The Sojourner

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Gabby Moms Review: Eternal Encouragement Magazine

I love to read!  I read books all the time - mostly Christian fiction.  However, there are times when I don't want to get in the middle of a long book and am just looking for something short, uplifting and encouraging.  But I have found very few magazines that fill that need for me.    So I was very pleasantly surprised to receive the Spring 2011 Eternal Encouragment Magazine to read and review as part of The Gabby Moms review program.  Formally TEACH Magazine, Eternal Encouragement just changed the name this year in order to more acurately portray their mission and vision for the magazine - "Inspiring Women to Become More Like Jesus Every Day."

Eternal Encouragement is a lovely magazine written to be an encouragement to women in their roles as wives, mothers, homemakers, friends and daughters of God.  Although it is a smaller magazine - a convenient take-along 6"x9" size - it is chock full of wonderful articles by some amazing ladies!  This Spring 2011 magazine has a theme of "Time Flies" and contains many articles that discuss this topic from Time:  Use It Or Lose It to a poem called "A Mother Who Takes Time".

One article that particularly caught my attention was In Be 'teen Times:  Be A Grace Dispenser.  This article really touched an area that I have recently been dealing with in how to strengthen love and respect between me and my teens.  This article encouraged me to surprise my teens by dispensing grace, even when they have disobeyed or disappointed me.  I was challenged to be more like my heavenly Father and show grace to others as He has shown so much grace to me.

There is such a gentle and loving feel to this magazine.  All of the articles, while some are challenging, are presented in such a gentle way that makes you feel loved and cared for - just like siting and discussing something with a dear friend.

To me, one of the biggest assets to this magazine is that its size is so convenient to carry it with you, either in your purse or at least your car and then you can just grab it when you have a few minutes to kill (like waiting for an appointment or when you are on hold) and read a short article that will lift you up and encourage you.  It might even make your day, change your outlook on the day, and help you keep your eyes on Jesus.

Now you are probably wondering how you, too, can receive this magazine full of encouragement and insight.  All you need to do to subscribe is go to and for $25.97 per year you will receive this gem of a magazine delivered right to your mailbox.

You can read more reviews of Eternal Encouragement Magazine from other Gabby Moms here.

I received this product for honest review from Eternal Encouragement Magazine as a part of The Gabby Moms blogging program. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

TOS Review: Nutrition 101

If you know me or have read my blog for very long, you know that I am very into healthy eating and living.  Over the past 10 years, I have tried to move my family towards eating whole foods, eliminating refined sugar and cooking from scratch.   I also make all of my own cleaning products and many of my health and beauty products, including soap and shampoo bars.

Along the way, I have tried to teach my children about nutrition and healthy eating/living as things came up.  Sometimes they say I have brainwashed them because there are some things they just can't eat anymore:-)  However, I have never actually taught them a "Health" course on nutrition and this is a good thing to do in a more organized manner once they reach high school.  And then along came Nutrition 101:  Choose Life! by Growing Healthy Homes!

Nutrition 101:  Choose Life! is a 448 page book or CD ROM that is designed to be used as a unit study on nutrition.  It is "a discovery of how the body systems are affected by the foods - good or bad - we eat.  Research, recipes and projects will make Nutrition 101:  Choose Life! fun for the whole family and establish lifelong habits and desires to eat wholesome foods that support great health."

I received the ebook version of Nutrition 101: Choose Life! and once I began looking at it and reading it, I just couldn't stop!  First of all, it is very beautifully laid out and presented.  Secondly, the material included is very interesting, informative and educational.  The book is broken into 6 Units:
  1. The Brain and Nervous System
  2. Digestion and Elimination
  3. Respiration and Olfactory
  4. Muscular and Skeletal Systems
  5. Cardiovascular and Immune Systems
  6. Endocrine System and Emotions
There are four chapters in each unit and they even include a recipe for each chapter that is a power recipe for the body system that you are studying.  There are also Discussion Questions and Activities for each unit, as well as additional resources to help you in your study. 

Nutrition 101:  Choose Life! can be used with all different ages and grade levels, as well as in many different settings such as homeschool, co-op, private school, church group or extracurricular clubs.  Since both my kids are teens and taking high school level courses, I am tailoring this course as a Health credit for them and we will be using it in its entirety next year.  It covers many different subjects, including science, anatomy, biology, nutrition and health.  There are lots of pictures, diagrams and photos to draw your attention and make the pages so interesting and beautiful!  The Appendix has SO many resources - 120 pages - the book would be worth the purchase just for those resources!!  

