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After Intermission

If you’ve ever caught the acting bug, you probably understand why theatre goers and actors all over are aching for the time when it will be safe to lift restrictions, and the “show will go on” as normal.

If not, you may be wondering why all the creative types are missing the arts so much right now.

Either way, join me and my friends at Shine-a-Light Press to get some perspective on why the arts are loved, and what the arts truly do here.

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Jesus Freaks Book Review

They received death threats.

They were warned to say they would stop believing.

They were told that if they did not change their actions, there would be dire consequences.

All of this because of their relentless dedication for a Gospel that is still, today, deemed offensive to so many people.

Jesus Freaks tells the stories of people across the globe who have suffered for one thing: their belief in Jesus Christ. People who were abused by their own families because they would not adhere to another religion. People who were held captive in a prison by their country’s government, tortured because they would not take back their belief in the God of the Bible. People who could not believe what they wanted to believe without harmful retaliation.

These threats are not extinct, as many of our brothers and sisters across the globe are persecuted for simply being Christians. Possessing a Bible is against the law in some of these places; worshiping in secret is the only option for Christians to gather together. For them, the concept of having a church building is not an option. For them, the church is truly the people, not a building.

Jesus Freaks is vital reading for any Christian who wants to examine their own dedication to their faith. It is a wake-up call for those of us in the Western world who have enjoyed such a wide variety of freedom in comparison to our brothers and sisters in the persecuted world.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Need Help Homeschooling?

Need a little help with homeschooling?

Or are you on the other end of the spectrum, with years of homeschooling experience under your belt, and a routine that works for your family?

No matter where you find yourself, a little inspiration never hurts.

My friends at Oak Meadow have just released the spring edition of their free online journal. This edition asks the question Dear Earth, How Can We Help?

You can read the full issue here and check out my tips for how to teach a basic appreciation for the planet (even if science isn’t your best subject) here.

Toy Review: Toy Story 4 Make Your Own Forky and Friends Set

For the first time ever, I am doing a toy review! I am super excited, because I’ve been reviewing books for years, but this is the very first time that I’ve had the opportunity to tell you all about a toy.

It seems that I’ve been out of touch or living under a rock, because I was a bit unaware that a Toy Story 4 movie even existed – seriously? I thought the third Toy Story was the final one in the saga. Don’t get me wrong, I love Tim Allen, but what more could happen? Alas, I digress.

Thanks to Mattel for this free product! The opinions offered on this post are my own.

This is the Toy Story 4 Make Your Own Forky and Friends Set.

Some fast facts for those that may not be in the know: Toy Story 4 came out in 2019. Buzz Lightyear and Sherriff Woody, of course, are in this movie. Is it sad? That would be a spoiler, and I don’t provide spoilers here! What is a forky? Forky is one of the characters in the movie, and Forky is a spork.

I have to admit that when I first saw this toy, I thought of The Office when Dwight Schrute tries to start his own daycare center. Have you seen it? The Sesame Avenue Daycare Center for Infants and Toddlers…

Unlike Dwight Schrute’s plain collection of forks, the Make Your Own Forky and Friends set actually does contain tools for creative play. The set includes a Forky, a crayon, an apple, and a milk carton that can be decorated. The paint set has tiny little pots that are so cute! Markers and glitter glue are included in the kit, along with pom-poms and googly eyes. There are also buttons in the kit.

This play set is designed for kids four and up, and you’ll definitely want to stick to that rule due to the choking hazard of the small buttons. If your child loves Toy Story 4, and you’re looking for an activity that doesn’t involve screen time, your child might really like this activity!

The Long Game and The Price of Partisanship Book Reviews

Some time ago, I connected with an author on Twitter, Ian Conner. For the first time ever, I’m reviewing two books at the same time. Conner is retired from the United States Marines and was an Army Infantry Sergeant. The first book is The Long Game by Ian Conner.

There’s definitely a military-inspired cover here. You can head over to Amazon if you’re interested in picking up your own copy of The Long Game. You can also take a peek inside this book and read an excerpt for yourself.

Enjoy political thrillers? Perhaps you might be interested in The Price of Partisanship.

Corruption, the press, and crime… if you’re intrigued by these themes, you may enjoy The Price of Partisanship by Ian Conner.

You can check out Ian Conner’s bio on Amazon here.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of both books in exchange for my honest reviews.

My Hat by Jaila Marie McCoy and Vinny Green

What happens when you lose something and the weather doesn’t cooperate? Find out in My Hat, by Jaila Marie McCoy and Vinny Green. The authors of this book have a special relationship: Vinny is Jaila’s uncle, and Jaila was going into sixth grade when this book was written. I’m not sure how they decided on Nadia Fawad to do the illustrations, but Nadia does an amazing job on every page. Her illustrations are so great that I want to see more of her work.

My Hat is published by G-Square Publishing in New York. Every page of the book is full of beautiful illustrations that tell the story. This book also offers something unique: select words are printed in purple, and the publisher invites young readers to send their definitions to G-Square Publishing by email. Kids that do this will get a prize from the publisher! They will receive a certificate that acknowledges their growth in vocabulary and self-esteem. This is a unique initiative.

Bullying has become a popular topic in recent years, but this book takes two different topics – bullying and nature – and makes the two subjects come together in a way that I did not see coming. So, if you want to open up a discussion about bullying, and you have an appreciation for nature, you may want to give this book a try!

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.