Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Hurricanes Unit Study On Sale!

As we approach hurricane season and the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, use this fabulous lapbook to help your students understand what hurricanes are, how they form and the destruction they can cause.  Normally $5, on sale for $2.50 until August 31!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Flyby Review: Patterns of Evidence Exodus DVD

It is good that there are documentaries about archaeological finds, because I would be far too lazy to ever become one of those archaeologists and painstakingly dig and sift through all that dirt myself, but I am positively fascinated by what they find.

Now, of course, we are getting closer to the beginning of school, and being an educational documentary, this DVD did not get quite the reception from my kids as the TobyMac CD did.  Sorry, Patterns of Evidence, TobyMac is tough competition!

Don't let their faces fool you, though, this is a well-done documentary that held our attention while it revealed amazing and fascinating information.  The only problem is that it was just, well, you know, educational.  Sorry, kids, it's getting to be that time of year again!

Patterns of Evidence Exodus deals with one of the most controversial and fundamental questions of recent decades: Does my faith hold up in the face of mounting scientific evidence, and if not, do I still believe?  You and I have both heard the same explanations since we were children: "Well, the Bible is not meant to be a document containing cold, hard facts.  What is important is the teachings."  I reject that whole-heartedly.  It's either true or it's not.  If the writers of the Bible made up a bunch of fairy tales and based a religion on them, I wouldn't be following them.

The other explanation that I totally reject is that God did not leave evidence because He wants us to believe based on blind faith.  "If you had too much evidence, where would your faith come in?"  Right?  There is nothing blind about faith.  Faith is "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."  For it to be real faith, there must be substance to it.

Think of it this way.  I have faith in my husband, that he will not cheat on me.  Why?  Because he's my husband?  Because if I believe he won't cheat, then he won't cheat?  If my husband was openly cheating, my refusing to believe that fact would not make it any less true.  In fact, I'd probably be regarded as foolish.  The fact is, I believe - no, I know - that my husband is faithful to me for a myriad of reasons that have built the trust over time.  He has always been faithful, I know that what he believes requires him to be faithful, I know his character, he has mades promises to be faithful and he has never broken his promises to me, and I have no reason to believe he is not being faithful.  If any one of those things changed, I would have to re-evaluate and determine whether or not he was still worthy of my trust.  But as long as he has my trust, I do not suspect him of being unfaithful when he is not with me, even though I do not see what he is doing every minute of every day.  He has my trust.  I have faith in him.

Now, should God have to prove Himself to us, being that He is, after all, God?  Of course not.  Having faith, theoretically, should be enough.  God knows, however, that we are human and fallible, and without having evidence of Him, we could have faith in Him but just as easily have faith in other religions, in other gods, and in leprechauns at the ends of rainbows.  He gives us scientific and historical evidence not because He has anything to prove, but so that we know Who to believe.

In addition, if God does exist and the stories in the Bible did happen, then by the laws of cause-and-effect, physical evidence should exist.  That's just the way He created the world.

The Apostles and members of the early church did not follow Christ by blind faith.  In fact, Paul and the other Apostles spent much of their time proving that Jesus was the Messiah that had been prophesied, and that He was physically raised from the dead, in order to defend their faith.  Paul said in his letter to the Corinthians:  "if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. . . . If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied."  (I Cor 15: 17, 19 NIV)

In Acts 2:22, Peter said, "Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know."

In John 15:24, speaking of people who refused to follow Him, Jesus said, "If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin."

I have been raised in the Church and have been a Christian for a long time.  I do not plan to let any scientific evidence shake my faith in God.  I do, however, believe that God and the Bible will certainly stand up to any amount of questioning, and I think it is important to look at scientific evidence for the benefit of those to whom we witness and for our children.  Children hear Bible stories when they are little, and as they grow older, they hear all kinds of "scientific evidence" refuting those stories.  No wonder so many leave their faith behind when they go off to college.  Want to hear something surprising?  The more I study "scientific evidence," the more I find that it supports the Bible rather than refuting it.  

As Tim Mahoney says in Patterns of Evidence Exodus, the goal of both science and faith should be to find The Truth.  When they both find The Truth, they will be in complete agreement.

