Sunday, October 19, 2014

All American 15-1/2qt. Pressure Cooker/Canner GIVEAWAY

Having prepared food on hand is such a lifesaver. I'm a firm believer in having a few extra meals in the freezer ready to pop in the oven in a pinch or give to a family going through a hard time. Along with freezer cooking, canning is another way to have healthy, homemade food ready to go. From green beans to peach pie filling, the canning options are endless!!

What better way to dive into canning than with a FREE Pressure Cooker/Canner???

Why Pressure Can?

Pressure Canning kills more germs and bacteria than water bath canning. A water bath canner can only get foods as hot as boiling water, which is 212 degrees. But a pressure canner can get foods up to 240 degrees, which is necessary for safely canning non-acid food like meats and beans.

Getting Started Guide

Ball Getting Started Canning Site, with videos and canning instructions.

How To Use A Pressure Canner

Instruction Manual

Here is the link to the All American Pressure Cooker/Canner Instruction Manual

Click Here!

The Giveaway




Valued at $336.00!!

How Many Winners

There will be just one winner.


Begins - October 19th at 5am MDT ( 7am EST )

Ends - October 25th at 5pm MDT (7pm EST )


To enter you must be at least 18 years old, and are a resident of the United States of America.

Winner Notification

The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If we do not hear back from said winner in the designated time period of 24 hours we will choose another winner and they will have 24 hours to respond from the time the notification email is sent. Please check your SPAM email folders.

Comment Below

Please Comment Below telling us why you would like to have an All American Pressure Cooker Giveaway.

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Some Good Canning Books You May Like

Friday, October 17, 2014

Apologia's iWitness Book Series - Uncover the Truth! {a Crew Review}

As a Christian family, both Dad and I receive a lot of biblical questions from the kids. I’ve been asked everything from, “Did God make my cheese stick?” to “Where was the Garden of Eden?” . Some  questions are easy to answer, some, not so much. I am so thankful for companies like Apologia Educational Ministries who produce such helpful materials like the iWitness books. The three books, New Testament iWitness, Old Testament iWitness and iWitness Biblical Archaeology, are full of visually pleasing pages containing biblical truths. Having the right answers to the kids’ questions, whether they are two years old or a teenager, is imperative to creating and maintaining a Christian worldview. The books are at about an 11 year old reading level but make great read alouds.

I cannot convey the excitement that welled up within me as I opened the package from Apologia containing these books! I quickly scanned the pages and was immediately impressed. The pages don’t have your usual read left to right and top to bottom layout. Each page is filled with pieces of art, photos from times past, old biblical documents, archeological finds, and other things. Even the text itself is written in a special way. Each page has what looks like papyrus sheets containing the text, and the text font varies from sheet to sheet. It truly is beautiful!

We began with the Old Testament book. Immediately I knew I was  in over my head. I highly recommend having a Bible dictionary within reach when you go through these. Some of the names and places were new to me and I had no clue how to pronounce them, let alone read the book fluently aloud to my children!

The children and I were learning new facts immediately! It takes you on a journey to find out how the Bible came to be: where it came from, who wrote it, how it was copied down from generation to generation. It was neat to learn about the different techniques of copying the Bible (before it was the Bible we have today). We learned about the different scribes who had different rules and safeguards to maintain the original text- some of which were most stringent!

Do you know what a canon is? No, I don’t mean the thing used on ships and in wars to defeat the enemy (that’s a cannon). Before reading the Old Testament book, that was the only definition of the word I knew. The canon I am talking about is an authoritative list of books accepted as Holy Scripture. Learning how the canon of today’s Bible was very interesting!

The Old Testament book also covers the prophets- both minor and major, books of wisdom, a small bit of archaeology, a timeline and much more!


