Monday, January 20, 2014

Start Something New Boutique

2014 is here and with a new year people tend to set new goals of things that they want to do.   DK Canada currently have a new boutique for you to choose something new to start this year.  In the Start Something New Boutique at DK Canada you will find something for you with a few clicks.  In that special boutique you will find books about running, boosting your brain, yoga, stretching, wine, cake decorating, crochet, astronomy, gardening, crafts, photography, beading, cooking, baking, learning a new language, woodworking, preserving and much more.   The book that caught my eye in the Start Something New Boutique was The Complete Guitar Manual.

Let’s go back in time a little bit so I can tell you more about how music has entered in our home.   A few months back, I spotted a note from someone in the Homeschool FREE Market for our town on facebook.   The note was saying that the woman had an electric guitar to give away with an amp.   Knowing that my husband wanted to learn guitar I asked him if he would like to have it.   He said sure and I quickly emailed her to let her know we could pick it up.   That same day, we drove to go pick up the guitar.   The strings needed to get changed and we brought it to a music store near our place.   When the guy learned that we got it for free, he told us we had an amazing deal since it was a guitar of about 350$. 

My husband looked for a course on the internet and found one that he enjoys with our two older sons.   Problem was…. the guitar had to be shared between the three of them.    Seeing how the boys practiced and learned with him, we had the idea of getting them a guitar each for Christmas.   It was close to Christmas day when we finally got to two electric guitars – trading for comics and other things.   But the boys were delighted when they got their big gifts on Christmas morning.   And dad had taken the time to wrap them up nicely.  They were not expecting this whatsoever.  Along with guitars, we are now have a drum set and a keyboard.   Funny how things happens something.


Anyhow, though the oldest two boys are learning guitar with dad over the internet with Justin as their teacher, I thought that a book on guitar would be nice to have too.    That’s the main reason why I picked the book The Complete Guitar Manual from the Start Something New Boutique.  Let’s check what the book covers together.

9780756675530HThe Complete Guitar Manual, published at DK Canada, covers every aspect of learning how to play the guitar, from choosing an instrument and using a pick for the first time to starting a band and writing your own music.  The book is essentially a complete course of professional lessons that works both as a personal tutor and a comprehensive textbook.  The Complete Guitar Manual is a self improvement guide for all aspiring guitar players and could be a great tool for aspiring guitarists and professionals alike.  It includes techniques and step by step photographic instructions that help you build new skills or hone existing ones as well as a DVD with video sequences showing how to play and how it should sound.

For the benefit of my readers, I have included the Table of Contents.

  • Chapter one – The Kit:  The guitar, anatomy of an acoustic guitar, anatomy of an electric guitar, acoustics guitars, semi-acoustic guitars, electric guitars, tone and hardware, buying a guitar, guitar amplifiers, anatomy of an amplifier, guitar effects.
  • Chapter two – Essential Theory: How music works, Scales and keys, Notation and tab, Forming chords, Rhythm and time.
  • Chapter three – The Sessions:  Essentially you will have ten sessions to follow through with lessons in each of them.  Each sessions are clearly marked to refer to the DVD included in the book.   You will learn the basics of playing guitar and slowly but surely advanced in more chords and playing songs.
  • Chapter four – Becoming an Artist: Covering songs and writing original material, playing in public, forming a band, home recording, and getting your music out there.
  • Chapter five –Guitar Maintenance: Choosing and fitting strings, cleaning and storing guitars, setting up your guitar, customizing and upgrading your guitar.
  • Chapter six – Useful Resources: Chord directory, scale directory, key signatures, notation decoder.

As you can see this book will cover numerous aspects of learning the guitar.   I showed this book to my husband and he was immediately intrigue and interested by it.   He is getting back playing the guitar as he used to have lessons when he was younger.  He read part of the book already and learned a thing or two from it.   He told me that this will be a book that he will go back to it in order to better understand guitars and learn from it.

The Complete Guitar Manual will give you the motivation to discover more about this musical instrument and hopefully develop a new talent in 2014.


Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for sending me the above mentioned title for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Love and Respect in the Family

0849948207.jpgLove & Respect in the Family
Written by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
Published at W Publishing Group – an imprint of Thomas Nelson

About the book

Children need love.  Parents need respect.

It is as simple and complex as that!

When frustrated with an unresponsive child, a parent doesn’t declare, “You don’t love me.” Instead the parent asserts, “You are being disrespectful right now.” A parent needs to feel respected, especially during conflicts. When upset a child does not whine, “You don’t respect me.” Instead, a child pouts, “You don’t love me.” A child needs to feel loved, especially during disputes.

But here’s the rub: An unloved child (or teen) negatively reacts in a way that feels disrespectful to a parent. A disrespected parent negatively reacts in a way that feels unloving to the child.  This dynamic gives birth to the FAMILY CRAZY CYCLE.