In the past I have studied and written about the scientific evidence surrounding the story of Creation and the Flood.  Patterns of Evidence Exodus, as the name implies, delves into the archaeological evidence surrounding the Israelites' arrival in Egypt, their rapid multiplication, their slavery by the Egyptians, the Plagues, and ultimately, their Exodus from Egypt and the collapse of Egyptian civilization that ensued, along with their conquests in Canaan.  Many scholars say there is no archaeological evidence to support these stories.  What is even more shocking to me is that there are so many Christians and Jews who believe that these events did not happen, yet they say it does not matter and that they still have "faith."  How can it not matter?  What would you say if I told you I was waiting for Prince Charming to come carry me off to his castle in the clouds, even though I believed that the story of Snow White was a fairy tale that never really happened?  How can you base a faith on something that you do not believe is true?

Tim Mahoney describes his own journey through his crisis in faith.  He was raised as a Christian and believed the Bible to be true, but wondered how he could continue to believe if it was proven not to be true.  Would "faith" be enough?  Rather than turn a blind eye to the facts, he decided to go to great lengths to investigate to their conclusion.  Based on advice he had been given, he decided to present the facts he discovered on both sides of the debate in this documentary, so that the audience could make an educated decision.  What he found was astonishing.

Whether you are homeschooling or not, if you want your children to learn how to strengthen their faith by thinking for themselves and evaluating the evidence, or if you want to do so yourself, you need to include Patterns of Evidence Exodus in your curriculum for the upcoming school year.  If you do not believe the Bible is true and literal or if you are not sure, this would also be an excellent DVD for you.  I highly recommend it.

To get you started, we are having a giveaway for a copy of Patterns of Evidence Exodus!  Leave a comment here or on my Facebook page.  Do you believe the Bible is literally true or that it is just a collection of stories?  I will draw for a winner next Friday, August 14.
About Patterns of Evidence Exodus:For more than 50 years, the vast majority of the world's most prominent archaeologists and historians have proclaimed that there is no hard evidence to support the Exodus story found in the Bible.  In fact, they say that the archaeological record is completely opposed to the Bible's account.  This view of extreme skepticism has spread from academia to the world.  The case against the Exodus appears to be so strong that even some religious leaders are labeling this ancient account as historical fiction.  Filmmaker Timothy Mahoney begins with the questions, "Is the Bible just a myth, or did the archaeologists get it wrong?"  He decides to tackle this issue with a deliberate scientific approach.   After examining the details in the biblical text, he journeys across the globe to search for patterns of evidence firsthand.  The result is the most in-depth archaeological investigation into the Exodus from Egypt ever captured on film.   This scientific documentary's goal is to communicate the TRUTH of the Bible and help equip believers with defending their faith and the Bible.   
The DVD features stunning animations and a cast including narrator, Kevin Sorbo (God's Not Dead, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys), interviews with leading archaeologists including Israel Finkelstein, Kent Weeks, and David Rohl, and guest appearances by Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu and Shimon Peres. 
Releases on DVD August 4, 2015  Run Time:  119 minutes  Special Features:  Cast Profiles & 17 Extra Interviews  Documentary Rating:  NR 

Twitter:  @PattofEvidence
Official Website:
Official Website to Purchase:
Blog featuring interviews with director Tim Mahoney and an article by Anne Graham Lotz:
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 a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Flyby Review: Toby Mac "This Is Not A Test"

Anybody know what day it is?

No, Silly!  It's not Wednesday!

Today is August 7, the day of the release of Toby Mac's "This Is Not A Test"!!!!

As far as my kids are concerned, one of the great perks of Mom writing is that we get some CDs and DVDs before the release date to review.  As much as I've raved about any product before, however, I have to say that this was, without a doubt, my kids' favorite product that we've gotten to preview before release.  We got it while my older daughter and son were at camp.  After my younger daughter finished squealing with delight, we went to pick up the kids at camp, and the first thing she said to her older sister when she saw her was, "MOM GOT THE NEW TOBYMAC ALBUM TO REVIEW BEFORE THE RELEASE DATE!!!!"  And then they both squealed.

From my son's Facebook page two days ago:

"Already have it. . . thanks Mom!"

So, yeah, this one most definitely gets a 5 out of 5 stars!

After all the hype building up the album, TobyMac did not disappoint.  The kids were immediately singing along with "Beyond Me," which was pre-released as a single and has been on the radio for a while.  The album also includes a great remix of that song.  Then there's "Love Feels Like," which features DC Talk.  I grew up about an hour outside of Washington, DC, and heard DC Talk at events there before they were ever popular nationwide.  They've been one of my favorites since I was a teenager, so hearing them together again on this song was thrilling!

