This blog is my attempt to document our busy but BLESSED lives raising and educating our children for His glory. A child of God, wife to one, and mom to 6 fabulous kids. We are in our 11th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Literature based approach.

Come along for the good, the bad & the ugly.



Friday, November 15, 2019

God's Mail, Volume 3 ~ a TOS review

Happy Friday friends! Another week is nearly done and we are inching towards the Christmas season. Today I am excited to share with you a devotion book that I have been reading from Ron Hardin called, God’s Mail Volume 3.

Mr. Hardin has penned three volumes of his God's Mail series that includes over 500 poems in total. Ron has a familiar story of being saved as a young boy but in his teenage and early twenties turning away from God. During this time he found himself wrapped up in the twisted world of gangs, alcohol, and drug activity. Then on Christmas Eve in 1983 he turned himself around and returned home and to the church.

As Ron worked to turn his life around he says he felt God encouraging him to write about the stories of his life. And that is just what this volume of God’s Mail is…a book of poems to tell the story of God’s truth and love for us, His people.

 “where the word of a king is, there is power”. ~ forward 
I received a Kindle edition of the book. It contains pages of original poetry written by Mr. Hardin. Each poem is accompanied with a page or two of scripture references for each poem. The format is the same , poem and then scriptures as you swipe to the right through the Kindle edition. The scripture comes from many different versions, The Message, NKJV, God’s Word Translation, and TLB. There is a softcover option of this book which is 8x11 and contains illustrated pages behind the poems and scripture.

I read through this Kindle book myself and I was pleased with it. Many of the topics discussed within the book are things that we can relate to in the world such as trust, abortion, forgiveness, and divorce and more. While I did appreciate the different scripture translations, I did find myself looking in my own personal Bibles, NIRV, to cross reference what was being said.




I am grateful for the opportunity to review this book. I think I would have enjoyed it more as a softcover. For me, it was hard to read on my iPad Kindle app. I am not sure that the Kindle edition of this book is something that I would recommend unless you absolutely love eBooks editions.

God's Mail: Volume 3 {God's Mail Reviews}

But, don’t just take my word for it. 24 of my CrewMates also reviewed this book in both softcover and Kindle editions. Be sure to check out their thoughts by clicking the banner below and decide for yourself if you would like to read it.

God's Mail: Volume 3 {God's Mail Reviews}

Company ~ God’s Mail 
 Format ~ Kindle version 
 Price ~ $9.99 
 Ages ~ older teens – adults

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© 2008 - 2019 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author.
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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Horses in History ~ a TOS review

Its no secret that we love to read in our house. The foundation of our school curriculum is literature so I could not turn down the chance to review the newest Mattie Richardson’s Horses in History Series from Author Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books. My animal-loving daughter, Montana was eager to read the 4 books in the series so let's get started.


Since she first penned her first book, Mattie Richardson has been called “North Dakota’s Teen Author”. She now has six books under her belt as she works full-time as a journalist. With her passion of horses, they became the focus of the newest book series she penned about the Horses in History.

These are the perfect books for 8-14 year old’s to get a first-hand look at the past. The Horses in History series tells about the importance of horses during certain historical time periods. The unique thing is that we hear the historical fiction not from man’s viewpoint, but from the horses point of view. We received the four book set along with the PDF of the brand new Day and Night Enrichment Guide for the Day and Night book.



Appaloosy is the first book that is set during 1887 during the Nez Perce War. With 125 pages it tells the story of a beautiful brown Apploosa stallion named Storm. The horse hates that he is living with the Indians and he has his sights on escaping and running free. During a battle between the Indians and White men storm is stolen and sold to a man who thinks he is no good. This man sells him to a girl named Faith, whose family lives on a small farm. Storm is content and happy to be with Faith but all that changes when he is stolen once again. After a while he is able to break free from his captures and has to make the choice of whether to run free or to return to Faith and her family.


Dusty Trail tells the story of young Levi Andersen and his horse Dusty. Dusty the horse is happy to stay on the quiet farm but Levi wants to join the Pony Express. When Levi has the chance to be a part of the Pony Express it is a dangerous job. Indian attack and Levi is captured by the Indians. Dusty has to decide if he will run away or be loyal and save his friend.