The New Testament book discusses some of the first bishops and theologians of Christianity. The New Testament canon is covered in great detail, like which books were kept and which were not considered worthy of the Bible we have today. Learning about the apostolic fathers was very interesting! What’s an apostolic father? They were the important church leaders and theologians who were alive before the death of the last apostle. The apostle John died around A.D 98, marking the end of the apostolic age.

How the New Testament came together is amazing. Through the centuries, persecution, deception and tyranny, it survived. And not only did it survive, it thrived… exactly as God would have it to be.
The Archaeology book was definitely my favorite of the three. I have always enjoyed reading and watching films about fossils and artifacts being found. Noah's ark and the exodus take up a good portion of the book and the information is fascinating! The book covers finds from both the Old and New Testaments. The Dead Sea scrolls and Jesus' burial shroud sections were very good as well.

Written and Designed by Doug Powel, each of these 9" x 6" books are beautifully created from cardstock-like paper, making them very sturdy. About 60 pages long, the books are available from Apologia for $14.00 each

My Bottom Line
The iWitness series is great for family discussions, read alouds or even used as a devotional. Of course reading them on your own or having your children read them is always an option too! These books will be pulled out again and again to reread. There is so much information that you'll want to take it slow and not rush through them. Possibly my favorite aspect of the series is that it simply provides the facts and lets you uncover the truth for yourself (great discussions with the kids!). I highly recommend this series for anyone looking to dig deeper into how the Bible came to be.
Connect with Apologia on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ !
Click the banner below read more Crew Reviews about the iWitness Series from Apologia!

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Friday, October 10, 2014

A.D. 30 by Ted Dekker {a Family Christian Review} Plus Giveaway!

About the Book:
In A.D. 30, you'll step back into the year of our Lord, and dive head first into a war that is raging between kingdoms on the earth and in the heart.
The outcast daughter of one of the most powerful Bedouin sheikhs in Arabia, Maviah is called on to protect the very people who rejected her. When their enemies launch a sudden attack with devastating consequences, Maviah escapes with the help of two of her father's warriors--Saba who speaks more with is sword than his voice and Judah, a Jew who comes from a tribe that can read the stars.

From there, Maviah must secure an unlikely alliance with King Herod of the Jews. It would be a journey filled with great danger. If they can even survive the vast trek across the desert, they will enter into a brutal world run by kings and emperors.
On the way, Maviah crosses paths unexpectedly with another man. An enigmatic teacher who speaks of a way in this life which offers greater power than any kingdom. His name is Yeshua, and his words turn everything known on its head. Though following him may present even greater danger, his may be the only way for Maviah to save her people--and herself.

My Review:
When you hear the title, the first thing that comes to mind is Jesus. Or at least it was for me. The book takes you on an adventure across deserts and seas in the search of both Maviah’s salvation and that of her people. Along the journey Maviah begins to hear about a mystic by the name of Yeshua. Her motives change from her original reason for journeying across the land to seeking Yeshua.

Many scenes from the Bible are played out in this historical fiction. You get to know Levi (Matthew) the tax collector and Nicodemus on a personal level. It’s amazing. I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn’t really being given an insider’s look at what happened in Matthews’s house or on the Sea of Galilee when Jesus calmed the seas. Dekker’s writing is so convincing that you feel like you’re right there riding the camels with Maviah, Judah and Saba or sitting on the hillside listening to Jesus (Yeshua) teach.

This book pulled me in like few books have. I laughed out loud and cried along with Maviah. I stayed up late, barely able to keep my eyes open just to read one more chapter. I can’t wait for his upcoming book, A.D. 33.
Due to be released October 28, 2014 , A.D. 30 will retail for $25.00 but is currently available from Family Christian Stores for $14.97
Connect with author Ted Dekker on his website and Facebook !
How would you like to win your own copy? Check out the Giveaway below!

