Thursday, September 29, 2016

A TOS Review: Heirloom Audio Productions

Heirloom Audio Productions ~Cat of Bubastes

Every time an audio book from GA Henty comes up for review fro The Old Schoolhouse, the kids and I are hoping and hoping that we get picked. I've honestly lost count of how many stories Heirloom Audio Productions has sent us to review, but I've yet to receive one that we didn't absolutely love. The Cat of Bubastes was as great as we expected, and then some.

Heirloom Audio Productions ~Cat of Bubastes

The story follows a young Prince named Amuba and his faithful servant Jethro through the greatest ordeal and adventure of their lives: kidnapped by Egyptians, forced into servitude, befriended by the children of the high priest to the goddess Osiris, and then sent on the run as fugitives to protect their new friend. All along the way,  Amuba must learn what it truly means to put his trust in the one true God when encountering great trials. The Cat, from which the title comes, is a small but essential character to the story's entire plot. This, and many more moments, give us insight into ancient religions, pagan worship, and the struggle in which many who encounter the Lord find themselves in.

The production is exciting, leaving you on the edge of your seat just waiting to see what happens next. Some of the stories we've had would have moments of loud scenes and eerie noises that upset our 3 year old, but this one never had him running to my lap. While it kept his attention and was exciting for us all, there were no frightening parts (or he's just gotten a little braver!)

Heirloom Audio does such a wonderful job drawing you in, I can't imagine having a movie be any more well done. Many famous people lend their voices to this production, I'm sure you'll recognize a few:
  • Jonathan Rhys-Davies (Lord of the Rings)
  • Elizabeth Counsell (The Chronocles of Narnia)
  • Brian Blessed (Star Wars)
And that's just to name a few!

We were sent more than just the audio book for review. Heirloom Audio also sent us the following:

  • The Cat of Bubastes Mp3 download 
  • The Cat of Bubastes eBook (original GA Henry publication with updated illustrations)
  • Printable cast poster 
  • Printable verse poster 
  • Mp3 soundtrack (So cool!)
  • Live the Adventure newsletter
  • Study guide with nearly 50 pages of learning material
  • Behind the scenes video (if you have a child interested in movies or audio production, this is a very neat look at what goes into putting together a project of this size)
Heirloom Audio Productions ~Cat of Bubastes

The Study Guide was a pdf format, not the hard copy. They do have both, however on their website. When using the study guide, you will be amazed at all of the educational material, biblical and historical topics that you can touch on. The guide is broken down into these sections:
  • Listening Well
  • Thinking Further
  • Defining Words
It also offers a breakdown of a listening schedule with daily questions and discussion starters, as well as some in-depth bible topics. There are many ways to incorporate this into your homeschool day, and it will be a great experience for the entire family! Believe me, with a family that has a large span of ages, we didn't have any trouble finding learning opportunities for everyone. This study guide and audio book experience will not disappoint!

To follow Heirloom Audio on social media platforms, go to any of these links:
Want to see what other reviewers thought of The Cat of Bubastes? Just click right here!

Heirloom Audio Productions ~Cat of Bubastes

Crew Disclaimer

Saturday, September 24, 2016


Do you watch the news regularly? Does it bother you as much as it does me that it is constantly filled with negativity and strife? Does it leave you feeling frustrated and challenged? I have had enough of the division the media tries to make in our country. I am tired of politics and riots and violence. But I have a hope. Within these walls, with these little warriors we are raising, we have the tough talks. We let them see some, not all, of the broadcasts. We talk about this hurting world. And it all comes back to Christ. The only thing that will help and heal our broken world is the love and blood of Jesus. And we are teaching them that they are the ones who will be the messengers. They must be bold to speak out for the outcast. To not judge others. To love unconditionally. To be a light in this dark, dark world. It's not easy, and I know I fail at this constantly. But I keep trying. And I pray.

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” -Mark Twain

Tonight I am praying for our country and all the people who choose to believe half formed reports before FACTS can truly be stated. When will we hold the media accountable for inciting such violence in our country? And when will we as a nation come together to demand fair, unbiased, fact-covering journalism?? And when will we let Christ unite instead of letting the enemy divide?? I've been so disappointed in some Christians who jump to conclusions and spread hate with their words rather than letting the Spirit lead.

People, I beg you, be responsible with what you post. Especially as a Christian, I do not want to be responsible for putting inaccurate information out there that will harm people. #lovefirst.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A TOS Review: The Pray-ers

The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles

As Christians, as warriors of the faith, we have the greatest weapon and defense mechanism all rolled into one at our constant disposal, and yet many of us never learn to wield it. That weapon is prayer. In his first ever novel, published by CTM Publishing Atlanta, Mark S. Mirza takes us deep into the spiritual realm and through the ages to show us just how powerful prayer can be. The Pray-ers/Book 1 Troubles will challenge the way you think about your personal prayer life and what is going on behind the scenes, beyond what we see with our mortal eyes.

The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles

Mark is the founder of Common Thread Ministries and is devoted to help churches and individuals grow in their prayer lives personally and corporately. He has been affiliated with Dr. Charles Stanley's prayer ministries and has devoted his life to teaching others about prayer. This is his first novel.

