Thursday, February 28, 2013

Twenty Years From Now

When we were in our first year of homeschooling, I was so overwhelmed at times with the whole scene, and battled to keep my priorities straight. I found a poem that spoke to my heart, so I put it just over the kitchen sink, on the windowsill – a reminder when I was having one of “those” days. It is still there today, and now, almost 20 years later, I can say that I’m glad that I had to keep looking at it over and over again. Here’s what it says, just in case you need a reminder, too:

Things that twenty years from now I will be glad I did today:

  • Thought good thoughts
  • Spoke kindly and listened
  • Lifted another up
  • Served without return
  • Paused to praise
  • Exercised
  • Spent more time with family
  • Laughed
  • Said “I love you” more often
  • Prayed
  • Daydreamed
  • Relaxed

I added Praise God and Give Thanks to the list. What would you add?

Amanda B.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Easter . . . a Season of HOPE!

Easter is quickly approaching and we have some great titles with special prices to help you teach your children about the reason behind our HOPE.

Easter Promise (one week study, K-4) 

Beginning with Palm Sunday and continuing on through Ascension Day, immerse yourself in the events of Jesus’ last week on earth. Experience the awe and wonder contained in Jesus’ miracles, Passover, the Last Supper, and the Garden of Gethsemane. Watch as Old Testament prophecies come to fruition. Your children will explore the true meaning of Easter as they investigate this amazing week and grow to understand God’s greatest gift to His children. The promise of Easter changed the world forever. Easter Promise is sure to do the same for your family and it is on sale now for $5!*

Expedition Israel (one week study, K-4) 

Get to know the Holy Land—it's more than just a map in the back of your Bible. Biblical heroes and history, amazing places, animals, music, games, and foods. This study will ignite a passion for the Holy Land in your children, like no other. The Bible will come alive as they connect the historical Holy Land with the modern day Israel they hear about in the news every day. And they'll learn a little Hebrew along the way! Come along on this incredible journey. It's an adventure with memories to last a lifetime, and it's on sale now for $5!*

Bountiful Bread (one week study, K-4)

Bread. Just the smell of this wonderful food can get the immediate attention of most people! So many fun and memorable childhood events include memories of bread making and baking. From holiday favorites to daily breads, this food item dates way back to biblical times and still plays an important role in our lives. Your child will investigate all kinds of things about bread, including the history of bread, types of bread, some of the countries that created unique kinds of bread, and much more! Each day he will explore and investigate, creating and adding more learning components to his Bountiful Bread lapbook—building a wonderful reminder of all that he is learning to be enjoyed for years to come. Bountiful Bread is on sale now for $5!*

For more ideas and encouragement, join us for our FREE Easter co-op. You can sign up here, and the co-op will be held on our Facebook page. See you there!

*Special prices go through 3/2/13.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

This New Season of Faith

In the midst of winter, we begin to look forward to longer and brighter days, the first green shoots of grass, and the colors of the daffodils and crocus as they begin their new cycle of life. As Christians, we look forward to the celebration of what I look at as THE most important event in the history of the world—the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Some Christian denominations mark the approach of Easter with the observance of Lent, just as many observe the season of Advent leading up to Christmas.

With all that we do as homeschooling parents, it is so easy to overlook the obvious in the midst of the day’s most pressing fires. Consider setting a few simple goals as we approach this season that is so important to our Christian faith. Perhaps this month focus on having everyone learn the Lord’s Prayer or Psalm 23. Building faith in our children is what I consider to be our most important mission here on earth as parents. Teach them, taking it one step at a time.  

Amanda B.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Get ready for Easter!

Spring is coming, and with it comes the celebration of God’s amazing Gift as we approach Easter. Use the days of March to help your children understand this life-changing event.

With an early Easter on March 31st, we have put together some tools to help you make these days count and strengthen their faith:

  • The USAB Easter Facebook Co-op begins March 4th! Join us as we begin our four-week celebration of God’s Amazing Love—His Son—sharing daily devotions, Scripture, activity suggestions, and more with 6,600+ of our closest friends. We’ll be using the Easter Unit Study as our guide, and we have been busy creating some fun, free printables to go along with the co-op.
  • A variety of Easter-related titles are on sale* this week to help you ease into a special month of learning. No preparation required with these titles-they are ready to use today. 