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Many thanks to Family Christian Stores 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

Fortuigence Online Writing Course {a Crew Review}

I have always enjoyed writing so when it came to my children, I figured it would naturally come to them as well. Boy, was I wrong. Getting my big kids (15 and 12) to write more than a few sentences at a time is like pulling teeth. Seriously, there are tears involved. We were given the opportunity to review Fortuigence, a company that offers online writing courses for teenagers. After looking over the website, I realized that maybe the kids didn’t actually *loath* writing but were more frustrated at not knowing how or where to start. Because my son is a sophomore and will be going to college in a couple short years, we opted for the Essay Rock Star (ESR): Expository Essay Writing Course. All the ESR courses are ideal for ages 12-18.

Fortuigence offers four different Essay Rock Star courses:
Personal Writing Course
Persuasive Writing Course
Textual Analysis Writing Course
Expository Writing Course

All the courses follow the same five-step process:
  1.       Brainstorming
  2.       Organization
  3.       Free Writing
  4.       Revision
  5.       Editing

The Expository Essay is the most common type of essay kids will write because they will be asked frequently to use it in high school, college and the work place. The purpose of this type of essay is to explain or inform about a specific subject.

Oscar's specific subject? Waffles.

The program is completely online and easy to use at your own pace. Possibly the best aspect of ERS is the personal attention of an ACTUAL teacher. Each lesson is composed of video lessons, short lessons to read and assignments. The assignments are uploaded and looked at by Lily Iatridis (the teacher). After assessing the work, she gives feedback to the student via email. Oscar was delighted to receive emails from the teacher. The program is set up so that the student cannot move on to the next lesson until the previous lesson is received and checked off by the teacher. Personally, I think that’s a great idea and keeps the kids from hopping around and rushing through the work.

Oscar had just started a Speech class with our homeschool coop when the ESR review became available. He kept telling me how much the ESR course was helping him with his Speech work too. The easy-to-follow instructions and the way the course is laid out makes it really user friendly. In general, Oscar has a hard time with online programs, especially those that require reading the computer screen. Somehow, he did just fine with this one, actually, he did well. I was impressed with his willingness and overall eagerness to send his completed assignments to Lily, who by the way was a joy to work with. She always got back to Oscar or me quickly. She was always positive and professional yet super friendly in her correspondence.

I was so impressed with Oscar’s essay that I want you to see it too. Keep in mind this is his Free Writing or rough draft. It took so much self-restraint NOT to correct the errors.  :)

So, here it is… Waffles by Oscar
Waffles were created over thousands of years ago. They have become a very common breakfast items. Waffles have become so common that people have named their restaurants after them. For example, Waffle House .They had been created in the Neolithic Ages made of rustic hotcakes and cereal pulps. Back then there was no access to the ingredients we have today, so the Greeks had used herbs and cheeses for a savory flavor. Back then, they had used hot iron plates to make their waffles during the Iron Age. Whereas now we have pans we place on our hot stove tops and griddles we just plug in and put our mixture onto. Some people even cook them in ovens if they have the right supplies. Then there is the easiest way now to make waffles, the waffle iron.
Choosing a good recipe is a wise thing to do before making waffles. Along with having all your ingredients the recipe calls for. There are multiple upon multiple kinds of waffles to make. Choosing a recipe isn’t just go online and find a random recipe. You should look for what you want, look for your favorite kind or if you’re not too much of a cooking person, use pre-made boxes at the store.
There are many ways to make your own recipe by adding or subtracting ingredients to your mixture. If you are looking for a nice sweet tasting waffle, maybe add some extra sugar or add some chocolate chips. If you’re trying to eat healthy, take out some of your sugar and throw some sliced bananas or some fresh blueberries from the grocery. Or if you are like me, looking for an amazing savory flavor. Make some bacon on stove top or what I do, broil it in the oven for and extra crisp or if you’re just a plain person and only like plain waffles, just put the batter in the griddle or pan and enjoy your plain waffles.

The end bit about being a plain person cracked me up.