My younger son's favorite is "Backseat Driver," featuring Hollyn and TobyMac's son, TruDog - is he really old enough to drive??  The kids also seemed to love "Like A Match" - well, it's hard to pick a favorite.  They loved the entire album and have been listening to it non-stop!  

My favorite song on the album is "Undeniable."  I love the line, "From the hymns that my daddy sang, I know I was made to glorify Your Name."  This man has not rejected the hymns with which he was raised and that are such a rich part of our Christian life and history, but he has embraced them while also pioneering the cutting edge of Christian contemporary music for several decades. 

TobyMac is one of the rare artists that has stood the test of time.  He came on the scene when he and Christian contemporary music were young, and he and the other members of DC Talk extended the world of CCM to include the popular beat-box rap of the 80s.  With each album, as a part of DC Talk or on his own, he has been able to keep his style fresh and new without discarding the elements that made him popular in the first place.  And while I will never "judge" an artist's heart for good or bad in a review - because none of us have any idea what is going on inside anyone else's heart - his lyrics speak of a man who strives to follow after God with his whole heart.

So, don't waste any more time reading this review!  Go get this album!

Unless, of course, you want to try for a free copy!  As usual, Flyby is giving away copies of this terrific album.  To enter to win, I just want to know one thing from you:  Have you been a fan since the glory days of DC Talk (80s and 90s), were you introduced to TobyMac after he went solo, or is today the first time you've ever heard of him?  Comment here or on my Facebook page for your chance to win!  Drawing will be held next Friday, August 14.

About TOBYMAC:Toby McKeehan(known professionally as TobyMac) is a husband, father, performer, songwriter, producer, and businessman.  Growing up in the northern Virginia suburbs adjacent to Washington D.C. helped instill his love for rap music.  While attending Liberty University during the mid 80s, Toby met Michael Tait and Kevin Max Smith and these three friends formed the Grammy winning, platinum selling group dc Talk.  Toby began his solo career in 1999 with his first solo album, Momentum, releasing in 2001.  Momentum has been followed by four additional studio albums, Welcome to Diverse City (2004), Portable Sounds (2007), Tonight (2010), and Eye On It (2012), along with his first live album, Alive and Transported (2008).  This Is Not A Test is his 6th studio album to be released.  Starting with dc Talk, and then going solo when the group disbanded, Toby still clings to such rootsy notions as hard work, persistence, patience, and - perhaps most relevant of all - the power of music, which he insists is still what keeps him going.  "It's the truth," he says.  "I still believe that a song can penetrate a heart.  I believe God can use a song to open someone's mind and heart."    
This Is Not A Test  (Deluxe Edition) Songs: 1. Like a Match
2. Backseat Driver (featuring Hollyn & TRU)
3. This Is Not a Test (featuring Capital Kings)
4. Lights Shine Bright (featuring Hollyn)
5. Til the Day I Die (featuring NF)
6. Feel It (featuring Mr. Talkbox)
7. Move (Keep Walkin')
8. Love Broke Thru
9. Beyond Me
10. Love Feels Like (featuring dc Talk)
11. Undeniable
12. Lift You Up (featuring Ryan Stevenson)
13. Fall
14. Beyond Me (Phenomenon Remix)
15. Like a Match (Garcia's Remix)

S O C I A L • C O R N E R
YOUTUBE CHANNEL - Includes a 3 part video series for the song Feel It (see link on the Feel It giveaway below) 
FEEL IT GIVEAWAY (Feel It will be the 2nd single released from the new album.)

"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 a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Monday, August 3, 2015

Practically Perfect Pumpkins FREE at Schoolin' Swag!

Facebook group Schoolin' Swag just hit 4,000 MEMBERS over the weekend!

To celebrate, they are hosting GIVEAWAYS!!!

Giveaways are going on all day.  In addition to the chance to win so many great prizes, everyone in the group may download my Practically Perfect Pumpkins Mini-Lapbook and Unit Study! (Newsletter signup required.)

Only TODAY, sign up for the KBC Knewsletter and receive a coupon for $5 off any ebook, AND the Practically Perfect Pumpkins Mini-Lapbook and Unit Study!
This mini-lapbook has previously only been available on Kindle.  It was the most popular Kindle freebie we have ever had.  Soon, the mini-lapbook will be offered in the KBC Store.  Take this opportunity to get the $5 eBook FREE before it is even posted in our store!

