3 New to Me Gardening Books

3 New to Me Gardening Books at www.vicki-arnold.com

It is not a secret that I love my library. I added another reason to my list when I walked in the other day and found it had written a post for me! Well, not really, but sort of. You see, I am still recovering from the 12 Days of Christmas in July giveaway series, which wrapped up yesterday. Some of the giveaways are still open, don’t miss those.

So, I am taking a break from the Building the Ultimate Lego Library this week. Those take a while to put together and I just don’t have it in me this week.

What the heck does this have to do with my library? Or the title of this post, for that matter? Well, when I walked in there were three new (to me) gardening books sitting on the display and I haven’t done a gardening post in a really long time.

Let’s review. My brain = mush + library books = post! Not everyone is built for this blogging business…I’ll let you know if I am when I figure it out. :P

Without further ado…BOOKS!

Oh, poo. A little more ado, I must remind you of my use of affiliate links on this blog to appease the powers that be. Reminded? Good.

NOW without further ado…BOOKS!

The Speedy Vegetable Garde - a new (to me) gardening book

The Speedy Vegetable Garden by Mark Diacono and Lia Leendertz

The Gourmet Garden - a new (to me) gardening book

The Gourmet Garden by Virginia Hayes

Gardening for the Birds - a new (to me) gardening book

Gardening for the Birds: How to Create a Bird-Friendly Backyard by George Adams

I am most excited about the last one. We have a bird feeder that we love to watch the birds flock to, but I would love to have landscaping that brings them (and bees, too) in naturally.

Which one interests you most?

How Do We Know God is Really There? by Melissa Cain Travis {a review}

How Do We Know God is Really There? by Melissa Cain Travis :: a review from vicki-arnold.com

How Do We Know God is Really There?

How many of us have fielded this question from our kids? How many of us have even wondered it ourselves at one point or another? I am so thankful that God is bigger than our questions and is faithful to honor even the tiniest faith (mustard seeds, anyone?).

I am also thankful that He provides us with tools to answer these questions when they arrive. The best thing to do when your child asks questions, is to lead them to the Bible to see what God has to say about it. The Word of God is alive (John 1:1) and the more we learn to seek it, the more opportunity we have for His Words to change us.

Answering Children’s Questions About God

That said, there is definitely a place for books with pictures and words on a child’s level. Children often need a visual to help them grasp concepts. How Do We Know God is Really There? is a great tool for answering this very question for kids. I received a copy of this book to review with the other Mosaic Reviews bloggers.

The book is a storybook about a boy and his father. The two of them have a special routine where they share their days and then explore the night sky. One day the son is presented with the phrase that there is “no proof that God is real” from a friend. Naturally, the son asked his father the big question…”How do we know God is really there?”

The father in this story shares about Edwin Hubble and his discovery about the galaxies in our universe. The father then helps the son to understand how this man’s discovery helps prove there is a God. He leads his son through some questions to use logic to answer the boy’s questions. Ultimately, the boy ends the conversation feeling he has an answer for his friend…and himself.

My Thoughts on How Do We Know God is Really There?

This is a fun book for kids. The story is engaging, it is a relatively quick read. The illustrations are good. Most of all, I liked the explanation the author gave. The reasoning used was pretty straightforward and easy for a child to grasp.

The book retails for $16, which seems high for a picture book to me. I did find one thing odd. There is no author or illustrator information. They are credited, but there is no further information. I usually read those and often my kids do, too.

Pretty short and sweet today. You can find Apologia online, where you can check out their other products. You can also connect with them on Facebook.

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Huge List of Books for Composer Study

HUGE list of books for composer study! Over 75 books organized by time period and composer. There is also a list of bonus activities!

I recently put together a list of resources for teaching music study in your homeschool for Free Homeschool Deals (coming soon). As I was compiling the list of online resources, I thought it might be nice to have a list of some of the many books available for the various composers. Whether you purchase the books or look for them at your local library, they are sure to add depth to your homeschool routine.

The Amazon links in this post are affiliate posts, which means I earn a very small commission if you purchase something after clicking on the link. This costs you nothing and helps to offset the costs of maintaining the blog. You also have my gratitude, which let’s face it, is priceless.

I have divided the composers by time period and most composers have more than one title available. Some of the books come with CD’s with audio files to enjoy as well.

Updated to note: A lovely reader commented with a good reminder that you will always want to preview material before reading it to your children. She specifically noted the first book by Kathleen Krull as having material that some may not consider appropriate for children. Thank you, Heather, for the heads up!

Multiple Composers

Early/Medieval Composers 476-1600

When it comes to medieval times, I could not find more than the one book below that would work for composer study. I did come across a section on About.com called Composers/Musicians of the Middle Ages that had some listed with links to other resources. You may find that interesting.