The Essay Rock Star courses are available for $57 each and come with an awesome 100% money back guarantee. If the course just doesn’t work with your student’s learning style they will refund your money. They give you 14 days to decide, and that’s 14 days from the day your student actually starts, not the day you purchase the course.
My Bottom Line
This is an amazing course. It increased my son's writing confidence which put him that much closer to the ultimate goal of independent learning! Thank you Fortuigence!
Find Fortuigence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Google+ !
Click the banner below to read more Crew Reviews about the different Rock Star Courses offered by Fortuigence

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Preschoolers and Peace {a Crew Review}

When we began homeschooling, I was pregnant with my now three year old. So for the first year it was pretty much just me teaching the two older children. Fast forward three and a half years and we have a three year old, two year old and a three week old. Getting through a school day is much harder these days, so when I was given the opportunity to review the e-book, Preschoolers and Peace: Homeschooling older kids with success while loving the little ones at your feet, I jumped at it. The title itself represents what I try to do on a daily basis. Preschoolers and Peace has created this e-book for moms just like you and me.

The book is written by Kendra Fletcher, a veteran homeschooling mom of 8 kids who has been actively teaching at home for over 16 years.

“Homeschooling works. Homeschooling successfully with little ones underfoot is entirely possible. You will be tired, sometimes frustrated, and always needing to lean on Jesus but you can also be joyful, excited to dig in, and totally blessed.”

The 47-page e-book is comprised of 13 chapters, a Meal Planning 101 section and a Resources section at the very end.

The 13 chapters are:

1.       What a homeschooling Mom Needs
2.       Preparing yourself to homeschool older kids with little ones underfoot
3.       Planning around preschoolers
4.       How do I keep them busy?
5.       What does a 2-year-olds day look like?
6.       How do I get any preschooling done?
7.       How not to just kill time
8.       Circle time , or how we pull the little ones in
9.       Preschool boys
10.   When all of your kiddos are preschoolers
11.   Preschool chores
12.   Planning for preschool
13.   When mama is worn out (or pregnant)

From chapter one, Kendra’s love for and faith in Christ is evident. Her love for her children is visible on every page. In the first chapter she writes about how she realized that even though she began serving God at a young age, idols (like interests, friends, college, career, marriage, and children) had stolen her identity.

“So, why all this gospel and identity talk in an e-book about keeping your little ones content? Because simply put, there just isn’t any other place to begin. This is it. The gospel is where we begin, dwell, and end. The gospel… is the lens through which we see everything else. It’s the center from which the Old and New Testaments radiate; it’s the crux, the pinnacle, the end-all, be-all. And the good news of our creation, fall, redemption, and restoration by Christ should be what we remind ourselves of each and every day.”

There is so much good advice and so many good ideas in this book that I had a hard time narrowing down what I wanted to share. If I shared everything I liked about the book, there wouldn’t be much left to read on your own when you purchase the book… which is a steal at $2.99!!

A few things that I plan to implement into my own life from Fletcher’s book…

1.       “Determine what you can do in the presence of toddlers and what you would rather not do with them there.” This was such an ah-ha moment! Why had I not scheduled our day around nap time before??

2.       Circle time, circle time, circle time. “Circle time is our fabulous, all-ages-are-welcome, group teaching time that allows us to pray together, laugh together, and to get to things we often run out of time for.”  Bringing circle time into our home is something I really look forward to. I’m currently making a list and prayerfully considering what the Lord would have us do together. I really believe our own Circle Time will be a great blessing to our family as whole.

3.       In Fletcher’s book, you’ll find lots and lots of helpful ideas for busying your toddlers and preschoolers. Her idea to make a list of activities your little ones could do during the day, along with how long each one will take is GENIUS!