Now here are the purchasing details.  You can buy Nutrition 101: Choose Life! CD ROM for $79.95 or the book for $99.95 at .  You can also buy a combination of both the CD ROM and the book for $129.95.  And you know how I LOVE discounts and coupons, so you can get 15% discount by using the code TOSCrew11 at checkout!!!

Also, The Homeschool Blogger is hosting a free webinar featuring the author's of Nutrition 101: Choose Life! Thursday, April 21, 2011 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM EDT Click below to register:

If you would like to read more reviews of Nutrition 101:  Choose Life!, click here.

I received this product for free in return for an honest review. I have not received financial reimbursement for my review of Nutrition 101:  Choose Life! from Growing Healthy Homes.

Friday, April 1, 2011

TOS Review: Zeezok ZGuide to the Movies

This year for 20th Century U.S. History, we are using movies to give us a glimpse into the life and times of people who lived during the 20th Century here in the United States.  I did not have any curriculum to guide us through this study, but had made a list of acceptable movies that would take us through the 20th Century.  However, when I received the request to review the ZGuide to the movies by Zeezok Publishing, I was very excited to see what they had to offer that might help us with this endeavor since they have ZGuides for MANY different movies.

I requested and received the ebook version of To Kill a Mockingbird ZGuide.  And when it came time to watch the movie To Kill a Mockingbird,  I was very eager to see exactly how the ZGuide would help us to view, comprehend and learn more from the movie. 

Each ZGuide contains a topic overview, movie synopsis, and ten learning activities for an in-depth study of the film.  For example, the ZGuide for To Kill A Mockingbird covers the topics of U.S. History Great Depression, Race Relations, Courtroom Procedures and Consequences of Lying.  There is a page that explains how to use the ZGuide and a Table of Contents.  Then you will find a brief Topic Overview, as well as a Movie Synopsis which gives you an overview of what you will be watching (my kids did NOT want to hear the Movie Synopsis prior to watching - they like the element of surprise:-).  Activity 1 is Movie Review Questions that you will answer directly after watching the movie and will help the student to be a more active viewer.  Then, for this ZGuide, Activity 2 is about Alabama in the 1930s.  Some of this we had to look up on the internet to find the answers, but it was really good to get a general feel for what was happening in the the South during the Great Depression.

Activity 3 for this ZGuide was about Race Relations in To Kill A Mockingbird and helped the students to more clearly understand the prejudices that existed at that time.   Secondary Story Line in To Kill a Mockingbird was the 4th Activity and brought out some of the more subtle events in the story.  For the 5th Activity, there was an Art Project which asked the students to create Courtroom Sketches of several characters in the scene.  Activity 6 was a News Media Interview where the student pretends that they are a news reporter interviewing Atticus Finch after the trial and Activity 7 was to create an Alternative Ending for To Kill A Mockingbird.  There was a Crossword Puzzle for Activity 8 and some Worldview questions for Activity 9.  The final Activity is "The Filmmaker's Art" which focuses on movie-making techniques and their affect on the viewer.  At the end, there are questions For Family Discussion which relate to moral or philosophical dilemmas present in the movie, as well as Additional Resources for Further Study.

I found the ZGuide to be very thorough and a great way to let movies provide a grand basis for learning.  The questions were well thought out and deep.  They required the student to delve into not only the movie plot and story, but also to discovering more information about the time period and cultural climate that was the South in the 1930s.

There are many different ZGuides currently available, some for classic movies like Red Badge of Courage and Ben Hur, as well as others for more current movies like One Night With The King and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.  And I would imagine that the number of ZGuides available will continue to grow as more are written.  Each ZGuide sells for $12.99 and you can get it in CD format or, for some, the ebook is available.  I imagine they will make the ebook available for all of them eventually.

Zeezok Publishing also sells the movies that they have ZGuides for at a very reasonable price.  I also noticed that Zeezok Publishing has some other very interesting resources and curriculum available on their website including the Great Musicians Series that has lapbooks for each of the great composers.  I am writing a one-year unit study on Music and thought these might be great additions to that study!

If you would like to read more reviews of this product from other members of the TOS Review Crew, go here to check it out.

I received this product for free in return for an honest review. I have not received financial reimbursement for my review of To Kill A Mockingbird ZGuide from Zeezok Publishing.