So how is one to break out of this cycle? Best-selling author Emerson Eggerichs has studied the family dynamic for more than 30 years, having his Ph.D. in Child and Family Ecology. As a senior pastor for nearly two decades, Eggerichs builds on a foundation of strong biblical principles, walking the reader through an entirely new way to approach the family dynamic. For instance, God reveals ways to defuse the craziness with our children from preschooler to teen, plus how to motivate them to obey and how to deal with them when they don’t. In the Bible, God has spoken specifically to parents on how to parent. This book is about that revelation.

My Thoughts

As soon as I realized that a parental version of the best seller Love & Respect was published I knew it would be a book that will be worth reading.   And I wasn’t disappointed.   Dr. Emerson Eggerichs has found a way to encourage parents to stop the Family Crazy Cycle and instruct their children to respect them.  At the same time, he put some emphasis on the importance of love for a child.   Without knowing it, you will suddenly realize where changes need to be done in your parenting and how you can ameliorate the atmosphere in your home.  

Once you understand the Family Crazy Cycle and learn to defuse it, you can create a new cycle for your family – more specifically, you will learn to establish an Energizing Cycle in order to have better relationships with each other.   In this specific section of the book you and your family will learn to give, understand each other, how to instruct, how to discipline, how to encourage, and how to supplicate for your kids.  A chapter will also emphasize the importance of teamwork between the husband and wife which personally I find essential.   Finally, the last chapter of this section will provide guidance on how to relate to a child that is a different gender than yourself.   Part of this chapter will guide moms to relate to their sons and the other part will help dads to better understand their daughters.

The last section of the book presents the Family Rewarded Cycle.   This specific section will teach you why we need to parent God’s way, how to love no matter what, how to avoid the outcomes trap and how your response (or how you react) is in fact your responsibility.   Like it or not, whether your are a new parent or a parent for numerous years (in our case we are just around the teenage years), it is always beneficial to learn from experts on parenting.   I consider Dr. Eggerichs one of the few authors I would trust when it comes to parenting and marital advices.  

The book is definitively a must have for parents who are struggling with lack of respect in the home.   As you read it you might be surprised to discover that the lack of respect is directly linked with the lack of love your kids might feel.   I would like to strongly encourage all parents to read this book.   It is packed with wisdom on every page.

Love & Respect in the Family is available at your favourite bookstore, even and







Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Nelson for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes . I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal

Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal
Written by: Stacy Farrell
Published at Home School Adventure Co. Publication

About the product

The classic work commonly known as Mere Christianity is actually a four-book series which explores the common ground upon which all Christians stand. It brings together Lewis’ legendary radio talks broadcast during World War II previously published as: Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe, What Christians Believe, Christian Behavior, andBeyond Personality (or First Steps in the Doctrine of the Trinity), and provides an unequaled opportunity for believers and nonbelievers alike to hear this powerful apologetic for the Christian faith.

The Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal is a powerful tool to strengthen critical thinking while cultivating a biblical worldview. Although it was originally created to be a companion resource to Philosophy Adventure, it may also be used as group or independent study for teenagers or adults.

It provides 10-16 questions for each chapter which can be discussed in:

  • homeschools
  • co-ops
  • classrooms
  • Sunday school
  • small groups
  • families

Who is Stacy Farrell?

Stacy Farrell’s worldview changed when she embarked on her homeschooling adventure in 2002.

Her background as a consultant and writer well-prepared her to teach communication skills; however, only hands-on experience (and much time spent on her knees) equipped her to mentor her sons through the character-transformation required to help them work toward their full potential.

Stacy has spoken at a variety of homeschool conferences and has published articles in leading Christian magazines. She wrote scripts for Willow Creek’s youth ministry, copy for Pastor Bill Hybel’s “Defining Moments” Audio Newsletter, and a broad range of material for corporate and non-profit clients. She also managed a law firm that specialized in civil rights litigation and constitutional law. Today, she loves to help empower students to recover territory lost by “fuzzy thinking” and low expectations. To that end, she created:

  • Philosophy Adventure™—Pre-Socratics – designed to help students 6th-12th grade cultivate and defend a biblical worldview by teaching them how to write skillfully, think critically, and speak articulately as they explore the history of ideas
  • Philippians in 28 Weeks™ — a simple and painless way to memorize an entire book of Scripture
  • The Wise Woman with Literary Analysis Journal Questions – an enchanting fable that unmasks the ugliness of pride and selfishness
  • Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal -- a powerful tool to strengthen critical thinking while cultivating a biblical worldview.

Although Stacy loves to write, speak, and teach, she considers her role as wife to Roger and mother to two precious sons to be her greatest work and privilege. You can learn more about her resources at ttp://

My Thoughts

I am very impressed with the products I have received from Home School Adventures Co. Publication so far.  Each time, I am in awe with the quality and the the depths of each product I have gotten from them so far.   This time around I had the opportunity to review the Critical Analysis Journal for Mere Christianity which was written by C.S. Lewis.