My Bottom Line
My overall problem is lack of organization and motivation, especially since Ana was born. Things in the house have fallen to disarray to say the least. Schoolwork is behind, housework is behind and I don’t even want to talk about the laundry. Why is it always the laundry that suffers the most when a new life event takes place?? Anyway, Kendra Fletcher’s book have given me so many ideas and a bit of motivation as well! I highly recommend the book. It’s an easy, enjoyable read that any mom could benefit from.
Thank you Preschoolers and Peace for the opportunity!

Connect with Preschoolers and Peace on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+  and YouTube !!
Click the link below to read more Schoolhouse Crew Reviews about Preschoolers and Peace!
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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Overrated by Eugene Cho {a Flyby Review} and GIVEAWAY

About the book:
We all want to change the world, but as Pastor Eugene Cho found out, it takes more than just desire. It takes action. In this personal confession he encourages readers to discover a practical discipleship that begins with the recognition that changing the world starts with changing ourselves.

Many people today talk about justice, but are they living justly? They want to change the world, but are they being changed themselves? Eugene Cho shares his story, a messy, painful story of being more in love with the ideas behind the actions than counting the cost and being a world-changer in action. Because everyone loves justice and compassion, but few have taken it upon themselves to truly live it out in their own lives. Cho is still on that journey to discover what it means, and invites readers to join him.

What I thought:
Eugene Cho's book both tickled my funny bone and convicted my heart. His transparent display of failures, lack of humility, gatherings of stuff (like convertibles!) makes him come across as someone you could sit down and have a cup of coffee with. Cho calls this book his confession... and it truly is. From cover to cover he lays it all out, checks his living with Christ's life and then challenges the reader to do the same.
In one chapter he gives statistics for people and children both around the world and here in the US. While the numbers are staggering and the mental pictures prick our hearts, that's not enough. How long will we "know" the numbers and say something to the effect of, "yeah, that's too bad" or "poor kids" as we turn the channel so we don't have to look at their dirty malnourished faces?
"one in five human beings live in extreme poverty, scraping by on just $1.25 a day"
I remember reading that chapter very vividly, know why? As I was reading about the impoverished people around the world and in my own back yard, I glanced up to check on my toddlers..
Both of whom where eating their Greek yogurt cups, in front of our 52" television that occupies an entire corner in one of the two living rooms in our 3200 sqft home.
My heart sank as I looked around at the excess. The overflowing toys, books, movies, baby equipment and oversized sofas. And that's just what was in immediate sight.
I am blessed beyond reason. I am rich beyond belief.
Cho's book really drives home the truth that we live in a world of more. We always need (more like want) more. And then when we finally have what we believe to be enough, something new comes along and the circle continues.

"We have enough.
We are blessed and blessed immensely.
God has given us enough.
God is our enough."
I found this one line to sum up the entire idea of his book.. "We need to pursue and practice a theology of generosity, simplicity, and contentment."
This is indeed an amazing book that you will come back to time and time again. I challenge any believer to read it. I am so thankful to be able to give a copy away to one of my readers.
About the author:
Eugene is the founder and visionary of One Day’s Wages, a grassroots movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty. He is the founder and senior pastor of Quest Church, an urban, multicultural, and multigenerational church in Seattle, Washington. Eugene and his wife, Minhee, have three children.

Connect with author Eugene Cho on Facebook and Twitter.

Check out the book trailer!
And now for the Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

Building a Family Legacy ~ Dr. James Dobson DVDs and FREE Simulcast {plus coupon!}

Dr. James Dobson: Building a Family Legacy
We all know Dr. James Dobson from Focus on the Family. In 2010 Dr. Dobson started a new ministry called Family Talk as a nonprofit organization and launched a new radio broadcast, "Family Talk with Dr. James Dobson".
For nearly 40 years, Dr. James Dobson has been recognized as America's trusted expert on the family. His acclaimed film series reached over 80 million viewers, which represented one third of America's population at the time. Now, with encouragement from his son Ryan, Dr. Dobson has decided to re-launch the film series, Building a Family Legacy, along with a new book, Your Legacy around this timely topic.

