, in an easy to read font with full color graphics.  It is folded in half; thereby making a four page 8 1/2″ X 11″  magazine, that can be hole-punched and placed in a notebook.  Each issue/topic is written to 6 different levels:

Pre A – Kindergarten

A – 1st grade

B – 2nd grade

C – 3rd grade

D – 4th grade

E – 5th/6th grade


Each of my children enjoyed having their own publication, tailored to their level.  There is more text, more in-depth activities and labs,  etc. as each level increases in difficulty.  The subject we received was The Flu.  I gave the Teaching Notes (TN), which cover every level, to one of my high-schoolers.  She was able to read the notes, gather common, household supplies for the lab sections, hand-out the individual magazines and proceed to teach this science lesson to 5 students.  She was able to easily do this because the information was already researched, correlated, and plainly written out in the Teaching Notes.  You could initially know nothing about a given topic and thoroughly teach it.

This graphic is the cover of the Science Weekly publication, Coral Reefs.  If you click on it, there is a FREE download of a sample issue of every level of Coral Reefs.  Check it out for yourself.


15 Topics available for 2010-2011, $19.95 per child, per year

  • Pulleys
  • Cats
  • The Flu
  • Glass
  • Fractions
  • Composting
  • The Science of Money
  • The Science of Movies
  • Scuba Diving
  • Poisonous Animals
  • Caves
  • Teeth
  • Deserts
  • Green Buildings
  • The Moon

You do the math…  I think it’s a good value and we’re already looking forward to studying the other subjects.



Science Weekly continues to develop their instructional tools.  They have a new interactive program with five topics available for 1st – 4th grade:

  1. Pyramids
  2. Living in Space
  3. Kites
  4. Hurricanes
  5. Dams


and printable coloring books. The interactive program is a great resource.  The layout is very similar to the printed publications, without the pencil and paperwork.


follow SciWeekly4Kids facebook



email –


Science Weekly

CAM Publishing Group, Inc.

attn. – Subscriptions

P.O. Box 70638

Chevy Chase, MD  20813-0638

telephone – toll free – 1.800.493.3559

or 301.680.8804



Many of my Crew Mates received different topics than I did.  You’ll want to read their reviews at the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog.





This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

Thank you for your continued encouragement.  I truly appreciate your comments.

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Wordless Wednesday

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A Milestone…


“He called a little child and had him stand among them.  And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.   “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.”    [Matthew 18:2-5]


Sweet Blessings,

*Photos are the property of  Knee Deep in Grace and may not be used without written permission.

Please, leave a comment.  I appreciate every one of them.
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Not Quite a Smile, but…

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A 6 word story contest.  In my post, A Story to Win?, I said I’d let you know if God smiles on me or another entry.  At the time, I meant whether I won or not.

I didn’t win this contest.  Katie won.  You can read her winning 6 word story at She Reads – along with the other top favorites.

Not quite a smile, but a definite grin!  Why?  Because, out of nearly 400 entries, mine was chosen as one of the top ten!  I cried.  Just a little.  =)  I’m amazed and encouraged.  I have so much to learn, and “miles to go before I sleep,”  but it would appear that God approves of the direction I’m headed.  I long to perfect walking in His will…


Sweet Blessings,


*miles to go… is a line from the poem – Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, by Robert Frost

Categories : blessings, Reading
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The Sound of Music

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I’ve always wanted to learn to play the piano and to read music. I haven’t, yet, but I will.  My mother was in her thirties, late in college, when she finally took a music course.

One of our daughter’s took piano lessons for several months, when she was 6 years old, and even had a recital.  The private lessons were reasonable, but still cost a bit.  It also took some time to drive to the lesson, wait during the lesson, and drive back home.  The more children we chose to have, the less feasible private lessons became.

KinderBach is the perfect answer for my young ones.  Karri Gregor is the author, illustrator and music educator of KinderBach.  “Necessity is the mother of invention.”  Karri wanted a music program for her young children and no one wanted to enroll them because they weren’t reading, yet.  As many homeschool parents would say, “the best thing to do is teach them yourself.”  She had the background; so, it wasn’t a far stretch for her to do just that.  Personally, I’m already stretching in other areas; so, I’m grateful she used her talents to put KinderBach together.


Click for website

Karri Gregor firmly believes that children do not have to be able to read to learn piano.  She teaches the notes on the piano and staff by characters rather than letters.


