One Day! – hymn

One Day

For the last couple of weeks, this hymn has been sung around our home. Over and over. Often that drives me bananas but this hymn just has something about it that forces my mind to be joyful. There is so much joy, so much hope just built into the lyrics of this song. My hope rises and my soul rejoices when I hear my giggly girls breaking out in song and singing about Jesus’ love, His dying for me, and that One Day when He will come back.

It reminds me of a question that our preacher asked this morning in worship. We often think about our risen Savior but do we often remember that this same Savior will be coming back in clouds of glory? Do we remember that until He comes, we are to be reflecting His love, His light?

It is a good song to help me see that One Day is coming and I need to be prepared for that.

Want to hear it sung? Visit OCU’s Great Songs Chapel.

At Home.

One Day

J. Wilbur Chapman, 1910
Charles H. Marsh, 1910

1 One day when Heaven Was filled with His praises,
One day when sin was As black as could be,
Jesus came forth To be born of a virgin,
Dwelt among men, my example is He!

Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me;
Buried, He carried My sins far away;
Rising He justified freely forever:
One day He’s coming– O glorious day! 

2 One day they led Him Up Calvary’s mountain,
One day they nailed Him To die on the tree;
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected:
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He![Chorus]

3 One day they left Him Alone in the garden,
One day He rested, from suffering free;
Angels came down o’er His tomb to keep vigil;
Hope of the hopeless, my Savior is He![Chorus]

4 One day the grave Could conceal Him no longer,
One day the stone rolled away from the door;
Then He arose, over death He had conquered;
Now is ascended, my Lord evermore![Chorus]

5 One day the trumpet Will sound for His coming,
One day the skies With His glory will shine;
Wonderful day, my beloved One bringing;
Glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine![Chorus]


Carlsbad Caverns

At the end of August, the girls and I were able to take a field trip to New Mexico, my home state. We visited a couple of sites that are pretty special to me and enjoyed our time there and with family quite a bit.

This is the highlights of our time in Carlsbad. We did see the Bat Flight program the night before we hiked the cavern but it is not safe for the bats to have any kind of a device on, so we turned off the cameras and phones and just enjoyed watching. The estimate was that there were about 500,000 bats the night we were there. The Brazilian Free-tailed Bats are a migrating bat so they are not there year round. We truly enjoyed seeing them. The next day, we hiked the cavern and saw lots of beautiful sights. The girls really seemed to enjoy it and we had a pretty good time.

Carlsbad was a specific destination for us since watching the videos about the National Parks. This was one that Miss E has been asking to visit. It was not difficult for us to get there and we definitely enjoyed checking this one off her “bucket list.”

Enjoy our pictures.

At Home.

Carole P. Roman books~ a Crew review

Carole P. Roman writes quite a variety of children’s books. From books about people and places to chapter books and character building books, there is sure to be a book that piques your reader’s interest. For the purpose of this review, we received the following

Carole P Roman

four books:

We personally own almost all of Mrs. Roman’s country series (A Child’s Intruduction to Cultures Around the World), most of her civilizations series, and several of her other titles. We always enjoy reading what she writes, as she writes in a down-to-earth style that imparts tons of knowledge while engaging the reader at a level where they just absorb the information. Her books are always a pleasure to read and share together.

Oh Susannah

Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag

This is an early chapter book, the first of two in the series. It features Susannah, a young 3rd grade girl who is just struggling. When something goes wrong with remembering homework, she doesn’t want to bother her parents with it because they seem to be having a really hard time. So she just stuff the paper in her backpack/bag and tries to forget about it. For breakfast, her mom is running late and so she gives Susannah a banana, her least favorite food. Susannah doesn’t eat it but instead stuffs it in her bag. One thing after another seems to be against Susannah having a good day and each time, rather than dealing with whatever it is, Susannah stuffs the reminder of it in her bag. Finally, everything comes to head and comes out of the bag. What a wake up call.