I will be honest with you.   Apart from listening to the Chronicles of Narnia with the family while vacationing a few years ago, I have never picked up a book from C.S. Lewis to read it.  So when I had the opportunity to review the product of Stacy Farrel, I thought it was also the perfect opportunity to tackle something that I have been thinking for quite some time with my oldest son, Alexandre, who is in grade 7 of homeschool – reading Mere Christianity together.    Unfortunately, it took me two weeks to receive the Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics which arrived just before Christmas and since we don’t do school during the Christmas weeks, well… our reading and journaling didn’t start until January.   But so far, I think we are learning well together.   We each read  a chapter at a time individually and then we come together in order to answer the questions found in the Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal.   For each chapter, you will find about 10 questions which will require you to dig in the chapter in order to find the answer or to simply formulate an answer based on what you think (there are some questions that will require your student to formulate a personal answer to it).  These personal answers will allow your student to express himself/herself according to their own thoughts.  At first, my son would answer with a short answer but I challenged him to write more profound answers.

I wasn’t sure how he would react.  Part of me thought that the book was a bit too much for him.  But doing it together encourages us to talk about what we read and how to answer the questions.   The fact that we are taking the book with bite size steps allow us to better understand what C.S. Lewis was saying.  The Critical Analysis Journal is also an excellent tool to have in hand when we decorticate the meanings of Lewis’ writings.  

I personally found this product challenging on many levels.  Not only will it encourage you to read a book that was on the back of my mind for a couple of years now but it is stimulating to work on something alongside with my oldest son.   Though he finds it challenging to read the chapters (I do find it is a bit above the middle school level), he is coming to a point that he is taking advance in his reading and willingness to work on the Critical Analysis Journal has move from reluctant to somewhat motivated.   I believe in challenging my kids in reading books above their level in order to prepare them for higher level schooling and the Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal allow me to challenge my son in doing his best when something is more challenging.

The Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal is available for purchase on Homeschool Adventure Co. for the price of 28.95 in print edition and 18.95 in digital download.  


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I Love DK Contest


Every February DK Canada create a boutique of our most popular books as selected by readers. Throughout this month of January DK ask their readers to submit their choices for their favourite DK book of all-time.   Out of the submissions, they will pick 20 of the top books and offer them up at 30% off in February.

So everyone who votes between now and January 30th will be entered into a draw for a $250 DK shopping spree where they can choose whatever books they like from our website!

So if you want to have a chance to win the shopping spree – click on the icon below and tell DK Canada what is your favourite DK book of all time!


Good Luck everyone!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

VOTA Special Request For Their New Album Love Found Me

For a few months, my husband has been using RDIO to discover music from new artists based on his music preferences.  So far he is quite pleased with RDIO as he has discovered new artists that he is enjoying quite a bit.

Through RDIO, he has stumbled on VOTA a Christian rock band from Lincoln, Nebraska which features Bryan Olesen who was a former guitarist with the Christian rock band Newsboys.   When I started going out with my husband, he introduced me to Newsboys and we had the privilege to attend two of their concerts in the past.   Needless to say, we are fans of Newsboys and we introduced our kids to them since then.  

Discovering that one of their former guitarist was part of VOTA immediately triggered my husband to check out their songs and he got hooked.    VOTA was originally founded as Casting Pearls back in 1997 but in 2008 the name was changed because of the confusion with Casting Crowns another Christian band.image

My husband says that VOTA is one of his favourite now.  On January 8th, VOTA released a new album – Love Found Me.  Though you could purchase this album on places like, Best Buy,, Rhapsody, iTunes, RDIO, as well as AmazonMP3, I would like you to consider another option – getting it for free in exchange of a donation.

WHAT DID SHE SAY?  Did I just read the word FREE?

Yes.  Free.

All you need to do is go to the website Love Found Me, watch the video of Bryan presenting Meena and her story as well as the plan that VOTA has to save girls from human trafficking in Nepal.

All you have to do is jump to and let God speak to you (as he did for my husband – I don’t see my husband in tears very often but this video definitively touched his heart.    And after watching it myself, I was touched to the point that tears were coming freely too!) as you watch the video.

For a simple 15$ of donations to help rescue human trafficking in Nepal and save girls, VOTA will give you not only their new album Love Found Me but also include a second album No Plan B as a thanks for your donation. 

100% of all proceeds are going to Tiny Hands International.


Interested in getting not one but two albums from VOTA? Quickly go to LoveFoundMe, watch the video and be touched by the story shared here and how VOTA is planning to rescue 3000 girls.  Together we can do it. Please join us to fight human trafficking in Nepal.