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Wordless Wednesday: Praying Mantis vs Tomato Worm

Praying Mantis Eating Tomato Worm

Munchkin found the praying mantis feeding on the tomato worm when she was checking the tomato plants for tomato worms.

Not the best video as I had to use my phone since my camera battery died, but it was still interesting to us to see this whole thing.

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Review: Homemaker’s Friend 2015 Daily Planner

The Daily Planner by Sue Hooley

Special thanks to Sue Hooley for providing copies of the planners for review purposes.

Planner Description:

This easy-to-use Daily Planner is designed especially for homemakers.

As a mother of six, Sue has learned that her day can seldom be scheduled the same as the previous day. She can’t fit every task of her day into the time slots offered in other planners. Her 2015 Daily Planner is versatile and it helps a homemaker to organize her days and duties effectively.

About the Creator:

The Daily Planner was designed by Sue Hooley, wife of Dan for 24 years and mother to six lovely children, two girls and four boys ages 5-21. The planner was developed after several years of motherhood and homemaking. Sue understood that a homemaker’s day can rarely be scheduled and structured the same as the one before – not every task can fit neatly into the time-slot allotted by other planners. Since her first publication in 2010, thousands of homemakers have benefited from the daily planner.

2015 Planner Details:

The Daily Planner Weekly

My Thoughts:

The Daily Planner is a beautiful, easy-to-use planner that has a bunch of thoughtful extras that I love. First, I want to tell you a little about this planner in general. As I go along, I’ll highlight some of the specific features that make it different from many of the other planners out there.

The 2015 Planner features a lovely glossy, laminated cover showcasing a gardening scene with Exodus 33:14 written out. Each section (year, month, week, tasks, projects, info, and shopping) has a tabbed page that features the same image as is on the front of the planner.  It has a place for notes and gives a little word of encouragement.

The Year Section has mini calendars for both 2015 and 2016 as well as a place to write down the important dates for each month of the year.

The Month Section has a two page per month calendar that has a note section as well as mini calendars for both the previous and the next month. If desired, you can cut away the extra paper along the dotted lines to create tabs for each of the months.

The Daily Planner Shopping Lists

The Week Section has a two page per week calendar that has a location for the menu plan for each day. It also has a spot for writing down the tasks for the week. It includes a mini calendar for the month as well as an encouraging verse for the week. Each of the right-handed pages has a dotted line in the corner where you can snip off the corner which allows quick access to the following week once you have concluded the current week. I love that it’s super easy to find my place in the closed planner thanks to this simple but brilliant feature.

The Task Section simply features two column lined pages with a header line at the top for creating task lists.

The Project Section has two lined blocks per page with a header space at the top of each block for recording your projects and events.

The Info Section has 3 columns per page for recording name, number, and address of your contacts.

The Shopping Section has one of my favorite special features. Each page features 3 lined shopping lists. The unique feature is that these shopping lists are perforated, so you can easily tear them out of your planner for easy use at the store. By making these lists perforated, I actually use these lists on a regular basis.

I’ve been using the 2014 version of this planner since July, and I can honestly say that I wish I would have been using it all year because it works for me. While I do use an online calendar to sync all the family happenings, I prefer to use a paper planner for my every day use. This planner has been particularly useful due to the thoughtful little touches including the removable shopping lists. I look forward to using the 2015 planner this coming year.


CWA Disclosure Statement

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Review: Bugs by Will Zinke


Special thanks to Master Books for providing a review copy of this book.

Book Description:

Within these vivid, full-color pages children will discover God’s purpose for creating insects, and the corruption caused by sin. They will also see the world’s largest insects, insects designed with camouflage, the most beautiful insects, the weirdest insects, and more!

With their alluring beauty, incredible design features, and limitless variety, bugs are living testament to an all-wise, wonderful Creator. What you will see page-after-page are these creatures doing just what they were designed to do, and doing it well. God is amazing!

About the Author:

Will Zinke has been a science teacher for over ten years, recently serving overseas for three years in Kenya assisting a local mission. He and his wife help at the Creation Adventures Museum, and are presently homeschooling and homesteading their family.