Guido D’Arezzo

Baroque Composers 1600-1760

Johann Sebastian Bach

George Frideric Handel

Henry Purcell

Antonio Vivaldi

Classical Composers 1730-1820

Joseph Boulogne/Saint-George

Franz Joseph Haydn

Maria Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Nicolo Paganini

Romantic Composers 1815-1910

Ludwig Beethoven

Hector Berlioz

Johann Brahms

Frederic Chopin

Franz Schubert

Robert Schumann

John Philip Sousa

Peter Tchiakovsky

Giuseppe Verdi

Richard Wagner

Twentieth Century Composers 1900-2000

Leonard Bernstein

Aaron Copland

Duke Ellington

George Gershwin

Marvin Hamlisch

Charles Ives

Sergei Prokofiev

Igor Stravinsky

Additional Resources

I am adding this post to Teach Beside Me’s Share It Saturday and Upside Down Homeschooling’s Hearts for Home.

6 Gardening Books I Own Plus 3 More I Want to Own {and Why}

6 Gardening Books I Own plus 3 More I Want to Own

There are many, many gardening books out there. I am kind of a bibliophile (book junkie). I love collecting books, especially gardening, homeschooling, parenting, marriage, and, and, and…you get the point. Today I want to share the gardening books on my bookshelf. And remember, I am an Amazon affiliate so these are affiliate links.

1. Small-Plot, High-Yield Gardening by Sal Gilbertie

What I love about this book: It walks you through the whole process, from planning to planting to tending. This is the book that sold me on trying raised beds, for which I am grateful. This book includes plans that are very helpful for visualizing how much space you need to feed yourself (and/or a family).

2. The Backyard Homestead edited by Carleen Madigan

What I love about this book: The book covers a wide range of topics from succession planting, grains, veggies, fruits, animals, and even canning and cooking. The statistics on how much you can grow in X amount of space are incredible. The book is a good overview to help any beginner. I would recommend it as a jumping off point if you want something more visual than #1 (there are more pictures).

3. Herbs in the Kitchen by Carolyn Dille and Susan Belsinger

What I love about this book: I was given this book for my birthday last year. I love that each herb has its own in depth section on growing and using it. There are also recipes for each herb, which I find tremendously helpful since I seem to forget why I grew something when it comes time to harvest it.

4. Putting Food By by Janet Greene, Ruth Hertzberg, and Beatrice Vaughan

What I love about this book: The recipes. This books is a GREAT resource for canning your harvest. Also covers curing, drying, root cellaring, and pickling.

5. How to Store Your Garden Produce: The Key to Self-Sufficiency by Piers Warren

What I love about this book: It is compact and has some photos. It is a quick reference that I pull out when I just need to know how I can preserve something. (Mine has a different cover, it seems to have been updated since I bought my copy in 2011)

6. The Ever-Blooming Flower Garden: A Blueprint for Continuous Color by Lee Schneller

What I love about this book: This book taught me to look at gardening as a continuous cycle. I long to be a flower gardener, but I seem to be able to only focus on one form of gardening at the moment and flowers won’t feed our family sadly. I’m hoping that as our kids get older and I have more hands available, we can have a pretty flower garden, too. I just love this book, it is one that I originally checked out from my library and then just HAD to buy it.

So those are the books currently on my bookshelves. Let’s get to a few that I would like to add…soon…

Now, if I were to list all the gardening books that I would love to add to our bookshelves, we would be here all day. So I decided to just share my top three in the post and add an Amazon widget with a collection of great gardening books that I would also eventually love to get my hands on.

1. Herb Gardening from the Ground Up by Sal Gilbertie

Why: I have yet to get herb gardening down and this is something I would really, really, really like to conquer soon. Personally, growing our own herbs could potentially save us as much money as growing food. We use them a lot.

2. Vertical Vegetables and Fruit: Creative Gardening Techniques for Growing Up in Small Spaces by Rhonda Massingham Hart

Why: We only have so much ground space to work with. I would love to utilize our one acre to the best of our abilities, so up we go!

3. Landscaping with Fruit by Lee Reich

Why: We spend so much on fruit (and we don’t even buy organic, gasp!), it would be nice to grow some of that ourselves. We are trying, we have a peach, cherry, and an apple tree (3 of the 6 trees we planted made it). I also like buying blueberry bushes. We have yet to have one grow leaves. Ahem.

So there you go! Do you have a favorite gardening book? Please share it in the comments below.

I Still Believe by Jeremy Camp – A Review & Giveaway

I Still Believe by Jeremy Camp - A Review and Giveaway

I Still Believe by Jeremy Camp is a book about the glory of God. A refreshingly honest story about what it means to live a life of worship. Jeremy grew up without material goods, but was blessed to be raised by parents who lived a life of faith. He learned by example what it meant to praise God even when you didn’t understand. This would serve him well as he faced what most would call tragic circumstances later in his life.