*Special prices go through 3/2/13.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Not Just a Great Wall . . .

Our last stop in our trip around the world is . . . China!

It’s usually the fireworks, kites, and the Great Wall that capture the attention of young students. China is a beautiful country full of all kinds of history and geography and wonderful people.  As we head off on our expedition to learn about China, we will be studying these things, and having a trip to remember!

Get ready for a learning adventure about this country and all that it holds! Your child will learn about the people and places of China, the unique animals of China, and some of this nation’s history. Each day will be spent exploring and investigating, creating and adding more learning components to the Expedition China lapbook—building a wonderful remind of all he is learning to be enjoyed for the years ahead.

From learning about some of the inventions of China to investigating the Great Wall, your child is about to begin a trip around the globe on a very unique learning adventure. Your child will develop a natural appreciation of all of God’s creation.

We will be investigating:
  • Where on earth is China?
  • Some of the special places in China.
  • Animals of China.
  • Cool things to know about China.
  • Fun and games in China.
  • Missionaries to China.

Join us on the expedition – China, here we come!

Expedition China is on sale now for $5 until 2/23/13!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Desert, Rain Forest, Savanna . . . Explore Them All!

Are you enjoying our trip around the world?  Next stop is . . . Africa!

Safaris, deserts, and Egyptian pyramids first come to mind when a child begins to think of exploring Africa, and rightly so. Africa is a vast and exciting continent full of all kinds of history and geography and remarkably interesting animals. As we head off on our expedition to learn about Africa, we will be studying these things and having an excursion you won’t soon forget!

Get ready for a wonderful learning adventure about this continent and all that it holds. Your child will learn about the people and places of Africa, the animals of Africa, and some of this continent’s history. Each day will be spent exploring and investigating, creating and adding more learning components to the Expedition Africa lapbook—building a wonderful reminder of all that he is learning to be enjoyed for years to come.

From looking at the animals that most of us only see at the zoo, to climbing the mountains and trekking through the deserts, your child is embarking on a trip around the globe on a very unique learning adventure. Your child will be developing a natural appreciation of all of God’s creation. We will be investigating:

  • Where on earth is Africa?
  • Some of the special places in Africa.
  •  Animals of Africa. 
  • Cool thinks to know about Africa
  • Fun and games in Africa

Africa, here we come!

Expedition Africa is on sale now for $5 until 2/23/13!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Take off to the Great White North!

Our next stop in our trip around the world is . . . Canada!

Mounties, maple, moose, a goose, pingos, loonies, and lights . . . From sea to sea, Canada is a land of culture, fun, wonder and sights!

During this one-week unit study you will learn about:

Day 1: Where on Earth Is Canada?
Day 2: Some of the Special Places of Canada
Day 3: A Bit of History
Day 4: Special Things to Know About Canada
Day 5: Fun and Games in Canada

Your kids will adore exploring Canada, the world’s second largest country.

Canada is a vast and exciting place full of fascinating people, history, geography, remarkably interesting animals, and more. The hockey games, the arctic tundra, the moose, and the polar bears will catch children’s attention, but kids are amazed to learn about the northern lights, Niagara Falls, the sport of curling, and the Canadian Rockies.

Expedition Canada is on sale now, through 2/23/13 for $5!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Get ready for a European adventure!

Join us on a European adventure!  First stop is . . . Germany!

Passport Germany can rescue you from the "winter blues" and whisk you away on a learning journey that will never be forgotten.

This one-week unit study has been developed to provide your student with a virtual tour of Germany, covering the geography of this nation, as well as some of its history, art and literature, landmarks, and interesting people.