So head on over to Schoolin' Swag on Facebook!

Happy Lapbooking!  :-)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Flyby Review: Living Hope CD from Pizza Ranch

Well, I am just loving doing this review!!  One of my favorite quotes is one by C.S. Lewis:  "We don't need more people writing 'Christian books,' what we need is more Christians writing good books."  I have always thought that idea was applicable in any profession.  You do not have to be a preacher or a missionary to minister for Christ.  What God wants is Christians in every profession, being salt and light to the world.

This is the idea behind Pizza Ranch:
Adrie Groeneweg had a dream that started in Hull, IA, in 1981, when he was just 19 years old.  It was simple.  Why does everyone have to drive out of town to get a pizza?  With just six specialty and single topping pizza recipes developed by Adrie's mother, Lorraine, Pizza Ranch was born.  Pizza Ranch's vision and mission is to glorify God by positively impacting the world and to give every guest a legendary experience.  They have 190+ locations across 13 states including Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado. 
Excellence in business in order to honor God - that is something we could use more of in this world!

Unfortunately, I live in North Carolina and have not had chance to sample Pizza Ranch's wares (although if I vacation in one of those areas, I will seek one out)!  What I did get a chance to sample is the album Living Hope, which was released by Pizza Ranch on June 2, 2015.  The album contains twelve songs from many of Pizza Ranch's favorite Christian artists.  Most of the songs, centering around the theme of hope, were written especially for this album!  This is just one more way for this business to reach out to the world around them, spreading hope and the Gospel.

The name "Living Hope" comes from I Peter 1:3 -
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
It has been one of my favorite verses since I sang in a group by the same name in college.  The album gets a 5-out-of-5-star rating from me, containing Michael W. Smith and some of my other favorite artists.  It's fantastic music for a family road trip or to just worship God as you are driving to work.

The CD will be available to purchase for $5 plus tax exclusively in Pizza Ranch restaurants or for download at through August 31.

From Adrie Groeneweg, President & CEO of Pizza Ranch, Inc.:
This album has a very special meaning for Pizza Ranch.  Although Pizza Ranch is not in the music business, many things have been happening, conversations have been taking place and doors have been opening for this album.  Through these events, I believe it was obvious that God has been behind this for His specific purpose and putting it on our hearts to collectively create this project.  As such, we call this our miracle album, Living Hope.
Of course, I could not leave you without some "hope" of winning this album yourself!  Comment here or on my Facebook page with the name of your favorite Christian contemporary singer or group by August 3 for a chance to win the CD!  If you don't know any, just comment, "I don't have a favorite," and perhaps you will win and find a favorite on this album!


Twitter:  @PizzaRanch @PRServes

YouTube Channel (features images and videos of the artists talking about the story behind each song):

Press Release with additional information about the Living Hope CD project:

Songs included:

Francesca Battistelli - Future
Colton Dixon - Blind
Phil Wickham - My All in All
Ellie Holcomb - Hold Onto Hope
Passion Worship Band - Savior's Arms
Mark Schultz - Overcome the World
Kevin Max - Panic Button
Michael W. Smith - Hope of Heaven
Laura Story - Till I Met You
Bart Millard - A Little Hope
Sidewalk Prophets - What Are You Waiting For
Matthew West - Day One (Acoustic Version)

Happy listening!  :-)

"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 a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Another Christmas in July FREEBIE and a Co-op Special!

How many of you are celebrating Christmas in July??  Actually, I am not.  My husband has strict rules about letting Christmas get out of December - ha ha!  But it is a fantastic time to stock up on some Christmas curriculum!  Here is this week's Kindle Freebie from Knowledge Box Central!

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Click image above for Kindle Freebie!

And don't miss out on the co-op special going on, either!

From now until August 2nd, Knowledge Box Central will be running our CO-OP Licenses & Bundles on sale for 50% off. An even better part to this is that if a license is bought to go WITH a bundle, the license will apply to ALL products within that bundle!! That is a HUGE deal for CO-OPs wanting to use more than one of our products this year! This is not something we have ever done before and we are hoping it will be a big help to CO-OPs who enjoy our products! 
And if you are homeschooling in the Winston-Salem area, contact me if you'd like me to come teach any of these classes for your co-op!

Click here to see sale prices!

Happy Homeschooling!  :-)