Click to Meet the Piano Pals


Bright, colorful, fun and engaging lessons.  More than piano, 3 – 7 years old are given a foundation in music with KinderBach

  • Music Theory
  • Note Reading
  • Rhythm
  • Music Vocabulary
  • Ear Training
  • Hand Position
  • ‘Do, Re, Mi’ Singing
  • and More

There are 6 levels (the 7th will soon be available) – 10 lessons each, 4 sessions in each lesson.  The Year Online Membership includes all of the web lessons, with 240 sessions, and downloaded PDF files of coordinating activity pages.






The best value is $7.99 a month for an annual subscription – billed in one payment of $95.88.  There are also DVD & CD packages available, which is great if you have a slow internet connection.  These start at $40.45 + s/h.  You’ll find that the KinderBach Shop has multiple discounts


a 30 Day Guarantee

KinderBach has a No-Hassle Return Policy for DVDs & CDs as well as a satisfaction goal for web members. There are no bad decisions with KinderBach. All Products carry a 30 day Money Back Guarantee. In addition, all of the disks have a lifetime replacement should any be damaged or broken for any reason. KinderBach wants you to be totally delighted with their product.



Click on the graphic (above) and it will take you to a full Curriculum Syllabus by Level and a quick click on the graphic (below) will give you FREE online lessons!



Please, take the time to follow the links I’ve provided, as KinderBach has an excellent web site and there’s so much information to share with you.  You won’t be disappointed.


It was a joy to use KinderBach for this review.  A big plus for my “littles” is the fact that you can use KinderBach Online with your  Wii, if you have one.  This made it so much easier for all of mine to see and do at the same time.  We don’t have a big TV, but it’s a whole lot bigger than our PC monitor!




Phone: 563-332-0587


Mail: KinderBach, P. O. Box 181, Le Claire, Iowa, 52753


Click for facebook


The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew has additional reviews of KinderBach on their blog:





This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.


Thank you…

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Learning is Fun!

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The truth is – if you want to find an online game, there are many out there to choose from.  But, there are few that will take your child to an online learning world of brain-boosting games.

Go Go Kabongo believes that kids learn best by learning to think.  Along the same lines that instead of just feeding the hungry – teach him to fish or plant and harvest.  Go Go Kabongo gets kids playing, thinking AND reading , because each game addresses a cognitive proficiency and then adapts to the child’s level.


Building cognitive skills ( the underlying brain skills that make it possible for us to think, remember and learn) are essential to reading and reading well.  Children, generally ages 4 – 7, use critical thinking and problem solving strategies to play in the Go Go Kabongo habitats.  Along the way they build and strengthen their natural abilities:

  • Attention and Focus
  • Memory
  • Successive and Simultaneous Processing
  • Visualization
  • Letter and Pattern Recognition
  • Planning
  • Phonics
  • Comprehension
  • Verbal Rehearsal
  • Spatial Awareness


Go Go Kabongo is a splendiferous world of surprises and zany new friends!  There are three habitats: 

Each habitat has three educational games with multiple levels.  You can try Laughter Lake, today, FREE.  Following an app-style fee format: there’s a one-time payment of $4.95 per learning habitat.  No subscription fee! And for a limited time, if you sign up for Twister Top – you’ll get Galaxy Gardens for FREE.

Kabongo tracks your child’s progress and reports to you each week!

Other resources available –

Activity Time “provides fun activities to extend the skills practiced in the online learning games.”

  1. Brain Play > Steps of a recipe
  2. Learning Crafts > Making a story
  3. Reading Time > Word up

Featured Articles “provide information and resources to help parents develop their children’s cognitive development and reading skills.”

  1. The Power of Play
  2. Is It a Reading Disorder or a Developmental Lag?
  3. Parent Proven Tips & More

Kabongo Blog – “News and promotions!  Find out more about cognitive development and get expert insights from the minds behind it all.”


The mission of the Go Go Kabongo developers is “to challenge kids to become better thinkers, inspiring self-confidence through the joy of play.”  Mission Accomplished with my young ones!  My kids say, “Learning is Fun! with Kabongo.”  It is worth noting that this program is still a “beta” program, meaning that occasionally there were technical wrinkles that Kabongo’s prompt support team worked to iron out.


Kabongo, Inc.

5801 Christie Ave., Suite 470

Emeryville, CA  94115



Click graphic for facebook


Many of my crew mates had a chance to use and review Go Go Kabongo, too.  You can read their opinions by clicking on the TOS banner below…



This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

I truly appreciate your comments.  Thank you.

