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Book Review: The Mix & Match Guide to Companion Planting by Josie Jeffery

The Mix and Match Guide to Companion Planting by Josie JefferySpecial thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this book.

About the Book – The Mix & Match Guide to Companion Planting:

The age-old practice of companion planting is an effective way to create healthier, happier, more productive gardens simply by placing the right plants next to each other. It is an ingenious, all-natural method to control pests, disease, and weeds without the need for chemicals. With its unique split-page mix-and-match system, this colorful, visual guide makes it fast and easy for you to choose which vegetables, fruits, and herbs grow best with one another, and which do not. All you have to do is select your desired crop from the extensive plant directory, flip the strips, match the dots, and get ready for your vegetable garden to flourish!

About the Author:

JOSIE JEFFERY grew up with a companion planting chart pinned up permanently in the kitchen. She studied Horticulture and Garden Design at the University of Brighton, is the author of two gardening books, and runs a seedbomb business, SeedFreedom. Connect with Josie on Facebook and Youtube.

Book Details:

Hardcover: 104 pages
Publisher: Ten Speed Press; Spi edition (March 11, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1607746336
ISBN-13: 978-1607746331
Retail Price: $17.99

My Thoughts:

The Mix & Match Guide to Companion Planting is a beautiful hard cover, spiral bound book. The book begins with an overview of the history of companion planting; takes a look at monoculture, polyculture, permaculture, and biodynamic gardening; gives a glimpse into companion planting in China, Japan, Africa, and Native American culture; talks about the microscopic world and the garden; looks at how outside elements influence the outcomes of the garden; and covers the basics of gardening. I really enjoyed reading about the history of the different methods and how they looked in different cultures. The overview of the gardening basics including rainwater harvesting and composting were a nice refresher before heading into the bread and butter of this book – the companion planting guide.

There are several books out there that involve companion planting, but the set-up of this book in quite unique and very user friendly. The companion planting cardstock pages (directory of companion plants) are cut into three different strips creating a middle, upper, and lower section. The middle section contains the central crops. The upper section features the above ground companion while the lower section shows the below ground companion. Each of the plants in each of the sections has a variety of symbols to help you create the best companion selection by lining up the color-coded dot symbols.

How it works. You pick your central (main) plant from the middle section selection. You then flip through the lower (aboveground companions) to select the one you want and do the same with the lower (belowground companion). The more dots that match up, the better the companion planting. It’s an interactive, easy way to select the best companion planting for your garden. Both my daughter and I are thrilled with how easy it is to figure out which plants will work best together, and we plan on utilizing this new tool in our garden.

Disclosure: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review. A positive review is not required nor guaranteed. All opinions are my own.

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Starting Riding Training

Daddy and Munchkin Riding

Daddy decided that it was finally time to start riding the horses again. When we brought them home from the rescue, we made the decision to do training before riding them as they were disrespectful. Munchkin had some bad experiences with a few horses at the ranch, so she was hesitant to get back on her horse, Dixie, until she knew that she was respecting her.

Daddy Riding Phantom

While training has taken longer due to our slow training schedule, they have made huge strides and are pretty good on the ground. We still have more work to do, but Daddy felt they were ready to start getting some miles under the saddle. To be safe, they rode in the arena. It will be a little while before they are ready to head outside of the enclosure.

Munchkin Riding Dixie

They both did well even though they were a bit unsure of being ridden. They definitely need to continue with their ground training while incorporating riding training into their training schedule. It was fun to see how much they have filled out since we brought them home. Yes, they’ve filled out from eating, but they also both have more muscle mass. It makes us smile to see them so healthy and happy.

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Blog Tour: Raptor 6 by Ronie Kendig

Special thanks to LitFuse Publicity for the review copy of this book for the Raptor 6 Book Tour.

Raptor 6About the book: 

His mission.

His team.

Captain Dean Watters keeps these parts of his life in laser-like focus. So when hackers threaten both his mission and his team, Dean’s Special Forces training kicks into high gear. Ten military super-secure computers are missing-which if opened, would give America’s enemies a blueprint of US military intelligence. Failing to stop the hackers isn’t an option.

Zahrah Zarrick is a missionary teacher to Afghan children in Mazar-e Sharif. She’s also a target. Her expertise in quantum cryptology makes her an unwitting pawn in the hackers’ deadly game. They’re coming for her, and Dean and his team must stop them.

Before the team can get to Zahrah, she disappears. Now Dean must race to rescue her and stop the hackers from unleashing terror on millions across the globe. But to do so, Dean will be forced to crack open the steel box around his heart-a move that might come at the highest cost.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/xoyE1Ronie Kendig

About the author:

Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. After twenty-plus years of marriage, she and her hunky hero husband have a full life with four children and a Maltese Menace in northern Virginia. Author and speaker, Ronie loves engaging readers through her Rapid-Fire Fiction.