Here's a short video about what lead up to the re-launch of the Building a Family Legacy series...

Now that you have a little of the background, lets take a look at the series...

Building a Family Legacy gives parents and entire churches the vision, desire and helpful resources to inspire families with sound advice and the tools to turn young hearts to Christ. In the process, these books, films and study materials are designed to motivate moms and dads, lifting their families both now and for generations to come.

Each title in the Building a Family Legacy campaign has a corresponding leader kit, participant guide and teaching DVD. The Teaching DVDs from Family Christian Stores retail for $15.99 each or you can get the entire 8 DVD set for $59.99. Each of the films are 60 minutes in length.

In the Your Legacy Teaching DVD, Dr. James Dobson shares what his ancestors passed down in their family – trust in Jesus Christ and living for God – this thought provoking and dramatic film will challenge you to evaluate the kind of spiritual legacy you are leaving to your children and grandchildren. 

In the Wanting to Believe Teaching DVD, Ryan Dobson reflects on what it was like to grow up as the only son of Dr. and Mrs. James Dobson. He underscores the loving power of his parents’ loving admonition and example. The film will help you learn how to create a plan and take action within your family, focus on what is most important, put into practice scriptural truth, remain constant in the pursuit of your family, be intentional as a parent and stand up as the backbone of your family.

In the Bringing Up Girls Teaching DVD, Dr. James Dobson recognizes that our culture can have damaging effects on our daughters and steps in to offer help. Discover why the three "T’s" - Talk, Touch and Time - are so important in our relationship with our daughters, and how to have a positive generational impact on her.

In the Bringing Up Boys Teaching DVD, Dr. James Dobson offers parents of sons a guidebook through the land the land of testosterone by providing an improved view of masculinity, which has been so distorted in our culture. He also helps you learn how to teach your boys to make wise choices, and he pays attention to the importance of both mother and father’s influence in molding the character of their son.

In The Strong-Willed Child Teaching DVD, Dr. James Dobson helps you understand the difference between childish irresponsibility and willful defiance; why many children push boundaries by way of their inherent nature; any clearly understanding the differences between compliant versus defiant children.

In the Dare to Discipline Teaching DVD, Dr. James Dobson encourages parents to effectively dispense conviction and courage in an environment of pure love. Help for parents of children and teens is on the way in this practical film that addresses: boundaries, motivating without anger, actions and consequences and respect and how to earn it.

In the Straight Talk to Men Teaching DVD, Dr. James Dobson outlines the responsibilities regarding Christian fathering, including teaching values as you go, spending time with your children, the spiritual development of your family, leading your children to Christ and the importance of accountability.

In the Love for a Lifetime Teaching DVD, Dr. James Dobson challenges couples as they look at the culture and gender differences through the generations and the impact upon marriages. In addition, Dr. Dobson addresses hot topics that often hinder a marriage relationship including money issues, busyness and over commitment.

The Leader Kits (think group Bible study) for each of the titles retail for $28.99.

Each Kit includes:

  • Member Book
  • DVD with 5 - 7 minute clips of Dr. James Dobson and son Ryan Dobson teaching
  • Leader material guides to questions and discussion with small group
  • Personal reflection and study segments to use in between group sessions

Grab this 20% off Coupon from Family Christian Stores (valid until 10/12/14) for next time you shop online or in store!
Dr. James Dobson is doing a FREE Building a Family Legacy simulcast (90 minutes long) but only from October 1st-5th!
Sign up here!!

*Small Note about signing up- I've already signed up and look forward to watching the simulcast! It IS FREE, even though you have to actually add it to your cart and enter shipping information. You will also have to create an account with Lifeway because the login you create serves as your login to access the simulcast. You do not have to wait for a certain time to watch the film. It is live now and can be seen anytime between now and October 5th.  Happy Viewing!
Here's a sneak peak at what to expect from the simulcast...