From Lichtenstein Castle, to the sights and sounds of colorful Frankfurt, you will visit historic and unique sites and marvelous places that span the nation that is officially called the Federal Republic of Germany.  Some of the places you will be visiting include:

  • Rhine River Valley
  • Neuschwanstein Castle
  • Black Forest
  • Bavarian Alps

Your crew will enjoy virtual visits to beautiful cities and villages, meet some of the people, learn about their daily life, and visit some fun tourist spots and historical places, all from the comfort of home--no luggage required! Some of the spots that you will be visiting include:

  • Frankfurt Zoo
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Church of St. Michael
  • Germany's Christmas Markets
  • Volkswagen Factory

Pack up and get ready to travel to Germany with Amanda Bennett’s new Passport Geography™ series! Here's a peek at what you will find in the Explorer Level:

Passport Germany is on sale now for $5!*

Next stop is . . . Italy!

Get ready to travel to Italy! This one-week unit study has been developed to provide your student with a virtual tour of Italy, covering the geography, as well as some of its history, art and literature, landmarks, and interesting people.

From online gondola rides through Venice to touring ancient Roman structures, you will visit historic and unique sites and marvelous places that span the nation that is officially called the Italian Republic.

Some of the places you will visit include:

  • Po River Valley
  • Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • Amalfi Coast
  • Italian Alps

You will see and hear the sights and sounds of cities and villages, people, daily life, tourist spots, and historical places, all from the comfort of home—no passport required! Some of the fun spots you will be visiting include:

  • Roman Colosseum
  • Pompeii
  • Sistine Chapel
  • St. Mark's Square
  • Ferrari Factory

With the new Passport series, you will see places that most people never get to visit, becoming familiar with this part of the world and many of the landmarks and landforms that are in Italy. We are beginning a great geographic adventure—glad to have you along!

The Scout Level features a lapbook - all the components are prepared, you just cut and fold! Check out our helpful video for Passport Italy's Lapbook!

Passport Italy is on sale now for $5!*

PS - Be our friend!  "Like" our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter and join the adventure. We'll be spotlighting learning activities from both of these units, as well as sharing more ideas, inspiration, and fun together!

*Sale prices good through Saturday, February 23, 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

Get Ready for the Daytona 500 With Auto Racing!

What a thrill to hear a race car roar by as it races down the track! With so many types of competitive auto racing, this topic makes for a great unit study. As well as providing a wonderful opportunity to learn about cars and engines, there is a rich history to racing as well as plenty of science. From stock car racing to Formula One racing, from rallies to drag racing - providing learning and fun for kids of all ages.

When studying racing, history, science, geography and physics come into the picture, and what more exciting and interesting topic than this to learn about forces, combustion, safety, and so much more. We will learn about racing legends as well as today's drivers competing for their turn at victory. We will take a look at today's family cars – how they work and about some of their features. Speedways around the world will be studied, along with famous tracks here in America. Along with all of this, the students will take a look at the forces involved in racing, car design, safety features, and the driving strategies used by today's drivers.

Let's see what we can learn from all of the dreamers, inventors and drivers that helped make automobiles and auto racing a reality. We will take a journey back in time to learn more about the development of automobiles, from Henry Ford and his many contributions to today's designs for tomorrow's cars. This four-week unit study provides plenty of opportunity for field trips as well as hands-on learning. Plan to join us as we take off on a new adventure!

Get ready for the Daytona 500 on February 24th with Auto Racing - on sale for now for $6 through 2/16/2013!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Birthday George Washington!

Did you know that George Washington’s birthday is on February 22nd? There's so much to discover about this favorite American soldier and President!  Wouldn't it be a perfect month to let the learning sparks fly and add a little week-long celebration in honor of him to your studies? Perhaps even plan a party!

From his efforts to throw a rock all the way across the river to his persistent battle for freedom, George Washington has become someone who is much admired. Do you remember the legend of George Washington and the cherry tree? It's perhaps one of the first familiar character lessons young children learn.

"It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible."
—George Washington

Take a peak inside this unit.  George Washington is on sale for $5 through 02/16/13!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Kids, Interests, and Their Concept of Time

Hello there!