This was a good reminder for all of us that it isn’t a good idea to make assumptions or to bottle things up. We have to face problems and issues head on, dealing with them in a forth-right manner.

books by Carole P. Roman

If You Were Me and Lived On…

This is a series of historical books that take the readers to different civilizations and cultures throughout the earth, history, or in one case, space. Mrs. Roman brings this series to life with imagination for learning about these new people and places.

Each book in the series places the reader in the role of a child in the culture/civilization being explored. Whether you are in the role of a boy or girl, Mrs. Roman gives examples of the types of names that might be given and that are typical of that people. The books explore dwellings, languages, clothing, jobs, social structures and status, beliefs, and more. Throughout, there are names that may not be familiar or easy for the reader and Mrs. Roman gives a helpful pronunciation for these. Each book also has a glossary at the back of the book. Some of the books have lists of famous people from that culture/civilization and perhaps a list of important contributions they have made.


If You Were Me and Lived On…Mars

While not a culture, this 43 page book is a fun look at what life on Mars might be like for a child going along with his or her scientist parents. We visit this planet through the eyes of a ten year old. We see the years of preparation that must be endured for the three year expedition.

After they land on Mars, we learn about where they live and what food the scientists try to grow. We visit important features of the landscape on the planet, as well as learn about the rotation and orbit. We learn about the moons, where the names came from, and more. We learn that the temperature and air cannot support life.


If You Were Me and Lived In… the Ancient Mali Empire

The beginning of this book shows the reader where the Ancient Mali Empire would have been located and gives us some of the geography of the region. We begin the journey through the eyes of a young girl in the 1300s. Learning about the city  and the buildings of the empire, we experience a different world. They lived in round houses of mud with grass domed roofs.

We learn that Mali was in a desert-like region, though close to the Niger River. There were many cities in this civilization and they all worked together. The government and jobs were somewhat intertwined in this culture. The young girl’s father is a general in the army and through this, we learn much about the military and weapons of the Mali Empire.

Boys and girls were considered completely different in this society and their roles reflected this. Boys grow into their roles in society, going to school to learn. They have a ceremony to mark their growth, become apprentices, and then become men. Men in this civilization wore tunics and baggy pants. Girls also grew into their roles, though they were only educated at home. At 12 or 13, they were expected to be married and know how to care for the house and family! Women wore a pagne (wrap around skirt), tunics, and headdresses. They also wore jewelry.

Food was also interesting for this group. From various grains to fish to fruit, there was a lot of food for a desert-like place.

There were several pages of famous people from Mali. These included Mansa Musa (ruler), his wife, his mother, architects, kings, commanders, scholars, and more. This 77 page book is so packed full of information that I have just barely touched on it all here!


If You Were Me and Lived In… the Mayan Empire

The Mayan Empire fit perfectly in with the middle giggly girl’s current study of the Maya people. Needless to say, when it arrived on our doorstep, it was scooped up and read immediately.

The Mayan Empire is another ancient civilization in this series. The Maya lived in large cities, had trade routes, and flourishing trade. They had a hierarchy in their society and you could not move up or down within it. The family unit was important and they lived in close proximity to one another. The Maya homes were raised, had wooden floors, and whitewashed walls. There was little in the way of furniture and a fire inside for cooking and warmth.

Corn was probably the most important food item and was eaten at every meal. The Maya prized heads shaped certain ways, jewelry, colorful tatoos, and crossed-eyes. Creating these things was a large part of the society.

Covering much of the current-day Central America, the Maya were a very influential civilization. Mrs. Roman includes these influences. The Maya created a written language and authored paper books. The created a numerical system and discovered the concept of zero. There were a number of other mathematical contribution, as well as calendars, textiles, and more.

Miss J with Mars

My Thoughts

I really enjoy the books that Carole P. Roman writes that emphasize culture, country, and civilization. There is so much to learn and she packages it neatly in a story that children enjoy reading. These books have made a core for many studies we have done.

One thing I noticed this time, and it did sort of bother me, was that there are many typographical errors in important places and names. I noticed several in these books. Errors such as this don’t generally bother me because we are all human and mistakes are easy to make. The ones I noticed here, however, were important to each civilization. An example: Olympus Mons (Mars book) is listed without the s in the text but both the pronunciation and the glossary have an s on the end of Mons. Perhaps these can be fixed in the next editions.

