A great coupon code for $10

I don’t normally post this kind of thing, but it’s such a great deal (and legit, since I used it) I thought I’d pass it along to you cost conscious moms out there!


JCPenney.com currently has a coupon for $10 off orders of $10 or more with code MORE2BUY and serial number 0102798250. There is a limit of one coupon per account.

If you go to the clearance section, you can find an item for $10 and end up only having to pay tax, if you choose to pick up your ordered item from your local JCP store, instead of having it sent directly to your house.

Get an item of clothing for a few cents?!! Yep! It’s the real deal. I’d hurry though. You never know how long this one will last.

Bible Lapbook and Notebook Pages

I have some new Bible lapbook and notebook printables posted to my site. Twenty-nine pages of activities cover a variety of subjects like purity, character traits, making right choices, etc. I’ve also uploaded some more Bible handwriting and copywork pages in several popular handwriting fonts such as Handwriting Without Tears, D’Nealian and more. Click on the image to go to the free downloadable printables. Feel free to pin the image below at Pinterest or share on your website!

Free Bible printablesP.S. I didn’t forget about posting part 2 to my “Sometimes Homeschoolers Worry Too Much About College” series of posts. I’ll hopefully get to that soon!


Otter’s Christian High School Biology – FREE!

Christian High School Biology

Coming August 2013: Otter’s Christian High School Biology!

UPDATE to this post for readers coming in via a link. The biology curriculum is now posted here:



*********Post before the update below***************

What is being developed:

  • Free full color 700+ page textbook edited from the original CK-12 Biology book (open source creative commons license)
  • Textbook will be available in a variety of formats like online, PDF, MOBI and EPUB
  • Textbook has some interactive features embedded for students using it online or via mobile devices such as the iPad
  • Free workbook correlated to the textbook to help your students remember key terms and concepts
  • Edited textbook is from a Christian, creationist, young-earth perspective, but secular families can just use the original unedited text and still get the benefit of all the scheduled goodies, labs, etc.

Free biology labs

  • Free rigorous biology lab book – from a neutral perspective (only one evolution related lab that I do not schedule, no Christian material)
  • Optional labs from a variety of sources – many of them free or low cost
  • Links to great supplementary materials and resources such as videos, printables, activities and more
  • A daily schedule with 3 different options (with or without human anatomy component, etc.)
  • Schedule can be edited in Microsoft Word to accommodate your family’s needs, schedule and access to resources
  • Free Bible study component that matches the year’s topics, specifically covering evolution vs. creationism, etc. with optional free study guide workbooks
  • Additional recommended books scheduled in (but optional)
  • Optional writing assignments to help you integrate language arts across the curriculum
  • Free lab packet of printables for microscope labs, etc.

I’m so excited about there being an alternative to the “regular” biology options out there with something for a variety of situations and budgets. Stay tuned to my blog for the release date of Otter’s Christian High School Biology!


Free Latin Reader and MP3’s

Cornelia - a Latin Reader

For a limited time, you can get a free Latin reader with the entire story narrated a chapter at a time by Dwane Thomas of the Visual Latin Curriculum. Cornelia was written in 1933 by Mima Maxy and is about a young girl living in the U.S. in the early 1900’s. The book is entirely in Latin and makes a great supplement for your Latin studies!

Click here and enter in the code FEBCOR to get this $9 item for FREE!

P.S. We love Visual Latin. You can read my review about it here.

Book Review Blitz: another book review & Today’s Free Kindle Books for Kids

If you want the free Kindle books, scroll down. Otherwise…

Here’s yet another book review in my book review blitz! I told you I was catching up with all my reviews. 😉 This time it’s a book for adults, although I believe it could be appropriate for some older teens. Hopefully you, my readers, don’t mind a flurry of reviews as opposed to homeschool chit-chat – although I’ll strike that up again before too long. As it is, most homeschoolers are avid readers, which is just a nice way of saying BOOK ADDICTS, lol. I know I’m one for sure and having a Kindle has just made it easier for me to indulge my addiction (no more reading headaches!).  I’ve got over 70 linear feet of bookshelves and over a thousand Kindle books (mostly freebies!!) and I’m still always hunting down a good read for me and/or for Otter!

I’ve read other books by Philippa Gregory, but The Kingmaker’s Daughter is my favorite by far. Well-researched and entertaining, it covers the life of Anne Neville and her sister Isabel, daughters (and pawns) of the “Kingmaker” a powerful nobleman who was responsible for putting Edward of York on the throne and later conspired to take him off it and replace him with his brother.