I have noticed that children can learn so much about things that they are interested in. They remember every small detail about the fish they caught and helped Dad clean. They remember with clarity the time they toured the Corvette factory and can share their adventure to the last detail with anyone who asks. They can name the stars and major constellations after spending nights in the backyard with Mom or Dad and a telescope. While investigating an interest in baseball, they can tell you all about Babe Ruth, Satchel Paige, Hank Aaron, and more, but they can't necessarily tell you the years that they played.

With my own crew, I learned that there was an age or level of development where they could begin to put things in order time-wise—they could understand the concept of the American Revolution coming before the Civil War, for example. Before they reached this point, their interests were more pressing in their minds than the order in which things happened. To help them begin to understand the concept of time, timelines are invaluable.

For example, the study of baseball started our study of the Civil War, as we discovered that the game was spread from north to south in prison camps during that conflict. While they were fascinated with baseball/softball at the moment, the Civil War caught their interest—what it was, why Americans were fighting Americans, etc.

While working on Gardens, we discovered that Gregor Mendel (the father of genetics who used sweet pea plants for his studies) worked on his research across the Atlantic Ocean during the Civil War and had his paper presented to the European scientific community in 1866, right after the end of the Civil War.

All of this to say that sometimes the interest they are following can reveal other areas of interest that become a fascination. I quickly learned that it is more fruitful to follow that interest, pointing out connections to other things that have been studied. It is helpful to have them create timelines as the study progresses, so they can see the overlaps—Mendel's work, baseball, the Civil War, etc.

I've noticed that this gives them a framework on which they can "hang" the information. They also can see that nothing happens that is just science or history or art. God weaves events together in such amazing ways.

The timeline also helps them learn that events are happening all over the world simultaneously. In 1862, in the middle of the Civil War, President Lincoln signed the bill authorizing the building of the Transcontinental Railroad (Trains). In 1863, the first section of London's Underground Railway opened. Also in 1863, both Henry Ford and Henry Royce were born, to later become leaders in the development of the automobile.

I have an analogy that helps me understand a child's mind: A child's mind is similar to the storage area on the top of an old-fashioned rolltop desk. There are all kinds of cubbyholes and nooks and crannies to be filled. When children are young, they can put all kinds of things in those compartments and know all about each one. They know just where each morsel is, and know just how it relates to other pieces (baseball to Civil War to trains). As they grow older, they begin to sort and arrange the information in the desktop, based on time, interest, etc.

So there you have my theory about kids and interests and their concept of time. But who am I to tell you that? You know firsthand that they don't understand the concept of wait, or not right now, or just a few more minutes! :)

Amanda B.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

From Pioneers to Presidents . . . Learn About the Heroes of America!

Of the many things that the upcoming generation of students need, it is important that they have heroes—people that they can look up to, learn from, admire and identify with—we all need heroes! I have always loved stories about heroes and their brave acts, and years ago, I came across a wonderful antique children’s history book, American Hero Stories: 1492 – 1865.

Originally published in 1906, this book captured my attention and my imagination. I hated learning about history from textbooks, and now I had discovered a valuable teaching tool! The stories used heroes and heroic actions to weave a strong fabric of American history for the students. I wanted to share the book with this upcoming generation of children, and worked to update the text and added Internet resources in each story.

With these stories, your children will learn about

  • Voyagers and explorers
  • Early American colonies
  • Pioneers and presidents
  • And more! 

The story of Dolly Madison’s bravery was new to me, and fascinating. The stories include the adventures of George Washington’s days as a young soldier and the hard work of Abraham Lincoln to get an education on his own, and many others.

The stories are all here, updated and ready to thrill a new set of students. When reading these stories discuss the character traits that were important in the story. Point out bravery, honor, loyalty, dedication, courage, selflessness, and other traits that can be seen in each story’s characters. Dig deeper into people or topics that surface while working on each hero story, using the Internet Resources provided or Internet search engines.

Enjoy the book, the lessons and the learning, and have fun! Heroes of America is on sale now through 2/16/13 for just $6!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Git ready fer more sweet huntin'--th' treasure lies awaitin'!