Book Details:

  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing Group (September 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0890518351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0890518359
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Retail Price: $14.99
  • Electronic version also available

My Thoughts:

Bugs: Big & Small God Made Them All is a fascinating book filled with full-color images of creepy, crawly critters. It’s broken down into sections about amazing creepy crawlers, jumbo giants, weird & wonderful bugs, bugs in camo, and bizarre and beautiful bugs. The book concludes with a words to know section. There are even 12 removable, sturdy fact cards that feature 12 bugs with their important stats.

As soon as the book arrived, Munchkin snatched up the book and began looking at all of the incredible bugs. The little creepy cool facts were interesting quick reads before we dug into the more detailed information.

The first chapter features common insects that we see every day, but they’re presented in a way that makes us think a little more about what makes them special or creepy. Both good and bad bugs point to our Creator as well as to sin that changed His wonderful creation.

The second chapter immediately grabbed our attention with the HUGE bugs. It was fascinating seeing and learning about these large bugs from around the world.

The third chapter gave us a close-up look at some strange and fascinating bugs including bugs like the ironclad beetle that kids like to decorate with jewels while they are living and the giraffe weevil that has a crazy long neck.

The fourth chapter highlights bugs who are experts in camouflage. These bugs are amazing. It’s fun looking at how well they blend into their surroundings.

The fifth chapter gives a glimpse into the bizarre and beautiful world of bugs. It was interesting to learn that some of these beetles are so beautiful that they were and are still used as jewelry. Some of the bugs have crystals and brilliant colors on their bodies. Of course, a chapter like this wouldn’t be complete without a look at butterflies, moths, and dragonflies.

The final page before the words to know section includes images of 10 different bugs with the scripture references where they are mentioned.

If you have someone in your home who is interested in bugs and you want a book presented from a Biblical viewpoint, you won’t want to miss adding this book to your home library.

Moms of Master Books Disclosure Statement

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Wordless Wednesday: A Beautiful Day for a Ride

Munchkin and Dixie 1

Munchkin and Dixie 2

Munchkin and Dixie 3

Dixie 1

Phantom 2


Dixie 2

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Smart Weigh 500 x 0.01g Digital Pro Pocket Scale Review

Special thanks to Smart Weigh for providing a sample of this product for review.

Smart Weigh Top500 Scale

I resisted the whole measure-by-weight baking thing for quite some time, but recently, I’ve started to get on the band wagon as I’ve realized what a difference it can make in the consistency of the finished product – especially with gluten free baking. My recent attempts at artisan gluten free bread have been much more successful with the assistance of weighing each of the dry ingredients rather than using just cups, teaspoons, and tablespoons. It’s amazing how much the weight of flour can vary from brand to brand. If you want to substitute one gluten free flour for another, you really do want to do it by weight rather than measurement as the various flours have a lot of differences in weight/volume.

Shortly after beginning this process of measuring-by-weight baking, I was given the opportunity to test out the Smart Weigh 500 x 0.01g Digital Pro Pocket Scale (affiliate link). I knew that the 500 gram limit wouldn’t work for all of my baking needs, but it would work for quite a few of the smaller batches. Plus, I loved the idea of having a small, portable scale.

The Smart Weigh 500 x 0.01g Digital Pro Pocket Scale comes with clear trays that snap on to the top of the platform and bottom of the scale for easy storage. It’s a nice feature – especially if you plan on taking the scale on the go which is possible due to its small size of only 5″ x 4″ x 11/16″ (without trays attached). The platform on this scale is 3.94″ x 3.7″. Although I only used the scale to measure in grams, you can also measure in ounces, troy ounces, pennyweight, grains, and carats. It measures as low as .01 gram and as high as 500 grams.

The tare feature allows for quick and easy weighing of different ingredients without having to use a bunch of different bowls. (If you bake gluten free, you know there can be quite a few dry ingredients that need to be measured for each recipe, so this really is a time saver as well as a way to reduce the number of dishes needed.) It also has a hold button as well as a PCS button. The PCS button would be nice for someone who is only allowed to have so many chocolate chips or M&Ms and doesn’t want to have to individually count them out.

The scale is easy to use and accurate. The bright, back-lit display makes it easy to read the display screen. While I’m enjoying using this scale mainly for small scale baking projects, it’s also been nice for some mail that I’ve needed to check weight on before sending out. Because the scale is so small, it’s easy to tuck in a purse or bag for use on-the-go. Overall, it’s a nice scale for weights up to 500 grams (17.64 ounces).

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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