Set during the Civil War, brothers Tucker and Shiloh are the focus of the book Day and Night. The two horse brothers are just like the title says and different from day and night. Shiloh is stolen by a Confederate girl and Tucker is sold to the US Army. The brothers want nothing more than to see each other again through all the fighting.


Golden Sunrise tells the story of a Palomino mare named Cheyenne and her rider, Jared. This story tells how they defend the Alamo against Mexican fighters. Throughout their adventures in saving the Alamo, they meet famous people like Davy Crockett and James Bowie. Both fight to make it through the war to see the Texas flag fly.
Montana’s enjoyed reading the books. None of them took her more than a few days to finish and she enjoyed the fact that the books told historical facts as well. I can’t wait for McKenzie to be ready read these books on her own. I have added them to her list for summer reading.

Book Set: Appaloosy, Dusty's Trail, Golden Sunrise & Day and Night {Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books Reviews}
But don’t just take our word for it, 54 other Crew members reviewed these historical fiction books so be sure to click the banner below and check out their thoughts as well!

Book Set: Appaloosy, Dusty's Trail, Golden Sunrise & Day and Night {Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books Reviews}

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© 2008 - 2019 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author.

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Wordfull Wednesday ~ Qualified for Lv7 STATE


First Level 7 meet {11/10/19} for McKenzie and she qualified for the STATE meet and had a Personal Best on Floor with a 9.525 (4th place). Good job, baby girl!


© 2008 - 2019 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Your Amazing Name! ~ a TOS review

The holidays are fast approaching and today I have a great gift to share with you. Personalized gifts are always so much more meaningful so I was really excited to review the brand new Your Amazing Name - Personalized Adventures for EVERY name! from CrossTimber - Name Meaning Gifts with Micah.


What’s in a name? Do you know the meaning behind your name? Our little guy has a unique name, just like his older sisters. And just like his sisters he is called by a pseudonym, Micah, online. Because every name has a special meaning to it John and Katie Dehnart from CrossTimber are a small family business that researches the history and meaning behind names. They offer a huge selection of personalized gifts that highlight the meaning behind your name including:

 ~ 8x10 or 5x7 framed name meaning plaques  
~ Music boxes  
~ Coffee mugs  
~ The Names of God Plaques 



Micah received the newest product from CrossTimber, Your Amazing Name - Personalized Adventures for EVERY name! just a few weeks ago. This product is a video that not only showcases the origin and meaning of your child’s name but the video also features a piece of your child’s artwork. Your child’s name is shown on the video at least 20 times within the video. I really liked this as it gave ownership of the video to my son.


A personalized message from the parent or whoever sends the video is also included in this special gift. This personalized message really gives the sender the chance to tell the recipient just how special and loved they are as it is read in a sweet voice in the video. A Bible verse is also presented to your child in the video. One that you can pick out especially for your child.


Micah was so excited to see his personalized name video! When he saw his piece of artwork that he painted at our weekly coop and heard Benjamin the pencil say his name his was over the moon excited! The HD video is 28 minutes long and Micah was enthralled the whole time! He loved the story and all the fun animation characters as well. He especially loved seeing his name written in cursive because his older sisters write in cursive but he is still learning.



Your Amazing Name - Personalized Adventures for EVERY name! {CrossTimber - Name Meaning Gifts Reviews}

If you are looking for a special gift for someone during this upcoming holiday season for someone special on your list look no further than Your Amazing Name — Personalized Adventures for EVERY name!. Be sure to check out what my CrewMates think of this special gift by clicking the banner below.

Your Amazing Name - Personalized Adventures for EVERY name! {CrossTimber - Name Meaning Gifts Reviews}
Format ~ HD video, 28 minutes long
 Price ~ Digital Delivery: $59.00, on sale for $39.00 
 Ages ~ everyone

Amazing Names by CrossTimber
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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Wordless Wednesday




© 2008 - 2019 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author.     

Goldstown Beginnings Series ~ a TOS review


Micah is now a Cub Scout Lion and he just went on his very first overnight camping expedition in October. We just received a new set of books, Jem Strikes Gold and Jem’s Frog Fiasco a few weeks ago that he has been loving me to read-aloud to him during our evening reading time. Every night Micah and I have been reading through the first two books in the Goldtown Beginnings Series published by Kregel Publications.