Jeremy married Melissa on October 21, 2000. She died from ovarian cancer just three months later on February 5, 2001. From this tragedy came some of his most beloved songs, great worship songs about trusting God when you can’t see through your grief. It is one of the most moving books I have ever read. Let me elaborate.

I have always been a fan of Jeremy Camp’s music so I was aware of the songs he mentions in the book. What I didn’t expect was how deeply those songs would touch me once I knew the circumstances surrounding their creation.

This story is more than Jeremy’s testimony of faith. It is the testimony of faithful parents, who raised their imperfect children to see God’s goodness, grace, mercy, and provision EVERYWHERE. It is the testimony of Melissa, who praised God with abandon even as cancer destroyed her body. It is the testimony of Adrienne, who embraced a situation most would run from and came out a better person.

Every page of this book drips with God’s glory. Jeremy takes you through his thoughts as he struggles with his questions, like David in the Psalms. He doesn’t paint a perfect picture of a perfect Christian living a charmed life. You can feel his grief as he mourns Melissa. You can feel his conflict as he struggles with his growing feelings for Adrienne. And you celebrate with him as God begins using his story to touch many, many people.

I found myself in tears many times as God touched my hear through this book. I still am not sure how to comprehend when I started chapter 18 titled “There Will Come a Day” and heard the song “There Will Come a Day” come streaming through the radio in the kitchen. Sometimes God really hammers a point home. ;)

I loved this book so much that I am giving away three copies. Contest ends at 11:59 p.m. eastern on 3/12/13. Easy peasy entry with the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book from Tyndale house for an honest review. All giveaway materials are paid for by me. This post contain an affiliate link.

Good Reads Saturday – February 16, 2013

Good Reads Saturday

Today I’m only giving you two links because I want you to be sure to read them both. They are about family planning. This seems to be such a divisive topic among Christians. Each article comes from a different perspective, but each shares the same message. I do hope you take the time to read both articles.

Small Family, Large Family, God’s Family :: Get Along Home – Cindy says so many of the things I’ve thought about as I’ve seen discussions (or arguments) over this topic. I’m refraining from giving you another link that is a follow-up, but Blessings and Curses is another good read in the series from Cindy.

To the Parents of “Just One” :: The Homeschool Post – From the perspective of a mom of “just one” earthly child. Read the comments, too.

Have a great Saturday!

Good Reads Saturday – January 26, 2013

Good Reads SaturdayHello again! Can you believe we are already at the last Saturday of January 2013?! Have a blessed Saturday!

Be Fully Persuaded: Peace, Then Provision :: Jennifer A. Janes – God is good, all the time. I love reading, hearing, and telling of how He has been faithful. Go read this post and be blessed.

Building Walls Around My Children :: LaToya Edwads – I love this post inspired by the book of Nehemiah.

How I Almost Crushed Her Willingness to Serve :: Raising Mighty Arrows – Oh. How. I. Relate.

The Power of One Minute :: Many Hats Mommy – Healthy habits can begin with just a minute to spare.

Marriage Minute – Again & Again :: A Classic Housewife in a Modern World – Yes.

Other One Word Resources {10 Days of One Word}

10 Days of One Word resources

Today’s post is full of resources to get you maintain a focus on your One Word. I’ve included blog posts, websites, books, ebooks, and one online class. Not all of these are specific to One Word (actually most aren’t), they are geared to support your in your One Word journey.

Let’s get started.

One Word Resources:

Goal Setting Resources:

Change Resources:

God-Centered Resources:

Personal Character Resources:

Home-Life Resources:

Other Blogger’s One Word for 2013:

Good Reads Saturday – January 5, 2013

Good Reads SaturdayWhoa, totally wrote 2012 in the title. That felt weird. Ahem. On to your Good Reads for today.

Put God Back in Public Schools? :: Adam Hamilton – On one hand, I agree with him. I do not want some random teacher teaching my children about faith. On the other hand, I do not believe that you can delineate the academics from the spiritual without disastrous effects to faith. A good read on this is Ken Ham’s book Already Gone: Why Your Kids Will Quit Church and What You Can Do to Stop It. Ultimately it comes down to what is being poured into our children daily, the Word of God or a curriculum that removes any mention of Him to avoid offending unbelievers. Hmm, I think I’ll stop there. Maybe I’ll continue in a post.

Redemption and Forgiveness: a Bully Tale (Part One) :: Confessions of a Fraidy Cat – Be sure to read Part Two for an awesome example of God’s grace and answered prayers.

Renewing Our Strength, Part OnePart TwoPart Three :: Homeschooling on Faith and Coffee

Desire to Inspire #16: Praying for Your Blog :: A Royal Daughter – A good read for bloggers who are Christian.

What do you think of the new Good Reads graphic? Also, be sure to check out the blog sidebar, I’ve added a couple Good Read links there, too. Some are “real” books and others are eBooks for your Kindle. If you do not have a Kindle (I currently do not), you can still download them onto your computer or a variety of other devices. Just check out Amazon’s available downloads.