Blisterin’ barnacles! Th‘ clock’s a’tickin’ an’ thar ain’t no time to lose! Th‘ race is on fer th’ Hershey treasure, an’ there’s plenty more t’ git along th‘ way!

Aye, yer daily clues’r on Facebook an’ Twitter, an’ if ye missed th‘ map, git one by clickin’ below—it’s free!

An’ that ain’t all tha’s free . . .

Cap’n Amanda’s givin’ away a mess o’ Treasure Island mugs! Scroll down to enter!

Ar’ ye ready fer a swashbucklin’ tale o’ adventure? Fer all ye comely scallywags, download th’ free Treasure Island E-Book.

‘N’ thar’s a free Words o’ Love printable fer sharin’ wi’ yer kiddies—awwww, ain’t that nice?

Thar’s even more booty t’ be found on the Specials page t’celebrate yer presidents ‘n’ beloved sports:

  • George Washington - th’ salty sea-dog Father o’ th’ Country.
  • Heroes of America - real fine lan’lubbers.
  • Baseball - fer jolly good times!
  • Auto Racing - th’ sprogs’ll be lovin’ it!

Enter here fer yer chance to win a Sadler Bone China Treasure Island mug! Thar be five winners, each winnin' one mug. Perfect to sip yer coffee or steamin' cocoa in, while readin' yer free copy 'o Treasure Island. Enter now - Arrr!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sadler Bone China Treasure Island mug giveaway begins 2/11/13 and ends on 2/14/13 at 12:00 am EST.

Sweet Treasure Giveaway begins on 2/4/2013 and ends on 2/17/2013 at 12:00 am EST.
For complete contest rules, visit

Friday, February 8, 2013

Ways to Liven Up Winter at YOUR House!

As we move into the midst of this season, the winter doldrums begin and symptoms of cabin fever appear. Like many families, we tend to read more, work on home and craft projects, and of course, our learning continues full speed ahead. I thought you might enjoy a few suggestions to help you enjoy your family's studies as well as the season.

I've discovered a fascinating book about the man who really opened our eyes to the structure of snowflakes—William Bentley. The book that I refer to is Snowflake Bentley, written by Jacqueline B. Martin and illustrated by Mary Azarian (published by Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998).

This book is a biography of Bentley’s life and fascination with nature and snow, from childhood through adulthood. It is a picture book for all ages. This book, along with the book that he wrote and filled with his photographs of snowflakes, Snow Crystals, is all that you need to enjoy a study of snow, as well as perseverance.

If you have the luxury of having snow on the ground, send everyone out with a magnifying glass to study the snowflakes as they fall. They can sketch their favorite flakes and cut them out to hang in the window. For those of you who don't live in snow country, use the opportunity to study some of William Bentley's photographs of individual flakes, and then draw them and cut them out of white paper. The variety in shapes and structures is fascinating, and fun to try to capture on paper. Of course, when the opportunity presents, the art of snow sculpture has a definite attraction. We've had snow dogs, snow men, snow women, snow bears, and all kinds of fun sculptures! Don't forget to keep the camera handy for these ventures—the memories are priceless.

Winter also brings everyone closer to home, and there’s plenty of time for cooking, games, and other "together" activities. At our house, we keep the Pioneer Lady's Hearty Winter Cookbook (written by Jane Watson Hopping) handy. This book is written like a journal, with some wonderfully simple recipes for delicious home-cooked meals. 

As my son reminds me, Spring Training begins February 11th. If there is an interest in baseball or softball in your house, use the time to explore the Internet baseball sites to find out Spring Training plans, trading of players, etc. 

There are sites for all of the major league teams, as well as many of the minor league teams. The Major League Baseball Association has a very informative website, and there are also the usual sport sites such as

Don't forget to have your baseball fans write to the major league teams and ask for team information, along with a spring and summer game schedule. Several of the teams send bumper stickers, posters, and plenty of fun information. 

If you want to encourage the children’s interest in baseball and learn in the process, order the Baseball Unit Study Adventure now, and get ready for a fascinating adventure into the history and science of baseball. What a way to liven up learning during dreary winter days—poring over baseball cards, learning how American history and baseball history intertwine, and more!