These are a high quality product that will last a long time, with good information that will hold true for a long time. These are highly recommended by our family.

At Home.

Oh Susannah, Bedtime Stories, Captain No Beard, If you were Me ... {Carole P. Roman Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Progeny Press ~ a Crew review

Progeny Press is a company that brings to the table something I struggle with – deep questions related to a story that force a student to think critically about things. We have been reviewing the The Bears on Hemlock Mountain E-Guide. This study guide is aimed at lower elementary ages. It has been a pleasant experience.

Bears on Hemlock Mountain, The - E-Guide

Bears on Hemlock Mountain is an early chapter book by Alice Dagliesh. The Bears on Hemlock Mountain E-Guide is produced by Progeny Press to go along with the book, chapter by chapter. My 8 year old (beginning 3rd grade) was able to easily read the book and use the guide. The guide does require quite a bit of writing, which is not her strong point, so we modified some of the longer writing answers for an oral narration. It adapted easily and well.

The Bears on Hemlock Mountain E-Guide began with a note to instructors who are new to using this style of guide and it followed that with a synopsis of the book. Next is an author biography and a note on the background of the story itself (old folk story). There are a number of “Before-You-Read” activities to help the students become familiar with some of the background and ways of the people and places in the story. There were quite a few of these so we did not do them all. And then you get to the parts that go along with the story chapter by chapter.

Bears materials

For the pre-reading activities, we studied animal prints with a poster we have, along with the different types of animal prints you might encounter in the woods. We also looked at trees, leaves, and bird nests. We discussed a hill vs a mountain and looked at some examples online. We also had a discussion about hospitality: what it meant, how you can show it, why you would, and more. Finally, we looked up several sites where we could listen to bird songs.

The chapter by chapter questions are basically set up in two chapter sets. This made it very readable and if the child struggled to know the answer, there was not a very large area of the book to look to find the answers. Each chapter set covered vocabulary and comprehension questions. The vocabulary was both single words and muti-word phrases that the student may or may not be familiar with. Because it included some phrases, it was not always possible to just look it up in a dictionary. This meant that this was not independent work. That works well for my daughter because she likes company, no matter what she is doing.disctionary work

The questions relating to the chapters varied from comprehension to making inferences to apply Bible verses. An example of a comprehension question is “What does Jonathan do to keep up his courage?” This was a low-level comprehension question because the answer is almost completely stated from the story. A deeper level question was “Uncle James taught Jonathan observation. What is the difference between seeing and observing?” I liked this variation on comprehension questions because often you get either the really deep thinking questions or the low-level question. Progeny Press seems to have included a good variation of both in this study guide.

vocabulary workThe Bible verse questions were all application style questions. They asked you to read a verse, which was provided, and apply it to a particular situation in the story. An example of an application question for a verse had to do with reading a passage from James and then discussing being dependable and telling the truth. The student had to think about being dependable, telling the truth, and why those things may or may not go together. Then the student was asked if you could have one without the other. What a wonderful, deep application question that wasn’t too difficult but required some serious thought.

The final part of the study guide was a page of mystery words. The student had to recall some words from the story and then use them to solve yet another word that was coded.

Overall, this was an age-appropriate and ability appropriate study guide for my daugher. This was the first of its kind for her and while she didn’t love it, it worked pretty well for her. It was easy and followed the book well so she could easily hunt things up if she needed to, except for the last set of chapters. For some reason, it went from two chapters in a group to four in the last group. That made for a  very long set of questions and a pretty big group of chapters to search through when she wasn’t sure of something.

I would also have liked to see some “after you read activities” included in the guide. I felt like this guide is definitely missing a hands-on set of activities, as it doesn’t have any except for the pre-reading activities at the beginning.

review of Progeny Press

Progeny Press is a very good company if you are looking for a company to prepare study guides for your student over quality literature and living books. They have a large catalog for every age level. If you would like to see more of our reviews of Progeny Press, we have reviewed the following also

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Other Crew members reviewed one of these choices:

Click the banner below to read their reviews and find out more about Progeny Press.