Ronie can be found atwww.roniekendig.com and onFacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

RAPTOR 6 Ronie Kendig

My Thoughts:

Raptor 6 is boots on the ground nonstop action from beginning to end. This first book in the Quiet Professional Series sets the stage for yet another excellent military suspense series from Ronie. I did not want to put down this intense book and had that “nooooo!” feeling when it ended. I can’t wait to see where this series goes from this point on.

Dean has a dark past which plays into how he handles himself today. Little by little Dean’s past is revealed to the reader throughout the story. I couldn’t wait until it was all revealed. His wrestling with faith, with God is quite understandable and real based on his past.

Zahrah has quite the interesting story due to her heritage – daughter of an American general and Afghani woman – and her desire to honor her mother’s heritage by being a teacher and missionary to the Afghani children. She lives out her faith in a very real way while respecting the customs of the Islamic culture.

Raptor 6, due to the nature of the book, is a little darker than some of Ronie’s previous books. It deals with the complexities of someone who has a dark past including torture at the hands of the enemy. I appreciated that romance didn’t play a huge role in this book as it wouldn’t have fit naturally in the story. The story was not wrapped up nicely, and there are a lot of unanswered questions which means I’m eagerly awaiting the next book – Hawk.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to help facilitate the writing of this review. A positive review is not expected nor guaranteed. All opinions are my own.

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Book Review: The Universe by Tom DeRosa and Carolyn Reeves

The UniverseSpecial thanks to New Leaf Publishing Group for sending me a copy of this book as a member of Moms of Master Books to help facilitate the writing of this review.

The Universe Book Description:

The Universe: From Comets to Constellations helps students become engaged in the scientific process through their own natural curiosity. Using every day household items, the inexpensive experiments help bring science to life.

About the Authors:

Carolyn Reeves is especially skilled at creating ways to help students develop a greater understanding of not just scientific concepts, but also how these are applied within the world around us. Carolyn retired after a 30-year career as a science teacher, finished a doctoral degree in science education, and began a new venture as a writer and an educational consultant. She and her husband make their home in Oxford, Mississippi, where they are active members of North Oxford Baptist Church. The Reeves have three children, three in-law children, and ten grandchildren.

Tom DeRosa is an experienced science teacher and a committed creationist. He has incorporated both his passions in the founding and the directing of the Creation Studies Institute, a growing national creation organization whose chief focus is education. His wealth of experience in the public school, Christian school, and homeschool markets for over 35 years has given special insights into what really works in engaging young minds. He is an author and sought-out, enthusiastic creation speaker who has a genuine love for the education of our next generation.

The Universe by Tom DeRosa and Carolyn Reeves

Book Details:

  • Series: Elementary Science
  • Paperback: 88 pages
  • Publisher: Master Books (April 14, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0890517975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0890517970
  • Retail Price: $12.99
  • Student Journal: $4.99
  • Teacher’s Guide: $4.99

The Universe by DeRosa and Reeves

My Thoughts:

The Universe is the latest book in the elementary science series from Master Books. Like the other books in the series, The Universe uses common household items to perform lots of hands-on activities to help enhance the learning experience. Each of the 20 Investigations begin with an overview which helps students begin thinking about the topic and what they know or don’t know about it. The students are then presented with some questions about the topic that will be covered during the investigation. A supply list is provided for the experiment, and the procedures for the experiment are laid out for the students.

The students will then have a lesson to cover the topics from the experiment. The discussion questions and making connections section help students apply what they have learned in both the experiment portion and the lesson portion. The dig deeper portion allows students to move beyond the basic lesson and learn more about the topic. The investigation concludes with review questions.

Topics covered in this book include things like:

  • The Universe
  • Expansion of the Universe
  • Measuring Space
  • Planetary Orbits
  • Invisible Forces in the Universe
  • Galileo and Inertia
  • Making Telescopes
  • History of Flight
  • The Earth’s Atmosphere
  • The Moon
  • The Planets
  • The Sun
  • Constellations
  • and much more…

The teacher’s guide provides a lesson plan and answer key to the student text. A small version of the student text is pictured in the teacher’s guide, so you can see everything contained in the student book.

The student journal is a place where students can record all their findings from the experiment and write down their answers to all the questions in the investigation. While it’s not a critical component, it is a nice addition as it keeps all of the student’s work in one location. The student journal works as a lab book and journal all-in-one.

The Universe: From Comets to Constellations is presented from a Biblical worldview. The hands-on approach to learning makes learning astronomy fun. This series is geared towards elementary students but is fun for older kids as well.

Moms of Master Books Disclosure Statement

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We Remember: Memorial Day 2014

Memorial Day 2014 - We Remember

We remember those who gave their lives for our country.

We remember those who were left behind.

We remember husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, daughters, sons, moms, and dads.

We remember the people, the families, the memories of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

We remember that freedom always comes with a price.

We remember….

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