The Kingmaker’s Daughter is the latest addition to the “Cousin’s War” series that takes place during the “War of the Roses” (just before the Tudors came to power) which consists of (besides this newest title):

The Lady of the Rivers: a novel about Jaquetta Duchess of Bedford whose daughter Elizabeth Woodville secretly marries King Edward

The White Queen: introduces us to Elizabeth Woodville and covers her fight to help her family rise to power after her marriage to King Edward, as well as the disappearance of her sons from the Tower of London

The Red Queen: a novel about Margaret Beaufort who who marries Edmund Tudor and pours her ambition into her son Henry (Margaret was Henry VIII’s grandmother)

The White Princess:  Coming out in August of 2013, this book will cover Princess Elizabeth, Elizabeth Woodville’s daughter

Supposedly, there is also going to be a T.V. drama produced by the STARZ network sometime this year in 2013.

Each of the books covers a different perspective of this time period (mid to late 1400’s). If you’ve read the other books, you won’t be surprised by what happens (it’s based on the same piece of history with all the same major players, after all), but having the different view points adds a dimension of understanding and interest to each one that makes them well worth reading as a series. The characters that you hate in one book, you love in another. It really goes to show you there are two (or more!) sides to every story. Having said that though, you do NOT have to have read any other books in the Cousin’s War series in order to understand what’s going on. The Kingmaker’s Daughter is perfect as a stand-alone.

The Kingmaker’s Daughter starts out with Anne and Isabel as children and follows them through their lives (for about 20 years or so) during the turbulent events of the War of the Roses. Other reviews have covered elements of the plot so I won’t discuss that other than to say The Kingmaker’s Daughter is well-researched and seems to be fairly accurate with, of course, a bit of personal interpretation. All of the main incidents of the War of Roses (including the disappearance of the “nephews in the tower” is contained within the pages as viewed through the eyes of Anne.

For much of the book Anne is fairly young. The story starts out with her as an 8 year old and much of the book is centered around her life as a teen (since she was married at 14). Interaction between Anne and her sister is a pendulum swinging from devoted sisterly love to sibling rivalry & drama. However, despite the fact that the book covers the two sisters, it’s really more about Anne. I found the dialogue and events to be realistic. Philippa does a terrific job at capturing a depth to Anne as she matures from a child into a young woman who wants a hand in her destiny but is swept up in the events of the time and the constraints of 15th century society. Philippa did a great job at making me care about Anne and her world and portrayed Richard the III in a sympathetic way instead of the evil monster who murdered his nephews, as I’ve read in other books.

One thing that was a welcome surprise was there there are zero bodice ripping, tawdry romance scenes in this book. In fact, this book was so “clean”  (with one exception) that I would recommend it to some older Y.A. (young adult) readers who are interested in historical fiction. I’m an adult who is a regular reader of Y.A. titles and think it would appeal to that age group since Anne is young throughout most of the book (and even when she is an adult she retains much of the same voice). There is still plenty of history and depth along with complicated relationships and history to keep any lover of historical fiction interested, no matter what the age. To clarify, there are intimate relationships portrayed – just that they are more implied than described. Please see the end of the review for a description of potentially objectionable material.

As for detail and world building, I think Philippa did an admirable job. I felt immersed in the story and while it’s very dialogue and character driven, there is plenty of world building through the first-person observations of Anne. There is plenty of detail, but it never mires the book down. I also felt like Anne was realistically portrayed for her time period. She didn’t feel like a modern girl/woman plopped down into historical fiction and yet she was very accessible as a character.

If you haven’t read any of Philippa Gregory’s books, I recommend starting with this one. It will give you a great introduction to a well-loved author. If you have, you may find, like I did, that The Kingmaker’s Daughter quickly becomes your favorite of Gregory’s books. After reading the Kingmaker’s Daughter (in one evening as I didn’t want to put it down), I promptly bought the other books I haven’t read yet in this series and will soon be devouring them as well. 🙂

Potentially objectionable material (if you are handing this over to a teen) – with potential spoilers.
Please note that I may not have posted each and every incident I came across, but this should give you a good idea.

  • graphic description of childbirth where the baby is stuck and Anne has to slip her hand in to try and turn it – the baby is born dead
  • Anne’s first night in bed (as a young teen) with her husband Edward is described (this is the most graphic s*x in the entire book, that I can recall). It illustrates how Anne was made to marry what had been her family’s enemy for most of her life. There was no love between the two teens who were being played on the stage of their parent’s making:
    • ‘You lie there and don’t say anything,’ he repeats loudly. ‘The best thing you can do for me, right now, is to say nothing. Most of all don’t remind me who you are, I can’t stand the thought of that…and then he heaves up in the bed and drops on me with his full weight, plunging into me as if he was stabbing me with a broadsword.
      • Note: This may be a bit much for some teens. Use your discretion. It is the only incident like this in the book, that I recall.
  • There is a slight bit of romantic tension between Anne and her 2nd husband Richard before they marry. After they marry it’s clear they bed one another but there is nothing graphic as it’s implied and not described.
  • There is little to no cursing. Whore is used in context such as, “…Elizabeth Woodville is the King’s whore.”
  • Anne is concerned that Elizabeth Woodville and her mother may be using witchcraft against her and her sister and blame them for some of the negative events in the story

All in all, The Kingmaker’s Daughter is more tame than many Y.A. (young adult) novels I’ve read, even though it’s written for adults, and works very well for the older spectrum of that age group, if you are O.K. with the items mentioned above.

*Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. My reviews are NEVER influenced by getting something for free!

Want to read more of my book reviews (for adults, teens and children)? Click here!

Now that I’ve finished posting my latest review, here are today’s free Kindle books for kids. There are books for all ages here today, from baby to teen to mom even!

Miss Brain's Cool Math Games for kids in grades 1-2

Miss Brain’s Cool Math Games for kids in grades 1-2

The Wild Cats of Piran - Chronicle One

The Wild Cats of Piran – Chronicle One

New Year New You (Big Red Balloon)

New Year New You (Big Red Balloon)

My Name is Snappy Jack

My Name is Snappy Jack 

Spot the difference - Farmyard Fun

Spot the difference – Farmyard Fun

For The Love of Pickle Juice

For The Love of Pickle Juice

The Game

The Game


Snitch – This book is for teens and covers cyberbullying and other issues modern teens have to face. You may wish to preview it.

Lily Out of Bounds (Soccer Sisters)

Lily Out of Bounds (Soccer Sisters)

Puppies! Learn To Read With Cute Puppy Pictures (for ages 4 and under) (Early Learning Picture Book Series)

Puppies! Learn To Read With Cute Puppy Pictures (for ages 4 and under) (Early Learning Picture Book Series)

50 Fun Stories for 3-7 Year Olds

50 Fun Stories for 3-7 Year Olds

Cry into the Wind

Cry into the Wind – I haven’t previewed this book yet. It’s written for adults, but is about a girl during the Dust Bowl. It might be appropriate for teens.

God Has Better Things to do Than My Laundry (and Other Observations by an Overly Dramatic Mom)

God Has Better Things to do Than My Laundry (and Other Observations by an Overly Dramatic Mom)  Here’s one for Mom’s 🙂

Free Phonics Program Download – Funnix


It’s been awhile since I taught reading. *sniff* I loved teaching phonics to my children. We spent many hours cuddled up on the couch with beginning readers and all the little goodies I created for them by hand since I didn’t have the computer skills or the advanced software I have now! In fact, when I first started teaching my daughter, our computer had orange letters and no pictures, LOL. Wow. I don’t even want to think about that!

There are SO many awesome things available now that I didn’t have back then!

I thought I’d pass this deal on to those of you who still might be on the lookout for phonics programs or supplements:

From December 16th through December 31st, Funnix Beginning Reading will be FREE for download–no strings, no hidden costs—just a merrier Christmas.

Funnix looks like a cute program. I think my kids would have enjoyed it. Happy downloading!


Free $125 Art Curriculum (Adventures in Art)

I just downloaded this myself, so I know it’s legit.

You can get a free download of Adventures in Art eCurriculum from Cornerstone Curriculum that retails for $125! Here’s what you need to do:

  • Click here to go Cornerstone Curriculum and add the Adventures in Art eCurriculum to your cart (I clicked on the order button underneath where it says Sale price $75).
  • Go through the check out process and choose PICK UP as your shipping option.
  • Enter in the promotion code Blessings2013 at checkout.
  • You don’t need to enter in any payment or credit card info.
  • Once you get to the confirmation page, select DOWNLOAD on the right hand side and download it to your computer!
  • The file saved in a weird format on my computer but I was able to open it with Adobe Acrobat like a PDF.

There are 105 pages with clickable links to see the art online. Grab this great value while you can as I don’t know how long it will last!

Here are a few screenshots (click to see them larger – apologies to those of you who get the RSS feed or email subscription where the pictures are full size and giant).


Free Admission to Hundreds of Museums Around the U.S.

Get free admission to hundreds of museums around the country on Saturday, September 29th of this year (2012). Just enter in your information on the Smithsonian Free Admission page and they will send you a ticket for two people.

There are tons of participating museums as you can see from the screenshot below:

You can type in your address or explore your state to find participating museums near you. Enjoy!

Free 20 page 8×8 Shutterfly Book

I just got a coupon via email that says I can refer 5 friends to Shutterfly. Each friend will get a FREE 20 page 8×8 book. Our family LOVES Shutterfly scrapbooks. They are super easy to make, right in your browser.

If you love Guest Hollow and have never opened a Shutterfly account before (existing customers don’t get the freebie), send an email to guesthollow@memorableplaces.com before June 30th and I’ll refer you. 🙂 I can only refer 5 people, so the first 5 to email me get the free book.