Study Guides for Literature {Progeny Press Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Austenland – Book Club

Austenland book club

This month’s selection was a quick, easy read that I stumbled across in the used book store: Austenland by Shannon Hale. The title caught my attention because I have long enjoyed reading Jane Austen’s works. There have been a number of novels written about people who have been caught up in the story’s Jane Austen wrote and this is one of those. Wendy agreed that this one might be fun so on I read!


Meet Jane – a young woman who is single and always seeming to meet men who just don’t live up to her dreams. Of course, when your dreams are centered around Pride and Prejudice and the “perfect” man of Mr. Darcy then meeting someone who is just right is just hard. Jane’s great-aunt sees through Jane’s troubles and decides to bequeath her a trip that will immerse her in the time period and style of Pride and Prejudice.

Jane takes the plunge, going to Austenland for 3 weeks, to be fully immersed in the time period that she has always seen as perfect. But once she arrives, she begins to question what she has always thought. Is Mr. Darcy actually perfect? Will Jane meet the right Mr. Darcy at Austenland or will she just meet Mr. Right? This is a sweet, fun read that helps us see that perfect is not always perfect and Mr. Right is probably completely different from your dreams.

There is a Reading Group Guide at the back of the book. The questions seem to be the same ones from LitLovers. I picked a few questions from there for this post.

1. Austenland opens, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a thirtysomething woman in possession of a satisfying career and fabulous hairdo must be in want of very little, and Jane Hayes, pretty enough and clever enough, was certainly thought to have little to distress her” (1). How does this sentence set the stage for the novel? Compare it to the famous first sentence of Pride and Prejudice: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Which of these universal “truths” is actually true, if either?

Neither is true. It is clear that when making a broad statement that it does not fit every person or ever situation. Everyone experiences difficulties and nothing physical can make the determination that you need something or someone in your life.

2. Austenland, besides chronicling Jane’s stay at Pembrook Park, lists all thirteen “boyfriends” she’s had in her lifetime. How well does the reader get to know Jane’s past? How much has she changed from her first relationship at age twelve to the one that is now just beginning?

This listing definitely shows a bit of who Jane is. We see a change but then, if we didn’t, we would be considering just how realistic this character is since age 12 to her present “thirtysomething” is a significant time period.

3. Jane observes of the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice: “Stripped of Austen’s funny, insightful, biting narrator, the movie became a pure romance” (2). What would Austenland be like without Jane’s own funny, insightful, biting narration?

Without being able to follow Jane through Austenland, it would not be as real of a place. Jane helps us see life’s stumbles, how we weave in and out and around the people we come into contact with.

4. In Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth’s mother, Mrs. Bennet, is known for her determination to marry off her daughters and for her frequent social blunders. How does Miss Charming, Jane’s fellow visitor to Pembrook Park, resemble Mrs. Bennet? What are some of Charming’s funny faux pas and verbal blunders?

Miss Charming is so anxious to be a part of the false world created at Pembrook Park that we see an overzealous, anxious person who doesn’t care a whit about those around her. She seems to overshadow the others as she pushes her way through the experience.

5. Jane’s great-aunt Carolyn set the whole Pembrook Park adventure into motion. What Austenlanddo you think Carolyn’s intentions were in sending Jane to this Austenland? Do you think Jane fulfilled those expectations?

I believe great-aunt Carolyn’s purpose was to help Jane find the real world, to have authentic relationships, and to see herself for who she really was. I do believe that Jane was able to do much of that.

6. Jane comes to wonder what kind of fantasy world Jane Austen might have created for herself: “Did Austen herself feel this way? Was she hopeful? Jane wondered if the unmarried writer had lived inside Austenland with close to Jane’s own sensibility—amused, horrified, but in very real danger of being swept away” (123). Is it possible to guess at Austen’s attitude toward romance by reading her work? Why or why not?

I do not believe that we can guess at Austen’s attitude at all. She was a writer and most novel writers seem to be very good at creating an ideal land without it being remotely related to their own real world.

