What is etched on your heart?

Have you ever taken the time to look back on the significant moments in your life…..  the ones that seemed so ordinary at the time, but in reality turned out to be life changing?

That is what Jill Kelly has done in her book Etched…. Upon my Heart.  Longing to share the hopes and highlights and struggles of her journey to find the Lord and by His side afterward with her girls; she wrote this book.  She has taken those moments in time and with a transparency that is uncommon these days she shares them with her readers.

A she walks you thorough the learning moments in your life you become reflective with her.  You begin to draw on your own memories and see where you too have learned; you begin to see the moment of learning that are etched on your own heart.

As I have read this book I have been challenged to look back upon the things I have done when I was not following Christ as gifts.  They have been important in my journey to who I am today, and who I am in the process of becoming.  Each of these moments and what i have learned from them are my legacy to my children.  Yes, even the moments that were bad. 

If you are like me, prone to beat yourself up mentally for your past.  I recommend that you read this book.  It is a sweet salve to the scars helping you allow Christ to redeem them for good.

If you would like to purchase the book click here.

Etched...Upon My Heart: What We Learn and Why We Never Forget

About the Author:

Jill Kelly is the wife of former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly. In September 1997, months after their infant son, Hunter, was diagnosed with a fatal disease called Krabbe Leukodustrophy, Jim and Jill founded the Hunter’s Hope Foundation. As chairman of the board of Hunter’s Hope, Jill helps children suffering from Leukodystrophy, and their families by raising awareness and research funds to fight this devastating disease. She and Jim live in Buffalo, NY, with their two daughters and three dogs. Hunter’s Hope Foundation can be found online at www.HuntersHope.org. Jill is also the author of Without A Word.

Connect with the Author: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jill-Kelly-AuthorSpeaker/322884036164

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hjkforever


I received a free copy of Etched…Upon My Heart  in exchange for my honest review of the book.  All of the above opinions are my own, and no other compensation has been received.


Building your homeschool library


I love Libraries.

I love the smell of paper as it ages in a book. I love the quiet hum of adventure that I feel when we walk into our local library. If I had a million dollars, I can envision a room in my home with walls lined from floor to ceiling; containing good wholesome books for my children to read. I would pass hours, if not days, there…… tucked under blankets, sprawled across sofas and wing backed chairs, traveling to places that only my imagination can go.

Trouble is, books cost money and for many homeschooling families, like mine, that live on a budget, cost is the single most prohibitive part of building that cozy homeschool library that lives in my mind.

That is why I would like to share with you a website; one that hopes to help me build that library of my dreams. Photobucket They offer quality new and used living books, at bargain prices. I can search by curricula, and find books for Five in Row, Tapestry of Grace, Beautiful Feet, Sonlight, Ambleside Online ( that’s the one we use!) and more. They have a wide selection of Vintage & Hard to Find Books, to compliment your child’s learning. I really enjoyed looking around their website. It was easy to use, and very easy for me to find many of the books I have spent HOURS online looking for in the past.

Their newsletter, is short and too the point. It isn’t overly cluttered with information making it hard to see what it is you might want to know more about. Best of all, IT’S FREE! They included a free e-book and activities to do with your kids during the month, along with a bit of encouragement.

With their FREE Membership, I have the opportunity to earn book points and stretch my homeschool dollar. I receive notification of great sales, before they happen, which is important to families that have a budget. I have access to their book search feature for help in finding that hard to locate book. There is also a way for me to bless others, I can buy from their Helping Hands section, and part of the proceeds will be given to Compassion International.

I hope that you will stop by Homeschool Library Builder in the month of May to receive 25% off everything in the entire store, and start building your library today!

**** Disclaimer *****

This review was written as a member of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew. I received access to Homeschool Libraries Newsletter in advance of their May Sale. I was also offered a promotional code to use for an additional discount should I choose to purchase a product from their website.(though not required as part of this review) … All for sharing my opinion about their website with you. No compensation or physical product has been received for this review.


Learning with little ones

Ever get something…. and the more you read it, you say to yourself….  Yes.  Yes!  YES!  This exactly what I have been looking for!!Photobucket

   That was my experience after receiving and reading Before Five in a Row.  I kept reading and reading, becoming more excited with each turn of the page.  I almost wanted to hug the book!  It was exactly everything I wanted Pre-School to be. Relaxed. Delightful. Inquisitive. Fun.

Before Five in a Row is designed for children ages 2-4.  It takes great children’s literature and weaves activities built on each book, into your everyday activities. 

When my now High School children were in Kindergarten, they had a teacher who was amazing.  I remember sitting in the back of the class, watching in wonder at all the activities she could squeeze out of a book.  It is something I knew they had to teach you in teacher’s school, and it was something I longed to recreate in my own home, but was never quite creative enough to pull it off.

Fast forward 12 years and 2 more kids later and I was blessed with this great book.  It was the most amazing “AH-HA!” moment for me.  I suddenly had the perfect tool to squeeze great fun out of a book.


Jeremiah, age 4, was my primary helper in experiencing this product.  I dare say he loved the fact that we set aside time to read and play a couple of times a week.

Our first book we read was Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? by Nancy White Carlstrom.  While we read this book over and over for a week we looked at the pictures and talked about the changes we saw in the time of day.  We talked about colors, patterns, and combinations.  Not just in math but in our clothes.  We will not talk about the Sunday I let him pick his own Combination of clothes and he wore a blue polo shirt with a gold striped tie….LOL… 

The next book we explored was Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey.  This book came along the week we were learning about the letter ‘B’.  Pretty neat huh?  Cuz’ I am the mom I can schedule neat stuff like that… Smile .  The bonus part of the deal was that blueberries were on sale at the Farmer’s Market so we had a flat of our very own berries to play with.  We ate them while we read.  We added them and subtracted them while we ate them.  We talked about bears, and mountains and bushes.  Mommy drooled over Sal’s mom’s kitchen stove….but that had nothing to do with the fun we had with this book.

In addition to being a book that offers lots of interesting ideas to help bring literature alive by nurturing the innate curiosity of little ones,  Before Five in a Row has an amazing Part Two, to the book.  I like to think of it as the Teacher’s Manual to early childhood learning.  It is crammed full of ideas that will help your child learn through creative, yet mildly directed, play.  Ideas for Poetry, Music, Large and Fine Motor Skills.  How to incorporate learning into a trip to the Store…. and so much more.

I absolutely and completely recommend this book to anyone with a child Kindergarten aged and below.  I only wish I had known about this book years ago so that Hunter (9) could have enjoyed it when he was younger.  ( He does play along with us when we read and do some of the games though….sshhh just don’t tell his friends)

If you would like your very own copy of this book.  It can be found exclusively offered at Rainbow Resources. The cost is $35.00 and for the many years you will use this book, I find the price to be quite fair. 

Just in case you are worried about finding all of the 24 books that are listed within Before Five in a Row, I can assure you that they shouldn’t be hard to find.  I was able to find the majority of them at my local library for no cost at all.  If you would like to purchase these books for your own home library, here is a reasonably priced list.

Visit the Five in a Row website to see the great products that they offer for older children in their Five in a Row, and Beyond Five in a Row curriculums.

Never take just my word for a homeschool product that you see on my blog.  Many families spend time with these products.  Stop by The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew blog and see how this product worked or didn’t work, for them.

See you soon!  Happy Schooling!

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We were given a copy of Before Five in a Row, free of charge, in exchange for an honest review.  No other compensation has been received.  I am under no obligation to love their product, or gush about it endlessly.

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