For those students interested in playing baseball this spring, the winter can provide some opportunities to begin to get in shape for the season. The books at the library on Little League, baseball training, sports fitness, and other topics for children are usually very available in the wintertime; don't forget to include them in your next library search. 

Remember the saying "bloom where you are planted"—perfect for being cooped up inside and looking forward to the coming of spring. The seed catalogs are coming, and I hope you are going to receive some of them. They are wonderful planning tools, bringing a reminder that the cold weather will end soon, and that a whole new season of fun and growing is about to begin.

Start preparing for a fun study of gardening. Let each family member choose a vegetable and flower to grow, and have the children start listing the choices. Bundle everyone up and send them out with a tape measure to choose a site and size for their future garden. As they choose the site, remind them that the amount of sun the garden location receives is important, as well as proximity to a water resource (or a good, long hose!). Once the site and size are determined, have the children draw a plan for the garden, using graph paper to keep the sketch simple and accurate. Don't forget to order the Gardens Unit Study to get ready for learning fun in the spring!
After sketching the outline of the garden, use seed and garden sites on the Internet to order seed catalogs, read articles about planning the garden, and ask questions of gardening experts. If you don't have or want an outside, in-the-ground garden, consider planting your garden in above-ground containers, such as barrel halves or large buckets that have drain holes.

When the seed-selection process begins, either online or through the seed catalogs, have the children note how many days until each plant produces fruit, as well as the best time to plant that seed for your geographical area. Then, if you have time, plan on starting the seeds inside in a sunny spot in your house. This can be a great learning experience, even with snow on the ground. We've learned so much just through starting seeds in plastic bags with damp paper towels, watching the roots grow and the seedlings develop.

This jump-start on your family's garden will help bring some bright and fun times into the slump of winter. Also, keep an eye out for the small bulb gardens available at your local discount department store this time of year, for forcing bulbs in the midst of winter. This can provide some winter color and excitement as you all wait for the first signs of growth, and then for the flowers themselves!

I hope that these ideas help brighten your family's winter. These are special times that can't be relived and will pass all too quickly.

Amanda B.

P.S. Winter Wonders DNG is on sale now for $5 through 2/9/13. Warm up to an educational exploration! A Snowflake Bentley pop-up book, a winter bird-watching log, creative instructions for hot chocolate, and more will all end up in a memorable lapbook by the end of the week!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Adventures in Bravery, Courage, and Honesty . . . Heroes of American History!

Who were your heroes when you were a child? I had all kinds of heroes--biblical heroes like Daniel, Esther, Joseph, and others, as well as more modern heroes like Daniel Boone, Neil Armstrong, Amelia Earhart, and more. They were important to me because they were real people who had lived extraordinary lives.   

While raising our children, I noticed that they didn't have the same kinds of heroes I had. Their heroes came in plastic shell packages from the store, wearing different colored capes and not connected with anyone who had lived a life of real adventure and challenges. That bothered me, so I set out to help them discover "real" heroes. 

This new series, Heroes for Today, contains stories from long ago which I have updated for the next generation. These stories capture the imagination, while reinforcing important character traits--courage, ambition, perseverance, humility, caring for others, responsibility, faith, conviction, and more.  

Introduce your children to the great Heroes of our country! 
Heroes of American History is on sale this week for just $6*!

Jump into American history feet first and head for an adventure that is much more memorable and interesting than dry condensed, and predigested textbook material. Launching into the era of colonial America, we first learn about King George and his decision to burden the American colonists with the Stamp Act, raising taxes for his kingdom. The war with the French had put England in great debt, and now King George needed a way to raise money quickly. You might know that Americans hated the Stamp Act and that it was this act that began the American Revolution against England, but did you know that the colonists could only buy the goods they needed from England, and that it was illegal for them to sell the products produced in America to any country but England? People like Patrick Henry helped change the course of America with his brave words and deeds to win our freedom, but wait until you read about all of his misadventures along the way!