7. What might Jane Austen think of Austenland, if she were alive today? Could she have possibly anticipated how influential her novels would become, even for twenty-first-century audiences? Could she ever have imagined a fan like Jane Hayes?

I can only imagine that writers would be horrified to find people who have immersed themselves so fully into the story and the imagined lands that their real lives are filled with troubles, false ideals, and broken relationships.

If you choose to read this, I hope you find it a simple, fun book. It is not as deep as these questions try to make it, which is probably the biggest issue I have with questions related to books and stories. Sometimes, it is just an enjoyable story and that is okay. I feel this way about this particular book. Just enjoy it.

I found the official site of Shannon Hale pretty funny but I also appreciated this Q&A about whether this book is appropriate for youngsters. (I would probably not mind an older teen reading it but it is not for my 13 year old.)

As a side note, I just saw that this was turned into a movie in 2013. Interesting. May have to check it out as something fun to watch.

Don’t forget to head over to Ladybug Daydreams to see what Wendy has to share about Austenland. We’ll see you next month for the next selection.

At Home.

Book club:Ladybug Daydrams and At Home where life happens


Kwik Stix now at BJ’s!

In the past, we have used Kwik Stix for tons of art projects and craft activities. Produced by The Pencil Grip, Inc., Kwik Stix is a wonderful paint product of solid tempera paint that can be easily and cleanly used by all ages. But here is the big news of the day – Kwik Stix can now be purchased at  BJ’s Wholesale Clubs! (BJ’s are found all up and down the East coast of the US, just in case you were wondering, as I was.)

Kwik Stix pack

As I mentioned, we have used Kwik Stix in the past. We have used them on canvas, paper, board, and more. Just about anything you would use paint on, Kwik Stix will work. We have even heard of them being used to paint rocks. This solid tempera paint works wonderfully and produces bright colors. With no water and no brushes, the cleanup is quick and easy. I do recommend putting something underneath the work space, just in case the paint goes over the edge of whatever you are using it on. Want to see more? Check out our reviews from the past – a Christmas project (note that giveaway is closed) and using Kwik Stix on art lessons.

The Pencil Grip, Inc. is creating some neat products, with Kwik Stix up there on that list! With availabity growing constantly,  BJ’s Wholesale Clubs is just the most recent addition to the places you can get Kwik Stix. Be sure to check them out for your next art project.

At Home.

DISCLAIMER:  Once in a while, At Home: where life happens receives a free product or service in exchange for an honest opinion expressed on this blog. I am not required to write a positive review, nor am I additionally compensated for these reviews. I share my opinions, and my family’s opinions, of these products. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.





When I Survey The Wondrous Cross – hymn

When I look at a cross, I see more than a shape, more than a form, more than a symbol. Many see the cross as a symbol of Jesus’ death. After all, when it is depicted, lots of times Jesus is hanging there.

Maybe what we should actually see, though, is what is not there – Jesus is not there! He conquered death, though he was nailed to the cross, tortured. He is stronger than anything on this earth. He died there on the cross but He did not stay there. He was placed in a tomb from which he walked away. He rose again so that we may have life through Him. He was resurrected!

When you see a cross, notice what is missing – our sins? Gone. Our hurts? Taken care of. Our pains? Dealt with. Our mistakes? Our problems? All of it – taken on Jesus’ shoulders and disposed of.

When you see a cross, notice the love. The love is dripping of the cross beam on which Jesus was hung. He was hung there out of love for us. For you. For me. Love is what allowed Him to be placed there. He could have stopped it. He had the power to say “Nope. Not gonna.” But he didn’t. Because He loved me.

When you look at the cross, see that Jesus loved you and me so much that he conquered death to give us love. As this hymn states “love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.” Will you give it all to Jesus? After all, the cross is empty. My all is not so much when compared to that. So, when you look at the cross, what will you see?

At Home.

When I Survey The Wondrous Cross

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

lyrics: Isaac Watts (1707)
music: Lowell Mason (1824; some attibute this to a Gregorian Chant melody)

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

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