Kregel Publications was started in 1949 as part of Kregel, Inc. With over 1,000 titles in their catalog they have everything from fiction, ministry, to Christian living. With a mission to develop and distribute trusted, biblical based resources to lead people to Jesus Christ. The newest books are the Goldtown Beginnings Series, from Susan K. Marlow.


The Goldtown Beginnings tells the story of Jem Coulter and his family. The books are set in 1859, Goldtown, California as they pan for gold alongside Cripple Creek. In Jem Strikes Gold, 7-year old Jem Coulter’s Pa is panning for gold while Mama bakes pies.


In the next book, Jem’s Frog Fiasco Jem needs to buy food for his trusty dog, Gold Nugget. In the mist of his tasks to trying to find a way to feed his dog, Jem’s little sister Ellie turns up missing. Can they find her before it’s too late?!

Jem Strikes Gold & Jem's Frog Fiasco  {Kregel Publications Reviews}
We have enjoyed reading these books together. I can’t wait to read the next installment of the series. Be sure to check out what my CrewMates think by clicking the banner below.

Jem Strikes Gold & Jem's Frog Fiasco  {Kregel Publications Reviews}
 Product ~ Jem Strikes Gold and Jem's Frog Fiasco  
 Format ~ paperback 
 Price ~ $5.99 each 
 Ages ~ 6-9 years old

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Friday, November 1, 2019

Calvert Homeschool Online ~ a TOS review

About six weeks into our new homeschool year I felt as if I were drowning. Things were not going as planned and I felt like we were falling behind each and every day. Like throw me a life vest because I can’t even tread water anymore. That’s about the time that I saw that Calvert Homeschool Online was going to be offered for review. After checking into the program I knew I needed to get on this review to use specifically with Mikayla, my Junior.  Calvert Homeschool gave us 6 months of access to their full line of courses for three students.


Calvert Homeschool Online is an online curriculum that offers individual and family plans for grades 3-12. While my focus was for Mikayla, I did have Montana, 7th grade, and McKenzie, 4th grade, sign up for an account as well. I have Mikayla enrolled in Physics, Economics, and Government, while Montana and McKenzie each did grade level science courses.


There are placement tests for those needing help selecting the best fit for courses. Your student is able to work at or below grade level which is a nice feature and the amount of courses to choose from is a great variety.



Getting started was relatively easy once I received my log in information. I simply signed up for an account and then created student accounts for the girls. To get the program running I had to select start and end dates as well as how many days the courses would be used. There are several options for the parent to select as far as how tests and quizzes are handled and how much feedback is supplied to the student.


The parent dashboard is the hub of the program where you can track everything from grades to assignments. You can also conveniently reschedule assignments to another day if needed. Everything you need is at your fingertips to see how your child is progressing.


I have always been curious about Calvert Homeschool since I have heard their name in homeschool circles for years.  When they offered their Calvert Homeschool Online program with access to all the courses, I knew I wanted to check it out to help supplement her online studies. Mikayla was my main focus for this review because she was struggling to keep up with her online physics course. I wanted her to see the physics presented in a different way and I am happy to say that the Calvert approach is working for Physics and Government. The ability to have the material read to her as she follows along helps her tremendously. There are several different voices to choose from. She enjoyed picking the voice to be read to her in a British accent.  The ability to have the material read aloud is also my favorite feature of the program.



She is now back on track with her courses and I owe that to Calvert for giving the extra support and different teaching style. The fact that it is portable is another huge plus for us! We were able to take her school work on the go so she could work on it while at the gym or on the way to physical therapy. Montana and McKenzie did not mesh well with this program. But that’s OK! They are very much book learners so this was not a good fit for them.

Calvert Homeschool Online {Calvert Homeschool Reviews}
Overall, Mikayla will continue to use the program for the rest of our subscription to help her in Physics and Government. Be sure to read the other reviews from my CrewMates to see if this would be a good fit for your family and students by clicking the banner below.

Calvert Homeschool Online {Calvert Homeschool Reviews}

Price ~ Family plan $ 
Ages ~3rd-12th grades


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© 2008 - 2019 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author.     
 http://astablebeginning.com