Written to convey the feelings and ideas of the people of those times, these stories tell us about American history and hold our interest with chapters on Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, Nathanael Greene, John Paul Jones, Daniel Boone, George Rogers Clark, John Sevier, Robert Fulton, and more. The topics covered include the Revolutionary War, the expanding frontier, the Wilderness Road and the Erie Canal, along with the coming of trains and railroads and Samuel Morse and the telegraph.

Let your children meet these people, savor their stories, and learn and grow from their adventures, trials, and tribulations!


*Sale goes through Saturday, February 09, 2013.Fe

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

In Search of Chocolate Perfection

As newlyweds facing our first Christmas in our new home, we both wanted to bring a bit of our own Christmas memories into this special holiday. While my memories involved things like banana nut bread and pecan coffee cake, my husband’s mother had kept their holidays filled with all kinds of family heirloom special treats and homemade candies. One of his favorites was the chocolate fudge she made—perfectly creamy and smooth, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. And so the search began. 

For our first few Christmases, he tried all kinds of fudge recipes from people at work, neighbors, and my Southern Living magazine. We taste-tested all kinds of his creations, and the holidays smelled delicious at our house! He learned all he could about fudge making, even buying a big slab of marble for the pouring of the fudge in its final phases. Another GREAT addition to our kitchen was when he discovered that using a mixer in the beating phase was a key component to creating just the right texture. I was all smiles the day he bought a blue KitchenAid mixer. Oh, the suffering along the way to finding the perfect fudge-making process—sheer delight! 

As hard as he tried, he couldn't get the product to be quite the way he remembered his mom’s fudge. He finally picked up the phone and called her, pen and pad of paper at hand, and asked if she would share her now-famous recipe. When she told him that she always used the recipe on the Hershey Cocoa can, he was stunned. “That’s it? THAT’s the recipe?” He now had just what he needed, and the rest is delicious history. 

And we live happily ever after, with his fudge on special occasions, and a big blue KitchenAid mixer on the counter, and big chocolate-loving smiles all around!


P.S. Chocolate Challenge DNG is on sale now through 2/9/13 for $5! And, don't forget to download your treasure map and find the codes for a chance to win 36 Hershey bars!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

It's time to Share the LOVE!

Are you ready for your kids to LOVE learning again? It's time to put away those boring textbooks, and breathe some life and LOVE into your learning adventures! 

In Valentine's Day (Download N Go study, designed for K - 4), your kids will be making science discoveries, such as learning about the human heart and how it works. They will explore history as they study the legends and the history of Valentine's Day. Geography will enrich the study of this holiday even more--wait until you see how Valentine's Day is celebrated in Italy! Most importantly, they will investigate what the Bible teaches us about love and our hearts.

Seize this opportunity to open their minds and hearts this week--and fall back in LOVE with learning!

You're going to LOVE the price too . . . Valentine's Day is on sale this week for just $5*!


Amanda B.

PS - To enrich your study of this season of love, we recommend our FREE Words of Love from the Bible copywork book. Download yours now!

We also have a FREE, Love Printable for you - have your children customize it, then share the love with us on our Facebook page!  We can't wait to see their "masterpieces"!

*Sale goes through Saturday, February 09, 2013.February 11, 2012.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Git yer map an' start th' treasure hunt!

Ahoy, mateys! 

Today's the day we begin our search fer th' yummy treasure! Go t' t' download yer treasure map this day, ‘n then be watchin' fer th' clues on Facebook ‘n Twitter each day.

While yer gettin' yer map, check out th‘ amazin' sale goin' on-topics that'll cheer yer hearts on these cold days:

An' one more thing . . . just t‘ thank ye fer bein' such jolly customers, we've got a free Words o' Love copywork book fer ye- download it while yer gettin' yer map.

Aarrrrgggh! It's a race fer th' treasure!

Psst . . . here's a help fer ye . . . one of th‘ code letters is already filled in on th' map. Yer already one step closer t‘ th' prize!

Contest begins on 2/4/2013 and ends on 2/17/2013 at 12:00 am EST.
For complete contest rules, visit