The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles

"Troubles" takes you on a journey through time through the eyes of the enemies' minions - demons. These soldiers for evil have constantly been trying to thwart the Holy One since the beginning of their fall from grace. We meet katepa, joln and hoadtie and learn about their battles and schemes to take captive the human heart. It is a unique perspective to see just how the enemy could be lurking nearby at anytime. But where demons dwell for mayhem, the Lord will send his angels as well. The angel Hael has a very special assignment on Earth, and he reports directly to the Holy One.

We travel through three different time periods and meet three very different men while learning about their ability to use prayer to be victorious for the Lord. In the time of the early Church, we meet Epaphrus. He has struggles to keep his flock focused on the Lord's word, to not let gossip and false teaching tear them apart at the very beginning of this ministry. During the American Civil War and the twenty plus years after, we follow Alexander Rich, a traveling northern minister called to serve God in the South, who is also a close personal friend to famed preacher DL Moody. In the modern age, we learn about Dale Riley, a cross country coach at Macon PolyTechnic University, and his struggles in his marriage and leadership role in a men's prayer group. All three men are targets of the enemy because of their ability to use prayer as a mighty weapon and their desire to teach others to do the same. But as we Christians know, the battles may not all be ours, but we know Who wins in the end.

The book is definitely not a light read. I will admit to not finishing the book yet. It is very in depth and detailed, and I found myself taking a much longer time to read this than most books I pick up. While it is a fictional base, the reality of the spiritual battles surrounding us daily definitely took me to deeper thought. I would be surprised to find I'd only read 10 or 12 pages in a sitting because I'd been so engrossed in the scripture references. I do hope to finish the book, but I know it will be one I take more time on than just a typical novel.

It is definitely worth noting that I would not have my children read this book. While my teenagers are familiar with scripture pertaining to spiritual warfare, I don't believe this is the way I want to introduce them to demons. While I appreciate the prayer tools I am learning through this read and will likely share them with my kids, I believe this is an adult novel with content over and above the heads of teens.

On an editing note, I found myself frustrated by the many typos, grammatical errors and run on sentences I encountered throughout the book. I do think this probably hindered the speed in which I was reading as much as the content of the story.

Overall, I am looking forward to finishing the book. I know that it holds great insights into strengthening my own prayer life, and I am sure many will benefit from the read.

Take time to follow these social media links for more information:
To see what other TOS Reviewers thought of the novel, click here for more reviews:
The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles

Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Cadie Bug!

This little baby girl is going to be a big sister in less than a month! Oh, my, the changes that are coming! She is going to love her baby, but, I will work hard to let her stay a baby a little longer, too.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

My Baby Turns 15...

This is crazy, y'all...I mean seriously! Wasn't this just yesterday?!?

Now I'm sitting at the DMV, waiting for this baby of mine to get his learner's permit...I don't know how to process this. You hear it all the time - it goes so fast...and it really does. It terrifies me at times to think that I only have 3 years left to have a daily influence on this man-child...have I done enough? Have I prepared him adequately? Is he ready for more responsibility? Can I please stop the clock? 

Kelly smiles at me and takes it all in stride. He trusts we are doing our jobs as parents to the best of our ability and that God will honor that. He is fully prepared to say, "Go, my boy. We have given you the tools to succeed. Now it's up to you." I want that kind of faith and confidence.

Every day, I look at him and see him changing. His looks, his walk, his voice, his attitude. I'm proud of who he is becoming. I'm trusting that God will water those seeds we have planted and that Connor will continue to grow in his walk with the Lord. He's still a kid, but those glimpses of the man he is to be fills my heart to bursting.

This is what I wrote this morning on Facebook:

"Fifteen....fifteen!!?! Robert Connor, this day is a tough one. I'm so thankful that you are the one who made me a mama, and you hold a special place in my heart for now and always. I pray every day that you seek the Lord in all you do, trust Him to guide and direct you, and honor Him with your deeds. This growing up thing isn't always the easiest thing in the world, and watching you work through some struggles has nearly broken my heart...but I've been amazed at the strength and convictions you have gained through them. I love your steadfastness in standing up for what you believe in. I love that you don't follow the crowd, even when it costs you, and that you choose paths that I'd never expect you to take. We don't always see eye to eye, and it's not always fun to disagree, but I am always proud of your decisions because it shows me that you will never be easily swayed by this world. I love you to the moon, my sweet boy. I hope today is all you are hoping for!!"

Yep. That about sums it up. He was my first experience of my heart walking outside of me. I've never been the same, and I'm so thankful.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

First Day of Co-op 2016

We started our 10th year of Lighthouse Christian Academy yesterday. What a ride it has been! There are times when this homeschool journey can be so tough that I feel like I'm failing at every turn. That is when I am so thankful for this amazing group of families that the Lord brought into my life. We love, support, laugh and cry together. We teach our children and each others', and we are fully invested in the growth of these young people for His glory. Is it perfect? No, of course not! We are humans, fallible, and messy. But we are dependent on the Lord to help us and guide us.

Proverbs 27:17 "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."

The year is full of promise, and I'm excited for what is to come! I can only hope these smiles will stay this bright all year! LOL!

Pre B

3rd grade
7th grade

8th grade

This isn't happening! 10th grade!!!