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A Story to Win?

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She Reads is giving away a scholarship to Proverbs 31 Ministries’ ~   She Speaks Conference.


Click for facebook connection


She Speaks is not just another conference – it is a true experience with God and a revival in your calling!”  quoted “from Lysa’s (TerKeurst) heart

Contest entry – to tell a story in 6 words.

Ernest Hemingway did it and thought it the best writing of his career.

“For sale.  Baby shoes.  Never worn.”  [Ernest Hemingway]


Needless to say, I am not Hemingway, but…this is my story:

Silence split.  Gun cools.  Casket lowered.

Click to register.


Contest ends April 3rd, at midnight, but early bird conference tickets are still available through April 15th.

I’ll let you know if God smiles on me or another entry…


Abundant blessings,

Categories : Family
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The Hiding Place

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I was a teenager when I read, The Hiding Place, a 1971 book based on the life of Corrie Ten Boom, and written by her, together with John and Elizabeth Sherrill.  In 1975, The Hiding Place, one of the best movies of that year, had it’s premiere showing.  “In wartime Holland, the Ten Boom family quietly sheltered Jews in their small house – until Nazis discovered the “hiding place.”  This is the remarkable true story of Corrie and her sister Betsie’s endurance of the death camp, and their sure hope that God alone is the true hiding place.”


Psalm 119:114 “Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in Thy Word…”


This movie impacted my life. It has given me perspective on my own circumstances, time and again.  God has used The Hiding Place, and Corrie’s testimony to strengthen my faith.  My God is the same yesterday, today and forever.  He is faithful to see us through…


My children knew about this story, but because of the difficult subject matter, we hadn’t watched the movie, yet.  Zeezok Publishing has a z-guide to the Movies for The Hiding Place and more than 25 other movies.

Given a list of movies, with available z-guides and the option of choosing one for review – which of these do you think I chose?






























Which one will you choose, first?  Zeezok Publishing also sells the movies for your convenience, if you don’t already own the one you want; most are available online or at a local retailer, and many can be found through Netflix.



The Hiding Place- z-guide eBook is available for instant download or on CD, as a printable PDF file of the complete study guide.  Each z-guide to the Movies is $12.99.




Z-guides contain a topic overview, a movie synopsis and 10 learning activities. A suggested 2 activities a day.  Helping your student remember what the story is about and reinforcing the heart or message of the movie, throughout the week.  There is freedom to “pick and choose” the activities that fit your family and to alter the schedule to suit individual interests.


Our printed z-guide and a Netflix DVD


The activities for The Hiding Place were in-depth. 

  • Activity 1 –Movie Review Questions – 25 questions to be answered while watching the movie.
  • Activity 2 – More About German Concentration Camps – Using print and internet resources, answer the questions listed.
  • Activity 3 – Design Your Own Hiding Place – Answer questions about the Ten Boom’s hiding place, then design and draw to scale your own hiding place.
  • Activity 4 – Could You/Would You Hide Jews? – Discussion and essay writing.
  • Activity 5 – Working for the Resistance – Discussion and role playing.
  • Activity 6 – Crossword Puzzle – Answers to questions fill in the puzzle.
  • Activity 7 – World War II Map – Using print and internet to label a map of Europe.
  • Activity 8 – Surviving a Concentration Camp – Answer the questions listed.
  • Activity 9 – Concentration Camp Photos (2) – Observation, questions, discussion or writing.
  • Activity 10 – The Filmmaker’s Art – About the movie:  Theme, Music, etc.  Discussion and questions.

A “For Family Discussion” section made way for heart-talks.

?Would your family have disobeyed the German occupation government and helped the Jews?  Why or why not?

There is a list of additional resources and an answer key in the back of the book.  It is easy to see that a lot of time and effort has gone into creating a complete guide.

By making The Hiding Place a study, my children gained much more than I alone would have given them.  These are not ordinary movie guides. Zeezok believes that “it is better to build children than to repair men.”  It is their desire to help families build a foundation of love for God and country.  We say, ” Zeezok has Z best  z-guides for Z movies.”


You’ll also find literature and educational books under the Zeezok Publishing banner:








telephone – 800.749.1681



Zeezok Publishing Blog


Different Crew Members + Different Objectives + Different z-guides = Different Opinions and Reviews

To read what was written about your favorite, click on the TOS banner.



This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

I am not affiliated with Netflix or and I receive no compensation for references.


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